a Blueberry Barnyard Wedding

“It’s never too late to live happily ever after.”
~ unknown

hitched

Shoes

Lauren and Rory’s wedding was in a perfect setting, on a glorious day, with a wonderful gathering of kindred spirits.

Farm

Napkins

The betrothed hand made decorations, borrowed linens, and collected hand-me-down mason jars to use as drinking vessels.

ceremonyspot

PinterestDeco

Meanwhile, numerous friends pitched in for all the logistical aspects.

jars

SangriaPunch

cake

One friend was the officiant (and also brought fantastic corn soufflé and bug cakes), one served as the DJ, one created gorgeous flower arrangements, 6 professional photographers (wedding guests) swarmed around them, one friend prepared all the accoutrements for pulled pork tacos, and everyone brought dessert.

flowers

“A happy marriage has in it all the pleasures of friendship
All the elements of sense and reason
And indeed all the sweets of life”
~ Mary Engelbreit

bouquet

boutonniere

The venue was Blueberry Dune Farm, which I want to revisit for other festive occasions. The barn was a lovely backdrop for our party, and blueberry picking was a boon.

bluberrypink

blueberrypicking

blueberryspicked

blueberrytakehome

We enjoyed savory meals by a fabulous chef.

BBQ

insectcakes

clownshoes

toppers

Then danced off our sugar high into the night.

clothesoff

lanterns

In a culture that markets weddings as high-end elaborate productions, it was wonderful to attend one that went back to the true meaning of this celebration: the gathering and joining of families and friends and the bliss of finding and committing to true love.

pinkyswear

Lauren Levato (now Coyne) and Rory Coyne are now preparing for their upcoming show, Symbiosis at Century Guild – Chicago which opens October 12. Lauren will then have a solo show, The Age of Spontaneous Generation, in January.

RLTopper

Congratulations Lauren and Rory!

RLKissy

“May you have warm words on a cold evening
A full moon on a dark night
And the road downhill all the way to your door.”

sickelmoon

Hairstreak

Evanston’s 2013 Ethnic Art Fair

I’m going out of order since summer life is just full of fun-ness, but here are some scenes from Evanston’s Ethnic Arts Fair July 21 and 22.

bird

It was a gorgeous day.

beautifulday

Ten Thousand Ripples is an appropriate piece for the fair’s theme.

Ripples

I loved picking up inspiration,

 earrings

absorbing colors

dresses

baskets

and feeling like I’m back at Thunderbird with all the flags.

Flags

Cat people had lots to choose from.

2cats

Cats

Ludmilla’s Little Russia is my favorite shop (I have a hand-painted mermaid lacquer box from her).

Ludmillatent

LudmillaDolls

Wedding pics, NEW bookstore fun pics and other adventures to come. 🙂

totem

NEW recommended business books

Reading biographies is inspiring, but sometimes we have to get into the nitty-gritty of business planning. We will discuss our favorite business books at tomorrow’s NEW Wine Women and Wellness event from 2-4 p.m. at 57th Street Books. RSVP on Facebook or our Meetup Group, or just pop in!

eMythPlanners

Business, health and life insurance consultant Karen McCormack of McCormack Consulting Group has the following recommendations:

The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande
“Most of us use checklists of some sort, but this is a great exploration of those critical areas like aviation and surgery, where doing things exactly right, every time, can mean the difference between life and death”, said Karen.  “The author explains how a simple checklist can produce a reduction in deaths from surgical complications, elimination of hospital infections and other fascinating stories of how they work in different applications.”
“Checklists are so much more than the things we want to get done each day and resonates with the business owner inside who knows that systems and organization are important, but doesn’t realize how much they can improve efficiency, communication and safety.”

Mastering the Rockefeller Habits by Verne Harnish
“This is a hands-on, meat and potatoes kind of book that guides business owners and leaders through the concept of having and using a strategic plan,” she said.
“From the one-page strategic plan process, to the practical actions you can take to strengthen your business culture this book is more like a business cookbook—follow the recipe and you can have tasty success and growth too!”

Good to Great by Jim Collins
“A classic must-read compares pairs of similar companies with equal opportunities available to them, where one achieved greatness and the other didn’t.  This was based on an extensive 5 year study of the performance of well known companies over a 15 year period,” said Karen. “The author examines characteristics and traits of the companies leaders and offers some specific strategies and practices that the great companies use.”

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
“Gladwell is one of my favorite authors, who’s style of writing really makes you go, aha! Why didn’t I see it this way?” Karen said.
“While this book is a study of success and what makes some people highly successful (Outliers) and others not, it’s done in a storytelling format that is both fascinating and easy to read.  He examines culture, background, when and where someone was born, even family history as an explanation for these outliers.  He is well known for authoring the 10,000 hours rule which refers to the claim that it takes 10,000 hours to become expert at something.”

KarensPicks

I’ve found the following to be helpful as I made the transition from corporate jobholder to solopreneur:

The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber
E-Myth is a great non-nonsense approach to setting up a business. It basically walks the reader through the operations of a business and insists that even as a solopreneur, you sort your roles out by category so that as you grow you have job descriptions at the ready to help you outsource tasks. It is not as complex as an actual business plan, but does showcase the need for a distinction of roles so you can avoid the pitfalls other businesses have faced from relying on reactive management and implicit partnerships.

I’m very inspired by Chris Guillebeau, author of The Art of Nonconformity and The $100 Startup.
The Art of Nonconformity addresses how we get caught up a sort of Groupthink of what our lives are supposed to be like, but that living our true wishes and aspirations can be far more rewarding. I still feel ‘conformist’ in many ways, but this book has helped me realize that I may not be so weird with my dreams after all.

The $100 Startup offers case studies and worksheets to debunk  the myth that we need angel investors or huge savings to make our dreams come true. Chris interviews a variety of businesses making a minimum of $50,000 in annual income, showing that 1. We don’t have to wait for a big payday to realize our dreams and 2. Success doesn’t necessarily consist of 6-figure or million-dollar goals.

I also have the Business Plan workbooks pictured above, but have not made it through either of them, because my business has been in such flux over the past year in terms of artistic focus and even the products that are actually selling. My goal is to get back to these though and set up a more formal business plan as I flesh out what makes sense for me from a financial and creative perspective.

What I do is check all these types of books out from the library, and if they resonate with me I buy them to actually use them. Ultimately you have to determine what inspires you, what appeals to you, and whether you learn through audio, visuals, reading or other means. It never hurts to fill your brain with insights and the experience of others, and then to pull out of that knowledge what applies to you.

100Startup

On that note, I also want to mention The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss. It is similar to Nonconformity in that it values efficiency over working the traditional 9 to 5 job. I like this book for its thought-provocation and its resources, but it is skewed toward more service-oriented vocations or electronic products, making heavy use of Virtual Asistants, automated systems, and the internet. Not as applicable to those with handmade products, retail stores, or location-oriented businesses. I also think that most entrepreneurs like being involved in the day-to-day operations, and this seems to be more geared toward people who like to live a mobile lifestyle away from the business. I can’t find the article now, but there was a journalist seeking Tim out to see how he is doing, a few years later, but not being able to track him down, causing a bit of skepticism on the truth of his claims.

I’ve read numerous books on starting a creative business too, but that list will take some time to compile. Join us tomorrow to share your favorite reads!

The Gutsy Women Booklist

“I collect new books the way my friends buy designer handbags.
Sometimes, I just like to know I have them
and actually reading them is beside the point. …
The mere act of buying them makes me happy —
the world is more promising, more fulfilling.”
~ Dora in Literacy and Longing in LA

This coming Thursday, July 25, NEW is hosting its Wine, Women and Wellness event at a bookstore. It’s been a long time since I was in 57th Street Books, but I remember it being a wonderful, old-fashioned bookstore experience. If you are a bookworm, you definitely want to come and hang out with us that afternoon. You can RSVP on Facebook or our Meetup Group.

57thStreetBooksNEW

As a bookworm, I am having a hard time picking my favorites to share with the group. So I went through my quote books picked by how many pages certain authors filled with their wisdom, which turned out to be a lot of gutsy, entrepreneurial women.

“Focus on what these seemingly disparate women
have in common:
They are all risk takers and decision makers
who know that creativity doesn’t just happen by itself
but requires hard work.
Each realized that in order to pursue her passion,
she had to become a savvy businesswoman.
All have learned to ask for help and to offer it.

~ Kathie Fitzgerald, Crafting a Business

To me, the ultimate gutsy woman I learned of in childhood was Miep Gies, the woman who helped hide Anne Frank in an Amsterdam attic. Anne Frank Remembered is her story. Since then, there has been a theme of reading about independent women throughout my life.

FalterfrauMiep

“Cooking was so endlessly interesting
that I planned to make a career of it,
though I was sketchy on the details”
~ Julia Child (age 39 at the time)

From a more entrepreneurial perspective, My Life in France by Julia Child was a fantastic complement to the Julie/Julia movie when it came out. I love Julia Child’s sense of humor, and her groundedness as she details her journey to TV stardom.

“I laughed. Me on television?
What an idea!
We had hardly seen a single program
and didn’t own a television set.”
~ Julia Child

Recently I completed Confessions of Madame Psyche which is a captivating novel about an Asian-American girl/woman set in Northern California from the early 1900s to 1959. I learned a lot about California History but also admired the entrepreneurial perspective of a family capitalizing on a young girl’s ‘psychic abilities’ and the business aspects that come with that. It is a great book to get lost in on a weekend. What struck me is that Mei-li has a variety of ‘careers’ throughout her lifetime, from being a psychic to literally joining the circus to other vocations (can’t spoil the story by listing them).

booked

I’ve written about Margaret Fountaine, a ‘spinster’ who was fascinated with butterflies and made a business of collecting them. Another entrepreneurial lepidopterist was Maria Sibylla Merian who traveled to Surinam on her own to research and draw tropical butterflies and other critters. I’ve read Kim Todd’s Chrysalis: Maria Sibylla Merian and the Secrets of Metamorphosis and Die Blumenkönigin: Ein Maria Sibylla Merian-Roman, with Die Falterfrau: Maria Sibylla Merian by Uta Keppler still on my shelf to be read.

New Co-Founder Erica Thomas recommends Shiksa Goddess: Or, How I Spent My Forties by  Tony and Pulitzer Prize winning Playwright Wendy Wasserstein.
“I found this book to be very motivational,” Erica said. “Wasserstein writes honestly about her goals and her passions, and what she learned about herself as she attempted to accomplish a to-do list she wrote for herself. She writes about both her successes and her failures, but mostly about those goals that you are driven to fight for no matter what. It’s also an immensely funny, passionate read that is hard to put down – which doesn’t hurt.”

Another book Erica enjoyed is But Enough About Me: How a Small-Town Girl Went from Shag Carpet to the Red Carpet by celebrity journalist Jancee Dunn.
“This is another favorite by another wildly successful woman author who writes about herself with ego-free self-deprecation and wit – I always find it reassuring to read about highly successful women at the top of their careers who still face ordinary human challenges like insecurity,” Erica said. “As Dunn describes her first experiences interviewing some of the biggest celebrities imaginable, it is her stories of how she overcame her own insecurity around these titans that inspired me, and that I still refer back to.”

“An award is just a little icing on the cake,
a fun night, but it can never fully define you
or be the declarative sentence that describes your genius,
because it doesn’t.”
~ Goldie Hawn

I checked out A Lotus Grows in the Mud by Goldie Hawn on a whim, and was surprised at how much depth this actress known mostly for playing a ditz has on a personal level. I filled my quotebook with pages of her wisdom, and will borrow the book from my mom (whom I gifted it to) again for a refresher.

“If we just let go and trust
that things will work out the way they’re supposed to
without trying to control the outcome,
then we can begin to enjoy the moment more fully.
The joy of freedom it brings
becomes more pleasurable than the experience itself.”
~ Goldie Hawn

Dream Doll: The Ruth Handler Story was a captivating read about the story of Barbie as a business, with a variety of misadventures interspersed. I read it years ago so I don’t remember specifics, but it was enlightening.

Crafting a Business: Make Money Doing What You Love profiles a variety of woman business owners in the crafting industry, which was very inspirational to me when I was still thinking of taking the plunge into a creative business from a corporate job.

Since many crafty women aspire to be Martha Stewart, I have to put Martha Inc. on the list. It was a very insightful book, but not in a good way, unfortunately. Part of me wishes I could still be a Martha fan, but while I admire her ability to build an empire, as a person I do not aspire to make my way the way she did.

SmaillBizdiary

Years ago I read Millionaire Women by Jeanne Torrence Hauer, which profiles 16 high-profile businesses including The Pampered Chef, Mary Kay Cosmetics, Lillian Vernon Company and Two Men and a Truck. In the pre-wikipedia age, it was nice to get insight into how long it took for these woman business owners to make it, but the book might be dated by now.

In the pre-blogging era, I also found Diary of a Small Business Owner by Anita F. Brattina insightful, taking us through her growing pains with an expanding company and employee management. Her company appears to be defunct now, so I am not sure if this is a good example anymore.

Writing books is not as easy as it seems.

“Persons who have read the book have told me
it must be marvelous to be able to sit down and dash off sentences that read so smoothly.
I have a hard time convincing them
that the sentences I consider the easiest to read in the book
are the ones that I labored over and rewrote and rewrote
before I was satisfied I had made my meaning clear.”
~ Margaret Mitchell

On a trip to Atlanta I was captivated by Margaret Mitchell and John Marsh: The Love Story Behind Gone With the Wind. It is a very long read, but I loved learning about the relationship between her and John (he was so devoted) and the “perspiration in quarts and the application of the seat to the pants to the seat of a hard typewriter for months and years” (John Marsh’s words) that went into gone with the wind.

“Despite its length and many details
it is basically just a simple yarn of fairly simple people.
There’s no fine writing, there’s no philosophy.
There is a minimum of description,
there are no grandiose thoughts, there are no hidden meanings,
no symbolism, nothing sensational —
nothing at all that made other best sellers best sellers.
Then how to explain its appeal
from the 5-year old to the 95-year old?

I can’t figure it out”
~ Margaret Mitchell

A few other books celebrating gutsy women are shown here.  Want to celebrate more women writers, perhaps for a whole year? Check out this blog from the UK.

Stay tuned for a listing of recommended business books another time!

BookdealerEPL

cartoon via Evanston Public Library

(Note: I am linking to Amazon.com for convenience, but I recommend keeping your LOCAL bookstore in business by ordering from there, or use your library for a more economical way to get your wisdom on–renewals let you keep books for up to 3 months).

“Why are we reading if not in hope
that the writer will magnify and dramatize your days,

will illuminate and inspire us with
wisdom, courage and the possibility of meaningfulness,
and will press upon our minds the deepest mysteries,
so we may feel again their majesty and power?”
~ Annie Dillard, The Writing Life

NEW – The Network of Entrepreneurial Women is an exciting, fresh group of Chicagoland business women who are upgrading business networking in the Chicago suburbs and beyond. Focusing on no nonsense networking, the group holds fun and creative events that inspire attendees to work together, refer each other and most of all cheer each other on as the membership succeeds together. The NEW art of networking involves semi-monthly events that remind us why we love being entrepreneurs, and introduces attendees to other radiant, inspirational women entrepreneurs as we form a community that is open-minded, focused and friendly.

Booklist at a glance:

Bluhm County Park

I attended a lovely wedding last weekend which called for a short road trip to Indiana.

01roadtrip

I’ve only passed through Indiana so it was a fun reason to explore the state a little.

02Skyline

Upon entering I was greeted with signs promising Krazy Fireworks and Showgirls, along with Hoosier references.

03Indiana

Further in, however, the scenery changed to luscious green landscapes and I felt more at ease driving around.

04CountryRoads

I got a little lost along the farm roads, since I expected street signs to be more prominent than they were, city slicker that I’ve become.

05TallCorn

Via a detour to Red Mill Park I found my intended destination of Bluhm County Park.

01bDriving

I’m sure Red Mill has its charms too, but I was drawn to the description of wildflowers, which I knew must draw critters to them!

06BluhmSign

The park is lovely, with a dog park, horseback trails, and great paths for biking.

06aBlumParkVista

There is also a playground for children and a barbecue area. This is a great spot for families and ‘beginning hikers’ and seemed to have handicapped accessible spots as well. I even learned some rules.

08HikingRules

The promise of wildflowers was fulfilled.

06YFlowers

09Wildflowerfields

Cabbage whites and sulphurs were darting about.

20Cabbage

Sometimes you only get one shot, which can be hit or miss.

19CabbageWhite

I also spotted admirals and a crescent that didn’t sit still long enough. But a Tiger Swallowtail posed for me.

08Swallowtail

The aptly named (and frisky) Red and Black-spotted beetle.

RedBug

I don’t know if this is a skipper or a moth, but its wings make a really cool buzzing sound.

21BrownSkipper

Not sure whether Viceroy or Monarch, but either is beautiful.

17Monarch

I went into the wooded area, but since the area is a wetland, the mosquitos swarmed around me immediately.

10Forest

There are options between the paved path and more woodsy earthy paths.

14Path

Stopping to take photographs of moths turned me into an instant meal.

12Moth

Forage Looper Moth.

13Moth

So I had to track back in spite of my bug spray.

11Trees

 On my way out I met this dashing Blue Dasher.

15aDragonflyPoser

It posed for a little while.

15bDragonflyPoser

I meandered around the flowers a bit more.

16Flowertubes

This Black Swallowtail captivated me for some time.

DarkSwallowtail

I then crossed the street to another woodsy path, which fortunately wasn’t as mosquito-rich as the other path.

25OtherTrail

It was clearly a lover’s lane, with numerous initials carved into trees. I didn’t see an R&L though.

26CarvedTree

24Shroom

There was the right amount of shade and light.

27Shadow

I was led to a pond, where mosquitos swarmed me again, but not as badly.

28Pond

These dragonflies weren’t the best posers, but lovely to watch as they patrolled the waters.

29DragnFly

29DragFly

As I wandered back to the parking lot this tree stared back at me.

30FaceTree

It was time to head for the B&B, which took me past the LaPorte County Fair.

32laPorteFair

32laPortefarm

The Arbor Hill Inn is a charming Bed and Breakfast near the lake of LaPorte, Indiana.

33aAHillInnSign

33bArborHillInn

I had picked my Chateau Provence Room online, which is in the guest house.

33cAhIllGuestHouse

33eDoor

The room is cozy and charming.

33eRoom

And the whirlpool tub was one of its perks.

33fBath

The butterfly by the house was an affirmation as well.

33dGuesthouseBfly

Since it was dinnertime, I made my way back past the lake into downtown LaPorte.

34Lake

Trattoria Enzo had been recommended to me by the innkeeper.

36Enzo

After the long drive and a few hours of walking I was ready for a hearty meal, which was delicious.

36EnzoMeal

Across the street from the restaurant is LaPorte’s main landmark, the courthouse.

35LaPorteCourthouse

The Potawatomi Indian has a broken spear to symbolize peace with the pioneers.

35aLaPorteIndian

It is INDIANa, after all.

35bIndian

Sadly there wasn’t much else to explore, so I made my way back to the hotel for a bubble bath and a good night’s sleep. Both mornings I was treated with a delicious breakfast.

37InnBreakfast

The day after the wedding I sunned at the Indiana Dunes before going home.

38Dunes1

38Dunes2

The line got long on the gorgeous afternoon.

38Dunes3

I took the more scenic drive of I-90 to Lakeshore Drive this time, though the tolls hurt my wallet ($4 upon entering Chicago after paying $2.30 between two stops in Indiana).

39Bridge

Hazy Chicago was a nice sight to behold.

39HazyChitown

It was a lovely weekend, and I look forward to planning another roadtrip in the fall. There is so much to see within 2 hours of Chicagoland, and between state parks and nature trails, it doesn’t have to break the bank.

41poppy

What are your favorite places to visit?

 

Loving Hello Holiday

I’ve followed Megan Hunt since she appeared to me as Princess Lasertron in Where Women Create Magazine in 2009.  Since then, it’s been a pleasure to be inspired by her business ventures and to get to know her. Her December Radvent is a fantastic blogging challenge that helps me grow.

unpackY

When she and her friend Sarah Lorsung Tvrdik started Hello Holiday: “a charming and exuberant approach to style and shopping”, I was intrigued.

Their selection of clothing and accessories is indeed charming, many offering a retro flair without sacrificing comfort and keeping different body types in mind. I watch their outfit of the day Facebook posts with much anticipation, and have numerous dresses earmarked as favorites.

When they had a 50% off jeans sale I jumped on it, and per the advice of Megan ordered the Roxy Slouchy Slim Fit Jeans. I wasn’t sure how well just going on inseam would work for me, but lo and behold, the jeans fit quite well.

Jeansbody

They have a bit of stretch which helps my belly out, and the button-closure is comfortable even when it gets a bit snug after a delicious dinner, or one heads to Geneva for some cupcakes.

JeansGeneva

When my friends announced their July wedding, I knew Hello Holiday would be my go-to place for a festive summer dress. Given the spirit of the wedding, the Daisy Chain dress became a quick pick, since cobalt goes well with my skin tone. Darling Dita, Merengue Merengue and Pop of Peony were contenders as well. Just browsing the names and clothing descriptions is fun. Their web site is very easy to navigate, and you can pick your size to narrow down the inventory that is available for you.

 HHShopping

My body type is similar to Megan’s so I asked for a picture of her in the dress, which was promptly provided. The shoes were tempting, but a blueberry farm wedding called for sandals, not heels.

Meganindress

As an in-between size I generally take two sizes into the dressing room when dress shopping, so I also sent my measurements and Hello Holiday provided the recommended size selection for me. Within days, my crisp white box arrived.

unpackx

As with the jeans, opening the box was an experience.

UnpackZ

I love the personalized note in addition to the careful wrapping (I save them). We are gifting ourselves with gorgeous adornments after all, and that should be celebrated.

note

The dress fit perfectly, and while it shorter than the length I usually wear, it is not too short.

selfie

I intended to create some daisy chain jewelry to go with it, but summer activities kept me out of the studio and I mixed and matched with my flower earrings and curled collar instead.

PendantofDay

At the B&B in LaPorte, the closet even shone a spotlight on the dress.

DressinSpotlight

I got lovely compliments everywhere I went.

DaisyChainDress

We had a fabulous day on a blueberry farm, with loads of photographers, that led to the occasional “shoot-out” (he was faster).

Shootout1

I look forward to wearing this dress again as soon as it is cleaned, and am saving up for the next purchase from this lovely duo.

Blueberryfieldsforever

A Hyde Park BBQ

I grill, therefore I am.
Alton Brown

The Chillin’ and Grillin’ continues as more barbecues entered my calendar this past week.

cooking

It’s been nice to go out and meet new people while being cooked for by manly men (even when the women start the grill, the men have a way to gravitate toward it).

apron

On Wednesday the Network of Entrepreneurial Women met in Hyde Park with their loved ones to enjoy a lovely evening of grilling and chatting.

group

groupohoto

Photo by NetworkHoncho

Unfortunately the much anticipated parakeets were shy and we could not spot them.

flame

Instead, we later observed fireflies twinkle across the park.

skewers

Patriotic pink, white and blue starry s’mores sweetened the mild disappointment of not meeting the feathered friends.

smoremaking

Our next NEW event will be from 2 to 4 pm on  July 25th at 57th Street Books in Hyde Park. I look forward to discussing our favorite books for business, pleasure, and from childhood.

smore

In a different Hyde Park, on a separate continent, Mr. Darcy was recently spotted emerging from the waters.

laughing

Photo by MassUpdater

Grilling takes the formality out of entertaining.
Everyone wants to get involved.
~ Bobby Flay

NEW – The Network of Entrepreneurial Women is a group of Chicagoland business women who are upgrading business networking with fun and creative events that inspire attendees to work together, refer each other and most of all cheer each other on as the membership succeeds. Events rotate around various suburbs on a semimonthly basis.

First Hike in Waterfall Glen

Before my Cruise Night excursion (every Wednesday in Lemont through August), I revisited Waterfall Glen to explore the trail further. Last time I only had 20 minutes, which wasn’t long enough to experience this Prairie Gem just an hour from Chicago.

trILMp

So I decided to take 3 hours before my appointment at Aurora Rose to explore. I had looked up the trail map and printed it out, but I didn’t really have a feel for how long a 9-mile trail is. I figured I had enough time to get to the Waterfall and back.

spottedbfly prairie

For a hike-to-boutique visit-to Cruise Night look I wore the fabulous Roxy Slouchy Slim-fit Jeans from Hello Holiday.

HHJeans

I parked near Mile 3 and oriented myself to go toward the Waterfall. The gravel path is wide and designed for biking, horses and other kinds of traffic. It also runs parallel to railroad tracks along parts of the way.

path1

Then I came upon a cool dragonfly habitat, but they were all too speedy to be captured on camera. The birds had better luck, and I had mixed feelings observing one bird having its lunch. Yet I have no qualms about dragonflies keeping the mosquito population in check, such a human double standard…

ponds

There was a nice woodsy area which provided good shade on the first true summer day of the season.

canopy

This retaining wall and old brick structure leaves scope for the imagination. L.P.N. stands for he Lincoln Park Nursery, where trees were grown for Lincoln Park and topsoil was hauled away to build the lakefront.

LPNWall

I saw some critters along the way, including a fashionable millipede.

LouboutinMillipede

greencritter

The Waterfall seemed closer as I came upon this water.

water

Then this apparition emerged. Not so far from civilization after all…

generators

As the day got hotter and my water ran low I realized my hiking preparations need some brushing up. Mile 6 was a wonderful sight to behold.

mile6

I was close to the Waterfall, but time was running out, so I had to double back rather than walk that last bit to actually see it.

toofar

Then this chipmunk distracted me, and I ended up walking an extra mile down the wrong road in prairie heat. So much for planning my time wisely!

distractingchipmunk

I did see pretty butterflies though.

dogface

daisies

bflywhite

Nothing I could do but to put one foot in front of the other as I got a little tired and needed to quicken my pace.

stepbystep

greenpath

I really wanted these.

wheelskis

The miles felt a lot longer as I made my last sips of water last.

Mile4

A plane would have been fun too by that time.

modelplanes

It was wonderful to see my car again. Yippie!

car

The Waterfall Glen preserve is a lovely trail and I look forward to taking a full day, with plenty of water and a hat to peruse the rest of it and actually see the Waterfall with my own eyes.

pearlcrescent

Pendants of the Day/Week

I started posting pendants of the day to my personal Facebook page, which seems to be resonating with my friends. So I’m contemplating shifting that over to the fan page to see if a pendant of the day/week is something people like to see.

1POD1
Clockwise: Seashells in the Waves,
Raffia Square,
Wrapped Boomerang
and
Womanly sculptural pendant

I enjoy picking out a piece to go with my outfit, and sometimes it even forces me to get dressed. I will admit that one of these shots is actually in a pajama top.

1POD3

Clockwise: Sculptural collar necklace that has been dibbed,
but a similar one is here,
Curled Collar Necklace,
Four-petal Flower (part of this set), or
check out the wax and wire option, and
Funky Dance Moves which was purchased at Custer,
but Triple Dance Moves is over here.

I’m trying to decide what to wear to this evening’s barebecue. There is a wedding to go to soon, too. It sure is fun to have a lot of inventory to choose from. Please pick something for you to strut around with!

1POD2
Clockwise: Sparkly heart,
Ballsy Collar and Earrings Set with Cuff,
Sparkly Rainbow Square,
Bling-a-Ring which was purchased at Custer and has no sibling, and
Green Scribble Balls Earrings and Collar Set with a knotty bracelet/cuff (coming soon to Etsy).

What colors do you want to see these pendants with?
Remember that I have pieces at Aurora Rose in Lemont as well, which will be hosting its Cruise Night this evening.