Currently…June

Ah, JUNE…the month in which meteorological summer finally catches up with the weather…a month that didn’t involve the use of any suitcases (that hasn’t happened since last July, wow!)…these are some of the things that filled my days…

...and a month to celebrate Dad!

…and a month to celebrate Dad!

Reading…I thoroughly enjoyed The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up and will share more about it in a separate post…an audio read was In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin by Eric Larson – it was ok, not as engaging as other reads of the era…a great audio read was Lost in Shangri-La by Mitchell Zuckoff – another WWII era story about a U.S. military plane crash, survival and amazing rescue in New Guinea…early in the month I finished up The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown…hmm, there is a bit of a time period theme to these recent reads…

Watchingthe movie “Chef” was a fun story…”Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” was a good “old fashioned” spy story…after watching the 1st season of “Crossing Lines” when it was on TV 2 years ago, it was nice to catch the 2nd season on Netflix this month…

...hand knit socks spark joy!

…hand knit socks spark joy!

Cultivating…JOY by tidying up…after “finally” reading about tidying up early in the month I started the #konmari adventure with my “stuff.” I started with my clothes and accessories and they now spark joy. I took a detour from the book order into my bathroom & have tidied up the linen closet & the toiletries. All of this combined has my “master suite” feeling more like a retreat than it has in quite a while.

...Crayola fun!

…Crayola fun!

Coloring…on a Sunday morning, a few fun hours at The Crayola Experience with a friend and her family…it was much more crowded than when I was there last June – but we still enjoyed lots of color & creativity…I’m not sure when was the last time that I had used waterpaints & that was a lot of fun…

...the view from the Bacon Strip!

…the view from the Bacon Strip!

Cheering…the Iron Pigs on a Sunday afternoon after our colorful morning…because of the rain deluge on the Saturday, we ended up with a doubleheader…once again we were in the great Bacon Strip seats in the outfield…as the second game started, of course we enjoyed the chocolate covered bacon on a stick…as a ‘reward’ for sticking it out through both games, the girls enjoyed running the bases…

...ending lunch with sweet treats!

…ending lunch with sweet treats!

Enjoying…outdoor lunches with work friends at a local bakery…and managing to not get a sweet treat every time we eat there

Sipping…lots of fruit infused water – trying all sorts of combinations in my fun pitcher – a current favorite combination is lemon + blueberries + mint…iced black coffee is also in high rotation…

Considering…a refresh to the blog design – now to find the time to focus on this…

Planning…finalizing details for the Artisan family vacation in July…gathering the stack of books for vacation reading (& wishing I had more days for all the reading I’d love to do!)…picking out a pattern & yarn for a vacation knitting project…

Looking ahead…July will have my suitcase back in use for both work and fun…konmari will continue in the house…

What are you into these days?

Linking up with Leigh Kramer’s What I’m Into roundup.

Bucketful of Summer

The meteorologists say that summer “officially” arrives this weekend – even as they are providing the forecasts for hot & humid in these final “spring” days. Now that we are in summer, today’s Ten on Tuesday is a summer bucket list – things I’d like to do before autumn rolls in.

Filling the summer bucket…

  1. Continue to exercise #konmari as I tackle the stuff in my house. I recently read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo and have started applying her principles to my “stuff” – I will definitely blog about this experience. This morning, 9 large bags of clothes were picked up for donation as a result of the weekend #konmari session with my clothes.
  2. See a movie at a drive-in theater.
  3. Take in another Iron Pigs baseball game.
  4. Visit another presidential library.
  5. Can some jam. As summer fruit starts to appear at the farm stands, I look forward to spending a few hours in the kitchen & “putting up” some pretty jars for winter enjoyment.
  6. Enjoy some family vacation time at summer camp in upstate New York.
  7. Send a pack of t-shirts away to become a t-shirt quilt.
  8. Achieve my “summer reading challenge” at the local library. My target is 12 books – of course, they consider summer to end on August 18th.
  9. Spend some time coloring in my copy of “the” Secret Garden coloring book I picked up in London last summer.
  10. Complete a photobook for 2013 or 2014 with the Shutterfly Photo Story app. This is my new scrapbooking.

I’m sure there will be many other things that will fill my summer bucket in the coming weeks. As I look at this list (& other things on the calendar), I see a nice mix of home…travel…family…friends.

What is on your list for the summer?

Currently…May

In May…a whirlwind of work & life travel meant waking up several times during the month & wondering where I was…in the midst of it all, these are some of the things that filled my May days…

A lighthouse on a Sunday afternoon drive...

A lighthouse on a Sunday afternoon drive…

Traveling…lots! – The itinerary for the month really drove most of my “into” things for the month…A couple of days in Princeton for a work summit…home to the ‘Ville over Mother’s Day weekend…several days with the project down in FL…6 days in Marinette for celebration, fun & work…

So many nuggets of wisdom from the summit...

So many nuggets of wisdom from the summit…

Cultivating…my professional development through 2 days spent with amazing women in my company at our global women’s growth summit…a focus on innovation…a chance to meet and network with many that I’ve worked with virtually…a great keynote session with Meg Whitman from H-P…

Mom & her girls on Mother's Day!

Mom & her girls on Mother’s Day!

Celebrating – Part I…I was home in the ‘Ville for Mother’s Day weekend. It was fun to be with Mom for the day. While family is always a great reason to head home, another catalyst for the trip was seeing a family friend whom we have known since I was an infant & we hadn’t seen since my senior year of high school. Jack served on Dad’s missile crew when we were stationed in Kansas so it was great fun to hear stories from “back in the day.”

Celebrating Bre!

Celebrating Bre!

Celebrating – Part II…I was back in Marinette for Memorial Day to celebrate Bre’s high school graduation – it is hard to believe that the middle schooler I met in the early days of the project is now a high school graduate! Saturday was for graduation – a warmer than normal spring day sitting in the football stadium stands provided me with a “nice” sunburn on my arms. Sunday was for family time – time up at the land, visiting the West Shore Fishing Museum that I’ve driven past many times, burgers at Saz’s, the boys were water bugs in the pool for a couple of hours in the afternoon and of course Sunday evening meant our “Sunday supper” tradition. On Monday – we had a full day to Milwaukee & back – fun at the Brewers game & then dinner at Bre’s favorite The Cheesecake Factory to celebrate her. I extended my trip through Wednesday & spent 2 days in our Marinette facilities catching up with people and projects.

Our 6th baseball game in 3 years!

Our 6th baseball game in 3 years!

Cooking…not too much with my May travel schedule…but while in Marinette, our “Sunday Supper” tradition continued and I had free reign of the kitchen, so a simple supper was pulled together with plenty of kitchen helpers: Grilled (in the rain) Chicken; Roasted Veggies; Pasta & Sauce; my “famous” Spinach Salad…we harvested rhubarb from the backyard & I made a simple “new to me” dessert which we ended up eating for breakfast instead – this Five Ingredient Rhubarb Squares recipe is a keeper…

Tradition - Lilacs on my desk in Marinette!

Tradition – Lilacs on my desk in Marinette!

Sipping…iced coffee…iced tea…lots of infused water because of my fun new infuser pitcher…”barley pop” with friends in WI…

The best sunburn relief!

The best sunburn relief!

Soothing…sunburnt arms with a “new to me” Aloe Gel that will now be in my medicine cabinet from here on out…

Breakfast by the bay on a Saturday morning!

Breakfast by the bay on a Saturday morning!

Reading…not quite as much as you’d think with all the travel…The Secrets of the Ladies Mission Society by Laurie Dick was a fun airplane read…I’m really enjoying The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown – another great narrative nonfiction that keeps you in the story.

Exploring the West Shore Fishing Museum on a gray Sunday...

Exploring the West Shore Fishing Museum on a gray Sunday…

Watching…while home in Marinette, a couple of low-key evenings included some on-demand movies…we thoroughly enjoyed “St. Vincent” and also found “Black or White” to be cute…

Simple cotton knitting...

Simple cotton knitting…

Crafting…I finished up a Shutterfly photo book for a graduation present…simple dishcloth cotton being turned into burp cloths for some Fourth of July babies at work made for easy travel knitting…

Rain-kissed rosebuds in the drive-thru for my morning iced coffee

Rain-kissed rosebuds in the drive-thru for my morning iced coffee

Browsing…on Pope Francis and the Art of Joy…on being busy…first there were earworms, now meet the “eggcorns“…on the classic Birkenstock coming back

Looking Ahead…as of now, my suitcases aren’t scheduled for use in June & that is fine with me…ready to restart my Saturday morning farmers market runs and then the resulting cooking…

Linking up with Leigh Kramer for the monthly What I’m Into round-up. What are you into these days?

Currently…April

In April…the arrival of spring in full force – one day all you see are barren branches and empty flower beds & the next day blooms seem to explode from nowhere and remind you that you have survived the winter & are in the season of rebirth…while work is keeping me so busy these days that the blog seems to be way down on the list, at least I have this monthly compilation to ensure the dust doesn’t settle too much out here…in the midst of it all, these are some of the things that filled my April days…

Like popcorn exploding in the midst of the barren branches...

Like popcorn exploding in the midst of the barren branches…

Reading…thoroughly enjoyed Walter Isaacson’s The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution – this was the first time I used the Whispersync technology to move between kindle read & audio read…almost finished listening to The Monuments Men…almost finished with Station Eleven…rereading Forget a Mentor, Find a Sponsor: The New Way to Fast-Track Your Career by Sylvia Ann Hewlett ahead of a professional development summit at work in May…

Watching…the latest film adaptation of Cinderella is delightful! Enjoying some British mysteries through Netflix: Death in Paradise and Rosemary & Thyme…

A fun & crafty time with friends...

A fun & crafty time with friends…

Crafting…a fun evening of Painting with a Twist with some friends from work…a few rows of knitting (need to do more!)…a photo book via the Shutterfly app on the iPad…

Browsing…the Apollo 13 mission retold in tweets in real time…the story of a 124 year old cooking club in Wichita…

Confetti eggs to end the Easter afternoon...

Confetti eggs to end the Easter afternoon…

Celebrating…Easter locally. A beautiful Easter service at church on Sunday morning to start the day. A fun and tasty afternoon at a friend’s house – which ended with 3 dozen confetti eggs being put to good use. An evening bonus was FaceTime with the girlies in TX and with the family in WI.

Simple spring supper!

Simple spring supper!

Cooking…Simple and colorful roasted veggies for the Easter table were paired with a bright berry dressing – I think this dressing is going to become a fridge staple this spring…

Sipping…lots of iced coffee and iced tea via Dunkin’ Donuts and their clever $0.99 refill mug…

On the good ship, Lollipop!

On the good ship, Lollipop!

Refreshing…a long overdue haircut unleashes my curls again…a new spring lipstick in the makeup routine…

Silver Sneakers

Wearing…new shoes for the new season…sassy silver kicks for casual Fridays and weekends…neutral ballet flats for the office…I seem to be “finally” making the transition to quality over quantity in my shoes…some pretty pennies are being spent but the daily difference is amazing…

Sun, surf, seafood & pineapple gelato...

Sun, surf, seafood & pineapple gelato…

Traveling…a quick trip down to the project site in Florida included a Sunday afternoon to enjoy delicious seafood and fantastic pineapple gelato at the beach…

Looking Ahead…a long weekend at home in the ‘Ville for Mother’s Day…time to celebrate a high school graduation (gulp!) in Wisconsin at Memorial Day weekend…

Linking up with Leigh Kramer for the monthly What I’m Into round-up. What are you into these days?

Currently…March

In March…which started out like a lion in full winter weather and as the month closes it seems as though the lions are closer at hand than the lambs…in the midst of winter’s last grasps at the season the return of the “extra hour” of daylight was a welcome thing…from the radio silence here on the blog, I think it’s an understatement to say it was a busy month for me…and looking at my phone photo albums, not much was captured…this might have been more of a survival month…in the midst of it all, these are some of the things that filled my March days…

1st day of spring snow…

Reading…I finished up The Giver Quartet and thoroughly enjoyed the whole series of stories in it – now for a virtual book club with Miss Butterfly to discuss…Vacation was a quick read for business trip airplane flights…I finished listening to The Code of the Woosters by PG Wodehouse – a fun story that is the basis for the Jeeves & Wooster play I saw this time last year whilst in London…in the midst of listening to One Summer: America 1927 by Bill Bryson…I’ve started reading Station Eleven and enjoying it so far…

Watching…the month started with my TV suddenly giving up the ghost so for a couple of weeks I just used my Fios app on the iPad to watch TV – the TV has since been replaced…I’ve been watching some March Madness but of course it’s not nearly as engaging as Mercer in it last year…Laughed through “The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” on Netflix…whilst catching up on the new season of Broadchurch on BBC America, the ad for Orphan Black caught my eye…so, catching up on the previous seasons of it before the new season starts…happy for the return of Mr. Selfridge…

Crafting…not too much, these days…a bit of knitting is happening but not too much…seeing all the buzz about “The Secret Garden” coloring book, it is time to pull out my copy that I picked up at the British National Gallery last May and do some coloring…

Remembering…fond memories of my Aunt Clara Pearl…I’m so thankful that I was able to surprise her with a visit as I drove from IL to PA when I moved east in 2012…while life interfered with being able to gather with family in Ohio, I was thrilled that the local florist was able to include sunflowers in the flowers for Aunt Clara Pearl’s “Kansas sunflower nieces”…

Cooking…Corned Beef & all the veggies for St. Patrick’s Day…Split Pea Soup with the broth later in the week…glad for the return of roasted asparagus season…

Sipping…thoroughly enjoying the Blueberry Cobbler coffee with a teaspoon of cinnamon in with it in the French press – it brings out the sweetness of the coffee with no added sweet…without even really trying, this is month that I switched to drinking my iced coffee black – I’ve never been one to sweeten it but it would frequently be on the pale side of the coffee colored spectrum…Mandarin Orange green tea is the current iced tea in my fridge at all times…

Traveling…a few days over to Princeton for some training…a short trip down to my project in south Florida…

Saturday morning cultivation time…

Cultivating…a Friday lunch routine with work friends – a perfect opportunity to catch up on life & other insanity…taking a new position in my company and developing new relationships to support that work…revisiting The Fringe Hours on a Saturday morning to continue focusing on me…

Looking Ahead…Easter dinner with friends…the return of baseball…

Linking up with Leigh Kramer for the monthly “What I’m Into” round-up. What are you into these days?