Monday, December 12, 2011


I think December was quite a good month for The Husband and I to get married in. We have spent so many anniversaries on little get~away trips, albeit in the frigid Midwest, I don't think I'd have it any other way. Sometimes it has just been the 20 minute ride to downtown Chicago, staying in a nice hotel and shopping the Magnificent Mile. And then we have ventured out into western Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan. Never a tropical vacation, and never just a dinner out. Always a fun, and cold, cold trip where the sights are fun and full of Christmas spirit and the food is warm and delicious.

This past weekend was spent in St. Joseph, Michigan, a wonderful little town right on the lakefront. We stayed at The Boulevard Inn and Bistro right in the heart of the downtown area. We dropped our bags and went out to explore. The first place I found was this unbelievable kitchen store. Cooking utensils, spices, aprons, dishtowels, small appliances, everything and anything for the cook or baker.
I found some things I needed for the kitchen and even a few gifts. In the spirit of the season, a bottle of sparkling pear cider was given to every customer. And that's another fun part of shopping this time of year, all the hot chocolate and sweets the shops offer. Yum! On the left side of the picture above you can see the pink apron I bought daughter Emily for Christmas. Isn't it cute?
This is their festive window...
...and I couldn't resist a picture of this fun mixer. Isn't the color great?
I was curious to stop in this cafe but we never got around to it. But the name says it all. I bet the desserts are heavenly.
There is always a Kilwin's in every little town I go to in the Midwest. Do you have one near you? They make fudge and chocolates on big marble slabs and it's really fun to watch. The Husband bought some peanut brittle and I got some fudge and we finished it off in about 5 minutes!
As frigid as it was, we had to take a little walk on the beach.
And this is a shot from out hotel room. The inn was very nice and comfortable, decorated just beautifully for Christmas, but somehow I forgot to take pictures. When we arrived, there were two big gift baskets in our room filled with mugs and hot chocolate and candy. Wow...I really hit up on the chocolate this weekend! And one last surprise, I happened to open my purse to find a little box! Inside was the watch I have been wanting, a platinum men's style watch that I was hoping to get from Santa. We usually don't exchange anniversary gifts but since this was the big 25, The Husband is SO thoughtful.

I have some visiting to catch up on and I'll be back later in the week to post some pictures of our Christmas decorations. It's hard to believe it's only 2 weeks away. I'm really enjoying the season...I have the spirit big time. I just wish it could last longer. :-)


Jeanette said...

Love St. Joseph! Been there several time and love those sunsets!

My Grama's Soul said...

Happy Anniversary sweet Jane......sounds like you had an exquisite 25th.



Confessions of a Plate Addict said...

What fun, Jane! Happy anniversary to you and your hubby! Happy week!...hugs...Debbie

Susie Q said...

Happy Anniversary Jane!
We were just in Chicago..I posted about all the fun we had with Grace experiencing Christmas in the Windy City! We have been to St. Joseph but it has been awhile...I think we need to return and see all of these sweet places!
It sounds like you two had the best 25th!!

Anonymous said...

I think I know the watch you mentioned, you lucky duck!Sound like the perfect anniversary, our wedding anniversary is on the 21, it will be only dinner out,, maybe, lol

Sarah said...

Jane, your anniversary get away sounds delightful. Happy anniversary! Sarah

Tammy@Beatrice Banks said...

Happy Anniversary! Sounds like a wonderful trip. Love that aqua mixer!

Terra said...

Now that was a fun surprise, finding the watch in your purse. Happy anniversary, and I like that blue kitchen mixer too.

The Charm of Home said...

What a nice getaway! Your tree and island are lovely! i bet your really enjoying that new kitchen!
Merry Christmas!

Maggie said...

Sounds like a perfect anniversary getaway, great food, great shopping and a wonderful husband.
How good is that?

Anonymous said...

We don't have Kilwin's here but we have fond memories of the one in Mackinaw City.:-)

Sure would like to visit this place Jane.

Happy Anniversary!

Linda said...

Happy Anniversary!! I LOVE to 'Blog Travel' and see all the sights. You have so many charming areas around you....thanks for sharing them with US!

Brenda Pruitt said...

I have never been to Chicago. Thus have missed out on the magnificent mile. But I'm enjoying it through you. Happy Anniversary!

Theresa said...

We don't have a Kilwin's here but it sure sounds like a place I would like to visit! I love the beach EVEN in the Winter! I know you all had a wonderful Anniversary! Have a blessed day my friend, HUGS!

Anonymous said...

Hi Jane and Happy Anniversary! Looks like you had a wonderful time. Love the looks of those shops!
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

It looks like a great place to spend your anniversary! Yes we have a Kilwins here!

Amy Chalmers said...

Oh the watch sounds like it is fantastic! Happy Anniversary Jane!

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

Sounds like a wonderful anniversary getaway, Jane!

Unknown said...

Well Happy Anniversary Jane! Our anniversary is this month too (the 23rd). But I really wish we had it in June! December is a hard/stressful time to celebrate and relax. I'm glad you all had a wonderful time!

xinex said...

Happy Anniversary, Janie and AL! How fun to celebrate it. I bet the 2 of you together just keeps the cold weather warm. What a nice surprise getting the watch that you have been wanting. Very thoughtful of Al indeed!..Christine

Crystal Rose Cottage said...

That is so sweet Jane! What a lovely way to spend your 25th and what a wonderful surprise for you with his gift! I agree, you don't always have to go somewhere hot to spend a romantic night away...more snuggling would be in order!~Hugs, Patti

Debbiedoos said...

Well I would say you do have a wonderful Anniversary Jane. Happy Happy one to you both. Sounds like it was wonderful

Karena said...

Jane I just love the fun times you and your husband still have. It is so important to get away together!

Please come and enter My 12 Days of Holiday Giveaways! You will love the latest unique gifts!


Art by Karena

Susan EvelynAndRose said...

Oh Jane, how romantic! It is truly a wonderful time of year for you to celebrate your anniversary. Congratulations!
My hubby & I usually just do dinner out, but I may have to work on getting a trip in. :)
Thanks so much for your sweet comments on my decorating. It is such fun for me.
Take care,

parenting articles said...

that mixer has a really fun color. i'm sure my aunt will love that

parenting articles

bj said...

Oh, Blondie...I would love to have a mixer like that...the color is awesome. And...I wanna go in that Chocolate Cafe really really bad...ummm.
Happiest Anniversary to you, darling girl...and many more.
xo bj

Gypsy Heart said...

What a wonderful getaway! I'm so glad you shared pics. I'd go crazy in the 'cooking' type shops. Fun, fun!


Gypsy Heart said...

What a wonderful getaway! I'm so glad you shared pics. I'd go crazy in the 'cooking' type shops. Fun, fun!


Anonymous said...

Happy Anniversary! Sounds like a fun time. We have a few similar kitchen stores in our area. I usually want one of everything by the time I leave including the funky colored Kitchen Aid mixer. Can't wait to see some of your decorations.

And yes, it is hard to believe Christmas is only 2 weeks away. Reminds me I haven't gotten my list together yet for the family to buy me presents. My dad says if we don't ask for anything, then we won't get anything. Guess I better get busy on my list, huh?

Enjoy the rest of your week!

Lori said...

What a great way to spend your anniversary Jane and the perfect gift to boot! There would never be too much chocolate in my opinion, Happy Monday! xo


Happy 25th Anniversary, dearest. We just celebrated our 34th.


My Beautiful World said...

Happy Anniversary so nice to meet you I have just found your lovely blog and so glad I did. I have enjoyed looking around and now I'm following you so I can come back and visit you often, hope you have a wonderful day.

Always Wendy

Lynn said...

Happy Anny Jane! Looks like you had a beautiful weekend. The Chocolate Cafe would be calling my name too! Enjoy the holidays:@)

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said... lead such a charmed life..I am so happy for your and your sweet husband. Happy Anniversary!!

koralee said...

Fun my friend...Wishing you a wonderful Anniversary...oh happy days. xoxox

Barb said...

Hi Janie, it all looks like great fun and the stores are wonderful. It would be hard to resist shopping in those!

I envy your being finished with your Christmas gift shopping. I am not as far along as I would like to be...but doing okay. Goodness, Christmas is a whirlwind, isn't it? ;-)


Unknown said...

Oh so lovely!! I love the beach and cute boutiques...Happy anniversary!
Ours is in December too :)

Sissie's Shabby Cottage said...

What a lovely Anniversary getaway.
I just love the idea that the husband slipped a special gift in your purse. How sweet.


Town and Country Gals said...

What a great trip and happy Anniversary! That mixer is fabulous! Love everything about it! Now, what do ya use them for? LOL!
Hope you're having a merry holiday season!

Sue said...

St. Joseph is on our list-we have friends that go there every year and love it. It is wonderful to hear you in such a good seems that so many are very stressed right now and not enjoying the season! I'm trying to stay in the mood!

We don't have a Kilwin's near us, but we certainly see them all over Michigan and Florida, so they aren't just in the Midwest.

As for a December anniversary, ours has always been lost in the Christmas festivities. I think because it is just 3 days after Christmas, we were always still with family and now we are usually in the car on the way home from our daughter's.


Happy Anniversary Jane, it sounds like you both had a lovely time! I hope you have a very Merry Christmas!

Bargain Decorating with Laurie said...

Belated happy anniversary. Sounds like a wonderful trip, and how fun to get the surprise watch you wanted. I think you'd better keep him. laurie

Shirley said...

A belated Happy 25th wedding anniversary. Your get away sounded like so much fun. Chocolate, who loves chocolate. It is always fun to watch it be made and then get a free sample. I have been doing a lot of reading tonight to catch up with you all and enjoying it so much. Have a great week. Your Missouri Friend

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

Congrats Jane and Al on your silver anniversary!
I can't believe it's been two years since we went to Galena and of course there was Lake Geneva too.
Looks like a great weekend! I love the lake view, even in the winter it captures the feeling of our mid-western roots.
Jane tell Al I said he did good on the anniversary present.
I can't believe how quickly Christmas is coming this year, seeems like quicker each and every year.
Big Hugs friend,

~CC Catherine said...

Happy Anniversary Jane! What a lovely time away! Yes, I have a Kilwins about 90 minutes from me in Highlands, NC where I visited recently. I actually ordered some of their fudge for gifts to ship to three different states for the holidays. Isn't that amazing...I'd never heard of them before. You look like you had a great time...and the shops you visited are right up my lane too! Have a MERRY Christmas! ;)

Alison @ The Polohouse said...

Lucky you! A surprise in your purse for your anniversary! What a sweet guy.

I have never been to St. Joe but have heard nice things and now I have "seen" nice things too!

Merry Christmas and Happy Anniversary!

Charlene said...

Happy Anniversary! Looks like you had a wonderful time! December is a busy time to add a wedding/annv to the mix. But, we can always make time for true love right? HUGS!

An Oasis in the Desert said...

It sounds like you had a wonderful little get-away. I go a bit crazy in kitchen stores -- better than a candy store to me!

Wow, your tree is gorgeous! I love all the "special" little ornaments. I had to give up on real trees several years ago, because they dry out in less than a week in our climate.

Your island looks fantastic! Hope you are going to share what you are baking -- recipes, that is!

Babs said...

Happy Anniversary to you both.. and it looks like you had a great getaway. Thanks for sharing your photos.

Knitty said...

Happy anniversary! Sounds like you had a wonderful celebration.

Ann from On Sutton Place said...

I love St. Joe. I've never been able to really explore but it looks delightful. The shore line is beautiful. We sometimes stay there when we go to Notre Dame football games. (Husband and son are alumni.) Hopefully some day I will have time to look around!

White Ironstone Cottage said...

Happy Anniversary Sweet Jane
and congratulations on 25
Blessings to you all
Merry Christmas

Linda @ Life and Linda said...

Happy anniversary Jane. looks like a great time. The chocolate cafe looks wonderful. Loving the pretty aqua mixer....

Honey at 2805 said...

Happy Anniversary!

Thank you for linking to Potpourri Friday! May you have a Merry Christmas and the Happiest of Holidays!