A Proper High Tea, Part 1

We went to tea at The Drake a few weeks ago. It was…mediocre. Which really saddened me; I love a tea and wanted to share that love with Kevin so I was disappointed.

I started going to proper high teas as a child. I lived in London for 6 months not to mention have vacationed there many times, my 27th birthday was a tea downtown with my friends…so yea, I think I know my way around a good tea.

There’s also a logistical side of a tea that’s hard post-surgery. I don’t have stellar fine motor skills, so lots of spreading things, cutting things and handling fine china is tough.

I’m not a penny pincher, but many high teas are $60+ a person. It’s depressing to pay so much for a so-so experience.

Because of all this I decided I could probably organize a high tea better than most.

We’ll start, obviously, with the tea itself. Tea really should be it’s own post topic; there are so many ways to do it really proper. The down and dirty tip though are use loose leaf over bagged. If you’re using bagged tea yet calling it a high tea…oof.

I pretty quickly decided a high tea in summer needed iced tea. I made both plain, decaf English breakfast and a fun fruity herbal tea. And I stirred in a little edible glitter for some pizzaz!

I’m not a big sweet fan; I much prefer a more savory approach. My favorite English tea is at Fortnum & Mason, and one of the biggest reasons is you get to pick sweet or savory.

This plays out in the scones (pronounced like “gone” not “cone”); savory is more like zucchini or cheddar cheese biscuits, versus sweet like dried fruit, chocolate chip or just plain. Personally, I find the extras that are expected with sweeter scones (lemon curd, clotted cream and jam) to be too much….but some people love it! I think a big part of why places can justify the higher price point is that their spread includes all these scone extras. Especially for an at home tea, make it easier for yourself and go savory.

I’ll chat sandwiches and desserts on Thursday!

Repost: Exploring the Term Disabled

I met with my therapist today. I had given her this book; she read it and enjoyed it so much. Our discussion reminded me how great this book is, and how it should be a reading requirement.

Sometimes what has happened to me is quite serious; devastating, unfair, horrible… But other times it’s not so serious. It’s ok to laugh. We worry so much about being “PC” but it’s really to find the humor.

Something that people have to deal with is incorrect assumptions. The quick and easy assumption is not working means a person is lazy and has no purpose. There’s a lot of barriers preventing someone from being able hold a job, part or full time. A person can have a purpose other than work. I, and I’m guessing others to, can feel frustrated with the implication, which sometimes isn’t even a conscious thing, that I’m worth less just because I don’t choose to have work in my life.

Please read this book. It’s such a quick read and filled with truths many people don’t think about.

Elegance, Part Two

More on the topic of elegance! I started this on Tuesday. Today I’m pulling some old photos to give more tips for looking fabulous!

  1. Embrace lip color
  2. Add fun accessories
  3. Don’t forget about your hair

Lip color:

A bold color means a quick swipe delivers a super easy way to appear polished.


I DETEST back accessories, especially black shoes. Yes black goes with everything, it’s a solid investment, blah blah blah. My #1 life rule is always go for colorful bags and shoes. I then buy more neutral clothes, making it pretty easy to put together an outfit that looks ok.

And do not forget that jewelry adds a finishing touch to every outfit!


Humidity, grease, and just general bad hair days call for wearing your hair up. Jazz up a simple ponytail with braids, clips or a headband!


I just finished a book called Elegance by Kathleen Tessaro. I have some complaints about the plot, but I loved the main thread; the main character starts out completely not caring about all aspects of her appearance. She buys a book that covers ways to be elegant. She starts applying changes and sees huge differences.

A very common and easy take is that carrying about your appearance is vain. And to a degree I agree; if left and right all you care about is your looks that’s too much. However I do think we tell ourselves we’re busy enough, we then don’t want to spend time on our appearance. The way you present yourself does represent a lot about you and it’s worthwhile to devote a few minutes on your look. Definitely putting some thought into the clothes and accessories helps you look polished even if you feel all over the place. In that vein I’m all about shortcuts that help you look pulled together:

  1. Lash Lift and Tint: this is a more expensive and a time commitment, but WHAT a huge impact! I love wearing at least some makeup, normally at least mascara and some lip color. I recently tried this and absolutely will be continuing to do this. The process takes like an hour; it doesn’t hurt, but you do have to keep your eyes shut the whole time, and because the technician is working around your eyes if you’re more sensitive it can at times be uncomfortable. This lasts 6-8 weeks, and organically you notice it wearing off in the last few weeks. This MAJORLY cut back on the amount of makeup I needed to be satisfied with my look. Normally to look “done” enough I apply shadow, liner, mascara; the whole shebang. After a lash lift and tint I just did a touch of shadow and barely some liner. I cannot recommend this enough.
  1. Color Street Nail Strips: I’ve talked about these before. Same with doing a gel manicure; go with something that instantly is dry and is more durable to last longer. Painted nails is an easy way to be more polished.

What are your shortcuts to looking polished?

Throwback Thursday: Edinburgh

I recently saw Chicago was voted the 2nd best city in the world. Number 1? Edinburgh, Scotland!

I’ve been there and agree; it’s a great city!

I spent just a weekend there but you could totally go for longer!

I went with my friend Stephanie. A big highlight was doing a food tour; we went to many places including one just for scotch!

I Love Puzzles!

Very early on in my recovery, Kevin bought me some puzzles. At the time the thought process was to go for 100-200 pieces because that’s what I could handle. Down the road when I progressed we could pass them on to his young nieces.

During 2020 when I was in day rehabilitation I placed a lot of weight on being able to multitask which included listening to a book while doing a puzzle. I was frustrated at myself that I could only listen to a podcast (I’d miss too much detail with a novel) and I would get discouraged when I’d want to work on a puzzle but only get a little bit done.

Thanks to Covid I’ve had a lot of down time. I pulled out those “simpler” puzzles and was pleasantly surprised; I was having so much fun!

I stopped viewing 100-200 pieces as solely for kids. I have major mobility issues and cannot shift to work from a different angle. I also have decreased dexterity; a larger puzzle meant spending most of the time sorting tiny pieces.

And two years later I got over my false thought that multitasking equaled a novel. I’ve assessed the amount of focus and revised my approach as to what I can listen to; a podcast, memoir or nonfiction are best.

Now that I’ve found my sweet spot I really find joy in working on a puzzle.

My Covid Experience

The weekend before last I went to St. Louis for a wedding. Each day I felt a little more under the weather; it was unfolding like a classic head cold. I’ve also been very susceptible to allergies, which up until this summer really haven’t been. The first night we blasted the air conditioning and chalked my sore throat the next day to a dry environment the night before. By Sunday I was full blown SOMETHING and was struggling to get through lunch with friends and the long drive back.

I decided on that Monday I wanted to see a doctor and, to be safe, get a Covid test. We tested negative with an at-home test we brought with us on Saturday but I wanted to have a PCR done. On Tuesday I went to a doctor. I thought I had a sinus infection, but turned out it was viral. I learned an at-home test can produce a false negative. Call it hindsight bias, but Tuesday night before I had the results I thought “yea I bet this is Covid.”

It’s obvious to say I caught it at the wedding, but with how lenient we are becoming/how easily it can be picked up I could have gotten it anywhere. And ultimately, who cares?

So once I got the result, on with the mask. Life got very, VERY lonely. I cancelled my Fourth of July weekend plans. I cancelled my workout sessions. I reframed my plans to what I wanted to read and watch, and I wrote off last week and this week.

I did note something about myself and my patience. Pre-surgery I had like a 4/10 level of patience, at best. AT BEST. Now I’m more like a 2/10 but sick? 0/10. I’m therefore just a joy to be with…

Today is technically the last day I should wear a mask. I’ll still be cautious, plan to still wear a mask next week at my workouts and want to get a PCR to “test out” next week.

Hello Again

I’m back!!!

I did not plan to take a 2+ month hiatus. However I was in a funky mood which then rolled into being busy and week after week I just didn’t feel the call to resume writing posts. And here we are!

Since my last post, I traveled to Rhode Island and St. Louis, got Covid (that’ll be covered in another post), made double workout sessions a regular thing, and more!

It’s been a mixed bag of emotions the last few months to be honest. Earlier on in my recovery journey there was so much hard work to be done that was the main focus. Lately it hits me at times that this is life now. I from time to time really feel the loss of my pre-surgery life and feel like I worked so hard yet only got back some things and just feel cheated.

So really I’m taking it day by day. My emotional state can swing wildly depending on the day. My go to instinct is to want to hole up and be alone to wallow in my bad mood, however I know I feel much better by talking about my pain and getting things done. That’s therefore a constant challenge I’m tackling.