Tuesday, January 31, 2012


I usually like to open my posts with a pretty picture, but that's not happening today. Yesterday I finally tackled a cabinet that was driving me up a wall. It holds all of my runners, tablecloths, place mats, napkins and some random vases and pieces of china. It was actually holding more than it was meant to hold and everything was unsorted and getting wrinkled. It had been on my To Do list for quite a while.

With the help of Emily, we got it emptied out and sorted. I found things I forgot I had. I like to pick up table linens when they are on sale and some were still in their packaging. A separate box was made for the Christmas stuff and that left a lot of room. Baskets came in handy for the napkins, rings, candles and candle holders. So, here is what it looks like now...
I can finally see what I am looking for. We filled 2 bags for Goodwill, most of it was vases that I could never get around to using and a lot of mismatched dishes picked up from thrift stores. I parted with a lot that I love but I feel a weight off my shoulders. I can honestly say that all of my cabinets and closets are clean and organized, here, on this last day of January!
I snapped this picture of the ivy growing rampant over our windows outside. While watching the dappled sunlight come through one day, I was amazed that the ivy was still green. It has been such an odd 3 months with so little snow and such warm temps. It is in the 50's today, perfect for a walk or a little doggie do clean up in the backyard. I think I'll take a walk!
We skipped the lake this weekend to go out to dinner with the entire family at Rosebud in Chicago. I tried to fix this picture but you get the idea. Oprah rated it as her favorite restaurant at one point in time. There were 15 of us and we celebrated my father in law's recovery from recent surgery. Good food, lots of fun and laughter, it was a great Saturday night.

It has been a week since I last posted...I have been blogging when I have the chance, but I have been having a problem with finding no comment button on some of the blogs I visit. I don't know if it is just happening to me as there are existing comments on the blog. Just know that if you haven't heard from me, this is probably the issue.

I am joining Honey at 2805 for Potpourri Friday and Cozy Home Scenes for Cozy Home Party. I'll be stopping in to say Hi to the girls participating. Have a great week! :-)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


We are well into a new week and I can't help but think how fast January had flown by. For a cold and uneventful month, it seems to have disappeared. All that snow that you see in my backyard has melted as the temps have reached the 30's. Perfect weather for flinging open the windows and letting the house have a good airing.
It sounds like everyone is buying flowers lately and I couldn't stop myself while grocery shopping Saturday. These were in the clearance {Almost Dead} bins. I should have splurged on some healthy ones. Next time.
They're not too shabby. Now you can see why I was a child who took in stray dogs and cats.
A trip to Marshall's netted me some cute things for the house, like this piece of driftwood.
And these terra cotta pots that I am going to plant some basil and thyme in for the windowsill. I also found a jute runner for one of my halls, some nice candles and a few other pretty things. Let's face it, I was bored but the prices are SO good. Retail therapy for sure.
Some people love pillows and I am one of them. In fact, I wouldn't even let myself look at them yesterday. Well, like my love for pillows, I really LOVE baskets. The more different, the better. These came in small, medium and large. I bought 2 of each size from Wisteria. I need to clean out my china cupboard and the drawers that hold napkins and place mats, etc, and now I have a way to make it look pretty, too. My linen closet is on my To Do list also. Every time I open the door I shudder.
Don't you love chicken wire? My new coffee table {not delivered yet} has a lower shelf and I thought the larger baskets would look cute underneath holding magazines and what not. Can you see why I love baskets?

If the weather stays this warm, we might take a trip to the lakehouse this weekend. It doesn't hurt to check up on things and of course we always need the change of scenery. A few long walks, a fire in the fireplace and maybe something warm and delicious in the crockpot. I think it sounds like a plan.

I hope you are having a good week. I am joining in on the party at Kim's of Savvy Southern Style for Wow Us Wednesday, although I don't really see any big Wows here! Take care :-)

Friday, January 20, 2012


Well, it's finally here. After many of us wondering if we would set a record and never have snow this winter, we woke up to some whispy little flakes that gradually became larger and soon we were in the middle of a real snowfall. I had to run out to the store for coffee and filters and cream {who knows if we will get snowed in, I need my provisions!}, and by then the snow was blowing sideways and since it is so cold {15 degrees} it was hitting me in the face like little ice drops. I had planned on going grocery shopping later in the day but I think I will wait and see if tomorrow is better.
My little quails are happy they are in where it is warm. The nice thing about when it snows here in my neighborhood, people are out shoveling and helping out their fellow neighbors who might not be home. A neighbor just came and shoveled our walk and refused the money that Abby offered. I must look like I'm not home since my car is covered with a few inches of the white stuff.
I'm still waiting for the new furniture so Emily and I are trying to reppurpose things in that room into other rooms. I find her in the almost empty family room quite a bit, looking around, measuring...things that designers do. I'd like to think of it as a collaboration, I told her what I wanted and she found it. She has it all arranged in her head.
This was one of the tables we moved to the den. It is a little too elegant for the look I am going after. I have been wanting to take down this wallpaper but The Husband says it is the one thing in this house I can't change. Is wallpaper supposed to be making a comeback?
My blog books came and I have to say that I am very happy with them. The Husband seems to be more thrilled with them than I am...he reads my blog sporadically, so it was mostly new to him. He likes how I have recorded events, vacations and trips. He thinks of them like a family album.
I have to admit they are quite pricey, but I wanted to do 3 volumes. Hereafter it will just be one year at a time.
They make a great keepsake. So I give them a thumbs up, since you asked.

Life has been slow here this week. Abby and I went out for Mexican food one night for dinner and that is about it. I knew this time of year would be slow for blogging, especially since I am not the crafty or furniture painting type. I have been seeing a lot of great projects though. Everyone is keeping busy! Have a great weekend and I will be back soon! :-)

Monday, January 16, 2012


It has been a quiet day with The Husband working at home and me just fiddling and fluffing and not doing much of anything. I love days like this. Nowhere to go, nowhere I have to be. It's gloomy, although warm, and I was hoping to get some good photos for you. Last week I found a dough bowl that I fell in love with on eBay. I think it took less than 4 days to arrive on my doorstep. I truly love it and so of course I am going to show it off.
I thought when The Husband came up for air, we would have a nice snack, including Maggie's chutney. You might remember that she sent this to me last month as a sweet little gift, as I had never had chutney before. I am looking forward to trying it today.
I have a nice selection of cheeses and sausage and some bread and crackers, and I arranged it all in my dough bowl instead of on a cheese plate {so I could show it off, of course}. One of the cheeses is from England, Maggie! Since it is only 3:00, we will have mineral water instead of wine. Maybe not, what would they do in France?
It was a busy weekend. Yesterday we all met at Kevin and Mary Clare's new home. Well, they are awaiting the inspection, but then it will be theirs. It really is beautiful, a simple city Georgian, all freshly painted with new carpet throughout. They are so excited. Afterward we went to a little pub around the corner that we frequent a lot, Fox's. They have the best pizza and sandwiches in Chicago. My picture is a little grainy, but you can see all the dark wood and paneling...it's very cozy.
Saturday night we met a group of friends at Jenny's, a steakhouse. One of the girls is an actress/comedian and she had us rolling on the floor laughing. It really was a fun night! Didn't I mention in my last post that I really needed to get out. That I did!
I recently broke down and upgraded my camera. I spent a good part of Saturday reading the manual and taking pictures. This is one I took of Milo. I think he would prefer a less feminine background but he loves the couch! Anyway, I am loving the new camera and I wanted to mention that there is a blogger, Aimee at It's Overflowing that has a weekly series on photography that you might want to check out. It's on Fridays and you can follow the link. I have already read two posts and they are immensely helpful.

Another thing I recently did was had my blog put into book form. I have now been blogging 3 years, so I had 3 volumes made. They haven't arrived yet. I am so excited. I did this through The Cutest Blog On The Block and you basically make your own book. And then it arrives, a hardcover {or soft} book filled with all your posts {chapters} and pictures. I'm anxiously awaiting the UPS man...as usual.

So, how did you spend your weekend? :-)

Friday, January 13, 2012


Well, we got the snow I was wishing for...maybe 6 to 8 inches, but enough. And it brought with it freezing temps as a double reward. Brrrr...I feel badly for anyone that has to go out in it. January has struck!

I can't say that I have gone out much since I last posted. Abby now uses my car for school in the afternoons since The Husband put his sports car away in the garage for the winter. I don't mind, Emily is off on Mondays and Thursdays and we do things together...sort of like Driving Miss Daisy.
I am loving the new blue pitcher I picked up...it is HEAVY! Not sure where I am going to put it yet. It looks like my family room furniture will be coming mid February but the coffee table is back ordered until April. That's a bummer, people use their coffee tables so it is going to be a big blank spot for a few weeks. I'm not sure if I will wait until then for the full reveal or not. Shall I tease?
I need another pillow like a hole in my head. Emily and I totally fell in love with this quote, so home it came with me.

Have I mentioned that son Kevin and his wife, Mary Clare, bought a house? It's a Georgian located about 5 minutes from me. I am so excited for them. They have been living in the tiniest apartment ever and they have had to store all their shower and wedding gifts at her mother's house. It will be like Christmas morning when she can open all that good stuff up and put it to use. Last night they came over for dinner and we ordered out Italian beef sandwiches. A good time was had by all. I went to bed a little early though because I still have that cold in my head and chest and I feel a bit of an earache. I hope it runs it's course soon.
This is another blanket from PB. I can never have too many throws, we use them all the time, even to cover the dogs during the cold months. This color is called Ash and will look perfect with the grays I am using in the room.
Well, this is the start of the Chicken stock I made from scratch the other day. It really was fun and I loved how the house smelled.
I cooked the chicken until I could pull the meat off the bone and then I threw the carcass back in the broth to cook 6 more hours. After refrigerating it overnight, I skimmed the fat off and I now have a nice, deep colored broth. Tonight I am going to make soup! I have all sorts of root vegetables and mushrooms and some Amish noodles. That should clear my head out!

Yesterday The Husband worked from home and Em was off work. It was not my normal quiet day...and then we had all the kids for dinner. So, today is quiet, the snow has stopped and it doesn't seem like there is a soul in the world out there. I started a new book on my Nook and I am loving it. It's all about the comfort in holding it, I think. And I get Netflix on it and I am anxious to try a movie. That's what I think I will do today before I make the soup. We have no plans for the weekend, but I really need to get out. I'll come up with something! All of you have a wonderful weekend! :-)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


When not out and about and enjoying the warm weather we have been having, I have been playing with vignettes that were inspired by some of the pieces I picked up at the store where Emily works. Not only do they have gorgeous furniture, the accessories are out of this world. I really have to stay away.

I have been playing with my mantel and it never fails to frustrate me. It is deep and long and although some would find that great to work with, I get overwhelmed. Any suggestions would be welcome.
I found the mercury glass piece at Emily's shop. Love at first sight. I kept a lot of mercury glass out of my Christmas bins to use year round. It's great for a sparkle here and there.
I'm just not sure what I am dissatisfied with...everything looks lined up although it isn't. More touches of greenery, maybe?
I also bought this at Emily's store, I just love it. It's so beautiful when it's all lit and I have tried different candles, too. These are from Homegoods and they smell heavenly.
I also pulled this little antique candle holder out of my stash to add more sparkle. I wonder if I am missing the blinginess of Christmas!
I hit a few white sales and found this comforter at Kohls. No coupons but it was marked way down. If you asked me months ago if I would ever have so much brown in a room, I would have laughed. This is a soft brushed corduroy with a sheep skin reverse side. The dogs are loving that part! The throw is from Pottery Barn, my son gave it to me as a birthday gift last year. I love the texture of all of it.
I found the pillows on my trip to Homegoods. I have a sisal rug on the floor that has red around the edges so it all ties in.
So, this is what I have been playing with this week. I didn't get out much this past weekend, other than to do the grocery shopping. That was a riot in itself. The Husband was bored and decided to go along. Since I hadn't stocked up since all the holiday shopping, I thought it would be nice to have an extra set of hands. I truly wish I had video taped it. When he wasn't complaining about the price of things, he was throwing odd things like Ovaltine and graham crackers in the cart. He kept complaining how slow I was. And why did we have to hit each aisle? I explained to him that as a shopper, I was not only comparing prices, I was planning meals, replacing things we were out of, and of course examining the labels for all the terrible ingredients they put in things. He still wasn't convinced this was time consuming and halfway through was whining to go home. I was ready to stick a sucker in his mouth to keep him happy. Never Again!

Well...I have load after load of laundry to do today and I realized that I haven't baked a thing since my frenzy over the holidays, so I thought I would do a little of that. I am also making homemade chicken stock that I saw on Susan Branch's blog. It takes about two days to make and I bought a little chicken so I am ready to go to town. It sounds like we are going to have some wonderfully cozy meals this week.

Take care and I will see you later in the week! :-)

Friday, January 6, 2012


It feels like spring is in the air. The temps are in the 50's and it's sunny. How odd after the freezing cold we have had the past few days. It makes me want to go outside and check for tulips and daffodils poking their little heads out of the ground. I will however, be happy about my blooming paperwhites instead. Aren't they pretty?
I have been getting over my wretched cold and just hanging out at home mostly. My Nook was not broken as I thought and I hope my bumbling around with it didn't dissuade anyone from buying it for themselves. It simply needed to be rebooted. Barnes & Nobles has a troubleshooting website that is fantastic. Anyway, I have been snuggling up with my Nook in the evening, getting acquainted with it. I haven't downloaded a book yet but I am getting email and the like set up, as well as actually reading ALL the instructions, which is unlike me. I still don't have the faintest as to what my camera is capable of.
Plans are full steam ahead for my redoing the family room. Yesterday Emily and I made a trip to Homegoods. This is only my second time there. What a blast...something for everyone. My color scheme in the room is yellow and white with touches of gray. I may add some blue, I'm not sure. I bought pieces for the walls and tables and some lamps and pillows...we really went to town. Emily started getting all sorts of cool ideas for her wedding and ended up with a cart of her own to create this:
...a sweet table at her reception. She has recently gotten into Pinterest and found some neat photos. This is one of them. I am sorry I don't have the source. In a nutshell, she will have a cute table set up with jars of candy and little personalized bags and scoops for guests to help themselves.
These jars were a steal. Aren't they huge? She has so many unique ideas, I am really loving planning this with her. She is now a big fan of Pinterest.
Back to the family room. Everything I have gotten so far is just placed back there so I can put it all together when the furniture arrives {8~10 weeks}. Here is a sneak peek of a lamp that I bought. I love it!
And I found these little things. Are they called kissing balls? I have them on my little tree from Wisteria.

It was so good to get out. Today I have to go grocery shopping although I am more in the mood for spring cleaning with this gorgeous weather. I wonder what it is about the sunshine that makes us want to clean and fluff. Maybe because we can see the dust bunnies better! What have you been doing these past few warm days {and hopefully you have this wonderful weather, too}. Happy Weekend! :-)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


I'm feeling a lot better, not 100%, but better than last week. Thank you for all the get well wishes, they mean so much. The days start off slow with a lot of coughing but if I keep plugging along, I get my energy back. Today I treated my self to a nice breakfast of this and this:
I'm not too big on presentation when I am hungry. But nothing beats warm cinnamon rolls and coffee on a cold morning. It was 13 degrees when I woke up and reached a high of 17. We had a little snow on Sunday but nothing to make angels in. Winter has been a little wonky here in the Midwest.
Layla and Milo had the right idea this morning. I, in fact, took a long nap, too.
Saturday had me feeling a bit better and I desperately wanted some fresh air. We had no plans for New Years Eve, so we headed out in the early afternoon and ended up at one of our favorite restaurants, Mimi's, for a late lunch/early dinner. I love the decor here, sort of like a New Orleans jazz club and the food is outstanding.
I love the upper balcony, and the atmosphere is so fun.
I started with baked French onion soup and then moved on to...
chicken crepes with mushrooms and a wonderful sauce.
Before your meal, a bread basket comes with French rolls and their own freshly baked carrot cake. You can also buy it by the loaf, which we did and we had a great evening snack with coffee.

Our afternoon wasn't just spent noshing. We stopped at the store where Emily is a designer and she had a proposal all ready for me on the family room furniture. I have been wanting to redo this room for over a year now, but had to wait for son Jeff to move out and take the existing furniture. I decided on a white slip covered cotton canvas sofa, loveseat, and chair with an ottoman. It really is a pretty set and will look so good in this sun filled room that leads out into the backyard. Now we are working on some tables and accessories and I will include some downloads in my next post...this was a little overloaded with pictures. Lest you think I have no plans to add a stamp of my own in this room, I have a huge old mirror with a gold frame that I am going to paint and I found this at Wisteria:
Isn't it wonderful? It's made out of real branches and I got it for a steal. I'm not sure what I am going to do with it, decorate it for the seasons would be one idea. Anyway, this is a fun way to star the new year and I am enjoying the process of doing the room.

Have you De~Christmasized your home yet? Last night my sweet little girl went to town taking down all the decorations and packing away bin after bin. Then she and The Husband took the lights off the tree and put it at the curb where the big chipper truck had at it this morning. Goodbye Christmas. It feels different to have the house back to normal. It looks a lot less cluttered but I do miss those colored lights. On a good note though, my paperwhites bloomed! They look so pretty, I should have included a picture.

I hope everyone had a great New Years Eve and Day. The year is in full swing now and it sounds like we are all getting our projects and organizing in line. It's fun to read all the varied posts on what everyone is up to. What are you working on? :-)

I'm joining Honey at 2805 for Potpourri Friday!!