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Snow Day in Charlotte, North Carolina

Photograph of Jeannie Bushnell Snow Charlotte

Snow days in the South are much more fun than snow days in the North. My sixteen years in Illinois were filled with snow and ice storms that felt unending. As a native Texan, I’m happy to be located in a place where snow doesn’t wear out its welcome, but visits often enough to keep the magic and love of snow alive. The local news has forecast 7-10 inches of snow for our area, and the snow is definitely sticking and packing on the streets. Stay safe and warm, and bring those pets inside!

Find out more about Winter Storm Pax.

Photograph of Jeannie Bushnell Snow Charlotte

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Update: Check it out!! We did get a lot of snow–almost ten inches!!!

Snow in Charlotte

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Manual Exposure Delicious Valentine’s Day Sale and Edible Panties Cookie Giveaway

Valentine's Day Sale and Cookie Giveaway Banner

Valentine's Day Sale and Cookie Giveaway Banner

Celebrate love and romance with me!

Bet you never thought you’d see that post title, eh?

While Manual Exposure is not erotica, there are some pretty steamy scenes and lines in the book. One of my favorites is when Kirby Chapman texts the following to Sage Brant:

“Then again, knowing you aren’t wearing panties makes me feel very excited about our next encounter. Sweet dreams, Strawberry. -KC”

In celebration of Valentine’s Day and the arrival of my paperback proofs, Manual Exposure can be purchased for $1.99 from February 1, 2014 – February 15, 2014! I hope you’ll take advantage of this sale, and pick up my book for yourself or someone you love.

 Manual Exposure is available for purchase at Amazon.com and

Barnes and Noble.com

Valetine's Day Manual Exposure Sale

 If you haven’t realized it by now, I love to have fun. You may not know that I am a vegan baker and cookie/cake decorator. I am passionate about sharing beautiful, delicious, and compassionate food. I thought I’d whip up some cute edible panties (sugar cookies with decorative fondant elements—all vegan), and offer them as a giveaway for Valentine’s Day.

Share them with your beloved, your best friend, or use them as an ice breaker with the hottie you’ve had your eye on. I just want you to enjoy them and have a wonderful day.

Valentine's Day Decorated Vegan Panty Cookies

For the decorated cookie giveaway:

In the comments below or on Facebook, tell me your BEST or WORST Valentine’s Day story. I know you have them! Your story is the entry to win my decorated vegan cookies. A winner will be picked at random from all received comments (combined from my blog and Facebook page).

All entries are due by 5:00pm EST Saturday, February 8, 2014. I’m making the cookies fresh for you and mailing them out in time for a Valentine’s Day delivery. Color/design may vary.

Winner will be announced Saturday, February 8, 2014. Chosen winner MUST contact me by 5:00pm EST Sunday, February 9, 2014 to confirm shipment details for Monday, February 10, 2014.  If the winner does not contact me, I will be choosing another winner. *This contest is sponsored by ME, not Facebook, WordPress, or anyone else.*

For those of you who’ve never experienced my vegan treats, you can experience what Kirby does when he says, “Seriously? Wow, I couldn’t tell the difference!”

Please share, and help me spread the word about Manual Exposure. Thank you, and may your Valentine’s Day be delicious!

Cookie Giveaway open to U.S. Residents Only!

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The Manual Exposure Playlist Mixtape

Mixtape cassette image for manual exposure

Mixtape cassette image for manual exposure

The playlist of Songs, Artists, and Music that inspired Manual Exposure by Jeannie M. Bushnell

“Parachute” by Ingrid Michaelson

“Breakfast Can Wait” by PRINCE (yes, for those wondering, that is exactly what I wear when I bake)

“Wet” by Nicole Scherzinger

“Kiss Me” by Ed Sheeran

“Reach Out” by Hilary Duff

“Crush” by David Archuleta

“Bleeding Love” by Leona Lewis

“Give Me Love” by Ed Sheeran

“Back Together” by Jesse McCartney

“Landslide” by Dixie Chicks

“Buttons” by The Pussycat Dolls featuring Snoop Dogg

“Heart Attack” by Demi Levato

“Kisses Down Low” by Kelly Rowland

“Lego House” by Ed Sheeran

“Perfume” by Britney Spears

“Right There” by Nicole Scherzinger featuring 50 Cent

“I Don’t Need A  Man” by The Pussycat Dolls

“How Long Will I Love You” by Ellie Goulding

“Work B**ch” by Britney Spears inspired me to get my butt in the seat and write.

When I’m not listening to a specific song, I always have classical music playing.

I played “How Long Will I Love You” by Ellie Goulding on repeat so often I was afraid my cat might stab me. If I had to pick a “theme” song for my book, this beautiful song would be it. I like to think this is Sage and Kirby’s song.  Awwwww.

 

 

 

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Show Your Gratitude: 365 Grateful Project Challenge

kitchen tool with redhair

There are many things one may say about me, but I hope one of the traits that float to the top of that alphabet soup is how thankful I am. In my life I’ve gone without food, medical care, and many other necessities of life that some people never think twice about. The one deficiency that has left an indelible mark on my life is a lack of familial support.

My experiences have made me supportive of efforts others put forth, and if I can lend a hand when someone is in need, I will do everything I can to help them. I am truly thankful for any wisdom, grace, and kindness that is extended my way. I’m not a person easily brought to tears, but a kind word can make me cry in the ugliest of ways.

I know many individuals who have or have had everything their heart desires. This has not made them happy or grateful people. In fact, it has seemingly made them resentful and jealous of another’s success or happiness. I always find this shocking because I don’t understand how someone who has never had to sacrifice one thing for the other could ever have anything but appreciation in their heart. Sadly, I don’t have to understand it, as the actions continue without explanation or logic.

As I hit the “publish” button on my book, I was filled with so many overwhelming emotions, but the one that rose to the top was gratitude. I’m thankful that someone cared enough for me that they taught me to read. This singular act set my entire devotion to words and learning in motion. This gift is repeatedly given to me every day. Everyone who has ever read my short stories, newspaper articles, essays, and papers and offered a word of guidance or support are forever in my heart. So many people have helped me get here—from strangers who posted a helpful link, video, or article on their site, to the inspirational writers who’ve come before me.

As I step forward into 2014, I endeavor to be even more thankful. I’m taking up the 365 Grateful Project challenge and documenting something that I am grateful for each and every day. I can’t wait to see how the year unfolds, and I certainly don’t want to miss a moment of it. I’d love for you to join me in the project! I’ll post my daily photos to Instagram and share them on here in a weekly recap. I hope this activity helps you get to know me. I look forward to see/hear what you are sharing. 2014 – Show your gratitude.


Redheaded Shredder

I love kitchen gadgets. This redheaded shredder was a gift from my husband. She is beyond cute.

Turtle Planter

The frost in Charlotte has taken out the bottom of my little turtle planter, but he will live on. This day was sunny and beautiful.


Vegan Enchiladas

Everything that comes out of my kitchen is vegan. I’m so thankful I know how to cook. That wasn’t always the case. 🙂


Hair Intact

Trying a new hairstylist isn’t easy, but I came out with my hair intact.


TWU Education, Friendship and Love

I’m the first in my family to go to college. I paid for my college education. While at TWU, I worked twenty hours a week and carried a nineteen-hour class load. I was fortunate to find friendship and love at this beautiful campus.


Manual Exposure on a Mug

This sweet keepsake is a wonderful daily reminder of what I’ve accomplished.


Lovely Days

I’m so thankful for the winter days in Charlotte. We’ve had some bitter weather, but it is nothing like what I’ve endured in other places.


Frozen But Thawing

The cold snap hit Charlotte hard. Our kitchen was without hot water for two days. The houses here are just not made for such cold weather. Our little backyard pond was the perfect illustration of the big thaw.


I am Loved

The little things my husband does, like making french toast and coffee, are the greatest tokens of affection. These are the things that you can overlook, but they are the greatest things that you will miss.

 

 

 

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Manual Exposure Published and Available for Purchase

Manual Exposure Book Boyfriend announcement

I hit the publish button for Manual Exposure on January 5, 2014, and with tears in my eyes, a dream became a reality. Manual Exposure has been published and is available for purchase.

Manual Exposure is available at Amazon. You can also find it at Barnes and Noble! The paperback version will soon be out!

Thanks to Authorgraph, you can “Request an Authorgraph” and include a message to me requesting a personalized inscription that you can view in your favorite reading apps and devices. How cool is that?

Feel free to swing by my author page at Amazon, too. You can add Manual Exposure to your “TBR” (to be read) list on Goodreads, and become my fan or friend. Check out my author profile on Goodreads. Don’t forget to leave a review!

I hope you enjoy it and will share it with everyone you love.

Manual Exposure Book Boyfriend announcement

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Loving Another Starts With Loving Yourself

Jeannie Bushnell Wakes Up

Jeannie Bushnell Wakes Up

This is me without makeup. I woke up, turned on my computer, and snapped a selfie. Yes, I have a hole in my shirt. I haven’t even had coffee or brushed my hair! I’m sure you could point out 112 things wrong with that photo, and I’m okay with that. You know why? I’ll never be as beautiful as I am in this moment. Every minute it takes me to write this, I’m aging. My body parts are failing, wrinkling, and losing their elasticity. All of this is happening with neither my permission nor my approval.

You will NEVER be as young or as beautiful as you are in this moment. You will get this one day. You will turn back and question, “Why the hell didn’t I see how stunning I was then? Why did I think I was fat, ugly, and disgusting?” You will see that every day you are given the opportunity to love yourself. I don’t care about those people who have rejected you and haven’t loved you. Love yourself. Believe that your thoughts count more than whispered judgments.

If someone hasn’t realized how beautiful you are, thank your lucky stars. You don’t want anyone who doesn’t see how perfect you are. Turn off the negative talk in your head, and maybe you’ll begin to hear the positive voices that are trying to be heard.

We all keep a running list of things we don’t like about ourselves. I’m not going to list all of mine, because I think I’ve done enough sharing in this post (see photo above). So, you have a choice, sit and fume and pout about the crap you can’t change, or get to work on the stuff you can change. No, you aren’t going to drop fifty pounds overnight. Should you stop going out of the house or throw on a tarp? NO! Clothes are accessories, love. You are meant to be the star of the clothes, not the other way around. Wear clothing that accents the positive on your body.

Accent the positive in you, every day! You know the most beautiful thing about anyone’s face? Their smile. A smile can truly make or break a face. Haven’t you met someone who may have have been blessed with a beautiful body, but they didn’t seem very pretty because they looked sour? Everyone wins with a smile; you look better, and you make everyone around you feel better. Well, except for those super people who insist upon waiting to knock you down until you become miserable like them. Yes, those people exist. They are the ones who ask me, “What are you so happy about?” or better yet, “What made you smile so big?”

I’m tired of hearing people lament about how the media, and the fashion, advertising, and entertainment industries are perpetrating unattainable images of women. Yes, those images have always existed, but that is not where the youth of today are learning to hate themselves. They are smart enough to know that images are digitally enhanced, and that it takes hours to accomplish the looks they admire on celebrities. They are picking up self-hate from YOU- their moms, aunts, sisters, cousins, teachers, and close family friends. Yes, YOU.

Your little niece notices when you shy away from the camera stating that you “don’t like your photo taken.” Your daughter absorbs every minute of the self-hate you dole out, repeating the phrases she hears you say about hating your thighs and watching as your cry about your weight. When you starve yourself to lose a pound, your little sister learns what it means to be a woman.

Start owning the power you have, and realize that you are the instrument of change in this battle.

Why does this matter to me? When you choose to be more kind to yourself, you extend that generosity to everyone around you, and a profound circle of love and kindness begins to spread throughout the world. You can all it a cliché, but I just call it truth- loving another starts with loving yourself.