Perfectly, Imperfect Deviled Eggs

So this was the beginning of what was to be the perfect boiled egg recipe. If you missed the recipe, check out Easy Peasy Boiled Eggs. The Pioneer Woman knows her stuff and this is the first time my boiled eggs peeled easily and turned out perfect. However, that’s where the perfection ended for me.
Boiled eggs

I was planning to use my perfect boiled eggs to make Deviled Eggs. I cut them, scooped out the cooked yolks, put them in the mixer, added mayo, a little vinegar, pepper and evidently, a whole lot of salt! Yep, too much salt for sure. So, I did the only thing I could do and tested out the Pioneer Woman’s boiled egg recipe again in order to add 4 more eggs to the mix.

Well, the second test proved that her process was not a fluke, they came out perfect again. So, I added the extra yokes, missed it all up hoping to dilute the salt, and was ready to fill the eggs.  I have found that putting the mixture in a pastry bag or small ziploc bag, cutting the bottom corner and squeezing into each egg, is the easiest way to make the prettiest eggs.  However, I only had large ziploc bags so I decided to try plastic wrap instead. BAD IDEA!  I’m always here to tell you things not to try.  Lol. The plastic wrap does not hold up to the squeezing pressures and you end up with mess like this…

It’s much better to use a ziploc bag that is too big!

And hopefully, your eggs can end up like this

(with the exception of the two ugly ones).  

Can you find them?  Lol

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30 Years & 30 Pounds Ago

30 Years & 30 Pounds Ago

It was the late 1980’s…

Peach & blue were the “in” colors.  Lace was everywhere.  Big hair, neon, “Let’s get Physical”, Rick James, Lionel Ritchie, Prince, “Thriller”, Michael Jackson, big glasses, dance clubs… Fun times, but the best of times were just beginning…

May 14, 1988, 30 years and 30 pounds ago, we became husband and wife.

The weather was much the same, extremely hot for May, but such a beautiful day. Other things, not quite so similar as that day. Some better, some worse…

Me: TINY waistline, hair colors, jobs, death of friends, loss of my Mom
Him: Baseball thighs, hair, jobs, death of friends, loss of his Mom
3 nieces, 4 nephews
1 condo, 4 houses
3 kittens, 16 cats, down to 1 cat
2 dogs, down to 1 dog
About 12 cars
9-11
Many birthdays, heart breaking losses, celebrations, wonderful friends, volleyball games, girl’s and boy’s basketball games, cross country track meets, golf matches, Daddy and team coaching sessions, team prayers, lake visits, beach visits, laughter and tears, etc…

Then the BEST TWO THINGS that ever happened in this marriage were 26 and 24 years ago. What a wonderful blessing that little baby girl and boy have been to us and continue to be as young adults.

Life is very different before and after babies, before and after elementary school, then high school, college, before and after CPA exams, before and during Dental School, and then your children’s adulthood.

But, I swear, every stage of life with them just gets better and better just as every stage of our marriage. I’m not saying it has all been or will be a “bed of roses”, we are both pretty hard headed at times. Well, at least he is. (This is my blog and I’ll tell the story the way I see it. Lol) but seriously, I feel so blessed to have watched him become an adult, then a father and now a supportive friend to our children and to have so much love, respect, friendship, and happiness in this family.

Right now, I’m loving this song by Jason Aldean, “You Make it Easy” because my hubby really does and I’m pretty certain that there are ALOT of times that I don’t make it easy for him to do just that…

 

Will you raise your glass and share a toast to a happy 30 years of marriage and many more?  Thanks for celebrating with us!!!

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Go Red for Women®️

 

National Wear Red Day®️

Friday, 2/2/18

The American Heart Association sponsors National Wear Red Day®️ on the first Friday of every February in order to raise awareness of heart disease in women. By wearing red to promote and support this cause, we can honor loved ones who have suffered heart attacks, strokes or other effects of heart disease, as well as, draw more attention to the risks of  heart disease in women. We should also use this as a reminder to ourselves to have regular physical examinations, eat healthier foods and exercise more in order to protect that part of our body that keeps it all pumping!
Back in my day, well, actually a lot shorter time back than that, Heart Disease was thought to strike mostly men.  With women’s symptoms usually being quite different from what a National Wear Red Day®️ experiences, women were rarely considered targets of heart disease.  Based on these issues, early detection was uncommon, which is “heart breaking” considering that according to the AHA, “80% of cardiovascular diseases maybe preventable with education and action.”  
Many people today still do not realize how vastly this affects women.  The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, in the U.S., states that “Coronary Heart Disease is the #1 killer of women in the United States.”  We have to raise awareness about hosw this disease is killing women and that is exactly why we Go Red For Women®️!

 

Ok, this is where it gets real…

You can read “My Story” below to understand what inspired me to start honoring my mother, Jackie, in February 2009 by participating in Go Red For Women®️.  It wasn’t a big deal.  I just asked co-workers in my area at the community college where I work, to wear red on this day if they wished to participate.  Well, as usual, these amazing people stepped up and we had red hats, red shirts, red dress pins, red fingernails…you get the picture!  Go Red For Women®️ throughout the office!
We continue this tradition every year with more people on campus coming over to our offices showing off their red attire in support.  We try to have fun whatever we are doing, so one year we put a red dress with white polka dots on a headless mannequin and took turns having our heads photographed with the mannequin body. Last year, we made a simple photo booth by hanging a big, red tablecloth with white hearts on the wall.  We let everyone write the names of people they “Go Red” for, on the hearts and took pictures in front of it using funny props.  
The tradition has extended off campus to our friends, friends of friends, family members and the community. On this day, all day, I receive selfies and group pictures of people in their red attire.  Some are supporting me, some remembering my mother.  Most have had a friend or family member touched by heart disease.  Whatever the reason they choose to participate, they are helping bring awareness about heart disease in women to more and more people.  

When I send out the Go Red For Women®️ email reminder every year about this time, “My Story” is attached for any new employees or in case anyone wants to share it with their friends and family.  My mother was truly an inspiration to anyone that knew her.  I have missed her every day of the past 12 years and will continue to miss her always.
Won’t you please Go Red For Women®️ with me on Friday, February 2nd and proudly help raise awareness about heart disease in women?  It could save a life!  You are very special and deserve a HAPPY HEALTHY HEART!

 

My Story

My mother had her first heart attack when she was 36.  I was in the 5th grade.  She lost an entire artery and was told that she could not go back work.  She was disabled…
As a child, that did not mean much to me, except that, my mother was sick and couldn’t do a lot of the things that she used to do.  She had been working as a teacher/librarian, going to school to get her Master’s Degree in Education, looking forward to a bright career ahead, as well as being a wife and active mother of two young girls.   As I got closer to that age, and then even more when I passed it, I realized how young she was and how life-altering that must have been for her.
She survived another heart attack when she was about 50 and because of her determination, lived a very full life even though her heart was only pumping at about 10% capacity.  She dedicated herself totally to her family and friends instead of focusing on her illness.
On Feb. 6, 2006, she collapsed at a middle school basketball game, was taken to the hospital by ambulance and died two days later, on February 8, 2006 of congestive heart failure.
With National Wear Red Day®️ occurring the first Friday of every February, I thought this would be an awesome way to honor her for being so strong and persevering, when I know she hardly had the energy to get up every morning.
At her celebration of life, we played a song that was very special to her, “I Hope You Dance” by Leann Rimes. I hope that the next time you hear this song, you will think about her and remember that life is short.  You must dance, live fully, laugh much, love, pray, enjoy your friends and take care of yourself!

 

If you have a story you wish to share, please feel free to comment.

 

February is American Heart Month and as much as we need to promote heart health in women, we care about our men’s heart health as well. This article by the Center for Disease Control is certainly worth the read.
Link: Strong Men put their Heart Health First

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Fixer Upper B&B – The Beautiful Hillcrest Estate

Hello to all you ‘Fixer Upper” fans!

In one of my first posts, I gave you a glimpse of our second trip to Waco, Texas in October 2017 and promised to share more photos of the trip. Well, sorting through the pictures, I was reminded that I took quite a few!  So, please sit back, relax and join me as I take you to the amazing Hillcrest Estate.  This is the beautiful entrance to Hillcrest Estate, the second B&B that Chip and Joanna renovated. This one is actually located in Waco, whereas Magnolia House is in McGregor. The Estate opened in 2017 and reservations are available twice a year when they open the reservation lines. Just make sure you pick someone with persistence to dial and redial and redial since fans from all over the country will be trying at the same time to book a stay at Hillcrest Estate. With some luck, and a sister with a quick dialing finger, like I had, hopefully, you will get through before all of the dates are booked.

As soon as you walk in the front door, you know it, you feel it, they’ve done it again and in a big way! You feel welcome and at home immediately. In the foyer, there is a round table with a Guest Log, scented candle, large bottle of water, Magnolia store discount cards for all guests and a note from Chip and Jo.The living room is open and bright but also very cozy & inviting. They’ve built an entertainment center using old doors, covered a wooden chair with soft new fabric (top left) and hung blankets on a ladder for your snuggling pleasure. The dining room (top right) seats 10 at the long, black wooden table. The bookshelves are full of white dishes, pitchers, candlesticks, cake stands and books. I promise, you never get tired of just wandering around this house checking out the details. The middle right picture is the poker room.  It is a dark grayish/blue, has its own fireplace and a large old map framed and hung on the wall. Bottom right is a sitting area in the downstairs master bedroom. Magnolia notepad and pen placed on the table for your convenience, of course.I honestly don’t know how many bedrooms there are. I guess I could count them from my pictures, but anyway, all of the many bedrooms are amazing! The collage above shows the first bedroom to the right as you walk in the front door. It has a fireplace with remote control gas logs, a desk, bookshelves and the coziest bed covers and blankets ever. This is true for all of the beds in Hillcrest Estate!

This is the Master Bedroom, however, it’s really hard not to call all of the bedrooms “Master’s”! A beautiful 4 poster king size bed (OMG, comfy), bottled “Magnolia” water, chocolate truffles, and Wifi password at your fingertips. Then, the master bath… The granite countertop, double sinks, subway tile, two headed shower with bench seating, are all impressive, but THIS tub…It must be three feet deep (middle left).  Again, all the details, towels, shampoo, conditioner, lotion and soap at your fingertips in the glass door linen closet.  The toiletries are Bigelow Peppermint and Lavender. When I smell the leftover lotion I stingily use at home, it brings back that Magnolia ambience all over again.So cute! This is the entrance to the upstairs bathroom. I could get used to seeing that every morning, couldn’t you?More bedroom and bathroom pictures. Are you tired of looking at pictures? I didn’t think so. Lol. So many wonderful nooks and crannies filled with decorating inspiration!Another sitting/reading area, more pics of dining room table and fireplace.Now, this is really a smart use of kitchen space. The oven is located in the brick divider wall, which is cool, but my favorite part is that here are inverted shelves built into the brick wall on both sides of the oven. These hold coffee, flavored syrups, spices, etc…anything you need while you are cooking. I love this!

Then there’s the back yard. Simply peaceful. A fire pit with rocking chairs ready to warm your hands in the evening and a quaint chapel built with old glass windowed doors, complete with a concrete bench where you can sit and watch the birds, think, pray or just be grateful.

And last, little, but not least, is this adorable playhouse. Covered front porch, window boxes planted with trailing greenery, and dinner bell hanging by the door. Walk in and notice a lovely pattern on the ceramic tile floors, wood shelving, and the cutest ceramic sink with actual running water. 
What child, or adult for that matter, wouldn’t love to hang out in this precious little house?  Unless, of course, you have the opportunity to stay in the big house. Lol. 

I just can’t tell you how much we enjoyed our stay at Hillcrest Estate and how much we appreciated all the details that were handled by the wonderful caretakers.  Chip and Jo obviously put their heart into preserving the history of this old house built in 1903 by updating the decor but maintaining the original style of the home, like they do so well!

I hope you enjoyed my little virtual tour of the Hillcrest Estate.  Stay tuned for more pics and info on Magnolia Silos, Waco tours and restaurants that we visited on our trip to Waco, Texas.

Enjoyed having you visit the Hillcrest Estate with me!

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Hi, Ya’ll from Magnolia Silos

I just want to give you a sneak peek of our trip to Waco last week where we spent two nights at Chip and Joanna’s second fixer upper rental property, Hillcrest Estate. I will say that this house is amazing (no surprise there) and anyone you talk to that knows the Gaines’ will tell you that they are genuinely, the same people you see on “Fixer Upper” week after week.The locals don’t mind sharing their personal and/or professional experiences with this down to earth, but oh so famous, family.The positive impact on Waco is evident everywhere you look. Because of their dedication and desire to bring the city of Waco back from a devastating tornado and failing economic state, they have enriched so many lives and changed the future for the good of generations to come.  

I will share lots more from our trip so please check back soon!