Two weeks ago, my mom and I took a short but lovely overnight trip to La Conner. For those of you who don't live in the area, La Conner is a charming small town in the Skagit Valley. The town is on a river channel, and it's surrounded by a rural area famous for hosting a tulip festival in the early spring. (The tulips weren't quite out yet when we went, so it was a lot less crowded than what you'd see in a few weeks.) My mom and I are great friends, and it's been ages since we had a chance for an adventure with just the two of us, so we had a great time relaxing away from home.

We stayed at a great little B&B with a spa, shopped, and had dinner at a great waterfront restaurant. There are lots of cute artisan and antique shops, and the downtown area is totally walkable. There's also a great loose-leaf tea shop where I stocked up on delicious caramel and cranberry black blends. We curled up in our room at night with tea, a couple chocolate truffles, and a DVD of the Lesley Ann Warren version of Roger's and Hammerstein's Cinderella (which we watched a LOT on a taped-from-TV copy when I was small; it was so fun to revisit a classic favorite with my mom.)

I wore red suede booties, straight leg jeans, and my chocolate knit and pleather drape front jacket throughout the weekend, first with a leopard print faux-wrap top and a black camisole, then with a red, grey and orange floral sweater (which I didn't actually faux-tuck, but it accidentally ended up that way in the photo since I'd just stood up.)

The red booties are a new find from Amazon, by Diba (the same brand I unexpectedly stumbled on when searching for pewter booties.) They have a double zip, which I LOVE - so easy to get my high-instep foot into without sacrificing a sleek, comfortable fit. I'd actually bought these boots just before Angie's post on red footwear, which came at the perfect time. I used to have a bright red pair of booties that I loved, but they are no longer comfortable on my increasingly picky feet, and this suede pair really fit the bill for an upgrade/replacement. They are a brighter red than how they appear on the Amazon picture, more of a cherry than cranberry, and they required absolutely zero breaking in. I ordered a size up based on my previous experience with the brand. Bright or shiny footwear is the best - I smile every time I catch a peek of my toes!

I've worn my emerald specs nearly every day since bringing them home. I still love my other pair, but I'm smitten with these and don't want to take them off!

In other news, my pup Lucy is continuing to do well. We work on training with her on a daily basis, and she has become SO quick to respond - to her, training is playtime! Our single rat, Blinkin, is still holding on despite the loss of her sister and the (thankfully, slow) growth of two tumors. When the tumors start to really get in her way or rob her of nutrition we will let her go, but for now she's still totally agile and active when she's awake (she sleeps a lot of the time.)

We also have a new canine addition to our family. My parents have been looking for a dog for a few months, and had originally planned on getting a puppy, but unexpectedly an adult golden retriever rescue named Beau came into their lives. He is a sweet, affectionate guy who has obviously had some training, but has spent way too much of the last few years alone in a pen outside. I'm so thrilled that he's able to have a second chance, and to have more consistent company indoors, with my family. We haven't introduced Beau and Lucy quite yet, but so far he's done wonderfully with dogs of all sizes and temperaments, so we're hoping that goofy, dog-obsessed Lucy won't be too much for him. They're both such cool dogs.

(Edited to add some pics of handsome Beau.)

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