Blueberry Cobbler

Blueberry Cobbler

Those of you who have been following me know that I love to browse thrift stores.  It’s a relaxing hobby that gives me the opportunity to find treasures of all kinds and also, it helps me avoid doing the things I need to do, like cleaning.

Last week I brought home “Katie Brown’s Entertaining” .  I used to watch her show on TV whenever I happened upon it.  I found it entertaining, although I do not remember enacting any of her ideas.  But this book was $3 so I thought I’d give it a try.  The recipes look good, but her ideas for dressing a table are way over the top and nothing I would ever do.  One idea involved squares of sod on the table.

But I had to take a dessert as my contribution to a potluck dinner and Katie Brown’s blueberry cobbler caught my eye.  I love blueberry cobbler or any fruit cobbler really.  The picture in the book reminded me of a cobbler my grandparents used to make, although theirs  was blackberry, from blackberries picked on their property. My sister and I were so impatient waiting for that warm and delicious treat to be ready.

I should have studied this picture more closely.  No where in the recipe is the size of the pan indicated.  I have a deep pie plate that I just assumed would work.  My first indication that this was not so was when I assembled my cobbler.  All of the batter would not fit on the top.  Uh-oh.

Well, there’s no turning back now.

The crust that swallowed the pie plate.  Mr. DB: I bet it will still taste good.  And it does.  Plus, vanilla ice cream covers a multitude of sins.

My grandparents baked their cobbler in one of those large enamel tins, similar to the picture in the Katie Brown cookbook.  If I were to make this recipe again, I think I would use a 9×12 baking pan.  The dry ingredients have 6 teaspoons of baking powder, so that indicates the crust will expand.

I changed the recipe afterwards and have omitted the nutmeg and cinnamon that Katie Brown added to the blueberries.  The nutmeg in particular distracted from the blueberry taste.  The recipe is posted on my recipes page and here.

I really liked the addition of cornmeal to this crust.  The cornmeal gave it a cookie like taste and texture.  So good.

Enjoy!

Guest Bedroom After Waterproofing

Guest Bedroom After Waterproofing

Our guest room has slowly been evolving over the past 7 years.  In its first life, our youngest son claimed it after this part of the house was added on.  It’s spacious and away from the rest of the house, located in the basement.   There was a real hodgepodge of furniture back then which didn’t bother him.  And, new furniture was a luxury item after the addition expenses.  Not to mention I really had no idea what I wanted to do in this room.

Here is a lovely pic of the room’s transition to official guest room after our son got his own place.

The quilt on the bed was a find at Homegoods and my inspiration for the colors in the room.  Over time, a year or so, it morphed slowly into this.

I found the headboard on the curb and recovered it.  There were a few other adjustments here and there.  Then last year I spent a few nights down here while the master bathroom was being renovated.  You can read about my experience here.   Spending a week here forced me to face the fact that we had water seeping into this room that no dehumidifier was going to get rid of.  Sigh.

Well, fast forward six months and  the water issues are resolved at a cost of about $5000 for waterproofing  and then replacing drywall and painting.  An expense like that sure cuts into your decorating budget.  It reminds me of Property Brothers.  There is always a structural problem that has to take priority over the decorative, fun details.  Of course, on TV all issues are miraculously resolved with no visible sacrifice.

Post-waterproofing, below.  After my bad luck with the water issues I had some good luck come my way.

My sweet friend happened to be moving during this time and gave me this lovely hand painted dressing table.

The little chest of drawers matches the dressing table.  It is also hand painted.  I am using the curtains from my office because I am changing things in there.   What serendipity!

Also, I had found that secretary at a local “barn sale” before I knew I was going to have the water expenses.   It adds just the right decorative element and gives me space to display things.  I am still working on this side of the room.  It looks a little bare I think.

I am still playing with these shelves.

The area opposite the bed needs some work.

There is a really old tattered chair under that quilt that I have to make a decision about.

  I have houseguests coming next month so that is my deadline.

Even though I bemoan the expense of waterproofing, it’s a relief to have the issue resolved and to know that my guests will be breathing clean air!

Have you had water issues in your home?  They abound in our hilly area.

‘Hope your weekend is warm and dry,

Boho Guest Bedroom Final Reveal

We are done (for now anyway) in sprucing up my daughter’s guest bedroom on a $500 budget.  This post is a little late because we ordered a rug which didn’t arrive until the end of the week.

We are so happy with all the new personality in this room!

Continue reading “Boho Guest Bedroom Final Reveal”

Make an Indoor Garden Tote for houseplant and flower care

Have you ever seen some of those stately homes that have a room for flower arranging?  The potting room, as it’s called, has shelves for all of your vases, a big counter, even a sink?  And of course that’s where you would keep your flower shears and frogs and the necessary tools for arranging beautiful bouquets.

Well, I can only dream of such a room.  But I do have a place for my tools for flower arranging and for grooming my houseplants. Some years ago my sister gave me this little garden tote.

 

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5 Tips for Renting A Vacation House

Every year (almost) we rent a house at the beach for a week of vacation time with our family.  Now that our three children are grown, and two are married, it can be difficult to coordinate our schedules so that we can all be together for an extended time.  All of us try to make it a priority to set aside a few days to come together.  And it’s vacation, so it’s not hard.

4 houses, better (1 of 1)

Of course, as your family grows and people mature, you look for different things in a house.  This year we will have two granddaughters with us.  Yay!  In years past we wanted a ping pong table.  Now we need some quiet areas.   It’s a good idea to jot down some must-haves for your house, along with budget and the dates that are good for everyone.

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Neglect and Dirt I noticed while Prepping for Guests

We belong to a group that takes turns hosting a dinner party every month.  Our turn hosting is this Saturday so I have been trying to do a little prep every day to get ready.

As I prepare to have friends over,  I start seeing my rooms as my guests see them and then  all the little imperfections come to light.   But if I don’t get this vision until the day of the party, as sometimes happens, then I feel overwhelmed with little cleaning or decorating details that are tangential to the party.

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Easy and Delicious Valentine’s Day dinner for Two

I have always liked to do a little something for Valentine’s Day.  When our children were home it was fun to mark the day with a special dessert and some small gifts.

Nowadays I am happy to have Valentine’s Day come along at just the right time to break up the winter dreariness and give us a reason to celebrate those we love; maybe we will even drink a little champagne.

And  I still like to have a special meal for Mr. DB and me. Some years Valentine’s Day is  in the middle of the week so we have to be practical. And we are trying to be healthy eaters so there’s that.  But with this menu you won’t feel as if you are sacrificing at all.

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Show Your Love

I don’t usually make a BIG deal of Valentine’s Day, but it is fun to make it a little less ordinary.  Here are some of the ways I have celebrated the day with those I love.

I made this potholder for my mother-in-law.  If you sew, it’s easy to make these with scraps from your fabric stash.

I bring in more candy than usual.  Candy doesn’t last long around here – even with the kids gone.

It’s a good opportunity to bring out your heart decor.

 

How cute is this craft heart for your kids, of any age?

And thank goodness for Valentine’s Day or I would have lingering Christmas decor until Easter.  Oy!

I’ll be back on Monday with my easy weeknight Valentine’s Day dinner for two.

Boho Bedroom is almost Done

We are almost done in the guest room of my daughter’s new house.  If you haven’t been following along, we are sprucing up this room on a $500 budget.  You can see more here.

This week we worked on the side of the room across from the bed, which basically only needed a mirror and a little styling help on the dresser top.

I think a little larger plant might be in order at least for the pictures.  I do like to leave room for guests to place their brushes and toiletries, etc. on dressers and other surfaces.

I found the small shelf at a thrift store and painted it white.  We didn’t need anymore brown furniture in this room.

In the beginning it looked like this:

Luckily we had good quality furniture.  All we had to do was add a few accessories and warm it up a bit.

This empty corner gets a little personality with a shelf and some pictures.

A few more incidentals and we are done.  And we have not spent all of our $500.  I will have a full accounting of our expenditures on the final reveal.

Progress in the Boho Bedroom

I just returned from spending a week in this guest bedroom at my daughter’s house.  I had a wonderful few days looking after my 7 month old granddaughter while her parents attended a wedding in the Caribbean.  We had a fun time and I took the opportunity to introduce her to Homegoods and TJ Maxx.  You can’t start too early on these things!

If you have been reading along you know this is the room where we want to add some warmth and coziness on a budget of $500.

This is where we started.

We had the basics, bed, nightstands, lamps.

Dressing up the bed just added little added personality right away.  Lilly already had the chambray sheets, which coordinate well with the color scheme of blues and blush pink that we are going with.  The pillowcases with the geometric designs are from Target, as are both throw pillows and the blush colored throw at the foot of the bed.

I was able to hang the art above the bed, by myself, during granddaughter’s nap time.  In the room the placement looks good, but here they seem a little high.  Read more about the beautiful, inexpensive artwork here.

The furniture is all a dark brown color that kind of dominates.  I looked for inexpensive nightstands but had no luck there.  Turning to my inspiration pictures gave me the idea of draping something over the headboard.   That gray throw on the headboard gives an upholstered effect to the bed, softening it in color and feel.  Right now it is just draped there, but if it is to remain I will sew the edges for a more tailored fit.

I could not decide what kind of lamps would fit with the boho vibe.  Did we want unique thrift store options?  Or more contemporary brass desk lamps?  But then I found these blush crystal lamps at Homegoods.  The color is right for  our color scheme.  Add that they had two and they were in budget and it was a no-brainer.

So this side of the room is looking good.

We still have some budget left for a few changes on the other side of the room.  But the room is already looking more inviting don’t you think?