Google+ Nine Red: November 2013

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Thanksgiving Food: Stuffins!

Happy Thanksgiving Week!  It's already here & I'm starving. This year we're going over to my Grandma's, where we'll have a huge group getting together.  I've been assigned stuffing, and I immediately thought of all the recipes I've seen for Stuffing Muffins. Which, for some reason, no one calls "Stuffins" - so, I guess I will.
If you're looking for a different way to serve stuffing this year, try these out! I've had them before and they are delicious, plus so easy to serve.  I found this Apple & Onion Stuffing recipe on the Food Network, from Rachel Ray & comes complete with video.  But of course, I figured I'd search around other blogs to see what real people did & how it all worked out.   Here's some varieties I found, that ALL look delightful:

It doesn't seem like rocket science really, but there are some tips to getting your stuffins to have crispy outsides so they don't fall apart, while maintaining a soft interior.   If you're in a hurry and don't want to click around, let me just embed this video for you (sorry email readers, vids might not show up in your inbox)

With that, I have to go face the crowds in the grocery stores & get my shopping done. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving & if you're not hosting, drive safe! Oh - here's one more recipe idea for the holiday, last year I was really into this Gnocchi & Butternut Squash with Sage recipe. It's amazing...


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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Maker Collection on Hatch

Hello everyone!  Well, I didn't get the bathroom completely finished before Ralph's Mom visited - not because I didn't WANT to.. but the mirror we got cut still isn't ready (was supposed to be ready last Wednesday!), so that held things up... and I made a major amazon boo-boo. I was supposed to order TWO boxes of peel & stick flooring (went with these cool spruce silver planks), but forgot to update the quantity in my shopping cart - so when 1 box showed up, that too got put on hold.  So in the meantime I'm staying busy with string orders & I was offered the opportunity to curate a collection on Hatch! For those that don't know about the switch yet, Hatch is now the new name for what was Makeably, and I've loved to see their growth and progress since they launched.   I had zero direction when I started browsing around Hatch for the collection, but as I pinned & picked my favorites it was pretty clear where things were headed; Colorful & Modern.  Not too surprised...

Here's a sneak:
You can find so many fun things on Hatch! I love the concept too, working together to make custom goods, customer & maker - as a team.  Check it out on Hatch, and have fun browsing.  

Happy Tuesday, it looks like it's finally going to rain here! So cozy.....


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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Downstairs Bathroom Update

Yes - I've been bad about posting, things have been crazy! We opened up a can of worms when we said "Oh, let's just paint that downstairs bathroom real quick".  I showed you some of the pictures in last week's post, and as all projects seem to go, a simple paint job unleashed a long list of to-do's.  Suddenly new towel racks, flooring, mirrors, light fixtures & even a special ceiling treatment were in order.  And guess what? Ralph's mom is visiting this weekend and I would LOVE to be finished by then. Our downstairs looks like it's been turned upside down. But in the end, going the extra distance for the details we know we want will be worth it, because you know how it goes - once you move on to another project, it's likely going to be a loooong time before you backtrack to add the details to a chapter you already closed.

So here's a little peak at the changes so far, and as soon as we're done I'll have tons of tutorials for this room.  We started with:
 Ugh.... then we started in with some dramatic dark grey paint. I know the room is tiny, but the plan is (and hopefully arriving today!) to have a large wood framed mirror & matching mantle across the back wall there.
Now, it's kind of hard to see the grey, (gray?) because of the nasty fluorescent light....
It's darker in person, and less shiny... and less blue. Say goodbye to this light:
.......and say hello to this one:
It might be hard to see the potential in this light, but I know something is in there. I snagged it at a thrift shop. We've been toying around with ideas, and I think the inside will be a summer squash yellow & the outside a light grey. Very clean & simple, two tone, and hanging centered on the back wall of the bathroom.  It might look good, and it might go horribly wrong... (I'm not completely convinced yet myself!).  But at $15 it's worth a try.  There was part of me that wanted the inside to be like a disco ball, but .... meh?

We needed a towel rack, and it - just like everything else - went and got all elaborate on me.  It started simple, "buy a towel rack. Oh, paint it copper... oh wait, we should paint some pipe copper, oh wait - we should make it OUT of copper.  Oooh, it should be really big!" Yea, so that's what happened:
I didn't even go look at what "normal" towel racks cost, because I'm sure it would make me rethink this plan. This puppy weighs in at about $25, but once I saw the finished product, I was fine with that.
Definitely have a tutorial on that, it was simple. No soldering either!
***Update, tutorial posted!***

And sidenote: for some reason we decided tackling the downstairs closet at the same time as the bathroom was some sort of genius idea, so we have not one but TWO projects to wrap up. Right Now.

This closet had no shelves. no bars, nothing. So we started adding rails:
Then plain old plywood shelves:
And a few more:
And even with all the measurements, we of course found out that the walls are not perfectly straight, and some shelves fit & some don't.  Yay! So we have to come back and make a few repairs, but all in all - I'm thrilled to have some very simple shelving in this closet, and I have to keep reminding myself that it's just storage.  Functional, simple storage. I can't help but want to make it cute, but there's just no time right now.

So that's where we are right now. It's Wednesday, Ralph's mom comes Friday, and I'd like to get these things done:
Here's a glimpse of the Pin-board too, in case you missed it:

Wish me luck! What about you, taking on any crazy projects this time of year? Is Thanksgiving really around the corner?

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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Warming up the Nest

Alright, last week was wild! We've had a ton of work going on around the house, getting ready for the inevitable winter. So we sprang for it, hiring a few people to do a few jobs we admitted we couldn't do ourselves. Gotta know when to call it, right? Mainly the retaining wall & a forced air heater.

The retaining wall in our driveway has been on the ever-growing to-do list since day 1, but as we began to dig at it... we realized it was a job for a professional. This puppy was going to be about 5 feet tall, and hold up a huge hill... not something you want to mess up!  So we sprang for it, and this guy is doing an amazing job in 1/100th of the time we could have done a so-so job.
This is at the top of our driveway, which is already up a steep hill.  They're only half done, and still need to add the stairs so we can get in this side of the house. But wow...
It's been fun to watch (and learn) as they dig & build this wall, and I'm happy we chose a pro. That's a huge hill! I feel confident we could do much, much smaller ones around the yard.. mainly for creating level areas for planting.  I can't decide if we'll paint this wall white like we did with our other retaining walls... (from this post).

While all this digging & building was going on, we also had our heater installed. We have not had a normal, forced air heater in.... 10 years? 12 years? It's always been wall heaters, and let me tell you - this is amazing! It feels SO GOOD to not be typing to you right now with gloves on. Ha! My favorite, favorite part about the system.. is the Nest thermostat.  I knoooow, expensive thermostat, but you know what? They were going to charge us $150 for a traditional thermostat that are SO confusing to use.  The Nest? Easiest thing ever... and was only a little more.  Disclaimer, I am NOT being paid or compensated to talk about the Nest, I'm just seriously thrilled with this thing... 
It's sleek, it's easy to use (turn the dial!) and it programs ITSELF. Yep... using algorithms and motion sensors, it figures out when you are & aren't home, what temperatures you tend to set it to & when, and eventually just starts doing it all by itself.
Oh... and it's on our WiFi network.  My nerd side was thrilled when we realized we can access this thing from our phones, tablets, laptops... and from anywhere.  Coming home early? Tell the nest to get the house warmed up.  Ah... technology.. ! 

So while all this work was being done, we felt pretty restless and decided to start tackling our really gross downstairs.  I've talked about the issues downstairs before (see this post) - mainly, it acts like a basement, and gets moist & stale, bleh.  Plus, whoever built this place made some pretty interesting decisions. For starters, the bathroom:
I am not proud of this bathroom, and I'm only showing these pictures in hopes that once we are done, we'll have a beautiful AFTER picture.. For now? yikes.  Those squares on the wall were a crooked particle board mirror cabinet, and some ridiculous towel & spice rack combo that held absolutely nothing. Note the gorgeous fluorescent light fixture. You know how I love those.... *barf*
Do you love our dirty peel & stick floor? Do you love that there is no door? Exactly.  Hey, I have nothing against peel & stick floors, they've come a long way, but this one was done wrong, and there are gaps, etc. etc.  The door thing?  There used to be a dirty.. dirty...(don't want to even think why) plastic accordion door here that we should have torn out once we signed the papers on this place. Magically it lasted a year here, because Ralph & I pretty much pretended this part of the house didn't even exist.  But with our stairs missing on the side, we've been entering this room (technically our first floor, and future front door) so it's been brought back into the mix.

With that, I'm going to wrap this up so I can get down there and tape. This is a before & after work type project, so every minute counts.  We're heading down the dark grey, light grey, whites & woods road with this one. Keepin' it clean but still a little dramatic, and a pop of yellow! We want to give it a new look, for a low price, without having to change anything major (plumbing fixtures are stayin' put for now!). Check out my Pinterest board if you want to browse the inspiration, here's a snapshot:

To Do List:
We have a lot of work to do, but it's cold out so we're inside anyway.  Nice & toasty inside might I add, finally! What are your upcoming fall & winter projects?

Have a good one, 


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