Sunday, January 27, 2013

Dutch Baby

I woke up this morning and just knew it was a Dutch Baby day. It was cold and wet out and the thought of a hot cup of coffee and the smell of a Dutch Baby in the oven seemed to be just what the morning called for.

So, what's a Dutch Baby? Just the most delicious plain jane simple comfort food ever. So good and so easy. A few ingredients, a couple of minutes to mix it up and not only will you have a treat that will make your belly happy, but your house will smell amazing too. Bonus points for a good smelling kitchen!

I got the recipe years ago out of a book of my Grandma's. It was a cookbook filled with recipes from the local ladies at it was actually called a Mt. St. Helens pancake due to the way it domes up in the center. An amazing sight to see....

What You'll Need:

1/4 cup Butter
3/4 cup Milk
3 Eggs
1 tea. Vanilla
3/4 cup flour
1/2 tea. Nutmeg (optional)

*use a shallow (3" deep) baking dish or large cast iron skillet

Heat oven to 425. Place butter in your baking dish (or skillet) and place in the oven. While the butter melts, quickly mix the batter (word of caution here - keep and eye on your butter so you don't scorch it). Beat the eggs, milk and flour until smooth.

Remove pan from oven when butter is melted and pour batter into pan. Do not mix! Now this is where the magic happens......Put the pan back in the oven and bake until puffy and golden approx. 20 to 30 minutes. Just like a volcano, the sides will rise up and the center will form a dome. The little kid in me loves this part!

Remove from oven, cut in wedges to serve. Some people like to sprinkle with powdered sugar on top and then add a squeeze of lemon.  I personally like a sprinkle of powdered sugar and some warm maple syrup.

You could even serve it topped with fruit. Total comfort food.

I did a little experiment and found that this recipe works just as well with almond milk and gluten free flour and I bet you could even use an egg substitute to make it Vegan friendly.

Add a good cup of coffee, some warm slippers, a good book and a little dog or two at your feet and you have the recipe for a perfect Sunday morning!


Monday, January 21, 2013

Multi-color Slate

I'm one of those people who can take and idea and run with it. The other day Ken and I were talking about eventually getting a vintage travel trailer and redoing it. He said that he liked the red wool Pendleton blanket that his Father gave us for Christmas and that he wanted to use it in the camper. Before he could finish the sentence, my mind started pulling fabric swatches, paint chips; looking through E-bay and Craigslist for the perfect accessories. Before Ken even noticed that my mind had stepped out of the room, I had the entire camper decorated. That's how it was with the bathroom. I knew exactly what I wanted and was prepared to argue if Ken thought different.

I'm also a bit bullheaded when it comes to the way I want things. Once I decide on a look for a project, I generally stay as close as possible to my original plan. That is until our bathroom tile. When I started pinning photos for our bathroom re-do, they all had very neutral floors. Being on a tight budget, we took our Christmas money from our family and set out to find some beige (boring) cheap tile. Ken wasn't a fan of the beige, but he knew how I could be so he was going along. We looked in two different stores and found nothing. Zip. It was either the wrong color or the wrong price. Nothing that just jumped out and said "take me home!". Until we got to the last store. Ken had gone to look at something else and I wandered down the tile aisle seeing....nothing. And then I spotted something so far from beige and boring that I was pretty sure that Ken would think I was crazy. And I was. Crazy about the orange and blues in  the multi-color slate I found.

It took a family effort and a weekend without a bathroom, but it was so worth it...

It was a 180 degree turn from my plan but it gives our little bathroom a bit of zing and character. It's a busy tile, but paired with all the white, it works. And the feel underfoot is amazing.

Ken and I both love the way it looks and it helped me to think outside the "it has to be this way" box. Good to know that the world doesn't stop turning if you deviate from a plan!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Vintage Camp Trailers

I (along with a few of my other friends) find myself suddenly obsessed with vintage camp trailers. I have an entire Pintrest board dedicated to them. I pour over Craigslist looking for them. I dream of having my own one day that I can renovate into my little haven on wheels that I can take out on a weekend, leave the cell phones and TV behind, and just relax. I can see Ken and I having early morning coffee at the little table and then taking the dogs out for a walk around the a lake we just happen to be camped near. I'm a firm believer in visualization and manifesting what I really want and I just KNOW that one day I'm going to be the proud owner of my own little vintage trailer.

But there are several other things in our life right now that take priority, so my camper dreams are just that at the moment; dreams. That's ok though because it gives me time to collect pictures and plan and live vicariously through those that have found their little traveling cottages. One group of women that I come across quite often in my internet searches are Sisters on the Fly. This is one group of women who know how to have a great time, and I was excited to hear that a few on them were going to be in Eugene today at the home show. My sweet husband was good enough to drive me an hour one way just so I could check out the show with its organic gardeners, compost booths, creative chicken coops and 3 of the coolest little campers ever...


There were too many people to get any really good pictures, but seeing these three little cozy campers have made me want one even more. And sooner rather than later.

It was a beautiful drive home and such a good day spent with my much loved (and patient) husband. Any man that will drive me several miles just to see some old camp trailers, take me by the fabric store so I could "just look" and then sit patiently while I did a Walmart run through is most certainly a keeper. And, whether he likes it or not, I'm keeping him!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Old Dresser Vanity

Let me just say, I LOVE my new vanity. I mean really love it. I can't walk by the bathroom door without looking in at it. I stand in front of it to fix my hair or brush my teeth and can't help but admire it. I pull out a drawer to get a washcloth and can't help but smile. It's the vanity of my dreams. It's old, it's chipped, it's funky and it's mine.

When we started our bathroom re-do, I pinned this picture...

Then I started pouring over Craigslist, looking in junk stores, cruising by yard sales. Now and then I would find one that was "close, but not quite..." or one that was just right with a huge price tag. Knowing that I was going to saw a hole in the top of it and quite possibly be trimming an inch or so off the back legs, I wasn't willing to pay too much.

Well, it just so happened that we were in Eugene to pick up a tub and sink at Bring Recycling . While Ken ran into the tool place, I waited in the truck and pulled out my Ipad. And there it was, just listed on Craigslist. Shabby...check. Right height and width? Check. $20.00? RIGHT ON! By the time Ken came out and we hit the highway, I had directions and a $20 bill in my hand.

I was so excited when we drove up and it was even better than I expected. It even had the glass knobs I wanted. I wish I had taken a picture of our truck loaded down with a tub a sink and my new dresser. We looked like the Clampett's I'm sure!

The hardest part of the whole conversion from dresser to bathroom vanity was making that first cut. I measured the space I needed to allow for the pipes to fit in the back and used a jig saw to open up enough room in the back.

Ken turned the sink we were going to use upside down and used it to draw a cutting guide for the center hole. He used the jig saw to cut a hole about 1/2 inch smaller than the sink itself. He also had to cut the backs off the top two drawers (making those false fronts) and the center top drawer divider to make room for the bottom of the sink.
I really liked the way the paint was chipped on the base and showed its layers of color, but I decided that I wanted a smooth stained top. It took Jake and I quite a while, but we managed to strip and sand it down to the wood and then applied several coats of stain and poly to protect it.

Ken kept telling me that we were going to lose the use of all the drawers. The bathroom is very small with little storage and I hated that we were going to lose more. But my husband is one smart boy (not just his last name!) and came up with a great solution....

Another few cuts with the jig saw and some scrap wood and now we have "U" shaped drawers with plenty of storage for all those bathroom necessities and enough clearance to fit around the pipes in the back.

I try to be a bit flexible when I have a vision of how I want something to turn out since often projects don't always go as planned, but this is one project that is exactly what I envisioned. Better even. I just love how the white sink looks against the rich wood on top and the chippy paint on the base...

She's just perfect and I adore her. Such a fun project and one that makes our home even more unique. Watch for more of our bathroom re-do posts. So much more I can't wait to share!

Happy Little Daffodils

There are so many good and beautiful things about the amount of rain that we get here in Western Oregon. Thanks to the nourishing rains, I'm blessed to live in an area that is forever green. Even in the winter when the trees have lost their leaves, there is still the beautiful green of the moss and ferns.

The downside is that January can turn into one of the most soggy, drab, depressing months ever. The holidays are over so there isn't that distraction and it seems that all there is is wind, rain and mud. Gray skies. Or black. Just blah. But then, just when I think I can't stand another day, the Universe gives me daffodils. Beautiful, yellow, happy little daffodils... favorite flower. My grandmother loved them and so does my Dad. I think warm thoughts of both of them when I see this little flower faces. Life just seems to be a little brighter and the rain a little easier to take with the daffodil's promise of Spring and sunshine to follow.

Wishing you a bright spot in a drab, wet (well here on the Oregon Coast anyway) day!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Odd Little Hang-ups

Yes, I'm quirky. Yes, I have my share of hang-ups. Yes, my husband is a saint for putting up with my odd sense of decor. And I'm pretty sure that you saw that blog title up there and thought "Wow, I just HAVE to read this and see what kind of odd hang-ups this chick has...."

Well, here they are....
Vintage trouser hanger to hang up my art.
Old clipboards to hang up my favorite prints.
Vintage wooden hangers to hang up my guest towels.
Old metal window screen and magnets to hang up my keepsakes.
Bent butter knives to hang up my kitchen towels.
I just love to think of ways to use something that's out of the ordinary. Quirky, different. That's me. I was so excited when I found the old wooden hangers and took them home to hang my guest towels on. I got them all arranged and took a picture to send to my daughter. I thought I was so creatvie and couldn't wait to see what she thought. Her text back? "Uh, Mom? Those are suppose to go in the closet!" Ha! I know! That's what makes them even cooler!

So how about you? Any odd hang-ups that you want to share?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Mirror, Mirror...

Every time I think about starting a new project, I head over to Pinterest and start a new board to keep my inspiration pins. I have an odd sense of style and I don't think I've ever done anything exactly like the photos I've found, but I love how my boards can give me a great "jumping off" point.

When we started talking about finally doing something with our disgusting bathroom, this was one of the first pictures I pinned...

Something about that HUGE mirror really caught my eye - and I'm not even much of a gold gal. Most everything in my home is either brushed nickel or galvanized. But that gold mirror.....WOW. So, while I waited for the rest of our renovation to come together and get started, I kept my eyes open for the perfect mirror. And I actually found one. It was this beautiful French piece hanging in the back of an antique shop - with a $285 price tag. So, like any good bargain shopper, I asked if that was their best price. Turns out that it had been there for a while and they were willing to discount it 20%. $228? For the perfect mirror? Nope. Still couldn't do it. In my quest to do so much more with less, I had to walk away hoping that eventually I would find the perfect mirror at the perfect (for me) price.

And I did find it. On one of our weekly thrift store run throughs (and I have to admit right here that my son wanted to stop and I was being a whiner and just wanted to go home. So glad he won!). Jake spotted it buried behind a bunch of bad art. "Hey Mom, look at this..."

Not only did it have the curves I had hoped for, but it was just the right size. And the price? $9.99. I know. AMAZING. I didn't think it could get much better. But then it did. Turns out that blue tags were half off that day. Get out of town! The perfect mirror for $5?! Score! A quick trip to the store for a $5 can of gold leaf spray paint and a little elbow grease and this ugly thing....


...became this...

Yes, it's huge and it's gold, and can I just say....AWESOME. Can't wait to show you the rest of our bathroom make-over!
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