Staycation with Friends

Just two and a half weeks after Jake and I returned from Europe, a couple of our best friends visited for two weeks. If you follow me on Instagram and have watched my recent Instagram stories, you may have suspected that my late June/early July schedule wasn’t very typical. As much as I love eating out for lunch and dinner and enjoying daily Milwaukee outings and nightly concerts, my day to day life is just a little bit different.

I spent those entire two and a half weeks between Europe and our friends visiting pushing ahead on blog posts and work projects as well as working on a bunch of random tasks around the house. I had every intention to set aside an hour or so in the mornings while they were here to do blog social media promotion and a little other work. I absolutely did not do that once and don’t regret it at all. I had enough content scheduled that my numbers stayed pretty steady. And I actually got some real relaxation time at home, which basically never happens.

A Stormy Day at the Beach

Stormy Beach Early May 2017 |

It’s not a secret that I love the not so perfect days at the beach just as much (maybe even more?) than the perfect days at the beach. Through April and into the first part of May, we’ve had quite a bit of rain. The trick is capturing the sky while it’s stormy without getting poured on. I’m still hoping to see another rainbow on one of these intermittent rainy days. But I did see it raining over the water, which is always neat. I’m sure those of you who live in rural areas and see active rain clouds in the distance all the time find that funny. But for a city girl, it’s still something of a novelty.

Stormy Beach Early May 2017 |

Plus these clouds. I may or may not have decided to take pictures just because of the clouds.

Daffodils Everywhere

Daffodils |

Over the Easter weekend, the daffodils popped and have been blooming everywhere you look for the past couple of weeks now. (In case you didn’t get enough flowers yet this week.) The first spring growth always makes me so excited. Having the daffodils bloom for Easter seemed very fitting. With daffodils around just about every corner right now, it wasn’t hard to find a few places to photograph them in the neighborhood.

Orchids in Vogue at the Chicago Botanic Garden

Last week, I made a quick trip down to Illinois for the annual orchid show, Orchids in Vogue, at the Chicago Botanic Garden. Somehow I had never been to the botanic garden before? If I had, it was many many years ago. The grounds are impressive. Spanning 385 acres on and around nine islands, the Chicago Botanic Garden has 27 gardens and four natural areas with six miles of lake shoreline.

Not surprisingly, in late March, there isn’t much blooming…yet. It’s right at that point where plants are just starting to poke their way out of the ground. You know that in another couple of months, the entire place is going to look completely different. I’m hoping to make another trip down there to see it in its full glory in the summer. But for this trip, I mostly stuck to the orchids exhibit, which was entirely indoors.

The orchid show was fabulous. They packed so much into a few greenhouses, with so many different plant species and vibrant colors everywhere you looked.

Orchids in Vogue Orchid Show at the Chicago Botanic Gardens |

Sunrise over Lake Michigan

It took me over a year of living half a block from the lake to get up for a sunrise. I’m not a morning person…at all. It still seems like a sad excuse giving our close proximity to what is essentially a private stretch of beach. Like many parts of the country, we’ve experienced above normal temperatures during the end of February here in southeast WI, which made a not-too-early sunrise (~6:45 a.m.) a little more appealing. Getting up for the sunrise isn’t going to become a habit anytime soon, but it is a great way to start the day.

Sunrise over Lake Michigan February 2017 |