Saturday, December 31, 2011

My Love Letter to 2011

Dear 2011,

You were here and gone before I even had the chance to appreciate you. I hope you get this so that you know how much I care. You helped me do so much and supported me the entire time. You gave me all that time to work, and I sincerely thank you for that. Spiderman and New Girl thank you too. Thank you for my little family - Pasha who you know, and my two healthy kitties - please let 2012 know that I'd very much appreciate even more health for these three next year. Thank you for Shlomo, Machatz, and Fibonacci - I like spending time with them. Also, thank you for bringing the Doghouse into my life - Hamlet and the friendships I made there will be something I have forever, even after I move on to 2012. Thanks to you, Cancun will forever be a favorite escape - please put in a good word to 2012 for me (you know I'm a great traveler) and send me to Paris and China in the future. Please let Lululemon know that I didn't take advantage of enough of their free yoga classes last year and to expect me regularly next year. Other things I will always remember that I spent with you - a chance to sing, Tim Burton and the LACMA at 1am in a wheelchair, the launch of my website, Black Friday at WalMart, and participating in the Revlon Run/Walk. Please don't be offended if I continue to be passionate about these things without you. I promise it's not you, it's me.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Happiest of Halloweens!

Just a fun little hello from Sonic the Hedgehog and Maxwell from Scribblenauts!

Picture courtesy of Ruth Gyllenhammer

Friday, October 28, 2011

Volunteer Time

This is a great way to Volunteer!
Article from

Help Us Help Needy Pets
written by Lori Wildrick on October 28th, 2011

Starting Oct. 30, Petco customers across the country will have the opportunity to help us help feed needy pets and keep them with the families who love them. Our second annual National Pet Food Drive was inspired by the number of pets being relinquished due to the economic turndown, foreclosures and joblessness. By providing food, Petco hopes to help families facing the consideration of relinquishment or abandonment the chance to keep the pets they love.

“Our national food bank program makes it easy for people to help keep pets well-nourished and with the families who love them in tough economic times,” said Paul Jolly, the Executive Director for the Petco Foundation and a Petco Vice President. “We believe that no one should have to give up their pet companions due to financial distress, and our associates and customers agree. During this year’s two-week national drive, we’re asking the communities we serve to give a little extra, both in food donations and by volunteering, to help raise awareness for this important year-round program.”

This year’s goal is 400,000 pounds of pet food–and since 100 pounds of food can provide between 40 and 400 meals for one pet, depending on pet size, age and activity level–we have the potential to help a lot of pets. And, to help us along Hill’s Science Diet will match, pound for pound, every bag of dog and cat food donated at Petco stores during the drive–up to 100,000 pounds!

But we could use your help! To volunteer, simply visit and select “Petco Foundation Pet Food Drive.” Once registered, you can select a Petco store location and volunteer time slot of your choice. You’ll also receive specific instructions and training on how to best promote the program.

“You get to help animals and you don’t have to spend a lot of time, money or effort educating the public,” said Dora Shaieb, a Best Friends Animal Society volunteer who helped out during last year’s National Pet Food Drive at her local Petco store in Huntington Beach, Calif. “Animals do not have a voice like people do, and we volunteers can be that voice for them.”

The food drive runs at all Petco locations across the country from Oct. 30 to Nov. 13. Volunteer slots are available for Sunday, Oct. 30, Saturday, Nov. 5, Sunday, Nov. 6, Saturday, Nov. 12 and Sunday, Nov. 13.

Learn more about the National Pet Food Drive.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Brownies + S’mores = Wonderful

Within this recipe is a fantastic brownie—just the right balance of fudgy and cakey with a crackle top—embellished with crunchy graham crackers and big melting marshmallows. If you’d prefer the classic, just leave those two ingredients out and bake as directed.

16 Tbs. (2 sticks) unsalted butter
10 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 tsp. kosher salt
1 1/3 cups cake flour
3 Tbs. natural cocoa powder
About 6 graham crackers, roughly crushed with your hands
About 12 jumbo marshmallows
Preheat an oven to 350°F. Generously butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.

In a saucepan over low heat, melt the butter and chocolate, stirring often, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the granulated sugar and brown sugar. Whisk in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Whisk in the vanilla and salt.

Sift the flour and cocoa over the chocolate mixture and, using a rubber spatula, stir in until just blended. Stir in the graham crackers. Pour into the prepared dish and spread evenly. Top evenly with the marshmallows.

Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out almost completely clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer the dish to a wire rack and let cool, then cut into big, gooey squares. Makes 12 brownies.

Baker’s note: To make it easier to cut the brownies, fill a tall glass with very hot water and have a paper towel handy. Dip your knife in the water and wipe it off before each cut. This works great for cutting anything sticky, such as frosted layer cakes or cookie bars.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Home Baked Comfort, by Kim Laidlaw (Weldon Owen, 2011).
Original Recipe