Entertaining with Mom & Better Homes and Gardens

Monday, May 4th, 2015

I was visiting with my parents in Las Vegas two weeks ago and my Mom and I took a few hours to set a colorful table so she can entertain her friends and family this summer. We shopped for Better Homes and Gardens products at Walmart for a few pieces to brighten her poolside outdoor table.

moms summer table from above

moms summer outdoor table

She chose the the colorful ombre stripe tablecloth and aqua watercolor melamine plates with coordinating salad bowl. Also pictured are mom’s everyday oval basket placemats and the cobalt flatware she’s owned for fifteen years.

cobalt flatware

bhg melamine plates

My mom is an amazing cook, so she combined a few of her recipes for a tropical inspired meal while I was in town. She’s a big believer in "traveling through cooking" and it was off to the Caribbean with these recipes, she was kind enough to write down all the ingredients so I could share them with you! Click on the titles or images to download the printable recipes.

Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Tropical Salsa

pork tenderloin tropical salsa


Tropical Salsa for Pork Tenderloin

tropical salsa


You like fries with creamy dip? You’ll love this exotic variation!

Roasted Caribbean Sweet Potato Fries with Mango Dipping Sauce

caribean sweet potato fries with mango dipping sauce

Frankly I’ve never had better sweet potatoes than these! You’ll know what I mean if you recreate them. They have a tangy sweetness that is so delicious, I couldn’t stop eating them!

Here is her spinach salad with crumbled bacon, mandarin oranges, chopped macadamia nuts, and (optional) red onion that she later tossed with a papaya seed dressing.

Spinach Salad with Papaya Seed Dressing

spinach salad


This rum punch will put you in the best mood. Mixed tropical juices with Sprite and a dash of Captain Morgan’s, you’ll want more than one glass!

Flamingo Rum Punch

flamingo rum punch

It was a delightful feast with tropical flavors enjoyed poolside, I always loved my mom’s cooking and this was another favorite meal! 

live better

This post sponsored by Better Homes and Gardens products at Walmart. All opinions are my own. Catch up with the BHG Live Better on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram.

Porch Upgrades + Outdoor Benches

Monday, March 2nd, 2015

Now that it’s March, spring is on its way and at this time of year I start thinking about sprucing up outdoors spaces. As you know, we bought a house in Las Vegas last year that we’re remodeling, it’s in an older subdivision neighborhood and it has a modest entry.

What was on the front porch before was oh so boring: a brown front door and plastic bench left by the previous owner. For months I left it as is but on my most recent visit, I gave it a mini makeover by painting the front door and swapping out the old bench for something more stately and stylish.

porch side view copy

Here’s a peek at the entry before, very blah and uninspiring.

front door before

Fresh paint, new bronze hardware on the door, a geometric print outdoor rug, and desert climate plants helped make it more welcoming.

painted front door black bench on porch

I painted the front door with exterior paint in a bluish green, it’s ‘Northern Green Mountain’ by Glidden in the Exterior formula, I shared the step by step on how to paint a front door here. The geometric indoor/outdoor rug is from Overstock.

northern green mountain paint

The front door handle/lock is the aged bronze Addison model by Schlage. All of the new doorknobs inside the home are oil rubbed bronze so we continued the look with the same dark hardware here.

northern green mountain paint front door

The bench on this porch is the Amalfi available at Grandinroad in several colors (and on sale). I love the curved detail in the back and the sophisticated black finish which complements the dark hardware on the door.

amalfi bench

If you’re thinking of a front entry sprucing of your own, consider one of these outdoor benches in shapely and colorful styles.

modern outdoor benches

rockpoint blue / white lattice / chippendale bench (multiple colors) / black curved back / red back slat / karoo gray / sunny yellow / eucalyptus

Hooray for spring, it’s almost here!