31 March, 2010

Celebrating...Herb Alpert

March 31, 1935 was the day that Herb Alpert was born. Most famous for playing his trumpet, he is known for his great jazz, latin, funk, pop and r&b sounds. Although most of his career was as a solo artist, his start was with the group Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. He alo partnered with Jerry Moss to create A&M Records where he worked with other artists including The Carpenters, Sergio Mendes and Janet Jackson.

Here is a video of Herb Alpert performing two of his songs that are among my favorites:

For more music samples, check out his website.

Happy Birthday Mr. Alpert!

Luv Ya!!

30 March, 2010

Celebrating...in moderation

With Spring comes the beginning of the outdoor fairs season. After the long, dreary winter, people are anxious to start spending time outdoors. What better way than to check out a local fair? There are state fairs, country fairs, art fairs and more. And what do people like to do at these various fairs? EAT!

A link on MSN.com directed me to an article on Delish.com about state fair foods. Here's the best of the best.

Chicken Fried Bacon (photo: Kevin Brown/State Fair of Texas)

Hot Beef Sundae (photo: Iowa Beef Industry Council)

Pizza Cones (photo: Indiana State Fair)

Spaghetti and Meatball on a Stick (photo: Minnesota State Fair)

Fried Coca-Cola (photo: Kevin Brown/State Fair of Texas)

Krispy Kreme (photo: Charlie Boghosian)
Alot of these sound very interesting and I would certainly be tempted by quite a few of them...but remember...everything in moderation!!

To check out the full article, Top 10 Most Unusual State Fair Foods, click here.

So as you gear up for spending time outdoors and eating on the run, remember to indulge, but in moderation.

Celebrate because the weather is nice!

Luv Ya!!

29 March, 2010

Celebrating...Earth Hour---the results

On Saturday evening at 8:30pm all over the world (whatever your time zone), participants in the third annual Earth Hour turned off the lights. How amazing that hundreds of millions of people in over 125 countries on all 7 continents joined together to support efforts for how we treat the world.

On the Official US Site for Earth Hour, there is a slide show of pictures from all across the world of lights on and lights out. If you get a chance, check it out!

Celebrate coming together for the good of all!

Luv Ya!!

28 March, 2010

Celebrating...the best of both worlds

Ever had a craving for something sweet and couldn't decided whether you wanted a chocolate chip cookie or a brownie? Why choose---thanks to Matt Lewis of Brooklyn's Baked Bakery, you can have a Brookie! And thanks to Martha Stewart, you can make your own at home.

A Brookie is chocolate chip cookie brownie...oh my! To a chocoholic like me...heaven!!

Here's the recipe:

Brookie Ingredients:

Makes 6

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes, plus more for pie tins
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon dark cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 ounces dark chocolate (60 to 72 percent cacao), coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light-brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough (recipe below)
  • Ice cream, for serving (optional)


  1. Butter bottom and sides of six 4-inch-round pie tins; set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and cocoa powder; set aside.
  3. Melt chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over (but not touching) simmering water. Turn off heat but keep bowl over water; whisk both sugars into chocolate mixture. Remove bowl from water and let cool to room temperature.
  4. Add eggs to chocolate mixture and whisk until just combined. Add vanilla and stir just to combine; do not overmix. Sprinkle flour mixture over chocolate mixture. Using a spatula, gently fold flour mixture into chocolate mixture until just a trace amount of the flour mixture is visible.
  5. Fill each prepared pie tin halfway with batter. Place pie tins on a large baking sheet and transfer to refrigerator; let chill for at least 1 hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  7. Using a 1/4-cup ice cream scoop with a mechanical release, scoop chilled cookie dough into six balls. Using your hands, shape dough to form perfect balls and gently form into a round disk that is slightly domed at the top; disks should be slightly smaller than the top of the pie tins.
  8. Remove pie tins from refrigerator and gently press 1 disk of cookie dough into each tin of batter. Transfer baking sheet to oven and bake until cookie is golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through cooking time. Serve warm with ice cream or at room temperature.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ingredients:

Makes 6

  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate chunks or chips


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda; set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and both sugars until smooth and creamy. Using a spatula, scrape down side of bowl; add egg and beat until well combined. Mixture should be light and fluffy. Add vanilla and beat just to incorporate, about 5 seconds.
  3. Add half of the flour mixture and beat until just combined, about 15 seconds. Add remaining flour mixture and beat until just incorporated. Gently fold in chocolate chips.
  4. Cover bowl and refrigerate at least 3 hours before using.
From The Martha Stewart Show, March 2010

Grab your apron and celebrate brownies and cookies together...yum!!

Luv Ya!!

27 March, 2010


Last night, I watched the movie "Where the Wild Things Are". I don't remember reading the book as a child, but with the giant puppet creatures and the little I heard about the story, I thought this would be a fun and light movie. Hmmmm...not so much. While I thought it was visually amazing, I tend not to like movies that don't have a happy or hopeful ending. What I did enjoy about the movie was that it showed how every once in a while everyone, even a little kid, needs to have a little escapism. Young Max definitely escaped his everyday life with his very vivid imagination. BTW, while searching for an image, I found a neat review of the movie, if you are interested.

One of the ways that I escape is to be absorbed into a movie. It is for that reason that today I celebrate movies...pop one in your DVD player and grab on to an adventure.

Celebrate with popcorn too!

Luv Ya!!

26 March, 2010

Celebrating...candy fluff

I was watching The Wendy Williams Show today and Jaime Oliver was on talking about his new show, Food Revolution. As he was talking (I LOVE his accent), he mentioned going to the circus and having some candy fluff. I fell in love!

I've always had a thing for the unique, the different and sometimes the strange---especially names. Candy fluff is THE cutest name for cotton candy! I'm guessing that's what he was referring to. And since I LOVE cotton candy...er...um...candy fluff, I thought...let's celebrate it!

Now...the circus...that's another story! But celebrate candy fluff!!

Luv Ya!!

P.S. - Don't forget...tomorrow night at 8pm whatever time zone you're in---lights out for Earth Hour!!

25 March, 2010

Celebrating...Chicago sandstorms

Today Chicago earned it's nickname, the Windy City. Winds were gusting at around 20-30mph all day today. Usually I love the wind, but these winds were chilly and biting, so it wasn't good. But despite the wind, I had to smile when I saw a snippet on the news of a sandstorm describing our wind. Now if you aren't from Chicago, we do have sandy beaches here, but nothing that could generate a sandstorm. Okay...maybe it's been a long day and I'm just in a silly mood, but I thought this was hilarious! (note: this is not the pix that was shown on the news, but I am cracking up imagining this rolling down the streets of Chicago)

Celebrate in rain or sleet or wind!

Luv Ya!!

24 March, 2010

Celebrating...the bologna sandwich

To all you non-meat lovers, sorry, but today I am craving a bologna sandwich (and there is none in the house) so I thought I'd celebrate the bologna sandwich. And of course I had to find something to make everyone smile, so check out this quick video...

Celebrating simple pleasures!

Luv Ya!!

23 March, 2010

Celebrating...I don't care

Not celebrating a non-caring attitude, but I am celebrating a song that I heard on the radio on my way home this evening. It's called "I Don't Care" by Raheem Devaughn. While the message is not enlightening, it is rather empowering. Basically he's singing about how his girl's friends don't think he's right for her. His message...I don't care. GREAT attitude!! But that's not really the part that I wanted to celebrate.

It's the music...the tempo...the beat that I love. When I heard this song, it just made me happy. It's what I would call a good driving song. Listening to this song, I could see myself driving down the highway in my (imaginary) convertible with the top down on a bright, summer day. The music has a riff that reminds me of the type of music I listened to when I was growing up.

I don't know if Raheem Devaughn is new to the music scene, but if he keeps coming up with music like this, I will come to know who he is.

Hope you enjoy it too!

Celebrate a good attitude with happy music!
Luv Ya!!

22 March, 2010


Yesterday, I was reminded of Sesame Street for some reason and the thing that came to mind was how at the end of some of their skits, the announcer would come on and say something like "this message brought to you by the letter C". I always thought that was so cute so I decided that today, this post would be brought to you by the color yellow.
While yellow is not my favorite color, today is finally a bright, sunshiny day and it reminds me of yellow.

And what would the world be without yellow? There would be no Sesame Street's Big Bird.How would we find phone numbers without the Yellow Pages?
What would Texas do without it's yellow rose?
How would you travel in New York?
Red would have no best friend.

What fun would summer days be without a tall, ice cold glass of lemonade?
And how could dreams be sought without the yellow brick road?
So...here's to yellow---a very important color!!

Luv Ya!!

21 March, 2010

Celebrate...the weekend

Sorry...this was supposed to be posted on Saturday, March 20th.

Today (Saturday, March 20, 2010) is the first day of spring. This means that yesterday (Friday, March 19, 2010) was the last day of winter. The irony...yesterday, the last day of winter, the temperature was 60 degrees. Today, the first day of spring, we got snow. Well, at least it's the weekend!! Hope you have a good one!!

Celebrate the expected and the unexpected!

Luv Ya!!

19 March, 2010

Celebrating...the sunrise

It's the beautiful start of a new day...celebrate it!

Luv Ya!!

18 March, 2010

Celebrating...cool magic!

I am a fan of Ellen Degeneres and love her show. Earlier this week, she featured James Galea, an Australian magician. He did several magic tricks on her show, but his finale was quite amazing. Check it out!

Celebrate by picking a card...any card!

Luv Ya!!

17 March, 2010

Celebrating...St. Patrick's Day!


Happy St. Patrick's Day!! Today is the day most of us wear green, eat corned beef and cabbage, drink green beer and wear buttons that say "kiss me, I'm Irish", whether you have an Irish heritage or not. So instead of celebrating like everyone else, I thought I would share some little know facts about St. Patrick's Day that I found on the website, Associated Content. The article, Ten Little Known St. Patrick's Day Facts was authored by Brenda Skipper and published in 2007.

Of the 10 little known facts, I'd like to share 3 of them. To see the entire article, click here.

The first is his name. According to the article, St. Patrick's given name was Maewyn Succat.

Next is the color green. The actual color associated with St. Patrick's Day is blue, not green.

Finally, the shamrock. In ancient Ireland, the shamrock symbolized the rebirth of spring and therefore was a sacred plant. St. Patrick used the shamrock, which typically has three leaves, to explain The Trinity to the Irish.

If you'd like a little more detailed information, I found another blog, My Heritage, that might satisfy your St. Patrick's Day curiosity.

So while you are looking for that leprechaun and his pot of gold, make sure you celebrate the true meaning of St. Patrick's Day.

Toss me some of that gold!!

Luv Ya!!
Pixxa O'Pixxa

16 March, 2010

Celebrating...the first signs of spring

Last week as I was walking in the house, I happened to look at the garden (whose beds are in great need of being cleaned) and what did I see? The first signs (in my opinion) of spring. The tulips are peeking their heads up and their blooms are forming. Tulips are my 2nd favorite flower and I so love when they are in bloom.

And then today as I was taking the groceries out of the car, guess what flew past me? Yep, A Robin! Spring is definitely in the air!!

Celebrate...the rebirth of everything that is Spring!!

Luv Ya!!

Celebrating...Lips Appreciation Day

Glitter Graphics

Piczo Lips
Today is Lips Appreciation Day. And lips do need to be appreciated. We bite them when we are nervous, we burn them if our food is too hot, we decorate them in pretty colors, they are constantly in motion with all of the talking and eating and drinking that we do...and then there's kissing! They smile, they scowl and they are pulled taut depending on our moods. And when you purse them you can whistle a happy tune.

So take some time today to appreciate your lips. Buy a new moisturizing lipstick or a nice lip balm. And use your lips to smile and to tell the world that you appreciate your lips!!

Celebrate those lips!!

Luv Ya!!

14 March, 2010

Celebrating...spring into Spring

The time has come around the world for the biannual changing of the clocks. Yes, it is time to start Daylight Saving Time. Please note that it is not called Daylight Savings Time...there is no "s" on Savings.

There is a great article on the history of Daylight Saving Time and why it came to be at Daylight Saving Time, but basically it is in effect to take better advantage of utilizing daylight hours for work and energy efficiencies. In 2007 the length of Daylight Saving Time increased 4 additional weeks due to the Energy Policy Act of 2005. So now, those US areas who participate in Daylight Saving Time move their clocks forward the 2nd weekend in March and move them back the 1st weekend in November.

So while you might lose an hour of sleep this weekend, don't fret because come November, you'll get it back. In the meantime, celebrate the extra daylight, the lower utility bills and the coming of Spring and Summer.

If you haven't already...spring ahead!

Luv Ya!!

13 March, 2010

Celebrating...a green river

Today, I am planning to FINALLY take advantage of a long-time Chicago tradition---dyeing the Chicago River green for the St. Patrick's Day Parade. You see, Chicago is a very Irish city and St.Patrick's Day is a definite all-city celebration. I think it has alot to do with the fact that this holiday is also seen as a "spring is coming" after a long winter. Regardless, every year, usually on the Saturday before St. Patrick's Day, there is a big St. Patrick's Day Parade in downtown Chicago. And just prior to the parade step-off, the Chicago River, which is already a dull green color, is dyed to a bright, almost fluorescent, kinda pea green.

I found a really cool video of the process so I thought I would share it with you. The video is from Anthony J Stewart Photography. Enjoy!

Celebrate...turning it green!!

Luv Ya!!

12 March, 2010

Celebrating...cake baking

I remember a song that I used to sing as a child "if I knew you were coming, I'd 'a baked a cake...baked a cake...baked a cake..." and that song came to mind when I saw something on another blog's Facebook page, Bake and Destroy Facebook page, which led me to another blog, The Donut Database. What did I find? It was a giant donut. But it gets better...it's a cake pan shaped like a giant donut. How cute is that? I just love oversized or undersized things so this is right up my alley! So I went to Williams-Sonoma to take a look, and I found 2 other pans. Check them out.

Giant Donut Cake Pan

The Great Cupcake Cake Pan

Sandwich Cookie Cake Pan

How cute!! And wouldn't you be the hit of the pot luck walking in with one of these beauties?!!

Celebrate...with cake---especially a cute cake!!

Luv Ya!!

11 March, 2010

Celebrating...old and new

Easter is coming. I love marshmallows. I love chocolate. These are new. 'Nuf said!

Check out their website (http://www.marshmallowpeeps.com/) for additional information and to order online.

Celebrating...chocolate covered peeps.

Luv Ya!!

10 March, 2010

Celebrating...corned beef and cabbage

We are exactly a week away from St. Patrick's Day. Last week I celebrated a St. Paddy's day dessert, so this week, I thought I'd celebrate the traditional corned beef and cabbage. When you think corned beef, you think 3-4 hours simmering the corned beef, but Paula Deen has offered up a quick, fast and in a hurry version that only takes about 20 minutes. I think this is what I will be cooking next week.

Here's the link to Paula's video:

Here's the recipe (taken from foodnetwork.com)

Easy Corned Beef and Cabbage
by Paula Deen


* 4 slices bacon
* 4 tablespoons butter
* 1 head green cabbage, coarsely chopped
* Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
* 1 can corned beef

Cook the bacon in large pot over medium heat until almost crisp. Remove the bacon from the pot and set aside. Melt the butter in the pot with the bacon grease. Add the cabbage, stirring well to coat the cabbage in fat. Add about 1/3 cup water, and salt and pepper, to taste. Cover pot with a lid, and cook over medium heat for about 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, chop the bacon into small pieces.

Remove the lid from the pot, and scatter chunks of corned beef and chopped bacon over top of the cabbage. Cover and cook until desired doneness. I personally like a little bit of crunch left to the cabbage.

Tip: Cabbage is one of those vegetables that naturally contains water in its leaves. Begin by adding just a small amount of water. As cabbage cooks, if it needs more liquid, then add more water.

Don't forget to add what you need to your shopping list so that you can enjoy a great meal for St. Patrick's Day!!

Celebrate...the green!

Luv Ya!!

09 March, 2010

Celebrating...Barbie's Birthday

Happy Birthday to the pink princess of most little girl's (and big girls too) fantasy!! Yep, today, March 9th is known as Barbie's birthday. Mattel introduced the first Barbie on March 9, 1959 and the world would never be the same!

She's undergone numerous changes, had too many careers to count, and had clothing designed for her from the biggest and the best designers all over the world.
Last year was the big Barbie celebration as she turned 50---and boy was it a year of pink celebrations. This year, there are a few other notable Barbie celebrations.

In 1980, Mattel introduced the first Black Barbie. To be clear, there were other Black dolls in Mattel's line (Francie, Christie and Julia), but 1980 was the first time Barbie was Black. HAPPY 30th ANNIVERSARY BLACK BARBIE!!!

This year also marks the 15th Anniversary of Kelly, Barbie's little sister. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY KELLY!!!

This year also marks the 10th Anniversary of Silkstone Barbies. Silkstones are made of a material that feels a little like porcelain with out the breakability factor. These dolls have become fast favorite among alot of collectors because they have the retro/vintage look without the pricetag of a vintage doll. They are also usually impeccably dressed and have major Barbie snobitute!! HAPPY 10th ANNIVERSARY SILKIES!!!

And in case you are interested in starting or expanding a Barbie collection, Mattel is offering a 25% discount in honor of Barbie's birthday (well, technically they call if anniversary). Log on to www.BarbieCollector.com for details on this one-day only sale. Or if you'd like to reminiscence on yesteryear, there are several mass market retailers (Toys R Us, Kroger, Fred Meyer have been reported) offering a modern take of Superstar Barbie for $3. That sale ends this weekend I think.

So think pink...polish your fingernails pink...bake a pink cupcake...wear a pink outfit...and of course put on your pinkest lipstick and have a wonderful Barbie's birthday!!

Luv Ya!!

08 March, 2010


I did a little research and today is logged by some as being Be Nasty Day. Hmmm...who wants to celebrate being nasty? I was unable to find out where this "holiday" came from or what it's purpose is, so I am going to make-up my own take of it. Join me in celebrating Be Nasty Day with a little video by Janet...Miss Jackson if you're nasty!!

Have a NICE day!!

Luv Ya!!

07 March, 2010

Celebrating...your name

I must say that I love my name. I can't imagine being named anything else but my name. Have you ever thought about whether or not you like your name? Or have you just accepted it as part of you?

March 7th - 13th is Celebrate Your Name Week! There's even a website www.namesuniverse.com where you can find how you're supposed to celebrate each day.

According to the website:

"Who would you be if you didn't have a name? Your name identifies you to the world. Celebrate Your Name Week is about not neglecting your name. CYNW is about making sure your name is a celebrated part of your personhood. Use this week to become better connected to your name.

The week starts out on Sunday with Namesake Day, followed by Fun Facts Day, Unique Names Day, Learn What Your Name Means Day, Nametag Day, Middle Name Pride Day and ending the week with Geneology Day.

Take a minute to pop over to their website so that you can participate and celebrate that thing that identifies you!!

Oh...and if you want to make a cool word design like I did, head over to Wordle.net. They are called word clouds and they are quick and easy to do.


Luv Ya!!

06 March, 2010


Have you ever just had a friend who out of the blue did something super special for you? When was the last time you did something unexpected for one of your friends? Today, I just want to take a minute to reflect on those who do special things...just because. Isn't friendship a wonderful thing?!!

Celebrate your friends!!

Luv Ya!!

05 March, 2010

Celebrating...a night of stars and friends

Only 2 more days until the Hollywood buzz!! Are you one of those who can’t wait until the Academy Awards? I am not a big fan and usually don’t watch. But this year, I just might. Not because I want to see the fabulous outfits, or I care who wins best movie or best actress (chances are I haven’t seen most of the movies nominated). I might tune in because of an invitation that I received.

You see, in this information age where distance is nothing but a computer screen away, I have been invited to an on-line Oscars party. How cool is that?!! A friend in planning to set up an IM group and the guests will be able to “chat” in real-time about what is going on. Scanning the invitee list, there was someone from California, someone from Atlanta, someone from New York and me in Chicago, among other places.

This reminds me of one of the best birthday gifts I’ve ever received. My friend in Minnesota sent me a DVD that she also bought for herself and we synced them and watched the movie as we held the phone and made our comments. Sounds crazy, but it was really, really fun!! The telephone and internet have made the world a much smaller place. If you can’t be there in person, you can still hang out…with a little electronic help. Who knows…20 years from now, maybe people will be hologrammed across the internet and be able to sit in the same room together. Maybe that will only take 10 years!

In the meantime, I am excited about the on-line Oscars party. So if you haven’t been in touch with one of your girlfriends in a while, why not call or email them and set something up.

In case you do, I’ve found some cocktails that you might want to enjoy---together, over the miles!!

Recipes are from Sandra Lee of “Semi-Homemade”. To see the complete list of cocktails, check out the Entertainment Weekly site.

Here are my three nominations:

"There's so much abuse and violence in this movie. I think that any adult who watches that movie should have a cocktail. That girl's gone through so much that, by the time you get done, you're so emotionally spent that you need a drink. And that cocktail is precious.

Recipe (makes one drink):
1 1/2 oz. vanilla-flavored vodka (suggest Smirnoff)
1 1/2 oz. unsweetened pineapple juice
2 tbsp. cream of coconut
3/4 oz key lime juice
Ice cubes
Lime slice

In a cocktail shaker, combine vodka, pineapple juice, cream of coconut, and key lime juice. Add ice; cover and shake until very cold. Strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with lime slice.

"I'm a huge Sandra Bullock fan and this is a girl drink — a mom dessert cocktail for doing good at the end of the day. When her son wins the football game, God bless, she gets to go home and have her cocktail."

Recipe (makes 1 drink):
2.25 oz. half-and-half
1 oz. sambuca (suggest Romana Sambuca)
1/2 oz. coffee Irish cream liqueur (suggest Baileys)
Ice cubes
Whole coffee beans

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add half-and-half, sambuca, and coffee liqueur. Cover and shake vigorously. Strain into an ice-filled glass. Garnish with whole coffee beans.


"Avatar was by far my favorite movie," says Lee, who is also the author of Semi-Homemade Cocktail Time. "Even though it was intense, it's amazing how you can bond with an animated character. When they plugged Sigourney Weaver into the tree, and you're just willing her to live, it was very emotional. The white cranberry's sweeter than the red cranberry juice so that's why I use that in this blue drink. And the citrus vodka honors that beautiful tree of life."

Recipe (makes one drink):
1 oz. citrus vodka (suggest Ketel One Citroen)
1 oz. white cranberry juice
1/2 oz. blue curaƧao
1 squeeze lime juice
Ice cubes

In a cocktail shaker, combine all ingredients; cover and shake until very cold. Strain into a chilled glass.

Whether you are planning a party or watching solo, or not watching at all, enjoy Sunday---Oscar night!!

Celebrate…with a little gold statue!

Luv Ya!!

04 March, 2010

Celebrating...smarty pants

Got another email from a friend and thought the triumph of some of these was worth celebrating---enjoy!

Rather than admit defeat in the face of questions they can’t answer, some high school kids decide to take a creative approach...

You must admit that some of these are pretty clever and would have come in handy on some exams of your own! (wink!)

Celebrate...thinking when you can't think!!

Luv Ya!!