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Party Preps

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Well, I'm busy cooking 24 vegan cupcakes, and one dog food cupcake topped with a dog biscuit heart is in the freezer getting nice and solid. The children are excited about celebrating Stella's birthday tomorrow.

Stella couldn't come in today because I took my class bowling emoticon Fun, fun, fun! But....no dogs allowed in the bowling alley.

Here's the vegan cupcake recipe:

4 C flour
2 1/2 C sugar
6 tsp baking powder
2 tsp salt
1 C vegan margarine
2 C soy milk
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C soy yogurt
1/2 C applesauce
1/2 C silken tofu

I blended everything except the flour in my BlendTec, but I'm sure a mixer would work just fine. Then mix in the flour.

Put in cupcake liners in a cupcake pan, and bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

Makes around 3 dozen

Vegan Buttercream Frosting:

3 C powdered sugar
1/2 C vegan margarine
1/4 C soy milk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Mix it all up and smooth it on the cooled cupcakes.

Tomorrow, we emoticon it up!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PUDLECRAZY 1/27/2010 5:58AM

    These cupcakes are really tasty - they even passed the DH test. We are not vegan, but I have a student who is. I have the same students for three years, and he is a third year. Over the last three years I have become quite a good vegan cook and enjoy preparing vegan meals, not only for class but also for us.

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RUSTYSHAW1 1/27/2010 4:10AM

    I have got to try these cupcakes. My daughter used to be vegan but now vegetarian. We bought a book of recipes for doggy biscuits. emoticon emoticon

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MARY1313 1/26/2010 10:41PM

    Awwww! I want to see pictures of that birthday party! I am going to try that recipe too!


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    yummy!!! I may have to make those!!!

Have fun tomorrow!!!
and again, happy birthday stella!!!!


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BUBBLES1541 1/26/2010 7:57PM

    Sounds yummy!

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Stella is Two!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

This was last year's birthday celebration at school. Cupcakes all around - Stella's was made with dog food frozen in a cupcake pan.

I can't believe Stella is two years old already. The year has just flown by!

In some ways, she has calmed down a lot, but she IS a poodle and I think that equals total nutcase at any age.

And she's in great company for being a goofball.

But even though she can get quite wild and crazy, she is wonderful around people, young ....

and old.

I honestly had never in my life thought of adding a poodle to my life, but Stella was a gift of the heart from a school family after my parents died. What a fantastic addition to my life and the lives of people around us she has been.

Happy birthday, Stella!!!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ALLEGROVIVO 2/3/2010 7:28AM

    Happy Belated Birthday! You are such a pretty girl! Contrary to what your Mom thinks us poodles are, she forgets that the "nutcases" are usually the little poodles HA! I wonder if we could be related because we look a lot alike! Happy Valentine's Day Sweetie! Nancy's dog, Louie emoticon

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STARLASUE 1/28/2010 7:20AM

    What a pretty girl she is.

I was looking at Maggie the other day and realized she will be 4 in April! I plan to enjoy every second we have with her. I know you are doing that with Stella too. I can't believe how fast time flies.

Bright Blessings

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GEODAWG 1/27/2010 7:32PM

    Animals fill our hearts with love! Happy Birthday Stella! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MEOWMAMA3 1/27/2010 6:53PM

    Happy Birthday Stella!!! What a lovely gift!
She's got what we cat people call "purrrrrrrrrrrsonality" plus!
Have fun! Isn't that nice that you can bring her to school. I once had a colleague who had the world's most laid back cat in her classroom. He was huge and fluffy and named Radio Flyer and she would walk the kids to class with him draped around her neck and he wouldn't budge! My littlest kitty, Snaps, was given to me in school by another teacher (she kept coming to her doorstep and wouldn't leave....my friend knew what a sucker I was...and voila!) Anyway, Snaps spent the day in 4th grade and charmed everyone. She's a real lovebug and calmed even my most obnoxiously horrid boys (who are now in high school and still ask about her!) The kids wrote stories of her, drew little pictures of her with chalk in her paw at the board...fed her the dreaded school lunch...and she lived!!!! lol. That was the only year we had a yearbook (a parent was a publisher) and her kid was in my roomm and somehow a pic of Snaps made it into our class portrait page!

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LN7777 1/27/2010 6:27AM

    Happy Birthday Stella!!! I know what you mean about adding so much joy to your life. Rigby has done the same in our family. I love the idea about making Vegan cupcakes. Will have to try to make them if I feel ambitious. I loved the photos. Rigby is 7 months old and very much a nutcase at times. Have a wonderful day. ellen

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FRANKIEKNIGHT1 1/26/2010 7:33AM

    Happy Birthday Stella. I have a minature poodle he is 2 years old and wishes Stella a Happy Birthday. Tuppy was a gift for my daughtr from her dad, but somehow he ended up being mine. He is a good companion and sometimes runs around like he is crazy but I love him. Happy Birthday Stella. emoticon

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LMB-ESQ 1/26/2010 6:55AM

    Happy Birthday Stella! She really is a cutie! (For a poodle LOL)

She sure looks happy, I didn't think poodles were that rambunctious. Great pics! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MARY1313 1/26/2010 4:55AM

    Happy Birthday Stella!!!! GREAT pictures!!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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    Happy Birthday, and what a pretty girl she is!!!


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Figuring it Out

Monday, January 25, 2010


I have finally figured out how to enter my nutrition info. Since I am not using the Spark diet, it wasn't intuitive how to count up my calories, protein, fat, etc. for the day. I was glad to find that I seem to be staying within my goals dietarily without logging in my foods.

Likewise, I figured out how to enter my own strength training, although so far I have found that more tedious - I haven't found the magic bullet to save favorites.

Slowly, I'm figuring out how to use this site.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    I'm glad I'm not the only one is still working on figuring out this site!!! My fav part about this site (besides all the people) is the nutrition tracker... I love it!!!

Hope your day was wonderful!!!


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MARY1313 1/25/2010 11:33PM

    to save your favorites exercises after you look them up, there is a little square that you click and it will make a check and that way you can just go to your favorites and pull whatever exercise you want.

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SILVERWITCH59 1/25/2010 9:18PM


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JENNY888 1/25/2010 7:33PM

    If you go to videos there are some excellent videos on how to use the spark tools. That should help. You can find them at www.sparkpeople.com/resource/
videos.asp under the topic Site Tutorials.

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PUDLECRAZY 1/25/2010 7:30PM

    I still have quite a bit to figure out. I usually think of myself as technically savvy. This keeps me humble emoticon

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CASEYSSIS 1/25/2010 7:17PM

    You know, you can still long in all of your foods without being on the "on the diet". If what you're eating isn't in the list just add it to the list yourself. Grab that label or dietary info given in most recipe books these days and plug the numbers in. Once you add them they become part of the list.

Hang in there! I is talking me some time to figure it out too. Good luck to you! emoticon

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SHARJOPAUL 1/25/2010 7:17PM

    I have been on spark fo a while and there are some things I am still figuring out, so don't let it get to you.

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My Anat Baniel Session and More

Sunday, January 24, 2010

I had my first Anat Baniel session - it was different from anything I have done before. I knew it wasn't Alexander technique, but somehow I imagined similarities. It is really hard to explain what we did, so I'm attaching a link to a video from the Anat Baniel site so you can check it out if you are interested in the details.


Happily, my teacher was not annoying - the one on the video would have driven me right out the door. After all of the arm and hip work on the right, I found that my right arm and right leg were considerably elongated. The most interesting thing we did came after working the right arm and left while lying on the left side. When we moved onto the right side to work the left arm and leg, we did all of the same movements, only in our minds - no actual physical movement. This took a good deal of mental focus. After practicing the movements in our minds only, we did each movement only one time with the left arm and leg. The results were quite remarkable! I have signed up for a six week session and will keep you posted.

Another rainy day, but I got my walk with Stella in nonetheless. We had a great time walking through the field and the woods behind my house. emoticonWe both got to get fresh air and exercise, but Stella managed to go two or three times farther than me, running joyously around the meadow.

Even though I cannot play the guitar right now, I was able to get together with my friend and sing. She played guitar, we both sang, and it worked out very nicely. It felt funny at first to sing without playing, but I found it freed me up to concentrate on my harmonization. emoticon

In all, for a rainy Sunday in a long run of gray and rainy days, it was a very pleasant Sunday.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AQUAJANE 1/24/2010 11:33PM

    Sounds like a great day. Plus thanks for finding the new dogwalking emoticon! emoticon

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Self Indulgent Sulking... Followed by Attitude Adjustment

Saturday, January 23, 2010

I have to admit to considerable self indulgent sulking today. First of all, the sunny weather predicted for today that I was really, REALLY, desperately looking forward to never transpired. Just another bleak Ohio day under a thick, relentlessly gray sky. The perfect recipe for deepening seasonal affective disorder.

Then, when I smashed my finger, the rest of what I had anticipated for my day was smashed along with it. I felt shocky and sick, so I didn't go to yoga. I had to cancel my guitar lesson and my plans to play music with friends because I can't bend my finger. My day seemed shot before it even began. Maybe, on some level, I needed a down day and a bad mood. However, I finally got tired of myself and decided to change tactics.

I threw a pork roast into the crock pot with heaping portions of vegetables and some wine, drank 2 cups of water, put Stella on her leash, and went out for a walk under the gray Ohio sky. Over the course of three miles, I had some good reflection time and Stella got to pee and poop, so by the time we got back, dinner was cooking along very nicely and we both felt considerably better.

I don't need my first knuckle to sing, so I can still make music with my friends (or by myself for that matter.

I thought of the accomplishments of Django Reinhardt, whose hands were permanently disfigured in a fire, but was a masterful guitar player in spite of that. I just have a boo boo compared to that.

By the way, Django was born 100 years ago today.


The skies might be dark, but the air is crisp and fresh. Plus, we do get more daylight than Fairbanks this time of year.

A walk with a poodle is just plain good for the soul. Poodle's and mine.

I'm looking forward to my home strength training and yoga practice this evening.

Life has its set-backs, but life is good.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RUSTYSHAW1 1/24/2010 12:56PM

    I grew up in southern Michigan so I know full well how the weather can drag some people down. As I got older the winter weather was not my 'cup of tea'.

I so enjoy hearing how other people take a potentially down day and turn it around. The old saying, "get lemons, make lemonade." Also I must look up Django Reinhardt. I only play a little guitar, some piano, bass, but principal 'instrument' is voice. I would be sad if I could not sing anymore.

I have gone down a long road of a considerable amount of 'sulking' and finally, FINALLY, see a turn in the road - I'm taking that turn. Whew. Certainly finding SPARK has been a great help.

You did 'good' lifting up of your spirits and sharing how you did it. In doing do you have helped others to lift their spirits. Isn't that great? emoticon

Comment edited on: 1/24/2010 12:59:36 PM

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MARY1313 1/24/2010 12:17AM

    Good for you! I agree that there is nothing like walking your pup, no matter what the sky has decided to do! Good for you turning the whole day around. Sorry about that finger, I know that had to hurt!


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IN2BHEALTHY 1/23/2010 10:42PM

    Good for you!

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SILVERWITCH59 1/23/2010 9:43PM

    emoticon on making your day a winner

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    Look at you!!!! How wonderful for you to turn your own situation around!!! A lot of people can use this for a role model (not to mention any monkey loving girls or anything!!!). I'm happy for you, and a walk with a dog will always make things just that much better.

Thanks for the wonderful blog!!!


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