Category Archives: Uncategorized

A Tribute to our Soldiers

Not sure what it is but when the universe really wants me to pay attention to something there really is no other way around it. I’m stealing this question from a recent Oprah show I watched but how many of us actually know someone in the military serving overseas right now? How many of us think about those soldiers who are fighting for our safety and freedom every day? Prior to my cousin, Drew, going overseas for his first time I really hadn’t thought about the war that much nor did I “know” anyone serving. Its like when you start thinking about buying a certain car and then all of a sudden you see that particular model on the road and highway all the time. That’s how I feel about our soldiers and their families – they are now constantly on my mind.

Since Drew’s deployment just before Christmas I have been asked to work on a project that to some capacity involves the US Military and how best we can create awareness around this particular organization. I don’t want to mention any details just yet but promise to do so when the project is launched. Also, I recently watched the Oprah Show episode about the bravest families in America featuring; Tom Brokaw, Bob Woodward, and First Lady Michelle Obama. In this episode we met families where the husband was away at war and severely injured, a mother who lost her son during active duty, and a military wife and mother who is constantly moving from city to city supporting her family while her husband is at war. I was so moved by these stories and of course during moments I broke into tears.

Recognition for those serving in the military

The biggest “take-away” that I learned from this show was that there are still so many families being effected every day by the war and many of them don’t have the support that they greatly deserve. What can we do? This was my favorite part of the show and the one that I’m most excited to take some action in my own neighborhood. The littlest things matter and recognizing your neighbors who have family members in battle is easy when they post such banners in their windows at their home. You can give these neighbors a simple Thank You note, shovel their driveway, ask if you can send their family member a care package and what they like to get from home. Again, the littlest things can make the biggest difference. One local company is ensuring that our soldiers get a free Welcome-Home party to thank them and to give them a taste of Cincinnati. Gold Star Chili calls this program, “Serving Our Troops.” I think there is a two-week notification period but this seems like a great way to get 19 friends + soldier in one place for a little Cincinnati-style party.

I also want to recognize Military wives who are supporting their family while their husbands are away at war. I have such a friend who is now getting ready to move to a new city and home her fourth time in four years and she thinks this is good compared to others. I think that is crazy and can’t seem to think of my life being uprooted that many times in 4 years. I commend these women who not only are living their lives without their significant other but they are also trying to help their spouse transition back into their normal everyday life that live day after day without them while they are at war. Can you imagine re-introducing your husband to the morning routine before the kids go off to school because he has been overseas for 18 months?

I am finally realizing the sacrifices that those who serve and their families make everyday. Thank you to my cousin, Drew, and thank you to the many other men and women who allow the rest of us to feel safe and free everyday.

Where did I find this ad?

In my efforts today of checking out websites for prospects that I plan to call on I came across this interesting ad.  Before I call on a prospect whether it is a warm lead or a cold call I do research on the website.  This particular website had this little ad that I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to share with you.  So, where did it come from?  What do you think it is advertising?  I’d love to hear your thoughts and if you guess it right I’ll give you a Caramel Apple sucker that is sure to please!

Here is the ad:

What is this advertising?

Pretty funny, huh?  So here are your hints to help you guess although I’m not sure how much they will help.

{Hint #1} The company is headquartered in Cincinnati, OH

{Hint #2} The company is on the Cincinnati 100 list that was shared in the Cincinnati Enquirer this past Sunday in the Business Section.

{Hint #3} They are considered to be in a couple of industries one begin healthcare and another being hospitality.

Do you have a guess yet?  Either way this ad still cracks me up.  Submit your guesses and if you win I’ll send you or hand deliver (depending on where you are) the most yummy seasonal sucker you’ll ever have in your life.

NFL for Women

Yesterday I was watching the dreadful Bengals game with my husband when I noticed something pretty important.  There weren’t any commercials geared towards women, but am I the only woman watching football on a Sunday with my husband?  No, according to research by the NFL and The Nielsen Company there are more than 45 million women tuning in to watch the beloved sport each weekend.  45 MILLION women tuning in to watch football and we don’t even get a single commercial, that is just crazy talk.  I can’t tell you how many truck commercials and beer commercials and men shaving commercials I watched yesterday and the interesting thing is that I am the main shopper of the household.  I would go out on a limb to say that most households are the same way, so why don’t they show commercials for women?

A print ad from the “N.F.L. Women's Apparel, Fit For You” campaign. (http://www.nytimes.com)

They don’t have to be tampon commercials, we obviously like beer and football too or else we wouldn’t be sitting with you on the couch all day on Sundays.  I could see a great beer commercial with women, not women wearing scandalous clothes but normal looking women that like to sit on the couch and watch football too.  Or a commercial for women that advertises NFL gear, specifically the Alyssa Milano line would be nice.  Here is another fun stat, according to research by the Nielsen Company, an average of 41.9 million women 18 and older watched Super Bowl XLIV — the most on record, and more than watched the Academy Awards this year.  Don’t you think they should get this right before we get to the next Super Bowl?

What are your thoughts?  Guy or gal, I’d love to hear what you think on this topic.

All stats used in this blog were taken from an article from the NY Times – http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/26/business/media/26adco.html The idea for the blog was allllll mine!

Fantasy Football Virgin

Tis the season full of Football and this year will be my first year freaking out over my fantasy players.  Every year for as long as I can remember my husband has been in at least a couple of fantasy football leagues and I mildly had interest in joining.  He has a “keeper” league that you pay into and I again had mild interest.  But this year I got the sacred invite to his free league and I accepted.

You can’t just jump into a fantasy league draft and expect to do good, there is homework and planning involved that will help the draft run smoothly.  George worked with me on making sure I understood what the best positions there were to draft and when, there is actually strategy!  I’m not sure I can give away these secrets but just know that because I learned I was able to draft a pretty good team for my first time.

ummm.... NO, you may not!

One of my favorite parts of the draft was the online chat trash talk, oh yea I was serving some pretty nasty digs at my fellow drafters last night.  For instance, you get 1:30 to make your draft pick when it is your turn.  I did my homework so I would make my picks almost instantly when it was my turn to draft but this fella right next to me would LITERALLY take his sweet a$$ time and take his full 1:30 to make a pick.  So I went ahead and talked some trash about how long it was taking him to pick.  I eventually backed down but it was still fun.  Then someone picked a kicker pretty early (when I say pretty early I mean it wasn’t the last pick……all part of strategy!) and I had to trash talk about that!

Do you want to know who I’m going to be rooting for this NFL Season?  I figured you were on the edge of your seat!

  • QB – Matt Ryan
  • WR – Reggie Wayne
  • WR – DeSean Jackson
  • RB – Maurice Jones-Drew
  • RB – Matt Forte
  • TE – Brent Celek
  • W/R (flex pos.) – Joseph Addai
  • Defense – Philadelphia Eagles
  • Kicker – Lawrence Tynes (who, yea I don’t know either but he’s a kicker so who cares!)

The rest are Bench Players but I’ll let you know who I have for the back up roster:

  • WR – Terrell Owens
  • RB – Clinton Portis
  • QB – Donovan McNabb
  • TE – Chris Cooley
  • RB – Darren Sproles
  • WR – Arrelious Benn

I’m excited to be a part of this club and can’t wait for the kick-offs to begin this amazing season!  I’ll keep you posted on how I do week-to-week but I’m hoping to at least be 3rd place for my first time!

Got BLUE?

Yummy!

To me it feels like Christmas is coming early because blueberry season is just around the corner. Typically, blueberry season at Rouster’s Berry Patch doesn’t start till the last weekend in June or the first weekend in July. Not this year! This year blueberries will be ready for you to pick this Saturday, June 19th.   Here’s the scoop:

{What} Rouster’s Berry Patch has blueberries and thornless blackberries that are U-Pick. Literally, you (and the whole family) pick them! Don’t worry this really isn’t back-breaking hard work but you will want to get there early for the easier picking. Most bushes are right at eye-level height and picking these ripe berries with the whole family makes for a great outing. Don’t worry if your kids eat the berries while they are out in the patch….we weigh them and will just charge you as you leave, haha!  This weekend is the start of the Blueberries only, the blackberries won’t be ready just yet.

{Where} Rouster’s Berry Patch is located on State Route 131 across from the Apple House which is located at 1986 State Route 131, Milford, OH 45150. If you are coming up through Milford on 131 the Berry Patch will be on your right side. Look for the flaggers as they will direct you where to park.

{When} Rouster’s Berry Patch will have its first U-Pick weekend on June 19, 2010. Typical time you will want to get there will be by 7:30/7:45am because the patch will be open from 8am to noon. I do NOT suggest getting there by 11 if you expect to get the best berries or the “easiest-to-pick” berries.

{How} Once you get to the patch and get the family SUV parked then what?  You will want to stop in at the Berry Barn to pick up your buckets.  These white buckets will be lined with Rouster berry bags ready for you to fill.  You will want to dress ready to pick out in a patch with the possibility of getting a bit wet from the dew in the grass.  My suggestion would be an old pair of sneakers or cute golashes with a t-shirt and shorts/pants as you could go far out in the patch with some distance walking.

{Pricing} U-Pick Blueberries are $2.50 per lb and U-Pick Thornless Blackberries (when they are in season, possibly July) are $3.00 per lb.  Payment can be made via Cash or Check (with a valid drivers license) only.  Sorry no Credit Cards out in the country!

{Other} For some general rules or slight reminders:

~ Look for your “Berry Guide” to give you directions on which rows to pick in.  We try to keep the masses all going down specific rows to pick so that we can ensure all berries are picked well enough to grow back for the week after.  We will keep you all in one direction but there will be plenty to pick from.  Your “Berry Guides” for the season will be Me (Jesy), John, Carol, Karen, Dan and other helpful volunteers.

~ Please be friendly to your neighbor U-picker.  If you are picking on a bush and a fellow picker comes along and also picks on “your” bush, it is okay because there are plenty of berries to go around.

Do you think this looks like a blueberry?

~ You can purchase water bottles and Cider Pops (my personal fav!) from the Berry Barn to help cool off from all the picking!

~ There is a pond on the property so please keep an eye on your little ones.  We don’t let kids near the pond unless they are with a parent.

~ Have FUN!

We hope you join us this summer at the patch and if you see me (I made a t-shirt on Cafepress.com with my name on the back) make sure to come say hello.

Woah Nelly!

Ever feel like the world is spinning way faster than you can manage? That is where I am in my life and I’m trying to find ways to slow it down and smell the roses. I am beginning to think that I’m just not wired for that type of lifestyle though. My opinion is when God was thinking about sending me to my parents he was putting together a recipe that would be like this; 1/2 cup of Tasmanian devil, 3/4 cup of Disney-like Princess……and 1/2 cup attitude! Just kidding on the attitude part (sort of). But seriously, I need to take control of my schedule and organize a bit better. Any ideas?

Brands with ‘Mayorship’ Benefits

Finally a brand that I really care about is offering a benefit to their beloved Foursquare “mayors.” Starbucks announced mid-day today they will be giving $1.00 off their Frappucinos to Foursquare mayors, their first promotion on the geo-location service.

What does this mean for me who has gleefully taken mayorship at two Cincinnati Starbucks?  At first I was thinking nothing, have you seen a Starbucks Frappucino?  Those things look like they could just cling to your hips, butt and thighs in 2.5 seconds after you take that first sip.  But then I actually looked up the nutrition facts and noticed the Grande, Non-fat, Caffe Vanilla Frappuccino Light Blended beverage was only 170 calories.  That aint too bad, only 40 calories more than my daily order of a Grande, light foam, Skinny Vanilla Latte.  With the $1.00 off promotion I’ll be giving the Frappucino a chance tomorrow morning.

My next question, how much effort will I need to put into protecting my mayorship?  I live near two locations that are rarely discovered by other Cincinnati Foursquare users and now I’m really going to need to “check-in” each and every time I’m going through the drive-thru.  No matter if I get the lovely “force-close” message on my Droid or not, I’m committed to keeping my mayorship and I look forward to other incentives for the Starbucks Mayors.

What about you?  Are you on the Foursquare bandwagon or are you reading this post thinking of the game you played on the blacktop at your elementary school?  Let me know!

Today is a great day!

33 Years.....and they still got it!

How many of us can say Happy Anniversary to our parents for being married 33 years?  That’s right, I’m a lucky daughter of two parents that love, respect and adore each other.  To this day I still see my parents make important decisions together, love each other and truly have fun and enjoy each other.  Matt, Brian, George, Jami and I are blessed to have such great role models.

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad, Love you Both!

Oh No, she is Cooking Again!

For the past few weeks my schedule has been a bit crazy with vacations.  And you know how it is, before the vacation you have “pre-vaca” madness then your on the vacation and after the vacation there is the “catch-up” madness.  After we had a minor lapse this weekend, Hubs and I are getting back on track this week and eating more meals at home.

Friends have been asking what types of meals I cook since they know I’m always crazy busy.  My answer to them is that I have a few staple-item dinners that I most always have all the ingredients for plus a few others that I like to try from the Betty Crocker website.  In this blog you will find a few easy recipes that Hubs and I eat pretty regularly.  I’m ALWAYS looking for the fast prep meals so if you have any to share, that would be wonderful.

All recipes below may have been altered from the original and I’m sure you will find other creative ways to make them a family-friendly food in your house too.

The Famous Taco Pie (Thanks to my mom for this one)

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 packet of Kroger brand low-sodium taco seasoning
  • 1 package of Kroger brand reduced fat crescent roll
  • 1 cup of Kroger brand reduced fat sour cream
  • Approx. 1-1/2 cups of Kroger brand Mexican style cheese
  • Approx. 1/2 cup crushed tortillas (I save them from the bottoms of tortilla chips bags or left over tortilla chips)
  • 1 pie plate

Cranck up the oven to 350 degrees to preheat while you are browning your ground turkey.  Once turkey is browned add the packet of seasoning and then let is simmer.  Press your crescent roll into your pie plate covering the plate in full.  Add a few crunched up tortilla chips to the bottom of the pie dish then go ahead and pour your meat on top.  Once your meat is in the pie, spread your one cup sour cream then top it off with the cheese.  Let it cook for about 25 minutes until cheese starts to brown!

Baked Ziti (Thanks to Kat for this one)

  • 1 box Penne Pasta – I use the Smart Pasta brand
  • 1 jar of spaghetti sauce – I use the meat flavor
  • 1 bag of Kroger brand mozzarella cheese
  • 9 x 13 pan

Cranck up your oven to 350 degrees to preheat.  Add your box of pasta to the pan, then dump your jar of sauce over the pasta.  Take your jar and fill it up with water then dump that over the pasta and sauce.  Mix it up a bit then cover the whole pan with foil.  Put it in the oven for 30 minutes.  Then add cheese and recover with foil for 10 more minutes.

*sometimes I add either ground turkey or turkey sausage to the recipe (I cook the meat then add)

Easy Cheesy Chicken (Modified but thanks to the Betty Crocker Website)

  • 1 lb boneless chicken breasts cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 pkg. Kroger brand Shells & Cheese Dinner
  • 1 cup milk (I use skim)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup broccoli florets

Cook chicken in a large skillet sprayed with cooking spray until done.  Then add the shells, milk and water and mix it up.  Bring it all to a boil then cover.  Keep on simmer, covered for about 10 minutes.  You can add your broccoli (I add mine to my portion only) and cook it in for 5 minutes uncovered.  Then stir in the cheese sauce.

I hope you enjoy these three fast prep easy meals, don’t forget to share some with me!  P.S. My husband is picky!

Healthy and Fun Homemade Granola

Hubs brought me this awesome homemade granola recipe and we figured we would try it out.  It was fun and easy to make together and it is tasty to eat!  I’ve enjoyed mixing it with creamy strawberry Yoplait yogurt or eating the granola just by itself.

Enjoy and have fun!

Dry Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 8 cups rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 cups wheat germ
  • 1 1/2 cups oat bran
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup finely chopped almonds
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups raisins or sweetened dried cranberries

Wet Ingredients

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment or aluminum foil.
  2. Combine the oats, wheat germ, oat bran, sunflower seeds, almonds, pecans, and walnuts in a large bowl. Stir together the salt, brown sugar, maple syrup, honey, oil, cinnamon, and vanilla in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then pour over the dry ingredients, and stir to coat. Spread the mixture out evenly on the baking sheets.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until crispy and toasted, about 20 minutes. Stir once halfway through. Cool, then stir in the raisins or cranberries before storing in an airtight container.

Mixing all ingredients by spoon

Then mixing them by hand, George was the brave one to get messy!

Getting messy is the fun part!

granola mix spread on lined cookie sheet (we used 2 cookie sheets)

Once baked and cooled, we added dried cranberries!

Ready to eat and share!