Let's start with some pretty flowers today. I seem to gravitate to them every time I do my grocery shopping as you know. The other day it was $5 bouquets so I chose two bunches of spray roses. I have this fantastic wire container with three glass jars and flower frog tops that make arranging so simple with spectacular results. You've seen this before but I've never actually used it on my table until recently. I combined two different shades, yellow and pink, and I think it looks beautiful. I hope they last as long as those carnations I shared in my last post. Changing the water every day and snipping a bit at the bottom of the stems helps. The porcelain tray they sit on is a purchase from Williams Sonoma years ago. Very, very pretty. I love bringing it out in the spring.
I hope all of you had a wonderful Easter. We had a lovely day. The weather was quite warm and we talked and laughed and enjoyed a great dinner. Dessert was wonderful...so many sweets brought by guests, much more than needed. A great time all around.
I had a few dishes that failed but I was prepared for that. I disappointed myself with the trifle I had planned for dessert. This however, was not the first time I had made one. I simply didn't fully read the recipe as I went through the various steps...cake, filling, fruit, repeat. I mixed the whipped cream into the filling (pudding and condensed milk among other things) when I should have folded it in at the end. Instead of a firm sort of custard it was more like milk The next layer, berries, would have sunk into oblivion. Happily I had the homemade pound cake and extra whipped cream as well as strawberries and that's a nice dessert of its own. Several family member brought sweets as well. We weren't lacking at all.
I promised a few recipes and you can find links at the end of my post. You can also follow me on Pinterest by clicking on the icon on my sidebar. Most of my recipes are Pinned and I make a ton of changes...I pick apart recipes all the time and give my own stamp on them until I'm satisfied. I'll only give you recipes on my blog if I have done that. Otherwise a direct link to the source. You can fiddle with these recipes as well. That's originality. :)
I always try to make anything and everything ahead of time for big dinners and holidays. I had an appointment with my dermatologist downtown the Friday before Easter and planned to start some desserts and make~ahead dishes later that day. I was however, feeling a bit off that morning After I showered and about 15 minutes before I was ready to leave, I felt a wave of nausea come over me and from then on it was a downhill course if you know what I mean. The Husband tucked me into bed and called to cancel the appointment. It really upset me as I need to be monitored, have blood tests, etc., to make sure the meds aren't affecting my liver and kidneys.
As I laid in bed I kept thinking of all of the preparations I had to do for Easter Sunday. I really like a head start, am determined to have a head start. I had shopping, cleaning and a few recipes to do as early as possible. But I was feverish, chilled and nauseous. And then...there was a knock at the door. A representative for the electric company. They were going to be trimming trees in my backyard and along the alley to clear the power lines...please keep your dogs in. Oh, that's easy. Except my dogs can hear, see and sense anyone within 50 feet of our house. I had 50 guys in bright yellow vests and hard hats doing macho stuff with my 50 walnut trees and then hauling the poor and healthy limbs to their cruel chipper truck. Oh, such excitement for Milo and Layla and misery for me. I shut the blinds, closed the curtains and thought about blasting the Rolling Stones on my iPod, but instead I suffered in silence. As you can see above, as evidence of my distress, I pulled Milo's favorite chair away from a living room window but it didn't deter the dude from straddling it. Obscene almost. As horrifying it was, it makes for a good blog post.
Abby was on spring break this week and I always feel that I have to clarify that she is a teacher, not a student. At 25 years old, being petite and pretty, she really does look like a student and it drives her mad. She arrived home Easter Sunday morning with a cute tray of sliced cakes and a container of guacamole and chips. She thrust them at me and said, "Never go to the grocery store on Easter morning. The whole place was swimming with desperate people." And then she caught sight of The Husband vacuuming the living room rug. He was feeling sympathetic after my stomach bug and was doing pretty much everything I asked him to do. Yes, it was shocking for both me and Abby. I was simply happy that he needed only a minimum of directions to find the vacuum cleaner.
As I said, Abby was on spring break and I was really looking forward to some one on one time with her. She has been living on the Northside of Chicago for the past year with her best friends and as we are on the Southside, we've missed her. Now, she and her boyfriend of 7 years have found an apartment just 5 houses down from where she lives now. A three story apartment with a cool courtyard that blends in very much with the million dollar homes (seriously) on the block. I say this because her safety depends very much on the neighborhood she lives in. So far we've only seen some pictures. Move in date is April 30th.
Today The Husband and I drove up to be with her and some of her housemates for her birthday at a pub on the corner called Toons. We had a fabulous time. The weather was so strange. It would be sunny and pleasant and then turn dark with snow blowing in the high winds. It would stop and start over and over again. Very odd and now we have temps expected in the 60's.
April 2, 2016
This photo was taken from our car on our way back home. The clouds were quite ominous.
I ordered a gift for her that hasn't arrived yet, but then again her actual birthday is on April 7. She never reads my blog so I'll tell you. A fine gold necklace with an 'A' charm and another little teardrop charm with Tom's birthstone. I actually paid extra for fast shipping but it wasn't here today when we met up with her. Grrrrr... I hope it arrives before we leave for Canada.
We had a great five days together. Monday we hit HomeGoods for some 'this and that' for her apartment. I was on a weird mission to find her a butter dish. I know, very strange. I actually found three that I placed in one spot, (shhhh...) to show her. As I walked the aisles I felt my heart getting heavy. She doesn't have that black belt in shopping like Emily and I do. I expected to find her with nothing. As I rounded a corner there she was, her cart half full. She has a vision! Yay! Spa colors for her bath, some kitchen items and even a few decorative pieces (you can see some of this in the photos below). So many things piled on the floor in my family room. She was so excited to show Tom. Yes, these are my tosies! And no, she didn't like any of the butter dishes. Claims she doesn't use butter, just olive oil. I'm guessing she'll never bake.
After HomeGoods and two furniture stores, we had a late lunch at Corner Bakery. Tuesday we went to 2 more furniture stores and a mall~I needed a few products from Sephora. Yes, I need some attention, too! She and Tom ended up at Ikea that night and bought a sectional and are very happy (ever after I hope).
I've been searching and searching for a real wreath all over the place but didn't want to pay $75+ dollars. This is handmade with real wheat and I scored it for under $20! It may not last forever but I really love the real thing. I'm not against silk plants, I think they look great from a distance in an urn on the hearth or fireplace, but not in close proximity. But it suits many people and I don't knock that. I hope this pretty wreath lasts awhile. We have a storm door so I think I'm good.
With the risk of changing my blog name to Blondie's Medical Journal, I just wanted to share a little about my dermatology appointment Friday. My skin is doing really well and I may have the meds cut in half at my next appointment in a few weeks. Yes, no more headaches! So at this appointment my doctor wanted a blood test to check my liver and kidney functions that are sometimes affected by this drug. And gulp...I only have one kidney (long story). My blood pressure was sky high, too, and that frightened me. As my luck goes, the nurse/tech had to stick me 5 times, one in the back of my hand, and seriously could not get blood. I turned my head to The Husband each time to avoid the sight and each time I thought it was happening. Nope. I said to him, 'Hon, I truly think I'm dead." And he replied, "No. You're still Googling restaurants for lunch"
Great week ahead. A blood test at a facility of my choice (they decided not to stick me any further). Two light therapies bumped up to three. I finally got a current eye exam and need to follow up on that. The dreaded teeth cleaning. But on a happy note, my blog friend, Cindy, and her husband are coming to Chicago and we are meeting for dinner on Monday night. I am SO looking forward to that. She's the blogger I met 7 years ago and we meet up once or twice a year. We may also meet up for a little shopping and lunch as well. I am beyond happy!
I have three links for recipes I think you guys might love. As I said, I screwed up the trifle but it's a recipe you may want to keep. The Italian Spread is a keeper. Make it ahead, it tastes better after it melds. Several people raved over the Chilled Strawberry Soup. I added a bit more cream than the recipe calls for, taste it as you go along. It was a little tart to me. ;-)
I'll see you hopefully before our trip next Friday.