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Colectivo Coffee Roasters and Cafe

27 Oct

Colectivo on Monroe Street in Madison, Wisconsin, is one of my favorite places to get coffee. When an employee made me a caffeine drink (I can’t remember what he made me!), it looked like this and I almost wept from the beauty of it:

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Ok, so YOU have received drinks like the endless times before—I haven’t! This was my first time!

While sitting-in-the-cafe-writing-Haiku (ewww?), I ate a delicious breakfast burrito:

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This is my son at Colectivo, who, in case you were wondering, could care less about my blog.

What I also like about this Colectivo is how it’s decorated. It’s cozy. There are all kinds of chairs, couches, tables and a fireplace. The glass walls slide open. It’s very pleasant. I know I like it because it reminds me of a loft I’d like to live in.

I am also, unfortunately, obsessed with the bathrooms. I love the design of the communal sinks and paper towel holder.

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Colectivo Coffee Roasters and Cafe
2530 Monroe St
Madison, WI 53711
(608) 630-8930

Naf Naf Grill in Madison, Wisconsin

23 Oct

I like going to restaurants. I walked by Naf Naf Grill on State Street in Madison, Wisconsin and decided to eat there. Naf Naf is called the “Chipotle of Middle Eastern food,” and I agree. The service was excellent and the food was fantastic. I’m on a diet so I won’t be able to go there often but I LOVED EVERY BITE of my falafel hummus bowl:

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They slather hummus on the bottom and sides of the bowl, then put five falafels on top. I choose purple cabbage salad, chopped salad, and pickles for garnishes and fire sauce for the finish. The pita bread was perfect. When you put all of these different tastes in your mouth, they are delectable!


Will You Join Me?

3 Aug

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Jung Garden Center

31 May

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That’s it for me. Instead of dilly-dallying around buying seeds at Target or my local grocery store, I’m heading for Jung Garden Center. They have at least 30 different kinds of pumpkin seeds and even more varieties of corn. I bought beet, lupine, and sunflower seeds.

Spring Green Lilies #lilies #springgreen

27 Jul
Where did I get this gorgeous color from?

Where did I get this gorgeous color from?

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These orange lilies were in Spring Green, Wisconsin.

Pool #pool

7 Jul

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“I went to the swimming pool often, as swimming pools solve a lot of problems if you never sob but just can’t stop the constant leaking of tears.”

— Ann Patchett, This Is The Story of a Happy Marriage


Sjölind’s Chocolate House – Mount Horeb, Wisconsin #Sjolinds

27 Jun

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Going to Sjölind’s Chocolate House is such a treat!  

My mom bought some chocolate treats for myself, my husband and son.  I had been coveting their peanut butter cup, and mom bought it for me!  Look at that delectable morsel!  I ate it in two days, in case you were wondering.

Their caffeine drinks are excellent.  So are their sandwiches.  Our favorite is the muffaletta. Their quiche is amazing and so are their baked goods.

They have a huge collection of chocolate from around the world, and make chocolate treats themselves.  I’m buying their homemade malt balls next.

They make and bake much of the goodies sold at Sjölind’s.  Tracy Thompson, the master baker and chef of Sjölind’s can do no wrong!


Sjölinds Chocolate House 

219 East Main Street

Mount Horeb, WI 53572

(608) 437-0233

Freddy Valentine’s Public House in Spring Green, Wisconsin

21 Jun

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My husband and son discovered Freddy Valentine’s Public House (restaurant) while they were walking around in the lovely town of Spring Green, Wisconsin.  They had already eaten dinner somewhere else, but my son, mom and I came back a few days later to eat there.

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Freddy Valentine’s is in the 1915 Spring Green State Bank Building.  I love the building – it’s beautiful on the outside and inside.

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As you can learn by reading their website, the Neo-Classical Revival sculpture pieces on the front of the building look like marble, but they are really Terra Cotta.

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The owners David and Jeaneane Owen have done such an incredible job decorating the restaurant while preserving and honoring the bank’s history.  I personally love being in the restaurant because it reminds me of Manhattan.  Sophisticated and comfortable.

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I am not an architectural writer…but they repurposed many parts of the bank which adds charm.

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The windows are incredible.

Another dining area.

Another dining area.

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We ate in this lovely room.  We arrived before the restaurant filled up, and had the owner, David, all to ourselves!

I could see eating a leisurely meal at Freddy Valentine’s, drinking a lot of rich red wine or a martini, and passing out sleeping at the nearby House on the Rock Resort.

But what about the food?  We loved it all.

My mom was ready to eat her black bean burger but I made her stop so I could take a photo.

My mom was ready to eat her black bean burger but I made her stop so I could take a photo.

I ate the BBQ brisket sandwich. Scrumptious!

I ate the BBQ brisket sandwich.  Scrumptious!

My son ate every iota of the corned beef Reuben sandwich.

My son ate every iota of the corned beef Reuben sandwich.  Especially love the marbled rye bread.

Thank you for creating this restaurant, David and Jeaneane.  We will return many more times.


Freddie Valentine’s Public House

134 W Jefferson St

Spring Green, WI  53588

Phone: (608) 588-0220


Workin’ On A Big Chill – #TGIF

22 Mar

The other weekend I had a Big Chill Weekend…by myself.  I needed to get away from it all so I went to a hotel for a couple nights, using points.  I brought 27 magazines that had piled up at my house, looked through them,

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worked on my blogs, swam, and watched cable TV.  We don’t have cable TV and once again, from channel surfing through the cable channels, I am reminded and grateful that we DO NOT have cable!  I mostly watched The Food Network and HGTV.

Oh, I also ate but was very chillaxed about it.  I was craving TGI Fridays potato skins.  (When I was anticipating my weekend, eating the skins was a goal.  But other goals fell through the cracks.)  I hadn’t eaten at a TGI Fridays in 6 years.  Last time I ordered potato skins, I could order a half order (4 skins), but now they don’t have that option.  So I ate 4 at dinner and 4 the next day for lunch in my hotel room.  The potato skins totally remind me of my sister – eating them and drinking margaritas at TGI Fridays in Los Angeles.

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For Spinko.

The very nice waiter told me they started using better bacon and cheese.

I also ordered a wedge salad which consists of blue cheese dressing, iceberg lettuce, bacon and tomatoes.  It was excellent!

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Here comes the weekend
Sure could use some relaxation to shake these blues
Hand me my sun shades
I’m checkin’ out of here
I’m workin’ on a big chill
Lord I’m workin’ on a big chill

Workin’ On A Big Chill lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., Vince Gilbert/Benefit Music/Vinny Mae Music, WINDSWEPT HOLDINGS LLC

Graze Cheese Bacon Burger #GrazeMadison

3 Mar

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Last Friday I had the pleasure of going to one of my Madison favorite restaurants, Graze, with my good friend Sherrie.  I loved the tasty meat burger and because of the English muffin bun, it was easy to eat.  I like how they presented the mayonnaise, mustard and catsup in the tiny bowl.  The fries and aioli mayonnaise were excellent too!

Graze reminds me of restaurants in Los Angeles and New York because it is contemporary and trendy and is like eating in a big city.

Happy March 1st!  Spring is on the way!


1 S. Pinckney St

Madison, WI  53703
608 – 251 – 5000

The content of this post was not generated to make money.  I am not being paid for this content.

Measuring Spoons From Anthropologie #anthropologie

25 Jan

spoons_8853 blogSeveral years ago my mom bought me these beautiful measuring spoons from Anthropologie.  We love the store Anthropologie.

The spoons were too beautiful to use.

So, here is where they are:

spoons_8854 blogRight above my kitchen window.  They add color to my kitchen, look arty, and I always look at them and think of my mom.


The content of this post was not generated to make money.  I am not being paid for this content.  

Chew at The Barrymore Theater

11 Dec

chew tobacco_9514 blogI got a kick out of this sign posted at The Barrymore Theater in Madison, Wisconsin.  These things DO need to be communicated!  The Barrymore Theater IS a wonderful venue – it has seats!


Steve’s Wine Beer Spirits #StevesMcKee #deathsdoor

24 Nov

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I would like to thank Steve’s Wine Beer Spirits in Fitchburg, Wisconsin, for selling me Death Door’s Gin for $24.99 instead of their usual price of $28.99.  Sometimes I am just too tired and weary to drive 4 miles out of my way in the night after work to another store for the $24.99 price.

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Thanks, Steve’s!  You are a great store and have excellent customer service!

p.s.  Death’s Door Gin is my favorite gin of all time!!!!!!


The content of this post was not generated to make money.  I am not being paid for this content.  

Justin Bieber Holiday Wrapping Paper #justinbieber

22 Nov

justin bieber_1447 blogI love looking at all the holiday/Christmas items at Target.  I saw that there is wrapping paper with Justin Bieber’s photos on it.

Can you imagine being so famous that people want to buy wrapping paper with your image on it?


The content of this post was not generated to make money.  I am not being paid for this content.  


Picnic by Michael Beitz – Madison, Wisconsin – #picnictable

27 Oct

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Wow, this would look FABULOUS in my back yard!

Honey, would you buy it for me?

This fabulous creative masterpiece is called Picnic by Michael Beitz and is on display on the roof of the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art.  

Northern Chocolate Co in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

9 Sep

A couple of days ago we went to Milwaukee for the day.  Our friend Jeff gave us a tour.  It’s always the best way to get to know a city, when someone you know can take you on a tour.  We love Milwaukee.  It gives us our “city fix.”

Turns out I needed to buy a gift for someone who loves dark chocolate with almonds and Jeff suggested the Northern Chocolate Co.  Jim Fetzer, who owns it and has made all the chocolate for 27 years, is quite the personality!  What an opinionated force he is!

northern chocolate_9254 blogThe inside of the store is immaculate, and beautifully decorated.  Jim used to salvage antiques – doors, windows, furniture, fixtures, and his past career is reflected in the decorations in his store.

Oh, and the chocolate is excellent!

Northern Chocolate Co
2034 N Dr Martin Luther King Dr
Milwaukee, WI 53212
Phone:  414-372-1885


The content of this post was not generated to make money.  I am not being paid for this content. 

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame #rock_hall

24 Aug

While driving home from the East Coast to Wisconsin, we stopped in Cleveland to visit The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  Ya all need to go there at least once if you are a music lover.  We stayed at the Cleveland Marriott Downtown at Key Center, which I highly recommend.  A classy hotel and within walking distance to the Rock Hall.  Here was the view of the Rock Hall from our hotel room window:

Here is the Rock Hall (designed by IM Pei) once we walked over to it:

rock and roll hall of fame_9136 ch blogObviously there was a lot to look at in the Rock Hall.  I wish I would have had more time.  Perhaps next time I would take a little portable chair and sit in front of each display and really taken it in.

If you love guitars, you will love the Rock Hall!  I was really struck by the creative design of ZZ Top’s custom 1986 Yunker guitars – so innovative!  I briefly looking on the Internet for more info about Yunker but it was hard to find a lot of info.  Sad that a talent like that doesn’t exist on the Internet.

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The guitar on the right reminds me of an insect.

What I really got into at the Rock Hall was the clothes that the musicians wore.  And most of them were so TINY!  I loved the 60’s era and psychedelic prints.  Here is a jacket worn by Jack Casady of Jefferson Airplane, designed by Bad Boy:

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“Don’t you want some jacket to love?”

Here is the detail:

jack casady_9140 blog detailI really liked this broadcloth type of fabric for clothes and remember having a jacket and matching skirt made of broadcloth in the 1960’s.

OMG, how about Al Green’s PANTS??????  How many of you bought the Greatest Hits album?????

“I need your love! Let’s get married today!”

Now I’ll talk about something more somber…how the fabulous Otis Redding, age 29-years-young, died when his airplane crashed in Lake Monona in Madison, Wisconsin.  His untimely death happened before the song “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” was released.  His name was on the airplane:

otis redding_9144 blogIf you haven’t before, watch Otis Redding at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival singing “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long.” 

I really wanted to see anything having to do with Led Zeppelin and Robert Plant, but there wasn’t much.  Apparently Led Zeppelin “pulled it all.”  I would have liked to see Robert Plant’s jeans.  But I fell in love with a beautiful jacket that John Paul Jones wore:

john paul jones_9145 blogIt must have been amazing to be a rich, famous rock star and have these beautiful custom clothes made.  The guitar isn’t too bad either!

Here is the detail:

john paul jones_9145 blog detailWhat about a museum for Led Zeppelin, someone?  Bill Gates are you listening?

Lastly, I was dying to see anything about The Beatles.  Here is John Lennon’s Sergeant Pepper outfit from the Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover:

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The Beatles are my favorite band.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
1100 E 9th St  Cleveland, Ohio 44114


The content of this post was not generated to make money.  I am not being paid for this content. 

Madison Opera In The Park #MadOpera

16 Jul

OMG!!!  What a great experience we had last night.

The Madison Opera in the Park has been taking place annually for the past 12 years.  Our friends asked us to join them and we are so grateful that we did!  The 8pm FREE concert is at Garner Park in Madison, Wisconsin.  Many people get to the park at 7am to lay down their tarps and claim their space.  We had a pot luck and our friends brought oodles of bottles of white wine, champagne, beer, and even homemade Limoncello!  I couldn’t believe the food our friends brought:  sushi rolls and sashimi from Metcalfe’s Grocery store, Mediterranean food from Banzo (they have award-winning falafel and other Mediterranean dishes, including hummus, babaganush, couscous and majadra rice), and even lobster bisque!  Again, I was so hungry and shocked at all the amazing food, that I neglected to take any photos of it!  Aargh!!!

But, while at home I did take a photo of my humble and delicious pasta salad, partially supplemented with the Antipasto Salad from Gino’s Deli.  My salad includes my homegrown oregano, Chinese spinach, and basil.

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Here is what the stage looks like:

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This is what it looked like behind us:

madison opera_8752 blogPeople bring blankets, pillows, food, drinks, and the ever important soccer mom chair!

The conductor is John DeMain:

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There were four wonderfully talented opera singers and a chorus.  The opera singers were:

  • Caitlin Cisler
  • Nmon Ford
  • Brian Jagde
  • Alexandra LoBianco

Here is Nmon Ford:

nmon ford_8760 blogI LOVED Nmon Ford’s voice – one of the best I have ever heard.  I think he needs to get a lead part on Broadway and become very famous!  And he is super handsome!

And here is Caitlin Cisler, from Appleton, Wisconsin:

caitlin cisler_8763 blogAnother spectacular voice from such a tiny body!  She is uber talented and again, I see a future for her on Broadway and getting very famous!  And, Caitlin’s gown was so fashionable – slinky, classy, a low, open-back, and I think not wearing a bra!  She is a cutting edge, contemporary opera singer, much admired!  I’m telling you again – you will not believe her voice!

During the last couple of songs, people were given glow sticks and everyone got to be a conductor like Mr. DeMain!

madison opera_8769 blogI am going to be attending the Madison Opera at the Park every year!  I recommend!


Fair #8585

17 Jun

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Clouds and Tree #Visit_Madison

25 May

cloud_8494 ch blogShot at Monona Terrace in Madison, Wisconsin.  Is the tree a dogwood?

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