Update – Home Tour – Living Room

So.

As previously discussed, my home is a work in progress (let’s be real here – everyone’s home is a work in progress).  Over the past few months I have been working on making my living room a little more liveable.  Lets all remember where we started:

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Gahh.  So naked.

And now:

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I have been shopping my house and combined with a few new items and some rearranging, this room is looking a little less drab and a lot more fab.

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We have been ‘looking’ for a coffee table since we moved in – by looking I mean casually looked and didn’t buy anything for 0ver 3 years.  So when we found this coffee table from Urban Barn we decided to take the plunge.  It was more expensive than I wanted (although still reasonable) but it was the only one my husband and I could agree on.

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This painting is one of my most prized possessions – it’s an Alex Janvier original that was gifted to my husband and I from my parents at our wedding.  It’s title is ‘Love Lines’.

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This area rug was a new acquisition from Homesense – I wanted an 8’x10′ for the space, but I was having a hard time procuring one (that I liked) in my tiny $200-$300 budget.  When I saw this one I thought it would coordinate well being neutral, but that it would also bring some dimension with the Ikat pattern.  And yes, I do see that there are some doggy crunches on the floor next to it, thats a regular occurrence in this house (and I am going to generalize here but I think its a regular occurrence to most people with doggies).

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We had the floral chairs in the living room before, but when we bought the carpet I though that there were maybe too many different patterns happening and that they were a little too pretty for the space, so I pulled the floral chairs to the kitchen and pulled two dining chairs to the living room.  I think it was a good move.

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Yes, that is a self portrait of my husband and I hanging behind out TV.  It was a recent gift from my brother (who magically found an amazing local portrait painter here in Edmonton on Kijiji – and I regret to inform that I don’t know who it is!).   We haven’t decided where it will live forever, but because its so funny we decided to hang it right there for now (full disclosure, there were some existing screws in the wall from when I moved the TV to that location, the frame behind it was too large and hidden so we moved it to another spot, and left that one naked – self portrait to the rescue!).

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My poor husband had to lose his hair for this portrait, but the likeness is amazing.

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Yes, that is a lounge chair in my living room.  Don’t ask, it’s not permanent.

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I am pretty happy with its current state.  Of course I have a long list of things that I want to change (new chairs, new couch with chaise lounge, lounge chair back to the basement, new window coverings etc.) but with spending just over $1100 my living room almost looks new.

Quick and Easy Decor Change Up

When we first moved into our house (3.5 years ago) our cousins gave us these brown things (they were going to put them up on their walls but they didn’t like them very much, so they came to us).  I’m not going to lie, I didn’t love them either – brown and just kind-of weird-looking, they weren’t going to work in our house.  That’s why they sat in our basement for 3 years.  I told myself that it was an easy project, but that didn’t stop my from ignoring them for an exceptionally long time.  In my effort to create a better looking living room, I decided it was time.

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Guess what I did to them… I sprayed them glossy black.  How original, I know.  BUT I think it made them look a hell of a lot better.

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My trusty purple painting blanket to the rescue.  I always try to elevate whatever I’m spraying to avoid a number of different issues, usually with whatever I have sitting (aka can find within 1 minute) around my garage/house.

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On a completely different note: Look how beautiful my grass looks!

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I just used the least expensive (a nicer way of saying cheapest) black paint I could find at Home Depot. This one sufficed.

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Once they dried, I decided to hang them on either side of the large window in my living room for symmetry.

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I used (and by I, I actually mean my trophy husband – thank god for men who are handy) my absolute favourite trick to hang these – 3M Command Hooks for no holes and if I want to move them I don’t feel guilty about having leftover nails/holes in the walls.  I posted about them earlier – you can read all about that here.

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Sneak peak of my living room make-over!  And my doggie coordinates!

Blueberry Cobbler

So its been a while.  I know.  Sorry!

I figured that I would make it up by sharing this beautiful recipe that I adapted from Kevin & Amanda (a Pinterest find by the way).

Blueberry Cobbler.  Hello!  So good – and especially since blueberries are in season, they are kind of affordable right now so you can make this without breaking the bank.

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The original recipe calls for only 4 ingredient – butter, vanilla cake mix, blueberries and sugar.  Well.  The first time I made this I followed the original recipe and it was WAAAAAAYYYYY too sweet for me and my family.  So I figured an adaptation would be easy.  And it was:

Blueberry Cobbler

3 cups blueberries, 1/4 cup sugar, 3/4 cup flour, 1/2 cup quick oats, 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 of a cake mix.

First things first – pre heat the oven to 350 degrees.  I then followed the original instructions to make brown butter instead of just melting the butter to give the crumble a bit more flavour.  Once the butter has browned, I then add it to my mixer which had half the cake mix, about 1/2 a cup of flour and 1/2  a cup of quick oats, stirring until it was crumbly.  If its still too wet just add more of the dry ingredients (in my case I added a bit more cake mix).  To prepare the blueberries I just rinsed them and tossed them in the 1/4 cup sugar and a scant 1/4 cup flour.  Then just put them in a greased my Sophie Conran baking dish (because Sophie Conran makes the best stuff) and put the crumbs on top.  Bake at 350 for 40 minutes until its all bubbly and delicious.

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And then you eat it.

I hope this makes up for the fact that I haven’t done anything new here in a long long long long time.  The entire time that I typed this post I made the awkward smile face.  You know the one:

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Birthday Love

Hi lovelies,

It’s been a while, I know.  Bad blogger that I am, I haven’t posted in over a month – whoops!  Sometimes it happens, and you just have to pull up your big girl panties and keep on keeping on.  So for your delight I would like to present the birthday cake that I made for my trophy husband this year:

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Yes, that is a toy quad half buried in the cake – why you ask?  Because he sunk his in a pond about a month ago, and this was cute little reminder.

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Looks about right hey?

Super Easy – Cheesy Caprese Quinoa

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This is the best recipe that I have tried in a long long time.  And if you make it as well, I think you will agree – It’s good.

So good my trophy husband gobbled it up and asked for seconds, and if I had kids I think they would do the same.

Since I am always looking for ways to delete meat from my diet (and my trophy husband is not), it can be tough to create a meal that will work for both of us.  But this one does.

Try it:

Cheesy Caprese Quinoa:

2 Cups cooked quinoa, 1 1/2 Cups pasta sauce,  2 Tbsp tomato paste, 1/3 Cup parmesan cheese, 1 Cup mozzarella cheese – divided, 1 small package grape tomatoes, basil (as much or as little as you like), 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper, pepper to taste.

Cook quinoa and set aside.  Preheat oven to 350 C.  In a medium sized pan, heat pasta sauce and tomato paste until warm.  Then stir in red pepper, parmesan cheese and black pepper.  Next add your 2 cups of quinoa and half the mozzarella cheese, half the tomatoes (I cut them in half) and as much basil as you would like.  Spray or oil a baking dish – then pour the entire mixture in the dish.  Top with remaining cheese, tomatoes and more basil if you like.  Bake for 15 minutes, then broil for a few to brown the cheese.

Then serve.

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It’s that easy, and the trophy husband said it tasted like lasagna.  And we polished it off over the next few days as a quick leftover supper (just tossed back in the oven for 15 again and serve)

I found the original recipe here – but I tweaked it a bit.

Enjoy!

Gold Glitter Tray DIY

It has begun.

I fell in love with gold glitter – well gold in general.  But over the past few months I have learned that nothing is safe!  Which means that pretty much anything that we own could/would be covered in gold glitter.  If I want it to.

And I want it to be.

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This project was inspired by A Beautiful Mess.  I saw it over a year ago and have wanted a gold glitter tray ever since.  So, naturally I procrastinated for a while (if you can call a year a while – more like a long long time).  And man was it easy.  All I needed was a plate, glue, glitter, modge podge and a foam paint brush.  Spread your glue all over the plate with the foam brush.  Then get your glitter going.  Make sure you get lots in there, you can shake off the extra once it dries.  Once dried, touch up any missed spots and let dry fully again.  Once fully dried, shake any access glitter off tray then spread the modge podge all over in an even coat. The goal is to seal the glitter under the modge podge so that they don’t just shake off as you use your tray.  I did a second coat with the modge podge to make sure.  Then just let dry fully.

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And look how pretty it is!

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Love!

Kind-of Amazing Super Easy Hot Fudge Sauce

I am a major sucker for anything hot fudge.  Big time.

So when I stumbled upon this super easy Hot Fudge recipe from Say Yes, I knew I had to give it a try.

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It is amazingly delicious.  And EASY!  I tweaked the original recipe a bit by using Eagle Brand (sweetened evaporated milk) and only adding 1/2 cup sugar instead of the 1 1/3 cups originally suggested.

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Recipe:

1/2 Cup Butter, 1 Cup Evaporated Milk, 1/2 Cup Sugar, 1/2 Cup Cocoa Powder, 1 tsp Vanilla

Melt the butter in a small pot.  Add evaporated milk and bring to a slow boil.  Add the dry ingredients and cook for about 4 minutes (until the fudge starts to stick to the back of the spoon).  Add vanilla and DONE!

I poured the whole batch into this jar and it fit perfectly. I then just popped into the fridge.  The original recipe says that it can live in the fridge forever, but I really don’t think it will last long enough to test that theory.

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And wow is it tasty.  Try it.  You won’t be dissapointed.