Thursday, June 30, 2011


Just a little post before the BIG holiday weekend. Are you ready for it? {Insert fireworks here}. I am really looking forward to another 4 day weekend. But before all the festivities start, I wanted to share some things with you. I received a nice big box in the mail the other day, a giveaway I had won, from Michele at {Primp}. I am serious when I say go visit her. She is wonderfully creative and her blog is interesting. You'll be happy to add it to your list. Anyway, I won the goodies in this picture: A cute handmade card, the latest issue of Romantic Homes, a darling change purse, a ring {which Abby promptly snitched from me}, and...
...this tray turned chalkboard. I love it! I am so inspired to use some chalkboard paint of my own.
And last but not least, I won this gorgeous burlap pillow from her. I love toss pillows, I can never have too many. By coincidence, it landed in a room that daughter Emily just cleaned out, my hoarder room or simply known as the den. We have a living room, family room, office and for lack of another name, the den. It rarely gets used, so it became a catch all for all of my thrifty finds and seasonal change outs. I also keep all of my dishes but for everyday in there. Emily went to town cleaning things out, packing up boxes of this and that for me to bring to the lakehouse.
So I tried out my new pillow in there and I think it looks good. Then I realized since the room was always a my sneaky little hoarding room, I would show you some pictures of the new improved den.
My pictures are dark as it only has one window. I keep a lot of books in there as well. I wish I had straightened them out a little for my photo shoot.
The wallpaper is very old and I'm hoping that this fall we can remove it and paint the walls a soft gray. I think it will open the room up a lot.
These are some of the pretty things I keep on the sofa table behind the settee. The table runner was just placed along the top since I like to see everything sparkle. I'm weird. Now, you can't see the wall behind me as that is where I have the dishes piled up on a table and shelves. I am hinting around to The Husband that I would love a chippy white armoire. ;-D

So this is my den. I think you have now seen my whole house. Well, maybe not Piglets room.

So we are off to the lake again tomorrow. The Husband bought a new truck for us to keep up there. He has visions of hauling the boat with it, picking up sand and fire wood and I, of course am thinking of The Worlds Longest Yard Sale next month. No more excuses that we don't have room in the car!! So...we have 26 people coming for the holiday festivities, most are staying at a nearby motel. Emily has made up the menu's and is keeping everything organized. This is what she does best and it really takes a load off me.

So, tell me what you are doing for the 4th. Parades? Fireworks shows? Picnics or BBQ's? Or just hanging out with friends and family. It's going to be a good time!! :-)

I'm joining Sherry at The Charm Of Home for her party, Home Sweet Home. See ya!

Monday, June 27, 2011


I was so excited to have Cindy {from Applestone Cottage} and her husband, Dan as guests at the lake. After driving 6 hours from beautiful Black River Falls, Wisconsin, they arrived in Michigan in the early evening on Friday. We had a great time catching up on everything since our last visit in Lake Geneva, WI. back in December. And catching up over dinner we did. This is the 3rd time we have gotten together. If you have ever met up with another blogger or had the chance to really get to know one, I can tell you that a lasting friendship can be made. Cindy and I have loads in common, yet two years ago we didn't have a clue who each other was.
Saturday was gorgeous and after a lunch of chicken salad {I am on a chicken salad kick}, we took a long boat ride and showed Cindy and Dan the lake.
The Husband and Dan also get along like old friends. They stayed up late each night talking while Cindy and I konked out a 11:00. I took Cindy into our tiny little town where we went to a plant nursery. I bought a few herbs and more tomato plants and she bought a foxglove. She kindly oohed and aahed over my little vegetable patch. Saturday night The Husband made a delicious steak dinner with baked potatoes and corn on the cob. Now that I think of it, we really did a lot of talking and eating!
Sunday, after a lunch of BBQ chicken, Cindy and Dan routed there trip home with The Husband helping to maneuver them around Chicago and lots of traffic. Although we are hoping to visit them at their home, or meet up in December again for what now seems like our annual Christmas shopping trip, it seemed very quiet after they left. We took a little boat ride and then I took a bath and went to bed early. We got up at 5:30 a.m. and came back to Chicago today. Need I say we had fun? To see more pictures, visit Cindy at Applestone Cottage.
I took some pictures of my wee little cabbage patch behind the Summerhouse. I lost 2 tomato plants to rabbits that seem to just pop them out to let them shrivel up in the sun. Naughty rabbits.
I do have a tiny little pepper on my pepper plant. Isn't it the cutest?
I picked up some chives, rosemary, basil and oregano at the garden nursery and planted that on Saturday. Hopefully the bunnies will find something else to amuse themselves with.

It was a great weekend and it seemed to go by in a flash. Next weekend we have a ton of company coming for the 4th of July weekend. I think we are going from Friday until Tuesday night. After I rest up from this 4 day weekend, I will be ready again!

I want to announce the winner of my Pottery Barn giveaway, Sweet Bee Cottage has won the $50.00 gift certificate. Please send me your address via email. Thank you to everyone that left a comment. I wish all of you could have won! See you soon!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


It was another beautiful sunny weekend at the lake, the temps just right for sitting outside, enjoying the breeze off the bay. My pots are filling in with the flowers I planted last weekend so I thought I'd share a few pictures. I plant a lot of impatiens because I like to leave my pots in the shade where they won't dry up while we are gone.
I love this cement pot, I think I'd cry if it ever broke. I love the rustic and beautiful...
...and the whimsical. Have I mentioned that one of my closest blogger friends, Cindy from Applestone Cottage is coming to visit with her husband, Dan next weekend? We are so looking forward to it. They are coming from Western Wisconsin, a good 6 hour drive. I have finally gotten the whole house clean! Room by room I have been working away, including the little summerhouse. The Husband removed all the bird's nests from the eaves and posts...I think there was a landlord renting out empty nests. Every time the babies would fly away, a new family would move right in. After he power washed the patio, he more nests. I sort of like watching and listening to them.
So, what is this, I ask you? Saturday was the lake yard sale...tons of them everywhere, but we arrived a little late to take advantage of it. My sweet neighbor, Susie, popped over with this wicker thingie and said it had my name all over it.
It looks like something you would bring on a picnic. I'm thinking outdoor buffet with napkins and utensils. It's very neat though, isn't it? Any other ideas?
Friday night was another shower for son Kevin's fiancee, Mary Clare. It was held at her Aunt Kathy's house, which is just lovely. I tried to take outdoor pictures, but it had gotten too dark out. Tents filled the backyard with flickering candles on tables, sangria was the theme drink and the food was outstanding. Although gifts didn't have to be wrapped, some were, and Mary Clare just beamed as she opened them. I think Kevin is enjoying the showers, especially for the food. August 27th is fast approaching, and no, I don't have a dress yet.
This is daughter Emily with Mary Clare.
And my daughter, Abigail.
This is me with Mary Clare's sweet mother, Peggy. We had a wonderful time and I wish I hadn't had to leave so early but it was up to the lake.

We are leaving again on Thursday, and Cindy and Dan will be coming on Friday. Did I say I am excited? Maybe we can do a post together.

So there we have my weekend. How was yours? A winner for the Pottery Barn giveaway will be announced next week when things die down around here. Good luck!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


I want to start this post by telling all of you that I hit my 300th post and I want to celebrate. So...I am giving away a gift card to Pottery Barn for $50.00. All you have to do is be a follower of my blog and leave a comment. Simple!

On to the good stuff. I made it to our nursery on Sunday and bought some beautiful flowers and ferns for the garden. I planted pots most of the day. Every year I'm drawn to a certain color scheme and this year it was salmon pink and white. I think they go well with the color of the house.
As I worked straight into the dinner hour, I decided it was Happy Hour. How refreshing is a glass of Pinot Grigio while you hum away when you work?
This is The Husband's little rock garden. I can't remember the name of the plant he used in it but soon it will be overflowing
We had 4 yards of sand delivered. Most of it will be shoveled into the water to add to the sandy bottom and the rest will replenish the beach. It is really hard work and The Husband enjoys it. ;-D
The wave runners were brought out of the garage finally and we are ready to get out on to the lake. The work keeps slowing us down though.
Milo casually observes all that is going on around him.
I hung salmon colored petunias on the front porch. The wisteria is growing wild but I haven't got any blooms yet. It's still too young, I guess. Soon it will grow straight up to the balcony and I doubt I will be able to hang baskets. Pots on the steps will be good.
Over the weekend, Emily worked on more details for the wedding. These jars were made with chalkboard paint and a chalk marker.
I think they turned out darling.

So that was my weekend. Busy as usual. I'm planting flowers here today {if the rain lets up} and then we have another shower to go to on Friday night. I think they are so much fun. Then it is back up to the lake, hopefully to relax.

Thanks for following along and good luck in the giveaway. Spread the word on your blog if you'd like . I will pick a winner in about a week or so. Have a great day! :-)

Sunday, June 12, 2011


The bridal shower for my son's fiancee was held Friday night at the home of my SIL, Karen. It really turned out wonderful. This is her house {with The Husband standing on the porch welcoming guests}. We had to shoo him out shortly later to go have dinner with the guys.
In place of a cake, we had cupcakes from a bakery in Chicago called Sugar Bliss. The owner is the lady behind Cupcake Wars on the Food Network. She has shops in Chicago and Beverly Hills.
Daughter Emily was in charge of cupcakes. She bought little Chinese food boxes from Michael's and decorated them, The cupcakes were given as favors to the guests.
Emily also wrapped up the flatware in napkins held together by diamond ring napkin rings. Aren't they cute?
Rumor has it that I made 1000 croissant chicken salad sandwiches. That was a slight exaggeration on my part. We had 37 guests.
We also had tortellini pasta salad as well as a strawberry spinach salad, made by Megan and Karen respectively.
How pretty is that?
Karen's daughter, Lizzie made the fruit salad on skewers, poked into a pineapple. She also cut out pieces of melon and pineapple with a flower cookie cutter. Cure, cute, cute.
We had a small bar set up...
...and later in the evening a coffee, tea and sweet table.
Tables were set up outside as well and I took some shots of Karen's garden.
Isn't this darling?!
Here is the bride to be, holding her drink in a special pink bottle cooler.
The gifts were piled on and below a banquet table near the bay window. We requested the gifts not be wrapped which allows for the bride to enjoy the party and also saves on wasted paper. She is registered at Crate And Barrel and Bed, Bath & Beyond, and received so many nice gifts. I bought her a Kitchen Aid mixer and Emily and Abby gave her the blender and immersion blender. She can whip up cookies, margaritas and milkshakes all at once.
And this is a picture of the love birds. Son Kevin was a little overwhelmed by all the ladies when he came in near the end of the party, but he behaved himself.

I hope you enjoyed the pictures. I have one more shower to go to next week given by Mary Clare's family. She also has one being given by her girlfriends. It's so exciting. Now I have to get off my bum and find a dress for this wedding. I keep thinking I will lose another 10 or 20 pounds in the next 12 weeks but I don't think that is going to happen. Not after eating all those cupcakes, I mean, that one cupcake! ;-D

Thursday, June 9, 2011


It looks like a big knitting party, and no, it wasn't a canning session, although we went through a zillion Ball jars {and assorted pickle, mayonnaise and peanut jars}. No, we were making table decorations for son Kevin and Mary Clare's wedding. Here is the group of helpers.
Nora, Mary Clare's sister is actually swaddling her six week old baby in this wrap. I wish there had been something this fashionable when mine were infants. Can you see his tiny head?

Anyway, what we were doing was wrapping glass jars with jute string. These jars will be filled with candles and wildflowers on the guest tables. Have I mentioned that the wedding reception is outdoors under tents? They are going for a farmhouse atmosphere although the location is actually on the grounds of an academy.
So we cut and wrapped and glued all afternoon. Mary Clare's mother, Peggy, served lunch and coffee and Emily and I got to get to know 3 of Peggy's four sisters. Can you imagine that many girls in one family? And they are all so close and fun together. We all hummed and sang along to old songs on the radio while we kept our fingers busy. Each jar turned out as individual as the lady making it. It was a wonderful afternoon.
We continue with the preparations for one of the bridal shower being held tomorrow night {the one for which I have to make chicken salad for 1000 people}. Chicago had torrential rain and the home where we are having the shower had it's basement flooded. We've gone back and forth as to whether or not we can rent a place on such notice, or if the basement can be cleaned up in time. We are hoping for the latter. Stay tuned. And after it is all over, I will be back on the dock of the bay, watching the turtles splash and humming away! :-)