Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Sayonara Summer

As summer draws to an end each year I always seem to experience conflicting emotions.  It's a little sad to think about the fact that vacations are over, hawaiian shave ice stands are closing, and the sun will soon go down much earlier than 9pm.   But I'm also usually ready and excited to have a little more routine in my life, watch the leaves turn orange and yellow, and to pull out my fall sweaters.  I guess the trick to living a full life is enjoying the here and now.

From a design aspect it doesn't get more summery than a crisp white room with brilliant pops of color.  Ahhhh, doesn't this combination just make you happy? Here are some of the prettiest summery rooms I've seen this season..... 

 

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Summer, we've loved you, but we have to let you go.

Bring it on Fall.  Can't wait to see what you bring to the table:) 

 

 

  

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Posted by Andie at 7:02 PM 0 Comments

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

The Easiest Bread I've Ever Made

I LOVE homemade bread.  Like, really really love homemade bread.   No matter how close to the real deal some store bought bread might be, it just doesn't even come close to the deliciousness of homemade bread.  There's nothing like a fresh from the oven slice of warm bread slathered in copious amounts of butter.  Get in my belly.  

The term "homemade bread" can be scary for some.  It's territory that people are hesitant to even venture into.  I mean, you make a loaf of homemade bread and suddenly the general population thinks you're a domestic goddess!  Case in point: The other night I hosted a dinner party with a bunch of girlfriends and I made this sourdough bread recipe I'm about to share with you.  Everyone was ohhhhhhing and ahhhhhing over it.  When I told them it was super easy one of my friends piped up, "Oh I don't do homemade bread.  There's no way I could ever make it."  Ummmm if you can do basic math and have flour, water, yeast & salt at your house I'm pretty sure you can make this bread!  (Seriously, your kindgergartener could probably whip this up no problem.)  And did I mention it's absolutely DELICIOUS??  Enjoy!

 

Amazing no-knead Sourdough
from the Keeping Up Cookbook

This easy method for making crusty, artisan sourdough bread might just change your life (and possibly your waistline).  The texture is best with bread flour, but it works just as beautifully with all-purpose flour.

You will need a large, lidded, oven-proof pot or dutch oven.  Measure the bottom of your pot to determine which size loaf to make (doesn’t have to be exact).  

8” round loaf

3 cups bread flour
1.5 cups water
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
cornmeal

10" round loaf

4 cups bread flour
2 cups water
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
cornmeal

In a large bowl, stir together ingredients until well combined.  If there is leftover flour in the bowl after mixing, add water by the 1/4 teaspoon until all flour has been incorporated.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap and allow to sit on your counter for 18 hours (plus or minus a few hours is fine).  Dough will spread, rise slightly and be bubbly on top.

Lay a clean, cotton dishtowel on your counter (not terry cloth).  Sprinkle it generously with cornmeal.  Sprinkle a separate surface generously with flour.  Using a rubber spatula, scoop dough onto floured surface.  Dough will be very sticky, so use your spatula to “roll” the dough around until lightly covered in flour.  With floured hands, shape dough into a loose ball by pushing edges away from you and pinching them together on the backside of the dough.  Place dough, seam-side down, in center of cornmeal covered towel.  Generously sprinkle entire surface of dough with the cornmeal.  Fold towel over the dough and let rise 2 to 3 hours.

When ready to bake, place lidded pot in the oven and turn oven to 450 degrees.  LEt preheat for at least 20 minutes.  Transfer dough to preheated pot by sliding one hand under the towel and dumping dough into pot (now it will be seam-side up).  Give pot a quick shake to even out dough, but don’t worry if it isn’t centered.  Quickly replace lid and return pot to oven.  Reduce heat to 400 degrees.

Bake covered for 20 minutes.  Remove lid, then bake an additional 20 to 30 minutes, or until bread is nicely browned on the top.  Immediately dump bread onto a cooling rack and let stand 15 minutes before slicing.  

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Posted by Andie at 9:52 AM 0 Comments

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Trend Alert: Wood Paneling

Did you know that wood is one of this season's hottest neutral design trends?  I bet you never thought the trend would actually make a comeback, but wood paneled walls are especially popular right now!  Thankfully the wood paneling of the 1970's has reinvented itself into something retro, modern, and pretty awesome.

Designers are producing new & unique wood products, and turning to reclaimed or distressed wood.  Also, most wood paneling today is hung hoizontally, as opposed to vertically as it was in the past.  I'm loving the fact that instead of covering up these beautiful walls with paint, the natural grain lines of the wood are being celebrated!  

If you are looking to add a little more beauty, character and charm to your home, think about installing wood paneling!  You could do an accent wall or an entire room- you really can't go wrong with mother nature!  

 

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Makley Home via Pinterest

 


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Posted by Andie at 3:40 PM 0 Comments

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Take Me Away

I'm a huge fan of all four seasons, but there really is something absolutely magical about summertime.  Especially summertime at the beach.  Don't you think?  The hot sunny days, delicious fresh seafood & shave ice, and the cool salty breezes at night-- it just doesn't get any better.  Since the closest thing to a "beach" we have here in Utah is Antelope Island (and no, that doesn't count in my book), and it's been miserably hot lately, I'm dreaming of a beach vacay on the coast of anywhere (east or west coast will do just fine).  Check out these beautiful beach houses and you'll want to leave town too.  Isn't everything about them just dreamy?

 

 
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Posted by Andie at 1:40 PM 1 Comments
Hannah(1 month ago)

Bear Lake has nice beaches! And it's much cooler than Lake Powell. However...it's not quite the same as the ocean.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Happy Birthday Utah!

For those of you who live in Utah, I hope you are partyin' hard today with the rest of the state!  How great is it that we get two awesome holidays celebrating our beautiful country and state in the month of July?  In honor of Utah's birthday today, I've included a little round up of some of my favorite articles/ blog posts around the web detailing some of Utah's "bests" (mostly eats because that's what I live for:)  What's your favorite Utah hot spot?!  

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101 Things to Do in Your City: Salt Lake City

8 Utah Restaurants Worth the Trip

Salt Lake Magazine 2014 Dining Awards

The 15 Best Eats North of SLC

5 of the Absolute Best Pizza Joints in Utah

City Weekly's Best of Utah 2014: Dine and Drink

The 16 Best Places for French Fries in Utah

The Ultimate Utah Summer Bucket List

Mini Vacations: Great Places to Spend the Day in Utah

Splash Pads in Utah

20 Favorite Family Adventures in Utah

Top 10 Places to get Insanely Delicious Donuts in the Beehive State 

Best Cheap Eats in Salt Lake City

The Best Bakeries in Downtown Salt Lake City

 

 

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Posted by Andie at 9:07 AM 0 Comments

Monday, 14 July 2014

Trend Alert: Do You Ombre?

 Ombre: shaded or graduated in tone, said of color.

For the past couple of years ombre has been all the rage.....

In hair & makeup....

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Heck, even in wedding cakes & desserts....

 


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And now, as always, ombre is making waves in the Interior design world.  The fun thing about incorporating ombre in your home is that there are about a thousand ways you could do it--- paint a wall, tile your bathroom, paint an old dresser, sew some throw pillows, get new bedding, etc.  Here are some pretty examples to give you a little ombre home inspiration today.....

 

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What do you think?

 

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Posted by Andie at 2:39 PM 1 Comments
David(1 month ago)

I've never heard of Ombre, but I've always been a fan of gradients. Some fun pics though. Love the ocean bedroom.

Monday, 7 July 2014

Decorating with The American Flag

Hope you had a wonderful holiday weekend!  I know that the 4th of July is over now, but in my world birthdays are celebrated for at least a week!  I was 17 when I spent my first good chunk of time outside of the United States.  I had been in Eastern Europe working in orphanages for a few weeks, and I still remember how I felt on my way home when I saw the New York City skyline as our plane made it's way into JFK.  Tears streamed down my cheeks, and I literally wanted to kiss the ground as I stepped onto American soil.  It took me leaving for a while to realize how great we've got it here.  There isn't anyone who appreciates traveling abroad more than I do, but I'm always SO grateful when I return that I get to call this beautiful land my home. 

Doesn't decorating with the American flag just make you feel patriotic?  Whether you walk on the traditional, country, eclectic or modern side of the street.... the American flag is so very versatile that it literally works with anything!  So check out these photos for a little inspiration and then go hang up a flag and celebrate America all summer long!  

 

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Posted by Andie at 4:43 PM 2 Comments
Lela(1 month ago)

I'm with Hyrum on this one, hanging the flag is good, but using it for decorations outside of that is disrespectful. If there's an actual depiction of a flag on a clothing item I won't buy it, red and white stripped skirt and blue shirt, ok, flag on the shirt or flag turned skirt, or pillow or table runner, etc, that's no way to treat the symbol of freedom that I cherish so much.

Hyrum(1 month ago)

The images of the flag hanging from the wall are appropriate, but the flag being used as a tablecloth or on pillows is disrespectful and entirely unacceptable. US Flag Code states, "The flag should never touch anything beneath it" and "The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery." Furthermore, the code states, "The flag should never be fastened, displayed, used, or stored in such a manner as to permit it to be easily torn, soiled, or damaged in any way." I have also seen US flag towels before, and they too are disrespectful and inappropriate. It would be well for people who are considering using the US flag for decoration to become familiar with the rules for proper display of the flag, and show the flag the respect that it deserves. Google US Flag Code for more information.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

4th of July Treats

Happy July!  Do you have big plans for the 4th?  It's one of my VERY favorite holidays--- I mean who doesn't love small town parades, BBQs, saltwater taffy, and fireworks?  As you make preparations for your holiday weekend (and if you're like my family, food prep for holidays is a BIG deal), check out this roundup of cute & festive red, white & blue treats!  Some of these are definitely going to be part of our celebration this year....

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Posted by Andie at 10:02 AM 0 Comments

Thursday, 26 June 2014

DIY: From Washing Machine to Fire Pit

Summer nights spent roasting hot dogs & marshmallows over a campfire are the best.  Don't you think?  There really is something magical about a crackling fire- whether it's up in the mountains or in your own backyard.  The only downside is the nasty, smoky campfire smell that without fail permeates every single item of clothing and pore on your body. This is especially annoying if you've just washed your hair, don't you think?

The other night we got invited over to a friend's backyard to roast s'mores and have a fire.  I threw on some grubby clothes, knowing by the end of the night they would just end up in the washing machine.  Bring on the laundry!  When we got there, I was shocked to see a cool looking "fire pit" like this....

 

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 And I was even more shocked when I walked away unscathed from the smoke smell after sitting around this ditty for 2 hours!  Incredible, right?!  Honestly, you couldn't even smell a hint of smoke on any of us.  

Have you seen these?  Get the drum of an old washing machine and you've got yourself an awesome fire pit!  I'm not sure how it works, but really the smoke output is so minimal it's awesome!  So if you're in the market for a new washing machine, put your old one to good use and make yourself a fire pit this summer!  There's a great tutorial here.  

 

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Posted by Andie at 8:21 AM 0 Comments

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Fruits & Veggies- When Are They In Season?

One of my favorite ways to spend Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings in the summer months is visiting the outdoor farmer's market near my home.  Fresh, locally grown produce is seriously HEAVEN ON EARTH!  There is nothing tastier than a perfect, ripe tomato, a flavorful plump peach, or a huge, juicy watermelon grown practically right in your backyard!  Don't you agree?  For me, some of the things I love most about summer are the delicious fresh fruit & veggies (and homemade ice cream- but that's another post).  

The only problem with buying lots and lots of fruits and vegetables is that it gets expensive!  Why does it cost so much more money to eat healthy than not?!  I've always heard that it's cheaper to buy produce that is "in season"-- but besides the obvious answers, how do you know what's actually in season?  Recently I found this little ditty from And Then We Saved that tells you!  It's a great resource to use if you want to branch out and experiement with produce you typically don't use.  Let's go save money and eat healthy this summer!    

 


And Then We Saved via Pinterest

 

 

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Posted by Andie at 9:17 AM 0 Comments
Welcome!

Hey there! I'm Andrea, and I love art, travel, trying new restaurants, and being a mama to my baby boy. My degree is in Advertising/Marketing, but writing, furniture, design, and making things beautiful are what I enjoy dabbling in most! Here at Room to Talk you'll find current design trends, DIY home decor projects, design tips, recipes, and awesome RC Willey giveaways. Thanks for reading! xoxo

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