Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Happy middle of the week. We have survived the wind and rain here in the Midwest, and today is sunny. Yay! I have to admit, I like the rain in the fall, it can be gentle and soothing, especially at night when I hear it on the roof. It lulls me to sleep. Which leads me to the picture of the master bedroom above. I did a post awhile back about the duvet cover I found at Pottery Barn. I was waiting for the pillow shams to come before I put it on my bed, but I finally caved and did it anyway. {Please ignore the stack of magazines piled on the floor, I have told you before that I subscribe to a zillion}. It made me look around and want to get sorted out. I had found some really neat baskets from Wisteria and I am sorting out everything piled on my quilt stand. We are starting to need those quilts for snuggling and they are buried under my sewing things, books and the throw pillows that I bought during a recent pillow frenzy. Anyway, I love the duvet, it has a sort of rough antique wash that makes it look and feel really old. I am really loving it. It is one of the few times I have paid full price at PB. And I broke down and ordered the European pillow shams. I'm sleeping good.
I went to Target to look for a ruffly shower curtain {they didn't have it, but I found it online and ordered it}. I made daughter Abby promise that she wouldn't let me buy anything else. Along with some sweat pants, a couple of pairs of boots and a jacket, I found these salad plates, a set of four, marked down to $6.98. I literally froze in front of them. I had made a promise to more dishes. But this was just too good to pass up. They are perfect for fall. I'm planning on having Kevin and Mary Clare here for dinner and I'll take pictures of the table all set. Oh, and I found this wonderful burlap tablecloth at Wisteria also. I love the smell of it in the morning mixed with my Honeysuckle Jasmine candle and Vanilla Dunkin Donuts coffee. Heaven.
I love the pale green a Granny Smith apple.
I promised to show off my goodies from the Shop The Shed Party we went to last week at the home of Joy from Savvy City Farmer. By the way, Joy mentioned there are still things for sale if you want to contact her. If you saw anything you like in my pictures from my last post, you might want to email her. This is a pillow that Joy made. It was love at first sight and I was clutching it like a baby blanket throughout the sale.
I love the fabric and the hemp tied closure on the side. How creative is this?
You can see it on my bed in the first picture.
I also bought this post that Joy made out of salvaged wood and then filled with a sheaf of wheat. I'm going to bring it up to the lake to put on the hearth. She actually had 4 of these for sale and might have a few left...
It's been a busy week without really going anywhere in particular. Sunday I baked some cranberry~orange bread which I am happy to say I did not so much as sample! My restraint has been admirable...
And I have been purging, up a lot of clutter. The magazine stack for instance. The hall closet, my den. Emily sat me down for a daughter~mother talk, starting with the subject of the UPS man stopping by every afternoon {and not to chat}. She is convinced I am becoming a hoarder. I argue that I am simply not that organized. I function better when I can see everything. She differs, and so with a few days off from school, she got to work whipping the house {and me} into shape. The den is the dropping ground for all my purchases, the way some of you use the dining room table. It's a formal/never gets used room, so all my purchases and things I am going to bring to the lakehouse and forget, go into this room. You couldn't walk through it. Well today you can. Everything for the lake is boxed. We made about 5 large bags of stuff I didn't need. I couldn't even remember where I got half the stuff. Emily's philosophy is that if I don't have a place to put it, I can't buy it. I am going to try to abide by that. ;-D
Sorry for such a long post. Papa stopped by in the middle of writing it and I gave him the rest of the cranberry~orange bread. I'm safe having it out of the house. I hope everyone is having a wonderful week, whether it's cleaning, baking, sorting or just trying to not blow over in the wind. I'm linking up with Courtney of French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday. Have a great day! :-)

Sunday, October 24, 2010


The Husband and I spent another day out in the beautiful fresh air yesterday, just an hour from home. Yes, we skipped the lakehouse and headed out to Dundee, Illinois for a fun sale hosted by fellow blogger, Joy from Savvy City Farmer. The event was called Shop The Shed and that we did. Look at this bowl filled with gorgeous soaps. I could eat them!
The day started out rainy and gloomy but soon the sun started to peek out. As usual, The Husband was first in the shower and ready to go. I don't roll as fast. He really loves these sort of things and is happy just to take a ride in the country. After a quick lunch and listening to him call me Dundee Jane over and over, off we went.
Getting there late was okay; we beat the crowd. Joy said they were lined up in the rain that morning. I can only imagine the goodies she had before I got there. Everywhere I turned I saw something that I had to pick up and touch {which The Husband promptly made me put down}.
I was lucky to meet a few sweet ladies that also had blogs, including Joy's pretty daughter. In the end I couldn't remember names but I really enjoyed chatting with these girls and looking at what they had to sell. Speaking of...above is my little stash {which doesn't include a few other things I am saving for another post}.
Here are Joy and I, posing for a picture. Doesn't she look sweet? She really is the nicest lady and I hope to meet up with her again.
Did I mention that Joy has the nicest yard and garden {she had tons of green tomatoes on the vine that I was going to make an offer on}? Tables full of antiques and jewelry and handmade goods and crafts.
Tents were set up with twinkling lights underneath...
...and people were still coming near the end of the sale.
After we said our thanks and goodbyes, The Husband and I drove around the downtown area of Dundee a bit. I should have taken more pictures. It's a picturesque little town, just 45 minutes west of Chicago. It's always a fabulous day to get out of the city and head this way, especially this time of year.

Isn't this place above just the coolest? We stopped to use the facilities and ended having a beer and watching a bit of the football game.
It really was a beautiful day. I'll be back this week with more of what I bought. Hope you are having a wonderful weekend! :-)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Off we went to the lake Saturday and having had a late start, decided to stop in Michigan for lunch. This is a little resort town called New Buffalo along the big lake. I've always wanted to spend a weekend here in the summer; it's only about 40 minutes from the lakehouse. It has a quaint little town with lots of shopping and restaurants and is a block from the beach. We could even bring our boat.
We ate at a restaurant called The Stray Dog. In this picture you can see the restaurant in the background. I was more interested in the cute gift shop {or gear shop as they call it}. They sell all things 'Stray Dog'; T shirts, sweatshirts, mugs, etc. It reminded me a lot of the Black Dog Tavern in Martha's Vineyard.
Look at the cute puppy!! A white picket fence surrounded a perennial garden that was waving goodbye to summer. It looked as wonderful to me in the fall as I am sure it does in the summer with all the beachgoers.
As you can see, it was a gorgeous day in the Midwest...sweater weather. Look at those blue skies. I am so glad we stopped.
Everything was decked out for fall and Halloween. I love the pretty flowers still blooming.
The restaurant was a lot of fun. The wait staff wore T shirts that had the 'Dog' on them and on the back they said: Come. Sit. Stay. I have to get one of those. Notice the fireplace along the back wall. Very cozy.
I had the Cobb Salad and...
French onion soup. Let's just say I cleaned my plate.
Back at the ranch, or Casa U Betcha, it was time to do a lot of outdoor cleanup. I took care of my flowers and plants, some of which were still blooming but would definitely be goners the next time I came back. The Husband put away some of the lake toys and patio furniture, it was just the perfect day to work outdoors and get all of this done before it gets too cold.
Before you think we moved to Havana, inside came all of The Husband's palm trees for the winter. Okay, I brought in my ferns and a hibiscus plant but the palms are obnoxious. We can't put them along the walls because the heat vents will dry them out, so they are basically sitting along one side of the bar. All I need is a safari outfit and some binoculars to creep around the house in. But we are now set for winter and we can simply come and go, no clean up to dread, just a long, cold winter sitting in front of the fire or wood stove, sipping hot chocolate or warm cider...
The swans and ducks were out like crazy this weekend and I'm not sure why {making plans for their trip South?}. Mr. Swan came to visit after I lured him with a half of loaf of bread.
So that was it for my weekend. It was good to be back at the lake after 6 long weeks {I don't even want to tell you what I found in the refrigerator}. We will get back on track with our never ending remodeling projects and just focus on the inside of the house after a nice summer vacation.

Today I am off to get some pumpkins and mums and straw. Did I mention we took The Husband's little sports car...the one with no back seat? I realized I had no room for anything after we were halfway there. So now I will have to pay Chicago prices. Ugh. I hope everyone had a nice weekend and is enjoying this beautiful weather. I will be back soon! :-)

Friday, October 15, 2010


Happy Friday! I am hoping the sun makes an appearance's sort of gloomy and it would warm things up a bit. It is only 56 degrees here in Chicago today. The nights are even cooler, but I am holding off on turning the heat on. It seems like not too long ago that we were complaining about the high temperatures. A sweater or a sweatshirt works just fine.

Back in the spring we had our family room, bathroom and hallway painted. I had so much fun sharing it all with you and I was given some great advice on paint colors and ideas for window treatments. Believe it or not, summer came and everything went on the back burner. Having two homes can do that to you.
So I am focusing on finishing both rooms, although the bathroom is mostly completed. I received this towel ring as a gift from Christine {Christine's Home And Travel Adventures} when I visited her in May. I thought it was a door knocker and we had a good laugh. Very blonde moment.
I kept most everything in the room white...that's easy to do in a small room, not too much space for temptation, and I tried not to clutter things up, which I have a talent for doing. The soap dish, etc. is Pottery Barn.
The shower curtain is temporary. I am looking for a white one with some ruffles. I think Target has one.
This bath is used a lot by Abigail, as it is just across the hall from her room. It is usually full of her make up and clothing but I did a fast clean up...
I am moving on to the family room soon, which is still the same after having it painted, just the furniture. I have to make a decision about curtains and then I can figure out the rest of the room. After doing the bath in white, The Husband insisted on some color so we had it painted a light yellow. I am going to try to stay with simple shabby look, again, not too cluttered. It will be fun to pick out things for the walls and I need a new bookcase.
I want to give a big shout out and thanks to Amy of Maison Decor. We sent many emails back and forth in which she gave much needed advice, ideas and inspiration for the family room. I highly recommend that you stop by her fabulous blog, she is featuring a gorgeous Victorian home today.

I am determined to get up to the lake this weekend, so I have a whole day ahead of me of getting this house in order and getting packed for that house. I am praying that I still have tomatoes, I never got a chance to pick any the last time we were there and we have had a few really cold nights. And I am going to buy my mums and pumpkins up there, talk The Husband into taking a few walks to get pictures of all the trees changing colors, and make some cozy fires, night and day. Don't you love a fire to warm you up in the morning or afternoon?

See all of you next week! :-)

Saturday, October 9, 2010


I am loving playing with my fall things. I unloaded another box and found some things I had forgotten, like these Halloween plates I bought years ago when my girls were little. I also received some fun things from my favorite little old UPS guy upon arriving home from Vegas. Oh, I love coming home to gifts from myself to myself. The beehive cloche is from Farmhouse Wares {I LOVE this place. Do go!}. I tied a festive little ribbon on it and put some REAL fruit under it...that's why it looks half full, my little fruit eaters. Never should have bought that caramel dip. And I have beautiful Bosc pears. Have you ever sliced them and poached them in red wine with some cloves? A heavenly dessert with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
I wonder what else I can use the cloche for. Any suggestions?
I made yet another vignette on my chippy table. You see this table when you walk in the front door so I love to play with it. Everyone should have a copy of this book by Susan Branch. If you go to her website HERE, you can get an autographed copy like mine. It's chock full of fall recipes, crafts and her darling watercolors. Grab her Summerbook while you are at it.
Then one afternoon I had a nice shopping trip online to Wisteria. Oh my!! I totally fell in love with these bowls. I am a big bowl lover and have way more than I need but I just love them and these are really a sign of the times. They have a nice texture and glaze to them...very unique.

I also bought some great wicker baskets that I will show you in another post. I once asked that wonderful Australian blogger/stylist, Coty Farquar, how she manages with a small home like mine and she emailed me: baskets, baskets, baskets. Do you use baskets to organize rooms? I think I use them in every room...but I'll post about that another time.

We didn't go to the lake this weekend. The Husband was tired Friday night and we decided to find things to do at home. And I had plenty of cleaning and laundry to do after our trip. It has been a beautiful day in Chicago, in the 80's and the leaves have finally started to change. It is so pretty outside my windows. I hope it is for all of you. I'm joining sweet Marty for Table Top Tuesday and I will see everyone later in the week. Hope your weekend has been wonderful! :-)

Thursday, October 7, 2010


I am SO glad to be home. Vegas is a blast but after awhile the noise gets to you and today as I sit in my quiet kitchen typing this, I am relishing the peace and quiet. Even the plane ride was relaxing and I am not crazy about planes. Now I am going to stay put until next spring and insist we take a vacation to a secluded beach somewhere.

We stayed at the Rio and above is a picture of some of us ladies; Carol, Brenda, myself and Mary. Below are some of the husbands. These are actually friends that are also clients of The Husband's that provide a lot of business to his law firm...not just their own {!}, but through referrals. They really are a great bunch. This trip is our way of thanking them.

We played a lot and gambled a lot. here we are in the All American bar & Grille, one of my favorite restaurants in the hotel. I didn't get a lot of pictures because the casino is so dark...This is The Husband and below is me, Blondie.
It's a tradition to go to this little 'hole in the wall' every year, and it is just that. Really authentic Italian food that they sort of slam down in front of you and a lot of cheap wine...
Here is the whole gang, taken by an innocent bystander that we nabbed outside the restaurant.
I didn't take many pictures as we rarely left the hotel. We have been here so many times, staying at a different hotel every year that we pretty much stayed put. Did I win at all? The answer is yes and no and only I could do something like this. I won $192.00, but forgot to cash it in before we left. So...I have a slip of paper that says $192.00 on it. I have a year to cash it in and I am sure I will find someone going that can redeem it. I just wish I had it NOW. I like to give a little of my winning to the kids along with the requisite T~shirts. What a bummer.

So that is my trip and now it is back to normal, thank goodness. Does anyone ever feel this way? Just glad to be home? It felt so good to sleep in my own bed last night with the dogs curled up next to me!

Off to the lake we go this weekend. It will be nice and peaceful and hopefully the leaves have started to change there, not so much here. I will try to get some good pictures. Happy Thursday, everyone!! ;-)