Category Archives: friends

It’s Time For Tea


I don’t know if you know this about me, but I love tea.

I’ll take a good Irish Breakfast tea any day.  The sweeter, the blacker and the creamier it is, the more I like it. I think half the fun of my trip to Ireland was drinking entire pots of tea throughout the day.  Yes, I love it that much.

Unfortunately it’s really only something I drink at home (unless I’m going “to tea”) and usually only when the weather is cooler…which is any day now here in LA.

A few years ago, when I was involved with Constant Chatter (check out the new magazine that we’ve got going!) I participated in a couple of our tea swaps.  And I loved having the chance to try out some new teas.  Many of which were very new to me (really, I’m pretty traditional with my black or assam teas).

So when one of my online friends (and fellow Tranquilista classmate) Melita over at Gussying Up the Tuttle posted that she was organizing a tea swap, I had to sign up to participate.  And I’m so glad I did.

Not only did I get some fun new teas to try (like a super yummy citrus camomile – dealing with a cold, so I’m avoiding the milk and hence, the black teas), but thanks to Melita’s fun survey she sent each of us, I also got some fun gifties.  My new tea swap friend,  Julie from Savvy Eats sent along some freshly baked pumpkin scones (which the hubs proceeded to eat – these could be them) and some interesting season salts from Garlic Gold Nugget along with my teas (which I haven’t yet tried).

Out of all teas she sent, I think I’m most excited to try the Chocolate Orange Rooibos from and the Green Tea Chai, both from The Whistling Kettle (in NY).  She also included some other interesting greens to check out. While I enjoy green tea, it’s never something I really search out.  So I’m looking forward to trying something new.

Of course, I sent my own package out a little late (oopsie).  I sent along a fun (if not spiritual) read which I don’t recall the name of at this moment and bunches and bunches of tea.  No really…I mean bunches!

A friend ordered me a bag of assam tea from her co-op last year and I didn’t realize quite how LARGE a one pound bag would be.  So I shared the wealth and filled an entire zippied sandwich bag…along with a few other fun selections.  I hope she’ll be happy with what she gets.

And now, all this writing about tea has me craving a cuppa 😉

A Birthday Gift for My Entreprenurial Friends

I am all about finding great resources and building your success toolbox. And more often than not, I’m also all about sharing those resources with you guys.

Usually I do this over on the Success for Solopreneurs Facebook page (link) or directly on my business blog (link). I figured that since today is my birthday, that I’d share the gift that I offered up to my friends, fans and followers.

It might not e the sort of thing you’re into – you know, not being an entrepreneur and all – but if that is you’re thing, I do hope you enjoy it. And if you know anyone that could benefit from this great list of resources, feel free to pass it along and share the wealth.

My Gift to You: Solopreneur Resources-Palooza


Braised Pork Ragu with Pappardelle

Last week I stumbled across this beyond awesome (and super simple) recipe thanks to a friend’s Facebook post.  It was so good, I thought I needed to share it here as well.

This was beyond simple to make in the crockpot (I think I did about 2.5 hours on high and about 2 hours on low – it was done when it was fall apart tender).  It made enough that we had leftovers for sandwiches AND froze some to enjoy later.

I was able to pick up all of the ingredients during my standard, Wednesday Henry’s Market and fresh veggies run (well, all except the pappardelle – so I subbed in rigatoni).  I didn’t feel like buying fresh herbs and didn’t have any in the garden (yet!) so I just used dried herbs instead.  I also think that a little tomato paste might be a flavorful addition.

A key thing to keep in mind here…use a wine that you enjoy drinking.  We were running a little low on un-corked red wines (don’t ask) so I just used the first red that hadn’t gone bad (took me three bottles to find one).  I think if I had used a more full-bodied red, it would have tasted that much better.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! Bon Appetit!!

2 to 2 1/2-pound boneless pork shoulder roast
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small pat butter
1 large can whole tomatoes, with juice
1 cup red wine
5 sprigs fresh thyme
5 sprigs fresh oregano
Small handful of fennel seeds
1 tablespoon hot sauce, for smokiness (I used Chalupa since that’s what I had on hand – didn’t do much for me)
Pappardelle (or rigatoni)
Freshly grated Parmesean

Preheat oven to 325°F. Liberally salt and pepper the pork roast. Add olive oil and butter to large Dutch oven and heat over medium-high until butter melts, but does not burn. Add pork roast to pan and brown on all sides, about 8-10 minutes in all. Add tomatoes, wine, thyme, oregano, and hot sauce and bring to a boil. Cover, and put in oven.

Braise for 3-4 hours, turning every hour or so. Add more liquid (water, wine, or tomato sauce) if needed. (The liquid should come to about 1/3 of the way up the pork.) Meat is done when it’s practically falling apart. Put on a cutting board and pull it apart with two forks, then add back to pot and stir. Cook 1 to 2 pounds pasta according to package directions. When it’s is ready, put into individual bowls and top with ragu and lots of Parm.

When you decide to make this, let me know what you think.  And of course, be sure to let the folks at Dinner: A Love Story know as well.

ChickChat LA: There’s a New Women’s Networking Group in Town

click image to enlarge for more information

Ladies, there’s a new networking group in town for professional, savvy women and I’m honored to be a part of their “Let Them Eat Cake” ChickChat LA launch party on Wednesday, February 23rd.

It’s sure to be a decadent, French-themed soiree. And instead of feeling guilty for letting those New Year resolutions fall to the wayside, we’ll all be toasting the remainder of the year with wine, martinis, champagne, and of course…cake.

And because they believe that a woman can have her cake and eat it too, you’ll have the opportunity to Speed Network with Coaches (like avec moi!) who will help you create a plan for moving forward with your goals in 2011…or maybe they’ll help you find some better and more exciting goals 😉

Included in your ($40 door) ticket price are:

  • Wine Tasting
  • Moet Hennessy Champagne
  • French Martinis, sponsored by Tito’s Handmade Vodka
  • Dry Soda
  • And of course…French nibbles

A portion of the proceeds from the evening will benefit Dress For Success. And anyone who brings a business/work appropriate belt to donate to Dress For Success will be entered into a raffle to win a Zune MP3 Player.

For more information About ChickChat LA and the Let Them Eat Cake launch party, click here.

Hope to see you there!!

How to change the world. Ten (not so) easy steps.

I read this piece by Heather Plett and over at Sophia Leadership and it touched me.  Enough so,  I thought I’d share it with you.

In honour of the courageous people in Egypt, who are putting themselves at great personal risk to impact change, I’ve been thinking about what it takes to change the world. This list is as much a reminder for me as anything. There are so many of these things I need to work on – so much courage I need to muster before I’d be ready to join them in Tahrir Square.

1. Shut up and listen. Listen deeply. To the wisdom of God. To the wisdom of others. Just listen.

2. When it’s time to speak, get the cotton out of your mouth and SPEAK, damn it. Speak truth to power. Speak kindness to the hurting. Speak justice to the oppressors.

4. Put your work boots on. Don’t be afraid to get dirty. Get grease on your hands. Pick things up that need to be moved. Go the square. March. Get busy.

5. Put your paint clothes on. Make art. Beautiful art, challenging art, scary art. Just make it. And then share it. The world needs more art.

6. Pay it forward. Kindness is contagious. Spread it.

7. Get down on your knees. Or down on your mat. Pray. Meditate. Even if you don’t believe prayer will change the world, it will change YOU, and that’s a good start.

8. Don’t just tweet it, DO IT! Sometimes talking makes us complacent and we forget to act. Get out there and ACT. Listen to the wisdom of Jen Louden for your inspiration.

9. Don’t let the bastards win. Some people, who’ve let power and riches get to their heads, would prefer that you roll over and play dead. Don’t do it. There’s enough apathy in the world without you adding to it.

10. Give something away. Stop listening to the marketers who want you to believe you’re nothing but a consumer. Let your primary energy be your GIVING energy instead of your consuming energy. Shift the balance. Give until we’ve ALL got enough.

And a bonus one:

11. Dare to dream. Dream BIG. Dream of a world where there is justice for all, food for all, freedom for all, peace for all, water for all. Dream of a world where there is less garbage (both literally and figuratively) and more beauty. Let your dreams drive you.

Original Source

Hanging Out at the Game With the Gang From Carls Jr.


I haven’t been to a hockey game in a long, long, long time – no really, last game I went to, I was still living in Atlanta.  So when I was asked if I wanted to watch the game from the Carl’s Jr suite this past Saturday night, you just know I had to say yes! So I called up one of my friends (and a HUGE hockey fan) and asked if she’d be up for watching the game from the suite.

Hello…we got to hang out with the Carl’s Jr. Star!


I cropped this photo, but just to the left, in the next suite over, you should see all the pointing and funny looks we were all getting from wearing our Slankets and hanging out with a giant, walking star.  And we all had to pose with our good friend…in our Slankets.  Now I have been lucky enough to hang out with Mr. Star twice now.


In the end, it turns out my friend would have more than likely been watching the game from another suite that night anyway, but we of course, had a MUCH better time. in our suite  And we got some fun swag.

Of course, since I left my sickly husband back at home, I made sure to pick up a coupon or two for him.  What can I say, I’m that kind of wife…you know, the kind that didn’t even think to invite him along. 😉


It might have been very boring game (and it was), but we had one helluva good time laughing and having fun.  Thanks to everyone at Carl’s Jr.

Rub a Dub Nothing Beats Soaking in a Tub

Most of my friends know of my love of soaking in a bathtub.  Heck, I’m sure I’ve mentioned it here that when I vacation, one of the things I look forward to is a good soak.

You see, in our apartment, we have a pretty dinky (and enclosed) tub.  In my places in NM I had a shower stall in one apartment and yet another dinky (and enclosed) tub. Which means I’ve been without a decent, soaking tub for the past 10 or more years.

But in my last place in Atlanta…oh baby, in Atlanta I had an AWESOME tub.  It was long and deep.  And had a great tilted back that was just made for lying back and soaking.  Is it any wonder that I took a bath pretty much every other day on the days I didn’t showered (which I only did to wash my hair).

Needless to say, most of my friends know of my love of a good bubble bath.  So much so, that when a dear friend from high school was in town on business, he invited me to soak in the tub in his hotel room.  I was torn though.  I mean, let’s face it, it’s one thing to search out hotels with great tubs when going on vacation.  It’s another to use a married friend’s tub in his room while he’s on vacation.

Weird right?

But then again, it just goes to show that he’s a long-standing, old friend for a reason (and I believe years ago I used his awesome tub when I visited him come to think of it).  I mean let’s face it, he obviously knows me right?  He knows what makes me happy and that in turn makes him happy.

So yeah, I took him up on it.  He sat in his room and caught up on his business while I took a quickie bath – the hotel even provided the rubber ducky.  Boy, did I appreciate it too.

Let me just say, our next place WILL have a decent tub.  And decent counter space (but that’s a different story).

LA Mommy Bloggers Sure Can Cook

Or would that be they sure can no-cook?

Today at my nearby Pavillions grocery store, local Mommy Bloggers (just writing that makes me cringe a little, but hey, it’s a niche, and I can respect that) got together for a no-cook cook-off.  Basically,  they had ten minute to shop, $25 to spend on groceries and then 25 minutes to cook.  I was there to show support for my favorite LA mommy blogger, Mar Vista Mom/Sarah Auerswald.

I have to say, Pavillions really had it together.  They added a few colorful touches at our normally, well organized and quite clean store, washed the ladies’ shopping carts down (or so my favorite express checker told me) and otherwise, put their best foot forward.  They had big wigs in from the main Safeway home office as well as from our nearby Vons home office.

They set the ladies up outside and thankfully, it was a gorgeous day out today.  Tara, the “lifestyle expert” (sorry, I didn’t catch more than that) they got to emcee the cook off was awesome.  She really kept up the banter during the 25 minutes of cooking time.  I love how in the end, while the judges were tasting everything and scoring the meals, all the ladies were passing around what they made and tasting their own meals.  No competition there 😉

All in all, it was great fun.

Check it out some of the photos…


Let the Shopping Begin!


Why Yes, There Was A Lot of Rotisserie Chicken Being Used


Peel That Onion Sarah, Then Chop, Chop, Chop!


Don't Those BBQ Sliders Look Yummy?


Bloggers On iPhones...Imagine That?!?! Tweet Tweet!


They're All Winners (though @eshachory in the middle won the big prize!)

I don’t have all the bloggers names and links that participated, but here are a few of their Twitter accounts: @SAuerswald @eshachory @coupongals @jessicagottlieb  @yvonneinla – you can take it from there.  They all said they’d be posting their recipes at some point, so be sure to follow along or pick up a copy of the Daily LA sometime next week.

Update: here are the bloggers that participated -> Coupon Gal, Yvonne in LA, YumGloss, Sarah Auerswald, Jessica Gottlieb, the LA Examiner article