• 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…

  • waves
    Pretty Pictures,  Random Thoughts,  Travels

    Crisis Averted.

    Jim and I were on the Emerald Coast of Florida over the weekend. The 24-mile stretch of beach along Highway 30A in the northwestern part of the state is one of the most gorgeous areas I’ve ever seen. The sand is like white sugar and, as you can imagine from the nickname, the water is so many gorgeous shades of green-blue. I took so many pictures at the beach, but that’s what I do. While we usually buy something small for our house when we visit a place for the first time (this time we picked up a handblown glass sand dollar paper weight), my very favorite kind of souvenir…

  • Blessings,  Fun in Knoxville,  Motivation,  Pretty Pictures

    Two Years.

    It was two years ago today when I moved back to Knoxville after 26 years of living in my beloved hometown (well, the greater Chicagoland area). First: I can’t believe it’s been two years. Second: I wish I could go back and tell the pre-move Melisa, who was terrified of the change and very upset about leaving the greatest city in the entire world, that not only was everything going to be okay but also that she could let go and be assured that this move would lead to a season of life that would be one of her happiest. Jim and I have had way too many adventures to…

  • 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.  

  • 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…

  • Pretty Pictures

    Bird on the Floor

    I didn’t manage my time properly today at all, so I’m phoning it in. Still counts; I’m posting, right? I’ll be back tomorrow. In the meantime please enjoy this picture of the mosaic that’s on the floor at the Dallas-Fort Worth airport.