What are your #FirstWorldProblems?

I found this on Twitter. #FirstWorldProblems may have started from First World Life, I’m not sure.

How many First World Problems can you think up?

  • My coffee gets cold too fast but one of those coffee cup warmers won’t fit on my computer desk. #FirstWorldProblems
  • I wanted to just do nothing today but I have to go out for fast food with friends. I hope it’s air conditioned. #FirstWorldProblems
  • I had to figure out how to transfer money between my accounts – it took forever! #FirstWorldProblems
  • The kids wanted to run in the sprinkler today. I had to figure out how to hook up the new gadget to turn on the hose. #FirstWorldProblems
  • I couldn’t decide what to wear so I threw on something so I could go to the mall and buy a new outfit. #FirstWorldProblems
  • Decluttering is tough. I had a car load to take to the thrift store and still have more to sort through. #FirstWorldProblems


What Do Happy Pills Look Like?

Do you write better when you are light headed and starving? I think not. Yet, here I am, writing on a day (so far) of fasting. I’m not cleansing. I’m just being a bit lazy about making anything edible. Later I need to get out, catch the bus and get coffee. I’ve been putting off the trip since this morning. Not so much a lack of energy as a lack of bother. Some days I really could just be a happy, little hermit.

New legal anabolic steroid now available in the US– Yes that’s a paid link. Although I do take steroids (in my asthma inhaler) I really don’t know anything about them. I don’t read about the side effects and I really don’t want to know too much about long term effects. I’m not much of a health nut.

I don’t read much about nutrition either the technical details about things like proteins, amino acids, carbohydrates and so on. Sometimes I read about making better choices with food and things like hidden salt and sugar and types of fat. Not a lot. I think I don’t really want to know too much.

I do take vitamins. I have multi-vitamins which I tend to forget until I realize they’re about to expire in another month. Then I try to put them in a spot where I will see them and remember to take them. I still don’t remember. Usually I’m just busy with something else at the time I think about them and then, I don’t remember them later when I could take a break and grab a vitamin. But, I do sporadically take Apple Cider Vinegar as an antioxidant and Wild Salmon Fish Oil for Omega3. Mainly, I hope the fish oil will help my skin. I’ve always had dry skin. it does seem to help, but I’m not really sure how much.

There are sites online where you can order all kinds of pills, vitamins and supplements, like Predator Nutrition. I’m always surprised by how much there is when I look down the vitamin and nutrition sort of pills in the drug store or the grocery store even. I’m sure it’s a growing industry when I see it all spread out down the length of the whole store aisle.

Still, there isn’t a magic cure for anything yet. No pill that will turn you from fat to fabulous in a day. I did see a movie where they had a machine like that. It’s the only part of the movie I actually do remember. But, it was a pretty bad movie.

If there were a magical pill that would give you whatever change you want, overnight… What would the pill look like? We all think about quick cures but when do we imagine what they would look like? 

Note: The happy pills in the photo come from KawaiiCloudShop on Etsy.

As the Earring Dangles…

I thought it would be fun to write for soap operas. Now, with them tending to be cancelled, it’s not likely I will get to write for a soap. But, I can still have the fun of creating my own.

What would call your soap opera? I’m not talking about any personal soap opera you think you have going on, but one you create, as fiction.

Of course, before you can really get a name you need a plan, a background, a basic plot and some idea of who your characters will be.

So write it all… why not? It’s just for fun.

Title: As the Earring Dangles….

Characters: Maisy Mope, Daisy Dearlick, Olivia Flower, Bradford Mope, Giles Dearlick and Nigel Flower.

Plot: Three couples stranded (fashion models) on a deserted island. The show starts with the shipwreck. Lots of arguing about who is to blame. Then discovery of the island, the search for some kind of rescue possibility as well as food and shelter. None of them have survival training but they figure things out through trial and error. There are some small disasters and then…. they find the cave. At least they have some shelter, for awhile. In the cave they find people from another shipwreck years ago. This changes the group dynamic as the new shipwrecked models are young and cute and the old timers like what they see. At some point a lost treasure works it’s way into the story to add greed to the lust and envy already brewing around the island.

Descriptive Food Words

These are just the words I picked out from the list of words to describe food on World Food Wine. Read down the list yourself and see which words you may not know or may not be sure of. Then try using them, describe eating something you like, then describe eating something you don’t care for at all.

Gustatory, relating to the sense of taste, to the sensation in the taste buds.

Nectarous stands for ambrosial, delicious or sweet; something that reminds you of nectar, the drink of the gods –in Greek mythology, therefore it would seem more to the point using it for liquids than for solid food. Any sweet, stimulating drink could be nectar to your lips.

Rancid food is bad, stale, rotten, completely off; the opposite of fresh food.

Sapid, saporific, or saporous are certainly full of flavor; that is to say flavorful, flavorsome, flavorful, flavorous. Better not pronounce, just write; those are not every day words

Scrumptious is shouting “eat me!” It is delicious, delectable, mouthwatering, tasty, delightful, gorgeous, lip smacking, yummy, wonderful in taste and aroma; never unappetizing, unappealing, or tasteless. Think of a scrumptious pie is very appetizing, pleasing to your taste; your sense of taste.

Sec is another way to say medium dry, un-sweet. This word is borrowed from wine world.

Toothsome, strictly used, refers to edible and pleasant food, or you could even write tasty, appetizing or delicious instead, something really pleasant to the sense of taste. But you will see it very often meaning healthy food, good tasting food that has something more than good taste going for it. The opposite will be inedible, tasteless, disgusting or foul… yucky!

Food Writing Challenge

Write Prompts from Squidoo has an August Challenge.

Every day this month write about some aspect of the food in your life and how it might have changed over the last year. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

* If it was your last day alive, what would you like to be your last meal
* What did your mother make you when you were growing up
* Write about a food addiction
* A food that turns your stomach
* What is your specialty to cook
* Write about hunger
* Overeating
* Eating socially
* Healthy eating
* Write a new recipe
* Recipes you have cherished from mother, grandmother (or wish to get your hands on)

The Food Project Blog Challenges

Food Buzz had ten challenges for food bloggers in their Food Project Blog. The contest is over, the winner announced. But the challenges can inspire some fresh ideas for all bloggers, of every niche.

#1 Ready, Set, Blog!
Recipe for Success. Be yourself and be present. – This was where the bloggers enter the challenge and introduce themselves to everyone else participating.

#2 The Classics
Cooking outside your comfort zone. – Food bloggers were to tackle a new dish outside of their usual fare, a foreign dish was suggested. But I would think foreign dishes are not the only option a creative food blogger could come up with. How about a chocolate sculpture?

#3 Luxury Dinner Party
Impress your guests. Hosting a luxurious dinner party. – Bloggers create and promote their event and readers on the Food Buzz site vote on which they would most like to attend.

#4 Picture Perfect
Designing a dish for the camera. – Tutorials can help you learn food photography so you can take scrumptious photos for your blog. Tempt readers to take a bite.

#5 Recipe Remix
Honing your technique, make a recipe your own. Contestants were to take the typical pizza and turn it into their own unique creation.

#6 Road Trip!
Food to go, presentation is king. Design a meal to go on the road, one that can be carried around and still come out looking good enough to eat.

#7 Video 411.
Lights, camera, cook. The challenge is to make a video in order to teach your recipe to your readers, or the readers of Food Buzz in this case.

#8 Piece of Cake.
How to get a great performance from your oven. A seasonal ingredient was used to bake something that shows off a knowledge of the science behind baking.

#9 You’re the Critic
Asserting your opinion and telling a story. The bloggers take it out to a restaurant, write their own review and rate the dining out experience.

#10 The Final Post
By this time the challengers were narrowed down to three. They were given a last chance to post about their experiences during the challenge and what they learned.

This must have been a fabulous experience for all the bloggers who kept up with it all. Even if they were out of the running by some point, it would have been a real achievement just to do all ten of the challenges.

Look at the list and think about what you could do, step out of your own comfort zone and try something new with your blog.

If you have a food related blog you can find Food Buzz on the web, on Twitter and on Facebook.

Why Do Zombies Eat?

What is it about zombies that has them becoming so popular. It’s not my thing. I think they are just too creepy and gross to have any feeling of affection for them. Originally, I think, they were reanimated corpses used by Voodoo Priestesses. They were controlled by the Priestess and did not attack or seek out people to attack and eat. They had no mind of their own, to think enough to look for food. They would fall apart gradually as they were no longer alive. Being dead they ceased to have need to eat and replenish their body with food in order to heal and regenerate cells. Zombies eating anything is backwards, not logical.

My sister, my nephew and my ex-husband all went on Zombie Walks this year, different locations.

Canadian Zombies

Zombie Walk: Canadian Forum

Toronto Zombie Walk

Write about a zombie who lives next door to you. Usually a quiet family type guy. At one point you think he owned a dog… What is his story and how do things turn out for him?

Food Photography as a Career

Another interesting job I’d like to try, food photography. Making something on a plate look absolutely scrumptious and drool-worthy. Wouldn’t that be a fabulous job to have? Travel, art and food.

Next time you’re pouring milk into your cereal, buttering your toast or eating out at a restaurant, think about the food as it looks on the plate. How would you style it to look good for a photograph?

How do you become a Food Photographer/ Stylist?
eHow: Food Photography as a Career and How to Become a Food Stylist and Food Stylist Job Description
Photography Schools: Food Photography
Steve’s DigiCams: How to Get Freelance Food Photography Jobs

How to Resources:
Digital Photography School: Food Photography – An Introduction
Shutterbug: An Insider’s Look at Food Photography
Food Portfolio: Blog
101 Cookbooks: Food Photography Tips
Photocritic.org: The Dirty Tricks of Food Photographers
Lara Ferroni: Still Life With and on Twitter
O’Reilly: Tasteful Food Photography
Inn Cuisine: The Art of Digital Food Photography and Food Styling: 20 Invaluable Resources for Food Bloggers

Are Our Standards Slipping?

We were out for dinner the other night. It was just ok. I thought of how many times we have eaten out and it has been just ok. Yet we still eat out and still don’t find it anything special. I love a club sandwich, but I could make it at home myself. (Even though I really dislike cooking bacon and getting splashed by it). Even fried food like fish and chips we could do at home if we really wanted good fish and chips.

Maybe our standards are slipping too far. Shouldn’t we be going out to a movie or dinner and expecting it to be great? If not, what is the point of going and paying for it. Why are we satisfied with something that is just ok or not really all that good?

If they serve frozen vegetables I could have done that at home myself, and paid a lot less! If the coffee tastes like dishwater why are you still drinking it?  If they serve a frozen pie or some other dessert I could have defrosted myself why am I paying as much for a slice as I could for the whole pie? I’m tired of paying for overcooked vegetables I’d likely use for compost if I were at home. I’m tired of paying $50 for a meal (for two) I’d describe as less than average.

Write about the last meal you ate out, other than fast food. Was it great? Were you amazed by the level of skill in preparing and cooking the meal? Were you satisfied at the cost of the meal versus the value of the food you ate? Did you eat something you wanted to get the recipe for? Did anything melt in your mouth, other than an ice cube? Or did something actually taste off/ funny/ bad?  They may not be able to do much about a fly buzzing around your table but they can certainly serve you good food, if not delicious food, if not the “best thing you ever ate” food.

Interview Warm Up Questions

Interview questions can seem pretty simple and straight forward but to pull out real information, real passion and have something beyond the standard interview you need to plan out your questions. Brainstorm for questions you want to ask, let one idea lead to another and then another. When you are satisfied that you can’t think of any more questions begin to plot your interview. Put the questions in order by topic. Also, think about how asking each question leads the person you are interviewing into putting more thought into their answers. Start them out with simple and easy stuff so you can work your way up to the questions you want them to take more time answering.

I collect interview questions when I see some I like. Here are a few, fairly generic, questions you could give to warm up the interview.

  • What is your guiltiest pleasure?
  • What is the most interesting book you have read?
  • What is on your bedside table?
  • Who or what do you live for?
  • Who are some of your mentors?
  • What are some of your challenges?
  • Who do you admire in your career/ field?
  • How do you make time for your personal life/ balance work and career?
  • What do you really like to do when you get a whole day to yourself?
  • Which words do you most overuse?
  • Which gadget could you never give up?
  • What is your favourite comfort food?
  • Who do you consider a misunderstood historical figure?
  • Who, or what, makes you laugh the hardest?
  • What is the worst piece of advice you’ve been given?