Written by Lotus on Monday, 26 of January , 2015 at 12:20 pm
I’ll have a column up on Breitbart on why I think Scott Walker is our best chance at fixing the Baby Boomers’ mistakes.
Awesome graphic courtesy of Brett Smith.
Read the article here.
Written by Lotus on Sunday, 28 of December , 2014 at 9:00 pm
I decided to shamelessly steal from Kevin Glass, my editor at Townhall.com. He’s been posting #BestThingsof2014. It’s a nice break from all the negative news of 2014. So, here’s my list of best things of 2014.
Discovering Charlie Day
As you’ll see, this list is specific to me. I’m sure all of the people much smarter than me discovered Charlie Day (and Charlie Kelly) much sooner. After watching “Horrible Bosses” I thought Charlie Day’s appeal was elevated because of Jennifer Aniston’s character being obsessed with his. Then I watched all nine seasons of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” (FREE on Amazon Prime, btw) in about two weeks and realized the Charlie Day appeal is real. He gives great comedy, great interviews, and great commencement speeches. Rock, Flag and Eagle!
Finding Mr. Righteous Selling Out at CPAC
Obviously it was pretty cool that my first book, Finding Mr. Righteous, was published in February of 2014. However, one of my favorite moments in 2014 was selling out at CPAC. I returned to CPAC after, ahem, leaving in 2011. My life has had some ups and downs since then and I was nervous about returning. I was fortunate to be invited to do a book signing and grateful to my friends and everyone else who came to the signing. After all the drama surrounding me and CPAC for the last couple years, it meant a lot to finally leave on a high note.
Fundraising Goes Viral
For all the headaches caused by social media, it’s wonderful to see how much good it can do to raise money for worthy causes. The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was certainly one of the most successful ones. Another was the Liberty in North Korea fundraising effort after Sony temporarily pulling “The Interview.” Rather than get frustrated at why this cause or that cause deserves as much attention and money, take comfort in knowing that we all have use of powerful social media tools.
Every Simpsons Ever
Christmas came early when the FXX network had a 12-day marathon of every episode of “The Simpsons.” That’s 552 episodes.
Chris Pratt Becomes a Huge Movie Star
Everything I’ve heard about Chris Pratt this year makes me glad that he’s become a famous movie star. He seems like the kind of guy who deserves it and truly enjoys it. Here are just a few reasons.
I Got to Be on Red Eye with Greg Gutfeld!!!!!!!!
Ok, this should really be at the top of the list but I didn’t want to seem too full of myself. I’m a Red Eye superfan. To be honest, it’s the only Fox News show (ok, any “news” show) that I watch from beginning to end. I’ll be making my fifth appearance on February 12/3 a.m. on February 13.
All About That Bass
Many have already proclaimed 2014 to be the Year of the Booty. Whether you’re pro-booty or anti-booty, we can all agree that Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass” is pretty catchy.
This year I’ve had the opportunity to spend a little bit more time in Arizona. Growing up in Florida I’ve heard about the mythical “dry heat.” I’m a little weird when it comes to temperature. I like it hot. For example, I don’t turn on the A/C in the car when it’s 90 degrees outside because I spent the day being cold in an office. I immediately turn up the temperature in every hotel room. I monitor the temperature in Palm Beach during the winter just because it helps me get through winter knowing that it’s warm somewhere. So, me and Arizona? We got along just fine. Well, except one little bump in the road. The people of Arizona are also pretty cool. They just elected Republican Doug Ducey, former CEO of Cold Stone Creamery, as governor. I heard a couple Republicans won in other states, too.
My Name on a Diet Coke Bottle
This one I’m definitely stealing from Kevin Glass. It was a fantastic marketing campaign. I found my name three times. I intended to save one, but drank them all.
Salted Caramel Everything
Some may say 2014 was the year of the booty, but I say it was the year of salted caramel everything. I’m not complaining. It’s everywhere. It makes something like Dunkin Donuts hot chocolate seem exotic. It makes you not feel guilty about buying a $10 Vosges chocolate bar. It elevates everything it touches.
James Spader is amazing as ‘Red’ Reddington. I’m usually a late-bloomer (see “It’s Always Sunny…”) when it comes to TV shows. If it’s on a premium channel, I haven’t seen it. To this day I’ve only seen the last 15 minutes of the “Breaking Bad” series finale. I seem to be the only person in DC who hasn’t seen “House of Cards.” So, I’m pretty proud of myself for getting on the Blacklist bandwagon early.
Dinner at Flip Burger in Atlanta
Probably the best meal I had this year was at Richard Blais’s Atlanta restaurant, Flip Burger. I started with a Nutella and Toasted Marshmallow Milkshake. Then my date and I split the pimento cheese wontons. For my entree I had the Southern burger — a country-fried burger patty topped with pimento cheese and Coca-Cola ketchup. I prefer to skip the bun because it just gets in the way. When I went back to Atlanta for my birthday, I stopped by again just for the milkshake. Good stuff.
My friend Liz had an amazing Pinterest-inspired wedding that, I have to say, was totally overshadowed by the beautiful bride. There are some rom-coms that give me the warm fuzzies, but seeing Liz and her new husband and their commitment to one another really makes me believe that happy endings are possible.
So, that’s the best of 2014. Since there are still a few days left, I’ll probably add a few more.
Category: Random Stuff
Written by Lotus on Saturday, 18 of October , 2014 at 9:41 pm
Category: Finding Mr. Righteous
Written by Lotus on Monday, 2 of September , 2013 at 5:19 pm
I recently had the opportunity to try Coffee-mate’s new flavors inspired by Girl Scout Cookies. I tried the “Thin Mints” and “Coconut & Caramel” flavors. In partnering with the Girl Scouts, they’re also “scouting” for a Girl Scout to appear in their commericial. You can view the submissions here.
Here’s the thing though… I don’t drink coffee. Instead, I wanted to see if I could use them in new and unique ways.
The first idea I had was Palmiers. Don’t let the fancy French name fool you. If you use prepared pastry dough it’s super easy. After defrosting the dough in the freezer, I laid it out on the counter top. I mixed 1/2 cup of Coffee-mate’s Thin Mints and 1/4 cup of sugar in a small bowl. Then I brushed mixture on the dough. Then I rolled up the dough on the long sides until they met in the middle. Wrap the dough in wax paper and freeze for 30 minutes to make it easier to cut. Then cut in 1/4 inch slices and put on parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 12 minutes or until golden.
The second thing I made was Coconut Chicken Nuggets. I soaked chicken tenders in the Coconut & Caramel Coffee-mate for about an hour. Then I coated in egg and seasoned breadcrumbs. I fried them in some olive oil, but you could also bake them. The Coffee-mate added a little bit of sweetness, which made them so delicious. Kids would probably really dig them. Assuming the adults leave them any.
In addition to the above recipes I tried, I think either of the Coffee-mate varieties would be good in hot chocolate (or iced chocolate!), in protein shakes, or even “affogato”-style — a shot or so poured over gelato or ice cream. I hear you can also put it in coffee!
Last night I mixed 1 ounce of Smirnoff Kissed Caramel vodka and a splash (maybe 1-2 tablespoons) of Coffee-mate Caramel & Coconut. So good.
Category: Food, LOTUS Recommends
Written by Lotus on Saturday, 17 of August , 2013 at 11:04 am
Item 29 on my Summer 2013 Bucket List is “Take Your Pet on a Trip.” I don’t have my own pet, but I do have a lot of dogs I watch from time to time. For the last week or so one of my “god-dogs” Auggie has been staying with me. He’s a dapple mini dachshund. He’s a great travel buddy because he’s small and low-maintenance.
Auggie is named after the city of St. Augustine, FL. Coincidentally, it’s also where I went to college. Obviously, we have a special connection. St. Augustine is the first city in the U.S. (so, pipe down, Jamestown) and is on the beach. Sadly, Auggie has never been to his namesake city or to the beach! I decided to drive us to Rehoboth Beach, DE for a a day. I found a pet-friendly hotel (The Breakers) and found a few pet-friendly restaurants (Hobo’s in Rehoboth and Gilligan’s in Lewes).
Unfortunately, dogs aren’t allowed on the boardwalk or on Rehoboth Beach. However, the nearby Dewey Beach does allow dogs before 9:30 a.m. and after 5:30 p.m.
Even though we couldn’t go on the beach, we did walk along Rehoboth Avenue. Many of the shops were ok with me bringing in Auggie since I was able to hold him and because he’s well-behaved. (Ok, he was also really tired.) A few favorite stores are Dolle’s Salt Water Taffy, Olde Salt, which sells knick-knacks and clever signs, and Critter Beach, a pet store that sells doggy ice cream, clothing and other pet items. I got Auggie a Hawaiian-print bandana and a dog biscuit shaped and iced like an orange creamsicle.
I’m really glad Martha Stewart’s Summer Bucket List included this in addition to other trip ideas. Bringing a pet really adds a different dynamic. It’s important to go to a pet-friendly location because you don’t want to ever leave a pet in your car during the summer months (or spring in hotter climates).
Final note: Why are so many northerners into eating French fries on the beach? Plus they load them with cheese, crab meat, vinegar and other toppings. It doesn’t seem like good beach food. This is a trend I don’t get at all.
Category: Summer 2013 Bucket List, Cute boys
Written by Lotus on Sunday, 4 of August , 2013 at 6:18 pm
Disclaimer: This post is solely about weddings I’ve seen on TLC’s “Four Weddings.” I mean no offense to those who may have had or will have any of these in their wedding. Clearly, I should never be allowed in public, especially on a day when two people are celebrating their love. On that note, here are a couple wedding trends that really bug me when I’m home alone and watching TLC on a Friday night.
I haven’t been to a wedding in five or six years, but the “Viennese Hour” seems to be a new thing. In addition to dessert and/or a wedding cake, you apparently have to give your guests a wide array of desserts — cookies, pies, cheesecakes, cake pops, chocolate fountains (though I think those are now out), among other things. What’s next? Nightcap Hour? Breakfast?
Like the Viennese Hour, I think catering companies and wedding planners made a pact that these two things were the best way to raise everyone’s bottom line. Actually, my gripe isn’t with hosts on this one. It’s specifically for the catty women on “Four Weddings” who expect a full meal during cocktail hour. I’ve seen episodes where there are a few passed items and a cheese table. They always complain there isn’t enough food. Really? You want an entire meal before the meal and cake (and Viennese Hour)? Some of the weddings, actually most of the weddings, on “Four Weddings” have an entire buffet of food. Here’s my rule: I don’t need any cocktail hour food that requires a fork and knife.
“The couple has written their own vows…”
Is there any other phrase that garners more internal groans and fake smiles at once? Ok, it’s not that I don’t want people to proclaim their love for one another. It’s that “their own vows” now seems like forced quirkiness. It’s not just the love, but the details they think make them quirky and unique, i.e. “I promise to let you hold the remote… sometimes.” Ha ha ha, says the audience while looking at their watches. Want to make your guests happy? Keep it short, simple and less like a Cathy cartoon.
I’m starting to see a pattern. A lot of my gripes are related to food. I am not much of red meat eater. If I do eat red meat, I usually like it medium-well to well-done. I understand I am in the minority. Some women on “Four Weddings” do not. So often they score down other women’s weddings because red meat is served rare or medium. In many cases the chef is serving the cut correctly, but the women have different personal preferences. Accept that you live in a world where you are in the minority. Or simply ask the waiter for a piece of meat that’s more well-done and then give a better score because service was great. This also goes for picky eaters. Oh, you don’t eat gluten and you’re a vegan? Is this your first time out in public? The world, especially a private wedding, isn’t responsible for accommodating you.
Tiffany blue only looks good on a box or item that is stamped or engraved with “Tiffany & Co.” Not chair covers. Not bridesmaids’ dresses. Not napkins. Not wedding cakes. That is all.
Call me traditional, but if you would do it at a sporting event, you shouldn’t do it in a wedding dress. I’m talking specifically about the couples who enter their receptions with fist-pumping worthy of a Jersey Shore nightclub.
Category: Trash TV
Written by Lotus on Wednesday, 31 of July , 2013 at 10:22 am
Item 30 on Martha Stewart’s Summer 2013 Bucket list is to find the perfect summer theme son. While channel surfing this morning I think I found one. I think “Blurred Lines” has been forced on everyone this summer, so while that may have been a safe choice, I just couldn’t get into it. Enter, One Direction. I was never a boy band fan, even when I was their target audience. I have to admit though that their new song “Best Song Ever” is pretty catchy. It seems fitting for my Best Summer Ever that the theme should be “Best Song Ever.” Sorry, Robin Thicke.
Category: Summer 2013 Bucket List
Written by Lotus on Sunday, 28 of July , 2013 at 5:00 pm
I saw a piece over at the Washingtonian written by the cofounder of Birchbox on the five beauty items she can’t live without. I’m not a Birchbox subscriber, but it got me to thinking about some of my favorite things. The worst is when you find a product (beauty, food, or whatever) and then can no longer find it. I’m looking at you, Trader Joe’s. Amazon has been great for someone like me who is resistant to trade in old favorites. Here are five of my favorite things that I routinely buy on Amazon.
Just Cavalli Her by Roberto Cavalli Eau de Toilette
I love this perfume and have been wearing it for at least 10 years. It’s no longer sold in stores. Sometimes the bottles I receive are marked “Tester.” Also, I’ve seen reviewers sometimes complain about them being fakes or not as potent. It’s possible, though I suppose age might also have something to do with it since Just Cavalli is no longer manufactured. If you have a different favorite perfume, Amazon seems to be a good place for finding backstock
Estee Lauder Ideal Light Brush on Illuminator (Soft Pink)
Even though this awesome concealer is still sold in stores like Blue Mercury, they no longer carry it in Soft Pink. I seriously don’t understand why they stopped making the best (and lightest) color for an illuminator product. Am I the last one to know that dark undereye circles are now in? I’m not exactly a pale face and the next lightest color is still too dark for me.
Barney Butter Almond Packets
These 90-calorie packs of almond butter are great. I haven’t seen them in stores. They’re comparable to Justin’s Butters, but a little cheaper. The packs are handy and it tastes great just by itself. I’m a nut butter purist, I suppose.
I don’t do large pills, so I take all my vitamins in gummy form. Amazon has the best deals and the most variety. I take Women’s multi-vitamin, Omega-3, B12, Fiber, Glucosamine, and Calcium with D. Look for sugar-free when available. Even though I take a few sugar-free variet
Free Books on Kindle
There are a ton of free (and deeply discounted) books available for Kindle. Check out the Pixel of Ink blog and sign up for their email list for a daily email of recommendations.
(Note: This isn’t a sponsored post, I just happen to love Amazon. You can probably find some of these items on eBay, Overstock, and other sites.)
Category: LOTUS Recommends
Written by Lotus on Saturday, 27 of July , 2013 at 5:03 pm
The next item I did on my/Martha Stewart’s Summer 2013 Bucket list was to make a dessert with fresh summer fruit. Someone bought me a dozen juicy, ripe peaches from a farmer’s market, so I put them to use. Of course, I did have to enjoy a few on their own first.
I used this generic recipe for Fruit Crumble from Epicurious. The only thing I did differently was use honey-roasted almonds instead of plain almonds.
Not pictured: The perfect scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Category: Summer 2013 Bucket List, Food
Written by Lotus on Sunday, 14 of July , 2013 at 9:55 am
Item number 21 on my Summer 2013 Bucket List was to go to a farmer’s market. Truthfully, I will do this several times before the summer ends. On Friday I went to the local market just a few miles from my house. I purchased the grape tomatoes and cherry heirloom tomatoes in the photo above. Not pictured: The ham and cheese croissant I nearly devoured on the drive home.
I used a handful of each tomato to make a shrimp salad. It’s a random mix of my favorite things, so feel free to make it your own.
Shrimp and Avocado Salad
8-10 cooked shrimp
Half an avocado, cubed
1/4 cup fresh or frozen cooked corn
10-15 cherry and/or grape tomatoes, cut to your liking
1/4 cup crumbled Feta cheese
Coarse salt, as needed
Mix all in a bowl. If the avocado is ripe, it will coat all the ingredients as a sort of dressing. I also like a bit of Green Goddess dressing on top.
Category: Summer 2013 Bucket List, Food