Meeting Ina Garten + Week 2 Progress Of My 12 Week Challenge

This is my birthday week, so I decided to indulge in a few things that are a bit frivolous and fun.  Yesterday, my sister and I got up early, headed to the William Sonoma Gourmet Cuisine Store in South Coast Plaza, Costa Mesa, Ca, and waited in line for over four hours to have celebrity cookbook author and Food Network Star, Ina Garten (The Barefoot Contessa), sign her new cookbook for us.

My best friends and cousin were meeting us for my birthday lunch after the signing.  We had done something like this a couple years ago when another cookbook author and Food Network celebrity, Giada DiLaurentis, was signing books at the same William Sonoma Store.  It is just silly fun to be sitting on the marble floors, reading, drinking tea (which I brought from home),  and making new friends with others participating in this vigil…most of us laughing at the ridiculousness of spending so much time on this, while thoroughly enjoying the ambiance, lightness in the air, laughter, and a few little tidbits the William Sonoma staff tray passed to us of a crumble baked from Ina’s book.  My sister said it was really good, (I was a good girl and didn’t partake of the pastry–challenge in tact 🙂 )

While I anticipated a decent turnout for this book signing, I was stunned at just how many people ended up in line…over 1,000 to be sure.  Below photos depict just a small portion of the lines (as they had them streaming in multiple directions as not to block other retailer doors.)

Ina Garten book signing at William Sonoma, South Coast Plaza, Costa Mesa California ... lines and lines and more lines...she was so gracious and her team quite helpful and skilled

Ina Garten book signing at William Sonoma, South Coast Plaza, Costa Mesa California … lines and lines and more lines…she was so gracious and her team quite helpful and skilled

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Week Two Challenge Update:

So, that was Thursday…today is Sunday…the family is coming over soon to celebrate four November birthdays…my two brothers, nephew, and mine.  I didn’t have to do any cooking.  Just set the tables. We will serve buffet style.

It’s been a challenging week to be on a fitness and weight management challenge….sooo many lunches and dinners out celebrating, but I am happy to say that I have maintained…no gain in weight and I’ve eaten within my allowed ranges at nearly all meals.  The only thing I’ve gone a bit over on is wine consumption, as I don’t usually have wine more than once a week…this week I’m on my fourth day in a row of celebrating with a glass or two…but that’s o.k., it’s my birthday week.

My favorite thing to do is having the family over.  What fun.  I am already thinking of how to portion out the great food that is coming in a couple hours from my brother’s and sister, nieces and daughter…I plan to consume just a little bit of everything and I should get through unscathed 🙂 Challenge goals in tact.


  1. Happy happy birthday week. I love your table runner! What a great birthday celebration of a wonderful person!

    • Hi Lisa, thank you for the birthday wishes…it was a fun family dinner. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your renaissance man 🙂

  2. Had a wonderful time celebrating your birthday with everyone on Friday. Went to a class at William Sonoma this morning and they said that they sold out of her new cookbook Friday at Southcoast. Last night Leta gave me her cookbook for my birthday. Can’t wait to try her receipes. Ina is going to be on Katie on Wednesday at 3:00. Thought you might want to know.

    • It was so fun thanks to you clueing me in to Ina’s schedule. Thank you.
      So glad you got a copy of her book, it looks to have several recipes that will be “keepers” for many luncheons and dinners. Will DVR Ina on Katie’s show…thanks for the heads up.

  3. Well done and a very happy birthday Linda! Your tables look wonderful and I hope the meal is a great success.

    That book store signing is incredible, it reminds me of how I used to wait in line outside record stores in my youth, to get albums signed by musicians. I’ve never seen such a thing for an author, except perhaps J K Rowling. Amazing!

    • Thanks Lorna….it was a fun fun evening and I decided I never need to cook again for the family as they all brought such delicious food that no one even missed mine…am happy to set the table for them every time now.
      And yes, that book signing was amazing…very “rock star” like, except the demographic was a bit older and wiser 🙂 Do you still have favorite musicians…mine was (and still is) Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon and Carole King, and Neil Young…(from the old days)… Today I just love Adele (of course, as the world seems to too).

  4. Another great book signing adventure. What a fun thing to do. Next time we will get up earlier.

  5. I agree… while being 60th in line wasn’t bad…a few minute earlier and we would have been even closer to all the action 🙂 … as usual, it was a great great time hanging out with you!!!!! xoxo

  6. Same here — it was a fun day even though we only got to experience the last hour of frivolity in line with everyone — then watching you get your books signed by Ina. And our lunch at Wolfgang Puck’s was great! I am glad you had a great birthday week — you can always expand it to a month!

    • Ha Ha…yes, seems like we are almost celebrating birthdays all month long anymore…that’s fine with me…since I have the privilege of getting older, think it’s prudent to celebrate it 🙂 Always fun with you too…since you been to almost all since my 15th bday.