The List Archives

The List

17 Summer Must-Haves

By Charlotte on May 23, 2017 2:36 PM | Read More

Bring on the heat! With summer almost here, I'm daydreaming about dinner on the patio, Saturdays in the pool and escaping to the beach. 

My favorite season calls for embracing life outdoors and a simpler routine. That's why I'm lovin' these hot beauty and fashion picks. At home or away, they'll help keep you looking and feeling fine without a lot of fuss.

Weekend Warrior

Planning a getaway? Toss what you need for an overnight adventure in this sensational Siesta Key Tote from Soft Surroundings. It'll hold a swimsuit, towel, sundress, pjs, undies, makeup and more. Really!

This huge, handwoven straw carryall has sassy tassels on the handle, a cotton lining and an inside pocket large enough to stash both your cell and sunglasses. Plus, since it folds flat, this easy-to-pack tote makes a great shopping companion for longer trips. ($129.95 at Softsurroundings.com)

A snap at the top of this terrific  tote keeps your treasures secure and the laidback style works everywhere from the city to the seashore.

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The List

Top Recipes of 2016

By Charlotte on January 9, 2017 4:20 PM | Read More

Top Recipes 2016 with Salmon Cakes 600.jpgI love talking food and recipes, sharing our family's favorite dishes and finding new things to try. Lucky for me, Bob never shies away from an experiment!


But before we dive into plans for 2017, I thought it would be fun to see which of last year's picks you all liked the most. So let's take a look at the five most popular Boomer Brief recipes from 2016.

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The List

15 WOW-Worthy Gifts under $200

By Charlotte on December 5, 2016 6:51 AM | Read More

Bob, our son Cole and I have a long-standing tradition. They watch football. (Go Cowboys!). I surf the internet and show them Christmas ideas for thumbs up/thumbs down when they come up for air.

With my main men handled, I move on to shopping for the girls on my list. There's my mom, my sister Pam, my sister-in-law Cyndi, Cole's girlfriend Chelsea, my nieces, my BFFs and more.

Lucky for me, as a blogger, I get tons of help coming up with fem-centric ideas like these WOW-worthy picks. They're sure to please everyone from beauty fanatics to fiction lovers. (I know because I've road tested them.) And with prices under $200, you might even find something for old St. Nick to put on your wish list.

French Kiss

Every girl who longs for younger-looking skin will obsess over L'Occitane's fabulous Divine Immortelle gift set. This luxurious, French-inspired treasure chest contains a four-step, anti-aging program designed to give you a just-kissed glow. (Ooh la la!)

The award-winning collection from this much-admired brand is made with essential oils of organic Immortelle. Called the everlasting flower, this amazing plant never fades after it's been picked. We should all be so lucky!

L'Occitane's award-winning Divine Immortelle collection is a treat for anyone concerned about lines, wrinkles, dark circles and other signs of aging.


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The List

Top Recipes 2015

By Charlotte on January 27, 2016 3:22 PM | Read More

Bob and I adore sharing our favorite dishes with you. Actually, that's probably more my thing but, when he's not making me laugh, he does a lot of taste testing and takes all the photos. Is he a great husband or what?

Before we kick off a new round of recipes for this year, I thought it would be fun to see which of last year's picks you all liked the most. So let's take a look at the top 3 Boomer Brief recipes from 2015.

3. Patsy's Perfect Potato Salad 

My mom Patsy's yummy potato salad is one of our all-time favorite sides as well as your number 3 pick for 2015. It's comforting, creamy and calls for only 10 ingredients. Mom and I like using Miracle Whip (or Miracle Whip Light) instead of mayonnaise to save calories. Sweet and dill pickle relishes, dill weed, white vinegar and yellow mustard provide a nice zing.

Here's the recipe: Patsy's Perfect Potato Salad Recipe

A cool treat on a hot day, this so-good-I-could-make-a-meal-of-it salad is the perfect complement to barbecue beef sandwiches, grilled chicken, smoked ribs and many other summer-right choices.

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The List

22 Vacation-Perfect Picks

By Charlotte on May 23, 2015 11:00 AM | Read More

Bob and I have a busy summer on tap. It'll start in New York City with museums, Broadway and an overdue visit with our one-and-only-son Cole. (You know Mama's excited about that!) And end in Gulf Shores, Alabama, where we'll kick back and relax on one of the Red Neck Rivera's prettiest, white-sand beaches. In between, we'll be staycationing with my baby sister Pam and her crew during their annual pilgrimage to Texas. What fun!

Whether you're jetting away, unwinding close to home or doing both like us, you'll adore these 22 vacation-perfect picks. They're cute, comfy and versatile enough to carry you from a backyard barbeque in Big D to a night out in NYC.

Blue Heaven

Boasting one of summer's hottest colors, these cobalt blue-infused pieces from Kohl's are both trendy and wallet friendly.

Apt. 9 Fit & Flare Scuba Dress - White with lovely touches of blue, green and light pink, this cool, Betty Draper-approved style reminds me of a Monet Blue Outfit 321.jpgwatercolor. It's surprisingly easy to wear, sliding on without a struggle or the need for buttons, a zipper or a helping hand (just be sure to put this one on before fixing your hair!).

The machine-washable, polyester + spandex fabric helps the full, pleated skirt keep its shape, stretches with you and removes any worry of wrinkling. You also get two, big pockets wonderful for toting your cell and keys if you want to pop down the street for a minute minus your purse.

Wear it with flats for running errands. Add jewelry, a belt, a tote and heels and you're ready for date night. Bob actually complimented this outfit and I didn't even have to ask him how it looked! Now, that's a keeper!

A steal at $50, this Apt. 9 fit & flare number gives even me a little curve appeal! I'm absolutely mad about it paired with Simply Vera Wang jewelry, a Dana Buckman bag and Vionic Enisa sandals. Read on for the scoop on all these summer-perfect fashions.

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The List

3 Sensational Side Dishes

By Charlotte on March 17, 2015 5:24 PM | Read More

For some people, Easter lunch is all about smoked honey ham, prime rib or some other mouth-watering cut of meat. But I focus on the vegetables. I'm not talkin' the plain-Jane variety here. I want my holiday sides dressed up with yummy cheeses, sauces and seasonings that'll have guests coming back for more. That's why I adore these three sensational side dishes.

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The List

3 Soul-Satisfying Soups

By Charlotte on January 22, 2015 6:57 AM | Read More

A steaming bowl of soup spells comfort whether there's a chill in the air or you just need a little tender loving care. Packed with flavor, these three favorites are hearty enough to make a meal.

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The List

4 Delicious Dips to Kick Off Your Year

By Charlotte on January 1, 2015 6:41 AM | Read More

Whether you're planning a fun-filled, game-day get-together or a cozy snack supper for two, these easy dips are a tasty way to kick off the year:

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The List

20 Terrific Last-Minute Gift Ideas Under $140

By Charlotte on December 12, 2014 3:16 PM | Read More

Christmas snuck up on me this year. We spent a week at the beach celebrating Thanksgiving and Bob's birthday. I should've started checking off my gift list the very next weekend but I was too busy enjoying the candlelight tour and other festivities in Granbury, TX. (What a fun girls' getaway!) Now, there're under 15 days left and I've done precious little shopping.

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The List

The List: Top 8 Holiday Recipes

By Charlotte on November 24, 2014 6:37 AM | Read More

Our holidays got off to a rocky start last year. Bob and I were meeting our New York son Cole at the beach house in Alabama. I never get to cook for him anymore so I was really looking forward to fixing all his favorite foods.

But about the time we got to Shreveport, I realized we'd forgotten the little, white notebook with all my go-to recipes. Sure, there's always Pinterest but I'm talkin' about tried-and-true ideas perfected over more than three decades of marriage. My understanding husband (who has a weakness for a certain Chocolate Pie) saved the day by driving four hours back to Dallas so I could pick up my notes. Then turned around and drove another 11 1/2 hours to the beach. Yes, he is a keeper!

Since then, I've been putting more and more of our holiday favorites on the site so that never happens again. Here are eight top picks that must be our table both Thanksgiving and Christmas:

Texas Turkey

While I focus on appetizers, sides and desserts, Bob works magic with the main course. His easy recipe gives us up a moist, perfectly seasoned bird with a Texas kick. Yum!

In about 3 1/2 hours, you'll be licking your lips.

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The List

The List: 14 Shore Things

By Charlotte on June 22, 2014 6:05 AM | Read More

May marked Bob and my 36th wedding anniversary. Woo Hoo! To celebrate that and 2 other Hallelujah-worthy milestones, we took an amazing, 10-day Mediterranean cruise that brought us to the beaches of 6 countries.

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The List

The List: 11 Mom-Pampering Presents under $150

By Charlotte on April 21, 2014 6:08 AM | Read More

My mother Patsy has trouble sitting still. She's always cooking, cleaning or working in her garden. She's known for fussing over my stepfather Ken, fixing goodies for her neighbors (everything from relaxing Bourbon Slushes to three-layer Coconut Cake) and singing in the church choir. So when Mother's Day rolls around, she's often overdue for some tender loving care.

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The List

Girlfriend Gifts

By Charlotte on December 12, 2011 6:19 AM | Read More

It's easy to please my guys at Christmas. I pick up a classic movie (preferably black-and-white film noir) for Bob; a Guitar Center gift card for our music-journalist son Cole, and anything football for my sports-buff brother David. Then color me done.

What to get the important women in my life can be a little more complicated. But the most time-consuming part of my shopping just became a cinch thanks to these great gotta-have-ums. They're sure to delight any mom, sister, BFF, wife or special someone.


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The List

Mother's Day

By Charlotte on May 2, 2011 8:00 AM | Read More

Ever feel like you're turning into your mother? Well, I'm just about there.

I've always looked like my mom; now I'm starting to think like her too. Although Bob's not entirely sold on this concept, it gives me a real edge when it comes to rounding up sure-to-please Mother's Day gift ideas like these:

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The List

Stocking Stuffers

By Bob on December 13, 2010 6:22 AM | Read More

Instead of choosing cigarettes and lottery tickets candy as the go-to stocking stuffer this year, check out these special somethings that'll make 'em glad they woke up at your house on Christmas morning.

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The List

Boomer Brief Gift Ideas

By Bob on December 2, 2010 6:01 AM | Read More

Run out of ideas for the hard-to-shop-for people on your gift list? Well, here are some suggestions from the Boomer Brief elves that'll have your loved ones screaming for more Bloody Mary Mix with joy on Christmas morning.

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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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