A weekend make-over

Last weekend was a three day-er here and I believe long weekends are not to be squandered. When I learned the weather forecast I decided to tackle a big indoor project that’s been on my to-do list for over a YEAR! That’s just the beginning of the shame. Brace yourself for the tragic display that was my craft/office area.
www.nestinthewest.comOne of the selling features of my teeny townhouse was an extra ‘bump out’ in the bedroom perfectly suited to a den or office space. I purchased just one new piece of furniture and it was an IKEA Expedit wall unit to act as a bit of a room divider. Well, in theory that was great but reality is it blocks a lot of light and doesn’t provide enough desk space. It became a holding cell for paperwork and assorted junk. Not efficient at all. When you live in a small space, every square foot has to be functional and this just wasn’t.
www.nestinthewest.comClutter on the desk, behind the desk, even under the desk. Nasty! My first step was obviously tackling that. My system requires a bag for recycling, a box for donations and a bag for garbage. I filled all three!
www.nestinthewest.comI flipped the Expedit on its side….and loaded it up. Then I took a break and went to my nephew’s hockey game. My older brother got an earful and was subjected to my photos when he asked how my day was and I took the opportunity to run a dilemma by him. I knew I wanted a desk top that would rest on the wall unit on one side and a filing cabinet on the other. Any suggestions for how to account for the 6 1/2″ height difference? He offered to come take a look bit I like to be independent so instead I just went with his idea…build a box, duh. This concludes Day 1!
www.nestinthewest.comwww.nestinthewest.comDay 2 started with a trip to the lumber yard – which, by the way, I love! I put myself through university working at one and the smells are so good. I got some white melamine, had a very kind Rona guy do the cuts for me and set to work on my box and desktop. The rest of my day was spent arranging cords, accessories and homemade art – totally my idea of fun.
www.nestinthewest.comAnd here it is!
www.nestinthewest.comwww.nestinthewest.comwww.nestinthewest.comI’m over the moon happy with this. Seriously, I’m wandering in just to look around and swoon a little. Bonus that it’s the perfect spot for some craft weekend reminders. Also, I’m ridiculously proud of myself for figuring it all out on my own…for $31. Weekend well spent!

Chocolate chip cookie brittle

www.nestinthewestIt’s a holiday here in BC…Family Day is in it’s second year as an official statutory holiday. The idea is you stay home and spend quality time with the fam. The kitty and I say, thank you very much! We love a day off! I’m working on a pretty big project which I’ll share soon, but for now I have a great treat recipe for you!

This is going to sound bad, but it’s the truth. As much as I love cookies, especially homemade, sometimes I just don’t want to stand and spoon mounds of dough on multiple trays and repeat. So when I stumbled across this recipe on Pinterest I had to give it a try. Bascially, chocolate chip cookie dough pressed into one pan and crisped up all together….yum! I made a few very minor changes to the recipe and here it is:

  • 1 cup butter, slightly softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

www.nestinthewestPreheat oven to 375 degrees F. Beat the butter and brown sugar together. Add salt, vanilla, cinnamon and the flour one cup at a time. Continue to mix. Add chocolate chips. This didn’t really form a dough for me – it was a bit crumbly. Press the dough into a 9″ x 13″ pan and bake for 25-35 minutes depending on how crispy you’d like them. Cut into squares while warm or let cool in pan then cut or break into irregular shapes, like peanut brittle. I baked mine for 30 minutes, cut half into squares and let the other half cool before breaking into jagged shapes. I prefer the squares but that may just be the OCD in me.
www.nestinthewestThese are so much easier and quicker to make than cookies but still have all the same great flavor. Also, did you notice they’re eggless? Go ahead and dunk them in your latte and enjoy!

Whatever Craft Weekend

I can still hardly believe I got picked, took multiple flights, met 15 wonderful ladies and spent a weekend with Meg and Kimberlee at the craft house in Kansas. It was an epic weekend of color, creating, crafting, eating, antiquing, swag and making friends. One I will not soon forget.
nestinthewest.comnestinthewest.comnestinthewest.comWe all met up at the craft house early Friday evening. The house itself is stunning with lots of wood, white, great art and a welcoming feel. Yup, pretty much my dream house! Rooms were assigned, roommates met, dinner was had and the crafting began. We each made a ruffled apron…all different, all adorable. I may have pranced around in mine.
nestinthewest.comSaturday was a full day of fun starting with an amazing breakfast including Kimberlee’s famous cinnamon buns (she does not disappoint), an antiquing trip to Bearly Makin’ It and the barn in Marion. Unbelievable stuff to be had there. Then it was back to the house for show and tell, dinner and crafting into the wee hours! It was so fun to see everyone’s projects. We all had the same instruction and supplies yet all turned out unique. I love that!
nestinthewest.comnestinthewest.comnestinthewest.comnestinthewest.comSunday was bittersweet with laughs, packing, photos and good-byes! Meg and Kimberlee were the hostesses with the mostest for sure and helpers Sara Jane and Jenny were the sweetest! They’re the kind of girls you want to hang out with, for much longer than a weekend.
nestinthewest.comThis whole adventure was a total splurge for me financially and travel-wise and took me out of my introverted comfort zone. It was soooo worth it and I’d do it again in a heartbeat. I came home inspired, happy and full of joy. I’m feeling confident enough to dust off the sewing machine and tackle a project, ready to sit down and paint more often and am redecorating my house with more color! Most of all, I feel so blessed to have met these amazing women and hope to keep in touch. I’d say we bonded! There was no drama, no egos, just a great group of gals brought together by our love of creating! Reunion anyone!?