Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Rest In Peace Davy Jones

It was with great sadness I learned of the sudden death of one of my childhood favorites, Davy Jones at age 66.
Davy opened a boutique in New York City's Greenwich Village at the height of his stardom and I remember as a kid going there as often as I could, hoping to catch a glimpse of the star.
Davy was not only cute with his boyish good looks and charming English accent back in the '60's, but was talented as well.  Davy was a child actor in his native England and starred as "The Artful Dodger" in the play "Oliver".  We all know that he later became part of the singing group The Monkees and the rest is history.I had the great pleasure of seeing Davy Jones perfom with two of the other Monkees, Peter Tork and Micky Dolenz several times.  It was a blast from the past that I will never forget.
Rest in peace Davy Jones and thank you for the memories.

Saturday, February 25, 2012


George Harrison aka the "Quiet Beatle" would have celebrated his birthday today, February 25th.  Gone too soon, George left an incredible legacy that will never be forgotten.  Here, one of my favorites, "Here Comes The Sun".

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Happy National Margarita Day

Today, February 22nd is National Margarita Day, a silly, made up holiday that is celebrated every year and enjoyed by many!  Here's a recipe to make the perfect pitcher of margaritas for those who wish to have some fun.


  • 2 cups tequila
  • 1 cup triple sec
  • 3/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 3/4 cup sweetened lime juice
  • 3 cups ice
  • kosher salt
  • 8 lime wedges


  1. Combine the tequila, triple sec, fresh lime juice, sweetened lime juice, and ice in a large pitcher; stir.
  2. Pour the kosher salt onto a plate. Rub the rim of a glass with a lime wedge. Dip the rim of the glass into the salt; fill glass with margarita mixture; repeat for each serving.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Nothing says Mardi Gras like king cake!  If you're not familiar with the flavorful and often colorful dessert, it's a traditional cake served in New Orleans and throughout southern Louisiana during the Carnival season -- particularly on Fat Tuesday.  Included somewhere in the cake is a "baby" - either a bean, a pecan, or an actual plastic/ceramic trinket. The person who gets the slice with the baby is King or Queen of the day -- and has to supply the cake at the next gathering.

Here is chef Emeril Lagasse's recipe for KING CAKE:


    1/2 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
    2 packages dry yeast
    2 teaspoons sugar
    4 to 5 cups flour
    1/2 cup sugar
    2 teaspoons salt
    1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
    1/2 cup warm milk (105 to 115 degrees)
    1/2 cup melted unsalted butter, cooled
    5 egg yolks
    1/2 cup finely chopped candied citron
    1 pecan half, uncooked dried bean or King Cake Baby


    2 cups sifted powdered sugar
    2 tablespoons lemon juice
    2 tablespoons water
    Purple, green and gold sugar crystals

Preheat the oven 350 degrees. Combine the warm water, yeast and 2 teaspoons sugar in a small bowl. Mix well and set aside to a warm place for about 10 minutes. Combine the 4 cups of flour, 1/2 cup sugar, salt, nutmeg, lemon rind and add warm milk, melted butter, egg yolks and yeast mixture. Beat until smooth. Turn dough out on a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough remaining flour until the dough is no longer sticky. Continue kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes). Place the dough in a well-greased bowl. Turn once so greased surface is on top.

Cover the dough and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk (about 1 1/2 hours). Punch the dough down and place on a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle with the citron and knead until the citron is evenly distributed. Shape the dough into a cylinder, about 30 inches long. Place the cylinder on a buttered baking sheet. Shape into a ring, pinching ends together to seal. Place a well-greased 2-pound coffee can or shortening can in the center of the ring to maintain shape during baking. Press the King Cake Baby, pecan half or dried bean into the ring from the bottom so that it is completely hidden by the dough. Cover the ring with a towel, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove the coffee can immediately. Allow the cake to cool. For the glaze: Combine the ingredients and beat until smooth. To assemble, drizzle cake with the glaze. Sprinkle with sugar crystals, alternating colors.

Monday, February 20, 2012

RIP Whitney Houston

The untimely passing of Whitney Houston not only saddened me but brought back memories of the fabulous on screen chemistry she had with one of my favorites of all time Kevin Costner in the movie The Bodyguard.  Mr. Costner surprised me so with his heartfelt eulogy which touched on so many aspects of Whitney's life.  Some of the points he made could so easily fit into any young woman's life.  He managed to bring humor into a somber occasion but also managed to show that we all come from the same place, we are all just people.  We need love and understanding and acceptance.  Thank you Kevin Costner for your beautiful words and stories and showing us all that stardom and "status" in Hollywood, doesn't change the way we all feel loss and pain in life and after one's passing.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Chanel Quote of the Day

With Fashion Week in high gear in New York City, here, a quote from the iconic designer Coco Chanel................

You live but once; you might as well be amusing.

You live but once; you might as well be amusing.
----Coco Chanel

The Ultimate French Manicure

Caramia's Collection has been undergoing "renovations", out with the pink and in with classic black & white.  To tie in our new look to beauty I set out to find a great new manicure look and found this gorgeous black French manicure.  It appears to be done with matte and shiny finish polish and is oh, so chic!!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

FASHION WEEK Begins in New York

Today, February 9th marks the beginning of Fashion Week in New York City.   The start of Fashion Week was last night with the Red Dress Collection fashion show, an annual New York Fashion Week kickoff event that aims to draw attention to women's heart health by putting celebrity catwalkers in a parade of gowns by some of the country's most famous designers.  Here's the "Uptown Girl", Christie Brinkley showing she still has it!  Here's to a very exciting week celebrating fashion!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Caramia's Collection Tuesday Treasure

The '80's are back in a big way with color trends pointing towards NEONS!!!  Here's a great top available at Caramia's Collection to give you a head start with your spring/summer wardrobe.

Click here to visit this great top from Sparkle & Fade

The BEATLES Arrive in the USA

On Friday, February 7, 1964, the world of music was changed forever as 5,000 fans, mostly young girls, were crowded onto the upper balcony of New York's JFK Airport arrivals building, waving placards and banners to welcome The Beatles to the United States.  The Beatles gave their first interview on American soil and this is how it went:

Question: Are you a little embarrassed by the lunacy you cause?
John Lennon:  No, it's great.
Paul McCartney:  No.
Ringo Starr:  Marvelous.
George Harrison:  We love it.
John:  We like lunatics.
Question:  You're in favor of lunacy?
The Beatles:  Yeah.
John:  It's healthy.
Question:  Are those English accents?
George:  It's not English.  It's Liverpudlian, you see.
Paul:  The Liverpool accent - so, the way you say some of the words. You know, you say GRASS instead of GRAHHSS, and that sounds a bit American.  So there ya go.
Question:  Liverpool is the...
Ringo:  It's the capital of Ireland.
Paul:  Anyway, we wrote half of your folk songs in Liverpool.
Ringo:  Yeah, don't forget!
Question:  In Detroit Michigan, there handing out car stickers saying, 'Stamp Out The Beatles.'
Paul:  Yeah well... first of all, we're bringing out a 'Stamp Out Detroit' campaign.
Question:  What about the Stamp Out The Beatles campaign?
John:  What about it?
Ringo:  How big are they?
Question:  Would you tell Murray the K to cut that crap out?
The Beatles:  Cut that crap out!
Paul:  Hey, Murray!
Question:  A psychiatrist recently said you're nothing but a bunch of British Elvis Presleys.
John:  He must be blind.
Ringo (shaking like Elvis):  It's not true! It's not true!
Question:  Would you please sing something?
The Beatles:  No!
Ringo:  Sorry.
Question:  There's some doubt that you can sing.
John:  No, we need money first.

Monday, February 6, 2012


Well, I am not going to pretend that I love (or even like) football, baseball is my sport of choice.  But, I do love New York and couldn't be more proud that our New York GIANTS are the new Super Bowl Champions!!  Congratulations to the team and way to go NEW YORK!!

Sunday, February 5, 2012


Virtual Online Learning had a celebrity guest visit its online radio show on Friday, February 5th, Ed Rambeau.  He was a delight and hopefully will become a regular.  Here is a sample of Ed's amazing talents as a singer, songwriter and designer of videos -- "Google It".  Enjoy...............

Saturday, February 4, 2012


A fixture in the world of restaurants in New York has been El Parador Cafe on East 34th Street.  I have had the pleasure of dining there many times.
The restaurant's owner has decided to share the recipe of one of his specialties, a veggie-friendly dish, great with nachos or as a sandwich spread,  for us all to enjoy while watching the Super Bowl.

From the kitchen of El Parador Cafe -- Avocado-Tomatillo Salsa:

* Peel and wash 5 TOMATILLOS. Char them on a grill alongside 1 GARLIC CLOVE and 1 JALAPEƑO. Run through a food processor and pour in a bowl.
* Dice 1 AVOCADO and 1/4 WHITE ONION and chop 1/2-BUNCH CILANTRO. Add JUICE OF 1 LIME.
* Mix everything together, season with salt, serve and sit back and watch the game!


Concrete & Clay Meets VOL

With the world of the internet so huge yet really so small, we never know who we will meet.  I have been fortunate to meet a wonderful person, Danna Crawford, who has helped me build my eBay business, Caramia's Collection and also has become a great friend.  Danna is the founder of Virtual Online Learning and hosts a monthly radio show.  The concept of the show is for those of us who work on line to have a place to gather and self-promote.  Last night I encouraged one of my good friends to join us and self-promote.  Here in tribute to his "appearance" on the VOL radio show is Ed "Eddie" Rambeau singing his hit "Concrete & Clay".  Here's hoping that Ed visits us again and becomes a fixture at our gatherings.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Inspirational Quote

Came across this quote and thought it worth sharing:

"Expectation is the root of all heartache."
--- William Shakespeare