Thursday, May 16, 2019

Life Lately (Beach and Books)

Life lately or at least this week, has consisted of beaches and books.  We have entered the summer rainy season (a little early) in tropical southwest Florida and while we still have beautiful, sunny beach days, we also get periods of rain quite often, perfect for reading.

Mother's Day was hot and sunny and since I wasn't with my girls, I chose to spend the day at the beach; always a mood lifter.  Siesta Key beach was perfect as usual, but with a little more wild surf than normal and it's so relaxing listening to the waves crash.  We tried a new to us Mexican restaurant and though the food was good, the margaritas were not and since I'm always on the search for the perfect margarita, I don't think we will be back.

Tuesday night, after being rained out for golf in the afternoon,  I wanted some exercise and fresh air, so I went to sunset yoga on the beach.  It was cloudy and windy, so not much of a sunset, but the waves were really crashing and I loved it.  It's such a peaceful option at the end of the day and it makes me happy that I can jump in the car and be at the beach in minutes.

The two book covers shown are books that I have read lately and loved.  And, both were books that I did not expect to enjoy so much.  The Lost For Words Bookshop is quirky, dark, surprising and filled with literary references.  One Day in December is more of a chick lit book, but it has a lot of heart and the story keeps you guessing on how the inevitable outcome with occur.

Happy Thursday!

Friday, May 10, 2019

Friends Here and There

I'm a lucky girl in the friend department.  Example number one; when I was in Michigan, even though I was busy with family obligations, my friends still showed up on the one night I was free to get together.  Instead of going to a restaurant where it is hard to talk to everyone, one of my friends offered to host us at her home and it was perfect.  I could mingle, give lots of hugs and left to fly back to Florida feeling very loved.  I think that this particular group of friends has learned to hold on tight to each other, because we have history together.  These kinds of friendships take years to build and nurture and there is a shorthand when we see each other.  They know and love my kids and I know and love theirs.  We are there for each other; both in the good times and bad.  I may live miles away, but it really doesn't matter in the least.

Then there are the new friendships I have made here in Florida.  There are some wonderful women in my neighborhood who are fun, welcoming and supportive.  I have become close to many and look forward to our fledging friendships growing over the years.  We also have been so fortunate to have some good friends from Michigan, living here in Venice and they have introduced us to their circle of friends as well.

You wonder as an empty nester how easy it will be to make new friends without the element of children and schools in the mix.  I have found it to be possible, as long as you are willing to put yourself out there a bit.  Empty nesters are in the same stage of life and looking for like minded people, going through all the same life changes.  Change is what keeps us young and while I cling to old friendships, it is the new friendships and experiences that help make life interesting.

Have a wonderful weekend and Happy Mother's Day!

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Still in Michigan

My trip to Michigan is coming to an end and tonight I will be getting together with fifteen of my closest friends for a last bit of fun.  It has been a whirlwind and I am completely exhausted, but so thankful I was able to be here.

 The primary reason I came was to help clean out my childhood home and get it ready to be put on the market by this summer.  My parents moved to an assisted living facility last January and we decided to take some time to ease the transition for them.  But, it's overdue now.  It's been a huge job and there is still a lot to do, but I can fly back to Florida confident that I did my part.

I was also able to spend some time with Melissa before she flew out of town on another business trip and that made me so happy.  She has a new boyfriend (who I met for the first time) and I loved hearing all her happy and busy life news.  They took me out in Detroit on Saturday night and we had a lot of fun. We enjoyed a delicious sushi dinner, followed by a bit of bar hopping.  When I say Detroit has undergone a transformation, believe it.

Happy Wednesday and happy May!

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Good Friday Florida Style

The texts and photos were flying fast and furious on Good Friday, between our friends in Michigan and our group here in Florida.  For close to ten years we have all observed Good Friday as only Catholics would,  with food, faith and a bit of bar hopping.  Now that a few of us live in Florida, we have kept the tradition; just put a Florida spin on it.  Instead of a fish fry, we were eating fish tacos.  Instead of a Good Friday vigil, we attended Stations of the Cross.  And, instead of starting with Bloody Marys and pitchers of beer, we enjoyed a few Margaritas and Frozen Daquaris.

We intended to bar hop a bit more around Siesta Key Village, but a tropical storm blew through and luckily we had an inside table and just ordered another drink to wait things out.  We miss our big group of friends and loved seeing what they were up to via text, but are also happy to start new traditions.  (To see our Good Fridays through the years, just click on the faith label below)

Happy Thursday!

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Coastal Decor Updates - Florida House Tour

We are approaching 2 years in our new home, and have been very deliberate in adding decor.  We went with a neutral palate and have added pops of color, texture and a variety materials to give warmth and interest, all the while sticking to a coastal (not tropical) feel.  There is decor made of wood, glass and rope, as well as many natural elements like seashells and driftwood.  The colors are the many colors of the Gulf of Mexico; blue, green, aqua and turquoise.

I took photos yesterday of some of the additions since my last series of posts, right after we moved in.  (To see these posts, look under the Florida House Tour label).  The additions include a wicker side table for the sunny part of the lanai, a reclaimed wood shelf with a seashell inspired vignette, a rope inspired poof that lends so much texture, as well as being practical, a new large clock for the dining room, brightly colored wood buoys on top of the kitchen cabinets, new bedside lamps in the master bedroom and native plants including a magnolia tree, a snake plant and a bromeliad.

It's easy to keep adding, because in addition to Home Goods, there are many, many great shops with coastal decor and art fairs to browse almost every weekend.  But, slow and steady will keep our home simple and somewhat minimalist.  It's also very different from our Michigan home; light, bright and definately no doubt you are near the coast.

The next project is happening soon (crown molding in the master bath) and I will post photos when the room is complete.  Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Weekend in Pittsburgh

I had a lovely visit with our  newlyweds this past weekend and I miss them already.  Pittsburgh is such a fun city, with so many interesting and unique neighborhoods and even though I have been there several times, we always find a new place to explore.

This visit, we enjoyed a couple of fabulous brunch spots (Sewickley and the Strip District) that also included shopping.  My daughter cooked dinner one night, making a Lemon Basil Salmon that was so good.  We watched the MSU basketball game and my two favorite Wolverines were good sports, when the Spartans ultimately lost to Texas Tech.

But, perhaps the two best parts were all the catching up time with my daughter and meeting their new puppy.  She is a Cavapoo and sweet as can be. They are over the moon to welcome her to their life and there were lots of puppy kisses for me.

It was so good to see them and Pittsburgh too.  It's always good to remember that though it seems we are far away from each other, we are really just a short plane ride away.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Visitors from the North

Having visitors from the cold weather states is one of my favorite ways to spend a Florida day.  They are in vacation mode and so happy to soak up the sun, drink some tropical drinks and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.  They notice how pretty everything is and it helps me remember how lucky I am to live in Florida all the time.

First, I met a good friend in Naples for the day and what a beautiful city.  It was my first time there, but she was very familar with the best spots.  We started with lunch at Miramare, then margaritas at The Dock, some pool time and finally, dinner at Coconut Jack's in Bonita Springs.  It was a lovely day and an easy drive south for me.

The next day, my brother in law and sister in law spent the day with us in our area and we had a great time catching up and showing them our new home, new city and taking them to a few of our favorite spots; Sharky's in Venice and St. Armands Circle in Sarasota.

Life is good in Florida!

I would be remiss if I didn't mention that my Alma Mater, Michigan State, is going to the Final Four 
after a thrilling win over Duke on Sunday night.  We had friends over to watch the game and I'm sure my neighbors thought we were crazy with all the screaming at the end.  To say we are excited is an understatement and we are looking forward to the next game against Texas Tech on Saturday. 40 years ago, when we were college students at Michigan State, the Spartans, lead by Magic Johnson, won the national championship and I have a good feeling that it may happen again. 

 Go Green! 

Monday, March 25, 2019

Weekend Snapshots

Apologies to my readers who are not college basketball fans, but our weekend centered around the NCAA Tournament, bracket watching and most importantly MSU's two wins and advancement to the Sweet Sixteen.  The team this year is so much fun to watch and we are looking forward to the next game on Friday against LSU.  Watching the games with our Florida Spartan friends has been the best.

In between basketball games, I snapped some photos of sunsets, blue skies and the beautiful Gulf of Mexico.  We are in the sweet spot of weather here and early Saturday morning I sat on the mostly empty beach with my coffee and just enjoyed the 67 degree temperature, with no humidity and the sound of the surf.  When I do this, I feel all the emotions, but mostly oh so lucky.

Finally, a friend gave me the first two books in the Poldark series to read and I am looking forward to seeing how they differ from the television series (which I love). I like to have an actual book for the pool, as opposed to my IPad, so they will be perfect for that.


Happy Monday!

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Michigan ➡️ Florida
family, books, gardening, palm trees, the beach, golf, up north, msu football, detroit tigers, walking with my dog, trying new recipes, musicals, BBC, pedicures with my daughters, martinis, yoga, lilly

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