Category Archives: Uncategorized

Cooking with Hadley and Nana

Cooking with Hadley & Nana, Season 1, Episode 1: Triple Chocolate CakeClick here for Season 1, Episode 1 Triple Chocolate Cake

Cooking with your kids and grandchildren is something they will never forget. I certainly remember cooking simple dishes with my Meme and more elaborate baking from an early age with my Grandmother Duty. They both had different ways of cooking and teaching, but it was all memories that I cherish.

My husband and I recently visited our son and his family in Dallas and I asked Jin if it was of if I could cook with our five year old granddaughter, Hadley. She happily said yes and even helped us film our own pretend cooking show!

We had a lot of fun, but y’all, this is a seriously good and easy cake! You’re gonna love it!! And you’re gonna love my very smart, sassy granddaughter! She makes me smile so big and laugh so much when I’m around her that my ribs sometimes hurt! You never know what she will do or say! She is pure joy!

We hope you enjoy our show and the cake!

By the way… there was no script, no rehearsals, no prompting of any sort. Mess ups and all it’s real!

Triple Chocolate Cake

1 box Devils food cake mix

4 eggs

1 cup sour cream (8oz pkg)

3/4 cup water

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 box instant chocolate pudding

Mix everything together then add:

1 package chocolate chips

Bake at 350 in a well greased bundt pan 50 minutes to 1 hour. Cool 20 minutes and turn out of pan.

Madoma Health and Wellness in the Dallas areaY’all check out Hadley’s Daddy’s wellness business in the north Dallas area!

Skyroam keeping us connected

Skyroam at The Treasury at Petra

Skyroam Wi-Fi Solis hotspot is the best option for keeping us connected while traveling! It’s easy to use in over one hundred countries and they are being added to all the time!

Sure, we use it in Europe, but we were so excited to use our Solis in Israel, Jordan and Egypt the past few months!!

Solis at the wailing wall in Jerusalem

Whether we were at the wailing wall, Petra or the pyramids in Giza, I was able to stay connected with our friends and loved ones back home.

Driving through the Jordan desert

We used it for our phones navigation through the desert in Jordan! What a lifesaver!

Sailing on the Nile River in Egypt

My Solis worked on my river cruise while sailing on the Nile! Saving me lots of time and money by not having purchase timed cards for Wi-Fi from the ship! *

I can’t recommend Skyroam Solis any more and am happy to become an affiliate for their company. Here is a link to purchase a Solis of your own and enjoy a 10% discount:

Skyroam discount

10% off Coupon code: PIELADYLIFE

You have the option of choosing individual day passes or subscribing to a monthly plan if you travel a lot! Either way, Skyroam will keep you connected too!

*Please note: While my Skyroam Solis worked well on my Nile River cruise in Egypt, it will not work on ocean cruises except while in most ports. Skyroam relies on telephone service and works where that service is available.

Away Luggage Referral Program

Hey y’all! Are you like me and constantly search for the perfect carry on bag? Well, I think I might have found just the bag!

Update! I’ve been on two trips with my Away luggage and LOVE it!! It’s so easy to roll that I can glide along through the airport with just one hand! It’s so smooth! I highly recommend Away Luggage!! Be sure to use the link below for $20 off your own!

My Away luggage with Neuschwanstein Castle on the mountain

My Away luggage with Neuschwanstein Castle in the background

Click here for $20 off Away

Check out Away, a new travel company offering beautifully designed luggage that’ll make our travels easier. The Carry-On even has a charger in case you can’t find a plug in the airport. We’ve all had that problem, haven’t we? I’m most impressed with their lifetime guarantee!

Away is a company started by two women who had an idea about what it would take to make a great suitcase. I’ll be rolling their international sized Carry-On through Germany and Austria next month, so check out where I’m going with my new wheels on my Instagram feed!

Be sure to use this link to get $20 off your first suitcase!

Check out Away Luggage here!

I love my Away luggage! I just spent the last couple of months in Israel, Jordan, Egypt and the Netherlands and couldn’t be happier!!! Planning to expand my collection!

New Gelato flavor you must try!!

My sister in law and I just returned from Venice, Italy where we spent a few days before boarding a cruise on the Aegean Sea with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines.

We had a wonderful time and since we had both been in Venice several times, I decided to explore some places I've not been before.

I've tried making it to Morano and Burano on more than one trip, but it just never worked out the way I wanted. This time it was on my top list of priorities. I booked a tour ahead of our arrival on Viator.

One of the highlights of our time on Burano was our guide's recommendation of a jam packed gelato and shop that is filled with Italian food products and souvenirs.

Oh my goodness! The gelato is amazing!!

I spotted a flavor that I have never seen! Bellini flavored gelato! I had to try it, after all Bellinis are Venice, aren't they?! My first taste of a real drink made with sparkling wine and white fleshed peaches was at Harry's Bar in Venice.

The next time you are in Burano, I highly recommend going to Gelato Artigianale! It's the only place I've ever seen Bellini gelato!

The same little shop also carries speciality pastas, limoncello and other Italian products that would make perfect souvenirs!

Viva la Cuba!

Viva the people. The cars. The culture. The food. The cigars. The rum.

Have you dreamed about going to Cuba before the island changes forever?

This video is compiled from photos I shot on the incredible trip we took to Cuba this March. Hopefully it will inspire you to experience this unique place that everyone says is stuck in time.

I’m ready to go back!! 

And we are!!! Our next trip will be on Southwest Airlines first flight from Ft Lauderdale to Havana this December!! So looking forward to a whole new experience in Cuba around the holidays!!

Would you like to go to Cuba in 2017? We may try to get a group together to go back. Contact me at val110358@aol.com for more info. Meanwhile, enjoy our last trip… 

Magnolia House exterior transformation 

Ok. I might have been a house stalker. To a certain extent anyway. Our restaurant is in the same town that Chip and Joanna Gaines bought and refurbished the 1800s farmhouse in the middle of downtown McGregor. The bank we use for our business is right across the street. We have to go to that bank at least once a day. Every day. Seven days a week. Except Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
Magnolia  House B&B in McGregor before renovation copyright Valerie Citrano
That’s how I began noticing the work being done on my dear friend, Mrs. Truelove’s former house. The home had fallen into disrepair after her death. I’d often thought what a shame it was. In its former glory, it was such a beauty.

I don’t think there was anyone other than Chip and Jo that could have taken the house and transformed it as beautifully. It is now nationally known to fans of Fixer Upper as Magnolia House B&B.

Have a look at some of the photos I took with my iPhone as the house progressed.

Magnolia  House B&B in McGregor before renovation copyright Valerie Citrano

The Carriage House besideMagnolia  House B&B in McGregor before renovation copyright Valerie Citrano
the Carriage House beside the Magnolia house before renovation

Magnolia  House B&B in McGregor during renovation copyright Valerie CitranoMagnolia  House B&B in McGregor during renovation copyright Valerie CitranoMagnolia  House B&B in McGregor during renovation copyright Valerie Citrano
Is it really stalking if you tell the owners? No! Surly not! Right?

My husband and I both ended up going to the bank when the 18 wheeler furniture truck happened to be unloading all of the furniture for Magnolia House. We both took a picture.

Joanna's new furniture line being delivered to her Magnolia House B&B in McGregor, TX copyright Valerie Citrano

And then the next day we saw Chip and Jo.

I’m only posting this picture because the look on Chip’s face is just so priceless! Pretty sure it’s the way he looks every time he sees me. I’m really not sure why! Haha!

Chip and Joanna Gaines with Donald and Valerie Citrano www.pieladylife.com

And my husband showed Jo the picture of the truck unloading at the house.

(If I would have known a friend was taking these pictures, I promise I would have turned around!)

Jo told us the furniture was from her new line that would soon be available for purchase. She also told us that the producers of the show wanted to do the reveal at the end of the week. Cool insider information direct from the source. I was good. I didn’t tell anyone.

Chip and Joanna Gaines with Donald and Valerie Citrano www.pieladylife.com
Yes, I told them that we had totally been stalking the house and how wonderful it was that they chose the house in our little town of McGregor to open a B&B. So, when you tell someone that you may be stalking, it’s not really stalking. Right?

And they still took a photo with us! Haha!!


And then my friend Debby, who owns Greenlife Nursery and Landscaping showed up for lunch at The Coffee Shop Cafe and we were off for a whirlwind day …. I got to help her with the Fixer Upper house…….