Thursday, July 26, 2012

Wonder Women!

It's great to have those kinds of life-long friends that you can call and say "Hey, I've heard about this cool new restaurant. Do you want to drive 2 1/2 hours to come check it out with me?" and their response is "Absolutely!"

Wonder Woman Bracelets for Amber and Kim's Birthdays!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The world loves a hero

The past few months I have been listening to my grown children talk about their excitement over the upcoming release of The Dark Knight Rises. Josh has always been a huge Batman fan, and Jenni has always been his sidekick - when she was little it was Robin, but then she found her voice and began insisting on being Batgirl or Catwoman.

I understand this excitement because I can still picture that first moment on the big screen when Christopher Reeve appeared in that red cape. It was 1978 and I was with my friends at the State Theater on main street in Henderson. My heart still beats a little faster when I see that movie today. That was my first super-hero movie, probably one of my first movies I went to without my parents.

Going to the theater has always been one of my families favorite activities. Not only because we are all obsessed with movie popcorn, but also because for a couple of hours you can just sit back and be totally entertained. If the movie's really good it can make us laugh out loud, scream or bring us to tears. We have always felt totally safe in those cushy seats in the darkened theater, until this week.

I will not use the name of the person who has violated the safety of the movie theater for all of us. I don't understand a mind that is motivated and plans to hurt others. My heart and prayers go out to all the victims and their family and friends in Aurora, Colorado. I cannot imagine the trauma and grief they are feeling. I was impressed that Christian Bale, the actor who plays Batman has visited with the victims, police and EMT workers. I am sure being there helped him, as much as it did those he visited. Even though he plays a hero on the big screen, we should remember, he is actually just a guy with a wife and kids -who loves the movies. The real heroes this week are the ones who gave their lives trying to protect those they loved, and of course the Police, EMT workers and Medical staff.

I understand there will always be evil in this world, there will always be people with mental illness and many times they will choose to carry out their criminal acts in places where people gather together. I will not pretend to know the answer on to how to prevent these tragedies. I certainly don't want to return to the wild west days where everyone needed to carry a gun for protection. I am not a gun girl, I never have been. Although we did take hunters safety in 7th grade as part of our school curriculum, and I think I made an A. My son has a carry permit, and I'm ok with that. I celebrate his right to legally have a gun, but I don't want one, and I hope he celebrates my right too. I have heard that gun sales have increased since this tragedy and that scares me a bit. I do not want people rushing out to arm themselves and not taking the time to make sure they know how to properly use and secure the weapon they purchased. This is when horrible accidents happen.

As we are reminded once again, life can change in an instant. We need to appreciate each day and never miss the chance to tell those that we love how much they mean to us!

You'll eat, you'll dance, you'll laugh @ Mangia!

Ever heard of a pop-up restaurant? I hadn't until recently, but I was instantly intrigued after hearing friends rave about a new place called Mangia. In Italian, Mangia means "eat". So I knew this was going to be good.
For those of you who are not familar, I'll share what I've learned: A pop-up restaurant is a chef and staff who do not have their own restaurant home, so they just pop up or inhabit other spaces to host dinners. Typically they have a set menu and rely on social media (facebook/twitter) and word of mouth for advertising.

Mangia, with chef Nick Pellegrino has been popping up in the Cool Cafe space on Friday and Saturday nights and serving a five course Italian feast for several months now.Typically there has been a 2-3 month wait for reservations, but they recently added some new tables and we were able to get in after only 1 month. Once I secured our table, I called and invited my best friends to join me on this foodie adventure.

We arrived at the Cool Cafe location a few minutes before 8. By day, this cafe serves southern/soul food, but when Chef Nick opens the doors on Friday and Saturday nights - the space is transformed into Mangia! Complete with white table cloths, candles, Italian music and just to top it off - the Godfather playing on the big screens in the corners of the room.

I had read that the goal was to make you feel like you were a dinner guest in a big Italian family, and I think they more than achieve that. Our waiter was very attentive and Nick visited our table many times to make sure we were happy and well fed. The food is served family style and is delicious and plentiful. I think each person at our table had a different favorite dish. Personally, my favorites were the caprese salad with homemade mozzarella, rosemary chicken and the eggplant caponata, but I tasted each dish and there was not one I did not enjoy. As the evening winds down and everyone begins to say their goodbyes, you are handed a paper bag of hot zeppole for the ride home. Now, that's an offer you can't refuse!

A big thank you to Chef Nick and team, for providing us with the backdrop to create wonderful memories with our friends, while having a fabulous dining experience

video

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Where are our priorities?

I was listening to a news story about the millions that will be spent on advertisements during the upcoming Olympic games and it made me stop and wonder how all the yearly numbers compare, so I started googling. (all numbers quoted are approximate)

Here is what I found out:
The U.S. Advertising market is expected to spend 144 Billion dollars, or more this year. The National Cancer Institutes budget is averaging about 5.2 billion. Do these numbers make anyone else gasp?

Just close your eyes and imagine redirecting even a small portion of those funds.

Wouldn't it be fabulous if this was the reality ~
  • Childhood Leukemia research sponsored by Mattel
  • Brain Tumor research sponsored by Google
  • Melanoma research sponsored by Target
  • Breast Cancer research sponsored by Victoria's Secret
  • Colon Cancer research sponsored by Macys
  • Lung Cancer research sponsored by Proctor and Gamble
  • Cervical/Ovarian cancer research sponsored by Target
  • and on and on...

We could achieve a world without cancer!


You say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one.
                                                                ~ Lennon


Do you kiss your Mama with that mouth?

I heard from a young age that words can build up or tear down, and we should be very cautious with our words. Lately, I can't help but think about this when I turn on the TV. Is anyone else appalled by the current political ads - from all sides!

I strongly dislike negative campaign ads. I don't know about the general public, but when I hear a negative campaign ad - it makes me think much less of the person behind the ad. If all you can do is tear down the other guy, then that makes me think you don't have much good happening in your camp. A negative ad is NOT going to sway my vote. 

I don't always agree with or enjoy Lewis Black, but I saw this segment and he makes a good point.

If you want my vote, do not tell me why I should not vote for the other guy - convince me of your worth and why I should respect, trust and vote for you!


I guess until November my TV will be set on TV land, and I'll be hiding lots of feeds on Facebook.


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Post it note Tuesday


This is the message I most needed to hear today. More to come on that front in the weeks to come.



Cousins...

Aren't cousins grand! In my family we are blessed with lots of cousins. Even when we go long periods of time without seeing each other, we just pick right up where we left off when we are together again. Brenda was in town this past week, and she came over to have dinner and hang out.

We had the best time catching up and playing Michael Jackson and Abba on the Wii. I think Brenda and Morgan were definitely the Wii champions of the night!

Jenni

"and though she be but little, she is fierce." ~ Shakespeare
Happy 24th Birthday, Jenni! 

I am proud of the young woman you have become. I love how independent you are, and how you respect yourself and voice your beliefs. I admire your sense of adventure, even when it scares me.




My hope and prayer for you is that you always follow your dreams and never settle for anything less than what you want. You will always and forever be our "tiny dancer"!



The what race??

Josh has always had an abundance of energy. He was a hyper infant, toddler and child. I even put him in a baby triathlon before his 2nd birthday. It's also true that we used to make him run around the house a few times to get some energy out before bath and bed when he was in elementary school.

It seems he still has energy to spare even as an adult. I had hoped that running marathons and stage races would help him quench that, but evidently it has not. So...he has signed up for "The Death Race" for 2013 in Vermont. Until then he will be training in various ways with various people to prepare him for whatever challenges he may encounter.

Josh has started a youtube channel to document his training.
Here is the first installment: http://youtu.be/t3dX1nNHzPA

4th of July

Cousins enjoying the fireworks!


We spent the 4th of July with Bryan's family and enjoyed a nice dinner out at Cheddars in Mt. Juliet. As we were leaving the restaurant the fireworks show started just across the street, so we just sat down and enjoyed the show!

Mam-ma

Lucille O'Neil Jones, a fabulous Mother, Grandmother and Great-Grandmother - Mam-ma to us! She left this earth at the age of 97 years and 11 months. We will miss your wonderful stories of days gone by. Thank you for all your love!