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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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Daily Reads

Master Tre'

Master Roman

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

SEXY and Curious...down right heart tingling...

In trying to be the best budgetisa I can be as well as not wanting to pay for things I don't have to, I took a trip to the library recently and stacked up on a pile of really great films and some very fun craft and cookbooks!! One of the movies I picked up was The Reader. I popped this in the dvd player thinking it would entertain me right before I feel asleep and let me just say, I couldn't take my eyes off it!

What is the nature of guilt–and how can the human spirit survive when confronted with deep and horrifying truths? The Reader, a hushed and haunting meditation on these knotty questions, is sorrowful and shocking, yet leavened by a deep love story that is its heart. In postwar Germany, young schoolboy Michael (German actor David Cross) meets and begins a tender romance with the older, mysterious Hanna (Kate Winslet, whose performance is a revelation). The two make love hungrily in Hanna’s shabby apartment, yet their true intimacy comes as Michael reads aloud to Hanna in bed, from his school assignments, textbooks, even comic books. Hanna delights in the readings, and Michael delights in Hanna.

Years later, the two cross paths again, and Michael (played as an adult by Ralph Fiennes) learns, slowly, horrifyingly, of acts that Hanna may have been involved in during the war. There is a war crimes trial, and the accused at one point asks the panel of prosecutors: “Well, what would you have done?” It is that question–as one German professor says later: “How can the next generation of Germans come to terms with the Holocaust?”–that is both heartbreaking and unanswerable. Winslet plays every shade of gray in her portrayal of Hanna, and Fiennes is riveting as the man who must rewrite history–his own and his country’s–as he learns daily, hourly, of deeds that defy categorization, and morality. “No matter how much washing and scrubbing,” one character says matter of factly, “some sins don’t wash away.” The Reader (with nods to similar films like Sophie’s Choice and The English Patient dares to present that unnerving premise, without offering an easy solution. –A.T. Hurley (

This is an awesome movie filled with romance, war, guilt, anger and pain!!!

**** if my rating counts!!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Sugar and spice and all things nice...NOT!!!

It's no surprise I LOVE my boys even when walking down the aisles of frilly dresses, pink and purple skirts, hair bows, ruffles, lace, tutus and slippers. I find that shopping for boys just doesn't bring me as much thrill as I would imagine shopping for a girl would, but none the less, I smile and set out to still  make sure they look like the little handsome gentlemen they are. Fall is upon us and I must say I am excited to change over their wardrobe.

Here are my top 10 Fall boy picks.
CLASSIC and PLAYFUL  with unexpected details


1. Children's Place plaid woven shirt $16.50
2. Children's Place bootcut jeans- rocker wash $20.00
3. GAP puffer vest $39.50
4. GAP Military herringbone cap $12.50
5. GAP Sherling collar cord jacket $39.50
6. GAP Jacquard skull shirt $26.50
7. GAP Wool hightop sneakers $29.50
8. Children's Place Coast slip on sneaker $16.50
9. Children's Place guitar tie
10. Children's Place varsity zip up hoodie $15.00

The look wouldn't be complete without a classic book bag!!
My book bag pick...
Pottery Barn Kids Fairfax Backpacks (Monogrammed) $29-$39.00

What are little boys made of?
Snips and snails, and puppy dogs tails
That's what little boys are made of !"


Sunday, August 29, 2010

End of Summer Fun

We are headed to Coney Island for some end of summer fun!!!
Enjoy your day everyone!!!


Saturday, August 28, 2010

My Fall Fragrance Must Haves

As the air begins to cool down I just can't help but think about my favorite time of year, the Fall. One scent that will always remain a constant during cooler weather is ....VANILLA.
Here are my Fall fragrance picks  for every occasion!!!
I must say, I have all of these and just love them each in their own way.

My go to fragrance is LUSH's Vanilla line. They have lotions, soaps, powder, and perfume.

I am smitten for Bath and Body Work's Dark Kiss. It is a yummy mix of vanilla and berry and smells so delightful!!

As a very special anniversary present from Scott's grandma, I was gifted, Dolce & Gabbana The One,  this very delicious sophisticated fragrance is absolutely fabulous! I spray just a little for those special night out ...or in ;)

What's your go to Fall fragrance?


Saturday, August 21, 2010

Parenting Vent...private school might be an option...

Sorry I have been M.I.A. I have had a busy couple of weeks at work and Tre' has started his Fall term at school. Let me start off by saying...

Finding the right type of education that best fits your child's learning needs as well as finding a school that fits into your expectations as a parent is a challenge.

I consider myself to be a pretty picky person when it comes to my children and it has been a struggle finding a school that best fits Tre's intense love for learning and discovery, as well as his vivacious personality. We are not all sold on his current school and have been determined to find the right place for him. We want a place that has a balance of outstanding education, fun extracurriculars, and a high level of parent involvement opportunities. That of which is currently lacking.

We are now researching the possibility of sending him to a private school. Although we don't have the finances outright to support such a lofty option, deep down in my heart, I know where there is a will there is a way!!! Especially, being a product of a private school, where my parents were in the same boat as us- but somehow they were able to send three children.

Over the next couple months we will be hitting up open houses, school fairs, and applying to ever scholarship we can find. I was so ecstatic to find out that now many area private schools are offering need based scholarships beginning in the Kindergarten, where before it was 6-12th grades ONLY.

As we continue to enrich his little mind outside the classroom our search will continue for a school that can challenge him inside the classroom. We shall see where this road will lead. Please keep us in your prayers. I know that God has a plan.


Saturday, August 7, 2010

JUICY, Fuzzy....


I love the summer and FRESH produce!!!
My mom's neighbor, Mrs. Sarah, has a fruit, vegetable and herb garden to die for...and I was so lucky to be the recipient of a couple big bags of fresh peaches...can you guess what I am going to do with them?

Here's a BIG Hint!!!!

Stay Tuned

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Fried Green Tomatoes

I have been hearing great things about having to try fried green tomatoes. I happened to be flipping through my Neely's cookbook and came across a very delicious recipe!!! I headed to Findlay Market, picked up some tomatoes, headed to TJ's for buttermilk, and I had everything else I needed at home.

Step 1: Slice about 1/4 inch thick and season the tomatoes with salt and pepper, I think I added some other seasonings to the mix.
*Note: Make sure the tomatoes are very hard, so that they don't fall apart when frying.

Step 2: Take the tomatoes one by one and toss in flour, then buttermilk mixture, then in panko bread crumbs

Step 3: Fry in vegetable oil for about 2 minutes each side until golden brown

Step 4: Remove from pan and lay on paper towel to soak up some of the oil....

Eat them while they are hot.

They were so so delicious. For dipping, I made a lime and basil mayo with some of the fresh basil I have been growing and it just topped it off!! This was a perfect summer recipe, and my hubby's grandmother even enjoyed them.

Here is one of their recipes off will have to also upload the one I used from their cookbook.


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Pucker Up Pickles...another canning experience

Two weekends ago I decided I would try my hand at canning pickles. I had a great experience canning strawberries and thought, why not? Well, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience but I have to get my liquid recipe down a bit better.
The pickles turned out a bit sour...I think next time, less vinegar more seasonings....

Step 1: Find a good recipe and clean canning jars.

Step 2: Scrub pickles and quarter long ways.
*Note: I found "pickle" cucumbers at the market. The recipe called for Curby cucumbers.

Step 3: Gather all ingredients, fresh dill, peppercorn, vinegar....

Step 4: Combine all ingredients in jars

Step 5: Boil...process 15 minutes


I will be researching a special canning recipe for the fall, just in time for holiday gifts!!!

Stay Tuned


Monday, August 2, 2010

Guest Post: Talea's Fall 2010 Fashion Picks

I had a super fabulous weekend with one of my line sisters and we happend to be at the mall shopping and talking about our Fall must haves.....I told her she should write her favs up for my blog and that she did. I am loving the look and know that I already have all of these in my closet, no extra shopping for me:

Here are her picks

I am at the point in my life where I am exploring my true fashionista self! Here are my top 5 Fall Picks for 2010...
Long Earrings
I just recently cut my hair and what I have learned is that there is more attention drawn to my face. Long earrings are amazing when you want to step it up just a bit without over doing it. They are great to wear with jeans or with some heels when you are having a date night. Either way these earrings are a must have for any woman who has short hair and/or wears her hair off her face.

Chain Necklaces
These particular types of necklaces are a lifesaver for any outfit that looks a bit too plain. Chain necklaces are worn great with high neck tops so that the neckline of the shirt does not distract from the actual necklace. Simply pair this accessory with a high neck simple long sleeved shirt and some of your favorite jeans and you are ready to go!

Scarves are my FAV on my top 5! A scarf is one of the most amazing ways to switch up an outfit for work, class, date night or a simple night out with the girls. This is yet another quick accessory that will dress up any outfit. Scarves are great with jeans and sneakers or a skirt and heels.

Jean Jackets
Fall means layers, layers and more LAYERS! Jean jackets are great for when you work all day and don't want to wear your business casual look to Happy Hour. This is another addition that can be paired with dress pants or a pair of cargo pants. Dress it up with heels or down with a pair of chucks. Either way this accessory is a great addition to any woman of any style!

Heel Boots
I adore fall just so that I can take my boots out of the closet! Boots are some of the most comfortable heels period! I love to walk around campus in my boots. It is great for the style, the posture and the confidence! Heel boots are amazing with skinny jeans or skirts. Also many of the boots that can be worn over the skinny jeans can also be worn under the dress pants.
The best part is that all 5 of my picks can me worn together! My favorite fall look includes a simple long sleeved high neck fitted shirt with a pair of skinny jeans, put the heeled boots over the jeans, the long necklace under the fashion scarf, grab the jean jacket pull the hair up or back and finish off the look with the long earrings. A little bit of foundation, mascara and lip gloss to compliment and you have one amazing fall look!
With Hope, Faith & Love... Talea Renee