Friday 5+1 (5 Things I Love + 1 Thing I Don’t) – 11.15.19

I’m not sure how we’re halfway through November already with Thanksgiving just around the corner, but here we are!  The snow that fell here this week has thrown us right into winter, with about two weeks of fall.  NOT enough.  But, we did have some “tree guys” out at our house ahead of the winter weather, and they took down a bunch of dead trees, trimmed others and ground up a bunch of stumps.  It’s like our yard just got a lot bigger, and you can actually see more of our house now along with my husband’s messy office with UFO-style lightbulbs illuminating it. Let’s get on with this week’s Friday 5+1!  This post contains some affiliate links.

Finger Knitting

My favorite workout instructor (who I’ve also been doing personal training with – which is how we got started on this topic) introduced me to “finger knitting” and I swear, it puts me into a trance.  It’s so easy (and I say this as a woman who has zero skills in the sewing/knitting/crocheting department), and it’s super relaxing.  I picked up three skeins of yarn this week, and blew through them in no time flat.  I need more yarn to finish my super cozy blanket.  I’m thinking my kids are going to get handmade blankets from their mother this year for Christmas.  I watched a few YouTube videos – really liked this one – and was off to the races!  Here is my first pass at a chunky blanket.  Have any of you tried this?  I may end up being one of those ladies who carries her yarn around town with her…

Inspiration on the Job

I was taking down a kitchen and had to take all of the drawers with me because the fronts were stapled to the actual drawer.  It’s a bit of a hassle to haul them all out, but what a nice surprise to see the words of encouragement written on the bottom.  How fun is that?

Putty Colored Cabinets

I recently finished a kitchen with a palette I would love to copy replicate.  Putty colored cabinets, quartz countertops with gray and brown veining and rubbed brass hardware.  So pretty.  The kitchen isn’t quite complete, and the homeowners said they would send photos when the backsplash is installed, walls are painted, etc…  It’s just so pretty, and such a nice change from the norm.  This is the direction I see things going when it comes to cabinets.  This along with some pairing with lighter wood tones.  Here’s a peek – 

Wine Advent Calendar

A good friend of mine told me she got a wine advent calendar, and I think it should be mandatory for women (who drink wine) as a way to cope with holiday stress.  Kidding.  Sort of… 😉  Where has this been all of my life?  More importantly, why didn’t I think of it first??  Order now so that you have it in time for the chaos!

Narrow Christmas Trees

We’re in the market for a new Christmas tree, as ours is dying a slow death and now has more regular strings of lights than it does pre-lit ones.  We bought our last tree for a steal nine years ago, at Frontgate Outlet for $300.  We went down there and were looking again, but geez, Christmas trees are crazy expensive (even at big discounts).  Granted, I should have planned ahead, and bought one after Christmas last year.  But I really don’t enjoy shopping for Christmas stuff after Christmas.  I just don’t.  I’m so over Christmas once the day has passed, that I just want to pack everything away and not deal with it for another year.

That said, I’m finding that I am drawn to “narrow” Christmas trees, that are in between a regular Christmas tree and a slim tree (even though some slim trees could be considered narrow).  They still have a bit of fullness, but not in an overwhelming way.  But they are few and far between, since we need one that’s 10 feet tall.   I really love Balsam Hill’s trees – they seem to have exactly what I am looking for, but they’re still quite spendy.  Another question – do I just get an unlit Christmas tree and save myself the inevitable headache of lights going out over time?  Or do I give pre-lit another try?

My +1 for the week – Babies with cell phones

I’ve been noticing this one a lot lately, and it’s making me a bit sad to see it (and grateful that cell phones weren’t around at all when my kids were babies).  In the grocery store, at restaurants, or just out and about, I see little kids – toddlers and even younger – with phones in front of their faces.  I can see the appeal – keeping kids occupied so you can shop in peace, or eat a meal without having to leave halfway through dinner with a screaming child under your arm.  

But just, don’t.  

I’ve seen how these same kids react when the phone is taken away (insert screaming toddler in the grocery store), and it’s just a bad precedent.  What kid wouldn’t fall in love with an interactive screen or an entertaining video?  But seeing kids with their faces buried in their phones just makes me sad.  Not to mention that experts warn against it at such young ages.  I worry about kids of this generation.  My oldest son even said to me that sometimes he wishes that we didn’t have phones so that people were forced to talk to each other vs. hiding behind their screens.  

Pack your diaper bags full of toys, books and activities.  Please?

Rant over.  Sorry, but phones are a hot button for me lately!

Have an awesome weekend!





  • Reply
    November 15, 2019 at 7:28 am

    Completely agree with the phones, and for me, tablets for kids. It is a scary, slippery slope that youtube has become. You start out as something age appropriate, but the recommended options on the side just keep getting worse and worse and it doesn’t take long for their young eyes to see something completely inappropriate. And I also don’t allow online gaming. Too many stories of pedophiles using games to get to kids. My experience as a social worker, have made me very, very leary of people based on who has been on my caseload. More people just haven’t been caught yet than are listed on as a sexual predator. I have 4 kids, 12 to 5. And no longer use a tablet and they don’t have any hand held devices. My phone can be used only to take silly pictures of each other while we wait. Otherwise, they get to learn the art of being bored.

  • Reply
    November 15, 2019 at 8:08 am

    I totally understand the pre-lit vs unlit delimna. On a new un-lit tree, I place (wrap the branches) with strings of lights with “breaks” where the tree disassembles, and pack it away with lights on. Takes more time the first year, but after that, you are home free. I also only use 100 ct lights so when one light burns out, it’s less expensive.

    • Reply
      November 15, 2019 at 8:41 pm

      That’s a good point Nancy. Although I am surprised with today’s “lightbulb technology” that they can’t make a pre-lit Christmas tree that can last for a long time!

  • Reply
    Sandra Mosolgo
    November 15, 2019 at 8:16 am

    Amen & Amen to your phone rant. I have been saddened to see parents occupied w their phones instead of talking to their toddlers, pointing out fruits & veggies in stores for instance. Communication is a dying art.

    • Reply
      November 15, 2019 at 8:34 pm

      That’s exactly what I said to another commenter – communication IS a lost art! You need to know how to talk, make eye contact, shake someone’s hand, etc.. Kids are going to suffer from all of the technology that is available to them. I kind of hope at some point there is a revolt against all of it. And parents being occupied on their phones is a whole ‘nother issue!

  • Reply
    November 15, 2019 at 11:29 am

    I completely agree about babies or toddlers with cell phones/tablets/iPads!! When my daughter was little (she’s now 11), I always carried a bag of stuff for her to restaurants,etc. We would play Uno, Old Maid, color, do a puzzle, travel games. Even now at age 11, she never asks for my phone as she’d rather sit and talk which is a big skill that some kids lack these days.

    • Reply
      November 15, 2019 at 8:32 pm

      You’re raising her right! So many kids don’t know how to just talk and interact with new people and each other, for that matter. It’s a lost art!

  • Reply
    Amy Workley
    November 15, 2019 at 11:05 pm

    Hi Jenny,

    Have you seen the chunky pumpkins made with the same yarn. A friend and I made them at AR Workshop. That place is awesome.

    Also…check out Treetime for Christmas trees. We’ve never had an artificial tree and I want one that looks real. Treetime is located in a suburb of Chicago. We took a trip to Chicago last weekend. We stopped by Treetime. Their trees are beautiful and so real looking. They have a better warranty than most companies. I’m so particular I still didn’t get one…I almost left with the Cumberland Fir. I liked everything about it except that I thought the color was just a little bit light for what we usually buy…a fraser fir. It would cost too much to ship it back and I wasn’t driving back to Chicago to take it back before Christmas…hahaha. So I will keep thinking about it. I’m not sure if they have 10′ trees. I’ve also wondered about whether to get an unlit tree since the lights do seem to have issues and they are cheaper. But one of the reasons my husband wants an artificial tree is so he doesn’t have to deal with putting lights on!

  • Reply
    barbara t whitaker
    November 17, 2019 at 5:36 pm

    I just observed the “worst” momma in the world, toddler in line in stroller, momma on the phone, searching the web/facebook; the child had a very loud You Tube childs video on to entertain her. The line wasn’t that long, I’ve seen so many people go out of their way to talk to strangers young children to “help” the mom calm the child. I’m heartbroken about a lot of that generation. We don’t know what this does to their brain function and development. We all know how addicting the internet/smart phones are and the great BLOGS; but as adults can usually stop. I love your site and respect your work and quality. My husband owned a body shop for 40 years and he painted our cabinets, bookshelves, furniture, etc with great auto body paint or regular paint. The body shop painters are so talented and what it takes to apply the smooth paint on the autos.

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