• 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.

  • Confessions,  Pretty Pictures

    The First Four Days

    As of this evening, I’ve been in Knoxville for four full days. It’s been eleven days since this happened, and right after that Jim and I went to Phoenix where he was speaking at a conference and I had grand plans to spend half of my time relaxing by the pool with a book and the other half of my time working by the pool. Mother Nature had other plans, bringing clouds and wind and rain for about 85% of our visit. THANKS Mother Nature, NOT. Still got some good pictures, though. Upon landing back at O’Hare after a two and a half hour flight delay I hit the ground…

  • Childhood Memories,  Favorite Things,  Fun in Chicago,  Pretty Pictures

    There’s No Place Like State Street for the Holidays

    For some unknown reason, it’s been a couple of years since I have gone into the city and visited State Street when it’s all dressed up for the holidays. I’ve visited the city itself in December, but I’m typically at the Christkindlmarket, on Michigan Avenue, or at some other area of town for a blogger event. Over the weekend I was invited to see the group Straight No Chaser (they were amazing, by the way), Because the weather was supposed to be rather hellacious, I kept an eye on my weather app all morning and chose to head in much earlier than I needed to be in order to miss…

  • Friends,  Pretty Pictures

    All Mine! Mine! Mine! Mine! at the Adler Planetarium

    I was going through some old photos to get some quick inspiration when I found the pictures from Kate and “Bean’s” visit to Chicago in the summer of 2010. For those of you who haven’t been here long, Kate is my close friend from high school and Bean is her daughter. I have spent lots of quality time with Bean and her family over the years. I went to Europe with them for a week when Bean was a toddler. I spent a week at their house shortly after Bean’s little brother (formerly known here as Squeaks) was born. (Dinner conversation with five-year-old Bean is here, Kate.) That visit to…

  • Pretty Pictures,  Travels

    Chillaxing Like They Do in La Jolla

    Three years ago next month, Jim and I took a quick trip to San Diego. I absolutely adored that long weekend because in addition to enjoying what San Diego and neighboring Coronado Island had to offer, we visited several beaches between San Diego and Laguna Niguel, starting at La Jolla Cove. (Man, I love the beach.) By the way, La Jolla is Spanish and pronounced “La Hoy-a”. Don’t pronounce it like it looks in English because everyone will point at you and shout “TOURIST!” Anyway, La Jolla Cove was full of seals and sea otters and sea lions. We spent some time watching those fascinating creatures just hanging out and…

  • Friends,  Fun in Chicago,  My Friends Have Mad Skillz,  Pretty Pictures

    Cubs Day

    One more about the Cubs and then I’ll shut up about them…until next Spring. Let me tell you about Cubs Day. MY Cubs Day. After the Cubs won the World Series for the first time in 108 years, most of the city of Chicago was on a crazy baseball high. (Some of us still are.) The team even had a special day (Friday, November 4) designated as World Series Champions Chicago Cubs Day by Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner. That was the day of the parade and rally, the one whose estimated crowds of 5 million people made it the seventh largest gathering in human history. I had to work on…

  • Confessions,  Pretty Pictures

    When Pinterest Was Heavy

    I’m working diligently on cleaning out the cabinets above my kitchen desk. Yes, again. They’re the bane of my existence, truly. I even met my friend Natasha at IKEA on Sunday so she could help me pick out some containers that will help me wrangle all the things (and keep them wrangled). Creating a system that works for the long term is hard. My first step was basically pulling everything out and tossing it onto the desk and the kitchen island haphazardly. That was also probably my first mistake because it might take me a week to slog through the piles, but I digress. In the middle of all that…

  • Food,  My Sister Has Mad Skillz,  Pretty Pictures

    Fruitastic Salad 2.0

    Knowing what you know about me regarding my control freak tendencies, it probably doesn’t surprise you that I am tremendously more comfortable following recipes to the letter than I am experimenting with a little bit of this and a little bit of that. I’m certain that’s why I enjoy baking more than cooking elaborate meals that leave lots of room for improvisation. My sister, while definitely knowing what she wants, when and how she wants it, is more laid-back than I. She is not only an excellent baker but also a tremendous cook when it comes to all dishes. A few years ago she brought what she called “Fruitastic Salad”…