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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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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Just Beautiful



This cover is so fantastic!!! I can't wait to pick up this month's Glamour!!
Looking mighty fabulous Mrs. Obama!

xoxo,
Ronita

Festive Fall Cider Recipe

(photo from golocaljamaica.com)

We celebrated Oct/Nov birthdays today at work and the theme of course was the taste of Fall. One of my coworkers brought in this super fabulous cider, I had to share the recipe with my favs! This will be made of course at our next gathering...maybe even adding a little rum ....

Cider Wassail

Ingredients
2 quarts apple cider
1 1/2 cups orange juice
3/4 cup pineapple juice
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
2 cinnamon sticks (3 inches)
1 dash ground cinnamon
1 dash ground cloves


Directions
1.In a large saucepan, combine all of the ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Discard cinnamon sticks. Serve hot in mugs.


ENJOY

xoxo

Ronita

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Date Night/Friends Night Idea #1

I will be highlighting, each week, a fun and inexpensive date night idea in the Cincinnati area but things that are also worth checking out in your city. My DH and I are always looking for fun things to do that remain within our "entertainment budget"...here is the first of many to come. Enjoy.

Whole Food's 5 After 5
Every Friday Night

5 After 5
5:00-7:00 p.m. $5 per person

Join us every Friday for 5 amazing wines and 5 unbelievable great tasting hors d'oeuvres. This is a great night out with your friends and loved ones. Includes wine glass, wine, and lite bites. Bring your Whole Foods Market wine glass back in during another tasting and receive $1 off at the door!!

5 after 5 Themes
October 9th ~ Tailgate Party
October 16th ~ Italian
October 23rd ~ Fall Harvest, Vegetarian
October 30th ~ Halloween Surprise!! Halloween Costume Contest...judging will start at 6pm!!



(http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/cincinnati/storecalendar.php)




Check out your local Whole Foods calender for events just like this one. They are usually free or inexpensive, if there is a cost. I always enjoy great food and wine in the company of my honey!! After 5 really generous glasses of wine, I am usually nice and ... shall we say....bubbly...



xoxo,

Ronita

Color Splash

I finally used a gift card I have been saving for a local spa that's close to my job. I snuck away on Friday during lunch and got a very relaxing mani!! Of course my manicurist brought out the color options and boy was I in heaven!! For this mani, I went with the normal Fall dark purple OPI Eiffel for This Color which I love but something about it screams normal. My purchase during check out was something of an inspiration...!!!

My favorite scarf to wear, the one that makes me feel fun and vibrant is this beautiful mulberry color. My favorite ultra fine sharpie I use at work when marking up samples is mulberry. So it was only natural that I fell in love with... No Spain No Gain from OPI's new Spain Collection!!







Once this mani chips off....I will be applying a beautiful coating of this fun, vibrant, juicy color. I think it will add a little splash to this very gray week!!!

Find something colorful to add to your day!!!
xoxo
Ronita

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The BIG Reveal..Prince #1 is Turning 4!!!

Every year we have fantastic fun themed parties for my little one's birthday. Because his birthday is on November 4th (middle of Fall) we have to get really creative. For his 1st birthday we did a huge costume party with all his family and friends. For his 2nd birthday we did Elmo at the Pool and had an indoor pool party at our local Y. His 3rd birthday we had a S'mores party on our back patio and this year, in honor of Tre's new found love for..... we are having a...........................................................................................................................drum roll please.....



(photobucket.com)

Dr. Seuss Party!!!

I am still doing my research and deciding on some key elements. The menu I'm sure will include green eggs and ham !! This is going to be a very colorful very whimsical celebration full of rhymes and tongue twisters. We may even have a special appearance by The Cat and The Hat...stay tuned for photos of the event!!


We are excited and Tre' is thrilled to read some of his favorites to his friends!!

xoxo,
Ronita

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

"Girl where did you get that, it is amazing?"...Trader Joe's...Trader Who?



One of my absolute favorite things to do is cook and entertain family and friends. I sometimes can go a little overboard when planning gatherings, and have been known to plan kid's birthday parties that are a bit over the top. I'm told all the time "they will not remember when they are older"- but who cares...I will (that's what cameras are for...)!!!

Well a little over a year ago I stumbled upon a super fantastic store that I just have to share with you...my readers. TRADER JOE's has the most delicious food and wine selection I have ever seen and to top it all off ....the prices are unbelievable!! I can do my normal weekday shopping and find just what I need and I can plan my party menu right in the middle of the store. If you have a Trader Joe's close to you I would challenge you to take a browse...and even sample what they have to offer...their coffee is fantastic and goodness there desserts are to die for... Check out my top 10 lists!! (I should own stock in this store)

Everyday Deans: Everyday Favs

  1. OJ- $1.99- it is the best OJ my Mr. D has said he tasted and for the price we keep it stocked.

  2. Nonfat French Vanilla Yogurt- $2.99 and Praline Cluster granola-$2.49 - the boys love this yogurt and beg for the granola, it's a healthy snack on the weekends

  3. Eggs-$.99- for all my baking of course

  4. Low Fat String Cheese- easy to grab on the go, both the boys and I love it!

  5. Honey Nut O's- their version of Honey Nut ...other the popular brand...I say these taste better and come at a better price!!

  6. Almond Milk- for those of us that can't tolerate the lactose

  7. Chicken Broth- the base to many meals

  8. Breakfast Bars- on those busy days

  9. Fruit- they have an awesome selections of fruit and veggies

  10. Frozen Foods- I love all their frozen veggies, the spinach and broccoli are awesome! I even love their frozen burritos, rice, seafood, pizzas, waffles, fruit for smoothies. I love it all!


Downhome With The Deans: Entertaining

  1. Blood Orange Italian Soda

  2. Beer- All their beer is amazing. They sell some name brand but many TJ's brands that are delicious. Currently we like the Pumpkin Lager!!!

  3. Wine- they have a large selection of champagne and wine that range from 2 Buck Chuck to bottles over $50!!

  4. Spinach Dip and pita chips- this is in the frozen aisle and is great to have on hand for those unexpected guest. (Note: Their frozen aisle have tons of prepared appetizers for any party)

  5. Goddess Salad dressing- It's a mix, I would say, between Ranch and Italian...it is so delicious just by itself on bag salad

  6. Premium Ice cream- enough said

  7. Desserts/Breads- their dessert table is always a hit, from their apple pie to their small dessert assortment. I love their french bread to make all my different bruschetta recipes.

  8. Hummus- I love hummus and it is great for parties!!!

  9. Corn Salsa- spicy and sweet, a very unexpected favorite!!

  10. Popcorn- Kettle Corn/ Olive Oil- Can you say movie night!

Right now, for a limited time, they have all their Fall foods in store. I recommend the pumpkin bread mix, pumpkin butter, apple bread mix, pumpkin pancake mix, beer bread mix, stuffing, and so much more...

(picture taken from TJ's website)

Find the store nearest you, I promise you will LOVE it: http://www.traderjoes.com/static/about_us.html

ENJOY!
xoxo,
Ronita

LUSH-iously Delicious
























I so deeply love beauty products and one of my favorite lines is LUSH. LUSH Cosmetics is known worldwide for their fresh handmade products. It is a line that started off in Britain and slowly made it's way to the U.S. The products are kind of pricey but well worth the bill. A little goes a long way. Working for LUSH allowed me to try all the products and really get a feel for my all time favs. They use natural, organic ingredients that really make you feel super delicious. I love to have my "in home spa days" and treat myself from head to toe.

Here are my TOP TEN fabulous favs:

  1. Curly Wurly Shampoo-Coconut and vanilla to tame unruly curls

  2. Grease Lightening Facial Cleanser-Spot cleanse acne prone skin

  3. Catastrophie Cosmetic/Cupcake Fresh Face Masks (only in stores- Mask of Magniminty if you only can buy online)

  4. Ocean Salt Scrub-Vodka margarita exfoliates and cleanses tired skin

  5. Lemony Flutter Cuticle Butter (I use this all over)- Softens stubbornly scaly skin wherever it may hide
  6. Yummy Yummy Shower Gel-Fresh strawberries and honey leave skin deliciously soft

  7. All Massage Bars- Mange Too-Honey and white chocolate massage bar sweeps you away, being my favorite

  8. Candy Fluff Dusting Powder- Livens up lackluster skin with candy-scented sweetness

  9. The Comforter Bubble Bar- Velvety berry and cream bath parfait softens skin with lavish bubbles

  10. Buffy Body Butter-Exfoliating body butter to reveal silky, touchable skin

You can check out all their products at http://www.lushusa.com/shop

Be sure to check out the store nearest to you for events (you can check online). They usually give away awesome product samples and awesome gifts with purchases.

Be LUSH-ious
xoxo,
Ronita

Stay tuned as I will be gearing up for my next Glam Giveaway...it may just be something from LUSH!!!!








Friday, October 16, 2009

Fall Wedding Attire Inspirations

It seems like September and October are the new June and July for weddings...many of my friends (and my husband's) are getting married this Fall and it always comes down to one question, "what am I going to wear." Here are some of my style inspirations. My favorite Fall colors are black, gray, Curry gold, and royal purple. I would add a very fabulous pair of heels, a beautiful wrap, and some super glam accessories!!








(photos from Forever 21)



We have a wedding tomorrow and one next week so I have to figure out what I will wear....

Keep It Fabulous
xoxo
Ronita








Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Home Beautiful

So, I will be hosting my first Thanksgiving dinner at our house this year and I am super excited. Besides figuring out the menu (which I will discuss in a later post) I have to prepare the house for our guest. I have already started visualizing my table scape and plan on doing some touch up painting in the dining room, hallway, and kitchen. I think I am going to go with an ivory/cream and gold color scheme and add touches of burnt orange and chocolate brown to give it a pop. I visualize tons of candles to give it a very warm and inviting glow and decorated pumpkins to set the scene. This is really an exciting moment for me because I love to entertain my family and friends, but this will be a little bit different... take a glance at some of my inspirations and let me know what you think. Where will you be this Thanksgiving?







(images from google search)











Music Melodies...LOVE




These two albums are in heavy rotation right now!! I play them on my iPod, in the car, and in the house. They both allow my mind and heart to flutter with patience, kindness, hope, excitement...but specifically LOVE. I am relaxed and I can unwind. I am in LOVE.


xoxo
Ronita


(pics taken from amazon.com)

Monday, October 12, 2009

PARENT - Job Description

I received this in an e-mail and thought it too funny not to share...Happy Monday!

_____________________________________________________________________________________

POSITION :
Mom, Mommy, Mama, Ma
Dad, Daddy, Dada, Pa, Pop

JOB DESCRIPTION :

Long term, team players needed, for challenging, permanent work in an often chaotic environment.
Candidates must possess excellent communication and organizational skills and be willing to work variable hours, which will include evenings and weekends and frequent 24 hour shifts on call.
Some overnight travel required, including trips to primitive camping sites on rainy weekends and endless sports tournaments in far away cities!
Travel expenses not reimbursed.
Extensive courier duties also required..

RESPONSIBILITIES :

The rest of your life.
Must be willing to be hated, at least temporarily, until someone needs $5.
Must be willing to bite tongue repeatedly..
Also, must possess the physical stamina of a pack mule and be able to go from zero to 60 mph in three seconds flat in case, this time, the screams from the backyard are not someone just crying wolf.
Must be willing to face stimulating technical challenges, such as small gadget repair, mysteriously sluggish toilets and stuck zippers.
Must screen phone calls, maintain calendars and coordinate production of multiple homework projects..
Must have ability to plan and organize social gatherings for clients of all ages and mental outlooks.
Must be a willing to be indispensable one minute, an embarrassment the next.
Must handle assembly and product safety testing of a half million cheap, plastic toys, and battery operated devices.
Must always hope for the best but be prepared for the worst..
Must assume final, complete accountability for the quality of the end product.
Responsibilities also include floor maintenance and janitorial work throughout the facility.

POSSIBILITY FOR ADVANCEMENT & PROMOTION :

None.
Your job is to remain in the same position for years, without complaining, constantly retraining and updating your skills, so that those in your charge can ultimately surpass you

PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE :

None required unfortunately.
On-the-job training offered on a continually exhausting basis.

WAGES AND COMPENSATION :

Get this! You pay them!
Offering frequent raises and bonuses.
A balloon payment is due when they turn 18 because of the assumption that college will help them become financially independent.
When you die, you give them whatever is left.
The oddest thing about this reverse-salary scheme is that you actually enjoy it and only wish you could do more.

BENEFITS :

While no health or dental insurance , no pension, no tuition reimbursement , no paid holidays and no stock options are offered; this job supplies limitless opportunities for personal growth, unconditional love, and free hugs and kisses for life if you play your cards right.

Forward this on to all the PARENTS you know, in appreciation for everything they do on a daily basis, letting them know they are appreciated for the fabulous job they do...or forward with love to anyone thinking of applying for the job.





** AND A FOOTNOTE 'THERE IS NO RETIREMENT -- EVER!!!

Old McDonald Had A Farm......

and on his farm he had some......




with a CLUCK CLUCK here and a CLUCK CLUCK there....

Happy Halloween
xoxo
Ronita

p.s Scott and I are dressing as farmers.....

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Dean's Fall Fun







We ended the night with a Fall Soiree at our house. I made pumpkin bread with cream cheese icing, apple bread with apple butter (from the farm), beer bread with pub cheese, spicy butternut squash soup, Fall pear and walnut salad, salami with cream cheese roll ups, caramel apples, pumpkin dump cake, fall bruschetta with cheese and honey, kettle corn, and spicy corn salsa!!! We warmed ourselves up with my spiked apple cider!! Everything was amazing!!


Happy FALL to all!!

xoxo

Ronita

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Chicago 2016



Oprah Winfrey wrote: “My first day in Chicago, September 4, 1983, I set foot in this city, and just walking down the street, it was like roots, like the motherland. I knew I belonged here.” And it’s clear she did. Her story is so familiar to the millions of men, women and children all across Chicago who’ve made it their home. This is a city that makes it easy to find your own place. Chicago has never stopped re-imagining itself, never stopped working to be something more wonderful tomorrow than what it was today. People from nearly every nation in the world come here and call themselves Chicagoans. And they do that not because a stroke of a pen or a rubber stamp makes this a reality. It’s the heart of a people drawn together by a diversity of experience and a need to see what comes next. (www.chicago2016.org)

There has been much news coverage about all the violence going on in Chicago but they have began the process of getting the bid to host the 2016 Olympics. I love Chicago (it's my favorite place to visit) for it's diverse, fun loving, big city attitude, yet smooth Midwestern vibe! President Obama is rallying and campaigning and many other notable celebrities for the U.S. city to win the bid!
Do you think Chicago has a chance or will Madrid, Tokyo or Rio de Janeiro take the GOLD? Do you think this will help boost our economy?
xoxo
Ronita