I’m in love. Daniel and I just came back from almost two weeks in the Southwest region of Germany, visiting family who live in such beautiful wine country and forest land. It was a great vacation and so beautiful. I know I already said it was beautiful, but really, it was. And what struck me the most was how just about every home we saw had such beautiful gardening spilling over balconies and covering the properties in the front and back, whether it was plots of vegetables and fruit or patches of colorful flowering plants. We also took trips to the Alsace region of France and Luxembourg and the homes there offered the same levels of gardening beauty. In short, Germany, and our trip overall, gave me some serious gardening goals.
Usually, the recipes I feature here are my grandmother’s, ones that I have translated from her handwritten notes. After a spring and summer of growing vegetables and eating them, I thought it was time to share a simple recipe for how we take vegetables from the ground to our plates. My husband has dictated this recipe to me as he was too busy playing fetch with our dog to type it out himself. Here is his garden vegetable salad recipe.
Our cozy cottage has gone through a lot the past two and a half years yet not enough, in my opinion. There are rooms that we did right away and rooms we haven’t even touched yet. There are rooms that are likely to get redone either through little touch ups and minor changes or through major renovation. And then there are rooms (maybe only just one) that just need one minor fix. So here’s the first house tour that I’ve done on The 256 Project to show befores and afters of what we’ve done so far and show you rooms you’ve never seen before (and for good reason!). Scroll down for the house tour and swipe through for the before and after of each room (or just the before, in some instances).
Ever since starting The 256 Project, one thing that people comment on the most is how we use color in our house. Some people have said that they are impressed by it and wish they had gone bold in their own homes, or wish that they weren’t afraid of color so much so that they could bite the bullet on adding more of their favorite hues at home. Or some people leave our house screaming. But our house is not for them! Clearly, we are not afraid of color here at the cozy cottage. I’ve said before how I really like and admire many different styles of décor, including minimalism and a very white or neutral color palette. If that is what you like and gravitate to, then have fun and enjoy! But if you are interested in adding a little bit of color in some way to your home and aren’t quite sure where to start or how to do it, then I have a few tips for you. I originally wrote about this for Domino and am expanding on this concept below.
This story ends with the problem being fixed but only after one marital dispute, a temper tantrum (mine) and a broken new drill. In short, drilling into concrete sucks. In long, sometimes having an old house sucks* because of all the little things that come with it that are just a pain in the ass. Fair warning, this might turn into just a shit ton of curse words and complaints.
What was that, you say? Something about how dumb it was to get a white couch for the outdoors? Where it rains and where there’s dirt? And, most especially when you have a dog who immediately claimed it as hers even though it was meant for you to fall asleep on next to a raging-yet-calm fire? Admittedly, these are good questions and I can tell you mostly honestly that this couch has remained clean with just a teensy bit of work on my part. Wanna know how we’re keeping our outdoor couch clean? Okay!
We chose a paint color! If you have no idea what I’m talking about, you might want to refer to this post from two weeks ago in which I detailed the three main garden projects of the summer and asked for people to vote on a paint color for this ugly cement wall that is the side of our garage. The choice was between Crystal Rapids (the lighter, slightly bluer one on top) and Tropical Trail (the darker, slightly greener one on the bottom). Both are Behr paint from Home Depot. I also posted the paint choices to social media and people overwhelmingly went for Crystal Rapids. Well, I can now reveal to you what we went with…
Backyardaholic – it’s a new word I’ve invented. It means addicted to hanging out in my backyard (as I’m doing right now after a long day’s work in it) and enjoying an alcoholic beverage (it’s currently white wine, it was beer earlier, and it might be something else later). I warned you this might happen – see here – and referenced this problem when I talked about why I haven’t gotten started on any of our 2017 projects yet. Another reason why I’m addicted to hanging out in our backyard is because I’ve had several garden projects on the brain. There are three and all are currently in the works so I’ll take you through them right now.
Remember how I was all like, “We’re going to do so much this year, just you wait and see?” Not only has the year started since I said that (back in December 2016), but we’re six months into the year, a whole halfway over!!, and we have done exactly nothing from that list. A lot of that has to do with having to replace our roof – surprise! – and then spring came and all we have wanted to do is spend it outside. In fact, I recently wrote about how I will be a backyard bum for the next few months. At some point soon, I’ll start paying attention to the projects in the house. At this six-month check in, that means I’m going to have to revise the list. So let’s take a look.