Jul 28, 2014

House Tour - July 2014

We have some big changes coming soon to our household. Big. Huge. Ginormous. Mind bottling boggling.

While we are excited, for the most part, about these coming changes, I've found myself sad about the house having to change. I love the way it is currently. I finally feel like I got the front room settled. Our living room is so cozy and we love snuggling up to watch TV together on the big leather sofa. I was finally able to get some window treatments in two of the rooms. Yeah, the office is still mainly a disaster area, but it works for the most part.

So last week I walked around the house and took some pictures as it is currently. (Okay, so I straightened up a little bit.) I put together the pictures as a little movie above. I tried to add music but my computer is acting funky. Music would be more entertaining, I know.

An hour or so after I took the pictures we met with an interior designer about how to best utilize our spaces. I've been overwhelmed thinking about how we could a) make room for a nursery, b) where to put a functional office for Bryan, and c) not make the house feel like we're living on top of each other. So instead of dealing with it myself I called in a professional.

Within about 15 minutes the designer told us this was a no-brainer and gave us a starting point and then hinted at what was to come once we got that first stage worked out.

So first up: quit being amateurs and make my closet a real, functional adult closet.

This is funny to me because every single person I tell about expecting asks about my closet. As if it's soooo obvious that it needs to go. No. For one thing, this room does not have any air circulation and I wouldn't put a baby in here. There's no room to grow; we could not put a twin bed in the room in the future. And also, where would my stuff go?

We met with a closet professional on Friday and are expecting our plans early this week. If everything looks good we can expect a closet overhaul in September.

I'm excited that we have a plan. We're breaking it into manageable pieces. First the closet, then office and then nursery.  I'm also excited about the actual plan. I'm still a little bit sad to see the house I love so much change, but I know for sure that it will be better. And even more functional for us. I look at these changes as a step up. Moving from our 20s to our 30s. From mis-matched to well put together.

Bryan is super excited about his future office, which the designer decided should be a man office that Bryan wants to work in. It was so cute to see how his face light up as he got excited about the prospect. He's eager to get his new office set up and mentions something about it every day since.

So yeah, changes are happening around the Baddorf household. From my waistline to my closet. I'm sure there will be plenty of updates in the next six months as it all goes down.

Jul 25, 2014

New Music: First Aid Kit Stay Gold

As part of my 30 before 30 goal I wanted to spent more time this year immersing myself in music, specifically new to me music. I hope to post a few of my findings here for you. I'm not a music reviewer so don't expect any titillating review or anything.

I've heard a lot of mentions of First Aid Kit in the last few months. Their latest album, Stay Gold, was this week's listen.

The sister singers have a folksy, haunting sound. I can easily see myself blasting this album while riding country roads with the windows down, wind through my hair.

Favorite Songs: Master Pretender, Shattered & Hollow, Heaven Knows

When to listen: getting ready to go out, especially with girl friends, road trippin.

Jul 22, 2014

Pink Cat

Last week we had some family over and the "kids" played with sidewalk chalk on our back patio. It was a good distraction for them. They even did this cute Roux outline:

However, the next morning Motley cat decided it would be a fine idea to roll in it.

Our neighbor was concerned thinking it was dried blood. Whoops.

Let this be a lesson: white cats and sidewalk chalk do not mix.

Jul 21, 2014

Monday Garden Update

Good morning! Last week was unseasonably wonderful. One day we didn't even get into the 80s. Bryan and I did our quiet time on the back patio nearly every day. One night we even had a fire. It was glorious. This week we should be back to normal Memphis in July weather and I guess that's okay.

This morning's harvest included: 1 jet star tomato, 2 chocolate bell peppers, 4 cucumbers, 1 green bean, and a handful of edamame.

The real story in the garden right now is tomatoes. As in they are finally growing! Hallelujah!

There are a ton of baby tomatoes in this mess.

Lima beans are finally filling out a little bit as well.

The green beans are looking healthy, but we are only getting 1 or 2 at a time.

The good news is that I'm not battling weeds right now. I am battling an overabundance of cucumbers. Please, someone remind me in April or May of next year to NOT PLANT SO MANY CUCUMBER PLANTS! Two weeks ago I put up four pints of pickles. There are a number of smaller cucumbers on the vine and I'm going to have to make more in the next day or two. Related: what's your favorite pickle recipe?

Jul 18, 2014

New Music: Old 97's Most Messed Up

As part of my 30 before 30 goal I wanted to spent more time this year immersing myself in music, specifically new to me music. I hope to post a few of my findings here for you. I'm not a music reviewer so don't expect any titillating review or anything.

On Sunday the Old 97s are playing at the  Levitt Shell. I've loved their music for years, but haven't had a chance to listen to their stuff lately. I thought with the concert coming up I'd dedicate some time to listening to music I might not have heard yet. Turns out they have a new album, Most Messed Up.

This album sounds just like their older stuff. Same rockin' alt-country feel. Several songs feature drankin' such as "Let's Get Drunk and Get It On" which is fun. And there's some language, such as "Most Messed Up". But it's a fun album.

When to listen: pre-gamin, weekends, porch times

Jul 17, 2014

We Partyin'! Taste Off

One of our favorite New Orleans musicians is Kermit Ruffins. We try to see him at the Blue Nile on Frenchman when we can. One thing he continually says that gets the crowd going is "We Partyin'!"  You kind of have to be there, but here's a clip I found online so you have a frame of reference:

Anyways, earlier this week we had my family over for dinner. It's the middle of summer here which means our gardens are booming and our CSA is full of fresh veggies. This is awesome, but sometimes we are over run with peppers, cucumbers, and tomatoes. More than we can possibly eat just the two of us. So I decided maybe it would be fun to chop up the different varieties and do a taste test.

A few years ago Bryan and I were at the downtown Memphis Farmer's Market and they were doing a tomato tasting. There were tons of different varieties and you could taste them all and vote for your favorite. I never found out which one won, but I remember loving the idea. Why not have it on a smaller scale at home?

I cut up 4 different varieties of tomatoes, 4 varieties of peppers, 2 varieties of cucumber, and opened 4 different jars of homemade pickles.

I wish I had taken a better picture but halfway through the evening I remembered to take this one with my phone.

I printed off ballots and made everyone taste everything and vote. Okay, well not everyone. The kids didn't care so much. But most everyone did and they enjoyed it. And then we talked about which peppers and tomatoes were our favorites and why. It's great conversation fodder.

After dinner I tallied up the votes. Pickles and cucumbers were a draw. The bullhorn pepper was the favorite pepper. But the Bradley tomato was the clear winner of the evening. It scored all the tomato votes. Both the Bradley and the bullhorn pepper came in our latest CSA bag.  Which I guess means, they will need to be on my "to-plant" list for next year.

You don't have to do four different things or even four different varieties to do a taste off. But for your next party or gathering, consider using some of the fresh produce to sample the different heirloom treasures this season provides. It may open a guests eyes to heirloom vegetables or just a new variety. At the very least it helps clean out your fridge!

Jul 11, 2014

New music: Fox Images '74-'84

As part of my 30 before 30 goal I wanted to spent more time this year immersing myself in music, specifically new to me music. I hope to post a few of my findings here for you. I'm not a music reviewer so don't expect any titillating review or anything.

I was in the car listening to NPR a few weeks ago (a rare occurrence these days) and heard a story about a band and I liked the music they sampled. At the next light I quickly jotted what I thought was the band name on my Evernote list. This week I eagerly pulled up artist "Fox" on Spotify and listened to the most recent album, Images '74-'84. Huh, I thought, that's an interesting album name. Turns out, this is not the same band I heard on NPR, but a British band from the mid 70's. I won't tell you how long it took me to figure this out.

But I guess the cool thing about that embarrassing story is that the music sounds totally current. The main singers voice is a little higher and sharper than I normally enjoy, but it's not off putting.

Favorite songs: Only You Can,  Love Ship

When to listen: dinner party, porch times

Jul 9, 2014

See Ya Later Side Yard

We have a narrow side yard. Well, more of a strip of land between our house and the neighbors drive way. It had gotten way overgrown in the last year or so.

See how those bushes had started growing above the window sill? And yes that's a 6' ladder for scale. Those vines creeping up the house also added a classy touch.

On Saturday Bryan felt inspired to take them down. He grabbed my grandmother's Maddock and went to town.

There were some scary thick vines mixed in with the bushes.

Not afraid to dominate!

There were several smaller bushes scattered further down the side of the house which he also took out. We are leaving the tree for now. But it will need to be limbed up sometime soon.

Here's how it looks for now. There are some stumps that will need to be pulled out and weeds pulled out, obviously. And once those vines dry a little bit we'll pull them down. But so far, so much better!

In the fall I'll start thinking about what to plant here. I'm considering adding a few more blackberry bushes and maybe some blueberry bushes as well. The back part gets mostly shade so we'll find some low maintenance shade loving plants for back there.

Jul 7, 2014

Garden Update Monday

Whoops. It's been nearly a month since my last update. Bad blogger!

Here's what things are looking like this week:

My potatoes in the bed have been attacked by some vicious critter and I need to put more seven dust on them.

The cucumbers have formed a wall.

On the right hand side of the garden I really need to finish planting carrots... or at least plant something else in the bed.  Tomatoes are growing. I attempted to help support the Jet Star tomatoes along the fence and it's just a crazy mess right now. A cherry roma tomato in front of it is growing up against it and it's hard to tell them apart at times. I did harvest two jet start tomatoes last week!

Baby cherry roma tomatoes. I love this shape!

The left side of the garden is also producing. Peppers in the left bed. I picked four this morning. Basil is finally doing well in the center bed. Behind the last row of basil I planted a broccoli plant. It's tiny right now and nothing to look at.  Cucumbers taking over the world to the right. We've harvested at least a dozen so far.

My little fig tree is growing like crazy! Soon I'll need to plant it in the front yard. The lemon tree is behind it and is doing well.

The back bed is finally coming alive!

Pictured in this mess is a Jerusalem artichoke leaning in the back left, several Cherokee purple tomato plants, and lima beans. In the front is an apple mint and strawberries. The lima beans have become somewhat bushy and aren't really climbing right now. There also aren't any beans yet. I planted these last year and they were late bloomers.  No blooms yet on the tomatoes.

I think this is the Italian heriloom tomato. The one in the back has not grown one centimeter since I planted it.

Green beans are climbing like crazy. I think we'll start seeing some beans in the next week or two.

I can't remember which tomato type this is now that I'm inside. All three are doing really well. Although no blooms yet. I'm just happy they are growing though.  In front is my cilantro plant that went to seed. Whoops.

It's kind of hard to see in this picture but two out of three of these tomatoes were viciously attacked by hornworms. I think one will make it, the other one probably won't. Soybeans in the back. I will harvest a handful of edamame in the next week or so!

My bucket potatoes are doing fine. I topped them off with dirt the other day. The big trashcan needs more dirt, but I didn't feel like messing with it the other day.

At the front of the house the blackberries are doing well. I'm harvesting a handful nearly every other day. Soon we'll have enough for cobbler!

Bryan came home with a ginormous bag of coffee grounds from Starbucks and now I'll spend the rest of the day figuring out what to do with them.

What's happening in your garden?