Friday, December 31, 2010

Recipe Friday: Chinese Pepper Steak

"To the ruler, people are heaven; to the people, food is heaven." Chinese Proverb

Happy New Year! Anybody doing take out Chinese to ring in the New Year?

Chinese food is one of my favorite cuisines! Here's a healthy and easy recipe for your crock pot from Mabel Hoffman's Crockery Cookery. Hope you enjoy it!

Chinese Pepper Steak

1 1/2 pounds round steak
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 T hoison sauce
1 t sugar
1 tomato, chopped
2 red or green bell peppers, cut in strips
3 T cornstarch
3 T water
1 cup fresh bean sprouts
4 green onions, finely chopped
Cooked rice

Trim fat from steak; slice into thin strips.  Combine steak, garlic, salt, pepper, soy sauce, hoison sauce and sugar in slow cooker.  Cover and cook on LOW about 4 hours.  Turn control to HIGH.  Add tomato and bell peppers.  Dissolve cornstarch in water in a small bowl; stir into streak mixture.  Cover and cook on HIGH 15-20 minutes or until thickened. Stir in bean sprouts. Sprinkle with onions. Serve with rice.  Makes 4-6 servings.

How are you celebrating the New Year tonight?  Several years ago, my friend Sheri told me that she and her family spend a quiet evening at home (like mine) and she makes an array hors d'oeuvres for dinner. I loved that idea, and I've been doing it ever since!

Tonight we'll have Swedish meatballs, shrimp, hummus and raw veggies.  I also got a frozen pizza for the kids (I'll cut it into little squares) and popcorn chicken.  Don't know if we'll stay up until midnight, but we will have had our share of party food!

Tell me about your New Year's Eve! Tweet me @: maria_mckenzie. Thanks so much for stopping by, and have a very Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Versatile Blogger: The Gift that Keeps on Giving

The Wednesday discussion will return next week.  Today's article is dedicated to the Versatile Blogger Award.  It's a post that's way overdue, since Alexia, over at  The Life and Literary Pursuits of Alexia Chamberlynn, named me one several weeks ago!

The most rewarding part of being a Versatile Blogger is passing the award forward! But before I do that, a couple of other things come first.

Thank you, Alexia, for naming me a VB! I'm thrilled once again to receive it! If you're not familiar with Alexia's blog, be sure to visit and become a follower!

On to seven things about me.  Last time I shared all the exciting stuff I could think of--which wasn't much!  So here are a few tidbits from my very ordinary life:

1. I love chocolate
2. I was vegetarian for about six years
3. I love meat
4. Being pregnant brought me back to eating meat. I didn't crave it, but I did crave protein in the form of cheese and nuts. I decided eating chicken would be less fattening than the mac and cheese and pizza I wanted all the time. Now I eat all meat!
5. I love movies
6. My favorite book is the same as my favorite movie: Gone With the Wind
7. I didn't start writing until I was in my 30's. I never dreamed of writing a book. I'm not a talker, so I figured I could never think of enough to say to fill one. But we non-talkers internalize a lot, so it's much easier for us to write!  Go figure.

Now it's time to pass it forward! Here are seven wonderful bloggers that I'm naming Versatile Bloggers:

1. Kittie Howard, The Block
2. Ivy, The Happy Whisk
3. Old Kitty, 10 Lives, Second Chances
4. The Words Crafter, Rainy Day Wanderer
5. Donea Lee, Queen of Procrastination
6. Julie Musil, Writing and Blogging Beteween Carpools
7. Nas Dean, Nas Dean

If you haven't visited these blogs, pop by today! Thanks for visiting!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Moday's Writing Tip: Say What? Simple Ways to Make Dialogue Tags Disappear

"There is nothing so annoying as to have two people talking when you're busy interrupting." Mark Twain

"John," Mary said, "I love you."
"Mary, I love you, too!" John declared.
"But what about Evan?" Mary cried. "We're to be married tomorrow!"
"My brother!" John exclaimed. "He's ruined every good thing in my life, and now--"
"Stop!" Mary interjected. "All of this--it's not fair to Evan, but..."

Shall I go on? I think not. First of all, there's nothing wrong with using "said" as a dialogue tag. It's like the ugly chain link fence that when painted black, becomes invisible. Readers are less likely to notice "said," because it easily blends in.

Too many different verbs are distracting, as in the example above. But that doesn't mean you can't use different verbs at all. You might want to say something stronger like hissed or spat for certain situations, but not too often. And make sure the words you choose in those instances have lots of s's that create an actual hissing sound or flying spittle!

You probably know, however, that dialogue tags aren't necessary for each line of dialog. Plain old dialogue can be used for several lines, or gestures can be used in place of tags. Just don't overdo the gestures.

Mary ran a hand through her hair. "John, even though it's not fair to Evan, I can't live without you."
John sighed. "Mary, we'll have to tell him."
Mary eyes widened. "But there's no telling what he'll do! He might--"
"Don't worry." John embraced her. "Even though he's a convicted felon, he's been through anger management." John kissed her neck. "Everything will be fine. Trust me."

You get the message. Now, one last word on dialogue tags. Make sure they really are dialogue tags. People don't smile, laugh or gasp their words. Here's one last example that correctly incorporates everything discussed today:

"Oh, John, you're impossible!" Mary laughed.
He smiled. "I know."
A door opened. Evan stepped from the closet. "Just what are the two of you trying to pull?"
Mary gasped, pulling from John's embrace. "How much have you heard?"
"I've heard enough! My own brother, and the woman I love!" When Evan reached in his pocket, John stepped in front of Mary.
"What?" Evan said. "You think I have a gun?" He pulled out a granola bar and unwrapped it. "As far as I'm concerned the two of you deserve each other with all that rotten dialogue!"

I suppose you've probably read enough, so I'll stop now! But I hope this tip on dialogue tags has been helpful!

Any advice you'd like to share on dialogue tags? Tweet me @: maria_mckenzie. Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, everyone! Recipe Friday will return next week. I'm taking a break to get caught up with holiday details. Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas! I'll be back blogging on Monday.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Wednesday Discussion: So Like, What Are Some of the Most Annoying Phrases Around?

"If any of these [annoying expressions] ever fall out of lexical favor, new ones will undoubtedly arise to take their place." E. Mohrman, Yahoo!  Contributor Network

Here's the thing, I was listening to a radio show yesterday and the host was talking about some of the most annoying words and phrases around.  To tell you the truth, I was thinking about taking a break from blogging until after Christmas. I've been pretty busy, 24/7, trying to get it together for the 25th.  But, actually, after hearing that topic discussed, I thought it would be a quick and fun discussion for today--literally!

BTW, what do you think?  Is this a sustainable topic to draw in an audience? Does it have sufficient gravitas?  Personally, I find myself a victim sometimes, because I fall into the trap of using some of these annoying words/expressions, even though, honestly, they annoy me, too!  So, my bad!

Some annoying phrases have been around forever. Others are Valley Girl, Hood speak, Chat speak or Politico speak. But all in all, they're all annoying!  

Share some annoying expressions that drive you up the wall!  Dig? (oops showing my age here).  Perhaps I should say, do you feel me?  Tweet me @: maria_mckenzie. Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Holly Jolly Blogfest

Monday's Writing Tip will return next week.  Today I'm blogging about The Holly Jolly Blogfest over at Through the Looking Glass!  I'm in the process of baking, but I'm taking a little break to post my Christmas cheer!

Melissa and Jen have asked that we post our Christmas tree, decorations and recipes of our favorite holiday drink and dessert.  For complete details, check out the link above and join the fun before the end of today!

My favorite dessert is German Chocolate Cake.  When I was growing up, my mom made it every Christmas!  I'm posting a recipe for it from  It's a rather labor intensive dessert, so needless to say, I've never made it myself!

My favorite holiday drink, eggnog of course! I love eggnog (non alcoholic, please), and there's nothing like it made from scratch.  See what I've posted from  You'll find it below the German Chocolate Cake. 

Following the recipes you'll see my decorations.  But they'll be posted later--sorry!  Hubby's out and has the digital camera.

German Chocolate Cake


1/2 cup water 4 (1 ounce) squares German sweet chocolate 1 cup butter, softened 2 cups white sugar 4 egg yolks 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 cup buttermilk 2 1/2 cups cake flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 4 egg whites 1 cup white sugar 1 cup evaporated milk 1/2 cup butter 3 egg yolks, beaten 1 1/3 cups flaked coconut 1 cup chopped pecans 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/2 teaspoon shortening 1 (1 ounce) square semisweet chocolate


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour 3 - 9 inch round pans. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In a small saucepan, heat water and 4 ounces chocolate until melted. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

In a large bowl, cream 1 cup butter and 2 cups sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in 4 egg yolks one at a time. Blend in the melted chocolate mixture and vanilla. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk, mixing just until incorporated.

In a large glass or metal mixing bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold 1/3 of the whites into the batter, then quickly fold in remaining whites until no streaks remain.

Pour into 3 - 9 inch pans Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto wire rack.

To make the Filling: In a saucepan combine 1 cup sugar, evaporated milk, 1/2 cup butter, and 3 egg yolks. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in coconut, pecans and vanilla. Cool until thick enough to spread.

Spread filling between layers and on top of cake. In a small saucepan, melt shortening and 1 ounce of chocolate. Stir until smooth and drizzle down the sides of the cake.  Yield: 1 three layer cake.


6 large eggs, plus 2 yolks
1/2 cup, plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/4 cup heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks
Additional grated nutmeg for garnish

Combine eggs, egg yolks, sugar, and salt in a heavy 3- or 4-quart pan, whisking until well-combined. Continue whisking while pouring milk in a slow, steady stream until completely incorporated. Turn on burner to lowest possible heat setting. Place pan on burner and stir mixture continuously until an instant-read thermometer reaches 160 degrees F. and the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Be patient. This should take about 45 to 60 minutes.

Strain mixture through a fine sieve into a large bowl to remove any accidental small cooked bits of egg. Add vanilla extract and nutmeg, stirring to combine. Pour into a glass pitcher, decanter, or container and cover with a lid or plastic wrap. Refrigerate this egg custard mixture to chill at least 4 hours or up to 3 days before finishing.

When ready to serve, pour heavy cream into a bowl and whip until it forms soft peaks. Fold whipped cream into cold custard mixture until combined.

Serve eggnog in chilled cups or glasses and garnish with a sprinkle of nutmeg.

My decorations to come! Meanwhile, visit Melissa and Jen and everyone else participating today and make this a Holly Jolly Time!

As promised, decorations (finally)!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Recipe Friday: Thai Chicken

"In Thailand's history, there have been dissensions from time to time, but in general, unity has prevailed." Bhumibol Adulyade

I don't know that much about Thailand's history, but I love the food! If you've never tried Thai cuisine, or love it but have never attempted to make it, here's an easy recipe for your crock pot!  You'll amaze your family with your culinary skill when you serve this delicious dish for dinner.

I've adapted this recipe from one I found in Woman's Day Magazine.  My version is a little bolder in flavor because I've upped a few of the ingredients, and instead of using mint, I substitute cilantro.

Minimal cutting and chopping is involved and you do need to squeeze some lime juice.  Other than that, it's pretty quick to prepare.  Serve over rice, have a salad--and you have a restaurant quality meal for a fraction of the price! Happy eating, and happy writing! Ah, the beauty of the crock pot--it does the cooking so you can do the writing. Enjoy!

Thai Chicken

3 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 large red or green pepper, sliced in strips
1 can (14 1/2 oz) diced tomatoes with jalapenos
1/2 cup peanut butter
3 T soy sauce
3 T lime juice
2 t ground ginger, or a 2 inch piece of fresh, finely chopped
8 oz frozen sugar snap peas
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Put chicken and onion in 3 1/2 quart or larger crock pot.  Add pepper strips. In a medium bowl, mix tomatoes, peanut butter, lime juice, soy sauce and ginger.  Pour mixture over chicken.  Cover and cook on low 7 to 9 hours.  Stir in sugar snap peas and cilantro and cook for an additional 15 minutes.  Makes 4 servings.

Have you ever had Thai food? If so, have you ever made it yourself? Tweet me @maria_mckenzie. Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Wednesday Discussion: Are You a Holiday Planner or Pantster

"I stopped believing in Santa Clause when I was six. Mother took me to a department store to see him and he asked for my autograph." Shirley Temple

My kids don't believe in Santa Clause anymore either, but they still want to bake cookies for him! And that's one more activity to plan. Speaking of which, are you a planner or a pantster when it comes to the holidays? 

When I write, I don't like to fly completely by the seat of my pants.  I prepare skeleton outline and then go where my characters lead me. No detailed outline or spreadsheet for me--I think my head would explode if I tried to that.  So I fall somewhere in between.

Same with holiday planning; I wouldn't dare try to do everything just days before Christmas (although I usually do wrap presents on  Christmas Eve). I finally mailed my Christmas cards today, and I only have three more gifts to buy.  I'll do my baking this weekend. So hopefully, by Christmas morning, everything I need to do will already be done!

I envy all the organized among us who buy their presents right after Thanksgiving and have their cards mailed by December 1. 

From what I've observed, having the ability to organize is genetic. My husband (whose parents are extraordinarily organized) is a very ordered person--I am not.  My dad has piles on his desk, and for some reason, so do I. And I know exactly what's in my piles and where to find what I need. 

I don't like clutter, but beware of my closet. If you go in, you may not come out! I'm also a procrastinator--that drives Mr. McKenzie nuts!  But some how we manage to complement each other.  I suppose the old saying is true: opposites attract.

Time to put the writing aside and catch up on some more Christmas--dare I say the word--details!

Are you a holiday planner or pantster?  Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Monday's Writing Tip: Utilize Another Set of Eyes

"Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness." Chinese Proverb

There's nothing like a second set of eyes (or a third, fourth or fifth pair) to help you shape up your manuscript!

It's amazing how wonderful something sounds to our ears after we've written it.  And all the praise we receive from loved ones who've read it, is pretty great, too!  But let's face it, writers need other writers to critique their work, otherwise, we're bumbling around in the dark, wondering why our manuscripts keep getting rejected.

If you're married to a writer, you have an advantage! But those of us who aren't so lucky need a writers group.  If you don't have any friends or acquaintances that write, there are lots of critique groups available online. 

If you don't belong to Writer's Digest online (think Facebook for writers), become a member--it's free! Different groups are available to join within WD online, and one is Critique Corner. There you can post your work and other writers will offer changes and constructive criticism.

Some writers have one critique partner, while others have several.  I meet weekly in person with a group of five. I love having the benefit of all those different skill sets, and I know my finished product will be a lot stronger with all the fantastic input I receive! 

In a group you'll see that someone might be great at line edits, while another person offers just the right dialogue.  Brainstorming ideas is always fun, and formulating a better scenario or plot twist can come directly from your critique group.

When other writers read your work, you'll also find out if what you've written makes sense to begin with.  And if it doesn't, your group can help you make it make sense!

Sometimes I think I've churned out a decent piece that can stand on its own.  But then Lisa, my writing teacher/group facilitator starts peeling away the layers (some that I didn't even know were there) to show me how to create an even better scene. 

After Lisa reads my work, I feel like I've written it looking through a peephole.  It takes her to open the door and reveal everything else out there that's waiting to be said!  She's amazing at digging deeper in a scene to bring it greater depth, feeling and clarity!

So, if you're currently floundering alone, join a critique group!  The writing journey to publication is hard enough--don't go it alone!

Do you belong to a writers group or have a critique partner? If so, do you meet in person or online? Tweet me @: maria_mckenzie. Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Recipe Friday: Italian-Style Beef Stew

"Talk of joy: there may be better things than beef stew and baked potatoes and homemade bread--there may be." David Grayson, "Adventures in Contentment," 1907

This is one of my all time favorite crock pot recipes, because you can throw it together in a snap!  Beef Stew is hot, hearty comfort food, just right for a frigid winter evening.  Today's dish takes only minutes to prep, but plan ahead so you can allow 10 hours of cooking time.

Serve with a big crusty hunk of bread on the side, or ladle over rice or egg noodles.  Have a salad to make the meal complete! I've adapted this from my GE Slow Cooker Recipe Book, the book that came right along with my crock pot.  Hope you enjoy! Happy eating, and have a great weekend!

Italian-Style Beef Stew

3 lbs boneless beef stew cubes
1 10 ounce box frozen mixed vegetables
1 15 ounce can tomato sauce
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1 small onion, chopped
1 1.5 ounce envelope beef stew seasoning mix

Combine all ingredients in the crock pot. Stir well. Cover and cook on low 10 hours. If you prefer, cook on high for 5 hours. Serves 4.

Do you have a favorite beef stew recipe? Tweet me @: maria_mckenzie. Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Wednesday Discussion: "Are You Published Yet?"

"Success is that old ABC--ability, breaks and courage." Charles Luckman

"Have you been published yet?" For "pre-published" writers, this is a question often asked by friends and relatives. After the first six query letters are sent off, new writers think that at least one of those agents, if not all, will be chomping at the bit to sign them on--WRONG!

The road to publication is a long process and for most of us, this probably wasn't realized until after the 20th rejection letter was received!

Sending an average of 50 or more is the norm.  That can be pretty depressing, especially when those near and dear keep asking if you've been published.  But after a year or more of saying no, they eventually stop.

Well wishers haven't lost hope in our writing, they just don't want to make us feel bad, and whether you know it or not, they're behind the scenes quietly rooting and praying for our success. 

When the asking stops and the rejections keep coming, it's important that we don't lose hope in ourselves.  Agent Jeff Herman says, "No rejection is fatal until the writer walks away from the battle leaving dreams and goals behind."

So keep improving your God given ability through continuously writing, reading and taking classes. Despite rejection, have the courage to go on.  And in closing, have faith that your break will come!

Have you been published yet? If so, how did it feel to say yes for the first time?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Monday's Writing Tip: Don't Forget that Thought, Write it Down!

"The existence of forgetting has never been proved: we only know that some things do not come to our mind when we want them to."  Friedrich Nietzsche

Ever lost a great story idea, or forgotten just the right quote, or the perfect sentence to describe something?  If you came up with these great thoughts in the middle of the day, but failed to write them down at the moment of inspiration, the answer is probably yes!

That's why it's so important, as writers, to always have pen and paper handy wherever we are.  If you dream up your ideas, or they come to you while waking in the wee hours of the morning, have a notebook on your bedside table.  If you develop scenarios as you drive, place a little steno pad in your glove compartment.

If you're a woman writer who wants to be well prepared to hear from "the muse," carry a little notebook in your purse.  Same goes for a guy who carries a "man bag." And with a cell phone, anyone  can be prepared since you can text yourself!

Write down (or text) your ideas when they're fresh!  If you don't have a handy pad or a cell phone, grab the nearest thing available!

We've all heard about great stories written on cocktail napkins! And if you're like me, you've probably scribbled on napkins from your own kitchen table when nothing else is accessible to catch that stream of wildly flowing inspiration!

Even though you can hold on to ideas for a few hours (before completely forgetting them), sometimes they're just not as strong as the original thought, once you find the time to jot them down.  It's difficult to recreate the initial pungency from the fragments left  floating around in your head.  

So be prepared, write it down! Do you have a pen and paper handy wherever you go?

Tweet me @: maria_mckenzie! Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Recipe Friday: Caribbean Pork With Sweet Potatoes

The holidays are upon us! Thanksgiving has come and gone, and Christmas is just a few weeks away. That means lots of cleaning, decorating, shopping and shipping of gifts, out of town house guests, parties to give and parties to attend.

Throughout all this hassle, you still have to eat everyday!  That's why I'll be posting easy crock pot recipes this month.  Not only are these dishes quick to assemble, they're healthy and delicious, too!  The beauty of the crock pot is, you can throw everything in and forget it! Then, when you come home from work, a hot, home cooked meal is waiting.

I can't resist featuring one more sweet potato recipe, this time in a savory pork dish! There's a little cutting and chopping, so I apologize, but the end result is worth it! This dish can stand alone, or you can serve over couscous or rice.

This was in Woman's Day Magazine about three years ago, and  became a hit in my household. It calls for jerk seasoning, which you should be able to find in the international section of one of the larger grocery stores in your area. Enjoy!

Caribbean Pork With Sweet Potatoes

1 can (14 ounces) lite coconut milk
3 T flour
1 T Caribbean jerk seasoning
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 lb boneless pork butt, cut in 1 1/2 inch cubes
2 large (2 lb) sweet potatoes, cut in 1 1/2 inch cubes
2 cups frozen green peas
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

Put coconut milk, flour, jerk seasoning and garlic in a 3 quart or larger slow cooker. Whisk until well blended. Add pork and sweet potatoes. Stir until well coated.

Cover and cook on low 7 to 8 hours, or until meat is tender. When done, spoon off fat. Stir in frozen and cilantro. Cover and let stand 5 minutes for peas to cook. Serves four.

My crock pot is one of my most treasured appliances! Do you own one?

Tweet me @: maria_mckenzie.  Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Wednesday Discussion: Who Will You Encourage Today?

I'm a little pushed for time today, so I'm reposting an article originally published several months ago, not long after I first started blogging. I hope you'll be encouraged by it, and also, that you'll encourage others!

"One of the most beautiful gifts in the world is the gift of encouragement.  When someone encourages you, that person helps you over a threshold you might otherwise never have crossed on your own." John O'Donohue

The American Heritage Dictionary defines "encourage" as follows: To inspire with hope, courage or confidence.

Pastor Chris Beard described it in a totally awesome sermon which inspired this post, when he said, "to encourage is to speak courage into some one's heart.

No matter what our circumstance, no matter what our station in life, we can all encourage others! Quoting Pastor Chris again, "We are made to take the input of others, and to to give our input to others.

But sometimes we're afraid to share our stories and experiences. Perhaps we're afraid of what people might think, or maybe we believe what we have to share isn't that important. But all of us learn and acquire wisdom from our mistakes, and it's a gift to share this with others!

  Even though our scars exist (physical or emotional) the pain is gone, and sharing what we've experienced can strengthen, and speak courage into another person's life. One of the most moving accounts of encouragement I've ever read was in the June/July issue of Reader's Digest. Daniela Garcia  (pictured at left) was a young medical student who suffered horrific injuries after being run over by a train. Although she could have died, she didn't give up; she chose to live.

As a quadruple amputee, she finished her medical degree and became a rehabilitation physician. Through her experience, and her scars, she inspires patients daily, as well as ordinary folks like me who read her story.

Encouragement doesn't have to be on a dramatic scale. Every day we can encourage those around us. George M. Adams says, "Encouragement is sugar to the soul," and we all need it--children, spouses, friends, co-workers, the sales clerk who's having a bad day, etc.

In writing communities we encourage each other by sharing ideas to improve our writing. And we also share encouragement when rejections are received. We've all been there and we think of the current bestselling authors who aren't any more! And we're certainly encouraged to hear when one of us gets "the call" from an agent or publisher.

In the business world, encouragement by helping and sharing with others, and showing you care benefits everyone.

Dan Blank in his May 13 We Grow Media Newsletter, wrote a post entitled "What Are You Sharing?" In it, he discussed a recent transaction of ideas he shared with a prospective client.

Even though no money was exchanged, he chose not to hold back on his ideas and give them only a little of what he could offer. Instead, he shared extensively. Dan said, "It wasn't a transaction of money, but rather a transaction of of ideas and possibilities. Of considering what we can create together. And that's the way it should be. To share. To help."

And that's encouragement--at home, at work, or somewhere else out there in life--to share, to help, to care.

Who will you encourage today?