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!

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Back to School

Several months ago, after over-indulging in a bottle of wine and some tears with a friend, she gave me the extra push I needed to enroll in a couple of continuing education photography courses as R.I. School of Design (RISD).  I've completed a 6 week introductory pre-requisite course and am on my way to completing a photography certificate program.  I've also completed a couple of one day, 3 hour classes and have begun the pre-requisite computer based Digital Design for the Screen Course in preparation to get into the photoshop courses next fall.

One of our projects was Cityscape (B&W) and I shot my photos in downtown Providence.  These were some of my favorites.  What do you think?

RI State House

RI State House
RI Statehouse Dome with Independent Man Statue

Inside of Nordstroms Department Store
Heading into Downtown

Turkshead Building

Benches in Waterplace Park
Waterplace Park Walkway