Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Kitchen Reno: It's Happening!

Well, I know I don't post too often on here these days. I have been so consumned with kids and life and work, that we haven't been doing a whole lot of stuff with the house. Well, let me tell you: the year 2015 is going to be filled with a whole bunch of renovations! yay!! I am excited. Scared, but excited. Greg worked long and hard on an Ikea kitchen planner to come up with this, our future kitchen:

I went to Ikea today, and it appears they are switching their kitchen system to a new one in Feb. I am looking forward to seeing what it is like! I am sure it is pretty much the same as this one, I mean really, how innovative can you really get on pre-fab kitchens? In any case.. this kitchen project is happening!! IT'S TIME TO SHOP FOR TILES

We aren't totally sold on an Ikea kitchen at this point, and while most of the reviews I have had in real life are very positive, buying something like this is scary to me. It's my first time. Eek.

Get ready for some posts, people!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Cabbage Rolls

Cabbage: you are a vegetable I have grown to love in life. You are so versatile; so tasty. And the way your inner leaves weave around inside when I cut you in half make me happy.

My mom used to make cabbage rolls all the time. When I was a kid, I would take off all the cabbage and eat the meat inside with copious amounts of ketchup. To this day, I still use copious amounts of ketchup on my cabbage rolls but now I very much enjoy the cabbage and the *secret ingredient* as well. Mom's cabbage rolls are always a big hit and I have myself brought them to many pot lucks by request. I guess at one point she got sick of making them for me all the time so she showed me how to do it. And now, I can bring to you, the cabbage rolls of my youth.

Mom, I am sorry to be sharing your recipe here online. But every time I make them, people ask me, no Beg me, for the recipe. So I am going to type that motherfucker out for everyone. Now I have a place I can send them to when they say "OMG those look so good can I please have the recipe??!!" You, dear reader, just may be reading this because I have sent you here. So, please forgive my lack of pictures. Please forgive my flowery writing style. It makes a difference when you are trying to explain such things as cutting the stalk part out of a leaf, when you can't show someone in real life. So saddle up my future cabbage rollers! Here, we embark on adventure :)


One head of regular or flat cabbage
Ground beef, approx 1lb or more depending on size of cabbage

Minute rice, or cooked regular rice
Can of mushroom pieces, drained, or some fresh diced mushrooms
Green Pepper, diced
Onion, diced
Worchestershire Sauce
One egg
Garlic powder
Salt and Pepper to taste
Can of Heinz tomato juice (large can)
Medium to large jar of sauerkraut

Get a big pot of water boiling. Cut downwards into the cabbage around the stem, to loosen the leaves from the stem. Stick it in the boiling water. Let that sit for a bit. In the meantime, mix the meat, and all the other ingredients (not including the tomato juice and sauerkraut) in a big bowl. Mix it up real good. Now your cabbage leaves should be getting ready. Make sure they are cooked well or you might have crunchy cabbage rolls. Take a layer off at a time, three leaves usually, or more if they seem cooked. On a cutting board, cut in a V shape, the thick stem part off of the leaf, so that it isn't tough and thick. Take a handful of the meat mixture, roll it a bit, then fit it in the stem half of the leaf. Tucking in the sides, roll it up nice and tight. Place in a roasting pan, and continue on until the pan is full. You may need to layer, especially if you do two heads of cabbage at once (which I recommend because you can freeze them!) Once you have everything rolled, you cover it with sauerkraut and then tomato juice. Sometimes you may need more juice than is in one can. I find that minute rice sucks up moisture but pre-cooked rice doesn't so it needs less juice. Cook for 3-4 hours, covered, at 350. Check periodically to make sure they aren't drying out. if they are, add more juice. Serve with sour cream or ketchup!

Sometimes my cabbage rolls drip so make sure to have a pan or something under your roaster to catch the drippings. Also, you can use pork in these as well but we always used straight up hamburger. There are many versions of this recipe out there, but this one is the most flavourful one I have ever had. I do swear by the Heinz tomato juice, and do use their saurkraut as well but any sauerkraut will do!

As for the rice, I use more if I need more meat mixture, or if the mix seems too wet and sticky. Usually for one batch I use 3/4-1 cup.

Happy Rolling!!!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Good Bye, Ugly Front Door

Ever since we moved into this house, I've had a hate on for the front storm door. The brown was dusty. The yellow side panels were dim. I love a good retro piece but this door was just UGLY. Last summer we had a pretty intense hail storm. It ripped a few holes in the screen and shattered a spot in the yellow panel. The kids took to sticking thier hands through the holes, which slowly increased in size until this happened:

not ghetto at all.

 I looked at Habitat For Humanity ReStores but never found the right sized door, so then I went to Home Depot, Ronas, and finally Lowes. We wanted a fairly nice yet plain glass fronted door with a kick plate, as we have children. We wanted something that was fairly open so that you can appreciate the awesome white main door. I finally found the right door for the right price at Lowes and trucked it home. Or rather, I drove really slow down the quietest roads home because I was afraid the door was going to fly off the top of my car. Even though it was absolutely super secure. Those tie ropes from Ikea make a loooot of wind shear noise!!

astroturf is rotting away. awesome

the men doing man work

Eddie was very helpful

die and rot in hell, door

The new door was a snap to put in. It helps that Greg is handy, but regardless he had it up in no time at all.


Sunday, March 23, 2014

I'm still alive!!!

Hellooooo out there. My sincere apologies for disappearing off this blog. You may know, I stay home with my two kids and life is b.u.s.y. even though they aren't in school or doing any extra curriculars. I also haven't been doing much around the house except trying to keep it clean.
Clean means something different to everyone.
Two small kids can create a tornado.
I really dislike housework.
You can imagine what my house has been looking like. Nobody wants to see that!

Truth be told, I am on the internet plenty. I have a slight (ok ok heavy) addiction to Instagram.

There. I've admitted it.

I opened an "Instashop" about a year ago. I was getting quite dismayed with Etsy. I wasn't really selling anything, I didn't really have time to play around with listings, photos, etc etc. I didn't like the 20 cent re-listing fee they charge. That adds up, especially if an item sits for a long time in the shop. So, I was looking at alternative avenues to sell vintage clothes and housewares. One day while scrolling down my feed I came across this account that was selling stuff! I looked at her profile, who was following her, etc, and it was like the angels sang, man. It was an epiphany.

I opened my own Instagram account for my vintage shop a week later. I now have two, one for adult clothes, house wares, fun stuff, and one for kids clothes that are my kids preloved stuff but also lots of vintage!! The audiences for the two are completely different.The communities that are built around them are diffeent as well. Its actually really interesting, from a social/anthropological view.

But it takes up a lot of my free time.

Cause I'm not just selling. I'm BUYING. Mostly for the kids, but sometimes for me. Here are a few things I have purchased, these are my favourites!

Anyways, I ended up "running into" a reader of this blog through my kids shop! (Hi!!) She recognized my house from my pictures on here. She said she'd been wondering what I was up to and what had happened to me. Believe me, I think about what to write here often but by the time the kids are in bed I am wiped out and can barely think straight! So it's been like 10 months since I sat down to write you you. And I feel really bad about that.

But I have to say, that "blogging" has never been my kind of thing. I have zero discipline to sit and write once a week, once a month, whatever. I am a great procrastinator. Instagram is an immediate Blog post. I take a pic, post it, say a little blurb, the end. I like immediate gratification. The medium works really well for that.

So that being said, if any of you would like to check out my instagram shops, the kids one is www.instagram.com/lilynymphkids and the main one is www.instagram.com/lilynymphvintage

Feel free to follow me even if you don't want to buy stuff. I like to post random thrift store finds and other vintage-love type things on it.

And I promise I will write out the rest of the story of our deck. I have to, cause we have some plans in store for this summer!!!

Thanks for sticking with me, y'all!!!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

IT'S GONE!!!! Part one: the deck

Mudroom, deck.... you were warned.
You continued being rotten and ugly so now you've been ripped out of my life forever.


This is going to be a pretty picture heavy and long post. I have a lot of finger pointing and best practise advise to give on this subject. Especially on how NOT to build an outbuilding that one's family might be using once a day.

To start off with: the deck was rotten. Greg had to replace a few boards last year before our Canada Day party so that no one would fall through and/or stab their foot into a nail. This is what it looked like before:
early spring and it always looks so bare. before anything has happened.

have a mentioned how much i hate red painted wood???? I also really hate that white plastic lattice

the un painted boards are the new ones. don't you love those short length boards there? nothing like measuring before you cut...

this is what i look at every day when coming home. makes me really happy.

this is like the only non-rotting part of this deck. too bad its ghastly.


rotten. these ones did a looney tunes-esque board to the face when you stepped on them

the left is the original deck. they added on at some point.

We weren't sure when we were going to rip this out, and if we would also take off the mudroom at the same time. Well last weekend was a really nice weekend, the first warm one of the spring (this years winter was loooong). Gregs friend said he would take all the wood to burn at his cottage so we paid him in beer and gas money and he came and helped. Which was awesome cause the kids were home for a bit. We promptly dropped them off at their grandparents house and I did some furniture refinishing while the menfolk laboured in the misty rain.

bye bye boards

lined up really well. this footing was not footed, it jiggled and was basically floating in a dirt hole

this is what a deck looks like, unassembled

the supports.
 It appears that there was an older portion of the deck (which was cedar!), that was then added on to. I have an old photo album that was left in this house that shows the older part before the addition. It seems that it was added on in the 80's, probably at the same time the kitchen was redone. The older deck does not appear to be original to the house, as there is a asphalt covered concrete walkway under it. It is all gravel and busted up granite under there (dude was a headstone maker, this was obviously a broken headstone. Creepy? Meh not really, I've seen worse around here!)

bit of a step down there, now...
when you already covered the walkway with asphalt, the only thing left to do is build a deck over it. duh...
the old footings are poured concrete. new ones, not so much. those big rocks at the top were meant to be over someone's grave *cue creepy ghost music*
 Under the newer part is all mud. Which is pretty much what we expected. Not big surprises yet. Actually we didnt have any surprises concerning this deck. Which in itself is a surprise!!! It didn't take too long for the guys to get all the boards up and the supports knocked out. Greg even had time to make a new fence out of the deck rails, to replace the old fence that was the last remaining particle board in the yard (fiiiinallyyyyyyy).

just what i always wanted; my own mud pit! let the redneck olympics begin!

new fence is much better than old fence
old fence, you sucked.

It was then decided that the mudroom was coming off the next day. It was easier for Greg's buddy to just take all the wood. I was not ready to loose my child herding station. But sometimes a mama has to suck it up and see the bigger picture.

I'll post the mudroom demolition soon (I promise!!) cause that's where the finger pointing gets really good :) AND I KNOW YOU ALL LIKE FINGER POINTING.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Jaws music?

duuuu duh
duuuu duh
duuuu duh duuuu duh duuuuu duh duuuuuh duh


Your days are numbered.

I'm coming for you at spring-fall.

Just giving you the heads up.

Monday, February 18, 2013

The Den: part 2

So its been like two years since I wrote about renovating my den. It is so much better now, but it is NEVER CLEAN. This is the computer room and also playroom for the kids. It is always a disaster. Today it was sunny and we (mostly) cleaned it, so I finally took some pictures to show you the finished den.
Did I mention that we are probably making this the kitchen again, as it used to be before the 80's? So this will look much different in a few years. Perhaps it will take me less than half a decade to show you lol.
OK so, we put in green carpet. Its more mossy than the one I'd picked out, but we decided the one I liked was TOO green, like 60's green but not in a good way. So we found one that was a little more modern but still retro. I really like it! Lowes was brand new in town and they had a fabulous free installation and sale on their carpet so it cost under $500 to carpet this room. While the carpet isn't the best of quality it is fairly decent and will hold up for the duration of time that we need it in here.
kitties smell the new carpet
You can see in the above picture the baseboards we had made. Also, that is the amazing vintage wallpaper we put up. At first it was pretty overwhelming but once we lived in it for a bit, it's normal and I really really like it. here's a close up of it (ps it is old and was painted, not a print):

pretty folksy!
It was fairly easy to put the wallpaper up, as it was preglued and was in great shape. Sometimes vintage paper has damage on the end of the roll and that can make the seams quite obvious. greg did a great job of lining everything up well.

I found some nice lacy curtains at the thrift store that were exactly what I wanted. this room has two windows, a big south facing one and a smaller west window so it is very bright in here. I like the sun shining through the lace a lot. In fact I take quite a few hipstamatic pictures of sun through my lace curtains cause that's how I roll.
Solly is consumed by squirrel activity in the lilac outside the window

Else also likes to look out the window
After this, we picked up a sweet yellow sofa bed from Kijiji. I love this couch. I take so many pictures on it, especially of kids and cats. It is holding up quite well for the abuse it takes. The mattress needs replacing but other than that it is solid and pretty :) Its a Kroehler so it will last forever!

ive added the quilt as an extra child mess barrier

look at that sweet fabric!! its my favourite. also love the buttons. love the cat too i guess.

  I got a teak bookshelf from FullCircles (freecycling! yeay!) which did house books until Else was old enough to start ripping them. Now it is the toy shelf. The desk is also teak, and needs to be sanded a little and reoiled. The mirror on the wallpaper wall is not teak but it's from Ikea and has that teak stain going on. This room needs teak. This woman needs teak. NEEDS TEAK I TELL YOU.

desk is always messy. this is nothing.

i promise theres a shelf under all those toys. 

I put up a watercolour of a yellow iris that we bought at an estate sale for this room, and also a picture by Alicia Bock who I have loved since I first found her shop on etsy way back when I first started looking at it. This is her etsy store and I can't recommend her enough!!!
i think this was $5. estate sales are a great place to get cheap art

it took me forever to find a frame that had matting that would fit this 8x8.
This is the room that Liza lives in. She freaks out many unsuspecting visitors.

liza is ususally sporting some crazy vintage dress and sometimes a wig. other times she is naked and hairless. which is how I like my mannequins.
before: fleshy and crowded

after: brighter and happier    
before demolition
after demolition
room is so much bigger

where all the stuff is, used to be closet.
 Taking the closet out of the room was a lot of work, but worth it. We didn't need the storage (and it was crappy storage anyways) and now the room is bright and open and happy. We did have to have our electrician come and and move the light switch over to the wall (it was on the closet before) and that was a bit of a pain cause he had to make some holes in the wall and ceiling. These houses were built with lateral supports half way up the wall so you can't just run a wire up through it, you have to get past that wood support so that's good to know if we need to do any other electrical! Our electrician did a bunch of rewiring for us while this wall was open, as the basement light control is on the other side and it had some issues. Greg got really good at hiding the repairs to the plaster by making drywall patches which you can barely see. 

 This is a special room where sun rays bounce off the walls and ceiling and the lilacs bloom outside the windows, making it smell heavenly in May. Its a nice central room so the kids can play while I make dinner, or I can hear them running around while I write or waste time online. It is fairly easy to keep clean, and its a good room for guests to stay in (though the door has been removed to save little fingers from being smashed and yes that mattress needs to go!).

And just to let you all know, my husband knows how to do everything right. I will never assume otherwise again :)