Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Wishing you no tricks and lots of sweet treats!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

2011 Shutterfly Holiday Cards (Giveaway!)

First, a big thanks to my friends at Shutterfly. I got to meet Shutterfly folks at BlogHer and had a great time chatting with them. This year I have the opportunity to give three citizens of Buttercupland 25 free cards from Shutterfly. I love being able to start the week with such fun!

I had cards from Shutterfly last year and had a great time picking the design and graphics and I know this year will be equally fun.
 I really like the graphics on this cards. I've got a photo I've been thinking of using and it would be perfect with the red lettering. 

 I also like this one. The glitter look is so festive. 

I also liked the Chanukah cards. The text on this card was exactly what I want to wish friends and family.

I've got some fun shopping ahead. There will definitely be a photo book in at least one person's stocking and maybe some cute, cute thank you cards as a little gift for me. The toughest part of this is picking what design I like best.

This giveaway runs through Wednesday, November 9. The winners (!) will be announced on Thursday, November 10. You must be a citizen of Buttercupland -- just one click to be a follower -- and leave a post with which design you might choose. If you mention this giveaway on your blog or tweet about it, that's an extra entry.

Despite the snow -- I can't believe I'm writing that in October -- it's been a nice weekend. My tooth is much better and I had a lovely afternoon yesterday with my college roommate. We did a few errands, had a leisurely lunch and then spent a totally indulgent hour getting manicures. I just had a sweet breakfast of pumpkin pancakes and a big mug of coffee and now I'm getting to settle in to read the New York Times. The only thing that would be better would be if my blog friends were here to eat pancakes and chat. Hope you're having a sweet Sunday, too!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Pinterest Pumpkinfest

I know I've been scarce in Buttercupland this week. Work had a host of challenges. Last night I had a wake to attend and the Big Dental Issue turned into a Big Root Canal Issue and I am still nursing a sore mouth. I don't know about you, but I am so glad it's time for a sweet weekend. I know I need at least one. I won't do anything this elaborate for breakfast over the weekend, but there were two fabulous pumpkin breakfast ideas that I am eager to try.

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes

Pumpkin Belgian Waffles 

I'm cheered up just looking at these two recipes. On reflection, I may need to make pumpkin spice pancakes on Sunday. I've got a can of pumpkin waiting and butter and syrup in the refrigerator. If it's a snowy Sunday and it may be, this will be the perfect way to spend the morning. Pumpkin pancakes, a big mug of coffee and the New York Times. Hope your plans are sweet, too!

Please visit over the weekend -- there's a fabulous giveaway! 

Monday, October 24, 2011

New Zealand Penguins in Need of Sweaters

New Zealand Penguins in Need of Sweaters: A yarn store in New Zealand is making an unusual request that is pulling at the heart-strings of the world—they are asking people to sew knit sweaters for penguins affected by the country’s oil spill. The “penguin jumpers” are intended to keep the birds warm...

I am not a knitter and have destroyed several very nice skeins of wool in the process of learning this life lesson. But if anything could get me to knit it's the thought of penguins -- just about my favorite members of the animal kingdom -- needing sweaters. Any knitters in Buttercupland?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Halloween is Just Around the Corner...

...literally! Our local cosmetic and fancy shampoo store -- that's how I think of it -- has turned into a Halloween Super Store and I had to share the pictures with you.

When I walked by yesterday I was greeted by this gentleman handing out advertising coupons. 

This gentleman greeted me at the door.
An amazing assortment of costumes

Also around the corner is another fabulous giveaway. I will announce later this week and please, stop by. There will be three prizes and they are so useful and fun for upcoming holiday festivities. I feel very fortunate to be able to share this great giveaway and so excited. 

It's been a nice weekend. We've had beautiful weather and I've had several long walks in the neighborhood. I stopped at a new yogurt place -- yogurt and toppings by the ounce -- and discovered a new favorite flavor, red velvet low-fat yogurt. I caught on a number of errands and did a lot of closet decluttering. I'm off to Macy's in a little while on what I hope will not be a futile errand to replace my somewhat ragged black wool skirt. Wish me luck!    

Friday, October 21, 2011

Pinterest Pumpkinfest

Source: via Carol on Pinterest

When I think of pumpkin cooking my first thoughts are for sweet recipes. Pie, muffins and all sorts of wonderful assorted desserts come to mind. But in my pumpkin meanderings I found some terrific looking savory recipes that have a place in the middle of the meal, not just at the very end. This pumpkin soup is my choice for a favorite savory to try. It's getting colder here and I like the thought of turning on my stove this weekend and having the aroma of pumpkin fill my kitchen. The recipe looks easy to do and could anything be more perfect for autumn than actually using a pumpkin for a soup bowl?

Thanks for your good wishes and hugs. I had a wonderful day at services -- the topic of a post to come -- and my tooth (big prayers!) is doing just what a tooth should do. It's sitting quietly in my upper left jaw and not making a peep.

Wishes for a sweet weekend!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

It's Not All Cupcakes and Cakeballs

Contrary to what I post life in New York isn't all cupcakes and cakeballs. If it were I'd be more of a cute little round cupcake than I already am. One of the things I most enjoy are the fruit stands. They are actually mini-groceries, but there is always a big selection of fruits, vegetables and flowers outside. This time of year pumpkins take center stage and I loved this display of pumpkins and sweet black plums.

If you've got an extra virtual hug, please send it my way. A routine dental visit turned into a B.D.I.  That translates into a big dental issue and the next step is a consultation with the endodontist. I'm sure he's nice, but a root canal was not on my calendar, or in my budget. Please send a hug!

Wishing you a cupcake kind of week!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

It's Bachelorette Time

Source: via Carol on Pinterest

No, my dear friends, I am not holding out on informing you of any great romance in my life. You will be among the first to know when Mr. Great Guy comes along. You will be the first to know when Mr. I Have A. Date is on the horizon. I love to share happy news. In fact I love to share happy news so much -- we can use some really happy news in Buttercupland -- that I had to let you know that I am in the Bachelorette party planning mode.

I have a dear colleague, Maritza. She has been seeing someone for the last five years. I've not met him, but he sounds like a terrific person and truly Mr. Right for Maritza, who is a long-divorced single mother of two. For the last several years our little group of friends has been encouraging Maritza to say "yes" to Mario.  They seem so well matched and yes, we love to plan parties. Yesterday, Maritza shared with us that she had won a radio contest describing her affection for Mario. My colleague and friend Sandy and I decided we would make our every other month offer to help Maritza with her wedding. We fully expected her to say no for the dozenth time, and this time she said okay. We were ready to dance around her office.

Besides an office event we are going to do a very simple Bachelorette evening. We'd like to go to a restaurant near our office and have snacks and a drink or two. But we'd like really fun favors. I saw a number of cute things on Pinterest and I was very taken with this black and white theme. There were also adorable cookies and cupcakes.

Source: via Carol on Pinterest

Does anyone in Buttercupland have recent bachelorette party experience? I know what I see on television, but we're not "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas" women and I can't do any kind of favor that will make us blush. Some of the things I saw while doing my research would really make all of us blush.  

There are few things more fun than weddings -- babies, of course! -- and I feel so happy to share in this one. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Prayers and Healing Wishes for Giuliana Rancic

Giuliana and Buttercup, BlogHer '11 

During BlogHer '11 I posted any number of goofy pictures. I popped up with the Pringle Man, Mr. Brawny and the California Raisin. All were fun, but none more fun to meet than Giuliana Rancic. I am a tremendous fan of "Fashion Police," and was delighted to get to meet Giuliana, and more delighted to have a photo taken with her. She was warm and friendly and so pretty in person. I was saddened to see the news today and learn that Giuliana had been diagnosed with breast cancer. 

Since we met at BlogHer I feel that Giuliana is an honorary citizen of Buttercupland and ask for prayers and healing wishes for our sister citizen. 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

And the Winner Is...

Cheers for TARYTERRE

You're the winner of the paper culture giveaway! As soon as we can connect and I can get your address I will be mailing out the gift voucher and you can start lots of fun paper shopping. Thanks to all who entered and thanks to all the new citizens of Buttercupland. So glad to see you here and please come and visit often. 

It's been a nice day in New York City. It's not quite summer anymore -- yes, I am wearing shoes and socks -- but it was sunny and not an ounce of humidity. Had lunch with friends, walked all around the Columbia University area (pictures for another post), bought a Christmas present and two baby gifts and went grocery shopping. Now it's time for the NY Times and blogging. Hope your day was as sweet and relaxing as mine.  

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Hey, Mac

The Apple store at Broadway and West 67th Street, Manhattan

I've been thinking about getting a bigger computer monitor. It would be great for watching television shows and working on photographs and it would just be nicer to work with a bigger screen. Much easier on the eyes. One of my colleagues suggested getting a Mac and the "computer" is built into the monitor. The screens are two sizes, 21" and 27". Doesn't that sound luxurious? He uses his Mac mostly for music and graphics and still uses a p.c. for documents and all writing projects. I don't want -- or have space for -- a large screen Mac and a p.c. So I am asking advice from the citizens of Buttercupland. Does anyone use a Mac for all their computing needs? Does anyone do a lot or writing with a Mac? All advice on this topic is greatly appreciated. 
I was going to go in and just look today, but there was a line waiting for assistance with the new version of the  iphone. I decided this wasn't the best day for a leisurely visit at the Apple store. 

There's still ninety minutes to enter the paper culture giveaway. The winner will be announced in a post tomorrow. 

Sweet Weekend Wishes!   

Friday, October 14, 2011

Pinterest Pumpkinfest

I was a little slow on the uptake with Pinterest, but now it's a regular stop on my internet visit list. One of the things I most enjoy is looking at recipes and I've happily assembled an entire board with pumpkin recipes. I shared the pumpkin ice cream a few weeks ago and that was a big hit with the citizens of Buttercupland. I thought it would be fun to share more of the pumpkin recipes I've found -- and there are lots, each looking more delicious than the last. Every Friday from now until Thanksgiving I'm going to feature a different pumpkin recipe. Some will be savory and some will be sweet. I'm initiating Pumpkinfest with a fabulous mini-brownie recipe with a swirl of pumpkin cream cheese.

I love the title of this post -- goofy, but my first rhyming alliterative title. I love the pumpkin recipes. I've come to love Pinterest and I love the citizens of Buttercupland. It's a lovely way to start the weekend.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

More Than a Few Reasons the Scale Isn't Cooperative

Try and I do, reaching lifetime goal in Weight Watchers some days seems a very distant dream. There seems to be a yummy temptation around every corner of New York City. Please take a walk down Broadway with me and I'll give you a few examples.  

Only five blocks from my building was this temptation. I love the color and the menu was even more irresistible. Although I resisted the praline croissants sounded delicious. 

Everything looked as good as it sounds on the menu.

I turned around and this fun facade greeted me. I had never heard of the company, but the website said they specialize in "bite-sized stuffed cupcakes." The little cupcakes are about the size of a quarter and look so good. In the interest of journalism I will be paying a visit as soon as they open. I need to get pictures to share with you and I will have to do a few taste tests so that I can report on the product. The things we do for our blogs and blog friends! 
   Reviews to follow!

On my way back home it was street fair time and that always has food temptations. This booth looked yummy. But something a little more exotic caught my eye and I decided to try some Thai food. The chicken satay with peanut sauce tasted great, though the Thai iced coffee was a little too sweet for my taste.

Hope you enjoyed our walk. As always, I wish all of my blog buddies could join me!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Biggest Giveaway Ever in Buttercupland History... least for this month. But it is a great, big wonderful blog giveaway and I am so excited to share it.

At BlogHer I had the great good fortune of seeing the display of paper culture and meeting the company's CEO and founder, Christopher Wu.

Call me old-fashioned, but I love cards, real cards that are made of paper. I like ecards, but I love paper cards -- and the paper culture cards are extraordinary. Beautiful card stock, fun, hip adorable design and every order plants a tree. Cards don't get better. The paper culture folks very generously gave out -- drum roll, please! -- a $50.00 voucher to be used to order from their website. Thanks so much, paper culture friends.

This is a speedy giveaway. It starts the minute I post this and is open until 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, October 15th. The winner will be announced on Sunday, October 16. There are only two very simple rules to enter. You must be a citizen of Buttercupland -- just follow this blog -- and leave a comment. I'd like to know what you liked on the paper culture website. My own pick right now are the thank you notes, but I also like the New Year's cards. There is an added entry for linking this post to your blog and leaving a comment telling me about it. The only cavaet is that the voucher expires November 15, but I promise to whisk the card in the mail for the winner and you will have almost a month to drool over the website. It is wonderful!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

One Degree of Separation to Paul McCartney...

Actually, on reflection it's two degrees, but it's only one degree -- really! -- to Nancy Shevell, who was married to (some of our) Beatle heart throb today. 

If this was a Sunday night in 1964 I would be sitting with my parents and eating dinner. We might have spent some of the day raking leaves together or taking a drive into the countryside to see the fall foliage. But we would definitely be gathered in front of the television set to watch the "Ed Sullivan Show" later in the evening. If the Beatles were appearing that evening I would be glued to the television set. 

Fast forward a number of decades. The "Ed Sullivan Show" is a fond memory and Paul McCartney has just married a woman who is an acquaintance of my boss. My Vice-President, Tom, came back from many meetings in the last five years and mentioned Nancy, who by the way, got raves from Tom for being a really nice person to work with. And so, my blog buddies you are two degrees of separation from Nancy Shevell McCartney. I could never have imagined this, sitting in the den with my parents on Cornwall Street watching television. 

My wishes to the newlyweds for a long life together of good health and lots of happiness!

P.S. The photos of my followers has disappeared. I assume it's a temporary quirk in Blogger, but is it visible when you stop by? Thanks!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Ten Favorite Places...A.C. Petersen Farms

Early on in my blogging I started a series called "10 Favorite Places." While I was looking back at posts I saw this and realized I'd only posted about four favorite places. I've written about a lot of places I like, but not as part of this series. The first four posts were about places in New York City, but with this post we move to West Hartford, Connecticut. My family lived in Hartford until I was twenty and then we moved to West Hartford. I went to school in Hartford, but all through my growing up spent a lot of time in West Hartford. One of my all-time favorite places was A.C. Petersen Farms. I am happy to report that it is still on Park Road and though it is under new management, the food is still delicious.

My best friend from elementary school and I stopped there for lunch when I was in Hartford for our elementary school reunion in August. When the question of where we would go for lunch came up we both independently said, "Petersen's." No discussion was needed and no discussion was needed about what we would have after our sandwiches, the junior ice cream sundae. I went with York Peppermint Patty ice cream with hot fudge sauce and I was not disappointed.

A new addition to the outdoor decor was this ice cream decorated cow. 

Do you have memories of favorite places from your growing up years? I don't have any pictures to share, but I would definitely add the Albany Avenue branch library in our neighborhood and Sless Pharmacy, which stocked dozens of kinds of penny candy, including our favorites, wax lips and nails. The favors at our reunion were penny candy, in tribute to Sless".

Hope you're having a sweet weekend!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Sweet Wishes for a Sweet Saturday!

In just a few hours Yom Kippur starts, the traditional day of Atonement on the Jewish calendar. I will be joining friends for dinner before services tonight and we will be breaking our fast after 7:00 tomorrow night. I've always found the day meaningful, even when I was barely a teenager. It's an opportunity for me to think and pray about how I can be a better person. This year will be no exception. I received a great gift of health and am so grateful. I am bringing my prayer list and of course, my blogger friends and their families will be on the list for health and well-being. Thank you all, for all you have said and done for me this year.

I will be back after the holiday. Sending sweet wishes for a sweet Saturday!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Purple on My Mind

During my wonderful blogger get-together in Maryland last year I had the pleasure of meeting Becky, a lovely blogger and candle maker, and have been enjoying visiting her blog, Hospitality Lane.  She's asking for assistance in spreading the word about "The Purple Dress Project" which raises money for treatment and research for people with Crohn's Disease. Becky is offering half the proceeds from the sale of a limited edition  of French Lavender candles -- wouldn't they make yummy gifts! -- to this worthwhile cause.  Please stop by for a visit with Becky and read about this great project.

Hope you're having a sweet, special lavender kind of Wednesday! 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The People Have Spoken...

...And the Editorial Advisory Group (EAG) is Delighted.
Left to Right: Doggie, Pepe Junior, Pepe Senior, Opus, Snowflake, Commando Cat, Harry and Pierce

In a resounding vote of confidence citizens of Buttercupland endorsed the present Editor-in-Chief, Buttercup, and asked for more. Unlike the musical "Oliver," where poor Oliver Twist is told there is no more, rest assured there is lots more Buttercupland to come. An editorial advisory session was held this afternoon in the cubicle outside my office and the first request of the EAG was to feature the EAG. Pepe Junior became so excited that he did what does best and flew around the cubicle with shrieks of monkey delight. Snowflake gave several choruses of "White Christmas" and a very good time was had by the EAG. No editorial content was suggested, but I loved arranging the EAG for their photo. 

I love stuffed animals and all of these sweet creatures reside at my office. Almost all were gifts from colleagues and they are part of my office toy collection. Anyone who comes to visit is welcome to play with the collection and at any time of the day I can expect to hear one of the animals singing. Pepe Junior is a souvenir of BlogHer and has proven very popular. In the right position he flies and emits monkey howls. It can be quite unnerving the first time you see and hear him in action. Is it professional? Not so much. Does my office look like a toy store? Absolutely! Is it harmless and fun? Absolutely! 

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Floor is Yours

This evening I was reading a blog I like a lot, Get Rich Slowly: Personal Finance that Makes Cents, and the topic for today was blogging. A quote that really resonated with me was "Your blog does not belong to you. Your blog belongs to your readers. Without them you have no blog."

I know what I like to write about...Life in New York as a rapidly aging Middle-Ager and all that comes with, health, surgery, holidays, street fairs and ice cream in a big nutshell. I assume that folks who visit here are interested in a good part or all of these things, too, or you wouldn't visit here. But am I correct in my assumptions? Is there anything that you would like my New York centric perspective on that I am not blogging about or my Middle-Aged centric perspective? Are there topics I am totally missing that you -- my readers seems so pretentious -- would like to read about? The floor is now open and it belongs to you.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

It's Pumpkin Time in the City

I'm wildly happy with the autumn and with all things pumpkin. We had a perfect autumn day today and wearing closed shoes and a jacket felt just fine. With my new found love of Pinterest and my abiding love of pumpkin I am happy to share one of the great pumpkin recipes I found and pinned to Pinterest. It's from one of my favorite blogs, Cheeky Kitchen. The link and the recipe are just a click away.

I wish I could bottle the weather and this ice cream and ship it off to all of you. But alas, weather and ice cream are ephemeral and instead, can only send hugs and happy wishes.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

And the Winner Is...

It's October 1 and the winner has been selected for the latest Buttercup giveaway, "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like..." Debra has been a blog buddy almost from the very beginning of Buttercupland and I always enjoy a visit to her blog, "And It Came to Pass." I come away with lots to think about it and feel that I have had a good conversation with a friend. 

Pumpkin Patch, the North Shore of Long Island

My summer shoes are put away and I am now officially beginning my Tribute to Autumn. I love the fall, pumpkins, leaves in gold and red and apple goodies. One of my favorite memories was a trip to a pumpkin patch and corn maze two autumns ago. I don't have plans this year, but just looking at the photos makes me think it's time to plan some pumpkin picking. Will anyone else make a trip to the pumpkin patch this year?