Happy May Day! I have been bumbling about the last few days, working on this, that and the other. Never quite finishing anything completely before moving on. The weather beckons outdoors and then the rain shoos us in. Everywhere I look there is something to be done. I'm really lucky that on most Thursdays my daughter, Emily, rescues me. Yes, I have my car back and I'm pretty much out everyday but I just love hanging with her. Does she feel the same? Ha!
You might remember that I tried my hand at "forcing" my forsythia branches to bloom indoors. They didn't make it. Not sure what I did wrong. The leaves just dried up right around the time the buds were turning green. The actual bush in the backyard is just now getting ready to burst with blooms...I think I may wait a little later next year to cut my branches for forcing. So while Em and I were out last week, I picked up these weedy little faux "somethings". I'm not a fan of faux flowers but since these French flower buckets are so large, it's going to be a rare occasion that they are filled with the real thing. So, I chose something blowzy and it's working since no one gets right up to them. Now I need to find something pretty for each side, not much need for firewood now. Thankfully.
We heard there was a sale on outdoor furniture and accessories at Pier 1. Emily was giving me a hard time. "You do not need anything else for outdoors, Mom. You bought lanterns and pillows last year." she said. "Well, you never know what you'll find. Drive on!" I replied happily.. Well, we saw some cool stuff but it was really only the furniture that was on sale and I don't need any of that. And I saw some cherry blossom branches that I initially thought would look good in the French tins, but it turned out that the ones I found later at Hobby Lobby were a better deal...I got 5 for the price of 1 at Pier 1.
The stop at Hobby Lobby was because I needed a few craft supplies for a new banner I'm making...gosh, I love making those! Emily was on the hunt for a lamp for her bedroom. She came up to me with this and for a second I thought she was serious! And then we just about fell on the floor laughing. Yee Haw! She ended up finding what she wanted at Homegoods, as well as a few...ahem...decorative outdoor items. That she didn't need I might add. I found a birdhouse. I'll share that another day. :)
This is Abigail's bedroom. She had described this comforter to me that she had seen at Target. Normally she just has her ratty white down comforter on her bed that is a mess from washing it. She gets super attached to things and she won't give this up or put a duvet over it.
Friday she left to go north for Tom's (her boyfriend) college graduation. Quick as a thief I was off to Target and found the quilt and a few toss pillows. I also bought those prints over the bed and I was scolding myself because they aren't too hard to make. Still, they were a good price. I added sheer panels which are hard to see with the light. The curtain rod on the curtain~less window broke so I have to finish that up. So this was my mini makeover. I just have the new quilt over her down comforter.
This is the other wall, I just sort of straightened things up. I didn't touch those shelves. I think she has every textbook and notebook she ever used in school there. I've often thought of painting the wood dresser, I have the missing handles in one of the the drawers. It's really a pretty wood though and she doesn't seem to mind that nothing matches. Anyway, she was totally surprised and happy. What do you think? I think it came to about $100.00.
It's been awhile since I shared a recipe with you. I took a little sabbatical from cooking after my Easter marathon. Then we ate leftovers for a week and finally I bought some groceries Monday. A little secret of mine is that I wish I could have been on Iron Chef America on the Food Network. I LOVED that show! Two chefs battle against one another using a single ingredient that is chosen for them both to use in three categories" A drink, main course and dessert. And that "secret" ingredient could be anything from eel to papaya. So...Abby was looking in the fridge after I had taken chicken out for dinner. Looking directly at me and with full authority in her voice, she said, "I would like chicken over a bed of cooked spinach with a light lemon sauce." You got it, babe. I love a challenge.
Fillet 2 large chicken breasts and then cut them in strips about 2 inches long. Spread the pieces out on your cutting board and season them with 1 t. onion powder and 1 t. garlic powder. No using fresh here as they will burn. Add salt and pepper to taste and if you'd like a kick, 1 t. red pepper flakes. Heat 2 T. vegetable oil in a large pan over medium to high heat and spread chicken out evenly, seasoned side down. Add the same seasonings to this side of the chicken. After about 2 minutes, carefully turn the pieces over and let them brown and cook through, about 3 minutes. Remove to a platter and cover to keep warm. In the same skillet heat up the juices on low, grate the zest of one whole lemon into the juices and then cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juices from each half into that. Stir, scraping up the small bits of chicken. Add 10 oz. of fresh spinach. Toss and stir until leaves are starting to wilt. Arrange spinach over four plates. Top with chicken. Dress each plate with a small palmful of chopped red onion and pine nuts. Pour juices from pan over the top of each serving. Enjoy!
My weekend flew by. I worked on Abby's room and what seemed like 20 loads of laundry that had crept up over the holiday and while I was feeling bad. I think I'm pretty much recovered but for some bouts with my asthma but I'm not letting that get me down. Breathing is overrated. Sunday was absolutely beautiful. Rain had been predicted for early in the day but it didn't come until much later in the evening. Yes! I started at 8:00 a.m. and cleaned up the yards. I mulched some flower beds, planted the 65 spring bulbs The Husband bought me a few weeks ago (that sounds like a lot but actually one bag had very small bulbs and I think they accounted for 58 so they all went into one wide hole!). Then I filled in all of the bare spots in the front yard with a spreader. Finally I sat and read for an hour on the still somewhat empty patio, and then came in refreshed and happy. And if it couldn't get any better, we've had rain for 4 straight days so I haven't had to water the seeds or bulbs. Yay!!
And look who I met for lunch yesterday! Yes, it's Cathy from My 1929 Charmer. And I got to see the Old Charmer in person! She really has such a cute home, very pretty and comfortable. Her sewing skills are amazing, I was drooling over her curtains. And she has a Viking stove. Need I say more? I'm green with envy. She's so fun, as you can see I'm laughing and I rarely stop when I'm with her! We were going to go shopping after lunch but would you believe we sat and talked for 3 hours? I told her next time we shop first!
Things are heating up for our upcoming vacation in more ways than one. It "heated up" when The Husband informed me we were leaving on May 18 as opposed to a week later than that. Both of us are denying what we said and heard. So, our trip is "upcoming" faster than I thought and I am an unorganized mess. My key role in this vacation (besides the obvious of trying to fit every article of clothing I have into one suitcase) is to plan the itinerary. I love this job, I have a real talent for scoping out the best places to stay. This time it's a little more difficult. For one week we are going to be on a road trip. After flying from Chicago to D.C., we are renting a car and driving from there to Asheville, stopping and seeing attractions along the way. So I'm in charge of the attractions, which The Husband has made clear must involve as much of U.S. and civil war history as possible. I just want to see the mountains. So far I have reserved an inn to stay at in Washington, D.C., and now I have to find five more. So far I know we will make stops in Richmond and Charlottesville so I can look for places in those towns and then I have to find 3 more towns on our route. Oh joy! I know so little about the South! Actually, it's sort of fun but I've been swamped for time lately. It will get done...it always does.
So, I'm off. First, I want to tell you that I wrote a guest post for Laura at Decor To Adore last Friday, I mentioned it in my last post prior to writing it, which wasn't such a great idea since who would remember to look days later. So click on her blog name for the link and it will take you there. I will check back for comments and if you have questions, put them in your comment and I will email you. :)
I'm joining Penny at The Comforts Of Home for Tasteful Tuesdays. Stop by for some great recipes!