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Want to go to a charity pizza tasting? Come out on Saturday June 30 to Papa John's in Hillsborough or Flemington to try their new chicken parm pizza and support Alex's Lemonade Stand at the same time!
The original blog post and comments can be found on Patch at the above link. You can also enlarge the uploaded document by clicking on Fullscreen.
Back in the day, I went to Toms River High School East, in Toms River, New Jersey. I have some amazing memories and life long friends from the years that I spent there. If I could go back and do it all over again, I would in a heartbeat.
I stumbled upon this video, created by the TRHSE Class of 2012 on Facebook and gave it a look. I was really impressed. As of June 20, it's already had over 21,000 views. I'd love to give these guys a graduation present to remember - - their 15 minutes of viral video fame.
If this video makes you smile, even just a little, please share the link with your friends, email it, tweet it, or post it to your Facebook page - - all of the above!
Here's a link you can copy and paste to make it easier for you:
Imagine if you could go back to high school and create something like this. What great memories in motion forever!
If you enjoyed that, here's a second installment of the Toms River teens doing what they do best: having fun!
This blog post was also published on Patch at the above links.
The Lady in Red makes her radio debut on WOND 1400AM this Thursday, 6/21 from 8-10pm! Tune in on their website if you're not in the North East or Mid-lantic area!
As some of you may know, back in May of this year I launched The Lady in Red Blog. I am very grateful that so many of my friends, family, readers, and of course Patch have supported me in my venture which has proven successful so far! (Knock on wood!)
I am very excited to announce I’ll be making my radio debut this Thursday night, June 21 on WOND radio. If you would like to tune in to hear me speak about TheLadyinRedBlog.com, the spot airs live from 8pm-10pm EST on 1400AM. If you are not in the North East or Mid-lantic area, you can also listen online at http://www.wondradio.com/
You may call in (1.609.927.1100) if you wish, and say hello, or ask me questions. I'm not sure of the exact time slot during that 8-10pm window just yet, but I'd love for you to listen! More details will be announced here as they become available.
Whitney Ullman, the President & Founder of WIN Promotions & Consulting, will be co-hosting the spot ‘Girl Talk with Whitney’, with Janet Garraty of the fashion forward Go Jane News - the one stop shop for what's hot in clothes, food , travel, and trends. Ms. Ullman has interviewed celebrities like Anthony Laciura of HBO's hit series Boardwalk Empire, and tends to find herself in the company of Donald Trump, Star Jones, and Regis Philbin.
‘Girl Talk with Whitney’ brings listeners experts in various fields to “stimulate your brain and nourish your inner diva!” as Ms. Ullman promotes.
Other experts scheduled to be on air Wednesday 6/20 8pm-10pm, during ‘Girl Talk with Whitney’ include co-host Lynn Bardowski, speaker, writer, and mentor and founder of Million Dollar Party Girl. She will be speaking about how to use Twitter to get free PR, her new book, and how to have success in the home party business. Tara Rothberg, author of Etiquette Girl, will share her thoughts about business dinners, resumes, Facebook and what you post, hosting dinners, and writing thank you notes.
Rounding out Wednesday evening is Kinko Hamilton, giving insight on stress reduction, energizing the body through aromatherapy and other natural techniques; Gina LaMorte, celebrity fashion stylist and expert, will give inside information on current fashions, what’s hot & happening, and what to wear when you must be there; and Cristina Candullo of The Shoe Society will get everyone up on current trends and events.
The Thursday night lineup brought to you by Ms. Ullman and co-host Janet Garraty, is still a work in progress but, it includes me, Laura Madsen, talking about starting a blog, being true to yourself, how to be different, and success with blogging. Gina LaMorte will also be coming back to talk about following your dreams and making them a reality, and giving tips on being consistent to your personal brand.
It's an honor for these women to include me in their Thursday night line-up! Hope you can listen in!
The blog post can also be found on Patch at the above links.
June 15, 2012 was the last time to grab a delicious burger and shake from the establishment. I was honored that the owners selected me to break the news about their family business closing in this blog.
The original blog post and comments can be found on Patch at the above link. You can also enlarge the uploaded document by clicking on Fullscreen.
I've got connections! (*wink wink*) The Lady in Red got an advance tasting of Burger King's latest creation - the Bacon Sundae. Here's what happens when you combine breakfast with dessert the fast food franchise way.
One day prior to its official launch, I had the opportunity to sample the newest menu item at Burger King (or “BK” as it’s also known) – the Bacon Sundae. This dessert was so new, that the cashier wasn’t quite sure how to ring up the $2.49 plus tax on the register.
After the manager of the establishment gave two servers instructions on how to compose this salty-sweet creation - a super-sized sundae, consisting of vanilla ice cream, both chocolate and caramel sauce, topped with bacon crumbles - it was served to me. Oh, and there was a full piece of bacon garnishing the side of the cup.
For those wondering, the bacon is not hot. It’s lukewarm in temperature, and both the bacon crumbles and bacon on the side are nicely crisp. For my first flavor experiment, I wanted to make sure I had a little bit of everything on the spoon. I wanted to accurately sample all of the tastes and textures in the same mouthful.
To my surprise, the saltiness of the bacon, and the sweetness of the ice cream mixed with chocolate and caramel did not provide me with a unified flavor combination. Even after letting it melt in my mouth for a few seconds, to me, I could still detect two distinct flavors: bacon, and ice cream. It was as if the ingredients refused to cooperate, were battling it out, and wanted to go their separate ways. And this, is probably not such a bad idea.
While the Burger King Bacon Sundae is not bad – it’s not terribly good either. According to the signs in the fast food franchise, this is something that they are promoting and having as a menu option for a limited time only. Maybe that’s a good thing.
I can’t say that they skimped on the portion. I made it about half way through my sundae before I couldn’t eat another bite. Every bite I took had bacon crumbles in it (and I wasn’t fishing for them either). The amounts of bacon and ice cream used were not disappointing, but the enjoyment factor did not live up to my expectations.
I have tried chocolate-covered bacon in the past; and those two flavors worked really well together, so I’m not afraid to try something new. Generally, I have an appreciation for the salty and sweet flavor combinations, such as chocolate-covered pretzels, too. My immediate thought was maybe BK should consider using chocolate ice cream instead of the vanilla; maybe that would improve upon this new creation. Then again, maybe not.
Typically I enjoy my bacon crispy and hot. But obviously, when I’ve eaten it chocolate-covered, it was not hot at all. So the bacon wasn’t the problem with this invention. It’s the ice cream. While the soft vanilla ice cream alone is a pleasure to eat, it’s just too sweet and cold to work well with its salty counterpart. Not only that, but it downright makes the bacon icy cold. Grease and cold just don’t work together as a rule. I just can’t sink my teeth into frigid bacon, no matter how much I try. Sorry, BK, you tried, but let’s leave the bacon just fried, instead.
One suggestion I do have for people who want to give this a try all on their own, is ask them to hold the caramel and chocolate sauces, and give you a container of maple syrup to pour on your sundae instead. While this won’t do anything to unfreeze your bacon bits, the maple syrup might be a slightly better pairing. Then again - maybe not. Weighing in at 510 calories per serving, I can think of many more delightful ways to pack on the pounds.
Pork Roll is about as iconic to New Jersey as Bon Jovi and Springsteen. If you don't know what it is, you're missing out. Come on in, and I'll tell you what it's all about.
For those NJ natives, how do you enjoy pork roll? Here are some of my favorite ways and findings of what other Jerseyites feel is the perfect way to sink your teeth into this savory, tangy meat.
Pork roll, or Taylor Ham – it doesn’t really matter what you call it – has become as iconic to New Jersey food culture as cheese steaks have to Philly or pizza has to New York. It’s that savory and salty sliced sausage-like meat that you can find at almost every Jersey diner or deli for breakfast or on a late-night menu. People love it so much that there’s a website you can use to have it shipped all over the country, because it’s really hard to get your hands on it outside of the New Jersey / New York area.
I was born in New Jersey, but then lived in Florida for a few years as a young child. When my family moved back to the Garden State, one of my first “new” food memories was of my grandmother frying up some sunny-side eggs and Taylor Ham for lunch. The aroma filled her house and seduced me to come in from playing outside in the yard. My younger brother was captivated by the tangy flavor of the meat that was even more delicious after dipping it in the runny egg yolk on your plate. He was a toddler at the time when he would request “hats” for breakfast or lunch, since the round slices puff up in the center before the first flip when you fry them, reminded him of little sombreros.
My daughter’s first food that she was able to stab with her fork when learning to eat with silverware was pork roll. The familial love for pork roll must be genetic because she developed a liking for its salty satisfying flavor, too. One of my new favorite pastimes is walking up to the WaWa first thing in the morning and grabbing their version of a pork roll, egg, and cheese on a bagel, and bringing it to the beach with me in my bag. This way I can enjoy the sunrise over the ocean and hear the sound of waves crashing, as I sink my teeth into bite after buttery bite of breakfast at the Jersey shore.
A while back, I came across an expansion of the Jersey deli delicacy’s use at a small restaurant when I tried what they coined as the “Dirty Jersey Burger” – Taylor Ham, a fried egg, and cheese served on a bun with your burger. It’s now my favorite way to enjoy my beef on a bun. (As a side note, I’m learning that serving a fried or poached egg and savoring the yolk as it breaks open over many dishes enhances enjoyment of the experience: salads, pasta, and now even on a burger to boot!)
Pork roll. Taylor Ham. If you’re from ‘Jersey’ it’s a pretty sure bet you know what this is. But, there are very staunch ideas about the ‘correct’ way to prepare and enjoy it. My friends and I were having a discussion recently about just that point.
I think a majority agreed that the quintessential ‘pork roll, egg & cheese’ (sandwich) all begins when you start out with one of those irreplaceable New York / New Jersey bagels you find in any coffee shop or deli throughout the state. The bagel needs to be lightly toasted and sufficiently buttered, though; and the butter needs to melt.
But the first point of contention was: do you serve it up with pork roll, egg, and cheese? Or do we omit the egg? I vote for leaving the egg on it. I’ve had it with a scrambled, fried, or an over-easy egg, where you bite into the sandwich and the gooey yellow yolk oozes out a bit and makes a wondrous flavorful sauce to the sandwich. Oh, and the egg, if you choose to put it in this classic New Jersey breakfast sandwich – must be in the middle, according to most NJ residents who have weighed in on the subject. The combination apparently dictates the order of the layers in its name. Who knew?
I say that true Jerseyites serve it up, warm and toasty, so the melty butter drips over the juicy pork roll, and the gooey cheese. However, there are those that doctor it up with ketchup, mustard, or both.
No matter how you enjoy it, this mouthwatering creation is so notorious; you don’t even need to explain that it is a sandwich! ‘Pork roll, egg and cheese’ will suffice when placing your order at any roadside diner.
Some people like their pork roll served up on a bagel, others vote for a roll, some say the roll needs to be very specific: a Kaiser roll at that, and yet there is another camp of Jerseyites who says that an English muffin is the way to go.
Then we have the cheese argument. The most popular choice that I’ve seen people agree on is use American cheese when possible. Coming in second place in the informal survey was cheddar.
Pork roll also comes in two thicknesses: regular and thick – and I recently learned you can even slice your own. However you slice it or have it sliced, it didn’t seem to make a difference when composing a pork roll, egg and cheese. As long as you have it on your sandwich, you’re good to go.
Beyond the sandwich, I find frying it up and enjoying it with some eggs on the side works just fine. And now that I know a burger can be improved upon when adding a slice or two, why not add that to the repertoire of recipes as well!
For those testing out the pork roll waters for the first time, here’s what I recommend to do.
Fry an egg side by side with 2 slices of pork roll in a pan with melted butter. Flip the pork roll once while cooking. Lightly toast a bagel. Slather the bagel with butter. Stack the pork roll, egg, and then a slice of American cheese in-between the top and bottom of the sliced bagel, and voila! It’s a few slices of heaven in your hands.
Several slices of pork roll come in a box and sometimes you may not use them all. Or, if you order your pork roll online, you might be wondering what to do with the extra amounts you receive. Did you know that you can freeze the extra packages of pork roll that you don't want to use up right away? Just throw them in the freezer as soon as they arrive – package and all – unopened. And once you open a package of pork roll, just re-wrap the unused slices in some waxed paper followed by some foil, and it will keep in your refrigerator deli bin for 3 - 4 days.
What’s your favorite way to enjoy pork roll? I’m sure it has a lot of versatility and enjoyability!
The original blog post and comments can be found on Patch at the above links. You can also enlarge the uploaded document by clicking on Fullscreen.
Mall Factory Productions Announces Open Casting Call for its Emmy-Winning Saturday Morning Cartoons on NYC Media
PRESS RELEASE: Open Call Auditions for Children, Ages 7- 12, for “Factory Flicks” Co-Hosts
Saturday, June 9th, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Small Factory Productions Studio, 560 River Road, Suite C, Fair Haven, NJ
Fair Haven, NJ (May 23rd, 2012) - Small Factory Productions announced today that it is seeking 7-12 year olds, both male and female, to fill several co-host roles for its Second Season of “Factory Flicks,” which air on Saturday mornings from 9:00-10:00 a.m. on NYC Media, the official TV, radio and online network of New York City.
An open casting call will take place on Saturday, June 9th from 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at the Small Factory Productions Studio on 560 River Road, Suite C in Fair Haven, NJ. Applicants will have their photos and video taken and be asked to read lines in front of the casting director. There is no charge to audition and no compensation will be given for the job. Professional actors and non-actors are welcome to apply.
“This summer, we look forward to filming the Second Season of Factory Flicks on NYC Media,” said Chris Dudick, Executive Producer, Small Factory Productions. “We’re seeking young hosts who crave cartoons and have big, animated personalities. No pun intended! We look forward to an exciting day of auditions on June 9th.”
Interested talent should be available to work from June 1st though September 30th, 2012 at the Small Factory studio in Fair Haven, NJ. Filming dates have yet to be determined. Applicants who are unable to attend the open call should email their contact information and a photo to email@example.com. Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at the auditions and have their written permission to participate. Call Ellen Phillips at Small Factory at 732-212-1088 with any questions.
“Factory Flicks” real life hosts introduce NYC Media’s viewers to cartoons that use the latest cool technology, mashed up art, music and storytelling. The future of cartoons is being made here and now by Small Factory’s kids! Each week up to eight Small Factory produced cartoons, created by kids for kids, are featured on “Factory Flicks”, 9:00 – 10:00 a.m., on NYC life (channel 25 on Verizon Fios, channel 22 on Cablevision and channel 14 on Comcast). Each show will replay on Sundays at 5:30 a.m., Fridays at 11:30 a.m. and on NYC life’s Video On Demand player online at www.nyc.gov/vod. For further information visit www.mysmallfactory.com.
This blog is dedicated to all of those parents out there who wish away winter break or dread daddy duty and dump their kids in daycare when they've got nothing pressing to do. Wake up! Your children’s lives are passing you by! Get off your butts and spend time with your kids!
Ever since I can remember, I envisioned myself having a child “when I grew up”. At the age of 4 or 5, I remember playing “house” with dolls, as many children do, mimicking their parents – practicing for their possible future - being a parent themselves. I remember playing with the dolls, pretending to feed them, bathe them, place them in my toy stroller as I went for walks around the block with my mother, and even put the cute stuffed toys to bed in their tiny cradle.
Not once did I ever pretend to drop my dolls off at daycare. They never had a nanny. They never went away to summer camp.
Ah, what a lead-in - right? You think you know where I’m going with this, but wait…. Before working parents get all angry with me, this is not a blog about bashing you for doing what you’ve got to do to pay your bills. I completely understand that not every day is Bring Your Child to Work Day and there is a need for routine childcare. Just bear with me…. I have a point.
Back to what I was saying….
As I grew older, having a child meant more to me. A child, my child, was an extension of myself. I love myself, so I would love my child even more. I wanted to take all of the love inside me and infuse it in another person. Love them to pieces. Share my life with them and help mold them into a person I could be proud of. I wanted to be the most important person in my child’s life. I wanted to be there for him or her, always. I knew if given the chance, I would put them first, period.
Growing up I felt I was always lacking something. While my parents did the best they thought they could do raising me, I don’t remember receiving hugs every day. I don’t remember waking up with the desire to run into my mother’s room and squeeze her all up. I don’t remember looking towards her for approval and getting a warm fuzzy smile back.
I can stand on my soapbox here and be critical, but I have not walked a mile in my parents’ shoes. And, I can not change the past. However, God has granted me the chance to change the future – change it with my child. I want to provide a loving environment so her happiness thrives inside of her and she becomes a loving, caring adult, cradled by me along the way. I want her to know, in her heart, that I wanted her, and wanted her around me, as much as I could possibly arrange.
Until you become a parent, I don’t think you can even realize the depths of your love for your children. It’s the kind of thing you have to live and learn. Trial by fire. You only “get it” by experiencing the experience.
All I knew, from the time even before my daughter was born, is that I loved her. Since the day she was born I have loved and love spending every minute with her. I hold even the ordinary moments with her close to my heart - the times when we played together, and even the times when we got on each other’s nerves. I can honestly say that I enjoy every second of every day that I am with her.
That said, I also understand how every parent (and child) needs a break sometimes, too. Socialization with others is important, and learning to be independent is equally empowering for a child. And, mom or dad needs some alone time where they are referred to by their first names, and not just by their parental titles. Parents and children spending a little time apart really accentuates the appreciation of each other when they are reunited. It also recharges parental batteries. And notice, I said spending a little time apart.
This is what I don’t get, though.
I don’t get it when parents, who have the privilege to stay at home with their children and not have to go to work in the morning, purposely put their children in day care or hire a nanny to deal with the child rearing. I don’t care how much money you have to throw around; in my book, it’s just not right.
With summer upon us, it reminded me of one more thing. I don’t get it when parents who do have to work most of the year, and only get a week or two off for vacation, choose to send their child to camp, daycare, school, or hire a babysitter - when that window of opportunity should be the most cherished and appreciated time together that you can spend as a family.
I don’t get it. I just don’t.
And these kinds of situations exist. I see it all the time. And it makes me seethe.
It doesn’t make me angry because I don’t have a nanny. It doesn’t make me angry because I want to run around childless and indulge on self-pampering like some parents do. It makes me angry because here are some little people, being cast off, feeling like they are not wanted around, because maybe, that really is the case.
You can be a stay-at-home parent and not want your child around, or, a working parent and not want your child around. Kids, sense this. They will know this. Trust me.
If alone time is that important to the kinds of parents who do the chronic “daycare dump”, then they can explain to me why they became parents in the first place. Everyone has a choice. To me, if you’ve chosen to favor a life of leisure without the disturbance of having someone rely on you for their care, then maybe you should have considered that before they were born. And by care, I mean do more than financially provide for them.
Children are not pets. They are not houseplants. You are their world. They should be yours.
There’s nothing wrong with opting out of the parent zone. To have children for the sake of saying that you procreated really doesn’t say much at all. Don’t parents who dump their children in daycare while they are at home 24/7 realize that they are the center of their child’s world? At least at the start of this scheduled abandonment they are. After a while that childcare worker, teacher, or camp counselor takes the place of mommy in the hearts and minds of the child. After all, they are the one who the child spends a good portion of their days with – every day.
These parents, who have the luxury to not place their children in daycare because they do not work are the worst offenders in my eyes, when they do it anyway. I know many examples where parents ship their child off to daycare from 9am to 6pm every day, for no other reason than mom or dad just doesn’t want them around. I hear the excuses: “He’s just too hard to handle,” or “I can’t deal with her; the school can do better.” Well, maybe your child would listen to you if you bothered to show them some attention in the first place.
When I hear parents wishing away winter break, or dreading the extra days off from school that their children get because of unused snow days, (and I know they don’t have childcare issues because they are home all day), I shake my head. These parents talk about how they don’t like it when their children are off in the summer and can’t wait until they go back to school in the fall. It really makes me mad – and sad. How would their children feel if they knew that mommy or daddy didn’t really want them at home? That they felt they were a bother or burden?
Well, ask these kids how they feel, because you’ll find out. They’ll probably cry and tell you that they never see mommy or daddy, or they will explain how much they miss them. And if they don’t express themselves that way, you can bet they’re probably the type of kids who have ants in their pants in school and act out badly trying to get attention – because that’s the only way they usually get their parents’ attention at home.
I’ve met some of these loving children who have been diagnosed by teachers and counselors as being “hyper” or have had disciplinary issues because they act out and don’t listen in school or at camp. They are not all medical cases needing drugs to calm them down. All these kids want is some loving attention, which they appear to be lacking at home. When I hug them, and spend time with them, there are no outbursts. They listen to me. They smile. All they want – is to feel wanted.
Personally, I can’t wait until my daughter is on summer vacation! I miss the time I used to spend with my child before she entered the school system. She was my little helper; my shadow. We ran errands together. She “helped” me garden or cook in the kitchen. We had more story time – more snuggle time. Life was slower and less crazed.
I’m not alone. I know many stay-at-home parents who savor the last few months and cherish the years before their child starts Kindergarten and they are separated for a greater portion of their days. We are the group that did not jump on the daycare bandwagon. We are the ones that said “Stop! I want to be closer to my child than the pre-school teacher or babysitter!” And yes, we knew we were blessed with the ability to stay at home to play such an important role in our babies’ lives, and we were going to take advantage of that.
I do understand that there are parents who leave the house to work. But when you get such a short lived time during the year to spend your days off with your child and you purposely elect not to, what does that say to them? Guess what? It says you choose not to be with them. You choose your alone time over sharing your time with your child.
Do you think that your child really prefers to go to school or camp rather than spend time with the person who brought them into this world? They may say that they do, but how do the children feel? And if daycare is their desire, what does that say about the relationship that you have established with your children? Maybe they would rather spend time with their teacher or babysitter – than you. How does that make you feel?
Is shopping with your friend without having your children tag along that important to you that you’d dump them in daycare? What about a nice mani-pedi while you are child-free? We all like those. I’m not telling you to give up your moments of silence and sanity, but please remember, you signed up for a lifetime contract here with your little person. Your time is precious. Use it wisely. You may realize all that you missed out on spending time with your kids one day when they’re all grown up. You can’t get “now” back.
Running errands isn’t easy with toddlers. Cleaning the house while barricading babies behind gates isn’t as efficient. All of the activities when your children are around don’t revolve around you. But, I’d like to say to those more selfish individuals – don’t you realize that you only get now, right now, with your child….and their lives are passing you by.
So many men and women long to have children but their life circumstances or infertility dictate that they can’t. Many parents only get to share a small portion of their time with their children because of custody issues, and cherish every second they can spend with them. And you can bet that most of these people would not do what I’ve seen certain others do – Davey goes to daycare all day while Mommy lounges poolside. When Davey gets home, Nancy the Nanny takes over and Davey doesn’t even know how to act around his absentee parent. Mommy who? Wash, rinse, repeat. These parents are the types that believe that vacations are for them only – every time. Baby Melissa gets shipped off to the aunt’s house for a week, or goes to camp while daddy’s at the beach. Where’s her fun time – with family?
I’m sorry, but if you can afford to send your kids to camp, daycare [insert shipping off facility name here] while you are on vacation – you can afford to spend time with your kids. Period.
Being a parent means so much more than birthing a baby. There’s a big difference between being called “Mom”, and earning the title. So many people look at a toddler and say ‘Oh, how cute!’ – then reality sets in and the universal equation that children = work comes crashing down once they have children of their own. Most people, I think, embrace the sleepless nights, and their children’s constant calling for attention, but others bail out and play pass the baby and shuck the responsibility.
As Dennis Prager says, “You can love your children but not be a wonderful parent.”
I don’t doubt for a second that the parents pawning off their children on others as a way to reclaim their personal freedom love their kids; but it doesn’t mean that they’re doing a stellar job of parenting. How can they when they’re hardly ever present in person with their kids to begin with; or shy away from the few days that they can spend with them one-on-one?
I really can’t sum up what I’ve said any better than Forest E. Witcraft has, “A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove...but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child.”
I take it to heart. Do you?
Just witching.... I mean switching it up a bit.... ;)
Is he lighting some incense and using aromatic oils? She's always using herbal remedies. What can this all mean?
The original blog post and comments can be found on Patch at the above links. You can also enlarge the uploaded document by clicking on Fullscreen.
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