Lately a theme of upgrades permeates my life.

My flight to Miami this week was upgraded to first class on a large plane. I had a seat that nearly lay completely flat. After two glasses of merlot with dinner I laid down and slept. It was the best beginning to a business trip ever. I even worked out in the gym at the hotel that night.

tinted moisturizer

My tube of Dr. Jart Day Tint is empty, which put me in panic mode when I looked online to reorder because I kept running across the word “discontinued”. I’ve used it for many years. I think this was my fourth tube? I dragged myself to Sephora scoping out tinted moisturizer and saw the Laura Mercier. I didn’t want to drop nearly $50 on it when I wasn’t certain if I’d like. Bless the Sephora business model that allows customers to get samples of damn near everything in the store. I got a little container to try out for a few days and ended up hooked. Higher SPF, less greasiness by the end of the day plus the light coverage never looked like it melted away. Looking it up made me feel a bit derpy. It’s apparently a holy grail product for a lot of women. Consider me a convert. I’ve now got a new daily tinted moisturizer with better SPF.

new driveway

Miffed by the fact that the pavers called while we were on vacation and grumbling that we’d probably have to wait until spring, I was confused when I couldn’t park in my driveway when I got home from my business trip. Apparently they called late Tuesday and showed up early Wednesday. I got home that night to a completely torn up and blocked off driveway. It was finished yesterday. We have much more room now!

porch posts

The 6:30-7am early construction mornings continued today with the contractor who showed up to replace our back porch posts. The post in the back of the photo was so rotted the guy said it’s good we did it before the snows because we’d most likely have a problem. Half of the old post was rotted through. I could put my fist in the hole before. Now we have new posts with vinyl coverings.

More upgrades to come in the future. I’ve also added some plant additions – because I have a problem with collecting them…

dead bouquet

A few weeks ago I cleaned up most of the flower beds – as seen in previous porch post photo. There are usually many more plants there in the summer and I trim them all down each autumn. As I cleaned up I noticed several plants showing pretty dead leaves or seed pods and gathered them up to make a dead autumn bouquet. RIP hydrangea bushes that gave me the dead flowers because both were torn up in the driveway repaving.

polka dot plant

Last weekend Z took me on a special surprise trip. We first stopped at a cute tea house where we both had amazing breakfasts and pots of delicious tea. I had apple crisp green tea and he had an amazing English breakfast that tasted much better than any other I’ve ever had. Afterwards we went to Otts’s Exotic Plants. It’s a huge nursery with its own arboretum with a two-story waterfall. The amount of variegated plants made my head spin and while Z just wanted to surprise me with a pretty nursery visit, he may have made a monster out of me because I’m already planning what to buy on my next visit. Pink princess and Red vine philodendrons! Hello!

string of beads

For the most part, I “behaved” this trip. I bought the pretty little tricolor polka dot plant above and several planters I’d been needing.

My once nearly dead string of beads is back and it looked amazing over the summer, but it’s starting to look a little dull now that daylight savings and cold weather have hit. I got a hanging planter for it and hope it’ll survive this winter better than the past.

philodendron brazil

I loved the amount of wall planters at Ott’s. One side is flat with a hole for a hanging device. Several cuttings of my philodendron brazil lived in a stemless wine glass for a long time. The massive roots are now planted on my bedroom wall so I can see it when I wake up.

philodendron swiss cheese

I couldn’t resist the philodendron swiss cheese plants also at Ott’s. There were so many of them I had to take one home. Figuring out where to put this and my Monstera when it gets bigger may prove challenging.

african violet

Lastly I got a wee African violet plant. My last one died so I thought I’d retry with this tiny one.

dark mystery pilea

While the contractor worked on our posts this morning I was out early to Target and Lowe’s. How can the parking lot at Target at 10 am be just as full as at 1 or 2 pm?! Maybe it’s our location since it’s always swamped. Next door to Lowe’s I was sidetracked by plants – as always. I was looking for plant stands, but apparently they’ve all been put away for the season at both places. I knew I should’ve bought the one I saw at IKEA two weeks ago! Instead of plant stands, I came home with decorative pillows, a candleholder, and the above Dark Mystery Pilea (that’s the actual common name for it). I instantly fell in love with the dark leaves.

elephant plant

This elephant plant spoke to me as well. The last one confused me greatly as to what it needed and died. Since this was on sale and is much smaller I thought I’d try again and see if I can figure it out this time.

kitty spooning

What better way to end a post than with kitty spooning?

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