Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Meet the Super Hero Girls

We're going to take a break -- only temporarily -- from Michigan and celebrate the first ever all ages original graphic novel featuring the DC Super Hero Girls, Finals Crisis. It goes on sale today and I am so glad to be part of the fun. I don't generally read graphic novels, but I enjoyed very much meeting the DC Super Hero Girls. I loved my high school classmates, but it would have been extraordinary to attend high school with Wonder Woman, Bat Girl, Super Girl and Bumblebee and friends. It's tough to be in high school and even tougher for super heroes. Their finals involve dealing with Super-Villains. 

I've always been fascinated by superheroes starting with Superman in elementary school -- and for girls today, it's great to have female superhero models and these girls are so much fun. I've wondered what super power I would pick for myself if that were ever a possibility and Bumblebee, the Social Butterfly -- front left of the cover above -- has both enhanced strength and the ability to shrink. She can secretly find out what mischief Super-Villains are planning. Like every bumblebee she can fly.   

If you were picking a super power (or two!) which one(s) would you choose? I'm going with flying and the ability to shrink. Look forward to knowing your choices.

I'm grateful to DC Super Hero Girls for a review copy and the chance to meet the talented and fun Super Hero Girls. The opinions are all mine.

I will be back tomorrow with more pictures of Michigan and lots more fun. Mackinac Island was beautiful and I have photographs (and more photographs) to share.

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


Sunday, June 26, 2016

Greetings from Mackinac Island

This will likely be the first of several posts from Mackinac Island, MI. I've long wanted to visit here, and I am so not disappointed. It's beautiful, historic, fun and peaceful. There are no cars, miles of gorgeous water's edge of Lake Huron, charming and historic homes and what seems like literally an infinite supply of fudge stores. The nickname for visitors is even Fudgies. 

Tomorrow I start heading south. Beulah, Michigan and The Cherry Hut, here I come!

As ever, thanks for visiting. Wishes for a great week!

Friday, June 24, 2016

First Week of Summer Pink Saturday

I think I've captured your attention!  

I really enjoy writing this blog and am rarely at a loss for ideas for posts, but every once in awhile, I'm stuck. Today was one of those days. I wanted to do a Pink Saturday post and nothing that I had in a draft quite worked. But on my way home from the gym I drifted in a housewares store that isn't a usual stop for me. It's high-end and generally out of my budget. But I saw big sale signs and decided to stop in. Even with sales, the store was still out of my budget, but I found my inspiration for Pink Saturday. I found the really big inflatable flamingo.

There are other pool floats, but none of the others were on display in all of their splendor. I was also taken by the duck and Moby Dick, but they all would be fun pool toys. Of course I don't have a pool and I'm not even sure I have friends who have pools, so this was strictly "just looking." Nonetheless it was lots of fun and the perfect solution to my Pink Saturday post quandary.

Which of the floats would be your choice? 

Here's a better look at some of the other floats and more summer fun ideas.

While we're on the subject of pink summer fun I was taken with both the flamingo candles and the summer ice cream cone candles on the right. 
I'm off on a little adventure tomorrow morning. I'm not sure if I'll have much computer time or connectivity -- going close to off the grid -- but if I do there will be pictures on Facebook and a post here.
As ever, thanks for visiting and have a sweet, sweet first weekend of summer!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Looking for Love

One of my not quite monthly indulgence is getting a pedicure. Generally I arrive at Pinky Nails with a color in mind. While my hands rarely display any color -- or professional nail care -- I am known to go wild with my toes. Sea green, Battleship Grey and a bright turquoise have been past picks. But about once a year I'm totally at sea at pedicure time. I'm confronted with dozens of bottles of polish, each prettier and more alluring than the one next to it. "Pick me," they call out in shiny and glittery chorus.

Yesterday was one of those days. I did what any social media minded person would do. I asked my friends on Facebook which color they preferred. I offered two choices -- St. Lucia Lilac and Looking for Love Blue. I received twenty plus answers, with Looking for Love definitely in the lead. The advice of my friends had some sway, but as my pedicure went on the name really captured me. I would definitely go with Looking for Love. Perhaps a pedicure can lead to love. Unlikely, but stranger things have happened.

Yes, there are blue toe nails in the picture above, but they don't show Looking for Love. They show Looking for Love and Meet the Parents. As too often in life, Looking for Love turned out to be a disappointment. The actual color was so different from the way it looked in the bottle, and I had to use a different bottle -- Meet the Parents -- to get the color I thought I was getting. Looking for Love, you turned out to be a disappointment, but one that was so easily resolved. I wish that all of life's and love's disappointments could be so easily resolved.

That's it for my life lessons of the week. Hoping that any disappointments that you may have are as easily solved.

As ever, thanks for visiting and keep cool!     

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Pink Saturday ManusxMachina

This week for Pink Saturday we're going to the Metropolitan Museum of Art for this year's Costume Institute show, ManusxMachina. When I first saw the title I had no idea what I was going to see, and the subtitle, "Fashion in the Age of Technology" wasn't significantly more helpful. But I found the exhibit, which looked at how custom made fashion is crafted, fascinating. Though I'll never wear an outfit that's a product of the fashion houses of Paris or Milan, I very much enjoyed seeing how the clothes are put together. Some looked as though they were made last week -- even though they may have been made fifty years ago -- and others looked as though they were made for the Jetsons.     

This is the entrance to the show, an extraordinary wedding outfit designed by Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel. This is the side view and below is the front of the gown.  It was made in 2014 and it very much stands alone in bridal design, so unlike the strapless dresses worn at weddings I've attended recently.

I didn't write down the names of the designers for the lace dresses above, but the one on the left is very similar to a dress I bought to wear to a wedding this summer. My lace is not custom made and my dress is not one of a kind, but the style is the same. I'm happy to know I chose a classic design.
I was taken by the placement of these two tangerine dresses. The one on the left falls into the classic category and the one on the right may have been worn only on the runway. 

I loved these three black evening dresses. They had the look of Downton Abbey, but I think they are also very wearable today.

This outfit by British designer, Hussein Chalayan, may take the award for the least wearable I've ever seen. Though it was designed in 2011, it looks like it could have been featured in a fifties science fiction movie.

This is the the "Flying Saucer" by Issey Miyake (1994). I guess I wasn't the only person who had space travel on my mind. 

Which dress do you find most interesting? My vote goes to the wedding gown. It was an extraordinary work of art and design. 

I could have posted twenty more pictures. There were many beautiful dresses and many eye catching dresses and I think I photographed most of the them. Last year's Costume Institute China exhibition still stands as one of the most memorable exhibits I've seen at the Museum, but I thoroughly enjoyed this one as well.

Please stop by this week's Pink Saturday fun and meet some of the nicest bloggers in BlogLand. 

Speaking of nice bloggers and blog visitors, we have two winners for the Zootopia giveaway. They are Virginia King and James Robert, followers of Buttercupland on Google+. I wish I could give a copy of Zootopia to everyone who stopped by. Thanks again to my friends at Disney.

I hope everyone had a happy Fathers Day and has a great week! Thanks so much for visiting.

Friday, June 17, 2016

It's (the Waning Minutes of) Bunker Hill Day

Boston, well after the Battle of Bunker Hill.
Earlier today, and for some reason that's slipped from memory, I googled the lyrics to "Yankee Doodle." Yes, I'm embarrassed to admit, I couldn't remember all of the words to Yankee Doodle, a song I probably sang a thousand times when I was growing up. Be that as it may, I went from Yankee Doodle to another link to another link and I noticed that today was the anniversary of the Battle of Bunker Hill, fought on June 17, 1775. It was early in the Revolutionary War and the goal for the Continental troops was to break the Siege of Boston. 
I've spent a good part of this evening reading about the Revolutionary War. I know I studied it in elementary school and then again in high school, but so many details have been lost in the swirl of decades. I've always enjoyed the study of history -- it was my minor in college -- and have continued reading about history in the years since college. But I've forgotten how much I enjoyed learning about past events, especially early American history. I think it's time to start reading again, and learning more about events that took place in New York. I grew up in Connecticut and we learned the history of Connecticut and New England, but I never formally studied New York history.
One of my summer projects is to find the remnants of the Revolutionary War in New York City. The Battle of Brooklyn/Long Island is at the top of my list to learn about. In the next two months -- before the anniversary of the Battle of Brooklyn, August 27 -- we'll be going to history summer school. But it's going to be a fun summer school -- out of doors and with an iced coffee in hand.
That's one of my summer projects. What are your special plans for the summer?
As ever thanks for visiting and have a sweet Saturday!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Need a Little Fun? It's Time for a Disney Zootopia Giveaway

Meet Judy Hopps and friends in Zootopia!

Need some summer fun? I'm pretty sure the answer is yes. Happily, Buttercupland has lots of summer fun. Thanks to my good friends at Disney, Buttercupland is able to offer two (yes, two) citizens of Buttercupland digital downloads of Disney's latest home entertainment release, Zootopia. In addition, both winners will receive a carrot recorder pen a la Officer Judith Hopps, the cutest rabbit to grace a Disney feature in a long time. 

I've been watching the commercials for Zootopia and even though I missed it in theaters I'm happy to know I can still enjoy at my leisure. For mamas and grandmas, this is the perfect summer treat for those days when it's hot, hot, hot. We can all feel our inner Disney detective skills and enjoy viewing Judy Hopps and friends solve a mystery.

This is an easy and quick entry.  Please be a friend of Buttercupland via Bloglovin, Google +, or Google Friend Connect and leave a comment sharing your favorite summer fun -- besides enjoying Zootopia.  The giveaway runs through 11:59 on Saturday, June 18 and the lucky two will be announced on Sunday, June 19.

As ever, thanks so much for stopping by. Buttercupland wouldn't be much fun without all of you!

Please note: No compensation was received for the downloads and pens. The opinions are all mine.    

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Pink Saturday on the Sidewalks of New York

Tonight's Pink Saturday post really features pink. Whether it's just a little pink -- the tie-dye shirt on the girl sitting by the fountain in the picture above -- or a lot of pink in the pictures below, it's an all Pink Saturday. On Friday I went across Central Park and visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I had a fabulous time at the Costume Institute exhibit, ManusxMachina. I took a lot of photographs and will definitely do a post about it later in the week.
My next pretty in pink discovery was this sweet scooter rider in front of the museum. 

But this person strolling down Madison Avenue really caught my eye. All dressed in pink, including the pink pith helmet. I've never seen a pastel pith helmet before and I can only wonder where does one go to buy one. 

I found these first roses of summer blooming in front of a Fifth Avenue apartment building. I'm dedicating them to those killed and injured in Orlando this morning.
My plan was to do this post in the morning and another post tonight, but I was glued to the news, not quite believing the sorrowful scenes I was seeing. I try to stay away from the tragic realities outside of Buttercupland, but some days those realities are too large a part of my life and our world to ignore. 
But in the midst of the sorrow and darkness, Claire Kathleen made her way into the world, granddaughter of my friend, K. Claire Kathleen, you are blessed with wonderful parents, a great big sister and so many people who love you! Wishing you a life of light, peace, health and happiness. 
Please stop back tomorrow for the post that didn't make it today. I'll be doing the first of two summer giveaways. This one is a summer vacation giveaway for moms and grandmas looking for fun summer ideas. 
As ever, thanks for visiting. Wishing us all love, light and peace.    


Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Anchors in the Storm

I've had World War II on my mind for the last week. Firstly, between Memorial Day and the commemoration of D-Day I've been reading a lot about the era. But I've also been reading Anchor in the Storm, Sarah Sundin's novel set during the war. Lillian Avery, the main character is a pharmacist in Boston. Women pharmacists are rare at this time and Lillian's work efforts, her growing relationship with her brother's friend, Ensign Archer Vandenberg, and a plot that includes a mystery, contribute to a novel that was engrossing and kept me reading past my usual bedtime.

My mother worked for the Navy Department in Connecticut during the war and I always enjoyed hearing her memories of life during this time. While my mother and Lillian Avery had very different experiences, the stories told in Anchor in the Storm seemed to be so close to those my mother related to me. But as my mother's stories weren't all history, neither is this novel a recitation of dates and places. The characters are vivid and yes, there is romance.

I previously read In Perfect Time, which also takes place during World War II and I enjoyed it a lot. too. Anchor in the Storm is the second novel in the  Waves of Freedom series and that gives me another volume to look forward to. Thanks, Sarah Sundin, for the first book in my summer reading.

What's the first book in your summer reading?  
Tuesday was a perfect almost summer day in New York. I started with a visit to the allergist and then enjoyed walking, coffee and sitting outside and reading the NY Times. Despite my leisure I made it to the gym -- some days I am so reluctant -- and even got a second walk in after dinner.
As ever, thanks for visiting and happy summer reading! 
Please note, thanks to my friends at the Litfuse Publicity Group, I was given a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. The opinions are all mine.  

Monday, June 6, 2016

(Distantly) Monkey Monday

Please meet, Joyce, my foster orangutan.

About a month ago I was idly scrolling  through my Facebook feed and came across the story of an orangutan that had been rescued in Borneo. I read the story and followed up with a visit to the organization's site. When I got to International Animal Rescue, I found a number of stories of other orangutans that had also been rescued. The organization appeared legitimate and I decided I wanted to "adopt" an orangutan, too. I filled out the form, made a donation and honestly, figured I might never hear from her or the organization. But a few weeks ago my adoption packet arrived.

My cynicism was based on my first orangutan adoption almost twenty years ago. I had been visiting Borneo -- yes, to see the orangutans -- and adopted Rosie. Rosie didn't call and she didn't write. My adoption vanished into thin air. But now Joyce and I are connected. Joyce had been living with a human family for about a year. They initially acquired her from a man who was trying to trade her for gasoline for his motorbike. Tragically, this meant her mother had been killed. Deforestation is the biggest threat to orangutans. Once the forest is gone they are left without food or shelter.     

A few photographs from my trip to Borneo. Unfortunately my photographs of the orangutan sanctuary were lost to a battery mishap with my camera.
I hope Joyce and her orangutan friends will forgive my use of Monkey Monday, as it's only a distant relation. Orangutans are actually a species of great apes. They are highly intelligent and have many skills, including building tree nests where they sleep each night.
I know friends will ask about Pepe's reaction. He is thrilled to have a "sister" even though she is so far away, and I am happy to welcome Joyce to the Buttercupland family.
It's a perfect June day in New York today. I'm "trading" the gym for a long walk outside. Got to make the most of no-humidity days.
As ever, thanks for visiting and have a very happy Orangutan (Monkey) Monday.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

What Do You Cook When You Don't Know What to Cook?

It's a (relatively) cold, rainy and slightly dreary day in Manhattan. It's a good day to cook and prepare meals for the week. I've got chicken, four different vegetables and I'm just about ready to prepare dinner. But I've come to the end of my cooking creativity. What do I do?


Thanks to my friends at Blogging for Books, I turn to Mark Bittman's Kitchen Matrix, and I am inspired. There are seven hundred recipes for every type of food. I can pick chicken recipes that include the ingredients and spices I have on hand and mix and match them. It's not an easy choice. Thanks to fabulous photos, each dish looks better than the last. I'm leaning to Chicken with Olives, Tomatoes and Parsley, but Chicken with Asparagus and Mustard is also calling my name. There's no asparagus in the kitchen, but it looks that a swap out for broccoli might work well, too. The sections for chicken include chicken breasts, chicken cutlets , chicken parts and for those days that I splurge, fried chicken. Mark Bittman, where have you been all my life?

Actually, I've been following Mark Bittman's columns in the New York Times for years, but the Kitchen Matrix makes me feel that Mark is in my kitchen and is answering my question, "What do I cook for dinner?" It's very readable, has great ideas, and did I mention that the pictures are among some of the best I've seen in cookbooks? I know I did, but it's worth repeating. I don't use a lot of my cookbooks, but I'm definitely going to use this one.

I'm making chicken tonight. What's for dinner at your house?

I got my miles in this morning, grocery shopped, met a friend for coffee and now it's time for blog visits. After my chicken dinner I'm planning a few uninterrupted hours with Aimee Leduc in Murder in the Sentier.

As ever, thanks for visiting and have a wonderful Sunday evening.

Please note: I received a copy of Mark Bittman's Kitchen Matrix from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review. The opinions are all mine.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Celebrating National Doughnut Day

I've seen doughnuts everywhere I've looked today -- my Facebook feed, my inbox and even in messages popping up on my phone. I've been informed it's National Doughnut Day many, many times. As someone who tries to be pastry abstinent, this has been tough for me. Knowing that there are free doughnuts all over New York with my name on them and also knowing that I will regret every sweet, greasy bite after I've inhaled them. My compromise celebration is a virtual visit to Glazed and Infused in Chicago.

I was trying to stay pastry abstinent in Chicago and was only in search of the best coffee. I asked one of the staff at the hotel where I was staying about coffee and she responded that she had no recommendations for coffee, but the best doughnuts were only a block away. It was fate and I decided my treat for the trip would be a visit to Glazed and Infused. I found the coffee, from Kenya, was very good, but the doughnuts were sensational.
It was a temptation to buy a t-shirt or mug here, but my suitcase and carryon were already packed solid with books. 

I was overwhelmed by the assortment pictured below, but happily, there were miniature versions of the full-sized doughnuts. There were also mini cakeball size samples, which helped my selection process. I wanted to try every one of them, but knew that would go from ecstasy to awful quickly.

Doughnut lovers heaven!

These were my choices. From left to right: glazed doughnut, apple fritter doughnut and red velvet. In the back is the maple bacon doughnut. I probably wouldn't have ordered the latter, but the guide books were very enthusiastic about it. My favorites were the glazed -- I love a good glazed doughnut, which needs no embellishment -- and the red velvet. I'm glad I tried the maple bacon, but the slice of bacon really didn't do much for me. I'd go back for the glazed one again and again. While we're talking doughnut flavors, what's your favorite?

Since doughnuts are fun, I'm linking this post to one of the most fun places in BlogLand, Pink Saturday. I've got a quiet weekend ahead and hope to catch up on a couple of long overdue posts, get in some walking, make a museum visit, and drink coffee and read (of course!). What are your weekend plans?

As ever, thanks for visiting and have a happy weekend.