23 September, 2009

Celebrating...a song

I don't know why, but this song has been on my mind for over a week now so I thought I'd share it.

Enjoy and celebrate!!

Luv Ya!!

22 September, 2009


Today is the first day of Autumn…summer is officially gone. Time to turn our thoughts to all of the fun activities that represent Fall. There’s apple picking and pumpkin picking and hay rides. There’s also my favorite, watching the leaves change colors. This was a habit that started for me as a child. And it always brings back fond memories of collecting leaves with my Mom and picking out the most special ones to use in art projects for school (does anyone else remember putting the leaves and crayon shavings between 2 sheets of waxed paper and ironing it?). I remember walking to my class and passing all of the projects that were hanging proudly in the hallway on display.

So as we say good-bye to the heat and humidity and embrace the shortening days and the cool, crisp air, I would like to offer some suggestions to celebrate the season:

Plan a hay ride with friends and family. These are usually found on farms and while you’re there you can pick up some fresh apples and apple cider and why not grab a few pumpkins for Halloween and for cooking.

Pack up your thin little summer clothes and pull out the luxuriously thick and warm sweaters, and winter clothes. Make sure you pack up all of the summer clothes that you haven’t worn in the past few years and all of the fall/winter clothes that you don’t think you’ll wear and donate them to the needy.

Change your batteries in your smoke and CO detectors.

Change out your make up and fingernail polish. If possible, go shopping to pick-up the newest color trends.

Pick-up all of the fall trend fashion magazines and start planning your wardrobe. Also, identify the few key pieces that you need to purchase to be current, trendwise.

And to help your celebrations, here are a few recipes to try:
Glazed Apple Cookies
Apple Cupcakes
Hot Buttered Cider

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Iced Pumpkin Cookies
Pumpkin Cupcakes
Pumpkin Pie Martini
(yes…a pumpkin pie martini)

Happy Autumn !! Celebrate !!

Luv Ya !!

19 September, 2009

Celebrating…Puppy Birthdays

This one is for the dog lovers! From the teeniest yorkie to the grandest great dane, dogs play a big part in our culture here in the US. People take their dogs almost everywhere…to the beach, shopping, to their favorite (dog friendly) restaurants…even on vacations. So I thought I’d offer some tips on planning a special celebration for your dog’s birthday. We celebrate our birthday’s---why wouldn’t you celebrate Fido’s birthday too?!! (After all…life, all life, should be celebrated!!)

Puppy parties, life those for us humanoids, can range from casual to elegant and formal. It all depends on how pampered your prince or princess is.

First you must decide on a theme and location for the party. Do you want it in your house or back yard? Do you want to do a picnic in the park? Do you want to visit one of the many doggie boutiques that do special celebrations for their canine clients?

A cute party idea that I saw a while ago was a dog party picnic in the park. The host spread out several groupings of blankets for the dogs and owners to sit on. They had doggie snacks packaged in one set of plastic containers and people snacks in another set of plastic containers (color coded for clarity). They provided plastic water dishes (which also served as a party favor) and plenty of cool, fresh water for all. For dessert they provided dog bones for the dogs and dog bone shaped cookies for the non-dogs.

Next, draft a guest list and send out invitations. I would suggest no more than 4 or 5 invited guests because too many puppies in one place could potentially be a problem. As for an invitation…why not get some dog bone treats (like Milkbone) and tie a hand written note to the bone with a satin ribbon. Mail it in a box or a small tube. Cute presentation and a prelude-to-the-party treat for the puppy.

Plan your menu and decide what activities you’ll include. Make sure you provide snacks for owners and treats for the doggies. Also make sure there is plenty of water around for the dogs to drink. And what’s a party without cake? There are several companies that produce doggie cakes, or you can make one yourself. And don’t forget the ice cream. There’s at least one brand, Paws, that’s available in your local grocery store’s freezer section.
As for activities, it will probably be easiest to allow most of the time for the dogs to mingle and play with each other (supervised of course), but it’s also fun to try a group activity/game like fetch, or chase the ball or you could do a talent show where each doggie showcases his or her special talent. If your party is in a doggie boutique, you could always do a fashion show with each dog modeling his or her favorite outfit from the boutique.

Don’t forget the decorations. If it’s a birthday party, there must be party hats! There are several on-line resources to help. As far as setting a tablescape, you need to decide if you will have the puppies sitting around a table or if you will create a tabletop for them on the ground/floor. Find a table cloth and plates that will match your theme. Paper is fine for the more casual celebrations, but if Rover is very pampered, you might want to use linens and fine china. As an alternative to a plate, you can always use plastic dog bowls. If you decide to decorate with balloons, please be very careful. If a dog breaks one by biting it, he might choke on the rubber of the balloon.

Here are some additional resources that may be of help:
Tail Waggin’ Celebrations
Dog Birthdays
Dog Birthday Parties
Good Dog Express
Pampered Puppy
Dog e-beg
Dog Zone
Birthday Direct
Oriental Trading

So that’s it in a nutshell! How to celebrate Man’s (or Woman’s) Best Friend’s birthday! For other ideas and for customized invitations or party favors, you can contact www.ffionline.com). This blog post is dedicated to my friend Kara who thought up this subject (though she isn’t a dog fan…how funny is that?!).

Have a great today!! Celebrate!!

Luv Ya!!

15 September, 2009

Celebrating...being famous (in my own mind)

On Sunday, Stephanie, Kara and I attended the Cupcake Meet-Up, at my fav Molly's Cupcakes, sponsored by my fav cupcake blog, Cupcakes Take The Cake. As I was catching up on their blog today, imagine my surprise when I found I was featured in a post. Check me out!! I am on cloud nine!! (Thus me celebrating being famous...in my own mind anyway!)

Well, there were quite a few of us meeting and greeting and eating cupcakes!! Rachel, from Cupcakes Takes The Cake did a great job of coordinating such a fun event. We met several new cupcake fan/friends including Sandy, the Milwaukee Queen of Cupcakes, from Iron Cupcakes, Natalie (and family) from Bake and Destroy, two girls from a cupcake shop in the Minneapolis area, Irma from Beautiful Cakes, the owner of Swirlz and some cupcake fan/friends Ryan, Lauren and Sara.

Of course we took pictures of the gorgeous Molly's cupcakes:
Here's our fearless leader, Rachel of Cupcakes Take The Cake:
There was lots of meeting...
...and greeting...
...and eating (turtle cupcake...YUM!!)!!!
After the Cupcake Meet-Up, several of us went to the Renegade Craft DIY Fair in Wicker Park. There were over 300 vendors and there was lots of neat stuff to see and buy. While there, we met Jessie of Cakespy from Seattle, WA who had special little Cuppie (her cartoon character) buttons for us.
After the craft fair, I realized that I had no cupcakes so we decided to swing by Sugar Bliss Cake Boutique. GREAT IDEA!! The shop is very modern and I LOVED it!! There were only 3 cupcakes on the shelf (we arrived 5 minutes before closing time), but the workers had cupcakes in the back that they could ice for us!! YAY!!
I got (clockwise) Lemon Coconut, Mixed Berry, Black and White and Chocolate Chocolate.
I tasted the Black and White first and I must say that the cupcake was FABULOUS!! The cake was a very dark brown and was very moist and had a GREAT flavor! And the vanilla icing was INSANE!! This has become my second favorite cupcake (behind Molly's yellow cupcake with Brown Butter Icing).
It had been a long day and I should have been off to bed, but as I was checking in on a blog, I decided I needed a snack. I ate the Chocolate Chocolate. Very good! This is the best chocolate icing (that is not a ganache) that I have had so far! It's still not excellent, but it's very, very good.
So all in all, I had happy cupcake hunting on Sunday!! Hope you had a great weekend too!!

Take care and celebrate!

Luv Ya!!

14 September, 2009

Celebrating...a week of dancing

Two of the talk shows that I follow premiered last week and boy did they start off with a BANG!!!

Oprah herself was surprised when her audience of more than 21,000 people busted out with a Flash Mob Dance. I believe I heard that it has been recorded as the largest flash mob dance in one location. Go Oprah!

In case you missed it, check out the video:

And how could we possibly celebrate dancing without including the Queen of Daytime Dance, Ellen?!! Ellen wasn't surprised by her opening dance---she did the surprising...first she surprised the So You Think You Can Dance Top 10 from last season (they thought she was coming in to their rehearsal joking around until she broke out in the routine with them), and then she surprised her viewing audience. AND SHE WAS EXCELLENT!!!

Take a look for yourself!!

And I was doing my own dancing when I tuned in to The View and their new season had started...sans Elisabeth!!! YAY!! Her maternity leave won't be long enough for me!!! (Oh...that wasn't very nice, was it?)

Take care and CELEBRATE!!

Luv Ya!!

13 September, 2009


Summer has returned to Chicago! It's sunny and warm and I am going to take advantage of it!! Besides...I am going to a Cupcake Meetup at Molly's, my fav cupcake shop, to meet Rachel from Cupcakes Take The Cake, one of my fav blogs! And then it's off to the Renegade Craft Fair - Chicago. It's gonna be a FUN day!!!

Hope you are able to get out and about to take advantage of today!!


Luv Ya!!

12 September, 2009

Celebrating...Enjoying the Flowers One Summer Day

Living in Chicago, I have so many different things to do for free. One day last month I took a little time out to visit the Garfield Park Conservatory. It was a great way to spend a few hours...enjoying the flowers one summer day.

Take a peek at some of the pix:

So much beauty...and did I mention it was free? I am so glad that I took the time to do this. This winter when the snow is up to my eyeballs, I can look back at the beauty and know that eventually summer will return.

There are still a few more days of summer. I hope that you are able to get out an take advantage of some of the beauty that Mother Nature provides.


Luv Ya!!

PS- I am so excited...tomorrow, I am going to the Chicago Cupcake Summit 2009 and meeting one of my fav bloggers, Rachel from Cupcakes Take the Cake.

09 September, 2009

Celebrating…Happy 9/9/9!!!!!!!!!

Happy 9/9/9!!!!!!!!!

Enjoy it because today is the last of the single digit dates for a while…at least 101 years…and that’s only if you count only the last 2 digits of the year. Technically the next time we’ll have symmetrical dates will be in 3001, which is only 1001 years from now. Think of me if you’re still around to see it!

But back to this year, to celebrate 9/9/9…why not list 9 things that you are thankful for today, or list 9 things you’d like to work on changing over the next 9 days or 9 weeks or 9 months. Take a 9 block (or miles if you have the time and energy) walk or take 9 minutes to sit quietly and meditate. Eat 9 pieces of (what used to be) penny candy or take 9 pictures of the day’s sunset. Smile at 9 people or do 9 random acts of kindness in honor of the day. And of course you can email 9 people to wish them a happy 9/9/9!!!!!!!!!

And for those of you who remember penny candy, here’s something else you might remember:

Happy 9/9/9!!!!!!!!!

Luv Ya!!

PS-I was trying to get this posted at9:09am...but it didn't happen. Oh well!

08 September, 2009

Celebrating…TV Icons

Today, September 8th, is certainly a very important date in TV history. Star Trek, Tarzan and That Girl all premiered on this date in 1966. And The Oprah Winfrey Show premiered on this date in 1986. (info taken from Chase Calendar of Events 2009)

We’ve been thru Star Trek, both film and animated, then The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager and Enterprise. We’ve also seen Star Trek: The Motion Picture, experienced The Wrath of Khan, we participated in The Search for Spock, had The Voyage Home in The Final Frontier and even survived The Undiscovered Country, Generations, First Contact, Insurrection, Nemesis and Star Trek. Star Trek is an American Iconic series of science fiction that has entertained us for well over 40 years.

And who could forget that loveable yet hunky character Tarzan who has swung across too many jungle vines to count. According to Wikipedia, Tarzan first appeared in the novel Tarzan of the Apes (magazine publication 1912, book publication 1914), and then in twenty-three sequels and innumerable works in other media, authorized or not. Tarzan the character has appeared in films, radio, television, comic strips, and comic books. The Internet Movie Database (IMDb) lists 89 movies with Tarzan in the title between 1918 and 2008 and there have been too many television shows, stage plays, and even video games to count. Yes, another American icon.

That Girl was important for a different reason. Though That Girl did not grow into movies and video games and such, the show was considered to be on the forefront of the changing roles of American women in Feminist-era America. That Girl was a sitcom (ran on ABC from 1966 to 1971) that starred Marlo Thomas as the title character, Ann Marie, an aspiring actress, who had moved to New York City to make it big. It was the first sitcom to focus on a single woman who was not a domestic or living at home. (thanks Wikipedia for the info!)

And finally, I think we are all familiar with The Oprah Winfrey Show. As I type this, workers are preparing the streets of Chicago for her Block Party which is scheduled to air this Thursday. All the news can talk about is how Oprah has shut down the city for her show. Okay, so she’s only shutting down 3 blocks, they are 3 of the cities busiest blocks---part of North Michigan Avenue---and they will be shut down for just over 2 days. It’s going to be a great party as Oprah kicks off season 24 (though a logistical nightmare for the people who need to pass through that area)!!
So in honor of all of these great iconic shows that premiered today, I’d like to suggest that you stop by the store and pick up a frozen tv dinner, set up your tv tray tables, and camp out in front of the tv!!

Pass the remote!

Luv Ya!!

07 September, 2009

Celebrating...every last bit of summer

A friend is posting videos of music she loves (she's doing a countdown until her birthday). She posted a Janet Jackson song which then reminded me of a Janet Jackson song/video that to me is THE perfect summer song. Since summer is fleeting, I thought I'd share it with you

And as I was just checking out some of my fav blogs, I came across a recipe that could come in handy today. It's for a CupShake...a cupcake milkshake. Oh yea!!!

The recipe is a version of an original CupShake started in Utah. I haven't tried it yet, but who doesn't like cupcakes and ice cream?!!

Cupcake Milkshake
- makes 1 milkshake -
By Cakespy; Inspired by CupShakes.

1 cupcake (whatever flavor you'd like)
1 2-scoop ice cream cone (sugar or wafer cones are both fine)
1/4 cup heavy cream

1. Place cupcake and ice cream cone in blender. Pour 1/4 cup heavy cream directly on top.
2. Blend until fully incorporated. If the shake is thicker than you'd like, add 1/4 cup more heavy cream and blend again, just until incorporated.
3. Serve immediately. If desired, garnish with whipped cream and sprinkles.


So go fix yourself a CupShake and listen to Janet Jackson and enjoy the rest of summer!!

Luv Ya!!

04 September, 2009

Celebrating...the last days of summer

This weekend marks the unofficial end to the summer season. Yes, it’s Labor Day Weekend! Time to take those yachts out for the last long leisurely ride. Time to fire up the bar-b-que for that one last grill fest. Time to start thinking about putting up the shorts and tank tops and pulling out the sweaters. And for those of you who can’t give up the trends of yesteryear, time to put up all things white.

It’s the beginning of September and that always marks the end of summer. Time to get back to school. Time for vacations to be over. Time to start getting settled in and back to everyday life. But before you settle in, why not take advantage of the last few moments of summer?

Last weekend, I took some time to be a tourist in my own town. Living in Chicago, I have not taken full advantage of so many tourist things that are available. I had never heard of the Chicago Riverwalk, but decided that a nice Sunday afternoon walk would be fun.
The walk was long, but what an interesting walk it was.

Riverwalk is supposed to be an area to take advantage of the beauty of the Chicago River.
There are several restaurants and boat slips and tourist attractions as you walk .

I even spotted a burger place that I want to go back to.
See how much fun I had being a tourist in my own city? I tell you about my River Walk adventure to suggest that wherever you are, find something that you’ve never done before to do so that you can take advantage of the last few long, sunny days.

September is also National Chicken Month. Chicken…it’s healthy, convenient, economical, and versatile. Who knew?!! (for more info, visit http://www.eatchicken.com/ or http://www.nationalchickencouncil.com/). Additionally, September is National Honey, National Mushroom and National Rice month. With those four ingredients, I bet you could come up with a really great dish...especially for the end of the month when the days turn cool and crisp! Check out http://www.recipezaar.com/ to see what you can find.

In the meantime, I’d like to share a link to this recipe for chicken that would be perfect for this last weekend of summer: Mexican Roadside Chicken from Serious Eats Doesn't this look yummy?!!

We still have a few good days left. Enjoy!

Celebrate!! Luv Ya!!

01 September, 2009

Celebrating…One Year!!

It’s been a year since I’ve embarked on this journey of writing a blog. I didn’t know if I could do it…if I would be dedicated enough to write often enough and to provide some entertainment as well as information that would be useful. But I think that I’ve done okay.

As I look back over the year and see how to move forward, I have decided to do some tweaking. Instead of just providing you with entertaining quips from my adventures and giving you cause to celebrate, I will also start adding ways to celebrate. I’ll show some examples of ways others have celebrated things and hopefully show how they can be adapted to your own celebrations.

I do believe that life is a blessing and that it was given to be lived. And helping others to take the time to do that is what I am all about. I hope that you come along for the ride…and invite others along too!!

So please join me today as I celebrate a successful year of blogging…and celebrating!! And here’s to many, many, many more!!!

Happy Anniversary to On The Occasion of Celebration!! And happy birthday to Stephanie and to me!!


Luv Ya!!

P.S. – Here’s my birthday pix…a cupcake in honor of my birthday and a cupcake in honor of this blog. Happy Today!!