Recently…January and February 2017

Ah, JANUARY & FEBRUARY…the fact that January didn’t get posted here should be an indicator of how 2017 has been…these months have been filled with some winter weather, a bit more daylight each day, a whole lot of travel, some attempts at saying Hello to all the months had to offer, and more…among it all, these are the things that filled my January & February days…

Watching (on the small screen)…the return of Sherlock on Masterpiece was a good start to the year…Victoria on Masterpiece is an enjoyable addition…the DVR is getting plenty of use with all my travel…

Reading…after a slow start,  the “books complete” list if filling up – 10 books in these months – thanks to the time on airplane…three  trips to Three Pines with The Cruelest Month and A Rule Against Murder and The Brutal Telling by Louise Penny…a journey through the dawn of the space program and the hidden women that supported it with Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly…a quick read of hygge in The Cozy Life…a tale of a Pennsylvania town impacted by fracking in Heat & LightMicro-Resilience by Bonnie St. John was a good business read as I move into a new role…A Portrait of Emily Price was another fun escape by Katherine Reay…Chasing Francis by Ian Morgan Cron was an insightful story that also had me longing for a return trip to Assissi…once again, a Charles Martin story pulled me in from the start in Thunder and Rain

Watching (on the big screen)…A Saturday afternoon at Movie Tavern was time well spent with a friend and her daughters as we enjoyed the Hidden Figures movie – yay for celebrating women…La-La Land was a delightful Sunday afternoon with a friend…on a flight I enjoyed watching The First Monday in May

Listening…the La-La Land soundtrack is on frequent play as well as the recent Toby Mac Live album…

Tidying…a slower start to my 2017 Kon Mari…but I did manage to have a small Green Drop pick-up on the calendar… another pick-up pile is gathering in my spare room…

Organizing…my pantry with new labels for the mason jar containers…now, to just be home enough to be using them…

Growing…even while I was gone, my winter bulbs seemed to thrive at home…the paper white bloomed & tipped off the plant stand while I was on the road…I was giddy that the majestic red amaryllis yielded 4 blooms that waited until I was home for a full week to bloom when I could enjoy them…

Traveling (for work)…since the calendar turned to 2017, I have been on the road for work for portions of 7 weeks – currently my airline app shows 24 flight segments so far…6 in Milwaukee and 1 in Boca Raton…since several flights were at less popular business travel times, I lucked into some upgrades along the way…

Dining…while on the road doing my best to stay healthy…in the absence of dinner plans with colleagues, my go to is soup and salad from Panera Bread…some favorite Milwaukee restaurants have been enjoyed – a spot on French onion soup one night and delicious sushi and sake another night

Cooking…early in January I had a “glorious” weekend of all sorts of food prep which was a lifesaver for the days I was actually home and felt like a great way to be starting off the new year. In addition to some of my favorite ways to prep, I enjoyed  making the  Pork Medallions with Blackberry Compote & Cauliflower Puree (from “Well Fed Weeknights”)…with this ongoing travel, I’m thankful for roasted veggies and eggs in the fridge to ensure hodge podge hash and eggs is an “at the ready” meal when I’m home – I need to do another muffin madness type of food prep weekend as the travel continues…

Sipping…coffee in the morning…tea in the evening…weekend mornings mean coffee in my fun new panda mug from my girlies…loving my new HydroFlask from my favorite Marinette coffee spot – it is quickly becoming a travel essential…

Traveling (for fun – Jan)…one weekend I decided to stay in Wisconsin and trekked north to Marinette to hang with the WI-family. On Saturday morning, I picked up coffee from my go-to spot and enjoyed a peaceful breakfast time along the shore. I finally met the newest addition to the family, Bebe A, and spent lots of time with her in my arms. Saturday evening was for cooking – Sunday evening was for grilling burgers in the snow. Just hanging out and catching up on life.

Battling…winter colds and crud…of course, “the” week that I was home in February included a head cold flaring up – as the weekend approached, I went full force on all the remedies and by the time I got on a plane early Monday morning the cold was history…without a doubt, seeking out a “near to me” Salt Cave on the Saturday afternoon was the extra oomph needed to ensure that I was ready to go for 2 days of facilitating training…

Traveling (for fun – Feb)…one weekend in February was blocked for a trip over to see my girlies in State College…at the end of the month, the family relocated back to Texas…so I was grateful for one last time to hang out with the girls in PA…our homemade pizza evening…plenty of games…just hanging out…making terrariums…on the wonderfully warm and sunny Saturday afternoon the girls & I left their parents packing at the house and enjoyed some adventure time – including sipping coffee on the patio at the coffee shop and a bit of shopping that included helping M pick out foundation (when did she get old enough to wear makeup?!?)…driving away from their house was bittersweet – but I’m so thankful for the months when they were “just down the road” from me…

Looking Ahead…as I say Hello to March, I see a fair share of business travel…a weekend with the family…daily Lenten readings…signs of spring…and more…

What has been filling your winter days?

Linking up with Leigh’s What I’m Into round-up.

Recently…December 2016

Ah, DECEMBER…a month filled with holiday hustle and bustle…first snowfall…twinkling lights…lots of peppermint…mailboxes filled with actual mail as Christmas cards arrive…holiday traditions old and new…connecting with family and friends and more…

In the midst of it all, these are the things that filled my December days…

Reading…a hodge podge of books to end the year: Sigma Force Books 6 & 7 by James Rollins; Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe and Christmas at the Cupcake Cafe by Jenny Colgan; Christmas on Jane Street by Billy Romp; Letters from Santa by Becca Whitham; The Lions in the Living Room: How House Cats Tamed Us and Took Over the World by Abigail Tucker…a long overdue review post for the last couple of months is queued up for mid-month…

Watching…lots of Hallmark channel Christmas movies…the Pentatonix Christmas Special was a fun hour – it felt like a classic Christmas special that could stand the test of time…It’s a Wonderful Life on Christmas Eve, as per family tradition…

Listening…completely in the Christmas music mode…in addition to favorites from Christmases past, this year I added the latest Pentatonix Christmas and The Piano Guys Christmas to the rotation…

Adventing…taking time each day to focus on the reason for celebrating the Christmas season…reading from Watch for the Light in the evening during the season…also, doing a daily scripture writing exercise that pulled from Old and New Testament verses to prepare for Christmas…

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Traveling – Part 1…a quick trip to Milwaukee near the middle of the month…it was the 10th MKE trip for the year…winter temps and winds were in full effect while I was there so my new winter coat was fully tested on the walk to the office each day…the Milwaukee airport was filled with holiday cheer as I waited to head home…

Traveling – Part 2…enjoying 12 days of Christmas in the Ville with family and friends…when the year winds down with lots of unused vacation days, you take them!…this extended time at home deserves a separate post to be published in the next couple of days…

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Traveling – Part 3…ringing in the new year with some of my favorite people over in State College – opening presents, board games & puzzles, First Night State College, tasty meals & beverages, staying up late, plenty of time with my girlies –

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Playing…a fun new board game with the family in the Ville and in State College…Latice is a clever strategy game that combines parts of dominoes & Uno into a game that was fun with all ages…

Baking…lots of Christmas cookies while home for Christmas…

Cooking…most of the month felt like I was cobbling together meals, there wasn’t a strong meal plan…meal planning is back in action in the new year…

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Sipping…all the Christmas flavored coffee, especially enjoying our favorites from Door County CoffeeCranberry Vanilla Wonderland tea was an almost daily iced sipper…adding a shot of elderberry extract into the morning iced tea that already contains apple cider vinegar and ginger…

Looking ahead…as we say Hello, January…a month filled with “new”…and work trips…and full on winter…and more…

What filled your December days?

Linking up with Leigh for the What I’m Into round-up.

Recently…November 2016

Ah, NOVEMBER…a month filled with…falling leaves…shorter days…the election…my birthday…unplanned car expenses…Thanksgiving…Giving Tuesday and the start of the advent season…In the midst of it all, these are things that filled my November days…

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Reading…with airplane time & holiday time, an eclectic assortment of books were completed…Hillbilly Elegy by JD Vance…The Bookman’s Tale by Charles Lovett…The Last Oracle by James Rollins…Sense & Sensibility by Joanna Trollope…The Mackinac Incident by Len McDougall…The Secret to Hummingbird Cake by Celeste Fletcher McHale…and listening to Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda…

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WatchingThe Durrells in Corfu was a delightful Masterpiece Theater find…easing into Christmas movies on The Hallmark Channel…

Listening…thoroughly enjoying the latest Pink Martini album

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Traveling – Part 1…to Milwaukee to start the month with a 2 day trip that extended to 3 days & confirmed why I always pack just a bit extra for the unexpected delay…on a crisp autumn evening, dinner at a favorite cafe was perfect…

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Traveling – Part 2…a long weekend over to State College with my girls…on Friday morning I had to get the girls off to school – Miss V was ready for the bus way early so we were outside for 35 brisk minutes…fun times exploring local shops & getting a jump start on Christmas gifts…taking Christmas card photos…celebrating my birthday…impromptu concerts…intense board games…all around fun!

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Traveling – Part 3…home to the ‘Ville for a week…(minus a few days for a quick MKE trip)…plenty of R&R time at home with the family…Rebecca & I enjoyed 2 sessions at the local salt room…the family that reads together – one afternoon I looked up from my reading to see that we all had our noses in books or other reading…

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Traveling – Part 4…another 2 day trip to Milwaukee from the ‘Ville…I brought my “traditional” Thanksgiving Monday leftover Nantucket Cranberry Pie for breakfast, even on the road…

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Cooking…a tasty family Thanksgiving menu that included “my” Brussels sprouts…inspired by the Thanksgiving in a Blanket video recipe making the rounds, Mom turned our leftovers into a delicious Stromboli that used her fabulous yeast crescent roll dough…once back home from the Ville, a go to Shepherd’s Pie was whipped up for the week…

Bake

Baking…a delicious Cranberry Pumpkin Muffin recipe that is much healthier than my “go to” of the Trader Joe’s pumpkin bread mix of years past…an easy Chocolate Chip Coconut Macaroon recipe to take to the office Thanksgiving luncheon…my Nantucket Cranberry Pie for the annual Thanksgiving lunch at church in the ‘Ville…

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Sipping…Lots of coffee & tea…both hot and iced…splurging on a Vernors during a layover in Detroit…

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Looking ahead…as we say Hello, December…a busy December filled with a couple of weeks of work and then a couple of weeks of time away with dear ones to relax, recharge & celebrate the Christmas and New Year…

What filled your November days?

Linking up with Leigh for the What I’m Into round-up. 

 

Recently…October 2016

Ah, OCTOBER…a month filled with…leaves: changing colors, rustling in the wind, scattering across the yards…beautiful autumn skies…brisk days and some “last gasp of summer” heat…In the midst of it all, these are the things that filled my October days…

Reading…it was a busier month (& only 1 flight on the 2nd) so only 4 books were completed since sharing reads…a fun celebration of childrens books in Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein…more in the James Rollins Sigma Force series: Black Order and The Judas Strain…another visit to Three Pines in A Fatal Grace by Louise Penny…

Watching…most of my shows via DVR…enjoying Designated Survivor, Timeless, This is Us from among the new shows…continuing to be amazed with how Code Black can “get me” in their stories…HamilDoc was a fun insight into the phenomen around the musical and Alexander Hamilton..

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Hosting…a fabulous girls weekend with my fave girlies & their Mom…we packed a lot into just over 2 1/2 days…Independence Hall…The Crayola Experience…Cheesesteaks…pedicures…shopping for winter gear for all…just hanging out…all around fun for all…

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Crafting…not much…but M’Amy had plenty of crafting options available for the girlies while they were here…coloring books…decorating pumpkins…

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Cooking…lots of fall flavors…a new Spinach Artichoke Soup recipe – I seasoned it like my “famous” dip & have decided this is a ‘keep the ingredients on hand’ recipe for the days ahead…lots of roasted veggies…putting a pumpkin spin on my go-to no bake cookies…a new fave breakfast is a pumpkin smoothie…a batch of Autumn Butter was a great way to rescue aging apples & pears in my fruit basket…

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Sipping…as I try to add bone broth to my daily routine, this Lemon-Cumin-Turmeric version is delightful…tinkering with a dairy free make ahead creamer to pair with Oolong tea & ice for day long sipping…

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Welcoming…a few trick-or-treaters on Halloween night…it has been years since I have actually been home on Halloween…

Looking Ahead…November is always a favorite month with my birthday & Thanksgiving…

What filled your October days?

Linking up with Leigh’s monthly What I’m Into connection. 

Recently…September 2016

Ah, SEPTEMBER…a month filled with…one last heat wave…moments of fall creeping in…busy work days (and a pause to celebrate)…the return of football…a bit of travel…and more…these are the things that filled my SEPTEMBER days…

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Reading…lots! While I didn’t get a reading round-up shared this month, I’ve achieved my summer reading challenge and continued on. It looks like I got through 9 books in September, including: When Breathe Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi; I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh; Girl Waits with Gun by Amy Stewart; starting into the Sigma Force series by James Rollins; starting into the Her Royal Spyness series by Rhys Bowen and more…

Watching…(small screen)…diving back into some favorite shows and trying out some new ones as the fall season starts…since I saw the first ad, I was looking forward to Designated Survivor and so far it hasn’t disappointed…

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Celebrating…September started with a huge milestone on the work project that has filled my time (& travel) in recent months…our site celebration hit just the right notes to mark the occasion…

A milkshake was the perfect post root canal lunch on a Saturday...
A milkshake was the perfect post root canal lunch on a Saturday…

Sitting…in way too many dentists chairs for the month…cleaning and x-rays…a root canal to start a Saturday…part one of some crown work…

Crafting…not too much…basically a few rows of knitting…

Cooking

Cooking…all sorts of things: a perfect farm fresh succotash…my go-to Shepherd’s Pie…a new creation – Broccoli & Chicken Cordon Bleu Bake…wilted spinach & pear salad with soft eggs…a quick pull together of Buffalo Chicken, Spinach & Cheese Tortellini Bake…roasted garlic & tomatoes for all sorts of goodness…

Iced coffee & a cupcake to end an impromptu al fresco lunch on a Friday
Iced coffee & a cupcake to end an impromptu al fresco lunch on a Friday

Sipping…it was still an “iced” beverage month…a new iced tea in rotation is Coconut Green Tea…

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Traveling…for work…a few days in Milwaukee…beautiful lake & sunrise views from the hotel room to start the days…productive working sessions…delightful meals with colleagues to end the days…

Never too old for a Daddy Date
Never too old for a Daddy Date

Traveling…through the ‘Ville on the way back from the work trip…including a Thursday afternoon Daddy Date to see Sully in the theater…a fun dinner with Rebecca & some of her friends in Senoia…meeting up with PA friends at the original Chick-fil-A Dwarf House on Saturday as they arrived in GA to celebrate a 13th birthday with a mother-daughter weekend of hiking…taco salad and chocolate cake with our pastor and his wife on Saturday…

Band

Marching…into the high school football stadium with the band for Friday Night Lights…it was the 50th anniversary celebration of our high school marching band so Rebecca & I joined up with band friends, our band directors and so many other alums to celebrate…we all marched in with the current band & some alumni played as we all were on the field for the pre-game event…it was a fun evening catching up with friends and remembering such a great part of our high school experience…this fall has been 25 years (!!!) since my last time marching…

Looking ahead…ah, fall! I’m not sure of what work travel might pop up in October…planning for a long weekend hosting the girlies…time to get the fireplace ready for cooler weather…more warm beverages coming into the routine…fall flavors in cooking…the changing of the trees…hand-knit season returning….

What filled your September days?

Linking up with Leigh’s monthly What I’m Into Round-up.