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

Saturday, February 15, 2020

...WWs’ love...

I LOVE Weight Watchers! (Now called WWs.) I think y’all might know this.

Just in case you don’t...

I’ll say it again: I LOVE WWs!

I’m a Lifetime Member. (Which means I reached my goal—losing 44 pounds—over two years ago.) As long as I don’t weigh two pounds over my goal, I receive the WWs App free. If I go even one ounce over two pounds? I have to pay $15.00. The cost of WWs is approximately $45 per month. So $15? That. Is. AWESOME. Right?

In over two years, I’ve paid $15 once. I was four ounces over two pounds. FOUR OUNCES! And, yet, I didn’t care. I NEED WWs to stay at my goal weight. My health is worth $15! Has paying that $15 that morning made me try harder to stay at my goal? Yes. Yes, it has.

FYI: TLC joined WWs last Fall. She wanted to lose 20 stubborn pounds that wouldn’t go away. It took her three months to reach her goal. Now she’s a Lifetime Member, too! I was/am truly proud of her.

We BOTH LOVE WWs!

Hope y’all had a wonderful Valentine’s Day! And that this weekend will be FANTASTIC! Make some small changes in how you eat. (If you need to!) It’s baby steps that helped TLC and moi. Little itty bitty baby steps.

Hugs,
ELC

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

...animal flower crowns...

So it started with a little bear pillow from Target several years ago. The bear had a flower crown! TLC and I fell hard for animal flower crowns.

Then it went to TLC finding more “flower-crowned animals” at Hobby Lobby. Pictures. I bought one when we sold our country casa in 2018 and moved to the DFW Metroplex into our new-to-us home. It’s the cutest little cow with a flower crown. Also found it at Hobby Lobby and wanted it for one of our guest bathrooms. (The bathroom Little Leighton and Belle use when they spend the night with us.)

Then one Saturday this past December, I found this calendar at World Market! I always keep a fairly big calendar in my utility room. I note when My Sweet Hubby (aka MSH) and/or I vacuum our house. Clean bathrooms. Even when we need to change sheets in our three bedrooms—particularly our master. (Yes—you Younguns are thinking it’s mighty sad I can’t remember when we do these chores. My defense? We is OLD. And time goes by sooo fast, MSH and I simply cannot keep track of our efforts to maintain a clean and organized home. It is what it is. Sigh.)


When I showed TLC this precious calendar by the artist Spring Whitaker (She has the sweetest story she tells about herself...), TLC got EXCITED. Little Leighton had told her she wanted a 2020 calendar for her closet. TLC got her one for Christmas! (Grammy had to keep hers hidden until Dec. 26th. I didn’t mind. Winky. Wink.)

February is for TLC! The owl is truly perfect for her. I think she’s shared her “owl”’story that is hilarious. (Which is probably not nice of me to say—since the night she experienced The SCARY Owl Mystery, Her Hubby was out of town and she was extremely frightened.) This owl is beautiful!


March is for Moi and Belle!


May is for MSH! This deer is beyond special as he went from being a BIG deer hunter (for about twenty years) to wanting to feed and protect them.


July is for Little Leighton! And AMERICA!


It’s safe to say  I’ll always LOVE pretty animal crown pillows, pictures and calendars. FOREVERMORE.

We’re getting very close to Valentine’s Day. Yikes. 2020 is flying by FAST.

TLC, Little Leighton, Belle, MSH and I all wish each of you a day full of chocolates, flowers, hugs and smooches!

And if you don’t receive them? GIVE THEM. PLEASE. Give them.

ELC

Saturday, February 8, 2020

#1a all-time love...

Happy Saturday!

In celebration of TLC’s 36th BIRTHDAY, I want to make this OFFICIAL:

She is my #1a ALL-TIME LOVE. (My Sweet Hubby—aka MSH—is and always be my #1. He must be. For a ZILLION reasons. But TLC is a teeny-tiny smidge under his rating. Winky. Wink.)

TLC is smart. Funny. Beautiful. Kind. Charming. Silly. STRONG. Gifted. (Gifted in fashion. Decorating. Cooking/Home Chef-ing. SHOPPING! Organizing. Planning.) Most of all? Gifted as her Precious Princesses’ Mom.

She makes me laugh. Cry. Smile. Giggle. Learn. Try harder. To be more like her. She makes this Mama PROUD.

Please enjoy some of my favorite pictures of my FAVORITE Daughter and FRIEND:







(By the way—I made her gluten-free “cake.” She wanted something lemon-y. I experimented with a cake mix and tried to actually make her a lemon cookie “bar.” See the last picture. The flavor was YUMMO. The texture was like a wedding cookie! Flaky. It kind of melted in your mouth. I’ll try again. Her necklace? An original made by Little Leighton! “I heart you.” In Little Leighton’s special creative way!)

Happy Weekend, Y’all!

Hugs...ELC

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

...a few random loves...

So, my first LOVE is technically an ELC find. This was included in one of my Christmas gifts. I’m now on my third (wait, fourth?) bag of this certified gluten-free granola. I am obsessed. It is delicious. I top my yogurt with about a 1/4th of a cup, but believe you me, I could eat the entire bag—yogurt-less. Who knew granola could have probiotics? Win—WIN! Get thee to your local Walmarts and grab a bag or three. You won’t regret it. Treat yo’self!


Next up? My two new FAVOURITE books! I purchased these on Amazon for Little Leighton and Elle last week. The night they arrived, we read them both. They are absolutely precious. “Love Is” made me cry! The illustrations are beautiful. It’s about a sweet girl and a little duck. It’s very “metaphorical” to a mother’s love—at least that’s how I interpreted it! It’s amazing. The “Not A Valentine” book is about a little boy and his crush, and how he loves her everyday and in every way—not just on Valentine’s. These books will both have a permanent place on our bookshelves all year. I cannot recommend them enough! Hurry and head to Amazon and grab these for your little loves. Or even just for yourself.



I LOVE this month! I love Valentine’s Day! I love sharing my favourite things!

Y’all stay cozy. Texas is, of course, a weather disaster of spring-like days followed by snow. It’s currently freezing. I wish it would make up its mind.

TTFN.

Sunday, February 2, 2020

#1 love...

That would be my “grabber.” My (current) #1 LOVE. I’ve shared I’m a recent hip replacement patient. (A cute friend told me she calls grabbers “magic wands.” CLEVER.)


As I’ve also shared—I cannot CANNOT CANNOT bend over. To pick anything up. NOTHING. I have to use this grabber/magic wand (the long thing next to my sock-putter-on thing in the above picture) to help myself get dressed, too.

Let me say this: I’ve never dropped so many items in my life as I have the past two weeks. Truth. Murphy’s Law, I guess.

Here’s what happened this morning:

My Sweet Hubby (aka MSH) had waited for me to get out of my shower before he left for the grocery store. He drove off while I put some makeup on and then was going to get dressed. (More jammies. My 24/7 outfits...JAMMIES.) As I was about to get some socks on, I dropped my magic wand.

EEEKKKKKK!!!!!!! I think I actually might have said a not-nice word. Then I got up from our closet chair—put my slippers on—and schlepped into our den.

I could have gone into the kitchen and gotten some long tongs out of a drawer or looked for MSH’s pantry grabber to take back to our closet to pick up my magic wand. I was pooped. I’d lost interest in socks. I needed to sit and ice my hip.

BUT...trust me...I LOVE MY MAGIC WAND! I see it becoming a permanent necessity for the rest of my life.

Gotta scoot. Watching the Super Bowl! And also getting sleepy. Clearly worn out from my morning work.

Have a FABULOUS First WEEK in FEBRUARY, Friends!

Hugs,
ELC