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I LOVE cooking from recipes, and making up meals, I LOVE spending time with my boys (all three) and entertaining my family and friends, I LOVE bargain shopping (vintage stores included), I LOVE flipping through fashion and design mags, I LOVE the smell of libraries and how often I could get lost there, I LOVE scanning realty websites, I LOVE Trader Joes and LUSH, I LOVE fresh flowers and all four seasons, I LOVE Cincinnati and am always ready to travel, I LOVE stationary and stamps, I LOVE diamonds and pearls, tulle and lace, I LOVE smelling coffee and drinking tea, I love marshmallows and chocolate, I LOVE cozy sheets and morning sunshine, I LOVE me and I love GOD!

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Master Tre'

Master Roman

Monday, August 31, 2009

A Few of My Favorite Things for FALL 09

So my favorite time of year is near!! And I just have to share what I will be indulging in this Fall. I love the smell of warm apple cider brewing and sweet potato pie baking, the sight of leaves changing from green to very warm yellows, reds, and oranges, and the sound of the wind blowing as cheerleaders yell out D.E.F.E.N.S.E!!! Not to mention all the various family celebrations! (My mom’s birthday, my birthday, my husbands and our uncle’s, Tre’s, and my father in laws and least we forget THANKSGIVING!)

Here are my top 10 most spectacular things I will be enjoying during these cooler months:

1. Boots- grey boots, black boots, brown boots, and purple boots. Knee high, mid calf, flat and heeled. I am so excited to pull out my boots and walk through the leaves.

2. Gray and Purple Hues (and my ultra fav Curry Gold)- I have been wearing my nails shorter and I love the look of gray, purple, and gold on them! I always try deeper colors during cooler months.

3. Carolina Herrera’s CH Perfume (thank you Barbie!!)- Recently in Cleveland for a bridal shower, my Sandz gifted me with this beautiful fragrance. A fruity floral fragrance of sparkling, fresh, sweet & alluring notes of bergamot, orange, melon, rose, jasmine blended with praline, cinnamon over woods. I am in love and I have received so many compliments!

4. Herbal Tea and Warm Beverages- I love brewing cups of tea and snuggling up on the couch! Some of my favs have spicier notes and even creamy cocoa touches!

5. LUSH Cocoa Butter/Shea Butter Massage Bars- With cooler air comes drier skin. Every time the air changes so does my skin. During the fall I love to use LUSH’s massage bars. Don’t let the name fool you, used daily as a moisturizer I notice softer smoother skin!

6. Stefanie’s Red Velvet Cheesecake from Cheesecake Factory- WOW! My two favorite desserts in one! This past weekend I have dinner at the Cheesecake Factory with two of my BFFs. Of course I had to get a piece to take home! This was so decadent with Red Velvet cake, Cream Cheese icing, and cheesecake layered…yummy. My new fav fall treat!

7. Public Libraries of Cincinnati- this will be my place entertainment! I love to rent movies, books, magazines, and CDs. They also have toddler story time for when the little one’s get restless! I love the library and all it has to offer…for FREE!

8. Homecoming Football Games- Walnut Hills High School and Cincinnati Country Day School. Scott and I both said that we want to take the boys to both of our high school’s homecoming! I think Tre’ is old enough to enjoy to festivities and experience a good ole’ fashion football game. It will also give both of us a chance to network and rekindle some of our old high school memories!

9. Findlay Market- farmer’s markets, pumpkin patches, apple orchards YES!! Pumpkin picking season is upon us!! All those truly fabulous fall favorites. I look forward to bringing the boys to the pumpkin patch to pick out their pumpkins, pet the animals, and ride the hayride. I love snatching up some hand pressed apple cider and caramel apples!! OH… I just love fall fruits and vegetables!

10. Crossroads Community Church- My church! Thank God for letting me meet another FALL. My church is such a blessing and has a ton to offer. I look forward to joining a small community group to engage and grow with other young adults and volunteering in our First Impressions Ministry!

No matter what it is you enjoy doing in the Fall, make sure you take time to relax and smell the mums!! Spend quality time with your family and friends during this joyous time of harvest!!

Happy Fall!!!

September 22, 2009


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Tutus and Capes…Christmas in May?

For William (Tre')
For Roman

The Super Dean Boys

As a little girl I can always remember loving to play dress up in my tutus, leotards, feather boas, makeup, and heels. I always wondered what little boys loved to dress up as and then it hit me, “SUPER HEROS.”

Back in June, I took Roman to get his first year pictures taken at The Spotted Goose in Oakley. They had a really awesome photographer come in (Kiwi Street Studios) their shop to do mini sessions at a fraction of her normal cost. While waiting our turn from across the beautifully arranged room I spotted 3 capes hanging up on hangers (samples). Immediately I had visions of my two little boys running around the house with their capes around their shoulders playing superhero. What little boy doesn’t to take his bed sheets off to make a cape and save the world?

Needless to say before I left the store I placed my order for these personalized handmade treasures.

Bianca always tells me that I plan way in advance…and yes that’s true. I like to be prepared and have a plan. I have put these up in my hope chest and will wrap them up for Christmas gifts this year!! So The Dean Boys have their Christmas in May…and a lifelong memory. Once they have outgrown their capes, I will put them away for safe keeping. I will bring them out when the time is right and remind them when they saved the world!!
Everything you can imagine is real.
-Pablo Picasso

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Best Banana Bread....We Shall See....

My mom recently went to the fruit and vegetable market and found all these red tape bananas. She gave them to me because she knows that I like them to make smoothies but I think I'm going to try something a bit different....

Recipe taken from

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
4 bananas, finely crushed
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Cream together butter and sugar.
Add eggs and crushed bananas.
Combine well.
Sift together flour, soda and salt. Add to creamed mixture. Add vanilla.
Pour into greased and floured loaf pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes.
Keeps well, refrigerated.

I think I will make muffins because I can't find my loaf pan. I will let you know how it turns out!!
Have a great Saturday!


Friday, August 21, 2009

What’s in the bag?...My simple make-up staples that keep me sensibly chic

M·A·C at ShopStyle

Well I don’t wear makeup everyday but I will say that I try to at least put on a little powder, mascara, and always show my lips some love before I leave the house. It’s amazing how many people will ask me what I have done differently when I roll on some mascara. I wanted to share my thoughts on what should be in every woman’s make-up bag (and what just happens to be in mine), even on a budget!!

Daytime Diva
· A really great pressed powder- I use and love Clinique’s stay matte sheer pressed powder oil free. My color is 11 stay brandy. The oil free really helps as I am breakout prone and any excess oil will cause me to develop blemishes.
· A super fab mascara- I use Maybelline XXL Extensions, but I have always sworn by my little pink and green tub of Maybelline Great Lash.
· Lip Love- If I have a little extra money, which is rare, I like to treat myself to M.A.C.’s ever popular lipglass or liplustre, my current fav is Lustreglass in Instant Gold, but if I’m budgeting and still want that super fun shine I absolutely have fallen in love with Victoria’s Secret lip glosses. They come in all different colors and flavors (which helps when I am craving sweets and know I shouldn’t eat anything)
· Beauty Blotters b.k.a oil absorbing tissues. I happen to have oily skin so these save me during the day when my oil glands are working overtime!! I have been using Mary Kay’s blotters, which work wonders. It sometimes so gross when I look at all the oil that comes off my face!!

Night Time Revamped
Now if I’m going out and want to jazz it up a bit I love to try new looks. This is where it’s fun to add in eye shadow, blush, bronzer, lipstick, fake lashes, and a great setting spray!!

· Concealer. I use concealer because I have to! Many of you blessed souls don’t. I cover up any blemishes or dark circles. Two that I really love are Prescriptives Flawless Skin Total Protection Concealer level 5 warm and Clinique’s Acne Solution #3, which conceals while treating my acne.
· Eye pigments! I love love love M.A.C. eye shadows. They have really awesome colors that blend really well. Runner up is Hard Candy Eye Shadow Quartets. Depending on the look I’m trying to achieve whether smoky or natural, I usually try to picks shadows that are multifunctional.
· Blushin’ Bride- I love to add on a little blush at the end of my routine. Two that really excite me are Clinique’s Glow Blush which is a cream stick and Mary Kay’s Gold Canyon or Brick.
· Bronzer. It’s always fun and chic to add that extra ummmff. Bronzer usually does that for me. I use Mary Kay’s Bronze Highlighting Powder. It usually does the trick without being too sparkly!
· Lipstick. I have to be honest. I am not a very big lipstick person. I haven’t yet found my niche in wearing it. What I usually end up doing is applying a light coat of a lighter frost and then bring it out with a lipglass/lustre. My current lipstick of choice is M.A.C.’s Frost. Maybe over the winter I can become a bit more adventurous.
· Fake Lashes. Now I know you are probably thinking fake lashes? Yes!! They really seem to open up my eyes and send out a message of fun and flirty!!! I buy my lashes at any neighborhood hair store but the adhesive is the key. You don’t want to have those bad boys fallin’ off in your mojito!! To stick them on I use DUO adhesive. I purchased mine at M.A.C. but I have seen it on the shelves at Walgreens.
· Last but not least is a setting spray!! I go gaa gaa over MakeUp For Ever Professional Mist and Fix. I apply a light spritz right before I am headed out the door and then there are no worries if my makeup will be running into the night! This stuff is amazing!!

No matter what your makeup style always try to apply a little something. It seems to always elevate my spirits. And …...I know all you lovely ladies know this, but remember when you get home remove it, remove it, remove it! It is so horrible to wake up the next morning with makeup on your pillow. Use Vaseline for eye makeup and wash with your normal cleanser!!
Get yourself a great set of brushes and have some fun trying a new look!!


What to do what to do?! This weekend’s events…

We have been invited to two little ones birthday parties on the same day at the same time. Doesn’t life seem to always happen that way? There are weekends when there is absolutely nothing to do and then weekends when everyone in your life has planned an event that you must attend… Needless to say we will be very busy this weekend but if you are looking for something to do in the city (Cincinnati that is) you might want o check out some of these events:

Friday Night Float: Kayak Basics Enjoy a relaxing kayak outing in the cool of a summer’s evening. Get some pointers on kayaking, learn a little natural history of the lake then head out to enjoy the sunset. End the evening with some light refreshments. Participants must fit properly in provided personal flotation devices. Winton Woods ($10.00, 8/19) Phone: (513)521-7275

Mt. Adams Cinema in the City Outdoor Summer Movies Series Playing tonight: Philadelphia Story. Celebrating its 200+ year rich history, Mt. Adams Civic Association in concert with City Parks and Planning is kicking off the inaugural FREE Cinema in the City Outdoor Summer Movie series at the newly renovated Seasongood Pavilion. The event and parking are free with live entertainment before the movies. Phone: 513-241-8183

Cincinnati USA Brew Ha Ha 50 Comedians, 70 beers, and a million laughs Sawyer PointeCost: Comedy is free; Wristband for beer is $5; Beer Tickets are $1 ea

Movies on Fountain Square Bring your blankets, chairs, and pillows to the Square every Saturday night this summer for a free movie or two on the giant LED Board. Adult beverages, soft drinks and movie snacks are available for purchase. In 2009, concessions will include Skyline, Graeter’s and kettle corn. No outside alcohol, glass containers or pets, please Phone: (513) 352-4066

Everything Thomas At EnterTRAINment Junction Ever-popular Thomas The Train is everywhere! Ride a brand new indoor train for children FREE plus see Thomas train layouts, including Thomas HO scale electric display; Thomas scavenger hunts; Thomas wood play tables, and videos. Thomas storytime or sing-a-longs on weekends only; Kids’ Express outdoor hand-cranked locomotives FREE with admission. FREE parking. Phone: 513-898-8000Cost: Special $12.99 discount pricing includes all attractions


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Soup in the Summer?.......

Scott and I were talking one day and happened to mention how much he loves French Onion Soup. I can remember us sharing a bowl in St. Lucia at the English Pub they had on the resort. So while browsing Crate and Barrel the other day I came across these bowls. They are so cute and it immediately inspired me to want try my hand at the soup. Now I know you are probably saying how hard can this be...but for me I see it as an opportunity to try a new recipe from scratch. When I mentioned this to the salesperson she had her recipe already. She pulled off some register tape and began writing it down. (I'm thinking, I can't wait until the day I have recipes memorized)

(I know this is more of a fall recipe but what the heck....)

Karen's Recipe:

2 cans beef broth
2 tbsp wortchershire(sp?) sauce
2 tbsp red wine
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt


1 stick butter
3 to 4 lg vidalia onions (they are sweeter); saute onions in butter until clear but not caramelized, add to broth

Spoon broth into bowls. Top with sourdough and smoked provolone (or Swiss). Place bowl under broiler until cheese is bubbling. ENJOY!

Simple enough. I will update later on how it turned out!


Share your favorite soup recipe to bring in fall!!!!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Fabulous Events for the Whole Family…8.7.09-8.9.09

Decompress from a busy week and have fun with Mr. Cowpie and his party animals. Deerfield Towne center 5305 Deerfield Blvd 7pm

Cincy Blues Fest and Annual Blue BBQ This Weekend
August 7th and 8th, 2009, the Cincinnati Blues Society presents Cincy Blues Fest at Sawyer Point in downtown Cincinnati

Bring the gang for a free screening of ANTZ at 7pm followed by Spiderman at 9pm. Fountain Square, Downtown

Enjoy a free movie this evening . Rapid Run Park 4450 Rapid Run Pkwy 9pm

Cincy Blues Fest and Annual Blue BBQ This Weekend
August 7th and 8th, 2009, the Cincinnati Blues Society presents Cincy Blues Fest at Sawyer Point in downtown Cincinnati

Sunday August 9th Findlay Market presents its annual Blue BBQ, a day of Blues, Brews and BBQ at Findlay Market! Spend an afternoon at the Market enjoying some of the finest local bands performing on Essen Strasse!
11:00am – noon The Prodigal Sons
12:30pm – 1:30pm Lance Boyd and the Medicine Men
2:00pm – 4:00pm Lomax
The OTR Biergarten will serve Christian Moerlein brews throughout the event
Bean Haus will be ready to serve their lemonade, gourmet iced teas and a traditional summer favorite – orange cream cicle soft serve ice cream.

Second Sunday on Main – Love Your Neighbor
Looking for even more food, music, and fun this weekend? Just a few blocks from the market, this month’s August 9th Second Sunday on Main event celebrates the vibe of downtown living. With a theme of “Love Your Neighbor,” people from all over Greater Cincinnati are invited to enjoy tunes from Voodoo Puppet, Groove Crew, Messerly & Ewing, Daughters & Sons, and Pete Dressman & the Soul Unified Nation. And get ready to savor the flavors fit for a king, courtesy of Chef Jose Salazar from The Palace at Falling Wall Condos at 1419 Main Street. For more information, visit Second Sunday on Main is held every month, May through September, from 12 to 5 pm on Main Street between 13th and Liberty.

This is just a taste of what we may get into this weekend!! Whatever you decide be safe and enjoy yourself!


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

School Matters……..Education is Key!!! Welcome 2009-2010 School Year!

Oh how time moves forward! I can’t believe Tre’ will be 4 years old come November 4th! Scott and I are faced with many decisions as we raise our boys to be educated, strong men contributing to a positive society. A big thing for both Scott and I is EDUCATION. We have to decide where exactly we will send the boys for elementary, junior high, and high school (well Scott already has stated that it is Walnut Hills High, no exceptions...we will see). We have to decide what are the 5 top qualities we are looking for in a school? Is it academics, extra curricular, sports, student teacher ratio…..? What is it that makes a great school?

In researching our options I came across a very nifty site that allows you to search and compare all schools in Cincinnati (and in any state in the US). I was able to pull up three schools at a time side by side and compare many of their academic statistics, see the district makeup, and look at demographics.

As the dawn of a new school year is upon us…I pray for all the teachers (especial all my friends who have decided to go into this profession, you are bigger than me) and all the parents. Know that no matter what school you decide to send your child, parents have a responsibility to continue your child’s education outside of school walls!!! Be involved and show your child how important obtaining an education is for their future.

So as we research and gain opinions from family and friends, take school tours, and attend open houses we will never lose sight of what is important for our family, EDUCATION. We can’t wait (well we can J) for the day we see our sons walk across that stage an receive their diplomas!

Good Luck Everybody,


I will also post some helpful sites for tutoring help and extracurricular activities around the city in a few!!!