Happy 241st Birthday, America!

Dishing Independence Day wishes to my fellow Americans!

Happy 241st Birthday to the USA! Here’s to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Declaration of Independence

241 years ago on the 4th of July, the Declaration of Independence was officially adopted by Congress to formally separate from Great Britain AND the United States was born. The Declaration of Independence, one of the most important founding documents of the United States, is kept safe and sound in the Rotunda of the National Archives Building in Washington, DC.

On my last visit to D.C., I took an early morning stroll along Pennsylvania Avenue (with my easily portable product invention RestoPresto  the Made in America wearable blanket, of course) and when I happened upon the National Archives, I had an A-HA, very meaningful moment. Here I was, at this striking building that holds a document that bestows life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and I had achieved a very American dream: I switched careers from corporate to entrepreneurship (after the age of 40) when I discovered a gap in the market for a product that I wanted but could not find. I envisioned an easily transportable, multi-functional, soft, water-repellent textile to use how and when I needed it instantly…then through hard, strategic work beset with challenges, accomplishments and several big set-backs, brought it to life! It was subsequently patented and featured on the TODAY SHOW last September.  As we all know, dreams are universal and not just an “American thing” however when you achieve a business goal in the USA, there is a unique sense of pride since our country is a young 241 years old!

So here’s the thing: since the moment I launched my Kickstarter campaign which also revealed RestoPresto to the market, people have asked me how, what, who and tons of other questions about prototyping, crowdfunding, intellectual property, manufacturing, shipping, branding, PR, social media, marketing and everything in-between. I learned that necessity is the mother of invention with RestoPresto and am now, proudly running a second business…a customized advisory business. I work with innovative people who have an idea, at any stage, that needs to progress. I customize solutions based on individual needs to bring that idea for a product or service to life. WOW – it is a totally different kind of gratification helping people do what I did with the hope of reducing the headaches and adding firsthand experienced value by sharing my “been there done that” expertise.

My doors are OPEN to work with me so please reach out if you are curious how I can help YOU and how we can partner on your project. Of course, referrals are very welcome: candi@candiobrentz.com


Free to Create: Give yourself permission to leave your comfort zone!

You would think that I am used to seeing my photo and articles “out there” on the world wide web, right? NOPE…it took my breath away to see that I am the “#ResetYour Ambassador of the Day” for The Reset for sharing my story about giving myself permission to completely leave my comfort zone to create RestoPresto.

This decision not only reset my life, it completely transformed my life! Click on this hyperlink to read my #ResetYour story

As I grow the RestoPresto business, I am once again leaving my comfort zone in a different way: I am building an advisory business that helps people bring their own product ideas to life. After I launched RestoPresto to the market, I received SO many questions: how did you know what to do? how did you make a prototype? what is a prototype? how did you get a patent? what is a trademark? how did you run a successful Kickstarter campaign? how did you figure out shipping rates? who helped you with your logo? how do you manage social media? HOW? WHO? WHAT? WHY? So many fantastic questions, all of which MUST be answered. So to supply the demand for guidance on bringing a product idea to life, I offer customized advisory services. Each “case” is different, each stage is different and each client is different so I work with you to create a personalized plan to get you where you want and need to be.

A new website is on the way and in the meantime, if you have any questions about how we or someone you know can work together, please contact me. No question or need is too small and of course, if you want to be added to the RestoPresto waiting list for out-of-stock RPs, hit me up!

The Reset is a terrific source of inspiration, information and ideas for me and I love that my personal and professional stories align with their mission to embrace changes: big and small in order to be your best self! Subscribe and follow @theresetsocial !

It’s Flag Day 2017 in the USA!

American Flag waving over Rockefeller Center, NY

American Flag waving over Rockefeller Center, NY

240 years ago, on June 14, 1777, the flag of the United States was adopted by resolution of the Second Continental Congress. The Flag Resolution stated: “Resolved, That the flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.”


American Flag waving over Fifth Avenue, NY

American Flag waving over Fifth Avenue, NY

Many Americans cherish the, often refuted, story of Betsy Ross being the designer of the first Stars and Stripes. As General George Washington’s seamstress and fellow-church congregant, legend says that Betsy Ross was commissioned around June of 1776 to create the flag from a drawing, which she subsequently re-designed and produced successfully. Some historians discredit this tale based on lack of evidence but either way the story is a great one.

Over 100 years later, Bernard John Cigrand, a young man from Waubeka, Wisconsin, authored hundreds of articles, made speeches and submitted proposals for there to be an annual observance of the birth of the Flag. He felt strongly that good would come from a “Flag Holiday”. Then, in 1949, President Truman signed an Act Of Congress designating the 14th day of June every year as National Flag Day. 55 years later, on June 14, 2004, a unanimous vote by U.S. Congress declared that Flag Day originated in Waubeka, Wisconsin recognizing Cigrand’s dedication to the cause.

Since 1777, the design of the flag has been officially modified 26 times. The 48-star flag was in effect for 47 years until the 49-star version became official on the 4th of July 1959.

American Flags painted on trees in Battery Park to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of the September 11th Attacks.

American Flags painted on trees in Battery Park to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of the September 11th Attacks.

IMG_6149The American Flag, which is also known as the “Stars and Stripes”, “Old Glory” and “The Star Spangled Banner” with 50stars to represent the 50 states of the United States of America was ordered by President Eisenhower on August 21,1959. The blue rectangle in the canton (specifically called the “union”) bears 50 small, white, 5-pointed stars arranged in 9 offset horizontal rows of 6 stars (top and bottom) alternating with rows of 5 stars.

The current 50-star American flag was designed in Ohio in 1958 by a then 17-year-old, Robert Heft, who created it for a high school class project. Apparently he received a B- on his assignment, which was subsequently raised to an A after his design was chosen and adopted by presidential proclamation.

Isn’t it fantastic that young adults have played integral (sometimes unrecognized) roles in US history?

“Flag of Honor” listing the name of each human who perished on September 11, 2001 displayed in Battery Park during the 10-year memorial.

“Flag of Honor” listing the name of each human who perished on September 11, 2001 displayed in Battery Park during the 10-year memorial.

Happy Birthday to the American Flag!

Photos are my own.

Dishing love for The Florentine, the English news magazine for Florence lovers!!

Best. view. ever. From Piazzale Michelangelo. Firenze, Italia.

I was introduced to the incredible publication, The Florentine, in 2015 when I was in planning mode for a return visit to Florence. I simply wanted access to events and exhibits information and what I received when I signed up for the newsletter and started following The Florentine on social media was beautifully curated insight into the monthly happenings in the city known as the “Birthplace of the Renaissance”.

During my dive into The Florentine’s offerings, I connected with Mary Gray the publication’s Events + associate editor  and Editor, The Tuscan Times. I shared with Mary that I fell in love with Florence during the summer of 1992 when I was a student of the Florida State University International Program and how much the glorious city meant to me as she was gathering quotes and stories from “Repeat Visitors” (like me). Fast forward to my sheer joy as I read the April 2017 issue of The Florentine and saw my quote included in the article aptly titled “The Returners“.

Dishing about being eternally drawn to Firenze!

Click on the hyperlinks to view the article and follow The Florentine on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and sign up for the newsletter!

2015 – Il Duomo

For more dishing about Florence, put “Florence” in the search box on the home page of The Candi Dish blog and all articles will pop up!

Overjoyed to have my product invention: RestoPresto with me on this return visit to Florence!

The joy of assembling bicycles for the children of U.S. Service Members during Fleet Week 2017!

I am walking on sunshine today…despite the non-stop rain and fog in Manhattan because I had the honor of volunteering with the USO today!

When my friend of 30+ years, who also happens to be a Veteran, retired Commander in the United States Navy and pilot for Delta, invited me to join the Delta Team to assemble bikes for the kids of U.S. Service Members, I jumped at the chance.


The USO’s ” Operation That’s My Ride” at Pier 88 on the Hudson River yielded approximately 500 bikes and tricycles for the children of military families serving on bases and ships.  The USO and its terrific sponsors (see below) made it very easy for a bicycle assembling novice like me to partner up with my friend (who is used to these types of tasks because he has 2 amazing daughters) and the feeling of accomplishment coupled with the thought of the smiles on the faces of the recipients were truly fantastic.

The bike assembly was followed by a tour of the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3), from Norfolk, Virginia during which I met proud Marines. It was really great.

Here are a few photos from this special event.


SPONSORS: Delta, Pepsi, SOMPO International, 21st Century Fox, Blackrock, Citi, Toyota, HBO & PWC.

It Was 23 Years Ago Today – Part 1

Happy 23rd Manhattanversary to me!

Repurposing the following post from 3 years ago when I celebrated my 20th Manhattan-versary!!

So much has happened in 3 years….my network of phenomenal people across the globe continues to blossom, my beloved product invention RestoPresto was granted a design patent AND was featured on The Today Show with Kathie Lee and Hoda; I spoke at an event for Escape The City about changing careers after 40, which was liberating and was asked to contribute to a new digital magazine called The Reset which published my article about being “45, Single, Childfree & Joyful”; I have attended events, concerts and productions which took my breath away; I launched an advisory business to help people navigate the challenging process of bringing an idea for a product to market, which is incredibly fulfilling AND I am constantly learning new things in business, about history, about myself, about life and of course, about New York.

I am grateful for all of it and do not take anything for granted!

Please enjoy my re-post and feel free to share it, make comments and of course contact me with any questions about my advisory services, RestoPresto or my “Guide to Manhattan”.


Sidewalk Chalk Writing

Sidewalk Chalk Writing

Well, it was “20 years ago today” last week to be exact. I moved to NY in May of 1994 with enormous enthusiasm, money borrowed from my younger Sister, a job, no apartment, few contacts and a heap of certainty.

1994 Skyline

1994 Skyline

20 years later, I am grateful to NY for being my home, my comfort, my springboard on which to move forward, stand still and temporarily revert at my own pace and on my own terms.


“Manhattanhenge” 2013

“Manhattanhenge” 2013


Despite the constant change of skyline, storefront and trends, NY is not fickle with respect to her endless possibilities, diversity, vibrancy and genuine heart and soul.


Tulips in Midtown

Central Park

Central Park

Queensboro (Ed Koch) Bridge

Queensboro (Ed Koch) Bridge


Celebrating Super Bowl XLVIII n the City


Anne Frank Center, Downtown

The Anne Frank Center, Downtown











I have taken tons of snapshots of the City over the years and have chosen some favorites to share!


Waterford Crystal Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball

Waterford Crystal Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball










Park Avenue

Park Avenue


Each snap celebrates a remarkable moment that is uniquely New York.

Central Park Snowstorm

Upper West Side

Upper West Side




Bryant Park

Bryant Park

Stay tuned for Part II (and possibly a Part III) with more snaps!

East River

East River

Here’s to the next 20 years, my dear Manhattan!

Once an FSU ‘Nole…always an FSU ‘Nole!

I graduated from Florida State University in 1993, a year before I moved to Manhattan, and am very fortunate to have access to a strong and vibrant college alumni group nationally and locally. The Florida State Alumni Association advances the university’s greatness while enriching and uniting the lives of alums. The Seminole Club of New York is a not-for-profit organization affiliated with Seminole Boosters Inc., FSU Alumni Association and the FSU Foundation. In addition to the NYC Club offering members fantastic events and networking opportunities, it works closely with University organizations to raise funds for scholarships, campus campaigns, special projects and promote the accomplishments FSU.

An FSU tradition is to host a 4-day event called “Noles in NYC” that showcases FSU talent in in theatre, music, dance and film with performances in New York. This year, the series ended with a “Celebration of Florida State with President John Thrasher” that was a blast!  Here are a few photos:

FSU President John Thrasher & FSU Alumni President & CEO Scott Attwell

President Thrasher & me

Scott Attwell, NBC & beloved FSU Alum Janice Huff and me!


I am a huge proponent of joining alumni groups and organizations in which you have a common bond with people for networking and fun opportunities. If you are lucky like I am, you obtain exposure to incredible people, positive energy and bright ideas!

There is nothing un-fun about making liberating choices: 45, Single, Child-Free & Joyful!

Have you heard of The Reset? It is a digital home base that launched in early 2017 for a new generation of women who are choosing to do things differently. It’s a community that marries relevant, relatable content with curated commerce. I love how it provides inspiration, information and ideas for how to be your best self and since it is for real women who live real lives (like me), I double love it.

So you can imagine how excited I am that The Reset published my article: “45, Single, Child-Free & Joyful” today! Here is a link, please enjoy and definitely follow The Reset on Facebook, Instagram & Pinterest as @TheResetSocial.

You can follow me @candiobrentz on Twitter and my little nugget of a product invention @RestoPresto on Twitter & Instagram!

45, Single, Child-Free and Joyful

“Free To Be…You And Me” 43 years later

On the 43rd Anniversary of Free to Be…You and Me, I am re-sharing my post about the 40th celebration with Marlo Thomas and Friends that I fortunately attended at the Paley Center in New York in 2014.

The act of treating our fellow human beings with respect and fairness is hugely relevant right now so the values and behaviors exhibited in Free to Be…You and Me are 100% spot on!

In addition to this little flashback, I am throwing in one of my fave photos ever…meeting Marlo Thomas in 2008.


Celebrating a classic in Manhattan

Celebrating a classic in Manhattan

Television, radio, film and listening to vinyl were a huge part of my early childhood in the 1970s. Simply being entertained was the focus over sticking with particular genres. I loved STYX and watched Hee Haw; enjoyed The Six Million Dollar Man as much as Broadway soundtracks (well, not really AS much but I did like seeing bionics in action).

I think that it is really something that as a kid, I was very attracted to broadcasting that had strong social messages:  “All in the Family”; “That Girl”, “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”, to name a few. Watching these shows as an adult, I realize that the themes, with which I now agree, were totally over my head more than 30 years ago. Given that I most certainly did not fully grasp what I was ingesting, something in them captured my attentiveness.

My introduction to “Free To Be…You And Me” was around 1980 when my 3rd grade class performed songs from the album for our family and friends in the auditorium of our elementary school.

Invitation to the 3rd Grade Production (made by me)!

Invitation to the 3rd Grade Production (made by me)!

I loved the music, which was catchy and fun.  After getting to know the lyrics, the realization of the meaning behind the words began to sink in. It was very cool that Rosey Grier, with his “defensive end” NFL stature and deep voice, told children that it is totally ALL RIGHT to cry.  Marlo Thomas & Harry Belafonte instructing kids that parents are people who can be in any profession regardless of gender? Yes!  Mel Brooks as a baby in the nursery of a hospital trying to figure out if he is a boy or a girl? Fantastic!

The strong message of moving past stereotypes, treating people fairly, embracing friendships, embracing differences and most importantly, embracing ourselves was one heckuva lesson to learn decades ago.  Some feel that it was a feminist message. I disagree. I believe “Free To Be” communicates a human message: the importance of feeling comfortable in one’s own skin and respecting others.  All people. Not just one gender, one age range, one color, one religion, one “type”.  People.

Living in Manhattan, I have access to spectacular events, many of which celebrate things that I loved as a child and still love as an adult.  I should add that while protesting and liberation movements were not a part of my childhood, the fair treatment of other was a vital theme (also, I think that I was born with this kind of internal moral compass that sounds an alarm in my head when exposed to the unjust but that is a different story for another time!)

So, when I had the opportunity to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of “Free To Be…You And Me” hosted by Marlo Thomas and friends, I seized it in a New York minute.

Alan Alda, Rosey Grier, Carole Hart, Gloria Steinem & Marlo Thomas

Alan Alda, Rosey Grier, Carole Hart, Gloria Steinem & Marlo Thomas

The event at the Paley Center was co-moderated by Gloria Steinem (!!) and Marlo (!!) with a panel: Alan Alda and Rosey Grier, who were featured on the album and TV special; Carole Hart, the magical producer and Lettie Cottin Pogrebin, the visionary who co-guided the creation of “Free To Be”.  The panel discussions were intellectual, interesting and stimulating.  Clips of the TV special were shown and it was quite moving watching them on the big screen along with the “Free to Be” stars. Fortunately the talented writers, composers, lyricists, producers, comedians, poets and musicians behind the scenes like Dan Greenburg, Carol Hall, Sheldon Harnick, Stephen Lawrence and Tony Walton also joined the celebration. The list of brilliant contributors to the “Free To Be” album, book, TV special and Foundation is endless. I think that the prerequisite to be a part of the project (in addition to talent) was to believe in the premise:  “different does not mean wrong”!  Good stuff, right?

It was strongly acknowledged that while we have come a long way, our society has not fully achieved what “Free To Be” set out to do in 1974. We still have a lot of work to do on enriching the “sense of self” and empowering others to do the same.  What a great challenge for us!


Being a part of the celebration of something close to my heart was a tremendous experience.  I shall forever be “glad to have a friend like” Free To Be You…and Me.




Dishing the very best to you in 2017 (including my advisory services)!


On the first day of the new year there is enormous promise for the next 365 days and I hope that your next trip around the sun is filled with the best of health, peace and happiness.

2016 was an incredible year for me personally and professionally: namely, I formed friendships and connections with inspirational people who make the world a better place AND expanded the brand of my product invention RestoPresto.


RestoPresto was featured on The Today Show with Kathie Lee and Hoda in September 2016. AMAZING!

Many times this past year, I was asked for advice and help on starting a business, creating a product and what steps I took to obtain a design patent from the USPTO for RestoPresto. This has prompted me to offer advisory services (on a one-off or continuing basis) on the basics and particulars. “Where to start”; “how to protect your idea as you move forward”; “suggestions on forming an LLC”, “the importance of intellectual property/protecting your idea” and “legal tips from a small business owner perspective”, “prototyping”, “launching”, “crowdfunding”, “entrepreneurial support groups” and “brand building” to name a few! Supply & demand, right?!? So if you are exploring the creation of a product or ready to move to the next stage and need guidance from someone who has recently “been there and done that”, please contact me to discuss partnering on your venture. Knowledge is power and I would be happy to see if I can be of assistance by sharing what I know and what I would have done differently.

On the set of "This is It with Cheldin Barlatt Rumer" in Philadelphia to discuss all things entrepreneurship & RestoPresto

On the set of “This is It with Cheldin Barlatt Rumer” in Philadelphia to discuss all things entrepreneurship & RestoPresto

I am not big on new year’s resolutions, HOWEVER I do hope to post more on The Candi Dish to share stories, snapshots and suggestions with YOU! Oh and of course to have more fun than I did in 2016!

Happy 2017,

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