February 27, 2012

Step Three: It's Just You and Me.

These are my grandparents. This portrait was taken on their wedding day in April 1942. She was barely 22, posing with borrowed flowers, mortified that she wasn't wearing her hat. He was almost 30, dapper even then in his 3-piece suit, the son of a farmer determined to be more, do more. The Nazis had invaded two years before, and Holland wouldn't be liberated for another three. In those years, their first-born son died in infancy, a daughter came soon after, and they were forced to move several times as their homes were either destroyed or used as headquarters. My grandfather was arrested by - and escaped from - the Germans. When the war ended, the village where our family has lived for nearly 700 years was decimated, and my grandfather rebuilt it with his own two hands. Together, they built their life. Five children, 12 grandchildren, and as of this writing, 9 great-grandchildren. They were married for 53 1/2 years. My grandmother still lives in the house my grandfather built.

I am incredibly proud to be theirs.

Baked Chili and Boston Brown Bread

I don't know about where you live, but we have had the most ridiculously mild winter this year here in the Midwest. The unseasonably warm weather is nice, sure, but eating chili when it's above freezing just seems...wrong. Well, it was below freezing the other day, so I decided to make baked chili and some Boston brown bread. It was a first for both, and I was very pleased with how they both turned out. And, more importantly, so were Mr. K and MIL-K (my mother-in-law). The Boston brown bread is a sweet, dense bread ...almost cakey...and it complements the tang of the chili beautifully.

First up, the Boston Brown Bread:
Wicked awesome.

February 20, 2012

IKEA, This Is Comfortable!

You guys, I thought I knew what to expect at IKEA. Turns out, it was, like, a million times more than what I thought. More what? More space, more fun, more stuff, more people, more choices, more quality, more ideas. Just...more. Oh yeah, I liked it alright. I liked it a LOT, baby!

In case you've never been to IKEA, here are a few tips to make your experience a good one.

February 19, 2012

Easy-Peasy Black Beans 'n' Rice

Sometimes there's just nothing better, especially on a chilly February evening, than homemade comfort food. Even more so when it's super easy, quick, and affordable. This family favorite only takes about 30 minutes to whip up, and costs all of about 7 bucks. Not too shabby.

My apologies in advance for the crappy pictures. There's only so much you can do with an iPhone, folks.

February 17, 2012

Step by Step...Ooh, Baby!

So, if procrastination was an Olympic event, I'd hold the gold medal in, like, 3 consecutive Olympiads. It's a quirk that plays hand-in-hand with my annoying perfectionist (read: nit-picky) ways and often leads to projects not only not getting done, but not even getting started, which is a real pain-in-the-ass when it comes to decorating and doing other little home improvement projects.

I can't look at a room and see just one thing that I could do to improve it. No, no. I see every little thing that needs to be done for the room to be, well, done, and it's just too much. Too much to handle, too much to do. I just don't even know where to start...so I don't. And then a year goes by, and I'm living in a house that still has bare walls.

But, since I've turned the corner and am growing as a person (yay!) just by finally starting this blog, I'm trying to apply the same Nike attitude to my home decorating and Just Do It Already. I'm taking Fraulein Maria's advice and starting at the very beginning, it's a very good place to start: My Front Hall.

February 16, 2012

Pottery Barn Look, Wal-Mart Budget

When it comes to furniture, I have very expensive taste. Not Hollywood-level expensive, mind you, but definitely Midwest-level expensive. You know, places like Pottery Barn, Ballard Designs, Frontgate, and my beloved Restoration Hardware. Basically, if it was a set piece on Friends, I want it in my house.

The question, then, is how do I achieve the looks I really love on my meager little pittance of a budget? Not to mention that my small town isn't exactly the Mecca of high-end or high-quality stores. Don't get me wrong, I love Dollar General, but sometimes you've got to go out-of-town and splurge. The key is to splurge on big-ticket items, like furniture, and fill in the decor with less expensive items. Sure, the $50 throw pillow from Pottery Barn is pretty, but I can get a similar look from Big Lots for substantially less. Yes, Big Lots.

February 15, 2012

Post the First

Starting a blog.

How do millions of people just up and do this every day? I've had this blog account for, I don't know, millenia...at least one, maybe two. And the poor thing's just been drifting aimlessly, waiting on me to get off my butt and write something, anything. Well, this is something.

What I hope this will be: a funny, creative, crafty, Becky Home-Ecky warehouse of domestic awesomeness. Like Cozy. Cottage. Cute. or Buckets of Burlap or Pretty Handy Girl.

What it will likely be: A disaster.

But, I will do my best to overcome my pathological perfectionism and just go with it. And maybe, just maybe, you'll get a few good recipes or home decor ideas from me. At the very least, maybe you'll get a few laughs...

-Mrs. K