house remodel

Winter is Coming

It’s starting to feel like winter! It’s been 32 degrees in the morning with lots of ice on cars. It’s time to bring out the winter coats. Stevie has found his favorite spot in the new house:

…on the heater!

There’s also a small vent near the floor under the kitchen sink and he’ll sit right in front of that, too. Which is super convenient for us when we are trying to do dishes. 😉

I’m not sure if I mentioned it, but because our house is a little weird, we had to do a special situation for AC and heat. The first half of the house is the original 1920’s with vents like the above picture. So the main floor was “AC ready” but because the upstairs was a converted attic, there were no ducts up there. So when we got AC installed in our house this summer we had to do it in two parts. We got traditional AC for the main floor, then we had to get those Mitsubishi ductless units for our bedroom and for Logan’s bedroom.

Because it’s been so cold lately we finally got to use the heat portion of the ductless units and they are AMAZING! So quiet. Super efficient. It doesn’t take much to warm up the room and you can set it up to maintain a certain temperature (instead of just having it run all the time). It will be interesting to see HOW efficient they are on energy. Since we have solar panels on our new house, I am hoping the combination of the panels and the ductless units will save us a ton of money on heating and cooling in the house. Even though we have to spend a lot of money to do two separate systems.

Anyways, this weekend we had the Halloween Party and then Sunday was kind of a chill morning, hanging out with my parents and Logan was playing with his Halloween toys:

After my parents left to head home to Seattle, I went swimming, had a late lunch and then prepped dinner. I decided to make this keto beef stroganoff.

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 cups beef stock
  • 10 ounces cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 ½ pounds sirloin steak, thinly sliced (I get my grass-fed meat here)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons beef bouillon
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 ½ teaspoons onion powder (I use this brand of seasonings)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat the slow cooker on the high setting. To the slow cooker, add the beef stock and mushrooms and cover.
  2. Heat the butter in a large sautĂŠ pan, over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic to the pan and sautĂŠ until the onion is translucent and the garlic is fragrant. Add them to the slow cooker.
  3. Sprinkle the sirloin with salt, add it to the pan and sear on both sides, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the steak, heavy cream, sour cream, beef bouillon, Dijon, parsley, onion powder, garlic powder, and oregano to the slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 6 hours.

It was pretty easy to make and I love having a crockpot meal! So easy. The only change I did was I added the heavy cream and sour cream one hour before it was going to be done. I didn’t thinking putting it in the crockpot for the whole time would be good–it might curdle or something.

I also used fresh garlic from a friend’s garden! It was so good!

Dinner was really flavorful! I liked it a lot. The sauce was a little thin. Then I realized that it was a SOUP! Duh. I might use less broth next time I make it, though.

I wasn’t sure what to use as a base — I had cauliflower “Rice”, low carb noodles, zoodles, and in the end we used a chickpea pasta rotini instead. Not low carb, but it was really tasty.

Right now I’m not really doing keto. I’m doing more of a low carb/carb cycling program. I saw the above graphic on instagram and I liked the diet suggestion. I might do something like what it suggests, where I do a month of keto, month of low carb, month of something else. Maybe Mediterranean Diet, maybe Paleo or Slow Carb. I just feel like my body adjusts to whatever diet I try REALLY FAST and then it stops working. So maybe doing something like this will be better to switch things up.

Roarin’ 20’s

Our new house is a 1925 Bunaglow. But it’s unique because there’s definitely been some updates and remodeling. I really want to find the original house plans and the permits for the remodel. I wonder how do to that. City Hall records maybe? I’d love to see what the floor plan used to be and what it changed to compared to what it is now. I’m assuming there have been a few updates since 1925.

First, one of Michael’s friends has a house almost identical to ours except it’s only the main floor (2 bedroom, one bathroom). Our house was remodeled at some point for the attic to be converted to a second floor. The second floor has the humongous master bedroom/bathroom (bathroom has a jacuzzi tub!), a bedroom (which is Logan’s room right now until he’s a little older then maybe it will be the office), a nook that we are using as a playroom/music room for Michael and a half bath.

(The jacuzzi tub is kind of my favorite part of the new house. As a not tiny person, I’ve never comfortably enjoyed a luxurious bath in small bathtubs, which is the norm for apartments and house built in the 70’s and 80’s so this tub is definitely an upgrade!)

Second, the first part of the house, the living room and hallways, are the original part of the house for sure. They are lath and plaster walls. If you don’t know what that is, it’s basically skinny wood and plaster instead of drywall, here are some examples:

That’s how old house in that time period were built. Then drywall became the norm. I’m not sure why they didn’t remodel the living room and hallway because they definitely remodeled the bathroom, bedroom (which we are using as a guestroom) and the room we are using as an office on the mainfloor. Those rooms aren’t lath and plaster, they are drywall.

But they did keep some of the cool features of the original house, besides the plaster walls in the living room. They kept this:

I’m guessing it works still. It’s kinda cool! Also, the bathrooms have these old lights:

I’m not sure if they are replicas or original to the house but they are cool. The bathroom on the mainfloor also has built in cabinets/shelving, which I love. I love built-in everything!

Plus the windows in the front living room are original. Meaning actually original to the 1920’s. Which aesthetically is amazing but economically and energy-wise not so much. They are still on a pulley-system. Which is kind of scary when you have a toddler. It would be easy to smash fingers. We have to be extra careful. Apparently they stopped making the windows that way after the 1950’s.

We will see how cold and drafty these old windows are this winter!! I know that there are specialty window people that can upgrade your windows so that they are double paned and energy efficient but still look like the time period. I just need to research it, and I’m sure it’s pretty expensive!

I want to show pictures of the finished house but we are still unpacking a few things and getting organized. We haven’t really hung any of our art yet and are still figuring out where stuff goes. But most of the major stuff it done.

Finally, one of my favorite things in the old house: the original doorknobs.

How awesome are those? 🙂 So those are some of the details in our old new house.