Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Hello, Regular Decor! It's Been Awhile!

I'm always happy to see my "regular" decor back after the holidays. I love all the seasonal stuff, but it's nice to just enjoy my neutral palette for awhile. 

Y'all may have noticed I still have that brown scrolly thing above the doorway in the pic above. I intended on making a "farmer's market" sign like my Grocery Sign, but have since decided to make a "bless our nest" sign. I'll let you know when it's done. Hopefully before next year. :) 

Love a clean, fresh start to the new year.

After all the fall and Christmas decor, it was nice to see my hydrangeas in that basket again.

Love the sunshine this time of year (before it gets too hot) 

Real y'all remember the $9 puffer vests at Walmart I told you about before Christmas? I don't think I've ever worn a puffer vest in my life before these and let me tell you, these are perfect for Texas weather! I ended up purchasing three of them...

I never realized how great they'd be for our semi cool days. We don't really get too cold here, and this vest is so much better than a full blown jacket or coat because you don't get too hot in it. I'm now a fan. :) 


Monday, January 16, 2017

After Five Tries, I Finally Found the Perfect Boot

Remember when I asked y'all about boots a long time ago? Well, I finally found some after looking for a loooong time. This is the story of my great boot debacle...

And just so you don't have to scroll all the way to the bottom to see them, here they are...

That's my $9 puffer vest from Walmart. :) Actually, the tee is also from Walmart ($4) as well as the leggings ($7) and the boot cuffs ($6) Ha! 

First off, I'm apparently very picky when it comes to boots. I wanted a plain brown pair of "cowboy-type" boots. I wanted a plain one inch-ish square heel and I didn't want any embellishments, laces, buckles, etc. A plain boot is hard to come by, y'all. :) 

At first I tried to find a pair locally, but none of the stores in my area had anything I liked. So off to the internet I went...

First up is a pair I ordered from JC Penney. When they arrived, they didn't fit and were totally uncomfortable. So I returned them.

Next up, I ordered a pair from Sears. They accidentally sent a "wide calf" version and it was so big I could fit my whole forearm down the shaft. Ugh. I didn't trust them to send the right pair, so I returned them and didn't re order. 

Next up, I ordered a pair from Kohls. They were exactly what I was looking for. Plain...check, brown...check, no buckles...check, low heel...check. They were even on sale! They were regularly $100, on sale for $50 (after my coupons and Kohl's cash discounts, they were only $37)

Since they were "online only" I had to wait for them to arrive by mail. When they came, disappointment quickly set in when I discovered they were too small. Sigh.

So, back they went and I ordered another pair in a wide width, thinking that would take care of it. Again, after anxiously awaiting their arrival, disappointment quickly set in when they still didn't fit right. 

Let me say here that one thing I love about these boots is that you can order them in "wide width" WITHOUT it being "wide calf" too. You can get them in wide width AND wide calf, but don't have to. I love that you can do either/or or both. 
It was about this point that I started thinking maybe I'm just used to wearing flip flops and these boots aren't really too small, but I'm just used to wearing "open flip flops" and not used to having the tops and sides of my feet covered. Ha!

Since I wasn't quite ready to give up, I went online to order yet another pair, only now...the price was back up to $100! My hubby tried to get me to just order them anyway. "A lot of work goes into making a pair of boots" he said. "$100 isn't really high for a nice pair of boots" he said. 

I knew he was right, but my point was that I knew they were capable of lowering the price to $50 like they did before. And I just couldn't pay $100 when I knew they'd probably go back down again.

So for two loooong weeks, I waited it out. The first thing I did every morning after turning my phone on, was to check the Kohl's website to see if they were on sale yet. Days ticked by. Weeks even. Then one glorious sunshine filled day...velvet ropes were parted, angels sang and...THEY WERE ON SALE FOR $50 AGAIN!!!!

I hit the "buy" button faster than you can say Visa. :) 

This time, I got smart and ordered two pair of boots (one in medium width and one in wide) They both arrived the same day and...miraculously, one of them fit!!!

If you're still reading this way too long post, here are my new boots...

Love how they're just plain brown boots. Just what I wanted. 

And check out that little piece of sweater like fabric at the back. So comfy!

xandy riding boots

Here are the boot cuffs I showed in the pic at the top. This set came with the cuffs, and two pair of boot socks, one brown and one cream. I think the whole thing was about $6. 

I LOVE them! 

Here is a link to the boots at Kohls:

Kohl's Lifestride Xandy Riding Boot

They also come in gray and black. 

Whew! That was a long post, but I wanted to share the link in case there's anyone as picky as me out there looking for a plain ol' boot. :) 


Saturday, January 14, 2017

Dylan's Graduation Party

My oldest son Dylan graduated from the University of Houston in December. He graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Supply Chain Management. We're extremely proud of him! 

I thought I'd share a few pics from the table decorated for his graduation party.

A little blurry, but you get the picture. :) 

We knew he'd be graduating in December and I didn't know if the stores would have the UH plates, etc. in the winter, so I grabbed these up last June when it was prime graduation season. 

We had bunco buns, an assortment of chips, garlic pickles, cupcakes with my homemade buttercream frosting, caramels, and cinnamon pecans and lemonade.

I had to show a pic of these cute trays before we loaded them up with bunco buns...

Here are the cinnamon pecans...

Here's my Cinnamon Pecans recipe:

1 egg white
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
(you'll mix the above three ingredients first)

2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cups pecans

Beat egg white, 1/2 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla with fork. Mix 2 teaspoons cinnamon and 1 tablespoon sugar and add to egg white mixture. Add 2 cups pecans and mix well. Place on sprayed foil lined cookie sheet and bake at 250 degrees 45 minutes, turning pecans over half way. Store in ziplock bag. 

And here are the caramels...

I used Nana Diana's recipe for the caramels and they were the best ones I've ever tasted!!! No kidding, y'all...this was the easiest recipe ever with no candy thermometer involved. Click HERE for her recipe. I have a fear of candy thermometers. Seriously, if a recipe calls for one, I'm out of there. It's just that they seem to be SO specific. Like, a recipe will say "bring the temp to 222 degrees." Really??? 222??? Like 221 will be too low and 223 too high? Nope. Too stressful for me. :) Diana's recipe was so good! Everyone loved them and they're very soft too. They practically melt in your mouth. They're made entirely in the microwave too! No stove top needed. Love that! 


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

PW Pieces at Walmart, The Perfect Bun and Hunter Boot Buffer

One of my favorites to follow on Instagram is "Whoa Wait Walmart." Bethany and Amanda are rockstars at finding little gems at Walmart. They're so good at letting us know about unadvertised specials, etc. Be sure to follow them @whoawaitwalmart. They recently shared these little goodies...

They're by The Pioneer Woman and run around $4 to $5 each.

I immediately ran to Walmart to scoop some up. I have an affinity for anything hobnail/milkglass and these were just perfect. 

They're sold in stores and online. Here's the one I got...

No, I don't still have Christmas decor up, these pics were taken weeks ago and I'm just now getting around to sharing them. :) 

Love the detail!

Okay, do any of you have Hunter boots? I finally got a pair of my own a couple of years ago (on sale 40% off, of course) But after awhile, they start getting this white chalky stuff on them...

It's called "blooming" and happens because rubber is a natural product and in certain conditions, insoluble particles rise to the top, causing the white powdery marks. Look at me sounding all scientific! Ha ha! I got that info. straight from the Hunter website. ;) 

I knew when I bought my Hunters, I should have also bought the rubber buffer, but I didn't. So when this started happening, I ordered some from Nordstrom (the same place I ordered the boots) Nordstrom has free shipping and free return shipping, by the way. 

Nordstrom Hunter Rubber Buffer $14

And look at the difference after using it...

Nice and shiny again. 

Okay, one more thing to share. I saw this the other day and it looked so neat...

The Perfect Bun $4.92 at Walmart 

Here's the directions on the box...

And here it is. It's just a piece of foam with an opening for your ponytail. After putting your hair into a ponytail, you pull the pony through the opening and run the bun maker to the ends of the pony. Then roll it up and secure it by bending the ends around your hair tie. 

It comes in this dark color for brunettes and a lighter color for blondes. It worked really well on my hair, but I forgot to take a pic. And as it happens, I just got my hair cut a little shorter (just past my shoulders) so now it doesn't work as well, hence no new pic. But trust me, it works great on longer hair. :)  I've since decided I don't like my hair shorter and am growing it back out.

 Which brings me to a hair question...I'm still working on the right length bangs. I think the first time I didn't get enough cut off (they were perfect, but I felt like I needed them trimmed again after only a few weeks) and this last time, I got too much cut off and they're too short. Ugh. I LOVE long bangs, but then I seem to need them trimmed every 4 weeks or so, but the rest of my hair can go twice that long between trims. So, my question is, do any of you get just your bangs trimmed in between regular haircuts? Is that weird to do? I'm thinking maybe I need to get my bangs trimmed every 4 weeks, then every 8 weeks get a regular (whole hair) cut. But that means I need to find time to be at the salon every 4 weeks. Let me know if you have any suggestions. :)  


Friday, December 30, 2016

Christmas Recap

Hello and Happy (almost) New Year! I hope you all had a nice holiday. I took a little break over Christmas (although I did stay pretty active on Instagram) and it was so nice. Although now I'm really behind on reading blogs.

I wanted to share a few Christmas related things first. I adore picking out my annual Christmas wrapping paper and ribbon...

But sometimes you have to give in to your kids...

Yep, Dale Earnhardt Jr. wrapping paper. ;) 

I didn't make as many desserts for Christmas dinner this year. But I did make sure these made the cut...

We've always called them Sand Tarts, but I've also heard them referred to as snowballs. So yummy!

Logan's favorite present was this...

DJI Mavic Pro Drone

That's a professional grade drone, y'all! To say he loves it is an understatement. And no, we don't usually spend that much on Christmas presents. He got a part time job after school and paid for it himself. Well, with a little help from us. :) He's most excited to use if for filming his movies. These drones provide awesome overhead shots. He can fly it up to four miles away and the video quality is excellent. 

Speaking of Logan, he went out with friends the other day and came home with this little goodie for me...

A cupcake ATM? Yes, please! He got it at Sprinkles. Such a neat idea and it was delicious. If you're not familiar with Sprinkles, click here: for a little demonstration. Just click "how it works" at the top. 

And while we're on the subject of chocolate. I made this little concoction the other day...

It's a tunnel of fudge cake. Yum!!! Click HERE for the recipe. (I used my own homemade frosting instead of their glaze)

It wasn't a hard recipe, but I would definitely called it "involved." At least for this amateur baker. :) I think I counted 7 mixing bowls when I was done. One of the first things you do is melt butter and whisk it with cocoa powder to coat the Bundt pan with like this...

It makes a kind of crunchy layer on the outside and it's really good.

 I don't know how it works, but this cake mysteriously creates a gooey tunnel of fudge in the middle (or more toward the bottom in my case) lol. Here's the finished product...

Did y'all know the creator of the tunnel of fudge cake lived right here in Houston? Her name was Ella Rita Helfrich and she won 2nd place with her tunnel of fudge cake recipe in the Pillsbury bake off in 1966. Her recipe was very well received and everyone wanted to make it. It became the most requested recipe in Pillsbury history. Click HERE for her original recipe. Her recipe uses nuts and they're essential to its success. However, I didn't want nuts this time, which is why I made the other recipe I mentioned from Lemon Sugar

Pillsbury used to make a frosting mix that you could use to make it easier, but stopped manufacturing it a long time ago. That caused an uproar, as you can imagine. I wish they'd bring it back. It was so much easier to make this with a boxed mix. 

Apparently this post has gone all food-related, so I may as well show you a quick snack idea. I actually had this for lunch the other day and it was so good...

It's just Bonne Maman fig preserves with some Babybel cheese on top of a Club cracker. Gosh, that hit the spot. :)

We had a busy holiday season. My oldest son, Dylan, graduated from college right before Christmas too. We had a graduation party for him and I'll share a few pics soon. 

Wishing you all a healthy, happy and prosperous new year! 


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

DIY Wine Glass Markers

Am I cranking out the posts this month, or what?! I don't think I've posted this much in a long time. I just keep finding things I need to share with y'all. :)

This one is quick and simple. I already shared one way to mark everyone's wine/iced tea glass using ribbon. You can click HERE to see that (as well as my Southern Sweet Tea Recipe.)

I have some wine charms and they worked fine too, but we were always forgetting which one was ours. They were very cute and wine themed, but we were like "Wait, am I the wedge of cheese or the wine barrel?" Or "I think I'm the grapes, but maybe I'm the cork?" Lol! 

Both methods worked well, but I wanted something even easier. Then on The Today Show recently, they showed how to use tiny window clings to mark your glasses. Simple, but I'd have to find a set of clings with lots of really small designs and we'd still have to remember which one was ours, much like the wine charms. This family needs names on the glasses. ;) 

So I got to thinking and I realized I didn't have to use the actual window cling. I could cut out some of the clear blank space around the window clings, peel off the plastic, write everyone's name on it in permanent marker and stick it on the side of the wine glass. Then when we're done, I can just peel the marker off and store it on the original paper it came on.

I'll show you what I'm talking about.

 So first you want to pick a set of window clings that has a lot of blank space around the designs like the white areas in the pic below. See the blank white space in between the designs? I made little arrows pointing to them. That's what you want. 

The white areas are made of the same clear plastic material and will adhere to glass, just like the actual window cling. 

So I just cut out little rectangles like this...

See how the plastic peels right off?

Then I wrote the names on the plastic in permanent marker. I stuck it on a glass to see if it worked, and it did!

I just cut out a section from the window clings to store the markers when not in use like this...

I could have gotten a little fancier with my penmanship. :) 

And that's it! Hope I gave some of you a little idea to use when entertaining this holiday season. 


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