It has been more than three months since we returned from Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, and my five year old granddaughter, Carina, is still excitedly talking about it!!
Not only was this our first trip to the Dominican Republic, it was also our first experience staying in an all-inclusive resort, the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana. Everything was fantastico!
The stay included unlimited food, beverages and entertainment. The beach was beautiful, and the resort expansive. This is a family-friendly resort, and even though adult activities were available, there was also plenty of hoopla for families with children.
On the grounds are thirteen pools, nine restaurants, a golf course, miniature golf, tennis courts, shops, an arcade, a climbing wall, and a fabulous spa and salon. Nightly entertainment included dancing at multiple venues.
Another adventure that we enjoyed was to go off of the hotel property and take a tour of Monkey Land. Adorable tiny squirrel monkeys, living in their natural habitat, ate from our handheld food bowls, jumped up and down from our arms, and one even made a nest on top of my head! We then headed to Maria’s House, to tour a typical country home and coffee plantation. So unique!
Carina says that her favorite three things about our trip to the Dominican Republic were the dancing, the beach, and the food. I’ll second that!
This riveting movie stars Helen Mirren and Ryan Reynolds. It is a true story about the Nazi invasion of Austria, and the Government of Austria’s confiscation of the 1907 portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer, a Jewishwoman married to wealthy sugar magnate, Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer. It was painted by world renowned Austrian artist Gustav Klimt.
In 1998 the Austrian government passed a new law, promoted by its Green Party, which called for the return of art stolen during World War II. The niece of Adele Bloch-Bauer, Maria Altmann, learned upon the death of her sister, that there was a will designating the disposition of this portrait. From that vantage point, Mrs. Altmann embarks on a quest to reclaim it. This story focuses on the Austrian government’s subsequent resistance to enforcing its own law. The movie includes many flashbacks of the main character’s life in Austria as a Jew under the Nazi regime. It is, at times, difficult to watch, however it’s raw accuracy is compelling and necessary. Thankfully, Maria Altmann and her devoted attorney won the case against the Austrian government and recovered the portrait, which now is on exhibit in the Neue Galerie New York.
This movie is a must see in terms of its historic significance and its assertion that through perseverance righteousness can prevail.
Delicious… Elegant… Welcoming… Cozy…
All of these adjectives accurately describe the wonderful dining experience that we had at Rudy & Paco Restaurant and Bar located at 2028 Post Office street in Galveston. As we consider ourselves experts of South and Central American cuisine, a visit to this restaurant has been on our list of “must try”for quite some time. And it was great! My husband and I had the Ropa Vieja, which is served with black beans, white rice and sweet plantains. This is a traditional Cuban shredded beef dish prepared in an outstanding homemade sauce. The flavor as well as the presentation could rival any restaurant in Miami! My daughter tried the Pollo Empanizado, which is plantain encrusted chicken breast. This dish is served with yucca, sweet plantains and queso blanco. She said that it was perfect! While you are enjoying your meal, the owner, Paco, introduces himself to his patrons and ascertains that everything is as expected… and more. We are already planning our next trip to Galveston so that we have an excuse to return to Rudy & Paco!
Of all of the dry cleaning companies that I have used over the years, Avalon Dry Cleaners stands out as the best. Not only do the clothes come out looking perfect every time, but their customer service is top-notch too.
In addition to their special promotions and dry cleaning coupons, we have benefitted from their integrity. When Jonathan has left things in his pockets or had a broken button, they took care of it right away, without charge and without complaint.
Everyone there is always ready with a smile and a helping hand – Avalon has a 24-hour drop-off bin, will bring your clothes out to your car when it’s done, and even has a FREE pick-up/delivery service to your home! They will text you when your clothes are ready, have a mobile app to schedule pick up and delivery, and offer same-day service.
There is no place better!
Avalon Dry Cleaners
23010 Seven Meadows Parkway
Suite D — Katy, TX 77494
Monday-Friday – 7 AM – 7 PM
Saturday – 8 AM – 5 PM
Sunday – Closed
“At Home with Madame Chic: Becoming a Connoisseur of Daily Life” by Jennifer L. Scott is set to debut on October 7, 2014. I am fortunate enough to have the opportunity to review the galley copy of this book.
Jennifer L. Scott is one of my favorite authors and bloggers. She wrote “Lessons from Madame Chic: 20 Stylish Secrets I Learned While Living in Paris,” and has a weekly blog and video entitled, “The Daily Connoisseur.” Her mission is to teach each of us how to live a more beautiful and productive life by adopting the manners and lifestyle she experienced years ago, when she was a college student living with a “chic” family in Paris, France.
I randomly discovered Ms. Scott’s blog over a year ago, enjoyed it, and subsequently purchased and read her first book. I initially thought, “Jennifer would be a perfect friend for my daughter, Laura! They have so much in common!” She is a young, married mom with a career… all of which she strives to balance with a positive attitude and class. I quickly realized, however, that even though I am much older than Ms. Scott, many of her lifestyle ideas resonate with me as well, and I have introduced some of them into my life. As a result of reading her book I have:
– tried to grow an orchid (with success!);
– took a trip to Paris;
– organized my closet by season and created a daily wear section;
– watched several French movies; and,
– listened to assorted classical music.
Her new book, “At Home With Madame Chic: Becoming a Connoisseur of Daily Life” is no less inspirational. It also emphasizes the importance of maintaining a positive attitude even when faced with seemingly mundane tasks, and offers many specific suggestions to enhance one’s daily life, some of which are:
– growing African Violets and ferns;
– de-cluttering your home; and,
– daily rituals to avoid frumpiness.
The book is divided into two major sections each of which are subdivided into smaller sections, offering daily doable practical tips. She even incorporates some of her favorite recipes, musical selections, and candles, all of which I am eager to try. Jennifer assists us with putting in place systems that allow us to focus on enjoying the here and now so that we may live life more fully! I highly recommend both of her books!
We attended this event in April, and Carina had a great time. We are excited to check out the new vendors and see some favorites, like Gym Station, Caroline Iris Photography, and more!
This event is designed to promote small at-home businesses in the Katy area. There will be over 65 booths set up inside and outside the Firethorne Community Clubhouse. From refurbished furniture, jewelry, and clothing…to photography, local art, and cake decorating, there will be something for everyone at this fun event!
See you there!
THIS Saturday, October 4th
Firethorne Community Clubhouse
28800 South Firethorne Road, Katy, TX
Visit https://www.facebook.com/TheRealCraftwivesofKaty for more information.