Sunday, April 28, 2013

Chesnutt to release “Tracie’s Song” May 15
Mark Chesnutt’s country music has a home in our hearts and his contributions have a place of honor at Museum of the Gulf Coast. Here’s what the promotion company says about his autobiographical dedication:
One of country music’s finest stylists, Mark Chesnutt, is set to introduce his latest single entitled “When The Lights Go Out (Tracie’s Song)” written and recorded as a loving autobiographic dedication to his devoted wife, Tracie, and validating once again Chesnutt’s foothold as a mainstay in the country music format.

Trademarked by Chesnutt’s vocal performance, the single (scheduled for a May 15, 2013 release and available on Play MpE) is simplistic in lyric and delivery, authentic in presentation and quintessential in time. Written alongside long-time friend and producer Jimmy Ritchey and “Chesnutt hitmaker” Roger Springer (“It’s A Little Too Late” ”Thank God For Believers”), the ballad is a true-to-life short story illustrative of Chesnutt’s life as a career performer and road warrior, and his enduring lifetime love, Tracie Chesnutt.

“I guess this song has been in the works for the last twenty some-odd years,” Chesnutt introduced. “I’m blessed to have a woman who understands me and this crazy music business. When we sat down to write, this song was already written; it wrote itself thanks to Tracie.”

Maria and Louis
Maria Block let me know I could write about anything I wanted as I attended ceremonies of her marriage to Louis Saldana. He sang a song to her at the church that touched everyone, then the party headed from Our Lady of Guadalupe to the Knights of Columbus Hall in Port Acres for a Mexican spread from Elena’s, a favorite pair of restaurants in Beaumont. Louis is the brother of Elena. Esther Benoit, a guest known for her restaurant days and continued good cooking, introduced me to Elena. It was a thrill for me to be in the presence of the Esther-Elena presence, but no one was having more fun than the dancing, glowing bride and groom.

Quota on Barbecue
Quota International of Southeast Texas has asked Cooks Two Dozen to prepare chicken barbecue dinners for $10 a plate. They’ll be on sale from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, May 18, at M&D Supply, 4580 College St. in Beaumont. Call (409) 363-2306 for delivery on orders of 10 or more.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Boxed in and beauty

Boxes have been a big part of my life for the past year as I’ve helped a number of people move and consolidate their residences.
Unpakt (, a comparison pricing site and online booking tool for consumers searching for a moving company, has tips for a green eco-move:
Used Boxes
: You can pack your belongings in used boxes.  There is no reason to contribute to deforestation when free, used boxes can typically be found at local restaurants and bars, grocery stores, etc.
Recycle Your Boxes: Recycle your boxes or give them to someone who might need them.
Plastic Bins
: There are companies that rent plastic bins.  This eliminates the need to use cardboard and tape. 
Packing SuppliesTry using eco-friendly biodegradable tape to pack up your boxes or bins.  Instead of bubble wrap, try using towels, linens, tees, sweatshirts, blankets and other items you need to move anyway. 

Big beauty ideas
Big words like Melanozyme™ are in elure, but makers challenge women to go small, as in giving one’s beauty product area a spring cleaning, because their award-winning trio is all one needs for luminous skin. I like the smooth feeling of Advanced Face Wash which promises to lather up and remove dead skin cells, so you’re already ahead by just washing. Advanced Skin Brightening Lotion contains that big word and comes with a big price tag. Pump from one side, then from the other a minute later for the activator. Advanced Lightening Night Cream also has Bio-Activator. I agree that this is the season to try Elure, because everyone wants to peel off the old and get a fresh start for summer. Here’s to looking good.

The Doctor’s Wife
Prickly pear helps with smooth skin? The Doctor’s Wife says yes. This cruelty-free line features Menthe Blanche Microfoliator that offers the kind of cool scrubbing-away of all worries that a woman could look forward to all day. Where is it now? I want some.
If you want to get all technical, look up why it’s so good for you at, but I’m headed for the bottle.

DIY beauty
How many times has this happened to you? A professional spa treatment leaves you with flawless, hydrated, super soft skin, but it’s inevitable that daily grime and environmental exposure take their toll. Your dull skin craves another treatment.
Women who treat themselves to one facial may go a long time before a second, but JF Aesthetic skincare has medical-grade ingredients that board-certified plastic surgeon Julius Few, MD, FACS, has designed to prolong treatments at home.
The products are working great for me, and I didn’t begin at the spa. The Weekly Mini-Peel Brightener Lite works very well. Swipe it on at night and boost cell turnover. What a difference.
My favorite is the smooth R●nol 20 Serum in a drop bottle. It extends a microdermabrasion and just feels so good going on as it reduces fine linesJF Aesthetic Advanced KojiCream is a non-hydroquinone brightener to work with your sunspots, melasma and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Though a new round of beauty products is an investment, Dr. Few’s designs can save lots of money in a short time. Meanwhile, you look great.

JF Aesthetic products are available on

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Becoming Flawsome

We all make mistakes, but instead of worrying about them, social media guru Erik Qualman says we should learn from them and improve our efforts. Take the flaw, and make it awesome. That would be “flawsome,” he told his audience at Lamar University’s Montagne Center. Qualman is called the Digital Dale Carnegie and is the author of Socialnomics.”  I like the way he thinks.

Meals in a Jar
There’s a whole lot of reasons to save your jars and get canning in the kitchen. Not the least reason is that not much could make the home cook look more industrious than an array of jars labled
Kettle Corn, Rustic Pie, Chipotle Chicken, Cornmeal Pancakes and Armenian Lentil Soup. So maybe you’ll need a dehydrator for those lemon slices and vacuum for the pizza kit. It’s an investment of equipment and time like our ancestors used to make to be healthy, economical and well fed. Julie Languille’s new book is “Meals in a Jar, Quick and Easy Just-Add-Water, Homemade Recipes. The work comes in advance, but you’d sure want to be on the receiving end of these jars of goodness ready for dinner.

So steamed
Joy Mangano for HSN has suggestions for Mother’s Day gifts and I can tell you, I’m a huge fan of Huggable Hangers. Get to for more on goods such as Ultimate Better Beauty Case Set, Forever Fragrant SticksClothes It All Luggage, GreenPan by Todd English, and the Corelle For Joy Mangano Collection.
I tried a purple My Little Steamer and it works as good as makers claim. I didn’t hold it quite right on my first try and it worked. When I did it right, it worked even better. Be careful with hot steam, but know that it’s a quick and easy way to freshen up you duds, scarves, etc. I think I’m headed to the window panels next.

 The Joy Mangano 900-Watt Deluxe My Little Steamer is easier than ironing, a chore that has never captured my interests or skill set. This Purple Orchid little baby is a travel version and also comes in Espresso, Fall Pink, Golden Yellow, Pacific Blue, Willow Green, Wheat, Sandalwood, Olive/Moss Green, Sapphire/Periwinkle Blue, Bright White, Country Red and Graphite.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Dress for the spirit

Gracewear Collection
I don’t know of a woman from my generation who puts on a cuff bracelet without thinking of Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman. Gracewear Collection 2013 has gold and silver cuffs with lacy cross patterns designed for “Celebrating God’s Grace” through the Signature Shield of Faith Collection.
Look up Ephesians 6:10-18 to get the full symbolism behind  a “Helmet of Salvation,” “Breastplate of Righteousness,” “Belt of Truth,” Sword of the Spirit,” and “Shoes of Peace.” Much better than the skimpy looks in what your typical fashion magazine is touting. Wendy Strong Lupas and Mary Strong Blackburn say God calls us to “spiritually dress” for battles we face every day. These sisters have designed gold- and rhodium-plated rings, earrings, links, earrings, etc. that carry a passionate message for today’s woman warriors. 

Teeny tiny paintings 
The flamingo is a big, showy bird, but in “Exquisite Miniatures,” a magnifying glass is the best way to get all the pink detail that Wes and Rachelle Siegrest put into their little works of art. This exhibit is on display at Museum of the Gulf Coast through June 2. A brush the length of an eyebrow pencil, with what looks like about two or three bristles, is what they use. One image of a pelican has a boat in the background and the glasses provided at the museum help viewers make out detail in the nets and boat behind the ruffled feathers.
Here’s something else amazing about the two artists. They are married and create together. I’m sure more than one viewer has commented on the patience this close union must require to produce so much beauty in detail. All of the tiny little paintings on the museum walls and their pretty frames could fit into a gym bag.

Pine Tree Lodge
There were two gators in the calm waters by Pine Tree Lodge on a recent Monday. I enjoyed the calls of birds and frogs and the way the sun fell on marsh grass. I had a reason to be at this famous eatery off LaBelle Road on a day they are closed, but there was no aroma of seasoned fried foods. The family in charge said Monday is a day for U-turns. Cars and trucks full of families pull in, realized they’re closed and have to turn round again. Chances are, they’ll head back soon on another day.