Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

"People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how character is built."
-Eleanor Roosevelt

Monday, September 27, 2010

Movie Review: The Town

Since the Lil Diva had performances all weekend, Mr. Man and I decided to take in a movie.  If I left it up to his accord, he would've selected Wall Street.  Not my kind of movie. So I decided to select one with an interesting storyline and action.  The former for me, the latter for Mr. Man.

Let me just say, this movie starts with edge of your seat action, right from the very beginning.  It weaves you in and out of the dual lives Doug (played by Ben Affleck) has unexpectedly created for himself. I don't want to give too much away, but the star studded cast was amazing.  One actress who blew me away with her performance....Blake Lively.  You get so used to seeing her play Serena in Gossip Girl, you don't picture her playing anything else.  Her character, Krista, is a far cry from Serena van de Woodsen.

My rating for "The Town" is 5 Stars.  Stellar screenplay, brilliantly directed, and a must see.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

Just because you fail once, doesn't mean you're gonna fail at everything. Keep trying, hold on, and always, always, always believe in yourself, because if you don't, then who will, sweetie? So keep your head high, keep your chin up, and most importantly, keep smiling, because life's a beautiful thing and
there's so much to smile about.
-Marilyn Monroe

Monday, September 20, 2010

Thirteen Years Ago Today....

Thirteen years ago today.....on a warm, sunny, September afternoon, much like today..... I married my friend.

I remember most of my friends thought Mr. Man was an unlikely match for me.  Me being the openly friendly, silly, social, extrovert....him being the quiet, reserved, introvert.  But upon getting to know him I realized he was my anchor.  Whenever, I get overly emotional about something, he's the one to shock me back to reality, "oh come on, it's not such a big deal! It's not the end of the world!" and he's right.  And the same works out for us in optimism and funny nature has helped him when he has felt a little insecure.  His dry sense of humor always has me in stitches (I often think....he should have been British), and my way of sporadically taking everyday terms and songs and making them mean something else entirely (which he determines right away) always puts a huge smile on his face.  We really can turn to each other for anything....positive advice, a shoulder to cry on, a good laugh. What people can't openly see is the fact we both have the same goals, values, morals, and passion about life.  So on the surface we may have seemed like complete opposites, we were like two puzzle pieces that fit perfectly together.

Mr. Man, in thirteen years we have gone through so much together.  More ups than downs, thank God. We have accomplished so many goals, created a family, and built a loving home to spend our time in. Truthfully, it doesn't feel like so much time has gone by....but as they say....Time Flies When You're Having Fun!  And indeed, it has been.  Happy Anniversary!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

{Weekend Highlights}

Is it Sunday evening already?

It seems as though I jumped on a carousel ride which hasn't stopped for over 6 weeks!  Finally, it has slowed down to a non-dizzying pace.  Thankfully!  The best part is, it's been well worth it.  Now, I can begin to relax and breathe again.

This weekend highlights:

*   Lil Diva performed for the very first time with a well known production company.  She did an amazing job, and as she said "was not even one bit nervous".

*   We always mark the official end of summer with a visit to our local seafood festival.  Although this year the visit was short and sweet, we were able to dine on our tried and true favorites: Sweet Potato Seafood Crab Cakes, and calamari.
*  Hubby and I went out for an early celebratory anniversary dinner to The Melting Pot.  Funny how you can spend 3 hours there and not even notice it.  We had an amazing time and left pleasantly stuffed.

Hope everyone had a delightful weekend!  Have a great week!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

{Anthropologie Find}

Remember this?  I posted about this Flirty & Feminine top back in May....when I was creating my summer wish list.  I discovered I have an Anthropologie store located 20 minutes north of my home.  I have learned some tips from fellow bloggers like Anthropologie Girl & The Dea Diaries . One very valuable tip: Anthropologie markdown day are Tuesdays.  Seeing that I spend an average of 5 out of 7 days a week near the store due to Lil Diva's extra curricular activities, I make it a point to go into the store once a week and browse through their sale rack.

Today I went specifically looking for a dress I had my eye on...but alas there was none in sight.  But that didn't stop me from browsing and picking some dresses and skirts to try on.  As I was waiting for the clerk to open a dressing room for me I asked her if she didn't mind I browse through the return rack....and there it was! In cream, not coral.  But there nonetheless!

I scooped it up and tried it on....and it was then and there that I realized why I loved it from the start! Fun, flirty and feminine.  And the price? Regular price was $68....I snatched up this gem, which made my otherwise exhausting day, for a mere $9.95.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

Take chances, make mistakes. That's how you grow. 
Pain nourishes your courage.  
You have to fall in order to practice being brave.
- Mary Tyler Moore

Monday, September 13, 2010

Weekend Wrap-up

Three Things I Loved About This Weekend:

1} The autumn weather!  

I truly enjoyed taking a leisurely stroll along the streets of Central New Jersey just to simply enjoy the warm sun upon my face and the cool gentle breeze.

2} Wearing my MAC- The Prowl lipstick & my cheetah ballerina flats.

I thought these two were a perfect combination. I paired these with a pair of skinny jeans and a camel colored camp shirt.  The ballerina flats (which I bought on sale at for a mere $8) received a whopping 6 compliments from strangers.  I bought them as a trend piece for my wardrobe since cheetah and leopard is all the rage this season.  Since it is hard to say what will be "in" next year, I didn't want to spend loads of money on them.  I must add that they are incredibly comfortable.  I can't wait to wear them again!

 3} Happy Mail Day!

I finally received the new fall purse I purchased from ALDO a little over 2 weeks ago.  I admit, I was getting a bit worried.  The day I ordered Housh handbag, it was on a price reduction. ($19.98 from the original price of $42. I also used a coupon code so my final price was $16.98).  When I put through the order I did receive the confirmation the order was being processed, but when I visited the site a couple of hours later to show my sister, it said the bag was sold out. I learned not to get my hopes up because I was in a similar situation last year with a Calvin Klein gown I ordered which unfortunately 9 days later was notified it was no longer available.  After about a week from ordering the Aldo Housh, I pretty much succumbed to the thought the same thing had happened again since I never did receive a shipping confirmation.  Imagine my surprise when the postman came to my door with my new handbag!  It is perfect.

photos (1), (2), (3)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

A Day We'll Never Forget

September 11, 2001

A warm, Indian Summer morning....not a cloud in the sky. 
Only one word can sum up the start of that day....Perfect. 
That was until men harboring so much hatred against
Americans boarded the four ill-fated flights.
2,976 innocent lives were so brazenly taken that day.
A callous act meant to bring America to it's knees.
Instead, it proved to demonstrate to the world
what this country is all about.
We are
"The Land of the Free, Home of the Brave"
Americans banded together during the crisis & forgot about any
differences they may have had with one another.
 "United We Stand, Divided We Fall" 
Al-Qaeda was certain the attacks on 
America would fuel a divide between Americans.
They expected their attacks to be the beginning of the fall of 
The United States of America.
Instead it sparked Americans to come together in solidarity.
September 11, 2001will forever be etched in our minds
It was a day that shockingly demonstrated to us that the freedoms 
we so often take for granted
are not favorably looked upon by some.
A constant reminder, that freedom is not free.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Lovely Way to Start a Weekend!

This morning, I woke up with a start when I heard a huge thump.

Me: What was that?
Honey: Sorry, that was the flashlight.
Me: Oh.

The Man comes over and gives me a kiss goodbye.

Me: Honey, can you bring me a cupcake today?

I am a slave to Crumbs cupcakes.  Been craving one this week....  Too bad they don't have any bake shops around here, or else I would be there everyday.  Thinking of it that way....maybe it is a good thing I don't have a Crumbs nearby!

Honey: Monday, OK.  I did leave you something better than a cupcake. I'm sure you will agree.
Me: What is that?
Honey: (goes to his dresser and points at some cash) Pedicure....have fun!

The weekend is indeed off to a great start!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Slow Down & Trust the Process

Slow Down
Calm Down
Don't Worry
Don't Hurry
Trust the Process
- Alexandra Stoddard

It's funny how less than a dozen words can put your life into perspective. 

Last week, I had experienced a series of events that lead to one of those "want to scream and pull your hair out" moments.  Naturally, I didn't actually do this, but I can say, in my head, that is exactly what I felt like doing.  I wasn't feeling well (in fact, haven't been for a couple of weeks), I had a million things to do, and I was faced with an unexpected issue with regards with my child's safety.  I felt like I was the only person who was thinking logically and no one else was bothering to listen. I admit, I sat down in the middle of my bed Friday afternoon and just cried.  I felt like every little ounce of energy was expended,  I am ashamed to say, I spent the next couple of days wallowing in my self-despair.

But, being the optimist, that didn't last very long.  "Positive Me" pulled me up by the collar, brushed me off and said "You can stay here curled up in a little ball and continue your little "woe is me" charade, or you can get up, smooth your skirt out and get yourself back together again".  Of course, I picked the latter.  And it was at that precise point, after rebooting my computer and searching for calming words that I ran across the above quote.   It was truly an epiphany of sorts.  How these few simple words appeared before my eyes just at the precise moment I needed them.

I discovered once I let myself succumb to the true meanings of these words, things started to slowly fall back into place. I managed to come across the right person that made the necessary changes in order to insure my child's well being as she travels to and from school.  I sat down with my "to do" list and highlighted those things that were very important and convinced myself it is not the end of the world if the other less important things don't get done at this very moment. In making those minute tweaks, I realized some of the symptoms I was feeling started to dissipate. 

Sometimes when life has us running in circles we forget to slow down and relax.  We forget not to sweat the small stuff.  We forget that in a world riddled with inhumane individuals, there still are those who are compassionate and willing to lend a helping hand.  It is when we open our eyes from the roller coaster loop life has thrown us on, that we realize we have to take a deep breath, take a it easy, and evaluate the ride we just completed before getting on a new one.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

Once you figure out who you are and what you love about yourself, I think it all kinda falls into place.
-Jennifer Aniston

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Nothing Says Autumn.....

From the moment June rolls around, I start counting down the days...albeit the hours, till September arrives.  I am a total Fall kinda girl.  I love the brisk weather, warm sweaters, apple and pumpkin picking, rich fall colors, crunching leaves underfoot, the smell of outdoor chimineas going....Yes, anything and everything having to do with Autumn.

You know fall season has arrived when Starbucks brings back their Pumpkin Spice Latte.  I have been spending a lot of time at a Starbucks near the theater Lil Diva is currently working in, so imagine my delight when I saw the delicious fall drink on the board.

So at this very moment, while I am waiting for Lil Diva to get out of her rehearsals, I am happily sipping my Grande Non Fat Pumpkin Spice Latte at the local Starbucks.  Welcome Autumn!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Scrumptious Saturday Breakfast

Here are two little known facts about me.

1} I enjoy making homemade breakfasts for my family on the weekends.  We are all home, we are relaxing, and the day is laid rushing about.


2} I adore trying new recipes.  Lucky for me, two out of my three family members love trying new things just as much as I do. 

So when Shannon, from The Simply Luxurious Life, blogged and tweeted about trying this amazing recipe for Lemon Ricotta Pancakes, my mouth watered.  She obtained the recipe from a blog she follows, Style & Charm, (photo is from her post) which has quickly become a favorite of mine too.  As soon as I realized it was a Bobby Flay recipe, I knew this was going to be absolutely delicious.  So I took a ride to market Friday and picked up all the necessary ingredients to give this recipe a try. 

The results were amazing!  In addition to serving mine with a dusting of confectioner's sugar and fresh raspberries, I mixed the lemon curd with a touch of raspberry preserves I had in fridge.  Definitely mouth watering!

Recipe courtesy of Bobby Flay at

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes


  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • Butter, for griddle
  • 1 (11-ounce) jar prepared lemon curd
  • Fresh raspberries, for garnish
  • Confectioners' sugar, for garnish


Preheat a nonstick griddle.

Combine flour, baking powder, nutmeg, salt, and sugar in a small bowl. Whisk together the cheese, eggs, milk, lemon juice and zest in a large bowl. Whisk the flour mixture into the wet ingredients until just combined. Brush the hot griddle with butter. For each pancake, pour approximately 1/4 cup measure of the batter on the griddle and cook on both sides until light golden brown. Repeat until no batter remains.

Empty the contents of the lemon curd into a small saucepan and warm over low heat. Alternatively, remove the lid and place in a microwave oven on 50 percent power for 2 minutes, stopping after 1 minute to stir the curd. Drizzle a few tablespoons of the curd over the pancakes, top with fresh raspberries, and sprinkle with confectioners' sugar.

Friday, September 3, 2010


After having a rough week, coming across the Desiderata poem was exactly what I needed.  Although I first became familiar with this poem years ago, the words resonated through me today.  I strive everyday to live my life according to these words.  Of course, there are days when it is difficult...the world is filled with so much negativity it is easy for our spirits to take a beating.  It is at these very moments we must realize that for all the ugly we may encounter in our lives, we are presented with two times as much beauty. Whether it be a beautiful smile from a stranger, the grateful thank you from a family member or friend, or seeing that beautiful rainbow after a rain storm.

I know the problems I am encountering are not the end of the world.  I know they are issues that have resolutions.  I could allow the individuals who have put a damper on my day, or who have outrightly been vile have the better of me.  But I will not stoop down to their level.  All I have to do is have the diligence and patience to wait out the right outcome. 

Hope everyone has a lovely weekend.  And for those who have never read this beautiful poem, enjoy!


-- written by Max Ehrmann in the 1920s --

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,

and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender,

be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly;

and listen to others,

even to the dull and the ignorant;

they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons;

they are vexatious to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,

you may become vain or bitter,

for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;

it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs,

for the world is full of trickery.

But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;

many persons strive for high ideals,

and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.

Neither be cynical about love,

for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,

it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,

gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.

But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.

Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,

be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe

no less than the trees and the stars;

you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you,

no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,

whatever you conceive Him to be.

And whatever your labors and aspirations,

in the noisy confusion of life,

keep peace in your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,

it is still a beautiful world.

Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

I have an everyday religion that works for me. 
Love yourself first and everything else will fall into line.  
You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.

- Lucille Ball