Saturday, May 31, 2014

Day Three BookExpo America (BEA): All's Well That Ends Well and a Grumpy Cat Giveaway

I don't think there's anyone better to quote than William Shakespeare as I'm writing about books and all things books. I finished the marathon of books this afternoon and it ended very well. Today was actually quieter in some parts of the Expo and I took advantage of it. This year Saturday featured a day for the public called bookcon, which generally included  more popular culture than books. Thousands of people attended bookcon and the Javits Center was wall to wall people.

This was the scene before one of the panels. Even though some of the sessions looked terrific, once I saw this I knew the lines of bookcon were too long for me. 

I made my way to the other side of the Javits Center and enjoyed a great uncrowded day. I'm not sure the lack of people was especially good for the publishers who rely on BEA to let book sellers know about their new books, but I appreciated the ability to chat with people and see what I might have missed in the last few days. 

I was very excited that one of my favorite mystery authors, Reed Farrel Coleman, would be autographing the latest book in his Moe Prager series, "The Hollow Girl." Moe Prager is a Brooklyn detective who has some of the worst luck ever. Despite it all he keeps on going and solving cases and I keep on rooting for him. I was so pleased to get a photo and I may just have to start reading "The Hollow Girl" tonight. Not that I know any secrets, but the author intimated that this book wouldn't end as sadly as the rest of Moe Prager's adventures. Mystery fans, this is a terrific series. 

I had a long chat with the folks at Abingdon Press, one of my favorite publishers, and got to know some new friends at Pink Pig Press. I will be chatting more about Pink Pig in my Pink Saturday post tomorrow. After a nice lunch of Korean barbecue -- delicious -- I decided to brave the bookcon crowds to try to get my photo of Grumpy Cat, who has a book coming out soon. The line for Grumpy Cat's autograph, aka paw print, stretched for at least a city block. But if I stood sort of at the edge of Grumpy Cat's signing and kept on the alert I could get a picture. It wasn't for the faint of heart, but I had had a decidedly unstressful day and I wanted to see Grumpy Cat.

Characteristically, Grumpy Cat looks grumpy. I know it's not my best photograph, but I am leaning sideways, there are dozens of people walking in front of me and I was thrilled to even get this. 

Thank you all for joining me for my book adventures. I've got some giveaways coming up, but to begin to share my BEA fun I've got some great Grumpy Cat post cards. I will be happy to send two cards each to the first eight people who let me know they are interested. The cards are Grumpy Cat at her best and they are cute! Just leave me a comment and let me know you would like them and how to get in touch with you to get your address.  

Tomorrow I will be sharing my fun in pink BEA experiences for Pink Saturday. I hope you will stop by. 

As always, thanks for visiting and have a great Sunday.

Day Two BookExpo America: Overwhelmed at All the Books

Even as I kept reminding myself that BookExpo America (BEA) is a marathon and not a sprint, I lost some steam -- most of my steam -- by the end of my visit yesterday. The day was great, but by four o'clock my only thought was that there were so many good books and so little time to read them. I was mentally and physically exhausted. When I wrote a guest post for a blog friend and somehow lost the entire post trying to save it, I decided it was time to leave the computer, stop contemplating which books I wanted to read first and get a good night's sleep.

It's now 8:30 Saturday and in a little while I will head to the subway for the last part of this great book marathon. I will once again try to pace myself and my goal is to report back on some of the goings-on today. There were wonderful moments yesterday, but I will share just one. I met Stella, one of the stars of "Petcam," which "shows the world through the lens of our four-legged friends."

Stella views the World of BookExpo America. 

I'm off to lace up my sneakers and get going. The sun is shining and I'm off to finish this great book marathon. 

As always, thanks for visiting and have a great Saturday. Happy reading!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Day One BookExpo America (BEA): All Books, All the Time...

...And what a fabulous whirlwind! Thousands of people in motion and millions of books. It was overwhelming at first, but after settling down and choosing a panel to attend -- BEA Selects: Mysteries and Thrillers -- I caught my breath, focused my attention and remembered my goal for this year. I wanted to meet people, have conversations about books and reading and find titles to read and enjoy.  

It turned out to be a wonderful day. I went to two panels, literally bumped into two friends I hadn't seen in ages, and met two of my favorite authors. For the most popular authors there are long lines to meet them and get autographed copies of their latest books. I decided that there were plenty of good books available and I was not getting caught up in long lines. Fate was very kind to me and I met Brock Clarke. I enjoyed his book "An Arsonist's Guide to Writer's Homes in New England" and was delighted to chat with him and get a copy of his latest title, "The Happiest People in the World." 

It was a thrill to meet favorite authors. 

Fate was very kind to me a second time. I saw a very short line and realized Garth Stein, the author of "The Art of Racing in the Rain," one of the best books with a dog as a main character ever, was signing his latest book, "A Sudden Light." 

"A Sudden Light" looks very different than "The Art of Racing...", but it looks equally good. I've got some great summer reading. 

I did join my friend Fran in one longer line. But we chatted and the time went by very quickly. This line was for a copy of Carl Hiassen's latest book, "Skink." His autographing session is tomorrow. I may stop by to take his picture, but that line will be a long, long one. 

I've got my first giveaway from the exhibition, the cutest tote bag at the BEA. I didn't get a chance to take a picture, but I'll post a picture and giveaway details in the next day. I also got a few postcards that I am happy to share featuring Grumpy Cat, who will be making an appearance on Saturday.  

I packed up around four o'clock, after getting the best Pink Saturday pictures. My feet were starting to feel the walking I had done and my bag of books was getting heavy. I reminded myself that there were two more days to come and it was a marathon and not a sprint. 

Please stop by tonight for Day Two of book fun and thrills. I will be sharing pictures on Twitter during the day @buttercup10024. 

As always, thanks for visiting. Take good care and happy reading!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

All Books, All the Time

BookExpo America,  Day 1 

The scene is relatively empty. Tomorrow morning there will be long lines to register and people everywhere.  
Actually it was Day 1, minus one. The exhibition starts tomorrow morning and today was conference day. I attended a day for book bloggers and enjoyed it. I've been thinking of a blog design makeover and I especially liked the session that focused on that. I also liked a session on legal aspects of blogging. 

The final activity of the conference was a reception. There was a band, lots of books, beer and bloggers. Can't ask for much more for an afternoon's entertainment. 

Publishers were very generous with books for us. Definitely felt a little giddy picking ones to take home. 

Tomorrow the exhibition starts at nine. All books, all the time and I am so excited.  

As always, thanks for visiting and take good care. 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Daisies are Forever

I've just finished reading "Daisies are Forever," by Liz Tolsma. One of my favorite books of 2013 was "Snow on the Tulips," also by the same author. "Snow" is set in the Netherlands in the last days of World War II and "Daisies" is set in Germany in the same period. I was immediately engrossed in "Snow," but it took me most of the novel to care about the characters in "Daisies." Based on the story of a German-American family that returns to Germany in the late 1930s the novel focuses on Gisela Cramer who finds herself in the center of the Russian push through Germany at the end of the War. Gisela is an engaging character and as the story progressed she captured my interest and concern.

The book gave me a lot to think about, especially as I read it over Memorial Day weekend. My father fought in Europe in World War II and many of my relatives died in Europe during the War. Honestly, I've not thought much about German citizens during the war. The book gave me a perspective on lives of German citizens during the War. I found Gisela sympathetic, but as she was an American -- her parents were born in Germany and it was her father's decision to return -- it didn't give a focus on someone who had lived their entire life in Germany. Yet, it was worth reading and I look forward to the next book by Liz Tolsma. I am interested if that book to come will take place in England or France in the same period.

Please note: I received this book from the Litfuse Publicity Group  for review, but the opinions are all mine.

I had a great weekend enjoying perfect New England weather. I spent time with friends, visited a juried craft fair and honed my cat photo skills.

Had to share a photo of sweet Bernie, recently adopted by my friend Lonni, from a cat rescue group. His brother Oscar is a cutie, too, and I will be sharing his picture in another post. 

Stay tuned for book posts for the rest of this week. I'm going to Book Expo America, one of my all-time favorite events. Tomorrow I've signed up for Blogger Day and the rest of the week promises lots of book fun. There will be photographs and there will be giveaways. I'm planning at least two, to share the book fun with the Citizens of Buttercupland.   

As always, thanks for visiting and have a great week!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

On This Day of Remembrance

Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA

Sacred to the memory of those who sacrificed so much who we remember today. My deepest gratitude and thanks to those who continue to serve and to sacrifice, and my prayers for their safety and well-being.   

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Happy Pinkaversary Pink Saturday

It's a happy, happy Pink Saturday. It's the sixth anniversary, or as we call it in Buttercupland, the Pinkaversary of Pink Saturday. Six years of pretty-in-pink fun with some of nicest bloggers anywhere in Blogland. I'm so thankful to be part of the fun and delighted to join in the festivities. Let the party begin!

Pink flowers for our decorations...

A pretty in pink shirt to wear to the party.

We're serving a whipped cream strawberry cake trimmed in pink. 

We have pink presents!

The practical in pink garden hose...

...And the fun in pink birthday pillow

Let's drink a toast to Beverly at How Sweet the Sound, who brings us Pink Saturday every week, and of course we're toasting with Rose. 

To Beverly, to Pink Saturday and to the wonderful Pink Saturday bloggers.

 Here's to many more happy Pinkaversaries!

And another toast to a wonderful weekend for all. Thanks for joining in the celebration and being part of Buttercupland and our Pink Saturday good time. 

Friday, May 23, 2014

Black and White Mug Meets Black and White Cookie

Beautiful Black and White Mug

Sometimes the stars align just the right way. I had the pleasure of participating in a Mug Exchange put together by my bloggy buddy, Stephanie, at Enchanting Rose. Sandra sent the prettiest black and white mug, but I wasn't quite sure how to feature it. It's lovely, but I wanted a New York way to show it off, and if possible something for Foodie Friday. Yesterday afternoon I was taking the bus up First Avenue and the stop had been changed one block. I found myself in front of Glaser's Bake Shop.

I found myself transported back to the bakeries of my childhood, and though, I don't generally sample for Foodie Friday, I bought one of my favorite sweets, the classic black and white cookie. I knew I had a match made in Foodie heaven.

Black and White Mug Meet Black and White Cookie -- You're Perfect Together!
 Now it's time to brew a cup of coffee to fill my mug and enjoy the black and white cookie.

Thanks, Sandra, for the great mug and thanks, Stephanie, for once again putting together a fun exchange.

Please stop by tomorrow. We're celebrating the sixth blogaversary of Pink Saturday, and we're having a Pinkaversary! I've been taking pink pictures all week and it's going to be a pretty-in-pink Saturday.

Another pretty day in New York City. I'm hoping it stays sunny for the weekend. I've got some fun plans -- craft fair time and a visit with my friend, Lonni -- and I hope you do, too.     

As always, thanks for visiting and take good care.  

Monday, May 19, 2014

And the Winner Is...

I'm happy to announce the winner of the 4 Ingredients Foodie Friday Giveaway is Maria Simon, who is a friend on Google+. I wish I had copies of this fun cookbook for everyone who stopped by. Maria, I will be in touch to get your address. The comments were great and it was fun to read about everyone's favorite desserts. I'm a lemon meringue fan and a strawberry shortcake fan, though few things a beat a homemade chocolate chip cookie.

Maria Simon, this book will be on its way to you!

I spent a wonderful day at the beach yesterday. It was sunny, but not humid, and there was a great beach breeze. I'm going to do a longer post tomorrow on my friends' cottage, "the little cottage that could." The little cottage survived five feet of water and mud and now it's just about ready for a beach summer. The picture below is a preview of tomorrow's post. 

The beach, the dunes and a perfect sky. 

Tonight is book club, and I am pleased to report that I finished our book choice, Anna Quindlen's, "Still Life with Bread Crumbs", and enjoyed it a lot. The main character is a woman of sixty and I especially like reading about a contemporary and the choices and decisions she makes at this time in her life. What are you reading these days? 

Thanks so much for stopping by. Hope your're having a great Monday and take good care. 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

A Bouquet for You Pink Saturday

Friday was errand day. Some of my errands weren't so much fun and some were a lot more fun. Lest anyone think I have a glamorous life in New York City, my less fun stop was over an hour spent at the cable television office returning my cable box etc. I figured it would take an hour and prepared for the wait with a newspaper, a magazine and my phone in case the errand stretched any longer than an hour. At nine o'clock it was standing room only, but I must have looked in need of a seat and a very polite much younger man offered me one right away. I made my way through much of the day's New York Times and three chapters of a thriller on my phone, which made the wait very tolerable.

Once the less fun errand was finished I made my way to Whole Foods and Michael's and I was happily greeted by some of the prettiest-in-pink sights I've seen lately on the sidewalks of New York.

 Pretty in pink and yellow!

Pretty in pink and lavender!

I was tempted to buy one of every kind of flower, and especially a pot of lavender. I didn't, but I may have to make a return visit for the lavender. I keep thinking of how nice the aroma would be in my kitchen. 

I am delighted to offer a pretty in pink or yellow or lavender bouquet to my Pink Saturday buddies. Enjoy!

I'm off to the beach today to see my friends' rebuilt cottage at Breezy Point. It will be too cold to swim, but I'm just hoping for sun, a nice walk on the beach and the opportunity to see the "Little Cottage that Could" rebuilt after Hurricane Sandy. 

As always, thanks for visiting and have a bright and beautiful Sunday!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Stop and Smell the Chocolate Foodie Friday

There are a lot of food stores and restaurants in my neighborhood. A lot! Some I go to often, some I go to occasionally and some I just glance at the windows. But then there is a moment when I'm walking by...maybe it's the tenth time, or in this case, the hundredth time (at least) when I just have to stop.

Jacques Torres, Mr. Chocolate, you had me at champagne truffles. 

I'm a champagne fan and the sign in the window made me stop and smell the chocolate. 

I didn't make it inside -- watching my calories -- but this spot is on my list to share with chocolate loving visitors. Somehow calories consumed when a friend is visiting New York don't count. Those are times I'm just being a good guide to the treats of New York. 

 Yesterday I stopped and smelled the chocolate. But one day I'll step inside for a taste test. Any one want to join me? I think the answer is a resounding yes. 

Another glorious spring day in New York City. Services in the morning and then lunch with my bloggy buddy, Lynda. We were at one of my favorite local places, Cibo e Vino. The front doors were open and there was a lovely breeze. A perfect way to spend a spring afternoon. 

This was the scene in February. The windows were tightly closed against the Polar V....x and there's a pile of snow around the corner. What a difference a few months make. 

I hope you had a lovely spring day, too, and a great weekend. As always, thanks for visiting and take good care.  

Thursday, May 15, 2014

"The Better Show" is the Best...

...or you can't do better than "Better."

I think that tells you how much I enjoyed being part of the audience for "The Better Show" last week. Definitely the high point was getting to see my buddy, Mo, again, but there were a lot of fun moments. One of the great things about living in New York is getting to be part of the audience for television shows and I've had a lot of fun this year visiting the "Katie Show" and "The Chew." But my visit to "The Better Show" was unique. The "audience" was made up of my blog buddies from Collective Bias, and we got a very close up view of how the show was produced. 

 You can just see Mo peeking out at the cameras.

"Better" is a nationally syndicated lifestyle television program that features JD Roberto and Rebecca Budig. They both have extensive television credits and if you are an "All My Children" fan, you will remember Rebecca as Greenlee Smythe. We got to meet both of them, chat and take photos, which is not the usual experience for the studio audience and so much fun. JD and Rebecca couldn't have been nicer. 

One of the segments featured a book about flirting. While not the least bit inappropriate -- I think I'm old enough to be his mother -- JD needs no lessons in being fun and so easy to talk to.  

Another big treat for this "24: Live Another Day" fan was seeing Kim Raver interviewed. Kim plays Audrey Raines on "24: Live Another Day" and though we didn't get to meet Kim, it was exciting to see the interview in such close proximity.  

Kim Raver aka Audrey Raines being interviewed on "The Better Show."

 Not to forget one fun moment, I loved meeting Kim McCosker and am so appreciate of being able to offer a copy of her book "4 Ingredients Chocolates Cakes & Cute Things as a giveaway. Please take a minute or two and click the link to leave a comment and be entered.

I wish you all could have joined me for this fun, fun day. But before you think that my life in New York is all television shows and celebrities, please think again. Today was much more of a usual day. There was laundry and errands -- trips to the fruit and vegetable store and to the post office. I also took one of the most crowded bus trips I've taken in a long, long time. The M104 bus is Buttercup's limo and I share it with dozens of friends.   

Please stop by tomorrow for Foodie Friday. I've got a very sweet treat to share. 

As always, thanks for visiting and take good care, especially blog buddies in Southern California. Prayers are with you!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Tuesday Night at the Theater

Some days 1964 seems more real than 2014. I might be walking down a street in Manhattan, but I could just as, or even more easily, be sitting at the little maple desk in my bedroom pretending to do my French homework and thinking about a cute boy in school. Tonight is one of those nights. If I close my eyes I feel the breeze through the screen and catch just a whiff of the lilacs that are blooming in our yard in Hartford. It is May 1964 and I am finishing the eighth grade.

If anyone had told that eighth grade girl that fifty years later she would go to the theater as easily as doing homework, that girl would have been amazed and laughed at the thought. Going to the theater was special and not something one did casually on a Tuesday night. I didn't know that I would see my first Broadway show in the summer of 1965 and begin a lifelong love affair with theater.

Tonight I saw an off-Broadway play set in 1971. I am sure the memories evoked by the play brought back the Hartford years, but as I walked to the bus I was struck at just how casually I was going to the theater on a Tuesday night, and how different my life is than the life I imagined in 1964. How amazingly different...

An awesome night of theater. Great acting -- a one person show is so hard to do -- and reflections on the issue of race in America, through the life of Louis Armstrong. 

This was the my view walking to the bus tonight. 

I marvel at my life sometimes, and all of things I couldn't have imagined in 1964. While there were bumps along the way -- in some cases mountains -- I never could have anticipated, there are still May nights when the most normal thing in the world is to go to the theater, and for those days, I am profoundly grateful.   

As always, thanks for visiting. Take care and have a wonderful Wednesday! 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Love to #ShareMoLove

I know that it's tough to get going some Mondays, but this is a feel-happy start the week cheerful post and I hope you feel the love right through your computer. Thanks to my very good friends at Mohawk Carpet and #CollectiveBias I got to spend some time last Monday with one of my favorite blog buddies, Mo, who stars in the #ShareMoLove campaign. I met Mo during a visit to Puppy Bowl in the winter and I was delighted, thanks to my friends at Mohawk Flooring, that we could spend more time together.

#ShareMoLove, #cbias, #shop
I love all of my blog buddies, but there's something oh so sweet about spending time with Mo. 

MO was a guest on "The Better Show" and I learned a lot about carpet, especially Mohawk SmartStrand and Mohawk SmartStrandSilk, which is happily, very pet-friendly carpet. It has built-in soil and stain resistance and can be cleaned easily with water or a little detergent. This is great for those of us with pets, but also for those of us with wet umbrellas, messy shoes and carpet under the dining room table, which seem to attract every food spill possible. 

I was delighted with the sample I was given -- dog bone shape -- and shared it with one of my favorite real-life buddies, Elvis. Elvis wasn't as camera friendly as Mo, but he and my dear friend and blog buddy, Betsy, with whom Elvis resides were delighted with the Mohawk SmartStrand pet-friendly carpet. 

#ShareMoLOve, #shop, #cbias
 I took a lot of photos, but Elvis, a very sweet dog, was not especially cooperative posing for the camera. Elvis was much more interested in the carpet and the cute puppy paw ribbon. 

Since I don't think I could ever spend too much time with Mo I was delighted to find that Mo is now the star of four webisodes, Make Room for Mo. They are adorable and I am especially enamored with "Romantic Evening." I don't want to give away the plot, but there is a resemblance to one of my favorite Disney movies. 

#ShareMoLove, #cbias, #shop
Mo and costars of "Make Room for Mo."

#ShareMoLove, #cbias, #shop
 I had a great time visiting "The Better Show," and so enjoyed meeting my blog buddies from #CollectiveBias. 

#ShareMoLove, #cbias, #shop

My visit to "The Better Show" and spending time with Mo and my Mohawk buddies -- just the nicest people! -- made my Monday last week. I hope Mo and friends have given you a feel-happy Monday today.

So glad you stopped by to visit. We've got summer in New York today -- 81 balmy degrees -- and it's definitely a day for sitting outside and enjoying the city. I hope it's a sunlit Monday in your part of the world. As always, thanks for visiting and take good care!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day Pink Saturday

When I walked past these windows on Friday I knew this would be our destination for Mother's Day and Pink Saturday. I loved the pretty in pink cake and I knew Citarella was a perfect place for a wonderful prepared meal. Eating out on Mother's Day is tough. It's so crowded and not the more lesisurely meal that we would like. But we can choose our treats at Citarella and head home to honor the mothers, grandmothers, aunts and godmothers in our lives.

The prettiest pretty in pink cake! I think the "Mom" cookies are pretty cute, too. 

We'll take a box of "Mom" cookies and the basket of chocolates, please. 

I think soft shell crabs would make a nice Mother's Day lunch. 

I hope you have a wonderful day. I'm thinking of my mother today -- too long gone, but always in my heart and thoughts -- and a shoutout to my beautiful goddaughter Jess and her mother K. Thanks for so many happy times!

I hope you will visit my 4 Ingredient giveaway for the opportunity to meet Kim McCosker and win her new book, "4 Ingredients Chocolates Cakes & Cute Things". Sweet, sweet treats!

As always, thanks for visiting. Take good care and have a sweet Mother's Day.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

4 Ingredients Foodie Friday Giveaway

Today marks the start of a new series of posts, "Foodie Friday." My goal is to post each Friday -- or thereabouts -- about a fun foodie place, item or cookbook. I've had such a good time writing about New York City foods and I think my visitors have had a good time, too, that I want to keep writing about food. I'm delighted to start Foodie Friday with a giveaway.

Buttercup and Kim

 I had the terrific good fortune to meet the lovely and very talented Kim McCosker during a visit to "The Better Show," a wonderful television experience, about which I will doing a post later in the week. Kim was a guest on the show and the audience -- some of my favorite bloggers -- got to sample Kim's treats. I was smitten with the chocolate peanut butter balls and then I fell totally in love with the lemon tarts. I was even more enthralled when I realized these treats only took four ingredients. These recipes even work in my teeny-tiny New York City kitchen.

Kim putting together a beautiful loaf cake -- only 4 ingredients! I like watching cooking shows on television and so enjoyed seeing the kitchen area where the recipes are made on "The Better Show." 

Kim -- we've only met once but she was so warm and friendly that I feel I've made a friend -- is an Australian mum who's found the way to make healthy, delicious home-cooked foods simply. Her recipes call for four -- or less -- ingredients and they're quick, budget-friendly and yummy, a combination that can't be surpassed. I had the best time looking at her website and seeing the books she's published. I think these would make great gifts for Christmas, Mother's Day, a bridal shower or a house gift for a first apartment, and there's even one that features gluten-free recipes.   

I am so happy to host a giveaway for Kim's latest book, 4 Ingredients Chocolates Cakes & Cute Things

The yummiest recipes!

This giveaway runs through next Saturday, May 17 and I will announce the lucky winner -- and eater! -- on Sunday, May 18. Please be a citizen of Buttercupand on Google +, Google Friend, or Bloglovin' and leave a comment with your favorite dessert.  

I hope you're having a sunlit Saturday. It's lovely in New York today. I've got my Bible study group later this afternoon and afterwards hope to get together with one of my cousins who's visiting New York City for the day. I'll be back later with some Pink Saturday Mother's Day wishes. 

As always, thanks for visiting and take good care!

Please note: I was given a copy of "4 Ingredients Chocolates Cakes & Cute Things" for review purposes, but the opinions are all mine.