• Confessions,  Favorite Things

    A Taste of Home.

    Jim and I recently attended the holiday party given by our Homeowner’s Association at the clubhouse just up the street. Dinner was catered, but everyone was asked to bring a dessert to share. As we made the rounds greeting neighbors we already know and meeting a few others for the first time, I glanced at the kitchen counter where all of the desserts had been placed. My heart skipped a beat when I saw something very familiar. It was a tin of individually wrapped candies, but not just any old candies: they were Frango Mints, the signature truffle sold by Marshall Field’s in Chicago. Yes, I’m aware it’s called Macy’s…

  • Favorite Things

    So Funny.

    My very favorite television genre is and always has been the sitcom. It’s not the “wrap up a weekly situation with humor in just 22 minutes” big picture aspect that I like; it’s literally the humor and only the humor. I like to laugh. The 80s (when there were far fewer television choices, by the way), were the Golden Age of Sitcoms. Sadly, they don’t make ‘em like they used to and they don’t make nearly as many of ‘em as they used to. I still seek them out, though. A few months ago Jim and I were scouring Netflix for something new to watch, something more funny and less…

  • Best Thing Ever,  Confessions,  Favorite Things,  Food,  Fun in Chicago,  Pretty Pictures

    Let Me Be Frank.

    Yesterday I wrote about how more isn’t always better and how, although I miss Chicago immensely, I really do have everything I need in Knoxville. Then we took my parents to Portillo’s for lunch today because there was NO FREAKING WAY that I was going to be in the area for two full days and not go to Portillo’s, Thanksgiving or not. I decided that the answer to the question with which I ended yesterday’s post, “Who could ask for more?” is “Me, and I’d like a Knoxville Portillo’s, please.” THEN I’ll have everything I need.  

  • Blessings,  Confessions,  Favorite Things,  Food,  Fun in Chicago,  Travels

    Abundance

    One of the things I love about coming back up north is having the ability to stick up on things I can’t get in Knoxville. Being in Kenosha for this holiday meant a mandatory trip to my favorite grocery store. Woodman’s is a Wisconsin-based chain that is employee-owned and has the largest selection of products I have ever seen, as in four whole aisles of candy, one entire corner of the store devoted to soda pop and other beverages, and an aisle the length of the entire back of the store full of every kind of chip you could ever want, just to name a few. Unlike other stores which…

  • Best Thing Ever,  Confessions,  Favorite Things

    I’m One of Those.

    I finally switched out the clothes in my bedroom closet today, trading tank tops and Capri pants for sweatshirts and jeans. I am SO HAPPY. Don’t get me wrong; I really like summer, especially now that we have access to a pool just up the street. As much as I enjoy driving with the sunroof open though, I get a little giddy when autumn kicks in. Just a few things I love about fall: Changing trees and fallling leaves Running our fireplace Hot cocoa with whipped cream The aforementioned sweatshirts and jeans Curling up on the couch with a blanket The seat warmers in my car Chicken matzah ball soup…

  • Confessions,  Favorite Things,  Pretty Pictures

    100 Things I Love

    Here are 100 things I love, in no particular order: 1. My family 2. My friends 3. The British Royals 4. Writing 5. The smell of lilac 6. Traveling 7. Playing cards with friends 8. Food trucks 9. The beach 10. Road trips 11. Laughing 12. Crème brûlée 13. Baking 14. People magazine 15. Steak 16. The Chicago Cubs 17. Taking pictures 18. David Sedaris 19. Dancing 20. Yacht Rock 21. The smell of coconut 22. My house 23. Hot cocoa with whipped cream on top 24. Reminiscing 25. Foo Fighters 26. Dogs 27. Boxing 28. Making people smile 29. Lou Malnati’s deep dish pizza 30. My cherry red KitchenAid…

  • Confessions,  Favorite Things

    I’m the Dinosaur Who is Still Sending Holiday Cards.

    I read a great post by my friend Kari called “Why I’m Not Sending Everyone a Christmas Card This Year” and, after leaving her a comment, decided to expand on my thoughts here. I haven’t been sending holiday cards ever since the very beginning of my and Jim’s marriage in 1986 but I don’t think it was too many years before I started making my address list and checking it twice. My holiday card selection/creation process has definitely evolved over the years (much like our refrigerator). In the first few years I picked them up from the store. More specifically, I picked them up from the Hallmark store my mom…

  • Childhood Memories,  Favorite Things

    Telling Our Stories

    One of the things I have always loved about getting together with my parents is the storytelling. There are certain stories in our family (and probably yours too) that get told and retold. Favorite stories for us include the one about how my dad stuck a fork in his older sister’s butt cheek, how my Grandma casually came out to the living room where my Grandpa and my Dad were talking and said sweetly, “Danny, the kitchen is on fire…”, how my sister nailed me in the head with a wooden Fisher-Price clock on a road trip to Canada…those are just the tip of the iceberg. Dylan, Jason, and Hannah…