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03-23-2014

{DIY} vintage sconce

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I love our quirky old house but it baffles me sometimes.  It was obviously built when heat and electricity were a novelty, not a necessity.  Our master bedroom still doesn’t have heat.

I’ll let that sink in….

Another example of old house weirdness is our upstairs hallway.  It’s narrow and doesn’t have a ceiling light.  What it does have is a random sconce, an enormous radiator and the entry to the attic.

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03-21-2014

organizing our grocery list and menu

Being organized isn’t easy in our not-yet-renovated kitchen.  Pantry items are in four different places, our fridge is a tiny cave and our cabinet storage is lacking.  Given how much I cook and how much food we go through in this house, one of the main things tripping me up is keeping track of food.  What we have, what we need, what meals are we making this week.

I need some list action close to the fridge, so all the old pictures got cleared off the freezer door and I added a cut-in-half chalkboard decal from Michaels, a magnet list for groceries and a cute holder for pens and chalk markers.  Much better….

No cute styling here.  This is what it looked like after grocery shopping this evening.  Random Tegu magnet blocks up there too.

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03-19-2014

for the love of stoves….and a major craigslist find

I’m a simple girl.  I own almost no jewelry, don’t have a shoe fetish, and still dress like a tomboy.  A summer wardrobe of skirts and Birkenstock Gizeh probably doesn’t count as high style.  However put a bad ass stove in front of me and I’ll start petting it.  Come to mama.

Pretty kitchen +  commercial stove…..we will be together someday.  Oh yes.  We will.

 

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03-17-2014

the emerald isle

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, I’m posting some pictures from our 2008 trip to Ireland with my dad and his girlfriend.  I haven’t looked at this album in years but going through it, two things came to mind.  One: hot damn I took a lot of pictures with my old point-and-shoot.  And two: we barely scratched the surface of this gorgeous country.  We had 10 days and focused on western Ireland, starting in Galway City (the center of Burke-topia) and working our way down through the Dingle Peninsula, Tralee, and Killarney.

Even if you’re not Irish, it’s so worth a visit!  It’s beautiful, there’s so much to see, and the people are insanely nice.

03-15-2014

linguine with clam sauce

This dish is seriously addictive.  Umami out the yang.  I’ve made it for a few dinner parties and somebody always ends up scraping the bottom of the bowl with a piece of bread.  Every last bite gets devoured.  Purist might balk at my version….but who cares when it’s so delicious.

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Note: I’ve never made this with canned clams so I’m not sure how it would convert.  Plus the liquor from the fresh clams is integral to the sauce.  They are miraculous little flavor-makers.

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03-10-2014

best homemade caesar salad dressing

Oh savory, anchovy-y, rich goodness.  You’re my favorite.

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I recently went on a mission to make perfect a homemade Caesar salad dressing.  I’ve made some attempts in the past but somehow the proportions were always off.  But this time, we may have a winner.  My husband’s exact words were “holy f*#%@ that’s good.”

In a food processor (I use my mini-chop) put in a large peeled garlic clove, 1 tbs dijon mustard, 2 tbs mayo, 1/2 tbs anchovy paste, 1 tbs balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp worchestershire, couple lugs of olive oil, juice of half a lemon and a few grinds of pepper.  Tweak these proportions to your taste.  Wazz this up, then add 1/4 t0 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese and 1/4 to 1/2 cup of vegetable oil.  Wazz this to combine.  Now you’ll have to play with it a bit to get the consistency right.  I usually add a dash of water to smooth it out too.  No salt though. The anchovy and cheese lend plenty of that.

My crouton strategy is: brush thick slices of store-bought olive oil ciabatta bread with olive oil.  Toast in the oven a bit.  Rub with a cut-in-half garlic clove.  Chop into perfect bites.  Assemble your salad with your favorite lettuce, veggies, protein, etc.

Basically, this dressing would make a shoe taste good.

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03-08-2014

bathroom renovation and reveal

A year ago, we finally took the plunge and renovated our upstairs bathroom.  It was the best and hardest thing DIY we’ve ever done.  (Keep in mind the porch and kitchen are still in shambles so we may have a new winner).  What a difference this renovation has made!  The project also gave us a lot of confidence because it was our first tiling and flooring experience.

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03-05-2014

{kitchen renovation} two-tone plotting

Look at this sexy beast.  Orange oak cabinets, beige laminate, no storage, waste of space upper cabinets.  Me-ow.

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It’s not the worst kitchen ever but….we need to break up.  It’s not me.  It’s you.

(Full disclosure: these pics were taken a couple years ago….we’ve since painted, got a new stove and added an Ikea groland island)

After 8 years of this craptastic kitchen, we’re finally plotting a renovation this year.  I cook more than ever and the space is not functioning well for our busy and hungry family.

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02-28-2014

foyer reveal

The foyer is finally done!  February was long and brutal for many reasons but it didn’t help that our entry was in disarray due to the knob-and-tube removal and work on the stencil.  Now it’s functioning again….and looking pretty snazzy too.  Since this blog is super new, I thought I’d share this project with the Best of the Nest link party.  And speaking of foyer makeoevers, THIS transformation by Simple Details is killer!

Here is the BEFORE:

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And the AFTER:

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02-25-2014

vintage maritime iPhone cases

The New Bedford Whaling Museum is a treasured part of our fair city.   A beautiful, world-class institution loaded with history…and it’s family friendly  (Full post on it soon).

The museum store also has some great finds, including these smartphone cases in old-school nautical designs (HERE).  Preppy anchors they are not.  We’re talking scrimshaw, tryworks, climbing up the topsail.  I think the frigate is my favorite.

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