Coffee Talk 01.31.21

Happy Sunday, my friends! It is the last day of January! How on earth did that happen!?

You know those memes that usually go around during the last week of January…

This year is the exact opposite.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining. I just think it’s wild how fast this month has flown, especially considering everything our country (and the world) has gone through in the past 31 days.

Actually, that’s probably why it’s flown. We’ve had so much to think about, we haven’t had time to focus on how ding-dang cold it is outside and how little there is to do.

So yeah, it is cold, yo! And we are getting snow, right now as I type. That’s okay, though, because it’s January. Snow in January is good. Snow in April is bad. I’ve had both, and I know this to be true.

I was supposed to have a photo shoot with Alison tomorrow, but fortunately the meteorologists were on top of this storm, and Alison suggested we meet this morning and get ahead of it, so that’s what we did… Which is why there was no Coffee Talk this morning.

I went right from our photo shoot to church, and then we had lunch, and now here I am! I thought I might skip Coffee Talk altogether this week, but now I’m sitting here while the rest of my family naps or vegges out on an electronic device, and I’m feeling chatty. I figured I may as well jot out a quick post while I’m in the mood.

Not that I have much to share, mind you. I just hate to skip a Coffee Talk, when so many people say this is their favorite post of the week.

That always kind of amazes me, as I feel like it’s such a ramble.

So yeah, we are getting snow, and I’m very excited about that. It just started coming down hard, and it’s supposed to snow for the next 24 – 36 hours, so we should get some good accumulation.

Since the kids are all doing remote schooling and Paul and I work from home, it doesn’t affect our day-to-day very much, but it sure is pretty to look at.

If you don’t get my daily emails and your last update on my personal life is from last week’s Coffee Talk, I should tell you that we finally decided on a Florida destination. We booked a house for a week in Cape Coral, and we are all very excited about it.

We really liked the idea of historic St. Augustine, and the shorter drive was definitely a plus, but we were afraid the weather wouldn’t be as nice as we want, so we decided to play it safe and go further south.

The house we found has a beautiful pool with a great view, and it’s nice enough that we can hunker down there and social distance if we are worried about Covid, or there is plenty to do in the area if things improve by then.

I hope we get over to the beach(es?) on Sanibel Island a few times during our stay, and I hear there are some good restaurants, etc. If you have any specific recommendations, I’m all ears! And thanks for all of your input and advice on our decision about where to go. It was very helpful.

Meanwhile, I’m trying to plan out blog content for the next few weeks. It’s hard this time of year because it’s too early to photograph spring outfits, but I’m assuming no one is excited about buying more winter clothes either. Of course, there are some good deals to be had this time of year, so it’s definitely worth keeping an eye out.

If you have any holes in your closet, I recommend making a list and then taking some time every day to scope out your favorite brands. This is often when I snap up a luxury cashmere sweater or pair of boots at a deep discount.

I’m working on some posts about ways to build a functional wardrobe, and I’m open to doing another 5 Ways to Wear series. I’ll be wrapping up the 5 Ways to Wear a Camel Sweater series this week. If anyone has a wardrobe item you’d like to see me to style multiple ways, or another topic you think would be interesting, let me know!

Okay, that’s about it for me. I just got my proofs back from Alison, so I’m off to pick out the pictures from this morning’s shoot that I want her to retouch, and then I might indulge in a Sunday afternoon nap.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Join The Conversation

74 Responses

  1. On your Florida trip, try Grandma Dots on Sanibel Island for lunch. Great grouper sandwiches and funky atmosphere. I love it. We go by boat, and dock nearby. Super casual.

  2. Both Empty Nest Blessed and SheShe Show have places on Sanibel, so they would be great resources for your trip. Also, Lou & Grey is 25% off at Loft right now. Enjoy the snow. We were supposed to get as much as 10” yesterday and last night but just ended up with a slushy mess…a couple of inches with rain on top of the snow (which froze and is now melting). 

  3. Hi, 

    Sanibel beaches are great. Lots of shelling. Lighthouse Beach is nice and off causeway but Bowman’s Beach I prefer.  We stay closer to lighthouse so I’ve walked the beach in that area for years. 
    If your spending the day drive to Captiva beach right at the tip. Beautiful beach. The drive is stunning. Bring your own chairs, towels and water.  All have public restrooms./showers. 

    Restaurants Sanibel:
    Island Cow, The Sanibel Grill at 
    Timbers, Traders, Clam Shack

    Mucky Duck- go early it’s small but right on beach. RC-Otters,

    All of these are Casual dress if your going right from beach. 

    Can rent boats, kayaks at Tarpon Bay Explorers. Trails to go in with boats. Fun! Shopping is good but I’d spend time exploring island instead. 

  4. Are you familiar with wardrobe sudoku? I’d like to see you put together a grid (or several!) of outfit ideas using this process. If you don’t know what it is, there are many examples if you Google it. It would be interesting to see how you put together coordinating outfits using this method.
    P.S. I prefer the 16 block grids with four categories that include tops, bottoms, shoes, & the fourth category has accessories OR toppers (such as cardigans or jackets). Just an idea for future posts! 

  5. Yay so glad you got your trip booked!  I think it’ll be really nice weather by then, and you’ll definitely enjoy having a whole house to spread out in!   
    I’d enjoy seeing some posts about transitioning from winter to spring—clothes that are warm enough for the weather but brighter and lighter colors.  Maybe instead of linking items to purchase, it could be more of a shop your closet/outfit inspo kind of thing? 
    Also I’d enjoy a roundup of good winter clearance sales (especially on things like coats that can be expensive).  Valentines outfit ideas would be fun too!

    1. Yes, I am in the mood for those types of items as well. I always link to what I can b/c some people want links, but I’m also trying to do more outfits with basics that can be closet-shopped. 🙂

  6. I’m glad that y’all are getting some snow!  That is something this GA dreams about since we hardly ever have any.  Of course, I would not want to have to get on the roads since the state has very little equipment to keep the roads passable.  I know that you and Alison were glad to get the photo shoot done this morning.  Hopefully, you didn’t get too cold.  Regarding posts I’d like to see – I’m interested in options other than shorts, skirts, & dresses to wear during the warm months that will be modern and won’t make me look older than 64.  I realize they probably won’t be things you would keep in your closet, but…  I hope that you are enjoying watching the snow fall and accumulate!

    1. Oh, man, was it ever COLD! 🙂 Fortunately the shopping center we used was pretty deserted so I left my car running with the heat on for changing, and my outfits were pretty cozy.

      And yeah, I remember growing up in VA and how they couldn’t keep up with the snow when we had it. My mom grew up in Maine, so she was always saying how different it was. Funny, I don’t think we get much more here in Philly than they do down there, but we are far better equipped to deal with it.

  7. Jo-Lynne,

    So happy for you that you’re going on vacation! We went to a place called the Bubble Room on Captiva Island quite awhile ago. It was a very eclectic place and fascinated our kids the entire time we were there. Maybe check it out. Thanks for the advice of shopping to round out our wardrobes. 

  8. Great news about your vacation!
    I love your posts on shopping your closet. You give me ideas without my buying any new items. I also need to do your closet purge. I hope I can find time to do that before we sell and pack. I have purged a lot (the local church Thrift Shop loves us), but I know I need to do more.
    Snow is coming our way. Supposed to start tomorrow afternoon. I am thinking that since I am teaching on-line, no snow day. My students will be disappointed when I tell them tomorrow that we will have class on Tuesday, no matter what.

    1. Yeah, Becca was bummed. They just called a virtual day for our school district. I get it, no need for a snow day if they can work online, but it’s kind of a bummer not to get to enjoy it. She says some of her teachers will probably cancel Zoom classes and just give assignments instead.

  9. Yay to booking your vacation to Florida!🏝 You will all love it. It will be a great break. My Aunt and Uncle snowbird to Florida every winter, or used to until COVD, in Naples and San Marco island which they love and rave about. It’s about an hour’s drive south of Cape Coral if you wish to explore. 

  10. Happy Sunday, Jo-Lynne!

    I would love a blog post on how to dress up and down my smart watch. It’s just a huge black screen on my wrist that overpowers my bracelets — ugg! Do you have good sources for bands to swap out to change the look and feel of the watch? How do you style your smart watch? Many thanks! 

  11. Glad you are making the trip to Florida. The beaches on Sanibel/Captiva are lovely. As for restaurants, give Doc Ford’s Rum Bar a try. There is one on Sanibel and one at the Plantation Resort on Captiva. (There’s also one in Ft. Myers, but I have not been to that location). The restaurants are owned in part by a successful, local author, Randy Wayne Wright, who has written an entire series of books about a marine biologist, Doc Ford, hence the name of the restaurant. The food and drinks are great. Hope you enjoy your trip!

  12. I wondered if you had taken the day off, Jo-Lynne. It would have been fine if you had but it was nice to find you in my emails! How exciting to have a trip planned. I’ve always thought that half of the fun of a trip is having it to look forward to!
    Yesterday I began my closet purge. I realized that I didn’t have the fortitude to go through everything in one day so decided to do it in categories. Yesterday I went through every shoe I owned and every pair of pants including jeans. I felt very satisfied when I was done, and not overwhelmed. What’s been your experience with selling items, Jo-Lynne as far as the best platform? I have a lot of nice bags– mostly Coach and Kate Spade retail (not outlet) that I will never carry again because of back issues. Also, some spendy jeans that no longer fit. Yay! I was looking at Poshmark but the whole process seems overwhelming. It’s still snowing in central Delaware!!!

    1. Look and see if you have a Style Encore or Clothes Mentor in your area. They look through your things while you wait and give you cash on the spot for anything they keep. The rest, you can probably donate for a tax deduction.

  13. So glad you didn’t skip Coffee Talk — the rambling is what makes me feel like I am talking to a friend (no offense!!!) I hope you and your family enjoy your Florida get away!!

  14. 5 ways to wear olive jeans/pants.
    So happy you booked something. I’m in Canada and no option to go anywhere, not even church! But you’ve had a few travel disappointments so good for you. And with a house you can stay safe from whatever covid is throwing at you at that point.
    I can’t say January has flown….it truly feels like January 74th here. We are under very strict stay at home orders….i try to get outside every day in our -10 Celsius weather…man I need a beach lol.

    1. Sharon. I think we can’t get out of this covid ordeal because the U.S. doesn’t shut down. Not that I want any more isolation than I have but it’s hard to be good and stay home being safe and then  when I’m out for a drive to get out, see the mall parking lots full and traffic everywhere. They say no indoor dining where I live but they have outside tents enclosed. What’s the difference?  Anyway, I’m getting Covid fatigue. Just feels like we will be in this same ol’ story this Fall and I’m loosing patience. I don’t know how to plan a vacation etc and feel safe. 

      1. I hear you Kathy. I’m really shocked when I realize how open things are in the U.S.  In Canada we are locked down and hoping the vaccines turn things around. Even flights from Canada to southern destinations have been cancelled until the end of April. Stay safe!

    2. Oh, and I meant to add, I’m so sorry your January has felt so long. It definitely helps to be able to get out and about. Hang in there! There is a light at the end of the tunnel.

  15. I wondered where you were :). Glad you did your chatty talk. I look forward to your coffee talks each Sunday. I’m sooooo jealous about your snow. I’d love snow. My friend in Chicago is also getting huge snow storm. Rain and 40’s where I live. 🙁 

  16. I don’t know if you’ve ever done one but I would love a “5 ways to wear” black leggings. It seems now that I’m retired and everyone else is working from home I just live in my leggings. There isn’t much to dress up for right now in California as all of our restaurants are closed and even all our movie theaters. Just a thought. I love your blog and thank you for keeping me trendy.

    1. Funny, I’ve been wanting to do a post on how to wear black leggings for women over 40 or something Pinteresty like that, and then I realized, I don’t really own pure black leggings that aren’t workout leggings. Of course, I could use one of those, but I don’t really have any that you can dress up. I assume you have very casual outfits in mind, since you’re at home. What do you all wear for leggings with sweaters and boots and things? I could try to come up with some looks.

      How long have your restaurants been closed out there? Seems like a long time!

  17. Yep- don’t know why, but this is my favorite post you do. Of course, is like trying to choose between Moosetracks and strawberry cheese cake ice cream! They are all good!  Yes ha k so much for all your hard work!!

  18. I have a leopard cardigan I bought at the Nsale last year that I hardly ever wear. It’s really cute but I’ve only worn it with black skinny jeans and I never wear those anymore so maybe that’s why I never reach for it. I would love to see other ways to style a leopard cardigan! 

      1. The one I have is a Halogen cardigan- lightweight & thin – perfect for mild weather (spring and summer for sure)- I think mine is linen and rayon. I really like it. Although when I went to find a link on their website it shows very low inventory.

        This is the one I have:


        Here’s another one I saw on the site right next to mine:


      2. I sent a link to my sweater earlier today but my comment got held in “waiting for moderation” – so weird how that happens every so often. 

        1. I approved it. They get caught in the moderation queue when they have links in them sometimes b/c the computer thinks it might be spam, I think. That is not what I was envisioning, so I’m glad you linked it. I ordered one to play around with. 🙂

  19. Hmm its been 5 years, but we ❤️ Joe’s Crab Shack in Fort Myers if its still around; great casual place after a day on the beach! Hope to go back there someday!

  20. I’m so happy (and envious 😉) you chose Cape Coral with a possible visit to Sanibel Island. I highly recommend Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille if you’re able to venture to Sanibel — great food and beverages, and if you’re a bookworm, the owner is also an author and writes a pretty good novel to devour while sunbathing.

    As far as a topic I’d love to learn more about, I would be greatly interested in learning how to choose a necklace based on the neckline of a top, as well as how your body type can affect that, too.

    Thanks for all you do!

      1. Oh thank you! I hadn’t seen that yet, even with all my travels in Pinterest. That was exactly what I was looking for and it answered all my questions – perfect!

  21. How about 5 wears to wear a black sweater dress? Only because i am having a surgical procedure on the varicose veins in my legs, and will need to wear support hose for 6 weeks after. Somehow support hose and skinny jeans just doesn’t seem realistic! But February is still winter for many of us, and we want to wear boots. Please do not show sandals until at least March. 🙂

    1. Gosh, I’m not sure how I’d style one dress 5 ways… I’m not sure I’m that creative, but it could be a fun challenge. 🙂 Do you have a particular one in mind? The one I have isn’t good for layering over b/c it has a slight bubble sleeve.

  22. Hello, I am going to Chicago in a few weeks and would like to know a good , warm pair of snow/rain boots to keep my feet warm and dry that are easy to get in and out for security check in at airport. 
    Thank you ! 

  23. Check out the Lighthouse Café on Sanibel for breakfast! It’s the coziest little breakfast place, and their food is SO GOOD.

  24. Thanks for not skipping coffee talk. I read most everything you write and have for years but still the random chat of coffee talk is my favorite.

    Great news about your trip!

  25. I, like others, love these posts, but totally would understand taking a day off! Excited for you and your trip to Florida. We just booked one as well to the Keys with another family that is in our bubble. We are totally excited to get out of MN for a week. I know you’ve done one before I believe, but a post about packing for such a trip would be a good refresher! Thanks!

    1. I don’t really feel like these posts are work. 🙂 Also, the way I’ve scaled back the Sunday email definitely helps.

      And I will definitely share what I pack! I hope to pack a few looks to shoot for the blog too. Cannot WAIT!

  26. Definitely check out St. Augustine at some point! It’s a very interesting city. My husband and I visited earlier in January. We just needed some time away. It’s driving distance for us. Lots of history and just a beautiful place. 

  27. I am excited for the functional wardrobe posts. This is one of my 2021 goals. My wardrobe is in sad shape. I need to buy some staples, but I hate to shop probaby because I feel lost. Hoping your posts give me some direction and some motivation!

  28. Hi Jo-Lynne, I would love a post on what you wear on your Florida vacation (dinners out, etc.). I have a trip planned in April to the Keys with my girlfriends and would love some ideas what to take to wear.

  29. We just bought a house with a pool last spring, so in preparation for this summer, I thought I’d check out bathing suit deals.  Especially because bathing suits are not particularly trendy, and classic ones tend to be just as fabulous from year to year.  I found that Nortdstrom Rack has AWESOME suits right now for great prices!  This may be the case all year round, but for those of us (I’m sure there are many) dreaming of warmer days by the pool, it’s a fun thing to shop for this time of year!  🙂

  30. Jo Lynne,
    I immediately thought of you when I saw the weather map 🥶! Glad you settled on a warm destination and the sunshine will do all of your family good after a cold winter in Philly! I truly enjoyed the camel sweater ideas, have already used 2 of them with my Halogen cashmere you raved about! Another idea that would be helpful to have  your up insight on is accessories: earrings, necklaces, belts, and at times scarves. When to wear what type to wear with current styles and necklines and when to wear both earrings and a necklace. I know that’s a run on, but I get stuck sometimes. Especially would like help with belts and necklaces if that makes sense. Have a great night!

  31. Hi! I am trying to find a post where you recommended the hangers you used in your closet but I can’t find! Can you send a link to your fave hangers? TIA

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