Friday, June 23, 2017

Cleaning and Purging

Oh, y'all...I spent about 10 hours the other day cleaning and purging stuff from all over my house. Nothing was safe. Lol! I started with my master closet and filled bag after bag with stuff I no longer needed. I soon moved on to my bathroom cabinets and linen closet. I still had a Mary Kate and Ashley flat iron...I kid you not. Ha! It felt so good to gain some space back. 




Then I moved on to the guest bath and cleaned out the cabinets and linen closet in there. Next up was the kitchen junk drawers. Yes, drawers as in plural. I have two. ;) They weren't bad, but did need some straightening up.




Then I tackled the pantry. Oh my...I had two gallons of snow cone syrup that expired in 2014! They were on the top shelf and we hadn't used them in years, but still. 

I had to share these funny cat butt magnets my mom gave me...



Do you see them on the right side of the pic above? So funny! 

Here's a closer look:


Ha ha!





You wouldn't believe how many things I got rid of out of that pantry. 


All in all, I filled about 10 bags with stuff I no longer needed/wanted. And I'm talking those huge 33 gallon lawn and leaf bags. We also donated a whole truck full of stuff to Good Will. 

The next morning, I woke up bright and early and moved all the furniture out of the kitchen and dining room (except the big buffet pieces) and cleaned the wood floors. Then the boys got the oil changed in two of our cars, I did 5 loads of laundry, and made the rounds at Target, Walmart, the post office, etc. It was a long but productive day. 

It feels so good to have a clean, organized house, don't you think? I'm really enjoying all the new found space too. 

P.S. I've been getting a lot of requests lately to do a blog post on my exercise routine and my favorite low calorie snack/meal options. I should have that post up really soon. 

Hope y'all have a good day!

~Lisa 


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

This and That

How is your summer going? Ours is off to a great start! I watched a really good movie the other day..."Walk the Line." It's 12 years old and I just watched it for the first time, y'all! I was surprised at how much I liked it. It was very interesting, for sure. Oh, and are y'all watching the new series called "Downward Dog?" It's so cute! A talking dog...that gets me every time. :) It comes on again tonight at 7 on ABC. 

I've been pretty good at keeping up with my exercise routine this summer, but I was getting bored with just the treadmill. I wanted to incorporate something new into my routine, so I got one of these fitness balls...


I love it! When I'm bouncing on it, I can't help but think of Dwight on "The Office" though. Lol! It came with a little instruction booklet with recommended exercises. My favorites are push ups seen here...



And the ball pass seen here...



I knew it was working when I woke up with sore muscles the next day. :) I'm enjoying doing these exercises first, then running/power walking on the treadmill. It's good to mix things up a bit. 

While we're on the topic of exercise and keeping healthy, I wanted to share these with y'all. These have been on my lunch rotation for several months now...




Some of you have asked how I stay on track when I'm also posting about all those ice cream treats I've been finding. Good question! Lol! As far as the ice cream and other treats, I usually only have a couple of spoonfuls. That seems to satisfy my sweet tooth. And honestly, I could go forever without ever eating ice cream or pie. Now cake and cookies might be a little harder. ;) And if given the choice between a juicy steak and freshly baked bread, I'd pick bread every single time. :) I'm not much of a meat eater. 

I've mentioned this before, but if you're not much of a meat eater either, sometimes you can get low on iron. I found a great way to incorporate more iron into my diet...


Just one cup of Frosted Mini Wheats provides 90% of your daily iron requirement. Also, Vitamin C helps your body absorb iron, so if you take a Vitamin C along with your cereal, that'll help even more. Just a little PSA for you today. :) 

I also weigh myself every morning. I definitely indulge in treats every now and then, like the ice cream cake we had for my son's graduation party and every Friday is "Pizza Friday" around here. We also make a weekly stop at Chick fil A. But for the most part, I try to eat pretty healthy the rest of the time. You can't deny yourself treats all the time or it'll backfire. When I do indulge, I try to run a little farther on the treadmill for the next couple of days. Not too much farther, but maybe another half mile or so. 

In other news, I found another new hair product to try and it works great! It's Pantene Pro-V Smoothing Combing Creme. It's a leave in combing creme and it fights frizz like a champ! I like it as well as my all time favorite, Suave Sleek Anti Frizz Smooth and Shine Cream. Some of you were having trouble finding the Suave one, so I wanted to report this one is really good too. 



I wash and condition like usual, then after towel drying my hair, I apply this and comb it through. Then I blow dry as usual, then use my curling iron to further smooth it out while adding in a little bouncy curl. I love how it keeps my hair practically frizz free.

Speaking of curling irons, I picked this one up the other day. I'd been wanting a bigger barrel for looser curls, so I got this one...


It seems to be just right for producing those big loose curls. :)

This is my attempt to take a pic of my big loose curls, lol...




I recently mentioned my son went to New Braunfels with friends. They rented an airbnb and look what was waiting for them right outside their door...



He said there were so many deer just lounging around like this! He's never been so close to one before. I thought that was so neat! 

Here's another pic from their little vacation...




Gosh, I love these kids! 

Y'all have a great day!

~Lisa 


Sunday, June 18, 2017

Graduation Party 2017

Most of you know my youngest son Logan graduated from high school recently. We are so proud of him and all he's accomplished. Next up, he'll be starting college in the fall. He had a graduation party at the house for all his friends, but we also had a little family get together later in the week. 

For the family party, I went for something simple and easy. I asked him what kind of food he wanted and he said tacos from Taco Bell, chips and salsa from our local Mexican restaurant and an ice cream cake. So that's precisely what we did. :) 

I've used this sign multiple times now for my older son's high school graduation, his college graduation, and now my youngest son's high school graduation. 



Logan's sweet friend recently had a graduation party and used this cute banner. Since our party was right after hers, she offered to let us use her banner too. It worked out perfectly! Thanks, Payton! 


Here's the table before the food arrived. 



I've had those "Congrats Grad" trays for a long time too. Got them on clearance at Joann's. And see the pictures hanging from twine on the frame? Those are all Logan's first day of school pics from Pre-K through his senior year in high school. :) 





I also framed his graduation announcement. See that tablecloth? It's a vinyl one that I keep reusing over and over. :) And I lucked out and found plates and napkins at Walmart that matched my tablecloth and trays I already had. 



We got the 12 pack of tacos from Taco Bell as requested and paired them with some chips and red and green sauce from a local place. 



The yummy ice cream cake...



I made my famous frozen punch too. It's so refreshing and yummy, especially on a hot day. You can click HERE for the recipe.





I found these handy little condiment containers at Walmart. They're disposable and worked perfectly for holding individual servings of salsa. 


And that was our little grad celebration! The graduate then went on to enjoy a much deserved vacation with friends to New Braunfels. They had so much fun floating the river, going to The Island, playing around in Canyon Lake and relaxing all week long. Ah, the life!

~Lisa 



Wednesday, June 14, 2017

What's Blooming in the Garden June 2017

I snapped a few pics in the back garden the other day and thought I'd share what's blooming right now. 

Spring and summer are full of colorful blooms. These are a few of my favorites...

It's normally way too hot for Impatients this time of year, but these seem to thrive under the shade of the bald cypress. We've had them for several years. This must be the perfect spot for them. My clover is several years old as well. It seems to like it here too. :) 

houston gardening
 Don't you love my Ladybug Crossing sign?

The white Angelonia came back, even after a freeze last winter. The white ones seem to be a bit more hardy than the purple. And of course, my favorite...blue plumbago in the background. 


angelonia


One of the few purple Angelonia that survived the winter. 

flowers that bloom in Houston


Yellow Esperanza...


Shrimp plant...


A few pretty Zinnias...


My hubby planted these blue flowers from seeds, but I can't remember what they're called. Is it Forget Me Nots? 



Here's a close up. For some reason, I think I remember seeing Forget Me Not seeds lying around. 



I love a good Marigold... 

iphone 7 depth effect

Some of you may have read about these on my IG post. I had about 30 minutes to run to the garden center to pick up some flowers for the banquet we hosted. I literally rushed in, saw these, loved them, discovered they were on sale half off, and plopped them into my cart without a second thought. I love the mixture of different color blooms in each pot. 

wishbone flower

Aren't they gorgeous? They weren't labeled and the garden worker wasn't sure what they were called, so I took to IG with my question. Almost immediately, several sweet friends told me they're called "Torenia" or "Wishbone Flower." I'm happy to report they're doing very well in our Houston heat. They're blooming like crazy and my Texas friends tell me they're very hardy. Sounds like a winner! 

Here are a few more of the Wishbone Flower...




One more of my Blue Plumbago, just because I love it so much. It's a constant bloomer from about March to January.


Hope you enjoyed this little tour of my garden. Wishing you all a wonderful day!

~Lisa 

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

A Little Home Decor


Happy Tuesday! I had a to-do list a mile long today: I had to buy a graduation card, look for small disposable serving cups with lids (for a small gathering coming up...I needed something to serve individual portions of salsa) a Walmart trip, stock up on sunscreen for upcoming trips, pick up pool tags, pay car tags, change a/c filters, look for plain napkins for the guest bath, order a cake, shop for Angelonia for the garden (since they did so well last year and even survived a freeze last winter) then a stop by the bank and I was done. Whew! 

Sorry for the delay in posting lately, but as you can see, we've been very busy. :) All in the last month, we've had prom weekend (two, actually) senior banquet, a film banquet at our house (that was a lot of fun and we even escaped the rain) then graduation and all that's associated with that. Now we just have a small gathering this weekend and then hopefully things will calm down for a couple of weeks until all our summer birthdays start up. :) 

And in the middle of all this, something else exciting was brewing. I can't say exactly what yet, but it has to do with a move (and no, we're not the ones moving) I'm such a tease, right? Lol! Hopefully I can share the news soon. :) 

I took some home decor pics the other day (while the house was clean) and thought I'd share a few. Am I the only one who likes to take pics after I clean? :) 

The lighting worked out and I was able to get a good shot of the dining room. I'm still loving the DIY CHANDY MAKEOVER. The bulbs make all the difference. 



Those leopard print pillows are still going strong. I don't know when I'll ever tire of them. :) 


I haven't changed my mantel in a long time, which is unusual for me. 




I had to laugh at Miss Holly Joaquin's silhouette in the window. I decided to keep my windows "naked" when we did our MASTER BEDROOM MAKEOVER and I still love it that way. You can't really tell in this sun filled pic, but we just framed the windows out and left them bare without any curtains or window treatments of any kind (other than the wood blinds) 



And that's about it. Thanks for stopping by!

~Lisa 



Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Cookie Bars, Daily Life and Cozy Mystery Books

Hello there! I'd like to share a recipe with you today. I've made chocolate chip cookie bars before, but I've always made them in either a pizza pan or a 13x9 pan. When I found a recipe using a 15x10 jelly roll pan, I had to try it too. 



Don't they look scrumptious? They were thin, because of the shallow pan and I loved that. 

Here's a link to the recipe I used:



While we're in the kitchen, I'll share this pic of Holly Joaquin right after she ate her allotted two treats a day...


She always looks like she wants more. :) 

I took this pic the other day right after I cleaned the house and was just about to reward myself with a cup of coffee...



I love enjoying a cup of coffee and a good book with a clean house in the background. 

Speaking of books, I've been devouring several cozy mysteries lately and thought I'd share. 

I'm pretty much splitting my time between these four series:

The Darling Deli Series by Patti Benning and Summer Prescott Books:

*Right now, you can get books 1, 2, and 3 in The Darling Deli Series on Amazon (Kindle version) for only .99¢!!!







The Killer Cookie Series by Patti Benning:







The Sweet Cove Mysteries by J A Whiting:







The Frosted Love Series by Carol Durand and Summer Prescott:







The "Darling Deli Series" by Patti Benning and Summer Prescott Books and "The Killer Cookie Series" also by Patti Benning are so good! Click HERE for a link to both of these and to purchase them on Amazon. I'm already on book 14 of the Darling Deli series and book 4 of the Killer Cookie series. 

Y'all know I'm a big fan of "cozy mysteries" and these really deliver. They both contain lot of small town happenings, recipes, quirky neighbors, and wonderful descriptions of their quaint home towns. You can read more about each series in the link above. 

I can't get enough of the "Sweet Cove Mystery Series" by J A Whiting. Click HERE to read more about it and purchase on Amazon. I'm on book 7 of this series and can't seem to put them down. What I love about this one is all the small town charm. There's a bakery and a candy shop, historic homes and gardens, and lots of interesting characters. 

I'm also really really enjoying the Frosted Love Series by Carol Durand and Summer Prescott. Click HERE to read more about this series or purchase it on Amazon. I love that this one revolves around the life of Missy who owns a muffin and cupcake shop in Louisiana. I'm on book 15 in this series. 


In each one of these books there is usually a murder, but because these are "cozies" there's not a lot of blood and gore and they always keep you guessing as to who the killer is. They all draw you in with the small town charm, sweet treats and a good old fashioned mystery.

And I simply can't talk about cozy mysteries without mentioning the one who started it all for me...Southern Sisters Mysteries by Anne George I loved this series! Probably my favorite cozy to date. I've read the whole series at least twice. :) 

I've posted this link before, but in case you missed it, I'll post it again. This is the Fantastic Fiction site:

https://www.fantasticfiction.com/

It has all the info you could want on any book or series. You can search by author or title. I love that I can search an author and it will list all the series by that author. It also lists all the books in any particular series in order with links to purchase the books on Amazon. 

All these books I talked about today are available on Amazon and range from .99 cents to about $3.99 on Kindle and sometimes they offer the first in the series for free!

Here are links to past posts I've done on my favorite Cozy Mysteries: 

COZY MYSTERY BOOKS

 COZY MYSTERY BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS

 COZY MYSTERIES



Hope y'all enjoy your day! 

~Lisa




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