Sunday, October 24, 2010

Fall Food

Might as well start the blog up again, huh?

Fall is my absolute favorite season. I love the change of seasons from the scorching hot Virginia summer to the crisp, cool autumn air. I remember the smell of fall from the house where I grew up; it always smelled like leaves. We had so many oak trees in our yard that the grass was almost entirely covered with crunchy brown leaves and acorns from the beginning of fall until winter.
Now, we have a few young trees in our yard now so we have a small taste of the fall leaves without being swallowed up them.

I've been on a kick making fall foods recently. If it's orangey, warm, and pumpkin/squash-ish, I like it. Here are a few of the recipes I've tried...They're all one pot, they taste better the second day, and they're absolutely delicious. (Recipes from best food blog ever.)

Winter Squash Soup

Black Bean & Pumpkin Soup
Beef Chili with Sour Cream and Cheddar Biscuits


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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Beauty of Crozet

On my way to the Orchard

A 10 minute drive takes you to a family owned orchard with seasonal strawberries, cherries, and peaches. Few things are better than eating a ripe peach right off the tree, still warm from the sun. I made peach pie and peach muffins, and Jeff made Bellinis with what I brought home. I love summer!

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Dottie's Debut

As promised, here's Dottie in her new home...

Waving hello to the camera (or reaching out to kill me)

Typical. Angry Dottie, Gus looks on.

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Before & After, Outside

I finally took some pictures of the exterior of the house. Here's our beautiful white house!

Front of House
-Then ~ Spring 2010-

-Now, June 2010-
Can you believe how much that Saucer Magnolia (pink flowery tree) has grown?! The front garden has really filled in over the past couple of months.

Back of House
-Then ~ Spring 2010-

-Now, June 2010-

Man, the grass was so much greener back in the spring! We removed the Emerald Arborvitae trees because we wanted a clear view of the backyard. My green-thumbed co-teacher took the trees and transplanted them in his yard so they have a new home. :)

The firepit is to the left, and the lump next to it is Bosco. He chooses the sunniest days to go outside and dramatically flop down to soak up the heat.

Herb Garden
With the help of my co-teacher, I planted some herbs in what used to be home to a few small Juniper bushes. I have 2 lavender bushes (already there when we moved in), catnip, spearmint, 3 creeping rosemary, purple sage, thyme, oregano, lemon verbena, and a tomato plant. The bigger plants by the door were already planted and they are boxwoods, a couple of daylilies, and a few unidentified black-eyed-susan-ish plants. The jury is out on whether those will stay or go...I'm thinking I want all the plants on that side to be herb-related.

So much lavender! It smells wonderful and I'm experimenting with drying it and putting fresh sprigs in vases around the house.

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Animals

Since we moved into a bigger house solely for the comfort of our 4 beloved pets, I thought I should let you know how they're doing. :)
Bosco and Felix love having a new couch, a fenced backyard, and enough space to be away from each other if they so choose. They are getting used to the new garage and doorbell noises and love the sound of the ice maker in our new refrigerator. Their favorite thing to do is eat mulch in the yard...sigh.

Oh, Gus. His new favorite game is trying to run out the back door when we go in or out with the dogs. Then we get to go chase him around to haul him back inside. Dottie (not pictured, but I will upload a photo soon!) is adjusting slowly. She has deserted her cat perch for a kitchen chair cushion so she can watch the backyard through the big windows and back door. Gus will occasionally join her-- by either sleeping on the chair next to her or sneaking up and swatting her while she sleeps.

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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Before & After, 1st floor

Here are some before and after photos from what we've done on the main floor of the house. We repainted every room except for the hallway and above the chair rail in the dining room. Please excuse my amateur photography skills and the clutter. Enjoy!




Laundry Room



Family Room







Dining Room



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Saturday, June 19, 2010

Lots of catching up.

So it turns out that I'm not so good at keeping up with this blog thing. Since my last post, we've packed, painted, patched walls, painted, unpacked, painted, called Comcast about 10 times, and painted some more.

After we closed and before we moved our big stuff into the house, Jeff took a week off from work and painted several rooms with the help of my mom and brother, who came down to lend a hand. I was still teaching all day so I missed a lot of the day painting, but I did some catching up in the wee hours of the morning!

The packing and moving process wasn't horrible, but I definitely don't want to do it again anytime soon. We moved the fragile stuff ourselves and hired the 2 great furniture movers from our favorite furniture store (The Artful Lodger) to disassemble, move, and reassemble the furniture (this is the 3rd time they have done this for a couple of pieces!), and they also did the heavy lifting...Ahem, Jeff's 27 book boxes. Our big move-in day was May 21st, and we were pretty much unpacked about a week later, mostly because I couldn't handle boxes everywhere and paintings on the floor.

Stay tuned for before and after pictures...after I figure out how to post them the way I want. :)

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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

And so it begins...

Welcome, friends.

As Jeff and I get ready to embark on the journey to moving into our beautiful new home, I thought it would be nice to document our progress. Since my love for home decor, antiques, and DIY projects started with reading countless blogs by amazingly talented people, I thought I'd start a blog of my own. I have no idea who will actually read this blog, but hopefully I can inspire someone. :)

The title of the blog is a line from the poem that was read at our wedding, "The Master Speed" by Robert Frost. Here's the poem if you haven't heard it before:

"No speed of wind or water rushing by

But you have speed far greater. You can climb
Back up a stream of radiance to the sky,
And back through history up the stream of time.
And you were given this swiftness, not for haste
Nor chiefly that you may go where you will,
But in the rush of everything to waste,
That you may have the power of standing still-
Off any still or moving thing you say.
Two such as you with such a master speed
Cannot be parted nor be swept away
From one another once you are agreed
That life is only life forevermore
Together wing to wing and oar to oar."

I chose this title because it represents what Jeff and I intend to do in our new home; stand still. We bought this home with the intention to "grow into it" and stay in the Charlottesville, Virginia area for the future. I can't wait to come home and sit in our chairs in the library, or take a glass of wine out on the back patio...and just stand still.

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