Wednesday, February 5, 2014

BE WISE AND FOLLOW YOUR HEART

 
 And it was driving in the dreaded white stuff that messed up The Husband's big plans for my birthday this past weekend.  He had made reservations for us to spend Saturday night at one of our very favorite hotels in downtown Chicago, The Allerton.  We have so many great memories of staying there.  It has my much loved  European style decor; old and worn and elegant.    And he had reservations for us to have dinner at Gibson's Steakhouse, another classic.  And for lunch I chose RL, Ralph Lauren's place near the old Water Tower.  Well, the snow had been coming down all night and was still coming down.  I was just worried about the expressway, with it being less traveled on the weekends, it might not be so clear.  So we were able to cancel (thank goodness) and I'm taking a rain check for sure!




It was great to get out on Monday.  Off to the grocery store in the slush.  At least it was sunny.  I was trudging back to the car with my cart when I checked my texts and saw, "Dinner reservations for tonight at 6.  Happy Birthday!"  Wow, my birthday wasn't going to slip away unnoticed! 




This is a new restaurant just a few blocks away called Tavern In The Green.  The food was delicious...sandwiches, burgers, steaks and pasta.  I was very disciplined; a bowl of French onion soup and a spinach salad with shaved Parmesan and dried cranberries.  It also came with sugared pecans which I declined.  19 days.  No sugar.  Yay!


And then I saw these.  Aren't they darling?  My friend Julie Marie at Idyll Hours has the "chirp" mug that she found at sister store, Marshall's.  It's these little things that perk me up when I'm staring at my barren living room, not knowing where to turn next.  But we'll just skip over that today.  I truly believe one day my heart will speak to me and I'll see the whole picture.



This is something Abby came up with.  I simply blackened some cubed chicken (2 large breasts) over high heat and made some brown rice.  She finished it off by sauteing some green pepper and onions with about 2 tablespoons of chicken fajita seasoning and a splash of water.  We then layered in bowls, rice, lettuce, chicken, veggies and topped it with shredded cheddar cheese, guacamole and sour cream.  These are not big bowls and it was very filling.  I skipped the rice and one bowl was the perfect size for dinner.  And so simple!


I'm moving on to make my second Valentine's Day celebratory treat, Soft and Chewy White Chocolate Dipped Red Velvet Cookies.  Need I say more?  Visit here to get the recipe and I'll share mine in another post.  

The new washing machine and dryer were delivered yesterday.  The Husband picked them out and told me they were very simple and not fancy.  Well, I'm looking at a control panel on the washer that is as lit up as my car dashboard at night.  I feel like I could press a few buttons and launch a space shuttle.  He was so excited, "Come on, we can watch a You Tube video and learn how to work it!"  OMG.  I have laundry covering the floor, nothing in the linen closet and I'm on my last set of bed sheets.  But I told you, I'm wise.  I waited for Abby to come home from work.  Of course she was thrilled to see new appliances and took off to her room to grab her hamper.  Like a good mother I warned her, "It's a little difficult, Abby."  And she shouted back, "Oh, don't be ridiculous, Devil Woman."  After about 20 minutes she came back up and with a wave of her hand said, "Simple.  Just press this, this, this and that button.  Wait.  Then hit this, that, this and this button."  Okay, so what does that do, I asked.  "Well, that just estimates the size of your load and how long it will take to wash."  That's all.  

So instead of doing all the laundry that's going to take til almost spring, I decided to write a post! :)

Hope your week is going great!

XO,
Jane

62 comments:

Teresa said...

Happy Birthday!! My hubby picked out our washer and dryer and he got silver!! I hate silver!! But they have lots of buttons so I'm happy! : )

Teresa

Cathy @ My 1929 Charmer said...

Belated Happy Birthday!!! Weather didn't cooperate with you special day! Sounds like your hubs had a great weekend planned. I haven't heard of Tavern on the Green so I'll have to check it out! I find that when something calls to you it will somehow work out just fine with your decor. There are things that I have brought because I was attracted to it and find myself using it in my cottage theme without any problem. We need to head out and shovel once again!

Kathleen Grace said...

Happy birthday Jane! I am so glad you got to go out and celebrate, although I'm sorry your weekend plans fell through. Stupid snow! Those cookies look so good, I love to cook and bake when it's cold but We are low carbing, it's working, but I miss baking so much! I love the plates and runner, maybe I should replace my baking with shopping ;>)

Julie Marie said...

Hi Jane... oooh, I love the new look of your blog post!... and you look like you got some braids in your hair?... so pretty!... your birthday sounds like it turned out nice despite the weather... and you got the little birdie plates!!!... wish they would have had those at Marshalls... isn't that funny we both fell in love with them... I love my mug... now, I have to go to our Home Goods tomorrow and see if I can find those darling plates... there's a you tube video that tells you how to use your new appliances?... yikes!... whatever happened to just turning something on?... to tell the truth, I would rather turn on the old tvs than try to figure out everything our remotes do!... xoxo Julie Marie

Julie Marie said...

This is strange... when I looked at your post a few minutes ago, your layout was different?... now it's not... sometimes blogger scares me!... I meant to say how cute Layla looks!... xoxo

Beth said...

Happy Birthday!!a few days late. it sounds wonderful!

Simply LKJ said...

Happy Birthday! So glad you were able to finally celebrate. I too enjoying being "older", and a bot wiser. No longer worrying about little things. Love the runner and the dishes!

Something Nice and Pretty said...

I'm glad you still got to go out for your birthday and your a young chick compared to me;)
Those cookies look delish!

Kathy Moreland said...

Oh you know I love the runner!! The chicken/rice dish looks/sounds so good!

Glad you were able to go out for dinner. I know that was fun!

Happy 54!!

Coastal Cottage Dreams said...

Happy Belated birthday Jane. Stay warm too, my family back in Pa are without power and schools are closed for rest of week and another storm brewing for the weekend.

Sonia said...

So funny Jane ..our appliances are kid friendly these days....I can't fix our t.v. if somehow I push the wrong buttons I have to wait till someone gets home. I'm with you ...I love simple appliances but really I think they are a thing of the past. Love your new dishes and that blue runner too! Sounds like you had a wonderful birthday with everyone together. Well at least you have laundry and state of the art appliances to keep you busy in all this cold weather!
Enjoy!
Miss Bloomers

Betsy Brock said...

Glad you got to go out with the whole family and enjoy a birthday dinner! And 19 days without sugar is WOW such a great accomplishment! GOOD for you!

We got more snow. It's lovely! I heard someone say we're having an old fashioned winter...like they used to be with lots of snow. I like that way of looking at it.

Your little dinner in the bowl sounds scrumptious...I'm going to try that one soon!

Melanie said...

Love your blue and white runner (would look great in my kitchen!) and bird plates. Note to self: stay out of HomeGoods. lol Your chicken bowls...I've done that type of dinner before. It's a great idea for families because you can just pile on what you like. Good luck trying to figure out the new washer. Why do they have to make them so complicated? It's so easy to just turn a couple of dials in a few seconds and be done with it!

Linda@Coastal Charm said...

Happy Belated Birthday Jane!!! My birthday celebration had to be the day after because of a Winter storm too...so ready for SPRING to be here.

Blessings,
Linda

Val said...

I love those "chicken bowl salads" sort of dinners. Rob Lowe mentions in his memoir that he was so impressed with neighbor Martin Sheen's house as a kid because he had a milk fountain installed as part of his fridge, by the ice machine, I guess. I myself would be like that with a salad bar. It would be awesome to be able to walk out into the kitchen at any time and find a stocked salad bar there. :) "Dare to dream." :)

Ay belated happy birthday. ♥

Deserae said...

Happy Belated Birthday!!!! My husband picked out our current washer and dryer set. We went back to the basics after owning a front loader that never cleaned our clothes properly. I have been making a lot of stews and comfort foods too. I am very ready for spring though :o)
~Des

Primitive Stars said...

Happy Birthday Jane, so nice to go out and celebrate, to bad plans fell through.......Love those wee birdie dishes, so sweet, I want them now.......Blessings Francine.

sissie said...

Hi Jane and Happy Birthday. I'm glad to see that you are making the best of the cold and wintery days. Here on the coast of NC we were hit by snow and ice storms for a few days. The place was like a ghost town. Nobody ventured outside! We just aren't used to it here and the towns do not have the snow equipment to clear the roads, so we were snowed in for a few days. I cleaned the house the first day and then stayed piled up in my bed on the computer and reading decorating magazines.
I'm glad that you were able to get to the restaurant for your birthday gathering.

Won't be long before we are planting are spring gardens.

hugs
Sissie

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

Happy belated Birthday, Jane! Too bad you had to cancel the plans on the day, but it was probably the safest decision. I do the same thing with my kids about texting me when they arrive, and I always say it when they are driving a distance.

I remember when we moved here and got all new appliances. They all make some kind of noise ~ beeping, chirps, or music. Drives me up the wall. I figured out how to shut if off on the washer and dryer, but the kitchen appliances I can't figure out. : )

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Happy Birthday, Janie! I am glad you had a nice time and will be able to have a raincheck on the romantic weekend. Sounds wonderful, and the good news is your birthday gets extended!

I have been holed up not feeling well. Finally climbed off the sofa and started blogging.

Your washing machine dilemma sounds like me and the TV remote. I do not like gadgets with bells and whistles. I am a creature of habit who does not like change with appliances AT ALL.

Love your runner and the new plates. Very cute.

xo

Sheila

Rita C. said...

Well, I was wondering about the birthday bash and the age - now I know! Snow, schmow....about the only thing it's good for is getting cozy at home and I'm like you (if you can not worry about it caving in roofs or wrecking cars) - the action in the kitchen is just more enjoyable this time of year. I love those little plates from HG. Would you believe I have only been in that store 1x?! That's a blogger sin, isn't it?
Enjoy your new appliances - we joke about ours, when it says 1 minute left on cycle that means 10 sometimes - they have minds of their own, I tell ya. They know how long and when to quit, but you won't ever know.
Spring, come soon!

♥ Sonny ♥ said...



I think I like the 50s best of all.

I am not nearly as radical as I used to be lol.

Happy Belated Birthday~!

Balisha said...

So glad to hear that your birthday celebration was fun.

You sound so sensible with your "diet" So hard to stick to no sugar around holidays...Valentine's Day, Easter, Halloween, and Christmas all have much to do with sweets. Takes a strong person to avoid things with sugar.

Sorry about the cancellation, but something to look forward to later on.

Balisha

Theresa said...

Oh the simple washer and dryer is what I have... twelve years old! I know that they have come a long way! You'll get it all figured out and the laundry will get caught up:)

Those cookies look SO yummy and a BIG Happy Birthday to you dear friend, HUGS!

Beth said...

Hi Jane, I like your photograph. What a lovely birthday girl! There was a Tavern on the Green in NYC in Central Park but it is closed now. I'm sorry the weather caused you to postpone your plans - that sounded like such a wonderful getaway and I know you will enjoy it at a later date. I like your table runner and little plates. So cute. :) Have a good weekend, Jane!
Hugs, Beth

Stacey said...

Happy Birthday! Your family was so thoughtful to make sure you had a night out. :) Sounds like fun.

You have a great attitude about the cold long winter. I'm afraid it would make me insane. On another note though, it's snowing here in Dallas!! Woo hoo. :)

DREAMS ON 34th STREET ~ French Bread & Family said...

Jane! Jay calls me Devil Woman when I get feisty!

So much for the underestimated Seahawks and Bruno Mars! We are on cloud nine out here in the Pacific Northwest!

I love your Home Goods finds!

Stay safe and warm. We have snow in the weekend forecast.
w/L

June said...

I always love seeing your pretty face Jane! I also adore every post you put up and I feel like we are sitting at my kitchen table chatting away the morning. You made me laugh about the new washer, dryer controls. You are so me. Thank goodness for kids huh???
much love...

Lisa @ Texas Decor said...

Sounds like you had a good b-day after all. I can't believe you've gone 19 days without sugar! I don't think I could go 19 hours. :) Stay warm and think happy thoughts of what you want your Spring garden to look like. :)

lynn said...

so glad your bday was great, jane:) the little home goods plates are so darling! congrats on the sugarless days!

Art and Sand said...

Happy Birthday! the 50's were great because I still had the energy for everything. I am loving retirement in the 60's, but my body feels it.

I am in love with those sweet dishes! I was going to drive to Home Goods today, but it is actually raining so I am staying in the house and nesting. A new tablecloth will be made instead of finding new dishes for Valentine's Day.

Babs R said...

Well Happy Birthday! Sorry about all that snow, but it sounds like you had a great day anyway. Have fun "playing" with your new washer and dryer.

Wanda said...

Hi Jane. Happy Birthday..so glad you were able to have it, even if it was Plan B. Sounds very nice.

A couple of your pictures didn't come in, so I'll check back later.

Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow said...

Sorry the white stuff ruined the big plans but it sounds as if the second best was wonderful as well! :) Happy Birthday ! :)

Well I guess that you'll be doing laundry this weekend, lol!

Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow said...

Sorry the white stuff ruined the big plans but it sounds as if the second best was wonderful as well! :) Happy Birthday ! :)

Well I guess that you'll be doing laundry this weekend, lol!

Lulu said...

Life is good, isn't it, and io think we have to get a little older to really appreciate that. Like you, I enjoy spending time in the kitchen these wintry days. Winter foods warm my soul as well as fill my tummy.

Debbie said...

Having your family with you for your birthday dinner had to have been the "best"!
Sorry your weekend stay at the hotel didn't work out the way you planned, though.
Have fun with your new washer, and dryer. It took a bit to get used to mine...but, with time, it all works out okay.
I don't mind winter as much as I used to. As long as I have my family, a roof over my head, and heat...I feel blessed....no matter what the weather is. Oh yeah, I need food, and wine too.
xo

emily barlocker scott said...

Reading this post made me cozy!!!!

Kit said...

Happy birthday! So cool you got a new pair. Mine was a bit intimdating at first. Heck it even plays a song when the cycle is done. LOL And on that note, I have laundry to do. :) Kit

My Little Home and Garden said...

Happy Belated Birthday, Jane! It sounds like you had a good week, overall. :)

Karen

Shelia said...

Happy Birthday, Janie, and I'm so glad you were able to celebrate too! I love your runner and the little plates are so sweet. Stay warm!
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

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Carrie @ Cottage Cozy said...

Happy Belated sweet friend! ♥

Lori said...

So glad you got out to celebrate your birthday! Darn snow has postponed so many things. Your layered chicken and rice bowl looks yummy and a quick dinner that I could easily put together after work so I thank you for the idea! Hope you are staying warm and having a good weekend. xo

Balisha said...

Please use old address....


http://balisha-neverenoughtime.blogspot.com/

Debbiedoos said...

Happy Birthday to you! Sounds fun. Sorry the weather has been so blah, here too!

Shelia said...

Hi Janie! I hope you can get out soon and go play! Thanks for popping in to see me and hope your Sunday is a great one.
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Scribbler said...

Happy Belated Birthday! I have been having washer/dryer woes, too, so I feel your pain. Today, the dryer started flashing some new lights at me, and not knowing what else to do, I got the manual. The fix was simple, but there are so many buttons and lights -- the last set had dials. Much easier!

must love junk said...

Happy birthday!! That darn snow sure can ruin plans, can't it?! I bought my mom one of those mugs...they didn't have the plates or I would've gotten them! Love! :)
Susan

Suzanne said...

Happy birthday! You look fabulous!

Chatelaine said...

Well Happy Belated Birthday! Seems like so many plans have been cancelled due to the weather. We are having a bad Winter too! In fact, it is snowing again tonight!

I like the blue runner and the dishes. Looks very French country.

The Super Bowl! Ugh! I thought the game was the worst. Not even competitive. And the commercials were spoiled because they released them on social media days before the game.

Have a great week!

Maria Elena said...

Happy late Birthday, Jane! :) I hope you enjoyed your day. I also wanted to thank you for your visit. Your comment showed up as non reply, so I couldn't email you back. I hope this weather goes away soon. We also had to cancel plans. Anyway, love the dishes! :)

WordsPoeticallyWorth said...

Hasn't snowed yet here in England - plenty of rain though!

Thank you. Love love, Andrew. Bye.

Kelly said...

Happy (belated) Birthday! It sounds like it was wonderful. I'm watching what I eat too. I have the big "5.0" coming later this year and just had a physical with my dr and was told my tryglicerides were too high. So, I'm cutting out junk food (which I believe is the main culprit). It's hard! I need to join a gym too. I haven't been exercising like I should. Your new washer sounds nice. I still have the old style. I like the goodies you found. It's fun to bring home something new once in a while!

susan@avintagefarmwife said...

Happy Birthday, Jane! So impressed that you have gone so many days without sugar-good for you!

Our Neck of the Woods said...

Happy belated birthday to you! Sounds like it was a good one. I have loved Bruno for a while now so I really liked the halftime show! I knew he would do an amazing job :)

Traci said...

It sounds like a wonderful bday weekend - you definitely need a rain check! I love Bruno! Monday after the Super Bowl tickets went on sale for his concert in New Orleans so a friend & I were able to get tickets.

Art @ Home said...

:D Happy Belated Birthday! I've been getting caught-up on your posts, and I now feel like I know how you Midwesterners feel about winter as we had three snow days this week alone...in Alabama....

Look at little Layla. She looks warm and cozy!
Please post hints about low carb diet. I need help in that area. Plus I'm trying to stay gluten-free for my allergies.

xo,
RJ

Leslie Harris said...

Jane! Happy belated Birthday my friend. It doesn't get much better that having the whole family together to celebrate does it? Loudness and all. 54 has been a good year for me, I'm staying healthy and strong which is the most important. And I have to tell you how impressed I am the you've gone so long without sugar!!! My God. I have no willpower when it comes to sweets, but you've motivated me. Love your funny story about the new appliance, don't you just hate having to learn a whole other set of buttons? I also hate every time I have to sign up for something with a new password too. Can't remember which ones go where anymore....stay warm,
xo

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