The angels start to sing when people get together over Thanksgiving pie...at least I imagine them singing "hallelujah." Especially when this season's pies are the homiest, and most satisfying, somewhat like that rush of good feeling that comes from being warmed by a crackling fire on a cold day. There's always room for dessert.
This past week, my children and I had a pie baking marathon with my mom and best friend. FoodNetwork.com has the most delectable dessert recipes for Thanksgiving. We gave several FoodNetwork.com pies a try but the one everyone gave an "hallelujah" to was the Pumpkin Brulee Cheesecake.
My husband's favorite dessert is cheesecake. When I told him that his daughter helped make a Pumpkin Brulee Cheesecake, he sounded as excited as a little boy. Thanksgiving pies do that to us...make us feel like kids hovering over the dessert table just waiting for a slice.
My daughter's smile says it all. She was just dying to stick her finger into the warm, gooey pie. My favorite pies are the smooth and creamy ones that you add whip cream too. The Pumpkin Brulee Cheesecake was just that...heavenly "hallelujah" good.
We had a grand time making our marathon FoodNetwork.com pies! It's beginning to feel a lot like Thanksgiving. See our pie making in action here.
Wishing you fun in the kitchen baking with your family...maybe you'll say "hallelujah" to a FoodNetwork.com pie too!
Happy Thanksgiving! xx
Posts you may have missed:THIS THANKSGIVING TOAST TO SQUANTO WITH YOUR FAMILY!
This Eisenhower photo with Snoopy ran in 1998. Read what Charles Schulz says about this particular D-Day strip:
"Of all my D-Day cartoons, this Sunday page created the most interest from readers, who remarked that it was often the only reference to that momentous day of June 6, 1944, in their newspapers. Most gratifyingly, I heard from those in the picture and still with us, family members, and friends of the men talking with General Eisenhower."
The photograph itself was taken just before these men of the 101st Airborne Division parachuted into Normandy.
My great uncle, John Edward Shaughnessy, is the man at the far right in this famous picture. His children and the rest of our family are very proud to know that his service to our country was memorialized in such an iconic image that gave hope and pride to so many Americans at home.
Best known for being the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. Amelia Earhart (1897-1937) is America's most famous female pilot. Born in Atchison, Kansas on July 24th to Edwin (a lawyer) and Amy Earhart (daughter of a wealthy judge).
Amelia was eleven-years old in 1908 when she saw her first airplane. She wrote that..."It was a thing of rusty wire and wood...not at all interesting." Later in 1921, Amelia had her first flying lesson. She said, "As soon as I left the ground, I knew I myself had to fly."
Before she was lost, Amelia wrote to her husband, "I am quite aware of the hazards...I want to do it. Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failures must be but a challenge to others."
There have been many theories about Amelia's disappearance...that she was on a secret mission for the United States government to spy on Pacific islands held by the Japanese, that she was held a prisoner of the Japanese until after WWII and brought back in secret to the United States, that Amelia and her navigator, Fred Noonan, lived as a cast-aways on Nikumaroro island. No one knows for sure...the search for Amelia and Fred will continue in 2014.
1. Amelia's mother was the first woman to climb to the top of 14,110 foot high Pike's Peak in Colorado.
2. Ameila became a nurse's aide in Toronto, Ontario, Canada when she visited her sister, Muriel who was in school there. Some of the men she cared for were pilots.
3. In 1926, she was a social worker at Denison House in Boston. She taught English to immigrant children.
4. She bought her first airplane, the Canary, for her birthday. She paid for lessons and the yellow airplane with money she earned working for the Los Angeles telephone company and with money given and loaned to her by her mother and sister Muriel.
5. She helped to start a woman's pilot club called the Ninety-Nines. It was called the Ninety-Nines because it had ninety-nine founding members.
Amelia continues to inspire young girls to dream...including my daughter who chose Amelia Earhart for her "Famous American" report. Amelia said, "To enjoy doing something, to concentrate all your energy on it--that is not only the surest guarantee of its success. It is also being true to yourself."
After all, if we truly want to inspire our youth to have success, isn't that one of the best messages we can give?
|My daughter dressed up as Amelia Earhart|
My little goblins gobbled up Halloween treats from FoodNetwork.com so fast it was spooky! Little helping hands in the kitchen make the meal taste that much better...especially when the Halloween menu consists of ghostinis, hot dog mummies and vampire blood tomato soup.
At our house, we try to celebrate Halloween the whole month of October. The best parts are when the kids can participate and love what they're making. You can't go wrong with tomato soup, but when it becomes vampire tomato soup, it just has more of a bite!
These ghostinis couldn't have been easier for my daughter to make. Plus, cookie cutters make everything taste better.
My little boy loved this spooky version of one of his favorite snacks, pigs in a blanket. When I told him he was making hot dog mummies he was ready to wrap up the dogs and couldn't wait to eat them.
The spirit of Halloween can be felt in our tummies. These FoodNetwork.com recipes for kids helped to set the mood and brought many smiles with each bite.
The Halloween season is alive with color and some not so tricky treats to be enjoyed by the whole family.
Wishing you a very happy Halloween full of good things to eat. Find more ideas from FoodNetwork.com in their Halloween Section.
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Trick or Treat! Give me something good to eat! It's that time of year when we scare up delicious Halloween treats for ghouls and boys. Whether you're hosting a Halloween party or just baking with your children, you'll find the most spooktacular recipe to make at Food Network. The Spooky Halloween Recipes for Kids will give you and your children creative ideas.
My little ghoul enjoyed making these Ghastly Meringues.
Wishing you much enjoyment making spooktacular Halloween recipes. Find more ideas from Food Network in their Halloween Section.
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‘Tis the season for a scary ballet. Le Ballet de Dracula is everything the wholesome Nutcracker isn’t...scary, bloody and spooky. LakeCities Ballet Theatre’s artistic director, Kelly Lannin prepared the audience on Friday night not to get too comfortable because it was about to get scary…it was the perfect way to get into the Halloween spirit.
My daughter and I started the weekend off right with some ballet bonding time. We sat in the audience anticipating to be transported back in time to 1897 Transylvania. When the curtain opened…stage magic did the trick and we were in Romania.
The Weolas (scary bat-like animals) opened up the show crawling out with cat-like confidence using their contorted arms and legs. We are introduced to Dracula’s minion, Ratcliff (Asia Waters) who scares the Weolas away by showing a golden cross.
The ballet takes a romantic turn when daytime arrives and the town celebrates the engagement of Aurelia (Amanda Evans) and Marius (Steven Loch). This first act is happy and light. The folk dancing was delightful…especially the Maypole dance with the gypsies, Romanian dancers and villagers all weaving in and out together all in the name of love.
When Dracula arrives with his pumpkin stealer minion, the scene turns creepy. In order to claim his new bride, Dracula hypnotizes Aurelia with a mysterious pas de deux.
My daughter kept asking, “When is it going to get scary again?” The answer came when act two began with more stage magic…fog, fangs, and hissing from Dracula’s scary brides that reminded me of the Wilis in my favorite ballet, Giselle (but much more frightening).
The brides hissed as they were awakened from their sleep in Dracula’s castle. They executed haunting jetés and bourrées with one hand gracefully over their neck. Their movement had a dark and eerie feel.
Dracula rose from his coffin with a dramatic red cloak ready to bite his new bride. Just when you think she’s a goner, Marius arrives to save Aurelia and with the help of Radcliff, he stakes Dracula. With each hit of the stake, Dracula’s brides collapse and finally so does Dracula. The ending makes you wonder…are they really safe from Dracula, is he truly dead?
Thanks LakeCities Ballet! We are now in a Halloween kind of mood!
Need Halloween costume inspiration? This was one of my favorite costumes…a Dracula bride. My beautiful former student wears it well.
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Happy Birthday Sean!!
Funny Uncle, hostess with the mostess, dog lover and family man!
We called my brother Sean the morning of his birthday to send him good wishes on the way to school. My children talked non-stop (sometimes at the same time) and he was so patient. I think he would have let them keep talking all day if I let them.
Sean is the middle child which means he's empathetic and independent. He's also a really good negotiator...even with children.
I was looking up my brother's birthday personality on a site called The Secret Language (it's so fun, you have to check out). Sean's birthday report read, "Can be found with a hint of a smile on their lips and a twinkle in their eye. They like nothing more than entertaining or being entertained. This couldn't be more spot on for my brother. My children love their Uncle Sean for this reason...he's a thoughtful entertainer and also appreciates being entertained by children.
This is a picture of me and my brother at the kid table. It reminds me so much of my son and daughter having their own "coffee talk!"
My brother was a great playmate. There's a three year age difference between us. We always had fun playing together...hot wheels, Barbies, Atari, or Pac Man. I loved being his big sister...and still do.
Here we are the day of my wedding. I could not look at my brother because I knew I would cry.
Sean and my beautiful sister-in-law Jeyhan. They were high school sweethearts, a gorgeous couple and now a sweet little family.
My sister Paige and brother Sean at our cousin's wedding in San Miguel de Allende. This was one of the most fun family trips of all time.
Here we are as teenagers. We've had a lot of fun together Sean. Here's to our children having the same kind of fun growing up together.
Many happy returns Sean!
I love you!
Cozy weekend mornings in the fall are the best! It's nice to open up the windows and let in the fresh cool air. My children love to listen to the birds sing, and watch the many bunnies in our yard hop around while I make breakfast. The smell of bacon and pumpkin muffins perfume our back patio. We stay in our pajamas as long as we can.
Don't we all live for the weekends? I never want them to end. Early fall mornings are a treat for the senses.
I've made a wish list of things I want to do this fall. It's pretty simple and I'm sure it will be easy to accomplish. Cheers to autumn and may your weekends go by as slow as molasses.
1. Laugh. If we're living for the weekends, there needs to be more laughter during the work week. My fellow teacher friends shared two clips with me that gave me such a good belly laugh. Laughing is the best!
2. Watch old movies. My children are at ages now when they will watch them with me. Roman Holiday is ready for us this weekend.
3. Buy a cozy blanket. Remember building forts when you were a kid? Well, most of our blankets are used just for that. I need a movie-watching blanket for my fort on the sofa. I like this one.
4. Bake. Perfect my pumpkin muffins and make apple cider donuts.
5. Go to the State Fair of Texas. Eat fried foods (specifically the Awesome Deep Fried Nutella), check out the haunted houses and ride the farris wheel.
6. Make soup. My children like to sing Maurice Sendak's words with Carol King, "Sipping once, sipping twice, sipping chicken soup with rice." There's nothing more cozy that coming home from the cold soccer field and warming up our two little soccer players' tummies with soup.
7. Drink more chocolate chai tea. Enough said.
8. Wear navy. It compliments fall's brilliant blue sky so well. I'm loving this color for my nails.
Life's too short to be busy enjoy your fall!
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Grandparents’ Day was chosen in 1978 by President Jimmy Carter to be the Sunday after Labor Day each year. In elementary school, we celebrate the whole week long…inviting grandparents to have lunch, spend some time with their grandchild at school and maybe even read a story.
Second grade children are asked to do an interview with their grandparents, finding out three questions: What was transportation and communication like when they were little and how did they have fun with their family?
I read a captivating story to my second grade class called “When I Was Little” by Toyomi Igus that focuses on the special relationship between a little boy and his grandfather. The little boy, Noel, can’t imagine living without TVs, video games, refrigerators, and indoor plumbing. Noel is taken to another time (maybe seventy years ago) and tries to imagine what it would have been like back when his grandfather was little. What they realize is that the need for love and caring never changes.
I’ve given this assignment for years but this year, because MY daughter is in second grade, has been the most meaningful. It was so sweet to hear my daughter interview both sets of grandparents…it was funny too!
We had my husband’s parents on speaker phone and my husband would whisper a question for our daughter to ask her Nana and Pappo. “Did you chase dinosaurs? Was everything in black and white when you were little?” Nana just happened to be making cookies while we were interviewing her.
We were also delighted to hear that both sets of grandparents learned something new about each other (after forty-one years for my parents and 52 years for Derek’s parents). It was a pleasure to hear them laugh and say, “I didn’t know that about you!”
I think you’ll enjoy taking a walk back in time through several seven-year-old’s interviews with their grandparents’. Take a look at some highlights from my second grade class (and my daughter’s) interview with their grandparents:
· There were no electric windows, seat belts, or air conditioning. They had to walk, bicycle, ride the trolley or the bus. They had airplanes but most people didn’t fly…if they did, they would dress up.
· They did not have cell phones, but rotary phones. They sent letters. They had a party line which about eight other families shared so you had to make sure you answered the right calls!
· Fishing, swimming, camping, drive-in movies, playing in the woods, helped make butter, picnics, going to the A&W root beer stand for fresh watermelon, jumping rope, going to Bell Dairy for ice cream, roller skating, camping, ice skating, ice fishing, riding horses, going down to the train station and watching the trains go by, flying kites, playing cards, going to sporting events, listening to the radio, playing cowboys and Indians, playing with dolls…
We love our grandparents. They are the puzzle pieces to who we are and shape who our children become.
“What children need most are the essentials that grandparents provide in abundance. They give unconditional love, kindness, patience, humor, comfort, lessons in life. And, most importantly, cookies.” ~Rudolph Guliani
We recently returned from our week-long family vacation visiting my brother Sean and his beautiful family in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. It was just the trip to take before school starts and we have to get back into routine. The Chapel Hill/Durham/Raleigh area is truly amazing, and we had the best time. Here are a few photos of our family affair...
My brother thought it would be fun to have the kids start out their vacation with piñatas. He was right! You can tell this went over very well!
Chapel Hill smells like camp did when you were a kid...with the enormous pine trees seeping through the screened in porch.
Have you ever played cornhole? It's very addictive! I found that drinking lime-a-ritas with my sister-in-law improved my game. My son (who loves corn dogs) misunderstood the name of the game and anytime someone would make it in the hole, he'd shout "corn dog!"
One of the most beautiful day trips we took was to the Museum of Life and Science in Durham. We spent a long time observing butterflies. We loved the Magic Wings Butterfly House most of all but visiting the "into the mist" at the end was probably the highlight for the kids. Mist is mysterious and magical...it also cooled us off!
My brother's favorite hotel, The Carolina Inn is known as UNC's living room. Built in 1924, it has been compared to Washington's Mount Vernon and is a Tar Heels dream stay. It's one of those places you wish that the walls could talk. The walls do talk with the many old photographs of celebrations and milestones covered all over the inn's walls.
When my brother told my kids that they had an awesome pool we could walk to every day with a big slide and diving board they couldn't wait...neither could my sister. I think a big slide turns everybody into a kid again.
Before touring UNC we ate at Top of the Hill. The lizard chips (sliced dill pickles and jalapeno chips fried in their house beer) were a hit at our table and so was the beer. Top of the Hill is a unique restaurant that has a full-time cask-conditioned ale program that you can watch while you eat. My son waved at the men brewing and got a friendly beer-sprayed hello back! He was thrilled!
My sister Paige and her boyfriend Steven also came with endless fun. What kid wouldn't want to wear an animal mask?
My brother truly thought of everything to make sure our stay was fun-filled...board games, water balloons, toys... He even stocked the bar with Aperol to make my favorite cocktail.
The very best part of our trip was meeting my niece...smelling, squeezing and kissing her was the greatest!
Our last evening there the power went off and we played board games like hedbanz and Despicable Me Operation until it came back on. It's always those things you think would make the vacation a disaster that actually end up making it the most memorable and fun. When the lights did come back on, my sister Paige decided to braid all the girl's hair into crowns...the braided sisters!
Happy Birthday Dad!!
FIJI, up for anything, athlete and more.
Last week my family visited my brother and his family in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. We all had the pleasure of walking in my Dad's footsteps visiting the campus where he got his undergrad at UNC Chapel Hill. It is a gorgeous campus full of history and TREES!
My Dad proudly informed us that UNC was chartered in 1789 and opened its doors for students in 1795 as the nation’s first public university. UNC has earned a reputation as one of the BEST universities in the world. Holding majestic memories, he rarely goes a day without wearing Carolina blue.
You can tell from these photographs why he has a love for trees AND that he had a great time! Even before my brother and his wife moved from Texas to North Carolina, my Dad made several trips there to visit his lifelong college friends.
I dated a Phi Gamma Delta in college at the University of Alabama for a while and loved it when my Dad met the guy...they did their secret FIJI handshake!
My Dad walking my son up to his fraternity house to show him where his old room was.
My brother and my children drinking from the Old Well (the most cherished drinking fountain in North Carolina). Legend has it that drinking from the Old Well the first day of classes will bring students good luck. It was some of the sweetest water I have ever tasted.
The UNC campus trees have survived the Union army's occupation during the Civil War, hurricane winds and ice storms. They are the treasures of the campus.
My Dad took this picture of the South Building over forty years ago. It was such a good feeling to see him reminisce.
All in all, it was a never-to-be-forgotten summer — one of those summers which come seldom into any life, but leave a rich heritage of beautiful memories in their going — one of those summers which, in a fortunate combination of delightful weather, delightful friends and delightful doing, come as near to perfection as anything can come in this world. ~L.M. Montgomery, Anne's House of Dreams
A monthly care package would make Aunt Flo's visits a lot better...chocolate, tea, and tampons!
The cutest pouch to keep summer with you all year long.
This is the most beautiful pizza I've ever seen and perfect for summer.
Nails in the summer should be blue to match the pool. I've been alternating white and this gorgeous polish?
Back to school shopping will be so exciting once H&M opens their online store...it's about time!
I'm an introvert. My sister, Paige is an extrovert. She likes to mess with my hamster ball.
Hilarious! Famous book titles with a letter missing.
Summer cocktail heaven tastes like white peach basil and blueberry mojito
Bon été! xx
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Summer means birthday bonanza in our family. July is like Christmas with several birthdays in a row.
For the past two years, I've doubled the fun for my kids and combined their birthday parties. This year, I wanted to have their birthday party on MY birthday! After all, they were the very best presents that I've ever received!
After a week of rain in Texas (which is extremely rare for July) our birthday fun was rain free and HOT!
We had plenty of cheek squeezing time with babies and friends.
Pool blue cupcakes for little hands to hold.
Jumping in with friends feet first then sticking the feet right back out for hand stands.
The week before we arrived for our fifth year at Rosemary Beach, it had rained there a week straight. The Saturday we flew in, it magically stopped! Vacation weather is hit or miss...ours was luckily a hit!
I spend my spare time fantasizing about travel. There are many European cities that I'm dying to explore...but we keep returning to the family vacation that we can count on for family fun. We love LOVE Rosemary Beach!
After a month of wearing a bulging pink hard cast, my daughter finally had her arm cast cut (sawed) off just in time. We happily skipped along eager to see the emerald coast. Our first day at the beach was her seventh birthday. She kept saying that her arm felt naked and how she liked the way the ocean breeze felt on her newly repaired arm!
Everywhere you shop and eat in Rosemary you will find a book of activities for the week. Our favorite thing about Rosemary Beach is the simplicity of doing the same thing every day...wake up and eat breakfast in our house, find a little activity (storytime, children's theatre, arts and crafts) for the children, spend several hours at the beach, and come back home (stopping at the Sugar Shak first) and then get ready for dinner. It's a perfect routine for our family.
My most favorite store in the world is Pish Posh Patchouli’s where you can design your signature scent at the custom scent bar; then select soaps, lotions, perfumes galore. My little mermaid created her first perfume mixing coco mango and coconut. We think it smells like Rosemary Beach.
The day before we left, I took the kids for one last sweet treat at the Sugar Shak and the cashier was telling me that the weather for the next week would be rain, rain and more rain. I told her, "That's OK because we're going back to Texas tomorrow where it hardly ever rains." The cashier looked thoughtful for a moment and then said, "So that's why Texas women have such BIG hair!" Funny!!
There are many more "must see" places to hit but for our summer family vacation, Rosemary Beach is as good as it gets.
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TASTE Rosemary with these recipes from our favorite restaurants:
PARADIS MARTINI from Restaurant Paradis
Yield: 1 serving.
3 ounces Pinnacle or Pearl Pomegranate Vodka
1/2 ounce white cranberry juice
1/2 ounce peach schnapps
4 ice cubes
1 Tea Forte lavender citrus infuser
Put vodka, juice and schnapps in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a martini glass. Serve with the infuser on the side. The imbiber dips the infuser into the martini until it is flavored as desired.
Yield: About 8 servings.
4 large ripe tomatoes, (peeled, seeded, and diced)
2 shallots, minced
1 cup kalamata olives, pitted and minced
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients and set aside for 1 hour to let flavors blend.
Serve as desired.
(To serve Spinach & Gnocchi Grouper with Tomato Olive Vinaigrette as does Onano Neighborhood Cafe, sauté baby spinach leaves and potato gnocchi in browned butter and set on a plate. Add a piece of grilled grouper. Top fish with a large dollop of room-temperature Tomato Olive Vinaigrette.)
Yields: 36 pieces.
1/2 cup red wine
Sweetened Goat Cheese (recipe follows)
36 thin (3- by 1/2-inch) slices Serrano ham
Put figs in a bowl and add wine; set aside 30 minutes.
Cut off both ends of figs and create hole in the center with a large pastry tip. Fill hole with Sweetened Goat Cheese.
Wrap each fig with a slice of Serrano ham. Insert a toothpick in top. Serve on a plate sprinkled with paprika and drizzled with honey.
SWEETENED GOAT CHEESE
Yield: About 1-1/2 pounds.
1 pound cream cheese, room temperature
8 ounces goat cheese, room temperature
Tupelo honey to taste
Beat cheeses together until well blended. Add honey as desired. Refrigerate until used.
“Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.” ~Henry James
Six French inspired reads for the summer
How to dress bohemian chic this summer
This movie opens on my birthday and "I'm so excited!"
We went here on our honeymoon. It would be a dream to take the kids.
Bon été! xx
Cyndi Lauper is currently on her She’s So Unusual thirtieth anniversary tour.
She turned sixty last week and has accomplished mountains in the last thirty years, having won countless awards…Grammy (with 14 nominations), Emmy, and most recently a Tony. What an unbelievably successful career! Cyndi is the first female artist to have four top ten singles on a debut album (Girls Just Want to Have Fun, Time After Time, She Bop, and All Through the Night).
More than just a rock star…she’s a mother, wife, author of Cyndi Lauper: A Memoir, Broadway composer and philanthropist.
I really always thought Cyndi Lauper was Irish with her red hair and fiery personality. She grew up in a big Catholic Sicilian family in Queens. She had her aunts, cousins, mother and siblings in many of her videos.
I imagine her as kindred spirit. At her Dallas concert the crowd was screaming, “I love you Cyndi” and she’d say, “I love you too but don’t confuse my work with who I am, because you’ll be disappointed.” I get that but it’s easy to see she’s a good person…it radiates from the inside.
My mom used to call me her Cyndi Lauper kid because I would want to dress colorfully and uniquely. I loved the eighties bright colors/bold patterns. Now my mom says I dress my daughter like Cyndi. It’s true, I do! Her style is youthful, spunky and artistic. Fashion makes a huge impression and Cyndi’s fashion statements have always made a happy impression on me.
Girls Just Want to Have Fun is an anthem to every girl (I imagine she had her Sicilian grandmother, her many Aunts and Mother in mind too). It’s a strong anthem that resonates with EVERY girl.
Reading Cyndi’s memoir, you can almost hear her Queens accent. She’s honest and upfront about her struggles. She’s very spiritual, growing up an Italian Catholic. She says in her book that Mary and Jesus are “her secret friends who you can call on in times of trouble.” She mentions several times in her book that she has visions and dreams of Jesus and watchful angels always above her.
She didn’t do so well in school. She was better at being a “student of life” with her biggest lesson, “As you treat others, at one point in your life, whether it’s now or later, you’re going to get it back."
She compares wanting to sing to the movie “The Red Shoes" (I LOVE that movie). In the movie, red-headed ballerina, Vickie is asked by her ballet master, “Why do you want to dance” Vickie responds, “Why do you want to live?” That’s how Cyndi feels about singing. She’s lost her voice several times and was determined to get it back...she still sounds amazing!
Wednesday night in Dallas, Cyndi told stories in-between songs. It was very intimate…she brought the audience in with her storytelling. Cyndi performs for the audience, taking us in, going to each corner, stepping into the crowd…there’s no barrier and she’s totally captivating.
I kept thinking about how my parents AND my children would have enjoyed her show. She reaches every generation. My Dad would have loved to hear Cyndi talk about Ellie Greenwich who wrote “Be My Baby” and “Leader of the Pack” and how it was Ellie who knew just what to do after listening to Girls Just Want to have Fun and chanted Girls/ They want/ want to have fun. She also told Cyndi to make her Queens accent prominent…it’s who she is.
I am of the Goonie generation. I AM a Goonie! My children are Goonies now too. Whenever they hear me play Cyndi and Good Enough comes on they shout, “GOONIES!”
The 80’s music is nostalgic to me like the 60’s music is to my parents. Cyndi’s songs from thirty years ago are still relevant today.
She says, “I have always believed that music is like cooking- you take a little bit of spice from this cabinet and that cabinet and you mix it all together and see what you get.”
Cyndi has been a dedicated advocate for the gay community with her work for the True Colors Foundation and Kinky Boots musical (a true story about the power of acceptance). She recognized the rulings on DOMA and Proposition 8 during her performance at the Dallas House of Blues.
Saying, “For those of you from California, hey, congratulations! You’re married again! Now we just gotta fix the 37 other states.” Then said with seriousness, “Now, just because you can get married don’t just run out and get married… You’ll be just as miserable as the rest of us.” See it here.
Cyndi’s She’s So Unusual album doesn’t have the True Colors song on it but it had a very special significance celebrating human rights (especially last Wednesday). It was suiting that she ended the show with True Colors (without the band, just Cyndi and her dulcimer), the audience was elated.
Thank you Cyndi! The girls had fun!! xx
Money Changes Everything
Girls Just Want to Have Fun
When You Were Mine
Time After Time
All Through the Night
I'll Kiss You
He's so Unusual
Sex is in the Heel
Change of Heart
|My son says "Woo hoo" after every jump!|
Woo hoo for summertime! People are happy and everything has this warm buttery haze. It’s so inviting to cleanse in summer's golden light, breathe in the slower pace and take more pictures. The most beautiful pictures are made in the summer…especially at the beach.
My first thought of a beach vacation is finding books to fulfill my summer reading contentment. I spent several summer sleepovers at my friend, Jessica’s house. I remember one morning, Jessica tossed a book at me (because I was an early riser and she was not) and told me to read it and then she went back to sleep! The book was Gone with the Wind and yes, I read it!
I love finding a book that makes you WANT to be an early riser in the summer just so you can finish it before the kids wake up, Eleanor and Park is earlier riser material. You’ll especially enjoy it if you loved the eighties. Set in 1986 with references to all things eighties: U2, XTC, The Smiths, Cabbage Patch Kids, Swatch, Miami Vice, Esprit, trouble dolls... It made me wish for my yellow walkman and an endless supply of batteries. The eighties references made me nostalgic for a time when you finished your homework and then did whatever you wanted. If you were Eleanor and Park you would read comics, listen to Joy Division and hold hands. It’s a love story of two awkward kids that you find yourself routing for like you did for Napoleon Dynamite.
I started reading Rainbow Rowell's Eleanor and Park on Saturday, I did not want to put this love story down...I finished it the next day. One of my favorite lines was when Park's English teacher asks him why Romeo and Juliet has survived 400 years. Park responded, "Because people want to remember what it's like to be young? And in love?" I am in love with this book!
Reading Eleanor and Park I was inspired to create a summer playlist with some of the new wave bands of the eighties I loved (and still love). My playlist included: Cocteau Twins, Joy Division, Cowboy Junkies, Blondie and then Camera Obscura (they're not from the eighties). The indie pop band from Glasgow, Scottland just came out with their fifth album this month called Desire Lines. It just seems to fit nicely with that alternative eighties genre. Camera Obscura’s melodies sound timeless and I feel as if I’ve known their music as long as my favorite eighties music. Listen to a song from their new album Do it again and you'll see what I mean.
Remember being a teenager when you’d have time to paint your nails every neon color to match your Swatch watch? Bright white is so right! It’s fresh, clean and rad for summer! I’m all about the eighties!
The best use of the patio in the summer is for drinking cocktails while thumbing through glossy magazines. When I’m not drinking my favorite Prosecco cocktails, Aperol Spritz or Kir Royal I like to have a beer with my favorite cyclist...my husband. Not just any beer, but a refreshing Radler (a mixure of beer and lemon soda in a 50:50 ratio). Radler means cyclist in German and was invented on a hot summer in June 1922 when a innkeeper, Franz Xaver Kugler, found his Biergarten full of cyclists all drinking mass quantities of beer. When supplies were running low, Kugler stretched what he had by mixing the remaining beer with lemon soda saying it was a special drink for cyclists to safely ride the trail home...and a summer beer was born.
I'm stretching like Kugler did with his beer...stretching my summer and making it last by reading, listening, wearing and drinking what makes me happy. Summer should make you want to shout, woo hoo!
1. ALWAYS give great effort. This has become my Dad's signature phrase and I love hearing him say it. It always inspires me to try harder no matter what I'm doing.
2. HOW to appreciate and tell the difference between deciduous and coniferous trees. My Dad grew up in Midland, Texas (were there are no "real" trees). When he went to college at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he grew to have a love for trees and learn all about them. He likes to get up early in the morning to water his trees.
3. WHEN in doubt, get up early. My Dad used to help me study early in the morning. It's a habit that has stuck. I think most people do their best thinking early in the morning when things are fresh and your brain has rested. How about you?
4. HOW to show respect. If my Dad was ever in the company of a police officer,veteran or anybody in the service, I would hear him be so respectful, "Yes Sir Officer." He's always taught me the importance of showing respect and how it earns you respect.
5. FOLLOW through. My Dad was a coach for everything my brother and sister and I played. "Follow through" works for every sport and then some. Just thing about where you want the ball to go or where YOU want to go and...follow through!
6. THE importance of patience, optimism and holding your tongue. So many times, silence is golden. Keep a good attitude. Things will work out best when you have conversations face to face.
7. APPRECIATE the simple things in life. A bowl of ice cream is sometimes what it's all about.
8. FAMILY comes first. My Mom and Dad have always put family first. They still do and they're the best role-models for what good parenting is.
9. NOT to say "no problem" or "of(t)en." My Dad's pet-peeves have become my own. When someone says "no problem" in response to your "thank you" it is not addressing the thank you. A simple "your welcome" is much more appropriate. Shhh! Remember...the "t" in often is silent.
10. THE most important thing that I've learned from my Dad is to SMILE. You'll feel better! Just let the corner of your mouth move upward ever so slightly and you have a start on it that won't stop!
Happy Father's Day Dad! You're a good man!
This Father's Day also falls on my Mom's birthday. I'm making my Mom's favorite cake, Pineapple Upside-Down Cake. My Mom used to love when her birthday would fall on Father's Day and she could celebrate with her Dad. Sharing is caring...especially when it's cheek to cheek!
Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
Happy Father's Day Dad and Happy Birthday Mom!
In case you missed it, Ten Things I've Learned from my Mom.
Happy Birthday to my husband, Derek!!
cyclist, Alabama fan, father and more!
When I first met Derek he'd play his guitar and serenade me with the Beatles song "Her Majesty" but change it to Miss Ashley.
Miss Ashley's a pretty nice girl
But she doesn't have a lot to say
Miss Ashley's a pretty nice girl
But she changes from day to day
I wanna tell her that I love her a lot
But I gotta get a bellyfull of wine
Miss Ashley's a pretty nice girl
Someday I'm gonna make her mine
Oh, yeah, someday I'm gonna make her mine
Hook, line and sinker! I was his!
One of my favorite stories about Derek involves his love of fast cars (that he got from his Dad). When Derek was sixteen, he took his Dad's red convertible TR7 out and backed it up into another car. The damage was bad enough for Derek's Dad to chase Derek around their house while his mom and sister whipped their heads back and forth watching them run circles around the house.
Spending most of his childhood (nine years) in Rhode Island, he has a love for hockey but also mountain biking and horse riding (when he was younger)...he won a blue ribbon in a lead line class on his Aunt's horse, Okie Skip!
The past few years he's been serious about cycling and has been very successful...in the top ten of his age division in Texas. When he had the chance to talk to President George W. Bush, President Bush asked him, "Derek, do you hammer?" Yes, George! He hammers!
Derek is that funny dad that does tickle attacks and keeps the kids rolling. He also has plenty of those, "When I was little" stories that involve shoveling snow, his paper route and plenty of broken bones.
He can't stand to have attention but for one day of year I think it's suitable to have as much attention as "Her Majesty!" Happy Birthday D! xx