Starting from Scratch (plus a shredded pork & coleslaw recipe)
Rain, Rain, Go Away,
Imagine this. Selling and donating all material possessions, including your house, and moving over 2,000 miles away.
Packing up 2 cats and a dog into a Honda Civic with whatever it will carry. I’d call it liberating and freeing, a little scary but overall one of the best ideas my husband James and I have ever had. We craved a fresh start, a change, something new. Maybe this was indeed our midlife crisis, but at least we did it together.
Finding ourselves on the opposite end of our one year goal, we are now headed back to our home state of Texas, moving from the bedroom community and suburb of Seattle called Maple Valley. It’s spring, and we haven’t seen sun more than 6 days since October. It’s now April.
Seattle’s not called the Emerald City for nothing! We decided the price to pay for the lush vegetation and breathtaking views was too high for us! Between my husband’s extreme pain from the cold and rainy climate and my S.A.D. (aka Seasonal Affective Disorder) which most people suffer from here due to the lack of Nature’s Vitamin D, the Pacific Northwest is best left as a memory for us. We met some great people along the way who will remain as family to us. It was worth the trip.
After living the last year in a 3 level hillside home with a gorgeous view of trees, valleys, mountains and wildlife, we discovered that Texas is calling our name, and it’s time to make a major U-Turn back home.
Now comes the fun part (or laborious task in my case) – making the new house our “home.”
One of my favorite quotes comes from one of my favorite movies “Sisters” starring Tina Fey and Amy Poehler ~
A house is just a building, but a home is a feeling.
Here’s the tricky part-making that feeling come to life. Filling our new home with things we love. If we’re spending our hard-earned money on furniture and decor, why not have it look and feel… Good, Cohesive, Pretty.
Some lucky people are just born with it. Others, like yours truly, have to learn it. It’s called…
I’m personally utilitarian, somewhat like a good, solid bookcase made of natural unstained wood. Unless I want our new digs to look like a warehouse, I need to step it up.
Step 1-Research. Pinterest, Wayfair, Amazon, Houzz, Ikea, and every decorating blog and idea I can get my hands on.
Here’s what I’ve learned so far in studying Home Design 101 on social media:
5 Reasons Your Home Decor Does Not Look Cohesive
This blog post sums it up for me and will prevent our new home from looking like a hodgpodge of mix & match mistakes. “Wife in Progress, Love your Home” is the blog, and Jenna is the author. In a nutshell (and I’m all about the nutshell version), the 5 reasons my home never looked cohesive, and Joanna Gaines’ does:
I Do Not Have a Whole House Color Palette
I Have Not Consistently Used Wood, Metals or Neutral Elements
I Do Not Have a Defined Style
I’m a Slave to Trends
I Have Not Decorated with Intention
So, I need to find what makes us feel comfortable. A place we will want to come at the end of the day and relax. It’s very important to us not to accumulate too many things since we love our new minimalist lifestyle, so we’ll keep clutter to a minimum.
Because we have absolutely NO clue where to start, we’re starting with the first two things we loved at a great discount furniture store.
The electric reclining built-in-phone-charger almost leather loveseat:
…and the TV stand that James fell in love with (lots of storage and shelving):
Now it seems we have a style, so we added this wall hanging:
Seems that we like stars. Who knew!
All of this rustic western decorating got me hankerin’ for some Southern Shredded Pork (my favorite!), and there’s nobody that makes it better than The Pioneer Woman herself. Here’s Ree’s recipe for Spicy Dr. Pepper Shredded Pork (click on the recipe title to go right to her website with the recipe and great step-by-step photos)
- 1 whole Large Onion
- 1 whole Pork Shoulder ("pork Butt") - 5 To 7 Pounds
- Salt And Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 1 can (11 Ounce) Chipotle Peppers In Adobo Sauce
- 2 cans Dr. Pepper
- 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
- 5 Minutes
- 6 Hours
- 18 Servings
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
- Peel the onion and cut it into wedges. Lay them in the bottom of a large dutch oven.
- Generously salt and pepper the pork roast, then set it on top of the onions in the pan.
- Pour the can of chipotle peppers over the pork (include the sauce.) Pour in both cans of Dr Pepper. Add brown sugar to the juice and stir in.
- Place lid tightly on pot, then set pot in the oven. Cook for at least six hours, turning roast two or three times during the cooking process. Check meat after six hours; it should be absolutely falling apart (use two forks to test.) If it's not falling apart, return to the oven for another hour.
- Remove meat from pot and place on a cutting board or other work surface. Use two forks to shred meat, discarding large pieces of fat. Strain as much of the fat off the top of the cooking liquid as you can and discard it. Return the shredded meat to the cooking liquid, and keep warm until ready to serve. (You can also refrigerate the meat and liquid separately, then remove hardened fat once it's cold. Then heat up the liquid on the stovetop and return the meat to the liquid to warm up.
- Serve on warm flour tortillas. Top with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, grated cheese, avocado slices, salsa, and whatever else you'd like.
When I make shredded pork I have to make this coleslaw that is tried and true. I first saw it on Allrecipes.com. Creamy and simple, it tastes like the best restaurant recipe you’ve had.
- 1 (16 ounce) package coleslaw mix
- 2 tablespoons minced onion
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 1 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Combine the coleslaw and onion in a large bowl.
- In a separate bowl, combine the sugar, salt, pepper, milk, mayonnaise, buttermilk, vinegar and lemon juice; mix until smooth. Pour mixture over the coleslaw and onion; stir well and chill for 1 hour. Serves 8