Sunday, January 31, 2016

Spring Sprucing

Hi everyone! 
February comes barging in tomorrow and although there is still snow on the ground in these parts, I am ready to start peeling away the winter layers. How about you?

I had a chance to change up my living room shelf the other day. It's been crazy busy around here, so baby steps in decorating progress. I showed you how I made this shelf a few years ago here.

I am planning on continuing the spring sprucing as February rolls on in. Who's ready to dream about warmer weather???

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February Faves

Hi everyone!

Here we go - February has arrived.  I say this every year - and I know I am not alone in this - but I swear January (every month really!) seems to pass more quickly each year. 

February is always a fun month though - Ground Hog's Day, Valentine's Day, warmer temperatures. 

Of course, the month starts with Groundhog' s Day. In Wisconsin, we are interested in what Jimmy the Groundhog has to say about the chance for an early spring. Sadly, Jimmy was fired from his job after biting the mayor last year. A person dressed in a groundhog costume will be taking over. I'm not sure how much this will compromise the accuracy of the prediction, lol.

I am slightly obsessed with this yellow jacket from Christopher and Banks. 

Aren't these recycled metal dog sculptures cute? I picked one up at World Market recently and I think he will be a lively addition to a brighter spring decor.

Found these adorable Valentine treats online from Cheryl' s cookies. At just $5.99 each, including shipping, I know a few cuties in my life who will be getting these from me this year!

My one and only Baby Bluebird will be celebrating her golden birthday this month - turning 25 on the 25th! 

Lent starts this month and it is always a time for me to step back and re-set my faith. I am a work in progress for sure!  I do have a funny, real-life Lenten story to share with you next week.  It's a doozy!

Ah, February...full of love and one step closer to spring!

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Friday, January 22, 2016

Pawsin' With Palmer: Every Rose Has It's Thorns

Hey y'all! Palmer here - or you can call me  Palmie, or Palmie Palm, like my mom likes to call me sometimes, lol.

It's been awhile since I took over the blog and so much has been happening in my life. Right after Thanksgiving, the humans put up a big tree in the living room, put crunchy lights and ornaments all over it and then spent the next month nagging me to stay away from it. Now really, they put a tree, for Pete's sake in the house and then tell me it's off limits? Au contraire, Mom and Dad, Au contraire! I was an eight month old pup in December and leaving a tree laden with goodies - in the house! - alone, well, not gonna happen. Didn't happen. It was a rough month.  Even the Elf on the Shelf, creepy vintage Santa and a Virginia Tech garden gnome couldn't keep me away from that Frasier fir.

A few weeks back I was hanging around the yard and found an awesome branch that my dad had trimmed off the rose bush. A bit prickly, but fun while it lasted. However, me being me, the branch poked me and I contracted Rose Thorn Disease. Oh yeah, it's a thing. And I got it. No worries, a few antibiotics and I will be as good as new soon. My mom says I am bankrupting the family...

I am also deep into my studies at obedience school. Personally, I think doing things my way has been working out just dandy, but - again - Mom and Dad have different ideas. So, I have been working on "basic manners" every Saturday morning. It's safe to say that I am the under achiever in class, but at least I am the best looking.

Lastly, who turns nine months old today? Me, this guy! Yup, all seventy two pounds of me. I am large and in charge. When I am not sleeping!

Until next time...

Keepin' it pawsitive,

Monday, January 11, 2016

January Love

Hi everyone!

I am writing to you this morning in the cozy comfort of our den - blazing, burning and bundled. The fireplace is  blazing, candles are burning and I'm bundled up in sweats and fuzzy socks.  Baby, it's cold outside!

Brrrr - errr - errr!

With sub zero temps and the winter doldrums knocking at my door, I decided to give our front entry some January love and warm things up a bit.

 This past Christmas I became slightly obsessed with mini Christmas trees - just plunk 'em down, and voila - instant winter charm!  I think they still look charming and apropos for January. I picked up the two in this vignette on super sale - 75% off, about $6.00 for the pair.

The brass "Love" ornament is also an after Christmas score from Wal-Mart - 19 cents! I mean, seriously? How could I not?

As you know, I love my scented candles, but this table is right at our dog's nose level and well, lit candles and puppy proboscis's do not mix.  Luminara flameless candle to the rescue.

Although I like the chamber candle stick on the  old, vintage lunchbox, I decided to switch in a picture of myself with Mr. Bluebird - this is a "love" post after all, lol!

I am off to whip up a batch of chicken noodle soup in the slow cooker for tonight's dinner. I am using Shore Lunch Soup Mix as my cheat.  Have you all tried this?  It's amazing!  I do jazz it up with cooked, shredded chicken and an extra handful of frozen carrots and a little chopped onion.  Perfect for our frosty winter evening ahead!

I hope you are staying warm and cozy on this January day.

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Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Winter Planning

Hi everyone!

Now that winter has settled in, I decided it was time to make a list of home projects I wanted to get done during the cold months ahead.

 I am most excited about the face lift I am planning for our master bath. Oh my gosh, this room is in desperate need! It is awful. I am serious. In fact, awful is probably too kind. But, have no fear! This ugly duckling will be a swan before the first tulip of spring!

I received a $100 gift card from WalMart recently. Instead of using it on groceries, etc., I thought I would challenge myself to see how far I could stretch the $100 in 're-decorating a room. I think I know which room I am going to choose, but stay tuned! I plan on revealing how I used my card, and in what room,  in March.

Lastly, my laundry room has gotten a bit unruly lately, so a facelift and reorganization is in order.

In between "the list," I will have plenty of smaller projects and decor tweaking to share. I hope you will come on over and check out what I'm up to.

And you? Any plans for the coming months? I'd love it if you would share in the comments.

Thanks for stopping by,

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Friday, January 1, 2016

January Faves

Hi everyone!

It's time to put the hats and hooters away, turn the calendar page and say, "hello" to 2016 and January, or as I refer to it, "the black hole of winter."  In Wisconsin, January is typically bitter cold and often very snowy. Spring can feel a looonnngggg way off.  

But, every season has it's positives, so, of course, I have some January faves to share.

Mmmm...the cozy warmth of a scented candle. I admit I tend to include candles in most of my monthly faves. What can I say? My name is Jane and I am a scent fanatic, lol. I love The Warm Glow Candle Company's Banana Nut Bread loaf candle. Yum~yum~yum. 

As a school employee, I always feel like a kid again when we have a snow day off from school. I admit that when an expected storm fizzles out, and school is not called off as hoped, you are likely to hear me say, "aw, man!" Love a snow day. We don't get them every year, but when we do - woo hoo!!


Comfort food reigns during the cold month of January. Nothing like a tasty stew or soup simmering on the stove, waiting to be served up for supper.


A frosty evening feels a bit warmer when you cozy up under a stack of pretty quilts.

Winter also finds me looking at paint, buying paint and yes, painting! I am hoping to get a fresh coat on my master bath this month.  I also am planning on painting several other spaces in 2016.


My favorite January fave? The clean slate, the fresh start, the blank page that a new year brings. So many possibilities...

Happy New Year my friends! I hope you will come back to check on what I am doing this year, how I am filling my blank page.

Thanks for stopping by,

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Looking Back At 2015 Countdown: #1

Sunday, May 17, 2015

About Me Monday: I Always Thought it was a Secret

Hi everyone!

Thanks sooo much for joining me for the second of my three part series, "About Me Monday."  My first installment where I shared my lost year really struck a chord with many of you and I appreciate all of your sweet comments and emails.

Today I am dipping my toe into scary waters and talking about a subject that is very uncomfortable for me to share.  Like, "breaking out in hives and hyperventillating" kind of scary.  It is an area of my life that I have always, always, always kept very private.

Ssshhh....don't tell anyone, but I am fat.  Yes, I have kept that a secret.  No one else has ever known that about me.  Except for my family, friends, co-workers, strangers and any one I have ever met in person or who has seen a photo of me.  Ok, I guess the only person who thought my obesity was a secret was me.  I think I believed if I didn't acknowledge it no one would know........

But I am obese.  Morbidly obese according to all the health charts.


So why I am I sharing this personal and for me, incredibly embarrassing, topic with all of blogland? Well, besides possible insanity, I think I may be able to help and inspire those of you who may need to lose weight but have found it difficult to do so.

After my year long health issues I shared in my last post, I had been feeling so much better once I found the right doctor and the solution to my problems.  Although I was no longer suffering from my illness, I still felt stuck in my armor of fat and my quality of life was really lacking due to the limitations and general lethargy I felt from carrying so much extra weight.  Even though I was well aware my weight was affecting my life, I had resigned myself to living my days with sore feet, ill fitting clothes and limited energy.  I believed it was my lot in life.

Enter again my amazing chiropractor.  Yep, the chiropractor strikes again, lol.  Here's the story:

While waiting for my appointment with my chiropractor to begin, I noticed a sign for a weight loss program he offered through his practice.  It was a six week plan that promised a 25 to 40 pound weight loss.  Intrigued, I asked him about it and long story short, I signed up that day and have not looked back.

Now, to back track a bit, like most people who are severely overweight, I have tried many weight loss programs in the past: Diet Center, Nutri System, Medifast, Slim Fast, juicing, etc., etc., etc.  All with some success, but never lasting and in fact,they were the catalyst for gaining even more weight.


I had a daunting task ahead of me.  I was a good (is that an oxymoron?) 150 #'s overweight.  And of course, what self respecting weight loss plan doesn't start with a weigh in on the scale. Ugh!  It was shocking and heart wrenching to see the reading on the scale: 297.4 pounds. Talk about heartbreaking...not surprising, however it sure was humilating to see it up in lights. But, I went in with a determination - after all it was only six weeks.  I can do anything for six weeks.  Well, this program has clicked for me.  Totally clicked.  Maybe it's the right "diet" or maybe the stars were aligned or it was divine intervention. Regardless, the pounds and inches came off.  I was also never hungry - no cravings, no growling stomach. None. Nada. Zilch. I started at the end of October and I am down about 103 pounds.

The difference I feel in this particular "diet" is that it really isn't a diet in the way a person normally thinks of a diet.  There are no artificially flavored shakes or bars, no processed foods.  You eat healthy, whole foods - veggies, chicken, fish, fruit.  Nothing that comes from a factory or has factory made ingredients.  I do not have the "when I'm done, I can eat _______" mindset anymore.  The phrase, "when I'm done with my diet," always meant, "when I go back to the foods that made me fat." Once I no longer am losing weight, I will still be eating the same foods, just in a higher quantity.  I think that is what's made the difference for me.....I have completely turned about what types of food I like and want to eat.  By eliminating the junk and eating food in balance with one another, my brain no longer calls out for sugars or fats.  It has truly been a miracle for me and quite possibly may have saved my life.


I am not here to promote the particular weight loss program I am on.  If you would like to know what it is called and where to get more information on it, feel free to leave me a message.  I also would be happy to answer any questions you have about my experience.  There are plenty of programs and methods to lose weight.  My purpose for telling you my journey is similar to my experience with searching for a doctor who could help me with my year long mystery illness.  I want to urge any one who has excess pounds to lose - and who wishes to lose them - to keep looking for the "right" weight loss program for you.  I had all but given up, but finally found a plan that works for me and one I feel I can use throughout the rest of my life.

April 2015

I still have a way too go in my weight loss journey, but not nearly as far as I had to go when I first started in late October.  I no longer shop in the plus size aisle.  I don't wonder if I will fit comfortably in a theater seat or look for the closest parking spot at the mall.  I am looking forward (sort of!) to getting into a work out routine.  One thing I use daily is a little exercise bike that I can use when I am at the computer or watch TV.  I try to get 20 minutes in the morning before work and another 30 or so in the evenings.  It really has strengthened my legs and is a great way to get my "steps" in for the day.

April 2015

Believe me, I know "dieting" is personal - I'm hyperventillating as I'm writing, lol!  I've told you I'm fat, how many pounds I've weighed (and if you are good at math, you know how much I currently weigh) and disclosed I'm on a diet.  Yikes!  But, I hope by sharing, I may motivate some of you who feel it is hopeless to look for a plan that works for you and you can start improving your health as well.  Like me, you have people in your lives who love you (no matter what your size) that want you to be happy, healthy and around for a long, long time. I encourage you  to take that first step. Or second. Or tenth. Or, like me, it took countless steps to find something that worked.

Mother's Day 2015