Saturday, March 31, 2012

Savvy Saturday~Briquettes Smokehouse

Tonight, I want to tell you about one of my favorite places to eat.
  Briquettes Smokehouse, they have amazing food & are constantly introducing new monthly specials that will make you wish the month would never end.
  This month, was a mouth watering, mile high Ruben. 
As we say farewell to March, I will say it while wiping away a tear.
  I fell in love with their Rubens.
  I originally fell in love with Briquettes, two years ago when we went to eat there for the first time.
  Me, being deathly allergic to peppers, there was almost nothing on the menu I could eat without having a sever reaction.
They even have peppers in their Cornbread & Macaroni & Cheese!
( Which I have on good authority is delicious! )
  So, I tried something on their menu that I knew I could have.
  Their Sweet Smoked Tea.
  I became instantly addicted.
  I even went so far as to get one of their T-shirts & I put on the back of the T-shirt.
 "I did it all for the Tea".
  As time went on, I was so committed to eating their food I would take an injection from my Epi Pen just so that I could try all of their different delectable creations.
  It really is THAT good!
  So, If you ever make it to the Historic Ashtabula Harbor you have to go in to Briquettes.  
Tell the owners, Nate & John that you came in because you heard about the 
Sweet Smoked Tea
 their Amazing food!
Now, if you want to take a look, just click on the Menu to see their wonderful food selection.
They have a very laid back dining area that has a rich history behind it.
A warm, & friendly staff that makes you feel welcome the minute you walk in the door.
Recently, they have added a beautifully crafted bar with a great selection of beers.  
If you have an event coming up and you need good food, you really don't need to look any further!
Here is their contact information if you want to plan a trip.
Dine in or Take out you won't be disappointed!
Briquettes Smokehouse
1104 Bridge Street
Ashtabula, Ohio 44004
(440) 964-BBQD

Friday, March 30, 2012

Fantastic Foodie Friday~ Asian Chicken Salad w/ Mandarin Oranges

In addition to being a time saver, canned chicken is a more nutritious option than ever. Look for cans with the check of the American Heart Association, which means it meets their criteria for saturated fat and cholesterol. With other canned ingredients, you can make this whole recipe for under $5.

1 (9-12 oz) can chicken  
1 (8.5 – 11oz) can mandarin oranges
1 celery stalk
1 scallion
1-2 tbsp Sesame seeds
1/2 tbsp Sriracha ( See my attached note at the bottom )
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 container rice noodles
1 (8 oz) canned water chestnuts
1 lime

Drain canned chicken, mandarin oranges and water chestnuts, and mix with rice noodles.  Whisk chopped scallion, sesame seeds, Sriracha, soy sauce, lime all together. Toss chicken mixture with dressing and serve on a plate.

Recipes courtesy of Chef Chris Nirschel

Sriracha is made from sun ripen chilies which are ground into a smooth paste along with garlic and packaged in a convenient squeeze bottle. It is excellent in soups, sauces, pastas, pizzas, hot dogs, hamburgers, chowmein or on anything else to give it a delicious, spicy taste. Like all our sauces, we use only the highest quality ingredients and never any artificial colors or flavorings.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

My Day~

Today I spent the day working at the Cleveland Browns Stadium.
They had two different events going on & I got the opportunity to float between both.
Makes me long for the regular season,  
( not that I am rushing it ). 
I had someone approach me about working for them as their security.
I am entertaining the idea.  
The logistics for the family may prove to be too much, but either way... 
It was sweet for someone to ask me.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

With a Sad Heart~

After much debating and soul searching I have to say that I decided to not walk in Boston this year.  
There are so many reasons why I wanted to walk in Boston, but it just isn't going to happen this year...
I have transferred everything to Tampa.  
I may walk in another spot as well, but for right now it is Cleveland as Co-Captain for Tent & Gear
Tampa as a walker.
I hope that for all the people that I was going to meet in Boston that we meet again someday...
Till then, I hope you have an Amazing Journey...

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Cancer Causing Cosmetics?~

I am not a huge fan of BCA, but I found this article and thought that it was worthy of blogging about.
I can honestly say that in the beginning ( when I first started using cosmetics ).
My choices were based on did I like the color, scent, & product (period).
Then I became aware of animal testing.
So my choices changed to cruelty free products.
A while back I read something about different "additives" that 
companies had been putting in their cosmetics & I decided that I had had enough.
I limit my cosmetic use and when I do wear make up I use products from Lush.
Their line is made up of using natural materials.
I have found that they are a little bit more expensive, but the benefits 
to me out weigh the cost.

No More Lead-Filled Lipstick: Take Action for Safer Cosmetics
Filed under blog
Women’s health is under assault again – cosmetics companies are fighting to keep their products among the least-regulated in the country. Don’t let them get away with it.
For too long, cosmetics companies have made personal care products that are bad for our health. And many of the harmful chemicals in products aren’t listed on the labels.
We see mercury in face cream, lead in lipstick, and formaldehyde in baby shampoo. Why are they there at all? We shouldn’t be exposed to harmful chemicals when we’re taking care of our bodies.
Your action today can make a difference in the lives of women tomorrow. As Congress prepares to reconsider the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, they need to hear from you.
Tomorrow, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce’s Subcommittee on Health will hold a hearing entitled “Examining the Current State of Cosmetics” – the first hearing of its kind in over 30 years. Elected officials will consider current regulations, weaknesses that allow personal care products to contain harmful ingredients, and recommendations for the future. Cosmetics industry officials are expected to turn out in droves. We want to make sure that our voices are heard too.
Cosmetics companies are used to getting their way because money talks. But together, we can shout louder. Demand that women’s health comes before corporate profits. Demand a change. Contact the Subcommittee members today and tell them you want stronger regulation of personal care products.
Another perspective & their thoughts Needing Safer Cosmetics...

Monday, March 26, 2012


As you get into the season, preparing for the 3-Day event one thing is quite certain.
You have to train & have the right gear! 
Each person is uniquely different, and for that reason I highly recommend going to a local running store to get fitted for a pair, or two of sneakers that will carry you through training and then the actual event.
As much as I know some people try to match their shoes to their outfits...
I would say, if it works...
Fine, but if it doesn't...
 It will not be the end of the world.
To train for walking 60 miles in 3 days is no small thing.
It takes countless hours and miles walked to get ready for what you are about to take on.
Do not look for the least expensive shoes, rather search for a pair of shoes that you are comfortable in.
Socks are another thing to think about.  
Everyone has their own ways to get the 60 miles done.
I can only offer you my advice and tell you what has worked for me in the past.
I am a huge fan of Body Glide and if wearing socks a medium weight.
I change out my socks more than most.
I learned early on, while in the Marines to change your socks often.
If for whatever reason your feet get messed up, it can take you out of the event.
Not to mention that it can be one of the most painful things to deal with.
If you start training early, you have time to make mistakes and correct them...
Before you get to the 3-Day.
I hope to give you some of my tips & tricks that I have used to get through multiple events.
If I can save you the costly, or painful mistakes that I have made over the last 3 years then it will all be worth it.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Savvy Saturday's Sunday Edition~Marianne's Chocolates

Welcome to this Sunday's edition of Savvy Saturday.  If you ever are in the Historical Ashtabula Harbor you have to go to Marianne's Chocolates.  
The second you step off the street and walk into the shop you are greeted with the intoxicating smell of chocolate goodness.
  They have a wonderful assortment of chocolates and seasonal candy.
  Right now, with Easter quickly approaching they have in all of your favorite selections to add to any basket and would even make the Easter Bunny blush.
  Chocolate covered eggs in a variety of flavors, wrapped in beautiful colored foil.
Jelly beans, white & milk chocolate bunnies ranging in sizes to meet even the biggest chocolate fans sweet tooth.
  They have gourmet hand made fudge in many tempting flavors.  One that threw us off, is 3 colors and it was called "Sherbet".
  It literally tasted like a creamy sherbet melting in your mouth!
So, the next time you think Chocolates, you might want to give Marianne's a call and order some homemade mouthwatering goodness.
 Marianne's is owned & operated by
 Nicholas & Jamey Dalrymple.
The shop is located in the Historical Ashtabula Harbor
1038 Bridge Street
Ashtabula, Ohio 44004

Saturday, March 24, 2012


Tonight we went to Pink on the Rink in Cleveland with Julie Griffis, and had the honor of being able to hang out in a suite...
 Thanks to the generosity of Mary Welke.
  It was great to see Ed & Tara Doehne, Staci Spung, Megan Conley & Tina Kral.
  I know that we had other 3-Dayers that were at the event, we just didn't get a chance to meet up with them.
  It was a boring game, but the company was fantastic!  Always great to catch up to 3-Dayers and have FUN!  

Friday, March 23, 2012

Fantastic Foodie Friday~ Jen's Berry Tea Smoothies

Tea does double duty in these slushy berry smoothies. To make berry tea smoothies, start with brewed green or white tea and blend it up with fresh or frozen berries.
Then, blend in more tea flavor by adding hibiscus tea ice cubes. It’s a great trick to freeze brewed tea (or even coconut water) in ice cube trays for making smoothies. Simply freeze brewed hibiscus tea in standard ice cube trays to make the tea ice. Using the frozen tea in place of regular ice is a great way to ice up a smoothie without watering it down.
Berry Tea Smoothies
1 cup brewed green or white tea, chilled
1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
8 hibiscus tea ice cubes
Natural sweetener, if needed
Add green or white tea, strawberries and blueberries to blender container. Cover and blend until smooth. Add ice cubes; cover and blend until slushy. Sweeten to taste. Pour into glasses.
Makes 2 to 3 servings (about 3 1/4 cups)
Tip: If you opt to use frozen fruit you’ll need a powerful blender. (I use a VitaMix.) If you don’t have a powerful blender, you may want to thaw the fruit a bit or add some additional brewed green tea for easier blending.

Thursday, March 22, 2012


Lately, I have been doing a lot of behind the scenes work.
I know that the blog recently has seemed to lack it's Zip.
( Trust me, I am working on it...)
I have many irons in the fire right now 
trying to find the best way to get them all done.
Thinking of a cloning process...
In all seriousness, we are working feverishly to 
prepare for the Grand Opening of
We are working on specials for the day 

So, mark your calenders,
tell your friends... 
April 5th
will be the Grand Opening!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Phone Call~

Tonight we had our first telephone training for Gear & Tent.
It was really cool to be on the phone with so many people.
They were from Boston, Cleveland & Chicago.
I have to admit that it is a little nerve wracking,
 to take on a different position within the 3-Day community.
I know basically what is expected of us, 
but I want to make this year Cleveland's Gear & Tent 
memorable for all the right reasons!
There is always fear & apprehension with the unknown,
but it will just drive me to do a better job.
To be the first face that some might see on event.
Excited to see what the future holds...

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

It's Official!~

That's right... You heard it here first!
Chad & I are going to be Captain & Co-Captain 
of Tent & Gear for Cleveland!
I have never been on Crew before & this is Chad's first 
3-Day Experience...
Oh, what fun we are going to have.
We will be the first group of people,
 that the 3-Day walkers will meet in Cleveland!
I have a feeling that all of our Marine Corps experience
will come in handy!
I will kindly ask that when you pack your bag this year 
think of us & keep it 35 lbs or under!
( Big Smile )

Monday, March 19, 2012


Tomorrow morining is the official kick off of Spring...
I hope to meet it with a renewed stregnth.
I have been battling for the last week & a half with being sick.
Just when I think that I am past it, it rears it's ugly head again.
Sometimes, it takes a stronger person to sit back and wait it out.
 Instead of pushing forward when you know that you don't have it in you.
My mind is willing, but my body has been weak.
Praying for renewed stregnth...
As it is time for the earth to wake up 
be reborn so is it time for me...

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Rush of Life~

In the rush of daily life I think we all forget the blessings that are in our lives.
Sometimes we get so consumed with all that is going on we forget to say...
Thank you, 
Love you 
You are appreciated.
 We sometimes don't take pause till something causes us to.
Tonight, Tomorrow & in the days to come,
 take notice of the special people in your lives & let them know.
What they mean to you & how they are loved.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Savvy Saturday~ Premier Designs

Welcome to Savvy Saturday!  
Today I have the honor of telling you about Premier Design Jewelry.  
My friend Leah has now been selling the jewelry for a year.  
This weekend is her one year anniversary!
In honor of this event, we are teaming up to give you a treat!
Premier Designs gives away the most free product of any direct sales company.  
If you host a home show with Leah, you will get 30% of your show total in free jewelry.
If you mention "Sunny" you will get a bonus of $25.00 in free jewelry.
If you mention "Sunny" for an individual order Leah will give you 15% off your order.
You can reach Leah at
I have several pieces of Premier Designs jewelry that I have bought from Leah.
I have found it is a quick and easy way to take your outfit from fine to fierce, 
with just one stand out signature piece.
E-mail Leah today & find out all of the new items she has to bring out your best you!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Fantastic Foodie Friday~One-Pot Rosemary & Thyme Chicken

Since actress Kristen Johnson had her health scare due to a ruptured ulcer, she’s turned to healthy, stomach-soothing foods like this chicken recipe. Rosemary and thyme help aid digestion, and can also remedy cramping and bloating. This one-pan dish is not only tasty, but easy too!

1 whole chicken
2 tbsp thyme
2 tbsp rosemary
1/4 cup olive oil (2 tbsp for the paste, 2 tbsp for the chicken/potato dressing)
1 cup small red potatoes
Salt & pepper to taste

Pre-heat oven to 425° F. Make the paste by blending the rosemary, thyme and olive oil.
Cut the chicken in half with a scissor, and spread the paste evenly under the chicken’s skin. 
Then pat the chicken bone dry, and dress the chicken with a drizzle more olive oil and salt and pepper.
Dress the potatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper, and add them into the pan with the chicken. Cook for 40 minutes, and enjoy!

Recipe courtesy of the Dr Oz Show