Who is Hofinger?

Wednesday, May 4, 2016 by  

Our son loves his car! L-o-v-e-s! Yup, that’s him playing in the snow.

He worked hard for it and earned it completely on his own. It used to be black. Last year, this high performance baby came home white ~ satin pearl matte wrap. That all sounds lovely but what I think is really neat is his appreciation for the fine craftsmanship of this Mercedes-Benz AMG.

AMGs are hand built by one specialty engineer. It’s known as the “One Man – One Engine” philosophy. When our son saw his 

engine was signed by Thomas Hofinger, he had the signature made into a slate grey adhesive that proudly – yet subtly – adorned the corner of his black hood. He had the signature remade when he changed the car to white.

One day, a father who was at an event we attended started a conversation with my husband who was wearing a baseball cap with the Mercedes logo on it. They started talking about cars when the man told him he worked for Mercedes. My husband said our family has enjoyed the brand for decades and showed him a photo our son took of his car with the signature. “Oh, nice to see how much he loves his car, why don’t you give me your address, I’ll send him something.” We thought a cool Merc key chain or pen would be a nice surprise for our son especially after all his hard work. 

Time passed and life continued its routine. Then about a month later, a large cardboard envelope arrived in the mailbox. We all nearly fell over! A letter & photo of Thomas Hofinger saying he was “honored and stoked” to see his name on the hood of our son’s beautiful AMG!! It was just so cool!! And so unexpected!! It made the car come to life even more. “Let her roar and soar!”

In my story, “Encourage & They Will Excel” (click: Excel), I explain my husband’s & my belief in not “pushing” our children, but rather encouraging them with an array of opportunities & unconditional support. When our son, an Operations Director at a national company headquartered in NY, said he wanted to start a photography business, we were excited for him. He invested in a great camera, lenses, Flickr, and we supplied accessories, tripod, URL, etc. 

He has a passion for cars and wanted to center his photo art on that industry traveling weekends to car shows and enjoying time with his car buddies. Our son named his company Geared Photography – decidedly apropos. 

     
Fast forward a few years of hard work and his pics have been seen in lots of cool places including DriveTribe, the new website for The Grand Tour.

To see some more photos, click: Geared Photography. (Please note: A friend of our son’s is nicknamed Saucy – he’s a fellow photographer & car buff, too, and the 3 photos he took of our son are watermarked accordingly.)

 bright spot flowerThe Bright Spot – Watching your kids grow up doing what they love!

Our love for Mercedes runs deep ~ my father in his cherished Adenauer long ago. He’d be very proud of our son’s diligence. Miss you, Daddy.


Bianca

The 1-Eyed Teddy Bear

Monday, May 2, 2016 by  

The point of this story need not identify of the owner of the 1-eyed teddy bear, but rather WHO this fellow is made all the difference in saving our son’s cuddly animals.

The man actually cannot be identified because he is a secret agent on a very significant level. He is close to our family and we all adore him but we keep conversation limited to family stuff, old friends, or school happenings. He signs his holiday envelopes as James Bond. It’s all very cool in a surreptitious kind of way, the “secret” in secret agent makes it sound so hush-hush, and the undercover missions we are never allowed to know about are wrapped in clandestine mystery. All very exciting, so what does this have to do with stuffed animals?  Proud of our son, strapping young man, England, Abercrombie & Fitch

Our eldest is a strapping 24-year-old dude with beer posters in his room and a steady girlfriend at the helm.

Siberian tiger, blue-eyed tiger, white tiger, little boy, stuffed animals, cuddly animals, The 1-Eyed Teddy BearRewind about 14 years and here was a kid with a ton of stuffed animals, some from babyhood, others won at the amusement park, many from the big glass box with the grabber handle thingie at the diner. An admirer of big cats, one of his favorite was a huge white tiger with sharp blue eyes.

For a long time, my husband felt our son needed to unload his cuddly animals. I’d protest seeing the quiet sadness in our child’s eyes. The subject came up at significant milestones, like award ceremonies, moving from elementary to middle school, etc. I understood my husband’s point of view: he wanted to make our son grow up, be a man, get tough. I understood my son’s point of view: at that time he was still an only child and he wasn’t ready.

Then one year we visited Washington, D.C. and James Bond invited us to stay in his homThe 1-Eyed Teddy Bear, Steiff, Steiff teddy bear, old bear, loved bear, teddy bear, James Bond, James Bond's bear, James Bond's teddy bear, teddy on the bed, revered bear, revered teddye. He was away, as usual, and he couldn’t say where he was, except that he would leave the key for us under the mat. Under the mat?!? He lives with all this enigmatic secrecy but leaves the house key under the mat!

It was very exciting to walk around his home. Medals, awards, Christmas cards from the presidents over the last 20 years, and as we walked upstairs to pick out our rooms for the night, there, in the middle of the master bedroom, sitting proudly atop the big bed, was a 1-eyed Steiff teddy bear with a worn nose, an untied yellow bow & fur so loved-off and cuddled, it was a treasure to behold.

It was also ammunition to ward off any more attempts to clear out stuffed animals from our son’s room. “If James Bond can keep his teddy bear, so can I!” 
Tiger, Siberian tiger, blue-eyed tiger, students, enrichment program, enrichment school program, teacher with students, teacher and students and tiger, centerpiece of classroom, buddy for reading
So that was that. More than a decade’s passed and on his own, our son has donated his stuffed animals along the way – but that’s the important part of this story – it was on his terms, his timing and his choice of where they went. The huge white tiger is now the centerpiece & reading buddy in a fantastic enrichment school.Toys, princess dresses, dresses, playroom, play room, donation, giving (4)
I never take anything from my children without asking them. Together we donate what they choose to give up when they choose to. It teaches them to let go, to give to others and to stay organized. (Little One sorting>>)

Toys, princess dresses, dresses, playroom, play room, donation, giving (2)There is a marvelous organization called YoungLives which helps teenage mothers. Every 3rd Wednesday, the young mothers meet at a church in Norwalk, CT to learn about God and their children, plus, they can choose items they need that people have donated.

When our daughter was ready to donate her toys or princess dresses, etc., we would bring them to the church and she would see firsthand the children light up with joy as they pickedBarbies, mermaids, singers, butterfly fairies, butterfly fairy, Barbie mermaid out what they would like. She saw a little     2-year-old boy dive into her Elmo chair exclaiming, “That’s mine, I love this chair!” And little girls picking out sparkly dresses. Or Barbies. Or unicorns.Toys, princess dresses, dresses, playroom, play room, donation, giving (1)

The children were happy and it made our child well up with joy to see the kids’ faces light up while new life was instantly breathed into her cherished pieces. It deeply linked giving to pleasure. You can check out organizations in your area like YoungLives, Birthright, Hopeline or any organization that benefits a cause you believe in. We’ve also donated her crib, baby furniture and Pack-n-Plays.

Child donating stuffed animals, child donating toys, Africa, orphans, FedEx, FedEx box for donation, kindness, thoughtfulness, readiness of a child, giving

Our daughter has given up lots of her cuddly animals, even packing & sending many huge boxes to Africa.

The Bright SpotTM bright spot flower – The exciting thing about the missionary we shipped her stuffed animals toOrphans, stuffed animals, given with love, children snuggling new animals, Africa, love, swells our hearts is that they sent back photos of orphan children cuddling her animals! A fine day, indeed. Again, on our children’s terms while reinforcing a life skill of giving as a pleasure.

 


Bianca

America the Beautiful ~ September 11th Memorial

Friday, September 11, 2015 by  

“You might want to turn on the news, there’s been talk that a plane hit the Trade Center,” Phillip said to me that fateful morning 14 years ago as he headed toward Wall Street on the subway. The phone lines went down and I didn’t hear from my husband for another 8 hours. My mother-in-law was visiting from England and we turned on the TV, watching in disbelief the horror unfold minute by minute. One of Phillip’s cohorts was on the 1st plane. Phillip saw the burning towers and felt his building shake as they collapsed to the ground.

Boy Scout at September 11 memorial, Yankee Stadium, Credit-AP, September 23, 2001, Boy Scout waving flag, patriotic, New YorkWe knew 6 people who perished that day; we felt great conviction to attend the memorial service at Yankee Stadium September 23rd, 2001. Our 9-year-old son came down the stairs in his boy scout uniform, “Is this okay to wear?” We were so proud of him. Little did we know this shy young boy would appear in over 60 publications worldwide shining as a beacon of hope for many people. Credit: Associated Press

Photographers at Yankee Stadium Memorial, September 11, 9-11 Memorial, New York   Yankee Stadium, 9-11 Memorial, September 11, September 11th memorial, September 23, 2001

September 11, 2001, Scout in magazine, Credit - AP, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Robin Williams  Scouts, Boy Scout, Boy Scout flying flag, patriotism, Credit - AP, scout in newspaper Boy scout, flag, flag waving, Boy Scouts of America, Credit - AP

Family at 9-11 Memorial, New York memorial, September 11, Boy Scout and family, Credit - AP, September 23, 2001, Yankee Stadium    Scout, Boy Scout, Flag-waving boy scout, scouting, 9-11, September 11, Credit - AP    Talking to kids about terrorism, explaining terrorism, Credit - AP, explanation about terrorism, September 11    September 11 memorial, Yankee Stadium, Boy Scout, Scout waving flag, flag, Credit - AP, 9-11 Memorial
Years have passed. We prayed with our fellow congregants for continued healing and peace. New England church, congregation, steeple, steeple in the sun, steeple in the cloudsMany of the 800 members of this church either work(ed) in New York City or know friends who did. It is very personal for this community.

Church, New England church, filled church, congregants, packed houseTry to imagine voices of passion in our New England church, established 1731, singing the 4 full verses of America the Beautiful. I dare you not to cry as you read and soak in those incredible words. It just says it all – who we are, what this nation is, and where we came from.

September 11 memorial, beach memorial, 10th anniversary of September 11, CT memorial, Sunset memorialLater, we visited the September 11th Memorial in our area; it’s on the water and faces where the Twin Towers used to be.

Someone found a rock in the shape of a heart. September 11 Memorial, heart stone, heart rock, roses on memorial, CT memorial, 9-11 memorial, names of lost souls

 

The Bright SpotTM – God bless our country and our diverse people. We work our way through adversity by standing together.


Bianca

Best Mother’s Day Ever

Sunday, May 10, 2015 by  

Mother's Day, NYC, New York City,  bike ride, Mama Bird, baby birds, Freedom Tower (9)Our 9-year-old led us on a 14-mile bike ride to the Freedom Tower on Mother’s Day.

 

 

 

 

7 miles down Manhattan Island & 7 back along the Henry Hudson River South Waterfront Bike Path in sunny 75 degree weather.

Mother's Day, NYC, New York City,  bike ride, Mama Bird, baby birds, Freedom Tower (8)As we rode along New York City’s beautiful path, we enjoyed an air display, basketball games, families picnicing at the many parks on the water, the famous ballerina statue, the Intrepid, Concorde & space shuttle, views of the George Washington Bridge & distant Tappan Zee, and best of all…discovering a mama bird feeding her newborns on Mother’s Day in a blossoming tree!! Breathtaking!! (precious video below)

Mother's Day, NYC, New York City,  bike ride, Mama Bird, baby birds, Freedom Tower (7)

After stopping for ice cream, we enjoyed a lovely dinner and then Phillip gave me one of the most wonderful, thoughtful gifts ever!! Ever!!

To put into perspective how special this Mother’s Day gift was to me, may I just say that one year, he surprised me with a beautiful Mercedes convertible in the driveway; another year, matching silver Mercedes’ with huge green bows. Yes, those were exciting.

But the gift he gave me this evening made my eyes tear & my heart swell! I’ll explain at the end of this story.

Mother's Day, NYC, New York City,  bike ride, Mama Bird, baby birds, Freedom Tower (21)  Mother's Day, NYC, New York City,  bike ride, Mama Bird, baby birds, Freedom Tower (14)

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Stopping for ice cream after the 14th mile:

Mother's Day, NYC, New York City,  bike ride, Mama Bird, baby birds, Freedom Tower (2)

Mama Bird & her babies:

Okay, so this was Phillip’s gift. A few days earlier, we saw this sign at Nordstrom’s. WOW is exciting for us because it’s our daughter’s initials. Flipped upside down, it spells MOM.
Phillip carved this WOW~MOM sign for me from a block of wood. A handmade gift is the best gift of all to me and the meaning behind it was heartwarming & made with love and thought.                            
What an amazing husband, I love you, Darling. Thank you!!
Those magenta-orange-pastel-sherbet colors are some of my favorite hues & it will be painted those colors soon. 
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WOW, MOM, gift, husband, Mother's Day (1) WOW, MOM, gift, husband, Mother's Day (2)
Mother's Day 2014, WOW MOM sign
One of the best Mother’s Days ever (2014)!!
Today’s 2015 Mother’s Day was just as delightful!
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After breakfast & celebrations, we snapped pics under a very significant tree, then Phillip & the kids surprised me with an afternoon of painting together at Pinot Palette in New York, followed by dinner with my Mom.
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For more on my Mom, just click: Mom
For more on my Mother-in-Law, click: Grace
Thank you for sharing. And thank you to my family, I love you all!!         
Family, Bianca Tyler, Bianca's family (3)   Family, Bianca Tyler, Bianca's family (5) 
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Family, Bianca Tyler, Bianca's family (10)   Family, kids, love
Family, Bianca Tyler, Bianca's family (2)
bright spot flowerThe Bright Spot – Celebrating Moms Everywhere – Happy Mother’s Day!!!!
 


Bianca

Color a Positive Thought – 10-year-old’s Perspective

Wednesday, May 6, 2015 by  

My husband met Harry Bell by happenstance.Color a Positive Thought, C.A.P.T., Harry Bell, positive thinking, positive coloring book, coloring book (7)

If anyone understands the value of early intervention, positive thinking, and the reinforcement of basic values, it is Harry Bell.

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He was born in Bridgeport to a troubled young mother, and raised by his aunt, who realized he needed a male role model.

His aunt connected him with a local family who had a son that ended up being Harry’s 3rd grade teacher.

 

Color a Positive Thought, C.A.P.T., Harry Bell, positive thinking, positive coloring book, coloring book (5)

Their efforts paid off. Today Harry Bell is employed by both the Bridgeport Board of Education and the University of Bridgeport as a Security Officer.

Seeing so many children going through some of the same problems, Harry was determined to do something about it. He developed a very special coloring book, Color a Positive Thought! He explains how it’s an anti-bullying, self-empowering, positive thinking tool in our May 12th broadcast on WGCH radio (archived links below.)

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Color a Positive Thought, C.A.P.T., Harry Bell, positive thinking, positive coloring book, coloring book (9)
The book has had such a positive impact on children & the community. It can be found in schools, pediatrician offices, everywhere!

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Our 10-year-old loves Color a Positive Thought and gives us her perspective on it as a child. Here are some snippets of the second half of the interview, just click image below:


May 12, 2015 ChitChat with Children – a 10-year-old’s perspective

Our daughter’s principal & teachers enjoyed the interview and her 4th grade teacher even played it in the classroom.

Harry Bell, William King, Color a Positive Thought, radio show, WGCHWe were thrilled to give voice to a man who’s had such a difficult upbringing, was able to pull himself up, surpass expectations and fulfill his dream. To hear the full hour, click: Full Interview.

bright spot flowerThe Bright Spot – This was his 1st radio interview and Mr. Bell & his liaison, William King, were amazed at how much this 10-year-old gleaned from Mr. Bell’s book. Very inspiring!

Click here to order the book: Color a Positive Thought


Bianca

Amazing Grace

Saturday, April 18, 2015 by  

England, Britain, Great Britain, Grandma, English beauty, English skin, grandchildren (89)iQueen Elizabeth, Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of England, Britain, Great Britain,
Blessed with lovely skin & timeless English beauty, my mother-in-law, Grace, and the Queen have always borne a striking resemblance. A woman ahead of her time, Grace, always gave new things a shot.

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And nothing slows her down! Approaching 90, she has a personal trainer at the gym, Skypes us every Saturday without fail, uploads her digital images to her hard drive and e-mails family nearly every day.

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The epitome of Englishness, she is gracious, discreet and always polite. During tough or sad times, Grace keeps a stiff upper lip and her chin up.
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Her mainstay, of course, is proper English tea. It must steep in a         silver pot and the teacup must have a white interior.

England, Britain, Great Britain, Grandma, English beauty, English skin, grandchildren (41)Bianca Tyler, England, Britain, Great Britain, English GardenShe keeps her gardener busy and has redecorated parts of her home four times in the past 10 years.

In Grandma’s GardensBianca Tyler, England, Britain, Great Britain, Grandma, English beauty, English skin, grandchildren (18):   England, Britain, Great Britain, Grandma, English beauty, English skin, grandchildren (17)  England, Britain, Great Britain, Grandma, English beauty, English skin, grandchildren (65)

Young Grace:

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Grace is an avid reader & animal lover. She enjoyed many years dancing with her dashing husband, Geoff, whom she misses very much.

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I’ve learned lots of things from my mother-in-law over the years, from baby tips and awesome authors to food advice, fabric care and beauty tips.

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One of my favorite gifts from my mother-in-law was this beautiful statue sent from England shortly before I gave birth to our daughter.

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A few months old (above)            4 years old (below)

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To avoid arthritis in her hands, Grace knits and knits and knits. Beautiful sweaters and hats and any request our little one desires.

I mean any! Like the day our 7-year-old said, “Grandma, can you please knit me a cuttlefish & grimpoteuthis?” And in short order, the beautiful cuddly sea creatures arrived in the gift package made with grandmother’s loving hands. A whole array of knitted marine life:

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Knitted headbands & sweaters, ballerina shrugs and ponytail hats!

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The loss of her beloved husband took a toll on her but did not stop Grace from living life. She hopped on a plane to surprise my husband for his birthday and stayed for Christmas that year.

England, Britain, Great Britain, Grandma, English beauty, English skin, grandchildren (70)Grace flew over every summer to stay with us. In 2001, my Mom took Grace and me to Mohegan Sun, the big casino upstate for a grand shebang before my mother-in-law headed back to England. It was the 1st time she visited a casino. My husband warned, “My mother may weary, don’t stay out late.”

Honestly, nothing wearied her the past 8 decades… so when I arrived home at 4 AM with two happy grandmas, my husband was speechless. Not only did his mother have a marvelous time, she even won!

A few hours later, the towers came down and the world changed forever. Flights were canceled that week and Grace stayed with us longer that year. Phillip worked by the towers and felt the 2nd building crash to the ground. It took hours and hours and hours for him to get out of the City and back home. It was a mother’s nightmare and
a wife’s torment. Late that night, he finally made it home. We were grateful to be together as a family again, safe and sound.

bright spot flowerThe Bright SpotTM – A Grandma’s love. Every visit with Grace has been memorable. The stories she tells, reminiscing the history of the family and her great love of Britain; she is a treasure in our lives and all who know her.

My mother-in-law and the Queen were born the same year…Grace is our very own queen xoxo

England, Britain, Great Britain, Grandma, English beauty, English skin, grandchildren (77)    Queen Elizabeth, Queen of Enland, Queen Elizabeth II, England, Britain, Great Britain, Grandma (2)


Bianca

Superhero & Baby Sister ~ Turning 10

Tuesday, March 31, 2015 by  

Darling Eyes looking up 2

How time has flown!!Elsa dress (2) Little One turns 10, what a wonderful decade it’s been!

 

 

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Video: Here is a look at the early years with her very own Superhero Big Brother:

VIDEO: Here is a look at the early years with her very own Superhero Big Brother:

bright spot flowerThe Bright SpotTM  – Having an incredible Big Brother to look up to & count on forever!
Smiles - Caribbean 10   Big brother, little sister
Big brother, little sister 2     Reading with Aga Close children (8) Close children (7) Brother, sister, smiles Trampoline, relaxing, summer breeze Baby reaching, loving eyes, kindness Baby reaching, loving eyes, kindness, sweet Reaching - nose to nose, sweet Missing each other, true hearts Walking together, hand in hand, red dress, yellow flowers red dress, yellow flowers, hugs, hugging, siblings trampoline, playing outside, outdoors, healthy kids, laughter hugs, snuggles, purple dress, princess, brother, sister, feeling loved pumpkin picking, looking the same way, sweet brother and sister, hayride Memorial Day, high flying, brother, sister, fun in the sun, fun Snuggles, cuddles, England, sweet Caribbean, sister in pool with brother, playing in pool, baby with brother, sweetness kisses on cheek, sweet baby kisses fairy hugs, hugging little sister, big brother, baby sister, Tinkerbell, Tinkerbell costume, wings, fairy wings Brother and sister smiling, smiles, big smiles together, Big brother, baby sister, happy kids


Bianca

Nifty 50!

Sunday, February 1, 2015 by  

Everyone kept asking me what Phillip was planning for my 50th. He’s arranged some pretty spectacular things for me over the years so I knew whatever it was I’d be thrilled. Our son captured the moment:

Birthday joy, tickets to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Universal Studios, Florida, Orlando, great excitement (2)   Birthday joy, tickets to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Universal Studios, Florida, Orlando, great excitement (3)

Birthday joy, tickets to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Universal Studios, Florida, Orlando, great excitement (5)a   Birthday joy, tickets to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Universal Studios, Florida, Orlando, great excitement (6)
Good Lord! What could it be? Well, prior to opening this envelope, Phillip planned a weekend of delights including dinner at La Panetiere.

Bianca Tyler, birthday, La Panetiere, 5-star restaurant, French cuisine, family, love (4)

Bianca Tyler, birthday, La Panetiere, 5-star restaurant, French cuisine, family, love (11)
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We visited the Cloisters on the northern tip of Manhattan overlooking the Hudson to enjoy the stunning array of more than 5,000 pieces of European Medieval works of art from the 12th – 15th centuries including the famous Unicorn Tapestries. The Cloister’s Library contains over 15,000 volumes of books.

Cloisters, Magic Tree House, Mary Pope Osborne, Unicorn, Tapestry, Jack & Annie, snow, New York City, NY 1938, blizzard, mystery, children's book (8) Cloisters, Medieval art, New York City, The Lets Talk Mom (1)   Cloisters,Tapestry, New York City, medieval art, treasures, statues,  (8)  Cloisters,Tapestry, New York City, medieval art, treasures, statues,  (1)

Cloisters,Tapestry, New York City, medieval art, treasures, statues,  (2) Cloisters,Tapestry, New York City, medieval art, treasures, statues,  (4)
Later, we toured the World of Wings butterfly atrium where I had my 1st opportunity to take photos with my gorgeous new Canon from my son. For the amount of time I invest in my photography, this latest Canon with touchscreen, image sensor & built-in Wi-Fi was the p-e-r-f-e-c-t gift!! Thank you, darling!

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And if anyone knows our family well, you’ll know why the logo above is so significant!! 🙂

As you can sBebe's necklace (1)ee, this day was magnificent with brilliant sunshine & deep blue skies. But 50 years ago, there was a blizzard and my mother arrived at the hospital with a police escort. That’s one way to make an entrance.

Mom recapped the story over dinner. Then she surprised me with a very special gift…a piece of jewelry I’ve admired for 45 years. It was given to mother by my father’s mother when I was 5.Bianca Tyler, gala, television, broadcaster Bebe's necklace, Miss Connecticut (1)

 

 

 

I’ve worn it in the past with great delight (photo on right), but on this special night, my mother said it was now mine. Overjoyed is an understatement. It means so much to me on many levels.

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Bianca Tyler, birthday, Nifty to be 50, Red Barn, New England, family, love, gifts, The Lets Talk Mom (25)  Bianca Tyler, birthday, Nifty to be 50, Red Barn, New England, family, love, gifts, The Lets Talk Mom (16)

So what was in the envelope in the opening pics? Let me first explain that my greatest gift ~ now & always ~ is being loved by my family & friends. Flowers & cards, emails & posts. All is appreciated. The kindness, the thoughtfulness, the time spent to make my day special. Thank you all!!

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The above cards from my children touched my heart deeply. My son chose a card that says I make him feel understood, happy and loved. Wonderful, wonderful!! And our little one says I make her happy every day…down to even the school snack. What more could any mother want? Happy, thriving kids – this was, by far, the very best gift of all!!

Happy childhood, loving, nurturing, sweet childhood, comfort, understanding, son, Bianca Tyler  Happy childhood, loving, nurturing, sweet childhood, comfort, understanding, son (5)Happy childhood, loving parents, Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, comfort, understanding, son, Bianca Tyler (3)       Happy childhood, loving, nurturing, sweet childhood, comfort, understanding, daughter, love, Bianca Tyler (7)

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16 years ago, I started the Harry Potter series with our son…reading it in “real time,” that is, waiting each year for another book to be published…standing in line at midnight openings with great anticipation for 1st edition hardcovers. We saw the movies, he had the posters, the comforter set, the throw pillows, the robe, Harry’s wand, etc. He even had a Harry-esque look to him, especially when he got his glasses.

Happy childhood, Harry Potter, posters, white tiger, son, friendship, boys, video games Happy childhood, loving, nurturing, sweet childhood, comfort, understanding, son (6)

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Fast-forward more than a decade and our little daughter & her friends are relishing in the adventures, quoting the spells, whipping up potions and donning the robe. The perfect hardcovers have moved from our son’s room to our daughters’s bookcase. Over the holiday break, we watched all 8 movies (Yes, 8. The last book was filmed in 2 parts).

My friend, Sara, took one of our daughter’s best-est friends (since the girls were infants) to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter last month. The girls are now 9 & 10, the perfect age for the story. Sara posted this video of Platform 9 3/4 on her FB page & that was it!! What more fun could our family have than to venture through the fantastical world of wizards?

Sara said Universal Studios did a magnificent re-creation, a trip not to be missed! With the entire storyline under our belts just the previous month, I could not have dreamed of a more fanciful place to go for my birthday present!! In the envelope was a newspaper-like invitation from the Daily Prophet along with tickets to the mystical world of Harry Potter and a week’s stay at the CoCo Key water resort hotel. Simply marvelous, my darling husband, I love love love it!! And so do the kids!! (Well, as you can clearly see from our little one’s reaction in the 1st photos above as we opened the envelopes together.)

Courtesy of Universal Studios, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Orlando, Florida (1)

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CoCo Key water resort & hotel:

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We finished up the weekend celebrations with my favorite movie, The Scarlet Pimpernel, with Jane Seymour & Anthony Andrews. Luscious ~ Dreamy ~ Yum!

SP 4       SP 3

SP 6  SP 8

SP 1   SP 5
So many other details went into this weekend that I would just like to say thank you to my husband, my whole family and my friends for marking this milestone with great joy.

bright spot flowerThe Bright SpotTM  – Thankfulness that my mother is feeling better, it’s on & off and for my birthday she was really “on!” Even sparkly! And thank you to all who sent wishes for a beautiful birthday weekend. So ready for this next great decade, bring it on!!


Bianca

The Basket

Sunday, January 25, 2015 by  

Technology, texting, messaging, IPad, IPod, SmartPhone, Blackberry, tablet, teens, kids, The Basket, The Let's Talk Mom, tech savvy (2)A few years ago, my husband, Phillip, held out his hand resolutely and said to our son, “Please give me your phone.” Our then 19-year-old’s eyes darted to his buddy and then back to my husband. “You, too,” he said to the friend, holding out his other hand.

They both stiffened but did as they were asked, my husband’s calm but firm voice indicated determination so they weren’t about to question it.

Phillip took the phones and dropped them into a basket on the table. Then he added his Android, the I-pad, I-pods, remotes and a Blackberry.

“We are reclaiming dinnertime,” I announced. “No more texting under the table, watching TV or the old ‘Let me just look that up’ on the I-pad. We’re going to have dinner with family and friends and we’re going to t-a-l-k…you know, like in the olden days…”

Technology, texting, messaging, IPad, IPod, SmartPhone, Blackberry, tablet, teens, kids, The Basket, The Let's Talk Mom, tech savvy (3)It was like sucking the life out of these boys. They sat fidgeting in their chairs, eyes shooting to their phones every time they vibrated in the basket. They were jittery, practically sweating, like withdrawal symptoms of plugged-in addicts. These teens were plugged out of the world right now and had to actually communicate for a FULL 30 minutes with real human beings in front of them.

Phillip and I are not against technology in the least. Quite to the contrary, we are social media networkers ourselves connected via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, IM, blogging, texting, and even building a number of websites for several successful businesses throughout our region. Our company,                     ID CardGuard, purely revolves around technology.FaceTime, Facetime, Barbies, playing Barbies, Barbie, Friends, playing, good screen time, screentime

We enjoy the latest gadgets and encourage our children to learn & use technology to stay abreast of cutting-edge innovation and advancements in the modern world. We Skype with family across the ocean and Facetime with friends across the miles.

Technology, app, apps children and senior citizens, senior citizens, veteran, Korean War, Korean War Vet, old and young on technology, Smartphone

 

One of our greatest teachers of the latest technology is our Uncle Danny! 80 years old, he can out-teach and     out-talk any techie!

 

 

Math, Math in play, playtime math, good screentime, good screen time, Barbie, Barbies and math, Skipper, Barbies sisters

Technology can be very good if used for learning, information and fun with friends far away like playing Barbies or using the screen like the Smart Board at school for math lessons for Skipper and her sisters.

Technology, texting, messaging, IPad, IPod, SmartPhone, Blackberry, tablet, teens, kids, The Basket, The Let's Talk Mom, tech savvy (1)

With the increased use and need for technology in our everyday lives, new limits had to be set. Call it Common Sense or pure frustration with overuse, boundaries had to be set!

When it comes to family time, enough was enough! With kids off to school early in the morning, sports and other extracurriculars taking up afternoon time, and little ones going to bed at a decent hour, dinner may be the only chance to spend quality time – so reclaim it!!

Even if it’s only 2, 3 or 4 times a week together, make it count.

Get a basket & sound the call in your family. It’s been years now since we’ve implemented “The Basket” and everyone – the family, teens and friends – all agree dinnertime is a lot more fun. We talk, we laugh, we joke, we communicate and we do it UNINTERUPTED!

One year, I was out with family & friends for my birthday dinner and someone at the table was sending out an e-mail on a small hand-held device. “I’ll only be a minute,” he said hastily when I gave him the eye. I asked him why he was doing it in the first place. “I send out e-mails here and there and it helps me save some time.”

“Save time for what?” I queried. “You’re trying to save up a minute here and a minute there for what? To create a pocket of imaginary “saved time” for something really special…like perhaps a birthday dinner with a loved one?” I don’t even think he hit Send. He pocketed the device, I pocketed my pissed-mist, and the evening was lovely.Bianca Tyler, Bianca & Phillip, love, smiles, eyes, eye contact, joy, party, sweet love, love

There are so many people who are texting, tweeting and Facebook-ing people they aren’t with, can’t see and sometimes don’t really know while they are out with people they DO know who are sitting in front of them waiting for them to stop texting!

The Bright SpotTMbright spot flower  – Be present with your kids, your parents and your real friends, they’re waiting for you to “see” them. Put down your techno-paraphernalia, hug your kids, look in your spouse’s eyes and communicate with the people in your real space.

Phew! Yes, I feel better now. Happy Parenting!


Bianca

Our Moussebaby

Sunday, December 21, 2014 by  

Bianca Tyler  animal lover  dogs  dog  gorgeous eyes (4)

 

If you knew Moussie, you knew he was one of the most loved dogs in the history of forever.

 

 

 

Bianca Tyler  animal lover  dogs  cats  love  devotion  teach children to love animals (75)Saved from a brutal past and surviving on 2 1/2 working legs, we cherished every day together from the time I was 29 until 42.

Moussie was on air with me at the television stations,Bianca Tyler  TV  television  dog on television (3)

Bianca Tyler  animal lover  wedding dog  dog walks Bianca down the aisle (3)he walked me down the aisle at my wedding, Bianca Tyler  animal lover  wedding dog  dog walks Bianca down the aisle (2)he soothed my aching heart when I lost my beloved father, he and our newborn came to work with me every day when we opened our own company, and Moussie adored our son and protected our daughter every single day.

 

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I spent the years ceaselessly protecting & caring for his broken leg & mangled paw, carried him over any asphalt or concrete, lifted him up staircases and into my car…

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…met with prosthetic doctors in Texas, surgeons in Connecticut, boot fitters in New York, and pet massage specialists in Illinois in any effort to help ease the strain & pain on his permanently broken leg.    (Dr. Randie Shane with Moussie)

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When an emergency procedure led to an overnight stay in the hospital – Moussie’s 1st night away from me in an unfamiliar place – I immediately ripped off my shirt in the car and had my husband bring it to the ER vet so Moussie could feel comforted with my scent all night long.

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My husband & son administered an IV in his neck for weeks following.

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There is nothing we would not do for our animals. They are family. We are a tight family.

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We used to jest with friends that if Moussie, Phillip and I were in a canoe and it was sinking and one of us had to get out, Phillip swims. 🙂 (Unbelievably, one person didn’t get it…she said, “Oh, you have a canoe?”  *sigh*)

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People have often quipped if they return from Heaven, they’d like to come back as one of our pets!           Here’s a few reasons why:

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Moussie worked the morning shows with me. My neighbor, Kristi, babysat him till I was done with the noon news. She always had it Bianca Tyler  bandage  paw  animal lover  dogs  chewy toys (4)on the TV so he could hear & see me. He had many wonderful sitters: Stephenie, Adrienne, Mark, Dottie, Kep, John and Shanie, just to name a few.

Reminiscent of Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley, we, too, crisscrossed the United States, enjoying adventures on the free roads, visiting many states and friends along the way.

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Birthday dinners of filet mignon, cuddles under the covers, drive-in trips to Sonic, and his fun job at the TV stations listing the school lunch menus on the morning show and assisting with the weather, and even the contest “Where’s Moussie?” for viewers spotting him around town. Moussie was loved and cherished every minute of his life in our family.

Raised by grandmothers & mothers who were healers and lovers of animals, it was natural for Phillip and I to instill deep compassion, respect and love of all animals. All children should be taught kindness toward every creature, big & small.

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No words were better spoken than those of Don Vincenzo Giobbe, circa 1700: “…and I whispered to the horse: trust no man in whose eye you don’t see yourself reflected as an equal.”

The Healing

Such is our belief for all animals…so it is no wonder our 8-year-old daughter published her 1st book, The Healing, How Little Kids Can Help Even the Tiniest Critters, and she has been busy with author’s visits/book signings and will sit on a panel of doctors & healers in a few weeks to discuss her book from a child’s perspective. (Author’s Visit with 77 children/10 adults)The Healing book signing  author's visit

 

 

 

 

 

Teaching children to use gentle voices and soft hands is so important.

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Teaching kindness, compassion, respect and tenderness is the premise for my children’s book,        Moussie Tales, due out when I finally find the perfect illustrator who can actually capture Moussie’s eyes, an ongoing search, indeed.

The understanding and care you show your children yields understanding and care to those in the world around them.

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Over the years, Moussie thrived along with all of our family’s animals and life was great.

Bianca Tyler  animal lover  moussietales.com

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We spent many beautiful years with Moussie, and when he passed away, a huge part of my heart went with him. (Getting the worst news ever from the vet on my 42nd birthday)

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Saying our good-byes.

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Days of yesteryear…

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The final goodbye 🙁

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Shattered and lying in bed, I wrote Moussie a letter that raw and painful day he crossed over Rainbow Bridge waiting till I would once again embrace him in my arms. I didn’t know my husband found the letter on my laptop and built an entire website dedicated to Moussie around it! Www.MoussieTales.com People wrote the loveliest comments on his Remembrance Page, thank you all!

The Bright SpotTM bright spot flower– Our darling Moussebaby brought us years & years of joy. For that, we are forever grateful. When our neighbor brought us The Rainbow Bridge poem, it was the only thing that eventually comforted me. Picturing Moussie running freely without pain, the wind flapping about his beautiful soft ears, eased my pain. Until I hug you again, rest my sweet, precious Moussie. I love you!!


Bianca

What You Give The World Gets

Thursday, October 2, 2014 by  

“The love you take is equal to the love you make,” oh, how I love this passage from The Beatles!

Like sponges, with unconditional love, your children will not only pass your love back to you a million-fold, but to their children and to the world. Ode to a good, ole fashioned snuggle!!

Breastfeeding golden image

 Cinderella daughter kissing Mommy

Father nose to nose with infant

Daughter kissing Daddy

They are the mirrors of your life…set the examples of love, kindness, gentleness,

couple snuggling on couch

 Brother cuddles baby sister

They are the Superheros to each other…

Big brother snuggles sister

And with love…

Mom and teen son

Mom cuddles daughter

and understanding…

Mother listens to teen son

Daughter plays with mother's pearl necklace

they will blossom into giving and nurturing young folks.

Daughter snuggles babydoll

Daughter loving her babydoll

 Daughter raising up her babydoll

Mom with teen son smiling on couch

Snuggle your children and it will come back to you and the world many times over.

Mom and infant on hammock

4 year old girl snuggling kitten

 Winter snuggling mom and baby

 Mom leaning on teen son

Mother snuggles baby

Baby and Mommy grinning big

The Bright Spot  bright spot flower – the natural and giving nature of children.

Such a joy! So grab your kids and snuggle away!! And watch the sun shine in your life with smiles!


Bianca

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