Our Wood Home

Our Wood Home: February 2014

Friday, February 28, 2014

knit scarf

On Monday I finished knitting a scarf I started last week so I was really excited to wear it out.  This is my third knitting project and the first one made for me.  I'm really pleased with how it turned out!


I used three balls of bulky wool, 8mm needles and a garter stitch to create the scarf.  Then I just bound the edges to make it an infinity scarf.  I wore this out for an errand on Monday and it kept me so warm!

Today I took my brother out for a few hours to celebrate his birthday (which was Feb. 26) and wore the scarf again.




Scarf: hand made by me
Top: Aerie
Belt: Joe Fresh
Pants: RW&Co
Boots: Spring
Purse: Winners

Side note: this is the first day I have been able to successfully wear my wedding rings in almost 2 weeks. I burned my ring finger on the broiler of my oven and my finger had swollen too much for my rings to fit.  The burn is starting to scab now which is good, but I'm anticipating a loooong healing time and a wicked scar :(  


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Thursday, February 27, 2014

singing wash machine

We got a new washer and dryer a few weeks ago and they are awesome!  It's the first new appliance we've bought for our house, so I was really excited to start using them.  Turns out, they sing a little song at the end of the cycle...




At first it was kind of cute, but now it's annoying.  I keep meaning to shut the feature off but other things come up.  Oh well, I'll get to it eventually!


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Monday, February 24, 2014

a post on divorce and marriage

I come from a family of divorce.  Every couple on my father's side of the family is now divorced, including my own parents. Presently, the only married people are me and my cousin Melissa who was married shortly after me.  I grew up knowing my grandparents weren't married anymore and saw the rest of the marriages end too.  It's been almost 10 years since my own father packed his stuff and moved out.  I was fourteen and starting high school but that's pretty much all I remember.  The time before that is mostly a blur, which is sad because I want to remember happy family times.  I fully understood why my dad was leaving and I knew more details than any fourteen year old should.  Of course I was upset that my parent's marriage was ending (we were down to 2 marriages in the family, including them), but not once did I give up on love.  I knew that my future didn't have to be like theirs. I was so determined to be different...to find someone to marry and love for the rest of my life.  I was convinced that every guy I liked and hung out with could be The One, but I didn't know much as a teenager.  None of those pseudo relationships had any depth or love, but I thought otherwise.  I was convinced I'd marry them at the time.

After an attempted long distance relationship ended terribly (why did I think the 4000 km distance wouldn't be a problem?) I decided to stop looking for love.  I had given up on finding the right person for me, and once I finally stopped, he found me.

Through school I met the person who is now my husband.  We started off as friends and quickly became more.  After 2 and a half years of dating David proposed and we were married on October 28, 2012.



There were times early in our relationship that I thought he would break up with me.  I mean, who would want a girl from a broken home?  And who was clingy and obsessive.  I thought we'd last a few months and then part ways.  I even said something like "We should go see that movie when it comes out if we are still together then"...but David told me he always knew that we would last.  When I made the movie comment he assured me we would be together then and I just shrugged it off.  I didn't want to get too emotionally invested in case he woke up one day and realized I was damaged goods.  But he proved me wrong, time and time again.  After about 4 months of dating I knew he was The One.  Within 6 months we were talking marriage...I went so far as to ask David if he planned on marrying me one day (he said yes!).  For our 1 year dating anniversary he gave me a hand carved promise ring.  The ring was made from a piece of soapstone he saved from the first time we met.  I wore it every day until he gave me an engagement ring, and I tied it to my wedding bouquet.


After my dad left I became so determined not to end up like my parents and every other relative in my family. I wanted a marriage and I thought I deserved one.  It became my life goal to be different from my family and to prove to them and myself that marriages can last.  I refused to let the mistakes of my family become mine too.  I knew that marriage is a decision not to be made lightly and that sometimes it can be hard.  I knew that no child should have to divide their time between each parent's house.  I knew that true love existed and I was going to find it.  Then I'd hold on for dear life and never let go.  I'd get married and have the marriage I knew I could.  If things got tough I'd fight for us and our marriage.  I wouldn't give up or walk out.  After so many years of heartache I found the one made for me.  I married him and life is grand.

We had a song played at our wedding that sums up my whole views on love and marriage and the lyrics are really powerful and thought provoking.  It was important to me to play this song so that everyone at our wedding would know that I'm not ever giving up.  I'm determined to have a long, loving marriage.  It's been just over a year and I know I'm getting everything I ever wanted.





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Saturday, February 22, 2014

(Sort of Healthy) Peanut Butter Cake

I recently came across a recipe for a delicious sounding peanut butter cake but was shocked to read how much sugar was used.  3 cups!!! After some research I decided to use maple syrup instead of sugar.  The original recipe called for 1/2 cup butter but I swapped that out for banana in an attempt to make this cake more healthy.  I'm really pleased with the way this cake turned out!! I used whole wheat flour, as I do for everything I bake, and it tends to make cakes dense or dry.  The cake was a little dense, but I prefer to call it hearty:)


Ingredients:

  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 mashed banana
  • 1.5 cups maple syrup
  • 3 eggs
  • 2.5 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
For the glaze:
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1-1.5 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • chocolate chips for sprinkling
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 325F
  2. In a large bowl mix together the peanut butter and banana.  Add maple syrup and eggs and mix well.
  3. Add the flour and baking soda and stir until flour disappears (careful not to over mix!!)
  4. Stir in chocolate chips
  5. Pour into a bundt pan and bake for about 40 minutes
  6. Allow cake to cool out of the pan on a wire rack.
  7. To make frosting, combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until creamy.  Pour over cake and sprinkle with chips.
*notes*  
You  use white flour, just add about half a cup.  
A bundt pan is round with a hole in the center.  Any baking pan will work though, just adjust bake time accordingly (a large square pan may require less baking time).  


You could totally skip the frosting all together to make this cake REALLY sugar free. Or you could melt some peanut butter and pour that over...yummy!  I personally like the frosting listed above:)


You may be thinking "How dare she say this cake is sugar free?!! Maple syrup is all sugar!!" and you'd be right.  But I used real maple syrup for a local producer, so I know the only thing in it is pure maple syrup...no added sugar, colour or preservatives.  So yeah, it's still a sugar but it's a naturally occurring sugar and it makes me feel good to use instead of white sugar. BUT, you can use white sugar if you want...I really won't judge (I know not everyone has the luxury of buying real maple syrup and white sugar is less expensive). 




The house smelled so good while this was baking!!!  When my husband came home from work we actually had cake before dinner :)  I'd love your feedback on this recipe, so comment below, Facebook me or talk to me on twitter (@OurWoodHomeblog). 




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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

"nothing tastes as good as skinny feels"





Is your social media feed flooded with images like these?  Mine always is and with 'bikini season' around the corner I'm expecting to see a lot more.  All of these bother me for various reasons.  Before I launch into a rant I'm going to clear something up...

This is a post on the ridiculousness of diet motivators.  It's about the downside of being skinny and why being healthy is WAY more important than size and weight.  If you think you may get offended by reading this then feel free to leave.  I encourage you to read all the way through, though and let me know your thoughts.

Alright, let's start this!

I've always been a "skinny" person.  Growing up I was tall for my age and thin.  Friend and family would always say I should be a model because of my size.  I ate very healthy and my mom never let us have junk food.  Once I hit middle school I began to fill out a little and gained weight but not so much that I was over weight. My growth spurt ended and I have remained at 5 feet 5 inches since the e of twelve.  I stayed around 120-130 pounds until I was 15.  I cut out meat for an entire summer and lost about 15 pounds accidentally.  I never planned on dieting to lose wight but I was going through a vegetarian phase.  When I returned to school some people thought I had an eating problem because of my new size (although, nobody ever confronted me about it.  They just thought I was sick and let it be for months until summer habits came up in conversation).  Since then I have constantly felt obligated to explain my weight and size...I've heard comments like
"You're too skinny"
"You need to eat more"
 "I can see your ribs/spine/hips through your clothes!"
"What are you, like a size zero?"

I spent so many years trying to gain weight so I wouldn't hear all these negative comments from people.  And for years I believed what I was hearing.  I'm finally at peace with the way I look because  I stopped listening to what people say.  Yes, I have bony hips.  But I carry a little weight in my thighs.  Yes, I have a small waist.  But finding pants that fit properly is a challenge. And guess what?  According to my doctor, I'm perfectly healthy at this size.


That's me  on our wedding day.  I'm healthy and I feel beautiful.

So now I'm going to complain about those quotes at the top of the post.  They're just so stupid!!!!  I understand that a lot people are struggling to lose weight and get healthy and I am so proud of you.  But is shaming your current body really the way to do that?   I've written before about our sort of diet, so you probably know my opinions on dieting.  Here's a quick recap: we reduce the amount of junk food we eat.  That's it.  We are already fairly active what with house work and landscaping and we eat 3 balanced meals daily with healthy snacks in between.
When I see that cookie quote I think "Yes, I do want that cookie.  If I eat one now I'm less likely to crave it all day and end up eating 6".

Bodies are all different.  I have 2 younger brothers and we all ate the same foods growing up.  I was the tall and skinny kid, my middle brother was average size and my youngest brother was chubby.  We got the same amount of exercise and are close in age but we didn't look the same.  Those ideal weight calculators online are just full of beans!  They can't tell you what's healthy for you and skinny doesn't always mean healthy.   Personally, I think the way to start losing weight and becoming healthier is to start by seeing your doctor.  They can tell you what your goal should be.  Then look at your eating habits and make some changes.  Add more fresh fruits and veggies, eat less or better bread, reduce the amount of red meat you eat.  Then get active!  Start with little things like vacuuming your house, parking farther at the mall or walking around your block every night.

I'd like to leave you with this quote.


 Please note: I'm not a doctor or nutritionist.  You should consult your health care practitioner before beginning any weight loss measures.

Let me know your thoughts in the comment box below.  You can also email me: davidswife2574@gmail.com, send me a message on Facebook or tweet me @OurWoodHomeblog.



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Sunday, February 16, 2014

antiques

Never in my life did I think I'd own a china cabinet!  My parents didn't have one and they certainly didn't have china...or maybe they did, but they never used it.  I think picking out china patterns was something that ended with our grandparents.  We actually registered for wedding china, sort of by accident.


I saw this dish set (now discontinued at Home Outfitters) and thought it would be nice for holiday meals but didn't get too attached to it because it's so darn expensive.  We registered for a full set for 8 (that includes dinner plates, dessert plates, soup bowls, tea cups and saucers) and I thought maybe we'd get 2 sets.  Boy was I wrong!!! David's grandma bought us the whole set!!!  Apparently, being the only grandson has perks;)

Anyway, we have this gorgeous set of china and the same grandma who bought it for us gave us her wedding china, so we have 2 fab sets which came in quite handy when we hosted dinner for 18 people.   I had stored all the china in kitchen cupboards with glass fronted doors so it was visible, but I wasn't crazy about it there.  Our kitchen is a decent size and has a fair amount of cupboard space but we have  A LOT of kitchen items...mostly bakeware which  is currently being stored in our already full pantry in the basement.  Yesterday we drove to David's other grandma's house to pick up an antique china cabinet she was giving us.  At first I thought I'd be clever and use it as additional linen closet space and put it in the hallway outside the main bathroom.  But then I was like  "Duh, I should use it for china and stuff". So that's what I did!




I didn't expect to actually own such nice stuff!


Here's a wide shot of the cabinet in it's new home.  Note that my cat's bed is underneath and she loves it!  I'm not 100% sure of the location of the cabinet and I may move it to the living room, but this is where it;s staying for now.  What do you guys think? Should I keep the cabinet here?

Comment below, send me an e-mail (davidswife2574@gmail.com), tweet me @OurWoodHomeblog or tell me on Facebook.


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Friday, February 14, 2014

happy valentine's day!

David and I have had 5 Valentine's days together.  He took me on a day trip to Niagara-on-the-Lake for our first one and gave me a Pandora bracelet and charm.  I made him a scrapbooky thing of picture we had taken together so far.  I added to it every year.


The first he gave me was the red hearts on the top bracelet.  Over the course of 5 years he has filled the original bracelet and I started a new one last Valentine's day.  He has bought me every charm, except for 3 (I bought myself the camera and house and my employer bought me the star when I worked at Pandora). 

Here we are on that first Valentine's day, in 2009.   David didn't smile much for pictures back then, but he assures me he was happy!  



And here we are now, married :)


What an awesome 5 years!  In the beginning I didn't think we'd get married.  When we became an "official" couple, on December 28, 2008, I told David that I didn't want to take our relationship too seriously by thinking about the future.  I said I wanted to just have fun and enjoy what we have in the moment.  He said that was fine and later told me he knew we would last.  I'd like to clarify what I mean by "have fun"...we were seeing each other exclusively, but I didn't want to start talking about our future together because I was convinced I'd never find anyone.  At 18 I was so sure I'd be in love before and that person had broken my heart; I obviously thought we'd be together forever.  A few months into my relationship with David I knew he was the one for me and that we would one day be married.  

If you're looking for a  tasty meal to make your loved ones for Vday this year, why not try my Herb and Wine Cream Sauce and for dessert treat yourself to some Black Forest Cheesecake. 


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Thursday, February 13, 2014

house tour: living room

Welcome to a new part of my blog: the house tour!


I am not ashamed to say I'm a creeper/snoop.  While I won't go rummaging through someone's medicine cabinet I do enjoy getting a tour of someone's house, either in real life or virtually.  You can tell a lot about people by the way their house is!  And since I still consider myself a "new" homeowner, I LOVE showing off our house!  Like, to the point where I just want everyone to come over and look at it, and then go home.  I'm so proud of our house :)

So I decided to give a proper, virtual tour of our house.  Some rooms won't be shown, like the mudroom, because they aren't finished (I mean literally incomplete...there's a concrete floor and no trim!).  

Our home is was built in 1988, has 3+1 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, fully finished basement and sits on once acre.  All the ceilings are vaulted except the bathroom and basement and the living areas are open concept.    Are you ready?!  I hope enjoy peeking into our home.

First up: living room! 
The living room is what you walk into as soon as you enter the house.  We don't have an actual foyer but because the space is so large we can have a lot of people coming in at once without it feeling crowded.  I consider the house a weird sort of bungalow because the living room is on one level, then you walk up 5 stairs to the rest of the house. We have a closet at the top of the mini staircase, which is just as good as having one right by the front door!



This gallery is made up of quotes we had displayed at our wedding.  I bought the frames at the dollar store and used the backside of misprinted wedding invites.  We downloaded a free font and printed these bad boys on a home printer.  I loved the look of these so much I knew I wanted to hang them up in our house.



The wing chair used to be my parent's but my mom let me have it because I was weirdly fond of it growing up.  The recliner is David's chair from his parent's house that he HAD to take with him.  Some people say it looks weird in the living room, but we like it.






 This is where we come in and leave our shoes.  I usually pile mail, newspapers and my purse here too!
The bench was a yardsale find by my mom and the mirror is part of David's bedroom furniture set.



 

Thanks for visiting!  As you can see, our style and taste can be described as simple eclectic.  Everything has a purpose and all of our little displayed items have sentimental value.  My family was over yesterday and my youngest brother (who hasn't been over in almost a year) said he likes our house and it is very eclectic because we have such a mess of furniture all own together, but it works.  Nothing we have in here is a set or was bought at once.  Everything is comfortable and made for living life.

Come back soon for a tour of our kitchen and dining room :)


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pocket watches


This year for Valentine's Day I wanted to get my husband a new pocket watch.  He had talked about it before and said that he would actually wear one quite often (he has 2 wrist watches he rotates wearing but a pocket watch is always a cool idea).  I spent some time looking online and was surprised that there were so many watches to choose from.  When he got home yesterday I told him I wanted to get his present online but wasn't sure which one he would like best.  He agreed to pick it out himself, so we spent a few hours perusing Etsy.  At first we started looking at vintage watches and moved onto new ones.  In the end David chose a new watch that he can have engraved.   

Here are the other ones he was considering.

This one has a glow in the dark face!  Source

This one is encased in glass so you can see the inside workings.  Source

This watch has a glass face but it also has a cool cover.  Source

David chose this one!  Source

This is a nice watch because it looks antiqued and the case reminds us of wood. Source

 The watches at the very top of the page belonged to David's grandpa.  They're still working but David doesn't want to wear them in case they get damaged, which is why he wants one of his own.

Pocket watches are a really classy accessory for men. It's masculine but it's also a really nice alternative to a watch that can be worn for fancier occasions.  David is an environmental field technician so he is outside a lot and probably won't wear the watch then, but now he has another option for when we go to dinner or weddings.

David was set on getting a mechanical watch that doesn't run on battery but by winding it each day.  And it had to have a cover so it wouldn't get damaged.  He also wanted one that didn't have a lot of fancy details on the back (we saw a lot that had scrolly shapes and vines and stuff.  A lot of them are too costumey). Our choices were limited but the selection was great.  If you're looking for a pocket watch I highly suggest taking a peek on Etsy!


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