Sunday, January 29, 2012

JoePa and Icefest 2012

As a Penn State graduate, this week marked the passing of a legend. The Paterno family and JoePa meant more than football. The Paterno family led a simple life, donating their wealth in ways in which no one knew until the Memorial service and the testimonies to their quiet generosity poured forth from the speakers. And their stories were only the tip of the iceberg.
In addition to the library and sponsoring the Paterno fellowships at Schreyer Honors College at PSU, hundreds of thousands of dollars were given for scholarships, they helped families in need, and the list goes on . . . It is no wonder that the Penn State community, and not just the football players whose lives he touched, thought of JoePa as more than a coach.
My daughter and her husband (a PSU grad) were fortunate to obtain two of the 16,000 tickets to the memorial. The tickets went online at 10:00, they got theirs at 10:02, and by 10:07, they were gone. The two and a half hour service was a celebration of a life that made an impact on people who knew him personally and who never even met him. We love you JoePa.
Nine years ago, Chambersburg held its first annual Icefest and I think we have only missed one in the past nine years. Yesterday, Becky, Barry, Emme, and I headed for downtown Chambersburg! Jim was helping the Lion's Club with their entry in the Chili Cook-off. Last year they won - not this year!
Emme loved the ice sculptures, but held tight to her balloon! She loves balloons!
The warm January day took its toll on many of the sculptures that were quickly melting. But a few maintained their beautifully sculpted details.
A favorite each year are the two different ice chair sculptures. Emme fit perfectly on this one!
We had to stop and get a picture of our little "cupcake" with this cupcake sculpture!
Inside the Woods Center, there was a cake decorating contest. WOW! There were some absolutely gorgeous and fun cakes like this one . . .
And this one . . .
The cakes in combo with the cupcake ice sculpture, put me in the mood to go home and bake. So I did! I made a basic dark chocolate cupcake. Once the cupcakes were cool, I removed the center and put Tastefully Simple Caramel Sauce in the center. Next I piped whipped vanilla frosting on top and added chocolate sprinkles and Tastefully Caramel Cinnamon Sprinkles.
When you cut it in half, the cupcake oozed that awesome caramel. This caramel sauce is simply amazing and no other sauce I have eaten compares to it.
I topped one for Emme with sanding sugar and multi-colored sprinkles.
Her response was "Yum . . . " So was ours! A great Icefest and a great cupcake! What could be better?

Sunday, January 22, 2012


Remember that wonderful song from The Sound of Music - "These Are a Few of My Favorite Things" - made popular by the wonderful Julie Andrews? I found myself humming along to that song as I made a DIY (Do it yourself) project that I saw on blog recently - a book wreath! It made me think about some of my favorite things, so I thought I would share a few. I love making things by hand, so I decided to start with my newest favorite project - the book wreath that I completed this afternoon. I even made the felt flowers that I found on Pinterest!
Another favorite is my red Kitchen Aid Mixer. I could bake every day with this baby!
A huge favorite of mine are Tastefully Simple products. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't use one or more of their seasonings and several times a week I make one of their soups, breads, desserts, or casseroles and crockpot meals using their awesome products. Tonight I made a taco lasagna with the Corn and Black Bean Salsa! Easy, low fat, low calories, and high in flavor! So glad all three daughters are Tastefully Simple Consultants!
Several years ago I fell in love with Polish pottery. When I was in Poland I missed the chance to bring back these beautiful pieces, so I started collecting by checking Ebay, Marshalls, and other places for good buys. I now have a complete dinnerware service for 10 and lots of serving pieces - all different patterns- love it!
Love making meals using Temptations cookware from QVC. This stuff is amazing! You can cook, freeze, and microwave it and it cleans so easily. Thanks QVC!
About ten years ago I started collecting Judaic art prints. I found this signed and numbered piece in Hell's Kitchen, NYC, at a flea market. It features an 18th Century Jewish wedding and is simply beautiful!
What English teacher doesn't love to read! I treasure my books, especially my autographed ones. These are just a few of my autographed books.
It's always nice to curl up with a good book and a good cup of coffee or tea. Keurig to the rescue! Love being able to make one fresh cup at a time!
A year and a half ago when I was in New York City, I discovered this wonderful fragrance, "Lola" by Marc Jacobs. My daughter got it for me for my birthday and I am on my second bottle!
Several years ago, Oprah listed Korres Guava body butter and shower gelon her list of favorite things. I stumbled upon it at Sephora in NYC and it has been a favorite of mine ever since! Lusciously wonderful!
So, what are some of YOUR favorite things? This was fun! Maybe I will do another list soon!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Grandkids Are Fun!

Jim and I had four of the eight grandkids this weekend while their moms and dads (Annisa & Cory and Becky and Barry) traveled to southern Maryland to celebrate Jennifer's Tastefully Simple team promotion. The kids had a great time playing outside in the beautiful balmy January weather. Clara helped Emme learn how to make the bike go.
She was a great teacher because it wasn't long that Emme's little legs were powering the bike and she was up and down the driveway!
We love doing crafts together, so out came the glue and we made cupcake clips. They were so cute and I got to make one too! Can't leave Nana out of the fun!
Dixon didn't want to be left out, so watercolor paints were just the project for him! I will say that his interest in painting didn't last long. He would rather play with cars!
We spent quite a bit of time both days making jewelry. Michael's had many of their kids' craft kits on sale so I snatched up the jewelry making kit. Sasha proudly shows off just some of her creations.
Later in the day, we found Dixon fast asleep on the bean bag chair. Neither he nor Emme would take a nap. Emme isn't quite sure what to do when she spots him asleep, so . . . . . . . . .. . .
She gave him a loving snuggle and hug. I love these "kissing cousin" moments!
All of the grandkids love books. I caught the girls sharing a reading moment together. Check out the jewelry on Emme! Sasha made those pieces for her.
Love spending time with the munchkins. They bring such joy into our lives.

Monday, January 2, 2012


It's that time of year again when it seems as if EVERYONE is making New Year's Resolutions. The last two years I posted my resolutions and the results at year's end. This year I have resolved NOT to make resolutions. It's not that I can't keep them because I usually accomplish 85 - 90% of them. I just don't feel like it this year! It seems that each year it's the same ol' same ol' resolutions that we make and then hope like heck that we don't break! Usually those resolutions center around how much weight we are going to lose, how many books we will read, how much time we will spend with family and friends, where we will travel - you get the idea.

If I had some unique resolution like bungy jumping off the Brooklyn Bridge, I would share it. If I HAD to make a resolution for 2012, it would simply be to embrace and enjoy every day to its fullest, even when it may just be an ordinary day. Each day is a blessing and I am going practice the adage from one of my favorite films, Dead Poet's Society, - Carpe Diem! Seize the Day!

In the meantime, if anyone has a great resolution to share other than bungy jumping off the Brooklyn Bridge (never gonna happen!), let me know! Maybe I'll add it to my "Bucket List"! Oh, wait! I don't have a "Bucket List!" Carpe Diem!