Breakfast/ Dinner

On, Wisconsin!

I just love my grandparent’s house.

It’s totally a comfort zone for me. Since when I was growing up we moved around a bunch, coming to Milwaukee has almost been like coming “home”. My mom was born in this house and my grandparents have lived here for almost 55 years. Can you even believe it? I remember being really little and running down the hallways or leading “explorations” up to the attic where I would find treasure.

There’s a big weeping willow tree in the backyard that I used to sit under with Molly and read Little House on the Prairie. Ahhhhh those were the days.
Yesterday my food was so incredibly boring. Ridiculously boring. And gross. All I ate were bars…..Amazing Grass bars, Trader Joe’s bars, clif bars….at the end of the day I couldn’t fathom or stomach another one so I was very thankful for grandpa’s cooking!

He made spaghetti with chicken, mushrooms and olives in a light cream sauce. He wanted you all to know that I get my writing AND cooking abilities from him. I don’t know what that means. He also wanted you to know he wrote a musical in second grade.
So there.

I started reading The Help last night and can’t put it down!!! I get my passion for reading from my grandma. That’s a fact. She knew I would love The Help so after she read it she saved it for me (along with about five other books she thought I would love). It’s a wonderful feeling to be reading a book you can’t put down on your grandparent’s couch with a lion at your feet.
Oatmeal with barney butter, banana and blueberries this morning—

Today my mom and I are making a break for it and going to what could, quite possibly, be my favorite place……………ever?
Stay tuned.
And here’s the pink dress from the other night. That man is not my boyfriend.

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  • Mallory
    May 7, 2010 at 7:52 am

    you look so cute in that last pic! love the dress.

  • Beth @ Beth's Journey to Thin
    May 7, 2010 at 7:55 am

    Wow you look incredible in that dress!! And American Girl Dolls – – I haven’t thought about those in AGES! I wish my grandparents still lived in the same house… so many memories!

  • Jessica @ How Sweet
    May 7, 2010 at 7:55 am

    Love the pink dress!

  • Diana
    May 7, 2010 at 7:55 am

    Aw, that house looks lovely! 🙂
    Glad you’re having a good time with your family. Cute dress btw!

  • Carly
    May 7, 2010 at 7:55 am

    I just finished The Help recently and loved it! Enjoy!

  • Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg
    May 7, 2010 at 7:56 am

    That dress is hot!!! You look awesome!

  • eliza
    May 7, 2010 at 7:56 am

    such a cute dress..

  • Kamaile
    May 7, 2010 at 7:57 am

    I LOVE that book and couldn not put it down! You look fabulous!

  • Erin (Texan Couture)
    May 7, 2010 at 7:57 am

    I had the Felicity Doll!!

    I love your dress so cute!!

  • Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman
    May 7, 2010 at 7:58 am

    I loved The Help, too. I think I only put it down between readings to sleep. And I love that dress–gorgeous color.

  • Ashley
    May 7, 2010 at 7:58 am

    I read The Help in 4 days. I couldn’t put it down either!!!

  • Anessa
    May 7, 2010 at 7:58 am

    Welcome to Wisconsin! I’m a Wisconsin girl and a fan of ELR. Hope you have a nice time well you are here in Wisconsin. Hopefully the rain goes away!

  • Rachel @ Suburban Yogini
    May 7, 2010 at 8:00 am

    I get my love of reading from my gran also… I wish she was still with us.

  • Kirsten
    May 7, 2010 at 8:01 am

    I loved The Help! Such a good, quick read.

  • Becky
    May 7, 2010 at 8:01 am

    Hahahahah “That man is not my boyfriend.”

    Hilarious. You tell ’em! 🙂

  • Jen H
    May 7, 2010 at 8:01 am

    Loved The Help, Love your dress, and your grandpa sounds so cute!

  • maggie
    May 7, 2010 at 8:02 am

    ahhh you look so pretty in that picture/dress!! you look like a model!! Happy friday 🙂

  • Teresa
    May 7, 2010 at 8:02 am

    I love, love, love this post. Seems like your feeling a sense of comfort and coziness at your grandparents’ home. That’s fabulous ! Your grandfather is adorable for wanting you to write that you get your cooking and writing skills from him. He’s probably very right! Jenna, YOU LOOK STUNNING IN THAT PINK DRESS !!! So pretty……..Have a great day sweetie !!!

  • theemptynutjar
    May 7, 2010 at 8:03 am

    You look very pretty in pink.

  • Stacey
    May 7, 2010 at 8:04 am

    Cute dress and the perfect bowl of oats.

  • Nora@LiveLifeEatRight
    May 7, 2010 at 8:04 am

    That dinner looks fantastic and I absolutely LOVE that dress!

  • Paige
    May 7, 2010 at 8:05 am

    You are rockin’ that pink dress, Jenna! And a shout out for awesome calf muscles as well!!!

  • Sarah
    May 7, 2010 at 8:06 am

    You look stunning!!! I am enjoying grandparents right now too. There is something so comforting about being in a place where almost nothing changes. Please include more grandparent quotes in your next post–they sound hilarious!

  • Lauren
    May 7, 2010 at 8:10 am

    Aww, your Grandpa sounds so cute!! And you look gorgeous in that dress!! It’s so pretty! 🙂

  • Steph-exercise physiologist and artist
    May 7, 2010 at 8:10 am

    I am a dork so I just cant help myself….
    “Isnt she pretty in pink…. isnt she?”

    haha!! RIP John Hughes! he made the best movies!

  • Natalie
    May 7, 2010 at 8:10 am

    I live in Milwaukee so I am very curious to see what your favorite place will be! Sorry that the weather is so crummy for your visit! So I’ve only been here for about a year, in the Third Ward, and I was so pleasantly surprised by the amazing food scene! I must go to Coquette Cafe every other week 🙂 Gotta love the Public Market as well… And from one vino lover to another, you must stop by Thief Wine at the market if you can… definitely one of my favorites here. Amazing selection and the owners are soo nice & helpful. I hope you have a fabulous time and, of course, fabulous meals while your here!!

  • Paige
    May 7, 2010 at 8:13 am

    Pink is totally your color! That dress looks fab on you. 🙂 Can I borrow your lion…please? hah

  • Marina
    May 7, 2010 at 8:14 am

    You look amazing in that dress!
    And your grandparent’s place sounds amazing, really comforting 🙂

  • Jenna
    May 7, 2010 at 8:15 am

    Jenna I must say i love your blonde hair better 😉
    And OMG you look so pretty in that pink dress!

  • Emily
    May 7, 2010 at 8:16 am

    You look gorgeous! Go midwest!

  • Morgan @ Life After Bagels
    May 7, 2010 at 8:16 am

    Have I mentioned that pink is my favourite colour ever. That dress is the cutest! So is your grandpa making sure that we knew where the talent comes from!

  • Cynthia (It All Changes)
    May 7, 2010 at 8:17 am

    We moved a lot as a kid too so my grandparents house was always home too.

    I love your comment at the end about he is not your boyfriend. You’ll tell us when you are ready 🙂

  • Sarah for Real
    May 7, 2010 at 8:20 am

    Maybe I am just ridiculously sleep deprived, but reading about your grandparents just brought tears to my eyes.

    All of my grandparents except one grandfather have passed away and I do miss them. I love thinking about them like you described how you inherited things. I got my love of tea from one grandma, and my love of cheesy romance books from the other. I also got my hatred for Fred Meyer from one grandpa, haha.

  • Ali @ Food, Fitness, Fashion
    May 7, 2010 at 8:21 am

    Adorable dress! I can’t wait to hear your review of The Help. I have been a reading machine lately and am looking for some good books to read.

  • Karen
    May 7, 2010 at 8:22 am

    there’s something about going home that is so pure and innocent, you relive all your childhood memories, and just sitting there with your grandparents, listening to their stories, well, it doesn’t get any better than that….my parents had what my kids called hide-outs up under the eaves in their upstairs, they would find all finds of treasures, my daughter found all of my Nancy Drew books and read them all summer, now they are tucked away for her daughter. Enjoy Mothers Day weekend with your Mom. btw, you look just like your Mom in that picture..

  • Carrie (Love Healthy Living)
    May 7, 2010 at 8:23 am

    Your grandpa sounds like a character. Maybe you got that from him, too? 🙂

  • Jenny
    May 7, 2010 at 8:25 am

    You look gorg! And soo happy!

  • Emily
    May 7, 2010 at 8:26 am

    I’m a college student in Milwaukee so I’m curious to see what “your favorite place ever” is! The Third Ward is awesome downtown, you should defintley go if you haven’t already. There’s a new Lululemon store down there, not to mention Anthropologie and The Milwaukee Public Market! Have a great day!! ( hopefully this rain clears up for you)

  • Madeline
    May 7, 2010 at 8:27 am

    Just got done with The Help! A family vacay is the perrrrfect time to read that book because you will not put it down. The first couple parts by Aibileen and Minnie are fantastic…but then you realize that Skeeter is a WRITER and….ahhh it’s amazing. You’ll love it. You’re probably already done with it actually. 🙂

  • shannon (the daily balance)
    May 7, 2010 at 8:30 am

    never been to wisconsin! but i can feel your love for it! so charming 😉

    you look stuning in your pink dress, btw!

  • shannon (the daily balance)
    May 7, 2010 at 8:30 am

    *stunning* –but you knew that 😉

  • Lizzie
    May 7, 2010 at 8:30 am

    Ooh la la! Love the dress!!!

    I miss being able to go to either of my grandparents places. They lived in different countries (one was 5 minutes from our house, the other was more like 2 days of travel!), but both their places were always so welcoming and friendly. Lately I’ve been wishing I could remember more about what I did there, games I played etc. We did go back to the 5 mins away one a couple of times (people in my hometown are usually pretty friendly and don’t mind if you poke your nose in to have a look at how the house has changed).

    Have fun!!

  • Claire
    May 7, 2010 at 8:30 am

    This is a beautiful post Jenna. I love reading about how people are affected by older generations and both your grandparents sound like lovely people. I am sure you are having a great time unwinding and spending some quality time with the fam. I agree with all the other comments. You look so great and happy in that pink dress!

  • Erin (Travel, Eat, Repeat)
    May 7, 2010 at 8:33 am

    Loved The Help–it’s definitely one of those books you just want to take everywhere with you and not put down!

  • Leslie
    May 7, 2010 at 8:34 am

    Loved “The Help” and couldn’t put it down! It was a recent book club read.

    Also, super cute dress!

  • Sarah-Mae @ Eat, Run, Knit
    May 7, 2010 at 8:35 am

    Hahaha, I love that you point out men who aren’t your boyfriend. Where is he?!

    Also, I started reading The Help last week and have been making really slow progress on it, but agree, it’s good!

  • Kara
    May 7, 2010 at 8:35 am

    You look great in that pink dress! Have fun at your grandparents!!!

  • anne
    May 7, 2010 at 8:36 am

    Loved The Help! Such a wonderful story!

  • Diana @ frontyardfoodie
    May 7, 2010 at 8:38 am

    My grandparents lived in one house my parents and my entire life until a couple years ago. When they moved I felt like a part of me stayed at their old house:)

    Your grandparents sound amazing and like so much fun!

    Pink dress hottie!

  • Suzanne de Cornelia
    May 7, 2010 at 8:39 am

    Love the dress, esp with black shoes/bag. My grandparent’s had a great Spanish styled house in Santa Monica…just loved going there for the house ‘signature’ dish…spaghetti with chopped celery in it. Whoever heard of that….but loved it. So cozy and comforting to return to grandparents and the same house from childhood. Unfortunately all my grandparents are deceased…but still wonderful memories. Your grandparents sound cool and sweet!

  • courtney
    May 7, 2010 at 8:41 am

    Very cute dress! Your grandparents sound awesome. Enjoy your vacay!

  • Jin
    May 7, 2010 at 8:42 am

    I love this post! Wisconsin looks beautiful. Just as I pictured it reading Little House when I was young!

    Funny, I JUST started reading The Help an hour ago. I already can’t put it down but I had to squeeze in my yoga this morning so here I am, with my computer on and checking your blog before my yoga session 😀

    Have a great day and you look stunning in the dress Jenna!

  • Sarah @ The Smart Kitchen
    May 7, 2010 at 8:43 am

    The Help is AMAZING! Every woman in my family has read it now 🙂

  • Allie
    May 7, 2010 at 8:43 am

    beautiful color on you!
    both my grandparents houses are gone, but i have such great memories of vacations and holidays spent adventuring on their properties with my brother. some of my best memories are from times there.

  • TC
    May 7, 2010 at 8:44 am

    I’m reading The Help right now. It’s so amazing!

  • Caroline
    May 7, 2010 at 8:47 am

    lllloooovvvveeddd The Help!!!!

  • Kacy
    May 7, 2010 at 8:48 am

    After reading American Wife, I really want to visit Wisconsin. I bet it’s gorgeous right now.

  • Scargosun
    May 7, 2010 at 8:49 am

    I really liked The Help. We read it for my bookclub a few months ago. Enjoy!

  • Tay
    May 7, 2010 at 8:58 am

    You look HOT girl!!! And your hair is looking so long in that pic!

  • Jil
    May 7, 2010 at 9:03 am

    Aww, Jenna you look gorgeous!!! Nothing’s better than a place that brings back memories. 🙂

  • Therese
    May 7, 2010 at 9:04 am

    Wow! You look GREAT in that dress!

    Your night sounds like the best night ever! Can’t wait to finish up classes so I can spend an entire evening just reading. I shall live vicariously through you right now!

  • Ellie
    May 7, 2010 at 9:05 am

    Cute Cute Cute pink dress! I need a dress for college graduation and looking at yours makes me want a fun color

  • christina
    May 7, 2010 at 9:08 am

    love the dress, and it fits great! so here’s a big thumbs down to that skank who left the nasty comment. ugh.

  • Corinne
    May 7, 2010 at 9:09 am

    #1. LOVE the pink dress. (Where is it from again?) You look BEAUTIFUL!
    #2. I have heard such great thigns about The Help! Let us know how it continues to move you!
    #3. Your grandpa is hilarious. Can he write a guest post that will include exerpts from his musical?? Pretty pretty please

  • adriana`
    May 7, 2010 at 9:13 am

    Where IS that pink dress from?? I must get it!!!

  • Mindy
    May 7, 2010 at 9:14 am

    you look gorgeous and so happy in that pink dress!! 😉 and thanks for clarifying that the man in the pic is not your boyfriend lol

  • nickee
    May 7, 2010 at 9:18 am

    I LOVED the disclaimer about the man not being your boyfriend!! Too funny and we can’t blame you for it since we keep asking you 😉 You’re so lucky to be with your mom for Mother’s day weekend… Wish I could too 🙁 Enjoyyy

  • maura
    May 7, 2010 at 9:19 am

    OMG…Can I borrow the lion, your grandfather, & the pink dress. All of the above are ADORABLE. You look stunning!!!

  • Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down)
    May 7, 2010 at 9:23 am

    Adorable dress! And your hair is gorgeous at that length. So pretty! 😀

  • Sharon
    May 7, 2010 at 9:24 am

    What a nice weekend you are going to have. Your grandparent’s home is beautiful, and I just love the lion! Also you look amazing in that pink dress.

  • Kim
    May 7, 2010 at 9:35 am

    I am trying to figure out where you are based on the pictures. Based on the house and the lawn I will bet you are not in the city of Milwaukee.
    Hopefully your favorite place is indoors. It is cruddy out there today. I swear it was beautiful most of last weekend.

  • Raya @ Raya Runs
    May 7, 2010 at 9:36 am

    Supercute dress, love that color pink. My grandparents recently sold their house and I was so sad about it! I have sooo many memories of that house, huge family dinners and a porch swing. I even lived there with my mom when I was first born and my parents (my mom and stepdad) got married in their backyard! But now they live near the beach and they are happy. I still miss it though 🙂

  • VeggieGirl
    May 7, 2010 at 9:38 am

    “That man is not my boyfriend.”
    HAHAHAHA. Is “that man” single? Cute? If so, send him my way 😉

  • Kristin
    May 7, 2010 at 9:40 am

    You look FABULOUS in that dress! Love it!

  • Sarah
    May 7, 2010 at 9:42 am

    Jenna! Awesome dress.
    The help is sitting next to my bed, next in my line of reading material—I can’t wait. Don’t give any spoilers.

  • Lizz (Leading the Good Life)
    May 7, 2010 at 9:44 am

    Welcome to the Midwest! Sounds like such a comfy, cozy weekend!

    Isn’t it so cool to be compared to your grandparents?! I love it.

    And I was all about Kirsten, The American Girl!! I wanted to be her and live on the prairie in the 1800s. However, I just looked it up and they stopped making the Kirsten doll! They apparently ‘archived’ her at the beginning of the year. 🙁 I’ll have to see if my mom still has mine at her house…

  • runnerforever
    May 7, 2010 at 9:45 am

    Cute dress!
    That home looks so relaxing. I think the glass bowl that your oatmeal is in must be an old fashioned thing because my parents have one that looks just like it. Reminds me of home, almost time to be there 🙂

  • Heather (Heather's Dish)
    May 7, 2010 at 9:51 am

    that pink dress is GORGEOUS! you look amazing in it too 🙂 sounds like you’re having a blast so far…and thank God for your grandpa passing the writing and cooking on down to you 😉

  • Bree
    May 7, 2010 at 9:55 am

    I just finished The Help last night! I read it in less then two weeks – which is fast for me. I loved it – can’t wait to hear what you think!

    Yes – the mid-west is wonderful, isn’t it 😉

  • Jessica @ The Process of Healing
    May 7, 2010 at 10:05 am

    You look GORGEOUS in that dress!!!! I might hate you if you weren’t so sweet 😉
    Sounds like a wonderful place to grow up (or visit)! Grandparents are the BEST! And that meal looks fabulous, your grandfather has some mad skills!

  • Allison K
    May 7, 2010 at 10:16 am

    that dress is gorg. and so are you!

  • Julie @savvyeats
    May 7, 2010 at 10:26 am

    Hope today isn’t as dreary and cold in Milwaukee as it is in Madison! Unless you are planning on staying in and reading all day…. then it is perfect 🙂

  • Megan
    May 7, 2010 at 10:33 am

    Your tease is really making me curious! I want to know your favorite place in Milwaukee so I can check it out!

  • Daisy
    May 7, 2010 at 10:37 am

    hahahhaah im so laughing out loud right now at “that man is not my boyfriend”. thanks for showing us your dress, you couldn’t be any more adorable as always. I feel the SAME way about my grandparents house. It has long hallways for explorations and a huge attic with treasures AND a large yard with weeping willow esque trees. I think thats how all grandparents houses should be. just perfect.

  • SallyH @
    May 7, 2010 at 10:45 am

    I concur with those who have recommended getting down to the Third Ward if you are hanging out in the city. For food, the pizza lover in you would love Transfer Pizza, the DiVinci with pesto and big hunks of feta and huge slices of asiago on puffy crust. Yum.

  • AshleyH
    May 7, 2010 at 10:57 am

    wow Jenna that dress looks awesome I didn’t recognize you. so tan and gorgeous!! I love banana republic. Having a credit card there is a dangerous thing!!
    Dinner looked delish!
    Have fun relaxing at your grandparents!

  • Stephanie Norton
    May 7, 2010 at 10:58 am

    I love the dress and you look AMAZING!!! I’m jealous your in Milwaukee right now!! My sister lives there and I miss her tons! Luckily I get to go and visit her, her hubby and my nephew (who is a dog) at the end of May! Yay! 🙂 Have a fab time there!!!! And say hello to my sis if you see her! hahaha 😉

  • BethT
    May 7, 2010 at 11:01 am

    Are you sure that’s not him? It looks like he’s wearing an apron, and your man has a thing for aprons.

  • Tara @ Food for Fuel
    May 7, 2010 at 11:14 am

    Very cute dress! Love pink! I also LOVED The Help. Quite possibly one of my favorite books, I couldn’t put it down. Can’t wait to hear what you think about it 🙂

  • Kristin (Cook, Bake and Nibble)
    May 7, 2010 at 11:23 am

    That dress is great, you look stunning!


  • eatmovelove
    May 7, 2010 at 11:25 am

    You look gorgeous!! Not just the dress – everything – your hair has gotten so longgggg – beautiful girl !!

  • Bethany @ Not Unless I'm Being Chased
    May 7, 2010 at 11:34 am

    OH! I loved The Help. We read it for my book club and I blew through it. I passed it on to every woman I could find. I was like a “The Help” evangelist! Haha. 🙂

  • Betsy
    May 7, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    So are you able to share the recipe that your grandpa made? Your spaghetti dinner looked awesome. Hope to hear from you so I can make that. Yumm!
    Thanks 🙂

  • Lauren
    May 7, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    I love that last picture! Not only is your dress so cute, but you also just look so happy!

  • Rachael
    May 7, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    My American Girl dolls patiently wait the birth of my yet-to-be-conceived daughter…
    Enjoy your grandparents – I lost my grandmother a few years ago, but her house was always a safe haven and the setting for most of my childhood memories…jumping out of a tree for a quarter, harvesting rhubarb, building fairy villages in her garden… When she moved into a smaller place because of her health, I realized that the house had nothing to do with it; simply put, she was home.
    Be well,

  • Helen
    May 7, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    You look FABULOUS in that dress! I hope you had a great night. I used to love going to my grandparents, it was like stepping back to a different era. I was always finding things that had great stories behind them.

  • Carrie @ I See Monsters
    May 7, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    I LOVED The Help. I literally stayed up almost all night one weekend reading it. I could. not. put. it. down. 🙂

    Your grandpa sounds like a cool cat.

  • Sarah R
    May 7, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    That dress is rockin’!

  • allison @ thesundayflog
    May 7, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    i want that dinner! tell your grandfather he looks like a great chef!! and you look fantastic in that dress! skinny mini and pretty! =) enjoy wisconsin!

  • Tina
    May 7, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    There is no place like grandma’s!

  • Run Sarah
    May 7, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    Your grandparents house looks so comforting! Love the dress – pink suits you!

  • Kelly
    May 7, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    You look HOT in the dress!! It is a beautiful colour! You sound like you have such a lovely family. I love the comfort of visiting grandparents too. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

  • Jasmine @ Eat Move Write
    May 7, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    The guy behind the camera is obviously your bf. Look at your face! I love the idea of curling up on my grandparents couch reading. They are far away in Indiana, so I relate.
    Enjoy your time with family!

  • boy
    May 7, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    i can’t believe i was cropped out 🙁 the boy isn’t behind the camera.. the boy is on the other side of the screen, trying to fix it!

  • Diana (mymarblerye)
    May 7, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    Stunning. Just stunning!

  • Krissy
    May 7, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    I JUST finished The Help this afternoon. Great book. I really loved it.

  • Krystina
    May 7, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    You’re beautiful.

  • ginny
    May 7, 2010 at 6:17 pm

    Put yo’self back in there, Boy!!!

  • Carolyn @ lovinlosing
    May 7, 2010 at 7:58 pm

    “The Help” was an awesome book!! BTW: Looking hot! 😉

  • Andrea
    May 7, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    Lookin hot in that pink dress Jenna!

  • Hillary [Nutrition Nut on the Run]
    May 7, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    Oh-M-Gee…you look STUNNINGGG in your pink dress. absolutely positively 100% adorable : )

  • Dee
    May 8, 2010 at 6:32 am

    I’ve been eyeing THE HELP for awhile now!

    I love your pink dress! You look fab girlfriend!

  • food
    May 9, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    oooo where IS the dress from?