Wednesday, January 15, 2020

The Maynard Cape: Coffered Ceiling Progression

For many professional, Sunday Scaries are a real thing. It's the anxiety and/or dread that arrives on a Sunday evening (or afternoon, really anytime over the weekend) at the realization that you will soon be heading back into the office. It's an awful feeling, but I've realized it only happens when you don't like your job. Because on the Sundays when I know I'll be working on the house come Monday morning, I do not have Sunday Scaries. In fact, I'm excited.

This past weekend I was at the house Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. Which meant not sleeping in at all, and for me that is a HUGE deal because I am essentially a cat, and love my bed and love sleeping in and lounging in it for hours on end. I hit snooze for on average a half hour every morning. I don't want to get out of bed and my cats don't want me to either. But I didn't mind one iota getting up early all weekend in order to work on the house. (Let's revisit this and see how I feel in a few weeks when I'm grouting.)


Monday, January 13, 2020

The Maynard Cape: Coffered Ceiling

Weekends are never full days at the house. It's usually just a couple hours in the morning at the house or going to a vendor to make choices about cabinets or tile, etc. Saturday morning I spent at the house with my dad, first checking out what had been done over the past two days while we weren't there (flooring had been installed in the kitchen, wallpaper had been scraped off in two bedrooms, and walls had been patched in preparation for paint). And then my dad explained he wanted to make a coffered ceiling in the dining room. After some discussion I convinced him that the better space to make such a ceiling was in the living room, because the space is much bigger and separate from the kitchen and dining spaces. So we started work on that until we ran out of supplies. 


Wednesday, January 8, 2020

The Maynard Cape: Cabinets

Over the weekend we drove up to Nueva Hampshire to meet with our cabinet guy. He's helped us on the last four renovations. We work up our general layout and then he makes sure we can actually fit what we want. After using white shakers for the last two kitchens I want to try something else on this house. So I picked out a light grey cabinet and paired it with a white quarts. This kitchen is on the small side and feels very dark right now, so I wanted to stick with a color profile that will help brighten the space. So here's hoping it looks gorgeous once it's installed - fingers crossed!


Monday, January 6, 2020

Butternut Squash Soup

This is just a quick interlude between all the house renovation posts. Because renovating will make you very hungry. My friend Molly always hosts viewing parties for The Emmy's, The Golden Globes, and The Oscars. She takes care of appetizers and dessert and I typically create the main course. As it's January and cold I go for something hearty and warm. This year I made a creamy butternut squash soup (one of my go-to soups because how easy it is) with some add-ons. This is super simple - anyone can make this and impress their friends/family/date.

2 Tbs butter
1 white/yellow onion, diced
1 apple, peeled, cored, diced
1 whole butternut squash, peeled, cored, and cubed
1/2 tsp black pepper
olive oil
sage leaves
4 cups veggie stock
1/2 cream (this isn't necessary but it makes it extra creamy)

pomegranate seeds
1 Tbs butter
halloumi cheese

Toss the cut up butternut squash with a little olive oil and place on a tray (I suggest using parchment or tinfoil that has been sprayed) and roast at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes just to soften it.
Meanwhile, in a large pot, melt butter and add onion. Saute until the onion is translucent. I then chopped up 4 sage leaves and added them and cooked for another minute or two. Then I added the apple and the veggie stock. When the squash was soft I tossed that in the pot and I brought the temperature up until the soup started to boil. I then turned the heat off, added the cream, and then used an immersion blender until the soup was smooth.

In a saute pan I melted the butter, drizzled in a little olive oil, and cooked a handful of sage leaves until they just started to crisp up. Then I took them out and set them on a paper towel to drain the excess oil. Next I cubed up halloumi cheese and added that into the hot pan. halloumi is not a melting cheese. So I cooked each side for maybe two minutes, just until it browned. Then I removed the seeds from a Pomegranate (a lot more work than I realized, but worth it). The pomegranate seeds give you a little sweetness and a crunch, the sage adds flavor, and the halloumi is, well, I just love cheese. Back in August,  I ordered the scrambled eggs at Great White in Venice beach and the dish came with a side of halloumi and from then on I have wanted halloumi with everything. Because I love cheese.

~ Stephanie


Friday, January 3, 2020

The Maynard Cape: New Year's Day

Welcome to 2020! Here's hoping it's a wonderful year full of great change and happiness!

After all the demo on the house last week I was planning on taking New Year's Day off to rest, recharge, do some cooking, snuggle kitties. I planned to spend the day in the lovely new pj's my sister gifted me for Christmas. And then, anxiety set in. Because it seems to me that on every renovation we start off slow and steady, but by the end it's twelve hour days and bouts of anxiety and feeling like there's not enough time in a day and wanting to cry. 

Except, I'm still freaked out about the bat(s). 

So being the manipulative friend that I am, I convinced one of my best girls to come with me to the house for a couple hours. And then instead of doing any of the work that might put me in close proximity to a bat, I let my friend do the work and I just stood nearby under my trusty umbrella. We soon discovered that more than bats have or is currently (god, I hope not) habitating in the eaves because in certain places the insulation was chewed to bits and there were outside implements - hay, leaves, etc. - that fell along with the insulation. 

Olivia, you are a very, very good friend to me. I thank you for not making fun of my inability to be a human being with the thought of tiny, winged rodents nearby. (Sidenote, why do I keep thinking bats are marsupials? Is that true? Did I retain something from middle-grade science or have I officially lost it?)

As I didn't take any photos on New Year's Day, here is one of my favorite photos of the house "before". This is one of the first-floor bedrooms and I wishwishwish this wallpaper was in decent condition because then I would fight to keep it. I love a wallpapered wall behind a headboard. Sadly, this wallpaper is not salvageable. It flakes off in pieces so I can't add it to my collection of framed wallpaper from previous renovations. 

~ Stephanie

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