Monday, April 30, 2007

The [great!] day must be over by now (please universe!)

I am soooooooooooo tired!

We got our keys and went to the house tonight for our pizza picnic on the floor. Dave decided we should poke a hole in the wall where the fireplace it and it turns out there is brick under the atrocious purple drywall, we are going to rip it out (it's not put up well) and have the cement rough face brick instead.

Chloe doesn't seem to like the new house, she was unsure about it. Outside she would just shake and try and get up in my arms, inside she curled up and sat in the kitchen no matter where in the house I was. I think it has to do with not smelling like us? Tomorrow I will bring her pillow for her to lay on, and spend some time playing outside to change her perception of the yard.

Earlier today I had worked at the shop and brought my new gardening book with me. On my way home I was carrying it in my arms since it didn't fit in my tote bag. I passed this totally crazy looking lady pushing a stroller with 2 cats in it, and a small suitcase on top. She asked me about my book, and when I showed it to her and explained that I was about to start my very first garden she opened her bizarre little suitcase, which was full of seed packets and picked some out for me!
She told me they were the best beginner flowers and I would not screw them up. How incredibly sweet of her! Then she told me if I ever saw her again she'd give me MORE!!

That, and the previous owner left us a congratulations on your first house card and a gorgeous little potted plant. How sweet!?!

Anyhow, I am beyond beat from waking up at 5:30 out of excitement. My body is just shaking right now... I am going to have to drag it to bed. Tomorrow is another full day!

We get our keys today!!!!!!!!!

I can't wait!! I woke up at 5:30 this morning and couldn't get back to sleep. Dave will be picking up the keys from our lawyer sometime today and we'll head over for a 2 person/1 dog pizza party tonight!

This weekend I bought pruners from home hardware (25% off!) and we did some free shopping in Dave's mom's shed. We scored a shovel, a roto tiller, a hand rake, a large brand new outdoor push broom and more. My parents have already set aside a lawn mower and other garden tool duplicates for us.
Mind you nothing fit in the car on the way home, so we are going to have to pack up Dave's dad's van, or buy a pick-up truck for the month of May. I am entirely serious when I say we nearly did by a truck for moving purposes. Dave's coworker is selling his Toyota 4x4 or some other meticulously cared for 4 wheel drive Toyota pick-up at only 1000$. In fact, I think our friend Brett will be buying it and we are just going to use it for a while......

I have plans to change the exterior of the house. We are painting out all the trim in a grey, moving the walk way and planting some shrubs. In the future when the roof needs resurfacing it will go black. Right now the house lacks a focal point and the 3 shades of white compete for your eye. The previous owner also has the original shutters for us in the garage. We may hang them again (also painted).

The other way cool thing he had for us were the original plans. Apparently he had found them in the very top of a closet. It was really neat to see them. Some things have been changed, but it's pretty much in tact as planned. The patio doors from the dining room were a window and the bathroom sink toilet and linen closet were rearranged. I am hoping to frame at least the original house drawing (one of 4 pages of drawings!) for our foyer. Again we would leave this with the house for the next owners somewhere down the line.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

awfully hungover

and I don't think the worst of it's hit me.
Lauren turns 26 today, and we celebrated last night. Drinking at her house........ the drinks don't stop. They are overfull and never stop. I am definitely feeling it right now. Gah. I may just have to crawl back into bed.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Southwest Black Bean & Potato Salad

I was craving potato salad and didn't have a recipe. I found one online that looked good, and modified it to suit what I had on hand. (Yes I actually have all those spices on hand.... my mom works for a Spice company....)

Southwest Black Bean & Potato Salad
5 medium red potatoes
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 green onion, diced
1 fresh jalapeno pepper, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon dijon mustard

1 Tbsp. Seasoning (The following mixed to taste)
Ancho Chili Powder
Chipolte Chili Powder
Garlic Powder
Celery Seeds
Crushed Red Pepper
Crushed Jalapeno Pepper

1. Place potatoes in a pot with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, and cook until tender. Drain, dice, and cool.

2. In a large bowl, mix black beans, green onions, jalapeno peppers, bell pepper. Gently mix in diced, cooled potatoes.

3. In a small bowl combine mayonnaise, sour cream, mustard, and Cajun seasoning. Pour dressing over salad and combine well. Cover, and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Banana Cupcakes!

After a gorgeous weekend, it's kind of grey out. Last night I baked some banana cupcakes, and I just frosted them this morning. I can't take a picture because it seems as the camera is still in Dave's car.

I got the recipe from (which I hate), but here it is copied out for everyone (except Lara, who hates bananas) so you don't have to navigate that wretched website. I used buttercream frosting, to which I added yellow food colour, some coconut flakes and a 1/2 tsp of lemon juice.

I didn't have cake flour so I swapped 5 tablespoons of flour for 5 tablespoons of corn startch, and I baked them for 18 minutes. It made about 19 large cupcakes.

2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup shortening
1/3 cup butter
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 1/4 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 2 medium bananas)
2 eggs

Sift together the sifted cake flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a large mixing bowl. Add shortening, butter,
buttermilk, and mashed banana; mix until moistened, then beat on low speed of electric mixer for 2 minutes. Add eggs and beat 1
minute longer. Grease 2 9-inch round or square layer cake pans and line bottoms with waxed paper. Grease waxed paper. Dived
batter into the two pans; bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes, until cake tests done. Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes in
pans; remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Final two!!

Soooooooooooo, I am going to enlarge one picture for our wall, and then I'll do more for other spaces in more moderate sizes. I can go 10x15 or 20x24, and I've seen them that size, and they look great. PLEASE, I urge you to comment. Even if you don't know me. Many Thanks!

Picture #1
Overall awesome photograph, I would love this picture even if it weren't Dave and I, the texture and background are amazing. It's personal and delightful. Is it weird that I am pulling on his coat? And you can see the part in my hair that fell out, does that bug you?

Picture #2
I look a fraction better (no double chin, you cant see stray hair), but the veil is covering more of my face (which is both nice and distracting). It's a highly romantic moment, but doesn't have the "delight" the first one does.... a feeling that really rang true for our wedding day overall. Maybe it's too personal? (Which is what I felt about all the kissing ones, I LOVE them, but would it make people uncomfortable?)

And for a wild card....

The first shot*, but in B/W? Like I said, I wonder if the kissing is too personal to blow up for our wall (over the fireplace kinda thing). You can't see either of our faces, and I suspect the leg shape of Dave's pants may bug me.
*I think the lighting is better in shot 1 than 2, that or we are a bit small. But it is generally a fave.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

seriously. Seriously.

Today, crazy drunk neighbour came over. She insisted that I "hide" her husband/partner's birthday gift for her until tomorrow. (Um, okay). She left after inviting me over for cake... But I've had her baking, so unfortunately, no, I won't be able to make it. I'm sure Dave has some other commitment.

Anyhow, seconds after leaving she knocks again, and asks to borrow our toilet, there are repairs going on in her unit, yadda yadda, so I send her in the direction of our bathroom and she heads in. WITHOUT CLOSING THE DOOR. without even attempting to close the door. I hear the toilet seat lid lift and meet the toilet tank, and run, with my little dog in arms to the furthest corner of my home.

Um, I don't have that open door peeing thing with Dave, I don't want it with you. She finishes her business, and comes to find me to ask about the inflated cushion in our tub. I reply it's an AVON product, that it's a few years old. She tells me all about her man's new work schedule, and that she think he'll need one, and invites me again for cake, which is strawberry shortcake (near my favourite), but again I reply that I'll check with Dave.

I seriously doubt we are free for cigarette smoke tanged strawberries and overcooked, stale cake. But perhaps another time? Maybe sometime in late May... just stop by......

Monday, April 16, 2007

which to enlarge?

I was thinking for our anniversary I would have some wedding pictures enlarged for our wall, but I have no idea which to choose. Thinking you are my husband, which would you like to receive? The ones in pairs were scanned that way because I am lazy, Ignore the pairings. Also, the second set lost all detail when scanned, they are really nice in person.

Think classic, the pictures your great-grandkids are going to fight over, but also not fussy. Thanks!

Friday, April 13, 2007

exchange a book swap!

My latest craftster swap (and my last for a while) was awesome! We swapped books and a single craft. I received two books, Bel Canto and Last Chance Saloon, both of which I can't wait to dive into. I also received a gorgeous pair of knit wrist cuffs I have already worn them out. detail picture below


I would love to frame these illustrations (the forerunner for fireplace decor), the colours are washed out in these pictures.

I can only afford IKEA frames right now, so here are the frames I am looking at. If I go with the birch (to match the floors) I would probably use a white mat, or I could go with the black frame (to match the frame on our our screen print from SF).... but I'm not sure.

The fireplace is being painted either brown or a pale grey/robin's egg blue (I can't find colour samples online yet). I really like red with aqua, so our furniture should match nicely, also I' kind of like pale blue at christmas for a "frosty" decor. So I'm leaning that way more than the brown.... we'll see though.

Chloe's bloomers

Here is my little dog, and her little bloomers. Poor Chloe went into heat last week, which threw a wrench in the plan for her scheduled spay this morning, so we've re-booked for July. In the meantime I made her a couple pairs of undies, which looked like diapers so I made her happy little bloomers to cover them up.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

leaves in the eaves!

And that's about it. The home inspection went so well! There is nothing that needs to be done beyond regular maintenance and repair (clearing the eaves, some quick grading away from the house in spots, updating the sump...). So we lifted all our conditions and are officially homeowners!

I took a zillion pictures and uploaded them all to flickr.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Chloe Cricket Interlude

How would you paint this?

Tomorrow at 5:00pm is our home inspection but we anticipate everything going well. So I am already redecorating in my mind, and am looking for direction in this room.

We are probably going to leave the neutral walls for the next while, and focus our decorating energies elsewhere, but the purple has got to go. I have several things that can go in place of the artwork there. One large painting by an old friend Joel, it's all shades of green with some yellow and a splotch of red. Or I have a three new illustrations I need to frame that I bought at the Bealart Year End Show last summer. They are "room interiors" in various colours. They have collaged bits of wallpaper samples, amazing line quality and painterly uses gouache/watercolour.

In terms of our furniture we have our new brown leather couch, a chair in red and blonde wood, and maybe our other couch (my grandma's couch) that was never given away. (It would need recovering though since it's pretty horrid). Edited to add the following photos; the couch is more in colour like the darker photo and you can see the spot where I sat for over a month all day everyday from a broken foot...

I think we will need to update the mantle also.

I'm not really into red walls, but do want something bold. What are your suggestions?