Travel Shopping: Barbour Coats, a Tote, Dining Set for the Deck & Flying the Nest

Happy Weekend!

Phoebe Update (Not into birds? Click HERE to skip the Birdie Update.)

The baby birds left the nest yesterday. I awoke yesterday morning and checked in on them. Two solemn little faces peered down on me. lol It has been so much fun watching their progression, it has reminded me a lot of a human baby’s growth, only on a much more accelerated scale.


When they were teeny-tiny, they were oblivious to my presence on the porch. As they got a little bigger, I noticed movement in the nest whenever I opened the front door. Eventually they were big enough to actually react and go into a protective mode, hunkering down in the nest when they heard or saw the front door open.


After just a couple more days, they began perking up and started actually craning their necks to see me each time I opened the door. I think they had begun to realize that often after the door opened, mom and dad would deliver scrumptious mealworms to the nest. lol

All these changes took place over a meer 15-16 days. Amazing how fast baby birds go from helpless to self-sufficient, especially compared to human babies.


I knew fledge time was drawing near because both babies have been perching on the edge of the nest and exercising their wings the last 2-3 days. I’m so ticked off with myself because I missed both leaving the nest.

After checking on them yesterday morning, I went upstairs to get dressed to head over to Nordstrom to return the Barbour coat I ordered recently. I had ordered it in a small since my other Barbour coat is so generously sized, but the new one turned out to be a little snug through the shoulder/arm area. It definitely wouldn’t have worked with a sweater underneath.

Before I left for Nordstrom, I glanced out the sidelight one last time and saw only one bird in the nest! What!? I missed it leaving while I was getting dressed! The remaining bird had always looked a bit smaller to me, I think his big brother always beat him/her out for worms and bugs. So, I figured I still had at least another day to catch the other one leaving.

I zipped off to Nordstrom and returned the jacket. Once back home I found the other bird had fledged! Dang it, I missed both of them leaving! I should have stayed home and kept watch! I’ve had so many birds nest in my yard over the years and I have yet to see even one baby leave the nest. Oh well, they are probably somewhere now doing happy birdie things and learning how to catch bugs from their mom and dad. lol

I left the nest up in the corner all day yesterday in case anyone had second thoughts or wanted a spot to sleep for the night. No one came back and the nest was empty long after dark. From what I’ve read online, they do not come back, and it’s recommended old nests be removed. Apparently, insects often move into old nests, so it’s better for birds to start fresh with a new one each time.

Isn’t it just the most wonderous little work of art! Bird nests always amaze me. I can understand how they find all these little bits and pieces, but how do they fit them all together so beautifully?! The nest was really stuck in the corner, like it was glued to the wood. I guess they used mud or something to hold it there, because as well as it was attached, it would have been there 10 years from now.


Quick story: The Mama Phoebe was such a good Mom! The night of July 4th when my neighbors behind me were shooting off fireworks, she stayed perched on the side of the nest the entire night. The nights before and after that, she slept in the magnolia tree nearby, there really wasn’t room for her in the nest with the babies and they probably would have been too hot, anyway.

But that night she stayed perched on the edge of the nest with her back facing out onto the porch. She was doing her best to shield them from any danger. She stayed there all night until the loud explosions finally stopped. That was the only night she did that, so I know she was trying her best to protect them.

Eastern Phoebe


Coat Shopping

Since the blue Barbour Jacket was too small, I decided to look online for another rain coat for my upcoming trip to Ireland. (This coat is still on sale here: Blue Barbour Jacket.)

Barbour Trevose Raincoat on Sale


You may remember from my previous post, I had originally wanted the Trevose jacket above in yellow, but it was sold out everywhere. I’ve always had a hankering for a yellow raincoat. I finally found it on sale 20% off  and ordered it yesterday.

Barbour Trevose Jacket in Yellow

Yellow isn’t always the best color for me. I’ll see how it looks with different shirts sweaters underneath and if I don’t absolutely LOVE it, it will be going back. I’m hoping it’s a bold/dark enough yellow that it will work.

If you’ve been searching for this coat in yellow, which seems to be sold out almost everywhere, check out Country Club Prep. I’m not sure if the code, INDEPENDENCE, still works for 20% off. If it doesn’t, give them a call and tell them you read about their recent 20% discount at BNOTP and ask if they will honor it. They don’t know me from Adam’s house cat, but maybe they will honor that discount since I think they are a smaller, privately owned company.  I noticed they are starting to sell out of some sizes now, not surprised since they are the only folks who appear to have it available, at least that I could find.

Update: The jacket arrived just after I published this post, and it’s perfect! The color is more of a rich gold, not pastel at all. I can’t believe they got it to me in just one day! Talk about amazing customer service! Wow!


A Picture Won Me Over

I get in so much trouble when I start on a hunt for something online! I was minding my own business looking for a replacement coat for the blue Barbour jacket that was too small, when I saw this photo below. I don’t know what it is about this photo but I instantly loved the coat she was wearing! It’s amazing how a photo/scene can sell a product!

The only problem was, the site where I saw the photo (which I think was also Country Club Prep) didn’t have a coat like it available. So you know I had to solve the mystery and find out if it was still available! I was pretty sure it was a Barbour coat since it was on a site that sold Barbour coats. Plus, it just looked like a coat Barbour would make.

Barbour Gustnado Coat in Mist


In my searching I came across this photo advertising a red Barbour coat. Hey, same dog, same boots! Yup, it had to be a Barbour coat!

Barbour Gustnado Coat in Red


It is! It’s the Barbour Gustnado Weather Comfort Jacket in a color called, “mist.” It was sold out in the mist color everywhere, so I finally had to admit defeat that night and go on to bed.

Barbour Gustnado Jacket in Mist


The next morning I awoke, and of course the first thing of my mind was that coat. lol Do you do that, get something in your head and can’t shake it! I will not be defeated by a coat! Ha!

Barbour Gustnado Coat, Mist


I love the lining inside. It’s Barbour’s “summer” tartan lining, a lighter color than the one they use in their fall-winter coats.

Barbour Gustnado Coat, Mist with Plaid Lining


I like that it has a removable hood that snaps on and off.

Barbour Gustnado Jacket in Mist Color


After additional searching, I finally found a shop in Ohio called Geiger’s that had two “mist” coats left: one in size 8 and one in size 12. I ordered it, then followed up by calling the store to make sure the order went through. After all, I’m pretty sure it’s the last one in my size in the entire world! lol

I spoke with the owner, Gordon, who was incredibly nice. He assured me they had gotten my order and had already verified they had the coat in stock ready to ship. Yay! It should be on its way to me now. I just checked and it appears the size 12 is still available here: Gustnado Jacket.

Barbour Rain Coat, Gustnado


If you would prefer it in red (which I think is beautiful!) you’ll find it here: Red Gustnado Jacket. It’s on sale, plus you get an additional 25% off with the code FINALSALE25. Awesome deal! I also found it in a pretty olive-green here: Olive Green Gustnado Jacket. I love this coat! Now I want a red one, too! Ha!

Barbour Gustnado in Red with Plaid Lining


A New Bag for Travel

The other item I purchased this weekend for my upcoming travel is this large Frye tote. I love its rugged good looks! It can be carried as a shoulder tote or by hand.

Frye Campus Shopper in Saddle Brown


On all my other travels, I’ve always taken my laptop in this adorable rolling tote. I get so compliments on this bag every single time I use it on a trip, even from total strangers in the airport. I bought it so I wouldn’t have to carry my heavy laptop through the airport and could just roll it instead. It’s always been my carry-on bag when I traveled. You’ll find it available here: Rolling Tote.


But since I may not be able to carry my laptop to Ireland, I am thinking of using this bag, instead. I won’t have to worry with putting it in the overhead bin, will just keep it with me under the seat.

Here’s how the inside looks. I like the pinstripe lining and the extra pockets with the zipper pocket.

Interior of Frye Shopper Bag


I purchased this bag on sale here: Frye Tote. It’s actually available for a slightly better price here: Frye Tote.  You’ll find it in yellow and dark walnut at that link, as well.
Frye Campus Shopper in Saddle Brown


I just discovered it in Black and Red here: Frye Tote. Ohhh, I do like the black! Ummm, tempted to order the black, then choose between the two.

Frye Campus Shopper in Black


The other item I purchased a few days ago is some new patio furniture. If I can get it put together this weekend, I’ll share it on Monday. It’s looking like it may rain, so that may not happen.

Deck Furniture on sale, Oak Cliff


It’s supposed to look like this when together. I caught it on sale at Home Depot for $299 for the entire set, including all six chairs and cushions! It has mixed reviews online, though–something about rust coming out from inside the legs. I decided for that price, I’d take a chance. My old furniture was looking really rough!

Oak Cliff Deck & Patio Dining Set


But first, I need to clean my deck and stain it. I’m thinking about buying THIS to clean it. It has great reviews and looks easy to use.

So, that’s it around here…no more birdies, some travel clothes shopping and a new dining set for the deck. What’s shaking at your place? What are you working on?

Happy Weekend, dear Friends!

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  1. Shirley Jean Creighton says

    Love the tote, and the coat. Didn’t you write a blog post about Hotter shoes one time for TRAVEL? I’m looking for travel shoes online and going nuts! Need comfort and warmth .

    • Thanks, Shirley! I did…here’s a link to that previous post:
      I think I’ll try to do an updated post sometime soon. If you’re going someplace that’s going to be cold and wet, I can’t recommend these shoes enough:
      I’m happy to see they still make them! I guess they’ve been really popular. If you order a pair, I would order 1/2 size up. I may order a full size up the next time I order another pair because I like to wear really, really thick socks when it’s cold and wet. But they definitely run about 1/2 size too small, or at least they do on me. They are my favorite shoe/boot for travel because they are sooo comfortable and waterproof. No wet feet! They are cute, too! lol They saved my life during the monsoons in Italy!

  2. Hi Susan. Love the bird post. So sweet!

  3. Down-lined interior, textured exterior, and bits of greenery–that nest is so rustic luxe!
    You look about ready for your travel adventure. Love the new travel tote, and hope you give us a review after using it. Looking forward to the first IG from Ireland, yay!!

  4. Hi Susan! The birds are so cute. My little grandsons in Decatur are anxiously awaiting the hatching of baby box turtles in their backyard. Nature has so many gifts.

    I just got myself a Barbour jacket for my Baltic cruise next month. Love it so far.

    • Oh, that is so sweet! Love that! πŸ™‚
      Which Barbour jacket did you get, Karen? I absolutely love their jackets, ever since I purchased my first one.

  5. Thanks for sharing the bird story. We live on a very wooded lot with a stream and I love to watch all of the birds.
    Also, I just shared your blog with a friend of mine. You all could be twins. She would love the yellow or red coat and travel bag.
    Enjoy your blog. So many resourceful guides and info.
    Live just south of you in Newnan.

    • Thanks so much, Angie! Newnan is such a beautiful place! I once went on a Georgia Trust home tour there many years ago, and it’s still my most favorite historic home tour that I’ve ever taken! Every house on that tour was absolutely amazing! Gorgeous homes in Newnan!

  6. I’m so happy your little feathered babies made it safe out of the nest. I enjoyed watching a mother robin this year with her baby right after it flew out of the nest near my patio. It just warms my heart watching them try out their wings for the first time.
    Love the travel tote. Especially in black. I’m very tempted!
    Your new patio furniture is pretty, too. What is the plant you have in the planter by the boxes? Is is some type of asparagus fern? It’s lovely.
    Have a wonderful weekend.

    • Thanks, Anne! It’s a Foxtail Fern. I’ve had it a few years and have been able to winter it over each year, so far. This year is hasn’t taken off as quickly. I should fertilize it, now that I think about it.

      • How did I ever miss them in the garden shops? I absolutely love asparagus ferns. I always buy the Sprengeri variety. Mine get huge in the wrought iron plant stands. I use epsom salt on them and my Boston ferns and they stay so green and healthy looking.
        I’ll be on the lookout out for Foxtail Ferns. Thank you!

        • Foxtail fern may be the same as an Asparagus fern. I’ve had this one for several years but I remember when I first blogged about it, someone mentioned it was the same as another type of fern, and it may have been an asparagus fern. So Epsom salt is good for them? Man, that stuff is good for everything. That’s how I finally got rid of my splinter was soaking in really hot water with Epsom salt. πŸ™‚

          • I’m so glad you finally were able to get rid of that splinter. Yes, Epsom salt is great! Plants just love it.
            I googled Foxtail ferns and they are very different from the other variety I have. The individual “tails” is what I love. I hope I’m able to find one.

  7. Love all your bird stories. Everyday I have my coffee and look out at the bird feeder and all the birds. Seems like I enjoy early quiet time because of them! I too found a great seasonal sale for patio furniture. Just make sure you coat it with a clear protective coating when you have it assembled. That should take care of any early rust spots which probably was the reason it had mixed reviews!

    • Thanks, Gina for that tip. It seems like most folks are saying that water gets inside and it’s rusting from inside, somehow. They don’t see any rust on the outside…seems to be coming out of the legs after a lot of heavy rains. I will definitely spray the outside, though…that’s good advice!

  8. WOW, $299.00 for that whole set is amazing! Love the jacket and tote. Hope the rain stays away:)

  9. Mary Boger says

    Bittersweet when babies leave the nest.

    • It is! I was so worried about them the whole time they were on the porch, worried the snake would come back. Now that they are gone, I miss them! lol It was nice being able to get the benches out of my entry and back on to the porch, though.

  10. Loved the bird posts! We had a nest in a little evergreen right outside our dining room window a few years ago….it was so nice to get close and see the babies. Have not had one recently so it was great to see your experience! The patio furniture looks great – we are downsizing and gave all of our patio furniture to my great-niece to enjoy. The pieces we use on the porch are 20 year old – Winston – and look new because we took them into the basement for storage each winter. They are tan with light blue slings – very comfortable and don’t get ruined if the rain blows in the porch. Our new screened patio ( and when looking to downsize having a screen porch/patio was non-negotiable) is black framed, with brick and tan stucco walls. Not sure the furniture colors will look right. Just bought a tan patio rug with a black border and hoping that will pull things together. You can purchase replacement slings but have to find someone to install them…then I found a place about an hour away that will pick them up and do it for you! Going to see how it looks and then hope to do that in the fall. Thanks for all your great posts – enjoy Ireland! Love to travel but this year our travel is to our new retirement spot…a whole new chapter!

  11. I love the story about Phoebe protecting her littles the night of the 4th. What a good momma!
    Your shopping posts are fun, Susan! I don’t need a coat or another tote, but if I did, I would be ordering. You already know that you and I like many of the same things. ‘-)
    The new outdoor furniture is an incredible price. Wow! Even if it holds up a few years, it is a great deal.
    Your comment about taking your laptop……have they banned laptops for overseas travel? That seems insane! I don’t know how business people will handle that.

    • I know, it broke my heart to see her doing that because I knew why and hated that she was worried about them. I hate fireworks. I know how bad they used to upset my cat and my dog, so I can just imagine that they frighten all the animals.
      About the laptops, I’m not sure if it was just certain airlines or coming from certain countries, but they have some kind of restrictions in place. I read recently that they had loosened up some on the rules again. I’ve been Googling the last week or so trying to find out what the current rules are, but can’t find anything. I’ll just have to wait until it’s close to the time of the trip and see what they are requiring then. It can change at any moment like it did when I was mid-trip in Morocco. I may just have to do some posts in advance and only post to Instagram during the trip…not sure right now.

  12. I love your new Barbour jackets. How do you figure out the British sizing? Are the conversions accurate? The red is very pretty, but I think your mist color will go with everything.
    I have that Frye tote and love it, but it’s heavy even empty and so I don’t use it for travel like I thought I would.
    I can’t tell you how many things I’ve bought at your suggestion! It’s always fun to read your blog.

    • It will say the U.S. size normally, with the British sizing right beside it in parenthesis…or vice versa. I wear an 8 in Barbour jackets, which is a 12 in British sizing. It has both written on the label inside the jacket.
      You can see what I mean here: Go to that link and click on the down arrow beside the word SIZE. It has the US sizing first with the UK sizing in parenthesis beside it.
      A lot of reviews for the Frye tote on Amazon had said it was light, so I didn’t expect it to feel heavy. Ummm, I’ll let you know what I think once it gets here. I guess what’s light to some folks feel heavy to others. πŸ™‚

  13. Hi Susan,
    Love your post. Great traveling items. What are you going to take to post your blog while in Ireland? Have a great trip.

    • I hope I’ll be able to take my laptop, but not sure if it will be allowed. I may just do some posts in advance and then just post to Instagram while I’m there. Hopefully I will be able to take along my laptop.

  14. Everything you chose from clothes to patio furniture looks great. Hope your trip will be just as perfect. You are also a brave, strong lady for putting all those cabinets and now patio furniture together. Impressive! When you’re browsing for clothes, check out LLBean. I love their Fitness Fleece jacket. I have the jacket in five colors and wear them year round. They are perfect when air conditioning is too cool. They also had some cute sweaters in the new catalogue that reminded me of Ireland and Scotland. They were called Double L Mixed Cable sweaters. I don’t work for them. I just like the simple classic clothes they sell.

    • Thanks for that recommendation, Mary! I haven’t tried their Double L cable sweaters, but I just looked at them online and love how they look. I will have to order one for this fall. I just ordered one of their Fisherman sweaters and love it!

  15. I, too, hate fireworks and it’s always the big bang in my neighborhood.
    When I saw the nest, I thought of my mother. She loved to sew and always put threads outside for birds to put in their nest.

  16. Susan, so glad you’re going to Ireland, your trip sounds fabulous! We went to Ireland and Scotland last September. I can’t remember–will you be going to Waterford? For me touring the House of Waterford factory was the best! It’s amazing to watch the craftsmen create mesmerizing pieces of crystal, pretty much all by hand. The factory show room/gift shop is to die for, amd of course I had to buy a couple of “souvenirs” LOL

  17. Iris McCloud says

    Love the look of the Frye bag but it seems like there is only a type of latch to close it. I would worry about smaller items falling under the seat on the plane. I am still trying to figure out what I want to get to replace my old leather carry-on which really needs to be retired . Size requirements, easy access, price, enough storage and of course good looks (not to mention trying to have it look decent with my other luggage) have been thwarting me. Hope you are happy with whichever bag you choose.
    You may already know this but make sure that you have plastic end cups on the legs of the furniture instead of just the small flat bottom pieces that often come on outdoor furniture . They prevent any of the metal from touching the wet ground.

  18. Kathy Stowe says

    Hi, Susan. Where do you get your mealworms? I saw a jar of dried mealworms at Lowe’s today but I’m thinking you must feed your birdies live ones. Probably much more tasty! Thanks.

    • I sometimes pick them up when I’m buying seed in my local Wildbirds Unlimited. In the springtime when I have so many birds nesting around my yard, I will often buy them online at Rainbow Mealworms here:
      I usually buy 2,000-5,000. They also sell the bedding that you store them in.

      When I’m only buying 1,000 at the birding store, I keep them in a container outside the refrigerator. But if I’m buying a lot, I will sometimes store them in the refrigerator because after 4 weeks are so, they may start turning into beetles. You can’t have the refrigerator set too low, so I usually turn it up to around 41 degrees if I’m storing them there.

      If you’re thinking of buying some, I would start with 500 or 1,000. You can read more about it in this previous post:
      The place I used to purchase them is no longer selling them, so ignore the place I mention in that older post. Also, I now buy the bedding from Rainbow Mealworms and don’t mix up the mixture that I did in that previous post…just easier to buy it. I also cut up an apple occasionally instead of a carrot as I did in that post. I found that they really love to eat apples.

      Again, if you’re just starting out, but them in your local birding store, start with just 500 or a 1,000 and store them in a container with holes…they need air…and give them some apple slices to eat. Usually the place you buy them will sell you some of the bedding or they will come in bedding.

      My birds go through them so quickly…the birds that love them are: Chickadee, titmice, nuthatche, bluebird, phoebe, wren, mocking bird, warblers, orioles and brown thrasher. I have even seen cardinals and robins eating them. Mocking birds and Brown Thrashers are greedy and try to eat them all, so I have to shoo them away after they eat a few. lol

  19. Love your new tote but will it be able stand up under an airline seat? If you lay it down you’ll use up foot space plus you’ll need to be careful not to loose things out of it being as the top does not zip. Beautiful bag though!

  20. Oh you always get the prettiest, most useful things. I get such ideas from your blog. So looking forward to hearing about your trip to the old country, which I’m certain will be wonderful!!

  21. You have impeccable taste! Sometimes you make me want things I don’t even need — like that great patio set! What a bargain, and the chairs look so comfy too! Love all your selections, although the Frye tote might be too heavy for travel for me. You haven’t done a perfume update lately. Last time I recall you liked several Lily Pullitzer fragrances, and it led me to discover her Squeeze fragrance, which has become my summer go-to fresh scent. Would love another fragrance update!

  22. Cynthia Raines says

    Love that new bag! So sorry you missed the flying up! The second year we lived here, I was able to watch 5 little house finches leave their house. It was incredible. I was shocked so many babies were in there, but I’ve read where they can have up to 8. Seeing the first one leave, brought tears to my eyes – it was such a precious moment. Number’s 3 and 5 were SO FAT they could hardly get out the door and it cracked me up. It was a real moving experience and one I’ll never forget. I was surprised to see Mamma Wren come back later that afternoon and start pulling the twigs and nesting material OUT of the house! It was like she was cleaning house. I was amazed! Happy for your great sale on your new outdoor furniture. πŸ™‚

  23. Dawne Marie says

    So happy you’re going to a Ireland. The boots, coats….so helpful. The birdie story was delightful. Just like you! I look forward to your blogs.

  24. Susan, Your recommendations are wonderful! I had tried to get the Barbour raincoat at Nordstroms but they didn’t have my size. Just got it at Tuckernuck! And less cost! Frye things are beautiful, however no top zipper might be bad for travel. Great score on the outdoor furniture, Good luck on your assembly. Thanks again for your ideas!

  25. rebecca dexter says

    How does the Barbour sizing run…I usually wear a medium which is around a 10 but I found that at Talbots I wear an 8…I would hate to order a jacket that is too small and not returnable.

    • I have found it runs true to size so far with the two Barbour coats I’ve owned. I’ve ended up wearing an 8 in both and that’s what I normally buy in a coat.

    • Rebecca, read the reviews on that coat and see what folks say. I noticed one person says it runs small. Mine in Mist will be coming this week, I would imagine. I can let you know how it fits once it arrives.

    • Rebecca, I just googled for reviews of the Gustnado coat and found some here:
      They seem to say it runs small, or at least one person does.

  26. Love that coat, and the tote. Been to Dublin twice, you will LOVE Ireland. Love your blog. Keep up the great work! Thank You!!

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