Guest Posting over at Library Educated

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Hey, remember when I used to do Literary Inspirations? Yeah I miss those too. But my fantastic friend and book diva, Wesley over at Library Educated, asked me to guest post over on her blog today and we're talking about Brave New World.

We talk about caste systems, indoctrination, and how to make an all green outfit not look like a terrible St. Patrick's Day mistake. And make sure you check out Wesley's blog for tons of great book reviews and more intelligent posts than you get here.

Home Tour - Before Pictures

Monday, March 17, 2014

 I've had a few friends and family back in the midwest ask for photos of my house after we moved in, and I realized that I never really posted any. I'm not sure if they read my blog (if you do, hi!!) but since I'm prepping the photos for Facebook, I figured I'd post them here as well. This way I/you can see the changes as we make them. Things already look a bit different in some of the rooms, but here's what the house looked like before we started attacking it with paint and decorations.

The Kitchen:

I know I just said that these pictures were going to be after our stuff was in it, but our kitchen is always such a disaster that you get the empty pre-move in photos instead. You've got your standard tile floors for down here, nice granite counter tops, and terrible oak cabinets with no hardware. At some point I'd like to either stain or paint the cabinets and add hardware. I can't even tell you how many times I've accidentally bent my nail back to excruciating pain trying to open the cabinets. 

The Living Room:

Here was our living room before we painted it and rearranged the furniture. As you'll see, this is our second attempt at changing that brown paint color that covers the entire house. You'll also see how Sitka still won't let me move her couch. 

The "Library":

This is the random room that connects the living room and the kitchen. We think it was originally supposed to be a dining room but it's carpeted. And I'm certainly not going to tempt the carpet cleaning gods by eating in there every night. Instead we're planning on turning it into our books and booze room. It already looks different than when I took these photos, and I'd like to make it look more complete at some point this year. 

The Master Bedroom:

This is a bit embarrassing, but this is still exactly what our master bedroom looks like. With limited time and funds we chose to focus on rooms that others would see instead of our own bedroom. And while I'd love to turn this room into a sort of sanctuary that I love to escape to after a busy day, honestly it's probably going to stay like this for a while. I don't even know how I want to decorate it.  But seriously, get a mirror for your dresser, girl! Or at least a bedskirt. Maybe a headboard? Sheesh. 

The Master Bath:

Ah, the first thing we changed in the house! You can see the after photos here. The gray is SO MUCH BETTER than the tan it originally was. I still want to paint the cabinets white, add silver hardware, frame in the mirror, and get a new lighting fixture but that's in the distant future. I've got other fish to fry before that. 

The Craft Room/Future Office:

Another embarrassing room that I just close off so no one can see it. Right now, this room is storage for stuff we don't know what to do with/things we haven't organized yet. Someday this will become my office & craft/sewing room and it will be glorious. This might be the next room on my list. 

The Guest Bathroom:

This is the bathroom between the two guest rooms. It is what it is. Again, more ugly oak that I want to stain or paint some day, but that's not even on the radar at this point. 

The Guest Room:

Also a work in progress (we actually have a bed skirt on the bed now!) but still needs a long way to go until it becomes the comfy, welcoming guest room that I envision. Right now, it's a hodgepodge of storage, a bed, and Kacey's stuff.  

So that is/was how our house looked after we moved all of our stuff in. It's funny looking back at these pictures because the house already looks fairly different. I can't wait to keep making the house more "us" and turn this tract home into something that fits our personalities. Basically I want the library from Beauty and the Beast and the wine cellar from The Parent Trap, is that too much to ask? Probably. But I'm still pretty excited to see how different the house will look once we're done with it!

Amazing Crock Pot Pork Chile Verde

Friday, March 7, 2014

So I never really got into mexican food until I started dating my now husband. I have him to thank for my love of pork. I mean I was all about bacon, but there is SO MUCH MORE. Like chile verde, which is my new favorite Mexican food, ever. I've never quite been able to recreate restaurant style perfectly myself. But this one gets pretty stinking close, and I'm pretty sure I could eat this every day of the week. It's a little more time-intensive than throwing a pork shoulder into the crock pot with a can of green enchilada sauce, but SO  worth it!

3-4 lb pork boneless pork shoulder
10 tomatillos
1 jalepeno pepper
1 poblano pepper or can of mild chiles
1 yellow onion
4 cloves garlic
1 green bell pepper
1 cup fresh cilantro chopped (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp oregano
1 tsp cumin

Brown the pork shoulder and place in the bottom of a crockpot. Then brown onions in same pan and add them on top of the pork in the pot.

Peel, wash, and half the tomatillos. Place cut side down on a tinfoil covered cookie sheet with 4-5 cloves of garlic with the skin on. Broil for 5 minutes until brown.

Remove seeds from the jalepeno, bell pepper, and poblano pepper and chop. Add all peppers to a blender/food processor. Remove the skin from the garlic and add to the blender along with all the tomatillos. Blend until it creates a smooth sauce. People have very polarized opinions about cilantro. If you like cilantro (yes!!!) add that in and blend again. If you don't - just skip this step. I added a cup of chopped cilantro to the blender along with the oregano, cumin, and a dash of salt and pepper. Blend again until smooth.

Pour mixture over pork and onions and stir so the sauce gets down to the bottom. Cook on low for 8-10 hours.

What comes out of the crock pot is amazing fall-off-the-bone pork deliciousness with the perfect mix of slight spice and tanginess. It looks like green mush, but it tastes SO MUCH BETTER. It takes a better photographer than me to make it look nice, but trust me, for what this lacks in photogenicity (is that a word?) it makes up for in taste. Add rice, beans, and a taco or tostada shell for a meal. And now after looking at all these photos I think I need to go make this again.

Bright Walls Around Town

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Besides stuffing our faces at tea, last week Leanne and I ran around town and ended up in the Melrose area to do some antique shopping. Of course we saw these brightly colored walls and decided to have a little fun taking pictures. Except that I am so stinking awkward in front of a camera - this is why I prefer to be behind it! Note to self - do not quit your day job to become a model. Or a fashion blogger. 

Anyhoo - if you're ever in Phoenix the Melrose area is very cute. It's all 50s and 60s styling, both in the buildings themselves and the stuff they sell. I've found an amazing spanish style curio cabinet there in the past, but we didn't have that much luck this time around. We probably made up for it by scaring the locals with our antics though, so I call it a win. 

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