Monday, September 28, 2015

{Food} S'Mores Brownies

I don't know about you but I've been crazy about S'mores this year. I see them everywhere too, so they seem to be popular. 

Last week I decided we needed some brownies. And it was one of those needs that needed to happen right now! Or 10 minutes ago. So I got my supplies ready, tasted the batter and though "hmm… more chocolate!" so I added cocoa powder. And lots of it. 

That blue reflection? It's from my mixing bowl. I love cobalt blue! 

I cooked the brownies like normal, added chocolate chips and marshmallows while it was still warm and then baked again for a few minutes. 

But that didn't get the toasted brown perfection I was after, so I turned on the broiler. And let me tell you, our new stove does it quick! As in don't take your eyes off the oven quick! 

After this photo was taken, the s'mores weren't around very long. Well, they were, but they aren't as good once they're cold. Don't get me wrong, they didn't exactly go to waste. (Unfortunately they did go to my waist.)

Have you made s'mores brownies? I tried it once with graham crackers on the bottom but they didn't add anything to it so I prefer it just the chocolate fudge-y goodness of a great brownie recipe, extra chocolate, and marshmallows. Mmmm...

Thursday, September 24, 2015

{Art} Peacock Pointillism

Visit my classroom art blog {Art and Main} to see the step by step colors of the peacock feathers! 

This was all done in tempera paint as it started out as an example for my students during our Pointillism project. I used the tempera paints the entire time, adding only one or two other paints when I was at home this summer (although I think I went over all of that because the colors were off). The tempera paints came in a set of 9 - white, black, brown, red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple. I mixed those colors to create what you see. 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

{Lily's Room} Doll House Makeover

A few years ago, my awesome dad built Lily a dollhouse modeled after one from Pottery Barn. I think I wanted it more than Lily as she's never been huge into Barbies. She likes the show, she likes looking at them at the store, she says she wants them but then never plays with them. she crazy?!?! I would have loved a house like this growing up! I had one of those kind of cardboard like ones that fell apart and then I ended up making a Barbie mansion all over the floor of our playroom. Imagination at its finest!

But, Lily doesn't play with her Barbies. And it always looked like the picture below… on a good day! The biggest spot on the bottom was the perfect spot to house the Barbie RV and the car stayed in the smaller spot, usually. But it ended up being a catch-all and then Nate would be his almost 2 year old busy self and get into everything. 

I posted a tour here to see what it looks like when I clean it up. 

When Lily mentioned not wanting the Barbies anymore and how she wanted it all for her My Little Pony dolls, I was on it. I can't get rid of the Barbies completely so they are now mixed in with mine in her toy closet (every kid needs a closet devoted to toys!). 

If you didn't notice with her room reveal I posted earlier this summer, you will know Miss Lily is all about My Little Ponies. She even knows there is a third movie coming out this fall and she wants all the ponies! She really likes the Equestria Girls version (the dolls you see above) more than the actual ponies. 

I kept the Little Pet Shop house on the top because it fits nicely and she has a lot those characters. I'm not sure if she'll continue playing with them or not, but we'll see how she plays with this now. It looks so empty but I know she'll add to it. She's such a creative little girl and she likes to make things for them. I did keep the IKEA doll furniture in the middle row for the smaller dolls to sit on. 

What do you think? Do you have little girls? Are they into Barbies or My Little Ponies? 

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Well, Hello!

Where, oh where, did the summer go?!? I posted my summer recap in the last post {read it here!} but I didn't intend that to be the last post for weeks. 

One word: School. 

August sucked me in with it's rows and rows of school supplies and before long, it's Labor Day weekend, grades have been imported, and we're all wondering why time flies. And football. And pumpkin spice everything… except I don't like pumpkin spice.

Miss Lily had her first day of school and she couldn't have been more excited! 

This Keen Kutter cabinet has a great story to tell and it's just gorgeous, so I'll post more about it later. Hint: It'll be in our bathroom! 

The kids loved this tree frog visitor at my parents' house and it's sitting on a metal toy crib that Lily just had to have. 

One of my favorite flowers after a nice summer rain. We need more rain, which reminds me I need to water some plants! And do a garden tour… once I weed it all! 

Speaking of gardens… the growth this garden has seen is insane!!! The sweet potato vine in the center took off and so did those crazy yellow sunflower flowers plus the red flowers too. You can hardly see some of my flowers! 

I started back at work, teaching art to 130 middle school students. This was one of the first projects completed and this kid continues to amaze me. He's an autistic kid with the best imagination ever. 

Lily started soccer. She's one of 5 kids on her team, three girls and two boys. She loves it! 

On the way home from soccer practice, we saw this hot air balloon. Our house is on the other side of the school and I wish I could have gotten a shot of our house with the balloon but it had already disappeared by the time I got there. 

I turned 33 and my parents took us to a new (to us) restaurant in a neighboring town. Delicious! That steak?! It made the best leftovers because that was a huge piece! 

We took dessert to go from the restaurant and Nate really enjoyed the cheesecake. So did I but he's cuter. 

We spent yesterday at my parents' house, enjoying our last swim in their pool. Their cat, Mo, came to visit me while I was looking for more monarch chrysalis. Isn't that crystal rock awesome?!?! My mom has the best collection. She's been collecting her whole life. Her dad, my grandpa, was huge into rocks as well and part of his collection is even in a Harvard museum!! 

So yeah…even though it doesn't seem like I've been busy since not much is "blog worthy", I still stay crazy busy! This doesn't even include everything but has been my "highlight" reel of the past three weeks! 

We do have plans for this long weekend to work on our bathroom. My dad is making us two medicine cabinets so as soon as those are installed, I'll post about them. We have some painting to finish and then the bathroom should be done soon. We have plans this fall for some yard work (finishing our herb spiral for one!). Who knows what else will go on here! 

What's going on with you?

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

{Summer} Summary

Oh Summer, where did you go?!? 

My plans did not all get done. They were a little long and optimistic. 

However, three big things did get done, and three more got started. So let's focus on those, ok?

The bathroom. Wow did it change!!! If you're new here, you'll have to look back on all the bathroom posts. I started with inspiration and plans and went through many of our days from demo and rebuilding. Now it's nearly finished, completely working, and ready for some decorations! 

If the bathroom wasn't on this list, the backyard flower garden would be my favorite thing this summer by far. It was once an overgrown pile of weeds, grass and home to the dog house that was never used. Although the dog house still isn't used, it's got a great little front "porch" (or "curb appeal"??).

Almost all of this was done for free, with the exception of the mulch and a few flowers. I need to do an updated posts now that the flowers are filling in nicely and the gutter run off (aka dry creek bed) is finished. 

And the first project that I kicked off summer with was painting the front door's trim black

It was just a primed white and I love how the black frames the door that I stripped (see the original here) and the screen door that my dad made us (isn't it great??!) I'm not sold on the teal mailbox. It's better than the bright yellow it was prior to this paint change but I'm thinking it needs a new color. Navy or black are the two choices I'm going between. 

And projects we started, but haven't completed, yet, are:

1. The backyard play place for the kids. Three words as to why it's not completed: It. Got. Hot. As in hit you in the face, sweat from the front door to your car, type of hot. And the bathroom remodel took over. 

2. The shed. I primed the walls after removing some of the rust. It's been a big improvement but the roof needs major TLC. One problem - getting up to the roof to paint. It'll involve ladders, scaffolding, and patience. And maybe getting over a fear of falling off said ladders.

3. Herb Spiral. In the garden photo above, on the far back right corner is a flat tree stump. We had to cut down a tree years ago and we will continue the line of stones with creek rocks and make an herb spiral garden. Doug got started but ran out of rocks. We would get more but we're getting them from my parents' farm and there's no way to mess with the plants this type of year. So in the fall, we will get the tractor and go find more rocks in their creek bed. 

Honorable Mention: Gardening - we haven't had the best luck, but our tomatoes are slowly coming on. We're working on some plans for next year that'll hopefully see a giant increase in what we grow, so more on that later. We did have success with raspberries (three brand new plants), cucumbers, and now my chocolate cherry tomatoes. Hoping for more luck next year with our blueberries, strawberries, and whatever we decided to grow more of. 

Other projects don't finished (or even started):

Painting our front and back porch floors (and possibly ceilings). BUT… my dad bought a power washer, so this will help us when we get around to it. And the front porch provided great cover for tools and a workspace for the bathroom remodel. 

Organizing the office… yep, didn't happen at all. Halfway through the summer I decided that I should makeover our basement to a craft room/art studio/my office and although that hasn't happened yet, it gave me a good reason to not focus on my upstairs office. My office will eventually turn into Doug's office when he goes back to school for his master's. 

Saturday, August 15, 2015

{Bathroom} Catch Up

Let's play some catch-up, ok? 

I've been a bad blogger lately. It's a good thing that this isn't my job (or will it ever be, in all honesty). But that's life. Last week we took a trip to Kansas City to see Doug's parents, watch a Royals game (a win!), go shopping (hello World Market!), and then go to World's of Fun with Lily. Talk about busy!

Then reality came back to us in the form of work, meetings, classroom set up, lesson plans, etc. 

Needless to say, the posts are lacking. So maybe I can make it up to you? 

Here are my beautiful new floors. I'm in love. Insert big smiling face and hearts shooting from my eyes. 

The door casing, before we puttied the holes and started painting. Notice how I said started? Yeah… the trim's not done. There's this thing called work. And kids. And life. Yep. But really, isn't it going to look so great once it's done? The bright white craftsman style trim next to the paint color? Swoon! 

This is in Instagram photo (follow me @thebrickbungalow). The window is frosted (from the manufacturer) to add privacy. This is the bathroom, after all! And our neighbor's side deck is just outside the window. 

And then here's the beast. I lovingly call it that. My dad and Doug may have other names for it. It's one solid piece, weighing in at about 250 lbs. True story. Black granite countertop, under mount sinks, soft close drawers and cabinets. This is missing the backsplash piece. 

I bought a double bar, hard mounted shower curtain rod. We decided to push it back in towards the tub just enough to make it still feel huge on the inside but not take up too much floor space. The directions wanted the black holder to line up with the edge of the shower. It just seemed weird. Maybe we're the weird ones? 

And the toilet is in! This was during the installation as we had to go back for a different size hose hook up.

So those are the only pictures I have right now. My big camera's battery died, so it'll charge and I'll update with new photos soon. I'd like to get the trim painted this weekend. There's some minor touch ups on the walls too that need dealt with. My dad is working on the medicine cabinets and we need to hang up one more light. 

Although there's stuff still to do, it's minor in comparison to what has happened. I absolutely love this bathroom. The color combination, how we enlarged it, changing the layout, and everything new is just so nice. 

Want to see what it used to look like?!

Now, let's remember this was when we bought the house - I soon removed the wallpaper (white dots on ceiling, border, and decorative piece under lights), painted everything, and replaced the shower curtain. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

{Shopping} Thrift Store

While out by myself with nothing but shopping to do (on Doug's orders too!), I decided to squeeze in a trip to one of our local antique malls. I had only been there a couple of times and hadn't seen their expanded area yet. Let me tell you, the place was huge!!! So many things… many not worth a second look, but there were a few things worthy of my time and even a couple that came home with me! 

If you follow me on Instagram (@thebrickbungalow) you will have seen the green light I posted. I'm slightly obsessing over it so I may have to go back and see if it's still there. Maybe it'll be an early birthday present to myself. 

At first I wasn't sure where it would go and I didn't really think it would go with anything. While those are still true, I'm leaning towards it going on our back porch. And no, it doesn't match, but that's part of the beauty in it. Plus I kinda hate the yellow chairs on the porch anyway (just the color really). 

In the same area of the green light was this amber one too. I'm not trilled with the clear one. And the little Buddha on the bottom is great too, although I didn't really focus on him at the time. 

Although I wouldn't buy it, this antique baby scale was in great shape and not that much money. I think it would look great on a kitchen counter or in a bathroom - both of which for me, at least, are tight on space and this was big! Too bad I didn't have this when my own kids were babies or that would have made for some great pictures. 

I've seen the sign, below, before but never for sale. I think it would look fun on a back porch (maybe I'm starting a theme of random items on our porch to add character…it's so boring!). I think I actually took a photo of this sign when I saw it a few years ago.  

I didn't take a photo of what I actually bought - two hippos for Doug to add to his collection and two Jonny Angel kewpies for me because I think they are funny and I smile at them every time I see them. 

Speaking of Doug's hippo collection, we seriously need to make a way to show them all off. I've been hunting for them for years now and we have one from almost every type of material out there - wood, ceramic, resin, and so on - and all different sizes, colors, and shapes.


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