Wednesday, July 29, 2009

seattle heat wave

Morning All,

What a crazy few weeks it's been. Right after my last post we celebrated my little sisters 18th birthday (Happy Birthday again little girl!), the husband finished the shed at my mom's and then my mom & grandparents decided to have a garage sale.

Amongst all that excitement, we were getting ready to move. Not a far move, just across the sidewalk courtyard actually. Forty-five steps if I counted correctly. It's just a little bit more per month for about two-hundred additional square feet. Talk about a steal of a deal. We made the move this Monday, though we have/had until the 31st to get all the way out, the husband wanted to do it in one fell swoop. Looking back now I'm glad we did it all in one day, especially considering the heat since then.

Yesterday just about completed the unpacking, the bathroom, bedroom & kitchen are unpacked and useable & functionable now and the living room is coming together nicely with the exception of the media center causing the husband some trouble. Not to mention me causing him chaos regarding the placement of picture frames.

However my craft area is looking like a hurricane hit it. There are paints and fabric swatches littering the table and drawers strewn about... it's really quite a mess. Though I've decided from the moment I'm back from the gym Monday morning to when it's 100% completed it'll be the only thing I work on.

When I drove down to the bakery about an hour ago my car said it was eighty-three degrees outside which actually means it's about seventy-eight. But even time the door swings open I catch some of that warm air and I'm thinking it's gone up quite a bit since I've been in the lovely air conditioned bakery. Ooh, the reason I'm here isn't because I'm working, it's simply because our tv & internet provider can't get out to our apartment to reconnect whatever is needed until next Friday... So I was "borrowing" wifi from our lovely neighbors (Not stealing! - I was planning on baking them some cookies as a thank you later...) when suddenly it cut out. Unfortunately for me they're the only ones with an unprotected network, unforuntatly for them it's wayyyy too hott for me to bake cookies today.

I've found out that though I think I can handle heat and higher humidity, in actuality I can't. I'm miserable. I only like to sweat when I'm burning some calories and not when I'm merely hanging photo frames.

Though I've haven't written about it yet, here are some photos of green beans & chives at our old apartment, these were taken about 6 weeks ago:

I have more plants now, some sunflowers, roma tomatoes, wild flowers, moon flowers and some oregano but no photos yet. I promise I will take some as soon as it cools off around here.

Monday, the day we moved, it was ninety-seven at two in the afternoon, needless to say we took a break from moving things from the old apartment to the new and just stayed in and unpacked a little but my poor plants... they burned. I mean litterally burned. The leaves look like they've been set on fire. Our previous apartment faced the North and was shielded somewhat from the East but our new one faces the South and is shielded a bit from the West but gets a large amount of morning sun and doesn't get a break until about 5pm. Finally, yesterday I got a dark sheet out and drapped it across the balcony and put all the plants underneath; our poor neighbors probably think we're hillbillies drying our sheets on the porch :) I've also been setting a timer every ninety-minutes to remind myself to check on the poor plants to make sure they're not drying out. Monday I checked them in the morning aruond 8:30am and the soil was dry so I watered them A LOT and by 11:30 when we took a mini-break to rehydrate, my plants needing some rehydration too. So far checking every ninety minutes seems to keep them somewhat happy.. as happy as plants with burnt leaves can be... Speaking of which, I should probably head some to my internet-less apartment and check on those babies!

For all you in the Northwest experiencing this temperature change, good luck to you - keep watering your plants and YOUR SELF! :) Adios!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

sunday evening supper

Alrighty, well first of all, forgive me if I'm somewhat out of practice; it's been a few days since my last post. I was at the bakery the past few days. So it's good to be back at home with some free time to blog away.

Anyhow, I started to miss the weekends the husband & I used to have together so I took today off to have a hubby+wife date-day :)
We started off by sleeping in and just enjoying a cup of coffee together on our patio. Then we headed off to Pike Place to get some new lavender, veggies & gorgeous flowers.

Afterwards, we were off to the Bite of Seattle and enjoyed some good food. I had a tasty but typical gyro and the husband had a combo from Bama Buza with yakisoba, chicken skewers & fried rice. But the dissapointment was no "bite" - I've been to the Bite before and remember booths with three dollar sized portions so you can really nimble & sample and not get full off a huge entree. Nonetheless, great weather, fun people and like seven beer gardens! We're easy to please. (Here's a great article expressing my opinion on the Bite:

We did a little shopping afterwards for Sissy's birthday (it's Tuesday!) then headed home. Typically I don't cook too much on the weekends, especially not anything from scratch but maybe it was being in Seattle around creative people or downing two beers before two-pm but I decided to make a super supper for hubby & I.

Here's the menu of the evening: (recipes below, if you're interested.)

Breaded Sweet Porkchops

Apple & Pear Chutney for on top

Dill & Pea Red-Potatoe Salad

Citrus & Cranberry Green Salad

Needless to say, it's been a great night. We polished off dinner around 7:30, sat on the patio again, this time with a glass of wine and then headed down for a walk on the beach.
Nighty Night all, Good Luck with your Monday morning.

[I would recommend making the porkchops along with the chutney.. It'll give you a great sauce for the wash used for the porkchops.]

Apple & Pear Chutney - this is such an easy recipe, lots of ingredients but SO simple.
4 tart apples; peeled & chopped into small-ish chunks
3 firm pears; peeled & chopped into small-ish chunks
2 - 2 1/2 c. packed brown sugar - start with 2 c. first.
1/2 - 1 c. granulated sugar - start with 1/2 c. first.
juice of 1 lemon & 1 orange.
1/3 c. apple cider vinegar
1/4 c. brandy
1 teasp. sea salt
2 cinnamon sticks
1/2 teasp. ginger
1/2 teasp. allspice
1 teasp. dry mustard
1 1/2 c. golden raisins.

After cutting the apples & pears put them in a bowl of water to avoid browning.
Drain out water before adding to pan.
In large, shallow saucepan add all ingredients except the raisins.
Bring to boil, lower heat to med-low.
Cook for 20 minutes until fruit has reduced.
Add raisins & cook 10 more.
Taste and adjust sugar, vinegar & spice if necessary.
Spoon out 1/2 c. sauce if making chutney.
Remove cinnamon sticks and pour into bowl.
Cover and chill if saving. If you're serving the meal soon, leave on the counter to let cool a bit.
Breaded Sweet Porkchops : yields 6 servings
6 - 1/2" thick porkchops
1 c. seasoned breadcrumbs
1 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. sauce from chutney
In large skillet, heat 2-3 TB. of olive oil.
Add porkchops to flour, then sauce, and into the breadcrumbs and into the pan to crisp up.
Repeat for all chops.
Dill & Pea Red-Potatoe Salad : yields 6 servings.
2lbs. red-skinned potatoes, cut in 1/2" chunks. I kept the skin on for vitamins & color but you can peeled them off if you like.
1 teasp. salt
2 hardboiled eggs - peeled & chopped
1/2 c. finely chopping red onion
1/2 c. peas - fresh or thawed frozen.
2/3 - 1 c. mayo
2 TB. sour cream
2-3 teasp. mustard
salt & pepper.
1/4 c. chopped fresh dill

Place potatoes in saucepan & cover with water.
Add half dill and 1 teasp. salt to water.
Cook until tender.
Drain and transfer for med. bowl, add chopped eggs, peas & onion.
Cover & refridgerate until chilled.
After cool, add 2/3 c. mayo, sour cream & mustard.
Gently stir mixture until blended.
Taste and add salt & pepper to taste.
Citrus & Cranberry Green Salad
1/4 head purple leaf lettuce
1/4 head curly leaf lettuce
1/4 head romaine lettuce
one bunch medium spinach
1/3 c. dried cranberries - look for them in the bulk foods area not the packaged. You'll save $$$
1 orange peeled and cut into sections
1 grapefruit peeled and cut into sections

1/3 c. honey
1/3 c. orange juice
1/4 c. Dijon mustard
Toss all the greens and fruit together, whisk dressing ingredients together and serve immediately.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

DIY glass marble magnets

Morning All,

This project is sooo simple & inexpensive, you really ought to try it yourselves. Though if doing this with kids, I would look for a substitute adhesive...Super glue + little kiddos don't mix well.

Above is the finished product.

Here are the supplies you're going to need:

  • Old magazines you don't read anymore - (be happy you've found something to do with them all!).
  • 1/2" - 3/4" mini magnets - you can find these in nearly every craft store. I found mine back near the wood crafts oddly enough.
  • 1/2" - 3/4" glass marbles/beads - They should be flat on one side for this project. Typically found near the floral arrangements & vases.
  • an adhesive of some kind - Look for something fast-drying, permanent, & crystal clear. Though mine says "crystal clear" right on the tube, I did end up with some teeny air bubbles. I think it's inevitable.
  • a drafting/drawing circle template - (or if you're good enough, just draw the circle freehand... I stole mine from the husband!)
  • a pair of scissors
  • a marker - permanent works best on the glossy magazine paper.

1st, thumb through your magazines and look for anything you might want to use.. I tended to look for patterns & smaller details due to the small nature of the glass marbles. If you're not sure how the print will work, use the circle template and one of the marbles to see what it'll look like. If it's blurry or doesn't fit in the circle, you won't want to use it.

If it works, trace around the template with your marker & cut out the circle.

I love the flower in her hair, and the best part.. it fits perfectly on to a marble!

2nd, lay the number of marbles you’re using on their backs (rounded side) and apply glue/adhesive. Quickly place your clipping on the adhesive and press down; don't worry if glue squishes out the sides, you can always pick that off with your fingers or an xcto knife once it dries.

left side: marbles with clippings glued to them. right side: the backs of my clippings on marbles.

After the glue has dried and the clippings are securely stuck on place another dot of glue and add your magnet. Once the magnet is added, I like to flip mine over to let the weight of the marble smoosh the magnet on. Wait for these to dry 100% before adding them to your fridge. I picked 'em up and place them on the fridge without waiting and the marbles popped off!

With such an easy project like this it's hard to just make a few.
Wouldn't these be great as a gift?! Place a few in a decorated tin and tie 'em up with a bow, how cute.. I make just have to do that next.

Monday, July 13, 2009

headboard project as promised

I got the idea for this off, a "sister" site from - a wedding planning site which served as my insanity while wedding planning last fall. is estentially a site for newlyweds/newlywed wifeys. Topics range from finicial advice to the best way to display all those wedding photos. Also on there is a large section devoted to home buying and remodeling; I adore this section!

Here are a few of theNest's headboard photos:

After some more online research, (thank you!), and enlisting the help of my mom, this was created:

I love how the buttons add some contrast with the pumpkin orange & cream!

I also made some throw pillows out of fabric with the same two colors and smaller buttons. The husband was impressed!

Note: If you do decide to do this, make sure and get upholstery fabric. It will hold up better to the stretching and pulling you'll do. Also, run it through the dryer and give it a good iron to make a bit more plyable.

For full instructions and beautifully simple illustrations please visit my dear friends at

Have you completled a headboard project? Do you have photos? Any advice for those attempting to try this project?

internet findings

So I was just crusing along online since the husband got a new toy in the mail this afternoon I've pretty much lost him for the evening... and I stumbled upon I glanced at a few photos then found this one:

That man is holding the happiest, biggest-smiling baby I've ever seen! Look at those baby-blues!

I also found a few others I think are intriguing...

A. I love those pants. I wish I was daring enough to wear them. Not to mention with the coy smile she has too.
B. I think the chain right below his left hand adds something to his whole ensemble. Though I doubt he'd think twice about adding it if it wasn't there.
C. How adorable is the color matching between her bag & shoes?!
D. Her hair and shoes take the cake in my opinion - Also the socks with heels, too cute.

first post: 100 facts/thoughts

I decided for my first post I would start out by doing something I first read on julieree's blog. I thought it would be a good get-to-know-me/intro start to things.. I had some trouble (as you can probably tell so I used julieree as a begining inspiration. enjoy!

I'm Denise.
I do not like my name.
I've always wished I was named Gwyn.
I love Seattle but wish I grew up somewhere else.

My husband is from Kansas.
I think the entire state is beautiful; flowing fields of nothingness.
Not to mention the giant, overgrown yellow + orange sunflowers = b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l.
Sunflowers are my favorite flowers.

I miss spending time with my little sister.
She's getting ready for her move to college so she's a very busy girl these days.
I'm working on a special little project for her dorm room. Shhh.. Don’t tell ;)
Though she's on her way to her Bachelors, she'll always be the little girl I used to build pillow forts with.

I would like to cook all day long.
As long as I had someone to clean up my dishes.
& do all my shopping.

I hate laundry.
I don't hate the laundry room itself; the hate begins when the clean clothes are in the basket to be put away/folded/hung up.
I despise that part. Thankfully I have a husband who knows of this hatred and does his best to help me through it.

I would like to open my own cafe someday.
I foresee walls of bookcases stuffed with books about art, history, music & chic lit (guilty pleasure).
Comfy couches and chairs are a must.
I would like a rocking chair or two.

Rocking chairs are always somewhat nostalgic to me.
I think because I can remember my mom sitting in one with both my sister & I on her lap.
Or maybe I just imagine that happening because my mothers always had her rocking chair in her room.

I would like to plan weddings.
I enjoyed planning mine.
But I think I would have difficulty with my customers.
I would need customers like myself, who like diy projects and unique, crafty elements which add a more personal touch to their day of all days.
Not customers who are willing to spend four thousand dollars on floral arrangements.
I would feel the need to flick their forehands.

I don't like how numbers look in writing.
For example, above I first typed "...spend $4,000..." and went back to change it.
Maybe it's because it seems nonsensical to have the "$" prior to the number/amount.
Shouldn't it be 4,000$? I think so, since that's actually how you read it...

I save twenty-five dollars a week and put it into a piggy bank (really) with brochure clippings hodge-podged to it.
The brochure, before it was destroyed was from an Africa safari tour company.
I'm saving the money so that by my thirtieth birthday we will have saved enough for an African safari.
We wanted to do this for our honeymoon (the safari, not the saving part) but thought we might just like to relax & sip pina coladas beachfront.
Anyhow, I'm so ready to turn thirty!

I wished my parents listened to music when I was growing up.
Well, music other than Christian soft-rock.
Everything I now know about music before my time is thanks to Wikipedia, my husband's parents and that one music history class I took ages ago.

I love antiques.
Let me rephrase that; I love some antiques.
I don't like pot holders from the sixties with stains burnt in that cost sixteen dollars.
Seems ridiculous.
I do like vintage jadeite dishes and furniture with worn paint and glass drawer pulls.
I like antique shopping by myself.
Maybe that’s just because I haven't met anyone else who likes going as much as I do.
(If you like antique shopping and live in the Seattle area, we should be friends.)

This is how the husband thift store shops... by finding a chair and taking a seat.

I enjoy gardening.
It intrigues me that with some tlc, sunshine and water something so small can become a beautiful flower.

Cooking has that same effect on me.
I love how mixing a series of ingredients can create a yummy treat.
Salad dressing and sauces are something I would love to learn more about/research.
We have an amazing balsamic dressing at work and the way the kitchen smells once the grouchy chef is finished with the dressing is a sweet, spicy smell you can't get out of your head.

I'm not a plain Jane.
At least I don't think of myself as one.
I like jewelry + make up, new clothes and high heels.
I'm crafty and creative but I like to splurge once in a while.
I just bought some new eyeliner but I don't know why.
Whenever I buy eyeliner I tell myself I'm going to use it & look fabulous...
...but what happens is I don’t use it. And if/when I do, I don’t like how it looks.
Maybe I'll give it to sissy...

I like two wines. That's it.. So far.
A blackberry merlot that tastes like the grape juice you get at church communion. (yum!)
& a Riesling. That, as far as I know, you can only get at one place around here: the

I just upholstered a new headboard for me and the husband.
I'll write about it later (& add pictures).
I love our bedroom now, it adds so much personality!

I can't wait for the low tide. I promise I'll blog about that too.
It's amazing in Edmonds when the tide is about - three feet.
You can actually walk underneath the ferry dock.
Sometimes they have to cancel ferry runs because the boats will get beached.
You can see all the barnacles and beachlife living below the dock.
Starfish, sea urchins and sea cucumbers...
I imagine it's the closest I'll ever get to being a mermaid.

Ike (our cat) is so full of personality.
I get up out of the computer chair, which is nothing special, it's just a old chair the husband brought home from work when theirs were all replaced; and within the amount of time it takes me to pour a refill in my coffee cup, Ike's curled up in my chair.
Maybe he just likes my butt indentation... ;)
I love in the morning when hubby leaves for work; Ike seems to know I'm a little lonely and comes into to snuggle with me in bed.
...If only he could come to snuggle with a cup of coffee in hand/paw.

Here's a photo of Ike-a-roo. Look at those huge green eyes! I swear if he was a person he'd be a model.

Perhaps we should explore the world of cat modeling... ;)

I want some new boots.
I bought some suede ones at Nordstrom that are pretty cute but somehow I've mushed up the cardboard backing to the heel and it's not as comfy..
Maybe I can look for some actually cowboy boots next shopping trip...
Ooh and a white well fitting dress.. How cute, light & summery would that look :)

I love dresses + scarves. I don't like much bright color with my clothing.
I tend to go for the neutrals and add color by a scarf.
For example, I love my navy dress with the embroidered flowers on top with the suede boots.
But I love my bright pink scarf with it all even more.

I enjoy making soups, stews & chili’s.
Especially when the husband helps.
He's great in the kitchen and actually the reason why I dove into cooking.
I never used to cook but when we were dating he'd make me fabulous dinners...
Like shrimp Alfredo with from-scratch alfredo sauce and noodles! And homemade chicken noodle soup when I was sick.
When we got engaged I realized soon we'd be married and I knew how to make a killer grilled cheese and some yummy French toast.
I figured I'd better learn another thing or two... I went to Barnes & Noble to look over they're cookbooks and I found
Heidi Swansons book, Super Natural Cooking, first cookbook I ever bought by the way.
And so began my interest/obsession with cooking + baking.

Thank for bearing with my thus far and learning about me.
Please, enjoy my blog.
Leave comments/feedback.
And if your local and enjoy antiques like I do, let's go shopping!