Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Snickers Sundae Ice Cream Cake



Sorry for the delay in blogging. In January I enrolled in interior design school and have been busy immersing myself the the amazing theories of design and history of architecture. I LOVE my classes and the work doesn't feel like work at all :-)

Back to blogging world....

Last Sunday was my husband's birthday. He's not a huge fan of cake. I'll pause here to let that last sentence sink in.

Yes, I said he is not a fan of cake. He doesn't fit in at all with our family. Just kidding :-)

What he does love is ice cream cake. So each year on his birthday his family has gotten him an ice cream cake (and sometimes even a regular cake for the rest of us ...... his family is pretty awesome like that).

Over the last few years I have experimented with different forms of homemade ice cream cakes, and after testing and tweaking many, I have come up with the winner. It's so easy to make. It will take you all of 20 minutes.


What you need:
  • 24 ice cream sandwiches
  • 3 snickers bars
  • 1 cup salted peanuts
  • hot fudge topping
  • caramel topping
  • 8 oz cool whip topping

 
 
 
Lay out the sandwiches to fill a 9x13 baking dish.
 

 

Place the snickers in a food processor and pulverize!

                                        
Set the snickers crumbles aside and pulverize the peanuts.

                                         

Spread your fudge on top of the sandwiches and follow with the caramel.

                                     
Lick the jars clean even if it is right before dinner time.

Spread all of the snickers crumbles down, then MOST of the peanut crumbs. (Save some for the garnish).

                                   
Place another layer of sandwiches on top.

 
 
Spread a layer of cool whip on top and garnish with the remainder of the peanut crumbs.
                                      
 

 
Cover delicately and put in the freezer for at least 6 hours before eating. I always make this the night before I need it.
 
Remove from the freezer and let thaw about 15 minutes before serving.
 
 
MMMMM   MMMMM   MMMMMM
 
This is such a yummy cake. I even tripled this recipe last August and used it as my daughter's birthday cake. It was such a huge hit!! Everyone was asking me what was in it and were so surprised to find out how simple it was.
 
Great thing about this cake is you can completely switch out the ingredients to suit your taste. It would be awesome with peanut butter cups, M&Ms, or Oreos. 
 
oooooo ... good thing my birthday is coming up next month, the peanut butter cups are calling my name.
 
 
                                                    Enjoy and have a wonderful day!
                        
Thursday, January 17, 2013

Master Bathroom is Done!!!


And boy are we tired and in need of a shower. We are thrilled to say that the master bathroom is done. Jared and I have never had our own bathroom, so this is going to be hard and wonderful to get used to. I have to keep reminding myself to go there instead of the hall bath.

So to catch up anyone who missed it a few months ago, we started with a nook in our bedroom that was always meant to be a bathroom but for whatever reason the original owners elected not to put it in. Remember that when we ripped up the carpet we found all the lines laid out and saw that the framing was ripped down? Crazy town.

Here is what we started with...

                     
And after my carpenter husband worked long weekend hours....

                                                      
                                           
Sigh........isn't he amazing and dreamy?

Ok, ok, back to the bathroom.......... here it is!!!!

                         
                                                  

                                         
I love the cool watery feeling of the paint (Olympic's Oasis at 75%) . The bamboo blinds and woven waste basket help to add texture to a room filled with mostly hard surfaces.

What's my favorite part?   The floor. Hands down, the floor.  
                  


If you remember when we started this project I was in love with the small glass clear penny tile we found and I had plans to add it around the sink as a back splash. However once we had all the elements in, I thought the penny tile would be too much. The floor is now the star of this show.


This morning I was doing my hair in our new bathroom and I hear Sadie come in behind me. She had carried her potty seat in and wanted to go potty in "our" bathroom.   :-)  The girl has good taste.

Thanks to everyone who has been following us along on this adventure. Please let us know what you think, we'd love to hear from you.

Have a great day!

                                                           

                                   
Tuesday, January 15, 2013

How to Paint your Bathroom Vanity



Oh, paint, how I love thee. You can make such a big impact with very little money. You rock.

Our main bathroom has been getting a mini face lift. Since we are prepping and staging our house to sell, it is important for us to tackle projects that make a huge difference without spending a ton of money. (We have just added a master bathroom, where there was none, after all).
 

The sink cabinet was your standard, builder basic oak. When we first moved into this house 5 years ago we added the knobs and painted the bright blue walls yellow. That was in my "I love yellow, let's paint every wall in our house a shade of yellow" phase. Recently we replaced the toilet as well. So to update the entire room, I thought a nice espresso shade would work nicely.
 

Sorry for the dark "before" pictures. At the time Jared had the power turned off because he was switching all our outlets from almond to white. PS- I LOVE him for that  :-)

I started by removing the knobs and giving the cabinet a good sanding with a sanding wedge.
                                     
                                               
After you are done sanding wipe everything down with a slightly damp rag and let dry.

Paint on a coat of primer. I used Kilz because we had some on hand.
 
                                                      
Let dry for 4-6 hours (or as recommended by the manufacturer.)

Brush on a coat of paint. I used Olympic One in Star Anise. Get your paint in the glossiest finish they make. Since this is a bathroom, the glossier the paint means the better protection you will have.

I let that coat dry a day .... actually a week but only because I didn't get back to it until then. You only need to wait about 6-8 hours in between coats.

Paint your second coat on and let dry 2-3 days before adding the knobs back on. Just because paint is dry to the touch in 4-6 hours doesn't mean it is fully knick proof. That takes a few days so be careful around it for a few days.
 
My girls kept jamming their stool up against mine to brush their teeth. 

Do the best you can.
 
                              
You can see above how I painted the doors while they were still hanging. Since I was going darker and the hinges were already bronze, I decided to live on the wild side and just used a tiny paintbrush to get into all the small crevices and around the hardware. (Sorry, Dad, I know I've shamed you)

After you put everything back together it will look like this...

 
The walls read really yellow in the the picture above, I promise you they are NOT that bright. I'm just a crappy photographer. The actual color is more like the picture below. We are planning on painting the walls a nice tan , though.                                      
 
 
So easy and so much better!
 
                                               

Give it a try! You can do it!

Hope you are a having a great day  :-)

                                    

 
 
                                          







Thursday, January 10, 2013

Master Bedroom Reveal



So throughout this whole time of creating a master bathroom in our weird bedroom nook , we also have been sprucing up the actual bedroom. I wish I had more before pictures, but this started about last June BTB (before the blog).



This is our room about June-ish. We had gotten our bedroom set from a huge furniture clearance. The set included a headboard, 2 night tables, and huge dresser with mirror (not pictured because we are donating to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore) only cost us $600! I wasn't crazy about the color of the wood (honey oak and I have our issues)  but I knew down the road I would give them a makeover.

When we bought the house the walls and ceiling in our room had been painted a blue. It was fine, just not for us. Especially not a ceiling painted anything other than white. I know many designers are all about painting ceilings radical colors, but that is one train that I don't think I could ever hop aboard. I like ceilings white, to me they look crisp, clean, and open.

Oh yeah, and the carpet was blue too. Well at least it MUST have been blue when they installed it in 1996. Now it was a combination of brown/grey/blue and was worn so bad it felt like we were walking right on the wood sub floor.

Also, let me remind you that I work from home and since my "office" (the nook in the bedroom) is now a bathroom (the reveal on that soon!) I had my desk shoved in the main part of the room. Experts always say to NOT work out of your bedroom because it hinders your rest since you are always face to face with a mountain of paperwork. I'm here to tell you all that they are 100% correct.

When we moved in we jumped into projects all over the house, and our bedroom has been last on the list.

So since June I've been painting the furniture a warm creamy white (Snowbound by Sherwin Williams), getting new window treatments, painting the ceiling white, painting the walls Grey Ghost (Olympic), freshening up the white trim, getting new lamps, and accessories.
 
We moved my desk into our finished basement. It's working very nicely there.

To top it off we got new light tan carpet installed on Tuesday. 

Pheeeww!!

So here is our new, updated Master Bedroom.

 
  Can you believe I got that canvas wall art for only $22.00 at HomeGoods? I LOVE that store.

I wouldn't say the room is done, per say ....... but only because I never feel like a room is done. It's just always evolving and I can't help myself from making little tweaks here and there.

Hope you are having a great day!!

                              
Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2013 New Year's Resolution



Happy 2013!

I hope everyone had an amazing month filled with family, friends, and so much love your body ran out of hugs and kisses.

On to the new year!

I was never one to make New Year's resolutions, but I'm going to make one this year. What I have in mind is going to be difficult, I know .... but so important to me, especially since it involves my 2 daughters ( ages 2 and 4). So here it is....

This year I will try my very hardest to do "less yelling, more teaching."

Let me explain...

I work from home. And my girls are not in daycare. So that means that I am a full time stay at home mom, while I work from home 25-30 hours a week (not including this blog). Now when a lot of people hear that phrase they probably picture me in my jammies all day drinking coffee, talking to friends on the phone with daytime TV blasting in the background. Let me assure you, that is far from my day. Being at home all day with a 2 and 4- year- old is like running in a hamster wheel. You run, run, run, and never seem to make much of a dent in anything. (Didn't I just clean up the living room 20 minutes ago? Where are your pants?)

 I need to work at my desk (which is currently in my bedroom) usually when my girls are napping. It's impossible to get any paperwork done while they are awake and running around. If they don't nap long enough I need to wait until after dinner when my husband is at home, to go upstairs and work at my desk more. If I don't get done, then I work through my weekends since my husband is home. Top that off with keeping my house clean/ picked up/ laundry done and put away/ healthy meals 3 times a day and you have yourself a very crazed Angela.

Please don't get me wrong, I am eternally grateful to have the job I do and really like it! But most days I feel like there just needs to be way more than 24 hours in a day. I'm overwhelmed.

My fuse has become short with my precious girls.

I recognize this and HATE it. I don't want to yell at them. I want to teach them. I've always said that my main goal with my daughters is to guide them to be good people. I don't mind if they don't get straight "A"s in school. I care more about their interactions with their teachers and classmates. I want them to be polite, compassionate, kind, grateful and respectful. Admittedly this is no easy task when dealing with children. I had a hard time getting my very tired 4-year-old to even say "thank you" to my aunt for having us over for dinner on New Years.

This is crucial to me. I want them to be kind and respectful. They only way they will learn that is for me to be kind and respectful to them. Right now I am ashamed to say that I don't think I always am. When it takes me asking Hailey 15 times to go brush her teeth,  or asking Sadie for the 20th time to come over to me so I can wipe her runny nose, I wish I could say that I stay calm and firm.

I don't.

I yell, I get aggravated, and even whiny (great example for them, right?) 

                                                 

So this year, I resolve to keep my cool with my girls. I will remember that they are only tiny humans.  I can be firm without yelling. I can do this. I will be a good example for them.

They are my gifts from God and I love them with every breath I have in me. They deserve more from me.

Less YELLING, more teaching.... got that, Angela?



Did you make a New Year's resolution? I'd love to hear it  :-)

Monday, December 17, 2012

Heavy Hearts



My heart feels so heavy, it could almost sink right into the floor. I feel paralyzed with sadness, grief, anger, and fear. I couldn't post a facebook status because words just wouldn't come to me, only tears.

And yet, what ever I am feeling, I know that it is nothing compared to what the families and community in Connecticut are going through.

The faces of those sweet children and heroic teachers consume my thoughts and prayers.

All weekend I was dreading this morning. This morning where I would have to send my oldest off to school. Something that before Friday has been routine to us. I didn't want to. Last night after they fell asleep I sat outside their rooms crying.

How can I protect them?

Parents have so much to fear, sending our children off to school should not be one of them.

How are we, as a society, failing our children so miserably?

What can we do to stop these horrific tragedies?

Why are these events so frequent now?

Things like this didn't happen 30 - 40 years ago, what has changed?

Assault weapons? Why are they on the street?

Violent video games and movies? Our children and society are so DESENSITIZED to violence it makes me physically ill.

I have so many questions, and I have zero answers.

I can't stop hugging and kissing my girls. Things that used to annoy me, now seem so small, so insignificant. I know I'm not alone. All parents everywhere must be feeling similar.

I wish I had something inspiration to say to you all. I'm sorry to say that I don't. I don't know where we go from here. My heart hurts for those families.

I can only offer up a prayer.

                Dear Lord,
                           Please guide us. Help us to raise compassionate, loving children. Help us to help each other. Help us to love each other.  Please be with the community of Newtown, Connecticut, especially those who lost dearly loved ones. Please wrap them in the light of your love and find a path to peace and comfort. I pray that these massacres will stop. Please keep our children safe. Please help us, heavenly Father.

                                          Amen.




Friday, December 7, 2012

Sears Kit Homes 101



If you know me in real life or are Facebook friends with me, you have probably heard me rattle on about Sears Houses. If you ask me a simple question about them, I will talk your ear off and give you way more information that you thought you wanted. I am a bit obsessed with these houses. Ok, a LOT obsessed. I drive around my town looking for them. When I see one I yelp with joy and take pictures.

 Allow to me to share with you some of the Sears homes I have found and to give you some insight on these amazing pieces of American history...

The invention of the Model T in the early 1900s caused many people to pack up and head out of the crowed city and into the peaceful suburbs. Soldiers were returning home from World War I and many immigrants had come to live out the American Dream. At the time, many young families did not have a home of their own. They either lived with their elders or in boarding houses.

Houses were in short supply and HIGH demand.

In 1908 Sears Roebuck Company decided to add houses to their very popular mail-order catalog.  Houses in the form of a "kit" that you built YOURSELF. (Now they were not the first company to think of this idea. Others like Aladdin and Montgomery Ward were also in the Kit Home business, however most people only remember Sears). By buying a kit home, you would create immediate equity - around 30%. That was a very affordable and smart choice for many.

                                                 The Crescent



















Image source: http://www.antiquehome.org/
House-Plans/1928-Sears/Crescent.htm                                              Whitehall, Pennsylvania

From 1908-1940 there were about 370 different house plans. Prices ranges from $450 to $9,000 with the average being about $2,000. There was something for everyone; bungalows, foursquares, tudor revival cottages, and even trailing edge victorians.

Buyers simply picked out the design of their liking, then Sears sent (by railroad) one or two boxcars filled with the materials to build their dream house (excluding masonry and plumbing materials due to weight). The boxcars contained about 30,000 pieces and a 75 page instruction book written so that "a man of average ability could build the house in 90 days"-that was Sears' promise. Everything was labeled and each piece of lumber was pre-cut and stamped to make the assembly go as easily as possible.

This was a golden idea. Sears was essentially creating more customers for themselves. After all, all these newly built homes would need ovens, lamps and furniture. In the 1920s Sears hired an interior designer to draw in the ideal furniture placement in all their house plans. It was pretty helpful.

                                                      The Osborn

                                        

Catasauqua, Pennsylvania
 
Coopersburg, Pennsylvania
 
 Catasauqua, Pennsylvania
 

In 1911 Sears even started giving out mortgages. There was ONE financial question, "What is your occupation?"   If you answered it, you got a mortgage!  Horay!

In the 1920s sales of Sears Kit homes were booming!


                                                                           The Verona
 
plans/sears/1923sears/23sears-verona.htm
 
                                                                              Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
 
The Maplewood
 
Image source:
homes/images/1927-1932/1932_3302.jpg                         Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
 

Unfortunately in 1931 sales plummeted after the Great Depression. Sears was forced to foreclose many of their mortgages. Rosemary Thornton said it best "Think of that public relations nightmare!!  Sears was foreclosing their BEST customers on the houses they built with their own HANDS." 

Yikes.

In 1940 Sears closed their Modern Homes department and destroyed all their records.

That means that there is no way of knowing where these kit homes are.

Architectural  Historians, like Thornton, have gathered information mainly from old Sears Modern Home catalogs purchased off of places like ebay.

In total there were about 370 different houses. Thornton says that she tends to find the same 65 houses. (See her book below)  It is very possible that some house designs were never purchased.

                                                                              The Dover

                 Image Source: http://www.arts-crafts.com/archive/sears/page115.html

                                                                                           Allentown, Pennsylvania
                                                

It is sometimes difficult to identify a Sears house. Think of all the remodeling that may have been done over the last 100 years or so. Plus Sears allowed buyers to customize their houses, adding a few feet to the depth or possibly changing a wall or a window here or there.

You will find most of them are within 2 miles of a railroad (think of what a pain it was to haul the material from the train station to your building lot).

Many of them are on the main streets of towns, (think the areas that were heavily built up in the 1920s).

                                                                          The Belmont

                                                                Allentown, Pennsylvania
archive/sears/page144.html

                                         
 
Sears allowed you to reverse the floor plan if you wanted.
                                                          
Now an important fact to remember is that just because a house looks like a Sears House design, doesn't always mean it is one. The architects Sears used purposely modeled their homes after popular styles of the day. That is why when you look at pictures of Sears houses, they mostly seem like the houses you see everyday! The only way to 100% know if it is a Sears kit home is to see stamped lumber, shipping paperwork on the back of mouldings or trim, or to see the shipping label or mortgage paperwork.

                   Stamped lumber helped the home builder assemble the pieces of the kit house


                                             The Fullerton

                                                    

                                                                                                          Whitehall, Pennsylvania
  
                                                

                                                                            The Lewiston

 Image source:                                                         
http://antiquehomestyle.com/plans/sears/
1936sears/36sears-lewiston.htm
                                                                                               Whitehall, Pennsylvania
                                                   
Sears sold around 75,000 kit homes from 1908-1940.

Think you've seen one?  Are you maybe living in one?!   Please write to me!

*** 98% of what I know about Sears Kit Houses is from Rosemary Thornton. Her blog www.searshomes.org  and her books "The Houses that Sears Built" and "Finding the Houses that Sears Built" are a WEALTH of knowledge, information, and pictures. She has dedicated her life to finding Sears homes and educating people on them. Most of the people living in kit homes have no idea they are in one!***

I'd love to hear everyones' thoughts on these beautiful houses. Any questions? This post is just skimming the surface on the topic. Have anything to add?  I'm always looking to learn more. If I get enough questions, I'll probably do a follow up post with Q and A's  ... how exciting for a house nerd like me!

Thank you for letting me share one of my passions with you  :-)

                                                      

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Hi! Thanks for stopping by. I'm a 28-year-old mommy who loves to bake,cook, decorate,sew,and DIY everything I can get my hands on. Grab yourself a cup of coffee and enjoy my adventures!
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