Book Review :: Inside the O'Briens

 Inside the O'Briens by Lisa Genova. Image by Jessica Moseley Gordon

Inside the O'Briens by Lisa Genova. Image by Jessica Moseley Gordon

I was first introduced to Lisa Genova a few years ago when I read Still Alice. I was riveted from the first page.  We are immediately introduced to Alice, the protagonist who is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's. Here we are given a very personal glimpse into the Alice's world and that of her loved ones. It's a frightening disease and as I read I questioned my own forgetfulness from time to time. Insightful, educational and powerful I was left wanting more from this author.

Not long ago I was perusing a handful of titles on my iPad. I prefer to read in paper, but I do tend to check out the books initially on my iBooks app where I can download the first couple of chapters for free. This helps me to decide whether I want to read the book in its entirety. Inside the O'Briens was one of the books which struck me as interesting. I downloaded a couple of chapters, and just as with Still Alice, I was immediately hooked.  For more read here.

Keep cool with Indigo; this summer's hottest color

  Indigo pillows create a cool and relaxed seating area for an indoor or outdoor picnic. Image via Hello Revolution

Indigo pillows create a cool and relaxed seating area for an indoor or outdoor picnic. Image via Hello Revolution

Look around and you'll see variations of Indigo in many shapes and forms. From clothing to accessories to home decor, this color has been taking the world by storm, and deservedly so. This deep bluish-almost-purplish hue is reminiscent of the ocean, mussels, sea glass and the summer sky at night is at once powerful and calming. These deep blues make us think of cool, deep ocean waters, instantly cooling, calming on a sultry summer day. As indigo bridges the color palette between blue and black with undertones of purple, it is neither, but as versatile as both. In fashion it lends itself equally well to bohemian, casual, classic and more formal lifestyles. In the home it embraces all personalities and styles. Indigo is powerful on its own and pairs well with so many other colors from whites and stones to wheats and yellows and for those who embrace a colorful palette, even oranges and corals. Whether you're looking to add to, freshen up or renovate your home, this color should be on your radar. For more read here

Watermelon Agua Fresca :: A perfectly Refreshing Beverage for a Hot Summer Day

 Watermelon Agua Fresca. Image via The Entertaining House

Watermelon Agua Fresca. Image via The Entertaining House

Agua fresca is a refreshing, light fruit drink that is popular throughout Mexico. It couldn't be any easier to make - all you need is some fresh fruit, water, honey or agave and a little bit of lime juice. Melons are very popular as a fruit choice as they yield a lot of juice and are inherently sweet. For more read here. 

In the bag :: 6 chic, fun and whimsical bags you will want to carry this summer

  In the bag :: 6 chic, stylish and whimsical bags to clutch on to this summer   Moyna Bags  , New York taxi yellow cab, $  59.00

In the bag :: 6 chic, stylish and whimsical bags to clutch on to this summer
Moyna Bags, New York taxi yellow cab, $59.00

I have a thing for handbags. I love them all - large, small and everything in between. But in the summertime when the livin' is easy I want to shed those layers - both literally and figuratively. I want to leave my large carryalls behind - at home, at the office. The big totes are best left at the beach or on the boat. I want to lighten up. And, other than car keys, some money, my driver's licence, lipstick, phone and perhaps a pair of glasses what else could I possibly need? Nothing!! For more read here. 

Beyond Peanut Butter and Jelly :: Comfort Food Dressed Up

 Beyond Peanut Butter and Jelly :: Comfort Food Dressed Up Image via Jessica Moseley Gordon

Beyond Peanut Butter and Jelly :: Comfort Food Dressed Up
Image via Jessica Moseley Gordon

There's nothing like a good pb+j when the mood strikes. Whether you're partial to grape jelly or strawberry preserves, the combination of the sweet and the salty perfectly satisfies your cravings. This childhood favorite is comforting and nurturing. Whether you're a Welch's jelly purist or Smucker's strawberry fan, there's no right or wrong way to make or eat this classic sandwich. Best of all, it's simple and easy to make. There's no prep time involved and dishwashing is minimal. It's my go to for the children when I'm pressed for time. Lately we've been dressing this sandwich up a bit - Sometimes they become truly decadent, almost desertlike and sometimes they're packed with power - a perfect pre-workout energy source. Whatever your mood, style or preference there's something to satisfy your craving. For more read here

Designing Women :: Bettie Bearden Pardee

 Bettie Bearden Pardee in her Newport, Rhode Island mudroom Image via Bettie Pardee Bearden

Bettie Bearden Pardee in her Newport, Rhode Island mudroom
Image via Bettie Pardee Bearden

It is an honor and a pleasure to have Bettie Bearden Pardee join us here today to share some of her tried and true entertaining tips. I hope you'll pour yourself a cup of coffee, tea or a glass of bubbly, which just happens to be Bettie's favorite, and stay awhile.

Bettie Bearden Pardee is an author, lecturer, garden connoisseur, former magazine editor and television host/producer. Pardee who makes Newport, Rhode Island her home, has written several books on America’s favorite City by the Sea. First published in 1979,  Newport in Flower: A History of Newport’s Horticultural Heritage  was updated and re-issued by Bettie in 2010. In 2004 Bettie received an award for a “commitment to excellence for Private Newport: At Home and in the Garden by the Horticultural Society of New York. Her most recent coffee table book, Living Newport: House, People, Style, published by Glitterati, gives readers a glimpse into the fabled town where privacy is a treasured asset.  For more read here. 

Classically Styled :: Blue and white create the perfect pairing in any home

 White and blue are the perfect color combination in any home. Image via Kelly Wearstler

White and blue are the perfect color combination in any home. Image via Kelly Wearstler

Blue evokes feelings of calm, tranquility and peacefulness. It is the color of a cloudless sky and the ocean. It is instantly relaxing. It's also a color that evokes feelings of trust, stability, loyalty, confidence and truth. Stronger, deeper shades equate masculinity and are associated with depth, expertise and stability. It's a color that is used often in the business world. In the home it is viewed as a gender neutral color, appealing to both men and women. Lighter, paler blues evoke a peaceful, insightful setting while deep, bright and electric shades are energizing and exhilerating. Indigo, violet and periwinkle shades seem more mystical and spiritual. Blue is considered beneficial to the mind and body and is often associated with slowing the mind - making it a perfect bedroom choice. Many experts will advise to steer clear of this color when designing a kitchen or dining room space, but I beg to differ. I'm quite fond of blue in the kitchen and in the dining room, especially when paired with crisp clean white accents. For more click here.

Chin Chin! It's National Negroni Week!

   

I can't imagine a better way to begin my Birthday week - and the fact that Negroni Week begins on my Birthday is even better! Negroni is certainly an acquired taste. Made with equal parts of Campari, gin and sweet vermouth, this drink has a strong and bitter taste - some have stated that it should be stored in a medicine cabinet!

Liquor.com states that the Negroni is one of the few cocktails with a traceable history that goes all the way back to the begining of 20th century. "Its origins are documented in the book Sulle Tracce del Conte: La Vera Storia del Cocktail Negroni, which was written by Lucca Picchi, head bartender at Caffe Rivoire in Florence, Italy. The drink was created at Bar Casoni in Florence, according to Picchi, when Count Camillo Negroni ordered an Americano—sweet vermouth, Campari and club soda—with gin swapped in for the standard soda."

The Negroni is once again in favor with mixologists, .joining both the Dry Martini and the Manhattan to form the Triple Crown of classic cocktails. Many attribute this newfound popularity to the fact that the beverage is incredibly well-balanced and that it's almost impossible to make badly. For more including participating restaurants and recipe read here.

The $70 Hotdog dinner :: A Whole Foods Story

 What $70 gets you at Whole Foods. As you can see, not much! Photo property Jessica Moseley Gordon

What $70 gets you at Whole Foods. As you can see, not much! Photo property Jessica Moseley Gordon

We don't do it often but Memorial Day weekend seemed as good a time as any. Hot dogs for dinner. I don't particularly like hot dogs and I don't particularly like my kids to have them. But, truth be told I was kind of in the mood for them. I had a hankering for one in a baguette with mustard. Years and years ago, while strolling along the Champs Elysees, we snacked on this and it was so wonderful and delicious. It was served up to us in a hollowed out baguette with really good mustard. Everything about it was delicious. Or maybe strolling around the Champs Elysees made it so, but I doubt it. And so, because I had this hankering I decided we would have hot dogs for dinner. For more read here. 

Dress up your home with the American Flag

I'm a huge fan of the American Flag. She's beautiful reminder symbol of our country and all that she stands for - our freedom and all the riches and opportunities that we have. With Memorial Day right around the corner we'll see a lot of flag-themed decor at parties this weekend, but why not consider the flag as a permanent fixture in your home. For more read here