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!

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Spring Reading List

2019 is flying by and it's already time to post my spring reading list.  My reading has hit a bit of a dry spell and I have to admit I have not read a book that I really loved in way too long.  The exception was The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah, but that's one out of many.  I do have high hopes for this list, because it includes some favorite authors that I always enjoy.  As always, my list and reading style is eclectic and includes different genres.  I read a lot of mysteries/police procedurals, but also love a good chick lit or psychological thriller.  Literature that is thought provoking is also a favorite. And, a series, with the same characters, is near and dear to my heart and I always anticipate finding out what old friends in books are up to.

There are two on my list that I am the most excited for.

 First, The Last Romantics by Tara Conklin, who is the author of The House Girl, which I'm sure many of you have read.  It is a currently a Today Show book club pick. Also, I have high hopes for the new book by JoJo Moyes.  I can honestly say, I have enjoyed all of her books and I have gone back and even read her earlier, less popular ones.

One of my favorite books of all time is In Her Shoes, by Jennifer Weiner, so while her books can be hit or miss, this new  book does revisit the sister theme.

 If you haven't read any of the Dr. Ruth Galloway book series, by Elly Griffiths, start at the beginning immediately.  The main character is an archeologist and professor, who gets involved in forensic bone identification with the local police.  She is smart, independent and a wonderfully written character.  The locations on the English coast, are some of my favorite to read about as well.

 Finally, The Night Olivia Fell is in the Gone Girl genre and sounded interesting, with good reviews.

Happy reading!

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps

We have been having so much fun getting together with other southwest Florida Spartans to watch the basketball games.  There is a core group who rotate houses and lately there have been friends of
friends invited, making the cheering during the games even louder.  Luckily, the fun factor has been
high, since our Spartans have been winning and we are all still celebrating the win Saturday night over Michigan and the raising of the Big Ten Championship banner.  Shots all around that night!

We mix things up as far as food goes and all contribute to make things easier on the hostess.  When appetizers were on the menu, I took these Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps for something on the lighter side.  This is a Skinnytaste recipe, so no worries about flavor - her recipes are always good.  The chicken is cooked in the crockpot, shredded and the hot sauce added.  You serve it with lettuce cups, blue cheese, chopped celery and ranch dressing for do it yourself assembly.  The recipe doesn't say how much lettuce to use, but because you don't know how many cups you will be able to get from a head of lettuce, definately buy two to be on the safe side.  Enjoy!

Happy Tuesday!

{Linking with these friends}

Friday, March 8, 2019

Revisiting 40 Bags in 40 Days

It all began several years ago when I lived in Michigan in a big house with too much stuff accumulated over the years.  Too much that I was saving just because I had the space and also for sentimental reasons.  It was weighing me down, because I knew that a down size was happening in the near future.  I remember being so moved by what my priest said at mass on one Ash Wednesday about how Lent should be looked at as an opportunity to take something on rather than give something up.  So, I started practicing that idea and taking on the 40 Bags in 40 Days challenge.  Each year during the 40 days of Lent, I filled 40 bags (or boxes) with all kinds of stuff to either donate, sell or trash.  And, each year my mind became a little clearer on what is really important.  It all culminated in the year we sold our home and moved to Florida and the process was one of the best things I have ever done.  I will link previous blog posts if you want more details of how I did it.

Now, as Lent begins,  I have very little to get rid of and am extremely careful in what I bring into my new home.  If something new comes in, instead of sticking the old item somewhere "just in case", I let it go.  Living simply and without clutter gives you room to breathe and live for the present and future.  I'm looking for something new to take on this Lenten season that will give me the same feeling of satisfaction. I think some volunteering is in order soon as a repayment to this new city that has given us so much happiness.

Have a wonderful weekend and Go Green on Saturday night!  Beat Michigan!

40 Bags in 40 Days 2013
40 Bags in 40 Days 2014
40 Bags in 40 Days 2015
40 Bags in 40 Days 2016

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

3 Things

One of the best things about living in Florida if you are a baseball fan, is spring training.  As a lifelong Detroit Tigers fan, when my husband asked if I wanted him to buy tickets to the game last Friday, I enthusiastically said yes. And, spring training games are the best, because you are close to 
the players, the Florida sun is hot and the beer (and margaritas) are cold. 

If you can stand the cuteness, say hello to my daughter and son in law's new puppy.  Yes, the newlyweds have a puppy and I have my first grand dog.  She is a cavapoo, named Markley, after the dorm where they met  at The University of Michigan.  She will be well loved and spoiled.

This is the book I am currently reading for my book club.  I just started it on Monday and am furiously reading to try and finish it by Thursday night.  I know I can do it, but it's going to take some effort.  However, my nickname is Evelyn Wood (the speed reader for those not familar) so I'm not too worried.  It's good so far.

Happy Tuesday! 

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, martinis, yoga, lilly

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