Saturday, December 31, 2011

Cheers to 2011

If you remember last year, we toasted to the end of the year with a glass of Blue Moon and our freshly picked oranges. All 2 of them. I figured this year we would continue the tradition since our trees were a bit more fruitful, nearly bent to the ground with the weight of the citrus.

It has been a good year at 765.

We dug up our front yard to make room for a vegetable garden and hopeful wedding flowers. In the process we found treasures that dated our house.

Travis and I sanded and sanded and sanded to get the years of paint off our cabinets. I still stand back and just look at them sometimes. They sure are pretty.

We got MARRIED. I'm so glad we had the wedding blog, because you quickly forget how much time, energy and emotion went into the whole day. But it we perfect.

The shed got a pair of beautiful doors to finish it off, but not without a few losses. Thanks again Mitch!

Chickens found a home in our yard once again.

We had a bountiful front yard. So many cucumbers we had a to find new recipes for them.

Travis (and his supervisor) dabbled in some plumbing.

And we realized we have the best dog EVER.

Cheers to one memorable year, and an even better 2012!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


I'm pretty ashamed at how long it has been since the last blog post.
Over a month. Shameful.
It is the holidays though, meaning it's been a bit hectic. Two weeks ago Travis hosted the Spanish Town meeting in our house, motivating us to actually get the ornaments out of the box and on the tree. One of the neighbor's reactions: "Wow! What a difference a year makes!" I'll take that as a compliment, seeing as last year our pup destroyed most of our tree and presents, our stockings hung by pushpins, and the tree lacked the "smell of Christmas".
Let's just say we've upgraded this year and there's is a bit more holiday spirit at 765.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

1,000 Words

Pictures are worth a thousand words - even more when it's a painting of your home. Travis and I couldn't think of a more perfect gift. It found a place on our wall immediately and I smile every time I walk by it.
Thank you Sam.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Hunting Season

While fall means crisp weather, pumpkins and soup, it also means hunting season. Duck that is. Travis made his first attempt at training Juliet to retrieve the prize with a dead bird. It doesn't take long for this girl to pick up a new trick, but she still has a ways to go. These pictures just make me smile.

Monday, October 24, 2011


Fall has finally made an appearance here. We went from an 80 degree day to a 40 degree night, an abrupt but welcomed change that finally let me bring the duvet out from under the bed. The blood oranges are turning, pumpkins adorn the porch, and acorns are filling our lawn. Best time of the year.

orange tree #2, blood orange

Monday, October 10, 2011


We seem to have a continuous battle going on with our bathrooms. A leaky faucet, a clogged pipe, another leaky faucet and a stripped pipe. Not to mention the knob and tube wiring that gave up, leaving us with a desk lamp in the window sill to light our showers. But then again, that's why we bought this house. The floors just don't creek the same in new construction.

Our failed light in the back bathroom was replaced by a light and fan (thanks to Uncle D!) No more hot, stagnant air. The faucet leak has been fixed, even though Travis was told it would be a $300, wall-ripping-out repair. Luckily the guys at Lowes seem to know what they are doing and told him otherwise. Now all we need are some fancy new faucet handles, a new shower curtain rod and we will have won the battle with the back bathroom.... for now.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Crustless Quiche

Eggs are plentiful in our house.

Even with an egg for breakfast every morning they still seem to multiply, mounding up in our fridge. The only option is to either give them away (who wants some??) and find more things to make with eggs.
I found this crustless quiche recipe on food52 blog, and since we have kale in the yard I couldn't pass it up. It certainly isn't the prettiest thing around, but with eggs, kale and quinoa you just about have a complete meal - any time of the day.

p.s. No, this quiche isn't photoshopped, it's just those real, free-range, fresh eggs!

Monday, September 5, 2011


It has been almost three years since moving to Louisiana and I have yet to experience a hurricane. Now don't get me wrong, I am not complaining in any way. The thought of potential flooding and damage to the biggest thing I own (765) is pretty scary and I'm thankful we've been lucky. BUT, being from California where storms are few and far between, I've wanted to see a small, innocent, non-damaging storm pass through. That was exactly what Baton Rouge got when Lee spun through this weekend.

And I was in California.

While I missed the wind and rain it did make for a smooth and timely flight into New Orleans. And what Lee left behind was even better... {relatively} cool weather! I left the chilly bay area expecting to walk into a wall of humidity but instead I found my shorts and t-shirt aren't quite enough. 58 degrees tonight: this might just call for open windows, tea, and a blanket on the bed!


Wednesday, August 17, 2011


We've been anxiously hunting the yard in search of an August Easter treasure, and finally after a weekend away we arrived home to a little prize. One skinny brown egg! The littlest chicken, who we've dubbed 'Dinner', is the culprit, explaining why she seems a bit distant from the other two. The next day we found an egg in the shed, lying happily on top of Travis' drill. If that isn't a 765 chicken I don't know what is.

And let me tell you: fresh eggs make the best dipper eggs.

Friday, August 12, 2011


The green mystery orb is indeed a miniature watermelon! It is about the same size as a grapefruit and while it might not feed a crowd, I think it would be a pretty sweet addition to a sack lunch. I'd trade my apple for a pint sized watermelon.

This heat hasn't made watermelon growing the easiest. We had alot of marble sized melons that succumbed to the temperatures, turning black, falling off and leaving me to believe I would have a massive watermelon plant with no fruit. But Eagle Eyes spotted this little guy hiding in the shade of the zinnias, staying nice and cool (relatively). We've got one more sweetening up in the garden and hopefully more to come.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

From Our Yard

This little beauty came out of our yard today.
Now let's find out who knows what it is!
Let the guessing begin...

{fruit? vegetable? dog toy?}

Friday, August 5, 2011


There really isn't any other way to put it. It's HOT.

Does everyone out there know what a heat index is? Well, I guess I never really had much of an index to pay attention to back in California, so here's what I've learned about said index:
        "An index that combines air temperature and relative humidity in an attempt to determine the human-perceived equivalent temperature." (

While The Weather Channel says it is only going to be 95 degrees today that 95% humidity that we are currently swimming in is knocking it up to at least 105 degrees. Kind of like a sauna but you have to wear clothes unless you want to get arrested. 

Needless to say this has left our motivation for projects a little low. Maintaining the Zinnias and tarantula tomatoes is enough outside work for me. We'll be back with more as soon as we don't need snorkel gear to be outside, promise.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Happy National Junk Food Day?

It may sound like the perfect excuse for gorging on potato chips, candy bars and twinkies, but before you fill up check out this video:

I think I'll stick with the farmer's market and my garden.

Friday, July 15, 2011


I imagine just by reading the title it might make a few people shutter at the thought. Knowing that quite often replacing a faucet can lead to a whole bathroom overhaul we were very cautious with this repair project. The old bathroom sink never quite drained well since we moved in and had only gotten worse. We (Travis) had narrowed it down to the turn in the pipe, conveniently located in the wall of my closet. So out came my clothes, wood removed and old pipe revealed. Cutting the pipe proved Travis right: rusted shut to a hole maybe the size of a nickle. That's not going to get water anywhere fast. Rust scraped off, the pipe was like new. Now putting it back together? A few trips to Home Depot and my plumber made it happen, now draining better than it has in years.

{1. wall removal. 2. pipe-less sink 3. sad pipe 4. new pipe! }

Project completed, and only the task at hand. {High five!} Though, with the removal of the wood in the closet we discovered a larger opening under the house than necessary. And re-covering the closet wall with something other than old cardboard wall paper is a must. New projects #1 and #2!

{the plumber and his assistant. love}

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


Travis learned early on that when a sandwich comes with a pickle spear stealing it from me is a very bad idea. Lucky for both of us we have a ridiculous amount of cucumbers in our yard, leaving pickles a perfect solution. So I went venturing to find a recipe for homemade pickles, one that didn't require me to learn the art of canning just yet. Success. This recipe is from a local caterer and I will absolutely be making them again.


3 cups vinegar
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons Kosher salt
2 teaspoons coarse ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dill seed
12 whole cloves
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
1 small white onion, thinly sliced
4 bay leaves
1 jalapeno, thinly sliced (I didn't include this and I think they came out with the perfect amount of spice)
fresh dill sprigs (optional)
8-9 kirby cucumbers, sliced 1/8" thick

1. Mix vinegar with sugar, salt, peppers, dill seeds, cloves, and bay leaves until sugar dissolves.

2. In a large jar, layer cucumbers, onion and jalapeno.  Pour vinegar solution over the cucumbers.  Refrigerate for at least four hours or overnight.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July!

We arrived home from a long weekend to a yard full of veggies ready to be picked. Our 4th menu? Fish we caught yesterday and tomatoes and basil from the yard with mozzarella. Not quite your standard fare for this holiday, but you can't get much fresher. Add in a few left over wedding sparklers and we've got ourselves a perfect Fourth of July!


Sunday, June 26, 2011

What's Growing

Remember back when we dug up our front yard, Cosmo helped, and we found the canning jar top? Well it's finally a productive piece of dirt that is filling up our fridge.

Currently growing:
>bell peppers

We've nicknamed the tomatoes 'tarantulas' because they are taking over anything they can, but when they are as sweet as any other fruit, who can complain? We got two zucchinis out of the squash plants before they bit the dust because I failed to get mulch under them before the rain came. They rotted out so the survivors are getting plenty of TLC. Our little watermelon is chugging along. And the cucumbers are forcing me to research how to make pickles, because these things are EVERYWHERE.


What's growing in your yard?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Just Finished

There aren't many books that I can say I finished in a few days. I generally have a short attention span with books, marked by my pile of half-read selections on the shelf. This one had my attention though, probably because I could picture a minuscule version in our own yard.

The Dirty Life by Kristin Kimball

The Dirty Life - A Memoir of Farming, Food and Love by Kristin Kimball. The author is a New York city writer that stumbles upon a love for farming while doing an interview, and clumsily goes from enjoying reading the paper at a coffee shop to milking the cows before sun-up and providing crops for an entire community.  One afternoon she finds a horseshoe from decades past while plowing the field and notes:

 "You can't truly own a farm, no matter what the deed says. It has a life of its own. You can love it beyond measure, and you are responsible for it, but at most you're married to it."

It made me think of our tiny 7x7ft square in the front yard. The bullets, canning jars and marbles that we turn up while weeding, and how if the dirt could talk it would have more stories than our neighbors that have been there since birth. Chickens have returned, cucumbers are growing rapidly, we have our first watermelon, eggplants are bright purple, and the tomato plants look like tarantulas taking over the plot. 765 may be tiny but it sure is productive.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

We Need Names!

Our new little ones are arriving at 765 today.

It's been a quiet back yard since Honey and Cosmo passed away. For the first week or so after I would go out, stand on the stairs and still expect to see them come running around the corner in search of food. And our fridge seems vacant without the mound of eggs falling all over the place.  It did give the grass a chance to grow back though, and my baby tomato plants are probably thankful for no pecking. But now it's time for some cheeps in the yard again. Since they are more like teenage girls (don't worry neighbors, no roosters) instead of chicks we won't have to wait quite so long for eggs either.

These ladies are in need of names... suggestions?

just arriving.

our new lawn mowers.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

We're Still Here!

I know it has been inexcusably long since my last post, but hey, I kind of had an excuse. We were getting married! And filling our house with more goodies from all of our family and friends than we probably deserve. (Along with boxes, packaging and more boxes and those don't make for very good pictures). But, since it has been so long I've got something good for you. Really good.

The shed (phase 1) is COMPLETE!

Remember what this poor thing looked like before this whole big project began?

Now we've pretty much got the most fabulous shed in Spanish Town, with awesome doors to actually close it! And once again those could not have been possible without the help of Mitch and his amazing construction skills. Big thanks!

Like I said earlier, we are calling this Phase 1, because really, if there wasn't something to do in or to the 'man cave' it probably wouldn't be a good thing. I'm sure we'll add another splash of orange and maybe some classy outdoor lights, but until then I'm going to say with the addition of 765 on the shed, it is complete. One item checked off the list.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Handles polished.
New hinges installed.
Upper cabinets scrubbed...

...We pondered shades of gray for hours, then sporadically changed our minds when we got to Home Depot. Unpainted all of the handles (please don't ever paint cabinets without taking off the handles... ever!) with toxic things that ate through gloves. I knocked over a tower of freshly painted drawers. The dish washer was pulled out for weeks, making maneuvering difficult. We worried that this might end up looking exactly like it did before all this work began....

But now I can say...the kitchen cabinets are complete!

I wish these pictures could adequately display how drastically this refresh has decreased the grunge factor. I'm no longer scared to put my pots in the cabinets for fear of the 100 year old stuff that builds up on unfinished wood.  And there's nothing like having half the kitchen space for a month to make your appreciate the size of your kitchen, once the pots are no longer in the living room.

Clean. Shiny. New. 

{this pup seemed to think she made a better camera subject}

Sunday, April 10, 2011

A Year in the Making

I don't think there could be a much more appropriate post for the beginning of Year Two at 765. Last year our first project post (here) included removing warped fan blades from our porch ceiling fan and a trip to the Habitat ReStore to buy new ones. Sadly the new ones didn't fit and we've spent the past year with a blade-less fan adorning our porch. Not too enjoyable on those stagnant Louisiana nights.

{out with the old}

...Until now!

Thanks to Dennis "the man who taught Travis everything he knows" Moore, we have a brand new, energy efficient ceiling fan. And can I tell you, when you are the main target for all mosquitoes within a 5-mile radius this fan is imperative for survival. Evenings on the porch can officially commence!

{in with the new}

Big thanks to Uncle D for the fan and preventing further mosquito scars... And of course thanks to Nic for helping install it!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Happy Anniversary 765!

It's hard to believe but 1 year ago today Travis and I were celebrating on our very own porch with pizza and champagne. After quite the ordeal trying to purchase 765 (remember?), it was finally ours. What's to come in the next year? We've got alot more orange blossoms on our tree this year, bare cabinets ready for paint, real doors for the shed, more consistent blog posts (maybe?) and a garden that's already proving more productive than last year.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A Wild Hair

More than a few weekends ago, on a Sunday morning Travis and I were discussing house projects over strawberry pancakes.  The conversation led to the kitchen where we are stumped on the puzzle that it is: lots of wood, a washer and dryer next to the fridge, and 100-year old cabinets that need a serious refresh. Our lower kitchen cabinets are painted in the stark, cheap white that shows every bit of grime, probably the worst idea for a kitchen, ever. It was also painted with an oil-based paint, without sanding or priming beforehand, so it's thick, uneven and just all around ugly.

By 11:30 that morning we were removing cabinet doors, drawers and knobs and turning the earlier conversation into a major sanding mission. I headed over to the paint store and brought home more samples of gray paint than you would ever imagine existed. Taped all over the walls in different pairs, we pondered 'Uncertain Gray' with 'Misty' or 'Jubilee' with 'North Star'? I bet you can guess who pondered longer....

{uneven handles}

Our kitchen is now in the living room, there's an absence of coffee in the morning because of all of this, and we're wondering why on earth we started this right before the wedding, but everything inside has been sanded. And let me tell you - I always thought sanding was kind of fun - taking off the old to show the even older. Hours and hours with an electric sander in your hand can change your mind on that. I was sore.


{And more sanding...}

Our grays have been selected and now it's time for the fun part.... painting.