Wednesday, August 31, 2011

It all comes out in the wash

We spent the last 2 weekends working on the last "major" renovation inside my house. The Laundry Room.  Up until now, my washer and dryer were set up in the garage.  Not the ideal place for cleaning clothes.

Originally, we were going to turn the bathroom (that was inside my garage) into the laundry room.  But my dad came up with an even better idea!  Expand the bathroom to make an even larger laundry/storage room!

So here is what the "Garage Bathroom" looked like before.This bathroom was gross. The shower leaked and was causing the wall in between the kitchen and garage to rot.  We did a lot of repair initially after we demoed the bathroom.

The second image is taken from inside the garage.  You can see how the hot water heater was also in the "bathroom".

Also before when you exited from the kitchen you went down 3 stairs into the garage.  You can see the garage door in this image. (Behind my Dad.)

We will be working on the laundry room during the 3 day Labor Day weekend.  I'll post pics to show you our progress then!

Monday, August 22, 2011

A Royal Dessert

I decided to bake a Royal Blue Velvet Cake this weekend.  I saw the recipe in a Betty Crocker email, and the picture was just too pretty to ignore.  I figured I didn't need a special occasion to bake, especially when you are baking a Royal Cake.

The biggest challenge was finding the paste food color.  I decided to check out Michaels, and learned they carry Duff Goldman's (the Ace of Cakes guy)  line of baking products.  I got the jewel tone 4 pack which included a sapphire blue, yellow, teal and black.  These colors are amazing, very vivid and didn't stain my hands while preparing or my mouth while eating.

The cake is pretty basic, using a box white cake mix.  You use butter milk and a little cocoa powder to make it red velvet-like.

The best part of this recipe was the icing.  It was delicious!  By using the marshmallow fluff it makes regular powder sugar and butter icing super light and fluffy.  Also, I put the cake in my cake dome, and the icing didn't harden over night, like many store bought icings will do.  2 days later and the icing is still light and fluffy!  

This was a pretty successful cake baking, because in 2 days I only have 1 slice left!  I had intended on bringing the cake to work to share, but bringing just one piece didn't seem fair.

I am excited to experiment with the rest of the Duff Cake product line as I make more cakes and cupcakes.  I think I will make some teal cupcakes (think Tiffany Cupcakes) next!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Living Room

This past weekend I moved furniture around in my living room... for at least the 4th time (in a year).  In my defense one of those times involved making space for my Christmas tree so it doesn't count.

Since I spruced up my living room by swapping around furniture and getting new curtains, I thought it would be a good time to see how far this space has come.

Here is what the living room looked like when I first saw the house.

The stairs were a HUGE selling point for me.  They were gorgeous!  And after we refinished them they make a dramatic feature in the room.

The living room had little renovation work that needed to be done.  It was dying for some fresh paint and a really good cleaning.  Once we refinished the hardwood floors, this room was instantly transformed.

The living room is probably one of the more frequented spaces in my house because we eat in here and watch TV in here.  This was a challenging space to lay my furniture out in because nearly every wall has a door, some opening or stairs or something that you could not put furniture against. 

Sadly, we can only sit about 3-4 people comfortably in here.  Eventually we'd like to get a larger couch and one of those oversized chairs to replace my lovely hand-me-down red love-seat/chaise.

I use to have a full sized bookcase where the short dvd shelf is.  So now I need some type of art to hang above it on that wall. It looks kind of empty now.

My beautiful stairs! This picture really doesn't do them justice (bad lighting and such).  They also double as a great place to hang our stockings at Christmas!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Road Trip

This past weekend Michael and I took a mini road trip to Foley, Alabama.  I figured with the tax free shopping weekend, it would be a good time to hit the Tanger Outlets!

Michael enjoying his roll!
We left at 8am, since it's a 2 and a half hour drive. We had planned on eating at Lambert's Cafe for lunch since Michael made all A's this past semester!

Lambert's opens at 10:30am, we arrived at 10:40 and the parking lot was full and there was already a long line and a 15+ minute wait!  It was definitively worth the wait!  If you've never been to Lambert's it's a great family dining experience.  The portions are HUGE, the servers are fun and play practical jokes on everyone and they throw rolls!! It is impossible to leave this place hungry!  In additional to rolls, they have more sides they "pass around"! (Usually fried okra, cabbage, beans, and macaroni.)

I ordered the chicken tenders which come with 2 sides ~ You must try the cucumber and onion side.  It's cucumbers and onions soaked in sugar and vinegar. Michael ordered the meatloaf which comes with mashed potatoes and 2 sides (corn and cold slaw).

We were super stuffed afterwards and had to get an ice chest at Walmart to keep all our leftovers! 

Then after a long day of shopping, we had to stop for something sweet on the way home....

A Dairy Queen Blizzard!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Itsy bitsy spider...

So last week I noticed a bug bite on my leg.  It was a little itchy at first, so I didn't think anything of it. By Friday I noticed it hurt more than itched and it was getting redder.  I showed Michael and my mom and they both thought I was over reacting and the redness was from scratching.

This is a picture of what the bite looked like on Saturday morning.  Once Michael saw it, he told me I had to go to a doctor.  I was in a lot more pain, especially when I walked.  The bite was very swollen and standing on it increased the blood flow to the bite and caused it to throb.  Also, walking was a challenge because it's on the back of my leg and the skin was very tight and hurt when I stretched my leg out.

I went to a Walgreen's Take Care Clinic.  (I highly recommend going here rather than a Redi Med.  I felt like the doctor really listened to me and that she knew what she was talking about.)  She informed me that I was most likely bitten by a Brown Recluse Spider.  She prescribed me some antibiotics and cream for the bite, but warned me that if by Monday it wasn't better that I should go to the E.R.

We went to Gonzales on Saturday to visit Michael's mom.  After a tasty Thai lunch (which included Sweet Rice, the best rice ever) I noticed the bite had gotten larger.  Mali (Michael's mom) suggested we mark the edge to track the swelling. This picture was taken Saturday night.  The inner circle was drawn around 3pm, by Saturday night it had swelled to the outer circle.

At this point I started to worry, I really didn't want to go to the E.R.

Thankfully, when I woke up on Sunday the swelling had decreased.  Obviously the antibiotics were working, and as a side effect I was exhausted.  I spent all day laying down.  Though even if I felt well enough to move Michael wouldn't let me! Thankfully, he took care of me this weekend and in a few days the bite should be gone!