Friday, May 28, 2010

this will have to do people!

We are too busy priming, painting, spray painting, unpacking, cleaning, bug spraying and home owning to even think about blogging!

Okay, so maybe I am thinking about it constantly. "Gosh, I really should update. That night before closing post is still sitting there."

So I haven't forgotten about you. We've just been crazy busy. We got to work IMMEDIATELY on removing doors (7 to be exact) painting and adding to this sweet little house that we OWN!

So, here are some iPhone pictures that will have to tide you over. Unfortunately I don't have any pictures of the plumbing issue that "came up" on Wednesday night. That was not pretty (nor did it smell pretty), but hey, we're homeowners now!

But don't worry, it is resolved thanks to the super friendly plumber that came to visit us at almost 10:00 that night.

So here we go...

The very first thing we did (after removing all those doors) was begin priming the fireplace. Let's just say this took FOREVER and was not the most fun.

shutter install
For a priming break, John hung our shutters. It made SUCH A HUGE DIFFERENCE!

See! Remember the before pic? Also, notice the house numbers. There are still many things we want to do to the front (remove screen door, new black door, fix the landscaping, new light fixture....ugh!!)

new numbers
Changed those too. I love the cleaner lines of these.

And the completed fireplace! We still need to get another screen for the other side. (It's a see through fireplace.) We also need to get mantels.

And a shot of one of the many things that were spray painted. This clock used to be red but I thought it needed a new look. Easy!

So there you go people!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

'twas the night before closing

We are so close to homeownership.

Tomorrow we will own a house.

Well, us and the bank, but you know what I mean.

Today I went by the bank to get our cashier's check for our final amount needed at closing. To say that it was exciting would be an understatement. It felt so real.


Then tonight John and I went out to celebrate our last night of not owning any property. We went to one of our favorite restaurants. John tried a new dish tonight, the Philly cheesesteak and it was pretty much bigger than his head.

celebrating dinner

Tonight at dinner we talked about how thankful we are. I was telling John that during work today, I was completely overwhelmed at the Lord's faithfulness. It brought me to tears and I just cannot wait for our future in this house.

So, 'twas the night before closing...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Banana Muffins

Banana Muffins

I love bananas. Lately I've been eating one a day, usually with breakfast. But sometimes they go bad before I can get to all of them. But I never worry. I either throw them in the freezer to save for smoothies later or whip up a batch of muffins!

I love these muffins, almost as much as this bread, but what I love about these muffins is that there is no dairy (read: milk, buttermilk, etc.) that is required to make these. Sometimes I don't always keep milk in the fridge so these are perfect. And they are SO GOOD!

Banana Muffins

3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups sugar
1 cup canola oil
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 cups ripe bananas, peeled and coarsely mashed

Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a medium bowl to blend. Beat the sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla in a large bowl to blend. Stir in the banana. Add the dry ingredients and stir just until blended.

Divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups. Bake the muffins on the middle rack until the tops are golden brown and a tester inserted into the center comes out with no crumbs attached, about 25 minutes. Transfer the muffins to a rack and cool slightly.

New House Resolutions

Because we are less than a week from CLOSING ON OUR HOUSE I thought I would share with you my New House Resolutions. These are goals that I have for us as homeowners. I have already shared them with John and he didn't disagree with me...too much.

1. Always make the bed. Everyday. Not even coming close to doing this now and I hate it. I figure if I am a homeowner I can at least make my bed.

2. Keep the weekly menu on the chalkboard. The chalkboard that I do not currently own but have always wanted in the breakfast nook. Any tips on where to find one/make one would be greatly appreciated.

3. Always have fresh flowers in the house. My goal is to have at least a bud vase with a fresh flower. I can at least do that when we are trying to watch the budget.

4. Eat outside in the backyard at least 3 times a month. I would like to say 4 (going for once a week) but figure saying 3 times a month is more manageable.

5. Only eat dinner in the family room 1 time a week. We are HORRIBLE about always eating our meals on the couch in front of the tv. I would love to change this in our new home. Plus we will have the breakfast nook and won't feel weird about eating in the dining room (the way it has been in the apartment and duplex.)

6. Complete at least 1 house project a week. We have SO MANY things we want to do to the house. We have created a spreadsheet on Google docs that we share and can add things to it. We have it broken down to priority, cost, where to buy, etc. There is a large range of things to do and I would like to do at least 1 thing a week. I might be too ambitious on this one.

7. Have a plan for the landscape project complete by the end of the summer...August 31 and have it completed by October 31.

8. Host at least 4 backyard bashes this summer.

9. Have dinner guests once a month. If we have out of town guests that month, it counts as our dinner guests.

Let's just stick with 9. 10 is too cliche mkay?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

all things HOUSE

Two weekends in a row we spent many many many hours looking at and picking out things for our new home!

Our very first purchase were these new numbers...we were so excited!



Hello overwhelming...


we went to a lighting and design center to look for new light fixtures and fans (we MUST replace all that shinny brass STAT!)

We loved this one for the entryway...


but we're afraid it won't look right since we don't have vaulted ceilings.

Love love love this one for the dining room...


but it's WAY TOO BIG!!

This is the one I am thinking will work for the dining room...



Wow, we really haven't had much lighting luck.

And finally...the hardwood floors...

Fireside Hickory

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the hand-scrapped texture of these floors.

We are still trying to find furniture but we have TONS of fabric samples and we have picked out our paint color for the "great room." The color is called "Lamp Room Gray" and will be on the walls of the kitchen, family room, entryway, formal living room, and formal dining room.

We close in 11 days and move in 16 days!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

weekend wrap-up

First of all...THANK YOU for all of your shutter help! We decided to go with the more modern shutter!

Now, I totally meant to do this yesterday (even better Sunday night) but life and laundry got in the way!

Let's start with THURSDAY!

Thursday night was a women's event at church that we have been planning since January. There were about 6 of us on the planning team and we all had so much fun coming up with the theme, decorations, food, speaker, etc.

The theme was Uniquely You. Our scripture was Psalm 139 (I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made...) and our speaker was fabulous. We all took personality tests and then she talked about what each of our personality means, how we relate to others and explained that God created each of us in a unique way. Such a simple message but something that is SO good to hear again. It's so easy to want to change other people instead of appreciating their uniqueness!

We had different women in the church decorate a table so all of the decorations were very unique!

Uniquely You
Those are real goldfish in there!

Uniquely You

Uniquely You

Uniquely You
This is a seasons of life table. I loved this one!

Uniquely You
This table had fresh limes, artichokes and pineapples. Love.

Uniquely You
Oh and this favorite thing about catered events at church!

FRIDAY I took a half day at work and John and I went to Austin for a wedding. John was performing the ceremony (his first one to perform!) for a friend of his from high school. John and I had such a great time driving down to Austin. We talked the whole time about our house, our plans for it and dreaming. It was a blast!

We got to the rehearsal a little early so I took advantage of the time and took a few pictures of the gorgeous venue.

Austin Weekend

Austin Weekend

Austin Weekend

Austin Weekend

Austin Weekend

Austin Weekend

Austin Weekend

After the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner we went to one of our favorite Austin spots...Amy's Ice Cream! I got sweet cream with marshmallows and Reese's pb cups and John got sweet cream with marshmallows and cookie dough. (We love marshmallows in our ice cream..they get so chewy and yummy!)

Austin Weekend
Sorry for the nasty pixelated iPhone photo. Taking a iPhone photo at night is never a good idea.

SATURDAY we took advantage of the dark room that the thick hotel curtains created and SLEPT IN! It was so wonderful and relaxing. We enjoyed our time getting ready slowly and then headed out. We met John's dad for lunch, went to Lumber Liquidators, and ran a few other errands. We had hopes of getting more accomplished, but living in a small city has spoiled us. We forgot about allowing time for TRAFFIC!

We wedding was absolutely beautiful and John did such a wonderful job. It was different watching him officiate the ceremony. I am so used to watching him sing in weddings but this was new.

I spent most of the day SUNDAY getting laundry done and starting to think about packing. I can't believe we are moving in a little over 2 weeks and close in less that 2 weeks!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Pork Tenderloin Salad

Pork Tenderloin Salad

I love love love this salad! The super tender pork tenderloin is such a great alternative to the normal grilled chicken you usually find on salads. Paired with the sweet pears, tart cranberries and tangy vinaigrette you will find your taste buds dancing. Again, this salad is so perfect for a quick supper and would be even more fabulous sitting out on your back porch this summer!

Pork Tenderloin Salad

1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3/4 teaspoon brown sugar
4 cloves garlic, minced, divided
1 1/4 teaspoons dried thyme, divided
1 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
2 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup cranberry juice
10 ounces baby spinach
1 ripe red Anjou pear, thinly sliced

Combine vinegar, mustard, sugar, 1/2 of the garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon thyme; set aside.

Combine pork and remaining garlic, remaining 1 teaspoon thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper; toss well to coat. Sprinkle pork mixture with flour; toss well. Let stand 5 minutes.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add green onions to saucepan; cook 3 minutes or until green onions are tender and lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Add cranberries and juice; cook until liquid is reduced to 2 tablespoons (about 2 minutes). Reduce heat to medium-low. Add vinegar mixture; cook 1 minute. Gradually add 1 tablespoon oil, remaining salt, and remaining black pepper, stirring well with a whisk. Cover and keep warm.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork to skillet; cook 3 minutes or until browned, turning once. Remove pork from skillet.

Combine spinach and pear in a large bowl. Drizzle with cranberry mixture; toss well to coat. Top with pork.

Adapted from Cooking Light
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