Lena Corazon

Flights of Fancy

Tag: recipes

ROW80: Holiday Preparations In Progress!

Happy Sunday, friends! This weekend I’m gearing up for the Thanksgiving celebration on Thursday. My sister and I are in charge of cooking this year, and we’ve just finalized the official menu. We’ll be making Patti Labelle’s famous macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes and candied yams from the Pioneer Woman, and what will hopefully be a super-tasty apple crisp.

I’m pretty sure I’m going to look something like this on Thursday afternoon:


Here’s how the rest of the week has gone:


I’ve been feeling yucky most of this week, so I’ve opted to sleep in instead of waking up for my early morning writing sessions. With that said, I wrote about 200 words today–not much, but it’s a decent start to this chapter.

For the week to come:

  • Continue work on this chapter. I’m going to treat it like a zero draft, and just write it like I’m writing notes to myself–no worries about academic jargon or “sounding smart.”
  • Finish note-taking on the Sisters of the Holy Family’s official annals. I’ll be heading back to their convent archive in a couple of weeks, and I want to be caught up with my research.


It’s week 3 of my ROW80 check-ins, and that’s WAY better than I’ve done for most of this year, and probably most of last year. I also pulled together a non-ROW80 post: a silly Monday pick-me-up with the sweetest little sloths ever.

For the week to come:

  • Keep up the momentum of commenting/visiting everyone else’s blogs. I’ve slacked on this, but with the long weekend coming up, I’ll hopefully have more time to do this.
  • Finish my post for Friday. I will (fingers crossed) be launching a “Friday Reads” book review series. I’ve drafted a post, but I need to put some finishing touches on it.


I finished a book this week like I was hoping–A DANGEROUS INVITATION by Erica Monroe, which was AWESOME. I’ll be posting more about it on Friday. I haven’t been journaling, partly because I’ve just been so darn tired, and those magazines I bought last week? Still haven’t read them. Claiming time for myself, and trying to be deliberate in my self-care efforts, is really darn difficult.

I’m going out of town for Thanksgiving weekend to Carmel for a relaxing, romantic weekend. That’ll hopefully be a good excuse to hang out at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, stroll on the beach, and drink some wine in front of the fireplace.

For the week to come:

  • Read another book! I’m only 15 books behind for my Goodreads challenge, and I’ve got a ton on my Kindle that I haven’t even touched.
  • More journaling. My allergies seem to be (sorta) under control, and I only work Monday and Tuesday this week, so I will hopefully have a little more time to write.


And that’s it for me! For my friends in the US, how are your Thanksgiving preparations coming? Any exciting plans for the long weekend?

Don’t forget to say hello to everyone else checking in for the week.  Best of luck to everyone working towards a NaNoWriMo win!

Kicking off ROW80 with Goals, a Party, and Vintage Cocktails

Welcome back, ROWers! Round 2 of ROW80 is about to begin. Are your engines revved and ready to go?

For my friends and readers not in-the-know, ROW80 stands for A Round of Words in 80 Days, the “writing challenge that knows you have a life.” Better yet, it is comprised of a community of amazing writers who are some of the most supportive, hilarious, and creative folks that you’ll ever find, online or off.

I’m kicking off ROW80 with what is potentially the most amazing trifecta of awesomeness ever: my new goals for this round, details for our ROW80 party coming up on APRIL 4th, and some drinky-fun to get you in the mood.

First up: The Goals. I’m keeping it short and simple this time around.

1. Day Job: Refine my dissertation topic, and try to write 1000-1500 each week. This writing can take any form, including brainstorms, reading notes, and dissertation proposal drafts.

2. Writing: Finish TELL ME NO LIES, and try to write an average of 500 words each day.

3. Exercise: Work out 4-5 days each week, and continue to whittle down my sugar intake.

4. Social Media: Blog twice a week, and comment on at least 10 blogs each week.

And now, what you’ve been waiting for: the 411 on the upcoming ROW80 party! Even the Party Sloth is ready to rock.

  • Theme: “Throwback Party”
    Oh yes, we are going WAY back.  This party is a celebration of generations, music, and fashions.  We want you to come on Wednesday ready to kick it like you used to “back in the day.”  All outfits are welcome, Lena’s stirring up some munchies and beverages to last all night, and DJ Barbara will be spinning tunes for all decades.
  • Date: April 4, 12:01 AM to 11:59 PM EST in the U.S.
    This will also be the first day of Round Two check-in so there should be a bevy of ROW80 peeps and friends wandering around the blogosphere.
  • Party will be held at the #ROW80 hashtag.
    Include that in your Tweet and join in!
  • Blog with Photos Competition:
    From April 2 to April 8, we want you to keep the party going and post some “Throwback Party” ROW80 celebrations.  Just make sure to include some pics in the post that reflect the theme and let your party monster rage.  Whatever you want to do to work this into your post, go for it.  We trust you are a creative bunch.  Then, we’ll review them and decide on the best to spotlight in a post. 

To enter the blog competition:

  • Create a blog that reflects the “Throwback Party” theme.
  • Creativity is a plus as are great pictures.  We know there are some folks holding a treasure of pics showing them in their glory with bell bottom, platform shoes, biker, poodle skirts, and tie-dyed ponchos.
  • Lena and I will look at the comments on our ROW80 blogs for recommendations of top picks as well as review them all for inclusion of top picks/faves in a mashup and for your vote.
  • To enter the blog competition, click here (Link forthcoming).

My co-host, Barbara McDowell, is throwing down the jams to get you in the mood. I’ve got the drinks you’ll need to have you dancing on the tabletops with a lampshade on your head in no time. I LOVE vintage cocktails, so here are a few recipes to get you into that period mood.

A slippery nipple shooter

A slippery nipple shooter (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Zagat has a great blog revisiting some of the cheesiest cocktails of the 1980s, but my favorite might have to be the Slippery Nipple (tee-hee). This new twist on the Sex on the Beach (what were people thinking when they named drinks in the 1980s?) also looks divine.


Gourmet has rounded up their favorite drinks from 1941-2009, and this selection from the 1970s is nothing short of fantastic. Their recipe for a Gin and Grapefruit Cocktail looks unbelievably refreshing.

Source: Mad Men Cocktails, AMC


These days, the 1960s has become synonymous with AMC’s hit show, Mad Men. Throw on your favorite 60s garb and take a swig of one of these drinks from the Mad Men cocktail guide. My personal favorite? The Blue Hawaiian — just look at that color!


According to In the Spirit, the liquor of choice during the 1950s was gin, my personal favorite. Get in the spirit with a Gin and Sin, or give this Gin Daisy a try.

Whiskey sour cocktail, Enmore, 2011.

Whiskey Sour, Enmore, 2011. (Source: Wikipedia)


Some of the classic drinks we know today originated in the 1940s, like the Sidecar, the Manhattan, and the Whiskey Sour. For something a little different, mix up a Mary Pickford or a Cugat Congo.

So go wild and crazy! Throw on your snazziest clothes, spin some party tunes, pour yourself a drink, and get thee to the ROW80 party this coming Wednesday. And don’t forget to enter the blog contest — we can’t wait to see what you all come up with!


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