San Fran and Project Craft room

Its been a week of vocanic gunk for me.  Yes.  Very sick.  Instead of going into detail about the amount of kleenex I have destroyed recently, I’ll update you on our San Fran trip we took a few weeks ago.

obligatory San Fran bridge pic

The boy and I went to visit both of our siblings who live in there area for a long weekend trip.  It rained 3/5 days we were there, but we made the most of it.

seal

Seal!  This one looks like our dog Bourbon, but a million times bigger.

Gotta love the huge trees!

Gotta love the huge trees!

We did all the San Fran musts, including a hike through the Muir woods (the closest of the red woods) and a day trip to Napa.

Napa field

It actually stopped raining when we went to Napa, which was great timing, because I love wine and sunshine.  

Napa

So there was wine, but there was also coffee.  No trip is complete without coffee.

leaf latte

The latte guy at the farmers market in down town San Fran has skills.

heart latte

Becoming a latte artist is on my list of life ambitions.

craft room before

This past weekend we worked on project craft room.  Excuse the poor lighting, it was night.

craft room after

 

More will be hung on the orange wall, but for now the cork and chalk board is a start.other side of craft room

Its still in the works, but painting the orange wall was one huge task off the list.  On the opposite wall we hung our date night paintings up.  They aren’t pro or anything, but I think they work nicely in the craft room.

I would share with you our Chirstmas decor, but its quite limited this year.  After spending $140 at Lowes, only to realize all the lights we bought are single strand only (they don’t plug into each other) and returning them all, AND realizing the connecting lights are twice as much…we have decided to have limited Christmas decor.  Next year we will do a little more.  But we just felt all the spending was getting steep…and that non-connecting Christmas lights should not exist.  Whats the point of those?!

In approximately 4 days we leave for a LONG road trip from Louisiana to Arizona to celebrate Christmas with the boy’s family.  I guess I should start packing soon…Merry Christmas Everyone!

Thanksgiving cupcakes

You know what makes my mouth water?  

Pre-thanksgiving. This week, the one where I dream about all the great wonders we get to eat next Thursday.  

Thanksgiving cupcakes

I have a friend who hates casseroles which is real sad. Because casseroles are one of the best inventions of all time: broccoli cheese and rice, green bean, dressing…all things mixed foods.  Yes, I am a sensory seeker when it comes to food.  All you people who don’t let your foods touch, you don’t know what you’re missing!!!  Needless to say, I can’t wait for some casserole.  But lets get serious.  Dessert’s where its at.  

Chocolate.  

Icing.

Cake.  

Thanksgiving cupcakes with fondant turkey feathers

Gobble gobble!

Thats what I’m looking forward to the most.  

Which is why I made some Thanksgiving themed cupcakes ahead of time.  Check out this awesome turkey.

cupcake turkey

Although, I realize he should be wearing a hat.  Turkeys in real life dont wear hats, but pretty much all the animated ones do.  Well all the ones I found on Google were wearing hats.  So, if you make these, you may consider adding a little half mini Reeses cup for a hat.  Unfortunately I can’t buy those. I have a problem called no peanut butter and chocolate related self control.

Here’s how to make these little Turkey Thanksgiving cupcakes:

1. Make and ice 18-24 cupcakes.  I used this recipe for Texas Sheet cake.  Nom, nom, nom, sheet cake…of course you should pick whatever cupcake recipe you dream about most at night.  I’m from Texas, so I’m very bias.

2.  Make 18 fondant feathers.  

  • Items needed:
  • Wilton pre-colored fondant (red, yellow, orange)
  • Wilton impression board (use the the left impression)
  • Wilton Lilly flower fondant cutter (small)
  • Wilton purple foam square 
  • Wilton fondant roller with pink rubber bands
  • Wilton fondant drying rack (its plastic and looks wavy).  This gives the feathers their shape. 
    • To make the feathers first roll out a small ball of fondant using the roller and rubber bands.  Cut 6 feathers of each color using the Lilly petal cutter.  Rub each feather onto the Leaf impression board to create the feather look.  Allow each feather to dry on the Wilton fondant drying rack.

3.  Allow the fondant feathers to dry overnight.  Then you can place them on the cupcakes.

4.  Make your Turkey face cupcake.  I used wilton eyes and left over orange fondant for the beak, red for the gobbler (is that what thats called?).  I used red fondant covered pretzel sticks for the legs.  You can be as creative as you want with the face, and of course yours will be better since it will be wearing a hat like the pilgrims used to wear.  

Happy pre-thanksgiving!  And on a serious note, lets all give God a lot of thanks for all the blessings he has given us.  I know I am grateful for so much more than just good cupcakes.  But, man, they are reallllly good.

 

 

 

 

Back to the basics

I made homemade bread for the first time…and I’m never going back.

homemade buttermilk bread

C’ya store-bought stuff

The boy and I have been wanting to make our own bread for a while now, because, well, have you read your bread ingredient list lately?  

I found the recipe on pinterest from this post by therestlesschipotle and pinned it months ago.  I’d been procrastinating making it, because homemade bread is a bit intimidating.  Decorating cupcakes and baking bread are two different talents, my friend.

And this recipe wasn’t easy peasy either.  It was a full body work out.  I’m talkin’ kneading dough to the point of sweat, blood, tears and utter exhaustion.  

Or maybe I’m just outta shape.  

And maybe there wasn’t any blood.  

Or tears.

Or sweat.

My arms did burn, though!  And I can honestly say this bread recipe demands dedication.

BUT.  Its so worth it.

Its like hiking up a mountain.  It requires so much work, and time, and you think, “Gosh I’m NEVER doing this AGAIN,” until you see the view from the top, the trees, the lake, the clouds…and…Goodness. Its all worth it.  

Except making homemade bread is better, because you don’t have to hike back down.  And its edible.  And if you’re real good, it will last all week long!

I gave a loaf to my neighbors, who shortly after texted me that I “was grounded” because it was so good.  Haha. 

chemex coffee

Morning mood changer

 

I’ve been enjoying a piece of bread with hippie coffee in the morning.   

Hippie coffee is made using my Chemex coffee jar.  I’m not really into avoiding plastics completely (props to those who do), but I figure if I can easily eliminate repeated plastic exposure (especially when its heated daily), I will.  Its easy, quick and I’ve never looked back.

 

Dog recovering from surgery

he sure can lay it on thick

In other news, this sweet dog has been recovering from surgery.  He had bladder stones (see Bourbon, I knew you shouldn’t have eaten all those cookies!) and needed them removed.  He was pretty pathetic his first day back home, but he seems back to himself now: demanding cuddles nonstop, jumping up and down when I go to feed him and being overall lovingly annoying.  

I was really looking forward to dressing him up as something ridiculous for halloween, but since he had surgery the day before he got off the hook.  

You just wait till next year Bourbon.

 

Simple home decor, rustic meets modern

In the spirit of taking a break from cupcakes (and all dishes that follow) I’m sharing a different project: home decor.  

Side note: I am still finding pearl sprinkles on the kitchen floor.

yellow shot gun house

I (not the boy) mowed our grass, just in case you were wondering

Its hard to believe its been 5 months since we moved to Louisiana.  And we are STILL working on decor.  And I do mean WE – the boy enjoys home decor as much, if not more, than I do.  

I’m glad he enjoys taking part, but we have totally different styles.  He loves modern, clean lines and minimalistic design.  I, on the other hand, love the rustic look with old wood and earthy colors, so its been quite a challenge to pick out colors and furniture we both like.  Although its all coming together, its so slow, slower than the DMV.  

The dining room is only room we feel is complete.  And even though its a small feat, it’s still one down!

dining room with rustic and modern style

 

 The table, chairs and bar are all from Crate and Barrel, which is not a cheap store by any means, but they actually runs decent sales here and there, if you like saving money like I do.  Also they are pretty good about sending %15 off coupons in the mail, so sign up.  Every dollar counts.

rustic modern dining room

 

The boy picked out this modern(ish) table and we added some funkiness by using two different chair styles and putting 5 chairs at the table rather than your traditional 4 or 6.  I know, we live on the wild side.

chair as corner accent

My camera usually lives on top of the cook books, which is hard to show you :)

We nominated the 6th chair to be a corner accent piece and stacked my cook books on it.

dining room table center pieceOur table center piece is a barrel slice made from wine and whiskey barrels. It was a little jewel I found on clearance at  a discount store (can’t remember the exact one).  I love getting accessories (and also cheap vegan granola and fancy coffee) from Ross, Marshals, or TJ Max.  If you can tolerate the often chaotic shopping experience, you can find some nice deals at these stores.  

bar accessories, rule of 3

 

I’m no decor expert, but I once read about the rule of 3’s.  The idea is to use 3 different accessories with different textures and sizes to accent a space or piece.  

I dig the rule of 3s.

wall decor lettersNow time to celebrate.  With wine. 

Speaking of which – I, for the first time ever, broke down and bought a box of wine yesterday.  

Yes.  

A box.

4 bottles of wine are in one box = $18.  Thats as much as one classy bottle, folks.

The boy says thats when you know you’re an alcoholic.  I told him, “no, thats when you know you are thrifty and smart.”

His reply:

“thats what alcoholics say.” 

I can’t win with that boy.  But…I got a box of wine for $18 and that’s definitely a win :)