On Being a Homeowner

Good Morning!

Welcome to the start of a new week.  In the last month 9 months Jake and I have been busy with house projects and I feel like our home is finally coming together.  I thought it would be fun to share a few of the things we have done since moving in.

Cleaning out the gardens.

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When we moved in the garden was totally overgrown and full of grass.  We dug everything out, including most of the dirt and planted our own garden.  Our garden went crazy and, as you know from previous posts, we have been doing what we can to preserve much of what we grew for winter.  The plants and the woodpile you see along the side of the house have all been removed.  Side note: I wish our grass still looked that green!

Building  Fence

I know I mentioned this previously but it was a huge project.  And look how nice it looks compared to the chainlink fence!

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Cleaning up the back patio and gardens.

One of my favorite spots in the house.  The gardens are now overgrown again… next weekends project?


This is my favorite!  Most recently we got furniture for our fire place and added a buffet table (is that what those are called?), which was Jake’s grandmothers, to the dining room.  Both of these updates really brought the house together.


4 tap kegerator.


Enough said.

Gas fire place insert.

When we moved in the fire place was wood burning.  We tried it out a couple of times over the winter and it wasn’t the greatest.  It didn’t warm the house and it made everything smell like smoke.  In August, we put in gas and it is amazing!  I can’t wait for winter to come, just so I can sit in front of it for hours!

IMG_0033Other less exciting projects.

  • Inserted a bathroom fan into the master bath
  • Put in a new drainage system on the side of the house (the other one wasn’t draining and water was going under the house. EEE!)
  • Placed a fan up in the attic that turns on automatically when it reaches 100 degrees
  • Started painting; still have lots more to do
  • Cleaned out the ponds in front and back and put in pumps for the fountains
  • All the outdoor lights were on sensors so we changed them so they only turn on on a switch
  • Cleaned out and re-caulked the gutters.  Currently in the process of putting on gutter shields (not sure that is the right name) to keep out the leaves in fall
  • Got a new dishwasher and gas stove (my love!!)
  • Gary put in sliders in our cupboards.  Life. Saver.

Other projects on our mind

  • Paint the bedrooms and bathrooms then move onto the main room
  • Update the bathroom (light fixtures, sinks, counter tops, cupboards)
  • Update kitchen cabinets and counter tops
  • Update house trim
  • Update wood doors to white doors (??)

Most of the above projects probably won’t happen for a while.  But a girl can dream.

Last week in the JP Household

We were home and it was amazing!  I co-hosted a baby shower this weekend which was loads of fun and Saturday night Jake and I had date night.  We went to coin jam (an arcade bar) and challenged each other in duck hunt, mario bros, pinball, and air hockey.  So many fun old school games! We then went to the movie “Chef”.  It was fun and light hearted but nothing to write home about.

Sunday was filled with prep for the week and Jake offered to make dinner.  Winning!  Last Sunday we actually had time to sit and play a game together.


A-mazing!  And we enjoyed this awesome Roasted Tomato Sandwich.  It was so good we had it for dinner and breakfast.  If you make it I would suggested subbing the basil and mayo for a basil pesto aoili (mayo, basil, garlic).


We are thoroughly enjoying having a several weekends at home and are looking forward to a few more before the fall chaos sets in.


One Month Update

Wow!  Where did the summer run to?


The last month has been absolutely insane, in the best way possible.  Here is what has been happening in the JP household, as of late.

We built a fence.

IMG_0883The fence on the front of our house was originally chain link.  Because the largest part of our yard is the side yard and we spend a lot of time there we wanted a little more privacy.  With the generous help of my father-in-law we dug up fence posts, dug new post holes, mixed cement, carted around gravel, and hauled wood.  This project took us TWO whole weekends (and of course it was 90 degrees outside!).  As we speak, Jake is painting the fence.  Bonus to building a fence:

IMG_0881Initials in the cement!

We wrapped up Zults Wars.

IMG_0029 IMG_0028We had so much fun doing this with our gym.  It was wonderful getting to know our teammates (and 5:15 a.m. exercise buddies) better and it opened our eyes to the significant number of extras we consume (We heart beer and I heart chocolate).  Although we weren’t shooting for any results Jake and I both gained a significant amount of muscle which was really fun to see.  Our favorite meals from the experience: fish packets (tilapia with vegetables combined in an aluminum foil packet and baked) served with brown rice and mango salsa and peanut butter oatmeal balls – O.M.G!

BiMart Willamette Country Music Festival.

IMG_0889Jake bought me tickets to the music festival for my birthday so I had been WAITING for this weekend for a long time!  And the wait was totally worth it.  We saw Gary Allen, Eric Church, Blake Shelton, Thompson Square, and Sarah Evans across the course of 3 evenings.  Jake liked Sarah Evans so much he fell asleep!

Hood to Coast.

IMG_0899Where do I even start!?  This was one of the most exhausting, thrilling, and fun events I have ever done.  Over the course of 32 hours our team of twelve ran 199 miles from Mt. Hood to the Coast.  Our team name was “I Mustache You a Question” (hence the ‘staches) and that provided lots of fun conversations with other participants. Over the course of 40 hours we slept 1.5 hours (from 7:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.), ran 37 miles between the two of us, and hardly ate a thing but once we arrived at the coast it was totally worth it!

IMG_0908IMG_0905 IMG_0904If you would like to see more pictures from the event you can search the hashtag #imustacheyouaquestionhtc14

Camping at Diamond Lake with Family.


Diamond Lake is in Southern Oregon about 15 minutes from Crater Lake.  It was beautiful there (but cold!) and it was fun to camp with our niece and nephew. We also did some fishing but didn’t get lucky!

P1010866And Jake gets the award for coolest Uncle ever -

IMG_0915Yup, those are Jake’s bright pink nails.  He was kind enough to let our niece pretty him up :)

After all those amazing adventures we each started this week off fighting colds, tending to piles of laundry, trying to clean up the garden (it is crazy!!), and I am frantically trying to get accustomed to teaching at the University level and quickly learning there is a very steep learning curve!

Wow, now that I typed a novel…I better get to that laundry I was talking about and start gearing up for our next grand adventure – THE GRAND CANYON! 

Happy weekend!





Zucchini Nachos

Hi There.

Happy Saturday!  We have spent our Saturday running (ran 7 miles Friday morning, 5 miles Friday evening, and 6 miles this morning.  Insert {exhausted}!), going to the farmers market, picking produce from our garden, and hooking up an upright freezer that we scored for a very reasonable price. 


Our first tomato harvest about 1 week ago. This week there was lots more of everything, including basil, and 3 huge buttercup squash (a winter squash variety). It won’t be long before we have eggplant, jalapeno, and red peppers!

I am sure I have said this before, but I am going to say it again.  We have had SOOO much zucchini.  I have shredded and froze it, grilled it, dehydrated it into chips, and made these AMAZING nachos! 


we ate **TWO** platters this size

A couple Sunday’s ago, Jake and I were feeling pretty burnt out on our Zult’s meal plan but were also exhausted from busy weekend and didn’t want to do much cooking.  We had zucchini and  tomato’s a-plenty and decided this recipe would be the perfect low maintenance meal we were looking for.

Jake was a little skeptical at first but after the first bite he was sold. I mean, we ate TWO PLATTERS of these babies! Thanks to Two Peas and Their Pod for the recipe inspiration.

Zucchini Nachos (served two but we were ravenous!)

6 Zucchini

Cheddar Cheese

Olive oil

1 can black beans

1 pint cherry tomato

Green Onion

Smoked salt (or regular salt)

  1. Slice zucchini into at least 1/4 inch thick slices (we found the thicker the better!)
  2. Brush slices with a small amount of olive oil and a sprinkle of smoked salt
  3. Grill on the barbie flipping once (I think we flipped at about the 5 minute mark – you don’t want them too soft).
  4. Once zucchini is grilled put them on the platters and immediately top with shredded cheddar cheese. Layer zucchini, cheese, zucchini, cheese if needed.
  5. Top with toppings of your choice – we choose cherry tomato, black beans, green onion, and greek yogurt.  Options are endless – chicken, avocado, ground beef, refried beans, chili’s, pickled jalapeno…

We served ours with a side of cherry’s and Juanita’s chips (our fav) but, honestly, I maybe ate two of them. 


Dark Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream

It’s hot here!  Ninety degree days are lovely, in my opinion, and absolutely justify a cold a creamy treat.  And birthdays.  Birthdays definitely justify treats.

This last weekend just happened to be 90+ degrees outside and my father-in-laws birthday so I couldn’t resist making something absolutely delicious.  Not to mention my mother-in-law requested it and if I remember any piece of advise from bridal shower/bachelorette party days it was to always appease your mother-in-law right?! If that means making ice cream, I am set!IMG_0872I used Bon Appetite’s true vanilla ice cream recipe with my own twist and it turned out even better than I expected.  This makes a small batch so if you are servings more than 4, I would suggest doubling it.

Vanilla Dark Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream

Makes about 3.5 cups

1 cup whole milk

1.5 cups heavy cream

1/4 cup sugar

1 pinch kosher salt

1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

5 large egg yolks

1/4 cup sugar

1 large bar Ghirardelli 60% Cacao (or other dark chocolate bar of your choice

  1. Combine cream, milk, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan.  Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean, add pod.  Bring mixture to just a simmer (a good rule of thumb is just when bubbles start to form around the outer edge of the pan), stirring to dissolve sugar.  Remove from heat, cover, and let sit for 30 minutes.
  2. Whisk egg yolks and sugar in a medium bowl until pale (this takes longer than you think – at least 2 minutes).  Gradually mix in 1/2 cup warm cream mixture to the egg mixture.  Whisk yolk mixture into remaining cream mixture  and cook over medium heat until thick.  Stir constantly during this time.  Cream should be thick enough that when you lift up a wooden spoon, the mixture will coat it rather than slide off.
  3. Place custard in a refrigerator safe container and let sit over night (or until completely cooled 4-6 hours).
  4. Once cool, pour custard in your ice cream (don’t forget to remove the vanilla bean!) and churn per manufacturers directions (mine took about 20 minutes).
  5. While ice cream is churning break up chocolate bar into small pieces and place in a microwave safe bowl.  Microwave for 20 seconds at a time, stirring between each 20 seconds, until chocolate is melted.
  6. 3-5 minutes before ice cream is done churning slowly poor in melted chocolate and allow to churn for 1-2 minutes longer.
  7. Store ice cream in a freezer safe container.

You can eat the ice cream right away when it is finished for a soft serve style ice cream or place in the freezer for a couple hours for a more solid ice cream.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetNom, nom, nom!  Enjoy!