Thursday, May 18, 2017

What I'm reading this spring

 

Smsmsm

Zoe Saldivar is more than just single—she's ALONE. She recently broke up with her longtime boyfriend, she works from home and her best friend Jen is so obsessed with her baby that she has practically abandoned their friendship. The day Zoe accidentally traps herself in her attic with her hungry-looking cat, she realizes that it's up to her to stop living in isolation. 

Her seemingly empty life takes a sudden turn for the complicated—her first new friend is Jen's widowed mom, Pam. The only guy to give her butterflies in a very long time is Jen's brother. And meanwhile, Pam is being very deliberately seduced by Zoe's own smooth-as-tequila father. Pam's flustered, Jen's annoyed and Zoe is beginning to think "alone" doesn't sound so bad, after all.

I’ve been an avid reader my entire life.  And yes, I’m shallow, I like easy, breezy romance novels, written only by women.  Susan Mallory is one of my very favorite authors, and this book is a good one.  Take some time for yourself, put your feet up, relax and read.  It’s one of life’s most simple pleasures, and for me, one of the best.

~ Jan

Saturday, May 6, 2017

The hills of Tennessee are showing their green...

 

IMG 8762 1

I know I constantly gush about how pretty it is in Tennessee, but just look at this picture.  I snapped it from the car window this week, and I’m just in awe of how how beautiful it is and pinch myself because I’m so lucky to live in such a lovely part of these great United States.

Middle Tennessee sits in a valley, so everything is surrounded by hills.  This spring has been so rainy, everything is lush and the views are  just magnificent.

FullSizeRender

Finally

The weather has been warm, we’ve been doing a lot of landscaping, and I’ve been doing a lot of sitting on the front porch.  It’s just a tiny little porch, but we enjoy it more than any outdoor area we’ve ever had.  For hubby it’s because there is activity.  We often say we live on Sesame Street because there are so many young families with children.  Fortunately for us, Don and Jacquie moved in last month across the street and they are also children of the 60’s.  We were doing the happy dance the day we saw their car pull in with age appropriate people inside :) 

But back to hubby and sitting on the porch.  People walk by with their kids and dogs and stop to say hi, he watches traffic, he isn’t bored.  We had such a pretty patio in Heavensville and he never sat outside.  He’s not a nature lover, there was nothing to watch except the birds and when we moved here, I was totally shocked to see him actually sit on the porch and relax.  I bought an outdoor lamp, it seems to be a southern thing, people  in Nashville often have lamps on their porches, and of course I jumped right on that bandwagon.  He mounted it to my table so the wind doesn’t blow it away and I sit early mornings in a chair with my coffee on the table, checking mail on my laptop and it’s a beautiful thing.  Our outdoor areas in Heavensville were beautiful, but the condo faced west and there was nothing to shield it from the sun so I rarely sat outside.  I sat on the back patio a lot, but usually by myself since hubby wasn’t a fan, so this works far better than I ever imagined.  Our house now faces north, so there is always shade.   I hung ferns, plopped a topiary in a pot by the front door, planted our iron tiered basket that we’ve had forever with impatiens and now I’m on the hunt for the perfect wreath for the front door.  LC put in the micro irrigation, so no watering for me this summer.

I have two mandevillas planted on trellises on either side of the porch and they are flourishing, the entire front of the house is landscaped with trees and bushes.  V and Rich visited last month and she helped me plan things.  The azaleas are flowering, there are big buds on the mountain laurels, the beds of Stella D’oro day lilies are blooming and the birds are singing.  The crape myrtle has leafed out and I just love watching everything grow.  LC knows I’m a sucker for a birch tree, he got a lovely one and planted it, we bought a dozen boxwoods to line the driveway and now we’re waiting on the sprinkler company to come and work on the system.  Then we mulch and we’re pretty much finished.  Well, gardens are never finished, but for this spring we’ve done enough.

Our back porch is covered as well, it only gets early morning sun, so it’s accessible as well.  Summers are hot in middle Tennessee, but hopefully we can sit outside some evenings and enjoy dinner. But what’s been a defining moment for me is the realization that it doesn’t take a lot of space to make an area your own.  We brought all of our favorite outdoor pots and statuaries and were able to use most of them.  My big concrete roosters are sitting under the birch tree, my stone rabbits are tucked under bushes and my favorite big clay frog is sitting on the back porch.  I planted hydrangeas in pots and sat them in the landscaping since there was limited space on the back porch for pots, I hung colorful baskets and planted herbs.  It’s small, contained and just the right size for me to putter around in without being overwhelmed.  

And that’s what I’ve been up to.  It’s starting to feel like home, it takes awhile to adjust to new surroundings, but I’m getting there and loving it...

Friday, April 21, 2017

Old Barns in Tennessee

NewImage

Anything that reminds me of my childhood is so special at this time in my life.  I grew up in a family of farmers and played countless hours in old barns very similar to this.  I’m so nostalgic about the look, the smells, the creaking boards, and now that we live in Tennessee I’m lucky enough to see old barns everywhere in the countryside.

Unlike Illinois and Indiana, who have long since destroyed so many old barns and put up aluminum pole buildings, Tennessee seems to preserve theirs, they are everywhere.  We drive through the country and around every corner is another old barn and often silos sitting behind them.  I think a road trip just to take pictures of them would be so much fun.  It’s something that this generation knows nothing about, old barns, and oh are they missing out.  There is no greater joy for a child than to play in a barn, climb in the hayloft and make forts in the hay, feed the animals, smell the corn in the crib, and seeing so many of these wonderful barns brings back so many good memories. 

If you get a chance to just wander through the backroads of Tennessee, you will be richly rewarded of a life we don’t often see anymore.  Small towns, meat and three diners, cattle grazing, country people, it’s well worth the trip...

Friday, April 7, 2017

Thank You Pioneer Woman!

 

Pw

 

I’m a big fan of the tablescape, but since we’ve moved and have more company I’ve decided to only set the table with things I actually use.  Well, kinda.  And it’s spring and Pioneer Woman has her new spring collection at Walmart, so I was all over it like mayo on white bread.

The fun thing about her products is that they’re so affordable.  This cute little butter dish was $5.46, the round rug placemats were $3.00 each, the underneath yellow bandana placemats $1.50 each, napkins were $6 for a set of 4, the set of 4 plates were under $20 and they have flowers and yellow polka dots on them, I’m a huge fan of yellow polka dots!  The 4 glasses were $15.86, this great old fashioned pitcher was $12.72, the fluted pie plate was $12.  I got the cow last year for $5 and change.   I also have a napkin holder and coasters, you’re getting the picture, you can have a whole lot of fun for not a whole lot of money.  And you’re thinking, but.. it adds up.  Yeah, it does but you could easily spend this much money on an Easter outfit or a spring purse.  

NewImage

Now I’m eyeing up this cookie jar, okay I admit, it’s in my shopping cart, okay, okay, so I bought it just now.  It was $15 - I’m the queen of justification, just ask my friends, I can justify anything and I really wanted this cookie jar to complete my collection.  I love the old fashioned look of it, the glasses are sturdy and the pitcher is the perfect size.  Do I need this stuff?  Of course not, but I had a heck of a good time buying all of this and it makes me happy.  I walk into the kitchen and I smile.

And did I mention her knife set?  We’re in overload here, I’m saving that little gem for another post.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Lynne Rossetto Kasper is retiring

NewImage

It’s a sad day for her fans, I’ve listened to this woman on NPR for years and enjoyed her throaty chuckle and her velvet voice.  Her programs were always fresh, always interesting and I learned so much from her.  And thanks to Podcasts, she will live on in repeats so I can pretend she isn’t really gone.  There is a time for all things, we grow old(er) and I hope she has many more golden years to come.

I read about her retirement recently in the StarTribune, if you want to read her article in full, here’s the link…

Bon Appetit, Lynne, you were the BEST!  ~ Jan

Friday, March 17, 2017

85% of All Women Wear Wrong Bra Size

 

NewImage

Do your boobs hang low? Do they wobble to and fro? Chances are they do if you’re of a certain age and a full figured girl —eight out of 10 women are wearing the wrong size bra!  When you actually know your exact size if you're a busty lady, trust me it’s a humbling experience.

I just read an article about this today, and it jogged my memory because I’ve meant to blog about this for some time now.  

Here’s what works for me, Wacoal Underwire Sports Bras.  They’re a little pricey and they aren’t pretty but they hoist the girls, you won’t sag and you won’t bounce.  When you first put a new one on, it’s quite a feat, you will think this will never work because they are tight and unyielding.  But don’t give up, once they’re on, they aren’t really uncomfortable, just feel a little snug, and after a few wears they relax.

If you don’t know your size, and trust me, you probably really don’t, go to your local department store for a measurement or use Wacoal’s guide.  Just don’t faint when you realize what size you really wear, we are all in denial.   Wacoal makes more than one style of sports bra, but this one is the holy grail, it works better than anything I’ve ever found.

It’s a good idea to buy your first one from Nordstroms, free shipping, free returns, and I do find them new on eBay for less money, but whatever you pay if you don’t go around with your tata’s hanging to your waist and flopping in the breeze, it’s worth it.  Pinky swear it is.  ~ Jan

Here’s the Nordstrom’s link for you...



Thursday, March 9, 2017

Decluttering...

Okay, let’s talk...

FullSizeRender

When we moved, three months ago, I dutifully promised my family that I would declutter and get rid of stuff.  Oh, I had such good intentions, but it just isn’t happening like poor hubby had hoped it would.  But everybody that comes here thinks my house has a lot less in it than my condo did.  And when they tell me that, I just shake my head and laugh, because I still have it all, it’s just spread out.

In my defense, and I can justify pretty much anything, but seriously I have a thousand more square feet than I had before, more closets, and they’re all walk in, more bathrooms, are you getting the picture?  I have a lot more room to organize things.  And I have done a good job, patting myself on the back here, everything is 100% organized thanks to hubby and his penchant for having things neat.  It’s been pure torture, though, what a mess we’ve had getting to this point.

But back to getting rid of things.  I have sixty totes, yes that’s right,  S . I. X. T . Y  totes n the garage for the mother of all garage sales.  And I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had him dig through those boxes because I need something I thought I didn’t want.  We are seeing the finish line, however.  The house is done, the garage will be soon, well it will when we got rid of all those totes.  And the picture above?  This is just some of the things I had in the sunroom at the condo.  But look at this, it’s all the treasured cards that Holly has made me, which I will keep forever and then pass down to my granddaughters, it’s colored note cards, and pencils in every color of the rainbow, fun scrapbooking scissors to cut paper into cool shapes, things that little grandchildren hands will love to mess with, and so it goes.  

FullSizeRender 1

See all the drawers in this old piece of office furniture?  And what’s in these drawers?  Not much, so i can transfer all the things that I have in the picture above, to these drawers.  Everything in it’s place and a place for everything.

See, the queen of justification...

Several of you keep asking for pictures, and when I take them, there is so much light in this house that I get a lot of blowout. You can tell in the picture above, that rug is not the color that you are seeing, and there aren’t stains on it as it appears in the picture.  Things like this just drive me nuttier than I already am.  So, I need to take pictures really early morning, which would entail me getting up really early, or late in the afternoon, and I always forget.  But I will, soon I will.  Pinkie swear I will… ~ Jan

Saturday, February 25, 2017

I did it, I bought a ROOMBA!!!!

 

NewImage

A couple of years ago, my friend Holly told me that I needed a Roomba, she has cats and swears by hers.  The price point is a bit hateful, so I didn’t buy it, but since then I’ve seen over and over again on Facebook people singing it’s praises, and nobody seems to have negative things to say about it.

The first time we saw our house, I told hubby I loved it but the floors would be a b*tch to keep clean because they were dark.  He kind of shook his head, I don’t think he really understood how unforgiving dark wood is.  But boy, does he ever get it now.  He’s the floor guy, and it’s a daily job, using the Swiffer and cleaning them with the Bona wet system.  We bought a Shark Cordless Vac and it helped but it was still a royal pain in the patootie.  

Out of desperation he started reading about the Roomba, and was quickly onboard.  We snagged a great deal, but that’s another blog post, fired it up and O . M. G. it does a phenomenal job with the floors.  This thing is seriously awesome, seriously!  I was worried about the sensors, since my floors are so dark, but she has no problems at all.  It runs for a long time, I walk by and say “Hi Hazel, great job you’re doing” while grinning like the cat that swallowed the canary.  If you have stairs, you can set up zones so that she doesn’t go near them, these are highly engineered, the company that builds them does a wonderful job.

Every morning she undocks herself, cleans the floors and then redocks to charge again.  And since I name everything, I named her Hazel, after the 60’s maid in the sitcom Hazel, one of my favorite shows of that era.

Here’s a video of Hazel in action, boy was she a “doozy."


If you’ve been considering a Roomba, I highly recommend it.  She goes from wood to carpet to tile with no problems.  She vacuums my closet, under my bed, along my cabinets, and she never complains or gets tired, Hazel is da bomb!!!!!

~ Jan

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

It'll Blow the Lid Right Off the Popper

NewImage

 
If you are a certain age, you will remember Orville Redenbacher, the geeky guy from Valparaiso, Indiana, and how he always blew his lid right off the popper.  Our family has coughed up the big bucks for his popcorn since it first came out, nothing else compares with his big fluffy kernels, but we don’t do the microwave bags, too unhealthy.  We have had several Presto Microwave Poppers, you know the ones with the nasty little paper disk in the bottom.  But the poppers worked well, so I just spent a chunka change replacing those disks.
 
A couple of weeks ago, hubby was popping corn and the whole lid just broke in half and fell apart, so it was obviously time for a new one.  I checked them out on Amazon, decided that I just couldn’t handle that Presto one any longer, it’s time to update to silicone.
 

NewImage

 
This silicone popper had good reviews, the price was right, $12.97 Prime, so I ordered it.  It’s pliable, folds flat, easy to store, at first hubby thought it was a bit small, but we quickly found out that it pops just the right amount.
 
No more nasty disks, you can put oil in the bottom (Orville Redenbcher’s Popping Oil, of course) and salt along with the popcorn, 1/4 cup seems to be the right amount, and in less than 3 minutes you have popcorn.  When you put the lid on, it sinks down in the bowl, but raises as the corn pops.
 
It’s a winner, winner, chicken dinner, check it out here if you need a new popper, too.
 
 

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Ree's Mercantile Salt and Pepper Shakers

NewImage


I’m such a sucker anything that Pioneer Woman has, does and sells.  She has these in her store and I’m literally sitting on my hands to keep from buying them.  They’re only $14 and just as cute as can be.  I keep telling myself I’m trying to declutter, I don’t need these, but oh they’re perfect.

Hubby says, just buy them, but I’m resisting.  Will I really be able to not to?  Time will tell...

They’re very 50’s retro, and I do have those adorable Dept. 56 egg plates.

FullSizeRender

I have really scaled down my table, at least for me I have.  Nothing on it but the lazy susan and these “few” collectibles.  But wouldn’t those s&p shakers look really cute with the egg plates?  But the Campbell’s Soup Kids s&p shakers look really good, too.

See what I mean, it’s a dilema, should I or shouldn’t I?  Scarlett is going to worry about this tomorrow but in the meantime here’s a link in case any of you want to order these.

Here’s they are, go for it...

~ Jan ~

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Decluttering

NewImage

A place for everything and everything in it’s place.  Sounds so simple, but it’s not that easy.  I’m a nester, a collector, a person who surrounds myself with things that make me happy.  I had such lofty ideals about minimizing when we moved last December, and I really have tried.  Everything is organized in the house now, hubby is still working in the garage, sorting, separating, filling dumpsters, thank goodness they are building a house next door.  But still, there is a lot of stuff in my house and how I ever had all of this in the condo I’ll never know

But onward and upward, we somehow keep bringing boxes in the house, It’s things I had forgotten about, so why do I think I need them?  And things I’ve told him to pitch, I somehow wish I had back.  Today, he unearthed wind chimes in the garage, and I heard the tinkle and yes, they made me smile.  I do love wind chimes.  I’ll find a place for them, tomorrow I will.“

*Sigh* We’re both ready for this to be over, to have everything sorted, sold, cleaned away and have life back to normal, if I even remember what “normal” is. 

We’re getting there, slowly and steadily, and spring arrives early in Tennessee, I’m ready...

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Weiman Stainless Steel Wipes Review

 

NewImage

I’m old(er) I get excited about the strangest things and I’m absolutely estatic about this find!

Ya’ll know (I live in Tennessee now, had to throw that ya’ll in there) that I got that fancy schmancy French Door Fridge with all the bells and whistles that I had drooled over for years.  Well the honeymoon was over quickly.  It’s absolutely wonderful inside, but oh the outside.  I’ve had stainless appliances for years, but never had the fridge in the direct sunlight.  It showed every streak, smear, you name it that I tried to clean it with. 

I was desperate, I even tried alcohol, which was a total waste.  But finally I hit holy grail.  Weigman Stainless Wipes, oh my, they are perfection.  You just wipe them on with the grain of the stainless, they leave a filmy residue that quickly dissipates, but allows you to see where you’ve cleaned, then you just buff with a dry cloth and voila, no smears, no streaks, nada, none.  Next I’m trying their granite cleaner, I’m definitely sold on this brand.

So if you have the same problem, go to Amazon, order these bad boys, and you too will be a fan.  Pinky swear you will.

~ Jan ~

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Happy 95th Birthday Betty White

NewImage

Who doesn’t love her, she’s adorable, feisty, and just a wee bit naughty.

But she wasn’t always this sweet, cute little old lady and this is a G-rated blog, so I won’t post pictures or even link to them, but if you’re curious about vintage Betty pin-up pictures, just Google “Betty White Nude” and click on images.

They’re pretty tame photos compared to today’s standards, but just thought you all might enjoy a little ‘peek’ at Betty in all her glory in her younger years.  I don’t know how I know this, but I somehow stumbled on this a few years ago and was surprised at what I found.

And why am I sharing this?  Totally clueless,  except it’s a rainy, misty day and I’m just a little bored.  

Ahhhh, Betty, you wild thing, proof positive that you can’t always judge a book by it’s cover.

~ Jan ~ 

 

© all the latest from heavensville..., AllRightsReserved.

Designed by ScreenWritersArena