Sunday Stories

This Sunday Stories feature has been on a bit of an unplanned summer hiatus.  Between being on the road for work most of the summer, and hitting the books for my own graduate classes each and every day, I've fallen a bit behind on this.

As summer vacation for most people winds down - and I have a week before fall media tours and classes begin again - Sunday Stories returns this week, and hopefully for many more Sundays to come.  Instead of focusing exclusively on stories from the last week, here are a few highlights from the last couple of months.

Alley outside Brattle Book Shop, West Street, Downtown Boston.

Alley outside Brattle Book Shop, West Street, Downtown Boston.

Do your reading habits change with the seasons?  I don't think mine depend so much on the season as much as what I need to focus on for work and school.

Books are also top of mind for colleges that distribute summer reading lists to their students.  Here are the most popular books that appeared on those lists this summer.

Did you take a summer vacation?  Scotland is high on the list of places Scott and I want to go.  If this post from Aspiring Kennedy doesn't make you want to drop everything and trek to the Isle of Skye this very minute, I don't know what will.

Srsly?  I don't know one person who will hire you if you do this.

Lemon desserts are my fave, and my mom's lemon bar recipe is one of my favorites.  But this one looks like it will become a new addition to my recipe collection.

If you blinked, you missed The Spotted Cheetah - a Cheetos pop-up restaurant.  Because we all need to eat more junk food, right?

Your guide to popular places to Instagram from in New York City.  You're welcome..

Apparently, I am not the only person who tries to figure out the floor plans of fictitious homes and offices on movies and TV shows.

Finally, you can definitely count me in the category of people who just love it when autumn rolls around.

Have a lovely week!

 

Save Big on a Char-Broil Grill

Ah, summer grilling!  It's all about relaxing and enjoying time with family and friends, and savoring a good steak or burger.  I'm heading to Arkansas next weekend to visit my dad, and he knows that whenever I come in, dinner will be cooked on the grill.

That's why I'm so excited to partner with Char-Broil on grilling segments this summer.  If you're in the market for a new grill, the new Signature Series 3 Burner Gas Grill I showed on CBS Nashville is so versatile, it is ideal for those with a lot of grilling experience, or those who want to cook like a pro the first time out.

Even better, from now through June 10, you can get 20 percent off this grill exclusively at Char-Broil's website - you even get free shipping!  Just enter the code "CBSUMMER17" at checkout to get your savings. 

Happy shopping - and happy grilling!

With "Talk of the Town" host Meryll Rose at WTVF-TV.

With "Talk of the Town" host Meryll Rose at WTVF-TV.

What are you cooking this weekend?

Summer in the City

Even if you have never watched the classic Marilyn Monroe film "The Seven Year Itch," you have at least seen the iconic subway grate scene.

When I first saw this on a movie channel in high school, though, what I remembered most was that mothers in this 1955 film would take the kids to the country or the beach for the summer, while most of the men stayed behind to work (and presumably chase Marilyn and her friends) in sweltering, non-air-conditioned Manhattan.

Fleeing New York City during the summer is still a "thing," albeit on a much smaller scale.  (Why work in the city when you can take your iPhone and laptop to the beach?)  As a result, in the more residential (read: non-tourist) areas, people clear out, leaving those of us who don't rent houses in the Hamptons to have the run of the place - especially on weekends.

If you visit and spend most of your time in Times Square or downtown, you will probably not notice this phenomenon.  But neighborhoods like our Upper East Side Yorkville 'hood are relatively quiet - especially as summer winds down in late August.  The sidewalks are empty, you can go grocery shopping without having people bump into you, you can easily hail a taxi at almost any hour, and you can get a table at almost any restaurant. 

You still can't get "Hamilton" tickets, but hey, you can't have everything.

On a recent weekend, we took full advantage of the lack of crowds.  Since I have traveled for work most weeks - and even some weekends - this summer, it is always nice to have a full weekend at home with Scott, without either of us having to pack a bag and go to the airport on Sunday.

One Friday night, we got the party started with a free performance of "The Taming of the Shrew" at Shakespeare in the Park.

Saturday morning, after walking up to East Harlem to pick up cakes for a going-away party for friends at church, we just enjoyed strolling around the empty streets. 

We then dropped by Luke's Lobster for lunch.  We ordered one meal to share (we're kind of sappy and romantic that way), enjoying the fact that this joint was less crowded than any lobster place on a beach might be.

LukesLobster.jpg

This was followed by a walk in the park, then a friend's birthday party on the rooftop of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  In addition to bars and gorgeous views of Central Park, the Met rooftop has an exhibition space that is currently occupied by what is referred to as the "PsychoBarn."  Not to be missed if you are in town through - appropriately enough - Halloween.

Psychobarn.jpg

We wrapped the evening at a romantic Italian restaurant, snagging a quaint sidewalk table on a Saturday night with no wait or reservation.  On our early morning walk before church on Sunday, we only encountered a few people walking their dogs in our neighborhood park, Schurz Park.

Only two more summer weekends before everyone is back in the city, school starts, and fall craziness is underway.  

How do you celebrate the end of summer?  What are your weekend plans?

Hot Hot Hot

Sometimes, weather totally interferes with plans for TV segments - especially when we plan to do the segment outside.

That was most definitely not the case this week.  I was already booked to do a segment on "keeping your cool in the summer heat," and this week's historic heat wave in the southwest - including Southern California - cooperated quite nicely.  Perfect timing for my segment at CBS Los Angeles!

You can check out the segment by clicking the photo below:

"KCAL News at Noon," KCAL-TV, Los Angeles

"KCAL News at Noon," KCAL-TV, Los Angeles

Here are a few of the items I showed for several companies on this segment:

  • Stylish dresses, sunhats and strappy sandals from Coldwater Creek.  For extra protection from the sun, look for hats that offer at least SPF50 protection.
  • Colorful rash guards for children of all ages from Lands' End - also with SPF50 protection.
  • Ice cream is refreshing, but it melts into ice cream soup in about five minutes.  A great alternative is yummy frozen pudding; when it starts to melt - it just turns into pudding!  The perfect treat for a summer picnic, find it in great flavors such as Nana Banana, Campfire Chocolate and Coconut Creme Pie from little spoon frozen pudding.
  • Stylish water bottles from S'well.  They keep cold drinks cold for up to 24 hours - including the white wine you may want to tote along for your picnic.
  • A sunscreen for every activity and skin type from Neutrogena.
  • Stylish sunglasses with 100% UV protection and polarized lenses from Warby Parker.  Their Upper East Side store is just a few blocks from our apartment, and we walk by every Sunday on our way to and from church.  Not surprisingly, I have accumulated an entire wardrobe of their stylish and affordable sunglasses.

Stay cool!

The Heat Is On

June is here - which means summer heat will soon arrive in many parts of the country.

To help all of us keep our cool this summer, I partnered with several companies for a segment this morning on Denver's "Everyday" show.  From breezy dresses to sunscreen to yummy frozen pudding (!!!), here is the clip of the segment and the "cool" products I shared: