Sunday, December 6, 2009

What's That Old Saying About 'The Best Laid Plans of Mice And Men' Going Astray?

Well, all my plans for the weekend went astray!
Saturday my friend Barbara and I had planned to do the city. We were going to shop the flea markets in SoHo, and then hit the booths that are set up in Union Square, and then all the little shops in Bryant Park, and then we were going to tour a brownstone on the upper West side (each room of the brownstone had been decorated for Christmas by different designers, the cost of the tour would go to charity). And we planned on a late supper in a nice restaurant.
But on Friday I got a call from Barbara saying that we should cancel those plans because the weather was not supposed to cooperate, and it surely did not! She was right to cancel because Saturday was cold, and windy, and rainy, with a mix of snow.
But all was not lost, Ray and I took a trip to Ikea with my niece Erin (she wanted to buy some slipcovers for her sofa, and Ray & I wanted to shop Ikea's food market). After we dropped Erin off back at home we went to a local garden shop and picked up a pine centerpiece, just to get that nice scent into the house since we don't have a real tree anymore.

When Ray & I got home we did a little more decorating. I had seen an idea that I loved on Donna's blog On A Whim Home Boutique, Donna has a beautiful shop filled with vintage treasures and I am determined to view this shop in person one day! A few of my girlfriends and I are talking about doing a 'girl's weekend away' somewhere and I am voting for On A Whim!
Anyway, I saw on one of her posts that Donna had decorated her shop with tulle and Christmas lights and I thought it was so soft and pretty looking, so I thought we'd give it a try.

Ray hammered a few nails over the archways in the dining room for me and then I worked the tulle and lights over my Christmas collection on the side board...

...then over the archway...

...and over the dresser with the stable...

...and then up and over the front archway.

While we were finishing our Christmas decorating Jayden was doing some beautiful decorating of his own. In our dining room on the wall...

... on the side board...

...under the dining table...

...and in the kitchen on the cabinets...

...on the freezer drawer...

...even in the bathroom!

All over the house are Jayden's beautiful love notes!

Then Ray and I settled down with a nice meal of hors dourves and a couple glasses of wine for dinner.

It turned out to be a perfect day in spite of my original plans being squashed.

Sunday we were going to have the family over, we had gotten a few little things for Jayden and Mia for St. Nicholas Day, but that had to be canceled because Jayden had strep throat! He was on the antibiotics for twenty-four hours but we still didn't want to chance Mia getting sick.
But I still tried out the recipe I was planning that I had found at Doodles By Lauren. I changed Lauren's recipe a little, one dish I added some salsa and some Manwhich sauce, and to the other one I added spaghetti sauce.

You can view Lauren's post and original recipe here.

I love one-dish meals and this was easy.
I just crumbled Doritos and layered them at the bottom of a baking dish. And then I crumbled Italian flavored croutons and layered them at the bottom of another baking dish.

I then browned chop meat in two different pans, I added the salsa and Manwich and then layered that over the Doritos. I added the Prego to the other pan of meat and layered that mixture over the croutons.
I added shredded cheese over both (sharp cheddar over the Dorito mixture, and mozzarella over the crouton mixture).
I popped them in the oven (pre-heated 350 degrees) for twenty minutes, and by the time I washed and dried the pots I used to cook in, the meal was ready!

It's a very quick and easy meal to make, just heat some vegetables to go with it or add a salad and bread. Even though it was just Ray, myself, the girls, Jayden, and then Brian stopped by with Melissa, we still didn't have much left over! It was really good.

NOW, if all goes according to plan (with prayers said and fingers crossed) tomorrow Jayden and I will meet Ray in the city at noon to view the tree at Rockefeller Center, look in the store windows, have an early dinner, then go to Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, then we'll be staying over night in a hotel and going to the Christmas Show at Radio City Music Hall on Tuesday. Jayden's doctor gave the okay as long as he's been on the antibiotic and is not running a fever.
So far, so good. But, we'll see what tomorrow brings!



    I am exhausted just reading about all you do in a day or two. Wow. I will arrive when the wine and hors'deurves are being served. And/or one of those yummy casseroles, mmmmmmmmm.
    I have had an emotionally multi layered couple days - today my daughter Jen came back today and we finished all my wrapping. Bless her heart. Yesterday she shopped for my stocking stuffers and then we wrapped together for a bit until the snow started and she headed home.
    I love all your holiday decorations and how Jayden is such a part of the activity. It is all so wonderful. Just like you.
    Love Gail

  2. I so love how you took cancelled plans and made them into something wonderful...tomorrow sounds like such a special day for you and for Jayden....I think being in New York this time of year is such a blessing...loved everything about this post.....big hugs to Jayden and Mia, love you on this day that our village hearts are heavy.......:-) Hugs

  3. What a wonderful day you had!!! The notes are soooo precious!!! Lucky you!! Cathy

  4. The "I Love You" notes would go into a very safe place.....and I know that you keep them forever....What a wonderful message from your sweet grandson. There is no doubt that he adores and loves you so much.
    The tulle and lights are splendid....a soft glow. I love the idea....and will use it (hope you don't mind.)
    Many smiles to you, Wanda

  5. Hi Eileen, Jackie is either posing as me or forgot where she was for a moment. We'll have to tease her.
    I like your tulle and lights too and your dish sounds similar to a mexican lasagna with tortillas dish that I make.
    Jayden's love notes were sweet decorations. Have a good week Eileen.

  6. Those notes are the sweetest things ever. Just think, Umma, if you hadn't been at home, you wouldn't have gotten those love notes. :-)

    The tulle looks pretty, the food delicious. And of course, I loved hearing about Jayden's activities. Sorry that cutie pie is sick. Hope he is better soon...


    Sheila :-)

  7. Hmmmm, now just where did Jayden learn to leave love notes?? I'm sure you see your influence on many things he does. Lucky little boy.

  8. Kudos to your Ray for helping you achieve such a soft and sweet new holiday look. I DID get to go on TWO housewalks over the weekend! Of course I come home with all kinds of ideas.

    Loved Jayden's contributions, too!

  9. Oh Eileen I was so sorry to hear Jayden is sick. Please tell him I hope he feels better real soon. He is so sweet. He reminds me so much of our grandson Thomas. He used to leave note like that for me too. In fact I'm sitting here looking at one he wrote years ago. I keep it on my desk. It makes me smile at least 1000 times a day ♥ Your decorations are beautiful. Christmas is so enchanting isn't it? Thank you for the recipe. I will give it a try. I would love to someday visit St Patrick's. I hope you take pictures. Have a greaat day.