The Breakfast Club Blog

Monday, October 27, 2008

Breakfast Club recap (10-25-08)

Dear Breakfast Club,

Well, I think I would call that one the FABULOUS 5th anniversary of the Breakfast Club. Thanks to all who attended. I doubt we'll ever forget our afternoon at the Adolphus! From tea to truffles, it was an experience to be savored.

And it was the perfect pinnacle to a lovely five years. Some BC facts and highlights:

  • Charter members Anita and Elaine have been to every breakfast, except one! Thank you for your enduring support.
  • And a special appreciation goes out to both Donna and Louise for opening their homes to us in 2008. These were our first breakfasts in new places.
  • A guest list that began with about 20 names now goes to 40+ women.
  • We've had someone new at every breakfast.
  • Our ages range from somewhere in the 20s to somewhere in the 60s.
  • Our most popular theme has been, of course, "Chocolate for Breakfast."
We've shared a lot during our time together — favorite recipes, special memories and stories that had to be told! Not to mention life changes and career changes, etc. At the end of the day, our most important contributions have been creativity, encouragement, empowerment and support.

My life is more complete with the Breakfast Club in it, so I thank you for joining me in this "social experiment." I didn't have a long-term vision the first time I sent invitations — I just felt there were a lot of amazing women out there who might benefit from putting their heads and hearts together. We officially proved that theory!

So congratulations to everyone on five years of dedication to yourselves and each other. I look forward to the next five.

Speaking of, our next breakfast — the aforementioned beat-the-winter-blues fave, "Chocolate for Breakfast" — will be coming up in January. And in the spirit of a new year, I encourage you to bring someone new with you!

Happy holidays,

Monday, July 28, 2008

Book report

Here's a new list of books recommended by Breakfast Club members:

For Anita, it has to be Rick Bragg. She suggests reading his Southern memoirs in order:

1. All Over But the Shoutin'
2. Ava's Man
2. The Prince of Frogtown

Tara takes the philosophic route with Ayn Rand. She appreciates the strong portrait of women in The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged.

In the non-fiction category, Carole suggests The Leader's Edge by Susan Hodgkinson, where you'll learn the 5 Ps of personal branding, which lead to making better impressions and creating stronger perceptions of yourself.

Breakfast Club recap (7-19-08)

Dear Breakfast Club:

Well that was red, white and woo hoo! Great job on July 4/summer favorites. And you pulled off the color theme in both sweet and savory variations ... nice work.

It was also good to see new faces. We hope you'll come again!

The conversation centered on sources of inspiration. For some, it was the women in their lives. For others, it was cherished books (which will be posted on the blog). And still others are being inspired by learning experiences with new people. In fact, we inspired each other by sharing stories of recent accomplishments and future plans. (Donna finished her floor!)

It seems the key is to be more aware. To keep your eyes open for even little things that may cause a spark. To do our best to stay in the moment.

Lately, I've been inspired to rediscover activities I enjoy that had been forgotten in the mad dash of these times we live in. At the suggestion of another Breakfast Club member, Franny, I made a list of 10 things I'd like to spend more time doing. Just by becoming more conscious of them, I've been able to fit them in without much extra effort. If you get a moment, make the list — you'll surprise yourself.

The other item we discussed is where to have the next breakfast. We figured it should be a special place, because we'll be celebrating the 5th anniversary of the Breakfast Club! So, if you have any thoughts, send 'em along. Ideas already include the Arboretum or tea at the Adolphus.

Hope you enjoy the rest of your summer. I look forward to seeing you again in September, when we reach a Breakfast Club milestone. Just thinking about it inspires me!


Friday, April 18, 2008

On personal strengths ...

Courtesy of Carole Marlowe:

What would happen if we considered operating out of our individual strengths, rather than trying to minimize weaknesses? What if we spent our lives doing more of what we loved and less of what we loathed?

This is a book series based on these types of ideas. The books contain personal inventories, personality descriptions and practical advice about what to do with the information you find.

Now, Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton

StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath

Go Put Your Strengths to Work by Marcus Buckingham

Recommended Web site

From ace web surfer Anita Apple:

It's a site devoted to women and issues women are interested in: everything.

It was begun by people like Leslie Stahl, Mary Wells Lawrence, Liz Smith
-- you can read about them on the site.

Breakfast Club recap (4-12-08)

Dear Breakfast Club,

Every time we get together, you challenge me to find new and better ways of complimenting our collective culinary skills! But I must say, I think we set a new bar for ourselves with the "fresh from the garden" recipes. And the food wasn't just delicious, the presentation was also tres magnifique!

It was great to hear about all of the new adventures upon which we're embarking. Some of us have taken up daredevil activities; some are parting with old ways of living; others are exploring the dating world, the job world and our inner worlds. Congrats to everyone for demonstrating such courage.

And special thanks to Louise for hosting and for giving us our first breakfast alfresco!

If you would like to host our next breakfast, just let me know. We're probably looking at the end of May/first of June.

Look for several more entries to follow this one with lots of ideas and suggestions from our members. If you would like me to post something, send it to me!

Enjoy the rest of your spring, and keep challenging yourself to try new things ...


Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Breakfast Club recap (2-2-08)

Dear Breakfast Club,

What a great start to the new year! Our annual "chocolate for breakfast" theme was a winner, as always. Great food, great fun.

Per usual, the discussion didn't disappoint. We talked about changes and resolutions, and it sounds like 2008 holds fresh starts, positive transitions and greener pastures for many of us.

Thanks to everyone for sharing your experiences, insight and wisdom. I know we each walked away with something to ponder. For me, I'm thinking a lot about Franny's suggestion: Instead of making resolutions, make a list of 10 things that make you happy -- no matter how great or small. Consider spending more time doing or enjoying those things.

I also continue to be inspired by the women who are forging ahead with the lives they want to lead. It reminds me to keep my own dreams in mind, as I make decisions in the present.

And, once again, happy birthday to Carole! You add so much to our group.

Welcome to our first-timers, and special thanks to Donna for hosting.

If you would like to host the next one, send me an e-mail, and we'll work out the details.

Also, if you would like to add to this blog -- interesting articles, personal book or movie reviews, special announcements, etc. -- send it to me, and I'll post it.

Here's to a great year. Make it what you want it to be.


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Liz recommends these books ...

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam by Reza Aslan

A holiday charitable opportunity from Liz Tramer

Hello all,

I received this e-mail from my mother, and I felt compelled to pass it along. I feel exceptionally blessed, lucky and grateful this year. After my car accident, I had the love and support of my friends and family and was able to make a full medical recovery.

Not all of us are that fortunate. I know we all have different feelings about the war in Iraq right now, but all of us support the soldiers. I wanted to share this e-mail and the information contained in it.

(From Liz's mother)

As most of you know, I am a volunteer at Brooke Army Medical Center. A few years ago, a fellow volunteer began a holiday goodie bag project for the wounded warriors. The bags are filled with gift certificates, baked goods, personal items, snack food, etc. They will be presented in December to over 300 warriors. The soldiers are always touched that our San Antonio community has remembered them.

If you would like to make it a tax deductible contribution, you can make a check out to the Marine Corps League (MCL) and send it to MCL – Dept. of TX, PO Box 831641, San Antonio, TX, 78283-1641. Please make sure that you mark Goodie Bag Project on the check.

Or you can mail the check to me at 11807 Kellers Point 78230 and I will take care of it.

Thanks from the bottom of my heart for your generosity and help in this project.


Monday, November 12, 2007

Liz's Banana-Nut Muffins (from the Comfort Food Breakfast)

Thanks, Liz!

Banana-Nut Muffins
unsalted butter (about 1 1/2 sticks)
bananas (about 4 large)
pecans (as much or as little as you like)
brown sugar (as much or as little as you like)
the secret ingredient: Pillsbury refrigerated biscuit dough (the fun kind you whack against your counter to open)

Preheat oven to 375
In an ungreased muffin tin, place a bit of butter at the bottom of each hole, followed by sliced nannies, pecans and brown sugar. All amounts are left up to the chef!
Put a biscuit disk on top, and put in the oven for about 10 minutes. VOILA!

The hardest part is getting them out of the tin. I lined a cookie sheet with wax paper, and put the cookie sheet wax paper-side down on top of the muffin tin, grabbed the whole shebang and flipped over. VOILA!

These are also easy to freeze. Just line your tupperware or whatever with wax paper before you freeze. When you want a muffin, just take it out of the freezer and zap in the microwave for about 30 seconds. YUMMMMM!

Sherry's Cheese Grits (from the Comfort Food Breakfast)

Thanks, Sherry!

(I liked Elaine's idea of (perhaps) adding some chopped up jalapenos to spice
it up a bit!!!)

• 2 teaspoons salt
• 7 cups water
• 2 cups grits
• 6 ounce roll garlic cheese
• 6 ounce roll jalapeno cheese
• 4 eggs, well beaten
• 1/2 cup milk
• 2 sticks butter or margarine (8 ounces)
Cook grits in water with salt until done, stirring constantly. Cut cheese into pieces; add to grits. Stir until melted. Add beaten eggs, milk, and butter; put in a large buttered baking dish. Bake at 350° for 1 hour.
Serves 10 to 12.
Small rolls of garlic cheese and jalapeno cheese are usually found in the cheese section of the supermarket. (I couldn't find those "rolls" - I used these "tubs" of
garlic cheese and jalapeno cheese instead... fyi...)

Breakfast Club Recap (11-10-07)

Dear Breakfast Club:

Well, I know I certainly walked away comforted from the "Comfort Food" breakfast! The food was very creative, and the recipes were requested many times. I've already received a couple of those recipes, and I'll post them on the blog shortly.

Also, the Breakfast Club thanks Donna Clark for opening her lovely home to us. It was warm and welcoming — and the handcrafted tile floor is amazing.

A lot of great stories and ideas were shared when we talked about why we chose our recipes, what comforts us, and what we're thankful for this year. For some of us, 2007 has been a tough one, and we're looking forward to the fresh start of a new year. Others spoke of the blessing of good health and good friends. What I heard us saying is that what really matters is our relationships. No amount of money, no job or career, neither hardships nor successes mean more than we mean to each other. And we recognize that sometimes taking care of ourselves is the very thing that enables us to care for those we love. It's a delicate balance, and I think we experience it richly when we gather for the breakfast.

I am thankful for the loving commitment all of us have shown in keeping our group together and going strong after four years. And I love that new and old faces continue to blend seamlessly, creating unique opportunities to share and learn.

Our next breakfast will be sometime shortly after the first of the year, and we'll have a new hostess. Of course, it's our favorite beat-the-winter-blues theme: Chocolate for Breakfast. Bring your friends! Details to come ...

Also, if you have something you'd like to share on this blog — a book or movie recommendation, a recipe or anything that strikes your fancy — feel free to send it to me, and I'll post it.

One parting thought as we break for the holidays ... as we all know, life brings the unexpected at times. Take every opportunity to make precious memories with your family and friends. Those memories are the comfort that take us through the hard times.

Happy holidays ... see you soon!


Monday, October 01, 2007

The books you mentioned ...

The Breakfast Club recap is below, but I also wanted to post information about two books that were discussed and came highly recommended:

Same Kind of Different as Me, by Ron Hall and Denver Moore, about an unlikely friendship between two men from vastly different walks of life. Ron Hall is from Fort Worth.

Eat, Pray, Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert, about a woman's decision to leave the trappings of her old life behind, to heal and go forward, while traveling through Italy, India and Indonesia.

Breakfast Club Recap (9-29-07)

Dear Breakfast Club,

Well, that was one for the books, as they say. What an absolute delight. The food was outrageous. How talented we are! Thank you all for your generosity and creativity. We will do this theme again.

Also, thanks to your participation, we celebrated the fourth year of our group. There is something special that has blossomed from each person's willingness to reach out and open her heart, and it just keeps getting better. I look forward to many more years together.

The topic of discussion was the spirit of adventure, and there is no shortage of it among us. I walked away energized and inspired — ready to anticipate an adventure, rather than being dragged into one, kicking and screaming. Clearly, you are very bold women who aren't afraid to take risks for your dreams, and you are to be congratulated. Keep going — the rest of us want to learn how it's done.

Our next breakfast is on Nov. 10 at Donna Clark's house. Thanks, Donna! The theme is our annual winter/holiday theme: Comfort Food. Looking forward to seeing you there ... and to hearing about your latest adventure.