What I’m Reading, Doing, Watching, Eating and Wearing in April - Elegantly Dressed and Stylish
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What I’m Reading, Doing, Watching, Eating and Wearing in April

Since our State of NC has been quite organized with the vaccines, I was thrilled to get my second one a week ago. I will wait 3 weeks total and then be able to get some things done, like my over grown eyebrows, mani and pedicure. Today, I wanted to share some of the things I have been doing this month of April along with what I am reading, watching, eating and wearing



I began the book, The Nightingale, by Kristin Hannah. I truly enjoyed, The Great Alone along with her writing style. My mom is reading her latest book, The Four Winds, which I will receive when I am done with my current selection. I do like historical fiction! We finally were able to make our beach plans from the summer plans we had last year. It was postponed, and we are now going renting a house in Avalon, NJ for a week with family, in July. I will pick a lighter beach read then!  I’d love to hear some recommedations!



I am sticking to my fitness routine, and setting endurance and strength goals. Last year I had an awakening with my Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. I was feeling quite weak with my upper body, where every day tasks ( such as putting plates away) seemed tough. I ordered a treadmill for home as well as equipment for a home gym and have been using it 5 days a week. I do feel stronger and have noticed better endurance than I when I first began. One of the keys is good music! I listen to heavy rock, and book mark the beginning and end of my work out with Eminem’s “Lose Yourself”. ( fun fact: did you know that is a favorite song of Pres. Obama?)

My therabands, weights, and other supplies are in the blue bin.


I have also begun to play electric guitar again. I enjoy fingerpicking and have been working on songs by Metallica and the Beatles. I just bought 2 pedals- a Distortion pedal ( for an authentic rock tone) and a Loop Pedal, that enables me to play chords, record and play back while I play lead parts. It is a skill I must learn!


My mom has the Greener thumb. She is pretty well versed in plants and has a large garden back at her house. She encouraged me to plant roses, azaleas, and coneflowers in the back yard surrounding our deck. I just bought trim and have also planted tomatoes!

I loved this ECCOLO journal for gardening and keeping track of $ and flowers.

Day Hike at South Mountain

We had a fun picnic at South Mountain, a 1 1/2 hour drive north, a week or so ago. We took the pups, packed a lunch, and then hiked 2 areas that led to a waterfall. I hadn’t been able to do that in years, I was so thrilled.

Let me tell you! My little pups can do it! They love to hike and go on trails with us, and we make sure they are well hydrated!

Celebrating April 15th, My girl Truffles’ 12th birthday!


I do miss going to the Movie theatres! It isn’t the same watching in your bedroom. I am preferring series over movies lately and found “The Serpent” on Nexflix captivating! The show, about a serial killer in Thailand, along with his accomplice, a French woman, Marie Andre, who evades police, and steal innocent people’s passports to assume their identity, is truly mesmerizing. It is based on a true story. With only 8 episodes, I was disappointed when it ended. To read about Charles Sobraj, click for info from Wiki.

I am also watching Bloodlands, on BBC’s Acorn TV, .


I love eating al fresco. If the sun is shining, I never tire of eating outside. We have been to a few breweries ( as Charlotte, NC is becomming a new hot spot for Breweries), as well as eating at restaurants outside, near Lake Norman. I have been enjoying a fair amount of seafood, and truly could be Pescatarian!

My hubby turned the Big 5-2 recently, and we went to Fig Tree, an amazing upscale restaurant. There is not a wine “list” but rather a wine “book” with the more expensive bottle at $5,100! Needless to say, we did not get it! woah.  I enjoyed Hallibut and Lobster Tail with a corn and Beure Blanc sauce, and hubby had Wagu Beef with Grueyer and Spinach Spatezel. We did enjoy a bottle of French Granache red wines, one of my favorite varietals.


Lots of dresses. I love wearing dresses in the Spring and some pretty pastels as well. I have a few new dresses to share soon on the blog, as well as pastel blazers that I enjoy styling with lighter denim. I’ve been doing most of my shopping this month, secondhand on Poshmark, and love to find a deal too!

Plus, with fashion blogging, I will be sharing more looks from XCVI, Caite and Kyla

Tell me, what have you been enjoying this April?

Stay Safe and enjoy the weekend!

Jess xx

  • Nancy Dynes
    Posted at 01:38h, 26 April Reply

    Hi, Jess! I’m new here. I’m from Charleston, SC. I’m a retired critical care nurse turned mixed media artist and museum home interpreter. I recently turned 58 and have been searching for some over 50/60 fashion inspiration, and am beyond delighted to have found your blog.
    You have a fabulous sense of style and look many years younger than your actual age! I think it’s wonderful you’re still finding joy in playing guitar. I have a background in music as well, not guitar, but started piano at age 4, the flute at age 9, and clarinet at age 10. I was in symphonic and marching band until I graduated high school, but sadly didn’t keep up to any of my instruments after graduation. I definitely have food envy for that scrumptious meal y’all had for your husbands birthday, especially the seafood dish. My husband and I only recently started going to restaurants again, though we still prefer to dine outdoors. Today was the Blessing of the Fleet in Charleston, so we went for an early dinner at a restaurant on a waterway called Shem Creek. We dined on the deck and had the best time watching the dolphins play and the boats come in and out as we had our meal, then took a leisurely stroll along the boardwalk afterwards. I truly felt blessed. I also deal with a chronic pain issue, so I do weekly PT, massage, acupuncture, Reiki, and chiropractic treatment to stay at my best function. Due to a fall that caused a shattered shoulder, damaged knees, and broken ribs, I had to have surgery during the pandemic and ended up having to isolate for the better part of a year due to low O2 sats. I lost so much strength and endurance during that time, and am just now able to take baby steps toward regaining my life now that I’m fully vaccinated. When you mentioned you were able to hike at South Mountain I was so happy for you! What an accomplishment! It’s truly a testament to your dedication to your fitness program and ongoing therapies. Our mountain home overlooks the Smoky Mountains National Park, and hiking to the parks many waterfalls has always been one of our very favorite things to do. I miss it dearly and look forward to building up to it again as you have done. I read The Nightingale during my post-op recovery and LOVED it! I just started a new novel, Dragonfly by Leila Meacham, which is also about brave women in the French Resistance. I miss movies too, and concerts, and plays, and Disney World, and traveling, and pretty much everything we used to do pre-pandemic. We’ve probably watched more TV during the pandemic than we have in the last 20 years put together. Most recently we watched Turn, The Last Kingdom, Cathedral of the Sea, and High Seas on Netflix. We’ll have to check out The Serpent next. I’ll be a regular follower of your blog. Sorry for the length of this comment. It’s nice to ‘meet’ you. Please give your adorable pups some pets from me and thank you for all the inspiration!

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 09:58h, 27 April Reply

      Hi Nancy!
      Thank you for your thoughtful comment. I love to hear from poeple! I sent you an email in reply!

  • shelbeeontheedge1
    Posted at 10:31h, 21 April Reply

    Aw, such a great post, Jess! Happy birthday to your hubs and your pup! That food looks amazing! Thanks for sharing and linking with me.


  • eyeloveknots
    Posted at 10:52h, 20 April Reply

    So awesome that you have kept up a home work out 5 days a week! I bought myself some rollerblades in March, and have been going 3-4 times a week. I am really enjoying it and especially more than the jogging I was trying to make myself do, but I must agree! The music really helps keep you motivated. I really like that song too!

    My mom also has the green thumb, but has bought me several flowers and other plants for my yard. She tells me how to take care of them, and I am surprised they’re all still doing well. Probably because my husband waters them everyday – hahahaha! I would love to see a photo of your garden. I bet everything is in bloom and really lovely right now! If you like carrots, they are an easy one to plant. I buy the seeds that come on a paper tape, and you just lay the tape down and cover with dirt. We had so many this past year that we were giving them away. Now I know to stagger my planting.

    Sweet little pups! The day hike, picnic and waterfall sounds like an awesome day!

    You’ve had such an eventful month so far! Even though I work from home just on my two blogs, I don’t get out as much as I’d like, but I have been thrifting quite a bit this month. I got a booth a few weeks ago at a local antique mall, and have been having so much fun finding pieces to sell there, and researching them. After I log off today, I will be working on making some jewelry to take.

    Best wishes! Alexandra

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 15:01h, 20 April Reply

      HI Alexandra!
      Thank you for your comment! We have had a nice month so far and the weather is very Spring like, which I love! I have a pair of rollerblades but didn’t get into it as I was sick not long after we bought them. Sounds like fun though!
      So neat your mom showed you about gardening, my mom is doing the same. We have planted azaleas, roses, and coneflowers. They are not in bloom yet, except for the Azaleas. We have to edge and mulch this week, so its a work in progress!

      Love learning about carrots! I never

  • Anna Marcus
    Posted at 00:28h, 19 April Reply

    It seems to me that you are doing great Jess, love the variety of your activities. I am all into fitness myself, I find it’s important not just for your body but for your state of mind too. I tried to watch “serpent” but got really scared of all the violence and other graphic scenes. Love your flower dress a lot and happy birthday to your hubby

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 10:19h, 20 April Reply

      Thank you Anna! Improving here and there. So true! I feel much better after working out. There were certain scence that were tough to watch. They were such an evil pair! Thank you for the Birthday wishes for my hubby.!

  • Jodie
    Posted at 12:56h, 17 April Reply

    That was a great book Jess!! I’m so glad youre getting out and about. And happy birthday to your hubby,

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 10:19h, 20 April Reply

      Thank you for the bday wishes for Roy! I have been enjoying being out of the house and enjoying the sunshine!

  • Midlife and BeyondMidlife and Beyond
    Posted at 08:48h, 17 April Reply

    Great that you have picked your guitar up again Jess, we have a lot of them in our home as my hubby is a guitarist – I unfortunately have not got a musical bone in my body. I loved “ The Serpent “, what a scary pair they were. My brothers friend knew of him when he was travelling through Thailand in the seventies. Enjoy your weekend – hope the sun is shining where you are.x

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 10:22h, 20 April Reply

      Thank you! I do remember you telling me your hubby played. Everyone has different talents! Yes, that was my favorite show in awhile, so captivating, and oh they were evil! Good that your brothers friend didn’t meet him! Enjoy your week! xx

  • thisblondesshoppingbag
    Posted at 04:44h, 16 April Reply

    I read The Nightingale and really enjoyed it! I need to remember to watch The Serpent – we are always looking for something good to watch next. The hiking looks fun and so pretty. Have a super weekend my friend!

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 10:22h, 20 April Reply

      I am beginning it and I do love Kristin Hannah’s writing. Enjoy your week!

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