Category Archives: 2015

Texas Bluebonnets

If you live in Texas, you know that when spring comes, so do bluebonnets. If you don’t live in Texas, you probably think Texans are crazy for plopping their kids in a big patch of blue flowers. Taking pictures in the Texas bluebonnets is definitely a tradition in my state, since it is the state flower of Texas! I have no idea if that is a “thing” anywhere else, but it is one of the many things I love about my state.

Logan, One Year Old - Dallas, TX Bluebonnets

Oh yeah… a lot of kids don’t really like being stuck in a field of flowers – for example, my nephew Logan! In this picture, he had just turned one and was not having it. At all. This was taken in Dallas in 2008.

2014 Bluebonnets - Fort Worth, TX

Fast forward a few years – 6, to be exact – and he only took the picture with me so I would shut up. There may or may not have been bribery involved. This was taken in 2014, on a very sunny day (obviously). 

Last Friday, I got a bee in my (blue)bonnet and decided that I needed to go see the flowers in the Texas Hill Country. I recruited my dad (it was not difficult) and we made a day of it! We started at 8:00 am and I got home around 8:30 pm. As you may know, I’m a planner. Big time. However, with just hours notice, there wasn’t much time to do any planning. I knew where the bluebonnets were, and that’s about it. I did have a little time to do some googling and realized that a BBQ place I’ve heard about was in the same city – so we decided that’s where we would eat lunch!  

In Texas, we have a show called Texas Country Reporter. I grew up watching this on weekends, because I feel like my dad wanted to BE the host, Bob Phillips. I also grew up taking lots of fairly impromptu road trips with my family – Dad has wanderlust just like I do. TCR is still on, but there is another show that I love even more, and it is called The Daytripper. It is on PBS, and it is one of my favorite shows on TV! Chet Garner is the host, and he is so goofy and funny – but also super smart and nice. He basically goes to one city per episode and explores it, talks to the locals, eats the food, acts a fool – you know, stuff I love. Last year, the day before we left on our Colorado vacation, Chet was speaking in Arlington – so my husband and I had to go! I had a killer migraine headache, nothing was packed for our 10 day vacation – but we were going to meet him no matter what. 

Kevin, Chet, and Heather - Daytripper - 2014

We did it.

Barbecue Map Central Texas - 2014

That atlas you see me holding is very special to us. Kevin and I dated long distance for four years before he moved to Fort Worth (he lived in Lubbock, TX), so when he would come visit for a long weekend we would take small trips instead of staying in Fort Worth. Austin was (and still is) our favorite. Back then, GPS didn’t really exist. We had a Texas atlas spiral bound, and we have marked it up so much. We both like to just drive and explore, so there are so many little notes in there from the past 19 years – it is one of my most treasured possessions! I took it with us to meet Chet, and asked him if he would sign it for us on the Austin page. He did, and he also wrote down and circled his favorite BBQ spots in the area for us. It was so awesome! Anyway, Opie’s in Spicewood was exactly where I was headed on our Texas bluebonnet adventure. 

Now, my dad HATES highway driving. HATES. I pretty much feel the same way, but you know, when you’re in a hurry they just make sense. We weren’t in a rush yesterday, so we drove through several small towns to get to our destination. If you are interested in how we got there, we took Highway 67 through Cleburne and Glen Rose, then 220 to Hico, then 281 through Hamilton, Lampasas, Burnet (small detour here*), Marble Falls, and finally Spicewood. Highway 281 is not a major highway – it is usually 2-4 lanes and goes through several small towns. It is a really pretty drive and I highly recommend it if you are going between Fort Worth and San Antonio – definitely my favorite way to go! There are wildflowers all along the highways and roads the whole way down there! All of the little towns have some cute shops and restaurants too. 

*In Burnet, we took Park Road 4 out to Inks Lake and came back through Kingsland to end up in Marble Falls. It was beautiful! A little out of the way, but nothing crazy. Maybe an extra 30 minutes – totally worth it. 

On our way down, we called some of our family friends that live in Austin to see if they wanted to meet us for BBQ and Texas bluebonnets. They happened to be free, so they made the hour drive and we had a great day! 

Opies BBQ - Spicewood, TX

Spicewood is a tiny, tiny town. Opie’s BBQ was CROWDED. We waited in line for about 15 minutes before getting inside – that is pretty normal/fast for Texas! 

Opie's Chalkboard Menu - Spicewood, TX

(Please excuse that dude’s head. He would not get out of the way, and I’m short – so there you go.) Their menu is hung right above the giant smoker. It smelled like heaven. We decided on brisket, baby back ribs, and sausage (with AND without jalapenos). For our sides, we got tater tot casserole and spicy corn. 

Opie's Smoker - Spicewood, TX

Look at all that meat. Don’t come here if you’re a vegetarian.

Opie's Lunch - Spicewood, TX

Between the 4 of us, we had a little bit of everything. Sharing is caring, guys. Also? EVERYTHING WAS SO GOOD. I dreamed about the tater tot casserole and the brisket last night. No lie. If you are ever in the vicinity of Spicewood, TX, this is a must stop. We even got to meet and talk to Opie. Nice guy!

Bluebonnet Central happened to be in Muleshoe Bend Recreational Area, right on the Colorado River, very close to Lake Travis, in Spicewood. Spicewood is about an hour from Austin, so it’s kind of “out there”, but as you are about to see – totally worth it. Unfortunately, bluebonnets don’t live for too long (maybe 6 weeks?) for the most part so you have a fairly short window for viewing. Some years are better than others for bluebonnets – this happened to be a very, very good year for the Muleshoe Bend area! 

Next up: Bluebonnets. Now, I was expecting it to be pretty, from the pictures I’d seen online – but this took my breath away. Fields and fields covered with bluebonnets. It was insane! Until yesterday, I didn’t know that bluebonnets had a smell. They do – when you’re surrounded by them, it smells a little like honeysuckle. I miss it already! Here come all the pictures 🙂

Muleshoe Bend - Spicewood, TX

 

Muleshoe Bend Bluebonnets - Spicewood, TX

Bluebonnets on the Colorado River - Spicewood, TX

Bluebonnets everywhere - Muleshoe Bend - Spicewood, TX

Bluebonnets - Muleshoe Bend - Spicewood, TX

Muleshoe Bend Bluebonnet Selfie - Spicewood, TX #bluebonnetselfie is much better than #poopingonbluebonnets (it’s a thing. Google it.)

Heather and Dad - Bluebonnets 2015 Spicewood, TX This is the best father/daughter picture we got. After 3.5 hours in the car and a heavy BBQ lunch, I wasn’t feeling too photogenic!

I am so glad that we went – it made for a long day, but I love spending time with my Dad doing fun stuff like this. My brother and sister don’t have the same love of road trips that Dad and I share! Lots of memories were made, jokes were told, and good conversation on our 13 hour, 460 mile road trip. I try to soak up as much of that stuff as I can, while I can. 

During our trip, I kept saying how glad I was that we made the drive and how I wanted to do more things like that, so I decided to make a Texas wish list and start checking them off one by one. Texas is huge, so day trips are great – but not always possible. Some will have to be longer trips, and I’m okay with that. Have map, will travel. Keep checking back, I’ve got the travel bug now! 

Magnolia Market | Waco, TX | Queen of Everything

Have you read my post about our day trip to Waco to stalk Chip and Joanna Gaines, the Fixer Uppers on HGTV? You should

 

 

 

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Perfect Pork Sauce

Perfect Pork Sauce Plated | Queen of Everything

My aunt made this sauce to go with a family dinner years ago – and of course we all turned our noses up at it – because it just doesn’t LOOK appetizing. Once we gave it a try, however, our minds were changed! We call it “pork sauce”, but it is definitely not limited to just pork. It’s pretty all-purpose – we’ve dipped chicken, steak, and vegetables (I highly recommend fried okra!) in it. This sauce is pretty much a given if we are having a family dinner, even a small gathering. The ingredients are interesting, but they come together to make this perfect pork sauce that adds so much flavor!

Enough about me, on to the recipe! (I apologize for the bad photography, this was a very last minute “Oh, I need to write about that!” thing.)

Pork Sauce Ingredients | Queen of Everything

Perfect Pork Sauce

3 Tbsp. brown sugar

3/4 cup mayonnaise

1 Tbsp. white vinegar

1 Tbsp. dry mustard

1 Tbsp. chopped scallions/onion (chopped very fine)

3/4 cup sour cream

Mix together and refrigerate for an hour before serving. 

Works great with pork, chicken, steak, vegetables – we haven’t found much that it DOESN’T go with! This recipe also makes a large amount – so if it’s a small gathering I usually half the recipe. 

Perfect Pork Sauce | Queen of Everything

Enjoy! This is definitely a family recipe that will be passed down to the next generation. Hopefully your family will love it as much as mine does!

 

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Swap It Like It’s Hot Reveal

Flea Market Swap Day 3 | Queen of Everything

This was my second time to participate in Swap It Like It’s Hot (if you recall, I built a dang lamp last time!) and I knew I didn’t have the time or inclination to go THAT far again… but I’m still pretty happy with what I ended up with! I received items from Cassie at Primitive & Proper – she threw me for a loop but that’s kind of what this whole thing is about. Links to all of the projects are at the bottom of this post!

Swap Items | Before | Queen of Everything

I opened up the box and saw the 2 candlesticks first. Funny thing – I just purchased 2 eerily similar (just taller) candlesticks from Goodwill a few weeks before! When I get around to working on the taller ones, I’ll have a nice set of 4. 

Candlesticks | Swap It Like It's Hot | Queen of Everything

I decided to keep it simple and just paint them with chalk paint… but then I realized that I don’t really use taper candles. I found some cute glass crown tea light holders at a craft store and knew exactly what to do – after the paint dried and I waxed the candlesticks, I attached the crowns with hot glue. Obviously, I love crowns. I’ll get much more use out of these now that I can put votives or tea lights in them!

She's Crafty | Swap It Like It's Hot | Queen of Everything

I’m pretty sure that most people that were alive in the 70’s had this exact same bedsheet growing up. I know I did! I used to hate them – but seeing it again made me realize that maybe my mom was (obviously) way cooler than I thought she was when she bought the sheets for my twin sized bed.

I recently decided that I like to do hand embroidery, and I had a huge piece of fabric just begging for *something* – and my project was born. I hand stitched “She’s Crafty” onto the sheet (shout out Beastie Boys) and fell in love. It needed a little something else, though. What kind of craft project doesn’t involve glitter, I ask? Certainly not one of mine. So yeah, I glittered some petals and leaves. Then I decided to take it one step further and sew some beads onto one of the flowers. I could’ve gone on for days, but I was officially out of time (I am a procrastinator… obviously). I wrapped it around a canvas, stapled the heck out of it, and called it done! It will be perfect hanging in my craft room. 

I didn’t end up using the book for anything, but I have 2 little nephews that will love to read it! Thank you so much, Cassie! I had a blast with your items!

I was lucky enough to get to send “junk” to Jaime from That’s My Letter… I’m excited to see what she did with her items! 

Be sure to check out all of the other blogs as well – we’re on day 3 of 5! Share, comment, and give some love to my friends! I’ve included all of their blogs below.

Swap It Like It's Hot 3 | Queen of Everything

 

Day 1- Monday
Run to Radiance // Decor Adventures // Year of Serendipity // 58 Water Street // Don’t Disturb This Groove // Like Saturday // Artsy Chicks Rule

Day 2- Tuesday
Two Purple Couches // While They Snooze // The Gathered Home // Black and White Obsession (You’re here) // Ciburbanity // Restoration Redoux // Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer

Day 3- Wednesday
Primitive & Proper // Queen of Everything // That’s My Letter // Finding Silver Pennies // Migonis Home // Windgate Lane

Day 4- Thursday
I Am a Homemaker // Town and Country Living // Thoughts from Alice // Our Southern Home // Chic Little House // SG Style // Two Thirty~Five Designs

Day 5- Friday
Gourley Girl & Guy // The Thinking Closet // The Charming Farmer // 2 Little Superheroes // Shades of Blue Interiors // Live Pretty on a Penny

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Valentine’s Day Garland

Valentines Day Garland | Queen of Everything

Hey! I’ve got a quick little post for y’all today – a sentimental (to me) Valentine’s Day garland. 

I’ve had the idea in my head for a long time now – even making notes as I think about it – to type out the lyrics to certain songs in a pretty font and frame them. I finally did that. I thought about just framing those and being done with it, but that’s not very Valentine-y! We needed hearts and glitter! 

I typed out the lyrics to five songs that hold special meaning for me for various reasons, and printed them out. I didn’t print them out on regular old card stock, though – I printed them out on leftover paper from when I made our save-the-dates for our wedding over 10 years ago! I had to buy a whole ream of the silver, sparkly card stock, and of course I held onto what was left because it was so pretty. This was the perfect project for it. 

I picked out some red and pink polka dotted paper and cut 4 large hearts on my Silhouette. (PS: Painter’s tape works GREAT to hold down paper when your mat is not sticky anymore!) After that, I changed the size of the hearts on the Silhouette to be a little bit smaller, since these would be layered on top of the polka dot hearts. I cut a heart out of each sheet of song lyrics (I only ended up using 4 for this project). I almost stopped there, but I decided it needed something else.

I cut out 4 even smaller hearts of plain red cardstock. Next, I used a sponge brush to put Mod Podge around the edge of each lyric heart, and applied lots and lots of antique silver glitter (of course!). Yeah, that still wasn’t enough, so I covered each red heart with a thin layer of Mod Podge and sprinkled red glitter on all of them. 

I do love glitter, but I don’t LOVE glitter all over the house, so I sprayed the lyric hearts and red hearts with clear sealant spray to keep the glitter from continually spreading. Once that dried, it was time to assemble. 

I punched holes in the polka dotted hearts (I usually try to remember to do this in Silhouette and let it cut them, but I forgot this time), one on each side. I used a tape runner to attach the lyric hearts to the polka dot hearts. I put a line of tape on the backside of each red heart, and folded each one in half so it would stick out a little bit from the other hearts. Once the red hearts were attached, I strung red yarn through each hole and voila – a sentimental Valentine’s Day garland! The whole project took me less than an hour, and most of that was spent typing out the song lyrics. 

I saved y’all a bunch of time – if you like the songs I chose! I have provided the pdfs for download. Download, print them out, boom. (8.5×11) I also have a handy dandy Spotify playlist for you guys so you can listen to the songs that mean so much to me these days. If you don’t use Spotify, you should be – and they didn’t pay me to say that! 

Feels Like Home | Chantal Kreviazuk

How Long Will I Love You | Ellie Goulding

I Like To Be Myself When I’m With You | Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors

Thinking Out Loud | Ed Sheeran

You and I |Ingrid Michaelson

 

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