Sunday, September 20, 2020

Fun Finds Numero Dos!

Happy Sunday!

Over here, we're still truckin' along with school, art, dance and online shopping!

My next two finds also hail from Amazon. Seriously, can y'all remember life before Prime? It's been a #blessing since March.

These earrings are AH-mazing. The small, sliver hoops have tiny rhinestones on them. Let me tell you, those rhinestones look like real diamonds. They are incredible, lightweight and so inexpensive. I was completely blown away by the quality and decided to order the large, gold hoops by the same brand. They actually just arrived yesterday, and I LOVE them. That's actually saying quite a lot, because I typically don't like post earrings. These are somehow still comfy and also lightweight. I wouldn't hesitate purchasing from this brand again.

I am OBSESSED with fall/winter candles. OBSESSED. Lighting a candle instantly lifts my mood. There is no better time of year to burn a candle than right now. I am stocking up (daily) and came across this candle via Sheaffer. It arrived yesterday, too, and smells like a delightfully crisp fall day. Swoon. The little insert/description that came with the candle also says it's "gluten-free." While I've never thought we needed a gluten-free candle, let me tell you, I am here for it. Go, GLUTEN-FREE! This candle was $20, and I plan to order more from this company for gifts! I'm thinking perhaps for teachers at Christmas. They have holiday scents that look fabulous.

I can't wait to share a few more finds before the month is over. I hope y'all have a magical Monday mañana.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

bowling ball eyes...

At the end of July, after sooo many weeks of boredom, loneliness, frustration, and, well, Covid exhaustion, My Sweet Hubby (aka MSH) and I got to see TLC, Little Leighton (aka LL) and Belle eight (8!) days for lunch! ( Four days the last week of July and four days the first week of August...Monday through Thursday each of those weeks.)

This was because LL and Belle were taking swimming lessons at a home very close to us. TLC would drop Belle at 10:15 and go with LL to her lesson. MSH and I would fix Belle her lunch at 11:15. LL and TLC would come back at 11:40ish for their lunch. Then TLC and Belle would leave for Belle’s lesson at 1:15 and this Grammy would help LL wash her hair to get the chlorine out. I’d blowdry it while LL played a game or two on my phone or read a book. (The girl has sooo much hair. It never truly completely dries. And our electric bill only went up $20 from the last month's. Wink. Wink.) TLC and Belle would come back to pick LL up at 2:40.

We started calling our casa The LOL Cafe and Hair Salon. 

It was fabulous! MSH and I worked at all of us having lots of fresh fruits and balanced lunches. We got a little time alone with each Grand Girl. And a few minutes each of those days with TLC.

Since then, LL and Belle have spent a few nights. Or spent several hours with us during the day while TLC gets grocery etc. shopping done. Or cleaning their home.

Now "in-person" school has officially started for both Princesses. They are sooooooo happy to be back! Even with LL having to wear a mask most of the day. She doesn't care. She's got several friends that were in her class last year or for the past two years and she's beyond thrilled to see them again. 

Belle doesn't have to wear a mask so she gets to see her new friends' (and a few old!) smiles Monday through Thursday. On Fridays she's now taking her first ballet and tap lessons! We cannot wait to see how this new adventure progresses. (LL was not fond of dance. At. All. So far, Belle seems to look forward to her Friday lessons. Yippee!)

Last Monday, on Labor Day, TLC and the Princesses got to come over for a few hours for lunch and visiting/playing. When they came in our front door, Belle handed me a big picture she'd made for me to see. The picture was the face of a girl. Belle put stickers on for the girl's eyes, ears, mouth, etc. and "decorated" her with lots of other pretty stickers like earrings and bows. As I was looking at it, she said, very matter of factly: "Grammy, I couldn't find any eyes so I just used bowling balls." Then she raced into the guest room that the little girls call their own at Grammy's and Pa-Pa's house to watch everyone's new favourite kids' show: BLUEY! (We are all obsessed. Well, Pa-Pa's not. It is hilarious.)

TLC and I laughed and laughed at Belle! (Frankly, if she'd not told me they were bowling ball eyes,  I'm not sure I'd have realized that's what they were.)

Laughter. Routine. School. Church. Getting back not to "normal" but to LIFE. Thank You, Lord God Almighty. We Praise Your Name!

Hope y'all have a Wonderful Week, wherever in this World you are! Stay healthy and strong. WASH YOUR HANDS! 

Airhugs,

ELC

Saturday, September 5, 2020

Fun Finds Numero Uno!

So, what do we do when we're stuck at home, eating and drinking more, feeling sad we can't hug people  because COVID is the WORST? We shop online! They don't call it "retail therapy" for nothing!

Though, to be honest, I have done most of my shopping online for the past few years. I can't tell you the last time I went to an actual mall to shop for a few hours. Amazon Prime just makes things so darn easy.

Up first is a Fun Find we discovered when we were on the hunt for new "bathroom headbands" to help when we wash our face and do our makeup. The ones we had been using were too tight and super uncomfy.

Enter: these soft-as-a-cloud and cute-as-a-button head wraps!



Little Leighton and Belle are quite the fans! Grammy ELC loves hers, too! (Don't you like how she strategically placed the phone in front of her make-up-free face? LOL.)

We (almost) feel like we're at a spa when we put these on. Almost.

TTFN.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

long past time...

July 1st: I was determined to post. Couldn’t do it. 

August 1st: I told TLC it was long past time to get back to posting. Nothing. Neither of us could get motivated. 

I’ve decided today is THE DAY. 

2020? Can take a long walk off a short pier. It has been the WORST.

BUT...My Sweet Hubby and I went to Sunday School AND church yesterday! We go to a BIG church. Over 15,000 members. The service we go to would normally have about 3,000 people. There were only about 300 yesterday. We had our temps taken. Wore masks. Distanced six-feet apart. It was GLORIOUS. 

Little Leighton started back to in-person school last week. Half days. Full days started yesterday. Belle begins her pre-school in-person next week. 

The Summer was LONG. Often depressing and discouraging. Full of anxiety. But in the midst of the fear, there was fun. Laughter. Hope. And love. Always love...

TLC—the quintessential on-line shopper? Found some GREAT things we’ll share this month. 

Y’all know how much she loves Autumn! Pumpkins! Today seemed like a good day to jump back in to the life we’ve been missing and get ready for FALL. WOO HOO!

Have a Wonderful Week—Wherever in this World y’all are!

Airhugs,

ELC

Thursday, June 4, 2020

...reflecting...

Taking time to pause and reflect for a few weeks...

Y’all stay safe, strong, healthy and happy!

HUGS from The Leightons...

Sunday, May 31, 2020

...medigeranium...

Background:

Last Summer, as My Sweet Hubby (aka MSH) and I attempted to locate the hospital I was going to for my first hip injection, we saw one of the biggest private homes we’d ever seen. (And we’re old. We’ve seen alot of HUGE homes in our lives.). It looked like a REAL-LIFE castle. I knew I couldn’t wait to show Little Leighton (aka LL) and Belle this home as soon as I could. (Since they both LOVE LOVE LOVE all things “Princess” and castle-y.)

Several weeks later, I tried to show them and TLC this amazing home. I thought I knew right where it was. But I was wrong. Couldn’t locate it. We tried again a few weeks after that and...SUCCESS! We found it. They were all pretty amazed! Belle asked if we could ring the doorbell and request to use one of their restrooms. Teeheehee. 

Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago. TLC, forced by Covid-19 to be The Little Princesses’ Homeschool Teacher, decided they needed a short “field trip” to The Castle. It would be an hour-ish car ride and help break up the long afternoon. 

In finding The Castle again, they also found a Mediterranean “castle-like” home nearby. LL decided THIS home was her favorite “castle” home. 

Yesterday, I went to pick up TLC and The Little Princesses to ride with me to my Dad’s home (I was sharing a DELICIOUS pasta dish MSH had fixed us for dinner Friday evening with him.) and then to enjoy some “Andy’s Frozen Custards.” This would take us about 70 minutes and would, again, help break up a long Saturday afternoon. (When you still can’t visit friends, go shopping, go swimming, etc., days can be long...)

I told LL and Belle I wanted to show them my ALL-TIME favourite home I’ve ever seen! That if I ever won a Texas Lottery, I’d go ring their doorbell and ask them who their architect and builder were—because I’d want to build a home JUST LIKE IT.

As we passed the house, which has a pretty turret, LL said:

“Grammy, I want a Medigeranium home someday!”

These. Sweet. Granddaughters. They give me such joy! So many giggles. So much entertainment. They do my old heart GOOD. The past ten (NIGHTMARE) weeks have made me miss them beyond words. We all need our lives back. We need to laugh and be happy again. We need hope and good health and chances to make many more special memories. 

Airhugs,
ELC

p.s.—Tomorrow is JUNE. Can Y’all believe it? TLC and I are determined it’ll be full of more posts. DETERMINED. Winky. Wink. 

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

No coffee?

No talkie.

My family has learned this well. I need a solid 1/2 of a cup before I’m remotely capable of Mom-ing.

In honor of my love for all things coffee, I thought I would share some funny memes ELC has collected via Facebook/Instagram/Pinterest and sent me. She knows me so well.

How do I love thee, coffee? Let me count the ways!





I seriously want to track down that “Breakfast Wine” mug! That is so ME.

Cheers to you!

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Freedom

This is Memorial Day Weekend in America. (Tomorrow is our actual Memorial Day.) For our readers who live in other countries and may not know what this is: Memorial Day is the National Holiday we celebrate every year to honor our military men and women. Those in the past—who fought in too many wars—and may have died. And those who are currently serving in one of our Armed Services to defend our country at home and abroad.

It feels like a special—and somewhat surreal—Memorial Day this year. Because we’ve all—men, women and children—been fighting a war with Coronavirus. It has not just devastated the USA. It has devastated this World.

I’ve been crying off and on today. It started with watching our church service on-line this morning and continued as I’ve seen and read stories about HEROES that sacrificed everything so we could live FREE—today—in America.

And...yet...we don’t feel completely “free.” The lockdown/quarantine we’ve been in for over two months has been a special kind of HELL. For My Sweet Hubby (aka MSH) and me it’s been mostly inconvenient. Yes. We’ve been lonely. Stressed. Worried. Afraid. We’re retired. So staying at home? Not a huge change for us. Missing our families and friends? The life we knew? TOUGH. TOUGH STUFF. (We have had “garage” and “backporch” visits with TLC and The Little Princesses. They’ve allowed us to chat and laugh—from six-feet away. No hugging or smooching. Still...we’ve been grateful for these opportunities.)

MSH and I haven’t been worried about having the money to buy food. Or paying our bills. (We have, of course, lost much of our retirement funds in the collapsing Stock Market and economy. This will probably cause changes to the life we expected to have as we continued to age.) But there are too many people, individuals and families, who have lost loved ones. Jobs. Security. Hope. Who don’t know where their next meal is coming from and how they’ll wake up from this nightmare with a place to live. Or a car to drive.

So tomorrow, MSH and I will thank our Dear Lord God Almighty for all our past and present Servicewomen and Servicemen. For their patriotism and loyalty. For the lives we’ve maintained through this crisis. To date. For our children, grandchildren and families. For our friends. For our blessings. For our freedom. OUR FREEDOM. We’ll pray to God for this Coronavirus War to end.

Please stay strong, healthy and safe, Sweet Friends. We must believe:

THIS TOO SHALL PASS.

ELC

Monday, May 18, 2020

...the joy of simplicity...

Aaannnnddddd...here we go. Another week. In semi-quarantine. Texas has been opening back up—slowly—for two weeks. I got my hair cut this past Saturday! It was fabulous! TLC goes tomorrow morn. Who ever EVER EVER thought we’d be so excited about haircuts? About going to the grocery store? About getting out and doing simple errands? We’re ALL promising we’ll never take the small, seemingly unimportant “freedoms” in our lives for granted. But...will we remember? For sure? Will we?

I think I will. And I’ll tell you why.

I’ve had alot of medical issues in my 66 years. Illnesses. Asthma. Weight problems. Severe acne. Sinus and allergy problems. I’ve had too many major surgeries. I fell through a window and cut a major artery in my right arm in 1979. (LONG story.) Cut muscles. It was scary. Awful. I recovered.  I had an emergency C-section to give birth to TLC. A hysterectomy at too young of an age. (31) Twisted intestines that required emergency surgery. A modified radical mastectomy of my left breast for cancer. At 40 years old. Chemo. Three outpatient surgeries for breast implants over ten years. No surgery...but deafness in my left ear suddenly and with no explanation twelve years ago. A broken wrist eleven years ago. (Surprisingly my first broken bone!) Surgery for pins. My recent left hip replacement. NOT. FUN. It was 4 months ago. Still going to physical therapy because I walk wonky. I try not to get discouraged.

I share this history with Y’all because there have been too many times I couldn’t take a shower. For several days. Even weeks. Each time that I’ve had to wait patiently to take a shower and/or wash my hair, I’ve told myself I’d NEVER EVER EVER forget how wonderful it is to have the luxury of a hot shower. Or bath. And...I can honestly say—I’ve not forgotten this. Okay—maybe there have been a few days I’ve dreaded getting into the shower. But those six times in the past 42 years? Lazy. It was just pure laziness. And most of those times it was because I didn’t want to have to wash my hair. That process gets harder and harder. What I’d give for a chauffeur and a hair stylist that would come to my house every four days to wash and fix my Big Texas Hair!

So I won’t take the simple chores/errands/jobs for granted. Trust me.

Hope Y’all have a WONDERFUL Week—wherever in this World you are...
We’ll get through this nightmare. We will! Let’s be faithful and determined...and always grateful.

Airhugs,
ELC

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

...running on empty...

ELC=MIA! Missing. In. Action. 

TLC did every post in April. I think. Pretty sure. Mostly because nine years after starting our blog, I still cannot post a picture. And we were very much into posting our favorite Covid-19/Quarantine memes. I was truly grateful she stepped up! (Yes. She owed me from several years when I did most of the posts. Winky. Wink.) She’s my favourite daughter—100%. 

But now TLC is winding down her Homeschool and running on empty. Both Little Leighton (aka LL) and Belle have woken her up every night for weeks. (One or both have done this. She considers herself lucky if it’s just one. God love her pooped self.) So...MY TURN!

Like hundreds of thousands of other grandparents, My Sweet Hubby (aka MSH) and I haven’t been able to let LL and Belle stay the night with Grammy and Pa-Pa for over eight weeks. We’ve had many “garage” visits. And, the past two weeks, “back porch” visits. They last anywhere between an hour and two hours. (We stay six-feet apart, of course.) We are THRILLED to see them and grateful for every second we get to see them in person! Their pediatrician told TLC yesterday—during a visit for Belle’s 4-year-old immunizations, we should delay long and/or overnight visits to at least June. (I’m marking off the days on my calendar!)

MSH and I have had cabin-fever for at least five weeks. We go to the store from one to two times a week. With our mask and our Ziploc baggy containing Chlorox wipes. (To wipe off the carts we use.)

I’ve continued to go to physical therapy. They are careful. I am careful. It’s been fine. This week MSH has an eye doctor appointment. He got a haircut today! And soon we’ll both be going to our dentist for our semi-annual checkups that were postponed seven weeks ago. 

So...life in Quarantine goes on. For all of us. (Except essential workers. Which, clearly, as Retired Seniors, we are not.) A few freedoms are beginning to give us a little hope that in a few weeks—or months—our lives will get back to a new “normal.” Whatever that is going to be. 

TLC and I pray you and your family are surviving with minimum consequences. And despair. No illness! No virus! REMEMBER: DON’T TOUCH YOUR FACE! WASH YOUR HANDS! Self-distance as much as possible. PRAY. Pray with us. PRAY this NEVER happens to our World again. 

Airhugs!
ELC

Monday, May 4, 2020

May the Force...

...be with us.

Seriously.

Y’all. Have you heard of the murder hornets?


They go after bees! I swear, if they kill the bees and thus destroy the coffee crops, I will have to start drinking straight vodka when I wake up. I see no other way. I’m not sure wine will even cut it, at that point.

Fix it, Jesus.

Surely we can only go up from here? I hope I haven’t jinxed it. I would have sworn we hit rock bottom in April.

Cheers to May! Ha!

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

43...

...apparently. This is apparently Day 43 of the Quarantine. TLC has really stepped up with posting this whole month of April, Y’all! And I thank her! Almost every day one of us sends the other at least two funny Coronavirus/Quarantine memes. (Sometimes as many as ten.) She’s shared some of our favourites. We knew we wanted to look back on this challenging time and remember how completely insane it’s been/was.

We have to have laughter, right? We just do. While TLC homeschools Little Leighton and Belle, My Sweet Hubby (aka MSH) and I try to get to the end of each day with a smile. Or, at the very least, without looking at each other with venom in our eyes. (So far we’re still married and will actually celebrate our 42nd anniversary in four months! Yeah!)

We’ve had about thirteen “garage” visits with TLC and Her Princesses in the past 43-ish days. They have gone/go like this:

MSH pulls one of our cars out of our garage and parks it on the street. He then gets out chairs and puts two near the back of our garage...the other three chairs at the front. TLC drives up and gets the little girls out of her car. They sit in their chairs and we (the five of us plus our Chocolate Lab, Buddy Boo Bear) visit about TLC’s Homeschool and fun things they’re doing at their casa. MSH and I don’t have much to report during these visits. We might share our latest visit to a grocery store. (We’re currently doing a combo of store “pickups” and in-person—fast and with masks—shopping twice a week.) We play games. The girls go out to our front yard and blow bubbles. The visits last an hour to ninety minutes and they fill our souls with JOY! No hugs yet. Maybe next week...(picture me crossing my fingers...)

We did have a (tiny) Birthday Party for my youngest/baby sister, Lucy, this past Saturday afternoon. This involved Lucy, TLC’s Hubby, The Five Garage Peeps and cupcakes! Fun while social distancing appropriately.

Texas is slowly opening up! (Not beauty salons yet and we all DESPERATELY need haircuts...Yikes!) This whole experience has been shocking. Scary. Strange. Maddening. Wrong. Unfair. Sad. Interesting. CRAZY. Weird. Twilight Zone-y. Historical. Hopefully it’s going to wind down soon. With many lessons learned. ALOT of lessons learned.

Stay safe, Friends Everywhere! WASH YOUR HANDS. Do NOT Touch Your Face! Keep Your Distance. PRAY. Please pray we get on with our lives very soon. God bless America and the World with healing and strength.

Amen.

Airhugs...
ELC

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Winesday


Yep. Cheers.

Happy Winesday Wednesday! (I think it’s Wednesday, but who really knows? My four-year-old had to be the one that remembered the seven-year-old’s Zoom call yesterday at 10:45. This is where we are right now.)

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Trade School

Here are some funnies to get you through the weekend! I’m seriously considering the trade school for my two kids. Ha!







Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Math Problems

Last week, I texted two of my sweet friends and said this:

I have a homeschool math problem I need help solving. I just told my 2 children I was baking 4 chicken breasts for dinner. One of them started to cry, as she apparently despises chicken now. How many glasses of wine will it take to help me not lose my mind?

I’ve also noticed a pattern in our (LONG) self-quarantined days: for every good day, it will inevitably be followed by one stressful/cranky/exhausting/whiny (also wine-y)/frustrating day. It’s a 1:1 ratio.

Who knew I was still so good at math, y’all?


Now, I’m off to add straws to my online grocery order.

Please stay home and stay healthy!

Monday, April 13, 2020

What are real pants?

Happy Monday!

Here are a few funnies from Instagram or Facebook that will help us laugh through another week of social distancing/self-quarantine. Goodness knows I need the GIGGLES!






Tuesday, April 7, 2020

What day IS it?

It’s time to share funny memes with y’all! We’ve found these on Facebook or Instagram. (And let’s face it, if we don’t laugh right now, we’ll CRY.)



Saturday, April 4, 2020

...19 for 19...

So...surely Y’all can guess what we’ve been doing, right?

Self-quarantining. SIGH.

What an unexpected NIGHTMARE.

One might think that if you are Two Old Peeps who have been “retired” for six years, you might be used to being with each other 24/7. For nineteen days. But you’d be wrong. Because, of course, we aren’t ever really together 24/7. (Let’s make it 16/7. We do sleep.) In “normal” times, we each have our own daily plans. So this situation? Not ideal.

TLC? Never, ever, EVER wanted to be a teacher. EVER. Teaching Little Leighton and Belle? First grade and pre-school? Not her cup of tea. (As her Mom—I can promise you she is rockin’ it!) This is simply taking it’s toll. On her. On all of us. On our children. Our families. Our friends. Our communities. Our country.

TLC and I have been talking about the things we’ve learned, or noticed, or have been reminded of this past 19 days.

From TLC...What I’ve Learned:

1.  The value of a bag of frozen veggies.
2.  Teachers should be paid 11 billion dollars. Per day. (And possibly per student.)
3.  Sunshine is genuinely good for the soul.
4.  My current motto: Coffee until wine.
5.  It’s okay if your children eat potato chips for breakfast. As long as they’re not fighting and you don’t have to cook another dang meal.
6.  Let go of rigid routines. (I struggle with this, but I respect the importance.) It’s virtually every man for him (or her)self. You do what you gotta do to get through the day.
7.  But, also, it’s important to keep some semblance of structure to your day. Otherwise, everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, ends up in tears.
8.  I take too many things for granted. Walking into my favourite coffee shop. Grabbing lunch with a friend. Strolling around Target. HUGS.
9.  The world needs more ART. Art equals happiness in our home. We’re covering every surface that we can.
10. A package of fruit chews counts as a serving of fruit when your on-line grocery order can’t be fulfilled with the real thing.

From ELC...What I’ve learned:

11. No matter how long you’ve been married (almost 42 years...), your spouse can still surprise you.
12. No matter how long you’ve been married, your spouse can still annoy you.
13. No matter how long you’ve been married, your spouse can still make you want to scream. And laugh. And run away. And marry him all over again.
14. The very second you remember you must not touch your face, you’ll have an itch. Near your mouth. Your nose. Your eyes. Individually or all four of them all at the same time.
15. You apparently can never have enough toilet paper, paper towels, bread, milk, eggs and...PATIENCE.
16. You can watch TOO MUCH NEWS. Turn. It. Off.
17. Just when you realize how lazy you’ve been for 18 days, you can actually lower yourself to a whole new level of sloth-i-ness.
18. Seeing your grandchildren on FaceTime? Or in your garage—from ten feet away? NOT acceptable, Evil Virus. Get it? GO. AWAY. FOREVER. (Picture Grammy with a VERY mean look on her face.)
19. You simply cannot laugh enough. (At appropriate times, of course.)

So our next several posts will be our favourite Coronavirus...Covid-19...Self-quaranting MEMES. Surely you’ll laugh with us at some or all of them. (You’re welcome. Winky. Wink.)

PLEASE stay healthy and strong (physically and mentally)...DO NOT TOUCH YOUR FACE...Keep social-distancing...and WASH YOUR HANDS.

Cyber HUGS from Us to Y’all...
ELC and TLC

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

...pure joy...

Belle is pure JOY! Sassy. Silly. Sweet. Smart. Sensitive.


She’s kind. Cuddly. Giggly. Charming. CUTE.


Belle has added MAGIC to all of our lives. She’s wise for a 4-year-old.


She’s a good sleeper. (Mostly. Takes minimal cajoling/bribes.) She looks adorable in her glasses. She ADORES her Mama. She idolizes her Big Sister.


She makes us smile. And, sometimes, CrAzY. (A bit crazy...) She makes us think. She makes us proud. She makes us HAPPY!

Celebrating Belle has been MARVELOUS! Especially in this challenging, social-distancing nightmare.

Speaking of COVID-19:

In April, TLC and I are going to embrace the frustration of self-quarantining by sharing our most favorite memes. Stories. Lessons. Hope you’ll stop by and visit us—from six feet away!

Buh-Bye, March. It’s been...well...different. (SHEESH.)

Air Hugs, Friends!

ELC

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

...it’s OFFICIAL...

Belle is 4!

We’re now referring to her as “four-antined.” (Not original.)


Our youngest of seven grands, she’s a happy-go-lucky pistol! She loves (and misses) her teachers and friends at school. She NEEDS Butterbean’s Cafe, fruit chews, glitter, bows and jewelry. She adores Peppa Pig, Pete the Cat (although real cats scare her...), and singing all the songs from Frozen and Frozen II. She’s looking forward to this quarantine being over so she can begin ballet and tap lessons. (Swimming lessons? She is not excited about those. But she’ll have no choice. She DOES love to swim. Just not the lessons.)


Since her first “official” birthday party with friends was postponed, as well as our family party for her, Grammy and Pa-Pa took her gifts to her porch Sunday afternoon and celebrated from the requisite 6-foot distance. (We sang Happy Birthday to Belle. Sadly, we were never, EVER on the same key. So I just sang louder. Not an ideal situation for anyone. Probably, and especially, any of TLC’s neighbors that could have been traumatized. Oh, well. Belle liked it!)


We’re truly proud of Belle! She’s sweet, kind, smart, generous, and PRECIOUS. Duh. We all pray her next year is full of GOOD health, FUN times with Little Leighton, her Mom, Dad and Henry (their dog), lots of learning and endless giggles.


(And NO CATS!) Wink. Wink.

ELC

Friday, March 20, 2020

...four MORE...

(I promise I’m not intentionally ignoring the current pandemic. However, it’s already taken away so much, including Belle’s first “birthday party with school friends.” So, through March, I’d rather just focus on celebrating my sweet girl. We can talk all things Coronavirus is April.)

Last night, before bath, I decided to ask Belle FOUR MORE questions! Her answers are sweet and silly. (I don’t know where she decided peacocks were brave but I know she sure is!)

1. What do you want to be when you grow up? A ballerina!


2. What’s your favorite movie? Frozen 2!


3. What’s your favorite animal? A peacock, because they’re SUPER brave, like me!


4. What’s your favorite song? “Walk Me Home,” by the P!nk lady!


I hope your Friday (I think that’s what day it is. LOL.) is filled with lots of faith, grace and love.

Happy weekend!

Saturday, March 14, 2020

FOUR

Tonight, as I was putting Sweet Belle to sleep, I asked my almost four-year-old FOUR questions! I will always be so thankful I have these memories as who she is right now.

1. What’s your favorite show? “Hmmm. Sofia the First. Llama Llama. Chip and Potato. Butterbeans. Peppa. I like a lot of shows! But my VERY favorite right now is Sofia!”


2. What’s your favorite color? “Pink. Turquoise. Purple. Oh, and dark green.”


3. What’s your favorite food? (As an aside, Belle really LOVES food. Especially snacks. Her answer just happens to be what we had for dinner tonight.) “Plain spaghetti with butter and Parmesan!”


4. What’s your favorite thing to do at school? “Play in the kitchen with the baby doll wearing the pink outfit!”


Y’all. She’s so sweet. She’s happy. She’s smart. She cracks us up! She also clearly loves wearing things on her head! LOL.

I’m so lucky to have her!

Sunday, March 8, 2020

...baby belle...

We decided several months ago that we needed to quit calling Baby Belle “Baby.” Just go with Belle. To this Grammy, however, she’ll probably always be “Baby Belle.”

She’s the youngest of our seven grandchildren. From the time TLC suspected she was pregnant, we were both certain she was a boy. (We also were convinced Little Leighton—aka LL—
was going to be a boy. So there you go. We are not good guessers.)

TLC was, in all honesty, quite The Drama Queen all throughout her LL pregnancy and birth. When Belle was born? TLC was more in control of her emotions. Belle came much faster than LL. It was still AMAZING and JOYOUS and MIRACULOUS. Mom and Dad were cooler this go-round. That was good.

Grammy and Pa-Pa were no less ecstatic at this Angel’s entrance into the world than they’d been at the birth of each of our grandchildren! We had the added honor of caring for LL. Bringing her to the hospital to meet her new baby sister. (Just like her Mama, LL was as intrigued by and with the hospital gift shop as she was seeing Belle for the first time. Sheesh.)

LL hadn’t been the easiest baby. (Again, neither was her Mama. The truth hurts, TLC.) She’d not been a good sleeper. At night or for naps. Despite not being out in the general public many times in her first two years—or at a daycare—she seemed to get sick ALOT. Then there was her Celiac Disease diagnosis at two. Her sleeping improved soon after she turned two and quit having gluten. Naps were always a struggle and they were over by the time LL turned three.

TLC was determined Belle was going to be a BETTER baby. She was going to sleep in her crib. PERIOD. ALWAYS. She was going to be a better napper. TLC HAD learned how to be a Mama and Belle was going to benefit from her LL experience.

Belle was the happiest baby! (Probably because she was sleeping more than LL.) She giggled. She laughed. She danced. (Long before she could walk, she’d dance.)

And here is Baby Belle! From birth to 4 months old!





Isn’t she the CUTEST?

Get ready. March is ALL BELLE. ALL the TIME. EVERY. POST.

Have a WONDERFUL week, Dearest Friends...

Hugs,
ELC

Saturday, March 7, 2020

BELLE!

Belle (formerly known as Baby Belle) will be four years old this month. 

Wwwwhhhhaaaatttt????

Grammy ELC is in such disbelief. She’s the baby/youngest of our seven grandchildren and a daily reminder of how fast time speeds by us. 

TLC and I want to take this opportunity to focus on Belle! A few pictures. A few videos. A few stories and sweet memories. 

Hopefully Y’all will be patient and humour us! We’ll try not to be too obnoxious. Wink. Wink. 

Have a WONDERFUL Weekend—Wherever in the World Y’all are!

Hugs...
ELC

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Saturday, February 29, 2020

...the end...

And now...ELC’s last seven LOVES!

Y’all know by now how lazy I must be—judging by all the TV I watch!

I currently use this excuse: I had my left hip replaced six weeks ago. Nuff said.

I’ll divide this post up into two categories.

First...shows I watch with Little Leighton and Belle and actually enjoy!

Then... shows I crave but that are probably mostly enjoyed by those of us over the age of...hmmm...I’ll go with 16.

Kids’ Shows that ROCK (and let me add they might be watched primarily by girls...but we make Pa-Pa watch them too and he doesn’t seem to mind...):

(1) Butterbean’s Cafe—Nick Jr. CUTE little show. Butterbean, her little sister, Cricket, Poppy, Dazzle and Jasper teach us all about kindness, fairness and how much we could use magic wands and fairy beans! Oh, and they can fly! Miss Marmalady, Spork and Spatch, provide Butterbean and Friends with dilemmas and challenges that provide lots of laughter and opportunities to talk to our kids and grandkids about making good choices every day.

(2) Fancy Nancy—Disney and Disney Jr. We ADORE all the Fancy Nancy books! This cartoon is beyond PRECIOUS. I mean, this Grammy cannot wait for a new episode every week. Even though I could watch every show many, many times and never get tired of them.

(3) Peppa Pig—Nick Jr. Of course the Leightons, whose ancestors hail from Jolly Old England, would TREASURE Peppa, her family and her friends. It amazes me how many kids, including Little Leighton and Belle, end up speaking with British accents after watching this show only a few times. Much less hundreds of times. Cheerio!

Now for us older Peeps!

(4) Guy’s Grocery Games—Food Network. Y’all, I am, as TLC would say, obsessed. Which is fascinating since of the three of us—me, TLC, and My Sweet Hubby (aka MSH)—I am not a Cook. Like they both are. Not. At. All. MSH will not even watch this show with me. Even when we literally have nothing else recorded we’d both be willing to watch. I cannot explain this sketchy attitude. I watch it alone. Honestly? It’s fine with me. I don’t want to share this show with anyone but All of Y’all.

(5) Indebted—NBC. Y’all will recall I NEED my 30-minute comedies on NBC, ABC and CBS. I live to laugh! This is Fran Drescher’s new show and it is AWESOME. To me. She and her husband have gone broke and have had to move in with their son and his family. I must admit this: the second show I just watched did not make me laugh as much as the first. STILL...it’s Fran! I think she is hilarious. The cast is full of amazing actors you’ll recognize. Give it shot! Thursdays. I have faith next week’s will be just as charming as the first week’s. Did I mention it’s The Nanny?!?!?

(6) Kids Baking Championship—Food Network. First, it’s cupcakes and cakes! Do I need to say much more than this? These kids’ baking skills are incredible. They amaze me with every show I watch. I couldn’t do a tenth as well as they each do in these competitions. (I get especially excited when one or more of the kids is from Texas! Woo Hoo!)

(7) The Biggest Loser—USA. Tuesdays. So TLC and Her Hubby got me hooked on The Biggest Loser many years ago. Then they abandoned me and quit watching it. THEN NBC abandoned it and my heart was broken. Since I rarely have to watch commercials, I don’t see many ads for new shows. Or any shows! I happened to see that this inspiring show was on USA now! Has it been there for more than this season? Can’t tell ya. And I missed the first episode. I’ve found it just in time to cry every Tuesday night, though. (Because I don’t watch enough shows already that make me sob ugly tears every week. Grey’s. This Is Us. A Million Little Things. New Amsterdam. SHEESH.)

February Loves? Over and Out. Hope Y’all have found at least one of our Loves to try.

Here comes March! Wwhhhaaaattttt?

Hugs and Smooches...
ELC

Thursday, February 27, 2020

...completely random...

Happy Friday Eve! Can y’all believe February in almost over? To wrap up my last few loves, I thought I’d share a completely random list.

Here we go!

1. Diet Coke. No shame in admitting this. I went several years without one. But I’m back with a vengeance.

2. Ordering groceries online for pickup. Walmart is my favorite!

3. Anthropologie’s Capri Blue Volcano candles. To say I’m obsessed would be an understatement. I’d run out of toilet paper before I ever ran out of these. (You can actually buy these candles at several retailers—even Amazon. I just prefer Anthro.)


4. Tom’s “Silly Strawberry” Mouthwash (for Kids). Little Leighton loves this stuff! I’m a big believer in a mouthwash. I’ve got her hooked now, too. (It’s, obviously, gluten-free and fabulous!) I get this at Target.


5. Grey’s Anatomy. I’ve been a loyal fan from the get-go. Some seasons/characters have been better than others. However, I still look forward to this every Thursday night!

6. Jo Malone’s “Lime Basil and Mandarin” perfume. ELC and My Sweet Dad gifted me a lovely gift card to Nordstrom for my birthday. I used it to purchase this. It’s delightful. I tend to wear this in the spring/summer and “Wood Sage and Sea Salt” in the fall/winter. This brand of perfume/cologne is, hands down, the BEST.


7. I think we’ve mentioned this before, but it’s TOTALLY worth mentioning again: the Krusteaz Gluten-Free Cinnamon Swirl Cake Mix is, hands down, probably my most favorite gluten-free find. Y’all. It’s incredible. I substitute butter for the oil. I swirl all the cinnamon into the cake at once (I don’t want to mess with layering.) Then I top it with Betty Crocker’s (canned and GF) Cream Cheese Frosting. I could easily devour the whole cake. It’s EVERYTHING.


I have loved sharing my “loves” with y’all! Happy (almost) weekend!

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

LASAGNA!

I love lasagna. ELC is an excellent lasagna-maker. However, her lasagna takes hours. Boiling noodles. Making the sauce. Simmering said sauce. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

I randomly came across a super easy recipe I’ve since adapted. We all love it! I thought I would share it with y’all tonight. It’s originally from The Kitchn.

TLC’s EASY Gluten-Free and Yummy-Full Lasagna

Ingredients:

1 Medium Yellow Onion
1 T. EVOO
1# Lean Ground Beef (I prefer grass-fed!)
Salt and Pepper, to taste
1/4-1/2 C. Red Wine (I like a Pinot Noir.)
1-24 ounce jar of Rao’s Marinara (Brand specific, please!)
4 C. Whole Milk, Low-Moisture Mozzarella
(I prefer the pre-shredded Great Value brand from The Walmarts.)
15 GF No-Boil Lasagna Noodles (Barilla is great!)
15 ounces Ricotta Cheese (Again, Great Value brand works like a charm.)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Sauté the onion in the EVOO. Add in the beef. Season with S&P. Once browned, deglaze the pan with the wine, and let it simmer for 10ish minutes. Let it then cool for 5ish minutes.

Spray a baking dish with EVOO or Avocado Oil (my personal fave). Spoon a thin layer of the jarred sauce on the bottom of the dish. Mix the rest of the jar into the beef/onion/wine mixture.

Layer 5 noodles on top of the sauce. Top with a 1/3rd of the ricotta (dollop and smooth), followed by a 1/3rd of the meat mixture and finally a 1/3rd of the mozzarella. Repeat two more times, though do NOT finish with the mozzarella. Reserve the last bit to top at the end of baking.

Cover the dish with foil. Bake for one hour.

Remove foil. Sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella. Bake another 10ish minutes.

Let it cool (This is CRUCIAL and prevents a “runny” lasagna!) and rest for at least 15 minutes on your stove. I promise—it will still be warm.

TA-DA!

Minimal ingredients. Minimal prep. MAXIMUM FLAVOR.

You won’t be disappointed. Give this a whirl!

Happy cooking!

Sunday, February 23, 2020

SPICY

So, my next love (the days of February are quickly coming to a close, I’ve got to get to crackin’) is completely random but something I’ve been using daily:



I love this stuff! AND, it’s CERTIFIED GLUTEN-FREE!

I’ve put it on everything from: taco salad, eggs, baked sweet potatoes, tuna salad. It’s truly not too spicy. It’s the tangy-ness I love! My Husband uses it to make our sweet and spicy wing sauce. YUM.

I grabbed this at Kroger. I’ll be buying more!

Happy Sunday, y’all!

Friday, February 21, 2020

...makeup loves...

Tonight, I’m starring my two new makeup loves!

Up first, the “Anastasia Brow Whiz” eyebrow pencil. I purchased this on a whim during Sephora’s big sale at the end of last year. Much like lipstick, ELC has been (kindly) suggesting I fill in my brows for quite sometime. I’ve tried several products and none have wow-ed me. Until THIS. It’s amazing! It makes my brows fuller, and looks completely au naturale. I’ve just ordered my second pencil, though I still have some left from my first, and we ordered one for ELC to try, too! My shade is “medium brown.” She went with “blonde.” It costs $23 (via Sephora). It’s worth every penny. I LOVE the little brow “bristle brush” on one end. The “pencil” (you just roll it up, no need for sharpeners) itself is ultra thin. I believe that’s what aides in the very natural look! Just outline your brow and feather it in. Done. Voilá! You can thank me later.




Second on my list: L’Orēal Infallible Pro Matte Liquid Lipstick. This is my latest shade: Dose of Rose. It’s perfect for everyday. At night, I like to go a bit more dramatic with Matador or Plum Bum (perfect for Fall/Winter). I love this lipstick. I apply it in the morning, and it still looks great by the afternoon! It doesn’t transfer onto anything. The matte finish is quite classy. While I love the look and feel of a gloss, I don’t like my hair getting stuck in it. That never happens with this! It costs around $7ish, depending on the retailer. I’ve purchased at Target, Walmart and Amazon.

Give these products a whirl. I truly LOVE them both.

TGIF.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

...the eyes have it...

For you Younguns, I say this:

Take care of your eyes!

I have macular degeneration. It’s a condition that could eventually cause me to go blind. (Sheesh. As if us Old Peeps don’t have enough worries. Sigh.) I’ve inherited it from both sides of my gene pool. My biological paternal grandmother had it. My 87-year-old mother has had it for years. She’s virtually blind in one eye and we’re determined she won’t lose the other. Although her eyesight is not great in the eye she still has.

I found out I had macular degeneration three years ago. At age 62. It’s “dry” at this point. This is where I want it to stay.  I’ve been taking these eye “vitamins” since I found out I have it. The AREDS part of these vitamins is critical. You can buy eye vitamins that don’t have AREDS. Find out if you’re likely to be a candidate for this condition as soon as you can. (Smoking is also a factor in this—although my grandmother did smoke and my mother did not.) PreserVision is not cheap. I get mine at Costco or Sam’s. I have to take two a day. I don’t miss taking these pills! I want to see. Until I’m not here. Period.


Then there are cataracts. More good news for us Seniors. Everyone is going to have them. Some of you may never have to have them removed. I’m in a holding pattern with mine. They don’t seem to be growing as fast as My Sweet Hubby’s (aka MSH) did. He had his removed last summer. This is when I learned that the drops we put in our eyes should be “preservative free.” He buys the Refresh Plus drops. They’re individually packaged.  I’ve been using Bausch&Lomb drops for at least 20 years. But I didn’t know I should buy their “Soothe” drops. That are preservative free. Now I know! (I’m not fond of MSH’s drops because I find the little vials can touch my eyes when I’m squeezing them.) MSH also gets his drops at Costco or Sam’s, by the way.


I LOVE these products. I feel certain they’re keeping our eyes healthier!

Happy Tuesday, Y’all! Open your eyes today to the BEAUTY in your world! It IS there. I’m confident of this.

Hugs,
ELC