Saturday, March 31, 2012

Pinterest Travelfest -- Welcome to North Dakota!

I couldn't resist this fabulous cow!

This giant cow is in New Salem, North Dakota and I'd love to see it in person. When I think about the eight states I have yet to visit I realize how many wonderful, fun and interesting sights there are in the United States. I know there are a number of places I'd like to see in New York state and even in New York City. I think my next Travelfest will be places in New York state. It will be a great stimulus to explore my home state. 

Decluttering update: I've used this overcast afternoon to complete my 100 Items Challenge for March (Recycle/Discard 100 Things) and am ready to start the same challenge for April. I finished one drawer in the bedroom dresser and will move on to one other tomorrow. I also sorted through DVDs and books and listed a number of things on I'm not nearly done, but I'm finding the more I give away/discard the easier it becomes and I haven't missed anything that's found a new home. 

It's been a nice and relaxing day. I went to services in the morning and then a 65th birthday lunch for a friend from our bible study. Got in a few errands and now I'm enjoying catching up on blogging and blog visits. I hope your day was as leisurely and relaxing.

Wishes for a sweet Sunday!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Play it Again, Sam..

...and again and again. This year is the seventieth anniversary of  "Casablanca." Though the official anniversary isn't until November, when the movie was premiered, I'm happy to start celebrating early and keep celebrating all through the year.  

Source: via Rocky on Pinterest

I don't have a count of how many times I've seen it, but the lines are a part of my vocabulary and I frequently use the phrase, "Of all the gin joints in all the towns in the world..." I also don't have a count of how many times I've listened to "As Time Goes By," but my estimate there could be in the millions. I'd bet there are a lot of other fans of "Casablanca" in Buttercupland.

Thanks for many happy and tear soaked hours, "Casablanca." I only hope I hold up as well at 70!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

It's a Piece of Cake...

...and what a piece of cake!

The thing I like most about vacations is the leisure to follow my heart, my eye, an instinct or a whim and find something terrific, which is exactly how we found Sedona Cake Couture. What a yummy find!  The window caught my eye and after riding past five or six times I knew I just had to stop there. We had a wonderful chat with the gentleman at the counter, a tour of the adjacent florist and gift shop, a delicious cupcake and a relaxing time looking at the beautiful scrapbooks of award-winning and extraordinary cakes. 

A collection of sweet treats!

As the "graduate" of a four week adult education cake decorating class at the high school in West Hartford in 1975 I have had some experience in cake decorating. Pounds of confectioners sugar and cans of Crisco were sacrificed in my attempts to make a cake look pretty and I quickly learned how difficult it was just to fashion one identifiable flower. By the end of the four weeks I also learned I had few cake decorating talents and have since happily paid for the talent and expertise of those who can make a cake look lovely. Sedona Cake Couture had talent in abundance.

Wishes for a sweet week in Buttercupland!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

And the Winner Is...Cindy!

I'm delighted to announce the winner of the giveaway for "A Turtle's Tale." A copy of the DVD will be going out to the delightful blogger, Cindy at Oakview Cottage. I wish I had several dozen to give to everyone who entered the giveaway. Again thanks to our friends at Vivendi. I am so pleased to be able to offer this to my blogger buddies in Buttercupland.

Source: via Carol on Pinterest

Had a lovely and relaxed Sunday. I actually did clean out the medicine chest. Everything is up to date and things are neat and orderly. First time since I moved in! My major excursion of the day was a visit to the Architectural Digest Home Design Show. There was at least an acre of beautiful home design and furniture ideas, but a little high end for me. I came away in awe of the cabinets I saw, but know the price is way out of my budget for the kitchen sprucing up that I hope to do.  I did have fun with these great pillows by Jimmie Martin and would love to take them home with me. 

Hope you had a day that was equally relaxing and sending wishes for a sweet week!

Aren't these the most fun pillows!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Pinterest Travelfest -- Welcome to Michigan!

This week's virtual visit is to Michigan and I am dreaming of seeing Northern Michigan in cherry season. As much as I love mango, I think I love cherries more. I'd also like to spend some time relaxing on a hotel front porch on beautiful Mackinac Island. What a beautiful summer retreat this would be.

Who wants to join me for some rocking and iced tea drinking on the porch?

I'm getting a slow start today. It was a busy, busy week at work and I'm enjoying having no plans until this evening. Please remember, there's time to enter the Turtle's Tale giveaway until 11:59 tonight and I will announce the winner tomorrow. 

Wishes for a sweet Saturday!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A Moment in the Life of New York...The Upper West Side Welcomes Spring

This picture was taken Sunday, but it could have been any gorgeous day this week. The flowers are blooming everywhere and it is balmy. Tomorrow is supposed to be eighty. Eighty! I know it's officially spring, but generally this time of year I'm thinking how can I make my winter wardrobe last until May. Tonight I was thinking what spring clothes I can I wear to work tomorrow.

Decluttering and spending update: I achieved my goal of decluttering 100 items in February and am well on my way to making the same goal for March. I have 25 items to divest in the next nine days and I feel confident I will get there. The medicine chest is on my list for this weekend and my closet. I need to figure out what I can wear to work!

My label for March was Thoughtful Spending March. I knew that there would things I would buy on vacation and I did. The sole of my right sneaker -- definite necessities -- was peeling away from the rest of the shoe and I replaced them during the trip. I also left the old pair in Arizona. I bought a t-shirt, underwear and a new weekend tote bag. During my bathroom decluttering I found my sunscreen was outdated and bought a new tube, again not a splurge. I bought a very modest array of gifts -- for one birthday and the office -- and treated myself to a silver necklace and earrings. I did make two splurge purchases, a picture frame ($11.00) that I fell in love with, and a sweet plaque that says "Faith ($3.99).

Now that I'm home again, I have kept to thoughtful spending. I definitely need a few new summer shirts and a   pair of shoes for work. I also need a pair of white capris, but that's the topic of a post to come.  

Thanks to all who visited and prayed for those in Toulouse. Much, much appreciated!

Wishes for a sweet, sweet Thursday!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

My Heart and Prayers are in Toulouse

I would like Buttercupland to be a happy place amid the cares and sorrows of the rest of the world. My goal is to find those things that are positive in the world and share them with all of you who come to visit. But yesterday the world came to Buttercupland and my thoughts, prayers and heart are occupied by the tragedy in Toulouse, France. Four people were murdered and three of those were children about to start their day at school.

  Miriam Monsonego, of blessed memory

I have few words and no philosophical reflection, only my sorrow, tears and prayers. To those in Toulouse and especially the families of Miriam Monsonego and Rabbi Jonathan Sandler and his two sons, Aryeh, who was six and Gavriel, who was three, my most heartfelt sympathy. May their memories be a blessing. To those who were injured, I send my wishes for a complete recovery. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

By a Nose It's Mango...

...and sea weed and kale are right behind!

Don't worry this unlikely trio isn't eaten all together, but they are becoming my new favorite foods. I never would have thought it, but it happened at Trader Joe on Saturday. Mango has been a long standing favorite, but on Saturday I bought a bag of freeze dried mango -- so good! -- in place of ice cream. I wanted a treat and thought I would buy a one serving cup of ice cream, but the bag of mango was more appealing. I also bought a bag of frozen mango for smoothies for the week. 

I also bought three bags of sea weed snack. It's crunchy and salty, only sixty calories and has lots of nutrients. I discovered sea weed at the health food store in Sedona and now I love it. 

The last part of this trio is kale. I've tried kale a number of times and couldn't figure out how anyone liked it. But I had it twice in Sedona -- Lonni's good influence -- once in salad and once cooked with garlic and it was good. I tried a sample of a dip this afternoon without knowing what the veggie was in the dip. It was yummy and it was kale. Like a sign from above I had to buy it and now I have a small tub of kale and Greek yogurt  in my refrigerator and I'm delighted.   

This looks like a great kale recipe

What are your go-to healthy snacks? I'm always looking for new ideas.

Don't forget the DVD giveaway and remember to have a sweet Monday!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

A Turtle's Tale: Sammy's Adventure Giveaway

Attention: Moms, Dads, Grandmas, Pop Pops, aunts and uncles and beloved cousins and family friends!

Source: via Carol on Pinterest

Our friends at Vivendi Entertainment are giving  me the opportunity to host a giveaway celebrating the release of "A Turtle's Tale: Sammy's Adventures" on Blue-ray and DVD combo pack on April 3. This sweet animated children's film traces the actual course of a sea turtle's life. The celebrity voices include Melanie Griffith, Tim Curry and John Hurt, the latter of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows". It spans fifty years of Sammy's life and he is an extremely appealing film hero, meeting friends, overcoming problems and falling in love. It's a great time for the whole family and I am so happy to be able to host this giveaway. 

This giveaway will run until 11:59 p.m. Saturday, March 24 and I will post the winner on Sunday, March 25. You must be a follower of Buttercup's and this giveaway is limited to the United States and Canada. I'm happy to add an extra entry for links to this post. 

I'm so excited to able to offer this giveaway to the citizens of Buttercupland!

*I received no financial compensation for this giveaway and the opinions are based on my experiences with this product.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Pinterest Travelfest -- Welcome to Oklahoma!

Source: via Carol on Pinterest

Even though it's been a soft landing back in New York -- nice weather and a relatively easy week at work -- I had so much fun in Arizona that I am ready to be back on the sight-seeing trail again. This week -- I apologize for being a day late! -- we're in Oklahoma. When I think of Oklahoma the musical comes to mind, but there's lots to see and I had fun planning my future trip there. I would love to be at Bricktown in Oklahoma City today, enjoying a St. Patrick's Day toast and having dinner.  Blog buddies from Oklahoma, please stop by and say hello!

I will post my giveaway tomorrow -- please stop by -- and wishes for luck, health and happiness and a sweet Saturday on this St. Patrick's Day!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Ladies and Gentleman, Please Welcome Elvis

L to R: Pierce, Relationship Advisor; Elvis, Newly Named Music Advisor and Pepe, ChairMonkey, Buttercupland Editorial Advisory Group. Photo taken during Elvis' orientation

Buttercupland is delighted to announce the addition of Elvis to the Editorial Advisory Group. Elvis, a gift of the delightful blogger, Myra, joined the group on Monday. "We are delighted to have Elvis as a member of the Editorial Advisory Group," said Group ChairMonkey Pepe. "His musical knowledge and ability to sing 'Teddy Bear' will be a great asset in our efforts to advise Buttercup, and he's a lot of fun."  

One of the treats of my trip to Arizona was a wonderful afternoon spent with my blogger buddy, Myra of Respice, Prospice. I've enjoyed getting to know her in Blogland, but it was so much more fun in real life. Each time I meet a blog buddy I think, to paraphrase "My Fair Lady," We could have talked all afternoon and still have hoped for more!  I so appreciate Elvis, a sweet gift, but more I appreciate Myra's friendship. Please stop by her blog for a visit, and on Saturday you can wish Myra a happy birthday!

I know Pepe is wearing a sweater -- after all, it's his St. Patrick's Day outfit -- but it was summer in New York today. The weather was balmy, sunny and a complete delight. It's difficult to realize that it's the middle of March and I am counting this glorious weather as a major blessing. No boots, no gloves, no coat!

Please stop by tomorrow for a giveaway and have a sweet Thursday!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Please Come to Our St. Patrick's Day Party!

I know it's a little early. It's not quite...

But is it ever too early to celebrate this happy day? I'm teaming up with my dear blog buddy, Kathleen, for the Fourth Annual St. Patrick's Day Blog Crawl. There will be fun, laughter, friends, prizes and lots of fun blogs to visit. 

Please come in!

There are treats...

And lots of smiles!

And warmth, luck and laughter to take with you always!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Girl Scouts Together in Every Good Deed

Source: via Kerri on Pinterest

Today is the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts, founded by Juliet Gordon Low in Savannah in 1912. Girl Scouting was a very important part of my growing up. I was a scout for six years, a camper for four years and a counselor-in-training at my beloved Camp Alice Merritt in East Hartland, CT for two years. I sold hundreds of boxes of Girl Scout cookies, camped in the wilderness, learned to canoe, whittle and made some of the best friends ever. My dear friend Lonni, who I traveled with to Sedona, is a Scouting friend. My mother was our leader and she made some of her best friends from scouting, too. 

I can't begin to thank the Girl Scouts for all I received. This post is just a down payment on the debt I owe. Happy, happy birthday and many more!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Home, Sweet, Home

As much as I loved beautiful Sedona...

The majesty of the Grand Canyon...

And the fun relaxed times of this trip...
This is the frog fountain at one of the restaurants we especially liked, The Barking Frog

It's still good to be home. I've grocery shopped and even did a once-over of my work email and I still feel relaxed. Though if I had a magic carpet and could instantly be transported back to Sedona and that clear and starry sky I would definitely be on my way.

Have a few fun posts for the week...blogger meet-up report -- what a fun afternoon -- a giveaway and Pinterest Travelfest on Friday. 

Wishes for a sweet week!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Pinterest Travelfest -- Welcome to South Dakota!

Source: via Carol on Pinterest

One of the places in the United States that I am most eager to see is Mount Rushmore in the Black Hills of South Dakota. The faces of the American presidents Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt are carved in the granite mountain. This monument captured my interest somewhere in elementary school and has held it for at least the last sixty years. I felt the same way about the Grand Canyon and had the good fortune to visit there six years ago and enjoyed it immensely. Are there any places that are on your dream list in the United States? I think Mount Rushmore and Yellowstone National Park are at the top of mine.

Wishes for a sweet Friday!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Happy Purim

Happy wishes on a relatively little known, but very beloved Jewish holiday, Purim. The Purim story is recounted in the Book of Esther, which is read on Purim. It recounts the salvation of the Jewish people in the time of the Persian Empire by beautiful Queen Esther and her uncle Mordechai and tells of the evil deeds of Haman, the chief advisor to the king. The sweet treat pictured is the hamentaschen or Haman's Hat. It is a crunchy pastry crust, traditionally filled with poppy seeds or prunes. Now the fillings are much more fanciful, but in my great-grandmother's time in Eastern Europe these were the most available late winter fillings, and they are the fillings I ate while growing up. My favorite is prune and my grandmother, a wonderful baker, made delicious hamantaschen.  

Wishing you a day of joy and sweet treats!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Make a Date Today to See the USA

While preparing for the Pinterest Travelfest a line from a 1950's advertising jingle kept going through my mind, "See the USA in your Chevrolet, America is asking you to call." After a few days of humming this I paid a visit to YouTube and found many clips of Dinah Shore singing this. What a cache of memories! I also discovered that I wasn't the only person who found this iconic and it had been sung by the cast of "Glee" last year. Is there any jingle of the 1950's that has stuck with you?

I enjoyed seeing Dinah Shore again and thought this clip of Dinah was a fun way to begin the week. Hope this gets your week off to a great start!

Sweet Monday Wishes!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Greetings from Sedona

I think this may be one of the most beautiful places on earth. Wish you all were here, too!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

See You in Sedona!

At this moment -- thanks to the joys of scheduled posting -- I'm on my way to Phoenix and then to Sedona for the next week. I'm traveling with my friend, Lonni, my fifth grade best friend and fabulous travel companion and we are looking forward to the best time. There will be lots of talking and laughing, long walks, swimming and reading. I'm also looking forward to meeting blog friends and enjoying quiet times looking at the magnificent red rocks of Sedona. Any blog buddies in the area please leave me a post with your email and I will be in touch. Meeting blog friends has become a wonderful part of traveling.

I will try and post while I'm away and I will be leaving a few posts to pop up during the trip. Thinking of all of my blog buddies and wishing you a sweet week!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Pinterest Travelfest -- Welcome to Iowa!

I have a long-standing goal to visit all fifty American states. Flying over doesn't count, nor does driving into a corner of the state and not stopping for a meal. I had lunch in both Idaho and Wyoming and I consider those visits. They're not long enough visits to see all the things I would like, but they count for the Buttercup list.

I've got eight states left to visit and I will be featuring one of these states each Friday for the next two months. I've had a great time on Pinterest looking at sights, signs and a wonderful assortment of material about my future travels. Some of my pins will be serious and some will be goofy and fun. But all of them make me even more eager to see America.

Featured State of the Week: Iowa

Source: via Carol on Pinterest

Goofy fun, but I couldn't resist. Any Captain Kirk fans in Buttercupland? Any one call Iowa home? I'd appreciate any suggestions on places to visit. I've got no definite travel plans, but hope to do a lot of traveling in the next few years. I also hope to see all the Canadian provinces. There's a lot of miles to travel, but I'm really looking forward to it.     

Wishes for a sweet weekend. 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Happy Birthday to Two of My (All-Time) Favorite Guys!

All time!

March 2 is the birthday of two of my all-time favorite men. The first one I never met, but I spent a lot of time with him and we share Dartmouth, though he is the class of 1925. Tomorrow is the the 104th birthday of Theodor Seuss Geisel, our beloved Dr. Seuss.  I spent many hours reading his books and was especially enthralled with "If I Ran the Zoo" and "If I Ran the Circus." Do you have a favorite Dr. Seuss book?

Thanks, Dr. Seuss for the hours of fun and laughter that you gave to the world. In your honor here's a round of cupcakes. 

We'll share some green eggs and ham, cupcake style!

The second March 2 birthday is my all-time favorite guy, my father, who was born March 2, 1917. He died in 1981, but not a day goes by without thoughts of him. Thanks, Daddy, for all of your caring and hard work. You had a great love of family, an extraordinary work ethic, and a deep commitment to our synagogue, community and country. I am a lucky, lucky woman to be your daughter. 

 My parents on their wedding day, March 2, 1947. Yes, they chose my father's birthday! 

Wishes for a very happy March 2!