Monthly Archives: November 2015

DIY Pipe Shelves

Disclaimer: this is not a post on how to install iron pipe shelving. This is a post on how to punt a project you’re really excited to have completed. But, the video I link to is an excellent resource for those of you who don’t plan on punting.

I started decorating our house (in my head) back in June when we first toured it. After being on the road for six weeks following our closing, we’re finally starting to get settled in enough to work on projects that I’ve been planning for almost 6 months now. The challenge with getting rooms decorated is that I want to paint all the walls, so it’s multiple steps before we even get to the point of hanging things on the wall. My mom and stepdad visited last week and helped us make serious inroads into getting the painting done. 

One of the first decorating ideas I had for our new house was a wall installation on the back wall of our loft area. The wall is visible from yard and living room, so I wanted something interesting up there. ShelfWall1I’d been seeing pipe shelving in restaurants and stores and took a screenshot of Joanna Gaines’ Instagram last spring to remind myself of this idea. Then, I showed this picture to everyone who’s come to our house to get their take on this idea #thatshowIroll.IMG_1713Part of  the appeal was that it looked like a project I could do myself. I did some Googling and Pinteresting and found this great tutorial. Totally something I can do!

Then, my parents came to visit and being late fall in “the country,” there’s not a ton to do. The leaves have dropped and the orchards have frozen, it’s too cold to go for a hike, but not cold enough for snow to go skiing or snowshoeing, and there’s only so many historic mansions you can tour at one time (we’re not art museum people). In other words, it looked like my parents needed a project, so I promptly offloaded the shelving idea to Larry who excels at things like measuring and planning (not my strength). He watched the video tutorial a few times and got to work on planning out how many pieces he’d need while my mom and I got to work painting the wall a medium-darkish shade of grey. Goodbye dingy white!ShelfWall2I went to work and came home to this! We ended up not installing the fifth bracket/support to change it up a bit and I love the way it came out. You have to love that as part of the carload of crap stuff from my childhood, a teddy bear made the trip that I haven’t seen in 20+ years, and that it was the first thing to decorate these shelves. #thankslarry ShelfWall3I then unpacked all the boxes of books that Larry drove cross-country. It was like seeing old friends. I seriously love having my books around. If we’re being honest here, I’ve only read half of them cover to cover, but still. I love them.DIYPipeShelvesThis is the first attempt at the styled shelves. I’m confident it will get many more treatments as I continue to unpack boxes and scavenge flea markets, but I LOVE the way the shelves turned out! They look really cool when you’re standing on the lawn. My photography skills don’t extend to shooting through a window and up two stories with changing lighting, so you’ll have to take my word for it. Or come visit.DIYPipeShelves2A HUGE thank you to Larry and my mom for helping us make some home-decor progress!

Smokey Grilled Cauliflower Steaks

I hit the turkey jackpot this weekend! Every year I go through this internal struggle about buying a happy turkey (free range, antibiotic free, organic, local blah blah blah) which can easily cost $80-$100 and buying a sort-of happy turkey (pick one of the above descriptors) that’s more affordable. I try to walk the walk, but dropping $100 on one part of one meal is hard to stomach. I was hmming and hawing over turkeys yesterday and was going to go with the sort-of-happy turkey when I noticed a monster happy turkey that was the same per pound price as the sort-of-happy turkey. It turns out they were mislabeled, but the butcher gave it to me at the reduced price, so I saved $40 our 27lb happy monster turkey!! I’m going to have to start cooking that thing the day before to have it done on time, but we’ll be eating turkey for weeks.

If you need a quick and easy side dish ahead of all the busy Thanksgiving cooking coming up, here’s your answer! As anyone who eats Paleo can attest, cauliflower quickly becomes a staple ingredient in your cooking. It regularly serves as your starch substitute, and it’s always really good: mashed cauliflower in place of mashed potatoes or cauliflower rice or cous cous in place of rice or gluten-based cous cous (made by shredding cauliflower on shredding blade in food processor). In both of these applications, you can add lots of flavor and create a huge variety of dishes. Oftentimes you’re playing down the cauliflower taste to make it act as your neutral starch to emphasize the other flavors in the dish. Sometimes, however, it’s great to let the cauliflower flavor come through.

Smokey Grilled Cauliflower Steaks

The first time we made these grilled cauliflower steaks, TimTheFarmer and I took a bite and looked at each other with wide eyes – they were delicious! This recipe started with an idea from this cookbook, but I didn’t have tahini, so I sprinkled on the smokey spice blend from this book that I’d been using lately and it turned out amazing! With this recipe, you only use about half the cauliflower, so save the florets that aren’t attached to the stalk to steam or roast or turn into rice or mash. You get 2-4 steaks per head and a serving is 1-2 steaks.

Smokey Grilled Cauliflower Steaks
Serves 2
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
  1. 2 heads of cauliflower
  2. 2 tbsp coconut or MCT oil
  3. 2 tbsp Smokey Spice Blend
Smokey Spice Blend
  1. 1 tbsp chipotle powder
  2. 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  3. 1 tbsp onion powder
  4. 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
  5. 1 tbsp sea salt/pink Himalayan salt
  6. 1/2 tsp black pepper
  1. Heat grill to medium heat.
  2. Slice cauliflower into steaks. Put stem-side down on cutting board, start about 1/4-1/3 of the way from the right, and cut straight down. Move knife over 3/4 of an inch and cut down again. You should get a steak. Repeat until there is no stem left to hold steaks together (2-3 more times). Save discarded cauliflower for future use.
  3. Brush both sides of cauliflower with melted coconut oil and sprinkle generously with Smokey Spice Blend.
  4. Carefully place steaks on heated grill.
  5. Cook 8-10 minutes per side. Don't flip until you've got good grill marks on each side.
Adapted from Eating Local & Practical Paleo
Isn't That Grand?

{Friday Favorites} – Wooden Skis are the Bee’s Knees

I know. The title is full on #nerdalert. But it rhymes and it’s Friday and it’s all I’ve got.

Anyway, today’s Friday Favorites is dedicated to deliveries from home and helpful parents.

1. Old Ski Delivery!!

Skiing is my thing. I don’t get to do it as much as I’d like living in New York, but I love it. I picked where I went to college based on proximity to ski areas #donttellmydad and even got to fulfill my childhood goals of being a ski instructor my last year of college. I’ve always had my eye on the various sets of my grandmother’s wooden skis my mom used to decorate our house. My stepdad just drove all my remaining crap possessions that were stored in their Colorado garage cross-country to move into our basement. Included in that carload was a pair of my grandma’s wooden skis as a housewarming/anniversary gift!!! Between my vintage ski posters, those ice skates I pulled from a farm attic, and these skis, it seems a ski lodge decor motif is emerging. And, the skis are from Macy’s – how cool is that?!skis

ski tip

2. Ski School

Speaking of skiing, I also got a delivery from my dad today who also decided it was time for me to have my childhood mementos … report cards, Father’s Day cards, lots of random homework, and pictures. It seems that now that we own our own home, it’s time for me to store my own stuff :). The box also had one of my season passes to Steamboat and a ski school report card. How ridiculous is my picture?? I might not have been thrilled to be going to ski school. I definitely had a love-hate relationship with ski school when I was little. I didn’t always love the really cold, hard days, but I did love the pizza, coke, and cookies from the cafeteria #priorities. These days, I’m super grateful that my parents put me in ski school for most winter weekends of my childhood because they wanted to go ski themselves develop my skills. My mom says back then it was cheaper than day care; today you have sell your kidney to pay for ski school, so looks like I’ll be doing the teaching.


3. Parents Who Paint

Our entire house is this dingy warm white color with orangey-stained wood trim. My mom (who flew – cross-country drives aren’t her thing) arrived at our new home and said, “The walls are great shape, you don’t event need to paint!” Ha! Little did she know that I had gallons on paint ready in the basement. I wanted to move towards a crisper paint palette with light grey on the walls and white trim. Instead of a relaxing visit, we spent the last week filling holes in the trim and painting it white and painting the walls various shades of grey. My stepdad also built me an awesome bookshelf – I’ll do a whole post on that next week. My parents rock!


4. Kitchen Islands That Face the Right Direction 

There is a long list questions I’d ask whoever built this house. Most involve lighting issues e.g. there are NO(!!!!) lights above the cook space in the kitchen. Who does that? Another big one is, “Why did you install the kitchen island backwards and far away from the kitchen?” The countertop/bar area was in the kitchen. The whole thing was very weird. So, last week we enlisted the help of my FIL and BIL to help detach and spin the island. Yippee! Now we just need to do a slight touchup to the floor where the island stood, but the new location is perfect.



5. Old Notes

For some reason, this note was in the box my dad sent which one of my oldest friends, Lindsay, wrote her mom, who was staying with me at the time with instructions on how to turn on the TV. What a good daughter.