house tour: front door

The whole exterior of our house needs some serious TLC. Every time I drove onto our driveway, I felt like there was something I could be doing with almost no money to make it look better until we save up the funds to do all the big things that we have planned (I'll right a big post about my plans for the front).

When we bought the house the front door was cream, with white painted (peeling off) trim. It looked really tacky. I don't think it's been painted or touched up in 30+ years. The siding is this really ugly 70's yellow and the trim is brown (more pictures in this post). I don't get the whole yellow and brown thing of the 70's. It seems like it was a HUGE trend and it just reminds me of certain bodily fluids... Needless to say, there was a lot about the exterior of the house that was bumming me out big time.

A couple of weeks ago, I decided to surprise David by spray painting the front door before he got home from work. I already had some blue spray paint so I spent about 15 minutes taping off the door casement and the hardware on the door, thinking that would be sufficient for over spray. Side note: sometimes I do stupid stuff like this. Learn from Lizzy, kids.
Anyway, mid-way through the spray painting, I ran out of paint AND it started dripping. Awesome. I was left with this beautiful mess. Lesson learned, don't spray paint when the item is vertical. I was so annoyed with the whole fiasco that I left it like this for a couple of months. It was pretty embarrassing. Then, this weekend I finally decided I'd had enough. I spent forever sanding down this stupid door that we're going to end up replacing and, this time, I had David remove it and set it up on a sawhorse in the yard. This time, I found a blue that wasn't so bright and did better strokes (but it still looks splotchy). I don't even care at this point. It looks WAY better than before so high five! I'm excited for the future plans we are mulling over around here and I'll share those later.


scenic jogging

I've been lately jogging along the Sammamish River Trail with Louisa and never tire of the beauty here. I always want to pull out my phone and take a picture around every bend. It is so picturesque and I love the miles and miles of clean, lush jogging + biking trails here. I never thought I'd be a runner (and I'm NOT, yet) but there's something pretty fantastic about jogging in such a gorgeous place. I get to listen to my podcasts in peace (well, except for the occasional demanding squawk from the stroller seat) and it feels really good. I am slow as molasses but I really do enjoy it. Now, to save up for and find the perfect jogging stroller! I've had so many strollers over the years and hate to invest in another, but mine isn't cutting it.
Funny Louisa loves to wear my sunglasses. She screeched every time they would fall off her tiny nose. She's a big fan of sunglasses and shoes, that one! I love my funny bunny Loulou.



We took a trip to Leavenworth this weekend, a Bavarian town a couple of hours east of Seattle. We heard it was beautiful and, even though it was rainy in Seattle, it was sunny and perfect weather on the other side of Steven's Pass. The drive there was beautiful! The leaves are just starting to change and the mountains expand across the horizon with beautiful colors. We did get caught in lots of shifting clouds throughout the day too and it made for such a beautiful backdrop. We've had a beautiful September and I'll be sad to see it go!
The town itself is cute. Many of the stores were cheesy and touristy but I did find a couple of gems that had a few great things that I would have loved to buy! There was the most beautiful carved wood bowl that I wanted but who has $75 to spend on a decorative bowl? No, really, who has that extra money and will you buy it for me? Haha.
I walked in this place in hope of finding a Tebirkes but they only had sad looking pastries.
We walked around the town, sampled delicious bratwurst and pretzels + mustard, took a hundred bathroom breaks (could my kids please coordinate their potty needs? :), played at the park and tried on funny hats at the Hat Shop.
He loved these goats - and I love this face!
We headed over to Waterfront Park after lunch and threw rocks in the river, the boys' favorite activity. They would be happy to throw rocks all day, every day. This was the scenery... not too shabby!


perfect buttermilk biscuits

While I was pregnant with William, David and I went on a "babymoon" to Hood River, Oregon. We stayed at a sweet little bed + breakfast called Seven Oaks. It was such a charming place and they really lived up to their breakfast promise. We had eggs from their chickens that roamed the beautiful yard and there was fresh-pressed apple cider at the table, but the biscuits were the show-stopper for me. After raving about their deliciousness, I asked the owner for the recipe. She copied the recipe for me but the measurements part of the recipe got cut off and I didn't notice until we were home. Since then, I've tried to figure out how to make great biscuits without too much work. These are perfect. Light, buttery, flaky and perfectly crunchy on the top and bottom.

These are "no-roll and no-cut" biscuits. They don't look perfect but they taste perfect! One thing about these is, you need a food processor (for a multitude of reasons). I can't vouch for how these turn out unless you use one. However, I've read that you can grate the butter using a large cheese grater and achieve similar results (just make sure the butter is very cold). The goal is to get the butter cut into flour mixture with very small pieces.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cake flour (or 7/8 cup AP flour + 2 tablespoons cornstarch)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 stick (8 tablespoons) cold butter, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup buttermilk (or 3/4 cup milk + 1 tablespoon white vinegar)
2 tablespoons cream

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place all the dry ingredients in the bowl of the food processor and pulse a couple of times to combine. Evenly distribute the butter on top of the flour mixture and pulse about 12-14 times until the butter is in very small pieces (like the size of peas).

Transfer the mixture to a bowl and add the buttermilk (or milk + vinegar - just let sit for 5 minutes to thicken) and stir gently until combined and the sides of the bowl are clean. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured counter and form into an oblong shape (doesn't have to be perfect).

Using a bench scraper, or sharp knife, cut the dough into 10 equal portions. Lightly round the corners if desired (don't roll in your hands or over-handle - you want them to show the layers where you cut it). Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and, using a pastry brush, brush the tops with cream.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, on the middle rack of the oven, until lightly browned on the top.
Little Fritzy hands loved them! They were especially delicious with raspberry jam (this brand is my favorite)!


fritz goes to preschool

Today was Fritz's first day of preschool. Wahoo! He has been asking every day if it was his turn to go to school and this morning when I told him it was time, he hugged me fiercely and jumped up and down and made crazy faces. He's an enthusiastic kid, to say the least. I love him.
I got him and William dressed for school and then headed out front to take some pictures. Fritz makes epic faces whenever I pull out the camera. They're not always the most attractive or perfectly posed, but I love how much these show his uniquely hilarious personality. He is always trying to make someone laugh, and usually succeeds. Life would be very dull without him. He is friendly, happy and fiercely fun.
He had a great day at school! Right before we left to drop him off, I remembered that he was supposed to bring a tote bag (can you say "middle child"?). Luckily, I remembered that I had bought a bunch of plain canvas bags to decorate for library bags for the kids. I stamped his name on it and voila! See? Sometimes hoarding crafty supplies can come in handy!
It was a little weird with both of the big boys "at school", even though Fritz's class is only two hours and William is in half-day Kindergarten. It was fun to have some special time with Loulou though. She's my little baby doll.