Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Lea's Favorites

I'm pretty sure I've never done one of my favorites post except on Friday's.  And, not sure why, but I'm breaking that habit this week and bringing one your way today.  But, first, let me say a word to all my blogging friends............I am so confused by all the changes taking place with Blogger and I imagine you are as well.  I am most upset about "the no reply blogger" and not being able to receive my comments through email.  Surely, surely, this is NOT permanent.  Guess we'll all deal with it but it sure is aggravating! Okay, now with that out of the way, let me share a few of my latest favorites with you.

I cannot believe that I have not shared this before now as this has been a favorite of mine for the last several years.  I have made Monkey Bread from scratch and I promise you, this is every bit as good and it's so quick and easy.  Just pop in the microwave straight from the freezer and in a matter of minutes you have ooey, gooey, cinnamon goodness.  I usually serve it with some kind of egg casserole when we have company.  The only thing it is lacking is pecans but that's very easy to fix.  Just sprinkle some chopped pecans on top once you turn it out on a plate after it is warmed.   I get mine in the freezer section at Wal-Mart where frozen rolls are located.

I really don't use cookbooks much anymore due to the ease of finding recipes on the internet.  But, every once in a while a cookbook comes out that I feel I just must have.  That was the case of this one, Magnolia Table by JoAnna Gaines of the famed "Fixer Upper" duo. It is so fun to browse through and her famous biscuit recipe is in here.  I think it would make a lovely gift as well.

I've been hearing about the riced veggies and decided to give these a whirl a couple of weeks ago.  I definitely give these my stamp of approval.  AND, this entire bag ONLY has 100 calories and I could only eat about 2/3 of the bag along with some crackers for lunch.  It needed salt and pepper for my seasoning taste but it will become a regular on my lunch menu for sure. 

One of the gals that was on our NYC trip shared this "jewel" with us (her eye doctor had told her about them) and I think all of us went right out and bought them.  Dry eyes seem to be an epidemic and I've had them for about 10 years and was prescribed  terribly expensive drops, I mean EXPENSIVE!!!! Well, I have been using this moist heat compress on my eyes for a week and have not used any drops whatsoever and my eyes are totally comfortable.  I am just shocked that all eye care professionals do not tell patients about these.  I mean, really!!!!  These are $7.99 at our local Walgreens and $9.99 on Amazon.  Makes one wonder about the kickbacks that doctors likely get when they prescribe certain drugs. It's all I can figure out as to why they would not all be pushing this.  I have what the doctor has called severe dry eye and so far this has kept it under control without the use of Retasis.  So, all you dry eye folks, run out and get yourself some of these!  And, I forgot to mention how good this feels, sort of like a spa treatment.

And, I found out about these while on my NYC trip as well.  Our "guides" daughter that lives there in NYC wore Rothy's almost everyday we were there.  I thought they were so cute and commented and she began telling us how they are made from recycled plastic water bottles.  Yes, can you believe that? They are then transformed in a very comfortable knitted shoe.  I am not a big fan of flat shoes but these are just soooo cute so I bought myself the Flat pictured above.  Click on the link and go check out all the cute colors and patterns they come in.  They are a bit on the expensive side, range from $125 - $165. But, they are made with low-waste, low-impact materials, so guess that must be worth a lot. ~chuckle~

So, there you have it, the latest edition of "Lea's Favorites" on a Wednesday! 

Friday, May 25, 2018

New York New York

Well, my goodness, seems I have been gone from this place for wayyyy to long.  I had every intention of giving you a recap of my NY trip earlier this week, but I've been under the weather and just wasn't up to the task.  I came down with a cold about 4 days before we left and by the time we got home 5 days later I had full blown bronchitis and a sinus infection.  I was sitting at the doctors office first thing Monday morning.  The weather was less than desirable while we were there, rainy and chilly/cold, so that didn't help my condition at all.  But, I plugged right on as if I had good sense. I mean, we have had this trip planned for months and I couldn't let a little cold stand in the way of a good time. I'm pleased to report that I am much better, still a ways to go, but much improved.  Now on to the business at hand.................and, just so you know, I used my IPhone for all these pics and some are definitely less than stellar, especially the inside ones, but the outside ones make up for it.  I just wasn't going to carry my Nikon camera, too much trouble.

And, here I am, after having gotten up at 3:00 AM about to check in at the airport.

This is all but one of us on the plane and our fearless guide and the instigator of this trip lives in Austin and she flew from there and met us.  I thought we were a pretty good looking group of Southern gals.  And, believe you me, everyone we came in contact with in NY knew we were Southern gals. ~chuckle~

The Marmara was our home away from home for our 4 days there.  We had a 1400 square foot apartment on the 27th floor with these beautiful views. 

This is Beth, the organizer of this trip, our guide for our trip with the able assistance of her lovely daughter, who lives in NYC.  They both stayed very busy figuring out which subway to take or hailing a Uber.  They did an excellent job and it was so, so helpful that Elisabeth lives there and knows her way around.  Our apartment was less than a block from where she and her husband live.

As I mentioned earlier, the weather was not what we would have ordered for sure and this is what we looked like a whole lot of the time. Some days were a drizzle and one day was pure ole rain.

Let me say, we did NOT miss a meal!  We dined fabulously at such places as Sarabeth's, Otto's, Sardi's, Tavern on the Green, the Botanical Garden Cafe and The Barking Dog.  We were all in hopes that all of our walking off set the calories we consumed.  And, yes, that is a pizza with a fried egg in the middle of it. The egg yolk is broken and spread on top of the pizza.  Well, I must confess, I did not even try it.  Nothing about that combination sounded like anything I would like. That concoction was at Otto's.  I chose a different pizza and we had a pasta dish and salad and it was all good.  I think my favorite meal was at Sarabeth's.  I had an omelet, the best crispy bacon and English muffin I've pretty much ever had.  The Barking Dog had a super great breakfast as well.  Can you tell that I do love breakfast?  And, I never eat breakfast except when eating it out.

Our mode of transportation was the subway (and I'm pretty sure we rode them all), Uber's (my first experience with them) and inbetween we rode a lot of escalators.  Needless to say, we learned real quick, "to hang on."

We visited the absolutely gorgeous 911 Memorial Museum one morning.  I had seen the site about 6 months after the horrible attack and then saw it again while the memorial was under construction. It is truly unbelievable all of the thought that went into this museum.  All I'll say, if you ever have an opportunity to visit it, don't miss it!!!  It is so touching.

One evening we all "gussied up" and went out for a night on the town.  We dined at Sardi's and then took in a Broadway play.  I thought we Southern gals cleaned up quite nicely. ~wink~

Here we are in our "made for this trip" comfy lounging clothes.  This group of women was formed to celebrate each other's birthdays 20+ years ago.  After a few years went by one of our group named us "The Formidible Women" and that name has stuck ever since.  So, I felt like we had to have tee shirts to commemorate this trip so my sweet daughter in law went to work on creating these shirts.

 And, I found these cute pajama pants to match the tees.  I gave them to the gals our first night there and we all enjoyed lounging around in them while we were in our apartment.  My daughter said that we should have worn them one day with jeans for all the world to see.  I told her that this group of Southern gals just wouldn't do that. ~laugh~  We'd just use them for lounge wear.  But, I can assure you that we could have worn this outfit out on the streets of NYC and been perfectly in style. ~just not our style~

One afternoon we went to the big Century 21 department store, the discounted one.  It was overwhelming to say the least but Mary K. and I found the Bobbi Brown makeup counter and had ourselves a little fun with eye makeup.  As you can tell from the pics, there's something that causes all women to hold their mouths a certain way when either they or someone else is applying makeup.  I'm  not sure why it's that way, but you should see me when I'm applying my mascara.  A sight for sure!

Our last day was spent at the gorgeous Botanical Gardens.  It was a terribly rainy day so we were thankful that much of the gardens are under cover.  The place is huge and kept immaculate and it has to be a 24/7 job for a whole lot of folks.  We enjoyed a nice lunch at their cafe and enjoyed browsing their lovely gift shop.  It's another stop to add to your visit if you've never been.  And, hopefully the sun will be shining for you.

It was a trip for the books for sure!  We shared a lot of laughs, a lot of fun, a lot of togetherness, and are indeed thankful for the gift of our friendship.

Image result for quotes and images about friendship

Monday, May 14, 2018

Monday's Moments

It's another Monday and the day after Mother's Day.  Hope yours was special. 

This beautiful arrangement showed up at my door Friday afternoon from my daughter  She knows that I love fresh flowers and she also knows that I do not like to receive them in a clear vase. ~I know, strange, but I don't~  Thankfully she knows the florist here very well and they know me very well, so it works. ~smile~

Our son and his family joined us for lunch and came with this pretty gift bag and of course, a lovely gift was inside.  It was a lovely celebration with my two favorite Gran girls and their Dad and Mom.  And, for "icing on the cake" we had dear friends join our celebration as well.  And, the best part was that we enjoyed a delicious meal that someone else prepared and we got to leave all the clean up to them.  It works for me!!!


I hosted our study club last Thursday here in our home.  I went with dressy casual table settings and was rather proud of my arrangements.  And, the gorgeous beaded table runner from Pier 1 just added to the look.

I am very challenged when it comes to flower arranging so I used Button Ferns in containers and then put alstroemeria lillies in the floral tubes down in the ferns.  They really looked good. ~or so I thought~

On the dining room table I used both roses and alstroemeria lillies and the roses were my favorite. The florist tubes give a whole lot more options, such as allowing you to use fresh flowers in dirt.

Many of you know that our daughter and her family breed and raise Welsh Pembroke Corgi's.  Well, they had a litter about 6 weeks ago and Coleman absolutely goes berserk when a new litter is born.  He loves and loves and loves them and of course, when they are 8 weeks old he has to bid them good bye to their new owners.  But, he knows that it won't be too many months before another litter arrives.

My nephew graduated this past Saturday from Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa.  He is now off to take his stake in this big ole world.  I know the Lord has great  things in store for him and I'm excited to see it all unfold.  He's pictured here with his Dad (my brother), his Mom and sister.

Image result for New York city

AND, come Wednesday morning I'll be headed to New York City with 5 dear girlfriends.  One of those girlfriends just happens to have a daughter that lives there and she is going to be our guide and she and her Mom have made all kinds of fun plans for us "older ladies."  My suitcase is pretty much packed and it's looking like the weather could be a bit "iffy" with rain some of the time but, as we know, that could change and that's what we are praying and hoping for.  We do not have time for rain but I did order a cute lightweight rain poncho and it will arrive today.  I have a lovely rain jacket but I don't want to have to fool with anything that bulky.  I'm pretty sure I will have more to share than the law allows when I return next Sunday.  Stay tuned..............

Have a wonderful new week!

Friday, May 11, 2018

Lea's Favorites

It's been too long since I've done a "favorites" post so I worked hard to get this one together this week so as not to disappoint you another week. ~wink~ 

Okay ladies, it's spring and if you are like me, you start thinking about your lily white legs.  That is unless you are blessed with a natural tan.  I have been using this Jergens Natural Glow for probably 3-4 years.  It comes in both a lotion and cream.  I prefer the cream and it comes in fair to medium and medium to dark color.  I've always used the fair to medium and it gives my legs just enough color.  I've tried more self tanners over the years and most leave this "orangy" tint and have an awful odor.  And, it says it has "firming" properties but I cannot attest to that at all, I'm just recommending the tanning ability. ~chuckle~ 

I happened upon these GLUCK chips about a month ago and they have become my favorite chip.  I LOVE the hotness of these but they have a less spicy flavor as well, if that suits you better.  These chips are very crispy and very low in calories.  They are not found with the regular chips but rather by the rice cakes.  I'm not sure why but didn't want you hunting unsuccessfully for them. I love to just grab a handful and munch on them and their great with a sandwich. 
I'm pretty sure you have seen the red copper cookware by now.  I kept hearing such great reviews about it that I decided to buy a piece of it.  I bought the muffin pan and let me tell you, the muffins will slide right out of this pan without any worry whatsoever.  I want to try the skillet but I already have a skillet and rarely even use a skillet, so have not bought one of those just yet.  But, my daughter has one and she raves about it.  So, if you are in the market for any new cookware you might give the red copper a try.  

Surely I have already told you about this, but, in case I haven't. you need to know about it.  It's the pre-cooked sausage and it's all crumbled and ready to use and it's turkey, which means it's a whole lot healthier.(it also comes in pork as well)  It's a win all the way around.  I use it for homemade pizza, egg casseroles and mix with ground beef in my lasagna.

I've been on the look out for a safe cleaner for our LED and LCD TV screens and I found it!  This is the best cleaner and it's also for computer, smart phones and tablet screens as well.  It is sprayed on the cloth that comes with the spray, NOT directly on the screen and I was amazed at what a great job it did.  And, of course, you can order it right off Amazon.

I've been in the market for a new flat iron and since I absolutely love my new L'ange blow dryer I decided to check out their flat irons.  I went strictly by the reviews I read on it and by the fact that I am so very happy with the blow dryer.  And, I have not been disappointed.  It is so smooth and has a heat setting of up to 450 degrees.  And, I have thick, course hair and need the higher temps but I think it goes all the way down to 300 degrees for those with fine, thin hair.  It is $179 plus tax and shipping, which is VERY expensive but it is on sale for half price quite often so if you want one, just keep checking until you see it on sale.  In fact, they are having a big Mother's Day sale right now and  I just saw where it is 50% off.  Mine is the Le Reve'.  You can get it in black or the blush color.  You can click here for the website. 

So there you have it, another edition of my "favorites." Let me leave you with this............

Image result for mothers day quotes
Happy Mother's Day weekend!!

Monday, May 7, 2018

TBB Asks - May Edition

And, those Blended Blog gals are back with their questions for May and I'm back with my answers.

1. Comedy or Drama?
A little comedy goes a long way with me, so I have to say drama and a little humor mixed in is fine too.  I prefer the drama to not be too heavy. ~grin~

2. Fiction or Non-Fiction?
I prefer fiction and Karen Kingbury's are some of the best!

3. Movies in Theater or At Home?
I am much less distracted and more focused at the theater but we rarely go to the movies.  And, we rarely watch them at home but the beauty of that is when I have to go to the potty all I have to do is hit pause. ~chuckle~

5. Which Meal of the day is your favorite to eat out?
It would be BREAKFAST hands down!!  And, I rarely ever do that and all my daily breakfast is at home is a Special K  or Fiber One bar.  But, it is a real treat to go out and have a BIG breakfast of scrambled eggs, crispy bacon and a biscuit.  Yummy!!

6. Favorite Book ever read? 

Image result for Redeeming love book

It would be Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers.  Oh, my goodness, it is based on the book of Hosea from the Bible.  What a story!!!!  Once you start it, you can't put it down.

7. Game Night: Yes or No? 
Image result for mexican train dominoes

Oh, I do love playing games and several times in the past few months we have had friends over to play the Domino game of Mexican Train. Lots of fun and laughs!

8. Favorite Outside Game to play?
Hummmm.....don't think I have a favorite outside game. 

9. Favorite TV Series ever?
No doubt about it, Longmire!!!!! It was on TV for 4 seasons and then Netflix picked it up for 2 more for a total of 6 seasons.  Hubby and I watched it on Netflix and thoroughly enjoyed it.

10. Sitcoms growing up or Sitcoms of today?
Oh, I don't know if these are considered sitcoms or not but I Love Lucy, Lassie, Flipper, Mr. Ed and on and on were my favorite shows.  Sitccoms of today, well, I watch NONE! I've never seen one that had any appeal to me.

11. Miniature Golf or Bowling?
It would have to be miniature golf.  Hubby is a golfer and I'm a whole lot better at hitting that little white ball than I am throwing that big heavy ball down the alley.  I promise, it is not pretty!

12. Favorite Movie Theater Candy?
Image result for movie popcorn

Don't care anything about movie candy, just give me a big ole tub of popcorn and I'm a happy gal and will eat every bite by myself.

13. How do you like your popcorn?
Well, I like/love it with lots of greasy hot butter but I NEVER eat it that way.  I resist the temptation and just enjoy salted popcorn minus the butter.  

14. 3D movies with the glasses; Yes or No? 
I have never been to a 3D movie and am just as happy.  I've worn 3D glasses at Disney attractions and that's enough for me.

15. Favorite Genre of Books to Read? 
Anxious for Nothing, Softcover  -     By: Max Lucado

I prefer inspirational books and this is the one I am currently reading and I highly recommend it. We live in such a chaotic world and there are so, so many situations to make us anxious.  This book will set you straight on being anxious, all straight out of God's Word. 

Well, that's was fun and hope you enjoyed it.  Now, hope it's a simply wonderful week for you!

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Yes siree, it's Wednesday and that means, questions by Joyce and answers by Lea. 

1. April showers bring May flowers or so the saying goes. Is there a flower you associate with a particular memory? Explain.

Not really a particular flower but all flowers in general cause me to think of my husband.  He loves beautiful flowers as much as any man I know and he always makes sure that our yard is just as full as it can possibly be of them. This is a picture taken this past Sunday morning of one of his beautiful Iris'.

2. Last time you helped someone? Tell us how.

Image result for mini Keurig

On Monday I helped my Dad learn out to use a Keurig coffee pot.  Bless his sweet hear, he only has about 30% vision so this type task is sooo hard for him but he wanted a little coffee pot in his efficiency apartment.  I got him a mini-Keurig (I didn't even know they made such) with the most simple operation in hopes that he could handle the task.  We went over the process several times, open the pod holder, place the pod in and then press the desired size and above all, make sure you have your mug under the outlet.  Oh, that is a whole, whole lot for him to master but we shall see  how it goes.  There is always coffee down in the dining area but, as he would say, it's so old it's grown whiskers and strong enough to walk out the door.  So, he wanted his own pot where he could have a fresh cup in the afternoons.  And, I am there most afternoons so I can brew it for him but he still enjoys doing as much as possible for himself.  Bless him! 

3. It's National Salsa Month (the food, not the dance) so tell us, do you like salsa? Hot, medium, or mild? Homemade, store bought, or from your favorite restaurant only?

Image result for chips and salsa

Indeed I do like it and the hotter the better!  We have a local Mexican restaurant that serves a very good medium hot Salsa.  I don't imagine a restaurant is going to serve a hot Salsa because the majority of folks want it mild or medium.  But, give me some hot Salsa and chips and I can put it away but I pretty much whatever kind is available.

4. When I was twelve years old...

When I was 12 years old my Momma had a baby and it was one of the most exciting times in my life.  I claimed him as my own and still do to this day.  The picture above was taken when he was 4-5 months old and it not a great picture at all but it brings back soooooo many memories for me.  None of us look all that happy for sure but especially my Mom and other brother.  Daddy and I sort of have a half grin and look my glasses.  Was I stylin' or what?

5. It's the first of May so let's run with it-first things first, don't know the first thing about it, first dibs on something, first impression, first rate, first cousin, first string, first come first served, at first light-which phrase can best be applied to something in your life currently or even recently?

I'm going to say, first impression.  Our neighbors daughter is graduating from high school and while I don't really know her all that well, I wanted to give her something for graduation.  We had a bit of a time connecting so she just stopped by one afternoon last week and picked it up.  I'm not sure we had ever officially met, but have done a lot of waving up and down our street.  Well, let me just say, she could not have impressed me any more if she had tried last week.  I told her Mom she was such a lovely young lady, so polite, hugged my neck, expressed her appreciation for the gift in such a sweet way.  My heart was full and encouraged when she left.  There really are some great kids in this world! 

6. Insert your own random thought here.

I probably should save this for my "favorites post" but I'm going to go ahead and share it with you today.  You can thank me later. ~smile~  I found these Liverpool jeggings at one of local boutiques about a month ago and fell in love with them.  They had a very limited number so I clicked over to Nordstroms and they have every style of Liverpool jean made.  If you like the ones pictured above, you can click here to find them.  And, they are so reasonably priced at $79.  And, that's my random thought for today.