What do I get Mr. Impossible?

Fathers day is Sunday June 17th– what are YOU doing to show your dad or your baby’s daddy the love??

Jury is still out in our household on what to get Mike for his first father’s day. He is impossible to shop for. I love to give gifts when they are a surprise, yet he somehow always finds a way to spoil them.  Whomp Whomp!

When he knows what he is getting it is no fun for me! I completely understand that sometimes you need to know exactly what they want so you don’t mess up the wrong size, color, brand etc. Nonetheless, seeing that ecstatic expression on his face when he is gifted with something unexpected is one of my biggest pleasures.

So I humored myself a few days ago and asked him what he wanted. It was just like a scene from A Christmas Story where Ralphie rapidly shouts to Santa “I want an official red ryder carbine-action two hundred shot range model air rifle.” Mike looked at me with actual hope as he revealed that he wanted an autographed Muhammed Ali boxing glove. He started to laugh because he knew it was ridiculous and knew I already drew the line after the last sports memorabilia purchased. You got to draw a line somewhere or we will be on the next episode of hoarders. That was a little exaggerated! I was ready for something more like work socks, new ties, new swimming trunks, running shoes, or some new tech gadget. Anything else but autographed boxing gloves. As I type this we are both in hysterics reminiscing!

So what do I get Mr. Impossible??? These are all things I have already given Mike and hopefully it gives you ideas!

1. For Valentine’s day I went to Joann’s Fabric and purchased the large cardboard letters to spell out ‘dad’. I put Lily behind it on our bed and clicked away as she had a blast playing around with them. I took separate pictures with each letter and then put those in a tri fold picture frame for his desk. It was so cheap and a lot of fun to do! Bonus is that I have the letters to replicate this as she grows up.

2. Two years ago I gave him vintage sterling silver cufflinks with the map of Pittsburgh map. This would be cute for the city you were married or honeymooned in as an anniversary gift.

3. A change dish is a cute idea and the one pictured is from ReinVintBrooklyn on Etsy. I don’t have a picture of the one I gave mike, but I went to Color Me Mine, a painting studio, and created a small change dish in his alma mater colors with school name.

4. You can never go wrong giving your dad or husband something from his favorite sports team! I gave Mike these soft, clown-sized Steeler slippers that he keeps under his desk to keep his feet warm.

5. For Christmas I ordered a silver handprint dog tag that was customized with Lily’s actual handprint! On the other side we have Lily’s name and birth date engraved.  Mike never takes this necklace off! You can find this on Etsy by KLM Designs.

 
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  1. Mike Romano commented:
    May 31, 2012 Reply
    • Amy Romano commented:
      May 31, 2012 Reply

      Of course you would leave this as a comment honey….keep dreaming!

      • Emily Ley commented:
        June 8, 2012 Reply

        HAHAHAHAHAH!!! I love that he just posted this!

        • Amy Romano commented:
          June 8, 2012 Reply

          I’m sure Big B would do the same Em!

  2. Elizabeth commented:
    June 1, 2012 Reply

    I just found your blog through Emily Ley. It’s so cute! I made your recipe last night for the cucumber tomato salad. It was so yummy!!!!!

    • Amy Romano commented:
      June 1, 2012 Reply

      Thanks for the smile Elizabeth and I am so glad you enjoyed the dish- it is a favorite in my house!

  3. May 13, 2016 Reply

    Juca queres nomes?Fernando SousaIvo SousaAndré CardosoVítor RodriguesFilipe CardosoAntónio AmorimJoão CabreiraAndré VitalRui CostaMário CostaSamuel CoelhoJoão BentaRicardo VilelaNão vou perder mais tempo

  4. July 15, 2016 Reply

    Great insight! That’s the answer we’ve been looking for.

  5. http://www./ commented:
    July 29, 2016 Reply

    Hi Rune.. I like the sound of how your country does Fathers Day… :O)I also like this old iron mooring and the colouring of rust… the smashed bottle could have been done by a drunken thug… but I like to think it as laid in that spot since the last ship was blessed, named and launched.. :O)

  6. August 9, 2016 Reply

    Nie musisz wcale zdobyc tej przekletej gory aby byc szczesliwym.Kocha Cie wielu.Rozejrzyj sie,a dostrzezesz ich.Tysiace innych kocha Cie za Twoje teksty.Wiec wracaj i z pasja smagaj slowem gnusnych i glupich.Usiadz u podnoza gory.Jej majestat pomoze Ci zobaczycwszystko we wlasciwych proporcjach.KAZDA ciemnosc mozna rozswietlic swiatelkiem nadziei!

  7. http://www./ commented:
    September 9, 2016 Reply

    AAAAHHHH!!!! trop bien! J’y suis allée et je les ai trouvés géniaux! J’ai jamais autant dansé à un concert de punk (!) Et puis finir la soirée en pogotant sur du BoyzIIMen j’avoue que ça a un certain charme PS: elles sont sympas les photos

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  1. […] day is here and I finally found a gift for Mr. Impossible! After a fun beach vacation on Hilton Head Island, Mike was yearning for new boat shoes. With a […]

  2. By Lily & Bliss | Making Life Easier: Gifts For Him on November 29, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    […] so hard to shop for?? Maybe it’s just my husband, remember I already posted about what to get Mr. Impossible! Even though I dropped hints in my gifts for her post we are not sure what we are doing about […]

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Go Pamper yourself

 

I am a lover of products.

At one point in time under my sink I had 4 items just to smooth out frizzy hair (a necessity living in humidity). I get so giddy when Allure magazine comes out with their best of beauty awards each year.  I’m proud when I see a product on their list that I already own and interested to discover ones that I have yet to use. There are some products that have a much better (and cheaper!) generic version; this is where Mike gets giddy over the price difference!  I am always on the hunt for fabulous finds so please share your favs! So here are a few that I am diggin!

1. L ‘Oreal Nature’s Therapy Mega Moisture Nurturing Crème- I have been using this conditioner since college! This is always in my shower and I purchase more than one tub at a time and I am good for months! I promise you that this will leave your hair silky smooth and can get any nasty knot out! I get mine at Sally’s where the 16 oz. tub is $12.99.

2. Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser & Moisturizing Lotion & Daily Facial Moisturizer w/ spf- I can’t say enough good things about this brand. I have extremely sensitive skin and these lotions have helped when I have had a breakout or allergy flare up. The lotions are lightweight and non greasy, a winning combination! You can find Cetaphil at your local drug & grocery stores!

3. Jason Soothing Aloe Vera Pure Natural Body Wash 30 fl oz- I found this gem at Target and LOVE IT! I not only use it as body wash but also as shaving crème! After I shave it leaves my legs silky smooth! With most sensitive skin products that boast no parabens or sulfates you find little to no fragrance-, which is okay, but this has a lovely smell that does not irritate the skin! Another plus is that it lasts awhile!

4. L’annine Hand and Body cream in avocado- is a little slice of heaven! I carry this in whatever bag I am using. This cream helped alleviate my dry hands from constantly washing Lily’s bottles! It is lightweight, non-greasy, has a fresh scent and will last you a long time, well worth the $16.(I bought mine here)

5. Aquaphor Healing ointment is amazing and you can use this for anything! I carry a small tube as my lip balm and have another small tube next to my bed to rub on my heels and hands at night. Even though this is an ointment it doesn’t clog your pores!

not show but deserves a mention:

6. Pureology Antifade Complex Hydrate Shampoo
7. Pureology Shine Max Finishing Gloss
8. Rosebud Salve
9. Proactive Solution Refining Mask
10. Moroccan Oil Hair Treatment
11. Olay Foaming Face Wash- sensitive
12. Dove Original Clean Anti-Perspirant and Deodorant stick
13. Target’s Up & Up Exfoliating Body Wash

 
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  1. Emily Ley commented:
    May 30, 2012 Reply

    I AM SO EXCITED FOR YOU!!! Congratulations on your BEAUTIFUL LAUNCH!!! Great things ahead, friend. GREAT THINGS!!!!! : ) XOXO Em

    • Amy Romano commented:
      May 30, 2012 Reply

      Awe thanks Em!!! I am so pumped! LOVE you 😉

  2. Amber van der Voort commented:
    June 3, 2012 Reply

    For the whole month of June, the L’Oreal Nature’s Therapy Mega Moisture is actually on sale at Sally’s for $9.99!! Thought I would share the new for all of your followers. :)

    • Amy Romano commented:
      June 3, 2012 Reply

      Thanks Amber!!! I am going to stock up then 😉

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Tomato, Cucumber and Avocado oh my!

It is summer time and that means tomato season is here!!! This tomato side dish can be made at any time of the year really, but this recipe is especially great for summer BBQs!

Simple, quick, tasty and only five ingredients….can’t all recipes be like this!??! All you need is cucumber, tomatoes, avocado, red onion, and vinaigrette. I am a little obsessed with Paul Newman’s Light Balsamic dressing. It is my go to dressing for everything!  I also love Paul Newman’s light Italian dressing! I had more balsamic so that is what I used.

I had about six adults at our BBQ so I used 2 cucumbers, 4 tomatoes, 2 avocados, and one onion.  If it was just us I would only use 1 cucumber, 1-2 tomatoes, ½ avocado, and red onion. The great thing about this dish is that you can use however much of each ingredient that you like best! So here you go

Enjoy!

Tomato, Cucumber and Avocado Salad

Tomatoes
Cucumbers
Avocados
Red onion
Dressing – balsamic or italian

  • I completely peel my cucumbers and then slice them. I cut the slices in half, sometimes in fourths if I want to give Lily some!
  • Cut up your tomato- I like bigger chunks.
  • Cut your red onion. Now Mike is not a big onion eater so I make large chunks so he can eat around them. I would highly recommend that you keep the onions in the dish as it adds great flavor. But if you are not a fan you can leave them out.
  • Drizzle your dressing over ingredients and toss to coat. Place in the fridge to sit for an hour. Another great thing about this dish is that you can immediately serve this and it still tastes great!
  • Once you are ready to serve cut up your avocado and mix it in. Again I like making the avocado chunkier. Add more dressing if needed!
 
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  1. mckay commented:
    May 30, 2012 Reply

    yum!!! making it this weekend. :):)

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Ribs so good you wanna slap your momma!

One thing southerners do best is BBQ. Now depending where you live in the south can bring a completely different style of BBQ.  Folks in North Carolina have a vinegar-based sauce where in South Carolina you find a vinegar & mustard based sauce. Georgia and Alabama take there BBQ with a tomato based sauce.  Now in Tennessee  you will find a tomato based sauce, but in Memphis they are famous for their dry rubs leading to a more smoked flavor.

Growing up in California we were  still treated to the BEST southern BBQ thanks to the South’s best cook, my Papa Montgomery (mom’s dad).  My Papa had a huge brick BBQ pit in his backyard (that he built himself!) where he would cook up some Boston Butts to perfection. He would wrap the cooked meat in layers of foil, freeze it and then ship it to us in California. Not only did he master cooking the meat, but he also bottled his own lip smacking good sauce. We have an old newspaper article featuring my Papa next to his pit raving about his amazing sauce.  For years my Papa kept his recipe a secret until someone in the family talked him into sharing it. Maybe if you are lucky one day I will share it with ya’ll!

If you don’t have the famous Montgomery BBQ sauce there are plenty of great ones from the store. We like Sweet Baby Rays. I usually just purchase ribs from our local grocery store or specialty package store. If I am cooking for guests (like I did for this Memorial day) I go to BJ’s Wholesale (Cosco or Sams equivalent!). For $17 you get 2 huge racks! And if you don’t have a brick pit out back, that is fine too!  You can get ribs that fall off the bone right out of your own oven! This recipe tastes so good it makes you wanna slap your momma!

Enjoy!

Fall Off the Bone Ribs

Pork Ribs
Worcestershire Sauce
Salt & Pepper (I like using sea salt)

Preheat oven to 350. Line your cookie sheet with foil. Measure out two sheets of foil that goes longer than your ribs by 2 inches on each side.  Lay those over lapping a bit and place your ribs in the middle.

Grind your salt & pepper over and drizzle some Worcestershire sauce on one side, flip and do the same on the other.

Bring the foil up on both sides of the ribs and fold the top over a few times to seal it. And then fold both bottoms to completely seal the ribs in.

Pop those babies in and cook for 2 1/2 hours. *now cooking times will depend on how many ribs you are cooking! A good way to tell if your ribs are done is if the meat has pulled back and the bones are sticking out.
Once the ribs are done you can slather on your sauce and serve them- or you can place them on the grill with sauce on to add that smoky grilled taste.  *just note that the ribs will fall apart on the grill if you try and transfer a whole slap of ribs. Try cutting the ribs to smaller portions. If you like to use the grill and don’t want the meat to fall apart than cut down the oven cooking time.
 
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  1. By Lily & Bliss | Perfect summer treat on June 7, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    […] handy for impromptu parties. For Memorial Weekend my family came over to enjoy the pool, a beer and yummy ribs! Since I was hosting my mom brought a family favorite, chilled coconut cake! This dessert is […]

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Southern Living’s Enchilada Casserole

I adore Southern Living Magazine for several reasons, one of them is their incredible recipes. My mom gave me the Southern Living 2011 Annual Recipe cookbook this past Christmas (this recipe found on pg. 321). Gifting cookbooks has become a cute tradition she started for holidays or at special life moments, often found with a sweet message inside!

My husband and I make this dish almost EVERY week…we are obsessed. The awesome part is there are always leftovers for lunch the next day! We love Mexican food and the mix between those flavors and the cheesy cornbread topping is out of this world.

Enjoy!

Southern Living’s Enchilada Casserole

3 tbsp diced green chiles, divided (I buy the mild)
½ cup mild salsa
¼ cup chopped green onions
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained
1 (11 oz) can of mexicorn drained(corn with red & green bell peppers)
1 (10 oz) can enchilada sauce (I buy mild)
2 large eggs
2 tbsp chopped jarred roasted red bell peppers
1 (8.5 oz) package corn muffin mix (I use jiffy)
1 ½ cup (6 oz) shredded Mexican four-cheese blend (you can use less- it is up to you!)
garnish: sour cream or chopped fresh cilantro (I don’t, but feel free to!)

1. Spray your crock pot with Pam.
2. Stir together 2 tbsp green green chiles and the next 6 ingredients. Cover and cook on LOW for 3 hours.
3. Whisk the eggs, then add the remaining 1 tbsp of green chiles, roasted red bell peppers, and muffin mix. Spoon batter over bean mixture in crock-pot. (*you won’t be able to cover the bean mixture entirely. Don’t worry as the muffin mix will cover it once cooked!). Cover and cook on LOW for 1 hour.
4. Sprinkle the cheese over cornbread. Cover and heat for a few minutes until the cheese is melted (about 5 minutes). Spoon into bowls and garnish if you want to!

Now the first time I made this I was bummed that you use such a small amount of the roasted red bell peppers and thought it to be wasteful. Don’t worry…you will become obsessed and want to cook this again soon, I promise! I also started using the peppers and leftover green chiles in eggs the next morning. Let it be known that I do NOT eat anything spicy and that this turned out to be perfect for me.

Enjoy!

 
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  1. May 29, 2012 Reply

    That looks so yummy! We are also suckers for anything Mexican…. always so easy to make and there are usually plentiful leftovers!

    • Amy Romano commented:
      May 30, 2012 Reply

      fo sho Brooke! Easy Mexican food is the way we like it!

  2. April 29, 2016 Reply

    I used one of your images on a blog post (Simple Painterly Effect Using Filters). Needed a high resolution image to make filter effect work. Did not use in a stand along manner and commented/linked to your site as a great resource for free high resolution stock images. I hope that was ok and thank you very much for all your hard work and sharing these images.

  3. May 13, 2016 Reply

    Hmm it looks like your site ate my first comment (it was super long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I submitted and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I as well am an aspiring blog writer but I’m still new to the whole thing. Do you have any recommendations for beginner blog writers? I’d certainly appreciate it.

  4. http://www./ commented:
    July 21, 2016 Reply

    Very interesting video! I was wondering exactly why drinking a lot of water does help minimize the appearance of acne. Niacinimide pads also help to reduce acne and unclog pores. It gets rid of dead skin cells which can be the leading cause of acne for many people. I really recommend them for acne and sunburn.

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Not your average Bundt Cake

chocolatecakeRaised by a southern woman you learn that gifting family, friends and neighbors with baked goods is customary. And nothing is more southern than a good ‘ole bundt cake. Now a family favorite is the standard sock-it-to-me cake that we serve for breakfast or dessert. A recipe we have always used can often be found on the side of the Duncan Hines cake mix. Now the sock-it-to-me cake is a classic BUT the Darn Good Chocolate Cake recipe makes it hard to eat only one slice!

Now if you are a lover of sweets you MUST get acquainted with Anne Byrn, author of Cake Mix Doctor. Her dishes are so scrumptious that it is often a surprise when people find out that all the recipes started from a boxed cake mix! I promise you that after trying this recipe that you will hunt down her cookbooks!

Enjoy!

Darn Good Chocolate Cake

1 package of devil’s food cake mix
1 package (3.9 oz.) instant chocolate pudding mix
4 large eggs
1 cup sour cream (you can use reduced fat sour cream or plain or vanilla yogurt)
2/3 cup water
½ cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cups (9 oz) semisweet chocolate chips (my mom and I like to add mini morsels in too!)

1. Preheat oven to 350 & coat your bundt pan with Pam and then dust with flour. I have discovered Pam’s backing spray that has flour in it and it works perfectly (and it smells delish!).

2. Mix all the ingredients except the chocolate chips.  When the batter is smooth and thick fold in the chips.

3. Pour into the pan and cook for about 55-60 minutes, or until the cake springs back when lightly pressed with a finger.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

For a better presentation I dust powdered sugar on top. My family and I like to eat this when it is still warm . Fair warning that you should give half of the cake to a friend/neighbor as you WILL devour this tasty treat!

 
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  1. […] kept the dessert SUPER simple and made two chocolate bundt cakes (recipe here). This is my absolute favorite chocolate cake and I make it often. For Easter I brought it over to […]

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Cucumber & Hummus

My new go to easy peasy appetizer has only two ingredients, how awesome is that! All you need is a Cucumber and some hummus.To make it easier I buy premade Sabra Classic Hummus at my local grocery store.

To start peel your cucumber (I use two) and then slice to your desired size. Keep in mind that when you scoop out the center that the thicker the slice the less likely you will scoop all the way through causing the hummus to fall out the bottom. You can use a spoon to scoop out the center, but I like to use my melon baller. I keep the cute balled cucumber in a zip loc bag for Lily’s lunch or to flavor water for my guests!

This appetizer is one I always construct in advance so once the cucumber is prepped I go ahead and plate them on the dish I will use. I cover with plastic wrap and pop it in the fridge until ready! You do not want to put the hummus on the cucumbers until you are ready to serve even if you are placing it in the fridge.

To make this appetizer pretty I like to pipe my hummus onto the cucumber. I do not own a piping bag so I use a sandwich sized Ziploc bag. Scoop your hummus into the bag and then zeal it. Use scissors and clip a bottom corner off. Always start with clipping off a small piece and test it out. You can always clip off more, but if you clip too much your DIY piping bag will gush out too much hummus! Once you are finished you can toss the bag away…easiest clean up ever!

Hope you enjoy this easy peasy appetizer!

            

 
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Welcome to the new blog

Our family blog received a gorgeous facelift from the lovely and talented Brooke Forry at Curious & Co. My brilliant friend Emily Ley of Emily Ley Paper & Emily Ley Creative introduced me to Brooke and I am so fortunate to have had her design this website.

Emily has been a huge cheerleader through this process of taking my little blog to the mainstream. Through tons of emails, texts & Hey Tells (The best app ever!) Lily and Bliss was conceived with her creative mind.

It felt like Christmas morning when I would receive emails from Brooke with sweet web designs and amazing ideas! She is a genius. The entire process was calm, straightforward and FUN! It was a delight to work with her and I am still in awe of how gorgeous my blog is!!

A Big Thank you to both of you ladies for helping launch Lily and Bliss!!

 
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  1. May 30, 2012 Reply

    You are so sweet! It was an absolute pleasure to work with you and Emily, and I am so glad that you’re pleased with the end result :) I look forward to seeing what you have in store for this lovely little blog!

  2. Emily Ley commented:
    June 8, 2012 Reply

    I love you!! Im so excited for you and am LOVING everything you’re posting! More recipes please!!! : ) XOXO Oh and PS, Im so EXCITED to be your cheerleader. You’ve been mine for SO LONG. : )

    • Amy Romano commented:
      June 8, 2012 Reply

      I love you so much! We need another recipe swap night! xoxox

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