Saturday, February 27, 2010

Winner! Winner! Grilled Shrimp Dinner!


Wow! I actually had a decent amount of entries for the iTunes card giveaway! Weeeee! Makes it much more fun folks! See how excited I am?! LOOK at how often I just used exclamation points!

Drum roll, please?  The winner of the $25 iTunes giftcard is Kelly over on At Home with the Pooles!

Now, this is actually kind of funny… Kelly ended up being my 35th follower… that triggered the giveaway.  She’s also married to a Poole… I grew up in Louisiana with some Pooles… I even may have had a crush on one at some point.  He was cute! … they all actually were… Pretty family that was… Anyway. Kelly has a fun blog.  Go check her out!

So Kelly, shoot me an email with your info, K?


This is what I’m making tonight for dinner… Looks good, no?

Click the pic for a link to the recipe.

mexican-grilled-shrimp-kebabs-l Southern Living

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Makin’ Groceries the high tech way…

I thought that I would share more details of one of my most useful apps today. Apps can be fun, functional, pointless, you name it. But this one I file under USEFUL.

Meet Grocery IQ

You can keep track of your shopping errands by store.


For things I shop for near weekly, I have a favorites list set up. Just select, then choose “Add to List.”

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   There is a Coupon section that I select the things I’m shopping for with the coupons, email the list to myself, then print them out before I head out. You CAN print straight from the phone… but I lost our WIFI router password… Ooops.


When you are out shopping, the coupons show up on your list as well, so you never forget if you need the specific brand, amount, etc. As you shop, you just tap the box next to your item, then at the end, you hit “check out” to clear your list. Easy Peasy.


And if I happen to have the luxury of Hubs going to the store for me, I can easily email the list to HIS iPhone.


WOW… now that is worth the $.99 I had to pay.  For less than a dollar, my grocery list is never forgotten at home (because I ALWAYS have my phone). Love. It.

Giveaway announcement:

Because several people have told me they posted links to the giveaway on their own blogs, I’ve decided to give everyone til 12 midnight Friday night to enter to win the iTunes gift card. I love shout-outs, so feel free to link back to me!


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Recycle, Reuse

This is my version of going green…

Remember these curtains?


I love this linen…. it’s nubby and rough, breezy, light, beautiful. Of COURSE I didn’t leave them at the house when we sold it. I’m quirky, not crazy!

I finally found this cable system at Ikea to hang up the curtains in my new master bedroom, here in Texas. This kit requires help to put up for sure… which is why it became a weekend project for Hubs to help me with… look at these weird pieces!

curtain cable assembly          

I wanted a very clean, light look… we ended up having to rig some bracing on the long wall, because that darn linen was just too heavy for the cable, but hey, in the end I love it, so who cares.


Ok, so here I’m about to show you a before shot of my room… eh, yeah… we still had moving boxes in our bedroom from a year and a half ago… But they are gone now, so that’s what matters right?

messy room

I’ve always hated this room because the bed never felt just right… then I figured it out. I HAVE to be able to see the bed from the door. Before it was off to the side and just felt… well… off. But now, I’m totally in love with it, even though I probably feng shui’d us into poor health or something… I also exchanged two table lamps for those bending arm wall mounted ones. That really helps control the clutter on the bedside tables.

Whatcha think?



Momma likes.

Don’t forget the iTunes giveaway!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Say Cheese!

You know how much I love my iPhone. I should tell you though… I HATE the camera on the thing.  Until now. I’ve found the coolest new app that will knock your socks off. 

Check out this pic…


This is the best I could get… and in lower light? Forget it.

This is AFTER my new app…



1000 times better, and I even have a decent zoom!!! Hurrah!

The new app is called CP Pro. You can auto share to Twitter, Facebook, Picassa… You can zoom, sharpen, brighten, contrast, crop, etc. all in the phone. You can tag your pics so that they save in folders. It runs $1.99 and is probably one of my favorite apps to date!

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I’m super duper excited about this one… mainly because when I snap a quick pic and put it up on Twitter, the pics always look like crap.  Maybe now, not so much.

Now I know that there are those of you who refuse to pay for apps… even when you know you want one. So my next giveaway will be a $25 iTunes card so that you can get what you want without feeling guilty about it!!! To trigger the giveaway, I’ve gotta hit 35 followers. The Friday after that happens, I’ll giveaway the card! Yes, it DOES seem like extortion, but it’s my blog. If you don’t like it, deal with it or leave. Comment, follow me on Twitter and retweet this post… whatever you do, let me know what you’ve done and you’ll be entered. Folks, the last giveaway had two entries… Your odds are VERY good… Just do it!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Twinkle Toes

My older (8) daughter is a creature who I just can’t believe came from my body… She’s dingy, flighty, easily distracted (well, ok, that’s me), completely spastic, intensely sweet at times, did I mention dingy? Beyond personality, she’s also a rail… coltish with knobby knees and knotty elbows… with a booty… Seriously, if you looked at her silhouette you’d think she looked like she had intentionally put padding back there. It just doesn’t make sense for her to have that jacked up booty. Her hair even mimics her personality… I’ve never seen a kid who curly hair was more appropriate for… I can’t imagine anyone with hair like that being serious and Type-A.

DSCN0999Dancing in Destin, FL

Age 4

Even though she’s bubbly to a fault, she takes her dance classes very seriously… Much more seriously than I ever took ANYTHING… She begged to add an additional ballet class to prep her for the Spring Nutcracker auditions. She LONGS for pointe shoes. She twirls around the house constantly and practices all of the time.  I don’t know how she manages to trip down steps and bang into everything on her way to the kitchen, and then turn into a poised, serious ballerina when she puts those tights on.  All of which make me love her even more.


Late this Spring, she’ll step onto the stage wearing my favorite costume of all time. It’s my “It” color for this year, which makes me love it even more. I can’t wait to see her up there, in all of her gangly grace.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Kindle-ing a flame

As readers, the new electronic reading devices have been separating us into two camps. Those who are open to it for convenience, portability, etc. and those who refuse to consider a device that doesn’t feel like a book, smell like a book, or look like a book. If you are in the later camp, let me encourage you to take another look.

I recently purchased a new Kindle 2. I bought the smaller one, not the DX, because of the desire to stash it into any of my purses. Oh the vanity! For months, I’ve been reading on the Kindle app on my iPhone, and LOOOVED it. However, the amount of eye strain and headaches I was getting just got to be too much. I had thought the full-on system was ridiculous because if I can keep my devices down to 1, then I’m usually happy. I also thought that it was SO expensive…

Until I bought 18 hard-backs over the holidays. (I re-read my books constantly, so paperbacks usually fall apart on me.) Books are my vice… I just can’t help myself when I see a shop. I’ve always had a dream to own my own little “shop around the corner”… But after dropping that much on books, I realized that the Kindle really wasn’t that expensive compared to the books. And it would help save me some space for “real” books on our shelves. You didn’t think I proudly display all of my smutty ones, did you? As for price, the most expensive book I’ve bought for the Kindle has been $10. Yes, the initial investment was around $260 at, but after you consider that near $400 I dropped at Bookland, I would have come out much cheaper had I just gotten the Kindle earlier.

The Whispernet connectivity lets me buy books where I am… carline, dance class, by the pool or in bed.  Ahh, the luxury of buying a new book as SOON as you finish the last. Instantly. That second. When you are dying to find out what happens next in the series. You get the picture.

So as for my review of the Kindle, I’ll give it an A+ and encourage anyone who asks if it’s worth it to go and find out for themselves!



Friday, February 12, 2010


I’m so excited to be giving away this book this morning! I love books… most any kind. This book is three books in one and I KNOW you’ll get a big laugh from it! And really, who couldn’t use a big laugh :-)

Wanna know how good your odds were of winning?



Seriously, I’m happy to give it away. But next up is a fun gift card… so pretty please make the odds a little more fun?



Amy of Priddy Creations is the lucky recipient of several good belly laughs!

When I just grabbed her link, I realized that she’s a Texas girl too! I wonder if she’s my neighbor that I haven’t met yet… :-) Just kidding, I would have made SURE to meet her sooner!!! 

I’m actually about to shop around in her stuff for a few baby gifts that I need to get… Who needs more pink outfits, when they can get some really cool stuff for their schmancy big Rebel cameras? I thought it would be something different from the general shower gifts… and I always like to get something fun for the new mom too.  Of course, the babies will get something too… because I love making burpies for babies just as long as I’m not the one getting puked on!

Next giveaway will start as soon as I hit 35 followers!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I’m a geek

Yeah, I admit it… I love tech toys!!!! You KNOW how I feel about my iPhone… and how I love my apps… I’ve been using my Kindle app and LOVING it for a long time now… problem is… after I finish reading on it for a few hours, my eyes feel permanently crossed.



So… as an early Valentines gift to myself, I just bought this little beauty…


I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am!!!! I’ve got about 70 Kindle books already. Which saves a LOAD of space in my house… The Kindle editions of the books are a lot cheaper than the hard-backs I buy (I re-read my books far too many times, so I can’t buy paperbacks). The actual Kindle is supposed to help with eye strain too… so that will be a great bonus… I really don’t want to do anything that screws up my LASIK repairs!!!

Of course, after I ordered the Kindle, I ran straight to Etsy to find a cute cover. Because, you know, you’ve GOTTA have a cute cover, right? I found some really great ones from Sara at hob-op.  There were several other places to look, but Sara’s have a great design with magnetic closure, two options for holding your Kindle, and a great selection of fabrics.

Don’t forget: Comment or Tweet (and let me know) to be entered into my giveaway.



Monday, February 8, 2010

Who Dat say you can’t go home again?


Can someone just pinch me already? We just arrived back in our Texas home. We are exhausted, dazed, amazed, and in a general euphoria over the weekend we’ve just had.

People, The SAINTS won the SUPERBOWL… You really have no idea how shocking that truly is for all of us who grew up laughing at the people in the stands wearing paper bags on their heads. My DAD even got back into the excitement.  Now Hubs, I’ve gotta say… he’s lost a lot of fantasy football money because he’s an annual “Believer”… but it is a very surreal sort of feeling to actually see them in the game… by the time we figured out they were actually playing, they had won… It was total pandemonium… In our old neighborhood in Mandeville, LA (abt 350 homes) nearly every car alarm was intentionally set off, fireworks were shot, people were screaming and running around like… well, like the Saints had just won!!! :-)

We started off Friday night taking the kids to the Eve parade, Saturday we walked in the neighborhood parade, and Sunday was all New Orleans. We ate beignets at Cafe du Monde, bought our Chee Wee’s at Rouses Supermarket, ate our king cake, drank our Abita beer, and bit our fingernails until the game came on!

It was SO wonderful to see all of our friends and hang out with good Southern Louisiana people. I sure did hate to drive back to Texas, but when real life calls, sometimes you’ve gotta answer.

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So the next time you hear someone say “Where ya at?” or ask about “ya mom n dem?” don’t think they are crazy or nosy… well, actually, they probably are, but know that you are in the presence of someone who really REALLY knows how to live life and have a good time… and wants you to have a good time too…




Don’t forget: Comment or Tweet (and let me know) to be entered into my giveaway.

Thursday, February 4, 2010



Ok, I told y’all that when I got to the lovely even number of 30 followers, I would start up the giveaways… and Priddy Creations was #30!!!  You really must hop over and say hello to her too… She sews and then takes beautiful pictures of the things she makes and sells… camera straps, lens keepers… She’s a talent. Check her out.

So as for the giveaway…

I’ve always been a book snob.  Then the economy turned south and the news was depressing… I just can’t handle Jane Austin right now.  I need something funny to look forward to. I’d also like a little more sex in my life, without having to actually spend the energy having it… Oh, quit rolling your eyes… you know what I mean. 

In comes Stephanie Plum and her merry band of misfits.  Ms. Plum is an underachieving bounty hunter who has some sexy men in her life (just 2… and boy are they H-O-T) ; her “partner” in bond enforcement is a plus sized black woman who used to be a ho and still dresses like one; and her Grandma is bat shit crazy… I really REALLY want to be like Grandma when I’m 70.  I have laughed out loud… laughed til I cried… and I’m only on book 10… Book 16 will be introduced in June, so you have lots of time to catch up.

These books are low on the smut-o-meter… But still very very good… and did I mention FUNNY?

I have a copy of the first 3 books… they are all in a single book called Three Plums in One.  It’s a great start to your own collection… and believe me, you’ll want to read more, and more, and more…


Leave me some comment love, link up to my blog on yours, or tweet about me @magnoliasnsun … Let me know how and when you do it.

Giveaway ends on Thursday, Feb. 11th, at Midnight.  Name will be randomly drawn, and I will contact the winner on Friday Feb 12th.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Oh When the Saints Come Marchin in!


Over the past few days, I’ve gotten some great emails… A friend of mine said that it led to a greater understanding of the way I am… I don’t know about all that, but she’s from Phoenix, so probably she was just sheltered as a child.  I thought I’d share a few of them with you in anticipation of the Superbowl!!!! Turn your sound up and enjoy!


Scott Threlkeld / The Times-Picayune Saints fans celebrate the overtime win for the NFC Championship on Jan. 24 -- and the chance to go to Miami.
Dear Miami,
The Saints are coming. And so are we, their loyal, long-suffering and slightly discombobulated Super Bowl-bound fans.
While there's still time to prepare -- although a few hard-core Who Dats will begin trickling in Monday, most of us won't arrive until Thursday or Friday -- we thought we'd give you a heads-up about what you should expect.
First things first: You need more beer.
Yeah, we know. You ordered extra. You think you have more than any group of humans could possibly consume in one week. Trust us. You don't.
New Orleans was a drinking town long before the Saints drove us to drink. But it turns out beer tastes better when you're winning. (Who knew?) So let's just say we're thirsty for more than a championship; adjust your stockpiles accordingly.
And look. When we ask you for a go-cup, be nice to us. We don't even know what "open container law" means. Is that anything like "last call"?
It's Carnival season in New Orleans (that's Mardi Gras to you), and we'll be taking the celebration on the road. So don't be startled if you walk past us and we throw stuff at you; that's just our way of saying hello.
Oh, and sorry in advance about those beads we leave dangling from your palm trees. We just can't help ourselves.


Times-Picayune archive
February is also crawfish season, and you can be sure that more than one enterprising tailgater will figure out a way to transport a couple sacks of live mudbugs and a boiling pot to Miami.
When the dude in the 'Who Dat' T-shirt asks if you want to suck da head and pinch da tail, resist the urge to punch him. He's not propositioning you. He's inviting you to dinner.
And if you see a big Cajun guy who looks exactly like an old Saints quarterback walking around town in a dress ... don't ask. It's a long story.
We know that crowd control is a major concern for any Super Bowl host city. Our advice? Put away the riot gear.
Reason No. 1: Indianapolis is going to lose, and their fans are way too dull to start a riot.
Reason No. 2: New Orleans showed the world on Sunday that we know how to throw a victory party. We don't burn cars. We dance on them.
Reason No. 3: Even if we did lose, which we won't, leaving the stadium would be like leaving a funeral, and our typical response to that is to have a parade.
Speaking of which: If you happen to see a brass band roll by, followed by a line of folks waving their handkerchiefs, you're not supposed to just stand there and watch. As our own Irma Thomas would say, get your backfield in motion.
And hey, Mister DJ! Yes, we know you've already played that stupid Ying Yang Twins song 10 times tonight, but indulge us just one more time.
To us, " Halftime (Stand Up and Get Crunk )" isn't just a song; it's 576 points of good memories. It's the sound of a Drew Brees touchdown pass to Devery Henderson, a Pierre Thomas dive for first down on 4th-and-1, a Garrett Hartley field goal sailing through the uprights in overtime.
It's what a championship sounds like. You may get sick of hearing it. We won't. Encore, dammit.
Inside Sun Life Stadium, you may find your ears ringing more than usual. We're louder than other fans. Seven thousand of ours sound like 70,000 of theirs.
Don't believe us? Ask the 12th man in the Vikings huddle.
Some people think it's just the Dome that heightens our volume. But you're about to discover a little secret: We can scream loud enough to make your head explode, indoors or out.
It's not the roof. It's the heart.
Well, OK, and the beer.


Susan Poag / The Times-Picayune
Don't be surprised if there are more Saints fans outside the stadium than inside. A lot of us are coming just to say we were part of history, even if we can't witness it up close. The Saints are family to us, and you know how it is with family: We want to be there for them, whether they really need us or not. Because we know our presence will mean something to them, whether they can see us or not.
Come to think of it, seeing as how you're taking us in for the week, we pretty much regard you as family, too. So we're warning you now: If you're within hugging distance, you're fair game.
Hugging strangers is a proud Who Dat tradition, right up there with crying when we win.
Most sports fans cry when their teams lose. Not us. We've been losing gracefully and with good humor for 43 years. Tragedy and disappointment don't faze us. It's success that makes us go to pieces.
Hurricane Katrina? We got that under control. The Saints in the Super Bowl? SOMEBODY CALL A PARAMEDIC!!!
So anyway, don't let the tears of joy freak you out. We're just ... disoriented.
OK. Let's review:
Order more beer. Throw me something, mister. Suck da heads. Wear da dress. Stand up. Get crunk. Hug it out. Protect your eardrums. Pass the Kleenex. Hoist the trophy.
See you at the victory party.
Faithfully yours,
The Who Dat Nation

Changes… They are a comin…



Last night in my insomnia induced stupor, I decided that I should make some changes to Magnolias and Sunshine… Because I’ve changed. Sort of. I still like to show off my kiddos, share fun stuff, and spout off at the mouth… Probably, because that’s just how I am… Probably, that will never have any hope of ever changing… Sorry Mom… The mouth stays ;-)

Over the past year and a half, I’ve discovered that we’ve moved to Stepford… You know, THE Stepford.


Where moms are in their Mercedes SUVs or their husband Porches in the school carline, they carry actual Hermes handbags into the dance studio, and they all run marathons. Seriously people. Marathons. All the time. And I’m sure they don’t EVER take off their stiletto tall boots. I could go on, but you get the picture. Stepford.

I have found some great friends. They have kept me from going stark raving mad in this place. But I’ve made a LOT of friends online as well. Sometimes I get giddy when they talk back… Some of them are famous :-) In my world at least. Probably it’s not stalking if they are following you on Twitter too. Probably none of them think I’m socially awkward either…

I am a friend person… I’ve gotta have them. I’ve gotta invite them over for drinks and food, because that’s just how I am. I’ve gotta share completely inappropriate information with them. I’ve gotta pretend that my Mom reads right through the TMI parts and just looks at her grandkids photos. I’ve also gotta pretend that she never shares this blog with family…

I WISH there was a way for me to invite some of my bloggy friends over for a drink, but until I figure that out, I’ll just drink my cocktail and Tweet with everyone else who’s Tipsy Tweeting. 

Here’s where you come in. I want MORE friends… Surely there are more “Me’s” living in a Stepford town with nothing better to do than read blogs that recommend trashy books and good wine… SURELY… And here’s how I’m gonna find you… For every 5 new followers… Real ones, who actually comment and talk back… I’m going to host a giveaway. I’m at 29 right now, and because I suck at math, I wont start until I get one new follower. It’s my blog, I can do whatever the hell I want.  

I’m generally unedited… because that’s how I am… No. Verbal. Filter. I’m sure I’ll offend many. I’m sure those people are all lying to themselves when they think they have no issues. I’ll show you mine, if you show me yours.

So get ready folks… I’m a little bit pissed that I feel lonely sometimes, and I’ve got a blog and I know how to use it.