Fall into a New Chapter

September 17, 2013

Hello again! Well, it appears we have reached the end of summer. I love a lot of things about Fall. The crisp weather, the beauty in NYC parks and of course New York Fashion Week! But, its still hard to leave behind the beautiful warm days out on the water with friends, family and Turtle Time! Luckily, Turtle Time works in all seasons!

The transition of seasons was especially hard this year as Mario and I sent Avery off to college.  It had been a very emotional time getting ready to send our only ‘baby’ off on her own but we began to look at all the positives. We are so proud of Avery and everything she has accomplished. She worked very hard all through her school career and we know she will continue to thrive. College is a time to grow, learn about yourself and have many new experiences. We can’t wait to head down to Atlanta for Parents Weekend and hear all of her stories thus far!

 Mario and I also realized this could a special time for us and our marriage.  Now that Avery is at college there is a lot less every day stress and worry. We can now spend some time focusing on the two of us with special dinners and nights together. Even some nights apart for personal time. The other day Mario was watching sports in one room and I was dancing and cleaning in the other lol. When focusing on the positive, it makes the life transition easier on us. But we did perfect our FaceTime skills just so we can still squeeze in our family time (when Avery allows for it!).  

I appreciate all of your support during this time. Everyone’s messages and tweets from those who have gone through this process already or were going through it for the first time same as me, was so wonderful to read. You guys are the absolute best!

 

So, its time to embrace this season change and all that comes with it.

Til next time..

Ramona

Advertisements

Summer Days….

August 9, 2013

Hello again! I hope everyone has been enjoying their summer. As I sit here on a rainy day, I decided to go through some of my photos and relive the past couple of months. Its been amazing! Mario and I have been very lucky to cherish some great moments with Avery before she is off to college.

We have been fortunate to be invited to some amazing events in the Hamptons filled with great people, great food, great music and even some live art!

photo (17) IMG_6200

One of our family days out was with my dear friend Sheila on her stunning yacht!

photo (20) photo (19)

It took awhile but we finally got to the beach for the first time this summer! We packed up our coolers and baskets and had a full spread! I did not brave the jet ski but I was happy to watch safely from the sand!

photo (22) photo (21)

Everybody knows its not really Turtle Time without the frick to my frack! We loved having Sonja with us for the weekend. We laughed, danced and even got in a little workout!

workout sonja

We are down to our final two week before we take Avery to college. Its an emotional time for us but we are so proud of her as she embarks on this new journey. Until then, we are going to cherish every single moment we have with her!

photo (26)IMG_0551

Hope you are all continuing to have a fabulous summer! I shared a photo of a grilled tuna Nicoise salad I made and the response was incredible! Anytime you are interested in recipes, gardening tips, outfits etc that you see me post photos of, please let me know! I love sharing the details! Find the salad recipe below.

 

First, have your tuna marinating in some olive oil and garlic. While it’s marinating, boil some small new potatoes and prepare your hard boiled eggs. In a separate pot, begin the blanching of the French string beans process. You will want to boil the string beans for 5-6 minutes, drain and then cover them with cold water for a bit so they are slightly cooked but still crisp.

 

At this point, throw your tuna on the grill and then being preparing the salad platter with Bibb and Endive lettuce, anchovies, olives, chopped tomatoes and parsley. Add your blanched string beans, potatoes and eggs. When your tuna is grilled to perfection, place on top and serve with the salad dressing of your choice on the side!

BPx2y5ACUAAVZBF

For those who do not like tuna, you may replace with grilled chicken!

 

Enjoy!

 

Heat Wave Pasta!

July 16, 2013

Hello again! I hope you have all been enjoying your summer so far! If you live on the East Coast, especially New York, you are well aware that we are in the middle of a serious heat wave!! Every day it feels like a cool 101 degrees and its brutal. Anything that is not ice cold does not sound good to me.

Last night, I was thinking about what to make for dinner before I had to run off to film. I needed something quick and still somewhat healthy but everything that required heat completely turned me off. So I opened my fridge, rummaged around and started throwing a little something together.

Most of these ingredients you should be able to find in your kitchen already.  First I put on a pot of water to boil. While that was boiling, I sliced some cherry tomatoes in half and drizzled with a tiny bit of olive oil and put them in the oven at 350 degrees for 15-20mins based on how roasted you want them.

At this time, the water was ready and I threw in a serving size of whole wheat penne pasta to cook for about 10-12 minutes.  While the tomatoes and pasta were cooking, I threw some baby spinach into a pan and sautéed for about 5 minutes.  If you time it correctly, you can have everything done at the same time.

I grabbed a bowl and threw in the pasta, roasted tomatoes, sautéed spinach with a small splash of olive oil and lemon juice. I then put the bowl in the freezer to get a quick cool off.

During this time I went to do my hair and make-up!

When I was all ready to walk out the door, I grabbed the bowl out of the freezer and added just a little bit of sliced fresh mozzarella and that’s it! It was a colorful and refreshing quick summer meal!

I’m sure with a little more thought there are some other great ingredients that could be added. What are your suggestions? What are your go to meals in this type of heat?

untitled

Xo

Ramona

Memorial Day 2013

June 13, 2013

Hello again! The Singer family if off to Africa (don’t worry there will be plenty of photos to share)! I wanted to write one more blog for you all before we’re off! I had such an incredible Memorial Day. Memorial Day holds a lot of meaning for everyone. We often kick off the Summer with BBQs but it all stems from the celebration of remembering those who served our country. A great Patriotic holiday!

Every Memorial Day I have a gathering at my home for dinner. Theses dinners have been anywhere from twelve people to sixty people. So much is going on right now so we decided to have one table of twelve wonderful friends.

I marinated and grilled some shrimp and served with toast. Crisp, light and refreshing start to dinner.

md6

I served pasta in fresh pesto sauce and then provided different toppings for people to choose from. A fun little make your own pasta bar!

md3

I set out my antique gold china and cut fresh flowers from my personal garden for the table!

md2

Mario lit all the candles and set out our American decor while we waited for our guests to arrive!

md1

After dinner it was obviously TURTLE TIME!

md8

md7md11md12

We ended the night with some birthday cake!!

md

Avery’s Senior Prom

June 3, 2013

Hello again! Thank you for the great response on my flower blog! Its been quite the month in the Singer residence. I can’t believe Avery turned 18, had prom and is graduating all in a matter of a month. Where does time go?!
 It has been a really emotional time for me. I am very lucky to have such a great relationship with my daughter but it makes it that much harder to see her grow up and prepare to leave for college. Being a mother, you hope she has everything she needs for the real world.

DSC02217 DSC02198 (3)

Prom day was hectic! I had girls running around in sweats getting their hair and makeup done and planning for the night’s events. I have to admit I loved it. I’m going to miss those days when they are all away at their respective colleges.
When Avery and her girlfriends (who are like bonus daughters to me) walked out of her room all dressed up, I burst into tears. Avery looked like such a stunning young woman. I’ve never been so proud.
BKfoJEACAAAJIr9
Avery’s dress was gorgeous! We had spent a whole day shopping and found it at BCBG. Her Schutz shoes completed the look.
DSC02675
We did all of the formal corsage/boutennire photos. She went with one of her very best friends who made sure to take care of her and watch out for her and her friends all night. I made sure of it! lol
DSC02677
Parents held a pre-prom party where Mario met us and he was just as floored as I was. We were both just so  proud to see our little girl all grown up and looking so beautiful.
DSC02716DSC02712 (1)

Hello again!

A couple of weeks ago, we celebrated Avery’s birthday with a dinner party for her girlfriends at our home. I did the flower arrangements myself and many of you asked for details on how I did it!

Flowers are one of my passions. I love gardening at my Hamptons’ home, cutting fresh flowers, taking long walks through the flower district. Its a great thing to use some creativity. I wanted to move away from the classic arrangement for this party. Avery is young and fun so thats what I wanted to capture. I wanted the table to look eclectic! I spent an afternoon strolling through NYC’s Flower District which is located on 28th Street between 6th and 7th Ave. I picked up some green floral foam, exotic green leaves, crystal beads and a bunch of flowers. I went with pinks and purples but instead of the same type of flower I did multiple different types.

182BJ2AnC7CIAA-gjH

When I arrived home, I pulled together all different size vases. I cut the floral foam to fit each vase and then saturated the foam in water. While the foam was saturating, I cut all of the flowers to the sizes I wanted them to be in each vase. This is,of course, is a matter of preference. When the flowers were cut, I put the crystal beads at the bottom of each vase. I then took the saturated floral foam and wrapped it in the green leaves, placing them in each vase. Once this is complete, I began sticking the flowers into the foam.

185 186

188 189

When I have all the vases complete, I began placing them on the table. How you place them depends on the look you are going for but I decided to scatter them a bit instead of putting them in a straight line down the center of the table.

187photo

This is a really easy and fun way to make some different centerpieces. Avery was so happy with the final look and we had a great night!!

DSC02276

Hello again! So as I sit here on another rainy day, I find myself daydreaming about the days of Summer right around the corner! So I thought I would take the time to share some of my beauty and style tips for the seasons changing.

With the heat and sun coming, most of your products should change. A heavy foundation or an oil cleanser is not needed in the Summer. For cleansing purposes, I like to go with a really light and simple cleanser that won’t strip my skin of its natural oils but is also not adding too much moisture either. I use the Tru Renewal Gentle Gel cleanser followed by the Tru Renewal Oxygen boost. At night I will use the Tru Renewal moisturizer but in the day its BEYOND important to use SPF. I can’t stress this enough! A favorite of mine right now is Kate Somerville but any SPF will do!

Foundation does not always hold well in the Summer heat and let’s face it, a fresh natural face is always best during those warmer days. During the Summer, I recommend using a tinted moisturizer that allows you to build for coverage. You are still able to use concealer for those “trouble areas” but your face won’t melt when you are out to lunch at that fabulous outdoor restaurant! I recommend Laura Mercier, both her tinted moisture (with SPF!) and the primer. Sephora has a great starter kit for a flawless face. Definitely try it!

Is anyone else as ready for Summer clothing as I am? I officially took out all my Spring and Summer outfits but the weather did not come with it! Right now it’s all about black and white. You see it in the magazines, the store windows, its everywhere! From shoes to tops, black and white are the statement pieces right now. Pour La Victoire has the BEST shoes. They are so comfortable, look like a million bucks yet affordable! They have some incredible statement shoes this season that will completely change an outfit. I truly believe you don’t need to buy a ton of new clothing to update your look. A pair of shoes will update you alone.

blog2blog3BJq7h5UCUAAFSf8

So you have your black and white outfit and your statement shoes. Now its time for a girl’s best friend, her bag! In the Summer, I am all about totes and Boho bags during the day. These bags are great because they are pretty much the Mary Poppins purse! You can throw in a cover up and some great sandals and head to the beach but you are also ready for a day of shopping and eating in town. When the weather is gorgeous, I want to go out and stay out which is why these bags come in handy. Stylish and so effective.  Pour La Victoire has mastered these as well.

Yves Medium ToteNouveau Hobo

So now that we are ready for the Summer, lets get the sun out!  I hope you enjoyed my tips and find them helpful. Be sure to head to www.RamonaSinger.com to see videos of my showroom shopping as I try to update my style a little bit based on tips that you all have been sharing with me!

Til next time…

Ramona

Reliving Aspen 2013

April 16, 2013

Hello there! I hope you are all doing well. Its been a few weeks since my Spring Break in Aspen but I like taking a little time before I look at the photos because its like I’m reliving the trip and it’s a nice little break from the work week.

This was the first year Avery went on her own Spring Break as she is now almost 18 years old. I guess this is what I have to get used to now right? I can’t believe it’s a matter of a couple of months before she is off to college. Mario and I went to Aspen on our own and we did have an incredible time together. That is what we’ll have to cherish while Avery is gone!

 

As if NYC was not getting enough snow, Mario and I jetted off to Aspen to meet with some of our closest friends.  We got there just in time to celebrate St Patty’s Day! We bought all of our silly gear and headed out to dance the night away. It was the perfect start to our vacation!

 

aspen14






While I love lounging on beaches on my vacations I love being active as well! Mario and I did a lot of skiing!  Here we are all ready on Snow Mass Mountain. Afterwards we would head to Sky Bar for some unwinding and always met some great people!

 

aspen1  aspen12

 

aspen13  aspen4

 

 

There was a ton of snow in Aspen. So much that sometimes there simply was not any visibility to ski. Those were the days I tried to just relax and enjoy the beauty I was surrounded by that you just don’t’ get to enjoy in the city.

aspen10 aspen13

 

 

I took a couple of days to just walk around and enjoy Aspen. Explore a little. I loved the homes I came across. From tiny eclectic ones to homes so big they wouldn’t fit on my phone camera! There is so much character all around.

aspen11    aspen3

 

 

During the last couple of days I made sure to get as much skiing in as possible. Especially with my best friend Marla as we hit Ajax!

aspen5

 

We opened the trip with St Pattys Day and ended it with a Mexican Fiesta! It was such a great trip and Avery had a blast on her own trip. But I have to admit…I can’t wait for our next vacation as the little Trifecta we are!

aspen9

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Easter Basket Cupcakes

March 26, 2013

Spring is here! (Even though it does not quite feel like it in NYC!) Easter is right around the corner. I wanted to share one of my favorite recipes for Easter desserts: Easter Basket cupcakes. There are so many great things about these cupcakes. One, how cute are they? They are perfect to set up as a decorative centerpiece or even place one at each setting.

They can also be customized to showcase all of your favorite treats and flavors. Below is one great recipe from TasteofHome.com. When  I make them, I use low fat butter and cream cheese so I feel a little less guilty but a splurge is always okay on the holidays. Enjoy!

exps20352_TH10384D48

Ingredients

•             1/2 cup butter, softened

•             1 cup sugar

•             1 egg

•             1 teaspoon grated orange peel

•             2 cups cake flour

•             3/4 teaspoon baking soda

•             1/2 teaspoon baking powder

•             1/4 teaspoon salt

•             2/3 cup buttermilk

•             FROSTING:

•             3/4 cup butter, softened

•             2 packages (3 ounces each) cream cheese, softened

•             1 teaspoon vanilla extract

•             3 cups confectioners’ sugar

•             1 teaspoon water

•             4 drops green food coloring

•             1-1/2 cups flaked coconut

•             Red shoestring licorice

•             Jelly beans

Directions

•             In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in the egg and orange peel. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk.

•             Fill paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

•             In a small bowl, beat butter, cream cheese and vanilla until smooth. Gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar; spread over cupcakes. Combine water and food coloring in a large resealable plastic bag; add coconut. Seal bag and shake to tint. Sprinkle over cupcakes.

•             Using a metal or wooden skewer, poke a hole in the top on opposite sides of each cupcake. Cut licorice into 6-in. strips for handles; insert each end into a hole. Decorate with jelly beans. Yield: 1-1/2 dozen.

Nutritional Facts

1 serving (1 each) equals 351 calories, 18 g fat (11 g saturated fat), 51 mg cholesterol, 273 mg sodium, 47 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 3 g protein.