Thursday, September 30, 2010

I'm so excited, and I just can't hide it.....

We all know how much I love food -- especially good food.
And when it's sushi, and it's sensational....clearly, it sends me over the moon.

We took a chance on a new restaurant tonight, the next city over from us. It was nothing short of fabulous. Now, keeping in mind that it's a sister restaurant to one of my very favorites - I shouldn't be too terribly surprised; it's a little pricier...the portions are a tad smaller - but overall, the flavors are fantastic and the food is incredibly fresh. The Lychee Martini was made perfectly - and I'm not typically a fou fou girl when it comes to my martini; I much prefer a plain vodka. But I figured what the heck, try something different. The best Lychee drink I'd had was in NYC - and while this one was smaller, it was made perfectly.

It is so frustrating when you go out for dinner and are disappointed in your meal; unfortunately it happens more often than not. But not tonight...!

Loved it. Loved it!!

I am happy, full and tired.
Isn't that almost the best way to end the day...?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Knowledge is power....

I got T's MCAS scores in the mail today, finally.
Very happy and excited to see them....he did very, very well.

I've always had mixed feelings regarding the MCAS; it's hypocritical in so many ways, and truly is nothing more than the school's way of proving to the government that they are of a certain standing educationally.

At the same time -- because the schools feel pressure to have their children perform at a certain level, they are teaching children at a higher level, because now of course - they're being judged on the performance of the children. The downside, naturally - is that children can feel pressured to learn things a certain way that may not feel natural; they may feel a pressure to succeed, and an expectation that kids as young as 8 or 9 typically hadn't needed to feel previously. Or possibly shouldn't feel at all...period. But, there's an upside as well. Most kids are able to perform at the level of expectations - even exceeding those expectations. And so it seems that kids are learning things earlier and earlier - yet they aren't necessarily feeling pressured because they're like sponges and are capable of the work.

This isn't to say that is the case for every child; there are always kids who learn differently, or maybe don't test well in general. There are children with special needs and IEPs, and yet they are still expected to perform at that same level as children without those limitations - and how is that fair?

So while I'm happy and pleased to see that my little guy did so very well - I'll be just as happy if they do away with the MCAS as rumors have been suggesting. So long as it doesn't compromise the caliber of work that is being done, I don't mind the expectations falling a little shorter so that it's fair all the way around.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Amazing how time flies...

So my one year anniversary of the store being open is next month! I can't believe it's already here - and yet at the same time, I feel like I've done this my whole life. I'm planning a huge "Thank You" celebration for the customers; rather than it being a "happy anniversary to me", it's more of a "thank you" for them. We're giving out free champagne, wine, and food. How fun, right? If you're local and you know me in real life - shoot me a message and I'll tell you when it is so you too can partake in the fun!

A year ago, I didn't think the store would ever be complete; from the painters not showing up - to the racks not being finished - to the health department not being clear on my requirements and springing last minute expensive plumbing requirements, it was pretty stressful. It was fun, but really stressful; at the same time, what an incredible learning experience! I could build another store with my eyes closed.

And dare I say....that just might happen?

Monday, September 27, 2010

Whatsa happenin' stuff...?

It's been a few days since I posted; it's funny, sometimes I feel like my mind is a sieve. I have all these great things I want to blog about - and then they completely slip my mind. How great could they have been, right? Clearly, if I can't hang onto them in my head for a day or two - then certainly they can't be that noteworthy.

Sort of like this wine I'm drinking. Dare I say - terrible. It's a wine that a producer out in California would like me to carry if they can get distribution. They sent me 4 different varietals - and this is my first try. Let's hope at least one of the other three is better than this one. Ugh.

So let's see. I've got a few tidbits retained that I can share with you. And they go like this:

1. With the good - there is the bad. I saw two movies over the weekend - not at the theatre, but at home. The first one was "The Hurt Locker". Definitely a great movie....though, truthfully not sure why that was the name of the movie as a whole. I could've come up with better names but clearly I'm not the Academy Award winner in the room, so.... we'll leave it at that. The other movie was...well, let's just say that it has officially knocked "Eye of the Beholder" out of the spot of being the worst movie ever. It's called "Moon", with Kevin Spacey and Sam Rockwell. It was nothing short of awful. The premise seemed pretty cool.... but it fell beyond flat. It was horrible actually! Do yourself a favor, and don't ever see it. You can't get that 90 minutes of your life back....

2. Who wants to be on Food TV? I do! They (being Food TV, that is) added a last minute audition spot for "The Next Food Network Star" here in Boston and so I figured "what the heck?" and I went. Rumor has it that the cast is pretty much set - there are only a few spots left open for contestants so I knew that my chances were pretty much slim to none. But I went anyway - and it was really sort of fun. I mean, you go with no expectations - and you hope for the best. We're supposed to hear if we're wanted for an on-camera audition, and I'm not holding my breath. I'm sure they're looking for someone with a better culinary background, but it was fun to try anyway. There's a high about auditioning, and truly - that's probably the last one I'll be going on.

3. So, it looks like we may be moving. No place far - we're staying in the same town we're in - great school system, good friends, fantastic commuting location. But there are different things we need in in a house, and neighborhood. Our house officially went on the market today. Woohoo! Now if we can only find a house we like....

There's probably more...but I'll wait until another day. Besides, if I say it all today - whatever will I have to share tomorrow?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

He's a funny little man.....

So, here's a name for you: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

I have to tell you, I laugh every time he gets our media's attention. He is one of the funniest people I've ever seen. Truly. I think it's hysterical how he sort of just runs at the mouth, saying anything to anyone who will give him the time of day. And what's so sad is that our press sops it up like drippings off Thanksgiving turkey.

Did you know that he's going to plan a terrorist conference "next year" no less (how's that for urgency) on who the "real" purpetrators of 9/11 were. (Here's a spoiler for you - he thinks the American government did it. Clearly, he's a carrying card member of the crazy club.)

You want a good laugh - read some of his speeches, or watch some of his clips.
Seriously - he's a freaking riot.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Nobody puts baby in the corner....

So, I'm watching "Dancing with the Stars", which I've never really watched from opening episode through to finale - and I'm rather enjoying it right now.

I have to say - when I see Jennifer Grey, it blows me away. She looks nothing like she used to! If it wasn't for the twinkle in her eyes, one would never know that it was her. I just dont' understand how someone can alter their face so dramatically. And the funny thing is that she looks good in photographs, but on the show - not so much. Her skin looks... waxen almost.

I think she gets the sympathy vote for this round, because of the whole "Patrick Swayze/Dirty Dancing" connection; and she can definitely dance. But will she take it all....?

Only time will tell.....

Monday, September 20, 2010

Monday Mashup....

1. Music keeps me tapping my, we all know how much I love, love, love music. Well - I discontinued my Sirius in the car, and activated it for the business. I am beyond excited because it's so hard to keep up with Ipod playlists and preventing it all from sounding so stale. Now, I can have any music that fits my mood! It's like Burger King - I can have it my way!

2. Wicked Good! Anyone see the play Wicked? I've heard great things about it, and even better is that G has become friends with someone in production who may give us tickets to see the show.

3. I'd take a loss to anyone....and I mean ANYONE, except for those blowhards the Jets. Watching Rex Ryan yesterday, I think I threw up in my mouth a little. So frustrating to watch because they didn't have to lose that game. I think it was a bad choice if the main motivation was to make Randy Moss feel the love....

Thursday, September 16, 2010

It's the end of the world as we know it..

Okay, so maybe it's not quite that dramatic.

But today is my last day in the.. *ahem* 30's.

Truthfully, I'm sure I'll wake up tomorrow and will feel exactly the same as I felt today....which is exactly the way I felt 10 years ago. Actually I feel better now than I did back then if I think about it. I'm healthier, more fit...more comfortable in my own skin. I think I've actually always been comfortable in my own skin, but I think the difference is today I am okay with growing older and embracing it; whereas maybe in my 20s the thought of turning 40 seemed a little more frightening. Amazing how relative perspective is.... today 40 is the new 20.

I have to say today was not one of the best days in my life. Interestingly enough, last year wasn't so great this day either if I recall. I do believe on my birthday actually - the painter who was supposed to have completed the store quit the job....and it seemed like the opening of the shop was never going to happen. Must be something cyclical to the date...either that, or the moon is in retrograde or something because it seems like everything was off kilter today. I'm looking forward for the day ending and for tomorrow to begin.

Because tomorrow, is the first day of my 40's.
And this girl is going to embrace it - and enjoy every moment of it!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Free your mind...and the rest will follow.

Creativity is maximized when you're living in the moment.

Successful people replace the words "wish", "should" and "try" with "I will."

Breathe deeply and appreciate the moment.

Jealousy works the opposite of the way you want it to; so don't waste the emotion.

Your outlook on life is a direct reflection of how much you like yourself.

Friends are more important than money.

Life is full of setbacks.

Do one thing each day that scares you.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


Somehow, G managed to surprise me for my big "40". It's not officially until Friday, but he kept hyping up a big present he had planned for me on the 18th of September, and "not to make any plans" for that day.....when in reality, he had a huge surprise party planned for me last night!
I wasn't just surprised...I was shocked. Stunned. Never saw it coming - not even a little.

Everyone from my best girlfriend in the world whom I never get to my fabulous girlfriends (aka the "Aunties"), all our family -- even my Dad who flew in yesterday morning. (that's him peeking in the background.)

I don't have any photos of the actual surprise - these are just a few from my camera once the shock wore off. Definitely was a fabulous way to start this new year in my life. G's right, he keeps saying I had a tough year -- and you know what, he's right - I did. So this was without doubt a step in the right direction for change in the best way.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

"Let's roll..." Todd Beamer

Hard to believe yet another year has gone by since the tragedy of 9/11.

It's true that time heals all wounds; it's not nearly as raw of a remembrance as it was even just a few years ago. But it still has an awing impact on me, whenever I see footage of that morning. It takes my breath away every time.

Fortunately, the American spirit is strong and we bounced back far quicker than I think the perpetrators of our innocence that day had planned on. Though we easily divide on topics and people that govern our country, we always unite when others prey upon us.

I am proud to be an American; and I know that I'm fortunate and blessed to have been born here with all the freedoms and liberties that come with it.

I thought this was a little less than traditional but certainly appropo video to share for today. Budweiser, though no longer an American company - will always stand for Americana and tradition. This commerical which aired only once, was a lovely and simple tribute that I thought everyone might enjoy.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Stand up to Cancer...

I just got through watching the "Stand up for Cancer" special on television. I didn't even know there was going to be a special like that on. It's so difficult to watch - at the same time, there are some success stories that are worth watching, and it gives you some hope.

There are so many amazing advances that are happening in the world of oncology; fortunately, I know many survivors! At the same time, I've also lost many.....

Yesterday was 4 months of my Mother's passing. The day itself wasn't difficult; what can be difficult at times is when someone asks how she's doing. Maybe a kind customer who remembers her at the store....or someone I haven't seen in a while. I'm used to it, but at the same time, it is sort of like a soft kick. You know what the hardest part is? Seeing photographs of her from prior to her diagnosis....she looked great. And then remembering her the last day I saw her, when she still looked good considering.....but......well, we all know how that went.

Anyway, I've always been a supporter of the Jimmy Fund and Dana Farber - long before my Mom was sick. I do all that I can to contribute to any organization that is about finding cures for the cancers that are infiltrating and killing us all.

I hope that you do the same....

Post Script: 10:10 pm, and I'm now watching Barbara Walters and a special on Progeria, with three little girls who are diagnosed with this aging disorder. Why I do this to myself, is beyond me - because let me tell you, it's gutwrenching.

There is nothing as heartbreaking, but yet inspiring - as the innocent and gallant bravery of children.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Pahk the Cahr in Bahstan Yahd....

So, I'm watching the making of "The Town", which looks like it's going to be pretty good.

But I have to tell you, if there's one accent people shouldn't attempt - it's a Boston accent. So very few get it right.
Even Ben Affleck who lived here for a while can't quite get it down; he sounds more of a native Bostonian during his interviews than in the film, which is odd.

We don't really sound like those horrible fake accents; we don't speak quite so flatly.
I don't have the accent any more, at least not on a regular basis. But it comes out from time to time - especially if I'm really happy or excited about something.

Because then, you know - I'd be wicked psyched.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

I drive really slow in the ultra-fast lane,while people behind me are going insane...

Dear Mr. Ignorant Mercedes Driver,

Thank you ever so much for boxing me into my parking spot this morning. As you saw me try to squeeze between our cars to get to my driver door, once you realized that I couldn't and had to walk behind your car to get into mine - one would think that might be a tip off to back your car up. Especially since you had your door open and your leg sticking out so that I had to walk around you into oncoming traffic, that would've been the least you could do.

Oh no though; you thought it best to leave your vehicle - keeping me so tightly boxed in my parking spot that I couldn't move out of it. Yes, I know that it would've killed you to move into the parking space one ahead of me because then you wouldn't have been directly in front of Starbucks; you felt it far more important to be in half a parking space so that you could run in and get what I am convinced was probably a caramel mocchiato frappucino or something equally fou fou.

Yes, you little girly man are the epitome of what I've learned to expect from those who drive these cars; you continue to carry the torch for every person who thinks that it's not just a car - it's an entitlement. I hope to God I see you again tomorrow... I won't be quite so nice as to just look at you in amazement.

I've got one word for you buddy....and it's from a Denis Leary song.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Nothing stands between us here....And I won’t be denied...

If you're a stalker in today's society -- boy, do you have it made.
With just a tidbit of a person's information, something as basic as their name - you can find out so much information about them. It's disgustingly frightening.

Even more frightening - most of the information is free.

It's a crazy scary world - and with the internet and all the good it brings, there's also the bad. The world is too small for unsavory characters to be able to infiltrate into the lives of the innocent.

All the more reason why I won't allow my children to dabble in the social media networks of the world.

Personally, I hope these sites self destruct before my kids are at an age to have even any glimmer of interest.

Monday, September 06, 2010

May flowers always line your path and sunshine light your day.

I don't think this weekend could've been any more beautiful.
This whole summer is one that I am just not ready to see go. Usually we have such wishy washy summers that I can't wait for fall, because I'm typically so disappointed with the lousy summer weather. But not this year.....

Saturday was a gorgeous day, and we spent it at the Topsfield Fairgrounds Arts & Crafts festival where I found some great new artisan food lines for the store - and some deliciously good home made soaps for moi! Peppermint is my favorite at the moment... love, love, love it!

Sunday, we went to Goose Rocks Beach in Kennebunkport for the day. It was a perfectly beautiful day at the beach - and lots of kids around. The football game that was had was so much fun - and for me, it was great to see my son get to play with a really large group of kids. Usually there's three or 4 - but there were about 11 kids, ranging in age from 7 to 14 and they all got along so well. Princess Petunia alas, as always - the only girl - but fortunately had a few little cousins who were as obsessed with playing in the sand as she was, so all was good.

And today, though I worked all day - was still just a beautiful day. I left work early and had dinner outside with family and it was the perfect way to end the long weekend.

And for once, this girl is truly not ready for the Harvest season....

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Goodbye Earl....

I knew he was going to be a dud. For us anyway...
Listen, we live in New England; we don't get hurricanes -- we get snow storms. can never believe the hype.

Last night, I went out with three of my girlfriends for dinner and had so much fun! I very rarely go out because life is just too hectic right now, and so it was really great to get out and just laugh -- alot. We went right from work too, so the best part was - home before 9pm, and not completely exhausted today... yippee!

I had really anticipated a quiet and sleepy rainy day today with the kiddies; instead, we've got a gloriously beautifuly day and so I think we're going to go to one of the largest fairs in MA for this weekend. How can we not? Besides, I've not been to yoga since before vacation -and I'll be starting back this week, so why not over indulge just a little more with yummy fair food? Sure it's horrible for me, but what the heck.

However you spend your day today, enjoy! May the sun be shining, and your heart happy - and enjoy.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Kindness of a Stranger, Pt.2

Last year, I wrote a post about the kindess of a stranger who took a liking to watching myself & my daughter eating dinner at a Chinese restaurant during one of our "girl's nights" - and paid for our dinner. Anonymously, quietly and with no strings attached. (I'd link to the post yet for some reason, I can't find it. But I digress...)

When we were in Manhattan, we were having breakfast and our private food delivery person extraordinaire (not sure for the appropo, political name for waitstaff would be? I like this one far better!) took a liking to Princess Petunia - and her little stuffed animal Connie, whom I don't think I've blogged about. Let's see exhibit "C" for Connie, shall we?

So, long story short - our lovely friend at the restaurant offered to send Princess Petunia a doll that she might use to replace Connie the Cow, who clearly has been very well loved. (And well travelled, might I add...)

And you know what?
He did.

Via FedEx today to the store, our kind and thoughtful benefactor sent us a doll for Princess Petunia to love.

And, she does.

So the moral to the story is this: sometimes, there is more kindness to be found in a stranger than in those who are in our day to day lives; it doesn't take much to make another person smile -- and I don't know who came up with the theory that New Yorkers are rude. Because every single one I've ever met who are legitimately from the Big Apple - are good people.

Maybe New Yorkers & Bostonian's aren't too different after all... ?