My Beach Vacation

I am taking a break and vacationing in sunny (off and on in reality) California with a friend. Barbara has been on a liquid diet since November and has lost 47 pounds! So, I decided to go on it with her---for this week.

So, Here's the latest on the liquid diet/ beach vacation.
On our first day, Barbara and I equipped with our GPS system in her BMW set off to find this adorable English country Cottage shop we saw in a magazine. Following the directions from the GPS we were directed to enter a toll road 73 (north). I thought, OK it will be about $1.00. No, it was ($4.50). There was no one on the road. We thought, wow, we have a freeway all to ourselves. How did they know! It was great. We drove about 5 minutes on it then were directed to exit. Well, it was an expensive ride, but it was worth it. As we followed the directions voiced to us, we were then directed to go onto 73 (south) which I thought, "OK, they'll just let us back on, free since we just came from the other direction". Wrong! The toll officer did not even think we were funny when we tried to sweet talk him out of the $4.50 toll. So, we had to pay and were on the darn freeway a total of 5 more minutes before we had to exit. Then we found the Cottage. It wasn't hard to find. It had a billboard size sign on top of it's warehouse square building. Where were all the roses and cute curved-top garden gate that was in the magazine? Painted on the front door! Instead of finding a cute, small, quaint cottage, we found a huge, southwestern urban converted warehouse. Inside it was divided into rows of consignment country/gift clutter which when I began to look, made me tired. Since we were so famished upon arrival and seeing it would take a good deal of time to find anything of interest to us, we scrapped the whole thing, went across the street and had some wonderful Puerto Rican food! (But, following through with our liquid diet, we did have water!)

Stay tuned for the next update!


Tablescape Thursday Chinese Style

I am participating in Tablescape Thursday thanks to Susan @ Between Naps on the Porch.

I would like to share with you what fun I have been having using some Chinese paper umbrellas I picked up on my recent trip to Chinatown in San Francisco. I decided to use them for a centerpiece but couldn't get them to stand up on the table.....
.....so as I was trying to figure out how to use them I looked up at my chandelier and had a lightbulb moment (literally), and so I attached them to my chandelier! I used them two weeks ago for my Easter table.
The colorful eggs picked up the colors of the umbrellas.
I tied little yellow bunny placecards to each goblet.
After Easter I didn't want to take them down yet and so I used them again this week for a Chinese-themed women's luncheon.
I used Chinese New Year Zokiak paper placemats with my Syracuse China plates in colors of the lanterns and the tablecloth. Four dozen delicate pink tulips were beautiful in the ginger jar vase for the centerpiece. I served Chinese Chicken Salad, Lemon Bow Knot Rolls and Red Velvet Cupcakes for dessert. The cupcakes were not particularly Chinese but tasted delicious and I served a fortune cookie on the dessert plate with the cupcake.

To see more wonderful tablescapes visit Susan @ Between Naps on the Porch.
Thanks for coming by to visit today.


Simple Woman's Daybook

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For today April 20, 2009.....

Outside my window....the sun has just come over the mountain and is brightly shining and making the grass glisten. The mountainside itself is still shaded. It is supposed to be a gloriously warm day. Horray!

The I am thinking.....of all the things that need to be done this week

I am thankful for.....good health and sunshine. Those two things make my heart sing and help me to have enthusiasm for doing what needs to be done.

From the kitchen.....are some of the Red Velvet Cupcakes I made yesterday. The kitchen itself is going to get a thorough cleaning today.
I am wearing......a bright yellow T-shirt, light weight cotton vest and jeans.

I am reading....the morning paper. I love the comics especially to combat the news. Pickles is my favorite.

I am hoping...to get a few plants in the ground that I purchased Saturday.

I am creating.....a few crafts to take with me to Newport Beach on Sunday to share with my friend. They are cards we can make together and I'll see what else I can come up with too.

I am praying...for my four friends who are going through cancer chemo.

Around the house....it will be doomsday for all dust and dirt as it will get cleaned thoroughly.

One of my favorite things.....is a clean house so I have a cleaning woman coming today. I used her once before and she made my wood floors so clean they squeaked when I walked on them and all my faucets shine. I love that!

A few plans for the rest of the week....I will meet with my cousin to plan a wall to be built in my backyard to give me privacy from the street. I am planning a small luncheon Wednesday with a few woman I would like to know better so that will include grocery shopping and preparing Tuesday. I am serving Chinese Chicken Salad, Lemon Knot rolls and Red Velvet Cupcakes. I was trying out the recipe for the cupcakes yesterday. I will try to post the pictures from the luncheon. I have a fun Chinese centerpiece you'll love! Thursday morning is church day and then an eye appointment in the afternoon. I know I need new prescription for contacts and glasses. And Friday I take my car in for routine service, and becausethe dealer is right by Nordstom's I will have to stop in there, don't you think? Saturday may find me at the Tulip Festival if I feel I am packed ready to leave and Sunday I leave for Newport Beach where a friend and I will spend a week exploring, soaking up the sun, shopping and lounging around! Can't wait for that.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing... The picture is at the beginning of the post as I couldn't get blogger to drag it down to this spot. It is of my granddaughters dressed in two dresses they found in one of my closets yesterday. One is a dress my mom made for me to wear to my senior prom. It was then worn by my daughter to her junior prom and blonde Hannah whispered in my ear yesterday and asked if I would save it for her to wear when she goes to prom! Isn't that just the cutest?
To read more Simple Woman's Daybook journal entries click here.

Enjoy this week and I hope all you plan happens just as you wish!


My first Foodie Friday

Today I am participating in Foodie Friday thanks to Designs by Gollum. Recently I made Chicken Piccata for my daughter and her husband while I was visiting them. It is one of my favorite Chicken dishes because it is fairly easy to make and tastes delicious.
1.Start by pounding 4 chicken breasts between plastic wrap. Actually I put mine in a zip lock bag because it is stronger and will not tear as easily.
2. Pound to about 1/4" thickness.
3.Line 4 dinner plates on the counter. In first one, put about 1 cup of flour sprinkled with salt and pepper. On second one put in 3 beaten eggs. In the third one put about 2 cups of seasoned breadcrumbs.
4.Next step you place a pounded chicken breast into the flour and coat it well. Then put it into the beaten eggs. Turn the breast to coat it evenly. I use tongs at this point. Lastly put the breast into the breadcrumbs. When one breast is finished place it on the empty plate. Do this to all the breasts but don't put one breast ontop of another.
5.Heat large fry pan with 2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 Tablespoons butter. Add chicken breasts and cook on one side. When you turn each one add a thinly sliced lemon on top. Then cook just until golden brown and done. Remove them from pan and cover to keep warm.
6. Scrape up bits of crust from bottom of fry pan and add 1/2 c. white wine and 1/2 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice. Let it boil for a few minutes to thicken. Add 1/4 c. chopped parsley and 3 T. capers. Pour this sauce over to breasts to serve. Yum, it is delicious with it's slightly tart flavor.

I served this with roasted asparagus and wild rice pilaf.

Enjoy! Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!


Macy's Bohemian Gardens Tables

Have you ever thought to use just one color for your tablescape? Recently at Macy's San Francisco during their Spring Bohemian Gardens event there were several tables decorated with exceptional interest. Each one had not only the table setting with a color theme, but above on the chairs and across the length of the table this one color theme was prevelant. Of course, they were over-the-top from ordinary, but they were spectacular to see! How about a green theme?
Of course, one must start out with a huge green spider web overhead drippiing with moss don't you think?
This was a very nature inspired setting with the mushrooms, twig placemats, rope ties around the napkins, green bubbles, and moss everywhere.

Even the chairs come to the party with their leaf painted on the back and the green pillow. Also the sparkles and glitter sprinkled on the cloth were an olive green. Doesn't the 1st course look inviting although perhaps a bitter prickly on the throat. This also shows that just plain white china can be incoorporated into a color-inspired tabletop.

If green is not your color of choice, how about a lavendar-inspired theme?

These lavendar tendrils were dripping from a branch attached to the very tall ceiling. This hung over and around the table.

These balls were made out of flowers and were spectacular.

The tablecloth was all silk petals in this gorteous shade of periwinkle. Notice the back of the twig chair with its cascading bouquet of flowers.
Here is the pretty simple white china again used with the very bold purple tablecloth background. Also the napkin ties make it seem more do-able for the average person.
Lots of butterflies adorn the tabletop in varying shades of violet and lavendar.
And doesn't everyone invite a beautiful full-size stallion to their dinnerparty? Notice the beautiful brocade purple saddle.
This one was a nature inspired table design with wicker chairs, peacock feathers and interesting chandeliers.
Here are the raindrops falling on the table.

The utensil chandeliers were a fun whimsy touch. Now look what's for dinner.

I hope you've enjoyed today's tablescapes and get some ideas for your next table!

Thanks for visiting. For more ideas visit http://betweennapsontheporch.blogspot.com/.


Simple Woman's Daybook

The Simple Woman's Day book for today, Monday, April 13th, 2009 ...
Outside My Window it is sunny and warm. I was able to rake a few leaves and cut some dead branches from some of my perennials today. The sun feels so nice on my skin. I love the spring!
I am thinking...About the wonderful weekend I just spent with most of my family here to celebrate Easter and the funny things the grandchildren said and did.
I am thinking how good it felt to have so many voices in the house and all the activity they bring. Grandchildren are truly special (and also their parents) and I am grateful I can be in their presence.
I am thankful for family, warm weather, for good health and opportunities in this life.
From the kitchen ..I made some homemade granola for this weekend (I hope that counts for today) which I shared with my children and sent them home with most of the Ham from Sunday dinner. I am not planning to cook anything special this week. I actually ate too much and I want to limit my food for a few days to make up for it!
I am wearing... jeans and a long tee which is just right for comfort today. I don't need my usual 3 or 4 layers.
Around our home I am cleaning and putting away my Easter decorations, changing bed linens and washing sheets, towels and tablecloths.
I am hoping... For more spring weather. My daffodils are out and I am enjoying them. My tulips are not in bloom yet.
I am hearing... the washer and dryer doing their humming and signal of three beeps when one is finished. My daughter's dryer actually plays a musical song on it's completion which I enjoyed as a novelty!
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...I will have a call from my financial planner, a dinner at a friends home tonight,(what a nice surprise she gave me with her invitation this morning!), a bridal shower to go to tomorrow, a symphony guild luncheon on Wednesday,for which I help do table decorations, visiting two friends that I do monthly, an appointment to learn how to use my cell phone in my car, and a Dr. appt at the end of the week.
A picture thought I'd like to share:
If you would like to read other Simple Woman's Daybook entries click here.

Have a wonderful week!


Makin' Friends Monday

Today I am following Kasey's idea for Makin' Friends Monday post and our
task: 10 things that just really get you fuzzed up (that means makes you mad). So here are the ones that I have come up with:
1. I detest any make-up that you have to use your fingernails to get the substance out of the bottle. Because then you have it under your nails and have to try to clean it out from there too.
2. Why do commercials have to be 200 decibals louder than the actual show? Do they think we all are deaf?
3. Sports announcers, especially the news sports announcers, their voices grind on me.
4. Waiting. I'm not very patient. If an appointment is at 10:00 I expect everyone to be there ready at 10:00 (I know, I am not very patient). And along with that, people who don't show up at all when they said they would be there really irk me. Is it too much to call with your excuse?
5. Food that is supposed to be hot, but is served warm. I am not afraid to send it back.
6. When someone borrows something and does not return it and you have to hound them for it, or returns it in less than the condition it was in when they took it.
7. When the weather does not cooperate, like lately. It is supposed to be Spring. There is no snow in Spring, didn't Mother Nature get the memo?
8. Show stealers. You know the kind, that have to monolopolize the conversation every time. Their experience was better than anyone else's and they are not polite and let others have their say.
9. My hair drives me crazy! I am never satisfied with how it looks.
10. Toilet seats should be put down after use and toilet paper should roll from back to front.
(Just a disclaimer that I am very forgiving so if you find yourself doing any of these things I will probably give you a second chance--or three:))
If you want to check other posts for their pet peeves go to Kasey at All That Is Good.
Have a great Monday!!