Friday, August 30, 2019

Life: Friday Ramblings

Friday Ramblings

forgetmenot flowers, forget me not flowers, forget-me-nots, homegrown flowers, friday ramblings

I smile every time I look at... homegrown Forget Me Not flowers.  I love the hundreds of little, happy flowers!
Note-These make me happy because they are in a pot.  In the ground they are like a weed.

I'm preparing for... daughter to get ready to go back to school to start the first grade!  That means picking out a back pack and matching lunch box, getting her physical, buying school supplies, new sneakers, and lots of reading.

We're watching...
...all of the X-Men movies with our babies.  We started with the first class series and will end with Logan.
Did I tell you that my husband has a giant man crush on Hugh Jackman?  Well, he does.

I'm tired of...
...The Greatest Showman soundtrack.  It was fun the first 1,000 times, but eventually gets played out.
Hugh Jackman sings 80% of this album.  Do you see the trend?

I'm a little disappointed that...
...I gained back some of the weight that I lost.  While I'm still less than my pre-pregnancy weight, I'm not where I want to be.  This means less Cold Stone and more activity.

I'm cooking...
...a new beef tenderloin recipe that is absolutely divine!  It only calls for five ingredients which makes it the easiest recipe ever.  Don't worry because I will definitely share with you all soon!

I'm completely baffled at... difficult it is for some people to remember to grab a towel before they jump in the shower.
I mean, I can't be the only one that makes sure she has one accessible before getting wet!!

I'm lost without... post its!!  A certain someone scribbled all over mine and stuck them all over the walls.

I'm laughing at... son karate chopping everything and screaming HIIII YAH like a lunatic.  This gave me a flashback to the time my then 11 month old punched daddy in the face and gave him a nose bleed.  
Maybe karate wasn't a real good idea for my little muscle man...

I'm really, really, REALLY excited that...
...we booked a date to go back to Disney World!!  We will be spending a week in Disney on May 2nd.  While we are all looking forward to it, I'm the one that's jumping up and down!!
My hubby is complaining about the money and I'm just planning what to wear to meet The Little Mermaid!

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Book Review: We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter

To keep me sane occupied during my travels, I've learned to indulge in a good audiobook.  
The most recent story that I fell into was We Were the Lucky Ones.
It was written by Georgia Hunter and read by Kathleen Gati.
The book was 15 hours and 36 minutes long.

book review, we were the lucky ones, georgia hunter, kathleen gati; ww2 novels; historical fiction recommendations

Disclosure: This site contains affiliate links to products.  We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. Please note that I would only recommend products that I would use myself and all opinions are my own.

Review:  We were the Lucky Ones

I love a good novel based on or inspired by true events.  This one was no exception.  The book tells the story of a large, close knit Jewish family living in Poland during WW2.  It documents the lives of the author's immediate family, including her grandfather.  For me, the best part of this book was the Author's note.  It really solidified the story and gave closure.  While the author touched upon their lives before and after WW2, its' focus was during the war.

The novel shifts gears each chapter with the story set on a different character's life.  Typically I find books with this type of setting to be overwhelming, but this one was done perfectly.  The timeline was on point and the story itself was meticulous in the details.

Every true story about WW2 teaches a history lesson from a different perspective.  This book taught me about a Brazilian ambassador's involvement in the war, that Poland was separated into two different territories (one harsher than the other), a war changing battle fought by a Polish army filled with refugee soldiers, that Ukrainians were manipulated into pursuing the genocide, and much more.  I have read many WW2 stories and I always stumble upon new facts.

As devastating as this true story was, it spoke to me of family values, perseverance, and hope.  The book was a roller coaster of emotions.  It made me cringe, cry, and even cheer out loud.

As a relatively sheltered generation, it's important to read these stories.  When we forget our history, it tends to repeat itself.  At the risk of getting political, prejudices are a modern day evil that need to be stopped.

I would highly recommend We are the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter.

Not only would I recommend the book, but I would highly recommend the audiobook.  I've listened to two novels read by Kathleen Gati already and she is  f a b u l o u s  !!  You can learn more of this family's story from the author's website,

To learn more about We Were the Lucky Ones click here.

Do you like historical fiction novels?

Monday, August 26, 2019

List: Ten life lessons learned from romantic comedies.

Recently I watched a spoof movie on romantic comedies called Isn't it Romantic.  The movie stars Rebel Wilson and Liam Hemsworth.  It pokes fun of many famous rom-coms.  It made me laugh so hard that I needed pain medication to soothe my aching abdominal muscles.  Note-  If you recently had a stomach surgery like me, do not watch this movie.  It will hurt!

The main character in the movie was taught from a young age that romantic comedies were evil.  She was told that they fill girl's minds with false expectations regarding love, life, and careers.  This got me thinking.  While I agree that most of these films are fantasy, there is always a moral to the story.

rom coms; top ten rom coms; best rom coms to watch; lessons learned from movies

Disclosure: This site contains affiliate links to products.  We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. Please note that I would only recommend products that I would use myself and all opinions are my own.

Ten lessons learned from rom coms.

"That's what happens when you start doing well at work. Let me know when your entire life goes up in smoke, means it's time for a promotion."
How disgustingly true is this one?  It really hits home for me!  I'm at the height of my career and it costs me days away from home and my babies every month.
Can be found here.

"They worship everything and they value nothing."
The modern world and the people in it have adapted to a life that everything is easily replaced.  Instead of valuing something, we temporarily appreciate it until we're ready for the upgrade.
Can be found here.

"A wise person once told me that if a guy wants to be with a girl, he will make it happen, no matter what."
I wholeheartedly believe this.  If someone wants to be with you, they will be.  A good friend of mine needs to hear this.  She's been ghosted twice already and still takes him back!
Can be found here.

4.  Clueless
"Until mankind is peaceful enough not to have violence on the news, there's no point in taking it out of shows that need it for entertainment value."
While I wouldn't word it this way, it's very true!  Like, totally...  Society has learned to point fingers at movies, shows, and games instead of holding the people accountable.
Can be found here.

"There are two kinds of evil people, people who do evil stuff, and people who see evil stuff being done and don’t try to stop it."
As a self proclaimed expert in all things Mean Girls, this movie is full of wisdom.  It tackles bullying, low self esteem, peer pressure, and THIS.  Being present but quiet doesn't make innocence.
Can be found here.

“Calling someone else fat doesn’t make you any skinnier, calling someone else stupid doesn’t make you any smarter, and ruining Regina George’s life definitely didn’t make me any happier."
...because just one quote from Mean Girls wasn't enough...  This preaches that two wrongs don't make a right and that pointing out a problem doesn't fix it.
Can be found here.

"...because you can't lose something you never had."
This quote is great because it's so versatile.  I also say this to my kids embarrassingly often...  We've all mourned things that we've never owned in the first place.  Instead, focus on obtaining it.
Can be found here.

"There’s a reason I’ve been alone all this time. I’m comfortable that way."
Sometimes you need to look past your comfort zone and step out of it.  In order to make room for someone in your life, change is inevitable.  Learn to embrace it.
Can be found here.

"You know how the bride makes her entrance and everybody turns to look at her?  That’s when I look at the groom.  Because his face says it all, you know?  The pure love there."
This movie is full of life lessons, but this is the quote that stuck in my head.  Every wedding I attend you can find me staring at the groom.  I promise the look is real!
Can be found here.

"Let me tell you something Toula.  The man is the head, but the woman is the neck and she can turn the head any way she wants."
I could probably write an entire post on this movie and my favorite quotes.  While that's true, the above snip it and spraying Windex on mosquito bites were my biggest takeaways.
Can be found here.

What is your favorite rom com?

Friday, August 23, 2019

Life: Friday Ramblings

Friday Ramblings

mystic aquarium penguin picture

We had an absolute blast at...
...the Mystic Aquarium in CT with good friends.  We saw beluga whales, a sea lion show, penguins, and much more.  Our only complaint was the weatherman.  He promised sunshine and clear skies.  Instead we had thunderstorms and got drenched through our clothes.  Luckily, we just laughed and laughed.  
We laughed even when we were blinded by mascara running into our eyeballs (& by we, I mean me)!

I took a HUGE sigh of relief when...
...I submitted and passed my auditing final.  This class was the most brutal class that I've ever taken with a professor that was out to get me over a textbook mishap.  I did a happy dance when it was over!

I'm still laughing at... husband's closing conversation with the customer service rep at his bank.  The rep said "May the force be with you".  My hubby replied "And also with you" then quickly scurried away.
...and I just stared at them both like 'What just happened?!'

My thighs are sore from...
...this new squat challenge!  I'm no stranger to squats.  Yes, I still do ten squats every time I have to tinkle.  Even still, this challenge is no joke!  I'm up to 150 squats a day and my legs can barely hold me up.

I'm silently wishing that...
...time will start to slow down.  Every day I wake up and realize that life is just passing by.  The summer is almost over and I feel like we haven't had time to stop and enjoy it.

I'm sickened by...
...the fact that it was only August 15th and Dunkin Donuts was selling pumpkin donuts!
Remember this post?  Yea, well, it still holds true today!  Actually, it's gotten worse.

I'm procrastinating from...
...filling out the thank you cards from my son's first birthday back in June.

I'm really excited for... daughter to begin ballet lessons in a few weeks.  I had an absolute blast picking out ballet shoes and tutus for my baby girl.  Here's to her loving ballet as much as she looks fabulous in the outfit!
Although I'm not sure how we're going to manage between my son's schedule, religion, and now ballet.

I'm really, really happy to... back in the blogging community.  I've had so much fun creating a back log of posts and utilizing the creative side of my brain that I regret neglecting Raviolis & Waterworks for so long!
Special shout out to Pat & the cats for helping me with IT issues and getting us back up & running.

What are your Friday ramblings?

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Let's Discuss: Aladdin, Live Action vs Classics

I am a huge fan of Disney.  I love Disney movies, Disney princesses, Disney gear, Disney music, Disney World, Disney games, and just about everything else Disney has to offer. 

While that is true, I'm unconvinced regarding the live action versions of the Disney classics.
Cinderella was a major flop.  The Jungle Book was plain scary.  Christopher Robbin was depressing.
The only live action remake that I've thoroughly enjoyed to date was Beauty and the Beast.
The recipe of a perfect cast, fun new scenes, mysteries unveiled, and minor twists made the movie a success.
...oh, and Lumière.  His authentic accent and acting skills really brought the character life!

Knowing the history, I wasn't as excited for Aladdin as I wanted to be.  I was immediately bias to the original because I couldn't imagine anyone other than Robin Williams as the genie.

Absolutely zero disrespect to Will Smith.  I'm a huge fan and believe that he can do anything.
Despite it all, my daughter was eager to see one of her favorite princesses in action.


Image result for aladdin live action

Aladdin, The Live Action Version vs The Original

At first, I was thoroughly disappointed in the film.
Will Smith wasn't as fabulous as I thought he would be.
One of my favorites, Jasmine's father, wasn't portrayed as the happy little cherub that I enjoyed as a child.
Some of my favorite scenes at the start of the classic were nonexistent in the live action version
...and, to be honest, the acting itself in the movie was only OK at the very best...

My OCD wouldn't allow me to not finish the film so I remained persistent.

I'm glad that I did because the movie won me over around the halfway point.
I was thoroughly impressed with Disney's twist in this live action film.

The real hero wasn't Aladdin.  It was Jasmine.

It was refreshing to see Jasmine speak up and take control of the situation.

She wasn't the damsel in distress waiting for a man to come save the day.
I just about fainted when her father named her Sultan instead of Aladdin.

While I never considered myself much of a feminist, I seem to be transitioning to one in my old age.
That aside, my six year old daughter has been rocking her Jasmine dress up every day since.
I can only hope she's pretending to be the sultan and not just the princess.

What are your thoughts on the live action films versus the classics? 

Monday, August 19, 2019

List: Ten things that changed during my hiatus.

It's been a little over three years since I've updated Raviolis & Waterworks.
With change being inevitable and lists being my thing, I figured a post listing the top changes that occurred over the past 3 years was a totally appropriate perfect first real post.

While many things have certainly changed over here, most things are the same.
I'm still me in every way, just with a little less spare time.
I still have a passion for writing, love my family, have the same friends, and am obsessed with Supernatural.  You can still bribe me with Cold Stone or a fresh broccoli rabe slice.  I still enjoy my nook at Starbucks, love to flip through the pages of Cosmopolitan magazine, and can often be found with my nose deep in a novel.  
There is one "me" change that's huge but won't make the list.  I'm now in my thirties.  31 if we're being real...

For the most part life has been good to me & I'm excited to share.

Image may contain: 4 people, including people smiling, people standing, beard and outdoor

Ten things that have changed since we last spoke.

1.  Our family grew to a family of four.
The biggest and most fabulous change was the addition to our family.
On June 23, 2018, our family became complete.  We welcomed our son Antonio into our hearts.
He is the sweetest, mushiest, biggest baby boy that I've had the pleasure of squishing!

2.  I learned to take pictures.
I've always been a super self conscious person and because of that I've always shied away from photos.
Now I don't let a memorable moment pass by without snapping a photo to record in our annual photo book.
While I still don't selfie, I can look back at many captured memories and smile.

3.  I changed careers.
Three years ago, right around the time I stopped blogging, I said goodbye to accounting.
I accepted a role as a regional service manager with 30 direct reports at a huge organization.
This job means lots of travel, responsibility, and stress but also lots of  f r e e d o m.

4.  We relocated to the south shore of Long Island.
After the birth of our son I realized that our cozy little house wasn't going to cut it anymore.
In a spur of the moment decision, by spur of the moment I mean bored on maternity leave, we moved.
We purchased a larger home on the south shore, with a smaller school district, on a family friendly block.

5.  I've ditched Bravo TV.
Somewhere along the line I've outgrown or got bored of Bravo TV.
In the past I used to live and breath the reality TV shows of Bravo.  I even used to make my hubby watch!
These days I'm more likely to turn on Forensic Files, Cops, or The Avengers to pass the time.

6.  Planes and airports have become my norm.
I used to shake and break down just at the thought of hopping on a plane.
You're talking to the girl who drives her family to Florida every year to avoid flying!
While I'm still scared, I've learned to step out of my comfort zone and medicate...several times a month.

7.  I changed schools and my major.
Two years ago I changed colleges and along with it my major.
My career change let me realize that my heart wasn't in accounting.  I was just good at it.
I'm now five classes away in the longest college career ever from my bachelors in Business Management.

8.  I have acquired a green thumb.
Not only have I found my green thumb, but I've developed a real appreciation for gardening.
The girl who couldn't even keep a cactus alive now has a home full of plants and a producing vegetable garden.
I talk about my plants, flowers, and garden with pride and I talk about them often!

9.  I quit the gym.
My twenties was dedicated to the gym, monthly fees, and a perfect physique.
These days I incorporate work outs into my daily routine and invested in a FitBit that doesn't leave my wrist.
This means more money and more family time while still staying fit.  Hello, mommy daughter work outs!!

10.  My daughter turned six years old.
Somewhere along the three year hiatus, my baby turned into a little girl.
The last time R&W saw her, she just turned three and her biggest aspiration was to become a princess.
These days she cares for her baby brother, reads, writes, dances ballet, and wants to be a queen.

Now that I've shared, I want to hear all about you and what's changed in your life.
If you're brand new to R&W, introduce yourself because I want to meet you.
Please, don't hold back any juice!

What has changed in your life over the past three years?

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Life: Welcome Back

Image result for welcome home

It has been over three years since I've dedicated time to posting on R&W.
One of the sacrifices I've had to make as a mother, a wife, a full time employee, and a student was blogging.
As cliche as this sounds, it's left a hole in my life that I'm looking forward to filling.
I've spent weeks looking through old posts and laughing at my own silliness.
I stumbled upon forgotten pictures and memories which triggered nostalgic group messages that are ongoing.
The final push was reconnecting with old friends from this community and realizing that I've missed out.
It was at that moment I knew that Jax was coming back!

Before committing, I had to stop and evaluate why I neglected my blog for all of these years.
I take pride in being reliable & won't commit to something that I can't fully dedicate to.  See how I matured?
I came to the conclusion that I put too much on myself.
Raviolis & Waterworks was meant to be fun!
Instead of enjoying, I gave myself the pressure of a schedule and a deadline.
As much as I love being organized, this time around, I'm keeping things casual!
I'll post when I can, as often as I feel like, and about what I want.
I'll deny the urge to set a schedule and obsess over the number of views.
R&W is going to come back and it will return exactly the way it started back in 2011.
...a home for my thoughts, feelings, and memories...

Here's to the future of Raviolis & Waterworks.


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