Corn Chowder for the Rainy Day

Yesterday it was cold, rainy, gray, and dark on the Bay, which means it was the perfect day to finally use the frozen corn that we carried all the way from FL to MD. When I say that we carried it from FL, I really mean that we used it as ice packs to keep our frozen and cold foods cool. After the day and a half trip north, it really wasn't in any condition to be consumed in anything other than soup.

After a quick search online for corn chowder recipes I found three that looked tasty and easy to modify. End result? Deeeeeelicious!

Bee Hive Corn Chowder
1 turkey kielbasa chopped into little pieces
3 large onions chopped
1/4 cup flour
2 t. kosher salt (or less to taste)
1 t. fresh ground pepper
1/2 t. ground turmeric (or more to taste)
6 cups low sodium chicken broth
3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
2 pounds (32oz. bag) frozen corn
2 cans creamed-style corn
1 cup milk

In a large stockpot cook the kielbasa and onions in 1 T olive oil with the cover on until the onions are translucent, stirring frequently. Stir in the flour, salt, pepper, and turmeric and cook for 3 minutes. Add the chicken broth and potatoes, bring to a boil, and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. Add the frozen corn, creamed corn and milk. Cook for 10-15 more minutes, until heated through and potatoes are flavorful. Season to taste with additional salt, pepper, and turmeric. Serve hot with a garnish of shredded cheddar cheese.

I feel like I should update this post so I can express just. how. good. this. chowder. really. is. We ate this on Thursday for dinner, for lunch & dinner on Friday, for lunch on Saturday (with a thick slice of honey oatmeal bread I made Saturday morning) and S ate again for lunch today. And I must mention that we weren't eating our way out of the 'fridge; we were actually choosing this soup over all the other delicious offerings in our freezer. It's just that good.

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Perfectly Timed Announcement

We were married in September, which means that we were the recipients of many lovely gifts. Since the wedding we've been asked for our mailing address from several of our wedding guests. We also know that many of our friends and family would love to see more photos of the big day. Well, we're not sure of that last one since I've been facebooking links to our photographer's Web site ad nauseam.

To date I've forwarded our friends S's parents' address. S's mom has been happy to stack packages next to the 12 piece china setting gift that's waiting for us in their family room.
But now our new bee hive is just waiting us to claim her as our own in just a tad more than a month, so I've decided it's time to begin working on the big announcement.

Under ordinary circumstances I would sieze the opportunity to send a separate new home/new address announcement. However, with our closing date set for early December it seems most logical to send a holiday card/new house/wedding announcement all in one. I throw wedding announcement in there because S thinks we should include a lovely photo from our wedding...as long as we get the CD of our wedding photos in time.

So last night while the winds were howling and the waves were crashing on the rocks outside our glorious homeless home, I tackled our announcement design, which of course, for privacy reasons, I will not be sharing here. I will share with you, however, this edited version featuring a photo from Lexi's latest photoshoot. Glorious pup.
I'll have it printed on eco-stock postcards from UPrinting and will be mailed in a seasonally appropriate envelope from Paper-Source.

I am beyond excited for the new house, super excited for our first holiday card together, and so happy that we have a new address to announce to our family and friends. Have you started working on your holiday cards yet?

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Wasting More Time

It's hard to believe that just a couple of months ago I was willing time to stop passing so quickly; I needed more days for all our wedding projects. What a difference a home-under-contract makes. December 15 can not get here soon enough.

To distract myself from the fact that we're still forever from moving in and that S is away for another week, I took a trip to Ikea this weekend to explore storage options. As I've been reminded a thousand times, the closets are small. It was a very productive way to pass the time, minus the two hour traffic jam on the way to Ikea. Silly me for thinking there wouldn't be any traffic at noon on a Saturday.

When I finally arrived at the yellow and blue mecca I put my walkin' shoes on and hit the ground running. I moved through the store at a snail's pace as I looked over all the great stuff. My mental calculator was on overdrive. Fortunately there's no way we can fit much more stuff in our house. We each had a house the size of our new house, so Goodwill will be our best friend. Goodwill, and Ikea's awesome storage solutions!

First up, Gorm. Ikea's bare-bones expandable storage system.
We are going to have a totally pimped-out basement.

For my clothing, I think I'm going to buy the much-loved Pax closet system with the Hemnes doors that match our dressers.
It's unfortunate that this is the best photo I can find. It looks so much better in person, and with door pulls.

Right now the idea is to have a pair of these flanking one of the windows in the guest room with my red mini dresser that I used as a TV stand in my old house under the window. Maybe I'll make a cushion and create a little dressing area. The extra closets will hold my shoes and all the overflow from my little built-in closet. I was impressed with the quality and the warranty. Love, love, love the Hemnes line.

Overall it was a productive weekend of wasting time. I definitely think these two solutions will put my storage anxieties at ease. I love organizing!

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Paint paint everywhere

After a rather frustrating trip to Home Depot and Ace - 3 hours to drive 3 miles?!?! - I had a whole pile of paint chips to sort through. After much deliberation I think I've made my final choices, subject to S's approval. I think I managed to choose color combos and schemes to maximize the use of paint gallons and minimize expenses.

I can't wait to actually get this paint up on the walls now....

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BIG little News

So this is BIG news...we're under contract on a new little bee hive!! Not, not the casa, but a real colonial bee hive that exceeds all my expectations for our first (ok first with my name on the deed too) house. It's so fabulous!
It's in North Arlington, Virginia in a nice neighborhood full of the cutest colonials. I'm in love.... I didn't actually see the house until two weeks after we went under contract, so S is quite relieved that I LOVE the house.

The sellers have only owned the house for a year, but did a ton of work in that short time. They replaced the roof and porch decking and added beautiful new landscaping outside. Inside they replaced the heating system with a fabulously efficient system, removed all the asbestos tiles from the basement and sun room, updated the bathroom vanity, and the list goes on!

Perhaps most important, however, is that they renovated the KITCHEN!! And it's exactly what I would have chosen. They knocked out a wall, used beautiful gray granite, stainless appliances, and white cabinets.
The fridge even has a drawer freezer - my favorite!
Even though the sellers did a ton of work there are still plenty of projects for our creative eyes - or for our blinded eyes. The colors are so freaking bright!! Look at this living room. Holy sunshine!
And the dining room? Yowsers!
I'm sure that in 10 years I'll be totally in love with red and yellow, but not today. The yellow is EVERYWHERE. It's total insanity.

So last night I looked at chips and searched around and found some inspiration photos online.

Here's a crummy photo of our bathroom with its cute original black and white tiles
and here's a photo of a bathroom over at Young House Love where they used Glidden's Sand White on the walls.

I love the contrast between the white and sand color. Perhaps even better is that the towels we received for our wedding will go nicely in here. A white curtain makes the room look clean and less crowded and if we want a splash of color for a change, we can throw up one of the brightly colored curtains in my collection. Our vanity cabinets are a chocolate color, in contrast to their white, but I think the sand will look nice.

Next up, in the kitchen I would love to paint over the pale yellow with a muted bluish greenish like Glidden's Gentle Tide, also from Young House Love.
Look how nicely it goes with these appliances, cabinets, and counters that are so similar to ours! I love the pendant light above the sink too. We'll have to tackle the giant florescent light in the center of our kitchen at some point in the very near future.

And for the shocking yellow sunshine running through the living room and up the stairs? I love, love, love Benjamin Moore's Smokey Taupe, shown here:
and close up here next to some funky cool wall paper:
It will go perfectly with S's carpets. Damn carpets. No more freaking carpets!!! ;) (I can't remember where I found this photos for my inspiration file, please let me know if they are yours.)

For the dining room I like something like Glidden's Quiet Light, which is shown in a mudroom here (also from my inspiration file and from an unknown blog, but one that I know I follow. Again, please let me know if they are yours and I will credit you right away!):
It would offer a subtle transition from the blue with greenish tints in the kitchen to the gray blue of the living room. I also like Glidden's Pewter, which is a bit more gray with less green.

Eventually we think we'll finish off the sun room to create an office space. By eventually, I mean soon, I hope. Its south-facing windows would be perfect for a cheery color like Glidden's Wishes used in YHL's sunny room:
And colors aside, Ikea closets flanking the guest room bed like in the master bedroom of the Young House Love home would add a lot of much needed storage:
Speaking of storage, as unglamorous as it is, our basement will be the first room we tackle, with a preventative coat of Drylock, some reconfigured shelving, and a fabulous little washing/ironing/folding nook. Don't worry, I'm not fooling myself into thinking S will fold anything anywhere but in front of the TV...after I dump the full basket on top of him....

So, there she is. If all goes well, we'll be setting up shop for Christmas.
Most photos are from our own files unless from sources credited in text. We try very hard to keep track of where we find our inspiration photos. Please let us know if you see any errors or omissions and we will correct the errors immediately.

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