Monday, December 30, 2019

Christmas in Michigan

We are back in Florida after a whirlwind visit to Michigan for Christmas.  We were able to spend time with friends, my daughters, my son in law and his family, siblings, parents, aunts and uncles and many twenty something nieces, nephews and boyfriends and girlfriends.

We drove from one end of metro Detroit to the other, including a trip to my brother’s house in Toledo.  The weather was a balmy 53 degrees most of the time and our winter coats were not required.  We had breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinners at many different homes and a few restaurants too.  Many glasses of wine were enjoyed, as well as a real treat when my daughter shared a bottle of Dom Perignon while we opened our family gifts on Christmas Day.  I received many lovely gifts and even managed to fit them all in my suitcase for the flight back.

The night before we left, my brother in law rented an arcade for my side of the family and after eating pizza we played games for two hours with all the nieces, nephews and significant others.  Who says millennials aren’t fun?  This is our fourth year doing something together the night after Christmas and we plan on continuing the tradition.

I think the photos speak for themselves and tell the story of a family happy to be together, enjoying each other’s company and knowing that family time is precious in our crazy, busy lives.

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Glow Ride

Merry Christmas Eve to all of you.  Hopefully the majority of your Christmas preparations are finished and you are planning to spend the next few days with family.

Last Friday, my neighborhood held a glow ride where everyone decorated their bikes and golf carts with lights and garland and headed out for a ride.  There were six stops along the route and I helped host one of these stops with a few neighbors.  We served food, libations (I made Jell-O shots), had Santa and Mrs. Claus ready to greet the riders and even had live music courtesy of a trombone player.

It was so much fun and made me realize again what a great neighborhood I live in.  Christmas in Florida is different, but oh so fun to be able to be outside.

Have a wonderful holiday week!

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Winter Reading List

My process in finding books to read is varied.  One of the biggest sources is other blogs authored by avid readers like myself.  I remember those who have recommended books I like and find more often than not, they don’t steer me wrong.  I add constantly to my Amazon Reading Wish List and I usually have many books to choose from.  In writing my quarterly book recommendation posts, I let you know what I plan to read in the next few months.

For winter reading, especially for those of you looking for a book to read by the fire on a cold night, any of these books on my list would be a good choice to chase away the winter blues.  Perhaps the one I am most intrigued by is The Flight Girls, since I love historical fiction based on strong female characters.  Conviction is the current pick from Reese Witherspoon and she rarely picks a book I don’t like.  I’m also excited to read the latest V. I. Warshawski and Temperance Brennan installments.

I also included the next book my Book Club is reading (The Only Woman in the Room) since it’s a bit different than my usual choices.  It’s a novel based on the true story of 1940’s screen star Hedy Lamarr and her fight against the Nazi’s.  There were brains behind her beauty and she is credited with an invention that was critical to the war effort.

Happy Reading!

Friday, December 13, 2019

A Sigh of Relief and A Cosmo Recipe

Since I ship my Christmas gifts wrapped and ready to pass out, I have to be concerned that they arrive in time. So, there was a big sigh of relief for me when all was organized and ready to ship. That big pile of presents shown in the photo below managed to fit in two (large) boxes and I dropped them off at the UPS Store yesterday afternoon.  I’ll be tracking them daily, but it looks like they will arrive by the middle of next week.  It just seems like with a late Thanksgiving and next weekend cutting into shipping days, it’s been a tight timetable all around.  Now I can relax just a bit next week before the flying, driving and schedule of holiday events commence.

If you need a fun and delicious cocktail for holiday entertaining, this Cosmo version has been a big hit at the two parties I have hosted recently.  The addition of the limoncello and mango juice kick up a basic Cosmo to the next level.

I’m giving you the recipe for one serving, but my trick for entertaining is to make a pitcher in advance and you won’t be mixing and measuring drinks all night.  Just multiply the equivalent amounts of each ingredient and fill a pretty glass pitcher.  To serve, pour into a cocktail shaker filled with ice, then strain into a martini glass.  Garnish with a thin, 1/2 lemon slice floated on top.

Cranberry, Limoncello and Mango Cosmo

3 ounces vodka (I use Tito’s)
1 ounce limoncello
1 ounce mango juice
2 ounces cranberry juice

Note: add less vodka and more cranberry juice if you like a less strong martini

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Life Lately

I have a collection of photos from the last week that tell the story of life lately.  We had so much fun with my daughter and son in law and their cute puppy.  My dog, who really had never shown much interest in other dogs, was a good dog host and shared her space and her toys very well.  We had delicious food on Thanksgiving Day and as always, my daughter was a big help.  I managed to knock a bottle of red wine off my counter, just as everything was ready, so that was fun lol.  Did you know that red wine comes out of grout with a mixture of baking soda and bleach.  I do now!

They left the day after Thanksgiving, but we will see them at Christmas which is very soon.  I have been cyber shopping and hitting a few stores, so I can have everything wrapped and shipped by the end of next week.  My decorations are up and a new addition this year is a small tree at the very back of the pool, on the waterfall ledge.  We love how it sparkles at night.  I like to use starfish mixed within my decor for a pop of coastal charm.

I have been enjoying my Aldi Wine Advent Calendar that I wrote about here. With my neighborhood Landscape Committee, I planted poinsettias at our entrances on a lovely, sunny morning and I have to say, decorating for the holidays in Florida is so much better (and warmer). There are a couple of holiday events on my calendar and our visit to Michigan is planned and busy as usual.  But, I can’t wait.

At golf this week, an alligator (and that’s a pretty big one) was sunning itself at the bottom of a Par 3 tee box and it was a little nerve racking to have to drive right over his head.  Finally, Book Group is tonight and I’m leading the discussion of The Last Romantics, by Tara Conklin.  The book nerd/honors English student in me loves that.

As usual, life in my empty nest is busy, but fun.

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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