Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Solo Dining

For the past two nights I have been having dinner alone. 

I don't mind that at all.  In fact, I like it!  I can eat whatever I feel like, which is often not something DH would approve of.

Last night I had a broiled grapefruit.   I just cut a huge red grapefruit in half and sprinkled about a teaspoon of brown sugar on each side and broiled it for a few minutes.

OMG, it was divine! 
I had some kielbasa and sauerkraut  with green beans for lunch (at work), so I was not very  hungry for dinner.

Tonight I made an equally divine meal -- Mexican grilled cheese sandwich with a handful of potato chips.
On Sunday I made a couple pounds of ground beef with taco seasoning for tacos.  I intentionally made enough for leftovers so I could try this sandwich.  It is just two slices of American cheese with the taco meat in between. Butter the bread and cook it just like you would a grilled cheese. I have to say it's delish and I will certainly make it again.  I think DH would like this, too. 

I hope you all had a wonderful meal for your dinner tonight.

Bon Apetite!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Good Neighbors are Hard to Come By & Dining Room Chair Covers

Our neighbors are in Florida until next week.  We are picking up their mail while they are gone.  After Mother Nature dumped a load of heavy snow on us, we had planned to make sure their driveway was clean  before they come home.  We thought we had a few more days.

Today we looked up about noon and their daughter and her family showed up with  shovels to clear their driveway.  There was no way we could watch them try to lift that heavy snow with a shovel!  DH revved up his snow blower and went over there to help them out.
They were very grateful. 

Here is the driveway two hours later:
I think DH felt good being able to help them. Isn't that what neighbors are for? I know they would do the same for us.

Friday afternoon I finished the new dining room chair covers.
 I had to add a coordinating fabric to the two end chairs. I was thrilled to find something I already had in my fabric stash.  I had about five yards of it! I think I originally bought it to make neutral chair backs.
Here is a close up of the end chairs:

I am pretty happy with these contemporary chair covers. I think it will be such fun to set a full table with them.  They look like Easter eggs, so I think an Easter table would be perfect!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Late February Winter Storm

I took these two pics five minutes ago from one of my windows:

Isn't it beautiful?

We are having a late February winter snow storm...heavy wet snow that looks gorgeous in the trees. 

We are only getting 5 or 6 inches, but southern MI is getting at least double that. We got just enough to be beautiful, yet not a major pain.   My condolensces to any readers are are getting the BIG storm. 

Yesterday I took this pic.
Any idea what those are?

They are turkey tracks!

Here are all the turkeys that just passed through when I went outside yesterday.

Snow or not, I hope you all have a lovely last-of-Feburary-2012 weekend.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Overwintering Containers & Easter 2012

Remember the big french urns I  bought last year and placed on each side of my garage door?


Well, here's a reminder:

I decided to try to save them by putting the full containers in my unheated garage for the winter.  We have had an extremely mild winter and I think the garage temperature has remained in the mid to low 30's except for a day or two when it could have gone a tad lower. I park my car next to these urns every day and  I think they look promising for 2012.

Even the asparagus fern is still green.   I have never been able to over winter fountain grass, but I am hopeful that this will be my year of success.

I am way less hopeful for my cordayline plant.  Until February it looked great--nice reddish purple and healthy.  In the beginning of February, I noticed it beginning to change to a greenish color. It feels crispy....like dead....I am so disappointed! 
There are still a few spots near the trunk that are purple and feel alive.  Do any of you have experience with overwintering these?  It is possible that its still alive and it will grow new foliage from the trunk?
I just hate to lose it as I cannot buy one this size in my small town.

I wanted to plant different colors of coleus around it for 2012.   I googled coleus and I just realized that of the gazillions of varieties there are, I like the ones that lean toward a single color the best. Like these:

It would be wonderful if my Cordayline would survive so I can try out my idea with 3 or 4 coleus around it.   Then again, it is not likely that I will be able to buy any of these colors.  We usually only get the Walmart varieties, which are nothing like these.

I have also been thinking of Easter. It's only about six weeks away, you know.  I am thinking of hosting an Easter brunch, so I need to figure out my decorations.  I looked up a couple of previous year's tables to see what I have on hand as I tend to forget what I already own.
I think my new dining room chair covers will be perfect for Easter.  I have finished four of them and just need to do the two end chairs.  I found a fabric to add to it so that I will have enough of the pastel rope fabric I showed you a few days ago.

I also have an idea for this wooden wall shelf that has been living in the basement for a few years.

I need to paint it and add some hardware, etc.  If I actually end up using it, I will show it to you at a later date.

Until next time, take care.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Relaxng Weekend & My Winter Garden

I had a relaxing Sunday afternoon reading Nora Roberts, Northern Lights. 

I am enjoying this Alaskan love/murder romance.  I am about 2/3 finished and will probably not read the rest until Saturday.

After work today, I took a little stroll through my winter garden. It's 37 degreese so I just wore my Crocs and long wool coat.

I came in when the socks starting getting wet. :)

I left one of my benches out all winter.

Here is my Burning Bush shrub in the winter:

I chuckled when I saw this.  Any idea what it is?

It's my dwarf  Threadleaf Golden Cypress shrub that I planted last summer.
The Ninebark you see in the background of the pic above is here:

It's the tiny little twig you see above the snow by the porch railing. 
I sure hope both are nice and cozy under that snow. I really like them and would hate to lose them over the winter!

Here is  my orb in the winter:

the rockwall garden:

I was shocked to find this:
What gardener worth their Felcos would leave equipment lying out all winter?  I had no idea this was left out!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Denim & Metal Casual Wear for my Saturday

I haven't shown you any fashionista pics lately. Today I am wearing something quite different (for me)--denim.  I know most of you probably love jeans and wear them every day.  Not me.  I have never really been a jeans kind of girl (well, maybe back in my 115 lb. days). I find the fabric thick and uncomfortable.  I guess they just don't fit my expanding curves.  

Nonetheless, I am totally decked out in denim today-- blue jeans, green denim jacket and grey shirt with metal accents!

The shirt is full of tiny metal accents sewn all along the zippered neckline.  It's the same kind of zipper you would find in a pair of jeans.  I finally fixed the metal necklace that arrived broken and it has become one of my current favorites. 

I usually wear it alone, but today I teamed it up with the gold pendant to coordinate with the gold zipper and these earrings that I wear almost every day.
I wondered what footwear I had to go with this. I have been wearing the same semi-sensible shoes for the past six months, so I forgot what else I had in my closet.  I was happy to find these:
 Just loaded with metal--a girl can't be expected to wear sensible shoes all the time!

Now  here I am at 7:00 a.m. all dressed with no place to go. I can't very well clean the bathtub wearing this.  I guess tomorrow will have to be my cleaning day.

Hope you all have a great weekend.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Fabric Luvvvvvv

Earlier this week I was in Joanne's and I spotted this home dec/upholstery? fabric.

 I don't know what it is, but it is a quite stiff and has rope it it. 

I immediately wanted it, but I knew that today a 50% + 10% more off sale started, so I waited and hoped it would not be gone. 

I was thrilled when I walked in and found it was still there. 

Then I got to the cutting counter and  was crushed when I found there was only a tad over 3 yards on the bolt. It's not enough for my project.  I have been thinking about my project for the past three days and I just could not walk out of that store without this fabric.  So the 3.33 yds. came home with me.

 I want to use it for  dining room chair covers (I bet many of you guessed that already).  Long time readers know that I am obsessed with dining room chair covers.  I stood it up against a chair to see what it would look it.

I think it's perfect for a new spring look in the dining room.  I just have to figure out how I can cover six chairs when I only have enough fabric for 4.5.  I have an idea mulling around my brain.  You all know when I make them, you will be the first to see the result. :)

I also picked up 3 yards of this "fishnet" fabric.
I thought I would make myself some new leg wear for work.

NOT!  I am well beyond wearing fishnets, though I do remember when I used to love them!

Of course this fabric is also for the dining room. Just imagine a bright red tablecloth with this thrown over it....or lime green tablecloth....the possibilities are endless.  I can't wait to set a table with it!

I get so excited over the littlest things. :)

I hope you all have a great weekend.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

So Touched

I came home from work this afternoon to find this card in my mailbox:

I think it is the most beautiful thank you card I have ever received.

As lovely as the outside is, it was the inside that really made my day:
It is a card from one of my sisters-in-law who attended the dinner I cooked last Sunday.   This SIL is a caterer. She cooked for a school for many years and has done a gazillion weddings, etc.

I don't think I have ever received a thank you card for making dinner for someone.  I cannot tell you how good I felt when I read this card.  To know that someone enjoyed my dinner that much really made my day!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Mulling Over Garden Ideas

Yes, I am in the mood to get back to gardening.  I have saved a few ideas that I found (mostly during my a.m. pinterest surfing). Here I have some amaranthus inspiration. You  may remember that I just bought a bunch of seeds.
I really like the big bold container bottom right.  It is made as a huge bouquet. The amaranthus are not growing in the pot.  Almost all of these designs are made as bouquets.  It is a great flower for out-of-the-ordinary designs, don't you think?

I am not usually a big fan of planted wheelbarrows, unless they are  exceptionally big  with spiller plants like the one below.  I think some green amaranthus hanging down would make it even better.

The bench with flowers growing thought it...simply charming. I already have a couple of benches...definite possibility. Although my benches are not nearly as nice as that expensive concrete/wooden one.

I like the simple combo planting of three of my favorite annuals -- fountain grass, blackie sweet potato vine and coleus 'Sedona'.

One thing I have is a lot of trees, so I am sure I could find a spot for the hanging window...if I just had a neat old window like that one.

How about that outdoor game made from a plastic tarp? If I ever have an outside deck party, I think that would be fun.

Are you all starting to get the garden bug?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Valentine Dinner Party is Over

I have to say  I enjoyed most of the preparations, but it was a lot of work   DH was a big help today. Without him I would never have gotten everything done on time.

Just look at this mess from this morning:
and it's only for the dessert!  I even did some of the dessert prep last night and I still had all of these dishes this morning.
I used Karo syrup to rim the martini-turned-desert-serving glasses
and then rolled the rim in red and white sugar.
The syrup and sugar hardened and gave a fun sweet crunch to the dessert. We were all eating it off the rim!
Just before everyone arrived, I snapped a few pictures. It's a good thing I did because I never even thought of the camera after that.

Here are some shrimp cocktail filled shells that I made for an appetizer. There are only two left, so I guess they went over well.

I also made these cheesy biscuits topped with garlic butter and chives:

That's about it for food pics. Unfortunately I never thought to take a picture of the main items:

Chicken Stuffed with ham and Muenster cheese
Chicken Florentine
Hearts of Romaine & Strawberry Salad
Oven roasted maple-glazed carrots
Hasselback Potatoes

Everyone but DH chose the Chicken Florentine.  I made two choices so I could have lots of leftovers to freeze for a later meal.

At least I did get some pics of  that mixed berry mousse dessert that nearly did me in.
Everyone raved over it. I thought it was good, but I don't think I want to do that much work again just for dessert.

Here is the centerpiece(s) I decided to use.  I had a problem keeping the diamond floating candles lit. 
They only burned a few minutes and then went out. 

My quick napkin ring--just a piece of  knotted wired ribbon with a heart tied to it.

Look how the dessert matches the table. I could not have done better if I planned it that way....Oh, yeah, I did plan it! :)

And here's the full table with the red glasses.

I am now done entertaining for a while. 

I have already striped the table down and everything has been cleaned up and put away.

Next weekend I am just going to take it easy.
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