Friday Faves – Dian Malouf, Part 2.


In the Spring of 2006, I found a little box in my mail.  I opened it to find a beautiful silver ring with the Alamo on the square front of the ring.  I didn’t order it.  There was no card inside the box.  I was stumped.  I called my friend Lana to see if she had sent it.  Nope.  I asked Lana’s mom if it came from her.  No way.  I knew Big J wouldn’t send something like that to me. 

I finally discovered that it came from the Dian Malouf office.  Since first buying my Go Girl ring in 1999, I had corresponded and talked by phone to Dian, her daughter, and the Malouf office staff.  In one note, written a year before, I said I had just begun working on my research for mysidealamocr application for the Daughters of the Republic of Texas (no comments that I am STILL working on that), so it was known that I have a great love for the Alamo.  I LOVE wearing the ring and have gotten so many compliments and comments through the years.

I want to be Dian Malouf when I grow up!  When I’m discussing the Go Girl ring and her other jewelry, I describe Dian as a Renaissance woman.  She designs jewelry, writes books, takes photographs.  She grew up in South Texas near the Mexican border.  Combining that upbringing and love of the area, she authored two books about the ranchers and families who settled and care for that region.  Not only did she get those ranchers to talk to a woman, she convinced themto let her take their pictures.  The photographs in the books are hers.  I mean, her recorded interviews are in the collections in the Archives of Women of the Southwest at SMU.  How cool is that! 

           Her jewelry is so distinctive.
  diamond1My good friend JBM wears Dian’s jewelry and she said the jewelry is easily identifiable by others when she is wearing it.  Dian mixes silver, gold and beautiful gems or stones, finding inspiration in nature, the environment, different cultures, animals, history.  She really has something for everyone, from the sedate to the outrageous sublime.   All of her jewelry is made in America – that’s important to her. spring

She’s covered everyone with her endearings jewelry.  She took the Go Girl ring design and added new wording.  See if you find yourself in this list:
           baby                                                                                  bonita
                                      chula                                                                    cowgirl
                      darling                                diva
                                                         honey                            girlfriend
    madre                          mamacita                      mimi
                                 mom                                                                                               nana
                        princess                                         sister
To really set off the ring, ring guards with pink, green, blue and purple stones are available to frame your ring. 

The Dian Malouf website recently did something really nice.  They posted on the site that they were going to give away one Go Girl ring a month for 3 months and they did.  I got to read a couple of the thank you emails from those who received the rings and they were so thrilled and touched that Dian’s office helped them.  I hope you will find an opportunity to own a piece of Dian’s jewelry or read one of her books.  On the website you can find dates for trunk shows and stores that carry the jewelry line.

Well, I guess you have gotten the message that the Maloufs are one of my favs – Friday or any other day. Hope they will soon be one of your favorites also!



All photographs and writing property of LoneStarLifer. 2009.


Friday Faves – I Heart Royers Round Top Cafe


I’m trying to find my blog rhythm, so I’ve designated Fridays as the day to discuss the things in life that bring me pleasure.  Last week I discussed Cherry Mash and had some nice comments.  Today I will be revealing my next fav to you:

Royers Round Top Cafe in Round Top, Texas (pop 87).

Royers at night

Royers at night

Royers is a nice drive from Houston, Austin, or San Antonio,  a great central meeting spot.  20 or so minutes out of Brenham.  Do you know where Carmine is?  It’s near there.

Anyway, the Royer family is an interesting mix of 2 parents, 3 sons, 3 daughters-in-law, 1 daughter, 1 son-in-law, 2 granddaughters, 2 grandsons.  They are creative, inventive, hard-working, entrepreneuial, generous, outgoing, and very good foodies.  Really good. Worth the drive kind of food. They may be out in the middle of nowhere but their food is out of this world!  I have a standard order: tender melt-in-your-mouth pork tenderloin, covered with a peach and pepper glaze.  Placed beside that bit of perfection is mashed potato casserole and creamed corn (the BEST).  Big J is partial to their quail or steak.  If he can’t decide what he wants, he gets the L.I.T.S. (Life is Too Short) plate: Angus Pasta, pork tenderloin and quail.  Can’t miss with that.  Rolls paired with herbed butter or apple butter round out the meal.

pies Except you have to leave room for PIE.    pies2

P.I.E.  pie. Pie.  PIE. cake. PIE PIE PIE!!!!  Royers is famous for their pies with a fabulous crust.  My fav is pecan.  Running a close second is the buttermilk delight, buttermilk filling with pecans, chocolate chips and pecans.  Like fruit pies?  Try their apple, peach, cherry or strawberry-rhubarb.  Their best-seller is probably the chocolate chip pie – like a warm, huge, delicious chocolate chip cookie with ice cream on top.  You can have butterscotch chip if you’d rather.  Not into pie? (Who ARE you?)  They have a great BIG Sin-namon roll or bread pudding.

Food is only part of the Royers experience.  The cafe is cozy and eclectic and there is 60’s music to keep the place hopping all day.  You can sit on the porch and help yourself (on the honor system) to soda, beer, wine.  The cafe faces the square in the center of town and often times there are interesting people or events to watch from the porch.  I’ve seen bikers, Corvette fans, artists, antiquers, family reunions as I while away some time on the porch.



You will be greeted by the family patriarch, Bud.  He’ll get you seated or take your name if there is a wait.  He’s the cafe’s traffic director on the weekends.  But that’s not all.  He bought the cafe back in 1987 and worked hard to grow it into the familiar name it is now.  These days he concentrates on the marketing, branding, catering and promoting the online ordering.   His wife, Dr. Karen, works with Crossroads Counseling in Austin.  She also has studied how creativity adds to your life, helping people to  “Live Life Deep and Wide”.   Daughter Tara runs the day-to-day of the cafe, and her husband Rick directs the kitchen (among many things).  Sons Micah and Todd have full-time jobs but can be found working at the cafe some weekends.  Son JB is in the process of moving to Brenham to be with Tara in the running of the cafe. **My apologies to the Royer family if  I didn’t get this exactly right.

Tara and Karen

Tara and Karen

As I said, food is part of the story.  Getting to know the Royer family and feeling like you are walking into “home” when you come to the cafe is the other part of the story.  Royers has a loyal, loyal client base and they come for more than just the food.  There’s a mood of community when you are sitting close with other folks, enjoying food that satisfies so many senses, hearing laughter and conversations flying everywhere, seeing the Royers sitting at tables catching up with their long-time customers who have become friends.

Todd, Rick, baby Brayden

Todd, Rick, baby Brayden

Stay tuned for Part 2 of  I Heart Royers Round Top Cafe to read how I became attached to this clan.   Next week’s Friday Fav!  Till then, try not to drool on the keyboard when you browse thru these pictures I’ve taken at different Royers events.

P.S. If you are in Timbuktu or New York City, you can order a pie and have it shipped to you.  WHAT A TREAT!!!!


All photographs and writing property of LoneStarLifer. 2009.

I Heart Cherry Mash.

As I get older, my tastes get simpler.  It really takes little to make me happy.  I have a few things in life that bring me real pleasure.
Cherry Mash is one of those things.
Be still my beating heart

Be still my beating heart

Cherry Mash was a candy I had in my youth growing up in West Texas.  It has a cherry center – not like a chocolate covered cherry runny center – like cherry chips mashed up and rolled together.  Then it is dipped in chocolate and rolled in crushed peanuts.  Cherry is one of my absolute favorite flavors: cherry cobbler with ice cream, cherry pie with ice cream, maraschino cherry ice cream, chocolate covered cherries, Cherry Mash.

Since I moved to Southeast Texas in the mid-80’s, the Cherry Mash has played coy and hard-to-get.  I can’t find them out here.  When I stop at a convenience story anywhere I always check the candy aisle.  Maybe there is a stray box sitting somewhere.  I drive to West Texas to see family and know of two places that always have them; convenience stores in Robert Lee and Comanche, depending on which route I take.  Two of my best friends, PW and  BC also love Cherry Mash, so I have to pick up several when I find them.  BC lives just a few minutes from me, PW lives far away and I send a care package to her.  When BC and I travel together, we scour the candy aisles together.  Once on our way towards San Antonio, we found a box and bought the entire box!  If you’d been standing outside the store and heard our squeals, you would have thought we were two teenage girls who just won Hannah Montana tickets on the radio.

Well, my co-worker PB came into my office recently and placed a Spec’s Liquor sack on my desk.  Alcohol during work hours?  No, even better!!!!  She found Cherry Mash at Spec’s!  Here in Southeast Texas!  Less than 300 miles from my pantry!!! Less than 30 miles.  The clerk told PB that he had been selling the heck out of those, but didn’t know what they were. I have reveled in them, savored them, put some in the mail to PW,  shared them with BC.

But that’s it.  I can’t afford to let any more out of my sight.    So don’t ask.  I don’t have a spare to share.

Here are a couple of Cherry Mash recipes on the label.  They sound good on this hot, hot, hot day.

Cherry Mash Milkshake
Put in blender: One Cherry Mash cut in small pieces. Three fourths cup cold milk.  Two scoops vanilla ice cream. Chocolate syrup to taste. Blend and enjoy!

Cherry Mash Sundae
Melt two Cherry Mash bars with two tablespoons milk.  While still warm pour over vanilla ice cream.  Serves one five to six.

I know you are holding your breath until I reveal my next favorite thing.
I’m off to the store to buy a gallon of vanilla ice-cream. 

Hands Off!!

Hands Off!!

Peace to all. P

All photographs and writing property of LoneStarLifer. 2009.