Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Good Eats Wednesday

Easter Coconut Cake

We Take The Cake bakery was featured on a CNBC special
about The Oprah Effect awhile back.
When Oprah originally featured this company on her show,
the next day the small mail-order operation was a booming success!
(Oprah's favorite - the Key Lime Bundt Cake.)

Luckily this bakery is less than a mile from me,
and I'm thinking about trying one for Easter!

Otherwise this recipe by Paula Dean
looks just as fantastic!


Bon appetit!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Way Back When

Image via Flickr.

Growing up, I had a view like this from my bedroom.
Whenever I woke up I looked out at my very own wisteria tree.
It was my mom's pride and joy.
She posed me in front of it every year when it would bloom to take my portrait.
I have been yearning for my own garden the past few weeks more than anything in the world, and to be perfectly honest, today was one of those days when there is nothing more I want than to curl up in that old bedroom and gaze out the window at that wisteria tree in full bloom.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Script Frenzy Days are Here!

Writing Challenge for April

For those of you who followed my blog last November, you were aware of the NaNoWriMo writing challenge which consisted of frantically writing a fiction novel containing 50,000 words within 30 days. A few of you may have even participated. For the month of April, there is a new challenge for script writing. The challenge is to write 100 pages of script in the month of April. For more details, or if you would like to participate, visit Script Frenzy. This could be your chance to be the mastermind behind Hollywood's next biggest hit.

Will you be the next Oscar winning screen writer?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Eat, Pray, Love

by Elizabeth Gilbert

A months ago I finally picked up Eat, Pray, Love to read the back of the book jacket. It has been all over the book stands for some time now. I was very intrigued and spent a good five mintues debating whether or not to purchase it. I set it back down because I had a few other books to get to first, but took a mental note, that I should indeed consider it again shortly.

When I learned a movie based upon the book and starring Julia Roberts will be released in August, I immediately pushed this up my priority list to a must read. (Too see the trailer and read more "delicious details" about the movie visit Pop Eater.)

The memoir is written by Elizabeth Gilbert, who after a bad divorce decided to travel abroad for a year. First to Italy, to eat and enjoy life, then India on a quest for spirtuality, and lastly to Bali in search of balancing both spirtuality and love.

Gilbert grew up in Connecticut on a small family Christmas tree farm and knew she wanted to be a writer as early as she could remember. She wrote an article for GQ years ago about her bartending days in Manhattan, which ended up being the basis for the movie, Coyote Ugly. She has written five books, but her memoir Eat, Pray, Love has earned her the most popularity with over 7 million copies sold,  and translated in 30 languages.

Visit Gilbert's website HERE to learn more.

Happy Friday!!!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Travel Thursday

Cruise Antarctica

Images from CruiseNorway.

Cruise Norway offers 10-19 day cruises
from Buenos Aires
through the Drake Passage
to Antarctica for $5,500-$9,500.

So, if you can swing the cost
and crave something different than a tropical vacation,
get on your way to the depths of the earth
to see penguins, elephant seals, humpback and killer whales.

Book your trip on the Prince Albert II at CruiseNorway.

Happy Traveling!!

Books on Antartica...

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Good Eats Wednesday

Foodie News
& Dream Jobs

Ego Anton, the Food Critic from Disney's Ratatouille.

I am extremely excited to announce that I will be the new Fort Lauderdale Ethnic Foods Restaurant Reviewer for I have been wanting to write about food and review restaurants ever since I obtained my degree in magazine journalism. I can now dig out my dusty book Will Write for Food by Dianne Jacob, which I bought upon graduation.

Will Write for Food: The Complete Guide to Writing Cookbooks, Restaurant Reviews, Articles, Memoir, Fiction and More

I 've always been known as a dreamer, but with patience and preserverance, things sometimes do work out.

Here is another example... in kindergarten when told to draw what I wanted to be when I grew up... I drew a Disneyland worker. Sure enough when I was in college, I applied to work for the summer at Disney World in their college program, and even though I humbly served Pineapple Dole Whip, or eggrolls in Adventureland (depending on the day), I fulfilled my dream. It wasn't until my mom pulled out that old drawing that I remembered what I once wanted. While my experience at Disney was nowhere near what a child would dream, with the minimal pay and laborous schedule, it's the fact that I had achieved one of my dreams, learned a tremendous lesson about finances, and it led to me to where I am today... currently living in South Florida.

Modern Replica.
Don't Laugh.
I'm not sure if that's Mickey Mouse, or the Easter Bunny.
I think I did a better job drawing when I was 5.

So brace yourselves,
I will be sharing my future reviews with you.
Thanks to Mel @ Reverie-Daydream,
I found out about because of you.

If you would like to become an examiner on in your local area and share your expertise or passion...
APPLY HERE. Referred by Nicolette Fisher.

Bon appetit! 

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Ahhh Spring...

~ Daily Deal ~

Yellow Tulips 5x7
20% off on my Etsy today.
(Reduced from $10 to $8.)

Taken in the beautiful Keukenhof Gardens
of Holland last spring.

Happy Tuesday!!

Monday, March 22, 2010


Happy 2 Year Anniversary to my Sweetheart!

We celebrated this weekend at Benihana...
nothing beats a good Hibachi dinner!

Also, my Etsy store is now fully re-stocked.
Stop by and have a look!

Hope you had a good weekend!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Travel Thursday

Sorrento, Italy
Sant' Agata Sui Due Golfi

A lovely little rental
in Sorrento.

Ahh... breakfast anyone?

How about a ride along the coastline?

A lazy summer's day at the beach awaits...


Or relax by the pool...

Or make home made pasta in this kitchen!

And if you aren't a master in the kitchen,
sign up for a lesson with Mamma Mia
cooking school.

Visit VRBO to book your vacation at

Happy Traveling!!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Good Eats Wednesday

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!

I always make sure I get my way...
 when it comes to food.

I am big on tradition.

That's corned beef taken via the iPhone at lunch.
It tasted a lot better than it looks.

the afternoon snack!

I knew McDonald's would come through!

I will be in Ireland tonight...
well ok...
the book I'm reading,
In The Woods,
(see side caption)
takes places in Ireland,
so I've been there mentally
 for the past few weeks if you can't tell.

If you are celebrating any fesitivies tonight...

Have Fun & Be Safe!!!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Shamrock Shake

Hmm... are they around this year?

I usually don't frequent the drive-thru scene,
but I may have to pop by tomorrow to see
if I can get a lean green milkshake.

Ok, maybe it's not so lean.


Monday, March 15, 2010

A Little Card Shoppe on Etsy

Happy Monday my Friends!!!

Longer evenings are here!
(In the U.S. anyway.)
Hopefully you remembered to set your clocks ahead.
I'm about 3-4 cups deep into my Earl Grey tea,
because it was so hard to get up an hour earlier!

I can't wait to share bits of my
busy and fun-filled weekend
with you later this week.

Here is a little sneak peak
of the re-opening of my Etsy store...

Featuring photography cardsets.
The Tulip Collection is now available as a set of 7 for $15.00.

More sets to follow tonight and the next few days!!

Happy Monday!!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Travel Thursday

Ireland: Part II

With St. Patrick's Day just around the corner,
it's obvious I still have Ireland very much on the brain.
I may have even Googled country cottages for sale on my 'break'
but I can't confirm that.

Slieve League on the coast of northwest Ireland.
Image found HERE.

Image found HERE.

Image found HERE.

Visit the Glenarm Castle for taste of old world charm.

I will be spending my days at
the Walled Garden of Glenarm Castle.

Happy Traveling!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Good Eats Wednesday

Corned Beef & Cabbage

Photo by: Randy Mayor. Styling by: Melanie J. Clark via Cooking Light.

Recipe by David Bonom in Cooking Light via

"Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 3 ounces beef, about 1 1/2 cups cabbage, and about 1 1/3 cups potatoes)


1 (4-pound) cured corned beef brisket, trimmed
16 cups water
2 cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrot
1 1/2 teaspoons pickling spice
3 garlic cloves, peeled
Cooking spray
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
1 (2 1/2-pound) head green cabbage, cored and cut into 1-inch strips
4 pounds small red potatoes, quartered
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons butter
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
1 (5-ounce) jar prepared horseradish, drained and squeezed dry
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard


Place brisket in a large stockpot; add water and next 5 ingredients (water through garlic). Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 3 hours. Remove brisket from pot.

Place brisket on the rack of a broiler pan or roasting pan coated with cooking spray; place rack in pan. Strain cooking liquid through a colander into 2 large bowls; discard solids. Return liquid to pot. Add caraway seeds and cabbage; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 20 minutes. Drain.

While cabbage is cooking, place potatoes in a large Dutch oven. Cover with water. Bring to a boil; cook 20 minutes or until tender. Drain. Return potatoes to pan. Stir in parsley, butter, rind, juice, and pepper; toss to coat.

Preheat broiler. Combine breadcrumbs and horseradish. Spread mustard over one side of brisket. Press breadcrumb mixture onto mustard. Broil 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve brisket with cabbage and potatoes."

-Recipe by: David Bonom, Cooking Light, March 2003


 A poem by Frances Shilliday to make you smile.


I just want to put something straight
About what should be on your plate,
If it's corned beef you're makin'
You're sadly mistaken,
That isn't what Irishmen ate.

If you ever go over the pond
You'll find it's of bacon they're fond,
All crispy and fried,
With some cabbage beside,
And a big scoop of praties beyond.

Your average Pat was a peasant
Who could not afford beef or pheasant.
On the end of his fork
Was a bit of salt pork,
As a change from potatoes 'twas pleasant.

This custom the Yanks have invented,
Is an error they've never repented,
But bacon's the stuff
That all Irishmen scoff,
With fried cabbage it is supplemented.

So please get it right this St. Paddy's.
Don't feed this old beef to your daddies.
It may be much flasher,
But a simple old rasher,
Is what you should eat with your tatties.

©Frances Shilliday 2004
Visit her website HERE.

If you opt for a "traditional" Irish plate of Bacon & Cabbage,
see Irish Cultures & Customs for their recipe.

Visit our new Health & Wealth blog
to learn more fun facts about
The Tradition & Economics of Corned Beef.


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

100 Cheers!

Art by one of my favorite local artists
in Fort Lauderdale Cady Watson.

Simply Colette has reached 100 followers!
Thank you to everyone who has followed my blog the past nine months.
I am so greatful for the many friendships I've developed.
Thank you for your continued visits.
My creativity has flourished because of you.
There are many more very special people out there who follow my blog
that are not counted by a ticker on blogger-
you know who you are,
and I appreciate all your support!



Monday, March 8, 2010

Biography Weekend Review

I spent part of the weekend "reviewing" biographies.
Coco Before Channel has been around the blogosphere for awhile,
but my interest in it derived from my dear friend, Sheila from England,
 who was once a live-in tutor/ caregiver for Coco's nephews
 and I wanted to learn more about this timeless icon.
What an empowering movie!

Another motivating movie was Amelia...
which anyone can appreciate the once fearless flier's bravery. 

Lastly, my beau and I watched
10 Questions for the Dali Lama,
which neither of us were too familiar with
life in Tibet or Tibet's struggle with China.

It was a great documentary and we were thus able to appreciate some
amazing journalistic photography we saw this weekend
at the Las Olas Art Fair in Fort Lauderdale
by Robin Smillie, president of Rainbow Photo Tours, who operates tours to Bhutan.
To see his personal gallery, visit his website HERE. 

Happy Monday!!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Host a Swap Party

Image via REAL SIMPLE.

This week I attended a Swap Party at a friend's home
and it was featured on NBC6 Miami.

 What a fun way to get friends together!

Holding a Swap Party is a great excuse to clean out your closet
with items that no longer fit or just simply aren't your taste anymore.
Make sure they are still in good condition.
This is a great economical way to score new clothes or donate the unwanted goods to charity. 

For more details on how to host a party, visit REAL SIMPLE.

A few pics from our Swap Party...

A snuggie!!

Thank you NBC6 Miami for airing these pics and posting them on your Facebook page!

Have a wonderful weekend!!!


Author Interview

I'm very excited to be able to share my author interview with you! Many people have asked questions about my book, 'Running Away to ...