Thursday, May 1, 2014


You might remember that I tried my hand at "forcing" my forsythia branches to bloom indoors.  They didn't make it.  Not sure what I did wrong.  The leaves just dried up right around the time the buds were turning green.  The actual bush in the backyard is just now getting ready to burst with blooms...I think I may wait a little later next year to cut my branches for forcing.  So while Em and I were out last week, I picked up these weedy little faux "somethings".  I'm not a fan of faux flowers but since these French flower buckets are so large, it's going to be a rare occasion that they are filled with the real thing.  So, I chose something blowzy and it's working since no one gets right up to them.  Now I need to find something pretty for each side, not much need for firewood now.  Thankfully.

The stop at Hobby Lobby was because  I needed a few craft supplies for a new banner I'm making...gosh, I love making those!  Emily was on the hunt for a lamp for her bedroom.  She came up to me with this and for a second I thought she was serious!  And then we just about fell on the floor laughing.  Yee Haw!  She ended up finding what she wanted at Homegoods, as well as a few...ahem...decorative outdoor items.  That she didn't need I might add.  I found a birdhouse.  I'll share that another day.  :)

Friday she left to go north for Tom's (her boyfriend) college graduation.  Quick as a thief I was off to Target and found the quilt and a few toss pillows.  I also bought those prints over the bed and I was scolding myself because they aren't too hard to make.  Still, they were a good price. I added sheer panels which are hard to see with the light.  The curtain rod on the curtain~less window broke so I have to finish that up.  So this was my mini makeover.  I just have the new quilt over her down comforter.

Fillet 2 large chicken breasts and then cut them in strips about 2 inches long.  Spread the pieces out on your cutting board and season them with 1 t. onion powder and 1 t. garlic powder.  No using fresh here as they will burn.  Add salt and pepper to taste and if you'd like a kick, 1 t. red pepper flakes.  Heat 2 T. vegetable oil in a large pan over medium to high heat and spread chicken out evenly, seasoned side down.  Add the same seasonings to this side of the chicken.  After about 2 minutes, carefully turn the pieces over and let them brown and cook through, about 3 minutes.  Remove to a platter and cover to keep warm.  In the same skillet heat up the juices on low, grate the zest of one whole lemon into the juices and then cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juices from each half into that.  Stir, scraping up the small bits of chicken.  Add 10 oz. of fresh spinach.  Toss and stir until leaves are starting to wilt.  Arrange spinach over four plates.  Top with chicken.  Dress each plate with a small palmful of chopped red onion and pine nuts.  Pour juices from pan over the top of each serving.   Enjoy!

My weekend flew by.  I worked on Abby's room and what seemed like 20 loads of laundry that had crept up over the holiday and while I was feeling bad.  I think I'm pretty much recovered but for some bouts with my asthma but I'm not letting that get me down.  Breathing is overrated.  Sunday was absolutely beautiful.  Rain had been predicted for early in the day but it didn't come until much later in the evening.  Yes!  I started at 8:00 a.m. and cleaned up the yards.  I mulched some flower beds, planted the 65 spring bulbs The Husband bought me a few weeks ago (that sounds like a lot but actually one bag had very small bulbs and I think they accounted for 58 so they all went into one wide hole!).  Then I filled in all of the bare spots in the front yard with a spreader.  Finally I sat and read for an hour on the still somewhat empty patio, and then came in refreshed and happy.  And if it couldn't get any better, we've had rain for 4 straight days so I haven't had to water the seeds or bulbs.  Yay!!

And look who I met for lunch yesterday! Yes, it's Cathy from My 1929  Charmer.  And I got to see the Old Charmer in person!  She really has such a cute home, very pretty and comfortable.  Her sewing skills are amazing, I was drooling over her curtains.  And she has a Viking stove.  Need I say more?  I'm green with envy.  She's so fun, as you can see I'm laughing and I rarely stop when I'm with her!  We were going to go shopping after lunch but would you believe we sat and talked for 3 hours?  I told her next time we shop first!

Things are heating up for our upcoming vacation in more ways than one.  It "heated up" when The Husband informed me we were leaving on May 18 as opposed to a week later than that.  Both of us are denying what we said and heard.  So, our trip is "upcoming" faster than I thought and I am an unorganized mess.  My key role in this vacation (besides the obvious of trying to fit every article of clothing I have into one suitcase) is to plan the itinerary.  I love this job, I have a real talent for scoping out the best places to stay.  This time it's a little more difficult.  For one week we are going to be on a road trip.  After flying from Chicago to D.C., we are renting a car and driving from there to Asheville, stopping and seeing attractions along the way.  So I'm in charge of the attractions, which The Husband has made clear must involve as much of U.S. and civil war history as possible.  I just want to see the mountains.  So far I have reserved an inn to stay at in Washington, D.C., and now I have to find five more.  So far I know we will make stops in Richmond and Charlottesville so I can look for places in those towns and then I have to find 3 more towns on our route.  Oh joy! I know so little about the South!  Actually, it's sort of fun but I've been swamped for time lately.  It will get always does.

So, I'm off.  First, I want to tell you that I wrote a guest post for Laura at Decor To Adore last Friday, I mentioned it in my last post prior to writing it, which wasn't such a great idea since who would remember to look days later.  So click on her blog name for the link and it will take you there.  I will check back for comments and if you have questions, put them in your comment and I will email you. :)

I'm joining Penny at The Comforts Of Home for Tasteful Tuesdays.  Stop by for some great recipes!



Julia said...

Me ha encantado visitar tu bloc. Despues de las vacaciones de Semana Santa y la fiesta de Sant Jordi, continuaremos con las limpiezas ecológicas primaverales y esta semana le toca a la cocina espero que os guste y os sea de utilidad y por eso te invito a visitar mi blog. Si te ha gustado espero que si no eres seguidora te hagas ahora.

Simply LKJ said...

Jane, you have been super busy. Spending time with the girls or doing something for them is always a good day for me! Thanks for sharing the recipe too.

Linda said...

I love these 'catch up' visit with you!! I also love how you and your daughter enjoy each other so much!
Glad you are feeling better and by the time your vacation gets here you should be completely well. When you have asthma the allergies and colds seem to be harder to recover from - Louis Dean has asthma.
Your recipe sounds delicious and I may try it next week while we are in the camper down on the ranch.
Happy Weekend!!

Sherry @ Thrift My House said...

Hey Jane! You've been busy girl. Sounds like you're feeling better. Can't wait to see all those bulbs up and blooming. So sweet, you and your daughter shopping. She does have a lot of books! My daughter does too. Have a good night Jane!

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

I'm exhausted after reading what you've been up to, Jane! Sounds like you have fun with Emily and I'm sure Abby appreciated your touches to her room. I'm always looking for new chicken recipes. I like to make chicken twice a week so it can be hard to find a recipe we both like the ingredients of {plus I'm gluten free} and keeping it from getting boring.

Primitive Stars said...

Your a busy bee Jane, but sometimes that's a good thing. Fun to shop with the daughter, love books too. Blessings Francine.

Vicki @ lifeinmyemptynest said...

That recipe sounds so good - I am going to keep it in mind. I just love to read about your days Jane :-)

Rita C at Panoply said...

Jane, Your posts are so full and so much fun. How fun to have met up with Cathy! And planning your vacay - you may want to check out Boar's Head Inn in Charlottesville, and DEFINITELY go to Monticello! If you're going through Abingdon/Bristol VA - I have some suggestions - email me!

Betsy Brock said... husband and I have that same problem of dates and times and who said what. a-hem. lol...

dinner looks challenge!

love the mini bedroom makeover..what a cute and fun surprise!

laughed at the cowgirl lamp! oh my!

Beth said...

I enjoyed this post Jane! I am still laughing over that lamp!

Stacey said...

A vacation - that sounds wonderful. You'll come up with wonderful things to do, I have no doubt.

The bedding your picked out is great! I've actually seen it at the store and I love it.

Lisa @ Texas Decor said...

That lamp is hilarious! I've seen lots of those around here. :) The new bedding is very pretty. You'll have so much fun on your vacation! I'm the "planner" for all our trips too. I actually enjoy it. :)

ℳartina @ Northern Nesting said...

I love the color of your daughters room Jane and the new comforter is so pretty! What fun spending the day with a fellow blogger!!

Cathy @ My 1929 Charmer said...

My, my what a busy lady you are, but then I knew that, LOL. I love what you did to your daughters room and love that bed cover. I don't know why but I rarely go to target. You also have a lot to do planning you trip. But two weeks away is exciting. OK, wow, that's the worse picture of me, oh my, I look weird, couldn't you have cropped me out? LOL Talk to you soon!

podso said...

Your chicken looks like something I'd like. And what a sweet thing to surprise your daughter with! You always have something going on, and have such a bright, positive outlook! I read your guest post and like your nail polish choices!

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

Hey Jane,
I am always smiling while reading your blog! It's like I get to visit with my dear friend in person.
Love what you did with Abby's room!
Hey it's been raining here since Sunday and I am sick of it. Plus it just isn't warming up. Boy we deserve some good weather.
I am excited for you and Al and your upcoming road trip! Think of all the blogging material too. And since I know you will drive, maybe I will eventually get up here. Dan's retirement party last night went really well.
Hugs friend,
I may have to write a blog post!

Unknown said...

Sounds as if you've been having fun! Glad you could get your hands in the dirt!! We've been in S. GA for a week and a half! I did some changes there (as usual), bought some quilts, changed the bedrooms. Come over and see if you haven't already! We're back in NE GA today, to sunshine! It rained forever while we were south. Hope you have a great weekend!!

Lynn said...

Sounds like you've had lots of fun things going on Jane! I love your friend's fireplace:@)

Karen said...

Glad you're feeling better! Thanks for the recipe share, and have a great trip! We look forward to the recap.

Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow said...

I tried forcing my lilacs last year and the same thing happened. This year I brought a branch in with some crabapple and nothing much went on. I don't think they like it in here, lol. The crabapple tree is ready to bloom faster than my 'forcing' :)

You have certainly been busy. That lamp that you daughter is holding is a hoot!

Your vaca sounds as if it is going to be wonderful, once you sort out where you are stopping at. Fun stuff! :)

Debbie said...

There was a time when one of my girls would have loved that boot lamp....back when we had
Love the photo of you and Cathy!
Your yard is going to look so nice next spring when all of those bulbs come up!
The mini-redo in your daughter's bedroom is very nice!
Great guest post! Very informative.
I'm sure your vacation is going to be so much fun, Jane. You will have it all ready by leave time.
Have a super weekend, dear friend.

Lin from A {tiny} Cottage In The Woods said...

Busy, busy, BUSY girl!!! My head is whirling around reading all that you have been up to.
Your vacation sounds like it will be so much fun!
Take care,

Jen Beaudet said...

It looks like you're having fun! I think your daughter's room looks great. I love the wall color! I actually turned my daughter's room into a studio and feel a little guilty about it. That's so cool you met another blogger! Have a great weekend!


Lisa @ Fern Creek Cottage said...

Breathing is over crack me up! Glad you are feeling a little better! Your daughters new bedding is so pretty! You are a wonderful Mom! Your trip sounds so fun! Looking forward to hearing all about it!

Balisha said...

I always love to hear about you shopping with your daughter. You have so much fun together.

Love the mini makeover in the bedroom. It turned out really pretty.

Thanks for the recipe to try. I hardly look at my cookbooks with all the recipes on people's blogs. If you try something in a never know how it will turn out, but making something that someone has a pretty safe bet.

Have a great weekend,

Kathleen Grace said...

I have been trying to work on the yard between rainshowers. It's shaping up nicely. I think it was a bad year for forsythia, I have noticed around here they seem to be blooming in a little fringe around the bottom of the plants and the rest is bare, so it probably isn't that you diod anything wrong when you forced them, I think the winter was just too harsh.
Love the mini makeover, just a few new things really freshen things up:>)

Vel Criste said...

I'm so glad your finally feeling better and are out and about again dear Jane! Spring is too painful to miss, so enjoy it dear. Love the quilt Abigail chose, she has good tastes, wonder where it came from?! (hint* hint* She's reading it now;-)

Thanks for sharing another recipe too and oh, I did read you post on Laura's blog. :)

Beth said...

Hi Jane, Sounds like you are feeling well and keeping busy. You must have passed the decorating gene on to Emily - I think you are quite talented! I like Abby's comforter and wall colors and art. Very nice. I hate to admit this, but my husband chose all the furniture in our home! I'm just challenged in that way - although I was able to select some artwork, paint colors, and design (with help) our fireplace, mantel, and built ins that make up one wall of our living room. Your vacation sounds fantastic. You will see lots. If you have a chance in the future, Charleston SC is awesome. I hear that Savannah GA is as well although I've not been there. Have a great weekend, Jane. :)
Hugs, Beth

Heaven's Walk said...

You are always such a busy girl, Jane! Love the stories you share of your family, your menus, and your decor challenges! I'm looking forward to seeing all your pics of your fabulous upcoming trip! Sounds like so much fun! :)

Lucky you getting to meet Cathy, too! What a darling pic of the two of you!

xoxo laurie

Theresa said...

Busy, Busy! Love the makeover, cooking something YUMMY and posing for cute pictures:) Have a blessed weekend dear friend, HUGS!

Lulu said...

You do have a way of finding fun in everything you do. It's always good to spend time with daughters. I wonder if they realize what a gift they are giving when they make time for mom!

Pondside said...

Really, Jane you pack more into a day than anyone else I know. A makeover, a from-scratch meal, shopping, trip planning and planting - whew!
Your trip sounds wonderful and I'm a tad envious. Looking forward to the posts!

Nancy's Notes said...

Jane, you've been one busy lady and how nice to get to get out and shop with your daughter. Makeovers are so much fun, it's great! You must be feeling really good to get out and work in your yard like you did! Lucky you to get that rain just in time. When those bulbs come up, they are a must see! Oh, love planning trips, bet you are the master of that! Oh, and thanks for the chicken recipe, anything with a lemon flavor, I'm all over it! Yumm! Have a nice evening sweet lady!

Sarah said...

Jane, you look adorable in the photo! Glad you two had a good visit. Shopping is fun, but just chatting for hours can be more so. ;-)
Have a great trip, and travel safely. Beautiful mountains!

Judy at GoldCountryCottage said...

Hi Jane. I did come over and now am your newest follower. Looks like you had fun at HomeGoods. I really love that place and go as often as I can. Sounds like you are a busy girl and what fun planning your vacation. You'll have some wonderful sights to see..Happy Saturday..Judy

Linda said...

Can you EVER have too many bird houses?
I think not!

Linda :o)

Decor To Adore said...

I absolutely love the colors used in the room makeover. That lamp! Oh my!

Have a lovely weekend!

Julie Marie said...

Hi Jane... your daughter's room looks just beautiful with the changes you made, I bet she loves it. And your French flower buckets are so pretty... how fun you got to meet Cathy and quickly became friends chatting for three hours!... she looks like a sweetheart... your trip to Ashville sounds great too... I'm sure you will have a wonderful time driving there from D.C... so many places to visit!... xoxo Julie Marie

Art and Sand said...

How fun to visit the 1929 Charmer. I love her house and I love that cute photo of the two of you.

Art and Sand said...

How fun to visit the 1929 Charmer. I love her house and I love that cute photo of the two of you.

RURAL said...

You had me at the lamp, lol. I thought how am I going to find something wonderful to say about that one.


Poppy said...

Hi Jane,

Wow, always so much going on at your place! The recipe sounds delicious and looks very appetizing! Know what it feels like to meet bloggers who become buddies and you two look like you're having a ball! And lastly, have a great time on your vacation; I'm sure you'll pick the most fun and intriguing things to see and do, as usual!

Have a lovely week!


Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

Oh for a vacation! It's been several years since I have been away from home..and I may just have to go with a friend because PH isn't all that much on traveling. It sounds wonderful..and I would be the same way about getting ready. Everything comes down faster then I am prepared to be ready.
The bedspread looks do the pictures over the bed. She's going to love it.
I will flag the recipe and give it a try. Not doing much cooking right now.
NICE post! I enjoyed it!

Susan Shull said...

Hi, Jane! I'm jealous of all your blog friendships! Looks like a fun time. I love the kind of vacation you described-let the open road take you where it wants. But, a nice place to stay makes everything better!

Lynn @The Vintage Nest said...

Hey Jane, just read back thru a whole bunch of your posts. Made it through the end of winter and into Spring with you. Lots to share and I loved reading it. You are going to love your upcoming trip. I agree with another reader. Stay at the Boar's Head Inn in Charlottesville...very nice! xoxo

Traci said...

The recipe sounds good! That sounds like a fun vacay! We leave Friday for another beach trip.

bj said...

Hey, like me. I get tops and shorts in that fabrics that does''t wrinkle and you can get more in the bag. colors that all work together and you're good to go.
Have a blast....xoxo

Bluebird49 said...

Oh, there is so much history in Virginia! You can see Mount Vernon and Monticello--homes of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson! Please don't miss going to Colonial Williamsburg--and Jamestown is right there! The Blue Ridge Mountains w/the Shenandoah Valley...goodness--SO much history and beauty in this state! I truly hope you and your hubby can enjoy much of it, Jane! I enjoy lurking and reading here, but just had to give my home state a "shout out" here.appomatox--where Lee surrendered to Grant...goodness, I could go on! Your husband will love the history'll have to just spend a week wandering VA!

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Unknown said...

A May Day, a beautiful month of May! I’m lucky to be here and stumble upon some of your gorgeous accessories Jane! Well, Abigail’s bedroom is fine and I love the cabinet especially! Cool!

Sebastian of
Gazebo and Bali Hut Super Store

Doreen@foxdenrd said...

You're going to have a great time in Virginia Jane, but I'm with you about the mountains. Leave history to history books. Don't worry about only having two weeks to plan. Just stay focused and do it in chunks and it will all come together.

(That lamp is hysterical!)