Our Wood Home

Our Wood Home: August 2013

Monday, August 12, 2013

about me

Hi, I'm Christina and this is my blog.  On October 28, 2012 I got married and became a homeowner.  My husband, David, and I live in a rural town in Ontario, Canada. We met in our first year of college  and have been inseparable ever since.  (engagement, wedding and lifestyle photos by Jenn Austin-Driver Photography)

met: August 2008
dating: December 28, 2009
engaged: June 28, 2011
bought a house: September 28, 2012
married: October 28, 2012






 My goal for this blog to to serve as a source of inspiration (or humour) for young newlyweds and homemakers everywhere.  I'm learning a lot about life, being a wife and owning a home so I hope you'll join me on this awesome journey.  My cat, Venelope (aka Vinnie) makes occasional  frequent appearances on my blog.



I believe:

  1. Recipes are meant to be guidelines for a dish and can be modified to suit your tastes (usually! don't go omitting flour without a substitute.  And always try the recipe exactly as it's listed first, then make changes).
  2. Homes should be decorated with things you love.
  3. Clothing should be comfortable first, stylish second (or not even stylish at all!!) but it is of utmost important to always put some effort into dressing.
  4. God has a plan for us, greater than what we imagine for ourselves.  Everything that happens in our lives is part of His plan, even if we don't always understand why (Jeremiah 29:11).
 

My posts are categorized by headings at the top of the blog and there's a search bar on the right to make it easy to find what you're interested in.  I'm also on social media pretty frequently so feel free to follow, like and tweet me!




Want to know more?  Keep reading!

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Q. How old are you?
A. My birthday is Sept. 12, 1990 (you do the math!)

Q. Where do you live?
A.   I live in a small town about 40 kilometers East of a larger town in South Central Ontario (Canada).  My town is mainly a farming community with a small collection of stores as well as a library, post office and liquor store. Our home is 5 kilometers outside of town on a gravel road.  We live on a 1 acre lot with a meadow behind us.

Q. Do you actually live in a wood home?
A. Yes we do!  Our house has cedar siding on the outside and some cedar paneled walls inside. We have wood floors, cabinets and even wood paneling in the basement.

Q. Is blogging your job?
A.  While I'd love to actually make money on this it's just a hobby for now.   I work part time at the local grocery store and the local library.  I'm also a part time photographer.

Q. If you work, then you aren't technically a homemaker, right?
A. I suppose that's true, however, being a homemaker is always a priority over my other jobs.

Q.  What camera do you use?
A. I have a Canon EOS 60D and I have 4 different lenses.  Right now the EFS 18-135mm lens is on.

Q. Who takes your pictures?
A. Me!  I take all my own photos unless otherwise stated.

Q. How would you describe your style?
A. I'd say  I'm a classic and simple dresser.  I don't gravitate towards trends and I don't wear a lot of accessories or anything.  My decorating style is also simple, with a bit of natural elements and some vintage pieces.  


Anything else you'd like know?  Just ask!  Comment below or e-mail davidswife2574@gmail.com

All thoughts and opinions are my own.  I may occasionally refer to a specific brand or product but I have not been compensated for that unless noted.  I suggest brands I truly believe in and personally use.  If you are interested in sponsorship or any kind please e-mail me at the address above.



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spicy chicken lasagna



I made this dinner for my husband and I a few weeks ago.  It’s a recipe I made up when I was at a loss for a new way to cook chicken.  I decided to make lasagna because it’s hearty and relatively easy.  I actually HATE normal lasagna with it’s lumpy, cheesy texture…gross.  That’s why I used mozzarella cheese.  The spiciness comes from a couple hot peppers thrown into the chicken while it cooked in a slow cooker (you could omit the peppers for  a milder taste.  You can also cook the chicken any way you want; slow cooker was easiest for me).

Ingredients

A few pounds of chicken, cooked and shredded ( I cooked mine in a slow cooker with a couple hot peppers thrown in)
oven ready lasagna noodles (uncooked is fine, just follow package instructions)
about 2 cups tomato sauce (homemade or store bought)
2 cups mozzarella cheese

Mix together sauce and chicken, saving a few tablespoons of sauce and set aside.

Spread remaining sauce in the bottom of a baking dish.

Layer lasagna noodles so they cover the sauce.

Spread enough sauce/chicken mixture to cover the noodles and top with cheese.

Repeat the noodle, sauce/chicken and cheese layers.  End with cheese on the top.

Bake covered for 20 minutes in a 350 oven.  Uncover and cook until cheese bubbles.

 

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home made cherry sauce


Recently I picked up a free food magazine at the local grocery store, Foodland.  The magazine, Inspired, mainly features the stores new products but occasionally has recipes using fresh produce or meat (remember the BBQ sauce cupcakes I made?  That recipe came from the same magazine).  When I saw a Cherry Sauce recipe I knew I had to make it. 


 

Ingredients
3 cups cherries, pitted and halved
½ cup sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
¼ cup red wine (I used raspberry wine but you could easily substitute wine for cranberry juice)
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ cup water
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons butter


Combine cherries, sugar, lemon juice and wine in a pot and cook over medium-high heat for 20 minutes.  Stir occasionally.

Press on the cherries with a large spoon to release their juices in the pot.  Add nutmeg, honey and vanilla.

In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and water.  Slowly whisk into cherry sauce.  Simmer until sauce thickens. 

Remove from heat and stir in butter until melted.  Pour sauce in a container and refrigerate 1 hour. 

 We LOVED this sauce on vanilla ice cream.  I even made it again using strawberries instead of cherries.  Once we ran out of ice cream I spooned the strawberry sauce onto store bought short cakes and topped with homemade whip cream.  YUM!

 

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Thursday, August 8, 2013

green cleaning update!

A while back I posted about my quest to use greener cleaning products in our home.  I checked out some books from the library and did some research on everyday products that can be used for cleaning.  Here's what I tested: lemon juice as a degreaser and disinfectant; baking soda and water as an oven cleaner; baking soda and water to clean countertops; vinegar to wash floors; club soda as a glass cleaner.
I had some great results and some that were terrible.

Lemon Juice
I used a rag dipped in diluted lemon juice to wipe down all our light switches and door handles.  It worked really well, especially on greasy wooden handles!

Baking Soda and Water (oven)
The idea is to sprinkle baking powder inside your oven and squirt lightly with water...then wait for hours.  Once it has had a chance to work and lift the grease you simply scrape off all the gunk.  I wasn't sure what to use as a scraper so I found a soft plastic drywall compound scraper (my oven was not damaged by scraping). It was a lengthy process from start to finish, and the rinsing afterwards was tricky...I just wiped the remaining powder up with a damp rag.  BUT, my oven was very clean afterwards and I could bake assured that no harsh chemicals may redeposit onto my food.

Baking Soda and Water (counters)
Terrible idea!!  We have laminate counters in the kitchen that always feel dirty. I've used every possible cleaner I can so I thought I'd try a natural alternative.  All that has to be done is sprinkle the powder and wipe it up after a few minutes.  Afterwards, my counters felt more dirty AND gritty.  I won't be using that again.

Vinegar
I hate the smell of vinegar so much. But I also hate cleaning floors since most chemical cleaners left an even worse smell and made the floors feel sticky.  Our kitchen has some type of laminate floor tiles, the bathroom is peel and stick and the rest of the house is laminate wood.  Apparently vinegar is safe for them all, but I only focused on the bathroom and kitchen.  I used diluted vinegar and a cloth to wash the floors and I was very disappointed with the results.  The floors felt very sticky and had to be washed again with a chemical solution.  I probably could have just rinsed them but I didn't want to risk water finding its way under the floors.

Club Soda
I was so excited to try club soda on glass!  I accidently sprayed our really nice mirror with all purpose cleaner instead of glass cleaner and the streaks were impossible to remove.  Unfortunately, the club soda did little to help.  I decided to try cleaning some exterior windows to see if the club soda would work there (the windows just had pollen on them, nothing major).  The dirt was removed, but the club soda left huge streaks.  I'm not sure if I'd use this again.

It can be challenging to find a balance between alternative cleaning products that clean well and are eco-friendly.  Do you have any recommendations?  I'd love to hear them, so feel free to comment below or e-mail me (davidswife2574 @ gmail.com), just remove the space on either side of the @ symbol.

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