Tales of The Traveling Tote, #19, June


Welcome June and Tales of the Traveling Tote #19!



The Traveling Tote Group is composed of 11 Mad for MacKenzie-Childs gals who all have the same tote.  Every season we post adventures we’ve had with our totes to share a little part of our worlds and give readers a chance to win something from MacKenzie-Childs!




We have made great friendships,

even though not all of us have met in person…

Our group is made up of women from all over the country,

coast to coast, north to south!





My tote, Miss Coquille is a loyal traveler,

she is in charge of my laptop when we go back and forth to the coast

She had a busy Spring helping me carry supplies to several events

and lots of trips to the baseball field



I was invited to a private cooking class at Sur la Table

and brought my son and daughter




HHjr is quite the chef himself, not to mention a very funny guy

It wasn’t long before he basically took charge and had everyone laughing





Miss Coquille was miffed because she had to sit in the corner




I also took a painting workshop at a local art studio




2 days of painting and demos,






I learned some new techniques and tried out new painting surfaces





I was nervous about Miss Coquille carrying my art supplies,

She held everything I needed for class, so handy…

I was very careful not to get any paint on her!





I had lots of fun looking at model houses with DD,

They were all decorated so beautifully




She and her husband are in the process of completely rebuilding their house

The before picture, below, shows the original house,

a 1960s style 2 story ranch, with the main floor at street level

and the yard sloping down

with the lower level opening out to the back yard




After the first demo it looked like this

One of their neighbors asked “Did you mean to do this?”

😂 I thought that was hilarious!



Ultimately they decided to relocate the fire place

so this is how it looks now,

all that’s left is the foundation of the lower level





Luckily they found a cute rental house where everyone feels right at home





Miss Coquille and I are on the coast for a few weeks,

enjoying some perfect summer weather

Swimming, boating and porch sitting





Our resident blue heron Freddy is always close by





I asked him to pose with my tote, but he simply squawked and flew off!





June 1 is the first day of snapper season,

a much anticipated event on the Gulf Coast,

I am well entertained because HHjr and two of his fishing buddies are here




Be sure to visit all my fellow toters

Leave a comment on the Sketchy Reader for a chance to win

A Courtly Check MacKenzie-Childs wine tote!

Note: We get asked all the time about where you can get this tote, unfortunately MacKenzie-Childs retired it several years ago.  They have other tote styles and colors available here



Debbie with Miss Aurora @ Mountain Breaths

Emily with Miss Courtney ChildsThe French Hutch

Patti with Miss Kenzie@Pandora’s Box

Jenna with Miss Coquille @The Painted Apron

Linda P with Miss Lola @ Life and Linda

Rita with Miss Luna C Panoply

Sarah with Miss Merri Mac @ Hyacinths for the Soul

Jackie and Miss Madi K @ Purple Chocolat Home

Ricki Jill and Countess De Monet @ The Sketchy Reader

Cherry Kay and Carrie Ann Hall @ Entertaining Women


A big thank you to our fearless founder Patti for keeping us organized!




I will be joining these fabulous parties and blogs:

Meal Plan Monday  Dishing it & Digging it,   Between Naps on the Porch,

Merry Monday   Make it Pretty Monday    Celebrate and Decorate,

Tasty Tuesday   Oh My Heartsie Girl  Full Plate Thursday

Thursday Favorite Things  Creatively Crafty   Home Matters 

Weekend Potluck   Sweet Inspirations   Happiness is Homemade

42 Responses to “Tales of The Traveling Tote, #19, June”
  1. Rita C. says:

    Great outings, Jenna! I love that HHJr took over the Sur la Table cooking class – no surprise to me, assuming his humor matches his skills in the kitchen! As for toting to the art class, isn’t it funny how time passes that desire to always keep the tote pristine? I’ve been slingin’ mine around lately like it’s one of those shopping bags you find at the Marshall’s checkouts. Love how you describe our group in your intro, that’s perfect.
    Happy June, Jenna!

    • Thank you Rita! I have been thinking of you enjoying your much deserved Florida trip and birthday! The totes really are durable, mine still looks brand new! Safe travels…

  2. I am chuckling over your daughters home – that is certainly a renovation!!! What a project! Your tote has certainly been used a lot the past few months and you are lucky it isn’t coated in “food splatters” and “paint”!! enjoy your summer boating – that is one huge fish – and the color of it is amazing! – Happy travels!

    • Thanks Patti, yes we are excited about my daughter’s house, it is going to be so much fun to watch it transform! I use my tote all the time, I don’t know what I ever did without it! I have been thinking about getting another, smaller one. Aren’t the red snapper pretty, they caught another giant one yesterday!

  3. Wow, what a demo day that must have been at your daughter’s house! Jenna, I can’t wait to hear about your workshop. Are you interested in taking any this summer, or will you be on the coast most of the time? You are brave to have taken your tote to the workshop. I don’t trust myself….La Countess isn’t allowed in my art studio! Where did you visit the open houses? Y’all are lucky to hear fresh snapper. I love it! Lovely post, My Sweet Friend!


    • I was going to take a watercolor class and it got cancelled, so I am going to study on my own and keep my schedule flexible…I’d rather be painting on my porch at the beach than inside all day at a workshop! The open houses are in a new area near the Hoover Met called Lake Wilmore, you should go, there are at least 4 and they’re open everyday, beautiful! Thanks Ricki Jill!

  4. Bonnie Morgan says:

    I enjoyed hearing about your adventures with Miss Coquille. You have been very busy enjoying great times.

  5. Jacqueline says:

    Good job at keeping Miss Coquille free from paint. I have to say I love your hibiscus painting and the kids giving it a try too! Hubby just took a look at my big tote and commented on how it isn’t scuffed and how I have taken it everywhere and don’t baby it. Great totes! The cooking class looks so fun! Enjoy your beginning of summer relaxing on the water.

    • I agree, my tote looks brand new! I use it all the time, very handy! I do not travel the world like you do, it’s the simple things in my life that keep me happy…especially summer at the beach!

  6. Sharon Mann says:

    Great story and adventures. Life is good!

  7. Sarah Anderson says:

    What a fun post, Jenna! The cooking class with your son and daughter looks to be great fun. HHJr might be called in for future classes. I bet he made the evening extra special! You are an amazing artist, but I’m sure classes with other artists is very inspiring. Miss Coquille is the perfect gal to take along on all these ventures. I’m so happy you shared your daughters home project. Once the 1960 home was gone, and I saw that view, I thought they could pitch a tent and be happy there. What a sight to look out upon!
    Happy Summer to you! I look forward to reports from your beach house!

    • Thank you Sarah, nothing glamorous, but much fun for me. Yes, my son is quite the comedian and my friend that invited us said he might need him to come to all his events because he loosened everyone up! My daughter’s lot is beautiful which is the main reason they decided to stay and rebuild, it’s on a quiet street in a great location, and it is fun helping in the design phase and as she picks things out. I can’t wait until the framing begins! Looks like it’s going to be a hot summer, stay cool!

  8. Linda says:

    Jenna, what lovely trips you have taken. The cooking class sounds wonderful. I see them offered and have always thought they would be fun to take. HHJr must be quite the chef. How very special to have your daughter along for the class as well. Miss Coquille is Right t home everywhere she goes, except for having to sit in the corner…lol. Your paintings are so beautiful Jenna. Loved the hibiscus painting you did on Friday. Enjoy your beach getaway. Thanks for taking me along.

  9. Miss Coquille and you have been busy! I want to hear more about your private cooking class. I have taken two or three classes at Sur la Table. Red snapper season, my favorite fish. I bet HHjr knows exactly how to cook them. If they are on any of Frank Stitt’s menus, I order them. Have fun at the beach, Jenna and Happy June!

    • Thanks Pam, nothing exciting like a trip to Europe, but my simple travels keep me happy! There will be lots of fish on the grill this summer. The class was fun but pretty basic, but we were with a group of friends so it was more like a party…

  10. thefrenchhutch says:

    Jenna, you and Miss Coquille have certainly been on the go this spring! She is a perfect tote for traveling and carrying our laptops. I really enjoyed hearing about the cooking class, I’ve looked at those and plan to do one at some point, looks really fun. Wow, when you told me your daughter was renovating and rebuilding I had no idea she was talking this. How funny what her neighbor said. Bet they were shocked. Glad you came home for all the grands games and recitals. Cute grands! Enjoy the remainder of this getaway and yes, I will certainly let you know when we plan to come to Orange Beach! We do that sometimes in the fall. Great TTT post…….hugs.

    • Thank you Emily, the cooking class was fun but very basic, I really think it was for people who never cook~Tara and I sipped wine and watched mostly, and let the others cook for us! Yes, she basically did a tear down, they looked at houses for 2 years before they realized they loved their street and neighborhood, and they have a beautiful lot so now the fun begins!

  11. Jodi says:

    Fun to read the adventures!

  12. Kitty says:

    Miss Coquille has been your helpful companion, Jenna! How fun to go to SLT, and a painting workshop. It’s going to be a completely brand new home for your daughter!!! Enjoy your time st the coast, at your little piece of heaven.

  13. What do I love most here? Herons, of course! Water? Certainly. No. It’s the art classes! Oh, how fun to learn something new while doing something you love!

    • Yes, the art class was fun, I have taken from this artist before and she is great and pushes you to try different things…she did a lot of demos too, which is always fascinating. Painting is my priority this summer!

  14. Cyndi Raines says:

    What a great tote and so reliable to carry whatever you need. Love that. And love that you have a sister spirit to me in loving the simple things in life, like going to the beach, a beautiful sun-shinny day, cooking out, creating a favorite meal, time with family, doing a favorite craft or art project, etc., those are the real joys and pleasure in life, yes? YES! Rock on Miss Jenna! 😃

  15. Julie says:

    Hello Jenna and happy June. You and your tote have been having fun going all over the place. I love that you took the cooking class and took the art classes. I enjoyed hearing all of the things you have done lately with your tote.
    Take care. Hope you have a nice week.

  16. Jill Kuhn says:

    Such fun!! 😊 I always enjoy reading about your adventures, Jenna! 💗🎨✨

  17. entertainingwomen says:

    Boats, water, porch sitting…it can’t get much better than that! Put me down for some porch sitting. We’re having an unusually cool late Spring/early Summer for out here on the prairie. Sweet Mister is leaving tomorrow morning for trout fishing in Aspen, Colorado. Hope he catches the big one. Glad that you’ve had such a delightful respite. Thanks for letting us tag along to the shores with you. Cherry Kay

  18. Your tote and you have been busy! Having SO much fun, too. I love pretty much everything you have done lately, from the cooking class to the painting class {what I’m going to do every single day when I retire!} to boating, and the water time. Wishing you a blessed summer. Looking forward to where you and your Miss will go travel to. xo Lidy

  19. Wow!..Miss Coquille must be exhausted over all of her travels…oh and don’t put Coquille in a corner! 🙂 Now that’s a Snapper!!!…have fun on the Coast! Loved “traveling” with you and Coquille!

  20. Mary says:

    Miss Coquille has certainly been busy hauling and toting! What fun to take private cooking class at Sur la Table! We’ve taken one with another couple on a Friday night which they call ‘date night’ and you can bring in a bottle a wine to sip on while you cook…*hiccup* 😉 How exciting (and nerve wracking!) for your daughter’s family to raze their house and rebuild. It looks like they have a beautiful view! I always enjoy seeing Freddy and your Gulf waters…my hubby would love fishing for snapper!

    • I remember your post about the date night at SLT…we had wine too, lots of fun! More snapper fishing this weekend, I feel like I’m running a fishing camp 🙂

  21. debra cantales says:

    Oh my gosh, if I had your daughter’s lovely view, I would do the same! Keep having fun with your loyal traveler Miss Coquitlle! I’m sure the cooking class a hoot. I’m still playing catch up from our trip to France. xo

    • Aren’t you sweet, thanks Debbie, it’s hard to compete with you gals that are traveling the world while my travels stay in Alabama! My daughter does have an incredible view, we always tease her about having air conditioning in her backyard because it is always so much cooler than ours because of her elevated location 😂 I’m looking forward to hearing and seeing more about your fabulous trip!

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