Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Our new favorite dinner

     I know these fabulous oven eggs are all over the net right now, so I can only add my spin. With our chickens back to full scale production I wanted to start eating more eggs. Fresh eggs do not do well deviled so here is what I have done.....

You'll need a muffin pan

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a small bowl whip eggs (about1.5 per cup) with cheese, onions, bell peppers, spinach, mushrooms or anything you'd like in your egg cup. You can let each person choose their own.

Spray your muffin cups thoroughly with non-stick spray even if your pan is non-stick. Trust me!

Take a single piece of bacon (turkey bacon doesn't taste as good) and put it around the outside rim of the baking cup. Fill each cup about halfway to 3/4 full with your egg mixture. Do not overfill!

Bake for 30 minutes.

This is the important step.... drizzle your finished egg cup (once plated) with maple syrup. Serve with a side of fresh fruit for breakfast or a dinner salad. These are AMAZING!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Rocking makeover......

     My good friend Sara gave me this amazing antique rocking chair for..... free! The very best price for a vintage lover. I knew that the wood was dry from sitting outside and the wood also had some cracks an imperfections. Don't we all?

     I sanded the whole rocker down a bit, including hand sanding the individual spindles. The wood came out better, but still not perfect. I decided paint was the way to go. I chose a very grey blue from Clark and Kensington. I really like this paint because it's a paint and primer in one and the colors are really beautiful. Plus, I got my quart of paint for free during a trial offer and was looking for a reason to use it.

     After two coats of paint and some distressing the chair was all finished and ready to go in Baby Rural's room. It looks great with the other shades of blue and orange and is surprising comfy for reading a book. Baby Rural loves it too.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Flat file repurposed...

If I were to name my decorating style it would be cottage meets industrial. Yep, not a seemingly cohesive theme but I try to make it work. Basically I buy whatever I love and throw it together to get just the right look. I have never been one to buy an entire room from one store, preferring to build my space one odd piece at a time.

Recently I came across an add for a flat file. The price? $85, a really great deal. I can't wait to add wheels to this bad boy. It stores board books, games, extra toys, magazines and so much more. Plus, the kids can play with their magnets and it's impervious to toddler destruction.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Seed starting.....

     I've started my very first seeds of the year, excited by some warm days we had a week ago. Then the cold weather crept back in and the seeds weren't even ready for the greenhouse (no heat) so they are currently living on my dining room table.

     This year I'm going to start a lettuce section in a raised bed that has partial shade. We love our salads and I've had some great varieties of spinach, red leaf and kale from Seeds of Change. In addition to lettuce being added we are also hoping to add a pumpkin section and a root vegetable area next to where our corn was last year. Yep, lots of seeds to start.

     For those readers that are also starting their seeds here is a run down of what I have going:

Scallop squash
yellow neck squash
Yellow and Red Pear Tomatoes
Endive, Escarole, Spinach, Red Leaf and Kale
Green, Red and Yellow Onions
Beefsteak Tomatoes
Sweet Corn
Indian Corn
Sugar Pumpkins and a larger variety

This is the list so far with much more to come. What are you planting?

Friday, March 14, 2014

Thank you bees....

     A few years ago I would have swatted at a bee anywhere near me. Then I learned more about how necessary bees are and how much my vegetables and trees need them. I began gardening in earnest, reading everything I could find on the subject. My love affair with bees was born and I could finally appreciate these amazing insects.

      This morning as I was out in the garden preparing for my chores the sound of buzzing was overwhelming. Though many of the plants in our yard have not begun to bud our nectarine tree is in full bloom. The bees were overjoyed. I now have two nectarine trees and I knew that the bees were hard work making sure I'd have some cross pollinations happening.

     Yes, the sound of bees no longer alarms me. The little insects bring a smile to my face and remind me to plant some more companion flowers this year near our vegetable beds. I want all the bees our little yard can attract helping me make this garden the best it can be!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

It's that time again.....

     It's time for some seed starting! This morning I started a set of Beefsteak Tomatoes, as well as yellow and red pear tomatoes and a bunch of red onions. I'll keep these inside for a week or two and then move them to the greenhouse and begin some more seeds.

     In the yard I'm clearing the raised beds, tilling the soil and deciding what I want to plan this year. I know I want a lettuce garden and I have the perfect half shady, half sun raised bed for that. I also want less small tomatoes and a few new varieties of larger tomatoes. I'll be adding a pumpkin area as well as corn, carrots and onions. We have a back section of yard that has never been used for planting thus far so I'm anxious to test it out.

     Are you starting seeds in your area? What new item are you planting this year?

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Foster/adoption journey......

     It's official, we have a court date! We are going to be adopting Baby Rural in exactly one month. Our family is very excited and overjoyed. Baby Rural is a perfect fit for our family which proves that good things come to those that wait. We feel very honored to be this little guys parents and are enjoying watching him grow and change. He has quite the personality!

     The foster/adoption route has been full of ups and downs and in betweens. We have experienced loss and cried on more than a few occasions. However, as crazy as it seems, we are on the list again for a girl. We are going to give it another go in completing our family through foster care. We had originally set out to adopt one or two girls and we would still like to do so.

     So, as we celebrate our darling Baby Rural and jump back on that horse again I ask you all to keep us in your thoughts. This go around we are searching for a little girl aged 3-6. Fingers crossed for another wonderful case like Little Rural's case, which went exactly how it should!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Antiquing on the road- Pasadena Community College Flea Market

     Today is was rainy and kind of cool, but that didn't stop us from hitting the road in search of a little adventure. We caught the tail end of the Pasadena Community College Flea Market. This is a great event held the first Sunday of every month. Unlike nearby Rose Bowl Flea Market, the prices at this venue are more affordable. However, many of the sellers are the same. Much of the flea market is now held inside the parking garage (genius) which means it's nice and cool on summer days and sheltered from rain on days like today.

          Many of the vendors had already started to pack up by the time we reached the event. However, I was still able to pick up a great suitcase (bottom of the stack) to complete my night stand in the boy's room. It has an immaculate interior, leather trim and is navy. Perfect! At just $20 it was a great deal.

     I also snagged a really sweet bird print. This was part of a set of five but I am really out of wall space in the house. The seller was willing to let me purchase a single, and I think I got the best one! At $20 it was a good buy. The professional framing alone probably cost that.

     We found a little Chinese restaurant after the flea market where I got a fantastic fortune. Maybe we'll be hearing about a new adoption match this week? We'll see!

     We capped off the day with a trip to The Container Store for some always needed storage and were back home in time for a nice fire, a delicious dinner and some peace and quiet.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Repurposed bike rack.....

     Whilst (just wanted to use the word) out shopping at one of my new favorites, Farm Girls Vintage Finds, I happened upon a rusty old bike basket. At just $10 I knew I could put it to use in some way. It's metal, it's old, it can be spray painted, so of course it had to come home with me. It sat on the porch for a week, then in my family room for another week. Let's just be honest. Sometimes all the time I bring home something I have no actual use for at the moment.

     The new bedding came for the boy's room and I saw the forlorn bike basket sitting on the floor in the boy's room. I realized it was time to put this puppy to use. I went outside, applied a couple coats of Valspar spray paint and mounted it in the boy's room on their artwork/chore wall. It's great to corral sticker books and lose papers. Little Rural was quick to add a few things.

     Sometimes these are my favorite finds! Simple, practical and salvaged.

Pantry Makeover.....

     We are lucky to have a pantry in our home. However, with the extra deep shelves it's been ten years of frustration trying to find things. Food would fall in the back, become expired or we'd purchase duplicates because we never really knew what we had. We have garage storage, a whole wall, devoted to back stock for cans, pastas, etc. So, we really needed the kitchen pantry to function better as a day to day living tool. This meant starting with a little demo!

     Mr. Rural knocked out the existing shelves in the pantry. Thankfully they came out neatly and could be reused in the makeover. He simply cut the shelves down to 10". Now 10" might not be your ideal so I suggest testing a few of your commonly used items and see what works best for you. 10" was a perfect match for us.

     You can see from our kitchen the sheer mass of food that was stored in that one, small pantry. No wonder it was hard to find anything.

     Next Mr. Rural reinstalled the shelves and sealed them. I'll have to repaint inside the cabinet another weekend.

     Now that we had some spiffy shallow shelves we have a step in pantry which is great! There was now room on the side for an apron hook. Then it was off to Ikea for lots of new clear containers and a few other odds and ends!

     Ikea has great tall, clear containers for just $3.99 and the smaller clear containers for $2.99. I also picked up a simple wood wine rack for the bottom of the pantry as well as a metal container for dog food. The bulk of the dog food can stay in the larger garage container. I also picked up a couple baskets from Target for snacks, chips and pastas. 

     The final outcome is an organized masterpiece. We have a few things left to do. We have side storage to add on the inside, labeling to do on the canisters on the top shelf (though we can clearly see what's inside), lighting and painting. However, I'm so happy that I did cut the shelves back. It's a huge difference and I know food won't be wasted.