Monday, April 20, 2015

SALADS, CHEESECAKE, EGGPLANT, FLOWERS AND SNEEZES!

Hello everyone!  I hope you are having a good start to the week.  I'm just miserable over this weather and that's just not me.  Not that I never get miserable but I take the weather with a grain of salt-there's very little you can do about it.  But we were teased all last week.  Friday was exceptionally warm, almost 80 degrees.  I cleaned up the patio and The Husband and I brought out the patio furniture and umbrella.  I was going to cook salmon on the grill and then it just clouded up and now our forecast has predicted rain, gloom and doom for the next two weeks.  So I awoke to gray skies and wind this morning.  Even the dogs sulked. 

The Husband and I have so much to do on the weekends as we are both not the type to go out and about on weeknights.  He's spent from work and I also feel like my day needs to wind down.  So Saturday we went out to a furniture store to look at chairs for our not-so-much-as-even-started den.  Lately with all the plans and decisions and choices we have to get going with the lakehouse, sometimes we have to focus on this house.  I think we are just bouncing all over the place.  We didn't find/agree on anything as far as chairs for the den, a sort of reading-television room.   It seems sometimes we have to just step away from all of this to live peacefully if you know what I mean.  A lot of head butting. 

We had dinner at The Cheesecake Factory Saturday after looking at chairs.  I've had the French Country Salad before and simply love it.  No guilt and so good.  We ordered the Avocado Egg Rolls as well.  I found a "copycat" recipe on Pinterest, if I make them, I'll share.  The dipping sauce isn't right so I'm going to fiddle with that.  



We always try to save room for the cheesecake and it never happens.  And yes, we should get a piece to bring home but we never do.  I had pity on my man and made this yesterday.  It's from Susan Branch's first cookbook (sorry no link), and I think it's great.  I know you saw my Easter cheesecake mess but I swear, The Husband cut this last night with a machete or something similar and it ended up looking like this.  Still, it was heavenly.  Do you know you can get graham cracker crumbs as opposed to the crackers?  No pounding and pulverizing...just add your melted butter, no waste.    



I mentioned in this recent post that I was looking into some natural home remedies for skin care.  I was happy with the response I had from some of you ladies and many of you shared your tried and true skin care regimens.  I love that, we share so much on our blogs, maybe we need to delve deeper in to other aspects of our lives.  Personally, I've always taken what I think is very good care of my skin.  Washing morning and night, never sleeping in makeup and moisturizing like a maniac as my skin is super dry.  I do know skin care is changing by leaps and bounds especially in research of the benefits that retinols, collagen and oils have on the aging process of our skin.  But I regress, I'm not liking the additives and fragrance in many products.  While I don't argue with good science, I'm looking at some natural products and remedies.  And I'm methodically doing my research. 

As I wrote about in the post I linked, I ordered benonite clay from Amazon.com. as well as some raw apple cider vinegar.  Mixed in equal parts you have a sort of mud-like substance and I used The Husband and Abby as my victims.  They were elated with the results.  The clay cleaned their pores like a sponge soaking up all the bad stuff in their skin from years back.  They both agreed that the clay mixture on their face was soothing, tingling and a little pulsating-like it was really working.  Afterward, I massaged a bit of pure jojoba oil into their skin.  This is fast absorbing and works above and beyond so many oils: Argan, Moroccan, tea tree, sesame, olive and even coconut oil.  These are all great but the advantages of jojoba far exceed the others.  Loving it.  I mix it with my body lotion and use it everywhere. You can use it a alone as well, it absorbs quickly and a little goes a long way.   I'm sure you can find any of these products at your local health food shop.  I'm elated in finding new things that work.  I love my Neutrogena, Garnier and Olay, science is good.  But it's so cool to find out that ancient remedies work even now.  Jojoba is in my favorite shampoo, but now I'm a step ahead by massaging the pure oil into the ends of my hair to make it healthy, shiny and smooth.  Oh, and at a fraction of the cost.  



We spent some time last week looking at tile for the upstairs bath and powder room downstairs.  I'm looking for beachy colors.  It's hard to tell from this pic but it has some blue, grays, greens and beige.  I love the irregularities of the tiles, too.  The Husband and I don't agree a lot on what we like but we are getting better at listening, understanding and appreciating what each of us wants.  And we know when to walk away away from each other, if you know what I mean. :)



Have you ever seen or had white eggplant?  I saw these at my grocery store last week and I always get such a kick out of trying the unusual.  I thought these looked like little baby beluga whales  Ha!  And how to prepare them?  Absolutely no idea.  By the way, these look huge but the aren't.  They're on a small cutting board. 


and cut lengthwise, then again in 1/2 slices.  I tossed them in a large bowl with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a mix of chopped garlic and a blend of Italian seasonings.  I baked them at 350 for about 10 minutes and then let them have a little broiling for about 5.  I love that they didn't suck up the olive  oil, nor get watery.  Just delicious.  I'd love to use them in a recipe, have to work on that.   So good. :)  



These are the forsythia I cut and brought in last week.  I had daffodils as well.  I'm so looking forward to my tulips, I have such a great variety and they last so much longer.  

We were fooled by temperatures  last week.  But it was just so much fun to have Milo and Layla in the yard, romping and lying in the sun.  At least we had a few good days.  I have a lot of things going on this week, a hair appointment, doctor and dentist appointment, and errands galore to run on Friday-that will be my day.  Still, I like getting out each day, the fresh air does us good no matter how warm or cold it is.  I can live without the allergens.  Like most of you I'm going crazy.  :( 

Let's hang in there with the wonky weather, it is only April after all.  The upper Midwest is know to get snow around this time! :(

See you soon!

Jane x
         


 

48 comments:

Mary@mydogsmygardenandmary said...

You are such a busy lady, but that is good to keep moving.
We have a spa not to far from me called Glenn "Ivy and they have the different mud baths. You wear an old bathing suit and get into the mud and smear it all over you. Then you shower and go into the different pools that are so relaxing. You skin feels wonderful when your finished.
We are expecting rain this week and I will be dancing in the rain when it comes.
Your cheese cake sounds so good.
Have a wonderful rest of the week Jane.
How's the Lake House coming along? Hope you can get into it by summer.
Mary

It's me said...

Hi Jane.....wishing you a happy sunny week ....love Ria...x!

Rita C. said...

Okay, the new natural products sound great. I've been using the coconut oil intended for hair on my skin (as you suggested), and it soaks right in, so I want to try the jojoba. When you say you mix it with your lotion, you mean you just pour = parts on your skin, right? (vs remixing in the bottle).
I totally get what you mean on shopping house items together. We need a new mattress so our time's coming.
We're about 3 weeks ahead of you with spring, and I'm trying to pace myself with the outdoor chores. Eyes were itching like crazy from spending yesterday afternoon outside, but I'm not complaining. Our weather finally seems to have settled into true spring now, but we had the same fluctuations you're having. Hang in there!
~R

Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow / Sacred Eclectic said...

Lovely forsythia and it's fun to read about the skin care mask etc.

We've had the variable weather as well ...not enough sun! :)

Lori E said...

It is hard to agree on decorating ideas with most men. I find they don't think big picture but see some chunk of furniture that they like and that is the end of their decision making. No matter that the piece they picked is as wide as the whole room and you can't get around it to even go sit on it or to get to your craft room.... just speaking generally here, wink, wink.
Seriously though if you can agree on a theme/style then the choices become easier. Get that man on Pinterest to pin what he likes. If you show him a photo of a room and he says he doesn't like it ask him to pick 1 thing out of that photo that he does like. Just 1 thing. It will make the decorating go easier I assure you.

Stacey said...

Hi Jane. Your description of you and your husband is so cute. We are much the same way except my husband doesn't have a lot of opinion usually about furniture and decorating. We are about to give our son our couch and we are getting a new one. We went looking and Paul seemed a little too opinionated to me. :) I guess he does need to be comfortable too.

Cheesecake Factory is one of our favorites. We always save room for dessert!!

I'm featuring a new blogger today. I'd love for you to come by and "meet" her.

Betsy Brock said...

Love cheesecake factory....I've never had anything on their menu that I didn't love!

I'm hooked on coconut oil...I agree nature has the best remedies!

Theresa said...

Wonky weather here too, mostly rainy but sunny today! Love the tile with the touch of blue! That facial mixture sounds awesome:) Enjoy your day dear friend, HUGS!

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

I find that when not looking for furniture, I always come across something I love. Of course, having a need to shop and being accompanied by my hubby, always results in confusion and no purchases.

Penny @ The Comforts of Home said...

How fun that your hubs and daughter were your experimental people, lol.

Love the tile.

Mary said...

Oh you busy, busy people - and yet you actually got A to do the masque thingy? Wow I can just picture that and have to giggle!

Busy here too as we leave on Sat.
Gawd, I seem to get worse at packing - well choosing what to pack actually - every trip. Now the weather is cooling again in Europe with some rain, so I'm rethinking what to take. But, really looking forward to being back in Hungary and seeing a lot of new places along the rivers. Big plus will be meeting up with blogging friends too!

Happy week dear - sending hugs.
Mary X

Sarah said...

Jane, it's been busy here. Lots going on in our life at the moment with some big decisions to be made.
Thanks for skin care tips. I use coconut oil, but will try your suggestion. It's beautiful here with cooler temps again. I could use a few months of weather like this. Truly spring weather!

Melanie said...

I really like that tile...

Skincare - no surprise, I'm into natural stuff in that area, too. I only wash my face once a day (at night to remove what little makeup I wear) with Dr Bronner's soap. Otherwise, just water in the shower. I do use a daily moisturizer with sunscreen in it; wish there were a natural product for this. At night I use a little coconut oil for a night cream, esp around my eyes and on my neck.

Have never seen white eggplant, though I'm not an eggplant fan.

Can you believe the crazy cold weather we're having today? I'm off now to do grocery shopping. Have to dig out my winter coat!

Nancy's Notes said...

Jane, wish I could bottle up this sunshine we are having to day and send it on up to you! I love skin care masks! What? White eggplant, that is wild. Well, smart lady, enjoy the rest of your week and hope that sun comes a shining soon!

Nancy
xo

Row homes and Cobblestones said...

Jane,
I love White eggplants, I oven roast them and they have a more delicate flavor. I also love the White round Italian eggplants.
I cracked up with your clay "victims". Try adding a face massage into your routine in the mornings. Boy talk about glowing healthy skin... I swear by taking an extra couple minutes to do it. BTW check you tube for a video on how.
I love Forsythia but it makes me sneeze. I forced some in the house and I adored it but sneezed everytime I walked past it!!!
Jane I posted last night, my Max on Sunday went into final stage hyperthyroidism I've been a mess.
Sending my love,
Vera
PS Lots of rain in Philly lately too.

Barb @ Bella Vista said...

Janie,

I love, love how real you are...I will say it again...you remind me SO much of the way blogging used to be.

Thanks for the part about head-butting with your hubby. I have done some of that in the last day or two....rare for us and totally exhausting!

I continue in my prayers for your lake house situation and your Milo....all will be well.

Thanks for leaving me such kind comments...you make my heart smile.

Blessings this day,
Love, Barb

Susan Shull said...

Jane-Love that you are trying natural skin care. Makes me want to try it too!

Debbie said...

Oh yes....snow in the Upper Midwest, you say? Well, we got it today...ugh. Nothing staying on the ground...thank the Lord!!!
I've never seen white eggplant either. If I ever do, I will try it.
Still waiting for Spring flowers to bloom up here. How nice that you can bring some inside to enjoy.
Enjoy the rest of your week.
Debbie
xo

Kathleen Grace said...

I love the tile you chose, but I totally get being burned out on decision making! I would love to try the clay and vinegar mask, I have such dry skin though, I'm afraid the clay will dry it even more. If you try it please let us know what you think?

Doreen@househoneys said...

Love the tile too Jane! Now about butting heads with hubby...we have one rule in our house: I'm in charge. ;) I'm only partially kidding. Major decisions we make together, but the house is my domain. Happy wife, happy life ;).

Doreen@househoneys said...

Love the tile too Jane! Now about butting heads with hubby...we have one rule in our house: I'm in charge. ;) I'm only partially kidding. Major decisions we make together, but the house is my domain. Happy wife, happy life ;).

Debbie Freitag said...

I will admit I'm terrible at taking care of my skin and I know it will haunt me later. At 52 I should be a bit more concerned. My daughter bought me some skin cream and face wash by Kiels and I love it. I really should try some natural products but I'm so inconsistent it would probably spoil! I love your tile selection. I'm planning on redoing my small bathroom and am looking for tile inspirations. Your forsythia pictures from last post inspired me to go out and buy a small bush for my yard. I planted it next week. I can't wait until it has matured a little and I can cut some branches for inside. Have a great week. I hope you stay warm. I had to turn our heat back on yesterday! Can't wait for some warm weather!

Gypsy Heart said...

I love the Cheesecake Factory! They have some of the best salads. Girlfriend, always take dessert home with you! :) I'll have to try that clay facial. I do use coconut oil but lately it seems, nothing is working as well as it used to. Perhaps I should blame it on the weather?? We have the same flucuations...40's and 50's ovrnight with perfect days OR 70's overnight with too much humidity & heat. Are we ever satisfied? :)

I do love the tile! Looks very spa like and calming. Sorry about your allergies. I have them so bad...give myself shots 2x a week plus meds. The wind we've been having stirs up all the pollen and of course, everything is blooming. Oh well...

Have a wonderful week!
xo
Pat

Bluebird49 said...

Oh--weather! No control there. Pretty warm here, with some rain that's gone through!
My skin is super dry--more, I believe since the hysterectomy and no HRT. (Caused a DVT.) My hair is super thin on top (always thin and fine--now getting scary!) Still waiting for bloodwork to come back from last Tuesday...playing phone-tag w/ doc's office.
Eggplant sounds interesting!
I know you are swamped with your home plus the lakehouse! Great that you're trying new skincare things---while you're young enough to see results! I'm...not looking for much, but the jojoba sounds great.
Hope you've been okay, girlie!
xxx

Susan Freeman said...

I never had allergies while I was living in Idaho, but I sure do have them now. David and I rarely go anywhere on week nights either. We just like to nest. Have you tried any of the CeraVe products? They are full of ceramides, niacinamides and hyaluronic acid, all of which are very good for the skin. Their products can be found at Walgreens and CVS. I will be anxious to see what you find for your bathroom. I am trying to decided what to do with the guest bath right now.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Lisa @ Texas Decor said...

I love Cheesecake Factory! So yummy! That clay mask sounds great! I used to use a jojoba liquid makeup. It was good stuff, but I have no idea if they make it anymore. I think it was made my Rachel Perry.

Carla from The River said...

Hi Jane,
We woke up to snow!! This is making things a bit difficult for our basement project. :-(
Have a great week,
Carla

Nancy Crowley said...

Hi Jane,
Aren't renovations interesting. I must admit, there is not one part of the whole process that I enjoy due to the need to find mutual agreement on design and pieces:) Nice that you had a bit of good weather to get outdoors, sit and read and watch the dogs. Life is good. xx Nancy

NanaDiana said...

Good for you for being so busy--it is a wonderful Spring tonic, isn't it? Love the idea of the "mud" you created there. I do love all natural products, too.

No Spring here yet- woke up to snow coming in heavy off the bay. ugh!

I have never seen white eggplant before. How fun to cook with that.

Hope you have a great rest of the week. xo Diana

Karen said...

Hi Jane, your salad sounds so good it makes me want to get up and make one. My daughter makes that clay and vinegar mask and loves it. I grew white eggplants one year, I thought they were to pretty to eat, but that didn't stop me lol.The weather really does keep you guessing these days warm one day cold the next, what the heck!

Susie said...

Blondie, I too am missing our warmer days. You know I was all set to never be cold again till maybe Dec. I like reading about facials. My daughter has invited me to a party this coming Sunday...it's about face creams. Here's hoping we get our spring time back. Blessings, xoxo,Susie

Cranberry Morning said...

We had a whole week of wonderful. Now we're in a week of reality. Your Forsythia looks beautiful. Sounds like the face mask was enjoyed by all. Thanks for the info. I always like natural better. Btw, I hope that great weather returns!

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

My hubby and I are working on a few projects right now and often have differences of opinions, too. We always end up with a compromise that was better than either of us thought of on our own lol. Luckily our projects are indoors...we had some snow here this week, too. Thank goodness it is warming up again next week. It was fun reading about your week, Jane!

Linda said...

Spring has definitely sprung around here and I am so grateful! Grateful that the HEAT hasn't arrived yet and we can enjoy being outside. The weather pattern is predicting cooler and wetter conditions for us through July! That would be awesome and most unusual for us!

The avocado egg rolls are my favorite! I will be watching for the recipe!

Maria Elena said...

Sounds like you have been busy. Love the idea of the jojoba in your hair. I bet it works nicely. Have a great weekend! xxx Maria

Lynn @The Vintage Nest said...

Hi Jane, it felt like coming home, just reading all your past posts. :) Glad Milo is okay! And I enjoyed reading about the skin care. My skin is so dry too! More so as I age. Spring has sprung here too but last night it got down to freezing so I had to cover up my newly planted annuals with sheets...ugh. Have a fabulous fun weekend

Lynne (lynnesgiftsfromtheheart) said...

Oh sweetie, it's gloomy here once again. I rushed and got the 3 hour mowing done last evening. This w/k "promises" to be a wash out. Thanks for stopping by, I would love to take you to Nell Hill's. It's a short 50 minute drive from me. I have to pace myself as to how often I go. It's not good on the wallet if you have no self control. lol
fondly ~lynne~

TexWisGirl said...

the forsythia is gorgeous! i think i need to come to your house for a facial. :)

Cheryl @ TFD said...

You are so busy! I hope your appointments are all out of the way now and you have a nice, relaxing weekend. Loved reading about the natural products for skincare. If you find a magic potion for wrinkles, let me know. :) I have been fortunate to be this old and not have many wrinkles, but they are comin' on...and I don't like 'em one bit!
Great post, I enjoy reading your blog and thanks for your visits!

Debby said...

Catching up on blogs today. My mind and my body need to recharge. Just read this post and the one before. We had some snow. Crazy cold and wind. It will get nicer. I bought some pansies for our open house last week. Congratulations on your writing. You will do well as you write so well. I think I told you that I had sarcomas in my leg 24 years ago. So Milo could be here forever like me. Have a good weekend. Hugs

bj said...

Hi, Blondie...I wish you could send a bit of the rain our way...
The cheese cake...ummm...I do love cheese cake but Mr. Sweet doesn't care much for it.
I'm buying a sleeper sofa and I can't decide what color. I know everyone is loving the white ones..and they do look amazing in photos...wondering if I might like a very very light tan better. Just not sure...hope you find the chairs you are looking for.
Have a good Sunday.
xo

Babs R said...

OMGosh your cheesecake looks delish. I need to check out your older posts for skin care tips. Of course, at my age, I don't know what will help. LOL

Shelia said...

Hi Janie! You're always such a busy gal! Sorry about your weather - I understand as we've been teased with some warm weather and now it's cold again! Good luck on your chairs search. Looks like it was spa time at your house. How nice to find something that works so well. My skin has gone crazy since we've moved up here. From 100% humidity to complete dryness - my skin feels like sand paper. I'm poking stuff on it all the time! Anyway, about the Sherwin Williams Biscuit paint color - it's a very light beige color. I don't think there's any gray in it. It is just dark enough that it really looks good against the white molding. Good luck with your paint search too.
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Poppy said...

Hi Jane,

There's always so much variety in your posts - love them! Okay, don't worry about all the head butting; my sister and her husband are doing exactly that, right now, while house hunting - it's only natural. I mean, we can't always agree on everything, right? I'm sure you will find the perfect chairs that you both love.

The beach-y bathroom tile is beautiful. I'd definitely go for this, as it has a really pretty pearly effect, which reminds me of the sea.

Yes, it seems that everytime you turn around, there's a new wave of skincare products and techniques that promise to help slow down the aging process. I've been blessed with pretty good skin for my age, but just as a good friend warned me a while ago, 'wait until your menopausal/turn 50, the differences start to show up quickly'. Guess what? She's right! (in my case, anyway):((

Have a lovely week!

xo
Poppy

A Joyful Cottage said...

I've never had white eggplant, but may have to try it now. That is, if I can find it around here. It's been years since I've eaten at The Cheesecake Factory. (We don't live near one now.) I always loved their food.

Chatelaine said...

Oh yes, wonky weather. We will take that over brutal winter any day!

We have had quite a bit of rain but looking at the flowers and plant growth I would say Spring is here. Lately we just go from Winter to Summer.

Those eggplants are adorable! Never saw a white eggplant.

Have a great week!

Vel Criste said...

I use the crushed graham all the time for my refrigerator cakes, thank God they've thought about that. I wish I had a regimen to share with you but I'm lazy as can be, and I know, soon, I will be reaping the consequences of it! Glad your trying the natural stuff though, I think it will be so much better in the end! White eggplant? Saw 1 before, passed on it, but maybe not now! Thanks!

Terra said...

I like the white eggplant and will buy some, I see it at the farmers market. We prepare eggplant like you do, plus it is good cut into small pieces and added to spaghetti sauce.
How do you deal with / treat allergies? They are such a drag.