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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Quick and Easy Meal

It's been a while since I shared a recipe so today I'm going to share one that gets heavy rotation in our household.  The best thing about this recipe is not only is it quick and easy but you really only need a few ingredients to make it!

I don't have a name for it but we refer to it as Cabbage and Sausage.  I believe my sister was the one that turned me on to this meal.  She spent several months waitressing in Maui when she was younger and one of her roommates at the time made this.

The ingredients?  Cabbage and sausage and rice.

The recipe?  Cook the rice as normal.  Thinly slice the cabbage and sausage.  We usually use one package of Hilshire Farm Sausage and about 2/3 of a medium to large sized green cabbage.

While the rice is cooking, cook the sausage in a large frying pan or wok until slightly brown.

Add cabbage.  Go ahead and pile on the cabbage, it will cook down.

Continue to cook and stir the cabbage down until your rice is ready, then spoon some rice in a bowl and add your cabbage and sausage mixture.

We like to add some additives at this point which usually includes ripe avocado and sriracha sauce or sweet Thai chili sauce.

Like I said, it's quick and easy and really quite good.  In our case, everyone contributed to making this meal as well.  Alec cut the cabbage and sausage while I was at yoga, I got the rice going once I got back, and Jeff cooked the mixture in the frying pan while I showered.

Bonus points are given to this recipe because you can eat it in a bowl!  That means it can easily be transported downstairs to eat in front of the TV...which we NEVER do, of course.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Five Things For Friday

Happy Friday and Memorial Day weekend!

Let's start this post with the latest flower blooming in my garden, the jasmine.  Every year about this time I have a competing scent-off (for lack of a better description) with the huge honeysuckle I shared last week and my jasmine vine.  Even the annoying Century Link salesman who stood on my doorstep this week commented on the competing scents; "it smells like craisins", he said.
My variety is a Star Jasmine.  As you can see I have it growing as a vine although I have seen it used as a ground cover.  Like the honeysuckle, the jasmine is an evergreen plant.  Of the two, however, the jasmine is a much more controlled grower.  If you have a small to medium space and want a sweet smelling vine, choose the jasmine.  If you have more room, go with the honeysuckle.

Last Sunday evening we went to the "cultural phenomena" known as Mortified.  If you don't know what that is, here's the description of it from their website:

"Witness adults sharing their most embarrassing childhood artifacts (journals, letters, poems, lyrics, plays, home movies, art) with others, in order to reveal stories about their lives. Hear grown men and women confront their past with tales of their first kiss, first puff, worst prom, fights with mom, life at bible camp, worst hand job, best mall job, and reasons they deserved to marry Jon Bon Jovi."

The Portland presentation included 6 adults reading from the teenage self's diary (or journal if you're a man.  Seriously all the women referred to it as a diary but the man used the word journal.  Is a diary too feminine?).  Most of the presenters were in their 30s, as was the audience, in other words, we were some of the oldest people there.  It's my unproven theory, that at this age you're still romancing you're childhood; thinking how unique it was and you are.  In reality, all the presenters in Portland (only one of which was from the area) were raised very similar;  middle-upper class, white, suburban.  I don't think this is by accident.  It seems this type of format wouldn't lend itself well to any other class.  Grew up poor, worried more about where your next meal would come from rather than who was going to ask you to the prom?  Sorry, that's just not funny.  I know that sounds critical and I don't mean it to be.  All in all, we had a good time and I would recommend the show if it comes to your city.  I'd also encourage anyone with a truly unique story to tell, to participate and share it, Mortified, the show and the audience, needs to hear it.

Got some extra time this holiday weekend?  Here's a DIY where the end product is both beautiful and useful!  If you start now, you could whip out several nice Christmas gifts!  I'm a size 8 1/2 by the way...

I picked up several things FREE on the sidewalk this past week!

I hope this metal patio table wasn't a mistake.  Everything I usually pick up is either small or I wouldn't mind keeping it myself.  This table, however, isn't small and I really don't need it nor have room for it.  I'm going to remove the rust, primer it, then repaint it white.  It will definitely be in the Home and Patio Sale!  In fact, I may sell my metal chairs with it as a set.

Last weekend we celebrated my son's birthday.  He's not much of a cake eater so I went to a French bakery close to our house and bought these macaroons.   OH MY GAWD!!  So yummy!  Each one has such a distinct flavor and they are so beautiful as well!

I hope you have a nice Memorial Day weekend and keep a lost loved one in your thoughts. Enjoy it and come back Monday.  I have a great, easy recipe to share!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Primitive Cabinet Makeover

Wow!  This piece turned out better than I imagined it would!

Driving home from a Mother's Day shopping trip, I spied this little lonely cabinet FREE on the side of the road.  It may have been a hutch in a prior life.  Regardless, it spoke to me in a way few pieces do.  It had potential but it was hidden beneath an exterior that looked like it had spent a lot of time in a drafty garage.  It was never a fine piece of furniture but it could be very functional, all it needed was a second chance at life.

It took a little glue, paint, and some hardware and this became the Little Cabinet The Could!

To start with, I glued and clamped the top piece (behind the jars) back on.

I then painted the piece using a custom mixture of Real Milk Paint - Oyster Grey and Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint (Farmhouse White).

Of course, castors were added!

Wire was strung through several eyes so a curtain could be hung. I used Ikea Riktig Stainless Steel Curtain Hook with Clip, to attach a couple flour sack dish towels as a curtain.

I added a pull on one side of the cabinet so it could be easily moved.

I picture this in a kitchen for dry food storage.

However it could easily work in a bathroom to store towels and toilet paper.

Or in a kids room to store toys and books.  It would also work in the family room with a tv on top!

As much as I love this piece, it will be for sale at the Home and Patio Sale July 29 and 30 (yes I gave my sale a name!).  Mark your calendar and simply drive to NE 15th and Fremont in Portland and follow the signs to the sale location!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Five Things for Friday

Cheers to another Friday!  I hope your week was eventful, productive, enjoyable, and all in all good.

The flower of the week this week is the honeysuckle!  Wow!  What a punch this flower packs!  The sweetly scented flowers are wildly attractive to hummingbirds and other pollinators.

The honeysuckle vines are evergreen and heat tolerant.  As you can see, they are also vigorous growers so if you plant one do so on a sturdy large trellis.  You'll be rewarded with the flowers and sweet scent for weeks!

Today is my son's birthday!  Twenty two years ago today...
I can't help myself!  I always think of this scene when it's his birthday!

We're actually celebrating it tomorrow as we're going out to breakfast, his favorite meal.  Since it's his birthday, he gets to pick where we go.  So, it's off to Village Inn!  Yes, with all the AWESOME breakfast places in town, he picks Village Inn!  *sigh*  At least there won't be a wait.

I'm always on the lookout for new, easy recipes where you don't have to make a visit to the grocery store to buy ingredients.  Here's a casserole recipe I found where you line the bottom of a dish with bread and throw whatever you have leftover in your fridge and bake it for an hour at 425 degrees.  Sounds interesting and I'll definitely be trying it soon!

Are you out of soap yet?  Ever wonder how grocery store soap is made?  Here's a video (WHA! Two videos in one post!?) showing how it's done.  This is NOT how soap is made at Lora's Beauty, a video of that will be forth coming.  Rest assure, however, it involves no Extruder machines!  Lora's Beauty soap is crafted entirely by hand and in small batches using only natural ingredients!  Your skin will know the difference.

 We're in for another rainy weekend so that means more work in my basement studio (also known as the laundry room).  I finished this wonderful cabinet and will share it with you Monday.

Next up on the workbench is this chair I found FREE on the sidewalk.

I've also got an old window I'm going to paint and spray the glass with this mirror paint. Have you ever tried this?

Have a great weekend and check back Monday for my primitive cabinet reveal!  It's awesome!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Things My Neighbors Give Away Part One

I've been wanting to do this post for a while but honestly, it was a little overwhelming; my neighbors give away a lot of stuff!  Then I decided to do it in parts.  Today, Part One of Things My Neighbors Give Away!  Also known as, Things I Pick Up Free on the Sidewalk or Things I've Thrown on the Top of My Car!

First up is my favorite.  I wrote about this dresser's makeover here.

Here's the "before" picture.

After a little work, here's the after.  Yep, this was FREE!

Also up is this great magazine rack Jeff found one day.  It's good to have an extra set of eyes on the street for free furniture!  I don't have a before picture for this one but it was an ugly dark wood surface.

Finally, here's one of my first sidewalk finds.   This beautiful display cabinet we had to snatch from a guy on a bike. He wanted it for a greenhouse/cold frame.  Isn't that so Portland?! Alas, there was no way he was getting it home on his bike so when he left we went in for the kill!  Again, no before picture but it was just a light colored wood finish.
There's plenty more where these came from and I'll show more later, but let's end this post with a picture of Audrey, because she's so darn cute!

Friday, May 13, 2016

Five Things for Friday

Welcome to the end of the week and this week's edition of Five Things for Friday!

The featured flower this week is the Dutch Iris.  Funny thing about this flower, I don't actually remember ever planting it.  These plants grow from a bulb and I must have at one point planted some, or one, as now I've got about 20 in my garden!  They come in  a variety of colors and patterns, mine are white.  Unlike other varieties of irises, the foliage on Dutch irises resemble a grass.
Uncut, they flower for several weeks in the yard, or if you prefer, they make great cut flowers!

Two words; Harem Pants.  Ok, now for some context...

Last Sunday was Mother's Day and we spent a great day with family enjoying the company, food, and nice weather.  The women in the family made a quick trip to the Grand Marketplace in Portland.  It's a fun place to browse for antiques, oddities, and vintage and industrial ware.  I picked up, of all things, a pair of harem pants and aside from the fact that they look completely bazaar, I love them!  This is my first pair and I'll (probably) never wear them out in public but, seriously, THEY ARE SO COMFORTABLE!  In fact, I think they may replace sweat pants for that after-work-still-daylight-and-too-early-for pajamas clothing!

On our way back from the Marketplace, I found this little cabinet FREE on the sidewalk.  It's a little primitive but that's what I was drawn to.  I've got plans for it!  I definitely see it on wheels, maybe in a kitchen for extra storage?

I forgot to mention this last week so I'll add it to this week's Five Things.  Last Thursday we were about a block away from Alberta street in Portland and there seemed to be a small crowd gathering in the street and no cars were moving in either direction.  As we continued to walk on, we quickly saw why.  President Bill Clinton was walking the street doing a meet and greet and stumping for Hillary.  As we got to Alberta, we walked right up to him, shook his hand and talked for a moment.  I didn't have my phone with me to snap a selfie with him (is it technically a selfie if someone else is in the photo?) as I was going to yoga.  Jeff was too busy talking to him to take a photo however he did circle back and took this photo later.  He was quite approachable and many people got pictures.  That was my first and only brush with celebrity if you don't count seeing Carrie Brownstein at Fred Meyer and Fred Armisen shopping on Mississippi Street and in both cases I didn't approach them.

We are huge fans of hot sauce around here!  We've even made our own at times.  Here's a nice write-up listing some of the stand out sauces from this year's NYC Hot Sauce Expo (Seriously, there is such a thing!)  The artwork on some of those labels is amazing!  I see this one getting heavy rotation around here soon!

That's it for this week!  Enjoy your weekend!  After a complete week of nice weather, it's supposed to rain this weekend.  That will give me a good excuse to start working on my new sidewalk find!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Metal Patio Chairs

Remember these chairs I shared a couple weeks ago?

These beauties were another great find FREE on the sidewalk!

The really great thing about them was they needed very little work.
 Obviously, they needed cleaned.  Wow!  The glare is blinding!

 There was a little rust on them that we sanded out.

They also needed a couple cans of primer.  I used Krylon All-Purpose Gray Interior and Exterior Decorator Primer.

Finally, after several cans of Krylon  Cherry Red Interior and Exterior Decorator Paint, they look as good as new!

Not bad for about $12 in spray paint!

I was positive I was going to sell these, then Jeff suggested I bring them on the deck to photograph and, well....I may have to keep these and sell my teak folding chairs.
One way or the other, there will be outdoor chairs in the sale July 29-30!

Friday, May 6, 2016

Five Things for Friday

It looks like we're staring another weekend in the face!  Yay!  Welcome to Friday!

Let's start this post with our featured flower of the week.  How can you live in the rainy Northwest and NOT have a rhododendron in your garden?  I used to hate rhododendrons because everyone had one or two or more.  They were huge plants that people lined up against their house's foundations so they blocked the windows on the house. Then I visited Mexico and Hawaii and I realized everyone didn't have them, at least they didn't have them as big and showy as the ones I grew up with.  It was then that I grew to appreciate them and planted a couple in my garden (not in front of a window, however!).

Speaking of garden, yes we made it to the Plant Sale last weekend!  As I mentioned last week, I had already planted my fill for the year.  That didn't stop me from sneaking in one more plant; a zucchini of course.  Just like with the rhododendron, every NW vegetable garden needs a zucchini!
Naturally, I took my camera and shot a few photos.  As I was doing so, one of the event coordinators asked if I would share my photos with them.  Apparently, their volunteer photographer didn't show and they desperately wanted to add this year's photos to their website.  I was happy to oblige and have since emailed off my first volunteer-non-paying-staff photos!

About 4 years ago my parents moved into a condo building not far from my house.  In the basement of their building people put things they no longer want.  You can pick up some really good stuff there, free of course.  It's kind of funny as multiple times my mom has been visiting friends in the building and will see something in their house that she had placed in the basement.  Basically, the people in the building swap things around among themselves a lot.

Anyway, several weeks ago my mom brought over these stepping stone molds that were in the basement.

Of course I used them!  I actually didn't think I was going to get more than one use out of them, however, I sprayed the mold with a little Pam Cooking Spray before I poured the concrete in them and once they had dried, they LITERALLY (the correct definition of literally) slid right out!

Now I'm going to make more of them, because, well just because I can!  I may even put some in my sale!

Finally, here's a great idea for a warm and nutritional breakfast at work.  Fill a jelly jar 1/3 full with steel cut oats.  Add your favorite toppings (raisins, sesame seeds, honey etc) to 2/3 full.  Then fill the jar with water and let sit in the refrigerator overnight.

The next morning, at work or home, pop the jar in the microwave for a minute and you've got a healthy breakfast! You may need to add a little more water before microwaving but not much.

That's it for this week, have a great weekend and for all those Mothers out there, Happy Mother's Day!  I've got another furniture reveal on tap for Monday so stayed tuned to see how these free chairs ended up!

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