Saturday, November 27, 2010


I wish I could say this was a poinsettia plant, but...Christmas has not arrived at Blondie's house as of yet. Chaos existed prior to Thanksgiving. The kitchen overflowed with food to prepare, housecleaning took a backseat to food preparation and some days I didn't get in the shower. But as the story always go, the holiday went off without a hitch, everyone loved the dinner and we had a fun and relaxed get together with family for dessert. I didn't even have to venture out into the cold. We had the dessert contest as I mentioned in my last post, the guys judged the ladies desserts, and one little lady, my 9 year old niece, Maggie, won for making darling little turkey top hat candies {of which I have no picture} that took a lot of creativity, charm and cleverness and all that a 9 year old could muster for a contest. And when she was voted winner, everyone applauded and she beamed and took home a little prize. It was magical and will definitely be a holiday tradition for us!

Yesterday I cleaned and did load after load of dishes...the sort I don't like to put in the dishwasher, and sampled leftover desserts. Oh yes, in spite of buying all the ingredients for a chocolate trifle {and I thank all those that sent me recipes for their version}, I ended up making a simple Paula Deen apple pie. The glitch was, I had only 4 apples and the recipe called for 7, so instead of a mounded pie, it was more concave. But pretty. And delicious. The recipe is a keeper, look for it on the FoodNetwork.

Today I caught up on some post~holiday blogging, went to dinner with The Husband and did a little shopping at Macy's. I also shopped online on Black Friday where a lot of places had great sales and free shipping. Do not forget Cyber Monday...great deals again. Tomorrow we have a Holiday Open House to go to and I believe I will finally get to some Christmas decorating early next week. I am liking having the house just NORMAL for a little while. Does anyone feel that way?
I have also started wrapping presents and stacking them high. I have to wrap right away or the two daughters will be peeking. No, they are not five years old but they act like it sometimes. Besides wrapping boxes the traditional way, I also like to stock up on plain brown or white bags from the Dollar Store and jazz them up with holiday stamps or just leave plain and tie with a simple ribbon or jute. They are perfect for bringing to a friend or neighbors home filled with treats or a small gift.
So this post was just a bit of randomness for a Saturday. We are cold here but no snow yet. Sort of odd, everyone seems to be getting it and Chicago is known for it's blizzards. I should knock on wood. Next weekend we are meeting Cindy from Applestone Cottage and her husband Dan in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin for a weekend of fun. We met last December in Galena, Illinois, a quaint little town about halfway between our homes. This year will be just as nice and I am jumping up and down, I am so excited to see her again. I have special memories of Lake Geneva in December as The Husband and I have often spent our anniversary there. It's a beautiful little resort town.

Finally, I have this book on my wish list. Have you ever read My French Life? If you haven't, do so. This is Vicki Archer's new book and it looks SO good! I love to order my books through Amazon and you can find it there, in case you didn't know it was out. I am nearing a follower milestone and may just have a giveaway with it. Shhhhhh...

Have a happy rest of the weekend and I will see you next week, hopefully with some Christmas bling and a few poinsettias! :-)


Lady Katherine said...

Sounds like a wonderful Thanksgiving and a busy one! Love the desert contest! Adore your idea of stamping the paper for wrapping! I been boxing up all the fall and Thanksgiving items. Now to find a place to put them. I do have one Christmas tablecloth on. lol

Pondside said...

Have a great time away - I remember your post about that lovely weekend last year. Where has the time gone?!

DanielleisNesting said...

I love the idea of stamping paper!

Low Tide High Style said...

Sounds like you had a perfect holiday! And your upcoming trip sounds wonderful!

Kat :)

susan said...

Jane-Yes, it is nice just to catch our breath for a minute. I will be starting tomorrow. At least, you have present to wrap. I am woefully behind on that too :) Love your new profile picture! Glad you had a happy Turkey Day... and I love all Paula Deen recipes. That girl knows how to eat :)!!!!!

Sherri said...

Jane you are just THE sweetest! Thanks for dropping by my blog and always your nice comments. I love the dessert contest idea and I am SURE she was thrilled to win. I have one tiny item with a Christmas vibe to it out. Although I am going on what I call a 'lite' version of decorating this year. Less Stress, more FUN and enjoyment!

Shirl said...

Hello sounds like you had a nice Thanksgiving! Like your idea of stamping the paper for giftwrap.
I wish you peace! Shirl
Shirls Rose Cottage

Debbiedoos said...

It all sounds awesome Jane! I love your new holiday tradition...very sweet. Have fun with Cindy and her husband, that is great and can't wait to see some pics.

Sarah said...

Jane, I have this book on my wish list!
Have a great time on your getaway trip. I'm envious!

Donna said...

Yes, Jane...I DO just want things "normal" for a while but I also want to enjoy the Christmas decorations up for a month so I can enjoy all the WORK that goes into that! lol...I take it all down New Year's Day, when it's over, it's over and I just want to clean.
Neat bag idea and you are WAY ahead of me...lots of gifts, nothing wrapped yet...hope I catch up to you!!

Julie Marie said...

Hi Jane, it sounds like you had a nice Thanksgiving... that is so cute your little 9 year old niece won the dessert contest, how fun! The book sounds great... especially to relax and look at with a cup of coffee by a warm fire... have fun on your little upcoming getaway... love to you... xoxo Julie Marie

Courtney ~ French Country Cottage said...

Oh sounds like such a fun Thanksgiving with your dessert contest! I too, love to load up on those white and brown bags from the $ store- they are perfect for all kinds of gifts and Amazon is the best for books too!! Your new pic is great! :)

Linda said...

I saw your comment on my blog and YES! we are SO on the same page! I am going to try to find the book you mentioned. Life without a good book is.....well, it's AWFUL! I am currently between books (other than 'Home to Holly Springs'which Louis Dean and I are reading together aloud) so I MUST find a good one to lose myself in! Looking forward to your Christmas posting!

Tammy @BeatriceBanks said...

Glad you had a great Thanksgiving. The dessert contest is such a fun idea. I can't put presents out yet b/c I do have a 5 year old. The kids are already begging for early presents. I'm hoping to score on Cyber Monday too. Just think, in 4 short weeks it'll all be over and we'll be back to normal, whatever that is.

Melanie said...

Jane, I am so like you. I like the normal house more than the decor. I like my house to be 'normal' all the time. It is just one of those quirky habits of mine. I went all out at Christmas 2 years ago because we had family come in from Texas and they hadn't been home in 6 years. I also knew that it would be the last Christmas in our home in Florida. (the one that I loved so much) Last year we moved in November so I skipped Christmas decorating. Here I am again moving at the holidays but my son told me that I have to put up a tree. That is all I will do this year because I am still unpacking things and trying to put them up. I promised him next Christmas that we would go all out and invite everyone and it would be fun.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend. I might have to check out that book. I have never met a book I didn't like:)

Jane said...

Enjoyed reading about your weekend. Sounds like you had a wonderful Thanksgiving full of family, fun and food!! What could be better.
Have a wonderful week.

Sue said...

Can't believe you are wrapping presents already!!! I am in awe, Janie. I am trying to get decorated here, but I am really slow. Oh, I think it's so nice that you are getting together w/Cindy again. And in such a pretty place, too. Now go out and buy yourself a poinsettia! xo Sue

Terri Steffes said...

Your holiday sounds wonderful (except the dishes part!) Please say hello to Cindy for me. I would love to meet both of you. I love Galena! I always order a bottle of their Christmas wine for my DR table!

Marianne said...

Sounds like you were just as busy and all over the place like I was. But you always seem to manage to turn that into nice posts. My blogging just falls through the cracks on days like that.
Thanks for the tip on the book. If Amazon doesn't have it, have you tried Bookdepository? It has free worldwide shipping and I really like it. It is why I put on affiliate link of them on my blog, so I can support my own book-buying-addiction :-)

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

Oh Yah!
I can't wait!
I love reading your stories Jane!
And I love your dessert contest idea!
I have so much to do this week. I have Addison right now, which is why I am up in the middle of the night.
Talk to you soon,

Lynn said...

Sounds like you had a great Thanksgiving Jane, the roses are beautiful! We ended up with your snow in Philly! It really came down on Thanksgiving morning, was gone before noon but very exciting for us:@)

Paula@SweetPea said...

Your Thanksgiving baking contest sounds like a fun tradition. Enjoy the rest of your Thanksgiving weekend, there's plenty of time ahead to worry about Christmas!


Just found your blog (from Jeanne @Collage of Life.) I just moved from Seattle and am happily settling in to life in Chicago. I am glad there has been no snow yet. . . I am a little in denial.

Your blog is lovely and full of sweet ideas. I just became a follower and see you are almost to 500 ~ congrats.



Sissie's Shabby Cottage said...

Hi Jane,
You are such a busy girl! But it sounds as though you have a wonderful family and share lot of love and fun.

As for Christmas shopping I have done none! Guess I better get with it.


Suzann said...

Ahhhh...The Holidays. : )
We went simple this year and I'm loving it!!
A trip to Macy's is an order for me - perhaps today.
I haven't heard of the book you mentioned, but I am definitely going to check it out.
Happy Sunday!!

Theresa said...

Girl, you had lots of Thanksgiving fun and now it's time to get all dolled up for Christmas! I have bought gifts but no wrapping yet! Gotta get busy! The shopping doesn't stress me as much as the wrapping does! I don't like to use gift bags but I am gonna try to change that this year! It sounds like a great idea to use plain bags and dress them up:)

Have a blessed week getting ready for you trip! Sounds like loads of fun! HUGS!

Paula ~ castleandcottagesigns said...

Sounds like a wonderful Thanksgiving at Blondie's house:)
Love that dessert contest tradition, too cute.
I barely took a pause from the Tday dishes and dove right in to Christmas...I'll be dropping any day now! lol!

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful Thanksgiving for you. Cindy is so awesome and have a wonderful time getting together.

Denise said...

Hi Jane, my laundry and housework has taken a backseat this past week too, I must try and do some today but we have a little birthday party to go to next door too! So glad you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving :) Have a great week, and thanks for the reminder about cyberMonday, I'll have to check online tomorrow, I usually forget!

Debbie said...

Good morning Jane~~we got "first ice" this morning...but I'm sure the sun will melt it away in a few hours.
You will be getting snow very soon!
I can't believe you are already wrapping gifts...I haven't started, but should get serious and start wrapping for the 15 grandkids!!
Glad to hear your Thanksgiving was so enjoyable.
Have a wonderful Sunday sweetie.

The Decorative Dreamer said...

I enjoyed your random chatter about your holidays. It's so nice to hear what you were up too, it's like catching up with an old friend. I think your holiday dessert bake off is a great idea, so cute that your niece won. I envy your upcoming trip. It sounds like you are going to have a great time, especially since you get to spend it with Cindy too! I need to get started on some of that wrapping myself now too. I kinda dread that part, it's fun but very time consuming. LOL!

Sarah @ Modern Country Style said...

I love having a bit of a pause between celebrations. It gives me a chance to work the children up into a Festive Frenzy!!


koralee said...

A perfect book for a wish list...hmmmm may have to add it to mine...stay cozy this week my sweet friend. xoxoxo

Rebecca Nelson said...

I love the PAUSES in life! Nothing in like exhaling what's old and inhaling what's new.

Beautiful post sweet friend! Beautiful as always.

Love to you!


Dana and Daisy said...

Happy Post Thanksgiving Jane! Yes, I used to be one of those "let's put the tree up on Thanksgiving" people. But now I say, why rush it, it's not coming down till mid January anyway! it'll just need dusting if we put it up too early! lol!

Confessions of a Plate Addict said...

Hi Jane! It sounds like you have been very busy! Have fun with Cindy and her hubby! I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!...hugs...Debbie

Amy Chalmers said...

Hi Jane, I like it normal for a bit while I think of what I want to do that might be a little different for holiday decorating. Hey I am a big fan of decorating books as giveaways so I HOPE you will be offering it up! That would be a great one.

Auntie sezzzzzz... said...

We all decorate at our own pace, Hon!!! To enjoy, is the key. Pressure to decorate, takes joy away. {*Wisdom of The Ages*} -giggles-

As to putting a watermark on my photos... I learned how, a long time ago. But... {There's always a but, hu?] It was too much "like work.

Plus, 'tis a conundrum. Who wants to put a watermark, right up in the main part of one's photo? But if one doesn't put it there, and puts it, like down on the photo edge or something...

If someone wants to steal your pic, and use it as their own... They just cut off the edge, where the watermark is. And crop all around, so the photo looks even.

Soooooooooo... I don't bother.

But then, I'm sure you could find a simpler way to do it, than I found, ages ago. And you could put the water mark someplace where it couldn't be cut off. :-)

You can keep your Picasa photos, private. And thus, a person can not grab and copy them. Wonder if we can do that with pics we post, on our blog? Hmmmmm, perhaps I'll ask my new geek friend, who helps with Blogger stuff. :-)

Auntie sezzzzzz... said...

And oh yes, I know Vicki... :-)

I've never seen a cover, which I liked better, than on her first book. Sooooooooo very Frenchhhhhhhh. :-)

Helen said...

Hello there! My dishwasher is finally running this morning. So many of the pieces I use for Thanksgiving dinner aren't meant for the rigors of the machine!

Back to normal, at least for the next week or so.

My tree is up .. I wanted everyone to enjoy the lights during dinner. It was magical.

My Grama's Soul said...

Hello sweet lady.....sounds like your Holiday season is getting off to a rousing start....I KNOW you will enjoy e every minute of it.

BTW....I've ordered Vicki's book also, I loved her first one!

Hugs to you,


Anonymous said...

Hi Jane,
It sounds like you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We did too - we drove to Denver & spent it with family! :)
I haven't started any decorating yet. There's plenty of time, yes?
Hope you have a great time with Cindy & her hubby!

Betsy Brock said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I love the dessert contest! How fun!

I can't believe how many times I ran the dishwasher this past week! Oh my. and the laundry piled up while I was baking and cooking! ha.

Christmas decor hasn't come to our house yet either...probably late this week. :)

Olive said...

Hi Jane, so glad your holiday went well and your house is restored to normal. We dove into getting the tree up and so it goes...have a lovely trip.

myletterstoemily said...

hi jane!

i'm so glad your thanksgiving was such
a success and my congratulations to
your darling niece!

i'll keep my fingers crossed for you to
receive the book you want! :)

merry Christmas,

Brenda Pruitt said...

I've just gotten some things done today in terms of decorating. I've been too busy making ornaments. Who was I kidding starting the week of Thanksgiving with the homemade ornaments? I can't make a pie worth diddly, and always admire someone who can pull it off. Relax with Cindy and take lots of pics!

xinex said...

Hi Janie, I am so glad you had a nice thanksgiving and what a great tradition you are starting about the dessert contest. Have fun meeting Cindy and her hubby again. I am so excited for you both cause I know how much fun that is. Stay warm!...Christine

Robin@DecoratingTennisGirl said...

Hi Jane,
Catching up with my blog reading this evening. Have a great time with Cindy. Can't wait to see the pics!

Anne Lorys said...

Hi Jane!
Sounds like a wonderful Thanksgiving, my friend!

No Christmas shopping yet, you're way ahead of me right now. :-)

Have a great week!

Charlene said...

Your Thanksgiving sounds GRAND!!!! And I know what you mean about liking the house just simple. But, mine seems to be full of "Stuff" from Fall to well into spring. I always do a lot of fall decor which is always rushed away to be cleared for Christmas. After Christmas it is almost a panic to get rid of the "CLUTTER". How come what I love so much in early December becomes a stressful mess by the end? HUGS!

Tricia said...

Sounds like a nice Thanksgiving. I love your little dessert contest idea and that a 9-year old won :)

Nancy said...

Sounds like you had a great Thanksgiving Day. We had a lovely sit down dinner with friends! Ah, friends are available to us again. What joy! Have fun decorating. I so want to get a tree!

Annesphamily said...

What a fun visit you will have! I am excited for you. It is so much fun meeting friends who otherwise are long distances away. Enjoy the trip and always know I do love stopping by here. It has been hectic at my new home but eventually things will fall into place. The snow is falling tonight and life is good. It is very good...Anne

Unknown said...

That sounds like a very nice Thanksgiving! I have done no shopping. BUT! The decorating is done. YAY! Tomorrow the Christmas Cards! :)

Happy! Happy! Joy! Joy!


Susan Freeman said...

What a wonderful Thanksgiving you and your family shared! Have a wonderful time in Galena. I fondly remember visiting that sweet town many times when I lived on the North Shore. Please take lots of pics while you are there!!

Lots of love,
Susan and Bentley

April said...

So happy to hear that you had such a nice Thanksgiving...ours was good, too, but I'm pooped! Enjoy your time certainly deserve it!

Karen said...

So glad to hear that showers and cleaning house took a back seat to food prep-I'm not the only 1! I confess tho, that I was spit shining the bathrooms on T-Day morning. lol. I agree that it's good to pause a little before decking our homes with Christmas bling.
Hope you have a lovely time next weekend-wow, a get-away just before Christmas-what a blessed girl you are.

Chrissy...The Apothecary Shop said...

Oh you are a busy girl...I too would kill for Vicki's book!!! X0

vintch said...

Gorgeous post and pictures! I love your idea about wrapping presents! I read an idea somewhere to wrap them in vintage fabric, which I thought was such a fabulous idea. It's very inexpensive at your local thrift store, and so pretty! Your thanksgiving sounds marvelous, my dear:)

SmilingSally said...

I agree that it is nice to sigh a bit the day following Thanksgiving--while eating some leftover pumpkin pie!

I'd sure like to live close to you so I could get one of those prettily stamped white bags of goodies.

Kim said...

Aw, how sweet for your little neice! I can just picture the face of a little girl winning such a contest over the adults. I'm sure it is something she will never forget. I'm glad you had a nice Thanksgiving Jane and hope you get to relax some before decorating for Christmas. Can't wait to see your home all decked out!

savvycityfarmer said...

sounds like normal to me ...
hope christmas is extra special for your clan

Privet and Holly said...

Yes, you are right.
It IS nice to have
the house sort of
neutral for a few days!
Our tree is up with
just the lights at
the moment, and nothing
else. I will start
layering tomorrow...the
tree and the house.
Your dessert contest
sounded like a lot of
fun and how great that
the littlest entrant
was the winner!
xx Suzanne

Heaven's Walk said...

Hey Janie! I'm so glad that you had a blessed Thanksgiving surrounded by lots of family and friends! Sounds like it was so much fun! :)

I agree about just having the house "normal" for a few days before hauling out new holiday decor. But....yesterday I buckled and spent the day amidst pine boughs, candles, and wreaths! :)

And guess what....? My shopping is all done! yipee!!!! Now for the wrapping.....! lol!

xoxo laurie

Pam - @diy Design Fanatic said...

I am still full from Thanksgiving and ate too much pie. We went to a friends house and my husband made 3 pies. I made some cookies. My husband does all the cooking since he was a chef. I don't know how you girls do the cooking, cleaning and the decorating. You must be superwoman!!!LOL! Sounds like your Thanksgiving was wonderful!

Kelsie from Our Country Home and Studio Photography said...

I am so glad I am not the only one not ready for Christmas...I have not begun shopping for the girls as I am not sure what the budget is yet...They might get a painted pine cone each at this rate lol.

Your weekend away sounds wonderful.
Blessings Kelsie

Jacqueline~Cabin and Cottage said...

Thanks for coming by Jane! Your pie sounds like the way it's done in Ireland with a lot less filling and lots of clotted cream--YUM! Jacqueline

Lori said...

Sounds like your Thanksgiving festivities went off without a hitch! Have a wonderful week-end away. xo

Elaine said...

What a great Thanksgiving, no housecleaning just food. Sounds perfect.

I have to decorate early since I am having a party this Saturday. Yikes, it's almost December!

Have a wonderful trip!

Hope the snow holds off a few more weeks there as it has here.

Kat said...

Sounds like the perfect Thanksgiving. I loved the story about the dessert contest, such a cute tradition! I haven't begun decorating for Christmas yet either. Usually we have it done the day after Thanksgiving, but this has been an unusual year to say the least so I'm not surprised :) Hope you are having a wonderful week. Kat

Barb said...

Hi Lady Jane,

It sounds like your weekend was perfect. Good food, family, shopping, time with hubby. What more could you ask for?

Enjoy your time away. Lake Geneva sounds like it would be lovely in Dec. and to spend time with a blogger and spouse-wow.

big hugs,

Unknown said...

G'day Jane ~ You sound as tho half of the rest of us ... holiday busy. Will have to check out that recipe for sure.

How clever a 'contest' ... bet the wee one was thrilled.

Have a beautiful day ~
TTFN ~ Christmas joys ~

Unknown said...

Hi Jane! Have fun in Lake Geneva, I love it there! We go to the beach a lot with the kids during the summer. I am very behind this year on my Christmas decorating as well...usually I am all done by Thanksgiving :)

Hugs ~

:) T

Happy To Be/ Gl♥ria said...

How fun Jane...Hoildays can be so busy my friend...each year I say this will be the last time I do this with my health and all and then I turn around and do it again ha ha!!
I'm in the biggest mess this Christmas with my house and a pathway through each room...will I ever listen to myself and not do this again ha ha!! Hope you have a great visit with Cindy and Dan..Love ya my Dear friend...Hugs and smiles Gl♥ria

Shellbelle said...

Oh, I'm so excited that the 9 yo was the winner of your contest, she will remember that forever!

Sounds like you had a lot of fun, despite all the work. We went out to dinner this year and I miss all the leftovers! Better for my hips I guess, but I'll never do it again, lol.

So glad to see you're getting together with Cindy and her hubby again. You are both two of my favorite bloggers. I wish I could find a spot and tell everyone to meet there next year for a Blogger Blowout Gathering! Wouldn't that be fun?

Stacey said...

I'll be adding that book to my wishlist for sure(thanks for sharing). Also, i haven't started any Christmas shopping yet(so behind). Stamping paper sounds like a fun idea-i might have to give it a try:-). XX

The Charm of Home said...

That sounds like a wonderful idea to have a dessert contest. How fun your niece won. I shopped this weekend for Christmas in an antique store. That was fun. I haven't got to wrapping yet. The house is in transition. LOL
Sherry said...

All so Beautiful! hope you had a super BLESSED turkey day!


Deserae said...

Sounds like a delightful time was had by all :o) Have fun on your getaway trip!!!!!

Michelle, All Home and Love said...

I absolutely love that your niece won the contest, she must have been thrilled! I may try and do something like that for Christmas with my girls, they love to bake. I hope you enjoy your weekend getaway!

I'll keep an eye out for that book, it looks like a good one.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful pics, Jane! It's sounds like you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! How wonderful that your little neice won the dessert contest... good for her! :)
I look forward to seeing some of your Christmas decor once you're able to get around too to it. No worries... we understand how hectic it can be at this time of year. :)
Have a great rest of your week!


Hey Jane, sounds like you had a great Thanksgiving. I couldn't help but notice the stack of books and the bottle of Mirassou. I drink their Chardonnay. Yummy yummy!

Have a great week!


Zabrinah said...

I need to read that book!!!!!!

Your Thanksgiving sounded great. I accidentally slept through Thanksgiving dinner, and nobody woke me up ..... Oh well. They said I needed the sleep!


Best wishes,


Carrie @ Cottage Cozy said...

I am so proud of your little niece ~ you go girl! Hope you are getting ready to start your Christmas decorating. I know what you mean about having it "normal" for a little bit! Hugs, Carrie

blueberries in the fields said...

that must have been such a great holiday gathering. it is so nice to have a whole bunch of people get together,eat good food, share laughs and all. Haven't start sorting out the x-mas decorations yet, but will start soon. i am int he spirit of the coming holidays and been huming old charols all day yesterday. ^-^

Lori E said...

OMG I love your new profile picture. Too cute.
I make the worst pie crust ever no matter whose recipe or methods I try. I would have gone with the trifle for sure.
Sounds like a fun tradition, what's not to like about taste testing desserts?

Sarah @ Modern Country Style said...

Hi Jane,

I've felt really envious this year seeing all that goes on during Thanksgiving in America.

I wish we had it in Englad!!

We did talk about what we were thankful for on that evening round the dinner table. Maybe next year I'll take it a bit further!!


vintage girl at heart said...

Sounds so wonderful and I hope you enjoyed your time with friends!
Can't wait to hear all about it!!
Congrats to your sweet niece too!

Janean said...

yes, i have to have *normal* as a breather between decors...

then in january i want it alllllll clean and fresh.

hugs. :)