Just for Fun – Puzzles 1 & 2

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Highlights for Children magazine is an American publication made especially for children. It was first published in June of 1946 by Garry Meyers and his wife, Caroline.

In my next few blog posts, I will put up two pictures that are puzzle challenges straight from various issues of Highlights magazine. What is the challenge? Try to find the six hidden words in each photo. Sound easy enough? Trust me, it’s a lot harder than you think. I hope you enjoy!

I will post the solutions to the puzzles later in the week.


Click these links for more Hidden Words puzzles!
Just For Fun – Puzzles 3 & 4
Just For Fun – Puzzles 5 & 6
Just For Fun – Puzzles 7 & 8
Just For Fun – Puzzles 9 & 10
Solutions to All Puzzles

Art Car Parade (Part 4)

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This is the fourth, and last, installment covering the Art Car Parade that my husband and I went to on Saturday, April 16, 2016. This post will cover the Grand Opening of the new Victoria Five Points Museum of Contemporary Art which opened on the same day as the Art Car Parade. The museum will house and display some of the vehicles all year round when they are not been shown at various locations.

1963 Impala by Mathew Muniz


“Golden Child” 1979 Lincoln Continental with Gold Flake Custom Paint by Freddy Leal


“Suavecito” 1979 Ford Thunderbird Blue Flake Custom Paint by Benny Leal, Jr.


“Lucky Charm” 1985 Chevrolet Caprice by Paul Vela

“El Jefe” 1964 Chevrolet Caprice by Freddy Leal

“Iron Maiden” by Kenny Browning & Noah Edmundson


“Lost Worlds” by Noah Edmundson


Child’s Pedal Car with Custom Metallic Flake Paint Job by the Leal Brothers


Custom Welded Artwork by Noah Edmundson

This concludes the four part series covering the Art Car Parade and the new Museum of Contemporary Art. I sincerely hope that you have enjoyed my photos of these cars. Even if you are not really a “car person,” the sheer artistry of their custom paint jobs is still beautiful to look at and appreciate!

If you have not seen the first three parts in this series, you can find them here:
Art Car Parade (Part 1)
Art Car Parade (Part 2)
Art Car Parade (Part 3)

Art Car Parade (Part 3)

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As promised in my Art Car Parade (Part 2) post, this is the third installment covering the Art Car Parade that my husband and I went to on Saturday, April 16, 2016. Here are some more vehicles that we saw in the parade. However, these vehicles are different from the ones shown in the two previous posts. These entries are classic vintage, as well as low riders and modified cars.

Since I have no real information on the vehicles and I am not good at identifying makes and models of cars, I will just let the photos speak for themselves. Some of these vehicles have some very detailed custom artwork done on them! I hope that you enjoy the photos!


There will be one more post in this series. It will cover the Museum of Contemporary Art which houses some of these vehicles when they are not out on the road being shown at area events.

If you haven’t already seen them, be sure to check out Art Car Parade (Part 1) and Art Car Parade (Part 2), as well as Art Car Parade (Part 4) in this series.

Art Car Parade (Part 2)

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As promised in my Art Car Parade (Part 1) post, this is the second installment covering the Art Car Parade that my husband and I went to on Saturday, April 16, 2016. Here are some more of the wonderfully whimsical vehicles that we saw in the parade.



Don Burro y Gauchito by John Lea


The front of the Gauchito trailer


The Roachster by Kenny Browning & Noah Edmundson.


Phantoms by W. T. Burge


Spoonazoid by Mark Bradford


If you look closely, you will see that Spooonazoid’s “scales” ARE actually metal spoons!


Rat Way – Artist Unknown


Heroes by Isaac Cohen


Big Catch – Artist Unknown


The Char Car by Mark Bradford who also did Spoonazoid

After the parade, several of the entries were parked so you could get a closer look and better pictures.


Star Car by Mark Bradford, entry number 3 from him


Amber Eagle was very friendly and was posing for photos with her Our Lady of Transportation entry.


A closer view of the Map of Time and Space entry from Rebecca Lowe


A closer view of the Echo Muerte entry by Kristie Odom

This concludes Part 2 of my video essay of the Art Car Parade. Next, I will present Art Car Parade (Part 3) which will focus on the beauty and artwork of the classic cars and low rider entries.

Art Car Parade (Part 1)

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On Saturday, April 16, 2016, my husband and I had the opportunity to go see our first Art Car Parade. We had heard about them and seen snippets of them on the news and in the newspapers but had never had a chance to attend one for ourselves.

There was quite a variety of Art Cars and Low Riders in the parade. I figured it is just best to let the art of each vehicle to speak for itself. Here are some of the Art Car entrants:


Longhorn Limo No Artist Name Given


Longhorn Limo No Artist Name Given


Victory Over Sin by David Best


Our Lady of Transportation by Amber Eagle


Reflections by David Haim


Pop Art by Cherie Smith


Abstract Painted VW Van by Drew Bettge


Shattered Vanity by Nicole Strine


Echo Muerte by Kristie Odorn


Papalot by Jewelz Cody


Hero Car by Jewelz Cody


Sentrasaurus by Perri Harper


Map of Time and Space by Rebecca Lowe


Dinomyt by Roy Marsh


Ghost Slipper by Ty Eckley


A Little Bit of Nonsense by Randy Blair


Peacock Car by Mark Garrett

Be sure to check out Art Car Parade (Part 2) for more whimsical and creative automobile designs!

The Threat of Severe Weather

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It is spring in the United States. It is a time of nature’s renewal as the grass gets greener, the flowers start to bloom and the trees regain their leaves. It is also the time of year when the weather can quickly take a turn for the worst!


Living in Texas, we must always be mindful of the weather. What can start out as a perfectly beautiful spring day can turn into an afternoon of severe thunderstorms with flooding, hail or even tornadoes! Spring storms can be so unpredictable in Texas. Because of our geographical location we can receive moisture from the Gulf of Mexico, as well as from the Pacific Ocean by means of traveling the wind currents over Mexico.


Just a couple of days ago, several Texas counties experienced extremely heavy rainfall resulting in major flooding. Especially hard hit was the Houston metropolitan area. Much of that area received up to 17 inches (43.18 Centimeters) in less than 12 hours. More than 1000 homes have been flooded, plus numerous businesses, apartment complexes and schools. Hundreds of high water rescues took place which included both people and animals that were caught in the rapidly rising flood waters. Sadly, at least seven deaths have been directly attributed to the flooding in the Houston area.


Flooding kills more people than lightning or tornadoes. If you get caught in a storm, make sure you know your location of where you are driving at.  Stay away from low water crossings and bridges. A good rule of thumb and you hear it all the time: Turn Around Don’t Drown! People should also remember that just because the storm passes the threat of flooding from the cresting of rivers and creeks can linger for days. It is best to avoid low water crossing areas around rivers and creeks until they have been declared safe.


Just a week earlier, on April 12th, the San Antonio metropolitan area was hit with a severe thunderstorm. Rainfall amounts were relatively minor with reports of 1.5 inches (3.81 Centimeters) to 2 inches (5.08 Centimeters) in most of the area. The major concern with this storm was the golf ball to tennis ball sized hail that accompanied the storms which caused numerous reports of property damage to vehicles and homes.


No matter where you live, there is always the chance that sever weather can strike. Many times, even before you see rain, you will hear thunder and see lightning. The worst place to be when lighting occurs is outside because there really is NO safe place outside. If you should happen to be outside and cannot take cover, follow these simple rules:

  • Get off elevated areas such as hills, mountains, and bridges.
  • Never take shelter underneath a single tree to weather the storm.
  • Stay away from bodies of water, such as lakes, ponds, rivers, and oceans.
  • Stay away from things that conduct electricity.

If you are inside:

  • Stay off phones, computers, and electronic devices.
  • Avoid plumbing such as sinks and bathtubs.
  • You may think it is exciting to watch a storm on a front or back porch, but stay away from porches and windows.


It’s always a good idea to have a “survival kit” ready because storms come and go very quickly. This is especially true in Texas! A survival kit may include flashlights, extra batteries, candles, matches, bottled water, an extra power source for your phone such as a portable charger, emergency first aid supplies, a portable radio, and non-perishable goods. You may want to also keep a copy of emergency phone numbers on hand, extra sets of keys and anything else of importance to help in case severe weather activity occurs.

homemade survival kit

Proven Weight Loss Strategies

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Now is the time to start kicking your weight loss goals into gear if you are serious about losing those extra pounds that were gained through the winter season and you want to be slimmer before summer rolls around. It is never too late to start getting healthier. There is no magic solution to weight-loss, but I have a few proven weight loss tips that may help you along your journey.


Keep a Food Journal.
This tip may sound too simple to be of any real use. However, it has been a proven fact that if you keep track of everything that you eat and drink you are much more likely to not only lose weight, but keep it off for the long term. In fact on average, those who kept a food journal were found to have lost twice as much weight as those who don’t track what they eat.


Get on that scale!
Regular weigh-ins is one of your best weapons in the battle of the bulge. It has been reported that people who weighed themselves daily lost about three times as much weight as those who were more lax about stepping on the scale. Those who weighed themselves daily lost an average of 20 ponds more than those who only weighed themselves every 5 to 7 days.


Eat at Home.
Not only will this tip help you to lose weight, it will fatten your wallet at the same time. We all know that eating out can help you to pack on the pounds without even trying. Over-sized portions, overly processed foods full of salt, saturated fats and additives, not to mention the extra sugar that is usually consumed with the soda accompanying the meal all help add to unwanted pounds to your weight. Eat at home and prepare yourself healthy, fresh meals without all the added “bonuses” that you don’t really want anyway.


Know Your Portions.
In today’s society, we live in a “super-sized” culture. Our meals sizes have evolved to become larger over time. It is not only at fast-food chains and other restaurants, but also within our own homes. Learning to eat the proper sized portions of various foods will help us to lose weight and keep it off!


Proteins – One serving of protein 3 to 5 times per day. One serving is about the size and thickness of one palm of your hand for a woman and 2 palms for a man. Proteins include meats, fish, eggs, beans and yogurt.


Vegetables – One serving of vegetables 3 to 6 times per day.   One serving size is enough to fill your two hands cupped together. Eat 1 to 2 servings of vegetables with each meal. Vegetables can be eaten pretty much without restriction. Load them on your plate and fill up on them before you move onto the other foods.


Fruits – One serving of fruit equals to a medium sized piece. Eat fruit 2 to 3 times per day. Like vegetables, fruits also contain micronutrients and fiber. Unlike vegetables, fruit is higher in sugar and calories, so you will have to be mindful of your total calorie intake for the day.

Healthy Fats – One serving size of healthy fats would be two thumbs put together or two tablespoonfuls. Eat one serving 2 to 3 times per day. You actually need some fat in your diet. The right balance of fats keeps your body inflammation in check, gives you energy for your brain and the rest of your body, and transports the vitamins and minerals you eat throughout your system. Saturated Fats include animal fat such as eggs, dairy, meat, butter, cheese, coconut and palm oil. Monousaturated Fats include nuts such as almonds, cashews, pistachios, macadamias, pecans, pumpkin seeds, avocados, olives and olive oil. Polyunsaturated Fats include fish oil, canola oil, flax oil and flax seeds, sunflower seeds, peanuts, and walnuts.


Whole Grains – One serving size of whole grains would be equivalent to the size of your fist. Eat 1 to 2 servings of whole grains per day. Whole grains are important because they are high in fiber and nutrients. It is best to consume whole grains early in the day. Whole grains include oats, wild or brown rice, barley, whole grain bread or pasta, quinoa, cracked wheat, and millet.


I hope that you have find these tips and charts helpful. I know that I will be using this very same advice and will be referring to these charts as I continue along on my own weight-loss journey. Please feel free to let me know about any helpful weigh-loss tips that you may have!

Texas Sales Tax Free Weekend 4/23-25


According to a bulletin released by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts at 04/13/2016 12:03 PM CDT there will be a Sales Tax Holiday on  Emergency Preparation Supplies held from Friday, April 23 through Sunday, April 25, 2016.

With the potential for severe weather approaching this spring, Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar reminds Texans they can purchase certain supplies tax-free during the Emergency Preparation Supplies Sales Tax Holiday, April 23-25.

“The severe weather, fire and flooding we had last year provided a stark reminder that Texans should be prepared for any emergency,” Hegar said. “This tax holiday allows people to save money while ensuring they have the supplies they need if disaster strikes.”

There’s no limit on the number of qualifying items you can purchase. These include:

  • batteries, fuel containers, and flashlights priced at less than $75;
  • hurricane shutters and emergency ladders priced at less than $300; and
  • portable generators priced at less than $3,000.

Purchases that do not qualify include:

  • batteries for automobiles, boats and other motorized vehicles;
  • camping stoves and camping supplies; and
  • chainsaws.

A list of emergency preparation supplies that may be purchased tax-free can be found on the Comptroller’s website.

The Comptroller’s office estimates shoppers will save $1.4 million in state and local sales taxes during the tax holiday. The sales tax holiday was approved by lawmakers during the 2015 Texas Legislature.

Cute Coin Purse with Colorful Print

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I used to have a wallet that had a zippered pouch for coin money, but I was given a new wallet as a gift. I love my new wallet, but it does not have a place for coins. I was really missing my place for coin storage. This little coin purse is exactly what I was looking for. It has been working perfectly to fill my need!


The colorful flowers and butterfly print is very nice and clear. Measuring 5 inches wide and 4 ½ inches deep, this coin purse has plenty of room to hold coins, cards, receipts, lists, photos, or whatever else you may need to put in it. The metal twist snap clasp closure holds firmly, but it very easy to open and close.


I recommend this handy little purse for anyone looking for a very economically priced clutch. I purchased this item at the regular price at which it was offered for personal use. I did NOT receive any type of promotional discount in exchange for this review. All statements made in this review in regard to this product, represent my own genuine and honest opinions.


Women’s Butterfly Coin Purse Clutch

Alternative Uses for White Vinegar

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Pretty much everyone know that white vinegar has long been used in cooking and canning recipes, but white vinegar has many other uses around the house while replacing many toxic chemicals. Here are just a few ideas:

Pour 1 Cup vinegar and 1 Cup baking soda into your toilet, let sit for at least 30 minutes. Swish with toilet brush and flush. Not only will this clean the toilet, but refreshes it, as well!

Fill your dishwasher’s rinse aid reservoir with vinegar. Your dishes will sparkle and shine. Environmentally friendly and much more economical than harsh chemical additives!

When washing your car, use a rag soaked in vinegar to clean your windshield washer blades. The vinegar will cut right through the road grime and any other built up on the blades making them much more effective when wiping your windows!

Quickly and easily clean and deodorize your kitchen cutting board by wiping it down with white vinegar. It will remove odors and bacteria at the same time!


If you notice that a bathroom or kitchen drain is draining slowly, before reaching for that bottle of chemical drain opener, try this instead: pour ½ Cup baking soda down the drain follow immediately by 1 Cup white vinegar. After a couple of minutes, pour at least 4 Cups of boiling water down the drain. Depending on the build-up or clog, this process may need to be repeated for maximum benefit.

Remove water ring marks left by wet glasses on wood furniture by mixing equal parts white vinegar with olive oil. Apply the mixture to the mark with a soft cloth while moving with the wood grain. Use another clean, soft cloth to bring up the shine.

Do you have soot build up on the front of your fireplace? You can easily remove that by wiping down the brick or stone with a damp cloth dipped in a mixture of 1 Cup white vinegar and with 1 gallon (3.7 liters) of warm water. This method also works well to clean and brighten brick or stone floors and patios.


Have you ever had a candle drip or melt onto a piece of wood furniture? Here is what you do: To remove the melted wax, soften it by using a blow-dryer on its hottest setting.  Blot up as much as you can with paper towels. Remove whatever is still left by rubbing with a cloth soaked in a solution made of equal parts white vinegar and water. Wipe clean with a soft, absorbent cloth.

To clean chrome and stainless steel fixtures around your home, apply a light misting of undiluted white vinegar from a recycled spray bottle. Buff with a soft cloth to bring out the brightness.

Clean and freshen your microwave by placing a small glass bowl or measuring cup filled with ¼ Cup of white vinegar mixed with 1 Cup of water inside. Microwave the mixture for five minutes on the highest setting. Once the bowl cools, dip a cloth or sponge into the liquid and use it to wipe away stains and splatters on the interior.


I do hope that you found these tips helpful and practical! Do you have a favorite alternative uses for white vinegar? If so, I would love to hear about them. Please feel free to let me know in the comments below!