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Coffee Talk 11.01.20 🍁

And just like that, it’s November! I’m ready, y’all. I’m ready for holiday baking, fires in the fireplace, shorter days and longer nights, and most of all for election season to be behind us. Who’s with me?

Oh, and don’t forget to set your clocks back!

I was wide awake at 4:30 this morning, wondering why I couldn’t go back to sleep, and then I realized my body clock was saying it was 5:30, my usual wake-up time.

My iPhone had reset automatically during the night, so I was all out of whack. I tried to go back to sleep for another hour or two, but I finally gave up and came downstairs and made my coffee.

Most people look forward to getting another hour of sleep, but I was excited to get another hour to work. Ha!

We’ve had a nice weekend so far. The rain FINALLY moved out, and we had a pretty day yesterday. I worked most of the day, but I went out for a mid-day walk, and then Paul and I went out to dinner with friends last night, so that was fun.

We rescheduled our family pictures yet again, so those are supposed to happen this Wednesday. Crossing my fingers the stars align, the weather cooperates, and no one gets sick.

I’m still not sure what we’re all wearing. I thought I had it figured out, and then I decided I didn’t love it, so now I’m back to the drawing board. It’s D’s outfit that has me confuddled.

I wanted everyone to wear something that looks very them, so when we look back at these pictures, we recognize ourselves, ya know? Well, all he ever wears are Nike and Under Armour sweatpants and sweatshirts/t-shirts… and that clearly won’t work.

He occasionally wears a polo shirt and khakis for a dinner out or family event, or a sweater or button-down in the fall/winter. He hates jeans, although he has one pair — which, I believe he wore for our last family pictures three years ago. So we will go with khakis this time.

I’m trying to find a button-down for him that doesn’t look too plain or too loud. I bought a plaid, but I think it’s too busy and stands out from the rest of us, so I’m trying to find something else for him. Maybe a sweater would be better.

Anywho. That’s my goal for this afternoon — finalize our outfits so we’re all set for family pictures.

Yes, these are first world problems, but I always find putting outfits together for family pictures so stressful. This is a milestone year for our family in several different ways, so I was hoping to enlarge this picture and hang it in a prominent spot, and I really want to love it.

Beyond that, I’m busy planning out my content calendar for the next couple of months on the blog. This time of year is always crazy, and while 2020 has been pretty slow so far for this industry, it’s definitely amping up for holiday.

I’ve heard your call for gift guides, so Amy and I are working on those. As usual, some are sponsored, and some are based on the type of person you’re buying for. The men’s and grandparents gift guides are usually the most popular, so we’ll roll those out first.

I’m curious to hear about your holiday plans, and what type of outfit inspiration you’re looking for. I’m assuming most won’t be having or attending big parties, but I’m sure we’ll all be trying to make it special any way we can.

The current plan is to visit my parents in Virginia for Thanksgiving, as long as everything remains relatively stable, but we’ll be staying here for Christmas Day. We usually do anyway.

Sometimes we visit my parents during the week after Christmas, and that’s still a possibility, but again, so much depends on the state of the world… and Covid.

I have no idea what will happen with the Shane family Christmas gathering that we usually host on the weekend following Christmas. It’s definitely a wait-and-see game at this point.

There will certainly be no company holiday parties or anything like that. Honestly, our holiday season is never really all that busy. We don’t usually have many parties to attend, so I don’t feel like we’re going to be missing out on much.

So much is up in the air, but the most important thing is that my immediate family is all together. I’m so grateful for that.

I plan to decorate to the nines, play Christmas music all day long, keep a roaring fire in the fireplace, and bake every traditional holiday recipe I can find. We will do our best to create happy memories and make the best of it… And pray no one gets sick.

On that note, I need to sign off here and get a few things done before I go for a run.

I hope you’re all enjoying your extra hour this weekend, no matter how you decide to spend it. Have a restful and very blessed Sunday!

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33 thoughts on “Coffee Talk 11.01.20 🍁

  1. Like you, I was up earlier than usual thanks to my body clock and my mind kicking in on everything I’d like to do today.  With the time change, we will be heading out to hunt earlier this afternoon.  Because all of my Christmas shopping is done, I will just enjoy perusing the gift guides you share with us.  It will just be the two of us for Thanksgiving and Christmas, but I’m okay with that since keeping Larry healthy is my #1 priority.  His pulmonologist & cancer doctor have reminded us what a high risk he is and how important it is to wear masks.  His son is coming to visit for a couple of days in a few weeks, but he has to wear a mask in the house the whole time he is here, except for when we are eating.  Staying 6ft apart was also stressed and staying outside as much as possible was suggested, while still wearing a mask since you never know the direction the particles will be flying.  Being around others makes me so stressed, so being hermits is almost more appealing.  I’ve been playing Christmas music for several weeks now.  Both of us love it!!  Good luck getting the outfits for the family picture worked out.  I’ll say a special prayer that all of the stars align on Wednesday.

    1. I’m so glad Larry will get to see his son. Hopefully all the precautions will keep everyone safe. Has he considered getting tested before coming? I know he could still get it in the meantime, but it may put your minds at ease a bit.

  2. I always enjoy your family pics.  Fun to see how your family has grown.  But I totally get the challenge of outfitting.

    It’s a little spendier, but all three of my guys…who are fully diverse in their dress up/casual wear prefs…looove lulu lemon activewear.  Their ABC pants are a great way to look dressy but be very casual.  But even their their sweats and tops have a little something extra in their tailoring that make them look very refined.  My suit and tie guy is a convert and my baggy sweats and tee kid really likes them when he wants to look pulled together but be comfy.

    Love your blog!

  3. I just wanted you to know, I bought the Vince teddy bear coat…..OMGEEE!  it is amazing! Thanks for the honest review.  

  4. I have really enjoyed following you and do not want to be the “one” to throw out any negativity during this extremely negative time in our country. That being said, it is hard let go your comment about “it would STINK to get this JUNK during the holidays”.  I know you are trying your hardest to shed lightness and joy but this was extremely insensitive. What really STINKS (such a poor choice of words) is that my family along with so many others will have one less person to have with them to celebrate this holiday because they died of this JUNK (another really poor choice of words!). I’m sure you try to be as sensitive as possible to all but this just seemed to miss the mark. Again I appreciate all your efforts to help us try to carry on through these heavy and dark times but please know sometimes your words can come across too light. Sorry to write this, truly I am and will also continue to support all you do to make us all smile each day. 

  5. It’s funny, Jo-Lynne, that you are thinking you’ll decorate to the nines for Christmas. I was considering dialing it back. The last few years, we’ve been hosting lots of small holiday dinner parties and one big holiday open house so we’ve been decorating like crazy, but things will be different this year. We’re still thinking we’ll have some small dinner parties as we have widened our circle and are seeing a few select couples. But I’m thinking about toning down the decorations. After all, it’s just the two of us most of the time. We’re in the middle of renovating a home we’ll be moving into and everything is spread between our two houses, with all of the decorations stored at the house being renovated. The work transport, then to decorate and undecorate seems formidable right now. Maybe I just want 2020 to be over!
    I always enjoy gift guides! I’m starting to think about gifts now. I have seven grandchildren to shop for, but have gotten into the habit of asking their parents what they would like me to get them and then throwing a little something in that I’ve picked myself. While I don’t pick the “big” gifts out myself, the items are always a tremendous hit.

    More rain on its way through Delaware today. Noooooooo.

    1. I don’t blame you a bit – if it were just 2 of us, I wouldn’t be doing much. But the girls are excited to decorate, and Becca has been saying she is kind of glad she’ll be home more to enjoy it. So I’m doing it for them. I know I’ll enjoy it too, once it’s all up. 🙂

  6. Yes I woke up early this morning as well due to that extra hour. Halloween was a success last night with the kids and I ran out of candy for the first time ever 🤦‍♀️. Oh me of little faith! I had all the candy bags hanging by clothes pegs on a makeshift clothes line of rope Across our two pillars. It was fun to look out the window and yes I did open the door a few times to say trick or treat! Just couldn’t help it but all was safe and with social distancing. I’m now ready to begin the Christmas season with decorating and even watched a Christmas Hallmark movie last night! But did I ever stop watching them lol… The shopping has begun and I’m on my mission to finish it up! Heading out for supper with friends and family tonight then back here for apple crisp. .. enjoy your day. It’s a cold and sunny start to ours .

  7. Regarding family photos, I can totally relate to the dilemma of coordinating outfits for everyone.  I would, however, encourage you to allow David to wear his casual sweats for a family photo,  Our youngest (ironically also David but he goes by Davy), is 23 and he has always worn graphic tees, mostly racing ones.  I finally let him start wearing what HE wanted in photos and I absolutely adore the photos because they really LOOK like all of us.  I know some people really crave the perfectly coordinated, aesthetically pleasing photo and don’t want to allow athletic wear anywhere near it, but if there’s a way to snap even just a few photos with David in his usual garb, you might find they are some of your favorite photos  With 2020 being the craziest year for most of us – this might be the year to try it!  LOL!  Just a suggestion!  (One of my very favorite photos of our two sons is one where the oldest in his usual attire of a plaid, button down shirt with sleeves rolled up, jeans, and loafers, and the youngest in a graphic racing tee, shorts, and tennis shoes.  They are standing back to back leaning on each other with their arms crossed smiling at the camera – and it makes me smile ear-to-ear and sometimes tear-up because it truly epitomizes them perfectly!)

    1. I love that! I bet it is a great picture. It did occur to me, but he will happily wear anything I want. I would rather not document the sweats, but I was thinking about a nicer looking hoodie with his khakis… I dunno. We’ll see. I’m not ruling out the sweats.

  8. 👏 It’s November and I can start decorating. I’m going to do my best to make this last part of 2020 as enjoyable as possible. Like you, I’ll be playing Christmas tunes, watching sappy Christmas movies, and making recipes I only make at Christmas. We won’t be having Christmas with family though. We feel it is not safe to fly this year. 
    I’m heading out this morning after my walk to start shopping for Christmas. I’m going to try to support local small businesses as much as I can. 

    1. Fortunately, we are close enough to drive. Although I hear that airplane travel is fairly safe, I don’t know that I’d be excited to get on a plane right now.

      And yes, supporting local is so important. That’s one reason we dine out a lot. I do enjoy the break from cooking, but I want these restaurants to stay open. I feel so bad for small business owners.

  9. Happy November! We’ve had a few fall days recently but it is mostly still summer in Central Florida. There was a huge turnout or trick or treaters last night. Made up 275 individual bags but ran out and had to shut down early. It was good to see everyone outside in the fresh air enjoying life. I pray for our country this week. God Bless America!

  10. Jo-Lynne,

    I agree with you on putting up lots of Christmas decorations, playing Christmas music and baking. My daughter, who is a new mom, said she’s going to decorate for Christmas early this year. I am already working on decorating ideas. I do like your gift guides.

    I laughed at your post when talking about family photos and outfits. When my kids were little, our extended family planned a family picture on the beach of Lake Michigan. My sister-in-law thought orange would be a good color choice. Um, no. Even the beautiful lake couldn’t fix that!

    Have a great Sunday!

  11. I hope your family pictures turn out great! What a great idea you have for making the most of this holiday season. I love the idea of a fire, Christmas music and holiday baking! All that is definitely traditional but it helps to go forward with it with enthusiasm despite what is going on around us, and whether we gather in large groups or small! Thanks for the inspiration. Have a great Sunday! 

  12. I was going to comment that I say let your son wear his usually sweats – nicer ones of course. Then I read some of the other comments and others have the same thought! Whatever you decide, good luck and I’m sure they’ll come out great!

  13. Keep the family picture idea. It’s well worth it! I had all my four boys and their spouses and grandchildren here in 2018, and the framed canvas picture is over my desk and always inspires me to count my blessings.

  14. My grandsons don’t wear jeans either. I use to think it was weird but they say they are hard to fit and not comfortable. We are just luck to get everyone together for a picture. So we have a hodgepodge of fashion. Ha.

    1. Yeah, he has never liked jeans. He’s happy to wear khakis, but he only wears jeans when expressly directed to. One year they were part of his uniform for indoor drumline. He would wear them over his sweats and take them off as soon as the competition was over. 😂

  15. Such great inspiration!  Many of the outfits I pinned to my casual year round board.   Yes, this year is so full of changes in every area of our lives…..our little village had trick or treating at all the local businesses the last few year so that was cancelled.  Our church still isn’t doing Sunday School, just church and on and on it goes.  So many changes for the younger ones to get used to.  But then kids are much more resilient than us adults!  November is a wonderful month, time to reflect on all we have to be thankful for!  Enjoy that fireplace and snuggle down with a good book, like I plan to do!! And of course your favorite throw!  

    1. Yeah, church is really weird these days. There is no nursery or Sunday School, and we have to sign up for worship – it’s 50% capacity with everyone spaced out into family groups. Masks required. I will be so happy when I no longer have to sing hymns in a mask! But I am glad we wear them for now. I feel safer that way.

  16. I’m with you on the Holiday Festivities. I plan to decorate/bake/send out cards/play Christmas music—all of it. This year, it’ll be just my husband & myself. I figured back in April that this may may be the case, and kind of made peace with the idea of just the 2 of us due to the pandemic. Already have a turkey in the freezer, and baked pumpkin bread,

    Am still trying to figure out our family photo _- I usually take one (OK, more like a dozen-trying to get the timer down, and everyone with their eyes open) on Christmas day. This year will be a test of my “photoshop” skills!

    Could really use some stocking stuffer ideas for my husband… looking forward to your posts.

  17. Echoing the Lululemon for guys bit – my 20 yr old son loves their pants and shorts. Definitely a step up from “sweats”! I just took down the halloween decor, and now can’t wait for holiday. Also echoing your thoughts on decorating to the nines – whatever makes you feel good. Can’t wait for the gift guides – thank you in advance!

  18. I don’t know about airplanes or airports being safe. You’re squeezed in from both sides, up front and behind, in the air for hours with recirculated air, passing through airports with so many people. Personally, I think it’s a breeding ground for germs and at this time it could be Covid. But we all have different comfort levels. You are fortunate to be able to drive. My girls are across the country so it would be a several day road trip and at a time when the snow is falling. We’ll have to settle for FaceTime get togethers. 

    FYI unable to reply to comment above. 🤔

  19. I love your Christmas plans – snuggling in by the fireplace, reading more, mailing real Christmas cards, baking traditional recipes made only at Christmas, decorating the house….. That sounds great! We need to find the joy in the small and great things. Its 68F here so enjoying the beautiful weather. Crazy idea (just throwing it out there): since 2020 is the year of athleisure and David loves his sweats and track pants, what a family photo of you all in elevated athleisure wear? You have shown us fantastic Zella and Athleta gear. 2020 is so out of the norm, why not embrace it? You may be cringing inside at this wacky idea as you mentioned its a year of milestones with your 25th wedding anniversary and big birthdays. Just throwing it out there…… In case you are tired of putting a square peg into a round hole of finding dressier clothes for David: embrace our reality?

  20. Good luck with your family photo!  Hoping the weather holds!  My son and daughter both got married in two tiny pandemic outdoor weddings in the last two months, so we will be using those family pictures for our Christmas cards this year.  That makes it easy!  We were so blessed that the weather was great both days to have outdoor ceremonies – you just never know with the Pacific Northwest weather in the Fall!  Our holiday plans are quiet.  We will be staying home and if the weather cooperates, we will have our son and daughter-in-law over for an outside gathering.  Our daughter and son-in-law are in our bubble, so would be able to join us indoors.  We will have to visit virtually with the other family members.  

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