Thursday, July 5, 2012

Outdoor Entertaining Musts

by Entertaining Expert Dawn Bryan

Dawn Bryan, Founder of The Qualipedia, suggests some sizzling summer party tips for enhanced summer fun with family and friends.

Summer is finally here and with it brings the coveted outdoor entertaining season. Dawn Bryan, founder of The Qualipedia, offers some basic summer party hosting tips that will also turn your outdoor event into a spectacular evening.

Party Basics:

  • Arrange guests in small comfortable groups, to foster mingling (this can be done with small tables or even over-sized grass blankets with filled baskets anchoring the corners)
  • Offer fun water toys/floats for parties with a pool
  • Enhance ground seating with rugs, pillows, or blankets
  • Serve up a rain date on the invite so there is always a contingency plan

Buffet Basics:

  • Arrange food by this order: entrees, sides, salads, bread, butter, and condiments, and always prepare extra portions. 
  • Provide enough extra dishes and silverware for second helpings to be enjoyed on clean dishes. 
  • Position the drink table away from the buffet to avoid traffic jams. 
  • Offer leftovers in take-away containers, especially to guests who have children,

Beyond Basics:

  • Create a signature theme with a recipe, color, music, or games 
  • Send guests home with a gift bag that relates to your theme (example: if your party theme is 4th of July, find some sparklers and ring pops with a note attached saying “let freedom ring” to fill each goody bag!)
  • In your gift bag, include a take home bagel or Danish for Saturday or Sunday morning breakfast
Above all be sure you feel comfortable, look great, and are ready to have a fantastic time!
Have a wonderful Summer from!

Friday, June 29, 2012

6th Annual Bark in the Park

PlanetDog Foundation Fundraiser to Benefit
Maine Medical Center’s Therapy Dog Program


Dogs and their families are invited to enjoy an evening of baseball while raising valuable funds to support the Maine Medical Center Therapy DogProgram.

Mike Piazza and his dogs will perform Frisbee catching tricks between innings. 

Bark in the Park ticket holders sit in the 3rd base bleacher section with all access to the "birthday section" behind the bleachers.  There will be a grassy relief area, wading pool, canine watering station, dog treats and games for pups and their families.  Dog valets will also be on hand to care for pets so people can visit the concessions.


Tuesday, July 17, 2012 vs. the Reading Phillies (RE), (Class AA Affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies)
6:15 pm - pre-game parade for pups and people led by Slugger, the Sea Dog's mascot.

7:00 pm - game starts 

Hadlock Field, Portland                       

Tickets are available beginning May 25. They are $7.00 for people and $7.00 for dogs (children under 2 free).  They can be purchased at the Planet Dog Company Store at 211 Marginal Way, Portland (207-347-8606) or by calling Planet Dog at 800-381-1516.

Every ticket holder with a tail getsa free Planet Dog Orbee-TuffĂ’ Baseball chew toy and admission to the pre-game on field parade with Slugger.

All dogs must have a ticket and dog tickets are limited and MUST be purchased in advance. 


Planet Dog is a Portland-based designer, developer and retailer of award-winning and socially responsible products for dogs.  Planet Dog is proud to donate 2% of every sale to the Planet Dog Foundation (PDF).  PDF provides cash grants to non-profit programs throughout the country that train, place and support dogs who help people in need.  Since 2006, PDF has given over $850,000 in cash grants and in-kind product donations to non-profits in Maine and across the nation.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Free Recipe from Eating Light, Done Right!

Everyone knows that summertime BBQ's can bust anyone's healthy eating habits! Before you know it, instead of skinny dippin, you're chubba tubbin!

Not with this yummy, healthy Carne Asada Taco recipe, perfect for ANY BBQ! Topped with NEW Wholly Red Pepper Mango Salsa, it gives this dish a sweet and spicy kick!

Cheers to health and happiness! - Tania


1/4 cup chili powder
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 pkg Mission Whole Wheat Tortillas
1 lb. flank steak
1 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup corn (canned is fine however I prefer fresh off the cob and grilled)
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 chopped jalapeno (scrape out seeds to reduce heat if feeding kiddos!)
1 avocado cut evenly into slices
1 container Wholly Salsa, Red Pepper Mango

1. Prepare grill for the flank steak.
2. Mix the chili powder and vegetable oil together until well blended and then rub onto flank steak, grill meat for about 3 minutes on each side until medium/rare. Slice diagonally to place into tortillas.
3. Mix beans, corn, onion, cilantro, and jalapeno until well blended and spread onto warmed tortillas. I warm mine in the oven, however some folks are partial to the microwave ;)
4. Add the steak to each taco, place a slice of avocado on top of the steak and top with Wholly Salsa! Delicious!! Even better, you can still wear your bikini after eating this dish!
Serves 6-8 depending on the size of your tortillas, serve hot and enjoy!

Eating Light Done Right at;

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Mallory the Forgetful Duck

Mallory is a very forgetful duck, so when she awakens from her nap she is puzzled...

"...Now where did I leave my nest? she wondered aloud..."

Mallory starts on a journey to locate her eggs and finds herself sitting on more than one mystery nest along the way - that is until the true mother comes along.

Mallory the Forgetful Duck by Elaine Allen is a fun and wonderfully educational picture book for young readers.  It takes you and your child through a series of mistaken identities and gently teaches about the wildlife habitat along the Chesapeake Bay region.

The illustrations by Kelli Nash are bright, colourful and full of detail - I especially adorn the one with Mallory asleep under a big purple bloom - fantastic!

This book is a must have for any child's library and will be read for generations to come.  Check it out on Amazon, Barnes & Noble or your local book retailer.

I give it two thumbs up!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Tattoo A Banana...

and Other Ways to Turn Anything and Everything into Art

If the title of this book doesn't intrigue you, I don't know what will.

Tattoo a Banana is an unique, one-of-kind book that will inspire creativity in yourself or your child like no other.  Phil Hansen the artist and author of, Tattoo a Banana, steps outside of the normal perimeters of art to explore a whole new world, taking ordinary objects and making them extraordinary.

It takes 42 plus projects that can easily be done with stuff at home, or photocopied and made into a fun art class for you teachers out there.  It truly is a must-have book for anyone that wants to "step out of the box" thinking of what can be considered art.  Plus, it's just plain fun!

For more information on Tattoo a Banana, check out Hansen's web site at; and

You can purchase your copy of, Tattoo a Banana, at these fine stores, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A Hobo Odyssey - Review

Steve Wright and Eddie Biggers were part of the Great Depression, with their parents, family and friends all struggling to make ends meet.  Steve's parents moved to follow work opportunities, leaving the young man wondering about the place he was born. 

One day Steve notices hobos jumping from the freight train that stops over in his town, and an idea was born - why not ride the rails back to his hometown?  With his best friend, Eddie, on board for the adventure of a lifetime, they begin their journey.  But would this quest turn into more than they can handle when a schizophrenic serial killer is hot on their path?  Find out in, A Hobo Odyssey.

This book is written by Larry O. Nichols and is filled with action, adventure, friendship and suspense.  I love the historical references, getting lost in a time when riding the rails was a common occurrence.  Nichols book is the perfect summertime indulgence - I LOVED it! 

A Hobo Odyssey can be found on Larry Nichols web site at;
Amazon and Barnes & Noble

About the Author

Larry O. Nichols was born in York County, SC, and grew up 25 miles away in Cramerton, NC. After a short stint in the US Navy, he received a BS in Applied Mathematics from North Carolina State University and an MBA from Winthrop University. Larry is retired after spending a career in Information Technology Management. He and his wife, Kay, have two children, Neil and Sylvia, and two grandchildren. They have lived in North Carolina (3 times), South Carolina (twice), Tennessee, Virginia, Connecticut, Texas, Florida, and Arizona. Larry and Kay now make their home in Taylors near Greenville, SC. 

Larry has always had a desire to write. His first efforts were in the field of genealogy where he researched and wrote six books on various family histories, all of which have roots in York County, SC, and the surrounding areas. In 2007 Larry wrote and self-published an autobiographical account of growing up in a Southern textile town titled, “Memories of Cramerton: A Cotton Mill Town”. 

“A Hobo Odyssey”, an historical novel based upon true and actual events, is his first attempt at fiction.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Dry Pro

Breaking an arm or a leg is a terrible experience to say the least. 

To add insult to injury, those who have to wear a cast for weeks on end
don't get to enjoy a good bath, the pool, the lake or even the beach.

Dry Pro from Dry Corp is here to change all that. It is the ONLY vacuum sealed cast protector that allows those wearing casts to get in the water and not be held back by a broken bone.

Designed by an orthopedic surgeon, Dry Pro is made from high-quality, surgical latex rubber and seals around any cast with its patented vacuum sealed technology.

Garbage bags and rubber bands are a thing of the past.  The durable and completely waterproof Dry Pro now makes getting wet with a cast a no-brainer.

Visit DryPro at;

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