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    Hey there! I'm Amanda and I'll be your co-pilot today. Along with my handy husband, Ben, we're remodeling our second house. We're avid DIY-ers, tackling large and small projects while raising two rambunctious boys. Thanks for following along on this wild journey!
    Photo by Jana Graham Photography

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  • Bathroom Remodel

  • Painting Planked Walls

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  • Gray & Copper Table Setting

Apple Salad (and a Winner!)

First order of business, the winner of the Janery giveaway.

Drumroll drrr…brrr…drrr… Lorie Smith, enjoy your new Janery pet or home product(s)!  Congrats, and thank you so much Jane for a lovely giveaway!

Second, how about a recipe?  I’m certainly no chef, but when a quick and simple few ingredient recipe works, I’m delighted.  Back in February, I posted this photo of a crazy simple salad on Instagram.  Several people asked for the recipe, and I thought the first day of May (and warmer months) was the perfect time.


In all honesty, this is a salad I had tried at Cafe Lurcat in Minneapolis, so this is my version:

4 of your favorite apples  

3 to 4 ounces Manchego cheese

4 tablespoons chives, finely chopped

1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil

salt and pepper to taste


1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Creating this salad is as easy as cutting apples and cheese into thin match sticks.  After cutting, toss with oil, vinegar, and lemon juice.  Add in the chives, salt, and pepper.

My notes and preferences: I’ve tried just Granny Smith, but like a slightly sweeter apple (Fuji or Gala) to offset the cheese.  To add just a little tartness to sweet apples, add the vinegar.  It’s just enough to balance.  If your apples are cold, feel free to skip the lemon juice.  For room temperature apples, add the lemon juice to prevent browning while cooling in the fridge for an hour or two.  Add more onion flavor with extra chives or even part of a finely minced shallot.

This salad is so light, bright, and refreshing, perfect for a summer get together.  And with 10 minutes of prep time, it doesn’t get much easier while still looking (and sounding) impressive.

Gimme A Giveaway: Janery

Jane over at Janery makes the most adorable pet supplies.

All items are hand sewn with the highest quality materials and fun patterned fabric.  Look at this gray sticks dog bed:

And the Merlin mat travel dog bed:

See, super cute!  Cats aren’t left out.  Get your fuzzy friend a catnip kicker for hours of entertainment.

If you don’t have a pet, Janery also has a selection of poppy pillows like this three pillow set:


The Goods:  A $60 shop credit good for or toward anything in the Janery shop.

To Enter:  Check out Janery and leave a comment with your favorite item.

For additional entries:

1.  Like Our Humble Abode on Facebook.  Come back to leave a second comment.

Contest Closes: Thursday, April 30.

Number of Winners: One!

Ships: Anywhere in the US or Canada.

Other Info: We will select the winner using random.org and announce on Friday, May 1st.

Ding Dong, Siding’s Done

After months of spending weekends replacing windows and installing new siding, we’re finished.  Just before the cold weather hit, allowing us to now focus on indoor remodels.  Update:  Here’s the exterior when we purchased the house.  


It was a mis matched mess of ugly blue stain, natural cedar, missing siding, and old windows.  We’ve since replaced every window and door, as well as new siding.


Currently, the steel has a semi glossy sheen to it.  Nothing that’ll blind the neighbors, but still.


Eventually the steel will rust, creating a contrast.   Because right now the steel is very similar in tone to the lap siding.


As you can see, we decided to cover the bathroom bump out in steel.  Something to add interest and break up the upper section.


It worked out well because we plan to cover the other peaked areas the same way.


Also, the lower section wraps into the bump out near the door.  The back of the pool house is all steel, thanks to the funky angles.  The rest of the pool house, now that’s a different project for spring/summer.


Finally, the section around the garage doors.  It follows the same line, wrapping around from the front.


We’re thankful to have the loose ends tied up.  You know what else we’re thankful for?  Our lovely readers.  To show our appreciation, we’ve partnered up with luxury linen retailer, Frette, to offer one reader a Terry Shawl Collar Robe.

Simply leave a comment on this post to enter!  I’ll announce the winner on Friday.  If you’re also in the U.S., Happy Thanksgiving!

Gimme a Giveaway: Studio Cherie

This giveaway is now closed.  Our lucky winner is GG!  Please check your email.    

Doesn’t everyone have one ugly piece of furniture?  If you’re lucky, it’s made of wood.  Something easy to sand down to stain or paint.  But what about that super comfy chair, that shows how much it has been loved over the years?  That’s where Studio Cherie’s Custom Slipcover Craftsy class comes in.

With step by step instructional videos, you’ll have a personal seamstress fairy watching your every move.


Really, you’ll learn about fabric selection, sewing basics, and how to tackle the sticky situations involving rolled arms and piping.


If you need to give a chair some love, this class is right up your alley.

The Goods:  One free Slipcover Craftsy Class with Studio Cherie.  

To Enter:  Tell us about a piece of furniture you’ve got that could use a new look.

For additional entries:

1.  Like Our Humble Abode on Facebook.  Come back to leave a second comment.

2.  Like Studio Cherie on Facebook and on Etsy for the latest updates.

Contest Closes: Thursday, December 4th, 2014

Number of Winners: One!

Ships: No shipping, hooray for online courses!

Other Info: We will select the winners using random.org and announce on Friday, December 5th.

Gimme a Giveaway: Michael Ellis Studios

This giveaway is now closed.  Our lucky winners are KristenSara, and Margaret!  Congratulations, ladies!  Please check your email.  

Yay, it’s Friday!  To celebrate, we’ve got a fun giveaway from Michael Ellis Studios.

This shop is packed with vintage posters that have been digitally enhanced to make beautiful art.  With so many fun options, sorted categories make browsing easy.  Here are a few of my favorites from several sections.

In the Sky:

Botanical prints:

In the Ocean:


Kids and Nursery:

The Goods:  Three winners will receive a $60 shop credit, good for or toward anything in the Michael Ellis Studios shop.  

To Enter:  Leave a comment telling us which art print(s) you’d most want to hang in your home.

For additional entries:

1.  Like Our Humble Abode on Facebook.  Come back to leave a second comment.

2.  Follow Our Humble Abode on Instagram.  Make sure you let us know you’re following.

Contest Closes: Thursday, November 6th, 2014

Number of Winners: Three, chosen by Random.org.

Ships: Anywhere in the world!

Other Info: We will select the winners using random.org and announce on Friday, November 7th.


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