07 February 2019

My Best Brussels Sprouts Recipe

I wanted to share one of my recipes today, and it's my own! My daughter loves these, and it's vegetarian. I've been making them for a couple of years now, and I think this is my best version. They don't look pretty, but they are delicious! She eats them as a meal, and the amount that I buy is enough for at least two people. She started to enjoy Brussels Sprouts at Whole Foods, so I had to figure out how to make them tasty so that I would not have to buy them. The reason I use Poultry Seasoning is because it contains sage, rosemary, and oregano, and nutmeg. If you don't like one of those spices then substitute. I also use Trader Joe's Gold Aceto Balsamico di Modena ( It's a sweet balsamic grape vinegar almost a thin syrup from Italy, and probably someone else carries one as well.) It's a meal for non meat lovers or could be served as a side dish too.

It says: Butterfly and Bungalow's Brussels Sprouts Recipe

1/2  pound of Brussels Sprouts boiled for 15 to 20 minutes, allowed to cool, then halved lengthwise remove stem and removed outer leaf layer.  (You can do this before, but it is easier after.)
Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a saute pan. Add two crushed cloves of garlic.
Add the Brussels Sprouts and stir.
Add a tablespoon of Brown Sugar
A chopped not quite ripe peach
Add a handful of Dried Cranberries
Add a handful of chopped pecans
Add a quarter of teaspoon of poultry seasoning
Add two teaspoons of Trader Joe's Gold Aceto Balsamico di Modena
Salt to taste

I hope you enjoy!
I know it is an acquired taste for many.

29 January 2019

Orange Season Here

It's orange everywhere here!
Orange is not my favorite color, but I sure love this shade this time of year.
It is citrus season!
The tree branches are bending, and it such a happy feeling to know we grew these.
There are two types of oranges, mandarins, grapefruit, and Meyer lemons this year!
We also discovered that if the oranges are left on the tree a little longer, they are juicier!

Orange Potpourri in Vintage Serving Bowl
I picked a couple of oranges, sliced, and dried them. I baked them in the toaster oven on a foiled cookie sheet, sprayed with cooking spray for three to four hours, and turned the slices every half hour at 225 F.  It's dry here, so the air finished the process.

The pine cones were bought, because there are none at this elevation. These are bleached. I placed them in a bucket for a few days in a mixture of half water and half bleach, and under something heavy, some old dish plates, because pine cones float. After a color of days I hosed the cones off after dumping the liquid in an area in the yard where the dogs went, and fully watered it in. It gets rid of odor for quite awhile. The cones close when wet, but open when placed outside to dry.
That doesn't take long here either!  The cones have no scent at all after rinsed and dried outdoors.

I  then added some dried roses and baby's breath from the bouquet below.

The oranges still have a scent, but I added a few cloves, and a few drops of lemon and cinnamon essential oils. A cinnamon stick or too would have worked too, but I didn't have them.

Here is what is happening outside!
The tree in the foreground is our weakest tree. I think it is because our pug destroyed the feeder on that one so many times. However I went to a watering class for our zone, and I realized the well, a circle that you build around the tree to hold water, eroded. So we are out here working repairing the drip system and wells, and building!
We are building a fence around the garden.
Our pug broke all the sprinklers and yanked out so many hoses! So I didn't have my fall garden this past autumn. She also eats all the tomatoes. She picks the green ones and eats the red ones. She's quite the discriminating pug!
It's the easiest solution and requires the least amount of fencing, since there is no convenient area for a dog run.  I am also going to put some wire around the tree emitters and probably some movement activated ones in the worse areas.

You can watch a video of her and the problem.
All of this happened in about a minute. I can't take my eyes off her!
Who knows what she ended up chewing!

Theses roses were a gift, and they are the ones that I dried.
They were a pretty coral sherbet with a touch of cranberry on the edges.
So they coordinated with the dish.

And look at this afternoon light! This time of year, the room gets a wonderful glow from the outside.
I will just says it's the oranges! I placed the potpourri here and lit a candle.

Such a wonderful golden glow everywhere!
I recently rotated this console from storage, and placed it here. It holds more than the chest, so that moved to another space.

That's all for now.
You can always find me on instagram.
xo Su
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18 January 2019

Creating Swedish Style Cozy in the Living Room

Toward the end of the holidays, I decided I needed to clean out the pieces in my storage that I would not ever use in this home. I felt it was time. Logically, it made sense to have a smaller storage unit, and at the same time I was emotionally ready to let go.
Except for a few pieces that I kept, because I wanted to rotate, much of the furniture is gone. I donated a "like new" piece, a too large white slipcovered sofa,  before I could change my mind! Then I packed up pieces that  I let my sister chose from.   We packed them up so we could directly head to a donation center. I didn't want to deal with selling or having a booth, because I was afraid that I would change my mind. Magically, the pieces I brought to my sister worked! Recently, she changed her colors, and I forgot she had furniture from the first move, so these looked beautiful! What's nice is that her home looks finished. My niece commented that it looked like a model home, and my sister joked that I could come sit in "my house".

This  table with its white swirling base and its scalloped top is a piece that I decided to keep! I loved it when I received it years ago, and I loved it so much, that when it broke in half during a move on the swirling base, I paid to repair it properly. It actually has been in a lot of rooms here, before making its way to storage, but the living room is not occupied by teens or my pianist anymore, so I brought it home.
It is a Gustavian-style table.

Here is the table without the tree.  On the table is my new photo album that I made from my Instagram. (I will have to show that in another post.) Swedes often place one of these tables or even rectangular ones in front of the sofa, so they can use their room for other purposes in their small homes.

Here it is in the day with a chair pulled up. People sit here and have tea or work in the day.
Lucy likes to sit under the chair or on top of it when she is not lounging on the couch.
It's a lovely piece that makes this small room feel cozier, while my pianist is at school.
The rug also looks beautiful, because I had it cleaned for my Christmas present. They pick it up, wash it by hand, stretch it, and lastly, rotate it to fade beautifully, before laying it where you want. That was wonderful, because now I have it where I want it. Now, I can place the furniture properly on it in two directions. With the piano and the pad, it was too difficult for us non professionals to get it right without wrinkles and multiple failed attempts.

It feels good to let go of the past, and at the same time treasure some of the past.
You can always find and follow me on Instagram.
If you like a Swedish Style this post shows it in a bedroom.

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11 January 2019

A Classic Grownup Feminine Teen Room

This is my daughter's room at home, and I don't think I've shown it in about three years.
She loves French style furniture, but often likes the darker pieces.
And as elegant as this room is, many of the pieces were inexpensive second-hand finds in great shape.
This lovely mirror was a gift to her at Christmas, and it took the place of another that was moved.

This desk was another find, and it still has its key.
I am glad that she sticks to being herself in style and preferences, and it shows
in her elegant sophisticated taste. This is a restful, elegant, classic room.
We sometimes joke that she is a Parisian mouse, and I am a French country mouse.
How did she come to love these things? Well she was involved in decorating this home, and I've always taken her to the vintage stores. She even purchases a lot of her wardrobe as second-hand or vintage.

There are several things I would like to point out about this room. First, we are not afraid to mix more masculine pieces like the lamp with feminine pieces. I also love the fact that she likes deep rich color and black. Moreover, blue and white in whatever shades is classic and beautiful and almost neutral. The cabinet behind the bed has been with us awhile. It held toys when she was little and it has graduated to its grown look. Now, the bed has been pushed against it, and the bottom holds seldom used things. The top is left half open for books and display. Lastly, the beautiful linens are a mix of various lines that were on clearance, some from Target, clearly within reach. I love its Gustavian look, and the placement is very Swedish for a small room.

The dark moodiness of this room, we call Byronic. Something we chose from our love of literature, and then applied here, because it explains her aesthetic. She found the soldier in a vintage market, and it might have been associated with liquor. The bed is campaign style, and that was new about five years ago.

This chair was thirty dollars, and it is perfect condition. The blue table we painted ourselves.
Even though the styles are somewhat mixed, french and less ornate Gustavian, they work together, because of their classic lines.
How do we find pieces? We visit vintage and second hand shops, and we only get it if we love it. If we love it, it will go.
What about the room color? Blue and white is classic in either French or Gustavian or here.

Thank you for visiting.
You can always find me on Instagram

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27 December 2018

An Office in a Nook

This is the office in a nook. Created in a corner of a giant armoire, a window, and an unused door on a porch; the desk often just has flowers or plants here.  (This door goes to the third bedroom. I think they put it here so no one could walk through the middle bedroom (our library) to this one. Who would walk outside to a porch to get to their room? Remember there is no heat or AC on it, just a foam roof, and all the porch had was broken windows before us. The door makes no sense for us other than letting a kitty not walk too far to her box.)  So, I did what Swedes do in small old homes! They place furniture in front of unused doors. I made an office in front of the door (there actually is another one on the other side in my daughter's room)! I just love Swedish country ingenuity. This nook does not get much sunlight, and there was no light at night,  and there is no room for a lamp, but it was beautiful in its simplicity as you can see.

Then wandering around a monthly vintage market earlier this month, I spotted this chandelier, and my daughter convinced my spouse that we needed it in our home.
It looked so beautiful in the warehouse, and I didn't care that it seemed to be missing some of its beautiful crystals. It was old, imperfect, and inexpensive.

But  there was a surprise! It was not missing crystals, because my spouse figured it out! Some strands of crystals were just attached in the wrong direction or hanging from the wrong holes. Next, he made it so it could be plugged in, because this is a porch, and a 75 year old house. He then put a telescoping metal beam between the wood ones and then hung it from there so it would have enough support.  He ran the cord behind the beams and down the back of the armoire and there the switch is hidden. Looks wired doesn't it?
It takes scientists and artists in the world. Just one of many combinations, but it works.
Thank you to my daughter and my spouse.

So now this spot has light either in the day or night. It is also a little unexpected surprise when you turn the corner. This light tucked back in here, does not take center stage. Instead, it just enhances the magic of my little old fashioned space.

I often get asked how we find treasure. Well, we don't usually set out to find something, only rarely, like when my daughter and I worked on her space at school.
Ordinarily, it is just what catches the eye and doesn't hurt the wallet.
We have a list of favorite local vintage and thrift stores, and we start there.

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25 December 2018

Merry Christmas 2018!

Our nativity is built mostly piece by piece by my mother and later my spouse, and my daughter.

A little teenager fun last night!

Madeline 3

Our library. It's a little jewel box and fancier than the rest of the home.

A Joyous Christmas!