Postcards from Spring Break

I splurged recently with a trip to visit my parents in Florida. My yard was still covered in snow when I left so it was wonderful to see green again.

I’ve always wanted to do the Sanibel stoop, so I was grateful to do some beachcoming on Sanibel Island.

I love watching the sanderlings chase the waves to find bugs left behind.

I also love watching all the shorebirds and waterbirds, like this Ibis poking around for something good to eat.
It doesn’t get much better than sunsets over the ocean.

Spring Break 2016

It’s a rare event when I get to take a trip, so I feel lucky to have traveled to the Sunshine State for Spring Break again this year.

beach views

Mornings and evenings at the pool are a wonderful way to start and end the day.mornings at the pool

Afternoons and sunsets at the beach are the best! Wish I could do that everyday.

seashell treasures white ibis on the beach

sunset at the beach

mom at sunset on the beach

sunset on the beach

The lush, tropical vegetation is always a treat to see in March when everything in my neighborhood is just waking up from being dormant all winter.

red hibiscus

I spent a beautiful day at the Naples Botanical Gardens.

palms at botanical gardens palm trees and ferns at botanical gardens arbor at botanical gardens arbor at botanical gardens

lego butterfly at botanical gardens tiger swallowtail at botanical gardens fritillary at botanical gardens julia butterfly at botanical gardens

Now I’m brainstorming ways I can arrange to visit the beach more often. Vacations are great, aren’t they?!


The Big City

We just returned from a trip to NYC to visit family. The last time we were in the Big City seems like a long time ago, over four years ago.

Since we have family living in NYC, we’ve been there a lot. On this trip, we did a few new things. We walked The High Line, an elevated rail that has been landscaped into a beautiful green space. It’s been expanded since we last saw it, so we got to see more beautiful landscaping.

High Line

the High Line

High Line

the lawn on the High Line

High Line

We toured Chelsea Market, shopped, snacked on Mast Brothers chocolate, and drank Ninth Street espresso.

Chelsea Market

chelsea marketchocolates at Chelsea Market

NYC cookies espresso at Chelsea Market

We had cocktails at The Jane Hotel rooftop lounge in the West Village, and enjoyed a fabulous dinner at Monument Lane, which specializes in farm-to-table food.

We ate our way around Smorgasburg food market in Brooklyn Heights. I loved the swordfish skewer and the lobster roll. The views of lower Manhattan were pretty awesome too.

smorgasburgsmorgasburg food at smorgasburg

lower Manhattan skyline

We shopped for some NYC-themed fabrics at The City Quilter and fresh art supplies at Dick Blick’s.

city quilter NYC fabrics

city quilter NYC fabrics

We had cocktails at Mad46, a rooftop lounge on the top of The Roosevelt Hotel. According to a recent article in Time Out New York, rooftop bars are the latest trend in NYC, so we were lucky to try a couple on this visit.

Mad46 rooftop lounge

mad46 rooftop loungeWe had burgers at the Shake Shack and toured a few exhibits at the American Museum of Natural History that I’ve never seen before.

Am Museum of Natural History

Their Butterfly Conservatory special exhibition was fantastic, with over 400 butterflies flying around the habitat!

butterfly exhibit

butterfly exhibit blue butterfly specimens

I also loved touring the Hall of Biodiversity and the Hall of Ocean Life. So overwhelming and exciting to learn more about the abundance of life on our planet.

hall of biodiversity oceans of life

We had fun navigating the subway and resting our feet at plenty of Starbucks around the city, which also make great places to get a pick-me-up for the next burst of excitement.


grand central stationstarbucks treat

bryant park

flatiron neighborhood upper West Side


brooklyn heights

brooklyn heights

Besides the fun experience of being in the Big City and exploring the diverse neighborhoods, we had a great time visiting family. I can’t wait to go back soon!


Spring Break in the Sunshine State

We recently went on vacation for the first time in four years! It was as wonderful as I remembered.

palm trees on the beach

We spent a few days in Naples, Florida, soaking up lots of warm temps and sunshine.

sunset at Naples pier

It’s been eight years since we’ve seen the ocean. What a tragedy! The beach was as fabulous as I imagined.

We went for a boat ride to see the waterfront mansions.

Naples Princess boat ride

mansion on Gordon River, Naplesmansion on Gordon River

mansion on Gordon River, Naples mansion on Gordon River, Naples mansion on Gordon River, Naples

We saw lots and lots of flowers, especially a wide variety of hibiscus, which I’m looking forward to growing in containers in our yard this summer. We also went to a farmers market, which was a treat since it’s March!

yellow hibiscus red hibiscus pink hibiscus red hibiscus

We saw a variety of palm trees.

palm tree palm trees palm tree palm tree palm tree wrapped in lights

We were lucky to see dolphins and lots of birds.


pelicans and dolphins

white ibis bird on beach


seagull on beach

seagull on the beach

We enjoyed dinner on the beach, watched the tide go out, and saw some beautiful sunsets.

sunset in Naples

sunset in Naples

sunset in Naples

It’s always fun to spend idle time walking on the beach and splashing in the warm ocean waters, watching the waves and wildlife, people-watching and seeing the sights.

beautiful beach in Naples beautiful beach in Naples

One thing I noticed while going through the hundreds of pictures I took is that I love to take photos of my feet covered in the soft, powdery sand after being in the water.

feet on the beach

We did a lot of beachcombing and found a few handfuls of seashells, but I left them with my mom to bring back on her drive home in a few weeks so they wouldn’t break in my suitcase.

wine on the beach

Note to self: go on vacation more often! Cheers!


Home Again

Sorry for disappearing for so long! Upon returning from our trip to New York City, our Internet was down for a day. I have been having serious blogging withdrawals, and have missed you all!

As usual, I took SO many photos on our trip! Don’t fear, I will just share some highlights you might find interesting.

After shopping at MJ Trimming for supplies, we bummed around Midtown, Times Square, and Rockefeller Center. The famous tree was being assembled and decorated.

We stopped at Magnolia Bakery for a cupcake. I’m always drawn to the red velvet cupcakes.

I loved all the beautiful concept art they had hanging on the wall. This art inspired the image on their chocolate coin that embellished my cupcake.

We were so lucky to meet up with blogger friend Victoria, of Bumble Beans Inc. fame, who I got to spend a weekend with this past summer for our quilt retreat. She showed us her fabulous loft, took us out for lunch, and we did a little fabric shopping in the Garment District.

We rode the subway to the Soho neighborhood to see some more city sights and do a little more shopping. It’s such a great neighborhood full of fun little boutiques.

We had to try a cupcake at the Crumbs Bake Shop, just to compare the two bakeries. These cupcakes were giant and quite decadent!

On the weekend, we toured the New York Botanical Gardens.

It was wonderful to see all the fall colors still lingering.

They have the most amazing rose garden.

We had fun trying to find the most fragrant roses still in bloom.

We drove out to Jones Beach on Long Island. I never would have imagined we could go to the beach in New York!

It was a little windy, making it feel cold, but walking along a sandy beach, watching the seagulls and listening to the waves crash on shore, is always a treat.

We spent time at the new High Line Park, a former elevated train track redeveloped into a public park. It had the most beautiful landscaping!

One the way to this new park, we heard live jazz music coming from the street. We found these guys, a few stories up, jamming on their balcony!

I love New York City! I am very thankful we have family living in NYC to visit, allowing us to meet up with Victoria, explore different neighborhoods of the big City, and go on new adventures. Now I’m off to catch up on homework, do some last-minute preparations for Thanksgiving, and get the house ready for a family visit.

Hope you are doing well, and enjoy your Thanksgiving weekend!

Vegas Baby!

It was relatively easy coming up with a reason to be happy this Monday. I only have to work one and a half days this week because we are headed to Las Vegas for vacation!

We are looking forward to warm, sunny days, since our winter in Wisconsin has been cloudy and damp and cold. I am going to spend the week eating, drinking, shopping, and sightseeing.

I don’t have any photos (yet) to celebrate vacation or Vegas, so I will share a sneak peak of some new products I have coming out in my shop soon.

See you all in a week!

Hitting the Road

I am hitting the road today, driving to my parents’ cottage in northern Wisconsin for a week of R&R. My parents, my sister and her daughters are already there, and my brother and his daughter are meeting us too.

benches for contemplation

I am looking forward to a repeat of our last time there, swimming, biking, kayaking, skipping rocks, reading, watching the bonfire on the beach, and just chillaxing!

the beach in Garrett Bay

I will try to check in once or twice on the days we make a trip to the library, since my folks don’t have Internet at their cottage. (I know!)

fabrics for zigzag quilt along

When I return, I am looking forward to starting on the next quilt along – a zig-zag quilt led by Amy. I’m going to use this beautiful stack of Dance With Me fabrics. Hope you all have a great week!

A Trip and a Vacation

People say there is a difference between a trip to visit family and a vacation.  I guess you can’t call visiting family a vacation, but our trip to New York City to visit Dave’s sister and brother-in-law was so much fun. How could I not call it a vacation?!

We live in a small city, more like a college town, so I love being in the big city, especially THE city.  Just watching people going about their lives can be an adventure.

Approaching Manhattan

I had a small list of a couple places I really wanted to go to, and thanks to my patient husband, we found each one.

There was Purl in Soho:

Me in front of PurlCheck out the inside!  Who can’t resist walls and walls of yarn?!  I bought that skein of Sheep Shop yarn to make a beret.  I also bought two skeins of sportweight yarn by Blue Sky Alpacas to make fingerless gloves.  Besides all the luxurious and colorful yarns, the atmosphere at this shop is warm and cozy. It feels like a great place to meet friends or spend an afternoon, lost in your knitting project.

walls of yarn

Next stop was just a couple doors down the block: Purl Patchwork:

Purl Patchwork Storefront

This is such a wonderful shop, a lovely place I would love to hang out at on a regular basis.

Wall of Fabric!

We also made it to M&J Trimmings:

M&J Trimmings in ManhattanThis shop is also amazing – HUGE and FULL of ribbons, rick rack, buttons, beads, and millions of other embellishments.  I bought a bag full of various ribbons.

Inside M&J Trimmings

I felt a bit like a tourist when we found this next shop, but it was worth it to see in person.

Inside of Mood FabricsCan you guess where I was, standing among millions of bolts of fabric?

Mood Fabrics storefrontI didn’t buy anything there because I was so overwhelmed with their inventory. We were lucky to get away with a couple pictures. I’m sure they don’t like tourists coming in and gawking while they’re trying to conduct a professional textile business.

Fashion District Statue

(At this point, I would like to point out the great pictures Dave was taking for me – isn’t he great?!)

Here are a few highlights from the rest of our vacation:

Terri in front of the Guggenheimin front of the Guggenheim Museum

Inside the Metropolitan Museum of Artinside the Metropolitan Museum of Art


Times Squarewatching the craziness in Times Square.

famous Christmas tree at Rockefeller Centerthe famous Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center – not quite ready yet! (official lighting: Dec. 3)

I took over one hundred pictures, so I won’t bore you with more.  We ran into the Union Square Greenmarket, ate at a couple Irish pubs, rode the subway, saw the Christmas window displays at Macy’s and Saks Fifth Avenue, even checked out St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

You may recall, we were celebrating, so we went to a french bistro on the upper West side called Nice/Matin for dinner.  FA-BU-LOUS!

Birthday girl and hubby

Besides being away from work for TEN days (it was heaven), we spent a lot of time just sightseeing and people-watching, had many great conversations and many more moments of laughter and jokes. I’m going to cherish this trip and vacation.

Recap of Summer Vacation 08

It’s hard to believe summer is almost over. The end of August is just a few days away, as is Labor Day weekend, which always seems like the last hurrah of summer. It feels like just yesterday I was getting excited about sprucing up our gardens and spending more time outside. I had a ball over my summer vacation, so I wanted to share with you my fabulous list:

I watched my brother compete in his first half-marathon.

I spent a week in Chicago for a work-related conference, which was great fun, meeting people from all over the country.

We spent a week in Destin, Florida for our seventh wedding anniversary. It was the relaxing beach vacation we were hoping for.

We planted eight new trees in our yard, more flowers and a vegetable garden.

I watched my brother and cousin compete in a triathlon.

We spent the 4th of July weekend at my parents’ beach house in northern Wisconsin, boating and biking and enjoying the outdoors.

We went to Art Fair on the Square and Concerts on the Square. (lots of events in Madison are held on the grounds around the Capitol building)

We hosted twenty people from my family at our house for a family reunion.

I spent a week with my sister and family at the beach house again, with more outdoor adventures such as hiking and swimming, yet you can’t leave out cooking and baking when there are two or more women from my family together in the same house (we all enjoy the domestic parts of life).

I spent another weekend with my family one last time before my sister moves to China. (boo hoo)

I read a bunch of books, all of which I would recommend, including The Road by Cormac McCarthy, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith, The Art of Mending by Elizabeth Berg, Isaac’s Storm by Erik Larsen, and Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White. I’m almost finished reading Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson, which I highly recommend.

I was much more creative than anticipated. I made portable cushions, a fabric beach ball, a tablecloth for our kitchen, curtains for our kitchen and for my sewing room, flower pincushions, a lunch bag with iron-on vinyl lining, and a garden quilt. (if I knew how to make one of those photo mosaics, I would have included that here, but you get the idea.)

I participated in a placemat swap, which was great fun, although I was sad that I never heard from my partner. (I wonder if she received the set I made for her? I wonder if she liked it.) Still, I was happy with the six placemats and matching napkins I made for her.

Oh yea, I bought lots of fabric too. How could I resist – there were so many wonderful new fabric collections – Midwest Modern, Drawing Room, Farmers Market, Garden Party, August Fields, Pop Garden – that came out this summer and so many convenient etsy shops to order from. I know, you understand.

My favorite parts of summer vacation were the adventures and the quality time spent with family. Thanks for stopping by. Cheers for Fall – I’m looking forward to beautiful sunrises, cool evenings, changing leaves, hiking in the woods, caramel apples, and more.