ShangriLyla's Profile

Display Name: ShangriLyla
Member Since: 4/26/11

Latest Comments...

I grew up in Maine - and I think the tendency toward smaller/fewer windows in some houses is due to the very cold winters. Is the wall north facing? That might be why there are so few windows.

I'd be for a fast growing vine and a trellis. Maybe even just some morning glories for the summer - I guess it depends on when you're building the garage, and if the wall is north facing.


How Can I Add Interest To \"Blank\" Side of House? Good Questions
7/31/14 12:01 AM

I grew up in rural Maine and always slept with the doors and windows open on hot nights (with screens in the windows and a screen door to keep out mosquitoes!). I'm pretty sure my parents still do. The house was far from a pretty quiet road - so no foot traffic.

Now I live in the middle of the city in Manchester, England and still sleep with the balcony door open. It's a second floor flat, and the balcony overlooks a private garden. If it were on the first floor I'd probably think twice though.


Would You Sleep With The Doors Open?
6/27/14 12:56 PM

I don't think painting would be THAT expensive. If it were me, I'd whitewash everything. That looks like 1990's rural America pine paneling, it's not antique mahogany, so don't feel bad about painting if you don't like it. One weekend of labor and $100 in paint would really transform the room. Keep the beams though. They're great.

If you're feeling ambitious maybe paint the ceiling between the beans white and stain the beams a darker brown for an English cottage look.

If you don't want to paint all of the walls, maybe just the fireplace wall.

The carpet isn't amazing, but probably wouldn't be as bad once the room has been lightened up and furniture put in. Tearing it up and putting new flooring would be more work than painting.

Take the curtains down. They're not helping the light situation. And the fan.


Can This \"Man Cave\" Become Cottage Chic? Good Questions
6/24/14 10:11 AM

Gorgeous!!! The red splashes are just perfect, they're a nod to vintage while still feeling really clean and modern. And I love the corded phone.


Kitchen Before & After: A Smart, Stylish, and Budget-Friendly Kitchen Update for $5,500 Reader Kitchen Remodel
6/17/14 03:05 AM

Your German grandma is brilliant. Bacon in potato salad is the best thing ever. EVER.


How To Make Potato Salad Cooking Lessons from The Kitchn
5/24/14 06:36 AM

Beautiful!!! Fantastic job. What a great find.


Before & After: A Mid-C Table Gets Mad Men Worthy
5/23/14 12:41 PM

Living frugally isn't just for those who simply can't afford to do anything but. We should all be trying to consume and waste much less than we do. The organic/local food point is fantastic - now that farmers markets are starting to fill up everyone should try to buy locally as much as possible. It's environmentally responsible as well as cheaper.

And I think people are missing the point about going to bed early and skipping the bar. It's fine to go out with friends once and a while, but when it's two or three nights a week (like it often is with college students) it gets expensive. Even if you just have one drink a night it can easily add up to the cost of groceries for several days.

And while it's good to unplug, I can see how getting a blog/Pinterest page going would be a really good motivator for people to cook at home - plus it can earn some extra money. I have a few friends who make pretty good money on the side by food blogging and selling recipes they've created.

And anyone who thinks money isn't tighter the past few years is pretty damned lucky - because everyone I know is pinched. I love the frugal living posts.


A Roadmap to Happiness: A College Student's Advice on Frugality
5/22/14 05:22 PM

Fantastic job. I was hoping for a style that was a little more classy and clean - but that's just me. The finished product looks really great for a DIY upholstery job - you should be proud. I would have been intimidated by all those nails!


Before & After: The Million Hour Chair
5/22/14 12:10 PM

The Sundvik crib from Ikea is a similar dark walnut stain - and it's only $120. (If you want a similar style available at a major store without the crazy price tag). Plus Ikea have pretty high standards when it comes to safety.

And for whoever was trashing the idea of making a child something obviously doesn't have a handmade family heirloom that they cherish. I'm expecting - and making a quilt for my daughter that I sincerely hopes she appreciates and keeps forever. When she's grown and remembering me, I'd hope she remembers a handmade quilt rather than a $700 designer crib. But hey, that's just me.


Hi/ Lo Versions of \"To the Moon and Back\" Style Board
5/14/14 08:39 AM

I guess it depends on how long you're going to be there. I'd just bite the bullet and paint it myself if I were going to be there for more than a year. I'd be prepared to lose my security deposit - though it's unlikely. The landlord will probably be grateful when you move out. I'm also baffled by the American landlord obsession with not painting. Here in the UK it's pretty much standard any flat you move into will have a fresh coat of white/magnolia on the walls. It kind of goes hand in hand with an end of tenancy deep clean.


What To Do with Ugly, Beige-y Walls in a Rental? Good Questions
4/10/14 10:47 AM

I think it's fantastic! They're not much more expensive than Moleskine notebooks. It's all well and good to think you can just scan notebooks yourself - and then upload them to Evernote or Dropbox. But I know I have a box of utility bills that I've been meaning to digitise for about a year, and it hasn't happened yet. (I'm sure there are people out there who are more organised than me who can get this stuff done - and I envy you.) It would be great to just pop it into the post and have it done in a week.

I'd hope the envelopes are well marked and durable enough that it's unlikely to get lost/torn in the post.

Although sending from the UK might mean I'd have to purchase my own shipping... I'll have to look into it.


This Notebook Comes with Cloud Backup Design News
4/5/14 06:39 AM

I second the bacon comment. In my family the bacon was always put on just as the bird was going in the oven and taken off about halfway through cooking.... best bacon in the world. Hands down. My family would fight over it. Bacon with a little turkey skin on it... mmmm.


How to Cook a Turkey for Thanksgiving: The Simplest, Easiest Method Cooking Lessons from The Kitchn
11/28/13 12:33 PM

Gorgeous, and a wonderful location. Although I'd say the "biggest indulgence" is simply the rent on a place like that.


Tyler & Lolly's Modern Mews in London House Tour
11/28/13 12:18 PM

Wow. This house is incredible. This is what all houses should be like. Absolutely stunning.


Sophie & Michael Collect, Enjoy & Live House Tour
4/6/13 08:04 AM

CitySocializer is a really great site to meet new people. (I am in now way affiliated with them, by the way!)

When I followed my husband to a new city I signed up and met lots of new people who were in basically the same situation I was - they were new to the city, or they found all of their old friends had moved away and/or got married and weren't out as often. Some people just wanted to expand their circle of friends. I'm still friends with some of the people I met there, and I stopped going to the meet-ups a few years ago. Thinking about it now, I might sign up again!

Joining groups is another great way, and you'll probably meet like-minded people. I joined a writers group and became really close with some of the people in it quickly because we were interested in the same things. Writer's groups, book clubs, volunteering organizations... they're all great places to meet people who have the same interests as you.


10 Tried & True Tips: How to Make New Friends in a New City
4/4/13 02:05 PM

I also like that the chevron fabric on the pillow and the back of the chair matches.


Before & After: Jenna's Living Room Makeover
3/4/13 01:52 PM

I don't understand the big deal with painting trim either. If the style of the room is clean and contemporary, unpainted trim just looks unfinished. It stands out. And when it's plain ol' boring baseboard that's not a good thing. That's just my opinion though.

The room looks fantastic. Covering the window wasn't a huge deal because there's a wall of windows right beside it letting in more than enough light. Putting the bookcase in front of it works.

The blue is beautiful - and I love the light fixture.


Before & After: Jenna's Living Room Makeover
3/4/13 01:51 PM

Beautifully done! Perfect for a bright kid's room.


Before & After: Plain Dresser Gets a Fun Facelift
2/24/13 04:33 AM

I'm an ex-pat as well! Welcome to the rainy side of the pond.

Like others have said, Nigel Slater, Hugh Fernley Whittenstall... I would recommend the Hairy Biker's cookbooks as well, though. It's very down-to-earth British comfort food. Jamie Oliver is good, but he's not Italian and needs to figure that out.

You'll start to notice things aren't quite as different as they seem. Plain flour is exactly what it says - plain flour. Self-rising flour is what it says as well - it already has rising agents mixed in (baking powder/soda). Bread flour (or strong flour) doesn't have rising agents and is milled a little finer for smoother bread dough, it also has a higher protein level. Tipo 00 flour is even more finely milled for making pasta (and really good for pizza dough as well.)

Paul Hollywood's 'How to Bake' is a good book - we only got it for Christmas so I haven't tried everything in it, but it does look good.

Richard Bertinet's 'Dough' is excellent as well.

Molasses is called black treacle. I almost cried with excitement when I figured this one out.

Waitrose is a good place for American-ish things (and everything else). They do an imported maple syrup that's decent - Canadian, but still decent. They also have cornflour. Some ethnic markets will have cornflour as well.

American sweet shops seem to be a trend lately over here. In Manchester city centre alone there are 3 or 4. They're a little expensive, but good if you're missing home and just want an Uncle Henry bar or some pop-tarts. They have root beer too (which my British husband thinks is the best thing to ever come out of America... ever.)

Hope you get settled in okay. The hardest part for me was switching to the metric system while cooking... it starts to make sense after a while though. (I still use the good ol' Imperial system when I bake cakes and cookies though.)

Good luck!


What Are Your Favorite British Cookbooks and Cooking Blogs? Good Questions
2/10/13 11:34 AM

I love this! It's great to see some British/European tours on here. British houses are always so awkwardly designed and usually horribly decorated (sorry if I'm jumping to stereotypes but I've lived here 5 years and constantly look for new places to live and they're never nicely designed).

I especially like how the heater on the wall has been 'hidden' a little - those heaters are always in the worst places.


Isabel & Claire's Globetrotting Apartment House Tour
11/15/12 01:23 PM