Thursday, June 30, 2016

A Sitting Room

This little area, as you enter our home, was until recently
empty, except for an oversized canvas and wood tent that my in-laws
made for the kiddos when we moved in almost 4 years ago.

Then...I inherited the two chairs shown (see blog post) in the top
 of this photo and that started a snowball effect of:
a. moving tent to the playroom
b. searching for a couch           
        c. oh hell, pulling together this room 

I told the friends who handed down the chairs that the chairs
had become a character in a rewrite of the children's book,
If You Give A Mouse A Cookie, because these chairs 
demanded a couch, then a rug, then a table and on and on!

I hope you enjoy the eclectic little pull together, in my new
favorite room to sit and read.

Foreground: chair, small camp seat
that I picked up for 10 cents at 
a yard sale in Minneapolis.  My
MIL recovered it with a scrap of
awning canvas.  

Background: Coffee table that 
I grew up with, once in a 90s green, 
repainted with a chalk gray.  The wood is old
and rugged and I LOVE IT! This
couch, that I found on craigslist for $10.

When I picked up the craigslist couch, I was nervous it was garbage, 
but it was worth a go, as I would only be out $10. 
I called the company that reupholstered
the chairs, and had them pop out to see
my cheapo couch.  They said the construction
was very strong and sturdy and could be reworked

I had originally purchased a couch for
this room from West Elm.  See link.
When the couch arrived the cushions were
an ill fit and one of the tapered legs was too
short.  I was beyond disappointed with the
craftsmanship, but in love with the fabric.  After
the run around from West Elm, I decided to
return the janky couch and order bulk fabric
from them.  The results...AMAZING!

All this, pulled into one with an oversized
tumbled jute rug that is as soft as can be
and a small rug, under the coffee table that
my sweet friend asked me to love.

One of the chairs responsible for this
madness and a darling foot pouf!

When the upholstery company
came to fetch the couch and fabric
to fix it up, I also sent with an old blanket,
that I also grew up with.  It was always
tucked away as a kid, but I loved it
and was excited when it became mine.
Thick wool, this traditional 'Hudson Bay'
style blanket is super iconic, but upon
close inspection, it had a tear in it and 
a big stain that I could not remove. sat in a cabinet in my home for the last
few years, which felt a shame, so I sent it
to be reworked, with a small drawing of
how I wanted the blanket oriented on a 
foot pouf.  I had this created with firm
foam, so it could double as a seat, if needed. 

Isn't it absolutely darling! 
I am so happy I did this.
It's a good reminder that stuff
serves zero purpose if it is tucked away,
and it you love it, by golly find a way to use it!

I found this sideboard the week we moved into the house, on 
craigslist.  It stores linens for the dining room on one side, and
my kid's craft stuff on the other.  

I can't recall how far back this chair
goes back in my family, but at least as far 
back as my maternal great grandma. 
It is a treasured piece.  

It along with the hand embroidered 
pillow (also dating back to my great grandma),
a coffee sack pillow and a throw blanket that
I bought at Marshalls (I bought the throw for a 
concert, because on the way to the venue we 
realized we had forgotten a it 
makes me happy to look at every single day!)

Oh, did I mention that it took West
Elm nearly 4 months to pick up the
defunct couch?  So annoying!

Here's a nice side by side to see the
West Elm Couch (upper) and the
rework (lower).  You will note
that we decided against buttons
on the seats, as we they are 
dirt collectors and can
get caught on pant
pockets and can tear.

Gaaaaw, this couch!  
Bonus: the rework came in at over $400
less than the West Elm purchase!!!

Worth EVERY (saved) PENNY!


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Union Station Denver

My hubby had a birthday last week.  He spent his birthday morning and afternoon skiing (how royally great to be able to ski on a random Friday off in May, which happens to be your birthday...because Mary Jane extended the ski season 2 extra weeks!), then we headed out for 24 hours. I planned our short adventure just 20 minutes away from our house at the newly renovated  Union Station in Denver.

 I thought it would be fun to spend our 24 kid-free hours checking out 
Union Station, because 4 years ago (can it really be that long ago?)
this was our view, for our first 5 months in Colorado.  .

 The Crawford Hotel is right inside the station.  Lovely!

The room we stayed in was so cozy, and it was fun to be staying
right were all the action was, since our trip was so quick.

 Terminal Bar had a wide array of local beers, cocktails and light fare.  

 We sat on the Terminal Bar patio for an hour, sampling beers 
(I still hate beer) and took in some amazing people watching.

 Shuffle board.

 The art deco details throughout Union Station were nearly too much
for my heart.  I loved every corner.  This is a snap of the bar
on the mezzanine level, just above the Terminal Bar.

 Interior of one of the many restaurants onsite, Stoic & Genuine
This restaurant was not an option for me, because of my fake
seafood allergy, but check out the sick interior.  In love.
There is zero chance you will leave Union Station hungry.

 After dinner, we popped into Milkbox Ice Creamery, inside 
Union Station.  They serve Little Man ice cream, which is
about the best thing ever (and we used to walk to Little Man, just across 
the river from our apartment that overlooked Union Station)!  
We took our ice cream outside and sat by the fountains. 
I quickly decided I need to plan a day trip down with the kids, 
via the light rail because they would
love to run through the water (the restaurants along the linear
fountains have towels for guests to dry off, perfection!)

 After ice cream, I marveled once more at the
interior design inside the station.  I also
contemplated ways to shove this chair in
my backpack.  I then wish I had packed
like Lane from Gilmore Girls, when she
headed back to Korea! See below.

 We headed to bed and I slept like a bug in a fancy rug
buried in all the cozy blankets that adorned the bed.

The next morning, we woke up and stumbled down
the stairs right into Snooze Eatery.  I mean,
could it get any better than that!  There is
always a wait at Snooze, but on this cool
morning, no one wanted to sit outside, but 
we kids with our Minnesota blood pumping, 
took a table out there and it was glorious!

 Zac and I shared the breakfast pot pie
(helloooo rosemary sausage gravy and 
puff pastry. Wanna get married?)
and the OMG! French Toast.

The mascarpone stuffed french toast was 
topped with vanilla crème, salted caramel, fresh 
strawberries and toasted coconut.  Ridiculous! 

We walked around downtown until the wind 
shifted and brought rain, but that was the
perfect excuse to go crawl back into bed until
we got the boot at check out.  

So...the short story is:


Friday, April 22, 2016

South of the Boarder Smothered Corn on the Cob

I can't even!  This is absolutely the tasty thing ever, and here's the
recipe just in time for your Cinco de Mayo celebrations 
and backyard picnics and cookouts. 

What you need:
cooked corn on the cob, set to room temperature (make in advance, chill)
Hellman's mayonnaise 
chipotle chili powder (sub chili powder, if you want flavor but no heat)
queso fresco (a chunk that can crumble)

On a prep surface, crumble queso fresco.

Mix the mayonnaise with the chipotle chili powder (make it
as spicy as you want.  I did 1/4 cup mayonnaise to 1 & 1/2 tsp powder)

Spread the mayonnaise onto the cooled corn (1-2 Tablespoons),
covering the surface.  Then roll in the crumbled cheese. 

Messy, but worth it. 

Seriously, this is ridiculous!  The sweet of the corn balances so 
nicely with the tang and spice of the chipotle mayonnaise and
the crumble cheese coating brings it all together!


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Favorite Children's Books

I co-hosted a baby shower this weekend.  In lieu of a greeting card, we asked the attendees to write a message to soon-to-be mom, dad and baby in the front cover of their favorite children's book. That got me thinking about a few of the favorites around this house, that we love to read, during our bedtime reading rituals.

 Have you read this one?  I feel like it flies
way under the radar, but it is such a fun
read, with a great message about being humble.
 It is sooo good!

This has been a favorite of mine since I was a
little kid.  I remember going to a book store in
Minnesota to meet the author and illustrator,
and we still read the copy that was signed 
to me, as a kid. 

An honorable mention by this writing and illustrating 
duo is, King Bidgood's in the Bathtub. I also have
the signed copy of this book from my 
childhood that we often pull out. 

I had never heard of this book or the author, until
we received a small stack of her books when Logi
was born.  This quickly became our favorite and we
still read our copy of this tattered little board book often. 

Honorable mention by this same author is Barnyard Dance
It is still a favorite to read allowed to the kids
(I dig deep and put a little twang in my voice when I read this one!)
This is such a fun and clever read!  This was
introduced into our reading rotation just last
year and it is absolutely a favorite! 

This is MY absolute favorite!  I learned to recite it
when Logi was just a few weeks old and it is still
one that I tell them when rocking them back to sleep in the night.
Our taped up board book shows just how much we love this one.

I am so thankful for the joy of books as the four of us pile into our 
bed every night to read.  It has been such fun, this last year to have 
Logi take on some of the reading aloud. Although, she still much prefers 
us to read to her at bedtime, so she can snuggle in with Benny.

Oh, and I can't sign off without a big, huge shout out to the Berenstain Bear books.
They are a forever favorite.  I remember sitting in my childhood bedroom, on the
phone with Zac (who was back in his childhood bedroom), before we got married,
going through our stacks or Berenstain Bears books, creating one pile of books without
doubles, for our future kids.  A week has not passed, since we had our kiddos, that 
hasn't included the adventures of this fun loving bear family!


Monday, April 11, 2016

Dining Room, A Rug Update, part 2

So...early this year, yes like 2 months ago, I excitedly
replaced out dining room rug with a navy and white
herringbone rug (see post). Sadly, a week in I realized
the quality was cheap and it would not hold up to the traffic of the 
dining room. I quickly rolled that bad boy up and sold it to a local lady for 
what I paid (score) and began the search...again.

I settled on this gorgeous,  handmade rug out of Pakistan.  
It cost a lot more than I originally budgeted, but sometimes you have to 
pull the design trigger, when a one of a kind piece screams your name.

I'm in love!

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Before & After Mid Century Chairs

Some good friends handed down two amazing Mid Century 
chairs that I had previously obsessed over at their house.  
They had them and loved them until they moved into a super
 sleek house and just couldn't make sense of these chairs
 in their new space. So, they asked me if I wanted them. 
 I nearly made them sign a contract, I was so excited!  


 Look at these lines!  You can quickly catch my obsession?

 I loved the vintage green tweed fabric, but unfortunately in 
my friend's move from house to house they were stored in 
a place where they sat under a constant drip of water.  I couldn't
salvage the fabric, and in all honesty this pair of beauties were
loved so much in the 60+ years that the cushions needed 
some pretty significant restorative work.  If you look at this
back cushion, you can see how depleted the cushion is.

Again, those lines.  Swoon.


 Can we have a moment?  SwoonFest.
The restored cushions are cozy.

I wanted to honor the original fabric, so I 
went in search of a tweed fabric.  In
my search I found this sharp herringbone
pattern and it was love at first sight.

 I literally cannot stop staring at them.


Local friends, I highly recommend Advantage Upholstery.  I am now in 
search of a vintage couch for our front room, because this was way too much fun!


Friday, January 22, 2016

Flavor Filled Cream Cheese & Bagels

Bagels and delicious, flavor-filled cream cheese give me a 
bad case of nostalgia.  Maybe it's because they were all
the rage in the 90s, with shops popping up everywhere in the
midwest? Maybe it's because I worked a stint at a bagel
shop in college? Whatever it is, I love kicking it old school
(ugh, the 90s officially feel old school as plaid has officially
come back around) and toasting up chewy bagels and
slathering them with cream cheese.  Here are two 
quick and simple recipes for flavor-filled cream
cheeses to whip up.  

One sweet and One savory, so I gotcha covered.
8 oz container of whipped cream cheese
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup honey
pinch of salt

Blend with a spoon to fully incorporate all the flavors
Starting with whipped cream cheese prevents you from 
having to get out the food processor.  Score!

the addition of chopped, lightly toasted
pecans would be delicous, FYI

8 oz container of whipped cream cheese
1/4 cup chopped scallions (chop up into the greens)
1/4 cup chopped sweet peppers (I love the mixed
bag of sweet yellows and red baby peppers)
salt & cracked black pepper, to taste

Blend with a spoon to fully incorporate all the flavors.


I pop the flavored cream cheeses back in the container
the whipped cream cheese arrived in, and the spreads are 
good and ready to go!

Slather on, my bagel loving friends.