Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Breakfast Nook Coffee Center

When we first saw our house, we were blown away by how much counter space was in the island. Finally, a kitchen that we could both work in, and talk to guests at the same time!

It wasn't until we were unpacking all of our small appliances that we realized there really wasn't that much space for those things we use most often: the toaster and coffee maker. Plus we were hoping to get an electric kettle to make staying hydrated in the cold months easier. Where would we keep the coffee pot?

We decided to get a small sideboard to create a little coffee bar in the breakfast nook. It took months of searching to find something that was attractive, the right size, had closed storage (vs open storage, since the cat's bowls are next to it and we wanted to stash our teas and such there) AND was a reasonable price.

Well, we finally found something, and I now present our coffee cart!


You can see the light switches above the cart that forced me to rule out anything with a hutch top. And trust me, there were a lot of nice looking pieces that ha hutch tops that just won't work on this wall.


Among other things I love about the one we bought: the stainless steel top! No worries about staining a wood surface if you forget to wipe up that one drip of coffee early in the morning.


It does have some open storage, so I can display our teapot, but the cabinet doors are perfect for hiding the coffee grinder, extra mugs, and our tea collection!


Now I can't wait to get this room painted, and maybe hang some art above the cart. It's great to have these rooms coming together!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Half Bath Updates

The downstairs half bath looked like this when we first moved in:


It was a dark brown, and since it is one of the few places in the house that gets absolutely NO natural light, it felt just that much darker.


It was so dark that I actually had to prime before I could even start thinking about what color to paint. We lived with it like that for a few weeks. Not exactly pretty, but already so much lighter than the brown!


I eventually settled on Benjamin Moore's San Francisco Bay. I admit, I bought the sample pot simply because of the name. But I loved that it was a deep enough color to give some character to the little room without being overwhelmingly dark. We also bought a new mirror, a quick and easy way to update a bathroom and give it more personality. The mirror we bought is the Segovia mirror from World Market.

The walls still need something on them. I'm thinking maybe doing some sort of display cabinet with my grandparents' sand dollar collection. Luckily because this is a half bath, I don't need to worry about the humidity that is a consideration for bathrooms with showers. What would you hang? Thoughts?

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Weekly Meal Plan 1.25.15

I may be coming down with a cold, so despite the warmer weather this week (60's!) I'm planning on lots of good soups. I'm also planning to start baking our sourdough bread again this week, since we have a new starter going (the old one was left in CA) so we are looking forward to having some great bread!

Sunday: leftover borscht

Monday: Brined Pork Chops with Sweet Onions and Potato-Kale Mash

Tuesday: Poulet Chicken Mulligatawny Soup with Apples

Wednesday: leftovers

Thursday: pasta with pancetta and peas

Friday: Chickpea Stew with Spinach and Chorizo

Saturday: leftovers/optional dinner out

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Weekly Meal Plan 1.11.15

Another week of meal planning! It's supposed to be another cold week, so I'm building in some extra soups for nice hot lunches. Here's what we're eating this week:

Sunday: dinner with out of town friends

Monday: mustardy pork chops with acorn squash

Tuesday: slow cooker Thai chicken soup

Wednesday: leftovers

Thursday: creamy brussels sprouts spaghetti and salad

Friday: my Grandmom's borscht recipe

Saturday: leftovers

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Weekly Meal Plan 1.4.15

Last week we got a little thrown off of our regular schedule for meal plans because of some things going on with family, but I'm determined to use the new year to get back into my good meal planning habits!

This Saturday we'll be celebrating at a cousin's wedding, so we're planning to keep the rest of the week simple.

Sunday: fennel casserole with leftover ham

Monday: butternut squash and green beans in coconut milk curry (from 5 Spices, 50 Dishes)

Tuesday: chopped winter salad (to use up the rest of the butternut squash from Monday, but without the radicchio in the original recipe)

Wednesday: leftovers

Thursday: baked penne with chicken and sundried tomatoes

Friday: dinner out

Saturday: Amy and Brian's wedding!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 Reading List

Last New Year's Eve I shared the books and plays I had read in 2013. Here is the list from 2014. Once again, only books or plays that were read all the way through have made the list (nothing skimmed or unfinished).

 

Non-Fiction

Great Tales from English History by Robert Lacey
Quarter Acre Farm: How I Kept the Patio, Lost the Lawn and Fed my Family for a Year by Spring Warren

Fiction

The Diamond Throne by David Eddings
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
The Map of Time by Felix Palma
After Rome by Morgan Llywelyn
Top Secret Twenty-One by Janet Evanovitch
Takedown Twenty by Janet Evanovitch
Drawing Conclusions by Donna Leon
Shadow on the Crown by Patricia Bracewell

Plays 

Camelot by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Exploring Georgetown

Last weekend we took a day trip up into the mountains to the Victorian mining town of Georgetown. Every year Georgetown hosts a Victorian Christmas Fair, and we had a fun day exploring the small historic town. Here are some pictures from our day:

 In front of the historic Hamil House


 Hamil House











After the fair, we drove up Guanella Pass into Arapahoe National Forest