Today’s post is from our PR guru, Valerie Failla:
I am a publicist.
I have worked in areas of public relations, in almost every specialty—big brands, small brands, in-house, off-site—you name it. For the last two decades, I have primarily focused on the culinary and hospitality industries. Unfortunately, these two are a few the hardest hit industries during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Lately, friends and industry cohorts tell me, “Reinvent yourself.”
My response is always “No.”
I want to continue to be who I have always been simply because it is who I truly am. My “job” has never felt like a job in the traditional sense of the word. What I do for clients fuels my creativity, my drive, and my passion. There isn’t anything else that I could–or would–ever aspire to be.
9/11. I lived on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. For weeks, grey smoke hung outside the front windows of my dilapidated, fourth floor, walk-up apartment, although I lived over six miles from the World Trade Center site. I walked seventy-seven blocks and too many avenues to count to work for over two weeks for fear there would be another surprise attack, and I would be crushed underground on the subway. One would think that after surviving the fright of a terrorist attack in your own hometown backyard you could make it through anything. How could life possibly get any worse?
The most difficult difference between that darkest period in America and our current climate is the isolation. My kids can’t go to school. I can’t go to the diner for a cup of coffee and cheese fries. My husband and I cannot now do the work we have so thoroughly enjoyed since my agency, Via Failla PR & Events, launched in 2016. I have read that isolation can play incredibly interesting tricks on the mind, therefore, I will be infinitely grateful for my family who keep me busy, smiling, laughing, and again–very busy.
So what to do? Seek the silver lining.
As a family we have always planted an assortment of vegetables and herbs on our back deck. While we have been sheltered in place, we have taken the opportunity to create a much larger garden than we have in past years. Part of our newfound excitement is watching the newly potted strawberries and jalapeños bloom for the first time! Gardening is incredibly rewarding!
Classic board games including Life, Monopoly, and Operation have been keeping all our minds occupied (as well as laughing!) After playing several nights of each, I have often thought to myself, if it wasn’t for the pandemic, would my kids even know about these iconic games that kept my sister and me so entertained throughout the 80’s?
Hands down, our number one favorite activity. Cooking food is therapy. It is an incredibly positive, creative, and simple way to spend time with those we are quarantined with each day and then reap the delicious benefit! My sweet Gen Z children have created time-lapse videos of us cooking and my husband has taken so many photos of our dishes to post socially, that it’s beyond flattering!
Out of extreme circumstances comes learning. We will become tougher, smarter, save more money, and organically be more humble when we finally drive this infectious demon out of society.
Until then, stay home, stay safe, and keep on creating!
Here is one of my husband’s most favorite breakfast foods, egg toast cups. Adults and kids can easily make them and you can add in anything at all from your pantry.
Egg Toast Cups
You will need:
– One, regular size muffin tin
– Olive Oil spray or olive oil
– Bread Slices (Any kind work. However many muffins your tray makes, that’s how many bread slices you need)
– Room temp butter
– Eggs (number is same as how many muffins your tray makes)
– Italian Parsley (minced)
– Minced garlic (or garlic powder if out of fresh garlic)
– Salt and pepper
– Any Italian cured/dried salami “cold cut” that you can easily tear up
– Vegetables or other additions anchovies, roasted peppers, just about anything works!
Either spray the muffin cups or wipe evoo all over each muffin cup to prevent the bread from sticking
Butter both sides of each slice of bread
Push each slice of bread into each muffin cup and form it to stick to the muffin cup to make a bowl
Whisk all eggs and add in S&P, minced garlic (or garlic powder)
Pour egg mixture into each muffin cup and be sure to leave a bit of room at the top b/c egg will rise when cooked
Rip up salami and put a few pieces in each muffin cup (bologna is good too!)
Bake at 400 degrees until the egg is cooked but top is a bit soft (or cooked to your own liking)
Top w/parsley and serve (they easily come out of the muffin cup and they look really pretty!)
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