Krusteaz Pumpkin Spice Mix — Is it BuzzWorthy?

We picked up a box of Krusteaz Pumpkin Spice Baking Mix at Costco and this morning Mr. Bee used it to make pancakes.

Each box comes with six packets of mix to make quick bread, cookies or pancakes.  To make the pancakes you add eggs and water.  It made a pretty generous serving of pancakes.

After we sat down I mentioned to Mr. Bee that Log Cabin needs to make a seasonal syrup that has a pumpkin spice flavor to it.  Then, we got to joking about my submission to Reynolds Wrap for my parchment paper idea which you can read about here.

Taste results:  The flavor was just right — not too sweet.  If you’re allergic to nuts you may not want to try these.  In fact, I’m not a nut-in-my-food kind of person, but they are tiny and were not in every bite.   My vote is give them a try.  If pancakes aren’t your thing, I am sure the pumpkin bread recipe is good.  Krusteaz, in my opinion, always make a high quality product.

As evidenced by the tiny bites I had left on my plate.

They’re worthy of a try!

Birchbox Product Review

I recently subscribed to Birchbox.  For a monthly $10 fee, they ship you five generous samples of products to try at home.  In my September box I received samples of shampoo, conditioner, face serum (above), eyeliner and a BB cream.  When you sign up you can customize your box to reflect your tastes and preferences.

After you’ve had a chance to try the products, you can go on their website and give reviews for extra credit points which can be applied toward future purchases. They also offer free shipping on your order.

My favorite sample was the Shiseido Power Infusing Concentrate.  You apply it to a freshly cleaned face before moisturizing.  It smells very citrusy — just like a bowl of freshly sliced lemons.  It absorbs quickly and makes my face feel so clean.  The sample is pretty generous and a little goes a long way so I think I can get it to last for about a month.  This may have to be something I add to my skin care regimen.

If you decide to sign up for your own monthly delivery (which you can cancel at any time), be sure to use this link to Birchbox so I can earn credits.  You can refer friends, too, once you establish an account.  It’s a fun way to try new products!

Using baby oil to shave — Fab or Flub?

I saw an idea on Pinterest for using baby oil gel to shave.  The pinner claimed it gives you the best shave ever.  I thought I’d give it a try.
The Pros:

  • I did feel like I got a close shave.  Because oil doesn’t lather like shaving cream, it was a little harder to shave my arm pits, but nevertheless it worked.
  • My legs felt really soft and moisturized afterward so much so that you don’t need to put lotion on your legs after you shower. 
  • Shaving cream can be irritating and the oil gel was definitely more forgiving.
  • You don’t use as much oil gel so. 


  • May clog your drain.  Mr. Bee has a thing about anything potentially clogging a drain — like bath salts, scrubs or oils.  If he knew I was using oil gel to shave, he might give me a frowny face.
  • A gross build up of oil and hair congeal (I think I dislike the word congeal as much as the “m” word) which causes your razor to clog up on the back.  You have to rinse out your razor in the shower stream to dislodge it, which means it potentially is dislodging in your hair.  Gah.

So, I think it’s a cross between fab and flub — would that be a flab?  If you could figure out a way to fix con #2, it might change my verdict to fab.

Shop the grocery store for plants

Mr. Bee and I have really been working hard to get our garden spruced up for the growing season.  This post will kick off a series of posts on the buzz in my garden.  The grocery store doesn’t have to be just for milk and eggs — it can also be a great source for pottery and plants.   I stopped into Albertson’s grocery store recently and right at the front door were two beautifully
hand-painted pots from Mexico.

I couldn’t believe the price of them either.  About the same time I spotted these, I had just picked up two hibiscus trees for less than $20 at Kroger.  I knew the bright red flowers would be the perfect punch for the pots.  So, I went ahead and purchased the pots knowing that if I went back for them later, they wouldn’t be there.  When I transplanted the hibiscus plants into the pots I gave them a good dose of plant food and added sweet potato vine and wave petunias.  That was about three weeks ago and now the hibiscus plants are covered in red blooms.  I saw my first hummingbird the other morning so this is a good sign.

The other thing I purchase at the grocery every year is ferns.  The Kroger’s carries Boston ferns each spring for $10 each.  They are healthy and huge.  Here’s a tip on how to keep them alive all summer and well into the Texas winter months — don’t leave them in the hanging pot they come in.  I always transplant the ferns into big pots with fresh potting soil from the nursery.  I add in a little plant fertilizer, then keep them watered all summer long.  When everything else has stopped blooming because the heat is stifeling, I can always count on a little green from fern.

I’ll have a Pink Martini

I use Spotify at work so I can listen to my own blend of music.  At work, I like low key music — Michael Buble meets Sade kinda tunes.  The kind I would like to hear if I were shopping in a store.  Make me linger and sip a cocktail kind of music.

Spotify introduced me to Pink Martini.

An American band that sings multilingual songs, they perform on the concert stage as well as with an orchestra.  The female vocalist is China Forbes.  I want her dress.

They have some great album cover designs — very retro chic

Hey, Eugene is my favorite song.
This album has the favorite Doris Day tune Que, Sera, Sera.
Many of their songs are sung in French so don’t be distracted.  Just sit and enjoy your croissant.  I dare you to not like them.

I’m Waterlogued

I spent my entire evening playing with Waterlogue.  It’s a new smart phone app that takes your photos and creates a watercolor print right before your eyes.  It is awesomesauce.  The Hive may open a gallery with these buzz worthy jewels…

Mr. Hobbes

New York Poppy Farm

Take my hand
Ruthie, the Weinerful
Miss Bee with sandy toes
Porkchop and Lovie
I mustache you a question
Buttercream Frosting
Earnie and the Amaryllis
Animal Print
Best $2.99 I have spent in a while.  Have a wonderful weekend.

Trader Joe’s Top 25 Picks — Mine made the list!

Trader Joe’s Top 25 list of their customer favorites was just announced and this proud consumer is so excited that a few of my very own faves were included!

Click on the link to see if your faves are on the list.  Mine were Pumpkin Coffee, Pumpkin Bread & Muffin Mix, and the Mandarin Chicken.

While you are on their site, sign up for their Fearless Flyer.  The flyer is so creative and makes you want everything — plus they have a feature where you can create a shopping list and they will send it right to your inbox to use while you’re in the store!

Mark you calendar for January 28 when it’s National Appetizer Day.  The store is supposed to have fun food samplings and give aways.  I was not compensated in any way for this post.  I’m just a fan.

Hope your Tuesday is terrific.

The Night I Wet My Pants

the-conjouringMiss Bee loves scary movies.  In the last 6 months or so I have been her chaperone to see Mama, Warm Bodies and World War Z.  I always have to sit by myself in the theatre because she and her friends like to sit on the back row.  So, surrounded by my popcorn, candy and a drink I have to console myself when scream worthy moments arise.  It’s kinda like counseling.  Just tough it out.

Several weeks ago I read about the new movie The Conjuring in a magazine.  I won’t reveal too much about it, but it’s based on a true story of a family who move into a farm house in Rhode Island only to be forced out again because of demons living in the home.  A real-life couple, The Warrens, who’ve dedicated their lives to helping families with these types of issues, come to the rescue.

hot-guy-in-conjouringHere’s a few observations.  The movie has no gore or random slashing.  It’s pure scary, suspense.  A cross between Amityville Horror and Poltergeist.  Both movies scared the pants off me.  This movie is set in 1971 so it’s full of kitchy 70s décor and vibe.  Doors that randomly open and close.  The mayhem starts at 3:07 a.m. every night.  Yikes.

If this couple showed up to help me exercise demons from the house, I’d be set.  He’s dreamy, she’s gorgeous.

A few tips.  Be prepared to scream.  Take your blood pressure meds before hand.  Plan to go straight home to bed because you’ll be exhausted from screaming and constantly pointing behind someone’s head to say “turn around.”

hanging-feet“What?  Do you see something?”
“Mommy can’t play right now.  She’s missing her face. Cause, I ate it off.”
I hope they conjure up a sequel.  Perfect, summer movie.

Her Pink Legacy

At work yesterday I took a group of ladies for a tour of the Mary Kay Museum at the Mary Kay World Headquarters in Addison, Texas.  Mrs. Mary Kay Ash took a $5,000 investment in 1963 and built a 2.2 billion dollar business while along the way changing countless lives of men and women across the world.

I snapped a few fun photos…

I have a thing for oil paintings of people.  I love them.  You know when you go to estate sales and the owner has portraits on the walls of their children.  I always wonder about the people in the paintings, what their lives were like.  The stories they could tell.

I thought the names of these fragrances were funny…Jan and Snare.  Who’s Jan?  And, if I wear Snare, surely Chad Everett would have noticed me when I visited Medical Center.

Another oil painting and the pink, round ottoman.  I want it!  Why pink?  In the ’60s, most American bathrooms were white.  So pink was chosen for the Company’s packaging to give women beauty products they could keep conveniently on their bathroom counters.

Forty was fatal in 1963.  Now, I think most women wearing Mary Kay for the last 50 years wish they looked 40.

Mary Kay’s encouraging words are displayed just outside her museum.  The feathered frock I would wear on sandwich night at home.

Mary Kay’s Golden Rule, which was the primary principle on which she founded her company, is still very relevant today:

“Praise people to success.  Place God first,
family second and career third.”
— Mary Kay Ash

Buzz on Southfork Ranch

I took a tour group to Southfork Ranch on Tuesday.  In all the years of watching the old, and now new, series I never took a trip there.  I highly recommend going.  The staff were very welcoming and the property is lovely. 

When the series debuted in 1978, the home was owned by a family so only exterior shots were allowed.  The interior shots were taken at a sound stage in Culver City, California.  Now with the series renewal, everything is shot in Dallas; both on the Southfork property and in a sound stage in Dallas.

Here’s the back patio near the pool.  This is where the Ewings would gather in the mornings for breakfast.  Remember Miss Ellie asking Teresa for some eggs for Bobby?  I didn’t take a photo of the infamous pool because it was covered for a scene they are shooting tomorrow (we missed seeing the cast by one day!).

The Dining Room where many a close, family dinner was held. 

Jock’s photo above the fireplace.

Lucy’s bedroom.  I think the signage on her dressing table was supposed to be a little tongue-in-cheek.

Jock and Miss Ellie’s bedroom.  The thing that several of us said as we were standing around looking at each room  is that logically we know there is no Ewing family living here.  But, it seemed very invasive walking around seeing things and seeing the character’s photos.  Almost as if they were going to walk in from the pasture or Tom Thumb while we were there.

The house is not as large by today’s standards.  But for the 70s, when the house was originally built, it was considered a palace.  It has changed owners several times over the years.  The most recent owners purchased the house in 1992 and it was totally redone.  It’s still a step back in the 80s.

A view of the foyer and staircase.

JR’s bedroom.  A gigantic platform bed right in the middle of the room and a champagne bucket handy next to the bed for closing those “deals.”

And his trademark hat and smile on the wall.

The master bath was totally surrounded in mirrors.  Mirrors everywhere.  You have to have quite a positive outlook on your body to bathe in this place or wear a mask over your eyes.

This is the exterior front shot of the house. 

As we rode away on a tram being pulled by a John Deere tractor, I could hear JR saying “Ya’ll come back now, you hear.”