Watermelon Thump; Luling Texas

Watermelon Thump Luling Texas
Watermelon Thump Luling Texas Paqui Tortilla Chips yellowbird sauce
Watermelon Thump Luling Texas Paqui Tortilla Chips



This post is fueled by my Texan Roots and Ozarka

I pulled up to her house at 8:32. Thirty-two minutes later than I said I would. Would you expect anythin’ less? After all, I work on Southern time. A joke I made many weeks back when I was visitin’ the East Coast and didn’t understand why everythin’ moved so fast. The whole riders on one side, walkers on the other when takin’ the METRO escalator in DC utterly blew my mind. What’s was the point of an escalator if you were just gonna run up it? No, really, I’ll wait for that answer. But, I digress. Happens a lot I suppose.

We loaded up the Ford ready to hit the open 35 road. Hill Country was to be our destination; I have much Texas to see in my quest to be #TravelinTexan (ya know my viral Texas bucket list... the basis of my blog) and not an inch of summer was to be wasted- perks of bein’ an educator.

I’d never been to Luling and didn’t realize we’d be so close to Austin. Okay, maybe I did but figured if I famed like I didn’t know Steph would be more likely to tag along. It worked.  To Luling we were headed. The Watermelon Thump to be specific. I could just taste the watermelon covered in salt as we hit the road outta town.
Watermelon Thump Luling Texas

Watermelon Thump Luling Texas
Watermelon Thump Luling Texas
Watermelon Thump Luling Texas



We stopped once. Could it really be a hill country road-trip if you didn’t “have a Kolache when you drive through West?” Shh, Steph doesn’t like Czech Stop so we hit up Slovacek West. I’d been there and either was fine for me. All the while I munched on Paqui Tortilla Chips. The health benefits and gluten free locals boasted on the package in hindsight made me smile. All I cared was that they were Texas Made and tasted good. I lathered in Yellowbird Sauce doin’ my best to stay awake durin’ the four hour drive.
We finally hit Luling Texas home of the famous Watermelon Thump. I stared at the sky darin’ the clouds... darin’ them to spout rain in my direction. My excitement was tangible. I needed all the watermelon in my belly and all the photos on my camera.  We roamed around with childlike innocence. Each experience and person a new adventure we wanted to savor before it was gone. 


Watermelon Thump Luling TexasMr. Watermelon Thump Luling Texas
Shiner Bock Watermelon Thump Luling Texassaltwater chic boutique Texas Necklace watermelon Thump Luling Texas
watermelon Thump token Luling TexasI spent much of my time with one roamin’ question in my head: “Why Texas?” Truthfully, Ozarka wasn’t the first to ask this and I’m sure wouldn’t be the last. Seems every time someone new comes ramblin’ I’m asked what I love about Texas. I could fill pages upon pages the size of The Alamo. Honestly, it’s more than my birthplace, my state, my home. It is me.
It’s manifested in small town festivals such as Watermelon Thump.

And honestly It’ while I’ll never leave, why Texas will always be home. 
Watermelon Thump Luling TexasLuling Texas

Luling Texas:
Population: Just under 6K
Location: San Marcos River just outside of Austin
Watermelon Thump: Always the last Saturday of June
Texas Product; Jelly Queens; Snows BBQ; Taste Elevated

Texas Products

So, if you didn't catch on by now Ozarka sent me a few Texas products to munch on. Y'all already know I'm all about shoppin' local. The ones posted above I took on my trip and munched out on.

Ozarka: That delish water comes from Texas obviously. Ya'know East Texas has my heart and so does the water. Plus they employ thousands of Texans. That's my kind of business.

 Snows BBQ: When I saw the BBQ sauce in the box I was to excited. Eatin' BBQ at Snows is on my #TravelinTexan list. So, until I can make it out that way the bottled sauce will now have to do. Did you know they are always on Texas Monthly BBQ list as the best in the state. Pause, Texas BBQ week starts the 10th of July. If you don't know about it then I'mma need you to get on it. Every year I spend almost every day eatin' BBQ with bestfran Sherry. Essentially some of the best places in the state team up with Texas Monthly to provide deals. If you are in Dallas I recommend Pecan Lodge, Lockhart's or Peggie Sue's. Everyone knows I stalk Lockhart's, but all are fine choices. And Lockhart's is right by Emporium Pies. Some of the best pies this side of the Trinity River. For those not near Dallas click here to find a place close to you participatin'.

Jelly QueensTaste Elevated: Now, I'll admit I'm new to Jelly Queens and Taste Elevated. But I can't wait to use some of the items on our 4th of July cook-out Monday. Be lookin' for that post and I'll go in more detail.


I'd love to hear from y'all. What makes Texas home for you. #Fromhereforhere

Jord Wood Watches + Giveaway

JORD Wood Watches





As always all opinions and money shots be my own,

"Quarter in a payphone
Dryin' laundry on the line
Watchin' Sun Tea in the window
Pocket watch for tellin' time"

That song always plays in my head but I couldn't tell you why. Fittin' for today I suppose. As a yougin' I always did had a fascination with Daddy's gold watch. I'd sneak it out and try it on careful to place it back just right. Never did figure out what the love with Daddy's watch was other than it was his so I wanted it.

As the years have come and gone I find myself more conscious on the items I wear. I want to know their story, their place. I want to know their relevance in the world we live in. That why companies such as JORD have come on my radar.

The lightweight design coupled with the craftsman product is a winner in my book. Perfect for all my traipsin' around Texas bein' the #TravelinTexan.


So here's the deal y'all: There's a giveaway goin' on. JORD is offerin' a $20 coupon to everyone who enters and $75 to the winner. Why not get a last minute timeless piece for your Father or significant person. Or no judgin' if you just want one for yourself. Click here to enter. And all the lovely womens watches can be found at that link.

Giveaway closes 6.24.16 at 11:59 PM


Mens Wooden Watches

Snapshots: Memorial Day 2016

Bluebell Memorial DayCoke I'm Proud to be an American
Bluebell Memorial Day
 

Explore St. Louis

St Louis; Summer Road TripSt Louis; Summer Road TripI find myself standin' in the closet next to a step ladder. A worn leather pouch catches my attention. I hadn't realized how much I missed that leather pouch and it's owner. I grimace as I climb the step ladder tryin' to reach the pouch. If my Momma could see me now, I think. The leather is worn but familiar in my hands as I slowly unfasten the contents. Paper after paper spills onto the hardwood floor. My word. I can't believe the contents have lasted so long.

I smile thinkin' how Daddy always was the prepared one. Never one to be caught off card, the trusty leather always by his side. On long extended weekends and summer family road-trips through The South, the worn and frayed leather always came out and found its way into the glove compartment of Daddy's old  car. Filled with maps. life insurance polices and medical records that leather was always the highlight of summer. When the leather came out I knew adventure was right around the corner.

I find myself in a rabbit hole of sorts. A quest for more memories. I race through the house, my feet squuekin' as I go until I came upon the cabinet that hold its continents. I reach for a worn scrapbook and viciously flip through the pages. My eyes settle on a worn picture. There a baby faced me smiles with a group of friends as we stand next to the Missouri visitor center. My shirt reaches my knees and the smile, my eyes. We'd just crossed the state line on our quest through St. Louis I was woken for my nap so that pictures could ensue. I chuckled lookin' back. How baby faced me thought everythin' was grand as grand as the arches. I chuckled as I remembered that baby face me made a joke they they were grander then the fast food arches.

Summer adventure and road trips; always the highlight of summer.

I find even know lookin' back some of my fondest childhood memories were spent away from electronic and life distractions and just livin'. Daily strivin' to have a life where vacation is endless.


And while vacation may not be endless just yet, allow me to help y'all a little bit.

St. Louis is a perfect family fun destination from Six flags, to baseball to museum and botanical gardens.. St. Louis has it all. I highly recommend it all. This 25 in St. Louis is a great start.

But now to the goodies. I am partnerin' With St. Louis to offer:
2 night stat
Tickets to a few local attractions
AND a $50 VISA gift card.

to enter

Share a photo or video of your family bein' funny with the hashtah #funnestfamily to social media. Contest runs till 6/30/16 and you can all the serious details here

Mozzarella + Asparagus Pasta

Mozzarrella + Asparagus Pasta With Ragu Homestyle Saucemozzarella asparagus pasta
I  stand in the kitchen phone in hand. Hungrier than the devil is an understatement. Hungry for supper... hungry to whip somethin' up. Ten days was far to long to not be Barefoot in the kitchen. I was a proud Southerner after-all.  I smiled think back to the Three layer Caramel Cake I'd made that was devoured. My life revolved around my next meal. My next creation or ramblin' adventure. I quickly pulled up Facebook. Where was that casserole I had whipped up ages ago and then felt the need to plaster all over the book.

Mozzarrella + Asparagus Pasta Mozzarrella + Asparagus Pasta
I sat in my little ford at the entrance of the grocery store dreadin' fightin' the crazies. I pulled up Snapchat and began to ramble. Southern or not I was still a millennial. I quickly grabbed everythin' I needed and then made my way to the pasta aisle. I let out a little whoop when I saw we had the RAGU Homestyle Sauce. I quickly rushed my cart through the aisle tryin' to beat and older man to the only free self check-out. I smiled and thought, "Jesus is watchin", when the older man tells me he is late for work and shows me his one item of lip balm and ask if he can go ahead. I eventually make it home gnawin' on a piece of chocolate all the while.
Mozzarella and Asparagus Pasta Mozzarella and Asparagus Pasta




Ingredients:
1 package of spiral noodles
2 bushels of Asparagus
2 cups of kidney beans 
mozzarella
3 bellpeppers

red, yellow & orange
1 jar of RAGU Homestyle Sauce






Directions:
1. Cook the pasta accordin' to the package
2. Boil the bell pepper in water for about 20 mins are until they are soft. This helps them baker better and not be so crunchy.

3. Preheat the oven to 350 F
2. Optional but I like to sautee my asapagus for a few mins. All you need is a little olive oil, salt and pepper.
4. Chop the bell pepper and the asparagus
5. Pour the cooked pasta in a bakin' dish. I used a cast iron.
6. Add the bell pepper, kidney beans and asparagus.
7. Pour in the jar of RAGU Homestyle Sauce
8. Stir
9. Layer with Mozzarell and bake for 20-30 mins are until the cheese is melted and the RAGU Homestyle Sauce is heated.
That simple y'all. I'll also be givin' away a $25 visa gift card. What the catch? All ya have to do is click one of those pretty pictures. It'll take you to the new Ragu website to show you all the new homestyle flavors. Come back and comment with which one if you favorite and that'll get ya an entry. That simple y'all. The giveaway will go to June 6th at 11:59 PM. Y'all get to gettin' now.

Roasted Red Pepper + Sun Dried Tomato Salmon Caper sandwich

Lox; Roasted Red Pepper + Sun Dried Tomato Salmon Caper sandwich Lox; Roasted Red Pepper + Sun Dried Tomato Salmon Caper sandwich

Y'all remember a few months back when my family headed over to Mississippi for our family reunion on my Paw Paw's side? Well, now y'all do. I promise I have a point and how it relates to the Southern Recipes I've been postin' lately. While I was there our breakfast was comped by the hotel each mornin'. I am a huge fan of Salmon and couldn't stop eatin' the fresh slices with capers they had each mornin'. About the second day one of my uncles laughed at me and told me he would show me how he ate it growin' up in Mississippi. My mind was blowin' y'all. Never had I had a breakfast sandwich like this.

Obviously I had to spice up an old but simple Southern recipe my family loves to eat. What I love most is how simple the recipe is. Think of this as a simple breakfast you could serve when the family comes over. It's also my go to brunch item when i'm in a pickle.
Lox; Roasted Red Pepper + Sun Dried Tomato Salmon Caper sandwich

Lox; Roasted Red Pepper + Sun Dried Tomato Salmon Caper sandwich

Ingredients:
6 ounces cream cheese
tablespoons capers 
6 ounces of smoked salmon
3 tablespoons sun dried tomatoes
3tablespoons roasted red bell pepper
dill
English Muffins/Bagel


Directions:
1.Cut the English Muffins/ pr bagel in half and then toast them.
2. Once the cream cheese is room temperature spread it on the bagel. Top with the cream cheese, smoked salmon, dill and roasted red pepper and sun dried tomatoes.
3. Top with capers and enjoy.


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