Monday, February 14, 2011

IKEA Can Change the World…

Or at least my living room!  In summary, 3 years ago I bought a matching set of Lane chairs.  Biggest mistake EVER!  Long ordeal in a shorter version?  It took 5 chairs to get two that were passable, and even one of the ones that I finally kept needed repair.  Well, they were marginal at best, but I settled with the two I had.  One has always had a chronic problem of the pillow top getting wedged to the back, and last week after hubby reclined the chair, it broke.  And by broke, I mean you have one side of your body 5 inches lower than the other.  The back looks worse, but here’s the picture I have:

IMG_2889

So we went shopping.  And we ended up with a nearly new living room.  So here are the before:

IMG_2890IMG_2886IMG_2885IMG_2891

The bookshelves are all IKEA as are the end tables, and as soon as the TV is replaced with a flat screen, I have the matching TV cabinet that fits neatly between.  But in the meantime, here’s what a new rug, two new chairs/ottomans, a new couch, and a new coffee table will get you! (Note, the first picture is closest to the true wall color)

IMG_2898IMG_2899

Notice the reflection of the dog in the window below, kind of creepy, but he has a bad habit of getting in every picture!IMG_2900

Shockingly this is what the couch looked like before assembly:

IMG_2895

Simply stunning. 

Now I just need to do some updating and rearranging of d├ęcor (almost time for snowman stuff to go away) and this room will be just perfect.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Homemade Egg Bread

I ventured into trying a different bread today instead of my standby Honey Wheat Bread.  Instead I tried Egg Bread.  I’ve had Egg Bread from an Amish store in my area before and love the light sweet taste of it.  So here’s how it’s done.

Egg bread

Ingredients

  • 5 1/2 – 6 cups of bread flour or all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 packages or about 2 Tablespoons of yeast
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 egg white, beaten (optional)

Combine 2 cups of the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast in a large bowl.  Melt margarine and milk together to about 110 degrees F.  (You can microwave it at this step, but keep a close eye on it and make sure it is just melted, NOT boiling or you will kill the yeast)  Pour mixture over the dry ingredients and stir until smooth.  Add the eggs and mix well.

IMG_2822

Gradually add in the remaining flour until you have a soft dough.  I mixed with the spatula until it got too difficult then I dug in with my hands.  It took me about 6 cups total to get a dough that wasn’t stuck to my hands and was smooth enough to knead.  Knead lightly on a floured surface for a minute or two.  Place dough in a clean bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place until doubled.  (This took about an hour and half today, but it’s COLD today) 

Punch down dough and divide into two loaf pans and let rise for another 45 minutes or so until it’s coming up over the top of the pans.  You can brush the top with egg white if you want, I chose not to.  Place the pans in the oven at 350 degrees on a low rack for 20-25 minutes.  Keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn. 

If it sounds hollow when you tap on the top of the loaf and it’s golden brown, then it’s done!

Slice and enjoy the sweet goodness.  I can’t wait to have a peanut butter and jelly tomorrow…or maybe peanut butter and honey…decisions, decisions.

 

Linking up!

All Thingz Related

Giving Empty Space Function

When my husband and I were building our house, the initial plan was for the kitchen cabinets to run along the outside wall and have the sink looking out the window.  Well, I came in, changed husband’s mind and go the kitchen area moved to the other side where there was more room, and made the small window that was supposed to be above the sink a large double window (6 feet wide by 5 feet tall).

Over the years I have struggled to give the empty space a function.  A variety of things have been in that area (desk, bakers rack, china cabinet, etc.), but I eventually end up hating it and moving things around. 

So this past fall when we were making the decision to put a woodstove in the house, we were looking for a large space to accommodate the stove and a hearth.  I had just the place for it.  The big empty corner. 

IMG_0231

In lieu of a tile hearth, we called up a good friend who does stamped concrete and he agreed to help us out.  We marked off the area that would meet the specifications of the woodstove (Vermont Castings Defiant).  We laid down Durarock concrete boards 3 layers thick on the floor and screwed sheets to the wall as well.  Then Jason came and worked his magic and we have this:

IMG_2508

The concrete was stamped, then sections were stained various colors, and then sealed. 

But it still wasn’t complete.  The space in front of the windows was in dire need of something.  So I went on a road trip to IKEA (my most favorite store in the world!) there I found the most fabulous chair and pillows to complete my space.  (excuse the funky light pouring through the window!)

This has become a favorite place in the house for all of us, and we tend to fight for the chair.  The dog however, has no problem finding his favorite spot…as long as his nose doesn’t combust!

The only thing I’d like to do to finish this space is to put up a nice big mantle.  It’s on my to do list!

Linking up!

Sew Much Ado, Night Owl Crafting, My Backyard Eden, Someday Crafts