my latest passion!!! and bread making...

home decorating

so i never really realized that i love decorating until recently. through the process of remodeling/staging our home or whatever you want to call it, i've been forced to look at our belongings thru a new set of eyes. and what i saw was not at all appealing. we have junk everywhere. no storage. what storage we did have was a bunch of stuff from big lots, walmart (like chintzy bookshelves and plastic drawers) and hand me down pieces of furniture that we have not personalized...just moved right in and started using.

so i've been searching the web for ideas. i've found neat blogs like
younghouselove.com (my favorite!!)

i've been gathering so many amazing ideas. my mind is frantically jumping from one room to another, one idea to another, one color scheme to another. i'm trying to come up with ways to make our house into the home that i've always dreamed of but never realized that i could have...

some things that i've learned from these sites is:
  • you shouldn't make excuses like "i don't have enough money or time or whatever" to decorate
  • you can paint a deck / porch and make it look REALLY cute - i want to paint both our decks and paint our black shutters white.
  • white crown mold in our front room would look really cool...i'm trying to come up with a way to have a small sitting area in the front room in addition to our new barstools at the new bar and our table and chairs. it's a tight fit because the room is like a giant hallway. but i think that i'm learning from these sites that i can do it, i'll just have to have smallish chairs for the sitting area. no overstuffed chairs.
  • i love light colors in a house (all you have to do is look at the 3 rooms we have done and you can see that too). i'm so over dark things.
  • you can build your own furniture that looks just like pottery barn furniture for WAY less with relatively few tools.
  • wood or bamboo shades look really cool. i may put some in the bay window in the front room.
  • you can take old pieces of furniture that you already have or find at garage sales or on craigslist and make them look really, really cute with a coat of paint and new hardware...so when we're done with our pantry cupboard in the kitchen i'm going to make it look cuter for storing...something...
  • you can make no sew curtains pretty easily
  • i really like the idea of using storage ottomans (leather or other upholstered material) for coffee tables, benches, end tables, etc. because they can be used to store things too! 2 in 1 furniture is so cool.
  • i want to buy all new hangers that match for our closet when we get it done
  • i "need" a dirt devil kurv!
  • i "need" porch furniture...or maybe i can just spraypaint what we already have.
  • we need to make our own artwork to decorate our walls with momentos and photos that we already have. i like photo collages on walls. with white frames. dave was already talking about doing something like this while we were on vacation, now i've got some more inspiration to run with.
i'm really focusing on how i'm going to decorate the front room and the great room when we get them done.

the great room is such a huge blank slate. i'm tired of our plaid couch. looking at slipcover options. also getting a leather loveseat from my mom's house. want a new rug for the floor. and some really sturdy bookshelves to display all our scrapbooks and other books. so, i plan on having a cream or white slipcover on the couch, a dark leather loveseat and our tan oversized chair and ottoman. i'm thinking that i want to get a new rug. i was thinking something with lots of color but then rethinking that...maybe i'll get a neutral rug as well, and paint the walls neutral and then i can change the "color scheme" of the room simply by changing out blankets, pillows, artwork, etc. i really think that would be a good idea because i tend to get tired of patterns, etc. and i don't want to spend a bunch of money on a rug or other furniture that i will hate in a year. pillows and artwork wouldn't cost as much to change.

on knockoffwood.blogspot.com we got plans for building the dresser/changing table for our baby's room. hoping we can get that done before july too.

bread making

so last thursday i tried a new bread recipe. i got it from dave's coworker's mom who told us where to buy the wheat (from the mormon storehouse in indy). so last thursday i ground the wheat into flour and made the bread. david loved it. and i loved it too because it took about half as long to make as our other bread recipe (from the esther shank cookbook) and it turned out absolutely amazing. normally things that take less time aren't as good, but this is one exception. anyways, this recipe is very light and fluffy. it says that it makes 4 loaves but my experience is that it only makes 2 small loaves. and i find this smaller batch is great for me since i don't have a kitchenaid mixer type thing...but i will have to make it every 1-2 weeks.

for those of you interested in trying it, here it is:

6 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup high gluten flour (i just used another 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour and added the specified amount of hodgson mill vital wheat gluten...)
2 Tbsp dry yeast (2 packets)
2 cups warm water (the recipe says 120 to 130 degrees, i kept it around 100 degrees because our experience is anything much higher than that kills the yeast)
2 Tbsp oil
2 Tbsp honey
2 eggs
2 tsp salt (I tried 3 this week because I thought it needed to taste saltier)

Mix 3 cups flour, gluten flour and yeast in mixer bowl equipped with kneading arm. Add hot water and mix 1 minute. Turn of fmixer, cover bowl and let dough sponge 10 minutes. Add oil, honey, eggs and salt. Turn on mixer. Add remaining whole wheat flour, 1 cup at a time, until dough forms a ball and cleans the sides of the bowl. Knead 5 to 6 minutes. (I kneaded it by hand until I didn't feel any more sticky spots, probably a little longer than 5-6 mins.) Let rise in bowl, covered for 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 150 degrees.

Lightly oil hands. Divide dough into equal portions. Shape into loaves. Place in lightly greased loaf pans. Turn off oven. Place bread in over, and let rise until double. Leave bread in over and heat to 350 degrees. Bake at 350 deg for 30-35 minutes. Remove from pans and let cool.

I think it took 2-3 hours all in all to do this.

So readers, let me know if you end up trying this recipe! If you have any questions, just leave a comment and I'll try to answer it.

1 comment:

Molly said...

I love younghouselove too!! I really like all of your decorating ideas. I'll have to come out for a visit sometime to see all the work that you guys have done!

Oh, and I've been meaning to pass this website along to you. It has the natural birth stories that I think I mentioned on the phone(plus other interesting things). It's progressivepioneer.com. She posts the stories on Fridays. I thought you might like to read some of them. I've recently been trying out bread making using a recipe I found on this site, but I'll have to try your recipe too.

I got the invitation for your shower and can't wait! I'll see you next Saturday!!