Our Wolf Den

Honey, I Have an Idea!


Master Bathroom Reveal

master bath reveal

Welcome to our Master Bathroom!  The only room in the house we completely gutted! There are still some minor things to do.  Some areas need touched up, others need caulked, but here it is.  Although, I will admit after living with it for year, I am kicking around painting the warm caramel colored walls.

Just to remind you, here it is before:

100_1882 100_1883 100_1881

And now, the after:








The Master Bathroom Journey:

tiling the master bathroom walls drywall in masterbath master bathroom tile ditra

patching the sub floor water supply swiss cheese sub floor gut job


World’s Best Baked Potato

I absolutely love baked potatoes.  To me they are a great side dish, and now that I am trying to limit the amount of carbs, a great treat.  The best way I have found to make them is in the microwave.

baked potato Collage

The first thing you want to do is clean the potatoes.  I normally use those wire scrub pads under lukewarm water.  Once they are clean, the potato skins need to be pierced.  You can use a fork or a knife, but I prefer a sharp knife.  I get out my frustrations and stab the potatoes, going almost all the way through.

Drizzle olive oil on the potatoes and work them around so they are completely covered in oil.

Then you can add spices.  I definitely recommend sea, or kosher salt and black pepper.  I also add granulated garlic and a little bit of chili powder.  Roll the potatoes around to make sure they are completely covered.

Then put them in the microwave.  My microwave has a button for baked potatoes that you can press and then enter the number of potatoes you are planning to cook.  It is just over 3 minutes apiece on my microwave, but I normally cook two at a time with the setting for 3 potatoes.  I like to make sure you have them super soft inside.

To check for doneness, use the knife and insert it into the potato.  The knife should slide in easily, with hardly any resistance.

That’s it.  Cut it in half and top with whatever you enjoy!

baked potato

More Recipes

grilled peach thumbnail chicken scampi dsc_00101 pro brownies thumbnail rummer

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Painting the Master Bedroom

After debating color choices for the upstairs bedroom purple ended up winning out at Wolfy’s request.


To give the space clear areas around the bed and the front of the closest to designate the “sleeping area” we went with a dark purple. Personally I love this color. It is such a nice rich soothing color.


You will have to excuse the mess these pictures were literally taken right after we got done painting – remember this was last year when I had all but forgotten about the blog – sorry (at least the bed is made *smiles*)!


One more shot of the closet where you can see the finished tile in the bathroom.


The other walls were painted a light purple called Amethyst Haze. I am on the fence about this color, always have been. Wolfy likes it which is why I have left it alone for a year but I will admit there currently is another swatch of color on the wall. I’m thinking of going toward a nice cool gray where the light purple is now.


Previous Master Bedroom Posts:

dry wall in master bedroom new railings faux beams and fans opening up the master bedroom

new bedroom window stained hardwoods stripping hardwoods

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Wine Down Wednesday – Baroda Founders Vidal Blanc

vidal blanc square

Baroda Founders Vidal Blanc

Score: 15.25

vidal blanc

Manda’s Notes:

  • Sweet but tart
  • Lots of tropical fruit flavors
  • Slightly heavy

Wolfy’s Notes:

  • Light gold color
  • Soft, fruity nose
  • Good medium body floral white wine
  • Pleasant lingering finish

Overall a very pleasant wine, sweet but not overly so.  Very good enjoyed chilled.

More Wine Down Wednesday Posts

cab big bad red DSC_0041 dsc_00152 moscato


Soft Close Damper for the Kitchen Cabinets

A few months ago we found these while wandering around Home Depot.  They are soft close dampers for cabinet doors.  We bought one bag of 4 (right around $10) to try these out.  Wow!  These things are amazing.  No more slamming doors.


They are installed in the top corner of the cabinet, next to the door.  After fighting with the enclosed screws, we ended up pre-drilling all the holes.


There it is once installed.  It was a fairly easy project, but has made a huge difference.


Previous Kitchen Posts

concrete countertops over head light blinds kitchen pendant

under sink storage sink strainer before-and-after facets grouting backsplash

kitchen backsplash beadboard painting kitchen tile


Tiling the Walls in the Master Bathroom

To get the master bathroom ready to use, I needed to tackle the tile.  Wolfy knows me and leaves me alone (except to take pictures and offer opinions on layouts) when it comes to tiling.  The large tiles are the ones I originally purchased to go on the floor.  They are 18 inches by 18 inches.  I ended up only having 1 left over, so it turned out to be the perfect project for them.


For added detail I inserted a line of glass and stone tile mosaic.


After laying the tiles out several times, I ended up making the insert 1 1/2 foot wide in the tub.  You will notice that this allows the water valve and the spout to come through the mosaic and not the solid tile.   That way I did not need to make a circular cut in the large tiles.  I was able to just pull a few tiles out of the mosaic and then add more in where necessary.


The large tiles go all the way around the tub.


I used the same pattern in the shower, but to make the splurge on the mosaic tile go further, I cut the sheets in half.  That allowed me to be able to use 2 full tiles on each side.


I installed the mosaic in a larger pattern than in the shower on the sink wall, but it still wasn’t quite a full sheet..  That way it is in between two mirrors and, again, it was easier to pull the mosaic tiles out around the electrical box.


There you have it.  Next week will be the master bathroom reveal!

Previous Master Bathroom Posts

drywall in masterbath master bathroom tile ditra patching the sub floor

water supply swiss cheese sub floor gut job


Wine Poster Art w/ Burnt Edges

It has been a while since Wolfy’s birthday, but I still have another project to show you.  I already made one wine poster for Wolfy, but I had another in mind.  I used the same idea behind the other, but added a few new twists.

This art piece was going to have two posters; one dealing with types of white wine, the other dealing with types of red.

To give the posters a more vintage feeling, I started burning the edges.


It is a pretty simple process.  Use a lighter and run the edge of the flame on the border of the of the poster.  Do this over the sink, just in case the flame gets away from you, but normally the flame will burn out, or you will be able to blow it out before it goes too far.




Here is the white wine poster once the edges have been burnt.


And the red wine one, before I knocked off the ash.  I think it makes it look like something that was found in an old abandoned building somewhere.


After the board was cut to size and sanded, I started painting it.


Instead of black, this time I went with red.  It is actually left over paint from the front door.


Again, I placed the posters onto the wet paint and made sure to press them down well.


I did mess up slightly and get red paint on the posters, but it doesn’t really bother me.  I feel like it works with the colors and tones of the posters anyway.



Once it was dry, I applied several coats of spray polyurethane.  Then, it was time to hang it on the wall.


Overall, we are both very happy with it.


More Art Posts

vino art on black step-10-2

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Master Bedroom Drywall

The master bedroom is finally starting to take shape with the addition of drywall and some mud.  Here is the first view you see.  Notice the drywall on the railings now?


Once you are upstairs, you can see the new wall behind the bed.  We built it out the width of the 2×4.  Without this, right below the beam there would have been a small section jutting out due to the beam’s support system.  We knew we wanted to get a king size bed in the future, so we did not want the bed section of the room to be limited to the room in between the beam and the window.  While the bed could have been in front of that, I was worried it would look a little weird.  This built out wall also made it easier to run wires, since we didn’t have to fish them through the already drywalled wall.


Looking at the new wall behind the bed straight on, you can see we were in the process of selecting a color.  Any guess on what we went with?


The outside of the closet also got drywalled.  See the outlets?  This is going to be the future area of a small office for us.


Once you turn all the way around, you can see the new railings and the closet we built.  Overall, I think adding the closet was the best use of the space.

There is also an outlet on the new half wall that will allow me to set up a saltwater tank in the future.  At least, that was the thought process behind placing it there.


What do you think?  It is starting to look like a room!

Previous Master Bedroom Posts

new railings faux beams and fans opening up the master bedroom

new bedroom window stained hardwoods stripping hardwoods

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Wine Down Wednesday – Trivento Cabernet Sauvignon


Trivento Cabernet Sauvignon

Price: $7.50 on sale at Friar Tuck’s normally around $10

Score: 16


Manda’s Notes:

  • Fruity
  • Nice mouth feel
  • Slightly tannic
  • Lots of berry flavors
  • Just a touch of black pepper

Wolfy’s Notes:

  • Love the deep dark rich color
  • Oaky
  • Smoky
  • Fruity nose and flavor
  • Light body
  • Smooth soft finish

Overall for the price is this a wine I would recommend to anyone who enjoys a dry red wine.

More Wine Down Wednesday Posts

moscato big bad red dsc_00152


Beach Side Melt and Pour Soap

beach side soap thumbnail

I love the look and feel of this soap.  The base is a Shea Butter Soap with oatmeal added for a gentle exfoliant.  The top layer is a Goat’s Milk Soap.  Both are scented with Brambleberry’s Beach Breezes fragrance.  Below, you will see the process in pictorial form, and then I will walk you through, step by step, to achieve the same result.

beach side soap

First, you want to gather all your supplies.


3/4 pound Shea Butter Melt and Pour Soap Base

1 pound Goat’s Milk Melt and Pour Soap Base

Oatmeal (I eyeballed this to get the texture I was looking for)

Colorant (I used Aqua Pearl Mica and Blue Mica for the soap and then topped it with Opalescent Green Mica)

Scent (I used Beach Breezes)


Cups and forks to mix the soap (I used disposable ones, so I can throw them away after to cut down on clean up)

Rubbing alcohol


Cut the melt and pour soap bases into small chunks.  Place all of the Shea Butter base into one microwave safe container.  Divide the Goat’s Milk base in half, placing each half pound section into a microwave safe container.

Melt in the microwave on 30 second bursts.  After each 30 seconds, give the container a swirl.  You want all the chunks to be melted.  If there are still a few small pieces, you can usually stir to melt them in.  You want to make sure everything is in a liquid form before adding anything to the base.

Once the soap is melted, it is time to start customizing your soap.

In the Shea Butter base add oatmeal.  I used the rolled Quaker Oats you buy at the grocery store.  You know the one, in the huge container that you buy when you plan to make a huge batch of no bake cookies?  Add some oats, then stir to combine.  Take a look at your mixture.  Do you like the amount of oats in the soap?  If not, add more.  I wanted enough oats to make the base look like sand and enough to make a gentle exfoliant.  I really like this soap.  It works for both of the Wolves.  I especially like it as a face scrub.

Once you are happy with the amount of oats in the base, add the scent.  I used Beach Breezes.  Use as much or as little as you like.  The great thing about this is that it is up to your preference.  Do you like a ton of scent in your soap?  Add more!  Do you like just a light scent?  Add a little less.

Give the oatmeal Shea Butter base a good stir and then start pouring into your mold.  I wanted 4 ounce bars so I knew using a total of 1 3/4 pounds of soap I should get 7 bars.  I mismeasured and ended up with 6 bars a little over 4 ounces, and 1 a little under.

Once it is poured into the mold, spritz with rubbing alcohol to remove any bubbles.

Now we can turn our attention to the sea portion of the soap.

I added color first.  To one half pound cup, I added aqua pearl mica.  I used the small scoops, added two, stirred and then looked at the color.  Keep adding mica until you get the color you want.  Repeat this process on the second cup using a blue mica. I always add less than I think I need at first.  You can always add more color, but you can not take the color away.

When you are happy with the color saturation, you can add your scent.  Again, I used more Beach Breezes scent, but you can add a different scent to this section of your soap.

Before pouring into the molds, make sure the oatmeal Shea Butter portion has at least a thin skin forming.  If not, you will not end up with a clean line between the two sections.

Again, spritz with rubbing alcohol to make sure the second layer will stick.

Using both cups, I poured a small amount into each mold.  Then, I switched, making sure to pour a different color over the first.  Repeat this process until you are out of soap.  Adding a little bit to each mold and then coming back to add more helps to ensure the same amount is added to each mold.  Then, take a fork and drag it though the blue soap that was just poured to swirl the colors.

Once the sea portion was poured, I added a small amount of opalescent green mica to a sieve and lightly tapped over the soap.  This will give the soap a water-like shine.

Again, spritz with alcohol to remove any bubbles.

Set the mold aside and allow everything to cool.  In a few hours, you can come back and gently remove the soap from the mold.

Now, go take a shower and try it out!  Or, wrap it up to use later or give as a gift.


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