I’M THANKFUL FOR…~

THANKSGIVING WEEK IS UPON US….the years are flying, ladies..hold on with both hands!

I’ve many things to be thankful for this year…but then again, I have many things to be thankful for every year…even the not so good ones.

I practice gratitude, a concept that dates as far back as the bible, where Paul instructs “In everything, give thanks.”  Buddhists also consider gratitude one of the most important dharmas for fruitful living in daily life.

Sarah Ban Breathnach, author of the book “Simple Abundance”,  ignited a million woman gratitude movement in 1995, and I’ve never looked back.

Sarah reminds us, through her work, that there is beauty and bliss in the simplest of things…

A really good cup of coffee..

A baby’s laugh..

A heavenly pair of cashmere socks..

A decadent TV show..(think Downton Abbey!)

So the first thing I am grateful for this season is that I have re-purchased Sarah’s books, (my originals are long-lost in two moves), and I am currently savoring my favorites..

“Moving On” helped me tremendously when I was selling my home of many years and downsizing…It reminded me, page after page, that there is beauty everywhere in the big AND small,  if you look for it…

(Here’s some quiet beauty I have found in my new little home….Sarah is right again!!)

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img_5121 “Romancing the Ordinary” is my other favorite…I love the ordinary moments where you see, smell, hear or taste something that just elevates your mood to joy….those are the best moments…

and they are all around us, everyday, if we look….

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The next thing I’m grateful for is another book I am loving..

It’s the latest from the brilliant writer, Alice Hoffman, whose work I’ve loved since “Practical Magic” in 1995.  “Faithful” is the story of the power of love, generosity and redemption when the world looks bleak and you are out of resources.

A timely book, indeed!

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Next is the new eight part series on PBS, called “Soundbreaking”…if you are a music fan, DO NOT MISS THIS

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It traces your favorite music back from it’s inception  to the studio, where the magic happened…what a treat to watch!

How did “Yesterday” become the classic beauty it is?  How did Phil Spector’s famous “wall of sound” come to be? How many studio musicians did it take to make “Pet Sounds”?  All the way up to today’s rap, this series is a stellar behind the scenes look at “how the soup was made”  in the studio, with the help of a few genius producers. Great series, three crowns up!!

The next thing I’m thankful for this week is a lovely body lotion I stumbled upon in a gift shop in Meredith, New Hampshire while on a retreat.  I left my own lotion home, and was looking to find something to use for a few days.

I bought this lotion, and will be ordering it on-line for years to come.

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By a company called Naked Bee, this Orange Blossom Honey lotion is a real treat.  It’s made from organic aloe and sunflower oil, honey and green and white tea, it applies like a blanket of softness, and smells INCREDIBLE!  Like an orange grove in the sun.  I put it on before bed, and the scent sends me off to dreamland, instantly erasing the stresses of the day.

Hard to feel bad when you smell so good!

I will be trying the Chai Tea, Grapefruit Blossom and  Lavender Beeswax lotions  in the future..and maybe even the Nag Champa one if I’m feeling adventurous.

https://www.nakedbee.bz

Next I’m forever grateful to Ina Garten, the fabulous Barefoot Contessa for bringing my humble cooking to the next level.  I’ve never made an Ina recipe that hasn’t  been perfectly delicious, and I doubt I ever will…she’s that good.

Here’s one of her recipes I’m making to bring to my mom for Thanksgiving…a sweet treat for a hardworking caregiver….

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Recipe here…

https://barefootcontessa.com/inas-world/chocolate-bark

Thank you, Ina, for all the books and shows.  I’m a grateful cook!

Finally, I’m grateful for my family, and my three sons, all wonderful works in progress….but this Thanksgiving, I’m most grateful for the THE most patient man in the Free World, my best date, my husband Ed….and the Bruno Mars tickets he scored for me last week didn’t’ hurt!!

Yeeeeoooww!!!!

Have a blessed Thanksgiving and treasure what’s good.  It’s all around us…~

What can YOU do…?~

Good Morning!

Have we all settled down since Tuesday?

I hope so.

I know for a fact that the sun still shines and the earth is still spinning, so it’s all good!

Last night, in honor of Veteran Day, we went to see “Hacksaw Ridge”, and I am so glad I did.

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It’s exactly what the world needs right now, but alas, the people who need it most will never see it.

Based on the true story of conscientious objector Desmond Doss, who won the Congressional Medal of Honor in WWII despite refusing to bear arms, it’s a story of two things sorely lacking in our country today.

The courage of conviction, and love of god and Country.

Desmond was a Seventh-day Adventist, a religion that forbids killing or the bearing of arms.  Yet Desmond also loved his country.

As boy after boy enlisted in WWII, he struggled with how to reconcile the two.  He couldn’t turn his back on his religion, and wouldn’t turn his back on his country.

So he became a medic and enlisted in he army as a conscientious objector, one of the nations first.

He was ostracized at best, beaten and almost court marshaled at worse, but BECAUSE he was a man with the courage of his convictions, and a religious man who valued life, he went on to single handedly save over 75 soldiers in the battle of Okinawa without firing a single shot!

Such a powerful story on two fronts.

He stayed true to who he was, because he answered only to the god he served, and he had a tremendous sense of patriotism with a desire to do the right thing.

When I look around today, I see protests that go nowhere and achieve nothing, and a large portion of our population  who want to take from our country, but never give back.

And it breaks my heart.

There was one powerful scene that caused me to weep..(thank you, Mel Gibson for ALWAYS making me cry at the movies you produce..”Passion of the Christ” and “Braveheart” come to mind.)

The scene is desperate one, as the bullets are flying and Desmond’s fellow soldiers are being slaughtered all around him. He is at a loss as to what to do, as he serves a God who does not want him to pick up a gun….he looks around at the carnage piling up and cries, “I don’t understand..What is it you want me to do??”

How many of us, who worship a god, have been there in our lives…Sometimes the challenges  we are faced with are so hard, we are ill equipped to know the way…and we look up and say “WHAT ON EARTH IS IT YOU WANT FROM ME??”

I have found many times that the answer may not come instantly, but it does come if you wait.

Desmond’s answer to his question was that he was called to use his courage and resourcefulness to rescue  the wounded but not dead soldiers left on the battle field, still under attack.

Most of those men, who would have been left for dead if not for Desmond, went on to get married, have families and live full lives.

THAT, my friends, is a great story.

Whether or not you are religious in any way, if you are a citizen of the Unites States, especially today, you need to see this film and ask yourself the question John Kennedy asked you several decades ago…

“Ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country.”

The answer to everything that ails our country today lies in that question, if you have the courage to answer it.

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In honor of Veterans Day, just for today, can you give that some thought?  And maybe find a small way to give back  to the Greatest Generation for all their sacrifice, and to the Greatest Country on Earth, for all our blessings?? Instead of focusing on what’s wrong with the country, let’s reflect on what’s right, and act accordingly!

God Bless America, thank you , and have an amazing weekend ~

Beauty, the Books and Blood Orange Bliss~

New England in Autumn is a little slice of Heaven.

The foliage, the Indian Summer weather (warm sunny days, crisp, cool nights,) and OH, the food.  I’m a sucker for anything pumpkin. You could sprinkle pumpkin spice on a pile of dirt, and I swear I’d eat it!

Cold weather clothes are terrific as well .  It’s almost as if they KNEW we would be eating too much, and made oversized knit sweaters, bulky jackets and belly hiding sweater scarfs the fashionable thing.

On to beauty….

I make a point to walk every day in the woods near my home. I just don’t want to miss a minute of the glory!

Check this out from my walk yesterday…

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It’s a breathtaking  time of year, and hard to feel anything but invigorated and alive when I’m out in nature, and that’s why I will always be a New England girl!

This week, lots of great reads were released.

So many books, so little time!

This first one I am enjoying is “Capture Your Style” by Aimee Song.

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Because the political season is in full on ugly mode, I am trying to stay away from social media sites that just bring me down… I’ve traded more Instagram for less Facebook and Twitter in the precious little time I have in my day to browse.

I find Instagram uplifting and love seeing everyone’s day through pics. This book, written by a woman with one of the largest Instagram accounts on the planet, gives some great advice about photo shooting, editing, text, content, how to capture your own style, and tell your own story in an appealing way.  She’s made a five figure income off of her Instagram account, and travels the world snapping pics, so she knows her stuff. Her advice about editing apps alone is worth the cost of the book, if you care about the quality of your photos.

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The second book, “The Bitch Is Back: Older, Wiser, and (Getting) Happier..by Cathi Hanauer is a FABULOUS read for we “femme d’un certain age.”  Chronicling some of the best women writers in their forties, fifties and sixties, these “bitches”, all bestselling authors and some of my favorites, offer unique views of modern womanhood today, but from an older and wiser perspective. Topics ranging from marriage and/or divorce, cancer, dealing with elderly parents or adult children, workplace age and sexism, highlight that we older women have a lot on our plates. Here, it’s examined with guts and gusto, and I yell  “Brava!” after each essay read.

We older women are AWESOME, aren’t we?? I want to send a Virtual  Crown to each of the contributors….it’s a terrific read.

Finally, last night in Boston, I had the best martini I’ve ever had.  And people who know me know that I make a mean martini.  It was a blood orange martini, but like no other.  One sip, and I was transported to Sicily, to the sun drenched blood orange groves.  HEAVEN!

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I have made blood orange martinis before, but nothing tasted this good.  I asked the bartender, who kindly told me the secret.  They make it with a few tablespoons of this blood orange purée, imported from Napa Valley.

You can buy it online here. https://www.perfectpuree.com/product/blood-orange-concentrate/

along  with several other flavors like Meyer Lemon and Caramelized Pineapple, (have MERCY!) which I am eager to try next.

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Whatever you view, read, savor or drink, do something nice for a stranger, and have a lovely week ahead~

POLITICS AND PUMPKINS, POLISH AND POUTS ~

Are you ready to toss your TV out the window?

Rip your phone off wall and throw it out? (If you’re ancient, and still HAVE a landline…)

If you answered “yup,” chances are it’s election season, and never has their been one as polarizing and difficult as this one!

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People who know me know I am passionate about politics.  I do not discuss politics on this site, however, as it’s suppose to be a fun and uplifting place to come.  Politics, at least today’s version, has become a blood sport, pitting family members against each other, as well as friends and co-workers.

So, with help from fellow blogger Shannon Abels, I’ve devised what I think are some solid guidelines to get you through the next few months without losing your mind..

1. Seek out the truth

Often the important issues can’t be summarized in a tweet or news clip.  It takes time and patience and more than just skimming the headlines for you to learn the truth.  Especially with today’s media being, shall we say, agenda’d on both sides.  Be sure you are seeking out reputable sources, and just shut off CNN and FOX New altogether.

2. Converse to gain understanding.

The other day, I had a long political conversation with a Starbucks manager, in her mid-forties.  She was Black, Gay and adopted.  Listening to her, I was able to ascertain why she is voting the way she is, and, even though she and I are not in agreement about a lot of things, I now understand at least where her fears lie, and why she is voting the way she is.  We each have or own things that are really important to us, and no one candidate solves them all. Having civil conversation allows us to at least gain a better understanding of each other.

3. Determine if you have a willing audience for discussion

Nothing appalls me more, from either side, than a  person ASSUMING that everyone thinks like they do. They are the ones who will say at a dinner party “can you imagine the idiots voting for —- and how stupid can you be?” Facebook is different, because you know your audience and can control the privacy settings. But out in public, well, you’ve heard the saying “never assume…It makes an ASS out of U and ME!”  And just because a person lives in a heavily red or heavily blue state, does not mean they don’t think for themselves and follow the majority.

4. Seek depth, not soundbites

Soundbites lack context, but time is valuable: therefore, that is often all we hear or see. Please  be aware that there is always more to the story.

5. Watch or listen to debates

Sometimes, even the greatest pundits can’t cover up the lack of knowledge of a subject, or the extreme ideas or opinions of a candidate.  Truth speaks as candidates debate.

6. Seek out quality information, but less of it.

Read a paper or two, and limit yourself to about 15 minutes a night of political news from as unbiased a source as you can find…hard, I know.  After that, take a deep breath, and shift your focus.

It’s going to be a loooooong season.  Pace yourself, become an EDUCATED voter, then do your civic duty and VOTE!

Pumpkin is up next!

I found what looks to be a delightful recipe for pumpkin brioche in this months edition of  one of my favorite magazines, Victoria..

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This will be a perfect accompaniment to my Bouef Carbonadde recipe ….

http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Classic-Beef-Beer-Stew

It appears to take most of the day to make, but since I am having  guests tonite, I will attempt to make the effort and report back next time!  You can see the above photo, and my “finished product” side by side, and decide for yourself!  The recipe can be found on Victoriamagazine.com

Polish time!  You ladies know about my obsession with nail polish by now, and particularly about Smith and Cult nail polish.  Great wear, easy application with a super flat brush, and THE.BEST.COLORS…

These are the three I love this season…The first is called  “1976” (because it reminded the color chemist of her moms rose gold lame dress from the disco days…I was there in ’76, and Yup! They got it right! )

My other two seasonal favorites are called “Darjeeling Darling”, a gorgeous Autumn green, and “Dark Like Me,” and lovely burgundy.

Buy them at Newman Marcus or here ….http://www.smithandcult.com/nailed-lacquer.html

 

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Pouts!!…Have you seen the new seasonal trend in lip color?  Dark as the night, matted and in your face…(or at least on your lips!)

The new shades are gorgeous…deep plums, blues, violets..colors we’ve never seen on lips..

The problem is, they look AMAZING on young girls, but not so much on “we of the older and wiser generation”..

So I did a little research and found just the one.  By Urban Decay, this line blew me away with color…

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But putting them on my lips was waaaay tooo Bella Lugosi-esque!  Barnabus Collins would dig it, but my family would have been horrified.

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So I settled for one from the Urban Decay line called “Seismic”, that had all the pigment and color of the deep, lovely violet, but with none of the matte, and it was delightfully moisterizer  to boot!

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So now you can talk politics without getting tarred and feathered, bake a delicious pumpkin brioche, have beautifully colored nails AND wear the dark lip trend without being embalmed first!

And you thought you were just reading some little blog post…

 

Have a fantastic Columbus Day Weekend, and Wear Your Crowns! ~

 

 

 

 

 

 

CLEAR THE WEEKEND….~

I’VE BEEN A VORACIOUS READER SINCE THE “NANCY DREW” DAYS.  I’M HAPPIEST  WHEN I’M LOST IN A BOOK.

I ENJOY BIOGRAPHIES MOST BECAUSE  I’M ENDLESSLY FASCINATED BY HOW PEOPLE NAVIGATE THE JOURNEYS OF LIFE.

IN MY FIFTY PLUS YEARS OF READING, HOWEVER,  IVE NEVER READ ANYTHING LIKE THIS….

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JUST PUBLISHED, “LOVE WARRIOR”, BY GLENNON DOYLE MELTON WILL BLOW THE LID OFF WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A MODERN DAY WIFE, MOTHER AND WOMAN.  IF “EAT PRAY LOVE” SPOKE TO YOU, “LOVE WARRIOR” WILL HAUNT YOUR DREAMS….

EVEN BEFORE OPRAH SWOOPED DOWN AND MADE IT HER BOOKCLUB PICK OF THE SEASON, I HAD READ THE BUZZ FROM AUTHORS I ADMIRE LIKE BRENE BROWN, ELIZABETH GILBERT, CHRIS NOTHRUP AND MARIANNE WILLIAMSON. THEY RAVED, AND THEY WERE RIGHT.

YOU WILL BE HARD PRESSED TO READ A MORE HONEST BOOK.  I COULD EASILY HAVE READ IT IN A SITTING, BUT SEVERAL TIMES I HAD TO PUT IT DOWN TO ABSORB THE WORDS.   I’VE SAID THOSE WORDS. I’VE HAD THOSE THOUGHTS…WE ALL HAVE IF WE ARE HONEST.  FINALLY, A WOMAN IS SPEAKING THE TRUTH ABOUT HOW HARD IT CAN BE TO WEAR ALL THE HATS, HOW FULFILLING AND DESPERATE, ALL AT THE SAME TIME.

READ THIS BOOK IN PIECES, AS SHE MOVES THROUGH THE STAGES OF HER LIFE. BEGINNING WITH HER BULIMIC CHILDHOOD, THROUGH THE DRUG FUELED COLLEGE YEARS, TO MARRIAGE, MOTHERHOOD , SEPARATION, SINGLE PARENTING, RECONCILIATION AND FORGIVENESS, SHE BARES IS ALL WITH SUCH INSIGHT AND HONESTY, NOTHING IS SPARED.  ULTIMATELY, JUST AS THE BOOK WAS GOING TO PRINT, SHE ANNOUNCED SHE AND HER HUSBAND ARE DIVORCING. YOU WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO SAY THEY DIDNT TRY.

HER WRITING IS LIKE NO OTHER, AND HER TRUTH IS HUMBLING. THIS ONE WILL DO FOR OUR GENERATION WHAT BETTY FRIEDAN’S “THE FEMININE MYSTIQUE” DID FOR OUR MOTHERS..IT WILL BE TALKED ABOUT AT BOOK CLUBS FOR YEARS TO COME, AND IT MAY CHANGE THE WAY WE THINK ABOUT OUR LIVES.

PROFOUND.

AND ON A LIGHTER NOT….

AND HAVE YOU SEEN THESE?

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BY A COMPANY CALLED “BELLA BEAT”, FINALLY A “FITBIT” WITH A LITTLE STYLE.  THIS TRACKER, ENCASED IN A LEAF SHAPED PIECE, CAN BE WORN AS A PIN, NECKLACE OR BRACELET, IN SILVER OR ROSE GOLD.  AND IT DOESNT JUST TRACK YOUR SWEATY STEPS, BUT YOUR STRESS LEVEL, MEDITATION AND SLEEP CYCLES, YOUR FERTILITY AND MORE.

BEAUTIFUL PIECES ON THEIR OWN, GET ONE NOW AS THEY ARE BACK ORDERED FOR MONTHS…

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I KNOW WHAT SANTA CAN BRING ME THIS YEAR IF HE CAN GET IT IN TIME!!

FIND OUT ALL ABOUT THEM HERE….

https://webshop.bellabeat.com/collections/all?sort_by=best-selling

 

ADJUST YOUR CROWNS, OWN AND CELEBRATE YOUR OWN STORY, AND HAVE AN AMAZING WEEKEND, OR WHAT WILL BE LEFT OF IT IF YOU OPEN THIS BOOK!~

THINGS I’M LOVING, SUMMER 2016❤️~

imageWith Memorial Day upon us, I want to share some Crown~Worthy  things that, in my humble opinion, will enhance the all too brief summer experience. Remember, I’m from Boston…our summers last about ten weeks, our winters five months. Summers are sacred in New England.

SO! Having said that, here’s my SUMMER 2016 Hall of Fame Crown~Worthy list!

I love my champagne, but I love it even more, sitting on a beach, watching the sunset.

Veuve Clicquot Rose is the perfect drink for a special sandy sunset. It’s light, like the Rose we enjoy all summer, but with a magical taste of bubbly goodness, and SO pretty🍾 . It’s hard not to smile when enjoying a glass. Treat yourself at least once this summer. You owe it to yourself!

Summer tends to play havoc with my hair, newly silver. Between the UVA rays, salt water and dry heat, delicate gray shades don’t stand a chance. White becomes yellow in no time, and not in a good way.

After a year-long search, I finally found the perfect shampoo for white, silver and platinum.

Aveda Blue Malva is a joy to use. Smells like I think Heaven would smell (if I ever get there😉), and when your hair dries, it’s bright, silver and luminescent. Not a trace of dull yellow, and it feels like silk. Highly rated online, highly recommended by me. A Crown~Worthy  find a year in the making, but not cheap. It runs about $38 per bottle, but it’s 33 ounces, so you’ll use it awhile.

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I can see a difference in my hair since using it, even in photos….

 

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Next on the list…

I searched far and wide for a summer nail color I wouldn’t get tired of. One that was neutral enough to go with everything, but not boring like most neutrals. (I will never be accused of being boring!)

I saw this on a model in a magazine and eureka! That was it, and the search was on…

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I finally found it, but it was sold out everywhere, forcing me to buy it direct from the company and pay shipping, which I was not happy about. But it’s mine, it’s on my feet and toes, and it makes me smile every time I look at it, so it’s all good!

It’s by a company called Smith and Cult, and while the names are insane, the colors are gorgeous. This green is called “Bitter Buddhist” of all things, but it’s a subtle, grayish green that reminds me of a Monet. The wear is great and, if you are into that kind of aesthetic, the bottle is gorgeous.

You can find it at Neiman Marcus, if you’re lucky, and other places online if not sold out. But I bought it direct from the company because when I finally found it, I had to have it.

Heres a cute article from the Huffington Post about the company and the crazy names of the colors..

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/17/smith-and-cult-nail-polish-line_n_5990128.html

 

Next up, a water bottle that A. Looks sleek B. Keeps your water cold FOR TWELVE HOURS IN A HOT CAR….it’s true, I tested it, and may I introduce my new favorite thing…

 

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Produced by the company S’well, these bottles are it for me!

Ranging around $35. per bottle, I’ve seen them in Starbucks and Barnes and Noble Cafes. Target sells the cheaper, smaller version of their bottle, but when it comes to water, go big or go home!
How pretty is this limited edition rose gold one….?
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Oh, and did I neglect to point out that it keeps the above referenced champagne, or any other wine, ice-cold for an outdoor picnic?  And yes, it’s keeps your hot coffee steaming all day in the cold weather, but we aren’t going THERE today.🌞

Here we have a make your own ice cream sandwich kit from Williams Sonoma. SO cute, and you can customize all day long to make the perfect sandwich. I’m famous for my ice cream sandwhich cookies for the beach parties our extended family gathers at. This makes it so much easier. Why spend your precious time on anything but being creative?

My favorite is combo is salted caramel gelato, the sandwich dipped in melted chocolate and sprinkled with crushed cashews. The options are endless and we’ve been known to use anything from pop rocks to crystallized ginger! The kit is super easy to use, and  at a $19.95 price point for three, it pays for itself in no time!

You can purchase this at Williams Sonoma in store or online.

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At last but not least, while I am a HUGE proponent of shutting off the TV and being outside as much as possible in the precious summer, here’s one hilarious show I found recently to binge watch if you have a rainy day.

Silicon Valley, an HBO comedy centered around the high-tech industry, is uproariously funny, or as one of my male friends said “freakin brilliant!”

It’s the story of a team of nerdy but brilliant computer guys naively navigating the cut throat Hi Tech industry of Silicon Valley. Having two computer engineers in the family, (how do you think I set UP this crazy blog?!), I can tell you from my sideline observation that the show is dead on, and funnier than it has a right to be! Now in its third season on HBO, it’s available for streaming. Enjoy!

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Wherever your summer takes you, whatever you eat, drink, shampoo with or watch, have a GLORIOUS SUMMER and savor each and every day, and have a Crown~Worthy Memorial Day Weekend❤️👸🏼~

THINGS I’M LOVING NOW~

Well, hello SPRING! That’s what I’m loving most, even if it WILL snow tonight. I’ll be walking the beach and picnicking in no time!

I’ve talked about this before, but about four times a year, Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra join forces to produce a free 21 day meditation challenge. The first one I did, about two years ago, changed my life. I came to realize that whatever I was lacking, or whatever I needed, was right there inside me and always had been.   I just needed to make the time to access it.   That knowledge empowered me to make major changes in the way I think and the way I look at the world, and I’m better for it.  I look forward to their challenges now, each one focusing on a different thing.

Starting Monday, they are offering a new meditation challenge centered around weight and weight loss. If you need to lose weight, I urge you to participate. You won’t be sorry. It only takes about 17 minutes a day, and after twenty one days, you will think differently about your body, I promise!!

I’ve recently lost twenty pounds, but understand that keeping it off is going to be the real challenge, so I’m ALL IN for this one!

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Just go to Oprah.com and find the above link to register. You will thank me!

The next thing I love was introduced to me when I was on my weight loss program recently. The diet, (The Fast Metabolism Diet, highly recommended,) requires that you drink half your weight in ounces of water each day. Yikes!!! For someone who doesn’t like to drink anything but coffee or wine, this was a challenge. Then I found La Croix sparkling water at my local Whole Foods, and became instantly hooked. It’s a sparking water that’s flavored with essence of natural fruits, no calories, no sodium, nothing artificial. SO REFRESHING, I can drink it all day.  With favors like coconut, cucumber mint, mango, pear, etc., you can shake it up!

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Another thing I’m loving.. The new show Vinyl on HBO is a rollicking ride through the seventies music scene. Produced by Martin Scorcese and Mick Jagger, it’s a take no prisoners story of the excess of the seventies. Sex, drugs and rock n roll as only Martin and Mick could tell it.

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And the cast??? Powerhouse Bobby Canavale soars as the coke’d up record producer Richie Finestra, with the golden ear for great music. Olivia Wilde plays his recovering wife, and GREAT PERFORMAMCES by Micks son James Jagger, Juno Temple, Andrew Dice Clay, and Ray Romano like you’ve never seen him. Hang on to your hat…especially if you remember the early seventies! When the Emmys roll around again, bet money of this!!!

Next.. After a long drab winter, it’s a bright OPI red for my nails. Nothing says Spring like Chick Flick Cherry

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And finally, I’m loving my muse, Jesse, snoozing in the sunlight of the first Spring day.

imageHave an AMAZING SPRING, and a lovely week~❤️🌷💐🌸🌹

BRAVO, DOWNTON ABBEY👏

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I came late to the party called Downton Abbey.

I didn’t even consider it til last month, when a nasty illness forced me to bed for an extended time.

I decided to rent an episode to see what the fuss was about. $90. worth of Netflix episodes and four weeks later, I had binge  watched six seasons of some of the finest TV  I’ve seen in a long time.

Almost immediately, I was transported to a world of pure bliss. Escapism at its finest. The decor, the scenery and those CLOTHES!!!🙏

While I feel the plots aren’t as epic as those of other great shows such as say,  “Mad Men” or “Breaking Bad”,  the brilliance of this show is that you come to care very much about the characters, and  are totally whisked away to another place and time. A time of all things gentle and lovely.

Feisty Dowager Crowley, played by the brilliant Maggie Smith, is a force to be reckoned with, but someone I’d love to have a tip of spirits with in another time. My kinda gal!

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As an Ex-Pat in a very English world, Countess Crawley has her husband, Lord Grantham, and the rest of the house wrapped around her pretty little finger. She KNOWS you catch more flies with honey.

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Lady Mary and Lady Edith give new depth to the words “sibling rivalry”….and yes, I did want to slap Mary many times.

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Tom, the lower class mechanic who marries into this British nest is my favorite. Sparking Irish eyes, always the mediator with wit and charm, he won me over with his decency and huge heart.

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Then there’s the overworked “downstairs staff”. All trying to just get by while taking care of the more fortunate class. Most certainly not the easiest of lives, but  they seemed to accept their collective lots and make the best of what were the times they lived in.

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It’s not often that we are treated to such a beautifully, classy piece of drama. TV today is not for the faint of heart.

So I will miss this show tremendously.  I do, however,  hold out hope that I am treated to something again, as visually lovely and well done, in my ever advancing  lifetime!

Sunday night I’ll raise a glass and watch the finale.

BRAVO, and well done Julian Fellowes, et al, and thank you for making a tough Winter a bit easier.

Better late to the party than never!

Have a lovely week, and find your escape~

 

#52SATURDAYS, AND RECOVERY REMEDY

Last week, I spent the better part in bed with Attack Of The Killer Bronchitis. 2016 hasn’t been kind in the health department! I’m soldiering on, however, and I’ve even lost 13 pounds on my supposedly health inducing diet. I’ll take it, but I don’t do well being sidelined with illness.
My Saturday photo day gave me a good excuse to get out of bed,go visit my salon, and my favorite “color whisperer”, the lovely Bridgette. I always feel better after, and got my Saturday shot to boot!

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Spending so much time in bed has some benefit. I caught up on my reading, and finished “Boys in trees”, the veeeery interesting autobiography by Carly Simon. She and Sean Connery, who knew?

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Turns out, Carly is a really good writer, and the bio is chock full of antidotes from the Seventies. From Sweet Baby James, to Warren, Paul and Linda, Mick, et al, it is an enjoyable read. Made me want to dig out my fringe vest and guitar….if I had a guitar!
See you Saturday. Who knows what I’ll capture then??

CHRISTMAS, MY WAY~

This year, The holiday season was off to a bad start. The list of “must do” and “must attend”  was getting longer than my arm. I found myself becoming cranky and annoyed as I started making the endless lists and circling dates.

“This is not how I want to spend my time”, I found myself thinking over and over….

What to do?

Then I had an epiphany….this is MY one and only life, and for decades I’ve being living it to satisfy the desires  of others. It’s time for me to design a Christmas that resembles one I would like to celebrate..

and off I went…

Instead of spending Sunday at the mall running around with sore feet and too many packages, I saw a Nordic Christmas concert advertised at a local Episcopalian church.

I’m not Episcopalian OR of Nordic Descent, but it was just lovely…!

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Then I made a tough call….to pass up one side of the family’s semi-mandatory Christmas party to go to see my parents, one who is ailing, and treat them to a weekend of high tea, laughter and reminiscing.

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Next, a small but pleasurable departure from the Season of Stress. Leaving a work obligation later than expected, I took the time to pull off the road and watch this….

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The sights and lights!

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A Christmas martini and a Sound Of Music singalong❤️

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We even squeezed in an OUTSTANDING movie….The Big Short,

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Onto Christmas Eve…

A lovely meal at a reputable Asian restaurant after a beautiful church service…where they opened the windows because it was 68 degrees! A FIRST for this fifty-seven year old!

Christmas was an elegant brunch of Brioche French Toast and Barefoot Contessa “Crack” Bacon. Crack, because you eat so much you will need bacon rehab. Here is the recipe….

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/caramelized-bacon.html

The day ended with my favorite drink by the fire…
image No stress, all JOY❤️  (And off tonite to see the movie, “JOY”, starring some of my favorite actors.)

New Years Eve next, then off to what I KNOW is going to be an extraordinary year….my way!

Have an authentic week ahead, and Happy New Year!

Make it YOURS~

2016, ANTICIPATION, ADVENTURE AND A SPACE OF MY OWN🙏

 

I’ve been thinking about 2016, an exciting year for sure.

My husband and I will be selling our big old house and downsizing. The best part is we have no idea where we are going, or what we are looking for…it’s a wide open plan we call “The Great Adventure!”

Unencumbered now by the housing needs of our sons, we can finally plant ourselves where we WANT to be, not where we NEED to be.

And I, for one, could not be more excited. Our Final Destination, after owning five places in four cities in thirty years, is all about US, and will reflect our taste, our needs, and who we are at this stage in our lives.

One thing I know for certain… having lived with four males for the past three decades, it’s MY turn. I plan on surrounding myself with beauty, nature, and my own space to create, think, nap, reflect and dream.

Here’s a perfect book I found recently. A photographer happened upon a growing women’s trend in England called “The Small Spaces Movement.”

 

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Women are carving out space for themselves in the most unusual places! Sheds! Who knew??

It’s like going back to the playhouse or treehouse of your childhood, but with electricity and in some instances, gas and plumbing!

I’m doing this for sure! I’m thinking Shabby Chic Shed, and I’m having a “NO BOYS ALLOWED” sign made for the door.😉

Also, at the start of every new year,  I like to challenge myself to take better, more interesting pictures.

To achieve this, I commit to a photo of the day, month, etc. challenge.

Here’s my post about photo diaries from January…

https://wearyourcrowns.wordpress.com/2015/01/01/62/

For the upcoming year, I’ve chosen “52 Saturdays”….the idea being to find something interesting to shoot every Saturday, no matter what, and edit and post it on a social media site for all to see.

I chose this project because for the past 25 years, I’ve worked Saturdays in one form or another, and decided this year to give myself the gift of that day off. So this challenge was a perfect fit for me.

I will be posting the photo here, on Flickr, and on Instagram, starting January 2nd. Watch for it. I promise it will be fun!

Have a lovely weekend, and get ready for 2016!~

IT’S BEGINNING TO LOOK A LOT LIKE A CROWN WORTHY CHRISTMAS ~

It’s started, whether you like it or not, the holiday shopping season.

Here are a few things I would love to see under MY tree😉

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Feather light, like a warm, soft hug for your feet, cashmere socks are the ultimate luxury. Perfect to wear in your winter boots, these by Garnet Hill are the ones to buy. 100% cashmere, no blends here. Lovely colors, and while expensive, can you put a price on pure happiness??

http://www.garnethill.com/women-27s-cashmere-socks/117684

Next, moisture is your best friend in the harsh New England winters. Your skin needs it, and your nasal passages will thank you as well, for this next gift.

How cute is this portable, aroma diffusing, warm mist humidifier that glows with soft light in the dark?

By Aliexpress.com, at a $31. price point, it’s a great grab gift or stocking stuffer for your girlfriends, or a perfect addition to a chilly college dorm room. Buy two, one for your bed, one for your office..

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The next little slice of Heaven is from UGGS.Com
Cozy yet practical, these shearling, fingerless gloves are indispensable. If you’re like me, and can’t take enough photos of the beauty in the chilly outdoors, OR if you are a teenage girl and glued to Tumbler/Tinder/IG/FB texting, tweeting, etc., etc., and on and on…😩 (look UP once in awhile…It’s a beautiful world!), I digress…..these are for you. You need to keep those busy hands warm, and what better way to do it than with these babies…UGGS really knows how to blend warmth and practicality with style. I love this color, but they come in five…pricey for $145, but then they are UGGS!!

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Next, a great book filled with three of my favorite things…Hope, Optimism and FOOD!

“MY KITCHEN YEAR, 136 Recipes that SAVED MY LIFE”, by Ruth Reichl, is part memoir, part cookbook, (a twofer!)

Ruth was the longtime editor of Gourmet Magazine, loving her job and her life. When the magazine abruptly closed, she was unprepared and lost. Each day was a challenge to rebuild and redefine herself in her midlife, a daunting task. But with a lot of courage, and a KILLER repertoire of comforting recipes, Ruth put one step in front of the other and literally cooked her way to solid ground once again.

I loved her pluck, her spirit, and her recipe for three day short ribs !!! Crown Worthy accomplishment, this book and her comeback❤️

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/my-kitchen-year-ruth-reichl/1120998970

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You need a good candle, or twelve, in the winter, and these are the best on planet Earth. I promise.  By Diptyque Paris, this Feu de Bois candle smells like a crackling fireplace in a country cottage…in the woods…with pine cones..and a glass of champagne…and your honey beside you….can you smell it now😉?? WWW.diptyqueparis.com

Not cheap, but very high quality burn and scent is indescribable. You just have to trust me.  $60. For a large candle, but much class expensive than buying a cottage in the woods!

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Finally, grab your best girlfriends, and give them a gift that will last the Winter,(and help you survive the gloom!)
Plan one night a week, buy some good wine, make some delicious apps, and watch one or two episodes of this HILARIOUS comedy!
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Easily the funniest show I’ve seen in a long time. A perfect “girls night in” show..(which also made my handsome husband laugh out loud, too many times to count), this is the story of two lifelong BFF’s who haven’t been able to count on the men in their lives, so they form their own little family when one gets pregnant. Played BRILLIANTLY by real life besties Jessica St. Clair and Lennon Parham, you would swear they don’t have a script. Supporting actor Keegan Michael-Key is the maniaclly  funny scene stealer, and ever-still-hunky, Kenny Loggins makes an appearance in the season two finale. (If you watch the series, you see this coming a mile away!)😆

Whoever and however you gift, find the beauty in life this season, and enjoy the magic.

Have a lovely, Crown Worthy weekend ~

FRENCH WOMEN HAVE GREAT PR PEOPLE…

OK, ENOUGH already about how superior French women are to every other feminine being on the planet!

Recently, I’ve noticed a glut of books on the market about how French women are perfect in every way.

Being a pseudo French woman by nationality, ( French Canadian, which means I’m REALLY imperfect by Parisian standards,) and an American by birth, I feel it’s time to knock our perfect French sisters down a few pegs….

First, the books……

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Because no other woman could ever be quite so enlightened!!

And because no one can cook quite like THEM…..They cook like this EVERYDAY!!!

imageAnd when you’re rushing out the door to get your child to school, make the board room meeting, or hit the gym (which French women also NEVER do…they are magically thin) don’t forget to be CHIC and ELEGANT! This book will help….

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And because it’s IMPOSSIBLE! to be as CHIC! and ELEGANT!  as a French women…we have a book to tell you how IMPOSSIBLE it IS!!!!!….Buy the book anyway….we need to keep French Women in expensive perfume to hide the cigarette smell…..(yes, that was catty….but true, and felt really good!)

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They have secrets to feeling beautiful EVERYDAY!!! Ooh La LA!!!!!! That’s a lotta days, sister, non?image

And of course, there are things French women NEVER, EVER, EVER, NEVER do….

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(Sure they do…)

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Also not true…..I’ve seen the French women on the Metro. This book says they eat cheese, steak, chocolate, drink red wine, and never gain weight, which leads me to wonder what the eating disorder stats are in Gay Paree!

and my personal FAVORITE….

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So French women don’t sleep alone, eh???? Ever??? I’m guessing then, that there has to be a LOT of cat hair between those 5000,000 thread count Parisian sheets!!

Spare me!

It must be very difficult to be so perfect.

But I’m guessing that, at the end of the day, French women are very similar to Italian women, American women, all women.

And I’m guessing that maybe they are getting as sick of the hype as we are. It’s brutal to be perfect!

One thing I know, for sure, about my American sisters….

We never say never!!!

Have a perfectly imperfect weekend ~

BraVO, NETFLIX!!!!👍

Back from a short but sweet vaca with a tip you MUST take….

If you don’t subscribe to Netflix, get it… Today!

Then download the 13 episodes of the new show “Grace and Frankie”. Trust me on this.

Created by Marta Kauffman, who gave us “Friends”, finally we have a stylish, sexy, yet soul-filled comedy for the over fifty crowd….and it is FABULOUS!

Starring Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin (reuniting for the first time since the smash movie 9 to 5,) Martin Sheen, Sam Waterson and a terrific supporting cast, it’s the story of Grace and Frankie.

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These two are as opposite as two women can be, but when life tosses them a BIG ONE, they become each other’s lifeline in a sad but somehow hilarious stormy sea.

Grace and Frankie were married for decades to two men who were law partners. The opening scene of the first episode sets the premise. Their husbands invite them to dinner to tell them they are gay, in love with each other and have been for 20 years, and want to get married!

What evolves from there is the most laugh out loud funny, yet poignant and intelligent show to come along in years, if ever….and with it, further testament to the incredible power of the female friendship

(A topic I blogged about recently here,

https://wearyourcrowns.wordpress.com/2015/04/24/the-ferocious-female-friendship/

and dear to my heart❤️)

The “peyote” scene, and Jane Fonda’s GORGEOUS wardrobe are worth watching alone, but Lily’s comedic genius, and scene stealer June Diane Raphael as “Brianna”, make this show the overnight hit it is.

PERFECT for Summer binge watching, (don’t you love Netflix dumping ALL episodes at once so you decide when to watch??) I guarantee you will see aging, over fifty dating, friendship and even sex in a new light.

The BEST news is that it’s was renewed almost instantly for a season two, and hopefully many, many more..

 

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Thank you, THANK YOU NETFLIX, for giving us this gem and showing to the world …WE ARENT DEAD YET!!

Have a humor-filled, joyous weekend ~

THERE ARE WORSE THINGS I KNOW, BUT………

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Sunday night we say farewell to one of the most stylish, intelligent, historically accurate television shows of our time.

Mad Men is that show, and I go into mourning at approximately 11 PM, EST. , Sunday night.

For the past seven seasons, this classy show has taken us on a journey from the late 50’s to the early 70’s, with style, flair and brilliantly written dialogue.

Dashing Don Draper, Joan, Roger, Peggy, Pete, Sally and entourage extraordinaire  have enchanted, engaged and enraged us with a superb portrayal of life in those turbulent times. Six Emmys for best drama in seven seasons to boast… it was something!

The story centers around the  mostly functioning alcoholic “Ad Men” from Sterling, Cooper, Draper, Price, Inc. The male characters started drinking by noon and took long, post lunch naps, while wheeling and dealing in the world of advertising in Manhattan. The men were unfaithful as a rule, as they worked and navigated the changing times. Their spouses dieted and chain smoked away the stifling housewife days, while the working girls fended off pre-feminism sexual advances from their “superiors”as seemlessly as they typed ad copy. All in a days work, sometimes shocking, sometimes sad and sentimental. And oh, those CLOTHES!.

The character that most intrigued me in this great drama was that of the tragic Betty Draper, Don’s beautiful, Grace Kelly-esque ex-wife and mother of his three children.

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Betty was the original “Breck Girl”. A sorority sister beauty, Bryn Mawr graduate with a degree in anthropology, who never managed to get out from under the men in her life.  First her dad, then Don, then husband number two, the politically connected, old-monied Henry….always a man to look after her, always a man to dictate what and how she should do and be. No wonder she was bitter, and as ugly inside as she was beautiful out.

For seven seasons, Betty was the portrait of an unfulfilled life, as she seethed below the surface to be seen and heard for her brain as well as her beauty. She lived her days in a sort of quiet desperation, until she finally realized in the early 70’s that women were more than just accessories to men, and she found her voice.  She discovered her spine , followed her passion, and enrolled in grad school, aiming for a master in psychology and a career outside the rose trellised fences of home. The scene where she tells Don that she is going back to school is poignant because she is absolutely radiant with possibility, and finally on the road to personhood in her own right.

We female fans said a little, “you GO, girl” at the end of the episode….

but because writer/producer Matthew Weiner could not leave well enough alone and let Betty sail off into the sunset of academia…

~SPOILER ALERT!~

in the next episode, she is diagnosed with stage four lung cancer.

Game over for Betty…

and she was just getting started.

The messages were plenty in this drama if you looked for them. This story line illuminates what I have always believed…that no one but you can make you truly happy.  You have one life.  You have to live it striving to make YOURSELF happy and fulfilled.  No one else, not children, a nice home, a large bank account or even Don Draper can do that for you.

If you chase happiness through other people’s visions and dreams, if you exist to please and make those around you happy, but forget who YOU are, you lose something really precious.  You lose yourself and your chance to live your life as only YOU were destined to.

I will greatly miss this show and its subtle lessons.

and OK, I will miss flawed, perfectly imperfect Dashing Don, too!

Sunday I will paint my nails “50’s red”, raise a Vodka Gimlet and a Pall Mall cigarette and toast the ending of a true television classic, the likes of which we won’t soon see again….I just won’t inhale.

Have a Lovely, Mad Men weekend….I promise I won’t jump ~

JUST IN TIME FOR SUMMER ~

Finally, finally!  The temps are rising and people are heading outdoors!  YIPPEE!  We in Boston have been brutalized by the historic winter passed, and are ready to get out and about.

Picnics on the beach, barbecues, dining on the porch or under the stars, we are packed and READY!

SO today I have two great things for you to enjoy….

The first, Spicy Root Beer Baked Beans, is the very best take along recipe you will ever make for a gathering.  It is easy,  portable, freezes beautifully and is TOO.DIE.FOR.DELICIOUS!

Adapted from a recipe by chef Aarti Sequoia of Food Network fame, I humbly bring you the most delicious baked beans you will ever eat….and I’m from Boston…I know baked beans!!!

These beans are spicy and sweet, with smoky bacon, ginger and an indian spice called garam masala, which make them so very delicious.

It also contains a surprise ingredient, ROOT BEER, who’s sweetness balances the heat and subtle spices beautifully.

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Don’t be put off by the garam masala if you’ve never had it.  It is nothing like the curried up pungent Indian food that some people are adverse to.  Garam masala only brings a warmth and depth to the beans without a heaviness of flavor.  Kind of like what cumin does to a chili dish.  You feel it more than you taste it.

But I digress.

Here’s what you need…Serves 8

  • 1 pound of smoky bacon, cooked and crumbled.
  • 1 large or two medium Vidalia or yellow onion, diced.
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced.
  • 4 tablespoons fresh ginger root.
  • 1 1/2 bottles, (about 18 ounces) of premium quality root beer.
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar.
  • 4 tablespoons molasses.
  • 1 tablespoon grain mustard.
  • pinch of red pepper flakes to taste.
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 2  cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained.
  • kosher salt and pepper to taste.

We start with a dutch oven, or any oven proof pot, and a 400 degree heated oven.

First you brown the smoky bacon until it’s crisp.  Remove it from the pot,  along with all but about four tablespoons of the bacon grease.  Discard the excess grease and set aside the bacon.  Next, saute the large diced yellow onion, the garlic, and the freshly grated gingeroot, until all are soft.  Then add the tomato paste and cook for about another two minutes.

The fun continues when you add one and a half bottles (about 18 ounces) of really good root beer.  Get the best root beer you can find, as it does make a difference.  To that, add the cider vinegar, molasses, grain mustard, red pepper flakes and garam masala to the pot and stir til combined.

Finally, gently stir in the beans so they don’t break apart,  add salt and pepper to taste, and heat on high to almost a boil.  (Don’t season too much here, as when the beans cook down, the flavor intensifies. You can add more after if needed.)

At this point, your beans will be soupy and you will probably want to kill me for wasting your hard earned money…..but PATIENCE.

Pop this soupy mess in the oven and bake it for about 35-45 minutes, UNCOVERED, until the mixture cooks to a thick, lovely, luscious sauce for the beans.

Let cool a bit, then sprinkle with the cooked bacon, chopped.

That’s it!

I would love to see your face when you take your first bite.

WOWIE!

I’ve taken this to many occasions, and it’s always requested again and again.

You know you have a great recipe when THAT is the one dish people remember from a meal.

This is that recipe.  Forget the perfectly grilled steaks, or juicy ribs or burgers….They will be talking about and requesting this gem of a side dish for years to come.

The next little nugget I have is a lovely book of picnic fun …The Picnic, Recipes and Inspiration from Basket to Blanket, by Marnie Hanel.

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Great, no fail picnic take along recipes, check lists, picnic games and rules, and even 99 uses for a Mason jar.  That, ALONE was worth the book.

You can buy it at Barnes and Noble or Amazon.com

Here’s wishing you many memorable days and nights under the stars, with loads of good food and people you love.  Now hurry up and get out there…Winter starts is exactly 222 days!!!! ~

 

SERENITY NOW….AND LATER, TOO ~

Yoga.

I use to envision women (and men) with long grey braids and sandles, twisting and turning into pretzels while chanting like George Harrison on a good day, inhaling patchouli incense.

Later, when it gained popularity, I thought it was only for the latte swilling, Lulumon wearing stick figure Yummy Mummys who parade into the yoga studio next to the Starbucks I frequent. They have about as much tranquil aura as a bridezilla at a buffet.  Not for me!

Then I hit a stormy period in my life, and was looking for peace and focus. One night, I walked into one of the local yoga studios, (there are now almost as many as nail salons), and my life was changed.

The class I selected was a candlelight vinyasa class, perfect for all levels. The studio was glowing and candlelit with soft music and a lavender scent. It was very warm, as it has to be because you need warm muscles, but on that 28 degree night it was perfect.

As with most yoga, when you begin the class, you set your intention for the night and you offer it up to your higher power. My intention that night was for peace, courage and patience with the direction my life was taking.

And then I began…

Over the next hour and fifteen minutes, I gently twisted and turned my way to Grace. If I couldn’t do a pose, there was absolutely NO judgement, as this class was about respecting what you and your body could do, and not a competition. Everyone came to their mat at their own level of skill, and they were turned inward to find their own strength and peace. I could have set my hair on fire and these budding yogis would not have noticed! By the time the class was over, I was a puddle of peace and would never look back.

Yoga has taught me so many things.  Patience, respect for your body, and a sense of responsibility for your walk on the Earth.  We are her for such a short time in the big picture.  It is our responsibility to live this life well, and to appreciate the gifts all around us.  Every time I hit that mat, I rise with a sense of overwhelming gratitude for my body and spirit.

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The benefits of yoga are noteworthy, and too vast to list.  Here’s a great article about 38 ways you will benefit from it.

http://www.yogajournal.com/article/health/count-yoga-38-ways-yoga-keeps-fit/

If you want to test drive yoga, without going to a class, I highly recommend this DVD.  It is primarily for stress release, and has three 20 minute sessions.  The poses are basic and not difficult, the music soothing, the instructor serene.  What’s not to love?

 

http://www.amazon.com/Everyday-Stress-Release-Nadia-Narain/dp/B00NFKF3D6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1427323879&sr=8-1&keywords=nadia+nara

Put this in the Easter Basket of someone you know who is stressed and fried.  They will surely thank you.

Namaste ~

 

CROWN WORTHY REASONS TO TAKE A BREAK FROM THE BOOK ~

 

Don’t misunderstand….I am a voracious reader.  I LOVE books.  I read all day long, in one form or other.  But I am currently working three jobs, (tax season is a grind!) and when I get home at night, sometimes my eyes are just too tired.  I need a really good glass of wine, a soft pillow and some killer TV.

I have found that it’s usually feast or famine on TV, but I’m happy to report we are FEASTING lately…

My first favorite, and THANK YOU NETFLIX for releasing it all at once so I CAN feast, is “House of Cards”.  I am addicted to this show.  Seasons one and two were electric, but season three is off the charts.  I haven’t seen TV this good since “Breaking Bad” went off  the air (I’m still in mourning!)

I am almost halfway through this wild ride of season three in as many days.

It’s the story of the cut throat, narcissistic sociopaths, Frank and Claire Underwood, played by the fantastic Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright, and what they won’t do to drink at the fountain of Washington power (not MUCH!).

Chilling in how it mirrors politics in Washington today, current senators have been asked “Is House of Cards realistic?” The answer is usually “well, there are no murders here..at least none we know of..”  Just when you think this devious duo  have hit a new low, they stun you with more.

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Claire….as cold as ice, calculating and cruel…Robin Wright snagged the Emmy for this role last season.

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But here’s the really GOOD news….

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Her outfits are amazing.  Whether she is attending a state dinner or out for a nighttime jog, there isn’t a more well dressed villain on TV.  Rumor has it Givenchy and Chanel will be featured prominently in Claire’s FLOTUS wardrobe this season.  Can’t wait!

The next show I love is new, on NBC on Thursday nights, and has only aired three episodes as of this writing.

“The Slap” is an intriguing show that revolves around the shocking slap of a child, and how that one act is destined to blow a family apart.  The characters are rich and nuanced, and the cast is formidable. Uma Thurman, Thandie Newton and the fabulous Blythe Danner in an Oscar worthy role if this were a movie, are just three of the splendid cast.

I don’t want to give anything away, but if you liked the old classic  “Thirtysomething”, or the newer show “The Affair”, then this is their love child. I think you will enjoy “The Slap.” Don’t let the name fool you.  It’s so much more than a slap….give it a try.

 

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Last, but nearest to my heart….we all need to laugh.  A good comedy is hard to find, but this Little Engine That Could is making my Wednesdays worthwhile….

“The Goldberg’s” is the 80’s answer to “The Wonder Years,” but with an edge.  The writing is brilliant, and the series draws from the real, high decibel life of Adam Goldberg, Hollywood actor turned director.

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The mom in this show, played by the hilarious scene stealer Wendi McLendon-Covey (Bridesmaids), is worth tuning in for alone.  Bev Goldberg is an off the charts “smother mother” as her kids call her, and watching a TV mom has never been more fun. George Segal, great as always, is”Pops” the semi-senile granddad. In fact, the entire cast hits it out every week.

Crown Worthy Comedy, I declare!

Overall, these shows  combined with the fan favorites “The Apprentice”, “The Voice”, and  “Shark Tank”  have made it a GREAT Winter for TV.

And in a month, my second all time favorite show will be wrapping up it’s eight year run, and I have my Pall Malls, Gin and Tonic and Aqua Net ready!

It’s a farewell to the brilliant “Mad Men”, and that deserves it’s own post next month.

Til then, what is your go-to TV show?  The one that makes your long day a little easier?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CAN I GET AN AMEN! CROWN WORTHY BEYOND WORDS, BUT I”LL TRY~

Another GREAT book to recommend! I have been waiting for this book since I heard it was being published.FullSizeRender

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/goddesses-never-age-christiane-northrup/1119686061?ean=9781401945169

Out today in bookstores, “Goddesses Never Age” is the newest book by Dr. Christiane Northrup, who I like to call the  “Christopher Columbus of Women’s Health.”  If  Wear Your Crowns had a mentor, it would be Dr. Northrup.

An OB/GYN for several decades in Portland, Maine, she pioneered the movement that connected women’s health issues to their emotions and life circumstance.  Medicine is not, in fact, one dimensional.  Our bodies and our health are directly related to our spirit and more important to our beliefs and emotions. This is her message.

A pioneer of Mind/Body Medicine in Women’s Health, she got shunned by the ACOG  after writing the bestseller, “Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom.” Her idea that stress and unresolved issues can cause  fibroids and ovarian cysts, and that meditating and addressing your stress can actually reduce or eliminate them, was considered irresponsible at the time. Especially since she was an M.D.!   But I’m proof she’s right, as I took that advice when I twice faced ovarian cysts. Her recommendations, which also included resting twice a day with a castor oil/flannel pack, worked within 48 hours to eliminate my pain, and greatly decreased the size of the cysts. Since then, I have been enthusiastically following her work, and I have learned to ask my body  “What are you trying to tell me?” when I face an illness….. And then I listen!

Next Dr. Northrup moved on to menopause with her book, “The Wisdom of Menopause.” Here she blazed a trail that taught us if we faced menopause with the right attitude, that it’s the next natural phase in a women’s life to be celebrated, we could rebirth ourselves into who we are truly meant to be. A liberating and very useful outlook indeed!  I stopped viewing this stage as a “mini death”, and adopted  more of a “Next Great Thing” attitude.  It’s made a BIG difference in my mental and physical health, and outside of a few manageable symptoms, this 56 year old is finally in menopause, and it’s been a breeze…MUCH easier than puberty!!

Now on to the granddaddy (or grandmother!) of all life stages…the process of aging. Dr. Northrup blows the lid off societies ideas about getting older.  She writes now that it is possible to “be a living, breathing embodiment of joyful, ageless living – no matter what has gone before.”  By adopting the attitude that you have an ageless goddess living within you, you can bypass the walker and cane, the sex-less life, the depression that comes with slowing down, and SO much more.

Her chapters include “Goddesses grieve, rage and move one”, “Goddesses use the healing power within” and my personal favorite, “Goddesses savor the pleasure of food.”

I just love the whole book and attitude. It’s a rock-n-roll, kick ass, take no prisoners guide for Boomers sailing towards Senior. A JOY to read, and supremely Crown Worthy!  Do yourself a favor and give it a look.  You may never think about aging the same way again.

For those of you who don’t have the time to read (I CAN’T EVEN IMAGINE!) watch for her PBS special, coming February 28th.  Check your local listings, and have an ageless day! ~

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