Sunday, November 25, 2012


Here's a  story and a recipe for The Mall Fairies' Sweet Tooth Cookbook, which will be released free as a PDF on this blog December first, with quick and easy sweet recipes just in time for Christmas cooking and baking!

 Aunt Diane stared down at the piece of paper, as if willing it to change. It didn't change. It still said: "For the Fairyland Festival, please bring 30 homemade items to sell."
Thirty. Homemade. Items.
Diane sighed. Yes, the Festival was only once a year. Yes, all the proceeds were donated to good causes. And yes, it was a Festival of only homemade stuff. But she worked full time and then some extra hours, okay a lot of extra hours, at her Realtor job. She possessed no time and no energy to make 30 different thingies. Plus, she needed to maintain her reputation as the gal who could do it all without breaking a sweat. She sighed once more and did what she always did when faced with a problem she couldn't think of the answer to: she ate.
Or rather, she went to the refrigerator to decide what to eat. Not much there. Diane didn't make it to the grocery store very often, her work schedule didn't permit—anything but work. She sighed one last time. She'd have to fall back on her old standby: peanut butter and jam sandwiches. She got all the ingredients out, save for the jam, her favorite, homemade strawberry freezer jam. It was so simple, easy and fast to make, and made so much that Diane always made the jam herself.
Her hand closed around the jam jar.
Simple.  Easy. Fast. Makes a lot.
Diane grinned.
And her jars of strawberry freezer jam sold like another food item, hotcakes, which of course she suggested was a great combination—pancakes and strawberry jam!

1 pkg. No Cook Pectin
11/2 cups of sugar (I use one cup, for a more tart jam, my preference)
4 cups crushed strawberries (about 4 lbs or 2 quarts) (I use the frozen bags of strawberries, defrosted, then I can skip the whole "wash and hull strawberries" step, plus the defrosted strawberries are as chunky as I prefer my jam, which is pretty chunky.)
Wash strawberries, remove stems.
Use a potato masher, a food processor or a hand blender to mash the strawberries to your preferred consistency.
Add the sugar and pectin and stir until blended.
Ladle into jars with lids, leave room at the top for expansion when freezing.
Let sit for 30 minutes. Put into refrigerator or freezer.
A jar will keep in the refrigerator for 3 weeks, and in the freezer for up to a year.
You can use other fruits to make other jams, blueberries for example. I wouldn't use bananas as I'm fairly certain the fruit would turn black, yechh.
This makes a lot of jam. There's no way to really halve the recipe because of the pectin. However, it's great for gifts. And it stays frozen for a year. So make away!

Monday, November 12, 2012

JQ Rose Visits with GIRLS SUCCEED!

Inspiring and empowering girls to achieve success in their dream careers.

It is my great pleasure to have fellow writer, J.Q. Rose visit my blog today. She's written some wonderful books including Girls Succeed. So without further ado, here is  J.Q. in her own words. (And don't forget to enter the contest, details below!)

Hi Conda. Thanks so much for hosting me today.  I appreciate the opportunity to shout about my ebook for girls, Girls Succeed: Stories Behind the Careers of Successful Women. It is an interactive e-book filled with dreams and passion to inspire, entertain, and empower girls. Fifteen remarkable career women in a variety of occupations share their stories in these pages. Readers explore careers which include women who have discovered cures to stamp out disease, made people laugh, earned Olympic and Paralympics gold medals, and crossed the country in the cab of an 18 wheeler.

Hello Readers. Thank you for stopping by. I’m excited to visit with you today. Please leave comments to enter a random drawing for prizes after the tour is completed. More information about that later.

Careers Today by J.Q. Rose

The glass ceiling for women still exists in many careers, but let’s face it, women are entering professions never imagined when I was graduating from high school. Have you talked with a college student lately about his or her major? What an amazing choice of degrees to earn these days. Majors are in recreation, hospitality, business leadership, marketing, all those computer technology majors, and even how to engineer packaging for products.

With so many choices available, I want to encourage girls to dream big for the career they want to pursue and follow the dream by working hard to make it a reality. The stories in the book are about careers, but also the path the women followed to make their dream profession come true. 

This is non-fiction and was written as a reference for gathering information and inspiration about different occupations. If a career catches a reader’s eye, then I hope she will read about it. At the end of each chapter, there are live links to the subject’s websites, videos, books, and articles which will enhance and update the information provided.

It was a privilege to interview these remarkable women. I felt very special to have them trust me to tell their stories. Now I look forward to getting the ebook out to readers and hope to inspire them to follow their dreams.

The Table of Contents lists all the women and their careers. How about you? Do you still dream of success in a new career? Go for it!

Table of Contents

Chapter 1--Horse Trainer/Competitive Dressage Rider, Pati Pierucci
True Love
Chapter 2--Bike Racer, Mackenzie Woodring
Speeding Around the Track
Chapter 3--Children’s Book Author and Illustrator, Jane Stroschin
Practice, Practice, Practice
Chapter 4--Medical Doctor, Cate Bradley
Role Models Rock
Chapter 5--Chef, Sue Chef
Cooking Up a Career
Chapter 6--Technology Expert, Diana Stoneberg
Keep Your Sense of Humor
Chapter 7--Christian Minister, Laurie Haller
Serving God
Chapter 8--Horticulturalist, Sharon Loving
Thank You Very Mulch
Chapter 9--Medical Scientist, Juanita Merchant
Confidence Counts
Chapter 10-Olympic Gold Medalist in Women’s Ice Hockey, Angela Ruggiero
Showing the Boys
Chapter 11-Semi-Truck Driver, Barbara Totten
Freedom of the Road
Chapter 12-Teacher/Coach/Athletic Director, Barbara “Chili” Chiles
Aim Higher
Chapter13-Social Worker, Lenair Correll 
Overcoming Obstacles
Chapter 14-Entrepreneur/Product Developer, Veronica Bosgraaf
Find the Path to Success
Chapter 15-Professional Clown, Brenda Marshall
A Big Red Nose

After writing feature articles in magazines, newspapers, and online magazines for over fifteen years, J.Q. Rose entered the world of fiction writing with her first published novella, Sunshine Boulevard, released by Muse It Up Publishing in 2011. With Girls Succeed she returns to her first love, writing about real people.  Blogging, photography, Pegs and Jokers board games, and travel are the things that keep her out of trouble. Spending winters in Florida with her husband allows Janet the opportunity to enjoy the life of a snowbird. Summer finds her camping and hunting toads, frogs, and salamanders with her four grandsons and granddaughter.

Connect with J.Q. Rose online at
Author website     

BOOK LINKS: If you would like to download a sample which includes the Table of Contents listing all the careers in the book, please go to


Contest Information Janet will be drawing winners from visitors who leave comments during the tour. The prizes for you or a girl in your life are a $10 Amazon gift certificate, a copy of the Girls Succeed e-book in your choice of format, a “Succeed” beaded bracelet kit, and inspirational note pads. (See the Girls Succeed and J Q Rose blogs for photos and blog tour information.). Winners announced on her blogs on Sunday, November 18 at 9 pm EST. Good luck!