Deuce Cities Henhouse


You guys, something big happened earlier this week. My eldest son/dude started kindergarten. That is a crazy huge milestone for both him and me. I’m so totally excited for him as he’s been way ready to start school. He has one of those funny summertime birthdays and you can choose to send the kids when they are either five or six, we decided to send him when he was six, because it was good to have him around for just another year. However, he’s been out of his mind this summer – a ball of energy and questions with nowhere to unload them. I love the kid to death, but it was time for him to get out of the house and go hang out at school.

He’s done fine with the transition, and I know he’s gonna do great at ruling this school thing.

So that means I’m at home with just one kid, which is also totally crazy weird. I had worked up until Gus was born and was never at home with Finn full time. I’ve never had just one kid in my house day after day. I’m very much looking forward to having one-on-one time with my Gus.

Big things, big changes. Have a cool weekend, dudes!

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Wallpaper Indycyzunz

wallpaper options
Oh god, you guys. We are experiencing some major wallpaper indecision up in ‘dis piece. It all started because one miss Scoops Allen got swayed by some wallpaper that normally I would never in a million, gazillion years go for. I was in trouble from the moment I laid eyes on it – I’ve had permanent blinders on, and have barely been able to consider any other paper. This dreamy paper is the new Rifle Paper Co wallpaper design for Hygge & West seen above on the right. I have no idea why I love it; maybe the colors, maybe the grandma style floral pattern done-up with a slightly more modern vibe, or maybe I just do, okay?! It was one of the first patterns I spied when I began considering wallpaper options for the bedroom wall. At first I thought, ‘well that’s kinda cool but way not my taste’, and then I couldn’t stop thinking about it. The thing is, it’s totally not my usual taste AT.ALL. I am very afraid if I follow through with this whim that I will regret it very quickly. I have a hunch that this is just one of those fleeting love affairs, and really it just won’t last. AND when your best pal, your mom, and your husband all tell you that the wallpaper you are crushing on is “a surprising choice” and totally “not what they expected” (aka the midwestern way of them saying, “yuck, dude”) does that mean you shouldn’t put it all over your walls?

Okay so all that stuff being said, I’ve been trying to search out other options looking at things that I would typically go for, remember when I did this black and white wallpaper roundup a year or so ago? I have always wanted B&W wallpaper in the bedroom. The Woods wallpaper (on the left) by Cole & Sons wasn’t included in that list, but it’s been something I’ve been thinking more and more about. A little more sophisticated them some of my other options, yet still modern and best of all black and white. Not only that it gets me right in that Urban Cabin genre that I so love. I think it could look really awesome in our room, compliment the scene I have going on in the sunroom and most of all, Jeff really likes it – and I like it when he is happy. I worry that it’s a little too kitschy, but really this pattern has been in production for years, and years, and years – so it’s kind of a classic.

Deuce Cities Henhouse : Bedroom Color Palette
Both of these patterns would go well with what the new look in the sunroom – a style and color palette that I plan on spreading around the bedroom emphasizing the neutrals (navy, white and grey) and using less pattern then I did in the sunroom. Anyway, what do you guys think? What’s a girl to do, really?

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Bedroom Update : Week 2

Skim Coating and Repairing Plaster Walls
Hey Guys! Long time no see. I miss you tons. I’ve been VERY busy using every scrap of spare time I have working on my bedroom walls. After we had the pressure tank removed last week I wanted to jump right in and begin repairing the walls and replacing the baseboard and “crown molding” (it is not very regal). I needed to get the bedroom back into suitable order ASAP.

Repairing Antique Baseboard Molding
One of the biggest unknowns when I began planning out this whole bedroom project was how I was going to replace the missing baseboard and ceiling moldings in the corner of the room. I assumed I’d be able to find something at a salvage yard but I didn’t know for sure. Last week I went out with the kids to visit a few local architectural salvage places. I first stopped at Architectural Antiques, which was mind blowingly beautiful and crammed full of architectural wonderfulness, but they didn’t have a lot of scrap trim to dig through. They suggested I head over the river and take a look at the baseboard collection at Bauer Bros. Oh my god, I thought the hardware store was my favorite store, but this might be my new heaven. We wandered through an entire warehouse brimming with radiators, claw foot tubs, light fixtures, hardware and much much more before hitting the trim and molding section. This was a hunt and gather sort of an operation so with the kids help we began digging through hundreds of pieces of trim searching for something that matched our own. After about an hour we had a 12′ piece of baseboard that was nearly identical to the one we had as well as a piece of ceiling molding. It was so awesome, and fun, and exhilarating. I can’t wait to go back.

The next challenge was having to install the baseboard and molding, something I have zero experience doing. After watching a few videos, including this gem, I felt confident that I could take on this task. I began by doing a little baseboard musical chairs. The piece that I needed to patch was only less than a few feet long, but since the baseboard I found was slightly different I didn’t want the pieces to join on a seam and look patched. Instead, I felt like the slight differences would be much less noticeable if the met up in a corner. So I began the process of removing the baseboard from the south wall so that I could used it to patch the small bit of missing baseboard on the west wall. Then I used the newly found baseboard piece from the salvage store of on the entire length of the south wall. I did the same thing with the ceiling moldings and in no time the wall was and corner were starting to look not so shitty. I am so GD proud.

I used my neighbors miter saw for all my cuts, which was totally awesome. I am for sure adding one onto my birthday wish list. A girl can dream, right? After the walls and floor are fully repaired I’ll go ahead and caulk my seams, fill my holes and prime and paint the molding. Hopefully it will look like it’s always been there.

I ran into a few problems installing the trim. For one the new piece of baseboard was slightly warped and wall that I was attaching it to was slightly bowed. It took a lot of muscle to get that baby to sit right where it was supposed to. I literally spent a few hours muscling it into place. Secondly, cutting angles around a the roof line was a real hard thing for me to figure out. However, I was able to do it in a very unprofessional manner using my old reliable friend, trial and error.

My most unknown challenge thus far has been the floors, I was so worried that I would ruin them when I had to remove a section of them last week to get at the pipe joint connection to the radiator system which was hidden between the floor and ceiling joists. I was so relieved when I was able to successfully reinstall the original floors without destroying them, I felt like the rest of the projects were downhill from there. I am now left with the task of sanding down the floors in the corner so that they match the natural look of the floors in the rest of the bedroom. Using my mouse sander and some 60 grit sand paper I went to town. In no time the floors were beginning to resemble the rest of the room, so yeah, I am totally ruling this and feel like a total badass. After I get the walls fixed up I’ll add a layer of satin poly in the corner and they should blend in perfectly with the rest of the space.

Skim Coating and Repairing Plaster Walls
I hated doing it, but I had to. IT was adding popcorn patch to my hated popcorn textured ceilings. The way I saw it I had two options. Either drywall over the entire ceiling or suck it up and patch the corner. I choose the latter because it’s easier, duh. Someday when we do decide to drywall over the popcorn ceilings, we will do all the areas that suffer this gross fate in one fell swoop, that day is not today.

Using the cans of popcorn repair spray is not fun. This is my second experience doing this. After doing it to patch a water stain on the first floor I knew that I was in for a total stinky mess. I used plastic drop cloth and some push pins to thoroughly close off the area that I was going to be patching leaving a bit of extra space for feathering in. I also did this step before I installed any of my newly found molding as to not destroy them with popcorn filth. The popcorn cans are a total rip off, they run about 15 bucks a pop and have a total of 6 seconds of spray in them. This time, instead of standing directly under the area I was working in, I just put my bare arm in my newly created plastic spray booth. I’d spray a swoop of ceiling texture for a literal second and then use my eyeballs to check where I needed to aim for next. This process worked well, although I was disappointed that I needed two cans of that expensive popcorn stuff to do this small area of ceiling. Whatever – it’s done, and the corner is now beginning to look better.

Skim Coating and Repairing Plaster Walls
I just started the real-deal hard part: repairing and skim coating the walls. There were a lot of cracks in the plaster, due to general house settling. With the walls being hidden behind panelling no one had bothered to repair them. A few spots were loose from the lath, and I used the plaster buttons on Daniel’s recommendaish to attach them back. I’m glad I read other peoples cool blogs to know about such cool hardware technologies, the buttons seemed to work really well considering how basic they are. I also began my initial layer of joint compound and mesh to repair the cracked areas. Things are starting to look real nice around here. Next up, sanding and skim coating, and sanding and skim coating, and then hopefully wallpaper and beautifulness. I’ll share more about what I’m thinking later this week. Until then, you know where I’ll be.

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Bedroom Update : Week 1

Restoring Plaster Walls
Hey Guys! Woah, I went on an impromptu blog break and it was awesome! I don’t know what got into me but after getting back from our buddies wedding I was all like “eff it”. For one, I didn’t have too many awesome things to tell you about, for two it’s the summer and I felt like just hanging, and for three I needed to spend that time working on this crazy bedroom mess I started.

I’m sure a few of you don’t understand why I’ve put so much effort into removing the corner wall of the bedroom and the paneling. It is a huge project to undertake for not that much change, but the thing is, even though it will take a butt load of effort, this room will be way more awesome in the end because of it. That corner wall that was covering up the old ancient pressure tank was cutting into my bed side table scene. The room already feels bigger just having that space opened up. Plus no dated wood paneling, bonus!

Restoring Plaster Walls
There is a pile of work for me to take on to get these walls looking like they once did. The next big project will be to search the local architectural salvage yards for baseboard and ceiling molding to match the existing. Both the baseboard and the ceiling moldings are very simple, so I am hopeful I will find something for the corner of the room.

Bedroom Wall To-Do List

Sand and Poly Floor in the Corner
Texture the ceiling in the Corner
Use Plaster Buttons on Loose areas of the walls
Find and Install Baseboard Molding
Add Quarter Round to Baseboard, Fill Holes, Caulk Paint
Find and Install Ceiling Molding
Fill Holes, Caulk and Paint Crown Molding
Research Skim Coating
Add Plaster Buttons, Repair Cracks
Skim Coat and Sand Walls
Prime Walls and Paint
▽ Wallpaper

Restoring Plaster Walls
The big news this week is that I was able to successfully get rid of that huge pressure tank that I uncovered in the corner of the room. That is, me and a few of my best heating and cooling strong-men-buddies got rid of that tank. After spending a few sleepless nights weighing the pros and cons of accessing the pipe joint through my bedroom hardwood floor or through the dining room ceiling, I opted for the bedroom floor. I’m glad I did too, because I was able to gently take it apart and then masterfully put it all back together. You can’t even tell!

Here are a few photos of my handy work.
Restoring Plaster Walls
Yeah, dawgz! We got that big old tank out of there and my radiator handy dudes capped off the pipe under the floor. Then I put it all back together the same way I took it apart. Check out the photos below, that tank featured some tyte hand lettering on the back side of it. I took a picture so I could remember, but I was happy to see it go.

Restoring Plaster Walls
Thanks so much for hanging in there while I took a break, I’ll be answering your comments from last week throughout the day today. Just a heads up: you’ll probably see me on the blog a little less frequently the next few weeks while I spend a good amount of time soaking up the summer and tackling this bedroom.

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CSA Recipe : Watermelon & Cucumber Salad

Savory Watermelon & Cucumber Salad with Lime and Basil
Hello budz! I know I keep saying I am ‘so busy’ all the time, but I promise I will shut up about it soon. Life will be more relaxed after this week is over, and then I promise that I will begin to chat about new Ikea catalogs, my bedroom tanker project and other crap like that. I hope you don’t hate me for dumping a bunch of non-housy posts on you and being very slow to respond to your great comments (I will I swear it) but this last month has just been nuts! July has been full of birthdays, bridal parties, weddings, cabins and CSA boxes. So before you decide to never come back and visit me again, let me share one more CSA recipe (because it’s super good and it’s one of my favs) and then I’ll be back with some new home content.

In case you didn’t know – My name is Alison Allen, and I am a watermelon addict. I have a refrigerator full of sliced watermelon all of the times. I eat it everyday as a snack, every morning with breakfast and late at night, whoops. When this recipe showed up in our veggie box this week I was amped, and it didn’t disappoint this watermelon lova.

Did you dawgs know that watermelon can be served up in a super savory fashion with a little salt, pepper, olive oil and citrus? It’s the best – not kidding. Don’t forget that watermelon isn’t all sugar and water it’s actually made up of lots of good nutrients and provides a high amount of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants for a low amount of calories, blaow.

This recipe is topped of with some highly fancy and very french chiffonade chopped basil, and I’ve made something very similar to it before with mint – I bet there are even other herbs that it would taste tyte with it too. If you’re looking for even more adventure (and quite a bit of onion breath), check out my old fav over here from Nigella Watson.

Savory Watermelon & Cucumber Salad with Lime and Basil
Thanks to redEnvelope for gifting me this super sweet turquoise dipped Acacia wood bowl with tongs. I totally love it and was in mad need of a new salad bowl.


Cucumber & Watermelon Salad with Basil
Recipe from Driftless Organics


▼ 1 cucumber
▼ 3 cups watermelon cut into 1” cubes
▼ juice & zest from 1 small lime
▼ 1 tbsp honey
▼ 3 tbsp olive oil
▼ salt & pepper to taste
▼ ¼ c. fresh basil leaves, cut into chiffonade

Cut watermelon into 1″ cubes. Peel long stripes into cucumbers, cut lengthwise, & scoop out seeds with a spoon. Cut into chunks the size of the watermelon cubes. In a serving bowl, whisk together lime juice, zest, honey, oil, salt & pepper. Add cucumbers and watermelon and toss gently to coat and serve immediately. Serves 4.
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