Authors In Bloom Special


Hello Friends. Welcome.

Today starts Author Dianne Venetta’s Annual  Authors in Bloom Blog Hop. I’m so excited to be participating again this year, I think it’s my third year and I love it. I visit all the posts, you can too, here, and I see what awesome gardening tips and recipes authors/bloggers are sharing. And of course, if you’re following and commenting on the ALL the blog posts in the 10 day hop, scroll to the end to see the official rules and how to enter to win prizes along the way or the grand prize, a Kindle Fire.

I always love Spring and the new opportunities it brings, but OMG, Spring is like confused, sick, ill or I do not know what on earth is happening. It’s been really affecting my own mood and ability to get/feel motivated. I mean, you can’t do some gardening (here on the East Coast at least) as there is still the threat of snow/freeze even as I write this.

If you read my post last time, I still consider Spring my “REAL” New Year, but with the weather, it’s been delayed. Despite it’s delay, I still love it but I find myself needing a way to make myself feel springy even if outside my window, it’s still wintery.

My tips for this year’s Authors In Bloom post is about what you can do to help you FEEL like Spring event when it’s not and of course a recipe is included. Keep reading below!

Below are some of the things that I’m currently doing to help myself along and of course I hope you find something you can do too!

Flowers! First up for a couple of weeks, I’ve decided to purchase some flowers at my local grocer and guess what, I didn’t think about this UNTIL a friend/client brought me some flowers at work for helping her with some special projects. That kind gesture really made my day, and helped me feel a little perkier. That brings to my next tip…

img_2240.jpgSEND some flowers. I’m already thinking about Mother’s Day and what I’ll send my Godmother and Mom, but why not send someone flowers, whether that’s your friend or even yourself. Don’t forget a heartfelt note to go with it.

Plan a Me Day – In my work, I’ve finally had almost a full year where I haven’t been ill or in the hospital and I thank God. I say that because not taking off for sick leave or annual leaves, means it’s finally going up. A year doesn’t go by usually without me having some sort of infection or something to put me down for a few days or even hospitalize me. Welcome to chronic condition land. This last couple of weeks and into this summer, I’m excited about planning some me days. I’ve already had a couple this winter where I did nothing but watch Netflix or spring clean/purge which I enjoy, work on what I wanted to work on and that’s it. For my summer “staycay”, I’m not traveling as much this year for my books, doing lots of local stuff, but local stuff means I keep/save some money too, so I’ve decided to make a list of places I want to go but never seem to get to even though they are in my backyard. Planning something fun will make you happy whether you go right now or later. Some things I have planned include a trip to the National Gallery of Art to see the Obama portraits and even though I’ve been, I’ll take a friend who hasn’t gone, to the Museum of African-American History and Culture to see all that I missed the first couple of go-rounds, the Hillwood Museum has always interested me and I hope to have tea there, a fun shopping spree in DC because I rarely trek to DC for much of anything living just under and hour away and before I got so bogged down and busy, I used to plan a day of staying at the library for about four to five hours, reading all the magazines, relaxing and refueling  myself. Who doesn’t like a bookstore that’s essentially filled with free books? This kind of plan, whatever you decide to do is more about making a conscious effort to do the stuff YOU like doing and to do the stuff you say you’re going to do “some day” but don’t.

Next, don’t forget about LIGHT Therapy. Those of us with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) know all about light therapy. Having a day lamp or switching to day bulbs could be one way to feel better, and trick your brain.

Treats! Who doesn’t love a treat (often)? – What’s a summer favorite that you don’t eat much of when it’s cold? Ice Cream? It was cold the other day and the last thing I wanted to do was eat something that would only make me colder but I went to Dunkin Donuts/Baskin Robbins (there in the same shop where I live). I was so happy, LOL, I got a scoop of my cookies and cream and when I finished I turned on my heating blanket and wrapped up. Problem solved.

Go to bed earlier. Lately, during the week I’ve been going to bed pretty early, like 8:30 compared to 10:00 and 11:00 p.m. Sometimes, I don’t go to sleep right away, (but little can compete once I’m in a horizontal position) but I might watch a little television or listen to songs on my phone but I’m in bed and the earlier hour has made me feel better when it’s time to get up. During the summer  months, this probably won’t happen, I am a night owl after all, but since it’s still cold, to beddy bye I’m going.

A book that takes time coverAlmost to the end of my list but as I was writing this post, I looked over and saw a book that I have on my desk by Irene Smit and Astrid van der Hulst, that I’m really liking very much. I just happened upon browsing my local book store one day. I opened it and was reading about its offerings and the description said it contained TWO pull out journals. I didn’t need to read any further. This book called, A Book That It’s Takes Time, has all kinds of little nuggets of gold, including crafts, journaling, postcards and many other aesthetically pleasing ideas to help you unplug from your technology and reconnect to your heart and creative mind. I haven’t even explored mine fully but each time I crack the spine, I find something fun and exciting to do.

Finally, the recipe and the last tip is to simply change the scents around you – I love fruity scents and anything watermelon, berries, vanilla and cinnamon but I refuse to spend almost thirty bucks on a single candle, no matter how many wicks it has. BUT over the holiday I did purchase the Pink Petal Teacake from Bath and Body Works as a gift to  myself and when I first smelled it, I absolutely loved it. And of important note, I’m not a smelly kind of girl. I use Dial and I use vaseline and I don’t care what people say about Vaseline, it works for me. My point is that as a non-perfume type, the candles are the happy medium. One other scent I like is the Vera Bradley (yes she sells perfume now) Apple Berry Champagne that I bought over a year ago. I love it.

Fill your house with some home made scents like this recipe I’m sharing for Apple Crumble. Guess what, you can use almost any fruit and make this same kind of topping for it. So here we go, here is a farewell to winter recipe that will have your house smelling some kind of good. I usually make this in the fall and winter, and for any work parties where I have to bring something. It travels fairly well and tastes good hot or room temperature. If served hot, be sure to get some ice cream. 🙂

Apple Crumble

1 stick unsalted butter

2 Teaspoons all-purpose flour (many recipes I’ve seen call for much more than this amount but I really think it’s only used as a thickener or binding) some crumbles I’ve made without flour at all

1 cup old-fashioned oats

1/2 cup brown sugar (I also use a little regular/white sugar to help more tart apples)

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

pinch of salt

5-8 apples

The number of apples you use really depends on how much you want to make and the size of your apples. You can peel the applies or not, I like them peeled.

Cut and core the apples

Mix together all the ingredients above until the consistency is like a crumbled, clumpy mixture – (best to use soft/room temperature butter, instead of melted butter)

If you’ve chosen to keep apples whole, put some melted butter into bottom of pan/baking dish to prevents sticking. Place apples in dish, cut side up. Use your hand, pack the core/depression of the apple with the crumble mixture.

Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Not only will this make your house smell so good, but it’s a wonderful thing to do when you have too many apples.

Enjoy and use some of the tips above to make sure you can survive until Ms. real, lucid spring arrives.

 All Right it’s PRIZE Time!

To enter and be eligible to win MY prize:

Eligibility and Rules for entering to win my giveaway – which, by the way, is a $ 10 gift card to spend at

  • Open to US and Canada Residents ONLY. Please make sure that you leave your name and e-mail address as the gift card will be provided via e-mail
  • Must be 18 years of age and older
  • Sign up for my newsletter 
  • Must leave a comment below about this post AND sign up for my author newsletter
  • At the end of the 10 day blog hop, I will post the winner’s first name on the front page of and it will be in my next newsletter (which you will get because you subscribed as part of the entry requirements)

To enter and be eligible to Win Dianne’s prize

GRAND PRIZE: Dianne is giving away WINNER’S CHOICE a Kindle Fire OR Nook AND a $ 25 Gift Card

Eligibility Rules for entering Dianne’s giveaway

  • Visit EACH and EVERY ONE of the blog stops in the 10 day hop – you can see them ALL here:
  • Only those that visit EACH and EVERY stop are eligible for the grand prize
  • Your Eligibility will be verified at the end of the Blog Hop
  • Don’t forget to leave your contact information (which is your FIRST name and E-mail address) in the comment section or we will have no way to contact you to let you know you’ve won
  • Winners will be posted on both Dianne Venetta’s author page and the Bloomin Thyme websites.



25 thoughts on “Authors In Bloom Special

  1. I sympathize with you about the kind of Spring we’ve been having so far…I live in Northern Ontario and we still have lots of snow and it keeps snowing! Aaarrgghhh! lol As you mention, not having the usual Spring weather tends to affect the mood and I find myself needing more and more “me” days! On those days I stay in my PJs and either just read or watch a good movie:) Thank you so much for the Apple Crumble recipe, you’ve made my mouth water and I think I will bake one today!!!! Carole Burant (

  2. Love Apple Crumble. Thanks for your recipe. And thanks for your Spring tips. I certainly can use them . Living in the East Coast with our never ending winter has drained my energy I do have the lights because they do work and I love candles to put spring in the air. I but the candles at CVS . They are called Candlelight They are the big ones for 15.00 but last so long. I love when they go on sale. Thanks for sharing.
    Carol Luciano
    Lucky4750 at aol dot com

  3. Hi Tracee! Thank you so much for the recipe! I love apple anything and this looks so good! I love spring and have been trying to get to bed earlier, but I have a problem! I want to read until late! Signed up and following! Thanks so much! Lori

  4. I am watching the last (hopefully) of this season’s snow melt as I type this. Love a good staycay! Thanks for the apple crumble recipe, I signed up for your newsletter.

    Mary McCoy emmasmom69 AT gmail DOT com

  5. Thanks for the yummy recipe. I love your idea about fresh flowers. I would love to have some sitting next to me now.

  6. Hopefully, I’m not commenting twice. I’m taking your wonderful suggestion to heart, and I’m buying some fresh flowers. Thank you for the yummy recipe too.

  7. That sounds like a delicious recipe, and thanks for sharing all of the wonderful tips. I am blessed to live in a city that doesn’t have a lot of gloomy days, so most days I just have to remember to go outside and lift my spirits by enjoying the beauty in the garden. Thank you for participating and for the giveaway opportunity.

    elewkf1 at yahoo dot com

  8. Thanks for the great recipe! I’m looking forward to trying it. Also, thanks for the opportunity to win. I look forward to reading some of your work. I’m always looking for new favorite authors. 😀

  9. I live in SE PA and today for the first time this season I looked at tomato plants this year. I don’t usually plant until after Memorial Day.

  10. I live in Massachusetts and it’s been a very rough winter but my plans have started blooming last week and I mean blooming like crazy my best tip is to always make sure that you give them nutrients at least every three months even ready for your bed down for the winter because come the first day of spring and there’s no snow the plants go crazy

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