New bread machine! (New to me)

Ross bought me a breadmaker! Ok well, he kind of asked if I wanted it, and we just kind of walked by it as we were buying Halloween costumes at a consignment store. But I’m calling it a gift- it counts. It’s a Regal K6732 – I love how they have zero creativity in their branding of bread machines. How about Regal FastEase K6732 or Regal RealDeal K6732? C’mon meow.

My "new" Regal K6732

My “new” Regal K6732

Having been used, it didn’t come with directions, so I’ve been hunting down instructions online. It did come with some old bread leavins inside, but I took some bleach to that. #shudder I found a great article on AllRecipes (one of my favorite sites) about bread machines in general. It was really helpful in understanding the functions and parts of my new breadmaker…apparently making bread is like a science project in some regard.

They also have an article on types of flours…I didn’t even realize there were that many. Oh and why does gluten have such a bad rap? From what I gather it is a critical protein in bread…seems like a key piece of balanced health. Now that I am good and overwhelmed, I’m going to try to get juiced up about making one of these bread machine recipes I found that looks promising and semi-healthy.

Here is just a general whole wheat bread I’d like to try. I’ll probably sprinkle some oatmeal in it to try to make it even more healthy. Maybe the chia seeds I never use.

I also want to try a pumpkin bread this fall because pumpkin is so healthy but I never know what to make with it. This one looks amazing.

This one is not at all healthy but hey, it won the blue ribbon so that counts for something, right? I feel like I’m channeling my grandma when I make homemade bread. Her house always smelled of fresh bread and she even sold it to the local hospital. She’s pretty much wholly responsible for my dad’s addiction to carbs. #loveher Both my dad and I enjoy good bread almost more than we enjoy good steak. But good oven fresh bread is hard to find. #nomnom

Me + my bread-making grandma. She was very camera shy so this is the only picture I have with her.

Me + my bread-making grandma. She was very camera shy so this is the only picture I have with her.

I know grammie would want me to include a picture of her in her younger years (+ my handsome french grandfather)

I know grammie would want me to include a picture of her in her younger years (+ my handsome french grandfather)

 

Think through window placement in your home

One benefit of not rushing to fix up the rental property is we have had time to think. Each time I’ve walked up the stairs, I’ve noticed how dark it is in the upstairs hallway. Granted, there is no lighting right now, but there is a complete lack of natural light. There will be a window in the upstairs bathroom, but it is at the end of the hallway, and when the door is closed there will be zero natural light.

Ross and I talked about adding a window on the exterior wall, on the opposite end of the hallway from the bathroom, at the top of the stairs. This will light up the staircase and light up the hallway, even when the bathroom door is closed.

We are also adding a window on the far end of the kitchen, near the back door. This will add light in the rear of the house, near where you enter the downstairs bathroom. It will also shine more light into the kitchen, which has only one window (above the sink) right now.

We are building out big chunky trim around all of our windows...it's a huge improvement already.

We are building out big chunky exterior trim around all of our windows…it’s a huge improvement already.

How Ross feels about my picture-taking ;)

How Ross feels about my incessant picture-taking 😉

Of course we found some cheap windows…because we’re frugal. We noticed the ReStore always has tons of windows in great condition. The only problem was the windows we wanted were beige/almond. Which explains why they were at the ReStore…. #wink. Ross was adventurous and wanted to try priming and painting them with Rustoleum Vinyl Paint. It looks amazing. Honestly, we are super impressed with the result. We were wary of using paint as the windows will be exposed to the outdoors but after seeing the result I would not hesitate to do this again. Of course we’ll have to post updated pictures after some severe winter weather and see how they hold up, but I’m 99% confident they will. My advice would be to save your dough and paint vinyl windows instead of replacing them!

The new window for the back of the kitchen being painted

The new window for the back of the kitchen being painted

The new window for the staircase being painted

The new window for the staircase being painted

Windows taped and covered with plastic for painting

Windows taped and covered with plastic for painting

Rust-oleum bonding spray primer we used

Rust-oleum bonding spray primer we used

Rust-oleum specialty vinyl spray paint we used

Rust-oleum specialty vinyl spray paint we used

Our One Year Anniversary (of the rental property)

We are kind of excited yet pensive, because TO-DAY is the one year anniversary of purchasing our rental property. At this time last year, I was hugely pregnant, struggling to find clothes that fit over the bump, and we were trotting around with little George, with showings every weekend at dumpy, smokey houses. There were a few that Ross didn’t even want George and I to go into…haha. Also a few weird ones where people would not leave (one house had a quasi-family with five other people there during the showing…and it was like a three-bedroom house). One had a crazy old cat lady living there and was so smokey I felt bad for the cat!

It took about two years to find a property that hit all of our priorities and to not be outbid on it. We ended up purchasing a HUD home (US Department of Housing & Urban Development) – which I liked, because the declarations are all there on the listing (what needs to be fixed, examined, etc.) You still have to work with a licensed realtor and there is zero room to negotiate the price down – but again, that is why I like it. I HATE haggling.

There is really only one house that we bid on that I am still slightly sad about – it was a cool historic home and had some nice features that our lovely little property doesn’t have. We were outbid by less than $1k, and the guy that swooped it up was a realtor, so he definitely scored. The location was right on-campus, like we wanted, yet it was on a busy street so there wouldn’t be security concerns. But as Ross and I have talked about many times, there is a reason we didn’t get that property and did get the property we have now. We’re just not all-knowing and can’t figure out the reason! It’s so frustrating not to know the plan for us – for me at least. Ross can just go with the flow, but if one of my plans doesn’t work out I am already ten steps into my next plan of attack.

So we are one year into fixing up the house, which is not surprising. I estimated about a year fixing up the property in this post. However, as we are considering selling it instead of renting it, we are pulling out all of the stops. #doitrealbig Oh yeah, and we are redoing the plumbing, which was unexpected. But looking back at our journey, we have come a long way, from one baby plus one on the way, and some dough we didn’t want to throw at the stock market. ‘Cuz of this shit: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/stock-market-swoons-send-consumer-sentiment-to-worst-level-in-a-year-2015-09-11

The sitting room had a great old fireplace (we don't have a fireplace...it's still something we consider adding)

The sitting room had a great old fireplace (we don’t have a fireplace…it’s still something we consider adding)

How cool are the bottom stairs with the hex angle? I love the two different types of wood at the landing, too.

How cool are the bottom stairs with the hex angle? I love the two different types of wood at the landing, too.

The trimwork was in great condition and there weren't any pieces missing.

The trimwork was in great condition and there weren’t any pieces missing.

There was some water damage but HUD opens up each home so you can openly view any damage, which is nice.

There was some water damage but HUD opens up each home so you can openly view any damage, which is nice.

The galley kitchen was tiny but there was a cute sitting window-breakfast nook-dining area we could have enhanced.

The galley kitchen was tiny but there was a cute sitting window-breakfast nook-dining area we could have enhanced.

This kitchen would have needed as much, if not more work. We probably would have had to make it bigger.

This kitchen would have needed as much, if not more work. We probably would have had to make it bigger.

As I remember there was only one bathroom, and it was none too big.

As I remember there was only one bathroom, and it was none too big.

The exterior was the epitome of cute, though! #idie

The exterior was the epitome of cute, though! #idie