Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year's Rocking Eve

What’s Jack up to? Jack is relaxing under my bed as I write this which he knows makes me a bit crazy since I can’t stand all that movement underneath me. Jack you’ve got to get a move on to your own bed, dude.

Happy New Year's Eve!

I hope you all have a safe and fun one. Last night I got to enjoy an impromptu dinner with friends and neighbors along with the kids where we all dressed up and did a black tie pot luck. It was so much fun. Great idea, E! Thanks so much for having us.
A perfect early New Year’s celebration and a sweet reminder of what’s truly important. Spending time with those you love and sharing with others.

Have a blast ringing in 2009 tonight. I will be in church watching my DD dance, giving thanks and sending prayers for a better year for myself, my family and all of us. Then it’s toasting 2009 when I’m back . Yeah I’m really living wild. Not.

What are your plans for New Year's Rocking Eve?


Best,
Kwana

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Turning the Page


What's Jack up to? Mr. Jack is a missing the DH after the Christmas Holiday. I'm just not as playful. Sorry Jack. I've got to step up my game.


If you're like me, and I suspect a few of you are, you get excited over the opening of a crisp new book. So sweet!


So like a fruitcake, I spent a good deal of time on Sunday searching for the perfect new daily planner to help organize these days that seem to always get away from me. I also had way too much trouble finding inserts for my Filofax which I've had for years for all the family appointments. See I'm big on writing things down and if it doesn't make it into that red book, well, we don't make it where we need to be. Organizing a family is not easy. Can I get an amen?

One of my Christmas gifts this year was a new Blackberry which should arrive any day. The DH feels this should answer all my organizing needs. Now I love him dearly, but he should know by now that you can never pry the pen from a writer's hand.

Are you ringing in the New Year by turning a new page? I sure am. Think of all the wonderful possibilities of a clean slate. That first moment of infinite ability.


Best,
Kwana

Monday, December 29, 2008

Limbo


Are you all still on holiday or is it back to the grind for most of you? Right now for me it’s that strange limbo week between Christmas and New Years where the kids are out of school, but my DH is working so it’s not really a holiday anymore, but not quite routine and I’m busy, busy, busy.


This week for me is also the week of reflections where I’ll look back on 2008 and will say a happy sayonara to it. Also it’s the week where I start to look forward to 2009 with a bit of fear (must work on that. I think it’s the artist way) and lots of hopefulness for better days ahead.


This image came up when I did a search at the MET using the keyword 'limbo' It's by van Gogh and I had never seen it before. Don't ask me where it's hanging or even if it is. I've been to The Met more times than I can count in my life as it's probably my favorite place in New York since I was a child, but I've never seen this. It's instant love and now I'm dying to see it in real life.



Wanting to get a jump on the January 1 rush, I was up the morning after Christmas and off to Weight Watchers to get back on track with that. Go me! So far I had not fully embraced the new program (old one either) and the Monday meetings were just not working out. Too much weekend downfall and the singing, well, that’s another story. So I went back to Friday and had a few minutes of one on one time with the leader for a better understanding of the new program.

Yay Me! Yay you too!


Happy Monday.


Best,
Kwana


Image: Artist Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, 1853–1890)Title : The Potato Peeler Date 1885

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Low Key Christmas

What’s Jack up to? Right now he’s chilling on his new warm throw that he got for Christmas. Yep, that dog is way too spoiled.

I hope you all had a happy holiday and are enjoying getting geared up for the New Year. It can't come fast enough for me.

My Christmas was nice and low key. I did all my cooking on Christmas morning with surprisingly little stress and it all turned out great and was pronounced delicious by Nana, the southern cooking queen.

I finished 2 out of three knitting projects so one will have to be and after Christmas gift. Oh well… The love will still be there. Photos to come soon.

How was your Holiday?


Best,
Kwana

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

I hope you all are enjoying your holiday. Merry Christmas and
Happy Holidays to you all!!!



Best,
Kwana

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

T'was The Night Before Christmas

What's Jack up to? Poor Jack. I'm so sorry for laughing at you when you were slip sliding across the ice, but it was just too cute and funny. I apologize.

Here's a little something for you Richard Armitage fans. Much better than visions of Sugarplums I think. Yes? And if you're not a fan, why? Like I've said before, get thee to North and South or at least a bit of fun with Robin Hood. Guy of Gisborne is so worth it.
Thanks to Ramblings on Romance by way of Carolyn Jean for the clip. Sweet dreams.




Best,
Kwana

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

It's my Anniversary!


Today is my 1st Blogiversary!

I can’t believe I made it a full year. Here is the silly pic that started it all. What a nut I was to do that bit of crazy. Thanks so much to all of you for sticking with me. I feel so honored to hang here in the blog world with so many wonderful and talented people. I truly appreciate all the old friends that have been on board since the beginning and the new friends that I’ve made. I look forward to making many more in the next year. You all are such an inspiration to me every day.


Happy Holidays!

Best,
Kwana and the wild one Jack

Monday, December 22, 2008

Heartbeat

What’s Jack up to? Jack is having a hard time navigating in all this snow which has now turned to nasty slush and ice. Poor thing I wouldn’t want to put my paws in that either. Before you bring up doggie booties, they are so not Jack’s style or my patience. Getting his jacket on him is chore enough. Oh the joys of winter.

It's December 22nd and the holiday panic has seeped in. My to do list for the day is 1, 2, 3, 4 …17 items long and counting. Thumpity, thump, thump goes my rapid heart.

Anybody else feeling the heat on this cold day?


Well, if you’re not or even if you are and need a bit of a break check out this great new website I Heart Daily from YA writer Melissa Walker and Anne Ichikawa. It’s a daily newsletter for teen girls with features on fashion, beauty, entertainment and news. It’s super chic and oh so cool even if you’re not a teen and just want to be in the know and who doesn’t want that? Check it out here.



Best,
Kwana

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Flying Fingers

Christmas Project update: I got another "easy" (yeah right. only about 10,000 little stitches) project finished last night. Only one more "easy" project to go. I can see the finish line.


I'll post photos after Christmas. Trust me you'll be underwhelmed.


Best,

Kwana

Friday, December 19, 2008

Bite Me


What's Jack up to? Jack is Mr. Chill today, happy sitting on his cozy spot high on the top of the couch. Don't mess with him and you won't get hurt. He's so scary.

I normally don’t talk much about my kids here on the blog and just keep it to Jack because like I said in my first post, Jack can’t sue me, but this is just too good to pass up.

So I’m in my DD’s dance class last night because it was the parents sit in day and the instructor asks the girls to do a turning combo across the floor. She tells them to be graceful and to make their necks long and vulnerable, exposing them. Without missing a beat my dear daughter (yeah the one without a filter) pipes up with, “So Edward Cullen can bite me.”


Oh my! Was that my kid that said that? Teens today. Sigh.

Giggles and twitters flutter through the room. Let me tell you everyone knew who Edward Cullen was including the instructor who was on book three of the TWILIGHT series.

If only all us writers out there could be so lucky as to write an Edward.
Hey, it's a snow day today in Westchester for the dear twins in anticipation of a supposedly big storm to come. So far, nothing. So the kids are home and very happy to have dodged Friday tests.
Have a great weekend!

Best,
Kwana

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Shoe In

What’s Jack up to? Right now he’s cozy under my bed and breathing pretty deep. I suspect he’s snoring. Jack you are so not sleeping under there. You have you own bed. Sorry dude.


So I just can’t get the whole crazy shoe incident with the president out of my mind and it seems that others can’t either. Who knew he had such cat like reflexes? Kudos. I’d have been clocked in the noggin with the first one.


Well it seems that this has started an irate shoe trend. True story: here in New York a man very upset over budget cuts and fare hikes came into an MTA transit meeting to throw a shoe at the MTA head yelling, “This shoe’s for you!” Seriously.



Is this the beginning of a whole new form of protest?

Hey it’s better than heavy artillery, unless you pull out all the stops, say a Manolo Blahnik or a Christian Louboutin. Now that could prove deadly.

Gorgeous, but deadly.






image thanks to saks

Scroll down for TOP CHEF talk.

Best,
Kwana

Top Merry Christmas... in July

Top Chef begins and Ariane feels great. Winning is like that.

The rest of the chefs not feeling so great. That’s what losing feels like.


Suddenly the sad economy shows up in a blatant sidekick commercial with Hosea. Subtle.

In the kitchen the quick fire is to make a holiday meal with one pot and the surprise judge is Martha Stewart! Boots start quaking. Martha says, “make it simple but not too simple,” quoting Einstein. Ok Martha.


The chefs get cooking and Ariane and Jamie are now BFF’s tasting each other’s food despite Ariane’s constant wins. How long you gonna keep trusting that, Jamie?
Time for Martha to judge and she’s is judging tough. You can’t tell what she’s thinking as she walks by. She does like Hosea’s paella though and says so. For Jeff and uses the word pungent. Not good. Ariane gets and excellent and Carla a tasty. Fabio just a thank you.
No good were Jeff, Eugene and Fabio. Poor boys. Fabio wants to bust a vein.

Tops are Hosea, Jamie and Ariane. Uh-oh these two again. Jamie is nervous. The winner is Ariane. Again!! Jamie stop letting her taste your food already!!! It’s the kiss of death.

Now the elimination challenge which is catering a party for amFar with 300 guests. In comes the Harlem Gospel Choir good music but totally confusing to the chefs. The chefs draw knives. With numbers and the choir sings The 12 Days of Christmas which is the inspiration for their dishes.
In Whole Foods some of the chefs are panicking over their themes. Poor Fabio with his ladies dancing. No luck of the draw for this guy.

Back in the kitchen the chefs are working harder than ever to get everything done and packing it all in the fridge at the end of the night.

In the morning they all notice that one of the fridges were left open and the food has gone bad. Are you telling me no producer saw that? I’m thinking a twist was needed.

Other chefs pitch in to help Hosea and Radhika who were most effected with prep and they pull food from the sky. It’s the Christmas in July miracle. I'm not buying it.

At the event Natasha Richardson does the intro and Stefan is in love. Service begins.
Stefan’s Chicken pot pie is a hit.
Radhika’s dish does well. Indian spices again. Just embrase who you are already and go with it girl.
Carla is star struck but doesn’t do well.
Eugene is story telling. Blah, blah, blah. It’s a bust.
Fabio has dancing crab cakes and they flops.
Jamie is going with the scallops again. It’s bad. One man says slimy and Michelle Bernstein who is also judging is not happy with anything and boy is she vocal. A real little Miss Sunshine I tell ya.



Melissa ,another loser. Leah not a winner either.
Ariane- deviled eggs. A classic. Tom is not impressed. Me neither. Natasha likes them. Tom shrugs.
Hosea a winner with his pork.
Jeff’s seared cheese a winner. How do you do that to cheese? I'd burn it.


Back at the judges table the tops are:
Radhika, Hosea, Jeff and Stefan. Looks like a tragedy turned into a triumph for Radhika and Hosea. Thanks Father Christmas in July.
The winner is Hosea.



Now for the bottom chefs: Eugene, Melissa and Jamie. Aww poor Jamie.
First they jump on Jamie about the temperature of her scallops.
Next is Melissa and the mouthful of cheese she made.
Now Eugene and poor seasoning. Eugene is standing by his dish. Uh-oh Eugene. You are not gonna win this fight.
The judges deliberate and they are not happy with most of the chefs. Tom is upset and wants to talk with them all about stepping up their games. I have a feeling Ariane’s wonderful Deviled eggs did him in.

Tom walks into The Not So Glad room and reads them the riot act. I was right. The Deviled egg come up!

The shocker to me is no one goes home tonight. He calls it a holiday gift. Yeah right. In July.


Best,
Kwana

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A League Of Their Own

What's Jack up to? Wacky Jack is busy sniffing around to see what he can get into. Sometimes he's such a toddler dog. Just what I need another child.


So it was love at first sight. I'm flipping through the December issue of Vogue and came across this piece on The Gentleman's League. Quick cut to me with sudden heart palpitations and sweaty palms. No, I'm not talking about a secret strip club or the new super hero movie.

The Gentleman's league in their own words: is a group of passionate New York City artists and designers, bound by their commitment to art beauty and creativity and fueled by a shared frustration with the uninspired.

Loves it! They had me at passionate and uninspired. And they were talking Bags baby!


Their first offering is a signature one of a kind bag by designer Seth Stevens with an original work of art on it created especially for you by artist Adam Razak. The bag is designed with two sides, a public and a private, to show both sides of your personalty. You go in for a consultation with the artist before the artwork begins to collaborate on your bag. Yours! Numbered and one of a kind. Sweet.

Now you all know what an accessory lover I am. This is so freakin' cool.

J'adore! I'll be dreaming of this one for a long time. You can check The League out here. photos thanks to Logoonline.com


Best,

Kwana

P.S. Is it really Dec 17th? Ugh! I'm so behind. Many card to still go out and I'm still knitting an "easy" (yeah right) present for a certain someone special and it's not done yet. Eek! I was actually hoping to get one more project in before Christmas for another someone special. Am I crazy? STOP. Don't answer that. I already know. Sigh.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Time Treasure

I know, I know we are all so busy, believe me I am swamped like crazy right now. But during this holiday season I’d like to challenge you to step out of your usual box of crazy (sorry is that just me in the crazy box?) and try something different. I understand the economy is in the tank and there are those that may not have what they normally may give to charity, if you don’t why not give something much more valuable a bit of your time.


“Time? Ugh! Groan! I’ve got less of that than money. It’s too hard!” I know I’m talking to myself again. But how about trying something fun like wrapping presents at a local children’s home. You would not believe how many children are without homes and how many presents and wrappers they need. Hey, You don’t even have to be good at wrapping the kids won’t care! Or you can take a send a few cards to some sick and shut ins at your church or volunteer to take a couple of hours away from your own family, just 1 or 2, to deliver meals on Christmas Day. Who knows? You may actually WANT those hours away from your family and they can;t talk bad about you if it's for a good cause. Sneaky giving.



It may seem like a lot to ask, but it’s a gift will touch you, the giver as well as the recipient for a long time to come.


How special is that?


Best,
Kwana

Monday, December 15, 2008

To The Races

What’s Jack up to? Jack’s curled up on the couch relaxing with his belly full after a busy weekend with the dear twins of getting into little scraps and scrapes and being and all around trouble maker. Time to rest up now.



Richard Diebenkorn. Sleeping Girl. 1962.


I wish I could rest after the weekend of being on the run. Nothing can make you feel your age quicker than going to a club in the village filled with young twenty somethings where the party doesn’t even get started until 1 am. I don’t think I’ll recover until Friday. But it was wonderful seeing my friends and the music was amazing. I’d almost forgotten the pulse of the city at the hour.

Now it’s off to the mommy races and a week that’s so packed that I can barely wrap my head around all the things to do. I guess it’s just that time of year.

Best,
Kwana

Friday, December 12, 2008

Oh Christmas Tree

It’s a not so quiet Friday here with me doing the usual holiday running around today as I'm sure you are too. So I thought I’d post a full length pic of our Christmas tree. I’m such a big kid. I can’t wait until the sun goes down so I can flip on the lights. It’s the best part of the holidays for me. Check out Jack playing on the couch as he knows he's not really supposed to do. Oh well.


I’ve had to move our knitted sweater and sock ornaments because Jack actually takes them off the tree to chew and play with! The nerve.


The dear twins pretty much did all the decorating. The ornaments have mostly been collected since they were born with me adding a new ones for each of them every year. I’m such a corny one with my Sears portraits and my ornaments. I always shrink down our Sears pic and put it on the tree too just to add to the fun/torture. Scary mommy!

One of my favorite holiday movies is Love Actually. It’s not quite for the kiddies with the hilarious making of a pornographic movie and all, but oh so romantic in every way. What's not to love about it with Hugh Grant and Colin Firth? You know I was there all the way.


Have a wonderful weekend. Stay sane. I'll try.

Oh and please scroll down. I still want to hear about your favorite tunes.

Best,
Kwana

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Back to The Future

What's Jack up to? Jack has been such a trouble maker. Sneaking up on the table and eating the DH's pork 'n beans right out of his bowl when the DH's back was turned. Jack you little devil! Ugh!

This post here from my writer/blogger bud YA author, Melissa Walker made me happy. It seems this is a New York Times kind of week, but this article where Melissa was featured for her record collection brought a smile to my face because it took me back to a more innocent time. Check out the full article here.

Vinyl, roller disco, that faint scratchy sound and the love of the hunt how fun.

I love the idea that record sales are actually up in these dark days. I'm so glad the DH still had his albums in the basement. I'm ready to dust them off and am envisioning a party room redo. It's nice to think of lazy Saturday afternoons searching for the perfect album. Something the dear twins have never done. I'm glad the idea is not dead.

What albums would you search for?



Best,
Kwana

PS. Scroll down for TOP CHEF

Top Thursday

Thank Goodness for Top Chef. I so needed an escape last night.

The fun begins with a Grand Central then quick cut the chefs waking where they live in wherever land New York.
Stefan is in love with Jamie even though he has no chance at all with her. You are so in the wrong ball park Dude. Too funny.


In the kitchen it’s just Padma for the quick fire and no guest judge. The Challenge is playing “Identify the ingredient” and the chefs are put in pairs to go head to head. Stefan is paired with Jamie. How did THAT happen? They are playing “Name that ingredient” ala “Name That Tune”. Cute. Carla says something about; “tasting in her mind” that I can’t wrap my head around, but it cracks me up as I envision it. So Carla. She’s hilarious. I think I get it and I love her. Hosea wins the challenge against Stefan. Good for him.



Time for the elimination challenge the chefs pull knives labeled, old, new, borrowed and blue. Padma is throwing a bridal shower for Gail. Gail doesn’t want veal or black beans besides that it’s all good.


Radhika is with Ariane and Jamie and Jamie tells her go with Indian food again for their borrowed theme. Poor Radhika. I hope she makes it to one day cook Italian.
Fabio, Leah and Melissa are Blue and Fabio is bummed that there is no blue food. So they are going with and ocean theme.
Carla, Eugene and Dan have new so they are doing sushi.
Jeff, Hosea and Stefan are old so they are going old school. But Stefan is trying to play dictator.
I’ve noticed this season in the kitchen there is not nearly as much drama as in past seasons. It’s a real quiet season. I wonder is the producers are happy with that. I doubt it. I’ll come right out and say it. I miss the drama of a true Marcel. At least Eugene is showing a bit of spunk.



It’s back to the Hosea and Leah flirtation (which I suspect may be manufactured for drama or lack thereof) and it comes out that they both have attachment back home. Hmmm this should be interesting during the recap.


Time for the shower and the longest table ever. Not very good for conversation in you ask me.
First out is ‘something old’. Jeff, Hose and Stefan- Heirloom tomato plate.
Next is ‘new’ Dan, Eugene and Carla’s sushi. I think it confused everyone.
On to ‘borrowed’ with Ariane, Jamie and Radhika and the lamb is not done. It’s down to the wire. But in the end everyone is happy.

Finally ‘blue’ with Fabio and his gang and this late show is running later. Fabio is sent out as the charmer. With all the ohhs and ahhs I think it worked at least in the beginning.
Time for judging. Top groups Old and Borrowed and the winner is Ariane. Again and she is shocked! Jamie is not happy. Always a bridesmaid…



In the bottom are Something new. And Dan is surprised. He says he happy with the dishes and no matter how many faces Tom makes at him or how many sound effects Bravo throws out he thinks they were de-lish! Uh oh, Danny.


Something Blue is on the chopping block too. Fabio wanted to argue, but thinks better of it and shuts his mouth after a steely look from Tom. Those eyes can do it. Smart.
Back in The Not So Glad room things are quite sad. It’s finally doing its job. The judges call them back.
Team blue is safe. Smile Fabio.

Eugene wrist slap, Carla wrist slap.
Daniel “this taste great” is packing and going. Buh-bye Dan!






Next week Martha!!

Best,

Kwana

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

True Read

Jack is snoozing ever so quietly by my side. I love it when he plays like the sweet little lap dog. He's such a little faker at times.

I’m currently reading Charlaine Harris’s DEAD UNTIL DARK which HBO’s True Blood is based on. I really like her voice. It's like being in Sookie's head all the time. Luckily I don't mind and find Sookie quite funny and quirky.


I find it so interesting, reading this after enjoying the series on HBO. It’s usually the other way around for me. I'm only a few chapters in and already it's a few episodes in. Wow. Charlaine sure gave them lots of rich material to work with and this is just the first book in the series. Very cool.
I am always so in awe of creative people. It just makes me smile.

What are you currently reading?


Best,
Kwana

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Momentum

What's Jack up to? Jack is so fickle lately. We're having a terrible time getting him to go outside in the morning. He is so not into the cold weather. Running and hiding under the bed and making the DH late for work. Sorry bud. It is what it is and you have to get your walk.

I’ve been terribly unmotivated since returning from Savannah. Running is painful. Really painful and it's oh so cold. It’s seems to have gotten deep into my bones and they won’t loosen up enough to go the distance to get in ½ hour on the Dreadmil. I find myself barely able to handle a brisk walk. I know it will be a fight through each and every exercise session during these winter months.


So I took my very sluggish behind to Weight Watchers for a weigh in and to be introduced to the new program that came out this week. 2 problems:


No.1. This may not be a problem just an uncomfortable change but once again Weight Watchers has turned the WW diet world upside down and come up with a totally new plan. No more flex and core plans but now a new flex/core hybrid (much like the auto industry) called Momentum. It seems to require lots of studying and new math. Oh joy.


No.2. I’ve decided to jump start my motivation by changing my day. (Ok the other day interfered with a breakfast date with friends. Shhh don't be quiet.) This means a new group and leader. More change. And here’s the kicker. They actually sang at the end of the meeting. Seriously, took a popular song and gave it WW lyrics. Cut to my jaw dropping. Too much even for me. I may have to go back for sure now just to see what they sing next week. I guess that’s motivation enough. Pretty slick trick leader.


Weight loss is such a hard thing that the words "hard thing" are too weak to describe it. It's a tiny percent physical. Mostly mental. And then there are these strange chemical things that go on that effect everything. All of it adding up to a big old mess. I'm currently watching GMA and they are talking about Lady O and how once again she's struggling with her weight. I know there are some that won't have sympathy with that, but I do. Weight loss and keeping weight off is such a tough thing to do while living an easy happy life. I'm feeling for you O.



Best,
Kwana

Monday, December 8, 2008

Bravo


Along with that down there. I wanted to say bravo to this opinion right here from Timothy Egan on Joe The Plumber's 24.95 book. I've wanted to talk about this for a while but I just couldn't find the diplomatic words. He did.
Just why? How? What? Enough.


And please scroll down see Jack and smile!

Gone Clubbing



What's Jack up to? First Jack's all full of the Christmas spirit giving us all sorts of trouble as we try and decorate the tree and just when I try and pose him to snap a few pics he goes and turns into Ebenezer Scrooge. What's with all the attitude Jack? Too funny.

Although I'm a writer I've never been one to claim to be literary. I guess you could call me a snob in that way. I love romance and am proud of it. I was mad for Jackie Collins growing up, loved Sydney Sheldon, went through a period where I devoured all the Danielle Steele I could and then came Bridget Jones and my love affair with chick lit. Oh, sweet heaven I've found my voice!


So when I read the article in this weeks New York Times style section Fought Over Any Good Books Lately? I was struck but by the two flat out disses at chick lit.


Check this one in reference to a woman leaving her book club because she hated the selections, "Breaking up isn’t so hard to do when it means freedom from inane critical commentary, political maneuvering, hurt feelings, bad chick lit and even worse chardonnay."

Excuse me, what did Chick lit ever do to hurt anyone and how about chardonnay? Yeesh you'd leave a club because you look down on a person's taste in wine. Oh please don't come to my house. You will so hate me and my love of sweet white zin. That's right I said it. I like white zin, historical romance, chick lit and the classics. The complete works of Jane Austen is on my nightstand shelf in case of emergency or duress. You never know when the need of Mr. Darcy will break out and you must combine chick lit with a classic. What is to be done with me?

Now to the second beauty. But I have to backtrack a bit. First off, there are book group facilitators that are paid to lead suburban book club discussions and keep unruly clubbers in line and lead the discussions. Who knew? The members pay the facilitators 250-300 dollars annually. Cool job I guess, but I'm having trouble getting my head around this concept. Groups of adults needing another adult who is not the author or the publisher to lead them in the discussion. In their own homes. Sort of be the expert and make sure no one person takes over the discussion.

Hmm... am I being too critical to think that this sounds like book club baby sitting? If I am tell me. Is this working for any of you out there. Have you tried it?


Oh, but to the second diss. This one is from a facilitator: Another woman decamped because she wanted to read more chick lit. “I hate to sound ponderous,” Ms. Bushell said, “but I have a certain moral obligation. I don’t feel I can be paid for leading a discussion about ‘The Devil Wears Prada.’”

Moral obligation against THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA? What Tha-?! And how many weeks was THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA on The Times bestseller list? Pla-ease.

When is this going to end? Life is way too short and times are too hard for us to not just get over ourselves and lighten up a bit. There is a place for a little bit of everything and no need to put other people's tastes down. I feel that I have a moral obligation to say this and not to drink wine that cost a lot but taste like crap.

I'm leaving you with two questions today:
1.What did chick lit ever do to you?
2. What do you think of book clubs today?

I hope you had a wonderful weekend. I did!

Best,

Kwana


first image from kwana and jack
second from The New York Times


Saturday, December 6, 2008

Yep, A Change is Gonna Come

What's Jack up to? Jack is full of life this morning. Jumping around at everyone's feet. He's all full of energy and ready to play. Ok, Jack I'm in!

I heard Seal on the radio yesterday morning and stopped dead in my tracks at this perfectly timed remake. We have to believe.





Best,
Kwana

Friday, December 5, 2008

Long Suffering Heroes

How do you feel about the long suffering hero in a romance novel? I’ve just finished two books. The first following The Quest was BROKEN WING by Judith James and the second was SEDUCE ME AT SUNRISE by Lisa Kleypas.

Both books though very different in subject matter struck me as similar in the fact that they both contained the Long Suffering Hero and that got me think if I really enjoyed the suffering hero as a character or do I go for more of “the rake” or “the bad boy”? Now I know on some level every effective character has to have some flaw or thing that he suffers over or he's just flat. What I'm talking about here is the hero that feels he's just so bad that he's no good for the heroine or that super sweet do-gooder. Please don't give me that guy. I'd just hurt him.


I’ll start with BROKEN WING and Kristie’s Ramblings on Romance Quest. This was an interesting book for me to get my head and heart around.

Without a doubt I enjoyed it. A lot. I was pulled in right away and totally engaged. The author takes the tough subject matter of child prostitution and marries it with an innocent blossoming love story and an epic adventure. The love letters that she writes in the book are some of the most beautiful pages I have read in a long time. But for me I was frustrated by the very long suffering hero and the heroine that suffered right along with him. I wanted someone to stand up and be strong and fight. That said, I would still recommend the book. It's an interesting love story that I’m still thinking about today. The historal detail is amazing. So am I a Quester? Kristie what do you think?



Now in SEDUCE ME AT SUNRISE we have another long suffering hero that can’t get his head out of the past. First off, I loved this sexy book. But much like the hero in BROKEN WING this hero, Kev, feels that he’s not fit to lick the heroine’s boots. Though he doesn't mind trying to lick at other parts of her. At times I wanted to reach though the pages and shake him too which I guess says something great for the authors writing. But this hero never got too deep in his sorrow that I put the book down. He was a fighter and filled with non-stop passion. Totally tortured, but acting a bit of a rake. But what pulled it out for me with this book was that the heroine didn’t fall into The Long Suffering Hero trap. She upped the ante and refused to suffer with him. She challenged him and fought against him to pull him out of his shell.


So I guess I can take a long suffering hero if he’s got enough bad boy in him to be interesting and strong or the heroine has enough fight in her to challenge him.


What do you all think about long suffering heroes? Are you Team Ashley or Team Rhett? I think you know where I stand.
Um, sorry about that. I just can't get over Twilight.











Have a great weekend!




Best,
Kwana

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Top Thursday




I had no clue what to talk about today. I'm still a bit off from the holiday last week and the realization that Christmas is right around the corner, but thankfully yesterday was Wednesday and TOP CHEF came on to help me out.



The show starts... another sultry summer day in New York. Funny we were supposed to just believe it was Thanksgiving last week. Oh Top Chef. Moving on who is there but my fave chef to hate the non-dancing Rocco Disperto. The quickfire is a breakfast Amuse-bouche which is a small bite as if that’s going to hold anyone over. What a word: Amuse-ouche just rolls of the tongue huh? But for the life of me, no matter how many seasons of Top Chef I watch, I can’t see the reason for them except to act as a tease. If you like what you’re tasting you’ll want a bunch, but all you have is a bite. It’s just frustration all around. Can you imagine ordering one at a restaurant? Getting 2 of something. 15 bucks. You and your partner each take one, it’s delish and then you look down at and empty plate with longing.


Back to the challenge. The chefs quick go shake it. There is a blow torch pulled out by Fabio and things really heat up. Before you can say boo the time is up and Rocco is ready to judge. Always.
Leah gets persnickety over size (it matters) and the fact that hers is really one bite. She rolls her eyes at all the 2 biters. It works. Daniel and Fabio are on the bottom. Stefan and Leah and Jamie are in the top three. The winner is Leah. Way to keep it bite sized. She wins a copy of Rocco’s new book.


For the elimination challenge the chefs must create a dish for a 2 ½ minute live TV presentation. Freak out.
Over in Whole Foods for some reason that let a couple of chefs cut their own fish. I don’t get that one. At All.


Back in the kitchen there’s your usual chopping and such and Alex is doing what appears to be and impossible 1 hour cr√®me brulee and Leah is happy for immunity.


The chefs start to demo for the judges and Jamie has egg problems.
Alex has speaking problems and taste problems.
Fabio charms.
Stefan is cool.
Melissa burns Tom. Ouch.
Time runs out for Leah, Ariane and Carla. They are too chatty.

Melissa, Alex and Jamie are in the bottom three.
Jeff, Fabio and Ariane are in the top three. The chefs are told to go home and the final elimination will be tomorrow.


Then sneaky Tom shows up in the middle of the night dressed in black and gets the top three. He tells them that the hosts to The Today Show will judge the top dishes on the show.

Jeff is mad about serving unsophisticated palettes at 6:30 am. Well, excuse me. Sounds like he thinks he’s a Top Chef already.


Judging are Kathy Lee and Hoda so we know it’s much later than 6:30 more like 10am, Jeff so chill.
Ariane’s goes over well. Fabio’s is good too. But Kathy Lee is Kathy and spits out Jeff’s. Ouch.
Ariane wins at the today show.



Back at the Judges table and Rocco is handing out more gifts. His favorite Tools. Ok, I refuse to make the obvious joke here. You all insert you own. Have at it.


Ariane is the winner and she gets to present live on the Today show, today! Check it out.


The losers are marched in. Melissa is given heat for her heat. Jamie has egg in her face for the egg and Alex doesn’t get the point of the competition.



In the not so glad room there are whispers and murmurs about who is throwing who under the bus. Then out of the blue there are some strange tickles and giggles with Leah and Hosea. Hold up there. Only tension in the Not So Glad Room. Have some respect please.
In the end it’s Alex that packing his Knives and going home. Have a happy wedding Alex!






Here is Ariane's winning BEEFSTEAK TOMATO SALAD recipe




Ingredients:
3 beefsteak tomatoes, nice and red and ripe (substitutes: heirlooms or vine ripe)
12 pieces seedless watermelon, cut into 3 inch sticks
sheeps milk feta cheese (firm), cut into 10 pieces, 2 inches long
4 T extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup 12 year old balsamic vinegar
2 T herb fleur de sel


BASIL OIL
2 cups basil
ice bath
1 cu olive oil
salt


DIRECTIONS:
BASIL OIL
1. Blanche in boiling water.
2. Shock in ice bath.
3. Put into blender.
4. Add 1 cup olive oil and salt, and puree 1 minute.
5. Pass through fine chinois.
To plate tomato salad:
1. 3 each 1/2 inch thick slices of New Jersey tomato.
2. Top with three pieces of watermelon and 2 pieces of feta.
3. Drizzle with olive oil, basil oil, aged balsamic.
4. In a small (baby sized) spoon, fill with fleur de sel, place on side of plate.Garnish with sprig of basil.


Now I have no clue what fleur de sel is I guess we have to watch The Today Show to find out.

Best,
Kwana
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