It's Thanksgiving Over at Kitchen Comforts

I'm getting ready for the Thanksgiving kickoff for Kitchen Comforts. November is my busy entertaining month every year, so I'll have tons of recipes, tips, download samples, planners and other goodies.

Bathroom Update

I wanted to get the bathroom repaired before November, since we are having three different events at our house then. Otherwise, it would wait until Spring.

The project was supposed to be:
  1. Remove wallpaper
  2. Paint

The project turned into:
  1. Remove wallpaper
  2. Remove next layer of wallpaper
  3. Remove drywall (It wasn't properly prepped and started falling apart in step 2)
  4. Replace drywall
  5. Mud and Tape
  6. Sand
  7. Patch walls
  8. Sand
  9. Patch walls (due to shrinkage)
  10. Sand
  11. Prime
  12. Scrape ceiling
  13. Patch ceiling
  14. Patch walls (a few dings that weren't visible until primed)
  15. Sand ceiling
  16. Sand walls
  17. Prime ceiling
  18. Prime walls
  19. Patch walls (ladder dings from priming ceiling and a few final tiny dings)
  20. Sand walls
  21. Prime those spots
  22. Paint ceiling
  23. Paint walls

So now we have two more coats to go on the wall (we're painting it a deep red), but it's almost done! A one day job is now on it's 4th week. Gotta love home improvement.  Not done, but at least you can get an idea of the color.  Also, can anyone give me tips on how to photograph red paint?  They all look orange to me, but the paint is actually a deep blue red.



Tuesday in the Nursery: Wubbanub

I know Wubbanubs have been making the rounds on the nursery/mom/baby blogs. Otherwise, I'd have never known about them. However, being that they are basically unknown up here in North Dakota, so I figured I'd mention them.

Wubbanubs are Soothie pacifiers attached to small stuffed animals to make it easier for baby to hold on to and keep the pacifier in the mouth. And, easier to find if they happen to fall out. Everyone I've given them to so far just loves them.

I can't even remember what site I first read about them on, I'm guessing it was PoshCravings, since that was the first baby one I started following. However, when I saw them I put them on my list of "Baby Stuff I Want" right away. When Baby Dagny had their big moving sale a few months back I bought a dozen. I've hoarded a few away to keep and have been giving the rest away as baby gifts.

I love the red dog, it reminds me of Clifford the Big Red Dog. And the bright color makes it easy to find among other baby stuff. Which I'm hoping it will make it easier to see once we are trying to juggle a baby and all the paraphanelia that comes with one.


Soundtrack to my Life

I never did finish this "project", there are so many great songs. All I could do is narrow it down to a handful of songs that would have to be included, for one reason or another. My intent was to come up with a soundtrack of 15, but depending on my mood on any given day that I thought about this I would replace half the songs. These were the constants.

Pipkins - Gimmee Dat Ding
Simple Minds - Don't You Forget About Me
The Cure - Friday, I'm In Love
Depeche Mode - Somebody
Modern English - Melt With You
The Pixies - Gigantic
Holly Cole Trio - Onion Girl
Leigh Nash - Charmed Life

Apple Butter - Recipe

What do you do when you are given two huge bags full of apples? I love apples and I've been munching on a few, but there are only so many I can eat at once. I've decided the majority of them are going to be peeled, sliced and used for baking and making apple butter. Fitting them all in one bowl doesn't make it look like a whole lot, but that is the largest bowl I own, 42-cup capacity.

AppleButter3

I was in 7th grade the first time I ever tasted apple butter. I was spending the weekend with my best friend at her father's house, and they had a small "orchard" for a back yard. Her step-mother made apple butter every fall, and I remember when we arrived the whole house smelled like apple, cinnamon and nutmeg. We had fresh baked bread with apple butter at just about every meal, and ever since I anxiously await jars of apple butter to show up at farmer's markets in the fall.

AppleButter5

With a surplus of apples, my first thought was to try my hand at making apple butter. So, I went shopping last night for all the ingredients to make apple butter. I'll put some apples aside for Apple Galette and Caramel Apples as well, but the majority will go towards the Apple Butter. I'm hoping it turns out well and I will hopefully have enough jars to give a few away for Christmas.

AppleButter6

Apple Butter
INGREDIENTS
2 (12 fluid ounce) cans frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed
1 cup apple cider
8 pounds tart apples - peeled, cored and chopped
1-1/2 cups dark brown sugar
2 cups brandy or apple brandy
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

DIRECTIONS
In a large saucepan, bring apple juice concentrate, apple cider, and apples to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Stirring occasionally, simmer uncovered about 1 hour, until apples are easily mashed.

Mix dark brown sugar, apple brandy, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves into the apple mixture. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer uncovered 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until thickened. Transfer to sealed sterile containers, and cool at least 1 hour before serving.


AppleButter1
I have a huge stainless steel pot I use for making up larger batches of soup, chili, which handled the apples perfectly.


AppleButter4
Just before transferring to jars, the steam made this quite a blurry picture, but the smell is heavenly.

Crash Into Me



I just LOVE this photograph, which I just purchased. Yay!

I stumbled on Bueller Designs a while back and immediately subscribed to the RSS Feed. Every post is a bit of eye candy. So, with the announcement of her new site today, of course I had to peek. (*NOTE* Bueller Designs is now found at From London With Love and previous links have been removed. For photography, visit Alysia Cotter Photography directly.)

I was immediately smitten with the photo titled "Crash Into Me". I have 2 possible locations for it, I'll try them both and see which I like best. One is a wall which will be painted Valspars "Posh Red" when we finish it this weekend, the other is my office which will be painted Valspars "Irish Paddock".

I'm leaning towards a simple black square frame at the moment. I'll have to think about it a bit. I'm open to suggestions. When I get the photograph I'll take a quick snapshot with each wall to give you an idea.


Round Crib

There are so many blogs out there covering modern design and modern nursery accessories and modern this and that. To take it a step further, there are a lot that even narrow it down to mid-century modern. I have a hard time finding blogs that really concentrate on decor and design that feels very traditional or vintage even. While I like the simplicity of modern, I don't care for a lot of the fabric choices or all the straight lines. Simply not my taste, I like a little frou-frou, or fussiness as my sister-in-law calls it.

I keep hearing that there are too many breakables and that my house won't work for children. Growing up my mother had plenty of breakables, but we were taught to stay out of certain rooms and that some things were to look at, not to touch. I knew this at a very young age. When I was 2, I knew my grandmother's figurines were very precious and not to be played with like toys. I was always fascinated though, and one day my mother and grandmother puzzled at what was wrong with the figurines. What looked like a strange shadow on them was in fact jelly, since I had very carefully kissed each one after having indulged in a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. My point is that children can be taught to be respectful. Since we will have our own munchkins running around the house soon I will let you know how things go.

So, in my more traditional preferences, I'll highlight traditional children and nursery items that I absolutely love on Tuesdays.

I absolutely fell in love with the round cribs that have been in the market for a few years now. I couldn't wait to get one, since we finally have our own nursery to plan. There is quite a selection at All Things Creative, including some that are geared specifically towards each gender. These are the cribs I coveted.

Recently though a more affordable option is available for those of us looking for a round crib on a more modest budget. Last year JCPenney started offering a limited selection of round cribs, they are much more affordable and still look great. For mine, I picked a gender-neutral cherry panelled round crib from JCPenney that will be used for all of our children. I absolutely love it! I am very happy with the quality, and I also got the optional canopy intending to use it with a canopy for a girl and without for a boy.

Nursery
The crib in my nursery

Daring Book For Girls


I'm eagerly awaiting The Daring Book For Girls which will be released on October 30th.

I purchased The Dangerous Book for Boys shortly after it came out and pored over it for days, calling out to hubby every so often "Come look at this", "This is pretty neat", "I can't wait to go through this with our kids someday".

The book for boys covered so many things necessary for childhood fantasies: building a treehouse, making slingshots, folding the best paper airplane, tying knots, morse code and so much more. I wouldn't limit yourself by the titles, since I liked treehouses and strong knots as much as my brother ever did. I'm hoping The Daring Book for Girls covers as many adventurous things as the boys book, and it's not too girly-girl. As long as it isn't a dissertation on tea parties, it should be just about perfect.