Sunday, April 14, 2024

Mid April Thoughts


My life lately consists of lists and more lists.  Less than two weeks until Melissa’s bridal shower and my trip to Michigan.  But, before I go, I am organizing a golf scramble for my neighborhood golf group and hosting Euchre (cards) at my house.  I do find that lists give me motivation and I have really accomplished a lot lately.  Hosting at my home also gives me motivation to deep clean and that feels good too.

The bridal shower is pretty much planned and all that I need to do is pick up a few odds and ends once I get there.  I will be shipping in advance a box of decor that I have collected too.  My best discovery was ordering flowers from Costco inexpensively to be delivered right to the house (my daughter’s house) the day before the shower.  That way I know I have the hydrangeas I need and can fill in with Trader Joe’s flowers and greenery as needed.  I am also having dinner with my sister and borrowing a few more vases. Our theme is vintage garden party with blue and white chinoiserie vases.  Not outside in Michigan in April, but you get the idea.

I also have been getting more involved in my volunteer job where I work all around the city of Venice trimming, planting, etc.  The group is going through some leadership changes and I will begin co- editing the weekly newsletter in the fall. It is basically a blog format, so easy for me.  I also joined a committee to plan the yearly Christmas decorating in one of the city parks.  Busy, but all fun.

All this being said, two weeks until I see my sweet grand daughter Audrey.  She now has her first tooth and is changing and growing so fast.  I can’t wait to spend some time with her.  She will be at her Auntie’s bridal shower, her Christening is the following day and then I will be staying at her house for a few days.  Hoping for nice weather so we can go to the zoo.

Happy Sunday!

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Life Lately


It is a few days past Easter and April is already whizzing along for me with a lot on my calendar.  Melissa’s bridal shower is fast approaching and I am hoping for a flurry of rsvp’s to come in this week, so I don’t have to follow up with people.  I am working on menu cards and some table top signs and still need to place a flower order at Trader Joe’s.  Otherwise all is well with that.  3 months until the wedding!

I didn’t take any photos on Easter, but do have a few fun shots of our Good Friday.  As is our tradition, we went to Stations of the Cross and then did a mini bar crawl in the afternoon.  This tradition dates back to our parish friends in Michigan and we see no reason to not continue in Florida.  There was one big change and it was very Florida centric. Instead of stations of the cross in church, there was a procession through downtown Venice.  This was the first year for this and it was really quite special with several hundred participants on a beautiful day under a bright blue Florida sky.

Happy April!

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

The Best Visit


It has been a week since my family left and it has taken that long for me to collect my thoughts.  Having us all together, including our granddaughter was so much fun and really a dream come true.  We were busy, but also spent a lot of time relaxing by the pool. We took the baby along to some fun restaurants and also let her parents have a date at their favorite Venice restaurant too.  The baby had a lot of firsts including first plane trip, first pool time and first time at the beach.  She is the happiest and sweetest baby, with so many smiles for her Nana.

I cooked a lot, but cooking is my love language.  My daughters always appreciate my cooking and a nice table setting.  It makes me happy too.  My house was filled to the brim with baby toys and other necessities and it felt really empty after everyone left.  I now own a portable crib and hope it gets a lot of use in the years to come.

Luckily, we have many dates coming up to see each other, including the bridal shower and christening in a few weeks.  And, of course Melissa’s wedding in the summer.  There always seem to be big occasions to get together, but in all honesty, it is the times just sitting around the dinner table that really make me the happiest.

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

February in Photos


It is hard to believe that tomorrow is the last day of February, but I am ready for March and a fun month ahead.  My two daughters (with fiance, husband and my grandaughter too) will be here visiting the next two weeks (one night overlapping) and my excitement is high.  The heat on the pool is turned up, baby items are gathered and dinner reservations are made.  The weather should be nice and we will play it by ear with a baby along.  I may have purchased a Minnie Mouse beach towel :-)

February in photos shows yoga on the beach and waves in the gulf from the windy days we have been having.  Golf has been a challenge with both wind and cold.  Lent began with an early Easter this year. 

 I had so much fun going to the library and picking out some picture books for my granddaughter.  I have always loved the library and it was a dream to be there with my granddaughter in mind.  Taking her to pick her own books will be the next step.  Finally, a friend is spending time in Florida and I visited her in the Clearwater area and she visited me in Venice.

I will have a lot to talk about in March so stay tuned!

Sunday, February 11, 2024

Cuteness Overload

I spent the past week in Michigan helping Megan while my son in law traveled for work.  She really doesn’t need a lot of help (except with the dog) because she is the best mama and it is a joy to watch her navigate the newborn stage.  Some people are natural with babies and she is one of them.  She constantly talks to Audrey and Audrey looks for her voice.  It is the cutest and we are lucky to have such a happy baby.  

The weather in Michigan was unbelievable and quite warm for early February.  We were able to get out, do some shopping, have lunch and go for many walks with the stroller.  I am so looking forward to many more visits when Audrey is a bit older and we can do fun things like going to the park or the zoo. 

We read our first books together and I sang lots of songs, because it is obvious she loves music.  However, I learned I am quite rusty on the typical nursery rhyme baby songs.  It has been a long time since those songs were in my repertoire and will need to do some brushing up on the words before the next visit.

But for now, I will take all the baby cuddles, the cutest smiles and the sweetest sounds.  Nana time is the best.

Thursday, February 1, 2024

Year of Movement - February Update


I think it is important to pat yourself on the back if you set a goal and then meet that goal.  As I approach another birthday, I am determined to get myself moving more consistently.  I decided in addition to walking with my dog everyday, heavy gardening and golf, and haphazard yoga, my goal would be to do three yoga practices per week.  I try to do beach yoga one time and one long and one short practice at home with the Down Dog app.  Writing it down and holding myself accountable each week has helped and it is now becoming a habit.  

January was a success and my goals were met, despite some pretty cold beach yoga weather.  It feels good to move more and I can already tell the consistency is helping my muscle tone and flexibility.  Balance is always a struggle for me (inner ear issues) but the stronger I get, the easier that becomes too.  

I am going to brag a little bit about beach yoga and stress how lucky I feel every time I go.  There are donation based classes every day; mornings at 8 or 9 or sunset yoga at 5, 6 or 7 depending on sunset times.  Since I am not a morning person I don’t often make the morning classes, but love the sunset time frame.  Let me paint a picture for you.  I try to arrive a bit early, put down my mat on the sand near the yoga shell circle and sit quietly, looking out at the water and the cloud formations.  If you take the time to notice, you can hear the surf and the birds.  You can feel the gulf breezes and the sun on your face too.  It is a peaceful start to a yoga practice where you are part of nature and see sand, blue sky and water all around you.  

You come away feeling blessed to live in such a beautiful place.


Friday, January 19, 2024

Wedding Date - Six Months Out


Six months from today we will be celebrating the marriage of my daughter Melissa and her fiancé Kevin.  It has gone both fast and slow since their engagement, when a lot of planning happens and then slows down.  We have the venue, church and her dress.  She is an event planner, so all is on spreadsheets and on track.  The hardest part is going to be making things special for her and not a continuation of her job.

I am currently planning her bridal shower for the end of April.  We have the venue and a theme. In February, we will start working on details like the menu and table layout.  Think vintage garden party in blue and white. Again, we are trying to keep things a surprise from Melissa as much as we can. 

I am also in the process of ordering and trying on my mother of the bride dress.  It is a process, but I hope to have it by February, so the mother of the groom can know my color choice.  I have come full circle from what I thought I wanted, but it is important to feel like me. And not look matronly 😀

I can’t share too much, but here is sneak peek of the church - a historic polish Catholic church in downtown Detroit.  The aisle is a long one and her dress is perfect for the grandness of the space.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Flourless Chocolate Cake


Calling all chocolate lovers - this recipe is delicious and would be perfect for a Valentine’s Day dinner.  I have not made a flourless cake in a while and could not find the recipe I remember using, but this one I found on Pinterest is better and simpler to make.

I think my old recipe needed a springform pan, but this one just used a regular cake pan and parchment paper for ease of removal.  It came right out of the cake pan once cooled and the rich frosting/glaze covered any imperfections.  In fact, I put it on a pretty cake stand to take to a dinner party and it looked like a bakery dessert and tasted like one too.

The only changes I made were to use 1/2 milk chocolate chips and 1/2 dark chocolate chips for a less sweet cake.  Next time I make this, I may add some espresso too.

I served it with a sprinkle of powdered sugar and fresh raspberries, but it would be delicious with homemade whipped cream or vanilla ice cream on the side.  It is very rich and chocolaty, so small pieces are more than enough for most people.  


Thursday, January 4, 2024

Life Lately


My Christmas decor and Christmas tree are put away and I just love the feeling of freshness and space that brings.  I always do a bit of a rearrange to the decor I put back and everything old is new again.  I miss all the lights, so a fun purchase from Amazon was these flameless candles for a pair of lanterns in my front hallway. Just the right amount of sparkle for the next month of early darkness.

I am back into more consistent yoga after getting a little too sporadic in the holiday season. 2024 was started on a beautiful note with yoga on Venice Beach at 8:00 am. New Year’s Day.  I won’t make that time often, because I am not a morning person, especially when it is chilly, but I plan to go at 9:00 am or for sunset yoga at 5:00, in addition to my usual practice at home.  2024 is going to be the year of consistent movement for me.

Finally, this is the time of year in Florida, after a quiet summer and fall, where the social season heats up.  My calendar is beginning to fill with dinners and other fun things as friends who are snowbirds start to return.  I love the quietness of summer, but this is a lot of fun too and I look forward to catching up at all our favorite spots.  There are many happy hour sunsets in my immediate future.  

Happy Thursday!

Monday, January 1, 2024

Top 3 Recipes 2023 - Cocktail Version


Looking for top views of recipe posts as I usually do to end a blogging year, I found something interesting.  I did not have very many actual recipe posts and in fact the top recipe was for How to Make Boxed Banana Bread Better.  This is indicative of my Florida life, compared to when I started this blog.  More dinner hours pool side and less cooking day to day.  It’s a lot more fun to grab a sub and watch a beach sunset at dinner time than to spend hours in the kitchen.

The top three views of fun cocktail posts are as follows.  Enjoy and Happy 2024!

Easter Cocktail - Drunk Bunny

Prosecco and Vodka Grapes

Simple Raspberry Margarita

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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