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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

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Our 2011 Advent Calendar

This year instead of overloading the boys on sugar each day of the Advent I have decided to do something a little different. After browsing different blogs and educational websites, I came across this activity that I thought would perfectly fit my family. Not only are we going to be able to knock out our December To Do List but the boys can get excited about pulling out a different activity each day.

I am going to tuck these little cards I made up with all the different things we want to do this month in each pocket of the calendar and the boys will pull one out each day!

Of course I will strategically place the cards and will have to prepare for the month but boy will this be a fun!!


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Simply Stated


We had a wonderful Thanksgiving break and are now looking forward to Christmas. I love this time of year because it's a time to reconnect with family and friends, reflect on the passing of one year, and a time to look to the future. Often times Christmas brings about a time of anxiety to get the right gift, prepare the right meal, invite the right people...I have decided to make it a time of simplicity!

A time to enjoy the little things life brings...

Much Love


Monday, November 21, 2011

Thanksgiving Libations: Gina's Red Carpet Cocktail

1 1/2 cups vodka, chilled
1 1/2 cups pomegranate juice, chilled
1/2 cup lime juice
1 bottle Champagne or other sparkling white wine
Chilled maraschino cherries, for garnish


Add 1 1/2 ounces of the vodka to each champagne flute. Top with 1 1/2 ounces of the pomegranate juice and 1 tablespoon of the lime juice. Add the Champagne or sparkling wine and a cherry to each flute for a sweet garnish.

Ronita's Mixtress Notes: To make it a bit more in season...I will probably use processco instead of champagne, spiced cranberry cider,  and then garnish with cranberries and pomegranate seeds instead of the cherries.

Just in case a few friends stop by I plan to have a stocked bar.... ready to make this delicious cocktail!
You know, I may need to test it out tonight...just to make sure it's as good as they say (wink).


CSA Box #7

This week we got broccoli, rainbow swiss chard, red potatoes, sweet potatoes, radish, parsley, and a spaghetti squash!! I am going to make my sweet potatoes pies with these yummies!!!


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A wonderfully curated 2011 gift guide

Gifted Magazine is a beautifully curated gift guide for this special holiday season. There is something for everyone on your list. It's given me some great ideas!

Take a look.



Friday, November 11, 2011

Meeting The Neelys!!!

Oh we had a ball!!! Tre' was just as amazed to meet them as I was. Tre' loves to cook and be in the kitchen with me so we always joke that he is Pat and I'm Gina. He makes sure I know when they are coming on so I don't miss the show! These two were just as sweet and genuine as what you see on TV. I know you can just as easily print off recipes online, or get them on your iPad...but nothing beats a book that you can feel, see the beautiful pictures and read the family stories!!!

One day I'll have to get to Memphis to try their food!!!

Just a little snippet of them signing my book and me letting her know how much we love her red velvet recipe!!!

In the new cookbook it looks like there are some amazing recipes to celebrate everyday life!
I can't wait to try them all!!

First Up: Memphis Style Popcorn....for a relaxing movie night tonight with my boys. It's been a long week. Time to relax and unwind.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A little self pampering...My Fall Hair Routine

The cooler weather is here and with that comes a change to my hair routine.

During the Fall and Winter months I have to add a ton more moisture or else my hair feels like straw!!!

My routine consists of a prepoo with Vatika oil (you can find a your local Indian food grocery) - I leave this in for at least an hour and sometimes overnight. After my prepoo, I shampoo with Shea Moisture’s Moisture Retention shampoo, followed by the deep treatment masque and then I use the conditioner as a leave in. I use a microfiber towel to lightly dry my hair and then add Oyin’s Hair Dew as a leave in. I will be twisting my hair probably all season and the best product I have found for twistouts/braidouts is Shea Moisture’s Curl Enhancing Smoothie…a little bit goes a long way!
For daily maintenance I use Oyin’s Juices and Berries, Burnt Sugar Pomade, and Shea Moisture Hair Milk and call it a night with my satin bonnet.

Do you have to change your hair routine during the cooler months?


Tuesday, November 8, 2011


This Thanksgiving I am responsible for one dish and one dish only.
One dish that is ...... well......EVERYTHING!!

Can you guess what is is......?????

hint hint: It's on my 30 before 30 ---------->>>>>>

YES you guessed it!!!

The GUMBO!!!

I am really excited to try this on my own! I have some big shoes to fill!

Wish me luck!

Just a little inspiration...


Monday, November 7, 2011

Update: The Neely's are coming to Cincinnati!!!!

This Thursday!
I cannot wait...I even rearranged my Parent/Teacher conference so I can go!!
Don't judge...

I guess I will be getting the book a lot sooner than Christmas!!


OMG Not Another Neely's Cookbook--Thrilled!!!

I want I want!!

I love cooking, I love cookbooks, I love recipes, I love entertaining and I love The Neely's!!

I know a lot of people hate on the Neely's but I love them. I think they are amazing together and honestly their food is delicious! I got their first cookbook a couple years ago and can't wait to get this one. I'm sure it's chocked full of amazing recipes and family stories--just what I would expect from them!!

Maybe a Christmas gift...wink wink


ILOVECINCINNATI: The Honey Bee--new kids bookstore in Cincy

Last week I was dropping some packages off at the post office and I saw this cute kid's bookstore grand opening sign! I took a stroll in and WOW what an amazing little store. It has books for all ages and all reading levels. label books, picture books, all the way up to children's novels.

If you are looking for special gifts for the upcoming holiday season or for anytime throughout the year...check out....


CSA Box #4

This week we got red cabbage, lettuce greens, potatoes, garlic, onions, radishes, and winter squash!!

I love the CSA!!!


Thursday, November 3, 2011

How to Really Love a Child


I would add pray for them and together
(teach them about God's love)....often!!!

I love this and it is perfect timing!
I love my little guys and they are such blessings (even through the trials and tribulations)!


DIY Halloween: Super Heroes

We did costumes on a budget this year and guess what they loved them. I couldn't imagine spending $20 per costume for something they wouldn't wear again. We already had the capes which we had made a couple years ago at The Spotted Goose (a local boutique here in the city), we bought the masks for ($.99 at Party City) and the super hero belts for ($3.00 at Party City). Red shirt ($3.00 Walmart-and they can wear them again) and pants, which they had and viola!!! They were their own Super $14.00 and everything we can use again.

A quick clip from Tre's school parade!

HAPPY Thursday!