Thursday, June 22, 2017

Summer Reading List



It's always a difficult choice. Do I love to read in the summer when on the beach or at the pool? Or do I really prefer winter reading, with a cozy blanket and a cup of tea. Both have their charms and since I am now living in Florida with nice weather all the time, I need to have a book list that will be perfect pool side reading all year long. My summer reading list is filled with some new authors, but many are some of my favorites as well. There is a new book by Lisa See, a follow up to an author who's first book I enjoyed (The Widow), historical fiction (My Name Is Resolute) and several new crime series offerings ( Sue Grafton!) with characters who are old friends at this point.

Happy Reading!






DC Maeve Kerrigan Series


PI Sharon McCone Series


PI Kinsey Milhone Series


Police Chief Kate Burkholder Series


British Special Agent Maggie Hope Series


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Technical Difficulties



Yes, my blog looks a little different today! It looks like the host my blog designer uses to store her designs is having some kind of issue that has replaced all my headers. I'm trying to get in touch with her, but I don't think she is designing blogs at this point, so who knows. Any recommendations for a good blog designer?

Update: Fixed by My Fairy Blogmother


Monday, June 19, 2017

A Sunny Saturday Morning







The sun was out, the top was down on the car and in order to beat the heat, we headed out early Saturday morning for a little exploring. Our first stop was for breakfast at a place that will probably become our regular breakfast spot. I love going out for breakfast, so I am happy to have found a place that compares to my favorite in Michigan. For the second time, I ordered their special plate of sautéed red skin potatoes and veggies topped with eggs. So good.

After breakfast we headed to downtown Venice for the Farmer's Market on one street and a small craft fair on another street. We were looking for some sort of metal art piece to hang on the wall of our lanai and found exactly was we were looking for; colorful and perfect for Florida. If you have been here, you know there are gecko lizards in abundance.

Because it was so beautiful and still early, we drove to Venice's South Jetty and took a stroll down the rocks to feel the gulf breezes and watch the fisherman. The water is so beautifully blue here. What a perfect way to spend a Saturday morning.

Happy Monday! I'm off to try the yoga class at our clubhouse and hopefully meet some more neighbors :-)


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Shrimp Scampi Pasta with Asparagus {Pinterest Success 45}




It has been so long since I posted a recipe, but not having your own kitchen really does not inspire any kind of culinary creativity. For the first meal I cooked in our new house, I really wanted something fresh and with a Florida twist. The grocery store had some amazing, fresh Florida pink shrimp that I knew would make this recipe something special. We really enjoyed the garlic flavor of this dish, along with the fresh seafood and the slightly crunchy perfectly cooked asparagus. It took me no time at all to put this together (once I peeled the shrimp) and it's basically a one pan dish. The only change I made, was the addition of about 1/2 cup of white wine at the very end. The original pin and recipe can be found here.



P.S. This was my after dinner view tonight following a late evening thunderstorm. I am getting used to living in paradise :-)

Happy Thursday!


{Linking with these friends}

French Country Cottage

A Stroll Thru Life

Savvy Southern Style

Have a Daily Cup

Between Naps on the Porch

Skip To My Lou

Craftberry Bush

21 Rosemary Lane


Rattlebridge Farm


Monday, June 12, 2017

Best of the Weekend




I'm still working on the house, but trying to also get out and do some fun things and try to start to feel like life is getting back to normal. Friday afternoon, after hanging some art on the walls, I packed up my bag and walked to the pool for a couple of hours. It was a perfect day; sunny and a little breezy, but great for jumping in the pool to cool off. I'm trying to pace myself in the sun and always wear sunscreen and a hat, because this light skinned girl will get burned very easily in the hot Florida sun. Later, I even cooked dinner for the first time in my new kitchen and I'll share the recipe this week.




Saturday, the weather was very rainy, but we had dinner plans with friends in town from Michigan and we just grabbed an umbrella and made the best of it. We had to eat inside, but still had a great time catching up. We anticipate quite a few friends calling us to make plans when they visit Florida. St. Armands Circle on Longboat Key is a great place to enjoy a night out.



There was more heavy rain on Sunday, which delayed my flower planting plans, but I went shopping instead and found some pillows and other things I still need to pull everything together. It will be a process and you will get a peek every now and then until I can show you a complete room.

Happy Monday!


Thursday, June 8, 2017

All Moved In




The moving truck came on Saturday and it has been a whirlwind of a week since then, but I unpacked the last boxes yesterday morning and it feels really good to be finally in our new home. Because we downsized so much, I have found space for everything even though we went from a two story house with a finished basement to everything on one floor. But, we have large walk in closets in every bedroom, a really large walk in pantry and an extended garage for extra storage space. We even have room to spare, believe it or not. When the boxes started coming into the house and I started to unpack things that I thought were important to me and that would fit with Florida decor, I realized quickly that another trip to Goodwill would be in order. Everything just needs to be lighter, brighter and more colorful. It will be fun to find just the right things to make it all feel like a Florida home.

There is still a lot to do, but since it is a new house, there are really just finishing details that we can accomplish over time. Next week a handyman is coming to install ship lap on a wall in the dining area and install the remaining ceiling fans we need. I need to find a rug for the living room and decorate the guest bathroom. I need colorful pillows and bits and pieces of beachy decor that I can find in all the cute little shops in downtown Venice. And, in the next few days (if it ever stops raining) I hope to fill some pots with colorful flowers. I am itching to discover what kinds of flowers I will find at the plant store.

The photo is just a hint of some of the new things we have found and as the rooms are finished, I will post more photos. Now that life is a little more back to normal, I hope to start posting on a more regular basis. I miss writing about all the little, day to day happenings that this blog is about. Thanks for hanging in there with me as my life took a huge u turn. It will be fun to bring you along on my Florida experiences.

Happy Thursday!


Thursday, June 1, 2017

Beach Adventures






While we are waiting for the moving truck to arrive, we have been exploring some of the different beaches in our new area. One of the reasons we picked Venice, is its close proximity to the gulf beaches, including free and easy parking. We are also very close to the number one beach in the United States - Siesta Key.

The Sarasota area is full of tourists and we made the mistake of trying to go to Siesta Key on the Sunday of Memorial weekend. After driving around and learning about the area for a future visit, we gave up on finding parking and headed south to a beautiful beach on the tip of Casey Key, planted our beach chairs and had a relaxing afternoon. We even saw dolphins swimming close to shore. We decided that the next time we attempt Siesta Key, it will be earlier in the day and may involve mimosas.

One of the things we will enjoy the most is heading to the beach for sunset with just our beach chairs and a cooler with wine and beer. We found the perfect beach for this in Caspersen Beach, at the very tip of Venice Island. It feels remote and even a little like Hawaii, with a rocky shore and palm trees lining the sand. I've never seen a beach like it in Florida, but I think it may become my favorite. It is also full of seashells and shark's teeth if you want to wander, rather than sit.

Life in Florida is good so far.


Thursday, May 25, 2017

Greetings From Florida






This post is coming to you from Florida and I couldn't be happier. Of course, I miss Michigan, my daughters, all my friends and everything familiar and I will always be a Midwestern girl at heart, but there is something about Florida that is stealing my heart too.

We have been busy, but have made time for some fun too. We tried the dog beach and my puppy hated it with a burning passion, but will try again when the surf is a little calmer. We have enjoyed lunch sitting outside as much as possible and in spite of the heat, with shade and ceiling fans going, it really quite comfortable. Today we went to a beachside restaurant and with a strong gulf wind blowing and the waves crashing, it was really a wonderful and relaxing way to spend the afternoon.

Yesterday was spent furniture shopping and we found some great things. We will have a neutral base with added color; turquoise, greens and blues. It was a bold choice for this northern girl, but my kitchen bar stools are a pretty blue-green shade and I love everything about them in my all white kitchen. We close on Friday and new furniture deliveries start coming that same day. Unfortunately, the moving compsny gave us a delivery date later than we hoped and since we need to move out of our rental, we will be camping out in the new house one or two nights. We could move into a hotel, but frankly, just want to be finally at home. Luckily, a new king size bed is one of the things we purchased here.

I'll keep you posted when I can.


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Life Lately




Mother's Day was just lovely. I very much missed Megan, but got a sweet phone call and it was enough for now, to hear her voice across the miles. Melissa and my husband went out of their way to make me feel special with gifts and a delicious brunch in one of my favorite metro Detroit cities, Birmingham. My Bloody Mary was perfect (not too spicy) and on the buffet was the most delicious apple, blueberry baked French Toast, served with whipped cream. After brunch, Melissa and I had pedicures and I loved spending precious time with her.



Our sweet friends that we will miss dearly, hosted a going away party for us on Saturday night and it was just perfect. So many people we love were there and the hosts went out of their way with incredible food and decor. They served two of my favorite desserts, with both cheesecake and key lime pie on the pretty dessert table. It was so hard to say goodbye, but we know the distance will not matter in the least.



This is the latest photo of my new kitchen in Florida and as you can see everything is pretty much ready to go. We will be driving there at the end of the week and doing a walk through on Monday. My next post will be from sunny Florida! (Are you following me on Instagram? I will try to post a bit as we travel to Florida.)

Finally, we are very much in the midst of wedding planning and the texts, emails and phone calls are coming fast and furious between Megan in Pittsburgh, the wedding location and her fiance's parents in Grand Rapids and my husband and I here. We have a date, a venue, the priest that Megan grew up with and is so special to us and we are working on finalizing the church. We are all so excited and I love all Megan and Adam's choices so far.

Happy Wednesday!


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Some Favorites



As I reside in this in between time, there is really not a lot that I need to do, besides a few errands here and there. I am basically recharging after the busyness of moving out of our house and reserving my energy for the Florida move in. I have been catching up on favorite television shows, discovering new shows and reading some good books. Here are a few of my favorites.


Home Fires (PBS)

Unfortunately this is the final season, but I highly recommend this quiet little show about life in a small English village during World War II.


Call The Midwife (PBS)

This is another great season of this touching series that in my opinion, keeps getting better every year. They are now deep in the 1960's and the cultural references are so interesting.


Southern Charm (Bravo)

I definitely have Real Housewife fatigue and only watch a couple of the shows anymore, but I do love Southern Charm and its peek into the Charleston social scene.


Beauty and The Beast

I was pleased to finally see this movie and actually be pretty happy with how it was adapted. Was it only me or were others (Downton Abbey fans) wishing we could see more of Dan Steven's handsome face :-)


The Second Mrs Hockaday

I stumbled across this Civil War historical novel on Amazon and it became one of my favorites this year. It is written in a series of letters and it's one where you know something bad happened, but don't discover until the end what that is. I found it to be a real page turner.

Happy Wednesday!


Friday, May 5, 2017

Fashion Friday - Finds for Florida



My wardrobe right now consists of one half winter clothes like wool skirts, boots and dark colors. I am positive that will change one I get used to living in Florida. I will end up keeping a few things for when we travel back to Michigan in the winter for the holidays, but the majority of my closet will change to sundresses, sandals and bright, fun colors. The goal will be to be as cool as possible on those hot, muggy days and I love throwing on a sundress and some cute sandals or flip flops. To me, it's comfortable and and easy to put together a polished look. I think that the Lilly Pulitizer store will become my favorite spot.

Here are some Florida finds I have been saving to my favorites list.


Barbara Gerwit


Barbara Gerwit




Tory Burch - Nordstrom


Lilly Pulitzer


Lilly Pulitizer


Cover Up - Modcloth


J Crew


Lilly Pulitizer


Kendra Scott - Nordstrom


Have a wonderful weekend!


Tuesday, May 2, 2017

In Between




It is a very strange time in my life right now. I am in between two things and I feel unsettled to say the least. We are living in a small rental condo and while it is very nice and even has private outdoor space (and a blooming lilac tree), it feels temporary and it isn't home. I am counting the days until we get to Florida and finally move into our new house, but am also dreading saying goodbye to everything here. I know everything will be fine in the end, but getting there is bringing up emotions I would like to get past.

This is the time of year when I would be thinking about planting flowers at the end of the month and watching my established flower gardens coming alive after the long winter. But, in this in between time, there is no need to wander the aisles of my neighborhood greenhouse and I will miss that. The bright side of my Florida house and gardening there is that I will be able to have year round flowers; not just in the summer and many new more tropical varieties to try.

These last few weeks will be busy with final arrangements, appointments and goodbye dinners and even a party. There is a lot to keep me busy and I'm concentrating on moving forward rather than looking back. The beach and a new life is so close. Yet, it feels so far when you are waiting.

Happy Tuesday!


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Another Goodbye





It seems to be a parade of goodbyes lately and it hasn't been easy at all. My neighborhood Bunco group met on Friday and since it was my last time, they were so thoughtful and sweet to commemorate the occasion with cake and a lovely gift.

I have been in this group for 21 years. That is a lot of rolls of those dice. Members have come and gone over the years and I still haven't wrapped my mind around the fact that now I am the one that is leaving. I had to drive there, rather than walk down the street. And, I had to pass by my old house which is also strange.

The memories come fast when I am with these women. There are memories of playgroups, carpools and many days outside chatting while our children played in each other's driveways. Memories of birthday parties, backyard barbecues and 4th of July Fireworks in the street. And, memories of a group of neighbors that were always there for each other. Goodbye Glengrove Drive - I'll miss you.

Happy Tuesday!


Friday, April 21, 2017

A Born To Run Book Club






This was a book club all about Bruce and it was such a fun night. One of our members is a huge Bruce Springsteen fan and she really wanted us to read his autobiography, Born To Run. And, she went all out on bringing the rock and roll atmosphere to us, with all the Bruce Springsteen memorabilia she has collected over the years. She showed us her favorite album covers, concert t shirts and precious photos of concert memories. She really is the cutest when she talks about her love for Bruce. We discussed the book with a concert playing in the background and we all agreed it was an interesting and well written story and we enjoyed learning about his life.

I must mention our wonderful dinner, pre book discussion. Our hostess served lemon chicken, a salad with kale, cabbage and cranberries, fresh asparagus and a wild rice dish with brussel sprouts, sliced almonds and Gouda cheese that was absolutely delicious.

And, to top off the evening, there was a surprise for me. I will be going to one more book club, but my wonderful friends surprised me with a going away gift and my favorite dessert. While enjoying strawberry topped cheesecake, I opened their lovely gift that I will always treasure. They gave me a Pandora bracelet with a state of Michigan charm, as well as an additional book charm to symbolize our years together at book club. A few tears were shed and lovely words were shared about how they will miss me. I really hate goodbyes, but we all agreed that a yearly book club get together in Florida is going to happen.

Have a wonderful weekend!


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