Thursday, June 24, 2010

Make this now...

The Pioneer Woman's Best Coffee Cake Ever can be summed up into three words...

To. Die. For.

Seriously delish!

And, if I can make it, anyone can make it.

Her recipe is here. It was easy to make and would be perfect for guests coming into town or to take somewhere. I made it for our coast weekend trip and had a piece (or two) each morning with coffee. Yum! I was really intimidated by the need to beat the egg whites into peaks or until they were stiff, but it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought. I simply put them in a bowl and held on tight as my mixer did the work.

Pure goodness.

You will not regret whipping this up. It does make a big coffee cake that could be shared with many or eaten alone in your kitchen ducking behind the kitchen island as you lick the last crumbs off of the dish.

I'm just sayin'.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Sun and sand...

We are off to the coast this weekend. I'm looking forward to a little tiny bit of sun, the salty breeze, some flounder gigging fun with the girls, and a cool cocktail as the sun goes down.

So, I leave you with this fabulous Coastal Living image.

Wouldn't you love to be lounging right there?! Yeah, me too.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Rocky would be proud...

This may be the upset of the year!

Against all odds, the lean, mean, cleanin' machine, has done it. It has succeeded in knocking out the stains in Josh's jeans!

So many doubted (including me), so many were scared of physical damage to the LG (mainly me), and so many truly couldn't believe I was blogging about this (especially Josh). Ha!

Your winner...The LG Washer!!!

Thank you, LG. Thank you.

A shocking knockout! I can't believe it either, but 90% of the mud, dirt, and grime stains are gone! This LG has proven it's fighting ability. I really thought this pair was a gonner.

Impressive, I must say. I'm off to hug my LG.

Don't tell Josh's jeans.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Let's get ready to rumble!!!

It's time to box it out, as in with gloves. BIG gloves. The fight is about to begin...and it's taking place in my laundry room. Humor me, please.

I promise all of my posts will not be about laundry. But, you are going to want to see this (because I certainly do!).

Ladies and Gentlemen...

In this corner, weighing in at 3 lbs., every washer's nightmare, the almost unbelievable, mud covered, drenched in sweat and grime, looking like you work at a pig farm as a pig, and with the ability to actually stand on their own...JOSH'S JEANS!!

And in this corner, weighing in at 100 lbs., the lean, mean, cleanin' machine, kicking stains and taking names...THE LG WASHER!!!

The referee, wanting to match each opponent fairly, will allow the soil setting on the LG to be set to HEAVY. After all, it's got no shot at winning without this advantage.

Let's get ready to RRRRRRUMBLE!!! Ding, ding, ding!

Fighters, please take your positions. Let's have a clean battle. Good luck!

Ladies and Gentlemen...stayed tuned. This could go 15 rounds!

Oh and for those of you wondering, these jeans look like this because my hard working man was clearing trees and moving dirt to help landscape the back of our property. He's a good guy, definitely not afraid to get a little dirty.

But to be honest, I had ALREADY sprayed these jeans down with a garden hose just so that they could enter the house. They were twice as bad, but I couldn't put them in the LG. It hurt too much.

I often think of what it would be like if we had children...and then I realize that I already do a 7 year old boy's laundry every week. Jeans are covered in mud, pockets are filled with fishing lures, bullets, business cards, and the occasional dead fishing bait that he didn't use on a recent coast trip (no lie). Sticking your hand in one of his pockets to empty things out before it goes in my precious LG can often be frightening, but most of the time it is just hysterical and essential. I'm doubting my precious LG's ability to knock out the stain on these jeans. There are some battles you just can't win. We'll see...

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Drumroll please...

The laundry room is finished and it is FABULOUS! I am incredibly happy with the way it all turned out. It's a beautiful room and very functional. I LOVE walking into it each day.

I actually enjoy doing laundry now...don't tell Josh.

To remind you where we started
(remember, don't judge...obviously none of these photos were staged or 'prettied' up)...


Everything was exposed.
I didn't enjoy seeing all of my cleaning supplies, who does?

The lime green walls were fun but weren't for me.
A change was needed.

We didn't have enough storage for dirty clothes.
They were left out in the middle of the room for everyone to see.

The previous owner, an interior designer, used these open shelves
to store all of her swatch and sample books.

They worked for her but didn't work for me.
I didn't want to see my crap...I mean crafts.

After many weeks of painting, prepping, sanding, building, more painting, and lots of sweat, the big reveal is ready...



The "Silvermist" paint is perfect for the room. It's calming and peaceful.
It has a hint of gray making it a more mature blue...rather than a baby blue.

We chose a Sherwin Williams white that wasn't too bright.
I wanted it to lean more towards ivory than white.
The black granite counter tops are in Absolute Black.

New cabinets were installed over the new LG washer and dryer (which are amazing, by the way). The cabinets have more than enough storage for all of my laundry and cleaning supplies, and all of the little extras.

The center island, which is on casters, sits in front of the washer and dryer and is able to be moved in all directions around the room.

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, the center island.

It really is the best feature in the room and one that Rick, our wonderful cabinet guy, and I created together in order to get the most storage available.

There are 2 laundry hampers on EACH side. Ohhhhh, ahhhhhh!

4 Hampers...Totally hidden...In a usable, rolling island...Fabulous!

They are already full, of course (sigh).

I hang a lot of clothes up to dry because I don't want them shrinking,
and I want to try to minimize as much ironing as possible.
These big hanging spaces on the top and bottom allow me to hang my shirts to air dry.
I can leave them open to let air circulate or close them up when people are around.

No more hanging bras on all the door handles in the house to dry out. I know, classy.

The wrapping station...

It really is fun.
Each of the drawers pulls out and stores rolls and rolls
of wrapping paper, tissue, gift bags, and ribbons.

Expect fabulous packages this year for Christmas.
I doubt there will be anything unbelievable inside of them because of the cost of all of this,
but they will look darn pretty.

These pullout drawers hold 2 containers of trash and 2 dog food bins.
No more ugly industrial containers with locks on them to keep the 'goose' out.

Dog need to ooh and ahh here.

Katie (aka "goose") has figured out exactly where her food is.
Thank the Lord she doesn't have thumbs or
she would figure out how to use the pullout handles.

She'll often stand there with her nose smashed up against the door.
Intelligent looking...I think not.

Last but not least is my desk area with file drawers on the
left side and supply drawers on the right.
If you look closely, there is one piece of hardware missing
from the drawer on the right side.
It's coming.

I couldn't delay a reveal due to a small handle.

Accessories, art, a decision about the painted concrete floor and a new desk chair will soon come once we find exactly what we are looking for. In the meantime, we are eating peanut butter and jelly while we save up our pennies again for the next project. We have been so blessed in our home. This one went extremely well looking back on it now. I could have done without the dust and ALL of the painting, but couldn't have done it without my amazingly handy and patient husband who did so much of the work and encouraged me to keep my eye on the prize when I just wanted to burn the paintbrushes.

I now LOVE the space that I sometimes dread using.

It does make washing, folding, and filing a lot more fun. Shhhh...

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Fredericksburg Chupacabra?

I hope you and yours had a fantastic Memorial Day weekend! Thank you to all who have served or are serving this great country. Our freedom exists today because of you and your sacrifice. For that I am grateful and humbled by your generosity, bravery, and commitment.

Josh and I had a busy and fun weekend. We had a blast seeing family, friends, and getting quite a bit done.

Saturday we traveled to the Fredericksburg ranch to check on the Belties, visit our precious niece, Lilly, and bro and sis-in-law, and spend a little down time in the river cooling off. It was a fun, relaxing, and very chill day. Much needed and appreciated!

On the way home from the ranch, just as we pulled off of the gravel road and onto the pavement I glanced out my window and saw the strangest creature walking in an empty field along the road. I did a double take trying to catch a better glimpse of what it was I had spotted but our truck whirled past the field in a split second. The creature looked like an enormous rabbit but with really long had more of a rounded nose...but with pointy ears and this rabbit/deer animal didn't hop, he was just walking...was I seeing things?

I had a couple of Coronas but that was hours ago...what in the world? Josh definitely thought the sun had gotten to me and that our river time had obviously taken it's toll on my mind.

I convinced him to turn the truck around to investigate. After a quick U-turn, we pulled up next to the empty field that I had spotted the 1/2 rabbit, 1/2 deer, non-hopping, almost hairless, and definitely tailless animal. And there he stood, chillin in field, just munching on grass. What was he? He wasn't spooky or skiddish as we got out to take photos of him. This was the oddest animal in Fredericksburg, Texas of all places. Josh, my mom, and I all took guesses at what he could be...a mutated rabbit, some exotic rodent, a much prettier version of the fabled South Texas Chupacabra? Surely not. His lack of concern about our presence allowed us to snap loads of photos of him. We wanted to document our unknown creature isn't everyday that you see a totally new and very strange creature in Fredericksburg.

So, there he sat...

We finally left our mystery friend after about 45 minutes of photos, guessing games, hollering to get his attention, and total amazement at his odd looking body. We arrived home late and went to bed with our nameless creature on our mind.

Upon waking on Sunday we began to investigate over coffee what our mystery friend could be. After slowly clicking through the picture files of mammals on the internet...LOTS AND LOTS of photos...Josh came across our mystery friend and was able to quickly identify him.

He's the Patagonian Mara. What!?!?

Yes, the Patagonian Mara from Argentina.

I couldn't believe that I didn't recognize him?! I always get my Maras confused. Ha.

According to Wikipedia, he's a relatively large rodent living in Central and Southern Argentina. He eats grasses and other vegetation and mates for life (my kind of Mara!). Maras are often kept in zoos or are kept as exotic pets and are very social when raised by humans.

Obviously this Fredericksburg Mara was once a pet (or this is just one crazy traveling Mara). He must have escaped or was set free to roam the rolling hill country.

So, we didn't photograph the legendary Chupacabra...but we did find the legendary and slightly less known Fredericksburg Mara.

I do hope he continues to travel west a mile or so. The Belties would gladly welcome him with open hooves to their grassy pasture.

So welcome, Mr. Patagonian Mara. It was a pleasure seeing you. I do hope you hang around these parts.