April 17, 2014

Home-Cooked Sundays

Since I really didn't go into the "Home-Cooked Sundays" thing in my post about the roundtable discussion, I thought I'd share with all of you a video that Laurie and Kristin put up on The Family Cooks site about it...

I dunno, it seems like a pretty interesting concept to me. I'm gonna have to give this a shot next time I go grocery shopping. What do you think? Would you do something like this? Lemme know.

April 16, 2014

Attending A Huffington Post Roundtable Discussion...

Earlier today I had the honor to attend a roundtable discussion hosted by The Huffington Post, Rodale and Laurie David (Who for those of you that don't know is a movie producer, author, Larry David's ex-wife and an environmental activist) about the upcoming documentary Fed Up (2014), The Family Cooks & the "Home Cooked Sundays" Challenge in New York City at The Huffington Post NYC Headquarters.

Can I tell you, it was amazing (And I had no idea what to except going into this whole thing). It started off with a beautiful little offering of delicious foods from The Family Cooks cookbook (I'm serious, it was all really yummy. Like, I am still snacking on some of the Seeds of Power Granola that I took to go). 
And then we headed into a little conference room to listen to Laurie, as well as Kristin Uhrenholdt, speak about and touch upon topics from the upcoming film Fed Up (2014), the concept behind the new cookbook (ex: Learning that everyone can cook, getting your family involved in cooking, not relying on processed foods, etc) and the idea of having "Home Cooked Sundays" become part of the American way of life.

It was all extremely interesting and there were a lot of things that I personally took away that I would like to implement in my own life and daily routines. Like being more aware of and trying to cut out some processed foods and sugars. Training my brain to reach for water with meals instead of whatever other beverage is on hand. So on and so forth...

I haven't mentioned it but I've already been kinda sorta detoxing for the past few weeks -- Minus all the booze I drank over the weekend and the rich lunch Justin and I shared on Sunday. I haven't had coffee or caffeine pills in over a month, I've only been drinking water or tea with little or no natural sweeteners, I've been substituting cauliflower for rice, limited dairy in the form of Greek yogurt, etc. So listening to Laurie and Kristin speak really made me want to continue and take it a further.

But yeah, this roundtable experience was amazing and you can bet if I get invited to another I'll be there in a heartbeat.

Oh, for those of you interested here is the trailer for Fed Up (2014)...

I think it looks like a fascinating documentary and I'm very much so going to drag some people to see it after it is released May 9th (I was actually invited to an advance screening tonight but I had to go to work, so I'm kinda bummed).

What do you guys think of all of the above?

April 15, 2014

It's National Library Week (April 13th-19th) and remember...

(via: Someecards)

We do it because we love it. Yes, even me who bitches about work loves being a librarian.

April 14, 2014

Weekend Recap...

I don't know about you guys but I had a pretty sweet little weekend. It all started off Friday night with my parents taking Justin and I out for Portuguese food out -- They literately were like "Hey, wanna go out for dinner?" and I was like "Hell yes!" because I never say no to Portuguese food.

Fast forward to Saturday. I spent the day hanging out with Erin and Day shopping and then heading into New York City to attend a watch party for the Toyota Bluegrass Stakes, which was so much fun!

We had a blast all dressed up with big hats on drinking bourbon, listening to a live bluegrass band and watching the horse races at Jack Demsey's thanks to America's Best Racing-- Thank you again Dan and Victoria for inviting us!
Once the big race was done the girls and I headed over to 530 Fifth (Which if you don't know, is this amazing roof top bar with a killer view of the Empire State Building) to hang out and have a few more drinks.

We BSed, people watched and drank for a while before deciding that we should probably head back to Long Island.

Unfortunately not really we didn't make it to Penn Station on time and had sometime to kill before heading back, so we did what we had been doing all day long. Stopped at a Penn Station bar and had more drinks before heading home.

After recovering from Saturday's events Sunday morning (Surprise surprise, I woke up with a headache), Justin and I did a little food shopping and then headed to one of the little towns near us to have a little day date.

We checked out a local antique shop, where I walked too close to a picture and the framed ended up breaking. Thankfully they didn't charge me for it because it was obviously their fault for putting it where they did. We wandered around the over priced store for a little longer and then headed out to walk around the town.

We did a little window shopping, eyed up the local restaurant scene, took silly pictures next to a mural, etc.
Since it started to get a little windy we decided to go for lunch at the restaurant we had our most recent anniversary dinner at. Unfortunately when got there they informed us that they weren't actually open until 2:00pm, so we had to kill an hour.

We walked a little more and then decided to just go to the bar next to where we wanted to eat to have a few drinks. Surprisingly we had a blast at the bar because the chick bar tending was awesome.

After drinking a little more than I should have (Hey, I wasn't the one who drove), we walked next door to have lunch.
And can I tell you, lunch was amazing. We both shared a bunch of food and ate ourselves into slight food comas. It was so great. I honestly cannot wait until we go again because I flipping love this place -- I am currently trying to figure out how to get Justin back there soon.

After we finished our delicious food we went home. It was just the prefect end to a sweet little weekend.

April 12, 2014

My Newest Addiction...

Last Saturday I went to the mall with Erin because there were somethings I needed to buy (I basically dragged her to there to get Bumble & Bumble Cityswept Finishing Spray from Sephora) and while we were wandering around buying things we didn't actually need (Damn Bath & Body Works having a two for twenty-two candle sale), we ended up thirsty and in front of Teavana.
Now I don't normally go into Teavana and that really had to do with the fact that it used to be in some other random part of the mall that I didn't typically walk past -- Out of sight, out of mind kinda thing. But they've moved it since the last time I was in the mall and it's now in an area I would walk past and it is now noticeable.

So we're standing in front of Teavana debating whether or not to get some iced tea at that very moment or wait until we've finished our rounds and that is when an employee started giving us samples and we were sucked in.

An hour and almost a hundred dollars each later we walked out with a variety of loose teas and tea accessories (I bought Youthberry Wild Orange Blossom Tea and Strawberry Grapefruit Xue Long Green Tea, which are both AMAZING and I also picked up the three pounds jar of Rock Sugar -- I split it with Erin -- as well as the Teavana Perfect TeaMaker) but no iced tea -- We did go back for it later.
So almost a week has gone by and I have formed a crazy tea habit. I mean, I drank tea on the regular before walking into tea heaven but not like this. I seriously think I have a problem. I am drinking multiple cups of tea a day and I keep looking on the Teavana site plotting what teas I'm going to buy next.
I'd say I need an intervention, but I am really enjoying my newest addiction.

NOTE: This is NOT a sponsored post. I just am in love with Teavana.

April 11, 2014

This Just Pinned: Week Ninety-Seven...

Here are the highlights of my last week pinning...
(via: Cooking Classy)
(via: Inspired Design)
(via: Cocorrina)
(via: Red Lip Fantasy)
(via: Pixels)
(via: Flickr)

As always if you want to see what else I have up on Pinterest you can check out my account here.

April 10, 2014

Lisa Scottoline Q&A...

I just read a Q&A author Lisa Scottoline did about her newest novel "Keep Quiet" (Which I'm waiting to get my hands on -- All of the library's copies are out right now) that I enjoyed, so I thought I'd share it...

Jake Buckman’s relationship with his sixteen-year-old son Ryan is not an easy one, so at the urging of his loving wife, Pam, Jake goes alone to pick up Ryan at their suburban movie theater. On the way home, Ryan asks to drive on a deserted road, and Jake sees it as a chance to make a connection. However, what starts as a father-son bonding opportunity instantly turns into a nightmare. Tragedy strikes, and with Ryan’s entire future hanging in the balance, Jake is forced to make a split-second decision that plunges them both into a world of guilt and lies. Without ever meaning to, Jake and Ryan find themselves living under the crushing weight of their secret, which threatens to tear their family to shreds and ruin them all.

Where did the idea for Keep Quiet come from?
The idea for this novel was a classic what-if, which occurred to me as I was driving down a street similar to the one in the book, which is near my house. Every time I round the curve of this particular street, which has a dangerous blind curve, I think, what if somebody was here and I hit them? What if my kid were driving and my kid hit them? What would I do? What should I do? What I love about this novel is that it concerns a decision that a parent could make at any time, which raises a predicament that they never would have anticipated.

There is a big theme of choices throughout the book, why did you feel it was important to choose to take on such an moral topic of right & wrong?
I love to write about choices, because I feel that every day life contains so many of them, which turned out to be no-win. This novel’s a perfect example of that, because Jake has to make an emergency decision and he is damned if he doing damned if he doesn't.  The choice he makes can be looked at in so many ways, from a moral, legal, or ethical point of view, and that's what makes this book and so many of my standalones perfect for book clubs, because those are the choices and topics that engender the most discussion and there are no right answers.

Which character do you relate to the most in this book? Why?
I relate to all of the characters, and I think every novelist has to be able to channel each of the characters to make their position believable. That is particularly true in this novel, because Jake's position is diametrically opposed to his wife's position. The son has a different perspective, as well. This novel is really the anatomy of a decision and its aftereffects, in addition to being a family story and a crime thriller.

Were there aspects of the story that were inspired by real news stories or personal stories?
Except for the experience above, no. I never base any of my novels on news stories were actual facts, because I think that is so derivative, and like to be original.

Do you have any special rituals or traditions when you begin writing a new novel?
I have tons of rituals most of which unfortunately concern food, which is why am on a perpetual diet areas I'm always nibbling on something while I write, when there is something supposedly good for me like pistachios and almonds, where the stuff I really love, like M&Ms.  I must have Dunkin' Donuts coffee every day, extra large, and I keep the TV on all day in my office, so I have a steady stream of Hoda & Kathy Lee, the View, the Chew, Dr. Oz, Queen Latifah, and my favorite of all time, Dr. Phil.

As far as writing rituals per se, I write 2000 words a day, and I think this is really important to stick to. I like it because it gives me a goal every day, but the best thing about it is that also gives me a limit. When I hit 2000 words I get to stop working, ride a pony, or walk the dogs. Writers, like everybody else, need a way to turn work off and for some reason, I need help to give myself permission to do that, so the word count really works. I am writing two novels in year, and the 3rd book every year, which is a memoir I write with my daughter Francesa Serritella, and I have to be very disciplined to keep up that pace. But it's important to say that I don't regard this as a bad thing, or onerous in the least. On the contrary, I'm living my life’s dream. I've been writing whatever stories both fictional and nonfiction, I want to tell for the past 20 some years, and all of them are bestsellers. How lucky am I?

What advice do you have for other writers?

I have a lot of advice for writers, like any blowhard, and much of it is on my website in little videos that I made. But the bottom line is that they should just do it. I stole that from Nike and it's really true. I find that there is a behavioral way to finish a novel and that begins with routine, a word count, and a set time that you work. Even if you still work a day job, as I did for several years when I was 1st published, a new writer needs to set time aside each day to write, even if it's only 15 min.

But my real advice is softer and gentler, and it has to do with not getting in your way own way. I would tell new writers to just give it a shot and not doubt themselves, particularly women.  There are no right answers in writing, as in life, and you really just have to give it a go and keep going, and not stop until you finish the novel and they publish it. Take time to nurture yourself and your dreams. I believe they really can come true, because that is the story of my life.

April 9, 2014

Dance It Out...

I've been having a crappy past few days, so that's why I made this playlist. Lets dance!

April 8, 2014

If My Blog Was An Outfit...

Earlier I was skimming through Adventures in Mediocrity and I saw that Meghan had done a post about a week or so ago called "If My Blog Was An Outfit" (Which originated at Hairspray and High Heels as a linkup) and I just thought it was an amazing idea.

So, this is what I think my blog would look like if it was an outfit with accessories...
This outfit sums up my life (I legit live in my boyfriend jeans when I'm not working and it's nice enough out to wear them), which is why I think it is what my blog would look like in terms of clothing, makeup and accessories.

All of the information on these pieces are up on my Polyvore if you're interested in any of them.

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