This is not so much a recipe as a PSA. Go make this amazing Triple Berry Buttermilk Cake from Smitten Kitchen. Despite using the phrase “cream together the butter, sugar and lemon zest until light and impossibly fluffy” in the recipe, its remarkably easy and uses ingredients you probably already have, given that it’s berry season. Plus that lemon glaze. Soooo good.
This lovely painting of my grandparents by an artist friend of my mother’s makes me happy.
Other things making me happy this week.
Have a lovely weekend. Finn’s chaperoning Emmeth’s fifth grade camping trip this weekend, so Roan and I are on our own. We’ll be making this rocket in preparation for his hacker scouts meeting Sunday. He’s beginning to think that only Finn can do that sort of stuff so it’s clearly time to set him straight.
Remember when I declared the dining room done? We all knew that was silly, right? After living with it for a few months we realized that as much as we liked the giant bookcase and the idea of visually dividing the space, in a room that’s only 9′ x 11′, it’s just too much. We were constantly bumping into things. However, before the bookcase could go, we had to figure out where we would store everything it held.
Saturday Finn frantically hung shelves so that we could move the behemoth bookcase out of the space before it was invaded by a dozen 11-year-olds. Those, and the new cabinet below them that was part of the kitchen switcheroo, plus some judicious editing, neatly store everything from the bookcase. While you can’t necessarily tell from the above picture (taken at 6 this morning) the space feels so much lighter now.
Someday we’ll change out the plain pine boards for reclaimed wood, but our source didn’t have the right boards and I wanted the shelves done. Finn managed to hang them on our curved wall with no studs (there used to be a window there that was covered over prior to our moving in). Like any good blogger, I’ve detailed the process for you. It’s a 12-step process, of course.
- Get boards and brackets
- Go to the store for hardware to attach.
- Go back to the store for hardware.
- Swear copiously.
- Go back to the store for hardware.
- Drill holes.
- Remember the wall is curved. Swear copiously.
- Remember there’s an old window behind part of the wall. Swear copiously.
- Attach stuff (anything really, at this point it doesn’t matter and you’ve forgotten the the original design anyway).
- Stand back to look at your work and notice every minute detail that’s gone wrong.
- Check the level because they look slanted then realize it’s the ceiling that’s slanted.
- Swear under your breath every time you see the ^*^^! things.
Now to figure out what to do with the bookcase. We like it but I’m not sure I have a home for it here.
Emmeth, aka the Tall One, turned eleven this weekend. She’s pretty amazing that one, a unique soul. Her friends too, they all painted miniature birdhouses then headed downstairs to watch a movie. Loud and charming, they’re on the cusp of awkward, but still holding on to bits of their little kid selves. Bittersweet in a way, exciting in others. Emm was delighted to receive tons of needle felting supplies, book and music cards and, possibly everyone’s favorite, a large bag of various patterns of duct tape. It’s good to have a tribe that gets who you are and shops accordingly.
From us she got the cameras, which, I’m pleased to report, she loved. This shot is so very Emmeth, behind the scenes but very much in control. She had a school play last week as well, which she insisted on writing and directing. She’s already written a script for a summer film and begun organizing all the kids on the block. After recently declaring her intention to go to film school someday, she’s working diligently to refine her craft.
This child. She is, always, fiercely herself. And may she always be so.
I’m in love with this space featured in a recent home tour on A Beautiful Mess. Wouldn’t that hammock be perfect by my picture window? Extra in love with the idea of nothing to do but curl up with a book. Oh to dream.
There are little people running in and out of my house today looking for bug jars (and then the bug book), a sure sign that spring is finally ready to stay put for a bit. This charming streamer tent above would be the perfect addition to the backyard parties I keep thinking we’ll have. Eventually. When we plant some trees.
When you’re ready to take a break from playing outside, here’s 7 great articles for your weekend reading.
- This 17-year-old creates the most beautiful origami designs.
- A year without the internet. via
- Allowing boys to be boys. All kinds of boys.
- Book reviews by kids.
- Mindful parenting.
- Accepting and loving your home. As is.
- Amazing. via.
Hope the rest of your weekend is just perfect.
You know that thing that happens during any remodeling project? The one where you blink and everything that was going to work together suddenly doesn’t and you’re quickly out an unplanned $500 because the plumbing and faucet don’t work with the new sink because you forgot to check everything because in your head this wasn’t a big project? Yeah. That.
Luckily I have these gorgeous new counters to distract from these annoying details. And that sink that’s causing all the problems? Deep enough to hide the giant stock pot we’re using to catch water till it’s plumbed later today. Nice. I can be a slob and still look like I clean up after myself.
I’m not the only one excited about the countertops around here.
Up next is installing reclaimed wood shelves over the microwave section. Although these counters make even my clutter look pretty. Like magic. Then I’ll need to decide on doors. White and navy? All white? Something else? Ahhh, the choices.
This week’s Thursday’s Things is not about what I’m coveting, but rather what the tween girl in the house desires. The tall one among my two turns 11 on May 11th. Her golden birthday apparently. I don’t know if this is a midwest thing or a new thing, but I’d never heard of it till a few years ago. So this birthday is supposed to be extra special. We’re pretty much just doing what we’d always do, except saying “golden birthday” (which, seriously, sounds really weird) like we’re doing something different. I mean, she’s having a party, at our house, where the kids do a craft, eat pizza and watch a movie. Pretty much what she’s wanted to do for every birthday for the past four years. I’m good with that, simple and easy.
Her birthday present request, however, was not so easy. She loves to write plays and direct her friends. She loves to make little movies. This year she asked for movie making equipment. Specifically, her own camera. Given that she’s only kind of responsible, we weren’t sure we wanted to invest money in something she might well lose or break. Plus we had a couple older, but still quite functional, cameras on hand that she could use. The trick would be making the gift of “old stuff”, especially “old stuff” she’d already used, feel like a birthday present.
We never had a real case for either camera (an older canon and a flip video), so I picked up cases for each in her current favorite color. I found a decal for the flip to make it feel a little new. A tripod and a kid-friendly animation book round out the offerings. I’m looking for a microphone, as I’ve noticed it’s often hard to hear them speaking on her videos, but haven’t found one yet. And of course, we already have a computer with basic editing software. I think it’s a pretty good gift, even if part of it includes items she’s already had access to for a while. Not everything needs to be new, right?
Case 1. Case 2. Decal. Tripod. Book.
The new counters arrive tomorrow. Out with the fake black granite, in with the white quartz. I am ridiculously excited. I won’t have pictures for you till Friday, but you can get a sneak peek if you follow me on Instagram.
Since I moved all the living room furniture into the office (ahem, Library) last week, you must be wondering what’s going on in that front room now. All that curiosity probably ruined your weekend, right? Sorry about that. Wonder no more my dears, I have many photographs for you. With a bonus mood board.
Finn is happy that the desk is back in front of the window, as he prefers to work on electronics and robots with the boy there. I can’t decide if the multitude (ok, two) of tables looks odd and one floating chair looks odd or if I like it. I do know that the lamp can’t stay, it looks nice there till you see the whole room and then – too many drum shades in one space (there’s one on the desk lamp too).
See? Weird. I think what the space needs is some accessory adjustments to make everything work together cohesively. These will have to be phased in slowly or DIY’d as I’m working on that other major project now. I asked for advice a few days ago, adding some pink (or orange) and some shiny was a popular idea. I’m not so into orange, but I’ve slowly added bits of pink to some other rooms of late.
The chairs were my grandparents and need recovering. More so when they’re placed on the green rug, as that level of match-y is odd. I haven’t settled on a fabric or color yet. I think layering a smaller rug on top of the green will help off-set the matching and add some pattern to the space. Not sure if I want to go plush or flatwoven though. Also adding pattern, I’d like to use this Oh Joy wallpaper on the top of the fireplace. It’s temporary paper, so if I get tired of it removal is easy. Bringing in the pinks I’ve got a silly print and a couple pillows. A new lamp, with a very different shade, and perhaps a brass vase, add some metallic to the space.
What do you think? Any fabric suggestions for the chairs?