Saturday, March 3, 2012


Barbara Ward-Finneran

Faith, hope and love.

Ideas in action.  

Singing out loud, even when it's off key

The feel of rain on your skin. 

Thanking God.

Laughing with friends.

Trust where there's doubt.

Keeping the promises that you make to yourself!


Jessica Biel
Ton Loc
Kim Smith
David Faustino
Miranda Richardson
Matthew Mardsen
Julie Bowen

Friday, March 2, 2012

Activites for Dr. Seuss' Birthday

Looking for something fun to do with the kids to celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday on March 2nd? Well, here are some great suggestions:
Cat in the Hat light bulb craft

 Marion Pellicano Ambrose

Dr. Seuss Bingo : free printable bingo cards and directions

Cat in the Hat Light Bulb Craft

Cat in the Hat cookie recipe

Grinch crafts

Dr. Seuss Printable activities

And of course, there’s always the new movie The Lorax, coming to theaters, guess when……. March 2nd of course!


Marion Pellicano Ambrose

With The Lorax coming to theaters this weekend, it’s time for kids of all ages to check out The Lorax Project! Conceived by Random House, Dr. Seuss Enterprises and Conservation International, The Lorax Project seeks to engage people of all ages to do their part to preserve places and species that are vital to the future of our planet. Through this project, the Lorax, and his messages will raise awareness of environmental issues and inspire individuals of all ages to take action to conserve real life habitats and species.

The page below has games, information and education, as well as the opportunity to take the “Lorax Pledge”. 

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not.
Dr. Seuss

Lorax Project:

The official Lorax Trailer:

Thursday, March 1, 2012


No Knead Bread Recipe

No Need to Knead Bread


3 cups bread flour
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
1 teaspoon fine table salt
1 1/2 cups warm water

Covered pot (five-quart or larger cast iron, Pyrex, ceramic, enamel...something that can go into a 450F oven.)


1. Mix dough: The night before, combine all ingredients in a big bowl with a wooden spoon until the dough just comes together. It will be a shaggy, doughy mess. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit 12-20 hours on countertop.

2. Shape & preheat: The dough will now be wet, sticky and bubbly. With a wet spatula, dump the dough on a floured surface. Fold ends of dough over a few times with the spatula and nudge it into a ball shape. You can use your hands if you like, just keep your hands wet so that the dough does not stick. Generously dust a cotton towel (not terrycloth) with flour. Set dough seam side down on top of towel. Fold towel over the dough. Let it nap for 2 hours. When you've got about a half hour left, slip your covered pot into the oven and preheat to 450F.

3. Bake: Your dough should have doubled in size. Remove pot from oven. Holding towel, turn over and dump wobbly dough into pot, using your hands to get the dough off the towel. Doesn't matter which way it lands. Shake to even dough out. Cover. Bake 30 minutes. Uncover, bake another 15-20 minutes or until the crust is beautifully golden and middle of loaf is 210F. Remove and let cool on wired rack. Spread a warm slice with some fresh,creamy butter for a little slice of heaven!  If not eating right away, you can re-crisp crust in 350F oven for 10 minutes.


Marion Pellicano Ambrose
It was 1966 and just about every American teenage girl was glued to the TV to watch The Monkees , or more specifically, to watch Davy Jones. Davy was everyone’s first crush, including Eva Longoria, Melissa Gilbert, and don’t forget Marsha Brady!

Davy Jones passed away on February 29th after suffering a heart attack. The actor/singer was only 66 years old. Jones is survived by his 4 daughters Jessica, Annabel, Talia and Sarah. Condolences have been flooding Facebook, Twitter and all social networks for a man who represented the youth and zaniness of a whole generation. Here are some of the comments:

Bandmate and costar Micky Dolenz posted the following on his Facebook page, "Can't believe it...Still in shock...had bad dreams all night long. My love and prayers go out to Davy's girls and family right now..."

Also among the first to express their sadness was Boyce and Hart, the songwriting duo who worked extensively with the Monkees, most notably penning "Last Train to Clarksville' and the Monkees theme.

"This is the saddest news ever," they wrote on their Facebook page. "We have no words to express how we are feeling…condolences and loving prayers for his family, friends and his fans; the world has lost a dear man, loving husband and father; a great talent.

"Thank you for your loving comments; we are saddened beyond words; loving prayers and sympathy for his family, friends and fans…a great talent and good friend lost today."

Fellow stars were quick to follow suit, tweeting out their condolences:

Will Smith: "R.I.P. Davy Jones. Retweet for respect."

Al Roker: "Davy Jones of the Monkees is dead. He was 66 years old. A little bit of my youth just died."

Kevin Smith: "A Daydream ends: DAVY JONES DIES...His life was a big barrel of win (&Monkees). Marcia Brady will be inconsolable…"

William Shatner: "My condolences go out to the family of Davy Jones. MBB."

Eva Longoria: "My heart is sad that my favorite Monkee Davey Jones has passed away! #I'mABeliever."

Lisa Rinna: "Ditto! He was my 1st crush! RT Eva Longoria"

Questlove: "Damn. Davy Jones is gone. I loved the Monkees."

Holly Robinson Peete: "Sorry to hear this. I will never forget that great Brady Bunch ep with him."

Seth Green: "He was the original celebrity high school prom-crasher. Love you Davy."

Ralph Macchio: "Sad news—RIP Davy Jones. My wife's childhood crush…"

Melissa Gilbert: "Davy Jones and The Monkees were such an important part of my childhood…I'm speechless…"

Erin Andrews: "So sad."

Gilbert Gottfried: "True…David Bowie's real name is David Jones. That's why he had to change it to Bowie. R.I.P. Davy Jones."

Chuck Wicks: "Sat next to Davy Jones at an award show couple years back. Such a great guy.. RIP Davy Jones."

Shannon Elizabeth: "So sad-I was just at an event w/him #rip #davyjones #monkees"

Christopher Gorham: ":( RIP."

Kevin Pollack: "Today officially sucks now. RT Monkees singer Davy Jones dead at the age of 66."

Eric Appel: "RIP Davy Jones. The Monkees were my first favorite band, my first favorite TV show, and the first live concert I ever saw."

Wil Wheaton: "Oh my god Davy Jones died at 66. That's way too young."

Jill Zarin: "OMG! R.I.P. Davy Jones! To young! Such a wonderful voice! Loved the Monkees Daydream Believer!"


Marion Pellicano Ambrose
Sgt. Brandon Morgan returned from a 6 month deployment in Afghanistan today. He arrived in Kaneohe, home of Marine Corps Base Hawaii and was met with a kiss and a carnation lei, a typical homecoming scene, except the photo has gone viral due to the fact that the person who met Sgt. Morgan and shared that passionate kiss was his friend turned boyfriend, Dalan Wells. The couple went from friendship to love during their correspondence over the past 6 months.

"We couldn't talk, I can barely talk now, his hands went numb, my legs were shaking, our first kiss after just knowing how we felt about each other,” Morgan said.

Another friend arrived just in time to take the now infamous photo, which Morgan posted on his facebook page. A friend of Wells asked to post it on a page called “Gay Marines” and from there it went viral. Thousands have “liked” and shared the photo and over 5,000 have commented. Most of the comments are supportive and positive, Morgan told reporters, but there have been harsh negative comments as well. Morgan was upset when someone called his mother and criticized her for not raising him “right”. He added that she was the greatest mom ever and that she was happy for him.

Less than a year ago, when the “Don’t ask , don’t tell” policy was still in place, Morgan would have faced severe consequences. Today, the climate had changed significantly. There were no stares, inappropriate comments or condemnations from Morgan’s peers and superiors.
“All my superiors, my staff sergeants, my gunnery sergeants, my lieutenants, my officers, my captains, they're all very ecstatic and very happy that I had somebody to come home to,” Morgan said. “Again, gay or straight, does not matter.”

A spokesperson for Marine Corps Base Hawaii said in a statement: "It's your typical homecoming photo."

Personally, I say "Welcome home Sgt, Morgan and thank you for your service!"
'Nuff said!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012


1940 - Joe Giglio (singer: group: The Four Aces: The Gang that Sang ‘Heart of My Heart’, Love is a Many Splendored Thing, Melody of Love, Mr. Sandman, Stranger in Paradise, Three Coins in the Fountain; musician: guitar: Malaguena)
1944 - Dennis Farina (actor: Law & Order, Triplecross, Code of Silence, Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling, Crime Story, The Case of the Hillside Stranglers, Striking Distance, Get Shorty, Saving Private Ryan, The Mod Squad [1999])
1944 - Steve Mingori (baseball: pitcher: Cleveland Indians, KC Royals)
1944 - John Niland (football: Dallas Cowboys Guard, Super Bowl V, VI)
1948 - Patricia (Anne) McKillip (science-fiction writer: The Forgotten Beasts of Eld, Fool’s Run, Song for the Basilisk, Book of Atrix Wolfe)
1952 - Al Autry (baseball: pitcher: Atlanta Braves)
1952 - Tim (Timothy) Powers (science-fiction writer: The Anubis Gates, Epitaph in Rust, Night Moves, Last Call)
1968 - Chucky Brown (basketball: North Carolina State; NBA: Cleveland Cavaliers, LA Lakers, NJ Nets, Houston Rockets, Phoenix Suns, Milwaukee Bucks, Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Hornets)
1968 - Bryce Paup (football: NFL: Green Bay Packers, Buffalo Bills LB [AFC defensive player of the year: 1995], Jacksonville Jaguars)
1972 - Antonio Sabato Jr. (actor: Earth 2, Beyond the Law, War of the Robots, Thundersquad)


1940 - A big party was thrown at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. Partygoers were celebrating the motion pictures of 1939 at the 12th annual Academy Awards presentation. "Gone with the Wind" won for Best Picture, Best Director (Victor Fleming), Best Actress (Vivien Leigh) and Best Supporting Actress (Hattie McDaniel). The Best Actor honor went to Robert Donat for his performance in "Goodbye, Mr. Chips". Thomas Mitchell won Best Supporting Actor for "Stagecoach". What happened to "The Wizard of Oz"? It did capture the Oscar for Original Score (Herbert Stothart) and Best Song "Over the Rainbow" (Harold Arlen, E. Y. Harburg) but was pretty much blown away by "Gone with the Wind". In any other year...
1944 - The invasion of the Admiralty Islands began on this date as U.S. General Douglas MacArthur led his forces in "Operation Brewer". Troops surged onto Los Negros, following a month of Allied advances in the Pacific.
1944 - The first woman appointed secretary of a national political party was named to the Democratic National Committee. Dorothy McElroy Vredenburgh of Alabama began her new appointment this day.
1944 - The Office of Defense Transportation, for the second year, restricted attendance at the Kentucky Derby to residents of the Louisville area so that the railroads would not be overburdened by passenger traffic during wartime. We imagine that horses were allowed in from elsewhere, though...
1960 - A report from the White House stated that America’s kids were getting too fat! I’ll have a cheeseburger, fries and a shake.
1960 - The first Playboy Club opened on this day at 116 E. Walton, Chicago, IL. According to a list of frequently asked questions we found at, “During the last three months of 1961, more than 132,000 people visited the Chicago club, making it the busiest night club in the world.” In case you hadn’t noticed, the last U.S. club, located in Lansing, MI, closed in 1988. The last international club, located in Manila, closed in 1991.
1964 - Dawn Fraser got her 36th world record this day. The Australian swimmer was timed at 58.9 seconds in the 100-meter freestyle in Sydney, Australia.
1964 - The United States was in the grip of Beatlemania! "I Want to Hold Your Hand", by the lads from Liverpool, was in its 5th week at #1 on the pop charts. It stayed there until March 21, when it was replaced by "She Loves You", which was replaced by "Can’t Buy Me Love", which was finally replaced by "Hello Dolly", by Louis Armstrong, on May 9, 1964. 14 straight weeks of #1 stuff by the Beatles! Yeah, yeah, yeah...
1964 - Hang on to your racquets on this one, sports fans: A shuttlecock drive record was set by Frank Rugani this day. Mr. Rugani slammed the birdie 79-feet, 8-1/2 inches in a test at San Jose, CA. A giant leap for badminton. A little leap for all mankind.
1972 - The U.S. Justice Department had recently settled an antitrust lawsuit in favor of International Telephone and Telegraph Corporation. On this day, newspaper columnist Jack Anderson revealed a memo written by ITT’s Washington lobbyist, Dita Beard, that connected ITT’s funding of part of the Republican National Convention with the resulting lawsuit settlement.
1972 - Swimmer Mark Spitz was named the 1971 James E. Sullivan Memorial Trophy winner as the top amateur athlete in America.
1972 - Karen and Richard Carpenter of Downey, CA received a gold record for the hit single "Hurting Each Other". When they tore the golden platter from its protective frame and plunked it on the player, they heard, "Hurt So Bad", by Little Anthony and the Imperials. They were so upset by this that they ran out to the back yard and used the record as a Frisbee for the rest of the day. (Some of the preceding is based upon actual fact.)
1980 - Gordie Howe of the Detroit Red Wings became the first player in NHL history to score 800 career goals (in a 3-0 Wings’ win over the St. Louis Blues). Howe finished his career with 801 regular-season goals. Only Wayne Gretzky has surpassed that mark.
1988 - "Day by Day", a situation comedy, premiered on this date on NBC-TV. It was one of the "yuppie sitcoms" that were all over the TV dial in the late 1980s. This particular one was about a suburban overachieving couple who dropped out and opened up a day-care center in their home to spend more quality time with their children. The quality time lasted just under five months.
1992 - Mr. Big hit it big this day, moving to #1 with "To Be with You". It was the biggest hit in the U.S. for three big weeks


Marion Pellicano Ambrose

I can’t believe I missed it!!! Yesterday( Feb. 28th) was National Pancake Day! I could have been feasting on Chocolate Chip, Peach, Bananas Foster or plain old Buttermilk Pancakes at IHOP for FREE!  Oh well, there’s always next year!

Since beginning its National Pancake Day celebration in 2006, IHOP has raised nearly $8 million to support charities in the communities in which it operates. On February 28, 2012, guests from around the country are invited to celebrate National Pancake Day at IHOP and enjoy a free short stack of Buttermilk pancakes. In return for the free pancakes, guests are asked to consider leaving a donation for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals  and other designated local charities.

If you missed going to IHOP today, you can still contribute to the Children’s Miracle Network at:

And I might just head over to IHOP in the morning for breakfast, even if it’s not free!

About Children's Miracle Network Hospitals

Children's Miracle Network Hospitals® raises funds for 170 children's hospitals across North America, which, in turn, use the money where it's needed the most. When a donation is given, it stays in the community, helping local kids. Since 1983, Children's Miracle Network Hospitals has raised more than $4 billion, most of it $1 at a time. These donations have gone to support research and training, purchase equipment, and pay for uncompensated care, all in support of our mission to save and improve the lives of as many children as possible. Learn more at


Just cut your apple up into quarters and remove the core. Cut three grapes in half and slice two triangle toess in 4 of the halves. You can use a little cream cheese to stick the arms to the frog and then add his hands and feet. For the eyes, take a couple of small marshmallows {or you could do a blob of cream cheese} and add a chocolate chip to the middle.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


  • Be pragmatic: Rule out the normal before considering the paranormal. Often, the noises you hear and the things you see can be explained. The creaks on the stairs were the sounds of the house settling; the voices were the wind whistling past a curtain. Get to know your house. What are its quirks? Some things - those creaks for example - can easily be fixed (rub baby powder into creaking wood floors to stop the noise).
  • Don't be afraid: Think Sixth Sense. Chances are this spirit doesn't know it is dead and may need help in completing a task so that it can move on.
  • Do your research: Talk to your neighbors, comb Google, sift through the archives at your local library and find out the stories of your home and who lived there. Even if it's not a ghost, you'll learn a lot about the history of your home and how life has changed since it was built. We have a weird door in the back of one of kitchen cabinets. Turns out it was where the milkman delivered fresh milk.
  • Make contact: Talk to it. It's not here to scare you. Find out what it wants and give it firm boundaries about what you want. Like any guest it needs to know your home's rules.
  • Remove the ghost: Often, once it has wrapped up what it stuck around for, your ghost will go away. If not, you may have to call in an expert or, if it's particularly stubborn, you may have to share your space with it. When we move into a new home we give it a good sageing, clean it from top to bottom and open the windows to air it out and we repeat this whenever we have a dramatic change in our life in order to clear our home of bad or unpleasant memories.

Of course, you might think about keeping something under the bed in case your bump in the night turns out not to be a ghost.
Does your house or your neighborhood come with a ghost story? Share it with us in the comments!

Monday, February 27, 2012


Marion Pellicano Ambrose

“Leap Day” is February 29, which is an extra day added during a Leap Year, making the year 366 days long – and not 365 days as in a ususal year. This occurs about every 4 years in our modern Gregorian calendar.

Ever since Leap Years were first introduced over 2000 years ago with the transition from the Roman calendar to the Julian calendar, Leap Day has been associated with age-old Leap Day traditions and folklore and even a few new traditions.

Women propose to their men

According to an old Irish legend, or possibly history, St Bridget struck a deal with St Patrick to allow women to propose to men – and not just the other way around – every 4 years. This is believed to have been introduced to balance the traditional roles of men and women in a similar way to how Leap Day balances the calendar.

In some places, Leap Day has been known as “Bachelors’ Day” for the same reason. A man was expected to pay a penalty, such as a gown or money, if he refused a marriage proposal from a woman on Leap Day. In many European countries, especially in the upper classes of society, tradition dictates that any man who refuses a woman's proposal on February 29 has to buy her 12 pairs of gloves. The intention is that the woman can wear the gloves to hide the embarrassment of not having an engagement ring. During the middle ages there were laws governing this tradition.

World Record of Leap Day Babies

People born on February 29 are all invited to join The Honor society of Leap Year Day Babies.

According to the Guinness Book of Records, there are world record holders both of a family producing three consecutive generations born on February 29 and of the number of children born on February 29 in the same family.

Bad luck

In Scotland, it used to be considered unlucky for someone to be born on Leap Day, just like Friday 13th is considered an unlucky day by many. In Greece it’s said to be unlucky for couples to marry during a Leap Year, and especially on Leap Day.

St Oswald’s Day

Leap Day is also St Oswald’s Day, named after an archbishop of York who died on February 29, 992. The memorial is celebrated on February 29 during Leap Years and on February 28 during common years.


Disney Celebrates Leap Day (info courtesy of Disney Parks Blog)

 While guests are celebrating One More Disney Day at Magic Kingdom Park here in Florida and Disneyland park in California, some of  Walt Disney World Resort guests will be leaping, hopping and jumping at Disney’s Animal Kingdom during a Leap Day event aimed at helping guests learn more about frogs, toads and other amphibians. During their visit to Rafiki’s Planet Watch, children and families can make toad abodes (special homes for frogs and toads) for their backyards, try leaping like a frog, listen to frog calls, examine amphibian adaptations, and meet some cool amphibians and their keepers on the Conservation Station stage.Guests Learn About Frogs, Toads and Other Amphibians During a Special Leap Day Event at Disney's Animal Kingdom

Guests also can learn about the critically endangered Puerto Rican crested toad, which we are raising at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park and releasing in their native habitat to re-populate the species in an area where these toads once thrived but are now considered extinct.

Did you know that, according to some estimates, as many as one-third of the known amphibian species are threatened by extinction because of loss of habitat, climate change, pollution and disease? The good news is that every one of us can help amphibians leap ahead of extinction. Here’s how:

  • Invite a bug-zapping amphibian into your backyard by placing an overturned pot (toad abode) as a home
  • Use fewer chemical pesticides on your lawn to keep amphibians healthy
  • Build a pond, plant native shrubs, and leave leaf litter and logs in your yard to create a habitat for frogs
  • Plan a family outing to a local pond to hear different species of frogs sing their love songs to one another
  • Find natural alternatives to household chemicals so these toxins don’t end up in amphibian habitats
  • Take part in a local pond or stream clean-up to ensure that native amphibians will have a clean home
  • Find books on frogs to discover why they sing loudly, hear well and stay up late

Beyond their beautiful chorus, frogs also provide a free pest-control service. Frogs eat billions of harmful insects annually, including mosquitoes and their larvae. Frogs also provide valuable scientific and medical benefits to humans. The skin of amphibians contains substances that can protect them from some microbes and viruses, which can offer possible medical cures for a variety of human diseases, including AIDS.

So how will you celebrate Leap Day 2012?

Sunday, February 26, 2012


1955 - Billboard reported that the 45rpm single format was   outselling the 78s for the first time.
1965 - Jimmy Page released   his first solo single, "She Just Satisfies."
1966 - The Rolling   Stones' "19th Nervous Breakdown" was released.
1970 - The Beatles   album "Beatles Again" was released in the U.S. It contained the song "Hey   Jude."
1975 - Harry Chapin's revue "The Night That Made America   Famous" opened on Broadway.
1977 - The Eagles' "Hotel California" was   released.
1978 - Vladimir Horowitz marked the 50th anniversary of his   U.S. debut with a performance at the White House.
1985 - Chuck   Berry received a Lifetime Achievement Grammy.
1987 - Capitol Records   released the first 4 Beatles albums on CD.
1990 - Cornell Gunter of   the Coasters was murdered in Las Vegas at the age of 53.
1991 -   "Rockline on MTV" premiered.
1995 - Jimmy Page and Robert Plant began   a world tour to support their reunion album "No Quarter."
1998 - Tommy   Lee of Motley Crue was formally charged with abusing his wife Pamela Anderson   Lee, and one of their sons, Dylan.

2002 - Alanis Morissette's   third album "Under Rug Swept" was released.
2008 - Apple   announced that the iTunes Store had surpassed Best Buy to become the second   largest music seller in the U.S. The number one seller at the time was   Wal-Mart.
2008 - In North Korea, the New York Philharmonic performed a   concert for the nation's elite.