Monday, June 20, 2011

The Perfect Storm

 
Our first season of sponsoring a Little League Team has come to a close and we couldn't be happier for our Team STORM.  Not only did they conduct themselves with excellent sportsmanship and poise under pressure at every game, but they capped off the 2011 season with the playoff VICTORY!  As evidenced by the pictures below, these ladies played their hearts out.  I couldn't be prouder to have my name on the backs of those jerseys!  Congratulations, girls.....



 





 
Photos by Tom Ciriello

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father Figures

Growing up without a father in my life, I was not immune to feeling sorry for myself when Father's Day rolled around and I felt as if I was missing out on something.

As I've gotten older and reflected on my past and the people in it, I'm grateful for the realization that I've had amazing father figures at many stages of my life.

Photo by Peter Quinn
My mother raised my brother and me (by herself), to love each other unconditionally, to protect each other fiercely and to work tirelessly for what we felt was important.  She led by example when she instilled in us a strong work ethic and the belief that we were capable of anything we set our minds to.  She was both mother and father to us, and I realize now that I didn't miss a thing.


***

My brother was my confidante, my biggest supporter and my best friend growing up and he never once made me feel like a nuisance - even though being his little sister, I'm sure I was more often than not.  He taught me to stand up for myself, he gave me confidence and he made me feel loved and accepted throughout my childhood and well into adulthood.  He's been with me through every important milestone in my life - he's helped me pick up the pieces after my failures, he walked me down the aisle at my wedding and he was prouder than anyone when I succeeded. He was, and still is, one of the most important people in my life.


***


In my early 30's, I had the good fortune to meet a wonderful man who became my husband and the father of my daughter.  As I observe his relationship with her, I witness every day just what it's like to have a great father.  Someone who not only makes you feel safe and secure, but who puts band-aids on boo-boos, teaches you how to ride a bike, cuddles you when you're scared and makes you feel like the most important person in the world.


***

Luckily for me, with my husband also came a wonderful family, and my father-in-law has become my late-in-life father.  I am incredibly appreciative of his invaluable advice, his acceptance of my often unconventional decisions, his generosity, his unconditional support and love.  He is a stellar father and grandfather and quite frankly, I don't know what we'd do without him.



I've learned that fathers come in many forms and I've been blessed to have more than my share.

Happy Father's Day!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Things I Love About Her...



She can hang with the band

 


 She's tenacious
 



She's introspective



She digs nature
 



She's a free spirit
 



 She loves her mama....
 



Monday, May 2, 2011

Storm Pride


I wanted to post today to thank my team, the Warwick STORM, for a most heartwarming gift.

After attending their game on Saturday, the team surprised us and presented Season and I with the items above.

For me, a team jersey, which I can't wait to wear and then proudly display in the bakery at the end of the season.

For my daughter (in case you don't know her, she's the incredibly loud, but enthusiastic little girl cheering in the stands), a pair of poms poms and a STORM cheerleader Barbie.  Those girls have no idea how happy they made one little fan!

I was struck the past few games by how supportive these 9 and 10 year old players are of one another, and how respectful they are to their opposing team members.  They cheer, clap and praise each other when they score and encourage each other when they don't.  There is no pettiness, no drama, no negativity.

What an example they set for us all.

Thanks, girls!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Butterflies and the Open Road

Just returned from vacation in North Carolina with my husband and daughter. We decided to ditch the long airport lines and delays in favor of a good, old-fashioned road trip.

I lived in Oklahoma as a kid, and some of my fondest memories are the cross country drives we took up East to visit family in my mom's light blue VW bug (we called her Betsy). There were no portable DVD players back then, so my brother and I would amuse ourselves on these long treks by sticking our arms out the window & signaling to the truckers to honk their air horns, singing to songs on the radio, playing the license plate game, making each other laugh or just looking out the window and daydreaming.

Before our trip to NC, I armed myself with a giant bag of distractions for my daughter, hoping the 12 1/2 hour drive wouldn't be too much for her. I can't lie - I was a little nervous.

To my great relief and surprise, the resulting drive was an absolute pleasure. We did crafts, made up our own silly lyrics to the songs on the radio, wrote in our journals, told corny jokes, had car picnics and spent quality time together - reconnecting as a family without the distractions of school, work and everyday tasks.

I loved every minute of it.

Here are some pics and a little video from the trip. Hope you all had a Happy Easter!


Fresh Donuts and Face Painting at the Farmer's Market


 Playing lead singer of a rock band


 Butterfly Exhibit

The video below was also taken at the butterfly exhibit after a butterfly landed on my daughter's hand. 
It just cracks me up because its Season's personality in a nutshell ....

video


Align Center

Sunday, April 10, 2011

STORM


With Spring FINALLY in the air here in Warwick, I couldn't think of a better way to spend the first warm day yesterday than with my family, sitting in the bleachers, hot dogs in hand, cheering on the home team. Who needs Yankee Stadium when we have Warwick Little League!

We're so excited this year to be sponsoring our first Little League team. We have officially adopted the Warwick Minors 2 Girls Softball Division- 9/10yrs old - team name STORM. We attended their opening day game yesterday, where they creamed the competition, 13-7! So proud of our girls...

My five year old daughter loves the idea of attending the games and becoming their unofficial mascot.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Double Your Fun.....

We were invited to dinner at my brother's house this weekend and I was asked to bring a side dish to accompany fried chicken. I'd been baking for the past few days with no time to grocery shop, so needless to say there was no recipe involved, but rather a rooting through the fridge and pantry to see what we had on hand.

The result was a creamy, satisfying potato salad with a sophisticated flavor. Although I prefer it warm, it is spectacular served at room temp or cold from the fridge.

There is also a bonus recipe at the end of this post - not to be missed!

Creamy, Warm Potato Salad

28 oz. bag of Baby Red Potatoes
1/2 shallot, minced finely
1/3 Cup white wine (I used Pinot Grigio)
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. mayo
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. whole grain mustard
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh herbs (I used chives, green onions and parsley)
Salt & Pepper


Quarter potatoes with skins on and add to pot of cold water.

Bring to a boil and add plenty of salt - lower heat to medium and let simmer until fork tender. Drain and return to dry, hot pot - cover with a kitchen towel and allow potatoes to dry out for a couple of minutes.

In the meantime, make the creamy vinaigrette.

To a large bowl, add the minced shallot, white wine, olive oil, mayo, both mustards, the chopped herbs and a few grinds each of salt and pepper. Whisk together and taste for seasoning - adjust if necessary.

Add hot potatoes to the bowl and combine with the vinaigrette. Serve warm.




Bonus Recipe

Honey Dijon Vinaigrette

After making this salad, I noticed that my jar of Dijon mustard was almost empty - you know, not quite enough to put back in the fridge, but too much to toss.

So it occurred to me that instead of rinsing it out and tossing it in the recycle bin, I could make a quick, easy and delicious salad dressing for later, with the leftover ingredients sitting in front of me - right in the jar!

I added a tsp or so of the grainy mustard, 1 glug of the white wine, 3 glugs of the olive oil, a tsp of the chopped shallot, a tsp of the chopped herbs, a squeeze of honey and salt & pepper into the Dijon mustard jar. I replaced the top and shook, shook, shook.

What resulted was a salad dressing more delicious, and much less expensive, than any of the store bought varieties resting in the door of my refrigerator!