Hey, Summer Ain’t Over Yet

We weren’t ready to let go yet. I don’t care if school has started. You could still walk back from the beach barefoot. The calendar still said it was summer. So it wasn’t just me sayin’ it – it WAS still summer.

Before we dive into pumpkin carving and leaf raking, let’s enjoy every last second of summer.

Summer, and its weathered water-colored woods:

Weathered Summer Woods

And also, summer and its band-aids on feet.

Summer, and its sunshine and waves at the beach:

Weathered Fence at South Haven Beach

Summer, and its driftwood that makes you lay flat on the beach on your chest so you can photograph it. Ah, yes, summer:

Driftwood on the Beach

I also found flat stones polished by the lake to make some beachy jewelry mementos. It was funny to watch everyone and what they chose to do on the beach. I hunted for visual things. My sister, the personal fitness trainer and hoop dance teacher, hula hooped. (She also designs and sells the cutest hula hoops!) The guys flew kites. One was a parrot kite that flew quite well – the other kite was very rebellious and it dive-bombed everyone. My mom, always taking care of everyone, camped out on the picnic table with our stuff.

Hula Hooping on the Beach

Flying Kites on the Beach

Summer, and its farmers markets:

Summer Farmers Market

Summer Farmers Market Mural

This was an enormous mural by the farmers market. We shopped it on Saturday and were impressed with all the local food choices, and vegetarian and organic too.

Summer, and its fun table settings:

Shopping at Bayberry Cottage in South Haven

I found this table setting at Bayberry Cottage. They had Dash & Albert throws and rugs, limed oak, huge European style pottery, Uttermost lamps with an industrial linen look (pretty cool), huge tooth necklace pendants, and I could have taken photos there all day. It was a fun eclectic mix for beach décor. Seriously, I hadn’t ever wanted a beach cottage until I went to that shop and saw how it could be decorated!

I’m really a city girl but I liked the spirit in this little town:

South Haven Art

And all too soon, we were on our way back to Chicago:

Flying Back to Chicago

Yes, summer and its clear view of the city skyline and sailboats in Lake Michigan.

My husband has a pilot’s license so we flew. We were in South Haven this past weekend, a harbor town in western Michigan on the shores of Lake Michigan. We flew from the NW suburbs of Chicago to South Haven in only one hour! Driving would take about three hours. We’ll definitely be back. For people with family in both Chicago and Detroit areas, West Michigan is a great place to meet up halfway between. South Haven has good shopping, yummy restaurants, all kinds of outdoor sports, charming B&Bs, and even U-pick farms where you can pick bushels of blueberries and Michigan’s famous apples. Michigan’s vineyards have growing reputations now and there’s a wine trail with tastings of the colder weather varietals that grow well there, like Rieslings and Traminette. We picked up a bunch of bottles and wound up with Riesling-fueled karaoke in the cottage we all rented for the weekend. To Neil Diamond, no less. ?!?!? I will spare you the video of that.

We’ll be chasing summer weather around the globe. Soon we’ll be in Chennai where it surely will be hot and sunny …

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Travel Instagrams: Colors and Textures of Denver

Was there and gone too fast, in Denver. I visited for a conference and squeezed in a few sights between sessions, speaking and saying hi to colleagues from around the country. Thankfully it was nowhere near my first go-around in this fun city, and hopefully not the last. A few snaps …

Rock climbers clambering up the wall of our hotel lobby:


Are there many manhole covers cooler than this?


Watch your step, you never know what you might see below your feet. This makes me want to Google “manhole covers.” Like, otherwise why would I do that?!?

This wood keg welcomed us to Tamayo, a restaurant with upscale Mexican fare and a great drink menu. We wound up on an outdoor deck there, very happy Chicagoans actually outside without wearing coats!


I was just reading about Herradura tequila in a book of 100 margarita recipes from Maria’s in Santa Fe, which is said to make the best margaritas in Santa Fe. I missed out on margaritas while we were there, but more than made up for that in Denver.

Some folks from work and I plopped down at Tamayo at the coolest little table, with wooden drink menus bound with ikat fabric spine. Now I’m likin’ the little details like that.


Hey why so fast goin’ for those drink menus?


Do you know that happy hour here starts at 5 and goes until restaurant closing? Even more reason for happy Chicagoans  here.

Every time I’m in Denver, a trip to Tattered Cover bookstore is a must. Here’s the worn wood floor:


Our water during lunch at Appaloosa Grill was delivered in a whiskey bottle:


Well I think beer is bitter and awful but apparently I’ve been drinking it wrong?


Hmmm. This post is getting a strong alcohol theme running through it! Believe me, I’m a conference geek — I attend all sessions and don’t overdo it at night. I definitely worked here too!

We found a relic:


This old wall was interesting to me. It seems like a natural canvas that evolved over a long time:


The wall above was in a chocolate shop, Chocolatier BLUE, that had contemporary candied jewels, big contrast to the rustic wood-beam basement ceiling surroundings:


And that’s Denver through my eyes.

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Brown + Turquoise

Brown and turquoise. Turquoise and brown. A perfect pair. Hand in hand, you find them all over New Mexico.


Even the parking structures in Santa Fe look nice. This one is by the Eldorado and Hilton hotels. Interesting mix of metal chevrons with the New Mexican columns:


I saw many of these turquoise-encrusted steer skulls:


This was a fur and knit vest at Overland. Oh that place is so tempting. And so expensive. And I’ll be in Denver next weekend — the Overland there is too-too close to my hotel. I felt envious of others in Santa Fe who were walking around with Overland bags; we left empty-handed!


A window display arrangement of rustic turquoise stones on a red rock. Just the window-shopping in Santa Fe is incredible. And pretty cheap hobby:


If I remember correctly from our history ghost tour, this is the row of columns that 6,000 people passed by to go through a door, never to come out again. They were okay; they were just part of The Manhattan Project. They stepped off a bus with black painted windows, passed these columns, went through a door here, and exited the back onto the same bus again and were driven away. It was to keep them away from the spies in town. Word is, a bookstore nearby was actually a cover for the spies running it, who wanted to steal our nuclear secrets. If only these columns could talk …


Here we’re just looking at pretty pictures, but there are many stories behind these turquoise and brown things and scenes.

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Santa Fe Photos: Little Windows to a Soul

If the eyes are the window to the soul, what does that make photos? Because our photos show our interests, our passions, literally what catches our eye.

While studying the pictures brought back from Santa Fe, I saw many Instagrams show an appreciation for details and texture. I believe that without details and texture, things are flat. And really boring. I’m starting to slow down and notice these details. It’s good to not rush by and miss these things.


But look closer, there’s so much more there.



But would you want to miss the little things?



Stop a moment and see what’s really there.


Maybe really seeing the details will inspire something new?

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