Just Frances

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    Finding calm - Oct 10th, 2016
    My time at Serenity Lodge is coming to an end, and I am finding that the calming serenity I found here is starting to fade away, too. Not because this has become a less calming place, but rather because I know that the calm will (mostly) end when I re-enter my reality later tomorrow. [more...]

    Blue moon demands - Jul 31st, 2015
    I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before, but my parents were really mean when I was growing up. As in they were so mean that they denied us sugary cereals and junk food. And if we got soda, we had to share a can. (See, I told you they were mean.) When we got special treats, or when we asked for special treats, we were told those things are allowed “once in a blue moon”. [more...]

    Every penny counts - Jan 7th, 2015
    What’s a penny worth to you? Is it worth stopping what you’re doing so that you can bend over and pick it up? What if I told you that one penny could make a real difference in someone’s life? [more...]

    Hand-me-downs - Dec 13th, 2014
    Growing up in a large family, hand-me-down clothing was a regular part of life. It wasn’t necessarily something I hated (after all, I really wanted some of them!) but it certainly wasn’t something I was immensely excited about. I mean, everyone else got brand-new clothes all the time. Everyone. All the time. [more...]

    Vintage smiles - Dec 2nd, 2014
    Some of you may know that I am really a big fan of vintage clothing. And that I have slowly been acquiring my Mum’s old wardrobe over the years. From old handbags to jewellery—and even my wedding dress—I’ve enjoyed taking over her vintage rags. [more...]

    London girl - Aug 20th, 2014
    I’ve been quiet here on Just Frances once again, but if you ask my friends, they’ll tell you I haven’t been quiet in reality! That’s because I’ve been away to London. (And busy giving my first-ever public talk!) [more...]

    The reward system - May 14th, 2014
    I decided a while ago that I would start rewarding myself for various milestones along my PhD adventure. In part because treats make things a bit more special, and in part because I would never treat myself to something otherwise. [more...]

    An unexpectedly sweet day - Apr 17th, 2014
    For the last few weeks, I have been struggling to overcome my desire to eat loads of candy and sweets as part of my Lenten sacrifice. If you’re a regular Just Frances reader—or if you know me at all—you will know that giving up sweeties is a fairly major undertaking. [more...]

    Just four years - Feb 15th, 2014
    Just Frances is four years old. Wow! Can you believe that I’ve been spewing this utter nonsense for that long? And if you thought I might be nearing the end of rubbish things to talk about, you’re wrong. (No apologies. If you don’t like it, you can just stop reading!) [more...]

    That old settled feeling - Dec 8th, 2013
    It's been nearly a month since my return to Scotland and I am finally starting to feel a bit settled. In fact, I'm feeling settled for the first time in more than a year. Which is a nice feeling, to be certain! [more...]

    The loaner Jag - Nov 23rd, 2013
    Words I never thought I’d say: “I drive a Jag”. But, thanks to the amazing generosity of my brother-in-law, I got to say them throughout my my Homeland Holiday. Oh yes, I did! [more...]

    To Cle Elum - Sep 7th, 2013
    I have finally made it to the Homeland, after beginning my travels a couple of days' back. I'm extremely exhausted so won't wax lyrical about home, but I know that there are some of you who want to know what I'm up to, so here's what my day looked like... [more...]

    Who ate all the pies? - Jun 13th, 2013
    I have finally had my first pie. Well, my first Scottish meat pie at least. Pies are a pretty big deal in Scotland—in the whole of the UK, really. They’re served at sporting events much like hotdogs in America. [more...]

    I’m back! - Jan 8th, 2013
    Welcome back to Just Frances! I’m really excited to be back up-and-running, and hope you’re excited, too. I must start this post with giving credit to the amazing Martin Ridgway for taking time out of his personal life to re-build and re-design Just Frances as a beautifully simple site that focuses on content and design. [more...]

    A happy me - Jan 5th, 2013
    I think that one of the things I struggle with is being happy with me. For a million little reasons, I’ve always found it difficult to be kind to myself; to take care of myself on a spiritual well-being level. [more...]

    Bonus! - Dec 20th, 2012
    Back in August when I started my new job, the biggest bonus was that my employer was actually willing to sponsor me for a work visa. Those of you who’ve attempted to live in a country other than your native one will understand what a tremendous bonus this is. [more...]

    Spent pennies - Jul 27th, 2012
    As you may know, I like to save all of my ‘spare’ change so that I can cash it in for something fun and frivolous. So when I am out shopping, I never give the cashier exact change, I keep those jingly-jangly coins to feed my coin jar! [more...]

    Gadget Girl - Jul 26th, 2012
    Yep, that’s me: Gadget Girl. OK, I admit that I’m not the most gadgety of all gadget girls, but I’m certainly the first place contender in my little bit of the world. And I would guess that if I had the income to support it, I would probably be a contender for the world as a whole. [more...]

    Hair today - Jul 10th, 2012
    Today I’m going to give a bit of a rave. It’s kind of about how awesome my hair looks, but really it’s more about how it got looking this awesome. [more...]

    Heirloom tear drops - Apr 20th, 2012
    Growing up, I always loved to borrow my Mom’s clothing and accessories—the old stuff. I loved her funky dresses and jewellery from the 1960s and 70s, and often dreamed of one day owning it all. [more...]

    Sugar and spice - Nov 18th, 2011
    OK, since it’s sort of my thing to tell you all about goodies that I get from home, I suppose I should tell you about yesterday’s parcel. (Yeah, I know you’re excited about this!) [more...]

    Green means go - Jul 20th, 2011
    Today was Shiny New Gadget Day, which is always a celebratory day for me. And today’s gadget was a Dell Inspiron Mini 1012—a wee green computing machine! [more...]

    The cost of vanity - Aug 31st, 2010
    For more than a year I’ve been telling myself to get some really nice, quality face moisturizer because grief can really take a toll on your skin. Between the constant crying, the lack of sleep, and the absolutely rubbish diet, my once-smooth skin began to age in triple-time shortly after Paul died. [more...]

    A lazy day - Jun 27th, 2010
    I started the day off thinking I’d do some weeding in the garden. Maybe work on my tan a bit. So, I broke out the gardening tools and poured a glass of cheap-and-cheerful white wine. Then Schrodie came by to visit and reminded me it was a Sunday. [more...]

    Hello Kitty - Jun 16th, 2010
    When Mom and I went to the UK this winter, one of my sisters-in-law gave me a little Hello Kitty lunch box filled with Love Hearts, Refreshers, and other such wonderful goodies. The box has sat empty on the kitchen counter for a couple of weeks and I figured it was time to put it to use. [more...]

    Green with envy - Jun 9th, 2010
    I got a new toy today. It’s a lovely new, bright, and shiny 4 GB iPod Shuffle. It’s a pretty shade of green with a personalized inscription. [more...]

    Distractions - May 21st, 2010
    I don’t know if it’s better to face things head-on or to find distractions, but personally I prefer the latter in many cases; today being one of those cases. So, instead of spending the day thinking about what I didn’t want to think about—the fact that my husband died before we made it to our 4th wedding anniversary, meaning that he wasn’t here to celebrate our 5th anniversary with me today—I’m distracting myself from my reality. [more...]

    Modern mowing - May 13th, 2010
    I’m not a patient person. When I know what I want, I want it now. So, after breaking out the vintage mower yesterday and deciding it was time for an upgrade, I couldn’t think of much more throughout the day. I wanted my new toy. I wanted it today. And I wanted it cheap. [more...]

    Bit of Saturday shopping - Apr 17th, 2010
    The folks came to visit, so while Daddy went on a bike ride to Palouse and back, Mom and I headed to Moscow for some antique and book shopping. And I’ve totally scored! [more...]

    Butterflies - Apr 11th, 2010
    I saw this dress in a store window when in Seattle for meetings on Friday and can’t get it out of my mind. The store, Luly Yang Couture, was next to the Fairmont Olympic Hotel, so there was no glimmer of hope that I could afford to even walk through the doors, let alone try on—or purchase—such a lovely dress. [more...]

    Happy birthday to me - Feb 21st, 2010
    Today is my 36th birthday and to celebrate, I’ve opened a bottle of bubbly and I’m feasting on caviar, wild salmon, and Alaskan king crab. The house is empty, save for me and the cat. There is soft jazz playing in the background and I’m admiring the way the light glistens off of the lovely ring I’m wearing; a birthday present I purchased for myself at Macy*s. [more...]

    A day at the spa - Feb 21st, 2010
    I’ve just returned home after enjoying my first-ever spa day. It was pure heaven and I can’t believe that in my nearly 36 years of life I’ve never done it before. In fact, other than haircuts and a couple of years when I had fake nails in my 20s, I never had any treatments at a spa or salon until about two years ago when I got my first facial. [more...]

    Things get easier with a second take - Nov 22nd, 2009
    I’ve found myself at a fancy hotel for work once again. It’s one of those really fancy rooms with a separate living room and a bathroom bigger than most people’s bedrooms. This trip comes right before my holidays, and I’ve been psyching myself up for it for a while now, trying to figure out how to make it bearable. While my last stay at a fancy hotel was miserable and gloomy, this trip has started out to be fairly positive and slightly empowering. [more...]