Posts Tagged ‘summer’

Martha Stewart Lving lakeside photo

from Martha Stewart Living

This is one of those “duh” ideas, but I have to admit that it didn’t cross my mind until I saw it on Martha Stewart Living. I am really enjoying having a deck. We have a small table with a small umbrella that we use for dining. We usually eat outdoors in the evening when there is no need for the umbrella. If we are out during the day, we are usually relaxing with a glass of tea. No shade. This is a bummer, especially with a hot weekend coming up. I want to be out enjoying it before the rainy season. I think if I did something like this, the umbrella would get much more use. It’s an easy project. I can find a small wood table at a thrift store or yard sale. I’ll slap some of my exterior mistint paint on it. I

Here’s the tutorial.

I’ve been very busy this week wrapping up some loose ends while I still have the time. I’m still working on before and after pictures. This helps me see how much work we’ve actually done. It’s easy to get obsessed with the “what’s left to do” stuff and ignore everything that you did. It’s supposed to be near 90° this weekend. I doubt anything will be getting finished on this house. Time to hit the coast!



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Outdoor seating

Featured in Country Home

I really should be cleaning off the deck and scrapping paint off of a vintage aluminum picnic table so that I can repaint it, but I it’s easy to procrastinate. Even when it is beautiful outside. Are you surprised that I don’t want to scrape paint in the midday sun?

I was very excited about having a deck this year.  It is very nice but I thought it would be a great outdoor living space. It’s not. It’s nice to set on and nice to eat on space. That’s it. I always see this whimsical fantasy pictures in decorating magazines featuring beautiful daybeds outside (outdoor spaces here featured in Country Home and House to Home). What’s the purpose of these spaces and where are they? I assume that they only exist  in photographs and couldn’t make it in this harsh, cruel world. They are better decorated than my indoor living space :). These fantasy spaces have comfortable outdoor seating with throw pillows, paper lanterns, outdoor rugs, and even coffee tables. It’s all beautiful but far from practical. I say that if you are at the purchasing an outdoor rug stage in your life then you need to reevaluate your life and maybe get a new hobby or go on a vacation with that expendable income. Maybe I’m clueless, this is very possible, because I live in the Pacific Northwest. We have nice summers, not very long and the rest of the year it rains. I’m better off investing in a nice deck stain than nice patio furniture and paper lanterns. Maybe you can live like this in Southern California? I see these in pictures on resorts in Mexico. Maybe you have to haul this stuff in and out every day? I don’t know. Regardless, these outdoor living spaces take a wonderful picture and I always wish I was relaxing on one of those comfy outdoor daybeds. I won’t have a perfectly decorated living space but I’ll have a nice one if I just get out there and pull it together. And these pictures have motivated me to do so. Time to pull together my budget-friendly and totally practical “outdoor living space”. This is the cool new way of saying “deck” or “patio”. And if you say “outdoor living space”, you sound really rich. Have a great weekend!


Outdoor daybed

Featured in House to Home

David’s Commentary:

I find this idea to be the kind of irrational thing that a designer comes up with without thinking about too much.  The moisture, mold, insect, rodent and bird-poop assault that would be pressed on your furniture in this setting will make almost any textiles nasty in under a week. One slight rainfall on a foam cushion will keep it moist enough to mold for weeks.

Perhaps this gets pushed by retailers so much because it’s a really attractive concept that requires that you replace the items used 3 times a season?

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Asian Melon & Cucumber Frozen Yogurt Recipe

One of my favorite things to do is to create frozen yogurt flavors and various other frozen treats. Here is my recipe for a super refreshing Asian Melon & Cucumber Frozen Yogurt. This one is perfect for summer because it is well, frozen, and it isn’t too sweet. I am a fan of tart fro-yo and this is a very refreshing take on tart.

First prepare your ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions. For me this requires pre-freezing the bowl. That’s why I keep in the freezer at all times. Never know when I want to create a new flavor!

You’ll need:

32 oz. (about 4 cups) of plain nonfat yogurt. I use Trader Joe’s French Village Non-Fat Yogurt because I like the price and the texture.

1 small Santa Claus melon. This was so hard for me. I purchased a small Nerf football sized melon at a Korean grocery. The melon name was written in Korean. I had no idea what it was but after doing research online (there seriously is no good melon references on-line), I think it is a Santa Claus melon. I’m pretty sure (even though it isn’t really an “Asian” melon). A Santa Claus melon will do.

1/4 of average sized English cucumber

1/4 cup sugar (optional and I don’t use sugar in this recipe. I like tangy.)

Cut open the melon and remove all the seeds. Remove the rind and chop into 1-2 inch cubes. Chop up the cucumber into slices. Put the melon and cucumber into a blender and puree until smooth. It is important to puree until smooth because these fruits have a high water content. The “chunks” will freeze too icy and have an unpleasant texture.

In a large bowl, combine the yogurt and the melon/cucumber mixture. Mix with a whisk. If you would like a sweeter mixture, now is the time to add the sugar. I can see adding sugar if you have an unusually tart melon. Mix until all ingredients are blended and (if you choose) the sugar is dissolved.

Put the mixture into your ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. I have to leave my mixture churning in the machine for up to 2 hours. The machine is deafening.

Spoon the yogurt mixture into a container. I usually use the yogurt container and Ball Plastic Freezer Jars (with the green lid). Freeze until mixture is firm about 2+ hours.

Before serving, let fro-yo soften so that it is easy to scoop. I find that this mixture needs a longer time to soften about 30 minutes before scooping, if you don’t wait, you’ll get the mess you see in the picture (still tastes good). Garnish with mint ( love having a herb garden, orange mint is used in the pic, love their smooth leaves). Fro-yo keeps in the freezer fro 7-14 days. We usually eat the batch in less than a week. Because of this, I can’t comment on texture changes the longer it stays in the freezer. The fro-yo will have a pale melon green tint. It’s very pretty.

Give this a try and tell me what you think! This can also be served with drizzled minted simple syrup for added sweetness.


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Midwest Living porch

I don’t have a porch, but I have a nice deck. Of course, the grass is always greener and we want what we don’t have. I didn’t think about it too much until I stumbled across this picture in Midwest Living. I love it. What a retreat! This makes me consider living in the Midwest if I could have a porch like this, well for a split second it does, I love the West Coast and this porch has a West Coast vibe with those colors and chrysanthemum Asian prints. I love the linens, the paper parasols, and the mix match chairs. Very cool look for reunions, birthdays, and wedding receptions.

We are having a beautiful weekend with lots of sun today here in Western Washington. The garden is thirsty but I don’t mind being outside. Hope everyone has a great weekend!


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Tablecloth from the Aeshetic Nest

I can’t wait until our little “project” ,umm, goes away! I want the projects in my life to be slapping a new coat of paint on a flea market furniture find or planning summer parties. I like to pretend that I’m doing something for the 4th of July. I like to pretend that it won’t be chilly, gloomy, or rainy and that I don’t have a bathroom subfloor to put down. I like to pretend that I’m having a 4th of July BBQ on our awesome new deck with adorable decorations and a rocking meal plan. Maybe next year?

I found this adorable DIY tutorial for a bandana tablecloth quilt on The Aesthetic Nest. It’s cute and Mrs. Aesthetic Nest makes this look so easy to do. You could totally finish one before the 4th! I would love to make one of these for a 4th of July celebration. I would use red, white, and blue bandanas. And yes, I’d have to make it a western (I’m from Nashville!) with horseshoes on the table and galvanized water cans filled with black-eyed susans. My BBQ meal plan would be Paula Deen goes Pike Place: grilled salmon, oysters, grilled local veggies (nothing is better than a grilled Walla Walla onion), orange blossom spongecake with a raspberry coulis, and mint ice tea.

I know I do not have time this year to throw together an adorable bandana tablecloth. But, if we do get blessed with decent weather this weekend, I can do something similar by using red, white, and blue bandanas as napkins or place mats. I’ll bring out the cowboy boot steins (isn’t it lame that I have those?) and put daisies in a milk glass vase. The food will still be good. Good food is always a priority here at Tudorks.

I most likely won’t update our blog this weekend. David has a three day weekend and there is always something to do here at Tudorks! I hope everyone has a great 4th of July weekend!


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OK. So this is my first recipe attempt. I want this to be more of a “home and life” type of blog. Hopefully, we won’t be renovating forever! Stop smirking. I keep telling myself that there is more to life than renovation!

We are getting a first round of seasonal berries raspberries in here in the PNW. They aren’t the best but they sure are good when you haven’t had them in a long time. Since they aren’t at their peak yet, I decided to make raspberry truffles. I took a recipe from Epicurious.com (don’t you love iPhone apps!) I am one of those people who uses recipes for ideas. I usually use them as vague guidance and do what I want. This recipe is from Gourmet December 2004. Here’s the recipe. What did I do differently? Well, didn’t have brandy, used cream sherry and I used 2 1/2 tablespoons. My fresh raspberries kept disappearing, hmm, David, perhaps? So, I had lots of ganache left over. I couldn’t let it go to waste so that is why my truffles looks so odd and globular. The rest of the ganache David ate with a spoon after planting hedges. (BTW- got hedges for $2.50 a piece!) This recipe is so easy. I put those deformed truffles in the fridge for about 2 hours while I tended to the garden and did chores. I then took the truffles coated them in a plastic baggie of organic unsweetened chocolate. And here they are:

My raspberry truffles

I just purchased this cake stand and couldn’t wait to use it. Isn’t the Eiffel Tower a cute touch? 🙂 The truffles didn’t last very long. It wasn’t me, it was David, I swear! A few were left out the next day. The cocoa powder begins to settle strangely on them. It doesn’t help that they were in a glass dome in our dining nook. The dining nook has windows and it was a sunny day in Western Washington. The flavor was still great but they looked pitiful. I’m sharing that information in case you want to make these for a gathering or something. Heat is not nice to truffles. Duh, huh?

This is a super easy recipe and I didn’t change much. I can’t wait to do chocolate covered cherries. And figs…


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I must apologize for totally neglecting our home blog. As you can imagine, we’ve been really busy with life outside of renovation. We both work full-time. David got a new job and a promotion! His nerd skills worked in his favor earning him the title of manager of IT. I’ve been working and going through the grad school application process. Tons of other things have happened these past few months. Including a computer issue that left me without my home inspiration folder and a few of our before and after pictures 😦 This last thing got me down. But, hey, maybe I needed new inspiration. So, I’m pulling up my boot straps by admitting that I’m a slacker. I’m on the hunt for new inspiration. We have done so much to the house that I haven’t share. I have so much to show you and I’m manic with design ideas. This blog will be updated 5 times a week. (Thanks, to my new lady-of-leisure schedule. Now I remember why I don’t work in private sector and instead in the schools: summer!)

And you have to forgive me. (More apologies!) Since I have so much more time on my hands, I’m getting a bit more Martha Stewart-ish. And I’m currently obsessed with creating new and exotic fro-yo flavors. My newest dream, forget my current career, drive around and sell exotic fro-yos and custards from a vintage ice cream truck in Portland. I’ll have to share my creations with you. Forget cupcakes. Designer fro-yo is what all the cool kids are doing.

And I’m sure I’ll be doing so much to the house this summer. We still have much to do. And I’ve got to raise a well-adjusted frug. He needs constant enrichment. Does snacking on paint chips count as enrichment? Oh, and we have a garden! Our first one ever. I’m loving it.

Stay tuned…


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