Einstein relaxing

1. Einstein thanks all of you for the abundance of birthday wishes this week. He had a great day and is still enjoying his special treats :)

2. I received quite a few questions from readers about omitting the corn syrup in the meringue for the lemon meringue bars earlier this week. If you have corn syrup concerns, I wanted to share with you that I found this organic non-GMO corn syrup from Wholesome Sweeteners. They have a bunch of other organic and non-GMO products, such as cornstarch, honey, molasses, etc. Definitely check it out if you’re in the market for products like that!

3. Over the holidays, the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation held an online auction for gift baskets, with proceeds going to the Western Pennsylvania chapter of the ALS Association. There was a basket made up for each player, which included a ton of their favorite things – some were filled with fishing gear, golfing gear, movies, video games, some had game tickets, autographed items, etc. On the day that the auction expired, I put in a bid, and lo and behold…

Photo Courtesy of the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation

Photo Courtesy of the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation

I won Sidney Crosby’s basket! I went to the Penguins Foundation offices earlier this week to pick it up and they snapped a photo of me with the basket. Among all of the really unique things in there was a half-pound Reese’s peanut butter cup (which I’m embarrassed to say is nearly gone at this point) and a bag of Reese’s Pieces, and a ton of chocolate. Could this be any more perfect for me?!

My two (three) favorites items (aside from the candy!): A hand painted Christmas ornament from Nova Scotia, an autographed jersey and an an autographed puck:


I love hockey, and I also love supporting great causes. I’m always thrilled to see how much the Penguins give back to the community, and I was happy that I could also give back a bit through this auction.

4. Last weekend, I made legit chicken parmesan for the very first time (crazy!). I used this recipe from Simply Recipes and it was fantastic! The only thing I added was an extra sprinkle of shredded provolone – more cheese the merrier, right?! If you’re looking for a good chicken parm recipe, I highly recommend that one!

5. I am slowly getting comfortable with using my camera on full manual mode; adjusting the delicate balance between shutter speed, aperture and ISO can be difficult at first, so I’ve been doing a lot of reading. If you’re in the same boat, check out this post from Design Your Way, which has collated a ton of infographics and cheat sheets that are immensely helpful.

6. I just saw this Subaru commercial for the first time yesterday… DYING!

7. I’m still getting my footing on Google+, but I finally got a profile up and running. If you hang out there, please feel free to add me to your circles!

8. I love these infographics from Entrepreneur magazine about how to be more productive; they include How to Have a Simple Life, How to Get Up Early, How to Start the Day, How to Work Fast, and How to Think Faster. A really great read!

9. Did anyone watch the ESPN 30 for 30 last night on the Nancy Kerrigan/Tanya Harding saga? UNBELIEVABLE!

Also (and unrelated)… it reminded me of how many scrunchies I had back in the 90’s. Ahh, the glory days.

10. TGIF! Peekaboo!

Duke lounging