17 September 2012

[new house: Our New Old House.]

It's Sunday night as I type this ... the house is quiet - kids fast asleep.  It was another spectacular, sun-shiney day ... another wonderful day of exploring and creating at our new place.

No, we're not living there just yet.  But we got the keys yesterday (Saturday), and so we've started the process of moving things, getting cable/phone/alarm ... you know.  Moving.

Our "official" moving date is a week from today - the day the movers come and carry off all of our furniture and hopefully plonk it down in the correct room at the new place ...

New place.

It sounds so strange - considering that it's 38years old.  But I can tell you, that in the last 24hrs I have already learned so much about this home.  It's a good home.  It feels nostalgic, not dated ... you can tell that it was loved by the previous (and the only) owners.  It has enough space for the whole gang of us ... although the big challenge will be where all of our stuff will go.  The storage space is the biggest issue ... we'll just have to figure it out.  And we will.  And it will be home.

In fact ... today, as the kids jumped on the just-moved-to-this-location-from-our-other-house trampoline and playground, I said, " ... come on kids.  Time to go back home."  To which Mattias tilted his head and replied, " ... but mom.  We ARE home."

Oh man.  I loved that.

It's a strange thing to downsize ... it doesn't take you long to realize what space you're going to miss, and what space was a waste.  I think this change is going to be so valuable as we plan to design and build our home behind this house.  We may not build for years, we may start in the upcoming spring - so many factors will decide that.  But the time in this space will show us how we live in a different space, other than the 3600 sq ft house we've been living in for the last 8 years.  You can see all about our love for our current home, the renovations etc -  HERE

But it's all about to change - and I'm excited ... 

So.  This is our entrance (I used my 10mm lens, so it appears MUCH larger than it actually is) ... but it is definitely a good size.  We've decided to not paint ... we really don't want to put $$ into a place that will be eventually be thrown down or sold and taken away.   Painting was a bit of a debate - what if we live here for 5 years?  Will we regret not taking the time to make our home, "home"?  

Naw.  It' just fine the way it is.

The entrance from another angle.  Nifty flooring, eh?  *smile*

This is the unfinished "rec" room.  The basement couches and TV will go in here, toy storage, a craft area - once the drywall and super cheap carpet go in.  We won't paint in here either ... 

Again - the 10mm lens makes it look massive ... love that lens *grin*.  From this angle, you can see where all of our storage units are going to go all along that back wall.  They will house our kids games, our office supplies, our winter coats ... I'll figure it out.

So, apparently I skipped the two bedrooms and bathroom downstairs - and this next pic now shows the upper level. This is the "living" room, I guess?  A good space - and lots of walls to hang things *grin*.   Wow ... that lens ... 

The other angle ...

This is the dining room / eating area.  I never understand why people have carpet in these rooms ... but, alas, we have dusty-rose now *grin*.  The previous owners kept it immaculate ... they must not have raised boys LOL ... 

"Hi, mom"  ... my mother-in-law was diligently cleaning out the cupboards.  Man, this lens is amazing ... makes that kitchen look huge.  Can you see the stacked laundry in the back?  I thought that was interesting ... and I guess convenient - so you won't burn your soup while throwing stuff into the dryer ... *wink*

I wish the cupboards were about 4inches longer.  But they aren't ... They're really sturdy, though.  

Our bathroom is VERY blue.  With a teensy mirror ... we've got one that will replace it nicely without having to buy a new one ...

And Katia's room is a wee bit too "pepto bismol" for me.  I'd like to tone it down a bit.  We bought her a new Hello Kitty bedding set for her new toddler bed, pale pink and purple.  I'll choose the pink from there, if this doesn't match *wink* ... 

... the master bedroom ... this closet is the best one in the house.

... and the "furniture" room, as our only our king-sized bed will fit into the new bedroom.  So this room will house our other furniture, and our our kitchen pantry storage.  It'll work perfectly.

OH!  Here they are ... the two other bedrooms ... 

Our deck off of the kitchen that wraps around to the side ... 

In the last 24hrs, this is the place where our kids have explored and rode their bikes.  They've dug gopher holes and jumped off the swings from bigger heights.  They've taken their shoes off and not complained once about stepping on twigs or rocks ...

I am so so happy here.  It's quiet, it's cozy ... it has history - in a very 70's sort of way *grin* - but I know that I know that I know ... we're supposed to be here.  And THAT is what "home" is.  The place where those you love are safe and where you feel that God has placed you.

Preeeeeeetty sure that once it starts raining, I won't be feeling all "rainbows and ice cream" about living in a smaller space ... BUT.  It's home.

Have a great one!

12 September 2012

[cakes: Hello Kitty Birthday Cake.]


Oh boy.  Here we go again.  

Katia is in LOVE with Hello Kitty, and when she decided on a Hello Kitty theme for her third birthday party - I spent the next few days on the internet trying to come up with a cake idea.

There were a LOT of really great ideas ... so, as always, I mixed a few ideas together and added a couple of my own.  And this time?  I completed the cake in under 30 minutes (not including baking the cakes ...)

Here's what I did.

I baked two 9x13 cakes.  ( I actually baked a chocolate cake recipe from scratch first, then decided I'd rather have white-cake.  I ate an entire row of chocolate cake within 20 minutes ... that recipe's HERE.)

I placed them on the cake-platter-thingy (oh yes, I know all the baker's lingo ...) ... and I stared at an image of Hello Kitty on the computer while did my best to cut out her head-shape out of the two cakes.  Very nerve wracking, I assure you ... 

I made some buttercream frosting, with added lemon flavouring ... covered the cake.  I should've done the sides, but I ran out of frosting and I couldn't be bothered to make more.  Sue me.  *grin*

I bought the fondant ... this time, I actually got it from Michael's and it was over $10.00.  Super pricey, yes - but considering that was the only "cost" to this cake, pretty much, it was all good.  One day I'll start making my own - but for now, I'll let the professionals do it for me ... 

I rolled out the fondant super thin, placed it over the cake, and fiddled with it.  But because there wasn't any icing on the sides - it didn't stick well.  

I made a bow out of pink ribbon.  This took me a while.  I'm not a girly-girl ... bows are not my thing.  But it turned out ok ... poked it into the fondant ... 

I was going to use liquorice for the whiskers, but I didn't have any and forgot to buy some.  I found some pipe-cleaner stuff from the craft box ... 3D whiskers - perfect.

I rolled some fondant into little balls ... made two black ones for the eyes, and a yellow one for the nose.  Hello Kitty doesn't have a mouth for some reason - but no mouth just means an easier cake *grin*.  I used tooth picks to stick the details in - and then covered the hole up with more fondant.  Then I took the pic - only to realize that you could see the "fill".  So - I re-did them, put the toothpick in the cake FIRST, and put the fondant balls on top so there wasn't a hole you could see.  And then - I forgot to take another photo from above *grin*.

Added some writing and VOILA.  Done ... 

The next morning, Katia got up - and the boys were waiting for her.  THEY knew how this worked - but this was really her first cake where she actually understood what was going on.  The boys knew there was going to be a big "reveal" ... so they were cheering her on.   She was getting mad and telling them to stop *laughing* ... 

Josiah wanted to do the big "Reveal" ... so I let him, and I took the pics.

And she just stared at it and said, " ... is this MY Hello Kitty cake, Mommy? Did you make this for me, Mommy?" over and over ... it melted my heart.

Happy birthday, Boo Bear.  And thank you for choosing something simple this time!!  Your brothers need to learn that *grin*.

Have a great one!!

05 September 2012

[talk. Busy.Ness.]

I'd say I'm at the most CRAZY time of my life ... ever.   This week.  Oh, and next.  Let's see ... I did a wedding last week, on top of the 2 other shoots that I'm still working on for my RedHanded Photography business ... it's the first week of school, but just for my oldest.  Which means, I still have two at home ...

I'm leading worship this Sunday night ... and my list has to be in today ... Josiah starts gymnastics today - (yes, you read that right).  Katia's 3 year old birthday party is tomorrow - so I have a cake (oh Lord help me) to make ... good thing she wants a "Hello Kitty" cake - probably the simplest one I'll ever have to do ... 

I have my half marathon on October 21 ... which means I have to have time to do LONG runs.    And then - on top of all of that - we're moving.  Like - we get the "new" house next Friday and have to be out of this one by the 24th.


But ... I do love being busy, as crazy as that sounds.  I like "list writing" and crossing things off ... I like having something to "show" for my day ... but I won't lie:  I'll be happy when it's October.

A couple of other things ... I do love to blog, but it takes time *grin*.  I'm not going anywhere, I'll keep doing this - but only when I have enough time to practice my 65words-per-minute-typing-skills.

Secondly, I've been asked to start my weekly "meal planning" posts again.  That'll start again in October ... but for now, you can check out my "Make: By Homemakingirl" site for recipes, including this NEW one for Pizza Pinwheels - the perfect lunchbox recipe.

Wow.  Ok ... oven's beeping, cake is done - I can cross that one off my list *grin*.

Have a great one!