Tuesday, April 15, 2014

AS RANDOM AS RANDOM CAN GET






Have I ever shown you how different our Target is.  You know, in the city, everything is built up up up.  Space is a commodity.  So is parking so we have underground parking and you take an escalator up to the store.  Now this may make you wonder, well, how do you bring your cart and purchases back down?






shop and left loyal shoppers (and employees) scrambling.  So I have been going from store to store for weeks; Mom and Pop stores, Big Box stores, and one other chain.  None were as nice as the one I loved.  It had a little Starbucks in it, a wonderful bakery, really nice employees that were familiar with me and the kids (from when they were little!!).  I was really sad!

So I finally settled on this market.  I've been in it before just to pick up a few things but I thought it was expensive.  Much of the inventory is cultural and I can't read the labels.  But they have the best produce department, meats and bakery.


 





  


These arrived in the mail from Amazon.  I was perusing my bookshelves and I felt that my little collection of gardening books was a bit outdated (if that's possible).  And I wanted to celebrate my renewed spirit of getting back into the gardening so I treated myself to these.  I can't wait to sit down with them.  I have a diagram of all the perennials I planted last fall, thank goodness because right off the top of my head I can't remember, so I'm going to read up on those and highlight them.  The Internet is wonderful, but nothing beats books like these.


And in a bit of a different direction, if any of you ladies follow Susan at Between Naps On The Porch, she has a weekly feature of taking you into her library to have a look at a particular book she loves, most of them decorating.  She wrote about this one a few weeks ago and I promptly found it and it arrived with the gardening books.  

I would say I am more of a neutral decorator and that is more of what this book is about although the title doesn't imply that.





End of my decorating lecture.  I have no expertise or credentials whatsoever as you all know.  I wonder where this post would have gone if I had added a shot of whiskey to my lemon/honey tea as my dear daughter suggested.  



I was really pleasantly surprised to receive an email the next day from Judy, a representative of Pottery Barn.  She wrote to me directly regarding my problem and gave me a viable explanation as to how they estimate what to keep in inventory, etc., and then how sorry they were that this occurred.  Since it was not possible for me to return the napkins since it had been 30 days, she offered me a merchandise card of equal value to use at the store.  I thought that was wonderful!  And I told her she had me looking at Pottery Barn in a whole new light.  I also said I was going to rave about this on my blog and I gave her my link.  She said they loved when bloggers shared what they (PB)offer on their website.  So thank you, Judy.  Now doesn't that make you want to run out to the nearest Pottery Barn (outlet??).

Thank you all for reading this far if you have.  I now have to get a good night's sleep and get out tomorrow with my shopping list and hunt down a ham for a crowd.  Thankfully I got this bug this weekend and not next.

I wish all of you a happy and blessed Easter.   Enjoy what will hopefully be a beautiful spring day with the ones you love.  :)

XO,
Jane

Thursday, April 10, 2014

SPRING, SPRING & MORE SPRING (AND A TABLESCAPE).










In explaining a little more of the above mentioned  "getting out of my slump"...you might remember my oldest son giving me the encouragement/lecture last summer to stop making excuses and get back to the things I love.  His words were really magical...okay, in the real world, a catalyst for me to realize that the things we love to do really do give us a respite from so many problems and nagging issues.  I just enjoy getting my hands in the dirt, feeling my muscles work, and then feeling so much gratitude and amazement that my efforts actually create something that is beyond beautiful!  He is wise beyond his years!  Here's to a great year of growing the things we love!  And if gardening isn't your bag, get back to the other things you love...they don't drift too far away.













I apologize for a lengthy post.  It has been a few long days, hasn't it?  And I so wanted to mention that I met an fantastic blogger the other day,  Cathy from My 29 Year Old Charmer.  She has been blogging a long time but we just didn't cross paths until recently and it turns out we live less than 10 minutes from each other.  So Tuesday we met up for coffee and believe it or not, we sat and talked for just under 4 hours!  She is so down to earth... she has the greatest  laugh that makes me smile.  She is so interesting...a degree in Microbiology and worked in a lab at one of Chicago zoo's (and I believe the largest)for many years.  She went on to culinary school and started her own business as a personal chef.  And I think for kicks, she became a certified Master Gardener.  Oh, what I will learn from this gal.  You won't be able to live with me!!!  We will be meeting up again soon and I really encourage you to go to her blog if you aren't a follower already.  What a sweetheart she is.  Did I say she lives less than ten minutes from me?  :)

I'm typing this a little bit late because I am determined to get out early tomorrow for a long walk...no excuses, and then finish up some projects in the house.  I promised you some spice rubs and I want to get on that.  I am super psyched by getting into this because so many of our liquid BBQ sauces have so much sugar in them, and as you know, I gave up sugar.  This will be fun.

So, I'll let you off the hook now.  Happy Hump Day and I will see you after the weekend! :)


Joining Cindy  at Dwellings, The Heart Of Your Home for  Amaze Me Monday

&

Courtney at  French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday

XO,
Jane  

Thursday, April 3, 2014

SOMEBUNNIE'S IDEA OF A GOOD POST


I wanted to make a spring banner.  And I did as you can see above.  I still had my stencils from my Christmas banners and a nice variety of fabric paint colors, so I made a trip to Michael's because I wanted just a little bling and also decided to use clothespins this time.  



















I wanted to end with some great info I picked up in a magazine last night about a very helpful App for IPhones.  If you don't have an IPhone...just borrow one for a second to check this information out.  First, let me tell you that as of January 1, we started a new health insurance plan with a very high deductible we had to reach before the savings would pass on.  So until then we are paying full price for our prescriptions.  Gulp.  Our broker suggested we shop around for the best prices as they vary from one place to another.  Well, how time consuming is that?  So I read about an App called GoodRx.  It's free.  You simply type in your zip code so the little satellite can locate you.  Then type in your prescription name.  Up pops a screen with every Walgreens, CVS, KMart, Target...you name it, in your immediate area and the price they have for that particular drug.  Some are a few cents different and one of mine actually had a $40.00 difference between 2 pharmacies.  I'm not planning on running all over town, the majority of my particular prescriptions were the least expensive at Target (Now, I will have to go in with blinders on if I don't want to blow the savings on something else!).  Anyway, I wanted to pass that on.  

Tomorrow is Friday.  I don't know what our weather forecast is and I don't want to know.  Have a great weekend and I will see you back here next week! :)

XO,
Jane

Sunday, March 30, 2014

SPRING HAPPENINGS AND SOME VACATION PLANS

We are having a gloriously beautiful day today, temps are in the mid fifties and people are actually out washing their cars!  I was hopeful that The Husband and I could make the transition back to our own cars, he can always use mine if and when snow is predicted.  Well, he tried to start the little monster awhile ago and the battery is dead.  And our battery charger is 100 miles away at the lake.  I don't even know anyone that has one we could borrow.  Argh...I had lofty plans of going grocery shopping tomorrow and then a run into the Dollar Tree to pick up some glasses.  

Yesterday was very gloomy and a little cold.  Taking a few tips from Penny at The Comforts Of Home, I went out into the backyard and snipped some stems from my forsythia bush.  I usually wait for it to bloom and then cut some to bring indoors, but she explained how to "force" them on her blog.  I just trimmed the cut end up about an inch so it drinks up the water.  I have them in my new French trough.  And...I decided to leave the color of the wood alone.  I think it's beautiful just like this.  Now hopefully I will have some beautiful yellow flowers soon.












I haven't spoke much about the low carb diet.  It was 10 weeks last Friday.  I can't say it's easy, only because discipline and restricting ourselves from certain things is never easy.  Overeating and bad food choices are hard habits to break.  I could give you all the tips and tidbits of how I'm dealing with all this but it's just different for everyone.  And some just don't believe in diets (for lack of a better word).  I simply believe we have to take a serious look at our food and the way we eat, and how  that is causing us to gain weight, and then make the necessary changes.  I've almost hit the 20 pounds off mark and I really want to thank all of the ladies I've been emailing back and forth with for their encouragement, advice and for sharing their stories.  I don't think I could have asked for more cheering on.  :)


This is just a wonky picture I downloaded from the website where our condo is located.  This is pretty much the decor for all of the units.  Yes, everything comes outfitted so all of the units are uniform.  The units are booked out sort of lottery style and unless someone requests a particular unit, or one, for instance by the pool, it's all random,  I think they call the decor "Mountain Rustic".  I'll get a ton of pictures.  We have pretty concrete plans to go for two weeks at the end of May/beginning of June.  We knew that one of the first things we wanted to do was explore the Shenandoah Valley and all of the surrounding historical landmarks.  More so The Husband, I really just want to be in the mountains!  For practical purposes we are going to fly into Washington, D.C. and just make our way down through Virginia driving.  We will stay at a few places on our way to Asheville.  So I am working my way down the map, looking at B&B's and inns and even cabins.  It really has been a long time since we've been away and The Husband and I are very excited.  I'll keep you posted.

I don't know what the weather forecast is for this week, I have pretty much stopped checking it.  I still have three major organizing projects that I want to get done; the den, the office and our big linen closet.  I am trying to devise a way to get The Husband on board with redoing the den.  But, I think I need to take a break from all of that for now and just focus on having a relaxing summer.  

Have a great upcoming week! :)

XO,
Jane

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

GREAT FINDS

Isn't this just the cutest metal sign?  I know, it looks like it belongs in a nursery but I fell in love with it and it's in my kitchen.  I moved it here to take a picture but otherwise I have it on the window ledge above the sink.  It looks really cute at night.  Do you ever go to Joss & Main?  I really have to avoid it ,but for some reason, I clicked the email open one day and I found a few neat things and at quite a savings.  I'll show you more further on in this post.



Remember me showing you pictures of the dessert plates and napkins Pottery Barn had for spring?  I ordered the napkins but when I tried to order the plates, only one color was left.  And then a few days they were gone and there has been nothing since.  I really felt a little angry because I now have the napkins and they match the no~longer~existing plates.  Our closest PB is 40 minutes away and I think I just may pay them a visit.  Maybe the store can get them.  Anyway, I turned to Williams Sonoma and I saw this large platter.  And yes, I mean LARGE!  (I just got my tape measure out.  It's 19 1/2 X 14).  The Husband isn't thrilled when I shop online, but he also knows I'm not a "shopping/lunching" wife, so he takes it with a grain of salt, though he has his limits.  I woke up early one morning with him shaking me, "Where did you get that tray?  It's beautiful!!  It's going to be a family heirloom!"  Wow, I loved that!  Made me want to head back to the website!
















  Ooh, I love it!!  Girls, you have to make one of these (or withhold dinner until your hubby makes you one).  I am going to hang it somewhere outside, either here or at the lake and after I drill drainage holes in it I will plant flowers in the box.  I need to woop up the window part...any ideas?



See you soon! :)


Joining Tweak It Tuesday at Cozy Little House.  Thanks, Brenda!

XO,
Jane