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!

Remembering Gary Froid


On the 3rd anniversary of the passing of my Stepdad, Gary Froid, I am re-sharing what I wrote a week and a half after he passed.

I miss him.

If you knew Gary and remember his uniqueness, I lovingly share this with you.


My Stepfather, Gary passed away on November 5, 2013.  He was one of the most dynamic, tough, unique, firm and intelligent people that I have ever known and will ever know. He was also my friend who I have known my entire life.

Gary in New Orleans, 1983

Gary in New Orleans, 1983

I have learned a lot about Gary in the days since he passed.  I reread the “12 Commandments” (non-religious) list that he authored.  It had been years since I read “the list” and felt a pang of sadness as each one resonated with me in a way that it had not before.

Thoughts and memories keep racing through my mind and although I had hesitated to post about the passing of my Stepfather due to how personal and intimate this loss is to me, I realize that putting those thoughts and memories to “paper” would be a good thing for me. “Sometimes you just have to do what you have to do” (Commandment #12).

Losing a loved one leaves a deep fissure in your life.  Gary lived a very full and rather intriguing life but those who knew and loved Gary agree that he left us too soon. What I am going to try to do for myself is find significance in the memories, reflections and lessons.  And oh boy, are there a lot of those.  “Above all else be true to thyself” – Pelonius (Commandment #9).

One of my two earliest memories of Gary was when I followed his suggestion to name my Teddy Bear (that he gave me), “Elmer”.  When he was a child, he had a stuffed animal named “Elmer” so why shouldn’t I?  The second was sitting with my Mom, Dad and Gary in my living room in front of a crackling fire (on one of those rare Florida evenings when you can actually use your fireplace) and watched in fright as a gigantic roach crawled up the wall.  Gary swiftly removed his shoe, stood up, squished the roach, replaced his shoe and sat back down.  He did not miss a beat.

Over a decade of friendship later, Gary became my Stepdad.  It is both unusual and comforting to have a relationship like this.  Living with Gary meant the acquisition of a gaggle of step-siblings; Sunday family BBQs; numerous strict rules; hundreds of Berol Verithin Red and Blue Pencils, notepads, binders, colored plastic paperclips and highlighters in multiple drawers; TVs in almost every room of the house; a pantry and wet bar stocked to the gills (in case of an emergency); a collection of books (all of which he had read at least once) that could rival a library; many No-Ad sunscreen bottles; deep-fried catfish; snoring of epic proportions; Popov vodka in the freezer; running the house like an office including but not limited to having a telephone system set up so that you could make room-to-room calls (each phone had its own extension) and transfer incoming calls; a second refrigerator containing beer (75%) and camera film (25%); big rafts for the pool; never knowing where the next rubber roach would be hiding to scare us; a game room filled with his colossal collections (untouchable treasures), a juke box, electric train set, (partially untouchable); arcade games and a dart board that averted any possible boredom; consistently high-maintenance boating excursions that included some sort of problem during every.single.outing.  Listening and nodding as Gary explained the “only” way to crack a stone crab, pour a beer, eat an oyster, warm up a car on a chilly morning, grill a steak, drive a car and vote. “There’s no right way to do something wrong” (Commandment #6).  The thermostat was continuously set to an arctic temperature; there were always rather unique and often enormous souvenirs to welcome into the house after each trip (exotic or not) that he took with my Mom; Christmas tree(s) plus abundant and elaborate interior and exterior decorations during the holidays; the no phone calls during dinner or after 9pm rule was a hard one to follow, especially in high school; four newspapers were delivered every day. “Read – know when to take a profit – there are worse things than having to pay taxes on a gain” (Commandment #4).

I will miss that distinctive deep voice, how I smelled of Aramis after I hugged him; his words of wisdom. “There’s no such thing as a free lunch” (Commandment #1).  I will miss him asking me how my cholesterol is every.single.time. I ate cheese in front of him; his insistence on what I should do and see on my domestic and international trips (because he had undoubtedly been there and done that before) even though our travel styles were completely different; receiving a newspaper article in the mail that had highlights, underlines and hard to read handwritten notes in the margin and on sticky notes to stress his opinion; his reliability & consistency were second to none. “Always do what you say – if things change and you can’t do what you promised, then let the person know” (Commandment #7). I will miss the annual Christmas Day chat during the “A Christmas Story” marathon on TV because I saw it with him in the theatre in 1983 and vividly remember how excited he was that a film captured his Midwestern childhood so perfectly.  That incredible generosity that touched countless lives will be missed. “Better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it” (Commandment #2). I will miss how, at a restaurant, he would deliberately hand the wine list over to me in front of the server (knowing how it drove me bonkers when it was assumed that “the man” would order the wine) because he knew that I would order something that he had never tried but would enjoy; I will miss knowing that he is a phone call away if I need superlative advice on my new business venture and wish that I would have asked him more questions the last time we spoke. “Timing is everything. It’s like war in the element of surprise” (Commandment #8).  I will miss the fact that even if the lesson was tough or we did not agree on an issue or I did not understand his message at first that his points were on the mark. I will miss observing him in action socially and professionally, in his distinctive and traditional Gary Froid way. “It’s all relationships” (Commandment #5).

I will miss Gary’s singularity.


It might be April Fools’ Day but this sale is NO JOKE!



Hi Folks,

As an inventor and small business owner, it is always a highlight when I can offer a bonus to my customers and prospective customers (in addition to providing them with a fantastic product, of course).

There is a 2-day FREE SHIPPING sale for all RestoPresto orders in the US on the online store: Use code: NOFOOLING at checkout until midnight on April 2nd (EST). I hope that you take advantage of the free shipping and please pass this offer along to your friends & family! It is the perfect time to stock up on RestoPresto, which is THE must-have for spring & summer.

collage model 5

Our model shows us how to wear RestoPresto as a hood, scarf and wrap…with snaps & drawstrings it is EASY to do!

RestoPresto® is a carefully designed product that converts from small pouch to a versatile extra layer providing numerous easy configurations when and how you need it in an instant. Equipping all ages during all seasons, indoors and outdoors with easy solutions wrap dup for all ages during all seasons indoors and outdoors. for impromptu and planned events. We proudly manufacture in the USA.

Click on the video below to see some of the ways that people use RestoPresto!

Dishing 50th Anniversary wishes to Florida State University International Program’s Florence Study Centre


It has been almost 24 years since I participated in the FSU Study Abroad Program in Florence and I can still honestly say that it was one of the best decisions that I was fortunate enough to make. I studied abroad during the summer between my junior and senior years of college and truly felt like I had hit the jackpot!

I remember the elation that I felt when I received my acceptance letter from the International Programs office in the mail (yes, a paper letter sent the old-fashioned way – see photo below). I remember the anticipation that kept me from sleeping on the overnight flight to Rome and when we touched ground in Firenze, I had that distinctive “I have arrived” feeling.


Paper & snail mail in 1992!

Being surrounded by a language that is not mine, the aroma of garlic sautéed in olive oil wafting from the trattorias, vespas speeding through the narrow streets and astounding architecture, statues, art and adornments at every turn took my breath away and still does wherever I am in this beloved city. The six-week summer program flew by but I was able to immerse in the splendor, history and uniqueness of Firenze on a daily basis while being a part of the dynamic curriculum of the FSU program under the direction of the wonderful Dr. Victor Carrabino.


Summer of 1992 at the FSU Study Centre on Borgo degli Albizi







The adventure that I took over two decades ago opened my eyes, mind and senses to Italy and Italian culture. Happily, I have returned to Italy many times since then and while Firenze is my favorite city, I do know first hand that each town, each region and even each neigborhood in that delightful country is charmingly unique.

I had the superb pleasure of spending time in Firenze last September and was able to revisit my lengthy list of favorites. As a big enthusiast of strolling, as always, I veered off the main streets to explore and my list is even lenghtier now and filled with new discoveries. This visit was particularly special because I brought my invention, RestoPresto, with me. To be able to use my product, that I created from scratch, throughout a city that I hold close to my heart was really fantastic.

2015 - Il Duomo

2015 – Il Duomo

Excited to have my RestoPresto on the Arno!

It’s the 50th anniversary of the Florida State University International Program’s Florence Study Centre for which I am thankful for enriching my life!

Here’s to another happy 50 years!
Felice 50° Anniversario con amore da Candi (aka Caramella)!

Dishing Thanksgiving Wishes!



IMG_2222 (1)


If you celebrate the U.S. Thanksgiving, I wish you a happy, healthy and peaceful holiday!

If you are looking for a unique & fantastic holiday gift, then look no further….RestoPresto® is for the busy people in your life!

It is a compact pouch that converts to a super soft mat to sit on, sit under or wear! Lightweight, portable, water-repellent, UPF 50+ and with with snaps, drawstrings & loops it can be configured however you need it in an instant! Several products wrapped up into ONE! PRESTO!

Patented, made in the USA and invented lovingly by ME!

Inventory just arrived and RestoPresto is available in red, black, gray & blue exclusively on

marquee open thumbnail low res

PS: Frommer’s, the most Trusted Name in Travel selected RestoPresto® as one of the best travel gifts in its annual Travel Gift Guide. Here is the link:

Dishing about Kickstarter – Throwback Thursday 2014!

Red RP Florida collage

Hi Folks – it is hard to believe that a year has passed since I launched RestoPresto® to the market via a Kickstarter campaign!  Because of generous friends, family, strangers (who are now customers); very little sleep and 100% belief and love for my product, the campaign was overfunded and a gaggle of RestoPresto® mats was manufactured in the USA!


RestoPresto was funded with Kickstarter!

RestoPresto® is the only convertible mat on the market that you can sit on, sit under & wear. It is lightweight, portable, compact and with snaps, drawstrings & loops it can be configured however you need it in an instant! From small pouch to multi-functional mat….PRESTO!

The business is moving forward, our new & improved website will launch soon and we are gearing up for the the holidays with fun inventory!  Please follow @RestoPresto on Twitter & Instagram and like our page on Facebook for updates and news! #RestoPresto

Here is a “throwback Thursday” for The Candi Dish post about choosing Kickstarter as a crowdfunding platform for RestoPresto®…of course the actual product was not mentioned until the big reveal a few days later!

TONS of uses...

TONS of uses…


Happy Wednesday!

I have HUGE news to share! I have officially chosen Kickstarter as my platform to raise funding for the first production run of my product.

This means that you will be able to pre-order your own first edition of my product via Kickstarter before it is manufactured!

Several people have asked me questions about how Kickstarter works, so I have written an overview of what it is (and what it is not) ahead of my campaign launch.  Please see below.

I am beyond excited to share ALL of the details about my product with you in a few days and am thrilled that I will be celebrating the launch with my hometown friends in St. Pete, FL on Saturday. As I have said, many a time…please stay tuned!

Warm regards,



Kickstarter is a reward based (versus equity based) crowdfunding platform. Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising monetary contributions from a large number of people, typically via the Internet. The model is comprised of 3 main roles: the project initiator who proposes the project to be funded (me); individuals who support the project (hopefully you) and a moderating organization that brings the parties together to launch the idea (Kickstarter).

Through Kickstarter, I will engage friends, family and social media contacts (all of who, in turn, I hope will spread the word) to provide a clear overview of my invention, the amount of money I seek, how the funds will be used and what the rewards will be at each contribution level. Plus there will be a VIDEO!

People interested in supporting my project will be able to donate money easily and safely through my secured Kickstarter web page. In return, I will offer various rewards at each contribution level.

The goal is to reach (and hopefully exceed) my financial target. With Kickstarter, fundraising is “all or nothing” in that if I do not meet my fundraising goal, then I do not get the funds and backers do not get charged.

I chose Kickstarter as the platform to raise money for my product invention as an alternative to gathering investors for two reasons: 1) I wish to maintain 100% ownership (rather than exchange equity) in my company and 2) I wish to take advantage of the far-reaching exposure that Kickstarter can bring to my product.

A common question for prospective backers is about incentive. What is the incentive for someone to contribute to a campaign to fund a project? The answer is twofold: receiving a reward is cool and there is a sense of gratification that comes from helping someone bring an idea to life. Being a supporter of a product launch can be an exciting and fulfilling experience.

For me, the process of creating a product from scratch has been a remarkable journey. Now I am at the pre-production point and financial backers are critical for me to keep the manufacturing process in the US. I truly look forward to bringing my supporters along with me for this wild ride!

Lastly, my Kickstarter campaign will be interactive between prospective supporters, backers and me. I will maintain an open line of communication for people to contact me and for me to keep my backers fully in the loop on the project and fulfillment schedule.

Here is a link for more info:


What in the world is a RestoPresto®???

Red RP Florida collage

One of my biggest challenges as an inventor is figuring out how to explain all of the features and uses of RestoPresto®! It is a great challenge to have and quite exciting when customers are constantly sharing how RestoPresto® makes their lives easier!

For those of you who follow The Candi Dish but do not know about RestoPresto® the 3-in-1 portable, compact, water-repellent, UPF 50+ mat that you can sit on, sit under & wear, please check out and read below (check out the video, too)!

How does RestoPresto® work?

Well, it is carefully designed to be a multi-functional & easily transportable mat that makes busy people’s lives easier. When in its pouch RestoPresto® fits in your hand, when open it is the size of a beach towel and it weighs under 8 ounces. Made of a special fabric that is water-repellent, UPF 50+, soft and durable both kids and adults enjoy how it feels against the skin and how well it functions. Snaps, drawstrings and loops provide the user with endless configurations so you can literally use it to sit on (picnic, beach, concrete, public floor), sit under (when you need an extra layer) and wear (chilly indoors or out; to get you from Point A to Point B in the rain or snow). It is a product for all seasons, all ages and is unisex!

The RestoPresto® business is proudly run by me as a small, woman-owned Company that took the road less taken by designing, assembling and manufactured my unique product in the USA. Red & gray mats are currently in stock & can be purchased on!  Each RestoPresto® comes with 1 branded carabiner, 1 set of 4 branded mini-stakes & 1 instructional brochure.

Buy yours today!

So many uses in one dynamic gadget!

So many uses in one dynamic gadget!

RestoPresto is great for ALL seasons and ALL ages!

RestoPresto is great for ALL seasons and ALL ages!

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