Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Family Traditions

I enjoyed my holiday weekend in Utah, even with -5 degree weather, it did make me thankful for living in San Diego where I can wear flip flops comfortably all winter.  I was also thankful to spend time with my family and a few friends. While eating lots of my grandmas amazing food is something we do every year we made a new tradition a few years ago, Gingerbread Houses!  This year I didn't make a house but I helped the kids and thought it would be fun to display all their creations!

Nifty Craigslist Easy Button

Do many of you use Craigslist? When I moved to San Diego Kolbe and I had a few duplicate things and a few things we wanted to get rid of and Craigslist was a great way to sell and get it out of our way.  I've been looking for a new desk for my office.  One thing I hate (and I'm sure I'm not the only one) is that you have to click on each post to see the picture, it is so time consuming.  Well there is a new way to search craigslist in PICTURE.

Click on the link and it will explain further. Happy Craisglisting.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Rustic Home & (window) Shopping Day

What do you do on a rainy weekend when your house projects can't be done because of the rain? You go dream shopping!

In our furniture searches Kolbe and I found this sweet store called Rustic Home.  This store is PACKED with any wood furniture you could want, desks, tables, chairs, sideboards, beds, gaming tables and artwork.   We were browsing for a dining room table and a hutch.  

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Going Home!

 We are flying to Utah today! 

I have always loved Thanksgiving, I'm not really sure why (and no it's not because of all the food although that is a good part of it).  We usually go to my grandma's house and everyone piles in and we eat and visit.  Last year we went to the high school and played football and over the last few years my grandma has gotten the kids into making gingerbread houses.  I usually help the small kids but last year I made my very own house.  This year I think I'm especially excited because I haven't seen my family for 3 months!  I think my little sister (she's 15 and my best friend) has the whole 3 days planned for us already, which included me hanging out with her the whole time (but I'm okay with that).  Living far away from my family makes me more aware of how thankful I am for them and thankful that we get to go home and spend the holiday with them.

My grandma is an amazing cook, I can't wait to eat, visit and just hang out.

 I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving holiday.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


I heard this song the other day by Rogue Wave and I thought I would share.  Hope you enjoy.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Plain Terracotta Pot Turned Antique and Unique

Remember this?

I decided I need a small, fun project to do in an afternoon.  I found this blog, Stories Of A House and this girl does amazing projects!  She also loves greens, blues and grays like me, which makes perusing her blog even more fun.

So I decided to try a technique I saw on her blog here.  She took a plain terracotta pot and antiqued it.  She used lightweight spackle, but I couldn't get it to adhere to the pot so I used vinyl spackle (she also said joint compound would work).  I used a putty knife and smoothed it on the pot.  I purposefully made it a little sloppy and very uneven so I could get an old worn finish look.

 Here it is after I have applied vinyl spackle, waited for it to dry and then took a paper towel and just smoothed off the rough edges.

I changed up the end look of my pot but you get the idea. The coloring in the photo didn't turn out very clear but I took a burnt gold color and painted it all over the pot, then instead of using a dark glaze I mixed the gold color in with white and dabbed that color over the top in spots and then took a paper towel and blended it.  By blending you can keep some spots lighter and then remove other spots so the dark shows through for a nice contrast.  Once I've let it dry over night I will spray it with a clear coat finish, a matte finish will add to the old look of the pot.  I haven't decided what to put in it yet but I think this turned out pretty good for an afternoon project.  Thanks Christa!

Look for another cool finish to do to an old pot, a verdigris finish.  I will post that one after Thanksgiving probably.

Friday, November 19, 2010

I Pretty Much Rock At Making Cake Flowers!

No seriously, I made some good lookin' flowers.  I'm think this cake should be called "Garden Delight" it's a chocolate cake with a cream cheese filling, yum.

Make flowers was fun and relatively easy however a few other things didn't work out so well:

  • my camera taking skills, I used my phone camera and it was night and the lighting doesn't really show the colors very well.  The yellow has a harsher glare to it and the pink doesn't look so bright and fresh, but oh well in real life it looked great. And it didn't help that the husband was so excited about having a piece of this awesome cake that he was kind of impatient :)
  • Something went wrong with my base frosting, obviously.  This happened to a few girls in class last week and the teacher didn't really have an explanation.  It looks like little air pockets burst.  If I had been making a space ship cake this would have been great, but we were working on flowers tonight and I didn't know how to connect them to a space ship theme.  I love how the poor lighting quality fails to catch the details in the flowers but nicely captures the air pockets, nice, thanks camera.

So we worked on a few flowers in class.  Primroses, ribbon roses ( I like this rose because it has a more contemporay feel to it, it's the yellow rose above) and regular roses (the purple one above).  We used a basic buttercream icing which is a little softer then a royal icing so it's hard to get the petals to do exactly what you want.  We are learning royal icing in 2 weeks.  Here are some examples of what the flowers are suppose to look like, I included them cause again the camera didn't pick up on the details, but I have more of an "artistic flare" so they don't look as proper as these examples.

 I wish you could see the yellow rose in the front of this picture, it was great! And for the record I had a really hard time cutting into this cake, I just wanted to keep my flowers!

 The yellow flowers with the purple star are primroses, we also worked on leaves.  

Here is a good shot of the pink roses.  It's pretty cool to take a mound of frosting and create petals and whallaaa, a flower.  You construct the flowers on what they call a flower wheel, you have a template and a piece of wax paper that you create the flower on and then you have to wait awhile so the flower will harden enough to lift it off the wax paper and place it on the cake, I got a little impatient with a few flowers so that look a little squished.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

How Big is Too Big??

I've been practicing make double layered cakes but this idea makes a 2 layered cake look like a baby. I think I'm going to try this the 14 layer cake found at the Bakerella, what do you think? Bakerella says to use aluminum pans so that you can cook a few layers at a time and you don't have to spend so much time cleaning the pans.  Here is the recipe and a few pictures to show you how it's done.
 It kind of reminds me of a huge pile of pancakes.
That is soooo much frosting, good thing I like frosting!
This might just be worth all the work!  

14 Layer Cake
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour , sifted
  •  1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter , at room temperature
  •  2 1/2 cups sugar
  •  6 large eggs , at room temperature
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder , preferably Dutch process
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter , cut up
  • 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Position racks in the center and bottom third of the oven and preheat to 375°. Lightly butter four 8 1/2- to 9-inch cake pans (you will bake the cakes in three batches) and line the bottoms with rounds of parchment paper. Flour the pans and tap out the excess.

To make the layers, sift together the sifted flour, baking powder and salt. Sift the mixture one more time, and set aside.

Beat the butter and sugar in the bowl of a heavy-duty electric mixer fitted with the paddle blade on high speed until light in color and texture, about 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Scrape down the bowl and be sure the mixture is well-blended. On low speed, add the flour in 3 additions, alternating with 2 additions of the milk, beginning and ending with the flour, and beat until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl often with a rubber spatula. Beat in the vanilla. Using a scant cup for each layer, spread the batter evenly in the pans. It will make a thin layer.

Staggering the pans on the racks so they are at least 2 inches from each other and the sides of the oven and not directly over each other, bake the layers until they feel firm when pressed in the centers and are beginning to pull away from the sides of the pans, about 12 minutes. Cool in the pans for 5 minutes. Invert the layers onto cake racks, remove the parchment paper, and cool completely. Wash and prepare the pans. Repeat the procedure until all 12 layers have been baked and cooled.

To make the icing, bring the sugar, cocoa, butter and evaporated milk to a full boil in a large saucepan. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the icing has thickened slightly (it will resemble chocolate syrup but will thicken as it cools), about 3 minutes. Stir in the vanilla. Let the icing cool until thick enough to spread, but still pourable.

Place a layer of cake on a wire rack set over a jelly-roll pan. Spread with a few tablespoons of the icing, letting the excess run down the sides. Stack the remaining cakes, icing each layer. Pour the remaining icing over the top of the cake. If you wish, smooth the icing on the edges to cover the sides. Place pecan halves around the top perimeter of the cake. Let stand until the glaze sets. (The cake is best served the day it is made. To store, cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 1 day.)

Dark Chocolate Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened to room temperature
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder ( I used Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa)
  • 1 box (1 lb) confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1-3 Tbsp milk
Cream the butter and cream cheese with a mixer.  Add the cocoa and vanilla.  Add the confectioner’s sugar in small batches and blend on low until combined. Scrape down sides with each addition.
Add 1 tablespoon of milk at a time until you get the consistency you desire.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Bargaining Prize

The other day K texted me saying he was going to buy a few video games, I thought cool he hadn't bought a video game since we started dating (he makes video games for a living so it goes with the territory).  When he got home he said the "few games" turned into 10! So I said for every 3 games you buy I get to but a pair of shoes  He thinks I have too many shoes and thinks buying more is crazy, kind of what I think of video games, so I figured we would be even.  The next day we were at TJ Maxx and I see these pots.  I saw them a few weeks ago but then they were gone the next time I was in the store.  So when I saw them back in the store I was excited and they were on clearance! But I do have a lot of decor so I've been trying to not buy much.  I told Kolbe we should probably get these just cause they are so cool and only $16 each.  He looks at me and says are they worth 2 video games? Heck yes! So I got them!  I'm down to only 8 games to bargain with which is only 2 shoes but Kolbe was pretty pleased that he worked me out of 1 pair of shoes, it was funny.  And don't tell him but I would have traded 4 games for my vases. Now I just have to find a spot for them.... hmmmm.  

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


I have finally taken a few pictures of our house (the one we currently live in).  I still have a few more rooms to take pictures of but I have to clean them out to "stage" a picture and I just haven't yet.  So this is it for now, but I think you will like what you see.

 This is in the "dining room".  We don't really use it for a dining room so it's just this random spot with some book shelves and a chair and the cat condo (more of those pictures to come).

 Here's a close up, and yes I plan no putting a picture in that black frame (probably a wedding picture haha).

This is to the right of the table display.  The front door is to the left of this picture and I'm standing in the family room to take the picture.  I love the picture above the dog kennels.  And I love the empty picture frame even though Kolbe thinks it's weird not to have a picture in a frame, I think it's very chic.  Kolbe helped me choose the twisted wood candle holders and the green candles a few weeks ago at Kohl's, it's his favorite part of this whole area.

 I love that picture over the dogs kennels.

 The main bathroom. I love the blues and greens.

I hope you are excited to see how I apply all of this decor to the new house!

Monday, November 15, 2010

A New House

This is the exterior taken by the realtor

So we made an offer on a house and the bank accepted it! I know, I know, I haven't even posted pictures from our current house; I just got it feeling comfy and homey and we are off to start a new project.  We are really excited though.  The house is on 1 1/2 acres and Kolbe is ecstatic about all its possibilities.  There is a lot of work to do but the floorplan is great and the previous owners started to do some good upgrades.  Ooh and it has a pool and a BBQ pit and grilling area and lots of palm trees.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Words To Aspire To

I saw this quote framed in a doctors office and thought it was inspiring.  I hope to be able to live my life so that others would say this fit me.

Friday, November 12, 2010

The First Cake is Here

I started out icing my cake, the lighting isn't great but it is a light green color.

And here is the finished decorated product.  My husband got a little excited about trying it and cut each of us a slice before I realized I hadn't taken a picture yet.  He claims he will remember for next time so I think I'm training him right! 

 In class tonight we learned how to make stars, hearts and rosettes (which I didn't try on my cake but I will next week).  We also learned piping edges with a shell design and a ball design- which is the pink on the bottom of the cake.  
On the top of the cake the yellow design was a sunburst style star and then I made a few green stars.  I put a few stars in yellow and green and some pink hearts around the rest of the cake.  I felt like this was a good start in my cake decorating process.  Bring on the Cake Boss, haha, no way!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Small but Still Cool

I'm using this terracotta pot for my next project. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Halloween Fun

So I know Halloween was last week so I'm late in posting this but we had too much fun dressing up the animals to not share with everyone.  Hope you have a good laugh, don't worry K and I didn't dress up- we saved all that FUN for the animals......
Copper the dragon
Deja the ladybug
Precious the ghost!
The best part is she wouldn't move at all for like ten minutes and then she tried to hobble around like she was injured.  It was too funny. (Don't worry we only left the cat in the costume for a few minutes, we started feeling a little bit bad after that)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Icing on the Cake

So my new hobby is.... taking a cake decorating class!
I've been waiting to do this for awhile now but I haven't so I decided now is the perfect time.  
My first class was last Thursday where we learned essentially how to put together a basic cake.  I had a list of supplies I would need which included some stuff I'm not so familiar with like Meringue Powder and high density shortening I bought food coloring gel and lots of boxes of cake mix.
So my assignment for the week is to cook 2- 8" cakes and stack them on top of each other, I can choose to put a filling in between the 2 layers or not.  I need to have it iced and ready to decorate for the next class.  We will be making a kids cake.  So I've been looking at cake ideas online and let me say they are either levels above my beginner abilities or they are just plain scary!
 We are just working with butter cream frosting so none of the fondant type stuff will work- just piping, which I have never done.
I need a theme but it has to be fairly simple, any ideas?? Really give me some ideas.

Dinosaurs? Obviously just designed on a round cake, I don't think I'm ready for shapes.  However my husband says he always wanted a dinosaur for his birthday cake, his birthday is in December... hmmm. He also read my blog so I have to make it a real surprise, but don't worry I have something cool planned.
Tropical ? The fish scales are made of fondant so I can't do it this time but I think but one day I will make this fish, I love the scales.

I'm excited to see how my first cake turns out.  And don't worry I will post it regardless of how awesome or how horrible it looks!
I'm pretty sure after this class I will be making cakes like this
and this.
I'll basically be the cake queen, haha, it's a joke. But I think I might be able to make something like this one
or this one
PS on a side note there are some cool people in my class so I'm learning a new hobby and making friends- bonus!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Keeping Busy and Making New Hobbies

So I've been married for 2 months! Wow, the time has gone fast.  Our house is looking good (I know I am working on getting pictures) and I'm getting use to living in San Diego and all the changes I have encountered.  One thing that has been rough lately is feeling like I have a purpose.  I stay busy with the house renovations and Kolbe and I have lot of fun hanging out.  We've been to a few concerts, Carrie Underwood (for me) and Taj Mahal (for him), we went to a Padres/Dodger's baseball game, my first pro baseball game, the beach and hiking and a few other things. But sometimes I feel like I just pass the day away waiting for K to come home.  I knew going into all of this there would be some rough times like getting a little homesick and trying to make new friends.
Some days I feel like I'm doing great and moving forward and making progress and other days I feel lonely and lazy.  I have been applying for jobs and it's frustrating when I don't even get any phone calls or interest in my resume.  Kolbe is great at helping me stay positive and my dogs are great to take hiking and for walks.  I've made a few friends but it isn't quite the same as my old friends.  I guess this is just normal when you relocate which I haven't had to do in 10 years or so and even then I was always within a few hours drive from my family.  But on a positive note it has been nice to have time to sit and read a book or sleeping in or taking my dogs to the dog park (which is cool because we didn't really have them in Utah).  I am loving being married and I learn more about Kolbe and myself all the time.  I love that he is the one person I love seeing anytime, that we can just hang out at night and make dinner (I love making dinner together), watch TV or I'll blog while he plays a video game (which is what is currently happening).  I love that we can have a lazy Saturday or bum around and run errands together and it's better because we do it together.  I love that when I'm grumpy or discouraged he knows just how to cheer me up and make me laugh (which will most often time include some form of tickling torture!)
This post is ending up into a novel, oops.  But through all of this I'm overall super happy and loving my life, it's still a little weird to think that a few months ago my life consisted of living in Utah, teaching interior design, being close to my family and having a house full of roommates and now my life is in San Diego, married and living with a guy (which is so much better then 3 girls!) being 800 miles from my family, no jobs and only a small handful of friends. Regardless of all the changes I wouldn't change it.  However finding a job is next on the list, but in the mean time I'm working on some hobbies and cultivating talents. One of these hobbies includes this blog! More info will come on that soon.  But for now I'm going to give you a hint on what my next hobby is going to be.... Thus the Kitchen Aid.

Remember when I blogged here about trying to be domestic so I bought a Kitchen Aid mixer?  Well I have found a purpose for the mixer, besides making chocolate chip cookies!  Stay tuned and see what I am up to..... any guess?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Neutral With a Punch

A neutral room can have lots of life by adding the right accents; take this room room for instance; it has a great neutral background with white trim, gray sofas and a light gray wallpaper. It is complemented by the bright accents of amethyst and chartreuse. Change is easy in this room, you can change some pillows and accessories and completely give the space a new look.  Change for seasons or mood are relatively easy and can refresh and give new life to a space and give your space a nice punch. 

Monday, November 1, 2010

Crazy Cool

This has absolutely nothing to do with interior design but I saw it on Dooce and that I would share with my blog.  There is some crazy col stuff people can do, it's amazing.