Tuesday, May 28, 2013

In Search of Bruce Willis, (Bucket List Item)...

My friend Linda facebooked me Friday night “Bruce Willis is in Providence.  How did we miss that?”  I remembered his daughter Scout attends Brown University, so I googled Brown graduation and found that Memorial Day weekend was the graduation. 

Twitter was buzzing:

Bruce Willis spotted on Thayer St. minutes ago!  #RhodyRadar

Bruce Willis is in my dad's restaurant and I'm not there #figures

No big deal or anything but Bruce Willis was at my restaurant today. #celebstatus

Bruce Willis Came to my job OMG!!!! Die harddddddddd

Hola Bruce Willis, thanks for visiting me this morning. #starstruck

Also caught a glimpse of May @GQ_India cover star Bruce Willis looking like a regular proud dad at the graduation. #CelebsArePeopleToo

Casually saw Bruce Willis at my hotel this morning #biltmore #providence

Sitting next to Bruce Willis at dinner at Brown. Didn't expect that. (@ Mill's Tavern Restaurant

It was the weekend, my husband was busy working in order to get ready for us to go away for a few days and my sons were home, one with a nasty cold.  The weather was cold, windy and rainy and it was just not possible for me to get out and search for Bruce Willis, although I knew he would be at Brown for most of Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  But also, I figured he’d want his family time and not have people going up to him and invading his privacy, so it took all the willpower I had to not go looking for one of my absolute FAVORITE movie stars and knocking off one of THE top items on my bucket list. 

I did however send the following tweet to his gorgeous wife, who was also in Providence for Scout’s graduation:  “you have a beautiful family-meeting Bruce, getting a photo w/him is on my bucket list-can u help? I am in RI & he is here now too.”   She didn’t tweet me back. 

Photos of the graduation were posted later in the weekend.



Bruce looked a little irritated, so I know I made the right choice, but on Monday I saw the following tweet:

Saw Bruce Willis at Venda >>>

It had been tweeted an hour before I saw it.  Venda is only a couple of miles from my house and I dragged the boys with me on the chance he may still be around.  We parked around the block and took a walk around.  But alas, there was no Bruce Willis to be found.

So, this bucket list item remains unfulfilled.  But I must admit I enjoyed the brief fantasy of meeting Bruce Willis, and asking him if he would please take a photo with me!   And heck, if I had seen him walking while I was in my car, I would definitely have hollered out "Yippee Ki-AYE!!!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

“If You Like Us, Tell Others. If You Don’t, Tell Us.”

We’ve all heard this phrase before.  Well, I LOVED the Box House Hotel in Brooklyn, NY. and just had to tell someone about it!

The hotel was located just over the Pulaski Bridge from Queens and is at the northern part of Brooklyn in the Greenpoint neighborhood.  Previously a door factory with apartments on the 2nd and 3rd floors, it now houses 45 rooms/suites.  

The entrance on Box Street is currently undergoing renovations which I believe is for a new, bigger lobby.   There is a small exercise room and coin operated laundry room for the convenience of guests.  The lobby hosts a bowl of fresh fruit, water with lemon and two computer stations that guests can utilize.   The Box House old style cabs provide complimentary local transportation (within a mile radius).  Dunkin Donuts was only a couple of blocks away (which made me very happy)!

Lobby (with my stuff on the chair)

The staff were all quick to answer questions, call for cabs and assist with directions.  Singh, who seemed to do everything, serving as doorman to driver was quick to greet us with a big smile, helped carry bags to our room, went over all the features of the room, drove us to Pauley Gee’s (a FANTASTIC pizza joint) in the complimentary cab, picked us up when we were done, and even drove us to a spot (both at dusk and later at night) to get some photos of the Manhattan Skyline.

Our room was a one bedroom terrace suite.  There was a full kitchen including full size refrigerator, microwave and stovetop.   The 200 sq ft terrace had an obstructed city view, but pretty nonetheless.  The couch pulled out to a very comfortable bed.  The entire suite was tastefully decorated and fully functional for our needs.  

Needless to say, I was thrilled with finding this gem of a hotel which will now be our go to place to say when visiting NYC! 

*Please note, this blog is a personal blog.  Any like (or dislike) is strictly my opinion and I do not get paid for any endorsement or recommendation I make.  

Monday, May 20, 2013

Sweet Jane Photography Workshop - Say CHEESE...

This past Saturday, I had the opportunity to participate in a photography workshop given by one of my most favorite photographers, Sarah Kristiansen, owner of Sweet Jane Photography.  I just love her style!  She has THE most creative wedding photos.   I almost want to get divorced so I can get married again so I can hire her as my photographer!  

Check out her website and wonderful blog at Sweet Jane Photography  

The workshop was fantastic and I took away a lot of information that will help me improve the quality of my photos.  I definitely learned that I needed a 50mm f1.4 lens which I will be purchasing very soon.  And I crossed another item off the bucket list!

Sarah's daughter Jane graciously participated as our model and here are some of the photo's I took, borrowing Sarah's 50mm f1.4 lens.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Caprese Lasagne Roll Ups - Ooh so good!

This recipe for Caprese Lasagna Roll Ups has been circulating on Facebook from My Honeys Place website (link below).  One of my friends shared it to my page and I decided to try it for an appetizer this week when I had some friends over for drinks.  It was fantastic and so very tasty.  Try it, it's great.  Also it makes a great vegetarian dinner, just add a salad and some crusty italian bread or better yet, garlic bread!  



Caprese Lasagna Roll Ups

8 lasagna noodles, uncooked
14 oz freshly shredded, low-moisture part skim Mozzarella cheese, divided
3/4 cup Ricotta cheese
1 large egg white
1/3 cup freshly, finely shredded Parmesan cheese (about 1 1/4 oz)
freshly ground black pepper
3 - 4 medium Roma tomatoes, thinly sliced (about 1/6 inch thick slices)
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish
1 cup marinara sauce, recipe follows
Simple Marinara Sauce
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion
2 cloves garlic finely minced
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cook pasta according to directions listed on package to al dente.
Drain pasta (DO NOT rinse with water) and align lasagna noodles in a single layer on a large sheet of parchment or wax paper.
For filling, in a large mixing bowl, whisk together ricotta cheese and egg white until well blended. Stir in Parmesan cheese.
Mix in 12 oz. of the Mozzarella cheese and season with black pepper to taste (I wouldn't recommend seasoning with salt just because the cheeses already have plenty of salt).
Place 1/4 cup of the cheese mixture over each lasagna noodle and spread into an even layer, going from one end of the lasagna to the other.
Align 4 thin tomato slices over cheese mixture then sprinkle fresh basil over top.
Snugly roll lasagna noodles to opposite end.
Spread about 1/4 cup pasta sauce in the bottom of an 11 x 7 inch baking dish.
Align lasagna roll ups, seam side down in dish.
Top each roll up with about 2 Tbsp of the pasta sauce (covering edges of pasta so they don't dry out while baking).
Sprinkle top with remaining 2 oz. shredded Mozzarella.
Bake in preheated oven 30 minutes.
Remove from oven, plate pasta and garnish with plenty of basil ribbons. Serve warm.

Simple Marinara Sauce
Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Add onions to hot oil and saute about 3 minutes until soft, adding garlic during last minute of sauteing. Pour in crushed tomatoes and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring mixture just to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and allow sauce to cook for about 25 - 30 minutes (which will allow some of the water in crushed tomatoes to evaporate) while you prepare pasta and lasagna filling (you can freeze or refrigerate left over sauce in a small airtight container for later use, adding fresh basil if desired)