Monday, November 17, 2014


Beau Reve has big plans for Small Business Day
Okay. I hid from Santa. Still do.
But having breakfast with the guy in the red suit at Beau Reve could change our relationship.
Shop for pretty stocking stuffers, stock up on sweets and have breakfast with Santa on Saturday, Nov. 29, which is Small Business Day. If you haven’t been to this beautiful home, now’s your chance. Visit the Artisan Marketé and have
breakfast with Santa.
Come in pajamas or fancy attire for breakfast from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Get your photo made.
From noon to 3 p.m., enjoy cookies and cocoa under the big canopy with free children’s activities, including thumbprint ornaments and coloring. Surprises come in the guise of Whoville, The Grinch and princesses.
Get shopping done with: Jeweled Treasures with jewelry, with gypsy-inspired designs; Francheska & Jacqueline with trendy clothing, including plus sizes, handmade cards and vanilla; Glass Dove with lighted wine bottles; Herbal Insanity with organic herbs and skin care; Pieces of Shady Oaks with CeCe Caldwell chalk paint; Sweet Serendipity with fresh baked cookies, cakes and pies; Southern Imprint Jewelry with stamped jewelry; Friends On Holiday with holiday décor; MeMe’s Buttons with embroidery; Repurposed metal signs and furniture; Big Momma’s Royal Dog Treats; Rustic Pallet Junkies; Smartmouth Yummies; The Traveling Vineyard; Thirty-One; Mary Kay Cosmetics; Origami Owl Lockets; Jamberry Nails; Avon; Scentsy; and Tupperware; Younique Product.
Tickets for the breakfast are $8 and are on sale now at Beau Réve, 4400 Atlantic Rd, Port Arthur, or at Animal Hospital of Mid-County at 1608 Nederland Ave, Nederland. For more information, call 409-962-2422 or 409-719-7511.

Luxurious Leather trays
I really connect to leather. It smells good, feels good and wears well. Our ancestors have used it for life and luxury and Four Robins has been having fun molding custom leather trays and bowls by hand. Vegatable-tanned cowhides make squared-off bowls like I’ve never seen, with nature-inspired stamps in the centers. It’s a conversation starter that preserves a bit of the industrial heritage of Pittsburgh, makers say. They make a Butterfly Leather Desk Tray and Distressed Brown Hand Sewn Leather Box that could fit in anywhere from a business desk to a deer lease cabin. Think Crystal Beach homes or grandpa’s desk. They look old and new at the same time. These bowls come with a tale. They’ve already been somewhere, holding something. The creative couple behind these natural, aromatic, unique leather pieces started in dog collars. What a back story.
For information, go to www.fourrobins.com 

Feeling squeezed?
There’s an adult and a children’s book about how to turn lemons into some successful juice.
That’s how a lump of coal becomes a diamond. “Squeezed… Lucky Am I,” is a child’s book telling how Lucky Lemon ventured into the place where bigger, sweeter fruits lived. They mocked him until a wise lemon made him realize he could relax and become more  juicy, and mix with his water and sugar friends to make something delicious. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. There’s also a lot of lemon facts in the book. I didn’t know that a massive fire in 1886 ruined lemon trees in 1886 and they were not commercially sold in the U.S. again until the 1950s. I’m so glad they’re back.
The adult version has real-life scenarios from Eric Benson with lessons on what the squeeze is and making the juice you want from it. It’s a simple, different way to look at life’s lemons. “Squeezed: Make Life’s Juice Worth the Squeeze” reminds us we can learn from everything, and that’s how we make life better.
For information, visit www.squeezed.us.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Scendero Outfitters and Big Bend dining

 
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Scendero Outfitters
Just in time for the nip of fall, Darrell and Sheila Hall have opened Scendero Outfitters on Englin Road in Winnie. Those out to hunt bobwhite quail, chukar partridge, ring-neck pheasant, dove, ducks, geese and whitetail deer can now bunk in lovely cabins and re-fuel with dinner at a spacious, rustic table.
Scendero is a cleared path in a straight line cut through brush country of South Texas and Mexico, according to Darrell and Sheila Hall. Sheila used to run Esther’s, the seafood house bearing her mother’s name.
Organize a retreat and an adventure. As for other details, patterned blankets could not be softer on beds where the women sleep. They men cover up in plaid. Look them up and ask them about their Llewellin Setters.  
And speaking of hunting and the great Texas outdoors, read on:

What do they eat in the Big Bend?
Creosote Salve is one concoction found in “The Big Bend Cookbook.” That and the Wild Texas Oregano Tincture are in the foraging for medicine section.
Big Bend is a part of Texas I’m planning to get to someday. It’s so mysterious to my Gulf Coast experience, but I know large segments of the world picture Texas as this wide-open, dry and rocky spread. Of course Tiffany Harelik has collected great recipes and stories from the heart of West Texas. Thanks for the photos and directives on chile rellenos, chicken sopa and Ranchland Dove. Turns out, our brethren in West Texas have that cowboy sweet tooth I’ve heard about.
Marfa Table Cinco Leches Cake includes a milk sauce with sweetened condensed milk and a can of evaporated goat’s milk. It also uses stale bread or cake. None of this sounds strange to me. I’d love some.
Here’s the easiest thing in the book, and I’m ready for it:
Coffee-Sprinkled Ice Cream
Courtesy Big Bend Coffee Roasters
Joe Williams says, “I can’t think of anything that gets you closer to heaven, and the preparation time is only two seconds.”
Coffee grounds to taste
Blue Bell vanilla ice cream, to taste
Sprinkle coffee grounds on a few scoops of Blue Bell vanilla ice cream and dive in.





Wrinkles
This is not about skin care. It’s about being rushed and wrinkled and having Downy Wrinkle Releaser to the rescue.
When there’s no time to iron, Downy invites you to “spray the fabrics, tug out the wrinkles, smooth and let dry for five minutes. Silicones in the spray allow fabric fibers to relax instead of being frozen in a wrinkle so you looked freshly pressed despite the morning chaos.” Some people love to iron. I think those people are getting harder to find. Downy has a Wrinkle Releaser Plus with odor eliminator, fabric refresher, static remove and ironing aid. Need a little extra help in the laundry room?
ddoiron@panews.com

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Rooster Booster new flavor in town

 
Rooster Booster new flavor in town
Don’t get cocky about it. Just sprinkle it on your chicken. Our friends at TexJoy have a new flavor. Rooster Booster is meant to flavor chicken, gumbo, gator, hot wings and vegetables. I just heard about it and I’m going looking for it.
The Texas Coffee Company in Beaumont presents this flavor. Makers report: “This spice features the popular Sriracha flavor as well, making the intensity of taste – not heat - more pronounced. The new spice is free of fat, cholesterol, calories and gluten.”
Visit www.Texjoy.com for more information and for purchase of the product.


Go Veg
Don’t stress about going meatless. “The Smart Girl’s Guide to Going Vegetarian” will walk you through nutritional and flavor options and even help you deal with family and friends who think you’re going nuts. Mmmm. Nuts sound good on Chia Power Pudding.
It’s a lifestyle, not a rule, author Rachel Meltzer Warren writes, and shares examples of making a “vegexception,” like for mom’s chicken soup on holidays. Some vegans don’t have a problem wearing leather, she says. You can decide how deep to dip your toe into the veggie pool.
Kale chips, sweet potato fries and coconut spinach chickpeas sound good to me. Banana Joe’s Ice Cream is something I already do. Just blend a frozen banana and add temptations like toasted walnuts, chocolate chips, granola and fruit.
This book is easy to digest.

Cookina
One time my sister surprised me by cleaning my oven. That was years ago. I wish she’d come back.
You’re probably not supposed to line old ovens with foil, which gets crumbs stuck in there and then they burn and set off the fire alarm. So I’m so glad I got a sample of COOKINA Gard Oven Protector. It’s a flat mat that looks good and is easy to clean. Now I don’t dread opening that oven door. They also make a cooking sheet and I tried it with cookies and I’m very pleased. Visit www.cookina.co for the details. Here’s the scoop on the sheet:
COOKINA Cuisine Reusable Cooking Sheet is a multipurpose product that creates a non-stick, easy-clean and healthy cooking & baking experience – for all those holiday cookies, cakes and pies! Ideal for using as an alternative to aluminum foil, parchment and wax paper, users can place the cooking sheet on a baking tray to bake recipes without having to use oil or needing to clean the tray afterwards. This sheet is 100% non-stick and PFOA Free, reusable, reversible, easy to clean and easily cuts to size.

Zabada clean
Things must be clean in Austrai, where they make Zabada cloths. They’re clean in my kitchen, too, where the kitchen glove cleaned not only my stove top, but that grimy back wall, with just water. Since the cloth is supposed to last 2-3 years, that’s what I call going green with less chemicals. Makers say advanced cleaning fibers and microfiber cloths are deeper, thicker and superior in quality compared to your average microfiber cloth.”
Go ahead, try it in the bathroom, too, because they remove bacteria. Here’s what they make:
         Kitchen Glove - Removes even the most backed-on kitchen grease and grime from counters, cooktops, tiles and ovens.
Kitchen Extra Handy  - Outperforms disposable scourers in removing stubborn baked-on grime from ovens, barbecues, pots and pans. Uses water only - no chemical sprays needed!
Bathroom Glove - Safe on any surface, and removes calcium, lime, mold and soap with just using water.
Dust Glove - A duster that grabs and holds even the heaviest dust, hair and microdust, and removes the common triggers of asthma and allergies.
 I was amazed at how the kitchen glove took on the grime. Look it up at ZabadaClean.com
ddoiron@panews.com

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Free Army Field Band concert



Free Army Field Band Concert
What’s not to like about that headline. Thank your Port Arthur News, because they’re the sponsors. The free concert of The Volunteers, The United States Army Field Band, will be at 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 2, at the Robert A. “Bob” Bowers Civic Center, 3401 Cultural Center Drive.
Let’s pack the house and hear them perform. Here’s the scoop:
Since 1981, The Volunteers has been bringing the Army story to life through rock, pop, country and patriotic music. The U.S. Army Field Band is the Army’s official touring musical organization featuring: the Concert Band, the Soldiers’ Chorus, the Jazz Ambassadors and The Volunteers. Each component tours annually throughout the United States and travels abroad as directed by the Secretary of the Army. The Army Field Band’s components tour a combined total of more than 400 days each year, appearing before live audiences of over 2 million people and broadcast to more than 2 billion.


Women are survivors
Beaumont gets a mention in “Women and the Texas Revolution,” a University of North Texas Press book that Mary L. Scheer edited. In a section called “Up Buck! Up Ball! Do Your Duty!” there’s writing of caravans crossing rivers by fashioning very large pine tree bridges. Here’s one recollection: “The road from Nacogdoches to the Sabine is one unbroken line of women and children, on foot, with nothing but their clothes on their back.”
It seems children would fall from wagons and the next wagon would pick them up.
“Mothers in this manner have been separated from their children for days, and some for weeks, as the wagons would often take a different course; all seemed to look out for themselves alone, the fountain of benevolence seemed dried up,” is a quote.
William Fairfax passed through Beaumont and came upon a family that had found a small, unattended infant. He was able to carry it a distance.



Karma Gifts
Would Karma give you a washed jute bag that’s traffic-stopping cool with a secret message on the inside? Karma so would. This company has a give back program so you feel good about bohemian styles of everyting from headbands to scarves that reflect the colors, textures and spirit of global creativity. I’m talking hippie stuff. Protect yourself from wintry blasts with Karma scarves. This bag I’m talking about is in a relaxing teal with what looks to me like a Victorian-style bird in a cage. It puts my husband in the mind of Edgar Allen Poe and The Raven. To each his/her own. I’ll go ahead and tell you the secret message on the inner lining: “Be Free.” That’s the spiritual message. The actual bag will cost you a little, but not too terribly much. www.karmagifts.com


Earthly cares
Earth’s Care Dry & Cracked Skin Balm will carry you through our Southeast Texas winter and into sandal season of 2015. Shea butter, amica and cajeput oil  go deep to nourish hands, elbows and feet. It’s creamy and has a natural aroma of healing and moving on. Allergy tested and paraben free, this product fits in with Earth’s Care’s mission of good stuff for your body from good stuff of the earth.


Other pretty  things or things for being pretty
If you haven’t heard of Bio-Oil from Cape Town South Africa, then you probably will, soon. If you’re the kind of pregnant woman who wears clothes to highlight your baby bump, then you may be thinking about stretch marks and scars. People are loving how Purcellin Oil is what’s making vitamins A & E and plant extracts of calendula, chamomile, lavender and rosemary absorb to treat dehydrated skin of any age. I love the smell and the feel of this oil that also helps with sunburn and dry lips, cracked heels, cuticles, scratchy scalp and a more even skin tone.
Did you ever think some oil would be nice on your legs but you’re thinking ahead to how oily you might feel? This is a different kind of rub down. I love it.
ddoiron@panews.com

Swants  & Sweggings make list of fall finds

This hint of cool air had me  in Kosby Swants from Festified Holiday Clothing. Swants are lounge pants made of sweater material and Sweggings are a bit more form fitting, as in sweater leggings. My Swants match other old school lined patterns in the line, like a hat that covers your ears. Though spelled with a K, I can’t help but link the spirit to Bill Cosby’s famed patterned sweaters of the ‘80s. Should your entire family or office long to be outfitted in leg lamp attire, menorah hats, garments that light up or more fun, dare I say knowingly tacky, and very funny gear, hit this site.

Don’t stop there. Fill your 2015 calendar  with festive looks for St. Patrick’s Day, etc. You will definitely be the talk of the party with your NFL sweater, sweater dress or looks for you dogs and children. www.festified.com.






Vintage Marquee Lights

Sometimes vanity is fine. I love the letter D. No surprise with my name being Darragh. It’s impossible to find coffee mugs or key chains with my name on it in stores with racks of souvenir goodies. But, I can have my D, or my whole name in lights thanks to Vintage Marquee Lights.

Initials, a fleur de lis, a heart…  your heart’s desire comes to your door though this company. Please note the caution message in packing: “Sharp rusty edges. Handle with care.” Then you screw in all the little  light bulbs and you have yourself a work of art. This look is classic and fits in with so many decors. It’s a literal statement piece when you spell out your message. Have fun at www.vintagemarqueelights.com.





“Elixir”

If you’d been a genius kid on “Jeopardy” you might get tired of having every third person talk about remembering watching you and trying to stump you with questions. You might want to acquire a new identiy, too. Maybe you wouldn’t mind using your prize winnings to live overseas as a renegade graffiti artist. But what if you fell in love, and your smart self could save your girlfriend’s life?

“Elixer” is called a high-octane action thriller by new writer Ted Galdi. It’s such a timely topic that I don’t even want to mention the deadly virus that makes up the plot of the book. I read this book a few weeks  ago and it’s even more timely today. I was hooked.

There’s a corrupt pharmaceutical  company, romance and government danger. What more could you want? ted@elixerthebook.com



Which boots today?

Kind of like Cinderella’s glass slipper, there’s a clear rain boot with cheetah, floral and other colorful inserts that will keep stylish women dry this season. Change up the look with inserts that slip in and keep you in a perky mood on a cloudy day. I’m hard to fit, and the ones I tried fit well. I know. You won’t want to get your new boots dirty, but that’s what they’re for, ladies. Here’s the scoop: Interchangeable Boots, Totes+Wristlets- TwoAlity Waterproof Gear- Look for new waterproof totes and wristlets from TwoAlity as featured in Bobbie’s Buzz on The TODAY Show with Kathie Lee and Hoda. They were created by a set of twin sisters when they were just 19.

ddoiron@panews.com

Monday, October 20, 2014



For 40 years the Texas Renaissance Festival has been a rowdy, muddy, musical, creative adventure for me and mine. I can’t get enough of it and you can get your fun in weekends through Nov. 30.
I’ve loved this festival since before the French High photo club headed out there in the ‘80s. But I’ve skipped a few. This time around I enjoyed the Magic Garden area, a quiet, dark path lined with bamboo and with cul-de-sacs featuring oversized mosaic-tiled benches and bromeliads in orange, purple and gold that look like a disco garden in an Alice in Wonderland type of fantasy.


Does Gratitude take practice?
Some blessings are obvious. Take time to be appreciative of that cup of coffee; breathe; and know anything is possible. “Sunrise Sunset: 52 Weeks of Awe & Gratitude” is a little book offering Kim Weiss’ photos of, sunrises and sunsets, of course. It also has some nuggets of thought from several contributors who remind us of what makes a glorious day. I love M.J. Rose’s practice of imagining which painter may have painted the sky that day. Monet? VanGogh? Magritte? A big old “thank you” goes to Kim Weiss for this book from Health Communications Inc.
Other kinds of beauty:
·         Warming Honey Cleanser from Cleanse is the name that sounds like it says it all, but that's just the starting point. Papaya enzymes and green tea extracts. Warm up on your face and you just won't want to stop cleaning. That warm feeling gives way later to an appreciation of pore minimalizing, protection of your ceramide barrier, etc.
·         Weleda gives you your oats. Why do you want them in your hair? You do. The company has been developing anthroposophic medicines and natural cosmetic products since 1921 and now they’re bringing us the scent of mimosa flowers and tonka beans while organic oat extract and jojoba seed oil gets to work restoring, protecting and smoothing the hair’s surface. I’m enjoying the shampoo and the replenishing treatment with sea buckthorn and coconut oil. If you do an internet search for all the ingredients and philosophies of this product, you’ll be occupied with interesting information until it’s time for your next shampoo.
·         Environ Intensive Hydrating Oil Capsules are teeny packages of vitamins, soy protein oil, green tea, etc. that go deep to nourish stressed, aged and sun-damaged skin. It’s very, very nice to smell, feels great going on and, since I’m the tester, I have to add that I look pretty good.

Surf Sweets
Know how they say to get Halloween candy you don’t like so you’ll stay out of it? Surf Sweets has ruined that for me. Spooky Spiders, Sour Worms, Organic Fruity Bears and such are made with organic fruit juice so guess what, they don’t taste all artificial and yucky. It’s a healthy alternative to a lot of the scary stuff that’s out there. Treat yourself.
ddoiron@panews.com

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Swants, sweggings and your name in lights

 

Swants  & Sweggings make list of fall finds
This hint of cool air had me  in Kosby Swants from Festified Holiday Clothing. Swants are lounge pants made of sweater material and Sweggings are a bit more form fitting, as in sweater leggings. My Swants match other old school lined patterns in the line, like a hat that covers your ears. Though spelled with a K, I can’t help but link the spirit to Bill Cosby’s famed patterned sweaters of the ‘80s. Should your entire family or office long to be outfitted in leg lamp attire, menorah hats, garments that light up or more fun, dare I say knowingly tacky, and very funny gear, hit this site.
Don’t stop there. Fill your 2015 calendar  with festive looks for St. Patrick’s Day, etc. You will definitely be the talk of the party with your NFL sweater, sweater dress or looks for you dogs and children. www.festified.com


Vintage Marquee Lights
Sometimes vanity is fine. I love the letter D. No surprise with my name being Darragh. It’s impossible to find coffee mugs or key chains with my name on it in stores with racks of souvenir goodies. But, I can have my D, or my whole name in lights thanks to Vintage Marquee Lights.
Initials, a fleur de lis, a heart…  your heart’s desire comes to your door though this company. Please note the caution message in packing: “Sharp rusty edges. Handle with care.” Then you screw in all the little  light bulbs and you have yourself a work of art. This look is classic and fits in with so many decors. It’s a literal statement piece when you spell out your message. Have fun at www.vintagemarqueelights.com.


Elixer”
If you’d been a genius kid on “Jeopardy” you might get tired of having every third person talk about remembering watching you and trying to stump you with questions. You might want to acquire a new identiy, too. Maybe you wouldn’t mind using your prize winnings to live overseas as a renegade graffiti artist. But what if you fell in love, and your smart self could save your girlfriend’s life?
“Elixer” is called a high-octane action thriller by new writer Ted Galdi. It’s such a timely topic that I don’t even want to mention the deadly virus that makes up the plot of the book. I read this book a few weeks  ago and it’s even more timely today. I was hooked.
There’s a corrupt pharmaceutical  company, romance and government danger. What more could you want? ted@elixerthebook.com

Which boots today?
Kind of like Cinderella’s glass slipper, there’s a clear rain boot with cheetah, floral and other colorful inserts that will keep stylish women dry this season. Change up the look with inserts that slip in and keep you in a perky mood on a cloudy day. I’m hard to fit, and the ones I tried fit well. I know. You won’t want to get your new boots dirty, but that’s what they’re for, ladies. Here’s the scoop: Interchangeable Boots, Totes+Wristlets- TwoAlity Waterproof Gear- Look for new waterproof totes and wristlets from TwoAlity as featured in Bobbie’s Buzz on The TODAY Show with Kathie Lee and Hoda. They were created by a set of twin sisters when they were just 19.
ddoiron@panews.com