Get Mugged

It is a fact that chocolate makes everything better; no matter what is happening in your world or the whole universe, chocolate will comfort you, never disagree with you, never cause you stress, and best of all it’s healthy.




Health benefits of cocoa bean:

  • Powerful source of antioxidants.
  • May reduce heart disease risk.
  • May improve blood flow and lower blood pressure.
  • Raises HDL and protects LDL from oxidation.
  • May protect your skin from the sun.
  • Could improve brain function.

I know what you’re thinking—“Selena is a self-professed chocolate guru/chocoholic, of course she’d say chocolate is an important part of a balance diet.”


There is that, but Mayo Clinic does agree with me. Click here to read how chocolate can be part of a nutritional and healthy eating plan.





Go get mugged with this easy, quick (takes less than 10 minutes to make) recipe for those times when you need chocolate to satisfy a craving.



2 TBSP powered peanut butter (or creamy peanut butter)
1 TBSP unsweetened cocoa powder
2 TBSP warm milk (or warm water)
1 egg white
1 tsp. olive oil (or canola oil)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. maple syrup (or 1 tsp. agave nectar – or – 1 tsp golden syrup)
1/4 tsp. baking powder


1.  Spray a 10-12 oz mug with non-stick spray

2.  Add all the ingredients in a small bowl, and stir well together, until smooth.

3.  Pour the mixture into the mug.

4.  Microwave on high for 60 – 90 seconds (will depend on your microwave’s wattage) or until center of the cake is done.

5. Serve warm.

Top it with your favourite yogurt and fruit, (I topped mine with vanilla Greek yogurt and berries) or whipping cream, or chocolate chips—get creative.

Enjoy in good health!


Long Live Chocolate




Creativity unleashes the child in the adult.

I recently returned from a week’s writing retreat with my critique partner, Nancy. This is something we’ve done for the past few years, and not only is it a week guaranteed to be filled with laughter, mischief, naps, swimming, walking, and great wining and dining, it is also a time to get deep into creativity mode without distractions.

The obligatory mani/pedi day was enjoyed before heading to the retreat.1A


We also took an afternoon to visit the local attractions such as The Collingwood Olive Oil Company. 


This was nirvana for the foodie in me.

The Olive Oil Connoisseur who hosted our tasting was entertaining and had some great recommendations. We exchanged recipe ideas, and I walked out with three bottles of heavenly scented olive oil, balsamic vinegar, body lotion and lip balm.


View from the resort’s balcony after a rainfall.


Whether your creative passion is writing, painting, music, cooking, daydreaming, sewing, knitting, olive oil tastings, wine tastings or coming up with new ways to play Boggle, it doesn’t matter, as long as when in the zone, you are enjoying it, and it fulfills a goal you’ve always wanted to accomplish.


Three simple words that pack a powerful, exhilarating punch. Do it professionally, as a hobby, for family and friends only or just for yourself. The key here is to: Follow it. Do it. Enjoy it.

Enjoy a creativity retreat at home if it’s not possible to travel. Disconnect from the online world, from housework (dust bunnies are patient, they can wait to be tended to), make some meals ahead of time (that’s what slow cookers were invented for) stock up on supplies—chocolate, wine, tea, coffee, whatever your pleasure. Fish out the comfy clothes and enjoy a day, a few days or a week of creative endeavors.




On our retreat we wrote most of the day, and at times, when we were on a roll, we would work late into the evening. We brainstormed plots, character traits, and talked about writing.

We also enjoyed other creative outlets when taking a break while listening to music, watching a movie, or catching up on a television program (Big Bang Theory back to back episodes were on), and still utilized this time to create.

Nancy enjoyed knitting (and she’s real good at it). When I knit, everything turns into a scarf, and I don’t have a clue how to follow a pattern.

I do love to color, and for my birthday my son gifted me an adult coloring book, and colored pencils.

One of my completed coloring projects. I'd love to get this on a T-shirt somehow. Something to think about.
One of my completed coloring projects. I’d love to get this on a T-shirt somehow.


Along with a wonderful imagination, and the passion to create, creative people tend to have self-doubt which interferes with motivation. Writers spend a lot of time in their own heads, and at times a nagging voice telling them it can be impossible to achieve what they are striving to accomplish. Hashing it out on paper, or with a friend or family member stifles the negativity. It will disappear as quickly as it appeared.


Be the bad ass creator you were not motivated to be yesterday.

Go Kick a lot of creative butt.

I got this.

YOU got this!




Live, love, dream.

Is the tag-line for the Creative Pen Coaching website where multi-published author and certified creativity coach Denise Agnew coaches creative people to not only create outside the box, she also assists writers who face writer’s block and other creativity challenges.




Please welcome Denise Agnew as she answers a few questions that can be applied to any form of creativity, be it; writing, music, art, dancing or DIY crafts.

Selena: Is creativity something that can be taught?

Denise: I think everyone is creative, but many people believe they’re not for one reason or the other, or they’ve closed off their ability to create based on certain belief systems and experiences they may have had as a child. In any case, there are many different theories. My personal belief is there are certain people who have a drive to create that is stronger than others and that gives them the extra boost to pursue whatever creative endeavor most appeals to them. Regenerating creativity lost can be taught if the individual is willing.

Selena: What is something a creative person can say to themselves if they are feeling a resistance or anxiety about unleashing their creativity?

Denise: People are very individual. What will work varies from person to person. One trick people can try is to counter the lies their mind tells them about themselves and create a dialog.

Example: “People will hate what I create” and counter with “Some people will love what I create” or “People will love what I create.” They’re countering something they don’t know is true (could be an outright lie) and replacing it with a reasonable question/truth. Again, this isn’t the only method people might need to try. Usually people’s resistance to unleashing their creativity is complex and a coach will need to get in the weeds with the client to determine what’s really behind the resistance.




Selena: Do you think creativity involves putting your heart and soul into a piece of creative work? Or is it a matter of letting one’s mind flow freely?

Denise: Certainly both! I do think there are projects that just fly out of the person creating them and they’re less exhausting than other projects. Every project/endeavor has its own personality and there will be different challenges with each. Some creators need an outline or plan in order for their creativity to flow while others find that too constraining and just need to let their minds flow freely.

Selena: As a creativity coach, what do you recommend writers and anyone who wants a creative outlet do to keep themselves motivated and interested in their projects?

Denise: Create for your satisfaction first. Too much time obsessing with what other people may or may not think of what you’re doing or looking for outside validation can strangle creativity and make it impossible to move forward with a project. Creating has to come from personal enjoyment and a willingness to appease your own creative drive first. Ask yourself what it is that you love about acting, painting, dancing, writing, etc.? That’s what matters. Create meaning from the inside out rather than relying on outside validation. Outside validation isn’t a guarantee.




Selena: What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given with regard to creativity?

Denise: Get out of your own way. Create with self-satisfaction in mind and finding personal meaning within that creation.

Selena: What is the worse piece of advice you’ve been given with regard to creativity?

Denise: Create what the market wants.

Selena: Why did you decide to coach?

Denise: I felt that I have a somewhat unique approach to creativity and I wanted to assist people who are feeling trapped in their own creativity challenges.


“Creation is an act of faith. There’s no guarantee that anyone will appreciate, admire, read, watch, enjoy or otherwise note your work. There’s only the guarantee that you are creating and that it has meaning to you. Create with your satisfaction first and all other considerations second.”~Denise Agnew~


Denise A. Agnew, owner of Creative Pen Coaching based in Sierra Vista, Arizona, brings over twenty years in the publishing industry into her creativity coaching. Denise is the award-winning author of over sixty novels in a variety of sub-genres of romance including; historical, suspense, contemporary, fantasy, paranormal and erotic romance.

Denise has encountered many of the same challenges every creative individual has at one time or another, and this makes her uniquely qualified to understand creative barriers and how to escape them.

Utilizing her training, Denise helps individual excavate their way to the truth behind their creative challenges. She believes thinking outside the box assists creative people in finding new excitement, meaning, and fulfillment.

She offers a variety of coaching packages, group coaching and workshops for every level of creative experience and need.

For more information, please visit Denise’s website: Creative Pen Coaching.

“An artistic endeavor requires that we trust ourselves long enough to create. If we create with the attitude that it’s recess, not only is it fun but it may be a wonderful result. Trust in the fun.” ~Denise Agnew~