Friday, June 28, 2013


Only I would catch some horrible virus just as the weather gets hot.  We're looking down the barrel at 104º by Monday, and I have a fever.  Do you know how uncomfortable that is?  To anyone experiencing menopause related hot flashes, you have my upmost sympathy.

It started slowly, with a scratchy throat.  That blossomed into a feeling that I can only imagine is akin to gargling with broken glass.  By the next morning, I was coughing and sneezing and fevered and looking rather like hell.  My poor future hubs.

I was (am) absolutely infuriated.  I have too much to do, too much gardening, too much organizing, too many recipes to finish to be sick.  I didn't (don't) have time for this crap.

But migraines have a tendency to change even the best laid plans.  

Migraines suck.  

Fevers in an un-air-conditioned house suck.

I'm  a pain in the ass when I'm sick.  I know it.  I try not to be but I'm honest enough to admit that I'm not very good at fighting my more annoying tendencies once a virus takes hold.  

For example, when I'm sick, I only eat a very specific (short) list of foods.  I never deviate.  It's the only stuff that tastes good with a heaping side dish of upper respiratory infection.

  • Pastina stars (available in the Tex-Mex aisle), beef broth, and sriracha, cooked together and eaten out of a mug.  Yes, a mug, it's weird out of a bowl, don't question the healing juju.  
  • Ginger ale.  If I absolutely have to, I'll slum it with 7-up or Sprite.   
  • Green tea with lemon and honey.  
That's it.  Try feeding me anything else when I'm ill and I get cranky.  Try brining home the wrong brand/flavor of cough drops and I will most likely tear up and get wobbly.  I'm not proud of it, but it does happen.

I've been known to drag myself down to the really dodgy Scolari's close to our house, the one where you may get mugged at 10am in bright sunshine, to buy sickie foods.  The future hubs is not happy with me when I resort to this.  

I still went to work of course; I made it until 11.30am before I called "uncle" and headed home.  My mom lent me the Super Spoiled Fuzzy Fathead to add to my recuperation, just in case that cat wasn't up to nursing me on his own.

It was like trying to take a nap with two hyperactive toddlers in the room, after they'd split a Costco sized box of Swedish fish.  

Fathead was not helpful.  He was in a talkative mood.  He'd whimper and do variations of his hound dog howl; the cat would answer with chitters and little meows and all the weird noises Maine coons are known to make.  They went back and forth for more than an hour.  I finally thought they were done, and started to doze off ... and they were back at it.  The cat started bringing toys to play with.  The dog rolled around and kicked me in the face.  The cat laid on my (very hot) head.  No, kicking them out of the bedroom was not an option, they are my fuzzy wuzzy stuffin' muffins; and the kitten kept touching noses with me every time I hollered at them to shut up.  Sweet kitty.


Then I felt bad for yelling (plus yelling made my throat hurt worse than ever), so everyone got a cookie and I dragged myself into the back yard to throw the tennis ball.  

Two days later, I'm still feeling like death warmed up, taking multiple icy showers to try and cool off, and drinking gallons green tea.  

On the plus side, I discovered Vernors Ginger Soda, which is delightful.  Starbucks china green tea with the lemon in it however ... it kind of tastes like alfalfa smells.

Fun things like tomato bruschetta and pasta alla carbonara and roasted corn salad are going to have to wait until my immune system as fully kicked this virus' butt back to where it came from.  

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Looking Back (To Move Forward)

In cleaning up some social media clutter, and preparing to re-enter the blogosphere with a bit of a re-boot to my beloved 3rd Generation Food Pusher, I came across a blog I wrote but never published.  It dates back to the holiday season of 2009, about ten months before I met my amazing Future Hubs.  I was just starting to like the idea of blogging, and was going to post some practice pieces to my Facebook page, to get some feedback.

Daffy-dills & Flamingos; 2 of my favorite things ever.

I knew I was coming out of some dark times but I didn't realize just how far I'd come until I re-read it.  My ankle still gets angry by the way, I thought it had only been 3 years, not 4, since I had injured it:

As I look around at the things of all sizes that I'm thankful for this holiday season, I can't help but notice the glaring difference between where I'm at now versus where I was at a year ago. 

Last year, it was all about dealing with obligations and trying to gather the courage to sever ties with vile and poisonous people.  I didn't have a lot of fun.  I spent weekends with my parents.  Now, don't get me wrong, I love my parents and I truly love spending time with them.  But I was living the life of a 60 yr old (if you looked at my social life).  I was sad and depressed and gaining weight like a sumo wrestler.  I worked and went home and that was about the it. 

Oh the difference a year makes! 

I survived spraining my ankle so bad it took 6 months to fully heal (December).  

I survived the pain that came from being dropped like trash by two of my closest friends on the planet (December through February).  

I survived that horrible bridal shower, where I was treated like a servant - as in, invisible.  Seriously.  The girl I threw the party for didn't even introduce me to anyone.  And her mom and sister spent the entire day planning her "real" shower (being held the next month) right there in front of me.  They even mentioned taking the extra goody bags with them to give to their friends; talk about classy!  (February, Happy Valentines!!)  No, in case you were wondering, I did not attend the wedding.  In fact, I'd been prepared (happily after that damn shower) to be excluded from the guest list all together; imagine my shock when I received an invitation.

I survived moving our offices and all sorts of work-related drama (March & April).  And of course I survived more Granny Drama than I'm going to even attempt to list here.

But as the year moved on into spring, things started to improve.  Some of it was helped along by time.  Any sort of break-up, even one with a friend, takes time to get over.  A few months go by and you suddenly realize that you aren't sad anymore.  Rather, you're relieved that you aren't being dragged down by icky people.  You've learned to be comfortable alone again.  And you realize that maybe it's time to start coming out of your hobbit hole.

My ass started to shrink, thanks to regular workout sessions, and my social circle started to expand, thanks to Facebook and some awesome women that I still can not BELIEVE that I ever lost touch with.  Okay, yeah, and I started dating again.  Let's face it - even a bad awful weird first date can be an ego boost when the guy tells you that you're pretty.  I had several dates where that happened.  One in particular ranks as my worst date EVER (and if you know my history, you know just how horrid it had to be) and still, it did some good. 

Life isn't perfect - life is incapable of being perfect.  But I have a lot to be thankful for.  My family, adopted, blood relations, and everything in between, is kind of awesome.  Ok, yes, we have more than our fair share of drama queens and problem children, but as a whole it works.  My job, while perhaps not my dream job, is good and steady and solid and the people are very cool.  For all that the Granny Situation makes me want to tear out my hair daily, it's also taught me some great lessons regarding patience and keeping my temper in check and not saying things in anger.  I'm spending loads of time with people that I can actually trust - there's no strings, people say what they mean and do what they say, it's drama free, with no undercurrents or backstabbing.  How many people can say that their mom is one of their best friends?  Or that the girls they had breakfast with are folks they've known since 2nd grade?  Do you know how rare it is to have a cosmic twin?   

Here's hoping that things continue to improve!

And they did!  Imagine that!

  • Here I am, still dealing with Granny but not living with Granny anymore...
  • Engaged .... soon to be a WIFE if you can believe it...
  • A cat parent to the most adorable and fluffy giant kitten ever...
  • Practically an aunt to 16 kiddos, to be an actual official aunt in October (on top of the 3 on my side of the family)...
  • A Fairy God Mother to a few more ...
  • And best of all, still hanging out with those same awesome women I mentioned above (plus a few more).
He attacked the camera about 2 seconds after this was snapped.

What's weird is, all of the girls and I have similar stories about friendships from college and throughout our twenties not standing the test of time.  And similar experiences getting over friend break-ups.  Give me a break-up with a boyfriend any day over parting ways with a girl who you thought you could trust; ouch!  

There will be recipes in the days to come; and maybe a few rants about the crap involved with planning a wedding.  It's time to get back to what I love - and I love the food!  I'm also finding that I rather adore home-improvement/craft projects and gardening; who knows, maybe this food pusher will be branching out in the coming months...

Talk to you all soon!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Anything-But-Rotten Tomatoes

Ahhhh summer. 

As much as I love all things dark and stormy, I do love summer.   Who doesn't?  It's SUMMER!  Time for gardens, and sprinklers, and farmer's market visits (which always include stopping by House of Bread for coffee and that amazing appley cinnamon concoction they sell by the slice, that is so much more than just bread) and long lunches at Louis' and then a movie because in 1939, houses that didn't have dishwashers really really didn't have air conditioning.  

And of course, I love summer food.  Okay, so far I've yet to find a season where the food wasn't loveable but that's beside the point. 

Summer food is filled with fruit and fresh vegetables and herbs you grew yourself (unless your basil was suicidal, like mine was).  It's fresher and brighter and prettier.  And you can make your teeny stuffy hot house less hot and stuffy by sweet-talking your Future Hubs into cooking everything on the barbecue.  

And there's tomatoes.

Lots and lots of tomatoes. 

I love tomatoes.   Really love them.  In fact, I tend to over-estimate just how many tomatoes two people can eat before they'll go icky and buy way too many at a time.   Which leads to marinara.  Which is guilt-free because pasta night is wonderful. 

Except, I can't eat tomatoes and lettuce together.  Tomatoes bleed on the lettuce and make it taste funny.  Unless it's been turned into salsa or pico de gallo; then it's fine.  For example, taco salad or tacos or tostadas that don't involve plain tomatoes but do involve pico do gallo are awesome.  Salads that include lettuce and fresh tomatoes I refuse to eat unless I can pick every bit of tomato out of my portion.  On burgers, I like tomatoes more than lettuce, so I flip off the lettuce.  As far as I'm concerned, all good salads contain tomatoes OR lettuce, never the two together.  However, I will eat tomatoes with fresh spinach.  Times like this, mean mommy shakes her head and says she found me under a rock.

New ways to use up almost-but-not-quite-wonky tomatoes is what led to the creation of tomato pie.   You know the kind of tomatoes I mean, not quite nice enough to eat plain and fresh, just a little soft around the edges, but not bad enough to throw away.  And not quite soft enough to go to the trouble of making another vat of marinara sauce.  Let's face it, good tomato sauce takes time and energy and isn't helpful at all in terms of keeping things less hot and stuffy.

Tomato pie is awesome.  It has bacon in it.  As all things should!

It's also hot and cheesy and basily.

The ingredient list is fairly simple, and includes a lot of things that you probably already have hanging around, if you cook on a regular basis, and this assembly goes quickly.  Especially if you cheat like I did and buy a pre-made crust.  Yes, of course I know how to make pie dough from scratch, but why would I when Pillsbury (or in this case, Raley's fine foods) does such a great job?  If you are feeling all cool and Martha Stewart-y and productive, by all means, make your own.  I won't hold it against you.
  • 1 pie crust (or, if you've got a fancy schmancy super deep pie dish like mine, use 2; overlap them about a third of the way and roll them both out together)
  • 1 medium-to-small potato
  • 1/2 small-ish red onion
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 3 big fat garlic cloves
  • 1/2 bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs (this is important, no regular Italian bread crumbs, too heavy)
  • 1 cup grated jack or mozzarella cheese, divided 
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided
  • 2 strips of thick-cut bacon (or 3 regular ones)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup of fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 cup of fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • butter
  • salt 
  • pepper
  • nutmeg (hopefully, you've got the lovely whole nuts and you grate them yourself on a microplane, right??)
  • 1 lemon 

... and of course, tomatoes.  I used some heirlooms and a few camparis that were hanging around, but really, use whatever you like to eat fresh.  There's no real amount to give you, because it will depend on how many you can cram on the top of your pie.  I have a very large pie dish.

Blind-bake your pie crust according to package (or recipe) instructions.  I do not bother with beans or rice or pie-weights.  I prick the crust all over with a fork and (mostly) it always comes out fine.  

Bake until lightly golden, and cooked through (no shiny raw spots) but not super dark - the edges will darken up more when you bake the finished pie.  The bottom will cook a little more as well.
Peel and slice your potato, and boil until fork-tender in nicely salted water.  Pretend you're making mashed potatoes for a very small and not-very-hungry leprechaun.

While the potato is bubbling away, mince the garlic ...

Finely dice the onion ...

Give the celery a chop ...

Dice the bell pepper ...

And dice the bacon ...

In a skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon down until the fat is all rendered out and the bacon bits are getting crispy.  Then, add your beautifully chopped veggies and saute until the celery is soft.   If your pan gets too dry, add a little bit of butter. 

Season with salt and pepper and set aside.  

By now, your potato should be more than cooked ... hopefully you've been keeping an eye on it this entire time, and practicing your multi-tasking!  Drain your potato, and add it to a nice big mixing bowl.  Season well with salt and a whole lotta pepper.  

Like any potato-based product, we'll need butter.  Add about a tablespoon.

Mash everything together with a fork and add the panko bread crumbs.

Then the egg.

Add half of of the grated jack or mozzarella cheese (really, any white cheese will do).  I got excited because of the cheese and didn't take a picture - just use your imaginations.  Add half of the parmesan.  Mix well.

Now mix in your lovely bacon-vegetable mixture and half of the chopped herbs (as in, half a cup of the basil and half a cup of the parsley).

Add in the zest of the lemon and about 8 or 10 grates of fresh nutmeg.  If you are using the pre-grated nutmeg, only put in a pinch.  Pre-grated nutmeg is a lot stronger than the fresh grated and it can get overwhelming fast.  It isn't nutmeg pie.  

Taste and adjust the seasonings.  Unless you're weird about the raw egg in there.  I'm not weird about raw eggs.  

Spread a fairly thick layer in the bottom of your pie shell.  Don't be afraid to squish it all down.

Most likely, you'll have some filling leftover.  I think it depends a lot on the size of your potato, not to mention the size and depth of your pie dish.  Leftovers are fine.  Leftovers mean you can do this:

Hollow out a few baby tomatoes, stuff with any leftover stuffing, sprinkle with cheese and bake (uncovered at 400ºF) until gooey.  Perfection!

If you're planning on making this a day ahead of serving, stop now.  

The crust and potato filling will hold fine in the fridge, as long as it's well wrapped.  Once you add the tomatoes, however, you've got about a 2 hour window before you need to get it in the oven.

Speaking of the tomatoes ....

If you really want, you can do slices and arrange the on the top.  Despite my OCD, I prefer random chunks for this.  Don't be shy, use a lot.  You want a full, crammed, no-sign-of-filling-underneath, mix of colors layer.  Don't worry about the juice and seeds - the breadcrumbs soak up all that - I promise, this doesn't turn into a soggy mess.

Season the tomato layer with salt and more (and more and more) pepper.  Sprinkle the top with the remaining herbs (basil and parsley) and cheeses.

Bake at 375Fº for about 35 to 40 minutes, until the cheese is melty and starting to brown, the tomatoes are all soft and roasty, and your crust is golden brown.  

Let it rest of 10 minutes before you cut it.   I'm always expecting the bottom to be a little soggy, or the slices to come out messy, and each time I'm amazed at how cleanly this serves, despite all of the juicy tomato lovelyness.  

We ate ours with roast beef for Father's Day dinner.  But it's also wonderful for brunch.  Or along side BBQ ribs and coleslaw.  Or as a snack the next day.  Or as a 4th of July potluck item.  Or because it's a day that ends in "y".

As much as I think the bacon is one of the best parts of this, you could easily go vegetarian with this, just use butter and olive oil to saute with.  Sorry, though, no vegan options - there is no way to omit the cheese without killing it.

Printable version hanging out over @ Tasty Kitchen!  (CLICK ME!  CLICK ME!)

Monday, June 18, 2012

How Times Flies!

Yes, it's true.  After 11 long weeks, I'm back.

Did you miss me?

Admit it, you missed me.  A least just a little bit.

I don't really have an excuse.  I've been cooking - I've been cooking a LOT.  I've been taking pictures.  I've been really really busy doing all sorts of food pusher-type activities.  So busy, that there just wasn't any time to translate food and pictures to a blog. 

It started with one of my girlies twisting my arm asking me ever-so-sweetly to try the a version of the Paleo Diet, in conjunction with some of her Arbonne products.  This girlie of mine, we'll call her Calliope, is not only a personal trainer, she's also a district manager of Arbonne (amazing make-up primer, by the way, I highly reccommend it).  28 (very long arduous painful) days of:

  • No alcohol
  • No refined sugars
  • No dairy
  • No fun
  • No refined carbs
  • No bread
  • No coffee
  • No Pepsi

No fun.

Okay, so thanks to my Asian food addiction, and the culinary wonders of Golden Flower (Vietnamese chicken salad and lemongrass beef) and Bangkok Cuisine (chicken coconut soup and fresh rolls with peanut sauce), not to mention gallons of iced green tea from Starbucks, I survived just fine.  I also got to experiment with carb-alternatives, like braised cauliflower and roasted spaghetti squash and oven-fried sweet potatoes.  Hummus and cucumbers got me over the 5PM walk-in-the-door-starving-after-work snack time challenge without too much guilt. The hardest part was making something Future Hubs friendly (e.g. pasta, potatoes, bread, cheesy pasta, buttered potatoes, and/or rice) without eating any myself.  I did my best to make just enough for him to have with dinner, and have leftovers to pack him for lunch the next day.  Some days went better than others.  

Oh, what happened to my Adorable Roomie, you ask?  Hmmmmm, did I forget to mention that?  Whoops!  Silly me!  Also during the last 3 months, I was asked a very important question and given a very pretty piece of sparkly jewelry and now there is no more Adorable Roomie.  It's now all about the Fubby!  (Future Hubs, get it?)

Amazingly, coffee hasn't been that hard to avoid; long after the 28 days were over, I'm only back to having a single cup of coffee about three times a week.  Pepsi cravings, however, are still in full effect.  I love Pepsi.

I haven't added a whole lot of dairy back in, except of occasional cheese sauces.  Almond milk really isn't that awful.  Or at least, it's less awful in cereal that soy milk would be.   I avoid bread because it's one of my gateway drugs.

Once my 28 Days of Hell were completed, it was nice to see that I had lost a few pounds, my skin was amazingly clear, I'd lost a few inches in places where I really wanted to lose inches, and I really really wanted a drink. Then I got engaged and drank a LOT. Hey, it's a celebration!

Other spring activities included my OCD going into overdrive ...

New shelving in the laundry room means I almost have enough pantry space.

... making sure the Adorable Wonder Kitten had ample play time ..

Blog?  Who needs to blog when this is snuggling with you?

... switching out old itchy ancient flannel couch for new lovely leather sofa (I love hand-me-downs) ...

Puppy tested & Food Pusher approved.

... pink flamingo hunts ...

He was very proud of his stalking abilities.

... making friends with the new toad in our garden ...

We've decided to name him Tobias.

... a few batches of cupcakes ...

Chocolate Cherry with Marshmallow Frosting.  Yes, the cherries are chocolate-dipped.

... some mini fruit tarts ...

Orange Vanilla Cream & Mixed Berries.

... a birthday cake for 2 of my fairy godchildren (now, my future nephews!) ...

Sponge-Bob rocks among 3 & 7 year olds!
... babysitting Wonder Kitten's cousin ...

I play fairy godmother to multiple pets as well.  He kept trying to head-butt the camera.

... more cupcakes ...

Mini Vanilla Cupcakes, with teeny tiny peacock feathers made from spun-sugar.

... and some brownies ...

Raspberry Dark Chocolate Brownies, with whipped cream & sugared fresh raspberries.

... lemony cheesecake bars ...

Amazon is a phenomenal source for specialty candies.

... and about 10 pounds of chocolate dipped strawberries ...

I love party food.

... not to mention all of the gardening, family events, Granny episodes, and wedding planning.   Coming up, there's barbecues, engagements parties, camping trips, family dinners, birthday parties, and potlucks - plenty of food blogging opportunities! 

Hope you've all had an eleven weeks even half as fantastical as mine!

Coming up tomorrow, Heirloom Tomato Pie.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Ocean Spray & Sand Dunes

I had a very Martha-Stewart-meets-that-guy-from-Trading-Spaces type of a weekend.  

The Adorable Roomie and I rent a very sweet and cute and lovely 1930's house from a very nice couple who are the most laid-back landlords I've ever had in my life.  Our only "rules" were to not kill the lawn (and since the owners pay for the lawn service, that isn't a hard rule to follow).  Pets?  Sure!  Painting?  Sure!  Hanging shelves?  Sure!  As a bonus (depending on the day), the house is across the street from my little old granny, making keeping an eye on her a lot easier than if we lived across town.  Especially given Granny's propensity for 10PM phone calls, needing us to come over RIGHT THIS SECOND because she's messed up the cable box again. 

It smells like fresh paint & vanilla, an amazingly lovely combination.

Our house has a lot of original details, such as the custom cabinets and tile in the kitchen, the super cute flippy handles on the cupboards, the little phone cubby in the hallway; we've also got a wood-burning stove (which kept our heating oil bill down to almost nothing this winter), two very nice-sized bedrooms, ample closet space, and a laundry room that's actually bigger than the kitchen.  It's quite lovely and warm and charming and perfect for the two of us, plus a very spoiled kitten.  

Okay, so there are some drawbacks.   For example, as cute as my kitchen is, there is almost no counter space.  Zero.  Zip.  Nada.  And half of the space we have is often dedicated to drip-drying dishes (because no one had dishwashers in 1939).   And the upper cabinets come down over the counters much lower than is standard in the 21st century - a wine bottle (let alone a coffee maker or a Kitchen-Aid mixer) doesn't fit underneath them.  Which translates to normal counter items needing to be stored and used not on my counter. 

But by far, the biggest issue we have had for the past 10 months, is the bathroom.  

I was worried when we first moved in about the logistics of sharing a bathroom on a daily basis with a boy.  I've never had to do that before, except on a short-term basis (you know, sleepovers, out-of-town trips, stuff like that).   Unless we go WAAAAAAY back to when I still lived at home, there hasn't been a lot of boy-bathroom-sharing.  And even back then, in our teeny tiny condo, we had a second half bath where my mom and I set up the girlie command station.  

Turns out, sharing was and is super easy.  It helps that the Adorable Roomie goes to work at least an hour (if not more) before I do.  But even when we're both getting ready at the same time, it still goes fairly smoothly.

The problem is not sharing.

The problem is (or rather, as of last Sunday, WAS) the walls.  And the cabinet.  And the original tile in the oh-so-asthetically-pleasing combination of shiny dark red and dull pinky-peach.  Our bathroom was gross.  Despite regular scrubbings, and almost daily quickie wipe downs with a Clorox wipey, and pictures, a cute shower curtain, and fluffy towels, our bathroom was just a nightmare.  For some reason unknown to normal people, the walls had been painted a dark teal ... then textured over (the texture behaves a bit like old wall paper, except the teal bled through) with weird ridges and swirls, then painted again a very awful and depressing band-aid color.    You needed a Xanax every time you showered.

Rusted Hardware.  Weird color.  And if you look close, you can see where they decided to paint on the wall instead of cutting in around it.

The toilet is set so close to the wall that you have to lean a little when you sit down.  This is great if you're drunk.  This is not so great on a normal day; it leads to a permanently bruised elbow.  It's also a little "interesting" in the event that you are babysitting for three boys ages almost-3, four, and almost-7.  Little boys whom I love and adore, but who don't aim very well.  I use Clorox wipies on the wall a lot too when Thing 1, Thing 2, and Thing 3 come over.

Notice that the toilet is crooked on top of everything else.

We really couldn't do much about the toilet.  If you use a flashlight, you can see the layers of paint behind it - meaning no one has tried removing the toilet in years.  The Roomie was having nightmares about the floor getting torn up if we tried to take the toilet out ... so instead, I got to practice my yoga when it was time to paint around/behind it.

Did I mention dark & dingy? And permanently dirty looking?

The Adorable Roomie spent over two hours with a power sander, trying to mellow out the texture on the walls.  Then he made BFFs with his shop vac and a wet rag, cleaning up from the sanding party.  All of this, after a very long and full work day.  He also made sure to take care of the things I would have totally just blown off, like taking down the switchboard cover and pulling the towel racks off the wall (I would have just painted around them).  Sometimes, he can be a saint.  Naturally, he also had to paint the crown and the ceiling because I'm short and have a slight fear of ladders.  I don't find ladders quite as terrifying as clowns and ferris wheels, but it's a close third. 

After the love of my life did all sorts of prepping for me, we went paint shopping (and had Thai food and got cut off horribly in the Home Depot parking lot).  I was aiming for a very nice not-too-dark aqua color.  Nothing crazy, just something that had enough gray in it to be a neutral.  Plus the shower curtain we already had not only had red and weird peach (to match the tile) but also two different shades of a very nice aqua in it.  I was trying to make the accessories we already owned work with the new paint.

Yeah, it didn't quite work out that way.  

The paint we purchased, while matching the existing curtain perfectly in a small chip, did NOT match once two coats had been worked into the wall.  I say "worked" because the remaining wall texture (post-sanding) did not want to be painted; I had to force the paint into the remaining ridges with a paint brush, then roller, then touch up with the brush ... and roller again.  And touch up again Sunday morning.

Needless to say, I was not going to re-purchase paint and re-paint the walls and re-exert all of that effort.  Instead, I bought a new shower curtain.  Entirely worth the $14.99.  My OCD has been thanking me every time I walk by the bathroom.

Ahhhhhhh, relief from the depression!

We chose two lovely colors, both from Glidden (in a semi-gloss paint and primer combo):  one gallon of Sea Spray (GLB19) for the wallS, and a quart of Summer Sandcastle (GLC06) for the trim, the ceiling, the door, and the cabinet.  

So soothing. 

I also had a can of super duper shiny metallic silver spray paint, which landed on the base of the light fixture, the toilet paper holder, and all of the hardware on the cabinet.

No more rust!  And notice that I did go to the trouble to cut in properly around the wall.

The artwork turned out awesome (if I do say so myself) and budget-friendly.  I downloaded and printed pictures of vintage travel posters and slipped them into $2 frames.  Voila!  Now I just have to spray all the frames a chocolate brown, to match the dots in the shower curtain; the black is too harsh and is making my eye twitch a little.

I no longer live in fear of contracting the ebola virus when I touch the walls.

I have to say, I love it!  Despite all of the work, and the pain, and the five stores I had to go to, in order to find a curtain that matched the paint, it was completely and utterly worth it.

By the pain, I mean I woke up at 3am Sunday morning because my arm was throbbing so much.  See, I'm short, and all of the painting and rollering over my head did quite a number on my arm, and of course my back and shoulders.  And my knees are visibly bruised from the contortions necessary to get that super sharp line at the floor and paint neatly around the wonky toilet.

The Noodle likes to curl up in this sink while I'm doing my hair every morning.

 Now if I could just figure out a way to add counter space in the kitchen .... does anyone have a magic wand I can borrow?