Wednesday, April 1, 2015


I thought I'd be able to post a pretty "pre-tablescape" for Easter.  That way you could steal, er...try some of my ideas.  No way.  I'm struggling to stay above water so I simply have here a little centerpiece I made for spring.  Honestly, the table is going to be so crowded with dinnerware, I think all I will be able to fit is a simple vase of flowers, and a small one at best.  I've heard, and I've done, pretty centerpieces that are removed once dinner is ready and that's wonderful.  Go for it.  Your guests love to admire a pretty table when they walk in, they feel special!

**Sunlight Sangria**

15 oz. Blanco tequila
15 oz. Pinio Grigio
15 oz. Ruby Red Grapefruit Juice
1 cup Simple Syrup
1 cup Fresh Lime Juice
2 cups ice
15 oz. Club Soda

Add all of the ingredients to a large pitcher or dispenser but for the Club Soda and ice.  Stir.  Add the last two and garnish each glass with sliced limes.  

Ahhhhh....light and refreshing.  Perfect for summer, too, don't you think?

On the lakehouse front.  Good news or bad?  Well, we hired our contractor who will do the work.  That's good.  Not good, the house won't be "dried out" for about another two weeks.  Good news?  We've been picking and choosing new ways to do things, new ideas for flooring and walls and decor.  Bad thing?  The house will not be ready to move back into until about  October.  No summertime. Whatsoever.  The first time in 24 years.  It's so, so sad and depressing.  I still have to remember, we have a roof over our heads here in Chicago, we didn't lose everything we owned, and that this is going to be chalked up as simply a bad time as the years go on.  We had a lot of plans for sprucing up the house here once spring came along, so I'm glad that we can focus on that for the first time without all the business of getting the boats out, the patio ready, the spring cleaning and the beach fix-up.  Oh yeah, even that sounds fun right now knowing we won't have it, but we'll survive.  

I'm off tomorrow to get a few fresh ingredients for our Easter Feast.  I found a gorgeous 11.63 lb ham yesterday.  What a beast!  I love holidays...the smell of food cooking, the laughter and happiness of being together, the gratefulness of a healthy and happy family.  All worries put aside and hope for "New Beginnings".  Symbolic for all, I think.  Our problems are so insignificant in the realm of all things now.

Wishing all of you a wonderful and blessed Easter!  Much love,

Jane xx


Michele said...

Jane, you hang in there lady friend!

Have a blessed and wonderful Easter weekend. Take care - and we will just see ya when we see ya! Hugs!

20 North Ora said...

Hi Jane - I love artichokes dearly but only eat them out. They are way too much trouble to fix. If you ever go to Olive Garden. At lunch, when you have the soup and salad, for $2.99 you can order artichokes something. I forgot what they are called. But it is a huge serving oh batter fried artichoke hearts. Yum! They are fantastic! Makes me drool just thinking about it.

Ok, over the artichokes.......

So sorry it is going to take so long to get everything done. Too bad you don't have one of those TV shows that do a house almost overnight. LOL

Have a wonderful and blessed Easter.


Debby said...

Jane, I keep missing your posts. So I was catching up. My comments will be all over the place, fair warning. You are a patient person trying new things to cook. I am the opposite. I am throwing in more and more spices.
I just hate it about your cottage. I was wondering if you could rent a place for a bit of a vacation.
I have told you how I miss our cottage. Not so much now. The dam is breaking. They were going to drain the lake, imagine that. It's a man made lake. But the govenor has decided not to. He plans on rebuilding it the next five years at a few billion dollars and just lower it a little. When we boated there we were always getting stuck. The joke goes that if you boat sinks you won't drown because it's only two feet deep. On the news tonight they have scheduled evacuation drills . If that dam goes they said 3,000 people will be devasted.
I loved your "artichoke" club. I am a bit to friendly so I can relate. My kids used to ask me if I knew the person that I just told my life history to.
I have extremly low Vitamin D levels. So does my brother that lives in Alabama and is in the sun all the time. Our father had Alzheimers.
More pictures of that baby, please.
Have a great Easter. I have no idea what we are doing. I do know that we aren't going to allow showings like last summet.
Great job on the switch covers. We replaced all of ours a couple years back.

Linda said...

I love your attitude!

Linda@Coastal Charm said...

Sorry to hear that your lake house won't be ready for you for the summer season, but keep your good attitude and it will all be okay. HAPPY EASTER to you and your family!!!


Maggie said...

Glad you've found a contractor to make the cottage better again, sad to learn that means no summer at the Lake this year. Will you share the renovation story with us all? I for one would enjoy seeing what you do to love it back to life again.
Happy Easter, or as we say in France Joyeux Paques

Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Jane,

Gosh, no wonder that you barely have time to make an appearance in Blogland. We are breathless just reading what you have been up to!

The striped cushion looks great on the floral sofa a decorator friend of ours once advised that one should combine graphic, plain and organic elements to create a harmonious whole.nwell, you certainly have those ingredients with the stripes, the plain fabric and the floral design. You are a natural!

We only ever grew artichokes as ornamental plants, never to eat, partly because we had not the slightest idea what to do with them. Clearly,we have missed out all these years!

Wishing you and your family a Happy Easter and hoping that your renovations run smoothly. Just think of the excitement of the lake house when it is finished.

podso said...

I like your "new" switch plates. Too bad about the lake house but I bet you will love it when it is all fresh and new. Have a wonderful Easter together.

Nancy's Notes said...

Morning Jane, I just really enjoy your posts, they are full of life! Your daughter is so pretty! Know it was hard to see her leave. Oh and your beach house, I'm so sorry. Hang in there, friend!

Theresa said...

Love those whimsical characters:) It is wonderful that your Daughter spends time with you and time with her friends! Enjoy your day dear friend, don't work too hard! Visit a friend this Summer near your lake home... you can still enjoy the sunshine and blue skies! HUGS!

Vicki @ lifeinmyemptynest said...

That drink sounds delicious! We are eating around 12:30 so I am serving Mimosas, always a favorite with my daughters. Happy Easter :-)

Lisa @ Texas Decor said...

That is so disheartening that you won't be able to use the lake house this summer, but like you said, it's merely a bump in the road of life. I'm sure you'll still enjoy picking out new things and I know you'll be looking forward to October. :) Your bunnies are just darling!!! As you know, I can't resist a cute bunny. :) And how smart you are to spray paint those switch covers! Very clever, got the job done, and saved money to boot! Yippee for Blondie! :)

Betsy Brock said...

You'll have to have a lovely Halloween/autumn house warming party at the lake house. Maybe it will still be warm then!

Kathleen Grace said...

Bummer that you won't be able to use the summer house this summer! But as you said, you can count it as an opportunity to concentrate on things around the year round house. You may find that you enjoy the change, or maybe plan a little summer vacation someplace adventure! Happy Easter to you and your family, I love holidays too. Family, food and love. What could be better?

Row homes and Cobblestones said...

Your Gardener Bunnies are adorable just like you sweet friend! I understand the timeframe with rebuilding the Lake house means no summertime lake fun. But the planning and redoing will keep you busy all Spring/Summer season and fly by. I keep telling myself that with this remodeling work going on here.
The project has grown in scope and I'm trying to not stress!!!
Your Easter Spring drink looks wonderful but I only ever drink wine or champagne. I guess I'm a wine snob.
Love, love, love those green recycled glasses! I want some!!!
I love Artichokes but make them only once or twice a year. I steam them following a recipe from John's Italian Grandmother who lived to 102. She was big on adding a potato to insure sweetness and lemon to retain color. Cleaning them is a task driven job and stuffing them takes time ... but when done heaven on a plate!
Jane enjoy your Easter with family. I respect and admire all your loving efforts and your recipes you make for your family. Huge Ham you're making!
When I did the research on my Easter post I discovered 67 percent of Americans eat Ham on Easter.
Sending you love,

Melanie said...

I like the striped pillow cover. I think it looks just fine with the floral print of your couch...the color of the stripe picks up the same color in the couch print, so it's all good. Artichokes...I give you credit for at least trying that recipe - I agree, they're too much work to fool with! I just stick to canned artichoke hearts and use them in certain recipes and salads. I spray-painted the switch plates in our bedroom. They looked OK for awhile, but then even the paint starts to get worn-looking. Home Depot doesn't have the best selection of switch plates, do they? (I know, that's one place I looked, too.) I've never looked, but I bet there's some online places where one could order some pretty ones. Hope you and your family have a wonderful Easter!

Brenda Pruitt said...

I wish I felt confident enough to also take out the place where you plug things in and replace that.

Anonymous said...

oh I am so sorry it will be until October before finishing, thats a shame but, maybe you will enjoy the new look, picking out new decorating touches will be fun, if there is a fun side, lol,

the bunnies are so cute ,,, so colorful!! Your daughter is beautiful!Have a wonderful Easter!

Barb said...


You should write...not kidding. I love the way you detail your life.

You are finding the good in a bad situation with your lake house. Always remember, it is okay to 'feel your feelings.' That way they are out in the open and will be resolved sooner. Believe it.

I love the pillows with the sofa. Do what makes you happy and others will love your home.

Have a blessed and happy Easter. Thanks so much for your kind comments to me. They are appreciated.

Barb xo

NanaDiana said...

The switch plates look great now, Jane!
Glad you are getting started on the lake house. Maybe it will be good to have undivided time to get summer projects done on your home. Just think, you will still get a few fall days in the lake house!

I love artichokes but only do the steaming and we pull the pulp out with out teeth after dipping it in drawn butter. I know--I

Hope you have a great weekend. Love the picture of your daughter and her friend. xo Diana

It's me said...

Happy from me Ria...x!

Lulu said...

Right now I'm love a glass of your sunlight sangria as it might be good for what ails me. Love your funny bunnies as they gave me a little chuckle, another thing I need today. Have a happy Easter hopefully spent with your family.

Doreen@foxdenrd said...

I have a friend who is our 'go to' gal for signature drinks.,she never disappoints, but I think you'd give her a run for her money!

I can't say I'm surprised your house won't be ready this summer, especially after seeing it down to the studs. But why is it on TV they can build an entire house in a few days?? It's going to feel weird after all these years not going there. Do you have friends you can spend a night or two with? That might also help with the construction process. Trust me, you'll want to be on hand as much as possible.

Have a lovely holiday my friend, and keep up your great attitude!


Unknown said...

Well! That was pretty clever to paint the plates. Good thing that they were in pretty good shape. Are you liking "All the Light We Can Not See"? The Sangria sounds wonderful... I might just try that. :)

Try not to do to much at once. Have a blessed Easter!

Pondside said...

Happy Easter Jane! I like your little gardiners and peas in a pod. Your Easter dinner is sure to be delicious and the table is sure to be beautiful. The best decoration though, will be the collection of smiling faces and loving family members gathered together.

Sarah said...

Clever girl!!!
Sounds like your Easter weekend is full. Enjoy time with your family. The lake house will be waiting for you next summer, all spruced up in new decor. '-)
Happy Easter!

Bluebird49 said...

Oh Jane--I'm sorry you won't be able to summer at the cottage...but the way time flies for me sometimes, I guess it will be October before I know it. You and hubby will probably be going out there though, to wee how things are going--and I know you will find things to do together. I don't want there to be any old there to be a health hazard for you all.
Never have fixed n artichoke! Put it on my Bucket List? ( I don't have one--i know you're not surprised!!)
I know you will present a beautiful and yummy Easter table for your family.
xxx Trudy

Gypsy Heart said...

I gave up preparing artichokes eons ago. So good, yet such a project! Seems you're going to have a fun weekend and I know all the food will be delish! I'm sorry about the lake house ~ I know it's a disappointment for you. Just think, you can take little weekend jaunts and visit new places you've put off. It's going to be beautiful when you get it finished.

Have a blessed and very Happy Easter!

RURAL said...

I just steam mine, and pull off the leaves dip them in melted butter, and lemon...and muss no fuss. No wonder you got a little uninspired, that's a lot of work. LOL.

My hope for you is that everything goes so much quicker then planned, and you are in, and enjoying at the very least the late can happen, we just have to believe it will.

Happy Easter, enjoy your time with the family.


Kit said...

Jane you have such a great attitude! But I can understand your disappointment in no lake house this summer. That is sad. But knowing you, you will re-route your energy and come out just fine. Love the pillow with the floral. :)You enjoy that beast of a ham and I will enjoy my roasted chickens. :) Happy Easter to you my dear friend. Kit

jp@A Green Ridge said...

Have a wonderful Easter!...:)JP

bj said...

I'm not sure I've ever had an artichoke...hmmm
Hoping you have a wonderful Easter.

Penny said...

Happy Easter Jane. So sorry you won't be able to use the lake house this summer, but I'm sure the remodel will be wonderful when it is done. I hate messing your artichokes too.

Susie said...

Blondie, Good job on the switch plates. I love your table scape. I love the fresh faced pretty. I feel sad about your lakehouse. Maybe some of the neighbors will invite you for a weekend here and there. This will be like a new house for you to decorate how ever you like. Blessings for a glorious Easter at your house. xoxo,Susie

xinex said...

I love your vignette, Janie. Happy Easter to you and your family. I know you will have a great celebration. Time will fly fast so the lake house will be ready in no time....Christine

sweetbriardreams said...

Patience is a virtue - even though at the time it drives us mad! Let's hope that this is the worst scenario and things will be a little quicker. Have a wonderful Easter xx

Poppy said...

Very sweet bunnies, keeping everyone company during your big feast.

Kudos for your persistence and patience re: the artichoke dish for your hubby!

Hope you are enjoying a joyful Easter Sunday!


Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

I love your attitude with life. I know it will be hard not to have this summer at your lake house but on a positive note, you will have a wonderful home at the end. You have such a good eye for decorating that I know you will create a delightful new look.

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

Hi Jane,
I am late getting over here..sorry.
Love your whimsical bunnies! I should go look now when everything is marked down. What a great picture of your lovely daughter! Oh and so sorry about the lake house. You will just need to get up here for a visit this summer.
And was thinking for Galena, would the weekend of May 22nd work for you two?
Just let me know when you have time. I couldn't remember exactly what weekends you said were booked already.
Hang in there friend..oh and now you have me hungry for artichokes.

Traci said...

LOVE the little bunnies! Bummer about the lake house. I know you must be really upset about not having summer there but think what a great summer you'll have next year with all new stuff!

Rue said...

Sorry about the summer you're losing at the house, but you're right... eventually it'll all be over and you'll have a great time next summer :)

I make artichokes all the time. I just boil them in water for 45 minutes or until you can pull a leaf out easily and dip the leaves in butter or mayo. I'm not fancy with them obviously LOL


deb @ frugal little bungalow said...

Oh Jane so sad about the house. October! Sheesh! :(

Unknown said...

Sangria is one of my favorites for summer, the recipe sounds yummy. Thanks so much for sharing, can't wait to try it! Do you have Instagram, would love to follow you!