July 21, 2015


You know how when you find something seriously awesome and you want everyone else to share in the awesomeness? Well buckle up.

A couple of months ago I was getting ready for a road trip to visit my BFF who lives 5 hours away and decided to look up books on CD to make the long drive a bit more enjoyable. Only I kept calling it "books on tape" because I'm old and that's the only kind of book that didn't appear on the written page or my Kindle that I was familiar with. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that Amazon has an audio book division called Audible. Insert angels singing. What isn't Amazon involved in? They offer a one month free trial so I promptly signed up and searched for my first book. I wanted something light, on my "to read" list and long enough to cover both to and from BFF's house. I chose Diane von Furstenberg' s memoir, The Woman I Wanted To Be. It was a good first choice in my humble opinion. Read by the author it was a little saucy and very interesting. I wondered if it was being read to or her accent that put me in a coma-like state ... so much so that it seemed like the drive was over in a flash. I was hooked! This has made my workday commutes downright pleasurable. It's a little more money than I would have thought I'd spend ... $15 a month with a credit for a "free" book (so you're buying a book a month). I like it so much though that it's worth it. I recently purchased three extra credits for $33 because I'm going through them so fast.

In the past three months I've also listened to:
  • Trading Up by Candace Bushnell - This is the author behind Sex and the City. Light read / okay. I thought it ended abruptly.
  • The Knockoff by Katherine Kellgren - Light read / okay. A lot like The Devil Wears Prada.
  • The Accidental Empress by Alison Pataki - I love history and light romance, but it was my fascination with royals that caught my attention. This was on some summer reading lists I had perused via the inter web (blogs, etc.) so into my queue it went. Awesome! Great story, character development and well read. I walked the dog around the lake three extra times one day because I couldn't "put it down". 
  • Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll - Awesome! This one kept popping up as a recommendation and was also on summer reading lists. I went for it because it was read by the same person who did The Accidental Empress. It did not disappoint. Very Gone Girl-esque.
  • Bossypants by Tina Fey - I'm reading this now and laugh aloud constantly. My only comment is Tina tends to trail off at the end of her sentences ... speak up Tina, I'm deaf and don't want to rewind!
On my wish list:
  • The Traitor' s Wife by Alison Pataki - A fictionalized history of Benedict Arnold's wife
  • The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins - I don't know what this is about, but it seems to be on everyone's summer reading list and it's a bestseller
  • Yes Please by Amy Poehler - I have a thing for funny girls
  • Sometimes I Feel Like a Nut by Jill Kargman - I like her TV show Odd Mom Out - quirky and a little dark. Fun fact - her brother is married to Drew Barrymore!
  • A Fine Romance by Candice Bergen - What can I say, I like memoirs
  • Watch Me by Angelica Huston 
  • The Book of Joan by Melissa Rivers
  • The Children Act by Ian McEwan - I have no idea what it's about, but it keeps popping up on lists I peruse so I better see what all the fuss is about
  • Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek - I'm also a sucker for leadership/inspirational books and I am a behavioral scientist at heart ... I love to explore why people do what they do.
  • More -- The Power of Habit, Good to Great, Nudge, The Tipping Point, Daring Greatly
I have another road trip coming up so I had better start planning ... nerd looking for a 9ish hour good "read".

July 19, 2015

Summer Playlist

I've been working on the ultimate summer playlist (in my humble opinion any way). Here's what I have so far:

California Girls by The Beach Boys
Hot Fun in the Summertime by Sly & The Family Stone
Summer Breeze by Seals & Crofts
Never Going Back Again by Fleetwood Mac
Saturday in the Park by Chicago
Edge of Seventeen by Stevie Nicks
Suddenly Last Summer by The Motels
Cruel Summer by Bananarama
Take My Breath Away by Berlin
Borderline by Madonna
Walking on Sunshine by Katrina and the Waves
Mad About You by Belinda Carlisle
This is the Day by The The
Music by Madonna
Hot in Herre by Nelly
I'll be Here Awhile by 311
Rich Girl by Gwen Stefani
Island in the Sun by Weezer
Bubble Toes by Jack Johnson
I'm Yours by Jason Mraz
Crazy in Love by Beyoncé
Just Dance by Lady Gaga
Get Lucky by Daft Punk
Fancy by Iggy Azalea

New this summer:
Want to Want Me by Jason Derulo
Lean On by Major Lazer /MO
Ship to Wreck by Florence + The Machine

July 12, 2015

Iconic Wedding Dresses

Love the sketches so you can really appreciate the dress regardless of who wore it. My faves are Jackie Kennedy (1953), Grace Kelly (1956), Caroline Kennedy (1986), Jenna Bush (2008), Ivanka Trump (2009) and of course Kate Middleton (2011).

July 11, 2015

Just Beachy

I fully intended to blog about my girls trip to Madeira Beach, Florida ... over a month ago now. But honestly, I was so darned relaxed and refreshed afterward that I never got around to it.

I hadn't vacationed in Florida before aside from Disney World or as a jumping off point for a cruise. I wasn't sure what to expect and worried that I might get bored. I'm happy to report that I was anything but bored. We visited Tarpon Springs ... so many sponges, so little time. We took a dolphin watching cruise with bonus narration about the surrounding million dollar plus homes. We also found time to do a fair amount of shopping - outlet and kitschy variety. Most importantly we soaked up the sun and walked for miles on the beach and enjoyed one another's company. It was awesome.
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July 5, 2015

Jolly Green

The 4th of July has come and gone and we've enjoyed it as any other long weekend - laying low in my happy place, the kitchen. I've been busy the last couple of weeks  ... especially using the deliciou green vegetables from the crop share arrangement I joined this year. Strawberry Lemon Bread when the last of a box of strawberries started looking sad, Rhubarb Cake (forgot the baking powder but it still turned out great), Kale Pesto with my first weeks' CSA bounty, and Chicken Stir Fry (zucchini, kale, snap peas and broccoli from CSA). Yesterday I made mayo free Tuna Salad in Romaine boats (my secret ingredients are Italian dressing, anchovy paste and green pepper Tabasco), Kale & Bacon Frittata for quick work day breakfasts, Parsley-Cilantro Chimichurri for steaks we're grilling later this week, and Strawberries & Cream Scones with more sad strawberries (I added basil and topped with demerara sugar to send them over the top). For dinner tonight I made Roasted Broccoli with pine nuts & parmesan, and a Salad with a delicious dressing of lemon juice, half & half and olive oil.

I've busy outdoors too ... gardening. My mom came to help me landscape the backyard. Our back neighbor put up a beautiful wood fence but the area needed texture and color to provide visual interest.

There's over 40 plants back there but the hydrangeas were the largest at planting and have grown like crazy in 6 weeks.

I'm looking forward to my own radishes, lettuce and arugula.
And in the front ... my peonies bloomed for the first time since I planted them three years ago!