Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Early Spring

 

 

 

 

 

The skies were bright blue, the sun was bright and it was a beautiful early spring day; perfect for a late afternoon walk. Walking in the spring, when the grass suddenly turns green and the trees start to bud, is something I look forward to every year. With sunglasses on and only a light jacket, there is a lightness in my step and hope and change all around.

The wild daffodils I planted are also up and a bright splash of color against the edge of the woods. I can see them from my bedroom window and especially on a sunny day, they symbolize the new season and the beautiful weather to come. It's the season of sunshine and flowers. Of open windows and putting your face to the sun. Of finally planting something, getting my gardener's hands in the dirt and the miracle of watching things grow.

Happy spring!

 

Monday, March 28, 2016

Friends and Family

 

 

 

 

Our Easter weekend was filled with a lot of love and tradition. We started out the weekend with an old fashioned polish fish fry (perch) and pierogis at the quaint Polish Yacht Club right in the heart of Detroit. We then attended a Good Friday Vigil at a lovely downtown church, followed by a fun time at another local bar. Our friends are so much fun and we love this yearly tradition, chock full of faith and fellowship.

 

 

 

 

 

My daughters and their boyfriends spent the weekend at our house and it was full of noise and laughter just like I love. On Easter morning, after Mass, we headed to our club for a delicious brunch. We had mimosas, wonderful food and amazing desserts. But of course, being together was the highlight of the day.

Happy Monday!

 

Friday, March 25, 2016

Florida Vacation in Photos

 

 

We just returned from a lovely and relaxing six days in Florida. It was a quick trip and the weather was a little rainy and a little chilly, but we had a few perfect, sunshiny days that I was able to spend by the pool, so no complaints. We had no agenda besides a little golf, eating seafood and soaking up as much sun as possible. My husband and I enjoyed being together, having cocktails by the beach and the pool and talking about our future plans. Life is good in Florida.

 

 

 

Clearwater Beach lunch and cocktails at Frenchy's. That's a key lime, coconut margarita.

 

Happy Hour every day by the pool.

 

 

Different scenery to experience when I walk in Florida.

 

Alligators can be a little scary on the golf course.

 

Our last night included dinner, margaritas and sunset on Lake Tarpon.

 

Have a wonderful Easter weekend!

 

Linking with Calypso In The Country

 

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Spring Reading List

 

 

I have gathered a few books on my spring reading list, both from favorite authors, as well as new to me authors with books that have intrigued me. It will be a busy spring season for me with much to do around my house; both inside and out. My love of gardening will compete with my love of reading, but there will always be time at the end of the day to sit down with a favorite book. It's a lovely reward for a day of hard work outside in the spring sunshine.

 

 

I always enjoy any novel by Anna Quindlen and look forward to this new book available April 5th. Her writing is always lovely and emotional.

 

 

The story of three American women living in the expat community in Hong Kong is getting very good reviews and recommended for book clubs.

 

 

A psychological thriller being compared to Gone Girl and A Girl on the Train.



One of my favorite mystery series is back with a new book on May 17th. The heroine, Anna Pigeon is a U.S. Park Ranger and these stories put her in unique locations around the United States. She is an interesting character who always finds herself in physically grueling outdoor situations.

 

 

One of my favorite characters, China Bayles, is back on April 5th with a new mystery to solve and lots of interesting details about herbal gardening, her daytime occupation.

 

 

This mystery series is a recent discovery. I read through all the books in this series last year and look forward to the latest. The heroine, Ruth Galloway is a forensic archeologist; smart and interesting with a touch of feminist leanings that make her dealings with male colleagues a little on the feisty side.

 

Happy Reading!

 

Monday, March 21, 2016

40 Bags in 40 Days {Update}

 

 

I am proud to say that I have emptied fifteen bins of items that I will either be donating or selling at a garage sale in May. It has been an emotional process, but I feel lighter and seeing my storage area in my basement with so much more room, makes me happy. I tried to go through at least one bin each day during Lent and I did accomplish that; sometimes even more. It was emotional at times, as I found memorabilia from my daughter's school years. There was a bin full of gymnastics medals from both of their years of gymnastics meets (twelve years worth) and while hard to part with, it was time.

 

 

I saved primarily holiday decor, but may need to pare that even further, at some point. I have only one bin of miscellaneous decor and feel good about that too. I did save the two American Girl dolls and their many, many clothes, but picture a granddaughter having so much fun with them someday. The American Girl sized furniture will go, but that was hard too. I couldn't help but look back and see my girls lovingly putting their dolls to bed every night.

Another thing I had an emotional connection with were the tea party sets my girls and I had so much fun with over the years. On rainy days we would have tea parties on a big blanket spread out on the floor. We would fill the tea set pitcher with pink lemonade, cut peanut butter sandwiches into heart shapes and serve strawberries on a pretty platter. The girls had three different tea sets and I forced myself to keep only one.

So many memories in those bins and boxes.

 

40 Bags in 40 Days 2016

 

{Linking with these friends}

 

Savvy Southern Style

Between Naps on the Porch

21 Rosemary Lane

Stonegable

 

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Hosting Book Club

 

 

 

 

Last night was my turn to host my book club and I had a lot of fun putting together a St. Patrick's inspired table with touches of green. It wasn't over the top, but subtle, with green vases filled with pretty white flowers, a paisley print tablecloth and just a few shamrocks scattered around. It felt very light and springy and that was the look I was going for.

 

 

I served a delicious creamy Tomato Basil Soup to start, followed by Gnocchi with Chicken, Spinach and Mushrooms. Both dishes were easy to put together ahead of time and I had all my food prepared by early afternoon and was able to rest for a bit before everyone arrived. The dessert was the star of the night and gave a little nod to St Patrick's Day too. I served Baily's Chocolate Mousse in individual dishes and it was rich with the flavor of the liquor and dark chocolate.

 

 

Our book discussion was quite emotional at times since the book dealt with the painful subject of cancer. So many of us have been touched by this horrible disease in one form or another and we were able to relate to the struggle and choices Dr. Kalanithi made in his fight. This book is a New York Times number one best seller and we agreed, though a departure from our usual monthly choices, it is an important story to experience and we were glad we read it. My book club is a very caring group of women and it is always a safe place for emotional subjects to be met with compassion. We really listen to each other.

It was a late night and I am quite tired this morning, but coffee is helping. I think I will have a quiet day today, even though it is St. Patrick's Day. I have a pedicure scheduled for later and it sounds heavenly. Happy St. Patrick's Day and may the luck of the Irish stay with you all day!

 

{Linking with these friends}


French Country Cottage

A Stroll Thru Life

Savvy Southern Style

The Charm of Home

Art and Sand

Between Naps on the Porch

Cozy Little House

Eclectic Red Barn

Skip To My Lou

Rooted in Thyme

DIY by Design

21 Rosemary Lane

New House New Home

Stonegable

Rattlebridge Farm

Monday, March 14, 2016

Irish Scones - Pinterest Success {41}

 

 

 

I think I am one step closer to making the scones I dream about. The ones you see in the pretty tea party photos; tall, perfectly baked and filled with homemade jam. For St. Patrick's Day, I decided to give my scone making attempts another try and with a few tweaks the next time, this may be the recipe to keep. My attempts in the past have produced rather leaden, thin scones, that did not break in half. Still tasty, but definately the wrong texture.

This dough was different, and I could tell right away that it had the correct elasticity and rolled out perfectly. My only mistake was that I rolled it a little too thin; probably closer to 1/2 inch than the 1 inch the recipe called for. I think with baking, like anything else, practice does make perfect. And, if you get to taste the results of that practice, all the better. Happy St. Patrick's week!

The original pin and recipe can be found here.

 

{Linking with these friends}


French Country Cottage

A Stroll Thru Life

Savvy Southern Style

The Charm of Home

Art and Sand

Between Naps on the Porch

Cozy Little House

Eclectic Red Barn

Skip To My Lou

Rooted in Thyme

DIY by Design

21 Rosemary Lane

New House New Home

Stonegable

Rattlebridge Farm

Thursday, March 10, 2016

A Grown Up Daughter

 

 

 

No one really tells you how much fun it is having a grown up daughter. It's my daughter Megan's 26th birthday today and how I wish I could be with her to celebrate. When your daughter turns 26, you don't have to worry about planning the perfect party, goodie bags or keeping over excited children occupied. It's as simple as spending time together, maybe over a glass of wine, buying some pretty presents and indulging in a slice of cake. It's about the conversation; grown up conversation, where you discuss the important things in life and what another year might bring.

I enjoyed every year when my daughters were growing up, but there was so much business in the day to day and year to year; always striving for the next milestone, that the quiet times had a tendency to get lost. When we spend time together now, it is intentional and we make the most of being together. Having an empty nest can be hard and spending birthdays apart is never easy, but knowing that the beautiful, happy young woman I raised is making her way in the world is all I can ask for. We may be miles apart on her birthday today, but I so look forward to her next visit, a belated celebration and spending time with my grown up daughter.

 

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Downton Abbey Finale - Reflections

 

 

 

There have been a handful of series finale episodes that have pulled on my heartstrings and left me missing the characters I had grown to love. Friday Night Lights was one of the most perfect finales ever and the Parenthood finale was both bittersweet and inevitable. The writers of these long running series, that we invest our time and emotions in over the years, have a responsibility, in my opinion, to tie up loose ends, let us experience emotion and find a way to say goodbye and complete the character's stories.

 

 

That brings us to Downton Abbey and the culmination of six unforgettable seasons. We have been taken on a journey; sometimes happy and sometimes heartbreaking. We have been able to experience a world, both upstairs and downstairs that were glimpses of a time in history that was rich in the events that shaped the world we live in today. World War I, feminism and the delineation of social class. While the characters sometimes had a hard time accepting change, the show itself never shied away from that theme. It made me happy (and tearful) that the finale gave us so many happy endings (and beginnings) all around.

 

 

The characters, the beautiful setting and especially the detail of the costumes have given me great joy over the last six years. Sunday nights in January, February and March have been synonymous with Downton Abbey and there will be a void, until another worthy PBS show comes along. There are very few series that I look forward to watching again, from the beginning, but Downton Abbey will be one I will enjoy revisiting and that makes the ending a little easier to take.

Happy Tuesday!

 

Friday, March 4, 2016

Fashion Friday - Anthropologie

 

 

When I am looking for something fun and maybe a little out of the ordinary, I know I can find the perfect thing at Anthropologie. I tend to wear classic style that lasts for years, but each season I like to add something fun and a little unexpected to my wardrobe choices. For the spring, I am looking for something light and pretty, that would layer well with a classic cardigan.

There is a whole section in the Anthropologie spring line of white lace tops and they are pretty, feminine and fun - exactly what I was looking for. I can wear any of these with a casual pair of jeans, flats, sandals or wedges and make the ordinary, something special. Now, I just have to choose which one of these I love the most - maybe you can help me pick? Spring will be here before we know it.

 

Decatur Tunic

 

Corbyn Peplum Top

 

Ruffled Shell

 

Signa Lace Top

 

Amelia Top

 

Have a wonderful weekend!

 

Linking with Fashion Should Be Fun - Style Over 40

 

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Black and White Shamrock Print

 

 

 

It's kind of funny how my decorating moods change throughout the years. Lately, even when it comes to holiday touches, I find that less is more and neutral is better than color. After years of a preponderance of red, even my Christmas mantel was more neutral this past year.

St. Patrick's Day is all about touches of green and there are now a few colorful shamrocks in my home to celebrate our Irish heritage. However, a print that I had put together a few years ago did undergo a change, that to my eye gives it a striking, yet subtle nod to the holiday.

The original post and free printable can be found here. You will see that I originally added some green ribbon and a few shamrocks to the frame. At the time, I loved the contrast between the black and white print and the pop of color. Now, the simple black and white print in a plain white frame, with no emblishment, gives a modern, clean feel to my mantel. A small change, but big impact.

Happy Wednesday!

 

{Linking with these friends}


French Country Cottage

A Stroll Thru Life

Savvy Southern Style

The Charm of Home

Art and Sand

Between Naps on the Porch

Cozy Little House

Eclectic Red Barn

Skip To My Lou

Rooted in Thyme

DIY by Design

21 Rosemary Lane

New House New Home

Stonegable

Rattlebridge Farm

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

family, books, gardening, simple DIY projects, golf, up north, msu football, football saturday tailgates, detroit red wings, detroit tigers, walking with my dog, trying new recipes, musicals, BBC, pedicures with my daughters, martinis, pinterest

Search This Blog

Sent to your inbox

BBC (13) blog (22) books (118) christmas (62) cocktails (34) Diabetes (57) DIY (95) downsizing (10) empty nest (66) entertaining (50) faith (19) family (103) food (209) friends (100) gardening (67) health and beauty (8) home (126) life (375) movies (9) my daughters (132) nature (48) pinterest (93) pinterest success (47) puppy (24) reality tv (36) recipe redo (8) repurpose (2) sewing (4) shopping (21) sports (59) tv and movies (67) walking (41)

 

Designed By:

Munchkin Land Designs Elements by Meta Wulandari
Friends of Pfister
 
Designed by Munchkin Land Designs • Copyright 2012 • All Rights Reserved