REPLACING INTERIOR DOORKNOBS

February 10, 2020

HONESTLY PROBABLY a “WISH I’D DONE IT SOONER” status although those bug me and bum me out so I try to not think of them! So, I had it in my head that to get cool, slightly historic doorknobs (got to have a faceplate) it was going to be really expensive. Like, $250 a knob. We only have seven doorknobs in our home. Can that be right? Shocking. (Is that low for a house our size? Maybe that’s normal.) So once I realized that, and now since we’re thinking about resale more we try to do things that would help with that now so we can enjoy them even though we aren’t listing yet.

I cracked open homedepot.com just to see where we were coming in on prices and how stylish the options were and woah it’s only like $26 for a solid interior doorknob option with faceplate.

My ideal would probably be a good brass, but good brasses are harder to come by at the big box stores, so instead I go with black/very dark oil rubbed bronzes.

Also there’s a lot more variation of brasses from brand to brand than blacks so it’s easier to mix, which is what we’re doing in a gradual renovation house like ours.

We got a few privacy and a few passage versions. They came, we installed. It is so much nicer! Those details make a big difference. And I wouldn’t say “expensive” is the look I’m going for in my home, but it is kind of the look you go for when selling a house. The older I get the more I like things that feel QUALITY. Our former ones were the chippy old 1980’s brass knobs. SO BAD.

The whole thing, about $200. And it effected like, every room of our house so positively! Is retail upping it’s game the past five to ten years for housewares? I don’t feel like you could have gotten this at home depot seven years ago. And I won’t get started on how far target’s home section has come.

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AUDOBON PRINTS GALLERY WALL

February 3, 2020

Our dining room has two feature walls with a paneling we installed and painted behr “midnight blue.” For the opposite side of the room I wanted to add a dramatic and maximalist art wall. It came together really easily and everything I used you can get yourself. (All of the art in total was 50 cents thanks to a used book sale.)

So yes, first I found a thrifted book of John James Audubon artwork. Thrifted art books are always one of my favorite places to get inexpensive prints. This book was particularly a good one because it had large full page images. And lots of them. I am not sure if this is the EXACT same one but a similar one is inexpensively here on amazon.

Next I sourced a good frame I liked that I could buy in bulk mass produced, but still with classic lines and little bit of old style character.

These at michaels! Like always on sale 50% off, and so only $18 each.

The prints had a slight variety of sizes from how they were printed in the book. To avoid paying for custom matting I just put an 11×14 piece of solid matting behind the print in the frame. I got solid pieces of 11×14 mats (with no hole) by going to hobby lobby. They have really big sheets that you can buy for $10 and then they cut it down into pieces of whatever size you’d like.

I deliberated how big I wanted the wall to be (15 frames or 21) and settled on 21 with a 3 x 4 grid on the left side and a 3×3 on the right. It cost some extra cash, but I thought the additional fullness would achieve the collected, maximalist look better.

On a large scale art wall like this, all the frames being level is important, so after leveling everything out, David secured each frame on the back with a small piece of adhesive putty. Especially the ones by the high chair!

Our dining room has gone through several iterations, but the way things are lately is our favorite and we find ourselves spending so much more time in here. Adequate lighting being the possible biggest mvp!

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BATCH COOKING AND FREEZER MEAL IDEAS

January 28, 2020

I have been doing more with batch cooking and freezing foods and I love it when I do. I cook so much, everyday. (Which I like, but.) Why do I ever make a pasta bake and not make two? Part of my limitation before was I didn’t have a deep freezer. (And the more we started buying food in bulk the more I’d joke with David “MAMA NEEDS A DEEP FREEZE.”)

And now I have one and it is here and it is spectacular and I dare you to just TRY AND KEEP ME from the low priced produce this summer. Below are some of my favorite ways to freeze things.

frost-free upright freezer | vintage rug (similar) | clear organization bins | retro trash can | children’s bicycle (similar)

MEAT

I buy a ton and have a big session of bagging up dinner entree size portions. Then I have lots of bags ready to go that I can thaw when needed.

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts and ground beef are ones we especially keep on hand. Chicken in particular is one it feels so good to have trimmed and ready for cooking.

CASSEROLES

As mentioned above, one of my goals for myself is to improve in remembering to just make double whenever I’m making something very freeze-able for dinner! Try this cheesy chicken and wild rice casserole or of course, the ever faithful lasagna.

SOUPS

Such a friend of the freezer! Along with casseroles I think this is the other best freezer resilient type of entree.

Some of my favorites are sausage minestrone, chicken meatball soup, green vegetable soup with roasted chickpeas, orange and honey carrot soup, 25 minute ham and white bean soup, one pot quinoa turkey chili,  one pot creamy potato soup, slow cooker chicken and wild rice soup, hearty chicken tortilla soup, and wonton soup. Okay, maybe I really like soups. Yeah, soups are awesome.

FRUIT

When the summer comes and the berries are so wonderfully ripe (not all white in the middle strawberries like in winter!) buy buy buy them at the great price (or do a you pick farm day with the kids) and then eat summer-level-quality produce all winter.

PIES

Things that take a long time to make I like to make in big installments. In the dessert world, pie is one of the more tedious categories, but they freeze so well! Fruit pies and pie crusts are sent to the freezer in droves.

SPINACH

My best friend told me this one. It freezes really well and is easy to remove just the amount you need when making soups or sautéing spinach! I now mostly only ever have spinach in the fridge if it’s directly for a salad.

SMOOTHIES

Smoothies are lovable once you are drinking them but the preparing process is too annoying if there are too many ingredients I would have to get out or slice everyday. For the freezer you can make smoothie packs by measuring out the ingredients and then just writing the amount of liquid ingredients to add on the exterior.

This one is my favorite everyday smoothie. Just write “add 1/4 cup yogurt, 2 tablespoons honey, 3/4 cup almond milk” on the outside. I do either single serve pack or a six times serving size for a pack for whole family smoothies.

ICE CREAM

Just for fun, this is my #1 brand of ice cream. (NOTHING ELSE COMPARES). And an awesome ice cream recipe cookbook. (The baked goods in it are my favorites too.)

Related to all of this is a post about doing a good job bringing a sympathy meal which is a fun one and very applicable to deep freezer life! Having an active freezer presence makes taking a meal to someone in need easier.

I love finding a new thing that freezes well and experimenting with how to make dishes come back to life at room temp and turn out nicely!

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