Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Something to Chuckle About


I found this cartoon on Pinterest and definitely chuckled when I saw it. 

Something I'm not chuckling about is my inability to finish one book in 2013. Yes, I have not finished reading one book and it's almost the third month of the year. I'm both horrifed and amazed by this. I'm still treading through the Finnish mystery novel I started early in January and I've read two chapters in the book we are reading for next month's book club meeting, "Canada" by Richard Ford. I've read through a few chapters here and there of other books, some of the New York Times and an infinite number of work email and memos. This has seriously impacted my goal of posting a book review every week here. I recommit to finishing one book in March and posting a review. If anyone would like to share their thoughts on something you've read and enjoyed, please let me know. Guest bloggers always welcome.

I'm not sure where my ability to concentrate went, but if you run into, please send it home. Concentration, you are sorely missed! 

Wishes for a happy Wednesday!

Monday, February 25, 2013

My Nights of Staying up After Midnight...

...Are definitely on the wane! I know I promised to post a giveaway last night, but I went to watch the Oscars for just a few minutes -- and before I knew it two hours had gone by and I watched the last 95% of the entire telecast. This is the first time in years, maybe decades, that I didn't fall asleep in the middle of the show. I wasn't wild about the jokes, but I liked the music and seeing all the gowns. I'd seen "Lincoln," "Argo" and "Silver Linings Playbook" and liked all of them, which made watching the actual awards interesting. Of course today and especially tonight I am dragging and not quite up to posting the photos I'd like to post with the giveaway. Alas for the days of Bob Hope -- I think he's still my favorite emcee -- and staying up past midnight during the week and not being exhausted the next day. 

When I was younger I would fantasize about what I would wear to the Academy Awards. I thought, and still think, it would be exciting to be there, movie-struck as I am. My days of strapless dresses are gone with my nights of staying up late, but I searched Pinterest and found this vintage Paris evening gown that I think would be just right. I'd like some sleeve and a more modest top than the norm these days and I love the fabric. What's your dream dress?

   

It's definitely dreamland for me and wishes for sweet dreams for you!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

If You Can't Get to Bordeaux in the Spring...

...Find Bordeaux and Springtime Just a Subway Ride Away!

I'm getting to the point in the winter when my thoughts have turned to spring. I'm tired of heavy clothes and boots and gloves and my skin -- despite my best efforts -- is showing the signs of too much steam heat. I dream of being in the French countryside in the spring. Yes, I know it's not spring -- even in Bordeaux -- and if it was, a trip to France is not in the plans right now. 

But fate stepped in and I found an invitation to an event at the newly opened Caudalie boutique in Greenwich Village, just a few subway stops away. The event was a delight, and I enjoyed a facial, delicious tea and cakes and the opportunity to try the wonderful Caudalie products. I had the pleasure a decade ago to visit the vineyard in Bordeaux and it still stands out as one of my favorite vacations. A high point of my visit today was meeting the founders of the brand, Mathilde and Bertrand Thomas, who could not have been nicer. Outside was cold rain and inside was lovely and cozy. I didn't get any photos, but I will be back and promise some pictures. 

Whether it was my visit to the Caudalie boutique or I'm just feeling more energetic -- definitely the visit perked me up -- I did some walking in Greenwich Village after my appointment. In one of the grocery stores I found this floral display and felt I came upon springtime. 

 The roses were pretty, but the tulips caught my eye. 

Barring snow -- and it looks like it will just rain tomorrow -- I'm hoping for another New York adventure. I will be taking pictures to share. Please stop by tomorrow, I'll be posting a giveaway.

Wishes for a cozy evening!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Any Way You Look at It...

...Love Makes the World Go Round!


I was having lunch at Mangia on Monday, one of my all-time favorite places, and looked up and love was all around me. Can't think of a better thought to add to Pink Saturday. I hope you'll stop by and visit. There are some sweet, sweet posts and great blogs to discover. Definitely one of my favorite places to visit on  Saturdays

Wishing you lots of love and a pretty in pink Saturday! 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

See You in Chicago!

It's not until July -- and it's the end of July -- but my dreams are floating to BlogHer '13 and visiting Chicago again. I had a wonderful time with my buddies in 2011, and twice before that. I could visit the Art Institute a million times and still be in awe of the treasures there and I'm happy just walking around and looking at the fabulous architecture. Besides BlogHer, I'm hoping to do the architectural boat tour and to meet Chicago blog buddies. I know it's only February, but I'll soon be putting my plans together and want to make sure to meet citizens of Buttercupland from the area. A blogger brunch/lunch/dinner would be the best! If anyone else is planning to be at BlogHer, or would like to meet, please let me know. 

    BlogHer '13
Hope we get to meet in Chicago!


Weekend dreams here. I've got a little adventure planned and I'm posting a giveaway, which will be lots of fun. As I type I can hear the wind outside, so I send...

Warm and cozy wishes!    

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Are You High on Your Dehydrator?

Since I've been trying to eat (semi) Paleo I've been reading a number of blogs that talked about Paleo eating. I became interested in drying foods, especially kale and making kale chips. I had some really tasty kale chips -- don't laugh they were yummy! -- a couple of weeks ago. I found them on sale at a local grocery. Generally the packaged kale chips in New York City are over $7.00 a package. That seemed a ridiculous price to pay and in a moment of adventure/practicality/weakness I pushed the one-touch buy button on Amazon and now I am the proud owner of a dehydrator. I have yet to use it, but I am planning to inaugurate it this weekend. I saw some good tips on Pinterest, but would love any ideas you would have to share with a very novice dehydrator. I'm interested in both successes and less than successes. Before I buy that first batch of organic kale, I could use some real life experiences.  


I don't have any recipes to share today, but I hope one day to join "Dehydrator Recipes Thursday."

Life is quiet these days in Buttercupland. But with the coming of spring -- just a month away -- I feel the pulse of things picking up. Next week is a retirement party for a colleague of long standing -- the third in a month -- and next month one of my favorite cousins turns 50, and there's a fun party to look forward to. In April a dear friend has planned a visit to New York and theater weekend. Then there's Passover, Easter and spring flowers. I'm getting a little giddy just thinking about it all, and it's a sweet, sweet giddy. 

Wishes for a sweet, sweet giddy to you, too!       

Monday, February 18, 2013

Am I Flying Solo...

or do I have FlyLady buddies in Buttercupland?

I've been getting FlyLady emails for years, but I generally just delete them. Over the weekend I was deleting email and I stopped to read a few of the ones from FlyLady, and something just clicked. I'm happy to say I just did the assignment for today, fifteen minutes straightening my bedroom. I set the timer on my phone and finished the basic straightening in seven minutes. Is anyone else following FlyLady?

For those who aren't familiar FlyLady is a fun, easy structure for "getting your house and life in order." Subscribers get daily emails and there's lots of inspiration. I'm not sure why it clicked this afternoon, but I am happy to keep going with FlyLady and hope to see a lot less clutter around me. 

So enjoyed this extra day off from work. It dawned on me that there's only about a month left of winter and I was thrilled to see that it was still light out at 5:30. I ran an errand in Midtown -- West 57th Street -- and noticed that the Verizon store was close to empty. The store in my neighborhood is always crowded, at least on weekends and evenings when I can get there, and the wait for service can be an hour. I was happy to find there was no line -- they are in a business neighborhood -- and I got my new phone. My old phone was having problems charging and it was very frustrating to see that although the phone was plugged in the charger, it hadn't charged. I definitely have a learning curve with the new phone, but if I'm stumped I have a fourteen year-old friend I can call for advice.   

Settling in for a cup of tea, the NY Times crossword and thoughts of when the fourth season of "Downton Abbey" will begin. 

Have a warm and cozy evening!




Sunday, February 17, 2013

It's National Indian Pudding Day

From time to time I enjoy looking at the list of National Food Days. I note that today is National Indian Pudding Day. I'm not sure that folks outside of New England eat Indian Pudding, but it was a favorite while I was growing up. I spent three summers in college as a waitress at the Maple Hill Restaurant in Hartford and Indian Pudding was a standard on the menu. Its main ingredients are corn meal and molasses, with lots of spices. It was traditionally topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and was the perfect winter dessert. Did anyone outside of New England eat Indian Pudding?

Looking around Pinterest I found this variation made with pumpkin and as a fan of all things pumpkin, I have to post this.

Source: kellybakes.com via Tami on Pinterest

I know this looks out of season, but I can happily eat pumpkin -- and do! -- all through the year. 

I've been thinking about the phrase Indian Pudding and read several notes about the use of the term "Indian." I think I may rename this delicious dessert "Colonial Pudding." 

I had a fine time at the Metropolitan Museum last night. There are lots of visitors to New York this weekend and the Museum was as crowded as I have ever seen it. We did enjoy a nice visit to the Classic European Paintings, which was less crowded, and I loved seeing the Rembrandt and El Greco paintings. After our museum visit Mary and I found a new Thai restaurant and had some of the best sauteed veggies ever. Wish you all could have joined us!

I'm settling in for a quiet evening at home which will include working on the NY Times crossword and the final episode of "Downton Abbey. I'm going to combine this with a cup of tea and the happy knowledge that it's a long weekend. Big, big sigh of contentment! Hope you, too, have... 

An evening of contentment! 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

I'm Dreaming of A Pink Spring

It's a  bright and beautiful Saturday in New York City, and if I didn't look at the temperature I'd believe it was spring. But it's actually 37 degrees out and the forecast is a dusting of snow, so it's definitely still winter. But it's Pink Saturday in Blog Land and I'm dreaming of a pink, pink spring.

This is a favorite photo from last spring and one of the jewels of New York City, The Rockefeller University. It's a small, lovely campus on the East River devoted to medical and scientific research. I worked here for one year in the 1970's and now am very fortunate to be part of a clinical trial. I took this picture after one of my visits last spring and think it's perfect for thoughts of a pink spring.

The Rockefeller University, Spring 2012

I got a good night's sleep -- relatively speaking -- and after a great breakfast of paleo pancakes I'm moving through my list of home errands. I'm off to do a few non-home errands and then will meet my friend Mary for a visit to the Metropolitan Museum. Definitely one of my favorite ways to spend a Saturday.  I'm also looking forward to visiting my blog buddies -- long overdue -- and leisurely reading the New York Times. I am savoring the thought that it's a long weekend.   

Wishes for a cozy and very relaxing Saturday! 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Will You Be My Valentine?


Nothing would make me happier

Wishes for hugs and love and happiness on Valentines Day and all through the year!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

And to Think That I Saw it...

On My Street!

I was an enormous fan of Dr. Seuss and one of my favorites was Mulberry Street, I'd love to find some interesting sights on my walk home at night in the winter -- maybe a zebra or an elephant with a Rajah -- like Mario did. On cold nights there aren't many people out and walking and some of the stores are closed and shuttered. I've gotten used to it and generally just focus on walking directly home. But tonight I was rewarded with excitement. As I crossed the street on to my block there was a film crew directly in front of my building. The one lone staff person wasn't very forthcoming, but after a number of questions I discovered they were making a feature film starring Billy Crudup. I didn't have the energy to stand in my lobby observing the filming, but I did snap a photo to share with you. 

Film Equipment and a New York Taxi

Thank you all for your great suggestions about making coffee. I have decided it's time for a new coffee maker and I'm going to do some research on prices. There were so many good ideas and I appreciate the thoughtful suggestions you made.  

I'm smack in the middle of a mid-winter slump. My general cure for this for the last few winters has been a vacation in early March. Knowing that I'd be going away in just a week or two made this time of year much more bearable. This year I don't have a vacation planned -- at least not for this season -- and work is hectic, really hectic. The project that I am there to complete is gearing up in intensity and the days are long. I know it's all finite, but there's so much to do in a short time frame. Please bear with me. My posts may be fewer and farther between and I'm not getting to much visiting, but my heart is ever in Buttercupland.

Hugs, warm wishes and keep cozy!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

My Coffee Predicament

For the last twenty years I've had a fairly standard coffee maker. Put the water in one opening, put the coffee in a filter in another opening and press the green button. It's been fine, but not great. For the last year, it's been less than fine. I've cleaned it -- vinegar and then a few cycles with just hot water -- but it's still not fine. I only make coffee on weekends, but it's not very good coffee, even though I buy very good coffee.

I love coffee and as the reality that I will be home weekday mornings gets closer and closer, I want to be able to make very good coffee at home. I have a coffee predicament and I am asking the brightest group I know -- my blog buddies -- for suggestions. I am hesitant about a Keurig. We have one at work and I do like it, but I want the ability to brew a pot of coffee if I have guests. How do you make coffee and do you recommend your coffee-making method? Any and all suggestions are appreciated.

Despite the snow it's been a very normal weekend. I expected to spend the weekend at home, but I've been out both Saturday and today and got almost all of my errands done. I didn't get as much done at home as I expected to, and barely did any blog visiting or the decluttering I hoped to do.

Let me sign off now. It's time for "Downton Abbey" and the New York Times crossword, a very pleasant way to end the weekend.

Wishes for a cozy week! 

  

Saturday, February 9, 2013

It May Be a White Saturday Outside...

But it's a Pink Saturday at Buttercup's!


I've been thinking about my "Pink Saturday" posting all week. The theme for this week is flowers, hearts, love and romance and on Wednesday I found some pictures that were perfect. They were interesting, exotic and spoke to a romance so great that it built a world monument. When I went to scan them this afternoon, my scanner went on strike. Nada, zilch, nothing. No exotic and wildly romantic pictures to share.

So for a very fun plan B I am sharing photos that are the exact opposite of exotic and wildly romantic. They speak of love and Valentine's Day, but in a very different voice. Isn't that just like love? There are so many sweet ways to say it and to share it.

I like sparkle as much as the next girl and I certainly wouldn't turn my nose up at diamonds, but if Mr. Very Nice Guy wants to woo me, these folks could come calling any time.

 These three are always welcome at my house!

Who doesn't love Mickey?

Let this pink-haired cutie pie speak for all of us...

I Love You!

Happy Pink Saturday and happy wishes for cozy and warm!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Nemo?

I thought I kept up with things, but somehow I entirely missed the naming of winter storms. We spent a lot of time at work today discussing "storm prep," and from time to time "Nemo" came up. I slowly realized that Nemo is the name of this storm that arrives in a few hours. When did this naming phenomenon begin and how did I miss it?

Growing up in Connecticut and then going to school in Massachusetts and New Hampshire we had lots of snow storms, though only a few of which stand out. There was a Valentine's Day blizzard in 1969 and five feet of snow in New Hampshire between Christmas and New Year's in 1970. Those two are memorable, otherwise, snow was just what happened between Thanksgiving and the beginning of April. It would have been very easy to zip through the alphabet by the first day of March and still need to name storms. I'm not sure I like this personalization of snow storms, but I guess I'm outvoted.

I'm feeling much better and all of my symptoms seem to be on the decline, for which I am very thankful. Tea, rest and the wishes of sweet friends helped mightily. Many, many thanks!

Hope everyone weathers the coming storm well and...

Dear Nemo, please be gentle with us! 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

I'm Having a Cup of Tea...

...but I really don't look like this. I'd like to believe I do, but my eyes are red and tearing and my nose is red and runny. I'm a mess with a cold.


I've finally succumbed to the cold that's sweeping America and instead of a lovely silk dress I am in pink and white checked flannel, not the stuff of Impressionist paintings. I am taking tomorrow off and I'm going to drink tea and sleep. I may read a few magazines and watch a little television, but my motto is drink tea and sleep, and I'm sticking to it.

Sweet and healthy dreams to you!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Remembering Ed Koch

In a time that feels long ago, but only a subway ride away, I had the dream job of my life. Through a contact of my college room-mate I joined Mayor Ed Koch's personal staff. I served as Deputy Director of Scheduling and a year later I became the Director of Scheduling. I've always been interested in politics and I had some scheduling experience and I had the energy of the young, and so began a great experience.

The days were long and demanding. I wasn't always sure that I was doing a good job. People around me were handling huge challenges -- restoring New York's fiscal integrity, rebuilding its housing stock and making the streets safe -- and I felt a great responsibility to do things quickly and well. The Mayor had a sign on his desk, "If you say it can't be done, you're right; you can't do it." I was nervous about meeting the Mayor and working for him, but that soon dissolved. He was as down to earth as could be, and he quickly became Ed.

The long days held many wonderful experiences. There were receptions for Anwar Sadat, Mother Theresa and President Reagan. One of my favorite days was a reception celebrating Sir Laurence Olivier's birthday at Gracie Mansion, the Mayor's residence.

Yes, that's the much younger Buttercup and Sir Olivier

Besides the exciting events I am grateful for working with an extraordinary group of people. The foundation of the New York we live in today is built on the work that went on then rebuilding the city.   

New York's 105th Mayor died last Friday and was buried this afternoon. The funeral was this morning and the eulogies ranged from President Bill Clinton to Ed's Grand-niece and Grand-nephew. It was warm, touching and a beautiful tribute. Ed's life was a life well-lived. 

Thanks, Ed. Working for you made so many dreams come true. I am always grateful. 


Sunday, February 3, 2013

Where Have I Been on Sunday Nights?

How could I have missed the first two seasons of this show? 


I watched an episode last week for the first time, and I am enraptured. I am mystified at how I could have missed the first two seasons. I watched every episode of "Upstairs, Downstairs," and sobbed when Lady Marjorie died. I never missed an evening of "Brideshead Revisited." This is the perfect show for me. 

I am going to move forward with no regrets. I will be watching the first two seasons via downloads thanks to Amazon Prime and I am going to savor them. In a little while I am going to open the new box of herbal tea I bought this afternoon -- tangerine -- make a cup of tea, and I will settle in to spend an hour at Downton Abbey and I will be very, very content. Any other Downton fans joining me?

Wishing you moments of great contentment!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

I'm Dreaming of a Pink Springtime

Snow is falling, I've got a full-fledged winter cold and my new uniform is my long black down coat. But in my heart it's spring and all I see is pink. I'm linking to Beverly's Pink Saturday to indulge my thoughts of pretty in pink. Please join me for some spring like thoughts.

If pink clothes are in the store windows, can spring be far behind?

Can pink for backyard barbecues be far behind?

The best dressed on the playground this spring will be in pink 

The sound of the snow plow is heard in the street, but my heart is in spring, a pretty in pink spring. 

Wishes for a pretty in pink Sunday! 

It's Super Bowl Time in Buttercupland


Though football isn't my number one game, I manage to get swept into the Super Bowl fun, even if the Giants aren't playing. I was watching some of the commercial previews the other day and really had a good time. I was taken when I got an invitation to host a pre-Super Bowl viewing of the commercials from our friends at Hulu AdZone. Please stop by the link for a preview of this year's Super Bowl commercials. 
If you stop by the link below tomorrow (noon to 6:00 p.m.) you can vote for your favorite ads in real-time and get a free month of Hulu Plus.  I'm a fan of Hulu and Hulu Plus -- which I haven't tried -- lets you stream your favorite television shows and movies.
Just click right here and you're in for game day fun! 

 Baltimore or San Francisco?
It's turned cold and it's a quiet day in Buttercupland. Attended a fun retirement party at a Brazilian restaurant last night and I'm content to catch up on indoor things today. I will take a quick trip to the post office in a little while, then I expect to be home for the rest of the day. I've got a couple of recipes I'd like to try and some blog visits to make and a cup of tea with my name on it. 
Wishes for a cozy Saturday!

Friday, February 1, 2013

In Honor of Number...

42

If you had gone to Google yesterday you would have seen a drawing of Jackie Robinson, the first African-American to play in major league baseball. It commemorated what would have been his 94th birthday. He first played for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947 and retired from major league baseball in 1956, well before I became aware of baseball. One of the highways in New York City was renamed for him, and sometimes it's easy to forget there was a real person behind "the Jackie Robinson."  



The picture captured my interest and I finished reading his biography in total awe of the man and the baseball player. It also reminded me of my love for baseball. I learned that the rotunda at CitiField -- where the Mets play in Queens -- is the Jackie and Rachel Robinson Rotunda. I think there's a field trip coming in the spring and research into other sights to visit that celebrate baseball in New York City. And for those of us who are baseball fans...58 days until the season opener on March 31! Any other baseball fans in Buttercupland?