Somewhere to sit

We are still sorely lacking furniture in the new place. We have a bed, we have an awesome entertainment stand and we now have a nice large coffee table. We are lacking places to sit though. Right now we have this

The futon

Why yes, it is a futon. This poor futon has seen better days. I did not get it new (like most/all of my furniture). I picked it up from someone who lived across the street two apartments ago. It’s comfy to sit on and great for napping because it has two mattresses but it doesn’t fold down. Well, it folds down, it just doesn’t fold back up. So after battling with it extensively during the move we were told point blank that we should find a “real place to sit”. One could point out that the floor is also a “real place to sit” but being a smart ass never helps. 

Thus began the search for a proper couch (or sofa as they appeared to be called more often). The problem with couches, like the majority of modern design is that you pay for for clean lines. I think it’s a little funny since you are getting less material in total, but obviously there is a high premium for coming up with the idea.

Mike and I are also burdened with the issue of being short. I’m only about 5’2″ (5’3″ on a good day) and he’s about 5’9″, so it was important to find a couch that wasn’t crazy deep.

We lucked out however and found this

The new couch

Source

Not the height of modern design, but not too bad and despite the photo with nothing to reference the size, the couch is the right size and most definitely the right price. It’s not actually leather, but bonded leather, which I discovered in my couch quest for knowledge is somewhere between vinyl and “real” leather. They take all the leather scraps made from other furniture and then mash it up and make a new material. Sounds good to me. We also got the matching chair.

Continued adventures in furnishing

Mike has decided that above almost any other piece of furniture or other furnishing, we need a bright green shag rug for the living room. I am all for this idea because it seems like something I would have come up with anyways. 

He had something in mind like this (but a bit brighter)

Source

I suggested that we be extra hip and cool and get a Flor rug. For those not in the know, Flor is a company that makes modular carpet tiles in hundreds of colours and textures. So we found a suitable texture in a suitable colour and started the process of ordering it.

Rake Me Over, Lime 

That’s when things went a little sour. Turns out that Flor doesn’t really ship to Canada. So not only are Canadians unable to order online, but after Mike called them they needed a day to figure out just how much it was going to cost. So we finally here back and it’s almost double what we had estimated. Turns out that every little fee that could possibly be added on is added on, especially because they don’t have anything set up to reliably ship to Canada.

So unfortunately the rug was not to be. I hold no ill feeling towards Flor though, they’re a great company and I love the fact that if you wear out a tile you can send it back and they’ll recycle it. So I would whole heartedly endorse Flor, as long as you don’t live outside the US.

From one off-white to another

The first thing Mike and I decided to do with the place was paint it. The condo had been reasonably freshly painted by the people before us, but it was a very generic yellowy off-white. Mike decided that we should have cooler colours so we trekked to the local Canadian Tire to look at colours and paints. Mike picked a nice light grey then we thought it would be pretty cool to have one wall of the bedroom a slightly darker grey. 

Not that there was a whole lot of selection at Canadian Tire as far as paint brands go, but we went with CIL Real Life Eggshell. Mostly because it said it was low VOC and that seems to be the big trend. I’d actually never painted with latex paints before because my family house was built in the 80s, when oil paint was used because it just smells so good (and you have got to love the 5 day drying time).

Painting went well. Except that it turns out that “snowfield” and “winternight” (or whatever the darker one was called) are only marginally different. As in the darker colour is exactly the colour of shadows on the first. It makes for a great optical illusion, but not really the punchy contrast we were aiming for.

Interior design (sort of)

The emptiness that is the condo

So Mike and I just got internet in the new place so I will start uploading photos of our design endeavors shortly. For the last couple days we’ve just been trying to unpack boxes and get things sort of sorted. This has proven to be difficult because we are sorely lacking furniture. And I do mean sorely.

I will post some “before” pictures shortly, but basically our challenge is this: Take a completely empty condo and furnish/decorate it with very little money. So far I think we’re doing ok. The only existing furniture we had was a desk, a broken futon and a tiny coffee table. We were lucky enough to receive a hand me down bed and bookcase and now the scrounging the classifieds begins. I’ll elaborate on this more later I suspect.

Chocolate Marble Cheese Cake

Chocolate marble cheese cake

I meant to post this ages ago, it’s just too good (and tasty) not to post at all, even though Mike’s birthday was almost a month ago. His one request for his birthday was that he have a cheese cake. I found this recipe on Epicurious, it was very very easy to make (all in one blender) and tasted amazing. It’s also not quite as bad for you as most cheese cakes are, which is always a plus.

Chocolate Marble Cheesecake

Ingredients

Crust

  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 tbsp softened butter

Filling

  • 15 ounces (1 3/4 cups) part-skim ricotta
  • 8 ounces lowfat cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup lowfat sour cream
  • 1 large whole egg
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract (or to taste)
  • 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoon amaretto (if desired)
  • 3 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant-espresso powder
  • 3 tablespoon bittersweet chocolate chips

Directions (this was great, I just added everything into the blender)

  1. Mix graham cracker crumbs and butter in a bowl and then press down into the bottom of a spring form pan
  2. Purée ricotta in a blender until smooth, about 1 minute. 
  3. Add cream cheese, sugar, sour cream, egg, egg whites, almond extract, flour and salt; puree until smooth. 
  4. Whisk amaretto, 2 tablespoon hot water, cocoa powder and espresso powder in a bowl until well combined.
  5. Stir in chocolate chips. 
  6. Stir 1 cup plain filling into chocolate mixture. Set aside. 
  7. Pour remaining plain filling into prepared pan. 
  8. Drizzle chocolate filling in a circular pattern over plain filling. Using a knife, make circular strokes to create swirls in the plain filling. 
  9. Bake until cheesecake is firm around the edge and slightly soft in the center, 45 to 55 minutes. Run a knife around inside of pan. Let cool on a rack. Chill 6 hours or overnight before removing sides of pan.
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