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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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    @thehouseoffigs asked me #widn  a week ago, that I somehow didn't see until today. I just came inside from watering my freshly planted flowers. A white butterfly bush, a few different coreopsis, ajuga, to name a few. I couldn't resist a good sale, and I'm still dying to cover the entire 'yard' with plants, but it my have been a bad idea to plant during this hot, dry week. ☀️🔥Fingers super crossed I can keep these alive. 😁🙏🏻🍀 Looking for a specific size picture frame? Don't worry about spending an arm and a leg on the perfect custom design, DIY with basic pine boards. Tutorial on the blog right now. We got away from house work and DIY for the weekend, to a place without cell reception and we relaxed and had fun with family. Along the way, we saw beautiful Montana scenery, like this. Happy Father's Day to all those awesome dads out there, too!!

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.

Apple-Cheese-and-Chive-Salad

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

optional:

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.

Giveaway Winner & Etsy Favs: April

Hope you’ve all had a marvelous spring!  Warmer weather is such a nice change.  I’ve started adding plants to our nearly lifeless yard, even.  Winning.  On the subject of winning, we’ve got the Easy, Tiger giveaway wrapped up.

Easy-Tiger-Blah-Blah-Blah-print

Norma, you’ve got a $50 credit to spend on anything at the Easy, Tiger shop coming your way.  Congrats!!

Large Brass Umbrella Dish from The White Pepper

Cloud Bread Board at Snug Studio

Colorado Landscape Painting by John Kline Artwork

Pyrite Necklace at Michabella

Mighty Asterisk Wooden Game from Siam Collection

Custom Braille Necklace at Leigh Luna

Have a great weekend!  See you back on Monday, hopefully with an update on the thrifted couch.

Giveaway Winners and Etsy Favs: March

Last Friday of March and first order of business.  Jessica, you’re the winner of the Britt Bass giveaway.

And Beth, you’ll get to design your custom Duffle Coat from S & S Babee.  Congrats, ladies!

Himmeli Diamond Pendant Light from Panselinos

Whiskey Me Away print by Perrodin Supply Company

Wooden Hexagon Trivet at Things Like Diamonds

Small Vintage Ceramic Letters from Shaving Kit Supplies

Metallic Gold Star Pillow at Earth Lab

Decorative Match Boxes by Bello Pop

The Tetons Mountain Range Pillow from Three Bad Seeds

Saving for my Van Gogh print at Alfamarama

Objectify Magazine Rack from Objectify Homeware

Abstract Watercolor Painting at So Very Happy Art

Falling Roses Abstract Art Print by Parima Creative Studio

Misty Oil Painting from Painting Well.

So many pretty paintings, and all profits are donated to cancer research charities!  After reading that, I bought two.  I’m excited to get this beauty in the mail.

Welp, I’m going to get back to my living room painting.  Have a great weekend, all!

Winner & February Etsy Favs

Last day of February!  Can I get a woot woot?!  That means we’re another month closer to spring.  And it seems we’re all over winter.  But it also means we get to announce the Kilim Decor giveaway winner.

Isis, who’d love to visit Paris, you get to choose your favorite pillow from Kilim Decor!

And I get to share my favorite Etsy items I’ve added over the month.  How adorable is this Children’s Hooded Duffle Coat by S n S Babee:

Asphalt Planter Vase from The Good Machinery

The Print Your Own Art option from Clare Elaesser

Dipped White and Natural Wood Tray at The Vintage Vogue

Stag Beetle Pillow Cover by Created By Storm

Soviet Opera Glasses from The Things That Were

MCM Wall Sconce at Theia Luminaries

Large Brass Moravian Star Himmeli from Hruskaa

The Decision Giclee Print by Kai Samuels-Davis

Mountain Home Quote Pillow Cover from My Sweet Reveries

And my Britt Bass Navy Geo print in our hall bathroom.

Navy-Geo-Print-in-Bathroom

Off to shovel the walk.  Hope you all stay warm if you’re stuck in the dead of winter, too!

Winner & Etsy Favs: January

Say goodbye to January 2014, because we’re nearing the end.  But, we’ve got some good news for two lucky giveaway winners.

Myssie and Sarah Z, you get to choose your favorite print from The Smitten Collection and one text bubble cut out from me.  Congrats on the new art!  For all you other Etsy lovers, take a look at these great pieces I found this month:

Navy Geo print by Brittany Bass

Hand Stitched Note Card from Sarah K. Benning

Iceberg in Water photograph print at Eye Poetry Photography

Mountain Blossom Furoshiki from The Link Collective

Triangle Throw Pillow Cover by Adidit

Geometric Air Plant Cube from Sea and Asters

Laurel Wreath Necklace at Almanac for June

Leaded Glass Hanging Vase by BeeJayKay

Ampersand Screen Print from Shop Ampersand

Silk Wings Scarf by Shovava

Rose Gold Initial Pendant at Olive Yew Jewels

Black and Copper Large Cylinder Vase from The Object Enthusiast

Trifox Print by Twamies

Orb Shaped Black and White Planter from Half Light Honey Studio

Wishing everyone a happy (and warm) last day of January!

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