Showing posts from February, 2019

Happy Birthday, Huxley!

Our darling grandpup had his seventh birthday and we always celebrate with a treat and a toy. His momma made his treat this year which he greatly enjoyed!  Huxley loves his food and he had no trouble devouring this treat! His gift this year was this Ziwi Peak Oral Health Deer Shank Bone Dog Chew. It's from New Zealand where the deer are raised in open range fields.  The shank bone is full of nutrients and marrow.  They wrap the shank in beef for added flavor.  They air dry it so it becomes shelf-stable. Key Benefits 100% sourced from ethical and sustainable New Zealand farms with proteins that are free-range and grass-fed. Shanks include natural nutrients and marrow, and wrapped a beef esophagus for added palatability. Chewing helps to improve your dog’s dental hygiene and decreases bad breath. Naturally air dried to retains its nutrients in a shelf-stable form that is long-lasting and palatable. All-natural chews contain no artificial coloring, flavoring

2019 Missouri Botanical Gardens Orchid Show

My family are members of the Missouri Botanical Gardens and one of the reasons is that we love to go to their annual Orchid Show.  I've written about it in 2017  and 2018  if you want to learn more about the show. The 2019 theme is Cultivation. MoBot wants to help the home gardener to cultivate orchids.  Throughout the display, there are hints, tips, and resources on orchid care. The Orchid Show never has the same display twice. Each show begins installation right after the annual Holiday Flower and Train Show. Orchids are very diverse but all must have these things:  3 petals, 3 sepals, and male and female reproductive organs.  To grow them in your own home it is best to have orchid potting mix (some add charcoal for pH and aeration.  Most orchids like room temperatures of 60-80 degrees F.  40-70% humidity, sunny rooms, and water so that the water drains completely (make sure the potting soil is nearly dried out.)  (Thanks to MoDot for this information from the

Beautiful Invitations with Paperless Post

Are you at this place in your life where you are doing mostly electronic correspondence?  I'm in the middle, doing some paper/pencil letters and cards, and some electronic ones. I just had the opportunity to try Paperless Post for the first time and I want to share with you my experience. I was given $100 of coins to use to try Paperless Post in exchange for my honest review. Paperless Post is really simple to use.  First, you go to the website and create an account.  From there you choose your invitation, wording, the "envelope" and the stamp.  Everything is paid with coins, which you purchase online. My daughter and her friend hosted a Books and Booze party this weekend and I was asked to invite some of my own friends. I chose to use Paperless Post and it was so simple.  First I created this invite: Isn't it cute?  You get to pick the invite, the background, the envelope, the envelope liner and the stamp that is on the outside! Once the fun p

Easy Boxty (Potato Pancakes)

Growing up my mom used to make boxty potato pancakes for us when she had left-over mashed potatoes.  Sometimes they were creamy inside with crisp outsides and sometimes they were crispy all the way through. We didn't care, we just loved our potato pancakes! My family gave me one of those Ancestry DNA kits for Christmas and to my surprise and delight, I learned that I was 33% Irish! My great-grandfather's last name was Dorrell, so it was pretty much believed anyway, but it was nice to have confirmation. Boxty uses buttermilk, mashed potatoes, and grated potatoes. In an effort to reduce the number of ingredients and to make them quick and easy, I use only grated potatoes and leave out the buttermilk. For me, these potato pancakes taste a lot like mom's. Yield: 6 Author: Terri Steffes Print Recipe With Image Without Image Boxty Delicious Irish style potato pancakes just like my mom used to make! prep time: 10 mins cook time: 20 mins total time: 30 mi

Bird Seed Ornaments #chewyinfluencer

I love birds and while I can't say that I am an ornithophile, I can tell you that I am enamored by their chitter chatter, their energy and their ability to fly off in milliseconds!  I have a tiny backyard, but I have dedicated a portion of it to a Missouri wildflower garden, just for the birds and butterflies. Even though I don't cut back the wildflower garden until spring, there isn't enough food there to help my birds survive the winter. I have to supplement and this is how I do it.  I buy Kaytee Basic Blend Wild Bird Food by the bulk from I received this birdseed from for free in exchange for my honest feedback. Here's a bit about the seed: Kaytee Basic Blend Wild Bird Food is an everyday favorite for both bird-watchers and wild birds. This classic food includes a number of different grains to attract a wide variety of birds throughout the seasons. It’s been a mainstay in backyard feeders and is suggested for use in hopper, large

Chocolate Mint Smoothie

It's the February Fantastical Food Fight! and we are giving you all kinds of good recipes using CHOCOLATE MINT. It is one of my favorite combinations and I love sharing this good for you version of a delicious smoothie that won't make you miss the high calorie, high sugar version at a fast food restaurant! This chocolate mint smoothie has a secret ingredient, and that is avocado. Why an avocado? Besides all the wonderful nutrients, the avocado contains good fat, which makes this smoothie very satisfying. The carbs will burn off first in your body, then this good fat will burn at a much slower rate, helping you feel full and satisfied longer. Yield: 2 Author: Terri Steffes Print Recipe With Image Without Image Chocolate Mint Smoothie A refreshing chocolate mint smoothie with a powerful ingredient! prep time: 5 mins cook time: 1 mins total time: 6 mins ingredients: 1 c ice 1 c unsweetened almond, coconut or cashew milk 1 ripe avocado, peeled, se

Cake Mix Pie Crust

Welcome to the February Pinterest Challenge Blog Hop, hosted by My Pinterventures.   A group of bloggers get together and motivate one another to not just pin, but to actually try those pins! This month I decided to try this Cake Mix Pie Crust because it sounded very interesting and tasty. I like finding new shortcuts for tasty treats. I love baking pies and love to make them to take to my friends and neighbors. I wanted to see if this recipe, shared by Hoosier Homemade from a Duncan Hines field trip, would be a go-to option for quick pie baking.  This is one of those recipes where the possibilities are endless. I'm making a vanilla crust with a salted caramel cheesecake filling.  You can make this pie crust in any flavor that a cake mix comes in!  Think of the possibilities!  I'm already thinking of the Easter pies that I am going to make! This crust isn't like the pie crust you are familiar with.  This has a cookie like taste which goes well with puddin

Turn Your HOME Into a Haven, Even on that Busy Road

Living on a busy road is rarely pleasant. Even worse, this is an issue which often creeps up on us when we’re least expecting. It may be that the road in question was quiet when you first moved in. Or, perhaps you simply didn’t foresee this being an issue when you decided to move here. Either way, you’re paying for it now because that traffic is about to drive you crazy. This is an issue many of us are facing as our roads get busier, and it can be a struggle. Sometimes, you may want to sell and move to the middle of nowhere. But, we all know how much time and money goes into moving house nowadays . Instead, then, it’s worth remembering that you can make your house a haven again without going anywhere. And, we’re going to look at how. Picture Credit Consider sound-proofing Often, it’s the constant sound of passing cars which really gets annoying. How can you relax when engines rush past your window every few seconds? You can hardly hear yourself think, let alone focu

Pissaladiere, A Year in Provence, and a Provence Red

I am so excited to share with you that I have joined the French Winophiles on Facebook.  This group does a Twitter chat and blog posts on their favorite subject: French Wines.  This month we are looking at the book A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle, Provence wines, and a delightful recipe that combines both. First, let me share the book with you.  I read this book in the early 90s and it has been a book that I read annually since then. I cannot say enough about this book.  We read it as a book club selection and from this several couples found themselves on tours of Provence in later years.  I gave my original copy away when one of my friends was heading to Provence and hadn't read it. I received my new copy from  Blue Vase Book Exchange .  They graciously provided copies of the book to the French Winophiles.  If you haven't read this book yet, here is a quick review. In this witty and warm-hearted account, Peter Mayle tells what it is like to realize a long-cherished d

Winey Mary: Blood Mary meets Red Wine

Our Improve Cooking Challenge puts two ingredients together and challenges us to make a dish with those ingredients!  For February we were challenged to make something from red wine and Italian seasoning!  For my submission, I recreated a cocktail I had long ago when my husband and I ate at a steak restaurant in Minneapolis. It was called a Winey Mary. According to various resources on the web, a Winey Mary is a Bloody Mary that uses red wine as part of the ingredients.  My concoction includes Italian seasoning and I think it is a winner!  I hope you do, too. Winey Mary 4 oz red wine 3 oz vodka 2 oz Bloody Mary Mix 1 t lemon juice 1 t pepperoncini juice 1 t Italian seasoning 1 t A-1 sauce In a shaker glass, combine all the ingredients and shake until ingredients are blended and cold. Pour into a pint glass filled halfway with ice.  Garnish with your favorite Bloody Mary garnish. You can also rim the glass with celery salt. Favorite garnishes: Meatballs on a sti

The Alamo Bride #ourgoodlifebooklist

I read a lot of historical fiction, mostly about World War I or II, so I was pleasantly surprised to pick up a book about the Alamo. Author Kathleen Y'Barbo does an excellent job with her research to create a truly enjoyable read. I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion. I am not required to leave a positive review.  From Amazon:   Will Ellis Lose All at the Alamo? Ellis Dumont finds a man in New Orleans Grey unconscious on Dumont property in 1836. As his fevers rage, the man mutters strange things about treasures and war. Either Claiborne Gentry has lost his mind or he’s a spy for the American president—or worse, for the Mexican enemy that threatens their very lives. With the men of her family away, Ellis must stand courageous and decide who she can trust. Will she put her selfish wants ahead of the future of the republic or travel with Clay to Mission San Jose to help end the war? Join the adventure as the  Daughters of the May