For the Home


live simply. keep it clean. make it beautiful.

Recipes

The Quest for the Perfect Scone


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Being an Ohio State graduate, my friends are now scattered all over Ohio like confetti. Luckily, many are still in Columbus AND it serves as the perfect meeting spot for friends located in Cleveland.

One of my recent meeting spots was Cambridge Tea House. I could write an entire post about how delicious their homemade scones were. Being a scone novice, I would have never imagined that I would enjoy something with a name such as ‘clotted cream’ but I did, and have been obsessed with scones ever since.

I went on a ‘pinning’ frenzy. Every scone recipe got posted to a board that may or may not ever come to fruition until, one day I decided to try orange cream scones from A Latte Food. With a little finesse and some good luck, this first batch of scones came out absolutely delicious!

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Ingredients 

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 TBSP baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 TBSP orange zest
  • 1/2 cubed butter, cold
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Glaze 

  • 3 TBSP butter melted
  • 1- 1 1/2 cup (s) powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 TBSP freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tsp orange zest

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  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and orange zest. Cut in cold butter with a pastry cutter and mix the dough until the butter is about the size of peas and the dough resembles coarse crumbs (I used the paddle attachment of my KitchenAid mixer and it worked just fine )   
  3. In a small bowl, egg, sour cream, heavy cream, and vanilla extract. Mix with dry ingredients, until just combined.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface (I like to flour and roll dough out onto two pieces of floured wax paper to avoid sticking and messy counters) , and pat into a 1″ thick circle. Cut into 8 triangles.
  5. Brush the tops of each scone with a little bit of heavy cream, and bake for 15-16 minutes/ until scones are golden brown.
  6. While the scones are cooling, mix together melted butter, powdered sugar (starting with 1 cup), vanilla extract, orange juice, and orange zest. If the glaze seems too thin, add in the last 1/2 cup of powdered sugar. ( I had to do this one a little on the fly — mine tasted a little too powdered sugary for my liking so, when in doubt, add more butter and orange zest) 
  7. Brush the glaze over the scones and you’re ready to eat!
Cleaning

Clean Week: Lessen the Laundry Load


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Do you ever wonder how your mom was such a wizard when it came to getting stains out of your clothes? Watermelon dribbles, ketchup smears, grass stains; even the ” I was holding my coffee and hit that pesky pothole” splatter. Nevertheless, you handed it to your eye rolling mother and POOF, the stain was gone.

So, for all of you who still find yourselves phoning a friend (undoubtably your mother) when it comes to laundry. Hang on tight because after reading this you MAY be able to do laundry all by yourself — Yes. Even you over there with the wine stained jeans getting ready to dial your mom. We’ve all been there. Put the phone down.

  1. Heres our number one rule if you listen to nothing else, PLEASE separate your colors from your neutrals (whites, pastels, and light khakis). If you’re the guy at the meeting with the wanna be white button down thats now a pretty shade of slate grey, we’re talking to you. Whites are washed alone, in cold water, on a low setting. 
  2. Speaking of separate, we all hate sorting laundry so, whether you live with roommates or your family, separate clothing by person (if possible). This way, you can totally nix the chore of separating.
    • Pro Tip: we recently invested in lingerie bags for washing intimates. Each person has their own bag. This removes the task of separating intimates. The bag simply gets thrown in the washer, then to the dryer. Presto chango, and you’re never touching a pair of someone else’s soiled pantaloons again.  Click here for sweet relief.
  3. There is nothing worse than getting out of the shower, going to to dry off and getting a face full of mildew. We’ve all experienced it. You let the towels sit in the washer too long or your impatient husband or roommate folded your towels before they were dry — sweet of them but, now my freshly cleaned face smells like a dish rag.
    • Getting rid of towel stink: Wash your towels on hot (like colors of course) with your detergent AND a cup of vinegar. The vinegar removes the stink and cleans your washer as an added bonus.
  4. A word on sheets. Sheets are pretty easy peasy. But our secret to making them smell incredible– Downy Unstoppables. We shared our love for these little guys in our . Wash your sheets weekly with some of these beads of paradise and you’ll be in heaven.
  5. Tough stains. I was recently  challenged by a BBQ stain on khaki pants, to which I accepted. My weapon of choice, Shout Triple-Acting Spray .And to you with the wine stained jeans, try Wine Out, it works miracles.
    • Also, never underestimate the power of Dawn. When all else fails, try Dawn.TOWELS
    • Don’t sweat it– Sweat stained undershirts? Try this cheapo hack– baking soda and peroxide!

We all know a 20 something in need of a laundry guide. Our mom started us off early but, always had a little cheat sheet hanging above the dryer — cultivating her own little laundry wizards one load at a time.  So, as a gift to you, we have attached the cheat sheet to this post.

Happy stain removing!

Sincerely,

DorisJane

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Cleaning

Clean Week: Stuff That Stinks


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We’ve found ourselves here all too often. We wake up in the morning and shuffle bleary eyed out to the kitchen toward the coffee maker and then it hits us. The dreaded, “what is that?!” A quick lap around the kitchen … trash is taken out, musty washrags are tossed in the washer, but still we wander around searching for the stink. Sometimes it’s been the dishwasher. Sometimes the trash can. Other times it’s harder to pinpoint.

In fact, a few weeks ago Em could not figure out what the musty, mildew smell was coming from her master bathroom. She scrubbed, she cleaned, she steamed the shower walls even, but the stench remained. Finally she found it. The bath towels. And so we took to the internet for the best remedies to things that just flat out get stinky. The answer was almost always … white vinegar.

Stinky Towels – Run your towels on hot with one cup of white vinegar. Towels will come out fresh, fluffy and stink-free. Bonus – this will also “destink” your washer at the same time. We were a bit worried the mildewy smell would be replaced by that tangy smell of vinegar, but that wasn’t the case! They came out smelling and feeling brand new.

Stinky Dishwasher – Before running an empty dishwasher on heavy duty setting, remove, clean and rinse the filter at the bottom of your dishwasher. Replace filter, pour a cup of white vinegar into the bottom of your dishwasher then set it and forget it.  Voila! No more sour dishwasher.

Disposal Drain – vinegar and baking soda will fizz the funk right out of your sink. Grab an old toothbrush to scrub around the edges and finish with a couple citrus peels to freshen it up a bit.

Coffee Maker – dip filter insert in vinegar and rinse thoroughly. Replace, then run a whole pot, equal parts white vinegar and water through coffee maker. Run again with only water. Repeat with only water until vinegar smell is gone. **If you own a Keurig – please consult your owners manual for the best way to clean your machine.

Dog Bed – We both have yellow labs. 75+ pounds of love and fun and stray hairs … but that also means they put off a 75+ pound stink, their bed, specifically. First off – wash that smelly mutt. Secondly, wash the bed or the zip off cover if possible. Then sprinkle with baking soda. Let the baking soda sit while you take your pup for a long walk and vacuum the bed when you get home. No more stink! (until your next trip to the dog park of course.)

Cleaning, Shop Our Favorite Products

Clean Week: Our Favorite Products


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We’re not necessarily “neat freaks.” Things get out of place, things get messy and things get pushed to “tomorrow.” However, we do consider ourselves “clean freaks.” When we clean our houses we like everything to look clean, feel clean, and most importantly smell clean. We’re a pediatric nurse and a stay-at-home-mom of one messy little boy (with another messy little boy on the way) so our love of disinfecting products runs pretty deep.

In fact, we’ve tried just about every cleaning product on the market searching for the perfect way to clean every inch of our house without spending an entire day with a scrub brush in our hands. The products below have not only saved us time, but they’ve stopped us just short of bleaching our entire house:

DIY Faves

  • Baking Soda – fresh scent and gently abrasive, this little box packs a serious cleaning punch
  • Vinegar – included in every DIY cleaning recipe you’ll find online, and for good reason
  • Lemon Juice – will take the stink our of just about anything
  • Lavender Essential Oils – because who doesn’t love how lavender smells?

Top 5 Store Bought Time Savers

  • Pledge Multi-Surface – This one little can saves so much space and time. It’ll clean and dust anything from glass to wood. No more switching bottles 4 times for each room.
  • Pledge Squirt & Mop – Cleans and shines quickly between deep clean mop sessions. Perfect for trailing after a muddy dog or sticky toddler.
  • Bar Keepers Friend Soft Cleanser – Leave your whole kitchen nice and shiny and finally get those stainless steel appliances fingerprint free
  • Purell Multi-Surface Disinfectant – Em searched high and low for a granite-safe disinfectant for her kitchen and bathroom countertops. Behold … prayers have been answered.
  • Mr. Clean Magic Erasers – The answer to any mess your children, pets and husband can make.

We try not to obsess over a cleaning schedule because we tried it and it started to make us crazy. Falling behind or skipping a task had us feeling stressed and overwhelmed, the opposite of what we were going for. We’ve learned we are better about keeping a house clean if we do a little bit at a time, while doing things like blinds, baseboards, dusting etc when we see that it needs to be done. We’re also no stranger to the frantic “friends are coming over” cleaning spree. Who would’ve guessed you could get so much done in such a short amount of time? However, if you want an idea of what our idea of a manageable schedule looks like, you can find a printable below.

You Can Do It Cleaning Schedule

Tomorrow we tackle the stuff that stinks in your house. Exciting, right? So tell us, what’s the one thing in your house you just cant keep from getting smelly? We’ll try to help out!

Sincerely, 

Doris Jane

Cleaning

Clean Week: Get Organized


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We’re staunch believers that step 1 of making your home feel and look clean is to first organize and simplify. Before we get down to the scrubbing, mopping and sweeping, we like to begin with clear surfaces and orderly supplies. Pick up and put away anything cluttering the countertops, get rid of lingering junk mail, straighten cabinets and closets, and tackle areas that seem to be a catch-all. We’re looking at you, “the drawer.” We know you all know exactly what which drawer we’re referring to. We’re guessing it’s some kind of oddly shaped drawer in your kitchen, too small for utensils and too shallow to hold anything of actual value. Let us make one more assumption, you struggle to open it every time you think something you’re missing is in there because the drawer itself gets caught on a rogue pair of scissors, an empty tape roll or a stack of expired coupon catalogs. Nailed it, didn’t we? 

We teamed up with Jan and Amy from Dwell Happy, a professional organizing service in Pennsylvania, who were kind enough to provide some really great guidance on how to get started and why it’s so important to simplify your living spaces:

1. Spend time working on your vision before you get started. This isn’t just a vision for your home, it’s more of a vision for your life. What makes you happy? Start a Pinterest board of inspirational quotes, things you enjoy doing (or would like to enjoy doing if you had the time), and spaces that appeal to you. This will keep you motivated as you start making important decisions about what items bring you joy and which items will only get in the way of making your vision a reality.
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2. Working on one category at a time instead of organizing by room is much less overwhelming and much more efficient. It will put an end to the constant shuffling of your things (just moving things around in a room so it looks more organized) and help you to eliminate the clutter and only keep the things you love and need. Starting in your wardrobe yields a very gratifying win right off the bat. Having a wardrobe full of only the clothes that you love and wear makes getting dressed each day feel so good that you will want that feeling everywhere. It’s addictive.
3. Some people may feel lost when it comes to the best way to store things but it’s actually pretty simple. Store like things together and when possible, store vertically instead of stacking. Storing vertically, like books on a bookshelf, makes items much easier to access and put away.

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4. Once you’ve cleared away the clutter you will be able to decorate with sentimental items that might have been hidden away, but that bring you joy. Clear the way for the good stuff – It’s what makes a home unique and beautiful. It tells YOUR story instead of looking like a West Elm catalog. (This is our favorite piece of advice. Family pieces > Pottery Barn)
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We cleared out Em’s buffet table a stack of antique doilies tucked away with our Great-great aunt’s china. We used one under this houseplant to protect our Great-Grandparent’s 1930 Majestic Radio. 
 5. A home should be lived in and get messy, but if everything has a place, those messes are a breeze to clean up.

For more great ideas and advice to get you motivated to organize and simplify your home, visit their website, dwellhappy.co, and be sure to follow them on Instagram. Their photos alone will have you ready to take on your pantry and linen closets!

Don’t forget to check back in with us tomorrow for a whole post on our favorite DIY and store bought cleaning products.

Sincerely, 

Doris Jane

Recipes

Fresh Picked Blueberry Cobbler


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We went pickin’ yesterday! Blueberry pickin’ that is. We braved a little rain at Blooms & Berries Farms in Loveland, OH and came out with 7 pounds of blueberries (we went just a little overboard) so sweet they taste like candy.

The baking options are endless, but we decided to start with one of Em’s favorite from-scratch recipes from Paula Deen. We actually use her peach cobbler recipe and just substitute whatever fruit we have lying around or frozen in the freezer (although we definitely prefer fresh!)

Click here for the recipe!

Blooms & Berries offers U-Pick options throughout the summer season, as well as an indoor produce stand and greenhouse area, lots of spaces for little ones to run and play and some of the most beautiful hanging baskets we’ve ever seen! They have more U-pick dates for blueberries coming up. Click here for details.

We brought Em’s son along, too! We did the picking – he did the eating.

We plan to visit another farm for blackberry season (beginning in July) stay tuned for another great recipe and more photos.

Recipes

Roasted Beets and Feta


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Our distaste for beets began at an early age. Quickly passing by the small stainless bin of sliced, soggy looking veggies that were floating in who-knows-what every time we came across a salad bar with our parents. Jess used to call them “purple circles” and all she knew about them is that she did not want to be anywhere near them. Emily somehow avoided them for her entire childhood, knowing she wasn’t interested all along.

However a few months ago our Aunt Julie said she found a recipe for red and golden beets and “couldn’t get enough of them” … we’ve been hooked ever since.

Put those canned-beet-memories out of your head and give roasted beets a try. High in fiber, low in fat and just 74 calories per cup, these tasty root veggies deserve a second chance.

Ingredients:

1 bunch red beets

1 bunch golden beets

2-3 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

1 cup feta cheese crumbles

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Remove stems and tips and peel beets

Dice beets into 1″ cubes

In a large bowl, toss beets in olive or coconut oil, fresh ground pepper, and salt

Spread evenly on foil lined cookie sheet and roast until tender … about 30-40 minutes

Top with goat cheese crumbles (we prefer feta) and serve as a side or on a salad.

Home Decor

Hometown Fixer Upper: Part 2


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Welcome back! Today we have part 2 of our Hometown Fixer Upper feature. Susan sent us more great photos of her renovation of her Great-Grandparent’s home and we wanted to share all the rustic goodness with you. Check out the before and after photos below!

The owners prior to Susan and Tyler tore out a few trees and bushes to add a porch to the front of the house giving it a more inviting entrance.

A new white sofa and revealing the original hardwood floors opened up this living room and gives it a bright, fresh facelift.

Is there really anything more beautiful than these original hardwood floors?

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Remember the ivy wall paper we told you about? Here’s a little peek at what Susan had to rip down before they painted.

And the only thing more adorable than this house … These two!

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Home Decor

Hometown Fixer Upper


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     Often times going back to your roots leads to a beautiful new beginning. Don’t we all find ourselves searching for time tested advice from our grandparents? But how often are we given the opportunity to share a dream, a space and a place to raise our children in the same place as our great-Grandparents. Not very often.
     Sure, we may share their values, their dreams and our hometown, but for our friend, Susan, and her fiance, Tyler, they’re also sharing the same living space. Back in April, Susan’s Dad noticed that his Grandparents house (built in 1942) was for sale. Flooded with memories of playing in the basement with his brother and sister, he asked to take a tour of the house. Susan and Tyler just happened to be looking for a house and immediately fell in love with her Great-Grandparent’s house. Not only for the charm of the construction, but the charm of its history.
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Photo frames hold little pieces of family history throughout their home. Pictured here: Moonlight Gardens, a popular date for her Great-Grandparents, and a photo of her mom’s parents on their wedding day. 
In the time between Susan’s Great-Grandparents owning the house and Susan and Tyler buying the house in April, the owners turned a screened in porch into another indoor room, added stairs to a brand new second floor and built a garage. They also added a great big beautiful porch.
The last few months, Susan and Tyler have taken on the task of adding their own personal touch to the house and have also reintroduced pieces of her family’s history to the walls and shelves. They also inherited a few pieces from the previous owners. Books, a sewing machine and an old record player remain in the house to add to this beautiful home’s history. Although before they did too much, they had to tear down sheets of ivy wallpaper that plastered the kitchen walls. Susan peeled back a piece near the microwave to reveal the original yellow paint that was there when her Great-Grandparents lived there.
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Swoonin’ for subway tile. Susan’s kitchen is chippy farmhouse fabulous. 
Once the wallpaper came down, subway tile went up (any other Fixer-Upper fans out there just drooling over this adorable kitchen?) Set aside Susan’s knack for picture perfect decor and farmhouse charm (seriously, she could give Joanna Gaines a run for her money, right?), the house itself has so much character it takes on a personality of its own. Stucco walls, glass door knobs and untouched hardwood hiding under the carpets throughout the house invite you in and make you feel right at home.
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This table is actually original to the house. It was given to Susan by her dad and belonged to her great-grandparents. 
We love (and are just a liiiittle bit jealous of) what Susan and Tyler have done to make this house their own without forgetting who’s it was to start and we can’t wait to see the changes they make in the future. We’re sure that making their own memories and starting their lives as newlyweds in a place that already holds so much of her family’s history would have certainly made her Great-Grandparents smile.

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Recipes

Homemade Pound Cake


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Grandma Jane ALWAYS had a pound cake in the fridge. Some of our fondest memories from our childhood involve running off the school bus and heading straight for their refrigerator for a slice of pound cake and a scoop of ice cream.

We recently found the BEST recipe for homemade pound cake (aka: butter cake) on Cookies and Cups and made it for our Memorial Day picnic. It certainly did not disappoint. Not only was it easy and relatively quick to make, it also just happens to be the perfect foundation for a mound of fresh strawberries and homemade whipped cream topping.

Try it for yourself here!