~77~ Two's Better Than One

Cakes that is!

On Wednesday, I finished up the Wilton Cake Decorating Class, Course 2.  And what perfect timing that was since my birthday is on Saturday :)  Throughout the course, we learned how to use royal icing to make beautiful flowers and accents, which we used at the last class to decorate a cake as our final project.  We also learned how do the basket weave design and a couple of new borders that I also incorporated in my cake.
Many remarked that it was a bummer I had to make my own birthday cake, but then I quipped that I honestly love doing it.  I may have mentioned this in a previous post, but I always thought that getting to my a cake on my birthday was a treat for me.  I have always loved decorating cakes - but now, it actually looks like I know what I'm doing…sort of.

Here's how my final project turned out:

In addition to making a cake for my family birthday celebration, I made another one to bring to work and share with my coworkers.  Friday (the day before my birthday) also coincided with Iowa State's basketball team playing in the Sweet 16, so I decided it would only be fitting to make an ISU (birthday) cake.

Not only was some delicious cake had, but I also got spoiled by those dearest to me. 

A few week prior, I went home to MN to visit family and friends and celebrate my birthday with them. In addition to getting some much appreciated spending money, I also got my favorite perfume from Thymes, which is only available in MN (as far as I know), an adorable teapot, and my brother's homemade amazing root beer.  *Cue shameless plug: Seriously, if you're looking to make some one-of-a-kind beer, check out Vine Park Brewing Company in St. Paul, MN.  Jake and his groomsmen went there the day of our rehearsal dinner to brew some beer together, as well as bottle up a 6-pack into their own custom made bottles.  They still talk about how much fun they had almost 3 years later).  

Back home in Grimes, I had a second celebration with Jake's side of the family at our house, where I got some very generous gifts of lunch, Amazon and Bed Bath and Beyond gift cards, we well as Catching Fire on blu-ray! 

Jake really spoiled me this year
He got me a checker board cake pan set, a new walking/jogging belt that holds all sorts of stuff in it securely, Saving Mr. Banks on blu-ray, and best of all, a new cake supply caddy that I've been bugging him about.  During my eight weeks of cake class, I was carrying around all of my tips, colors, spatulas, decorator bags, and class kit in this green bag.  For this OCD girl, it was certainly headache inducing. 

Now, it's all neatly organized in this beautiful tool caddy: 

I have a designated spot for all of tips, colors, and frequently-used decoration tools in the top 

and extra storage underneath for all of the less frequently used items like my fondant, roller, piping gel, gum paste, and molds. 

The actual day was spent in pampering with a massage in the afternoon, dinner, sushi, and drinks at my favorite thai restaurant with the bestest friends, and then bowling and more drinks at the local bowling alley.  I'd say it was the most perfect day :)


~76~ House-i-versary

Not sure if "house-i-versary" is actually a word, but I'm making it one. 
A year ago today, Jake and I signed our life away and this beautiful house became ours. 

It's hard to believe it's been a whole year already. 
In some regards, it feels like we've lived here forever because it is so much like home.  I LOVE coming home to this house.  In other ways, it feels like we just moved in because time has been going by so quickly lately (and we don't even have kids!).

As I reflect back on the past year, it amazes me how much Jake's  we've done since moving in. One of the appeals of the house was that we didn't NEED to do anything.  It really was move in ready.  It was really well maintained and aside from the absence of an en suite (aka attached master bathroom), it had everything we wanted in a home.  However, it had lots of potential to really make it ours; a task that I believe we successfully accomplished.

Our immediate project when we got keys was painting. LOTS of painting. Like 7 rooms and 2 hallways worth.  I'll be ok never picking up a paint brush again.  

All that aside, here's what we've done in just 12 short months:

1. Add track lighting and a recessed appliance box to our den

2. Redid the vanity in the master bathroom 

3. Redid the guest bathroom

4. Converted the guest bedroom into a poker room/man cave

5. Updated the master closet

6. Sodded the backyard, added a flower bed, and lattice fencing around the deck + putting a border around the front garden bed. 

Plus, all of the little things that provide added functionality, but aren't necessarily blog-worthy ;)

So, what's in store for our house in the next year?  Not a whole lot.  We adore our house and feel that we now have everything the way we really want it.  The smaller projects are left include: 

-Combining my craft room with the office.  The plan is to create a fold down craft table, with better shelving.  The office desk will get moved into the craft room and the large entertainment center and futon will get moved out.

-Expanding/beautifying the garden. Fingers crossed the plants I put in last year come back this year!

-Finally getting the chimney inspected and in working order.  We still haven't taken down the plastic that's taped inside for fear of what we'll find.  That will be a summer task. 

Other than that, I guess we'll just have to wait and see what the next year brings. 
Until then, 


~75~Master Closet Redo

Apparently all of this cabin fever leads to lots of updates in our home.
This past weekend, we dedicated it to redoing our master bedroom closet.  
When we bought the house, this is what it looked it. 
(This is really my craft room closet-it has the same doors, but it slightly smaller than our master closet)

I knew right away that I wanted to replace the doors with bifold ones to maximize the space and make the middle of the closet accessible.  After doing some research online, we agreed on this set from home depot. 

We also knew that we didn't love the set up inside the closet and wanted to add some built-in shelving to make it more organized and easier to find what we wanted.  Our inspiration was this: 

Many of the closet systems that we initially found were outside of the budget we had set for ourselves.  Luckily on a random trip to Target, I noticed that their ClosetMaid items were all on clearance.  Score!  I picked up 2 floor organizers to put shoes on, since prior to the redo, they were chaotically strewn on the floor.  

I also purchased 2 stackable shelving units to center in the closet. 
A few dowels and shelves later, we were ready to put it all in. 

The first step was hammering the frame pieces on the inside of the arch.  Our closet was 58 1/4" wide, and the bifold doors are 60" wide when closed, so we needed to add almost 2 inches to make them fit.  
Next, we had to trim down one of the shoe shelves to make it fit along the bottom.  Once those were done, we installed the vertical shelves. 

Then, we added in the dowels, fitting them between the vertical shelves and the wall for the lower racks, and from wall to wall above the shelves for the upper rack. 

The last step was installing the doors!

We love the new look and efficiency of our closet.  Since we don't/can't have a walk in closet in this house, we figured this would be the next best thing.

Project Details: 
BiFold Doors: $44/ea
Shoe shelves: $20/ea 
Vertical Shelves: $20/ea
Dowels: $8
Shelves: $28
Total cost: $204

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...