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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Save Upper Darby Arts Needs Your John Hancock!

Save Upper Darby Arts needs your John Hancock.  What? Who? John Hancock, the president of the Continental Congress is well known for his famous signature. And while your signature on the petition to Save Upper Darby Arts may not be quite as flamboyent (or quite as risky, after all, Hancock and the other signers could have been hung for treason for signing!) it is as important to the future of education in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Why sign now? Because the petition is going to Harrisburg to present our case and needs as many signatures as possible. There is strength in numbers.  Strength is our willingness to speak up. 

Even if you do not have children in band, chorus, concert band, art classes or who love their gym class, you do have a vested interest in telling Harrisburg you want educated citizens to help run our state. You want children with a well rounded education. Who know more than just reading, writing and 'rithmatic. You want them to have knowledge that comes from cultural pursuits. And even if you don't live in Pennsylvania it's important to let our leaders know just how important education is to you, the voter.

In an effort to encourage all citizens to sign the petition and contact their legislators and the governor, here is the link to where you need to put your own "john hancock" (although yours does not need to be quite a prominent as his was!

According to the petition, a copy of this petition will go to:

  • The Governor of PA
  • The PA State Senate
  • The PA State House
  • Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (Thomas Corbett)
  • State Senator - 26th District (Edwin Erickson)
  • State Representative - 164th District (Margo Davidson)
  • State Representative - 163rd District (Nicholas Miccozzie)

  • If you have not seen the YouTube Video here it is:

    My blog posts on Saving the Arts in Upper Darby:

    We Need Your John HancockDefeating The Squirrels and Other Life Lessons  Other Posts in the same blog: #HeyTomCorbett We Haven't Forgotten You and #HeyTomCorbett We're Not Finished With You and #HeyTomCorbett $$ For Districts (updated)

    10 Tips for You and Your Luggage

    Most of us have faced the 1 bag minimum the airlines are enforcing (or charging us for these days!) Yes, I used to be able to take my entire wardrobe with me to conferences or on vacation, no planning needed. No special packing tips necessary. No more! Now unless I want to pay $$ I have to pack light. So here are some tips to packing in one bag and making it work.

    1. Roll your clothing. Not only will you be able to fit more in your luggage, you'll have a wardrobe that is in better shape when you unpack it!
    2. Don't forget those tiny corners you can't fit your sweaters or jeans in. Use those for things like socks, underwear, or other tiny pieces going in your luggage.
    3.  Put your personal belongings on top for easy access.
    4. Wear basic jewelry and make it work with all your outfits. Want to take a fancier piece? Carry it with you. While you might risk losing your handbag, you're less likely to do that than to have luggage lost or items removed from your luggage.
    5. Need to fit still more items in but can't fit them into your luggage? Try layering and wearing the items.

    6. Still can't fit everything in your luggage? Or know you'll be coming home with a lot of extras? (You know who you are... families going to Disney World... other locations where you think you'll be coming home with a lot of 'stuff.') Use these great UPS luggage boxes! So cool! Just pack and ship them home. "It's not just a box, it's a suitcase with options." This box can be packed and either shipped or carried onto the plane. Just visit your UPS store if you run out of luggage space and get one of these quick and easy shipping solutions.
    7. When you pack your luggage, pack in color schemes and stick to them. Coordinate your colors so that you have the maximum number of outfits from a group of items.
    8. Taking a jacket? Why not consider wearing it and keeping it out of your luggage. You'll save space and be comfortable as you get off the plane in a different climate.
    9. Use the UPS luggage box to pack your suitcase in and have UPS ship it. No luggage fee, and no carrying luggage or waiting for it at the luggage carousel.
    10. Now, kick back, relax, and know you'll have plenty of space to bring home your souvenirs AND have plenty of space for your wardrobe too. UPS does it all!

    Sunday, May 27, 2012

    Body By Plymouth...Soul by...

    Preview from Columbia Pictures/Posted on YouTube

    "Body by Plymouth, soul by Satan." is the tag line from this trailer for the movie of Stephen King's horror novel, Christine.

    Is it real, or is it CHRISTINE! The novel by Stephen King is by far one of the scrariest reads out there.

    I keep telling myself, it IS just a book! A book about a car, right? It's NOT real. It's Chistine by Stephen King. The chiller of all time. JUST a book.

    Have you ever read a book that you couldn't put down? One that held you in it's thrall and made a believer out of you? Stephen King's book Christine did that to me. The first time I read it I stayed up all night. Five hundred pages. I didn't stop from when I opened the book until I got to the last word.

    I know, it's old. It's out of date. But it's vintage King. King at his best. When his books wouldn't let you put them down no matter how 'dumb' the premise is.

    Come on, a red muscle car. Dead corpses. Head lights with the power to terrify me. Chilling but well, STUPID! It's a CAR! Right? I don't hear you... it IS a CAR right?

    That's the thing, Christine made me wonder if it REALLY was a car or if it was a demon. Whether Christine was going to come roaring up the hill where I lived to get me. Or if it was really just my imagination. Silly. Yes. I know. I know it's silly. See, I'm still trying to convince myself. A car that possesses Arnie it's 'owner.' Poor Arnie! (Scarier yet, my father's name is Arnold!)

    The book has it all. A love triangle, tragedy, demons, evil, horror, death and ambiguity and a coming of age story. Obviously it should become an opera or rank up there with the Bard.

    Did Shakespeare ever write on a par with King? Will people hundreds of years from now be reading Stephen King novels like we read Shakespeare? Will they be analyzing them in freshman English? I don't know.

    I do know that if they are reading Christine most of them will be up all night for weeks. They'll be waiting, worrying, that those headlights... are coming up the hill for them!

    Thursday, May 24, 2012

    #HeyTomCorbett! We Haven't Forgotten You!

    Video from Save Upper Darby Arts 2012/You Tube

    Upper Darby School District cuts...the facts are here. The government is stealing your child's education from them. Stealing their futures. Taking what they deserve. What kind of governor steals from children? Go to Twitter and Tweet #HeyTomCorbett is that you? What kind of governor takes the richness of arts programs and other special classes away but still rides around in a limousine? Tweet #HeyTomCorbett is that you? Who over taxes the people but not the businesses in our state? Tweet #HeyTomCorbett! What kind of governor are you? #Hey Tom Corbett! We are talking to you. We the people of Upper Darby School District. We the people of surrounding school districts are tweeting #HeyTomCorbett, we're ALL talking to you. Because if you'll steal from Upper Darby this year, you'll steal from us next year. And if you'll steal from school districts you have no shame.  Tweet #HeyTomCorbett, we're talking to you. AGAIN! Don't betray the children and people of Upper Darby School District and other district facing cuts around the state of PA courtesy of Tom Corbett. Tweet #HeyTomCorbett do you know you are violating the Constitution of the state of Pennsylvania? Watch this video and weep but #HeyTomCorbett we aren't finished with you yet! Tweet #HeyTomCorbett! We will fight to the end!

    The date of May 30, 2012 is coming up soon. This is the date by which we want to have 30,000 signatures on the petition to Save Upper Darby Arts. Sign the Save Upper Darby Arts Petition. And Tweet #HeyTomCorbett to let the governor know where you stand! “Do not go gentle into that good night.”  Tell why you want to save the arts in Upper Darby. Tell Governor Tom Corbett you won't give up easily!

    Wednesday, May 23, 2012

    Pier One Imports - Squirrels?

    Go Nuts Card from Pier One (Courtesy of my favorite sister!)
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    If you've been reading my blog regularly, you know my family is ...uh...shall we say a bit obsessed with squirrels? So I guess it should have come as no surprise when you see that one of my birthday cards this year features, yes, you got it, squirrels! Giving me free reign to go nuts on my birthday!

    If you read my blog WDW(Wedding Day Weekly) Blogging For Brides, you'll find a long post about Free Reign and all the great gift ideas they have for when you're shopping for the person who has everything or for the bride and groom to be.

    And while I fully admit to not 'having it all' I do love Free Reign. So I guess since I can go nuts, I'll head back to my new favorite boutique and treat myself to a birthday gift! I'll let you know what my new purchase is, but meanwhile, just in case you can't resist, need a gift for that special someone, (or it's your birthday too) visit Free Reign Boutique in Conshohocken, and shop along with me! Follow Me on Pinterest

    Saturday, May 19, 2012

    5 Facts About Hunger: And Hunger Could Be Coming To A Home Near You

    Hunger Facts:
    • One in five children in the USA don't get enough to eat.
    • Nearly half of SNAP participants are children.
    • Over 46 million Americans, seniors, children, people with disabilities all rely on SNAP to feed themselves or their families.
    • The average SNAP benefit is about $1.48 per meal.
    • More than two-thirds of the funds in the most recent Farm Bill help feed these hungry kids, seniors and others through Federal Nutrition Programs. And the current Farm Bill wants to cut SNAP subsidies drastically.
    SNAP (the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) doesn't just help children. It also helps my daughter Kate and other disabled adults like her buy groceries. But SNAP helps more than just the disabled, it's helps millions of families in need pay for food so that no one goes hungry.

    This week as long term unemployment benefits ran out in Pennsylvania and a host of other large states, SNAP is going to have a lot more applicants.  A lot of other hungry people with no where else to go. Our food pantries are more empty than at any other time in recent history.

    Hungry? How is it possible in this land of abundance that any man, woman or child goes hungry? It happens...everyday. In a home near you. Unemployment, disabilities, underemployment, all leave families and individuals vulnerable and hungry.

    Is hunger coming to a home near you? To a neighbor? To a relative? To your home? What would happen if your spouse was suddenly ill and couldn't work? What would happen if suddenly you could no longer provide for yourself and your children? If the federal nutrition program is cut, you'd have nowhere to turn. The food banks are nearly empty.  Charitable giving is at an all time low. You could ... dare I say it...STARVE.
    How can you help? Aside from donating at your local food bank, you need to contact the members of Congress in your district. Tell them why you want them to support the Farm Bill and why SNAP is important to you. Visit the web site No Kid Hungry at to share your story with them or make a pledge. Contribute to and support Share Our Strength, a national non-profit, to help them help end childhood hunger in our country by connecting them with nutritious foods so they can lead a productive life. Their No Kid Hungry campaign helps be sure children are in contact with community organizations that fight hunger, it educates families about cooking healthy and affordable meals, and it works in cities near you.  Visit their website at for additional information.

    They Say You Never Forget Your First...

    Great handbag! Oh yes, far more important than all the other firsts in a woman's life, her first great handbag is a milestone!  I remember my first good handbag.  At 13 I got my first taste of Etienne Aigner leather bagsThe Aigner bag was the 'it' bag for all the 'in' girls in high school.  Yes, I admit, peer pressure played it's part. But the feel of good leather.  The smell. The look and texture of it. Yep, I was a lifer.  A goner for life. Leather and I have been having a love affair ever since.

    Fratelli Leather Driving Gloves
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    It was just the beginning of a love affair with good leather handbags that has lasted a lifetime. (And not just handbags, I'll admit I'm a sucker for good leather shoes and great gloves too.) Whenever my mom is stuck on what to get me for Christmas, a nice pair of leather gloves are always a sure hit.  Again, that love affair began in high school. My first gloves, a pair of black and white driving gloves. They were very similar to the Fratelli Driving Gloves pictured above but with a white trim! (But aren't these Fratelli's gorgeous?) I'm sure I thought I was 'so cool!'  I'm not sure if I was or not, but those gloves....ah!!!!

    Then in college in Bryn Mawr I found my first great shoes. Stacked really high heels (every short woman loves high heels,) Brazilian leather (I have a thing for Brazilian leather shoes) these shoes went everywhere. I climbed on trains in them, ran to classes, and walked from Bryn Mawr to Ardmore in them (totally unthinkable today, for sure not in heels!) And that pair of boots. Again Brazilian leather...such good quality. So comfortable but so stylish. Yes I was in love again. When I wasn't wearing my stacked heels I was in my boots. Now the kids all wear sneakers, comfortable? Maybe, but somehow they lack the style my boots conferred on me.

    By now in my life I've had my share of handbags that I've loved, none were loved quite as much as a Cleo and Patek bag (unfortunately I think they've gone out of business) that I bought from Ebags about five or six years ago. Usually I look for a classic bag that I can wear with everything I own. The Cleo & Patek didn't quite meet those standards, it was a standout all on it's own. It made whatever you were wearing look like it had a designer label or had been designed just for you.  It conferred status on the person carrying it. Women loved it. Men asked where they could buy one for their wives/girlfriends. Yes, it's safe to say I loved that bag, and so did everyone else!

    It looked like a pleated scallop (I know, sounds bizarre, but it was a great bag!) Kind of like that boyfriend in high school who whenever I described him to someone people said 'what?... he's so ...what did you see in him?' He had great hair! I know, I know, superficial. But he was also smart, really smart. Now that was what I REALLY saw in him! Just not so cool to admit it.  So what did I see in this bag? It was like the smart! Yes, I admit, I'm in love with a handbag... so uncool!

    So while diamonds may be a girl's best friend, if you want to really impress us, get us some great shoes and gloves, and that handbag, that's THE ONE.  Not only is that choice usually going to cost you less (well sometimes anyway), it will net you the biggest return!

    Sunday, May 13, 2012

    Education and You--It Doesn't Stop At Graduation

    Education, It Doesn't Stop At Graduation, Produced by Nancy Ross Vecchione
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    The 2012 Promise Walk for Preeclampsia in the Philadelphia/Southern New Jersey area took place Saturday in Challenge Grove Park in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. A perfect time, the day before Mother's Day, to speak out about a condition that effects women during and after pregnancy. Preeclampsia isn't one of those walks for 'famous' conditions. But the hard facts are that preeclampsia is the leading cause of maternal and infant death globally. One in 12 pregnancies is effected by preeclampsia yet many women have never heard of it.

    They don't make movies about it.  And unfortunately many women go through their entire pregnancy unaware of the signs and symptoms of this potentially deadly disease.

    (Look for this button on web sites or blogs you read to find out how to donate to The Preeclampsia Foundation.)

    This is why we walk. We walk for education. We walk to bring the topic up so it doesn't sneak up on us with potentially tragic consequences for us, as mothers, and for our children.

    To hear more about preeclampsia from a mother's perspective, visit Yoke, It Ain't No Cabbage Patch (Parts 1 and 2). Find out more about this condition from moms who unfortunately, got to see it up close and personal. For them, it was a call to arms.  A call to step up and take action so that fewer and fewer mothers and their babies would suffer as a result of preeclampsia.

    Sarah Donza-Hughes was the volunteer coordinator for the area and really pulled it all together. She rallied together volunteers and together they all helped make this area's walk a success.

    To find out more about the National Preeclampsia Foundation visit their web page. 

    Be sure to watch next winter to see how you or your company can help on the 2013 Promise Walk For Preeclampsia in the South Jersey/Philadelphia Area.  Walks are also held all over the country, so if you don't live in this area look for your local walk.  There are walks still being held all over the United States. Please help.

    Saturday, May 12, 2012

    Weighty Matters

    Currently life at my house is more than a little bit insane!  We seem to have very weighty matters on our minds. Yes, it seems everyone is on a DIET. My youngest daughter is getting married, so she's dieting (but at least she's not getting excessive). Her fiance just had bariatric surgery so he's eating very little (but he's not the one making me crazy!) No, it's my husband. His new name is "Mr. Calorie Counter."

    I swear, he chews on his pen cap and asks me how many calories are in it! (Like I have any idea how many calories on in plastic pen caps! Unlike some people I don't EAT them!) Yes, he has gotten a new religion, and it is calorie counting.

    Now I have nothing against counting your calories.  Sure, it's not my idea of a good time, but I have no problem with him dieting (or anyone else.) But PLEASE! When your whole conversation revolves around how many calories are in something you become really BORING! I don't even mind an occasional discussion of a new way to cook something that's low cal, I'm not unreasonable! And in fact have indulged in similar conversations myself.

    But when every discussion starts with "Do you know how many calories are in that?" or "Can you believe they are out of Splenda!" That's when it's time for an intervention... you really need to get a LIFE. It all came to a head the other night when I heard him talking to Jane. 

    Who is Jane? Well Jane is my mom's name, but he wasn't talking to her.  He was talking to our guinea pig who my daughter named Jane.  It seems according to my husband Jane's been eating too much Timothy Hay (OK she is a very fat guinea pig and could use a good exercise program!) and DOES SHE KNOW HOW MANY CALORIES ARE IN THAT!!!

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    OK, I've had it! The guinea pig has NO idea how many calories are in timothy hay, and HE's the one who overfeeds her!

    So no, I have no tolerance for people whose new religion is calorie counting--not when they're worse than the Jehovah's Witnesses who knock on my door trying to convert me to their religion.

    If you are dieting and have any questions about how many calories are in something, ask Bill. If he eats it, he probably knows! And if he doesn't he'll keep asking someone until he finds out! Even if it's plastic pen caps or timothy hay! And it will be a relief for me not to have to listen to one more STUPID conversation about calories!

    Tuesday, May 8, 2012

    The No More Excuses Chart

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    It's that time of year. Summer is coming and along with it shorts and bathing suits and other 'small' pieces of clothing that will no longer hide a multitude of sins (like the rumbling of your thunder thighs.) It's time to watch your weight whether you are just calorie counting, going to Weight Watchers, Jennie Craig, or Medifast

    So here's a chart to help you cook your veggies 'just right' so it's fast and easy to cook your favorite vegetables and you don't have any more excuses NOT to eat healthy foods.

    So head to the produce store and pick up some brightly colored fresh veggies--then just check the chart and dinner is served!

    Saturday, May 5, 2012

    #heytomcorbett We're Not Finished With You!

     from The Lorax by Dr. Seuss

    Do you care? And you? And you? We're facing the shortfall of funding for education in the state of Pennsylvania (and I suspect most other states as well) and the only way to solve it is if 'someone like you cares a whole awful lot!'

    Upper Darby School District(like others in the state of Pennsylvania) is facing significant cuts in classes in schools for arts and electives. And it's time to once again tweet  #heytomcorbett and let the governor know just how the lack of funding is going to hurt our state not just right now, but down the road. When we have a whole generation of adults who are uneducated and undereducated. When we face generations who don't care about music or art because they never learned about it in school. When we have a generation that only know the music of MTV or their favorite radio station but doesn't know anything about Mozart or Beethoven. When we face a generation of couch potatoes with mounting health problems because we didn't encourage them to be physically fit in gym classes. When we have a whole group who don't appreciate reading or research because libraries were closed.

    Whatever cuts your districts are facing, stop and think, what will happen unless somebody like you cares an awful lot and acts on it. Go to your school board meetings. Let your legislators know what you are thinking. Let them know just how much you care.  Enough to vote them out if they don't provide funding for education. Just say 'NO' to legislators that want to be re-elected when they show how little they care about our children by their budget cuts. And let your school board know the same thing. Each group wants to blame the others for the cuts--the fact is, they are both responsible for being fiscally responsible and providing the funds for an education that is well-rounded and teaches things that aren't just reading and math.

    So once again, tweet the governor, #heytomcorbett, and let him know just how you feel.