Some Weekend Shopping & A Cute Centerpiece Idea

While out shopping recently with Marie, we visited a new Hobby Lobby that had just opened in our area. The only thing I bought that day was a cake pan that makes a 5-layer cake. I’d love to bake a cake like this sometime for one of my grandchildren. I should have waited and checked online, found it for a lot less here when I got back home: 5-layer Cake Pan. Would make a beautiful centerpiece in a spring table setting, too.

Update: We were just talking about this cake pan over on Facebook–and about how it could be a lot of fun for holidays and seasons. I was envisioning pastel colors for spring or Easter. Imagine orange and black with white icing for Halloween. Would you eat black cake? lol I don’t know if I could do it. Funny how the color of food can psyche you out.


The Peloton Effect

That’s what I’m calling it these days. I’ve lost a few lbs and dropped a clothing size since I started taking Peloton spin classes. I’m in that weird place where I have a feeling I’ll be losing a few more pounds, so I don’t want to buy too many clothes. I just exchanged some pants I had purchased for spring at Talbots, for the next size down. I’m not wearing any of my recent spring clothing purchases until I absolutely have to, just in case the size changes again. In my quest for some new jeans, I’ve been scoping out the end of season sales. I didn’t find jeans but I did find a coat I’ve been wanting.

Winter Coat for Next Year

If you need a winter coat for next year, this is the time to shop. They are all on sale! I don’t know what it is about a white coat with a fur-rimmed hood, but I lovethe look! This one is also available in a more practical navy color. When I saw that it was almost half-off with the current sale, I decided to get one. The code, “WEEKEND, takes an additional 30% off. You’ll find it here: Winter Down Coat.


One of the first things I noticed and loved is that it doesn’t have all that extra stitching in the body and the arms that creates the puffy look that’s so popular right now. I prefer a smoother look with less stitching and puffs.

It is snuggly warm! I may not wear it much here in the  winter, but it will accompany me on my trips to Ohio when I go to visit family. I’d love to take a trip one day to see the Northern Lights. This coat should handle a trip like that with no problem.


After it arrived, I discovered more details that I missed in the description. The hood is sherpa lined, comfy and soft.


The waist is designed where it can be cinched if you want an even more tailored look. Notice the big pocket at the bottom: there’s one of those on both sides. Great place to store away sunglasses, sunscreen, a wallet, etc… You really don’t even need to carry a purse with two of these large pockets on either side of the coat.


I love when a coat has the slit/side pockets so you can easily tuck your hands in, gloved or not gloved.


It’s designed with an inside sleeve that has small slits at the bottom so you can tuck your thumbs in if you wish. The sleeve comes down over your hand if you do that. They really put a lot of thought into this coat. I think you could survive Alaska in this thing! πŸ™‚


Oh, and it has the kind of zipper that zips up from the bottom, as well as the top…so you don’t have to take it off to sit down.


Here’s how it looks in navy, a more practical color than the white. It’s available on sale here: Winter Down Coat.


Has anyone been on a trip to see the Northern Lights? Apparently, you can see them from a lot of different places at the right time of the year. I noticed in some of the articles I was reading, the best place/places to travel to see them, appears to change from year to year.

While in J. Crew yesterday, I tried on this heavyweight peacoat. I didn’t realize it was on sale at the time. I loved the weight of it, it felt like it would last a lifetime. Love the nautical feel of it. You’ll find it HERE. So tempted to go back for it!


Okay, I’m off to clean house and get in a spin class. What do you have planned for your weekend?

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  1. Diane Anderson-Edwards says

    I’ve been taking spin classes for about 15 years at various gyms. The new crop of instructors don’t seem to be as competent or qualified as those in the past. I’ve been considering buying a Pelaton bike. My question to you is more of a technical nature. Does it have to be hooked up to a dedicated computer line of its own? I’m technically challenged, don’t really know how to ask the proper questions, but if you could briefly describe how you do connect with the online classes, I would appreciate it!!

    • I totally understand, I’m not very technical either. To stream the classes, you need to be able to connect it to your internet. The easiest way to do that is via wifi. There’s probably some way to directly connect the Peloton to your internet, but it would probably require that the bike be in the room where your internet comes into your home and running a long cable. So most folks just connect wirelessly via wifi?

      Diane, do you know if have wifi. When friends and family visit, are they able to connect to your internet wirelessly by typing in a code? When my bike was delivered, I just turned it on and pressed a couple of buttons, entered in the password for my internet and connected right away. So it was super easy to get it going. It led me right through the process. Much easier than setting up a new computer when I’ve bought those. πŸ™‚

  2. Oh my goodness girl, every time you post some pretty clothing you’ve purchased it makes me want to go right out and purchase the same thing for myself. You have a real talent for putting pieces of clothing together and styling it so perfectly. If you ever want a second job you should own a high-in clothing boutique. I’ll be a good customer!

  3. GREAT news about the pounds…now you can eat that layer cake!! franki

  4. I read the description of the cake pans at Amazon.
    What on earth is ‘trotting’ your cakes???

  5. Lol, for a southerner, you have a lot of coats and jackets! That white one is quite a find; I like all the extra thought-out details, especially that cozy hood. Check into Iceland regarding northern lights.(and I’m trying real hard here to ignore that cake!)

    • lol I know, especially after the mild winter we’ve had. It will come in handy for Ohio, though. A friend of mine just got back from Iceland. Unfortunately, he didn’t get to see the lights while there.

      • You wouldn’t have needed that coat this year in SW Ohio. We’ve had an extremely mild winter. As I’m sure you’ve heard from your son, we’ve had an extremely mild winter. This weekend it has been in the 60’s!!! Hopefully next year you’ll need it when visiting here.


        • My son was always sad that we so rarely saw snow here in Atlanta when he was growing up. He still gets excited when it snows in Ohio, even though he has to shovel it off the driveway. lol It has been in the 60s here, too. Spring has some certainly come early this year! Looks like General Beauregard Lee here in Georgia was right and Punxsutawney Phil missed it this time. πŸ˜‰

  6. You are not helping my shopping addiction!! HA! I recently lost 35 lbs so I know how hard clothing decisions are. I am down 3 sizes from last spring. If you have a Sam’ club membership they have 9 west jeans that are $18 & are a a great investment for jeans during weight transition. I did not want to pay a lot for something that may not be worn for a long time during weight fluctations. Some cute spring colors & regular denim shades. FYI they fit just like my more expensive NYDJ brand.

    • Wow, that’s awesome Teresa! That’s good to know about the jeans. I fell in love with these jeans in Talbots. Hopefully the size I just bought will fit, even if I lose a bit more. I’m not going to wear them though until at least mid-March so I should have a better idea by then. I have a Costco membership, but not a Sams. Thanks for that tip, though!

  7. Love the coat. I love when coats have inside pockets so I can store my money, credit cards, keys, etc. and not carry a purse. I like having my hands free when shopping. So glad your Pelaton is paying off! You go, girl!! Have fun cleaning! I have stamp classes today, tomorrow afternoon and Mon night. I will be up to my ears in card making. But I do plan to make a quick trip to Hobby Lobby to use a coupon!!

  8. Susan, just remember that Hobby Lobby and Michael’s both always have online coupons. Hobby Lobby’s is always 40% and Michael’s varies from 20-40%. Yes, I’m never there when you need me!!!!! lol

  9. Cute coat from JCrew – I love being able to cinch any coat (or vest) from the inside.
    I am moving and going nowhere this weekend. Workers start Monday. :0

  10. We are getting a new Hobby Lobby! An old K/Mart closed and it is being turned into that. Can’t wait.

  11. I’m glad you like your Peleton classes. I just cant stand a bike ride to nowhere. I feel the same way about a treadmill. I think I’d rather walk in the snow….good thing I live in Fl. though. I bought a great Columbia” Omni Heat, car coat at the Columbia outlet with reflective lining that is fabulous in cold weather and smooshes down to next to nothing for packing, for $79, on sale. I borrowed my sisters last year for a trip to Breckenridge and stayed toasty warm. This year I bought my own….but got sick the day before and couldnt make the trip. Next year!

    • Bernie, it’s so intense and so exciting in a spin class, you forget the bike isn’t going anywhere. If you’ve never taken a spin class, it’s hard to explain. I would never use a regular stationary bike, wouldn’t have the discipline or the enthusiasm for that. This is completely different, which is why spinning is so addictive and so popular.
      I love Breckenridge…that’s where we used to go skiing. I loved the shopping, too…such a cute town! Did you drive over the Three Sisters? We made a day trip to Vail on one of our ski trips there. You can do some serious shopping there! lol You can tail my favorite part of skiing! πŸ˜‰

    • Bernie, not trying to talk you into a bike! If you get a chance, read some of the stories here on the Peloton Facebook page, like the one just left by a policeman. It’s hard to explain what the Peloton spin bike does for you, both mentally and physically. His story really says it all. There are a ton of stories similar to his on that page. πŸ™‚

  12. Love the coat, Susan! I’d be tempted to order one for myself, but it likely would rarely get any ware. Our winters have been so mild lately, that I hardly even get to wear my cashmere sweaters. ;-(
    Congratulations on the new size. That’s wonderful incentive! I may have to start spinning.

  13. Love the coats! White one is so pretty. I bought four coats this year and already had so many. MUST STOP. Colorado does not even have that much cold weather anymore. Good for you on the biking and size loss. Always so encouraging. I need to lose a size. Motivation is fleeting.

  14. Suzanne Melson says

    Just wanted to say, I look so forward to your posts, enjoy your site….have been reading it for more than a year….you and Entertaining Women, and Rose Chinz cottage are my go to sites to check each week. Have particularly enjoyed your trips….good wishes to you from Hampton, Virginia!

  15. Congratulations on the weight loss! I recently bought a pair of jeans at Macy’s that were on sale. They fit great when I bought them but once I actually wore them they get sloppy in the waste and thighs. Went online and ordered a size smaller but they are too snug. I can get them on and zipped but they would be too tight sitting. Guess I’m between sizes. I’ll keep on working at losing a few lbs till I fit in them. Love your coat but it isn’t cold enough here to wear it.

  16. Love the peacoat!! Go to Michael’s site and download the 40% off coupon…..they have one every week!! Sign up to have it sent to you with their flyer. Go back, return the pan and re-buy it!!!

    • I’d probably spend that much in gas. πŸ™‚ I think I will hold onto the receipt in case I find myself near that area again in the next few weeks.

  17. Judith Lillard says

    I have a cookie reipe that everyone always loves. Each season, I vary the color of the sprinkles I put on top – red and green at Christmas; pink and red at Valentine’s Day; green at St. Patrick’s Day; etc. One Halloween, I took a large plate of cookies in to work to share. At the end of the day, I went to pick up the plate and found that all of the cookies with orange sprinkles had been eaten, but all of the cookies with black sprinkles were still sitting on the plate. Not one of them had been eaten! Never again…

    • Judith, that is too funny! I wonder if they thought the sprinkles would taste like liquorice…or maybe they were afraid they would end up with black teeth. Definitely wouldn’t have stopped me! lol Maybe I should skip the black cake for Halloween and just do orange and white. πŸ™‚

  18. Regality (aka The Quing) says

    Geez, I woulda been at those black sprinkled cookies like a flash.

    The white coat looks elegant, save for one detail. I am unfond of fake fur. Give me the real thing, or nothing. So, since the real thing is no longer PC, I guess it would be nothing. Not that I’d ever buy a white coat. It would be rainbow hued within a week. It sure is purty, tho’.

    I have been on the lookout for a new coat to replace the one I’ve been wearing for over 30 years. but have found nothing that fits all the requirements on my list. The Barbour (sp?) comes close, but I don’t like the feel of the fabric. Have I mentioned that I’m a tad picky?

    • The Barbour coat does have a somewhat unique feel. It’s made of good ‘ol cotton, but it is waxed, so that be what you don’t like. I’m toying with exchanging the white coat for a navy one. I love the look of the white, but I’m worried how I’ll keep the sleeves clean. It always seems to be the sleeves that get dirty first.

  19. Congrats on your weight loss! You lost it and I KNOW who found it!!! πŸ™

    My sister teaches spin class and loves it – she’s a serious athlete who has taught for 25 years and still going strong: spin, core strengthening and aerobics. She even taught through FOUR children’s pregnancies!!!

    You go girl, my sister would be proud. I’ll be the one sitting in back eating a scone heckling you both, haha. Hugs. Have a great week. β™₯

  20. Cyndi Raines says

    Congratulations on your down-sizing and weight loss. I think the white coat is beautiful, but I agree it would be difficult keeping it clean, especially the sleeves. I had a lilac ski jacket once that was very hard to keep clean. I would take it back (but it IS beautiful!) Don’t you hate being so practical sometimes! ha.

    • Thanks, Cyndi! Exactly! I love the look of the white, but thinking I need to swap it for the blue. The blue is pretty, too. So hard deciding! lol

  21. I always loved a jello poke cake my mom would make at Christmas. One layer of white cake with green jello, the other red. Then the icing was cool whip, delicious. I’m not sure if youve seen them but one of the brands put out a packet of different color cake mixes (makes one layer) for just the purpose of making a rainbow cake. so, I did just that for Easter a couple years ago. A layer of green, red, blue, yellow, orange, and red. Each layer had flavored jello in its color. It was delicious; however it was about a foot high and didnt stay together very well once a few slices had been removed. they are fun to make and fun to cut into!

    • Wow, I’ve never seen those. I’ll have to look for them in the grocery store. Very cool! I would love to see one in pastel colors for spring…would love that!

  22. Tina Carpenter says

    I wanted to let you know you have one of the BEST blogs! I follow quite a few, but every aspect of yours is so interesting. I also love the details of how, where, what, when, etc., you purchased your items. All the best to you for your continued success!

  23. Hi Susan, congrats on the weight loss. I know that has to feel good.

    Yes, I have seen the northern lights many times; in Alaska. They are almost always green and they dance and wiggle across the sky. I’m sure you could probably find videos of them on youtube. As for that jacket, it might keep you warm when you watch them, if you’re wearing a few layers underneath. πŸ˜‰

  24. Congratulations on losing a size Susan! That gives me more motivation to pull the trigger and order a bike. The Peloton Facebook group that you sent me invite to has really been inspiring. What a great community and I have to say is very much like your blog. Not only do I learn so many things from you and enjoy the positivity but also when I follow along with the comments you receive. Nice group of people here just like the Peloton group.

    I had the privilege of seeing the Northern Lights on a trip to Iceland 3 years ago. It was a last minute booking as the other nights the tour operators were not going out due to bad conditions. Had been out all day on a tour and that evening when we arrived back at hotel we overheard someone in the lobby ask where the bus picked up to go out searching for the NL’s. As luck had it the front desk made a call and got us on that bus so with no time to eat dinner or change we were off again. Took awhile and had to change direction several times but our driver finally got us to a location that spotters were seeing good potential for NL’s. When they started it really was a spectacular sight and something I will never forget. Hope you have the same luck when you take a trip to see the lights.

  25. Kay from Kansas says

    Hi Susan, I enjoy your blog and always read it! Wanted to Thank You for your recommendation about the Barbour Beadnell coat! I got one and love it, plus the Barbour Betty vest which has fleece lining. It is great to wear on it’s own, too. Now, your J Crew coat- beautiful choice, also. For the Northern Lights, look at Aurora Borealis Groups on Facebook.

  26. Your Peloton story is so inspiring! I don’t think we could spring for one right now, but I’ll keep it in mind. In the meantime, I guess I should try the spin class at our gym. How many times a week are you doing the spin classes? Have you changed your way of eating as well?

    I love Talbots clothing and admit I have bought a couple things based on your recommendations. I have a pair of jeans I bought from them in the “curvy” style because I have thicker thighs, but I find the stomach area is too large and makes my stomach look larger than it actually is. I may try the regular fit to see how it differs.

    Have a great day πŸ™‚

    • Their regular fit may work for you, Megan. When I try it on, it gaps open in the waist in the back on me. The curvy line doesn’t do that. I just tend to have bigger hips, I guess…in proportion to my waist. Definitely try the non-curvy ones and see if that works. You can return the others, I would definitely do that.
      I end up riding around 3-5 times a week. I’d like to always ride 5 times a week, every week, but sometimes I let my schedule interfere. I’m doing better about that now, though.
      I am trying to be more aware of what I eat. I’m keeping a food journal so I can count the calories vs what I burn each day. You burn a lot of calories spinning! I normally burn 400-430 when I take a class, depending on the duration of the class. I’m also trying to eat more protein since I know that helps build muscle and muscle burns more calories than fat, so muscle is a good thing. I’ve been trying to avoid sugar as much as possible, but I still eat carbs to give me energy to spin/ride my bike. I’ve lost about 8-10 lbs but I think the reason I’ve dropped a clothing size is a combination of the weight lost and the inches lost from spinning. My legs, hips and core seem to be firming up a lot more. I hope to lose about 10-15 more lb, although 10 may be enough if I keep firming up, too.

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