Sunday, May 20, 2018

My Mama Bear - Even For a Stranger

I almost didn't feel the need share this crazy story of mine but, in the midst of my fury and feelings of total helplessness from this week's news, I'm trying to remember the positive things in my life; the things I actually can do to make a difference, even if it's a small one.

I recently flew to California for my grandfather's memorial. On my way there, I had to make a connecting flight in Phoenix. My flight into Phoenix arrived late, so I missed my connection. I was stuck in Phoenix for the night, alone, it was late, I was tired. I had checked my luggage so all I had was my carry on - a book, my purse and a bottle of water.

I stumbled around the airport and found the information desk. I asked for a list of nearby hotels and was told there were many, but they would probably all be booked solid due to events happening that weekend. I started cold calling from the long list of hotels anyway.

While I was calling (and finding that the hotels were indeed booked solid), I noticed a young lady beside me who was in the same predicament; she had missed her connection to LAX and was stranded at the airport. I noticed she had an accent. I shared the hotel list with her and we both made calls looking for available rooms.

Seven phone calls later, she was the first to find an available room, the last room left at this hotel. While I continued to call around for a room for myself, and while she was trying to book her room, I learned that she was only 17, had been traveling the US for the last three weeks alone, and was on her way home to New Zealand.

Since she was only 17, the hotel would not allow her to reserve the room. She hung up. The employee at the information desk turned to me and said that I should take advantage of this opportunity, call that hotel and take the room for myself.

I stood there like a deer in headlights. What do I do? Could I really take this room for myself, and in front of this strange girl, and leave her there to figure out her own way?

I called the hotel, started booking the room, and then made a choice that I didn't really think about first. I turned to this young lady from New Zealand and told her that I was going to get this room for myself...and that she was coming with me.

We had been standing there together for all of 10 minutes. I didn't even know her name. It was midnight. The airport was close to empty. But I knew I had to take her with me.

I told her I was 40 and married and had kids of my own. I was stuck at the airport, too. I showed her pictures of my family. I told her I was from Colorado, to which she asked me "Is Colorado one of the states?" Funny. I did everything I could think of to make her feel safe, and that this was OK. We both had flights out the next morning.

So that's what I did - I took her with me.

About an hour later, we arrived at the hotel. I found that she and I felt very relaxed with each other. There were no awkward silences, no judging looks from either of us. I gave her one of the room keys. We kicked off our shoes and slept in our clothes since neither of us had luggage. Right before I fell asleep, I was lying there in the dark thinking - I am in a strange room in a strange city with a strange girl from New Zealand. It was surreal. I wondered if she was thinking the same about me. Probably.

After a few hours of sleep, we awoke at 5am to go back to the airport. She made a joke and said, "I need to pack before we go" threw her phone into her carry on bag and said "OK, all packed!"

When we were back at the airport, I walked her to her gate. I gave her a hug and told her good luck. I didn't ask for her phone number or email to keep in touch, and she didn't ask for mine. Just a simple hug, a goodbye, and I turned and left her there to find my own gate. I never even found out her last name.

Hopefully she got home safely. Hopefully, one day, she'll remember that crazy weird night and pay it forward. Hopefully, she left the US on a good note and knows that we Americans aren't all what the rest of the world must think we've become.

It was nice meeting you, Kaitlynn.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Mama Chemistry

Hi bitches. I'm back.

It's been a long journey since I moved back to CO - obviously I've been slacking on the blog: according to my header I'm still in Philly.

I've been wanting to get back to writing because, gawd, I love it. That said, I've had this blog for so long and stopped because I feel like I'm writing in circles; the kids are crazy, I'm going crazy because they're crazy...diapers, then school, then parent teacher conferences, homework and packing lunches over and over...

So, when I get the writing urge, I question myself - am I really that interesting anymore? Maybe not?

Why would anyone want to read about the SAME things about being a wife and mother over and over?

Oh gee, my kid crapped his pants again. Sweet. 

Wow, I love waking up and having to clean cat barf off of the floor...again. 

Oh shit, I forgot to get the mail this week. Not just today, but the entire WEEK. I hope the mailman doesn't hate me. I need remind myself to leave him a nice tip next Christmas.

My ten-year-old daughter just looked me straight in the eyes and told me she wasn't going to take a shower tonight. Ok then. Go to school smelly. I really want to drop the eff bomb right,, maybe I shouldn't. 

But, after talking to lots of moms with kids of all ages, last night with my neighbor sisters for instance, I've realized that we all speak the same language. Even if we roughed through it years before, the memories never go away. When we women are together, the "mom" chemistry will always remain. And sometimes a glass of wine and cold pizza together is just what we need to remember that.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Chicken Boobs

My daughter (who will be nine in less than two weeks...OMG), recently discovered my blog.  She was mildly happy that she was featured in some of the blogs, so now she's been asking to "write" a few posts about funny instances our family has had.  OK, girl, you go for it.  Am I training the next generation of snarky, inappropriate bloggers?  

Maybe, teehee.

So here ya go, curtesy of my dear daughter...

So it's about 6:30 PM.  My mom and I are watching Family Feud in her room. (We call it Family Food.) and the first answer on the board was "butt".  I think the question was "What's the most hottest part of a woman's body?" (LOL, I have such a good mom.) Then,  one of the contestants answered "breasts." And DING! Breast appeared.  I suddenly thought of our fridge (I have no idea why I did) but in it at the time we had "chicken breasts" in the fridge.  I asked "Mom, if breasts are your boobs, then are we eating chicken boobs?"  My mom answered by telling me that we were eating boobs of a chicken.  I was shocked and I barely ate "chicken boobs" anymore.

I will still eat chicken breasts but I will NEVER EVER EVER EVER NEVER EVER think of them the same!!!!!!

Chicken Boobs, Yumm?

The Housewife is yeah, apparently my sweet, innocent daughter can write.  I did a small edit on her post but not much.  Oh boy.  I can only imagine what she'll write about me when she gets older.

Chicken boobs.  Awesome.  

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


I consider a woman extremely lucky if she has friends.

I'm not talking about the small-talk friends that say hello to you at the bus stop or invite your kid over for a playdate (although those are nice, too!).

I'm talking about the good friends; the ones you can be away from for five (or more) years, finally get back together and ramble on like no time has passed.

The friends that can make you laugh until you cry during your lunch date - and you don't even care that you're cry-hard laughing in front of a room full of people.

The friends that you can imagine sipping scotch and pigging out on ice cream sundaes with when you're 80.

The friends that put you up for the night, and then crawl in bed with you at midnight when she's pissed off at her husband and doesn't want to sleep in the same bed with him.

Me: (half asleep) What the hell are you doing!?

Friend: Getting in bed with you because I don't want to sleep with The Hubs.

Me: Ok.  No farting, though.

Which leads to an hour of giggles (yeah, we're pushing 40, oh lord, but I hope we'll never lose the giggling).

Friends' weekend and deciding who snores the loudest (and gets the couch), and who gets the privilege of the bed.

The friends that you've seen naked and didn't even bat an eye.

The friends that you can feel confident showing up to her house in your sweats, slippers and no makeup...and it's perfectly acceptable.

The friends that you know more secrets about than even her husband does.

The friends that can pick fries off your plate without asking during a dinner date and it's no biggie, because you already picked something off her plate.

The friends that you can cry to - the blubbering, slobbering, snot-coming-out-of-your-nose cry...and never worry that she thinks you're crazy.

The friends that you can reminisce with about funny things that happened 20 years ago, even if you weren't there.

The friends that you can just look at, and she'll know exactly what you're thinking.  This look works well when I'm wanting to make fun of someone without saying a word.  Bitchy-resting-face...move my eyes to my friend...she snorts...mission accomplished.

I'm lucky to be one of those women with good friends.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Lezbaru

So, when we moved back to Colorado, The Hubs decided he wanted a new car.  We discussed our options in great detail about what we should get.

He decided on a Subaru BRX and I agreed; a sports car it is.  OK, you've earned it, babe.  And, I admit, even though I drive a Lexus, I was a teensy bit jealous that he got to drive this little toy to work every day.  This car is cute, hella fun to drive, and a stick shift.  I take it out whenever I get the chance.

That said, it's a Subaru.  There's a joke that everyone in Colorado drives a Subaru...especially lesbians (not that there's anything wrong with that!).  I had my  fair share of girl fun back in the day...but don't tell anyone.

The Hubs calls the new car the "soobs." 

The Hubs: Honey, are you taking the soobs?  

Me: Hell yes I am.  Be back in four hours...

The Hubs: I thought you were just going to get gas?

Me: I am.  


While I think the soobs is a cute nickname, I have been fondly calling it the "lesbian sports car" (mostly to fuck with the The Hubs - just doing my wifely duties).  

The Hubs: When will you be home with the soobs?

Me: Later.  I'm going to go pick up some chicks.

The Hubs: OK.  Be home by dinner.  

Last weekend, I was telling my neighbor gal pals about the lesbian sports car and they came up with an even better name:

The Lezbaru.

Fucking brilliant.  I was laughing so hard I was crying.  These are the best neighbors ever.  They promised to sneak up to the Lezbaru in the middle of the night and put a rainbow sticker on the bumper for The Hubs to find the next morning.  I'm still waiting for that...

And, during the next gay pride parade, you can bet your ass that I'll be marching along with my rainbow flag and the Lezbaru parked nearby.  

Monday, October 20, 2014

Butt Soap

Like most housewives, I do the weekly grocery shopping.  I LOATHE grocery shopping but, hey, my people have to eat, right?  As my kids have gotten older, the bill has gotten more and more expensive...mostly because they never.stop.eating.  I swear Thomas's Bagels has made a fortune off our family alone.  And Nutella.  

To make things easier, I leave a list out so the family can add to it during the week.  And, every now and then, I get some real gems of requests....

For instance, my eight-year-old daughter has added "Trix yogert" and "froot snacks."  
Oh good, you want sugar!  Why can't she ask for wheat bread and organic fruit?

Or my son's "Axe body wash and shampoo."  (What he really means is "I want to smell good for the girls...")

Heehee.  OK son, no problem.  Done.  

But the best requests come from The Hubs.

Just today, while I was sipping on my first cup of coffee at 6:30am, I noticed him adding to the list.  Since I was still half-coherent, I didn't really pay attention to what he was writing.

An hour later, after I'd gotten the kids off to school and The Hubs had left for work, I reviewed the list and this is what I found...


Let me explain this one.  When our son was very young and still learning how to talk, he couldn't say deodorant.  So it came out as dee ya ya ya.  Ten years later, this is still a family joke, obviously.

The other thing The Hubs wrote down this morning was...

Wait for it...

"Soap to wash my butt with."

Sweeeeeet.  Thanks for the mental image, babe.  Especially since I wash my face in the shower with that same bar of soap.  I'm washing my face with butt soap.

I'm washing my face...with butt soap.  Oh God.  

Trying to think positively here...think positively, least The Hubs wants a clean tushie?    

I might have to buy extra soap this week and sharpie our names on two; one for me, one for The Hubs.  

Yes...definitely two bars of soap.  

Never a dull moment around here.  But, I admit, I do look forward to those funny grocery store requests.  Even the butt soap ones.

I'm feeling very reminiscent of my Tuna Bites experience and Relating To My Eight-Year-Old Son.

By the way, I'm going to go take a shower now...

Thursday, October 2, 2014

I've Missed You, Colorado...

After 11 years of waiting, I can now say...I'm home.  I'm sorry I've been away from blogging, but moving across the country and attempting to support my family through the transition hasn't been an easy task.  Especially since this move was mostly motivated by me.  

"Hubs, I need to go, really, I need to go home."

The kids and The Hubs were hesitant of this idea, and for good reason. 

The logistics of packing, driving 1800 miles across the country, starting over AGAIN after 5 years in Philly when we thought we'd be there for good, new job, new schools, new house...well, you get the idea.  

But, now that we're here, there are certain things that I'd forgotten that I love about Colorado.

- The sunsets.  Other than the Florida Keys, I have never seen a more beautiful sunset.

- Friendly people.  Someone will walk by, smile at me, and say "good morning!"  I still have to do a double take...wait, what?  Are they talking to me?!  I have to check myself...oh yes, good morning to you, too!

- The bike riders.  My daughter and I ride our bikes to her school every day.  The first few days, I felt silly (and you should have seen me re-learning how to peddle that sucker)...but then I learned (remembered?) that everyone rides bikes here.  I almost have to fight for my side of the sidewalk each morning, and I love it.  

- The sound of the wind blowing through a pine tree.  

- The smell of Rocky Mountain air.  

- The lack of humidity.  Although I have to use more lotion and chapstick everyday, I'm good with that.  

- Denver Bronco football fans.  Hells yes, it's good to be around my own people again (remind me to tell you the story about my car getting keyed at a Giants/Broncos game in New Jersey).  

Yep, it's good to be home.  

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Housewife is Moving...AGAIN

I know I haven't been around much but, this time, I have a really good excuse.  Like, really.  My family and I are Colorado.  Gawd, my blog header is getting ridiculous.  Las Vegas Housewife - X out.  Philly Housewife - X out.  Add Denver (anyone willing to change it for me?!).  We've been in Philly for almost five years, and the city has been good to us.  No regrets.  But I'm ready to go.  Bring on the altitude sickness and reefer addicts!  Not my thing, and it will be very strange to walk down the street and see someone smoking a doobie.  Yikes?

Denver is my hometown; I grew up there.  Sweet Home Colorado.  We've been gone 11 years, and I can't wait to go home, for good.  I don't know if you've experienced this, but moving your family across the country is hella stressful.  It's a good stress, though (an extremely supportive family and vodka helps, too).

Sooooo, you may not see much of me in the next couple of weeks.  However, stay tuned to hear about The Hub's and my new adventures of driving our two kids (and a howling cat, oh goodie) across the country, because after the Lexus joyride someone took during our car transport to Philly, there ain't no way in HELL that we're doing that again.  Packing, purging, and...who the hell knows what else will come up.  Bring it on.

Gulp.  Breathe.  And mama, I'm comin' home!   

I can't wait to dust off my Birkenstocks and braid my hair again...

Monday, June 2, 2014

The DFWM Look

As I said in my last post, my son and I are currently on good terms.  Like, really good terms.  He does what he's asked, he doesn't complain (as much), he works his little tush off at school, brushes his teeth without having to be asked, etc.  He told me just the other day, "mom, I've noticed that when I do what you say, it makes my life easier."

Well shit, son, glad you finally figured that out.  I looked to the sky and said a silent prayer...thank you, Jesus.  I know it won't last forever but, for now, I'm thankful.

My daughter, on the other hand, is a pistol.  What scares me the most is that she reminds me  Parental karma's a bitch?

Up until recently, she was connected to my hip, my BFF, my girlie girl pride and joy.

And then she turned eight.

Before then, the parental don't fuck with me "look" worked gloriously for both my kids.  If you're a parent, you probably know exactly what that "look" is.  I could give my kids the DFWM look and they'd run away screaming "OK mom!  I'll do whatever you say!"


A few weeks ago my daughter came home with a teenager attitude, so I told her to go to her room to cool off.  She looked me straight in the eye, stood her ground, and said "no."

Um OK, I'll say it again with some fluff: go to your room or you're grounded.


Go now!

"No."  Notice there is no exclamation point here.

Go to your room or...or....or...I'll take away your computer and TV privileges for a week!

I'm thinking, yeah, that'll get her.  I'm totally rocking this parental thing.


Oh shit.  Ohhhhhh shit.

This is where I started to hyperventilate.  My eight year old daughter is winning this battle.  Wasn't this not supposed to start until she's a teenager?

The first thought that came to mind was, obviously, oh shit (nice, Tasha).  The next thought was...what do I dooooooooo?  I don't know what to doooooo!

I can't threaten to take her down (although I wanted to, gulp).  I *could* pick her up and physically take her to her room, but probably not the smartest choice.  Plus, what am I going to do when she's 16?  She'd beat the crap out of me - the girl is a tough chick, even now.

This is when I started Googling and read every parenting book I could get my hands on on how to raise a respectful, kind, thoughtful kid...peacefully.

I got a few hours in and...god, I'm a shitty parent compared to these advice people.

Where's my martini?

What is with my kids?  I think they secretly conjure up plans between themselves to take turns being a-holes to me.  One's great, and the other one thinks I'm his or her worst enemy.  A few months later, the enemy and I are BFF's again and the nice kid is now the crazy one.

At eight and ten, my kids are still fairly young.  I know I have a loooooooong way to go.  Breathe.

Speaking of crazy...maybe it's not my kids.  Maybe I'm the crazy one.  Maybe.

OK, probably.

My daughter is fearless, and my son is going to be a black belt in Tae Kwon Do in a year.  God help me.

If you don't hear from me in the next six months, send a police car.  And a straight jacket.  And maybe some wine.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Sweet Spot

I'm feeling a little sentimental today...

Being a mom is the hardest job I've ever had.  And, although I think I'll always battle those guilty demons that every parent has (am I doing a good job at this...because I have NO idea what I'm doing, gulp), we all just try and do the best we can.

At least that's what I tell myself.

My son is now ten years old.  Ten?  Didn't I just give birth to this little baby boy last week?  Time flies when you're having fun?

Well, to be perfectly honest, the past ten years haven't been all fun and games.  It's been a struggle.  Temper tantrums.  Do I even like my kid right now (and am I really asking myself that)? Am I teaching him how to be a productive member of society?  Am I teaching him how to be a man?  Am I teaching how to be kind and respectful to others?  Am I feeding him healthy food?  This day really sucks...I wish I could just jump in my car and disappear for the weekend.  Did my kid really just look me in the eyes, stand his ground, and tell me no?

Oh shit.  What do I do now?

All that said, my son has reached an age where I am thoroughly enjoying his company.  Like, almost


I like to call this age "the sweet spot."


He's old enough now to fold his own laundry, make his own breakfast, take out the garbage and help me clean the house.  Does he complain?  Yes, but my look, "if you don't do this right effing now I will rock your world" still works (for now)...phew.

And, with that independence, he's also old enough to ask about politics, girl drama, how to deal with relationships with people, read huge books on his own, and vent to me about a crappy day at school without completely losing it.

He and I have long discussions about life, relationships, how to deal when something doesn't go your way...

And I love every minute of it.

Although I loved singing the ABC's to him, these conversations are even better.

The "sweet spot" comes in because, although he and I discuss religion (do you believe in God, mom?), or talk about the girl he likes at school, he's still young enough that he'll let me hold him in my arms.  He'll still come and sit on my lap every morning when he wakes up.  He'll still let me crawl in bed with him and stroke his hair before he goes to sleep.  He'll still confide to me about his ten-year-old life struggles.  I know he doesn't tell me everything but, right now, I'll take what I can get...because I know it won't last.

And when his teacher or another parent tells me, "your son is a good kid," that mom guilt is eased a bit.  It reminds me to breathe.  Breathe, Tasha.  He'll be OK, and so will you.

He won't have childhood memories of his mom baking cookies after school or doing crafts on the weekends, and sometimes I loathe driving the kids around to all their activities (taxi mom!) - and they know it.

But...when I see my son one Tae Kwon Do belt away from black, or doing Common Core math that even has me thinking "I have NO idea how the hell to figure this out," or my daughter rocking the soccer goal and charming every person she meets, I almost can't believe those kids...are MY kids?  How can those people possibly be MY kids?

I don't bake cookies.  I yell at them sometimes.  I complain about having to take them places.  I get stressed out.  I occasionally forget an activity or a birthday party.  And, yet, they're pretty amazing little people.

So, I hope my son will remember that I've loved this time with him.  I know this "sweet spot" is going to go away in the blink of an eye, but I don't ever want it to end.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Red Ball 2014 - Picture and Coverage Update

I've covered many events over the years on The Housewife Diaries but, there's something *extra* special about the Red Ball presented by Independence Blue Cross.  Maybe it's the amazing staff, the incredibly friendly guests, the gowns, the red-tie tuxedos, the food...I could go on.

The themes of the evening?  Red dresses, beauty queens and "selfies."

Let's start with the red dresses.  There are always women in red dresses at the Red Ball.  But I noticed an abundance of them this year.  If you're a woman and you've attempted to shop for a red gown (not black, not blue, not any-other-color), you know it ain't easy.  Nice job this year, ladies.  Wow.

Next, the beauty queens.  There were gorgeous women in tiaras brushing shoulders with the guests at every turn - I had the pleasure of meeting a few of them.  Part of me wanted to steal their tiaras for myself (oh, look, what's that over there? Rip!) but, truly, they all were very gracious, kind and lovely.  They obviously earned and deserve their titles and crowns.  And I promise not to steal any tiaras in the future...

And finally, the selfies.  It was a night of the Red Ball selfie.  I almost want to start a Twitter hashtag #redballselfie, because everyone was taking them (including me).

 Sooo, with all that said, let's get on with it, shall we?

One of my most favorite things about the Red Ball?  The building (the Please Touch Museum) is so GRAND.  Let's DO this!

The red carpet was a little different this year, but I liked the change.

Men, diamonds are a girl's best friend.  No, really, they are.  Trust me.  I bid on this necklace to go with the tiara I planned to steal but, unfortunately, I was outbid.

Sing it, girl!  Thanks to the CTO Band for giving it their all, as always, and for singing my new favorite song "Happy."  I took more pictures of them, but they turned out blurry because I was too busy dancing while snapping them.

Remember that word grand I was talking about?  Does a party get any more grand than this?  Nope.

Did I mention beauty queens?  Here is the lovely Miss Philadelphia and her gal pal date.

An adorable couple proudly posing with their photo booth pictures...

If you've read my past Red Ball blogs, you know I have to get a "piano by heels" picture every year.  So fun.

My heartfelt thanks to Dave Schrader, Chief Communications Officer for the American Red Cross, Southeastern PA (AKA Super Dave), for continuing to invite my snarky ass to cover this event.  I pulled him aside and asked for a selfie for the blog - a guest noticed us clumsily fumbling with the cell phone and offered to take the pic for us.  Thank you!

Dueling pianos in the VIP room.  Hysterical.  They didn't even flinch when I walked right up to them to snap their picture.  I had the sudden urge to jump on one of the pianos and do my best Michelle Pfieffer impression from The Fabulous Baker Boys.  Luckily for the guests (and the piano players), I refrained.

Love her kicky foot!  I bet her feet hurt by the end of the evening - I know mine did.

Red Ball kisses.  I actually took two pictures of these two - one with them facing me, but I chose the smoochie shot.  So sweet.

The Honorable Judge Renee Cardwell Hughes, CEO of the American Red Cross of Southeastern Pennsylvania, and Philadelphia NBC news anchor Keith Jones (on a side note, they took a selfie immediately after this - you can see it here).  

You know you have some mad people skills when you can convince a man in a tux to get down and pretend to play a fake harp.  He and his date are in the picture above.  The funniest part?  After I took this, he asked me, "where can I find those pictures?"  Little does he know, teehee!  Hopefully he sees this...

So back to the beauty queen theme, I saw the gorgeous Miss New Jersey 2013 and made a beeline for her.  She was so sweet and hospitable - she even retweeted this picture.  Thank you, Cara!  You're my pageant hero.  You can see the retweet and follow her on Twitter here.    

I love this picture.  Do you see her finger?  I want THAT.  (Samples from Eatible Delights)

Red roses and candles on all the tables again this year.  Such a nice touch.  I was tempted to grab one, hold it between my teeth and start a conga line but, again, I refrained (damn those dueling pianos and red roses!).  

The very courteous chefs from Bank and Bourbon.  Trust me people, this upcoming restaurant is not one to miss.  They were serving tomato remoulade sauce on a corn pancake.  OMG.  I know that may sound a little "out there," but I came back twice for a second (and third) helping.  Amazing.  Good luck, boys.  It's not every day that you get to see renowned chefs cooking in front of a glass case filled with rubber duckies.  I will definitely be planning a date night at your place once you open...

Champagne topped with water ice (or as the Philly locals call it, "wudder" ice).  Yummmm.  Courtesy of Mr. D's.

And, if you're not into the champagne, they also offered plain water ice.

The lovely servers from Cakes and Candies by MaryEllen.  The guests were raving over her cake pop displays on Twitter and in person.  She outdoes herself at the Red Ball every year - which is why, for the second time in three years, she won the restaurant competition again.

Maytag bleu cheese crostini courtesy of Victory Brewing Company.  If you can just imagine the crunch of the crostini with the softness of the cheese...I need to learn this recipe so I can take it to my next Stepford Wife party.  Delish.

Loved Chima Brazilian Steakhouse's slogan...and they're absolutely right.

Want to know what little gems are in those cups?  Banana foster bread pudding with bourbon creme anglaise, courtesy of Bourbon Blue.  Yeah, I know you want one.  I had one...OK two.

Ahi tuna with pickled cucumber from Devon Seafood.  I love ahi, and I've decided that my new favorite ingredient is pickled vegetables.  The sweet with the sour, mmmm.  Bring on the pickled veggies!  Devon Seafood, I'm a regular stalker and will continue to be.

Speaking of pickled veggies, The JNA Institute of Culinary Arts by FAR won my vote for the best dish of the night.  Thumbs up - y'all are going to be amazing chefs with a dish like this.  Smoked pork belly with baby radishes and pickled (pickled, yesss!) red onion salad.  Again, it might sound a little "out there" but, seriously, take a bite and it's like Disneyland in your mouth.

Slices by Peace a Pizza.  Brilliant name.

Tuna tartar with pickled cucumbers (pickled veggies again, be still my heart) by Pennsylvania 6.  Another wow, this was delish.  I'm adding this restaurant to my date-night-stalking list.  Can't wait to see their whole menu - I might have to order one of everything. favorite picture of the whole night goes to this gentleman.  I was casually strolling through the VIP room, passed by him and noticed he was alone and holding a pair of lady's shoes.  Um OK, how can I possibly walk by this man without asking for a picture?!  I took a similar pic at the Red Ball 2012, except that guy was stuck with shoes AND a purse.  "Here honey, hold my shoes!  I'll be right back!"  God bless our man dates!

He kindly posed for me and we had a giggle about the shoes.  Even holding them, doesn't he look great?

Red Ball 2014 raised more than $310,000 for Red Cross disaster relief and Red Cross House – The Center for Disaster Recovery, the one-of-a-kind short-term housing facility in University City where hundreds of local families every year begin their recovery from fires, floods, and other disasters.

“Once again, the Philadelphia region showed its overwhelming generosity and made the Red Ball a huge success,” said Judge Renee Cardwell Hughes, American Red Cross SEPA CEO. “Red Ball is the culmination of a lot of work by a lot of dedicated people, so it is very gratifying to see everyone have a great time and raise vital funds for our work at the same time.”

The public is invited to regularly check out or for the link to photos and for articles about the event.

 I hope you enjoyed the ride.  I know I did - this is my most favorite evening of the the whole year.  And that's right, bitches, I'm the media!

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