Friday, October 25, 2019


I've Fallin a Little

Hello, hello, hello!  I spent three hours last night choosing, editing and loading photos.  After that I had no energy to write so here I am 24 hours later and feeling in the groove.  Except...I have had the worst sort of flu/bronchitis/asthma thing going on for almost three weeks.  In fact, all summer I was having allergy issues, sinus congestion, sore throats and then asthma.  It hit full on a few weeks ago and I've been on antibiotics, prednisone, and several over the counter meds.  I had a chest x-ray last week and it's showing some shady areas in the upper right lung lobe so I'm having a CT scan tomorrow.  My doctor said it could very well be some pneumonia settled in that area.  

In spite of feeling like my head is going to burst and my lungs sound like a bubbling brook, I have to get out of the house.  Don't get me wrong, I've spent a lot of lazy days napping and reading, and then I get spurts of energy, get myself showered, makeup and hair full on, and I feel like I'm back in the land of the living.  Sometimes its a trip to Target for Halloween candy, A grocery store stop for fresh veggies and fruit, or Home Depot (I picked up some spring bulbs for a song and actually planted them today while I wheezed and coughed.  I'll be grateful next spring).  Actually, the cold air clears out my lungs a bit.  

Cousin Love

Another fun night, I met two of my cousins for apps and drinks at a little pub near our homes.  Left to right: the three J's: Judy, Jane and Joanne.  Our fathers, now gone, were brothers.  When we were young my parents moved west to what became a Chicago suburb, and the rest of the family stayed on the Southside.  I came back when I married The Husband, as ironically, this is where he is from as well.  All of my cousins live so close, and these two, my faves, live just a few blocks each from me.  And it's also funny, the house that daughter Abby and Tom bought is diagonally across the street from the pub so we can park there and not use a valet (of course in the summer we can walk!) or look for street parking.  One of these days as the young couple get more settled in I'll see if she lets me take some pics of their home to share.  

Poppy Girl, 16 weeks

Poppy has gained five pounds since I brought her home.  And she has grown long; a long body and long legs--long and sleek like a greyhound.  And she can not only run like the wind, but she cuts sharp corners and does flying leaps over anything in her way.  Thankfully we have a really large backyard.  I'll try to get a video of her one day.  She's got that cattle dog gene, no doubt. She loves everyone, she plays with Layla in a way that Layla may have missed earlier in life.  
Milo was always more of a 'people' dog, and he just tolerated his cousins Tulo, Squall, and sister Layla.  

Lake Girl Maddy

Madelyn, her mom and daddy, as well as The Husband, went up to the lake recently to put away the outdoor furniture and such.  I was in the midst of this 'whatever-I-have sickness, and stayed home.  I started feeling a little envious when they started texting me pictures of the festivals and farms they visited, picking pumpkins, playing games, hayrides, corn mazes.  Wow, fall in the country is incredible.  The wheels in my mind are turning fast and I think we should make a good weekend out of it next year for all the kids and grands.  

Madelyn striking a pose

I had to share this second photo of Mad.  She is a true model.  I love this outfit.  Emily finds the cutest clothes on Etsy and little known shops on the Internet.  She's also in a buy/sell group on Facebook and gets bargains on some of her favorite brands.  Lately Madelyn has been sporting these pretty braids.  Em said she's been learning how to do them on You Tube.  Well this little girl loves the glam life as you can see.  Sister Lucy will be inheriting all these cute outfits, she's arriving in about three weeks.  I am beyond excited!

The beautiful rolling hills and farmland of Western Illinois

I kind of skipped over a trip The Husband and I made to Galena, Illinois in late September.  Most of you know we meet up with former blogger, Cindy, and her hubby, Dan every year for a weekend getaway.  After Cindy and I got to know each other through blogging in 2009, we just took the plunge to meet up, ironically in Galena, which is an equal three hour drive for each of us.  Other places we have met are Lake Geneva, WI., Madison, WI., Cedarburg, WI., Chicago, and our lakehouse in Michigan (a seven hour drive for them).  It's a unique and genuine friendship we have that has stood the test of time and miles.  Cindy and I pick up where we've left off as we walk, shop and talk.  We often say how we wish we lived close to each other.  She is in Western Wisconsin, not far from Minneapolis.  But we text and talk on the phone.

The Galena Renaissance Riverboat Inn

I don't know how The Husband and I got this suite, Cindy made the reservations and for a little bit less, she and Dan just got a regular room with a bath.  This was jaw dropping.  Not only did it have a spacious living room as you can see in the above photo, the bedroom was large, it had a giant whirlpool tub in its own room complete with plants and a tropical ambience, a kitchenette, and separate bathroom.

The Bedroom

Fabric, rugs, paintings and just about everything depicted lions, tigers and zebras.  The heavy drapes and over abundance of pillows made it cozy yet almost to the point of feeling suffocated.  

The Spa

This room consisted only of a gigantic whirlpool hot tub.  It was pretty opulent with the whole safari thing going on, plants and wild animals baring their fangs.  We never got around to using it.  It was situated off the hallway to the kitchenette and bathroom, and across from the bedroom.  And it had a large window in said hall looking right in.  We couldn't quite make out what it was about.  


It rained the entire weekend.  Even with umbrella's, it put a bit of gloom over our rare time together.  But the Zebra Suite saved us.  We saw a magician who also doubled as a comedian at a small, intimate theater Saturday evening.  The Husband and I had made an earlier trip to a nearbyWalmart and bought cheese and crackers, various other tidbits, some craft beer and wine, and we settled in our 'living room' to chat, watch CNN, and then Saturday Night Live.  We stayed out of the rain and The Zebra Room paid off!

Sooooo, now I want to head off into a different direction with the blog.  I want to take some varied ideas and format.  I'm feeling a little stagnant in simply sharing photos and snippets of my life.  I want to talk about other aspects of my life and the things I love, the trivial info I pick up in my never ending search for living my best life, doing the best with what I have, sharing thoughts and feelings on life, love and family. 

A long time ago I wrote a post about makeup products I used. I realized quite quickly it was not for the audience I had. Long story short, when I asked readers what their makeup routines were like as well as what products they used, I had a small handful that identified with me and my love of makeup and products, and a large percentage who rarely wore makeup, simply owned one lipstick, and had no desire to fuss with anything. Absolutely nothing wrong with that.  This time around I want to have more discussion.  I hope all of you ladies open up about your lives, wants and needs.  I'd like to cover subjects like self care, health issues and management, mental health, and of course, some lighter habits, finding the best deals, organizing your home, thoughts on decorating and trends, what we do in our downtime to, I'm excited to start.  Give and take.  I hope you are up for it.  

So firstly, I'm jut going to start with some skin care products I have been using that I'm absolutely loving and feeling the changes they have made in my skin.  Please note, I am not affiliated with any of these products.   

REN Flash Hydro Boost

This product came as a sample from Sephora with a purchase.  It was a generous size and lasted for a good two weeks.  Please note, when you are browsing through Sephora, you can ask for samples of any of their products, free and unlimited.  One day I decided to try out this little tube and I was glad I read the instructions.  It's an emulsion so it needs to be mixed with water to thin out the concentrated product.  Just a pea size amount dotted on your face, some water on your fingertips and then you just gently massage it into your face.  The smell is fragrant but in a natural way, the gentle massaging makes you feel relaxed and your skin stimulated, and skin felt like a baby's bottom.  It claims to plump your skin, I'm not sure if it did but I know that as I ran my fingers over my face after it felt changed, very smooth.  There is no greasy feeling, no waiting for it to settle in.  This will be my go-to for a very long time.
Ever Calm Recovery Balm

When we sleep our skin cells are busy renewing, repairing and dividing.  And that's the best time for your skin to receive the multiple impact from the products you put on your face.  I have always felt that the heavy creams I slather on at bedtime are just rubbing off on my pillowcase, but this night balm is a whole different ballgame.  It goes on easily and you just massage a little bit in, it's very spreadable and non greasy in spite of being a balm.  In the dry weather, I feel like I wake up with more fresh and moistured skin.  This is a keeper for me.

REN also offers cleansers, treatments and products for oily skin.  The prices are on the high end so it's definitely something you have to consider.  I highly suggest you check out Sephora to get samples, and then you can find the best price either from REN, Amazon, or Sephora.  

CereVe Moisturizing Lotion

This lotion as well as the large jar of cream are long time standbys for me at good prices.  Found at just about any store, you can even go online for coupons.  The name stands for ceramides which maintain the skin's moisture barrier, and hyaluronic acid which plumps the skins cells and replenishes lipids.  I have been on the hyaluronic acid bandwagon for quite a while.  When I was having terrible eczema, which I can happily say is now in remission, I went to one of the world's top dermatologists based in Chicago.  A Harvard Medical school grad, international speaker. and author of many textbooks on dermatology, he recommended CereVe products.  You can't beat the price.  The cream is heavy, I use it on my body after a shower.  On damp skin it spreads really well if you pat it on as well as smooth it out.

 I hope this isn't too long and boring.  And jeez, it's only three products.  Sometimes I feel so strongly about something I want to emphasize why.  

So...comment on those cute little pics of Madelyn, or the odd weekend we had in Galena, but also share your skincare routine and thoughts on new products..  We'll see if my branching out of my box is going to be receptive.

If you missed my last post, I featured a lot of great recipes.  You can find it here.

See ya soon!



Linda Ann said...

Your granddaughter is precious! And I might add so is Poppy...what a cutie she is!
I love the idea of sharing beauty products with others and that they are not necessarily products you are being paid to endorse. I so appreciate honest reviews from you and your readers. I am currently in search of a good eye cream for my wrinkly, aging eye area. Right now I use Rosehip oil and Roc Multi Correction 5 in 1 daily moisturizer. The price is good and overall I like it but I'm just not wow-ed by it. I would love to hear some suggestions for products others with aging skin use. I have switched to almost exclusively using MAC make up products. I don't wear foundation but do use blush, concealer, shadows, liner and mascara.Right now I'm really looking for some good skin care products that don't break the bank! I have also been using the CereVe moisturing face cleanser and like it.
Thank you, Jane, for this great post!

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

I am sorry to read that you are not well. I have had one of those horrible coughs that lasted a very long time and nothing seemed to get rid of it. Finally I had to go on steroids and it calmed down but I do fear it coming back. I hope they find something to help you through this.

I am a fan of CereVe. It is especially great in the wintertime when I shed skin like a snake.

Susie said...

Blondie, I pray you are doing better soon. I also hope you get a good report form the x-rays. Your little Madi is adorable. I love to see little girls , because once upon a time I had four little girls. :):) Blessings to all of you, xoxo, Susie

Theresa said...

I have had a sinus issue so I feel your pain. Yours just seems to have lasted too long and I pray you will be all better soon. That is the cutest picture of Maddie posing, just precious. I am always looking for new products to use on my aging face:) I can't believe how much time it takes to keep the wrinkles away:) Have a blessed day dear friend, feel better! HUGS!

Vee said...

Oh that grandgirlie and her adorable pose! She’s a natural. Exciting times as you wait for her little sister to arrive.

Feel better, Jane. Sounds as if you’ve been through the wringer. Praying for a restoration to good and complete health very soon. God is good and He is willing.

Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

Your granddaughter is adorable. Hope you feel better soon.

ann said...

I always enjoy visiting with you. Your posts are packed full of fun things and you write from your heart. I've neglected the Garden Spot, mostly because it seems that I repeat so much of what I have already written, but then that is the way it is when one has been blogging for nearly ten years, now. Life is cyclical. As we grow older, it becomes more of chore to get outside and do the physical work to keep the place looking good. Sometimes I am just over whelmed. Little Madelyn is a sweet heart. My granddaughters are growing up so fast, even more so now. Elinore will be 13 next week. I can't hardly belief that. Lucy is 11 and Lily is 7. They are all cowgirls now. In fact I need to get dressed and get ready for a long day with them at a horse show, probably the last one of the year. It will be Lily's first. She doesn't know yet that the neighbor is taking her horse so that Lily can compete. Lily has been riding this big barrel racing horse all summer, and so wants to keep up with other girls. I'll send IG photos. As for skin products, you will be aghast at what I use: nothing. A long time ago I decided that I didn't like the feeling of foundation make up on my skin, so I quit using it. In the teen aged years I used Noxima. Do they even make it any more? I went the Mary Kay Route with her cleaning system but it was too much work, too time consuming, and too much money. Soap dried out my skin, so I just use warm water and a moisturizer. The more water I am able to drink, the plumper my skin looks with less the defined wrinkles. I have just switched to Loreal Age something other, which I like after using Pond's for decades. I'll be 73 next month, so I am trying age gracefully and not make such a big deal out of it. My current battle is trying to keep my hair. I noticed that was getting bald spits and that I didn't have new growth, so I ditched the beauty salon shampoo and bought some Nioxon and my hair started to grow again. I think the rich, creamy shampoo that I had used for so long had clogged the poor. I switched back and forth between Dotera, a natural essential oils shampoo and Nioxon, both leave my hair squeaky clean. I have to use the beauty salon conditioner because the other conditioners dry out my hair. So there you have it. I look forward to more discussions. Grow your blog, take it where ever you need to, for we will be there.

Jeanie said...

I'm glad you are on the mend. Oh, those upper respiratory things are grim, aren't they? You have had a summer, to be sure. But take care and feel better.

I loved the cousin photo so much. My cousins are my siblings in a way -- as I have no "real" ones. And we're all parentless now, too. There's such a bond with people who have known you longer than anyone.

Skin stuff -- I use cerave sometimes (dermatologist recommended it) but for face neutrogena moisturizer. I don't know what it's called -- I just know it was $5 cheaper on Amazon than Rite Aid or Target and it takes me about a year to go through the bottle.

handmade by amalia said...

It is always fun to visit and catch up on your news, Jane. I hope you're back to full health very soon.

La Contessa said...


I AM NEW HERE and I think I like what I read!Like the direction of the BLOG as WE ALL NEED TO SHARE!YOU might enjoy my AGELESS STYLE SERIES which is up NOW on my BLOG THEVINTAGECONTESSA.NET.I do it with another BLOGGER named CINDY HATTERSLY once a month.
ARE you on instagram?I follow a few in your area which you may enjoy too..........
I sure HOPE Its NOT what they think regarding your lungs!I live in CALIFORNIA and my sinus has been AWFUL this YEAR!
TAKE CARE and keep sharing PRODUCTS!

Rita C at Panoply said...

Jane, I sure hope you're better by the time you're reading this comment! Shady spots on xrays is scary stuff, not to mention CT scans!
Maddy is oh, so adorable, and it's hard to believe she'll be a big sister in less than 3 weeks.
We use Cerave cream in this household - it's good stuff for skin.
Poppy - what a perfect name for what sounds like a body full of energy!

Laurie said...

Your photos are wonderful such little sweet hearts your grands are, I have been away from blogging for quite sometime but I am back slowly testing the waters again, my brain injury required surgery this past summer that was unsuccessful, so when you write about life changes and blog changes it resonated me, we all need to always learn new things, it keeps life fresh, you and I have known each other for quite a few years , since I sent you the watercolour painting of the ladies on the beach lol, I had more eye sight back then but my joy of painting is still strong, just not my face, one of the problems from my brain injury is my histamine response, I’m allergic to so many petroleum based products and cosmetics are very tricky for but I love to read others routines. You need to write about what you enjoy, I’m glad to have reconnected with you today,, best wishes from Canada!

Scribbler said...

Honey, you know I am a cosmetics HO, so any time you want to write about cosmetics or beauty products and routines it is all good to me!

You would probably faint if you knew what I do and spend on my face, so I will not go into it here. Let's just say that I am not going down without a fight, but I will not succumb to knives, etc. �� We can talk about it privately if you like.

Bluebird49 said...

Awww, Maddie is a doll, and soon she'll be the older sister! Wow.
Poppy's grown a lot.
I really hope your lungs are fine, Jane! It seems sinus and bronchial stuff is an annual thing with you. :(
Not much routine here, dear. I rarely get out anymore. I do use Cerave when I remember it.
You look so good with your cousins!

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It's me said...

Hi Jane....your puppy grow quick ...he is so madelyne What a sweet little girl...and i hope you wil feeling better soon love love...happy Ria 🌻🌾🍂🍁🍄🌽🍀🧡

Lorrie said...

Hi Jane,

Like you, I'm feeling quite stagnant with my blogging and struggle to post even once a week. But I don't want to let it go quite yet. I think that when I retire, probably in June, I'll either quit for good or make changes and move forward with it. We'll see.

Cosmetics - I use them and appreciate hearing about new products. I use Vichy cleansing and moisturizing products and find them good for my skin. I don't use any foundation because I've never found one that feels good. I hate feeling "made up".

I hope you soon feel better. Maddie is a darling!

Kit said...

Lots of great goings on for you! We are keeping busy too and excited for Halloween. My fav! You will laugh but the only skin care products I use are vaseline and unscented generic lotion. Oh and I wash with Dial soap! I guess it must be working, everyone says I look like I'm in my late 40's and I'm 64. Yay! Have a great week. 🎃 Kit

Kim said...

Well, of course we have to comment on Ma...she is adorable and already has those Instagram poses down! Woot! 😉 I also wanted to mention that I hope you're feeling better. I struggle with lung issues, too. It's awful. I'm always terrified to get sick, because that's where it settles and there's nothing worse than not being able to breathe. As far as my skin care routine goes, I use Clinique and have forever. I have allergies and very sensitive skin, so I need things that are unscented and pretty mild. I love makeup though. My big focus is mascara! I look like I'm asleep without it. Got any good recommendations there? I've tried a lot but I'm always up for a new one!! Be well!!

Mary said...

Hi dear Jane - sorry your health issues have kept you struggling this past season, hoping the CT scan shows nothing too bad and that you're feeling much better by now. Health issues seem to plague us all lately - aging can be difficult that's for sure.
Lovely pix in this post.
Be well soon - sending our love.

cindy hattersley design said...

Hi Jane
I am going to try those two products. I love cera vie. I got turned onto that last year. Keep us posted on your health and please take care of yourself! Thank you again for your kind comment yesterday on my blog....much appreciated!

Mereknits said...

Hi Jane, so hoping you are feeling better by now. It sounds like what you had was so nasty. I love all your photos and so wish you were able to attend that weekend with your family, but you would not have rested and might be much worse if you had. As for make up I rarely wear it because I am always rubbing my eyes and making a mess. Frankly I don't have much time in the mornings and usually have baby spit up on me from work by 9 AM so it is not an option for me. I was make up crazy when I was young. I use Boom by Cindy Joseph for all moisturizer needs. I love her product line, it is made with such simple and wonderful ingredients, not all the chemicals you see in most products.

Michele M./ Finch Rest said...

Hey Jane! It's been a long time since I have spent any time in blogdom - sorry - but sure is nice to catch up.

I too have been sick - over a full week now and getting so tired of missing everything.

But - for a rare change - I felt well enough to actually do a blog post today. GASP.


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Red Rose Alley said...

I'm so sorry you've been sick with the flu. I've had bronchitis a few times in my life, and it's awful. The coughs always linger on, and they're terrible. I do hope you are feeling better. Little Maddy is precious, what a sweet picture. I know what you mean about the cute clothes for kids nowadays. Whenever I shop for the grandbabies, I find the cutest things. The rolling hills in Illinois are beautiful. Nice to hear you got some rain. It's always good when we get a rain - it cleans everything and makes it fresh again. That is a wonderful "cousin" picture of all of you.

Happy November days to you, Jane.


Agnieszka Mikołajczyk said...

I have combination skin and I use cosmetics for my skin type.

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I have combination skin and I use cosmetics for my skin type.pillow covers vintage

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Sierra Nibbe said...


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You can contact him via Email: or whatsapp +2348132777335