life in my Big Yellow House

tackling domestication, one day at a time

Step 1: Make a list March 4, 2012

Filed under: projects — dianarchy @ 4:42 pm
Tags: ,

There’s a bedroom in my house that, when I bought it, I thought would make a good crafting room, but the longer I’ve been here, the more it’s turned into place to dump crap I hardly use (but haven’t brought up to the attic) or never use (and haven’t brought to the dump). And what the room really ought to be is a bedroom. There’s one tiny closet in there, but if we took that out and put in a closet on a different wall (the wall that has the door on it), the closet would be big enough for two people to use and a bed would fit in the room on a more logical wall.

There are a couple broken outlets, and there’s a junction box sitting off-center near the top of the wall I’d like to put the closet on, so turning this into a bedroom I’d actually like to use will mean some DIY projects and some projects will need to be done by trained professionals.

Here’s my list so far of what needs to be done:

  1. Sort the crap that’s in there: trash it, donate it, or put it in the attic.
  2. Tear out the old closet. This will probably end up damaging the wall behind it and the ceiling above it, so we may have some plaster/drywall that needs repairing.
  3. Update the electrical. This is something I don’t feel comfortable doing myself.
  4. Build the new closet. This is something I could — at least in theory — do myself. I might get a few quotes for it, however, and see if it would be worth the headache. I’m not a perfectionist when it comes to doing things, but once they’re finished I like them to be at least superficially perfect, so I would probably end up happier if I did source this out.
  5. Take down the crown molding in the room. It’s gross, saggy, and with a new shape to the room it will just be easier to replace it all. It’s also not very expensive to buy new crown molding.
  6. Repaint the room and ceiling.
  7. Install new crown molding.
  8. Install carpet (from what I’ve read, this definitely sounds like a job for professionals, but maybe I can cut costs by buying carpet at Marden’s? I must admit that salvage carpet scares me a little).
  9. Bring in new furniture. What we’ll need:
  • Curtains
  • A bed (we have a frame, but I’d like at least a headboard, perhaps a base with drawers in it)
  • A dresser (there will still only be room for one dresser in this room, so even if we don’t get a storage bed, we’ll need something. Preferably something low and wide.)
  • A nightstand or two
  • A chair for reading/nursing

If everything goes according to plan, we’ll have a baby in this room (though I’m not pregnant yet), so I’d like to keep enough room to make this possible:

Is there anything I’m forgetting? Is there a better order I should be doing this in? We have huge steam radiators in our house, so I’m not sure what will happen to the carpet underneath them. Is it possible to carpet under them, or should I try to make the wood look nice and create some sort of transition there? Also, I’d like to put in a ceiling fan, so would that go with the electrical updates? There are currently no fixtures in the ceiling.


Sunday morning noms February 12, 2012

Filed under: food — dianarchy @ 11:13 am
Tags: , , ,

The stars finally aligned that I would have all the ingredients in my house at the same time to make a delicious oatmeal bake I found on Pinterest. Usually that does not bode well for the recipe in question. The longer I have to mull a recipe over and build it up in my mind, the more I go back to the original source and look at their delicious food porn, the more disappointed I am in the final result. This time, I lucked out — or the recipe is really that amazing. Don’t get me wrong, there are a few things I’ll change the next time I do it, but overall, this was one of our best breakfasts in a long time.


First off, I want to apologize for not getting a decent picture. First, it’s been half-eaten because I didn’t think to get a picture before dishing any of it out. Secondly, the color balance is not very good on my phone. Regardless, I have to assume that since my baked oatmeal looked exactly like their pictures of baked oatmeal, I did it right.

The flavors were amazing. I loved how well everything went together. Strawberries and chocolate are a nobrainer, but I loved the addition of orange zest. I usually despise it (it’s the texture that gets me; if anyone knows of a good substitute for the flavor without the strings, please let me know in the comments!), so I tend to leave it out. This was definitely a good use of orange zest, though, and since I only had to zest one of them, it was worth it. I was a little concerned when I got the Chinese 5 spice home and opened the lid. I had forgotten in the store that anise smells like black licorice. Barf. I decided to use it anyway, and I’m glad I did. The anise was overpowering when I smelled it out of the bottle but had definitely mellowed by the time it got to my bowl. I prefer my oatmeal a bit gooier, this crumbled apart very easily. I was hoping the egg would bind it together better, so I might increase the eggs to two next time, or I may switch to a quicker oat.

There were a few things that I didn’t do exactly right, but I don’t think they affected the overall flavor. I didn’t measure some things (the strawberries or the chocolate chips, for example) — not worth dirtying a measuring cup. I can promise you that if no one had dishwashers, you’d see a lot more people spending $20 for a decent digital kitchen scale and writing recipes in weight instead of cups. A half a cup of sliced strawberries can vary by quite a bit depending on how big the berries are and how you slice them. How about just telling me to slice 3 ounces of berries? Put bowl on scale, zero it out, and slice strawberries directly into the bowl until 3 oz shows up on the display. No need to wash a measuring cup (and you better do it quick before it gets sticky!).

I’ll step off my soapbox now. Anyway, I probably should have let my milk come at least to room temperature before adding it to the melted butter, or heated it a tiny bit after doing so. The butter immediately rehardened and left tiny bits of solid butter throughout the milk mixture rather than having a nice smooth buttery milk mixture. The end result had butter throughout the bake, so it was probably fine, but it irritated me that I didn’t think of it. At least I added the milk to the hot butter BEFORE adding the egg. I could have just cooked the egg. That would have been much worse than letting the butter get hard.

I forgot to make bacon until the bake had only a few minutes left, so I decided to skip it. This breakfast definitely lacks in protein, so I recommend boiling an egg or remembering the bacon. Sausage would be delicious, too.

Overall, this was one of my favorite Pinterest finds. I’ll definitely be making it again, but I’ll need to speed up the process a bit. Since I’m won over by the flavors, but not the texture, I think I’ll try making this in my crockpot. I’m also going to try reheating this in the oven and testing to see if it crisps up better than it bakes.


Dinners for next week January 8, 2012

Filed under: food — dianarchy @ 9:34 pm
Tags: , ,

I spent most of last week building a website for my doula business and playing Wizard101, so Nate made dinner every night. This week, it’s my turn.

One night will be Pot Roast (found on Pinterest).

One night will be shepherd’s pie.

One night will be Bread & Butter Pudding (looks like BLT pudding to me).

One night will be Nipponese Chicken Mandarin.

One night will be baked beans.

Perhaps a bit ambitious, but at least it will get me out of the dog house.


Watch for invitations in the mail February 26, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — dianarchy @ 9:37 pm
Tags: ,


Oh yes.


Speaking of weddings December 9, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — dianarchy @ 8:39 pm

You all heard that Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer got married, right? I read both Amanda Palmer’s and Neil Gaiman’s blogs regularly, but OBB made a great summary of the situation. My favorite line?

Next time we get married, I’ll marry the lady, not the statue, and there will be invited people and not a flash mob, and I’ll know it’s happening in advance, and there will be a paper and it will be legally recognised, but I cannot imagine it will be any more joyous than this was. And truthfully, after that morning’s magical wedding, I don’t think I could ever feel more married.



Filed under: projects — dianarchy @ 8:15 pm
Tags: , ,

With Nate working late, nothing saved on the dvr that I want to watch without him, and no games online that could possibly distract me, I decided to finally attack The Scum.

From what I gather, the family who lived in this house moved out about six months to a year before the house sold. During that time, they hired a man to live in the house (to keep it occupied during winter) and do minor jobs like painting the bedroom and floors (yes I said floors).

I always figured The Scum in the bathtub was the result of a man without any idea of how often a person is supposed to clean a tub living there for, at minimum, 12 times the recommended bathtub cleaning frequency. I’m not saying all men are like this, but there most definitely are men like this, and I assumed this guy was one of them.

Now, I don’t take baths and neither does Nate, so when I clean the bathroom, I don’t always scrub it to sparkling. Maybe that’s gross, but there always seems to be something better to do. I scrub anything that is going to be touched by anyone’s naked butt, but after that, I don’t really care.

Tonight I finally ran out of excuses and broke out all my scrubbing supplies. I was not prepared for what happened next, though. It was not soap scum that was coating the sides and bottom of my tub. It was paint. Under all the paint were rust stains. Paint! What kind of cheap idiots were these people??

Ugh. So now I can’t get the tub clean and also one end of it is now yellowish, while the rest is white. This is worse than before! Sigh. I can’t win with this place.



Filed under: mental,personal — dianarchy @ 6:28 pm

If you read nothing else from this link, at least read this:

Don’t: Assume that I’m angry, bitter, jilted, lonely, sad or otherwise suffering. I count my blessings every single morning and night. I’ve found the love of my life and he loves me back. We’re planning our future together and spending as much as our present together as possible. I’m the happiest I’ve ever been in my whole life. Assuming that I’m upset because I’m not engaged is frustrating, because I can’t convince anyone otherwise. The more I insist that I’m happy, the more people tilt their head with a sad smile and, while rubbing my shoulder, sighing “oh don’t worry sweetie, the ring is coming.” It’s as if they think the longer it takes to get engaged, the less he loves me, and the more delusional I am. Be kind to the pre-engaged and use this line instead: “I’m so happy to see you like this! You’ve found the person you want to spend your life with. It only gets better from here.”

Do: Please encourage me to talk to my boyfriend about our future and delete the word “pressure” from your conversations about that. Call me new-fashioned, but I believe that as an educated woman in my late twenties with my own assets, ideas, experience and opinions, I shouldn’t be waiting on my partner to make one of the biggest decisions of our lives on his own. What if I have expectations about marriage based on my religion, values or traditions? Shouldn’t he know that before he proposes? What if I want to be the one to propose? What if I don’t want to get married? What if I have some debt that I want to pay off before we make it legal? What if he does? I fully believe that if this is someone that I legitimately want to spend the rest of my life with, I should be able to talk to him about anything. Talking about marriage is not “pressuring for a ring.” It is creating a sustainable relationship. I am not a coy, blushing girl waiting for my over-the-top surprise proposal. I’m ballsy and strong and independent. He loves me because I’m opinionated, so why would I hide my opinions about our future? I don’t. Honesty isn’t pressure.

It’s reasons like this I read “wedding blogs” like APW and Offbeat Bride, and try to stay away from the blogs that tell women that they’re not good enough for whatever it is they’re selling.