The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Lisa Rice wrote this.

Between extensive to-do lists and bustling crowds, it’s easy to overlook the unadorned gifts in plain view. The sights, smells, tastes and sounds of Christmas can become muted and bland. Sometimes, I even sense a little humbug moving in.

To prevent it, I’ve decided to carry last month’s holiday into this one. Determined to count blessings regardless of how stressed out I’m tempted to be. In fact, I’ve started a list. Some big things. Some small. Each makes me smile.

  • Twinkling lights galore, expressions of wonder from the little ones in my life and other surprises that pop up unexpectedly.
  • The aroma of goodies baking in my oven, crisp winter air and the woodsy fragrance of a crackling fire.
  • Laughter from family and friends, songs that tug heartstrings and movies reminding me life is all about perspective.

Simple blessings easily ignored. Recognized and appreciated if consciously counted. Will you join me in this endeavor? What are some of yours?

The video below reminds me that “presents” are opened daily and they’re truly significant when compared to what billions of others have worldwide.

Merry Christmas from my heart to yours!


The Greatest Gift


Reboot. Refresh. Start Over.

Lisa Rice wrote this.

“Ugh.”
“Yikes!”
“What?!”
“You’ve got to be kidding me.”

No, these aren’t part of a script I’ve recently voiced. They’re words of frustration when I couldn’t get my computer to cooperate. Of course, these situations always seem to arise when a deadline looms. So what should we do when facing such problems? Most computer technicians advise us to re-boot and start over. Why?

  • For a variety of reasons programs generate fatal errors. When this happens, they may close out on their own or hang. Rebooting frees up resources that might have been lost allowing programs to function normally.
  • Computers have a finite amount of resources. When they run out, they slow down until finally halting altogether. Rebooting refreshes those resources allowing them to work once more at optimal speed.
  • Rebooting tells a computer to perform a series of diagnostic checks which often fixes problems automatically.

When facing frustrations in life we’re often given the same advice. There’s something about taking a break and coming back to a problem with fresh eyes that diminishes its severity. The situation might not disappear but walking away for a short time can help us attack it with more energy and a fresh outlook.

Need five reasons to take a break today? Click HERE

Facing a problem today?

  • Reboot.
  • Refresh.
  • Start over.


Autumn

Lisa Rice wrote this.

Change is in the air. By that I mean the season and with a smile on my face I whisper the word, “autumn.”

Splashes of gold, red, orange and maroon line the roads and cover the mountains nearby as every deciduous tree takes a turn for winter. Cool, crisp air to breathe during bike rides and walks. The sound of high school bands and football fans. Geese making their way south and honking to let you know. And last but not least, caramel corn and apple crisp. Two delicious choices I find irresistible.

What’s your favorite part of fall?

APPLE CRISP RECIPE from Paula Deen

6 large Granny Smith apples peeled, cored and thinly sliced
¼ cup water
Juice of one lemon
2 cups rolled oats
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 ¼ melted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine apples, water and lemon juice in an 8-by-8 baking pan. In a bowl, combine oats, flour, sugar and cinnamon. Pour in the butter and stir to make a crumbly mixture. Spread the topping in an even layer over the apples and bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until the topping is crisp and browned. Enjoy!


Mix It Up!

Lisa Rice wrote this.

Give me three. An A, B, and C.
Mix it up!
Bring on some variation.

Whether recording a project live with the client or self-directing, the mark of an experienced voice over talent is the ability to voice a line, script or even a single word different ways. It provides several options and actually has the power to add a spark of originality. In other words, a standard, boring, run-of-the-mill performance becomes stellar.

I thought I’d post a favorite song of mine sung three different ways. One old school, another new school and something in-between.

Now, where are my platform shoes and sequined jumpsuit?

Old School

New School

Something In-Between


Crunchy Granola - YUM!

Lisa Rice wrote this.

I’ve always been a fan of crunchy. Ice chips. Toasted English muffins. Popcorn and pretzels.

So what’s a girl to do when she wants a little something special on top of her morning bowl of yogurt and fruit? Add some granola, of course!

A friend of mine knows my affection for crunch and passed along a recipe for some of the best homemade granola I believe I’ve ever tasted. It’s easy to make, has no added fat and provides the option for munching on it as is or with a variety of additions.

I like it straight.
I go for it sprinkled on top of things.
And it’s a pleasure to eat with dried fruit and dark chocolate on-the-go.

Basically, it’s become a staple in my kitchen. Hope you enjoy!

Homemade Crunchy Granola
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 cup water
4 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon salt
8 cups whole oats
1 cup slivered almonds
1 cup sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or silpat. Combine brown sugar and water in a 4 cup microwave safe glass measuring cup or bowl. Remove from microwave. Add vanilla and salt. In large mixing bowl, combine oats and almonds. Pour syrup over all and mix thoroughly. Spread onto cookie sheets and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour until golden brown and CRUNCHY.


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