August 2013 Archives

You Could Make a Clean Sweep with this Dust-Busting, 10-Piece Prize Pak

By Charlotte on August 30, 2013 1:00 AM | Read More

In July, BneatHome_Logo 2013 350.jpgob and I hosted a big, surprise party for my mom Patsy. Wanting to give her a special memory, we planned the get-together a full month before mom's actual birthday and worked with my brother and sister to invite family and friends we hadn't seen in YEARS.

Then we went into hyper-drive trying to make our house look its very best. Everyday clean simply would not do for the big day. We dusted ceiling fans, lemon-oiled cabinets, squeegeed glass and more. It was EXHAUSTING but simpler than expected thanks to some help from neatHOME's clever Connect and Clean System.

It includes a wide assortment of cleaning tools, each designed to work with extension handles that let you reach high places without dragging out a ladder. Besides being faster, that's a safer way to clean. Just ask Bob. It took three surgeries and more than five years for him to recover from a run-in with a ladder in 2005.

neatHOME housekeeping helpers work with an extension handle so you can reach high places without dragging out a ladder - even when you're 5'2" like me!

Charlotte Cleaning-450.jpgEven better, many of the gadgets are made of microfiber so they have an electrostatic property that grabs dust, dirt and odor-causing bacteria and holds onto them until you wash them out. Since microfiber actually picks up dust rather than just pushing it around, you can clean effectively without chemicals. Now, that's amazing stuff!


Want to clean up? You could win a 10-piece prize package ($102-value) including the latest dust busters from neatHOME by Unger.

Read on for details on how to enter our Clean Sweep Contest*. It ends Sept. 19.

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Remotely Possible

6 Apps for Supermarket Savings

By Bob on August 29, 2013 4:15 AM | Read More

Charlotte's the Coupon Clipper in our family. She can spot a deal a mile away and I think there are stores out there that just know she'll beat them at their own game whenever she darkens their door **no offense Banana Republic**, Me? I'll clip 'em if I can save 50-cents on a roll of Duct Tape at Lowe's. Or light bulbs. Especially light bulbs.

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Guest Room

Creating Berry-Yummy Strawberry Basil Mini Pies

By Charlotte on August 28, 2013 1:00 AM | Read More

By Julie Anne Hession, author of 175 Best Mini Pie Recipes

The combination of strawberries and fresh basil in a pie might strike you as odd, but basil is a member of the mint family, which often pairs beautifully with fresh fruit in desserts.

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Daily Distraction

Best name ever

By Bob on August 27, 2013 3:49 AM | Read More

They say the donuts here are so good it's almost a crime.

8-27 - Best name for a donut shot - ever-500.jpg

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In the Mirror

7 Faves for a Natural-Looking, Sunless Tan

By Charlotte on August 25, 2013 1:00 AM | Read More

With summer winding down, we'll soon be saying good-bye to long, lazy days by the pool. But that doesn't mean you have to bid adieu to gorgeous, bronze skin.

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Just Desserts

Just Desserts: Easy Chocolate Kiss Peanut Butter Cookies

By Charlotte on August 23, 2013 4:21 PM | Read More

Entertaining a crowd? My rule of thumb is "Keep it simple."

So, when my sister Pam visited recently, I immediately thought of these yummy peanut butter cookies with chocolate kiss centers. She and her family stayed with Bob and I while in town to celebrate my mom's birthday, filling our typically empty nest and making it eight for dinner instead of the usual two.  

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Playing Favorites

Director's Cut Cabernet Sauvignon

By Bob on August 22, 2013 4:38 AM | Read More

Charlotte and I had a wonderful dinner with Francis Ford Coppola winemaker Corey Beck earlier this year. Corey showed off a few of his favorite Coppola wines - all retailing under $20. Just as the evening was winding down, he stepped it up a notch and poured what may be the best mid-priced cabernet I've ever had: Coppola's Director's Cut Cabernet Sauvignon.

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Daily Distraction

Modern microwave

By Bob on August 20, 2013 3:16 AM | Read More

Today's microwaves have settings for just about anything.

8-20 - Microwave for Children-600.jpg

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Why Weight?

5 Immune-Boosting Foods

By Bob on August 14, 2013 4:46 AM | Read More

Charlotte and I are both cancer survivors. It's not something we're necessarily proud of **except for the "surviving" part** but, it's something we carry with us every day of our lives. Keeping healthy has always been part of our DNA and we've discovered that eating right is an easy place to start.

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Daily Distraction

Making the hard choice

By Bob on August 13, 2013 3:10 AM | Read More

Not available in soft serve...

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Win a Duo of Designer Shades Sure to Have You Feeling Almost Famous

By Charlotte on August 9, 2013 1:06 AM | Read More

For our 35th wedding anniversary, Bob and I gave each other a fabulous, seven-day cruise.

The voyage from Rome to Nice was straight off our bucket list. On ship, we had a gorgeous suite, a fridge that magically restocked itself with Cabernet, ice cold beer and my favorite Coke Light; and a table for two with front-row view of the Mediterranean. Once in port, we were greeted by one warm, clear day after another as we toured Capri, St. Tropez, and other seaside treasures along the Italian and French Rivera. 

In fact, everything would've been perfect if it weren't for my eyes. Looking directly at the ultra-BRIGHT sun reflecting off the water as well as off those bodacious beaches, my left eye watered constantly. My makeup ran. And I wanted to hide before being seen in public let alone in the tons of vacation pics Bob was sure to snap.

That's when I knew I had to wear shades. Thank goodness I'd packed my Derek Cardigan sunglasses from Coastal.com. They came to the rescue and then some.

Wearing my Derek Cardigan shades in Monaco, I had a magic moment!

Monte Carlo 11-600.jpg

With their polarized lens protecting my eyes from the glare, there were no more tears! Even better, since I couldn't face the sun without them, my Derek Cardigans made a chic style statement. Think wayfarer design only thinner and more modern in glossy black. Heck, wearing those sunglasses in movie-esque ports like Monaco, I not only forgot about my eye turmoil, I felt almost famous!

Now, it's your turn. Ready for your close-up? We've teamed up with the eyewear pros at Coastal.com to give away a celeb-worthy duo of designer shades from Derek Cardigan ($208 value).


Ready for your close-up? We're giving away a star-worthy duo of designer shades ($208 value) from Coastal.com that could have you feeling almost famous.

Click "Read More" for details. Contest ends Aug. 29.

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Remotely Possible

4 Free Apps for Fall

By Bob on August 8, 2013 5:41 AM | Read More

Charlotte and I are both Type A types. We love multitasking and we're never without an iPhone, iPad, iPod or some other piece of technology. Yeah, I know. It kinda blows the whole idea that Boomers are Luddite sloths **not applicable to me during football season**.

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Guest Room

An Empty Nest Shouldn't Mean Empty Nutrition

By Charlotte on August 7, 2013 1:10 AM | Read More

By Tamara Duker Freuman, MS, RD, CDN

After spending two decades shopping for food, planning meals, cooking and thinking about everyone else's dietary needs, you find yourself in an empty nest, and with an empty fridge and cupboard.

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In the Mirror

10 Must-Haves for Your Summer Bag

By Charlotte on August 6, 2013 2:57 PM | Read More

Sand, surf and sun ... glorious sun. I'm wild about summer and most everything that comes with it.

But surviving my favorite season without burning, melting, wilting or worse can be a challenge, even when you adore the heat as much as I do. That's when these 10 warm-weather musts come in handy. Great for your body, face and hair, they'll help keep you looking and feeling your best while out and about this summer.

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Daily Distraction

How low can we go?

By Bob on August 6, 2013 2:55 AM | Read More

I'll be stocking up just as soon as I can get there...

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Don't Try This At Home

Breaking Out of the Comfort Zone

By Bob on August 5, 2013 5:11 AM | Read More

Travel is supposed to get you out of your comfort zone.

I mean, c'mon, if you wanted to see the same stuff you have at home it'd be a whole lot easier to kick back and watch a rerun of Honey Boo Boo Pawn Stars. Right?  

Foreign, is well, foreign. That doesn't mean you have to understand it, but it helps a lot if you can at least try and appreciate it.

Florence (the one that's not in Mississippi or Alabama).Florence-600.jpg

Charlotte and I experienced a butt-load of foreign on our first-time cruise. Language (foreign). Customs (foreign). Currency (very foreign). 

But then, some of it wasn't so foreign-ey. We'd been to Florence once before and discovered we liked the people, food and (you know I'm talking about Charlotte here) SHOPPING.

This time it was almost like visiting an old friend. An old friend who speaks a language that makes you think you've stumbled on to the set of Godfather IV

As this sign clearly states: No Sawing Allowed. 

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Here's the Dish

Patsy's Ranch-Style Pinto Beans with Smoked Sausage and Rotel Tomatoes

By Charlotte on August 2, 2013 8:20 AM | Read More

Growing up, I adored Sunday lunches at my Mamaw Robertson's house. She cooked wonderful pinto beans especially for me - the 1 of her 13 grandchildren who wasn't a fried chicken fan. Yes, I was the oddball but she never complained. Instead, she happily made my favorite dish, let me add ketchup for a tomato taste and taught my mom Patsy how to cook guaranteed-tender red beans.

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Playing Favorites

Leon Russell

By Bob on August 1, 2013 4:20 AM | Read More

If you want a lesson in survival you don't have to look any further than country/rock/blues icon Leon Russell.

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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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