Friday, January 9, 2015


I love the little stork banner we have hanging from the fireplace.  And yes, that's a big old crack in the marble that happened when it was being put in.  The installer and carpenter both pointed to each other in blame and it was never resolved.  We've lived with it for 25 years.  Just wanted to point that out in case you thought I didn't know it was there.

I could not get good lighting due to the limited light in the hallway and the room is so tiny, that's where I had to stand to get my shots.  The giclee painting was my inspiration...just a little femininity in keeping a very simple, calming decor in a small space.   I had bought the painting for the living room but it was a no go, I knew I would use it somewhere else, either here or the lakehouse.  I like it right here and this is proof positive you can use large pieces in a small least on the walls!  Oh, and that's the clock I painted which I mentioned in my last post. 

When our home was added on to back in the 1950's, this part of it was a Mother In Law's Quarters.  And this room was originally the kitchen, there is actually a gas hook~up.  I turned it into a nursery of sorts when we moved in; a crib, changing table and dresser.  I could stand in the center of the room and reach everything.  It was perfect for the girls until they came out of their cribs into beds, and then they moved across the hall.  It became a toy room and finally an office.

In a nutshell, I only added the message boards.  Everything else was here.  It's such a good feeling to have a "new" room.  Did I mention I never go in here?  Nope, maybe just to print something. My laptop and a cozy blanket are all I need.   

Cut up a half bunch of asparagus, just the tips and another two inches down for a total of one cup. Chop 1 1/2 cup of broccoli and then blanch both simply by pouring a kettle (or pot) of boiling water over  while they sit in a colander in your sink.  Let cool for five minutes.  I also used two green onions that I coarsely chopped and sauteed in a T of butter for just a minute or two.  In a bowl, whisk 8 eggs, room temperature, 1/3 c. heavy cream, and 1 T melted butter.    Add a pinch of salt and pepper, stir in the veggies and 3/4 cup of cheddar cheese, shredded, and then pour into a greased or oil sprayed pie or tart pan.  I grated a little fresh Parmesan over the top but that's optional.   Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes.  Let cool before cutting.  Enjoy!

And then I made Red Velvet cookies, one of those recipes where you utilize a cake mix.  After I baked them for the 14 minutes the recipe stated, I found they were still gooey inside.  So I kept adding a few more minutes here and there and finally, even though they were very soft, I took them out to cool.  Then I put them in a big plastic bag to keep fresh.  I got up in the middle of the night for a drink of water and I just had an odd feeling about those cookies.  I took one out of the was rock hard.  Seriously, a red hockey puck.  I tossed the whole bag in the trash in case Abby decided to take a few in her lunch.  I could imagine a livid call from her with a  broken tooth.  So this is not a good way to start out working on the menu.  I'm going to throw together a basic sugar cookie recipe today and jazz them up with a glaze and sprinkles.  There were also two other recipes I had to ditch, one required fresh cranberries, the other fresh figs.  Three stores later (in -2 degree weather), I had to give up the search.  I hope our guests come on a full stomach.

Okay, off I go into the land of reality.  Did I mention The Husband put two loads of his clothes in the laundry room?  Perfect timing.  

I'll be back next week!

Jane x

Tea Sandwich picture source here.


Kathleen Grace said...

I know you will have something delicious for your guests Jane, we all have days where nothing goes right, usually (hopefully) followed by days where enough goes right to get by. I think the office looks wonderful, I really love the print and the clock, bot look great and add so much color and texture to the room. Relax, everything will be fine!

Julie Marie said...

Love your office Jane, I would spend alot of time in there, even just daydreaming... and I love that you are staying calm!... maybe that could be your "word" for 2015 instead of grow if you think "grow" means adding too many things to do?... or have two words, grow and calm... perfect!... calming growing!... have fun at the baby shower and post lots of pics!... xoxo... Julie Marie PS Is Layla better?... doggie prayers for her...

Julie Marie said...

That was supposed to say "calmly growing"... xoxo...

Row homes and Cobblestones said...

Dear Jane,
I came back to visit your last post and somehow my comment didn't take. Stupid iPad did it again. I hope your Layla is feeling better. Flu has run through our house and now John and I are dealing with weakness and chills and apparently stupidity caused by Bronchitis. Both Max and SImon were ill, as humans we can deal with ... our beloved pets to see them ill breaks our hearts.

I love baby showers, I've planned 2 in my life. Looks like your having fun with it. You go girl!!!

Your office looks very calming and orderly. Guessing it will be a space to accomplish work peacefully.

Quiche makes me smile, love to make them, love to eat them, love hosting brunches. But must confess mine are never low caloric count. C'est la Vie.
Sending love,

Susie said...

Blondie, You did a fine job on your new office. I really like it. Too bad about your cookies. I am still not happy with how long things take to bake in my oven. It is as if the thermostat is just not right. I think your party will be great. Blessings, xoxo,Susie

20 North Ora said...

Jane - You are so prepared! I know the shower will be a huge success. I did the same thing with a cookie recipe. Guess they know what they are talking about with the timing, eh?

Your office looks fantastic. I just hope mine turns out half that well this spring.


Town and Country Gals said...

it always feels so good to de clutter, your office looks great! How much fun planning a baby shower for a sweet little girl! Love all the stork things! It will all come together even when you think it might not! My Kate just had her 2nd little girl, Sarah Kate, Dec. 8th, very exciting and lots of fun! I've so far only posted 1 pic (not the best) but will do more soon. Have enjoyed browsing thru and catching up!

Betsy Brock said...

I felt the same thing about company mid December...great incentive to get the whole house looking good. I welcomed it actually because I needed the push!

I bet the red velvet cookies would have set up on their own if left at 15 minutes....some cookies are like that.

Bummer about the cupcake papers but the little edible flowers will make them look wonderful!

Relax and's going to be lovely and so much fun!


Have a wonderful time at the shower. I spent the morning with my 9 month old grand baby. Oh ... the joy you have to look forward to.


Debby said...

Just when I think I am caught up on laundry my husband all of a sudden be brings out his stash. But he does help with it. Your office looks nice. Once you spend all the time decluttering a room, you hate to see it return to that state.
I can't wait to see how the shower turns out. Have fun.

The Quintessential Magpie said...


I love the office, and that banner is so cute! And girl, I am majorly impressed with your menu for the shower. I wish I were going!!!

It has been so cold here, and I have been computerless for the most part. Am checking in on Mr. Magpie's tonight which I had to borrow.

Hope you are staying warm and healthy! Your food looks and sounds yummy!


Sheila :-)

podso said...

Looks like a good quiche recipe--and oh to have such a tidy office, Good for you to not allow storage. Maybe it will stay neat with your folder system,. Sounds like you are well organized for the special shower ahead!

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

I know the shower will be great and your guests will have a lovely time!
I hope little Layla is feeling better!

Leslie Harris said...

you are so right Jane, there's nothing like company coming to get us finishing those loose ends. Your office looks lovely, an so tidy! My gosh I hope mine looks that way when I'm done with it but I have a hard time with clutter.
Don't stress about the shower it's going to be a great time. All those fun guests. And it's all about love anyway. Thanks for the recipe I'm trying to eat more veggies too.

Junkchiccottage said...

Hi Jane,
Good luck with all the shower prep. I loved giving my daughter her baby shower. So much fun. Love your office I think you should start spending more time in there. Very pretty space.
Have a great week end. Stay warm.

Anonymous said...

I love your office. The banner is so adorable too!Have a wonderful time at the shower.


farmhouse-story said...

i wish i could keep my room is streamlined as your office, jane:) great job on it! the quiche looks yummy and i'll give it a try. sorry about the cookies... and the cracked marble! cute banner-showers are so fun! is your baby pup doing better?

Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Jane,

Gosh, it is all on the go with you.

We are certain that the baby shower will be a great success. After all, the main part is the people and you are so good at making people feel welcome. Everyone, we are sure, will have a wonderful time.

And, you must be terribly pleased with the office. It is completely transformed and even might persuade one that doing work in there is enjoyable! Such a good idea to limit the storage space. It does focus the mind on what is important and what really does need to be kept.

Wishing you and your family peace, joy and success for 2015.

Theresa said...

Love the painting and the office looks clean and NEAT:) Thanks for the recipe, sounds YUM! Enjoy your day dear Jane! I know the shower will be awesome! HUGS!

Pondside said...

Like so many others, I am a tad envious of that sorted and cleaned office - looks like a place where anything will be possible. Oh to be so organised!
The food for the shower will all come together and it will be beautiful!

susan said...

I have a feeling the shower is going to be just wonderful! The banner looks beautiful on your fireplace and your new office looks perfect. Having company is such a great way to motivate ourselves to get things done, isn't? Take a deep breath, knowing all is well, and enjoy the party!

An Oasis in the Desert said...

I think your office is so nice! The painting is lovely. You must be so excited about that first grand baby! The banner is adorable. I've had that cookie-thing happen to me a few times -- so annoying. I know everything will turn out delicious, and you just need to keep your eye on the prize -- that sweet little bundle you will get to cuddle!

Unknown said...

You are such a doll, Jane! I feel like I just spent a cozy afternoon at your place, catching up. Love that new profile pic of you, by the way! Your office looks fantastic, so fresh and organized. It's fun to discover a 'new' space in your home, isn't it? The baby shower sounds delightful (and yummy!). So excited for you and your family. Enjoy every moment of this special time! xx, Heather

Mary said...

Hope things are going better now, especially with Layla.

The shower I'm certain, will be fabulous, you are such a great hostess Jane. I still can't believe you will be a Grandma soon - you will love this new phase of your life!

Hope the weather is kind this weekend - we're enjoying sunshine but it is very cold.

Hugs to you and A - Mary xoxoxoxo

Mary@mydogsmygardenandmary said...

I hate when baking and it does not turn out well, in the trash it goes.
I had that problem on Christmas Day dinner. I took out some frozen Bridgeford Frozen Parker House roll.
Sprayed the pan and put them in every so carefully, put a tea towel over the top and just put them into the oven to raise. When I got up the were perfect, but due to time mix=ups with dinner. they raised, then fell flat and I tried to get them to raise again and my son, said just put them in the oven anyway. Well let me tell you they were hockey pucks, so I warned everyone what happened, were tasty, but hard. So don't worry these things happen. I like sugar cookies better anyway.
Your office looks great.
Your baby shower will be terrific and I am looking forward to seeing the pictures.
Stay warm and have a wonderful time.

Donna said...

Your banner is so cute, Jane! And I didn't even notice that crack til you mentioned it:) I know the baby shower will be a big hit. Too bad about those hockey puck cookies!

Art and Sand said...

I had the same problem as your red velvet cookies recently with peanut butter blossoms at Christmas. I need to follow the recipe.

Lori said...

I did the same thing once with cookies Jane ~ guess the recipe is best as they tend to firm up once they cool! I cannot wait to hear all about the shower ~ as I look at my clock you are more than likely cleaning up or saying goodbye to the last of your guests. Love that painting in the office! Have a great week and stay warm. xo

deb @ frugal little bungalow said...

My sister and her friend have cleaned houses professionally for most of their lives.

They call doggie-noses-on-the-windows SNOOT

I just love that word: SNOOT :)

Love your office and all that's going on!

You are going to be a grandma soon and you will fall in love like you never have before / it's a new love :) I am so excited for you

Bluebird49 said...

Love your little office--and the painting hanging in it. Everything is so neat!
Can't wait to hear about the shower--I know you'll manage tasty and pretty at the same time.
Our weekend has been a little busy, and from just a 2 and a half lb. roast, I got on sale I got a nice roast w/veggies and au jus in the crockpot tonight for dinner, and, cutting up the other half of the roast into cubes, and lots of veggies, too.Now we have a large pot of beef/vegetable soup in the fridge, waiting for any fat to get cold, rise, and be skimmed off--and we'll have several qts. to freeze. I love making stews and soups, and like cooking several dishes in one or two days. There's just us too, and a good meat sale really inspires me to cook several dishes! Wonder if I can convince hubby to try your yummy quiche? Hope so--already know I will!

Country Girl said...

The land of reality vs. blogland. That's funny. Love the quiche recipe and that you're not going to order out after a long day. That's what I did yesterday. Ugh. Everything looks great at your place. But minus 2? OMG!

bj said...

awww, Jane...this shower is going to be a smash...I don't think you have a thing to worry about. Your house looks beautiful, the foods will be delish, everyone will be having such a good time, eating and visiting...
hugs, bj

Deserae said...

The banner is so adorable and your office looks great! Love the new memo boards you found. Good luck with the baby shower too :o)

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

Oh I am so behind on posts Jane. Now I can;t wait to see pics of the baby shower, I know it was beautiful!
I can't believe how soon your granddaughter will be here.
So exciting!
I love, love your office redo!
The clock is just beautiful.
So sorry about Layla, such a sweet little dog.
My mom has been not doing well and now Dan's Mom isn't either. It's been a tough winter so far. We both have a lot of worries about them right now. Take care friend...can't wait to see baby pics too.

Vel Criste said...

I'm loving all the details of the shower Jane! I am certain it will be a very fun and memorable one, all the prep your doing will be worth it and hopefully, your little grand daughter will get to know all about this preparation! A lot of love even before she is born! I love your neat office, ours, which is also our library is now a huge mess, thanks to my boys, I blame them because I never get to use that room at all! I have to organize it one of these days.I agree with the less is more look in your office dear , it looks very functional and yes, pretty too!

Rita C at Panoply said...

Oh Ja-ane....did the thought ever occur to you that your cleaning out the nursery, er, I mean office, may have been an omen? And since you only go in there to print anyway, maybe you'll want to turn it into a grandbaby nursery??? Just sayin'.....

Beth said...

I like your office! It's attractive, even if it doesn't get used much it looks pretty. :)
I used to do computer work from home and had a desktop computer and printer in a former bedroom. Now when my daughter's family comes, they need two bedrooms (and we're in a 3 BR home), so my former office does still have the computer but now there is also a double bed in there. Kinda crowded, but like you most of my "computing" is on the couch with my laptop or my tablet. Too bad about your cookies. I hate when a recipe backfires! Especially when it's for a special occasion. I like your banner very much. I know you put together a great party!
Blessings, Beth

Stonecropsister said...

Hi Jane,
I am in love with this room, the picture is amazing, those colours! I love a glass-topped desk. Did you have it already, or did you buy it especially for the room? Seeing this I wish more than anything I could find some space in our house and make it mine. thanks for sharing your space. xx Nancy

Traci said...

Love love love how the office turned out. I'm with you about the laptop & a blanket though. We don't use our office at all so it's on the to do list for a makeover. It will be changed into a workout room. To think 5 years ago that would've been totally laughable! HA!