Sasha approves of our birdie duvet cover and especially the down comforter that's inside it. Makes great nesting materials!
For anyone who has seen my food photos on Facebook, here's the reason why I take them all... I am creating a custom cookbook with all of our favorite go-to recipes. Now, these are not all "my" recipes... I only made up a couple of them myself (and Kevin made up some himself, too). I get the rest from other cookbooks and my favorite recipe site, Food.com. But I tend to make adjustments to the recipes based on personal taste, so I wanted a place where I could easily access my adjusted recipes and all my favorites without having to keep track of which recipe book they're in.
I surfed the web for custom cookbooks and after looking at many different sites, the Tastebook site looked like it had (almost) everything I wanted. First, it is full color and very professional looking. The cover and each tab have gorgeous photos. You can choose from many different photos for their cover, though you can't use your own.
The photos on the tabs cannot be chosen, they will be the same on every book you order. You also cannot customize the tabs, which is one thing I dislike about this product. I would like to have a book for desserts, and have sections for cookies, pies, etc. The pages are glossy, so if the photos look a little washed out, it's because the light is glaring off the pages.
The general idea of Tastebook is that you are supposed to choose from the recipes on their site that people have added, or the limited recipes they have incorporated from other sites. I don't want to choose other people's recipes and use their (possibly inferior) photos, I want to upload my own (with my own photos), so I add each recipe individually. I have one recipe that I chose from their site, and when I got the printed page, the photo is really pixellated; the person had uploaded a very low resolution photo. So, I won't be doing that anymore.
If for some reason you add a recipe that is already on their site, they will put this big red alert on your recipe that says you are a copyright violator!!! (Or in my case, I added a recipe that was not on their site, and then they added the same recipe after I did, so I became a copyright violator. Whatever.) I adjusted my recipe to my taste (using lower fat ingredients) and the message went away.
The other thing that bothers me about the website is that you can't put the recipes in any order, they are arranged alphabetically within their sections. This means that a 2-page recipe could appear on facing pages (good) or back-to-back (not good). The only way you can re-order them is to change the title of the recipe to fall alphabetically somewhere else. Or you can delete a recipe from the book to move everything one page up and then get that recipe printed separately, more on that later.)
On the Tastebook website when you put in a recipe, there's a space for an introduction or comment, title, number of servings, ingredients, preparation (instructions), additional notes and time to prepare/cook. You can also have separate sections for ingredients and preparation, if for example your meal contains a recipe for salad and a separate recipe for dressing.
The best part about Tastebook, and why I used it instead of just doing my own book on Shutterfly or Blurb is that the binder snaps open and you can continue to add pages. When you purchase the book, you can buy say, a 50 recipe book that only has 25 recipes in it. You receive recipe "credits" for the remainder, and you can order them a page or a few pages at a time later, and only pay a little bit for the shipping. You can also get a page re-printed if you find an error (of course using one of your credits, but in a bound book, you would be stuck with it.)
They also give you a table of equivalents, which is pretty handy.
Unfortunately, (not Tastebook's fault) the book is too wide to fit on my under-cabinet recipe holder without protruding up over the front of the cabinet. Which is only a problem if I need to get in that cabinet, which I sometimes do. Oh well, can't do anything about that!
When I first received my Tastebook, something had gone wrong with the printing process. The photos were much darker than what I saw on the screen and there were ink smears on almost every page. I emailed them and asked them to re-print them, and they sent me a new set of pages within a couple days. Now they are beautiful and I can't wait to take more photos so I can add more pages!
Okay, not really the saddle, but "Back in bed again" sounded a little like I was taking this blog in a whole different direction (or as my co-worker would say... "Brown chicken, brown cow..." )
Anyway, this is an update on the bed situation. As I mentioned before, we originally bought a Durango mattress from Denver mattress for our king bed. Kevin loved it, but I have a little more going on in the curves department than he has, and the firm mattress wasn't really molding to my body like I needed it to. Luckily Denver Mattress has a 30-day one-time comfort exchange policy.
I tried to convince him to go with two twin XL mattresses, but he thought that was weird, so we ended up trying the Mountain Air, which is similar to the Sleep Number air mattress where each side is customizable. We didn't do any research on the actual Sleep Number brand but from what I can tell, it only has one zone on each side, whereas with the Mountain Air, you have a zone for the head and foot, and then you can just adjust the middle separately so that's kind of handy.
You can also unzip and remove the foam topper in case you want something thicker or thinner. I found the foam topper to be a little thin, but after we put the protective mattress pad on it, that gave it just the right amount of additional softness.
We've been sleeping on it for a while now, and we both love it!
Also, an update on the sheet saga. I found some organic sheets at Target that are the exact same color teal as the non-wrinkle ones from before. Washed them up and slept on them last night, and they are pretty nice. They are a little rough but not enough to be uncomfortable. They have a lot of friction with each other, if you lay the top sheet over the bottom sheet and then pull on it to try to move more to one side, it WILL NOT move. You actually have to pick it up and move it. Kind of weird, but didn't create any problems while we were sleeping on it.
Here are some pics of the master bedroom, it's really starting to come together. Remember, here is the duvet cover.
The teal sheets match the Behr Venus Teal stripe on the crown molding.
Above the fireplace is my photo-turned artwork... a picture I took in Atrani, Italy and Photoshopped to look like a painting. I love how the colors in the buildings pull the brick from the fireplace and the mustard yellow from the birds on the duvet cover.
Close-up of artwork with my HomeGoods ceramics, again repeating the mustard color. (Sorry about the glare, can't find my polarizer filter right now.)
A little vignette in the corner with my jewelry chest, Kevin's photo of aspens, and some dried "silver dollar" plant.
And finally, putting to good use the koa wood nightlight we bought on our honeymoon in Hawaii.
I need to sift through my photos and find some more for some of the walls, and then the only thing left to do is find some lamps. I have in my head terrra cotta colored lamps to match the orange in the birds... may have to paint some thrift store lamps to get what I want, we'll see.
Finally... FINALLY we got a day of warm weather. We spent the morning at the community fire house's Forestry and Firewise Event. We learned about mountain pine beetles, dwarf mistletoe, fire-proofing your house and lot, how to use a fire extinguisher (haven't actually done that since grade school) and more than we ever wanted to know about chain saws. Did you know they have special chain saw chaps that can stop a saw from cutting your leg off?? He also very animatedly showed us how the chain brake can prevent you from slicing your face in half (Texas Chainsaw Massacre, anyone?) After that, I wasn't sure I wanted Kevin anywhere near a chainsaw.
We signed up for a free forestry and fire evaluation where they send someone out to check out your lot and make suggestions on what you need to do. Apparently there is also a grant you can get from the state to help pay for the suggested modifications you choose to make. They'll match any amount up to $1000, not a bad deal!
After that, we came home and busted out the new patio chair cushions for the first time. I bought them with the money Kevin's mom gave me for my birthday. The design on the pillows reminds me of the Moorish architecture we saw on our first anniversary trip to Spain.
We ate lunch out on the deck, listening to the song birds and breathing in the sweet butterscotch smell of the Ponderosa pine. It was like being on a picnic, only in our own backyard.
That 70's House
Our new (to us) house was built in 1973... and while the dark wood trim and hickory ceiling beams are part of what drew us to the house, it still needs to be brought into this decade. This blog will document our attempts to update the house, while still maintaining its old-school charm.
Stuff I Like