Friday, January 25, 2013

baby, it's cold outside

This week began, and is ending, with a big fat FAIL. Getting this post done with be the crowning achievement of my week. We are all sick. The little guy is the worst off and yet still seems to have the energy of ten men, I wish I could say the same. 

That being said, NOTHING is getting done this week. The studio is silent and our home projects lay in limbo.

 So, I guess it's a good week for it to freeze and snow, and snow some more. We are stuck in the house anyway. 

And it is so lovely to look at....

...and play in.

Desmond is drawn to our fire pit on any normal day, but clearing the snow from it brought extra joy.

I am more focused on cooking us some warm and delicious meals. Did you hear the record scratch?
That's right, I'm cooking!

I am one of those lucky ladies who has a husband who cooks. In fact he cooks every meal, mostly because he's just better at it. Every now and then I find a recipe that I excel at and in the last couple of months there have been two, hooray.

The first is a four ingredient chicken chili. I got the recipe from the Land of Nod blog here.
It's super easy and uses leftover chicken, oh, and it's delicious. I whip up some corn bread for a side, because I do bake, and it's a meal that makes me smile.

My other new favorite is a turkey soup. We have lots of turkey leftover from Thanksgiving and I find that it tastes a little dry after freezing. This is a fantastic way to bring it back to life, um... you know what I mean. 

I found the original recipe at Real Simple, here, and it's pretty forgiving if you want to add any other leftovers from your fridge or favorite herbs. I'm thinking about cooking up some tonight.

I love both recipes so much that I have even started freezing the chicken stock I make in the appropriate measurements for each.

So, to sum up : we're all sick, it's cold and snowy outside, mama's going to cook something warm and delicious. Yep, that sounds good. What are you all doing to keep warm and healthy?

Thursday, January 17, 2013

the BIG three

I never make New Year's resolutions, so it's funny that I not only have them for myself this year but Dana and I also have them for the house. Three BIG projects that we would love to see attended to by the end of 2013 and fully expect to fail spectacularly at.

Here they are, being put out onto the inter-web to hold us accountable.


Our pea-greenish living room didn't really bother us much until we saw it in the bar post pics. Wow, I can't believe how drained of life our living room is, so sad. 

I wonder if the former owner's had any painter's remorse about this? Probably not, I don't think they had any remorse about painting over ALL of the switches and outlets either. 

Ahhhhh, the crackle finish.
Someone loved this look so much it appears in the guest bathroom AND our entryway. Hooray for the power sander my folks got us for christmas.


We've already got a jump on this project as you saw in this post.
It may look like we're almost there but what you can't see in this picture is the sink set into that bar. Sinks come with plumbing. 

Yep, this project comes complete with plumbing, electrical, and drywall work before we even get to halfway. Do you see how we might fail spectacularly yet? 


Let me start by explaining that at some point in the last 25 years someone turned this garage into a living space...poorly. The floor is the original GARAGE FLOOR... I think that sets the stage for why this room is on our hit list.

It is currently my studio and part storage for future yard sale items. Not to mention a catch-all for homeless objects. It is a large room and we would really like to be utilizing this space in our home.

This is starting to feel like biting off more than we can chew, but hey, we're game.
You should settle in and get ready to watch us FAIL SPECTACULARLY!!!

Friday, January 11, 2013

raising the bar

I don't know if I've ever mentioned it, but our house HAS A BAR IN IT. 

From the moment we toured the house it was on the list to be removed and the nook transformed into something we could actually use. Between the bar, and the multiple whirlpool tubs, I'm not sure if our house was built by a bachelor or swingers.

For us, it has mostly been a surface that collects junk and objects we want to keep away from Desmond.    We were pretty sure there was no floor underneath, i.e., expensive fix, but as we are entering into our 3rd year here it was time for the party to end.

With my family in town for the holidays we had extra brute strength in the house, despite Dana being sick (the first of us to fall), I took the reigns and we got this job done.

Our house also has some mysterious stained glass pieces. The bar top happens to be the most attractive of it, so my dad and I very carefully salvaged it all for the future when I can figure out what I'm going to do with it. Hmmmm, we call that the never list, but I like to be optimistic.

After a lot of piece-by-piece demo to salvage what we wanted and also not damage our house, we were able to slide the bar away from the wall. That's right, I said SLIDE. As in...

There was floor underneath!!!
Holy House Miracle!!! I never thought I would get to experience a moment when something went right around here (house-wise that it.) Even the difference in floor tone couldn't get me down, it will even out in time. We had just saved A LOT of money. Wow, had we known we would have started this project two years ago.

Alas, with the sweet comes the sour. We also discovered some serious jacked up drywall and outlet that someone in the 80's had decided to put IN the bar. However this is a much easier, and less expensive, fix than new flooring and it wasn't going to get us down.

Oh, that's my big brother, hanging around to make fun of me while he waited for his biceps to be of service. 

Yep, I realize I'm the only one working here.

So there she is. Stripped of her reuseable parts and waiting to be hauled outside and demoed some my anxiously awaiting brother.

Yes, the neighbors were watching from their windows. Now they won't have to ask "Is that bar still in your house?"

Yay!!! Finally out of our house.

Due to the frigid rain that was falling, the men folk carted it off to the covered carport for her final demolition. They needed to make her "car sized" so we could take her to the dump.

My brother helped me haul two trips of bar debris and miscellany to the county dump. It was just like when we were kids riding along with my dad. Only this time no one would yell at us for cutting up or laughing too much, because apparently that sort of thing isn't allowed in front of the garbage.

It was the best time we've had together in years

And then I got to come home to this. 
My mother had swept up the remaining mess and I only had to find homes for our various clutter.

For now, half of the bar is gone, the big part that was invading our living room. YAY!!!
I'm hopeful that the floor continues underneath the rest of it too but I won't place any bets just yet. You all will be the first to know.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

a bustling season

I can't believe how fast the last couple of weeks have gone by and I have neglected to keep you all posted. The bustle of the season swept me away and it sure was bustling around here.

All of the making was sewn up just in time, like 2 days before christmas, and then it was on to the wrapping and arriving and eating and more arrivals and more eating and teething and colds all around and still some sniffles and departures and things are just starting to settle back into routine with this, my first post in weeks.

We had a wonderful christmas with a very happy baby who enjoyed what babies enjoy most, boxes and paper and dancing to his new records on the bibs mama made for him. It was also our first christmas in this house and december 30th marked our 2 year anniversary here.

Speaking of the house, we managed to sneak in a couple of quick house projects too with my folks here to help with the little guy. We even made a lucky house-discovery ...a true christmas miracle if I ever saw one.