Home Runs Archives

Home Runs

You Could Freshen Up for Fall ... FREE

By Charlotte on August 3, 2015 6:38 AM | Read More

Summer may still be making things sizzle in Texas but I'm daydreaming about fall. Bring on the cooler days, football-focused nights and the chance to wear something other than the shorts that have been my hot-weather staple.

I'm thinkin' tweedy skirts, long-sleeve dresses and leggings to start then skinny jeans, sweaters and scarves. I haven't gone near that part of my closet for months thanks to our famous Texas heat so it'll seem like I have a new wardrobe. But wouldn't it be nice to have a quick and easy way to freshen up my favorites for fall without dry cleaning expenses or the trouble of hand washing?Dryel Starter Kit 167.jpg

The folks at Dryel want to offer five lucky readers some help doing just that. They've joined us to give away five starter kits for their in-home dry cleaning system. It safely steams clothing and cleans soils, stains and odors while removing wrinkles and saving considerable time and money.

We're giving away five coupons for Dryel starter kits including everything you need to freshen up your favorites for fall ... FREE.

Read on for details on how to enter. Contest ends Aug. 23.

Dryel is great for dry clean only things because it cleans them for as little as 25 cents a garment. Wow! And you can use it on most fabrics (excluding leather, velvet, suede, fur, silk and rayon).

I also like using Dryel for special care items like dresses, dark jeans, sweaters and blouses that call for hand washing and/or line drying and pieces that are difficult to wash like my go-everywhere jean jacket. (That's a must for every woman's wardrobe!)

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Using Dryel makes it easy to freshen up items that are a pain to launder like the jean jacket that's one of my constant fall companions.

Since Dryel works in your dryer, it's easy to use and avoids harsh dry cleaning chemicals. You simply spritz any spots with the included Booster Spray. Zip your clothing in a special bag that holds up to five items. Use the dryer to activate Dryel's steam cleaning environment. Hang up your things immediately once the dryer's done to avoid wrinkling. And voilà, you're finished except for an occasional ironing touch up.

What's more, Dryel cleans clothes in record time. I'm talkin' 30 minutes on medium heat in the dryer for deep cleaning. Make that 15 minutes if your clothes are like the things I need to prep for fall and only need freshening up.

Before using Dryel, I refused to let my dark skinny jeans get anywhere near the dryer. I was worried their color would fade, or worse, they'd shrink and I wouldn't be able to squeeze myself into them no matter how many desserts I skipped. So I washed them on delicate and let them line dry.(What a time sucker!) But Dryel won't fade, stretch or shrink clothing - even skin-hugging skinnies like mine. So instead of requiring a full day to wash and dry, my skinnies can be ready for action in 15 to 30 minutes. Nice!

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Home Runs

T-Fal ActiFry

By Charlotte on May 26, 2013 6:17 AM | Read More

As Texans, Bob and I grew up thinking every meal should include a little grease. Our iron-skillet-wielding mamas often fixed fried eggs and sausage for breakfast, burgers and fries (my weakness!) for lunch, and chicken fried steak, fried okra and apricot fried pies for dinner. Talk about heaven!

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Home Runs

Jerdon MakeUp Mirror

By Charlotte on October 11, 2012 7:00 AM | Read More

When Bob and I traveled to Napa last fall, I found heaven at the Hotel Yountville. Our romantic, freshly decorated room included a dreamy, king-size canopy bed; charming, stone fireplace and lovely, large tiled bath.

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Home Runs

Is it Allergies or a Cold?

By Bob on December 1, 2011 5:40 AM | Read More

The holidays are a great time - unless your nose is running like a faucet and even the slightest sniff of pine sends you into an uncontrollable sneezing fit. It ain't fun. And it can also be tricky. How can you tell if that tickle in your throat is an allergy or the first hint of a badass cold?

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Home Runs

ThermaCELL Mosquito Repellent

By Bob on September 21, 2011 5:56 AM | Read More

Anyone who lives in the south will tell you there are two things you can count on: 1) the summer's can be brutally hot and, 2) mosquitoes. Now that the temperature has finally dipped into fall-like temperatures (it was in the mid-90's all last week...brrrrr!) we're finally sitting outside again. The only trouble is that we're sitting outside with - you guessed it - mosquitoes.

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Home Runs

Sponge Worthy

By Bob on April 7, 2011 5:35 AM | Read More

Spongeables are one of those why-didn't-I-think-of-that products that make their way into the blogger compound from time to time. What a great idea! They're bath sponges already infused with spa quality soaps and fragrances - all you add is water.

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Home Runs

Makes Scents (or not)

By Bob on March 21, 2011 6:05 AM | Read More

Charlotte likes to make fun of my "super sniffer" but joke all you want - my nose, knows - if you get my meaning. Of course, this high-powered olfactory prowess is great when it's barbecue season - not so much way back when we were in the baby bidness.

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Home Runs

Mint Automatic Floor Cleaner

By Charlotte on February 3, 2011 8:05 AM | Read More

My mother tried teaching by example. When I was growing up, she swept our tile kitchen floor after every meal (or had me do it ... a natural consequence of being the oldest child.) But somehow the habit never stuck.

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Home Runs

Wellness Mats

By Bob on January 20, 2011 6:30 AM | Read More

It won't come as a surprise to anyone who's read The Brief that my feet and I have this love/hate thing going on. It's not that I hate my feet. It's just that they THINK I hate them for all of the crap I've dealt them over the years. Three surgeries later and they're still bitching about the abuse. Geez, give a Boomer a break (well, I kinda did that already - in about 8 places, but I digress).

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Home Runs

Outdoor Living

By Charlotte on October 1, 2010 8:25 AM | Read More

Bob and I got the middle-age crazies after Cole graduated high school. So bad that while he toured with his band Verae, we bought a lot and began building our "dream" home. (We're still trying to explain that one.)

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Home Runs

Eat Pray Love Journal

By Charlotte on September 1, 2010 1:27 PM | Read More

Everyone encouraged me to journal when I was down last year.  My sister Pam sent me a small, sweet spiral notebook including some of her favorite Bible verses, which I still add to and keep with me. My friend Bev gave me a gorgeous, gemmed book perfect for recording the many thoughtful gifts I received so that I could send thank-you notes.

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

Diabetes-Friendly Chicken Burrito Bowl

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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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