Hello dear friend! On this final day of February I’m inviting you in for something warm to drink and little fireside chat. We just got in from our vacation last night (more on that to come!) and we’re moving a little slowly. So James has built me a fire in the fireplace and I’ve poured a second cup of coffee. It’s time for our monthly Coffee with Kay post and I’m spilling the beans on 10 things going on in my life recently.
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Each month, on the final day of the month, I’m posting a Coffee with Kay post like this. I’ve done them sporadically in the past, but building them into my monthly editorial calendar will help me to be more consistent with these personable chats. If you missed the January Coffee with Kay you can check it out here.
Remember, the title of my blog is Dressed…for My Day. So in this one monthly post I pivot from focusing on getting “dressed” and instead share a little about “my day,” if you will. If this isn’t your cup of tea, I completely understand. But I’m enjoying these posts as an opportunity for sharing a little more of who I am…beyond the clothes and makeup and style tips.
And just to stretch me and give me a little bit of structure here – because I thrive on structure – I attempt to share ten little tidbits with you each month. Those ten things may be new projects I’ve started, lessons I’ve learned, purchases I’ve made, places I’ve been, mistakes I’ve made…you name it.
#1 – My heart is heavy.
Like most other influencers (I’m not really comfortable with that term, but it is what it is), I struggle with posting fashion and chatty coffee talks without also addressing the big things that are going on in our world. And yet, like others, I don’t feel at all qualified to really share much of my thoughts or emotions about the war in Ukraine right now.
I know I feel heavy over it. I know I can’t watch the images on television long before I just have to turn away. I know those same images pop back into my head throughout the day and I ache for what is going on and feel helpless because I can’t do more. And I know I’m angry that children and women and men are going through such a horrific ordeal.
Please know and understand, dear friend, that when I post tomorrow’s fashion post I am not turning a blind eye to the realities of this war. And I’m not silly or frivolous or clueless. I’m just doing my job and sharing the content that belongs here at Dressed for My Day. But I’m also beginning and ending my day by praying for the people involved. And I care…deeply. As I know you do.
#2 – We started a garden…in our basement.
When I shared with James that some friends of ours have had great success with hydroponic gardens, he purchased us this one and “planted it” in our basement.
My friends regularly reap lettuce and herbs from theirs. We just planted ours a few weeks ago, but so far it is growing at a steady rate. We had the thermostat turned way down while we were gone on vacation, but James says the hydroponic system regulates its temperature and everything seemed to do fine in our absence. We really don’t do anything to it. And I’m anxious to have a little harvest of lettuce, arugula, spinach and some herbs.
We’ll probably plant some things outside this spring, too. But at least we don’t have to worry about the deer eating from our hydroponic garden!
#3 – I started my Flourouracil treatment on my nose this month.
As I’ve shared here before, I had a Mohs surgery on my forehead for a basal cell carcinoma back in November. My dermatologist had also diagnosed a precancerous spot on my nose, but advised that I wait until after Christmas (when I would be in the sun a little less) to treat it with Flourouracil, a chemotherapy cream used to treat precancerous and some cancerous skin conditions. Some people have to apply the cream to large portions of skin, but I only had to apply it to a small surface area about the size of a pencil eraser.
The above photo is really way too close up for my comfort. Ha! But I circled the area that I’m treating. I’d just started the Flourouracil cream treatments a few days before these photos were taken, so nothing much had happened. It actually took a good week or so before I noticed anything happening at all.
But by the time we left for vacation, the spot was definitely looking more raw and starting to hurt a bit when touched. I was careful to use SPF 50 sunscreen on my nose and wore a hat at all times when I was outside, but I also stopped the treatment soon into our vacation. It was time. I only had to do the treatment two to three weeks, and I think I went almost three.
Oh, and just to clear a little something up. I did indeed batch photos for the blog before I started the treatment. Some women were concerned that I was embarrassed to show the “real me.” But that wasn’t the case at all. I took photos on vacation and I was on Instagram the entire week. But the reason I batched the photos before the treatment was because my dermatologist wanted me out of the sun while using the cream, and we much prefer to take photos outside for the better lighting. I just wanted you to know…
#4 – We saw Death on the Nile at the movie theater.
We didn’t see any movies in 2020 or 2021, so we’ve been making up for it in 2022. This month we saw Death on the Nile, the new Hercule Poirot movie with Kenneth Branagh in the main role. We had seen Murder on the Orient Express when it came out several years ago and really enjoyed it. We felt like Death on the Nile was even better produced and equally entertaining. I figured out the who-done-it fairly early in the movie, but it was still very enjoyable watching it unfold.
#5 – We enjoyed a beautiful four days in Florida with my parents.
My parents have been spending February in Florida for around 20 years. For a good part of that time they’ve been going to St. Augustine Beach and renting a condo. I’ve been down for a week here and there over the past eight years or so, but James had never been able to go. So this was our first year to go down together.
We had the most perfect weather for our visit to St. Augustine Beach and loved spending the time with my mom and dad. We ate seafood every day, walked on the beach and just enjoyed the time away. It was a very restful vacation.
#6 – I celebrated my 58th birthday in Florida.
Last Wednesday I turned 58. We celebrated with lunch at the Conch House Restaurant in St. Augustine. I rarely get to enjoy my birthdays with my parents, so that was a treat.
Honestly, I’m feeling a little worse for the wear these days. I’ve had these two scares with skin cancer, don’t sleep great these days (or nights!) and have a reoccurring pinched nerve in my shoulder every now and again that makes working a struggle. But then again I’m grateful for the good health I do have. And I’m even more glad that on this birthday I got to be with my parents and husband, who are all doing well.
#7 – We stopped for a quick stay in Savannah on the way home.
I once interviewed for a job in Savannah, at a papermill. I would have been their PR director. It’s sometimes funny to think how different life may have been if you’d made different choices along the way. But I was happy to visit Savannah with my husband of 34 years, whom I would never have met if I’d taken that job.
We enjoyed beautiful weather there, too. But the stay was too short. We plan to drive back through for a longer stay next year. We walked along the river, through downtown, ate a delicious dinner and breakfast and stayed at the Planters Inn. It was very comfortable and ideally situated between the River and downtown.
#8 – We made some other fun stops as we travelled, too.
James had originally planned for us to go to five of the oldest cities of five states. But then he realized he was doing a little too much driving. So we cut one out. Ha! We visited Harrodsburg, the oldest city in Kentucky; St. Augustine, the oldest city in Florida (and the country); Savannah, the oldest city in Georgia; and Jonesborough, the oldest city in Tennessee.
I started off strong in Harrodsburg, Kentucky, sharing our travels on Instagram Stories. But as the trip went on and I began to relax a little more, I shared less. I did archive the stories HERE. So you can see a little bit I think from most of the cities we visited.
I also thoroughly enjoyed our overnight stay at the Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill. It was quite unique and lovely. I chronicled a good bit of that in this little Instagram reel. We stayed on the grounds and ate at the The Trustees’ Table. I would have loved to hike some of their trails, but we had to move on…and it was quite cold. But I enjoyed learning about this segment of history and exploring the grounds of the historic village.
Another place we plan to get back to for a longer visit is Jonesborough, Tennessee. It was raining when we were there, so we didn’t get to explore quite as much as we’d hoped. But Jonesborough has a lovely downtown, a sweet theater and some great dining. We ate dinner at the Kitchen at Grace Meadows and decided that it was probably our favorite meal of the entire vacation. And we had some tremendously wonderful meals! But that home-cooking! Wow! It was outstanding.
#9 – I enjoyed using my Bagsmart Bags for travel.
Honestly, I don’t know what I did before I purchased these Bagsmart travel bags. Yeah, I do. I used three different bags for my toiletries! But I got everything I needed for our extensive north to south trip in this Bagsmart Toiletry Bag.
Please pardon the photo; I took it with my phone (as I did most of the ones I’ve shown today). But this little Bagsmart Toiletry Bag is a wonder! I got full size hair spry and self-tanner in there (because I neglected to buy travel size ones) and all of my skincare, makeup, hair products and cosmetic brushes. And it was so easy to organize and find everything as we traveled.
I also used the Bagsmart Hanging Jewelry Organizer on our trip. I didn’t take a lot of jewelry. But I liked the way this bag kept my necklaces from tangling and everything was handy and safe. I’m quite impressed with the quality of these bags, too. The price is great and the bags come in a variety of colors. I have the large Bagsmart Toiletry Bag, by the way.
#10 – I’ve chosen my Mother-of-the-Bride dress!
Oh, yes, I have! And now I have to get the alterations made. I don’t really want to reveal the dress until the wedding (May 15th), but I don’t mind letting you know that it’s one of the dresses in the shopping widget below.
Because Abby’s wedding is in the afternoon with a simple reception of hors d’oeuvres and cake, I didn’t want anything too “evening-ish.” But Abby still wanted me to wear a long dress. So I looked for a dress that looks festive and springlike without being too glittery.
Thank you for joining me.
Thank you so much for joining me for coffee today. I do hate that so far this conversation has been one-sided. But I’d love to hear from you, too. You don’t have to share ten things. But if you’d like to respond to something I shared or even tell me some thing or two that you’ve been doing this month, I’d truly love to read your comments. You are a blessing to me. I hope you enjoyed this little visit and that it will be something we all look forward to each month.
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Blessed for My Day
I get a little anxious as we travel these days. It hasn’t always been this way. But highway travel just makes me nervous. However, I determine not to let my anxiety get the best of me. I don’t want my fears to keep me from experiencing life. I know that when we let fear rule, we let the enemy win.
Instead I have to fight my fear by reminding myself that it is not from God; it is from the enemy. Then I choose to operate out of a sound mind by dwelling on what is true, good, right and worthy of my thoughts. Do not let fear keep you from doing something God has for you.
For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. ~ 2 Timothy 1:7