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The fruitcake mystery…

My mom has been talking about this freaking cake for years. See, she worked for a lovely woman named Sue, sometime around 1995, and for Christmas, Sue gave my mom a delicious, homemade cake.

Although my mom moved onto another job, she never forgot this cake. I think she was embarrassed to call Sue and ask for the recipe, especially after years had passed. Plus I feel like there’s a strange, generational Italian code that says: It’s rude to ask another cook for their secrets!

I have heard about this cake many times over the years, especially since my mom got a Cuisinart mixer and has been baking more.

“It has alcohol and nuts — and it was the best cake I’ve ever had!”

Well, this year, my mom mentioned the cake again.

“Didn’t you graduate high school with Sue’s nephew, Matt?” she asked.

I did. I don’t remember us being friends, but I remember Matt being a nice guy. So, I found his contact info — and after major pause (for being a stalker weirdo) — I messaged him, asking about the cake.

He thought it was a “fun request” and was excited to do some sleuthing. Unfortunately Sue passed away a few years ago, but after talking with his mother, and his Uncle John (Sue’s husband), Matt solved the mystery.

The most delicious cake my mom has ever had?

A 1970s-era Redbook recipe, filled with bourbon, candied cherries and pecans.

Here is Sue’s Boozy Bourbon Pecan Cake.

Me, Matt from high school, and my mom will all be baking it this year, and I thought you might want to as well.

One more thing … If there’s someone you feel weird about reaching out to this holiday season — maybe give it a shot anyway. The results could be sweeter than you think.

Here’s to candied-cherry cake and Christmassy-connections,

Not just any ice cream truck.

My husband was yelling, “Go, go!” as he grabbed the baby. The big boys flew out the door, one wearing a single slipper and the other in his Batman robe, grasping a $20.

What on earth is happening right now?

Okay. So, I know about ice cream trucks. They play music and drive around — and if you want ice cream, you can flag them down. What I didn’t know about was Mister Softee.

Normal ice cream trucks give you a pre-packaged ice cream, like a Choco Taco or Chipwich. I’m cool with that. But I had absolutely no idea — at 41 years old — that it was possible to be handed a soft serve cone with sprinkles at the edge of my driveway.

Licking my cone feverishly before it melted, in my polka-dot pajamas as the sun set, I was gleeful and it was pure magic. Like the time I smelled Drakkar in the mall, I was a kid again.

The point?

Mostly, I hope you get to eat soft serve in your driveway.

And when it comes to our businesses, here’s to delivering more moments of unexpected delight! Call me sugared-up, but I believe that words can be our ice cream trucks.

Want to delight your readers? Let’s serve them up a personality-rich word twist that’s uniquely you.

Fill it up regular, please.

Yesterday I pulled my car up to the pump and said to the gas attendant, “Can you fill it with regular, please?” Then I laughed and said, “Gosh, you must hear that a million times a day!”

When he came back to my window, he said, “Do you know what I hear more than that?”

I looked at him curiously.

“I hear, ‘Fill it up regular.’ No please. Most folks don’t say please.”

I said, “Oh my goodness! Well, please and thank you a million times for all the people who forget.”

In the busyness and rush to get places and do things, we sometimes forget our manners. But the truth is, a little bit of gratitude fills us all up.

The point?

Whether verbal or written, there’s always room for kindness in our words. If you need website content, newsletters or blog posts that will fuel your business and always be polite and authentic, let’s talk.

Secure your garbage cans


In addition to being the enforcer of beating shore traffic, my dad is also my personal weatherman. He informed me today that high winds are coming and I should secure my garbage cans.

He’s dead serious. The booming authority, commitment and passion with which he needs me to secure my garbage cans (or stay off the road in bad conditions or change my windshield wipers) can’t be ignored.

When my dad calls me about the weather, I listen.

And when I tell you this, I want you to listen…

Humans want to work with humans. Not robots. Not aliens. 

I know this because the more human the relationship between me and my clients and creative partners, the better the work we do together. And the more fun we have.

The point?
As the year winds down, I have to tell you—from one human to another:
I’m so grateful I can be myself with you in doing what I love.

If you need help putting more of yourself into your business—I’d love to help.

And thank you, sincerely, for being so amazing.

I fell in love with a goat.

Back when I was 7, I fell in love with a goat at the Catskill game farm. We stared into each other’s eyes and I knew we were best friends. My parents had to pry me away. I clung to the fence and cried as they lovingly explained that our brick ranch in suburbia was not agriculturally-zoned. Fine, I huffed! But we need to move to a farm immediately. 

At 17, Simon the Shetland Pony had my heart.

On New Year’s Eve 2002, while everyone else was finding cute boys to kiss, I was outside under the bar’s dumpster trying to lure a stray kitten into my purse.

You get it. From donkeys to hummingbirds, animals fill me with joy. (Except for spiders; they fill me with terror.) So, you won’t be surprised that when hubby and I stopped renting and bought an animal shelter a house of our own, it didn’t take long to find some furry friends to come live with us.

I’m pleased to introduce you to Cannoli. Though she lived in the shelter for 4 years with her siblings, she is turning into a total love-bug with tons of personality. She is currently snoring on the couch in my office. I’m also fostering her sweet sister, Tootsie (the red one), who is available for adoption.


Here’s to infusing more joy into your life this year—in whatever way that means! If doing less writing yourself will increase your joy, I’d love to help.

Do you like my Elvis haircut?

vintage stamp with Merilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley

Why can’t I be blonde?

Covered in stickers and stars, my diary from seventh grade fell to the floor. Inside I discovered pages of nonsense I’d written about my crush, Frankie. I was dismayed because Frankie only liked girls with blonde hair. With my full head of jet-black hair (that happened to be cut like Elvis), our love was obviously not meant to be. But I pined anyway. The anguish! 

I laughed so hard while reading. Poor seventh grade me. I didn’t understand the importance of authentic branding! It’s plain as day—Frankie was not an ideal suitor. (Why was I trying to impress a cigarette-smoking, fight-starting 12-year-old anyway?)

The point?

Marketing is about impressing the people who will appreciate our extremely hot Elvis haircuts.

Here’s to the wonder of you