June TBR Final

I feel like I cheated y’all on the June TBR. I went on vacation and didn’t take any of the books I planned on reading. Instead I went to the library and checked out every cozy I could find set in Texas. Bonus points for those set in San Antonio.  When I returned I tried to pick up a few of these to read. Let’s see how I did.


June TBR List


  • Of Love and Other Demons by Gabriel Garcia Marquez– Nope to heavy for summer. DNF.
  • A Highly Unlikely Scenario or, A Neetsa Pizza Employee’s Guide to Saving the World by Rachel Cantor- do I need to give a reason. The title is awesome. DNF
  • Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier-  Great read. Read it in 3 days and loved it.


  • The Girl Who Could Fly by Victoria Forester- This was a cute read. Great for comic book readers.
  • A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd- This was recommended to me by my oldest daughter. She also says I will love it.
  • Pushing Up Bluebonnets by Leann Sweeney
  • Curiosity Killed the Cat Sitter by Blaize Clement- This is book 1 in the Dixie Hemingway series. I loved the last one.


  • Short & Tall Tales in Goose Pimple Junction by Amy Metz
  • Changing Habits by Alice Loweecey
  • Whiskey Sour by J.A.Konrath
  • The Housewife Assassin’s Handbook by Josie Brown
  • Murder in the Library by Steve Demaree
    Nice cozy read. New take on a locked room mystery.

Others I read:

  • Black Cat Crossing ( A Bad Luck Cat Mystery #1) by Kay Finch- I loved it. For many reasons. One, I have a black cat who is plotting to take over the world. No bad luck with her.  The protagonist is an aspiring mystery writer, so I could really identify. Book 2 isn’t out yet, but I plan on reading it when it is published.
  • Revenge of the Chili Queens by Kylie Logan- I grew up hearing stories about the chili queens of San Antonio. The cover has a lovely picture of the Alamo. Yes, that’s why I check it out. It was good. I did get turned around a few times over characters but it was entertaining.
  • Murder with a Twist by Tracy Kiely- This book was witty and fun. I loved it.
  • 179 Ways to Save a Novel by Peter Selgin- This book was okay there were a few things inside I found helpful. It leaned heavy on literary fiction.

Wow. Don’t you love it when you surprise yourself? I do. I didn’t think I had read that many books.  7 books in June. That brings the grand total for 2016 to 38/52. For those of you with terrible math skills I have completed 73% of my reading goal for this year.

I think I enjoyed Ruby Red the most or Murder with a Twist. Both of those were great.

What’s your favorite book so far this summer?


I Love Food

If you’ve read this blog long, you may have noticed I love food. All Southerners love food. Some cities are blessed to be food cities. New Orleans is a food city. You plan you day around where you want to eat. San Antonio is the same way.

On our recent trip to San Antonio, my kids started taking pictures of everything they ate. It was entertaining. My oldest tried to order chalupas everywhere she went and my youngest ate quesadillas daily. I went for the tamales and handmade tortillas. I came home with a tortilla press 🙂

Food List for S.A.

1- Eat lots of Pan huevos. Well maybe not a lot. But try them at least. WP_20160528_06_44_38_Pro

Pan huevos.

Pan huevos.

2. Tortillas should be fluffy and chewy. San Antonio tortillas do not taste like other tortillas. At this point I think every restaurant has a grandmother in the kitchen.

3. If you have never been to a Mexican Bakery, you need to go. We made a daily pilgrimage to a bakery for Pan Huevos and assorted cookies. My pants are tighter but it was worth it.

4. The hotel was nice enough to remind us each day which state we were in. I never would have remembered without the Texas shaped waffles.

5. I will miss the fresh salsa and real refried beans. A moment of silence please.

6. We had to take a cooler with us. On the way home we stopped at HWP_20160529_09_10_38_ProEB to stock  up on cherizo. You can’t find good chorizo in Alabama.




I don’t know what happened to the formatting here. I apologize.

What’s your favorite Mexican or Tex-Mex food?

Any good food stories to share?


I’m Tacky


There are two kinds of women in the South. Well, not really but it works for this post.

There’s the tasteful, reserved woman. You know them. They always look good, and wear either neutral or pastel. They never raise their voice or cause distractions.

That’s not me.

Then there’s the loud, brightly dressed woman. You know the ones. You hear them before you see them. And they have pink flamingos wearing Hawaiian shirts on the front lawn. That’s me- without the pink flamingos. Hubby had a fit.

I’m not terribly out going, but I am loud. And I’ve been told more than once that I’m a tad tacky. That’s okay, I don’t mind. When we went on vacation. I found my people.

IMG_0884 IMG_1127

There’s a restaurant called Mi Tierra’s  . I never wanted to leave. I’ve been there before, but I am always amazed at the amount of color and sparkle that place has (see first photo and above right).

Caren’s Rules for Tacky:

  • matching is for the artistically challenged.
  • why wear studs when you can wear hoops, drops, chandeliers, etc…
  • every room in a house should be painted a different color. God likes variety.
  • Christmas lights are always a good idea no matter the season.
  • glitter nail polish is mandatory for all beach outings. How else will the fish find you?
  • yard art makes every house look better and distracts the casual observer from the fact your bushes are overgrown.
  • Hats should be worn. The bigger the better. Look at the English. They know how to wear hats.
  • I don’t care what’s in style. I’m not giving up my flip flops.

So which are you- loud or reserved?




Vacation Planning

I’ve been busy planning summer vacation. We haven’t traveled in a while, so I am really looking forward to this. No, I will not tell you when I’m leaving. Let’s be real. It is this summer, before August. Where am I going?

San Antonio, Texas

Actually, I’ve been planning this trip for years on Pinterest. This is a special trip. My mother (Hi Mom!) grew up in San Antonio and she would take us there every few years. My children have never been. This trip is like reliving my childhood and sharing family history with the wee ones all at the same time. So I am really excited.

Things I will not do in Texas:

  • Camping– I did look into a dude ranch that takes tourist on a camping trip. It was expensive and they stop camping in February. I imagine because it’s too hot after that and the tourist might burst into flames. My hubby really wants to go camping. Dude, they have tarantulas! He should know me better by now.
  • Theme parks– I’m not driving 9 hours to go to a theme park. I live next to Florida. You can’t walk a block without running into a theme park.
  • Eat fast food– I may have to break this one, but I’ll try hard not to. San Antonio is like New Orleans, you plan your day around where you want to eat.
  • Buy souvenirs– Unless you include the ice chest I plan on stuffing with food before I leave as souvenirs. Truly, it’s all about the food.

Things I will do in Texas:

  • Walk everywhere– Once I reach San Antonio, my sedentary lifestyle will come to an abrupt halt. I plan on walking all over the city. The Alamo, El Mercado, The River Walk, Breckenridge Park- all of these places will be thoroughly enjoyed and explored.
  • Explore a cave– Believe it or not, San Antonio has 3 or 4 caves within a short driving distance. I don’t know which one we will visit. I love caves. Let me know if you have been to one.
  • Meet Zebras– That’s right, zebras. My youngest loves Zebras and amazingly enough there is a wildlife park that has free range zebras. You can drive your car around and they walk up to the window. I hope we don’t get drooled on.
  • Tubing– Texas is a dry state, not alcohol wise. They do have a few rivers that are known for tubing. My oldest wants to try this. Again, no decision on where.
  • Walk through the St. Anthony Hotel– My great grandparents meet at this swanky hotel. One was a cook the other a maid. My great grandmother was an immigrant from Sweden and didn’t speak English or Spanish. I know there’s a story there.
  • Visit Mission Espada– Family history says we have peeps buried here. I don’t know if it’s true, but a visit should be fun.

That’s all so far. I’m still planning and need to make reservations. If you have been to San Antonio let me know where I should visit and eat. I have plans to eat at Mi Tierra’s twice, maybe more 🙂 We love mexican and BBQ. Actually we love it all.

Where do you want to go this summer?