Leap Day Trivia

So today is February 29, and this day only comes around every 4 years!  I’ve always been a bit fascinated with Leap Day so I went digging and found some interesting trivia about Leap Years:

  • Every leap year features an extra day added to the end of February, giving February 29 days instead of the usual 28. This bonus day happens because there aren’t actually 365 days in a year, but rather 365.242190 days. To compensate for this extra time, an extra day needs to be added approximately every four years.
  • If you’re born on February 29, you’re known as a “leaper” or a “leapling.” Around 4 million people in the world have been born on February 29.
  • Leap year babies celebrate their original birthday only once every four years.
  • The chances of having a leap birthday are one in 1,461.
  • The Honor Society of Leap Year Day Babies is a club for people born on February 29. More than 10,000 people worldwide are members.
  • February 29 became the official leap day because of the ancient Romans, who added this extra day to the Roman calendar used during the Roman Empire. Roman emperor Julius Caesar also incorporated the leap year into the calendar he created, known as the Julian calendar.
  • In Hong Kong the legal birthday of a leapling is March 1 and in New Zealand it is February 28.
  • In Taiwan, married daughters return home on leap month because it is believed that lunar month can bring bad health to parents.
  • Greeks believe getting married on a leap year will only bring bad luck. However, other cultures like Great Britain and Ireland believe a leap year is the time when women should ask men to get married instead of the usual custom of men asking women.
  • The frog is the symbol associated with February 29.
  • Leap year is also called known as St. Oswald’s Day, named after the Archbishop of York who died on February 29.
  • Head to Anthony, Texas, or Anthony, New Mexico. Both claim the title of “Leap Year Capital of the World.” To celebrate the leap year, the town in Texas holds a large festival that features square dancing, fun events, and activities on a nearby farm, and it even offers a tour through an Aztec cave.
  • Astrologers believed children born on leap year have unusual talent, unique personalities and even special powers.

So, what are your thoughts on Leap Day, do you celebrate this day in any special way? Were you born on February 29?  I’d love to hear.

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The Intern

I love any movie Anne Hathaway is in, (I’m a huge fan of The Devil Wears Prada, have watched it over 20 times with my daughter). So when I saw the commercials for The Intern, I knew I  had to see it.  The Intern is a comedy that stars Anne Hathaway as Jules Ostin, the founder of a fashion based e-commerce company who hires Ben Whitaker (Robert De Niro), a 70-year old widower bored with retirement, as her intern. Ben is seeking something more in his life. “There’s a hole in my life and I need to fill it,” Ben explains in the opening narration of The Intern. “I still have music in me,” he adds.

So naturally, after coming across a flyer seeking senior interns for the company Jules runs, Ben simply cannot contain his excitement and decides to apply as an intern. The company, About the Fit, is ironically seeking people with a lifetime of experience instead of kids who have spent the last four years updating their Facebook status and getting drunk at frat parties. So naturally, Ben is perfect. Of course he gets the internship after an interesting interview process (being asked at age 70, “What do you see yourself doing in 10 years?)” and that’s when the film takes off.

The plot revolves mainly around Jules, how she must figure out how to balance being the owner of her company while preserving her personal life as well. It’s told from Ben’s perspective, as he is her intern, and very quickly figures out her life. As can be expected, they form a great friendship based on loyalty and trust, a partnership where both learn a lot from each other.

Wouldn't you enjoy working in this environment?

Wouldn’t you enjoy working in this environment? Photo Courtesy of http://www.theinternmovie.com

The Intern was written and directed by Nancy Meyers who is well-known for “What Women Want,” “Something’s Gotta Give,” and “It’s Complicated. Yes, you may be thinking that it’s a chick flick, but I personally love chick flicks. This one deals with the world of work, retirement, millennials in the new workforce vs. the old school workplace. In my opinion, the message in this movie is that a lot can be learned and shared between generations. In today’s world, many think the older generation is just not “with it” simply because they don’t know how to use the latest smart phone or don’t have a twitter account. Yet this film shows us that there are still many things that the older generation can teach the so called “millennials”, that simply can’t be learned from the internet.

I will say, although I really enjoyed this film, after all I love anything these two actors are in, I did find it a bit slow at times. Having said that, I still think it was a great “feel good” film and I recommend you go check it out if you haven’t had a chance yet.

Have you watched The Intern?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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Summer Entertaining

Well the summer is flying by and I’ve been so busy in the month of June that I haven’t had too much time to blog lately. We’ve taken several short trips and had a few important family celebrations which I’ve had to plan as well.  The summer is off to a great start and now I have some time to blog again, before our big trip next month.  I am, what some folks call, a summer baby (my birthday is in August) and summer has always been my absolute favorite season and time of year.  I love that kids are off from school, so I get to thoroughly enjoy my daughter, without having to worry if homework and assignments are done (although there is that blasted summer reading list).  Lucky for me, I live in Miami…yes, it gets incredibly hot, but I love to hang out in my pool and go to the beach pretty regularly.  As part of my summer routines, I also enjoy having friends and family over and that of course, means yummy, refreshing summer meals.

So, when I was recently contacted by the folks at Paperless Post, inviting me to participate in a link-up about summertime entertaining, I thought it would be right up my alley. Paperless Post, an online invitation website that I have used many times, provides both virtual and printed invitations and other stationary as well.  They truly have beautiful invitations, announcements and greeting cards.  Take a look at some of their summer themed invitations:

Photo courtesy of Paperless Post.

Photo courtesy of Paperless Post.

Photo courtesy of Paperless Post.

Photo courtesy of Paperless Post.

Photo courtesy of Paperless Post.

Photo courtesy of Paperless Post.

So, I decided to create my inspiration board with all of the items that I think would look amazing and fun for an outdoor pool or beach party.  I always feel good food is the ticket to satisfying guests and making an event memorable.  Browsing through Pinterest I found some amazingly delicious and easy recipes. And you always need to keep the kids in mind, so they are entertained as well.  Here’s what I came up with:

entertaining

1) Individual Frozen Key Lime Pies | 2) Pottery Barn Mini Lantern String Lights | 3) Beach Buckets with Shovels for Snacks | 4) Bucket of Water Balloons | 5) Ginormous Burger & Brown Bag Chips | 6) Sunscreen & Bug Spray Station | 7) Shrimp & Chorizo Bites  | 8) Strawberry Shortcake Skewers  | 9) Watermelon Refresher

Do you  enjoy summertime entertaining?  I’d love to hear your ideas…

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What I’m Watching …

So I‘ve been a bit bummed lately with some of my favorite shows coming to an end, such as Parenthood and Cougar Town and very disappointed in the way Revenge is heading.  Luckily, I’ve picked up a few new ones. I have now added The Slap, Secrets & Lies and The Affair to my weekly rotation of programming. First let me say, it’s very odd for me to watch any of these three shows, because I would normally be very turned off with topics such as, child abuse, child murders and infidelity. But these shows are like a bad train wreck that everyone stops to look at.

After watching the trailer for The Slap, I thought it looked ridiculous, (especially since it was replacing my beloved Parenthood). But I was intrigued, after all, who in today’s world would dare touch someone else’s child, much less, slap them?!  So, I watched the first three episodes, and I must say, I find it very interesting, and I can’t wait to see how this story develops. It also feels as if you’re watching an HBO or Showtime series, instead of a primetime NBC program. This is about more than just a child being slapped…this show deals with the intricacies of a large Greek-American complicated family, and their close friends. But primarily it examines how ordinary lives can be derailed in an instant with a quick, unplanned act. There’s also a great cast here, starring Peter Sarsgaard, Thandie Newton and Uma Thurman.

The Slap, Thurday nights at 8PM on NBC

The Slap, Thursdays at 8PM on NBC

Secrets & Lies is relatively new, I have only watched the first two episodes. The story follows Ben Crawford, a family man who discovers the body of a young boy and quickly becomes the prime suspect in his death. Ben then goes in search of the real killer in order to clear his name. I am very curious, because I do believe Ben, played by Ryan Phillippe is innocent (but I could be wrong). There are many other secrets involved in this story, aside from just finding who the killer of the young boy is. Great casting here too with Ryan Phillippe and Juliette Lewis as the stars of the show.  Stay tuned…

Secrets & Lies, on Sundays at 9PM on ABC

Secrets & Lies, Sundays at 9PM on ABC

And last but not least, The Affair. To be honest, I hated this show the first time I watched it. The Affair explores the emotional effects of an extramarital relationship between Noah Solloway, played by Dominic West and Alison Bailey, played by Ruth Wilson, after the two meet in the resort town of Montauk on Long Island.  Although, after having watched the entire first season, I have to say, the storyline grows on you and you start to understand all of the characters’ point of view. Perhaps what I enjoy most, is that the story of the affair is told separately, complete with distinct memory biases, from Noah’s and Alison’s perspectives. It’s very well written and the season left us wanting more, with a fantastic season ending cliff hanger. I also love the roles played by Maura Tierney and Joshua Jackson. The series recently won the Golden Globe Awards for Best Television Drama Series and Ruth Wilson won for Best Actress in a Television Series Drama.  Looking forward to Season 2.

The Affair, Sundays at 10PM on Showtime

The Affair, Sundays at 10PM on Showtime

Have you been watching any new shows lately?  Any that you would recommend?

Sesame Street Day!

075b4bd30206a5172e75cd67c83714aeWell who knew there was a day dedicated to Sesame Street? I just recently found out and I have to say, it’s a great thing. Sesame Street Day was first established in 2009 to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of its original broadcast. While the special day was initiated in New York, it is now recognized by thousands of individuals from around the world. In fact, the number of followers continues to grow each year. Sesame Street debuted on November 10, 1969 and went on to become the most widely viewed children’s program in the world. I remember watching Sesame Street when I was 5 years old and of course it feels like yesterday that my teen daughter was watching Elmo and Zoe dancing on the screen.  She loved that show so much, it was the theme for her second birthday party.

Here are some fun facts about the show that you may not know:

  • Big Bird’s height is 8’2.”
  • The Count’s birthday is October 9, 1,830,653 B.C.
  • In 1970, Ernie reached #16 on the Billboard Hot 100 with the timeless hit “Rubber Duckie.”
  • Ernie wears horizontal stripes on his sweater to make him appear more relaxed; while Bert wears vertical stripes on his sweater to make him appear more uptight.
  • Oscar the Grouch was originally orange, Grover was originally brown.
  • Big Bird’s teddy bear is named Radar, a nod to the character on MASH who always slept with a teddy bear.
  • James Earl Jones was the first ever guest star, he recited the alphabet.
  • All of the Sesame Street Muppets have four fingers, except Cookie Monster, who has five.
  • The episode with Mr. Hooper’s funeral aired on Thanksgiving Day in 1983. That date was chosen because families were more likely to be together at that time, in case kids had questions or needed emotional support.
  • In a 2004 episode, Cookie Monster revealed that back before he ate his first cookie, his name used to be “Sid”.
  • Most people know Rosita as the only Hispanic Muppet on Sesame Street, but few know what she actually is, a fruit bat.
  • The main focus of Sesame Street is a 3 apartment brownstone building (Bert and Ernie live in the basement). The show itself is filmed in Astoria, Queens, but the actual location of Sesame Street has been under debate for years (intended to be a neighborhood in Manhattan).
  • And perhaps one fact that I found very interesting was that Snuffleupagus, spent fourteen years as Big Bird’s “imaginary” friend. Whenever adults would appear, Snuffy would vanish by way of coincidence, and the grownups would disbelieve Big Bird that he ever existed. Because nobody believed Big Bird about Snuffleupagus, and parents tended not to believe their children about imaginary friends, producers were afraid that this disbelief would lead to children being afraid to speak out about sexual abuse.

I’m sure we all know someone who has learned their colors and/or letters by watching this show. So, who is your favorite Sesame Street character? Mine and my daughter’s is still Zoe (and Elmo too!)

Her two favorites!

Her two favorites!

A Visit to Venetian Pool…

Coral Gables, Florida, The City Beautiful, as it is nicknamed, is a gorgeous community of esplanades, fountains, plazas and Mediterranean styled homes, designed by Dade County commissioner and land developer George Merrick starting in 1921.  And within this beautiful city, is the hidden gem of Venetian Pool, one of this country’s most beautiful public swimming pools and the only one listed on The National Register of Historic Places.

The beautiful Venetian Pool

The beautiful Venetian Pool

The Venetian pool was opened in 1924 as the “Venetian Casino,” which was part of the Grand Plan George Merrick had for the City of Coral Gables.  The pool was created in 1923 from a coral rock quarry, where much of the original coral rock was used to border and further accentuate the pool. It also features two large historic lookout towers, with a view to Coral Gables.

The towers

The towers

The clear, cool water (76-78 degrees) is fed by underground artesian wells, providing 820,000 gallons of water. Until 1988, the pool was drained and refilled every day during the summer; now a conservation method is utilized that recycles the water through natural ground filtration and returns it to the subterranean aquifer.

The pool is a lot of fun, as kids jump off the rocks and love to go swimming and hiding through the caves.  There’s also a sandy area resembling a beach, and there’s an on site cafe with tables and chairs on the patio.  Everything you need for a full day of family fun in the summer. But even if you don’t go swimming, take a peek through their gates, it’s truly something worth seeing.

Venetian Pool is located in a residential neighborhood of Coral Gables, at 2701 DeSoto Boulevard, and opens seven days a week from Memorial Day to Labor Day (and closed on Mondays during the winter). For vintage photos and more information, check out the Venetian Pool website at www.coralgablesvenetianpool.com/History.html.

Here are a few more photos of this amazing place, have you been to Venetian Pool?

Entrance to the pool…

One of the towers

The tower ceiling

The tower ceiling

Venetian style mooring poles

Lifeguard Stand

Lifeguard Stand

The waterfalls

Beach area at the pool

Beach area at the pool

Cafe

Patio for cafe area

Having fun!

Having fun!