The Importance of Being Reese

September 11th: May We Never Forget

The day began like any other. A young man stepped off the elevator on the 89th floor, nervous about his first day of work. A grandmother sat down on a flight, excitedly showing off pictures of her grandchildren that she was on her way to visit. An expectant mother sat in her office, eager for the day to end so that she could go home and deliver the good news to her husband.

That typical, normal day that began like any other ended in a mass of confusion, terror and heart-wrenching pain. It was no longer a day that would soon be forgotten because nothing significant had occurred. It was a day that would change us all. A day that would remind us to hug our loved ones a little bit harder, and never take life for granted.

I didn't lose anyone on September 11, 2001. My loss would come in the months and years after that horrible day.  And that day came swiftly. We all knew it would. We knew what our parents, and brothers and sisters did for a living. Hours after the attacks we sat around, speculating on how long it would be before they left.  Hours turned into days. Days of not knowing when the shoe would drop.

 We silently held hands and cried. We talked to the guidance counselors who watched us and carefully tried to prepare us for what was to come. We went to all the FRG meetings. We spent as much time with our families as we could. We silently cracked open the door and listened as our parents whispered in the dead of the night. We prayed hard. And then that day came.

A lot of kids were absent  that day. That's how we knew. In a military community it was common knowledge which units each others parents belonged to. Those few of us who showed up to school knew it wouldn't be much longer until we were saying our own goodbyes. I was one of the lucky ones.

We all tried to continue on with our lives as if we weren't terrified. As if it wasn't odd that our mothers jumped every time the phone rang. For a while things seemed okay. I guess that's what people refer to as the quiet before the storm.

Then the  stories began to pour in. Someone's father had been injured in a IED blast. Someone's friend had been shot. Then the day came when we showed up at school and only the sound of sobs could be heard over the desolate silence. We mourned one of our own that day.  We wondered how someone could hate us so much.

The months turned into years. The "God Bless Our Troops" flags no longer hung from the poles. People no longer ran up to our fathers, mothers, brother and sisters and tearfully thanked them for their service. People forgot. We didn't have that luxury. We waited. We prayed. We hoped. We still do.

On September 11th 2001 nearly 3,000 people died. Thousands more died in the years following. Our brothers, our best friends, our fathers who had promised to see us when they returned. Gone. Sometimes it's so difficult to process. It's hard to remember what life was like before that day.

I'm not sure what I'll tell my daughter when she asks about that day. When she asks why this happened. I don't know yet. But for now the only thing that comes to mind is what Joe Gandelman once said " We will never forget September 11th. And neither will the future generations. The story, images and human cost will always conjure up horror and tears but will also be forever identified with stories of incredible bravery, determination, and personal sacrifice."

Let us never forget those who perished on that fateful day, and in the years that followed. God bless the firefighters and police officers who went back inside the towers for one more trip. God bless the brave people on United Airlines Flight 93, whose sacrifice saved the lives of hundreds more. God bless this beautiful country and the men and women who still continue to defend it.

 Life is too short to not let people know how much you love them. We owe it to the thousands who will never get the chance. May we never forget.

CineBistro: An Upscale Entertainment Experience

Disclaimer: I was given a free gourmet lunch and a few goodies during my behind-the-scenes tour, but all thoughts and opinions about how amazing CineBistro is, are truly my own. 

Question of the day: What do you get when you mix a world class cuisine with a state-of-the-art movie theater?

Answer: CineBistro

A few days ago, I was invited out to preview Cary’s latest entertainment destination--CineBistro. I admit, at first I was a bit skeptical. After all, toss a rock in the Triangle and you’re likely to hit a movie theater. However, the moment I walked into in, I knew this wasn’t your average movie theater.

CineBistro is part of the Cobb Theater chain. This full-service lounge, bar and theater offers guests an intimate and upscale movie going experience. CineBistro takes the “dinner and a show” experience to another level. Guests can choose from an array of chef-prepared cuisine such as: Ahi "Dynamite" Poppers, Pan-Seared Salmon, Blue Crab Cakes, Roasted Beet Salad, Caramelized Banana Cheesecake and Butterscotch Bourbon Creme Brulee, all prepared from scratch and in house. Patrons can pair their delicious eats with an assortment of fine wines, draft beers and signature cocktails. It’s important to note that if you wish to receive in-theater dining services, you must arrive at least 30 minutes before your movie begins.

Unlike typical movie theaters, CineBistro is all about pampering. The location in Cary offers 6 state-of-the-art theaters, complete with plush leather reclining chairs and adjustable headrests. During the tour, we were invited to relax and enjoy trailers of upcoming films on their incredible screens. While we fully submerged ourselves in the CineBistro experience, the general and sales and events managers discussed some of the various ways in which CineBistro differentiates itself from its competitors.

> After 6 PM, absolutely no one under the age of 21 is allowed in the theater. This gives adults an intimate atmosphere to relax and enjoy their “adult” time. 

> CineBistro offers gourmet food at a reasonable price. The incredible menu changes on a weekly basis, and is prepared by a world-class chef. 

> Patrons can order fine wines and signature cocktails from the fully-stocked bar.  

> There are 6 top-of-the-line screening rooms which all use silver screen technology. 

> The lounge and screening rooms can be reserved for corporate events, or private functions.

After the tour, we had the opportunity to relax in the incredibly comfortable leather seats and stuff our faces with some of their most popular menu items. While we ate, the chef touched on some of the highlights on their menu, including their latest addition--Kimchi Fried Rice. As a self-proclaimed foodie, I'm no stranger to food, but this was some of the most heavenly food I have ever had the pleasure of tasting.

CineBistro opens its doors THIS Friday. They are located in the Waverly Place Shopping Center. Reservations must be made in advance and you can expect that they will sell out this week, so book early! After opening week, guests can reserve their seats for new releases every Tuesday after 4 PM.

Here’s a sneak peek at the movies that will be shown during opening weekend:

The Transporter Refueled: 4:00 PM | 8:00 PM | 11:00 PM 
A Walk in the Woods: 3:30 PM | 7:00 PM | 10:00 PM 
No Escape: 4:30 PM | 7:30 PM | 10:30 PM
 Mistress America: 3:00 PM | 6:30 PM | 9:00 PM
Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation: 2:00 PM | 5:00 PM | 8:30 PM
Trainwreck: 2:30 PM | 6:00 PM | 9:30 PM

Be sure to follow CineBistro via Facebook and Twitter for movie listing, updates contests and more! Want to know more about CineBistro? Be sure to stop by and meet the two other fabulous bloggers that went behind the scenes at CineBistro, Leslie of SobeSavvy and Jen from Jael Custom Designs!

Looking forward to seeing you there on opening day!

Frontier Airlines Offering $1 Flights (TODAY ONLY)

Have a case of Wanderlust, but hate spending the big bucks on last minute flights? Here's your chance to save major dollars, and take in a few sites around this gorgeous country! For today only, Frontier Airlines is running a massive special. They are offering $1 flights leaving Atlanta, Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. and Trenton. If you live in or nearby one of these cities, now is the prime time to book a flight!

However, as with most things that sound a bit too good to be true, you've got to be a bit savvy to outwit all those pesky fees. All flights must be booked by tonight and you only have a two week window to travel (Sept 2nd.-Sept. 16th). 

Then there's baggage. Hidden baggage fees can actually cost more than the flight itself. Take my advice and pack light. Even a carry-on can cost up to $30 both ways. If you're only going for an over-nighter, ditch the suitcase and carry a small backpack instead. Frontier Flights allows you to carry one small bag on the plane free of charge.

Here's what there website says about baggage fees:


"We know how important your headphones, laptops, and crossword puzzles are for your in-flight experience. All passengers are allowed one free personal item that will fit under the seat in front of you. It can be no larger than 14” tall, 8” wide, and 18” long (including handles, wheels, and straps). Think backpacks, purses, briefcases and computer bags."

(Check out their baggage page for more information on what qualifies as a carry on).

Finally, beware of the extra options. For instance, personally picking your seat, instead of having one automatically assigned to you will run you an additional $15 both ways. Travel insurance can tack on another $20.

Basically, the name of this game is keep it simple. Frontier is offering a pretty sweet deal, as long as your willing to travel bare-bones at the last minute. Sure the accommodations might not be what your accustomed to, but can you really turn down a $1 flight to a city you've always wanted to visit?

Remember, this deal ends TONIGHT at midnight! Grab your tickets before they're gone!

Good luck and Bon Voyage!

Lemon and Basil Pork Chops

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of The National Pork Board and the #GrillPork campaign, however, all thoughts, opinions and tantalizingly tasty recipes are mine alone. Enjoy!

I'm back with my final pork recipe of the summer! Today's recipe--Lemon and Basil Pork chops. These succulent and tangy chops are a favorite around our table. They're simple to prepare, but they pack a powerful punch, and like most summer favorites, they taste best when prepared on the grill.

As I mentioned in my previous post, this month I've partnered up with The National Pork Board and we're showcasing healthy ways to grill your pork this summer. Be sure to stop by their site for TONS of delicious pork recipes this BBQ season!


4 Thick Cut Bone-in Pork Chops
1/4 cup of minced garlic
2 Tbsp Fresh Basil (plus additional for garnishing)
2 Lemons
1 Tsp Sea Salt
1 Tsp Fresh Ground Pepper


Combine fresh basil, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl and mix well.  Evenly rub mixture on both sides on the pork chops and place in refrigerator to marinate for an hour.

Once the pork chops are fully saturated in the marinade, toss them onto the grill. Allows them to cook for about 10-12 minutes, turning them once halfway through.

Grill chops over direct heat for about 5-6 minutes per side or until the internal temperature reaches at least 145 degrees.

Serve with a smile!

Now that I've got your taste buds standing at attention, let's talk about what The National Pork Board is offering two of my lovely readers. Interested in winning free groceries for an ENTIRE YEAR? Visit to enter. Simply take a photo of a meal being prepared by you on a grill, share it on your personal Instagram page, and tag your photo with @PorkBeInspired and #GrillPorkSweeps.

About The National Pork Board 

The National Pork Board was established in 1985 and is responsible for overseeing consumer information, performing industry-related research and promotion of healthy pork related recipes and ideas. Visit The National Pork Board for recipes, cooking instructions and safe pork handling procedures

Good luck and bon appetit!