Tuesday, April 30, 2019


Rustic Herb Pot Tray

Hello friends!  And happy almost May.  In spite of snow yesterday, the sun was back out today and temps were around d 55 degrees.  That gets a big yay from me.  Spring fever is on my mind.  It's hard to believe it's still April; the anticipation for spring and summer has been much more on my mind than past years.  Maybe it's because I'm currently trying to get my ducks in a row at both houses.  Here in the city we need some new fencing and gates for the backyard, and I need to work on getting some perennials along the back fence.  I also have some areas to reseed and others to mulch.  It's all heavy stuff so I'm not too sure how I'm going to get it done. Maybe like the ant and the rubber tree plant?

I gave up trying to start plants from seeds indoors although I did give it a respectable try years ago.  I'm loving this little wood tray with pots that I can just plunk herbs down in.  It has a cute chicken wire top.  I do have an herb garden but this is sort of convenient in the kitchen just to snip and use.  I bought it at Antique Farmhouse a few years ago.  If you haven't been to the website, go have a look/see.

My Daffs

The daffodils are up and blooming and since I snapped this, I also have tulips.  Every spring I wish I had added more bulbs the previous fall.  I just want to fill in some gaps.  And along this wood fence I want to add more plants as I mentioned earlier.  I get a lot of sun here. :)

Shower Flowers

Abby's bridal shower was two weeks ago and everything turned out just lovely.  I sometimes felt like the running around would never end but it was fun coming up with ideas and working with the other gals involved.  I shared more pics on my Instagram account, which you can see here if you have a feed.  

I bought these mercury glass containers at Michael's.  They are actually meant for candles.  I think I bought about eight in different shapes and sizes.  I ordered mini carnations from a florist.  Abby wanted one single color, very simple.  I then added baby's breath and eucalyptus to fill out the bouquets.  

A View of The Room

This is how the tables looked.  I also included clear glass tea light holders with the same glittery stones around the edges.  The shower was from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.  We had a buffet of heavy appetizers, cocktails, and the pub's signature red and white wine sangria.


Tom's sister, Katie, made these cute little pots of succulents as party favors.  They made for cute decorations on the tables.  I was lucky to bring a few stray ones home and can't wait to plant them in a shallow dish.

Gift Table

My daughter, Emily, did a great job decorating the the table set up for gifts.  We requested them to not be wrapped so it was a great display.  Em also made a banner of pics of the happy couple over the years.  Since they have been together for just over ten years, right out of high school, you could really see how they had changed!

You might recognize the book bundle from this post.  I found them at this Etsy shop.  I also had napkins monogrammed with the same words.

The Buffet

The buffet provided various 'heavy' appetizers.  I mentioned this was a casual evening affair so we wanted guests to feel free to sit at a table or mingle with small plates.  The fare included Caprese Flatbread, Santa Fe Chicken Rolls, Flame Grilled Mini Burgers, Buffalo Chicken Spring Rolls, and Mac 'N Cheese Bites, to name a few offerings.  

Let Them Eat Cake

First Abby wanted doughnuts on her dessert table.  I checked some of the top doughnut shops and bakeries in Chicago, and although the flavors sounded insanely good, they didn't have any sort of visual loveliness.  We then looked at individual mini cakes  and pastries sold at one of our better grocery stores.  She wasn't too keen on those.  So we settled on Nothing Bundt Cakes.  If you have the chain in your area, I highly recommend it.  I ordered the Chocolate Chocolate Chip, Strawberries and Cream, and Raspberry Orange.  Each cake serves 18-20.  I ordered these little cake boxes and printed labels from The Stationery Studio, and guests were genuinely delighted to take a piece of cake home.  I was happy that none of the cake went to waste.  I would recommend having some of these boxes on hand for any occasion.  They can hold cookies, candy--any sort of take home sweet.  They come flat and easy to fold and close.   

Let The Games Begin

Emily put together three little games, mostly revolving around how well we knew the future bride and groom, and how well they knew each other.  Katie made up cute little gift bags filled with fun beauty and pampering items for the lucky winners.  

Yes To The First Dress

Apparently its not just about the wedding gown anymore.  Abby found about four dresses for the shower.  This is the one she chose.  I have always thought that she has beautiful style and this not only complimented how pretty she is (if I do say so myself!), it was gorgeous!  Now she's on the hunt for dresses for the rehearsal dinner, a night on the town near the resort, poolside wear, and the Sunday breakfast.  Me?  I have nothing so far.  Ugh... 

A Winner of a Recipe

Emily made this salad awhile ago and I always wanted to try it.  This is utterly simple to make and looks absolutely beautiful on your table or buffet.  It's tart, creamy and just delicious.  I served it with my Easter dinner buffet.  Enjoy!

Emily's 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.  

A Bowl of Olives

I love finding books shared by bloggers.  My friend Monique, who writes the blog Le Table de Nana, is not only a talented gardener, cook, lover of family and friends, but a talented watercolorist.  She shares many of her paintings and hand lettering creations right on her blog.  Go have a peek.  She shared this author, Sara Midda, on her Instagram account and I was intrigued.  Off I went to Amazon and found this gem of a book.  It's a work of art and if you love watercolors and hand lettered books (Susan Branch is a wonderful example), this is a keepsake of a book.  Here is the link. 

Molly on the Range

This sweet girl has a show on the Food Network--I just discovered it.  I am so charmed by her vibrant  personality.  She's a young and talented presence much like Rachel Ray offered us in the mid 2000's.  I watched the whole season, Pinned some recipes, then found her cookbook, Molly on the Range at Amazon.  I really like the straightforward recipes, uncomplicated but creative.  And you can't help settling down to read her stories of living in the Midwest (Yay!), moving to New York, and then a farm in Minnesota.  She is also an award winning food blogger and you can find her website here.  I give everything she does 5 stars!

April Snow

Yeah, we had this white stuff a few days ago.  I like to think that it looks like a nice spattering of baby's breath.  It's hard to believe that a few days prior on Easter Sunday, we all gathered outside with the grandkids and extended family to toss around a ball, nosh on after dinner appetizers and sweets, and raise a few glasses.  And I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter...I think I sort of skimmed past that.  

Okay!  I'm all caught up and I'm going to sign off now.  I'm off to the lake later this week with so many ideas, work, cleanup, and happily-- some decor fun.  Moreover,  time for myself, and time for Layla and Milo, who is in the end stage of his disease.  He's going to have some great outdoor (and inside) time and  at the place he has always loved.  The Husband is going to have an additional ten weeks of daily antibiotic infusions so we are up in the air as to how we are going to work things for now.  The main thing is to try to clear up this infection and his pain.  He's comfortable as long as he can lie down once in awhile and not do any heavy lifting.  Please keep him in your prayers.  

It's a Dogs Life

This is my guy, around 2005.  He took to the water and sun like a true lake dog!

See ya soon!

Jane x


Vicki @ lifeinmyemptynest said...

Beautiful bridal shower! I love that it was an evening event and you could have pretty lit candles on your tables. P.S. I am visiting Michigan right now and the weather could not be worse. No snow, but gray, fourties and rain - yuk!

Mary said...

Hi dear Jane. Great to find you here while just having a few minutes online prior to preparing to run a ton of errands on my morning list - including mani/pedi - as we leave for England Friday!

Loved all the details shared on Abby's beautiful shower - and she looks gorgeous. That was a lot of work but glad everyone chips in when you need assistance - you really have such a great family. Having the guys help with all the upcoming lake work will also be wonderful. So sorry to hear about dear A's ongoing problem and the necessary daily treatment - hope so much he will soon get relief and be back to his usual self and schedule. . . . . . I know what it's like having our guys constantly in the house!!!!! Anyway, please hug A for me and tell him Bob sends his best.
Thanks for all the pretty things you shared in this post.
Take care of you - much love.

Preppy Empty Nester said...

What an incredibly gorgeous shower!! I love every single detail!! What a beautiful girl, too! I heard about that snowstorm from my friend in Glenview. We've had nothing but rain here. Hope your hubby makes a miraculous recovery. Have fun at the lake.

Lynne said...

Loved this Jane . . .
as usual

Great book ideas, for me and for gifts . . . (like what to give for those who have every thing)

Oh my yes, shower time, dress, candle lights, beautiful daughter . . .wedding happening plans.

Lake House time . . . some “me time” sounds perfect . . . and with sweet pup, pups . . .

Thinking better days, hope all will be well and sweet comfort for your mister . . .

Linda said...

It’s always so much fun catching up with you! Your life is chock full of all kinds of activities and I love that! I will add your husband to my prayer journal.......

Karen thisoldhouse2.com said...

I love the shower flowers! And her dress - she's stunning anyway, and the style is just so charming. Thanks for the grape salad recipe, yum! I'll use it at the cove cottage for sure. Saying a little prayer for improved health for your dear husband - and peace of mind for you. Wishing Milo many happy days in the sun at the lake.

Shirley said...

Hi Jane, I have enjoyed catching up with you. Your daughter dress was so pretty and I know she will make a beautiful bride. I pray that your husband gets to feeling better soon. The weather make us hurt with all of the changes. So that doesn't help a lot, but I don't take pain pills when my leg hurts instead I use aspirin. Hugs and prayers from your Missouri Friend Shirley

Vee said...

Your daughter is beautiful. So glad that her shower went well. That’s a unique twist on the gift table...no wrapped packages. Is this a new trend?

Pace yourself with the gardening. It’s how everything gets done around here...a little at a time.

Psssttt...you need to get shopping! 😉

La Table De Nana said...

What did I miss re hubby?:(

You sound great though!
Loved everything I saw on IG re the beautiful shower!Here also.She is beautiful.
You need IN AND OUT OF THE GARDEN..it's my fave Sara Midda:0
It will be yours too:)

Maddie doing dishes is worth a beauty prize.

Just started 9 perfect strangers:)

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Scribbler said...

I don't know if this will work, since Google gives me nothing but grief. The shower looked fantastic, and I think things have " come a long way way, baby" since my day as a bride. Your daughter is so lovely, and the whole deal with "four dresses" is another innovation, I guess. I do hope your husband will get better soon, and that your sweet Milo enjoys his time at the lake.

The morning glories are coming back!!!

ann said...

What a lovely shower. Everything was perfect and she will be a lovely bride. Waiting to see the wedding pictures.

Jill said...

The shower was pretty perfect! Thanks for sharing the details. I will say a prayer for your husband, such a serious situation.

Jeanie said...

What a glorious occasion! I love all the touches -- the succulents are a brilliant idea and so are the little cake boxes! What a good idea. And isn't Sarah Midda the best? I have a couple of her books but not this one. I'll have to check it out. (Leave it to the amazing Monique to know about her too! Isn't Monique's art the best?) The bacon mac looks really delish and in fact, it all looks and sounds perfect.

And by the way, your daughter is so very lovely! What a beautiful bride she will be!

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

What a lovely shower and your daughter is indeed beautiful. Try not to do too much either at home or the lake...hire out all the heavy work. My thoughts and prayers are with The Husband, I'm sorry he has to continue the daily treatments but pray that they will do the job. Enjoy your time at the lake with your furry little companions.

Linda said...

HI Jane...great to catch up...hugs to you, and hoping for a speedy recovery for hubby...
Your daughter is gorgeous...it will be a wedding to remember...
And another baby!!!!!💙💜💚
Looking forward to meeting my grandson soon...💓
Enjoy your weekend...please post from the lake...always something happening down there,eh??
Linda :o)

Kim said...

Fabulous shower, Jane. What a gorgeous dress, too. Enjoy the lake...the water is good for everything!

Tammy@T's Daily Treasures said...

Well that was a post filled to the brim. Looks like the shower was nice, elegant and a huge success. Congrats! Very sorry to hear about your husband's chronic pain. I hope Milo enjoys many days of sunshine and frolicking out at the lake. Enjoy your time there.

It's me said...

Is That the bridal shower...wowwww it looks like the bridal itself .....i am verry curieus how tot look than 💚🍀💚 ...What a lovely pist again Jane always a pleasure to be here by you...love happy week from me Ria 💕💕💕

Karen @ Beatrice Euphemie said...

Oh, what a beautiful and elegant bridal shower! Such a pretty bride to be, too! Such a special time for everyone. The cookbooks sound wonderful. Sorry so late in visiting - hope you had a lovely Mother's Day. Sending a hug x Karen

Carrie @ Cottage Cozy said...

What a gorgeous celebration!

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Amy at Ms. Toody Goo Shoes said...

Looks like it was a beautiful shower, Jane! Abby's dress is beautiful! Hope you are enjoying your time at the lake.

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Decor To Adore said...

I had somehow missed this post sweet Jane! What beauty and I so appreciate the info on the cookbook. I hope you are enjoying the last days of summer.

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