Monday Musings – Gratitude

Happy Monday ladies. We flew home last week and although I’m happy to be sleeping in my own bed, I miss Vanessa and Vancouver already. I hope I can get back up there sooner than later. I’ve been away from home for over two months and have some serious catching up to do, not to mention the mountains of mail to go through.

Here’s what’s on my mind this week:


Last summer, my husband was diagnosed with lung cancer. The entire process was terrifying from start to end. We were beyond relieved and overjoyed when the biopsy results showed it was caught very early. He had stage 1A adenocarcinoma. By removing his lower left lobe, they’d removed all his cancer. He would not require chemo but would continue to be monitored in case of recurrence.  oprah on cover of her magazine

That month Oprah asked her readers, “What are you the most grateful for, and why?”readers answers in oprah magazine on gratitude

Vanessa answered on the Oprah Magazine Instagram page and they used her answer in this month’s magazine.

This reminds me that when things are tough, it’s too easy to forget there are things we can be grateful for. Taking time to notice and be thankful for the positives in our life, improves our physical health, relationships, and mental health. 2020 has kicked the heck out of most of us. Let’s not allow it to rob us of our hope and appreciation for the simple joys of life.

Polo Sweaters

They seem to be everywhere this fall. They’ve never appealed to me in the past but I’m rethinking the current versions. With their updated and more graceful neckline, no buttons, no stiffness, no fuss…they’re nothing like the ones that men wear.aqua madewell polo sweater

This one caught my eye, in both colors. Simple and relaxed, I see it with a pair of loafers and soft corduroy pants. You know me and cashmere, so this one has my name all over it. This one is a bit spendy, but the color and styling are spectacular. This eco-friendly option is made from a mix of recycled cashmere so the price is great.



I was able to get into Sephora last week and found they carry the ULIA line. It’s a cruelty-free, clean beauty line with gorgeous products. I’m just finishing up my second tube of their Multi-Stick Lip & Cheek Tint in At Last, and I love it!  I use it predominantly on my checks so I was thrilled to come across their lipsticks.ULIA MULTI STICK IN AT LAST COLOR

You can’t use the testers anywhere these days, but they would swatch some on a piece of paper for me.

I bought the High Impact formula in Rosette (a light pink), and Rococco (petal). Both of these are beautiful rose colors but I wanted more of a statement for fall so I got this Arabian Nights(soft berry). Because it’s a tinted lip conditioner, it’s not as pigmented and dense as a regular lipstick which makes the color softer. It feels amazing on! With the tinted lip conditioner, I line and fill my lips with Lip Cheat in “Crazy in Love”, then top with the conditioner. When the Arabian Knights wears off throughout the day, I still have plenty of color on my lips.

Have you tried any new lipstick brands?

Thanks for reading and remember to wear what makes you feel confident.


This post may contain affiliate links which won’t change your price but will share some commission.


  1. Debbie
    October 26, 2020 / 7:36 pm

    I am so glad your husband’s cancer was caught early. That is such good news! I tried a new lipstick this summer and really love it. It is the Kosas brand, which is a clean line that is cruelty-free. For everyday wear I love the Stardust color and I also bought Royal, which is a little more intense but looks great with fall outfits. They feel very smooth and hydrating on.

    • Jennifer
      October 27, 2020 / 1:28 pm

      Thanks, Debbie. I will check them out.

  2. cindy
    October 26, 2020 / 3:43 pm

    Yes to Ilia! Don’t you love it? I wish it came in more colors!

  3. Penelope
    October 26, 2020 / 9:57 am

    My father passed away 40 years ago today, a day before my mother’s 66 th birthday. She was taken by cancer 3 years later at age 69… the age I am now. I was in my mid 30’s when I lost them. 4 years ago my only brother died of cancer, then a year later, it took my only sister.
    I find it miraculous whenever anyone beats the ravages of that terrible disease. I truly hope your husband and you both remain healthy and strong.
    My daughter and I both have debilitating health issues, but having seen so much loss, we have learned health care practices that help us fare better than we might without the losses and the knowledge they led to.
    I am so grateful for this, especially for her sake.

    I remember TV commercials for Geritol from my youth. Arthur Godfrey saying “ Because when you have your health, you have everything.” It sounded silly to me back then but I now realize how true it is.
    This last 7-8 months have been fraught with confusion and worry for all of us as we maneuvered, masked and derailed from our normal lives. We have yet to see the end of the pandemic ordeal and a full return to a more sane and productive quality of life, which we all pray will be soon.
    Until then, I appreciate the gifts of reassurance and stability that this blog and others like it offer. They are a beacon of light on many dark days.

    Thank you. I am grateful for all you do.

    • Jennifer
      October 26, 2020 / 2:51 pm

      Sending prayers and hugs to you and your daughter, Penelope. I do remember those commercials. When you’re young it doesn’t seem that important. The wisdom of age tells us otherwise.

  4. Nancy
    October 26, 2020 / 9:47 am

    I too received a lung cancer diagnosis in October 2005. It was Stage 1a and I had my upper right lobe removed. I am 15 years cancer free. The only problem I have is climbing stairs, I am out of breath when I get to the top. Good luck to your husband!

    • Jennifer
      October 26, 2020 / 2:47 pm

      He gets out of breath easily also these days which I know is to be expected. Sending prayers for you to stay cancer-free!

  5. Leslie Lord
    October 26, 2020 / 9:18 am

    Happy to hear that you arrived home safely.
    The attitude of gratitude is an amazing way to change how we see each day…I have practiced this for decades and it completely transformed my life.
    The new lipsticks look luscious…we have a Sephora here in Victoria so I may need to pop in and see for myself! Thank you for sharing your latest finds!

  6. Dianne
    October 26, 2020 / 9:11 am

    Love all of your blogs. Was not aware of your husband’s illness, but so happy for you that it you received good news regarding his cancer. Early intervention is the key! God Bless you all.

  7. Patricia
    October 26, 2020 / 7:50 am

    Where is home, Jennifer?
    I hope your husband will continue to do well. Sometimes it takes a frightening scare like this to truly appreciate what we have.

  8. Diane Mandt
    October 26, 2020 / 7:48 am

    So lovely to read your choices in the “small things”; small touches of color to enhance our looks, and your focus on gratitude.
    A day brightener for sure!!!!

  9. Rose
    October 26, 2020 / 7:33 am

    How good to be home! I actually saw you r daughters comment in the magazine. Knew I recognized her from somewhere, now I know. So happy for you and your family. I recently had a cancer checkup and I am still cancer free after 7 years. Always so grateful to get that news. Even with wearing masks I can’t stop wearing lipstick! Love your choices!

    • Jennifer
      October 26, 2020 / 8:08 am

      That’s awesome. What a relief every time you hear the good news!! I’ll pray for your continued good health.

  10. Paula
    October 26, 2020 / 7:24 am

    I too am glad your husband is doing well.

    I apologize if I missed the post bring everyone into the picture; was your husband a smoker?

    My ex, 81 years old and never smoked. just had an x-ray showing mass in his lungs and he is suggested for a CT scan.

    • Jennifer
      October 26, 2020 / 8:06 am

      My husband smoked very minimally in his twenties. I know many people with lung cancer who have never smoked! It’s a horrible disease.

  11. Carol
    October 26, 2020 / 7:02 am

    I know, I know…..all of you out there who feel naked without your ‘lippy’ will tell me you wear it for yourself, not others, but…………..I haven’t worn the stuff for ages since we had to be in masks whenever out of the house.

  12. Sue
    October 26, 2020 / 6:53 am

    I am loving the variety in your posts more and more. As we have fewer occasions to go out, clothing needs have changed to “at home“ wear and my “out and about” garments remain in the closet. I am more interested in cozy, comfortable attire. I’m putting a cashmere sweater on my Christmas list, but wonder which one? Can you help with a suggestion where to find the best ones at reasonable prices? Information about fit is especially valuable now that shopping in stores and trying on garments is less possible? Our family also is thankful this year for an early cancer diagnosis. My husband’s pancreatic cancer diagnosis fifteen months ago was difficult, especially considering only 7% of those diagnosed are alive five years later. But after surgery and chemo he’s still here, with no present evidence of disease. I’ve learned a bit more about my deep core of strength and about living with uncertainty. Your blog has been here through it all, I really look forward to your interesting and informative posts.

    • Jennifer
      October 26, 2020 / 8:03 am

      I’m so glad they caught his cancer early. I will pray for his continued good health. Living with uncertainty and fear is so challenging.
      I love my cashmere. I recommend Everlane. The price is excellent, the quality it high and it seems the most durable with less pilling than other brands.

      • Sue
        October 26, 2020 / 9:52 am

        Thanks! I’ve heard others say this.

    • Pat
      October 26, 2020 / 8:24 am

      Sue, my mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2012, and they caught it early. She is still alive today. Do not give up! I wish you and family all the best.

      • Sue
        October 26, 2020 / 9:54 am

        Good for her! It’s a bear of a diagnosis, surgery and chemo but we carry on. Thx!

      • Jennifer
        October 26, 2020 / 2:48 pm

        Thank you, Pat xx

  13. Debbie
    October 26, 2020 / 6:49 am

    Welcome home! So nice that your daughter’s comment was included in the magazine.

  14. Francesca B.
    October 26, 2020 / 6:36 am

    Congratulations on your daughter’s post Jennifer that is awesome! Very pleased your husband is dong so well and you can all move on to happier times. I am very grateful for your post and the community it brings. This year is the first year I have subscribed to style blogs and it has been really lovely 🙂

    • Jennifer
      October 26, 2020 / 7:54 am

      I’m so glad you’re here, Francesca!

  15. Celia
    October 26, 2020 / 6:35 am

    I too had a surprising diagnosis of adenocarcinoma in the upper part of my lower lobe back in 1995, and had that lobe removed, not needing chemo or radiation. Diagnosis and medical procedures are truly blessings, and I say a prayer of gratitude daily. I think this period of isolation and pandemic problems have clarified what we should consider most important to us. May your husband continue to have clear x-rays for years to come.

    • Jennifer
      October 26, 2020 / 7:50 am

      So glad yours what caught early too!! You are blessed as well and I pray your scans to remain clear.

  16. Violet
    October 26, 2020 / 6:34 am

    Welcome home! So glad you’re back safely and you do have so much to be grateful for. Happy that your husband’s situation was not too severe. Bless you both! I’ve been using Color My World lipstick and love their colors and the fact that it is cruelty free, of course. Stay safe & well.

  17. Bea
    October 26, 2020 / 6:31 am

    Jennifer, so true about being grateful for simple pleasures! During this awful pandemic, I have discovered several new things: meeting in a local park to have coffee or lunch with friends and cooking interesting new dishes, then posting photos/recipes on my library’s What’s Cooking? site. Of course, reading your blog is a pleasure too! Thank you.

  18. Deanne
    October 26, 2020 / 6:26 am

    I second Janet’s comments. We give thanks daily for all that’s still good and pray for strength and hope to find ways to help others. It’s so important to do this now and it’s helped us to maintain our mental health. Without our health life would be so different.

  19. Lin
    October 26, 2020 / 6:26 am

    Prayers of Thanksgiving for your husband’s good news and peace for you and your family that this trial had wonderful results.

  20. Diane B
    October 26, 2020 / 6:24 am

    The new style of polo looks much easire to wear. I was never a fan of the stiff button up type. You know, I read that issue of Opra magazine and would not have noticed that it was your Vanessa. When you look at it that way, as she wrote it, it is a blessing it was caught and eliminated. Believe it or not, I am grateful my mother is not here to live through this in her care home, much as we miss her and dad, it would be heartbreaking to be unable to help or visit and constantly worry. I have much to be grateful for, and have mentioned it often that I have a space to get outside everyday and escape the realiy of this difficult year. Stay safe and well now that you are back home.

    • Jennifer
      October 26, 2020 / 7:46 am

      I do understand, it would be heartbreaking to not be able to visit. This year feels like a bad dream in many ways.

  21. Marie
    October 26, 2020 / 5:33 am

    Gratitude for your blog. Great escape for me!
    Happy to hear about your husband!

    • Jennifer
      October 26, 2020 / 7:42 am

      Thank you, Marie!

  22. Meg
    October 26, 2020 / 5:08 am

    It is wonderful your husband’s doing well and the diagnosis was stage one! So happy for your family.

  23. Irene
    October 26, 2020 / 5:03 am

    Being grateful for health family and the ability to continue to work during COVID. So pleased your husband is ok 👍

  24. Linda V
    October 26, 2020 / 4:59 am

    I have been buying lipsticks from Color My World. they are also cruelty free etc. and they are less expensive than this brand, usually around $15 a tube.

    • Jennifer
      October 26, 2020 / 7:40 am

      I haven’t heard of that brand. I’m so happy to find many new products that are cruelty free.

  25. Janet Williams
    October 26, 2020 / 4:47 am

    I agree that it is easy to overlook gratitude when times are good. In the middle of COVID’19 I have still found much to be grateful for. Very simply: our loved ones, our health, food and shelter. The rest are luxuries that I try to appreciate and be thankful for in ways I didn’t before.
    I haven’t tried that brand of makeup but will check it out. Not sure on the polo style shirt. I’ll wait until you style it. 😄

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