Tuesday, March 11, 2014


After getting up today and feeling a little cranky, this arrived on my doorstep. Yes, my latest order of dried hydrangeas sent direct from Concrete, Wa., via Ebay.  I usually make an order like this once or twice a year, depending on if I'm sharing with Emily.  I also received some "broom blooms" and some blue globe thistle.  This is such a great way to get away from faux flowers and I get a minimum of a year of use from them before they fade too much.  Aren't they pretty?

Have you ever had the experience of reading a blog post, having a light bulb go off in your head and just jumped up full of inspiration and energy to "get er done"?  Okay, maybe not the  jumping right up part.  I was at Mary's blog last week and she had a vision of adding a lower shelf to her kitchen island for some additional storage.  You can follow the link to read about how she accomplished that.  As I was reading this on my laptop at the kitchen table, my head jerked to the right to look at the lower shelf of my island.  What a waste of space!  This is an "after" picture above.  Before...well that large basket which was once so stylishly used to hold potatoes and onions until I had an invasion of fruit flies, was now holding a bulk package of paper towels.  To the right, vases of every size and a colorful collection of half burned candles sat gathering dust.  Don't ask why. And the drawers...don't ask about those either.  Think: a lot of plastic straws.  I start off organized and unintentionally veer terribly off course.  

I judiciously decided what needed to be in this space the most (it's across from the sink and stove), and cleaned out a cabinet with a teetering mish mash of pots and platters and Tupperware.  I sorted and tossed and decided on what I needed at close hand.  Pots and platters and serving bowls are no longer jumbled together and are within easy reach.

And here's the weekly pet photo and it looks like it's Layla this time.  She's holding her dainty little paw up as she is known to do when she's caught being bad.  Barking!  With the sun and the warm temps, we have had dog walkers, baby walkers, joggers and kids and delivery people, oh my!  She and Milo wore themselves out in front of this window yipping and howling and moaning and groaning and you know what?  I let them!  They needed it.  Their vocal chords needed it.  In the summer I pull this chair away from the window a lot.  But for that day, I let them ROAR!

Speaking of furniture...my new coffee table and end tables are being delivered on Thursday.  I'm trying to remember what they look like.  I am worried about the area rug and painting I bought.  The rug came from Natural Area Rugs and I have ordered from them before and love the quality and prices.  The problem is, I ordered a 9 X 12 because the next size smaller was unavailable.  I am so afraid it's going to eat up the room.  And the painting came and I swiftly brought it downstairs, as the whole room is a surprise (shock) for The Husband.  The box is huge.  It's for over the fireplace and I actually think it's going to be humongous.  Oh, why am I so bad with proportions?  I know I should open the box but somehow I think I'll be able to figure something out.  Emily is coming over Friday morning and we are putting the whole living room together; arranging the furniture, hanging the new curtains, laying the rug, and doing the accessories.  I'm really hoping everything turns out.  The Husband has been playing along quite nicely with this whole "surprise" ruse.  When I returned the tables I didn't like a few weeks ago, I picked out new ones in exchange and told Emily, "Just put the order in, I'll show him later."  She ended up telling him it was a surprise.  So as I have purchased other things (over time of course, I have bills to pay and food to buy!), I just hide it.  So basically now, we are ready, down to the candles and the dried flowers as I showed you above.  Eeeeeek!

And in attempt to end my posts with something bright and happy to think about while we await the end of this crazy winter, here is a short list of what I'm dreaming about to do at the lake this summer. :)

sitting on my beach
farmer's markets
getting the summerhouse ready
grilling outdoors
eating fresh tomatoes with s&p
looking at the stars on clear nights
seeing the fish jump
sleeping under cool sheets
eating al fresco
the croak of bullfrogs
reading on the porch swing
that first swim



Steve Finnell said...
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Unknown said...

Oh, I can't wait for the living room reveal! Your list for the lake sounds fantastic! Hope you have a wonderful week!

Mary@mydogsmygardenandmary said...

So sorry that you are getting more snow. We are having such beautiful weather that I feel ashamed about talking about it while people are still having horrible weather.
Hope that your Spring is just around the corner. I did a post today on my Spring flowers, maybe they will cheer you up. Hang in there.

Doreen@foxdenrd said...

I know what you mean about Tupperware Jane. They're a necessary evil, but they take up so much space! And your pooches paw is so sweet :).

Looks like we have a similar list. I'll be thinking of you when I'm looking at the stars...just realized that sounded a bit creepy. lol


My daughter who is "nesting" (baby due in 3 days) has inspired me to organize. So I am acting like it is spring ... spring cleaning and decorating. And now more snow ... ugh.


Wanda said...

The colors just jump out, and I love the combination of things on the lower shelf.

Your pot holders may be old, but they are still very pretty and colorful. I have a ton too. What will the kids do with them,,,,HaHa.

Doggie, so sweet!

I need to re-organize my "broom closet" which holds a lot more than brooms....tomorrow!!

20 North Ora said...

Sounds like you have a fantastic summer planned. Your island looks so cute and neat. Mine will never look like that. LOL

So sorry you are still getting snow. Enough is enough!

Stay warm.


Something Nice and Pretty said...

Hi Jane!
It was 63 today, the 8yr old grand said summer was here and she was all ready to play basketball and you should have seen her smile when she was on her bike...priceless! The weather grows colder tomorrow but at least we had one day of warmth.
Don't worry about your room, wish I had someone like Emily to help me.;)

Vel Criste said...

Nothing like 'cabin fever' to get the organizing and decorating going! I'm lucky to be enjoying some respite from the cold down her in FL with the family for a week! But when I get back will start my spring decorating too. Love the dried hydrangeas, have to check out your source on ebay. Also I can understand your 'love affair' with the pot holders, i have a similar one with my dish towels! LOL!

Good for you to let you babies do some growling, they need to 'let it go' too sometimes!

Anyway, I'm excited to see your whole room come together. Open the box, most of the time the packaging is exaggerated that art look so big!

Linda said...

I love your hydrangeas!! I remember you ordering them last year! I need to order some for Amber because she absolutely LOVES the fresh ones and buys them often at the grocery store.
Can't wait to see your 'Surprise!' room!! You are so clever.....

Betsy Brock said...

yummy plate of food!

beautiful dried flowers!

Love the spring cleaning going on! I need to get on that myself!

Beth said...

Snow predicted for us tonight too. The last two days have been so nice that I thought spring was here.

Sonia said...

Oh be still my heart...a whole box of beautiful dried hydrangeas! Gorgeous flowers and one of my favorites! Well I hope you get your living room finished soon so we can take a peek! So fun to decorate and get new things..like a breath of fresh air. It's great that your hubbie is going along with the "surprise". I've been cleaning out drawers too...it's a nice feeling to have things organized and more functional. Stay warm!
Miss Bloomers

Vicki @ lifeinmyemptynest said...

I like your summer list - we have snow coming too and I am quite annoyed about the whole thing because what is on the ground already is finally melting. It will be spring soon - right?

Stacey said...

Your hydrangeas are beautiful! Did i ever tell you that at our last house I had lots of hydrangeas but never had the heart to cut the blooms. Now I kick myself for not having any of them. There's an Etsy site that I've saved simply for the hydrangea blooms. You may be convincing me.

You crack me up with your platters and hot pads. I recently figured out the overabundance of platters here too. For the same reason as you - they were spread all over the place. Now hot pads...I need to get more of those. When they get burned (which mine always do) I toss them.

Love love that you let the dogs bark!!

Your summer list is wonderful. Dreaming with you!!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

You tickle me, My friend. I love that you are surprising the hubs. I hope it all works to your liking. I bet you like the rug. I have that size in my house and like it a lot.

The dried flowers are so pretty. Love how organized you are, and love that cute pupster in that pose. My itty dog I had when I was itty used to sit that way. Soooo sweet!



Melanie said...

I'm with you on the time change - it takes me about a week to get used to it (both of them). Like you, I have a hard time going to bed at a decent time and then since it stays dark so much longer in the morning, I sleep in too late. Love the hydrangeas, they are so pretty. Can't wait to see what you do with them. Actually, can't wait to see your entire living room! With not being sure of the rug size and picture size...umm, I'm assuming you didn't measure the spaces first?! lol Oh well, things can be returned if they don't fit. Layla is so cute. I love how she holds up her little paw. Too funny about the pot holders. I only have two potholders - they're the thick oven mitts from Pampered Chef. I've had them for a few years and would order them again in a heartbeat. You can't feel one bit of heat through them.

Sarah said...

Cut puppy shot! '-)
I'm smiling at your list for summer days at the lake. I've been making a list for my spring garden, should we ever actually have a spring. Today was in the 80s, tomorrow is supposed to be freezing again. Where is spring?
Love the hydrangeas. Please share your source. Love the idea of ordering dried hydrangeas.

Lynn said...

Ooooh, garden tomatoes... They've been throwing that four letter S word around here too, but luckily for us I don't think it's going to happen. I hope yours melts quickly! Keep thinking warm thoughts:@)

Primitive Stars said...

Morning Jane, beautiful dried Hydrangea's, would lift my spirits. Love the potholders, the older the better :) Think Spring, Francine.

Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

Those hydrangeas are such a pretty color. I am looking forward to seeing your room all pulled together!

Susie said...

Blondie, I love the flowers. I like that you have created a nice space for your platters. I am looking for ward to seeing what you and your daughter do with the living room. I think just being at your summer place, you will find plenty of enjoyable things to do.I saw where Chicago has had 75 1/2 inches of snow. WOW. We are getting snow now, maybe 6 inches ...bummer. xoxo,Susie

TheMoonAndMe said...

I love your list of happy things for summer! I'd love a lake house to get ready. :)

Who do you order your hydrangeas from on Ebay? I recently got some and I like them, but it was my first time. I'd like to know how you like the ones you get. I'm asssuming you really do if you get them a couple times a year.

Traci said...

The flowers are gorgeous! I alwasy get so inspired when I'm ready blogs but I don't seem to ever actually do anything with the inspiration!

Traci said...

Oh - I love the new time but I don't sleep well for at least a week which means I'm tired & cranky!

Kathleen Grace said...

I am so looking forward to seeing the living room all finished! I'm sure everything will work out wonderfully, you do have professional advice available after all! I love the list for the lake. I need to make a list for Spring too. All the lovely things that come with warm weather are something I love to dream about:>)

farmhouse-story said...

i hate the time change, too. and i never thought to order dried hydrangeas, but, yours are so pretty! i love that you give the dogs permission to be dogs:) can't wait to see your surprise room, jane!

podso said...

Amazing how reading a blog can give us a transformation! I like what you did to your island but as soon as I saw it I thought it looked familiar, and sure enough you had seen Mary's. I'm sorry you are having another snow storm, but surely spring will be there in full very soon. I'm anxious to see your new living room! What fun to surprise your husband, he's a good sport!

Cathy @ My 1929 Charmer said...

I'm excited to see you living room reveal too! Love the dried hydrangeas and have never bought any but thinking I will now! Mr. C and I walked both Monday and Tuesday, yesterday we did just over 2 miles. Where we live we are withing a mile of our library, grocery store, post office, hair dresser and other shopping. Before being sick I would walk to all of these, and now I've started again. I couldn't believed the snow we were to get and woke up this morning thing ugh, not again. This is one winter I will be glad is over! What I look forward to, my garden, friends over for lunches and dinner in my garden, farmer's market, hiking, summer cooking, concerts in the park etc. It's looking good for the weekend weather, going hiking!

Susie Q said...

More snow here today! But Spring will be here soon!
Sweet puppy! Give her a hug from me.
Beautiful flowers...I am in the Spring de cluttering mood. Cleaning out closets and drawers and the pantry. Love how good it feels when it's done.
Happy Spring!

Lisa @ Texas Decor said...

I had no idea dried hydrangeas would last that long! Sweet Layla with her paw held up. :) I don't blame you, I'd have let them howl all they want too. They probably have cabin fever too. :) Can't wait to see your new living room!

bj said...

Can't wait to see it all pulled together. Know it's going to be a beautiful room.
Sorry about all the snow...we need moisture here in West Texas sooo bad..:(
I LOVE your dried flowers...

Theresa said...

I smiled throughout this post:) I have those light bulb moments and almost fall down making changes! I can't wait to see your room, I know it will be awesome! Enjoy your day dear friend, love that list:) HUGS!

Susan Freeman said...

Layla is so darling. She is so sorry! Just want to scoop her up in my arms and give her a big smooch. I am anxious to see your new room. Don't worry about hubby ~ he'll love it.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Julie Marie said...

Hi Jane... first off, little Layla looks precious holding her little paw~paw up like that!... and your salad for lunch looks delish!... your hydrangeas are so pretty... do you grow any?... you should and dry them yourself, they are easy to dry... excited to see your new living room all fixed up... your kitchen island looks great and I love your drawer full of pretty colored potholders... have a beautiful rest of the week... thanks for your sweet comments about my crafts room and meeting June on Thursday last week... she was going to meet me Friday and I am so happy she arrived Thursday as Friday I had some minor surgery on my leg... I would have LOVED to go to the big flea market in SLC!... but I couldn't walk all around... xoxo Julie Marie

Unknown said...
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Town and Country Gals said...

hydrangeas are the best, yours are gorgeous, a breath of spring! Thank goodness spring is almost here! There's no better motivator
for me then sunshine! Can't wait to see your "new" room!

Simply LKJ said...

The snowfall amounts this year have been unbelievable. My 95 year old MIL lives on Lake Huron in MI, and the snow has been non-stop. I love the dried hydrangeas...beautiful. I love your summer list as well. Stay warm!!

Donna said...

What an adorable picture of Layla! I love how she's holding up her little paw! I have a very naughty little dog biting at my slippered feet as I type this:) Your hydrangeas are just gorgeous! I am so ready for spring!

Decor To Adore said...

Oh little Layla is so darling! I never thought of ordering hydrangeas. Hmmmmm. :)

Have a lovely St. Patrick's Day weekend.

Nancy's Notes said...

Jane, oh Jaen, I'm hearing you about tupperware, love-hate! Your hydrangeas are just beautiful, just love them! When our daughter lived in Atlanta, she had so many in her yard, oh my! Just cut and arrange! Living room reveal, I'm ready girl! Have a great day!

Celestina Marie said...

Hi Jane, Love your Tupperware comment. I can so relate. Gorgeous dried hydrangeas. I tried drying some from my own garden and did okay, but would love more. Love the island makeover and the drawer of pot holders is darling and so organized.
Your room redesign sounds like so much fun and you have everything ready for the big pull together!!
I know you will have fun.
Your sweet Layla is a doll holding up her little paw up like that. They have such personality don't they?? Such a sweetie!
Love your list for the lake. Sounds like the perfect summer.
Have a great weekend.

Marigene said...

Jane, your island makeover is great...I love when I get things organized so I can find things without hunting forever.
I would be thrilled if someone would surprise me with a room makeover...I have been putting off painting the kitchen and dining room because there is so much to move.
Cute photo of Layla...our little dog seems to be barking a lot lately at kids, dog walkers, stray cats, but I have had the door open. He weighs about 11# so he is no threat to even a cat!
Have a wonderful week.

xinex said...

Hi Janie! Let me answer your question first before I forget. When we have impromptu dinner parties, everybody brings a dish. I almost always proved the drinks, rice, dessert and cook 2 or 3 dishes. But if there is an occasion and I invite them, (usually they invite me and assign the dinner in our house, lol), then I cook everything. I cannot wait to see your living room after you are done redecorating. It sounds very nice. Love the hydrangeas!

Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow said...

Those hydrangeas are stunning..didn't know that you could order them like that! ( I have one bush and dry some in the fall but am very tired of them at this point! :)

must love junk said...

Love your hydrangeas-gorgeous! And that lower shelf is genius :)
Looking forward to your room reveal!

Lori said...

I cannot wait to see your room all put together ~ hope you had fun with it and it didn't stress you out! xo

Unknown said...

Sending you some warm, sunny wishes from Northern California today Jane. I remember those endless winters in Michigan by the muddy March I felt like I was running a marathon. Those sunny skies will cheer you right up and they are on the way I'm just sure of it.
Hugs, Heather

Gypsy Heart said...

We've had a few lovely days and then a colder, windy one like today. Another freeze Tues morning and then we're scheduled back to the 60's and 70's. At least when the sun shines, it makes everything better!

I cannot wait to see your living room...I know it's going to be gorgeous. I've been living under a rock I guess as I've never heard of the dried flowers being available for purchase. They are beautiful! Such a treat to have the real thing, huh?

I've been extremely busy helping my daughter and sil pack, move and unpack. I cannot even tell you how exhausted I am! This "older" body just doesn't work like it used to. :)

Have a wonderful week!

My Little Home and Garden said...

There must be something in the air, Jane I'm giving my kitchen the once-over, cleaning and reorganizing the space. The place could use a bit of springtime sprucing!


Heaven's Walk said...

Ahhhh.....spring decluttering! I love it and have been doing that myself, Jane! :) Love the addition of that shelf on your island. Brilliant! I can hardly wait to see your new room all pulled together, too! You and Em will have such a great time together. Be sure to take a pic of hubby's face when he sees it! lol

Thanks again, sweetie, for letting me know about my feature in Country Style Gardening! You're a doll! :)

xoxo laurie

Leslie Harris said...

Hi Jane!
O.K. Now you've got me so curious to see the rug and all the decorating changes in that living room of yours. How fun. I didn't even know you could order dried flowers like that, what a good idea. And Layla looks so cute. I love her guilty look and I'm glad to know that our dog Stella isn't the only one that likes to bark through the window at all the action going by.
I hope the cold weather eases up for you, I hate to tell you that today's weather here in So Cal is 70 degrees! I still can't believe I'm here, it's hectic. We don't get internet connected until next Wednesday so I'm here at Starbucks trying to catch up with my favorite blogs.

An Oasis in the Desert said...

Oh, yes, I definitely get an "instant" inspiration many times when reading blogs and veer completely off course of what I had planned to do that day. It's a gift and a curse......lol! I like what you did with your island! Those hydrangeas are just beautiful!

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