Joy in the Simple Things

January 20th, 2017

There are times in life when no words are necessary-  Instead, we have to pause, breathe deeply and appreciate a moment for what it is.    Those ‘little’ things are bigger than we realize.  IMG_3245  My weekend advice to you is:   Take the time to notice.    Forget the endless ‘to do’ lists and the things you ‘need’ to do, but instead take a little time to ‘be present’ in a moment.     Soak it up-  be grateful-  appreciate every single bit.


My weekend will be spent in the company of people I love.   I hope yours is as well.


London Calling

January 17th, 2017

IMG_3074Approximately five years ago, I made a suggestion to my best friend, S. that we go to London for my 50th birthday.   At the time- 5 years out seemed like such a long time to be thinking about a girls trip, but we half-halfheartedly talked about it and every once in a while we’d make a comment about it as a possibility.

Fast forward to current day- when the year of Lori version 5.0 has arrived and the plan is in FULL MOTION!

  • Dates Chosen.
  • Flights Booked
  • Hotel Booked
  • Birthday dinner location chosen and waiting for reservations to drop so we can make one.
  • Fun being planned!

To say that I’m excited may be the understatement of the year.  S and I have never taken an overnight girls trip together, just us, so it’s going to be a blast!

Do you have any ‘must see or eat’ places in London?  If so, I’d love to hear about it.      Since we didn’t really want to spend our time traveling back and forth from the outside of the city to the hub of everything daily-  we are staying in the middle of the action in Westminster.    My birthday dinner?  If we can get reservations-  will be at Dinner by Heston-   as in Heston Blumenthal.      I really wanted to try to get into the Fat Duck, but since it’s a little too far to travel for this trip, we’re going with the closer option at Dinner by Heston.   We are also hoping to get a few bites in at Nori.

Ooh and did I mention that S will also be celebrating a birthday while she is here?   She arrives here and the following day is her 48th.      July is going to be a month of celebrations and this girl can’t wait.




Day 9- Really?

January 9th, 2017

Nine days into this new year and here I am popping my head in here. Things have been a bit discombobulated with me getting sick right before the year ended with a nasty stomach bug. It thwarted our plans to ring in the new year with friends, but instead, we spent our time lounging quietly on the sofa and watching movies.

Aside from the fact that I didn’t feel great and missed the time with friends, I didn’t mind the quiet end and begin to the new year. Since then it has been a push to get will, which put me behind on work projects, which I’m now working to complete for this week.

I have so much to say- but the one thing I promised myself for the new year is to invest- Invest in what matters to me, and that also means investing in ME first- something that I haven’t always done.

I have MUCH to say- including a few announcements, but those will wait until I have more time to spend here on this blog, which is also something I’ll be investing more time in.

Hope your new year is off to a great start!

This Year- 2016

December 28th, 2016

This morning I realized that this is the last week of 2016.   The last Wednesday, the last week, the last month.     This weekend, if all goes as planned, we’ll be ringing in a clean slate of potential and possibilities-  a new year.   2017.

What I do love is that every year serves to teach us something new.     For one close friend, my perception of the two things she learned the most from this year was:  to live your dreams now & to embrace the grey.   She has been admittedly a black or white kind of girl, but varying situations arose in her life and she’s found herself not only embracing the varying degrees of grey, but taking those lessons with her and continuing to thrive even more in her life.

For myself,   I took a moment and reflected on a few things I wrote last year to see what I have learned, what I’ve changed and what hasn’t.

On a work level, I’ve learned so much over the last year in regards to my small company.  I continue to learn and listen to feedback from clients, because while what I do is a part of who I am, the reason I bring what I do to others is because I love being able to share it with others, so what they want, need and think matters.    People always matter.    I look forward to 2017 bringing me much more inspiration and chances to learn and grow within my business and the connections around me.

On a personal level-   I realized that I was too distracted in life.    I enjoy doing so many things, but the truth is-   some of those things need to have time constraints put on them or it affects other things with a higher priority, so I’m continuing to learn about prioritizing.

I completed Whole 30, not once, but twice.  It’s life changing.    I highly recommend everyone try it.   It will make a difference in your life.

Exercise is still something I’m working on getting into a more regular routine with.    It was once something that was a part of my everyday life- and it has been hard to get back into the habit, but I’m doing it!     My body is thanking me for it as I continue to do more and more to get back in the full swing of things.

Relationships-    I value the people in my life SO much.    Some of those have shifted- not because we don’t care for each other, but I believe it’s the ebb and flow of life.    People change, their interests change, their outlooks change-   and sometimes we drift away, or closer to each other again.    The thing I’ve found is that it’s important to let people be who they are.    It isn’t about us.  We should all have the freedom to be who we want to be.

I want to invest more in my relationships, to strengthen and deepen the ones who already mean such a great deal to me, and to spend time investing in those that I would like to see deepen and grow into an even better relationship.

I have learned so much about human nature and other people, simply by observation.   Human nature fascinates me- so I find it extremely fascinating to see how people interact with each other, but also how they interact differently with various people.    I could write so much on this subject alone, but I’ll save that for a subject in 2017.

My favorite moments of this  year?  A few in a list:

  • I went sailing for the first time and absolutely adored it.    Thank you Marc.
  • Seeing two of my favorite people say “I DO” and being there to share in their special day.   From the bridal photos to the final clean up-  I wouldn’t have missed any of it.    Just typing this brings tears to my eyes.
  • Spending time with Samantha in New Orleans and everywhere in between.   It’s always so much fun.
  • Time spent with my chosen sister Shelley both in person and via telephone.   I cherish them all.
  • Receiving a box of pecans from my great aunt Lois.   She’s in her mid 80’s and she picked up and shelled them herself.   A true labor of love.
  • Discovering a place where I want to have a garden.   A place of peace, beauty and bliss.   I can’t wait for the opportunity to find the perfect spot and create something magical.
  • Spending time with my parents and Marcel hiking in Tishomingo State Park.
  • Dinner out with some of my friends from high school that I still have contact with.  so much fun!
  • Caroline and Eric surprising Marcel for his birthday.
  • Girl day with my girls for my birthday.
  • Having a renewed friendship with D. and H.  after more than three years of disconnect.

This is a brief list.   Truth is-   there are SO many wonderful things that happened this year, not only to me, but to those within my circle.   I love seeing them all thrive.

Next year-   more blog posts.   More fun.   Keep your eyes peeled!


In the Midst of Home Improvements

December 28th, 2016

Marcel and I spent a ‘bit’ of time doing home improvements this year. Truth is- we didn’t get nearly everything done and over the past few days we’ve been making plans as to what we want to do for next year. More painting, plus I still have art work to be framed. New window treatments – all things that are on the list to be done, plus a few industrial lighting fixtures from Marcel loves the industrial look and even though I don’t want to totally go to that look, I do think a little lighting would be perfect with what we have planned.

Now to get that ‘to do’ list done. 2017 is going to be the year of the lists- There will be lists for everything that needs to be done. What about you? Do lists help you get things done?

Christmas- Southern Living Style

December 15th, 2016

It has been a hustle and bustle kind of week.    I’d love to say that I’ve got everything together- have the tree up and it’s looking festive in here, but I’d be lying.    We have the tree, but it’s yet to be brought in and decorated.    We DO have the lights and decorations out-    so that’s a step in the right direction, but I’ve been swamped with work this week.   I’m grateful- oh so grateful, but I’ve been baking my  heart out-  with more in the works.

img_2300Thankfully, I’m a little ahead of schedule after running behind schedule earlier in the week, so that is a huge plus!  Tonight I took some time and finally cracked open my Christmas with Southern Living book that I’d ordered but not taken the time to look at yet.

I’ve also been itching for the Bake from Scratch holiday issue, so was able to browse it a little as well.  Both are favorites, but I’m one of those people who will leave a cookbook sitting for months if I can’t stop and fully savor each and every page.

I know it may sound silly, but it’s true.  There’s something almost ritualistic about it.   Pure enjoyment and focused on the season at hand.

I’ve seen several recipes that I want to make for our own holiday table, including my grandmas praline recipe that I improved a couple of years ago, plus divinity.    My dearest great aunt sent me a gallon of pecans that she’s picked up from her orchard and shelled.     It was an amazing gift, and something that makes me want to create something special with the fresh pecans that I know were sent with much love.

I want whatever I make with some of them to be made with love and deliberation, but also something that the flavor of the pecans will shine through.

What would you suggest?   I’ll be sure to share what I decide to make, but as for now- I’ve got some relaxing to do as tomorrow a villiage of gingerbread men await my services.

Christmas Baking

December 10th, 2016

Have you started your Christmas baking yet? Since baking is my business and I’ve been blessed with an abundance of holiday orders; I officially started today. I spent most of the day working on 6 batches of my famous Fleur de Sel caramels, and from there went on to make two batches of gingerbread dough. *When wanting to double a recipe- measure it out and mix separately as with baking doubling doesn’t always work effectively.* From there- I mixed the dry ingredients for some cupcakes I’ll be baking up tomorrow for an order on Monday- Chocolate orange. You can’t go wrong with that flavor now can you?

Later this week I’ll be making dog treats for some very lucky canines, plus more cookies, more caramels and a few cakes. Then I’ll try to squeeze in a little personal baking to share with people I love, which I hope (fingers crossed) to include divinity and pralines- something we always had at Christmas when I was growing up.

What is your ‘must have’ on your holiday table.

Early Christmas for Someone

December 10th, 2016

This morning while I was out walking the dog, I noticed a box out by the bulk trash for a martin parlor guitar. I couldn’t help but smile, as I knew immediately that it meant our neighbor (who is in a band and whom I’ve mentioned here before), must have received one for Christmas as a gift. I suspect that if that’s the case we will be hearing the contents of said box this weekend sometime.. unless he actually put it under the tree, which is doubtful. I know his band is supposed to be playing at a local Christmas festival tonight, so maybe he’s there testing it out now. Either way, I’m looking forward to hearing the sound. His passion for music never dissapoints.

The Stockings Were Hung

November 29th, 2016

Santa is coming!    How many of you had your Christmas trees up before Thanksgiving?   As much as I would have liked to, we still haven’t decided what type of tree we will have.    The fact that it will be a real Christmas tree is a no-brainer for us, but will we go for the larger one, or a smaller one Santa that will fit on a table top?  That remains to be seen.    If I had to choose today, it would definitely be a smaller version, simply because it is easier, not to mention it doesn’t take up too much space, plus I don’t have to be concerned with JJ and Mister M. having a ‘cat fight’ under the tree.   Decisions, decisions!

Much more important than the tree is the people we will be spending our Christmas with.     That is also still in the works, with plans unfolding, but I’m looking forward to having a time of fun and festivities with friends, whom I’ve adopted as my family here.

What about your favorite holiday traditions? Do you have any?    I’d love to hear about them.    When I was growing up we would always go look at Christmas lights.  My brother and I would be in our pj’s early and off we would go as a family- in the car to drive through areas and look at the Christmas lights on display.  To this day- it’s still one of my favorite traditions.    I actually think that this year we’ll also be doing it with friends here.   Something else exciting to look forward to.

What do you look forward to during the holiday season?


Tis the Season

November 29th, 2016

I spent the afternoon at my hair stylists today and we exchanged stories of what kind of gifts were were giving this coming hoiday season. She has two musicians in her family- one quite well known and the other, someone with a lot of diverse talent and someone I’ve predicted will continue to grow in popularity and shine bright. Because their family is so large, they always draw names, and she said this year she and her husband got the two musician’s names. She said a little asking around and she was able to find the right gift for both of them by looking at guitar center instruments and just to make sure the surprise isn’t spoiled by her sometimes stubborn teenage son, she had them shipped to her sister’s home where they will be safe from all prying eyes.

What about you? How did you do your holiday shopping this year? Are you done, or in the midst of it all?

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