Thursday, February 24, 2011

Tastefully Simple Open House and Special Drawing for $50 in FREE Products!

Ok, yes.  I am shamelessly plugging our open house on this blog by offering a special drawing.  But it is only because I like you all so much!

Next Saturday, March 5th my sister and I will be hosting a special Tastefully Simple Open House!  This is a casual event to introduce the new Spring/Summer line that starts March 1st while also giving you one last chance to taste and order your favorite items from the Fall/Winter Catalog that expires on March 6th.  

My house will be open to all of you plus your family, friends, children, whoever - my house may be tiny…but we all like each other so the more the merrier! Feel free to come when you want during the hours of 1:30pm – 4:30pm and stay for as long or as little as you want.  No pressure or formalities.  It is simply a chance to try some food, hangout a bit, oh yeah and enter to win a big raffle prize!

You can enter the raffle in a few different ways: 

1)      Everyone who shows up to the Open House on March 5th will automatically be entered into the raffle.  All you have to do is show up and voila, entered!

2)      Anyone who places an order at the Open House or online* between March 1st – March 6th will also get entered into the raffle.  (So if you attend the Open House and Place an order that would be two entries!)

3)      If you sign up to host your very own Tastefully Simple Catalog OR Tasting Party  between the months of March – June you will get TWO entries into the raffle.  (You could be up to 4 entries!)

4)      Finally, I know some of you may not be able to attend the Open House and others may not be interested in the products. So for every person you refer to us and who either attends the Open House or purchases products online* between March 1st – March 6th YOU will receive one entry into the raffle.  So if you refer 5 people to us and they all make a purchase, then you will get 5 entries!  Please email me if you are referring people so I can make sure to give you your entries.

And what could you win?! 

Over $50 in FREE Tastefully Simple Products!    

This includes but is not limited to:
- Bountiful Beer Bread
- Your choice of either Perfectly Potato Cheddar Soup OR Creamy Wild Rice Soup
- Your choice of either Awesome American BBQ Sauce OR Honey Teriyaki Sauce
- The Trio which is a sample of Garlic Garlic, Bacon Bacon, & Onion Onion
- TWO Tastefully Simple Recipe books
- Twisty Grahams
- Absolutely Almond Pound Cake
- And a variety of other samples of various products that I want to throw in for your tasting pleasure!

The winner will be picked randomly and announced Monday, March 7th!  Your awesome prize will be shipped later that week!  And depending on the number of participants, there could be a few small other prizes passed out as well…just because we are that nice!

If you are planning to attend please email us a few days prior at or at my personal email if you know that one.  You can also just comment on this post if you are thinking about attending, but please leave your email address.  We are just looking for a rough count for the food plus I will give you directions to my house at that time!

So here is the breakdown:

WHAT: Tastefully Simple Open House
WHEN: Saturday, March 5th
TIME: 1:30pm – 4:30pm (come anytime during these hours)
WHERE: I will email directions to you when you RSVP
HOST: KRISTEN WALTZ is your host*, so please remember to add her as your host when you check out online. (More information below)

This event is open to everyone!

*Online purchases can only be made for this particular event / give-a-way between the dates of March 1st – March 6th.  All other purchases made after March 6th will not be included in the give-a-way.  Please list KRISTEN WALTZ at the checkout as your host for this event when you place your orders online.  If this is the first time you have placed an order with us online, please click HERE for more information on how to do so.  If I have your email, an invitation will be sent shortly with additional information.

P.S. Tastefully Simple is having their own Give-A-Way that ends tomorrow, Feb. 25th.  Click on the link for your chance to win!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Do You Know What Day It Is?! If Not Yahoo Does!

I follow YahooNews on Twitter.  Now besides bringing me the top breaking news stories, they more importantly tell me what “Special Day” it is.  Let me clarify. Some are common like Earth Day, Flag Day, or Groundhog Day (where is my spring weather Punxsutawney Phil!) Others are less common but still important like Donut Day or Margarita Day (that was yesterday).

Well today my friends, it is a pretty big day.   Today, February 23, 2011, is Inconvenience Yourself Day, Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day, International Banana Bread Day and Tootsie Roll Day.

Did you know there is a website called Of course there is.  It is all about doing things to inconvenience yourself that in turn help others.  Holding the door open for others, volunteering, recycling, and just helping others.  Yeah, that is good and all but I don’t consider those things an inconvenience, just being a good person.  To me, inconveniencing myself (that sounds naughty) would be actually putting my clean laundry in the dresser or closet instead of just leaving it in the basket.  Actually making my bed in the morning instead of just leaving a big mess of bundled up blankets in a pile.  Actually washing a pair of pants or shirt instead of just Fabreezing it.  You know, those kind of things are such an inconvenience. 

Or maybe that wasn’t really what they were going for on Inconvenience Yourself Day and instead there is a day called "Don’t Be Such A Lazy Bum Day" that would be better suited for me to celebrate.  Either way, I have decided that I am not celebrating this day today and waiting for "Convenience Yourself Day" which seems like a much better day to celebrate!

Also, I will be buying a bag of Tootsie Rolls later and eating as many as I can before I get sick whilst also doing the Tootsee Roll in honor of Tootsie Roll Day.  Oh you know you want to see that tootsie roll…to the left, to the left, to the right, to the right; to the front, to the front, to the back, to the back; now slide, slide baby slide, just slide baby slide.  Yep, that is MY kind of special day unlike boring International Banana Bread Day…there is no fun dance to do while you eat banana bread. LAME.

As for Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day, I have no interest in you.  If I was dog (leave the bitch jokes alone please) I would be very appreciative today.  But alas, I am not.

I hope everyone has fun celebrating today!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

I Have A Gift: A (Not So) Short Story About My So-Called "Gift"

So I have this amazing gift, being that I can almost instantly recognize people’s voice when they do voice over work in cartoons or commercials.

Ok, maybe it is not a “gift” per say, but it is a really impressive!  Ok maybe it isn’t even that impressive, but I think it is cool.

It is like a game to me (and only me).  I will hear just a quick snippet of someone in a cartoon or commercial and I will have to be the first to say who that person is.  Of course I think I win every time since no one else thinks this is a “game” but rather me just being annoying.  Tomato…uh, Tomato or do I spell it Tomahto?!?

My skills would be even more impressive if I always knew the person’s name instead of saying “you know that girl who is really tiny and a blonde with a bit of an accent and was in that Christmas movie with that guy who use to date Jennifer Aniston?! Uh, you mean Reese Witherspoon? Yeah…that is her voice!”  It is kind of my curse with this gift, I am really good at voices but I suck ass at remember people’s names.

But either way, I managed to thoroughly impress Terry (which is really hard to do) a few weeks back when I recognized a voice that was from a computer video game my sister and I played back in the early 90’s! I know, I AM awesome!

So this is how it went down…. (Insert dramatization)

It was just a regular night at the H. household.  The cats were all curled up on their fleece blankets, there was a slight briskness in the air which meant I needed to wear multiple layers of non-matching clothes as well as my leg warmers while I perused the World Wide Web and while Terry was sitting in his comfy rocker (circa 1974) watching cartoons.  He was watching the classic cartoon known as G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero from the 80’s.  I was tuning pretty much everything out when all of a sudden I heard it, a familiar voice from the past.  A voice that took me all the way back to 1993, sitting in the bedroom playing video games where I was just a goofy 13 year old and my 5 year old sister was better at video games than I was.

I flung around in my chair, tightly gripping the back of the folding chair and yelled in a voice that reeked of assertion… "I KNOW THAT VOICE.”  Terry, startled by the fact that I just yelled at him like we were at an Iron Maiden concert when he was only a mere 3 feet away from me paused the TV show, turned to me and said in a quiet, more refrained voice “would you mind repeating that but using your indoor voice.”  Anxiousness filled my body as I tried to control my excitement and more calmly and quietly say “I know that voice, the one that was just on whatever that cartoon is you are watching.”  Terry looked at me and said “first, THAT cartoon is G.I. Joe and he is a REAL American Hero; second who is this so-called person you recognize?”

And folks, that is where the curse sets in.  I don’t know his name.  Now granted this is from a long time ago, but chances are even if it was someone from today it would take me awhile to remember the name.  (I also suck at trivia as my brain is slow on the recall.)  So it begins, I try to explain to Terry who this guy is.  I am still excited from recognizing the voice and while I still grip the chair with one hand and the other flails around like there are bugs around me, I try to explain how I know his voice.

Me: “So there was this game Kristen & I played when we were younger, like in the early 90’s.  It was on the computer and you had this guy and you went around to different parts of a village and you could get magic spells and stuff and you had to save the princess!”

T: “No idea.  I didn’t play computer games in the early 90’s.  I was in college and doing cool stuff.”

Me: “Oh that is right, you are old. Either way you must have heard of it?  I think the game started with a K.  And this guy was the narrator.  And you fought people.”  This goes on for at least 3 more minutes of me attempting to explain the game.  I shall not bore you like I did Terry.

T: “Jenn, you are describing pretty much every game made around that time.  You need to be a little bit clearer.  How about you go to IMDB, look up G.I. Joe, and find the character Flint and see who did the voice.”

Me: “OK”

Now let it be said at this point Terry does not believe that I am correct in knowing this voice.  It was from so long ago that he really doubts my self-proclaimed gift is correct.  But even though I interrupted him in the middle of his cartoon and have been pestering him for about 10 minutes, curiosity gets the best of him when I tell him that I found the guy.  I click on the name Bill Ratner to see his IMDB page.  It is a good start for me as I see he is a professional voice over guy!  So Terry leans over my shoulder as I scroll down to see if I can find this alleged game starting with a K.

And there it was!!!  Everything clicked in my head and I knew it was the right game!  Bill Ratner was the voice of the narrator in King's Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow! So that must mean only one thing…..I WAS RIGHT! AHHHHHHHH!

“Terry!!  I was right!  I KNEW THE VOICE!  And it was from soooo long ago!  How cool is that, how cool am I?!”

Terry smiled, honestly impressed that I recognized the voice. (Or at least made me feel that he was impressed so he could get back to his program…..which I will still take!) “Yep, that is pretty cool.  Nice job!”

Of course I proceeded to talk about it for the next 30 minutes, which I am sure he thoroughly enjoyed.  And even though it was just 2 weeks ago I still talk about it: “remember that time I recognized that voice from that game I use to play as a kid?  Yeah, that was cool.”  Yeah, I still didn’t remember all the info.

So there it is.  No lessons learned or great morals to this story.  Just a story about a girl with a huge gift that she try's to share with the world….one cartoon voice at a time.

ABC’s of Me

Oh you know me; I can’t resist a good questionnaire about myself!  Feel free to join on your blog too!  I got this one from Josey.

(A) Age: 30 (2 months from 31…WHAT?! I swear I just turned 30!)

(B) Bed Size: King and will never go back to anything smaller.  Neither T. nor I are snugglers and both love our space when we sleep. So king bed all the way!

(C) Chore You Hate: Vacuuming. HATE IT. And dusting. And unloading the dishwasher. I don’t like chores. (I do like cleaning the bathroom though – weird?!)

(D) Dogs? We had a family dog growing up.  Her name was Lady and she was the sweetest Golden Retriever EVER!  Now we have some great cats.

(E) Essential Start Your Day Item: It was coffee, but I gave that up.  Now juice and something for breakfast.

(F) Favorite Color: Green. Love green.

(G) Gold or Silver: Always silver.

(H) Height: 5’10” or 5’11. It seems to fluctuate depending on how much I hunch over at my desk that week. My posture sucks.

(I) Instruments You Play: I took a guitar class in college and really liked it, then I stopped playing.  I want to pick it up again though.

(J) Job Title: Administrative Assistant

(K) Kids: We can’t wait for this phase in our life!

(L) Live: Ohio

(M) Mom's Name: Sally

(N) Nicknames: hmmm, not really.

(O) Overnight Hospital Stays: When I was younger

(P) Pet Peeve: OH WHERE TO START! The biggest one would have to be hands down loud eaters. I cannot STAND loud eaters.  I also cannot stand rude people.

(Q) Quote from a Movie: Probably any line from Young Frankenstein. “Put... ze candle... *back*!”;  “HE'S GOT A ROTTEN BRAIN! IT'S ROTTEN, I TELL YA! ROTTEN! Ixnay on the ottenray.”; And the best “Hallo. Vould you like to have a roll in ze hay? It's fun. Roll, roll, roll in ze hay.”

(R) Right or Left Handed: Right.

(S) Siblings: An awesome sister and two great brothers

(T) Time You Wake Up: 7:20 a.m. or the last possible moment I can get up while still making it to work on time.

(U) Underwear: As comfy as possible

(V) Vegetable You Dislike: Zucchini, squash, brussel sprouts, & pea pods.

(W) What Makes You Run Late: Other people! I hate being late, but having to wait for others ehem…TERRY…makes me late.  I will even tell him a time 15 minutes before I want to leave and he still takes his time and is late.

(X) X-Rays You've Had Done: Do not recall why, but I know I have had an x-ray before.

(Y) Yummy Food You Make: This deconstructed chicken Parmesan is awesome.  I make a really good spinach as well. Amongst many other things ;-)

(Z) Zoo, Favorite Animal: Elephants!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Talk to Me – Flu Shots

I went to the doctor for a regular check-up awhile back and was asked if I had received the flu shot yet this year.  I said it had been since college since I had last gotten a flu shot. (Which by the way made me realize that was over 10 years ago! Dang, I’m old!)  It was suggested I get the flu shot just to be safe.  Of course the obedient patient I am thought about going to get the shot but the person that is very afraid of needles decided “ah, what the heck…I don’t need to go get that.  I haven’t had the actual flu in YEARS (knock on wood). I am fine.” 

Fast forward to today.  A lady in our office and her family have had a terrible case of the flu for a number of days now.  She didn’t come in the office Monday or Tuesday because she was getting sick ALL THE TIME but she is here today.  I have my own opinions on coming into the office when you have been sick and may still be contagious which I will keep to myself, sort of, but it made me think….hey should I be getting the flu shot?

Every time I think about getting the flu shot I think about the following:

“I haven’t had the flu in years, I will be fine.”

“I think flu shots interfere with our bodies natural immune system.”

“I hate needles.”

“How do I know if I am even protected from the right strain if I come in contact with someone who has a different strain of the flu.”

“The flu virus mutates very quickly and changes so it can survive, so how does the flu shot protect against those changes.”

“Needles SUCK.”

“My immune system is healthy (knock on wood) and my body is designed to naturally fight off viruses, so why should I get it.”

“It seems like when I hear people get the flu shot they end up getting sick anyways.”

“I wash my hands regularly and take vitamins, that should be enough right.”

“I don’t want to get a shot, please don’t make me!”

I think people have very different opinions on the flu virus and flu shots, but I was just looking to see what others thought so to learn more about the flu shot.  I mean I know the difference between the shot and the nasal and I understand the idea of the flu shot, but in regards to is it “worth” it – well I am just not sure.  I am all for other vaccines, but the flu one I go back and forth on whether I think I need it at this point in my life.  I am young enough that my immune system is still strong (knock on wood) and I wash my hands a lot and try to be careful.

So the question/s:

 - What are your thoughts on getting the flu shot?  
- Is it necessary to get the shot?
- Are there times in your life where it is more necessary than other times?
- Is there a time when you wouldn’t get the shot? 

Please share your thoughts on this.  I realize the flu season is coming to a close, but being around someone who had the flu made me think about it more.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

A Sophisticated Date Night for Two “Sophistimacated” People.

This weekend T & I went on a rather classy date (since we are classy people………fart). We went and saw the Toledo Symphony perform Beethoven’s 9th Symphony at the Toledo Museum of Art.  Yep, can you handle all that sophistication?!

I believe I have mentioned before that my dearest husband is a rather complex individual.  He really is an enigma that I am still trying to, and most likely will never, figure out.  There are tons of discrepancies with Terry’s interests, but that is of course why I love him.  So you could understand my shock and excitement when this metal loving, t-shirt wearing man text me and said he was buying tickets to see Beethoven’s 9th at the Toledo Museum of Art. Really?!

Terry has always loved classical music.  He was in show/concert choir, played the violin in high school and he loves the symphony.  And he just doesn’t like the music he knows, understands and fully appreciates the music.

So it was planned, we would do an all day date together!  Wake up late, go get a late lunch/early dinner, walk through the Museum of Art (as I have never been there), and go to the symphony that night. Sounds lovely!  And as T.’s schedule the past two years has been so busy and left little time to have fun dates like this and even spend time together I think this was very much needed!

However I think we confused Mother Nature with our level of class as that day we got LOTS of snow DUMPED on us.  We decided that we would adjust our schedule slightly by sleeping in longer and just wait and see if this snow would slow down before we headed to the museum.  It did nothing of the sorts. So we changed our plans slightly and decided to save the museum trip for another day and just get ourselves some grub and go to the symphony.  After taking 45 minutes to dig out of the driveway, we were off in the shit-tastic weather to begin our half day date!  Half day dates are just as wonderful as full day dates!

We made the trek up to Toledo in the horrible weather and decided to eat at a place we had never gone before, The Mango Tree.  It was actually really good, plus no one was there for at least 30 minutes while we were there so it was a quiet and sort of a private dinner.  As we hadn’t eaten at all that day we enjoyed two great appetizers (crab cakes & stuffed mushrooms), French onion soup, and we both had steak for dinner.  We rolled ourselves out of the restaurant and waddled to our car to head off to the museum!

Now let it be known T & I are not as familiar with the Toledo area as we should be.  We knew how to get to the TMA from the highway but we asked the waitress if there was a quicker way and she said yes.  (Mistake) She told us to take Reynolds to Bancroft, make a right on Bancroft, and a LEFT on Collingwood.  Everything was going fine as we plowed our way through tons of snow and unfamiliar roads until we made a LEFT on Collingwood.  Now both T & I thought we should have taken the right as it appeared we were close to downtown, but as instructed we went left.  We kept going and going and realizing that this was not correct.  Luckily we called my sister and parents who managed to eventually (after somehow getting on Cherry street) get us to the museum with plenty of time to spare. PHEW!  It was an adventure, though at the time a little stressful as we traveled down unfamiliar, snow covered roads.  But we had full bellies and when we are full we are happy so no biggie!

We got to the museum and got seated about 10 minutes before the performance.  Our seats were fantastic!  Lower level in the last row.  

There was a whole row of seats missing in front of us so people could walk (which they didn’t during the performance) and there was a marble wall behind us so no one behind us kicking our chairs! Plus we were dead center.  And the room (sorry don’t know the name of it) was BEAUTIFUL.  Looked sort of like a Greek or old English outdoor theater.  The ceiling had a blue glow to it. Loved it.

The Symphony started and as I have never been to anything like this, I was blown away by how powerful it was.  Hearing things on TV or CD’s doesn’t do it justice.  The BGSU choir sang during the 4th movement as well as did some soloists.  It was really amazing. 

I will say this though…..I am a multi-sensory kind of person.  Terry can focus on one thing and be lost in it forever.  Me on the other hand, well I get easily distracted and start thinking about other stuff.  Like I started thinking about all the people on the stage and what they were thinking about, I thought about how I want to play a musical instrument, I thought about how much the guy beside me was moving around, I started thinking about the dancing brooms/mops from Fantasia, I started to think how it would be funny if there were people dressed up and dancing around on stage…or better yet doing acrobats like in cirque du soleil. You know, just stuff like that.  Yes, I see a shiny object and I am easily distracted.  But, even so, it was still a great performance and I was excited to experience something completely new!

So this long post is to say nothing more than it was a wonderful day and though it is not something we do very often, I think it is important to find time to do stuff like this as to keep things exciting and avoid being in that relationship rut.  And we are already talking about when we can go back!

P.S. I don’t know if it was just because we were with people who were not drunk or maybe a little older and politer, but getting out of the parking lot was easy.  People were patient and taking turns letting each other in.  I am use to going to concerts and people are honking and cutting each other off….nope, this was a sophisticated and polite group. Thank you people!

Monday, February 07, 2011

Picture of The Week

So this picture was taken recently and I think it is hilarious! (Camera phone)

“Yeah I know it is there, that’s where I want it!”

Besides his crazy glowing eyes, you will notice upon closer inspection it appears that his toy is coming out of his….well his little kitty butt! (This was not staged.)   Yes Charlie was lying on the floor and happened to lay on his toy mouse and this is what it looked like to all of us.

“That’ll teach that mouse to mess with me again.”

Besides the fact that it looks like he has half a mouse hanging out of his behind, I love that it is the back half of the mouse so you see both of their tails. 

Oh these kitties make me laugh!

Friday, February 04, 2011

Oh Look Who Decided To Finally Post A Blog And Not Be Such A Recluse

Just a little bit of this and that…..

* My apologies for being away.  There is just a lot going on right now and my small little brain is too full to clearly think about posts.  Seriously, it is like my brain stopped functioning properly after the first of the year.  Hopefully I can get some kind of reboot for my brain once things calm down a bit!

* My Dad’s birthday was earlier this week on February 1st! HAPPY BIRTHDAY DADDY!  I am SO lucky to have such a wonderful father.  He is just awesome. LOVE YOU!

* I have come to the realization that as much as I try to plan my life and follow that plan, the universe has a totally different plan for me and will never allow me to get comfortable with the way I think things should work out in my life.  Oh Universe you are keeping me on my toes and there is never a dull moment that is for sure.

* I use cliché phrases all the time and I don’t know why.  I mean I should just say what I really mean but instead I say things like “Throw in the towel, spill the beans, raining cats and dogs, on cloud nine, mind your P’s and Q’s, no spring chicken,  stay on my toes…..where do these even come from?!  And don’t even get me started on how many proverbs I use when I talk. Who do I think I am a philosopher?! However, if there is a book that talks about the origins of all these phrases that I use so often, I must have it.  I find it interesting and it would give me more phrases to use!

* The Super Bowl is this weekend and my parents are coming up to celebrate my dad’s birthday and watch the Super Bowl. My dad got lucky with having his birthday near the Super Bowl because he gets to celebrate his birthday by eating wings, pizza, nachos, drinking beer and watching football!  How lucky is he :)  I am indifferent about the Super Bowl, but I really enjoy being with my family and watching the commercials and of course love any reason to eat snack foods all day long! 

* Speaking of Super Bowl food what are your favorite “game day foods” that you make or order?  I have ideas, but still thinking exactly what to have.  Wings, pizza, chicken nachos with a cheese sauce, potato skins, pigs in a blanket, soft pretzels, brownies and a big top cupcake for my dad! Yeah, I plan on eating all day.

* I am addicted to the show House Hunters on hgtv.  Regular House Hunters or International, it doesn’t matter.  The last few Saturdays I have spent watching the show late at night by myself eating Nilla Wafers and Nutella, while Terry is downstairs watching his TV. Love it.

* I really like the cooler months, but I think I am ready for the snow to be gone and it to be a bit warmer outside.  I am not saying summer weather; just a little warmth would be much appreciated right now.