Travel Diary: Lightening My Load

My name is Jennie, and I’m an over-packer.

I’m the person in the line at the airline check-in desk sweating bullets, hoping beyond hope that the airline scale is the same as mine at home and that my suitcase doesn’t weigh more than 50 pounds. I’m a mess when it comes to packing. I just can’t say no to anything that jumps in my suitcase. I’m also the person who had to pay $75 in excess baggage fees to bring my treasures home from France.

I’m determined to send my over-packer-self packing. Continue reading

Appetizer Tray Using Grandma’s Silver

I’ve been thinking about rebranding my blog. A lot of thinking and rethinking. Then Kim at Curtain Queen Creates commented on the name of one of my former blogs and I went back to look at my posts there. It was like going through a closet full of old but beloved clothing. I really don’t want to throw out the old posts, so I decided to repost them here for the time being. Don’t be surprised by the various names on the photos — those are some of my older blog names.

And if there’s a name you really like, let me know. Maybe I’ll rebrand by using an old name — isn’t that the prerogative of a woman of a certain age?

Reblogged from February 20, 2013

Sometimes the simplest things are the best.IMG_7218B

Slap some baby carrots and whatever veggies you have in the house in some bowls or ramekins and add some purchased guacamole. Put them on Grandma’s silver platter (or your thrift shop treasure) and Voila! You have a healthy appetizer for the family as they wait for dinner to be ready. Or a snack if a friend drops by. There is no end to what you can do to make a party with a piece of silver.

There’s no reason not to use your silver. Every day.

GotMyReservations Coffee Thank You Sign Off

Pity Party and Plans for the Future

Sometimes it takes a pity party to reboot your life.

In the last month or so, the following things have happened to me, and they resulted in my spending a lot of solitary and moody time on the couch reading and watching movies and television.

  • My son told me that I was never going to get anywhere with my blog if I didn’t focus my topic. He’s a social media expert, so I imagine he is probably correct.
  • My physical therapist told me that my knee probably isn’t going to get much better and that I’m going to have limitations with my range of motion in my surgical knee no matter how much I exercise it.
  • I realized that wearing a Fitbit has positive and negative aspects. On one hand, I love the documentation of one’s life because I’m a born and bred social historian. On the other hand, the Fitbit also hands up my failures on a social media platform for me and my Fitbit friends to see.
  • I blew up at a party when a friend made a political “joke” that hit a nerve.
  • A dear friend told me that I have to get off social media and stop worrying about what other people think – including the comments sections of political posts on Facebook. I encounter so much hatred and ignorance that it makes me frustrated, and resulted in my rude behavior on Easter.
  • I missed seeing two annual flower shows that I love because I really didn’t have anyone to go with. My friends are all busy and interesting people with their own lives and it’s very hard to schedule activities together. Having active lives should be a good thing, but not if I have to wait to do something because we can’t schedule a time.
  • I read three books with bloggers as the primary characters. They were well written and the authors clearly had knowledge of the blogging world, but it made me look at blogging success through different eyes.

So, I’m declaring the pity party to be over, and this is what I’m doing to change my perspective. Continue reading

Getting Back My Blogging Mojo and Spring in My Step

I spent the morning wandering around Pier One, Pottery Barn, and Crate and Barrel. I figured that if anything could perk up my dormant writing mojo, it would be Easter bunnies and pastel dishes.

Click into photo for source.

Click into photo for source.

Maybe I have some sort of seasonal affective disorder. Or maybe I’m just sick of Chicago’s whiplash weather. One minute it is 60 degrees and my tulips are coming up and the next minute there’s seven inches of heavy snow to be shoveled. Welcome to winters in the Midwest, I hear you saying. Get over it. Continue reading

Favorites of the Week

I’m back again with a bunch of totally disconnected bits and pieces that piqued my interest this week. I hope you have as much fun as I did!

Home decor
  • While looking for wire plate stands that hold more than one plate, I discovered this gorgeous plate holder at Bed Bath and Beyond. I don’t need it, but it’s beautiful and someone among my French decor friends must have to have it to complete her look!
Click into photo for source.

Click into photo for source.

Continue reading

Sideboard Love

I was very slow to take down my Christmas sideboard decor, as I loved it so much this year.

Angel Sideboard Got My ReservationsIt was TIME. Really. So out came the pink for Valentine’s Day.

Staffordshire Cup and Saucer Got My Reservations

Staffordshire Cup and Saucer

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Favorites of the Week

Sometimes I have things to share that are short and don’t really need a full blog post. My niece Jessie does a Saturday wrap-up post that I always enjoy, so I decided to try it myself. I hope you like my random thoughts. :)

Favorite photos

I joined a photography challenge called the 365 Project and have been posting photos daily. The point is to actually take photos every day and get some feedback to improve your photography. I have to admit that I’m not always perfect about posting that day’s photo. Sometimes I get nothing and resort to “filler” shots from previous days, but it’s my project and I can make my own rules. Right? Here’s a couple of my favorites from the last few weeks.

I have taken many photos of this little girl (with her parents’ permission, of course), and she’s always wary of the crazy camera lady. I thought this shot captured her wariness perfectly.

Click into photo to link to my 365 Project.

Click into photo to link to my 365 Project.

Continue reading

Book Talk: Tidying and Memorizing

Today I’m going to talk about a book and about a family story. The book made a real impact on me, and it cleared the way for me to memorialize a family story without keeping the artifact. That’s what this book is all about.

Tidying Up Book

Click into photo to connect to my Amazon Associates link.

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Foodie Friday: Union Sushi + Barbeque Bar

Here in Chicago we have many wonderful restaurants and it’s often hard to choose where to go for a special event. We had such a choice recently when our son and daughter-in-law were in town and we wanted to have a family dinner. When the Michelin Guide 2014 Recommended Union Sushi and Barbeque Bar popped up in the discussion, I was sold. It’s one of my all-time favorites.

Click into photo for source

Click into photo for source

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It’s Time for a Holiday Photo Op!

We’ve been really busy around here with holiday decorating, entertaining, and house guests. All that exciting activity meant that I didn’t have a whole lot of time for blogging, but I have a few photos to share as we go careening into 2015.

Got My Reservations -- Christmas Pudding

We enjoyed a traditional British Christmas pudding.

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