house post alert: it’s ours! again!

it’s official. we closed on our renovation loan. the house, plus the renovation money is allllll ours.

happy nick! (it's really because i fed him homemade egg + cheese biscuits before this)
start of demo = happy nick! (it’s really because i fed him homemade egg + cheese biscuits before this)

to celebrate, we bought demo stuff and started ripping things off the walls! so what do you need to demo the interior of a house? here’s some of the most helpful items we purchased:

  1. 6 foot ladder: if you’ve got to take down 8 ceiling fans (there were even ones in the laundry rooms) and other light fixtures, a tall bucket doesn’t cut it.
  2. small flat bar: this is super handy for small items such as trim. plus it’s not too heavy to use all day.
  3. 2 foot wrecking bar: similar to the item above, but heavier duty. we used it to take up the entire tiled bathroom floor.
  4. sledge hammer: this beefcake is totally your sweetheart when it comes to taking out some cabinets. plus they’re just fun to swing.
  5. small sledge hammer: combined with the wrecking bar, you’re unstoppable. watch out – you’re getting demoed!
  6. regular hammers: although they seem a little dinky after picking up that sledgehammer, it can still pack a punch. and are much easier to swing all day for those of us with weak arms (not nick, of course. he has MAN arms. he can swing that sledgehammer all day without getting tired. be jealous ladies.)
  7. PERSONAL PROTECTION EQUIPMENT: i’m yelling it because it’s super important. we’ve been wearing gloves, safety glasses and, when necessary, dust masks. i also wear jeans and long sleeves.

i didn’t really think about renovation shows and doing demo wrong until my friend Will Spence, AKA remover of bears, pointed it out. they start by bashing holes in the drywall. then it takes them triple the amount of time they expected to demo.

Will pointed out that you need to take a house apart in the opposite way it was put together. makes sense, right? so what have we started with?

  • light fixtures
  • electrical outlets
  • cabinets
  • trim

and what does it look like?

see the trim?
see the trim?
now you don't!
now you don’t!

 

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Recipe Review: Smitten Kitchen’s Tomato Scallion Short Cakes with Whipped Goat Cheese

if i can’t work on the house, i’ve got to be creative in some sort of way.

gettin’ creative in the kitchen is a very productive way to solve that problem. and for those of you who know me, know i like to cook. i think my cooking skills help my husband to overlook some of my less lovable traits.

a recent addition to my recipe arsenal is the Smitten Kitchen cookbook. make this recipe, then purchase it here. i promise. totally worth the price. haven’t come across a recipe i don’t like – and i’ve tested about 15-18 of them.

why this recipe?

any recipe i put up here, i’ve made at least twice. this recipe – four times in the past 6 months or so. it’s a great go to for a summer appetizer.

nick has a great saying for people who don't like tomatoes - "yeah, i didn't like tomatoes. then i turned 12."
nick has a great saying for people who don’t like tomatoes – “yeah, i didn’t like tomatoes. then i turned 12.”

ingredients (slightly modified) 

biscuits

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour + 2 tablespoons, plus more for dusting
  • 1 cup¬†sprouted whole grain wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 5 tablespoons salted butter, chilled, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 15-20 stalks of chives, chopped
  • 1 cup soy milk

Tomato Salad

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • pinch of sugar
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 pound cherry tomatoes

Toppings

  • 1/4 cup greek yogurt
  • 4 ounces goat cheese, softened
  • 15-20 stalks of chives, chopped

Directions

1. To make the biscuits, preheat the oven to 425. Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick spray. Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large, wide bowl. Using your fingertips or a pastry blender, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse meal.

2. Stir in the chives. Add the milk and stir until evenly moistened. Pat out to 3/4- to 1-inch thickness and cut into six to eight 3-inch rounds, re-forming the scraps as needed until all of the dough is used up. Arrange the biscuits on the baking sheet, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake until they are golden brown on top, for about 15 minutes. Rotate the pan to ensure even baking.

3. For the tomato salad, whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, sugar, and freshly ground black pepper in the bottom of a bowl. Quarter the tomatoes lengthwise and add them to the bowl with the dressing, tossing them together gently.

4. Whisk goat cheese and greek yogurt together. Fold in chives.

homegrown chives. give em a sunny window sill and they'll reward you.
homegrown chives. give em a sunny window sill and they’ll reward you.

5. To assemble the shortcakes, split each warm biscuit in half. Generously spoon each half with the tomato salad and its dressing. Dollop with goat cheese and eat at once.

Notes

  • although it made the biscuits a little bit heavier, i still like using a little bit of the sprouted flour. for those of you in north carolina, my flour is from Lindley Mills.
  • the original recipe calls for whole milk. the first time i made this recipe, i did use it. lately, i’ve subbed in soy milk and found that it didn’t make a difference.
  • the whipped goat cheese calls for 3 tablespoons of whipping cream. i didn’t have any, so greek yogurt it is! it definitely changed the taste slightly, but not in a bad way.
nom nom nom
nom nom nom
source: smitten kitchen cookbook by deb perelman.

wedding post alert: fun Yay! flags

well, it’s been a whole month with no house post alerts. why is that? well, because nothing is happening. literally nothing. the house is currently sitting there being the smelly house it is. we’re waiting to close on our renovation loan. fingers crossed that will be next week.

in the interim, i’m back to posting things that happened almost a year ago – wedding prep!

i really liked sparklers and bubbles at the end of a wedding, but it seemed as if everyone did that. in addition, there’s dealing with whatever mess there is to clean up. then i read this blog post. yay flags? um yes please.

like the bride in the post, we handed them out before the ceremony. in our program, we suggested some times to wave the flags. and like the bride in the post, people took the idea and ran with it. it was amazing. the participation of all of our guests during the ceremony made it personal and special.

people really utilized them during the ceremony
people really utilized them during the ceremony
yay flags! a constant companion to any reception activity.
yay flags! a constant companion to any reception activity.

inspiration

obviously these yay flags were my inspiration. however, i differed in making them.

supplies

  • glue – $2
  • bamboo skewers – $2
  • 12×12 in. scrapbook paper – $20

i used the same paper that i used for the origami flowers, so it really wasn’t $20.

total: $24

tools

  • templates (below)
  1. Yay Flag – Algerian
  2. Yay Flag – Commercial Script
  3. Yay Flag – Corabael
  4. Yay Flag – Sketchy
  • ruler
  • xacto knife
  • computer
  • printer

time

this project was fairly quick. i think it took me a total of 3 hours from start to finish – including printing, folding and gluing.

helpful hints

  • divide however many flags you need by 3 – this will give you an idea of just how many sheets of paper you’ll need.
  • no need for a special printer. you’re going to cut the strips before trying to print.
  • you could buy dowels and cut them, but i find that it would have been more expensive than the skewers.

directions

  1. cut scrapbook sheets into 4×12 inch strips.
  2. print on the sheets of paper using the templates provided.
  3. fold in half – sheets should be 4×6
  4. put a line of glue in the crease and dabs along the entire inside
  5. lay a bamboo skewer inside the crease with the pointed edge lining up with the top of the flag
  6. fold the flag over, gluing the two sides together
the final product - yay!
the final product – yay!
put those yay flags in the aeeir and wave 'em like you jus' don' caiiiree!
put those yay flags in the aeeir and wave ’em like you jus’ don’ caiiiree!

we didn’t end up doing favors (for a variety of reasons), but we found that these yay flags ended up being a nice memory for people to take with them. i visited a friend recently and discovered her yay flag displayed on her refrigerator.