Friday, January 28, 2011

Mirror, mirror on the wall

While browsing through my favorite consignment store last weekend, I found a mirror for our entryway! I had also been on the lookout for an inexpensive, large mirror that could help brighten up our postage minuscule foyer. Most of the mirrors I had been eying at Bed, Bath, and Beyond or Target were far out of our price range. I was ecstatic to find this one! I snatched it up for $25, painted it white with some paint we already had, and hung it on the wall!

Before:








After:





I love it already! :)

I'm linked up with Remodelaholic today. It's one of my favorite blogs. Check out the side bar "link love."

Monday, January 24, 2011

Cake Decorating: Week 2

Week 2 was frosting and decorating a cake! I decided I was going to make a lemon cake with raspberry filling and give it to the youth group.

It was a lot of work, but a lot of fun. I say it was a lot of work because I actually baked two 3" deep cakes, and 3 individual layers of cake before I got a cake worthy of being decorated. The first cake had curves - I kid you not. It was a very voluptuous cake, so I decorated it and took it to the cabin. Since we had only learned how to decorating using stars, I flipped through my book and created something with no instructions. It didn't turn out too badly. And it was delicious. Here's a picture of my practice cake:


Keep in mind that this was me just messing around with different decorating tips. I actually had no idea what I was doing.


When I went to tackle the cake project again, the next cake fell apart when I took it out of the pan, even though it had adequate time to cool. So then I gave up on my new 3" deep pan and just used regular round cake pans to bake 3 layers. One of the layers didn't cook all the way through and collapsed in the center. So my final product was a two layer cake with lots of extra lemon cake. I did have instructions on how to do this one. Here's a few pictures of my final product:


Overhead view


Side view of those awesome borders that take forever


And a close up of the cupcake

Next week - cupcakes!

weekend getaway

On the long weekend, we got to get away for a little bit to our family's cabin in the beautiful Sierra Nevada mountains. Even though the Valley has been dreary, foggy, and cold, it was a wonderful 70 degrees and sunny in Arnold. We got to spend one night there before heading back down the mountain. Our short time there was filled with lots of board games and little homework. I didn't take a whole lot of pictures, but I did snap a few of the snow in Calaveras Big Trees (where we took our engagement pictures). Enjoy!















Sunday, January 16, 2011

Hold Up, Wait a Minute...

Put a little LOVE in it!

... sorry for the random outburst of song there.

My laptop decided to die on me this weekend. I'm in the process of acquiring a new one, but for the time being I'm using my husband's laptop. I don't want to crowd his computer with pictures, so for the time being, our blog will be on hold. Hopefully it won't be long until I can update about all the new things going on in our home!

Here's a little list of upcoming blogs:
  • our living room rearrangment
  • our trip to the cabin
  • my first cake for class
  • how to make curtains

There are a few more projects in the works this week. We're having a little get-together with some good friends here in a week, and it's the perfect opportunity to "gitter done" some of these projects that have been lingering around for a while. My holiday will be a busy day.

Hope to see you soon when we're back with pictures!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

23



We celebrated my 23rd birthday last week. Hooray for turning another year!

We went out to dinner at Red Lobster with my family and then went to my parents house for cake!

Short, simple, and sweet. A wonderful birthday.

New pillows!

If you read my previous post found here, you saw that I bought some decorative pillows over my Christmas vacation to Texas. I wanted to show you what they look like in our home!


I bought three for the living room. Here's what they look like on the couch:




I also bought four for our bedroom. Two plain, and two patterned. When I brought home the ones I originally bought, the plain ones were disproportioned - too small. Since Garden Ridge doesn't exist in California (can't return them if I can't get to the store!), my mom took them off my hands for her guest room, and I found some bigger ones at Target. Here's what they look like in our bedroom:




I absolutely love the velvet-detailed red damask pillows from Garden Ridge. And I'm so in love with the basket-weave design of the red pillows behind.


That's all for now!

Cake Decorating: Week 1

I recently signed up for a cake decorating class at Edwards Cake and Candy. If you've never been in there, you should go! However, it's the type of store that would be easy to get in trouble with your husband for spending too much... be warned. =)

I'm taking the Wilton Decorating Basics class, and we just finished our first class this week. I thought I'd give a little glimpse into how I'm expanding my Suzy Homemaker skills.

This week, we learned about some basic baking skills, good tools to help with baking, different ingredients and how well they work, how to torte a cake, and a lot more. I learned some interesting things, like dry goods are to be measured in measuring cups like this:




But liquids are supposed to be measured in something like this:



It's because dry goods and liquids measure differently in these things. Weird, huh? I never knew. There were many more interesting tidbits that I may share in later posts. We shall see.


Anyway, so we learned how to make a basic buttercream frosting, and then we practiced making "stars" on our practice boards to get the technique down. I've decorated gingerbread houses my whole life, so the technique wasn't unfamiliar to me. The canned frosting we were required to bring was so thick that after just a few practice stars, my wrist didn't want to squeeze the bag anymore because it was so tired! We passed around the buttercream that the teacher had made, which was much more cooperative. When we had a better handle on what we were doing, we got to decorate some cookies that we brought.

Here's how mine turned out:



After that, we got to eat the cake that the teacher used for the demonstration. It was a banana cake with Bavarian creme filling and the basic buttercream frosting. So delicious. Um, and also so sweet that I got a headache before I finished my piece.


deliciousness

Then I went home and did P90X to work off all those calories. See about that post on my other blog - the fit wife - found here.


Next week, we're going to frost and decorate a cake!



Photo of measuring spoons found here, and Pyrex found here.

Desk Organization: Before & After

In light of the Spring semester starting for me this week, I decided I should probably clean up my desk. It's my main homework area, and I don't function well in chaos.

Also, Jen from iHeart Organizing is doing a January challenge called "project paper." She has some great tips on organizing all the paper that accumulates over time. I figured this would be a good step one for me before I tackle my file cabinet.


Here's the unsightly before:





Gross, huh? That's what it's been like for the last month. Yuck!

I took everything off the desk, file cabinet (yes, there's a file cabinet hiding in there!), the floor surrounding, and everything in the teal organizer (my "to file" stack) and moved everything out into the middle of the office. Then I sorted everything into two piles: Keep and Toss. I sifted through the Toss pile to make sure I got everything with our info on it to throw into the fire place for burning (unless I get a paper shredder in the near future), then I took everything else out to the garbage can. After that, I put the important things back in my teal "to file" organizer - I still haven't cleaned out the file cabinet from last year's stuff, but I will get to it soon! I put the books and backpacks away, filed the coupons, etc. I got it all cleaned up. Then I dusted...haha.


Here's the after:





So much nicer, yes? Now I've got plenty of space to stash this semester's stack of textbooks, notebooks, binders, etc. and lots of room to work on assignments & read my textbooks.

The project took me about 35 minutes. I even had time for a game of hide-and-seek with my kitty.


Where's Rosie???

There she is!!!

Ringing in the New Year - Texas style!



We were very blessed to have the opportunity to fly to Texas a few days after Christmas to visit Spencer's side of the family for a few days.

We left in the wee hours of the morning on December 28th for the Sacramento airport, and flew to Denver for our connection to DFW. Once we arrived in Dallas, we were greeted by Spencer's dad and godfather, Fred. Shortly after, we were able to visit some of their old neighbors/close family friends. After a while, we hit the road for Greenville. I was so hungry, but knew we would be stopping in about an hour, so I decided to take a nap. It was wonderful after a long night of not enough sleep. Once we got to Greenville, our first stop was Chick-Fil-A. Yum. Then we made our way to the house, got settled, and exchanged Christmas gifts. Spencer and his dad got each other the same game (at Greg's request and my help) - Tiger Woods Wii '11 - so the three boys all tried out a game of golf for about 3 hours. I was mostly bored until Spencer started a game of Scrabble with me on his iPod. Victory was mine!

We got a quick surprise visit from Will, Jessica, and their beautiful son Isaac. We were so excited to meet our nephew for the first time! He was sleepy, but was extremely good natured. Love that kid! We also got to say a short "hello" to Spencer's mom and Karen (pretty much a second mom, since she's Will's mom, who is practically Spencer's brother) before we called it a night.

The next morning, we were awoken to some wonderful smells of southern cooking wafting in from the kitchen. Bacon, scrambled eggs, biscuits, sausage gravy, and orange juice - YUM. It was absolutely delicious.

Spencer and I made the hour-long drive to Teen Mania to see my beloved Lizz. She was my roommate for about a year and a half before I moved back home. She was also one of my maids of honor in our wedding this summer.



She was stuck working during Christmas break, but could go as soon as the delivery truck came and the order was put away. We decided to go early to help her out. Long story short, the truck came about three hours later than it was supposed to. So we hurried to put the order away and hit the road back to Greenville. We dropped Lizz off with Mom & Karen and then made our way back to Dad's house to get some sleep.

New Year's Eve (Friday) was a girl's day out! I had heard of a store called Garden Ridge from this post on young house love. These stores don't exist in California, so when I discovered a store just about an hour away from Greenville, I called up my mother-in-law and asked if we could plan a girls day to check it out. Though she doesn't like shopping much, she obliged, and ended up having a lot of fun! Here are a few pictures of our adventures in Garden Ridge.


50% off Christmas decor, anyone?


They had a good amount of Christmas wrapping paper for half off as well.


Rows and rows of pillows. This was just the brown/green aisle.


And this was the red/yellow aisle.


We thought this would make a great headboard.


There was lots of art to choose from.


Or you could even take home your own suit of armor!


$5.99 precut fabric? Yes please!

They also had clothes... check out these rockin' 80's-style jackets.
I'm ready for the Olympics!

And another here:


What did I end up buying? About 7 throw pillows, some microfiber cloths, eight .99 cent place mats, one top, and some spring dresses. Lizz found 10 or 11 dresses and about 6 tops - I think - I lost count when she kept grabbing dresses on the way to the counter. It was a very successful and FUN trip.

That evening, we had a New Year's Eve gathering with Dad, Grandma, Fred, us, and the Burches (family friends). We had delicious wings made by Dad in the deep frier, and I baked a Texas Brownie Cake. We watched the rockin' new year's eve party as the ball dropped. We toasted, wore funny hats, popped poppers, and blew in our noise makers. A good time was had by all.


Saturday, Spencer and I went over to spend the day with his mom's family. We got to visit with Mom, Karen, Will, Jessica, Isaac, Sylisha and Cory (aunt/uncle), and Nanny and Bob (grandma/grandpa). It was the first time we'd seen most of them since our wedding 6 months before. We had a delicious lunch, and I made another Texas Brownie Cake. =) I had a lot of fun playing with Isaac and getting to catch up with my sister-in-law, Jessica.





Sunday morning we got to go to Spencer's home church in Greenville - Harvest Bible Church. It was a great sermon on finances and not passing the blame on others for your troubles. After church, we went to Luigi's Pizzaria, which is some of the best pizza ever. Delicious. We said goodbye to Mom & Karen and headed back to the house to pack up our stuff. We went to the airport for our 7:57pm flight to San Francisco, then to Sacramento. However, we didn't want to get in that late, so we changed our flight to stop in SFO with no extra charge! Good thing we did, because our flight didn't take off until 9:40pm due to all the snow delays elsewhere in the country. I watched Charlie St. Cloud on the airplane, and it was just okay. Once we landed, our baggage didn't come until the next day (that means 12:01am... hehe). We got our bags and headed for dinner at McDonalds around 1am in Pleasanton. I almost got to order in Spanish, but they found an employee who spoke English. Darn. Oh well. We got in at around 2am, and got to sleep at 3am.


And that's how we rang in the New Year, Texas style!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Our First Christmas

This post is coming a little late, but better late than never!

For Christmas Eve, we went to my Aunt Judy's house for dinner and gifts. I forgot my camera, so there were no pictures taken. Oh well.

On Christmas morning, we opened our stockings together and opened our gifts to each other.

Sleepy first Christmas morning as husband and wife!


Spencer's stocking haul


my stocking haul


Spencer drew this for me! Our hockey rivalry :)


Big Bang Theory season 2!


New game to play!


I got Spencer a used desktop computer


and a keyboard to go with it


Spencer enjoying his new computer


customized ornament I bought for us from etsy


an ornament from Spen to me :)


After that, we went to my grandparents' house for breakfast and gifts with the family.


Waiting for people to gather 'round


Cheeseburger ornament!

I didn't get pictures of them, but my parents got us some pretty dishes and 4 new silverware place settings!

The following day we went out of town to celebrate with my extended family. I also forgot my camera for this day. Boo. Oh well.

So there was our Christmas!