The Sound of People Listening


Reading psychological articles, the consensus seems to be that communication is 55% body language, 38% tone of voice, and 7% the actual words spoken.  Words and alternatively the absence of them are so powerful.  Some people choose their words very carefully, while others aren’t listening to what the other person is saying because they are already thinking of a reply.  

All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten was written by Robert Fulghum in 1986. I believe his words of wisdom still apply today. In my own Kindergarten classroom, I often tell my children that I can tell that they are listening because they are looking at me. I don’t call it active listening, but I am trying to instill those habits in a child friendly way.  Mr. Potato Head helps. Teaching good listening skills and empathy are often intertwined.

Mr. Potato Head

Dancing to Sir Mix-A-Lot’s “Baby Got Back” at fraternity parties, I never would have guessed that the song would lead to a teachable moment about empathy in my Kindergarten classroom.

Boy: Oh my God, look at her butt!

Girl: Mrs. McAfee! He said look at my butt!

Me: Can you both please come see me?

Boy: No, I didn’t! I was singing the song from the movie Sing.

Me: Yes, I know, you’re not in trouble. Look at her face though. Does she look happy?

Boy: No

Me: Can you please tell her you are sorry you made her sad?

Boy: I’m sorry. I was singing the song from the movie.

Girl: I haven’t seen that movie.


This five minute interaction reminds me of one of Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits: Seek First To Understand Then to Be Understood. There were two sides to the story. I remember being grateful I had seen the movie and knew the song was featured. Poor boy may have been sent to the principal otherwise.

When I was vice president of the PTA of my daughter’s Catholic school, the then president told the story of jamming out to that song in the parent pick up line.  She was startled by the vice principal knocking on her car window.  My friend was causing a traffic jam by not paying attention.  You don’t mess with a faculty member of a Catholic school in the carpool line.  If “Baby Got Back” is not your cup of tea, I respect your opinion.  No judgement from me either way.  I admit I have it on my phone, it’s on my workout playlist.  

Sir Mix A Lot

My last day in my classroom was March 13, 2020.  Our planned Spring Break changed to Online Distance Learning within a week.  I am now teaching Kindergarten from my family room.  I don’t always rely on Sir Mix-A-Lot for instructional inspiration. I assigned these two books to the children to read at home last week. I’m proud of my students. They correctly identified the main topic of these books, friendship and being and kind to others. 


Stick and stone

I teach 19 little ones via a Schoology conference.  “Zoom Fatigue” is real. At the end of the day, I feel exhausted. I am getting more headaches. I often wonder how I can feel so tired after just sitting and talking on the phone or participating in a Schoology conference. Scrolling through Facebook, I saw an article about Zoom Fatigue. As primates, we look for facial cues in our interactions with other people. Although we can see and hear the person on the other side of the screen, it’s not the same as being with the person.  We are concentrating on hearing what the other person is saying, “I’m sorry. Can you repeat the last part?” Our brains are trying to keep up and process.

The BBC article “The reason Zoom calls drain your energy” can be found at this link,  BBC Worklife spoke to Gianpiero Petriglieri, “Being on a video call requires more focus than a face-to-face chat, says Petriglieri. Video chats mean we need to work harder to process non-verbal cues like facial expressions, the tone and pitch of the voice, and body language; paying more attention to these consumes a lot of energy. “Our minds are together when our bodies feel we’re not. That dissonance, which causes people to have conflicting feelings, is exhausting. You cannot relax into the conversation naturally,” he says. 


The article made me think about online communication in general. When someone sends a message or leaves a comment on any social media platform,  you can’t see the person’s facial expressions.  You can’t hear the tone of their voice.  When I first joined Twitter in 2014, I remember a friend said to me, “I can hear your voice on Twitter.” I’ve thought about that observation ever since, many times I think people feel emboldened on social media because they are anonymous behind the keyboard.  While the writer of the post or comment can’t be seen, they can be heard.  Sometimes you can’t hear tone in a text message, however if a person repeatedly posts the same type of message, I believe that you can hear their voice.  None of us are perfect.  I know I’ve posted things on social media that were misunderstood, and I’m glad the person that read it asked me what I meant.  

Self isolation has given me time to reflect and percolate. I think about the time my children and the children I teach spend on devices and in front of screens.  I watch my children panic at the thought of talking to someone on the phone.  I wonder if I have shown my Kindergarten kids and my own kids how to socialize with others appropriately.  I hope I have shown them empathy, kindness, politeness, and respect. Respect can be also be shown by listening to other people.  I have two versions of the song, “When You Say Nothing At All”  on my phone, the Ronan Keating version and the Keith Whitley version.  I keep reminding myself to give myself grace during this extraordinarily surreal time.  I am giving grace to others as well.  Stay safe and healthy dear readers.  

Thank you so much for reading!  

Jenny Mc

@jennymcinspired – Twitter 




Grandfather Mountain Highland Games

“The mountains are calling and I must go.”

John Muir

Confession: I saw T-shirts for sale with this quote in the quaint shops in Boone, North Carolina. I didn’t fully appreciate the meaning until I spent four days at the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games, walked along the sidewalk in Boone, and drove the Blue Ridge Parkway on the way to Blowing Rock.

I prepared for my road trip to North Carolina and my first visit to Grandfather Mountain by going to AAA to get maps and travel books.  I also talked to my friend who grew up in the area, and she said, “You are going to love Grandfather. It is beautiful and magical.”

I embarked on my journey with three Outlander fans from Jacksonville, Florida.  On our first night in North Carolina, we ventured up Grandfather Mountain to attend the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games Calling of the Clans. I have gone to the Northeast Florida Scottish Games and Festival, but I’ve never seen the Calling of the Clans. describes the event, “…the torchlight ceremony on Thursday, where representatives of more than 100 clans announce their families’ participation in the gathering.” Chill bumps broke out on my arms as each clan announced their arrival, “Clan Macfie is here!”  The poetry recited during the ceremony was as meaningful as the moments of silence. I could imagine highlanders gathering on similar mountaintops in Scotland hundreds of years ago as I sat in the groves nestled around MacRae Meadows.

Cooklander Cookbook Committee ran the promotion “Find Jenny Mac” while I was at the Games.  The reward? Getting Cooklander for $20.00.  Thank you so much to those who purchased a copy of Cooklander!  Proceeds benefit Bloodwise UK, World Child Cancer, and NPH USA.  We’re still running the promotion for anyone unable to attend the Games.  Go to, and enter Coupon Code FindJennyMac to get $5 off your order.

From Left to Right: Deb, me, Mary

I have been dubbed “Haggis Hunter”  by my fellow Cooklander Committee members.  I spotted Elliott MacFarlane (historian, raconteur, spirit sommelier, chef) within the first 15 minutes of arrival at the Games.  He was conducting a demonstration of how to make haggis.

This is a still from the video I posted on my Facebook – Jennifer McAfee

Novel Adventures hosted David Berry at their tent at the Games. I was so thrilled to meet the actor who plays Lord John Grey on the Starz series Outlander on Saturday.  He was so nice! I had the opportunity to talk to him for a few minutes and gift him a copy of the Cooklander Cookbook. He said, “I’ve heard of your book. Thank you! The Outlander drivers were talking about it. He has a recipe in it.”  Thank you David “Davie Hollywood” Stewart for telling him about our cookbook!

Photo Credit: @Sheugs

I love a parade! I represented Cooklander in the 2016 NYC Tartan Day Parade when Sam Heughan was the Grand Marshal.  The Novel Adventures Group marched with David Berry and Matthew Copley in the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games Parade. I’m not in below picture, but I proudly marched in the parade with my Macfie tartan and Cooklander button pinned on my blouse.

This is a still from a video Sam Kraupner posted to her Instagram.

I was so happy to meet fellow Outlander fans and My Peak Challenge participants from all over the US at the Games, and I met several sweet ladies from North Carolina. I joined Outlanders North Carolina on Facebook.  NC Outlander Fans on Facebook is the official group for residents of North Carolina.  Both groups are doing fun and fantastic things for fans of the Outlander books and television series.

Photo credit to owner

Luckily, I saw Elliott MacFarlane on Saturday before we rode the bus back down the mountain.  I was able to tell him of my tale of trying to find the elusive haggis recipe. He boomed, “You’re weird! Get out of here with your infernal ground beef cooked in panty hose haggis recipe! That’s not haggis!”

He directed me to below recipe.

“This is haggis!”

At the end of the day, he said, “Email me! Use good whisky when you make the Drambuie Sauce!”

On Sunday, we drove from Boone to Blowing Rock. We stopped at the Moses Cone Manor.  It is the home of the Southern Highland Craft Guild.  I browsed through shops filled with handmade crafts. The beautiful pottery was decorated with bees and dragonflies.  Beeswax and Fraser Fir scented candles and soaps filled the shelves.

I’m a Florida girl. Everything is flat. I don’t see mountains or flowering trees growing out of mountains. I kept asking, “What is that? It’s not Dogwood.” I discovered that I was seeing Rhododendrons. I’ve never seen them so big. My new North Carolina friends told me, “they’re not usually blooming this late in the year.”

***Spoiler Alert***

I will be writing about scenes from the fourth book in Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, Drums of Autumn.

As I took picture after picture of Rhododendrons, my traveling companions kept saying, “I can’t wait to see how the TV series adapts Roger getting lost in the Rhododendrons.”  To which I would reply, “Spoiler!” I’ll be honest, I haven’t finished the book. Their response was “Get reading!”

We wove through the slopes of Grandfather Mountain crossing the Linn Cove Viaduct.  Pausing at an overlook to take pictures, I talked to a family on the sidewalk looking for blackberries.  The bushes had just started to bear fruit, and one little boy leaned over to get a closer look at the small pink berries.  His mother said, “Be careful, don’t fall into the bushes!” He said, “Oh no! There are bears in there! I won’t go in there!”  His mother said to me, “There really are, we’ve seen bear trails right here.”

We visited The Blowing Rock. The views were stunning.

I wandered through the Photo Gallery. I loved this black and white photo of past Grandfather Mountain Highland Games. The photo didn’t have a plaque with a description or a date.

Photo Credit to owner

For the eight hour road trip home, my companions and I listened to the Audible version of Drums of Autumn narrated by Davina Porter.  I’ve continued to listen now that I’m home as I run errands and operate my Mom Taxi.  I’m on Chapter 13.  Lots of exciting things are happening at River Run.  I’m sure I’ll be finished by the Season 4 premiere of the television series Outlander in November.

After four days in the mountains, I discovered that these mountains had seeped into my skin, gotten into my blood, and touched my soul. I live at the beach. I have always said the beach is my happy place.  The sand in between my toes and the sound of the waves crashing never fail to bring me peace. I now have two happy places.

My friend was absolutely right! Grandfather Mountain was beautiful and magical. The mountains called, and I went, and I will return.

Thank you so much for reading!

Jenny Mc

Jenny Mc @jennymcinspired – Twitter

Jennifer McAfee – Facebook

NYC Voyage with Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan

Photo via Facebook

On Saturday, September 30, 2017, I attended the NYC Voyage with Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan.  Caitriona and Sam star in the Starz television series Outlander.  The special event, held at the Papillon Bistro Restaurant in New York City, raised money for their chosen charities.  Caitriona is the Patron of World Child Cancer.  Sam is the charity ambassador of Cahonas Scotland.  I attended the Outlander in the City event in June, and was very excited when I saw the email announcing this September event.

Photo credit Sandra Hayes

I had the opportunity to meet Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan, I’ve never meet either before September. I’ll be honest, I froze when I met both of them.  I was so impressed with how kind, generous, and genuine they both were to their fans.

I did manage to remember to tell Caitriona thank you for everything she does for the fans, and that I was part of the Cooklander Cookbook Committee.  She was really lovely to talk to, and was very thankful for all the hard work the fans do on their behalf for their charities.

I happened to be the last person in the last group to meet Sam.  The bodyguard had to remind me that it was my turn.  Embarrassed, I said, “Shit! Sorry!”  PR Girl turned Fan Girl Fail.

Photo credit Lynda Price

Although, the PR Girl/Celebrity Handler part of me was pleased he was able to get something to drink. I guess I was too busy watching the handler and bodyguard interaction with Sam and the fans.  The bodyguards, Andrew and Patrick, did a great job! I believe I told Sam it was nice to meet him.  He liked my plaid phone case. I said, “Thank you!” The best $9.95 purchase I’ve ever made.  When I met Richard Rankin in June, he liked it too.

Photo via

I felt honored to meet the representatives from both charities.  Ritchie Marshall flew from Glasgow to attend the event for Cahonas Scotland. The charity raises awareness of male cancer. Ritchie wore his kilt made with the official Cahonas Scotland tartan.

Photo via Cahonas Scotland Instagram

Lisa Fernandes arrived in New York City from London to represent World Child Cancer.  We talked about the resources that families have in Jacksonville, FL.  We are very fortunate to have Nemours Children’s Health System and Mayo Clinic in our community.  I can’t imagine being the parent of a child in a developing country without access to healthcare.

Photo via World Child Cancer Instagram

Over $33,000 was raised for Cahonas Scotland and World Child Cancer.  Attendees had the chance to buy raffle tickets, and bid on silent auction items.  The Cooklander Cookbook looked beautiful in the Cooking raffle basket.

You can still visit their JustGiving pages to make a donation.

Photo via Bonnie Terbush Twitter

Over the weekend, I met Outlander fans and My Peak Challenge participants from all over the United States and the world.  I was just as excited to meet amazing friends from California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, China, and Japan as I was to meet Caitriona and Sam.  Friday night, we celebrated birthdays of four friends at Patsy’s Restaurant.

Photo credits to owner

After dinner, we made our way to The Skylark.

Photo credit Sylvia Ederer

On Saturday, Sylvia Ederer organized a beautiful walk for My Peak Challenge participants through Central Park.  I have always been inspired by the Peakers in this community, but it was so energizing to meet in person and hear stories of their journeys and accomplishments.  I loved hearing about the first My Peak Challenge Member Gathering in Scotland that also took place in September.

Photo credit Jackie Osborne

Photo credit Suzanne Young

Photo credit Sandra Hayes

I had the best time with my roommates Donna, Jessie, and Slyvia. We ate brunch at the Central Park Boathouse after our walk with Peakers from California, Florida, North Carolina, Oregon and Texas.

Photo credit Donna G

Photo credit to owner

Photo credit to owner

I departed New York City on Sunday after the event. When I began percolating about the evening throughout the week, I wasn’t surprised that I froze when I met them.  Though I’m positive my musings about Preschool, PTA, shopping trips to Publix, and family medical problems are riveting, I don’t think they would have been appropriate ice breakers.

I’ve been watching Outlander since its premiere in August of 2014.  I read books one through three prior to watching the show.  Obviously, I started a blog.  I think about a quote from a Beau Taplin book, Hunting Season, when I think about Caitriona and Sam.  Full disclosure, I haven’t read any of Taplin’s works of poetry in full, but this quote stands out to me.  I could focus on the sad portion of the quote, but I focus on the positive message.  How amazing is it that these two actors have started a fire in so many people? I was thrilled to have the unique opportunity to meet them.

Image via Pinterest

The organizers of the event did an outstanding job! Thank you very much Bonnie Terbush, Outlander Homepage, Liz Mercado Associates, and Outlander Forever for all of your dedication. You created an unforgettable evening.

Follow Cahonas Scotland @CahonasScotland on Twitter and @cahonasscotland on Instagram for more information on this Nonprofit organization.

Follow World Child Cancer on Twitter @WChildCancer and on Instagram @wchildcancer to learn more about how they help children with cancer and their families.

Thank you so much for reading!

Jenny Mc

Jenny Mc @jennymcinspired – Twitter

Jennifer McAfee – Facebook

My Bear Strength Clothing Company Journeys

Hurricane Irma visited Florida forcing a mandatory evacuation in our area of Northeast Florida. We traveled to Pine Mountain, Georgia to ride out the storm. When we returned home, thankfully to an intact house, I downloaded the pictures from our trip. I discovered the picture below that my daughter had taken on one of our afternoon hikes. I packed one suitcase with essentials to evacuate, my Bear Strength Hoodie was in my suitcase.  I began to reflect on my own personal journey with Bear Strength Clothing Company.

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My journey started in 2014. I spotted Sam Heughan, who plays Jamie Fraser on Outlander on the Starz network, wearing the Fear The Beard T Shirt in his Twitter avatar. The message of strength resonated with me immediately as I had been praying for strength at the time.  Graham McTavish, Dougal MacKenzie on Outlander, rocks a Fear The Beard T Shirt as well.



I began blogging in October, and on November 28, 2014, I posted the following about Bear Strength, For the Exercise Enthusiast, I will direct you to Bear Strength Clothing Co. I have ordered a shirt and a vest, and they are so soft! The web site is user-friendly, and converts to US currency. You can find them at, and they ship to the United States. I had a wonderful experience the first time I ordered from the company. They carry men’s, women’s, and children’s apparel. (P.S. – They ship internationally too.)


Falling in love with the clothes was inevitable after I placed my first order. My respect for the company, founded by two brothers from Wales, increased when I read about the company’s charity collaborations. I reached out to The Bear Cave and asked if they would like to contribute to Cooklander To the Stove, a cookbook created by fans and friends of the show Outlander. Their Welsh Cakes can be found on page 239 of this amazing cookbook, not only do the bears know about functional fitness, but they cook too! Smart bears! The proceeds from sales of the book benefit Bloodwise UK, World Child Cancer, and NPH USA. You can still get your paws on a copy at

2016 proved to be an action packed year along my journey.  In January 2016, I joined the 13 week challenge at Titan up Fitness in Jacksonville Beach, FL. My trainer’s nickname for me was “Bear Strength” because I always had something from their line for my workouts: leggings, T Shirts, sports bra, not pictured. I swear I had better workout days when I wore their clothing.

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Coincidentally, I wore the Bear Strength Baseball Shirt when I celebrated Burns Night in January.  My friend, a food photographer, was taking pictures of the haggis, “You get in one and eat some.”

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April was a challenging month.  My father had emergency surgery to remove a brain tumor.  Floridians do need sweatshirts and jackets. Most buildings are so well air-conditioned, you bring something to wear inside. I spent many hours at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville.  If you guessed that I took my Bear Strength Hoodie, you would be correct.

My dad is such a tremendous example of strength.  The picture below was taken a month after his surgery.  He was doing PT five days a week at 76 years old.

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Naturally, he needed more gear.  I ordered this Tri Blend T Shirt for him.

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I’ll admit, from April 2016 to the present, life has been rough, both of my parents have had a difficult time health wise.  I wanted to help take care of them, but I forgot about myself.  My workouts have not been consistent, I haven’t blogged as much as I have in the past.  However, I got back on program August 1, 2017.  I’ve started walking on the beach again and working out at home.  I gave up Coca Cola and started eating healthier.  I started making time for me again, and I feel better. My parents have good days and bad days.  As of now, dad is cancer free.  Yea!!!  I came to the conclusion that if I want to be ready to take care of them on the stressful days, I need to be healthy too.

Obviously, I need new workout clothes.  I checked out Bear Strength’s new range at  I would be happy with any item, but some of my favorites are below.



If you would like to find out more about the founders of the company, please read this wonderful blog which appears in ThePeakPosse Post, and I reblogged on my site,

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Thank you so much for taking the time to read about my journey!  I’m so proud of the fact that almost three years after I started blogging, Bear Strength Clothing Company is still one of the most popular search terms on my blog.

Don’t forget to follow all things #TeamBearStrength on Twitter @BearStrength and on Instagram @bearstrengthclothing.

Jenny Mc

@jennymcinspired – Twitter

Outlander in the City

I had the opportunity to attend the event, Outlander in the City, Saturday June 3, 2017.  It was held at the Papillon Bar & Bistro in New York City.  I flew from Jacksonville, Florida to New York City the day before the dinner.OutlanderintheCityImage via Facebook Outlander in the City Event pageThe Outlander in the City event was wonderful! I felt honored to meet so many of the actors from the show, it was a once in a lifetime opportunity.  The unique event was a fundraiser for the charities chosen by each of the actors.  I met fellow fans and friends that I have only “met” previously online.  At one point, I said, “I feel so close to you even though we just met.” Although, it is true we have KNOWN each other much longer. When I first joined Twitter, Pelly @pellicott1, said, “I can “hear” your voice on Twitter.”  I agree.  I was thrilled to meet Cooklander friends, Florida Outlander Fans, ThePeakPosse members, and My Peak Challenge participants in person. I really loved seeing the familiar faces of friends that I met when I marched in the 18th Annual Tartan Day Parade in 2016.IMG_9338(L to R: Kendra, Me, and Kathryn)Image via http://www.terrisquires.comIMG_7914 (2)(L to R: Pelly, Me, Bouton)The organizers did a terrific job! My hat is off to you. I moonlight as a PR Consultant which includes celebrity handling and event planning. This event was a huge undertaking, and I’m so proud of everyone involved in the planning. Thank you again so much Carole Braun, Dorianne Panich, Liz Mercado, Laura Michelle, Lisa Michelle Woody, Bonnie Terbush, Sandhya Dawar, and everyone at Outlander Homepage @OutlanderHome!!! Kathryn Elliott served as raffle ticket saleswoman extraordinaire.Reconciling my PR Girl persona and my Fan Girl persona is still an ongoing process.  My Fan Girl status has been written about in previous blog posts.  If you’d like to read more, check out “To be a fan girl or not to be a fan girl, that is the question…” and “To Be a Fan Girl, or a Cougar, or Go shopping for a Billionaire, That is the Question…” the event, I realized that everyone does Fan Girl in their own way. Partially due to my personality and partially because old work habits die-hard, I determined that I much prefer to sit back, watch people, and take in everything around me.  I didn’t get photographs with all the actors that attended the event.  It wasn’t for lack of interest, I was entranced with watching them.  I never would have imagined that I would see Stephen Walters, Nell Hudson, and Steven Cree singing songs by The Beatles.Steven Cree, who plays Ian Murray, wore a kilt to the event.  I follow him on Twitter, and in person he is exactly as you would expect him to be based on his tweets and interviews.  He has a clever sense of humor, and is very charming.  The evening was more fun because of him. He talked of his project, The Little Princess.  I read an article from The Herald which discusses his role in Churchill, and other future projects. Check it out at Hudson, who plays Loghaire MacKenzie, was so sweet! She has a beautiful singing voice, truly a highlight of the evening.  In addition to Outlander, Nell can be seen in ITV’s Victoria.IMG_9305(L to R: Deborah, Nell, Patty)Wil Johnson was the surprise guest at dinner.  He plays Joe Abernathy in Season 3 of Outlander.  The guests were delighted to meet him, and he circulated throughout the restaurant.  I saw him outside after the event, and he was quick to offer a smile.Duncan Lacroix portrays Murtagh Fraser.  He received a thunderous round of applause when he was introduced at the event.  Everybody needs a Murtagh.IMG_9243Grant O’Rourke plays Rupert MacKenzie.  He was in front of the restaurant after the event when I approached him. He smiled, and gave me a big hug.  Grant just announced he was nominated for Best Actor (theatre) at the Sunday Herald Culture Awards, and can be seen in August at the Edinburgh Fringe.Gary Lewis is a very genuine and kind person.  He gives the best hugs!  I was so pleased to meet him.  Researching this blog, I realized I have much of Gary’s work to binge watch.  This article from The Herald describes his role in The Level as well as what’s up next for Gary,

 Richard Rankin is incredible!  I was so impressed that Richard stayed late at the event to make sure all 270+ women were able to have their picture taken with him.IMG_9334(L to R: Kathryn, Me, Richard, Patty)IMG_9308Before I share my conversation with Richard Rankin, I’d like to pause and refer back to a blog I wrote, People are People, In the blog, I share my relief that celebrities are people just like us.  I can add my conversation with Richard to my list of “open mouth, insert foot” moments relayed in that blog.Richard: Where are all of you from?Me: FloridaR: Do you know that Florida is the only state that begins with an “F”?Me: Really?R: Yes, only one “F”.Me: I really should have known that.  (Proud resident of the state of Florida since 1981)R: You learned something new tonight.Richard also knows how many states start with an “A” (4) and with “N” (8).  I applaud his perceptiveness.  As an educator, I do like to learn something new every day.  I used to think of myself as a Brainy Fan Girl.  In that moment, I didn’t feel very brainy, more like a shy coed talking to the star quarterback.  Richard has been very busy with several projects.  I’ve binge watched Thirteen and I am in the middle of The Crimson Field.Stephen Walters performed songs from his Charity Ditty Album (CD).  You can still purchase the album at  It was such a treat to see him belting out tunes with Steven Cree and Nell Hudson.  Stephen took to Twitter after the event to announce his project Humpty Dumpty with Andrew Gower.  For more information about the film or to donate to the Kickstarter project go to Bruce Devlin was the emcee for the evening.  I have to be honest, he cracked me up throughout the dinner.IMG_9234 (2)For more information about the charities or to donate to the charities chosen by the actors, please see the JustGiving links below. The links will stay open until December 31, 2017.Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity (chosen by Gary Lewis and Grant O’Rourke): the Children (chosen by Nell Hudson): Child Cancer (chosen by Stephen Walters and Duncan Lacroix): Animal Rescue (chosen by Steven Cree): Cancer Support (Chosen by Rik Rankin): you so much for reading!  I hope this is the first of many Outlander in the City events that Outlander fans are able to attend.Jenny McJenny Mc @jennymcinspired – – EmailJennifer McAfee – Facebook

Barbour The Shirt Department

As I was scrolling through Twitter this morning, I clicked on the Barbour web site link in their tweet about The Shirt Department.  Barbour is a “120 year old brand defining the essence of true British style.” I noticed the paragraph starting with, “Inspired by Barbour’s countryside credentials since 1894…”, naturally the phrase, “Inspired by” grabbed my attention.  Full disclosure, the paragraph wasn’t the first thing I noticed.  Sam Heughan is Barbour’s Global Brand Ambassador.

The Barbour Blog is very informative.  I did actually read the entire post, “Introducing the New SS17 Shirt Department” as well as other posts that didn’t mention Sam Heughan.  Barbour is the Platium Sponsor of the 2017 Tartan Day Parade in New York City.  I marched in the parade in 2016.  I know the parade will be a success with Barbour providing clothing, accessories, and dog accessories.

Go to for more information about their clothing.  You can also follow Barbour on social media.

Twitter – @Barbour

Instagram – @Barbour and @Barbourdogs

Facebook – @OfficialBarbour

Pinterest –

Instagram led me to this video posted on the British GQ magazine web site announcing a partnership with Barbour.

Thank you so much for reading! Shirts have never been so inspiring.

Jenny Mc

Twitter – @jennymcinspired

Facebook – Jennifer McAfee

Email –

Burns Night Supper for Bloodwise

I’ve been blogging about the show Outlander and its stars for over two years.  In the process, I have learned more about Scotland and Scottish culture.  Wednesday, January 25th is the birthday of Scottish poet Robert Burns.  Burns Night is a celebration of the poet and lyricist.  A traditional supper includes haggis, tatties, neeps, and a dram of Scotch whisky. (Tatties=mashed potatoes, neep=turnip)  For this Florida girl, haggis is a foreign concept.

I’m part of the committee that published the cookbook Cooklander To The Stove.  This wonderful book is a collection of 550 recipes submitted by fans and friends of the show Outlander.  Originally, a recipe for haggis wasn’t included among the hundreds of recipes submitted. I am now dubbed “Haggis Hunter” by fellow committee members because all of the haggis recipes, with the exception of the Vegetarian Haggis, are the product of my extensive search.  I must admit to becoming strangely curious about haggis the more I looked into how I would find a recipe.  Below is the story of my search for the elusive haggis, found on page 323 of the cookbook.


Hunting for Haggis

1 haggis

A wee bit elusive

The Cookbook Committee received recipes from all over the world, however two weeks prior to the target date to go to print, we still hadn’t received a recipe for haggis. 

Haggis is not an animal.  It is actually made from the innards of a sheep, oatmeal, suet, herbs and spices cooked in a sheep’s stomach.  I messaged a friend from Glasgow and a friend of a friend living in Tampa from Edinburgh.  One reply stated, “In Scotland, people usually buy the haggis ready to go as it is made from all the leftover parts that aren’t used after the slaughter.”  Hmmm…where would a Florida girl buy haggis?  I Googled, and was amazed at what I found.  I read a very interesting article published in “The Guardian” on January 22, 2015 by Adam Gabbatt entitled “The hunt for black market haggis”,  My mind reeled at the implications of a ban on importing the sheep’s lung, a crucial ingredient in a traditional haggis, in the United States.  Haggis can be purchased on in the US, however, substitutions have been made for the sheep lung.  Americans can also buy haggis in a can at local Scottish festivals.  I couldn’t believe my own eyes when I saw the cans at the Lannadoo Celtic Festival in NE FL. 

In my quest, I posted on Twitter and Facebook.  I called, texted, and emailed every chef or restaurant owner I know.  I may have even tagged a certain actor from Scotland in tweets enlisting his help.  I knew I was getting desperate when I asked a friend who owns a restaurant that specializes in Baha Mexicana for a recipe for haggis. I might have even promised to make haggis, taste it, and to organize a skirling salute complete with pipe band if I received a recipe. 

A fan sent me two recipes for haggis which appear in this cookbook.  One recipe came from “A Little Scottish Cookbook”, by Paul Harris.  Harris’ book is listed in Diana Gabaldon’s bibliography in “Outlandish Companion.” The recipe’s directions include, “Boil the heart, liver, and lung till tender, hanging windpipe out over the edge of pan so that it drains into a bowl.”  One recipe from the book, “Cooking with Elizabeth Craig”, states, “After cooking, haggis can be hung in a cool dry place until required.  When wanted, boil up again.”  Perhaps my declaration to prepare haggis was premature.  I’ll be honest, I can count on one hand the people for whom I would be willing to make and taste haggis.

When followed on Twitter by Haggis Society, I knew I had officially made it to the big time of haggis circles!  I followed back, however, I’m fairly certain this is a parody account.  As I said, haggis isn’t an animal, and there really isn’t an official hunting season. 

I hope you enjoy all the recipes in this cookbook, especially the haggis.  When in doubt, more whisky is always the answer.

In November 2015, I tried haggis for the first time at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival.  I can honestly say I enjoyed this Americanized version.  It tasted like liver and oats. Glenfiddich whisky was also available at the pavillion, I would highly recommend.


In January 2016, to celebrate Burns Night, I decided to be brave and attempt to make haggis.  I figured the Vegetarian Haggis recipe would be the best way to go for my first attempt.  I used the recipe on page 167 of the Cooklander To The Stove cookbook.  I made dinner for friends and they said, “It was quite tasty, even without the stuff.” 




Fast forward to Janauary 2017.  I am proud to be a part of actor Sam Heughan’s My Peak Challenge for the third year in a row.  Participants were given a mini challenge to host a Burns Night Supper to raise money for Bloodwise.  Bloodwise funds research and offers information and support to anyone affected by leukaemia, lymphoma, myeloma, and other blood related disorders.



Video via

I’m happy to report that the stars aligned and I am hosting a Burns Night Supper with my friend and fellow Salt Life Peaker Carol Swearingin.  Please join us at Culhane’s Irish Pub on Wednesday, January 25th to have fun and raise money for a great cause! The chef at Culhane’s is creating a haggis special, and their menu features a variety of whiskys.

Culhane’s has generously donated a basket valued at $100 as a raffle prize.  Culhane’s also submitted their Dingle Fish Pie recipe, a favorite of Guy Fieri, to the Cooklander cookbook.

Copies of Cooklander will be available for sale during the evening with all proceeds of sales benefitting Bloodwise.  The cost per book is $25.

If you are unable to attend the supper, and would like to donate, please visit my Just Giving page at

Burns Night Supper

Where: Culhane’s Irish Pub

When: Wednesday, January 25, 2017 6:30-9:30 p.m.


For more information about topics covered in my blog, visit the following web sites.


Cooklander To The Stove

Culhane’s Irish Pub

My Peak Challenge

For the Burns Night celebration in 2018, should I try the US Version of Traditional Scottish Haggis recipe in Cooklander that calls for “One leg of a pair of CLEAN panty hose, knotted with top end cut off and open”? Thank you so much for reading!

Jenny Mc

Twitter – Jenny Mc @jennymcinspired

Facebook – Jennifer McAfee




My Peak Challenge 2017

Image via Sam Heughan’s Twitter account

My Peak Challenge, actor Sam Heughan’s global charity movement, continues to be the most searched topic on my blog.  I cannot even express how happy that makes me.  My Peak Challenge 2017 has just launched. All the information you need to know about how to join this program can be found on The new web site is amazing!!

I looked back at some of the blog search terms readers have used to find out about My Peak Challenge.  All of the answers to these questions and more can be found on the #MPC2017 web site.  Here is a list of frequently asked questions and topics:

What is My Peak Challenge?

My Peak Challenge monthly workout and nutrition program

My Peak Challenge recipes

My Peak Challenge workout

My Peak Challenge welcome gift

I just joined My Peak Challenge 2017, and I would love for you to join me and the rest of the #MPC2017 community!!! 50% of funds raised from the purchase of membership go directly to Bloodwise.

Happy Holidays! More information to follow in future blogs. I gave myself a Christmas present by joining My Peak Challenge 2017, and now I need to finish the rest of my shopping. 😉

Thank you again for reading!

Jenny Mc

Twitter – Jenny Mc @jennymcinspired

Facebook – Jennifer McAfee