Saturday, March 26, 2011

Beautiful Disaster

Last night the booktini gals had the pleasure of meeting Laura Spinella and discussing her fabulous debut novel Beautiful Disaster.  We had loads of fun drinking our martinis and asking Laura all about the characters (Flynn makes us swoon!), the different settings (love Georgia!), the storyline (art imitating life?) and the many conflicts throughout the novel. 

Laura also discussed the writing process and the research she did for the book, which included talking to a Special Ops Marine and an ICU Nurse Manager at Mass General Hospital.  So fascinating!  Laura's beautiful writing and seamless transitions take the reader on an emotional journey through love's possibilities and the power of faith.  Laura makes it so easy to fall in love with Mia and Flynn and root for them when the odds are stacked against them. 

In addition to romance, the book takes a close look at friendship and its boundaries.  It examines what motivates people and that things aren't always what they seem.  I always enjoy a love story that stops and makes you think. Kudos Laura!!

If you haven't read Beautiful Disaster, you are missing out! 


Next month we'll be reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, as we all embark on our own happiness journeys - so stay tuned!

-Christine

Monday, March 7, 2011

Booktini in Boston!

The new Art of the Americas wing at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston is quickly becoming one of the city's most buzzed about places! Located on, Huntington Avenue, near The Fenway, a visit to this neo-classical building is one both the art enthusiast and the novice is sure to appreciate.  As a "Bzz Agent," I received complimentary passes to the museum. (The MFA also offers free admission several days throughout the year, as does Bank of America, which is great, because the tickets are a bit pricey).
Fellow Booktini gal, Heather, & I visited the MFA with our families last week. We were truly impressed with the size and scope of the Art of the Americas wing! Some of our familes' favorite pieces included Copley's famous portrait of Paul Revere and Sully's masterpiece, "The Passage of the Delaware." Other favorites were the Cassatt and Sargent galleries of this wing. "The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit," an iconic seven-foot tall portrait by Sargent, returned back from a loan to a Spanish museum in time for the opening of the 500 million dollar expansion. The massive blue and white vases featured in the portrait are also on display beside it. 
 
The multimedia guide was a big hit with my children. Joey & Tommy enjoyed using the iPods to watch cartoon characters give explanations about the artwork throughout the tour. Another fantastic option, offered in the Scharf Visitors Center, is the family tote bag, filled with laminated games, puzzles and note cards that really enhance a family visit. They are free to use for the day. My sons loved picking out a contemporary work from the third floor of the new wing to sketch, using the paper and colored pencils included in the tote. It was a fabulous day trip to Boston and one we'll certainly be buzzing about for a long time! Mobac
 

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Time to Organize!

So, I've been cleaning, purging and organizing the bedrooms in my house.  I don't do this nearly as often as I should.  Having said that, I thought I'd post some before and after pictures of my closet.  Yes, I know this is very brave, but I'm doing it in the name of inspiration.  I am hoping these pictures will inspire you to clean out some closets before the good weather comes.  Because the last place you'll want to be is inside cleaning, right?


Here's before:



Can you believe it?  I can hear you gasping!  Relax.  Here's the after:




So much better!  I am very pleased with the end result.  I even organized my shirts by color in rainbow order of course!  I learned a few things about myself along the way.  One is that I don't own any clothes that are yellow.  I thought that was odd.  No yellow.  Not a single thing.  Is that odd?  Are your clothes missing a particular color? 


The other thing I learned is that my chest is the landing site for anything that is going to stain my shirt.  I can't tell you how many shirts I ditched because they had a stain on my chest.  Like in the same spot.  Every single one.  Now, I'm no Dolly Parton but I'm not lacking in that area either.  Does that happen to you?

Well, that's just one small part of the many cleaning projects I've completed in the past few weekends.  The best part is that I have about 8 giant trash bags of clothes to donate from all the bedrooms and closets that have been cleaned out and that's a great feeling! 

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Talking Taunton Sports

Here's a great interview about Taunton Brewins Youth Hockey with Booktini gal, Christina's daughter Catie!  This interview was on the Taunton local cable channel this week.  Go Catie!


video

Friday, March 4, 2011

Tales from the Scale – Month # 2 Results

I'm not gonna lie.  February was not an easy month.  I did great with the exercise and kept up with my routine of kick boxing 4 times/week and I even added in pilates one night/week.  So that was all good.

But the eating?  Not so good.  I could've really used a roll of duct tape for my mouth this month.  Let's see, there were a couple of nights out where martinis and appetizers were consumed.  Then there was the Valentine's Day red velvet cake.  Holy Moly!  You don't really want me to go on, right?  But you get the picture.

So what were the results for the month?  I lost 4.5 pounds, which is good considering all the yummy poor food choices I made.  I am super happy about the inches that melted off (thank you to the super cute kick boxing instructor!)
Inches lost in Month # 2
Waist: 1"
Bust: 1.5"
Hips: 1.5"
Thighs: 0.75"
Arms: 0.5"

I am hoping to make better food choices this month and stay consistent with my current exercise routine.  My goal for March is to lose 7 pounds.  I'll have to be pretty diligent about my eating and exercising to achieve it.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

March is here!

The month of March always makes me feel hopeful.  Hopeful that winter is almost over and spring is around the corner.  It is the light at the end of the snow blizzard, freezing rain, dark days, mind numbing cold tunnel!  I am not a lover of winter and shouldn't live in New England, but there are many reasons I am still here - family, work, etc. 

So, do you want to know what has gotten me through this winter?  I know it seems small and rather silly, but I have my own little mini-beach on my desk at work.


And I really love my little beach. 

Now, I'm not a fan of the beach.  I am more of a pool girl.  Maybe someday I will find a mini pool. 

With a mini bar. 

With mini margaritas. 

And a cute pool boy. 

But for now, the mini beach will have to serve as my daily reminder that winter is not forever!