Monday, July 31, 2017

Book Review: “How to Talk to a Widower”

   How to Talk to a Widower
   Jonathan Tropper

Twenty-nine year-old Doug is not only coping with his wife’s unexpected death, but also dealing with his teenaged stepson’s bad behavior, his Bridezilla sister Debbie, his well-meaning but tornado-like pregnant twin Clair, his well-heeled mother who enjoys wine too much and his father who alternates between lucidity and dementia. How to Talk to a Widower chronicles Doug attempts to date, manage his over-the-top family and move on with his life.

Don’t be fooled by the title of this book. While parts are a little sad, it’s mostly sweet and funny. What I liked most is the genuineness of Doug’s family members-they’re difficult at times, but they deeply love and want the best for each other. If you’re looking for some light summer reading, How to Talk to a Widower is the right choice.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Home: Guest Bedroom Amenities

Because I don't want the night stand to be cluttered,
I only added reading material and a white noise machine

A nearby table is home to the tissues, flower, snack station and wife password

Most people (myself included) don’t have good things to say about aging, but the one great thing about it is gaining knowledge and experience. By being and hosting houseguests and by staying at hotels, over the years I’ve become a better hostess. In an earlier blog (click here to view it), I wrote about a toiletries kit I assembled for the guest bathroom. Now that that it’s travel season, I’d like to share a few things I’m going to add to the guest bedroom when friends visit.

Because all of our potential houseguests live in the suburbs, rather than a noisy city, I added a white noise machine to nightstand. In addition, I like to provide some reading material, whether it’s a book or some current magazines.

Probably the most important guest amenity is a notecard with the network name and password since everyone uses the internet. A recent addition to the guest room is a small snack station. I thought people might want a few nibbles, so I’m providing water, a granola bar, crackers and a few chocolates. Tissues and a cut flower add the final finishing touches!

I always hope my guests are comfortable and am open to more ideas from any of you!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Style: Pajar Fusion Weatherproof Boots

While I wouldn't normally showcase boots that are out of season, they're now
on sale at Nordstrom. Click here for more information

I was so excited to see the grippers that will reduce my chances
of slipping on the ice

It’s hard for me to shop for fall and winter clothes in July. When it’s hot outside, the last thing I want to do is try on warm clothes. However, I’ve been shopping at the Nordstrom Anniversary sale since I graduated from college, so I always attend. It’s usually my time to stock up on basics like undergarments, exercise clothing, workout shoes, cosmetics and candles. Because Boston is so wet, this year I looked for waterproof booties, but didn’t find a pair that worked. Next to them, though, was this pair of Pajar waterproof snow boots, something I needed since my old ones are a little too small.

For a native Californian, it’s a little hard to get excited about snow boots, but these Pajar boots are special. They’re waterproof, have quick-opening zippers rather than laces, are rated to -22°F and even have ice grippers that flip open and closed on the soles. No more cold feet or slipping on the ice!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Cooking and Entertaining: Bon Appetit’s Kale & Brussels Sprout Salad

Bon Appetit's Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad

Lately I’ve been reading a lot about the benefits of cruciferous vegetables so I was thrilled to find this recipe from Bon Appetit because it contains my two favorites-kale and Brussels sprouts. It’s delicious, easy to prepare and holds up well in the refrigerator for a few days.

Because we eat this salad as an entrĂ©e, I add shredded chicken. It would be equally tasty, however, with a piece of salmon or some grilled shrimp. What could be better than something that’s nutritionally beneficial and good for the soul?

the ingredients

use caution when slicing with a mandolin

Instead of whisking salad dressing, I like to shake it in a small jar

Bon Appetit's Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad

I added some shredded chicken breast to this recipe

Click here for the recipe

Friday, July 21, 2017

Four Star Find: Trader Joe’s Chocolate Coconut Almonds

This product is widely available at Trader Joe's stores. For more information,
click here

Whether it’s skin serum or a new dessert, I enjoy trying different products. Most of the time, it doesn’t work out, but I persist because finding a “gem” makes me so happy. Because I enjoy eating candy so much, I like trying new ones but tend to be pretty picky because I don’t like foods that are too rich or cloyingly sweet.

Trader Joe’s Chocolate Coconut Almonds are perfect. Consisting of whole almonds enrobed in coconut then covered with dark chocolate, they have the right combination of flavor, texture and crunch. There’s a synergy when these three items are combined, and the result is to-die-for!

As always, I receive no compensation for this endorsement