How To Build Characters!

It’s Weeeednesday! That means it’s video upload day on my YouTube channel!

I did the silliest thing – I schedule my videos to upload at 10am on Wednesdays and I completely forgot this morning that I needed to make a post on my instagram @lisakoreiswrites announcing the new video. Today, at 2pm, 4 hours after it should have posted I remembered! When I went to get the link from my YouTube page I realized that it HAD NOT POSTED…. GUYS, I had set it to post TOMORROW.. THURSDAY. smh. I’m losing it, folks. Honest mistake, but I’m losing it I’m pretty sure…

Sidenote: This 2pm timeslot seems to be fairing well for views… I’ve been playing around with different post times to see what seems to be the most popular and right now it might this 2pm time… today’s blunder was, in fact, a blessing in disguise??

Today’s video talks about my 9 steps to building characters. Character building can be difficult but it doesn’t have to be! Here is the link to my FREE character building sheet.

In this video I talk about the characters ROLES, GENDER, EMOTIONS, PERSONALITY, NAME, PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION, and MORE!

If you like this video please Subscribe, give me a THUMBS UP and share it with your friends! Thank you!!!

XOXO,

LISA

CLICK HERE TO VIEW MY YOUTUBE VIDEO

 

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I’m back… AGAIN.

First of all, I want to say thank you to the over 250 subscribers who have stayed loyal to my absence on this blog. I see the hits this inactive blog still receives and I am flattered!

In my last post, from January 2016, I had planned to return to blogging but it just wasn’t a huge priority for me so it never happened. It is now time for me to come back new and improved! Older, wiser and a different person than before.

I became a mom in April 2016! Dexter is currently 2.5 years old and gives me a run for my money. He’s so fun, friendly and his wild imagination is on full display! Twos haven’t been too terrible. The worst of the twos has been during a spout of illness. Tantrums are bound to be triggered when not feeling good. They are impressive tantrums, if I do say so myself.

I have been a stay-at-home-mama since the month before he was born and, while it’s been a SUPER SERIOUS LIFE ADJUSTMENT, I am now at a place where I love being at home and love doing what I do: WRITING!

One of my very first dreams in life (after being the first woman to walk on the moon, which, to be honest, is a dream I’ve given up on only because there’s nothing important on the moon… we need to focus on Mars… I won’t be going to Mars but maybe Dexter will?!) was to become a published author.

I am currently working on a YA Fantasy trilogy. Only weeks away from the first draft being completed on book 1. This book has been brewing in my mind for nearly ten years. I’ve played around with writing it off and on but it’s only in the last few months where things have come together and clicked with this story.

I say YA but it will be more New Adult… which is for the college crowd. 17-22 year olds. But, I think it will ultimately be appropriate for 14 or 15 years and up. We’ll see.

All this to say, I am back to writing blogs… hopefully 1 per week. They will either be writing related or family related or toddler related. Whatever I feel like, really.

I am still strong in the fitness game! But I’ll have to update you on that later.

Thanks for reading, thanks for being here and until next time.. CIAO!

XOXO,

Lisa

Whew! I’m back!

Well, I took a looong break from blogging.
2015 was a busy, busy year!
So busy that I lost my domain name and can unfortunately never get it recovered because it was sold in an auction. Like, what?!

Anyway, this free domain will work for me for now!
I’m just happy I didn’t lose all of my posts and I can still post new blogs for you to read!

I may write a few posts about our last few travels while living in the UK but we are now living back in Seattle and missing the travel life terribly so! It is nice to have this break being home for now, though.  Our itch to travel and be mixed among other cultures is already ready to be scratched and we have only been back for 3-4 months!

But, other priorities win at the moment: we are starting a family! Due in April, we have a little boy on the way. It is exciting, overwhelming and still hard to imagine even though he gives me gentle reminder kicks his appearance will be soon every single day.

So, my future posts will be all about being new parents and our Baby Boy!! (No, he has not been named yet).

I am looking forward to writing for all of my readers again!

Love,
Lisa

Prague: The City of Stories – Day 1

Prague, Czech Republic – 21-25 Feb 2015 – 4 nights/5 days

To see all of the photos (unedited) check out my FLICKR page!

Prague is an amazing city full of beauty and culture and delicious food! We chose Prague because we had A LOT of friends tell us that it was their favorite European city and with so many rave reviews we had to see it for ourselves!

PRAGUE DAY 1

Our journey started out early in London to get to Gatwick airport for the less than 2 hour flight and by the time we landed we were ready for a nice meal.  After we checked into our airbnb.com apartment we followed our senses that lead us to this amazing restaurant tucked away in an alley corner.

Restaurace V Cípu on Michalská street.  Little did we know that this would not be our only visit to this little gem of a restaurant.

V Cipu 3

In America they’re called Chips, in England they’re called Crisps and, apparently, in the Prague they’re called Petals!

As far as food goes, we had no idea what to expect but we soon learned that most traditional meals consist of meat, potatoes and cabbage. The beers were great! We mostly drank Staropramen and Pilsner Urquell – go with the Staropramen over the pilsner if you have the choice.

Our first meal in Prague (I’ll warn you now – all food pictures were taken after a few bites had been had… I kept forgetting to take them!):
V Cipu 1
First of all, potato dumplings: OH MY WORD! I am going to make a batch of these for myself at home. This just might be my new favorite side dish and I think I’m going to start making them for Thanksgiving & Christmas dinners as well. I’m also going to attempt a sweet potato version. All I wanted to do was eat all of the potato dumplings left in Prague and I’d be a happy (fat) lady!

The Chicken Florida was a chicken steak (fillet) with melted cheese on top with pineapple and peaches and the gravy… ooooh the gravy… that was the cherry on top.  TJ enjoyed a nice half of a duck with bread dumplings (different than potato dumplings). The bread dumplings are softer and lighter than the potato kind but the potato has a better flavor.

After we fueled up we headed out on the town to see what we could see! We knew there was a famous bridge with a view of a cathedral on the hill so we thought we’d head toward the water to take a look.

Journey to Charles Bridge

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We found it! Charles Bridge + Cathedral View

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Above is the Old Town Bridge Tower that connects one side of the bridge.  You can go up to the top.. so we did!
Old Town Bridge Tower 2
View from the top:
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Walking across the bridge is an event in itself! First you have to navigate through the tourists and while doing so you see loads of what I call “scam markets” that I’ve seen all over Europe, including in London. They’re just little stands set up by a local person selling way over-priced tourist souvenirs.   Watch out for these… you can likely buy the exact same thing in the city somewhere for a more reasonable price.

The bridge is famous for a few reasons.  #1: The Statues #2: Apparently this bridge started being built back in the 1300’s (whoa, old!) and #3: There was a vicious battle against the Swedes back in the 1600’s and a lot of people died there were also some executions that took place and the Old Town Bridge Tower served as a place where the Swedes displayed some of the severed heads of the Czech victims… (yuck).

IMG_1148Charles Bridge Statues 2 Charles Bridge Statues 1 IMG_1166
We made it to the other side!

Now that we made it to the other side of River Vltava (don’t ask me how to pronounce it!) we made our way up the hill to see the view from the St. Vitus Cathedral. It was a surprising hike up to the top of the hill, more steep than I imagined!

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We finished the night with a celebration of the Chinese New Year!
It hadn’t even occurred to us that there would be some sort of celebration but we found it in Old Town Square.  Dinner was a some delicious (non-greasy) chinese chicken and chow mein and a little traditional chinese dance show!

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Day 1 complete!!

XO,
Lisa & TJ

Top 5 Favorite Podcasts

Hi everyone!

Sorry no video last week or this week! I have pre-recorded a few episodes but trying to find the time to edit this month has proven to be tough! The gym has been so busy and this month has felt like it has been going on for a really, really long time even with staying busy.  I really wanted to make today’s post a vlog but I knew I wouldn’t have time to put it together so here it is in written form!

Top 5 Favorite Podcasts

1) The Chalene Show by Chalene Johnson

I started following Chalene Johnson a few years ago. I think I found her first on Instagram and was immediately hooked by her fitness videos and the fact that she is who I want to be when I grow up! She is an excellent role model in the health and fitness and industry.  I soon started following her on Facebook and she was always posting about her podcast but I had never been one to be a fan of podcasts but I soon learned that’s because I’ve been hearing all of the wrong shows! One day, only a couple of months ago, while walking to work I realized there was no music I wanted to listen to and Chalene’s show came to mind! I powered up my podcast app for the very first time and randomly selected one of her episodes.  I think I’ve listened to nearly every episode since and I am always excited when I new one shows up!

Chalene’s show is primarily health and fitness related and she interviews people from all across the industry but it is not limited to this area.  She is a mother, a wife, an entrepreneur and she covers all of these topics on her show.  One of her episodes she interviewed a man by the name of Michael Hyatt and this brings me to my second favorite podcast.
Show recommendation: (Dec 23, 2014) Top 5 Millionaire Mantras

2) This is Your Life by Michael Hyatt

This podcast has REALLY helped me as a beginner entrepreneur and I believe even people who have been running their own business for many years can still learn and Michael Hyatt is my recommendation.  His podcast covers topics such as leadership, goal setting, blogging & other social media, building relationships with both in business and in personal life.  He is a Christian man and relates his life back to his own faith, he has a family that he talks about frequently and he really knows his stuff! Even if you don’t consider yourself an entrepreneur or business person take a listen, anyway!
Show recommendation: Episode 9 (Sept 3, 2014) Slay Your Dragons Before Breakfast So They Don’t Eat Your Lunch

3) Inside Creative Writing by Brad Reed

For all the writers out there go and listen to Brad’s creative writing podcast! I’ve learned so much from this guy.  I’ve listened to every one of them. Unfortunately, it appears he may have stopped producing the show last summer with Episode 14 being the last one but don’t let that stop you from checking it out especially if you’re keen on completing a novel and just need some tips and tricks from an expert.
Show recommendation: Episode 11 (Jun 3, 2013) To Adverb or Not to Adverb?

4) Elevation Church with Pastor Steven Furtick

I love listening to this man PREACH! Based out of Charlotte, North Carolina Steven Furtick delivers engaging, funny and moving sermons.  The best part about this podcast is that it is video so you can really feel like you’re a part of the congregation in your very own home.  It appears to be a large non-denominational Church and if I lived in Charlotte I’d be there every week just to see this guy live.  If he is this moving via a video podcast it must be a great atmosphere in the Church. Steven does a great job of really bringing scripture to every day lives and how we can relate it back to us.  I even take notes!
Show recommendation: (December 20, 2014) There’s Been A Change of Plans

5) Writing Excuses

Yes, another writing podcast! One of my goals for 2015 is to write more and to hopefully complete a novel that I have been working on the last couple of years. I am half way done with the first draft so I am getting all of the motivation and learning I can while I write!
This podcast is pretty fun and also kind of nerdy because the speakers are really hardcore writers; they KNOW their stuff.  The episodes are 15 minutes a piece (“Fifteen minutes long, because you’re in a hurry, and we’re not that smart”) and it’s amazing the amount of context they get into one show.  It’s fun listening to a group of people who all have their own ideas to bounce off one another and see how the show plays out and I’ve learned a great deal from this group (even though I don’t really love the sound quality, some of them tend to talk louder than the others and I find that I am adjusting the volume regularly – especially listening on headphones). I can’t seem to figure out how to find previous episodes except to go to their website www.writingexcuses.com If you want writing motivation this could be your group!Check it out!
Show recommendation: 10.2: I Have an Idea; What Do I Do Now?

Okay, folks! That’s all I have for today! Get listening and start learning something new! ENJOY!

Make it a great day!

XO,
Lisa

2014 Year in Review (Video Blog!)

Hey, hey! It’s a new year!!
I’ve been absent from blogging the last couple of weeks due to my BFF Michelle and her husband Brent visiting us during the Christmas holidays and into the New Year (I miss them so much already!).
I’m super pumped to be starting up Vlogging again (video blogging). I know it kind of flopped when I first tried to get it started but I’m trying again!
I’m going to be posting new videos every Tuesday or atleast every other Tuesday.
It’s just a goal of mine that I’ve been wanting to accomplish while living over here in London.
So for today’s post, it’s all about the VLOG.
I’ve created a longer video than I will be in future posts but I really wanted to go back through 2014 and recap all of the fun things that happened.  It was really hard to narrow it down… I first tried to just pick 10 things, but it ended up being 20 and even still I’m missing quite a few fun events!

Hope you enjoy!!

XOXO,
Lisa

Guilt-Free Ice Cream!

Guilt Free Ice Cream!

Wha-wha-WAIT-what?!

GUILT-FREE ICE CREAM, you say?!

Yes, people, I admit it: I have been keeping this great secret from you.

Okay, so ever since I finally just broke down and bought a cheap food processor, my whole world has changed! Seriously though… go buy one. Even a small cheap one just to make this recipe:

Ingredients:
(serves 2 OR 1 large portion for yourself… can’t fool me!)
2 FROZEN bananas
(Best to freeze them when they’re ripe. Peel them, halve them, stick ’em in a freezer bag and… voila!)
Almond Milk or Coconut Milk – pour in as needed, no more than 1/2-3/4 of a cup.

-Seriously – that’s all the ingredients.
This is where the FUN part comes in – adding ingredients!

My go to is 70% dark chocolate – I break off just a chunk of it, not very much to be honest and add it to the food processor. Occasionally, I will also add just a small dollop of peanut butter (the pictures shown here have PB in them, as well as the chocolate chunks).

Other fun ideas: Cinnamon, Raspberries, Blueberries, Mint, Vanilla etc.
Maybe you’re in the mood to be a little naughty?: Oreos, Peanut Butter Cups, Caramel, etc.

How to:
Add bananas to food processor; pulse just to break them up.
Add your ingredients and a little milk; pulse more.
You may need to take the lid off a few times to give it a stir with a spoon until it starts to become creamy.
Add the milk as you process to thicken it to your liking (it doesn’t take much). Careful not to put too much or you’ll be drinking your ice cream!
As soon as it comes to a thick consistency leave the processor on to really incorporate all the ingredients or break up the chocolate chunks.

Guilt Free Ice Cream 2

Careful, though, this can be quite filling so eat slowly and enjoy! This TOTALLY kicks any ice cream cravings to the curb.

I’ve been making enough for 2 servings and putting the other serving away in the freezer so I have a special treat ready for the next craving that comes around.  Also, I’ve been keeping loads of these frozen bananas ready because you just never know! They’re great in smoothies anyway 🙂

I hope you enjoy! Let me know your combinations of ingredients!

XO,
Lisa

How to: Accepting Compliments Humbly

“Your hair looks great today!”
“I love your shoes!”
“You have a beautiful smile!”

Compliments. Daily we receive compliments in some form or another from friends, family members, strangers. When caught off guard, sometimes, a positive affirmation about ourselves can leave us standing there blank, empty handed, how do I react?! It’s simple really…

I remember when I was younger, like elementary years, I LOVED receiving compliments and I was pretty good at saying “Thank You” to the person who gave it to me.  To be honest, I was too shy to know what to say after that and, as it turns out, that was okay.

Somewhere over the teenage angst years and into college, as much as I enjoyed receiving compliments here and there, they started to make me extremely uncomfortable. I just didn’t know how to ACCEPT a compliment and be done, I did not know how to react to a compliment anymore. During this time, I also learned to be very good at GIVING compliments, so much so that giving compliments is something I feel so comfortable with that I have heard myself giving a compliment in lieu of receiving one!  Anyone else ever do this?

It wasn’t until TJ, my husband, pointed out to me while we were dating that I didn’t take compliments very well. He wondered, at one point, why it was that I couldn’t just say a simple “Thank You” and accept the compliment. Done. That was it, smile and move on. Not until he pointed this out to me did I began to consciously realize what I was doing. For example,
“Hey Lisa, I love that dress!”
“Thank You!” (but I can’t stop there because compliments made me feel uncomfortable) “I bought it at H&M and it was on sale, I think the sale runs through Saturday, you should go take a look!”
I don’t think my recommendation-bouncing-off-a-compliment like that has ever had anyone racing to the stores to go and get something on sale.

The fact is, someone was telling me something nice about my appearance and for many years I always felt the need to follow up their compliment with a statement. If you are guilty of this, STOP. It’s basically a slap in the face to the person who gave you the compliment, it’s another way of saying “Thanks, but I really don’t believe you.” Most people are actually GENUINE when it comes to giving compliments. I’ve never expected (nor wanted) anyone to say anything more to me than a simple “Thank You” when I hand out compliments – so why did I feel the need to start doing that myself? Probably an insecurity somewhere, just as I mentioned above, “Thanks, but I really don’t believe what you’re saying because I think this dress is rubbish.” Or whatever the situation. Sound familiar?

After becoming consciously aware of how I reacted to compliments, I began to change that. This is still something I work on today that I do want to follow up with a fact BUT I have learned not to follow up with any statements unless I’m prompted further questions, ie: “Where did you buy that dress?”

So – what SHOULD you do when someone compliments you?

1) Make eye contact
2) Smile
3) Say “Thank You” 

Easy Peasy.

Be humble. Be kind. Lead your life with love.

Just a little something that was on my mind today. I hope you enjoyed it 🙂 I know it’s not the direction I normally write. But hey, my goal is to write more for 2015 – I want to expand my audience! So don’t be surprised if you see more simple posts such as this.

XO,
Lisa

Christmas Party 2014

Christmas Party 2014 with my Virgin Active group – I haven’t had that much fun in a long time!

The night began at the gym – I already had a couple of clients that evening so I had brought my outfit for the evening with me to get ready in the locker room. It was great because two other of my female co-workers were getting ready there at the same time and it was just the start to what ended up being a great evening! I haven’t had girl time like that in FOREVER so being able to chat and borrow each others jewellery and make-up was just a great feeling.

Here’s a photo of the three of us after we’re all ready!
group 5
Part One of the evening was mostly just sitting or standing around the club waiting for food from Nando’s to arrive.  If you don’t know what Nando’s is, it’s basically a very well-known chain restaurant in London. They are famous for serving chicken – you can get A LOT of chicken, they are also famous for their sauces which are, generally, very spicy.  For more than a year living in London I had never tried Nando’s, mainly because I heard how spicy it could be, then in my first week of working at V.A. my team had a meeting there and it turns out that it is quite delicious! It seems to be a favorite amongst health and fitness people as it has healthier options.

group 6
Where’s the food?!

While waiting for the food to arrive we started popping open the beers and wine and mingled amongst one another – and without food for the last few hours, it didn’t take long for that cheap beer to start settling in.  I don’t like drinking a whole lot in one setting – I’m more of a one glass of wine/beer kind of gal maybe once a week, but for a Christmas Party, I’ll make an exception.

Finally the food arrived and everyone is just starving – we eat the chicken, rice and mashed potatoes like we hadn’t seen food in a year.  And took photo’s galore:

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After all of that fun we had a little awards ceremony as well as passed out secret santa gifts! It was so fun to see all of the fun little things people had bought for each other.  I lucked out and brought home a bottle of wine! Red wine, too! My fav!

secret santa gift

Once part one of the party was over we all hung out for awhile trying to figure out how we would make it to Mare Moto – the nightclub and PART TWO!

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So we took some selfies while we waited…
Eventually, we made it to Mare Moto.  Our manager had passed out drink tokens so a few drinks were covered for the evening. It was GREAT fun!
There was not a lot of drama, at least, not that I saw – but there was a lot of dancing and smiling and people just enjoying the evening!
In my opinion, it was a much needed, very fun night!

at the club at the club 2
N
aturally, I had to pull a “Miley Cyrus” and do a silly tongue picture… I don’t know why those things seem like a good thing to do at the time HA! I’m sure we’ve all been there… maybe.

That was my Christmas Party for 2014!
Great way to end the year and I’m looking forward to bringing in 2015 with a bang! This will be our 2nd year celebrating the new year in London and this time, my best friend will be here!!

XO,
Lisa

P.S. My green dress is from H&M!