Thursday, March 28, 2013


Anywho, with the gloomy weather I hunkered inside and worked on my kitchen.  I lugged all of my cookbooks back into the kitchen and lovingly cleaned each and every cover with soapy water to get the accumulation of gunk from the stove off them.  I went from the six piles that you see above to three, giving away a lot of them.  It really was a walk down memory lane for me.  If any of you are cookbook/recipe lovers, you know how these books become your friends, a sort of scrapbook of your life.  Crammed inside most of them were recipes torn out from newspapers and magazines, grocery lists and menus.  It was a very bittersweet moment when I came across a book that I used to cook from when I was making meals for my Mom and Dad years ago.  My Mom was losing her struggle with cancer and my Dad didn't have a clue how to cook, even if he had had the time, so I would make meals over the course of a few days, enough for a few weeks and freeze them.  I would bring them bag fulls that they could pick and choose and microwave.  Well, in this much used, stained and tattered book I found the menus, my notes, little stars by the dishes they loved and it really choked me up, especially now since they are both gone.  I put a lot of love in those meals and they so appreciated it, they gave me a lot more credit for my cooking abilities than I deserved and I would do it all over again if I could have more days with them.

This weekend Emily and her fiance move into their new house.  Have I mentioned it is next door to Papa?  Isn't that great that she will be living next to her own grandfather, they can keep an eye out for one another!  And Mike's parent live two doors down, how's that for closeness?  As I said, Emily grew up on this block with her Nana and Papa living there so she knows everyone.  Tomorrow is the closing and then they are going to get right in.  She came home from work last night they moved gifts from the shower into their cars and then she started to box up the things in her room.  I nearly had a meltdown right then and there.  With all the wedding plans and craziness going on around here, I never fully realized that my little girl was leaving and starting a new life away from home.  I mean, I knew it, but it hadn't really registered until I saw the boxes of her clothes and all of her personal things from her room, which will soon be empty.  I know it's a new beginning for us, she is going to become a wife, homemaker (is that an outdated word?), and mother, and it's a happy time.  So why do I feel so sad?

Tomorrow I will be shopping for the Easter menu, the traditional ham and all the fixings, we have a small group here for dinner and dessert and I have just started to think about the dishes and centerpiece.  I have looked at so many pretty tables over the last few weeks, I'm kind of excited to do something elegant and spring~like.  Dinner is a no brainer, but I am going to try to make something delicious and new for dessert.  I'll share that with you next week when things are much more calm around here.

From my family to yours, wishing you a wonderful and blessed Easter! :)

Monday, March 25, 2013


They say it takes a village, and it's true.  I have known Mike and his family since The Husband and I were married, they lived next door to Papa, that's how we all met, including Emily and Mike.  So this really was a celebration of two families that have been together for a very long time.  I love his mom, Moe, dearly, we go a long way back.  So together,  along with other special family members, we really put this shower together from scratch using a whole lot of Pinterest and Etsy shop finds and cut corners wherever we could without compromising the dream party Emily wanted.  And what a day it was.  I hope I didn't overload you with pictures.  Now it's clear sailing until the wedding in May!  Whew! 
Thanks for all of your help and ideas for The Great Wall Project I posted the other day.  Sweet Lynne from Dreams On 34th Street emailed me a little sketch of what she thought would look good on my blank living room wall.  Isn't this cute?  Gallery walls are the number 1 ideas out there and I think it's a winner.  I'm going to work on getting my kitchen back in order after the paint job we had and then fiddle with the bathroom.  The living room will wait until the chairs and area rug come, then I'll have a clearer idea what I'm doing.  But thanks so much for coming through for me, guys!

See you later in the week! :)

Saturday, March 23, 2013


Emily and Mike move into their new house on Friday.  This really is so exciting.  She has been shopping non stop to fill in all the nooks and crannies where they have not been given second hand furniture from family and friends.  She was able to do one of the bathrooms herself, as well as the master bedroom, so we have piles and heaps of everything everywhere.  She found these nightstands on clearance at Target yesterday, $48.98.  The mirrored drawer fronts are quite popular now...I like them, they are very transitional.  Both the bedroom and bath are going to be done in pale blue and gray.

So, tomorrow is the shower.  The cupcakes are in my car, the favors have been made, the flowers will be delivered, we'll be there an hour early to hang banners and light candles.  Then I am going to sit back and sip a mimosa and enjoy my little girl's day!

And don't forget, let me hear your ideas on that wall! :)

Monday, March 18, 2013


I'm happy to announce that I found my dress for the wedding.  Yes, now you won't have to hear me lamenting on and on in future posts about not being able to find a "mother of the bride" dress. I went with Emily for her final fitting at the bridal shop last week and while perusing the gowns, I fell in love with three.  I really loved them all equally but the first two were not available for some reason.  So I picked out a silky plum sort of wrap around full length dress with 3/4 inch sleeves and some rusching (sp?) here and there.  Unfortunately, the dresses there were all in sizes 10 and 12, so I couldn't try it on.  Don't get me going about all these dresses on display being in a size fit for a Barbie doll.  I couldn't fit one leg in if I tried.  So I was measured and the dress should be in in about a week.  Oh yeah, it has a little silver brooch type piece at the side of the waist so I'm going to be on the hunt for some silver sparkly shoes and a clutch.  Can you say relieved?

Seems like we are all on board for Emily' shower next Saturday; cupcakes and flowers ordered and just one simple little project to do some time this week.  The poor girl is just spread so thin...between working a full time job, getting ready to close on their new house, the shower and the bachelorette party (a big vineyard tour/wine tasting event in Michigan)I just don't know how she keeps her head on straight.

Well, that's all I have for today.  Did you have your corned beef and cabbage yesterday?  Ours turned out great.  Corned beef and turkey should be something we have more often during the year...just pop it in the oven and take a 4 hour nap.  Oops, did I just give away what I did yesterday?!

Have a great week, Everybody!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


Ta da!  This is the mantel and I can proudly say I shopped the house to do it except for the bunny on the end.  I have had the old window for a few years, I found it at a flea market event in Michigan and I was just waiting for the right time and place to use it.  By the way, I'm not doing a full room reveal yet as we are waiting for the new chairs and area rug.  My curtains are at the cleaners.  But you can see the wall color in these pictures, it's called White Rock by Benjamin Moore. 
I won a giveaway that Judy from 20 North Ora had and the box came filled with handmade Easter goodies.  These are just two of the cuties she made.  There is a colorful banner and wall hanging that I forgot to upload (sorry Judy!).  I will include those in my next post.  

After the painting was done, the rooms look so uncluttered.  I rearranged a few things on my kitchen counters and tossed a lot of cooking utensils I never use.  I still have to wipe down my cookbook covers but I think I am going to store a lot of them to keep the shelves more simple.  For the living room, I've ordered a beautiful cream colored area rug from L.L. Bean and I'm looking for new curtains for the dining nook and kitchen.  The Husband is scouting out corner cabinets for the TV.  It's funny how projects snowball.  I bought a new shower curtain liner from CVS today and I'm ready to change out the bathroom a bit.  I just have the spring bug, I guess!  When everything is done, we'll compare before/after pictures.  I'm just so happy that green paint and wallpaper is gone!

Happy Spring!!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


So I moved on to cornbread muffins.  These turned out wonderful.  I found the recipe in the Williams Sonoma catalog and I tweaked it a bit.  I am sharing the recipe at the end of this post.  Now don't forget, we still have some "chili cooking" weather ahead and these goes perfect with a nice big bowl of it. 

And there was another glitch (isn't there always?).  The fabric I ordered for my new chairs is on backorder and we wouldn't get the chairs delivered until the end of May, which is after Emily's wedding.  So...I'm at square one.  I am taking this as a sign that the fabric may not have been the one for me.  I keep having visions of the muslin slipcovers I have in the family room.  Why not just a darker shade?  The fabric is soft but tough, sort of like denim.  Emily is bringing me home samples tonight.

Good luck to all of you out East where our snowstorm is heading.  Stock up on the hot cocoa, firewood and movies, stay off the roads and let it pass on through.  Now here's that recipe in my own little shorthand.  Email me if you have any questions.

Cheese Centered Corn Muffins

1 1/2 c. cornmeal
1 1/2 c. flour
1 1/2 T. baking powder
1 1/2 t. salt
2 T. sugar
2 t.. chopped rosemary or 1 t. dried
2 eggs
1 3/4 c. buttermilk
6 T.butter, melted
5 1/2 oz. cheese (I used cheddar) cut in 12 cubes

Preheat oven to 400.  Spray muffin tin wells.  In large bowl mix all dry ingredients.  In another, mix the remaining ingredients except cheese.  Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add your egg mixture.  Fold until blended and no lumps remain.  Spoon about 2 T. of batter in muffin well, pop in a cube of cheese and add batter until well is 2/3 filled. Bake for 15 minutes or until edges of muffins are golden.  Cool pan on rack.  Serves 12.

Easy, easy!!  I will see you next week.  I'm joining Debra at Common Ground for Be Inspired Friday and Rooted In Thyme for Simple And Sweet Friday. 

Sunday, March 3, 2013


I feel like I've been away forever!  I had computer and blog problems, thanks to those of you that emailed me about my blog looking all wonky.  Thankfully it fixed itself, I love when that happens.  My laptop is in the shop as we speak and I am using Abby's when it's available.  So, what have I been up to?  Well, I had a very quiet, cozy and relaxing week.  I did a lot of cooking and baking and fluffing and reading.  I wanted to share some awesome recipes I've been making for dinner, I am in love with one of my old cookbooks and have been making something new every night.  I also made some incredible triple chocolate brownie cookies that are to die for.  I will include all of this is my next post.
Friday I had had enough of the great indoors and Emily and I were off on the run.  First stop, Michael's.  With the upcoming shower and wedding, and she and her fiance moving into their new house soon, we had all sorts of projects in mind as we stocked up.  As much as I love monograms when I see them, I only have them on towels and I have been coveting the boxwood covered letters at Ballards.  I'm fresh out of boxwood (except for the tons of it we have at the lakehouse...that's a project for this summer), so I bought some moss and this letter. 
Very simple.  I used spray adhesive and just smashed the moss on it and then trimmed it with nail scissors.  And no, the B is not for Blondie!  It's for my last name.  When I do my spring mantle, I'll show you how it looks.  And that's going to be soon, Charlie the painter is coming on Thursday.  Yay!!
So, Friday night turned into craft night with Emily, my SIL Megan and Emily's bestie, Ashley, who are both in the wedding.  We worked on table numbers and favors for the shower.  As you know, I'm in charge of tables.  We are having Ball jars filled with spring flowers, votive candles, and these little acrylic thingies that look like ice cubes scattered around.  The favors will be homemade cookies in embellished Kraft bags, that's all I can say on that, but I will share pictures after the shower is over.  Emily and I threw together some appetizers;  fresh baked beer bread with an artichoke spread, a Caprese salad with avocado and these little crescent roll sandwiches.  These were very simple, just roast beef, Swiss and provolone cheese, a dab of horseradish if you like and then just roll and bake.  They were absolutely delish!  You can ask your deli for au jus for dipping.  We were up until 1:00 a.m. doing this, dancing to 90's music and trying not to wake up The Husband!  The next morning I felt like I had moss up my nose and in my lungs!
I planned on having a low key Saturday, just chill and read the Sunday newspaper, and then someone came up with the idea to go to the Offtrack Betting Parlor.  Whoo Hoo!  We had a big group and everyone won a little something.  Actually, 3 of the guys split a $10.00 bet on a horse and shared the $300.00 win.  But, typical guys, they bet it all on another race and lost it!  I definitely would have left while I was up.  I'm looking forward to the weather getting warmer and going to the "real" horse races.  The Husband and I try to go a few times every summer but the lakehouse sometimes gets in the way. 
Well, that's all I have for today.  I have a busy week ahead, a dermatologist appointment (my rash is getting better, hurray!), a bridal gown fitting for Em and a vet appointment for Layla, who is doing really well!  She chewed her stitches off!  I guess once the swelling went down she had at it.  She still follows me around all day and whimpers a bit but I think she just wants me to pick her up.  Big baby~
I have 2 more chapters of that never ending mystery series and then I am moving on to The Silver Linings Playbook, (yes, that was a book before it was a movie) The Good House by Ann Leary, and The Last Letter From Your Lover by Jojo Moyes.  These are all ready and waiting in my Nook library.  I haven't even peeked at the pile on my nightstand from the used bookstore.  As Charlie the painter will be coming later in the week, I have to clear out my living room and kitchen.  I know I mentioned this but I'm procrastinating big time.  I can see the dust blowing around and a lot of convulsive sneezing! 
Have a good week! :)