Soup Time, A Big Sale & My Favorite Boots for Winter

Stressful Two Days!

Did you notice the blog was kinda wonky on Friday and Saturday? My host company was trying to help me figure out what was going on. They thought the server was being overwhelmed with bot traffic, the type that attempts to hack into a server in an effort to take it over. They had no suggestions on how to stop it other than turning up the security level of the blog to the “I’m under attack” mode. My gut was telling me that the site was not under attack…that just made no sense.

If you visited the site and saw a message saying your browser was being confirmed, that was a precautionary step we had in place to keep the server up and running despite the “supposed” bot traffic. In the end, there was no heavy bot traffic, just a very bad plugin that had been working fine but was suddenly malfunctioning.

During the time this was happening on Thursday and Friday, trying to solve the mystery of what was going on consumed all my time and energy. A super savvy technician eventually found the culprit. The plugin has been banished from the blog and all things have returned to normal, maybe even better than normal since there’s no telling how long that plugin had been slowing things down.

Hopefully, through the chaos of the Thursday and Friday blog drama, you were able to access the blog and visit the beautiful tables linked for this week’s Tablescape Thursday. If not, please check those out here: Tablescape Thursday.

Cozy Dining, Wintertime


What Carry-on Bag Did I Choose?

Thanks so much for all your suggestions and thoughts about what carry-on suitcase would be the best choice when I travel to England for a Literary Tour this summer. I think I’ll probably go with the more practical choice and buy another Away bag with the removable, built-in charger that I really enjoyed during my trip to Egypt. If I do that, I’ll definitely go with the non-aluminum version this time.

Ejectable Battery on Carry-on Away Bag


I had thought about not taking my laptop at all, possibly eliminating the need to take a carry-on bag since that’s the most important item that always goes into my carry-on…that and all the cords, mouse, etc… that goes with it. But sure as I don’t take my laptop, I’ll get to Europe and have something go wrong, like another rogue plugin. So, the laptop will probably go with me unless I can find a super-lightweight alternative that will fill the void and go inside my “personal item” bag. So we’ll see–fortunately, I have plenty of time to decide. Thank you again for all your input!


Soup Time!

I bought all the ingredients this evening to make this tomorrow.

Hearty Vegetable Beef Soup Recipe


So this will be going on tomorrow. If you’re in the mood for some comfort food, you’ll find the recipe here: Vegetable Beef Soup. Bonus: It makes your whole house smell insanely delicious for the entire day! Anyone who visits or lives with you will be going nuts! lol So get ready to hear, “Is the soup ready, yet?”

Best Vegetable Beef Soup Recipe


Big L.L. Bean Sale

L.L. Bean is having a big 25% off sale on everything on their website. I guess they are getting ready for spring and want to clear out all the winter gear. They are a lot of winter boots, fleece tops, beanie hats and coats on sale. Catch the sale here: L.L. Bean.

My daughter-in-law was eyeing these boots that are already on sale for $109. With an additional 25% off, that makes them only $82. They would look great with skinny black jeans, jeggings or yoga-style pants. Sadly, they don’t have her size (Size 7) but they do have sizes 8 & 9 left, so get ’em while ya can. You’ll find them here: BootsRed Check Boots, L.L.Bean


Remember my favorite L.L. Bean boot? It always sells out every single time they bring it back. It’s currently on backorder until the end of April, but if you’ve been hoping to get this boot, now is a good time since it’s 25% off. I’ve never seen it on sale unless they were having a sitewide sale like they are right now.

I just ordered a pair for my daughter-in-law since she tried mine on while I was visiting for Christmas and loved them. I’m hoping they will get them back in stock sooner than the end of April, but if not, at least she’ll have them for next winter and all the winters to follow.

I love these boots! I love that there are no laces to deal with like you see on so many winter boots. They are super comfortable, I sometimes wear them for several hours after arriving back home because they are so comfortable, cozy and warm. You’ll find them here: Boot.

L.L. Bean Boot

Enjoy your weekend! See you Monday for Metamorphosis Monday!

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  1. Good morning Susan. I just finished printing off your soup recipe as sounds delicious however will not be venturing out today to purchase the ingredients as we are having a winter snow storm and the temperature with the wind chill factor is -32.8° F . (That is not a typo … ☺) -Brenda-
    P.S.: Am glad that you got your Blog woes solved and aren’t ‘super savy technicians’ wonderful as know I couldn’t do without mine and I don’t even have a Blog. Also, do hope you are feeling better and wishing you a beautiful day.

  2. Linda Page says

    I make your soup a lot throughout the year. Ben and I love it.

  3. Sounds like souper Sunday to me!! franki

  4. I just printed your Hearty Vegetable Beef Stew Recipe. Making another soup today as we hunker down due to the weather. However, I will buy the ingredients for your soup this week. Love your blog.

  5. I like the idea of lace-less winter boots, but would need more arch support. 25% off is awesome though. We had beef stew earlier this week; I think there may be a serving left.

  6. I wish I were your daughter-in-law. She’s the lucky recipient often for your generosity. Looking forward to seeing what color carryon you decide to get. Stay warm!
    PS I just ordered from Amazon a crossbody RFID protected cell phone wallet bag for my trip to England. Just for walking around I don’t need to carry my regular, rather big LV purse nor do I need to take everything I own with me for just museum visiting or shopping.

    • That sounds perfect for travel. Does it have a crossbody strap or do you put in a pocket? If it had a strap that couldn’t be cut through that you could wear under your clothes, that would be perfect. I saw an article where a woman was wearing a bag over her shoulder or maybe crossbody, and bad guys drove by on a motor scooter, tried to get it off her and ended up dragging her down the street for quite a ways. It badly damaged her shoulder/arm for life. So I just don’t want to be a target for that nonsense. Thinking I should buy something that will fit underneath my clothing so it’s not visible at all.

      • Susan, love the soup/stew! I made some almost identical to yours right before Christmas and was able to freeze some that we enjoyed after the holidays. Your comment about wearing something under clothes that would be hidden from thieves reminded me of my mother who used to pin paper money inside the front of her bra if she felt the need to secret it away while traveling. (I’d want to wash the money first, LOL.)

  7. Susan love reading your blog but I’m having a terrible time getting your latest post , reading this on Feb. 7 and it is the latest post that I can get to come up.
    I am subscribed have tried to get your post off of other blog sites and this is the only one that will come up.

    • Joyce, clear your cache on your browser on your computer and that should fix it. What browser do you use? If you’re not sure exactly how to clear it, let me know the browser that you use and I can tell you the steps to clear it. It’s usually just a few steps and easy to do, so I’m happy to help you with that if you have any trouble.

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