Friday, March 20, 2015


Well, first and foremost, I gravitate to the shelves with the pretty soaps. Why on earth would anyone buy pump dispenser soaps at their grocery or drugstore when they can get beautiful bottles of natural, organic, vegan and pure soaps like these?  I simply go nuts and stock up whenever I'm at one of these stores. Beautifully wrapped cake soaps go into a big basket in my bath, and the bottles I have pictured above are in both bathrooms and at the kitchen sink.  The big bottle on the left is 28 oz. and I paid $4.99.  Incredible.  And this is the norm.

I can also see that this is almost as interesting as my cookbook monologue above.  

One last thing...I find bathroom rugs for $9.99.  Table runners for $12.99.  Pillows for $16.99.   Just saying.  And there is no compensation for my sharing any of this...maybe just a plea for some sympathy for my terrible addiction to these stores, and forgiveness for writing totally inane posts about them.

 myself two per year), I went for the whimsical.  Isn't his face precious?  I have a few more to bring upstairs but I was feeling a bit lazy today.  I'm excited that one day Elsie will love all of these bunnies.  My own children think I'm certifiable insane.

 A few speckled eggs in an old Atlas jar I found in Michigan.  I rarely bring home anything from our house in Michigan, I think of everything belonging in their own respective places.  I had a very protective feeling for some of these things when we went up there two weeks ago.  I wanted to bring home everything and nothing.  Leaving my treasures meant the whole place would be resurrected.  Taking anything would mean the disintegration.  I brought home this one old jar from a great collection I have, found at all sorts of barn sales and antique shops over the years.  And I filled it with these little eggs I found at an antique store in the town we visited last weekend.  It's a symbol to me...the "here and there" as I wrote earlier, the "then and now", and the inevitable birth of a home better than it was before.

We are going up there tomorrow to do an inventory of all of our personal things.  All of the debris has been removed...they've moved a lot around to dry things out and sterilize.  I think I'm in for another jolt.  We're also meeting with our first contractor to get a bid on the repairs.  So many of you mentioned that this will be a time to have a little fun renovating and redecorating and you are all so right!  I felt a little guilt in the beginning...this was so tragic.  Yet I saw walls being repainted in colors that I would prefer now...window trim being finished, the staircase finally being completed.  This is not going to be easy...The Husband and I clash a lot on design/decor ideas.  But we did agree...since all of the wood flooring has to be replaced, upstairs and down  (we had all the floors done in new hardwood about 8 years ago, it was just carpet before that) maybe we could make some changed there as well.  I mentioned to him that I was less than happy with the over-varnished oak look, and could we possibly redo it with wider planks in a different stain..sort of gray-ish?  And likewise, he suggested we do the staircase and balcony off the master bedroom (that looks out over the Great Room) with wrought iron instead of the cheapy looking painted wood spindles our last contractor used.  Yes and yes.  But we are seriously avoiding upgrading a lot of things.  Our mantra has always been that this is a second home...a "vacation" home.  The overall quality and craftsmanship is very important of course for home value purposes, but we just can't go wild, especially with The Husband looking at retirement in a few years.

That said, I have a few things to pack up for tomorrow; a picnic lunch, a good book, and my forms (20+ pages) for the inventory.  I hope to see my neighbor, Susie, and share some wine...maybe sit on the dock for a little bit with the sun on my face.  I wish we could bring Milo and Layla but it's just not the place for them right now.  Soon I hope. you know why I was a little blue this morning.  But tomorrow is another day.  It's all about the here and there, isn't it?  And where you choose to be.

Love to all,

Jane xxx


It's me said...

Like the rabbit with the hanging Ear ...lovely weekend Jane ..!! Ria...x!

podso said...

Hope it all goes well tomorrow, and it will be nice to have everything refreshed and updated. Like your bunnies!

Mary@mydogsmygardenandmary said...

Love the rabbits, they are so cute.
I think you will enjoy decorating the Lake House and have everything the way you want it.
I also love Marshalls, TJ MAX and Home Goods. They always have such wonderful items and buys too. I don't even think about going to Macy's or Bloomingdale's, as they are too expensive.
Have fun at the Lake House and relax on the dock, have a nice glass of wine and watch the world go by dear friend.

Courtney@Golden Boys and Me said...

I am with you on shopping at TJ Maxx and HomeGoods. Love all of your adorable bunnies. Best of luck this weekend at the lake house. I hope you get to enjoy that glass of wine on the dock with your friend :)

Sonny G said...

Love your bunnies and the update Jane..

I have a bunny I got at goodwill. He's been painted and stained and faux finished and repainted:) he's now white and I only change the bow on her neck.. she stays out year round- she's too cute to put away.

love , hugs and best of luck.

Maggie said...

Good morning dear,
I do hope that you're feeling a little less blue today and more positive about the changes happening at the Lake house.
It's a wet and misty morning here in Hilton Head so I'm taking the Senior Partner shopping today! (He doesn't know yet). TJ's for sure and I've just discovered there's a HG here, too. Love your rabbits, hope I find a similar bunny to take back to Normandy with me.
bon weekend

Vicki @ lifeinmyemptynest said...

The weather is going to be good tomorrow - you might just be able to sit in the sun for a bit. Good luck with the inventory - it sounds like a big job that will need some wine at the end!

Primitive Stars said...

Hi Jane, loving the bunnies and I also have a old Mason jar filed with speckled eggs, adore!!!!! Blessings Francine.

Row homes and Cobblestones said...

Happy first day of Spring Jane! Going to pick myself up "Season to Season". You must have the cleanest hands in town - just saying. Hop and drop, oh how I'm still laughing with that. I hear you can train them to use a litter box but probably not a bunny like Snowny. Talking about Snowny it's snowing in Philadelphia today, yup first day of Spring.
Your bunnys are very sweet, would love to see your collection. Thanks for the update on the lake house. Jane yes a rebirth to the home ... the home will always echo the love of the past.
Love and hugs,

Susie said...

Blondie girl, sending hugs to you . Don't be will work out. Maybe as it warms up the children can even pitch in and help out some. They love the lake house too. I happen to like your rabbit collection. I will be posting some bunnies pics soon. I love T.J. Maxx also. I find the odd but unique things there. Blessings to you and your family, xoxo,Susie

Melanie said...

Good morning, Jane! I love cookbooks too, as you know. I have gotten rid of so many over the past couple of years, but still have about 50-60. Yep, that's pared down. ;-) I get most of mine at library book sales or Goodwill though, so I don't spend a lot of money. You had said on my blog comment that you passed up the one at Anthro. Yay, you! That place has pretty stuff, but way overpriced. If that cookbook is really calling your name, maybe you could find it online cheaper? I know what you mean about the nice soaps at TJ Maxx...that's where I buy some of my bathroom soaps (pumps for the sink area), too. I don't know if you shop at Trader Joes, but they have wonderful soaps, too. I have a lavender soap for my bathroom and a lemon soap for my kitchen. Bunnies...I love them! I have a collection of faux ones and I've just started bringing mine out now, too. And, like you, we used to have a real bunny as a pet. His name was T.A.P.R. (pronounced Tapper)...stood for Tim And Phil's Rabbit. :-) Get this...we litter box trained him! He had a little corner litter box and would go in there. I had to clean it out and disinfect it every single day though. Lots of work.

Anonymous said...

I finally got rid of a lot of my cookbooks. I had so many that my shelf fell that held them. I seem to use the same ones over and over again.

Love shopping at those stores. In fact, making a trip to Dallas this weekend just to shop at HG and IKEA.

Just imagine how new and nice the lake house will look like all fresh and new. It is hard to not get discouraged. Chin up sweet girl!


Lisa @ Texas Decor said...

I think you have the right attitude about the lake house. It's kind of nice to concentrate on the new changes, etc. Love your bunnies and I don't blame you one bit for giving away Snowy. You know she went to a good home and that's what matters. :) Happy first day of Spring!

Kathleen Grace said...

I am sure that when you get the vacation home finished it will be so fresh and pretty it will make you smile. I know it's a horrible mess to go through, but in the end you'll have your place to relax and enjoy family and friends again and that will be wonderful!
I had to laugh at your bunny story. When the girls were little they begged for a pet rabbit (each!) and we gave in with the understanding that all care was on them. Hahaha. We must have gone through 8 years or more of reminding them daily that they needed to be fed, watered and the cages cleaned. They, of course, lost interest within a few years but insisted we not get rid of the rabbits. I thought those bunnies would. never. die. I know that sounds horrible, but I was so sick of fighting over their care that by the time they died, as I hugged whoever had just lost their (all of a sudden) best friend, inside I was so happy I could have danced a jig. You did the smart ting and found it another home. Why didn't I think of that? Lol

Theresa said...

I love those sweet bunnies:) I haven't gotten mine out yet. Gotta get moving! Hope the Lake House will get fixed in record time and to your liking! Have a blessed day and weekend dear Jane! HUGS!

RURAL said...

I"m such a fan of old mason jars, and speckled eggs have some I am working on right now...treasures are important, whether they are here, or at your other place, they reside in your heart.

Right now as I am typing, there is a lot of beeping back and forthing, and lumber unloading.

The house across the street tragically burnt down last summer just after they finished renovating it for a year. It was a horrific time for the owners, almost everything was lost. They did manage to save her trunk, and her wedding dress for her upcoming wedding. The house sat all winter, covered in snow, burnt out, decrepit....sad, unresponsive.

And then one sunny day recently the excavator came up, and tore it down.

I'm not telling you this to make you feel anything but hope. The look on their faces now as the owners get out to survey what was once a horrible situation, is that of happiness now. Of new beginnings, of a future.

And I hope that once the rebuilding of your beloved cottage starts that despite the heartache you have and are going through, you will feel better.

That the future holds both treasured memories of when it was the heart of your family, and a sense of things while never being the same, being good once again.


Debbie said...

Bittersweet....heading up to the lake. With time, more sweet than bitter....especially knowing that your little girl will be making memories with you all there.
Love to you, Jane.

susan said...

Just think of all the fun you're going to have shopping in your 3 favorite stores for your lake house. It's going to have such a fresh, beautiful look to it when all is said and done. Look at it as an adventure rather than a disaster. Enjoy your weekend.

Vel Criste said...

A big good luck on the house Jane, I still remember the wonderful times and updates you did last summer on it, and now, it's all gone... :-( I know though with your positive attitude and wonderful spirit, things will work out well in the end for you all.

As for the HG,and TJ, I'm like you too, I have LOTS of handsoaps stocked up, more than I could use because they are irresistable!!! Lovin' all your bunny finds by the way. Check out the BIG OVEN app, that's where I got the Salmon recipe you were asking about on IG.

Barbara F. said...

I hope you get the business part done and then have lots of relaxing time, Jane. I agree with you that HG has so many lovely things and their prices are usually very good.

Melanie said...

PS - I meant to tell you, good luck at the lake house! I know there'll be a ton of work to do, but I hope that it goes smoothly. And I know it'll look so good in the long run.

Sarah said...

Jane, you have a good attitude. Good luck with all this. I know it will all be just fine. '-)

Stonecropsister said...

Hi Jane,
It's a tiresome process, dealing with the physical and mental stuff involved with the reno. We've been through it when our toilet tank cracked while we were on vacation in europe for two weeks, years ago. We were out of our house for 5 months, so I understand what you are about to go through with making design choices. Good that you've got a beautiful home to come back to, complete with delightful bunnies. take care. xx Nancy

Julie Marie said...

Hi Jane... love your new bunnies!... and how fun to display your seasonal cookbooks, then make yummy things to eat!... you mentioned you had not heard from me in awhile, do you check your Instagram?... I comment on every one of them!... yep, I do!... Happy First Day of Spring to you!... much love, xoxo... Julie Marie

Brenda Pruitt said...

It is, indeed. Read a good book, relax, and think how you'd like your second home to look.

Kit said...

I love that you have started to look at the disaster in a different light. That will help with the blues. And with your style and flair it will be even better. :) I hope you'll take us along thru the project and I can't wait to see what you create! Hugs, Kit

Gypsy Heart said...

The bunnies are adorable! I totally agree with you about the soaps ~ plus many other things. :) I just love having wonderful fragrances and yes, the price is right!

Your love of cookbooks rivals mine I'm sure. :) I can sit and read them like a novel. I did give a few away a couple years ago and then a few more when I moved. I still have some in storage ~ just haven't been able to give them up and I've run out of room here.

I hope your lake visit goes well! I can only imagine the stress. My brother and sister-in-law redid my mother's home and it was gorgeous! Soon after, their *new* range caused an electrical fire so they had another reno. They did make more changes this time and it's fantastic! You know, just having different paint colors is a boost.

Have a glass of wine for me, ok?

Bluebird49 said...

I love the bunnies! Elsie will love all those things you have around there before you know it.
Yes--it's going to be a bummer--doing the inventory and figuring out what to do at the Lake House--but, I know you and Hubby will work it out! (But you've seen the worst, at least.)
It will be an even better vacation home and as your children have children--it will be a place they'll come to --and it will be "newer" in places, anyway! I hope you have a safe place to stay there--and time to read that book.
xxx Trudy

Decor To Adore said...

I ALWAYS wondered if Sophie was related to Mr. Dahl. :) Love your springtime vignettes. Thank you for the lovely inspiration. Have a wonderful weekend.

Liz@ HomeandGardeningWithLiz said...

Cookbooks are little gems to sift through aren't they! I enjoy snooping through the soaps at TJ's. I have a plastic pump dispenser shaped like a bee hive- couldn't resist it! Sounds like my kind of fun to renovate a home. I hope all goes well with the contractor. We re-modeled the home we live in back in '96 and I enjoyed the process!
Thank you for your visits to my blog, Liz

Tammy@T's Daily Treasures said...

My girlfriend in New Orleans left her Katrina flooded home for a couple of years and lived in Ohio. Thank goodness they had insurance, because the home was repaired but it took quite some time because of the water damage and mildew. Although they loved OH and their spanking brand new home there, they were drawn back to New Orleans, where they were born and raised and where family still lived. The lakehouse will be better than ever once you get all the repair work done. I have tons of cookbooks and mostly make the same stuff over and over. A friend gave me a vegan cookbook for my birthday so I must try out some of those recipes as they all sound delicious. Best wishes, Tammy

Carla from The River said...

Sending a HUG! Hope all went well.
I love your bunnies.
xx oo

Cindy @ Dwellings-The Heart of Your Home said...

Love your white bunny, such cute ears! Happy Spring!!!

Susan Shull said...

Oh, Jane. I missed the post about your lake place. I'll have to go back and try to find it. Hang in there. If it involved water, I feel your pain-the damage water can do is amazing. I agree about TJ and Marshalls!

Donna said...

I love Home Goods too, Jane! Your vintage mason jar with the eggs is so fun. Sounds like you have lots of ideas for your lake home!!

Traci said...

I just went to TJ Maxx over the weekend. I always find cute workout clothes. This time was a Reebok tank & some Marika sports bras. For $13/ea. it's an awesome deal. Good luck with inventory. I know it will be hard but it will be fun to update things.

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

I love shopping our Homegoods here...I always find fun things and I love getting soaps and lotions there, too! Hope things go well at the lakehouse!