• J.K. Rowling book quote
    Am Reading,  Favorite Things

    My 7 Books, or Just One More Way I’m Breaking the Rules

    If you’re an active Facebook user, you’ve surely seen recent posts by your friends about “7 Books I Love,” in which people are sharing one book each day and tagging a friend to do the same in order to promote literacy. The catch? You’re not supposed to provide any explanations about why you love the books; posting the covers with no other caption except the copy and paste of what you’re doing is the standard. The other day I was tagged on Facebook by my friend Karen Meg. I was happy to share the books I love but it occurred to me that I really didn’t want to tag people…

  • Amazing People,  Favorite Things,  Pretty Pictures,  Travels

    Courtney and Kelsey Montague: Art and a Sister Act That Lifts You (and Me)

    If you follow me on social media you already know that I am very obsessed with the art of Kelsey Montague. Her #WhatLiftsYou and #WhatUnitesUs murals are all over the world, and before I go pretty much anywhere I check the map on the Kelsey Montague Art website to see if I might be able to take a quick detour to experience a new mural in person. (By the way, Kelsey’s first major fan? Taylor Swift…but more on that in a minute.) Kelsey’s style is very distinctive and bold and not only do her pieces brighten up any wall, anywhere, but they also are bringing tourists like me into small…

  • 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…