After touring the outer loveliness of the house, we went back in for raw vegetable appetizers, then shared a meal of pasta, pork, and salad.
After touring the outer loveliness of the house, we went back in for raw vegetable appetizers, then shared a meal of pasta, pork, and salad.
Yes, 98 Degrees, the boy band that brought us hits such as “Hardest Thing,” “I Do (Cherish You)” and “Because of You” is back with a new CD, “2.0.” So when I heard they would be making an appearance at the Apple in Soho, I knew I had to be there. I got there only a few minutes before they were set to appear, so I had to stand the whole time in the back, but I still managed to get a decent view of the group.
They still look deliciously swoonworthy, especially Nick Lachey and Jeff Timmons. They still have that tight muscled physique, charming smiles and a sweet demeanor. I smiled, waved a blew a kiss at Nick from across the room and yes, he smiled and waved back!
The event started off with a moderated conversation with Cubby from KTU, with questions about what made the boys come back together again, where they’ve been living, what the boys have been up to and so on. Nick is busy being a new father; Drew participated in (and won) “Dancing with the Stars” and became a host for the show; Justin ran for mayor of Cincinnati; and Jeff was hosting Chippendale’s in Las Vegas… aka being a stripper (not really, but we wish) — He did pretend to take off his button down shirt and do a little dance for us though. So adorably sexy!
Next was the Q&A from the audience, which was fun but the part I loved most was when they performed a few of their hit songs throughout the years… Their special performance was heartfelt, beautiful and amazing. Nick’s voice was deeply velvety silk smooth and undeniably sexy. Jeff’s voice was a bit higher, still rocked it. All the voice harmonizing together was a real treat.
The Play List
1. “Invisible Man” – This was gorgeous sounding… Pure perfection!
2. Then what they called The Sunshine Song- “Because of You”
3. Continuing with one of my personal favorites, “The Hardest Thing,” which almost made me cry…
4. Another sappy love song, but with the opposite message of the one prior, “I Do (Cherish You)”
5. “Una Noche”
6. And the latest hit from their newest album, “Microphone” (uptempo, incredibly sexy and got us all up dancing)
Afterwards, I headed outside to the back door to see if I could meet them, but turns out they were signing autographs and taking pictures with fans inside the Apple store and security wouldn’t let us back in. So we waited, and still got a chance to get autographs and pictures. I managed to get a picture with all of the members, but not all together. in one photo. Still, much better than nothing! I loved that they were so sweet & great about it, and made it clear that it was “because of us,” that they loved and cherished us all!
I headed to the Theatre at Westbury in Long Island to meet up with a friend to see Comedy Central star, Lewis Black on tour (The Rant is Due). Lewis Black is known for his “comedy style, which often includes simulating a mental breakdown, or an increasingly angry rant, ridiculing history, politics, religion, trends and cultural phenomena.” We got to the theater early and found our seats.
It wasn’t too long until Lewis Black’s comedian friend John Bowman came up to do his bit. He was great- Weird, fun, cynical and played these cool twisted songs.
After that, the man of the hour, Lewis Black came out to thunderous applause and his first comment was, “I wish I was going to the show that all of you are making so much noise for!” Lewis Black was hilarious– He definitely made me laugh and I loved that he could back up what he was talking about, making compelling points about the absurdity of our world, whether it was social security, government, Obamacare, TV in the old days, Facebook, congress, business, and so much more.
I was in stitches hearing about his experience with signing up for Facebook and then Spotify through Facebook. Also when he discussed the difference between “dumb” and “stupid” as well as Democrats and Republicans. Or when he went on and on about social security and long division, proving how it’s impossible to figure out. And when he likened ADD medication for children to speed and discussed how we all have ADD & cannot focus on just one thing anymore. The list goes on… I had such a great time seeing Lewis Black perform and it was well worth the travel to Long Island.
Afterwards, my friend and I were trying to find a nice spot for dinner. We stopped in at Frank’s Steakhouse but the waitress was rushing us to order because the kitchen was closing and was quite rude about it, so we decided to take our business elsewhere. We ended up finding a Ruby Tuesday, and we were not disappointed. The food was delicious and the service excellent.
I started off with the “Tropical Sunrise” drink, which is a blend of mango, pineapple, and O.J. shaken with ice and served with a splash of grenadine and a cherry. It was pretty good. I liked the bits of mango mixed in with the drink and loved the tropical fruit flavors together.
As for the food, my friend and I shared the crispy coconut shrimp appetizer which was very tasty. For my meal, I chose the New Orleans seafood, which consisted of creole-seasoned tilapia topped with sauteed shrimp and a rich, creamy Parmesan sauce. This also came with two sides. I chose rice pilaf and the salad bar option. I really love the salad bar because you can create your own deliciously healthy salad… I added mushroom, peas, onion, tomato, sunflower seeds, edamame, peas, cheese to my salad, along with a bit of pasta salad, apple salad and potato salad. It was almost a full appetizer in itself!
Then my entree came and it was wonderful. The tilapia was flaky, tender, nice flavor and the shrimp in the Parmesan cream was divine. The rice pilaf was decent– Maybe could have been seasoned a bit more but still pretty good. Of course I had to take most of it home, and it was just as good the next day.
Last, my friend and I shared an amazing peanut butter brownie with topping of caramel spread, with chocolate and caramel sauce mingling around the brownie. It was delectable… Very rich, deep peanut buttery flavor with the chocolate and undeniable taste of sweet, sticky caramel.
I had a wonderful night in Long Island… Top notch, hilarious entertainment by Lewis Black & John Bowman and a delicious dinner at Ruby Tuesday!
This past weekend I had the wonderful opportunity to do some camping with a bunch of friends in the New Jersey wilderness, more specifically at the Mahlon Dickerson Reservation — the largest park of the Morris County Park System and encompasses 3,200 acres of wilderness with over 20 miles of multi-use trails.
Soon after arriving and after pitching our tents, a few of us decided to take a hike through the neighboring woods. We first came across a lovely lookout point just 15 minutes from our campsite, which gave us a great view of hills, valleys, sky and soaring hawks…
As we continued on our journey, we ended up taking the Pine Swamp Loop, following the teal (mostly) trail. We happened across beautiful streams snaking through the trees — At several points we had to cross over bodies of water.
There was even a cute, charming wooden train — Perfect for a child to climb and pretend that it’s real! My inner child wanted to run to the train and do just that. My adult self took a break and refueled myself with trail mix and juice. We continued and reached the Highest Point in Morris County, which was 1395 Feet/ 425 Meters Above Sea Level. Granted it didn’t feel that high, and thankfully it didn’t require a lot of steep climbing.
I enjoyed being in the woods, one with nature. There was a wild, stark beauty and a multitude of thin, bare trees…
After the hike, we returned to our campsite and enjoyed some snacks then took a quick trip to nearby Jefferson Dairy for Homemade Ice Cream. I chose the peanut butter based ice cream with chocolate brownie pieces, which was amazingly creamy & rich. I also tried some of the Pistachio which had a delightful, more subtle flavor.
Soon after, we started preparations for dinner which was quite a feast! There was bacon wrapped shrimp, skewers of shrimp & pineapple; skewers with zucchini, mushroom, peppers; hot dogs, chicken & pork burgers, sausages; tilapia with dill sauce, vegetarian options: Lentil salad, corn on the cob, potatoes.
And of course there were the ingredients for making S’mores. And cake, cookies for dessert. After eating, we sat around the fire keeping warm and talking, telling stories, playing “Would You Rather” and just generally enjoying each others’ company.
After midnight, some of us hiked to nearby Lookout Point to do some stargazing and see if we could spot any meteor showers… It was lovely, perfectly quiet and wonderful to bask in the wonder of the night sky: The moon, constellations and stars.
The next day we prepared a hearty breakfast: Pancakes, bacon, blueberry muffins, bread and cheese, orange slices, and tea/coffee. Delicious!
I had such a sweet adventure camping at Mahlon Dickerson Preserve in the Jersey Wilderness, with a great group of friends and look forward to more camping (definitely when it’s warmer out, so as not to freeze in my hot pink sleeping bag!) in the near future.
I had the pleasure of attending the last night of NYC auditions to upcoming “America’s Got Talent,” Season 8 which was a night of absolute excitement and true talent. There are 4 judges this time around: Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum, Mel B (Scary Spice of Spice Girls) and Howard Stern. And the ever charming and ever hilarious host, Nick Canon! The photo below shows them in the outfits that they were wearing for the taping I attended.
Howie, I love and he always makes me laugh. Heidi is gorgeous and glamorous, but I didn’t find her comments and critiques to be that compelling. Mel B was personable and definitely spoke her mind. While she garnered boo’s from the crowds because she was being honest and saying something negative about the contestant, I found that I agreed with her the most. Howard, I’m not his biggest fan but I respect his opinion and he’s quite fair actually.
For those who watch this show and love the auditions, SPOILER ALERT. I will go into detail about some of the performances.
The amount of sheer talent at this particular taping was incredible. Most of the acts that we saw went through, and the bad ones were clearly planted. The BAD consisted of those with roller blades, lit up clothing, lit up hula hoops, a train wreck of a girl named Rosie on roller skates, mediocre dancing (something you would see on “So You Think You Can Dance”), bad impressions and erotic poetry.
There were also two comedians. Both went through, one of them is the wife of comedian Tom Cottor, who almost won last season’s “America’s Got Talent.” She is lovely and dressed sharply. Did she make me laugh? Not really. Mel B agreed with me and was a NO but the others were a yes.
The GOOD started off with a lovely Chinese couple in a red/black costume who performed this amazing unicycle dance act that made it look like they were figure skating. Next came a group of 7 dancers dressed in all black with gas masks. My first reaction was that they looked scary, but they totally wow’d me with their moves. And when they took off their masks at the end, there was a cool surprising reveal which you will have to see for yourself when they air the auditions on television!
Then there was the quartet of great looking guys playing violins while singing popular songs that I was looking forward to seeing the whole time. We had seen them practicing before the show and they sounded incredible. Unfortunately, when they came out for the real audition, they didn’t impress until the last couple of seconds when they did the chorus, singing “You love, you love, you love…” That swelling of harmony and violins was so beautiful and the judges loved that part but it came too late. So, they gave them another chance. All they had to do was do an extended version of that last chorus but they picked a Maroon 5 song. And not the chorus. So all the judges X’d them this time. However, Heidi wanted to give them one last chance. If that is the case, my dear, do not hit the button like you did!
I will end with The AMAZING acts. Two of them consist of shirtless men. Just a coincidence. =) Christian, a sexy Asian did this performance with straps, lifting himself in the air with straps hanging from the ceiling… It was incredibly fluid and wonderful.
But my favorite performance of the evening was by these two gorgeous men who were clearly in love and very emotionally connected to each other told us they were a couple. They performed what they called an “aerial love dance,” using the hoop hanging from the ceiling in the above image. The performance was pure athleticism, gracefulness, and beauty. At one point, one of the them is holding the other by his feet. And all of this was done high up in the air. I was deeply moved and so was everyone in the audience, as well as the judges. Below, is an image of the contestants warming up before their act!
When someone commented that they will not go far in the competition because they made it clear that they are gay (with the caveat that New York is different and all of us loved them here), I got to thinking, is that true? To think that America, the supposed land of freedom, will not vote for contestants just because they are gay makes me quite upset. Contestants who clearly have an immense amount of talent, ability, charisma (and were so sweet and loving to boot!)… By far the best act of the night… So I can’t really speak to whether the statement is true, but I am hoping that America will prove it wrong.
Enjoy these auditions starting June 4, 2013 on NBC… May the best talent win!
I thoroughly enjoyed the FIT Museum’s Shoe Obsession Exhibit the other week. How could I not? What woman doesn’t have an obsession with shoes? Also, Shoe is my namesake (My last name is pronounced “Shoe”).
“Shoe Obsession features over 150 examples of the most extraordinary shoe styles of the twenty-first century, highlighting the new concepts, constructions, materials, and types of embellishment that have positioned shoes at the height of fashion.” The exhibit showcased many big-name brands, such as Manolo Blahnik, Christian Dior (ladylike, delicate, feminine), Alexander McQueen (imaginative, extreme), Salvatore Ferragamo, Valentino, Tom Ford (revitalized the sexy seductive stiletto heel), Chanel (classic), Versace (sexy, bold) and Prada (effortlessly cool).
The below hot pink, blue + yellow heels, as well as the sparkly gold/colorful heel were two of my favorites from the exhibit.
Some of my other favorites were shoes was a gorgeous red number by Tom Ford– Unusually shaped heels with velvet red straps that tie in a bow in the back.
Alberto Guardiani’s “Flutterby,” a chic, stylish perfect-for-spring shoe with a classic suede pump, with a bit of surprise whimsy — a black and white butterfly for a heel. And these Alberto Guardiani heels apparently comes in different hues: Turquoise, blue, and pink! I am smitten…
Another shoe that caught my eye: Manolo Blahnik’s classically ladylike satin pump in cobalt blue, with a crystal encrusted square sparkle on the pointed toe.
Roger Vivier was another designer that I enjoyed quite a bit: Rose n’ Roll, Nouvelle Vague, Feather Rose, Eyelash Heel. One of my favorites was a pretty, girly light pale pink number (with hot pink interior) with a sweet curvy cut and little brown flowers with yellow, turqouise, white centers + little confetti shaped multi-colored square/rectangles all around.
Now for another Roger Vivier, something with a little wilder aesthetic, with a beautiful cut and peacock-esque showiness at the back of the heel. Design named Eyelash Heel.
There was even a Cinderella-style glass shoe on display…
Of the shoes selected for the exhibit, Valerie Steele, Director and Chief Curator of The Museum at FIT says, “Nothing ordinary. Everything extraordinary. Some of them are works of art which you couldn’t hardly imagine wearing, but others are works of art that you really would imagine wearing to all sorts of important occasions in your life.” I couldn’t agree more… If you’re a lover of shoes, beauty & style make sure to check out this FIT Museum exhibit before April 13th to experience these artistic wonders firsthand!
A friend of mine invited me to Easter lunch at her friend’s apartment, and it was a lovely time with tons of great food and conversation. We had ham, greens, well-flavored scalloped potatoes, delicious mashed sweet potato, seasoned orzo, tasty garden vegetables (onion, zucchini, carrots, sweet potatoes, peppers), wonderfully savory pasta and perfectly cooked asparagus.
I filled my plate with a bit of everything:
For dessert there was fruit, whipped cream cake concoction with berries, sweet apple strudel pastry, cookies and brownies, as well as specially brewed coffee from Haiti. Needless to say, we were stuffed after our Easter Lunch.
To further commemorate the occasion, we started to watch the first story in The History Channel’s “The Bible.” It was amazing how realistic it was, and how intense, poignant and emotional the scenes were — They really pull the viewer in.
Though Easter has come and gone, the reason for the holiday celebration is still here…