Deuce Cities Henhouse

August’s 3rd Birthday

We spent Tuesday celebrating our little guy, Gus’ 3rd birthday! If you haven’t been keeping track, that’s 2 birthdays in less than 2 weeks. We’ve been busy! It’s always been very important for me to give the kids killer birthdays that are each their own special day, even though they share birthdays so close together. Me and my young bro have birthdays that are 3 days apart, so I understand the importance of separate birthdays. Not wanting to impose on our friends and family during the busy summer days, I invited everyone over for two very casual birthday celebraishes in the back yard, both took place on weekday nights as not to clog anyones weekend.

Anyways, back to our little G-man and the 3rd anniversary of the day of his birth. We spent part of the day at the train museum in St. Paul – Gus totally loves this place, and is infatuated with anything that has wheels. The museum is located in an old railroad building and boasts a miniature model of Minneapolis and St.Paul, pretty cool huh? We watched the trains go around, and around, and around, pretty exciting stuff for a three year old.

Later in the day we had the fam and a few friends over for cake, ice cream, bubbles, glow sticks, and a train party in the backyard. It was a pretty happy day for our little guy.

It’s bittersweet to watch the smallest one grow up but I am so excited for Gus to keep on growing and learning! Finn starts all day kindergarten this year and I am secretly (and not so secretly) super amped to have the next year to spend a bunch of one-on-one time tramping around with my not-so-little-guy, Gus.

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in Gus, My Life

CSA Recipe : Bok Choy & Broccoli Stir Fry

Bok Choy & Broccoli Stir Fry
Okay, you guys. Here’s another great CSA recipe, a terrific way to eat up all that broccoli that’s coming out of the gardens this time of year. We really like this one! We made it with brown rice and topped it off with some cilantro, cashews and sriracha. It would be great with chicken or tofu too.

Bok Choi & Broccoli Stir Fry
This stir fry is made with a whole head of bok choy. You can slice the stalk up just as you would celery and then chop and wilt the leafy bits. If you didn’t know, bok choy is really good fer ya, it’s full of many vital phyto-nutrients, vitamins, minerals and health-benefiting anti-oxidants. So there.

Also, I used a whole head of broccoli in this thang. I love broccoli, and even my anti-broccoli-suffering-husband ate it. The trick is cutting the broccoli into small florets and then chopping up the stems. It makes it not so broccoi-ish for those non-broccoli loving people. Broccoli is a pretty tyte veg, you guys. Not only can it help lower your colestrol but it also has cancer fighting powers. This is what my friend ‘the internet’ told me ’bout it: Broccoli contains glucoraphanin, which the body processes into the anti-cancer compound sulforaphane. This compound rids the body of H. pylori, a bacterium found to highly increase the risk of gastric cancer. Furthermore, broccoli contains indole-3-carbinol, a powerful antioxidant compound and anti-carcinogen found to not only hinder the growth of breast, cervical and prostate cancer, but also boosts liver function. Better eat yer broccoli.

Bok Choy & Broccoli Stir Fry
Also, don’t forget the sri-rach – duh. Everything needs a little rooster sauce.


Bok Choy & Broccoli Stir Fry
Recipe from Driftless Organics


▼ 3 scallions, whites chopped & greens separated & sliced
▼ 2-3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
▼ 1” piece fresh ginger, minced
▼ 1 medium head bok choy, stems sliced, greens separated & coarsely chopped
▼ 1 medium head broccoli, stems sliced, florets separated & cut into bite size pieces
▼ 1 tbsp olive oil
▼ 1 tbsp each tamari & rice wine (or rice vinegar or sake)
▼ 2 tsp sugar
▼ 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
▼ ½ tsp Chinese 5 spice seasoning (optional)
▼ 2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
▼ ¼ cup cashews

Heat oil in large skillet or wok over medium/high heat. Add scallions whites, garlic, & ginger & stir until fragrant (1 minute). Add bok choi & broccoli stems & stir until starting to brown (2-3minutes). Add broccoli florets, tamari, rice wine or vinegar, sugar, 5 spice, & toasted sesame oil. Stir another minute. Add bok choi & scallion greens & stir until wilted. Serve with rice or noodles & top with cashews & cilantro. Add tofu, chicken or beef if you wish.
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in Eats

Thinking About : Ideas for the Bedroom

Vintage Modern Bedroom Idea Board
Hello, happy Friday! I’ve been thinking hard about ideas for the very-much-in-the-future bedroom revamp and I wanted to share them with you. I need to do these weird exercises in design and inspiration so that I can stay focused on the prize. The sunroom (is essentially part of our bedroom) which you may remember was overhauled this spring. I totally love it now and we use the space all the time. However because the sunroom is looking all foxy and babelicious its making the bedroom look lame and boring. Something must be done.

The Sunroom
I am totally in love with the navy sofa and coral combo that I used in the sunroom, and would like to continue that idea in the bedroom – just in more subtle ways, emphasizing on neutral whites and grays. As always I love a nice marriage of modern pieces and vintage favorites, and have plans of accessorizing in rose golds and brass accents.

I have always adored wallpaper and it’s something I’ve always wanted to add to our bedroom. Wallpaper hasn’t happened yet because I haven’t stumbled upon the perfect pattern or had the perfect plan to have the balls to buy and install something. I’m getting there though :) In the past, we have wallpapered the vestibule and the music room. I really love having those bold patterns throughout the house and would like to continue patterning it up in our bedroom. I saw this very feminine and floral paper from Hygge & West a few weeks ago and I have been thinking about it ever since. I don’t know if it will stay stuck in my brain as I continue on throughout the process but for now I really like the idea of it. I’ll have to convince Jeff that he likes it too – could be the hardest part of this whole reno.

What about having a real bed you guys? I told you earlier this week that our mattress currently rests on a broken bed frame and a pile of old books – so it’s time. I don’t have a specific bed in mind just yet, but I think we’d like to have something upholstered with legs as opposed to upholstered with no space underneath – I have no idea what the technical bed designers term for this is. Anyway, a real deal bed would be tyte.

We already have the black and white rug (from RugsUSA) and I’d like to have it stay in the bedroom. Check that off the list!

Okay, okay, so I’m still kind of obsessed with the functionality of the fauxdenza. We don’t have a library space or anything in our house, but we have a lot of books and have been keeping them all in our bedroom. Maybe that will change a bit as we have big plans of remodeling the basement over spring of 2015. For now though, we are in need of practical storage in the bedroom that doesn’t take up a lot of visual space. I’m actually thinking about installing a wrap-around-fauxdenza. Maybe overboard? I dunno. Would that would be to much ‘denza in one space? I am really liking the idea for now – we’ll see if it stays as time moves forward.

So that’s it in a nutshell. Here’s a sweet list of all the items shown above.

Floral Wallpaper
from Hygge & West
Upholstered Bed
from Crate & Barrel
Brass Sconce
from Cedar and Moss
Solid Bedding in Navy, Gray and Coral
Bertoia Arm chair in White
Brass Planter
from Ferm Living
Vintage Accessories such as a cool oscillating fan
Fauxdenza for Book Storage
Black and White Rug
from RugsUSA
Mid Century Nightstand
from West Elm
Modern Chest of Drawers
from Ikea
Desk Lamp
from Ikea
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in Inspiration


Hey-a, Folks! I have a confession. For the last 4 or 5 months I have been a bad housekeeper. Keeping the house tidy used to be something I kinda actually enjoyed, but then things got busy. I’ve been spending a lot of time focusing on the blog, gardening and hanging with the kids, avoiding the daily cleaning chores that used to bring me peace and calm. I especially avoided the deeper cleaning aspects of keeping a tidy home.

When we decided that I would stay home with the kids part of the arrangement was that I would be responsible for keeping the home (aka cleaning up). I know that kind of sounds old fashioned but the entire reason that I was staying home was so that I could be with the kids during the day, and it would allow us all more time together as a family on nights and weekends. I had been managing a restaurant for a long time, and those were not typical or family friendly hours. This was a chance for us to be together more often, and we wouldn’t have to spend our precious family time cleaning.

We just recently got a new vacuum and my love affair with keeping a clean home has been reignited. We had a long run with a more affordable hoover wind tunnel. It broke a few years ago and we spent almost as much money as it would have cost brand new to have it fixed, at the time we didn’t really have the dough to go out and buy a new vacuum. We promised that the next time the vacuum gave out we would use a little rainy day money and invest in something that would last. After much research and debate we decided on this Miele S6270 vac (not sponsored or anything b-t-dubs) and so far it’s been the best.

What I really like about it is that it does an awesome job cleaning the hardwood floors, and it’s easy to get under furniture. It even sucks up the little dust pieces along the edges of cabinets, dirt our old vac was to clunky to get at. I hardly use the broom anymore. I also love that it’s a canister vacuum and I can tuck it away in the mudroom cabinets instead of downstairs in the basement. Now it’s always within reach.

In celebration of the new ‘cuum, I decided to go back to an old tradition that I hold near and dear. Weekly chore to-do lists! I used to live and die by these things people. For me, having a list like this makes cleaning really easy and not so daunting of a task. Besides the laundry, most of these chores take me less than half an hour per day and leave me with a really happy and clean home that the fam and I enjoy being in. I’m back to the old tidy me!

Look, I love how it tucks into this cabinet! I’d love to hear your housekeeping tips, do you keep lists too, do you have an awesome method for keeping a tidy home? Lay it on me my Type A homies!

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in Cool Things, House Keeping

Steel Tank Lurking Behind my Bedroom Wall
What up dudes? After a few long months of enjoying the summer weather and fully giving into the gardening bug I finally got the fire to start a new indoor house project.

Let me start at the beginning. In our entire adult lives Jeff and I have never had an adult-put-together bedroom. We have never had an actual bed, we only use a rickety bed frame and a pile books to hold up our mattress. We have a hodgepodge of furniture, much of it we have been carting around since we left our parents houses. After setting up the boys with super cool digs last fall I realized that they have a sweet bedroom, and we do not. Something was wrong with that picture.

I painted the bedroom back in 2012 – it’s a nice bright white space. The far back wall is made up of cheap paneling, I painted it black to help disguise it by absorbing the light and down playing it’s vertical grooves. I always knew the paneling was hiding something, why else would it be there? The paneling covers the back wall and then angles out in one corner. I’ve been curious to discover what is hidden behind that panel ever since we moved in. I knew it had to be trouble. After pounding on the walls I could hear a metal reverberation behind them. Since we don’t have duct work I had no idea as to what it could possibly be. I was hoping hard for some sort of sweet time capsule.

Last Friday morning I decided to solve the mystery. After feeding the kids some breakfast, something magical took over my body. I was possessed. I have a bad habit of starting projects by putting myself in do or die situations. I ran down to the basement, grabbed a crow bar, a hammer and a blade and headed back up to our bedroom to finally reveal the secrets of the corner wall. I got the panelling down in no time, discovered drywall beneath, and within minutes I was sitting face-to-face with a large steel, yellow, riveted tank, connected to what appeared to be the radiator system. The can of worms was opened, you guys. I was secretly kind of excited about it. My husband, who had no idea what I was up to, was not.

I had a visit from the radiator guy yesterday – he was hopeful that he could get my tank out that day, but after poking around a bit we discovered that the boiler system would have to be drained first before we could move the tank. Plus I’d have to remove some of the floor so he could access a connection joint to cap the pipe off. The good news is we can remove it! IT, is an old radiator pressure tank – in case you were wondering, and he’s never seen one hidden in a corner or on a second floor of a house before.

So how did it get there? From what I can deduce, that corner used to be part of a closet. I believe there was a closet on either side of the room, just like in the boys room. Someone removed the closet to make the bedroom bigger, and in doing so they had to figure out a way to cover up this tank, thus the angled corner.

Removing this tank and repairing the plaster walls, ceiling and moldings is going to be step uno in a two step process. Before I can move on to decorating our bedroom I need to be able to start at square one with a clean slate. In order to get there I will have to make my way through a giant to-do list.


REMOVE HARDWOOD FLOOR : I’m a little uneasy about doing this but it’s the best way to access the radiator pipe connection that needs to be capped off. The other option would be to access it from the dining room ceiling, which is covered in the hated popcorn texture. It would be too much trouble to patch the opening if we accessed it through the dining room.

REMOVE SUBFLOOR : I’ll have to remove the subfloor making sure I’m not chopping through any wires.

REMOVE TANK : This will involve having my radiator buddy come back to remove the tank. Hopefully no more worms will be opened during this process and all will go smoothly.

RE-INSTALL SUB FLOOR AND HARDWOOD : Hopefully I will be able to put everything back the way I found it.

SKIM COAT PLATER WALLS : Between the plaster hidden in the corner and the plaster in the rest of our room, there is a raised edge created by years of paint layers. I’ll have to do some research and figure out the best way to skim coat the corner and level this gap out.

DETERMINE WHETHER OR NOT I SHOULD REMOVE THE POPCORN CEILING OR PATCH THE CORNER : This item is a big IF. Yes, I’d love to remove the popcorn ceiling or even drywall over it, but I’m afraid that it might be out of the cards. We are trying to work within a budget. I am worried that the popcorn ceiling contains asbestos, and in that case our only option would be to drywall over it. I want to do this at some point, and when that happens I’d like to do all the ceilings at once. Even though I hate the popcorn ceiling, the best option for right now might just be to patch it.

REPLACE CROWN & BASE BOARD MOLDING : There is only a shadow of the molding that existed at one time in this corner of the room. I am hopeful that I will find the same molding at a local salvage center, and paint it to match the rest of the room.

I’ve got my work cut out for me – big time. I’ll have to try and save a good chunk of this project for the fall and winter months even though I want to dive in now. I’ll be back later this week to share a “mood board” for the room – I need to have a prize to focus on. Wish me luck you guys, and if anyone has tips on removing hardwood floor, skim coating walls or opening large cans of giant worms, leave yer pal a comment :)

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in Around the House, Bedroom