Our Wood Home

Our Wood Home

Friday, November 7, 2014

blogger recognition

I'm honoured to have been chosen as a recipient of The Blogger Recognition Award by Katie at Lilies of Grace.    Now that I have been awarded, here is what I'm to do:

  • Thank the person who nominated me, and provide a link to their blog. Thanks Katie! :)
  • Give a brief story on why I started my blog and one or two tips for other bloggers.
  • Choose 15 other bloggers to nominate for this award.
  • Comment on each of their blogs to let them know I nominated them.
I actually don't even follow 15 blogs so I'll save the third and fourth steps for later.  But for now I will share my reason for writing and some tips.

I started my blog because I was looking for something to keep myself occupied after our wedding.  I had created a blog then so that I could keep family and friends updated on wedding stuff but once we we married I felt it wasn't appropriate to keep using that blog (it's still live just not updated!).  The name for my blog was originally going to be David's Wife but that name was taken (I wanted that name since my blog would be about our newlywed life).  Our Wood Home came to be the name after I tried to come up with something catchy, but also personal.  Our house is made of wood and has a lot of wood paneling inside so the name fit.  

My tip for anyone starting a blog is to realize you may not ever be able to make a career from blogging but that is okay!  I've been blogging for 2 years and have yet to see a dime from my efforts.  But I've met some great people and my blog has allowed me to keep a journal of sorts that will be fun to look back on in 5 or 10 years.  And even if nobody wants to pay you for your blogging efforts it's still worthwhile because something you post could have an effect on the average reader who stumbles across your blog.

Another tip for new bloggers is to write what you like and try to be original.  I get a lot of inspiration for post content online but I make it my own.  Even if I copy an idea exactly I still take my own pictures and write everything in my own words and am sure to credit the source!  

Thanks again for the nom Katie:)


Thursday, November 6, 2014

Thankful Thursday week 6

I have been slacking on my weekly Thankful Thursday posts because I have so many great content ideas it all gets kind of lost and jumbled in my head.  Maybe I need to start writing them down...

This week I'm thankful:
  1. that we were able to have friends over a couple weeks ago.  It was really nice seeing everyone.
  2. for my pseudo promotion at work.   I'm a supervisor in training, which really just means I will be opening and closing the store sometimes as well as dealing with the cash in the registers.
  3. that my mom is giving us her wood stove.  We hate heating with propane and are excited to add a second stove the house.
  4. we have a new grey water pump in the basement since our old one was garbage (the pump collects the water from the sinks, shower and wash machine in a holding tank in the basement.  Then when it is full it pumps it all out to the septic tank.  Ours was old and clogged so it shorted out.  Water spilled all over the floor when the pump shorted out, so to prevent more water from leaking we couldn't run the sink or shower until the plumber came out the next day.  We now have a brand new, properly sized pump!).

What are you thankful for this week?  Tell me in the comment below, or on Facebook.


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Pin-spiration: Slow cooker apple butter

I'm guilty of using Pinterest way too much, and I find I rarely use/make/buy things I pin.  That's why I decided to start a mini project called Pin-spiration: using inspiration from Pinterest in real life.  The idea is to actually make the recipes I keep ogling, use the fashion ideas, make some of the crafts, etc.   

Today I'm sharing a recipe I found for apple butter made in the slow cooker.    I tried apple butter for the first time in college and it was delicious.  Back then I wasn't very motivated to cook from scratch, nor did I have the time.  But over the years I've thought how neat it would be to try making apple butter at home.  I always thought it would be easy, so last year I tried it and it was not good at all...I added too much cinnamon and the apples ended up looking more like apple sauce than butter.  This year I came across a recipe on Pinterest that seemed pretty easy so I tested it out.

If you have never had apple butter you may be thinking it sound gross, but it is awh-mazing.  Imagine biting into an apple but it has a smooth, velvety texture.  That is how I would describe apple butter.   Or, an even simpler way to think about it is pureed applesauce, because that is really all it is!


  • 12 apples, washed and cut (I used Macintosh)
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  1. Combine everything in slow cooker 
  2. Cover with lid and cook on LOW for 12 hours, stirring occasionally if possible
  3. Remove lid and cook on HIGH for 2 hours
  4. Puree carefully using an immersion blender or, in my case, food processor
  5. Pour into hot canning jars and tighten lid (if canned properly they can sit in your pantry for a year)

This is what the butter looks like after being pureed.  You could skip that step but yours would have the consistency of applesauce instead.  

Notice I didn't say to peel the apples?  That's mostly because I'm lazy and pretty much never peel any fruits or veggies, but also because  the peel gives the butter a nice, dark colour.  

Be aware that this does not make a lot of apple butter.  I was able to fill 2 and a half standard size mason jars (the half jar went straight to the fridge, but since the others were canned properly they will be fine in the pantry until opened).  

Apple butter can be spread on toast, cakes (you can never have too much apple!) or eaten with a spoon.   I'm currently testing a recipe for apple butter cake, so I'll be sure to report on that.    If you are into making homemade gifts for people (Christmas is coming!!!!!!)  this would be great.  

Are there any other types of fruit butters you have heard of or tried?  I've heard of pumpkin butter, but I imagine it would taste like pumpkin pie, right?  

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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

No Pants November: outfits 1 & 2

Last week I talked about a new fashion challenge to my blog, No Pants November!    The idea is to only wear skirts and dresses for the whole month of November (you can read the "rules" here.)  

One of my jobs requires me to wear pants as my uniform but my other one has no rules about what I can wear, so I'm opting to wear skirts there.  Here is an example of what I wore on the weekend to work.

Normally I wear heels to work, but I was just feeling like more comfortable footwear, so I wore these tall boots instead. 

Hat: Joe Fresh
Coat: Old Navy

Dress: Ricki's
Cardigan: Cleo (I think)
Belt: From a dress at H&M
Tights: ??
Boots: Soft Mocc

Earrings: Pandora

I know it's a fashion faux pas to wear white after Labour day, but I don't care:)  I like this dress so I wore it!  Pairing it with dark tights and a green sweater made it feel more appropriate for fall.  Since it was really cold out I had to wear a winter coat and hat so I thought I'd include those in the outfit photos.

The next outfit I wore is more casual but I was still able to wear it to work at the library.  This dress is actually a few years old...I think I got it for my 21st birthday.  It is getting a little too small, so I'm not sure if I will keep it.  But I've worn it a fair bit already.  Here is how I wore it last fall (I also wore it for our engagement photos!).

Dress: Denver Hayes
Belt: H&M
Pants: RW&Co
Boots: Spring

I tried this dress on with tights but it seemed too short, so I opted to wear pants instead.  The pants themselves are getting snug, so wearing them as 'tights' seemed like a logical option.  You can see here how the pants used to fit, when they were new.

Oh, and it was suuuuper yucky outside when I took these photos, which is why they are inside.

So far #NoPantsNovember has been pretty easy, but we are only 4 days in.  I'd love for you guys to participate in the challenge with me:)


Holiday leftover casserole

My Canadian readers may be wondering why I'm posting a Thanksgiving related recipe so late, while my American readers could be asking why it's so early...the reason is quite simple.  A couple weeks ago David and I had some friends over for a Thanksgiving type meal, with all the typical holiday foods.  We chose a date after Thanksgiving to ensure everyone was available, and we served turkey since we had a big one in the freezer.

This recipe is great for using up all the leftover food you have from Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, etc.  Sometimes eating turkey sandwiches for days and days gets kind of...blah.

You can see I've got corn, carrots, broccoli and some turkey hiding in there.  It's all topped off with a big layer of creamy mashed potatoes...mmm. The beauty with this dish is that you can add whatever leftovers you have, even if that's not what I noted in my recipe.


  • 2 cups of corn
  • 2 cups carrots
  • 1 cup brocoli
  • 2 cups cooked turkey
  • 1 cup gravy
  • generous heaping of mashed potatoes (here is my recipe)
  1. Combine veggies, turkey and gravy in a large bowl and mix well
  2. Pour into a large baking dish and scoop mashed potatoes on top
  3. Warm in oven for about 30 minutes at 350F or until food is heated through

SUUUUUUUPER Easy, right?  It's one of those recipes that can be made quickly because you literally just throw everything together and heat it up.   I'm betting stuffing would make a great topper, too!  Just be sure you put in some gravy because it helps keep the turkey nice and moist.  

Would you try this recipe this holiday season?  What leftovers would you add?  Do you even have leftovers?!  I grew up with 2 younger brothers so leftovers was not a word commonly heard in our house:)

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Monday, November 3, 2014

Fall Style Challenge (in collaboration with Bonobos)

I'm really excited to be sharing this post with you!  Bonobos (which is a menswear company) put together a Style Challenge using some of their men's suits.  I was flattered to be chosen to create a look based on the suit of my choosing!

Now, I'll be honest, I had never heard of Bonobos before.  But I took a quick peek at their website and really liked what I saw.  Unfortunately they do not ship to Canada right now *insert sad face* but their site says they are working on it *insert happy face*.

Back to the Style Challenge!  I was sent some photos of the new Fall suits and choosing one was pretty tricky, because they are all awesome.  I picked one that I could see my husband David wearing and styled it accordingly.  David's job can get pretty messy so he wears jeans and a comfortable shirt to work, but the blazer I chose is something I see him wearing out for something like a date night or family dinner.

It's funny that the picture I was given shows the model wearing a plaid shirt because that is what I immediately thought of for this jacket!  Clearly, plaid is a little expected, so I went in a different direction.

1. Dark wash jeans (Gap)
2. Grey dress shirt (Gap)
3. Brown ankle boots (Sorel)
4. Blue checked tie (Etsy)
5. Blue dotted tie (Etsy)
6. Colourful plaid tie (Etsy)
7. Colourful striped tie (Etsy)

I am seriously into this look!  I picked dark wash jeans because they are comfortable but still look nice when paired with a blazer.  The shirt I chose is grey so it compliments the blazer but still stands out a little since it is lighter in colour.  I wanted to show some different tie options that would look really which is also why I chose a neutral shirt.  The 4 ties I found are all excellent options to wear with this Bonobos blazer because they are are patterned or have some colour.  The shoes I selected are just basic brown shoes that look good but also comfortable, which is important for a man like my husband!

This was a fun challenge and I hope to work with Bonobos again in the future:)  How would you guys style this blazer?



Friday, October 31, 2014

no pants November

Good morning everyone.  Today I wanted to introduce a new feature on my blog called No Pants November.  I'm challenging myself to only wear skirts or dresses for the month of November.  Why?  Well, why not?  Personally, I find real pants (other than those for yoga) to be very uncomfortable.  Why would I choose to wear something uncomfortable like pants when I have soooo many skirts and dresses I could be wearing instead?  Dresses and skirts make me feel more free since they are far less restricting.

Here are my challenge "rules":

  1. Anytime I leave my house I will wear a dress or skirt instead of pants (with the exception of work because pants are required for my uniform).
  2. I will continue to wear pants at home since I don't want to ruin any of my skirts with soot from the fireplace or cleaners or food, etc.
  3. Repeat outfits are discouraged, considering how I have so many skirts.
  4. Challenge will commence on November 1 and finish on November 30.
I'll be posting my outfits with the tag #NoPantsNovember on Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter and I'd love for you to join me in this challenge!  If you have a blog feel free to use the badge below to link up with me and be sure to post your outfit links in the comments section.

I look forward to seeing what everyone comes up with and challenging myself to create interesting outfits.  


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