We have walls!!

February 28, 2011

The latest phase in our basement project is now complete – we have walls!! Right after Christmas, Bill purchased about 40-50 sheets of drywall and began putting up the walls in the basement. We are fortunate that Bill’s dad and brother and best friend were all willing to come over and help out several times, and I know that really helped move the process along.

This past week we had pros come in to tape, mud, and sand the drywall to finish it up. It took them one full day, plus about 3 hours on the 2nd day, and 2 hours on the 3rd day and then it was done! Amazing how fast it was. I feel like we took a giant leap forward on this project this week!

Check out the Basement Photos page for updated “AFTER DRYWALL” photos!!

The downside to now having walls is that we also now have dust. Lots and lots of dust. Obviously the basement is very dusty from the drywall sanding but some of it did leak up to the main level of our house and there is a fine coat of white dust on quite a few things. I guess that means we’ll have to, you know, dust the living/dining room or something!

Anyway, back to the basement. Here’s what we have left to do in the basement. And the clock is ticking with only 3 more months until Baby Mac is due to make his arrival.

  • Construct 2 built-in shelving/cabinet units
  • Select paint for family room and bathroom and paint those rooms
  • Purchase the bathroom vanity and toilet and have them installed (We’ve already picked out the vanity)
  • Purchase and install tile in the shower and vinyl tile on the bathroom floor (We’ve already picked out the shower tile)
  • Select carpet and have it installed
  • Have final electrical installation for light fixtures and outlets

So there are still quite a few things to do (and this is just the basement – we’ve got stuff going on in other parts of our house too!) but we are looking down the home stretch here. Or at least we can see the home stretch from here. So while Bill will be starting on the built-ins this week, I am starting on this:

Choosing paint colors – one for the bathroom (right) and one for the rest of the basement (left). I am looking at brownish-gray for the bathroom and greenish-gray for everywhere else. I can tell this task is going to drive me crazy because these paint chips look different every single time I look at them!

Homemade Samoas

February 15, 2011

Last month I saw a post from Christine’s Cuisine come up in my Reader for homemade Samoas. I immediately thought of my husband since Samoas are his favorite Girl Scout cookie. I am personally not a huge fan of them due to the coconut, but they also have shortbread, chocolate and caramel and I really can’t argue with any of those! Anyway, I decided that these would be a good Valentine’s Day gift for my husband.

So I made these up on Sunday – with my husband in the next room. He knew I was baking something for him, but I’m not sure if he figured out what they were or not. I found these very time consuming to make. They basically had to be done in 4 steps, and following each step there was a cooling period, either on the counter or in the fridge/freezer.

The recipe can be found here on Christine’s site. But here is a basic run-down of the process.

First up is mixing up a simple shortbread cookie dough. No problem in the mixer, but the recipe said the dough would be crumbly like wet sand and mine was very, very sticky and not crumbly at all. Maybe I over mixed the dough, but the cookie still tasted great, so it was fine.

No problems with the coconut or caramel, though those little caramels were frustratingly difficult to get out of their little wrappers!

After the cookies are cut into bars, you were supposed to dip them in melted chocolate. I tried this and found it was kind of a mess since the bottom of the cookie was a little crumbly. I ended up “frosting” the bottom of the cookie with a knife.

After a few minutes in the freezer I drizzled the chocolate on top and they actually came out looking really cute. And aside from the square shape, they really do look like Samoas!

And with that…It’s time for a Cake Hiatus

February 1, 2011

I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately and I’ve come to the decision that it’s time for me to take a cake hiatus. I had originally planned to do it for a few more months, but it was getting to be a little more stressful than it had been, and since the MD Terrapin cake was the last order I had, I figured I’d just draw the line there. I have just 4 more months until my little boy makes his big debut and I have quite a lot of things to do in that time!

I have really REALLY enjoyed making cakes and cupcakes over the past year or so, and I am so incredibly flattered to have been asked to make cakes for events such as birthday parties, showers, and even weddings. I will continue to make cakes for family birthdays and I have a couple of showers this Spring that I am involved in or hosting that I may provide cake for, so those will definitely be posted here. And because I do love baking, I may even find the time to bake something “just because” which I haven’t had time for in months!

Hopefully after the little one arrives and I get a handle on this whole parenting thing I will be able to find some more time for cake making – we’ll see 🙂