French Quarter Fest

Submitted by Cindy

The French Quarter Festival is the intro to New Orleans’ jam packed spring season, and of course we were there!  In its 30th year, it’s the largest free music festival in the southeast.  We hit the event rather late on its Saturday afternoon.  With rain the day before and more predicted, a whopping 303,000 people were enjoying the beautiful day.  Our strategy was to avoid the crowds by patronizing the smaller bands, and we discovered some gems.

cathedral (640x477)

We love our festivals for the quirkiness, especially the people watching.  But music is the heart of the event, so here’s some samples.  Sorry I can’t give much attribution to the “unofficial” groups who play for the love of music and the occasional tip.

Here’s Doreen’s, a Dixieland band with soul.  The trombone player was a character!

Read more…

Let’s Go Fly A Kite

Submitted by Christi

This beautiful spring day with its gorgeous blue sky and soft Southern breeze was screaming for us to get out and enjoy, so . . . we did. We grabbed our kite and string and headed out to the Mississippi river levee area in New Orleans called “The Fly” which is located at the river end of Audubon Park and enjoyed a lovely afternoon.

Getting the kite ready to fly.

Getting the kite ready to fly.

Up, up and away . . .

kite above the trees

High into the sky!

kite flying

Higher and higher . . .

kite flying

With my fist holding tight, to the string of my kite 🙂

kite flying

A day that just made me smile . . . so, I wanted to share it with you!

Outdoor Wedenesday

Outdoor Wednesday with A Southern Daydreamer

Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon

Submitted by Cindy

On a recent Sunday morning 16,000 runners from all 50 states and 23 foreign countries took to the New Orleans streets.  My running days are over, but I can’t resist going to cheer them on, and sympathize with their pain.  It was a perfect, cool winter day, with the sun peeking over the oak trees as the runners filled both sides of St. Charles Avenue.

In New Orleans we can turn any event into a party!    A jazz band from Tulane University started up at 7 AM.  Cheerleaders from a local high school sang their encouragement, waving big records as part of their routine.  Neighbors lined the route just as for a parade, though most were drinking coffee rather than the typical beer.  We brought our coonhound to cheer them on, and she provided a welcome distraction to the monotony of 26 miles. Read more…

Throw Me a Cabbage!

Submitted by Cindy

We have lots of folks of Irish ancestry in New Orleans.  Irish immigrants in the 19th century dug the canals that drain the city, and we will forever be grateful for their backbreaking contributions.  It is no surprise that we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with not one, but four parades – Uptown (starting in the Irish Channel), Metairie (an adjacent suburb), and two in the French Quarter/Downtown area.  Yesterday I put on my green T-shirt and fuzzy headband with shamrocks on springs and headed for a party in the ‘burbs.

These parades are not known for their artistic merit.  They are a great place to watch the antics of the marchers (who typically have consumed a bit of beer), hang out with friends, and most importantly, to catch the complements to your corned beef.

Read more…

Superbowl Serendipity

Submitted by Christi

Getting around in New Orleans during all of the Superbowl and Mardi Gras festivities can be challenging. My husband and I headed down to the French Quarter yesterday and opted to ride the very busy streetcar. This was a great way to avoid the traffic and parking challenges in the city.

Heading back home, we got back on the streetcar and enjoyed a surprise performance on board. This was the drivers brother-in-law. Ha – what a fun ride. Only in New Orleans. Enjoy!


Southern Garden

Submitted by Christi

My, what a labor of love a garden is. Been working on getting my garden in this weekend. It is a bit late, but with soooooo much rain, I had to wait for a dry weekend. It turned out that this weekend was perfect. Cool temperatures with overcast skies but NO RAIN!

Before I go on with this post, I want to pause and remember all of the people along the Mississippi River who are dealing with the aftermath of the massive rains, the floods. When I see that so many people are losing their homes, that so many farmers are losing their crops, my heart just breaks. I have been so encouraged by the spirit of the people in the areas that are going to flood. They are truly an inspiration. God bless them and please keep them in your prayers.

I am blessed to live in a higher area in a town that is surrounded by lakes and rivers. We have had record amount of rain here which has kept me from putting in my garden earlier. However, this weekend was the perfect time!

The best way to garden in my area is raised gardening. I built my raised garden out of my old herb planter.

Herb planter

I took the planter apart to create my raised bed.

Southern Garden


The piece of the planter that faces me on the back porch is the one with my favorite garden verse –

A kiss of the sun for pardon.
The song of the birds for mirth.
One is nearer God’s heart in the garden,
Than anywhere else on earth.

Now for some more pictures:

Southern Garden

southern garden

It is a small garden but I am looking forward to the fruits of my labor (which didn’t feel small). I have  been gardening for some years now. It seems that for every garden I put in, at some point, I think, “What in the world do you think you are doing?” It does take a lot of effort but it truly does feed the soul.

She who plants a garden is very happy indeed!

I took a small planter and made a garden. The metamorphosis fed my soul. What other metamorphosis’ are going on in blogland? Check them out!


Metamorphosis Monday

Metamorphosis Monday with Between Naps on the Porch

Southern Fun With Mirrors

Submitted by Christi

When we married, one of our gifts was a window that had been recovered from an old school. The panes had been filled in with mirrors. That window frame had seen a lot in its day and now it is living in our home.

When I was in a creative mood (and when I had more time to express my creativity), I decided I wanted to do something with that mirror and was inspired by this book:

Glass Art

The book had great instructions and patterns. The product (Plaid’s Gallery Glass) lets you create a stained glass look with gel paints.

gallery glass

It was a lot of fun. For the longest time, I had the mirror on my back porch. Unfortunately, a storm brewed while I was away and strong wind blew the mirror over. However, it only lost one pane!

The trick now is to take some photos of the mirror to show you. Taking pictures of mirrors is always a challenge, huh? Sorry, they are a little blurry because I didn’t use a flash.

Gallery Glass Mirror

Galler Glass bluebird


galler glass birdhouse


gallery glass bees


galler glass hummingbird


gallery glass mirror

It was really easy and I loved how it turned out. You can make art for your windows and you can even peel them off and move them around. So, now, I’ve got to decide what my next project with Gallery Glass will be!

What are you transforming today? Check out some great transformations at:

Metamorphosis Monday

Metamorphosis Monday with Between Naps on the Porch

And find some great blues at:

Blue Monday with Smiling Sally

And find some creative fun at:

Its so very creative

Today’s Lagniappe:  Basil Pesto
I’ve got tons of basil growing right now so it looks like it time to make some pesto!

  • 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Combine the basil, garlic, and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add 1/2 cup of the oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

If using immediately, add all the remaining oil and pulse until smooth. Transfer the pesto to a large serving bowl and mix in the cheese.

If freezing, transfer to an air-tight container and drizzle remaining oil over the top. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw and stir in cheese.

Southern Fun

Submitted by Christi

Just finished recording the first session of co-hosting The Margaret Banks show with my friend, Margaret. It is billed as a show for women and those who love them. I really like this idea, because, even though her show is targeted to women, it would be enjoyed by men as well. If you are in North Central Arkansas,you can hear the show on Saturday morning at 8:30 on Mountain Talk 97. If you are not in the area and would like to hear the show, you can get it with audio on demand on the Mountain Talk 97 website.

We had such a good time visiting about social media and how the internet has changed our lives. Margaret has scheduled me for her 2nd show as well. We will be talking about turning your passion into profits. The perfect show for all my blogging friends and all of you who have a passion that you would like to turn into a business! If you have a chance to tune in, we would love to hear your feedback.

Okay, now,on to:

With Designs by Gollum

With Designs by Gollum


Today’s Lagniappe:  Sesame Snow Peas for 2
I love this recipe. Snow peas are one of the first veggies to come up in the Spring and this is a great way to enjoy them!

  • 1 1/2 cups snow peas, about 6 ounces, strings removed
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon dark sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds

Toss the snow peas with soy sauce and sesame oil in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Cover tightly. Microwave at full power until crisp-tender, about 1 1/2 minutes. Transfer to a serving dish, sprinkle with sesame seeds, and serve.

Southern Fun

Submitted by Christi

My friend, Margaret Banks will be debuting her new radio show The Margaret Banks Show on Mountain Talk 97 radio on February 27th!


Margaret is so much fun and so talented. I am very happy and honored that Margaret has asked me to co-host her premier show where we will discuss how technology and social media have changed the ways we connect with friends, businesses and the world. In her promo she says,

“Christi, whose seminars on social networking are often SOLD OUT in advance, will share ways to navigate through the opportunities, fun and pitfalls of social sites.”

That is just too great! Especially since I am late in getting this post up because I was doing a sold-out Facebook seminar yesterday 🙂

Margaret is the president of Margaret Banks & Company which is a financial advisement company. Margaret is the founder of the annual Women’s Financial Empowerment Summit and her show will be about issues that women are interested in. It will also be a lot of FUN!

If you are interested in hearing the show and live in the North Central Arkansas area you can tune in to
Mountain Talk 97.1 at 8:30 a.m. Central Time Saturday, February 27th.

For those outside the listening area, go to to hear the live broadcast, or click “Audio on Demand” to hear the show on your computer at your own convenience.

Okay, on to

With Designs by Gollum

With Designs by Gollum

and . . .

Today’s Lagniappe:  Southern Omelet Casserole
Kind of like a “western” omelet, but made into a Southern favorite, a “casserole!”

* 1 dozen eggs
* 1 pint (16 oz) sour cream
* 12 oz shredded cheese – jack and/or cheddar
* 1 lb cooked ham, chopped
* 1 large green pepper, chopped
* 1/4 C chopped onion
* 2 cloves garlic (optional)
* salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 F.

1. Saute onion, pepper, and garlic until beginning to soften.

2. Put eggs and sour cream in blender with salt and pepper. Blend well. (You can do this in a bowl with a whisk if you prefer.)

3. Put half the cheese into a 9X13 baking pan, followed by the ham, the rest of the cheese, and the vegetables. Pour the egg mixture over the whole thing.

4. Bake 50-60 minutes, until top is golden brown and knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

Serves 8.

Southern Red, White and Blue

Submitted by Christi

I found this bird cage a few years ago. I used crackle base coat and finished it in red, white and blue.


This will hold a candle in the tablescape I will show on Thursday. Love the red, white and blue! It worked out really well that this little bird cage already had stars on the roof.

It was really, really hot for the Red, White and Blue Festival here last week but it was really fun. How about a preview of some of the fireworks?


Hope you are all having a great Independence Day week!!


Today’s Lagniappe: Blueberry Summer Salad
Hope you enjoy a little something blue this week!

8 cups salad greens
2 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/4 cup chopped and toasted pecans
Bottled or homemade raspberry vinaigrette

Toss together first 4 ingredients; drizzle with desired amount of vinaigrette. Toss gently to coat.

It’s a four-for Tuesday! Join these great blogs for more recipes and great ideas.

Balancing Beauty and Bedlam’s Tasty Tuesday

Blessed with Grace’s Tempt My Tummy Tuesday

The Gypsy’s Corner’s Three or More Tuesday

2nd Time Around with A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

Southern Fun

Submitted by Christi

This week I’m posting about our local Red, White and Blue Festival here in Mountain Home, Arkansas. It started off with a vintage car rally. This car rally attracts drivers from all over the world. They stopped here for lunch.


These old cars have been restored and are driven through this rally. It was really, really hot and I don’t know how these drivers took it.


One car was all the way from Australia.


We welcomed these drivers by waving flags and cheering for them. They had lunch here and visited with our local residents.


It was a fun way to start off the Red, White and Blue Festival here.


Here’s to the Red, White and Blue!


Today’s Lagniappe:  Grilled Corn on the Cob
Something to have for the fun Independence Day weekend!

Corn on cob with husks on
Butter (stick works best)
Aluminum foil
Pull back small amount of husk. Put small amount of butter on corn. Put husks back over again. Wrap in foil. Put on hot grill turning once in a while. Leave on grill 15-30 minutes. Corn won’t burn too fast. Be careful very hot when husking corn.


Visit Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday and Smiling Sally for Blue Mondays. You will find wonderful and talented women with fantastic posts!

Southern Watermelon

Submitted by Christi


This coming Sunday, summer is officially here! Nothing says summer to me more than watermelon. I remember, as a kid, eating ice cold watermelon on hot summer evenings. We always ate it outside since it can get kind of messy. Every time I eat watermelon, it brings back good memories of those simpler times and makes me feel a little bit like a kid again.

Many years ago, my father owned a grocery store in Norman, Oklahoma. Daddy was a master at picking out produce for the store. I remember, one time, for some reason, one of his refrigeration trucks full of watermelons was parked in front of our house. The truck had two small doors over the cab, in addition to the back door. My older brother and sister, Jay and Tammy, climbed up on the cab, through the small windows and dropped down into the truck. Once inside, they proceeded to eat watermelon.

Come to find out, getting in the truck was a lot easier than getting out. They couldn’t get back up to the doors to get out. Fortunately, my parents found them and they got out safe and sound and full of watermelon.

Daddy could give classes on how to pick out good watermelon, cantelope, strawberries and on and on. Here are some of his tips on watermelons:

  • Choose a watermelon that is uniform in size.
  • Look for the light yellow side of the watermelon. This light color forms as that side of the watermelon is on the ground while it is ripening. Watermelons do not continue ripening once the are cut so you want to choose one that ripened as it was on the vine, in the field.
  • Look for a watermelon that is blemish free and has a hard rind. Many people check the hardness of the rind by thumping on the watermelon. A thump that makes a hollow sound means the rind is hard. Personally, I just kind of knock on them to see if the rind feels hard.
  • Choose a watermelon that is a deep green and dull in color. Hopefully, your store will not polish their watermelons so you will be able to see the dullness.

Refrigerate the watermelon or ice it down in an ice chest for several hours to get it really cold before slicing it.

Join Designs by Gollum for Foodie Friday by clicking on the logo.


    Today’s Lagniappe: Watermelon Basil Vinegrette
    Use this yummy vinegrette over greens and garnish with sweet chunks of watermelon.

    4 cups fresh watermelon, chopped and drained
    1/4 cup red onion, diced small
    2 Tbsp honey
    1/4 cup champagne vinegar
    3/4 cup canola oil
    2 Tbsp fresh basil chopped
    1 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
    Salt and pepper to taste

    Combine watermelon, red onion, champagne vinegar, canola oil, basil, and parsley in a blender. Pulse on and off about 30 seconds until combined. Add pepper to taste.

Southern Fun

Submitted by Christi


In the midst of all of the bad economic news, something has to give. When things are tough is the time when we have to make time for fun. I learned this in a major way from my best friend. She died from breast cancer on Christmas day 2005. No matter how bad things were, she made sure that she had opportunities to have fun. I remember talking to her on the phone on time. She told me that I was too stressed and that I needed to have more fun. She told me this often. The last time she told me about having fun was a week before she died. She was actually planning a party – from her bed. She had called a caterer and sent out invitations and was really looking forward to it. We were planning to go to this party (she lived in Nashville and we lived in Arkansas). She told me we should have a great time but she hoped we wouldn’t be disappointed. I know she knew she wouldn’t be there.

I think about her every day and know how much better she made my life. When times are tough, I can smile and remember to have fun in her honor. She would love that.

Do at least one fun thing today.

Today’s Lagniappe: Bubble Blowing Recipe

  • Combine 1/2 cup dishwashing detergent, 4 1/2 cups water, and 4 tablespoons of glycerin in a large container with a cover.
  • Mix well, then allow the mixture to rest, covered, until ready for use.
  • Pour bubble solution into a shallow container. Dip bubble wands — such as cookie cutters, shaped pipe cleaners or wire — into the solution and blow!


  • Joy is usually the recommended brand of dishwashing liquid.
  • For best results, use distilled water.
  • As an alternative to glycerin, some recipes recommend using white corn syrup.

Southern Party

Submitted by Christi

Oh, the Mardi Gras party was fun. We had lots of great food and drinks. My friend Darlene made 2 kinds of hurricanes, the traditional and a blue hurricane. We had mint julep punch and the winner of the drink category was boozefish sangria made with homemade strawberry wine by Debra Alexander.

We had jambalaya, bacon-wrapped, pepper-jack stuffed, grilled shrimp (I’ll have to get that recipe for you – yummy), crab dip, andouille in a blanket, and much more including the award winning gumbo by Edna Rhoades.

My friends Mark and Kim Sheaner got the baby in the King Cake. Lots of laughs and lots of fun.  The pics are posted on flickr, here is one of them:

Mardi Gras Fun!

Mardi Gras Fun!

Today’s Lagniappe: Boozefish Sangria (This is not Debra’s recipe, she used her own homemade wine.)

cup sugar
1 cup water
1 cup juice
1 1/2 cups orange juice
3 1/2 cups red wine
1/2 cup brandy
1 cup sparkling water
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1 orange, thinly sliced
1 apple, cored and thinly sliced

  • In a small saucepan, add the water and sugar.
  • Set temperature to medium-high and bring sugar-water to a boil.
  • You want to keep boiling until you dissolve the sugar and the syrup is clear. This takes about 10 minutes.
  • In a large container, pour in the lime juice and orange juice.
  • Then, stir in the sugar syrup and mix thoroughly.
  • Next, add the wine, brandy, sparkling water, lemon slices, orange slices, and apple slices.
  • You want to let the Sangria sit for 10 minutes.
  • Pour into a tall glass and garnish with a lime

Southern Song in My Head

Submitted by Christi
'Cause tonight I'm gonna see my ma chere amio!

'Cause tonight I'm gonna see my ma chere amio!

Jambalaya, Crawfish Pie, File Gumbo . . . This song has been in my head all week. This is what comes from planning a Mardi Gras party. My husband, in an effort to make this clearer to me found 101 versions of the song on the internet and played them all for me. Isn’t he sweet? I didn’t know there were so many artists who sung the Jambalaya song.

I guess it is appropriate to have that song in my head as I am making the King Cake and other goodies, but, what about when I am planning a business seminar or talking to clients on the phone? People may wonder what I’m smiling about.

When I go for walks, I always have a song in my head that plays over and over whether I want it to or not. Does anyone else do that? Anyway, the party is tomorrow night. I’ll be sure to post pictures next week and, once this party is over, I’m getting a new song!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Today’s Lagniappe: Cajun Crawfish Maque Choux

12 fresh ears of corn cut
1 lg. onions, chopped
1 lg. bell pepper, chopped
2 pods of garlic, minced
salt and pepper
1 c. onion tops, chopped
1 c. parsley leaves, chopped
1 can Rotel tomatoes, diced
2 lbs. Crawfish tails
1/2 c. salad oil
1 stick butter

Shuck corn away from cob (cut corn away) and have ready.

To cook Corn: In a cast aluminum pot, heat salad oil then add corn and smother-cook until tender.

Smother bell pepper, onions, garlic, celery, parsley and onion tops until tender but NOT brown. Add corn and a small amount of water. Cook covered for about 20 minutes, stirring occassionally, until all ingredients are cooked.

In another aluminum pot, melt butter. Add the crawfish, Rotel tomatoes and the juice. Cook until crawfish are red, about 10-15 minutes. Add corn mixture to this. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer for about 20-30 minutes for flavors to mix well. Serve hot over rice.