{renovate} back porch peek

I've been talking about our back screened-porch all summer. This wonderful, quirky addition to our home that is in desperate need of a makeover. I've posted inspiration and even created a mood board for the space. Unfortunately before I could work on designing the space, some major work was in order. After a partial wall was completed (see below) we needed to paint. The existing wood walls were finished in a crazy dark varnish of sorts. I don't know how else to describe the look and texture.

But paint is what I couldn't bring myself to do. All. Summer. Long. I actually don't mind painting. I've painted almost all the other walls in our house -- the majority by myself. But the thought of painting this space had me wracking my brain for any other projects I could work on instead. Maybe it was that the vast majority of the space, including the ceiling, would need to be hand painted. That's right friends, with a brush. You can really see the texture of the wood in the below picture. The vertical lines in the wood are on all three walls and can't be rolled. Awesome. 

Last weekend, I told myself that it really wouldn't be as bad as I'd been imagining. I'd just built it all up in my head. Oh and Chris agreed to help. I think he was tired of hearing my lame excuses :). You guys, it was actually worse than I expected! It took two of us three days, two coats of oil primer and two coats of paint, but I'm happy to report that we are loving it so far.

Here's a little peek. It's so light and bright. Which is exactly what a screened porch should be, right? And with that giant task of my to-do list, I know the rest of the room will come together so much quicker.

So, tell me. What projects do you all just dread doing?


{inspired} lust

Do you think Chris would notice if I came home with this couch?

(and, it matches my blog header! :)

**Via Furbish


{create} birthday cake

Happy birthday to me! 

I love birthdays ... aren't they the best? In honor of my special day, I thought I'd share a completely amazing birthday cake recipe. This cake isn't actually for my birthday -- but don't worry I have a fantastic dessert planned for my party this weekend and I'll share it soon. I made this cake for Chris' birthday a couple weeks ago. 

Fun fact: Our birthday's our two weeks to the day apart. When we got married my parents tried pulling a joint birthday party for us. They should know me better than that! I love Chris, but I do not share my birthday with anyone :).

I found this recipe on the Spunky Coconut* awhile back and I'll admit, I was completely intrigued. I make a seriously awesome black bean brownie, so I was itching to try beans in a cake. Chris' birthday was the perfect opportunity! And guess what? It passed the test. You know, the *your-family-is-not-gluten-free-and-is-completely-nervous-about-all-your-crazy-gf-concoctions* test.

Friends, my family loved it. I didn't tell them what it was made of -- I'm not sure they can handle the truth -- and no one was the wiser.

The best part about this cake though? It isn't full of nasty, empty-calorie ingredients. In fact, it's so jam-packed with fiber and protein, I didn't feel at all bad when I had it for breakfast the morning after Chris' party. :)

Vanilla Layer Cake

Vanilla cake:
Makes two nine-inch layers

  • 4 cups cooked white beans, room temperature
  • 12 eggs
  • 1.5 tsp. vanilla stevia
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 2/3 cup coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • 3 tsp. baking soda
  1. Preheat oven 325 degrees.
  2. Butter two nine inch cake pans. Line bottom of pans with parchment paper. Butter parchment paper as well. Set aside.
  3. In a food processor, combine beans, eggs, stevia and honey. Puree well.
  4. Add in coconut oil, coconut flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. I was a little nervous about the food processor capacity here, but didn't overflow (phew.). Puree well.
  5. Pour into prepared cake pans.
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes, but check often after 20. Mine were done right at 25 minutes.

OMG chocolate frosting:
  • 1.5 cups unsweetened chocolate
  • 1.5 cups coconut milk
  • stevia to taste
  1. Melt chocolate in a double boiler with coconut milk.
  2. Add stevia to taste. 
  3. Let cool until it's the consistency of frosting.
  4. Try to not eat all of it by the spoonful -- you do need some for the cake.

Finally, assemble the cake! And, of course, ENJOY!

*Recipe adapted from The Spunky Coconut. Have you checked out her site before? She's genius. I'm so excited to try more of her recipes.


{reveal} landscape tips

Last week I showed off our summer landscaping project. Today I'm back to give you a few landscaping tips we learned from our yard adventure. Here's the house, again, in all its cuteness:

And here are all the plants ready to go into the ground!

Landscaping tip #1: Create a color scheme. This is something I learned from talking to my gardener friends about landscaping. Color schemes help pull the look together. They can be wild and crazy or they can be monochromatic -- I've seen beautiful yards in both. As you can see above, we chose predominately white, yellow and green with pops of red. Next year I'd also like to add some oranges. Pretty much my only rule for our front yards is no purple/blue flowers. A huge bonus about having a color scheme is it will help direct your thinking when you're standing among hundreds of beautiful plants at the nursery.

Landscaping tip #2: layout your plants before digging. This one saved us and is especially important if you don't have a landscape plan to guide your digging. We repositioned our plants about a dozen times before we settled on a layout we liked. The picture above isn't even the final layout! So, please don't dig until you're happy with your layout. It's much easier to move a pot then replant.

Both these tips I did not find during my extensive online research. They were simply from talking to people. So, I hope you find them helpful as well!

I am so excited about how this will look a year from now! I'll leave you with a few detail shots:

Happy weekend!


{I heart} flower bag

There's a chance this adorable bag was delivered at my door yesterday:

I am completely smitten. I have so many plans for this cute bag and am excited about how much sass it'll add to an outfit! The best part, is it's large enough to be a work bag, which for me means it has to carry files and my lunch :).

My plan was to show you the bag in all its cuteness and then direct you to the site, but I just jumped onto get the address and it's out of stock! (SOOOO glad I ordered when I did!) But, check out Ruche anyway, because they have some pretty darn cute clothes and accessories.
Related Posts with Thumbnails
Enhanced by Zemanta