Links for the week of 12/14/2014

It’s getting down to the Christmas wire. Every single minute of my time is scheduled from now until the New Year. My calendar is intense and color coded. I’m not sure I’ll be sleeping but after the year I’ve had I want this to be phenomenal Christmas. I want people to leave my house smiling and happy. I want them to be full and happy. I want laughter. So if not sleeping and working frantically leading up to all that needs to happen. Well so be it.

Anyway, busy as I am I rounded up some great links this week. Take a look?

First off “8 Reasons Why You Should Marry the Complicated Girl” Marry the girl who demands respect This was a great article that I really enjoyed reading. Because, yes, I am complicated BUT in the best way possible. Here

“Love is not Enough” This was a fascinating article about why love can’t be the only thing. This sentence really resonated with me. “Because you need more in life than love. Love is great. Love is necessary. Love is beautiful. But love is not enough.” Here

Ever since my Dad dragged me to the theaters to see The Fellowship of the Ring I have been a MAJOR Tolkien fan.  And then to add to it when casting for The Hobbit Richard Armitage (love of my life) was cast as Thorin. The final installment of the Hobbit came out this week and here are some awesome quotes from the movies. (PS: I heart the Chive) Here 

To help us get into the spirit here is an article about the “Deviant History of the Snowman” Here

Here are some pictures from the Samsung:


Bestie and I getting coffee


So eggnog mousse is a thing! Go get some!


To keep up with the Hobbit theme. A Thorin ornament!

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Navy themed Party

Burke and IAs I’ve said the Brother joined the Navy (and is now home from the Navy due to medical issues). Before he left #TheFra and I threw a pretty epic party for him!table table 2

We set up the dessert table with a bunch post cards and note paper so that people could write a note to Burke and I would send it to him. They were also supposed to add there address to a blank address book. (People don’t know how to work address books. They just put EVERY single name under “A”.) I also purchased the little blue and red buckets and filled them with red and blue gummy fish. I also added wintergreen lifesavers. They went pretty will with my red, white and blue under the sea theme!!

First I designed (with help from the recruit) the invite. Which I loved a lot. Dont tread on me. Fra ordered ALL of the things from La Trottoia. A family favorite for good Italian food.

food 2 food

Then I went to Lynn Sandy’s Bakery (3 times) to order the cake and the cookies. All I really wanted for this part were anchor shaped cookies in red white and blue. Lynn Sandy’s didn’t have them BUT I ordered the cookie cutter on Amazon and they did the rest. The cookies were the highlight of the show for me.

cake wpid-20141025_110306.jpg


The best thing about the party was it was the first time in a long time that this many family members have gotten together for something other then a funeral. (Dear Chapa’s, lets work on that!)


#TheFra and 2 of her older siblings (there are 5 still alive)

fra grandkids

#TheFra and 4 of her 6 Grandchildren. Aren’t we adorable?

Fra and boys

#TheFra and her “three little boys”

Fra and the gang

#TheFra and 3 of her best friends. (The guy in the orange took all the images in this post)

I also need to thank all of my friends who helped before, during and after. Bernadette and Joseph setting up, Tara and Ali picking last minute things up. Erin and Ken (driving in from BROOKLYN) and then helping with the cleanup. And the million other people who made the party a great success. I love to throw a party but I couldn’t do it alonethe set up crew BABY Fra E

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Ethnic Carol Sing

Flyer2MCLong before I became the Elm Street Manager the  idea of having a holiday event in South Scranton was born. The idea was to bring the different ethnic traditions in the neighborhood and celebrate. Most groups have some sort of holiday in the winter so it’s a great way to bring people together. This year before Jill left she did the initial outreach to groups and I finished up the planning (and stole her flyer from last year). What happens is people from different traditions sing, play an instrument, tell a story, read a poem etc. from there ethnic background. It’s such a fun was to explore different ethnic traditions.Fra Phillipines sisters

This year we had some new groups and some people that we know well. It was also a very laid back and fun night.  We had people from the Philippines, South America, people singing in German, Polish, Latin, a Ukulele player and a fabulous sing along that could have gone on all night.


The Scranton Times wrote an awesome article on the event and you can watch a video of the African singers singing. They were great. Also, #TheFra sang in Polish which always makes me a little emotional. She is the best thing and I am so lucky to have her in my life.

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Links for the week of 12/7/2014

What a fun week I had! Burke came home, there was a big work event (a ethnic Carol Sing. watch out for a post about that soon), I went to the Nutcracker.  It also felt good to be on the lookout for some fun articles for you all to look at.

You know how I feel about all things Harry Potter. So hearing that J.K. Rowling is going to release more short stories makes me want to jump for joy! Here

Growing up I was the kid who LOVED Doctor Quinn (I have the fancy boxed set even). Well the cast got together and made a HILARIOUS video about bringing the show back. Watch it Here

Although I don’t drink anymore I can respect a good drink. Here are 5 18th century classic given a modern twist. Here

One of my goals in the near future is to get to the Tenement Museum in NYC. This article full of pictures is as close as I am going to get for awhile though. Here

Some photos from the Samsung:










I went to a holiday party at the Radisson Station Hotel and feel in LOVE with there decorations. It’s one of my favorite buildings in the city.  (My Grandmother used to go pick up my Grandfather’s railroad checks there! Can you imagine?)










Mr. E and I went to see the Nutcracker at another fabulous building in Scranton (The Masonic Temple) and this was the tree in the entrance. I loved the gold.








These two the morning before Burke came home. They were just to cute not to photograph.


Hope you all had a lovely week!

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I’m back!

And hopefully I’ll be back to regular programming starting now. A LOT has happened in the last few months. Some wonderful and some tragic. I’m going to list them here. Some of them will get future blog posts (I’ve hosted some great parties recently). Some of them I’m not ready to talk about all that publicly yet. But I’ve missed blogging and as my life seems to finally be slowing down a little I want a creative escape again.wpid-img_20141202_154525.jpg

* The reason I stopped blogging to begin with was my Mother passed away on September 9th. (You can read about her here.) She was 51 years old and far to young to die.wpid-aviary-image-1413990818166.png

*My dear Brother joined the Navy and left in November (which was all to much for my fragile nerves). Sadly after arriving at boot camp high blood pressure was discovered and his Navy dream is coming to an end. However, I am so proud of him! He is a wonderful man and I am lucky to be his big sister. (I threw him a great going away party. That’ll be a fun post.)wpid-20141025_112602.jpg

*I started seeing someone. We’ll call him Mr. E here. He’s awesome. Kind, handsome, cares deeply for all people (and me). Did I mention that he’s taller then I am? Only by an inch BUT when your 5’10 that is MAJOR points in a guys direction.wpid-20141025_203605.jpg

*I’m hovering about 5 pounds above my Weight Watchers goal. I’ll track a day or so and stop again. I’m snacking on FAR to many sugar cookies and for some reason I just can’t get my head in the game. But that is probably a post unto itself.

*My dear friend Jill moved to LA in November (HI Jill. I miss you!!). And when she moved the agency offered me her position. So you are looking at the NEW Elm Street Manager. I’m working full time in neighborhood revitalization (in the neighborhood I live in). So far I love my new challenges and I hope that I can be half as good as the previous Manager was.wpid-20141109_153401.jpg


*I am truly blessed with all the wonderful people in my life (both internet friends and in person friends). With the passing of my Mom, Brother leaving, Jill moving and many other things I know that I haven’t been easy to live with. But my friends have stuck by me. Like they always do. Whether it was escaping Scranton for a few days or hiding at my favorite restaurant or shopping I haven’t walked a single step alone. wpid-1418164097778.jpg

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Links for the week of 8/31

Where did August go? And now an entire week of September has passed? Burke has a countdown to when he leaves for Navy basic training. I for one am NOT ready for that day.

Some links from the week:

I’m not going to pretend that the lifestyles of the rich and famous/ royalty doesn’t surprise me and this book  INGLORIOUS ROYAL MARRIAGES: A Demi-millennium of Unholy Mismatrimony looks like it will be right up my alley. Here

I think because I was always so large (both in height and size) I’ve always been fascinated by small things. Having a tiny little gnome garden in my garden seems perfect. Directions Here

Although I don’t drink I do find traditions to be of the UTMOST import. 25 Drinking Customs from Around the World. Here

Some Samsung pics:


The end of summer MUST mean smores around a camp fire!!


Burke and I were in Staples and while looking at the maps (we’re nerds that way) we discovered this map with my beloved Scranton Iron Furnaces on the cover.


The first taste of pumpkin I’ve had this season was this lovely thing. Found at Target. It was YUMMY and only 3 points!! I am just hoping that one of the grocery stores I frequent carry it!

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Book Review: Paper Magician

Paper Magician is another book that I got on Amazon for very cheap. I think this was one of the books that they preview and that’s why it was so cheap. It looked like the genre that I like (action with romance is my thing.) so I hit the buy it now button (that is a dangerious thing!).. and it say waitinf to be read like many, MANY of the books I both own in physical form and books on my Kindle. After finishing Confessions of a Prairie Bitch I had been bit by the cell phone reading bug and I started this book. It took a day or two for it to grab me (when you’re only spending 5 minutes at a time with a book it takes a bit to get into it) but when it did I was stuck. I ended up staying up late and finishing it in bed which is something that I haven’t done in awhile.

 Paper Magician was written by Charlie N. Holmberg. I read a lot of reviews after my first 5 minutes of reading (I kind of wanted to punch the bratty heroine) and they were mixed at best. But I didn’t have much to lose so I kept reading.

Ceony Twill has graduated from magic school and been sent to work with paper instead of smelting which is what she really wanted. Apparently if you are magical you get to pick one of the specialties and learn that particular type of magic. Ceony made NO BONES about not wanting to work with paper but her (handsome) quirky teacher  Emery Thane quickly wins over her heart (paper dog anyone?!). When he is injured it’s up to Ceony to save him. The book is part 1 of a trilogy so I’ll have to wait for the sequel but one thing that I very much liked was that the story had an ending. So if for some reason I never pick up the next book I won’t be left hanging.

I give the book ***1/2 stars. If you can get it for under 5 dollars do it.

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