{fall favorites} the home project

Friends! Today marks the kickoff of my "Fall Favorites" series. And, I have to be honest with you ... I am so excited. I have some awesome posts lined up. In fact, my friends stepped up in a major way and for the next couple weeks you'll be hearing from them. That's right, I'm taking a mini break. My last day at my current job is tomorrow and it's been a crazy, crazy year. One I'm pretty happy to be done with. So between now and my new job, I'm taking some time to decompress and relax. So, I hope you enjoy my guests! :)

Hi Guys! This is Linn from The Home Project, and I'm so excited to be here today with a guest post! Jenn really picked a fun subject - "What's one thing you're loving this fall". One thing? Oh my goodness. Fall is definitely one of my favorite seasons of the year. There is just something so great about the days getting colder and darker and that move inside from spending so much time outdoors. Isn't it wonderful to get back to baking and cooking in the kitchen, and get real about starting that craft project you have been putting off for too long? Not to mention getting cozy with a good new TV show, drinking pot after pot of tea, lighting candles and starting a good book. So since I can't pick just one thing, let's just look at a few highlights of fall in my mind.

Since we're building a little house in the backyard, I can't wait for the structure itself to get done so we can get ready to do the finishing work inside, do painting, build some furniture and get started on sewing curtains and maybe make the house a dedicated quilt! Make the house fall ready and cozy! 

I also have a new handsome guy in my life, (have you guys met Darwin - the most adorable puppy in the world?) so I'm looking forward to taking him out on nice fall walks and get cold and wet, just to come back home and dry off and make some hot chocolate. Fall walks are the best, don't you think: especially if the air is crisp and the sun is out! 

After getting cold and tired outside, I think it's definitely time for some good fall food. And what's better than a warming, delicious soup? Let's take advantage of some of the new produce at the farmer's market and make this wonderful Jerusalem artichoke soup. If you never had Jerusalem artichokes (sometimes called Sunchokes), then you're in for a real treat since they provide such an interesting flavor which is really nice when blended. And to go with the soup? How about this Prosciutto, Asiago, Red Wine & Rye bread.

I know it sounds a bit weird and maybe a little elaborate, but trust me - that is one crazy good bread. This recipe is easy to adjust and make it work for your family depending on what you have on hand (no sourdough? no worries, just skip it, and increase the yeast amount a touch and also add just a bit more flour and water!). The combination of the dried meat, aged cheese, red wine and rye really is a winner and makes this bread a worthy companion to the Jerusalem artichoke soup! 

After dinner, if the weather isn't too bad, perhaps we can move outside, and make a fire? We have been making tons of fires this summer and would love to continue making them into the fall. Let's make a nice simple dessert after all that cooking and baking - bananas with chocolate in foil is a foolproof one, or why not roasted marshamallows. And let's go a bit crazy with the blankets too - perhaps one of these nice woolen ones from LL Bean, or maybe you have some nice quilts to bring out? 

Once the fire has burned out, I think we better move inside. Let's make that pot of tea and watch a good movie. Perhaps it started raining outside at this point? Now that would be ideal! Let's watch a classic feel-good-fall movie, you can never go wrong with one of those! For all you house-enthusiast out there: how about The Money Pit! For the romantic: Love Actually. For the dog lover: Marley and Me. Or are you looking for that perfect intellectual-university feel? Then go with IQ.
What a nice fall day we had! Crisp walk, cooking, baking, eating, fire, blankets and movie. Let's bring an awesome fall outfit into the picture (plaid wool skirt anyone?), a thermos of coffee for our walk, a nice rich red wine with dinner, and a sewing project in between it all, and I think we're all set. Happy Fall! 

from Jenn: Linn, you just described my perfect fall day! I want it all -- including Darwin, who is just the cutest! Thank you for stopping by and sharing! Friends, you want to head over to Linn's blog and check out her house. BEAUTIFUL. And, so inspiring!


{renovate} a lesson in kitchen lighting

I had an interesting lesson in lighting this weekend that I thought I'd share with you all. We had our electrician wire recessed lighting in the kitchen and needed to actually install the cans and lights. Have you guys ever tried to pick out lighting at HD or Lowe's? It gave me such a headache! The display has about 50 lights, all turned on and you're supposed to pick your favorite. I couldn't tell the difference and they hurt to look at after awhile! So, we brought a couple different options home to play try.

The top one is 85 watt soft light. The bottom is 65 watt day light. I was completely shocked at the difference between the two.

The Phillips -soft light - actually turned the walls GREEN. Ew.

The Ecosmart - daylight- kept the walls the greige they're supposed to be (they look a little on the pink side in this photo, but that wasn't the case in real life).

I know you're supposed test paint under different lights for this reason, but I didn't think about it reversed. We needed to test light for the paint we chose! :) We talked to our electrician and he actually recommended the day light as a more true-to-light option in rooms. So, your quick tip of the day is that the type of light bulb plays a huge difference in the colors of your home. If you have a color that is off a little, try a different bulb. It might actually make a huge difference! 

For more information about our kitchen lights, here's the post about our lighting plan.


{inspired} fall favorites + a new series

Happy Monday friends! Did you all hear? Saturday was the first day of the best season of the year : FALL! Do you all love fall as much as I do? After the heat of the summer months, it's such a relief to have cooler, crisp temperatures, gorgeous colors on the leaves and cozy clothes to wrap up in. 

Want to see what I love most about fall?

1.  Fall colors. If you don't live in a place with fall colors, I am sorry. They are amazing! There are very few things more fun than jumping in a big pile of leaves. And, yes, of course I still do this if I run across a pile :). I also love kicking through freshly fallen leaves on the sidewalk.

2. Hot drinks. I love filling a HUGE mug with a warm drink. Cinnamon tea is my drink of choice. Add Bailey's in the evening ;)

3. Cozy sweaters make me so happy. I always pull them out way earlier than I should, but I can't help it. Adventuring in the fall in a sweater makes me very happy.

4. Boots. Do you have a pair of knee high boots? I love mine and want about 10 more pairs. I love how they pull even the most casual of outfits together and make it look like you put some effort in :).

5. Pumpkins. Too obvious? How can you not get excited when pumpkins first start appearing in huge bins at the grocery store? We head out to the pumpkin patch with friends every year to choose ours, and it's a day filled with hot apple cider, hay rides and lots of laughs. I don't usually carve our pumpkins, so I LOVE this fun graphic painted version. A must try this season.

This post also marks the start of a little series I'm hosting. Some of my wonderful blog friends have agreed to share with you guys what THEY love about fall. Over the next couple weeks, you'll be hearing their answer to the question "what's the one thing you love about fall?" I hope you'll enjoying hearing from this awesome group of bloggers and that you'll even meet new bloggers through this!

Friends, I love to hear from you on this. What's your favorite season? And, what's your favorite think about fall?


{inspired} crafting around the web

Friends, you know this. I love "crafting". And by crafting, I mean making things that are functional and meaningful for my home. I have a whole tab of diy/craft projects. I'm not complaining, per se, because I am so excited and thankful that we are actually doing a kitchen remodel, but it is hard to take on other projects at the same time. Something to do with my house being complete chaos and not being able to find anything. 

So, I thought I'd live vicariously through others today and show you some of the projects that I'm so inspired by and am itching to try. I have a feeling I'm going to have a fun and creative winter :).

It's almost scary how much I want to dip legs in paint :).

Even Chris is on board for this project. That's a good sign friends :)

This last one I'm doing asap as soon as I have more room. Our current coffee table has not made it through the remodel, sadly. So far it's the only casualty. But, we have this huge and amazing new-to-us ottoman that I'll be slipcovering.

Friends, have you tackled any fun DIY projects lately? Don't you think fall is the perfect time to start creating? Summer also gets to be so busy!


{inspired} Portland Flea

Happy Monday friends! I'm always so jealous when I read about other bloggers visiting the Rose Bowl flea market. It just seems like there is so much to see and so many amazing deals to be had. On that note, I was incredibly excited to hear that a flea marketing was - finally! - being organized in Portland. That was more than a year ago, and Chris and I finally went yesterday. Now, what the heck took us so long? The Portland Flea is only once a month, 6-7 months a year and literally every other Sunday it's been going on we've been out of town or already booked.

Friends, we were missing out on all the goodness! Sadly, we went home empty handed. Our house is so chaotic right now, that I couldn't even begin to think about what we needed/wanted and where we'd put it. But, regardless, I thought I'd show you a few pictures of my favorite finds. (And now that I'm looking at that photo above, I wish I'd taken a better look at those bags -- there are some cute ones in there!)

Aren't these chairs awesome? And according to my chair tester -- super comfy as well :).

If I regret not buying anything, it's this set up glasses and a pitcher. I just love the sweet, vintage floral design.

I long for the space to fit a beautiful mid-century dresser/console. I drool every time I run across one.

Does your city have a flea market? If not, what's your favorite way to get your vintage fix? :)


{renovate} kitchen update: sinks and islands

I feel like we're making some big progress lately, which is nice after have made so little progress for so long. This weekend friends came over to help (the same awesome ones that helped us assemble our cabinets on the 4th of July), and we got so much done!

Sink and Faucet

First, we officially installed both our sink and faucet. Our dishwasher and garbage disposal are also hooked up to the water -- but they still need to be wired before we can use them. We're close!

I am completely in love with this sink. It's IKEAs DOMSJO (no idea how to umlaut!) farm sink. We went with the 36" version and it's so awesomely huge. It's also solid, heavy and feels like really good quality ceramic. I'm completely in love. Oh, did I already mention that? :)

The faucet is Danze's Parma faucet, which we ordered from Lowe's. Isn't it amazing?? You might remember it from my original kitchen moodboard. At first I was a little surprised by how HUGE it is, but it the scale is actually quite perfect for the big farm sink. They live together gloriously.

The nozzle lives for the most part in the little arm clamp (right). But it also comes out and moves any direction. Love.

At this point though, for me, the most exciting thing is WE HAVE WATER! Seriously, not having water in the kitchen has been the hardest part of this remodel, by far. It's never bothered me that we lost the stove and oven. But, not having water in that room for three+ months? Saying it bothered me is an understatement. Anyone else who has been through a kitchen remodel -- do you agree??

We had a plumber come over and hook up the faucet, garbage disposal and dishwasher. Friends it took about an hour. That's the best $85 dollars I've ever spent. And, I'm pretty sure that figure included a couple parts.

Kitchen Island

Next, we also installed our island! Which means that ALL the cabinets are officially installed!

Instead of going with an standard IKEA island, we installed three IKEA base cabinets together to make a custom 6-foot island. Our stovetop will go above the middle cabinet.

For now, we have a piece of plywood serving as the counter. We did this for two reasons. First, we want to use the island! But, most of all, we're trying to decide how wide we'd like our overhang. We cut the plywood to the largest it would be -- a 12-inch overhang. I think it's too much though. Anyone out there have thoughts on island overhangs?? Is there a standard? I'm thinking for the width of the island cabinets, an 8" overhang would look more to scale. We're trying that next. :)

The chairs are from World Market. They were also on my original moodboard. I LOVE them. But, sadly, they're bar height, and we need counter height. So, back they're going. Sob. I have to start my stool search again. And tips on affordable, counter-height stools ... that are awesome?

We created the base the same way we created the rest of the bases, but from this angle, it looks quite skinny and almost unsteady. We'll be bulking it up just a little and bringing the base out so it's flush with the cabinets on three sides.

It's coming together! Once we finish the floor, tile, finish the trim, hang the cabinet doors, install the island countertop and install the lights we'll be done. So, you know, by next weekend. HAHA! :)

I do want to thank you all for hanging in there with us through this remodel. I'm sure you know it's taking us longer than originally planned, but you all have been so encouraging and I'm loving sharing our updates. Thanks for all your kind words friends! :)


{inspired} a beach getaway and that "magic" hour

Happy Monday friends! Remember how I was sick a bunch in August? Well, strep throat knocked me out at the end of last week. I've had about enough! This weekend I had a heart-to-heart with my immune system about kicking it up a notch :). So, these photos from Labor Day are a little late, I hope you don't mind.

The plan for Labor Day was hanging at the Oregon Coast with my family. Those of you who've been around for awhile know that we headed down there quite a bit. Chris opted to stay home and work on the kitchen (husband of the year, I know). I debated staying with him, but there really was nothing I could help him with and the thought of relaxing for a few days was just too tempting!

It ended up being a GORGEOUS weekend. Perfect sun. Perfect temps. Just amazing. I left work a little early on friday to beat traffic and when I got to the beach was blown away by the day. It immediately put me in the mood for an adventure. So, of course I took the long way to our house. The super long way. It was so fun. It took me by a lighthouse!

My parents have an adorable yellow lab, Sophie, who not only insists on sleeping with me when Chris isn't there, but also insists on jumping on my head at first light to signal that it's time for a walk. In this case, 5:45. Sadly, it's been worse :). So we were up every morning and on the beach for sunrise.

I know photographers always talk about the "magic" hour of sunrise and sunset, but I'm far too lazy to really plan for either. This was the first time I've really experienced that hour, and I can absolutely say that it is magic.

Friends, do you adventure by yourself? I'll pretty much never pass up an opportunity to adventure and explore -- whether solitary or with friends/husband. But, I have friends who think I'm crazy! Have you ever taken photos during sunrise? Did you love the results? :)


{renovate} kitchen trim: installed.

Friends! How's your week going! As is typical of any short week, my days are completely off. I thought yesterday was Tuesday :). On the positive side, though, I mentally gained a day! 

Over the weekend my rock star husband passed on an opportunity to go to the beach and instead stayed home to work on the kitchen. (And insisted I go to the beach ... so sweet! :) So I thought I'd take a minute to brag update you on what he got done!

For the most part he worked on trim. Remember in my last update I was explaining how IKEA cabinets don't actually reach the ceiling (below) and this is annoying to me?

Well, someone commented on that post and explained that all IKEA cabinets are like that to take into consideration uneven ceilings and walls. Hmm. Makes sense! They aren't custom and so they need to be easy for everyone to install and they need to fit every room. This is a concept I totally understand because even with professional drywall, our ceiling and walls still aren't straight.

But, even though I understand, I still don't like. So Chris installed trim. I am loving it so much!

Please keep in mind that these are install, only: no caulking, no holes filled, no paint. But, even so, I think they're starting to look so good, and more custom. Yah!

He also installed trim around the ceiling in the rest of the room.

So pretty! Just imagine how great it'll look once we caulk, fill holes and paint. Progress, friends! No we need the doors and window trimmed out and trim will be done. I have to give Chris mad props. He is completely self taught at wood working and he does a truly spectacular job. So, it's taking a little longer because he's learning a TON as he goes along, but the finished product looks completely professional -- if not better :).

The other thing he finished up was the floor. When we removed the wall between the living room and the kitchen, we had a big hole in the hard wood where the wall was.

If you recall, this isn't our first time tearing out and replacing hardwood floors. In fact, in the find of the century, Chris located a bunch of original Douglas fir floor boards in a TRASH pile at a house renovation site in our neighborhood. With permission, he snagged a bunch for projects like this. Not only does it match perfectly, but it's ended up saving us a lot of money in the long run.

So much better! It's a little weird right now with the floor boards facing different directions, but with what we have planned, it'll end up look great. :) Also, the sink won't be on the floor after Saturday! Keep your fingers crossed for us that both the sink and dishwasher will be installed then. We've had to reschedule with the plumber a couple times and I am very anxious to have water again! After that's done, we'll install the island cabinets, which means STOVETOP! 

I'm excited and I feel like we're getting close :).