House Closing Tomorrow

Tomorrow morning at 8 AM we will be closing on our 1st home! Then, we’ll go back to work for the rest of the day dreaming of when we get to walk in it for the first time as homeowners, haha.¬†My mother-in-law pointed out that our offer was accepted on the house on my dad’s birthday and we’re closing on the house on Michael’s step-dad’s birthday. Pretty cool! (Or as Larry David would say…”Preeettty GOOOD…preetty…pretty goood.”)

We couldn’t help but go to Home Depot tonight to pick up a couple things…the wallpaper stripping begins Saturday. ūüôā

I’ll be sure to add photos of the progress to come; I believe the kitchen will be our first major room to tackle. We have big plans for this room: new paint, hardware, countertops, backsplash tile, and updating the appliances with stainless steel contact paper (that will be fun!).

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It’s April already?!!

I realized today that my last post here was in November, which is unbelievable. Time has flown by so fast and I’ve done so many things (I’ve said this before: see example HERE).

In order to update you, I’ll break it down to the top 10 things that happened while I was away:

1. Spent time with family over the holidays which was well needed.

2. I got a Kindle for Christmas and made a cover for it that I am so proud of.

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3. I went to San Francisco and the weather was beyond beautiful. Funny enough, I watched the Alcatraz premier while sitting in my San Fran hotel room painting my nails.

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4. I also visited Los Angeles and walked on Mulholland Drive.

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5. I also enjoyed the most amazing macaroons in LA at Botega Louie. (I then tried to make macaroons when I got home and that didn’t work out very will. Someday when my pride is back I’ll try again.)

6. Michael and I finally found a toy for Lucy that she loves: a catnip ball.

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7. I rocked what I call “Lady Gaga” nails.

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8. I finally finished my quilt! I love it so much, it’s my favorite.

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9. I almost killed an ivy plant with my lack of plant knowledge, but it’s starting to make a comeback.

10. Oh yeah, and we bought a HOUSE!

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We should close on the house in the next week or so and I seriously can’t wait to get in there and start decorating. First thing to go is the canopy over the front door.

Keep an eye out for house updates and hopefully I can set a consistent blogging schedule for myself to track our progress.

Thanksgiving = Perfect Apple Pie

Happy almost Thanksgiving! I’m so excited to go home and spend time with our families this week (not to mention enjoy a day off Thursday). I am bringing my famous apple pie to the festivities and I thought I would share it with you in case you need to whip up a last minute dessert.

I made this pie the first year Michael and I were married when I was on a kick of trying new recipes. It’s from my 1976 Better Homes & Gardens New Cook Book that my grandmother gave me. It really is called “Perfect Apple Pie” and you can never go wrong with this recipe. It’s simple and tastes like your grandma made it.


Photo Credit: Novel Eats

Perfect Apple Pie

INGREDIENTS
– 6-8 tart Granny Smith apples, pared, cored, and thinly sliced (6 cups)
– 3/4 cup sugar
– 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
– 3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
– dash of ground nutmeg
– Pastry for 2-crust 9″ pie (store brand works just fine)
– 2 Tbsp. butter

DIRECTIONS
1. Combine sugar, flour, spices, and dash of salt; mix with apples.
2. Line 9-inch pie plate with pastry, fill with apple mixture, and dot with butter.
3. Adjust top crust, cutting slits for escape of steam; seal along edges.
4. Sprinkle with sugar.
5. Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes or until done.

Note: Don’t use the canned apples! I swear it’s not as good. If you feel up to it, cut your top pie pastry into strips and create a weave pattern (it looks amazing and ensures you look like you slaved over your pie).

Happy baking, turkey eating, and football watching!

What is it about cows?

I LOVE cows. I don’t know what it is about cows, but they are so adorable! It is my dream to have a thickly painted cow portrait on canvas hanging in my living room. Luckily, Michael’s okay with that.

Just look at their faces, don’t they just melt your heart?

Watercolor paintings by Lee O’Connor

I also LOVE LOVE LOVE owls. And, I’m kind of embarrassed to admit that because owls are so trendy right now with the emos. My love for them actually comes from my dad’s mother. I have taken over a few pieces from her collection of owls that she gathered over the years.

Here are a few owls I would like to add to my collection:

Modern Owl Trio from Studio By The Forest

Adorable tear drop owl necklace by Brittany Chavers

Check out this mini felted owl by Alisha Harms So cute I could die!

And…after that cuteness I came across this and was mortified.

But, this photo of unbearable cuteness makes me happy again:

Sewing Machine Bliss

Well, after LOTS of online research, I bought a new sewing machine! I went to Edwards Sewing Center on N. Clinton here in Fort Wayne; it was actually the first time I’d been in the store and I loved the atmosphere. There were several ladies sewing their quilts and talking about their projects (plus they had snacks, which is all I need to be convinced to come back).

I feel proud to have supported a local business and now I can bring my machine in for free classes or to just sit around and craft with everyone else. If you love crafting and haven’t been to Edwards, make sure you stop in!

Here is my machine (I wasn’t crazy about the pink at first, but it’s growing on me):

Inspired by my new buy, here are a few DIY sewing projects:

1. Makeup Bag from Momtastic. (I’ve made this one before.)
2. Tissue cases from VeryPurplePerson using scrap pieces of fabric.
3. Very chic pleated pillowcase from Presserfoot.
4. Laptop sleeve from Design Sponge.

B-Day Recouping & Inspiration

I am 25 years and 1 day today. My birthday yesterday was all that I could have hoped for! One of my co-workers treated me to a little DeBrand Pumpkin Gelato (amazing, even if I am biased), one of my employees surprised with me a bouquet of roses, and my wonderful husband bought me the Vera Bradley purse I’ve been coveting forever.

My purse is the Baroque pattern, my favorite! And if you love Vera Bradley like I do, you’ll be excited to know that you can sign up with them and receive a $20 coupon on your birthday. Sign up here.

Receiving surprises from loved ones reminds me how important it is to surprise those around us, even if it isn’t their birthday. I feel inspired to think of cute gifts or notes for my co-workers, friends, and family. Just the littlest thing can turn someone’s day around.

In the spirit of lifting people’s moods, here is a Thinking of You card I created recently. Download it here and share it with someone you love!

Now check out these awesome paper sculptures by Anna-Wili Highfield a Sydney based artist currently making nature-inspired sculptures from torn paper and copper pipe.

Chicken Pot Pie Mondays

Happy Monday! Hopefully your day went as fast as mine did and you felt like you were sleeping in this morning due to “falling back”. This, of course, is the time of year I get excited about Daylight Savings time. I hate losing an hour in the spring.

Tomorrow should be a beautiful day and the perfect weather for a run outside. I have to take advantage of every nice day we have left before the cold weather forces me back on a treadmill. In spirit of working out and staying healthy, I wanted to share a healthy recipe for you that we made yesterday and enjoyed leftovers of today. Happy cooking!

Chicken Pot Pie

INGREDIENTS
– 1/2 cup low-sodium cream of chicken soup
– 1/2 cup boneless chicken breast, diced
– 1/4 cup skim milk
– 1 cup frozen veggies
– 1/2 cup Bisquick
– 1/4 cup skim milk
– 1 egg white

DIRECTIONS
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. Mix soup and 1/4 cup milk in 1 quart casserole dish. Stir in veggies and chicken.
3. In a small bowl, stir remaining ingredients with a fork until blended. Pour over chicken mixture.
4. Bake uncovered about 20 minutes.

Note: If you prefer more Bisquick breading, mix 1 cup Bisquick with 1/2 cup milk and 2 egg whites. You will need to bake slightly longer, until the breading is cooked throughout.