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Category Archives: Bucket List

Related to my bucket list

Got Cookin’… Or At Least Tried To

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I’ve been working on goal # 14 of my Bucket List, which is basically aimed at my feeling more comfortable with my cooking skills.  I have conquered a handful of dishes, although I surely tried many more.  Just in case my friends (who know I am not a kitchen queen) don’t believe me, here’s proof.  Below are some of my tryouts accompanied by a very brief outcome report. You will notice that some of the dishes are very simple; my aim is not to become a gourmet cook, but to be able to create family meals by mastering certain dishes and being able to recreate them time and again with the same quality and flavoring.   Since I am being very picky as to accept any dish into my mastered list,  I am also  giving myself credit for every single dish I conquer, no matter how simple 🙂

    

 

HOW ABOUT YOU; WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN COOKING? 

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I’ve Made It Into the Tennis Hall of Fame!

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O.K., so I didn’t actually make it into the Tennis Hall of Fame due to my playing abilities; I  just went to visit the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, RI.  A few weekends ago they had a family day with free admission for all those under 16.  Imagine my surprise when the clerk was about to let me in for free.  I said “I thought only kids go in for free” and she answered “You are not older than 16 are  you?”  I had to contain my desire to hug that woman.

She provided the kids sheets with clues, and pencils to go on a scavenger hunt around the museum, discovering many artifacts and facts pertaining to the origins and history of Tennis.

They learned about Brad Parks, the pioneering founder of wheelchair tennis worldwide.  The actual wheelchair Brad used during his games was on display.

As for me, I was much more interested on finding the display for Rafa Nadal.  Of course, my interest in him is purely based on the fact that he is the number 1 Tennis player in the world.  It has nothing to do with his olive skin and dreamy smile, seriously.  Fine, don’t believe me.  I did find Rafa and took pictures with him; unfortunately those didn’t come out so good. 

No worries, I was able to find the display of another hunk, I meant to say another great Tennis player, Andre Agassi.  

Skimpy Outfit from the 1940's

He seemed very happy to see me and insisted that I take a picture with him. “Why of course Andre, I’d be glad to.”

 Other than the attractive players, I really liked the display of playing outfits, which were considered very risqué for their times.

My kids and their friends by the courts

After playing a couple of rounds of Tennis Wii, the kids and I headed outside to look at the grass courts, which are truly beautiful.  In fact, the International Tennis Hall of Fame has been voted one of the best places to host a wedding in RI. 

Have you made it into any Hall of Fame? 

If you come to fame not understanding who you are, it will define who you are. – Oprah Winfrey 
 

Special Date: Providence Place

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In our home, I like to make birthdays very special for each person.  Usually this means spreading a few activities throughout the week of the person’s birthday, in order to keep the celebration going a bit longer.  The most recent one to enjoy this special treatment was Karla.  On the day of her birthday she had birthday cookies to bring to school, cupcakes to share at daycare,  and a birthday dinner with her dad and brother at a restaurant of her choosing.  The birthday gifts, cards, and calls from family and friends spanned for a few days.  During the weekend she had a costume party at home, with guests mostly consisting of school mates.  I thought an appropriate way to top off the celebration was taking her out on one of our special one-on-one outings we call Special Dates

She wanted to watch the new Adam Sandler movie, Jack and Jill.  I usually wait until movies are showing at the discount movie theater to bring my kids – movie tickets are ridiculously expensive nowadays, but seeing this was a special occasion we headed to the matinée at the  Providence Place Mall cinema. 

Providence Place Mall is right at the heart of Downtown Providence.  It’s establishment was part of the renaissance period the city went through beginning in the early to mid 90’s.  Another icon of this period, Waterfire, is right across from Providence Place.  The Mall is considered upscale, and it is home to about 180 stores, including several restaurants.  Some of the companies showcased include Nordstrom, Tiffany & Co., Coach, The Apple Store, The Cheesecake Factory, Sephora, J. Jill, Ross-Simons, Build-A-Bear Workshop, and Dave & Buster’s among others. 

After having a good laugh at the movies, we had lunch at the food court.  The agreed upon restaurant: Johny Rockets!  Here we ordered a couple of burgers and fries and we shared a delish strawberry milkshake. 

Since a trip to the mall is not complete without some retail therapy, I took her to Claire’s, a somewhat affordable accessories store with a juvenile theme.  She picked out some gloves and hair accessories and we were good to go.

I am always glad to spend my time giving individualized attention to my kids.  It builds our relationship and their trust in me.

The One Minute Review

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My thoughts on: 

The One Minute Manager
By Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson

Red Buckets : 

Disclaimer: I am NOT a literary expert;
therefore, reviews posted here are entirely based on
my personal opinion and taste as a reader.
 

Goal # 35 Read More – I first got this book from a friend about six years ago; at the time she was my supervisor and had recently promoted me to the position of Manager of one of the departments under her command.  As it happened, I ended up relocating shortly thereafter and never got to really read the book, just briefly scammed through it. 

My goal of reading more led me to retake this book; as I needed to read 5 more books before the end of the year to reach my self-imposed quota.  I recalled the book as being interesting and conveniently short.

In general I am not very interested in business literature but this text is a bit more than that; I am glad I decided to go for this one.  In summary it is a great book for managers of people; whether you are managing people at work, home, or life in general.  The basic concepts are simple and easy to apply to any aspect of your life and relationships. 

At times the oversimplified concepts made me want to go “Duh!”, but that is really the beauty of the book.  It provides the reader with key skills in a way that anyone can understand and relate to.  The cores of the book are three basic steps – One Minute Goal Setting; One Minute Praisings, and One Minute Reprimands – which when applied, will have a huge and positive impact on your interactions with people, as well as help produce the desired results from those interactions. 

Through the text there are several quotes that exemplify its main messages.

“Everyone is a potential winner.  Some people are disguised as losers; don’t let their appearance fool you.”

“People who feel good about themselves produce good results”

The authors of the book, Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson are widely recognized for their achievements in the world of management and management literature.  Johnson is also the author of one of the most useful books I have read Who Moved My Cheese? , which is all about dealing with change and making it work in your favor. 

Have you read The One Minute Manager and/or Who Moved My Cheese?  Do you have any good short books recommendations? Happy Readings!

Guess Who

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Guess Who

The Cuban Revolution Restaurant & Bar

So guess who had a great time last weekend at The Cuban Revolution Restaurant while knocking  one item off her bucket list?  Why me of course you silly, why else would I be posting about it 😉

This casual space boasts a relaxed atmosphere with hints of 1950’s Cuba.  What I loved the most about this place was the live jazz; I am a sucker for live music, but when it comes to live jazz I drool.  They also played some Son, which is a native Cuban rhythm with some similarity to Salsa. You can almost taste the flavors of the Caribbean countryside through the beat of Son (click on it to sample a classic of this contagious rhythm.) 

My friend Vanessa tagged along; she is usually the one to come with whenever I want to have som fun.  Needles to say she had to be there to watch me check off item #42 on my list, Having a Mojito.  Unlike my experience with the Martini, I absolutely loved this mixed drink.  Rum + Fresh Mint + Club Soda + Lime + Sugar  =  Give me another one pleaaase!  That night I had 2 Mojitos, lots of fun, and good company.  Vanessa and I got out past midnight, after which she headed home to her hubby, while I… Well, that’s another story on its own.  Peek in soon; I promise I will keep you posted (sorry, couldn’t resist the pun.)

Special Date: Friday Night Live

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Special Date: Friday Night Live

Friday Night Live Crew

It is not in vain that Providence is called The Creative Capital; we have a good concoction of cultures, flavors, and rhythms, as well as many artists injecting life and energy into the city.  I enjoy this mix and often drag my kids to cultural events, may they too develop an appreciation of varied forms of art.  For our latest special date, Aleck and I attended Friday Night Live,  a weekly family friendly Improv show where a group of talented performers make it up as they go.

We had lots of laughs during this interactive show where the actors often ask the 

Aleck and I at the show

audience to provide random words as inspiration for their improv skits.  Part of the show is an acoustic guitarist that gives the performance an extra kick.  They also have an Open
Stage Night once a month where members of the audience get their 5 minutes of fame to perform a skit of their own. This clean comedic performance, which was named Best of Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly,  is family and wallet friendly at $5 per person.  Aleck and I absolutely enjoyed it.  He was happy I brought him to the show as our special date, and took many pictures of the skits.  I was glad to have such a handsome companion (not that I am biased ;))at this event.

Friday Night Live is part of the Everett company, “a cross-cultural, cross-generational group of artists that creates original evening-length dance theater performances, produces film and video, carries out a wide range of educational programs, and mentors new generations of young artists” as stated on their website  “Everett, through its Company, Stage and School, brings live art to diverse audiences. With a 25-year history, a Company that tours nationally; a vibrant Stage of monthly programming; and a School that offers free classes to low-income youth in everything from ballet to improvisation, Everett is at the forefront of integrating art and community…  No one is turned away for lack of funds and 95% of students attend classes for free.”

At the end of the performance Bianca, one of the talented young actors, asked us to watch a short promo video for a film she’s hoping to produce as part of her final thesis at Emerson College.  In her own words 
Got You tells the story of an 8 year old girl’s discovery of her mother’s suicidal thoughts. This film aims to raise awareness for depression and suicide and how it impacts the relationships we have with our loved ones. I would be so eternally grateful if you could help make this film a reality. Every dollar toward a donation counts, but even if you can’t help out financially, please spread the word! We NEED to raise $5000 by December 3rd!” 
I strongly encourage you to help.  Donations start as low as $1.  As someone who has dealt with postpartum depression, and still deal with clinical depression and SAD, I know how painful and alienating this condition can be, and the profound effect it has on one’s relationships.

Here is the link to the “Kickstarter” page where you can learn more information and also donate: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/gotyou/got-you-an-emerson-college-bfa-short-film

What Was I Thinking???

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What Was I Thinking???

 I am Sorry, sorry, sorry; I truly apologize to those of you who have been wondering where I was.  Thanks for letting me know that you missed my posts; I’ve missed you too.  Unfortunately, my internet connection has been acting funny, and most importantly, at home we are going through round #3 of a seriously annoying cold virus.  Ohh, the joys of fall season…

Which brings me to the title question: What was I thinking????  Seriously, what was I thinking when I set my goals for the fall? obviously I was not thinking about all the added responsibilities/demands of this season, just to name some:

  • The kids go back to school
  • They need help with their homework
  • I go back to work
  • I go back to school
  • I have to complete many readings and compose papers for class
  • The kids gather many viruses at school and bring them home
  • We all get sick, very sick; many times
  • Karla’s asthma and allergies kick in
  • There’s tons of doctor appointments to keep
  • There’s also after school classes, practices, games, plays and presentations to attend
  • Both of my kid’s birthdays fall in the fall 🙂
  • After the time change, days get shorter and nights get longer, which pretty much dwindles my motivation to be out and about – winter blues kind of thing I gotta deal with every year.
  • You get the point I’m sure.

Here’s a link to the original list of fall goals I had committed to.  Apparently I was high on summer, and motivated by other life-listers’ achievements, when I created this list.  I’m sure for some fellow life-listers this list would be a breeze to complete.  Thing is I have to be realistic about how much I can do with my time, demands, and resources.  So here’s my updated, Carola-friendly, list of goals for this season.