November 21, 2008

The "J" List

10 people, places and things that have influenced, dazzled and amazed me in 2008:

Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy (aka SARK)

Her funky, multicolored spirit has inspired me to believe not only can I live a “succulent” life but I can also write the Great American Novel one day. Read her lively, interactive book, Juicy Pens Thirsty Paper.

Havre de Grace, MD

Beautifully quaint Chesapeake Bay town = rest, relaxation, peace. Waterfront walks on the boardwalk, fresh seafood dinners, vibrant art scene, lavish bed and breakfast inns, antique store gems and elegant day spas. What did I forget? Oh yeah, big time golf.

Jo Malone White Jasmine Mint Cologne

The only fragrance I’ve ever worn that is so divine that it’s perfect no matter what the occasion, event or time of year.

I don’t quite understand how 4 drops of this stuff on your tongue can make the world seem like a much rosier place but I don’t leave the house without a bottle of this in my purse.

The Quilts of Gee’s Bend

Read the history of the amazing Alabama quiltmakers who have crafted spectacular works of art then head over to the Philadelphia Museum of Art where you can view 74 of these extraordinary quilts until December 14, 2008.

The New York Times Little Black (and White) Book of Crosswords

Will Shortz is the renowned editor of the famous New York Times Crossword Puzzles and you can find 200 of the newspaper's best in this sleek, spiral-bound book. Puzzles are part of my prescription for longevity. They challenge me to think in uncommon ways and some scientists believe that doing them can help ward off Alzheimer’s disease.

Tavalon Gravity Teapot

A great invention for tea lovers. Making the perfect cup without having to use those messy, drippy tea balls is a god-send.

I’m cheating on my boyfriend with a Rasta, a chocolate truffle made with Jamaican sorrel, fresh ginger, nutmeg, mango, white chocolate and hibiscus flower. It’s not a casual affair….


This New African Jazz & Soul artist has been likened to the late Miriam Makeba. That’s lofty praise but well deserved. I saw her live at Joe's Pub in New York City and I got it. Just listen to her song, “Ingele” and you’ll understand too.

The Gynecologic Cancer Foundation

As many families have experienced, cancer touched my family late last year when my mother was diagnosed with cervical cancer. This incredible organization provided us a wealth of information and support during my mother’s treatment and recovery this year. Good news: Mom’s been cancer-free for over a year.

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