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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Kiss My Sparkly, Taboo And Feisty Tiara

It's moi's turn at ELC's “wordy” shenanigans.

TLC's Words of Wonder:

Feisty. Synonymous with sassy. I'm generally quite feisty after two cups of coffee in the morning. It's the caffeine. When I contemplate this word, I can't help but think of Bernice Clifton, the wacky character on the most delightful television show EVER – Designing Women. Particularly the episode where Carlene moves into a new apartment. Bernice wants to "Indian leg wrestle" everyone. (I don't know what that is. I'm afraid to Google it. Nevertheless, it makes me LOL.) And in true Bernice-style, she has this feisty conversation with Mary Jo:

Bernice: Hi everybody! I'm sorry I'm late, but I couldn't resist finding out what “Live Totally Nude” was all about.

Mary Jo: Well, what is it all about?

Bernice: Listen sister, I'm not telling. If you want to know, you go pay $17.50 for a bad Mai Tai, and then we'll talk. Dear me — what is that awful smell? Has somebody been spraying for bugs?

Mary Jo: No, that's some of Carlene's homemade potpourri. We all won some as a door prize.

Bernice: Well, you need to take that and get the hell out of here. It stinks.

Bernice Clifton
image via here

Sparkly. My motto: Glitter is life. The rest is just details. I love all things sparkly. Sequins. Conversations. Smiles. Vampires. Especially vampires. How dull would the world be without a little BLING?

image via Pinterest and here

Taboo. What a funny looking word. I giggle when I see it because of the "boo." I know. I'm a little fruitcake. I typically try and steer clear of taboo topics. I'm not one for controversy. It makes me nervous. But I do like saying this word because I feel it makes me sound almost sophisticated. Yes. Yes, I do.

Tiara. My most beloved "tiara-ism" has to be:

image via Pinterest and here

This tickles me. Bottom line: I need a tiara. Period. STAT. It would totally class up my trips to Walmart.

Wicked. Well, first, I love the Broadway musical, Wicked. This is the number one reason this word made my list. I also happen to ADORE Fall. Fall makes me think of Halloween. Halloween makes me think of witches. Witches = Wicked. There you go (said like the Dad in My Big Fat Greek Wedding).

Woozy. Could there BE (said like Chandler from Friends) a more fun word to say? Things that make me woozy: hunger, lack of sleep, Rob Pattinson, cupcakes and if I drink too much booze-y. (Sorry. I couldn't resist the rhyming opportunity.) Oh. And my husband. I totally meant to list him first. Truly. Cross my heart. Shhh.

Tsotchke. I have to look-up the proper spelling of this word every single last time I want to use it. It's tricky. Synonyms: gewgaws (I have no clue. Ask Wikipedia. Or ELC. She knows stuff like this.), knickknacks, trinkets, kitsch, baubles and/or swag. I don't think I own lots of tsotchkes (Don't tell Hubby I said this. You know he thinks I already "over-accessorize" our home.), but I might. ASAP. Just so I can start saying this word more often.

Hodgepodge. When I think hodgepodge, I think "eclectic." And I would generally describe my life as a big ol' eclectic jumble o' fun. I don't like things to be matchy-matchy. While I consider organization a hobby of mine, most every other aspect of my life is random – my taste in music, my wardrobe, my reality TV preferences, my favourite (fancy spelling) foods. I wouldn't want it any other way.

Now I shall attempt a sentence using all of these words. Here I go:

The feisty Princess was having a difficult time deciding which sparkly tiara she would don for the ball, because she had just finished taking inventory of her hodgepodge collection of Twilight tsotchkes, and the rather taboo bobble head of a shirtless Edward made her feel woozy; thus, the only cure would be to listen to her most cherished soundtrack – Wicked: The Musical.

TA DA! I realize I might have slightly cheated, since I didn't use "wicked" properly. And it’s technically a “run-on” sentence. Oopsie.

Your turn!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

In A Taffeta Tizzy

When I was growing up, writing (penmanship), grammar, punctuation, and spelling were taught from kindergarten through our senior year. In 6th grade, we had to start learning how to diagram a sentence, often doing it up at the board. I remember being hugely embarrassed when my teacher called on me to go up there—in front of the class—and I couldn’t figure out how to get past the noun and verb. I’ve always been grateful for the incredible English/Reading/Writing teachers I had.

Like millions and trillions before me, my love of reading began as a toddler and has never ended. Passing this addiction on to TLC has been a point of pride for me. I am, unfortunately, discovering that a person’s ability to spell, write and be grammatically correct definitely decreases as we age. It becomes semi-critical by the time you hit your 50s. Y’all have probably noticed I occasionally capitalize words that probably should not be capitalized. Sometimes I know I shouldn’t do this. Sometimes I’m not too sure and just go with it. Sometimes I honestly just feel like doing it—like it’s my prerogative. Or my personal right and choice. To emphasize places and things by using any trick I desire. Merci for humoring me.

TLC and I've been talking about words we love to see, read, think about it. Fun words. Dramatic words. Important words. Special words. Once again we have each chosen eight words (In Honor Of The Eighth Month—Ha!) to showcase—with me starting it all off. She’ll follow with her choices in a couple of days. We hope you’ll get tickled or that this triggers you to think of words or phrases that cause you to SMILE, ponder, dream, and think.

ELC’s Words of Wonder:

Shenanigans. Immediately takes me back to my early childhood, teens, college years. I smile (or shudder, as the case may be) at shenanigans I was either a part of—or instigated. All of us have to be involved in some shenanigans, don’t we? As long as they’re legal? I say yes.

Twirly. Can you even say this word without a little grin? Such a girly/prissy/cute word. Makes me think of ballet lessons and Princess costumes and prom dresses. Twirling or being “twirly” will always involve lots o' laughter and happiness. Always.

Whimisical. I wouldn’t care if everyone I know said this word fifteen times a day—or if I read it that many times, too. It’s a tres silly word that conjures up thoughts of interesting/quirky/unique peeps I’ve known—memorable gift stores I’ve been in—how I should want to act—periodically. It’s an attitude. Be whimsical—asap!

Taffeta. I’ve mentioned this word before—on my list of things I consider “fancy.” Taffeta makes me think of Christmas and Weddings and Parties. In my mind, I see the colors of pink (one of TLC’s most gorgeous formal dresses ever was a pale pinkish-coral taffeta—and she looked like a dream come true in it)—or that Christmas “plaid” with reds, greens, blues, blacks, and yellows. I can’t imagine we are ever too old to wear taffeta. Ever. I'm now picturing taffeta yoga pants, TLC. Thoughts?

Tizzy. If you’re feeing overwhelmed, scattered, frustrated, worn out and tired—say this (out loud, preferably): “I’m in such a tizzy!” Make yourself take a few deep breaths—then a few more. Tizzies pass. Thinking of the word “tizzy” to describe your current situation can bring down your stress level by several notches. Trust me.

Whippersnapper. When I looked this up, I was actually surprised! It wasn’t defined the way I really expected it to be. The Oxford American Dictionary says it’s a young and insignificant person who behaves in a presumptuous way. Hmmm. I wasn’t remembering there was an “age limit” on whippersnappers. Or that any whippersnapper I’ve ever known was “insignificant.”  I thought it meant someone older—almost geezer-like. And that the person was energetic and assertive. I like that better, don’t you?

So here’s The ELC American Country Dictionary definition:

Whippersnapper—a young, or middle-aged, or old person who is energetic and assertive and who behaves in a sassy/whimsical way.

Renegade. I feel like I want to be renegade-ish lately. I want to buck some systems. I want to do some unexpected things. I want to be a whippersnapper renegade—that’s sassy. And twirls a lot. There. I said it. And I mean it.

Elegant. Sometimes synonymous with “classy.” I think of Audrey Hepburn. Jackie O. Gone with the Wind—when they’re dancing in ballrooms. I’m not sure I can remember myself ever actually being or feeling “elegant.” (Although, in my Mom-like and uber partial way, I promise TLC was an elegantly beautiful Princess Bride.) It is definitely a word I wouldn’t mind someone using to describe me—at some point. I’m not holding my breath, however. It actually seems to fit more mature women, generally and overall, don’t you agree? Princess Diana would have been 50 this year. I feel she would’ve had that word used every second of every day to describe her. Not only her clothes, but her actions and behaviour (fancy spelling!).

Now, to exercise your brain cells, make a sentence from each of the above words! Or make yourself think of eight more you absolutely adore.

ta-ta for now, mes amis . . .

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

When Henry Met Teddy: A Fairytale

Once Upon A Time (i.e. this past weekend), a (self-appointed) Princess (aka: TLC), her Prince (aka: Her Hubby) and their Royal Pup, Duke Henry, travelled south to a land far, far away to visit her Queen Mum (aka: Queen ELC), her King Dad and THEIR new Royal Dog, Prince Teddy Buddy Boo Bear.

Prince Teddy Buddy Boo Bear

Duke Henry and Prince Teddy immediately became best friends. There was lots of sniffing, running, jumping, playing and general shenanigans. Princess TLC did have to (constantly) remind Duke Henry that it’s impolite and truly bad manners to hog (actually steal) all of Prince Teddy’s toys AND his new bed. That cRaZy Duke Henry is a wild man and quite the rebel. Apparently, that’s just how Ol’ Hank rolls. Prince Teddy was ever the gentleman and graciously shared all of his treasured belongings with Duke Henry. Bless his heart.

While the pups frolicked about the Country (albeit modest) Castle, the Royal Family laughed and laughed, played a rousing game of Trivial Pursuit (btw: the two Dames demand a rematch), and feasted on scrumptious chicken, steak, asparagus, grilled po-tah-toes (please say with an English accent—unless you already are English—then just say normally), and a magnificent salad. All went to bed with happy hearts and full bellies.

Princess TLC, Prince Hubby and Duke Henry departed late the next morn to their (albeit teeny) Castle, but vowed to visit the Countryside again very soon!


Everyone lived happily ever after…

The End.

(I’ll let Queen ELC share the sweet story of their new precious dog/family member, Teddy Buddy Boo Bear, in an upcoming post!)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Aaannnnddddd... DONE.

About three weeks ago, Hubby came into my home office one late afternoon—for a visit. Before he went outside to do our most favorite Texas Summertime Job—watering. I thought it would be interesting to ask him this:

ELC: If you could only go to ONE of these stores—Costco, Lowe’s, Home Depot or Tractor Supply—for the rest of your life—and MY life would be endangered if you cheated—which one would you pick?

Please note: I did not include Cabela’s, Bass Pro, Wally World, Central Market or
Market Street. I thought those would be too much for his heart and soul.

HUBBY: Why? Why are you asking me this?

ELC: Just for fun. Just think about it and pick one. Humor me.

He thought and thought. And thought. A full minute went by.

HUBBY:  Now why are we doing this? Was this on some daytime TV show or something?

ELC: For the one zillionth time—I don’t watch daytime TV. Just answer.

Sheesh. With pain on his face, he thought for about twenty more seconds.

HUBBY: It’s impossible. It’s not fair. I can’t think about picking just one of those.

I felt sorry for him. So I took Costco out. Leaving three. Another thirty seconds went by. I caved again—and took Tractor Supply out. He still did NOT want to have to choose between Home Depot and Lowe’s. Finally, with anguish in his eyes, he said:

Well, I guess I’d give up Home Depot. But I don’t like this.”

I knew he’d have to say that store. I know him sooo well after thirty-four years.

HUBBY: Now let’s have you play this ridiculous game.

Sure! Only he couldn’t even decide which four stores to give me. I had to pick my own. Talk about “not fair.”

ELC: I’ll give myself Dillard’s, Nordstrom, Target and Wally World.

HUBBY: Okay, yes, I would have done those four. (Right. I’ll bet.) So which would you keep if you had to eliminate three and MY life would be endangered if you cheated.

ELC: I’d give them all up except Target.

No hesitation. No three full minutes of agony. DONE.

He smiled, got up and sauntered out the back door. Hasn’t dropped by my office for a little chat since! Cute, Sweet, Silly Man O’ Mine.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


So y’all know TLC adores Piggy Pajamas (click on the link!). And you know I am a breast cancer survivor (click on the link!), although I don’t really like being called a “survivor”—because that’s what I believe we all are when we’ve made it through another day.

What you don’t know is that I am now the proud owner of Pink Owl Pajamas! Woo Hoo!!! TLC got her (original) Owl Pajamas for her last birthday (they were supposed to be a Christmas treat, but this deserving company got overwhelmed with orders after Oprah wore the pjs on her Yosemite trip last Fall. It ended up working out perfectly for TLC’s birthday.) Wish I had the super-clever-cute emails I received from them. They kept me posted every few weeks on the status of my order—which I deeply appreciated. When the jammies arrived, TLC fell in love with them immediately. Wore them that night and said they were/are absolutely the most incredible pjs on Earth. Each time she washes them, they get softer!

Check out their website (click on the link!) and read about Jennifer, Kacy and Stacy, the “three little piggies.” Look at all of their amazing products and see how charming/funny they are! Then go to their blog (click on the link!) and enjoy more of their humor—as a fantastic bonus. They post specials there and on their Facebook (for which TLC and I have not yet succumbed) and Twitter. (TLC does have a Twitter account, but, supposedly, only uses it to keep up with her favorite celebrities—swears she has never actually done a “tweet”—do we believe her?)

When I recently read about their Pink Owl pjs and the fact that the Piggy Gals support the National Breast Cancer Foundation, I decided I’d get TLC to suggest that Hubby gift me a pair for Christmas. Then, while sipping on an iced coffee and reading The Piggy Lounge one lazy, “dog days” afternoon, I asked myself: Why? Why would I wait? I need them. Yesterday. They got here (North Central Texas) in almost no time at all--from Santa Barbara. Hubby and I were actually out of state when I received the email that they’d been shipped. I was greeted with the package at our Post Office this past Tuesday and had them on within seconds of walking into our casa that evening.

ELC's NEW Pink Owl PJs
(notice the silly owl pillow --
in TLC's old bedroom -- aka:  the guest room --
a tribute to T's LOVE of all things OWL) 

They say these pjs are made from 100% organic cotton knit. I think they’re made by beautiful little Fairies—or kind little Keebler Elves—in a lush garden paradise or a secluded mountain retreat—from Land O’ Lakes butter, whipped Philadelphia cream cheese, marshmallow crème and fairy dust. I’m tellin’ y’all the absolute truth: they feel like you’re wearing clouds from heaven. HEAVEN.

Now I know why TLC has threatened to wear them to work. I can see it happening—me walking around Wally World—grinning at the Greeters, shopping, smiling—and wearin’ my Pink Owl Pajamas. (Seriously, I did see a little Granny Lady there last week in her Moo-Moo gown.  She looked darling and tres comfy. Good for her and her chutzpah!)

The Piggies now giggle at us Wacky Leightons—so you’ll see “the Leighton Ladies” mentioned in The Piggy Lounge. Thank you for the “snout outs!” We are much-obliged!

Do yourself a big favor (or someone you love!) and order a pair of these divine jammies—or two or three. We’re three blinks away from the Christmas season and we have a feeling those “three little piggies” are, once again, going to be overwhelmed with orders. Seriously. 

Snout-ellujah, Y’all!

P.S. Not only do these lovely ladies support the National Breast Cancer Foundation with their precious pjs, they also have another scrumptious pair for a very marvelous organization called the Dream Foundation.  Please go take a peek ASAP.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Two Peas in a myPod

Preliminary Note: ELC’s FunnyHubbyMan bought himself a MP3 player about 8 years ago. Filled it with his electic music—also borrowed some CDs from ELC and TLC—(what we lovingly refer to as “the good stuff”)—and listened to said MP3 until last Fall, when it finally crashed. From the moment he bought it, he called it his “myPod.” We simply had to give up correcting him—did no good. Last Christmas, ELC gave him a new iPod. Even had it engraved with: “You’re the song in my heart.” All together now: Awww. Still intimidated by iTunes, he once again loaded it with music from CDs. He calls this new iPod his… (pause for dramatic impact)—myPod. Were you thinking he finally got it? Nope. ELC and TLC call their iPods the same. In his honor.

Background information: One evening last week, ELC and TLC were actually talking on the phone—not just texting back and forth—about something interesting that is occurring: we’ve discovered we’re thinking the same thoughts. ELC will email TLC or call her about someone or something—and TLC will declare: “Shut the front door! I was just about to send you/say the same message/thing!” Spooky. We do seem to be connecting on some higher level lately. Are we getting psychic? Doubtful. Maybe just more intuitive? Possibly.

image via Pinterest via Etsy

When TLC was born, ELC wasn’t awake. Didn’t see her for over three hours. Once ELC came to, she was begging every nurse/medical person in sight to bring TLC to her. At that point (it was after ), about fifteen people had seen TLC, including ELC’s Mom and one of her sisters. She asked her Mom: “Does she look like me?” Her Mom got an almost embarrassed look on her face and said, “Ummm… not really.” “Nothing about her looks like me?” ELC asked, incredulous. Mom apologized and said “No, nothing that I can see. She looks exactly like her Dad.” Well, luckily for everyone involved, ELC loves how TLC’s Dad looks.

TLC continued to favor her Dad, and bits and pieces of her four older brothers, for many years. The only thing she and ELC really had in common was their blonde hair (yes, ELC’s may not have been “natural” since her early college days—but it started out quite real).

Then TLC hit high school and, suddenly, a lot of peeps started telling the two of us how much we looked like we could be twins (well, twins who were, miraculously, 30 years apart). Really? We didn’t see it. Still don’t, to be honest. TLC does have ELC’s mouth/teeth/smile and the shape of her face. Her eyes are brown—like her Dad’s. ELC’s are a sort-of greenish. She says she has ELC’S nose. She doesn't say it like it's a compliment. She says it kind of cranky-like. We know we sound a lot alike and have very similar mannerisms. TLC’s much shyer than ELC has ever been. ELC is not as smart as TLC. It’s fine. ELC is extremely proud of TLC’s intelligence! And, finally, TLC’s hair will never be as BIG as ELC’s. Hopefully.

So during this conversation, TLC said: “We’re just two peas in a pod, aren’t we, Mom?” ELC laughed and started pointing out all the “pods” we are NOT in—together. But then we came up with several that we share. Here are eight (for, yes, August!) of both shared and not-shared Pods:

The Louboutin myPod: This, of course, is the “shoe” Pod. TLC is by herself in this one. In fact, here’s how ELC pronounces Louboutin: La-boot-un. Say each syllable with an exagerrated hick-like Texas accent and really emphasize boot. No matter how many times TLC corrects this pronunciation, ELC forgets. Frankly, it’s quite an amazing feat ELC remembers the name of these uber expensive shoes at all. Oh, wait. That’s right. TLC talks about them at least once a week. She can spot a pair of Louboutins from one hundred yards away and without even seeing the red sole. It amazes ELC—every time. TLC doesn’t own a pair of Louboutins, but she dreams about them—a lot. In her dreams she has dozens of pairs. Like Oprah. ELC’s dreams involve comfortable tennis shoes with mega-arch supports. Mother/Daughter (M/D for short) will never share this Pod.

image via Pinterest

The Prada myPod: Yep—the “purse” Pod. TLCs first love, actually. Over shoes. Although it is very close. ELC has no earthly idea where her child has gotten this obsession. TLC grew up watching her Mom use a purse until it fell apart. Yes, ELC has received a couple of Dooneys or Brahmins in the past 34 years. They were Christmas, birthday or anniversary gifts. TLC yearns to own a Prada someday. Maybe she’ll win the Texas Lottery (buy a ticket, Girlfriend) and then she can purchase one for herself. Until then, when she sends emails to ELC from Nordstrom or Coach of lovely, but unbelievably expensive purses, ELC will continue to pretend said emails got lost in cyberspace.

The Baubles myPod. Jewelry. Jewels. Sparklies. M/D are absolutely in this Pod together. Forever. ELC has loved shiny bracelets, rings and necklaces since she was a toddler. You’ll remember her Nana nicknamed her Miss Got Rocks. TLC clearly got this addiction from her genes. M/D don’t always agree on what is pretty/beautiful/perfection. We do both adore David Yurman and anything from Tiffany’s, James Avery and Brighton. Not that we get a lot of trinkets from any of those fabulous places. M/D have tres fun merely looking at jewelry—in magazines, on TV, on friends’ hands and/or necks and/or ears. ELC is thrilled with “hand-me-down” jewelry from TLC. TLC prefers NO hand-me-down sparklies, s’il vous plait.

image via Pinterest via Nordstrom

The Paula Deen myPod. M/D are in this Pod together—with a few minor exceptions. This one is about food, of course. We both love/adore/cherish/need sugar, white flour, cream cheese, chocolate and butter (or we did until Dr. Dukan took over our lives). ELC, however, wants all of these yummies to be cooked/baked in dishes that others have prepared for and served to her. It’s the whole “Queen B.” thing, apparently. And if there is no one around (and by "no one" she is referring to her Fabulous Chef Hubby!) to do the cooking? Sandwiches, cereal or drive-thrus are totally sufficient. TLC, on the other hand, loves to be the Preparer/Cook/Chefette. She hearts cooking and eating. ELC hearts eating. Close enough.

Paula's Volcano Cake
(TLC will make this for ELC when Dr. Dukan gives us the "thumbs up!")
image via Pinterest via Paula Deen

The Meg Ryan myPod. The “movie/entertainment” Pod. M/D absolutely do like many of the same movies. Our favorite flicks involve “chick-y” stuff: love, pretty clothes, great music, laughter, a few tears, happy endings. Although TLC is still young enough to go along with movies her Hubby wants to watch, ELC says, to her Hubby, “Nope. Not going to watch/buy/rent that one, Honey-Bunny. Sorry. How about puttin’ in Something’s Got To Give?” ELC refuses to see anything that involves explosives, people being killed, wars, violence, sharks, and/or general scary/horror topics. Did she mention wars? Caveat: If the movie has Tom Selleck or Bruce Willis in it, ELC will consider watching it. Some of ELC and TLC’s most favorite movies? Serendipity. When Harry Met Sally. While You Were Sleeping. Pretty Woman. Sleepless in Seattle. Our all-time favorite movie (and we’ve probably watched it no less than thirty-three times together)? You’ve Got Mail. Marvelous.

The Pansies/Peonies myPod. This is the gardening Pod. ELC has taught everything she knows about gardening to TLC. True—it didn’t take long because it’s, unfortunately, not her greatest talent. But it’s enough to keep some pretty pots/flowers alive and well during cRaZy Texas weather. M/D both dig (ha!) putting on our gloves, getting’ down in the dirt and nurturing our plants. We want them to thrive and grow and color our lives with smiles and joy! M/D each have our “specialities.” ELC’s: impatience, caladiums, periwinkles and pansies. TLC’s: coleus, periwinkles, rosemary (she’s just beginning to learn how to grow her own herbs), and violets. M/D encourage each other to expand our knowledge of horticulture. Yes, we actually know the word horticulture. Duh. Our favorite flower pots? Dixiebelle, of course!

The Estee myPod. This Pod involves lipstick. ELC believes it’s one of the most important things a woman—from 14 to 100—can wear.  A girl/young woman/mature woman should wear it every day. Even if she’s home alone and no one is going to see her. ELC wears it for herself—her cats (she is NOT, however, a “Cat Lady”—she just has two)—her husband. TLC refuses to wear lipstick consistently. Or at all. She’s been known to swipe some colorless lipgloss on her sweet lips as she’s driving up the hill to her parents’ home. Just to keep ELC off her back and to avoid having to listen to The Lipstick Lecture—Vol. 55,566. ELC believes TLC will be in this Pod—eventually. She may be forty. Or fifty. And ELC will definitely have it smeared up to her eyeballs by then. But it’ll happen. Oh, yes, TLC. It’ll happen.

The iPod myPod. This is the music Pod. M/D have quite similar tastes in songs, artists and genres. TLC was brought up listening to Country and may not have known there was any other kind of music until she was thirteen. She loves everything now (with the probable exception of opera) and tickles ELC when she can sing along with Beyonce, Martina McBride, Fergie, Bon Jovi, Pink, Zac Brown Band or Taylor Swift—never missing a word. She’s come to love her Hubby’s hard rock as much as she loves Abba and anything by the Glee Gang. (TLC’s Hubby, however, is not interested in our Il Divo tunes. Shocking.) ELC does find Pink intriguing. And, guess what? ELC introduced TLC to Lady Gaga. Cross-our-hearts. When they’re traveling in a car together, ELC is not one bit afraid to demand (oops, that should be ask) that TLC please “turn that horrible, disgusting noise off. STAT!” TLC usually complies. This is a Pod we share approximately 85% of the time.

M/D have many more compatible/non-compatible Pods, but we’re certain we’ve worn y’all completely out. Bless your hearts. Look for a “Pods—Part 2”—down the road . . .


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Not Quite Kate and Mum, But...

Well, we're quickly approaching our NINTH week of being on the Dukan Diet. We're TOTALLY rockin' it. (If I do say so myself.) Our pants are loser. Our allergies are gone. We're getting fresh (HOT) air daily as we walk and jog. We've truly revolutionized the way we eat. I'm incredibly proud of both of us. This is a huge feat for two well-known sugar-addicts. Though nothing will ever replace a big ol' slice of birthday cake with a scoop of Blue Bell, here are a few things we've grown quite fond of:

1. Fage Greek Yogurt. ELC prefers the plain "0%" and I prefer the Cherry Pomegranate "0%." ELC sweetens hers with a Splenda and a splash of vanilla extract. It tastes very similar to fruit dip. I just happen to be a fruity gal. We both mix our 2 tablespoons of oat bran (which we refer to as “OB”) into the yogurt for breakfast. It gives it almost a crunchy, yet creamy texture. Then, if we need a treat in the evening, we have four to six ounces more – without the OB. Yum.

2. Splenda. Oh, Splenda. It's so sweet. Very little needs to be said about this miracle invention. It clearly speaks for itself.

3. Iced Coffee. It's hotter than h-e-double-hockey-sticks in this here part of Texas. We discovered iced coffee is the perfect afternoon pick-me-up. We like to add 2 Splendas and fat-free milk (though I'm gradually moving to the dark side – where fat-free half-n-half lives).

4. Diet A&W Root Beer. Oh my. It's like dessert. In a can.

5. Grilled onions. They're sweet and savory and pair perfectly with a scrumptious (and lean) grilled burger or chicken breast.

6. Roasted veggies. I believe there’s no better way to prepare veggies than roasting them. They practically caramelize in the oven. I buy whatever is available and looks divine at my local Market Street that week. I’ll use a little Pam Olive Oil (ELC uses the Original Pam, as Dr. Dukan really doesn’t allow olive oil until the Fourth Phase – obviously I’m a rebel.), kosher salt and pepper. I'll roast them for about 18 minutes in a oven preheated to 425 degrees. It's pure Heaven on a plate.

7. Apples.  Now that we've moved on to "Phase 3" we can have one piece (or one cup) of fruit per day. My favorite? Pink Lady Apples. They are the perfect balance of tart and sweet. ELC’s favorite? Red Delicious.

8. Balsamic Vinegar. One word: VELVETY.

9. Hard-boiled eggs. ELC makes a yummy egg salad with fat-free cottage cheese, mustard, and pickles.

10. Subway Grilled Chicken Salads. These are oh-so filling. ELC discovered this option on the parents’ trip to Estes Park. We have the “Sandwich Artists” load us up with lots o' veggies. Including the pickled jalapeños. We're wild.

Though we both still have a bit farther to go to reach our goals, we’re confident and determined to make this a permanent lifestyle change. We help keep each other upbeat, positive, encouraged, hopeful and excited about our efforts and success. But we can’t lie – we’re also counting down the days until we can treasure a few tiny bites of the Red Velvet Cheesecake from my beloved Cheesecake Factory.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Rockport Riviera

So I’ve prepared for you this Sweet Sunday (oops—been watchin’ too many “Chef” shows like Chopped, Master Chef, Top Chef, The Next Food Network Star—and that’s what they all tell the judges—sorry) some thoughts on our trip to Rockport, Texas, a few weeks ago.  

My FisherHubbyMan has always treasured Port Aransas, Texas. I doubt he could even count how many trips he’s made in the past forty-ish years. Although I’m not a FisherWifeGal, I’ve had the pleasure of accompanying him many times to Port Aransas/Corpus Christi/South Padre Island. TLC has also been with us on several of these trips. About seventeen years ago, we made a 30-minute drive from Port A (as it is fondly called by many) to Rockport, with TLC, to experience a famous (South Texas Coast) restaurant called The Boiling Pot.

I don’t like or want to fish. I don’t like to think about fishing. I don’t really enjoy watching others fish (with the exception of The Deadliest Catch!). And I really don’t like to eat most fish. Let me clarify: I do enjoy a little tuna with my mayo. I’ve been known to order fried catfish (to go with my tartar sauce) or shrimp—I actually love shrimp cooked many ways, lobster (who doesn't love it?), and crab. On our recent trip to Rockport, I discovered I heart flounder! Who knew? I do not want to even look at: calamari (TLC, Hubby and Her Hubby all adore this gross-looking sea creature—while I gag), raw oysters or any other truly yucky, fishy-smelling slimy-swimmers. I don’t do salmon. I’m totally aware of how healthy it would be for me to like and eat it. I do so get that. Hubby tells me, I exaggerate not, once a week. Every week. Every month. Year after year. Eat salmon! Simply won’t happen. (Dr. Oz can’t convince me, either.)

At The Boiling Pot, you sit at tables covered in butcher paper. They bring out a pot of fantastic shrimp, crab, sausage, potatoes and corn and pour it in front of you—on said paper. You eat all of this with your hands/fingers. Since I often eat a burger with a knife and fork, I had to adjust to this idea. TLC got the (necessary) t-shirt. It was great!

That had been our only trip to Rockport until the four of us decided to do a short little vacation there in July. We stayed three nights. TLC and her Hubby stayed two. The guys went on a guided fishing trip out in the Corpus Christi Bay. TLC and I went on our own little “self-guided” shopping trip in Rockport. Yep—except for the dadgum heat—we were in Shopping Heaven.

If you Google Rockport, Texas, you might find the “official” City website. You’ll discover they refer to this quaint town as a “fishing village” and a “coastal hideaway for wealthy Texans since the 1800s.”

Although we, unfortunately, aren’t any of those “wealthy” Texans (Yet. Still crossing our fingers one of us will win the Texas Lottery.), the four of us would like to recommend The Lighthouse Inn at Aransas Bay, where we lodged. It was very reasonable, clean, and, of course, historic! You can get rooms with little kitchens and dockside views of the Bay. The Staff was extremely nice and there’s a beautiful pool.

Hubby, TLC, and TLC's Hub
Strollin' to the pier at The Lighthouse Inn

We’d also like to recommend the following restaurants (this will now confuse you—because we didn’t eat at The Boiling Pot this trip—we weren’t there long enough and had other places we were interested in trying—but if you go, you simply MUST eat there): Latitude 28.02 (a fantastic restaurant and art gallery and where I tasted the fabulous flounder I now adore!); Glow (a newer restaurant in Rockport—charmingly cozy/intimate and very delish!); and Moondog’s Seaside Eatery (TLC and her Hubby dined there and said it was a blast!) Casual (Silly moi. Almost every restaurant in Rockport is casual!)—with seating outside to enjoy the view of the Bay.

TLC and I found our two favourite (fancy spelling) shops (there are many others that are wonderful!): Kate Jones and Bay Window.

I have a mirrored tray on my bathroom vanity that holds two colognes and three special bottles. Chanel No. 5—for our Fifth Child—who adores Chanel—being one of the colognes. Four months back, I accidentally knocked off (and shattered) one of the three bottles, given to me by a dear friend several Christmases ago. I was heartbroken at my clumsiness and had been looking for a replacement. Voila! Found it at Kate Jones.

My new bottle is the one on the left at the front—
With the pretty green and blue flowers and little blue sparkle rhinestones!

Bay Window is actually one big, long building with two entrances—one entrance for their clothes (gals and guys) and jewelry, the other entrance for their beautiful “beachy” home décor items. The two salesladies in the home décor side were precious! Tres friendly and helpful. I’m sorry I didn’t get their names—to thank them for their kindness. They even recommended a great place for TLC to get a pedi.

We all feel Rockport is going nowhere but UP and BIG! We can’t wait to go back. We’re thinking anytime between January and June and/or September and December (July and August are HOT—anywhere in Texas—even when we’re not in a HELLACIOUS drought) would be glorious! Marvelously Memorable! Visit sometime soon—and look for George Strait’s bayside home (he IS one of the wealthy Texans who “hideaway” in Rockport)!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Awww... (or is it Aarrrgggghhhhh?) August

We’re sure y’all have heard: In Texas, we’re ABSOLUTELY ABLAZE with heat. We’re suffering from a drought that even the best AIR conditioning can’t ALWAYS ASSIST. We know there are many other places in AMERICA also trying to cope with ABNORMAL temperatures. As we all AGONIZE and attempt to ADAPT, we send up prayers, on the wings of ANGELS, to ASK Our Dear Lord for some blessings and ANSWERS—and to ALLEVIATE our ANXIETY.

Please ALLOW The Leightons to offer y’all our ADVICE as you ANTICIPATE this “A” month’s AGENDA :



ACQUIRE a taste for: ANCHOVIES (okay, no, you don’t have to do this—YUCK!); AVOCADOES (tres healthy and yummy!); ARTICHOKES (love ‘em!); APRICOTS and ALMONDS. Hey, eat an APPLE (or email from one! Ha!).

WATCH OUT FOR: ALLIGATORS, ANACONDAS, ANTEATERS, ANTELOPES (okay—they may not be that dangerous) and our personal “Texas” favorite (not)—ARMADILLOS (they are oh so annoying).


ADJUST, adopt, ADORE, adlib, APPLAUD, agree, AMAZE (especially yourself!), answer, APOLOGIZE, accept, ACCENTUATE (the positive!), and accessorize (with amethysts* and/or aquamarines* please see ASTERISK below).

Have you ever considered being: an ASTRONAUT (oops—never mind—not a great future in that field at this time) or ACROBAT or ACTOR or AERIALIST or AFICIONADO (of ALPACAS, perhaps?) or ALGEBRA teacher or ARCHITECT or ARISTOCRAT? How about singing ACAPPELLA or learning to fly an AIRPLANE? AUDITIONING for an ALLELUIA Chorus?

DID YOU KNOW: ELC is an ARIES; TLC and ELC ALWAYS ABBREVIATE but try to ABSTAIN from using ACRONYMS (too confusing for ELC—she ends up suffering from CRS syndrome); you can never have too many AHA moments; ACQUIRING ANTIQUES can be ADDICTIVE; ELC gets all AFLUTTER when she sees the color AZURE? (See 33 Unsolicited Facts about ELC.)

Do you remember what we told you Autumn’s talent is (hint: starts with an “A”)? (See Out to Lunch for the answer.)




* these are the birth stones, respectively, for TLC and ELC. It would have been sad to try to ABIDE without that info, right?

this image has nothing to do with "As"
but ELC wanted to share her pretty periwinkles 
that are surviving despite the AWFUL heat