For the past 20+ years i’ve held on to a craft I made in grade school. He’s a very awesome wine cork reindeer that gets displayed every Christmas. For the longest time i’ve wanted to make him a friend, but I kept forgetting to save a few wine corks for the project. I’ve finally got enough, so I decided to share with you what you’ll need to make a wine cork reindeer. Perfect craft project for children and adults
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup sugar
3 extra-large eggs
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ cup coconut oil
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
For the glaze:
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Grease an 8 ½ x 4 ¼ x 2 ½-inch loaf pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper if desired.
Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt into one bowl.
In another bowl, whisk together yogurt, 1/2 cup sugar, eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla.
Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
With a spatula, fold the coconut oil into the batter, making sure it’s all incorporated.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Then, simmer 1/3 cup lemon juice and the remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a pan until the sugar dissolves.
When the cake is done, cool for 10 minutes. Poke holes in the cake with a skewer, then while the cake is still warm, pour the lemon-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in.
When the cake is completely cool, combine confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice, pour over the cake.
Garnish with toasted coconut and lemon zest if desired.
1/2 cup butter
2 cups brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground clove
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup raisins
1 whole orange zest and some juice
3 cups grated carrot
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Grease 2 8 inch cake pans
In a large bowl, beat together eggs, butter, sugar, vanilla.
Mix in flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, cinnamon.
Stir in carrots, orange zest and juice. Fold in nuts and raisins.
Pour evenly into pans and bake for 40-45 minutes.
Cream Cheese Icing
1/4 cup butter, softened
8 ounces cream cheese
3-4 cups confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine ingredient in mixer, beat until smooth.
When we moved into our place a year ago, we realized we had a lot of small projects ahead of us, sanding, paintings, patching etc… and this was after the major renovation had been completed. We’ve finished almost all of them except one major thing that keeps staring us right in the face. The wood railings upstairs. You can see it from almost every angle in the apartment, it’s the same ugly red stain that the stairs were, but it can’t be removed to sand in a tent like we did for the stairs. Since our space is all open, the dust will basically go everywhere.
For the last year we’ve been avoiding them, contemplating how we’re going to approach them or convincing ourselves we don’t really need to do it. But today, we took the plunge and tried one section.
Let me tell you, it’s hard work and makes a ginormous mess! Andrew was scraping while I tried my best to vacuum up all the bits. Scraping was only step 1, step 2 requires even more mess with sanding, but sadly at this point we gave up due to it being way too hot up in the loft.
I guess this post is “to be continued” maybe you’ll see the results in a year…haha..but we’re hoping to at least try and tackle it again on a cooler day.
So it’s August 2nd and it’s shocking to think that this time last year we got the keys to our place and began our renovations. We’re so happy with the apartment that i’ve totally forgotten to keep my blog updated with renovation photos. That and every time I think to take “after” photos, it’s too dark. The stuff i’m about to share with you is even a bit out dated, since then we’ve put up art on the walls and de-cluttered a ton.
Anyway, this may be a year late, but hey…better late than never I suppose.
The stairs in our apartment are solid wood and have so much potential that was hidden under a nasty red varnish. Why on earth they decided to hide the natural wood behind the ugly stain really boggles my mind, but there’s a lot about this place that made me wonder what the previous owners were thinking.
Check out the ugly red stain, which of course it much “redder” in person. Oh and don’t even get me started on the purple and burgundy paint. (which was later covered up with dark brown and white)
We removed all the stairs at the start of the renovation, we didn’t want to damage the wood during construction. It worked out fine, since there’s metal bars under them to step on. We numbered each stair and stored them in the closet until we were ready to refinish them.
When it came time to start, we bought a heavy paint and varnish remover that comes in a gel format. It’s extremely toxic and burns like crazy if you get it on your skin, but it works so well. You need a scraper, paper towel and a heavy duty drop cloth. Using this stripper was pretty much the only option, because we wanted to limit the amount of saw dust we created (at this point we had already moved in). Andrew has tough hands, so he took on the stair project and scraped off as much varnish as possible.
Once that phase was done, we built a plastic tent over the window so Andrew could use an electric sander and avoid getting saw dust EVERYWHERE. We thought it was a genius idea, we strategically taped off a corner in the apartment including the window for ventilation. Andrew even used a sander that had a built in bag to collect the dust. But guess what? The sawdust was so freggin’ fine that it managed to escape the tent! For days after, actually more like weeks, it rained down sawdust on everything. No matter how much I wiped things, it was still there the next day! I guess it prevented it from being much much worse, but it wasn’t perfect and we really had no other option. Check out the process photos below.
After all the sanding was done and the nice light natural wood was revealed, we couldn’t wait to bolt them back onto the stair frame. Except there was one major problem, the numbers we wrote on the steps came off and we had lost track of what went where! So much for being really organized! So it began, our game of trial and error, lining up the existing screw holes because they were all screwed in differently by the previous owners. We were just glad there weren’t that many stairs. (Although i’m pretty sure Andrew wasn’t thinking that while he was sanding the never ending pile of wood). After some swearing and dropping many screws, they were on and they were beautiful. There’s nothing like natural wood sealed with a clear bees wax. The hallway feels so much brighter now.
It’s hard to believe but we’ve been living in our new place for almost a year. We’re really settled in and happy, but i’m always looking for small new projects to work on around the place. I love updating old furniture, it’s just so satisfying to give something a new life. But don’t get me wrong, I love buying something new too. I’ve had my eye on a set of nightstands from West Elm, but they’re just way out of our budget and not really a priority purchase right now (we need to get a new mattress and probably a new fridge soon).
The nightstands at West Elm are stunning, mid-century style with a modern twist. They come in wood and white, I really love the wood, but our hardwood floors in the bedroom wouldn’t go with it, so i’d have to go with the white. But like I said, we can’t afford them, so this is very much so a wish-list item.
I’ve had my eye on craigslist, watching like a hawk, hunting for a matching pair of mid-century style nightstands, but unfortunately in this city, it’s almost impossible to find a deal, it seems like all mid-century furniture has gone up in price in the last year. Last week, I came across a little gem for $20!! Although, it’s not true mid-century, and it was only (a) one nightstand (haha), but something told me I just had to buy it. Check out the before and after below:
The plan is to keep our eye open for a similar style nightstand, paint it in the same way, that way the look will be cohesive. It’s not about being matchy-matchy or spending big bucks, it’s about character and style. So now I just have to cross my fingers and hope I find our lonely nightstand a friend.
Summer seems to be in full swing here in Vancouver and I’m one of those people that can’t stand the heat! I also find that when it gets really hot, the last thing I want to do is cook. Eating ice cream everyday can be pretty fattening, high in sugar and not very nutritious, so i’ve put together something very refreshing with a serving of fruit too! Oh and did I mention it’s a super easy recipe!
A popsicle mold.* I used this one: Tovolo Star Ice Pop Mold
9 kiwi fruits peeled and cut into quarters to make blending easier
Juice of 1 lime
4 tablespoons to 1/2 cup of sugar (depending on how sweet you’d like it)
you can replace the sugar with agave syrup
Blend all the ingredients until smooth, pour into popsicle molds, freeze overnight and enjoy!
*If you don’t have a popsicle mold, consider pouring it into an ice cube tray, they’d be a great addition to a cold glass of carbonated water!