Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Special Day Today

Eight years ago today, a tornado ripped through College Park, Maryland, a very unusual feat indeed! Even more unusual and sad was that freak tornado took the lives of two sisters, Erin and Colleen Marlatt, students at the University of Maryland, who were on campus that day and were driving home to their parent's home about 30 minutes away. The tornado lifted their car and tossed it across the campus, killing them instantly.
Colleen and Erin were the only two daughters of my dear friends, Patricia and Patrick. Pat & Pat are remarkable people and have channeled their grief into something wonderful. They created a scholarship fund for children whose parents are teachers in Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of Baltimore. The merit scholarship awards $2,500 per year (for up to four years) for a area Catholic High School or the University of Maryland, College Park.
Tonight, we will celebrate the gift of Colleen and Erin with a Mass and reception in their honor and memory. Please say a prayer for the girls and their family today, and if you have children, Hug them tight today! Life is a precious gift!
Visit the website at to learn more about the girls and the scholarship fund.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Yoga Today!

I am trying to add some relaxation to my life. I keep super busy with family, career, volunteering and, of course, socializing and I totally feel guilty when I sit down to take a break. "Shouldn't I be doing something"? "Shouldn't I always be on my toes"? My husband suggested I take yoga (he is a runner and takes an occassional yoga class for flexibility) to calm down a bit, so I bit the bullet and showed up for class today. The instructor was nice and gave great direction. There were 10 other women in the class and we all seemed to be on the same page. I felt really good during and after class, so now I have to decide whether to plunk down the $192 bucks it will cost to take it every Wednesday AM for the next 12 weeks. The bonus is that with a 90 minute class, there is a 15 minute "re-balancing" segment at the end where you just lie there and meditate. It felt super good! I think I am going to like yoga. Namaste!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Majesty Magazine

OK, so I am little obsessed with the Royals - not "off the deep end" obsessed, but ever since Princess Diana walked down the aisle in 1981 in that fabulous dress with that fabulous train (My Mother and I were up at 4 AM watching it live that morning), I have been hooked!

If I was a native Brit, I'd be a Sloane Ranger. I just adored the Queen Mum, she reminded me of my Great-Aunt Elizabeth and I just love the tradition. So why is it I never knew about the magazine, Majesty, until this past weekend. Majesty has been published for about thirty years and though it looks like a tabloid, it is actually pretty classy and newsworthy. I happened to stumble across some old issues from 2002 & 2003 while I was visiting the Book Thing (see previous post). If you like reading about the lifestyles of the British Royals, check out

Majesty gives its readers a colorful insight into the privileged lives of the royal families of the world. Personalities, lifestyles and fashion are all captured in exciting features and stunning photographs.
Majesty records all the important royal engagements and takes an in-depth look at the dramatic history of Britain�s monarchs. Month by month it builds into a beautiful and authoritative collection.

If anyone is interested in the back issues I picked up - I can mail them out media anywhere in the US....Cheers!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Grace Before Meals - Fr. Leo vs.Bobby Flay!

Last night, I had the pleasure of having dinner with my good friend MFF at Amicci's in Baltimore's Little Italy. After a delicious meal of house salad with calamari (MFF had a Caesar salad with shrimp), garlic bread and a glass of red wine (full-bodied Chianti), we walked across the street to the parking lot of Da Mimmo's to watch a big screen presentation of "Throw Down with Bobby Flay" featuring one of Baltimore's own Catholic priests, Fr. Leo Patalinghug. Bobby and Fr. Leo were in a contest to create the best fajita and Fr. Leo won. You may be familiar with Fr. Leo - he is a cookbook author, creator and host of "Grace Before Meals." His message is pretty simple -- the act of creating and sharing a meal can strengthen all kinds of relationships -- Check out his website at

Now that our children, K & J, are out of the house, I realize just how important it was to gather together nightly for a meal. At the time, J didn't think so -- Here is a sample scenario circa 2004-05:

Dad: (with a smile) "How was your day"? J: (without a smile) Fine. (then dead silence..) Dad: (still smiling) "What did you do at school today"? J: (still not smiling) Nothing.....(silence continues throughout the rest of the meal)
tries to make small talk to break the silence, but to no avail.

And so it went. Now that D and I eat alone (don't get me wrong, every night is a date night when your children are gone), I do miss a crowded table and the "stimulating conversation" we shared with the angst filled teenaged boy (who has turned in to a fine young man BTW!).

If you don't know about GBM, visit the website. Here is a recipe that I have tried that is just delish -

Mushrooms Stuffed with Honey Sausages

Ingredients: Olive oil, Mushrooms, Sausage, Honey, Blue Cheese, Fresh Spinach

How to make it: Add olive oil to Pan. Cut stems off large mushrooms and place cap-up in the pan. Carmelize for a few minutes. Remove casing from sausage. Form meat into mini meatballs and cook in a second pan. Add ½ cup water and allow meat to cook in the steam. Add a few tablespoons of honey and blue cheese to the pan. Fill mushrooms with meatballs and pour honey sauce over top. Add Spinach to the pan and sauté for a few minutes. Plate spinach, place mushrooms around it in a circle.

Simple Meal!

A Great Swap!

I follow the blog "Monograms and Manicures." You may already be familiar with Hopsy -- she is the super cute style maven who posts daily -- like I should -- and offers her readers chances to sign up for her give-aways and swaps. Last month, she hosted a "swap" and had over 125 blog followers sign up, including moi. She paired me with a Texan named Desiree who, other than being a Duke Blue Devil Fan, was the perfect swap partner. Here is a photo of the "loot" I received from this extremely generous blogger friend. I must say, for someone who has never met me in person, she was pretty spot on with my likes and style. She sent me a gorgeous moc-croc GREEN journal and a beautiful crystal turkey that will hold the Godiva after dinner chocolates on Thanksgiving Day! Thank you Desiree!! If I am ever lucky enough to have a bevy of followers I would love to host a swap. I guess if I posted more than once very few weeks I would get more followers!