October 31, 2011

The Great Zucchini Bread Experiment...

One of my favorite things about late summer/early fall is the "harvest" or in my case picking through whatever my parents either haven't eaten or are sicking of eating from their annual garden. My favorite is snagging an over grown zucchini that isn't good for anything but making baked goods with (or slicing it up, battering it and frying it... but that's a whole other post). So back to Bread... I'm a huge fan of making quick breads like banana bread or zucchini bread mostly cause they're easy. No yeast to kill, or waiting for it to rise hoping you didn't screw it up and kneading bread sucks. I'm all about the mix and bake variety. This time though I decided to try a new recipe and compare it to my good ole trusty one. so compare.

the first is from my good friend Betty Crocker, the other a little more fancy. Major difference in the second is the sour cream and orange zest oh and the call for a "topping" that I nixed. Anyhoo I gathered my ingredients.

ha! I realized It's practically an ad for the "Great Value" brand... you're welcome Wal-Mart

and went to work. I mixed up separate batches of both recipes and once in the pans you could tell the difference by the color variation. Quick tip... aside from greasing and flouring the pans I lined the bottoms with a strip of parchment paper to ensure they didn't stick when removing them from the pans. best trick ever. 

not the greatest picture I realize but one side the batter is darker then the other
once baked up you could see the difference a little better. 

the mini loaf pan is one of my favorites right next to my mini cupcake pan
after about an hour I had this...

After trying slices of each you could tell a few differences. The Orange scented bread really did smell like oranges and it was dare you say more "moist" then its Betty Crocker counterpart. I think Betty cooked up better and was a sturdier loaf but all in all they were both good and I would use either recipe again. I wish I had more user input, maybe done more of a taste test lol, but lets be honest I don't know many people in Logan. The day after I made the bread I did head to Salt Lake for a few days and brought some with me for my family and a friend (Jen- you never did tell me which you liked best lol) but I think they were just stoked to get baked goods that deciding which was better wasn't their first priority... eating it was. If anyone wants to know more info on the recipes etc. just hit me up I'm happy to pass it along... 

October 25, 2011

Tis the Season...

mmmmm.... I don't like the real stuff but this make my heart happy...

October 24, 2011

Let There be Light

... and a decent one at that. So revisiting the kitchen... I'm not very good at taking before pictures if you haven't noticed but from this picture from this post you can sort of see our spaceship of a light fixture over the table.

I also was not a fan of that. After given the opportunity to change it out I jumped and the chance and while on an outing to my favorite Swedish furniture store picked up this dandy.

We had Clint's parents over for dinner the other night and had them help us instal it. The process seemed easy enough but having never really dealt with electrical stuff thought it would be best left to some one who had a little experience. After a few moments with a screw driver, some wire cutters and a flashlight we had this

I think its perfect. Fits the space just as I had envisioned

would have closed the door but the animals were too busy staring at sheep
and looks good with the yellow wall...

Next up in the kitchen... refinishing the cabinets with this


My mom just used it on her cabinets and they look great. Ours right now are the yellow-ey oak with horrible brass knobs. we picked up the dark kit (the light kit is shown above) and had it tinted dark brown (chocolate to be exact) This could get interesting... wish me luck (when I get around to it... though this project is creeping up the list)

October 23, 2011

If You Can't Buy It... Paint It!

Okay that doesn't always work but in this case it did.... After we decided on wood floors for the living room we knew we'd need to get a rug to put down. After a brief search I stumbled upon this beauty at West Elm.

I was in love. the colors the shape everything was perfect, well almost everything. After realizing the price was a bit out of our budget we settled on a rug from Home Depot that was half the price. I was a bit heart broken as I was sure that rug was meant to be in our room. So.... I got creative (as I often do) and ran to the store to pick up a few supplies and after some tedious moments with a blank canvas and some pattern tape I came up with this...

I printed off a picture of the rug and laid down the tape lines accordingly. I then went on to mix and match paint to match the colors of the rug, though you could use any colors really. After the fact I realized it would have been easier to paint the whole canvas the neutral color between the color blocks since I didn't want to leave it white and it was a pain to go back in and cut the lines, but lesson learned I guess. 

The finished product now resides in the living room on the shelves above the couch. Styled with a few trinkets that were in my old apartment and a few new additions. I feel pretty good about it. It is a good substitute for the rug and the kaleidoscope pattern makes for interesting custom artwork and the cost of supplies (about $10 for the canvas and the pattern tape) was a steal in comparison to a $400 rug that my cat would have probably puked on anyway :) I guess the moral of this post is that if you like something that is out of reach like an expensive rug or painting or print... don't be afraid at trying your hand at reproducing it. You don't have to be an artist to make art and in the end I think it will mean more to you then dropping the money on the original item.  

October 21, 2011

Craft Time!!

As I continue to get things situated in the living room it occurred to me there were not many actually crafty touches. I'm a semi crafty girl but I'm not in to super cutesie over the top craft things I was aching to do something that would fit our style just right. So I made these...

Following this post at a favorite blog of mine. I followed the steps, and as you can see are actually super easy,I didn't make my leaves as big and I wish I'd used a heavier wire but all in all I think they turned out really pretty. I arranged them in my most favorite Anthropologie vase, that was a house warming gift from my sister and viola! they are now sitting on top a bookcase from my old apartment that houses our media collection.

I think it adds just the right touch. I've styled it with some candlesticks, an Ikea mirror, my deer plate from Park City that I picked up here, a picture from the first night me and the F-hub first really talked (Happy New Year indeed) and a picture of a historical church  (though not really sure which one) from our trip to Boston.

On the wall above it is a print I picked up on a trip to Seattle at the University of Washington Bookstore of Mt. Rainier. I try to surround myself with the things that make me happy, in life and when decorating. I think this little snippet of the living room is a good example of that. It's about the only part of the living room finishing touches I feel is finished and it def makes me happy happy every time I look at it. 

I've got more planned for the living room and can't wait to update on my latest project!

October 20, 2011

New Neighbors

Albeit temporary I'm sure. Was a fun view out the back door this morning....

Someone has never seen them. he was mesmerized.

October 19, 2011

Fabric Frenzy

So many people have told me that wedding planning can be so stressful. So far I haven't experiences that granted I gave myself plenty of time so right now after planning the big stuff, location, dress, photographer band, it's just been working on the details- which is my favorite part. So colors. these are what we're going with ( and by we, I mean ones that I've chosen and Clint is going along with lol)

With our giving too much away as far as what is what, I want it to be a pretty neutral setting with greens, and a pops of teal. It is a mountain wedding and I didn't want the color scheme to look out of place- plus hot pinks etc just aren't my thing. I will be doing a lot of the finishing touches myself, including certain fabric elements. This led me to spend a few hours one night looking at fabric swatches online and I came up with this...

I'm loving the teal Ikat (second one in top left and mid top right) and am having an affair with the chevron print (bottom left) but there are so many to work with. I'm thinking I'll narrow it down to 3 or so, I don't want it to be too visually assaulting and all over the place.But since the base fabric will be either burlap or a raw linen I want the others to be fun and more of a statement. I have my favorites... but what do you all think (and by all I'm asking the 6 or so followers I have lol... or those that want to start following... :) ) I'd love to hear your opinions!!

October 18, 2011

The Living Room....

So prior to me making the big move, the F-Hub (Future Husband) and I decided that because I'm coming with baggage in the form of four legged friends, one of which had already taken a liken to digging in the carpet in the living room and the other an allergy issue for family, that we would replace the carpet in the living room with wood floors (of the pergo variety). The carpet was new when the F-Hub moved in a few months ago but we thought replacing it would be a better alternative to what I was bringing to the table (oh I brought the table too) so we started with this...
Brown, not bad but...

We went to Home depot and checked out our options. We both decided on a Walnut Stain and we ended up with this...

soo much better...

I love the look of wood but it can come across cold and uninviting so of course we needed to add some sort of floor covering. We found this...once again at our local Home Depot. It was a great price for the size (8x10 ft) it wasn't my first choice but at half the price of the one I lusted over it's a close second.

and though it looks like if covers the whole floor it does not. the pattern gives it dimension and some class without being too much in the space.

 after shuffling the couches around to get the rug in we finally moved them back in, thank goodness it's a sectional otherwise it wouldn't have happened.

and I realize these are not the best pics but my phone is always
 handy, with out it I fear I wouldn't have pictures of anything.  

Pay no attention to the curtains as those are on their way out. Soon to be replaced with a set I got at my favorite Swedish store. I'm sticking with  blue/grey/neutral tones in this room. Re-using a few things from my old place with out just recreating the same space. Stay tuned for more as it all comes together, including DIY art, and furniture styling and my favorite NEW PILLOWS :).

October 14, 2011

The Kitchen...

made me so angry every time I went in. I figured since I would be in this space the most it needed to be a place that was soothing and conducive to culinary crafting. Which is why this... would ... not ... do.

never mind the mess... but this is what we started with

I am not a red accent wall kind of person. Some people are and it looks great in their homes, but I am not. The only thing it represented was my anger for it. and to add to it the half bath off the kitchen was painted to match. Anger, Anger, Anger. I'm a firm believer that colors can change your mood. and this red would not do. so... we painted. First the bathroom, we used the existing tan left over from the other 3 walls in the kitchen
no one looks good with a red background

primed and painted... and so much better!

We then moved on to the kitchen now I think the F-Hub took a risk letting me insist on the paint color... cause I'm pretty sure most men wouldn't be down with yellow, well officially it's called Tahini by one Ms. Martha Stewart herself, but this is what we did... and bless his heart he actually did most the painting since I was still technically living in Salt Lake.

we also took down a cabinet over the bar... but here is the final color

There is a lot left to do, we have plans to refinish the cabinets, change out the hardware, hang some shelves where the cupboard was, new counter tops and a tile backspash, and change out the light over the table so it is, as much is... a work in progress. but I love how the color turned out its much more inviting and warm and a place I don't mind being in. I can't wait to update on its progress.

October 13, 2011

What in the world...

have I been up to. Recap! so I quit my job. yep finally just up and did it. OK it wasn't that spontaneous but it went against my logical sense of self to do so with out something in place... turns out I do have something... an incredible loving and caring man who wants to take care of me and was willing to let me leave and have the time to start a life together. of course the trade off was moving in with him... but I think I'm living the best of both worlds.
there it goes six years all in a 10 ft truck...

So a little about my former place of employment. I HATED it. The saddest thing was that it wasn't the work that I hated, or the clients or anything of the like. It was the inner office politics bullsheesh that I grew to disdain. But the things I learned I would not change so I am increasingly grateful for the crappy environment and the people/mostly person, that I refuse to believe were motivated by anything other then personal feelings and the worst part of human nature. I'm grateful because it made me question everything I thought I knew about myself and what I wanted. I used to think I was meant to be this high functioning career woman living it up in the city, independent and resilient (well I'm still resilient) but after my taste of that kind of life I realized it didn't make me happy.I gave it all back. the job, the city traded, it in for the best thing... Love. I gave in to the most powerful emotion on earth and couldn't be happier. the quitting was easy, the packing was a pain, the moving was a whirlwind, the unpacking a breeze and setting up a home a dream. It's funny how life works out maybe not the way you planned... but usually the way it's supposed to, and i have never been more certain about my future.

Took a break from unpacking and took in the view from the backdoor... after the first "snow" of the year... didn't show up too great but on the right side there is a rainbow... how perfect.