Monday, April 30, 2012


So first up on my list of to-dos since leaving my job, replacing our thermostat. Sounds exciting huh. Would have been so much better if I could have some major transformation, but alas, the little stuff needs attending to.
I always just assumed that I would have an electrician install a new thermostat when we finally get around to hiring one to hid our TV wires. . . still haven't done that either. Hmm, let's add that to my list of "small stuff to do ASAP" list that is ever growing!
Anyways- turns out installing a thermostat is really easy. I had P helping me, full disclosure, I intended for him to be the installer on this project, but small hands were needed, so I kept him on back up just in case!

We went from this:
Sorry, didn't think to take a picture until after we had popped the front piece off, but this is before any real work! Please notice how this is hanging a bit off the wall. . . yeah it's been hanging around like that for about 3 months now.. . OOPS!

To this:

In a matter of minutes! Not even a full hour job- including some light sanding/ repainting around the outline of the old round thermostat! 

It was seriously as simple as unscrewing everything, undoing three colored wires and then re-attaching them to the color coded wire boxes on the new thermostat! 

And now we have a programmable thermostat that I don't have to think about! 

Friday, April 27, 2012

Photo books

How do you keep up with all your photographs?  A lot of mine actually end up on my blog which is great and allows people to see them but then what?? I never have them printed and I'm even worse about putting pictures into an album. A few years ago I heard about My Publisher, it's like any of the others but for some reason it has just become the one I like to work with most!

I finally got through all of my pre-married photos and got them into albums, then I had an album made with all of our wedding photos (which I totally still keep out, btw! Love looking at it- is that crazy??) PHEW! Just getting to that point was a lot of work. So I came up with this genius plan so I wouldn't have to go through all of that again! I would do a bound book for the whole year! So instead of uploading pictures and having them printed, I would go through the pics and create pages in a book on My Publisher as I went! So I put in Valentines and spring pics in the spring, and so on. You get it right- WOW amazing. Then at the end of the year all I had to do was add Christmas and then hit publish! SWEET. . . and it was
I had this baby bound and in my house by mid- January! Funny to see the house from when we just bought it- so much has changed! 

My brother's graduation and our anniversary trip to San Fran! 

The spine and back can also be printed on- I love that! 

But guess what. . . I haven't even begun on 2011. Can you say UGH! I know- its a lot of work but I am going to do it! I am determined- It is so nice to have pics from the whole year in one album that isn't enormous and can really be a coffee table book! Every time we have people over, they always comment on the book and look through- it's getting a little embarrassing that the most recent picture we have is from December 2010!!

This is project #1 on my list!! Hopefully it won't take me too many months to get though!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

I'm Done!

So, I don't often talk about my real job on the blog here not because of privacy so much as just it's boring. It's a good job but it's never been something that has interested me personally. It is a position that I was very lucky to kind of fall into when we moved to Houston and I have really enjoyed working there! BUT the goal was always to find a way to do something that I am more interested in. But, problem #1: let's get real here for a second- I realize I am an (almost!) 30 year old adult woman but seriously, I don't know what I want to do when I grow up!!!

Am I alone here??? I hope not! There are so many things that interest me and that I enjoy, I have a hard time narrowing it  down to what is something worth perusing as a career versus something to keep as a fun hobby. Sometimes I think of ideas that I think could really work as business ventures but I just don't know enough people here, or the right people!

All this to say- I don't know what I want to do with my life (career wise at least!!) but I am ready to actively try to figure that out! So in an effort to give myself more time to try out different things, blogging more being one of them, I have quit my full time, 8-5 job! SCARY!!! It's fun don't get me wrong but it's also a little daunting.
Last week was actually my last day. No more will I have to park with thousands of people in the parking garage and trek into a job I don't care about enough to do well!

Goodbye Greenway Plaza!! For now I'm going to be doing a lot of research and reading, blogging and projects I've been putting off because I never had the time!!
Wish me luck!!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Funfetti cupcakes

As promised- I have the recipe for the funfetti cupcakes I made for my sister's baby shower! I have made a lot of recipes from box mixes or doctoring up a box mix but I really wanted to try making cupcakes from scratch for this occasion. For a great recipe I turned to one of my go-to cupcake sources- My Baking Addiction. I just used her basic vanilla cupcake recipe and added a little almond extract too because, well, I just like to! And of course sprinkles to make them FUNfetti!! It is a baby shower after all!

Here's what you need:
2 1/4 cups cake flour (I used Swan’s Down brand)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/4 cups whole milk, room temperature
4 large egg whites, room temperature
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
seeds scraped from one vanilla bean (or 1 tsp vanilla bean paste)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1/3 C sprinkles or jimmies**

** I know you can use regular old non pareil sprinkles but I found that the softer confetti dot sprinkles- ( I believe they are made from fondant) like these from Etsy work really well and give you more color since they are larger . .. and i just like the colors too! 


Center a rack in the oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake pan with paper liners.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt, set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk and egg whites. Then in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat the butter, sugar and vanilla bean seeds (or paste) at medium speed for 3 minutes, or until the butter and sugar are very light I'd say this took about 5 minutes. Add in the vanilla extract and one third of the flour mixture, still beating on medium speed. Beat in half of the milk-egg mixture, then beat in half of the remaining dry ingredients until well incorporated. Add the rest of the milk and eggs, beating until the batter fully incorporated and smooth, then add the last of the dry ingredients.
Once ingredients are thoroughly incorporated, give the batter a good 2-minute beating to ensure that it is thoroughly mixed and well aerated. Then dump in all of your sprinkles and give it a good mix. They should be pretty well dispersed. 
Using a large scoop (about 3 tablespoons), distribute the batter between 18 muffin wells, filling each well 2/3 full.
Bake for 18-24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centers come out clean. Cool on wire rack. See all those fun specks! The ones inside completely melt and just leave the fun colors! 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Baby Shower!

Well as you know- I threw my sister's baby shower last weekend and it was a smashing success- we even held off all those crazy Dallas storms until after the party was over!

I don't have a ton of stories or anecdotes so I'll just let the pictures show you how much fun we had!

Come on in! 

In the dining room where we had all the food set up:

rainbow fruit kebobs

chandelier/ mobile

my funfetti cupcakes- I'll post a recipe for these soon! 

 station to write notes to baby G


time for presents 


 and of course some multi color straws :)

My sister and all the sweet hostesses!! I think everyone had a great time! Now we just have to wait patiently until June!! 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Lemon Matcha Pound Cake

So I realize I am WAY too late to have any sort of Easter update. . . what is wrong with me?? I feel like I have been chronically like 15 minutes late to everything for the past few weeks- translating to like a week late on the blog. It's driving me crazy! I am zoo going to make a conscious effort to be on time for a change, but until then- here's a better late than never Easter update. . .

Does this happen to anyone else? I know exactly why it happens every time too, yet I fail to stop doing the same thing over. If I have an extra 10 minutes I always try to fit in some sort of like 30 minute activity just to see if I can get it done and be able to check it off my list. I usually do finish but not with enough time to get where I'm going.. . anyways!

This pound cake! Again made at the last minute in a huge time crunch- just because I have wanted to make this pound cake for a long time now. It was a favorite on my computer before I even got on Pinterest! Now That's a long time people! So when we decided to have an impromptu friend brunch on Easter Sunday at 5:45pm on Saturday I knew I had to make this cake. It was the perfect Spring-y dessert that wouldn't be too heavy!

YIPPEE! Off to Whole Foods for matcha powder I went! It sounds super fancy but all matcha is, is ground up green tea leaves. It actually has a lot of nutrients that you wouldn't get just from steeping green tea leaves, and many people mix the matcha with warm water for green tea in the morning. It's a really neat product and this was my first venture with it! I expect many more in my future!

I found this recipe on the Joy the Baker blog and I'm so glad I made it for Easter- I got lots of oohs and ahhs! Even from the green averse husband :)

Here's what you need:

2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/3 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 eggs
2/3 cup sour cream
zest of one lemon and juice of half a lemon
1 Tablespoon matcha powder
1 stick plus 7 Tablespoons (15 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
Directions: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the loaf pan, dust the insides with flour and tap out the excess. Also line a regular muffin tin with cupcakes papers for the small amount of excess batter.  Set aside. (the batter makes a little bit more than you need for one loaf- that's why you also have  a few muffins too)
Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
Whisk the eggs into the sugar.  You can use a large bowl with a whisk for this- no need to pull out the big guns! Beat until the eggs and sugar are thoroughly incorporated. Whisk in the extract, then whisk in the sour cream. Continuing with the whisk, or switching to a large rubber spatula, gently stir in the dry ingredients in 3 or 4 additions; the batter will be smooth and thick. Finish by folding in the melted butter in 2 or 3 additions.
Pour out half the batter into another bowl- eyeballing it- you don't have to be technical here.  In one bowl add the zest and lemon juice.  In the other bowl, fold in the matcha tea powder.
Pour some of the lemon batter into the pan.  Top it with a portion of the green tea batter.  Add more lemon and top with more green tea batter.  Fill the loaf pan, leaving at least 1-inch of room at the top of the pan for the cake to rise.  Swirl gently and minimally with a butter knife to get a good swirl effect.  With the remaining batter, make mini muffins or cupcakes.
Voila!! baked pound cake all ready for our Easter brunch :)

Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. The cupcakes will take about 18-20 minutes.
Once removed from the oven, allow the loaf to rest in the pan for 20 minutes before running a knife along the edges of the pan and inverting the cake onto a cooling rack.
Seriously- make this for someone or something- it is really quite easy to make- no power tools even required and it is seriously impressive when you slice it up! 

Monday, April 16, 2012

Garlic Rosemary Roasted Potatoes

So I promise once I get the pictures uploaded and edited I will show you all the fun party pics later this week! In the meantime I had to share with you this recipe from Our Best Bites I've had pinned on Pinterest for a while and just tried for the first time last week when I was out of ideas for dinner I decided to try these- mainly because they take less than 30 minutes to make- start to finish- that by itself is a reason to make these little gems!

1 1/2 lb. fingerling or baby potatoes, washed; try and pick the potatoes that are as bite-sized as possible
2 1/2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 1/2 Tbsp. coarse-grain or Dijon mustard
2 1/2 Tbsp. chopped fresh Rosemary (be sure and strip the needles from the stem before chopping them)
About 5 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
Coarsely-ground black pepper
Kosher salt

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. While you are waiting on the water, combine the olive oil, mustard, rosemary, garlic and black pepper in a bowl and set aside.

When the water comes to a boil place your potatoes in and boil for about 15 minutes or until fork tender.  Drain the potatoes and return to pot. Pour mustard mixture over the potatoes and mix to coat all potatoes in the mixtures. Then turn potatoes out onto a cookie sheet covered in foil. Spread into one layer and sprinkle salt over the potatoes. Then bake at 425 degrees for about 10 minutes until skins are bubbling and crispy. You can also read on her website about making these ahead of time!

Photo from Our Best Bites

Serve warm- and enjoy all the compliments- cause I promise you'll get them!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Baby shower time

I'm on my way to Dallas right now to celebrate my sister and nephew to be!! A few friends and I are throwing her baby shower this weekend and it's going to be so fun. I can't show you all the fun details yet, but I'll leave you with a sneak peak!! 

As you can tell from the invite, designed by yours truely  its going to be a bright, colorful and fun shower- (blocking names/ locations for privacy:) )

Here's a few of my bright and colorful Etsy goods too :)

and of course the balloon wreath I showed you a few weeks back

Hope you all have a great weekend!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Caitlin Wilson pillows

As promised on Monday, here is the final final edition of the guest bedroom including my new Caitlin Wilson Textiles pillows! They really have perfected my pink, navy and grey color scheme perfectly! It was very exciting to have an excuse to purchase some of these beauties!
Don't they look pretty and help add some more pink to the room!!

And up close and personal :)
I think we are calling the guest room officially finished . . . for now at least ;)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Guest bedroom

With all this updating in the living room and dining room the guest bedroom was feeling a little left out!

I have had this bedding since I was a sophomore in college and I was just feeling a change. I like the toile a lot but I just wanted something a little more modern and light feeling in this dark room! So with a little trip to West Elm and some online shopping I ended up with this:

LOVING the bedding and especially my pretty print from Little Brown Pen on Etsy
I am in LOVE it is so pretty and it just livens up the room! 
Now I am just waiting on some great pillows to tie the room together- we kind of fell into a pink, grey and navy color scheme and I found the perfect pillows to complete the room! 

Coming soon :)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Friday, April 6, 2012


It's time for another Sammy installment! Blame it on the lack of kids, but I take tons, like way too many pictures of my puppy and he's getting so big! He is now almost 7 months old!
Look at that sweet face :)

posing nicely with his stick! 

And playing. . . we LOVE to play!

We definitely have a fun boy on our hands!