Thursday, 29 May 2014

One man's trash.....

We are currently in a rented apartment which we're not sure we are going to stay in so we haven't done anything major to it on the decoration front but we have a few projects we are tipping away with until we decide whether to move or not.
Last summer J and his boss rescued a load of oak floor boards which were not "up to standard" for a multimillion dollar condo unit and were being scrapped. He asked J to make up an office desk for him with the haul.

Now my wonderfully talented mister does not do jobs by half and when he showed me the pictures of the desk I very softly hinted we need a dining table for our new place. We had been using his brothers while he was staying with us but we were now table less. When J had finished the bosses desk he was so impressed he said anything left over was J's to use if he wanted it. Happy Days!!!!

Skips loss is our gain!!!

This little beauty was in our apartment in no time. He used a plywood base, added some boards to build up the sides and then slipped in boards on top. He had picked up scraps of a darker wood (not sure what type) and used them to add a bit of interest to the table. It all sounds very easy when written out like that doesn't it?
The boards are so thick we decided to leave it natural for now and didn't bother with a stain. If we wanted to change it down the line we figured we'd have plenty of depth in the wood to change it then. We sanded it and gave it a few coats of Polyurethane also sanding between each coat.
He also put together a coffee table. Following the same principles as before but alternating the direction of the boards. Isn't she pretty? 


The legs for both the tables are banisters my brother in law salvaged from a demolition job he was working on.

Thanks babe, I'm soooooo looking forward to seeing what else comes from those talented hands xxx

Michelle xxx  
Linking to 
New Mrs. Adventures for Flashback Friday
 The Turquoise Home and the ladies for Work It Wednesday
The Dedicated House:Before and after Wednesday
Mabey She made it and the ladies for Do Tell Tuesday
Upcycled Treasures and the ladies for The Makers Link Party 
The SITSgirls for Saturday Sharefest
Suzanne @ Pieced Pastimes for Saturday Sparks Party
Roeshel @ diyshowoff for Oh That DIY Party!
Katie @ addicted 2 DIY and the ladies for Thursday S.T.Y.L.E Link Party
 Wendy @ The Shabby Nest for Frugal Friday
Allison @ twothirtyfivedesigns and the ladies for the Pinterest Link Up Party
Mary Beth @ cupcakes and crinoline and the ladies for Project Inspire{d}

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Bottom Drawer Collection

For the longest time my mam and I have been buying stuff for my "bottom drawer". It ran to include a complete bedroom set and a sofa at one stage when I got very excited about buying a house in Wexford which subsequently fell through.After that disappointment we figured it best to stick to smaller items :-)
 (I kept the bedroom set it was too good a deal to cancel the order)
I currently have an attic full of "small stuff" for when we get our cottage. ETA: Early 2015
Over the last year or so my mam and family have been putting together a collection of Nicholas Mosse pottery for us. Each piece was a present for either birthdays or Christmas.The heart plate was a gift for our engagement.
Someday I'd like to have a collection like this .
Please and Thank you Mammy dearest!!!

We also got some lovely copper pieces from the Limerick contingent. It's a family chest in old ogham writing. On the right is my surname and J's is on the left.

For those interested ogham is a system of symbols made up of strokes applied to the right, left or across a single vertical spine. The system is related to the five fingers of the hand so there are one to five strokes giving fifteen basic symbols. An additional five are given by slanting one to five across the line and at some stage five extra where added in the shape of an X, an O, a diamond, a cross hatching and a hook. Therefor there are a total of twenty five sounds available. Traditionally the writing was carved on standing stones using the edge of the stone as the line.


I decided to give it a 21st century try using No chiseling at stones for hours on end for me thank you very much!!

Pretty Cool me thinks!! Can you figure out what it says? 

Michelle xxx


Monday, 26 May 2014

Weekend Bakes...

On Sunday I had the apartment to myself so I did a bit of baking. It was a beautiful 26 degree day outside but being a pale Irish girl my poor skin can only tolerate 20 minute bursts of sunshine before it turns a wonderful shade of pink. So it was indoor activities for me.
I whipped up a batch of Bette Hagmans Four Flour Bread from "The Gluten-Free Gourmet Bakes Bread".

Image provided by

I have had great results with this recipe and can't recommend it enough. Other recipes I tried have left me with wonderful doorstops disguised as a loaf of bread. I haven't the words to describe the little dance I did the first time I turned out a well risen fluffy loaf of bread. It looked abit like this though.
Actors Piper Laurie & Rock Hudson hit the dance floor (1952). Photographer unknown. via Giuly (sweetvintagegal) on flickr
The mister otherwise know as J is not gluten-intolerant but has been eating gluten free along side me and loved this bread. As close to "normal" as he could hope for he said.
All credit goes to Bette Hagman and her team for this recipe. I have not been paid for this review, I just wanted to share a good bake turn out with other gluten-free peeps out there. I am posting the recipe as I used it. The book gives you substitutions depending on your preferences i.e dough enhancer v vinegar, butter v margarine.

Bette's Four Flour Bread

Bette's Four Flour Bread Mix         2 1/4 cups
Dry Yeast granules                       2 1/4 teaspoons

Eggs                                             1 plus 1 white
Butter                                          3 tablespoons
Vinegar                                        1/2 teaspoon
Warm water                                 1 cup (110-115 deg)

Prepare pan and combine dry ingredients in a small bowl.*

Whisk the egg and egg white, butter and vinegar in a separate bowl. Add most of the water.

Add the dry ingredients a spoonful at a time with mixer on low. The dough should have a cake batter appearance. Add the last of the water if needed.

Turn your mixer to high and beat for three and a half minutes. Spoon into prepared pan.

Let rise in a warm place** for about 35-45 minutes for rapid yeast, for regular yeast allow 60 minutes or until the dough reaches the top of the pan.

Bake in a preheated oven at 400 degrees for 50-60 minutes, covering after 10 minutes with tin foil.

* I prepared my pan by lining the base and sides with double thickness parchment paper. My oven tends to run on the high side.

** I heat my oven on low while I am mixing the dough, turn it off and place the mix in the warm oven to rise.

Bette's Four Flour Bread Mix- makes 6 cups

Garfava bean flour       1 1/2 cups
Sorghum flour              1/2 cup
Tapioca flour               2 cups
Cormstarch                  2 cups
Xanthum gum              1 1/2 tablespoons
Salt                             1/2 tablespoon
Egg replacer                1/2 tablespoon
Sugar                           6 tablespoons

I sift these ingredients together 3 times to make sure there is a good mix. Then i put them into a large food bag and mix a bit more.

Does anyone out there know where I might find Garafava bean flour in large quantities in Toronto? I currently get it at bulk barn but they only sell small boxes. The book recommends Authentic Foods Gluten Free Supermarket but their shipping cost undo the savings of buying the large quantity.

I forgot to take pictures but I will be baking again later in the week and will update then.

Hope you had a great weekend. Great to see summer showing up.

Michelle xxx

 picture added June 12. Sorry i took so long

Friday, 23 May 2014

This is it, Don’t get scared now!!!

So my first post. Where to start?
I suppose a little bit about me is as good a place as any. I’m an old fashioned girl at heart. Love cozy cottages, wood burning stoves and being curled up on the couch reading a book with dogs at my feet.

I enjoy baking and cooking however being gluten intolerant I found it super frustrating in the beginning. After spending a small fortune on all the right flours and additives, hours in the kitchen yielded terrible results time and time again. My gluten free kitchen and I broke up for a while but have since patched up our differences. I hope to share some of my trials and hopefully masterpieces J

Gluten Free Profiteroles
In my previous life I enjoyed travelling and have visited wonderful countries along the way (which i will cover in later posts). Now the longer I am away the more “cottage dreaming” I do.

Until recently I had heard about Pinterest but had never visited the site. When I finally took a look I was hooked. Homes, interiors, gardening, recipes all at my fingertips and all achievable with small price tags unlike the glossy mags. Fast forward a few months and a much needed upgrade to my phone later the mister thinks something has come between us hehehehe

I have been in Toronto almost four years and the mister nearly five. We love the lifestyle here but miss the families massively. We have a simple dream to one day have a little country cottage to call our own,a bit of land with a menagerie of animals and god willing a few bambinos thrown into the mix.

Achievable??? We think so.