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3.26.2020

How To Begin Baking Bread At Home




Over the past year or more I've set out on my own bread journey. We love to have people in our home for a meal and making a fresh loaf of bread has been something special to welcome people in with.
Baking bread is therapeutic, rewarding, inexpensive and a great practice to share with others. I've loved seeing others start their own bread journeys and really feel like it brings us all together - as sharing a meal undeniably does.

Since we are all quarantined at home, I've had many reach out with questions about bread and what tools I used. With the state of things, most online stores are sold out of flour and yeast but if you keep them in your cart on Amazon you can see when they're restocked!

Below are some of my favorite bread tools. Of course, the only things you truly need are flour, water, yeast, salt, a mixing bowl and a scale.




Proofing basket and tools, Bench scraper, Pyrex mixing bowls, Ceramic Mixing Bowl, Danish Whisk, Dutch Oven, Tea Towel, Bread Baking For Beginners, Bread Box, Bread Knife, Oil Cruet, Scale


Here are just a few tips as you get started:

1. Gather all of your ingredients and measure them beforehand.

2. Set aside a whole day to your first loaf. Don't try to do it in between a lot of other projects going on. Leave space for each step, step away to read a book or drink some tea and then come back. It will keep your mind focused and you'll enjoy the process much more!

3. Don't worry if you don't do every step perfectly but be mindful of each step. I call this my bread journey because it is just that - a journey!

4. Don't throw out a bad batch! Make croutons instead.

5. Bake with a friend! Swap your favorite recipes, taste test together and share tips.

6. Take notes. I like to take notes every time on temperatures and different results.

7. Start simple. I love the book Bread Baking For Beginners because it starts with a no-knead recipe. I think we often want to jump to the end sourdough goal but starting simply helps you understand each component of bread and the simple tricks of the trade that will yield a much better loaf!


If you start baking bread, please share! Tag me on instagram, we're in this together!

3.12.2020

The Knox Cottage: Before & After

It's reveal day for our beloved Knox Cottage! I introduced this project last year in this post along with some progress photos. We renovated a garage apartment that was falling apart in our backyard over the course of five months with the help of Cardinal Construction and many talented hands to bring our vision to life.

We initially started discussing this project because someone came to give us a quote on our house for new siding and a new roof. The more we talked about it, we realized we would definitely enjoy new siding but it wouldn't bring us an instant return. That is when we opened the conversation to what would bring us a more immediate return on our investment...the cottage.

Now this is a project we've dreamed about for over five years so it is surreal to see it finished and ready for tenants! Since it was something we dreamt of for quite some time, we've always wanted to see our vision fully come to life by styling it out completely with the help of some local brands and artists. Their work shines here and it has been fun to see it all come together!
I've linked everything at the end of this post for you!

Here is the full before and after of our Knox Cottage project:

This view above shows the same view looking towards the back of the house. We opened up the space into the garage to the left and made one large living and kitchen area. The far back wall was originally where the kitchen was but we moved it towards the front by adding a wall and creating an L-shaped kitchen. You can see my walk-through on instagram to get a better feel for the space before. 

The flooring is a laminate flooring from Build Direct. It doesn't have that hollow sound most laminate flooring has and I know it will stand up to some wear and tear! We found our cabinets, paneling and appliances at Lowes during holiday sales and by shopping the scratch and dent section.

The backsplash is Formica's new Calacatta Cava line and it was such an easy solution that I thought brought in some great texture. For $80, I was willing to take the risk on it since we could easily remove it and add tile in the future.

The cabinet hardware and shelf brackets we found on Amazon.

The kitchen faucet*, shower head* and kitchen sink were all open box finds from Wayfair. Shop their open box site to find a lot of products 40% off or more!

*I've linked most of them here to amazon because currently that is where the best deals are found. The open box site changes daily so be sure to check there when you're eyeing something specific.

We found that cute little pendant from Article!

For the styling, I love the mix of local shops here. Modern Cottage Tulsa, Jenkins and Co, Jake Fowler, and Craig Proper Home complete the space. The framed print is a film photo my husband Jordan took on our recent trip to Australia.







I love this handcrafted table by Jake Fowler and the vase is from Craig Proper Home! Another print by Jordan fits perfectly on the paneled wall.
The wood ladder is from Modern Cottage. The chairs, sofa and white side table are from West Elm! 

I love that print by my good friend Rachel Andersen and the ottoman from Jenkins and Co.

The jute rug is from Amazon.


Those baskets on the wall from Modern Cottage are perfect in the entryway!


I love how the bathroom came together. I tried to think of long-term renters here which is why we went with a tub surround instead of tiling the shower. The tile from Bedrosians is perfect and although it came on sheets, it was easy to peel them off and lay them in this cross hatch pattern.

We originally planned a vanity with storage but during the demo process we found out we needed a pedastal sink because of the plumbing. Our solution to this was adding a niche in the wall for a few little bathroom necessities to live. 


The tile against the wood floor is one of my favorite details!



At the back of the cottage, where the kitchen previously lived, we turned the back door into a window and created a bedroom with a closet for utilities and storage (not pictured). 

That stunning painting is by Leah Payne and is so captivating. I'm honored she let us show off her piece in this space!


This rattan hook, stool and wall hanging are all from Modern Cottage. They go so well together!

The rug and pillows are from Jenkins and Co. I love how peaceful and simple this room turned out.
 The before and after of the exterior always gets me. When we were cleaning out the cottage we found quilts and old newspapers from the forties insulating the walls!



On the exterior, we wanted to make sure we chose something that would eventually coordinate with our main home's style. We went with Swiss Coffee by Behr and Shade Grown by Sherwin Williams for the doors. Finally, the deck just pulls it all together!

That's it for the cottage! What a ride to see this whole project come to life and we finished it just in time for our baby girl to arrive!

SOURCES

Entry: Baskets | Credenza | Table | Pottery 

Living Room: Sofa | Chairs | Side Table | Ladder | Stool | Rug | PrintPillows | Laminate Flooring






Paint Colors: White - Swiss Coffee by Behr | Green - Shade Grown by Sherwin Williams 


2.10.2020

Renovating An Old Shed To Become A Creative Studio


With our family growing in a matter of months, we've been strategizing how to maximize the space we have in our home and move things around for our new addition. Luckily, we quickly found a solution: to move my studio to our backyard!

Our backyard is pretty unique and special...but still needs a bit of love. We have a garage apartment (currently being renovated, stay tuned!) and a small work shed. Neither have been touched in probably 20 years and have just become where we toss old furniture.

Today I want to share the before photos and vision for this little studio shed and what we are going to do to spruce it up and create a space to create in.

First, the outside. Isn't she a cutie? The outside will probably not be touched at first and the door, cladding and roof will all stay the same. Hopefully in the future it will get new siding, paint and landscaping.

When you walk in, there is a small space dividing wall with shelves to the right and an empty space to the left. This is actually where I found my old metal cabinet that you can see here. During demo, we decided to remove the dividing walls to maximize the space. Now we are working with a 160 sq. ft. rectangle which is such a great feeling!


Here's what we plan on tackling in this space:

- Vaulting the ceilings
- Adding electricity and lights
- Adding a window unit
- Replacing windows
- Relocating the arch window
- Replacing all rotten wood to secure the structure (there is a lot to replace!)
- Painting walls and ceilings white
- Painting exterior a dark green
- Adding insulation and paneling to walls
- Finding a flooring solution


Phew...we have to do all of this before our baby arrives since she is taking over my old studio!