Friday, April 29, 2011

Here Comes The Bride...


Wishing the new bride & groom years of happiness, health & love!
Congratulations Prince William & Catherine Middleton!    

In celebration, here's a little British Humor! Enjoy






The T-Mobile Royal Wedding




My Blackberry Is Not Working! 






Do You Speak English?





Thank you for coming along with me on my journeys this week. 
A lot of fun things prepared for next week so be sure to follow along!
Enjoy your weekend and any "Stops that you find yourself making Along The Way".






DON'T FORGET ABOUT OUR CONTEST!!
2 EASY STEPS FOR A CHANCE TO WIN:

1- Like I Stopped Along The Way on Facebook (simply click the Like icon ton this blog)

2- Tell me what the best piece of advice is that your mom/ grandmother has handed down to you.

If you are not on Facebook you can still be entered to win by simply following I Stopped Along The Way (simply click the follower icon on this blog) and leave your advice in the post a comment section.

Contest runs from April 26 thru May 5th
One winner will be randomly chosen to receive a Six Pack of Yummy Mummy Brownies(flavor of your choice $17.50 value)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

It's A Royal..._______

Photo Credit: Mario Testino



...Wedding
...Farewell to Single Life
...Waste of Time
...Waste of Resources

Regardless of how you choose to fill in the blank, an estimated billion people are expected to watch Prince William & Catherine Middleton get married tomorrow, April 29th, and its being called a Royal Wedding!


As a teenager  I remember watching Prince Charles and Diana's  big day. My sisters and I were so excited to watch that we forget to factor in the time difference; luckily we figured it out the day before or we would have been asleep while the royal couple paraded through London.


I wonder what it is about events like this that make so many people, wait with anticipation? Is it the gown, the flowers, the cake, the crowds? For me it was the gown. At the time the media had placed such a heavy emphasis on Diana's 25' long train that I didn't want to miss it.   


Today there are so many ways that you can get the latest news, pictures and videos as the events unfold. From the official Royal Wedding website to Royal Wedding tweets it's easy to stay on top of the day's events without having to wake up at the crack of dawn.


This event got me thinking of one of my favorite books. THE COMMONER By John Burnham Schwartz. I happen to like that last name :-) so I got it from the library. I couldn't put it down!!   


The true story on which the novel is based is well known. In 1957, the Japanese crown prince, Akihito, met a beautiful young woman, Michiko Shoda, on a tennis court. She became the first commoner to marry into the imperial family. Despised by her mother-in-law as an upstart and interloper, Michiko eventually succumbed to a depression so intense that she temporarily lost the ability to speak. A generation later, her eldest son, Prince Naruhito, also fell in love with a commoner — again with dreadful results. - Sunday Book Review NY Times




DON'T FORGET ABOUT OUR CONTEST!!
2 EASY STEPS FOR A CHANCE TO WIN:

1- Like I Stopped Along The Way on Facebook (simply click the Like icon ton this blog)

2- Tell me what the best piece of advice is that your mom/ grandmother has handed down to you.

If you are not on Facebook you can still be entered to win by simply following I Stopped Along The Way (simply click the follower icon on this blog) and leave your advice in the post a comment section.

Contest runs from April 26 thru May 5th
One winner will be randomly chosen to receive a Six Pack of Yummy Mummy Brownies(flavor of your choice $17.50 value)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Out With The Old In With The New

One of my favorite things to do during the springtime is clean out my closet. I know it sounds pretty blah, but it’s so refreshing. Out with the old black, brown, and greys, and in with the new salmon, teal, and whites. Out with the turtlenecks, and in with the scoop necks. Since budget is always a concern I was very picking this year when choosing a few staple items for my spring wardrobe. Since I’m not much of a mall shopper I really have to get myself jazzed up for this sort of shopping spree. I made my list of musts and ventured out.:

White jeans
Dark blue jeans
Salmon shirt
Light blue shirt
Dress (that I could wear with heels and flats)
Belt


As Murphy’s Law would have it I came home empty handed, and totally frustrated. Why is it that every time you have money to spend you can’t find a thing, but when you don’t that’s when all the eye candy comes out? On my second trip to the mall I decided to stop by H&M. I’m typically not successful there, but this day I was. I found my salmon shirt, and an awesome light pink dress. Only two sizes left and one of those sizes was mine. Thank you very much!!

This past weekend I wore the dress and got tons of compliments on it. It’s the kind of dress that fits my body type, and is so comfortable. When you find something like this it’s worth sharing.  This dress also reminded me of Shabby Apple, a company that I found on the internet. It has become one of my favorites because they have a beautiful selection of dresses that are fit to flatter any body type. When you visit their site it will ask you a couple of questions and then it will hand pick dresses that suite you. Great idea right! Check them out.

What are some of your staple items this spring? I’d love to hear about them!

DON'T FORGET ABOUT OUR CONTEST!!
2 EASY STEPS FOR A CHANCE TO WIN:


1- Like I Stopped Along The Way on Facebook (simply click the Like icon ton this blog)


2- Tell me what the best piece of advice is that your mom/ grandmother has handed down to you.


If you are not on Facebook you can still be entered to win by simply following I Stopped Along The Way (simply click the follower icon on this blog) and leave your advice in the post a comment section.


Contest runs from April 26 thru May 5th
One winner will be randomly chosen to receive a Six Pack of Yummy Mummy Brownies(flavor of your choice $17.50 value)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Yummy Mummy Pearls of Wisdom



It's hard to believe that April is almost over. Looking back at my calendar I noticed that it's been slightly over a month that I launched this blog. I hope that you've enjoyed stopping with me. In celebration of my "slightly over 1 month" blog birthday, and of Mother's Day which, dare I say is right around the corner, I Stopped Along The Way is having its first giveaway. SWEET!!!


Several years ago I had the opportunity to meet  Melissa Roiter, mother of triplets, entrepreneur, and owner of Yummy Mummy Brownies. Melissa bakes some of the most decadent delights. As a child, Melissa's mother owned and operated a catering business. Growing up Melissa helped her mother in her catering kitchen and learned cooking and baking techniques. During the summer Melissa would bake with her grandmother Irene, and it was then that she learned that she loved baking. The recipe that Melissa uses to create her Yummy Mummy Brownies was handed down from her grandmother. 


As I began thinking about Mother's Day, and my giveaway I was reminded how moms/grandmothers around the globe pass on a little bit of themselves to their children. Sometimes, like Melissa's grandmother, it is a recipe, other times its a  family heirloom, or simply a piece of advice. Has your mother passed on some words of wisdom to you? I'm sure she has. Let me know what they are and you may win a box of Yummy Mummy Brownies.


2 EASY STEPS FOR A CHANCE TO WIN:


1- Like I Stopped Along The Way on Facebook (simply click the Like icon ton this blog)


2- Tell me what the best piece of advice is that your mom/ grandmother has handed down to you.


If you are not on Facebook you can still be entered to win by simply following I Stopped Along The Way (simply click the follower icon on this blog) and leave your advice in the post a comment section.


Contest runs from April 26 thru May 5th
One winner will be randomly chosen to receive a Six Pack of Yummy Mummy Brownies(flavor of your choice $17.50 value)


Thank you Melissa for gifting a I Stopped Along The Way reader with a Yummy Mummy Brownie pack!! Click here to visit Yummy Mummy

Monday, April 25, 2011

Inspired By Buddy Valastro

This past weekend I couldn't help but think of Carlo's Bakery in NJ. Originally from Lipari, a small island to the north of Sicily, Italy, Buddy Sr. immigrated to America with his family when he was 13. Buddy Sr.'s legacy can be seen in the bakery he left behind which is now run by his son Buddy Valastro.
Today Buddy is an accomplished fourth generation master baker, cake decorator and star of the hit TLC reality show Cake Boss.  In his NJ facility, Buddy and his staff turn out thousands of wedding cakes, specialty cakes, and pastries weekly. His award winning designs have been featured numerous times in bridal magazines, newspapers, books, Oprah,as well as television and most namely The Food Network. 


On Thursday evening I stopped by MA's house. This is my brother-in-law's mother but I call her MA even though she's not my MA at all.  Like Buddy's family, MA is a first generation Sicilian,  and an awesome baker.  When I learned that she was going to be making her Easter sweet bread I asked if I could stop by to see how she makes them. She said yes. We started by coloring 13 dozen eggs, Holy Moly, I've never seen so many eggs. After the eggs were colored and dried we began to make the sweet bread. They were really easy to make, and once they were iced and sprinkled they looked amazing. I was thrilled to be part of this Sicilian Easter tradition. Thanks MA!  
  
Sicilian Easter Bread Recipe
8 Cups of Flour
1 Bar of Crisco
A Little Vanilla
8 Teaspoons Baking Powder
8 Large Eggs
2 Cups of Sugar
1 Cup of Milk

Icing (should be paste-like)
Confectionary Sugar
Milk
Crisco




My lovelies really enjoy watching Buddy on TLC. Best cousins, entrepreneurs, and creative souls, they are always up for a challenge. When they told me during the week that they had been inspired by one of Buddy's cakes, I knew I was in for it. From sketches to grocery lists to scheduling, these girls were determined to make a cake for Easter.  Although Buddy makes it look really easy, I will say that the process was long and exhausting. These little hands baked, rolled, cut, and iced all day long,  but the end result was spectacular.... I think they could give Buddy a run for his money....what do you say Buddy? Game On?

Click Here for Carlo's Bakery


Portions of Buddy's biography were taken from Carlo's Bakery website  & TLC


http://www.carlosbakery.com/About.php


http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/tv/cake-boss/about-buddy-valastro-sr.htm

Friday, April 22, 2011

Don't Leave Your Gas Guzzler Running

Every Friday I celebrate two things. 1. All things funny 2. Starbucks. Why Starbucks? Because typically I brew my coffee at home, but on Friday I treat myself to a coffee at Starbucks….so worth the $4 Late’

Today not only is it Funny Friday but it is also Earth Day, and in celebration of Earth Day Starbucks is giving away coffees. All you have to do is bring your travel mug and they‘ll give you a Free coffee.  Oh Yeah!  


My friend, made me laugh as he described how he was going to obtain his free coffee. First  he would drive up in his gas guzzling Ford pickup (leave it running of course), Styrofoam cup in one hand, stack of newspapers in another hand, he’d order his coffee. Maybe this is one of those - you had to be there type of moments, but it made me laugh

Earth Day is a day that is intended to inspire awareness and appreciation for our environment. Earth Day was founded on April 22, 1970 by United States Senator Gaylord Nelson . Today this event is celebrated in more than 175 countries. People all around the globe are taking steps to a greener lifestyle. From buying locally, shopping with reusable bags, driving an electric car, to taking shorter showers (that’s where I draw the line), we can all make a difference. Today I challenge you to make one change towards making our universe greener.

Thank you for coming along with me on my journeys this week. 
A lot of fun things prepared for next week so be sure to follow along!
Enjoy your weekend and any "Stops that you find yourself making Along The Way".


Thursday, April 21, 2011

I'm Going Bananas


Yesterday I Stopped Along The Way at a thrift shop in Gloucester, MA. It's really more than a thrift shop, it's like walking into the backstage of a costume designer's studio. If the stage performance calls for feathers, Banana's has it. How about some costume jewelry and vintage gowns?, they have it. Need some shoes and purses, just name your color and style, Banana's has it. Yesterday they had such a sophisticated display of hats in the window, and since I'm a sucker for hats I decided to stop. I have several vintage hats of my own that I often display in my home and wear on occasion. As of recent they seem to be getting a lot of use as dress- up musts. When I saw their display it reminded me of Easter Bonnets. I wondered where the tradition of getting an Easter Bonnet came from, so I did a little bit of research.

You can dress me up but you can't take me anywhere

European traditions of wearing flowers on a hat to celebrate spring were quite popular and as time went on ladies would wear bonnets to celebrate Easter and as a way to show off to family and friends. The bigger the bonnet, the more colorful and decorated, the better.

In New York City, starting as a spontaneous event in the 1870s, Irving Berlin began a New York Easter parade. It became increasingly popular into the mid-20th century—in 1947, it was estimated to draw over a million people. Although its popularity has declined significantly, drawing only 30,000 in 2008 this tradition still continues. This year if you're in New York on Easter Sunday (April 24) you have the opportunity to see Easter bonnets as "paraders" wander along Fifth Avenue from 49th to 57th Streets. The area around St. Patrick's Cathedral is apparently the ideal place to see the parade. 
In your Easter bonnet
with all the frills upon it,
You'll be the grandest lady in the Easter parade.
(Berlin, "Easter Parade", 1933)

Bananas
78 Main St
GloucesterMA 01930
(978) 283-8806 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Today as I was going for a walk during my lunch break I smelled the most beautiful fragrance. It made me stop in my tracks to try to identify where it was coming from. I looked to my left and there it was - a blooming magnolia tree. …and then I did the unthinkable…. I clipped a flower off of it. As I walked back I kept digging my nose deeper and deeper into it, I couldn’t get enough of its aroma. Although there have been some signs of spring here in New England,  it has still been a bit chilly, so this was quite a treat to see a magnolia tree full of blooms.


When I got back to my office it slowly closed its petals. I think it was very upset with me that I had destroyed its potential to become something greater. That’s when I began to open its petals one by one….and that’s when I made the most wonderful discovery. Deep in its core, sheltered by its petals was an inner gem. It looked like a tiny cactus with pink pokers. Obviously it was not, but that is what it looked like to me. It reminded me of the fairy book that I read my lovely last evening. This fairy book had the extraordinary art and pages that unfolded and popped up making your eyes widen at every turn. For a moment my imagination took me to a fairy filled land with pixie dust and fireflies…….and then just as quickly as this fantasy begun, it ended to the sound of  my email chiming ding , ding, ding. That was the end of that daydream.



I often enjoy the joy of my imagination running wild. It reminds me to stop to delight in such discoveries, because you never know where they will take you. Today I challenge you to dig deep into the core of a flower, smell its aroma, scrutinize its every petal, jump deep into the heart of it, and dream, if only for a moment of an enchanted place in the middle of  the woods, far far away from those four walls that surround you daily. 
  

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Field of Dreams



One of the most beautiful things about life is the anticipation of something familiar that makes us incredibly happy. Spring is a season that offers so many of these familiar happinesses. The burning of brush, the buds on trees, the green of the grass, and the smell of fresh air. 

There is a field not far from my home that makes me extremely happy. I'm not sure who deserves the credit for it, and not sure if they do it for their own pleasure or for passerbys like myself, but I am sure of one thing, I really do delight in it. It's a field of daffodils. Placed so beautifully along the road, their bright trumpet centers seem to bellow out a loud and confident "spring is here". It beckons my attention and doesn't let me continue on my journey until I stop. 

This year when I Stopped Along The Way to take some photos of it, I couldn't help but remember how beautiful this time of year is in Nantucket. Every April they have a festival called Daffodil Days. This festival originated by the late Jean MacAusland, a summer resident of Nantucket, who persuaded the Nantucket Garden Club to sponsor a daffodil show on the island in 1974. Every year the islanders plant daffodil bulbs along roadsides, gardens, and in fields. Today an estimated three million yellow, orange, white and even pale pink daffodil varieties bloom around the island. It is really a sight to behold. If you've never has the opportunity to visit Nantucket I would suggest that an April jaunt is a must. This year the festival takes place April 29 - May 1. You'll enjoy decorating contests, parades, pageants, picnics, and ...oh yeah, millions of beautiful daffodils.




Click here for Daffodil Festival Nantucket Dates

Monday, April 18, 2011

Paula Deen & My Mom Cookin' It Up?


With Passover starting today and Easter this weekend I thought this would be a great day to focus on yummy treats that complete any family dinner. 



Today I'm inviting Paula Deen to come over to my mom's house to do some traditional Portuguese baking. She'd love this recipe for washboard butter cookies. Why? Butter! Oh yeah, and a lot of it. If you don't like to get your hands dirty, I'll warn you that this recipe may not be for you. No mixer is required just a whole lot of TLC from your five digits.

Step 1: Mix butter, shortening, and sugar
Step 2: Add eggs and mix
Step 3: Add grated lemon and mix
Step 4: Add salt,baking powder and flour, mix


These cookies are simply irresistible and I can assure you that you won't just eat one. They are called washboard cookies because the horizontal lines made with a fork resemble the ridges of a washboard. Delicately flavored with lemon, they compliment a cup of tea or coffee perfectly.
Step 5: Roll dough into a small ball
Step 6: Flatten ball(as shown ablove)
Step 7: Take a fork to create washboard pattern
Step 8: Bake 350 until golden brown

Ingredients For Washboard Cookies: 
4 Sticks of butter (at room temperature)
2 Cups of sugar
3 Eggs
1 Heaping tablespoon of shortening
1 1/2 grated peel of a lemon 
A pinch of salt
7 Cups of flour
2 Heaping tablespoons of baking powder

Makes (more than any individual should ever consume)