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Still Standing (and dancing)

Ever have one of those days when a song just keeps running through your head? That almost annoying tune that if you don’t burst out singing in the office or while preparing dinner you feel like you’ll just… burst? Well, if the song is by Elton John, it’s anything but annoying! And if you (or me… this is all completely hypothetical, of course ;-) ) happen to start singing … and dancing … to it, who knows? Maybe you’ll start the next flash mob sensation! Just take a look at what the lovely city of Galveston did. To take a line from their uplifting video, “Life isn’t about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain.”

Send me to Margaritaville

Ok, I’ll be the first to admit it. I do love Christmas as much as the next person, but give me a Christmas that’s green! The weather’s getting colder and my thoughts are turning to warmer climates. The Florida Keys, Caribbean, Virgin Islands, the Gulf Coast – Corpus Christi, Padre Island . . . I am a Texas girl, after all – I love our Texas Coast in the fall! Anywhere I can dig my toes in the sand, sit back, relax and escape from the hustle and bustle of the busy season. If I can’t be there in person, I can at least be there in spirit!

This beautiful palm tree at sunset wrapped canvas set is the perfect way to escape to St. Lucia in the Caribbean in your own home. Ahhhh, take me away to Margaritaville!

Bed of Roses

Imagine a lazy Sunday morning. You’re still in bed, reading your favorite book, watching your favorite movie or listening to your favorite music. Yeah, or doing another favorite activity of yours;-) Either way, you’re bound to get hungry and thirsty eventually and there’s nothing better than sipping your favorite drink out of a mug with your favorite design.

Monarch Sunflower

Here in Grapevine, we get pretty lucky. Every year in October the elegant Monarch butterflies migrate through on their way to Mexico, filling our skies with painted wings. The Monarch’s migration can fill even adult hearts with wonder. How each generation knows to start the journey. Their beauty and their determination make them a favorite from New York, where this beautiful photo was taken, to Texas, to Mexico and around the world.  And who knows?

You might wake up some morning
to the sound of something moving past your window in the wind.
And if you’re quick enough to rise,
you’ll catch the fleeting glimpse
of someone’s fading shadow.
Out on the new horizon
you may see the floating motion of a distant pair of wings.
And if the sleep has left your ears
you might hear footsteps running through an open meadow…
Don’t be concerned.
It will not harm you.
It’s only me pursuing something I’m not sure of …

What dreams do the Monarchs inspire you to pursue?

Some Like It Hot

I know Dean’s been doing most of the posts here, but I just couldn’t resist this hot little Habanero design! I love cooking and I love cooking with peppers! The hotter the better and you can’t get hotter than this great photograph of colorful red, green and yellow habanero peppers at a farmer’s market in New Mexico.

Want to feel the heat? Try this great recipe from Cooking Enthusiast! And don’t think I forgot the music. Who can resist dancing along in the kitchen with Robert Palmer’s Some Like it Hot?

Muffaletta Panini With Spicy Olive Spread

Spicy Olive Spread
1/2 cup Habanero Stuffed Olives
1 cup Pimiento-stuffed olives
1 cup Italian Gardinera
2 Tbs. Cajun Garlic Spice
1/2 cup Olive Oil

  • Roughly chop the olives and gardinera mix, transfer to bowl.
  • Add Cajun garlic mix and olive oil.
  • Stir until combined, cover and refrigerate.

Spicy Muffaletta Panini
1 loaf Ciabatta bread
1 cup Spicy Olive spread
1/4 lb. sliced ham
1/4 lb. sliced Mortadella
1/4 lb. sliced Genoa salami
1/4 lb. sliced Provolone
1/4 lb. sliced Mozzarella

  • Cut bread in half horizontally.
  • Spread bottom half with olive mixture, then layer on the meat and cheese.
  • Cover with top and wrap entire sandwich in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour in order to give the juice from the olive spread a chance to soak in.

Free Gourmet Recipes at