Monday, February 27, 2017

Some Pretty Dresses

 

 

I did manage to see two of the Oscar nominated movies this year, so that was a win for me. I loved both LaLa Land and Hidden Figures, so any of their wins made the show a little more interesting this year. It seems that I really must see Moonlight. Jimmy Kimmel was pretty good, despite bringing too much political commentary into the night, but that was expected. He did move the show along and brought some humor ( loved the candy dropping from the ceiling) into the terribly boring middle section, during all the technical awards. Of course it is the end and the last few awards that everyone stays awake for and what an ending it was. I actually said out loud, "What is happening?" You can't help but feel bad for all concerned; the LaLa cast who had the Oscars in their hands, the Moonlight cast who were rushed through the awkwardness and the presenters who made the mistake.

But, beyond those moments, there were a lot of pretty dresses and some wins for some ladies who have not had a great award season when it comes to fashion. Nicole Kidman looked beautiful and that has not been the case lately. To me she finally went with pretty, rather than trying too hard to be fashionable. Here are some of my favorite looks, including hair and makeup. My favorite of the night - Kirsten Dunst. I have never seen her look so glamorous.

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Monday!

 

Friday, February 24, 2017

The UK Detectives

 

 

 

One of my favorite genre of books are detective (police procedurals) novels. And if the story is set in England, all the better. I love figuring out the detective's rank (DS versus DI versus DCI), the different vernacular and the descriptions of the English countryside or London neighborhoods. There are both female and male detective's on my favorites list, but if I am honest, it is the females I prefer. I find their attitude and choice of career so interesting and love reading about how they navigate working in a predominantly male environment. Some of them are flawed, but they are usually written as very smart and very strong willed.

There are many, many detective series out there and one of my favorite things is to stumble upon a new to me series, that I can read in order; the more books in the series the better. I find recommendations in all kinds of places (other bloggers can be a great source), but usually find something new by browsing Amazon. I have listed below my favorites and noted the main character. I have also linked to the first book in the series.

Happy reading!

 

 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Busy Weekend

 

 

It was a successful and busy weekend all around with many, many house showings. More details on that and what's next later. We had to be out of the house for hours on end and with my puppy along for the ride, there is only so much you can do. Luckily, Melissa was able to pet sit at her apartment on Saturday and Sunday, so we were able to go out and have some fun.

 

 

On Saturday, we headed to East Lansing and MSU's campus for lunch and margaritas at our favorite Mexican restaurant. Since in was such a beautiful day and we had time to kill, we walked around campus and even stopped at the MSU Dairy Store for some delicious ice cream made from MSU dairy cows. Walking on campus brings back such good memories of our college days and when we first started dating.

 

 

We had to be out of the house again on Sunday, so we went to an early movie and were practically the only people in the movie theater. After the movie, we stopped at home for a bit, then headed back out to join some friends at a bar for a big band concert that was just fabulous. It had an informal feel, with the singers performing, then joining the crowd for a drink at the bar when they were done. It's a great neighborhood Irish bar and we hope to head back for St. Patrick's Day.

It's a stressful time, but we definitely made the most of it. We turned a busy weekend, into a fun weekend.

Happy Tuesday!

 

Friday, February 17, 2017

I Will Miss This

 

 

 

This picture perfectly embodies my book club and what I will miss when I move. We gather around a table each month for a lovely meal prepared by our hostess. There are always special touches, such as a beautiful centerpiece or place settings thoughtfully put together to create just the right ambience. There is always wine and there is always great conversation.

There were a lot of mentions this time about my impending move and how it will be a sad occasion. Many have already downsized and moved, but locally. I will be the first in the group to move to another state. We have been together as a group for over ten years and have been there for each other in big and small ways. We are much more than a book club at this point. I know I will find a book club in Florida, but will miss the long term connection and the depth of feeling that comes with it. We know each other's struggles without having to explain and we know that we will be there for each other during the hard days. We all need our girlfriends and these ladies are truly the best.


 

P.S. We did also discuss a book over the best chocolate cake with mocha frosting I have ever eaten. Our book this month, Brain On Fire, a memoir by Susannah Cahalan, was a facinating read and a real life medical mystery. The author, a twenty four year old, healthy journalist had her life suddenly turned upside down as doctors struggled to determine if her symptoms were severe mental illness or if there was a physical problem with her brain.

Have a wonderful weekend! The next few days will be filled with house showings, so a lot of time will be spent staying away from home and finding something to keep us occupied. Another step closer to Florida.

 

Monday, February 13, 2017

White Chicken Chili - Recipe Redo

 

 

 

We are on a roller coaster of weather this winter here in Michigan, with very little snow and temperatures even climbing into the fourties on some days. But, even without the snow, we still have experienced our usual cold days where a warming dish like chili is very welcome.

This recipe is one I have only made a few times, because I tend to forget about how quick and easy it is to put together. The flavor is delicious and the thing I love most about it is the light and fresh taste. The green onions sprinkled on top are the perfect garnish too.

The recipe calls for rotisserie chicken and that makes things easy, but I always poach my chicken breasts and that takes very little time as well. This is one you will want to try before winter is over. My original post and recipe can be found here.

Happy Monday!

 

{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

Stonegable

Rattlebridge Farm

Momfessionals

 

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Back to My Yoga Mat




We are very close to the house officially being on the market and there are a lot of thoughts and questions swirling around in my head. As we get closer to selling, I'm feeling the immediacy of the move and wondering how all the plans will shake out. How fast will the house sell, where will we go if the sale goes through before our new house in Florida is ready (likely), all the packing required - you know, those kinds of questions.
I'm being drawn back to my yoga mat to help bring a sense of calm, in the middle of all the change. For that 30 minutes that I practice yoga, my breathing slows, my mind becomes clear and life slows down. There is soothing music and the instructor's calming voice. On gloomy days, I light a candle or two, which adds to the calm atmosphere. And, once done, the feeling lingers. The pace of my day is just a little more relaxed and my mind and body feel in tune.
Because of my diabetes, I fight mightily to avoid stress, but it's not always possible. Especially when you are in the middle of a move. Yoga for me, is the best medicine I have found.
Happy Wednesday!

Friday, February 3, 2017

Cranberry Apple Crockpot Oatmeal

 

 

 

A cold morning and hot oatmeal is really the perfect combination. Here in Michigan, we are back in a big chill with single digit temperatures and what a great decision is was to put this delicious oatmeal recipe in my crockpot last night, before going to sleep. When I walked in my kitchen this morning, the scents of cinnamon, apples and cranberries let me know I was in for a special treat.

After cooking all night on the low setting, the oatmeal was soft, creamy and perfect with a splash of milk. The fresh cranberries and apple chunks were abundant in every bite and so much better than the dried fruit that comes in instant oatmeal packets.

This took maybe five minutes to put together last night and I will definately be adding this to my oatmeal loving repertoire. I think it would be delicious with almost any kind of fruit too; blueberries, peaches, plums, whatever you have on hand really - fresh or frozen. And, the best part - there is plenty left over to warm up and enjoy over the weekend.

 

Cranberry Apple Crockpot Oatmeal

 

4 cups water

2 cups old fashioned oats

1 cup cranberries ( I used fresh, but dried would work equally well)

2 apples, peeled and diced

1/4 cup brown sugar ( I used Splenda brown sugar)

2 T butter

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

 

Spray a crockpot generously with cooking spray. Add all ingredients. Stir to combine. Cook on low setting overnight ( 6 hours is perfect, so if your crockpot has a timer, set for 6 hours, then leave on warm until you are up and ready to eat). Fluff with spoon before serving. Enjoy!

Have a wonderful weekend!

 

{Linking with these friends}

French Country Cottage

A Stroll Thru Life

Savvy Southern Style

The Charm of Home

Have a Daily Cup

Between Naps on the Porch

Skip To My Lou

Craftberry Bush

21 Rosemary Lane

Stonegable

Rattlebridge Farm

Momfessionals

 

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