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New farmhouse puppy

New farmhouse puppy

We have a new puppy at the farmhouse!! While we are all very excited, it is a little bit of a happy/sad tale to tell and I have my daughters permission to share.

Late one evening in early February, our dog Bear bit our daughter in the face. While she is ok, she did have 17 stitches to put her lip back together. The plastic surgeon feels she will always have a scar, but we are doing everything we can to minimize that as much as possible. Our daughter is one of the strongest people I have ever met. Although she did absolutely nothing wrong and only went to kiss Bear on the head, when he snapped, she still felt in her heart it was her fault. We have reassured her many times that he had mental health issues and we had seen a few things that led us to be careful and to increase his training.

On the other side of that coin, our wonderful son, feels responsible because he played with him as a puppy a little rough. We have reassured him over and over that is is not his fault that Bear was just not right.

Hubby and I feel responsible because we feel we should have let him go when we first saw signs of him not being quite right. We truly felt that he was 95% amazing dog, but 5% not quite right. We felt in time, that that 5% would go away, unfortunately it did not. We consulted with the vet and even they couldn’t recommend re-homing him given what had happened. We had to say good-bye to Bear and start the healing process, both the physical and the emotional ones.

We promised the kiddos that there would be another dog in our life and it wouldn’t be too long. Just the right amount of time for everyone.

So, here we have…. well, he doesn’t have a name yet, but we have our new puppy. He is a border collie/Australian shepherd mix and so far a delight. It has been less than 24 hours, but he has adapted to his new family quite well and is already having me regret an upstairs office!

We love him and are looking forward to warmer weather and fun times outside!
annaepp_puppy-3He is super fluffy right now and loves to chase me and his tail, all around the living room. I will update with his name as soon as we figure that part out.

annaepp_puppy-2

Categories: Family
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Farmhouse Kitchen

farmhouse kitchen after

Our farmhouse kitchen

Welcome to our farmhouse kitchen, where all of the magic happens. This is where we cook, hang out as a family, hosts guests, celebrate pretty much everything, the farmhouse kitchen. It is always said, that everyone ends up in the kitchen. We decided that when we renovated we would include a couch and tv in the farmhouse kitchen, so that we could all hang out no matter what.

farmhouse kitchen before renovating

Our farmhouse kitchen before the renos.

farmhouse kitchen before renos

Our farmhouse kitchen pre-renos.

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is nothing else to say, except that our original (to us) farmhouse kitchen was not very pretty. We are sure that when it was first done and full of family and furnishings, it likely didn’t look that bad. However, if I can’t imagine cooking in it for a family of four, then I really can’t imagine cooking for a family of 6!! The cabinets were built to last anything and the sink/cooking area was extremely tiny. We knew we needed to just tear that all out and fit whatever we could back into the space. It took some wrangling of pieces, but we managed to do it.

farmhouse kitchen after

Our farmhouse kitchen after renos

We didn’t want to move the electrical and plumbing, so we managed to find counter depth fridge and stove (not our smartest move with a family of four, but we make do), a farmhouse sink and great cabinets. The cabinets, sink, stove, microwave, hidden dishwasher and countertops are all IKEA!! Seriously, Ikea should be making their next commercial in our house! We fit the cabinets with mere millimetres to spare, but we did it. The corner where the coffee maker is, is a blind corner at the bottom, there was just no way to make a useful cabinet in that corner. The cabinet under the lower window is a sink cabinet, we (and I use that term liberally, as I suggested it and hubby did it) managed to cut down the cabinet and made it fit beautifully as though it was meant to be. We did all the installation ourselves and had rather awesome praise from the counter installers as they said it was the most flush cabinets they had ever seen! So proud of hubby and all his hard work to make sure they were all level.

Hubby’s great suggestion was to add the glass doors to the row of cabinets between the windows. I am not a fan of the glass doors as everything needs to be matchy matchy and tidy in there, but we managed to put the white dishes and glassware in those cabinets so I don’t twitch when I look at them and the glass reflects light and makes the wall look like a bank of windows instead of just two.

We went with a farmhouse style table, again from Ikea, that opens up to seat a large amount of people. I think the most we have had around the table was 16. We are a family that eats dinner at the table every night. It is our tradition and we have kept it up for over 20 years now, so having a great table to share our day is important to us.

farmhouse kitchen after

Our completed Farmhouse kitchen

And last of all the couch corner.  All four of us can actually sit here together if we want to and watch a game, we have since installed another tv where we have more room or can use both rooms at the same time if there are lots of people watching together. This is the family room and the kitchen all in one. We love it, we use it every day, and we wouldn’t change it for anything.

farmhouse kitchen after

Seating area in the farmhouse kitchen

Categories: Farmhouse
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Martha’s Shortbread

Years ago, and I mean YEARS ago, like before my kiddos were born years. I often made Martha Stewart’s dried cranberry shortbread hearts. This shortbread was a favorite at home and at the office that I worked at, coworkers would pop by often to see what treats I had and these were always gone in a flash.

annaepp_baking_www.lifeisgoodatthebeach.ca/marthas-shortbreadI almost always used candied cherries instead of dried cranberries as they give it an extra little something. I also would cut them into hearts, but hated that I lost cookies with the trimmings, so I started to cut them into squares. Then one day I had some mini chocolate chips to use up and thought, why not? Then I cut them into rectangles instead of squares.

A few weeks ago, I wanted some cookies for a workshop I was hosting, but I didn’t want to spend too much time in the kitchen. I remembered Martha’s Shortbread and that I could whip them up in minutes. Now I can barely keep them in the house, Hubby sneaks a few, the kiddos sneak a few, then all of a sudden the tin is empty. I throw together another batch, changing it up slightly and poof! Those are gone too! Thank you Martha Stewart, for giving us quick and easy shortbread for all to enjoy!

annaepp_baking_www.lifeisgoodatthebeach.ca/marthas-shortbreadRecipe

40 minutes

serves 24

Ingredients:

1 cup of butter, softened

3/4 cup of icing sugar

1 tsp vanilla

2 cups of all purpose flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup finely chopped dried cranberries, or candied cherries, or mini chocolate chips

Instructions:

  1. preheat oven to 325.
  2. Combine butter, icing sugar, vanilla, flour and salt in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of your electric mixer. Mix until all ingredients are combined.
  3. Add cranberries, cherries, or chocolate chips
  4. Press batter evenly into 8×8 or 9×9 square baking pan. Bake until just turning golden, about 20 minutes. Place pan on cooling rack until cool to the touch, about 20 minutes. Run a knife around the edge and turn shortbread out onto a cutting board. Use a heart shaped cookie cutter to cut into hearts or cut with a knife into squares or rectangles.

 

Categories: Food, Recipes
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