A Holiday Pillow, Stylish Jackets & Tales From My Garden

Today on Weekend Meanderings a beautiful holiday pillow, stylish utility jackets, planning for 2024 and an update on my garden.

Welcome friends!

It’s Saturday and I’m joining Kim and Elizabeth for our weekend roundup.

All manner of inspiration and goings on.

This article includes affiliate links; if you click on a shopping link and make a purchase I may receive a commission. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Pine Wreath hung in window with velvet ribbon.

The fun continues with our Bartesian Cocktail Machine.

This week we tried the Aviation for Jim and the Mango Margarita for me.

Two thumbs up for both.

Mango Margarita and Aviation cocktails made with Bartesian Cocktail Maker.

Did you have a nice Thanksgiving?

If you still have family and friends in town,

it’s not too late to make the Pumpkin Coffee Cake recipe I shared last week.

It’s delish!

Pumpkin Coffee Cake on a white cake stand next to green and white tea towel.

We’re officially in the holiday season.

I did my holiday shopping this week and I’m done.

That’s not really a big flex.

My holiday shopping list is small.

That said, I’m feeling a little smug about it.

Here’s what’s inspiring me this week.



My annual Better Late Than Never Holiday Gift Ideas posted yesterday, but may not have gone out to my mailing list. It was a day late because I’ve been under the weather. Oof. Anyway, my gift ideas are made up of stuff I’m gifting this year and things I love and think you and yours might too. If the post didn’t make it to your inbox, you’ll find it here.

Wrapped Christmas Gift.



When I saw this beautiful holiday bow lumbar pillow cover from Jansen Home my heart skipped a beat. It’s made with the loveliest linen fabric and comes in navy (below) and pine (further down).

Jansen Home holiday bow lumbar pillow.

Jansen Home | Holiday Bow Pillow Cover in Navy

Right now it’s 20% off so I generously gifted myself a pillow cover in pine. It will go on our great room swivel chair. Happy holidays!

Jansen Home holiday bow pillow cover on chair.

Holiday Bow Pillow Cover in Pine

The pillow cover measures 26″ x 15″. I ordered this pillow insert. I’m not sure the insert is of the highest quality but I’m using it in a seasonal, decorative pillow so it doesn’t have to be. When it arrives I’ll report back.



A few weeks ago I scored a Boden utility jacket at Wayside Inn, our local Assistance League shop, for $20!

As I hung it up in the hall coat closet, I realized that I have a few others these types of jackets must be my thing. I’m not sure this one is a true utility jacket. There are so many names for similar style outerwear from field jacket to barn coat. But let’s keep it simple and say utility. And this time of year is made for utility jackets. With much cooler, not yet freezing, temperatures they’re roomy enough to fit nicely over layers and bulky sweaters. It’s been dry, sunny and windy around here and I’m seeing so many wonderful styles and colors running around town.

I really like this L.L. Bean version in navy.

LLBean Utility Jacket in green.


It comes in several colors including a pretty honey brown and copper brown.

The Gap makes a great version at a very great price in army green or black.

Gap utility jacket in army green.


Banana Republic (of course) does it right with this pretty desert green. They call it a field coat and it’s little pricier but currently 40% off.

Banana Republic Field Jacket in green.

Banana Republic

My favorite jacket from Wyeth has corduroy trim detail on the collar and pockets. It’s the most expensive of all.

Wyeth Barn Jacket in green.

Here’s a well priced version from Land’s End in moss and navy. And this one from Macy’s in a slew of colors including red.


Click image to shop ~



A couple weeks ago I mentioned ordering my 2024 Erin Condren Life Planner. My sister introduced me to Erin Condren years ago, she’s a planner fanatic and uses all the bell and whistle planner accessories Erin Condren offers. Pens, highlighters, stickers, etc. Prior to becoming an Erin Condren convert I used a similar but not as fabulous planner following in the footsteps of our mother who used the Sierra Club’s weekly calendar for as long as I can remember. Her planner sat on a shelf in our kitchen which was the pre-technology command center of our home. Anyway, my 2024 planner arrived and it felt good to transfer 2024 appointments, travel, etc. from rapidly accumulating post-it notes. Yes, I know I could use an electronic calendar. But I don’t, and won’t.

Erin Condren LifePlanner with Rose Gold Coils in a Weekly Layout


Last week the garden elves from Homestead Design Collective arrived for our monthly raised bed garden maintenance. It was a major post-summer clean up and the garden suddenly looks a little bare. Not to worry, Tuscan kale, arugula, little gems, snap peas, garlic, edible flowers and many others were planted and the garden it will fill in quickly. That said, we’re still learning what will, and will not, thrive in our side yard in each season.  During the late spring through summer the garden got a lot more sun than we’d anticipated and our summer flowers and veggies really took off. Now that we’re well into fall, the sunlight situation is a lot more challenging and we’ll see how it goes.

It was a pleasant surprise to find Stefani Bittner herself in our garden. She has a new book, her third, coming out on March 5, 2024 with co-author Alethea Harampolis and it’s available for pre-order now. Of course, I pre-ordered it.

The Fragrant Flower Garden book cover.

The Fragrant Flower Garden: Growing, Arranging & Preserving Natural Scents

In sad garden news, one of our two (very old) magnolia trees had to be cut down this week. It didn’t survive our initial garden renovation back in 2020. We did everything we could to revive it. Over the last few years we’ve called in arborists and followed their advice to no avail. And now it’s gone. It’s so sad and disappointing to lose an old, established tree and it changes the landscape in so many ways. When Stefani’s team begins our replanting in February they’ll replace it with a fasting growing elm. Let’s hope it’s really fast.

The day after the tree came down, the stump was ground up and it’s as though the tree vanished into thin air.

Romans Tree Service took down the magnolia and did some other tree maintenance around our yard. If you’re local and need tree work, I highly, highly recommend them. We’ve had our fair share of tree work done over the years, with several tree services, and it was mostly fine. But this is artistry. Look how they wove our dogwoods together to form an arch!

Dogwood trees woven together to form an arch.


Odds & Socks ~

I was sad to hear the news of Rosalynn Carter’s passing. As a teen when President and Mrs. Carter were in the White House I didn’t pay much attention to politics, mostly absorbing my parents views. My mom was a Southern democrat and my dad a northern republican. It made life interesting. There is much about Mrs. Carter that I didn’t know and I’ve found it fascinating to learn more about her this week. She was ahead of her time in many ways. It’s said that she took President Carter’s re-election loss harder than he did. But they accepted the election’s outcome and left office with grace and dignity. And the same can be said for the way they conducted themselves in the decades since, living quietly and in service to others. Theirs was certainly a great love story. One of the things I admire about our nation is our historical ability to come together in times of difficulty and challenge including the loss of a national figure. And how we have conducted ourselves with regard to presidential elections. We cast our vote, sometimes our candidate prevails, sometimes they do not. As disappointed as we may be, we accept the outcome and we respect the office of the presidency and therefore the individual holding office. And that extends to the president’s spouse and family. It’s my hope that Mrs. Carter will be remembered as an honorable woman of integrity who served our nation well. May she rest peacefully.

Last week I shared some bubble lover gift ideas (champagne pajamas anyone?) from Toss Designs. Right now you can take advantage of their Black Friday Sale for 20% off site-wide through November 27th. Use code TOSS20 at checkout.

This wood Christmas tree tray is ideal for holiday entertaining … I’m going to create a crudité tray for an upcoming Christmas party.

Current Favorites ~


And that’s what I have for you this week.

Let’s see what’s inspiring Kim and Elizabeth …



If you missed my last post, you can catch up here.

Any thoughts you’d like to share?

I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

Woman standing on beach under pier.

Cheers from  Snowberry!

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  • Good morning Juliet,
    I hope that you are feeling better. I did not get the newsletter, I will check out your list.
    Good on you for getting your shopping done! This year my list is small, as we are all getting older we have decided not to give gifts to each other(siblings) and will just give gifts to the kids and our parents(trips).
    My niece believes in Santa and his little Elf so it has been fun this week to watch and talk to her about Christmas. The joy and wonder of kids is very special.
    The pillows are beautiful! As I type this I am wondering where I can put one in my house.
    Boden is one of my favorite places to shop and that jacket looks fabulous on you!
    Your coffeecake is on my list to make! It looks delicious!
    I am sorry about your tree, it is hard to loose a beautiful old tree. But hopefully the new tree will look even better.
    Have a wonderful weekend Juliet, take care of yourself.

  • We are of the generation that is visual. I like using my phone calendar then transferred to wall calendar. Now that I am stuck in a car I can look at the links. I have a lot of house to decorate. We had our hose staged and it gave me ideas to use. One being adding different dining chairs to my Duncan Phyfe table. A friend took the original chairs. I hope to find some New England furnishings. If you are ever in the area would love to visit. 2 hours from Boston.

    • Hi Nine, the idea of using different chairs is always so interesting and I love it! I really need to start using my phone’s calendar … run dual calendars. It would make life a lot easier. Happy decorating! xo

  • We used to live in Grapevine TX. Home of the Grape Growers Association. Then we retired and moved 2 counties over. Major Culture shock. And not one tree on the acre we bought. We have planted 30 trees and the red oaks are growing the fastest. Our two Southern Magnolias are almost the same as the oaks. First time I have attempted the Magnolias. I love them. Your yard is beautiful! I don’t think mine will ever be that nice with my 3 large dogs who prefer my beds to trample in!
    Oh well! They are my kids now since my hooman kids have grown up.
    I am so tempted to try your wide leg jeans and cardigan! but I think i need to five pound first! Ugh!
    Have a wonderful Holiday!!

    • Hi Marcia, I’m sure that change in terrain was a major shock. I love mature trees, especially those that shade a home. We’ve had many trees lost to drought conditions around our area and one year of good rainfall just isn’t enough to bring them back. So sad. But than goodness for the fast growing varietals. Hope to have out soon. By the way, no weight need be lost to wear the wide leg jean. I find them very forgiving … and comfortable! Have a wonderful rest of your weekend! xo

  • Juliet, I love your wreath with the velvet ribbon.. You scored on that Boden jacket! Great color too. I love a utility jacket and have about 5! I know.. I keep adding especially the khaki army type ones. The Gap one you linked to is my vibe. Love them with a big chuncky turtleneck.
    Your garden looks beautiful. I need to get my butt out to ours and pull out the tomatoes which are still out there. I just haven’t had a chance. I am wondering if I should try and plant some winter veg? I wish I had garden elves!
    I feel for you with the magnolia. The street behind us is a mid-century Eichler sort of tract and every home had a magnolia, so we have many in the hood, and on my walks I see so many about gone. I wonder if it’s climate change? Last year we had so much more rain. That said, some are thriving and looking pretty. I’m sure your new elm will be beautiful and your garden people seem to know what they are doing. It is all so pretty.
    Rosalynn ! I was going too write about her and ran out of time. I’m so glad you did. I loved reading all about her this week – so much I didn’t know. She really was both a woman of her own values with the sewing and rewearing outfits, and ahead of her time with her own West Wing office and stuff.. You are absolutely right about elections. We in America accept the results, as we have some of the best verified and free and fair elections on the planet. How nice we have so many great examples of what is done when you lose. The Carters were ( he still) amazing Americans and humans. They did so much with their lives for others.
    Hoping you are feeling better and taking care. Off to read your gift post. Sending hugs.

  • I appreciate your comments about Rosalynn Carter, Juliet — I’ve learned a lot about Mrs. Carter this week, too. Despite having a psychologist father and a Psych degree myself, I did not know how much she contributed to destigmatizing mental health issues and to changing policy on mental health benefits. We have supported the Carter Center’s work since the mid-90’s (because I’m confident that their international work is well-considered and has a real impact). I remember sitting with my mom in a long line at the gas station during the time the Carters were in the White House! They served our country at a very difficult time and perhaps their modesty and lack of boldness were out of step with the direction that the country was heading.

    Off to review your holiday shopping suggestions!

    p.s. I finked out on the pumpkin coffeecake recipe with cream cheese and went with one that just had the pecan streusel: I definitely missed the cream cheese part!

    • It’s always interesting to revisit public figures a good long while after they’re even in service … time brings and new information renewed perspectives. Oh, and the cream cheese is everything, right?! xo

  • Hi Juliet — I have a Barbour field jacket that I love. You can add in a liner for cooler temps.
    Maybe more than you need in Cali. And you probably don’t need another utility jacket at all, ha! Your gardeners and tree people have both done a fabulous job! Lucky you to be able grow stuff all winter long! Check out last week’s post for a very similar blanket to the one you link at the end for a fraction of the price!

  • I made your Pumpkin Coffee Cake recipe and everyone loved it, especially the cream cheese filling. My springform pan was a little bigger than the suggested size so the cream cheese filling layer was a little sparse. Next time I will try a bundt pan and see if that helps to have a more even and delicious layer of filling. Thanks for sharing the recipe. It’s a new family favorite.

    • Hi Annemarie! A bundt pan is a great idea, and I also thought about turning the cake into muffins. So glad you and your family enjoyed it! xo

  • We had a 45 yo…65’ tall American elm removed due to Dutch Elm disease. It totally changed our landscape to lose that much shade. So I can empathize with you. Know that elms send lots of seeds down in the spring which sprout into tiny elms quickly so be prepared to pull them. I don’t know what kind of elm she is planting but if it is susceptible to disease be sure to have them do preventive treatments to keep the beetles away that will kill them. We had no idea or we would have. Still looking to replace that tree soon!

    • Thanks, Nanci, that’s great information. I’m going to check on the type of elm that’s planned. I can’t go through another heartbreak. xo

  • Hi Juliet,
    I’m so sorry to hear you lost your magnolia tree, what a disappointment. It’s always a big loss when a tree is taken down when it’s been in your garden forever. The dogwood arch is so pretty. You gave a beautiful backyard. It’s nice you have helping hands because caring for maintaining a garden takes know how and lots of time.
    Mrs Carter was an amazing lady and President Carter had a wonderful life together. Did so many good things together. They really loved one another and that showed over and over again.
    The wreath on your door is very pretty.

    • Hi Katherine, it’s amazing how much the loss of a tree changes the feel of a yard. I hope we can get a new one in soon and that it is truly a fast grower. On a happier note, we’re loving the dogwood arch and it was the silver lining in our tree removal saga. Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. xo

  • What beautiful words of tribute to Mrs. Carter, very nicely expressed. She was such a national treasure! One of the reasons your blog is a favorite, besides food, fashion, family news, books and COCKTAILS!, is your ability and awareness of keeping politics out of your blog. I feel the news bombards us constantly no matter which side of the isle we are on. I have unsubscribed to a few blogs because of the political hatred they feel they must spew.
    Kudos to you and much appreciation to you for the time, talent and kindness you put into your posts.
    Fond regards, Linda

  • Hi, I’m Juliet … welcome to Make Mine a Spritzer where we talk about all things home décor, classic style and more! I’m so happy you’re here!

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