(Almost) Wordless Wednesday: Here Come The (Mystery) Brides...

(Copyright (c) 2010 Cynthia Shenette) Lovely aren't they. I have no idea who these people are. I have a large box of unidentified photos, and quite a few of them are wedding photos. These four photos are a small sampling of my "mystery" wedding collection. The photo at the top was taken by a photographer with studios in Southbridge and Webster, MA. The second photo is inscribed, "Heli and Kazi 1921." The third photo was taken by a photographer in Worcester, MA. The bottom photo has Bachrady (the name of the photographer I think) 1918 on the front and the name Sulkoski on the back. My guess is all of the people were members of the Polish community in Worcester, Southbridge, or Webster. If you recognize anyone here drop me a line. I'd love to put a name to a face...

A Pretty Girl on Old Cape Cod

(Copyright (c) 2010 Cynthia Shenette) This photo of my mom, Christine (Szerejko) Shenette, was taken at Craigville Beach in Barnstable, Massachusetts (Cape Cod) in July of 1951. My mom's birthday was July 20, so I wouldn't be surprised if she was at the beach to celebrate her birthday. At the time the photo was taken, my mom was 30 years old, a single professional girl, and still two years away from marrying my dad. I love this photo. I see a young, pretty girl enjoying a day at the beach and smiling for the camera. I adore the cute, striped cover-up. My mom sewed beautifully, so my guess is she made the cover-up herself. It looks like something she would make. I also love how pulled together she looks for a day at the beach--cute cover-up, a beach-bag to match her swimsuit, hair done up nicely, and lipstick. Wow! You don't see that anymore...

Trip to Poland, 1937 (An Ongoing Series): Poznan

"June 12
Breakfast in room
Cathedral w Poznani
Groby Boles i Miecz Chrobriego
Davidowskiego Bekoniaski synek
Ratusz Museum
Wino - Tokaj dawane w Ratuszu
Wilekopolski Dom Kupiecki Zrzeszen. Kawa, ciastka Lody, kregele
rdjazd do Katowic"

"June 12
Breakfast in room
Poznan Cathedral
Tomb of Boleslaw and Mieszko Brave
Dawidowskiego Bacon Ham
Town Hall Museum
Wine - Tokay given to the town hall
Greater Poland House Merchants Associations. Coffee, cakes, ice cream, kregele (?)
departure to Katowice"

(Copyright (c) 2010 Cynthia Shenette) After joining her tour group in Gdynia my Aunt Helen traveled to the city of Poznan. Poznan is the capital city and largest city of Weilkopolska or Greater Poland. Poznan is also a major financial center, second only to Warsaw. Between my aunt's diary and a type printed itinerary (in Polish) my aunt kept from her trip to Poland, I've been able to do a pretty decent job at figuring out what she visited while she was there. I will say, I've had an interesting time trying my hand at translating this particular diary entry from Polish to English all by myself. I don't speak or write Polish. I generally depend upon the kindness of a cousin to do my translating for me, but I thought I'd take a shot at it this time myself.

For my translation I used a combination of Google Translator, Google, and a Polish/English dictionary to assist me. If my aunt's handwriting was always clear and legible I don't think I would have had much of a problem, but sometimes I just couldn't read her handwriting. I've also noticed variations in spelling throughout her diary. To assist with my translation I used a printed travel guide of Poland to put things into context. If you read Polish, feel free to comment if you see any glaring errors.

From what I've been able to figure out, my aunt's sightseeing tour of Poznan included visits to the Raczynski Library, the Poznan Town Hall (Ratusz) in the
Old Town, the Imperial Castle, Poznan University, the Hartwig Kantorowicz distillery, and the Archcathedral Basilica of St. Peter and St. Paul. I think they also may have visited Dawidowski bacon/ham manufacturer or shop. Unfortunately I haven't been able to find any information on this establishment. They also stopped for coffee, cake, and ice cream with the Greater Union of Associations of Christian Merchants.

The first photo at the top of this article was taken in front of the
Raczynski Library. I found a clipping of a newspaper article in my aunt's things that includes a copy of the photo and identifies the tour group as the Polish Merchants Association from America. The text of the article reads: "Polish Merchants of America in Poznan - On Saturday 12th day of this month had been in Poznan tour of Polish Merchants Association in America. The group of 51 members, which is travelling now through Poland, visited the city and was welcomed by the Greater Union of Associations of Christian Merchants. On the picture members of the tour at the front of Raczynski Library" Great thanks to my cousin for providing the translation.

I believe the American group gave a bottle of Tokay, a type of Hungarian wine, to I'm guessing the Greater Union of Associations of Christian Merchants at the
Poznan Town Hall (Ratusz). The group probably then toured the Old Market Square (Stary Rynek). Check out the embedded links for additional information about the sites visited. The link for the Old Market Square is particularly interesting. There is a map of the square and a listing/history for each of the buildings in the square.

I haven't been able to identify the exact location of the second photo, however I do know it was taken in Poznan given information on the back of the photo. The electric trolley in the background is interesting. The postcard below the photo offers a view of the Imperial Castle and Poznan University. The final image is an advertisement from the Hartwig Kantorowicz distillery. Hartwig Kantorowicz began producing
Wyborowa vodka in 1823. Wyborowa is still produced and exported today. The Archcathedral Basilica of St. Peter and St. Paul was built in 966, and contains the tombs of Mieszko I and Boleslaw the Brave, two of Poland's first rulers.

Next stop, Katowice...

Wordless Wednesday: Another Wedding, Mine!

(Copyright (c) 2010 Cynthia Shenette) After posting my mother's and my grandmother's wedding photos, I only thought it was right to post a couple of mine. The photo of me was taken at our reception site--the Harding Allen Estate, in Barre, MA. The cake, made by On The Rise Baking, was alternating layers of orange genoise cake with sliced strawberries and devil's food cake, and decorated with white chocolate dipped strawberries. Yum. No, make that super yum!

Sentimental Sunday: Thinking of Dad on Father's Day

(Copyright (c) 2010 Cynthia Shenette) This year is a defining year. I've lived the greater part of my life without my dad than with him. He died unexpectedly a little over 25 years ago on Mother's Day weekend. My dad was a tough man, who lived through some tough times. He had a difficult home life as a child, left home as a teenager to work with the CCCs during the Great Depression, and spent over 20 years in the military, including time in the Pacific theater during World War II. Despite his toughness, one thing I know for sure--he loved me.

I have very few photos of me with my dad. Most of the time he was the one behind the camera taking the photos. I don't know the exact date of the photo above. I'm guessing it was probably my second or third birthday, but I'm not sure. Knowing my mom, she probably put more candles on the cake than there were years in my life just to "dress it up a little." I love this photo because for a tough, serious man, you can see the rare, unguarded joy in his eyes.

It seems so long since my dad died that many of my memories of him are fuzzy. I know he'd be thrilled beyond belief to know he had a grandson. I wish he could be around to play ball with my son or go fishing with him, or tell him about his travels with the navy like he use to tell me, but it's not to be. Writing my blog and posting photos of him helps to jog my memory, to keep his memory alive for myself and for my son.

Anyway, Happy Father's Day Dad.

Follow Friday: Oh, Those Poles! and More...

(Copyright (c) 2010 Cynthia Shenette) Well I've finally decided to enter the Follow Friday discussion. After two weeks at sea blogging about my Aunt's 1937 trip to Poland I decided I needed a bit of a break. The irony of my lengthy blogging journey has not escaped me. I think my aunt spent less time at sea than I have spent writing about it. It's kind of like taking three hours to watch James Cameron's movie "Titanic" when it only took two hours for the ship to go down. Thankfully, we've finally landed, but I need a break so I've decided to do a little review of what I've been reading.

Nolichucky Roots - Susan from Nolichucky Roots and I share a common interest in Carpatho-Rusyn heritage. She is truly a woman after my own heart especially when it comes to surname variations. This week I enjoyed her story, "Catching Some Zs, or What's in a (sur) Name?" very much, where she ponders the frustration of, well Z. Susan, I feel your pain. I also enjoyed her article, "Treasure Chest Thursday: What they kept."

Basia's Polish Family: From Wilno to Worcester - I'm thrilled to find another blogger writing about the Polish community in my hometown of Worcester, Massachusetts. I have enjoyed hearing Barbara speak at a local genealogy conference and have both of her books on Worcester Poles published by Arcadia Books. Just today I found her blog article, "Finding 19th-Century Houses on 21st-Century Maps" particularly interesting and useful. Thank you Barbara.

Rainy Day Genealogy Readings - I love this blog. I started following Jennifer's blog a couple of weeks ago when I saw it mentioned in one of Greta's Genealogy Bog Follow Friday round-ups. I was fascinated by her recent article, "Topics in Research-The Great Grasshopper Plague of '74." In general, I love newspapers. Not only do newspapers offer information about our ancestors, but newspapers put our ancestor's world in context. Don't even get me started. My husband's eyes start glaze over when I periodically exclaim that I could spend the whole day reading old newspapers (and the census, and city directories). He doesn't share my level of enthusiasm, shall we say. Or maybe I just need to get out more...

Small-leaved Shamrock - I just started following this blog today. What's a nice Polish girl doing following an Irish genealogy blog for you might ask? When asked, I tell my Irish friends that there are no Irish roots in my family unless the boat from Poland made a stop in Ireland somewhere along the way. What I discovered is that Lisa's writes about her family in Schuylkill County, PA. If you read my blog posts, "Postcards from the Edge: Genealogy Road Trippin'" and "What in a Name? (An Ongoing Series): Radziewicz" you know that I've been researching Victoria (Szerejko) Radziewicz who lived for a time in Shenandoah, Schuylkill County, PA. I'm looking forward to learning about Schuylkill County from Lisa.

Finally, I found a super cool website this week--Warszawa - Wycieczka Wirtualna or a
Virtual Tour of Warsaw. I discovered my grandfather's brother, Feliks Szerejko, and his wife, Leokadia Szymanska, were married at the Church of the Holy Cross (Kosciol sw Krzyza) in Warsaw on 07 Sep 1919. If you go to the Virtual Tour of Warsaw you can actually click on a little camera icon and view a 360 view of the interior of the church. I have to say it again, cool.

That's it for this edition of Follow Friday. TGIF. It's time to get off the computer, get outside, and enjoy the weekend!

Wordless Wednesday: Warsaw Wedding

The photo is of Celina Szerejko and Roman Gzell on their wedding day (21 Apr 1935).

Trip to Poland, 1937 (An Ongoing Series): Gdynia, Poland

"Gdynia June 11
stopped for dinner at Dom Zdrojowny then sightseeing.
Coffee at "Cafe Baltyk
7.20 Train for Poznian
Stopped at Hotel
Population 122,000 people"

The photo above is a picture of the tour group my Aunt Helen Bulak traveled with for part of her visit to Poland. The group was made up of 51 members of the Polish Merchants Association from America. The group traveled to Gdynia, Poznan, Katowice, Crakow, Zakopane, Czestochowa, and Warsaw. After leaving the tour in Warsaw, my aunt stayed with my grandfather's Szerejko relatives in Warsaw.

From what I've read, Gdynia was a relatively small fishing village until 1918 and is one of the more recently developed cities in Poland. After World War I, Poland attained independence, but did not have a control of the port of what is now Gdansk (then Danzig). The Polish government decided to build a seaport at Gdynia. Construction started in 1921. Gydnia quickly grew to the size of a major seaport.

While in Gdynia my aunt traveled to the seaside town of Sopot and had dinner at Dom Zdrojowy (Spa House). A lovely seaside resort, Dom Zdrojowy was destroyed by fire after being sacked by the Red Army in 1945 during the Soviet occupation of Sopot. After dinner and sightseeing my aunt stopped at the Cafe Baltyk in Gdynia before taking the train to Poznan. If you click on the link to Cafe Baltyk and scroll down to the bottom of the web page, you will see photos of the interior and exterior of Cafe Baltyk. The cafe was renamed Cafe Berlin during the German occupation of World War II. The link for Cafe Baltyk also provides interesting photos of Gdynia, the M.S. Pilsudski, and the Marine Station at the seaport.

Trip to Poland, 1937 (An Ongoing Series): Wonderful Copenhagen

Stopped Copenhagen for sightseeing trip.
Kopenhagen 900,000 people, 400,000 bicycles
Denmark 3 1/2 million people, 7 million pigs"

(Copyright (c) 2010 Cynthia Shenette) The M.S. Pilsudski stopped in Copenhagen, Denmark on 10 Jun 1937. The stop provided enough time to allow passengers the opportunity to take a sightseeing tour of the city, before continuing on to the ship's final destination of Gdynia, Poland. My Aunt Helen Bulak's travel diary entry for Copenhagen is pretty brief to say the least. I've been to Copenhagen and toured the city on a bicycle. It's a lovely city. There is certainly more to write about than just the Copenhagen and Danish human (and swine) population and the number of bicycles. My guess is that Aunt Helen was either rushed or too tired from the ocean voyage to write more. I will say, bicycles did and still do play a prominent role in the culture of the city.

I found a great video on Copenhagen in 1937. When I did a simple Google search using the phrase "Copenhagen 1937," what to my wondrous eyes did appear but a YouTube video called "Traveltalks - Copenhagen" from 1937. Wow! The video was part of a travel series produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. While the narration and attitudes in the video are dated, the images are wonderful. The video is filmed in Technicolor, unusual for the time. As a result, the video has a warmth that I generally find lacking in black and white documentary film. While I don't have anymore details from my aunt's trip to Copenhagen, the video does give me a good feel for the sights and images of the day. I enjoyed my visit to wonderful Copenhagen, and I hope you do too!

Trip to Poland, 1937 (An Ongoing Series): News on Ship

In my Aunt Helen's collection of materials from her trip to Poland I found several news releases from the M.S. Pilsudski. Apparently radio news stories were compiled and distributed to passengers to keep them up to date on the news topics of the day. The "M.S. Pilsudski Radio News" was published in English and in Polish. The Polish editions of the paper seemed to focus on topics mostly relating to Poland. The English version of the news seemed to cover world news.

On Tuesday, June 8 1937 news topics included updates from New York, Washington, London, Hollywood , and Madrid. A major steel strike, I believe the "Little Steel Strike," was taking place in the United States, involving some 70,000 steel workers. Catastrophic volcano explosions killed 507 people and destroyed the town of Rabaul, New Guinea. A typhoid epidemic ensued, a result of polluted water in the area. In Hollywood starlet Jean Harlow died of uremic poisoning on Monday. Ernest Aldrich Simpson, the divorced husband of the Duchess of Windsor was suing a Mrs. Joan Sutharland for slander and the case would "...probably be heard in court on Thursday." There are updates of the civil war in Spain. Ironically, given our current state of affairs with the banking crisis, a story from Washington, D.C. reports Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau closed the books on "...two federal note issues, totalling eight hundred millions dollars, after the nations investors had oversubscribed the offering by 2,831,000,000 dollars." Some things don't change.

On June 10th, 1937 the "M.S. Pilsudski - Radio News" continues to report on the Spanish Civil War. In Moscow, "Commisar Voroshiloff signed a decree removing all famous generals, serving on Russia's western frontier. Marshal Tuchatchevski disappeared from active service and his present whereabouts is unknown." I had a feeling this story didn't end well. As my knowledge of Russian and Soviet history is pretty limited I decided to do a little research. According to Wikipedia, Mikhail Tukhachevsky was executed on 12 Jun 1937, a victim of Stalin's Great Purge. Also, foreshadowing events to come, is news from the Pope. In Italy "With tears falling and voice shaken by emotion, Pope addressing pilgrims from Bavaria expressed deep sorrow for condition of the catholic church in Germany." The article continues that the "United States Federal Council of churches, representing 23 national denominations passed a resolution, confirming the opinion, that the German administration is hostile to life, teaching and influence on christian church."

Trip to Poland, 1937 (An Ongoing Series): Dining and Entertainment on Ship

The first image is the cover of the luncheon menu offered aboard the M.S. Pilsudski on 10 June 1937. The back of the cover states that the photo is, "A fragment of the castle at Krasiczyn, since many centuries the property of the ducal family of Sapieha. A typical country residence of the erstwhile powerful and influential aristocracy of Poland." The menu for the luncheon looks delicious, well, except for the "sauerkraut juice." Menu items include: Cold filet of capon, beef saddle, consomme with noodles, soup Russian style, omelet with spinach, poached eggs Hollandaise, roast beef Anglaise, broiled lamb chops, and petit duc. The desserts sound intriguing--rissole with jam, pudding diplomate, and pineapple ice.

The group photo was taken in the dining room aboard the M.S. Pilsudski. My aunt Helen Bulak is in the center. I believe her dining companions are Mrs. Gralicka and daughters and Mrs. Pomianowska.

The final set of images is of a program for an "entertainment" on board entitled, "Galaxy of Stars, graciously offered by the passengers of the M.S. Pilsudski." Apparently the Galaxy of Stars took place, "At sea, June 9th 1937 - 9:30 P.M."

Wordless Wednesday: A June Wedding

Mom and Dad (Christine Szerejko and Henry Shenette) on their wedding day, 13 Jun 1953. The ceremony took place at St. Mary's Church, also known as Our Lady of Czestochowa in Worcester, MA, and was followed by a reception at the Sterling Inn in Sterling, MA. My grandmother Antonina Szerejko made the dress and the cake. The cake was a European fruit cake.

Trip to Poland, 1937 (An Ongoing Series): Tourist Class is Top Class!

"1st Day 200 miles
2nd Day 426 miles, 44 minutes ahead [of schedule]
3rd Day 486 miles, 24 minutes ahead
4th Day, rough sailing, 424 miles, 32 minutes ahead
5th Day, [went to] Mass, rough sailing, 429 miles, 44 minutes ahead
6th Day, Monday, rough sailing until noon, 431 miles, 56 minutes ahead
7th Day, Tuesday, 442 miles, 60 minutes ahead
8th Day, Land, Farewell dinner"

According to The Ships List the M.S. Pilsudski had 370 "tourist class" cabins and 400 "3rd class" cabins. My Aunt Helen traveled "tourist class." A brochure produced by the Gdynia-American Line proclaims, "Tourist Class is Top Class." The conveniences on board "...assure a high degree of graceful living: Large sun and promenade decks, veranda cafes, American bars, sumptuous social halls, modern ventilated dining room, children's playroom, tennis courts, swimming pool, gymnasium, short and long wave radio stations, music receiving and distributing stations, and an automobile garage." Interestingly automobiles were "...accepted, uncrated, for transportation as excess baggage, at moderate rates..." My aunt traveled on ship to Poland with with two friends from Worcester, MA: Mrs. Kasimiera (also known as Katherine) Gralicka and her two young daughters; and Mrs. Bronislawa (also known as Halina) Pomianowska.

Trip to Poland, 1937 (An Ongoing Series): The M.S. Pilsudski

The M.S. Pilsudski was an ocean liner owned by the Gdynia-America Line and named for Jozef Pilsudski, Marshal of Poland. The Gdynia-America Line was organized in 1930 by the Polish government to provide passenger service between New York, Halifax, Copenhagen, and Gdynia. The M.S. Pilsudski was launched in 1935, displaced 14,294 tons, and was 531 feet in length. Unfortunately the photo of my aunt Helen Bulak isn't as clear as I would like it to be, but I think the photo is interesting enough on it's own to forgive the lack of clarity.

Trip to Poland, 1937 (An Ongoing Series): Setting Sail

On 2 Jun 1937 my Aunt Helen Bulak boarded the M.S. Pilsudski, bound for Gdynia, Poland with a stop in Copenhagen, Denmark. The ship stopped in Copenhagen on 10 Jun 1937 and arrived in Gdynia on 11 Jun 1937. According to a brochure I have from the Gdynia-America Line, the ship sailed at 12:05 a.m. and left from the 6th St. Pier, in Hoboken, New Jersey. My aunt traveled "tourist class." A round trip tourist class ticket cost $274.00 during the "summer season" of 1937.

Trip to Poland, 1937 (An Ongoing Series): Bon Voyage

Well wishes from the friends at home. Names on the card are friends/family of my Aunt Helen Bulak, who was very active in the Polish community in Worcester, MA. If you had relatives living in Worcester in the Vernon Hill area of the city or active in St. Mary's church take a look at the list of people who signed the card. You might find someone there you know! Signers are: Rose Olskey, Mrs. Matuszyk, Helen Bruinsma, Mary Mulic, Helen Miller, Anna Szarejko [Szerejko], Mrs. Lewandowska, Sophie Konopka, Christine, Rose Miller, Jane Zaleski, Mary Lemanski, Vicky Szarkiewicz, Jane Sac[?], Anna Kulesza, Vi Koniski, Mrs. Nabozna, Mrs. Stokosa, Mrs. Buynicka, Mrs. Wojsiak, Mrs. Kaminska, Charlotte Kaminska, Stella Lewanas, Blanche Cyborowski, Mary Dumas, Mrs. Jablonski, Zendzians (2), Mrs. Turecka, Mrs. Gembaka, Eva Cove, Mrs. Fedeli, Mrs. Jos. Fedeli, Helene Birch, Regina, Helen "Bulak," Hilda Bulak, Mrs. Bulak, Mrs Wiejniak.

Treasure Chest Thursday: Travel Diary, Poland 1937

I was in the process of closing out my mother's house in 2004 when I made a surprising discovery. I found a box of things from my Aunt Helen's trip to Poland in 1937. My Aunt Helen Bulak (1894-1985), or just plain "Auntie" as everyone always called her, was my grandmother's sister and only sibling. Auntie Helen was a fairly well-to-do business woman with a clothing shop--or as it started out in 1919, a "millinery and dry-goods" business--on Millbury St. in Worcester, MA. Auntie was by no means rich, but definitely well-to do. In the 1930s when most people were struggling to make ends meet, my aunt was off on a two month trip to Poland. I never knew much about her trip other than she went there and brought back some souvenirs of her trip--a Polish doll, a carved wooden deer, and the like. To my surprise, in the box, I found my aunt's passport, photos, multiple menus from the dining room aboard her ship, postcards, a sailing program with information about the ship and it's passengers, a program from a play she saw in Warsaw, and most importantly her travel diary.

The travel diary doesn't look like much. It's black leather with faded gold lettering. There's a red ribbon book mark and a little gold pencil for writing notes. The writing in the diary varies from English, to Polish depending on the entry and the day, and probably Aunt Helen's mood. The entries at the beginning of the diary are pretty ordinary, kind of what you'd expect from a travel diary. They list dates, hotels, and sights visited. All pretty routine. Later in the diary though, when she visits my grandfather Adolf Szerejko's family in Warsaw, the entries change. They become more personal and offer details about the sights seen, and more importantly, about my grandfather's family in Warsaw. Aunt Helen stayed with my grandfather's brother, Feliks Szerejko, and his family for several weeks while she was in Warsaw. She also visited other members of the family while she was there.

Before I read my aunt's travel diary I knew nothing about our family in Poland, other than some of the family still lived there. I didn't know who, and I didn't know where. When I was a kid I remember my grandmother would periodically send letters, money, and packages to Poland. In return she would get a letter or an Easter card or Christmas card with oplatki, the thin unconsecrated wafers similar to communion wafers, to be shared during a holiday meal. Someone sent my grandmother a beautiful doll, dressed in Polish costume, to give to me. Who were these people? When my grandmother died all knowledge of the family back in Poland died with her. The information contained in the diary opened up a whole new world to me. My aunt's travel diary provides a glimpse of our family's life in Poland and in Warsaw in 1937. From it, I've been able to put together large pieces of the family puzzle.

My aunt visited Poland in June, July, and August of 1937. Little more than two years later Poland and Warsaw would be bombed, World War II would begin, and life would never be the same for our family in Poland. I've decided to write a series of articles over the next few weeks using Aunt Helen's travel diary as the focus of the articles. I plan to offer excepts from her diary and chronicle her trip, using what I know about the family and her trip on the eve of World War II. I hope you'll "pack your bags" and follow along with me. I've found the journey to 1937 Poland fascinating. I want to share what I know. I hope you find my story, a travelogue of sorts, and Aunt Helen's diary interesting. The ship is about to set sail. Bon Voyage...

Wordless Wednesday: June is Wedding Month at Heritage Zen

My grandparents, Adolf Szerejko and Antonina Bulak. Married 11 Feb 1920 at Our Lady of Czestochowa, also known as St. Mary's, in Worcester, Massachusetts. My grandmother and her mother Ewa (Kowalewska) Bulak, both seamstresses, made the dress. The flowers are freesias, one of my grandmother's favorite flowers.

Heritage Zen's Big Reveal: My New Template

With four months of blogging experience behind me I decided Heritage Zen needed some sprucing up, or as Emeril Lagasse likes to say, I decided to "kick it up a notch." Frankly, I needed a little more excitement from my template. The old template served me just fine, but I was looking for something new and a little more glamorous. Kind of like getting a whole beauty make-over rather than just settling for a new color of lipstick, if you know what I mean. I wanted something functional but pretty and with a few more options. I finally found a template that I liked and spent a good part of yesterday downloading and organizing it with assistance from my husband, a tech geek by profession. I will say I'm glad I made the change now while my blog is fairly new, because I did have to tweak it quite a bit to get everything to work correctly. Anyway, take a look and see what you think. So far I'm enjoying it. Now if I can just get someone to nominate me for the "frumpy middle-aged mommy" episode of TLC's "What Not To Wear" I'd be all set...