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Today is National Margarita Day. Considering my hometown—San Antonio, Texas—is renown for Margaritas and the best Tex-Mex food in the state, what kind of Texas girl would I be if I didn’t share my favorite Margarita recipes?

A couple of local Mexican food restaurants will tell you I like less Marg and more Rita!

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Hi diddly dee, an actors life for me. A high silk hat and a silver cane. A watch of gold with a diamond chain.” – Pinocchio

As much as I strive to maintain a sense of style, a high silk hat would be a bit much here, where baseball caps and floppy hiking hats are de rigueur. Continue Reading

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I may be many things, but one thing I know for certain… I am not wasteful. We’ve loved our Keurig machine for years now. We love the ease and convenience it provides to make exactly the coffee of your choice, in the size you want, exactly when you want it. I especially love the way it stays-put as we travel, its little rubber feet, clinging to it’s pride-of-place on the RV counter as we jaunt around the country. But trouble’s been brewing for a while now. Since we’ve been on the road, managing our coffee pod subscription delivery has become a challenge.

We’ve missed carefully planned deliveries, leaving us rationing pods like a couple of addicts. And then there’s the greater issue of the pods themselves. Wasteful, not recyclable.

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BRENDA COFFEE REFLECTED IN HER POWDER ROOM MIRROR. PHOTOGRAPHS © JENNIFER DENTON, 2017.
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This time last year I took you on a video tour of the house I bought. That was the “Before.” Now I’m going to show you some of the “After.” Even though the house had been “flipped” before I bought it, the bathrooms were a disaster. On my first walk thru, the instant I saw the master bath and the powder room, I visualized what I wanted to change, and that’s never wavered.

Except for things like flooring, most of the pieces in my new bathrooms, I already owned, and each piece has a special story.

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The season for fresh peaches is almost over, but if you can’t find any at your grocery or farm stand, this recipe is worth saving! Cinnamon and cardamon are perfect partners for the juicy peaches, and this amazing streusel takes it over the top! Who doesn’t like the smell of coffee cake baking in the oven? Grab yourself a slice and a cup of coffee and enjoy! Continue Reading

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This recipe works great as a main meal, plus it uses one of my favorite fruits: mango! You have the sweetness from the mango, a bit of spicy from both the red and black pepper and the creaminess from the avocado. If you decide to serve this as a first course, try it in a martini glass for a touch of elegance!

I think shrimp is more flavorful if roasted in the oven rather than boiled in water. Just toss the shrimp with a few tablespoons of olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Lay them in a single layer on a sheet pan and roast for 8-10 minutes at 400° or until they’re just pink, firm and cooked through. Set aside to cool, then add to your salad. I found the original recipe in Cooking Light Magazine. Enjoy!

Sweet ‘N’ Spicy Shrimp & Avocado Salad with Mango Vinaigrette

• Mango Vinaigrette

• 6 cups shredded romaine lettuce

• 1 cup chopped red bell pepper

• 6 Tbls thinly sliced green onions

• 1 pound peeled, cooked shrimp

• 1 avocado, peeled and diced

Place Mango Vinaigrette in a large bowl. Add lettuce, bell pepper and green onions. Toss well. Add shrimp and avocado. Toss gently.

Mango Vinaigrette

• 1/4 cup fresh lime juice

• 2 Tbls chopped, fresh cilantro

• 1 Tbls olive oil

• 1/2 to 2 tsp crushed red pepper or to taste

• 1/2 tsp sugar

• 1/4 tsp salt

• 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

• 1 garlic clove minced

• 3/4 cup diced, peeled mango (about 1 medium)

Combine first 8 ingredients, stirring with a whisk. Stir in mango.

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For our final book club selection before we break for the summer, we’re featuring the second book in Ellen Herrick’s magical Sparrow Sisters series, The Forbidden Garden. It’s the story of Sorrel Sparrow and her rare gift for nurturing plants and flowers. Sorrel travels from her New England home, to an English country estate, where she’s been asked to revive a Shakespeare garden imbued with family secrets. Gardeners, art lovers, and romantics will love the fairy tale Herrick spins. I had chance to interview the author and ask her some questions. She’s also happy to answer any of your questions in the comments field.

Q. You write such beautiful characters in The Sparrow Sisters. How did the idea of the sisters come about? Continue Reading

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From the time I was quite young and first read The Boxcar Children, the idea of living a very small life has appealed to me. Not small in the sense of unadventurous, safe, invisible… but small as in square footage. I’ve been a tiny house fan since the early 50’s!

A little back-story: In March, 2015, we sold our 3,500-square-foot home with a pool and large private yard. We had tired of being house-keepers. We downsized to a lovely 1,200-square-foot leased condo. Last July we downsized again, this time to our 900-square-foot apartment. Our motor home trip in April from Austin to Key West and points in-between, was all it took for us to commit to going “full-time” and downsizing into our 300-square-foot motor home. Continue Reading

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Considering my rocky start, it’s a wonder I’ve developed anything that could be considered style. In college my decor was Early Affordable which included bookshelves and an “entertainment center” made from bricks and boards found in an alley. My dining table was a giant wooden spool that once held telephone cables, and the dining chairs were smaller versions of the same spool.

Least you think I’m too matchy-matchy, the smaller spools just happened to be in the same alley.

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