Life at Chez V - Quick and Delicious - Sauted Chicken

Sauted Chicken with Balsamic Citrus Sauce

This week has sort of been a whirlwind, both literally and figuratively.  For weeks like this I love having a stash of quick and easy recipes on hand to make weeknight meals less chaotic.

This sauted chicken is just such a recipe.  It comes together quickly with little prep and calls for ingredients that I always have on hand.  More importantly, it is really delicious.  Chicken is on heavy rotation at Chez V and can get quite boring.  So when I land on a delicious one it goes into the ‘Staples’ file of my recipe folder.

This recipe comes from The Joy of Cooking – which is such a great cooking tome.  I tend to forget what a great resource this cookbook is.  Whenever I am in a cooking rut, I pick it up and discover so many new ways to prepare stuff.   I love that it gives variations on the same recipe.  Helps to prevent burnout on our 'Staples' recipes.

I paired this with fresh peas and rice pilaf for a quick and delicious meal.  Enjoy and Happy Weekend!

kisses,  mrs. V


A Few More Thoughts on Manners, Pinterest and Online Platforms

Welcome, Again and the Thing About Online Communities…

Wow. First, let me start by saying hello to those of you who are new around these parts.  Welcome to Chez V.  Make yourself at home and take a look around.  You can find out more about me and Chez V here, here, and here

And let me say how touched I am by all the wonderful comments and phone calls and pep talks I have received on yesterday’s post about chasing pipe dreams.  If I could, I would kiss each and everyone one of you!  I have a head full of plans for turning my pipe dreams into reality thanks to some invaluable counsel from this wildly successful gal behind La Plates.  She is a dear friend and sorority sister from back in the day.  You might have seen her stuff featured, um, everywhere.  


In the spirit of those darling Avetts, I am going to go be it!

I made this as part of a graduation gift for my cousin

Of course I would be insanely remiss if I didn’t mention the Pinterest Manners post.  Great conversations are happening and I just feel lucky to be part of the dialogue.  Really.  I am learning firsthand that this wonderful world of blogging and social media is truly built upon support, spontaneity, risk taking, community, and collaboration.

the picture that launched a 1,000 words...
After 4 years of avid blog reading I am still just as inspired today by all the great stuff happening out there as I was when I stumbled upon my first design blogSo glad I finally joined the party.  It is just so ding dang exciting I could pee myself!  Sadly, or hysterically depending on your perspective, it has been known to happen.

photo of our Chez V family by Merrilee Luke Ebbeler

But I want to share one more thing about Pinterest and online communities.  As shocked as I was about silly, negative comments on someone’s pins, mr. V was not the slightest bit surprised.  He is a long, long time online gamer and tech blog reader before they were even called blogs.  He is used to the vitriol that comes with online platforms.  He actually chuckled and said, ‘wait until you get your first troll.’  Why would someone make it their mission to purposefully cause fights?  I am not talking about differing opinions here.  If we all agreed on everything the conversation would get pretty boring.  I am talking about malice with intent.  Or even unintended malice.

It is my hope that the next time these folks decide to post comments on other people’s pins or walls or what-have-you, they will ask themselves if they are contributing constructively to the conversation or just being a troll.

Back tomorrow with a quick and delicious weeknight dish!

kisses,  mrs. V


Mid-Life Career Shifts

Pipe Dreams…
I will let you in on a little secret.  I am going to share one of my dreams with you.  I want to turn my passions into a career.  All this stuff that I wax poetic about - somehow, some way I want to do these things FOR A LIVING.  I want to build a Chez V lifestyle brand of sorts.  Interiors, styling, entertaining, party planning, and product development all wrapped up with a darling little Chez V bow.  At the heart of it is my overwhelming desire to inspire others.

But that is only part of the story.  You see, it is time for me to go back to work.  And it is sort of a milestone year in my life, as by the end of it, I will officially become a ‘woman of a certain age.’  That scares the hell out of me. 

I have been so fortunate to be able to spend these first few years at home with my daughter.  Something my mother could never do.  And that has affected me over the years in different ways.  So it is very important for me to be home with Pieti, for as long as possible.  But now, we really need two incomes.

I could go back to my sweet spot of coaching operational excellence, continuous improvement, and behavioral leadership development.  Or I could follow my gut which is screaming at me to take a leap of faith to pursue my more creative passions.  So many times have I advised to an unfulfilled mentee, ‘You’re never too old or too young to start being the person you have always wanted to be.’  Funny how it is most difficult to follow our own counsel.

If ever there was a time for me to swerve in my career path, this is it.     The game has changed significantly in just the last few years.  Social media has leveled the playing field and people are creating their own roles and jobs doing things they truly love.  I want some of that action.

If I have to spend time away from my daughter, I would much rather be doing something that I REALLY love than just doing something at which I am really good.  mr. V does not think it is possible to make a living doing this sort of stuff.  And he might be right.  But in this one case, I REALLY want him to be wrong.

Have any of you out there taken a mid-life leap of faith?

all photos by me
kisses,  mrs. V


Thumbs Up or Down - Pinterest Manners

Thumbs Up or Down – Shoes, No Socks, No Service

I admire people who make fearless fashion choices.  Typically, they have a fearless personality to match.  I especially applaud men who have the confidence to rock some color or pattern mixing or shoes with no socks.


Nick Wooster via

Recently, I was a bystander in a cyber kerfuffle over the whole concept of men wearing shoes without socks.  I had no idea this was such a polarizing topic.  I wear shoes without socks all the time.  Loafers, high heels, ballet flats, chuck taylors etc.  Why is it generally accepted for women to wear shoes without socks but for men it is considered a no no?!


I love the look of a man wearing a slipper or brogues sans socks.  To me it shows a certain self-assured swagger.  An insouciant jauntiness that says, I don’t take life or myself too seriously.

Nick Wooster via

Scot Meacham Wood of SMW Design

But the point is not really about men wearing shoes without socks.  The point is about manners.  This little kerfuffle happened over on PinterestScot Meacham Wood, whose design skills, taste, and style I have long admired, was pinning these images of men sporting shoes without socks.  And men mixing prints and wearing bright colored pants.  I was surprised to see a bunch of negative comments posted about these pinned images.  At first, I thought perhaps these were close friends of his poking a little inside fun.  But that doesn’t seem to be the case, as he eventually had enough diplomacy to politely ask them to ‘unfollow’ his boards.

look at his drawing room!  so great.  via

Isn’t the intent of Pinterest to be a place to catalogue images that are important and meaningful to each of us?  And share them with like-minded folks - people who choose to 'follow' us based on similar tastes or aesthetics?  And if so, then why the need to be so nasty?

To be sure, I don’t like everything pinned by the people I follow.  I might even snicker a bit to myself – wondering what in the world you were thinking.  But I wouldn’t have the bad breeding to post snide comments.  Unless of course, you are my sister, in which case I would tell her she was being bonkers.    

Scot's wonderful red pants!  And that rug in his office! via

I follow Scot precisely for his vision and for his taste.  We are like-minded in our aesthetics but he has the added experience, confidence, and self-assurance to sport any of the looks that he has pinned.  And that is why I follow his boards and read his blog - The Adventures of Tartanscot.  He inspires me to push beyond my comfort zone.  And I haven't even touched on his amazing work.

his bedroom!  look at all the details.  via
a small sampling of his shoe collection.  dying over here.  via

Scot and his friends at home as featured in Rue Magazine

In an homage to Scot, I donned a bright and cheery outfit the other day complete with loafers sans socks. Scot, if we lived in the same city, I would give you a big momma hug for always displaying such style and grace.  Then I would squeal with delight over your red pants and not so subtly beg an invitation to your next holiday fete.  Who wouldn't want to be smashed in the middle of these jolly gents having a laugh?!

no socks!

If only I had a bright colored pant-yellow or minty green!
And why do I look possessed?!

Every time I try to photograph myself it ends
in peals of laughter over my ridiculous faces.
What is up with that dang eye?!

So, I say THUMBS DOWN to petty comments on Pinterest.  And I say THUMBS UP to men wearing shoes without socks AND women!  What do you say? Have you encountered any mean comments on your boards?

kisses,  mrs. V