Tuesday, March 20, 2012


I happened to look out the window Sunday and I saw spots of yellow. It just couldn't be! But yes, I had daffodils waving their sunny little faces in the breeze! I have a lot of different varieties, so these must be the earliest. And the earliest I have ever seen them.
I grabbed my handy camera and out I went, in my PJ's none the less, and took some pictures for you. Spring clean up hasn't even started yet, normally we have a lot of cold and wind and sometimes snow in March and April, but what exactly has been normal about this winter? So forgive the sticks and old leaves and just enjoy the blooms.
I have finally faced the fact that this is not a red twig dogwood. Yep, it's a forsythia, as anyone can plainly see. But honestly, I planted a red twig dogwood, I ordered it from Burpee 25 years ago and proudly planted it. As it grew it looked gorgeous against the snow with it's ruby red branches. It must have died, or succumbed to this invasive forsythia that came blowing in from nowhere. I'm sad for the dogwood, but I do love this forsythia. I am going to cut some branches to bring in.
Milo and Layla have been loving this weather. When they aren't playing with sticks, they are sniffing the fresh ground like cows grazing in a field. They roll in the grass and doze in the sun. They don't remember what snow is.
I have two battered looking hyacinths from a big bunch that I planted years ago. I have to add more. They are real survivors, so I took a picture. Poor little guys.
With temps in the 80's for the last week, it's been hard to stay at home. Even running errands with the windows rolled down is fun! Sunday I dragged The Husband out of the office and we went downtown. The day was just gorgeous and we decided to head over to Navy Pier.
It's right on Lake Michigan and boasts several great restaurants, booths and vendors selling everything from hot dogs to ice cream. Inside there is something for everyone, shops filled with handmade jewelry, soaps, candles and souvenirs. We stayed outside on the pier for the most part and enjoyed the summer like breeze.
People from all over were there enjoying our crazy weather. And, we just missed the annual Chicago Flower And Garden show that ended that day. I saw a lady with an armful of tulips and I wanted to make her an offer!
I'd love to take one of these sightseeing boats out...the water was smooth and inviting.
Maybe next time!

Yesterday I went to get my hair highlighted. Mary Clare's sister, Katie, does it at her home. She also runs a very successful salon on the Northside of Chicago. It's so much more fun to do it this way. We talk over coffee and Mary Clare and her mom, Peggy are usually there, as well as my son, Kevin, if he is off work. Yep, people are out golfing already {he is a pro/manager at a country club}. While my hair was getting beautified, we sat outside and enjoyed the view of the garden.

On the way home I stopped and picked up some essentials from the grocery store and decided to make a nice dinner and invite Emily and Mike over. No pictures...there was a food overload in my last post! I made a sirloin tip roast studded with garlic, crab stuffed shrimp, baked potatoes, green beans, a Greek salad, and fresh bread. I mixed up some olive oil and Parmesan cheese to dip it in.

Today I have a few errands to run and then I think I am going to put a comfy chair right smack in the middle of my backyard, read my new book and soak up the sun. I hope all of you are having a wonderful week and I will see you later! :-)


Maryrose said...

Hi Jane,

Oh such a fun post. I went to Chicago with my girlfriends several years ago around this time of year. When we got there the weather was like you described and on the way to airport 3 days later there were snow flurries. We had the best time though.

Enough about me....
your day looked so fun and the dinner you cooked sounds more than yummy!!!!

Loved your flowers, especially the dafs...they are so happy.

Enjoy your great weather...yes Spring has sprung :)


Theresa said...

Well, we skipped Spring and went STRAIGHT to Summer:) I just came in from sitting by the pool! The water is still a little cool but my skin needed some pink to it!

Looks like the Navy Pier is somewhere I would love to visit when I come up!

Your flowers are pretty, everything is showing up early around here too! Have a blessed day, HUGS!

Olive said...

Jane, I do so love forsythia and it is delightful one found you. Enjoy it. Your photos of the little ship is stunning. Have a terrific day:-) Olive

momto8 said...

isn't this weather just so perfect?! happy spring to you!!

Debby said...

This weather is amazing. we went to the park today and after an hour we were so redfaced and hot. Almost too hot. 83 degrees....
It would be nice to live that close
to a large body of water. And not been in hot weather most of the time.
My second email to Shabby Apple was answered. The lady said she would send the information to the shippers. She never mentioned my first email.
You make such yummy meals.

Teresa@1800 Farmhouse Rd said...

Glad your getting to enjoy a warm pretty spring, also. We hae had to cut the yard here already, the tree's are bloomed out with fresh bright green leaves, and it has been in the 80's for almost 2 weeks here now. I also saw a snake in the road today too, which means they are coming out (too soon for me). But, I guess you have to take the bad with the good??

Susan Shull said...

Jane-Sounds like a perfect day! We were in Chicago last weekend not far from Navy Pier-we may have passed each other on the street. I had no idea the Flower show was this weekend too! I would have loved that. BTW-the pics in my post last week were not our garden. Oh how I wish they were! I took those in Florida. Have a wonderful day!

Susie said...

Today has been a beautiful first day of spring. I love it. it appears you have had a nice day also. Love you photos. Smiles, Susie(She Junks)

Anonymous said...

what great photos, we are so far from flowers here yet so I enjoyed yours even your battered ones, they look beautiful to me.
What a lovely spot to visit, looks beautiful, you're lucky to have such a personable hair dressing experience, way better that at the salon!
What a great dinner you made, yum! Even the dinner sounded summery!

Julie Marie said...

Happy Spring Janie!... your daffodils are so pretty and so is your forsythia... I remember last year you posted it as dogwood and I thought... hmmm... I need to have a talk with that lady!... LOVE forsythia though, a true harbinger of Spring... the lake looks so pretty and it sounds so relaxing to sit out in your yard with a good book soaking up the sun... show us a pic of your new highlights please... love to you, xoxo Julie Marie

Sonny G said...

I want one of those yellow plants.

That looks like a great place to visit. Summer is here too for the last few days. close to 80..

April said...

So glad that spring has made it's appearance where you live, Jane! I love those bright yellow colors...so cheerful! Have a happy, sunny day!

Sunflowers With Smiles said...

Haven't been to Chicago for years. Sounds like you had a great time! Your dinner sounded great!

Enjoy your day!

Bunny Jean said...

Hi Jane!

Looks like you had a great time. All the colors in your photos are so bright. Love those boats... I bet it is fun to take a tour on them.

Enjoy you daffs... they are such a happy sign of spring!

xoxo bunny Jean

Kathleen Grace said...

Oh my gosh that meal sounds amazing! Hasn't the weather been heavenly? I have daffodils blooming too, they must be a full monthy earlier than usual. Navy Pier sounds like such fun!

Debbiedoos said...

That Navy pier brought back memories! Best family vaca we ever had was in Chicago baby! Your daffs are pretty.

Deborah said...

Isn't it great to see the blooms Jane?!
Yours are so pretty.
And that trip to thr pier looks wonderful and breezy!
You are quite the little hostess...your meals always sound so delicious.
And sitting out in the yard with a good read ...heavenly!

Deborah xoxo

Jacqueline~Cabin and Cottage said...

Happy Spring right back at ya! I can just hear it now... It's going to be too long of a summer for some folks! haha! Your outing sounded wonderful!

Susan EvelynAndRose said...

Looks like you're enjoying the same early warm spring weather we are. Isn't it lovely? Enjoy all those pretty blossoms, Jane!

Melanie said...

Hi Jane ~ it looks like you're certainly enjoying our beautiful weather! Can you believe I've never been to Navy Pier? I don't get downtown too often. Me and my hubby have plans to head the opposite way next month - up to Milwaukee - to the Public Market and Riverwalk. We've never been there either, so should be interesting. Anyway...enjoy this weather and your new book!

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

Everything is blooming here now, Jane! These crazy temperatures are moving things along quickly, but I really would rather temps in the 60's and not the 80's with humidity in March!

Geneva said...

You know how to make the best of a spring like day! You always manage to make me want to get up off the sofa and enjoy life..

Crystal Rose Cottage said...

Glad you are finally seeing some blooms Jane! I figure all of our Spring blooms are at least 6 weeks early and not usually seen until the end of April or first week of May. NOt sure how this bodes for the remainder of Spring that just began today. It sure is a strange end of winter/ beginning of spring this year!~Hugs, Patti

Barb said...

Hi Janie,

So glad you are having such wonderful weather. The doggies look so cute. It is beautiful here also but almost summer like. Guess we will have a loooong summer.

I can't drag myself off the porch. Your dinner sounds too good!

Have a great evening.


ℳartina @ Northern Nesting said...

WOW Jane, Navy Pier looks like a great place to spend the afternoon! This weather is terrific we actually hit 80 here in NY yesterday.

Lori said...

Isn't this weather crazy but I am loving it!! Love that your flowers are up already ~ daffy's are one of my favs. Enjoy your week Janie! xo

Low Tide High Style said...

Jane, I love all of your photos, and the pictures of the Navy Pier brought back fond memories of our trip to Chicago a few years ago. I hope you took that chair outside and soaked up some sunshine!

Kat :)

Gypsy Heart said...

Can I please come over for dinner? Sounds delish my friend. Don't you just love all the flowers blooming? So pretty and welcoming ~

I love the Navy Pier. Always a fun place to people watch too!

Have a wonderful week ~

Roberta said...

Yay for an early spring Jane! A treat to see the beautiful yellows already eh? I'll have to look for some branches to force too! xo

NanaDiana said...

What a fun post, Jane. My daughter loves Chicago! I can't believe how far ahead of us you are with all your blooming.

Any chance of sharing the crab stuffed shrimp recipe? It sounds like something MyHero would LOVE! IF my son-in-law didn't beat it to him. xo Diana

Something Nice and Pretty said...

Hi Blondie! Wow, you sure are a busy one! Would love to visit the Navy Pier looks like so much fun, love the flowers too, everything bloomed early here too in Pa.


Sonia said...

Love all the bloomers in your yard! Gorgeous..spring is here yippee! Looks like a great trip in the city! Hope you are enjoying the week!
Miss Bloomers

Shirley said...

Hi Jane, I hope you don't get our crazy weather, It is rain, rain, and more rain with the temperature in the 50's. With the flowers and trees blooming it does make you think Spring is really here. I enjoy your pictures. Enjoy your beautiful weather, the rain may be coming your way. Hugs from Your Missouri Friend

Pondside said...

What a beautiful and interesting city you live in! There always seems to be so much to see and do.
I'm going makeup shopping this week and taking your makeup post with me!....wish me luck!

The Moerks said...

Great pictures of the boat Jane. I am happy for you that it is Spring,but sad for us it is starting to get cooler.

Monica said...

Oooh soo wonderful, Jane! Happy Spring!!

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

The weather has been so amazing! Oh Jane, I think you have to live in the upper mid-west, or some other northern climate like we do to really appreciate this!
My Mom had a few daffodils abloom too! And my lilac trees have all budded out as well.
I would love to go to Navy Pier!!
One of these days I am just hopping on Amtrack and coming down to see ya~
Don't worry, I'll call first! lol.
Hugs dear,

Penny said...

Glad to hear that your weather is warmer than ours in Florida. Go figure. Will be good to get back to NC next week to warm up. LOL.

Rita said...

Sounds like you are in the perfect little corner to welcome Spring; love your photos.

Kathy@ Gone North said...

Loved your whole post... but you had me at the food.. sounds absolutely yummy...
warm on the other side of lake also.. 87 yesterday... makes us want to get out the boat & spend some time on the lake..
(But we will probably still get some snow.. : )

podso said...

Nice to see chicago in the spring! I know you are enjoying the weather. Here we don't put down the windows much as the pollen is so bad, This is a terrible area for allergies, any time of the year, but especially spring!

Linda@Coastal Charm said...

It's so nice that just about everybody is having wonderful weather..enjoy yours.


Unknown said...

Hi Jane,

I love when the Daffodils start coming up announcing it is Spring. I never remember a year before that on the first day of Spring nature around here wasn't deep in snow.

That peer on Lake MIchigan looks beautiful. The closest I ever got to Michigan was when we took a vacation on the other side of the lake in Lake Huron.

With this lovely weather it's so hard to focus on errands and dinner. It sounds like you had a wonderful day.


Tammy@Beatrice Banks said...

Can't believe your daffodils are already in bloom! Pretty!
Happy Spring!

Anonymous said...

Happy Spring, Jane!

I love Lake Michigan and would love to take one of those tours, also.

Rae said...

Hello Blondie!! Great photos of the lake area. Me and The Mister took a trip to Niagara falls about 4 years ago and stopped briefly to see that oh so large lake!! Have a happy day!

Deserae said...

Your flowers are so pretty....looks like the fur babies were enjoying themselves too! It has been cold and rainy here today but boy how things have really greened up :o)


I enjoyed all of your post Jane! Sounds like your non-winter has been as nice as ours. Love the daffodils and the forsythia although I would have been disappointed about the dogwood also. :-(

Now you are making me hungry with that awesome dinner you spoke of. I'd better go eat!


Sonia said...

Thanks for your sweet visit...I found the woven placemats at Pier one! You can check online to see where they are available in your area! Hope you find some..I bought eight and use them a lot! Happy Hunting!
Miss Bloomers

Anonymous said...

Strange to see people in shorts this time of year, but as you said, nothing has been right about the seasons lately. Loved seeing your pretty daffodils.

Ours got moved when my family moved some dirt and mulch to our compost pile far away from our house. Wouldn't you know the daffodils that never bloomed much in the yard thrive down there where we can't see them!

Pink hyacinths are my favorite flower, but those are hard to find these days. I enjoyed seeing the colors you have.

Thanks for the compliments on the flowers in my garden today!

Kelly said...

Your blooming flowers are just beautiful! I felt the same way as you about loving the flowers, but then looking around at the dead leaves and sticks leftover from winter around them. Ha! You're so lucky to live in an area like that with the Navy Pier. How beautiful! That would be so much fun to shop around. You just kill me with "I just went home and whipped up a dinner". My goodness! Sounds like a 5 star meal if you ask me! You must be a good cook. That kind of meal intimidates me. Love the pic of your dogs playing too. Mine has been really enjoying outside too. He falls asleep alot earlier at night now!

Lou Cinda @ Tattered Hydrangeas said...

Jane, it sounds like the perfect weekend! I so wish I didn't have to work! I could get SO much done around my house with the weather being so fabulous!! I am lovin' it! Your photos are wonderful!

Lou Cinda :)

Lynne said...

We haven't seen Spring in the PacNWest! We were dusted with light snow once again last night!

Your beautiful photos filled with sunshine and yellow keep me encouraged!


Tricia said...

Oh, it sounds like you've had a wonderful few days. Don't you just love all the warm weather? It's been that way here too. I can see that my flowers are starting to peek up from underneath all the piles of leaves. That pier looks like such a great time! I wish there was something like that around here. Hope you're having a good week :)

Jane@Cottage at the Crossroads said...

It's hard to imagine you having temps in the 80s this time of year. Your daffodils and forsythia are gorgeous. We haven't really had a spring here. It jumped right into summer.

Leslie's Garden said...

How interesting that your forsythia is blooming the same time as your daffodils! My daffs bloomed about a month and a half ago and my forsythia is blooming now, just like yours.

koralee said...

Happy Spring...and boy does it look like Spring where you are. Not so much here....but it's coming....hugs to you my friend.

bj said...

I loved this post...felt like I was right there with ya, just yakking over something good to eat. Bet your hair looks fabulous...I love pretty highlights. Course, I can't have them since my whole head is SILVER. BAH HUMBUG...:))

Moore Minutes said...

Your getaways and trips ALWAYS look so fun! You pick the most charming places to visit. I want to be right in your photos lol.

And seeing spring flowers make me HAPPY!

An Oasis in the Desert said...

I've never been to Chicago, but you've certainly made me want to add that to my "Bucket List!" Your day at the pier looked fantastic. I know everyone is talking about our strange weather. Even here in the desert, it has been anything but normal. Sunday & Monday we were deluged with rain & Monday night the temps dropped into the low 30's. We had had 80's last week & it's now back into the 80's again. One day I'm wearing shorts & the next jeans & long sleeves....lol!

All your blossoms are so pretty!

The Summer Kitchen Girls said...

Isn't this weather the craziest? Not complaining though! This weekend is our Spring Open House, and it has to be the prettiest one ever with the outside flowers blooming so beautifully ~ how nice of Mother nature to cooperate with us this year!
Bet you had a lovely day out on the pier...what fun! We've taken that sightseeing cruise...a fun hour to do ~ and you get to see the architecture of Chicago in a whole new light~ fun!
Enjoy your weekend Jane :)
Karla & Karrie

Elyse said...

hi jane!

what a fun and yummy (!) post! love the little site seeing tour around your garden and chicago.

thank you so much for the sweet comment on my post!

happy weekend, happy spring!


Cass @ That Old House said...

Hi Jane-- your pictures of the early spring flowers are wonderful. Isn't this weather amazing? I can almost hear my forsythia saying "Thank you for this mild winter!!!"

Your day outdoors looks wonderful... and YUM to that dinner. Wow.

I haven't cooked anything challenging in ages. I need to remedy that!


Oddly, I enjoyed the cozy rainy day after all the summer like weather. Now I am ready for a few sunny days in the 70's. That is what I am ordering, anyway.


Debbie said...

Oh, Jane...it looks wonderful there in Chicago!!! The water looks so calm! How nice that you can kidnap your hubby for an afternoon and enjoy the sunshine together.
Your spring flowers sure look happy soaking up the warmth, too.
Your dinners always seem to be filled with fun and family.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jane! I'm just giggling seeing your little dogs having so much fun outside. Chloe Dawn has been wanting to go outside about every 20 minutes. She's working on her tan! LOL
Looks like you're having so much fun.
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Ann from On Sutton Place said...

Isn't this weather crazy? Last week was incredible. Every day here in Ohio was in the low 80's. Everything is in bud and the grass is so green. Sounds like you had a good week. I've been to Navy Pier many years ago and it was so fun. Your pics are wonderful. Happy Sunday Jane!

Betsy Brock said...

navy pier looks like a lot of fun! spring is here for sure...and your daffodils are so sunny! :)

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Uh oh, looks like score one for forsythia and bye bye to red twig!

Loved all this and happy spring to you and yours,


La said...

Hasn't it been beautiful? We were in the 80s this week and it made it very difficult to go back to work after lunch.

Unknown said...

Spectacular jump from winter (what there was of it) into summer. Boy our blood thinned out quickly.

So enjoying all our flowers, too. Yours are lovely, Janie.

Have a beautiful day ~

~ GIVEAWAY ends 3/30 ~

Mary Ann Pickett said...

Happy Spring to you...lucky you to have those happy daffodils.

Susan Freeman said...

My daffodils just opened up yesterday. Love their sweet faces! Thanks for the tour of Navy Pier. I have loved that spot since I was a little girl. One day when I come to Chicago, you and I will have to go there together ... oh and have lunch and go shopping, etc. When it happens let's invite Robin and Alison and Stacey too.

Big Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Monica said...

There's a surprise for you on my blog :)

The Single Nester said...

Chi-town is one of my favorite cities. There was a bar I went to a while back where the women left their bras. So, I went home without a bra. Somewhere that double d is hanging.

Sue said...

Janie, it's supposed to be gorgeous today- in the eighties! I need to finish the rest of my mulching duties. Not fun. I've already put down about 7 yards and the side and back haven't even been touched yet. My biceps are throbbing! LOL Glad you had a fun day downtown and then w/the kiddos. hugs, Sue