Saturday, August 20, 2011

Away for the summer...

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So, I thought it was time for an apology. This summer has been busy and beautiful and full of new adventures for my cute little family but none of those adventures have included blogging.

We spent the beginning of our summer in Alaska and we loved every minute of it! Alaska has so much to do outside, which really is awesome when you have two very busy boys. I actually moved back to the Starter Home a few weeks ago but I have been without internet (and my hubby boooo).

We are on the road again and staying in hotels along the way.

I am currently typing this on the lobby computer in a hotel in Yakima, Washington.

Anyone ever been here?

This is wine country in Washington and it is beautiful to drive through all the vineyards. We should be heading home soon and I will pick up blogging again. I still have to reveal the final product of my kitchen and I am finishing projects for Ms V's nursery.

I hope all your summers are treating you well and we should probably catch up this fall :)

Thanks guys!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Some Things About Alaska and a Delicious Burnt Cream Recipe

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I am falling in love with Alaska. It is beautiful and the weather is gorgeous and there is so much to do outside with the kids!

There are a few things I wanted to share. First they bottle the milk here in square jugs like this one.


I know that they sell these in other states but they don't back home. They stack better and can ship them more cheaply (which is important here).

Also, it is becoming more and more difficult to convince my kids it is bedtime when it looks like this...

at 9:30 at night...

I have even hung black out curtains but it is still a little hard for them to understand.

Now on to the recipe. 

My hubby is not a dessert person. Though, I am slowly converting him with a bite here and a taste there.


he LOVES creme brulee or as we lovingly call it around here Burnt Cream (it sounds more manly ;)  I was always afraid of making it. It seemed like it was such an advanced and difficult thing but once I tried it I realized it really isn't that hard.

You can do it. I promise!

So here is my

Burnt Vanilla Cream (Vanilla Creme Brulee) Recipe

4 C Heavy Cream
2 Tbs Vanilla
1/2 C Sugar (plus a little extra for tops)
6 egg yolks

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees

In a large saucepan over medium heat bring the heavy cream just to a boil. Cover and set aside to sit for 15-20 minutes.

While your cream sits whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until well blended and the color begins to lighten. Slowly add the cream to the egg mixture while whisking. Whisk in the vanilla.

Divide between 6 small ramekins or 4 large ramekins. Place them in a roasting pan and fill the pan with hot water until it reaches about half way up the sides of the ramekins.Bake 40-45 minutes. You want them to be set but it still needs to jiggle a little in the middle. Remove from the roasting pan and place the ramekins in the fridge for at least 3 hours but up to 3 days (this is a great make ahead dessert!)

Remove them from the fridge at least 1/2 an hour before you want to eat them. Sprinkle them with a small amount of sugar and use a small propane torch to create a crusty top. Move the torch continually. It will take a little time to burn/melt it all. Let your dessert sit a few minutes and then dig in!

I topped this one with fresh mango but you can use any fresh fruit if you want.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Pulls, Sinks and Faucets...Oh My!

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Because of my lack of internet this last week I got a lot of sewing done from my to do list. Remember you can follow me on Pinterest and see some of my to-dos. I will share some pictures of my projects in a day or two. Ms V's closet is expanding!  

Like my lighting dilemma, it is pretty much impossible to DIY a sink, cabinet pulls or a faucet and all of those things are EX-PEN-SIVE!

I love bin pulls but when I  looked at places like Home Depot they were priced between $4-$5 each. Now, I have a small kitchen and with that price it was still going to cost around $100 just for cabinet hardware.

I started looking online to see if I could find a better deal. I came across a great little Ebay shop that you can find here that was selling the cup pulls for $1.79 each and my handles were around $1.30. Also, because I bought more than 25 knobs and pulls I got free shipping. So I paid around $50 for everything (including 7 pulls for a future furniture build). I felt that even though I couldn't DIY something cheap I still got a great deal and I love them!

Next I really wanted to replace my kitchen sink. We had an old stainless steel sink. I know that stainless steel can be done beautifully but my sink was not an example of that.

Again. after looking around a new kitchen sink was going to be paying at least $100. So I started looking online at a local classified website. We ended up finding a brand new acrylic white sink for only $40. Now that is saving some dough.

We also wanted a new faucet. I went online to ebay, again, and found a faucet for $20 because it was missing the side spray (it usually retailed at $120.) I then bought a side spray for $15. So my brand new sink and faucet set me back only $75!

I think there are some really great deals out there and you can definitely redo your kitchen or any room in your house on the cheap if you are willing to use your creativity, do your research and maybe even be a little patient .

On a completely unrelated note, does anyone watch Bachelorette? What is up with mask guy and why is Bentley such a jerk?

I really couldn't get over mask guy swimming with the mask on! All I could think of was the hilarious tan lines he will soon be rocking if he doesn't take it off!

Any favorites yet?

I have mine.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Internet Issue

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So I have been having some huge issues with my internet the last week. It would go off and on randomly and I could never complete a blog post or anything else really.

It was so frustrating. Finally I had someone come Friday and they got it up and working again.

I promise some great posts this week but tonight I owe my family some updates on my family blog. Hope you guys had a wonderful Memorial Day and I will be back here tomorrow!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Pinterest aka My New Favorite Website and a Tutorial

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So recently I have started using this new (to me) site called Pinterest. This site is absolutely amazing and has revolutionized how I search the web.

If you are anything like me, you have hundreds of sites bookmarked for one image. Maybe it is something that inspires you or something you want to make or have.

You may even have hundreds of pages bookmarked for recipes you want to try, books you want to read and places you want to go.
Well this site makes all of that so much easier. You have boards (kind of like a mood board) and you can "pin" a photo on any site and save to one of your boards.

It only takes a few seconds to pin something.

For example I just pinned a few photos from Pottery Barn on my living room ideas board. I love their Printer's Collection.

On my browser bar I have a little add on that says Pin It. I just click that and this page pops up with all the images from that web page.

I click on the image I want and another box pops up asking me on what board I want to pin it to and how I want to describe it.

Back on my boards I  can see all the images next to each other. Here is screenshot of my boards with my living room board highlighted. I just started so I don't have too much pinned

Also, Pinterest saves the website which you got the image from so you can go back to get your recipe or the detailed instructions to craft you wanted to make.

You can also follow other people's boards. It is fun to find people who have a great eye and follow the beautiful things they find.

Now, you have to be invited to join Pinterest (I am not really sure why) I just put my email on their waiting list and after a few days I got an invite. Once you are a member you can invite and find friends.

If you have a Pinterest account or you get one in the next little while you can follow my boards here.

What do you think? Are you interested in Pinterest or are you going to stick with your bookmarks? Or maybe even a combination of both?

I can tell you one thing, it has completely invigorated me to find new beautiful things and ideas!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Spring Has Sprung and Nursery Paint

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What a crazy weekend it was with blogger! I have to give props to the people who's job it is to fix and maintain blogger because 1) most of what they do is completely foreign to me and 2) I can't imagine how stressful things become when something doesn't go right and it is up to them to figure it out and fix it.

Not a job for me, I can tell you that.

Spring is finally starting to arrive in Alaska and with views like these outside our apartment I am feeling a little spoiled.

We are loving all the trails and things to do outside. We are trying to get out and enjoy it all. Our "to-do" list here keeps growing because there are so many things to go do and see.

One of our friends took her girls on a walk a few days ago and across the pond from her was a black bear mama and two cubs. A little scary but luckily they were far away so they could just sit and watch the cubs play.

Before we left on our adventure in Alaska we got quit a bit done on the nursery. First things first, we had to get the yellow out of there and get some fresh paint on the walls. If you remember from my nursery mood board I had decided to use Sherwin Williams Sassy Green and Heron Plume on my walls. I thought I would give you some before pictures. We were mostly using this room for storage since we had gotten home.

I was trying to get a move on and had already begun to tape the room before I remembered that I needed to get before pictures. I had shoved all the junk to the center of the room to start painting so please don't judge me on all the junk.


This door looks out into the hallway and the door on the left is the closet. Now this is a pretty small room at around 9ft x 9ft but, to be honest, they don't get much bigger in my house.

This is from the next corner looking at the closet door and window. The location of the closet is in this room has caused me some serious grief with arranging furniture and I think I am going to remove the door and hang a curtain to make arranging a little easier.

This is the the corner just right of the door.

Now here is a little sneak peak of the wall color now. Of course I forgot to take a picture of the walls before I started to move things in so I had to crop this from another picture I took.

I am excited to show you the progress of this room and I am looking forward to getting home to work on it.

In other news I started potty training Mr. U today. So far it is going okay but it has only been a few hours. Also, Mr P starts soccer this week. I might be crazy....

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A Yummy Recipe: Breakfast Casserole

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One of my cute friend Amber asked me for this recipe so I decided I might as well share it with everyone. Amber is responsible for this and this recipe.

I actually made this for Mother's Day. My hubby isn't the best cook and since you make this the night before I thought it was a good compromise (he did the dishes.) Horribly, I didn't take a picture of it but I promise it is yummy!

Breakfast Casserole
6-8 Slices Texas Toast
12 Eggs
1 C Milk
1 Tsp Vanilla
1 C Meat, Cooked (crumbled bacon, sausage and ham are examples)
1 8oz Cream Cheese
2 C Grated Cheese

Butter a 9x13 generously.

Remove the crust and cube the bread and add to the 9x13.

In a large bowl beat your eggs. Add milk and vanilla. Mix until smooth and pour over the bread.

Sprinkle meat evenly over the top.

Pinch small pieces of cream cheese and add evenly over the top and then sprinkle the cheese evenly over the top.

Let this sit over night.

Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes.

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