Sometimes my two favorite pastimes, books and TV collide and when they do, it's pretty incredible. This Wednesday, March 18, I'm going to get the chance to host a twitter chat with author Alice Hoffman whose New York Times bestseller "The Dovekeepers" will debut on the CBS Television Network as a four hour event series on March 31 and April 1 (9:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT).
Join us from 7-8pm ET for an exclusive conversation with Alice Hoffman on Twitter. Hoffman (@TheDovekeepers) will share the behind the scenes story behind her incredibly moving novel and the making of this epic television event. Plus, if you tweet along, you'll instantly be entered to win an autographed copy of "The Dovekeepers." Six winners will be selected at random immediately following the chat.
Make sure to follow the Twitter handles and hashtag below and we look forward to a really special author experience.
Twitter handles and hashtags:
Alice Hoffman: @TheDovekeepers
Please follow the handles of our Twitter co-hosts too:
Primetime Parenting: @primetimeparent
Sweeps 4 Bloggers:
Join the Twitter party and you'll be eligible to win an autographed copy of "The Dovekeepers" by Alice Hoffman. Winners will be notified after the chat via Twitter.
Set in ancient Israel, THE DOVEKEEPERS is based on the true events at Masada in 70 C.E. After being forced out of their home in Jerusalem by the Romans, 900 Jews were ensconced in a fortress at Masada, a mountain in the Judean desert. Besieged at Masada, the Jews held out for months against the vast Roman armies. The project will recount the events from the perspective of a few extraordinary women who arrive at Masada with unique backstories, but a common bond for survival. Additionally, these women, who work together daily as dovekeepers, are all concealing substantial secrets.
Hoffman's novel was published in 2011 by Scribner, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, earning the New York Times' bestseller status and widespread critical acclaim, including being hailed by Nobel laureate Toni Morrison as "a major contribution to 21st century literature."
THE DOVEKEEPERS will be brought to television from executive producers Roma Downey and multiple Emmy Award winner Mark Burnett (SURVIVOR, "The Voice"), the production team behind the Emmy-nominated 10-hour miniseries "The Bible," which scored big ratings for the History Channel in March 2013, and the feature "Son of God."
Disclosure: This Twitter TV and author event is sponsored by CBS.
I'm not quite a coffee junkie, but there are times when I think I'm pretty close to crossing that line. While there's no chance I'm going to give up my addiction, I have found myself expanding a bit more into the world of tea. It's hard to say what pushed me to try something new, but there is definitely a soothing factor associated with tea that coffee rarely offers. Whether it's accurate or not, I definitely associate tea as being something to drink when you are looking to decompress and relieve yourself of stress as opposed to coffee which "keeps me going" for the day.
Coffee is a staple in our house and we have strong allegiance to our favorite brands including Dunkin Donuts and New England Breakfast Blend. I haven't gotten to that point yet with tea, but I can see it moving in that direction as I try out different brands and experiment with new flavors. One of the brands that I could see eventually making it to that list is a company called Teami. I had the opportunity to try out Teami Skinny and I have to say it was really good. When I was given the choice of which of the five different teas to choose from by Teami, I figured that trying to lose a few pounds before my son's Bar Mitzvah wouldn't be a bad idea and their product could definitely assist. And while weight loss might be one of the ancillary benefits of using their tea, I like the fact that I have slept a little bit better at night since drinking it and don't feel as hungry as I normally am. It's hard to say if that is really attributed to the tea or not, but the fact that it has a nice taste and does relax me, I view the possible weight loss just as an added benefit.
If you drink tea for other reasons besides weight management, Teami has other products, plans and packages to choose from including Teami Colon , Teami Profit, Teami, Relax and Teami Energy. Each of the teas is intended to have a different therapeutic purpose and can be good for almost any type of lifestyle from the very physically active to the more couch bound television watchers. The prices range from $25 to $139, depending on the type of tea and plan you choose. While $139 optically looks high, it's fairly inexpensive for a 4 month detox plan. It works out to about $1.16 per day which I know if far less than what I spend on coffee per day. In addition to the various tea packages, Teami sells these very cool tea infusers that come in different colors and sell for about $8.45. And its also very cool that the shipping for everything is free with orders for $20 or more.
So while I'm not ready to abandon my cups of java quite yet, I do know that the word of tea also has a lot to offer. I appreciate Teami helping me come to that realization.
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Teami Teas
Truth be told - my husband and I have not had a romantic weekend without our kids in a very long time. Between work, our kids, school, finances and our dog, we don't get away much anymore. So when the PR team from the Carlton offered me the chance to take my hubby with me for a special night out on the town, I jumped at the chance.
One week after Valentine's Day, we were primed and ready to head into the city while our nearly sixteen year old daughter took on the responsibility of watching her younger brother and all our pets. As we headed into the city, it started to snow...for what seemed like the bazillionith time, but that was okay. We were going on a 24 hour adventure and I couldn't wait.
We arrived at the hotel about an hour later and when we got to the front desk, we were surprised to find out that we had been upgraded to the Diva Suite. Take a look....
The cool thing about the Diva Suite is that it feels like you've stepped into an episode of "Mad Men." The decor has a 1960's retro feel and the elegant couch and armchairs reminded me of the furniture my parents owned when I was growing up (they bought their living room set in the early 1960's). Plus, the bedroom had a king sized canopy bed and a vanity that you'd find backstage at a Broadway Show. The walls were adorned with pictures of some of the most memorable Broadway divas on the planet including Liza Minelli, Patti Lupone and Bernadette Peters.
While my hubby brought a bottle of wine from home we were surprised by room service when they arrived with a complimentary bottle of prosecco. The night so far was absolutely phenomenal.
We decided to opt for a quick dinner at the hotel because we were planning to see "Honeymoon in Vegas" that night on Broadway. Millesime is a seafood brasserie that boasts a two star Michelin chef - the food is simply superb and the wait service was also top notch. All I can say is make sure you order the warm cesar salad - it's like eating french onion soup...but it's a salad. Beyond delicious!
Once we finished our meal (the snapper special for two was phenomenal), we raced out of the hotel to make the show. Once we arrived, I picked up our tickets and we only had a few minutes to spare. While Darin hit the bathroom, I proceeded to head to my seat and to my surprise, I was greeted by Jason Alexander who had to move out of the row so I could make my way towards the middle of the aisle. When he stood up, Alexander quipped, "That's what happens when you arrive 10 minutes before the show." I couldn't tell if he was joking or annoyed at me - either way, I was kind of honored to be insulted by George Costanza and then quickly grabbed my phone and texted my hubby to tell him to enter our row from the other side so that we didn't bug Jason again. Luckily, he got the message and before we knew it, the show started.
We really enjoyed the show and I have to say, I was quite impressed by Tony Danza's performance. Who knew the former "Who's the Boss" star could tap dance and sing like a former member of the rat pack? Plus, Rob McClure was terrific as Jack, the fiancé who's convinced his mom has put a curse on him forbidding him to ever get married. Meanwhile, Brynn O'Malley portrays Betsy - a gorgeous blonde haired, blue eyed teacher who's determined to get Jack to finally commit even after he sells her for a weekend in a poker game gone bad.
After the show was over, the crowd poured out into the streets where we all battled an incredibly messy wintry mix of freezing rain and snow. With the weather wreaking havoc on the sidewalks and the streets of the Big Apple, there was no way we were going to find a cab. Once I saw an entrance to the N&R trains out of the corner of my eye, my street smart subway instincts took over, I grabbed Darin's hand and we zipped downstairs, hopped on the R train and were back at the hotel within 15 minutes.
By the time we returned, the hotel was hopping - while the DJ was playing great dance music, we decided to return to the suite where we could unwind without any distractions. Before we knew it, our night in the city had passed us by and it was time to head back to reality. Despite the fact that our night away from the kids was quick, we were relieved to find out the house was still in one piece and our kids survived. So much so that they can't wait until we spend the night away from home again!
If you're in the mood for a fabulous getaway in the Big Apple, definitely check out the Carlton Hotel. They are offering an amazing Honeymoon in Vegas package until February 28 complete with free show tickets and an executive king room. Trust me when I tell you, it's totally worth it to spend a night away to reconnect with your partner. If you are lucky enough to enjoy the evening in a hotel suite at the Carlton, make sure you tell them Role Mommy sent you!
The historic Carlton hotel, nestled in the heart of Manhattan's NoMad District, has entered into a partnership with Broadway's newest hit show, "Honeymoon in Vegas," to offer exclusive hotel packages for hotel guests. The partnership will feature a transformation of the hotel's Broadway Diva specialty suite into a themed "Honeymoon in Vegas" suite complete with one-of-a-kind items from the show, as well as a Get Lucky in New York romance package complete with overnight accommodations, a special romance welcome amenity and tickets to the hilarious new Broadway musical starring Tony Danza.
Officially opening on Jan. 15, 2015, "Honeymoon in Vegas" tells the story of Jack Singer (Tony Award nominee, Rob McClure), a regular guy with an extraordinary fear of marriage, who finally asks his girlfriend Betsy (Brynn O'Malley) to marry him. The show follows Jack and Betsy on a wild adventure, beginning at their home in Brooklyn, NY, and carrying through to Las Vegas and ultimately Hawaii. The show takes place at the Nederlander Theater, located at 208 West 41st Street in Manhattan's Theater District.
The Broadway Diva Suite at the Carlton Hotel will be transformed into the "Honeymoon in Vegas" suite from Jan. 15 through Feb. 28, 2015. Guests booking the Broadway Diva Suite package during this time will enter a room resplendent with "Honeymoon in Vegas"-themed décor including framed production photos, signed Playbills, branded playing cards and props from the show including an oversized Champagne bottle as used in the play, fake cocktails, poker accessories and more. Package elements additionally include two tickets to "Honeymoon in Vegas" on Broadway, dinner for two at the hotel's on-site restaurant Millesime, and a welcome amenity inclusive of one bottle of Prosecco, Lucky Lovers Message Dice and "Honeymoon in Vegas" branded playing cards. Those guests booking the branded suite over Valentine's Day weekend, Feb. 12-15, will additionally receive a special opportunity to propose onstage at the conclusion of the Broadway show.
Guests booking a stay at the Carlton hotel between Jan. 15 and Feb. 28, 2015 will have the option to book the Get Lucky in New York romance package which includes overnight accommodations in an Executive King Room, two tickets to "Honeymoon in Vegas," and dinner at the hotel's signature restaurant, Millesime. Additionally, guests booking this package will receive a special romance-themed welcome amenity inclusive of one bottle of Prosecco, Lucky Lovers Message Dice and "Honeymoon in Vegas" branded playing cards.
Rates for Carlton's "Honeymoon in Vegas" suite during this time period start at $899 plus tax available for booking Thursday through Sunday only. Rates for the Get Lucky in New York romance package begin at $650 plus tax. For more information or to book, please visit www.carltonhotelny.com.
We are in the throes of a frigid winter and what is more comforting than a nice steamy, bowl of soup? Better yet, a nice steamy bowl of Thai curry soup? Here's a simple recipe to use up your already cooked butternut squash. Freeze the leftovers for a nice treat later this winter as well. Enjoy!
Easy Green Bean Coconut Curry:
1 15 oz. can coconut milk
1/2 can water (about 8 oz.)
2 cups green beans, cut into 1 " pieces
2 cups cooked butternut squash, cubed
2 tbsp honey
1/2 -1 tbsp red curry paste (can get at most supermarkets and any Asian supermarket)
1 tbsp Thai fish sauce (can get at most supermarkets and any Asian supermarket)
1 cup cilantro leaves, loosely packed
In a soup pot, add the coconut milk, the water and the curry paste, starting with only 1/2 tbsp (you can add more if you want it spicier later).
Stir until all ingredients are well combined and boil until the sauce reduces a bit and is thickened to your liking, about 15 minutes.
Add in the fish sauce, the honey and stir.
Add in the green beans and cook until tender, about 10 more minutes.
Add in the squash so it is heated through, about 5 minutes but not much more so that it doesn't become too mushy.
Remove from heat, adjust sweetness and spiciness and serve over rice, quinoa or by itself.
Top with the chopped cilantro.
For more great recipes please visit: takebackthekitchen.com
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