Monday Musings- New Digs, New Color, and a High vs. Low Outfit

Happy Monday, ladies. I have tons on my mind this week, including what to pack for Portugal. The weather looks cooler there than I anticipated, and I don’t want to be caught short without comfy layers, so I’m heading out to do some shopping right after I dig deeply through the guest room closet. This week, I’m musing about new digs, new colors, and high vs. low outfits.

New Color

My husband never comments on my clothes, so it shocked me when he said how much he loved the color of this green vest. I wore it the other day for another photo shoot that you’ll see later in the week, along with this striped tee and my newest lipstick in Fashion. The lipstick is a deep berry on me and as close to red as I ever wear. I’m thrilled to find I really like it with my grayer hair. On that note, I can’t decide if the color of my hair is silver, white, blonde, or gray, but I think it’s a melange of them all, and I love it. Once this green crossed my radar, I began seeing it everywhere…sort of like after you buy a red car and then every other car you see on the road is red. This isn’t exactly the same green, but I’m obsessed with this jacket. I also just ordered this $50 cashmere sweater. Green represents growth and renewal so my next bit of news may be why I’m enchanted by it.

New Digs

I wanted to finish my tale about why I was so distracted that I left all my suitcases in a hotel. We were busy renting an apartment! We’d had such a great summer in Vancouver we decided to rent a small place so we could come and go more often…without having to lug a ton of suitcases with us. We really miss the home we sold on Vancouver Island…I miss visiting with my brothers…and most importantly, we miss spending time with our girl!

The apartment scene in Vancouver is insanely expensive with everything from a closet for $$ to a larger closet for $$$$$. Our criteria was:

  • a view…of anything other than a brick wall, but hopefully mountains or water
  • nice walkable location that I feel safe in
  • affordable because we’re keeping our house in California
  • a building that had a workout room for me and, hopefully, a pool for hubs
  • it had to have a king-size bed! Mr. AWSL is 6’4″ and takes up 3/4 of a queen-sized bed, so I never got a full night’s sleep the entire summer in the temporary rental.

We began looking for furnished ones because I assumed it would be easier. But after weeks of looking, I realized I would prefer to have my own things. It will make it feel more like home when we walk through the door, plus I won’t have to freak out every time we put a water glass on a table. We looked for weeks and viewed more tacky apartments than I care to remember. Then Kevin found a perfect little gem, and it has a peek-a-boo view of water and boats.


It was sparsely furnished, and the owners agreed to remove 95% of what was there. But the very best part is it’s only a 12-minute walk from Vanessa! It’s in a quiet neighborhood with a friendly vibe filled with families, kids, and people of all ages. That’s what I’ve missed about living in an active retirement community…variety of ages. The residents all seem so friendly in the building, and we are excited! We had a new KS bed delivered, and I’m a happy camper. It’ll be fun to furnish and decorate the place, and I’ll share my journey with you.

Splurge or Save

I’ve been thinking about budgets lately and wondered if Splurge is the right name for these posts. They’re really more about high/low options and where you’d choose to spend your money. These posts are also for outfit inspiration so you can be inspired to shop your own closet, which is the most cost-effective of all.

collage of high vs low priced outfit

This outfit starts with a classic deep camel, double-breasted coat. Many of you may have a favorite one in your closet that you’ve relied on for years. To this, we added pale camel pants, a blue twin set with brown loafers, and bag. Gold and pearl accessories finish the look.

I often prefer the lower-priced version of these outfits. Can you tell the price just by looking? The expensive outfit comes in around $1,054.00, and the lower-priced look runs around $246.00. What was your tip-off?

Book Suggestions

I need some reading material for my trip and wondered what books you’re looking forward to reading this fall. You ladies always have the best suggestions.

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


  1. Francesca B says:

    Hi Jennifer,
    Such wonderful news about the apartment and spending more time with your daughter!! Fantastic news:) l am looking forward to the new 4th book of The Thursday Murder Club coming out very soon. That green is lovely!

    1. Thanks Francesca. We are so excited

  2. Sue Lewellen says:

    Thanks, Jennifer for the tip on the beautiful green cashmere sweater at a great price. I ordered one, too. Your apartment adventure looks exciting. I know you will enjoy having a place so close to your daughter. I look forward to seeing it…online!

  3. Dianne🇨🇦 says:

    Your apartment news is so very exciting ! The view is wonderful.
    I love the green on you.
    I never think to try green.
    I laughed when you said you husband commented, I used to have a camel blazer & my husband commented that it looked awful on me!
    I just finished listening to “ lessons on Chemistry “ on audible.
    It was so good
    Have a fabulous trip to Portugal


    1. LOL, my husbad said something similar about my haircut one time…it did not go down well. 🙂

  4. Hi Jennifer, the apartment ! beautiful view. I also wouldn’t be able to live in a furnished with someone else’s furniture. Lovely that you can do this, and a great way to keep Vancouver clothes. The Hi/Low I could wear either, it’s usually the shoes or purse that tips it off for me, with this selection either way. Quince is my go to for cashmere , the quality and style can’t beat it… should check out the oversize cotton cable knit cardigan, it’s perfect for our transitional weather. Enjoy Portugal!!

    1. I love Quince everything so far. Thanks for the tip!

  5. Have you read Louise Penny’s series about Inspector Gamache in Quebec? I’m going on my 8th in the series. Hard to put down sometimes.

    1. I have not but I know so many of you ladies love them. I’m hitting the library today to see wqhat I can find

  6. Welcome to Vancouver and living close to your girl. I agree with you about the benefits of being around people of all ages; kids laughter warms your soul. Now you’ll have to dig deep and find shops in Vancouver.

    We were away May and June and the 2 books I had on my Kindle were great but very heavy and sad. A friend suggested The Reading List and I absolutely loved it.

    1. Thanks for the suggestion. I do want something upbeat

  7. Just finished Homecoming by Kate Morton and really enjoyed it.

  8. Congratulations on your getaway apartment! Looks like a great view to me!!!!
    I enjoyed reading The Gown by Jennifer Robson. Am currently reading her new book The Coronation Year.
    Love the colour green on you!
    I look forward to popping over to have tea with you in Vancouver sometime when you are back!

    Enjoy your trip.
    Hostess of the Humble Bungalow

    1. I have had “The Gown” in my cart for a while…I need to get it. Thanks Leslie!

  9. One of the best books I’ve read was The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides. I’ve loaned it out many times and everyone raved about it. I read several books a month and belong to several book clubs so when i facilitate a book it has to be a great read. We’re getting ready to choose our books for next year and I’ve read many OK books but nothing I want to present. I just read The Paris Architect by Charles Belfoure and this is one I will facilitate next year. I also finished other books by this author.

  10. I think you and your hubs would like William Kent Krueger books. They are murder mysteries set in northern Mn, with Cork O’ Conner as the protagonist sheriff . Enjoy your new place!!

    1. He LOVES murder mysteries! Thanks

  11. So great that you found that apartment with such a beautiful view. You will enjoy that! The coat was the giveaway for me but what nice outfits. I have had my camel coat for years but always looks great and stays in style. I agree with the reader who recommended Elizabeth Berg. I think I’ve read them all.

  12. Hi Jennifer! I am so envious of your vacation apartment! 😍 all of my family is close by, so no excuse for me and hubby to have even a summer rental 😕 Love the green on you, I bought some green tops for my trip to Ireland a few years back and still wear them; just a happy cheerful color. I did guess the splurge outfit based on the coat. My life in California, with two seasons, is winding into retirement. I am purging my closet and refining my style a bit. The biggest challenge is staying active and socially engaged! Have fun in Portugal, it is one of my favorite European countries. ❤️

    1. Retirement does change so many things. My wardrobe is very different now that my husband has retired.

  13. I thoroughly enjoyed the Seven Sisters series by Lucinda Riley. Jo Lynne Shane had recommended it on her blog a few years ago.

    1. That sounds really good, thanks

  14. A Covenant of Water by Abraham Verghese. The multi-generational narrative is interesting, and his prose and dialogue style is gentle and inviting. If you are interested in history, Oppenheimer is fascinating, especially the audio version.

    1. I really want to see that movie too.

  15. I always liked to read books set in the place I was going to. I googled ‘books set in Portugal’. Looks like there are some great ones.

  16. If you haven’t read Lessons in Chemistry yet, it is a delight and a very worthy read.

    1. I bought it in Canada and lent it to my daughter before I got a chance to read it!

  17. Hi, Jennifer. I have recently discovered the author Elizabeth Berg, and I love all her books. Ann Patchett never disappoints. Anything by Alexander McCall Smith is great, especially his 44 Scotland Street series. Happy Travels!!

      1. Shirley Nickelson says:

        Just finished Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver. Long but catches you almost immediately. Congratulations on your new getaway!

      2. Thank you!

  18. How exciting that you found an apartment in Vancouver. Congratulations! As for the Hi/Lo outfit, it was the coat and shoes that gave it away for me.
    I’m also looking for good book suggestions. Right now I’m re-reading some of the Sue Grafton books – always a good read.

    1. We loved all her books! Such a fun read.

  19. Yes to that green! Lovely on you, I have a couple things that colo too. For books:
    The Personal Librarian, a novel but based on the young woman who was the right hand assistant to J P Morgan. Fascinating take on race a hundred years ago. Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray authors.
    And All the Devils Are Here, Louise Penney, set in Paris another Inspector Gamache novel. I could easily picture many places I;Ve seen so a bit like a trip without the TSA lines.
    Enjoy your trip!

    1. I really enjoyed the Personal Librarian too! So well written.

  20. Hi Jennifer, such exciting news about the new digs near your family. I know how you miss them.
    I don’t want to sound like “somebody’s mom” but I hope you pack a few masks, that nasal antiseptic you recommended, and some hand sanitizer. I have friends who were just hospitalized in Italy with severe cases of Covid. We can’t stop living, but the darn thing is still out there. Have a wonderful time & stay safe!! 😉

    1. Oh no! I’m so sorry to hear about your friends! I’m planning to be very careful. I was soooo sick when I had Covid I never want to get it again.

  21. I totally understand what you are commenting about the hair, mine is blonde? Turning white? The sun bleaches it out so I have to wait till fall to determine what my real colour is🤷‍♀️😅

  22. Linda Shearer says:

    I actually loved the low price outfit this time. The blue twin set is really pretty! Also I bought that same vest this weekend in the champagne color but dont really have any thing to put under it. So will be looking for your picks. I never thought of stripes.

    Our book club is reading Demon Copperhead this month. Its really good!

    1. I’m going to pop mine over lots of things. Vests are so easy.

  23. Nice “little gem” & a great view you got in Yaletown! I am sure the king bed will be the largest piece of furniture in the whole apartment LOL! Glad to see you are going to be spending more time in BC.

    1. Lol! The KS bed was non negotiable. I’d rather stare at a wall than have to hang off the edge of a QS bed.

  24. Congrats on your Vancouver apartment! Always enjoy starting my day with your posts. As for the green vest, I love this color. I think it looks especially good on you because it brings out the color of your eyes. Have a great day!

  25. Good morning! I’m not sure what took you to CA as I haven’t been following your blog for that long, but being close to your young’uns is the best! I live less than 5 mins from one son and although we respect privacy, I get to see my grandbabies quite often, just had a sleepover with the 3-year-old this weekend! Enjoy making that new nest your own, exciting!!

    1. We’ve lived in CA since we got married in 1978. My son and grandson live here and my daughter lives in Vancouver. You are so lucky to be close to yours.

  26. Edie Taylor says:

    I loved Remarkably Bright Creatures. Also The Covenant of Water by Abraham Verghese but it is 720 pages so buy it on kindle. Both books are excellent.

  27. Love the green on you!

    1. Me too! I’m shocked to see how much.

  28. Pat Patterson says:

    Happy Monday, the splurge outfit is the second pic. The double breasted coat and loafers were the giveaway, I could see the difference in quality
    Have a great day

  29. What a great find on the apartment! Enjoy!

  30. Pamela Over 50 Feeling 40 says:

    After finally visiting Vancouver Island this summer, I can see how it would be amazing to actually live there and to be so close to your daughter is incredible. Love the view and I am so happy for you!

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