Sunday, January 30, 2011


I really had to perk up after the last post. Wow, what a downer I sounded like and I'm usually not that way. Some of you identified with the winter blues and some of you had very positive attitudes. Almost all of you said I should go to Florida. With The Husband doing his 'business' thing from morning until evening...including dinners, I just didn't know what I would do with myself all alone. I'm like that and I wish I were more adventurous. Maybe next year...

After taking The Husband to the airport, I stopped at the grocery store to stock up on provisions. No one to take this little lady out to dinner. I couldn't resist these pretty tulips. Just walking by them cheers me up. They are the first flowers that come up in my garden, so they really remind me of spring.
So far they haven't opened so they may just hang around for awhile. After The Husband was safely carted off to said airport, I cleaned the house from top to bottom. Abby and I then got to work making a few of these...
...veggie pizza's. We used a pre~made crust and some Mario Batali marinara sauce and then just sauteed some veggies in olive oil for the topping. A sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and into the oven for 15 minutes. Emily and her boyfriend came over for this quick and easy dinner, too.
I will definitely keep some of these crusts on hand...It is so much less expensive than ordering out.
We spent most of the evening sitting in front of this, watching a movie. We then played some board games. I lost of course. But it was fun.
This is not what I munched fact I have given up all of this good stuff. I joined Weight Watchers last week and I am really excited and optimistic to be on a program. You have to remember that son Kevin is getting married in August and I really want to look nice. Pictures can be brutal. After following a low carb diet for years, {and having great results for the first three years} it is wonderful to have fruit, bread and pasta again.
So my cupboards and fridge are all stocked up with good things and I have a great focus, something I truly need during these cold, long months. I know a few bloggers that are on the programs and it's fun sharing information and tips with them.
These little babies fill the house with their sunshiny smell every time I peel one. It makes me feel so good about myself. I will keep you informed about my progress. Have any of you tried Weight Watchers? What are you doing to get rid of those holiday pounds?
I haven't started to exercise, but I think I am going to give this DVD a try...I have to start out slow.
So we had a great Saturday night. Milo was a bit confused that The Husband didn't come home from work at his normal time. He is used to sitting here and waiting for the car to pull up.
And when the fire died, it was time for bed. This is the beautiful throw that I got at Ikea last weekend. It is SO soft. I love to take little naps with it. And I feel one coming on. I hope all of you are having a great weekend so far. If you are feeling a little down, like I was last week, make something homemade, throw a log on the fire and have some fun playing games with your kids. It works for me! :-)

Thursday, January 27, 2011


This won't be a long post because there is absolutely nothing going on in my life. The days are supposed to be shorter but they feel long...even the dogs seem bored. No reason to run out, no errands, no lunch dates. The kids have been around, but they always seem to be rushing off someplace. This is true cabin fever.
And yes, these are Christmas ornaments, but I left them up because they reminded me of Valentine's Day, which is just around the corner. I have added a touch of red here and there to get in the mood. It goes well with all the white outside...more of which is coming down as I write.
I have plenty to keep me busy. I cleaned all morning long {even though the cleaning ladies were here this week} and I can bake or make dinner ahead of time, or organize, watch a movie, browse through seed catalogs and plan my garden. I can sort through boxes that I brought home from my Dads house. Do you know he saved my postcards, letters and cards? He was so sweet. I need some motivation, maybe I'll just take a long, hot bath.
The Husband is leaving on a business trip. Is it still called business if it is in Florida? I was invited to go but I'm not really one to bum around all day by myself. I could really use some retail therapy though, a little time on the beach. I think more vacations should be taken during the winter, summers are overrated.
Not to get off the subject of boredom, I wanted to tell you that daughter Abby is painting her room. This necklace matches the color she picked out. She also bought a black comforter that reverses to gray and some pillows. I think she may be on to something with this color combo. I was a little disappointed at first that she wanted to paint as I did her room a while ago in a pretty shade of yellow with nice pops of teenage color. But it will be interesting to see what she does. I can always close the door.

Well, I think I need to get busy and snap out of it. What have all of you been doing to snap out of the winter doldrums? It really is hard to have a positive outlook all the time. And this is my journal, so there!

Have a good one! :-)

Monday, January 24, 2011


I can finally say the tree is down and all of the Christmas stuff is put away. Before your round of applause, please know that I paid daughter Emily to do it. Before you groan, please know that Emily is a student and is always looking for ways to earn money. She also loves to clean and organize {I'm not sure where she gets this gene from} and so she had a field day. After a couple of hours out running errands, I came home to my living room cleaned, vacuumed and put back in order. She also made a few new vignettes out of all the junk, err...accessories I have in the den {warehouse}. So I thought I would take a few shots and join Marty at A Stroll Through Life for Table Top Tuesday.
Emily found this little birdcage in the warehouse that I forgot I had. I was thinking of spray painting it white and adding a plant. This will do well for now.
Instead of apples in a bowl on the counter, she added them to my trifle dish...I think they look pretty.
I can't tell you what a help she is and how proud I am of her. She just started her interior design internship at a place called The Chicago Design Team. I can't believe she will be graduating this summer. It has been a long 4 years.
Now that my back is better, I made that long awaited trip to Ikea. I took some pictures for those of you who have never been there. Isn't it odd that this car matches the sign? The Ikea car.
This is the sofa I want. I sat on it and it was very comfortable. I think The Husband agrees but didn't want to say so. Typical of him.
He did like the Billy bookcases and was fiddling around with them for awhile. They are sturdy and they come in sections so that you can create the configuration that you want. I need two. I love the thick glass doors. I like the look of the baskets inside as well...this will be fun to display pieces in.
This is The Husband fantasizing that he has a library this big. Maybe we do...our books are scattered in every room of the house.
Beautiful rooms are set up for display and the prices are fantastic. This kitchen is a little on the modern side, but I did like it.
Modern again, but I loved the open shelving. The counter is a little weird, it reminds me of a restaurant kitchen.
I bought some vases and a beautiful cream colored throw for my couch. No decision on the furniture yet. I think I need to let things simmer for awhile in The Husbands head.

Now all of you must be bored with the trials and tribulations of this room I am trying to redo. So I won't mention anything more until it's done.

Other than out all day outing on Saturday, we had a quiet weekend. Watched a movie Saturday night and went to bed early. Shed a few tears yesterday when the Bears lost in the playoffs. Again, went to bed early. I must be getting old. Going to bed early sometimes causes me to wake up, wide awake, at 3:00 in the morning. Sometimes I get up, put on a pot of coffee and blog for an hour or so. The Husband is an insomniac, sometimes he is already up or joins me. I once received an email from a blogger asking what I was doing at 4:00 a.m...what state did I live in?!! Oh, well...

I hope everyone had a good weekend and is staying warm. The Northeast is in bad shape, keep them in your thoughts. I will see you later in the week! :-)

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Here's a little breath of spring. With a little snow thrown in for realities sake. I don't know if we have more in the forecast, I have been avoiding watching the weather lately since I have been stranded. Yes, stranded without a car. The Husband cannot drive his little sports car to work in the winter, so he takes the car we gave daughter Abby. Abby now uses my car for school, which is almost everyday. It seems now, more than ever, I need to get out of the house. Even if it is to go to Border's to look at books {and buy a few I don't need}. or to Target to look at pillowcases {and buy a few I don't need}. The Husband can window shop, I can't. I will always see something I want then and there. Do you think I have a void to fill?
With time on my hands I have been cleaning out drawers and closets. This makes me feel like I need a little shopping trip for clothes. Then I will find out we are going someplace with a warm climate and I will need to shop for more clothes. Oh...the latest news on going to England. The Husband is frowning on it. He thinks we need a little more bang for the buck, a cruise or a trip to Greece. I'm not complaining but sometimes I feel he takes my ideas and runs with them. For example, the furniture I want from Ikea. He called me yesterday to tell me there is a sale at Ethan Allen. If you don't have an Ethan Allen, let's just say, "high end furniture". I just want simple Ikea.
Here is my new candelabra in the dining nook. The one I paid $9.07 for with my CSN giveaway. I have to have the guy who put it up come back and install a dimmer. It is super bright. People could mistake us for the airport. But I am very pleased with it and I think The Husband is, too. He also likes the guy's work and has him booked to do cabinets and woodwork here and at the lake. See what I mean about taking my ideas and flying with them? And that reminds spring and summer approaches, that is when we start to focus on the lakehouse. We have 2 guest rooms we are going to work on, but I will save those plans to tell you about another time. I do miss the lake though...we haven't been there since October. This is normal for us at this time of year, but I hope it stops snowing up there so we can get to the house. And I mean literally.
So this is a short post today. Thanks for listening to my ramblings. And thank you for all the well wishes on my back problems. I am 100% better. I don't know why it comes and goes like this, it just does. Oh...I wanted to mention that Beth from The Stories of A to Z is having a Valentine's Day mantel party. I have never really decorated for Valentine's Day, but I thought it might be fun to do something simple. Maybe. It is on January 24th, which is just around the corner.

I hope all of you had a good week and have fun plans for this weekend. This is a big weekend in Chicago for Bears fans...we will probably have several parties to go to. Fun, fun, fun. I do not like football but I love parties. Have a great day! :-)

Sunday, January 16, 2011


It has been a slow and lazy weekend. I had a flare up of my back problems and spent most of Saturday on my bed with a heating pad. Today I am feeling much better, I just can't twist at the waist too much {as if I'll be going dancing}. It was painful but a nice time to catch up on my decorating books and get some ideas for that family room of mine. At Home With Country is a fantastic source of inspiration...I am looking at colors that go well with my pale yellow walls and I keep gravitating to that beautiful shade of blue on the cover of the book...
We postponed the trip to Ikea until next weekend because of my back. I told The Husband about the white slip covered couch that I had heard so many nice things about {and thank you everyone for your input on Ikea furniture. It was mostly positive and very helpful}. When he heard 'white' he hit the ceiling. Okay, 4 almost grown up kids and 2 dogs {black and white, can't win there}, maybe it isn't a wise decision, but the beauty of it is that it's washable. He then begged to pardon me on my distaste for doing laundry and I really didn't have a chance. Until...we looked at them on the website. And he saw the prices. I think it is safe to say that I am going to get the couch and chair and the Billy bookcase. Yay, I will finally get that room done. It gets used very little because the living room and kitchen are basically one big room and the family room is in the back of the house facing the backyard {and a beautiful view of all the trees and my flowers}. This may just turn into Blondie's favorite room.
I forgot to download a picture, but if you have the new Pottery Barn catalog, the first page has a big beautiful white couch and a gorgeous round coffee table. I am in love with the coffee table. It's white and chippy with a chippy wood top. I need some wood tones in this room for balance. I have some PB furniture and although it is expensive, it is very well made. So, what do you think about pale yellow walls, a white sofa and chair and aqua/ blue accents as shown on the cover of the book?
Enough with decorating. Friday night we went out with a group of friends to a restaurant named Chuck's. It features a lot of New Orleans style food. We have been here twice and each time we leave bursting at the seams. This time The Husband had the jambalaya, it doesn't make for a pretty picture and he frowns on me photographing his food. I had the rib eye with a Cajun sauce. It was delicious.
We also shared this pan of cornbread...the best I have ever had. What a feast it was. Our friends really enjoyed it, too.

Well, I am going to go back to my decorating books and try to come up with more ideas. I hope all of you are having a good weekend. I'll be back next week! :-)

Friday, January 14, 2011


Happy Friday. I hope everyone has gotten themselves shoveled out. I was amazed to hear that Florida was the only state that did not get snow this past week. I was lucky in that I had a doctors appointment about 50 minutes away on Monday and all the snow came after that. I love when it snows...but not if I have to drive in it. I hope all of you were safe and warm and maybe even had a little fun.
Christmas is packed up and the bins are ready to be stored. I am still fiddling around with my coffee and end tables and the house and trying to get a fresh look here and there. I am even dreaming about new paint colors and curtains. My living room has been this light mossy green for ages. It goes so well with my furniture, I'm not sure what else to do. Gray is the 'new' color and it has been warmed out with a bit of beige to make 'greige'. I do like the shades I have seen and I actually have a nail polish in that color that is really pretty. What are your thoughts on this?
Another question I have...does anyone have furniture from Ikea? I have been admiring their white couch that I have seen a little bit of in Blogland. I am wondering if it is comfortable. They also have a set of bookshelves that is supposed to be very nice, I think it is called 'The Billy'. Correct me if I am wrong. So...I am thinking of going to Ikea this weekend to check these out myself. I am looking for something with slipcovers so it stays clean. My kids are notorious for eating and snacking on the sofa. I don't dare put books on my coffee table or they become coasters. All of this furniture is for my family room, which I have been working on {or not working on} for almost a year.
Not much else going on in my world except...
I know I vowed not to buy an more dishes, but I happened to come across a tablescape done by Linda at Al a Carte and fell in love with this beautiful pattern, Winterberry by Pfaltzgraff. I thought they would be perfect for the holidays and all winter long. Linda was kind enough to tell me that they were on sale at the website, so I was just in heaven. She has managed to find some accessories at various thrift shops over the years so I can add to my collection.
Since my holiday things are packed up, it was tough to do a tablescape. Maybe next year. Now I have to find a place to store them. This is the main reason I have promised myself to stop buying dishes. My little old house can only hold so much.

I am joining Courtney at French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday. I am going to go visiting today to see what everyone has. I hope all of you have a a good weekend planned. Wish me luck at Ikea!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Well, the snow has hit the Midwest. I awoke to this and grabbed my camera. A view across the street. We are joining in with the East, I suppose. I don't need to watch the news, just blog to see what the weather is like all over. I am definitely going to take a walk today it's just so pretty out there.
It's been a long time since I joined a party so I am linking to Beth's Mantel Party, as I finally got around to cleaning mine up this past weekend and fiddled around with ideas. I wanted something clean and white, but I must admit I am missing something floral up there. The candles and the glass look beautiful at night. but I have a hard time taking night shots so I don't have any pictures of that.
I am loving this pitcher from Farmhouse Wares but I don't know if the enamel is making it with the rest of the decor. I will play with that. I do love the white branches though, and keep them out year round. How about a glass vase instead of the pitcher?
This side has some different textures...I like the stone birds mixed up with the glass and mercury glass.
Hello, birds.
I am leaving up this simple wreath for awhile longer, it looks more wintery to me than holidayish. It also has cute little sparkles on it.
The mercury glass is from Target and Hobby Lobby.
More mercury glass and a candelabra I won at an auction.
So...does it look too stark? I don't know if I am liking it. The wood of the fireplace is a warm pine, I have always dressed it up in warm colors. But it is fun to come up with new vignettes.

I hope everyone had a great weekend. We did not end up going out to eat Friday night as I had planned. When The Husband came home I realized I had a fire blazing away that I didn't want to leave unattended, so we just ordered Chinese food. Saturday night we tried a new Italian restaurant called was out of this world. I would have taken pictures but it was SO crowded, I felt a little foolish. We are definitely going back. Sunday I cleaned and did 1000 loads of laundry. It never ends. I have been so inspired by all you ladies that are cleaning and purging...I managed to clean out a few drawers and I am feeling pretty proud already. Next, my closets and clothes.

Well, the snow is still falling, I don't have to worry about being stocked up...that is the beauty of living in the city, I can walk to all my stores. By the way, the chandelier is not up yet, we had someone to do it and now we don't. I have to hire someone. I have all sorts of odd jobs around here so I thought I'd just get a handyman. Thanks for all the confidence you have in me to do it myself. You clearly don't know me!

I am joining Beth at The Stories Of A To Z and Marty at a Stroll Through Life for her Tabletop Tuesday Party. And now I am off to look at mantels and pretty displays! Have a good one! :-)