Boot season – boot care

Boot season is upon us! Well, for me it would always be boot season if it wasn’t for the extreme heat.  I also try to avoid boot stores but sometimes they just seem to get me in the door. Don’t know how that happens…


Here’s some of my pairs and I’d like to share some pointers on proper care and cleaning.  When you make an investment for a nice pair, you want them to last forever right?  I love my boots and I do take care of ’em. Their like my children.  So I thought I’d share a few good tips.

If you invest in a good pair of boots you should definitely invest in some of the following items.

  • A shoe brush!

This will help you clean off the dirt and grime that collects in the crevices. You want to do this often to make sure that the dirt doesn’t get trapped in there and causes damage to your footwear.  Hold brush firmly in one hand, while you use the other to hold the boot.  Brush back and forth to remove that dirt.


  • Conditioning Cream!

A conditioning cream such as a neatsfoot oil will keep your leather supple and protects the condition of that leather. Should be used on the smoother type leather boots.  Apply with a soft cloth as you do a single, even coat.  On this style of boot, I like to buff with a separate soft cloth.

*If you have a pair of distressed leather boots–DO NOT use conditioner on them.  It will do more harm than good.


  • Boot Jack!

A definite “MUST” if you are a true boot wearer and want quick “out” of your boots when you come home at the end of the day!  This is a treasured gift from my son when he worked at Allen’s Boots in Austin many years ago.  Can’t tell you how many times a week I use darlin’, it’s like my extra pair of hands!


  • Boot Covers!

This is not a must, BUT if you travel and want to keep your boots from getting scratched or marred—-then do!


Additional pointers:

  • Suede boots DO NOT require conditioning or polishing! So don’t!  You’ll be causing more harm than good.  I brush dirt and grime but using less pressure.  You might want to use a good water protector & sealer prior to using for the first time, but read the care tips that came with yours!
  • Combination leather boots should be treated a little differently in that you want to condition only the part of the leather that is smooth & buffing the rest.
  • Decorative embroidery boots  I recommend that you NOT use conditioners that will darken the leather for obvious reasons on these.
  • If your pair are soft and clumsy, you can insert foam or trimmed foam swimming noodles to hold them up.


There are some sites advising people to use vinegar mixed with water to clean your boots.  NO!!!  Please don’t do that.  That will only break down the leather and cause damage to them.  REMEMBER, if you have concerns, READ the manufacturer care instructions that came with your investment!  Worth the effort.

Now, go and enjoy your holiday turkey and kick heels up in them boots~


easy mirror diy


It’s been awhile since I’ve done a day project so I was excited when my coworker friend bought this full length mirror for her office.  I think I literally snatched it from her office and brought it home to make it look wooden & rustic.  In other words… purrty!

It was a gold, plastic trimmed mirror and we wanted more character.  So began the one day mirror diy project!


This took very little effort since we didn’t have to prime or sand down.


What you’ll need:  two different colors (a dark & light), plaster of paris (to make your paint into chalk paint), antiquing wax, wax brush, blue tape & sponge brushes.


Start by wiping frame clean, taping off glass and mixing your chalk paint and applying 1 layer of the dark paint.


Followed by the lighter color. Allow to dry completely before antiquing and waxing.  Remove tape and your done!

(See the how the black peeks through the white and with the accent of antiquing, it really helps define it and makes appear to be wood.)


Doesn’t it look like it’s framed in wood (rustic wood)? Super- s u p e r  EASY!


A very inexpensive purchase can be made to look like it’s encased by a wooden frame for pennies.  A small investment of paint and very little elbow grease.


Now to figure out what will take place at Thanksgiving~


pan fried herbed bass


Want a super – quick & delicious dinner?  Then you want to try this pan fried herbed bass!  A friend had given us some fresh bass which he had cleaned & cut up into small bite size pieces.  So I prepared it the other night in a very quick and easy but very tasty way.


You’ll get delicious morsels of fish drenched in a savory, tangy fig & vanilla balsamic glaze that goes well with diced herbed potatoes.


(These take no time to cook, so you might want to have your sides ready to go so that your fish will still be hot when you serve it!)



  • 8-10 bite sized pieces of fresh fish
  • 1 c. Progresso herbed bread crumbs
  • spices & minced herbs
  • oil

Heat oil in pan, drench & pat the fish in the bread crumbs that have been seasoned with salt, pepper, (I added cajun seasoning as well as minced parsley & thyme).  Place in pan and cook for about 2 minutes on each side.  Remove and place on paper towel lined plate.  Serve on top of a balsamic vinegar.  I used a fig & vanilla flavored one which is sweet and tangy.  *I love this stuff!  It is locally made and I absolutely love it! It’s a perfect combination with fresh fish, a salad or just to dip a french bread in.

Can’t get any easier than this guys!

Hope you stay posted this week for a small diy project and some handy tips you don’t want to miss!  Have an awesome week~

details of Thanksgiving


Our traditional Halloween meal didn’t happen yesterday, as Boo had to work over the weekend.  But I’m hoping it happens today, cause I look forward to that meal each fall.  I got myself motivated to put Halloween away and to get Thanksgiving decor out of storage.  Remember those beautiful wooden chargers I scored at an antique store in Dallas several years ago?  Well paired with the amber cut glassware we got as a wedding gift more than 35 years ago, well it all creates our details of Thanksgiving.


I love that each year, even though I’ve had lots of these items for numerous years, they always put a smile on my face and it’s like I’m seeing them for the first time again.  These guys…


are so cool and then I just noticed how pronounced his Adam’s apple is.  Ha! I love the details!  Each year, it’s creating a small vignette around the two to anchor them as my centerpiece.  Love ’em!

The bar area is complete with the antique pheasant trays, mini gourds, and rustic metal pumpkin napkins rings.


The small hutch in the hall holds accents of sunflowers, pumpkins and acorns.


The antique sideboard is home to my favorite white ceramic pumpkins and other white serve ware.


Then later today the mantle.

What will your Thanksgiving details include?


squeaky clean makeup brushes


Today is a little about makeup brush upkeep and how to get them squeaky clean again.  And I’ll just start by saying that good quality makeup brushes are a great investment for a flawless makeup finish.  But along with investing in high quality brushes you need to invest time in maintaining their original condition and preserving them to last longer by washing them properly.  It’s actually quite easy to take care of your brushes!  Just a couple of ingredients and you have them back to perfection.

Natural fiber brushes are some of the best brushes.  If you want to care for natural brushes, you want to use NATURAL cleaners.  This is why I chose castile soap.  I love this stuff because it is so natural—no chemicals and harsh ingredients, it’s concentrated, goes a long way and is handy for so many other uses. (See my post on making natural homemade liquid hand soap later this month.)

What you need:  castile soap, water & a small dish.

Start by putting a drop or two of the soap in the small dish.  Swish your brush in the soap for about a minute or two.  Continue swishing around and you’ll notice the makeup being released from the hairs.


You can see how full of foundation my little kabuki brush was…yikes!!!  But the soap is incredible in getting all the grime out and leavin’ ’em squeaky clean!


You can also gently massage the bristles with your fingertips, working up a lather and cleaning them a little deeper. Then just gently run them through warm water being careful not to manipulate the fibers too much.  Rinsing until the water runs clear.


Running your fingers to the top of the base, gently squeeze access water out and lay on a clean towel for a bit.


I found this very clever way to dry your brushes on Pinterest.  Just get some hair bands and loop through each brush and dry off on your towel rod (as shown).


Voila!  Squeaky clean makeup brushes that will last you a whole lot longer now and only took minutes of your time!



“Vintage Toys” themed baby shower


What can be more appropriate for a baby shower than a “vintage toys” themed celebration for an expectant mommy of twin boys?   And then a school library full of children’s books to have it in?  Lucas & Logan will be arriving in less than a month. So the fun begins.

Here are a few pictures of the fun celebration that included personal items belonging to my kids when they were little or that I’ve collected over the years.  It only made sense to bring all those items together to create a cute toy themed shower.

tum2 tum3 tum4

tum6 tum7



Nothing can be cuter than children’s tinker toys, tricycles, books, blocks and teddy bears right?


Guests were treated to ice cream accompanied with a choice of chocolate, vanilla or fresh sweet berry cake (recipe later this week),  and a refreshing pineapple sorbet punch.  The new mommy seemed to enjoy herself as did all of the us.  Thank you to all the lovely friends that helped put this together for this sweet momma!




Love this girl!  Just look at how radiant she looks! I can’t wait to meet those 2 little guys!


Up and Autumn!

Let’s talk…

a little about my social media absence.

A few months ago as I was talking with a friend, she said to me, “Seriously Belle, I have never known you to not being doing something.  Where does your energy come from and do you always feel like you have to be doing something”? My answer to her immediately was, “I’m not really sure where my energy comes from and YES, I always feel like I have to be doing something” without hesitation.

Hence began a blogging diet, a “don’t make anything” diet, not much of anything really-diet.  After thinking about her question A LOT, I decided that I would try being like 1/2 of America and just not do anything, (not sure if that’s how 1/2 of America really spends their time, but I’m guessing that it might be higher).  But, what was it really to just not do, and why did I always feel like I had to be doing?  In all honesty, sometimes I wear myself out just doing but that’s all I’ve ever known.  Mainly because my mind is ALWAYS turning and thinking.  Whenever I see something- anything, I think to myself—what other purpose could that be used as.  Does anyone else’s mind work that way?  It’s exhausting at times but that’s all I’ve ever known.  I think that’s why when my head hits the pillow- I am dead to the world. My husband has always envied the fact that I am able to do that–but who can blame the little head that’s always chugging along? I tell him it’s because I’m at peace with the world but it’s more like I’m happy to sometimes shut the thoughts down. But I have to admit that sometimes I wake myself up because a brilliant idea pops up.

So when I was taking this little break from the social media world, I discovered A LOT.  Here are my discoveries:

  • I had already been on a “let’s kick every friend on facebook off” that ALWAYS posts politics, hateful comments, religion or lack of, and depressing things.  Facebook in my opinion is more fun when you can be positive, encouraging and sharing the wonderful & sad things in ones life.  That’s how one grows and defines ones character I think. I don’t watch TV because it’s depressing- all of it.  And I would much rather be creative than being nonconstructive but we already have so much hatred and misery in our world that I feel that we need to focus more on having hope and giving that hope to our youth.  THINK ABOUT THIS…(and really think about it), if you were in your teens, twenty’s or thirty’s and all you see around you is hatred, negativity, the crap that’s on television and social media—–WOULD YOU HAVE HOPE FOR YOUR FUTURE???  Is that the picture you want to paint for your/our children?  That there’s no hope for them/us???  Social media is so accessible to everyone now that instead of us using it to spread the hatred, the negative–why not use it to encourage and be positive and help the state of things?
  • I sat on my butt and either was on the computer or watched movies, lots of them.
  • I thought a lot
  • I left my calendar blank (which was depressing as all get-out)!

blank cal

  • I’ve always hated this but I found that more n more, I really despise the fact that you go out in public and you’re hanging with friends, family or others and people are on their phones instead of “WITH” that person.  We are lacking this…

social graces  we’re living in a world of zombies and non-human interaction existence and losing our social skills. One of the HUGE components that sets us apart from everything else in this world.

  • I gained weight from not doing anything.  IMAGINE THAT?!  Yes, sitting around being non-productive enlarges your arse.
  • I became a bum!  I was extremely lazy, bored, depressed and it’s been hard to lift my own spirits.

So UP & AUTUMN folks—-ENOUGH of the madness, because in no way am I happy with the person I was in the month and a half that I did my little trial experiment. Nothing about doing nothing is good. I have never been a fan of idolness, (if there’s such a word).  I have always felt like I have to be doing, creating, making, baking, taking, whatever!!!  So I will continue to be THAT person because I am not cut out for idolness.

I will lose this weight I’ve gained.  I will make and do.

I also choose and plan to offer hope to others but ESPECIALLY my kids.

I will share happiness and BE PRESENT with those around me. (Note: If I walk away when I’m with you – it’s because you choose to be on your phone instead of WITH me.)


“I will get rest when I’m dead”, is what my SIL told me once after I asked him to get some rest.  I know what he meant.  Life is too short to sit idol and do nothing.  The “here and now” is precious— use it wisely!