Thursday, September 1, 2016

Hello September...

Hello.  Please excuse my absence.  My sons and I have been living the life, spending 7 weeks at the beach this summer.  My daughter Jaime was able to spend a little time with us as well and we just enjoyed a beautiful, hot, lazy summer at the beach.  

I have also enrolled in the Photography Certificate Program at RI School of Design (RISD) and have been taking courses over the past year.  My most recent class starts on September 15.  

My older son starts high school next Tuesday. OMG, where has the time gone?  It seems he was just a little baby coming home from the hospital, I blinked and he is now going into one of the top high schools in the state.  I am so proud of him!

I didn't participate this April in the blogging A-Z Challenge because life got a little hectic, however tonight, as I looked through some of the posts from last years' challenge, I realize how far we've all come.  With both boys becoming more and more independent, it's time for me to move forward to the next  phase of my life.  That phase involves more work, photography classes and goals to meet, my biggest goal is living at the beach. 

For years I had a successful eBay business that has been neglected for the past 4 or so years.  I had also opened an Etsy store, selling wine charms but that also wasn't a high performing business.  I started thinking about the charms I had and what I could do with them and I decided to make bracelets.  While having my morning coffee on the beach, I did some research, reached out to a friend who is a web designer and located a woman who does graphic design and can make me custom charms.  

I am working with a couple of alumni associations in order to design custom charms bracelets for their members and am hoping to expand that to other organizations that want a one of a kind bracelet with an exclusive charm.  

Currently, I am offering a Back to School special with 10% off.  The coupon code to enter at checkout is BACK2SCHOOL and is valid through 9/6/16.  The bracelets shown in my store are just a small sample of what can be made.  Custom orders are welcome, I can interchange charms if desired.  The prices include free shipping and choice of initial. 

Check out my store at this link Judi's Etsy Treasures

I'm glad to be back although it may not be for long, as I am currently working with a friend on a new website which will include a new blog on Wordpress. 

But in the meantime, I'm back!  Did you miss me?

Monday, March 21, 2016

Spring Fever, um SNOW?, Let's Go to the Zoo...

Welcome, welcome first day of spring.  But it's SNOWING out!  Yes, a winter 'storm' was predicted for today and sure enough I woke up to snow, although not as bad as it could have been.  We've had a nice stretch of warm weather this winter so I guess Mother Nature feels like she should keep us on our toes.  But yesterday was a nice afternoon and my sons and I took a ride to Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence.  

I have to admit I was looking forward to getting outside, doing a little walking and taking pictures.  Recently a cheetah exhibit had been added and we were looking forward to checking it out.  They did not disappoint.  

While 3 of the 4 cheetahs were just chilling on the rocks, there was one that kept pacing against the wall of the enclosure that abutted the zebras.  Everyone got a kick out of it because this cheetah was determined to try and find a way to get to the zebras.

Most of the animals were outside in the 40 degree weather and I was pleased to see how cooperative they were in 'posing' for the camera.

Our favorites were the snow leopards.  They were pretty active yesterday and were playing with each other.  Both my sons and I agreed we could have watched them for hours.  

Happy Monday and Happy Spring!!  

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

It's Super Tuesday ~ Let's Talk Politics...

DISCLAIMER - So before you read any further, I am not endorsing nor condemning any particular Presidential candidate.  In this upcoming election, I don't like any of them.  The purpose of this post is basically to poke fun at them all.  I have also included some of the memes and videos I've found circulating on Facebook.  I think they are particularly amusing.    

I realize that politics is a heated and taboo subject, but the cast of characters particularly on the Republican side is just too bizarre and surrealistic to not poke a little fun at!  I am amused, horrified and flabbergasted at the tone of this Presidential election.  

My sons are avid history and political fans.  CNN, FOX News, MSNBC and virtually any and all news channels are constantly on in my house.  My sons watch every televised debate and town hall meeting, both Democratic and Republican.  On Sunday mornings, parts of any and all political shows are on.  To be quite honest, I have had enough of them all!

I do like to watch the debates.  While I like to think I have a pretty open mind, the Republican debates in particular have caught my attention.  In the very beginning of this process, I have to admit I was amused by Donald Trump. He is an entertainer, you have to give him that.  I find these candidates totally out of control and not portraying the image of whom I would envi
sion the leader of the free world to be!  On February 25, the Republican debate in Houston was totally over the top.  Wolf Blitzen, CNN's moderator could barely control Trump, Rubio and Cruz. They sounded like spoiled rotten little kindergarteners doing little more than bickering.  The Sunday political shows are calling the exchange 'playground rhetoric'.  I simply look at these men and think to myself, "How on earth can these name-calling, petty little men represent the United States of America as President?   Ben Carson and John Kasich did not really get too much time in and Carson actually made us laugh with some of his comments alluding to his lack of time compared to the others.  As we have gotten into the weekend, Rubio and Trump have been flooding the airwaves with jibes, referring to "Mr. Meltdown", choking, Trump's orange hair and fake tan, etc. etc.  I cannot wrap my head around the fact that one of these men could actually become the President of the United States.  

Lindsay Graham was hosting a political roast where he said "Our party is going bat shit crazy!"  My son was drinking a glass of water when this sound bit was played on CNN the other day and he literally spit out his water and almost choked because he laughed so hard.  It was hysterical in a very sad way.

At different points in my life, I have been registered as both a Democrat and Republican, but am seriously shaking my head at all of our choices for the 2016 election! 

I know some are polarized around their particular candidate.  So make sure if your state is participating in Super Tuesday, support your candidate and Get Out and Vote!

 Hope you get as much as a kick out of these as I did...

Monday, February 29, 2016


Life's been busy and at some points overwhelming.  Since last April's A - Z Blogging Challenge, I have only posted a handful of blog posts.  I have to admit there has been an extreme lack of inspiration compounded with the day to day chaos of life.  I have to plead guilty to a little bit of situational depression brought on by a number of things, most stemming from cancer diagnoses of several close friends.

There were also some highlights in the past year including a trip to Washington, DC so the boys could participate in the Close-Up Program.  

I was also an extra in the movie Bleed For This a little over a year ago, which is about local boxer Vinnie Pazienza who overcame severe injuries in a horrific car accident to win a boxing championship.  Originally slated to be released in late 2015, it has been pushed to sometime this year in light of the releases of Southpaw and Creed.

Summer peaked here in RI in August through September, with some beautiful, hot beach days in September once the kids were in school.  I was fortunate to be able to drop the boys at school and head down to the beach to meet friends, enjoying the late summer sun and surf.  One particular day, a couple of friends and I walked over to Champlins, one of the restaurants by the water where another friend was tending bar.  The travel channel was there filming a segment for Bizzare Foods with Andrew Zimmern and we wound up eating some of the featured dishes and giving our opinions for the camera!  The show is actually airing this week, so we'll have see if we made the cut!

As March approaches, I've been assembling some thoughts on a theme to again participate in the A-Z blogging, themes to be announced around the end of March.  

Happy Monday!!    

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Restaurant Week ~ Providence

Dirty Martini - Capital Grille, Providence

Providence, RI is well-known for it's wonderful restaurants.  Winter restaurant week took place in January and some of the restaurants actually offered their specials for several weeks, through the end of the month. 

I was able to visit Capital Grille and Circe for two amazing dinners.  A high school friend and I had dinner at the Capital Grille.  The prix fix restaurant menu offered an appetizer, entree and dessert.  I had a caesar salad, filet mignon with creme brûlée for dessert.  Pat had the wedge salad, the filet and creme brûlée.  We each chose a different side and split them, (Sam's mashed potatoes and french beans with heirloom tomatoes).  The meal was outstanding and the service was fantastic.  My new favorite drink is a dirty martini and Capital Grille did not disappoint.  It was the best dirty martini I had had so far, although I must admit a couple of other restaurants were very close.

The following week, my cousin Nancy and I visited Circe.  I had been dying to try this restaurant for a while.  Service was outstanding, our waiter was funny, flirty and was an absolute doll.  I had already known what I was going to order as a friend had gone the week before.  Nancy and I both ordered the short rib arancini with an au poivre sauce for our appetizer.  To be quite honest, I don't know why Circe does not offer this as a regular menu choice.  It was hands down one of the most delicious dishes we have ever had.  We both ordered the filet dinner.  The filet was fantastic, Nancy's was a little undercooked, but the kitchen promptly cooked it a little more and regarnished it.  We were thrilled with our dinner.  For dessert, I chose the chocolate lava cake. I thought I died and went to heaven!  Nancy got the bread pudding and was very pleased with her choice.  Kudos also to Circe for their dirty martini.  So smooth, perfection.  To this date, Circe served, hands down, the BEST dirty martini I have ever had.  I was so impressed I recommended Circe to another friend who went with her husband on the very last day of restaurant week.  They were totally blown away by the quality of the food and service, (ordering the same choices I ordered a few days prior).  

Short Rib Arancini - Circe Restaurant
Filet over Fried Polenta - Circe Restaurant
There are many, many great restaurants in Providence and you can't go wrong at either the Capital Grille or Circe.  Next time you're in Providence, be sure to check one out!