Independence Day Weekend with the Gang

We had a GREAT Fourth of July in Bogalusa, LA.
The town canceled their yearly parade, so some “rebel” friends decided to parade anyways.
We had a BLAST.
People beeping their horns, giving thumbs up, waving, etc.
We finished off with a couple of drinks at “The Breeze”.

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Hotel Riu Palace Costa Mujeres

Hi gang-

Longest and oldest childhood friend, Amy, and I took a wonderful vacation last month.

We visited the Hotel Riu Palace Costa Mujeres.

A BIG shout-out to my heroes, Richard and Wayne for carting us to our hotel and picking us up upon our return!

OMG!  What a blast!

I’ve been to several Barcello all-inclusive properties, but I’m now STRICTLY a RIU PALACE fan.

This place was THE ULTIMATE.  Gorgeous beach and pools.  Great food.  FUN bar, “The Square Garden”.

The guys at this bar pampered us beyond words!

We had a lovely “Garden View Suite”

The property was extremely isolated.  About a 45 minute drive from the Cancun airport.  That was fine with us.  We had no reason to leave the property.

We got into quite a routine.  We’d start at the Square Garden and drink a few mimosas.

Then head out to our favorite pool or beach.

They kept the beer flowing for us!

After having enough sun and fun, we’d head back to our boys for margaritas!

I cannot recommend this property highly enough!  As soon as this “pandemic” is over, I’m heading back!

A SPECIAL THANK YOU to Darlene Wood at Liberty Travel!  She handled everything…flights, insurance, private transfers.  Looking forward to booking with her again!

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Dominic John Manzo

Dominic John Manzo
August 11, 1945 – January 15, 2020

Rest in Peace my Love

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A Visit From "The Kids" Last Week

Dom’s daughter Christine and his stepson Michael flew in last Tuesday for 4 nights.  They were a great help.

On Wednesday, Michael went up into the attic to retrieve some things.  He also threw away our old microwave and lifted up our new one.

Meanwhile, Christine and I picked up a huge pizza in Picayune and stopped for a couple of cold beers at Fatty’s.

Thursday the kids and I took Dom’s truck and went to the dump.  The 3 of us had lunch at Fatty’s. 

When we got home, Michael bush-hogged our driveway.

We were going to return a lot of beer cans on Friday, but Tropical Storm Olga hit us.  Serious wind and rain on Friday and Saturday.

So, we stayed home on Friday.  The kids left Saturday morning after removing some fallen trees in our driveway.

NOLA Airport’s power was knocked out for much of the day.  After a change in flights the kids finally got home.

It was a good productive and pleasant visit!  (And our Sexy Sadie was in heaven the entire time that they were here!)

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A Short Visit From my Big Brother

My brother Rick flew in for 3 nights. 

On the way home from the airport we went for a late lunch at The Chimes in Covington.  Lovely place.  Great food.

On Friday morning the two of us went to a local Nissan Dealer.  Hours later, drove home with my new Nissan Rogue Sport!

Stopped at Fatty’s in Picayune for another late lunch.  I love that place!

Saturday we talked about old times and had a pleasant day.  Lunch at Crossroads Seafood near our house.

Sexy Sadie LOVES her Uncle Ricky!

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International Coffee Day coming up on September 29th!

Check out these delicious coffee cocktails, courtesy of Sparkling Ice! These are a great way to plus up your usual cup of coffee and give it a little more of a kick!

The Coffee’s Cherry

2 Cups Cold Brew Coffee
½ cup Sparkling Ice Black Cherry
Coconut Milk
Toasted Marshmallow
Combine cold brew coffee and Sparkling Ice Black Cherry and pour into two ice cube trays. Place into freezer until frozen.
Fill a Collins glass with cubes and top with coconut milk, garnish with toasted marshmallow.
Black Sage

Coffee Liquor
Sparkling Ice Black Raspberry
Heavy Cream
Sage Leaf

Mix coffee liqueur and Sparkling Ice Black Raspberry in a cocktail glass. Just before serving, gently add cream and garnish with a sage leaf.
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National Beer Lovers Day is Saturday!

We’re looking forward to experimenting with these ciders as well as beer cocktails!

Strongbow® Hard Ciders, 100 Cal Slim Cans
Celebrate National Beer Lovers Day with 2019 Product of the Year award winner, Strongbow 100 Cal Slim Cans. The Variety Pack with 12 slim-sized, 8.5 oz. cans of hard cider and only 100 calories per can  pack contains 4 cans each of 3 refreshing, wine-inspired flavors: Rosé Apple – semi-dry with a touch of red-fleshed apple, Original Dry – crisp apple taste with a dry finish, Dry Pear – crisp pear flavor and a light, dry finish. Strongbow 100 Cal Slim Cans: tons of flavor, only 100 cals.

Beer Cocktails from Sparkling Ice

Sunshine Boilermaker

1 can of pale lager
1.5 oz of bourbon
Sparkling Ice Lemon Lime
Lemon (garnish)


In a pint glass, pour beer at an angle to eliminate head. Add 1.5 oz of bourbon. Top with Sparkling Ice Lemon Lime. Garnish with lemon wedge.

Summer Shandy

3 oz light beer (like a pale ale)
6 oz Sparkling Ice Peach Nectarine
Strawberry, for garnish

In an ice filled glass, combine light beer and Sparkling Ice Peach Nectarine. Garnish with a strawberry slice and serve.

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Tasti-Lee®, America’s #1 Brand of Premium Round Field Tomatoes- YUMMY!

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (September 4, 2019): Flavorful Brands, LLC proudly brings the garden-fresh flavor of Tasti-Lee® premium vine-ripened tomatoes to California, Nevada, and Hawaii! A Longtime favorite in the eastern US, Tasti-Lee® is the nation’s leading brand of premium vine-ripened round field tomatoes. Tasti-Lee® puts an end to “PTT” (“Perfectly Tasteless Tomatoes!”) by bringing back to consumers what has been missing for decades in store-bought tomatoes: a juicy, vine-ripened round field tomato that has perfectly balanced home-grown flavor, and is both non-GMO and available year-round. With its deep crimson red color inside and out, Tasti-Lee® is also a fantastic and firm slicing tomato with high levels of lycopene and a very long shelf life. Tomato experts and executive chefs love this tomato. Consumers praise Tasti-Lee® tomatoes as “great-tasting, beautiful looking, and nutritious for you.” Supermarkets and shoppers alike revere the Tasti-Lee® name as a symbol of premium quality. And the American Heart Association approves Tasti-Lee® as Heart-Healthy—their symbol on our package is proof!

How do we do this? The old-fashioned way–Seed, Soil and Sun! It all starts with the unique and superior Tasti-Lee® non-GMO hybrid seed grown in nutrient rich soil. Then our tomatoes are sun-ripened on the vine by Mother Nature—and we never force ripening with ethylene gas. Grown and hand-harvested by a select network of exceptional and incredibly hard-working family farmers, Tasti-Lee® maintains the highest standards of freshness and quality from our fields to your kitchen table.

Taste the difference of new Tasti-Lee® premium vine-ripened tomatoes for yourself and find out why consumers in the East ask for Tasti-Lee® by name. Because they are infused with juicy, fresh-from-the-garden tomato flavor and deep crimson red color, you can be confident in adding Tasti-Lee® tomatoes to your favorite salads, sandwiches, salsas, and sauces. Now available year-round in the West, including Safeway Stores throughout California, Nevada, and Hawaii, Save Mart, and Raley’s Supermarkets.

Bring home a bag of the garden-fresh taste of heart-healthy, all-natural Tasti-Lee® premium vine-ripened tomatoes–now available in convenient grab-and-go, 100% recyclable packaging in the produce section. Available organically grown, too!

Look for Tasti-Lee® recipe cards, featuring additional product information and inspirational meal ideas, at every Tasti-Lee® product display where you shop. “Like Us” on Facebook, check us out on Instagram and be sure to visit to learn more this beautiful tomato, get coupons, and find the closest retailer stocking Tasti-Lee® tomatoes near you.

About Flavorful Brands, LLC:

Flavorful Brands: Little Seeds, Big Ideas™, is a newly founded and innovative fresh produce marketing company that owns Tasti-Lee® tomatoes, the leading brand of premium vine-ripened round field tomatoes in the US.  A partnership of LHF, Inc., Marrero Ventures, Inc., and Bejo Seeds, Inc., our vision is “Inspiring People to Eat Better Every Day.” Our mission is to bring amazing premium-branded, value-added produce to consumers that deliver great taste, convenience and nutrition to their meals and snacks.

From Seeds to Smiles®, Flavorful Brands is able to harness the established vertical network of our partners, including Bejo Seeds (one of the world’s best non-GMO hybrid seed developers), with our exclusive and exceptional growers and distributors, to guarantee unrivaled flavor and premium quality, meeting the demands of knowledgeable consumers who expect superior flavor, performance, and responsibly-sourced vegetables. Learn more at

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Labor Day Weekend is Upon Us!

Wow.  Where did the summer go?

We’re looking forward to a long weekend without any doctor appts.  As much as we adore our doctors, we’re getting tired of the constant visits.

Looking forward to making some fun drinks with Sparkling Ice!

These caught my eye in particular:


1½ ounces vanilla vodka
1 tsp. simple syrup
½ oz. fresh lemon juice
Sparkling Ice Grape Raspberry
Raspberry ice cubes, for garnish


Place raspberry ice cubes in glass and set to the side. In a cocktail shaker, add vanilla vodka, simple syrup, and fresh lemon juice- shake. Strain over ice and add Sparkling Ice Grape Raspberry.



1 peach, sliced

½ orange, sliced

¾ cup peach brandy

1 bottle white wine, chilled

4 cups Sparkling Ice Classic Lemonade


Place peaches, oranges, cranberries and brandy in a pitcher then lightly muddle. Add wine and Sparkling Ice Classic Lemonade and stir. Serve over ice and garnish with a peach slice.

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These Hot Summer Days Call for This Warm Weather Pick-Me-Up!

These are yummy!  I love the Mocha, especially!

We could all use a little warm weather pick-me-up like McCafe’s RTD iced coffee! Made with 100% Arabica coffee beans and blended with real milk and natural ingredients, the line comes in three café-style flavors: Mocha, Caramel and Vanilla.

Making it simple to enjoy the quality taste of McCafé Frappés, each flavor is available in an easy-to-grab 13.7 oz. bottle for $2.00. Headed to a work event or backyard party? The Mocha and Caramel flavors are available in a 40 oz. options for $4.49, all which can be found at select supermarkets nationwide.

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