Apr 30, 2012

passion tuesday, not a business but a man

Today a little something different, we been celebrating a business every Tuesday, but today we celebrate a man!
Remember our annual facebook single ladies Valentine's contest? Well, this year's winner was the beautiful and oh so talented cake maker Betsy, this was her winning post.

"The life of a single woman…. My life as a single woman…. I would have never thought as a little girl, that at 32 years old, this sentence would apply to me, but it still does. And, while there are moments of loneliness and what if’s I wouldn’t change a thing. I am a powerful, independent, intelligent, kind and generous woman who has worked for everything I have. I have been in love. I have lost love. I have hated myself in the past (sadly, what woman hasn’t), but have grown to truly embrace who I am and all that I have to offer. So, now I date. I date short guys and tall guys, big guys and small guys, funny guys and shy guys, guys who forget they are married, guys who forget they have children, guys who forget they are unemployed, and guys who would never even think to open a car door or buy me flowers. But, one day I know after kissing all those frogs that my Prince Charming will come. It will be the right time, the right man, the right love and my heart will be full. And, I can’t wait…. Cause he will have flowers!" 

Little did she know that shortly there after, on a flight to Miami, she would meet the man of her dreams!
A rare breed... A man who knew what he wanted and didn't  hesitate to go after it.
Not wanting to waste anytime, after a few months of dating, he flew her out to meet his family and this passed weekend he sealed the deal with this gorgeous ring!

     We couldn't be happier for you Betsy! We are all so excited to see your bright and beautiful future unfold! This whirlwind romance has us jumping for joy! and wondering if we should fly into Miami more...

Apr 24, 2012

pride and passion tuesday; a gem of an idea

Meet Reenie Rose!

Always connected to the art world, whether it be coloring in a book, starting her own art fair, or successfully managing an art gallery, Loreen Rose found a unique niche while staying true to her first love, art.
Her gorgeous oil renderings of bridal bouquets are the perfect memento of your special day. 
Her attention to detail and ability to capture nature at its best, is like no other.
Compartmentalized strokes of color form a picture like quality to each piece.
I'm over the moon about this idea! Freeze drying your bouquet, so you can slowly watch it disintegrate through the years is hardly the memory I like of my wedding day.
Loreen will work together with your florist,  photographing your bouquet the day before your wedding, meets with you to decide on your preferred shot and then works meticulously to create your one of a kind heirloom.
A fantastic and unique wedding shower gift (she can create a registry for your  bridal shower) , or how about a secret one year anniversary gift from the groom! 
Pride, passion, creativity and so much love into every piece; we are in love with Reenie Rose!
Take a look at Loreen at work on this lovely video below. You can also meet her this Thursday the 26th of April, HERE!

Apr 17, 2012

pried, passion and dignity tuesday

Recently my doctor informed me that it is now time for annual mammograms. It caught me of guard and it frightened me a bit.
Although I get annual check ups and breast examinations with my physician, I have to admit I'm not that good at routine self examinations, will definitely  work on that this year.
Dr Feldman gave me a list of her preferred imaging places and I went on my way.
I finally made an appointment, I choose Dupage Imaging in Hinsdale.
They were very nice and personable on the phone and explained in detail what my appointment would be like.

The day of my appointment, I got there fifteen minutes earlier (2:30) as they had requested, beautiful fresh flowers on the counter :) happy smilie faces greeted me and checked me in swiftly; I was escorted to a waiting room/ relaxing room and told my tech would come and get me. Almost immediately  Gigi walked in and showed me to a small room with a variety of gowns  and said I should lock the door,  she would come and get me from door on other side of the room after I changed. She nocked and asked if I was ready, I fluffed my hair and went out. Gigi was very soft spoken and kind, asked me to sit down, told me she was aware that I had asked for a thyroid guard (read more about that here) and showed it to me, explained how it would go around my neck and then proceeded to explain in detail what she would be doing and how they would handle the results.
We proceeded with mammogram and it was really painless, not even uncomfortable, I guess I have my bigger boobs to thank for that :)
I left imaging center at 3:05 delighted at the treatment, swiftness and most of all at their kindness and with my dignity intact!
I'm happy to say I received a clean bill of health letter yesterday :) This only took thirty minutes out of my year, hardly an inconvenience. I will be much better at self examination and hope you will join me too and when you are ready for your first mammogram please consider Dupage Imaging it was a great experience. Their kindness is why I choose them for this weeks pride and passion.
I placed a pink badge on the left of your screen with a link to the  Susan G Komen site, lots of great information there. Please share my experience and get checked.

Apr 15, 2012

my box of mothball

While reading a colleague's blog post about insomnia, I got to thinking how lucky I am not to ever have suffered from this; am like a man, I hit the pillow and am out.
I think this is thanks to my grandma Anna, not because I inherited her genes, but because I inherited her linens.
My dad is the youngest in a family of five children, four boys and one girl, my aunt Maria, who they all adore and treasure. My grandfather Gaspar, was born in Corleone  Sicily in year 1900, taught himself how to read and write in hiding, under ground during world war I , he was too young and my great~ grandmother was afraid the army would take him.
When he was in his mid twenties he took a ship ride to Buenos Aires, Argentina, in search of a better future. He got a job with the railroad and after two years,when he was established, he went back home to marry his beloved, my grandma Anna.
Grandma was also born in Corleone in 1909, grew up in an olive plantation over looking the sea.
 At fifteen she started working on her dowry. All beautifully hand stitched and embroidered, pieces of artwork really. Today they are mine, the most valuable thing I own. They have been around 88 years, and they are in perfect shape, they are made of the thickest linen I've ever seen or felt. Sleeping on them everyday, I think of her when I say my prayers ,  when I close my eyes at night, I can almost smell her linen closet, a combination of lavender and mothballs. It comforts me.
 You see, she was the loveliest person I've ever known.
 I often wonder, how my life would have turned out if I never left Argentina, and spent more time with her. I remember my last visit with her, when I was 23,  crying at her front stoop and she held my face with her hands and said, "you are always here with me". I looked at every little crease on her face and her beautiful snow white hair, I was so upset, I had no words. She held me tight and I walked away. I think of her everyday and wish I had said more, she passed away the following year.
Her laughter contagious, her heart as big as the sea, and open, wide open, to anyone. She loved with so much tenderness and joy. No one has ever seen her mad or speak a word of negativity,  always ready for an encouraging word.
She was the best cook,  loved to tell childhood stories and be with family.
In the late 50's my grandparents started a church in their home, soon raised enough funds to buy a properly and build.
 My grandfather pastored this church for almost  60 years, he also started two churches in Italy and founded a total of three churches in Buenos Aires ,  my grandmother was his beloved and faithful follower. Immigrants who taught them selves to read and write more then one language, went on to live out their dreams. 
Grandma past away first at 86 and grandpa lived to be 9 days short of 101. I miss them.
 I know this is strange but I love the smell of mothballs. I have an air tight box of lavender with one mothball in a drawer and when I have a though day I open the box and instantly feel better... and miss them.

Apr 11, 2012

commitment phobe

I cannot commit to a favorite flower or favorite color, but I do however have a favorite season... for flowers. That would be right now! Spring!!! Luscious blooms, gentle papery thin petals, deep fragrance and bright colors fill my heart for a few months. Shear joy as I tear open the FedEx boxes, it's like Christmas every morning. I make a cuppa tea, after they are all in water and just look at them; after a few minutes of that, I take out my camera and take pictures like a paparazzi that accidently walked into George Clooney's wedding.
Happy Spring everyone!

Apr 10, 2012

pride , passion and poppy tuesday

I've been always told am a bit different, but it has never stopped me from doing the things I like. Although I did enjoy a typical childhood of pretending to be wonder woman , lassoing my younger sister and dragging her across our backyard, I would much rather spend time gardening with my dad and grandpa and learning how to cook with my mom or grandma. I looked up to them and they were my real super heroes.
Today at 40, my life is full of things to be grateful for and I added a new hero. I want to be just like her when I grow old! England's Valerie Finnis one of the great ladies of gardening, renowned as a plantswoman and flower photographer. Her mother was Constance Finnis, who raised the strain of Iceland poppies that bears her name. She noticed her young daughter's fascination with plants, and gave her a prominent plot in front of the house when she was only four. At 18, Valerie entered Waterperry Horticultural School for Women near Oxford. She surrounded herself with her beloved plants, pictures and loved ones. She gardened with her husband ten hours a day until he died. 
A variety of blue Muscari was named after her, when it appeared inexplicably in her English garden. She wore crazy hats and loved to gossip about the plant world. I give anything to spend a day investigating her brain over a pot of Earl Gray.

Apr 3, 2012

pride, passion and chocolate tuesday!

I have a thing for obsessed people -- who manage to turn their passion into an art form. This is  why I love Mast Brothers Chocolate.

 Located in Brooklyn New York, brothers Rick and Michael, turn hand-sourced beans from small farms in Madagascar, Venezuela, Ecuador and the Dominican Republic into beautiful, deeply complex chocolate bars (almond sea salt my fav).
Not only do they make a divine chocolate, they hand wrap it, with gorgeous hand printed floral papers and if that wasn't enough, they managed to reduce their carbon foot print by transporting themselves to the 19th century; they chartered a 70-foot schooner to pick 20 metric tons of beans up from the Dominican Republic.
 It took 14 days to get the bean-filled schooner back to Brooklyn, with only wind powering the boat. The brothers said they learned a lot just bringing it into the Brooklyn port. The city hadn’t played host to a schooner in decades. They were like "Why would you do that?” Once it sunk in, the city agreed it was quite an awesome endeavor. At the port, they inspected the beans and found no problems–making Mast Brothers the first since 1939 to sail cargo into New York City! You can watch videos of these sexy guys doing what they love most here! Pride, passion and chocolate, that's why the Mast Brothers inspire me...and they're sweet on the eyes too :)