Monday, April 23, 2012

Chicken & Veggie Stir Fry

When we registered for wedding gifts, David was adamant that we add a large wok to the list. Thanks to my lovely aunt, we have that giant, heavy wok in our kitchen, so I've been hounding David to make me a fresh stir fry for months now. In his typical fashion, he just whipped one up that he thought would be tasty and it was delicious! Thought we'd share the recipe:

Chicken & Veggie Stir Fry:
1 lb. boneless chicken breasts, cubed
2 heads broccoli, cut into florets and stems
1 sweet pepper (we used red for color), chopped
1 can water chestnuts
2 cups rice (we used 2 large bags of whole wheat instant rice)
2 garlic cloves, diced
Cooking oil
2 tsp. sesame seeds
Soy sauce, to taste
Salt & pepper, to taste
Chow mein noodles

Heat oil in a large skillet or wok. Add broccoli, 1 tsp. sesame seeds, garlic and soy sauce and stir fry for 1-2 minutes on high until dark green but not brown. Remove from wok and set aside. Begin cooking the rice in another pot. Add more cooking oil to the wok and add chicken, more soy sauce, red pepper, water chestnuts, and other teaspoon sesame seeds and cook about 5 minutes on high heat until chicken is cooked. Add broccoli to the mixture. Serve rice on plates and cover with stir fry mixture. Sprinkle with salt and soy sauce and top with chow mein noodles. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Unexpectedly Productive Saturday

Our plan last Saturday was pretty on the living room and get some chores done around the house. We didn't get any chores done, but we did make some major unexpected progress in our home. Our living room is our first project in our home renovation (more on that later) so we're finishing up the painting and working on some built-ins for one of the walls. However, on Friday night, as most nights, I was on facebook and happened to check the Madison Furniture Barn, a local family-owned furniture store where, if I could afford to, I would go to redecorate our entire house. I check their FB page frequently because they post floor model and overstock sales weekly, and considering how much of their furniture we want, we figured this is our best bet for getting some of it in our home! We've been in desperately in need of a TV stand, considering we've been using an old end table from David's parents. Lo and behold, they posted two TV stands for a great bargain, so when we got up on Saturday we threw the pup in the truck and booked it down to Westbrook to see if we could snag one. We made it in time and were able to get the beautiful white one!

(Forgive the look of the walls we haven't replaced the baseboard just yet)

Of course we hit an immediate snafu. We recently learned that none of the outlets in our living room were grounded, so David and his dad set out to rewire them and since the original outlet boxes were recessed into the cinderblock walls, they couldn't run wires. They ended up having to install outlets like this:

And the patched spot is the spackle over the old outlet. Therefore, we had a dilemma with the new TV stand....

With the new outlet boxes plus the plugs, the stand was sticking out about 6 inches from the wall. Since our front door is right next to that wall and we have limited space, this was just not going to work. Begrudgingly, we had to cut a hole in the back of our brand new TV stand :(

But it worked out fine...I put a basket with a quilt inside and you can't even tell, and now it's all the way against the wall and looks perfect! We decided it just wasn't complete so we went out and picked up a plant to accompany our newest addition. Here's Miss Oats wondering what to make of this plant (she eats about 100 sticks/day, so having a tree in our house is risky)

I decided it looked funny with dirt only, so I went outside and found some rocks to add to the pot. This was our finished product of our Saturday:

Again, the baseboards will be going in soon, as well as crown molding and some wall decor. Bear with us, we're getting there.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Our First House

I suppose before we start blogging about our home renovation projects we should show you our house! We started house hunting last April (hard to believe it's been a year already) and looked at an almost-record 25 houses before finding the right one. We did bid on two prior to this one and were temporarily devastated when we didn't get them, but we are thankful every day that we ended up here. We finally found it in July, leaving us just enough time to close before our wedding. We got in by the skin of our teeth, meaning we closed on August 25, 2011 and our wedding was September 3, 2011. Insane. It's the perfect little starter house for us and Miss Oatsy and we're enjoying settling in and planning our renovation projects.

Without further ado, our first house......!

It's a 4 bedroom, 1 bath 1946 cape with a teeny tiny kitchen but an enormous dining room, a full unfinished basement and TONS of character. There are built-ins EVERYWHERE in this house, which is spectacular since the closet space is slightly lacking (from a woman's perspective). We both love homes that you can tell were built and lived in with love, and this is definitely one of them, so we intend to take good care of it and add our own love and character to it as we make it our own. We're excited to share our cute little first house with our friends, families and the blogging world and hope some of our projects/ideas/fiascos/stories may inspire you or at least make you laugh.

Monday, April 2, 2012

We're bloggers!

After the last few years of wedding planning and buying a home, trust me that we've read, relied on, and laughed with many many blogs of all types. So we figured it was time for us to join the blogger community and share our own stories and inspirations. In 2011, we got married, bought a house and added a crazy cute yellow lab puppy to our new family. And when I say crazy, I'm not kidding. If you've seen Marley & Me, that's our dog... and hence, our life. After such a hectic year, we're looking forward to settling down in our new home, enjoying our time together and having some fun. Room by room, we're adding our own style to our outdated cape, DIY style, with our puppy at our feet. We'll see how it goes!

- Jen & David
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