Sunday Happy

IMG_8373Wowzers…Is it for real Memorial day weekend? Where has all the time gone? Let's talk about a week gone by fast. My brain is on complete overdrive and I am having a hard time keeping it from exploding…SO MUCH TO DO! (Not bad stuff, just a lot of stuff) But lo, that's life right? There is always a lots of "stuff" to do, but today I am going to try and let that stuff chill and maybe give myself a few hours of coffee, (so much coffee) reading a book in the sunshine, gardening, and just some overall chillin. 

Hopefully.

And hopefully you party people out there will be able to do a little of the same, or at least the chillin part. It is a 3 day weekend after all (not for us, but whatever)

Some internet fun finds.

-Sleeping in a loft that I have to crawl to get to the bed… this  Gallery of Gorgeous Attic Bedrooms makes me so jealous..

-This new startup wants to sell you ugly fruit and veggies. I still don't get it, it's not ugly, its awesome.

-So cool and reminds me of my late brother in lawWet Fold Origami Technique Gives Wavy Personality to Paper Animals by Artist Hoang Tien Quyet

-Could this be my new home? And I love a good plant lady. BURSTING WITH PLANTS, A 1910 PORTLAND FOURSQUARE FOR A FLORIST AND BARISTA

-Its so weird how try this isGoing, Going, Gone: 30+ Items That Are Disappearing from Our Homes

-We are doing this is the humongus pot hole in front of our house(we want to anywayTreats in the Streets: Artist Jim Bachor Fills Potholes with Ice Cream Mosaics

-Holy shit is this the mister. 5 Conditions That Afflict the Reluctant Dishwasher. (1 and 2  really hit the nail)

A few photos from the weekIMG_8375-1Goodbye fiddleheads…. Hello ferns 

IMG_8333On our way to a geo catch…. And note clothing options for 2 in the afternoon. I am much fond of that little guy wearing a rain jacket without a shirt in when its sunny and 80 degrees. And a pink poke dot bath robe.. I mean, it's so the cool thing to do. 

IMG_8339We didn't find the geo, but we found this gigantic mushroom. Just as cool, maybe even cooler.

IMG_8347I love brick and there is one street in all of burlington (that I know of) that has brick sidewalks. I like to walk down it a lot. 

IMG_1263Nurse lady making food… I compare this to a big foot sighting. I have heard stories that she cooks,but have never actually witnessed it myself. (Just kidding….kinda)

Happy long weekend! (if you are lucky to have one!)

-C

Make Yourself an Awesome Little Shelf

IMG_6543 The conversation I had with my little brother on his birthday...

Me- "Happy Birthday!"

Bro- "Thanks"

Me- "What do you want to do.. want to come over, I'll make you something, anything you want…donuts, cake, pizza…"

Bro- "Make me a shelf, I got like seven books for my birthday"

Me- "Um, ok… what are you thinking?"

Bro- "Something to hold like seven books"

Yup, he got "like seven" books and needed a shelf……. I guess I didn't realize that "like seven" was a unit of measurement. Man, I love my little brother,  but sometime I wonder about the kid. Anyway, Being that coolest big sister he's got (and coolest big brother in law who did most of the work), we went along and made him a  shelf. Hopefully it holds those "like seven books".

IMG_6419Here is the list of what you will need to make the exact shelf with the same measurements that we used…but feel free to use and adjust the measurements to your want or need.

  • 2 pieces of 1x8 common pine measuring 25 1/2 inches (sides)
  • 2 pieces of 1x8 common pine measuring 17 1/2 (top and bottom)
  • 1  piece od 1x8 common pine measuring 16 inches (middle shelf)
  • 2 pieces of 1x8  common pine measuring 4 inches (legs)
  • Wood glue
  • About 20 (having a few extra never hurt) 2 1/4 inch finishing screws

Tools

  • Drill
  • Either a circular saw or a chop box to cut the legs
  • Measuring tape
  • Speed Square or something to make a perfect straight line

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The legs are the hardest part to make and really, it's so not hard. Take both 4" pieces of pine and cut in half ( each piece will end up being 3  5/8".. how is that you ask? Well here is some knowledge… 1x8  pine actually measures 7  1/2 "…. nuts right?) With each piece, measure an inch in on the bottom and side…Draw a vertical line to connect and  then cut the line. Repeat last step with the second piece you just cut, then repeat the whole processes with the second piece  of 4" pine. These words seem a little confusing, just look at the picture above, it has all the measurements on it too. In the end, you should end up with 4 legs.

IMG_6445Take one of the 17 1/2" pieces and with a straight edge, draw two lines form opposite corners to find dead center.  Measure 8" from center on each line, that is where the legs are going to be placed. Working with one leg at a time, add a smear of wood glue to each leg as you are about to screw it down. Place leg on mark and sink a screw about an inch up from the inside of the leg, screwing at a slight angle (see photo)..

Phew.. this is the most complicated part of the whole shelf so once you get the legs on… its all smooth sailing.

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Flip bottom onto legs and sink a screw in (1 inch in on both sides) into each leg.

IMG_6468Now grab the top piece (17 1/2 ") piece and the two sides pieces (25 1/2"). Add a bit of wood glue to the side ends and line up top piece with the sides.  Sink 2 screws into each side. If you have another person helping, have them hold the pieces for you while you screw the top into the sides.. if not, use the bottom to rest a side against (like in picture). 

IMG_6483Now flip over and screw the bottom piece into the sides……

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Take a minutre…. Look at what you have accomplished! You have a kick ass square with legs!

Now place the shelf. We went for just about center.. 12 1/2"  from the bottom. Mark the measurements on both sides and use a square edge to draw a line.

IMG_6515Place shelf on the lines (The wood should fit in tight, you might even have to bang it a bit to get it into place….but you want it to fit nice and snug.) Now screw the shelf…two screws on each side.

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Flip onto legs and ……….TA DA!!!! So Fancy!

 You now have a shelf to shelf things.. Simple as that. And I tested it out…It holds more the "like seven" books. A success! 

Note…...If you are feeling like you need to, use a little wood putty to fill in the screw holes. You can sand it if you want. You might even want to stain or paint it. Up to you. The shelf is made and is yours to do what you will. Me, I like it just the way it is.

If anyone out there takes this little shelf project up.. let me know how it goes, maybe even send a picture…and feel free to ask any questions!

Have fun building awesomeness!

-C

Bits of Happy

 I spent a lot of time indoors this week, due to the fact that my eyelids would freeze shut when going out for more than a few minute..(for real, walking to the gym the other day, I had my head tightly wrapped and the condensation from my breath went up, into my eyes, and froze.)  I mean, I love winter, I love the cold, but I am not a huge fan of -30 with wind chill… I get cold bones.  After that morning, the mister insisted on diving me…Love. So we (me, Nick, and especially Washer) might have felt a little trapped this week, and when trapped inside, we get a little antsy, but we have been trying to make the most of it. Cooking, baking, cleaning, drawing, reading, knitting, drinking lots of coffee and tea, and overall trying to stay warm (and sane) Yup. trying to ward of the cabin fever, especially this year, living in a little tiny bit of a room with one window..has been a little difficult. And I know it's going to be a bitch when it hits. But it's all cool, We have plans in the making, places to look forward to, things to see. It always helps to have an adventure awaiting to keep the fever at bay.

Anyway, not a bad week, maybe a little stuffy, but nothing to complain to much about. Here are a few of highlights that made(make) me happy.

IMG_6387The kitchen, living room, dinning room, office…all over great room., covered in piles of clothes. Sometimes listening to music and folding laundry can be so, I don't know, peaceful. I just felt happy at this moment. (might be the fact that I know have some clean clothes and dish cloths)

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The trash dog and I went for a lovely little hike by ourselves…It was so nice to get out of the house. We both really really really needed it that day. And look how handsome he looks.. so red against the world. 

IMG_6865 Standing in line at the grocery store, saw this magazine and started to laugh. I love Oprah...but now…I really love Oprah. Best magazine cover ever!

IMG_6956Another picture of the pup. Letting his rino toy have the bed. A little pathetic…A lot cute

IMG_5755  I am doing little recipe testing and this situation in this pot is so freaking good! Just trying to work out a  few technical kinks. 

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I love to look up… don't forget to look up.

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I made a large quantity of banana dream (what I call banana ice cream). This stuff is like crack.. Once I start eating it, I can't stop. I might overdose on bananas but I am ok with that. 

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I went to a granite and marble showroom this week. And like whoa, so freaking cool. Walking among huge pieces  of gorgeous slabs of stone is kind of magical… and a little cold.

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A basket of roots….More like a basket of rainbows. 

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I currently don't have a pretty vase of zinnias on my table, (these beauts are from this past summer) but I really wish I did. Fresh flowers are one of my favorite  things. This picture has inspired me, I am on the hunt for some pretty fresh. 

That sums up the week...Stay warm!

-C

Gingerbread Donuts with Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze

IMG_6198FA LA LA LA LA….. LA LA LA LA….Happy eve of Christmas! What better way to celebrate the holidays than with the sweet and spicy flavor of ginger…in donut form! There is nothing better.

This donut is ideal for Christmas morning(or any other morning)..Warm and sweet, bright and tangy….The perfect balance to make everyone happy! It's really fast and easy, so you can make a batch while the coffee is brewing, or you can even make them tonight and maybe leave a donut out for santa. Have guests over for the holidays…Dazzle them with a homemade donut. Hanging out at home by yourself…make some donuts…..traveling….well you are kind of screwed at the moment… but think about making donuts when you get where  your going. 

It all started a few Christmases back when the mister gifted me with a wonderful addition to my kitchen bakeware….a donut pan…. and it was a game changer. If you do not have a donut pan I suggest that you immediately go buy one.. No joke, it's so worth it. The pan elevates a simple cake recipe to something more… A round of frosted soft cakeness. Circles with holes…..happiness. Hopefully you already have a donut pan, but if not, I trust you will soon.(you can still make this recipe without the pan, just bake it in a 9x9 pan. Yes, it will still taste amazing, but it's that much better as a donut!)

IMG_6100 I am really excited to finally share a donut recipe with you all. I haven't made a batch yet that hasn't won a round of applause or at least a super double thumbs up. If you haven't made donuts yet, bookmark this recipe and make it  priority for your next baking adventure

.What I started with….flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt whisked together. A little bowl of fresh ginger, powdered ginger and cinnamon.  Molasses, brown sugar, vanilla, and egg, melted butter and milk. Not a bad line up

IMG_6107The spiced mixed in to the dry….I used fresh and powered ginger but if you don't have any fresh.. just add more powdered…but fresh adds that extra bit of gingery spiciness.

IMG_6111       IMG_6114                                            The wet ingredients all mix together. Molasses first, then the butter, vanilla, and the brown sugar, mix that then add the egg and the milk last.(avoid adding egg and melted butter together so it doesnt scramble)  Mix wet mixture with the dry until fully incorporated and smooth. 

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A beautiful donut batter….Scoop small spoonfuls of batter into very well greased donut pan …smooth tops with a spoon or spatial....I may have added just a little too much batter the first round, , which is totally cool, it's just the donuts came our with a bit of a spare tire around the bottom…a little more to eat I say.IMG_6133Out of the oven and turned onto a cooling rack…This beauties smell so very nice.

IMG_6124      IMG_6130While the donuts are cooling, prepare the icing. Mix  1/4 cup of cream cheese with 1/2 cup of sifted powdered sugar. Half of a lemons worth of juice with a teaspoon of lemon zest and mix…  add a splash or two of milk to get the desired consistency(this is a cream cheese glaze, it won't harden like a sugar glaze)IMG_6151When the donuts are full cooled, dip into glaze….

Flip and let drip……and admire. I had to beat a few hands away while taking these pictures..I am telling you, people will do crazy things for a donut…..CRAZY THINGS…IMG_6156Just look at these. And for real, they really don't take much time. You could totally whip these up in less than 30 minutes.. just make sure to have someone else do all the dishes!!!

 

Gingerbread Donuts with Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze

Ingredients……Makes about 8

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon  powdered ginger
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoon melted butter

Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • half a lemon worth of lemon juice
  • a splash or two of milk

Instructions Preheat oven 350

Grease  donut pan In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, powdered and fresh ginger. In a small bow mix molasses, vanilla, brown sugar and melted butter. Stir and add milk and egg last.

Mix the wet with dry ingredients and until just combined. Scoop small amounts of batter to each donut mold… fill to about 2/3 full. and level out with a spoon if spatula. Stick in oven and bake for  10 minutes or until edges just start to turn golden brown and a cake test comes out clean.

While donuts are cooling, stir together cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice and zest. Add small splashes of milk until you reach the desired consistency(not to runny, think dish soap) Dip baked side of donuts into glaze, flip and return to wire rack.

And then you open your mouth…..EAT DONUT……..EAT!!!

Little Bits of my Happiness

Being that its Thanksgiving this week (YIKES!!!) and I am getting those holiday feelings like love and thankfulness, and blah blah blah…(Not to mention the stress and frustration) I want to stop and share with you some things that I love..Little bits of my happiness. IMG_3478        IMG_3479

CATSUP and MUSTARD…Green Spork….Gelatin mold with a heart. I scored!!!IMG_3483 IMG_3481

Vintage Tupperware melts my heart… I know that plastic is not fantastic, but I am obsessed. Yesterday I picked up a few pieces at the recycled house good store. I spent a little too much time shuffling around shelves, filled a basket them narrowed it down to three pieces. I think an old lady died and all of her stuff went there….RIP and thanks for the goodies!

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IMG_3064   Blooming Christmas cactuses.. How can you not love these plants. I feel like mine aways bloom a week or two before everyone else's. I have  seven and one  is from 10 years ago. It's one of my very first house plants that I ever bought. Home Depot clearance rack for 50 cents… I also love Home Depot clearance plant rack

IMG_3484Citrus fruit.. Grapefruits, navels, clementines oh my.

IMG_2911The first snow……IMG_4354Washer seeing the first snow….He is a snow dog and once the white stuff starts to pile up, he'll be swimming in it. It some funny shit.

IMG_2888When my lover leaves for the weekend. I cleaned the holy hell out of my house. I left the toilet seat down and it stayed down. Had our car all to myself and ate dinner on the couch with a book and the computer…Yes. that is a gigantic bag of spinach..Dont judge.

IMG_2970When My lover comes home from being gone for the weekend. Even my  food was missing him.

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This Brick wall at the YMCA. I bike there every morning and lately I have been hitting the sun just right and seeing the greatest shadows. That;s my bike.

IMG_3323A finished knitting project!! I started this hat a few weeks ago for one of my sisters littles….I then proceeded to start a few other projects and forgot about it. After a few days of freezing cold weather and a sister who kindly reminded me that my nieces ears were about to freeze off for lack of hat, I went along and finished it for her. I know, I am the best aunt.

IMG_3395Lentils..The most perfect food.

 

There you have it…A bit of my happiness.