Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Frosted Cupcakes

Here's the finished product!  Everyone agreed that these cupcakes were fantastic.  I was tempted to skip the frosting but that would've been a big mistake.  The frosting is by far the best part!  It's creamy and smooth and not at all too sweet.  Store bought cream cheese would never have a chance if more people tried this simple recipe.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Pumpkin Patch Cupcakes

I'm in the middle of my first assignment as a member of the Martha Stewart Cupcake Club - Pumpkin Patch Cupcakes. 

We just got new carpet installed in the house (pictures coming soon) so we've temporarily moved all of our belongings into the basement and any room that didn't need new carpet.  That includes the kitchen.  I have to say that working in this kitchen certainly added to the challenge of the cupcake club...

But, a challenge is a challenge so of course I balanced my Martha Stewart Cupcakes book on a cardboard box and got started baking.

I bought some new cupcake liners, but somehow I managed to pick up JUMBO liners which wouldn't work for this recipe.  Luckily I had some adorable polka dotted liners in my cabinent from Michael's.  They don't exactly scream "pumpkin patch" but they're so cute I let them slide.

The recipe went very smoothly.  It made way too much batter for me, but I often find that to be true with scratch recipes.  I'm not sure what's happening, does anyone else have this problem?  Mom?

They took a good bit longer than Martha said, I ended up baking for closer to 20 minutes...

But then they came out absolutely perfectly!!

These would be perfect with just a sprinkling of powdered sugar.  They're really sweet enough on their own.  The recipe calls for a fluffy cream cheese frosting though, so that's what will be topping my little pumpkin goodies.  I'll be making the frosting in the morning so it's nice and fresh when I take these into work.

I'll have pictures of the final cupcakes tomorrow, and more importantly I'll let you know how they taste!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Martha Stewart Cupcake Club

Nothing makes a new house a home like the smell of baked goods.   This townhouse needs some baking asap! That's why I, Laura, have just signed up to be part if the Martha Stewart Cupcake Club!  Each month we'll bake a cupcake from Martha's amazing baking book called Martha Stewart Cupcakes.  In the next week I'll be kicking this challenge off with Pumpkin Patch cupcakes.  I've been craving pumpkin all fall, so I could not be more excited about my first assignment.

Can't wait to get started on the challenge!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Twinkle Twinkle Little Ukulele

It's bedtime here in our townhouse and in your house too.  Here's a pretty little song to help you fall asleep.  Thanks Jake.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Light Blue Master Bedroom

Our bedroom is painted now, but we're waiting to get the new carpet in to post full "after" pics.  Here's a preview of the new color, which is "cake stand blue" by Martha Stewart (The brand is Valspar - we bought it at Lowe's):

We're not totally settled on accent colors yet.  Originally we planned to do light blues and greys with touches of silver and white to give the room a dreamy feeling.  There are a lot of other fun palettes out there though, to go with our light blue walls.  We like the idea of a reddish accent, like they've done here on this picture from HGTV

Or, maybe even a peachy orange color.  We strongly considered an orange and light blue color scheme for our wedding, so that could be fun to revisit for our new bedroom.  I think the flowers look beautiful in this light blue room from Martha Stewart:

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Master Bedroom

The first room we're really tackling is the master bedroom.  It wasn't a bad color when we moved in, but the drab tan walls and cream trim just needed refreshing.  Also, we've always wanted an airy, dreamy light blue bedroom.  Here are some pictures during the renovation.  As you can see, we sampled a lot of colors in search of our perfect light blue.  

Once we're done painting, we'll post the after pictures for you.  It already doesn't even look like the same room!  We've painted all of the trim and doors and closets ultra white, and are in the process of replacing all of the hardware and switch plates in the room.  It's amazing what those little touches can do to make a room look new again. 

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Mow, mow, mow your yard

The two of us grew up in West Virginia where we lived on acres of land surrounded by trees and mountains.  We now live in Baltimore, where we drained our bank accounts for a teeny yard with just enough room to throw a ball with our dog. 

Our little postage stamp yard really doesn't require a gas powered mower.  Jake had his heart set on buying one of those little old school mowers with the spinning blades.  Who knew they still existed?  And who knew they cost at least $100?? Lucky for us, my Dad found us one at a yard sale for just a few bucks.  Check this baby out:

This mower is fantastic.  I loved it from the moment I first woke up to a polite little "click click click" sound outside of my window, then got up to find Jake (looking very rugged and manly) pushing the little mower around.  I loved it even more when he said that he waited until late morning to mow to make sure he didn't disturb the neighbors.

A pantry so nice you could eat out of it

So...we're here...we're sleeping on the floor in the basement.  We have no TV.  We have no food.  Our toilet won't stop running and our shower handle flies to pieces every time we turn on the water.  What should we tackle first?  

I think you'll all agree that the tiny pantry in the hall that's fully functional and not at all visible to guests should be our first and most important task.

Here are some before pictures of the pantry.  You may not be able to tell but it was stained and scuffed and not terribly appetizing:

And here are the stunning AFTER shots: 

No idea why everyone says home renovation is so hard.  We did this ENTIRE room in just a few hours.  This house will be a piece of cake.

Our New House

This is it.  Our new house.  The American dream.  The money pit.  

We chose this nice little brick townhouse because it's spacious and bright and we love the neighborhood.  It's filled with pets and families and love, you can just tell.  A neighbor even brought us baked goods when we moved in...does it get any better than that?  

Although we love our house to pieces, things have been far from perfect since we closed.  As first time home buyers, we had no idea how different a house looks staged with furniture compared to completely empty.  That's a little shock someone should prepare you for!  We weren't ready for all of this!  The walls had major holes which were patched with globs of  spackling - meaning we'd have to repaint every room.  The carpet was mismatched and full of stains.  The insides of closets were scuffed.  The white trim was more like a dirty cream.  Who knew light switches could get so dingy?  It is obvious that the previous owners (and their two kids) enjoyed this house.  We will too, once we make a few minor adjustments.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Our First Blog...and Our First House

Well we did it. We bought a house!