Deuce Cities Henhouse

CSA Recipe : Veggie Thai Salad

Recipe : Veggie Thai Salad with Kale and Cabbage
TGIF, dudez! This is probably one of the last CSA recipes of the season and it’s a good one, maybe even the best. You just have to make it!

Things about it that rule, the dressing is so tyte and delicious, I would even make a little more of it next time and add even more sriracha. The sweetheart cabbage is a fantastic compliment to the kale adding the perfect snap of bitterness. You know how good cabbage is for you, right? It is full of vitamin K and anthocyanins that help with mental function (which I need a lot of) improving your defense against Alzheimer’s disease, and dementia. I love cabbage and even make my own kraut (i’m a whole lot of german), I eat a little every day, cause this girl’s gotta poop (tmi, sorry)! Chick peas are totally the best and provide tons of fiber – 2 cups give you a wholes day worth. Isn’t it pretty? If this salad were a lady it would be a total babe, just look how beautiful it is! A total winner, and you should make it!

Recipe : Veggie Thai Salad


Kale, Broccoli & Cabbage Thai Salad
Recipe from Driftless Organics


▼ ½ head of sweetheart cabbage, thinly sliced
▼ 1 bunch of kale, thinly sliced
▼ 1 red shallot, chopped
▼ 1 cup bell pepper, thinly sliced
▼ 2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
▼ 1/2 head or broccoli, chopped up into bite sized pieces
▼ 1 tbsp cilantro, chopped
▼ 1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
Thai Dressing
▼ ¼ cup peanut butter
▼ juice of 2 limes (about 4 tbsps)
▼ 2 tbsp Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (or Tamari or good soy sauce)
▼ 2 tbsp water
▼ ½ tbsp toasted sesame oil
▼ 1 tbsp maple syrup or honey
▼ 1 tsp sriracha (or lots more)
▼ 1 tsp fresh grated ginger
▼ 1 tsp garlic

Combine all dressing ingredients into a jar and stir or shake until smooth. Make sure all your veggies are chopped into bite-size pieces and toss into a large bowl to combine. Toss in chickpeas and top with dressing. Mix until all ingredients are well coated and serve immediately.
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Bedroom Update : Week 3

Deuce Cities Henhouse - Skim Coating & Repairing Walls
Hey Guys! Hope you all had a sweet labor day weekend. It’s always so nice to have a long weekend, but it’s super sad and depressing when that long weekend just means the summer is ending. I guess we’ll all be ready to to hunker down and cozy up in no time, right?

I’ve been spending the last week or so working crazy-mad-hard at skim coating, sanding, caulking, priming and painting the walls in our master bedroom. I have literally been living my life covered in dust. The flip side, I totally won! I ruled this wall.

Let’s start at the beginning. Just one short month ago I found myself staring at a huge tank that I just happened to find while snooping around in the bedroom. By snooping, I really mean going at the corner wall in my bedroom with a crow bar and sledge hammer, but whatev, same dif. Anyway, there was obviously a few hurtles I was going to have to fly over if I was going to remove the panelling, get rid of the pressure tank, and fix the damaged corner that had been covered up years (and years) ago.

Deuce Cities Henhouse - Skim Coating & Repairing Walls
After discovering the tank I found myself facing a lot of questions and big unknowns – How was I going to get the tank out? Could it come out? Was it an integral part of the heating system? How was this all going to happen? How would I patch the baseboard? Would I have to texture the ceiling? And how the hell does one skim coat a wall?

After thinking hard and consulting with some heating dudes, we discovered that we could actually remove the tank. The best way to do it without causing the most damage was to remove a section of the hardwood floor in the bedroom in order for them to cap off the pipe running to the tank. The biggest cost of this project was removing the tank. In order to do that I had to bring in the heating and cooling experts in to drain our boiler and radiator system, remove the tank from the wall, and then refill the system. That set us back $400 bones – which without a doubt was totally worth it to have the square footage back.

After the tank was gone, I very carefully reinstalled the floors in the opposite manner I had taken them out. I took a lot of photos when I removed them, and even numbered the bottom of the boards. Next was a trip to the salvage warehouse to find baseboard and trim to match the existing so I could patch in the bare spot left in the corner. That set me back a whopping $40. Before installing the trim I finished texturing the ceiling for $30, and then I was able to begin skim coating the wall. The tools and supplies for the walls cost me roughly $50.

I had never skim coated a whole wall before. I had done a patch job behind the stove in the kitchen in preparation for tiling and a long time ago I was able to watch our friendly handyman Ken show me a thing or two when he skim coated the music room walls. Between raw natural instinct (ha) and scouring over Daniel’s plaster repair post at, and in turn discovering Alex’s plaster series at, I was able to piece enough information together to take on the task. I knew that I didn’t want to use real-deal plaster as it takes a true pro to apply it the proper way without effing it all to hell. Joint compound on the other hand is much more forgiving, and was something a nobody like myself could take on.

Deuce Cities Henhouse - Skim Coating & Repairing Walls
Of course I had to do it my own way (aka not the proper way). Since the job wasn’t insanely big I only used a few tools. First, I used Ultra Lightweight All Purpose PRE MIXED joint compound. It took me one 4.5 gallon bucket to do the wall and corners. An 14″ taping knife, a 4″ putty knife to load up the back of the taping knife with joint compound, and this awesome 4″ inside corner tool used for making the most perfect corners ever. You guys, I love the corner tool. I was trying to be all cool and do the corners myself using the taping knife. I was doing a pretty good job of it, and then for kicks I tried the corner tool. Jesus, it was insane – perfect corners with no effort.

I did the first and second coat of joint compound in sections. I was able to get a nice smooth surface by doing the left and right sides of the wall first, and then after letting the joint compound dry for a few hours I came back and smoothed out the center area. This worked well for me as I wasn’t advanced enough to take on the whole wall in one go. I wiped down the walls with a damp sponge and sanded in between coats with a medium coarse sanding sponge specially designed to be used with joint compound. For the third coat I filled in spots that needed a little extra attention. Using a lamp with a pivoting head I was able to angle the light in a way that I could see the shadows and imperfections on the wall very easily – you should do this! After the last touch up layer had dried, I sanded the entire wall with a fine sanding block. Sanding the last layer with the fine sanding sponge was essential, and made the walls become insanely smooth and perfect – ready for primer and paint.

Guess what I did? I had the Home Depot match some Farrow & Ball shades of white paint for me, actually they didn’t even have to match them because they already had the blends all calculated into their system, yeah man, they know. All I had to do was ask. So instead of spending $100 bucks on a gallon of paint I spent $60 on two gallons of paint and had the depot mix up some All White for the trim and Wimborne White for the walls using Behr paint. Do you know what? Those cheap paints blend perfectly with my very expensively painted walls – so consider that a tip.

I did learn a good lesson and hopefully it’s something I will take with me for the next time I attempt a project like this. I have a tendency to jump in feet first if you haven’t noticed, and I really need to slow down just a little bit. I came out of the gates running charging, and began working on the project before I had all the proper supplies – this is a bad habit of mine. I patched in the first layer of cracks with fiberglass mesh and joint compound (normally a good idea), however I used some joint compound that I just happened to have on hand. It dried much harder than the ultra lightweight joint compound I skim coated with, and every time I sanded a layer of the new joint compound, the first-patched-layer, made with the much harder joint compound would show through. It was insanely frustrating and cost me a lot of extra time. So there, now you know.

Deuce Cities Henhouse - Skim Coating & Repairing Walls
Next up is wallpaper and after much debating I think we have a winner. It was a super hard choice, and I’m really insanely-crazily-excited to order it and share it with you! But first, it’s the GD fall and I need to get my butt in gear and stain that fence and get the yard ready for winter and do a bunch of other dumb crap. Inside projects are for cold weather so you’ll/I’ll just have to wait.

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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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