Wednesday, February 29, 2012

National Pancake Day.

we love pancakes around these parts.
typically blueberry, sometimes from a box, always delicious.
we love pancakes.
and as yesterday was National Pancake Day, naturally
we had pancakes.

i used this recipe and they were actually pretty good,
which is saying a lot because we are a picky bunch.
especially when it comes to pancakes.

 the night started with bacon in the oven... mmmmmmm.
400 degrees for 20-ish minutes. turns out perfect every. single. time.
then came pancakes on the stove. some with blueberries and some plain.
followed by the sad face when the girl learned this was our brinner (breakfast for dinner... i'm clever)
not hers.
but of course someone snuck some into her bowl.
so the night was good for all.

NPD is good for me!

Friday, February 24, 2012

loving kristen bell.

so my beautimus cousin Katy posted this video on her marvelous blog yesterday
and i laughed, cried, and fell in love with Ms. Kristen Bell.
i am an emotional roller coast on my best days...
sharing a home video... THAT home video on the Ellen Show?
come on! LOVES IT.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


let me just preface this post with a little boyfriend praise:
as i'm typing this... tucked into my warm bed (yes, i am lazy)...
my amazing, dedicated, motivated, and most importantly super zexxxy boyfriend
is hard at work painting all of the door frames :)
did i luck with him out or what??

so all of the construction is done!!! can i get an amen?!?!
no more drywall dust, or nail guns, or waaaaiting.
we're finally onto painting...which is a whole other monster in itself,
but I'd take painting over construction any day.
the hole for the chandelier has been drilled. we'll finally have light in this room!
whenever we've tried to eat in the dining room, we've had to turn on
the hall lights, both living room lights, and the entry light just to be able to see what we're eating.
having a light above the table just may be life changing.
the guys did wonderful work on that last night (with a little assistance from moi):
ps... Judd is going to school to be a contractor, which is pretty bad ass for us,
but also means you should call him and hire him and let him build things in your house.
he's kind of a home genius.
you can kind of see the new color on the walls in the above 2 pictures, but it's super evident below.
i have no idea what the original color was... butter yellow? cheesy grits?
...of course my made up names are food related...
the new color, which is Wheat Bread by BEHR (again... food), reads pretty grey 
next to the old color, but is different in person. of course.
it almost changes depending on what lighting you're in. 
sometimes it looks tan, like wheat bread (go figure),
but sometimes it does look pretty grey. i seriously love it. LOVE IT.
there was a happy girl chasing me and apparently boyfriend melted out of his pants.
we took out the wobbly banister that was there and added a half wall.
i was really apprehensive about this, but the privacy that it gives to us is totally worth it.
also- the nasty chandelier and the thingy above the door are on their way out.
i think i might move the thingy out to the garden or somewhere outside.
the curtains are also leaving us and the window trim will soon be white.
there are all of these little things that we inherited when we bought the house
and have just been using because they were there.
it's nice to now be really molding this place into a home that is our style and represents us.
it's so open! i seriously can't stop dancing from room to room where that nasty wall was.
ignore the pile of furniture. also, that wall is going to look COMPLETELY different in 3-4 months.
at least we have a construction break until then... happy face? 
we're currently painting the molding and are discussing possible crown molding as well.
i say... yes yes YESSSSSS, but we'll see :) 
here's a little reminder of what it used to look like:
wow. i can not believe how much the house has changed.
we still have so much to do and i'll try to keep updating the internets on our progress.
in the spirit of being truthful: it hasn't been easy. there has been yelling and crying 
and cursing, but with everyday comes growth. progress. 
we've never owned a home. we've never gone through the upheaval that renovating causes.
this has been one of the bigger trials we've had in our 4 years
and we're learning much more than just how to drywall, strip molding, properly paint, etc.
we're learning about each other as individuals and about us as a couple
and i would never take back a second of this experience.
i love you, boyfriend!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

best. cake. ever.

mmmmm... this cake is so good i can't stop thinking about.
in fact, i'm having it for breakfast right now.
wait. what? i didn't say that. 
moving on...
I wanted to make something yummy for our valentine's day dessert
and since i have 7 bags of shredded coconut (no exaggeration)
i decided on a coconut cake. mmmmmm... cake.

the cast of characters:

for the cake:
5 egg whites
1/2 c. milk
1-2 tbls coconut flavoring or extract 
(didn't have any coconut extract so i used 1 tbls vanilla and 1 tbls almond extract)
3 c. cake flour
2 1/3 c. sugar
4 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 c. unsalted butter at room temp
1 c. unsweetened coconut milk

for the frosting:
12 ounces cream cheese, slightly chilled
1/2 cup plus 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
3 egg whites

1 1/2c. sweetened flaked coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 8-inch cake pans and line with parchment paper (The original recipe is for a triple layer cake, but I only have two 8-inch pans and so I adjusted the cooking time for two thicker layers instead of three thinner layers.)
Put the egg whites in a bowl and whisk slightly. Add the 1/2 cup milk and coconut flavoring and mix thoroughly. Set aside.

In the mixing bowl of an electric mixer, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the butter and coconut milk and combine on low speed. Increase speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
Add the egg white mixture in 3 additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl and mixing just long enough to incorporate between additions. Divide the batter among the prepared pans and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool in their pans for 10 minutes, then turn them out onto cooling racks to cool completely.

To make the frosting, put the cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium speed until fluffy and smooth. Add the butter 1-2 tablespoons at a time, mixing until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and mix until creamy. Set aside.
Combine the granulated sugar and water in a small heavy saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Continue to cook, without stirring, until the syrup reaches the soft-ball stage, 238 degrees F on a candy thermometer.
(i didn't get any pics of this process and i'm pretty sure i screwed it up, but it still came out delicious)
Meanwhile, have the egg white in the bowl of an electric mixer, ready for when the syrup is at the proper temperature. Slowly add the hot syrup to the egg whites, while mixing on medium-low. Take care not to cause the hot syrup to splash. When all of the syrup is incorporated, raise the speed to medium-high and beat until the mixture has cooled to body-temperature and it forms stiff peaks.
With the mixer on medium-low, add the cream cheese and butter mixture one spoonful at a time. When all is incorporated, raise the speed to medium and whip until the frosting is smooth and fluffy.
Frost the cooled cakes and cover with shredded coconut.

obviously, your finished product will not have giant pieces missing.
i totally forgot to snap a pic on v-day, so this is the day after
and we obviously enjoyed it immensely :)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

happy valentines day!

dear lover,

i have loved every single amazing, hard, fun, tough, frustratingly beautiful moment
that we have spent together these last 4 years.

happy valentines day, my love.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Life in Pics.

happy girl.
thoughts of summer.
lazy sunday mornings.
cole giving the half time show the stink eye.
Lion King with my momma.
orpheum chandelier.
good times.

i need to blog more. i need to blog more. i need to blog more.
wasn't that one of my resolutions?? cheese and rice. i've gots to get on that!
at least the week started out right ;)