Monday, September 30, 2013

Read. Lakeshore Chronicles #2

On the longest night of the year, Jenny Majesky loses everything in a devastating house fire. But among the ashes she finds an unusual treasure hidden amid her grandfather's belongings, one that starts her on a search for the truth, and on a path toward a life that she never imagined. The Winter Lodge, a remote cabin owned by her half sister on the shores of Willow Lake, becomes a safe refuge for Jenny, where she and local police chief Rourke McKnight try to sort out the mysteries revealed by the fire. Now, following her dreams might mean walking away from her one chance at love.

I just finished the 2nd book in the series and immediately moved on to the next one. I didn't read as fast this time and it not only had to be returned but I needed to start a new one for my upcoming vacation. Again, there's the very occasional swear word in this book but if you can ignore that then I totally recommend this series. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

DIY. Painting - Kitchen

This is the before. I have lived with this drab white with little to nothing on the walls for about 20 years. Again with the fear of color on the walls. A big obstacle when it came to choosing a color was the counter and back splash. I found a match online (Dusty Jade Dust Matte Finish) and pinned it on Pinterest.

After some serious thought and I decided on Stampin' Up!'s So Saffron. I painted my front door first and then started on the kitchen. It is still a work in progress but I can tell you now that I can't help but smile every time I see it. I'll post again when it's all done and I have some decor to finish it off. Happy.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Biking. My Exercise of Choice

10.3 Miles Provo to Spanish Fork
This morning I got my bicycle fixed. The front wheel had gotten all wiggly again so I took it over to Mad Dog Cycles which is like 2 blocks from my house and the tech fixed it on the spot free of charge. Awesome. Of course this made me want to ride some more.

Shortly after that I was talking to my sister who was headed home (south of Spanish Fork) and she said she had to come back my way by 2pm. I mentioned riding my bike to her house and she said I'd never make it in time. Was that a dare?! It was 12:45pm. Of course I wasn't going to make it all the way to her house but I definitely made it to where she didn't have to go out of her way to pick me up. I rode from my house to the Macey's grocery store in Spanish Fork via the route above and got there with 10 minutes to spare and she ended up being late.

3.9 Miles Orem to Provo

She took me directly to the Legacy Dance Studio in Orem where I hung out for several hours. After realizing she wasn't going anywhere until 7pm I rode home via the route above. I had done the same route on Friday round trip. Let's hope I can keep this up.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

DIY. Changing a Light Bulb the Hard Way

About a week ago the light bulb in my bedroom made a loud pop when I was turning it on and went out. It wasn't until last night that I finally decided to put in the new bulb that I finally got from the shed the day before.

This is what I found when I took off the globe. It had popped right out of the metal leaving it hanging from the socket. Nice.

After making sure the switch was OFF,  I pulled off the glass that was hanging by a thread, got some PPC Wooden Tongs (no longer available in the style I have sorry no pic) and put on some gloves. I know there are other ways to get the metal out of the socket but it was 11PM and this was my method of choice. I simply used the tongs spread apart to hold onto the metal and turn it out of the socket. It worked quite well. Done.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

DIY. Painting - Front Door

I finally decided on a color. I picked So Saffron from my Stampin' Up! Color Coach because it will go with the colors on both projects. I did a color match and got the Glidden Satin finish. There are two projects in the mix, possibly three. The first project is clearly the front door. Then I will move on to the kitchen.

It's always a little scary to paint something a color other than white or beige because that was the only accepted color in all of our homes growing up. That being said, I have been pleased with every decision I have made so far to break that mold. I am excited to finish the door tomorrow and get started on the kitchen. It's just paint.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Bake. Cupcake Success

Last cupcake post I made the cream and it was so yummy. I had left over and I didn't want it to go to waste. My plan was to make what you see here since the last attempt was sickening sweet. This on the other hand was absolutely delicious!

I used a regular cheap chocolate cake mix and added some chocolate pudding to give it some substance. I do admit I almost forgot to add it so the cupcakes themselves could have turned out a little better. Totally my fault. After adding a wee bit of milk to the almost room temperature (from fridge) cream I whipped it back into shape and put it into my frosting shooter. Rather than "frosting" the cupcake I decided to just do the cream in the middle overflowing to the top. I didn't do much because I didn't feel like making more. Delicious!

Angel Cream Filling Recipe: from HERE
1/4 c Solid Shortening. (I used Coconut Oil)
1/4 c Butter.
2 c Sifted Confectioners Sugar.
1 tbsp Milk.
1/2 tsp Vanilla.
Mix the first two items with a beater. Slowly add the Powdered Sugar then add the Milk and Vanilla.

Monday, September 9, 2013

DIY. Antenna Switcharoo

I do not pay for cable TV. Years ago while deciding whether or not to switch to a different provider I decided to go the antenna route. I ordered the small antenna online for $99 and we installed it on the house. I get about 25 channels. As far as I'm concerned, the only ones I need. Besides ABC, CBS and NBC I also get KBYU, KJZZ, ION and MEtv along with several others.

Last week or so I noticed a neighbor had removed a larger antenna from their house while getting a new roof. I watched as it stayed on the ground with the junk pile and so one day while passing by I asked if they were throwing it out. Yes they were. Free antenna!

It had the exact mount as the one I had already so all I had to do was switch it out. That was of course after I switched out the cable cord which was too short (also a DIY). I got it all ready and then took it to the roof. Once the storms cleared I made the cable switches and took down the small antenna. Then I found out that I was too short to finish the job.

Later that day I happened to meet up with my friend Celia. She brought her family to the yard sales which I realized later was a great opportunity for me. I asked her husband to mount the larger antenna to the house. It took him just a few minutes since everything was all set up for him. Thank you Nathan!

Since then I have been on the roof many times trying to find the sweet spot to get my channels back and hopefully a few more. It has been bouncing back and forth between some good ones but not quite the ones I want. What I really need is an electronic rotating mechanism with a remote. In the mean time, I need another person to sit on the roof and move it until I get all the channels I want. Eventually. For now, I'm sick of going up on the roof just to turn it a little. I even tried using a compass but the coordinates I found are pretty general.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Bake. Cupcake Fun

I really do love cupcakes. It's a lot of individual cakes so you don't mess up a big one and when I say mess up I mean cut into not bake wrong but that's a possibility too. My thing lately is to fill them. I even have a fancy pastry tool that I've had forever.

My goal was to find something as close as possible to the filling on my favorite Angel Cream Dunkin Donut. Here is what I found and I actually really like it. I only used her Vanilla Cream recipe but I may go back and donuts later but I'll do that outside on the grill. There's a single unit on it where I can boil something so that I don't have that greasy smell in the house.

My friend Michelle did the icing. We colored it lavender (to use up the food coloring) and then put a little poof on top. It was actually way too much icing. Especially since the white cupcake was already sweet and filled with vanilla cream. Also, the cupcake was too fluffy and fall apart for the filling. I'm guessing that is why people add pudding to the mix. At least they're pretty!

Next time I will make the cupcake chocolate with vanilla cream filling and just a wee bit of icing on top. I also need an icing bag kit with fancy tips for the icing since my other contraption is full of filling which by the way is delicious and I could eat it with a spoon.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

DIY. Sunflower to Seeds

Thanks to the birds I had a random sunflower in my garden. They also gave me a small stalk of corn but that was uprooted and didn't take. Back to the sunflower. I'm terrible at watering my garden so I believe it died early. Anyway, I can see it from my work station and decided to look up how to harvest the seeds. I found a guy on youtube. I can't find him again because there are tons but basically he said to let it wilt and when the back of the head turns yellow you cut it off and dry it out for a day or so (hard with all the rain lately). Then the seeds will practically fall right out. They did. Then you soak them in salt water or something and lay them out to dry. After that I guess you could roast them? I wouldn't know because I never got that far. The birds will get the seeds because Max decided to go for a dirty spoon that was nearby. He got caught up on the paper towel and was startled to get much more than he was going for. Seeds everywhere. Fail.