Thursday, July 27, 2017

A Couple of Party Recipes

I have some recipes to share today. We have so many summer birthdays around here and this time around, I wanted to try something new. 

These were taken at my son's family birthday party. 



First up is this punch. It was so good! All you do is add equal amounts of Hawaiian Punch (Fruit Juicy Red flavor) and Ginger Ale. (You could substitute Sprite for Ginger Ale if you want.) Then add scoops of vanilla ice cream on top. That's it! 


The vanilla ice cream melts into the juice mixture and it's so refreshing...



Next up is cotton candy popcorn...


Pop about 1/2 cup kernels in an air popper. Next up, melt 12 ounces white chocolate chips in microwave in 20 second intervals, stirring in between. Let the white chocolate cool for just a bit, then add about a handful of pink cotton candy. (The cotton candy will melt into the white chocolate.) Then add the popcorn to the chocolate mixture and stir until coated. I then spread it out on waxed paper and added pink sprinkles to the top. I covered it with more waxed paper overnight, then filled these cups with it for our guests. 


I had already given out a few cups of popcorn before I remembered to take these pics. Everyone liked it and I'm sure I'll make it again. And of course you can use any color/flavor cotton candy and sprinkles, I just used what I had. 


I planned on just doing cake and ice cream, but added the popcorn and a small sausage and cheese tray at the last minute. And no one complained. ;)


Thanks for stopping by!

~Lisa 

Monday, July 24, 2017

Los Angeles, Photography and FilterGrade

So y'all, my baby (who just turned 18) is headed to Los Angeles for two weeks!!! My youngest son, Logan, is meeting up with a friend (she's a fellow photographer) and they're going to enjoy some time in La La Land doing photo shoots and exploring the city. I'm so jealous, and also a little tired, since I've been up since 4:30 AM to get him to the airport. I'll need a nap today. :)  

A lot of you already follow Logan on Instagram @logansullivan and some of you have asked me about his pics. He's been fortunate enough to make some wonderful connections in the photography business and has done photo shoots with several models. 

His photography business is keeping him busy doing shoots all around the Houston area and beyond. A lot of you have asked me how he edits his photos. I thought I'd let you know that he has some presets available now, if anyone is interested. What is a preset, you ask? Well, it's basically a preset filter that works with Lightroom (not mobile devices) You can apply it to your own pics, without having to do all the editing yourself. Right now he has an 8 pack bundle of filters for only $15, available on FilterGrade.

Here's some examples of his presets with before and afters, and yes, he took all these pics himself...




It's so neat that you can just apply these filters to instantly change the look of your photos, without having to do any of the editing work yourself. 

You can click HERE to buy his presets on FilterGrade. 


Thanks for listening to all my mama pride today. Y'all are the best! 

~Lisa 



Thursday, July 20, 2017

Reese's Brownies and New Countertops

Just a quick post to tell you about some Reese's brownies I made recently. So easy and yummy too! 

All I used was this boxed brownie mix and some Reese's peanut butter cups. (I ended up not frosting them, because it was already so rich)


I simply mixed up the brownies according to the box, then pressed down some Reese's until the batter was all the way up the sides...


I baked them per the instructions and this is what they looked like straight out of the oven...


I have to say, they were very good! 


So there you have it, a very simple delicious take on a plain ol' brownie mix. :) 

In other news, we're thinking of redoing our kitchen countertops. We've had ours for about 8 years, but ever since we painted our cabinets white, I've been wanting lighter counters too. 

We currently have laminate and I think we'll go that route again. We did consider butcher block, since we both love the look, but we're really hard on our counters and we spill things on them...a lot. So I think we'll stick with laminate, at least for now. 

Formica laminate has come a long way, even since we installed ours. There are no more brown seams and you can even get pretty edging instead of the straight edge laminate is known for. 

This is one of a few we're considering...

Lowe's Formica Laminate 

I love the edge. I was wanting something with white, cream and grey and this seems to fit the bill. I've ordered samples and I might go to Lowe's to look at a bigger sheet. 

I'll keep you posted if we decide to redo our counters. 

Thanks for stopping by! 

~Lisa 




Monday, July 17, 2017

My Southern Garden

We've had regular amounts of rain this summer and as a result, the grass is very green and everything is blooming right on time. I wanted to do a quick post with lots of pics so I can look back and see which plants bloom best this (very hot) time of year. 


I love dappled shade pics...



 This plant below is a candlestick bush. I'll have to take more pics when all the yellow blooms open up.



Ah...Esperanza...you're such a charmer...





These little flowers below are doing so well in our heat. They're called Portulaca and we've since added a few more to that spot. 


And the Crepe Myrtles!!! They're all doing so well! I don't remember all of them blooming at the same time like this, ever! 





So there you have it, a little southern garden in July. :) Hope y'all have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

~Lisa 

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Bubble Gum, Pizza and a Move

I remember seeing these adorable bubble gum machine ornaments on Instagram last year, but my Hobby Lobby was sold out. So imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon them...in July! Ha!



Isn't it adorable? I thought it was so cute, I had to get one. Glad I didn't miss out this year. Even though it was weird buying Christmas stuff in July. 

This was my dinner the other day...



Would you like some pizza with your jalapenos, ma'am? Lol! What can I say...I like it spicy. :) 

Since I'm sharing my dinners with you, this is what graced our table the next night...


Our local HEB has these Southwest chicken breasts that come 2 in a pack for only $4. The container is oven safe, so you just pop it in the oven and it's ready in about 25 minutes. We paired it with some garlic bread for a yummy meal for about $10 and it fed all four of us.  Have you checked your deli department for deals like this? I hear Fresh Market has a deal that's similar. 

One more thing...remember awhile ago when I mentioned something cryptic about a move? Well, I wanted to wait until it was a for sure thing and now I can tell y'all that my mama is moving right next door to me!!! She and my stepdad moved away to Sugar Land about a dozen years ago...insert sad face. They were over an hour away from us and we finally convinced them to get back on our side of town. I'm so happy to have my mama back. :) 

Thanks for stopping by!

~Lisa 


Thursday, July 13, 2017

Lazy Days of Summer

Don't you love the lazy days of summer? I'm enjoying not having to set my alarm clock, for sure. It's nice to have a relaxed schedule for awhile. :)

So I posted this on IG the other day and got lots of DM's asking how I made Holly's personalized picture frame above her eating area...



Click HERE to see the post I did a long time ago, with the tutorial. I still love it to this day. Look how tiny she was! 




Well I did it...I pulled up the last Knockout rose we had in our back garden. It just wasn't doing well and was pretty scraggly looking. Here's a pic of it just before it was pulled out...









Kind of a dark pic, but you get the idea.

I decided to replace it with more Blue Plumbago. Y'all know how much I adore my other one in the yard. It's such a show off bloomer, and I love it for that. ;) 

Our garden center had Plumbago on sale for $3, so we got three of them to replace the rose. 

Here they are making themselves right at home between the two Crepe Myrtles...






As you can see, they've got plenty of room to fill in. 





 I hope they do well in this spot. The sun exposure is about the same as where my other Plumbago resides, so fingers crossed. 

After many days of rain, the sun was streaming into my bedroom and I couldn't resist taking this pic...


A lot of people complain about the rain, but I personally love it. I mean, not if I have an outdoor event planned, but other than that, I love a good rain storm. 


One more thing...y'all know how much I love reading my cozy mysteries, right? Well, I'm re-reading one of my favorites right now. It's the Myrtle Crumb Mystery series by Gayle Trent. 


Here's a link to her site on Fantastic Fiction:

Fantastic Fiction: Gayle Trent


And here's a link to Gayle Trent's website:

Gayle Trent: Myrtle Crumb Series

I won't go into detail since I've talked about these books before. Just know they're very good and they definitely meet my idea of a "cozy mystery." :) 

There are 5 books in this series and right now, they're all only .99¢ each on Amazon (in Kindle form)

There's also a prequel to the Myrtle Crumb books called "The Party Line" and it's only .99¢ as well. 

Gayle Trent also writes the "Daphne Martin Cake Mysteries." 
 Click HERE to read about them. I just bought the first in that series and loved it! I'll definitely be buying the whole set.   

One more to share...I just started reading the Donut Hole Cozy Mysteries by Susan Gillard. Click HERE to go to Susan's site on Fantastic Fiction. I'm loving these books too! There are over 50 books in this series and I read the first 6 last week. Right now, Amazon has books 1-5 on Kindle for only $2.99 and 6-10 for $2.99 as well. 

Guess that's all for now. Thanks for stopping by!

~Lisa 



Sunday, July 9, 2017

Harbor Freight Pressure Washer ~ $80!

I've got another Harbor Freight deal for you today. We purchased this pressure washer yesterday for only $80 and it did a magnificent job cleaning our patio and wooden bridge in the backyard. 

I wanted to share in case any of you are looking for an affordable pressure washer for household projects. 



Check out these before and after pics...









It was super easy to use and did the job quickly. We found ourselves looking around trying to find more things to clean! Ha!

Here's a link to the one we bought:



It's regularly $99, but we had a coupon to get it for $79.99

I must be on a cleaning kick because this morning I cleaned the washing machine using THIS TUTORIAL. It worked like a charm and now I'm washing all our sheets in some new (to me) detergent...All Free and Clear. It seems to be working great!

Hope you all have a great day! 

~Lisa



Friday, July 7, 2017

Mug Cake Recipe

I'm back to share the Moistest Chocolate Mug Cake recipe with you. 

Just look at this goodness...


You mix the ingredients up, pour it into a mug and pop it into the microwave. The whole process takes about three minutes. 

Click HERE for the recipe. I can almost guarantee you'll have all the necessary ingredients on hand. (I omitted the hazelnut chocolate spread and added powdered sugar after I baked it.)

If you click on the link above, there's also a recipe for a vanilla version. Yum!

I know it's weird to post this right after I posted my exercise routine, along with all those low calorie snacks. But like I said, you can't totally deprive yourself all the time. And the bonus with this is that it makes a single serving. No leftovers to tempt you for days. :) 

Here's how it looked straight out of the microwave...


I used a humongous mug, so that's why it looks tiny. 

And right after I dug in...



Look how yummy! 


I decided to try a little powdered sugar and that added just the right amount of sweetness for me. 


In case you're wondering, yes, it was cooked all the way through to the bottom of the mug. This really was the best mug cake recipe I've tried. You could add cookie butter in place of the hazelnut spread. Or even add chocolate syrup after you bake it. The possibilities are endless! 


 Let me know if you try it. Enjoy!

~Lisa 

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