Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Remember me to one who lives there...she once was a true love of mine

Soft sheets warm from the dryer. The sound of rain pounding on the street and the roof when all else is quiet. Peppermint oil. The sweet song of a violin. Herbs picked fresh from the garden. The first bite of a crisp apple. Nag Champa. Sweat from a strong workout. Blue Vanilla slush. The number 33. Greek yogurt drizzled with good local honey. My children's hair. Sunshine on my shoulders. Laughter. Sweet dreams. Givenchy Pi. Nostalgic music. A cold glass of peppermint water.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Passion, Grace and Fire...

I've been back to yoga for three weeks now - and I feel fantastic.

It's a different studio than I've practiced at; but I'm adjusting to each of the teacher's styles and learning their subtleties. The classes I attend seem to have the majority of people attending that requires practice to be less aggressive or as strong as I'm used to; but I'm enjoying it just the same. Besides, being able to take class 4 times a week rather than 2 - makes it all worth while.

It's amazing how quickly it readjusts and realigns your body; I'm sleeping better, and not having some of the twinges I've experienced from working so physically at the store. I can feel my strength coming back -- and that alone feels great.

If you have never practiced, I've said it before - and I'll say it again; I highly encourage you to try. No matter how old you are, what kinds of injuries you may have - there's nothing more restorative for your body and your soul.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Top 10 list for today

So, I'm thinking that each Monday unless I have something fabulous to say - I'll try posting a top 10 list. Could be any random topic, and I'm not sure how long it will last for; but I'm starting today. Feel free to add your own top 10 list if you so choose!

Top 10 Movies I could watch over, and over and over again:
(With the caveat that I may have forgotten one, or that the list might change from time to time! And this list does not reflect any order of preference.)

1. Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory. (And it has to be the original.)
2. The Cutting Edge (Toe Pick!)
3. The Usual Suspects (And like that "poof", he was gone...)
4. Meet the Parents (Really, you can milk anything?)
5. Back Draft (And you watched him dance with the animal....)
6. As Good as it Gets (When you first entered the restaurant, I thought you were handsome... and then, of course, you spoke...)
7. Primal Fear (There never was an Aaron, counselor. Come on, I thought you had it figured there at the end.)
8. A Few Good Men ("I strenuously object?" Is that how it works? Hm? "Objection." "Overruled." "Oh, no, no, no. No, I STRENUOUSLY object." "Oh. Well, if you strenuously object then I should take some time to reconsider.")
9. Legends of the Fall (I'll wait for you. However long it takes. I'll wait for you forever.)
10. The Godfather Saga (It's condensed, and in chronological order. LOVE it.)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Time in New England, takes me away....

It was really just a lovely, lovely weekend for this girl.

Yesterday, the kiddies had a birthday pool party to go to and we had lots of fun; I'm friendly with the boy's mom and her family - and we just had such a nice time. Then, I went and worked at the Boston store which is such a switch for me! It was funny trying to get acclaimated to where all the wines are and how the register works because it's all so different from my store; but it was really fun to see different walks of life because it's such a tourist area, it's just so different from where I am day to day.

Afterwards, G and I had dinner at Monica's in the North End. It was pretty good; the service was a little slow, but it was a booming and beautiful Saturday night so needless to say - the place was packed wall to wall. But it was good; a little pricey given the quantities, but the flavors were good.

Today, we went to Fanueil Hall and really just had so much fun. The only downside to the day was that the Brown Derby Deli was no where near as good as I remembered it being. I had a deli pickle that was horrible and the corned beef sandwich was less than impressive; but everything else we ate was rocking! Besides, even bad food being eaten outdoors at Fanueil can't be all that bad, right?

So a funny thing happened; last year when we took T for his birthday, he was picked to help out a street theatre duo. He was beyond pleased and loved it. Well, today that very same group was there, got it! Out of all the people standing around there, they picked him again!! He couldn't have been any happier. It was so much fun, watching him ham it up being the center of attention with everyone calling his name. Seriously, there are few things that make me smile more than seeing my children shine.

All in all, it was a fun and laid back weekend - and one that I'm sad to see come to an end. This is the last weekend my Dad will be here with us, he's going to stay with my sister before heading back to Florida. It's been nice having him here with us - and I know the kids are going to be sad to see him go.

But one never knows what the future holds.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Start spreading the news....I'm leaving today....

Well, not literally.

I am going to NYC with G in the next few weeks because we scored tickets to see Denzel Washington in "Fences"! part is...... they're front and center! (!!!!!)

It's been a difficult year, between competing for the licenses for the business - the buildout, my Mom's illness and subsequent passing; we have earned -- we deserve -- a good 24 hours to ourselves with lots of good food and laughter - and that means without the pitter patter of little children. We don't do that often, it's been three years now since we went away for an evening and so now is the time.

Thinking about making a reservation for dinner at Bluefin; I've heard it's amazing. Anyone been there, well - please feel free to let me know your thoughts.

Funny thing is, we haven't left yet - and I feel guilty that we aren't taking the kids. It's amazing how being a Mom makes you feel bad sometimes doing something for yourself; so I think the only way to make up for that, is to plan a trip to Hershey Park this August.

Just sayin'.....

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Que Sera, Sera...whatever will be -- will be.

I wish I could take credit for the following items - but I can't. Though I've been known to paraphrase them from time to time, and always have long before this email came into my inbox. They're pretty much common sense, but sometimes - we don't all take the time to actually utilize our own common sensability; either because we choose not to, or don't take the time to.

Life is a garden. Bloom where you are planted.
And enjoy the following. (I'm bolding my personal favorites. Be aware, there may be many!)

Written By Regina Brett, 90 years old, author of The Plain Dealer, Cleveland, Ohio

"To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most-requested column I've ever written. My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more."

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick.. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.
16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else. 20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
21... Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
24. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
25. Frame every so-called disaster with these words ''In five years, will this matter?"...
26. Always choose life.
27. Forgive everyone everything.
28. What other people think of you is none of your business...
29. Time heals almost everything. Give time, time.

30. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
31. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
32. Believe in miracles.
33. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
34. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
35. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.
36. Your children get only one childhood.
37. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
38. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
39. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.
40. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
41. The best is yet to come.

42. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
43. Yield.
44. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Pop, pop, pop - says each kernel bright and yellow;pop pop pop they are clever little fellows..

I am the Queen of making snack mixes.
Oh, yeah.

I love taking popcorn and mixing it with different things for the kiddies; and I can go either very sweet - or relatively healthy. Just depends on my mood and what I've got in the house.

Tonight, was a little kettle corn (have to go with the healthiest variations of a theme, so reduced calorie and not terribly sweet either), sprinkled with granola, raw almonds and a little bit of chocolate Cheerios. (Yum!)

Sometimes, I'll melt a little chocolate and drizzle it on, then sprinkle banana nut Cheerios and mix it up -- possibly toss it with a little coconut for funsies.

Occasionally, I've been known to mix a little peanut butter or caramel with the chocolate; other times, I'll mix in raisins and dried bananas with Special K Raspberry.

The kids love it because it's never the same thing twice - and they love it!
Who's the coolest Mom ever?
I am!

...Well, until they're angry with me. Of course.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Aruba, Jamaica, ooh I wanna take you to Bermuda, Bahama.....

Or maybe Seoul, or Shanghai.

I love watching Bizarre Foods. I am so excited to see the different exotic foods from all over the world, and how different cultures utilize food in such unique ways. I should've been Andrew Zimmer! How much fun would that have been?

Sure, I can't see myself being able to eat an eyeball without vomiting; but for every disgusting food item - there are millions of amazingly delicious and delectable ones!

Seriously, I've got to think that food cooked in banana leaves in a fire pit in the ground, has got to be so unbelievably delicious! Or going to a Parisia (sp) in Buenos Aires with the most amazing Argentinian beef.... or eating insanely fresh fish in Samoa.

And me -- well, for dinner tonight I had filet wrapped in bacon, pan cooked w. mushrooms and seasonings, with brown rice and toasted almonds, brussel sprouts with honey - and an apple salsa with fresh cilantro. Sure, it was delicious -but it sure as heck wasn't exotic.

I'm thinking "vacation".....
Just sayin'.... !

Friday, June 18, 2010

Let him fry, let him fry, let him fry.....

Bring back the death penalty to Massachusetts is what I say.

Yet again, a cowardly monster butchers his whole family, and he gets to be protected by bulletproof vests. Seriously? Death by sniper would be too good for him.

Absolutely despicable; I went against my better judgement and read the story online and they of course showed a beautiful photo of his two children and -- naturally they released details of the murder which is just horrible.

They say he cited "financial and marital woes"; hmmm, I'm thinking he's got far bigger problems now.

Except for the fact that now he gets three hots and a cot - and gets to live off the taxpayer's dollars. Lovely.

If we made murder punishable by death -- don't you think there'd be far less murder?
Sometimes, the seemingly less humane societies are truly the most sane.
Just sayin'..

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Who put the "bomp" in the "bomp shoo bomp shoo bomp"...

So it's a humdinger of a night in sports.

Celtics & Sox.
Do the Celtics wrap it up tonight -- or do we go to Game 7.
If I was a gambling girl, I'd say the Celts in 7; but hey - I'm rather noncommital, hence my lack of interest in gambling. So who knows what will happen....

Just a quick question here... Victor Martinez as an All Star ballot? I'm sorry...?
Okay, I get why he was selected. But really????
(hmmph, flipping hair. changing subject.....)

Speaking of the Sox, the Red Sox wines are gracing the shelves on my store tomorrow. I wasn't going to do it because typically they aren't good wine; however this year's selections seem promising because the vineyard that's producing them is solid; the only one from years past that I'm bringing in got it....Captain's Cabernet. It's really not that good (sorry Jason!) but I want it on the shelf to show him a little love. Besides, a portion of proceeds go to his Pitching in For Kids Charity which is a fantastic organization, so it's all good.

Speaking of Father's Day, my father has been staying with me and will be here through Father's Day. Actually, I believe it will be the first Father's Day that I will have seen him in over 10 years.


Monday, June 14, 2010

Next day I'm your super girl, out to save the world - and it keeps getting better...

I'm having a love/hate affair with Christina's new album.
(Oooh, totally showing my age. I think "cd" is the more appropo term, right?)

Half of it - I love.
The other half....meh.
And one song - I hate.

I know that there's been some comparison between her and Lady Gaga lately, but I'm not getting that. I definitely get a "Fergie meets Madonna meets Janet Jackson" kind of vibe. And those songs I like; I love love love her more vocally challenging pieces - those are quintessential in my opinion.

I'm not loving some of the more obscure electronica; I think she's far too talented for that. To me, that's more for Britney who can't sing. I get her loving the influence - and I really like some of the songs that have that feel; but there are a few that to me that are beneath her, purely on a talent perspective. I haven't read the liner notes yet (uh-oh, dating again....I think I mean cd jacket notes?) and she may have written them herself, I don't know. I certainly don't begrudge anyone's talent efforts; I just think that she could've shown futura and electronica more brilliantly than some pieces reflected.

Another thing I noticed is that this is the first album that there isn't a song that I relate to so much as I did on the other albums. "I am" is a fantastic song...that might be the closest; but there aren't any real anthems on here that I can say "oh, that's so me". Which isn't a necessity on loving cd- but definitely is fun when it happens.

That being said, I can't wait for her tour to be rescheduled - and even though I'm disappointed that it was cancelled - on the other hand, this provides me another opportunity to score those front row tickets...!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

I wanna do bad things with you....

Well my friends, we are back in Bon Tempe and it is craziness.

True Blood started again tonight...and I can't be any more excited. (Well, until Dexter starts again - but that's a story for a different day!) I knew that Werewolves were going to be in the storyline, and even better - the show is using real wolves, not animatronics - which makes it that much more fun. Pam is back to being wicked, and Eric is starting to hit the dark side again which is great; I love love love when he's being dark rather than sappy over the annoyingly hokey Sookie.

Sunday night is back for "Must See TV" in this girl's house!!!
I'm almost giddy...

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Maybe far away...or maybe real near by....

So, it's a dreary Saturday morning - and maybe my plans of taking the kiddies Strawberry picking today might have to wait for another Saturday. We're holding out hope though. Right now though, we're watching one of my very favorite movies from my childhood "Annie". She has the DVD, but never really got it - but now that she's soon to be 6 -- she's loving it. (And I am so loving Carol Burnett in this... she was amazing.) What thirty something girl didn't grow up wanting to be "Annie" in the musical? I know I did. I even auditioned once....but, clearly did not get the job. Could be because holding a tune doesn't compare to true singing; but when you're a child, you're convinced you sound amazing.

Speaking of the Princess Petunia, she's got her first loose tooth hanging by a thread! Ready to meet the Tooth Fairy at any moment....

Yesterday, I got a new refrigerator. Our old one (truly not that old, I think we bought it 5 years ago?) leaked freon everywhere in my kitchen and we lost all of our food in the fridge and freezer. You just don't know how much money you have in your kitchen until you have to replace it all. Anyway, it's a beautiful French door one with the bottom freezer and I am just loving it.

And it the top of the Chrysler Building.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

She a long lost love at first bite....Baby maybe you're wrong, but you know it's all right

So today I finally saw the doctor regarding this raspy voice I've had for what seems like forever now.

Don't get me wrong - I love the husky, raspy sound at times; but at other times, I sound like Rachel Ray -- which makes me feel like I should be yelling, and saying stupid words like "delish" or "Samwich". You know what I mean? It's just not me. I've always had more of that Marcia Brady type sound to my voice... Brenda Vacarro's voice is spectacular, but that's usually only when I'm sick. To sound that husky all the time, while I sound hot in my head - is starting to grate on my nerves.

So, while I've never had allergies -- we're going to start there and see if that could be the culprit. So, 4 weeks on Claritin and a steroid inhaler (not Albuterol thank God, something else) and if it doesn't clear up, then we'll do a scope of my layrnx.

Possibilities could be polyps on my vocal cords....other possibilities aren't as light hearted, but we're not going to think about that right now. Another option the doctor suggested was reflux. Now, I don't get heartburn - only had it a few times when I was pregnant with Princess Petunia; however, it seems that some people have no symptoms of it, other than - you got it, a raspy voice. So, if we need to do a scope and it shows nothing visible, then we'll try that route.

There's definitely something going on.... and I'm determined to get to the heart of it.

Unless of course, someone feels like giving me my own television show. I mean really, if I'm going to talk like Rachel Ray - I should at least get a little somethin' somethin' out of it!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Before you've practiced, the theory is useless. After you've practiced, the theory is obvious...

So, I've decided that it's time to take care of me... I know I've mentioned a few times over the last month or so that I need to do it -but today was the start.

A yoga studio opened across the street from the store, and today I took my first class. What was so great too, was that it was the first yoga class I'd taken in quite some time that wasn't Power Ashtanga or Power Vinyasa; just a basic yoga class, with poses and minimal flow. I forgot how great it was to just work up to certain poses without the constant flow of vinyasa. Not that I don't love Vinyasa because I do -- but the change was nice.

Best of all is that I can take classes 3-4 days a week because the schedule fits my working schedule. So, I'm excited to get back into that groove again. It's amazing how centered you become, how much perspective you gain....and how unbelievable you feel once you practice. It's funny how something like exercise can do that to you, but it's more than just the exercise. It's the letting go and balance of it all. Sounds crazy, I know....but trust me, it's the real deal.


Tuesday, June 08, 2010

An hour, a month, a year....

I've mentioned many times that I believe that when a person passes, they stay with us -- sometimes there are even signs -- and if you're open to them, you will see them.

I don't remember if I posted about it or not, but in the first 48 hours of my Mom's passing - there were signs. Definite, and in my mind - unequivocable signs. There was one other sign about two weeks ago, that might not have truly been one, but it was fun to think it might have been. But since then, there has been nothing else. Until today.....

Today is the one month anniversary of her passing. One of my sales reps also experienced the loss of her Mom, two weeks to the day prior to mine. Since I haven't seen her since the immediate of her Mom's passing -- today when she came in, naturally I asked how she was doing. She answered, and in return asked about how I was doing. So, I mentioned that today was actually one month of her passing...when all of a sudden, no sooner was I able to get another word out of my mouth, but a soap dispenser cover came flying off the wall. No word of a lie. Now mind you - this is a commercial grade dispense, attached to the wall and the cover can not come off easily. As a matter of fact, because it snaps so tightly to the base - when I refilled it two weeks ago, I wrestled with getting it off. We've had lots of construction going on outside my building from time to time in the last 7 months we've been open: jackhammering of the sidewalk for renovation (so loud it triggered my security system!), the street's been regrooved and repaved, and nothing has ever caused anything to shake or let alone fly off the wall. (Might I add that I have a 42" television mounted to the wall directly above said soap would think that might move a bit if there's some serious shaking, wouldn't one?) But today, in the quiet store, with no type of noise or construction going on -- as we were discussing my Mom......the soap dispenser cover decides to just fly onto the floor.

Interesting, eh?

My friend K and I looked at each other in surprise....and then just chalked it up to my Mom saying hello. Remember the movie "Ghost", when Patrick Swayze realizes how hard he has to work in order to move something - but figures out how to do it? I swear, that's what my Mom is doing.

And if it's just random coincidences, well..... I just don't know that I'd buy that theory.

It's only been 30 days....and yet in some ways, it feels like an eternity.
At the same time, it feels like it was just yesterday.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Drove my Chevy to the levee....but the levee was dry.

So what I find so frustrating is that while I'm laying in bed at night - a million things I want to blog about run through my head. And yet, when the time comes for me to actually write something, they all escape my mind. Bizarre, and annoying all at the same time. Especially since some of them have been pretty good rants! Must write down notes.....

In any event, since clearly my mind is vacant at the moment from anything of value to say - I thought I'd share some photographs of happy events that have taken place over the last 4 weeks or so. Basically just some candid photos of the kiddies & I at family gatherings; and truthfully, pictures are worth a thousand words so - no need for me to ramble tonight, right?
(I'm in the middle w/ my friend S & my Princess Petunia)
The "I'm just a girl" kiddies...

My son's birthday dinner...
Princess Petunia's ear piercing yesterday! She didn't even flinch...

Friday, June 04, 2010

Do yourself a favor....

....and don't ever, ever, ever search the internet to try to self diagnose.
You'll give yourself a heart attack.

Trust me.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Mary Mary Quite Contrary....How does your garden grow?

I'm almost done with my garden.

Today I came home and planted my postage stamp area and so now all I have left is a pot or two. (Postage Stamp Garden, def.: A Postage Stamp survival vegetable garden is a small area that can produce a bounty of herbs and vegetables. Many gardeners complain that they are short on both time and garden space. A Postage Stamp garden solves both of these problems. And in today's economy it is important to have a sustainable vegetable garden, one that uses heirloom seeds for future planting. )

This weekend, I planted my large herb bowl that I'm keeping on my deck: Rosemary, Dill, Cilantro, Anise, Basil & Golden Oregano in one big planter. I also did a second large planter where I combined Romaine & Red Leaf Lettuces on one side, and Sugar Baby Watermelon on the other side.

This evening, I planted my tomatoes and eggplant (traditional & white), summer squash, endive, summer squash and cantaloupe.

Can I just tell looks so pretty!

Tonight for dinner, I made cod and I used fresh dill and rosemary from the planter on it -- truly such a difference when you're using fresh herbs from the outside, rather than fresh from the supermarket. Such a difference in flavor.

What are you planting in your garden this season?

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Sweet talkin' sugar coated candy man....

So it's been some time since I've shared a cosmetic "must have".
Lush Cosmetics..... have you heard of them?
All I have to say is.... yummy.

Not only is it all handmade, as well as organic and vegan which is very nice - some of it is edible.
Take for example my new favorite lip accessory - Mint Julip Lip Scrub. It's this amazingly delicious sugar and peppermint oil with a hint of chocolate exfoliator for your lips, and it leaves them incredibly soft. Then, I immediately follow it up with this unbelievable balm for your lips that's not so heavy that my Lip Fusion can't go right over it. It's called None of Your Beeswax and it's got a light citrusy scent to it. So I exfoliate, and then moisturize -- and then whatever I use for gloss or shine goes right over it.

Love, love, love it!!!
If you're as addicted to lip stuff as I am -- trust me, this combo is a must.
You'll thank me.
I promise.