Fall is here!

16 10 2012

My favorite time of the year in terms of food and crafting! I’m not a fan of cold weather, but I can tolerate a cool 50 or 60 degrees during the fall – especially because it means pumpkin flavored everything! 

Two weekends ago I started decorating for halloween and with some inspiration from Pinterest, I made two pumpkins for our front porch




Next I made pumpkin fudge. Recipe here: http://familybites.blogspot.co.uk/2011/10/pumpkin-pie-fudge.html

Still trying to finish it off – super yummy!


This weekend it was pumpkin bread (2 loaves and 12 muffins)…I think we might turn into pumpkins after all of that! Pumpkin bread is a big tradition in my family, we eat it all fall and winter and its our Christmas morning snack before opening presents. This was my first time to make it for Sam, considering the first loaf is almost gone, I’d say it was a hit! Here’s the recipe for anyone who’s interested:


Makes 3 loaves:

3 cups sugar

1 cup vegetable oil

4 eggs

1 can pumpkin

1 cup water

Mix together and add:

3.5 cups flour

1 tsp allspice

1 tsp cinnamon

.5 tsp bakin powder

2 tsp nutmeg

2 tsp baking soda

2 tsp salt

Bake at 350 for 45 mins to 1 hour


Fall also means its time for soup. One of my favorites is my moms baked potato soup – it’s super simple and easy to make. Here’s the recipe for any of you soup lovers:

Half of a medium yellow onion, chopped

1/4 cup butter

1/3 cup flour

1 qt chicken broth

2 cups half & half

5-6 medium potatoes – cooked until tender and cut in small cubes

For garnish: bacon, cheddar cheese and green onions

In large soup pot cook onion in butter over medium heat until tender. Blend in flour until smooth and cook 1 min while stirring. Slowly wisk in chicken broth and half&half. Cook until mixture boils, reduce heat to low and add potatoes. Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste and heat through for a few minutes. Garnish with bacon, cheese and onions. 


I have a few more fall recipes I’m eager to try – I’ll keep ya’ll updated with the good ones!



Long time!

16 10 2012

Hello friends! I have been a very bad blogger for the last…..way too many months. A lot of things have happened since my last blog post – most excitingly, our engagement! Sam proposed on our 6 year anniversary with a ring made from his great grandma’s diamonds (love!). Since then the wedding planning has been in full swing. Today marks 200 days until the big celebration, so for those interested here are the updates on our plans:

  • Hired wedding planner (same one my bff Kim is using for her wedding 6 weeks earlier earlier)
  • Booked our location: Laguna Gloria – a favorite spot from my childhood that I have wanted to get married at since I was in highschool
  • Engagement photos were taken on the lake in Austin (see facebook for some examples!)
  • Chose our caterer who will provide food for our Texas and NOLA stations and our wedding cake (this was Sam’s favorite part)
  • Chose our florist who is making beautiful arrangements in all white for the ceremony and reception
  • Booked locations for our rehearsal dinner and wedding afterparty
  • Chose our DJ and ceremony music
  • Sent out save the dates – now designing the invitations with the help of one of my sisters fabulous designer friends!
  • My parents threw us great engagement parties in Little Rock and Austin
  • I picked out my dress with the help of my wonderful mom and bridesmaids
  • Sam picked out his suits for him and groomsmen
  • Booked our honeymoon in Jamaica

In other news, I finished my year long pediatric PT residency and was asked to stay on with my amazing company in a position that I love. Sam is well into his last year of medical school and has been invited to interview for residency programs at 12 different hospitals across the country. This time next year we could be in Dallas, Houston, NOLA, Charleston, Denver, Nashville, Little Rock, Asheville or Arizona!

Fabric Crafts

21 01 2012

In the midst of all of our kitchen projects, I’ve done a little bit of crafting along the way. Here are the projects I’ve done in the past few weeks:

Artwork for our bedroom

Yet another time that my hoarding has paid off 🙂 Those are shoe box lids covered in fabric. This project is so easy, and much cheaper than buying canvases.


The lighting isn’t great in this picture, but the fabrics are navy, green/blue and white. And I can always add to the wall if I get new shoeboxes 🙂

Next I recovered a plain white lampshade in our dining room with some fun yellow and white chevron material. Have I mentioned I’m obsessed with chevron? Just some fabric and spray adhesive – so easy!

Then, since my mantle was looking so bare without all my Christmas decorations, I stopped by my favorite store (Dollar Tree) to get something to spice it up with.

Happy Carnival Y'all!

And I whipped up a quick homemade king cake for the last Saints game (let’s not talk about it…). It definitely didn’t hold a candle to the real thing, but it sure was yummy!

Crescent rolls with cinnamon cream cheese filling and icing on top!

And lastly, I decided to paint our front door red. However I am not really happy with the color I chose 😦 This is my inspiration (a house down the street from us):

we want to paint our house grey like this one and add white columns to the front porch too

Drum Roll Please……

21 01 2012

Hallelujah! Our granite has arrived! After months of cooking in a kitchen I couldn’t stand…I can finally be proud of our tiny little kitchen. We were very lucky when we bought the house that almost every room had been updated…every room, that is, except the kitchen. Here is the kitchen when we first moved in:

The cabinets were an odd color, the dishwasher was ancient and the countertops had definitely seen better days. But the worst part to me was the dingy, old, disgusting sink….yuck!

So we painted the cabinets…and ripped those nasty counter tops off!

As is always the case with a 70 year old home…we found a few surprises – like that lovely wallpaper in the photo above. And it seems as if these cabinets have been there for at least 30 years – since I found an address book from a teachers sorority in 1979:

Mary Nell at our address...cool to find some old history hidden in the house

And not all surprises in old houses are good ones….when we took off the old counters (with attached backsplash) we realized there was some beadboard with a wood rail that ran along the wall next to the sink that looked odd without the old backsplash there. So, we thought we’d just rip it off. Easier said than done (as usual). We found huge holes in our plaster walls under the beadboard. So after some googling, we are now experts at patching plaster 🙂

the old beadboard....wish we'd gotten a picture of the giant holes underneath it!

So we got several quotes for different countertop materials – but we found a family run granite business that ended up giving us a GREAT deal – and threw in a new undermount sink for free! And lucky us – our kitchen is so small that they could make all our counters out of one slab, so that was more money off. We ended up getting our granite cheaper than the quote for laminate that we got from Home Depot! We chose a dark color called UbaTuba that has flecks of green, gray and brown which goes perfectly with our color scheme in the kitchen.

My beautiful new sink and faucet - I'm in love!

Notice the beadboard-free wall next to the sink, under the shelves

Sorry for all of the pictures, but I just can’t get enough of how different (and good) it looks! Lets see again what it used to look like….

Now, time to save up some more money so I can get a pretty tile backsplash to go with my lovely new counters!

Happy 2012 from Sam and Brita’s Bungalow!

2 01 2012


Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. Sam and I spent Christmas with our respective families and then met up in Breckenridge for a few days of skiing and then down to Denver to ring in the new year with my crazy cousins.

This year I decided to make a few homemade gifts for my family and friends. I sincerely LOVE shopping for gifts for people so I don’t think I will ever switch completely to homemade ones, BUT with this new crafting hobby I just couldn’t resist. So here are a few of the things I made:

Lavender Oatmeal Soap

Poured into a cookie cutter to make fleur de lis shapes

Scarves made from men's cotton t-shirts

I made two different kinds of scarves from a bunch of different colored mens XXL tees that I got from Target. They were soooo easy to make and super cute. I will definitely be making a Goodwill run to find some more t-shirts to convert!

Photo Canvas Project

Mom requested some photos for Christmas, so I thought I would make a homemade canvas. Just a printed black and white photo, 8×10 canvas, scrapbook paper and mod podge….

FInished product!

Here is my ever growing list of house resolutions for the new year:

1. New granite kitchen countertops

2. New coat of paint on the exterior of the house….and maybe a red front door?

3. Stealing my mom’s sewing machine for more crafting

4. Get (or have Sam build) a crafting table for our office

5. Build a bar height table for our sunroom

6. Get rid of the ironwork on our front porch and replace with wood columns


Here’s hoping we can accomplish at least some of these tasks in 2012!

Quick Weekend Crafts

10 12 2011

As I was lounging on the couch this morning, Sam said to me “no crafting today?”

I told him, no I did quite a bit this week so I’m taking a break. Well not an hour later something came over me and I just HAD to make something! So I picked an easy quick DIY from Pinterest that I already had all the supplies for in the house: Magazine/Mail/Bill organizers.

Started with cereal boxes from my pantry

Cut them on a diagonal

Then I used some Mod Podge and some black&white scrapbook paper to cover the sides. Took me about 5 minutes per box. They aren’t perfect….I’m still perfecting my mod-podging. But they definitely serve their purpose!

Finished product!

I have one for work stuff, bills, and misc.

Sam and I also received our first Christmas present yesterday from my mom: a beautiful yellow vase for our mantle!

Thanks Mom!

Now I’m off to put together my outfit for our 2nd Ugly Christmas Sweater party of the weekend! Mele Kalikimaka!

Holiday Edition

8 12 2011

We are definitely getting in the holiday spirit over here at Brita and Sam’s Bungalow. We bought our tree and decorated it last weekend, lit our first fire in the fireplace, hung our stockings and drank some hot chocolate….all with the christmas musical stylings of Bing Crosby, Louis Armstrong and Mariah Carey in the background.

Our cozy little christmas corner

I was inspired by pinterest yet again and made an ornament wreath for our porch. DollarTree is fast becoming my favorite store for my new crafting hobby!

$7 worth of ornaments from Dollar Tree and a wire hanger!

After Thanksgiving I was inspired by a project my mom did and used cloves and pears to usher in the month of december 🙂 This project smelled (and tasted) very yummy!

Temporary mantle decorations

Now for some non-holiday related craftiness: made a stop at Michael’s today and did a few little afternoon projects.

#1. Our kitchen grocery list written on the glass part of the frame in dry erase marker (can’t see well because of the glare).

Scrapbook paper in a frame

Used the leftover scrapbook paper to spruce up a spray painted Mason jar

#2. Still in progress: painting a vase yellow to get some more color on our kitchen shelves:

Still needs another coat of paint

#3. Last, but not least….my favorite project of the day: recycled wine bottles!

Started with these - soaked in water+soap to get the labels off

Here's my spray painting set-up in the car port

Et Voila! The finished product!

Just a little twine and a hot glue gun and now I have me some brand new vases for on top of our dining room built-in buffet/cabinets.

I have most certainly caught the crafting bug – in case you couldn’t tell….and I’ve now added a sewing machine to my craft supplies wish list…thanks a lot Pinterest!

That’s it for now! Feliz Navidad Amigos!