Monday, October 24, 2016

Apartment Nesting: Grateful for Furniture

When Dan took a job in Seattle, we were challenged with setting up another place to call home. We were so very lucky that my parents had extra furniture they could spare. When we told them we were setting up an apartment, they suggested we put this couch, these 2 chairs and the print chair/ottoman set on the truck. 

Our plan was to keep our house in Michigan for a year or so and I would travel back and forth. Their furniture allowed us to skip the futon and make a nice little home for ourselves as we transitioned. It has been a year and 9 months since Dan moved in and a lot has changed. We've sold our house in Michigan and are building in a neighborhood on the East-side of Seattle.  The funny thing is that my mom now has her own place out here in Seattle and plans on spending the winters here with us. When she comes to our apartment for dinner, sits on her couch and says "I like what we've done with the place." I usually counter with something along the lines of, "Feeling nostaglic?" It is familiar for both of us and that's wonderful.

We made the place our own by hanging a favorite pair of prints called Silver Birches by Nell Revel Smith over the couch. She paints the area in northern Michigan where we've always spent the summer and her work always makes us feel relaxed.

My mom and I scoured Homegoods and TJ Maxx for pillows with blues and greens to pull color from the art. I added a teal angora throw on one chair and placed a large circle melamine platter of a succulent (it looks a bit like this) on the butterscotch suede footrests. Doesn't it look pretty? We have since hung floor to ceiling off white drapes to soften the windows, but the room looks essentially like this. 

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Beekman 1802 Cherry Pie Filling

Today was the day that I opened my jar of Beekman 1802 cherry pie filling from Target and made a beautiful dessert.

I had been looking forward to trying this product from my friends' (Josh & Brent, the fabulous Beekman Boys) line at Target, but it was when I came across my "slice of pie" cookie cutter that I knew I would be baking a pie soon. Sometimes I make things just for the embellishment!

The pie baked up beautifully and Dan just said that he's looking forward to tomorrow, when he can have another slice. I highly recommend it!

#beekman1802 #finddelight

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Fall Baking: Kitchen Aid and Pyrex Make Me Happy

There are a lot of things that I love in this picture.  It is important for me to "look at what I love" and my apartment counter is pretty crowded lately. When we scoured our house in Michigan, looking for duplicate items to set up an apartment in Washington, I knew it was time for my vintage Pyrex collection to step up. I needed my beloved pieces to transition out of the treasured decorative items category and back to their status as an everyday kitchen workhorse. 

I use them daily, now and they are fantastic. The white bowl in front holds the batter for some quick blueberry muffins. I like how the Pyrex looks, so I keep it stacked on the counter.

When the holidays (and my 6-month stint living in an apartment in Washington) began last October, I got really nervous about holiday baking. I love making muffins, cakes, cookies repeat. When I say I am a big holiday baker, I mean that I bake almost every day. It's relaxing. It makes the house smell good. I can give these treats away. It is a big part of my October November December.

How would I bake without a mixer in the apartment?
Should I buy a hand mixer? I don't want a hand mixer. 
Should I buy a stand mixer? I don't want a stand mixer. 
I want my white Kitchen Aid mixer that is on the counter in Michigan. Dan saw me start to twitch and suggested that my Christmas present could be a new Kitchen Aid stand mixer that just happened to arrive in October. *sigh* I love this man.

We scoured the internet for colors and options and decided, who were we kidding, I was an aqua girl, through and through. I had the Pyrex to prove it. 

Some bakers store their stand mixer because counter space is too valuable. I can't. I like to see this beauty and get inspired to bake and mix and stir. It's part of the fun of being in the kitchen. And it looks perfect with the Pyrex. Our apartment is small, but my holiday plans are big. As for my Michigan mixer, it's in a box in storage awaiting my next move.

Do you feel this way about your mixer? 

#kitchenaidmixer #baking #holidaybaking #aqua #bakersgottabake #apartmentliving #vintagepyrex 

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

A Balcony Rose Update

Tah-dah! I wanted to reassure you that you can indeed grow roses in a pot on a balcony in Seattle. I have had this beauty since March 2015 and she is as happy as ever right now (Oct 2016)! 

Remember when she first started to sprout again in January? Dan has been in charge of her from April until now, since I was in Michigan most of this year, and boy did he do a good job!

I have only grown roses in Michigan in a garden with a soaker hose, so attempting to nurture a rose in a pot over a long stretch of time seemed like a 50/50 proposition. This Apricot Candy hybrid tea has been a gorgeous addition to our balcony garden.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Wood Veneer Tray Brings Warmth to the Table

I wanted you to see my latest find from Michaels Craft Store - a beautiful wood veneer tray. It has soft scalloped lines, beautiful real wood color and texture and is as light as a feather.

The wood veneer has been sealed to a sturdy plastic base, so this tray offers great strength if you wanted to use it to carry cups of cider and a plate of doughnuts.

Would you like to hear the best part? These trays and their companion plate chargers are 50% off right now. On sale, this tray cost $6.50. Now that is an economical way to add a beautiful touch of fall to the table. 

I have "buy apples" on my to do list, because I am in the mood to bake apples as a side dish for dinner, but I keep putting it off because I don't want to give up this pretty arrangement. These beauties are Honey Crisp, which are probably better for caramel apples, anyway. I need to find some Macintosh or Jonagolds to core, put in a baking dish and let 350 degrees work its magic. I love this time of year!