Thursday, May 31, 2012

Dill Weed on my bed!

Yup, You read that right . . . I just titled a post "Dill Weed on my Bed", I should just retire from blogging right now! Hopefully the title caught your attention, in a "gee, I wonder what that's about" way and not in a "I'm going to stop following this chick . . . she's weird" way.
I'm just going to move on and start explaining before "I'm going to stop following this chick . . . she's crazy" seems like a great idea.
We picked up a new duvet and duvet cover. There are a couple of reasons why:
1) We use to have a comforter that didn't have a removable cover and because Max frequently sleeps in the bed I wanted something that was easier to wash regularly.
2) Every time I did go to wash it, I would have to take it to the laundry mat because it wouldn't fit into our washing machine. As much as I love creepy men throwing their laundry into the washing machine with my laundry (seriously that happened to me once when we were renting). I hate taking that time out of my day to trek up to the laundry mat (however, I do enjoy the outdated trashy magazines).

Our bestest friends just picked up a kind size bed and needed all new linens. They were saying that they couldn't find anything they really liked and didn't want to fork out a ton of cash for something they didn't like but had to buy.  I offered them our comforter and after a ton of dirty jokes about what was done on it/under it (we're classy like that), they took it home. I was really happy that they were able to use it, because we only used it in the winter and it was only a year old. Most secondhand stores won't take bed linens so needless to say . . . I was thrilled it wasn't ending up in the dumpster!

Now, on to our new duvet and duvet cover, ta-da:
We picked up the duvet cover from a Swedish store here in Canada called JYSK. The duvet cover with two matching shams cost $45.99. It took me forever to source a duvet cover, that didn't break the bank and wasn't made of synthetic materials. I believe that our beds should be as natural as possible! This set was made of 100% cotton!
I also love the Dill Weed pattern.
p.s. I made that quilt!! :)

But perhaps the clincher was the green dots. Join me for a trip down memory lane, remember when the living room had green and blue accents well now that it's Switzerland (all neutral), I had a few green and blue accents leftover. I was able to move the lamps into the guest room, and I'm hoping to move the rest of the green into the bedroom. 

Also in the works I'm planning to make three Euro Shams (Square pillow cases) for behind the pillows, mostly because I know how much Lee 'LOVES' throw pillows on the bed. haha NOT.
I found a green polka dot fabric, that has exactly the same shade of green as the duvet, so hopefully next week I'll get working on those!

And lastly I should take about our duvet. We went with a feather duvet. I grew up with feather duvets and I loved them. I do have some mild feather allergies, but I've always found that as long as a duvet is Hypoallergenic I'm A OK. We found our feather duvet on Overstock.com. It was a great price at just under $100 for a KING. And most importantly, it's made with an all natural chemical free 100% cotton shell.
I hope you like our Dilly Bed as much as we do! I'm working on a post about the elements of a clean, green Bed. And we just ordered our organic Latex Mattress topper!!! So excited!!! It should arrive next week!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Craft Cabinet

Part 1:
This Cabinet has a weird back story. We bought it the same week we moved in (over a year and a half ago). I originally thought we would keep all of our cookbooks in it, but they didn't all fit, and in the end we found a way better spot for them anyways. Then the cabinet lived in the third bedroom for a while. It was housing Lee's remote control car, and helicopter and airplane (geez . . . men! ;).
Finally we installed some cabinets in the garage and Lee moved his "collection" to the garage which left the Ikea Smadal Cabinet empty.
Part 2:
I wasn't LOVING the old dresser system we had going on. The dresser was really OLD and really difficult to get in and out of. The drawers were seriously sticky and damaged.

Okay, so your all caught up on how this change came around. Here's what it looks like:
In the last couple years, you might have noticed, I've taken up sewing, and i'm hoping to take up quilting (at least that's what I keep telling myself when I'm at the fabric store buying yards of fabric). So I've ended up with a lot of fabric! Tons of Fabric!!! I've had a little bit stashed here and a little bit stashed there, I'm so glad to have it all corralled in one spot! Another big bonus is that I can keep my sewing machine in there too, closed up and dust free.
The cabinet is from Ikea, it's called the Smadal. I LOVE the glass doors and I especially Loved the drawer at the bottom it was the perfect spot to hold the gift wrapping supplies like wrapping paper, tissue paper, ribbon, and gift bags!
I keep my latest knitting project inside the fabric basket at the top. The basket is from Homesense. But what I'm most in love with is the shoe box ribbon dispenser! It's from Jo Ann Fabrics and it's awesome! hehe
I hope you like our little sewing storage station as much as I do . . . I'm in LOVE!
p.s. The bow on the front was leftover from our Christmas wreath, I couldn't stand to get rid of it, so it found it's way around the door knob!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Front Porch

"I like big Ferns and I cannot lie, You other ladies can't deny. When a fern grows in with an itty bitty waist and big leaves in your face, you get Sprung."
Seriously I love me a Big Old Fern in a pot! I actually think it should be against the law to have a covered porch without a fern or two under it (maybe that's a tad dramatic).
I also think Boston Ferns are the most economical of Summer planters, you can pick one up for $10 at Home Depot, plant it in a container and your done for the whole summer.
 Boston Fern Care:
I've found the main key to growing BIG BIG ferns is WATER!!! They need so much water! Make sure your planter has adequate drainage and then water it once a day every day. On really hot summer days you might consider watering it twice a day!
I add a little compost to the top every now and again (maybe once a month) and they grow HUGE!

We recently had to add a wire trellis to the railing for our two Purple Clematis. I LOVE the huge purple flowers! I wanted to make sure they were supported but I didn't want a visible trellis, so we just attached some stainless steel wire (use stainless so it doesn't rust in the rain) to some eyelet hooks. Now we have an almost invisible trellis support system!
And lastly we added a copper Rain Chain! This one was made by Smith and Hawken, and is sold at Target for $40. Honestly I was hoping the little rain buckets went all the way down, but the Smith and Hawken version is broken up by lengths of chain. I still like it and for $40 it was by far the least expensive rain chain I've ever found.
Still lots to do on the front porch. We need to find cushions for our love seat and arm chairs. A planter full of purple flowers to tie into the clematis. And hopefully, a couple of planter boxes under the windows!!! :)

btw, I just finished organizing some of my crafty supplies in a new cabinet from Ikea! I can't wait to share tomorrow. I've spent most of this morning sitting in the guest room staring at my new craft cabinet!!

Monday, May 28, 2012

White Flowers

I finally nailed down a color scheme for the backyard flowers . . . it's WHITE. Well white and green!
No crazy earth shattering news . . . just white flowers for the backyard!
 I Love white flowers they seem so elegant to me!
We started out with a tall black planter with some pretty petunias in it. We placed it just outside the garage door! I spent all of last year looking for a tall black planter at a decent price, I finally found one at Homesense for $40.
 I love petunias, but the one thing I don't love about them in all the dead heading that goes along with them! It's easier if they're easily within reach. I once had a petunia hanging baskets and spent many hours that summer with my arms above my head trying to dead head the darn thing. Here I am dead heading away . . . 
Next we added some impatiens and alyssum in pots on the steps. I love potted flowers going down steps! Sing it with me  "Step by Step . . . ooooo baby"
We're working on phase two right now. Here's what phase one looked like:
Phase 1:
-Set up raised vegetable beds (our own little victory garden)
-Plant geraniums in pots on the back steps. 
-Plant Apple and Pear Trees. 
-Plant cedar trees. 
-Add a compost bin.  


And here's where we are on phase two.
Phase 2:
-Add large planter beside garage door. 
-Plant a shade tree at the back of the yard.
-Change out boring metal garage door, with a pretty wood and glass one.
-Add an outdoor sofa, maybe a sectional.

In phase 3 we plan on adding a small, very low deck so that we have somewhere to host a little dinner outside! But that's at least a year away . . . maybe more!

I hope you're lov'in the white as much as we are!!!

btw, did you notice our new navigation bar?? It drops down! Under cook you can find all of our recipes categorized, and under organize you can find our solutions room by room. I hope it makes finding posts easier!!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Fake Roman Blind How To:

I've finally done what I said I would do (last week) . . . I've finished my Fake Roman Blind Tutorial! yay!

Here goes nothing:
So if you take a long piece of fabric and hem the edges that's your start!! You could also use a pre made table runner if you found one the right width. If your fabric is thick (like a table runner) then you're done. If it's thin, like mine was (like quilting fabric), then you might want to line the back with some iron on interfacing!
Then you start pinching. Basically you make big loops, pinch them together and sew! Super simple! Just make sure that Each loop drops down low enough to cover the stitches of the loop below it!

For the top we attached the velcro, then made a slightly larger loop.  Of Coarse still making sure that the loop was long enough to cover the next loops stitches! 
 And lastly,
To hold the other side of the velcro on the window, we used Command Adhesive Strips!! They work great!
 Hope that Helps anyone wanting to make one for themselves!
&
Hope you have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Spring in Canada

Lee brought home a lovely bouquet of Alstromeria and Mums from the grocery store. I popped them into my favorite vase, and placed them on the coffee table.
We've had a couple of exceptionally cold Spring days here in BC, and when I saw the pretty Spring flowers, in front of our blazing fire, I thought "Doesn't that completely sum up Spring in Canada".
Once the rain cleared and we had some Sun, I moved them in front of the living room windows . . . so they could enjoy the view! ;P
Happy Spring . . . wherever you are! :)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Layered Rugs

Last weekend we had one beautiful summer day! It was sunny and warm and demanded that we pick up slurpees. I won't tell you which one of us with size 13 feet kicked over the slurpee, but it ended up on the floor . . . all over the carpet. I tried everything to get those HUGE stains out, apparently slurpees are made of Beet Juice and Red Wine.
So what to do?
-Scrap the carpet . . . we haven't really budgeted for that. We need a Big Rug in the living room . . . at least an 8' x 10' . . . and they're not cheap.
-Live with no carpet for a while, at least we could drink more slurpees in the living room.
-Buy a super cheap rug and live with it for a while. This isn't really an option I'd live with no rug before I wasted money on something I didn't like.

There was a secret 4th option . . . buy a more affordable 5' x 7' rug and layer it on top of the old rug.
The old rug is clean, just a big ol' slurpee stain on it. We found this 100% Wool rug at Homesense for $150! It's soooo plush it's crazy! I love the knotted wool.
We still haven't decided if he's staying. Frankly, I'm still not sure what I think of the whole Layered rug thing. I'm a little concerned we might trip over it. But we have 8 days to return it, so we'll give it until Friday to decide, meanwhile NO SLURPEES! :)
So I'd Love to know,  what's your take on Layered Rugs??

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

My Favorite 'Green' Book!

First off, I wanted to thank everyone for all of the amazing comments and emails from Friday's Post. I was seriously feeling the LOVE!! All weekend we walked around in a bit of a daze from all of your love and well wishes, I read every comment and email at least three times (some might say that's a bit narcissistic but it felt AMAZING!) THANK YOU!

I wanted to share my FAVORITE "Green" book with you! This is hands down MY FAVORITE!! It's so informative . . . and so inspiring. I have been running around the house making green changes for weeks now and I can't stop (Posts to Come).
I picked up The Healthy Home by Dr. Myron Wentz and Dave Wentz from the library (honestly the cover wasn't super inspiring, so really the only reason I took it home was because it was free), but I am so glad I did!
 For two weeks I completely neglected the other 5 library books I brought home and read nothing but The Healthy Home! Front to back . . . back to front and again!  I love this book so much . . . I BOUGHT IT! I had already read it for free from the library, but it was so full of amazing tips and tricks and facts that I thought it would be the PERFECT reference book to keep in the library! It lives on top of the bookcases, within easy reach!!
This has Never happened before. If I check a book out of the library I usually read it, write down the information I want from it and return it. But Two weeks with this book was not enough  . . . It's like when you meet the man of your dreams and you just want to be around him all the time. You don't want other, gasp, women checking him out and taking him home! That's how I feel about The Healthy Home . . . we're soul mates! :)

My criteria of a great Non-fiction book is one that inspires you to do something better . . .whether it's cook . . . clean . . . garden or create a healthier home, I want inspiration, with great information about why and how to do it! This Book Delivered !

I Also want you to know that I was in NO way, paid or perk'd for this review. I bought the book with my very own, hard earned blogging dollars ;) hehe. I just really believe that every home could benefit from having this book in their reference library!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Things I'm Afraid to Tell you

I Love blogs, I'm sure you do too. But the major flaw with blogging is the idea that everything is perfect, our homes, our husbands, our children . . . our lives. Everyone seems to have it all together all the time. That's why I was thrilled to see the movement among bloggers, started by Jess from Make Under My Life, to share the parts of our life that aren't so 'picture perfect'.
 So here goes nothing . . .
1) I worry A LOT! More then the average person, like way more then the average person! I blame it on my fascination with hospital dramas, like E.R. and Grey's Anatomy!  Lee is constantly telling me to relax but for some reason I feel like if I worry about it, then it won't happen . . . right?? WRONG! It's something I'm working on, but part of me thinks that this is just who I am.

2) I have a strained relationship with my in-laws. I seriously debated including this one, I think there's a fine line between airing dirty laundry and meaningful sharing. I'm sure I'm not the only one dealing with this . . . don't get me wrong, there are no screaming matches or name calling, they're nice people . . . we're nice people, we're just different. Although it's not perfect I do have a lot of respect for them . . . they did raise the most amazing man I've ever met! :)
I wanted you to know that if you're going through this too, that you're not alone.

3) I put on a much braver face then what's actually going on. If you've read about our struggles with starting a family, I always end by saying that I'm very hopeful we'll have children in the future. Most days I am very hopeful . . . but not everyday. Some days the fear creeps in, and I'm paralyzed with the thought that we may never have any children.

4) We've had some very negative comments on the blog. From time to time we get some down right nasty comments on here. I've never addressed them before because I think that when you argue back you're just giving them what they want. I've been called a twit, I've been called a Princess, Someone once emailed me to tell me that if Lee leaves me I'm screwed, I'm not sure exactly what they meant by that but I just hit the delete button. I would be lying if I said, I just let these things roll off my back, they do affect me . . . deeply sometimes. But I let out a little cry, Lee tells me he thinks I'm awesome and I move on (maybe that's what that person meant when they said I'd be screwed without Lee . . . who would tell me I'm awesome?) hehe

5) I Curse WAY more in real life then I do on the blog. Sometimes I worry that when I write it sounds like everything is all , "fudge", "fiddlesticks" and "Oh Darn". When in reality it's way closer to "Beep beep Beep beep beep I hate this Beep'in Sewing Machine . . . BEEP my life!" (in case your wondering, that was a word for word exert taken from my life).

6) I don't multitask well at all. I realize If I want children this is something I'm going to need to learn how to do, but for now . . . I had to spit my gum out to write this post . . . writing and chewing is too much multitasking for me. ;)

7) I hate my voice! You would think this would make me talk less, but apparently I don't hate it that much because I still talk A LOT! The reason we've never done a video house tour is because I'm awkward and weird. When I'm in front of a camera I get what Lee calls my phone voice, it's where my voice goes 10 octaves higher then normal and I talk really really fast! This June for our 2nd Blogaversary I'll be filming our first VLOG, a video house tour . . . please be kind! :)

8) I have two tattoos a Canadian Maple Leaf and Lee's name. Lee has one tattoo and it's my name. His is on his wrist and mine is on my hip (low on my hip . . . way too close to my butt to show to thousands of people in Internet world!). Here's Lee's:

Phew . . . all over! Oh and here's my newest addition:

9) I'll hit post on this and you'll all realize I'm Crazy ;) hehe.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Turn that Frown Upside Down

Just a quickie change-up in our downstairs hallway.
We had what can only be described as the half boob sconce. It was . . . let's just say, not our "style".
 Before:
 I was desperate to find a replacement. I went to Lowes and saw what I thought would be the perfect fixture. It had the whole oil rubbed bronze thing going on. And the linen shade was C-ute!

Turns out  there wasn't a enough room between the lamp shade and the sloped ceiling. So it looked like I might have to take it back . . . but then I "Turned that Frown, Upside Down" hehe. I flipped the sconce, so that the shade was down.
 Success!!! I think I might try to add a little diffuser to the bottom so you can't see the tiny bit of white on the inside. But we'll try that later!
For now I'm sporting my upside down frown (a big smile) over getting rid of the 'half boob' light!

btw, I'm busy working on a how to make a Fake Roman Blind post for next week. And working on a "Things I'm afraid to tell you" post for tomorrow. I hope you'll pop back and check 'em out!!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Dealing with Slugs!

I've never been very patient. Lee on the other hand, could be holding a screaming baby,  waiting for a huge document to download, while listening to my grandma talk about her bunions and still have patience to spare. I, however, have no patience at all. It's something I'm working on, but frankly, I'm getting impatient with how long it's taking ;).

Where am I going with this? We have intruders and I have completely LOST my cool when dealing with them . . . I'm talking about SLUGS!
Those slimy little (excuse my french) BASTARDS are eating my hostas!!! I tried the "beer trap" didn't work, apparently they aren't big drinkers.
I tried the upside down grapefruit half, NOTHING! (Apparently slugs will hide under the grapefruit halves to hid from the sun).
I was ready to break my Green promise to my yard and break out the hard chemicals, I wanted to NUKE those little SOBs (again excuse my language).
My mom (her thumb is so green it looks like it belongs to the hulk) suggested Epsom Salt. I was concerned that it would harm the plants but she insisted that it wouldn't, in fact some of the minerals would be good for the soil! I added a ring of salt around the base of each plant,
 and sure enough first thing the next morning I found 3 slugs under the grapefruits, hiding from the salt. We got rid of those three, since then haven't found anymore and the hostas don't look like they've incurred any more damage either.
 Hopefully that will be the end of the All you can Eat Slug Smorgasbord! Victory is Mine! hehe

Give Peas a Chance

Peas are my favorite vegetable to plant! They're so easy, they come up quick and they're delicious (the pretty flowers are a bonus too).
This will be the second year we're planting peas . . . we had so much success with last years crop I planted 3 times the amount this year! I can't help but have delusions about sitting on the front porch in rocking chairs shelling peas to freeze. In reality there are none left to freeze because we eat them all!
Check out what popped up in our vegetable beds over the weekend: 

Here's my Pea Planting Guide:
  • Soak peas overnight before planting them, to ensure good germination. Not all peas need to be soaked, check the instructions on the back of your package.
  • Plant your peas in the Spring while the soil is still cool. They can be planted up to one month before the last frost. 
  • Plant seeds approx 2 inches apart, and 1 inch deep.
  •  Peas don't do as well in really hot weather so planting early is the best way to do it. 
  • All pea varieties need some type of trellis or other support. They'll climb on anything so honestly any type of support will work (branches, metal trellis, wood trellis, a slow moving neighborhood cat, pea vines will grab on to anything!!).
  • Most importantly make sure to keep soil moist while seeds are germinating. If it didn't rain that day, you'll need to give them a watering.
  • When you see the first flowers pop out, a sprinkling of Organic Mushroom Manure gives them all the nutrients they need to produce plump pea pods.
  • When peas are ripe it's best to harvest them everyday, harvest them when the shells go waxy, but before they loose their color.
  • To save seeds, let a few pods mature and dry right on the vine, when they turn brown shell the pods and store the seeds for next years planting. You can store them for at least 3 years! 
If you have soil, sun and water you can grow peas anywhere (my sister is growing hers in containers on her balcony).
I hope you'll give 'em a try . . . they're hands down the most rewarding crop to plant!

Check back later today for another post . . . Find out what almost made me break my green promise to my yard! 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Fake Roman Blind

Sometimes Fake is Fine! As in Fur, Faux Fur is just fine, preferable to real fur in fact! Sometimes Fake is not okay, as in designer purses, or a medical degree.

 I'm not a huge fan of fake window treatments. I don't like it when there's a thin set of drapery panels on either side of a large window that clearly aren't able to cover the whole window and are just there decoratively.
So with my anti-faux stance I set out to get a custom roman blind made for our Master Bathroom window . . . a $200 quote later and suddenly faux didn't seem so bad! The window is completely frosted, you can't see in or out, I was buying a blind strictly for fashion not for function, So why not go faux (as long as it looked fully functional)!

 It was pretty easy to sew, just make a long piece of fabric with hemmed edges (if you found a table runner in the right width you could just use that). If your fabric is thin like my quilting fabric you can add some iron on interfacing to give it a little more structure.
Then sew big loops into the fabric making sure each loop covers the next loops stitches. Make one loop and sew it together at the top, then make another loop, and so on.
 Done. I lined the back of ours with a white top sheet we had lying around. While you can't see images behind the frosted glass, you can see color and I didn't want to see a burst of Orange from outside!
 We attached it to the window using velcro. That way I can take it off to wash it easily!

Total cost was:
1 yard of fabric $12.99
1 yard of interfacing $3.50
_______________________
$16.49 that's way better then $200!!!!!
So what do you think? . . . I'm loving the orange and grey combination. If I had gone with the custom roman blind for $200, I would have never had the courage to go orange, I would have done something safe like white, or grey. But because it was only $16.50 I was able to go funky and bold! If I get tired of it, another $16.50 can buy me a whole new color scheme in the bathroom!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Guest Posts

Only in blogland can a person be two places at once . . . Today I'm walking My 365 readers through a house tour.
And simultaneously giving an Organizational House Tour (all of our favorite organized spots) on 11 Magnolia Lane.
Hope you have a great weekend, I'll be busy trying to sew up a Faux-man blind . . . get it like a Roman, but a faux Roman blind . . . Fauxman!! Break out the dictionary . . . it's going in!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Fireplace How To:

First thank you so much for all of the bedroom fireplace Love! We were so thrilled to read all of your very thoughtful comments!!!

We had a lot of different options on the table when we decided to tackle the bedroom fireplace, mantle vs. no mantle, new wood vs. barn board, palette wood or construction timber? I think that the fireplace would look amazing with some old reclaimed barn boards but for the style of our home, we could only add a touch of rustic, so we choose construction timber.

Your cost will vary widely depending on where you buy your insert! We found ours on Craigslist! It's a really great option, they had TONS of fireplaces . . . literally TONS! Gas inserts, electric inserts, even some Gel Inserts.
You'll need your insert before you construct your fireplace surround because you'll need those measurements!

Next create your frame. We can't give exact measurements because they depend on the size of your insert, if you have a knowledge of framing . . . well you're ahead of the game, if you don't just make sure that the insert is supported from the bottom, we built a stand for it inside the frame (see image below), and make sure you secure it to the wall!!!
Insert the insert (haha), Place your fireplace insert into your frame!
Lastly add one last piece to the front of the fireplace, something extra to nail the facing too.
Next add all the boards to the exterior. We fastened them at each end and in the middle with brad nails.
Once the boards were up, they were primed and painted them. We found that the closest match to the Ikea bonte wardrobe was Martha Stewart's HEAVY CREAM!
Lastly we needed trim!
We used 3" baseboard for the top of the fireplace. Because our ceiling is slanted we went with really simple trim, if your ceiling is flat, some crown would look nice too.
Next we trimmed out the sides using corner molding. It's in the shape of an 'L' so it can wrap around the edges covering the unfinished ends.

Lastly, we added the 7 1/2" baseboards to the bottom of the fireplace. We also added 1" quarter round above the base, it covered a small gap between the base and the insert. It also gave a nice little detail!
We filled the nail holes on the trim, but left the nail holes on the boards. I liked how it looked a bit more rustic with the nail holes.

The whole project took Lee about 1 full day and 2 half days. The first day he framed it out, that took about 3 hours, because of our slanted ceilings it took a little bit longer then normal. The next day it took about 6 hours, securing the fireplace insert, fixing the fan, adding all of the facing. We also primed and painted the boards. The next day was about another 4 hours, attaching the trim, doing some finishing work around our existing molding, and touching up paint. Not too long at all. Like I said it might take you a bit less time if you don't have slanted ceilings to contend with.

Tools you'll need:
-A hand saw.
-A power drill and screws for the framing
-A brad nailer, although you could just use a hammer with finishing nails.

Recap:
$191.40 +  Simple tools +  14 hours  = 
I hope that answered any questions anyone had. Please if you have anymore, post a comment below and we'll answer them as best we can!!


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Mini Manor's Vegetarian Chili

This was one of those dishes that you make because it's "healthy" but then it turns out so yummy that you crave it like it was bacon.
I started making vegetarian chili because chili has always been a favorite of ours, but with ground beef it wasn't a super healthy thing to be eating frequently. We tried Turkey chili, but it wasn't fabulous. So I took one more crack at "Healthy Chili" this time Vegetarian . . . and it was AH-MAZING! We both enjoyed so much, way more then regular beef chili!
I know your scoffing at that last sentence, but honestly I've been making vegetarian chili once a week for the last 3 or 4 months! We NEVER made beef chili that often!  I Hope you'll give it a try it's truly delicious!!!!
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 large yellow onion, peeled and finely diced
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
1 rib Celery, diced
1/2 large red bell pepper, seeds and ribs removed, diced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 jalapeno sliced into large rounds (seeds and all). 
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili flakes (we like spicy chili so feel free to omit this if you don't)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 – 28-ounce can diced tomatoes with their juice
1 can of Corn
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 – 14-ounce can white kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 – 14-ounce can Red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
Big pinch coarse salt

 1)   Heat the olive oil in a medium soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, bell pepper, garlic, chili powder, cumin, and black pepper. Cook, stirring, for 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are softened. Stir to combine. 

2)    Turn the heat up to high, add the tomatoes and their juice, crushing them a bit with your wooden spoon, add beans, corn and salt, bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 40 minutes.

3)    Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 10 more minutes.

Top with a bit of sour cream, some shredded cheddar cheese and some sliced scallions!! YUMM!

So Yummy!!! Anyone else have an amazing vegetarian recipe?? We're always searching around for great veggy recipes!!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Master Bedroom Fireplace!!!!

Some Like it HOT!!!!
This is hands down my Favorite Project EVER!!! BUT . . . there were some serious moments of question. When the frame went up I thought that the fireplace insert was way too BIG. Then when the boards went up on the frame I thought the whole thing was WAY too big. Then I thought maybe it was too rustic. Lee finally just said "I'll finish it and if you don't like it we can change it but lets see this through first" who knew Lee had more faith in my vision then I did?
I'm so glad I listened to him because I am in love with our new bedroom fireplace. He did an amazing job!
AAAAhhhhhh! So cute!!
It feels so cool to add a dream house element to our master bedroom. A fireplace has always been something I wanted in the bedroom. I'm so excited to knock it off of my Household "Bucket List".
It's also really useful, because our master bedroom has 3 exterior walls, making it a bit colder then the rest of the house, our new fireplace should help keep us nice and toasty this winter.
Here's how it looks with out the art:
 and with the art:
The picture we had hanging around from before we were married. An art store near our first apartment was having a going out of business sale and I picked up this framed print for $10!! I was 19 and it was my first piece of artwork that didn't get ripped out of a magazine. We used it in our first apartment, I don't think we used it in our townhouse (if I remember correctly it lived in our storage locker in the basement). We decided that if we couldn't find a spot for it in this house it had to go. I've been searching for a place to hang it . . . I think above the fireplace is PERFECT!
The chair in the corner adds some serious softening to all of the hard lines of the fireplace! I always thought that the chair was too big for our bedroom, but now it looks like it's the right scale . . . I think anything less would have seemed teeny tiny! I love it when a plan comes together and other issues like under scaled chairs fall in line! ;)
I'm thrilled with how it all came together.

Now for COST . . . we went over budget. I was being, some might say "overly optimistic" when I declared our first budget of $150 (have you seen how much wood costs ? ? !! haha).

Here's our Budget Breakdown:
Electric Fireplace insert - $40 off Craigslist. It had a broken fan, Lee fixed it, saving us over $100.
Framing 2x4's  -  $ 35
Facing boards 1x6's  - $72
Corner Trim - $12
Bottom Baseboard trim 7 1/2" tall - $8
Quarter Round trim around baseboard - $5
Trim around Top 3" baseboard - $2.60
Trim along wall - $7.80
Kilz No VOC primer- Free
After we primed the boards we only needed a tester pot of paint! At $4 we bought Martha Stewart's HEAVY CREAM, it was a really close match to the Ikea wardrobe beside it! It was a HUGE bonus that we only had to buy a tester pot!
Misc Nails and Screw  $5
_______________________________________________________________________
Total Cost:  $191.40
We came in $41.40 over budget . . . But this is our new view from bed:
Definitely worth the extra $41.40!!!
One last look :)
 I hope you like it as much as we do!

Lee's working on a great HOW TO for later this week! It will have all the nitty gritty details, step by step!! 

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