Old Navy Swings into Spring

Friday, January 15, 2016

this and that

Hello, dear friends.  This week whipped by for me.  On Wednesday, we celebrated my bff, Anne's birthday in Boston.  It was bitterly cold but we warmed up sitting fireside at lunch before braving the streets to do some power shopping.

We dined at the Fairmont, which is one of my favorite hotels in the city. 

I chatted with Carly, one of two of the Fairmont's resident canines.  Her sister, Katie, was off having her nails done.  In my next life, I want to come back as one of these lucky girls.

It was a delightful afternoon and lovely catching up with Anne.


Here is a recap of some movies, books, and some of my latest favorite things.

Great cast and screenplay.  
I highly recommend this one.
It received lots of Oscar nods. 

This film didn't get a lot of hype but was very good.  As much as I love Robert Redford, Cate Blanchett stole the show.

I thought this movie was pretty good.  The writer did a fabulous job putting a humorous spin on boring, complicated subject matter.  Christian Bale gave an outstanding performance and is nominated for an Oscar. 

Huge disappointment.  
I had such high hopes for this one.
We ended up leaving early.

Loved this Oscar-nominated movie.  
Eddie Redmayne deserves to win the Oscar.
He looks better as a woman than I do on my best day.

Couldn't be happier that Brooklyn was nominated for an Oscar.  It was by far my favorite movie of 2015.  You can read my review here.


Beatriz Williams can do no wrong in my book.  After I finish one of her novels, I feel that I have met every character personally.  Williams' attention to detail and her charming story lines make for a most entertaining read. 

If you like Gone Girl, you will love this twisted tale.  
I couldn't put it down.


I thought this one was awful.  Part of the problem with this book is that the main character is an ego-driven narcissist that does not have one redeeming characteristic.  If I wanted this much abuse, I would tune into The Kardashians. I spent way too much of my valuable time reading this one.  By the way, they are making book this into a movie.  Can hardly wait.  

Winter Stroll is second in Hilderband's trilogy that debuts consecutive Decembers.  It is light reading which I prefer during the hustle and bustle of the holidays.  The story centers around a somewhat normal, lovable family and an inn that they run in Nantucket.  

I am halfway through this book and am enjoying every page.  Catherine Ryan Hyde has written several books - none of which I have read before.  I look forward to reading a lot more of her novels.


Last Fall, I commissioned Terry Rourke to paint a house portrait as a Christmas present for the Mister.  We were positively thrilled with the outcome.  Chili and Chowdah were happy with their portrayal as well. 

My dear friend, Sally, from across the pond, has begun a blog on Tumbler.  If you love to look at breathtaking photos and read insightful, poetic words, you will love her site.  Stop over and see Sally and tell her Katie sent you! 

Eliza contacted me and introduced me to her digital portraits.  Her website of darling portraits will capture your heart.  This is my favorite one.  Hmmmm... I wonder why.  

Last but not least, I leave you with something sweet.  These bites of deliciousness are only 80 calories and get me through the afternoon slump 'til my first of glass of vino

Enjoy your weekend. 

Until next time...

Preppy Empty Nester
Preppy Empty Nester

I'm Katie. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I am an empty nester meandering through my middle-aged years while entangled in the never-ending process of renovating an antique home on the South Shore of Massachusetts. I love to write about books, movies, TV, celebrities, decorating, and weekend adventures. My favorite writing material is derived from my family: the Mister, my girls, #1 and #2, and my two untrainable, rambunctious pups, Chowdah and Chili.


  1. What a fun post of favorites you put together today! How luxurious a life those Fairmont pups must have. It's so fun that they have resident dogs. I agree about Luckiest Girl Alive. I looked back on my GoodReads account, and I gave it 2 out of 5 stars. The main character was completely unlikeable and strange. I really want to see Brooklyn before it leaves the theaters. Have a good weekend!

  2. Will be checking our your book and movie recommendations! Hope yo have a great weekend!

  3. I absolutely love the portrait of your new house. Beautiful! Sheila

  4. What a great chock full post....thanks for the movie recaps, you ahve been one busy goer. I am way of the movie loop but seeing The Big Short tonight and Brooklyn on Sunday, cannot wait to see both. Saw Joy yesterday, it was not quiet what I was expecting but based on a true story...it was fascinating.
    All your book recommendations look great..but first need to plow through whats been sitting on my nightstand for too long!
    Love your house painting...just stunning and what a great gift:) Enjoy your weekend!

  5. What a beautiful gift for the Mister! Haven't seen all of your movie picks but did see The Big Short and loved it! I thought Steve Carell should have been nominated as well. I was disappointed that Tom Hanks did not get nominated for Bridge of Spies. I thought he deserved it… Have a great weekend!

    1. I agree about Tom Hanks. It seems like years ago that Bridge of Spies came out! Have a great weekend, Gina.

  6. Katie The house portrait is so gorgeous! I know your sweet husband just loved it. I think you should have it made into stationary,and sent me a copy,so I can daydream about living there!! I loved all your movie reviews. I really liked The Big Short,and we are planning on seeing The Danish Girl. Looks like you and Anne had a big day in Boston.So glad you were able to enjoy each other. I hope you and the Mister have a fabulous weekend....Hugs,Elaine

    1. Hope you enjoy The Danish Girl, Elaine. We are headed to see Carol. I love Cate Blanchett. Have a great weekend!!

  7. Great post! My goal is to see all the nominated oscar pictures this year. I just saw the Danish Girl, Carol and Brooklyn. I loved Brooklyn!

  8. Lunching with friends always equals a good day. And that sweet pooch! Precious. Have always wanted to have a painting of our home done. Hmmm...might drop a few hints before our anniversary this spring! 80 calorie chocolate goodness...yes please!!

  9. Hello dearest Katie

    I am extremely touched and honoured to be included in your post today, Im delighted that you enjoy Sublime Chic :)
    It has become such a happy place for me, a place of beauty and it really does mean the world that you are sharing it. Thank you, so very much.

    I absolutely love the portrait of your picture perfect house, it is just wonderful.What a lovely idea for a Christmas present with Chilli and Chowdah in the driveway looking very sweet. I think your hubs must have been thrilled.

    I do hope you have a great weekend, its brrr cold here too so Im very glad of all your great book and movie reviews.
    All love to you, my dear friend
    Sally xx

    1. Hope you have a great weekend, too, Sally. It's pouring here. I will be checking into your Tumbler for some eye candy.

  10. I wanted to see Brooklyn but never got around to it. I'm glad you liked it so much because now I'll try to find it on Netflix if it's not still in the theaters. And your house portrait couldn't be more lovely. Happy weekend to you!

    Leslie Anne

  11. Thank you so much for the 411 on the "Sisters" movie. Because of that, I will take the money and download one of the books you recommended! I am thinking "Along the Infinite Sea"- it caught my eye. LOVE the painting of the house- C and C are the stars! The digital portrait is precious! :)

  12. I enjoyed Spotlight, Brooklyn and Bridge of Spies, but The Big Short was my favorite. Seeing The Danish Girl did not appeal to me, but I will reconsider it based on your recommendation.
    Your house portrait turned out beautifully. Great minds think alike.
    I'm going to put the WW Devine Triple Chocolate ice cream bars on my grocery list when it warms up (how many months away is that???)
    Have a great weekend!

    1. You too, Paige. I think you will surprised how good The Danish Girl is. Let's get a lunch together.

  13. I absolutely love the painting of your home! What a marvelous chandelier in the Fairmont. I'll have to check Sally out on Tumblr-that first photo is divine! Last, did you and your bff Anne plan to wear grey turtlenecks, or do great minds think alike? :)

    1. You are too funny. No we didn't plan it. When it comes to my winter tops I have only two types - grey turtlenecks and black turtlenecks. Does wonders for my double chins. Enjoy your weekend, Karen.

  14. I did see The Big Short and with my financial husband it helped to know now why 2008 was a big stresser and I think all should go see just for the learning aspect!

  15. THANK YOU for the LOW DOWN on the movies and the books............YOU certainly get A LOT in!I am always amazed at what you DO!How long does it take you to write a blog POST?
    THE HOUSE drawing is BEAUTIFUL................love it!

  16. Oh, we love the Fairmont there in Boston and stayed there a few days 4 years ago. We were so taken by Katie. Enjoyed your take on the books and movies. Happy weekend!

  17. Spotlight is the only one of the movies I've seen (thought it was amazing) but I want to see Brooklyn and The Big Short. The Big Short was a great book, so I'm eager to see what they do with the movie. Weight Watchers Giant Fudge Bars are a regular item on my grocery list so I'll have to give these a try too.

  18. This was fun! I loved the movie and book reviews (I loved christian bale in The Prestige, an old movie with Hugh Jackman) - and I want to eat at The Fairmont. Thanks for telling me about the ice cream bars. Can't wait! Now I'm absolutely craving one of those!

  19. Many of the movies are on my list to see. Unfortunately, I also wasted a movie ticket on Sisters. Huge, huge disappointment and waste of talent. Can't wait to see you in a few weeks!


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