Thursday, July 30, 2015

Meet Rusty Griswold

When I was working -- which seems light years in the past -- I didn't watch much television, especially during the last ten years. My commute had expanded and when I got home it was about all I could do just to eat dinner, read the mail and keep up with blogging.  But there were a few shows I made an exception for and one of my all-time favorites was "The Office." I had a place in my heart for all of the characters, but one that I especially enjoyed was Andy Bernard, played by Ed Helms.

I also have fond memories of the "Vacation" series with Chevy Chase and was pleased to see that Ed Helms was going to play the grown Rusty Griswold in the new version of "Vacation."
I was even more pleased when I saw that Ed Helms would be interviewed on AOLBuild, a live interview program that is streamed on AOL. And I was thrilled when I got a ticket to attend.
After a quick subway trip downtown I arrived at the very hip offices for AOL. Though my seat was near the back, it was a small space and I could see and hear the interview perfectly.  
The program consisted of an interview and questions from the audience. Ed Helms -- better looking in person -- was funny, intelligent and engaging. The program was only half an hour and I would have been happy spending more time getting to know Ed Helms/Andy Bernard/Rusty Griswold.
The interview scene -- through the window is a quick glimpse of the beautiful Grace Church.
After the interview it's a quick run to the next interview/appearance. Your correspondent on the aisle captured the moment. 
I'm pleased to have discovered AOLBuild and was impressed with the guests that are scheduled to appear. I've requested tickets for several programs in the future and I'm waiting to hear if I will be able to attend. My Buttercupland buddies will be the first to know. 
We've got thunderstorms here and the humidity must be 99%. I'm enjoying a quiet afternoon at home and will be catching up with a good book later. I hope everyone is able to keep cool. 
As ever, thanks for visiting and take good care.  

Monday, July 27, 2015

Museum Monday -- "China: Through the Looking Glass"

Though I often go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, I rarely, if ever, go to the exhibits put on by the Costume Institute. There always seems to be a special exhibit that is about to close that I opt to see. I thought that "China: Through the Looking Glass" would be one more that I wouldn't see, but fortunately it was at the top of my friend Nancy's list, and we arrived early today to see it. I can't begin to thank Nancy enough for her choice. I've been to many special exhibits, but I will long remember this one as memorable and beautiful.

 The exhibit juxtaposed classic pieces -- the beautiful robe in the center of the photo -- with modern designer pieces and movie costumes. The tuxedo jacket on the left was designed by Ralph Lauren. The settings were striking and frequently incorporated film clips and art from the Museum's permanent collection.

I was taken with this extraordinary black evening dress that was designed with the simple lines of a traditional Chinese dress, yet with a very modern twist.
This perfect afternoon tea dress, circa 1956, uses fabric modeled on an antique Chinese print.  Nancy and I agreed that if we went to teas or elegant lunches this would be the dress we would want to wear. Its lines and fabric are timeless.

There were some dresses that were never meant for anyone to actually wear and this is one of them. The top of the dress is made of shards of blue and white china and the skirt is a mass of ruffles. I think one twirl down the runway would be the extent of its wear. This room shared costumes with pieces of blue and white porcelain from the permanent collection. 
There were so many extraordinary settings and outfits that I took pictures until my phone was no longer able to take one more picture. It was hard to choose for this post, but happily there are several photos of pink items and I think I've found my inspiration for this week's Pink Saturday. I hope you won't mind a return visit. 
I've got a fun surprise for the week ahead. I'm not sure if I will be able to take photos, but if I can there will be excitement unbounding to share. Hint: Is anyone else a fan of the Chevy Chase "Vacation" movies? Is anyone else eager for the remake opening this weekend?
As ever, thanks for visiting and have a sweet week! 

Friday, July 24, 2015

Christmas in July Pink Saturday

I had at least a dozen emails today reminding me that it was Christmas in July. I disregarded all of them until I found this plaque while walking in the neighborhood.

I walked by Virginia O'Hanlon's house....Yes, that Virginia, as in "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus..."
I knew there was a real Virginia, but I didn't realize she had lived less than a mile from where I live now. I thought I knew every block in the neighborhood, but there are discoveries still to be made, even after living in the same place for almost twenty-five years. 
This is Virginia's block. A number of the buildings on the block date from the time when Virginia wrote to The New York Sun, asking her famous question.
After my historic discovery I continued to my destinations, Whole Foods/Home Goods/Michaels. I had my eye out for Pink Saturday sights and I found the most pretty in pink juice cart imaginable. 
I didn't stop for one of the smoothies -- another time! -- but I did take a shopping break for frozen yogurt. I went with (mostly) sugar-free strawberry banana and it was also definitely a pretty in pink and delicious snack. 
I'm happy to report that the only forthcoming holiday represented in Michael's was Halloween, and it was only a very small display. I skipped over the pumpkins -- it's July! -- and concentrated on my goal, baby things. But that's a post for another day.
I spent today catching up on errands that got lost in the BlogHer mania. I returned my overdue library books, bought the makings for baby cards and replenished my sadly depleted refrigerator. Next on my agenda for the weekend: visit my blog buddies.
As ever, thanks for visiting and have a sweet weekend!   

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Thanks, BlogHer15, for the Memories

Thanks, BlogHer, for the memories.  

This was my fifth time attending the BlogHer conference. I thought I knew exactly what to expect. I knew I would take a goofy picture or two, hear/meet a celebrity or two and find something fun for a blog giveaway. Check, check, check.

I got to meet and chat with Sheryl Underwood, who was as funny and nice as I had expected.
I've shared my photo with my guy, Acquaman, and I've got two things tucked away for a blog giveaway later this summer. 
I had two goals specific to this BlogHer. I wanted/needed information on better organizing my every growing photograph collection. I also had seen several sponsors offering headshots that I could use on social media. I hoped to get a professional photograph that one day might be on a book jacket or the electronic equivalent. I did attend a session on photo organization and it should be helpful. I think I need more than one session, but it's a good start. Thanks to my friends at Prudential, one of the BlogHer sponsors, I am the very happy possessor of a professional headshot. I'm really happy with it and I plan to use it forever. Prudential provided not only a professional photographer, but a wonderful makeup person.
One of the things I didn't expect was to make friends at the conference. I've found in the past that I didn't come away with a lot of new blogger friends. In the past, I've generally exchanged a number of cards, but after the conference I might keep up with only one or two people. Actually I was a little nervous going to BlogHer this year. Though I'm a friendly person the thought of walking into the Hilton Ballroom knowing no one was intimidating. In an effort to be more comfortable I signed up for several smaller activities that I thought would be more my style and that was a great idea.  Ironically I sat down at breakfast the first day and found that the woman sitting next to me was speaking at the luncheon I had signed up for. For my fifth BlogHer friends seemed to appear all around me. The small events were great, but I also met bloggers while charging my phone and at the photo seminar.
This year the focus seemed to be more on social media in general and less on blogging in specific. I was initially taken aback by this, but as a few days have passed I'm appreciative for insights into issues I otherwise might not have gotten. I hope to be part of a social media effort that will be released in the fall, and is still under wraps. No fear, I will be writing about this issue that I am excited to share and to be part of.
Thanks to Acquaman I'm well supplied with tooth paste and I'm excited about the giveaway here, to come. But most of all I'm grateful for new friends and ideas. I can't ask for more from three days.


As ever, thanks for visiting and have a sweet Wednesday!   

Sunday, July 19, 2015

BlogHer15 Pink Saturday

This is the first in a series of three -- possibly more -- posts about BlogHer 2015, including a very fun giveaway. While I was in the exhibition hall meeting sponsors I looked for things that were pink with an eye to a  BlogHer Pink Saturday post. I only found a few things that were pink, but there are several others that made for pretty pictures and I liked them very much.


 This was definitely the pinkest picture I found. The figure in pink represents Fitbiotic which is one of Garden of Life's probiotics. I've wanted to try a probiotic product and was grateful for the opportunity from Garden of Life. The pink figure is holding a stuffed DNA. If anyone would like a stuffed DNA -- can't call it a stuffed animal -- just let me know and I will be glad to give it a good home with you.

The next semi-pink picture is courtesy of Best Buy. They had a very pretty setting at BlogHer and I loved this display of cookies. I can't tell you how they tasted, because in a true spirit of restraint, I didn't eat one. I knew once I started I'd be back for the entire wedding party.

There were many treats at BlogHer, but these may have been the prettiest.
Best Buy had lots of pretty in pink décor and I fell in love with both Kenny Lattimore, singer extraordinaire, and the beautiful couch behind us. Kenny could not have been nicer and I was so impressed with his kindness and friendliness. 
This bouquet isn't pink, but I thought it was lovely. The conference took place at the Midtown Hilton, which went out of their way to welcome BlogHer. They set up a section in their lounge -- complete with chargers, coffee, lemonade and cake pops -- all the necessities for a conference rest space. While my phone charged I loved watching the passing parade on the sidewalks of New York.  
These are just a few of the moments I captured at BlogHer, and in some ways they're a quick snapshot of moments of the conference. This post doesn't include the people I spent time with -- some terrific bloggers -- and the serious discussions that took place about social media, the status of women around the world, maternal health and social issues in America. Those issues are for other posts. 
But now I'm (somewhat) back to my regular life -- grocery shopping, the gym and Weight Watchers. However, without quite realizing it, this would-be romance writer signed up for several events for the Romance Writers of America Conference that takes place in New York this week. Both programs should be fun, so it's not quite a return to regular life just yet. 
As ever, thanks for visiting and have a sweet week.
Please note: I received Garden of Life probiotics as a review product. The opinions are all my own.

Friday, July 17, 2015

In the BlogHer Tradition of...

...Meeting the California Raisin, the Smith Brothers of cough drop fame and Mr. Brawny, I give you -- drumroll, please --

Buttercup meets Mr. Acquaman, he who vanquishes tooth decay. It wouldn't be BlogHer without a photo of one of my idols. 
The last two days held many fun moments, thoughtful moments and the opportunity to meet and speak with some terrific bloggers. It's somewhat hit and miss when the ballroom holds 2,000 people and I pick a seat, but luck was with me this morning and I sat with several people at breakfast that I had the chance to get to speak with during the day as well and became better acquainted with.   
I'm planning to call it a night soon and I'll make this a quick post. Bloggers need their beauty sleep for a big day tomorrow. But I will leave you with a rare photo -- Buttercup vacuuming. It's just about my least favorite domestic chore -- ironing is at the bottom of the list -- but I took a whirl at the Dyson booth. For five minutes I thought it was kind of fun, though I think it would take more than even a Dyson to make it a favorite activity. 
 The Happy Homemaker

As always thanks for visiting and have a sweet Saturday!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

When Is an Oreo Not an Oreo?

Somewhere in the last century, which might as well be somewhere in another universe, one of my favorite treats was an Oreo. It consisted of two thin, round chocolate cookies with a sweet filling between the two. When I last checked the Oreo had been joined by a golden Oreo, which had two thin, round vanilla cookies and the same sweet filling. This worked well for the twentieth century, at which time I lost track of the Oreo.

Fast forward to last night, an evening in the twenty-first century. I was at the grocery and walked down the cookie aisle.

Twentieth Century Oreo, pictured above, had been joined by many twenty-first century Oreos. I felt like Rip Van Winkle waking up in a very unfamiliar time and place.

There is Chocolate Oreo, Lemon Oreo, Berry Oreo, Heads or Tails Double Stuff Oreo, S'Mores Oreo Birthday Cake Oreo and Triple Double Oreo. I know I didn't capture all of the various types of Oreos and Key Lime Pie Oreo is out there, too, with probably dozen more that weren't at this grocery.

I have two questions, my friends. Where was I when the new Oreos -- which are probably not so new -- came to be? And my second question, is a Birthday Cake Oreo -- or a lemon Oreo or a berry Oreo -- still an Oreo? I vote nay for the last question. To me, an Oreo is consists of two thin, round chocolate cookies with sweet creamy filling. Call me old-fashioned, but that's an Oreo. The others may be equally tasty, but they're not Oreos.

While we're on the subject...

I discovered five varieties of Klondike Bars today. When did this happen? Probably the same time the Oreo morphed into a dozen cookie flavors.

This is my last pre-BlogHer15 post. Tomorrow I take the M104 bus to the Midtown Hilton for, what I am sure will be, a fabulous, busy and memorable three days. I will try and give quick updates during the conference, but if not, see you Sunday!

As always, thanks for visiting and have a sweet day.


Sunday, July 12, 2015

Meet the Impressionists

One of my mother's favorite sayings was that you couldn't dance at two weddings at the same time. I was reminded of that this week. I want to see "The Impressionists"" a fabulous Fathom Events film about some of my favorite painters, the Impressionists. It's a Fathom Events program, only being shown on Tuesday, July 14th. Alas, I have another event, paid for and planned for, that I have long looked forward to.

My event is limited to New York, but for friends across America, you can click on the link and have the opportunity to win tickets to what, I am sure, will be a wonderful and beautiful evening. I am so sorry I won't be able to be there, but as mother always said, "You can't dance at two weddings." Don't you wish we could!

I'm off to a couple of days at the beach -- hoping for good weather -- and then it's time for BlogHer15. It's been a busy week and this next week looks busier. I'm excited for the BlogHer activities, which you know I will be sharing with all of Buttercupland. I wish you all could join me in New York for the fun.

As ever, thanks for visiting and have a sweet Sunday!"The Impressionists"

Friday, July 10, 2015

It's All Over (Almost) -- Except for the Thank You Notes

Two days of being 65 have flown by, mixed with both celebration and the mundane details of life. I've gone out to eat twice, opened cards, talked on the phone and was delighted by remembrances from friends of long, long standing and shorter duration. I've been feted, fussed over and had a wonderful time. All the good wishes and celebrating were very much appreciated.

In the past I've written about my birthday -- especially at the milestone of turning sixty. But this time I felt much less philosophical, which somewhat surprised me. I have a philosophical turn of mind and I generally reflect on milestones large and very small. Not this one. Besides the festivities here are a few other moments of my day of becoming sixty-five.

The New York Times waited at my door, as it does almost every day. I was hoping for a birthday headline, but that's not the paper's style. Happily, there was no across-the-page headline trumpeting disaster and war. That may be the best gift I received yesterday. 
On the totally mundane, I dropped off dry cleaning -- not a picture opportunity -- and took the subway to Weight Watchers. There was no special birthday gift, other than losing a pound. On reflection, that's a happy gift, too.
I walked south on Broadway and came upon this doggy quartet, and then I came to one of my favorite summer moments, the Wednesday Lunchtime outdoor concert. 
There wasn't a rendition of "Happy Birthday," but the music was terrific. I've stopped by every Wednesday after Weight Watchers and enjoyed the music. 

I ultimately made my way to this restaurant, for one of the best birthday lunches ever. I remembered to take pictures as the food was served and I will be doing a separate post -- time for a New York summer food post -- early next week. 
One more celebration dinner and then for this birthday Cinderella, the coach becomes a pumpkin once again. But not for long. I've got to get my thank you notes done quickly -- grateful to have thank you notes to write -- because BlogHer is in town next week and normal mundane life will be suspended once again. 
Thank you all for your sweet and thoughtful birthday notes. As I look forward to the second half of my sixties I am so grateful for my Buttercupland friends. Some of you I've had the good fortune to meet and others I know only from your words and pictures. But I know, too, the good hearts and kind thoughts and that also go with your blogs, and am so glad that you have chosen to visit Buttercupland. 
As always, thanks for visiting and have a sweet day!    

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Have a Sweet Day!

I am a candy fan. Yes, I can rhapsodize over cake and ice cream is my go-to sweet snack, but candy is right up there, too. I don't indulge that often -- though I did go wild with the wasabi Kit Kats in Japan -- but when I'm in the neighborhood I often stop in at one of my favorite places, Dylan's Candy Bar.  I like the array of candy, but I really like the décor. I feel as though I'm visiting a candy factory and I can choose anything I like, calories and cost not considered while I browse.

 "Button" candy was one of my favorites in elementary school.   

If I wore flip flops, I'd choose these candy themed ones.
I almost didn't stop in during my last visit to the neighborhood, but I had to explore once I saw the stuffed ice cream cones in the window. 
My only purchase was coconut lime sugar-free gum. I'd never seen the brand -- a little pricy -- or the flavor before, but the taste lived up to my expectation. Other than on flights I don't chew gum very often, but every once in a while it's a treat, The coconut flavor made me feel I was on a tropical beach for a lot less than the price of a flight and hotel. 
My candy tastes are simple. My favorites are York Peppermint Patties, Reese's of any variety and toffee. I also like movie candy -- Raisinets especially -- but more in memory and rarely, rarely eat them. What are your favorites?
Today's title -- which definitely may make an encore appearance in Buttercupland -- is the greeting at the cash register at Dylan's. It was so unexpected, but a very nice change from "Have a nice day."
I hope everyone is having a good week. It's birthday week for me and today is the last day I will be sixty-four. So enjoying the birthday remembrances and looking forward to tomorrow. So grateful to have another birthday!
As ever, thanks for visiting and have a sweet day!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy Birthday, America!

My view each day and so grateful for it.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Happy Birthday, July Babies!

A few days ago I noted that a post from 2011, Happy Birthday, July Babies, was on my list of the five most read posts this week. Today I observed that it's at the top of the list. I don't generally reuse content, but everyone loves a birthday, especially this July baby.

My thoughts are somewhat different than they were four years ago. I still love laughter, respect honor more each year and I can be demanding. In 2011 I didn't think I'd amassed great wealth, and as was pointed out to me, wealth comes in many varieties. I'm profoundly wealthy in family, friends and health and blessed to be able to take care of my material needs. I can take no credit for quiet bravery, but hope I have courage to handle difficult situations as they present themselves. I've got a few days until my new age comes around, and for the next week I can still hum "When I'm Sixty-Four." Who else in Buttercupland is a July baby?

Four years ago I was savoring the long weekend and now every weekend and every week is a long weekend. I still find it amazing that I am retired and that each day is mine to plan and enjoy. This morning I was on the subway at rush hour for a dental appointment and I remembered getting up and out every morning and heading into the crush of people. Now it's a rare event and one that I choose. These days of leisure are the best gift I can think of, and one that I am enjoying infinitely.  

I'm spending this weekend in New York and relatively quietly. I'm planning a visit with friends in Brooklyn tomorrow. They have a lovely backyard and I'm looking forward to lemonade and laughter on their deck. Sunday is movie day. I'm also hoping to catch up on a dozen errands that didn't get done this week in the next few days. Next week there's some birthday fun planned and the week after is BlogHer and I want to be relaxed to enjoy both. What holiday plans do you have?

As ever, thanks for visiting and have a great weekend!