Monday, April 16, 2012

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Friday, March 9, 2012

In Honor of an Influential Lady in My Life

Did you know that today is the anniversary that Barbie was introduced to the world at the New York Toy Fair (back in 1959)?  

Growing up, I loved my Barbie dolls.  I remember playing with Barbie, Ken, Skipper, and all of their pets.  I loved all of the clothing (many, many missing tiny shoes that were probably sucked up by the vacuum), the Barbie Jeep that I had to have (and later rolled my guinea pigs around my basement in), and most of all - my Barbie computer game.  Remember the Commodore 64?  Wow...I am totally dating myself.  That game was the coolest back then - Ken would call Barbie on the phone and ask her to go out somewhere, and then it was your "job" to drive her around town and pick out her outfit, hair, everything.  The line, "Sounds like fun!" still resonates in my head - and my dad does a great rendition of it too (ha ha).   I cannot believe I just found this on YouTube...

I had to get the "Dana" Barbie doll when it came have a Barbie with your name.  Dana was part of the band, Barbie and the Rockers...c'mon now that's cool!!  :)
Barbie and the Rockers Dana Doll

As I was doing my research for this post (Greg helping me too!), we came across the BEST BARBIE OF ALLLLLLLLLLL TIME!!!


1998 Audrey Hepburn "Breakfast at Tiffanys" Barbie Doll

I think I need if anyone wonders what I would like for Mother's Day, my birthday, any day ;)  

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

You Can Call Me a Slacker...I Deserve It

I completely planned on going to the gym yesterday - until I woke up and realized that I had never felt the front of my thighs "burn" as bad as they did!  That 25 minute Core & Balance video I found on On Demand kicked my butt (or shall I say thighs?).  Seriously!  I actually secretly liked the reminded me every time I walked up and down the stairs, heck every time I WALKED, that I worked out on Sunday.  So, I skipped yesterday (and then I skipped today).  Tomorrow, barring any unforeseen meetings or emergencies, my butt (and thighs) are back in the gym!

Today I tried a protein shake for the first time ever.  I, of course, consulted my friend and co-worker on this new endeavor.  Max is super healthy, works out like mad, has tried training with me during lunch (I have a scar on my knee to prove it LOL), and humors me and my daily "new healthy idea".  Today - a chocolate protein shake from an unnamed company that my friend represents.  I showed Max what I was interested in sampling - he checked it out, saying it was very healthy (translation - yucky tasting?) and I requested a sample packet of the chocolate and vanilla.  

I was so apprehensive to try this shake that I truly wanted to like.  I was told that it didn't have the typical protein shake aftertaste (what about the "during-taste"?). forward.  Max prepares the shake, I take a sip.  I give the rest to Max.  I tried it...I did, and Max (you had better comment on my blog this time) was my witness.  I think I am going to stick with the Zone Bar in Chocolate Caramel Cluster.  MMMMMMMMMM   :) Delish!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Walk with the (5,000) Animals & Exercising!

I was so excited for Saturday morning...the Walk for the Animals finally was here!  Sadie and I were ready to walk for this great benefit the Humane Society of Broward County.  I am proud to say I raised a total of $457 - thank you to everyone who donated!  

We arrived with our standard walking partners - Danielle and Aidan, and could not believe the number of pets and their owners that filled Huizenga Plaza in Fort Lauderdale!  It was PACKED!  We finagled our way around the passes to check in and get our goodie bags.  I met about a half dozen fellow goldendoodles and was like a kid in a candy shop each time we came across another "family member" of Sadie's.  

Besides the mass amount of poop piles, we made it through the 1.25 miles :)   Dogs and bearded dragons alike, enjoyed the gorgeous Florida morning - we were expected to hit an all time high in the upper 80's!  The Humane Society had water stations and baby pools set up along the path. They had everything planned out so well.

Today, between my shower and going to a birthday party, I took advantage of the free exercising shows available on On Demand.  I found a great 25 minute Core and Balancing video that, although I thought it was going to be easy, was challenging.  There were many a times in that short time span that I thought to myself, "I could stop this now and no one would know..." BUT then I realized I was cheating myself, and no one else.  I finished the video, super proud of myself and loving the "burn" in my legs.  

On the eating front - I have been trying very hard to enforce the "no carbs after 5pm" rule. Friday was a bit hard because my husband made Osso Bucco - and what better to have Osso Bucco with than pasta!  It was a spinach pasta, which I guess is a bit better than the standard, but I only had a few fork-fulls.  I was proud at my restraint!  Saturday night we had the most delicious smoked wings and pizza on the BBQ.  YUM!  Tonight - chicken lettuce wraps, and my Chinese fave - shrimp with lobster sauce - with BROWN rice.  
(I have to confess, I did have one of the small shot glass was steps...).

Thursday, March 1, 2012

I Work Out...

I laugh every time I think of that song, "I'm Sexy and I know It".  Partially because the words are funny but mainly because that seems to be N's favorite song to sing.  Just thinking of his little body dancing in stiff, jerk-ish motions and hearing his super cute voice singing, "I'm sexy and I know it" puts the biggest smile on my face.  I know the song lyrics are less than ideal for an almost 7 year old - but thankfully he doesn't know what the lyrics actually "mean"...yet....I know...

So today I went alone to the gym during my lunch break.  I did a 3 minute warm up on the treadmill...speed 3.5, incline 6.5; followed by 5 minute run at speed 5.2, incline 0; followed by walking speed 3.5, incline 6.5; followed by 5 minute run at speed 5.2; followed by a cool down of 2 minutes walking at a 3.2 speed, incline 4.5.  THENNNNNN, I did 30 leg lifts (usually I can do more but my legs were screaming "No more!" and you know they always say to listen to your body!).  I stretched a bit and now I am back at work!!

BTW - the title of this blog came from the song "I'm Sexy and I Know It"  :)

I am Going to Get in Shape - For Real!

I have finally realized that ripping exercise articles out of magazines, watching video clips on the computer, and buying cool workout outfits is not getting me in shape.  LOL.  But seriously...I need to get my butt in gear!  In the many articles I have read in the past, they mention the concept of blogging about your exercising...making yourself accountable for working out and eating healthier because your readers are "watching" you.  So here I go...delving into the "accountability". I thought of writing this blog subject many a times...and, many a times, I realized I have to follow through and that scared me a bit.  I can follow through with purchasing that fabulous pair of shoes online, I follow through with office meetings...why not exercising and doing something for my health, right?

First I want to share this video on how to do a proper sit up.  I need to get me one of those straps.  Or I guess I could use one of the dozen ties Rich doesn't wear anymore.  

I started eating healthier this week.  No carbs after 5 pm.  I went to the gym with Danielle during lunch on Tuesday.  20ish minutes on the elliptical!  I'm getting steps.  

My favorite workout clothes - Lululemon.  I am going to reward myself with something cool from Lululemon if I keep this up.  I am liking this challenge!

Run: Chase Me Skirt
Cute Lululemon running SKIRT!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Support the Doggies!

I am doing a Walk for the Animals this weekend and would love if you could please support my efforts!  Click here - every little bit counts!  Thank you!!!

Sadie and I thank you!

Street Art in NY! Moving Street Art!

Knowing my love of street art, my husband forwarded me this link from the New York Daily cool!

 Members of TATS Cru created a mural of NY Knicks player Jeremy Lin on East 2nd St. at Avenue A on Tuesday. (Jefferson Siegel/for New York Daily News)

Also, while removing the grays from my head, I found out that my colorist loves street art as well!  We started talking about the different styles of art, the movie Exit Through the Gift Shop (which I highly recommend), and then he mentioned "moving street art".  This is SO COOL!!!  The  movie is a bit long, but it is so amazing!

How Priti!

I am a big beauty supply lover (along with shoe lover, scarf over, jeans lover, jewelry lover, etc.). I js signed up for monthly deliveries of new equity finds from Click here to learn more.

I received my first box of goodies this weekend and couldn't wait to try everything out! My nail polish has seen better days, so no time like the present to try the PRITI NYC soy nail polish remover cloth. I LOVE IT! Not only is it a biodegradable wipe, it was so easy to take off my base coat, 2 coats of dark gray polish, and top coat. I loved that the cloth enabled me to remove the polish along my cuticles with ease...cotton balls just don't do that for me. You have to get out q-tips to totally clean off the polish left behind by the cotton ball...too many steps for me.

The packaging boasts that "this earth friendly product is naturally derived from farm crops and does not contain any petroleum is non-toxic, contains no carcinogens...has been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency."

The yuck smell from conventional nail polish removers - no more! I highly recommend checking this product out. Go to to learn more.

(I did not get paid for this review...I really like it and want you to know!)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

South Beach, China Grill, Lenny Kravitz - AMAZING!

This weekend was just what the doctor ordered!  After a long week out of town for business,  I was so ready for a relaxing, yet exciting weekend.  I did have a great week with my coworkers in somewhat chilly PA.

Wednesday started off with a meeting, followed by a meeting, then trailed by a meeting.  When lunch came around, I was more than ready to break out of the office for lunch with my two new co-workers.  Becky recommended Xcilantro, and who could say no to a restaurant with such a great name!  It was great - the name and the venue!  The ambiance was very contemporary...white with accents of lime green.  Nice!  I ordered the corn chowder, recommended by the waiter (who, in turn, was also a chef there) along with chicken enchiladas and mole sauce.  The corn chowder - delish, not too creamy.  The chicken enchilada, or I should say the mole - not so much.  I never had mole before and figured I should be daring, maybe portraying a good impression on the ladies.  Both Janelle and I bit into the mole and were like, "no-le".  Other than the mole, I would totally recommend this spot.  After lunch, we took a stroll (towards the car) and didn't make it far beyond three storefronts when we came upon this great frame shop (as in glasses).  Becky and I both share a love of cool glasses, so I figured a super quick browse before going back into the office wouldn't hurt.  Browsing turned into loving, and 15 minutes later I scored myself some super cool red colored cat eye glasses!  (Mind you, I was not in need of glasses, but did say I would look for a pair of wire-framed glasses since I had 4 pairs of plastic frames - make that 5 now).  I love them - no regrets!

Thursday, Sarah showed me around a great little town, Media PA.  We drove around checking out the area (who knows...I may live there one day...) and I gawked at the FABULOUS Trader Joe's on the main street (in a building that used to be an old armory).  The houses are beautiful, old and full of character.  Lunch at On A Roll was delicious and then back to work we went!  Wednesday night I dined with Amy at Theresa's Next Door.    Delicious mussels, a burger and great conversation ensued.  I am on a mission to find her some cool master bathroom designs.
Shower inset at the Loews - thought of Amy and her quest...I may "borrow" this idea too!
Friday - one day closer to my Lenny concert - went by quickly and uneventful.  I had lunch with current and one old coworker, followed by work and then a flight home!  

Saturday morning couldn't come fast enough!  We packed for us and the boys - they were going to Grandma and Grandpa's for the night - yay!  

Arriving at the Loews Hotel, we noticed that the weather was not optimal for a poolside nap, so we relaxed in the comfy and simplistically modern room for a bit.  Lack of packing lipstick brought us out of our room and onto Collins Ave.  The weather was yuck, but the people watching and art deco architecture made up for it.  

As we were passing by the Diesel store, my husband decided he needed a new pair of sneakers (he apparently never heard of the concept of washing one's sneakers in the washing machine...) so 20 minutes later, he was walking out of the Diesel store in a new pair of ( sneakers.  We did eventually hit Sephora, where I scored a nice lip gloss and made friends with a sales associate who loves Caudelie as much as I do (score - 2 nice sized samples of their eye cream which my new friend said he is "obsessed" with.  Can't wait to try it!)

On to dinner - China Grill.  We started off with a refreshing sake and cucumber-infused drink, lobster pancakes and calamari salad.  I could have passed on the pancakes and eaten the whole calamari salad myself!  Dinner included short ribs (succulent), drunken chicken (same), and vegetable fried rice.  We could have done without the rice, as I think my eyes were WAY bigger than my stomach and I also have a soft spot for rice (odd, I know).

On to the BEST, BEST part of the night....LENNY KRAVITZ!!!!!!!  

I was so excited - kid-less for the night, great dinner, Parker dress bought especially for this special night, new shoes (that I ended up hating by the end of the night...don't wear new shoes to a concert that you are going to be standing and dancing in the whole time - ask my poor toes), and now LENNY!!  

The concert was at the Fillmore, a beautiful, intimate venue that I would definitely visit again...any seat was ideal.  The opener was a singer named Rafael who, from conversing with our seating neighbors, used to be in the group Tone Loc.  Don't hold that against him,  his new group is talented.  The music was a mix of Motown, big band, and R&B.  Great opener, but now on to LENNY!

He was so freakin' amazing...he is so talented.  He is personable, and cute, and amazing and fabulous...I could go on and on.  His new album, Black and White America, is a little off his beaten path, but one to at least sample on iTunes.  I loved his song, Black and White America - as he was singing, a slide show of his childhood streamed behind him.  Old photos of his mom and dad, him as a child, then growing up - proving that we live in a Black and White America.  His father - Sy Kravitz a Russian Jewish NBC television producer, and Bahamian and African-American mother  - Roxie Roker, most popularly known as Helen Willis in the 70's TV hit The Jeffersons, brought Lenny up in NY on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.  His music career begin at the age of 3, banging on pots and pans - look at him now!  

The show was spectacular.  He spoke to us, the audience, as if we were his friends, saying how one of his goddaughters chose to be at his show that evening instead of Cody Simpson's concert; joking that he has risen to the ranks of Justin Beiber and such.  

The night did end with sad, torn up toes (please see above...) but they did not ruin my great weekend!!

Friday, February 24, 2012

How To Fold a Fitted Sheet

I love reading blogs.  One of my daily reads is The Average Girl's Guide.  I was so psyched when she posted the video below...How to Fold a Fitted Sheet!  My mom has tried to teach me numerous times, and its not that I haven't paid attention or anything, I have a brain block when it comes to this housekeeping task.  

Thursday, February 23, 2012

What Would We Do Without Tootsie Rolls?

Today is the anniversary of the first day that Tootsie Rolls were sold in American candy shops (in 1896)!

Some little known facts to celebrate this sweet day:
  • Tootsie rolls were the first penny candy to be individually wrapped (Wikipedia)
  • This chocolate candy was named after the inventor's daughter, Clara "Tootsie" Hirshfeld!
  • There is an online store for all of your Tootsie needs and wants!
  • There are eight varieties!  (who would have known!)  
  • To see how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie here!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

W.C. Fields and I Would Have Been BFFs

"I cook with wine.  Sometimes I even add it to the food."

At one of our many date nights, my husband and I stumbled across a great bottle of wine.  We went to City Cellar, a favorite spot of ours, where I love their bolognese and my husband swears by their lamb shank and mushroom soup.  On this particular night, we were welcomed by a waiter that was very knowledgeable in the wine department.  I explained how I am a fan of Pinot me some Mark West or Acacia!  He recommended Hitching Post, so I obliged.  

I love it!  Such a nice taste..I had to learn more about this brand!

Hartley-Ostini Hitching Post wines are made by Buellton Hitching Post owner/chef Frank Ostini and his good friend, former fisherman Gray Hartley.  They used to make the wine at home in 1979 and then in 1984, they moved their efforts to a winery where they would produce the wine exclusively for the Hitching Post restaurant.  

Thankfully, they now share it with the world!!

You can purchase the wine online here.  I recommend buying more than one bottle :)  To learn more about the history of this delicious wine, click here.

Please note that I do these reviews purely because I enjoy sharing things that I LOVE with my friends, family, and readers.  

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Pucker Up...Safely!

My husband very rarely sends me an email about an article he had recently read (not that he doesn't read articles...but I guess they don't resonate as much as this following one did).

Apparently, the USDA found 400 lipsticks that contain lead in them.  The levels are so small that we need not fully worry, but some people do ingest their lipstick.  This brings back memories of practically eating my cherry Chapstick...thankfully it isn't on the list!!

The ten lipsticks that contained the most amount of lead are:

1. Maybelline Color Sensational, Pink Petal (7.9 ppm)
2. L'Oreal Colour Riche, Volcanic, (7.0 ppm)
3. NARS Semi-Matte, Red Lizard (4.93 ppm)
4. Cover Girl Queen Collection, Ruby Remix, (4.92 ppm)
5. Nars Semi-Matte, Funny Face (4.89 ppm)
6. L'Oreal Colour Riche, Tickled Pink (4.45 ppm)
7. L'Oreal Intensely Moisturizing Lipcolor, Heroic (4.41 ppm)
8. Cover Girl Continuous Color, Warm Brick (4.28 ppm)
9. Maybelline Color Sensational, Mauve Me (4.23 ppm)
10. Stargazer Lipstick, #103 (4.12 ppm)
If you are concerned about contaminants in your lipstick or other cosmetics, the Environmental Working Group rates over 1000 cosmetic lip products on its searchable database. 
CLICK HERE for 11 Lead Free Lipsticks from the Yahoo article.
My Favorite Gloss...Make Up Forever...not necessarily this color - I love Star Collection S2.
Lab Shine Lip Gloss

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

This is When I Wish I had an iPhone...

I am totally slacking on posting and I promise I will get back on track!

I just saw these phone cases and LOVE them!!!

Case-Mate Creatures for iPhone 4 and 4S 1

Case-Mate Creatures for iPhone 4 and 4S 4
Case-Mate Creatures for iPhone 4 and 4S 3

Case-Mate Creatures for iPhone 4 and 4S 2

You can check them out here!!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Yet Another Quote From Ms. Hepburn... :)

“The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman is seen in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides. True beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It's the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows & the beauty of a woman only grows with passing years.” 
― Audrey Hepburn

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Shop Suey

There are a bunch of websites that I love to check out for cool stuff - whether it is for handbags, clothing, accessories, kid-related, dog-related.  I also love to share great deals and beautiful things with my friends and family, so here is another one of those instances :)

Shop Suey is a website that was introduced to me, at first, via a magazine article.  I couldn't believe the price for this one purse that I liked.  I had to investigate further.  Shop Suey was started in 1999 by Heather Gray, a self-proclaimed "shop-a-holic".  She began SS as a form of extra income, as she was a stay-at-home mom.  Now, it is a world-renowned Internet shopping site, seen on the pages of countless magazines.  

I have a bunch of her bags...they are so great!  Instead of spending a lot of money on some of the latest trends in handbags (and jewelry), I sometimes choose to browse her great site and see what styles she has for the season.  A lot of the products have their own product video, which is a great way for you to see how the bag lays and what the interior of the bag looks like.  

Right now they have a GREAT 50% off sale going on some of their popular bags and accessories...definitely worth checking out.  

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

DDSmart Review

I don't know about you, but I need to have my cup of coffee and breakfast to start my day.  I was turned on to Dunkin' Donuts' DDSmart menu via another fellow blogger and had to check it out for myself!

Last week I went into D&D, as I like to call it, and ordered the Egg White Flatbread Sandwich - with the turkey sausage.  It was delish!  I also ordered my usual iced latte light, a staple during my Dunkin' Donuts trips.  The sandwich was very filling, and at only 280 calories, a definite score for me!  My small iced latte light is only 80 calories and made with skim milk and Splenda - 360 calories for a delicious, satisfying breakfast - who could ask for more?

Other items from the DDSMART menu include:

  • Wake-up wraps - smaller portion-sized, delicious :) Egg White Veggie, Egg White Turkey Sausage, Egg & Cheese, and Ham, Egg and Cheese. (range between 150 - 200 calories each)
  • Freshly brewed unsweetened teas - zero calories!!
  • Freshly brewed unsweetened medium iced tea - only 5 calories!!

All Dunkin' Donuts' DDSMART items meet at least one of the following criteria: 25% fewer calories; 25% less sugar, fat, saturated fat or sodium than comparable fare, and/or contain ingredients that are nutritionally beneficial.  

To learn more about Dunkin' Donuts, please visit  

Monday, January 30, 2012


I just don't understand sometimes. I knew he was sick and I had a gut feeling it wasn't going to be long before I got a call from Mom and Dad telling me that he died, so why am I such a basket case now?

Mom called and said they were going to unplug the machines. His organs were failing, he wasn't "there" anymore. Aunt Jean, what is she going to do? Please someone give her strength. She has been through the worst, she is losing her husband. She has been watching him slowly leave, sometimes catching a break for just a little bit. Dad is going to lose his buddy...someone he admires for his old-fashioned-ness, and his tool store as Dad called it. Uncle Frank has every tool and gadget imaginable. His consideration for everyone - from the slippers he had waiting for Mom and Dad' visits to the glasses holders in the bathroom and guest rooms, there for the comfort of the guest.

He is 83...he still is now no matter what anyone says. Whatever happens tomorrow is something different. This 83 year old man IS selfless, loving - loved my two boys as if they were his grandsons. When he'd go to the flea markets with my aunt, he would make sure to look for toy cars for my boys, knowing how much they loved cars - especially the ones that had numbers on them. He'd wrap them up in a box and send them down with my parents.

He introduced me to stamp collecting. I see the books he passed down to me, sitting on the
hallway desk, every time I pass through. He gave me all of his stamps, taught me about the different markings, how to mount the stamps, where to get more for my new found collection. I remember visiting their house in NJ - playing in the side yard, going through the side door, through the kitchen into the bright (yellow?) room that had the TV we'd watch.

Does he know about tomorrow? What's going to he going to be relieved? Out of pain and at peace? Is it terrible that, although I know deep down inside that this is the best for him, I wish tomorrow would never come for that reason? That Aunt Jean has to watch that, and knows what will happen next? Will he know that she loves him as does everyone
that has met him? Will he know?

Will someone please give Aunt Jean strength, hug her so tight, tell her that it's ok? Will it give her peace as well? Knowing he isn't suffering anymore, that he probably wants her to live her life now...she did everything she could and then some.

I don't know how to end this because I don't want it to "end". I love you Uncle Frank. I love that my boys got to know you as the great man I knew since a little girl. I just wish for a bit longer, but I am glad and thankful for the time I've had.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Quote For the Day

If you know me, you'd know that I love Audrey Hepburn :)  Here is a quote by Audrey to start off the week:

Happy girls are the prettiest :)

Pinned Image

Thursday, January 19, 2012

National Popcorn Day!

I am starting to see a trend here...I seem to like the "National" days that pay homage to food and drink!

In honor of today being National Popcorn Day, I would like to share some history on this delicious snack.  

  • Native Americans in North America discovered popcorn thousands of years ago.  One of the oldest forms of corn, there is even evidence of it from 3600 B.C. in New Mexico (AB-  find out where!!)
  • During the Great Depression, while other businesses failed, the popcorn business did fabulously and became a source of income for struggling farmers.  
  • There are 6 "Popcorn Capitals of the World" - Ridgeway, IL; Valparaiso, IN; Van Buren, IN; Shaller, IO; Marion, OH; and North Loup, NE.  
  • Popcorn is the official state snack food of Illinois - what is your state's official snack food?
  • The world's largest popcorn ball was unveiled in October 2006 in Lake Forest, IL.  It weighed 3,415 pounds (!!!), measured 8 feet in diameter, and had a circumference of 24.6 feet!  Orville must be proud!!
Looking to get a new popcorn bowl to celebrate this glorious day?  Check out this cool gold bowl!  It is available for purchase here.
Other Image

There is an organization named The Popcorn Board, a non-profit check-off organization funded by U.S. popcorn processors to raise awareness of popcorn as a versatile, whole grain snack.  They even have a "mascot", Poppy!
Pop away!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Philly Street Art

This past week I was in the Philadelphia area (for work) and thought I saw some street art on our way into the city.  We were driving straight from the airport to experience the infamous Geno's Cheese Steaks and I thought I saw some art splashed on walls (but it was dark).  The cheese steak was great...I got it "provolone wit" (wit means with onions).  

Please excuse the quality of the picture...I took it on my cell phone :)
Unfortunately, I did not get to experience Philly's street art in person, so I did some research and found out that street art lives in the city of brotherly love!

Street Art By Mundame - Philadelphia (PA)
Street art by Mundame - "Lois in Wonderland"

Get Up , a San Francisco-based DJ and street artist who grew up in Philly, put up a poster of Benjamin Franklin. (CONRAD BENNER)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Hot Toddy

Bet you didn't know that today is... National Hot Toddy Day!! 

In honor of this festive occasion, here are some recipes I conjured up (translation: Googled).


yield: Makes 1 drink
active time: 5 min
total time: 10 min
Brandy or Scotch also work well in a toddy, but the vanilla sweetness of good bourbon was our favorite — this time, at least.

1 oz (2 tablespoons) bourbon
1 tablespoon mild honey
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup boiling-hot water
print a shopping list for this recipe

Put bourbon, honey, and lemon juice in a 6-ounce mug. Top off with hot water and stir until honey is dissolved.


Total Time: 35 min
Prep: 5 min
Cook: 30 min
Yield: approximately 13 (4-ounce) servings
Level: Easy
Print Recipe
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1 lemon, thinly sliced, plus more for garnish
1/2 cup Demerara sugar
1 quart water
2 1/2 cups Scotch whiskey
Freshly grated nutmeg

Combine the lemon, sugar, and water in a small, 2 to 3-quart slow cooker set to high. Cover and heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves completely, 20 to 30 minutes. Add the Scotch whiskey and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to low and serve warm with lemon slices and freshly grated nutmeg

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Butterfly Dreams

About 5 years ago (I believe, I may be off a bit), my parents brought my family along to a birthday party for their friends' granddaughter, Ashtyn.  I was pregnant with Gabriel at the time, and Leslie with Jesse (wow...time flies!).  Leslie was so nice and welcoming and Adam, her husband, was super nice and funny so we felt comfortable with them right off the bat.  When I first met Ashtyn, she was under the pavilion at the pool, and she was smiling at her Grammy - so sweet!!  Through the years we have gotten to spend some great times with the Montali family.  Whether it was birthday parties, holidays, or a trip to the zoo we'd get the families together and always have fun.  My children love to hang out with Ashy and Jesse whenever they can.  

Ashtyn is a super special little lady.  Her determination, will, perseverance, love, is unmatched - especially for an 8 year old little girl.  Due to a traumatic birth experience, Ashtyn suffered from a lack of sufficient oxygen to her brain.  She has been fighting ever since..."like the bravest, strongest person you ever met, to make it through, to find her place, to give the whole hearted smiles we all desperately need to see that she will be okay. She has been the inspiration for Butterfly Dreams."


Butterfly Dreams assists children with special needs and their families as well as schools and therapy centers that enhance their mental and physical abilities. Their efforts continue to provide necessary equipment as well as financial assistance for families and businesses alike that are in need. 

Leslie just published her first book, Butterfly Dreams, and I love it!  It evokes so many different emotions - I think I smiled while crying many times throughout.  I highly recommend reading this book, it is a great story about a girl and her family overcoming her life challenges with Cerebral Palsy.  You can read more about the book and purchase it at:

Look at her melts me every time!  

If you have any questions or would like to donate to the Butterfly Dreams efforts, please complete this web form.  You would be helping other children just like beautiful Ashy get the care and assistance they need.  

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Innisbrook Golf and Spa Resort Review

A boo boo on my part made way to an interesting New Years weekend getaway for the family (and the Cohens).  

I had purchased a Spa Rah Rah gift certificate for 3 days/2 nights and 4 spa treatments at the Innisbrook Golf and Spa Resort as a Christmas gift for my husband.  I even told my parents about this great gift, saying that we would probably use it sometime in March, and confirmed that they could watch the boys. 

I was all excited to print up the certificate and creatively wrap it for Rich, when my eye wandered to the expiration date.  WHAAAA!!!!!  Yeah, it said JANUARY 12, 2012!!  Do you think I would have thought to check the expiration date...nahhhh.  I figured we could call them and see if they would extend the time frame.  I tried calling Spa Rah Rah customer service - left messages 2x and emailed them - no response.  When I gave the certificate to Rich, I noted my lack of attention to detail.  Luckily, I came up with the brilliant idea of calling to see if they had availability during the weekend of New Years, which they did!  So this wasn't going to turn out to be the romantic weekend get away that I envisioned, but it would be a fun family weekend, right?

Golf tee times booked - check.  Spa booked - check.  We arrived Saturday morning all set for a fun weekend.  Check in was super fast.  Dan, our welcoming committee guy from the resort was really friendly and I was so proud of N when he went up to Dan and put out his hand to shake.  So cute.  The room was laid out interestingly - it was 800 sq. ft, had a kitchenette, bathroom, and basically one large room with two queen beds, separated by an accordion separator from the living room.  The balcony was my favorite as it overlooked the golf course - so beautiful!

New Years Eve was a relaxing and fun.  We ate at the Grille in the Osprey Clubhouse.  Besides the slow service, it was a nice meal.  There was a fire pit with comfy outdoor couches calling our name, so after dinner we ran over there to grab our spot!  The kids ran around and played their video games.  We hung out and talked, enjoying the weather and the fire pit.  By 10:30 we were all in bed sleeping LOL.  
Sunday the boys played Copperhead while we ate a terrible breakfast at the clubhouse and then walked the nature trail (more like a nature jump, skip and a hop).  N recognized a North American Vulture (all those visits to the zoo have paid off!).  After that we were off to the Loch Ness pool!  They had 2 water slides, a beach entry pool (that was not temperature controlled as advertised) and a gazillion bees.  :(  We stayed for a little bit and after N started hysterical crying about the bees, we were forced to leave.  The resort offers rental of these cool bikes...they have a basket-like seat in the front and a long bench "main" seat, where two people peddle to get the bike going.  THAT was so much fun!!  We put the little ones in the basket and the older ones sat between us on the bench seat.  After 20 minutes, we were ready to return the bicycle - not because it wasn't fun, but because I am totally out of shape and my legs were burning :)

Lunch wasn't the best - I think the bees followed us from the pool because we had to leave lunch early to get away from them.  

Spa time at last!  That was my most favorite part of the weekend.  I had what I think was the best massage ever - I even caught myself nodding off a few times!  The coco-licious body scrub was nice, but a bit icky.  I was so excited for the time that we would have after the treatments - to lay in the relaxation room, drink a glass of wine and just chill.  Well, that thought was shattered when the receptionist came to the relaxation room to find me because my husband came in inquiring if my spa treatments were over because he didn't want to miss his next tee time.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME??????????  I am still super bitter about that.  

Dinner was off-property that night (not messing with the resort food anymore) and we were in bed by 9pm.  Monday morning R woke up with a sneezing attack and we were more than glad to get back on the road.  Packed and out the door by 8:30am, we were on our way back to Sadie!

Spring 2012 Collection Debuts Tonight!!

Stella & Dot's Spring 2012 collection debuts tonight!  Home office says that the collection should be available a bit after 8pm EST.  I have already ordered my look books - so excited!! Below are some sneak peeks that my fellow stylists shared:

That tassel necklace is MINE at 8!!  LOL....I love it :)

So what do you think?  In honor of this fun event, I am going to give away a $50 gift certificate once I reach 1,000 fans on my Facebook page:

FUN!  Now what am I going to do until 8pm?  (hahahaha  I have so much to do that I hope it makes the day go by super fast!!)