AUTUMN LEAVES AND PUMPKINS, PLEASE!

About books, movies, cooking, and advice
Decorating, shopping, and finding the best price
Life, love and raising kids
Along with do-hickeys, what-cha-ma-call-its, and thing-a-ma-jigs
We’re just two Texas girls
Straight from the sticks
The only thing we won’t gab about
Is religion and politics!

SUSAN: October is my favorite time of the year. From crisp mornings to sunny afternoons. From unexpected rain showers to chilly evenings. I love to pull out my extra blankets, sweaters, and warm pajamas. Indulge in some pretty mums and put out the fall decorations. Get out my Autumn candles. And start looking for new recipes to try out.

This time of year, I love to watch some of my favorite Halloween movies. Hocus Pocus, Practical Magic, Silver Bullet, to name a few, along with some oldies like The Uninvited, Murder, He Says, and The Ghost Breakers. The ominous music and the dark, gloomy scenes never fail to put me in the mood for Halloween. What are some of your favorites?

This month is National Book Month, a time for us to celebrate and expand our love of reading. When that first norther blows in, it’s the perfect time to pull on some cozy slippers, have a hot cup of something and curl up on the couch with a good book, especially if it’s raining! I’ve read some outstanding books lately. What The Wind Knows by Amy Harmon, Paula Brackston’s witch series, Deborah Harkness All Souls Series, to name a few. With fewer new shows coming out because of COVID, now’s the time to start that book you’ve been wanting to read!

Like most of you, I spend my summers looking for the easiest, quickest dishes to prepare, preferably without using the oven if at all possible. I find myself eating a lot of salads and sandwiches. Don’t get me wrong. I love to cook, but I don’t like to sweat. So, when the temps cool off, I reach for my cookbook and dig out some of my favorites, like these two recipes.

Mush Muffins

2 c. water

½ c. instant grits

1 c. milk

2 t butter

1 t salt

2 T warm water

1 1/8 t active dry yeast

5 ½ to 6 c flour

Bring water to boil in medium saucepan. Add grits. Reduce heat. Cook on low 5-7 minutes until water is absorbed. Transfer to large bowl. Stir in milk, butter and salt. Set aside. Cool to lukewarm. Combine 2 T water with yeast in small bowl. Let stand until dissolved. Stir into grits mixture. Mix with as much flour as possible using a wooden spoon. Turn out and knead in remaining flour for about 10 minutes. Let rise until doubled (1½ hours) Punch down. Let rest 15 minutes. Roll out dough. Cut with biscuit cutter and place in shallow baking dish. Brush the top with melted butter

Tomato Soup

2 T butter

1 c chopped onion

8 oz fresh mushroom, cleaned

2 T flour

1 14 ½ oz can whole tomatoes drained and chopped

1 cup hot water

1 16 oz can tomato sauce

Two beef bouillon cubes dissolved in ¼ c water

½ t white pepper

1 t sugar

1 pint heavy cream

Sauté onion and mushrooms in butter.  Add flour and stir till bubbly.  Add hot water, tomato sauce, bouillon, tomatoes, and pepper.  Simmer about ten minutes. Remove from heat, add sugar and cream.  Mix well until heated.

These go great together and make the house smell heavenly.

ANN: Those sound like great recipes…even though I don’t like tomato soup!! However, I LUV (I sang that in opera for effect) any kind of bread. I’ll definitely be making some of those muffins. Besides, nothing makes the house smell better than fresh bread baking.

I have a couple of recipes I’ll share in the next post on November 9, 2020.

By then, maybe some of you readers will have tried these two shared by Susan. If you do, then leave a comment on her blog site or mine. We’d love to hear if you liked them or not.

Find out more about Ann Everett/Emma Ames: https://www.anneverett.com

WHAT ARE WE SEARCHING FOR?

About books, movies, cooking, and advice
Decorating, shopping, and finding the best price
Life, love and raising kids
Along with do-hickeys, what-cha-ma-call-its, and thing-a-ma-jigs
We’re just two Texas girls
Straight from the sticks
The only thing we won’t gab about
Is religion and politics!

Today, the Gabbin’ Gals, Susan, and Ann ask the question:

Ann: Have you ever wondered what people might think if they knew what you were googling? As writers, we google all sorts of weird stuff. For my mystery series, I google things like—what kind of poison could I used to kill someone without it showing up in a standard autopsy…or what could I use so the victim will die within fifteen minutes!

So, if someone looked at my search history, they just might call the cops!!

Susan: I’m with you! The latest thing I googled was about the Viking’s lifestyle. What they wore, what they ate, and how they lived. I had a mental picture (from some movie, I’m sure) about people eating large quantities of Pork cooked over an open fire and chasing it down with alcohol. While they did drink beer or mead, they ate a lot of mutton, whole grains, and vegetables.

I’ve googled whether or not you can kill a man wearing chainmail with an ax, time travel, ley lines, and standing stones.

Ann: I thought it might be interesting to share some Google statistics.

According to https://searchengineland.com
Google receives over 63,000 searches per second on any given day. That’s the average figure of how many people use Google a day, which translates into at least 2 trillion searches per year, 3.8 million searches per minute, 228 million searches per hour, and 5.6 billion searches per day. Holy Moly!!

To find out more about Google search statistics, see this article: https://seotribunal.com/blog/google-stats-and-facts

Now that we know how many searches are going on let’s take a look at what people are searching for.

From March through April, the 9 most googled recipes according to https://www.chowhound.com are:

9. Cheesecake

8. Lasagna

7. French toast

6. Meat loaf

5. Brownies

4. Pizza Dough

3. Chicken

2. Pancakes

And the NUMBER ONE googled recipe is, BANANA BREAD!!

The following statistics were taken from https://www.mentalfloss.com visit their site for much more info.

Since we’ve been staying home more, many of us have taken up new hobbies. Some have been learning a new language, while others have been binge-watching Netflix…me included. Just so you know, the top three programs watched so far on Netflix are Tiger King, Ozark, and Outer Banks. I’ve watched one of those.

The most googled searches for hobbies are: Texas/TV and Films…so there, I’m not the only couch potato in the state!

Folks on the East Coast are googling home workouts. Most of the Mid-west is looking up video games.

DIY dominated Washington, Idaho, Montana, Alaska, and Hawaii.

Some of the most interesting searches are: While Texans are having trouble sleeping, Floridians want to know how to sleep at work.

Colorado wants to know how to stop drinking, and New Mexico searched to find out about day drinking. Ohio searched for how to dye my hair blonde at home, and folks in Pennsylvania need to know why their plants are dying. And then there’s Maine—they want to know how to build a chicken coop!

Now for the top “How to” searches:

10. How to lose belly fat

9. How to make French toast

8. How to write a cover letter

7. How to make pancakes

6. How to make money

5. How to draw

4. How to lose weight

3. How to get pregnant

2. How to Kiss

1. How to tie a tie

Kids with face-paint and Halloween costumes isolated in white

Since Halloween is right around the corner, I thought you might enjoy knowing the most searched costumes from last year. The source for this information came from https://www.vogue.com.

From 1-10, they are: It, Witch, Spiderman, Dinosaur, Descendants, Clown, Fortnite, Chucky, 1980s, and Unicorn.

Ann: My husband says he’s waiting for the day he can google ‘where are my glasses and get an answer!

Susan: Amen to that!

For more about Ann/Emma and her books: https://www.anneverett.com

Stay Tuned

COMING SOON!

My name is John Nick Charles, but everybody calls me Jax. I’m not your ordinary run-of-the-mill detective. I’m a paranormal investigator. The kind who deals with witches, ghosts, alchemy, and the occult on a regular. My name doesn’t come up over cocktails at dinner parties. Most people don’t even know I exist. Unless they find themselves in a situation where they need my particular expertise. And even then, they don’t like talking about it.

That’s why I was shocked when famous explorer Sir Dwight Winston showed up at my office looking to hire me. But why? A wealthy man like him could afford a team of investigators. Simple. He wanted something done off the record. Of course, I jumped at the chance. I needed the money. And it seemed easy enough. My mistake.

Jax Charles will be the first in a series of novelettes about quirky paranormal detective whose life is anything but normal. Will be available on Amazon/Goodreads.

IF I COULD HAVE A CHOICE…

Ritika Rasal

If I could have a choice, I never chose to be with you.
If I could have a choice, I never chose to live in trauma all those years with you.
If I could have a choice, I must have chose happiness when I was suffering from sadness.
If I could have a choice, I chose my career instead of waisting all those years chasing and caring you.
If I could have a choice, I chose myself not you.
If I could have a choice, I chose friends over loneliness being with you.
If I could have a choice, I chose world over a small apartment stucked in it with you.
If I could have a choice, I must chose freedom instead of being your slave.
But that was past…
Yes, a past which I erased…

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MY MOMMA ALWAYS SAID…

About books, movies, cooking, and advice
Decorating, shopping, and finding the best price
Life, love and raising kids
Along with do-hickeys, what-cha-ma-call-its, and thing-a-ma-jigs
We’re just two Texas girls
Straight from the sticks
The only thing we won’t gab about
Is religion and politics!

Advice—an opinion someone offers you about what you should do or how you should act in a particular situation.

When you were a kid, remember how you turned up your nose when an adult offered words of wisdom?

Then you got older and found yourself using the same guidance with your kids!

Yeah, well, good advice is good advice, no matter the century. I mean, the Ten Commandments have been around a while and they’re still relative! Okay, maybe I’m stretching it a little because they’re considered more than just advice, but you get my drift.

Today, the Gabbin’ Gals and some friends want to share some of the best advice they’ve received.

We’d love to hear some ‘pearls of wisdom’ you’ve received. So let us know by commenting here: https://www.susanaroyal.com or at https://www.anneverett.com

Love/marriage/relationships

“You can get married anytime—all you have to do is lower your standards.” (Ann’s momma)

“A man never leaves unless he has another woman.” (Ann’s momma)

“You can tell the minute a man touches you if it’s for his benefit or yours.” (Ann’s momma)

Friendships/morals

“Use your brain. That’s why God gave it to you.” (Susan’s Daddy)

“Clean don’t rub off on dirty.” (Ann’s momma)

“Pretty is as pretty does.” (Ann’s grandma) (Susan’s grandma). I heard those words many times when I was growing up.

“Nothing good happens after midnight.” (Ann’s daddy)

“If you saw someone jump off a cliff, would you do the same thing?” (Something Susan’s Daddy always used to say when she got in trouble for following the crowd)

Fashion/Beauty

“Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.” (TNBW member, Lauren shares her mother’s advice referring to women in Spandex)

“Never wear a pair of new shoes on a shopping trip.” (Susan’s mother)

Finance

“Put something back for a rainy day.” (Susan’s mother)

Borrow money from a pessimist, they don’t expect to be paid back.” (TNBW member, Memphis Trace. I’ve credited his penname because he’s still borrowing money using his real name)

Everyday Life

“Tomorrow is another day.” Scarlett O’Hara.

“Don’t believe everything you read.” (TNBW member, John Hamler, quoting Abe Lincoln)

“Reality is never as good or bad as people claim. (Ann’s friend, Dagny)

“A job isn’t done when you’re tired of it. It’s done when you finish what you said you were going to do.” (Susan’s friend, Robbi)

“When you’re talking, you’re probably saying something you already know. If you shut up and listen, you might learn something new.” (TNBW member, Tai Baker)

“Nothing in life stays the same, so treasure the good times and accept the bad, knowing that this too will pass.” (Susan’s friend, Sheryl)

“The good Lord gave us two ears and one mouth…listen twice as much as you speak.” (TNBW member, Don)

“There’s no reason not to stay clean. Soap is cheap.” (Susan’s grandma)

“Wherever you go, there you are.” (TNBW member, Dirk B.)

“Every day starts fresh and new. You get to decide what kind of day it’s going to be.” (Susan)

Find out more about Ann Everett/Emma Ames: https://www.anneverett.com

Beauty on a Budget

About books, movies, cooking, and advice
Decorating, shopping, and finding the best price
Life, love and raising kids
Along with do-hickeys, what-cha-ma-call-its, and thing-a-ma-jigs
We’re just two Texas girls
Straight from the sticks
The only thing we won’t gab about
Is religion and politics!

Pennies Make Dimes and Dimes Make Dollars

SUSAN:  One of the many things we Gabbin’ Girls have in common is that we both love a bargain. We’ll go to just about any length to sniff one out. And it only makes sense. Our mantra is: Why pay a dollar for something when you can get the same results for a fraction of the cost?

To save money, you need to be familiar with your brand names. That goes for clothes, makeup, or hair products. You could lose out on a great sale if you don’t. Another thing to do is to check stores regularly that carry them. You never know when they’re going to run a sale, markdown, or have a clearance sale.

When I stopped coloring my hair, my beautician recommended I use shampoo for gray hair to keep it from looking dull and yellow. After some research, I came across Generic Value Products Conditioning Shampoo. They compare it to Clairol Shimmer Lights. 6.99/16 oz or 10.99/33.8 oz. You can order online, or if you’re lucky, you can catch it on sale at the store. Clairol Shimmer Lights is 12.99/16 oz or 21.99/31.5 oz. The generic brand does everything I want, and I save money!

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like to pamper themselves every once in a while. Dr. Teal’s products are great and don’t cost an arm and a leg. Walmart carries a line in several scents (Lavender, Milk and Rose, Milk and Honey, Vitamin C and Citrus and others). They range in price from around 5.00-10.00 for a 32 oz bottle, and I love them!  I’ve also given them for gifts.

Walmart Makeup Haul  https://youtu.be/xNtaFAHzML0

Mud Mask Review https://youtu.be/Jl1VeZXcWaE

Everyday Look  https://youtu.be/79uCQrYc5es

Monday Blues https://youtu.be/TH3-ald40jQ

Listed above are some of the posts from Carrie Amanda’s YouTube channel. My daughter does Beauty on a Budget tutorials on makeup application, price comparisons, and tells you where you can buy for less. She haunts Family Dollar, Dollar General, and Dollar Tree and keeps her viewers informed on all the latest there and at Walmart.

ANN: YAS! The Gabbin’ Gals love a bargain!! Many years ago, I joined an online survey site where I shared my opinions about products and services. You may want to give one a try. Just search the internet for ‘survey sites.’ You can earn cash by answering questions or trying products. They once sent me a bottle of liquid makeup to try for a month. I’d never used a liquid. I’d been using Merle Norman cream foundation for years. The bottle of test makeup I received was in a Clinique bottle. After a month, I was hooked. I loved it. At the end of the test period, I answered the final questions and imagine how surprised I was to find out I’d been testing a new product by Cover Girl! I’ve been using it ever since. After all these years, it only costs about $7.00 per bottle where the Merle Norman I’d been using costs about $23.00. Talk about a bargain!

Another product I strongly endorse is also a shampoo. I may have mentioned it before. Suave Sheer Color Radiance. It only costs $2-$3 per bottle and it lathers as good or better than most expensive brands.

These are just a few ways to save money and look good while you’re doing it. I’m sure you all have “finds” of your own. Please feel free to share them with us. We’d love to hear them.

Find out more about Ann Everett/Emma Ames: https://www.anneverett.com