Wednesday, February 29, 2012


What a gorgeous day it is! I woke up this morning with the sun shining through the blinds and the wind making them clatter. I just knew it was going to be a beautiful day. I've got the windows open now and the wind is gusty, just a perfect way to end February and bring in March. Then we can honestly say spring has arrived!
Yesterday was one of these days. The rain started about 7:00 and was spattering against the windows as the wind howled. I had one of my insomniac episodes from 1:30 to 3:30 a.m. It's funny that I can't hold my eyes open until the news is over {or The Real Housewives of Orange County, whichever is juicier}, and then I am wide awake in the middle of the night. A pot of coffee and a little reading or blogging helps me get back to sleep. Sounds strange but it works for me.
I want to thank everyone for a great response to my last post on beauty products and our daily routines. I think it was fun and I loved reading each and every comment. There are a lot of Olay and Bare Mineral devotees out there and so much was true inspiration. I love you ladies that get up and have a routine of making yourselves prettier as much as those of you that keep it very simple. I am going to get one more post ready where we can talk about bath and shower products, everything from head to toe, and then I will announce a giveaway that I hope you will love!
We didn't go to the dinner party that was scheduled for last weekend as the host and hostess had to cancel. It is pushed back to the end of March. I had to ask The Husband about that ballroom and he told me he thinks they use it for a big recreation room. My daughter Emily is currently designing several rooms for them, maybe I can get her to snap some pictures. Anyway, it turned out to be a quiet weekend, the husband went to a work related event Saturday night and I read and hopped in bed early. We did get out to our favorite little pub for a late lunch on Sunday, but otherwise we were homebody's and that was good to me.
Last week I sent The Husband out for a small ham, we have a lot of beans and I wanted to make a soup with the ham bone. He came home with a 10 pound spiral cut ham! He must have Easter on his mind. So...I invited the whole family over for dinner tomorrow night, there will be nine of us. Tomorrow I will be off shopping for all the extras and some good wine. For my last dinner, I had a bottle of Paul Newman's Cabernet Sauvignon and it was not a big hit. Poor Mary Clare said, "It gets better after the first 3 sips" Oh well, at least my money goes to charity.
That's about all I have for today. I have loads of laundry to do and I want to bake a cake for tomorrow. And, since it is 60 degrees {!!!!!!}, I just have to get outside for awhile! I hope you are all having a wonderful week! :-)

Saturday, February 25, 2012


I thought it might be sort of fun to get away from the norm with this post {look...I am even using a different font color!}, and do something fun. I am always talking about cooking, or decorating or little trips and I thought this might be a post that included everyone and we could all participate in the comments. A BEAUTY post! I thought I would share some of my tips and products I use and then you could all join in.

We spend a lot of time on our homes making them beautiful, do we take the same time with ourselves? I will be the first to say it...I have the time but not so much the interest. I'm talking about cosmetics in this post. Do we wear make up? Where, when, how often? I'll be the first to admit that I have been in a slump. Why do I need to wear make up on my face to go to the grocery store or the library? Who needs the hassle? I finally reached an answer to that for myself and it was very simple: self respect. Being the best I can be.
I wear so little most days, I probably am not qualified to give advice. But I thought I'd pass on to you some of the things I have in my make up bag and we could go from there. These are some of the products I love. I have very pale skin and if I could change anything, it would be the purple colored circles I have under my eyes {even if I get 12 hours of sleep!}, and maybe my freckles. So, for everyday I wear concealer and a little powder. If I am going out to dinner or a party, I wear foundation, too. Smashbox is my favorite. Back to everyday...I really have a love/ hate relationship with mascara, I despise taking it off at night. So my trick is to wear eyeliner. I use gray so it is not so obvious and it adds a little color. If you keep it close to your lashline, it looks like you have thick eyelashes and you don't have all the hassle of putting on and taking off mascara. My all time favorite eyeliner is Maybelline Unstoppable in Pewter. If you have brown eyes like me, it adds a tiny pop of contrast.
Eyeshadow is a tricky subject for me. Since my eyes are brown, it seems odd to have a color, like blue on my eyes. It looks!! Mostly colors like wine and rose looks best on me since those colors go with various shades of my skin. Peach colors, too. If you can get away with other colors, great. Share that with us!

Another problem I have with eyeshadow is how much is enough? For Christmas I received a palette of colors by Urban Decay. Big, bold colors with sparkle, some almost black. Yes, there is a charcoal eyeshadow in there. Someone out there knows how to use this stuff but it's not me! I guess you just need a light touch. And blend. I do remember this from the 80's when we wore SO much makeup and didn't even need it then!
Blush and lip gloss are fun for me and the answer to the old "What would you bring to a desert island" question. I need some color on my face since I am so pale... I think we could all use a bit of color on our cheeks, it makes us look healthy and for blush, I love Laura Mercier {you can get her cosmetics at}. She makes these little quad palettes and you can use one shade or blend all four together. They make you glow! Physician's Formula also makes these blendable palettes, so check them out at your drugstore.

And speaking of drugstores, I think they have the best lipsticks and lip glosses that you can get anywhere. I love the long wearing lip gloss that Maybelline makes, again called Unstoppable. It's sticky but it stays on forever! It's been a long time since I actually wore lipstick, it just doesn't last that long and I thought it was a little much on me. But since Maybelline and L'oreal have come out with long wearing shades, I have been picking up a few here and there and I like them. Unlike department stores where you can try on colors {yuck}, you can still bring back make up to the drugstore for an exchange or refund. One thing I have learned...lipgloss always looks darker in the tube than it really is and lipstick always looks lighter.
I hope I haven't bored you to tears yet. In a nutshell, this is what I wear when I am not doing anything special: Powder
A smile

If I really need to look good, I pull out the big guns: Foundation
A smile
Does this sound high maintenance? I have always been a girly girl and grew up poring over the make up counters at Marshall Fields. I studied Glamour magazine like it was a textbook. We loved our cosmetics in the eighties and wouldn't even go to school without our Wet N' Wild blue eyeshadow and Bonnie Bell lipgloss! But as I said, I have been in a slump. Somedays I have to make that extra effort to even put earrings on, but you know what? The Husband notices. He notices when I do my nails or if I am wearing perfume. My daughter's don't necessarily compliment me, but I can see it in their eyes that they are glad I spent some time on/for myself.
So, although this may have sounded like a lengthy post, everything I have talked about fits right into this little bag. Honestly. Including some good brushes, but that's another post.
I'm almost quite done...I have tried different products to take my make up off with at night. I used to just wash with Dove soap but then I discovered these neat little towelettes. Being ever inquisitive, I tried these, Neutrogena and Burt's Bees and these are the hands down best. Perfect for dry sensitive skin, but no oils. You will love them.
The end of my post has come around and I am leaving you with a look at my wretched vanity. I, myself am not so messy and unorganized but Emily and Abby and I share my vanity, share our products and makeup {share our shoes, too!}. Keeping it neat is a never ending battle. Make up, hair stuff, nail's all in here.
Ignore that reflection in the mirror of all my pillows and quilts piled up, I am reorganizing that, too. And I am reorganizing this vanity. And I will show you the results in an upcoming post.

If you found any of this interesting, informative or just plain fun, let me know in your comments. I want to hear how you ladies keep yourselves looking good, what your make up routines are. Have they changed over the years? Are your pressed for time or in a slump? What are your favorite products? What is your make up routine? Write as little or as much as you want. In an upcoming post we are going to talk about hair; our current styles, products we love, how we're dealing with the dreaded gray. And then I am going to move us on to our favorite body rituals and products for the bath and or shower, lotions and potions and all things that smell good!

Finally, after we have shared and shared and shared some more, I am going to have a giveaway with some beauty products that are tailor made for the winner. You don't even need to be a follower, just spill it. Write a book. Give advice to all of us. This will be FUN!

Now, let's get started! :-)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Hi everyone. It's been a few typical winter days here in my world. The sun is not cooperating today and I have nowhere to go so I thought I would sit down and do a post. These are flowers that are still going strong since Valentine's Day. They were given to Abby from her boyfriend, Tom. She also received chocolates, which I helped her devour. I received a chocolate rose from The Husband which was hollow...don't you hate that?
Things are very slow here this time of year. You really have to make your own fun. I go crazy if I don't get out of the house, just a quick trip to the store can give me a different perspective. It must be the fresh air. Alas, I couldn't get The Husband out of the house this past weekend. He is loving the family room and his new television. We are not people who go to movies so we rent them With the Academy Awards just around the corner, we got caught up on some newer movies...Moneyball, The Ides of March, Contagion and The Help. I read The Help over a year ago and I was so happy that the movie was so true to the book. The actresses portrayed the characters perfectly. So it was a very quiet weekend with a lot of movies and popcorn.
Last week I had the whole family over for dinner. Have you ever heard of Irish nachos? I ordered them at our favorite pub a few weeks ago and took a picture. I then replicated it as an appetizer before our dinner Thursday. In a nutshell, you make waffle fries and then sprinkle chopped green onions and tomatoes over them, then top them with the cheese that you buy in the jar. Do not use shredded cheese, it turns to glue! I mound everything on a festive plate before I pour the hot cheese on. You can then garnish them with more green onions or even bacon bits as they did in the restaurant. Yum!
I had my butcher make up Polish chickens for me. I have no idea why they are called that. It is both chicken breasts stuffed with homemade sausage. One will be enough for two people. This is the before...
...and this is them out of the oven with the string cut off and sliced in half. This is how I serve them on the buffet. It's possible that your butcher can make these up for you or you can try it yourself. I take the easy way out!
I also made potatoes roasted with rosemary and butter. Corn, a simple pasta salad and a loaf of French bread finished off the meal. We had cheesecake for dessert. I usually set the table even if we are having a buffet, but this time I just stacked the plates and silver.
I found these pretty hydrangeas at a little grocery store. I don't usually shop there because it is so small and the prices are high, but they do have a nice floral section with things I don't expect. I found my rosemary plant there {which died...sob}.
So, that is about all I have been up to. I made a trip to the mall with Abby last week and although I am not really a mall person, we had a great time. I was looking for a dress to wear to a dinner party we are going to Saturday night. I have a few nice dresses and some dressy tops that I could wear with black pants, but it's always nice to know you have something new on. I couldn't find anything I liked though so I have to resort to what I have in my closet. The couple hosting the party live in the oldest house in their town. There is a ballroom on the third floor that used to be used for town hall meetings. I was there for a Christmas party just after they moved in...I am wondering what they have done with this ballroom! I will let you know.

I hope all of you are having a good week. Hopefully you are having nice weather. It is cold and really gloomy here...looks like rain. Well, I guess that is February for you! See ya! :-)

I am joining French Country Cottage this week! Pop over!

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Today the sun is shining after days of gloomy weather...I hope it stays like this for awhile. Valentine's Day has come and gone. I hope it was a special day for all of you. The Husband brought home a sweet card, a chocolate rose and a gift card to Starbuck's. He knows me so well and he knows I love gifts! I didn't bake anything special as I usually try to do, but yesterday I was in the mood for something sweet and made a batch of shortbread cookies. I have to give you a close up shot because I ate quite a few!
Other than one small wall, I am pretty sure the family room is completed. These are the little chests I showed you in my last post. They were a lime green and now they are a pale dove gray. I have a lot of extra pillows stored in them.
I found this lamp at Homegoods and have it on an old chippy table I had. This is next to the corner chair and is a perfect place to curl up and read. To the right you can see the curtains that I found at JC Penney's. They are simple white linen panels and super inexpensive.
I found these gates at Homegoods also. I wanted a pop of dark colors to go with the coffee table and I love how weathered these are.
I found this tray at a website that is new to me, Antique Farmhouse. It's called a bulb tray. I haven't figured out what to put in it yet, God knows I have enough dried hydrangeas to go around.
And here they are, on the sofa table! This pitcher is very much like the one on the coffee table, just smaller. And I have some of my favorite birds scattered around.
FINALLY...these are the plates that I want to hang. I have one more wall with nothing on it. I have an old window at the lakehouse that I want to hang with the plates around it. I found these at Anthropologie. I was actually thinking of doing a tablescape with them before I hung them! Maybe I will.

So, this is the final reveal of the family room. I will show you that last wall when I get it done. Thanks for all the tips on hanging the plates, I have to pick up some of those wires the next time I go to Michael's. And thanks for being so patient looking at these pictures and leaving such nice comments. I can honestly say that every room here is done!! Now, as for the lakehouse...

I am joining the party a French Country Cottage. See you there! :)

Thursday, February 9, 2012


Beside watching it not snow, a lot of work has been going into the family room since my furniture was delivered. I have been arranging pieces of this and that, shopping the house and using some things bought on previous trips to Homegoods and Marshall's. I've made some arrangements and vignettes on tables and moved lamps around more than once. I had a pleasant surprise when the coffee table was delivered, too, because I was told it was back ordered.
The table is made of reclaimed wood and I am loving the imperfections. I wanted a dark table to contrast with the white furniture.
Hello loveseat! A trip was made to Home Depot today for curtain rods. I am hoping The Husband will hang them this weekend. I don't know a thing about using a drill. I found white curtain panels at JC Penneys a few weeks ago.
And this is the sofa. I finally opened the big box of hydrangeas that I ordered from eBay back in December and filled this big pitcher and a few other things. I still have a half box left...they're going to be everywhere!
A few years ago Emily {pictured above} and I bought these wood cubes from Pier 1 to paint and use as side tables and for storage. They obviously couldn't stay this wicked green color. Today I bought some light gray paint and they are now painted and distressed and finished. I stacked them and they hold extra pillows, quilts and throws.

I have more to show's not a big room at all but I want to show it to you after I have hung the curtains. I am also going to hang some plates and this is a new thing for me. Please give me some tips on what you use to hang them on the wall with...I am really at a loss. Someone mentioned something that Michael's sells for hanging them.

Not much else is new. Still no snow but lots of gloom. And cold. If I can get the curtains up, maybe...maybe, we can get up to the lake. I have some things I have to bring home for this room in progress. Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend! :-)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


Saturday, the day after my birthday, we took a ride downtown to spend the afternoon. It was a cold, blustery day but we pretty much stuck to one area and were fine. I mentioned that The Husband had bought me a purse as a birthday gift and it really wasn't to my liking. It was a gold, blingy sort of bag by Michael Kors. I usually like his things but this was very dressy to me to carry everyday. So our plan was to return it and get the one I wanted.
We took Lake Shore Drive in. It's hard to see Lake Michigan but it's there and very cold looking.
We went to Macy's in Water Tower Place to return the purse. I felt a little bad because The Husband's clerk and another lawyer helped him pick it out and they even wrapped it for him. Believe it or not, I only have about 6 or 7 purses and I switch them out for the season. They are all good purses so I take care of them. Anyway, I hope they don't think I am too fussy.
After business was taken care of we hit the shops. This is Urban Outfitters. Lots of cute stuff that I would never in a million years fit into.
Topshop is new to the U.S. from's a really neat store.
This is the John Hancock Building, all 98 floors. We sometimes stop and have a drink on the top floor which has a view that stretches out forever, but it wasn't a clear day and we would be sitting in clouds.
In the basement...not the bottom floor, the basement of the John Hancock is the Cheesecake Factory. It is made to look like you are inside a piece of cheesecake and I have found it to be very claustrophobic. The cave~like atmosphere and the fact that there are 98 floors on top of you!
We finally hit Oak Street and my destination. My favorite designer.
And this is the bag I had wanted all along. Can you love a purse? It was waiting for me {I should know, I called ahead of time!!}. It's called The Leslie satchel and I thought that was sweet since my late sister is named Leslie and she would have had a good laugh over this. This is so perfect for me, it's nylon so it wipes clean. It is just like my Nook cover in fact. I forgot to take a picture so this is from the Kate Spade website. I am totally flippin out in love with this!
Now it was 4:00 and time for a late lunch/early dinner so we headed over to Tavern On Rush. A lot of celebrities come here, but I didn't see anyone.
We had a window seat in the bar. I had a huge salad and The Husband had pasta. Yum!
After that we walked a block down to a piano bar called Jilly's. Whenever we have been here, it has been night time and there is a line snaking out of the building. The music is SO good. I'm not a good singer but there is nothing more fun than a piano bar with friends. We stepped in out of the cold and there was only one other couple there. We warmed up with a drink and talked to the bartender and hostess as they readied for a big evening. I was wishing it were already evening, we had the best seats in the house!

This week has started out cold and gloomy but I am so happy because my family room furniture was delivered. I am so, so please with it, the construction, the fabric, how it looks. I am not sharing any pictures as of yet because I haven't hung anything on the walls yet and don't have my curtains up. Maybe in my next post. Until then, have a good week! :-)

Saturday, February 4, 2012


"...witty and wonderfully useful little essays. You'll learn what to look for, whether you're at at a flea market or a fancy boutique~or just mining what you already own." How could this not draw you in to buying this wonderful book! I originally saw it on Denise's blog, she won it in a giveaway and my curiosity got to me. So, I looked it up and Amazon. Once it came, I read it in two evenings. Written by the editor of Domino magazine {which sadly no longer exists}, there are no glossy pages here, just lots of advice and beautiful watercolor illustrations. This would be a nice addition to your collection of decorating books.

If you get it, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
On to other things...I have been playing with my new camera, some of you have asked what kind it is. It is a Canon Rebel T3. I have been practicing shots all over my house and am so looking forward to spring arriving and getting outside with it. I still go to the blog that gives tutorials on how to use your SLR camera every Friday. The button is on my sidebar. I have really learned so much, but practice is the key.
Making vignettes on the island and taking pictures is a lot of fun. I think I change it out every day!
Last night we went to this restaurant to celebrate my birthday! Yay! Another year older! The Husband gave me a beautiful purse but it wasn't really me, so we are going downtown today to return it and hopefully find the one I want. It will be a fun day.
The Husband took this picture of me in the bar after dinner. I think I was too stuffed to smile!

Other than a lot of reading {I'm also reading the book on my sidebar and it's throwing me into fits of crying}, I have been plugging along, waiting for the sun to come out. I'm happy to say that my new furniture arrives on the 7th and I am still trying to get the family room totally empty. There is a big bag of things to bring to the lake, and lots to donate. I find it amazing what I can pack into a room!

So, I will see you next week. Tell me what you have been up to! :-)