Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Kitchen Cabinets and a Hand Print

When we first started putting together ideas for our kitchen renovation, we knew that we wanted white cabinets with unlacquered brass hardware and marble countertops.  We want everything to patina and age in this house (though I will admit that Bryce does not love the "dots" that are coming first on the faucets).  The kitchen is suspiciously reminiscent of our last kitchen but we figured why reinvent the wheel if we already loved something?

We turned to a local cabinet maker to help with our design and build the cabinets, and we are thrilled with the final product.  My favorite thing of the whole process was getting to go and walk the workshop while our cabinets were in production.  I love having met the men and women who worked on our cabinets from start to finish!

Their facility is top notch.

As you can imagine, we are thrilled with our new kitchen but wouldn't you know that within months of them being installed, we noticed a faint, but most definitely there, red handprint on the refrigerator panel.  The culprit?  Harris.  Apparently, after working on homework with a red shading pencil he felt the need for a snack and had to use one hand to pull and the other to push!  We've tried everything to get it off but it won't budge.  The cabinet makers think it might need to be refinished!  I guess we got that patina earlier than expected :).

Hard to see but it's there!

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

The Chicken Coop

Last fall, Al, my father-in-law, built me a chicken coop for our feathered ladies. I tell ya, that man can do anything!

He followed plans that I bought from Heather Bullard and I love how it fits right in with the rest of the garden.  We painted it the same shade as the shed and Bryce put a similar looking metal roof on it so that they would look cohesive.

We put them in the garden because we have a deer and critter fence around it and felt like that offered them one more line of defense against predators.  

The girls all seem to be flourishing though I'm still trying to learn how to best care for chickens.  The whole cleanliness of the coop is something I can't seem to wrap my mind around.  How often to clean?  What's the best floor for the coop?  Sand?  Dirt?  Straw?  Hopefully, some veteran chicken owners can help me out!

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Two Salads with Garden Ingredients

Recently, I've made two salads that were both delicious and really beautiful.  The first one, I was able to use radishes and herbs from the garden.  I loosely used a delicious recipe from Six Seasons: A New Way with Vegetables, by Joshua McFadden, one of my favorite seasonal cookbooks.  To amp up the pretty factor I sprinkled chive blossoms all over the salad and the color combination was so lovely.  I highly recommend using edible flowers in salads!

The second salad was from the cookbook Cook Beautiful, by Athena Calderone, and featured pickled rhubarb from our garden.  It would have been even prettier if my rhubarb was pink and not green.  I LOVED this salad.  It was the perfect combination of different textures and tastes.  I could eat it for every single lunch!

Monday, June 4, 2018


Our peony season is almost to a close and while I still don't have nearly as many blooms as I did at our last house, I certainly got more this year than last!  Those blooms that I do cut (it's best to wait three years after planting to cut extensively), I cut short stems for bouquets.

Last fall, I planted some alliums and I just adore how they float above the peony blooms!  Also, the allium blooms last much longer than the peonies!

This season, I have had an issue of some of the peony petals turning brown (it's happening much more with my roses) and my guess is that it is due to the high volume of rain and cloudy skies we've had. 

 These ruffles... perfection.

 If you are looking for a beautiful, informative book on Peonies this book is calling your name. 

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Favorite Things #57

It's no secret that I am a fan of classic things that I can rely on day in and day out (see this, this and this).  I've never been one to change out my purse very often, though I do love clutches, and I tend to use the same purse for a long time.

When we were in London last year, Bryce bought me a new purse, for our anniversary, that I've carried ever since and I don't plan on getting a new one... ever.  I love it! 

The store where we picked it out was so beautiful and special and the people could not have been nicer! 

My very favorite part of the whole thing is that Bryce and the children both wrote something to me that was then embossed, in their own writing, on the inside of the purse.  What they wrote was a secret until the purse arrived months after our trip!  Both the children wrote something that made reference to something we often say to each other, and I love that every time I use my bag I see their little love notes!

Monday, May 21, 2018

A Few Things

Last week was rainy and gray so we are so thankful to see the sunshine!  I don't have a lot blooming right now, the peonies aren't quite ready, but the lilacs that I put in last year finished up their blooming.  I love this one, Yankee Doodle, because of its deep purple blooms.  I think they looked lovely with the snowball viburnum.  The allium that I planted is looking striking too as it bobs its head over the peonie's buds!

The twins are doing well and there seems to be some confusion as Rosie believes she is their Mama and the kittens have gone along with it.

Grace had her spring recital and, as always, we loved seeing her dance.  She's so graceful and lovely up on stage and I'm so proud of her.

The chickens have moved to their coop, even in the abysmal weather last week, and are doing great!  They are so fun to sit and watch. 

I'm planning to take advantage of the good weather and get some dahlia tubers in the ground today (clearly, we stored them incorrectly as we lost a lot to rot over the winter).  Here's hoping spring is well and truly here!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Barn Cats

Recently, I saw a post on our local Facebook page offering up kittens.  I jumped at the chance as we have been looking for barn cats, but have found them surprisingly difficult to come by.  Foolishly, I didn't ask a lot of questions but rather found myself and Grace going on Sunday to pick them up. While we went, Bryce readied a box for the kittens in the barn.

As soon as we walked in, we realized that these kittens were far younger than we had anticipated.  In fact, they were far to young to even have been taken from their Mama.  However, they had already been separated (and Mama cat shooed off) and the couple who were giving the kittens away were leaving on vacation so we didn't know what would happen to the kittens if we walked away.

Therefore, we have found ourselves with two four week old kittens that, while adorable, are a lot of work at feeding time!  For now, they have to be bottle fed with kitten formula.  Needless to say, they are not yet in the barn!

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