Sunday, April 22, 2018

Some Favorites Right Now

Happy Weekend!  This little sweet pea had to wait 9 months, but Hazel finally cut her first tooth! Her infectious smile is one of my favorite things! Below I've listed some other current favs.

We kicked off the weekend with a fun date night; pizza at our local Tides Tavern, followed by live music by Luke Stanton at Kimball Coffeehouse. Last night we had some good friends over for dinner and my live-in chef whipped up Tuscan Salmon and Bananas Plantains Foster. Tip: don't use Plantains-too chewy! Our day was spent doing yard work, housework and being grateful for the Spring sunshine!

Here are some of my favorites this week:

1. Shopping Discovery:
"Mighty Leaf" Green Tea Tropical is available at Target! I used to buy it occasionally at the Nordstrom Coffee stand after discovering it while eating lunch at the Cafe'. It was over $10 for a box. Target's price was $6.99 in-store and online I discovered other spots to order it from that are even cheaper.  Still a bit spendy, but you get 15 pouches and it is a delicious treat hot or cold!

2. Listening to the Dais Podcast by Rachel Hollis
Y'all, Rachel's book, Girl Wash Your Face, made the New York Times bestseller list this week! I'm so excited for her and I highly recommend you read it! She has done lifestyle vlogging for years and just recently started doing business-themed Podcasts. Although they are especially geared to women entrepreneurs, I feel that anyone will benefit from listening. Perhaps Rachel Hollis will convince me to become a businesswoman someday?...

3. Stitch Fix leggings for the win
I haven't done a "Stitch Fix" box for months. (Remember, my hubby was unemployed for 5 months.) I've talked about their personal styling before and how easy it is to return unwanted items. As I was updating my profile (I no longer need retail-job clothes, I need Nanny outfits and cute date tops.) I was surprised to discover this was my 14th "fix." What?! Guess I've been receiving shipments off and on for the last seven years.

I've never purchased all 5 items at the reduced rate but I always buy one or two things. This time the only keeper was a pair of legging pants; cute and comfy. The tops she picked out for me were either too close in color to what I already own, or just not pretty enough to justify spending the money. I will be even more specific in the future. Note: they really apologize if you don't LOVE it all...

Here are my tips if you've never tried Stitch Fix:
1. Be very truthful about your style and SIZE when filling out your personal profile.
2. Make a Pinterest board of favorites so the stylist can see what you love.
3. Write a detailed note on each order of what you need or hope for. Ex. Once I said sneakers and a cross-body purse, once I said ALL tops, once I asked for cute summer dresses.
4. If you love what your stylist sends, ask for the same person by name for future boxes.

If you use my referral number you will get a $25 discount. By the way, they now have fixes for men and maternity too!
Here is my referral Link:

4. I'm Hooked on a new TV series:
I binged on the new NBC show called Rise. It's about a high school drama teacher and is WAY more realistic than "Glee" ever was... It has the same producer as "Friday Night Lights" and "Parenthood" and stars Josh Radnor who you'll know if you were a fan of "How I Met Your Mother." One of the lead High School singers was the voice on "Moana." Check it out, but be prepared for some heavy situations.

5. I stumbled onto a New Skincare Line, "Farmacy"
While at Sephora with my daughters last weekend, my cute daughter-in-law introduced me to the "Farmacy" line of skincare products.

Here is the company's description:
 'We harness the healing powers of farm-fresh ingredients with cutting-edge science to create clean formulas for naturally glowing skin!

I wanted ALL the products, but I could only purchase one, so I chose the "Dew it all" eye cream. I love their packaging, smell, and affordable price.

Do you remember the story of The Princess and the Pea? My husband often refers to me as a princess and it's not always a compliment... Well, now I am sure I am one! The other day I was kneeling with baby Hazel at her house and I felt a sharp pain in my knee. See if you can discover the reason in the photo below:

Do you see that tiny little un-popped kernel hiding in the carpet? It felt like a ROCK to my old knee. Yep, I must be a princess. I do know I am the daughter of the KING.

"And I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the LORD Almighty." 2 Corinthians 6:18

I have my laptop back 24-7 so I will attempt to write and post more often.
(I mentioned earlier this week that I no longer had to share my MacBook with my husband...)

Thank you for stopping by "See Jane Learn!" Enjoy your week!

In His Grip,
xo Jane

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

All the Things Lately

Just your typical Wednesday here in the Harbor. Thor spends his early morning hours outdoors, and then enjoys coming back inside to eat and warm up on our heated bathroom floors. I head out early to care for little baby Hazel, and Mike is on the East Coast this week. Yes! He is working!

It took five months of applying, interviewing and WAITING.  Finally, Human Resources completed their process, and my husband got a terrific job! Although the waiting wasn't easy, we are thankful and knew God was with us each step of the way.

The benefits for us: paychecks, a car allowance, and the ability to rack up some air miles. He now has a purpose and the satisfaction of providing for his family, and I got my laptop back because he now has his own computer! (I celebrated when the box was delivered.)

Mike has to get used to traveling again and I have to get used to him not being home all the time. The ONLY thing I like about having the house to myself is control of the remote and not having to listen to his music on Alexa all day. Oh, and I can have a Chicken Pot Pie for dinner.

My daughters and future son-in-law were able to be with us for Easter weekend. We enjoyed cozy couch time, a great Resurrection morning at church and a yummy dinner.

Did you try out the new way to color eggs?  Using vinegar, Cool Whip, and some food coloring, you can make really pretty tie-dyed eggs. I did a couple things different than the link. Instead of a muffin tin, we put parchment paper on a jelly pan-I think we could have done a variety of colors if we'd used a muffin tin. I put the eggs covered in the "goop" in an empty egg carton in the refrigerator and then accidentally forgot about them. They sat overnight. I rinsed the cool whip off the next day in lukewarm water and they actually turned out great! Sometimes the extra wait-time is beneficial.

Because both my daughters are teachers and were on their Spring Break,  they got to stay a couple extra days after Easter. We were all reminiscing about last Spring when we took a girl's trip to San Diego! If you missed our adventure last year you can read about it here: part one, part two, and part three!

Since it was cold and rainy here, we had a Gilmore Girls Marathon one afternoon, which always makes us feel like eating.  I baked my first Lemon Meringue Pie using a Southern Living recipe. (It should be included in the Eat Like a Gilmore unofficial cookbook!) One of my tips is substituting some almond flour for part of the white crust flour; it is lighter and quite tasty.

Somebody else in our family ALWAYS has his mind on food. One night Thor smelled the milk in my Cheerios all the way from the other room and proceeded to beg...

Sweet baby Hazel, whom I Nanny, is a girlie on the go! She is cruising ALL the furniture. She pulls herself up on couches, tables, and even kitchen cupboards. She is still waiting to cut her first tooth!

I am still getting used to being at Hazel's house without sweet Jake, the family dog, being there. He battled Cancer and is now in "Doggie Heaven." What a fabulous dog he was. I only knew him for two months and yet I fell in love...We had to "put down" our dog Sadie and cat Tigger and so I know how very hard it is!!

We headed to Spokane last Friday afternoon, and wow was it Friday the 13th for us! A crash on the Pass shut down the Eastbound lanes for over two hours. Our normal 4.5-5 hour drive took a total of eight! Ugh. We have certainly been given lots of waiting opportunities lately. That said, we had such a fun time hanging out with our youngest three. 

We ate a late dinner at a new-to-us pub called Saranac Public House the first night, and our daughter-in-law prepared a delicious meal for us Saturday evening. We hit our favorite coffee house, Rocket Bakery for the best bagels and cream cheese, did some consignment shopping, and just enjoyed being together. We stayed with our oldest daughter in her cute apartment Friday and went to the Davenport Tower Saturday. The Tower has a great Happy Hour every day of the week and we met and chatted with a wonderful couple who had lived all over the world.

Due to an unexpected upgrade, we ended up on the 20th floor in the swanky honeymoon suite. Very nice indeed! We will be celebrating our 35th anniversary in June. The kids took advantage of the jetted tub before we left on Sunday after lunch. Aren't they clever? Have I mentioned how much I love my four kids?! (And my two daughters-in-law and future son-in-law?)

That kind of sums up the last few weeks in my little corner of the world. It is well with my soul and God painted a gorgeous masterpiece in the sky tonight as another reminder of His goodness and faithfulness.
"The Lord your God is the faithful God who keeps his covenant for a thousand generations and constantly loves those who love him and obey his commands." Deuteronomy 7:9

Thanks for reading See Jane Learn. Wishing you a joy-filled Spring.

In His Grip, 
xo Jane

Friday, March 23, 2018

Friday Favorites: Pink Trees, Beaches, and Other Things

Happy Spring! While we were in Florida last week, our town "bloomed!" The Harbor had warm, sunny weather and Florida had... WIND and chilly temps. The sun did come out all but two days though, and we bundled up and enjoyed the beach and private pool.

Around my town are gorgeous pink blossoms, yellow daffodils and other signs of new life. Even though the Northeast is being blasted by snowstorms and we've had chilly rain and sleet, we can be assured that Summer is coming.

While baby Hazel takes her afternoon nap, I gathered this week's list current favorites:

Favorite new worship song: 
"More Than Anything" by Natalie Grant. The lyrics hit home as I watch friends going through hard medical issues. "Help me want the healer more than the healing..."

Favorite new vacation spot:
Have you heard of Anna Maria, Florida? It's a bit South of Tampa on the Gulf side. Our friends invited us to escape the waiting, and so we flew five hours and discovered a BEAUTIFUL beach.
We stayed in a rental home called "Serendipity" and once you see the pictures below you'll agree with the name and why it's already booked out for the next year...

I wanted to move in! It was amazing and I was in love with the decorating. Four Master Suites, chandeliers in every room... worth about four million. Golf carts are allowed on the island roads, and we also enjoyed riding cruiser bicycles to the shops. What a blessing to share a week here with friends! Thanks again, Gardners!

Favorite Florida Food:

Perfectly-made sweet tea! Fried shrimp! Fries! Breakfast burritos! Cinnamon rolls as big as our faces and donuts! I ate shrimp twice~the last night I had Coconut Shrimp before toasting another perfect sunset with my favorite frozen vacation drink; a Miami Vice! (I still can't understand why those are basically the only things I enjoy that contain coconut.)

On our last morning in Florida, I had breakfast on the sunny front deck; coffee, bacon, and a Mimosa. Perfect! We may or may not have eaten LOTS of Oreo cookies also... because they were there and we never buy them at home. YUM!

Favorite Non-fiction Book:

Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis, is fantastic! Make sure to buy the hard-copy because you are going to want to ear-mark pages and underline sentences. I KNOW I will be rereading this often and doing a lot more hi-lighting. There are so many good chapters and messages it's hard to pick one, but I was crying during the one about parenting. 

"Mom, you should parent in whatever way works for your family and spend less time worrying about other people's perceptions of how you're doing."

I've held onto guilt about mistakes I made raising my four children for years. It seems like my battle with self-confidence and people-pleasing has been going on for way too long. Time to let that go. I am 58 for goodness sakes!

Another favorite quote:
 “A confident woman doesn’t crave other people’s approval because she already has God’s. When we know we have His approval, our craving for other people’s approval decreases." Lynn Cowell Proverbs 31 Ministries

The waiting appears to be over! My guy received good news on the job front, and it will be official on Monday. Thank you for hanging with us during this time of uncertainty and unemployment. God's timing is perfect.
Easter is coming!

As always, thank you for stopping by my little corner of the world and reading, "See Jane Learn!" Enjoy your Palm Sunday and have a good weekend!

In His Grip and Choosing Joy,
xo Jane


Thursday, March 8, 2018

Let's Talk Numbers and God's Timing

Back in the day, when I taught a two-year-old Sunday School class, one particular song stuck and often runs through my mind. 

"Tick, tock, goes the clock,
tell me what it's saying?
Time to ________
That is what it's saying."

The blank can be filled in with many options; pick up our toys, read a story, gather for circle time...
Right now I'm filling in the blank with~ HIRE MY HUSBAND PLEASE!

Yep. We're still waiting to hear our good news. We "pulled the trigger" despite NO news, and leave for a get-away to Florida on Saturday. We are looking forward to a change of scenery. Tuesday at my bible study we were discussing the Israelites wandering in the desert, feeling trapped and not being able to enter the "Promised Land." You can read more about that in the Bible Old Testament books from Exodus to Joshua. We want to honor God while we wait and stay grateful for his continued provision.

I am not a current fan of H.R. policies and procedures, but then I've never really been a part of the corporate world. It just takes sooooo long for companies to go through the process. Mike continues applying, connecting with SO MANY kind people on Linked In, and sends email follow-ups, but that doesn't take eight hours, five days a week. 

He has kept his daily routine of working out at the YMCA, devotions each morning, he cooks us dinner each evening, walks our puppy dog, Sydney, keeps our yard tidy when it's not raining, watches his shows or goes to the cheap Tuesday matinee. I finally realized it was time to buy him a new puzzle. Puzzling to him is like knitting is to me; therapeutic.

You'll notice a tiny puzzling-friend in the photo that is also a great distraction; baby Hazel. I care for her two days a week and bring her over to our home for a couple hours mid-day. It is hard to be impatient and bored when you're snuggling or attending to a sweet baby.

Mike also enjoyed being beat in Connect Four with one of my friend's Kindergartners. Since we have an empty-nest, it's nice to have the kid-distractions like we used to have when our four were in our nest. 

"While I was focusing on the speck of time I found myself in, God was busy writing a greater story than I could have ever imaged."
(Maria Furlough, Breaking the Fear Cycle, which just released on March 6th.)

God's timing is not like ours. Time marches on and the countdown we are excited about is the summer wedding of our youngest daughter. Yes, employment will help make PAYING for the wedding much easier.

120 days to go, Jane & Mike!

Sarah and Nick are really the engaged couple, but The Knot website thinks we're getting married because I signed up to get information. Ha! I get messages asking me when I'm going to start planning ... They think we haven't even begun to figure out the venue, website, budget, guest list, registry, dress, etc. We really DO have almost all the planning done. The dress drama might be cleared up at the end of the month. 

We've done weddings four times before; our two sons, our first "original" wedding back in 1983, and the tenth-anniversary renewing of our vows. The pastor who renewed our vows is part of the couple we're going on vacation with. It will be refreshing to be with friends who have known us for over 35 years with all the ups and downs that come with marriage. I wish I had a photo to show you, but they're still packed up in "we thought we were moving" boxes. Should I mention that our wedding album has gone MIA?!

Here are some other numbers in my world:

Three batches of cookies baked this week.
Six people including our daughter coming to stay overnight so they can attend the Chapel Hill Celebrate Recovery Ministry training conference.
Two bridal showers to help oversee.
Two sleeps until Florida.
23 Days until cake-tasting and dress try-on. 
24 Days until Easter!!
122 Days since my amazing husband has had a job and felt productive.
95 days until our 35th Wedding Anniversary.
10+ pounds gained back that need to disappear.

"Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom."
Psalm 90:12

In His Grip,
xo Jane

Photo credit:

Sunday, February 25, 2018

This is the Week! Please...

I might have missed posting on "National Pet Day" but my pets are happy and spoiled. I also missed having a Margarita on "National Margarita Day" but made up for it last night when my husband whipped us up yummy drinks made with the muddled juices of grapefruit, lemon, and lime, Gold Tequila, Triple Sec and a splash of Cranberry juice.

OK, Winter is almost over. That means my husband has almost gone an entire Season without a job. Ugh. We are saying that THIS will be the week we hear good news! We've waited before; for two of our homes to be built, for 9 months times four pregnancies, for homes to sell, and for many other countdowns. This waiting has seemed so long. We are trying to keep our spirits up and our trust strong. Our unexpected time together has been sweet, but it would have been sweeter if we were on a sunny beach somewhere and we weren't paying bills with our savings. We are thankful for so many things despite our impatience, and it's actually been snowing in Gig Harbor!

Here are some of my favorite things that have been going on around here as the wait continues:

Delighted to be chosen! 
As I mentioned before, I am thrilled to be part of the launch team for Maria Furlough's new book, Breaking the Fear Cycle. I'm on chapter seven of eleven, and have learned SO MUCH! You will want to purchase this book, which releases on March 6th!

I LOVE my new job! 
I've been on-the-job as a part-time nanny for two weeks now. Getting to spend time with a baby girl is so much fun! We're getting into a rhythm and I spend time at her home and my house. It's been 24 years since I've been responsible for a baby but just like riding a bike, it comes back! When my daughters were tiny I think we had just one or two hair accessories. Hazel has a collection and you can bet I put one on her cute little head each day! I will share some of my favorite baby items soon. Look at this cutie!

No wine? Score! 
When I flew home from Indianapolis last month, my husband had upgraded my seat so I was in the "free cocktail" Zone. It was a long flight and I kinda/sorta was looking forward to a free glass of Red Blend while I flew across two time zones. My flight attendant kept forgetting my glass of wine. I didn't want to make a big deal out of it since safety trumps beverages, and the flight was full, but the crew just wasn't as friendly as usual, and their service just wasn't up to par. I have quite a few girlfriends who work for Alaska and they have set my service expectation high!

When I received a follow-up email from Alaska Airlines asking how my flight service was, I was truthful; it wasn't the best experience I've had. Alaska public relations responded by apologizing and gifting me a $50 credit for my next flight! What a lovely surprise! I wasn't expecting anything, I just shared my experience. IF good news about a new job for my husband comes this week, we have points on Alaska plus that credit, and an invitation to join some of our best friends in a beach house for a week in Florida mid-March. Fingers crossed!!

Old Navy has good sales!
With football season being over, I actually convinced my husband to accompany me to Old Navy after church. Their 50% off all jeans sale was worth the trip to the dreaded Mall. I had Christmas money from my sweet Mom that I've been saving. I decided to join the floral embroidered trend, and having them be on sale for $20 (this weekend only!) was a score. Quick! Check out the Old Navy website tonight if you're on the hunt for jeans. I really like the Rockstar line. I was reminded that "it's all relative." As I wished I was still a size 6 but knowing I'm an 8 and at the same time, the woman across from me was asking the clerk for a size 18. I was convicted that we shouldn't get wrapped up in numbers.

I got to be a "Good Samaritan" today!
OK, so my walk with Sydney was cut short today, but that's alright. I was walking down a hill to downtown, wishing I'd worn a hat on this blustery day, and listening to a good Beth Moore podcast when I noticed some items in the middle of the street. Thankfully it was a light traffic day. I spotted a cell phone and wallet. Someone was about to have a rotten evening. Thankfully their license was current and my husband drove over to their home. I guess the items had been put on the back of his truck and forgotten. So glad I spotted them and we could return them!

Thanks for reading "See Jane Learn." What have you been up to? Remember, Easter is coming!...

In His Grip,
xo Jane