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Stacey Loscalzo

Latest Posts

Aug 01

August Break: Lunch

by Stacey

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August Break Day 1 Prompt: Lunch

I am thrilled to  join Susannah Conway again this year for her August Break. I joined last year for the first time and found it to be the most inspiring of months. During the August Break, bloggers post according to prompts provided by Susannah. Some bloggers post only pictures, some words and some will choose both. I did a little bit of everything last year as I imagine I will again.

This week we spent a few days in Amagansett (more to come on this amazing place!) and our most favorite restaurant was a place called Lunch.

Imagine how happy I was to discover that the first August Break prompt just happens to be “Lunch”.

 

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Jul 30

A Guest Post: Hearth and Homefront

by Stacey

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Today I am honored to be guest posting at Moira’s Hearth and Homefront. Moira’s space is full of motivation and inspiration. She is currently moving her family from Oklahoma to Connecticut so I am very excited to imagine that we might get to meet in person one day.

Please click on over to Moira’s space to learn about the books that she and I might talk about when we get the chance to sit down together over a cup of coffee. My post includes my favorite beach read, my favorite re-read and more. Head on over to Hearth and Homefront and be sure to share some of your favorite titles with us.

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Jul 28

A First For Everything

by Stacey

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A few months ago I bought a book titled, “A First for Everything”. It contains pages and pages of fill in the blank questions that I thought would be great prompts for a blog post. I then promptly put the book in a really good place where I would remember it when I was in search of a blog post. Then I lost it for months. But… just this week, it resurfaced so here goes!

First Doctor: Dr. Utter. No joke. That was his name. And he was the best. In fact I went to him for as long as I could. I went once when I was home from college and arrived at my appointment late because I couldn’t find a parking place. The nurse told me she thought that was a pretty good sign that I shouldn’t be seeing my pediatrician any more. If that hadn’t happened I might still be using him!

First Injury That Required Stitches: I had a birth mark removed when I was a little girl. We were told the scar would go away in six months. I still have it.

First Movie You Remember Watching: ET. In  the theatre. I still consider it one of my all time favorites. I’m realizing as I write this that the girls haven’t seen it yet. We’ll have to get to work on that soon.

First Piece of Clothing You Begged to Get: An oversized Benetton sweater with a giant B on the front. This was right around the time that my father believed that I should be paying for my own clothes. This was not a quiet time in our house.

First Favorite Color: I have distinct memories of liking colors in pairs. Yellow and green and then pink and purple.

First Favorite Book: At Night When I Feel Sleepy. We still have the cloth book and I could recite the whole thing without looking at a single word.

First Favorite TV Show: Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood. I watched this one for a really long time. Don’t tell anybody :)

First Favorite Restaurant: Bobbo’s. We went every Friday night and the owners always had a cheese burger waiting for me when we arrived.

First Favorite Snack Food: Planters Cheese Balls. We only had them at my grandmother’s house and I have memories of being very careful with my fake orange cheese covered fingers. If I had gotten that cheese on the coach, it might have been a problem but it would have been worth it. The cheese balls were that tasty!

First Time You Broke Something Valuable: I don’t remember this but have heard the story so many times I can picture my toddler-self clearly. I knocked an ash tray off a table and my mother, from the neighboring room, heard me curse loud and clearly as I looked at the broken pieces on the floor. She tried very hard not to laugh as she ran to pick up the pieces.

Anyone else want to play? I’d love to hear your answers to these questions…

 

 

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Jul 22

A Backyard Photo Walk

by Stacey

The other day, we were at my in-laws house and my mother and Katherine went out in the backyard to take pictures. My mother-in-law has a gorgeous garden and I realized how silly it was that I had never thought to take pictures there.

Here’s a little bit of beauty that was lying right under our noses…

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Jul 16

Twitterature: July 2014 Edition

by Stacey

It’s my favorite time of the month. Twitterature, hosted by the lovely Anne at Modern Mrs. Darcy. Below are short, Twitter-style reviews of books I have read this past month.

Until I pulled this all together I hadn’t realized that I have read nothing but middle grade and young adult this month. Seems I’m in a bit of a pattern…

16143347We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. I am writing about We Were Liars for Great New Books in August so I’m going to stay quiet for now.

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The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart. After I finished We Were Liars, Sally of my favorite Curious Reader told me that I really had to read E. Lockhart’s previous work. And yet again, she was right. Frankie was even better than We Were Liars and that’s saying a lot.

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The Glass Sentence by S.E. Grove. So I definitely have a reader crush on Sally because she recommended this one too. The Glass Sentence is middle grade fantasy which is not a genre that I tend to read but I’m glad I read this one. The middle got a bit long but the premise is so interesting that I read until the end.

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The Giver by Lois Lowry. I have been trying to get Caroline to read The Giver for a long time. It is one of my favorite middle grade books of all time. She has been hesitant to read it because of this scary looking man on the cover. I caved last week and bought the movie tie in edition of the book and Caroline devoured the book. We have talked and talked about it. She’s actually a bit disturbed by it and isn’t sure that she wants to read the rest of the series. My fingers are crossed and I am ready with non-scary covers of Gathering Blue, The Messenger and Son.

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Jul 14

Elizabeth Gilbert: Live and In Person

by Stacey

egilbertA few weeks ago, I had the most wonderful experience. Elizabeth Gilbert who I have loved since she published Eat, Pray, Love came to speak at our local library. My mother was in town for a visit, so I bought tickets, which also provided us with autographed copies of Gilbert’s novel The Signature of All Things, and we were off for a night at the library.

While Gilbert did begin our time together with a brief description and reading from her novel, the majority of our time together was spent with the author taking questions from the audience. If you have ever seen one of Gilbert’s TED talks, you won’t be surprised to hear that she was a funny, relaxed and casual speaker. I came away feeling like I had gone out for a glass of wine with her instead of sitting in an audience with one hundred other fans.

Here are some tidbits from our time together…

Gilbert holds a special place in her heart for libraries- especially seeing as her first kiss was in a library in her home town.

I loved the way Gilbert described the success of Eat, Pray, Love. She described the experience as a time when “a book accidentally intersected with the emotional lives of people.”

She said that her memoirs were written during times when she needed to answer a question about her own life while her novel was written in a place of joy. She was thrilled that because of the financial success of Eat, Pray, Love, she was given the freedom to research and travel in a way that most writers are not able to when she was writing The Signature of All Things. In speaking to the length of her novel she said, “with all the abundance, I didn’t want to go small.” Therefore she spent 4 to 6 hours a day for three years writing the book.

When an audience member asked for writing advice, Gilbert responded “there is nothing sexy about setting a kitchen timer and nothing that works better.” She said, as all authors do, you just have to ‘sit through the boring things’ to get to the good stuff.

Gilbert said that with each of her books, she imagined that she was writing the book to a certain person so she always had her audience in mind. The Signature of All Things was written to her 4th grade teacher, Sandy Carpenter, who she called her ‘most influential teacher.’

I’m sure there are many, many more words of wisdom that I heard that night. I wrote as quickly as I could to help me keep some of the wisdom in my memory so those are the pieces that I have shared with you here. I am so thrilled that I had the chance to hear Elizabeth Gilbert speak. It truly was a joy.

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Jul 09

A Photo Walk: Paterson Falls Style

by Stacey

This weekend, we went on a family adventure. Rob’s parents called to tell us that there were going to the Paterson Falls and invited us to join them. We didn’t have anything on our schedule (I love summer!), so we were happy to tag along. I am always amazed when we find a treasure in our own backyard and the Paterson Falls certainly fall in to this category.

If you are a local friend, please comment and tell me what else we might be missing right around our corner!

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Jul 08

Happy Eleven Caroline!

by Stacey

Dear Caroline,

Eleven years ago today, you looked like this.

IMG_0171.JPGAnd this is you now.

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Whenever I sit down to write birthday letters, I think about my writing teacher Lisa Garrigues and I can feel her shiver. The cliches are coming. I just can’t help it. Time flies. It really and truly does. And I am worried because everyone that I talk to with older children tells me that their children’s first eleven years crept by in comparison to the next eleven. They say that once their children entered middle school, they blinked and they had graduated from college.

I truly don’t understand where the time went but I know that I am so proud of who you have become in these first eleven years.

You are an amazing friend. Just recently, you were with a friend who was sad. I encouraged you to check in with her when you got home and later that night when I read the text exchange between the two of you (Yes- I do that. Remember our deal?), I cried. The caring and maturity that those texts showed was truly amazing. You and your friends are lucky to have each other.

You are a wonderful daughter. We are finding our way through the newness of these tween years. You can love me and hate me in equal measure in the course of a few minutes. I am often reminded of your toddler years when I just never knew what would happen next. That said, when you get angry, you apologize. When you don’t listen, you explain why. When you question, you do so respectfully. I don’t think that we can ask much more than that.

You are a loving sister. You and Katherine both wish the other away at times. You want to be the youngest while Katherine wants to be the oldest. You fight in a way that as an only child, I will never understand. But sometimes, when the doors are closed, I hear Katherine asking you questions about friends and school and life and I hear you answer her with patience and care and love. And when the end of each day comes, you snuggle in bed with her and read and end the day with a hug and a kiss.

You are an intelligent student. You get embarrassed when we talk about your intelligence. This is not a part of you that you want broadcasted to the world but it is something to be proud of. You write and disucss books with a maturity I know I lacked when I was your age. I can not wait to see where you go as a reader and as a writer.

You are a determined athlete. A few years ago you joined our local travel team because one of the teams was short a player. We are quiet certain if you had tried out, you wouldn’t have made the team. And after years of commitment, dedication and hard work, you are joy to watch on the field and a true compliment to your team.

You are a person that I love to be with. This summer, we had a hard time finding a camp that sounded appealing to you so we’ve been spending a lot of one on one time together. At first I was nervous. You’ve always been pretty scheduled during the summer as both you and I need do better when we know what is coming next. But I think we have surprised each other. We’ve gone on errands, read and watched a fair amount of What Not to Wear and Love It or List It. We’ve talked and laughed and I’m feeling sad that you have some scheduled time coming up soon.

Here’s to another eleven years as wonderful as the first (with perhaps a bit more sleep thrown in for good measure!).

Happy Birthday baby girl. I love you with all my heart.

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