Thursday, November 29, 2007


I'm on the hunt for curtains for the sliding doors in my dining room. I don't have much criteria - just that they have to be opaque (so I don't see any scary shadows outside at night) and they have to pull shut easily (so I can quickly shut out any scary things at night).

I'm not quite sure what other curtain retailers are out there, so I've just been searching JcPenney mostly and IKEA a little bit. By searching, I mean I've been looking at the same ones over and over again because I can't make up my mind. Here's what I'm considering:

Clockwise from top left, Pompeo Embroidery Coordinates (in peacock blue, not shown), Supreme Antique Satin Back-tab Thermal (in lagoon, shown), Milano Solid Grommet-top Coordinates (in brown, shown), Jewel Tex Grommet-top Thermal (in antique white, not shown)

I keep weighing the pros and cons of each - Will the color be too overwhelming? Should I go with thermal? Is the grommet-top too modern? Is a solid color too boring?

In the words of "my buddy" Trent, "Le sigh."

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hooray for the holidays! I'm making the three-hour trek home this afternoon. Funny how, even after I have my own house, home is still home.
Norman Rockwell's 'Freedom from Want' from the Rockwell Gallery Collection

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

To Dine For

Transforming my dining room was my first real home improvement project and I'm feeling really good about it. When I moved in, the room had wallpaper which I didn't like. When we took the wallpaper down we discovered the walls were not in good shape (hence the wallpaper). My challenge was figuring out how to get vast expanses of spackling, drywall and other miscellaneous imperfections to match the rest of the walls' texture. I let Google guide me and was not disappointed with the solutions I found.

Here's what Chad and I ended up doing: We watered down drywall compound to the consistency of pancake batter and then rolled it on the walls with a cheap paint roller. It worked really well, giving the walls a nice even texture! Others seem to think this idea is the cat's meow as well.

Then, we used Behr paint and primer (on the recommendation of Consumer Reports, Becky's blog and my own personal color preference) to finish it off. The color is called Sandstone Cove.

Bonus: Chad also put in all new outlets and switches and convinced me to get a new light fixture. I ended up with a little gem of a chandelier from Lowe's.



(please ignore the shadows the chandelier is casting and the lack of baseboards...I'm still getting to those)

Bittman's No-Knead Bread

I'm a year behind the rest of the blogging community on this, but I too tried out what's been dubbed Bittman's bread (though I'd prefer to call it Jim Lahey's bread if we really want to give credit where credit is due). The gist behind this bread is that you let time do the work to make the bread rise, eliminating the need to knead. Then you bake it in a piping hot covered casserole dish which allows the steam to do something (not sure what exactly) to the bread.

It turned out beautiful and delicious. I think it best if it's eaten within a couple days. By day three, the bread had lost some of its luster.

No-knead bread fresh from the oven

Notes: If you try this bread, the consensus seems to be that you should use 1 1/2 cups water, not 1 5/8 like the recipe states. Using regular dry active yeast (instead of instant yeast) is absolutely fine. A 3-5 qt. covered casserole dish should be plenty big. Enjoy.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Of Mice and (Wo)Men

There are mice in my garage. boo. Make that, boohoo. I went through a lot of emotional turmoil as members of my support network coached me through this latest dilemma (hi Mom, Dad and Chad!). I'm not so much into killing (lest we forget the trouble I have with insects) and I'm not so much into animal corpses (I've seen my fair share down on the farm), so I wasn't sure how I was going to handle this rodent invasion and sleep well at night. After much coaching and upon my Dad's suggestion, I ended up with chunks of rat poison positioned around the interior perimeter of my garage. I set it out Sunday...and there's already been a few hits...yikes!

Sorry, Mickey. You're a goner.

My new couch

I made my first purchase from Etsy last weekend. I bought a charming print of a couch with some stylish pillows on it by JRitterDesigns. Guess where I'm going to hang it? Above my couch, of course.

Once the print arrives I plan to get a gold frame for it online from American Frame. From what I've researched they seem to be reliable. Can't wait!