Wednesday, March 22, 2017

A Home Office in the Sky!!

Hi Everyone!

         Today's post is about our children's house. Paul and Lauren moved into the house about 9 years ago. It is a beautiful farmhouse colonial in a suburb of Pittsburgh, PA. I remember the first time I saw the house. I fell in love with the front porch. I know the porch was what made Lauren fall in love with the house. The porch runs  the length of the house. At one end of the porch sits a large porch  swing. I believe everyone should have a porch swing. There is nothing more relaxing! As your swing it seems to transport you back to your childhood... the days when you didn't have a care in the world... Oh how I love that porch!!!
          Recently Paul and Lauren decided to add on a sunroom to the house. The sunroom would become Paul's home office so the girls can each have their own room. Emily wanted a room of her own. She had shared a room with her little sister, Sarah since she was born. She took such good care of Sarah all those years, now it was Emily's turn. It was time!! So Paul and Lauren looked at all ways to make this happen and decided a sunroom was the best option.
           The construction of the sunroom began in the midst of a  freezing, snowy winter. Paul and Lauren seem to take things in stride. They remain focused on the end result. To cut costs
they decided they would do some of the work themselves, They decided to install a wood floor and sheetrock and paint the interior of the room. No DIY project seems to be out of their reach. They both take on the challenge to completion. I have learned never to doubt their capabilities. I have watched them do things that I know I would never have had the courage to do on my own.
The floor came out beautiful!!!! This time  Ryan helped his Dad install  the wood floor. So the DIY gene is now passed down to the next generation.
         The sunroom is absolutely beautiful!!! The room has windows on all three sides. Because the room is on the second floor it has a view of trees and sky. What an awesome view of nature!!

         It's like being in a treehouse!!! I think everyone should have their home office in the sky!
It makes going to work a pleasure!  Enjoy your new room Emily!


Monday, March 13, 2017

Irish Soda Bread

Friday is St. Patrick's Day. I just love Irish soda bread. This is a great recipe. It is easy to make and absolutely  delicious!!!! Give it a try and enjoy it for breakfast on St. Patrick's Day.
 Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick's day!!!!!

   Ina Garten's Irish Soda Bread


4 cups all-purpose flour plus
  extra for currents

4 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 tsps. kosher salt

4 tablespoon (1/2 stick). cold unsalted  butter cut into 1/2 dice

1 3/4 cups cold buttermilk, shaken

I extra large egg, slightly beaten

1 teaspoon grated orange zest

1 1/2 cps dried fruit (dried currants and raisins)

Preheat the oven 375 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper
1. Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in bowl of electric mixer,fitted with the pedal attachment.

2. Add cold butter mix on low speed until the butter is mixed into flour

3. With fork, lightly beat buttermilk, egg and orange zest together in measuring cup.
With the mixer on low speed, slowly add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture, Combine the currants with 1 tablespoon of flour and mix into dough. It will be wet.

4. Dump the dough onto well-floured board and knead it a few times into a round loaf. Place the loaf on the prepared sheet pan and lightly cut an x into the top of the bread with serrated knife. Bake 45 to 55 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. When you tap the loaf, it will have a hollow sound.

Cool on baking rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.
                                               Happy St. Patrick's Day! 



Monday, March 6, 2017

Victorian Beauty

     Hello Everyone!
               My post is going to be a little different today. We went to visit our children and grandchildren on Saturday. I am always looking for new ideas for blog posts. So today I decided to share with you a little about one of my favorite houses, our children's home.
              Chris & Lisa purchased this beautiful home about nineteen years ago. The house is a 1901 Victorian located in beautiful Westchester County, N.Y. I can still remember the evening Chris & Lisa asked us to come and see a home they were thinking of buying. As we drove up to the house I couldn't believe it's beauty. It took my breath away! There sat this magnificent Victorian. It was so beautiful! It sat in all it's glory on a hill with a giant 100 year old Sycamore tree shading the house. The house had such stately Victorian lines. The stone retaining wall, the 17 stone steps to the front door...and oh! that beautiful front porch. For me it was love at first sight!!! and I'm sure it was love at first sight for Lisa!
               As we walked through the interior it was clear that it had been renovated in the 1980s.. Through the many years of different owners the house lost its original beauty But nothing could take away from the 12 foot ceilings, the wide moldings, the original  doors and hardware, the stained glass and those magnificent pine wood floors. The beauty wasn't lost, just hidden under poor taste, ugly wallpaper and  wall to wall carpeting. I could see Lisa had a vision. She saw the beauty of the home. She knew she could restore it to what it once was. I don't think she saw it as too much work.  It would be a labor of love.The house was screaming," Make me pretty again!" and if anyone could, I knew Lisa could!!
             Through the years we watched them restore the house. Room by room Lisa painstakingly restored this home to the beauty it was 116 years ago. She brought back the beauty....all the details that say Victorian. As with all homes we are never finished. I'm sure Chris and Lisa will continue to work on their beautiful home. It will never be finished but that's ok because when we love our home we enjoy every minute we spend making it pretty.

             If walls could talk they would say thank you to Lisa for not giving up!! Thank you Lisa for loving the house back to life!!!!!!!    

              Below are just a few pictures of the house. We will return and do a proper photo shoot
The Porch

Porch looking from Parlor