Friday, June 10, 2016

The Guy Has An Eye

Why is it a photo can point out all the flaws with a space?  Taking one look at the master bath photo I posted yesterday, my husband mentioned that the vanity looked a little blah.  "Maybe put the tall vase with the tropical arrangement on the vanity for some height and color?" 

He was right.  The room has a little more flair now.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Master Bath Remodel

The first room in our new home to get a total remodel was the master bath (except the shower--will do another year--replacing the fiberglass stall with tile and frame less glass door).  The berber carpet was replaced with rectangle dark gray tile, a white double sink vanity, marble counter, and oval mirrors.

The vanity has a feel of separate furniture rather than built-in.  

A corner tall cabinet matching the white vanity is on the opposite wall.  It holds all the extras we need and gives the small room a balanced feel.  

The overall house style outside and in is cottage meets northwest and the white vanity with clean linear lines seems to fit right in with this theme.  The look is clean and fresh.  A pop of color with brick red and olive green on the floor completes the look.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Good Eats - #2 (3rd Friday of the Month)

It is strawberry time on the Olympic Peninsula!  One of our favorite meals is prawns, rice with rosemary, and spinach salad with fruit--the latter part of May and June the fruit of choice is strawberries.  Found a great recipe on  But, I substitute the pecans with walnuts.  All salad ingredients are bought from local farmers except the walnuts.  I know they are grown and sold local, but have not taken the time to hunt them down.  Will do this fall.  [Photo from Cooking with Ruthie--we eat our salad too quickly before I can get a snapshot.]

I wish I could say the prawns were fresh, but we have a strange situation here with seafood.  Unless you catch it yourself (which we often do) the local commercial fishing/harvest is sold directly to the wholesaler, packaged and then shipped to and sold in the local store (usually frozen).  I know, we are right in the heart of fish and seafood country.  Frustrating.  The prawns are good, but they could be better.  The Spice and Tea Exchange of Port Townsend []  has the best blended seasoning for prawns of chile lime sea salt.

Lemon Vinaigrette for our salad:
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil (I use lemon flavored olive oil rather than an additional ingredient of lemon juice*)
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
*Purchased from Spice and Tea Exchange of Port Townsend.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Room With A View

The new home was purchased for many reasons, but one of the best features is the living room with the view.  On the golf course looking down the fairway.  Not across the fairway, but down all the way to tee blocks.  Makes a long expanse of green grass and trees. Fun to watch golfers throughout the day.  The home is positioned in a way that it is rarely hit with golf balls (yea!).

This is the adult room.  No television only music.  We sit every morning in the swivel chairs in front of the big windows with our coffee and plan the day.  The swivels are a must for turning towards the view when it is just the two of us and swivel back to the front for conversation with guests later on.  On the rare winter day when it snows, the windows give us a snow globe effect.   

The only upgrade needed to this room was a fresh coat of paint and a few repairs to the fireplace to make sure it is working when it turns chilly.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Decorating R Us

My love of interior decorating goes way back.  As much as the pocket book could handle, I experimented with different color schemes (from white/beige to present day green/orange) and style.  Sometimes others would love it or they would definitely leave it.  The photo to the left was taken for an article for our local newspaper, the Tri-City Herald, August 30, 1987, in the Sunday Desert Living section.  This was my beige/white period.  A nice escape from the previous 1970's golds and avocado greens.

Shortly, I will start posting the upgrades to our new home.  The house is almost twenty years old and the young couple who originally built it were limited on time.  The place needed some attention.

So far, we have updated the master bath (except for the shower), guest bath, laundry, master bedroom, painted the entire interior and garage, window treatment for the dining room, re-landscaped (it was a bit overgrown), added a soft water system, and made numerous repairs.  Looking back at our last five months living here, it is kind of amazing what we have accomplished so far.  And explains why my posting has been sparse.

There are still plans to update the kitchen cabinets and counters--next year.  The exterior needs painting and that will happen this summer.  Eventually a walk-in shower will be installed, another window in the master bedroom, washable floors in the art studio and build a woodworking room in the garage for driftwood sculpting.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Crafty Cork

A trip to Slovenia/Bosnia/Croatia in October 2014, included visits to several wineries and wine drinking at some great restaurants.  Always walked away, if possible, from both with the wine cork.  I have been looking for a unique craft using the cork I brought home.  Finally found a project on Pinterest, but it used the cork as a stand for a dinner place card.  I am using it for small paintings or cards.

[Sorry Mom, I am giving you a preview of your Mother's Day card.  Only small painting I have right now as an example.]

Using cork from the Lisjak winery and from the winery run by the Serbian Orthodox monks, I made up my mini painting "easel" using hot glue, twine, and unused jewelry.  Nothing elaborate, but I like it! Will be making more.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Good Eats - #1

In retirement, I vowed to learn to cook healthy, avoid processed foods, and steer clear of restaurants (unless it is a special occasion and the restaurant is special, too!).  Not just for the two of us, but to share our meal with friends and make a social occasion out of it.  In the beginning, I doubted myself often and relied on the store-bought casserole for guests.  Not any more.  Falling off the healthy meal wagon happens, but not as frequently.

The reason this lifestyle change made it into the blog is (1) I am excited about the success, (2) I like to share my successes to encourage others, and (3) another way to stay active and healthy in retirement which is what this blog is about.

To make this a goal a forever one, the meals have to be simple to make, every-day ingredients, and easy to obtain local/fresh (Mystery Bay Farm goats photo left).  I also had to devise a monthly plan with recipes.  It is documented on my computer tablet calendar to make planning and list making straightforward.  Here is the skeleton plan without the recipe:

Sunday - homemade soup (usually in a slow cooker)
Monday - pork (roast/chops)
Tuesday - ground beef
Wednesday - chicken
Thurday - pasta day
Friday - fish
Saturday - beef (roast/steaks)

From there, a recipe for each day of the month (for example, every second Tuesday of the month is meatloaf, every second Monday is pulled pork, etc).  October through March are the winter recipes; April through September include lighter fare for warmer weather.  Each recipe is tweaked to make healthier and easier.  Once we achieve a great meal, out loud we declare, "It is a keeper!"  (Honestly, we really say it out loud.)  Each meal is planned to serve at least 6 and if we do not have a dinner party, then the leftovers are used for lunches the rest of the week.

This week, our meatloaf recipe is a keeper! (every second Tuesday).  Finally, a recipe without sugar-laden ketchup.(Note:  photo from Wicked Stuffed website, but our meatloaf looks just like this, complete recipe found at All ingredients purchased local--direct from farmer or Farmer's Market.  Recipe includes ground beef (local beef from about 2 miles from home), eggs (fresh eggs from the small farm across the road--they have over 200 chickens running free--often running from the eagles!), scallions, spinach, garlic, onions (from Nash's Organic Produce, about 2 miles from home in the middle of their farm), herb soft goat cheese ( located on Marrowstone Island about 30 miles away, but we buy their cheese from Nash's unless we decide to take a scenic road trip to their farm), coarse salt/peppercorn (Sequim Spice and Tea shop--they sell bulk downtown and fill your container directly), and finally rosemary just out the door which practically grows wild here. 

Mix all except goat cheese and spinach, lay out flat, plop the cheese and spinach in the middle and roll meat mixture around.  (Note:  I do not include the tomato paste in the recipe.) Cook at 450 degrees for 60 minutes.  Verra good!
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