May 23, 2015


If you happened to read my post at Junk Chic Cottage a couple weeks ago,
you will know that my family and I are taking a trip to Europe this summer.
Years ago, we started talking about taking this trip and we knew
that we should do it before our oldest was out of high school.
Unbelievably, he will be a senior in the fall, so now is the time
 if we want to go as a family.

I thought you might like to see where we are staying while there.
We spent a lot of time finding places that would be in a good location, would
work well for our family, and in our price range.
Today I will show you the first two stops on our itinerary.

London is our first destination.


After much searching online, we discovered a site called At Home In London
 where we found a wonderful B&B that I think will be perfect for us.
The picture below shows the exterior of the home.


We will be staying in two bedrooms that are joined by a bathroom.
In the mornings, we will be served a lovely breakfast in their dining room
that overlooks a garden.
When I tried to post pictures of the interior, they were showing up very blurry but
you can go HERE if you would like to see a few pictures of the inside.

Then on to Paris!


There, we will be staying in an apartment that we found
 on the website airbnb.

We're staying in the one you see straight ahead through the arch.

Love the blue and white tile in the small kitchen.

The room below is on a lower level and will be great for the kids.
I'm sure by that time, we'll all need a little space to recharge.

We will also be traveling to Munich, Florence and Rome.
I'll share with you our lodging in those cities in another post.
Now I'm off to fret and ponder some more about
what we should pack, what shoes to take, etc.
I would love to hear any suggestions you have.

As always, thanks so much for visiting!

Cheerio and Au revoir,

May 15, 2015


Our lilac bushes didn't do very well this year but I did manage
to make a small bouquet for the kitchen.
I thought the color looked really pretty with the light blue
of the ceramic colander.

So when I noticed some lavender colored wildflowers along the creek
in our backyard, I cut some of those and brought them in.

I played around with some different arrangements.
There were a few yellow flowers which I cut as well.

I'm just really loving the lavender and blue combination.

Some of the yellow flowers replaced the lilacs here.

On the table, I grouped some flowers in a basket that I got
 for a couple bucks at a thrift store recently.
I added a sprig of the lavender flowers in my little blue and white cream pitcher.

The tiny white flowers in the white pitcher look more like weeds
but they'll do for now.  : }

All in all, not too bad for free flowers.

Thanks so much to everyone who read my Saturday Spotlight post
at Junk Chic Cottage.  It was so fun to be featured and I really
appreciate all of your super sweet comments!

{And yes, Stacey, peanut butter and mayo - you should try it!}

As always, thank you for visiting!

♡♡♡ JoAnne


May 9, 2015


Kris at Junk Chic Cottage has been so sweet to feature me
as her Saturday Spotlight today.
Kris is one of the nicest bloggers around and I really appreciate
the opportunity to be her guest.
Thank you, Kris!


Recently, I posted about choosing a new front door for our house
and I showed you four choices.
Well, the door that received the most votes by far was No. 4.
I have to say, I think it's a great choice and I loved getting
so much input from so many of you so thank you!
Here is No. 4 all proud and dressed up with a 
pretty spring wreath.

Now I just have to keep hinting around to hubby 
that this is the one I would like!

If you have a chance, click on over to Junk Chic Cottage to find
out a couple things about me that you may not even want to know - ha ha!
And if you're not familiar with Kris' blog, you will definitely want to stay awhile.

She has a beautiful home and a beautiful style.
I know you will love it!


May 7, 2015


Recently, a blogger wrote a very honest and heartfelt post about
 how Mother's Day is not a happy day for her.
Painful feelings are dredged up every year due to the fact
that she doesn't have children even though she wanted them very much.
Her post brought back many memories for me.

You see, I struggled with infertility for many years.
Many, many tears were shed.
Many times wondering "why me" and why am I not worthy of being a
mother when everyone around me is getting pregnant at the drop of a hat.
It was devastating.
Now I can see that it has nothing to do with being worthy and everything
to do with the fact that sometimes our bodies just don't work the
way they are suppose to and it's not fair.

I'm writing this primarily to say that if you know someone
who is struggling, please be sensitive to them on this day.
Sometimes it can feel like it's all being thrown in your face,
like someone is screaming "you're not a Mom"!
No one wants to be pitied or have a big deal made out of the fact 
that they are childless.
 Just some gentle understanding, maybe an extra little hug or whisper
 in her ear some encouraging words.
That's all that is needed.

I also want to say to every woman who has the desire to be a mom and 
has a nurturing and loving soul - that I believe you
are a Mom in your heart.
I know it's not the same and I don't mean to trivialize it,
but whether you share that part of yourself by volunteering with children,
being a dedicated daughter or aunt, or a Mom to a sweet puppy -
you are sharing yourself and your heart so you deserve a special day too.

I wish you peace and love this Mother's Day!  

♡ ♡ ♡  JoAnne