I had a fun time reading This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper. This book is so entertaining in so many ways. You will go through every emotion while reading it. It follows Judd Foxman while he experiences a rather trying time in his life. As the saying goes, when it rains it pours. Judd must come to terms with some of the most difficult obstacles in life, a parent’s death and the demise of his marriage. The cherry on top, his family must suddenly come together to sit shiva for seven consecutive days in one house. Oh the drama that ensues will have you flowing amidst laughter and sadness to surprise and then to anger and back through in a loop of sentiments. The characters are easy to connect with and each of their stories touch and tangle together like all families to create a complicated and broken but loving and supportive chaos. A chaos that, unbeknownst to Judd, will carry him through to the other side of this wearisome time. This book was turned into film in 2014. However, you must read the book before you watch the movie, not because the movie is bad but because the book is always better, everybody knows that.
Signing Out with Love,
One of my favorite spots to spend the afternoon is at The Huntington Library and Gardens in San Marino, California. The best time to go is on a beautiful day in the month of April because everything is blooming and it’s warm but the heat isn’t unbearable. I have a few spots I love to sit and linger but it seems like every time I go I find something new to appreciate. I recommend doing a yearly pass to this garden or the garden of your choice, if you know you are going to go back it comes in handy and could end up saving you money in the long run.
The rose garden is spectacular in the spring. You’ll find artist who picked their favorite spot and set up their stands to paint the landscape. The koi fish in the Japanese and Chinese gardens are very friendly. The herb garden smells delicious in the spring and summer and sometimes you’ll find the most interesting exhibits in the various buildings throughout the grounds.
There is a traditional tea room that I have yet to try out. You need a reservation, just go on opentable.com to reserve your spot. Also there is a dining area in the Chinese garden where they serve great dishes. Last time I got crispy cauliflower lightly tossed in an Asian sauce over steamed white rice. Near the entrance you’ll find a beautiful gift shop and a store with all necessary refreshments you might need.
You should definitely take the time to check out this garden. When you live in a big city you really need places like this to get you back to nature. Let me know in the comments what you think and if you frequent any other gardens you might like to share, I’d love to hear about them. Until next time.
Signing Out with Love,
Turmeric is quickly becoming one of my favorite ingredients to have in the kitchen. It is grown in the roots of a plant that comes from India. Turmeric has a multitude of benefits to offer, most notable are its anti-inflammatory properties and its being studied as an asset to help fight against several diseases. So far I use it most often in the following three ways, turmeric fried rice, turmeric infused tea and in a turmeric and chai almond latte.
TURMERIC FRIED RICE
-2 teaspoons of sesame oil
-Half finely chopped onion
-3 minced cloves of garlic
-2 heaping tablespoons of fresh graded turmeric root
-.5 cup chopped broccoli or frozen peas (or both if you like)
-1 cup shredded carrots
–2-2.5 cups cooked white or brown rice
(I’ve also tried cauliflower rice, they are all great in this dish, Add shrimp or a pouched egg on top to make a meal of it.)
TURMERIC INFUSED TEA
For the tea I use a turmeric/ginger tea bag and I add a small square of fresh turmeric root to the cup while it steeps.
When I stop at a coffee shop eight times out of ten I end up coming out with an almond chia latte. However, I often find that most places make them too sweet so I add a half teaspoon to a teaspoon of the turmeric powder to the cup and stir; this helps to mellow out the sweetness of my almond chia lattes. It’s kind of like a play on golden milk along with the flavors of a chia latte. I have seen that some shops offer a turmeric latte, although I have never officially had one I’m sure they are delicious.
I have only been to New York one time, but this city blew me away. We stayed at the Marriott Marquis so everything seemed to be at our finger tips. I highly recommend this hotel for its proximity to the action. So much to tell, our trip began with a moment in the Lincoln Tunnel where all the cars were honking even though there was nowhere to go. After living in L.A. for so many years I never find traffic amusing but somehow I found myself laughing in this situation. I got chills in time square, the lights, the people and the rush took my breath away. We grabbed bagels one morning and walked to Central Park. In the park we caught a baseball game and climbed a huge rock with amazing views of skyscrapers bursting out over the trees. We took our time, we had conversation and we people watched. We walked everywhere, including to the Museum of Modern Art in the rain and we spent half a day in there exploring. We had fried plantains at a Cuban restaurant and Ruben sandwiches at Junior’s. We also went to the biggest Macy’s I have ever seen and we literally got lost inside. We got so hungry trying to find our way out that we ended up having lunch in Macy’s.
One night we took the subway to Harlem to see amateur night at the Apollo Theater. I can remember watching that show on television when I was a kid and then to sit in the theater were so many important artists got their chance at fame was surreal. We ate soul food in Spanish Harlem at this seductive little spot. I’m kicking myself because I don’t recall the name, but there was dancing and guitar and a low and constant chatter that serenaded us. Not like how loud restaurants can sometime get these days, it most definitely had a vibe. Harlem was so intoxicating to me; it brought to life all the things I have read about it. From recalling Malcom X’s Autobiography to James Baldwin’s Go Tell It on The Mountain, to stories at the Cotton Club, I could go on but I’ll stop before this gets to be a whole other subject. Needless to say, I was really glad to get to see it all first hand.
Let’s see what else; we bought flowers in Greenwich Village and saw the Wall Street Charging Bull which poses one of the most important questions in life… Do you take the bull by the horns or the balls? I’m still not quite sure. We saw Ground Zero, SoHo or South of Houston Street, Tribeca or Triangle Below Canal Street, and Smith&Wollenksky a famous steakhouse, the Flatiron Building, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Empire State Building, the Ferry that takes you to Long Island and the Statue of Liberty in the distance. We were there for four glorious days and I was so pleased that we could pack all this stuff in. This city made me feel care free and reckless; I had no worries for four unforgettable days wondering around this urban island on foot in whatever direction our interest seemed to point. I think it’s good to try to do a lot if it’s your first time somewhere, then when you do go back you have a foundation and you can try to narrow down your focus a bit.
New York knocked my socks off and I cannot wait to return. Until next time, I want to thank you for reading this post and invite you to come back and visit my site pretty please with a cherry on top. Click the follow button on the screen and you will be updated every time I have something fun for you to read or look at.
Signing Out With Love,
Recently I’ve been trying to refine my personal style while still nurturing the parts of me that want to be radical and unpredictable. As a result I have become the type that starts to plan my outfit as soon as I know I’m going somewhere important, even if it is months down the road. I never used to do that. It has been a process for sure and I am still a work in progress. I think half of it is being prepared and the other half is staying true to you. I have learned some important lessons during my journey that may help you, I’ll share them below.
Tip #1: Plan ahead! Ideally you should never get caught having to be somewhere with no plan on what you’re going to wear. I know that’s not always possible so I started a Pinterest board where I layout my favorite outfits and photograph them. When it’s time to find an outfit I just look on that board to get inspiration or to just copy an outfit verbatim. It also helps me create new combinations, as opposed to always buying new things. I can see everything without actually having to physically take it out of my closet. That can be such a burden when you are in a rush not to mention a huge mess.
Tip#2: Find out where you are going and look at photos on Google, Yelp, or Pinterest to see if you can gain any insight from what other people wear to that particular place.
Tip#3: Simply check the weather. Now I know that some occasions call for a certain dress or shoe no matter what the cost. No amount of frostbite or length of a cold thereafter can stop you. However, for the most part I like to dress according to the weather. Don’t you?
Tip#4: Do a closet cleanse twice a year. Take a day to remove everything from your closet and drawers. Make logical choices about what you should keep and what you need to get rid of. If you’re not using something or it doesn’t give you joy it shouldn’t be taking up space in your wardrobe. (I recommend reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, it taught me a lot.) Then try to organize your items as you put them back. This cuts down on confusion and clutter when you’re trying to pick an outfit.
Tip#5: Stay in line with your natural character. Make sure that you are comfortable with your outfit choice. Try it on the night before including the shoes. Walk around the house in it, there’s nothing worse than getting out and wishing you had made a different choice in attire. If those heels are too high, dress too tight, or those pants are too big. Sell those shoes on Poshmark, donate that dress and take those pants to a tailor if you love them. You shine when you are comfortable in your clothes. Confidence goes a long way people!
I hope these tips help you along the way. In the meantime check out my Pinterest Boards by clicking the icon at the top of the page. The Outfit Inspiration and My Favorite Outfits boards should be of particular interest to you. It will show you how I lay out my combinations to use them as a reference when I get dressed. Also click on the Poshmark icon at the top of the page to check out my Poshmark closet, see the items I’ve decided to part with.
Next topic on my posting agenda will be about the trip I took to The Big Apple. So come back and visit my site pretty please with a cherry on top. Click the follow button on the screen and you will be updated every time I have something fun for you to read or look at.
Signing Out With Love,
Wow what a powerful read…Between the World and Me written by Ta-Nehisi Coates
This is such an important piece of literature because it shines a personal light on the anxious terror that a parent feels when they must send their children out into a world that commonly and falsely labels them. This book is a letter from a father to his young son. In the letter he explains that despite his adoring sentiment for his son, the world will not receive him with such loving arms. He lays out how unfair odds will impede his development and the concerns he carries for what this means for his son’s future. On top of all the normal hard lessons every child must learn he will need to be made aware of what he was born into without any fault of his own; born into a nation with a long, ugly and unrelenting history of racism. He discusses his own struggles growing up and like all parents his wish that his child could have better. It’s about a father’s hope that his son will overcome not just the typical obstacles in life but the biased obstacles that he will undoubtedly be faced with.
We’ve come some of the way with removing legal discrimination from our laws but we still have a long way to go if things are supposed to be equal, and I do believe they are supposed to be equal. Don’t you? Racial discrimination is in the DNA of American and so the death of legal discrimination made way for the sudden onset of veiled racism. Anyone who thinks racism is over or not as bad as it used to be in America is enabling. Whether consciously, those that would prefer to continue to keep minorities at a disadvantage for their own iniquitous benefit, or subconsciously, those that block the truth to avoid accepting that society has not changed in the way they like to imagine or portray it has. That would mean that this country is still pillaging, still enslaving, still abusing, only the rules have changed. Instead of the overt examples of racism in our past, it now lurks and hides and when it strikes its devastating. It makes me sad to wonder can we ever really be rid of discrimination and stereotypes against people of color. A shattering kind of sad because I think I know the answer to that, but I don’t want to say it out loud.
I do know that books like this make it impossible for racism to hide. This is a must read for all Americans because it’s our world that is creating circumstances like this, where racism still renders fear and depression for us and the generations to come. Reading about people’s stories gives us access to understanding. There is a special power in listening because it allows us to be the change, first in our own hearts, and second in the lives of the people we touch every day. We have got to come to terms with our nation’s unrelenting struggle with discrimination and the causes for it. We have got to undo and pay back and rectify and understand in order to heal, because continuing to avoid, distract and enable to keep from admitting the ugly truth will keep us locked in this labyrinth for eternity.
Signing Out With Love,