Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Potato Salad

My mom always made this amazing potato salad. It was a dish people always chose for her to make for picnics, weddings, etc (besides the cabbage rolls) and now I make it too.

I thought I would add the recipe here for all to see and share. It is in no way a "healthy light" potato salad but so what who cares? This recipe is just a guide, because you can use as much of each thing as you want, depending on how big you want your salad. I tend to use 4-6 potatoes for our family and we get two meals from it.

Mom's Potato Salad

white flesh potatoes (new, red, russet)
hard boiled eggs (reserve one for garnish)
green (or red, yellow, or orange) pepper
black pepper

Boil the potatoes. Keep skin on if you wish. I like to chop the potatoes into cubes before cooking to make it cook faster. Drain, cool.
Once potatoes are cold, fry bacon. For a 4-6 potato salad I'd use 3 pieces of bacon. Chop it into small pieces either before cooking or after. While cooking bacon, chop the veggies. I keep the radish chopped very small, and a medium/small chop on the rest. Rough chop the eggs (for the 4-6 potato salad i add one to two). Add the veg, bacon, AND BACON GREASE to the potatoes (use discretion on the amount of grease, I use about half). Salt and pepper to taste. Then add mayo. I like to add a good amount of mayo, but you can add as much as you'd like. I tend to add "too much" by accident but once you get everything combined it is perfect. I sort of half mash the potatoes as I mix everything together. It should be creamy but chunky. Cut the reserved egg in slices and put on top[ of the salad. Sprinkle with paprika.


Sunday, April 5, 2015

Bye wall!

The first wall is gone!!!!!!

Part of the wallpaper wall is gone too :(  But so is the green carpet, which we freecycled! Those old tiles get their last chance to shine before they are ripped out.

And, the oven has been delivered! Because we bought the floor model, they couldn't hold it for longer than a month so it will be chilling out in the front room for a little while.
I can't wait to cook in it.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Fridges: not just a place to keep beers cold anymore

Alas... we come to the next big appliance purchase of our kitchen reno: the fridge.

I want to start off by showing you the fridges I would have, if I could find one to look at in real life before buying one. This my friends is a Smeg.

All so pretty. The reviews online are pretty awful though. And having never seen one in reality, I can't commit myself to one of these :(  Oh and they also cost a mint.. forgot about that part.

So, I am forced into the world of stainless steel firdges. Thankfully, in the last few years, more companies have been producing or selling tall skinny Euro-style fridges in Canada. They say it is for the condo market. Well I say it's for the tiny-1950's-kitchen-that-didn't-have-room-for-a-dishwarer market. Hey that's me! Yay!

I've looked at all the tall skinny fridges that as available to me. There are suprisingly a lot of different features out there. The lower end models looked decent but have terrible lighting, or crappy cheap plastic interiors and crispers. This would include the LG and Moffat models.

Next are the mid range appliances, which for our purposes all are around $2000. This would include my beloved Smeg. The following companies all make small fridges: Bosch, Kitchen Aid, Fisher & Paykel, Whirlpool, etc etc etc. There are some higher end fridges (Liebherr, sub zero, and some others) as well as fully built in models but I don't have 10 grand to spend on a fridge.

After some deliberation, and after finding a certain fridge on clearance (hello floor model!) we decided to NOT buy the great deal, floor model fridge for once. We are going to buy a Fisher & Paykel one. It seems like a very well made unit, the inside has a lot of great features, it is actually 15 cubic feet instead of 11.3 which most of the smaller ones are... it has a gorgeous handle which is of course important for aesthetic purposes. It is also on sale, so yay!

Here is our new fridge, that we haven't actually bought yet:

Look at the inside!

Here it is in someones house:

Isn't it so tall and majestic??

I think so :)

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Ikea Kitchen Planner

Three words:



You make my life so much easier... I can change you around easily. I can play with features, and get a running total while I go!

Greg and I have finally finished up the cabinet choices. Next week we will go to Ikea, and talk yo one of the kitchen people to make sure we have done everything right. And then we will be ordering our cabinets.


This is kind of scary.....

Here is a picture of our kitchen to be! It doesnt have the counters on it or appliances because those things are coming from other places.

OMG OMG OMG I can't wait..... even though I am totally nervous.

Note: the tiles are not how we are doing them. There are like 3 choices for how tall you want to put your pretend tiles on the wall. Also that left corner is going to have shelves, and they are going to be awesome. 

Monday, March 2, 2015

New Oven!

Well, there is something to be said about appliance shopping. The things I might say about it are not suitable for print. Having the Ikea Nutid slide in range in mind at the low price of $1200, yes I sad low price, I actually looked omline to read reviews. let's just say, they were less than favourable.

I try to keep in mind that most people who write reviews are either blown away by awesomeness, or experiencing a total suck fest. Ikea's appliances seem to represent more of the latter.

I had pinned a bunch of awesome looking slide in electric ranges to Pintrest and then went forth to read the reviews. Most were horrible. It seems that electronics die in ovens a lot these days. This is disheartening!

There were a few though that had good reviews, and were reviewed by people but also companies. So these are the stoves I did further research into. I went to the lovely store Corbeil Appliances not far from my house, and took a look at these stoves in real life.

One stove really stood out: The Samsung 30' Slide in range. It was pretty. It was functional. There was even a model that turns into a double oven! Yes! A single oven can be a double oven.

And because I am a girl who likes a good deal, though the double oven version was on sale it was still $2000 (!!!) we bought the floor model of the version one step down from that. It still cost us more than we had budgeted but I think we got a pretty amazing range at a pretty good price!

It gets delivered April 4. We haven't started doing anything in our kitchen yet... this could be fun....

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Shit's Getting Real

OK. I have spent the last week INTENSELY SHOPPING FOR FLOOR AND BACKSPLASH TILES. I mean, super intensely. There are a few different tile places in Ottawa, and I have to say, that none really gave me the inspiration I was looking for. It's is important to keep in mind, that I am looking for things that are different than most people would put in their house. And that of course makes it very difficult to find what I want.
I went to EuroTile a few times, and I saw these AMAZING tiles:

I especially liked this one:

Then, we measured our space. Sadly, these tiles are 8"x8" and way too big. Our backsplash area is quite short. So, that took them out of the running. However, I am keeping them in my idea book in my brain for a bathroom... just in case...

I went to all the big box stores. Nothing nothing nothing. Everything is BROWN. Or GREY. and the white stuff all looks cheap and shitty.Everything seems so outdated. Especially at Home Depot. Home Depot, you are lagging behind in the design arena! Take note!!

We looked online. Greg found some cool tiles on and these ones had us excited:

  They are small, and cute! They are different, and would totally work in our kitchen.

But then........

We went counter shopping.

Again, big box stores had zero laminates we liked. Laminates are so cheap and durable, and also authentic to the 50's kitchen. We had always thought we would use one. (I will give props to the people at Wilsonart, who have amazing patterns available!! Visit their website and see for yourself!) I had noticed this particular Quartz sample at Rona, and tucked it away in that brain idea book, and when we were being dismayed about crappy fake stone laminates, I took Greg over to the Quartz section and showed him this one. And you know what? He really liked it too. Now I know that quartz is like a million times pricier than laminate... but we have a pretty small counter space... so really, why not splurge??????

Here is a picture of the one we like. It is called Montgomery, by Cambria.

There is a bit brighter of a soft turquoise in there that wasn't picking up on my phone. but I think it's lovely!!!

And this brings me back to the backsplash.
None of the tiles we like would go with this counter. I have been hesitant to use subway tile. I feel that, while it is considered timeless, it is way over used and sort of expected. I wanted to try something more fun. But, I am willing to sacrifice my want for uniqueness for this counter. Also, there is a pretty serious lack of options anyways. So, it looks like we will be going with a subway tile after all. That being said, there is a pretty diverse range of subway tiles out there. I want one that is very glossy and very flat so that the wall will appear nice and flat and level and glossy.

I also picked the colour I want for the two walls and random other areas. It's Farrow and Ball's Blue Ground, which is just about the perfect colour that has been in my head since we started talking about this kitchen.

Here it is in action. Isn't it the best thing ever??????

I think so.

I took some flooring samples to Rona with a paint chip that was similar (because I am very forgetful these days and forgot the F&B one at home) and made a little mood board on their desk. I think that this kitchen is going to look amazing.

Friday, January 2, 2015

How's About Some Pintrest?

First off, you should be following me on Pintrest. I don't pin a whole lot, so don't be scared!

Find me here!

As I am thinking more and more about this kitchen that I am going to be designing (omg omg) I am really drawn into these warm turquoise rooms. Turquoise can be a very cold colour; but it can be warm as well. Striking the right balance between the accents colours will be the key I think.

I'm going to share a few pics I have pinned on my various kitchen boards. These are the ones I am using as my main inspiration. I want a vintage kitchen, but I can't have one, so I'm going to make a close one dammit!!


Flooring is one of the first things I would like to pick out. It will really change what colours I choose for walls, for counters, and back-splashes. I think that the right hue will hit me and it'll all come together. Here are a few of the looks I really dig:


I love white cabinetry. I think it makes the space so bright and happy. It's also timeless. I don't want to do a kitchen again for 20 years. Here are a few styles that I think are groovy:

um, can we please discuss that SMEG fridge??????????


So I have one pic of a counter that I like that isn't butcher block..... however that's not a practice surface for this family!! I do love the Formica counters, and they are DURABLE, for ever. And that's what we will probably go with. Here is my lone pic:

hello Catherineholm I see you!

And now, to show you the main three Inspiration Pics that I am working off of, one at a time so we can discuss amongst ourselves:

I really love the dark floor in this one, and how the wood pops against all the white cabinets. I enjoy how the turquoise is kept to the backsplash, which gives it a bit of a showcase without being overwhelming; it keeps it modern. Yellow is probably going to be my main accent colour as well, so this has all the bases covered!

This one is pretty "retro". I am trying to stay away from full blown kitsch, but that'll be more dependant on accessories not cabinet styles and wall colours... right?

 This is my #1 favourite kitchen. I don't like the black dishwasher, but whatever. I love the subway tile. I love the sink. The floor is great and probably very close to what I am leaning towards. I like the style of the light above the sink with the wood valance and side shelves. This pic is pretty much everything.

So... as you can see, I have some decisions to make! This is going to be hard... wish me luck!!