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Going to Boston? Try Bob’s Italian Foods

Over the past several months, I have been taking my daughter to visit schools so she can figure out where she wants to attend college. After a few of these scouting trips, the college information sessions started to sound the same and although the campus tours were unique and offered a glimpse of student life, I learned to make the trips more interesting by finding great places to eat or markets in the towns we visit. On a recent road trip to Medford, Massachusetts (5 miles northwest of central Boston), I found a place called Bob’s Italian Foods that Zagat gave a resounding 26 out of 30 prompting me to plan a stop for lunch. Read more »


Simple and Crisp

Simple & Crisp is an organic and gluten-free snack food billed as “the perfect pairing” with wines, cheeses, ice cream, yogurt, tea, chocolate and even prosciutto. Extremely versatile, the crisps are dried fruit slices that are not too sweet and thus offer a perfect complement to so many other foods. For those who want the crunch of a cracker or cookie but without the wheat, dairy, nuts, or seeds, Simple & Crisp offers an alternative to the usual crackers and savory cookies on the market. Read more »


BAKED Granola

There are more than a hundred types of granola on the market and although I’ve never tasted a granola I didn’t like, there are only about a half-dozen that I can say I truly love:  BAKED Granola is one of them. Made by a bakery called BAKED in Brooklyn, New York, BAKED Granola is the go-to granola when I want a wholesome cereal made with all natural oats, grains, lots (and lots) of nuts and a hint of cinnamon (the House Blend). Delicious with milk but downright decadent on top of yogurt, BAKED Granola is a truly nutty, crunchy, delicious treat.
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His dairy once full , was now empty. He had been to all the weddings, heard about all the children, attended several funerals, and now, it seemed, was the only survivor.

In Strangers by Anita Brookner, 73-year old Paul Sturgis lives in a one bedroom apartment in South Kensington, the only place he has lived since he moved out of his parent’s large country home decades ago. A lonely child, Paul observed his parents unhappy marriage and hoped to have a different life; one in which he could pursue his love of art with a caring wife who would share his desire for an examined life, children, and close friendships. Read more »


Bobo’s Oat Bars

Bobo’s Oat Bars was created and founded by Beryl Stafford in 2005 in Boulder, Colorado where the company remains headquartered today. The bars are named after Beryl’s oldest daughter, who she affectionately calls “Bobo” and who serves as the inspiration for the bars. The Bobo Oat Bar was created out of Beryl’s desire to provide a nutritious but delicious snack food for her children and other like-minded people who enjoy an active, healthy lifestyle. Read more »


Happy Pho

Happy Pho is a Vietnamese Brown Rice Noodle Soup that is easy to make and has the following attributes:

  • Low in Calories (approximately 220 calories per serving)
  • High in Protein (4 grams of protein per serving)
  • High in Fiber (3 grams of fiber per serving)
  • Low in Sodium (approximately 100 mg of sodium per serving with no MSG)
  • Fat Free
  • Low in Sugar (1 gram of sugar per serving)
  • Gluten-free (no wheat products)
  • Dairy-free
  • Flavorful and Delicious Read more »

10 Foods to Pack for an Easy and Healthy Lunch (or Snack)

Packing a healthy lunch for yourself or a child can be challenging at times because it’s hard to provide variety, taste, and wholesomeness day after day. One of the most important tips a friend gave me about packing a lunch is to purchase a lunch or meal transport system that is flexible and made to carry a variety of foods. Laptop lunches ( or Black and Blum ( are two companies that make top-notch lunch boxes and food transport pieces. In addition, I always keep a stock of “jello shot glasses” – small 2 ounce plastic containers (125 for about $10 through with a plastic lid that snaps on and stays on. Once you have the proper tools, packing a lunch or a snack on the go is infinitely easier. Read more »


“A Good Fall”

Nearly 10 years ago, I read the book Waiting by Ha Jin which won the National Book Award and the PEN/Faulkner Award in 1999. Based on a true story that took place in China, Waiting is the tragic account of a man who enters an arranged marriage out of a sense of duty, not love. He later falls in love with another woman but is restricted from divorcing his wife without spousal consent so he is left to wait for his true love. Ten years after finishing the book and I can still recall feeling the seemingly endless wait for something desired that the author, Ha Jin so strongly conveys in his award-winning novel. In 2009, Ha Jin published A Good Fall – a collection of 12 short stories that center around a different aspect of the Chinese culture – the Chinese immigrant experience in the United States. Read more »


To Shame or Not To Shame

While driving my daughter to school this past week, we noticed a young teen raking leaves on campus which shouldn’t seem out of the ordinary but to my daughter, it was. The raker had been “deuced” which is another way of saying the student had been caught doing something outside of the honor code.  Punishments vary but nearly every “deuced” student has to spend a day or more raking leaves or cleaning up around campus in full sight of everyone – not because the maintenance staff needs help but to shame the student. It’s the equivalent of wearing the Scarlett Letter “A” in full view of the student’s peer community. Read more »


When Only a Perfect Ending Will Do….

Purists prefer to use fresh butter and eggs to make a homemade cake rather than buying a store-bought version but for those special occasions when an exceptional cake needs to be sent as a gift (and arrive as beautiful as it looks in a picture and taste better than a homemade cake), look no further than a Perfect Endings Vintage Cake. Perfect Endings of Napa, California makes a line of vintage cakes – Coconut, German Chocolate, Red Velvet, Banana, and Devil’s Food – reminiscent of what a layer cake should be: fluffy, moist, and delicious. That the cake looks as good as it tastes is….well….icing on the cake. Read more »