Friday 5+1 (5 Things I Love + 1 Thing I Don’t) – 3.3.17


I’m not sure how it’s March all of a sudden, but here we are!  I’m starting to have some mini-panic attacks, as the reality that my son’s graduation is just a few months away (and that I need to get cracking on organizing his party).  Things are just going to get crazier as the months pass, so I might as well embrace it and accept it.  I’ve started pinning a bunch of graduation party ideas – any tips from you veterans out there?  Anything you wish you would have done that you didn’t, or vice versa?  I’d love to hear your experiences!  

Let’s get on with this week’s Friday 5+1!  This post contains some affiliate links.

I’ve been busy with kitchens, so I’ve been ripping through audio books like crazy, and loving every bit of it!

Small Great Things

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult was one of those books that really made you stop and take a hard look at some tough issues.  Here is an editorial review from Amazon:

Jodi Picoult’s Small Great Things is about racism, choice, fear, and hope. The novel is based on the true story of a labor and delivery nurse who was prohibited from caring for a newborn because the father requested that no African-American nurses tend to his baby. In the fictional version, Ruth, the African-American nurse in question, finds herself on trial for events related to the same request made by a white supremacist father. Using the narratives of Ruth, the baby’s father, and the female public defender who takes Ruth’s case, Picoult examines multiple facets of racism. The topic of race in America is difficult to talk about, but in in an honest and revealing way Picoult allows readers to draw their own conclusions about how we see ourselves and others in the world.  Small Great Things is an important and thought-provoking novel about power and prejudice that deserves to be read, digested, and shared with others. 

I will admit, I wasn’t sure what I would think about this book.  But it was excellent.  It was eye opening from both sides of the racial spectrum, and the storyline was compelling.  Audra McDonald was the narrator for the main character, Ruth, and she was perfect!  Two thumbs up for this one.

A House in the Sky

A House in the Sky was recommended to me by a customer, who said that she had been giving it to everyone to read, she loved it so much.  It’s about a young Canadian woman, who works to earn money to travel the world, eventually becoming a freelance photo journalist, traveling to very dangerous parts of the world in the process.  While traveling to Somalia, she is kidnapped and held captive.  This book is the story of her experience.

This book was a difficult read for me, but one that I couldn’t put down at the same time.  As a mother, I could see the danger ahead, and I got a bit upset at how naive Amanda was, to even consider going into Somalia.  But, she had been in other dangerous places as well, so I don’t think she fully appreciated the gravity of the situation.  That said, her story in captivity is harrowing, terrifying and compelling at the same time.  The insight as to what happens in your mind under such duress, is nothing short of astounding.  A great read, but one that you might need to step away from every now and then in the process.

Big Little Lies

Is anyone watching Big Little Lies on HBO?  I read the book awhile ago, but I’m totally absorbed in the series!  If not for the story, but for the real estate candy that is the backdrop of it all, in Monterey, California.  Oh. my. goodness.  It’s absolutely stunning.  My favorite house is Madeleine’s gorgeous ocean front property (although, most of the main characters have ocean front properties).  Can you even believe this kitchen?

Big Little Lies Beach House

Then there is Renata’s home – more contemporary and cold (in my opinion).  But the view is spectacular.

Big Little Lies House

And then we have Celeste’s house – 

Celeste Big Little Lies

This closet is surreal.

Celeste's House Big Little Lies


Wine Purifier – No More Hangovers

I celebrated the birthday of a dear friend last week, and we had some wine, cheese and good conversation, which was awesome. She showed me this wine purifier and she and her husband told me how this little gadget takes out the preservatives in wine that cause hangovers.  A “game changer” they said.  You just pour the wine through it and it filters it out.  I will tell you that I had NO headache after drinking a few glasses with the help of this little gadget. 🙂

Wine Purifier - No More Hangovers!

Craigslist Scores

I am super excited about this Dixie Dresser that I scored on Craigslist this weekend!  I am debating on what to do with it, but it has so much potential!  Sorry for the grainy photo – it’s from the ad.  Any ideas on the redo?  I’m thinking about going high gloss on this beauty, but I’m a little scared!

Dixie Dresser

My +1 for the week – Wearing glasses again after having Lasik

Yes, I had Lasik about six years ago, but have been having issues with my vision – some related to age, but some with distance.  Turns out, I’ve developed an astigmatism, which is the issue.  It’s not like my near-sightedness has come back, it’s just different.  I went to the eye doctor, who then reported the results to the people who did my Lasik.  They came back to tell me that my vision is still 20/20, and that they don’t do anything corrective for the issues I’m having now.  Ok, whatever.  I can still see without my glasses (reading is a challenge), but I can see better with my glasses.  The one woman at the eye doctor made a comment that caught my ear – she said something to the effect of “yeah, about seven years.”  Like Lasik doesn’t last forever.  My husband had it as well, and has had no issues – so I guess I’m the lucky one!

Have a great weekend!





  • Reply
    March 3, 2017 at 9:23 am

    I had Lazik in 2004 and have had to wear glasses while at the computer for about three years now. I don’t need them for driving or anything else and I can see the computer without them. But like you said, I can see better with them. Just one of the many joys I’m encountering in my 40’s:)

    • Reply
      March 4, 2017 at 3:56 pm

      I’m finding that driving at night is a nightmare lately too. I don’t know how much of this is related to my aging eyes, vs. Lasik though. I think much of it is just getting older, but I don’t like it!

  • Reply
    March 3, 2017 at 10:11 am

    We had a chips and salsa bar for one graduation and another with a dessert bar (including chocolate fountain and candy bar). Both were super easy and a huge hit!
    For both we also purchased a journal for guests to write their words of wisdom for the grad in. Great keepsake to look back on later on.
    For decor we kept it fairly simply, senior pictures and used the colors of their new university.
    Our baby is graduating from grad school in May. How the heck did that happen?????

  • Reply
    March 3, 2017 at 10:15 am

    And forgot to mention. I am in the same boat as you with the Lasik and eye changes. Reading is becoming a little bit of an issue. I do have glasses, and haven’t really felt the need to use them until recently. My doctor had told me it would happen, but generally later since I’d had the surgery. He also said did mention I might be a candidate later for an additional procedure if that did if fact happen. So, I will be scheduling an appointment with him soon.

    • Reply
      March 4, 2017 at 3:53 pm

      I expected issues with needing reading glasses – it’s the distance vision that has me frustrated. Despite my eye exam and my distance issues, the Lasik people say that my vision is “20/20”. I don’t get it.

  • Reply
    March 3, 2017 at 5:48 pm

    I had the same problem with my eyes, Jenny. My lasik lasted for about 7 years. I had it done when I was 56, I had monovision done, which is one eye for close up and one eye for distance. I loved it, but had to go back to reading glasses for close up work after 7 years. My doctor said they could re-do it, at my cost, of course, but I decided not to spend the money, since my eyes could change again, especially as I get older. I naturally will have to have cataracts removed, too, later on. I don’t think it’s good to have too many procedures on the eyes. You just never know!

    • Reply
      March 4, 2017 at 3:55 pm

      I expected to have some issues with reading as I get older (which is happening), but I didn’t expect to have issues with distance again. The Lasik people said that my distance vision is still technically 20/20, which I don’t understand. It’s all frustrating – but I agree with you, I don’t want to mess with more procedures with my eyes! I even tried a pair of contacts recently, and they were uncomfortable and didn’t resolve my distance issues either. Getting older stinks!

  • Reply
    March 4, 2017 at 12:10 pm

    I am listening to Snow on the Tulips by Liz Tolsma . It is centered in Europe during the war. So far, I am enjoying it.
    I always look forward to you Friday 5 + 1 series. Please keep it up.

  • Reply
    March 5, 2017 at 6:11 pm

    Hi Jenny,

    Love your blog and all that you share, thank you. I have to tell you, the wine decanter you shared, it does not take out the preservative that cause hangovers, lol! It simply takes out any sediments and helps the wine to “breath” but under no circumstances takes out the preservatives that cause hangovers.
    Just wanted to help you to better understand.
    Thanks again for sharing your amazing work with us.

    • Reply
      March 6, 2017 at 9:17 pm

      Thanks for the clarification Debbie – my friends would *swear* that it is the hangover miracle cure. The power of the mind, right? 🙂

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