Monday, January 26, 2009

Talk dirty to me: Estate Lady beats clutter
Julie Hall, known as The Estate Lady, knows how to tackle those big, sentimental, potentially libelous messes parents leave behind when they die or downsize. Her book, “The Boomer Burden: Dealing with Your Parents’ Lifetime Accumulation of Stuff” offers tips on weeding the money-making antiques from the Cool Whip containers.
Parents, children and siblings should all read this book. She’s got crazy anecdotes of mean relatives, those who didn’t know what they had and loved ones who get taken advantage of in horrible ways. Here’s just a quick list of where those parents, who may not have trusted banks, may have stashed valuables:
Places to find hidden treasures
• Clothing and shoes — Check under insoles, in pockets, wrapped in undies and in bra cups.
• Drapery hems — A favorite for jewelry and coins.
• Canister sets — Under the flour and sugar.
• Books — Paper money between the pages.
• Toilet tank — Another place for jewelry.
• Duct tape — Money or jewelry wrapped in a tight ball.
• Picture frames — Behind the mat.
• Attic rafters — Look for coins, jewelry, etc.

Earbud Yo-Yo
Rarely has a little piece of plastic brought me so much joy. A woman going by the title Julie Barkley the Inventress has introduced Yo-Yo, stylish squares for you to wind up you iPod cord and keep it detangled. Through Houston-based Covington Creations, she says she’s bringing sanity and fashion to music lovers. I’ve got a green one with purple swirls and dots and it really, really works. Her son’s toy box inspired her. You go, Inventress girl.

Water works
I saw a “CSI” where, basically, the water was the culprit because there was so much pharmaceutical compound in the tap water. PUR’s Water Filtration System allows families to filter more than 99 percent of that from American tap water, makers say. An electronic filter change light and slim oval pitcher make it easy to have a cold drink of water at the ready. Sorry to say, I had a honking-big pitcher years ago but I decided I needed the space more than the benefits. Just read the box of this product and you may actually be grossed into buying it. Makers claim it is the only pitcher to remove 99.9 percent microbial cysts. The water tastes great and we could all drink more water every day.
Coconut shell is in a patented micro-filtration system that seems a mini miracle in my water bottle. Wellness also puts bakuhan, the only stone certified by the Japanese Ministry of Health for its natural medicinal qualities, in there to help accelerate healing of damaged skin and reduce inflammation. Think you’re done? There’s taicho stone, resistant to bacterial and fungal growth and believed to have stopped a bacterial outbreak in water cisterns in 850 AD. Wait for it: a ceramic layer generates reduced ions and adds an antioxidant effect. Magnetite and magnets drop surface tension and improve hydration.
It’s good stuff and good for you. I do have to say it all makes the refillable bottle a little heavy, so that’s why there’s a nifty holder and strap for your walk.
Visit to learn how to take one of these to show and tell.

For Mardi Gras
You may have heard me sample Three Olives Espresso. I’m sure the “yummy” noise I made echoed to other neighborhoods. I was happy to share news of Three Olives vodka’s root beer flavor. Triple Shot Espresso has a boost of caffeine and amazing flavor. I considered it an odd combo, then I remember hearing my later mother-in-law hosted kahlua-making parties, and you make that with vodka and coffee. This English Three Olives company’s product rivaled kahlua I bought on the streets of Mexico. They offer recipes, such as a martini with coconut rum and amaretto. It’s one of those things you can try if you have any left over from trying it over ice or ice cream. Here’s another recipe:

White Mochatini
1 ounce Three Olives Triple Espresso
1 ounce premium white chocolate liquor
1 ounce half and half
Shake with ice and strain into martini glass; garnish with three espresso beans.

Tequila trick
I may have to quit teasing my husband for mixing high-quality alcohol with diet drinks. If he sees this notice in my column, I’ll make good on it.
Imagine my surprise when reading up on Don Julia Reposado, distilled since 1942 with agave cooked in masonry ovens, I caught a recipe that used ginger ale. Well. I’ll consider that. I made up something almost as easy: Don Julio with frozen fruit. Thank’s Don, for the memories. Love the square bottle, too.

Morning Breeze
1 part of Tequila Don Julio Reposado
Ginger ale to preferred taste.
Pour into chilled high ball glass filled with ice cubes. Stir and garnish with a lime piece.

The Two-Point Conversion
1 1/2 ounces Tequila Don Julio Blanco
2 ounces tonic water
1 lime wedge
Pour Don Julio Blanco over ice in a highball glass.Top off with tonic water. Garnish with lime wedge.

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