Saturday, January 30, 2010

the second piece of technical greatness

The wireless printer. If you hear a chorus of angels right is becuase this is good stuff. Second only to the laptop which has singlehandedly changed my life. This beauty here, with a simple ethernet connection to the router (ha ha ha, like there is ANYTHING simple about that statement) will print when directed by my laptop to do so. A laptop that could be downstairs on the dining room table, on my lap in bed, or maybe even on the deck poolside. Maybe on that last one b/c its going back down to below zero so I am going to wait to test that out.

Anyway, thank you Epson.
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Friday, January 29, 2010

cute new vinyl decal

As part of my duties over at Brides Buddy, I got to review a great product from Right on the Walls. They make very modern, unique and creative decor for your home. Or your car...or your window...or your dance floor!
I am really thrilled with how this turned out. It is a "faux" wrought iron sign. I placed it next to the window above our window seat upstairs. This nook is kind of a creative catchall for all my things.

As part of the review, Right on the Walls is giving away a $40 vinyl decal of your choice if you post a comment on this post. Check it! You don't have to be a bride to register either :)
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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Introducing...Valerie Bertinelli

I'm Tracy and these are my BFFs: Colleen,Valerie and Beth! Ha Ha...

That's right, we got to meet Ms. Bertinelli in person following her talk at the Aronoff. She was down to earth, accommodating to photos and questions and friendly just like she was one of the gang.

Earlier in the night, she spoke much about her weight loss and how eating was often a crutch in her life before she went on the Jenny Craig diet and publicly, vowed to lose 30 lbs. Besides shedding the pounds, she talked about how a spiritual transformation took place as well-how the weight she felt on her shoulders seemed to lighten as well as the the weight she saw on the scale. Most poignant to me was her discussion of being on "maintenance", a term I assume is coined by the Jenny Craig system. But Valerie Bertinelli embraced the idea of maintaining balance, harmony and happiness in her life as a whole, not just maintaining her new goal weight. She admitted to having a sign on her refrigerator stating: Leap and the net will follow. I like that.

She was quite articulate both in her prepared speech and in the Q&A that followed with Carol Williams. I left feeling inspired to remain aware of my choices, the little ones like eating 3 oreo cookies for a snack instead of a banana, and the big ones too.

And if you are wondering...she looks great! She is about to be 50 and honestly could pass for 10+ years younger!

To attend upcoming Smart Talk Connected Conversations, visit their website.

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

the modern sick day

Here are my two girls at about 1:00 today. Both home sick from school. Both still in pajamas. Both totally connected to the www. Lucky girls, huh?! Except for the not feeling good part.

I am still planning to see Valerie Bertinelli tonight though. By 5p I will need a break and am very much looking forward to dinner with my friend Beth and the show following. Check back for my review!

Oh, and if you are wondering how I can post with two laptops in use, it is due to my trusty ol' desktop :)
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Saturday, January 23, 2010

Would you like to win tickets to see Valerie Bertinelli?!

She will be speaking at the Aronoff, Cincinnati, OH on Wednesday, January 27. Visit the Brides Buddy blog for your chance to win two tix. (You do not have to be a Bride-to-be to enter!)

Or if you want to guarantee yourself a seat, use coupon code SS2010 when ordering tix from either the box office or online. Details about this show and those coming can be found at Smart Talk Media.

I cannot wait to attend and share all about it next week.

ETA: Link is now corrected. Sorry about that.

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Friday, January 22, 2010

Happy Birthday Skipper the Dog

To celebrate, we made homemade dog biscuits today after school (which I say to explain the white shirts on my girls).
Flour, peanut butter, baking powder and watered down milk.
They look and smell exactly like peanut butter cookies. But not so sweet I expect. Olivia is working hard to personalize a dog bone for the Birthday boy.

And here he is, the star of the day. I took him for a mini spa day today so he looks pretty cleaned up here. Still hobbling and wobbling along but LOVING his treats. He has had way too many but what the heck, it's his birthday. Right?
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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Who is going to see Valerie Bertinelli next week? ETA: Discount Ticket Code

CODE: SS2010

Me, that's who! Check back in a few days b/c I might have a discount code available for you to purchase a ticket for you b/c you are worth it! They are still available!
The show is next Wednesday, January 27 and you find the details ::HERE::.

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Monday, January 18, 2010

Craft Hope for Haiti

I have been seeing this all over the blogosphere as I follow quite a few talented, crafty ladies. Basically, a bunch of kind crafters have set up an etsy shop and are donating the funds raised. Read about it on Betz White's blog. And shop! It's all good. And for a good cause. Seriously, my heart ached last night watching 60 minutes and their feature on Haiti.

Etsy Shop HERE
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Sunday, January 17, 2010

the poor puppy

It's a good thing he thoroughly enjoyed himself during the big snow last week.
Because I think his ultimate undoing was chasing the sleds down the hill and getting run over once or twice.
Which resulted in a limp about 3 days later.
And a vet visit on Thursday indicating that his right hind leg is injured, hopefully just a sprain that needs to heal vs. a torn ACL or meniscus in that knee. Wow. Totally not the news I was expecting. But what came next was worse-the whole luxating patella diagnosis. We are just living for the right now and hoping he heals from this boo boo well enough to enjoy being a puppy for at least a few years. We are not "spend thousands of dollars on dog surgery" kinds of people. That being said, I cannot stand to think of him suffer. So, in the sage words of Dave...we will just wait and see. Little dude does have a grade 3-4 case in both legs so I get a stomach ache thinking about the future. Here you can find more info on luxating patellas, or trick knees.
At the vet's suggestion, I did call the breeder b/c this is hereditary and her in words--those dogs should not continue to be bred if this is the result. He was sympathetic and compassionate which is really all I can expect.
I welcome any success stories and happy endings. For now, the kids just know the injured leg is sore, we have not told them there could be a long term problem. And while Skipper sometimes holds up his leg for a few seconds, he is mostly his wild self. I am supposed to be keeping him calm but it's hard and I figure he should enjoy himself in the right here and now.
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Saturday, January 16, 2010

soup's on

Yesterday, I made this vegetable soup again which is perhaps the simplest recipe I own with the most delicious results. I loved it last year but did not totally love the spicy part. Only b/c I did not have all the ingredients on hand did I alter this, and it turned out even better (to me at least). My substitutions included one can of vegetable broth in place of one of the cans of beef broth and I used petite diced tomatoes instead of the ro-tel style tomatoes. A bit milder, more traditional taste resulted.

I have taken SO FEW pictures this year but I need to b/c there are things I want to share. Like Shelby's newly rearranged room courtesy of her Dad. Or Olivia's new smile that is currently minus one more tooth. Or my little injured puppy who spends some time resembling a tri pod b/c he has a hurt knee...which is a long story for another post. I will preface it with this: luxating patellas...plural. Pin It

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

a food and win something free post...

First, since the start of the new year, I have really been trying to watch what I eat. Or really, think more about not eating and if I am eating, making better choices. It's like this....the more I think about not eating, the more I think about eating. You know what I mean?

So, I have been eating lots more vegetables (without dip even!), a banana or so a day and I have happened upon some other tasty things as well.

Fiber One Banana Chocolate Chip muffins are yum-o. I mean really good and a decent size too. I also got some double chocolate Weight Watchers muffins and while they are good, there is no comparison to the above.

My kids drink shakes and malts nearly every night. While I only occasionally get the urge to share, that is something I just had to cut out. Last night, I made a chocolate frozen yogurt version with 1% milk + a sprinkle of malt mix (b/c I am a malt or nothing person) and it was tasty. Not as good as their full fat versions but a good substitute. A 1/2 c of regular ice cream had 7g of fat while my yogurt had just 1.5g.

Today I mixed fat free cream cheese with a packet of Good Seasons Italian dressing and had that with celery and some Wheat Thins Fiber Selects. They are a tasty little cracker and 11 is a decent serving. And yes, I have been counting them out.

So, once it thaws out a bit around here, I am going to add in some walking as exercise and try to get rid of this spare tire around my middle. I am less about the number of pounds I need to lose and more about my clothes fitting comfortably. Because I can tell you, the fat squishing over the top of a too tight waistband ain't a good look.

Moving from food to free...visit for a chance to win this darling little paper love garland from etsy seller Paper Acorn. Leave a comment on last Friday's post for your chance to win. I am working crazy hard on the brides buddy site and would love your support via visits and comments.

Oh and my little dog Skipper has a sore paw that he is favoring. It is day two of obvious discomfort so tomorrow we visit the vet.

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Thursday, January 7, 2010

the Snow day

This one. She is my snow angel. Lover of the outdoors. She can last out there forever. And did. Don't tell my mom but it was over 2 hours.
The snow pup. He loved it. Loved chasing it. Eating it. Finding hidden treasures in it. Chasing the girls on the sleds. And yes, that is a shovel dumping load after load on the poor dog...
A more literal snow angel here. She is not as big of fan of the elements. More crying. Wet hands. Cold hands. Ice in the eyelashes.

And the after. Skipper the dog had ice cubes matted in his fur upon coming inside. I tried my best to dry him. Having no dog experience, I wonder if it was even safe to be that cold? Anyway, my man who usually has one SPEED actually did get tuckered out this time. He is snoozing while we are preparing hot chocolate, talking loudly and I am unloading the dishwasher. I'd say we finally managed to wear him out.
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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Where did she go?

When I pause from running in circles, I ask myself the same thing. This might explain a bit of what has been keeping me busy:

And this, Little Dreamer.

And this, Cincinnati Rewards.

My love for blogs, social media, writing, computing, photoshopping & picture taking has evolved into a business of sorts that I am loving.

Dave has been pitching in like crazy which is making this all possible. When I arrived home on Saturday, he had taken down all the Christmas decor and put it away in the basement. That is a task I DREAD and it was all done. And last night, we returned home from basketball practice to find hamburgers and baked beans ready to eat. It's good living I tell you. I have always wanted a wife :)

The girls are back in school, adjusting slowly to the schedule. The sisters had been living like rockstars for two weeks: staying up all night and sleeping late into the morning!

Tomorrow comes the S N O W.

(graphic from

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