Friday, September 30, 2011

Bathroom Remodel

We really like our new house and from the first time we looked at it, we knew it had potential.  It was custom-built in 1978 and had only one owner when we bought it.  It was built well and solid and we could tell the owners had taken great care of it over the years.  They had taken such great care of it over the years that I'm pretty sure it still looks exactly the same as it did the day they built it.  Now we are in the process of slowly transforming it to look like it belongs in this decade and to make it feel more like ours.

First up:  The master bathroom.

Here is a BEFORE picture of the bathroom:

The plan was to get rid of the toilet paper holder/magazine rack there on the wall; remove the wallpaper; get rid of that cabinet above the sink; build a new vanity; add more storage; replace the countertop, sink and faucet; replace the flooring... um, pretty much redo the whole thing.  The only thing that remains the same is the toilet and shower stall.

I began by removing the wallpaper, only to find another layer under that (see below the beautiful shell wallpaper behind the stripes).  I also found evidence of yet another layer of wallpaper under the shells.  Instead of pulling off all those layers, Dan opted to skim-coat over it with drywall mud.

I'm pretty sure Kaiden was the biggest help of all.  He always had to be right next to (if not right on top of) Dan.

Dan built a beautiful vanity and cabinet for extra storage and topped the vanity with a new countertop, sink and faucet.  Though the vanity is hard to see in the final picture, I must tell you he did an amazing job.  We used left-over flooring from our kitchen remodel in our old house.  (We had just enough). Dan also was given an old mirror at a job he was working at and had it cut down to size and built a frame around it.  We also painted the ceiling and walls and added new towel bars.

And the moment you've all been waiting for...  Our new and improved master bathroom:

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Things I've Learned Living in Sioux Center

Moving from Ames to Sioux Center was the biggest move I've ever made.  I know,  a whole three and a half hours from Ames may not sound like much, but I have come to find it is quite different here in northwest Iowa and I've actually learned a little somthin'. Here's what I've learned so far:

1.   I know what silage is.
2.   There is a difference between combining and chopping and I know what the difference is.
3.   I should never, ever mow my lawn on Sunday.  Not that I would or that I did in the past.
      Heck, I never had mowed a lawn in my life until I moved here.  So I guess that leads to
      the next thing I learned...
4.   How to mow the lawn.
5.   Depending on which direction the wind is blowing, you may not want to open your 
      windows.  For those of you who don't understand why, let me explain.  Farms can be kinda
      stinky sometimes.
6.   Almond patties are better than dutch letters.
7.   The county fair is a BIG DEAL.
8.   That I am a city girl.
9.   I know what dutch bingo is.
10. The noon meal is called 'dinner'.  A mid-morning or afternoon snack is called "lunch".

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Apple Crisp

It's that time of year... Fall! and what reminds me of fall, but warm, homemade apple crisp.  Since I've gotten tons of free apples from the in-law's apple tree that is exploding with yummy, fresh apples, I thought I would make some apple crisp.  Since Helen and Rod asked for the recipe, I'm assuming it turned out pretty good, so I thought I'd share.  The recipe that is.

10 cups apples
1 cup sugar
1T flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup water

1 cup oats
1 cup flour
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup butter, melted
(this is what the topping recipe calls for but I double the topping recipe - that's the best part!)

Mix filling and let set while you mix topping.  Put half of topping in the bottom of a 9x13 greased pan.  Place filling on top and add the rest of the topping on top.  Bake 350 degrees for 45 minutes.