Friday, September 19, 2014

Bathroom Remodel

You know how some remodeling projects are born out of necessity, like water damage? Well this is the story of a bathroom remodel that happened sooner rather than later due to a leaky shower which was improperly installed.


I bought a new mirror at Lowe’s but reused the old vanity I installed a few years ago (also from Lowe’s) and the old faucet. I like the striped walls too—so much better than the dark brown I painted seven years ago. Funny how some colors go out of style fast. Like brown. What was I thinking painting such a dark color in a window-less bathroom?


Looking at the photo above it’s hard to believe that six weeks ago it looked the photo below. I took this photo on panorama mode with my iPhone. It looks huge but really this is the tiniest bathroom ever, about 4’x6’.


Yea, it’s done!


Below is how it looked a few years ago when we still had a pedestal sink. I hate pedestal sinks, all beauty no function. The shower was literally the worst tile job I have ever seen. The first owner of our house thought he could tile. He was wrong. (He was wrong about a lot of things in this house, bless his DIYer little heart.) Hence it eventually leaked, ruined some baseboards and drywall in the adjacent room, which lead to this big project.

bathroom with new paint called october oak

I painted the room a pale blue then added white stripes. While in my pajamas. Truly I look ready for the red carpet in this photo. Painting was my only contribution to the project. We had a contractor do everything so that this time the shower would last. We are funny that way. I know my limits as a DIYer—pretty much paint and fabric and pretties.


We decided to have the tile go all the way up the ceiling to take advantage of our 9-foot ceilings. I love how it looks.



We chose a basic white subway tile for the walls with a couple stripes of glass/metallic tile, all grouted in white. Should be fun to clean, thankfully this shower isn’t used much. The glass tile was super pricey, hence just two stripes. After seeing stripes in almost all showers in this year’s Parade of Homes I figured I was on solid style ground in doing tile stripes. (And paint stripes too!)  The floor of the shower and the floor of the bathroom are basic white honeycomb. I don’t think honeycomb tiles ever go out of style. 


I chose to have the grout gray (high traffic) for the bathroom floor and white for the shower floor.


Seashells and coral the girls found on a beach last year in Hawaii.


Hang some artwork, and hallelujah, we have a bath again. This is the bath all visitors use when in our home so it’s about time it looked good after looking like a giant piece of poo for the eight years (gasp) we have lived here.


Monday, September 15, 2014

Triangle Quilt

These triangle quilts are everywhere these days. Just look up “triangle quilt” on Pinterest and holy smokes, you’ll see loads of luscious ones. Not wanting to be left out I wanted one of my own. Yea, well, it took me a whole year to make this. In actuality it took me a few days back in September 2013, then I shoved it in a corner, and finished it this September of 2014. I am the queen of no unfinished projects but quilting is the exception. I get all fired up for a project…..and then I lose steam. And that’s why I don’t quilt much. I absolutely love quilts but don’t have the patience to make more than one a year. I prefer sewing projects that can be done in under 5 hours. I sadly accept that fact about myself. But I want to change, really, I do.



I started out buying this ruler, which now I wonder will I ever use again?


It did make cutting all those triangle go super duper fast, so it was worth the $25 to my pocket book. But still. Now I gotta get my money’s worth.


It’s mainly Kona cotton solids with a handful of prints thrown in.Here are the triangles sewn into strips, all spread out to try out different layouts.


Here I am, at night, pinning all those strips together. Thankfully most of the edges are on a bias so it was easy to stretch and match up *most* of the triangle points. I have to admit—I hated this part. Hate.


But she’s done and she’s lovely and has a semi-permanent home on my wingback chair. It’s what you see when you first walk in my home.  I like it there.


Isn’t the back kinda cool? Yup, notice my binding why don’t you. I do not sew binding on by hand because life is too short.


I do, however, sew it to the back first, then flip it to the front and stitch it down. I don’t care that it isn’t perfect. Nothing in life should be perfect except lemon meringue pie and piano solos. I can do both actually, but not perfectly. Hypocrite.


I’ve gotten in the habit of embroidering the date on my quilts instead of doing quilt tags. I used my Marker Fine Point font in the 1 inch size, found here.


I love how my wonky triangle quilting turned out. Again, not perfect, but perfectly how I wanted it. I should have sent this puppy out to be quilted—that’s what took me a whole year. I got sick of stitching inside those 180 triangles.




Finally, I’m the proud owner of my very own triangle quilt. Hooray!

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

The Best Bran Muffins

I’m a big believer in muffins for breakfast. But let’s face it, most of time you are just eating cake. Not that I have a problem with cake for breakfast, but most days I am trying to get some fiber into the family. These muffins are the perfect kind of bran muffin—lots of fiber, lots of tasty ingredients like butter and molasses, and just enough sweetness so they don’t taste like health food. I’ve loved this recipe for years—probably at least 10 years. And of course, it’s from Cook’s Illustrated. You can find the original recipe by clicking here.


I prefer a recipe where a box of cereal isn’t the source of fiber. I find it easier to keep a small bag of wheat bran in the pantry rather than a box of All-Bran cereal. I like Bob’s Red Mill but I am sure there are many other choices. I do however like the cereal box version of the Cook’s Illustrated muffin. I’ve made both at the same time and had the family do a taste test. They like the cereal box version just slightly better whereas I prefer this version with the wheat bran. And since I am the baker, my vote counted more. So this is the version I make and freeze in small batches so that we can easily microwave a few at a time for breakfast.



Enjoy! Printable recipe click here.

The Best Bran Muffins

Original recipe from

1 1/4 cups bleached all-purpose flour

1/4 cup whole-wheat flour

1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon table salt

1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon ground allspice

½ teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg

7 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup dark brown sugar plus 2 additional tablespoons

2 large eggs

2 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

3 tablespoons molasses

1/4 cup sour cream

1 cup buttermilk plus 3 additional tablespoons

1 ½ cups wheat bran (I like Bob’s Red Mill)

1 cup raisins (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix flour through nutmeg in medium bowl; set aside.

2. Beat butter in large bowl of electric mixer or with handheld mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Add brown sugar, increase speed to medium-high, and beat until combined and fluffy, about 1 minute longer. Add eggs one at a time, beating thoroughly before adding the next. Beat in vanilla, molasses, and sour cream until thoroughly combined and creamy, about 1 minute longer. At this point mine always looks curdled. Reduce speed to low; beat in buttermilk and half the flour mixture until combined, about 1 minute. Beat in remaining flour mixture until incorporated and slightly curdled looking, about 1 minute longer, scraping sides of bowl as necessary. Stir in bran and raisins if using.

3. Spray a muffin tin. Divide batter evenly among molds using spoon or ice cream scoop. Bake until a toothpick inserted into center withdraws cleanly or with a few moist particles adhering to it, about 20-25 minutes. Set on wire rack to cool slightly, about 5 minutes. Remove muffins from tin and serve warm.

I prefer to double this recipe and freeze muffins. They microwave great while still frozen!




Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...