Cowboy Caviar: The Worlds Best Appetizer!

This recipe is from the 1940s, and is a favorite at social events across the Southwest, and seems to show up in some version at most pot lucks, dinner's or gatherings, everywhere. It's one of my favorites to bring because there is usually an empty bowl by the end of the night and that always means it's a crowd favorite! It's one of my most asked for recipes. 

It's a great way to incorporate lots of fresh vegetables and beans into your diet, dressed up with a sweet spicy dressing and crunchy chips.  This will surely go in your favorites for parties and get-togethers.  It's a great appetizer and as you experiment with it, you can even start coming up with new recipe ideas using some variation of it as well. I like to wrap some leftovers in a piece of lettuce or top add it to some shredded chicken for protein-packed lunch. You aren't going to want to miss this recipe for the world's best appetizer, cowboy caviar!
summer appetizers


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What to Pack on Safari in Africa

Africa has always been a dream location of mine to visit so when I had the opportunity to go, I did whatever I could to make it happen. While I didn't go to Africa with the intention of going on safari, how could you not make the time to go on one while you are there? With the combination of a humanitarian trip and a safari, the packing was something I stressed out about. There are specific baggage allowances for your travel and it can make packing interesting. Here are my tips from my experience and what I would recommend for you to pack on safari in Africa.  I've even got a few items you should leave behind so you can be sure to bring all the essentials.

zebra in masai mara safari park

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Will You Really Need a Skip the Line Pass for the Sites in Rome?

We recently spent three days in Rome and before we went I did a ton of research. Every blog or travel site told me I would want to invest in a skip the line pass for the attractions we were interested in seeing. I wasn't sure what to expect, and while we did visit in what they say is the "low" season, there were plenty of tourists to be had. Rome is a popular destination and many companies are selling tickets to "skip the line" even to free attractions. But what does this actually mean and should you pay extra to skip the line and buy the pass?
skip the line passes
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5 Reasons to Plan a Trip to Seabrook, WA

This not so hidden gem of the Washington coast is worth planning a trip to. My family has been visiting Seabrook, Washington since 2008 and for more than a decade we've seen the town grow and change and morph into the perfect beach destination. Our kids all love it because it's such a perfect family vacation spot and it also makes the perfect girlfriends get away too. Seabrook is located just 2.5 hours outside of Seattle, so it's an easy drive to get away from it all. Here are my top 5 reasons to plan a trip to Seabrook, WA now!

visit the coastal town of Seabrook WA

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Top Tips Before Renting a Car in Italy

When we made plans to travel to Italy, I wasn't sure renting a car would be the best idea. I'd heard about aggressive drivers and crazy terrain, but my husband was determined. My husband likes the flexibility and freedom that renting a car has to offer. There were four of us traveling and upon investigation of the public transportation schedule, it looked like our plans to get to the Amalfi Coast would be easier and less expensive if we had a car. Trust me, renting a car in Italy isn't for everyone, but if you want to get to some of those off-the-beaten-path areas, it may be your best option. Read my tips for more information about renting a car in Italy. It sure proved to be an adventure for us!

small car in Italy


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Simple Paint Update on Fireplace Finials

I've been trying to inspire my readers for years to think outside of the box and look at how something old and dated that would otherwise be cast off, could up be upcycled to fit into your home. Not only is it a good way to use what you have or even to pick up something for a deep discount at a thrift shop or garage sale, but it also keeps more waste out of landfills. I found these two large wooden finials at a garage sale this past summer and knew a coat of paint would do them a world of good. Sometimes, that's literally all it takes to update an item. I'm hoping that this post will inspire you to think outside of the box and pick up something you would otherwise consider dated and give it a transformation with some paint, just like I did with these fireplace finials. 

wood home decor before and after
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5 Ingredient Strawberry Breakfast Parfait You Can Make Ahead

We are a grab-and-go family. It seems like we are always rushing out the door. We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day but when you are in a hurry, it's easy to skip it. My teens would rather get a few extra minutes of sleep and skip breakfast but I'm always feeling guilty watching them walk out the door without anything in their belly to start the day. I decided to try these 5 ingredient strawberry breakfast parfaits that you can make ahead. They make the perfect grab-and-go breakfast and I feel better knowing that they are starting their day off with healthy fruit, yogurt, and granola.

breakfast parfait recipes

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Why You Need to Create a Staycation Bucket List

Summer is fast approaching, which means long days with kids at home and the expectation of a vacation planned. When it comes to planning the perfect vacation, your idea of a great vacation is probably not staying at home. When it comes to planning a staycation, we often find ourselves lost for ideas on what to do or how we should be spending our time off. If you are planning a staycation, you need to create a staycation bucket list for you and your family! Here is why you need one, and how to make one for your next staycation.

vacation with your family on a budget


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When is the Best Time to Visit Magnolia Market? Tips on Getting the Most out of Your Visit to Waco, TX

visiting Waco

I'm kind of a self-proclaimed Magnolia Market pro. I have been visiting since 2015 just months after the Silo doors opened to the public and the new Disneyland-like location was opened and I've visited handfuls of time since. It's funny, Waco, Texas didn't use to be on the map as a significant tourist destination and now it's flooded with visitors. I've gone from seeing the store mostly empty to seeing lines snake around buildings with people craning their necks just to get a glimpse of the grounds. 
People stand in line for hours to get a box full of cupcakes and plan a whole trip around a visit to Magnolia Market, so how can you best use your time and when is the best time to visit the Silos? I've got some tips from current employees and from previous experience that will help you plan the right time to visit Magnolia Market.

exterior of magnolia table
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