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Showing posts from August, 2016

Summer 2016 Recap

Summer of 2016 is coming to a close.  Yes, I know that summer officially goes until the middle of September, but it always feels like summer draws to a close when school starts and if you are watching Facebook much, you know that school has started by all the adorable first-day-of-school photos that are all over!  I love those photos, by the way. Our summer has kicked off with the Ribfest that is hosted in our neighborhood.  This year was as much fun as last and as always, we ate more than we should but enjoyed each minute of it.  My husband's band played in it and that is always so much fun! Bob's band played at Ribfest! We also hosted our annual Memorial Day cookoff .  It's getting more and more just a fun excuse to cook a burger, but who cares, as long as it is still fun, and it is! Our annual Garden Tour was fun and there were beautiful gardens but it was unseasonably cold and turn out was low.  However, those who did attend said it was gorge
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Our Good Life's Top Ten Things to Try

I read a wonderful post by The Craft of Laughter and it inspired me to do this post.  In their post they talk about stepping out of your comfort zone and feeling the exhilaration of trying new things.  For us, it may be more of just broading our lives and deepening our commitment to be the best we can be. Looking at our bucket list, here are the things we want to do before the end of next summer.  So without further ado, there are our top five for each of us: Bob's Top Five 1. Start a book 2. Save money for a trip to one or more of the following events: Masters Golf Tournament, a NASCAR Race, Kentucky Derby, College Baseball World Series, Packers Game at Lambaugh 3. Save money for a trip to one or more of the following destinations: Napa Valley, Spain, Italy, ​Alaskan Cruise, France, European Cruise, Ireland/Scotland   4. Save money to do one or more of the following activities: really cool hot air balloon ride, sky dive 5. Go on a trip, or to an event, or comp
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Products I Loved!

All products and books were given for free or at a reduced price in exchange for my honest opinion! I'm in a few different groups where I am fortunate enough to do a review on products that are just coming out or that need a boost by someone who has given it a try.  I am sharing some of those wonderful products here! My dogs are so excited to be a part of the review team at chewy.com!  We receiving a product to test and here are a couple that we did in August.  First was the poop bags.  We go through a lot of these with having two healthy dogs.  These bags were functional and easy to replace.  They come in a pleasant, fruity scent or unscented.   We also tried the snacks Blue Buffalo Health Bars in pumpkin and cinnamon.  Wilson, our husky Westie, loved these snacks.  They were too hard and big for my 9 pound Cavachon, Truman.  He licked them but didn't try to eat it.  I was glad to see they didn't have wheat or corn in them as Wilson is prone to some skin con
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We Have a Name! Final Edition

For those of you who kindly participated in helping us name our house , I am sure you are glad this is over.  I have a real issue of committing to something and once I do, I lament all the choices I didn't get... but this time, following the wise advice of some dear friends, we chose a name that meant something to us which I will happily explain to you. We chose the name Lakeside Resort.  Why?  Of all the names suggested, and some oh, so cute ones like La Vie, The Principals Office, The Doctors Inn, and others, we chose this name for some of the connections we have to it.  Let's look at Resort, first.  My son-in-law cleverly named the house The Resort the very first time he was here.  We have a special guest room for them, overlooking the lake, with its own bathroom and walk in master closet.  The room is spacious and we added a reading chair, a desk and a TV so when they come they will be in all kinds of comfort.   Let's look at Lakeside, now.  If you know us
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Drunken Fruit

This weekend we had a blast at two different pool parties that were held in our neighborhood.  We love the area we live in and I know we've talked about it here and here.  These pool parties are so much fun.  I'm not a big swimmer, but the atmosphere and company can't be beat. Both times we were to bring a snack and we decided on this adult concoction called Drunken Fruit. We've seen it called Boozy Balls and Drunk Watermelon and a number of other things as well.  The recipe is simple and is a hit where ever we take it! Drunken Fruit by Our Good Life Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 3 hours 6079286 Ingredients   1 medium watermelon 1 large canteloupe 1 c strawberry rum 1 c pineapple juice 1/2 c triple sec Instructions Cut the fruit in either balls or cubes. We think cubes are faster. Place into a large bowl. Mix together triple sec, rum and juice. Pour over fruit and stir to coat. Refrigerate at least three hours, stirri
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How to Make a Cake Mix Taste Homemade

I bake a lot of cakes.  A lot.  Like once a month and sometimes more!  For a home cook, that's a lot of cake and especially when there are just the two of us at home.  That means we share a lot of cake. Often people ask me if it is homemade and are surprised when I tell them it's not!  I get asked over and over what my secrets are for making cake mixes taste so good.  Here are some of my not-so-secret secrets! I use different techniques depending on the flavor of the mix.  My two most common flavors are chocolate and vanilla, so I will share what I do for each of those.  If you have a flavor that you want me to discuss, just ask in the comments. Vanilla Cake Mix 1.  Use a good vanilla cake mix like Pillsbury Moist Supreme, Duncan Hines French Vanilla or Betty Crocker Golden Vanilla.  I like these because they are readily available in my supermarket.  When I plan ahead, I will buy the King Arthur Vanilla cake mix from their website.   2.  Add in an extr
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Continuous Candle Light

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are mine. I am the owner of several (like around 20) battery operated candles.  I love them.  I love the ambiance that candlelight provides and I want the safety that comes with battery operated candles.  My neighbors tell me they love seeing the candles on my front porch.  That makes me so happy! However, my husband isn't thrilled with the amount of money I spend on batteries each month keeping my fix alive.  He doesn't complain but I know that he sees it as a waste.  So imagine my glee when I found that Groupon has fantastic deals on ...  batteries!  At Groupon Goods you can find such great deals on batteries that it even makes my husband smile!   We use mostly C, D, and AA batteries for our candles, but I noticed that they have hearing aid batteries, chargers, button batteries, AAA and some cell phone batteries.  It would be worth your time to see if they have batteries you need.  They even have a few battery org
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Easy Garlic and Rosemary Naan #ImprovCookingChallenge

This month for the Improv Cooking Challenge was to use Garlic and Rosemary.  Dreamy!  These two flavors go so well together.  I can tell you I have even had them in ICE CREAM!  It was unusual but very delicious! We grow our rosemary and many people in our neighborhood ask about it.  For us it is easy to grow, but we aren't ones to try to keep it year after year.  We like to grow it new each year as we don't care for the woody stalk one gets from an older plant.  Here's this year's batch: We keep it in a shaded but hot place.  The garlic and the basil like sharing a home together!  There are two types of basil in there but I can't remember what they are.  We purchase these plants each year at our favorite local nursery. This naan is super simple.  I purchase pre-made naan at my local Aldi's.  I think their naan is fantastic!  Then I whip up this simple butter and slather it all over.  Then I either grill it or broil it in my oven.  The house smells
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Homemade Blood Mary with Candied Bacon Swizzle #SundaySupper

This week for #SundaySupper it is all things bacon! If you cook bacon, they will come. This Bloody Mary mix was created and shared at one of my husband's infamous Christmas parties and was deemed the best of the best.  We love it and it is so easy to make.  We are huge olive fans, hence the olive juice and we love Trader Joe's tomato vegetable juice blend.  There's our secrets! For me, Bloody Mary's are about the garnish.  I have had fantastic Bloody Marys but have been disappointed due to the wimpy garnish.  Bloody Marys deserve a garnish meant for a Queen.  After all, they were named for Queen Mary 1 of England.  There is controversy about that statement, but that's my story and I'm sticking to it. Garnishes:  we love candied bacon in about anything and chose to use this as one of our favorites. You can find our recipe for Candied Bacon here .  We also love using Shrimp Cocktail on skewers. Yum.  Other favorites: slim jims, dill pickle spears, and cel
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Swiss Diamond Cookware Review

*We were given this product for free in exchange for our honest opinion.  When I was first contacted by the Swiss Diamond Nonstick Cookware Company, I was instantly intrigued.  Diamonds are a girl's best friend, according to Marilyn Monroe, after all!  Bob and I had recently retired our former nonstick skillet and were in the market to replace one.  We thought we'd give this skillet a go and see how it worked.  But why diamonds?  Here's what the website says about it: Diamonds are durable  - As the hardest material known to man, diamonds lend the coating additional strength and longevity. Diamonds are a better heat conductor than metal  - Four times more conductive than copper, diamonds help distribute heat evenly across the surface of the pan. Diamonds also allow the pan to brown food like stainless steel, creating a “fond” that can be used for gravy - or easily washed away with warm soapy water.   Diamonds are naturally nonstick  - One of the most valuable pro
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Blender Split Pea Soup #FoodnFlix

This month for Food n Flix we watched the cartoon Hotel Translyvania 2 and while I was sure I wouldn't like it, I LOVED IT.  What a darling show!  It wasn't anything like I thought it would be and now I have to go back and watch the first one!  For those of you new to Food 'n' Flix, we watch a specific movie and then use it to inspire us in cooking.  A big thank you to our host, Coffee and Casseroles ! If you are not familiar with the movie, here is a synopsis:   Everything seems to be changing for the better at Hotel Transylvania... Dracula's rigid monster-only hotel policy has finally relaxed, opening up its doors to human guests. But behind closed coffins, Drac is worried that his adorable half-human, half-vampire grandson, Dennis, isn't showing signs of being a vampire. So while Mavis is busy visiting her human in-laws with Johnny - and in for a major cultural shock of her own - "Vampa" Drac enlists his friends Frank, Murray, Wayne and Griff
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Portobello Burgers #SRC

It's the August edition of the Secret Recipe Club .  This month I was assigned to a fun blogger named Amy who is the curator of Amy's Cooking Adventures .  Why Cooking Adventures?  It's easy to see from her blog, where the last post I read was how she tried three different fats to make her homemade English muffins.  That was an adventure, indeed! Amy tells us that she got into cooking a little later in life, but with a family of cooks who surrounded her.  She likes to read, scrapbook and sew, and along with cooking, she is a Zumba instructor!  I knew she'd be a friend for life when I learned she thought dessert should also follow breakfast! As I was looking for that recipe I wanted to make, I fell in love with several of her drink recipes.  You have to go and check out her Chai Eggnog Latte .  What?  Combining two of my favorite drinks into one?  This Cucumber Melon Refresher looks perfect for the hot days of summer.  Add a shot of vodka if you like! This drin
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A Sentence a Day

Back in May I started writing a sentence a day to capture memories made and to work on my writing. It has become part of my nightly routine.  Rituals are really important to me, they help center me and make me more productive and aware of myself.  Writing at night helps me free up my mind from the day's events and to help me remember things.  Like Einstein said, "Paper is to write things down we need to remember.  Our brains are to think." July 1  Back home from vacation, with a pile of laundry that shows we had a wonderful time! July 2  Sitting by your honey, with fireworks exploding in the sky, is romantic, charming and cuddly. July 3  Celebrating the happiness of my niece to be, Rachel, as she prepares to be the wife of my nephew, Ben is such a wonderful feeling. July 4  Our country is 240 years old today and with this glorious age comes a lot of wisdom but not enough to keep our citizens sfe and happy. July 5 I had dinner with friends who understand m
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