Thursday, December 29, 2011

Front Door

It's been forever since we've updated on our house progress and it's probably because I'm ready to put my head in a hole with it right now.  We've been catching up on so much painting..... two coats on all the trim that has gone back up and then painting the walls in the master bedroom, den, hallway, etc.

It doesn't sound like much, but it is, just take my word for it.

And, while painting and getting up and down constantly on a scaffold... I'm pregnant.  Thank goodness our house is situated on our property where we can open just a few of our windows and the breeze will literally flow from one end of the house to the other and get the fumes out.... and yes, I've been wearing a heavy duty mask while painting.  Hank cannot be trusted painting, so it has continued to be my task.

Again, just take my word for it. 

One of the thorns in my side right now has been our front door.... well, actually the whole entry way.

We stripped the front door and left it bare to dry out for a bit.  Then we decided to start on the limestone.

Like everything else around here, the limestone around the front door had previously chipped and been painted over and we decided if we're going redo it, then let's REDO IT!  So, we started with stripping the limestone.  If you put Peel Away on anything, within 24 hours the paint is literally sliding off the surface.  So here is our entryway ready for stripping.  Sorry for the ugliness, neighbors!!

 I scraped.

And scraped.

 And scraped.

I couldn't believe what a mess it was.  Some parts were caked on for so long and hard that Hank had to get a grinder and get through the last layer of paint.

 * Side Note:  You see that work face?  That is a Watson work face.  When Grady starts doing that... then I'll worry. 

After a lot of scraping and washing, here is the front area totally stripped of paint.

It was a lot of work, but totally worth it.  The stone is so smooth and the door had a lot of bad paint on it and in addition to that, a lot of wood rot on the bottom.  We bought a wood rot kit and did all of the proper repairs on it and primed over it.

We have primed and painted the limestone, but I really didn't want to show photos just yet.  The front door has been one big nightmare for me and we hope to get it finalized this weekend.  After we get it finished, I'll take "after" photos and post them.

Hope all of our hard work has been worth it!  I guess we'll see.  :)

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Did We Share The Good News?

I cannot believe that it has taken me this long to actually post our good news... I mean.... I'm only about 27 weeks late in doing so.  But, if you were to see me... there is no hiding it... this little baby is definitely there!!

We don't know yet if it's a boy or girl.... and most likely we're not going to find out.  It was so much fun waiting to find out when I was pregnant with Grady and so far we're heading down the same road.  The only advantage at this point would be so we could paint the nursery, but honestly... that hasn't been important enough yet to find out the sex of the baby. 

I think Grady understands to a point what is going on, but I'm sure he will be in a state of SHOCK when the baby gets here.  So far he will pat my stomach and every now and then try to lift my shirt to say "hi" to the baby.... and a few weeks ago he patted my stomach and said, "baby, be safe".  Ha!  When I ask him if he wants a baby sister or baby brother he says, "baby sister"..... sure kiddo.... we'll see. 

This is me a couple of weeks ago... and the happy big brother... who is just always happy to have his picture taken!! 
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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Peanut Butter Chocolate Balls... A.K.A. Buckeyes!

Raise your hand if you love anything with chocolate and peanut butter!

Really, who doesn't love something that is another version of a Reese Cup?  These peanut butter chocolate balls are awesome.  There are quite a few different versions out there, but this is the one I tried and it was a big hit.  Most people call these buckeyes, but since I've never been to Ohio and am not a Buckeye fan... I'll just call them chocolate peanut butter balls.

These were very fast to make and pop into the fridge to set.

First, using your paddle attachment, combine the peanut butter and softened cream cheese.

Add the graham cracker crumbs and mix for just a few seconds until combined well.

Next, add the powdered sugar and melted butter.... mix slowly until it starts to combine, then speed up the mixer and get it mixed thoroughly.

When finished, the mixture will be a little stiff and dry looking.

In the palm of your hand, take a tablespoon size of the mixture and roll it softly into a ball.  It should stick together and form well.

Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

In a double boiler, melt the chocolate until it is completely smooth and ready for dipping.  You'll want it nice and warm so you can really get the peanut butter balls coated easily.

With a toothpick, poke the side of the peanut butter ball and dip or roll around the ball in the chocolate.  You'll see here my toothpick accidentally went all the way through, but it will not matter when that chocolate runs down and sets over the hole.....

After all the balls have been dipped, place the cookie sheet in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or until the chocolate has hardened.   

You can store these in the refrigerator for up to one week, but I doubt you will really need to test that theory.  Plus, with just one taste... you will be reaching for more quickly.  :)


1/4 cup cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups peanut butter
1 cup graham cracker crumbs 
3 cups powdered sugar
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
12 ounces semi sweet chocolate chips

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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sour Cream Chocolate Chip Muffins

I saw this recipe awhile ago online.... on Pinterest I think.  I bookmarked it and have been really wanting to make them, but every time I think about it, I never do it!  The other day I had a sweet tooth (what pregnant girl doesn't?!?) and the only ingredient I was needing to bake these, was unsalted butter.  Lucky me, I was headed out to the grocery store.  How convenient. 

These were truly so fast to mix up and bake.  And they are truly delicious.  As soon as they came out of the oven, I broke one open, popped it in my mouth... while doing the breath in and out cool off thing... and then stood at the refrigerator with the doors open drinking straight out of the whole milk jug.  Not only was it glorious, but it was pretty much at that very moment that I was glad my husband wasn't home because he would be telling me to NOT complain about gaining weight.... and if I WAS gaining weight, why was I pigging out?  The baby needs it... I would have said....

Here is the recipe.  Give them a try.  You will not regret it.  Well, unless you eat the whole batch and then step on the scale.  But just don't do that.  :)

1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 cup sour cream
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
3.  In another bowl, combine the egg, sour cream, melted butter, and vanilla extract, mixing well.
4.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
5. Gently add in the chocolate chips until thoroughly combined.
6. Evenly divide the batter among the prepared cupcake liners so that the liners are about 3/4-full.
7.  Bake until a tester inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean, about 16-18 minutes.
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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Stationery card

Seasonal Chic Christmas Card
Find unique and modern Christmas cards at Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.
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Monday, December 5, 2011

Ho, Ho, Ho

So.... last week I'm on my laptop looking at photos and doing a few things online and my computer starts having glitches and acting funny and my internet closes out.  I open it back up.  The internet is running fine, then BOOM.... everything gets crazy on my screen and my computer crashes.  Me... being me... I immediately start panicking and sweating and texting my husband at work... saying everything is wiped off my computer, that all of our photos of the past year are gone, all of my documents are gone and what on earth am I going to do?!?!  He of course says it probably can be recovered and we'll have it repaired.... to which I respond.... that if it cannot, it's no different than having a house fire, that all of the memories from the past year are gone and what on earth am I going to do?!?!?!

Two days later, my computer is repaired and I have all of my photos and files back. I hate it when he's right (well, except this time).  And he hates how I freak out.   I yam who I yam.....

So, the real reason for this post was to show Grady cutting down his own Christmas tree.  Wait, let me clarify.  He chose his own tree.... Daddy cut it down.  Trust me, Grady didn't miss any of it though.

Seriously, just give this kid a task... he's all over it.  He looks like this when he takes out the garbage for me...
And he is so proud.  He is such a happy boy... so full of life and personality!!  He really finds joy in everything he does.  We are so blessed!!

I need to get a photo of his tree decorated.  It's the cutest thing!  

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