Friday, July 12, 2024

Wedding Excitement

My daughter’s wedding is one week from today and in just a few days we will be on a flight to Michigan for all the pre wedding festivities. We still need to put together the hotel welcome bags, get manicures and pedicures and pick up my husband’s tux.  There will be a family pre wedding dinner with the groom’s family. The next night is the church wedding rehearsal and rehearsal dinner at a fun polish restaurant in Detroit. Finally, a welcome party at the lovely hotel bar.   Then of course, wedding day and all the excitement that brings. I am looking forward to so much.

1.  Seeing Melissa in her wedding gown.

2.  Seeing my husband walk her down the aisle.

3. Seeing my granddaughter as flower girl for her auntie.

4. Finally wearing my mother of the bride dress.

5.  Seeing the wedding vows given by our friend and former parish priest at a beautiful historic church in Detroit.

6. Seeing the lakefront venue, the flowers and the table settings.  

7.  Dancing the night away with friends and family.

8. Feeling all the love for the bride and groom and our family.

And, I can’t wait to share it with all of you.

Sunday, July 7, 2024

4th of July Weekend


I have always loved 4th of July weekend, because it has always been a lovely extension of my birthday at the end of June.  I also love all things patriotic; the flags, the songs, the fireworks and really anything red, white and blue.  I grew up in small town America and that kind of upbringing sticks with you.  A small town 4th of July parade will show you the best of America.

For our 4th, we golfed and then went to fireworks on Venice Beach.  There were a lot of people, but also, so easy to get to with free parking everywhere, unlike many beach towns. It really has a small town feel in our little beach community.  We reminisced a bit about fireworks we have attended over the years.   Being on the beach and watching the fireworks burst over the gulf is special, but we also loved the fireworks at our country club with our girls and their friends running around, Greenfield Village (Dearborn, Michigan) with the Detroit Symphony playing along and even one time watching from the bridge over the Mississippi River, when we lived in Memphis.

This is our 7th year and counting of fireworks on the beach.  We do love Florida life.

Happy Sunday.  Wedding day is 12 days away!

P.S.  Megan sent this photo and can’t wait to see this cutie girl so soon!

Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Weekend in Chicago


We flew to Chicago this past Friday for the wedding of our friend’s daughter and it was an all around lovely and fun weekend.  I had not been to Chicago in several years after regular visits when I lived in Michigan and I had forgotten how much I loved it there.

We stayed at The Warwick Allerton Hotel, right on Michigan Avenue in the heart of the Magnificent Mile and the location was perfect.  The first night’s welcome party was at a beautiful spot, right on the Chicago River and it was so fun to see all the boats passing by from the terrace at RPM Events.  

We found a great spot for breakfast on the wedding day, then walked Michigan Avenue before taking the highly recommended Architectural Tour.  You travel by boat on the river, getting a unique perspective of the buildings, plus all the history.  Don’t let the news reports scare you away from Chicago - it is a beautiful, clean city worth visiting.

The wedding was an elevator ride away from our room in a historical rooftop ballroom and we had a great time dancing the night away.  Luckily we did not have an early flight on Sunday, so I could leisurely walk to Starbucks in the morning and even find a great place for brunch in the Northwestern University Hospital neighborhood.  

I loved this quick weekend trip to Chicago and hope to get back soon.  And, the whole night of the wedding, I was thinking about Melissa’s wedding in a few short weeks.  I am getting excited for sure.

Happy Wednesday!  

Thursday, June 13, 2024

Tropical Rain


Rainy days and Mondays.  Starting on Monday, we have had a week of tropical rain; band after band of both light and heavy, with only a few breaks.  We were desperate for rain, but like many things it is feast or famine and nothing in between.  There has been local flooding, especially in Sarasota and Miami, but just soaking wet by me.  The good news is that the retention ponds are all full again and the grass will green up nicely when the sun returns.  More good news is that it looks like we will be returning to our typical summer weather pattern with quick afternoon thunderstorms.  Those have been missing the past couple of years and will be very welcome.  It is tropical south Florida after all, not the desert.

I am feeling a little house bound and will definitely try to make it to the beach soon.  The errands I need to run are at gardening centers, so I hope to find a dry window tomorrow for that.  Planting might have to wait, because this is too much rain for new plant roots.

Other news is that this is the start of Melissa’s bachelorette weekend and luckily they chose a different part of Florida that will be beautiful and sunny.  They will be in the panhandle in Rosemary Beach celebrating the bride to be.  Megan, her matron of honor, has worked really hard to make it a lovely time for all.  I can’t wait until the photos start appearing.  One month and 6 days until wedding day.  It is getting real.

Monday, June 3, 2024

Easy Strawberry Jam - Recipe Redo


I first posted this recipe in 2014 and have made it many, many times and with all kinds of fruit. I love it made with strawberries, but it works just as well with blueberries or peaches.  The biggest thing to remember when making jam is that you don’t need a lot of fancy equipment, canning jars or even pectin.  Make a small batch to store in the fridge.  Let the sugar thicken the fruit.  That is all.  

So, take advantage of fruit in season at your local Farmer’s market this summer and enjoy the freshness of homemade jam on your favorite toast, english muffin or even swirl some in oatmeal.  Find the recipe here.

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Life Lately


We have entered the hot, slow days of summer in Florida.  The snowbirds have gone north, greatly reducing the traffic and wait times at restaurants.  The end of May is traditionally hot and dry as we wait for our typical rainy season that starts in June.  June is also the beginning of hurricane season, but I prefer not to think of that quite yet.  

After a busy April, May has been really nice and a catch up month.  Melissa’s wedding in July is becoming real, but she has everything under control and I just need to get my dress hemmed slightly and organize jewelry.  The dress has beading, so I think I don’t want to go too bold.  We also have a wedding in Chicago in June, so that will be a fun weekend trip.  It has been years since I have been to Chicago and it is a fun city. We are staying right in the heart of the city on Michigan Avenue, so a great location too.

My year of movement is going well and my yoga practices both at the beach and at home are inspiring.  My golf group has moved to the morning to beat the heat and though smaller this time of year, we still have fun.  I like to walk on the beach, but I think a beach day will happen this week.  Think of me with my beach chair right at the edge of the water to stay cool.  It is heaven for sure.

Thursday, May 9, 2024

Zoo Day and Picnic


There are many fun things I did with my daughters when they were young, but have not done in a very long time. Two of my favorites and theirs were going to the zoo and going to the park for a picnic.  When I was in Michigan, my daughter and I loaded Audrey in her stroller and did both.

We spent a lovely afternoon at the zoo in Grand Rapids.  Audrey loves her stroller and while a little young for the animals, loved the sunshine, people and bright colors of the Lantern Festival.  It is a small, manageable sized zoo and I look forward to many more visits.

Before my flight home and because it was a beautiful day, we picked up lunch and found a picnic table at a park for a quick lunch.  We then pushed the stroller on some pretty paths and I especially enjoyed the sunshine and fresh air before a long travel day.  

Being a grandparent lets you relive the best times of motherhood and I am blessed and happy to experience every moment.

Happy Thursday!

Saturday, May 4, 2024

God Bless Audrey


The day after Melissa’s Bridal Shower, we headed two hours across the state from the Detroit area to Grand Rapids to celebrate Audrey’s Christening day.  It was a special day for our family to see her baptized into the Catholic church.  Audrey wore the Christening gown made from my Mother in laws wedding dress; the christening gown her mother, auntie and all that generation of cousins wore. Megan chose to make the day small with immediate family only and I think that made it even more special.

After mass and the christening ceremony, we headed to Megan and Adam’s home for a delicious lunch, including a beautiful carrot cake.  It was a calm and relaxing day after the hectic week before and of course our little Audrey was the star.  I know I am biased, but she really is the most happy, content baby and will play, talk and smile all the time.  She also was happily passed around and held by both sets of grandparents, her great grandmother and godparents - her auntie and uncles.

My husband flew back to Florida, but I stayed for a few days for more Audrey time (and Megan too).  It was just what I needed and there were many cuddles, quiet playtime, plus a trip to the zoo.  What Nanna dreams are made of.

Happy Saturday!

Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Bridal Shower for Melissa


We are getting into wedding mode and the first big step was Melissa’s bridal shower this past Saturday. Planning something like this long distance takes a lot of coordination, but my co hosts were so helpful and the vision came together beautifully.

Melissa is a wedding and corporate event coordinator so I knew I had to step up my game and it made me very happy that when she arrived and saw the room she was thrilled and appreciative.  The theme was vintage garden party with blue cloisonné vases of different heights and styles, linen napkins, blue goblets and a lot of white hydrangeas.

We picked up the vases over time and with the blue goblets, the color really popped.  I love all things floral, so I knew having a lot of vases overflowing with white flowers would make a lovely setting.  The hydrangeas were ordered from Costco and delivered the day before.  I highly recommend how they were shipped and the amazing quality.  The other flowers were picked up at Trader Joes.  Everything was put together on site the morning of the shower in just under two hours.

Perhaps the centerpiece was the sign I had made from Etsy that was a flower box design.  I used greenery as a base and then filled it with flowers.  We added garden lanterns and a big balloon bouquet to make a pretty photo backdrop.  

We enjoyed a delicious luncheon of broccoli soup, grilled chicken Caesar salad and lemon sorbet with mini chocolate tarts.  Everyone was very generous with gifts and Melissa definitely felt the love.  It was a beautiful day.  And now, just under three months until wedding day.

Friday, April 26, 2024

Spring Things


I am in Michigan and busy with family and getting ready for the bridal shower.  But, I have taken the time to notice the signs of spring.  I love the year around green and color in Florida, but there is nothing like the new green buds and flowers on the trees and the bulbs like tulips and daffodils popping up.  After a long gray winter, it is a lovely time.

My bins are packed and I have dozens of flowers in two buckets ready to take to the shower venue in the morning.  I can’t wait to see it all come together and celebrate the bride to be.  

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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