Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Old & New

First, the new...

I tried this recipe for Cilantro Lime Chicken Tacos over the weekend and it was AMAZING!  So easy - dump everything into a crockpot and walk away (the only way I cook).

I've eaten it as tacos and as nachos (just throw some tortilla chips on a plate, top with this chicken and some cheese and microwave).

SO good!
Now the old...

Lili is going vintage!

I've been stockpiling vintage clothing and home decor for a while, and the time has come to try to part with some of those great finds that I have no use for (but couldn't pass up!).

We'll see if I can bring myself to actually do it...

Monday, February 27, 2017

Back to lili

I recently reread The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, and remembered my vow to start eating better. Back then, I was feasting on stale microwave popcorn. Lately, it's been chex mix and sweet tarts.  Delicious, yes. But not for dinner. (Not every night anyway.)

So I went onto Pinterest, pinned a bunch of recipes and headed to the grocery store.


The recipe says it takes 8 minutes but that's a lie. It takes 8 minutes to BAKE. It takes longer to cook the mushrooms, grate the cheese, etc.  But not much longer.  (And it was worth it!)

My little shop is doing well in its new location. Changes may be afoot (I swear I'm cursed!), but until then I'm continuing to proceed (with caution).  Worse case scenario is still ending up with a house full of cute stuff.

That wouldn't be so bad...

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Minimalism Resolution

This past New Year's Eve, I celebrated by going to bed early and watching Netflix (and I have zero regrets).

After finishing The Crown (SO GOOD!), I decided to try Minimalism, "a documentary about the important things".  It was created by two guys who left successful (but unfulfilling) careers, wrote a book, and went on tour.

I loved it.

I'd scrolled past it a million times, and have no idea why I didn't watch it earlier. I have A LOT of stuff, and I've been consistently trying to get rid of things I don't LOVE, dating back to (at leastAugust 15, 2010.

I was so inspired, I jumped out of bed and emptied a dresser that has always bugged me. (I bought it in New York and just couldn't find a place for it in this house.)

Turns out, I could not only get rid of the dresser, but also about 90% of the stuff in it. (YAY!)

The next day, though, I started thinking...

Can I justify running a retail business that sells STUFF, and support the concept of minimalism? 


The point isn't to just get rid of material possessions. Instead, it's about getting rid of the excess, the stuff we don't LOVE.

So, I'm trying to get products in the store that I think people will love - high quality, reasonably priced, and (as much as possible), products that are somehow sustainable, recycled, cruelty-free, environmentally friendly, or do something (anything!) good for the world and won't end up just taking up space.

So, keep an eye on lili as I continue to add new products, and check out The Minimalists if you need a little inspiration to clear out your excess stuff!

And if you have Netflix, watch The Crown and Stranger Things too!  


Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy 2017!

I know.

It's been a while.

I kept waiting for things to settle down, but realized that may never happen, so long story short...

I turned down a permanent position at the mortgage company, and finally accepted a position managing the office of an insurance agent in a nearby town.

I say "finally" because we've been talking about this for over four years!

I really wasn't interested (Insurance?  Ugh, no.), but eventually ran out of excuses so agreed to give it a try.

One year.

The thing is, I actually like it...

The people are nice and the agents (husband and wife) I work for aren't pushy - they actually care about their clients (maybe all insurance agents do?). And I really feel like we're helping people, which I like.

It's only been two months, so we'll see.  (Although, with the last 3 jobs (!), I've known way before the two month point that it wasn't going to work.)

In other "finally" news, I finally launched my shop! (Again, that took much longer than expected!)

I created a website, and also have a Facebook page and accounts on Instagram and Pinterest. A friend suggested I call it "lili" and I couldn't think of anything better so "lili" it is!

I started in mid-September in a storefront that also includes an antique store and a bakery.  That was going well, until the people who ran the antique store didn't think we were busy enough, so started closing the shop to work another job.

I moved out of there at the beginning of November and into another shop in town. We agreed to go through the end of the year, and I recently decided I just couldn't afford to continue in that space.

Now I'm in the process of re-opening the gift shop in a historic, boutique hotel called The Decker Hotel (conveniently located in the same town as the insurance company).

The Decker is a beautiful old hotel and the restaurant and bar are more upscale.  And, a lot of the musicians who perform at Codfish Hollow (SO COOL!) stay there, so it's turning into this really hip place to be!  I'm hoping to add to that upscale, cool, hipness!

I'm also hoping that things do eventually settle down and Lord Tennyson is right!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Summer 2016

Well, this summer did not turn out as I expected.

I was hoping to take some time off, get some projects done around the house and set up shop in my friend's store.

Unfortunately (?) I got a job.

(I know, that's not actually a bad thing.)

Anyway, I got a phone call about a potential position, met with them on a Tuesday, got an offer on Thursday and started on Monday.

I'm working in the mortgage division of a real estate company.  I've done this before - many years ago - and actually really liked it.  At one point I even thought that if I won the lottery, I wouldn't quit my job.

(I do not feel this way now.)

The good part is, it's in the same town where my family lives.  The bad part is, that town is about an hour from where I live.

So, instead of living in Bellevue and coming to visit my family on the weekends, I flipped it and now I live in my dad's house (he's in assisted living and really likes it), and just go to Bellevue on the weekends.

I actually like it!

Before, I'd drive an hour, stop by my dad's, run out to get him whatever he needed & take it back to him, go visit my mom, go to my dad's house and take care of anything that needed to get done there - go through the mail, mow the lawn... Maybe stop by my brother's. Then I'd run my own errands and drive the hour home.

It was stressful and exhausting.

Now, I do all that running around during the week and when I go to Bellevue, I have to mow the lawn.

That's it.

The rest of the time I do whatever I feel like doing - read, watch tv, hang out with friends...

It's relaxing!   So, I officially have a "weekend home"!

The process of starting the little business in my friend's shop has been grueling - the paperwork! - but the end is (finally) near.

We're actually moving in some merchandise this Friday and will be open for business in time for the Labor Day weekend.

I'm so excited!!

You can follow the progress at lili (of course!).

In all my spare time (ha!), I've read a couple of really good books - The Light Between Oceans (can't wait for the movie!), and All the Light We Cannot See.

I've also tried a few new recipes that were just ok.  Except for this one - this Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Soup was awesome! And, it's so easy - just throw it all in the crock pot and walk away.  (I do love those!)

Monday, May 23, 2016


are afoot...

First of all, I got fired.

Don't feel bad.  (I don't!)

It wasn't that I didn't go a good job - I was just "not a good fit", and "the chemistry wasn't good".

(To which I replied "I agree!".)

But now what?


Good question!

I moved here hoping to (someday) open my own business.

Well, yesterday a friend who owns a shop downtown told me I could use some of her space - for free! - in exchange for working 2 days/week.

YES! Absolutely!

So, that ball is finally rolling.

I'll still need a job. But I'm trying to not panic and just take the first thing that comes along. I've done that.  It doesn't work.

In the meantime, summer starts (unofficially) next week and I'm going to try to enjoy it (for a change!). That won't be easy (not having a paycheck is scary and stressful), but I am looking at this as an opportunity!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

As predicted, the latest book I read was in the "less than 150 pages" category.

I know it's been over a month since I said that. It hasn't taken me that long to read 132 pages (that took a few hours). It took that long to find a book I really wanted to read.

I found The Diving Bell and the Butterflyat Goodwill one day last weekend. I'd seen the movie, but it's on so many "Best Books" lists, I was curious.

And as is usually the case, the book is SO much better.

The book tells the true story of Jean-Dominique Bauby, editor-in-chief of French Elle.  In 1995, he suffered a stroke that left him with "locked-in syndrome". Permanently paralyzed and only able to communicate by blinking his left eye, he dictated the entire book one letter at a time.

By page 38, I knew this book would be life-altering.

(I hate when people say this or that "changed my life", but sometimes it's true.)

In this case, he describes being fed a "brownish fluid" through a tube into his stomach. But in his mind, he can go to any restaurant at any time, eat any meal - tender beef, fresh vegetables, wine, fruit...

At the time, I was eating stale microwave popcorn.

I rarely cook for "just me". And I'm too cheap frugal (sigh) cheap to eat out often, or even get takeout. At grocery stores, I balk at expensive cheese (and I love cheese!), the olive bar, and even those $5 bags of little clementines. Instead I eat whatever is cheapest and easiest (i.e. microwave popcorn).

But, that (among other things) is going to change.

Towards the end of the book, he describes the day of the stroke - it was "gray, muted, resigned" (can you picture it, and your mood on days like that?), and how he and his girlfriend, "embarked like zombies...".

Side note: If you've never seen the movie Shaun of the Dead(first of all, you should! It's awesome!), it also depicts people going about their everyday lives as zombies (before many actually become zombies).

He then "mechanically carried out all those simple acts", like shaving and dressing, and goes on to describe his plans for the night, the weekend... He thinks about calling his girlfriend, but decides to call her later...

The morale of the story is, of course - just live every day, savor everything (even the small, insignificant everyday events and abilities), and don't wait for a "later" that may not come...
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