Deuce Cities Henhouse

Peeñed Up Jam

Peeñed Up Jam
Hey Guys! My favorite thing about fall is very intensive meat and cheese boards, ya know what I am saying? Very delicious and fatty meats hanging out with lots of stinky cheeses, and a suitable amount of beer to wash it all down. My usual platters consist of tons of arugula, spicy mustard, pickled veggies, maybe a piece of fruit or two, butt loads of crostinis and some sort of sweet and savory jammy jam.

Last winter our good buddy Matt, gifted us the best homemade cheese accouterment ever! Guys I’m about to share with you “Uncle Matt’s Peeñed Up Jam” recipe. Oh man, my eyes are watering just thinking about it, partly because I’m crying out of love and adoration, and partly because my house is full of habanero fumes and my eyeball skins are big babies.

Anyway, just get wild with your cheese plates, you guys!

Peeñed Up Jam

Peeñed Up Jam

Peeñed Up Jam

Peeñed Up Jam

   
 

Peeñed Up Jammy Jam

Ingredients:

▼ 1 1/2 lbs sweet peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces (6 cups)
▼ 2-3 red habanero peppers
▼ 1 cup apple cider vinegar
▼ 3 tablespoons Sure-Jell less pectin
▼ 3 1/4 cups sugar
▼ 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
▼ 3/4 teaspoon salt

Sterilize jars and lids:
Put empty jars rings, and rings on a rack in a boiling-water canner or a deep 8- to 10-quart pot and add enough hot water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, covered, then boil 10 minutes. Remove canner from heat, leaving jars in water, covered. Keep jars and lids submerged in hot water, covered, until ready to use.

Making da Jelly Mon:
Pulse sweet and habanero peppers in a food processor until finely chopped. Combine pectin and 1/4 cup sugar in a small bowl. Stir together pepper mixture, vinegar, butter, salt, and remaining 3 cups sugar in a 5 quart heavy pot. Bring to a boil over high heat, then continue to boil vigorously, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Gradually add pectin mixture, whisking constantly. Return jelly to a vigorous boil, stirring constantly, and boil, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes (mixture will thicken slightly). Remove from heat.

Leaving 1/4 inch of space at top. Run a clean plastic spatula between jelly and sides of jars to eliminate air bubbles. Wipe off rims of filled jars with a damp clean kitchen towel, then firmly screw on lids with screw bands.

Seal and process jars:
Put sealed jars on rack in canner or pot and add enough hot water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a full boil for 15 minutes. Transfer jars with canning tongs to a towel-lined surface to cool. Jars will seal.

Let jar cool 12 to 24 hours, Jelly keeps in sealed jars in a cool dark place 5 to 6 months.

Peeñed Up Jam
Yo, Dawgs: Make sure to pay attention to your measurements and time, too much or too little sugar won’t allow the pectin to set up and over cooking it will lead to rock candy. Also, if you don’t want to process the jars just fill clean jars and store in the fridge for up to six weeks!

Also, I did a half sized recipe for the photos above :)

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in Eats

Bedroom Plan

Hey Guys, happy Friday! I meant to get a few posts out this week but we’ve been doing some intensive potty training and life has crazy been busy to say the least. Plus the lady friends and I had a girls night in the middle of the week – it took me most of the next day to recover. Note to self: No tequila shots after 9pm on a school night. I am a bad mom who still likes to think she can party sometimes, whoops.

I’ve been really eager to share with you guys a more refined plan for the bedroom. Now that things are slowly falling into place I can see the big picture beginning to come together. I feel really great that I’ve been able to come in under our budget thus far, and I think I have a lot of good ideas that will help to save even more money as the project continues. I really want to achieve a vintage modern look set off with a bit of Scandinavian influences. I’m really thinking through space planning, making sure that all design elements serve a functional purpose in the space, while also relating to one another aesthetically.

So here’s the plan!

Painting the Ikea Stockholm Side Table from yellow to white adding brass hardware and (maybe) painting light-coral dipped legs will achieve an expensive look without having to spend tons of cash.
1: The Bed | 2: Vintage Accents | 3: Brass Hardware | 4: Sconce Lighting | 5: Duvet & Shams | 6: Lamb Hair Accent Pillow | 7: Indigo Quilt (the best bedding I have ever owned) | 8: Light Pink Linen Pillow Cases | 9: Indigo Sheets

I plan on installing a corner shelving system using Ash wood – similar in style on the left but fitted for a corner area like on the right.
1: Vintage Bertoia Diamond Chair in White | 2: Sheepskin | 3: Brass Task Lamp

I picked up an old cedar lined chest of drawers from my Aunt’s house. The dresser is in rough shape but with a little TLC, a new paint job and replacement legs, I think it will look pretty awesome in this space.
1: Ranarp Desk Lamp | 2: White Modern Planter | 3: Furniture Legs with Brass | 4: Full Length Mirror
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in Around the House, Inspiration

Slowly Figuring it Out

Vintage Modern Bedroom
Heya! Welcome to the post wherein I blabber about minute details of my bedroom for a very long period of time. Ready? Here goes.

I dunno about you, but when I put together spaces in my home, everything is extremely thought out. I find that it really helps to have a detailed plan from the jump, and every element should be as functional to the space as possible while looking super fly. I start with the big decisions and than whittle my way down. Basically one decision leads to the next, to the next, and so, on until everything falls into place. I nag my husband and my girlfriends constantly about my options and ideas to reassure myself I am on the right track. There is a lot of self doubt involved in this process, it’s how I roll.

I hope you don’t mind that I go back and forth in real time on the blog showing you guys my sometimes crazy detailed thought process. I still see this blog as a diary of some-sorts, so if things take a long time and I change my mind, then so be it. I’ll blog about it. I hope you guys don’t hate me for sharing all the mundane stuff too.

Remember, a few weeks ago I was gung-ho on a wrap around fauxdenza? Well now (after much thought) I have come to the conclusion that I need to start with the big design choices before I start figuring out the secondary stuff. I get overly eager to just do things sometimes, which on occasion is a benefit, but in this situation I need to take it slow. I now realize that sticking cabinets on my walls is not always the best decision. The bed needs to come first because, it’s just more important to the room, I mean it is a “bed”room after all. I’d hate to invest in semi-built-in-cabinets and then not have it jive (yeah what, I said that) in the space. After much consideration we made a decision and ordered a real-deal-grown-ass-person bed.

When Waff (aka Jeff Allen) and I began looking for a bed we wanted to find something upholstered in a light neutral fabric. Although I like platform beds we had decided we didn’t want something low to the ground, and narrowed our search to beds that included both a headboard and low footboards with clean modern lines. We felt squeezed financially on almost all the beds that fit our criteria though. Most of what we saw ranged from $1500 – $1800 bucks, and although I’m sure the price is totally worth it, we really didn’t want to shell out that kinda dough.

I had noticed the upholstered sleigh bed at West Elm a long time ago, way before I started the bedroom project. I had even pointed it out to Jeff, and he agreed he liked it, but we figured that there was no way his 6′ 4″ body would fit in it comfortably. The footboard is a little higher than most, and he wouldn’t be able to let his dogs dangle. So, I just stopped thinking about it. But now that we were actually in the market for a new bed it popped up on my radar once again. If only I could chop a few inches of his body everything would be perfect. Long story short, we could not chop up Jeff and the bed needed a closer look. We made a stop into West Elm and I made him lay down in the bed, in the store, in public. I’m pretty sure he hated me for it, but whatever. He almost fit in it! We were looking at the full sized model and figured that since we had a queen, which was 6″ longer than a full bed we might be in luck. The price was so good, we just had to see if it worked. We went ahead and ordered the bed directly from the store, we saved $100 on delivery and I signed up for the West Elm store card saving us another 10%. We basically got the bed for $825 before tax, which seemed like a pretty sweet price to us.

Vintage Modern Bedroom
Guys, we totally love this bed! We have been going to bed at like 8:30 because this bed is sweet and comfy. Our mattress is finally adequately supported, and the platinum grey upholstered headboard and footboard just make it feel like you are so tucked in. We are really happy with the choice we made, and it makes the room look god damn adult. I’m honestly a bit uncomfortable with how grownup we are getting.

Vintage Modern Bedroom
In case you’re new around here, this (above) is the position we have always had the bed in, perpendicular to the long wall. We never really considered anything else because we had the corner of the room eaten up with the angled wall that was hiding that tank, remember? Now that’s gone, and the corner is squared off so there are more possibilities for furniture layout in this room. More possibilities means more driving myself crazy, naturally.

Vintage Modern Bedroom
I’ve reached this phase of my bedroom project where I just have to pause for awhile and figure out how the space is going to function the best for us. I mentioned this in my last post about the floor plan, but I don’t think I emphasized how much we are really, really taking this slow. Right now things are stuck as we try and figure out what goes where. A few of you asked or suggested in the comments that I turn the bed on a 90º angle putting it centered on the newly wallpapered wall. This was also my first instinct, and it’s exactly what I did after wallpapering. That was a few weeks ago, my bed was just a mattress and box spring then, strategically placed on a broken frame and some books as to prevent it from sinking into itself. After sleeping with the bed on that wall for one night we decided that it just didn’t feel right. It puts the head of the bed in the darkest part of the room, and this makes waking up in the morning so difficult. Then there is the problem with the entire bedroom seeming like a bowling alley. When the bed runs parallel to the length of the room, everything else begins to seem really far away. We put the bed back in it’s original po-zish (aka position) the next morning agreeing that it just wasn’t for us.

Fast forward to a few weeks later and here we are with a new bed. The new bed frame adds a few inches to the length of the bed and elongates it (dur), and we decided to give the wallpapered wall layout another whirl. I have to admit, it all makes a lot more sense with the new bed. I like that everything is nice, orderly, and centered when you enter the room. From the doorway you see the entire bed instead of just the side of it. There is still bad stuff though. The bed is still positioned on the darker side of the room. We don’t like that much. Also, if we were to keep the bed in this new position we would encounter some new design hurdles. I’d have to find a piece of furniture to put at the end of the bed, without something there the bed doesn’t feel long enough for the space. That old dresser pictured above is just there to illustrate furniture placement. We’d also have to come up with a creative solution for our TV because we are TV addicts! I am 100% certain that there is a way to include our beloved TV in this layout, it just needs to be discovered. Please note that the yellow lamp or the side tables won’t be staying in the room. I’d like to have wall sconces for both sides of the bed and matching night stands. I’ve got more on all that stuff coming in another post.

We like having the bed positioned to the perpendicular wall too (the orig way). If we were to do this I think it would be best to get some narrow piece of furniture on the wallpapered wall whether it be the fauxdenza or some other sort of credenza/buffety/dressery type thing. When positioned on this wall the bed faces east and we can see the sun come up right out through the sunroom windows. This really helps us get up and moving in the morning. I know it’s not the most inviting thing to walk into a bedroom and only see the side of a bed, and it’s not fun having to walk around the bed in the middle of the night when I you have to use the restroom, ya know? Seeing daylight out the windows in the morning is really nice though. What are we to do?

Obviously, I’m undecided on this issue. I think we’ll literally sleep on it for a few days and see how the room feels to us with the bed on the other wall. I’m also going to be nagging my friends for input and advice. I’m a huge believer in designing a space slowly so that you can see how it functions best for you. Sometimes living with something (or a certain layout) for years makes it really hard to see it in a new way without feeling strange. Wish us luck!

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in Bedroom

Bedroom Floor Plans

Bedroom Floor Plan
Whut Up? I bet you guys really want to know about the floor plan of my bedroom, right? Well for those of you who care, you might find it a little interesting as it has a bit of history and some tricky design obstacles. It dawned on me after reading some of your comments, that I never have really taken the time to explain our semi-unconventional bedroom. It’s not really that crazy, it’s just that it is in an old house, and obviously people used to do things a bit differently back then. What I’m trying to say is that it’s not your typical modern bedroom. The room isn’t nice and square, there is no dedicated wall to put the bed on, it’s long and narrow and layout has always been tricky for us. Things make a lot more sense design wise after getting rid of the hidden tank and squaring off the corner, but it’s still tricky.

We have a sunroom off of our bedroom which is awesome but not typical. The entrance of it consists of one large door with a large glass window pane with two full sized double hung windows flanking it. The sunroom has windows on all three walls, and it is our only source of natural light in the bedroom. Depending on the time of day we get a lot of natural light but there are still some dark spots in our bedroom and it can become very cave like on dark cloudy days. The newly wallpapered wall adds a lot of life to the room and helps offset the darkness.

The sunroom most likely used to be an open air porch or a sleeping porch. Now that I have learned more about these old houses I believe it was probably a sleeping porch used during hot muggy summers nights. It’s been enclosed and insulated and although there is no heat source (only the radiator in our bedroom) it stays relatively warm in the winter and we use it all year round. Since updating it last spring we now use it all the time, the kids lounge there to watch TV, and we hang there at nights enjoying a cocktail while devouring the latest spy show starring cool 90′s teen babes.

We don’t have an en-suite bathroom or a walk in closet or anything like that. The interior entry door splits the room almost in half and acts as an invisible hallway directing traffic straight into the sunroom. It’s not a path I really feel like interrupting with furniture. Since there is an invisible barrier between the “bed side” of the room and the other, I thought it would be best to define the “other” space as a functional area in our bedroom and I think I have a plan.

Back in the middle of summer I found a framed full length mirror at Ikea for $30 bucks in the AS IS section. I nabbed it without giving it a second thought. We had been living without a full length mirror for years, and I was over it. Anyway, that basic framed mirror began the downward spiral that is now the bedroom redo. The mirror is the most uninspiring piece of furniture ever, but I bought it on a whim and didn’t measure. It turns out it totally doesn’t fit on the wall I was planning it to rest on. So of course that meant furniture rearrangement, and before I knew it big ideas started coming. It wasn’t all just the mirrors fault, I had been planning on a bedroom makeover eventually, especially since we had finished the sunroom, the bedroom was begging to be changed up. Then mirror just pushed me over the edge. Before you know it I was tearing down the walls and uncovering old mechanics.

Wow, I really get off track quickly, guys, sorry. Back to the far side of the room (aka the “other” side). I was thinking since we don’t have a big closet it would be nice to make it a dressing area. Of course it would include the full length mirror and a tall chest of drawers. Directly across from that I’d like to incorporate a new chair for sitting on (duh) as part of the dressing area. A babe needs a spot to put her shoes on. Behind the chair I’m toying with the idea of adding a mini library, because there are chairs in libraries, so obviously. I know it doesn’t all make tons of sense yet, but I can see it coming together. I know we’d never actually sit there to read, but I think a corner book shelf mounted on the wall would be kind of cool. It would solve the problem of our homeless library of books and the chair would make it feel libraryish. Get it?

It’s all still a big work in progress. I could never be a real designer because I just can’t make all of the decisions in advance. I really need to spend time in a space and witness it slowly coming together, while bothering my husband with hypothetical design questions. I gotta have time to simmer bros. Since I first started stewing I’ve come up with even more specific design ideas for the space and I’m hoping to share those with you next week. This is the long game, my friends. Hang in there.

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in Around the House, My House

Pruning your Fiddle Leaf Fig

Pruning your Fiddle Leaf Fig - Deuce Cities Henhouse
Friends! Just wanted to give you a little fiddle leaf fig (aka ficus lyrata) update. Both my fiddle leaf figs (1 and 2) have grown tons this summer, it’s is really exciting watching new leafs appear all the time. One of my figs (the younger one) really began growing rapidly from the center stalk. It was actually starting to look a bit funny, like an awkward gangly teen (as you can see in the above photo). I really want to encourage my tree to take on a more rounded shape so I decided to do something drastic. After scouring the internet on fiddle leaf fig pruning advice I decided to go ahead and chop off the top of my fig. Now I’ve got to let you know that I didn’t find a lot of solid info out there on the old net, so after some careful observations I came to the conclusion that I’d have a decent chance of creating new branch growth if I lopped off the top of my fig tree, so I did it.

Pruning your Fiddle Leaf Fig - Deuce Cities Henhouse
Minutes after carefully chopping off the top of my tree with a pair of sharp pruning shears I was filled with regret and worry. I wasn’t confident that this was really going to work. That was nearly 7 weeks ago. I was expecting to see a new branch after about two weeks. This totally didn’t happen, then the days passed and there was still no sign of growth. I was sure that I had ruined my tree. I could’ve cried about it, fer real. After four weeks passed, something amazing happened, I spotted the smallest little bud beginning to be formed! My plan worked!

Now mind you, the whole intent of this was to create two new branches in hopes of creating a more rounded vibe for my tree, but when I saw that new growth, I could care less, I was so happy and relieved to see something growing from the main stalk. I was sure I had screwed up my tree for lyfe. I also can see what appears to be the very beginning of a new branch bulge (whatever, my words aren’t technical) so I still am keeping my fingers crossed that it will produce more than the single branch. I’ll let you know what happens over the next few weeks.

If you’re gonna take on pruning your tree, make sure to do so in the months when it is growing – this is super, super important. I read somewhere that August was best, but I bet it would almost be better in the late July months. I am no expert, so don’t take my word for it, just consider what I have to say. If you’re gonna try this it is best to prune your tree immediately after a leaf, you can see in the photo below where I did this. I also paid careful attention to where my fig had been pruned prior (before it was mine). I even examined all the fiddle leaf figs and their pruning scars when I visited the garden center. I’m totally a tree detective.

I imagine my tree has another leaf or two to grow before it ends this growing season. I’m hopeful that next spring it will really take off and the new branches will begin to actually look like branches. I am really, really hoping.

Pruning your Fiddle Leaf Fig - Deuce Cities Henhouse
So, have any of you ever tried doing this before with your Ficus? How did it turn out. Let’s start a discussion about pruning our super fast growing Fiddle Leaf Figs!

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in Awesomeness, gardening