Tuesday, May 12, 2015


These are special, they came from Abigail's boyfriend, Tom.  It was such a nice gesture, I just didn't expect it.  They had just come back from visiting his mother's grave.  It's only been two years since they lost her but the family never misses a birthday, holiday or anniversary to celebrate her life.  So I was touched that he thought of me on Mother's Day.

Grape Salad

8 oz. softened cream cheese
1 cup sour cream
1/3 cup sugar
2 t. vanilla
2 lbs. seedless red grapes
2 lbs. seedless green grapes
3 T. brown sugar
3 T. chopped pecans

1)  Beat cream cheese, sour cream, sugar and vanilla until smooth.  Add grapes and toss to coat.

2)  Transfer to a serving bowl, cover and chill.  Before serving, sprinkle over the brown sugar and pecans.  

This is heavenly and super simple to make.  :)

Charlie the Painter is currently here working on my den and guestroom.  I am sort of confined to the kitchen/living room area with the dogs but there is a French door leading into the den so I can take a peek every now and then.  The 28 year old wallpaper is down and the room looks huge.  The paint color I chose is Marshmallow by Sherwin Williams.  It's just a pretty creamy color.  For Abby's old room I went with a soft gray called Alpaca, also by Sherwin Williams.  It will take awhile for the reveal.  We haven't gotten a new bed yet and I have been too busy to paint the dressers.   As far as the den...grrrrrr!  I picked out two comfy chairs but The Husband thinks they are too large for the room even though Emily did a scaled diagram.  As soon as we can get back into the empty room we are going to make a chalk outline of the chairs based on the measurements and exactly where I want to place them.  This man definitely needs a hobby.  He wasn't like this years ago, he sort of followed behind me in the stores when I would pick out furniture or whatever.  And there's nothing wrong with a husband having a say in how you decorate your home, but it seems I would have had the room finished weeks ago if I had just done it alone.  I had to get four paint estimates before I finally hired our longtime guy Charlie.  I went over book after book of chairs with Emily at her showroom and we found the type of chair I liked in the smallest dimensions possible and he still feels they are too big.   Anyway, it remains to be seen if there will be a chalk outline of a man's body next to the chairs when we get through this ordeal.  

I'm still pretty much stuck indoors as Milo is under strict requirements to not have a lot of activity.  I'm still walking him around the backyard on a leash and talking to him like he's a puppy I'm training, "Go pee pee, Milo.  Go poo poo!"  Believe me, when you make 20 laps around the backyard in the pouring rain while he sniffs every tree and weed, you get a little wacko.  And now he's jumping on and off furniture and I'm following him around like he's a toddler.  I'm truly grateful he's recovering so well but he's wearing me out!  He's standing on a chair this very minute watching the next door neighbor mow his lawn, the big old cone still around his head.  Crazy mutt.  

So my plants and flowers are still sitting on the patio waiting for me to find the time to sneak away (or for the constant rain to let up) and get to work.  And my lovely children gave me a gift card for my favorite nursery for Mother's Day so I'm really excited to get started on my gardening.  Be patient, Jane.  

Friday is the bridal shower for my future daughter in law, Deirdre.  It's at her sister's home not too far from here.  She and her husband just bought a very old home in a beautiful part of our area, I can't wait to see it.  It's cocktails and dinner so it will be fun.  Emily and I will be going out to the burbs to get a gift at Crate & Barrel and we are going to each splurge on something new to wear.  I'm personally looking at shoes, I have fallen in love with so many new ones for this season.  Oh, how I love shoes!

Off I go.  I'll be back this weekend and hopefully have some pictures of the shower and if I'm really lucky, some pretty garden pics, too!

Jane x


Vicki @ lifeinmyemptynest said...

That salad looks so yummy - perfect for summer with some chicken :-)

Lynne (lynnesgiftsfromtheheart) said...

The flowers are gorgeous, what a sweet gesture. Your family gathering is so heart warming. It was raining buckets here as well, today, sunny and almost letter perfect. Perfect enough to trim some shrubs once I close for the day.
fondly ~lynne~

Linda said...

Hi Jane...
I hear you about the hubby bit...
Geesh...same here!
Your wee grandaughter gets cuter everytime I see her!
Are you spoiling her??
Enjoy the shower!
Linda :o)

Anonymous said...

The grape salad sounds delicious. That grand baby is so precious.

Glad Milo is doing well.

Have a great week!


Stacey said...

Elsie Jane is just adorable. :)

Primitive Stars said...

Hi Jane, oh that baby Elsie is a living doll. That salad looks so good, love a good salad. Give Milo a big hug from me, Blessings Francine.

Sissie's Shabby Cottage said...

Hi Jane,
Hope that you had a nice Mother's Day. I know what you mean by the men getting involved in the decorating. Since mine retired he thinks he's a design counselor!


susan said...

I think I'm going to have to give that grape salad a try. Perfect for the hot days that will be here before you know it. That baby is such a cutie - I know you must be in love!

podso said...

Elsie Jane is a cuite pie! And the salad looks good.

Anonymous said...

Hi Janie! That was sweet thing with the flowers! Looks like you all had a nice time and little Elsie Jane is just adorable! :) Have a good week and you're always a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

How sweet that he brought you flowers, Jane. It sounds like you had a wonderful Mother's Day.

Look at that wonderfully chubby faced baby! She is just adorable and her eyes are so big.

Doreen@foxdenrd said...

I nearly choked on my chocolate covered raisins (a weakness) about the chalk outline. Sending a cyber high five your way for that one, ;) Interestingly, Fisherman always thinks everything is going to be 'too big' for some reason, but almost never is that true,

Elsie is behind precious.i can only imagine how much you must love her, and you better be spoiling her Missy!

That salad sounds interesting and different. I almost always have grapes in the fridge, so I may give this a try for our next pot luck event.


Kim said...

Never too many flowers...especially when they were such a sweet gift. Keep 'em coming!

Cheryl @ TFD said...

Such a sweet baby! She is just precious. I'm glad you had a nice Mother's Day! The grape salad sounds very good. I haven't had that in ages and I must make some soon. Take care and have a nice week!

Pondside said...

Dear, dear Jane I feel your pain! The Great Dane has taken an interest in everything having to do with the house since he retired. While I love that he's interested, I could do with a little less "hands on" and a few less opinions!

Art and Sand said...

I have to laugh because I can't get the picture out of my mind of you circling the back yard saying, "go poo poo"!

Unknown said...

You can never have enough flowers or flower posts. That salad looks sooo good. I bet my girls will love that!

RURAL said...

What more can we ask for in a blog post, flowers, that amazing salad, which I hope to make one day. Babies...and more babies. And then chalk outlines...lol.

Sometimes it's better to just bring it in and say hey look at what WE got! [Giggling here].

We spend a lot of time looking for that first recliner that we could both live with. And to tell the truth, I was glad when it finally bit the dust.


Vel Criste said...

I will try that grape salad for sure and quick question, do you do anything special to your proscuito-wrapped melon? Where do you usually buy them? I love those but never tried making them before!

Good luck with the painting, I'm done for now, will probably resume in July when we get back from a month long vacation in the Philippines. Glad Milo is slowly recovering, praying for him. :-) Good luck with you hubs too! LOL! Enjoy the shower! ELSIE is cutee (got the name right right?!)!

Row homes and Cobblestones said...

A very endearing post my friend, Sounds like even with all the rain Mother's Day was delightful. Elise Jane, oh my - adorable bundle of sweetness and looks like she's a happy baby. I'm gonna try your grape salad, love your flowers, sometimes a flower bouquet when not expected are the best flowers! Go pee Milo!!!! Glad to see he is recovering, hopefully soon he will be cone free!
Looking forward to the reveal of what "Charlie the painter" has done.

Karen said...

Hi Jane, sorry the walk got rained out but it seems like you ladies had a great brunch, the food looks so good. I know you're going to love your freshly painted rooms. Paint makes such a huge difference. I hope for both your sakes that Milo gets to loose that cone sooner rather than later, it sounds like a real handful dealing with all of that.

Lisa @ Texas Decor said...

Elsie Jane is adorable!!! I'll have to write down that grape salad recipe. Sounds delish! You're cracking me up with the Milo stories! So glad he's feeling well enough to cause you trouble! That's such a good sign! :)

Barb said...


So glad Milo is doing better. Believe me, I totally understand about the walking the dog around the yard a hundred times and all the sniffing. Yikerooooos!

The grape salad looks so delicious.

Enjoy your spring days...it is very warm here, already! My oh my!

Barb xo

Traci said...

Elsie is so cute! I just love her little chubs!

Nancy's Notes said...

Jane, I think your flowers are just beautiful! I would never tire of them! What a sweet time with your family, nothing like it, is there? That grape salad looks scrumptious, will try! Aww, that little one is a little cutie pie!

Terri Steffes said...

I love the flowers... don't stop! I loved the tiny breast cancer tshirt. Did you see that Sandra Lee was recently diagnosed with breast cancer? Loved the grape recipe. Always wanted a good one. Thanks for visiting me. I wish I had a regular base of visitors like you. It is a good thing you have here! Glad I am a part of it!

Unknown said...

Oh my goodness! First, you are adorable! :) What a fabulous read! The salad looks divine, I will try. Elsie, precious! Send me rain! I'll send you sun! Hehehehe... oh my, doggy training in the rain....argh...I feel your pain dearie! Such a loving, beautiful picture of your sister. So heartbreaking. Thank you so much for stopping by my blog! xoxox Jen

Gypsy Heart said...

Perhaps there is another reason I'm single! :) I couldn't or maybe wouldn't...go through all that about the chairs. Good luck!

The flowers are beautiful and the paint colors sound lovely. I know you're looking forward to getting it all done. Having 2 homes in "construction" would be difficult for anyone I think.

One of my aunts used to make that salad and I always loved it! Thanks for the reminder and sharing the recipe.

We're inundated with rain, flooding, tornadoes, etc. here in Texas. Not sure if you've seen any of it in the Nat'l news. A few photos are on my blog.

Have fun shopping and attending the shower!


Susie said...

Blondie, My SIL makes that salad every 4th of July. It is good. You ladies are troopers. There's going to be plenty of new babies. Glad Milo is doing well. Blessings to all of you, xoxo,Susie
p.s. I will have shoe envy.

Unknown said...

I don't think there can ever be too many flower posts! :)

deb said...

beautiful flowers ~ love your table! sweet baby Elsie ♥

Rue said...

Hi Jane :)

I just spent a good hour catching up with you. You've had A LOT going on! Congratulations on getting published!! And I'm so happy to hear that Milo is recovering and the cancer appears to be gone. That's great news :)

As far as the hubby... I let a man try to make a decision one time on decor and that was enough. After that I said "You have two rooms you're allowed to make a decision on.... your office and the garage." LOL Although I realize that a lot of husbands won't put up with that, so good luck ;)

Your grand baby is adorable :)


Linda said...

I LOVE that grape salad!!! My neighbor, Stephanie, turned me on to this and I make it often!! DO NOT cut the grapes in half! She tried that once and it made the salad really soggy!!!

Beth said...

I've had the grape salad before and it is very good. So refreshing for summer. I love the planter that says "grow" on it. How kind of Tom to remember his mom, and to remember you as well. Glad Milo is doing well.

Carla from The River said...

Hi Jane,
The salad sounds great. Yes, I agree perfect for summer.
Have a great weekend,

Debbie said...

I just love seeing the baby in her little t-shirt, Jane! She is growing ever so fast! What a little cutie!
It's been raining here, also. My window boxes still aren't all filled...ugh.
We make a grape salad similar to yours, and love it!
Have a great weekend, sweet friend.

designchic said...

Such beautiful flowers and your granddaughter is precious!! Happy weekend !

Bluebird49 said...

How sweet of Tom to think of you with the flowers, Jane. Sounds like Abigail's got a "keeper" in Tom, huh?
The Grape Salad sounds so good and refreshing! Filing that away in my recipe box.Oh--your prociutto and melon sounds really good--I love salty and sweet together. If I didn't eat all of them, they may not be too bad for my hips, but they sounds like potato chips. As in "I'll bet you can't eat just one!" (I'm sitting here, hungry--and talking about food, and looking at your pictures of it. Not a good idea!_
Poor baby--you and Milo are really having a go'round. I am glad he's up to thins, but it seems like so much has happened all at once.
(The lake house--yes, I'm sorry, I "went there."!) ;) And Milo's surgery. And your house needing painting and furniture.
And suddenly having a husband who is a decorator. Wow--wait 'til this man retires! I'm just warning you, babe. You may want to get a job about that time...although hopefully, you'll be doing a lot of traveling and babysitting. Maybe he will get into hiking with the "Guy's Hike" coming up. Then when you tell him to "Take a hike!" , it won't sound as if you mean quite it so much! Ha! Still, it would be a bit better than you wearing an orange jumpsuit for years. (I'm going where you went with the hilarious chalk outline. Girl, you are a hoot!)
It was so nice of someone to have a place to go if the skies poured during the Walk. I know you enjoyed it. Girl talk, yummy food, and even more -- yummy drinks. Sounds like a "fun" raiser AND a fundraiser..

Elsie Jane is really growing--as babies are wont to do--and she is a cutie, of course. The time passes so quickly, doesn't it.
I hope the shower is fun--I know it will be; and will probably be over by the time you read this. I hope we'll see what you decided to wear, and to give Deirdre, too.
I can see how terribly busy things have been over at your house. Things have been pretty quiet here. We'll probably leave around the middle of next week to go see our kids, but I'll be in touch!
xx Trudy

Anonymous said...

The grape salad looks so good!! Have a great time at the shower. The baby is so adorable.


bj said...

I pinned that salad...it sounds like we'd love it.
Such a sweet thought to bring you beautiful flowers. He sounds like a great young man.
That freezer jam recipe is on the Freezer Jam Pectin box.....
hugs, bj

bj said...

I pinned that salad...it sounds like we'd love it.
Such a sweet thought to bring you beautiful flowers. He sounds like a great young man.
That freezer jam recipe is on the Freezer Jam Pectin box.....
hugs, bj

Linda said...

I love the story about your husband and the chairs. Of course it's easy for me to laugh. It's too cold here also for flowers. :-(

Decor To Adore said...

Oh this happy post brought a smile to my face. For the record I never tire of pretty flowers. :)

Have a wonderful weekend!

Stonecropsister said...

Hi Jane,
I love your posts. It's like getting a letter from my sister. Full of news and details of meals and flowers and dogs and babies, and good things and worries. I have missed so many posts lately, it's lovely to spend some time here. Also, I now have two new books to add to my list, girl on a train and little bees. I will definitely look for them. Elsie Jane is smush-able. I just want to squeeze her, does that sound weird? hopefully you know what i mean. she's just beautiful. enjoy your weekend. xx Nancy

Melanie said...

Elsie is so adorable! Have you gotten a chance to babysit and/or spoil her yet? :-) The paint colors you chose sound pretty...we'll be painting our bedroom soon and I haven't decided between a soft, creamy beige or pale gray. Our master bath is the soft, creamy beige with accents of blue and brown, so I'm not sure about the gray for the bedroom. So glad to hear Milo is on the mend. I'm sure he'll be glad to get that Cone of Shame off his head! I'm sure you'll have fun at the bridal shower tonight. Doesn't look like any of us are going to be doing much planting this weekend with all this rain coming in. I've planted a lot, but still have more to go! A friend just gave me some plants for an early bday present and my mom gave my a hydrangea bush for Mother's Day.

Sherry @ Thrift My House said...

I had that grape salad a long time ago and I'm so glad you posted the recipe and reminded me of it. Sweet baby!!! and I'm glad Milo is feeling better. I know he's your baby :)

Mary Ann Pickett said...

Best wishes to your pup!! So many fun things going on over there!

Vee said...

Two things, maybe three...wonderful that your group got together for such a worthy cause. So glad that you tried the grape salad...it's one of my favorite treats. And the adventures you're having with your recovering dog are reminiscent of my own as I am in the middle of keeping my grandpuggy for a week. He is something else! I identified with the many trips around the yard in the rain. (The good thing is that he is not wearing a cone.) Hope that the two weeks fly by for your sweet pup.

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

Oh my goodness Jane,
So fun getting caught up here with your last two blog posts.
And now I am very hungry as well.
Baby Elsie Jane is adorable in her tshirt!
Love all your beautiful flowers and arrangements.
Glad to see Milo is on the mend.
Can't wait until the end of May, although May and June are my favorite months and I hate when they end.
Big Hugs

Helen Philipps said...

I loved reading this post very much, Jane. Such lovely flowers, food and adorable baby. Funny dog story... Getting the rooms painted, and choosing the chairs.....and the chalk lines ....so funny!
Hope the rain stops and you enjoy your garden. Have a wonderful week ahead!
Helen xox

Elaine said...

Sounds like Milo is back! Glad to hear your fur baby is doing so well.

I might have to try the grape salad!

Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow / Sacred Eclectic said...

That grape salad looks good and look at little Elsie grow!! :)

Something Nice and Pretty said...

I'm sure Milo will be so grateful to have that removed, they are so sweet aren't they?
I love flowers and I usually have mine bought and planted by now but recovering is slow...Family is everything!