Thursday, April 28, 2016

Where Have I Been?

I'm scratching my head trying to remember what I've been doing that's kept me so busy I haven't had time to check-in for a while.  Hmmm...

I did some work, as in a "real job", for an awesome Interior Designer.  Writing her press kit and website info was easy because I LOVE her design aesthetic.  You might have seen some of my (very over-shared) photos on Facebook.  No???  Click here to see her Guest House for the Pasadena Showcase House of Design.

Facebook-- Gawd I've spent too much time on Facebook lately.  I dove into it for the above mentioned job's social media push.  But I'm afraid I'm too easily addicted to endless scrolling through posts that really have no relevance to me just to see what the handful of people I truly love are up too.  It's become a bad habit that takes up too much of my day.  I have to quit cold-turkey!

So anyway... that all took several weeks, was a total blast, and now I'm "retired" again.

And we went to Israel for a fabulous family wedding.  I so love it there.  Great family (on my husband's side), amazing food, perfect weather and wonderful people.  This trip we spent all our time in Tel Aviv.  The purple Jacaranda trees were in bloom.  So were the kumquat trees at our hotel.

We stayed at a small boutique hotel called The Norman.  It's a lovely hotel with a chic Moroccan vibe-- Hip but quiet in the middle of the city's Rothschild section.  My idea of perfect.

Since we were exhausted, we camped out in hotel room's bed far more than usual to catch up on our sleep.  The linens and duvet were scrumptious-- And by Frette!!!  Do you know them?  I did-- and what I know about them is that they are far to expensive to ever be on my bed at home!  But there they were in all their glory at The Norman.  It was like sleeping on, in, and surrounded by, a silky cloud.  Heaven.

One morning I woke and figured out how The Norman tracks these gems of sheets-- Senors!  Yep, they are actually sewn into the seams so guests don't walk off with them!  Never saw that before.

Traveling though, not so fun.  I've come to the sad realization that a 10 hour time change and 20+ hours of flying and layovers are just too much for my body.  Talk about a killer.  It took nearly 5 days to adjust and catch up then it was almost time to come back home again.  Once we actually returned home it took another 5 days to get myself together.

Makes me wonder how I traveled like that for business all those years.  I know I was younger but sheesh-- It really wore me out.

While in Tel Aviv I discovered a new cookbook-- New to me at least, and I'm working my way through the recipes.  The amazing thing about the food in Israel-- and let me tell you-- we ATE and ATE and ATE, day in an day out-- was that both my husband and I actually LOST weight by the time we got home!  The menu is so filled with fresh vegetables and fish that even though we indulged, we felt great and dropped a few pounds.  That was an unexpected treat at the end of a vacation!

So now it's almost May and I'm working on getting central air conditioning in our house.  Last year's brutal two month heatwave was the straw that broke the camel's back. We live close enough to the ocean that we really didn't miss having it in the past but climate change, global warning, or old age-- whatever you want to call it, has changed things at Casa Jenkins!

How are YOU?
Welcome to  -  Joanna Jenkins

Sunday, March 13, 2016

That Moment...

Have you ever had that moment when you took a shortcut through the alley of restaurant you've always wanted to try... only to wish you'd taken the long way around?

That happened to me today on my way for some Indian food.

Cilantro drying in the back alley parking lot.

And to think the front of the restaurant looked so nice.  Sigh, I won't be eating Indian food again for what will probably be forever.

How's your day going?
 Welcome to  -  Joanna Jenkins

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Seeing Red

Sometimes the smallest gift is really a spontaneous gesture filled with so much kindness that it makes your heart overflow with gratitude. This picture is one such gift.

My oldest friend's husband snapped this picture on his phone as he left the church after my mother's funeral.  He was struck by the unusual reds that danced across in the sky, and the fact that my mother had asked all of her family to wear red to the service in celebration of her life.

The cold November day we buried our mom, I watched the stunning sunset unfold from the church pew-- at times filling the entire sky in varying shades of red-- as I listened to the minister speak of our clothing choices.

Now, on the rare occasion the skies blaze the same beautiful reds I saw that day, I take it, in all it's glory, as a nudge from our mother to stay strong and be happy.

My friends recently shared this photo with me, not quite sure how I would receive it.  My eyes opened wide the moment I saw it because I knew instantly when it had been taken... at the very end of the service, just before the sunset faded away.

Truly, it's one of the greatest gifts I've ever been given.

Saturday, January 23, 2016


To all my friends in the snow storm that appears to be slamming parts of the East, this is for you.

Stay warm and stay safe.

xo Joanna

Monday, December 21, 2015

Tis The Season

No matter how you spell it, or what you celebrate, may your holidays be happy and bright.

Big hugs and I'll see you in 2016!

xoxo Joanna

Monday, October 26, 2015

A Great Big Country Wedding

A full heart, one that you can actually feel expanding in your chest, with joyful tears pouring out of your eyes, doesn't happen every day.  At least not for me.

I am incredibly blessed to have a great big family that brings me much joy.   And a recent wedding of my baby sister's oldest daughter gathered our entire family together and still has my heart overflowing.

My niece, the recent graduate of Veterinary Medicine from The Ohio State University, (I've bragged about her before in this space.) tied the knot with the love of her life.

Despite college graduation and State Vet exams, packing up her Columbus, Ohio apartment and moving to Kentucky where her husband is in school, starting her first job as a Vet, starting an awesome pet accessory business AND getting married, all in the span of two very short weeks, this was one cool and very happy, drama-free Bride who, along with her equally happy Groom, paid attention to every detail of the wedding planning including making many of the table decorations.

Our Bride is a country girl-- always has and always will be one-- Same goes for her Groom.  So a country themed wedding was a natural choice for them and both participated in making the details and special touches happen-- Like the Groom cutting down a tree on his family's property to make the wood table chargers and decor.  The dads helped with the engraving to make it a total family affair.

Giving their guests a memento to help remember their special day was also a top priority and these were engraved with their own hands.  The mugs doubled as their table numbers cards too.

The "guest book" below was another personal touch by the Groom that turned out great.

You can't have a wedding without flowers and the Bride made her bouquet special with photo charms  in memory her grandparents and her aunt and uncle.

The Bride had her wedding band, her mother's and her grandmothers' rings with her as well.

As I looked through the hundred of photos from the photographer, I laughed and smiled and shed more than a few tears.  They reminded me of a beautifully perfect day, of the happiness and the wonderful life these "kids" will have together, of the loved ones who watched all the festivities from heaven, and of my deep, deep love of family.

I will always remember catching this glimpse of a quiet moment between the Bride and her three sisters.

But of all the memories, the one moment from the entire day that is etched in my brain forever was when...

The Bride was walking down the aisle with her dad and got close enough to make eye contact with her mother... And how very much the Bride looks like our mother.

Aren't weddings grand!

Welcome to  -  Joanna Jenkins
Photo Credit: Hurley Photography
Flowers by: Bouts and Bouquets Geneva, Ohio