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A Very Creative Crudite

A Very Creative Crudite by Crudite Creations

crudite creations at capabilitymom.com images on fotor.com
collage editing skills with a lot of help from from fotor.com

While we occasionally entertain, I am not as calm a hostess for large scale gatherings (my ability to time when the various foods will be done needs, um, work) as I would like to be, but I’ve learned some coping mechanisms, and I’m willing to share.

First, outsource what you can. I put my husband on beer, and my sister (who is a lovely and knowledgeable wine broker – her company info here), on, well, wine. We did end up having some things catered (I made salads because even I can time those).

There are terrific local resources that can help you pull it off, too. I had not one but two family gatherings in the past month, and was beyond happy with the results. For amazing cakes, baked goods and, for our casual family gathering, sandwiches and salads, I went to one of my favorites, L’Aroma Cafe. Go here for more information – everything is delicious and the gluten free cake was a huge hit, and they are fantastic at accommodating dietary restrictions (there were quite a few).

Now, having said all this, I’m not usually one to cater things (born and raised to be frugal), but sometimes I want a little something special, and this vegetable arrangement from Crudite Creations is exactly my speed. It’s a local (Newton) based company that delivers stunning centerpiece worthy arrangements of vegetables and way more attractively presented than my knife skills would allow. It is gorgeous, delicious, local and fun.

Also, fear not, the arrangement comes in a sturdy cooler bag with an ice pack if you’re not home. I missed the delivery by about 10 minutes and what a lovely surprise to find on my doorstep! I had run out of events to host (phew), so I brought this to a neighbor’s garden party. Wow, was I ever popular!

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The owner of Crudite Creations, Lauren Brooks, is an artist who makes arrangements that are almost too pretty to eat. The arrangement came with two delicious dips, a white bean dip was light (and was virtually inhaled), and a lovely, creamy hummus. I was asked repeatedly if I made it, and managed to tell the truth every time (despite being a desperate Martha Stewart wannabe and this would have given me total cred. But lying is wrong, just wrong).

Find Crudite Creations on Facebook and Twitter or on their website here or learn a bit more about them on NewTV here.

Stephen Fales, Photographer
Photo by Stephen Fales

 

 

I couldn’t possible take credit for this photo, either. It’s by the talented Stephen Fales. Contact him for photography gigs at sfales56@hotmail.com.

 

Capability:Mom received a medium bouquet for the purpose of this review. All opinions and writing are, as always, entirely my own.

Another Great Event in April in Newton – NewTV’s Open House on April 8th

NewTV’s Open House 

Tuesday, April 8, 6-8pm

Wow, there is so much going on in April! Newton Open Studios, The Newton Kitchen Tour and NewTV’s Open House! What fun! Have you seen the renovated digs at NewTV? It’s gorgeous with state-of-the art equipment, a new theater and classroom facility. And they are hosting a community wide open house and there will be prizes. Yes, prizes. NewTV’s Open House April 8 from 6 pm-8 pm.

Walk in, take a tour and explore the HD control room and studio, HD Dolby 7.1 surround sound screening room and cutting-edge training center.

Enjoy Newton Open Studio’s 2014 Winter Juried Show –


Sign up for a class
Learn more about NewTV’s full roster of production and post-production courses. Become a new member and enter for the chance to win a flat screen TV (existing NewTV members can also win some great prizes by referring new members).

For more info on the event and membership, please contact Member Services Coordinator, Michael Sills at michaelcs@newtv.org and visit NewTV Open House.

Other NewTV News:

NewTV’s Emmy® Award-winning original program, “The Folklorist” is currently seeking talent for our upcoming segment,“Shackleton’s Voyage of Endurance” to film at the NewTV Studio on 4/11/14. Please email folklorist@newtv.org with your headshot, full body shot, and a resume, as well as the role(s) you are interested in.

Actors must provide their own transportation to the shoot. The NewTV Studio is located at 23 Needham Street in Newton, MA. Public transportation is available via the Green D Line “Newton Highlands” stop.

All roles are non-speaking, non-union, and unpaid. Actors will receive meals during the shoot, as well as IMDb credit and a DVD copy of the program upon its completion.

SHACKLETON’S VOYAGE OF ENDURANCE (1914-1916)
Filming on 4/11/14 at the NewTV Studio
Available Roles:
• Ernest Shackleton – Male (ages 35-50)
• Captain Frank Worsley – Male (ages 35-50)
• Frank Wild – Male (ages 35-50)
• Harry “Chippy” McNish – Male (ages 35-50)
• James Francis Hurley – Male (ages 25-35)
• Perce Blackborow – Male (ages 18-25)
• Sailors – Male (ages 18-50)

Internships Available 

NewTV offers interns fantastic opportunities that could include covering a community event for Newton News, editing a documentary for the Government Channel, working on your own project with the Education Channel, or even designing marketing and promotional materials for the station.

 

Mission Statement

NewTV is a non-profit Newton-based organization dedicated to providing the diverse Newton community with a platform for opinions, news and local information not generally available from commercial or public media.  NewTV also offers training, a media facility and content distribution while supporting the First Amendment right to free speech of the Newton community.

 

 

Thanks to these Open House Sponsors:

 

Finding Kind on Indieflix – Try it

As a blogger, I get a lot of emails from companies; many of them are nice, some are self-serving (you know who you are), and some are flat out awesome on all levels. This is one of the awesome ones. Finding Kind is a documentary about female bullying that takes a clear look at how girls treat one another and how we can effect real change.

Check out the trailer here.

[youtuber youtube=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=woZTiMgWYDo’%5D

About Finding Kind

In February 2009, two young women, Lauren Parsekian and Molly Thompson joined forces having both been affected by female bullying throughout their youth and decided to create change by giving females a platform to speak out about this universal experience. What began as an idea for a documentary about girl-against-girl bullying, ultimately became Kind Campaign, an internationally recognized movement, documentary, and school assembly program based on the powerful belief in KINDness that brings awareness and healing to the negative and lasting effects of girl-against-girl “crime.”

Indieflix has been behind this film from the start – I am late in getting the word out. Love Indieflix on so many levels – as a viewer of films and as a parent of a potential film student. You can sign up through Facebook and try it for a week for free. Indieflix has offered ten (10) 2 month subscriptions to giveaway. Check out the Rafflecopter below.

About IndieFlix

IndieFlix is a community of independent filmmakers and fans. Through its membership-based streaming service, IndieFlix helps filmmakers translate artistic vision into commercial success, and gives film lovers access to high quality independent films not otherwise available. IndieFlix’s mission is to champion filmmakers, rethink traditional approaches to distribution, and celebrate the artistry and impact of independent film. Co-founded by filmmaker Scilla Andreen, CEO of IndieFlix

Finding Kind:

Website

Facebook

Twitter

  • Unlimited streaming of movies from festivals around the world
  • Features, shorts, docs, and web series on your PC, Mac, Xbox, Roku, & Mobile
  • Good karma for supporting indie filmmakers
  • $6.99/month for all-you-can-eat indies

Indieflix:

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Per FTC regulations I would like to disclose that I was given a complimentary three month subscription to Indieflix (in other words, if I’m not posting as much – it’s because I’m watching great films on Indieflix :-). In further news, evidently filmmaker Lauren Parsekian just married Aaron Paul of Breaking Bad.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Post BlogHer Post

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Well, I am back from a whirlwind weekend away at the blogging conference that is BlogHer and I haven’t written until now. It takes a lot of work to step out of our lives for even a little while, and while it is easier for me than for a mom with young ones, it was still challenging. I had (first time) sleep away camp to prep for (she packed herself while I was away – well, with help from Dad) and only forgot one thing which I actually had in the car. By the seat of my pants, I tell you.

Here is the thing, I started this post days ago and have hesitated to hit publish because I wasn’t expressing the over-riding feeling I have had from BlogHer. Gratitude. Exhaustion and Gratitude.

Sometimes I have a gratitude problem. It is true. Many of us do. It is easy to criticize, to correct, to suggest ways to improve on something (and I have plenty of suggestions for the organizers, if they care to ask), but here is the main takeaway:

I am lucky that I could go – it is an expensive trip and lucky that my family is supportive.

I learned things (about blogs, social media, conferences, expectations, how to present myself, how to give an elevator pitch).

I met interesting, kind and generous people willing to share their knowledge and experience at the sessions, on the expo floor, in a cab, in a restaurant. Everywhere.

I got to travel in a Blogher Bound bus (Thank you, McDonald’s) to an exciting place that I love and don’t get to often enough.

I won prizes. What? Prizes, you say? Yes. Prizes. Like what? Let me say that as a Blogher newbie, I didn’t even know there would be prizes. I had heard about the swag but really had no idea that it was anything and certainly not why I went.

But, what did I win? A $100 Best Buy gift certificate. I was walking down from the suites on the 42nd floor (TMobile, Hershey’s) because the elevators were so very busy when I got the call and I didn’t realize the expo floor was closing. By the time I got there, the super nice rep from Best Buy was alone in the almost empty hall waiting for me to claim my prize. So nice! Above and beyond, Best Buy! Thank you!

I also won a folding bicycle (a very sweet ride from Gotham Bike) from the lovely people at Advil for taking part in their scavenger hunt. It is really cool and I can’t wait for it to get here! I’ll take my own pictures when it arrives, and I think it has already been claimed by my children.

I got a ride with McDonald’s on their bus bound for BlogHer and learned more about them, and that was really nice. Thank you, McDonald’s.

More, yes, there is more. A $25 Pet Smart Gift card, and some Lysol products. bags, pens, notepads and zip drives. Am I done? Kind of. The stuff wasn’t why I went to Blogher but it’s what I tally when I get back. That and the stack of business cards I am still puzzling over (I did not write on them as I was advised to do. Next time I will).

I met people from Newton, Needham, Boston, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, New York, California and Canada. I enjoyed every conversation and meeting. I had two breakfasts on Friday, the one for newbies and one with McDonald’s. Here is a link to Honest and Truly blog and a transcript of the Question & Answer session at breakfast. I got a recharge massage at TMobile (their tech stuff is awesome).

I went to Getting Gorgeous, had my hair straightened (thank you, GG and CVS, and I love my Extracare card) and it held up in the humidity, and have some more great stuff there. Okay, I’ll share! Super cute dark wash boot leg jeans from Coldwater Creek that make me look smaller than I am, a pair of gorgeous shoes from Naturalizer, and a gift card from Diet Pepsi! There is more but I think that may be another post.

So…Blogher in NYC. Huge. Overwhelming. Loud. Crowded. Busy. Both the city and the conference, so imagine them combined. I like the chaos for a while (as the oldest of five, it is my natural state of being) but then I need a break which I took in the form of a run through Central Park on Saturday morning.central park imagine strwaberry fields nyc manhattan capability mom blog

It was wonderful to connect with bloggers from Boston Parent Bloggers some I met for the first time on the BlogHer Bound bus. We had plenty of laughs (especially at the rest area where seven other buses stopped at the same time, yes, I said seven) and we got to know a little bit about each other, and found out we shared some connections other than blogging (even though that would have been enough). I had a Martha’s Vineyard connection with one super nice, grounded blogger and learned about more about Kegels than I ever thought I would know), talked to another BPB Blogger who is running the Falmouth Road Race to benefit the Melanoma Foundation of New England (something I am into, too) and I met someone who is funnier than I am (it is rare because I think I’m really funny – ask my family).

Once we got there, it was super crowded and chaotic. The elevators were jammed and it didn’t help that FFaNY was in the building (all the rooms on our floor were shoe showrooms except for ours and one across the hall). What a confluence that could have been. Women with sore feet and 14 stories above people selling shoes. Next time, FFaNY, bring shoes to sell. Seriously. Twitter was full of people looking for other shoes because they only packed cute heels.

But I digress. The conference proper is kind of hard to tease out of the side events. While it was great to meet so many people with a shared interest in blogging, writing and playing nicely with social media, it it does seem like it should be easier to find and schedule things.

One of the sessions was so overcrowded (so great that so many people wanted to learn about turning posts into published essays) that I stood against a wall trying to find enough air to breathe, never mind trying to take notes. I think PhD in Parenting was there,too, but couldn’t confirm. That was my main celebrity sighting* and I’m not even sure it was her. I may have been lightheaded from lack of air.

As always, NYC is a great destination and there could never be enough city love time. I wish that some events were “off campus”, as in not in the Hilton (as nice as it is). It is a shame to not explore such a fabulous city.

Pragmatic Mom and I found a great local restaurant (Thank you, Hilton concierge) and had a wonderful dinner where we met some lovely shoe people from FFaNY. We may even have a shoe giveaway with them – Stay tuned!

Best things about BlogHer? The people, the sessions (although they need a better system), the location (more recess time needed if you are in the city), and the sponsors are interesting and varied, which is always good. I saw Advil, Clorox, Lysol, CVS, Verizon, Best Buy, Disney Jr, Poise, Dannon, Samsung and so many more. I’ll go into it later or this will be the longest post ever.

I liked connecting with people, brands, bloggers, seeing new things, learning something new (so like Martha), trying something new, and sharing it all. Did I love every minute? No, I am no Pollyanna. Some things were size and location related, some easy fixes, some more complicated. If you really want to know, comment below! I promise to share and even over share!

*Correction – I did get to see Jeannie Mai, host of The Style Network’s “How Do I Look?” She looked great. I was in a button down and a pencil skirt. Ehh.

Lest this post makes it sound like I was careening hither and yon getting swag, I was not. I went through the Expo Hall and stopped at booths where I engaged in a dialogue with brand representatives and happened to get lucky. I found great new finds and will write about them when I sort through the bag of note and paper…too much paper!

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