Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Oprah is a vegan!

Oprah had a guest on her show the other day named Kathy Freston. She wrote a book called Quantum Wellness which seems like your basic run of the mill self help book. Body, mind, spirit-blah blah blah. However she has a chapter dedicated to health and nutrition and talks about conscious eating. She is a vegan and talks about her reasons for doing so and how it changed her life. Oprah was so inspired by this that she herself has decided to do a 21 day cleanse that is outlined in the book. This cleanse eliminates all caffeine, sugar, alcohol, gluten, and all animal products. She of course got a personal chef to come in and cook all of her meals(must be nice) and all of the recipes are posted on her website. I really want me and Patrick to try it but I think Patrick might freak out if I take away the gluten. He has started his bar review class and it is very intense so now might not be the time to take away tortillas and tofutti cuties. I will however be making some of the recipes. I think tonight I will make the Black Bean Cakes with Cilantro Pepper 'Mayo'. I will let you know if they are any good. If anyone is interested in making any of these recipes I am including the link.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

must miss movies seen on plane

hi girls,
it is my first attempt at a "blog" and i must be honest in saying that i really wasn't even sure what one was until further informed by julie and i read it for the first time. however, the "stream of consciousness" typing rants totally suit me (so hope i don't get annoying)... anyhow, i wanted to share with you a couple of tidbits since i had a couple of minutes this evening. firstly, since all of our time is so precious, spent with kids and other, i wanted to point out 2 must miss and 1 only if you are desperate movies rentals:
"the bucket list" - are you kidding me??? jack should stop letting his ego collect a paycheck and know better than to take these stupid roles. i was able to bare "something has gotta give" and the helen hunt waitress flic (whatever it was called), but this was one bad and he didn't seem to have any real chemistry with good ole morgan. a weak storyline like that atleast needs chemisty...
"p.s i love you"- again, are you kidding me? hilary swank, although an amazing actress is so unappealing as this grieving, 29 year old lost soul that follows a string of staged love letters around to find "closure," the that i almost could not watch. and gerard butler as the match for her? yikes no sparks... although he is hot. the endless cast of cameos and bit parts was also annoying; kathy bates, lisa kudrow, harry connick jr., gina gershon and jeffery deam morgan (aka. denny duchet), all seemed a little grandiose for parts and a plot that did not amount to not much... i am a+ emotion chic and cry at everything, and this one did not move me (and i was bummed)
"27 dresses" - kinda funny and cute storyline, katherine heigl and james marsden cute together, but just overall cute, and kind of predictable, but worthy of rainy saturday night.

lastly, i am debuting my "sugarbaby vintage" line at the westfield art& craft show on june 7th... for those that do not know, i design and handmake a line of vintage baby quilts, as well as pretend play baking aprons with utensils, art smocks and bibs. everything is one-of-a-kind and has a retro flavor, but is interpreted in a modern way. i use mostly vintage fabrics, supplemented by vintage repro fabric... ie. "modern baby, vintage inspiration." so, if anyone is interested in just taking a look or if you need a gift and would like to drop by anytime , please just call or email me. hopefully my website will be up sometime this summer. 974-3581 or

thanks for reading my first "blog," i am off to enjoy the end of american idol.... GO david cooke (i am sorry, archeluta is a beautiful singer, but is that really an "american idol"?) i am petrified that he is going to melt into a puddle after every peformance or maybe i am just a 80's/90's rocker chic at heart and i enjoy a little more grit ???...

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Susan Marks

As most of you know, Randy Marks passed away on Sunday. Susan has 6 kids to raise now as a single mom. The obituary was in the APP today. It is so incredibly sad...I think there are some dinner drop offs being organized by St Catharine's and Mountz schools, as soon as I hear more I will post. I think there is also a fundraiser in the works, again, I will post info as I get it.

If anyone does have any more info, please feel free to add here.

There is a fund set up for the 6 children, see below from the obituary:
In lieu of flowers, the family specifically requests donations to a memorial fund that is being established in Randy's name for the benefit of his six children. Donations may be sent care of his brother-in-law, Tim McAloon, 26 Myrtle Ave., Chatham, NJ 07928.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Who can afford to go to Disney.... You can!!!

Hi everyone, my name is Keith and I work with the Lovely and Fab Julie L. Great to join this fantastic crew. As i am a huge Disney Fan, I wanted my first Blog to be about some of the tips i have learned about planning a trip and going to Disney World. Hope you like it.

OK! So I really wanted to go to Disney World and I really wanted to take my sister and her two kids. "I have got to be kidding myself." or is it really a possibility? I kept seeing the Disney commercial with the parents looking at the computer screen as Cinderella's coach drove up to the door and the kids are looking out the window……… I want that too. So could it really be affordable, I mean doesn't it cost $10,000 for a family to go there and stay in Disney?????????? Here is what I learned, IT IS and I wanted to share my experience with everyone.

Step 1: Make calls or go online to the Disney site.

I called around and just asked some questions. The coolest thing ever is that if you call Disney travel they will do a complete pricing for you with no commitment.

Step 2: Research (You won't have to do it to much as I have most of it covered below.)

Hotel: I bet you didn't know that Disney has hotel's called "Value Resorts". They are just basic hotel rooms and the each have theme's like Music or Sports. These are the best choice hotel for kids as they cater to the visuals that are so important (colorful and lively). The value resorts come with all of the fun of staying at a Disney resort, but no-frills. The pools are great, they normally have a basic food court. So why do I recommend these? Well you are never at your hotel, you will be running around at parks or at the pool so why pay a fortune for a fancy room when you will only be sleeping and showering there.

Dinning: The best kept secret is that Disney actually has a dinning plan option for families or individuals that are staying at a Disney resort. For around $30 dollars a day per person you will receive the below.

1-Counter Service Meal each day (These are the lunches where you grab a burger or chicken fingers or to be honest many of the counters have more elaborate meals.
1-Snack- This can range from an ice cream to popcorn to even a bottle of water or Soda.(For each person and perfect for a mid day pick me up.)
1-Table Service Meal (This allows for you to eat at almost every Disney Restaurant in any park.) With this you will get a full course meal, a drink, and a desert for each person. So cool. . (PS. You will be responsible for the tip at the table meal.)

So here's the math. For the 4 of us each day I estimated it would have cost me. $40 for lunch (Counter Service about $10 each); $40 for snacks and soda/water; and a sit down meal came to about $120 plus tip. Well with the plan it cost me $120 a day and I saved about $80 per day. Trust me you will feel the difference and have your fill of food. Plus they work it right into your total package.

Transportation: Don't worry about it.

Flight: You an book it on your own or through Disney. I have found it cheaper both ways so I always recommend you look around all of the travel sites.

So cool, Disney has this cool thing called Magical Express. You basically give them your flight number and carrier and they do a lot of the work for you. They will send you luggage tags so that when you arrive they can pick up your bags from the airport and deliver them to your hotel for you. (Love it) Next, once you get to the airport you will have a transport book that will give you access to a shuttle bus that will take you directly to your hotel. (Love it) Then, once you get to your hotel they will give you your room key, park passes and food plan all on the same card. (LOVE IT). Now best of all, once you are checked in you can hop on one of the many buses that leave from your hotel (almost every 15 min) to any of the parks and begin you Disney Adventure( LLOOVVEE IT).

Here is the topping on the cake. I booked the trip 4 months in advance and was able to only provide a $200 down payment. I then had 3 months to pay it all off slowly.
So the whole trip cost me……………………….. And remember that includes Air, Hotel, park passes (I included the water parks too), Meals……………..$3400.

It gets better. I applied for a Disney Chase Visa Card and was approved. If you put your full vacation cost on the card they will not charge you any interest for 6 months. That's right 6 months after the trip, you can still be paying it off without extra fees. Plus you get many other cools Disney offers with it.

Step 3:
Start booking and have a Magical Day.

Thank you Julie L. for inviting me to post.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Thanks for the invitation to join your blog!


My name is Mercedes Wall. I'm a stay-at-home mom from Brielle. I'm so glad I ran into Julie. This blog seems to be right up my alley. My husband's name Chris and I have two small kids, Christian and Sofia. I started a small home based business during my spare time (yeah right?! It actually keeps me from losing my mind). I make children's hair bows and headbands. I started last year at the end of the summer out of curiosity. I wanted to see if I could make a hair bow for Sofia. Well, I had so much ribbon left I started making them for friends and family. Next thing you know I'm selling them at Brielle Day. Now, I do home parties and I sell to Coppelia Dance Wear in Spring Lake and to an online children's boutique. Things are going great except that now I'm feeling guilty that I'm not spending enough time with my kids! I guess the grass will always be greener.

My husband and I also own a gourmet shop in Red Bank where my husband works full time and I help out on the weekends. It's called Carter and Cavero Old, World Olive Oil Company. We're going on six months now and it's been a lot of fun (and incredibly hard work)! We have about 20 different kinds of extra-virgin olive oils and vinegars from around the world. So, needless to say I love to cook with olive oil! Got any good recipes you'd like to share? I've been instructed to come up with recipes for all the oils and vinegars in the store.

If you're curious the website for the bows is and for the olive oil store it's

Thanks again Julie!


Sunday, May 4, 2008

Thirsty for Change

Cindy Crawford isn't just another pretty face.
She is launching a campaign to supply safe drinking water to children in impoverished countries. You can help! Cindy designed a Sigg (which you can read about in an earlier post) water bottle and ALL proceeds go to the campaign. Click on the title of this post to read more and join in.
By posting this info on this blog I have also entered a contest to win a Pur water filtration system.
I have posted this link before, it is a great blog to check out and even better now since you could win a prize!

As a mom I think my worst fear is to not be able to provide food and water to my kids, let's try and help remove that fear for other moms!

Living with less...last day

Well it is the last day of our living with less challenge and the truth is we sort of fell apart at the end. It all started when my friend sent me this email about a company that is selling makeup and each item is only $1. The way I looked at it was that it wasn't frivolous as I needed some new makeup any way and in the end I was saving money. Then came the Hickey Freeman sample sale. As some of you may know, Patrick will be starting a new job in September and some of his suits are a little worse for the wear and tear. I couldn't find him any new suits, but I got him a 100% cashmere overcoat for a song. I mean really-100% cashmere. I would have been an idiot to pass that up. His other coat was practically threadbare so I justified it by saying that it was an essential. But then last night I was so tired after work and we didn't have one single vegetable left in the house so we ordered Thai food. I mean technically we didn't eat out right? Today I was supposed to run a 5k in Newark but we decided that walking to brunch would be good exercise so we are doing that instead. All in all I think we were much less wasteful. I spent $100 less at the grocery store this past week and we didn't have any food leftover. We will not be using paper towels any longer and we both agreed that we liked the quiet of not always having the TV going. We will eat dinner at the dining room table from now on (unless the Red Sox are on) and will continue to be more frugal with our electricity. Although we didn't score 100% it was a valuable exercise in scaling back.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Living with 5

So this is getting much easier. I dont see why we will ever use paper towels again now that we have a set up like this. These T-shirt towels are better than paper towels anyway. Also here is the completely homemade gift for Kyle. Other than the butter and eggs we had every item in the house to make this gift. By the way these are Martha Stewart's recipe for extra thin chocolate chip cookies and not eating one was torture. I even chewed one and spit it out (just to make sure they were ok for Kyle).