My flatmate Danny, the dehumidifier

My flatmate Danny, the dehumidifier

My flatmate Danny, the dehumidifier

Okay, I know any estate agent worth their salt will always bend your ear about location, location, location. Well, it’s a mantra not lost on me.

I’m a Northern bloke, born and bred in industrial South Yorkshire, just about as far from the sea as it’s possible to get. So what do I always do whenever I get the chance? You’ve guessed it – I head for the coast. Any coast (to be honest) as long as I can see the sea, I’m happy. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the far-flung beaches of Indonesia or Thailand, or a bit closer to home, like Whitby or Scarborough on the English east coast.

That’s me, and the sea – we were meant for each other. That’s why after fleeing the parental coop I headed for the sea. I had a brief flirtation with Cornwall for a few months before making my home for the last few years in Brighton and Hove.

In the years my girlfriend and I have been here, we have always lived within walking distance of the sea. But on our budget that’s not easy. We’ve lived in succession of rented flats; some good, some not so good, some damp, some not so damp, but always a bit damp.

While I love the water, I have no desire to watch it running down the walls in some of the apartments we have inhabited. So when I first moaned about the damp to my parents, they volunteered to shell out for a desiccant dehumidifier (our precious funds were for partying and nights out).

We named our new arrival ‘Danny the Dehumidifier’. For some reason, it had to be a masculine name not feminine, and in our several moves since Danny arrived, he has been ever present in our household.

So much so, that I am now a dehumidifier disciple. I never miss the chance to wax lyrical about the benefits to be gained from that modest little machine sucking moisture from the air. I’ve even been known to surround the unsuspecting Danny with damp clothing, just to watch him work, and I just love to empty his tank when he’s done his stuff.


New Year’s resolution – quitting smoking

New Year's resolution - quitting smoking

New Year’s resolution – quitting smoking

So the holidays are over; you’re a few pounds greater in the stomach and few pounds shorter in the pocket, the parties and the merriment are over and it’s time to go back to work. You’ve waved goodbye to last year and now you look forward to the next 12 months. It’s time for a New Years resolution, and this time it will stick.

Every single year thousands of smokers quit cigarettes for their resolution and this year is no different, except that in recent years a revolution has occurred in the methodology of quitting. Now we have numerous gadgets tailored to suit the needs of the ex-smoker.

One example is the Filtrim. The idea is that this device perforates the cigarette paper itself, causing the smoker to get less draw from each puff and to reduce the amount of chemicals inhaled. You increase the number of holes as you progress towards stopping entirely.

Another intriguing item on the market is called the QuitKey. It’s designed for people who like to have the decision to smoke taken off their hands and have it passed onto a machine that designates when it is time to smoke and when it isn’t.

The NicoStopper is a computerised cigarette packet that works a lot like the QuitKey except that rather than a plain text screen this has an animated character that barks helpful comments at you. This one is very expensive, so it’s only for the hardcore quitter and not for someone looking to save money in the short run.

Finally we have the tried and tested leader of the pack, the e-cig, otherwise known as a vaporiser. An inexpensive and fully customisable alternative to smoking cigarettes, these are considered to be the most effective method of quitting cigarettes.

Whatever you choose, you’re making a great decision to move away from traditional cigarettes. Aside from the obvious health benefits you get from quitting smoking or by using an electronic cigarette, you also save money, and get an improved sense of taste and smell.

Whatever you choose to do this New Year, good luck and have a great year.


Pizza Monkey Bread recipe

Pizza Monkey Bread

Pizza Monkey Bread

I’m going to start out my saying that this recipe takes a minute to make.  LOL  It’s not something you can quickly whip up; however the flavors as so amazing!  When we made this, we were actually hoping that it wouldn’t taste very good simply because it was time consuming to make.  :)  However, I think we need to make it again because it is THAT good!  ENJOY!


  • 1/2 c butter, melted
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasonings
  • 2 cans refrigerated biscuits
  • 2 c pizza toppings (pepperoni, cooked sausage, green peppers, onions, etc.), finely chopped
  • 1 c marinara sauce
  • 2 c mozzarella cheese, shredded


  • Grease a bundt pan with cooking spray; set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together melted butter, garlic salt and Italian seasonings until combined; set aside.
  • Remove biscuits from the cans, take a raw biscuit and cut a slit in the side.
  • Use your fingers to open up the biscuit to form a pocket for the toppings.
  • Carefully tuck cheese into the pocket of the biscuit as well, then add in a teaspoon or so or marinara sauce.
  • Next add in some pinches of your pizza toppings and top with a final pinch of cheese.
  • Then use your fingers to pinch together the dough to seal in the pocket; be sure that it is well-sealed.
  • Dunk the pocket in the butter mixture on both sides, then place in the bundt pan with the seam side up.
  • Repeat with remaining biscuits until they are all filled and placed in the bundt pan side by side.
  • Pour any remaining butter mixture over the top of the biscuits in the bundt pan, then bake for 30 minutes until the dough is cooked and lightly browned.
  • Remove and let sit for 5 minutes.
  • Carefully turn the bundt pan on top of a plate and give it a slight jiggle to release the monkey bread.
  • Serve the monkey bread with a side of extra marinara sauce for dipping.



Link Up #67 with a Co-Host

It’s time for another Link Party! :)

Now is your chance to link up your favorite blog posts of crafts and recipes!  :)  I hope to see some awesome projects, recipes, tips, and tricks; also, I really hope all of my readers will participate and help us spread the word!  :)


If you are at all interested in co-hosting upcoming Link Ups, please contact me!

Now, let’s get to the Link Up!!

crafts and recipes link up


Contributor: Caroline – Color and Understanding Color Schemes

Color and Understanding Color Schemes

Color and Understanding Color Schemes

In our last Lessons From the Lake: Decorating Academy lesson we began to explore the color wheel and the definitions of hue, value, tint and tone. Then we played with paint to see how adding black, white or grey changes a hue. (If you missed that lesson you can find it here)

This week we are working more with color in understanding color schemes. Color schemes are how you combine colors so that they work in harmony.

The Color Schemes:

For our purposes we will deal with 3 color schemes; monochromaticanalogous and the triad. There are others but we will only deal with these today.

Monochromatic Color Scheme:

A monochromatic scheme uses different values, tones and tints of the same color (mono= one) While this would seem to be an easy scheme to employ, it is actually pretty tricky.  Again we look to our paint strip as an example. Take a hue and then add black, white or grey to it.

Color and Understanding Color Schemes

Using the paint strip as an example, you could choose the hue of red as your color but use any of the above shades or tints in your room for a monochromatic color scheme.

The picture below uses a tint of purple on the wall and a darker shade as the accent color in the dust ruffle, trim around the curtains and accessories.

Color and Understanding Color SchemesSource

Analogous Color Scheme:

The analogous (sometimes also called the harmonious) color scheme uses 2-6 colors that sit adjacent to each other on the color wheel. The trick to making this scheme work is to use the same tones of the colors. Here are the color wheels again for reference:

Color and Understanding Color Schemes

The room pictured below uses yellow and orange as the main colors of the room. (See the middle color wheel above- yellow and orange are beside each other on the wheel.) In this room orange is the dominant color and yellow takes more of a back seat. The gold-yellow of the sofa and the honey toned flooring balance the orange of the curtains and throw instead of competing with it.

Color and Understanding Color SchemesSource

To choose an analogous color scheme from paint strips like the one below, you would choose colors from the same row of the chips. I have marked 2 different examples below:

Color and Understanding Color Schemes

Obviously you wouldn’t use all 8 colors in the row, but using 2 or 3 would work nicely in a room.  If you start mixing up tones and shades you can end up with one hot mess! Until you get some practice “seeing” color, using paint strips are a great way to make sure your analogous scheme will work.

Paint companies have done all the work for you! If you go to a paint or home improvement store you will see that the paint strips are laid out side by side as they are on the color wheel. Then you would just choose the same “row” on each strip.

Color and Understanding Color SchemesSource

Complementary Color Schemes

The last scheme we will discuss is complementary. This color scheme results in very dramatic rooms but can also be tricky to use. The complementary scheme can either be a 2 (double) color or 3 color (triad). Actually there are several more complementary schemes, but we are not going that deeply into color today!!

The 2 color complementary scheme employs colors directly across from each. Using the secondary colors (the middle wheel) red and green or yellow and purple are examples of this. Here are our color wheels again to help us see this:

Color and Understanding Color Schemes

**** Be careful not to use colors with the same intensity or tone. If you use the same red and green tones, your room would look like a Christmas tree.

But in this example, see how the couch is a lighter value of red and the green on the walls is also a lighter value?

Color and Understanding Color SchemesSource

You will notice in this example how the browns of the floor, tables and rugs help “calm” down the color scheme. Also, the browns used in the room are the same value as the red and green. If black had been used instead of brown the room would not be as restful as it appears here. Black would add more of a “punch” to this room and make it appear more dramatic.

The 3 color or triad scheme, uses 3 colors that are equi-distance (for instance, every 4th color) from each other on the wheel. Using primary colors, a triad scheme would be red, blue and yellow. The room below uses the  secondary colors of green, orange and violet.

Notice that violet is used only as an accent color in a pillow, the orchid bloom and the spine of a coffee table book. Any more of this color would have resulted in a room that looked more like a circus than the restful room it is.


Color and Understanding Color SchemesSource

Here is a great tip for using complementary colors when choosing paint: If you want to “tone down” a color, try adding a little of the complementary color to it. For example, is your red too “bright”? Add a little green to it and see if it is more to your liking.

If you want to learn more about those other complementary color schemes I mentioned here are a couple of places you can check out:


And if you want to play around with color schemes, here is a digital way to do that (way cheaper than buying paint!!):

The next step:

There is no worksheet for this lesson but you still have work to do! You didn’t think I would let you off that easily did you?

Locate the 10 rooms that used for “Finding My Style” in Lesson 1 and try to identify the color scheme used in each of them. Not the color- the color schemes as we discussed in this lesson. Write each of them down on your worksheet (just in the margin beside each one will be fine).

Are you seeing a pattern? Did you choose mostly monochromatic? Was it an equal mix between all of them? Was there one that dominated kitchens and something different for family rooms or master?

What else have you learned about your decorating style in terms of color?

In the next lesson we will leave color behind for a while and move on to furniture styles and room layout. It is like playing house when you were little!

Hope to see you back at the lake again soon!