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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Meal in a Ramekin (MIAR): IKEA Potato and Broccoli Medallions Tweak

Just a quick "Meal in a Ramekin" recipe idea using the delicious Potato and Broccoli Medallions from IKEA's frozen food section and tweaking a little.  I generally don't add a lot of salt to my dishes like this, so you make prefer a little salt and pepper added (or even hot sauce!).

Take one ramekin and drizzle olive oil in the bottom, then brush one frozen medallion with oil as well.  Set medallion into ramekin and let bake in the oven as directed (until golden brown).  While cooking, slice 1/2 an avocado and grab an egg.  Pull out Ramekin at the end of baking, turn off the oven and break egg over the medallion.  Put back into the oven for 7 minutes, letting the residual heat cook the egg.  Once the egg is at desired doneness, top with avocado, and enjoy!  Make several at the same time for a delicious brunch dish for the entire family.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Before and After: Inspirational Window Changes

So after our basement started flooding twice, calls into the city finally brought a crew to repair the problem- something which we had been calling about more times than I can count over the past two years, and the city arborist slotting the Sycamore tree that attacked our house for least a few things got accomplished.  I think I have been in a state of non-stop stress since the Year of the Dragon began...but wait, this is supposed to be my year, right?  I guess in a way, this year will have highly anticipated ends to many struggles that occurred in 2011.  And that feels wonderful.  So, in the meantime, I am going to start getting back into blog mode and share the little things that keep me sane, or at least relatively pulled together in between the times I was completely falling apart ;)

Today will just be some quick tips about window treatments.  Whether or not you like my personal changes to these rooms, there is a little bit of an "ah-ha" moment in each, and encouragement to think outside of the "rectangular box" when it comes time to re-think a window's place in the overall design instead of treating it as an afterthought.  It can change a room drastically for minimal cost.  (I can't speak to cost of before pictures, since it shows photos of what was there when I moved in.)

Here is an example of before/after in both my bedroom and living room re-design.

Bedroom Windows

As you can see, the window literally looks three times bigger by increasing height and width of the overall hang, using a optical illusion of dark (but not heavy) curtains on the sides to cover what is actually just the walls on the sides of the window. The light white cotton back drape creates a soft under layer that allows all the sunlight to pour in, but is still thick enough to hide the illusion and give full privacy.  Cost: $40 for the dark drape set, $15 for the white set, and $15 for the double curtain rod (on sale- was originally $30).  Sew your own, and the cost could go down even further.

Living Room Windows

In the living room, it wasn't necessary to hang the window treatment higher (though we could have), but the vertical blinds were so garish and hiding the beautiful re-finished original windows, so I needed a fast and super cheap solution.  This may not be the final look ultimately, but speaks to how easy it is to change the feel of a room.  The original window treatments before were assisting in quashing my ability to look beyond the dingy old feeling of the space as a whole. The gauzy white curtains ($10 per set) and simple black rods ($8 per set), once installed, were all that was needed to really help me re-think the space and open up my continued and evolving inspiration for this room. 

I hope this helps you re-think the importance of your windows in your overall design and how much it can further inspire your creativity when making a space your own.  I promise to post my final pics of both rooms when all the construction in the house is finished. Until then....

Have a wonderful and inspired day!