Friday, August 30, 2013

Moving Day

It turns out that the redirect function on blogspot is pretty awful and most unhelpful. Drat. So instead, here is a link to the new blog. This site will stay active and you can revisit old content.

Or, you can go to Once on the site, there are a multitude of options for staying connected. Twitter? Facebook? Email? RSS? Bloglovin'? Instagram? Pinterest? You name it, we've got it. So hop on over and get started! Can't wait to see you there.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Ladies and Gents, Hold on to Your Seats

Things are about to get rowdy up in here. Ok, maybe rowdy is pushing it a bit. But there are some serious changes coming to this blog. I've been thinking about all of this for quite some time and I hope you will be as excited as I am.

I should give you a little bit of back story I suppose. I am incredibly impetuous. Once an idea pops into my head, I usually just go full steam ahead. This condition should not be confused with spontaneity. I'm not great with that, but I'm working on it. Instead, I tend to get so excited about things, that I don't think them through or way all of the options. For example, if I have a present for someone I'm super excited about, I just want to give it to them right now, even if their birthday is tomorrow or it's not yet Christmas. I can't help myself. The same thing sort of happened with this blog (and the previous one, if I'm being honest). I got so excited about the idea, that I didn't think through the layout or the name or the concept. And as a result, after just a little bit of time, I found myself really dissatisfied. Pigeon-holed.

Not to mention, I don't feel like this blog is accurately representing my intentions, the time commitment, or my goals. Searching for recipes or projects isn't easy, and it was looking and sounding too adolescent. Plus, I'd really like to own the site, so I can have flexibility to do whatever I want. So fiance and I talked about it for a while, brainstormed for a while longer, and finally came up with a concept I like. Something that can grow with me for a long time and give me the freedom to pursue whatever strikes my fancy.

That being said, I know a lot of you have already patiently accepted a blog change once before. So this one will be different. Starting tomorrow, this link will take you directly to the new site. This link will continue to work and you won't have to remember a new URL. I'm working on transferring all of my old goodies into a new recipe archive and house section. There will also be a link that will take you back to the archive on this blog if you are feeling nostalgic.

For those of you that typically find my posts through facebook, there will be some changes there too. I've created a page for the new blog. I will be posting all of the new posts on that page. If you "like" the page, then all of the posts will pop up on your news feed just like before. Hopefully it will go smoothly and you will have no trouble finding what you want.

Tomorrow, I will have an introduction post that shows you where to go to find the facebook page and will include a link to the archives.

To go along with the new site and format, I do have a few new goals for myself.

1. Continue to blog regularly. Right now I post at least three times a week. I'd like to either maintain that pace or up it to 4-5 times a week. We shall see how it goes.

2. Don't be afraid to try new things. I started my very first blog as a way to challenge myself to cook more. I incorporated the house projects as a way to monitor my progress and spark creativity. I'd like to continue to expand that into personal style and design. I make no claims to be an expert. Instead, I think by putting my creations out into the world, I force myself to go beyond my comfort zone. Rather than buying new things, see what I can make with what I have. That sort of thing.

3. Have my product reflect my intentions and commitment. I want the blog to reflect the energy and thought I put into it. It should really look more professional.

4. Interact more with my readers. I know I have a steady audience, but I want to know what you all think. Usually my friends and family comment on facebook or text me. I love that feedback, but I want to make the comment section more user friendly, so people who don't know me personally have a space to ask questions or reach out if they feel so inclined.

I think four goals are good for now. I can't wait for tomorrow to share with you all of our hard work!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Goldilocks in Our Office

Back in June when we got the office in order, we put everything in a place so that fiance would be able to study for the bar and I would be able to do summer work. He brought over his old office chair and we dealt with the layout. But I wasn't super thrilled. My desk was in the corner away from the window and my monitor blocked all of the light. It felt cave-like. I am incredible sensitive to natural light and when I don't have it, I get grumpy. So once the exam was over, we switched around the layout and got fiance a new office chair.

The old office chair was too stiff. My chair is too low for fiance, but this one was just right. You can also see how we moved over his desk to the left corner.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Help Yourself to the Buffet

The dining room was one of those places in the house that we knew what we wanted almost immediately. Some of the other rooms didn't provide such clarity. We lived in the living room for a while before figuring out a floor plan that made sense for us and looked pretty. But the dining room was pretty clear. We eat there and store stuff. We had the table, we needed a buffet, a rug, and the bar. However, a lot of those purchases weren't immediately necessary. Rugs were easier to justify because they will save the floors. And a couch was more important because we use it all the time. So when the need for fiance to study for the bar cramped our house purchases, the dining room projects had to wait. That was ok with us because we didn't have any guests staying at the home and were happy to save money for a little while.

However, now that the bar is over and we had out-of-town guests coming to stay with us, these projects on our to-do list took on more urgency. So about a week and a half ago, we visited this amazing store called Nadeau. It is easily one of my favorite stores. if you haven't been, you should. It's a small chain with stores in lots of cities, but you'd never know it. They import furniture from all over the world and it's all original and all incredibly well priced (our buffet was a better price that most at big box store's like Bob's. Plus it's solid wood).

Friday, August 23, 2013

Girls and Their Shoes

What else can I say? Like so many other women before me and so many yet to come, I have a bit of a thing for shoes. Oops. When I came to see the home during the inspection and I saw the sitting room, I gasped. There is a tiny closet in the corner of the room. It's too small to hang clothes and that wouldn't make much sense given the shelves. But a linen closet doesn't really make sense either, because there is another closet in the hallway that's much more accessible. No. This closet is for shoes. All shoes.

As amazing as that sounds, and believe me, it is, it actually wasn't organized that well. There were a few shelves, but then a really high space in the bottom. Give that I have a pretty sizable shoe collection, I wanted to add a few more shelves. So we started by installing a few L brackets. I measured the height of both shelves, traced a pencil line, and then screwed in the brackets.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

You Get What You Pay For

There are some really interesting things about house ownership that I've discovered over the last few months. Maybe I should change that to first time home ownership. It has an interesting way of humbling you. Just when you think you've got it figured out and confidence is high, another development presents itself and you are back to feeling completely ignorant. Like the time we finally managed to get the supports for a curtain rod hung (after several trips to the hardware store and much procrastinating) only to realize I had bought the wrong size rod. It was too short. (Insert massively inappropriate joke here). Such a wah wah moment.

It also has a way of reminding you of things you knew, but forgot along the way. For example, cutting corners is almost always a bad idea. And, today's lesson, you get what you pay for. When we first moved in, every window was covered in old, dusty plastic blinds. We were grateful to have anything on the windows, but the off-white, dirty nasty things have to go. So we've been slowly replacing them. Oh, and did I mention that they didn't keep much light out? We could tolerate that in the living room, but in the bedroom it was a downright disaster, especially since the sun basically rises into our windows.

I managed to pin up my old black out drapes over two of the windows until we could come up with an acceptable solution. It wasn't the prettiest, but it allowed for some sleep at least.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Veggie Pasta

I do my very best to keep this blog as honest as possible. I try to share failures, as well as successes, and all things in between. I don't suggest you make my failures, but I think it's important to show that massive, ridiculous catastrophes happen to everyone. Need convincing? See the melted caramel episode of April 2013 here.

Anyways, this recipe falls somewhere in the middle. The final product was delicious and I think it would have been amazing if we hadn't made a huge rookie mistake. I'm really not sure how it happened. Basically, we found a recipe that we liked from Chef John and then adapted it to fit our needs and wants. However, I guess something got lost in translation when we added the entire box of cooked pasta, rather than just a few cups. Oops. Using some tomato paste, water, additional garlic, and green bell pepper we managed to triage the situation and the final result was quite good. So here is your cooking lesson for the day. You don't always need to give up on a dish. Sometimes, it just requires a little creativity, extra ingredients, and sense of humor and everything will work out fine!

Oh, I should also say, we used the fresh tomato sauce I talked about last week for this meal. It worked great! But you could also use jarred sauce, or even just tomato paste brought back to life with some water and herbs.