Thursday, May 31, 2012

I love Fresh, Local Food!!

Good morning, happy Thursday!

Can’t believe the weekend is upon us, but I already have plans for Saturday morning. Hello, Katy here.. have you heard about the Mt. Adams Farmers Market? It’s new! Tom and I checked it out last week on its inaugural Saturday, and our very own Rob Williams was there to cut the ribbon! This is one of the things that I love about Cincinnati. There are so many local markets at our fingertips, how can you NOT buy fresh, local produce?! I have high hopes for the Mt. Adams Market, It started last Saturday with a bang. There were plenty of produce stands, herb and flower stands, local crafts and even homemade doggie treats! I highly recommend checking it out in the next few weeks, it’ll be open all summer! Check out their facebook page here

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Are You Ready To Sing !

Can you sing? If not I am sure you can at least sing a little Twinkle Twinkle Little Star or Mary Had A Little Lamb! Regardless, the city of Cincinnati is about to sing as The World Choir Games come to our city and the United States for the first time this July. As we get ready to welcome kids and adults from around the world a new campaign is kicking off to show how our city sings and you can win some serious cash. This Thursday at 5pm on fountain square a new music video will be released showcasing some celebrities from our area singing the praises of Cincinnati to the tune of Proud Mary. You will see Nick and Drew Lachey, The Naked Cowboy, Jerry Springer, Bootsy Collins, and American Idol Finalist Eben Franckewitz. The video will be available on YouTube/CitythatSings. This will all kick off a contest for you to upload your version of the song and winners can win some great cash prizes. In fact the winner will be awarded $1,000. Some of us here at FOX19 will be judging the videos so come out to fountain square and kick it all off on Thursday afternoon. And let's start singing, even if you usually just sing in the shower or the car, what do you have to loose?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Pool Season!

Went to the pool yesterday, and it was packed.
Hey everyone.  Rob here.
I went with some friends to the pool at Five Seasons in Crestview Hills, Ky.  It was packed.
Not one available chair.  It was cool though.   Hundreds of people enjoying the day off with friends, family and their children.  Soaking up the sun was nice.  However, it was a little too crowded for me.  So we packed up and went to a friend's backyard in Clifton.  We laid out towels, set up the sprinkler, and had a great time.  We ordered take out from a great Indian restaurant off of Ludlow Avenue near Cincinnati State.  It is called Dusmesh Indian Restaurant.  Great food!!   Family run.  In England last year, I had the best Indian food ever.  I still dream of that meal.  This place was a close second.  It is BYOB I hear.  That means the bill will always be reasonable.  I give it 5 stars.  Check it out.  Also, wanted to tell you about the Mt. Adams farmers market.  It is every Saturday.  Katy will blog about that later this week.  I'm back to work, but having yesterday off was nice. 

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

Good morning! Sheila, Tracey & Katy here.

We thought, since it's Memorial Day, we would share our thoughts on what this uniquely American holiday means to us.

Sheila: When I was a little girl, my mother would take me and my brother to Sidney Ohio's Memorial Day parade every year. I can still remember being near Graceland Cemetary, watching as a wreath was thrown into the Great Miami River. Later, I would march in that parade as part of the Sidney High Marching Band. But it wasn't until adulthood that I fully understood the meaning of our parade. My father-in-law, A.W. Robinson, II was a veteran, and now I've lived through 2 wars. There are no words to express how thankful I am to the men and who serve and who have died to keep me and my children free.

Tracey: Growing up in a family where my great grandfather and uncle served, Memorial Day was and is always spent giving thanks to those that fight for the freedom that we enjoy on a daily basis. I grew up hearing amazing stories of dedication and survival…how families longed for their loved ones that were away fighting for our country.
To see men and women in uniform is very emotional for me. I don’t think we can thank them enough for their service! THANK YOU!

Katy: My Dad, brother, brother-in-law and sister in-law, grandpas, an aunt, and an Uncle all have served in branches of the military, and I’m thankful for all of them!. I’m thankful for my time living in the Navy family, because I feel it’s given me a huge respect for the men, women and children who continue to sacrifice their family time for all of us. Thank you to all our veterans and active military servicemen and women!

(Pictured here are Katy & her dad, dancing at her wedding)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Summer in the 'Nati

I love summer in Cincinnati! And if you're looking for a way to plot out your plans, I'm here to help.

Hi, it's Sheila.
The Cincinnati Reds are in town, but if you want to say a little money on great baseball, you should also check out the Florence Freedom. We went with our friends the Koeppes' Friday night. Here is a picture of our boys, Eric and Matthew with Freedom, the team mascot. Fridays are Fox 19 fireworks nights, so don't miss a chance to get up close with the players and see phenomenal Rozzi fireworks.

And here's another hookup for summer. A Cincinnati mother named Evie Estes recently started up a local Hulafrog website. Two moms who quit their jobs in New York City and moved out to the suburbs of New Jersey created the family fun website for selfish reasons: they wanted ideas for things to do with their kids. Evie is in the first wave of new market expansions, and she's got the eastern part of Cincinnati in her sites. As a parent coach, Evie says she is asked by clients all of the time about recommendations for classes, camps, birthday party venues, and even pediatricians, so she jumped at the opportunity to become a Hulafrog publisher. She had to go through a pretty rigorous interview process.

Hulafrog is a directory chock full of class and camp providers, birthday party venues, kid-friendly destinations and restaurants, schools as well as pediatricians, kids' dentists and much more. Evie also sends out very short newsletters and weekend guides with can't miss weekly events in the Cincinnati Eastside area. I told Evie I need this service for Northern Kentucky, and she told me another mom will have that area covered soon.

Evie is the mother three children, as well as the operator of a small parent coaching business, Parent 4R Future.
Check out her activity suggestions and planning calendar, and if you want, sign up for Hulafrog emails here:

I have run across some other great family friendly websites since I had my son Eric, and you may recognize Marie Rossiter's because she's on the Fox 19 Morning News every other Friday. Her Macaroni Kid sites are chock full of fun things to do, and she always has some great goodies to give away too! For Metro Cincinnati click here:

I also love Family Friendly Cincinnati, where you can also find everything from music lessons to summer camps, and ways to spend a couple of hours with your kids.

Now go out there and have fun!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Risky Ribs

I'm cooking ribs tomorrow for the Fox19 Morning News grill off. 
Pretty nervous about it.  I have never grilled ribs.   Love them, but they seem pretty complicated.
However, I have discovered an easy way to prepare them.  I think.  I hope.  Decided to cook ribs, after my weekend visit to Findlay Market.  A vendor there told me to start the ribs in a slow cooker, then finish them on a grill.  He promised me they would taste great.  Plus, you can't have a grill off without cooking ribs right?  Tracey did hot dogs.  Katy pizza.  Brad chicken.  Stephanie cheese stuffed burgers.  Dan salmon. Frank made pork loin yesterday. Today Sheila is making kabobs.  I have to make ribs right.  That's really all that's left.
I'm going to Findlay Market today and picking up baby back ribs.  I will get the rub from Col. De.   8 hours in the slow cooker and will finish them on the grill.  This method and recipe is untested for me.  Should be interesting.  See how or if it works out tomorrow morning.  Happy Tuesday.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Juice Isn't That Bad!

Good Friday Morning. Dan Wells writing, if you read this blog and watch the Fox 19 Morning News, you probably know I have kids. As a parent of two young girls I’m always looking for the healthiest ways to raise them. Sometimes I find what I think maybe healthy isn’t…for example, I thought 100 percent juice was a great thing for my girls, well it is, if it’s only juice and in moderation. Read on.

As childhood obesity rates continue to balloon, sugary beverages are emerging as a prime culprit. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, sweetened beverages are the largest source of empty carbs, in the form of added sugars, in children's diets, and the extra calories are helping to expand young waistlines.

Even among adults, sugary drinks have been linked to not-so-sweet effects that include weight gain, type 2 diabetes, and heart problems. A recent study in “The Journal Circulation” suggests that men who drink 12 or more ounces of a sugar-sweetened beverage a day are 20 percent more likely to develop heart disease than men are who abstain.
Most Americans--including kids--get too much sugar. Here's a look at some of the sugary drinks kids favor, along with tips on building better beverage habits.
Hi-C. These little cartons may deliver all the vitamin C your kid needs in a day, but Hi-C is only 10 percent juice. A single 6.75-ounce serving contains 90 calories and 25 grams of sugar. That's more sugar per ounce than in a regular Coke.
Hawaiian Punch. Eight ounces has 70 calories and 17 grams of sugar. With just 5 percent juice, this drink also includes preservatives and artificial flavors and colorings such as "red 40" in its ingredient list.
SunnyD. It might taste like orange juice, but SunnyD Tangy Original is just 5 percent juice. Along with 80 percent of the recommended daily vitamin C, your kid will also get 11 grams of sugar in a 6.75-ounce bottle.
Capri Sun. One 6-ounce pouch packs 60 calories and 16 grams of sugar.
Dannon Danimals. These 3.1-ounce yogurt smoothies may look healthy, but they only have 10 percent of the recommended daily calcium based on a 2,000 calorie diet-slightly more for a kid's 1,600 calorie diet-plus 70 calories and 14 grams of sugar.
There are healthier ways to quench a juvenile thirst. Here are some tips:
Choose water. The Institute of Medicine recommends that kids ages 4 to 8 get about 5 12-ounce glasses of water each day, and that older kids and teens get between 5½ to 8 glasses, depending on age and gender.

Use pure juice, not juice drinks. Juice shouldn't replace apples, oranges, grapes, and other fruits-it doesn't have the fiber content of whole fruits, and nutrition labels show that even pure, all-natural juice has considerable sugar. But it's in the juice, not added to it, and the juice offers far more than just empty calories. New research published in the journal Public Health Nutrition shows that drinking pure fruit juice is linked to improved nutrition in 2- to 18-year-olds.
Limit juice portions to 1 cup a day. "Portion size is most important," says Beauvais. Four to 8 ounces a day is plenty for children. Serving sizes have increased over the years, so be careful-one juice box typically is about 7 ounces. Dilute with water if you have concerns.
Make sure kids get 2 to 3 cups of low-fat or fat-free milk each day. Milk is rich in nutrients, such as calcium, vitamin D, and potassium, adequate amounts of which are tied to healthy bones and lower rates of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. If your kids don't like milk, try flavored varieties. Beauvais isn't an enemy of flavored milk. "Flavored milk is a trade-off to no milk at all," she says. "The nutrition that milk provides is more important than those few extra calories and sugar that add flavor."

I thought the information might be helpful. It was certainly eye-opening to me. Have a great weekend.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

That's Why I'm Here!

As a working mom, I don't have much time to read. It is very rare for me to pick up a book...much less finish it.
But, this particular book I could not put down.
Hi....Tracey Johnson here. Hope this finds you well.

Recently, we celebrated one year with THINK PINK and our commitment to Susan G. Komen here at FOX19. The women and men I've met with breast cancer over the past year have changed my life...truly! When I find myself in the deepest valley, I am quickly reminded of the journeys these breast cancer patients and survivors are making each day and I say to myself..."Life could be much worse."

Growing up in a family with three older brothers here in Ohio, we watched a whole lot of football. I knew of Chris Spielman, at least I recognized him.

When I heard of his wife's battle with cancer and heard he had written a book, I thought...."Wow, do you think maybe he would come and be a part of THINK PINK and share his story?" Whether he accepted or not, it was one book I was going to find time to read.

I could hardly put it down. One page led to inspiring story after another.
Many times, I had to set it aside because I couldn't see through the tears.

I can't even imagine their journey, but, have learned so much from their story and their day to day courage and strength they found in their faith.

CHRIS SPIELMAN accepted!!!!! He will be joining me for THINK PINK, TOMORROW, FRIDAY, MAY 18TH.

You have to read his book about football and breast cancer, THAT'S WHY I'M HERE. It will touch you deeply.

I hope you can join me on FRIDAY on the XTRA for THINK PINK!
Until then......

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

I Love Books!

Break out the summer reading!

Sheila here.

To me, there's nothing better than sitting on a beach or by the pool with a good book. Last summer when I was on vacation, I saw quite a few women engrossed in juicy reads on their e-readers. I personally resisted getting one because I just love the feel of a book, and I figured I didn't really need to drop the money on one.

I started to re-think my position on that when I realized how many other things you can do with one. My friend Jan showed me her Nook, how easy is it to get books on it, share them with friends, and even look at the internet. Plus, e-books are cheaper than books, and they can be downloaded instantly with no trip to the bookstore or library. Rob got me a Kindle for my birthday, and I have really been enjoying it.

Then recently something hit me. How do you have an author you like sign your Kindle? Over the years in my job here at Fox 19, I have interviewed dozens of authors, and I have the books they signed with personal messages to me. They line the book shelves of my home, and they are special momentos.

I am a huge fan of Jodi Picoult - she was on our show! I've been reading Mary Higgins Clark mystery novels since high school - she's been in our studio twice! I've interviewed John Glenn, Pete Rose, Oscar Robertson, Nick Clooney, M*A*S*H star Mike Farrell and Ziggy's Tom Wilson, just to name a few. I've interviewed Greg Hoard about his bios on Joe Nuxhall and Gary Burbank, along with Neil Armstrong's biographer, not to mention quite a few fascinating people you might not know by name, but people who also have written amazing books. Local entrepreneur Dick Hannan's book (also by Greg Hoard) is one of the best motivational books I've ever read. Even my husband Ric is an author - his book, Cop: The Truth Behind the Badge has an extra special place on our shelves.

A few weeks ago, I received a free Kindle edition of a newly released book by another author I admire, Rick Robinson. (Yep, there are two of them in Northern Kentucky - only one is my husband.)

But I digress. Rick Robinson, local attorney and the author of political thrillers, sent me the Kindle edition of Writ of Mandamus, and I scheduled him to come in with Rob and me. As I prepared for the interview, I thought, "Well, that's sort of a bummer. I won't have a copy of the book for him to sign after the interview." But Rick must've read my mind, because he showed up with a copy. I opened it to find a personal message, signed by "the Real Rick Robinson."

Yes, I do like my Kindle a lot, and it's ever so convenient. But I don't think I'll ever give up my special friends - my books.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Bring on the flopping!

I’m talking NBA playoffs and specifically the Miami Heat with this blog title.

Good morning, Brad here and outside of March Madness, the NBA playoffs is best for me!

Those who know me know that I’m a die hard San Antonio Spurs fan as well as a Pacers fan. Indy is home, so it makes sense, the Spurs…that’s a childhood brainwashing session by a family friend who really is family. Shout out to Mike Vega!

Anyway, watching the Pacers vs. Heat game the other day I couldn’t help but notice a trademark LeBron James flop. This time on David West. In Round one he did against the Knicks. Heck, he was doing it back in Cleveland. Now, I can already hear my producer Dan Romito yelling Reggie Miller! Sure he acted up a little now and then, but not like this. Hey LeBron, “you just won your third MVP, act like it.” NBA Commissioner David Stern has talked about and the “flopping,” and it is a hot topic right now. I hope the refs wake up because it’s awful and has no place.

OK, I’m done whining about “king james.” The Spurs are looking primed for another run at the title. Coach Pop and the boys look strong and will sweep the floor with Clippers. The Spurs are healthy and having fun together. Looks like the Spurs of the early 2000’s.

Lakers and Thunder will be a good series too, but I’m a Kobe hater, a Lakers hater and I think OKC has this one. Spurs over Thunder in the West Finals.

Back in the East, Pacers beat the Heat. Celtics beat the 76’ers. Pacers over Celtics in the East Finals.

NBA Finals will look like Pacers and Spurs. Hmmmmm, where can I find a half and half jersey?

The Pacers pick is bold and could be a homer pick but this team is deep and peaking at the right time. They really remind me of the Thunder a few years ago…minus Kevin Durant. But seriously, this team is a legit threat for the next five years.

2012 NBA champions….The San Antonio Spurs. Five titles for Coach Pop and Tim Duncan.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Happy Mothers Day With Tenderloin

Good Morning Frank Here...How was your Mother's Day? I know the rain put a damper on the day, but as I said on my facebook, our moms have filled our lives with so much sunshine it still was a awesome day. So how did you honor mom? My mom I see a lot, however did not see her this past weekend, but I made sure to honor her properly with some awesome flowers and the phone call. She was just in town last week and I try to make everyday mother's day! I know that sounds cheesey but like many kids even though I sometimes act as if I dont hear or take moms advice it is always valued and for the most part I listen! Mother's are always there for us! Yesterday while waiting for the Reds game my fiance and I went to her parents house for Mother's Day dinner. I was in charge of the main entree and I made a 4 pound beef tenderloin that I do have to say was fantastic. I had it trimmed and tied, then I cut slits into it and put several cloves of garlic right in the meat. After rubbing it with peppercorn, sea salt, and olive oil...I then seared it on a hot grill. After marking all sides of it I turned the two burners underneath the meat off and I cooked it with indirect heat from the other two burners for about 35 mins. Once it got to 130 degrees I let it rest and it was the perfect temperature. I sliced up some blue cheese butter that I made and we had a feast. I do smell a little like garlic this morning so I apologize.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Run and Discover OTR

The Triple Crown is a series of races: The Hyde Park Blast, Downtown Dash and the OTR 5K.  It starts with the OTR 5K Summer Celebration, which is a week from tomorrow.  It was created 6 years ago to highlight the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood.  It starts in the Gateway Quarter on Vine Street, where you can definitely see major development.  Seemingly a new restaurant, bar, or business opens every month. Many of these will be serving up bites during the celebration after the run.  The OTR 5K raises money or the OTR Chamber of Commerce.  The Gateway Quarter isn't the only place that is seeing major development in OTR.  The Washington Park is undergoing major renovation and the nearly 500 spot parking garage is already done.  Many of the old beautiful building are being transformed into hip urban condos.  In fact Pleasant Street is a beautiful street lined with great places in which to live.  Pleasant Street used to be one of the most dangerous in the city.  I encourage you to run the OTR 5K or take part in the celebration after the race.  It's going to be a great way to discover OTR and right now there's a lot to discover.
Find out more

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Flying Pigs

Greetings, and happy Thursday! It’s Katy… Did you or a family member run the Pig this past Sunday? It’s a goal of my husband’s to run a marathon, and he’s well on his way now with the half-marathon under his belt. I have to say, I’m really proud of him for taking on a big challenge like a marathon. It’s tough work! Training in the dead of winter, getting up at 7am to go running in 10 degree weather isn’t appealing to many, but he did it! And he has a lot to show for it now. It’s actually got me thinking that I could start doing some smaller races. I don’t know about a marathon.. but maybe a 5K here… 10K there? Start small and work your way up! For now, I’m just fine being the cheerleader. That’s another thing I was really impressed with about The Flying Pig Marathon. How many cheerleaders there where on the sidelines! Tom said people were lined up all over the course, cheering on their friends, family and runners they didn’t know. There was so much spirit there with signs, hand-clapper noise makers and of course, people dressed up as pigs. I think this event will grow to be one of my favorites of the year here in Cincinnati.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

French Connection

My family connections to Ireland have always been held close to my heart, along with my mother's and my grandmother's. Because of my appreciation for my Irish heritage, I recently began learning about the French branches in my family tree.

Hi, it's Sheila.
And how crazy is this? I just found out I am eligible for membership in La Societe des Filles du Roi (Daughters of the King). More on that later.

Last year ago, I posted a 'blog here on the Fox 19 Morning News website for St. Patrick's Day about my grandparents. It was a short piece about their Irish heritage, and a little love story about my Nanny and her husband Bill, who died before I was born. If you want to read it, go here:

It's because of that little 'blog that I discovered even more about my grandfather's ancestry. Mary Fleming Simon of Lexington, Kentucky found it while doing her own genealogy research, and she sent me a message on Facebook a few of weeks ago. She wrote to me: "I thrilled when I realized what I'd found. It's like hunting for diamonds."

Turns out Mary is my mom's cousin. Her grandfather Ralph Albert Fleming and my grandpa's mother Emma Ruth Fleming were brother and sister. This is a picture of them with their baby sister Ella Mae, taken in Michigan in the late 1800's. My mother and I were absolutely thrilled to make a cyber-acquaintance with Mary, and through their emails to one another, now I've learned much more about my grandpa's family.

Ralph, Emma, and Ella had two other sisters, one of whom, Crystal played piano and sang on the Keith Vaudeville Circuit (no wonder I love performing - it's in my DNA)! My mother remembers pictures of her Great Aunt Crystal hanging in her grandmother's home when she was a little girl. The way she describes Crystal's dark hair and dark eyes reminds me of my mother.

This picture of my great grandmother Emma Ruth and her brother Ralph looks a lot like one of my cousins. It's so uncanny!

On to the French connection. Mary and my mother share a pair of great grandparents - George Edward Fleming (1859-1927) and Ellen "nellie" Patterson (1865-1919), and Mary has traced the Fleming family all the way back to France, where our family name was not Fleming at all! It was Ladriere. My seventh great-grandfather, Joseph Ladriere left the Flanders area of France in the 1730's and emigrated to Quebec. In Canada, Joseph went by the name Joseph Ladrier dit Flamand (of Flanders). His son Joseph dropped the "dit" and hyphenated the name. Then later, Joseph's son Louis dropped Ladrier, went by Flamand, and emigrated to Iowa. That's where he changed the name to Fleming, like so many American immigrants who changed their names to blend in. It's been Fleming since the Civil War.

In turn, my mother has been sharing all kinds of stories with Mary which I hadn't heard before about meeting some of these Fleming relatives when she was a child. Here's an excerpt from one of my mother's emails: "I remember Aunt Clara (Ralph's wife, Mary's grandmother) coming to our house and making donuts and strawberry jam and chicken and dumplings. I was around 9 or 10, and she sent my sister and me to the store a few times to get the "right" ingredients, i.e. Rumford Baking Powder, not Calumet. Mother said Clara probably didn't think she was measuring up as a cook."

Reading Mom's and Mary's emails has been a bit like an episode of Who Do You Think You Are, a television show I never miss because I find the stories of our past so fascinating. I am convinced that who we are is not just about how we're raised, but that who we are really is, in part, ingrained in our DNA. My daughter Katie and I have both taken four years of French in high school and excelled in it. I just don't think that could be a coincidence.

And Mary just informed me in an email yesterday about the Daughters of the King. We descend from several of the young women who arrived in Quebec in the late 1600's specifically to help establish a growing French colony. They were sent by the King (who also provided them with dowries), and thus came to be known as the "filles du roi," daughters of the king. They were able to literally choose their own husbands and enter into contracts--a rare and wonderful thing for a woman back in the day. You can read more about them here:

Mary and my mom and I haven't met yet, but we will. My home in Northern Kentucky is just about halfway between them, and I can't wait to meet our newfound family member. Even more, I can't wait to witness a bit of living history, when my mother and our cousin Mary share photos and stories about the Fleming family tree.

If you want to do some research like Mary has, she recommends and the the extensive genealogy resources of the Latter Day Saints.

Happy hunting!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

My First Derby

Hi friends! Happy Tuesday! Stephanie Here... Hope everyone enjoyed this weekend’s warm weather. I know I did…in Louisville!
This Saturday my friends and I rented a bus and trekked down to the Kentucky Derby. It was my first Derby, and first time to Louisville! I didn’t really know what to expect…or more importantly…how to dress J We of course stayed in the infield. Although I love horse races like none other (I used to ride when I was younger and went to steeplechases at UVA)…I’m not prepared to pay an arm and a leg to watch them J
I surveyed my friends here at FOX19. I got mixed reactions, ranging from Tracey Johnson’s “You’re going to the Derby?! OMG get a hat and take lots of pictures!” to our director Dale’s “You’re going to have a blast…but I’d suggest wearing jean shorts and flip flops. A college kid may throw up on your shoes.”
Hhhmm. Undaunted…I dug a sundress (not new) out of my closet, pulled on a big floppy hat, and hit the Derby. In a nutshell? It was a blast. Not only was the weather perfect (86 degrees and sunny) but also the mood was at a high.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many people in one place. I could barely see the twin spires over the crowd of people! It was exciting, but a bit overwhelming. Luckily everywhere you turned you could get a mint julep or a plate of bbq.
My favorite drink was the Oak Lilly, a southern take on the Cosmopolitan. Drinks were a bit pricey, but the good news is I got to keep the glasses. That’s why I had to get so many! Kidding…kind of J But seriously, the infield is not the hedonistic stuff of legend you hear. Yes there are a lot of college kids, yes some people are three sheets to the wind, but for the most part the infield is made up of good people enjoying a good horse race.
The race itself? Well, my boyfriend and I lost $50 on Hansen (the great white hope!) but we still had a blast.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Weekend Of Work...

Good Morning Everyone...How was the weekend? Frank Here! First a HUGE congrats to all of our Flying Pig Runners! I have tons of respect for all of you, I would need a lot of motivation to do it, but I did participate this weekend. I tried to motivate people with my bullhorn on Sunday during the last mile while I enjoyed a little bit of OJ. I think I could be a professional motivational speaker! In all seriousness great job! Before I took part in the cheering on of several friends on Sunday, I got down and dirty on Saturday. We have had a courtyard at our place that has not been touched in probably 30 years. We had everything from weeds the size of trees to tree stumps the size of vw bug . As you can see here in the before picture, it was not very attractive. We just want a area for our dogs to hang and for us to grill. So my father came down and he and I on a very humid Saturday afternoon dug, pulled, and spread about 2 1/2 scoops of mulch to clean the area up. Here you see the after picture and we are pretty proud of it. If you know me I am not the most manual labor type of person but you really do have a sense of accomplishment when you achieve something like this. For one I have never been to a Home Depot so much in my life, in fact 3 times on Saturday. One of my many visits I picked out these paver stones so I could make a nice path to the side gate. I also found several stones for the landing buried underneath the dirt and ivy. So our patio is now ready for flowers to be planted, this afternoon I will be building a small bed where I plan on planting rose bushes. When is all done will have a BBQ, I am excited to use our new grill that my parents got us. Have a great day!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Toilet Paper Gowns ?

Stephanie Here... Happy Friday! As many of you ladies know…it’s bridal season! Like me, I’m sure many of you have your spring and summer schedules jam-packed with nuptials. For some, it can be a bit of a burden.
Not me. I have a confession…I love weddings. The cake, the dancing, the dress! And nothing tickles me more than seeing one of my best friends walk down the aisle. This June my cousin and best friend, Amy, will become Mrs. Stephen Piccirelli. What makes me so happy is that Steve makes Amy happy. The wedding is going to be beautiful, romantic, and yes…very Italian J
But first comes the shower! The bridesmaids threw the party, and because my sister and I are the Maids of Honor, we had it at our parents’ house in Hockessin, Delaware. Not only was it a beautiful day and a prettier shower, but it was so nice to spend time with my friends and family.
But the best part: the toilet paper gown competition. This was my sister Caroline’s idea…break the ladies up into teams and challenge them to make a bridal dress out of toilet paper and tape…alone! I was on a team with Caroline, my aunt Marla, and my Nonna. I have to say, I think Caroline’s trumpet-style one-shoulder gown was DIVINE…but in the end the prize went to the mother of the groom. Smart girl, my cousin.
Enjoy the sunshine this weekend!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Power Of A Promise

The “FUNK” of life.

Tracey Johnson here……hello. I borrowed that phrase from a very special person in my life that was sharing the “funk” they are in. We’ve all been there…right?

But, it’s moments like Monday evening that help me claw my way out of my “funk.”

I was invited to be a part of the POWER OF A PROMISE event through Susan G. Komen. The evening was filled with mixed emotions. Moments of cheering for those celebrating being cancer free and then moments when there wasn’t a dry eye in the place for those in the midst of radiation and chemo. No matter where these women and men are in the process, they all proudly wear a smile and beam with determination that they will be the winner in this fight. It was a room full of people that have one thing in common....BREAST CANCER. At one point, I shared that in all my years here on earth, I’ve never found myself in the midst of a such an incredible group of people. Breast cancer patients, survivors and those that have chosen to stand beside those diagnosed, cheering them on through this battle they did not choose, but, was chosen for them. Their eyes and smiles say it all. NONE of them were going to allow breast cancer to pull life from beneath their feet...but, determined to tackle it head on.

I don't have breast cancer or my mom or grandmother or aunt....but, I know plenty of women and men that do. So, for them, I am committing to join the ranks across this beautiful city that we live in, to fight back and help to find a cure for BREAST CANCER.

My one dear friend, Amy Wagner says it best, "I will not allow my daughter to grow up in a world without a cure for breast cancer."
So, won't you Mark your calendars and join us for the RACE FOR THE CURE on SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 29TH. YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
For more information....Visit our THINK PINK page at

Many Blessings....

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Boys of Summer

The roar of the crowd was deafening as Sean Marshall took the mound in the top of the 9th. The Reds were up 6-5. All he had to do was keep the Astros from scoring.
That, he did, and the Reds win the game and the series at Great American Ball Park!

Hi, it's Sheila. One of my favorite things about living in Cincinnati? Seeing my Reds win! Watching Jay Bruce and Joey Votto homer made the recent game I attended with Ric that much more exciting. Love seeing those fireworks fly out of the tall stacks!

Tonight, my little slugger has his first baseball game of the season (if the field's not too wet!). Our son Eric is playing in a local coach pitch league. He tried tee-ball last year, and truth be told, the tee just messed him up! Ric and I have been pitching to him since he could first hold a bat, so we decided to let him give coach pitch a try this spring.

It cracks me up to see little guys and girls put on a huge batting helmet and head into the batter's box.
It's even funnier when the kids run to the wrong base or throw the ball to the wrong player. But that's how they learn, right? Eric has a strong little swing, and a pretty straight throw (when he pays attention to where he's throwing!), but another Bruce or Votto? Probably not. Still, I am sure Ric and I will be standing up and cheering just as loudly for him as we did for the big league guys.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

So They Say I’ve Got A Man Crush

Good morning, Brad here and I’m talking about American Idol contestant Phillip Phillips.
I never watched American Idol before this year, and I didn’t go into the season thinking I was going to watch it. The day after the final 12 episode my good friend Jason Quick calls me and says “you need to watch American Idol. There is a guy who is Dave Matthews Jr.” We will get to that obsession in a little bit. So, I looked up his performance online and instantly I was hooked. I have recorded every episode since and I will continue to watch this season play out with just three weeks left.

Each week he (Phillips) gets better. They all do, but I really think he has more than a shot to win it. The way he sang “Fat Bottom Girls” last week was great. A perfect song for him to sing. I was hype, smiling and grooving the whole time. He has a true front man swagger and I love it. He’s so different but the same. The judges keep saying “you know who you are.” He does and he kills it every time. Since the season began, Phillips has been compared to Dave Matthews. The way he sings. The way he dances. Everything about him. That’s fine with me, his is my favorite band and I’m not ashamed to admit I’ve seen over 60 live shows, (insert joke here.)

Last week I saw the spoiler set list that was tweeted out by an Idol producer.
It only had song names with the original artist and not who was going to sing it on idol. When I saw “The _______ by The ______ _______ Band,” my jaw dropped! Really, is he going to do this?!?! Is it “The Stone” by The Dave Matthews Band? I was nervous, excited, and very scared for him. Then I think, OK, DMB isn’t the only band with a name like that; Steve Miller Band, Freddy Jones Band, Edward Sharpe Band, etc. He won’t do it and I don’t want the haters to start circling.

Nope, I take that back, I want him to do it and kill it.
Then he comes out of nowhere…and I mean NOWHERE with this crazy, off the wall, musical genius but extremely risky rendition of “The Stone,” a personal favorite a mine.
Just him, a fiddle and a baritone sax.
At first I liked it. Then I hated it. Then I loved it! Back to eh and once again loving it! Very risky but I think that’s what got me. It was so risky, but a brilliant take. Was it good for Idol? Probably not. The crowd didn’t seem to know when it was over and then stood up clapping. As a music fan. A Dave super fan. A Phillip Phillips fan, I loved it. Jennifer Lopez didn’t like it, (oh well, don’t really care) Randy Jackson and Steven Tyler loved it.

I said after his first performance - He will win idol. I stand by the pick.