August 2011 Archives

Guest Room

How to Build a Lasting Marriage

By Bob on August 31, 2011 4:06 AM | Read More

Charlotte and I celebrated 33 years of marriage earlier this summer and took a business/pleasure trip to the Big Apple as a reward. Internets, I'm not the easiest person to live with and believe me, Miss Charlotte's put in her time on this fixer-upper. She was due for a vacation. And then some.

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Daily Distraction

Is This The Worst TV Commercial Ever?

By Bob on August 30, 2011 4:56 AM | Read More

Well, if it isn't the worst I'd hate to see what beats it. This one has it all - 80's hair, bad acting and an eagle that, well...you'll have to see it to believe it!


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Don't Try This At Home

Boy Meets Grille

By Bob on August 29, 2011 4:50 AM | Read More

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Like any big city, BIG D has its share of BIG NAME restaurants - some shine bright on the dining scene and some fade-to-black before you can check 'em out.


So, when Miss Charlotte and I got a chance to sample a new BIG NAME restaurant in Baja Dallas Plano recently we shot up there as fast as four Michelin's would carry us up the Tollway. "Hey," I told my blogger babe, "in this economy we'd better get up there before this one goes bye-bye."


The object of our five-alarm food fest was The Capital Grille at the Shops at Legacy. 


It's a beautiful restaurant and Managing Partner Greg Cavanagh has made sure that this Capital Grille location is big enough for BIG D, but decidedly intimate. The restaurant located on the corner of Legacy Drive and the Dallas North Tollway, has seating for 400 but the layout and décor make it possible to carry on a dinner conversation using your inside voice.


In the spirit of full disclosure, they knew we were coming (a death in the family kept us from the press opening a week earlier) but we ordered off the regular menu and Charlotte didn't even ask for special treatment like ketchup or extra jalapenos (kidding, I'm kidding).      

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We shared our culinary preferences with Capital Grille server, John Jones and asked him to pair some wines with his best recommendations for the evening. Thanks to Chef Aaron Valimont's wonderful work in the kitchen, he didn't let us down.  


Chef Aaron Valimont


John suggested starting with The Capital Grille's signature drink - the Stoli Doli. It's a pineapple martini made with fresh pineapple flown in from Hawaii that's sliced and put into a large, glass jar filled with Stoli vodka. They let it sit for seven days and then serve it straight up and very cold in a martini glass. The result is smooth as a Miles Davis solo and just as powerful.


Appetizers were next. We tried the Pan-Fried Calamari with Hot Cherry Peppers ($14) paired with a Selbach Riesling. The crunchy calamari had just enough breading to hold the spices on the chewy strands. Charlotte, not really a calamari lover, was won over with the light, peppery heat balanced by the delicate taste of the squid.


Fresh Mozzarella, Tomato, Basil with 12-Year Aged Balsamic ($13) came next. John explained that Capital Grille makes its own fresh mozzarella - every two hours. Dallas is home to some great mozzarella - Paula Lambert's Mozzarella Company makes some of the best I've ever tasted, so I was curious how it would match up. The Capital Grille's in-house mozzarella with aged balsamic served with thick, fresh tomatoes was an outstanding salad and easily the best I've had since dining at Auberge du Soleil in Napa Valley.

Capital Grille Mozzarella - 650.jpg 



...the espresso cake was slap-a-prison-guard good.


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Remotely Possible

Screenslam App

By Bob on August 26, 2011 4:51 AM | Read More

I think I may have mentioned this before, but Charlotte and I loooove movies. There's nothing we like better than kicking back with a bottle of wine and watching TCM or the latest delivery from our Netflix queue. It's a weekend ritual around our house.

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Take a Chance on Love

By Charlotte on August 25, 2011 1:58 AM | Read More

cover 189.jpgYou can't escape the pull of Milford-Haven, the setting for Days of Our Lives actress and award-winning author Mara Purl's enticing new novel What the Heart Knows (Bellekeep Books; September 2011). This fictional, coastal California town offers a simpler life with amazing views, small-town kindness and infinite possibilities for romance. No wonder, it attracts so many interesting characters.


Miranda Jones, a 30-something artist, has moved to the area to be closer to the wildlife that inspires her work. She finds comfort and support from her two polar-opposite girlfriends Samantha Hugo, a brilliant environmentalist with a long-buried secret, and Sally O'Mally, a café-owning Southern girl in a complicated relationship. When trying to follow their hearts' desires, the three encounter a rebellious Native American student, a gruff builder with commitment issues and a handsome heir to an oil fortune.



To celebrate the launch of actress-turned-author Mara Purl's Milford-Haven novels, we're giving away a heart-touching gift set including:

  • An autographed hardcopy of What the Heart Knows, the first title in the series
  • A paperback print edition of When Hummers Dream, Mara's new e-book that's already a best-seller on Amazon. (Through Aug. 31, click here to get the e-book FREE!)  
  • A beautiful porcelain heart bead suitable for wearing on a necklace
  • A Milford-Haven mug
  • Episodes of Mara's original Milford-Haven U.S.A. radio drama

Click "Read More" for details on how to enter. Contest ends Sept. 8!


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Here's the Dish

A Healthy Approach

By Charlotte on August 24, 2011 6:22 AM | Read More

Chef Anthony Stewart of the Pritikin Longevity Center and Spa proves low-fat foods can be delightfully delicious in these two recipes showcasing summer fruits: Chilled Tomato and Watermelon Soup and Merry Berry Parfait (yum!).

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Daily Distraction

If Only Protest Signs Had Spell Check...

By Bob on August 23, 2011 1:50 AM | Read More

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In the Mirror

Stay Don't Stray

By Charlotte on August 22, 2011 9:04 AM | Read More

Undereye circles can be a real challenge. Lightening them has me constantly applying and reapplying creams and concealers, especially if I'm going out at night. So after hearing that Benefit's Stay Don't Stray eye makeup primer "locks on concealer," I just had to give it a try.
Enhanced by Zemanta

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Catching Up With..

Melynda Commiato

By Charlotte on August 19, 2011 8:00 AM | Read More

Turning 53 was a light-bulb moment for Boomer Melynda Commiato. That's when the Texas native decided it was "time to take care of me."

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Morning Glory

By Bob on August 18, 2011 1:48 AM | Read More

Morning Glory is a new breed of comedy. If you're thinking, "Hey Bob, romantic comedy is NOT a new breed of comedy." I'd smile politely and tell you that regardless of what you've seen or heard, Morning Glory is NOT a romantic comedy. Instead, it's the newest romcom hybrid that I call Curmcom (shorthand for Curmudgeon comedy).

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Guest Room

Making the Most of Your Mid-Life Adolescence

By Bob on August 17, 2011 4:32 AM | Read More

Like a lot of Baby Boomers I've seen more Disney movies than I care to count. Beyond the fact that they're mind-numbingly predictable, many have a common theme that resonates with a lot of us. Freaky Friday and the other Disney swithceroo comedies all focus on the chance to do it all over again and this time, damnit, do it RIGHT.

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Daily Distraction

A Trucker is Born

By Bob on August 16, 2011 2:39 AM | Read More

When a mommy trucker and a daddy trucker love each other very much...well, you get the idea.

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Don't Try This At Home

The World's Biggest Coyote Litter Box

By Bob on August 15, 2011 6:00 AM | Read More

I turned on the Today Show the other morning just in time to hear the headline, ELDERLY WOMAN ATTACKED BY RACCOONS!


Coyote Pee - 309.jpg"Jeez," I thought, "I didn't know the Today Show had been sold to the National Enquirer." I'm usually pretty good at keeping up with what's going on in the world. I know all about Rick Perry, the debt crisis and Charlie Sheen, but I totally missed NBC-Universal selling out to a supermarket tabloid.  

Well, a couple of minutes later they made good on their headline. Turns out that yes, a 74-year-old grandmother was actually mauled by a family of raccoons. She was trying to shoo them out of her yard and they turned on her like the CUJO FAMILY. This of course kind of killed my theory that all we really have to worry about are Iranian nukes and zombies.


I don't know grandma's full story, but I can sympathize with her. I've had my run-ins with ducks, rabbits, snakes, skunks, deer and of course, Chuck our neighborhood chupacabra. And since I'm not Marlon friggin Perkins, my wild animal stories don't usually turn out very well either.  


I couldn't take time off to sit on my front porch all day wearing a wife-beater

T shirt holding a BB gun, so I did the next best thing. 

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Win Workouts with 10 Top Trainers

By Charlotte on August 12, 2011 9:52 AM | Read More

Bob begins most weekdays with a 5:30 a.m. workout. Carrying a golf club to fend off the geese, foxes and other clever critters that roam Colleywood before dawn, he heads outdoors for a brisk 2.5-mile (more or less) walk. Our neighbors love his routine because my good samaritan always picks up their newspapers and places them on their porches. I love that he's staying in shape.


Sometimes, I think about joining him. But it's dark. The temperature's always too hot (try almost 90 degrees before sunrise now) or too cold (make that 20 degrees in January and Bob will still say, "No problem.") And did I mention that those critters are hungry?!!


toptrainers_product 150.jpgSo instead, I go to our family room for 30-and-30 with my personal trainer: Wii Fit Plus. That's 30 jackknives and 30 minutes of walking with weights, a program that's been endorsed by my exercise-obsessed oncologist. But lately, I've been longing for more variety.


As Sheryl Crow is fond of saying "A change could do you good." That's why Bob and I have teamed up with the folks at HealthyFitBodies.com to give away their Top Trainers DVD set, a dream team of personal trainers in a box.



We're offering one lucky boomer the chance to win the Top Trainers DVD set. Designed for women, this calorie-blasting collection includes:


  • 10 DVDs featuring fitness experts to coach you through workouts for everything from cardio to kickboxing


  • Five free gifts: a fitness guide, wall calendar, one-month free subscription to ediets.com, resistance band and a yoga for weight-loss DVD.


Click "Read More" for details on how you can win this $89.95-value prize package ... FREE.* Contest ends Aug. 24!


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Remotely Possible

New Music & Movie Apps

By Bob on August 11, 2011 2:31 AM | Read More

It's no secret that Charlotte and I like our music. Charlotte looooooves her iPod - she can't get dressed in the morning without dancing (seriously, y'all) to Sheryl Crow, Gram Parsons or The Get Up Kids. Me? I like music too, but it's a timing thing. Mornings are for news, weather and sports. Evenings are for tunes ranging from Van Morrison to my man Miles Davis. What can I say? Opposites attract.

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Here's the Dish

Lemon Whippersnaps

By Charlotte on August 10, 2011 9:18 AM | Read More

No time to bake?  You can still treat yourself and your guests to homemade cookies thanks to one of our favorite recipes from Food.com.  My friend Bev, one of the best cooks I know besides my Mom, turned me on to these speedy delights!


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Daily Distraction

Tempting Offer, But I'll Pass...

By Bob on August 9, 2011 6:19 AM | Read More

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In the Mirror

Jack Black Performance Remedy Skin Care

By Bob on August 8, 2011 9:06 AM | Read More

We live in Texas and spend big chunks of the year at the beach. Both of these places can be so unbearably hot and humid during the summer that the only sensible thing to do is sit on the front porch and drink (meebe that's why we all   talk   so    slow    y'all). As any southern Boomer brother will tell you, the weather and sun can play hell with your skin. By Labor Day, I usually look like 40 miles of bad road.

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Catching Up With..

Catching Up With...Carolee Ratzer

By Bob on August 5, 2011 5:36 AM | Read More

Carolee is a southern girl who's just as comfortable at the ballpark as she is running a restaurant. This Lakeland, FL Boomer is manager/hostess at a beautiful privately-owned restaurant in a "southern plantation" inn. When she's not taking care of guests, she's taking time off to watch her son, Nick, play baseball (The 23-year old is a right-handed pitcher in the minor league system for the Chicago White Sox).

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By Bob on August 4, 2011 6:12 AM | Read More

I've been a fan of John C. Reilly since Talladega Nights, so it won't surprise anyone that I was anxious for Cyrus to bubble up to the top of our Netflix queue. After seeing the trailer, I was expecting the cinematic extension of Step Brothers with elements of Walk Hard thrown in for good measure. It's like none of these. It's much, much better.

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Guest Room

No More "Vanilla" Marriage

By Bob on August 3, 2011 2:21 AM | Read More

I've got a confession: I loooooove being an empty-nester. When Cole went off to college, Charlotte and I were a little apprehensive about what we'd do in that big ol' empty house in Collywood. As it turns out, we found plenty of things to occupy our time.

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Daily Distraction

Guess I'll Walk To Work Today...

By Bob on August 2, 2011 5:43 AM | Read More

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Don't Try This At Home


By Bob on August 1, 2011 6:08 AM | Read More

We're remodeling Blogger HQ to take in some attic space and create a new home office. We've hired our favorite contractors Doug and Christine to tackle this job and basically turn our lives upside down for the next two months. Join us as we find out if remodelers and home owners can peacefully coexist and/or discover if it's OK to hide a body in a construction dumpster.   


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Day 91

I'm starting to figure out this whole remodel deal. Remember Darwin's Theory of Evolution where he reveals that J. Fred Muggs is really our daddy? Well, I've come up with the THEORY OF REMODELING. Never heard of it? What'd you do that day we discussed it...cut class and play Frisbee golf? Ok, try and keep up 'cause it's only three steps:




1. A guy in a flatbed truck drops off his "lumber package" (that's what she said!). If you're a lucky homeowner, he will do his level best to keep his "package" from totaling your garage as it slides off the truck. 


Gene Tyler during taping of HGTV's Donna Decorates Dallas


2. Your hot water turns cold and you replace both water heaters.
Oh yeah, don't forget this important part of the theory, YOUR DRINKING WATER TURNS BLACK



That EEEKKKKK (rhymes with SHRIEK) sound you heard is Charlotte jumping up and down after getting a text from the HGTV show host telling her we've been "picked" for a new reality series. What's up with that? As Moses told the children of Israel after coming down the mountain, "Here's the deal, y'all" (in my head Moses is southern and sounds a lot like Burl Ives in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.)


It all began innocently enough. Shelley Tyler told Charlotte a local designer was looking for projects for an upcoming show on HGTV called Donna Decorates Dallas. She said it'd be focused on homes in the Dallas area - they're really interested in Collywood - and they start filming in a few weeks.





Before I could summon my inner Nate Berkus and say "Dahling, do these drapes match the duvet?" I was talking to a producer and film crew from HG-freakin-T-freakin-V


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Red Thong Strong: Girlfriends Little Secrets to Smoothing Lifes Panty Lines
Guest Room

Diabetes-Friendly Chicken Burrito Bowl

ChickenBurritoBowlEverydayDiabetes 600.jpg

By Laura Cipullo and Lisa Mikus, authors of Everyday Diabetes Meals
Image credit: Colin Erricson

Prepare your own Mexican quick fix with this Chipotle-inspired bowl. Carbs are moderated by filling the bowl with beans, extra veggies and chicken. No need for rice, since the beans count as carbs.


If you love tomatoes, increase the quantity to 1/2 cup, but note that the carbohydrates will also increase.

If preparing this recipe for one person, cut all of the ingredients in half. Or simply prepare the full recipe up to the end of step 2 and store leftover chicken and vegetable-bean mixture in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat in the microwave on High for 1 to 2 minutes, or until heated through, and continue with step 3.

Health Bite: The iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, copper and zinc in black beans help to keep bones strong and healthy.

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Playing Favorites

Windy City

It's been almost 18 years since Alison Krauss gave us a solo album, but the wait is over with Windy City. The release (her fifth solo studio album) features ten covers of classic songs (and some bonus tracks) she picked with producer Buddy Cannon.

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