Archive for February, 2007

Hair Discounts from Ziggy
February 28, 2007

I just found out my hairdresser reads this blog! I think he heard I was going to talk about him since I snapped a couple of shots of him hanging out at Winterfest and he was worried! (ha ha ha)
Anyway, his name is Ziggy and he works at Dean of Shadyside which is in the Oxford Club in Wexford.

He promises to give readers of this blog a discount… all you have to do is print out this entry and you’re set! (if you draw on his picture you should get extra points)
Here is your deal:

Free Haircut w/any chemical service
$20 off any service alone
$10 off any Pedicure
$5 off any Manicure
Ziggy has put up with me trying to grow out my bangs over the last year. It’s been painful.. and I’m sure painful to watch on t.v. But we got through it and now I’m trying to decide what to do with my hair. Ziggy does a great job on it because I have terrible hair. It’s stubborn and refuses to cooperate. He’s also GREAT with color…. and he knows a lot about what’s going on in town so it’s always interesting to spend a couple of hours getting caught up on things.

He’s been doing this for more than 20 years… and that includes teaching. Ziggy studied in Italy and London…. and since he came back home he’s worked on television personalities (yes, he does Stephen Cropper’s hair and that’s why I included their picture) and lots of professional sports figures and most impressively he makes bad hair look great. It’s too bad he can’t work on me everyday!

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World’s best cookies!
February 26, 2007

You are looking at the world’s best cookies. They’re organic, made locally, and absolutely dreamy.
My favorite are the cinnamon chocolate chunk.
The name of the company is 2 Sweet Kidz and the products are called Truly Wise. A Greensburg woman started it, Caren Weaver. She studied to be a chef… and I say all those classes paid off big time!
You can buy them online at www.2sweetkidz.com(of course named after her two wonderful children).
She has beautiful gift boxes and I’ve ordered many for special occasions.
You may have seen Andrew Stockey’s report with Caren. Her treats were chosen to be a part of the Oscars. All of the nominees (except the winners) got to take one of her gift boxes home.

I first met Caren at a charity event. My friend, Bonnie and I and our kids shamelessly stood at her “sample table” and pigged out. Honestly, we couldn’t stop eating the goodies. Wonderful shortbreads and cookies and biscotti.
I highly recommend them!

Caren was graduated from The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. and then held progressively higher-level positions at several hotels and restaurants, including the five-star, five-diamond Boca Raton Hotel and Club in Florida and the four-star Garden City Hotel on Long Island, NY.
Then she moved to her husband’s hometown of Greensburg and became a mom. That led her to the formation of 2 Sweet Kidz, LLC, named in playful honor of her two daughters.


Here are some of the organic cookies and biscotti that can be shipped to your door:
Cranberry Orange
Lemon Blueberry Biscotti
Cinnamon Almond Dipped In Dark Chocolate Biscotti
Chocolate Orange Chunk Biscotti
Dark Chocolate Tart Cherry Chunk
Milk Chocolate Walnut Biscotti
Milk Chocolate Toasted Walnut
****Cinnamon Chocolate Chunk***** – my favorite..!
Cinnamon Raisin Bites
Lemon Ginger Cookies
Oatmeal Tart Cherry Chunk
Chocolate Truffle Cookie
Orange Scented Shortbread
Lemon Scented Shortbread
Chocolate Raspberry Shortbread
Vanilla Filled Shortbread

Part of Pgh at the Oscars!
February 24, 2007

Oscar night will be a big night for Pittsburgh. A local jewelry artist is featured in all the gift bags for every Oscar presenter!

I’ve talked about Cheri Hayden here before (shown here with her wonderful husband Dan). She helps out with lots of local charity events. I first met her and saw her work at Polo for the Cure which benefits the Leukemia Society.

She was thrilled that the organization putting together Oscar gift bags chose her! I’m so proud of her. (Her work was also part of the Fashion Rocks awards). I’m not surprised one bit. Her creations are unique and beautiful.


She trademarked her design called The Backlace. It’s a choker-style necklace in the front but then in the back, it drapes down with all kinds of different stones. Beautiful. Brides love it because it adds a great deal to their wedding gowns since the guests in the chapel will be looking at their backs the whole service. Then it caught on on the prom scene…. and formal events…. then casual wear…. and it just kept spreading.


Now, Cheri will be helping Tinseltown sparkle a little bit brighter. And The Backlace will be featured in Vogue Magazine in May.

One of the coolest things she is doing while out in Hollywood is the Diamond Spa event. She was handpicked to join the most prestigious pre-Oscar event. Anastasia (the spa queen herself) hosts a party for the biggest stars and she asked Cheri to join them. The other two jewelers asked were the new Elizabeth Taylor collection and DeBeers.

I told Cheri to get her picture taken with the superstars (if it’s even allowed) and I’d post them here. You can buy her work at Serendipity which is in downtown Pittsburgh in One Oxford Center. That store is DARLING! Or check out Cheri’s website http://www.thebacklace.com to find out where else you can get one. And, as always, we’ll put a link here.

I interviewed Cheri about her work and you can see my report this weekend. I bought a few pieces from Cheri’s collection.. not that you could see a backlace on t.v. …. but she also makes other styles of necklaces and bracelets and earrings, too. I will be looking to see which celebrity I can spot first wearing the Backlace.

My next entry will include where you can get the best cookies in the universe.. made right here in our area! and coming soon, the best hairdresser in the region: Ziggy from Dean of Shadyside.

Winterfest Thank you
February 22, 2007

Thank you to Nancy Gormley who always organizes our Winterfest fun at Seven Springs every year. She was also kind enough to watch my son Zach while I was in the ski race. Great job again, Nancy!! (and please don’t think about getting revenge on me at next year’s Winterfest because I’m putting your picture on my blog)

And another thank you to the Seven Springs public relations manager Robert Duppstadt…. who we call Dubby. You’re the best and we really appreciate all you do!

Hey Dubby, maybe let me win something next year. I have a half dozen “participatory medals” .. ha ha ha…

Here is our group photo from the first weekend. This is everyone who competed in the Celebrity Olympics. We are already looking forward to next year.

Watch the whole Sidney interview
February 21, 2007

I hope you enjoyed my story tonight with hockey star Sidney Crosby on Action News at 5….
If you’d like to watch my unedited interview go back to the homepage and scroll down to middle and look on the right under Extras. You can click on there and watch the whole thing!
I am going to have to try and get Colby Armstrong’s response to Sidney saying Colby snores (they’re roommates for away games).
Thanks for watching…. and Go Pens!

Sidney Crosby Interview
February 19, 2007

I hope you get a chance to watch my interview with Sidney Crosby Tuesday night on Action News at 5:00.
After spending a little time with him, I can’t say enough good things about him.
I wanted to do a more relaxed interview… so Sidney suggested we play a little pool and bubble hockey while we chatted.
The idea for this interview started way back in November when my son, Zach, wrote Santa a letter asking for an autographed Sidney Crosby jersey. (Many of you wrote in about that and I appreciate your help). I had a friend who works with the Pens and told me that I wasn’t the only one who wanted Sidney’s signature. Other professional athletes were also trying to get it. I thought that would make an interesting story.

I already knew a little about Sid the Kid. Our sports department has done a wonderful job of asking him great sports questions and even ask him about his thoughts on a new arena (Sidney said he wanted to stay right here in Pittsburgh). And I’ve been to a ton of Penguin games… and as you saw in a previous blog entry, I volunteer every year for the Penguins At Your Service dinner.

But I wanted to ask some personal questions:
Girlfriend?
Pittsburgh hang-out?
Music?
Food?
Life after hockey?
Living with the Lemieux family and if Mario and Nathalie give him advice on women?

He was great and answered all of my questions. In fact, at times it seemed he didn’t even realize the camera is still in the room with us. (Thanks to photographer Tim Lolhe). He even told me the two autographs of professional athletes he’s requested.

He is a wonderful person and seems much older than 19. He is also very humble and he makes it easy for you to forget how talented he is when you’re talking to him. He is on top of the world right now… and somehow seems just like the boy next door. I can see why it’s so easy for his teammates to both respect him and enjoy spending time with him.

By the way, he is a great pool player (I tapped one in that was right by the pocket and I had to include that in the video). He was also great at that bubble hockey game. Mainly he was a great sport for putting up with me!

I also want to thank Frank Buonomo
who’s the senior director of team services and media relations with the Pens. He helped organize the interview and I really appreciate all his help! We’ve been working on this story since before Christmas and I’m so thankful it worked out!

Coming up soon, I have more Winterfest pictures to share. These last two weekends have been great at Seven Springs. And I’m going to feature my hairdresser, Ziggy! Thanks for reading.

Race for the Cure Kickoff
February 16, 2007

Hey, what a wild kickoff we had tonight for the Susan G Komen Race for the Cure!
It was at the Hard Rock Cafe again… and jam packed.
Since Andrew Stockey wasn’t able to emcee with me this year…. I ask Superbowl Steeler Chris Hoke (since I just saw him at Winterfest) to join me. Chris did a wonderful job with the script…. just like a pro! Here he is with my dear friend, Jo Ann Meier who’s the Executive Director of the Pittsburgh affiliate of the Susan G Komen for the Cure.
A big thanks to Race Chair and Co Chair… Karen Labinski and Mona Colicchie.




Chris was a big hit….. and everyone love his Superbowl Ring! Now that is some serious BLING!
Also a big thank you to all the bands who rocked the house all night: Dancing Queen, No Bad JuJu, Mercedes, Soul Village, Sputzy, and Margot B.
You were all great!

We need to register as many people as possible for the Mother’s Day Race. We have to beat Philadelphia this year!!!! Last year we registered 34,000 people… and remember, you only “officially count” if you register. So please make sure all of your friends sign up!
We want to beat breast cancer…. think about this: one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Without a cure, 10 million women could die of breast cancer around the world in the next 25 years. So let’s get to work! See you race day.

Penguins Dinner
February 15, 2007

Lots of us from Channel Four helped with the Penguins At Your Service Dinner. It’s a wonderful fundraiser for Cystic Fibrosis. It was packed! I’ve volunteered with this event for the past several years and this was the biggest and best yet!
I waited tables with two of the Penguins. I was trying to take a picture with my partner, Chris Thorburn (in the middle) …. when the great Jordan Staal just had to crash the shot.

Jordan and I were competing all night over dinner. He was waiting tables right next to Chris and me. Let me tell you, Jordan stole more than one dinner for my table! So I got him back and took some of his desserts. The people at my four tables were all very patient.. and so much fun! And I’ll also tell on Jordan … HE SPILLED SOUP ON A WOMAN SITTING AT HIS TABLE! ha ha ha…. IT WAS GREAT!
Since Jordan wouldn’t behave, our wonderful Web Reporter Ashley handed him the camera to take this photo of the two of us. Good job Jordan!

Jordan wasn’t the only one crashing photos. Here, I was trying to get a shot of my other partner Alain Nasreddine (on the left) and Maxime Talbot just had to get in it.

Take a look at how many of my friends at Channel Four volunteered…. and this isn’t even everybody!

Finally, look how beautiful Ashley and Janelle are! They are joined by Jarkko Ruutu (in the middle of Janelle and Ashley) and Sergei Gonchar.

Sally had the chance to serve with Hockey Superstar Evgeni Malkin. I think Don Schwenneker was paired up with Mark Recchi (who I’ve written about before on my blog). We all had a great time… and next year I think the foundation will need a bigger place because it was packed. The Pens all signed the aprons we wore (I tried not to get it too dirty) and we sold them when we were done. I hope CF was able to raise a lot of money… and I’m looking forward to volunteering again next year.

Andrew, Jim and Don
February 12, 2007

I am SO TIRED of this cold weather!
I can’t wait for Spring to finally find us….
In the meantime, the weekend snow made me think of Winterfest. So I thought I’d share these random pictures from Seven Springs and try to remember the time I actually had fun in the cold.
Here’s Andrew, Jim and Don.



tug of war
February 12, 2007

Tug Of War
This is one of the games we play during the Celebrity Olympics. I’m in the red hat. Janelle Hall is the one with her head down (she must have been concentrating) and that’s Steeler James Harrison behind me.

Here’s Steeler Chris Hoke… and the one all bundled up is Steeler great Louis Lipps. The other guy is from the Poverty Neck Hillbillies.

Here’s Kelly Frey and Stephen Cropper.

More Winterfest Fun
February 12, 2007

Here’s Steeler Chris Hoke and Kelly Frey (I can’t figure out how she manages to always look so beautiful!)

Here’s me pushing Stephen Cropper down the hill for the “Human Bowling Game”… in which I was horrible (sorry Stephen)

Here’s Stephen talking about how horrible I was….. and me in the background trying to explain

And finally, Stephen and I were paired up again for the inner tube pull. He was blindfolded and I had to direct him through the poles…. again, I think we came in last place.

Winterfest Weekend
February 11, 2007

What a wonderful Winterfest!

I have several pictures to share over the next few days… but first I want to say how great it was to have Steelers Nose Tackle Chris Hoke and his wife, Jaimee, and the kids join us.

I first met Chris in a Starbucks a few years ago…. and since then I’ve been a big fan. We’ve seen each other at a few other charity events since then…. but I became an even bigger fan of Chris when I did a story on another member of the Hoke family, his wonderful wife, Jaimee. She was featured in the Steelers’ wives workout story I did last fall. She is as sweet as she is beautiful! … and she is in top shape!!!!!!!!

I took the picture at the top of Chris during the Celebrity Olympics right outside the Foggy Goggle. He did a great job navigating through our goofy games (he can actually ski very well and may join us for the tough ski race next weekend) … but I wanted to especially thank him for not picking me last in the tug-of-war event (that’s happened in years past). So THANK YOU!!!

Also it was nice signing autographs with Steelers Defensive End Brett Keisel. I did not get a picture of him at the table (wasn’t thinking) but he and Chris are great friends and had a good time together and were very gracious to everyone who came up wanting their autograph. They quickly ran out of pictures but they talked to each person who came up and are two great guys.

Later we all got together for the Poverty Neck Hillbillies concert. They put on quite a show! (www.thepovertyneckhillbillies.com) The highlight was the duet with Ben Roethlisberger. The lead singer for the Hillibillies surprised us toward the end of the show and joined us on the balcony and when he handed Ben the mic… he actually sang part of Mr Right Now. Also, Ben and Brett can actually dance .. unfortunately I have no pictures of that.

I will share many more pictures I did get in the upcoming days. We will be heading back up there this coming Friday and Saturday and I hope to see you there… so stop by and say hello!!!!

God Grew Tired of Us
February 6, 2007

I’m am working today on a very dear story. It’s about two young men from war-torn Sudan who now live in Pittsburgh.

When they were young, the brutal war separated Daniel Pach and Panther Blor from their families. They had to ban together with other young boys and wander barefoot through the desert for years trying to find shelter. There were there were tens of thousands of them…. but their numbers dwindled drastically in the desert. Somehow Panther and Daniel survived. They were nicknamed by a journalist “The Lost Boys” after the gang of boys in the story of Peter Pan. They finally found a refugee camp in Kakuma, Kenya.

A documentary filmmaker found them in the camp and began to document their story on film. His movie, “God Grew Tired of Us”, is debuting this weekend in Pittsburgh’s Regent Square Theater. It has been honored with several awards including: The Grand Jury prize from the Sundance Film Festival, Winner of the Deauville Film Festival, and the Audience Award winner from the Sundance Film Festival.

The boys, now young men, find out that Catholic Charities will relocate them to Pittsburgh, so the director, Christopher Quinn, follows them and the other lost boys being relocated here. It is amazing. Watch a preview at www.godgrewtiredofus.com.

The young men have never been on an airplane, never used electricity, and have a hard time using an escalator. We watch as they learn to turn on a lamp, use a trash can, and navigate the streets of Pittsburgh.

I took my son Zach to the movie preview and reception where we met Panther and Daniel. Panther smiled at Zach and asked him how old he was.
“I’m eight.” Zach said.
Panther responded, “I was two years younger than you when the war separated me from my family and I went into the desert.”

Zach and I both stood there in silence. I thought about what Zach would do if he was taken from me and forced to survive barefoot in the desert for years. Then I had to put that thought out of my mind. Panther said they had to eat dirt and drink urine sometimes. Panther would gather up the other boys and try to entertain them by telling stories. He wanted to make them laugh even though they hadn’t eaten in days.

The movie is rated P-G and I’m so thankful Zach had to chance to see it and meet the men behind the story. I’m sure it will impact him for a long time.

Panther and Daniel are both going to school here full time (Panther went to Pitt for a while which makes me smile… he’s the real Pitt Panther)… and they’re both working full time… often having another part time job.

They’ve been here six years…. and have one goal: work as hard as possible and save money to help the Lost Boys they left behind in Sudan where the civil war is still raging. They love America and when I interviewed them the next morning about their story, they kept saying “God bless America. This is a great country.”

They are both getting their U-S citizenship soon and say they will start a organization to start raising money to build a medical clinic and school for the Lost Boys still there. I will be sure to follow that in case anyone here wants to donate to their cause.

Panther went back to Sudan recently and got married. He’s working to bring his bride here.

By the way, the “God Grew Tired of Us” title comes from an interview with another of the Lost Boys, John Dau, who says at the time he was struggling to live he thought God must have grown tired of them and all their fighting. But then things changed for a few of the Lost Boys when Catholic Charities worked out a plan to bring them here.

Daniel and Panther told me the generosity of Americans has proven to them that God has not grown tired of them. They believe it is all part of His plan and He will enable them to make a bigger difference back home by being here. I think they will.

Fabric Artist
February 4, 2007

I am so proud of my dear friend Shawn Quinlan.
He is a wonderful artist and has a show right now at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts on 5th Avenue in Shadyside.

We started working at WTAE about the same time. I’ve been able to watch him grow as an artist through the years and this show called “Blanket Statement” is beautiful and I think his best yet.

He is a fabric artist. Each piece makes a statement.

Many of them will make you think and discuss the themes… which is an art form in itself.

Some of his thought-provoking themes are subtle, some are bold, many are controversial, and all will make you think.

He has shown his work all over the world…. and was featured in the Andy Warhol museum right here in Pittsburgh for a while.
Below is the one featured at the Warhol entitled “The quilt that won’t comfort.”

His work is thought-provoking and his attention to detail is amazing (which you can only appreciate in person). You can see more of his work on his website www.ShawnQuinlan.com.

…. but here is my favorite. It’s one of his very first quilts. He was just starting to experiment with this art form when I was pregnant.

It is now hanging on the wall above Ally’s bed. It is already so precious to me for so many reasons… but I know one day it will also be precious to the national art world.

I took some pictures from the reception Friday night. I’ll post those when I get them into my computer. I’ll also ask him which quilts he wants me to show you… I just picked a few that I liked. But you should see it for yourself. Shawn is giving a talk about his work at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts February 10th at 1:00. Please stop by and say hello. He is a wonderful person and a wonderful artist. For more information here is the website for the show www.Pittsburgharts.org.

Superbowl ZackSnacks!
February 3, 2007

Ok. Hope you’re staying warm this weekend! Here are some of our ZackSnack recipes for you to try:

We call this first one ‘SWEET ALLYS’ (This one came from Wendy Bell’s sister)

Intredients:
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
7 ounces flaked coconut
14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
12 ounces semiseet chocolate chips
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

Directions:
preheat oven to 350 degrees.
in one 13X9 inch baking dish, melt the butter. Sprinkle the graham cracker crumbs over the melted butter. Top with coconut, then the sweetened condensed milk and bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown. In a saucepan over low heat, melt the chcolate chips and peanut butter together. Stir until creamy and pour over the baked bars. Garnish with more flaked coconut. Let cool thoroughly then cut into bars. YUMMY!

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GRANDMOTHER’S BUTTERFINGER COOKIES (my Grandmother really used to make this ) :

Ingredients
1 1/3 cup flour
1/2 tea. baking soda
1/4 tea. salt
1/3 cup margarine
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
2 Butterfinger bars

Directions:

Cream Margarine and suar. Beat in egg. Break Butterfinger into small bits. Sift dry ingredients over the candy. Toss so candy is covered well. Stir into other mixture.
Chill in fridge. Drop by 1/2 spoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 12 minutes. Remove from cookie sheet at once to cool.
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Next: LISA’S PEOPLE CHOW (my cousin’s creation) :

Ingredients:

12-ounce milk chocolate morsels
1 cup creamy peanut butter
powered sugar
crispex cereal
raisins
pretzel sticks
peanuts

Directions:

Melt chocolate and mix peanut butter until runny. Pour over cereal and other ingredients and mix. Coat evenly. Put sugar in zip-lock bag. Put cereal in bag and shake unti well-mixed. Break apart any that are clumped together too much. Pour in bowl and dig in!

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NURSING SCHOOL TREATS: (My mom had this while in nursing school)

Ingredients:
Saltine crackers
2 sticks of margarine
1 cup of sugar
1 bag of chocolate chips

Directions:
Line a cookie sheet with foil.
Put down one layer of Saltine Crackers
Melt 2 sticks of margarine in a pan then add 1 cup of sugar. Boil for 3 minutes only. Pour it over the crackers. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Put the Chocolate chips on top. As chocolate melts… spread around until even. Let cool. Break up the crackers into smaller pieces. Enjoy!
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One last one to share for now: We call it the LAURIE SPECIAL…. (my friend Laurie made these once and I stole this from her)

Bag of square butter pretzels
bag of Hershey’s kisses
Bag of M&Ms

Place a Hershey’s kiss on top of each pretzel.
Put in microwave for 20-30 seconds until kiss is soft. Press a m&m on top of each one (the soft chocolate will keep everything together) Let cool and enjoy!