Happy Holidays

 

our tree

mantle

tiny village

sweet words

The holidays are officially here everybody, and I’m sure you’ve waited for me to tell you before you figured it out. JUST KIDDING.

This is officially the FIRST Christmas we are actually enjoying over here at our itty bitty house. Last year we were technically moved in by Christmas but were still in a whirlwind of post-renovation frenzy. It was fun, but this year, we put up our tree on time, and savored the decorating. It’s been really nice.

Even though I do say savoring, we are still crazy busy getting lost in the holiday frenzy. We’re keeping to yearly traditions and starting new ones. And believe me when I tell you I am SO behind because I still have all the presents to wrap! Shame shame!

I did want to take a moment and pop in though to wish you all a very very very wonderful and happy holiday season. Regardless of how you celebrate, this is really a time of coming together and being grateful for all the good things in your life, and all the crappy things that make you REALLY appreciate those good things. I am so lucky to have the family and friends that I do and even though sometimes it can be easy to take people for granted, or maybe not keep in touch as much as you should, I know I have the type of people in my life that just pick up where we left off, and that’s really nice.

Thanks, also, for being a part of this little, inconsistent, and often blabby blog o’ mine. You have all been so kind. Thank you.

 

Niki

Perfect Pizza Dough

Pizza dough? What? Is that an analogy for the consistency of joint compound when you mix it in with dry mortar?

No. Relax. This is a pizza dough recipe.

“But whyyyy? The internet has so many pizza dough recipes already, jeez, when are you going to redo the breezeway and mudroom, already!???” You whine at me.

Why? Because I’ve tried 487,654,324 pizza dough recipes and this. is. the. one. It doesn’t take 5 minutes. It’s not super convenient. But it’s like, real, pizza dough. The only way you could make it more real would be to stick it on the grill, which I totally plan on doing, once our cement patio is done enough for grilling, which I hope is soon.

I digress. Take the time and make this. And don’t just use it for pizza. Use it for calzones, use it for flatbreads, use it for breadsticks…go WILD!

Screen Shot 2013-06-19 at 12.33.49 PMPerfect Pizza Dough
Adapted from Lidia’s Italian-American Kitchen

Here’s the thing, this takes some effort to make, but once you get it done, you can keep it in the fridge for days. So next time you’re bored on a weekend, whip up a double batch that can take you through the week. I just like to let this rest at room temp so that it is a bit easier to roll out.

1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (110 degrees F)
3 cups all-purpose flour, and more as needed
1½ teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for coating the bowl
1 tablespoon sugar

Mix together the yeast, warm water, sugar and 1 tablespoon olive oil until dissolved. Set aside. Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl, creating a well in the center. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the yeast mixture until your dough comes together. Turn it out onto a floured surface and knead 5-10 minutes, adding flour as needed to prevent sticking, until the dough is smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a clean, damp cloth. Set the bowl in a warm, draft-free spot (I like to keep it in the oven with just the oven light turned on) until it doubles in volume, about 1 1/2 hours.

Punch down the dough and divide into the number of portions you need. Place the dough balls on a lightly oiled baking sheet and cover with a piece of plastic wrap pressed directly against the dough. Refrigerate until the dough is roughly doubled in bulk. This can take from 12 to 24 hours. Punch down the dough, knead it slightly, and continue with the recipe.

Something Super Cool is Happening

But I’m going to keep it a surprise. I want to keep you in suspense. If this isn’t enough suspense for you, go out and watch World War Z. That movie should really be called Anxiety because that’s what I felt throughout the whole thing. But I’m just being chatty.

 

kitchen

Here’s a preview of something cool that’s going to be happening. Was this shot in a billionaire’s resort in Turks & Caicos?? No, it’s just my kitchen, silly. But you’re so sweet to think that! (Note: I’m only this arrogant for your amusement, but I am really proud of my itty bitty kitchen.) Also, I obviously really love cutting boards.

-Niki

So Much Closer

Warning: This post is a stream of consciousness.

That photo up there is already outdated, but a view of what’s happening in the house. It’s a million times better but still not finished.

Finishing work is my least favorite kind of work (even though it’s the least physically demanding) because you can spend hours wrapping something up and it pretty much still looks the same.

We have real floors in 4/5 rooms. HUZZAH!

The hardwoods really were just as beautiful as we thought. And they’re begging for murphy’s oil soap.

Plans change. We’ve added twice as many projects to the original to-do list since we began.

  • Weren’t supposed to touch the bathroom. But then the tub looked like something out of a hostel movie and I had a terrifying vision of what it would be like to wear flip flops in my own bathroom. +1 project.
  • Wasn’t supposed to do electrical in the kitchen. But then apparently nothing was ground-faulted (is that the word?) +1 project
  • Bedroom #2 was supposed to be a guest room. But that wallpaper really DEMANDED dining room. +1 project
  • The original molding idea was not working. Edit, edit, edit. Start from scratch. +3 projects
  • Just cut around the fridge to install new cabinets? Just demo the entire area and bump it out all Bob Vila style +1 project.
  • Oh back to the bathroom. We’re keeping the ceiling where it is. NO seriously, just keep it. Oh, shit…is that…what…? New ceiling build in the bathroom. +1 project.
  • HOW DID THEY LIVE WITHOUT A FAN IN THE BATHROOM!!!! (you get the idea.)

Anyway, by some miracle (brought about by the sacrificing of years off our lives due to so much stress and work.) we’re kinda/sorta on schedule and will be moving in the remainder of furniture and stuff all this week while still attempting to finish the finishing work.

Still got a hole in bathroom ceiling. Still got subfloor in my kitchen. Still missing all my wall cabinets (BECAUSE HOME DEPOT DOESN’T UNDERSTAND THAT IN-STOCK CABINETS SHOULD BE “IN-STOCK”. This leads me to go into a Seinfeld-like rant about how holding a reservation isn’t just about the “taking” as much as the “holding”. Side note: I’ve never said “I don’t think you do” to an associate as much as I have in the past month in my LIFE. )

Still waiting on my granite install. And kind of still upset about the free backsplash we were getting, but then weren’t getting because there wasn’t enough granite. Granite man, you’re so nice, but why tell me you’re going to give me something if you’re not sure and then take it away!!?? WHY?

And out.

Around the House: WE’RE HOMEOWNERS!

Truth be told it hasn’t reaaaaaaaaaally sunk in. We’re working around the clock but I think once we move in furniture and actually spend the night it’ll be a huge moment. Right no we’re toiling away like “Oh this is OUR house?”…”Nah…”

We got the keys and ripped right into it. We’re DIY-ing these initial renovations (with the exception of electrical stuff and appliance installation and whatnot) but we haven’t gotten there yet. Right now it’s a lot of demo and plaster and scraping and drying to get it to a workable state.

Once we get to a point where we’re not covered in dust/paint/plaster, I’ll take some better photos. Until then, the power of Instagram!

P.S. A huge thanks to my parents who have been so awesome and supportive and right there with us scraping/spackling away. We are so appreciative that I don’t even know how to start repaying all your hard work and kind words! Since we really have no idea what we’re doing, your guidance has been a blessing and I don’t know where we’d be without it. (Actually I do know, about four days behind in progress! And since we’ve been homeowners for less than a week, that’s a pretty considerable chunk!)

Around the House: So Long Loft Living

So we’ve been living in this loft for close to (over? who knows) four years now. And as excited as we are to go, parting ways is bittersweet. This is where we first lived as married people after all!

Note: Pardon the photos. I am NOT a photographer and we took these at night. Also–there is no “styling” here, and you’ll see stuff like totes and paint cans and boxes that are due to us having to pack. So, we’re keeping it real. We just wanted to document this place before we started packing it all away. Also, clearly, we are not minimalists.

 

::Sniff sniff::

Around the House

Just a few snapshots of life around here this past weekend. We spend most of our time in the kitchen, and I’m kind of using some fresh tomatoes my parents gave us from their garden as a centerpiece in there.

Sunday night we last minutely decided to watch the Emmy’s and I printed out some bingo sheets and ballots I found here.

Once a hectic week starts rolling back into full swing, I like to look back and remember snippets of my weekend…how about you?