Thursday, 20 December 2012

Christmas Baking - Peanut Butter Blossoms

These cookies are quick, easy and look like they are store-bought.


Recipe adapted from 100 Best Cookies 2010:  Better Homes and Gardens
'
Ingredients:

1/2 cup of shortening

1/2 cup smooth peanut butter

1/2 cup of granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon baking soda

1 egg

2 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup granulated sugar for rolling

Chocolate blossoms or kisses

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Beat shortening and peanut butter until well combined (about 30 seconds).

Add granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking powder and baking soda.  Again beat until well combined--use a spatula to mix in batter that gets stuck to the sides of the bowl.

Add in and beat the egg, milk and vanilla.  Add about half the flour in small increments and then stir in the rest with a spoon (batter gets too thick to use mixer for all the flour).

Shape cookie dough into 1 inch balls.  Roll peanut-butter dough balls in the 1/4 cup of granulated sugar (place sugar in a bowl for rolling).

Place cookie balls about two inches apart on cookie sheets.

Bake for about 12 minutes or until cookie is firm and bottom is slightly browned.

Place chocolate blossoms firmly in center of cookies immediately after removing cookies from oven.

Makes about four dozen cookies.  Cookies can be stored at room temperature for three days or frozen for up to three months.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

The Family Man - Nicolas Cage, Tea Leoni

A wonderful, romantic holiday movie...

What if... Jack Campbell (Nicolas Cage) gets a Glimpse.....

One of my favourite Christmas movies is The Family Man.  I wish Nicolas Cage would accept more roles like the one he plays of Jack Campbell in The Family Man.  The chemistry between Jack Campbell and his college sweetheart Kate (Tea Leoni) makes this a great romantic drama/comedy for the holidays.

Jack Campbell a high-powered Wall Street investment broker was once the college sweetheart of Kate Reynolds (Tea Leoni).  Jack left Kate to go to London for an internship and never came back.  Jack became extremely successful and lived a bachelor life of expensive cars, clothes, restaurants and women.

Years later, out of nowhere, as Christmas is approaching, Jack gets a telephone message from Kate.  He throws the message away as he doesn't want to get involved with old girlfriends.    Next Jack Campbell crosses paths with an Angel who wants to show Jack what he is missing in life.

On Christmas Eve Jack Campbell is getting a "glimpse" by an angel of how his life would have turned out if he had come back and married Kate.  Jack goes to sleep in his luxury Manhattan apartment and wakes up in a New Jersey subdivision as a dad and husband to Kate.

Jack struggles as he is thrown into his new life and has everyone wondering what is wrong as he chases down his real life as a high powered executive.  Jack doesn't give up too easily, but when he finally realizes what he really wants is right there with Kate and his family in New Jersey, it's time to come out of the glimpse and back into reality.

Jack tries to stay awake to avoid going back, but sleep finally steals him back to his real life.

Jack then tracks down Kate who is now an extremely successful attorney (who never married).  Kate let's Jack know that she only contacted him to give him his things that he left behind a long time ago, as she is moving to Paris that evening and is clearing out old stuff.  He tries to get Kate to go out for coffee with him, but Kate turns him down and tells him to look her up if he is ever in Paris.

Jack tracks Kate down before she leaves for Paris that night and in the most romantic rant, he explains over the heads of people in line at the airport about his "glimpse", his dream of him of Kate and their family. 

Jack tells Kate, "Please Kate. One cup of coffee, you can always go to Paris.  Just.....please not tonight."  Shocked and intrigued by Jack's romantic vision of their life together, Kate agrees to the cup of coffee.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 - My Review



Breaking Dawn - Part 2 is unequivocally the best of the Twilight vampire movie series.  At the start of the Breaking Dawn - Part 2 we see Bella transform into a beautiful, strong and powerful vampire.  The make-up was nicely done to show off Kristen Stewart's (Bella's) beautiful features.  It looks as if she has gained a little bit of weight too--as you recall at the end of Breaking Dawn - Part 1, it looked as if Bella had anorexia.

Bella learns to hunt and, as a newborn vampire, she has extreme self-control for avoiding attacking humans for blood.  Edward is as charming and sexy as ever, enjoying every minute of his new bride's transformation and proud at how much stronger Bella is than the rest of the vampire family.

The baby Renesmee is the love of the entire Cullen family and is the source of conflict in the movie when the Volturi think she is an immortal vampire child.  The Cullen family prepare for a war against the Volturi by rallying together the world-wide vampire family.

Breaking Dawn - Part 2 truly shines at the end of the movie when there is an all out bloody or, in this case, bloodless war over the fast-growing mystery of a child, Renesmee.  With every vampire using their "gifts" to the max and Jacob protecting his "imprinted" Renesmee, the vampires join in a united front and battle royal against a large number of Volturi led by the creepy Aro.

You will love the twist of an ending  that  has you at the edge of your seat the entire time. Let's just say the ending is a long good-bye that will shock and surprise you. I felt fulfilled and satisfied with the way the movie was wrapped up. 

Even if you haven't see the previous Twilight movies, you could sit through this movie and truly enjoy and be exhilarated by the action-packed story line and beautiful scenery.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Twilight Saga - Breaking Dawn Part 2



Breaking Dawn Part 2 will be released in theatres on November 16, 2012.


I don' t know about you, but I will miss the Twilight Saga.  It is a vampire soap opera that, I think could possibly be made into a very successful series, or at the very least carry on into future movies.

Because these movies are based on novels, I don't know if the movie industry has license to further create and develop the storyline.  I wonder if "room" was left for the possibility of one day making another Twilight movie.

I believe that the box office will be exploding on November 16 and the week-end box office earnings will be record-breaking.

Edward is adorable and Bella strong and calm.  Actually, everyone is quite calm in these series for being in such turmoil and being vampires.

So far, which has been your favourite Twilight movie? 

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

ELECTION DAY FREE DONUT AT TIM HORTONS

HAPPY ELECTION DAY AMERICA

Even though I am Canadian, I am hoping for an Obama Administration again.  It seems that other countries who can't vote in the American election are leaning towards Obama.  CBC News Article:  Why the World Wants Obama to Win

Anyway the SWEET part of the American election day is a free donut at Tim Hortons US.  Sorry Canada we don't get a free donut today.  By the way America, Tim Hortons coffee and donuts are the Best!!


Coupon available at timhortons.com

Who do you think should win the Presidental election--give me three reasons.  Comment below.  Let's have some election day fun.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Wedding Dresses for Jennifer Aniston

I found a wedding dress designer who creates the types of wedding dresses that I think would suit Jennifer Aniston beautifully.  Enjoy this fabulous collection of gowns by Maggie Sottero.  According to the designer's website, they are one of the most sought after bridal designers in the world.  Maggie Sottero has received many bridal industry awards. 

After viewing these gowns, let me know in the comments section which one you would like to see Jennifer Aniston wear when she marries Justin Theroux.  I really hope Jen reads my blog because I think her dream gown is here.  Now wouldn't that be something if she chose one of these gowns!  Brides by Liza in Beverly Hills carries Maggie Sottero gowns, so you never know.  But then, again Jennifer Aniston would probably have her gown custom made.

Sharon - by Maggie Sottero

Carlene - by Maggie Sottero

Harmony - by Maggie Sottero

Kyra - by Maggie Sottero

Acapulco - by Maggie Sottero

Cami - by Maggie Sottero

Fern - by Maggie Sottero

Miley - by Maggie Sottero

Jordan - by Maggie Sottero

Olivia - by Maggie Sottero

Lorie - by Maggie Sottero

Zabrina - by Maggie Sottero

Deana - by Maggie Sottero

Marion - by Maggie Sottero

Rita Marie - by Maggie Sottero

Desirae - by Maggie Sottero

VD7096 - by Maggie Sottero

Rhianna Royale - by Maggie Sottero

Karena Royale - by Maggie Sottero

Reese - by Maggie Sottero

Monday, 13 August 2012

ICE CREAM CAKE


This is my homemade ice cream cake--I chose rolo ice cream for the center.  Easy and inexpensive
Ice cream cake is soooo easy to make, and economical too, that it is worth giving it a try yourself.  This is a variation of the Dairy Queen ice cream cake.  They use the soft serve machine though.  Since we don't have the convenience of using the soft serve ice cream machine we have to leave ice cream on the counter until softened.  Be careful not to leave the ice cream out too long or it will be watery and you will not be able to work with it.

Use a spring form pan that you cool in the freezer for about 15 minutes or more ahead of time.  This prevents the ice cream from sticking to the sides after it is frozen.

Take ice cream out of freezer and allow to soften.  Stir it until it is smooth and easy to spread.

Use a container of  softened vanilla ice cream and place around the sides of the pan--about an inch thick around.

Use a container of another type of softened ice cream inside of cake.  Use half the container of ice cream.  Then get a bag of  oreos, remove the cream filling and crush them in a plastic bag (save about six cookies to sprinkle on the top of the cake).  Mix the crushed oreos with chocolate, fudge or caramel ice cream topping/sauce
Sprinkle the sticky oreo mixture across the ice cream layer.  Then place more ice cream on top. Smooth the top of the cake.  Add crushed oreos on the top and squirt fudge, chocolate or caramel sauce across the top--going back and forth across the cake.

Place in freezer until frozen. Remove sides of spring form pan and enjoy!

JENNIFER ANISTON ENGAGED AT LAST!!!


Jennifer Aniston in comedy "He's Just Not That Into You"-- But Justin Theroux is!!
Photo Credit:  Lord_Henry/Flickr
According to People Magazine, congratulations are in order for Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux.  Friday was Justin Theroux's birthday and, as part of the celebration, Justin asked Jennifer Aniston to marry him.

Finally, the speculation can come to an end.  Jennifer has been wearing a matching gold novelty-type ring on her left hand, which matches Justin's ring, ever since the two became a couple.  Every once in a while the tabloids would catch a glimpse of the same ring and headline that the two were engaged.  This was the same ring that they referred to over and over again.  Well, I would really like to see what the real engagement ring will look like.

Jennifer and Justin have been dating for more than a year after they met on the set of Wanderlust.

Jennifer has been quoted often in the past year as saying that she is extremely happy.  I think Jennifer finally found the One!

More information to come.....

Friday, 15 June 2012

Nik Wallenda's Tightrope Walk Across Niagara Falls


Nik Wallenda.  Photo Credit:  Fixedgear/flickr
Being from Ontario, Canada, I am very excited about Nik Wallenda's tight rope walk across the Horseshoe Falls this evening at 10:20 p.m. E.T.  Nik will be the first person to ever cross the Horseshoe Falls.  ABC (CTV has the broadcast rights in Canada) is covering this event on television.  In order to get financial support for this walk from ABC, Nik had to agree to wear a tether on this evening's walk across the Falls.  Nik was not very happy about having to wear the tether as he says that it makes his walk more difficult.

"It is definitely a challenge; it's very unique, something I am not used to, and I am very uncomfortable with it," Wallenda said.

There are those that speculate that Nik will "lose" his tether in mid-walk to add excitement--we shall have to wait and see what this born performer does.

Nik comes from, the well-known Wallenda family of daredevil performers who have had previous tragedies in their family:  In 1962 two Wallendas died at the Detroit State Fair and another was paralyzed when a human pyramid collapsed. A sister-in-law and son in-law also died in later accidents.  Nik's great-grandfather died in 1978 during a performance in Puerto Rico.

According to my source The Globe and Mail Nik will be walking across a two-inch thick cable that stretches 540 metres (about the length of five football fields).  This walk is expected to take Nik Wallenda 40 minutes to complete.

For more than 100 years stunts across or in the Falls have been banned.  Previously, people crossed the Niagara River and rolled down the falls in barrells and other capsules and contraptions.


Here's an image just hours before the Nik Wallenda tight rope walk across the Niagara Falls
Photo Credit:  Canadiantourism/flickr

Niagara Falls Canada and U.S. is an extremely popular world-reknowned tourist area.  Nik's walk should attract even more people to the area by kicking off the summer season with his tight-rope walk across the Horseshoe Falls.

Nik Wallenda had to convince the Niagara Parks Commission and the Ontario Ministry of Tourism that this stunt would attract tourists and be economically lucrative for the area.

I am sure that there will be a lot of tourists in the area tonight and peek even more interest in Niagara Falls Canada.

Friday, 1 June 2012

Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee


Britain is celebrating Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee (60 years on the throne) this weekend with four days of celebrations.  We here in Canada will be following right along on television and in the news media throughout this historic event.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Coronation portrait, June 1953, London, England. Credit: Library and Archives Canada/K-0000047
  Here are some events that will be celebrated this weekend as taken from the Official Website of The Queen's Diamond Jubilee:

June 1, 2012

The Princess Royal
Patron, The Jubilee Woods Project, will launch the Woodland Trust National Diamond Jubilee Wood, The National Forest, Normanton Le Heath, Coalville, Leicestershire.

June 2, 2012

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh
will attend the Epsom Derby.
The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester
will attend The Derby at Epsom Racecourse, Epsom Downs, Epsom.

June 3, 2012

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh
will be present at the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant.

The Earl and Countess of Wessex
will attend Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee Water Pageant on board the HAVENGORE.

The Princess Royal
Master, The Corporation of Trinity House, will attend Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee Water Pageant on board No1 Boat Trinity House Vessel.

The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester
will be present at the Thames Diamonond Jubilee Pageant.

The Duke of Kent
will be present at the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant.

Princess Alexandra
will attend Her Majesty's Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant on board the Royal National Lifeboat Institution Vessel "Diamond Jubilee".

June 4, 2012

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh
will be present at the BBC Diamond Jubilee Concert at Buckingham Palace. Afterwards Her Majesty will light the National Beacon to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee.

Canadian Diamond Jubilee Broadcast Schedule:
CTV
CBC

Thursday, 31 May 2012

When Will Live! With Kelly Choose a Co-Host


Who will fill Regis' spot next to Kelly?
Photo Credit:  Asterix611/flickr
Regis Philbin retired from Live! With Regis and Kelly on November 18, 2011.  Since then, Kelly Ripa has had a long list of guest co-hosts.  One of these guests could be permanently occupying the seat next to Kelly on Live! With Kelly and ?  But when?

Mark Consuelos, Kelly's husband is a nice diversion but would probably not be chosen as her permanent #2, other than the permanent #2 position he already occupies as her husband. Too much of a good thing for us to see everyday.  Also, I get the feeling that the two of them would be exhausted if they had to carry on their banter every day.

The powers that be probably want to be really sure they find the right guy or gal (I think guy).  Here are some of the guest co-hosts that Live! with Kelly has featured.

Martin Short, Ed Robertson, Seth Myers, L.A. Reid, Taye Diggs, Reggie Bush, Chris Harrison, Sam Champion, Jimmy Kimmel, Nick Lachey, Michael Strahan, Ben Mulroney, Josh Groban, Pat Kiernan, Matthew Broderick, Mario Lopez, Jesse Palmer, Mike Greenberg, D.L. Hughley, Joel McHale, Carson Kressley, Howie Mandel, Peter Facinelli, Daniel Abrams, Jerry O'Connell, Dana Carvey, Kyle MacLachlan, Alec Baldwin, Lucy Lui, Neil Patrick Harris, Daniel Radcliffe, Carrie Ann Inaba, Cat Deeley,
Kristin Chenoweth, Mary J. Blige, Kim Kardashian, Matthew Morrison, Tony Potts, Andy Cohen, Michael Buble, Bryant Gumbel, Kevin Jonas, Randy Jackson, Derek Hough, Apolo Anton Ohno, Boomer Esiason
Carl Edwards, Rob Lowe, David Duchovny, Jim Parsons, Jonah Hill, Jerry Seinfeld.

I loved watching Peter Facinelli and Neil Patrick Harris co-hosting with Kelly Ripa.  I don't know if these guys are even interested in the gig.  Rumour has it that Michael Strahan is a top contender for the post.  I have to admit I didn't watch the shows where Michael co-hosted so I can't give my opinion on this.

Of the above list, who do you want occupying the seat next to Kelly Ripa on Live!?  Comment below.









Monday, 28 May 2012

RaeAnne Thayne – Author

RaeAnne Thayne – Author



I am Reading Woodrose Mountain by RaeAnne Thayne.  This is an absolutely inspiring and romantic novel about a Physical Therapist named Evaline (Evie) who walked away from her profession and moved from L.A. to Hope's Crossing to start a new life.  Evie finds out that walking away from her past life is almost impossible when she is forced to come out of retirement to help the grand daughter (Taryn) of a friend (Katherine) who needs a Physical Therapist with a magic touch.  Evie who had found peace in her new career making beaded jewelry in a local shop must come out of her serenity and push her emotions to the limit.  In walks Brodie the handsome father of Taryn her patient and all caution goes to the wind.  Together with her dog Jacques, Evie is able to bring joy and peace to Taryn and Brodie.  Hope, romance, challenge and overcoming challenge these are the hallmarks of this must read novel.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Happy Victoria Day Canada!


Mohawk Racetrack Family Fun Night, May 20, 2012
Photography by ChristineB (me)

I hope everyone is taking advantage of all the fun family activities that your community has to offer this Victoria Day.

I went to Family Fun Night at Mohawk Racetrack last night.  What a great time!  We placed bets on horses which we had no real information on just what we read in the program.  We won some but in the end we lost about $25.  On the last race a long-shot horse won which paid out about $40 for each $2 bet--lucky people who took a chance. 

There were also many family fun actitives there for kids--a petting zoo, a man on stilts making balloon animals, the Mad Hatter, face painting, kids food deals, bouncy castle, losts of different food and a grand finale of fabulous fireworks. 

I have posted a series of photographs from the event.  This particular racetrack has a Slots area (slot machines) attached and it was packed--kids were not allowed in this area of course.  It was fun to see who was asked for I.D. before entering.  Unfortunately, I wasn't one of them who were asked for I.D.  I think I would have kissed anyone who asked me for I.D.--lol.  I just went in to watch people gamble since I've never used a slot machine myself and wonder how many people actually win.

Those of you who live in Toronto, Ontario would be interested to know that Prince Charles and wife Camilla are in Toronto and will be viewing the fireworks at Ashbridges Bay. The British don't actually celebrate Victoria Day themselves.  Queen Victoria was the longest reigning Monarch who was on the throne for 63 years, 216 days and Canada has been celebrating her birth in 1819 as a holiday since 1845.  Read about 20 things you didn't know about Victoria Day.

Enjoy your day and enjoy my photographs.


Mohawk Racetrack, Campbellville, Ontario, May 20, 2012
Photography:  ChristineB

Mohawk Racetrack, photography by me, ChristineB, May 20, 2012

Petting Zoo at Mohawk Racetrack Family Fun Day, May 20, 2012
Photography by ChristineB
Man on stilts making balloon animals Mohawk Racetrack, May 20/12
Photography by ChristineB
Mohawk Racetrack, May 20, 2012
Photography by ChristineB
Mohawk Racetrack, May 20, 2012
Photography by ChristineB
Face painting Mohawk Racetrack, May 20, 2012
Photography by ChristineB
The fireworks at Mohawk Racetract were incredible, May 20, 2012
Photography by ChristineB

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Why Women Like Jerks


After reading an article on Why Women Like Jerks from Shave Magazine online, I was enlightened as to why the fairer sex is attracted to men who are "not nice" (understatement).

The article explains how the way our ancestors treated women and that "Jerks" are biologically desirable are possible clues into our strange choices in men. 

There also seems to be a certain confidence about these "Jerks" which make us wonder what they have.  Ever see people rummaging through stuff at a store and see others walking over to get in on the action.  We think, "If she wants it so bad then it must be something good".  Well men who exude a large ego, make us wonder if we should find out what he has.

This article explains why the jerk gets the girl, so you can see why men would be interested in this article.  Head him off at the pass and read the article.

Shave Magazine is an online Men's Magazine and, that is exactly why we should be reading it.

Want to know what men think and what they think is important--well delving into the articles in this magazine is the equivalent of reading or better than reading a book about understanding men.

Knowledge is power ladies!

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Donna Summer Dead at 63

Donna Summer Queen of Disco - 1948 - 2012

Photo Credit:  Flickr/Vorpaldinger

According to TMZ Donna Summer the Disco Queen has died of cancer early this morning at the age of 63.  Donna Summer is a 5-time Grammy Award winner who had many hits in the 1970's and 1980's including "Last Dance", "Bad Girls", "Love to Love You Baby", "On the Radio".  And her song "I feel love" was a thumping, fabulous disco tune.  And one of my favourites, that  I would sing whenever I made cake, lol-- "MacArthur Park" (Someone Left the Cake Out in the Rain).

Donna Summers did a duet with Barbara Streisand with the song "No More Tears" (Enough is Enough).  Donna Summers Queen of Disco also developed her music and worked across many musical genres to include gospel, rock, new wave,  and reggae. 

Donna created an anthem for working women: "She worked hard for the money".  Taken from ABC's Sheila Marikar's article, here is a quote from Donna Summer about how she wrote the song "She worked Hard for the Money".

“I was at a Grammys party … and I went to the ladies room and on my way in I saw this little old lady sitting at the end of the bar. And she was asleep,” Summer told “Nightline.” “She was the bathroom attendant. And at that same moment, a group of ladies walked into the room and started spraying their hair and doing all these things. And my first thought was ‘God, she works hard for her money, that lady.’
“And then I thought, ‘man, that’s a song,’” she said. “So I went and grabbed my manager and we went back into the bathroom and started writing the song on a piece of toilet paper.”
She was a very gifted and talented singer and song writer. 

Last Dance Video From YouTube


She Works Hard for the Money


On The Radio



Family Statement:
"Early this morning, we lost Donna Summer Sudano, a woman of many gifts, the greatest being her faith.
"While we grieve her passing, we are at peace celebrating her extraordinary life and her continued legacy.
"Words truly can't express how much we appreciate your prayers and love for our family at this sensitive time."
Donna Summers is survived by her husband Bruce Sudano, her three daughters and four grandchildren.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Michael Rafferty Trial - Why Some Evidence Was Kept From Jury

The following video from Sun News Network shows (embedded below) an Ontario lawyer discussing why some shocking evidence about Michael Rafferty's behaviour/character leading up to and after Tori (Victoria) Stafford's murder was kept out of court.  After the jury in the Michael Rafferty trial were sequestered early yesterday evening, some stunning details were released about Michael Rafferty--about videos he watched, Internet searches and the content of texts and comments from former girlfriends about his behaviour.



Here are some media links about the topic also:

http://www.lfpress.com/news/london/raffertytrial/2012/05/10/19741811.html
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2012/05/10/michael-rafferty-police-video.html
http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/05/10/michael-raffertys-police-interview-am-i-sitting-across-from-paul-bernardo-here/

What are your comments/feelings about this topic?  Comment below.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

IN MEMORY OF VICTORIA STAFFORD

July 15, 2000 - April 8, 2009

May justice be served sweet child.

Victoria Stafford was abducted and murdered and allegedly sexually assaulted on April 8, 2009.  Sweet Victoria was abducted by Terri-Lynne McClintic who lured Tori to a waiting car after school on April 8, 2009 in Woodstock, Ontario, Canada.

Her body was found on July 19, 2009 in Mount Forest, Ontario.

Terri-Lynne McClintic has pleaded guilty to the first degree murder and abduction of Victoria (Tori) Stafford and is presently serving a life sentence (25 years without parole).  Her alleged accomplice, Michael Rafferty is on trial for first degree murder, sexual assault causing bodily harm and kidnapping.  Michael Rafferty pleaded not guilty to these charges. 

Yesterday the court in London, Ontario, Canada heard closing arguments from Crown Attorney Kevin Gowdey.  Today, Justice Thomas Heeney, will give jurors their charges (rules to follow in deliberations) and then the jury will deliberate right after this.

Victoria loved butterflies, the colour purple, Hanna Montana, Bratz dolls, shopping, and the movie High School Musical.  She was a spunky girl who was loved very much by her mom Tara McDonald, father Rodney Stafford and brother Daryn.

News Links:






Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Mother's Day Cards

Enjoy these Mother's Day cards that I created.  Feel free to print them for your mothers.  The vintage clip art in the cards is from http://wordplay.hubpages.com/hub/vintage-mothers-day-clip-art









Cinco de Mayo Recipes

By the way Cajeta is Dulce de Leche

Monday, 23 April 2012

Giuliana Rancic and Bill Rancic Expecting a Baby

After their many struggles with infertility, unsuccessful IVF attempts and a breast cancer diagnosis, Giuliana and Bill Rancic are about to realize the dream of having a family.

Giuliana and Bill started off the new year with a clean slate.  Giuliana underwent a double mastectomy shortly before the holidays and was able to ring in the New Year with her husband on Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve hosted by Ryan Seacreast.


Guiliana and Bill Rancic While Filming "Giuliana and Bill"
Photo Credit.  CJSmith/Flickr

As host of E! News and through her show Giuliana and Bill we have come to know of Giuliana both professionally and personally.

After the double mastectomy, Giuliana and Bill said that they were exploring other options such as adoption and surrogacy.

Through their fertility doctor from Colorado, Dr. Schoolcraft, they were introduced to an agency which connected them to the gestational carrier who is carrying their child.  Bill mentioned that this was their last stop.  They had banked two embryos and with Giuliana on medication now after her mastectomy--this was their last stop in achieving their dream of a child.

Giuliana and Bill were on the Today Show where they first announced the wonderful news.  Giuliana and Bill are going to become parents late this summer through a Gestational Carrier.  Giuliana fondly calls her Gestational Carrier my "Baby Mama". 



Giuliana told Ann Curry on the Today Show that they visit the "Baby Mama" every month.  "We visit her every month.  We go to all the doctor's visits.  We see the baby growing."

Giuliana and Bill have been happy to help others with their story and to turn the negatives in their lives into positives.

Giuliana finished her interview on the Today Show by being grateful for what she has.

"I have a great husband.  I have a wonderful family.  I have a baby on the way.  What more do I have to ask for."

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Dick Clark, American Bandstand and New Year's Rockin' Eve

 Dick Clark--America's Oldest Teenager
Photo Credit:  Klaus Hiltscher/flickr

Dick Clark referred to himself as America's Oldest Teenager. He brought African Americans onto the music scene through his program American Bandstand. The weekly Dance Show, American Bandstand hosted Philadelphia black teens from Junior and Senior High Schools who danced on the show.  Dick Clark paved the way for black artists featuring black artists such as Fats Domino, The Silhouettes, The Supremes, Percy Sledge and Gladys Knight and the Pips on American Bandstand. American Bandstand changed the music and race relations in the United States.  According to philly.com, Chubby Checker was known as Chubby before Dick Clarke's wife added the Checker to the end.  History was made the day Chubby Checker went on American Bandstand with "The Twist".

History was made the day Chubby Checker went on Bandstand with ‘The Twist’,” says Checker. “Because with “The Twist,” you were looking at your girl, and she was looking at you. And “The Twist” did that. And
it was all because of Dick Clark."
Read more: http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/entertainment/music_nightlife/148020545.html#ixzz1sUaQ2vOr
Watch sports videos you won't find anywhere else

Dick Clark launched a lot of music careers.  Aretha Franklin stated that, "If you didn't go on American Bandstand you just hadn't made it yet."

 American Bandstand was on the air from 1957-1989.


video
Dick Clark on This is Your Life


Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve was first on the air in 1972 and has been on every New Year's Eve since.

Dick Clark's production company, Dick Clark Productions, produced The Golden Globe Awards, the Daytime Emmy Awards and the American Music Awards. Dick Clark hosted the $25,000 Pyramid and some other game shows.

Dick Clark was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1993.

Many tributes were made to Dick Clark after celebrities heard of his passing yesterday.  Dick was a very likeable, sincere and caring man:

Ryan Seacreast tweeted at 4:27 p.m. on April 18, 2012:
"I am deeply saddened by the loss of my dear friend Dick Clark.  He has truly been one of the greatest influences in my life."

Alan Osmond spoke on CNN.  Alan said this about Dick Clark:
"He helped our career tremendously.  He was very open to everybody he knew. He was at the top of the industry.  If you called in a favour, he would say yes.   He had an intuition. He had a gift.  I honour him as a very bright and a very loving and kind man who had a gift."

Tony Orlando pays tribute to Dick Clark (on CNN) by saying: 

"March 15, 1961--the day that my first record was released, Dick Clark had me on the show as a newcomer." (Tony Orlando performed "Bless You" on American Bandstand).

Tony Orlando also stated this about Dick Clark:
"He was the manufacturer of the music industry we know today.  He was a mentor and cared for you as a person.  He is the fabric of the music business.  As a man I don't think I have ever met a man that was the same in person as on stage--humble, generous, kind and caring." 

Dick Clark's Lifetime Achievement  Emmy Award speech in 1994 included this:

"I don't have time to thank every person that has helped me along the way, I want to thank the thing American Bandstand... For almost 40 years kids got together in a social atmosphere they got to know one another, they exchanged cultures and they didn't hurt each other and there wasn't any violence. And we could all learn a little something from that show--It was a good one."

Many of Dick Clark's fans have placed flowers, cards and notes on his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

The family is still deciding on whether they will be having a public memorial. 

TMZ has a photo slide show of Dick Clark through the years.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Dick Clark Dies at 82

Dick Clark 1929 - 2012


Dick Clark the Host of "Dick Clark's New Years Rockin' Eve"
Photo Credit:  JasonEscapist/Flickr
According to TMZ Dick Clark the well-known Producer and Television Host who hosted "Dick Clark's New Years Rockin' Eve" and American Bandstand has reportedly died of a massive heart attack at the age of 82.

He started his career as a game show host and radio personality.  Dick suffered a stroke in 2004 after which he no longer hosted "Dick Clark's New Years Rockin' Eve".  Dick never completely recovered after this stroke.

Ryan Seacrest took over the hosting of "Dick Clark's New Years Rockin Eve" in 2006.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt Finally Engaged


Brad and Angelina at the 64th Annual Cannes Film Festival, May 16, 2011
Photo Credit:  Ammar Abd Rabbo/flickr
Angelina Jolie has been seen wearing an engagement ring.  The Hollywood Reporter first released the news and a photo of a white diamond ring on Angelina Jolie's left hand.  It sure looks like a nice piece of rock and it definitely looks like a classic engagement ring.

Apparently Beverly Hills Jeweller Robert Procop who coincidentally has a jewelry line named "Style of Jolie" had been commissioned by Brad Pitt to design an engagement ring for Angelina.

When Brad Pitt had, in previous years, been questioned as to whether or not he and Angelina would tie the knot, he would answer that when everyone is allowed to get married then they would do it.

Brad Pitt's Manager caved in to pressure to spill it and confirmed the couple's engagement on Friday (premission to announce this probably had to come from the happy couple themselves).  According to CBC News, Brad's manager, Cynthia Pett-Dante, said that the engagement "is a promise for the future"  she also stated that "their kids are very happy".

With pressure from his children, Brad has apparently decided that he would have to renege on his above mentioned promise of waiting for equality for all. 

Brad and Angelina's romance and family quickly progressed and is still steady and strong according to appearances and this announcement.  I wonder if putting a ring on it will make the difference--maybe in his family's eyes.  The kids probably want a guarantee that all will be together for years to come and want to be united by a marital bond.

The question is, is a ring a guarantee or simply a bonding of a couple at this present moment in their relationship? (Participate in our Poll at the top of this page).

Hollywood has different rules and only Brad and Angelina can dictate what happens from here.

Can you imagine what the wedding would be like, if we were privy to being included in watching it on television? Afterall, Brad and Ange are Hollywood Royalty. You have to wonder though, why Brad and Angelina simply didn't just go out and get married.  Perhaps they already are and we don't know it?

This doesn't seem like their style though. 

I wonder if Angelina's wedding gown will have a slit up the thigh?  And, I wonder if Brad's ex Jennifer Aniston will be planning her own wedding soon.  A double ceremony perhaps?--now that would be a wedding to remember!

Can you imagine the paparazzi now!  The Jolie-Pitt's lives and profiles are going to be amped up to the millionth degree.  Photos of event planning, speculation about everything to do with the future wedding and of course the date and place. I wonder what country they will wed in--they are big into birthing and adopting in foreign countries, I wonder if their wedding will follow this trend. What a secret the location will be to keep!

What are your thoughts on this new development with Angelina and Brad?

See a fabulous photograph of Angelina Jolie's ring here.

Friday, 6 April 2012

How to Boil Eggs



Like most people, I learned to cook eggs by boiling them for about 15 minutes.  I was amazed to learn while watching a cooking show years ago that you only need to boil the eggs for about two minutes. 

Here are the steps:
  1. Put eggs in a pot and cover with cold water
  2. Boil the eggs for about two minutes
  3. Turn off heat
  4. Put a lid on the pot
  5. Let sit for about 15 minutes
  6. Run cold water over the eggs until cool
Now you can put them in the fridge or use them to make coloured Easter eggs.

Here are some links to sites to help make your Easter egg decorating eggcellent:

Martha Stewart - Decorating Easter Eggs
9 Unique Easter Egg Decorating Ideas by Reader's Digest


Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Easter Cards for Kids

This clipart is compliments of Webweaver's Fine Clipart

This is what I call My Cute Easter Collection.  Great for Kids of all ages. Enjoy!

 
I took the photo of the bunny decoration for this card


Clip art source:  Webweaver's Fine Clipart and card created by ChristineB

Clip art source:  Webweaver's Fine Clipart and card created by ChristineB


Clip art source:  Webweaver's Fine Clipart and card created by ChristineB


Monday, 2 April 2012

Easter Bunny Craft

Enjoy this bunny craft and card.

I used the photo of the bunny I made to make you an Easter card.
Here is an easy and fun way to transform old socks or, in my case, a dollar store sock into the Easter Bunny. I bought a three pack of pastel socks for $1. It is so easy you could have a bunch of bunnies to use as Easter decor or to give away.   You can even tie an Easter treat to the Bunny for a creative gift idea or include the bunny in a basket.

Materials:

Child's sock, medium sized (pastel colours are the best)
Dried lentils for filling or if you don't have lentils you can use crumpled up plastic bags.
If you are using lentils you need a funnel
A rubber band
A pom pom for tail and nose (pink for nose and white for tail)--you can use a cotton ball for the tail too and pink felt or fabric for the nose if you don't have a pom pom.
Ribbon
Scissors
Felt or crafting foam for the eyes and teeth (I used felt for eyes and crafting foam for teeth--use whatever materials you have--a great way to use up old crafting supplies)
White school glue or craft tacky glue
Elastic

Instructions:

  1. Fill the sock up past the heel with lentils or crumpled plastic bags or any other material you think would work.
  2. Tie the sock up tightly with a rubber band.  Twist it around a number of times.
  3. Tie a ribbon on to the sock just below the heel. 
  4. Cut the cuff in half and shape like bunny ears.
  5. Attach the tail, eyes nose and teeth.
  6. Have a Happy Easter!

Adapted from Sock Hop http://familyfun.go.com/easter/easter-crafts/all-easter-crafts/sock-hop-841022/

Ricotta Pie for Easter


My Ricotta Pie, Enjoy!
Ingredients:

Crust:

1 1/2 cups of flour
4 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Filling:

4 eggs beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon flour
3/4 to 1 cups sugar depends how sweet you like it
2 tablespoon confectioners sugar (icing sugar)
454 grams (l pound) of ricotta cheese - 1 tub Salerno or other brand

Delicious additions if desired:  1/4 cup mini chocolate chips, zest of one orange, candied orange or fruit finely chopped.  You can add one, two or all these additions for a fancier pie. 

Directions (Preheat oven to 350 degrees F)

For Crust:

Sift flour, sugar and salt together. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbles. Beat egg and vanilla together and add to dry ingredients. Form dough into a round ball and refrigerate for one hour.  Roll out dough to fit a 9 inch pie plate. Place dough inside of a greased 9 inch pie plate.

For Filling:

Beat eggs, vanilla, flour, granulated sugar and confectioner's sugar together until pie filling is smooth. Stir in the ricotta cheese and if desired add delicious addition(s) as mentioned above by folding them in until well distributed in ricotta mixture.

Pour the ricotta mixture into the pie plate. Cover outer pie crust with foil  and place into the 350 degree F oven.   After about 20 minutes remove foil and bake for another 25 minutes or until firm.



Adapted from Sweet Pie from allrecipes.com.




Saturday, 31 March 2012

Easter Cards to Print, Part II

I hope you enjoy these Easter cards that I created, feel free to print them to wish your family a very Happy Easter!  By the way, I took the photographs myself except for the photo of the pastel eggs. Let me know what you think.  Thanks.







Egg photo derived from photo by Hanadi Traifeh/flickr



Easter Cards

Feel free to print and use these Easter cards that I created.  Happy Easter!