Sunday, June 28, 2009

Happy Hooks

I snapped a couple photos of some of my favorite details in our home before we moved. I thought I could share some of these ideas with you while we are shuffling around to our temporary housing locations and all of my crafting supplies are tucked away in boxes, which sadly means I won't be doing much creating until we get unpacked and settled!

These 3 hooks hung in our master bathroom. They were actually intended to be outdoor garden hooks. My hubby and I had stopped in JoAnn's to look for a few items we needed for our home. We had bathroom hooks on our list, but we were originally envisioning metal hooks, possibly with numbers above them.

He spied these in the seasonal garden section and thought they might work well with our paisley shower curtain. He came and found me to ask my opinion and I instantly loved them. I liked their unique character and thought they would add a little extra visual interest in our bathroom. We chose 3 different styles and I was so glad that he had been "thinking outside the box" as he was looking around! They were the perfect size to fit on the empty wall in a little nook beside the armoire. These hooks ended up being one of my favorite details in our bathroom.

They will definitely be hung in our new bathroom as well. I love when little discoveries turn out even better than your original design plan!

(Side Note: Yes, my husband's that awesome and is sometimes willing to accompany me into craft stores when we are out running errands. I think the main item on our list for this particular trip was curtain rods. No, he doesn't always come along and I do my best to spare him the loooong trips when I know I'm going to be wandering the aisles for extended periods of time looking for creative ideas and project supplies.)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Hutch Re-do

In our first house, our kitchen was a small galley style and had very little storage. There was space on the wall just outside the kitchen for a hutch that could store extra dishes & kitchen items. I started scouring Craigslist for a solid piece of furniture and found this piece:

It was in serious need of some TLC, but the lines were good and it was constructed well. My first step was to sand the whole piece down. I did it by hand because there were so many nooks and crannies with the decorative molding.

I didn't like the little spindles on the second shelf and felt they dated the piece, so I pulled them off and filled in the holes with wood filler. Be sure to use wood filler that can be painted and apply two or three times to fill larger holes. When the holes are filled and the filler is good and dry, sand the area until the filled wholes are flat and level with the wood. I then gave the whole piece two coats of black paint and added new hardware.

It looked like a whole new piece of furniture and was the perfect size to sit just outside my kitchen in the transitional area between our kitchen and living room. I was really happy with the finished product!

P.S. I have a house update. On our first day of house hunting, we found a great house! We had looked at 50 houses during our last visit, so we knew immediately what a steal this was. It was by far the best house we've seen. God was definitely at work and the fact that we even got to see this house had details of His hand all over the story. Our offer was accepted yesterday and our inspection is scheduled for tomorrow. It is a beautiful house and I can't wait to paint and move in...and of course, share pictures! I think it will be a wonderful home for us and a perfect space to entertain students, family & friends. We are very excited!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Big Changes!

On Friday, this truck pulled up in front of our house.

And a crew of movers packed and loaded tons of these.

Until our very first home together looked like this.

Where are we going, you ask?


I did say big changes. On Friday evening after the moving truck pulled away, we loaded both our cars and began our 3 day journey to Colorado. Tonight, we pulled into Denver. Tomorrow, we look for a new home!

If you've been visiting my blog for long, you know that my husband Truman and I work with Campus Crusade for Christ. We minister to college students and have been serving in the greater Austin area for the last two years. This summer, we are transitioning to serve with the Denver Metro Team, pioneering Ethnic Student Ministry on college campuses in the Denver area. We are so excited for this opportunity, an answer to our prayers, and the prayers of our new team. We are continually blessed by God's provision in our lives and were encouraged to see Him orchestrate all of the details for this move!

We were sad to leave our Austin home. It was a perfect first home for us to share this past year and a half and we loved it. We wished that we could bring it with us. So many memories were made in this house and I'm thankful that those will come with us.

I was a Texas transplant after we got married, and it's not a secret that my husband's home state never really grew on me. As we leave Texas behind and transition to Denver, I thought I would share my list of things that I will and won't miss about The Lone Star state:

Things I Will Miss:
Our house
Chuy' favorite Austin restaurant...especially the queso and steak burrito!
Visits to Fredericksburg
Hey Cupcake
Friends and family

Things that I Will Not Miss:
Mosquitoes that eat you alive any time of day
Feeder Roads
Summer (and spring and fall) heat! and humidity!
Road Humps

Goodbye Texas. Hello Denver!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Food For Friday: Chocolate Chip Cake

My friend Jennifer introduced me to this delicious Chocolate Chip Cake. She served it to us when she and her husband had us over for dessert and I thought it was so good that I asked for the recipe. I thought for sure that it was a completely homemade recipe. When I found out that it uses a doctored up boxed cake, I fell even more in love. It is so rich and moist, but so easy! Since it is baked in a bundt pan, it is also pretty and perfect for a dessert display or company. It's a go-to dessert for me now because it can be whipped up quickly and I always have all the ingredients on hand.


4 eggs
1 cup of sour cream (I use Daisy Light)
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup water
1 pkg. instant vanilla pudding (small box)
1 box yellow cake mix (I swear by Duncan Hines!)
1 bag chocolate chips (12 oz.)

Bakers Joy baking spray (This works great for bundt pans that are hard to grease & flour well!)
Powdered sugar to sprinkle on top

Preheat oven to temperature on cake box. (Usually 350 degrees.)

In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs, sour cream, oil & water with a mixer, beating until well blended. Add in the cake mix & vanilla pudding and beat well. Mix in the chocolate chips with a spoon or spatula.

Spray a bundt pan with Baker's Joy and pour batter into the pan.

Cook according to the directions on the back of the box, for a bundt pan. (Usually 40-45 minutes.) It is done when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Cool. Sprinkle powdered sugar on top as a garnish. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Graduation Weekend

This past weekend, we were in Ohio with my family, celebrating my "baby" brother's high school graduation!

Earlier in the week, my mom and I worked on a few projects for Evan's graduation party. As we looked through photos for a memory board, I was reminded of the cute little guy that loved to read books with his "sissy," adored Sesame Street and chose to wear his favorite Sesame Street t-shirt whenever it was clean, spent hours playing in the pool with his big brother, asked a million and one questions (smart questions!) to figure out how things worked, and cried when his big sister went on a mission trip and wasn't at the dinner table for a week. He's not so little anymore.

He is taller than his big sister now, and we looked on as he walked across the stage and accepted his diploma, reaching another milestone in his journey into adulthood.

We are praying for him as he begins a new chapter this fall, heading to Belmont University as part of the Class of 2013.

Congratulations, Evan! We are proud of you and are happy that we could be there to share in the celebration with you!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Food For Friday: Grad Cap Candy Pops

Last month, I came across this cute idea on Bakerella's blog. I thought it was so clever that I wished I had a reason to make them. And then it dawned on me. I did! My youngest brother was graduating from high school this year and we would be in town for his graduation and party.

I e-mailed the link to my mom and we decided that we would definitely make Grad Cap Candy Pops for his graduation party! We are so happy with how they turned out and they are such a festive addition for a graduation celebration.

We followed the tutorial given by Bakerella with just a couple of modifications. She used Godiva squares for the top of the caps and we wanted a more economical option, so we substituted Hershey's Dark Chocolate Squares. We also used mini baking M&M's instead of rainbow chips for the middle. We didn't want to mix milk & dark chocolate pieces, so that we would have a more cohesive look for the caps, so we also substituted dark chocolate Reese Cups for the regular milk chocolate variety.

If you want to give them a try, don't forget the step of freezing the Reese Cups before removing the papers! It keeps the chocolate from sticking to the wrapper and leaving an exposed peanut butter area on your caps. We also found it helpful to poke the Reese Cup with a toothpick before inserting the stick. I think the dark chocolate is a little firmer than the milk chocolate, which made it a tad harder to insert the stick without the Reese Cup cracking. But, we thought this step was well worth having dark chocolate bottoms and tops that matched! One last hint...leave plenty of time between each step to allow the chocolate to dry thoroughly. Plan to leave them for at least an hour or two to dry between steps.

We are excited to serve our Grad Cap Candy Pops at my brother's graduation party on Sunday! We've had a fun weekend crafting and getting ready for the celebration. I'll post pictures from all the festivities soon!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Congratulations Stacey & Paul!

This past weekend, Truman and I were in Michigan to celebrate the marriage of a dear friend of mine from college. Stacey and Paul's wedding was held at the grand Grosse Pointe Yacht Club, right on the lake. I thought I would share a few of my favorite photos from the day! There were so many sweet & thoughtful details and it was a gorgeous wedding.

Congratulations Stacey & Paul! We loved sharing in this joyous weekend with you!