The E-Squared Way

I don’t know how many of you have ever heard of Pam Grout.  She’s the author of a pair of runaway bestsellers on all of the major publishing lists all writers desire to see their names grace — even once.  Pam’s done it twice with E-Squared and now E-Cubed.

E3 book cover

In both books, she presents 9 scientific experiments all aimed at helping us see how we can create the lives we want by focusing with positive intent.  There’s no religious dogma.  There are not candles to light.  And most of all, the experiments are fun and can easily be shared with skeptical children and husbands.  (Speaking from experience here!)

Long story short, I read E-Squared in the late Fall of 2014, shortly after her new book E-Cubed was released.  While I had very little success in one of the experiments, I did have very good success with the others.  I chalked up the positive things that happened as very lucky coincidences.  Or, as the general goodness of the time since it was shortly before the end of year holiday season when all things seem brighter, happier and generally more better.

Fast forward to late winter.  It’s now January 2015.  The holidays are over.  The Holiday bills are still being paid and snow is on the ground for a lady that loves 85-degree weather.  Read: all optimism based on season is so no longer in place.

I decide to read E-Cubed because this will be the real test of these ‘scientific’ experiments.  I have done only the first experiment in E-Cubed and it is the Boogie-Woogey experiment.  The idea is that we come into the world with great optimism and enthusiasm and throughout childhood and young adulthood we are programmed to limit our expectations to fit in with the general ‘rules’ of the society we live in.  Expecting good things is something only the Pollyannas of the world should do, right?

Wrong.

Pam Grout advises us in the Boogie-Woogey experiment #1 in E-Cubed to ‘reprogram’ ourselves every morning.  Within the first few minutes of getting up play Pharrell’s “Happy”, or LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem” and do the Harlem Shuffle on your way to the bathroom then fist-pump your way through brushing your teeth.  Yes!  Have yourself a mini party EVERY MORNING.

Yep.  I thought she was mega-crazy too.  But, I said what could I possibly have to lose?  I tried it.  The second morning, my children and I watched the Party Rock Anthem as we got on our coats and we all left the house smiling despite the freezing temperatures outside.

At this point, a little over a week into this one experiment which was to last only 3 days, I have had SO many little things, a few not so little things, that have happened positively to me and for my book that I cannot call any of it a coincidence.  The shift in my mind frame of seeking the positive while turning my attention and focus to the optimism channel (instead of the ‘glass-is-half-empty’ station that we here in New York project even during sleep!) has made all the difference!

A short list of happy ‘coincidences’ if you want to call it that.  I prefer to say these happenings are the result of reprogramming myself with a burst of happiness each morning for the last 10 days.

  • Two book reviewers have reached out to me and indicated firm interest in reviewing my book Fury From Hell
  • On Jan 27, 2015 at 3:47 am Fury From Hell was #82 in its category and it is not a new book!

    Product Details

    • File Size: 2189 KB
    • Print Length: 287 pages
    • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B00NE24S2W
    • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
    • X-Ray:

    Not Enabled

    Tuesday, January 27, 2015 – 3:47 am (EST) – Fury From Hell

  • An uptick in my Twitter followers of a little over 150 more followers in the last week
  • Better relations and atmosphere at work!!! (It’s amazing how doing a quick hula dance can turn around one’s mood in the face of stressful situations!)
  • A huge uptick in my page views on my Examiner page since last Friday, 1/23.  I experienced a 412.5% increase since I set the intention of having 200 page views by COB Friday, 1/30 on my Brooklyn Asian Restaurants column (which I have not really updated in 2 1/2 years!).  See?  Pretty amazing, huh?
  • I met a fellow Esquare-er on Twitter and we have been tweeting pretty regularly sharing our experiences with the experiments.  Thanks @nrichford! [Nannette has a great blog Garden Thyme where she shares advice about all things green, flowering and those with green thumbs (even us aspiring green thumbs!) on her Maine Garden Ideas website.]

There are other smaller happy things that happened — good travel on trains and buses every morning even throughout a tough snowy week here in New York City (well, except for this morning — but hey — it is New York City!).  And a big one that just needs mentioning, I had already requested vacation time several weeks ago but one of my vacation days was Monday, 1/26 when NY was battening down the hatches in preparation for #NewYorkBlizzard.  How “lucky” was that?!  Then, the next day was a snow day when the trains were shut down in anticipation of the bad weather.  While I did log in and worked remotely from home I was at home for an additional day.  I so needed that rest!

And this was experiment #1.

I am quite excited to see how the other 8 experiments will go.

I’ll leave you with my dance-inducing tweet from Thursday the 29th…

Gluten-Free Breakfast on a Snowy Day

GF Bkfst_Jan 27 2015

Snow Day Breakfast: Cheesy Grits, Scrambled Egg Whites, Canadian Bacon & GF Biscuit

Snowy Day_Tues Jan 27 2015

The view from my window this morning shortly before 9am (EST).

With all of the snow out there my family and I wanted a breakfast that would keep us full and comf-tee. (Yeah, I said it.)  I knew I wanted the Canadian Bacon (which I bought at Walmart) and grits.  Peeking in the fridge, I spied monterey jack cheese and knew cheese had to go into those grits!  But something was missing — a carb.

Since I am going back to a gluten-free diet, I knew that I needed to poop, or get off the #glutenfree baking pot.  I picked up four boxes of the Gluten Free Cafe flour (that can only be purchased at Walmart; I called the company to check) and they were sitting in the cabinet waiting patiently for their turn to be a part of one of our family meals.

GF Flour_Walmart

THE GF flour of my choice! (Ignore the bread in this pic. That was another day/another post.)

 

Today became the day.  In my pre-gluten-free days I was a pretty good baker.  So, I pulled out my well-used Betty Crocker 40th Anniversary edition cookbook, turned to page 38 and just went in and began making Baking Powder Biscuits.

Using only the Gluten Free Cafe flour (not even adding any extra Xanthan Gum!) I doubled the following recipe.

1/4 shortening (I used soft margarine)

2 cups Gluten Free Cafe All purpose baking mix

1 TBL sugar (white), if desired

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt, if desired (I usually use 1/2 tsp)

3/4 cup milk (I used unsweetened Almond Milk)

Heat oven to 450 degrees.  Cut shortening into flour, sugar, baking powder and salt with pastry blender until mixture resembles fine crumbs.  Stir in just enough milk so dough leaves side of bowl and rounds up into a ball.  (Too much milk makes dough sticky; not enough milk makes biscuits dry.)

Turn dough onto lightly floured surface.  Knead lightly 20 to 25 times, about 30 seconds (I find you don’t need to do this particular step with GF flour as there is no gluten that needs to bind!).  Roll or pat 1/2″ thick.  Cut with floured 2 1/2″ biscuit cutter.  Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet about 1″ apart for crusty sides, touching for soft sides.  Bake 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden brown (these GF biscuits don’t seem to brown well…).  Immediately remove from cookie sheet.

Yield (based on a double batch): 14 biscuits

Calories: Original version says 185 per biscuit — who knows for these GF ones but pretty sure they’re close.

Now, I did add extra soft margarine — about 1 1/2 TBL more.  I also did not measure the milk; I just poured until the dough looked right.  It is to be firm but soft and it is just to come together.  Please do not over knead these (or, the original recipe of gluten flour) or you will get chewy (read: not nice!) biscuits.

GF Biscuits_raw_Tues Jan 27 2015

My dough looked pretty much like gluten dough! It felt similar as well!!

 

 

 

 

Baked GF Biscuits_Jan 27 2015

Baked GF Biscuits

 

They did not rise like I thought they would but they did bake all the way through and they tasted pretty OK!  I was amazed.  They were not crumbly.  They did hold nicely together.  Please do not eat them as they come right out of the oven!  These babies need to ‘rest’ like protein does after they come.  You can eat them 5 – 10 minutes after they come out and then you’ll go — Oh! Not bad.  If you eat it right out of the oven, they taste like sand. (Seriously!)

My next experiment will be to add some additional Xanthan Gum to this recipe to see if I can get flakiness into these biscuits.  So glad I shook fear off and allowed myself to bake today!

Ta-ta for now,

NB

A Rare Interview from Author @MisterSalesman

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I’d like to present a good Twitter friend of mine @MisterSalesman/Bobbi Dixon.  I’ve had the pleasure of being Twitter buds with @MisterSalesman for over 6 months now and we’ve shared a number of great tweets and had a blast roasting one another (occasionally) publicly.

However, today we have a bonafide interview to share in Twitter form.  The tweets below were taken directly from the feed and edited for reading clarity.  But, the essence of the interview can easily be distilled.  Both @MisterSalesman and I felt that this would be excellent information to share with our broader fan base and readers.

Please feel free to join the conversation and comment below.  And please — TWEET US!

 

Friday, 1/23/15

@MisterSalesman Hiya! #HappyFriday! Hope all is well with you & yours. Here’s my latest post on my website –http://thenotebookblogairy.com/?p=78  #The4400

@notebkblogairy That’s a very good post that everyone should read. The path least traveled is always filled with adventure; scary,…

@MisterSalesman Thanks Bobbi! How the heck are ya?

@notebkblogairy Working on a blockbuster book based on same principle as your post. Don’t Write To Be Famous, Write Like You’re Already Famous

bobbi_write like famous

@MisterSalesman Amazingly #Awesome! #Congrats on the new book!

@notebkblogairy Oh no, congrats to you…you wrote the post! But, I am writing one hell of a book that everyone should read.

@notebkblogairy favorite this and keep it near because the new book is going to show you how to think.

@MisterSalesman You are always #writing! I love that about u. I have to pick myself up and make myself write. So tired after working all day

@MisterSalesman How so?

@notebkblogairy the path of least traveled is exciting and disappointing, it’s where u will discover new things and fortunes are made

@MisterSalesman Preach!

. @notebkblogairy I know everyone thinks they know how to think but they’re thinking like everyone else and that’s the problem.

@MisterSalesman Continue the thought…

. @notebkblogairy And as more e-books are published every day it will be harder to succeed unless you think different from the rest, #TDC

@MisterSalesman Very very true. Soberingly true. #writingtips

. @notebkblogairy A new wave of thinking #TDC Think Different Crowd. Don’t Write To Be Famous, Write Like You’re Already Famous

@MisterSalesman When will your new book be released?

. @notebkblogairy This is a different book and some folks will be offended by the content language, designed to tear down the barriers

@MisterSalesman Thanks is always a great way to start – make them want it more because it’s #taboo. Smart.

@notebkblogairy ….and get your ass moving!

@MisterSalesman Moving!! Already have the page for the new book up on my website where readers can download the docs that come w/book.

Single_Mamas_Guide_to_Being_the_Best_Mom_Ever

To be released Feb 2015

 

@notebkblogairy Taboo and true and I don’t care what people think about the book or me I tell you that it all starts with your thinking.

@notebkblogairy You wanted an exclusive…. you just got one. Two things I don’t like: interviews and deadlines..

@MisterSalesman Thanks for doing both Bobbi! Was literally pulling all of the tweets together in the order in which they happened. It’s ready!

…perks who said anything about perks.  AHA Author Interview with Rochelle Campbell host M LeMont @NotebkBlogairy http://mistersalesman.com/AHA_Live_with_M_LeMont.php …

Post Script…

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Hi @bookclubgirl! Giving you advance notice of a new book coming out next month – http://thenotebookblogairy.com/?p=78  #NonFiction pic.twitter.com/0bSb9iQB0s

@NotebkBlogairy happy for you. diversification @bookclubgirl

@MisterSalesman @bookclubgirl Thx! It’s a new year. Time for new thoughts!

@notebkblogairy how do you write a book to be different than the rest? It’s not what you say but how you say it that makes it different

@MisterSalesman It’s also ur perspective & body of experience that adds value as well. #TDC #amlistening & getting onboard

. @notebkblogairy A new wave of writers #TDC Think Different Crowd and leaves them standing in the dust. @bookclubgirl

 

Books by @MisterSalesman:

Shh! Kiss Me Baby: The Untold Story: Mary Jane Meets the Millionaire Playboy

Caught Up What’s Done in the Dark Comes to Light

Holy Shit! I Bet You Didn’t Know This

 

Books by @NoteBkBlogairy:

Fury From Hell

Leaping Out on Faith

The Magic Seeds: A Modern Day Fairy Tale (softcover book for children)

Feel Good Friday – #FGF

This has been an exciting, nerve-wrecking New Year.  Things are not always what they seem.  Projects warp and reform themselves into things you barely recognize and the weather has been surprisingly mild.

Or, this could all be just my experiences here in the Big Apple. 🙂

See, I’ve been trying to get (back??) on the New Age/New Thought/Positivity band wagon.  It seems I feel off the wagon some years ago.  Don’t quite remember when.  However, my early morning first thoughts are not quite filled lightness and air as they were at one point in my life.

For the last 6 – 8 months, I have been reading books to help me navigate back onto a path that will lead me to inner fulfillment without the material trappings of those things we seem to revere here in the West.  Inner peace, it is touted, proceeds any other kind of fulfillment.

So, I’ve been reading some books to help me in various arenas of my life…

Trust the Process: An Artist’s Guide for Letting Go – Shaun McNiff

An Invisible Thread: The True Story of an 11-year-old panhandler, a busy sales executive, and an unlikely meeting with destiny – Laura Schroff and Alex Tresniowski

Gotta Find a Home: Conversations with Street People – Dennis Cardiff

Why You’re Stuck: You Guide to Finding Freedom From Any of Life’s Challenges – Derek Doepker

Just Ask the Universe: A No-Nonsense Guide to Manifesting Your Dreams – Michael Samuels

E Squared – Pam Grout

E Cubed – Pam Grout (reading)

There are others but these are the ones that stick out the most.  Not only do I find I need to read the how-to books, I also want to read the personal stories of people who DID things different from what ‘society’ says is proper.  I want to “see” through the eyes of people who took that other path in the woods.

The Road Not Taken – Robert Frost

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;        
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,         
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.         
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

You know what I found out?  Deep down inside we’re all pretty much the same.  We’ve had so much practice at following all of the right society-approved cues/habits that we just ignore the part of us that’s screaming for freedom inside of our skulls.  It gets to the point that you no longer hear your id’s screams for escape from imprisonment from social mores.  We all just go along with the set program of achieve by any means necessary.  Until one day we wish we hadn’t woken up on that corner of the bed, or that sidewalk.

It is when we reach such a dire state that we usually take stock.  However, from all I’ve read, we need to take stock much sooner to ward off any ill effects.  But what are the signs of an oncoming (existential??) crash?

Apathy

Listlessness

Boredom

Always wishing for something exciting/different to happen

Anger

Depression

Sleeplessness

If you are finding any of these things happening on a regular basis say for the last month?  You need to make a change NOW.  Pick up a book in the self-help/New Thought section of your favorite brick-n-mortar bookstore, or online bookseller, that grabs you.  If you feel a cover, or a title, pull at you or you happen to resonate with the cover image, or the blurb — pick it up and read it immediately!  It’s what you need to begin feeling good again.

I highly recommend Pam Grout’s books.  They’re fun, easy and will definitely put a smile on your face!  The Alby Principle is a really fun one to try.  Watch this video to see what I mean.

In the meantime, have an awesome #FGF (FeelGoodFriday) and have the best weekend of your life.

Ta-ta for now,

N.B.

Too Early for Shark Tank

Jumped on Twitter after doing a small load of laundry and having a great breakfast of Bisquick’s Gluten Free pancakes with sweet apple sausage.  I am attempting to interact every day even if it’s only for 15 – 20 minutes at a time.  We’re all busy and I know that you know that.

While reviewing my notifications I noticed a tweet from @jamesoliverjr and long story short we had a few things in common.

1) Shark Tank

2) Both of us lived in Brooklyn

3) Both of us went to the same HS

This is why I love Twitter!  It makes our great big world so small.  But the real reason I’m writing this post is because of his post about how he did not get to pitch the Sharks for the final round to get on the show.  You can read his post here.  While you would expect a rant session in his post you won’t find one.  James has a balanced viewpoint and he is still very enthused and confident in the success of his company WeMontage.  His company creates montages out of your photos utilizing photo wall paper, stickers, decals, etc.  You can then transform any room, or space, with your own personalized photos.

I read his post with an understanding smile on my face.  In the days before Shark Tank, I had a business that was I so passionate about I did not sleep.  I worked several 24 hour days to fulfill orders.  I raised funds from friends, raided my 401k — I did the grind as well.  My business was a vegan bakery.  At the height of my business, I supplied 13 restaurants/diners with my baked products in the mecca of vegan eateries that was (and still is) New York’s City’s the Village.

Restauranteurs told me customers came from Connecticut to get my baked goods on a weekly basis.  But I was baking from my home.  I became partners with a couple and we went into a lease for a space in a location that could have been pretty good — by the entrance of the Long Island Railroad on a busy street in Brooklyn.

SharkTank Sharks

However, for reasons too numerous to recount here, the business did not fly.  I was able to release myself from the lease without penalty and walked away from my business and my customers.  So, I know a thing, or two, about disappointment.  While I highly doubt the Sharks would have been interested in my business due to the relatively low revenues generated.  I know Mr. Wonderful would have asked me if I would want a royalty deal.  Barbara may have asked me if I would be willing to license my recipes to a large manufacturer.  Mark would have been out along with the other Sharks who would have cited scalability issues.

But Barbara might have done the deal.  I grew something out of nothing in a niche market that was then just beginning.  I was at the forefront of the vegan baked goods upward trend (maybe a couple of years prior to the big hit).  This was in the late 90’s.

I’ve been an entrepreneur at heart for a long time.  I respect people like James Oliver, Jr. and his incessant grind towards making his business dream a reality.  To that end, please share your business’ website/links in the comments below to let us know what you’re grinding towards this year.

I wish James and all of the other Shark-preneurs out there a very profitable 2015.

Ta-ta for now,

NB

7 Awesome Blogs to Follow in 2015

With the New Year’s resolution-making upon us all, I decided to figure out what 7 blogs I would like to really follow and read regularly.  Here’s what I came up with…

1. The Minimalistshttp://www.theminimalists.com/

A great site run by two guys who eschew the tons of materialistic physical things we tend to pick up and hold on to.  They share their views on how to live within their means and lead more fulfilling lives.

2. The BillFoldhttp://thebillfold.com/

All things related to money that you were to polite to ask about.

3. Attack of the Cutehttp://attackofthecute.com/

If you love little cute furry animals dressed in fluffy costumes you’re going to love this site!

4. Janet Reid, Literary Agent – http://jetreidliterary.blogspot.com/

Want to know what a working conscientious literary agent thinks about publishing today?  Your manuscript?  Your query letters?  Check out Janet’s website.

5. Terrible Minds: Chuck Wendig – http://terribleminds.com/ramble/blog/

A great talented and funny prolific writer that shares his thoughts on writing and the publishing industry.

6. Young & Gluten-Freehttp://youngandglutenfree.com/

I have been looking into a gluten-free diet as it agrees with my system very well.  To that end, I have found this wonderful site filled with yummy looking entrees, appetizers, salads and desserts!  Hope you enjoy the recipes as much as I am going to!

7. Liphar Literary Magazinehttp://liphar.com/issue3/index.php

This relatively new literary magazine features writers from around the world, photographs, poems and thought-provoking essays.  Download their current issue today!  I found them shortly after the launch of issue #1 and was pleasantly surprised when they accepted one of my stories for publication.  You can read it here, “How Charlie Saved My Life.”