Learning to serve the Lord and my family one day at a time.

Learning to serve the Lord and my family one day at a time.

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Friday, August 26, 2016

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Playroom Reveal


I have yet to post pictures of our new house because I feel like everything is a work in progress. I still want to paint the hideous kitchen cabinets, hang a few more things in the living room and re-do the kitchen table amongst many other projects. One room I feel like is essentially complete is the kids playroom.

This house had one of the garage bays converted into another room. We are using the front half as a playroom and the back half, which is basically a separate room with a step down into, as a storage room. When we first moved in it was a soul sucking, dark hunter green. Because it is a conversion, there are no windows and I absolutely hated to be in this room, especially with the door shut. The ceiling is popcorn and looked like it had twenty years of dust stuck to it, the ceiling fan was just as filthy. The crowning glory of the room was a circa 1980 wallpaper border of a world map.






The homeowners left behind an entire gallon of paint plus primer but this dark color was so paint sucking I had to go buy two more gallons to finish this room and paint two walls of Daniel's room. I only need about a pint of the third gallon but it is the same color as the hallway and parts of Laura's room as well so I'm sure I will use it down the road. On another note, who buys flat paint? Ugh, but that's what I'm stuck with throughout this entire house!

I took the primary colors from the IKEA tent as my color palate for their playroom. I made the bunting for Daniel's 2nd birthday with the intention of repurposing it afterwards for the playroom. Costco was carrying several fun kids rugs for only $15. By the time I convinced myself it wasn't a waste of money they only had two rugs left so I was happy to snag one.

I had my eye on the U.S. map print for months at Hobby Lobby so when the kids got money for Christmas, I justified decorating their playroom as something to spend it on. Besides, it's educational right? I love that this room has built in shelving too. Behind the bifold closet doors are a few more shelves of toys and some random other storage items. To the right of the tent is the opening to the back storage room. I hung a curtain there to cover up the doorway and keep the cold air out as we closed the vents to that back room.

Over six months of slowly buying items here and there I spent around than $75 total including the paint for this room and a few more clear storage containers that are on the shelves. Now, if I only the kids would keep it this picked up!


Pinterest Project completed at last!





Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Declutter 500 things Challenge


Please excuse any math errors in advance! 

Day 1- 100 items of paper trash 
Yesterday 
100 items of paper! That was embarassingly easy. I had a "to shred pile" that had built up plus I went through a few old files. I don't really need the health insurance payout from three years ago.

1 large box the kids were playing in 
7 old removable bra straps - since I wear wear so many strapless dresses to fancy parties these days

1 Holly Hobby vintage plate 
2 our old set of sheets that I just replaced last week

Day 1 total= 111

Day 2- 25 items from your Bedroom
Today from our bedroom
I haven't even tackled out closets but I made great strides going through my jewelry boxes. I had Laura help me clean out my jewelry.

5 earrings with no mates
1 hook (what was that doing in my jewelry box?) 
8 bracelets (I honestly cannot stand wearing bracelets) 
10 pairs of earrings I couldn’t remember the last time I wore 
2 necklaces
1 large box from Christmas that was in the backyard (classy I know)
= 27 items


Total = 138 

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

2016 Reading List



2016 Reading List 
I read 20 books last year which was 9 more than I read in 2014! Ok so I cheated a little and finished one of these the first week in January but hey, I started it in 2015 so that counts right?

27 books, my goal is to get to 20 of these 27 on the list. This might be overly ambitious since I'm having a baby in May and starting to homeschool Laura for kindergarten come September. Last year I ended up reading other books not on my list and bumping a few to this years list. I'm sure the same will happen as I come across a new book recommendations.
Fiction
Eight cousins Alcott
GA Henty (historical fiction, we own several different ones.)
Anne of Green Gables 
Safely Home Randy Alcorn
Dear Mr. Knightley 
Lizzy and Jane 

Biography/History/Current Events
Popular Economics -John Tamny
7 Women - Eric Metaxas
The Hiding Place - Corrie ten Boom
Fierce Convictions - 
Evidence Not Seen 
A Chance to Die 
1776 
Christian/Personal Growth
Stepping Heavenward (make this an annual read)
Putting Amazing Back into Grace
How Should We Then Live? Francis Schaeffer 
Prayer- Tim Keller
Holding onto Hope- Nancy Guthrie
Pilgrim's Progress
Unglued- Terkurst
Essentital Truths of the Christian Faith  RC Sproul - I bought this for a bible study that was canceled for I figured I should just read it on my own


Homeschool/Family/Marriage/Homemaking 
The Well Trained Mind 
Give Them Grace
The Core
Bringing Up Boys - Dobson
The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up
Putting Amazing Back into Grace 
The Nesting Place  



2015 Reading Wish List
Books without a strike through didn't get read but I may try to read them in 2016.

Parenting, Marriage and Family
Meaning of Marriage – Tim Keller 
Shepherding a child’s heart 
Give them Grace (own on kindle) bumped to 2016 
Don’t make me count to three


Nonfiction- History and Biography, Current Events, Health 
1776 -I may or not may not try and tackle this one in 2016. I have been enjoying the audio book of John Adams in the car however. 
One Nation Ben Carson 
A Chance to die – Elliot still working on this one! 
America, Imagine a world without her D’Souza 
Grain Brain 
The Wahl's Protocol

Fiction
The Warden and the Wolf King 
Little Men 
Command Authority Clancy
Whose Body Sayers 
The Number 1 Ladies Detective Agency – 
At Home in Mitford
All the Light We Cannot See 

Christian/Personal Growth 
Pilgrims Progress 
I love Mormons 
Stepping Heavenward 

Undone
Money, Possessions and Eternity
The Hardest Peace 
Unglued  bumped to 2016 
Just Show Up - Kara Tippets 





Saturday, September 19, 2015

Barefoot Contessa's Chocolate Cake Recipe



My friend Cheree sent me this recipe that I used for Daniel's birthday cake and it was one of the best cakes I have ever eaten let alone make. I did it without chocolate frosting for his birthday and made a Swiss Meringue Buttercream  but I would love to try it again with the chocolate frosting. This recipe is originally from The Barefoot Contessa and makes two 8 inch round cakes or 24 cupcakes. 
  • INGREDIENTS

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
  • Optional- extra chocolate chips or chunks 
Frosting 
  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee granules

MAKE THE CAKE Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter two 8-by-2-inch round cake pans and line them with parchment; butter the paper. Dust the pans with flour, tapping out any excess. 

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle, mix the flour with the sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt at low speed. In a bowl, whisk the buttermilk with the oil, eggs and vanilla. Slowly beat the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients until just incorporated, then slowly beat in the hot coffee until fully incorporated. This will be a very runny batter, don't worry it will be delicious! 
  2. Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then invert the cakes onto a rack to cool. Peel off the parchment. 
  3. MAKE THE FROSTING In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the chocolate at high power in 30-second intervals, stirring, until most of the chocolate is melted. Stir until completely melted, then set aside to cool. 
  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the butter at medium speed until pale and fluffy. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and beat for 1 minute, scraping down the side of the bowl. 
    At low speed, slowly beat in the confectioners’ sugar, about 1 minute. In a small bowl, dissolve the instant coffee in 2 teaspoons of hot water. Slowly beat the coffee and the cooled chocolate into the butter mixture until just combined. 
  5. Set a cake layer on a plate with the flat side facing up. Evenly spread one-third of the frosting over the cake to the edge. Top with the second cake layer, rounded side up. Spread the remaining frosting over the top and side of the cake. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before slicing.