Saturday, February 20, 2010

mmmmmmm cupcakes...

So I found a interesting looking recipe on The Pioneer Woman (one of my fave blogs). So I decided to try it out. Olive oil cupcakes with lemon and thyme. Oh my goodness. They're so good I've made these cupcakes 3 times in less than a week! They are nice and dense and fresh. And you can pretend they aren't too bad for you because they use olive oil instead of butter! I can't seem to keep these around for very long, they get eaten up so quickly.

Olive Oil Cupcakes with Lemon and Thyme (from
Prep time: 15 min Cook time: 20 Difficulty: Easy Servings: 12

1 Tablespoon melted butter
1-1/3 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons Grated lemon zest (2 large lemons worked for me)
2 Whole Eggs
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
2/3 Cup Whole Milk
1 Cup flour
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Minced Fresh Thyme (I used lemon thyme)

For the Glaze:
1-1/2 cup Powdered Sugar
2 Tablespoons Melted Butter
3 Table spoons Fresh Lemon Juice, or more as needed.

Preparation Instructions:
Preheat you oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a muffin pan with melted butter and then dust with a little flour. (I used muffin/cupcake cups and was happier with how they turned out). Pulse the sugar and lemon zest in a blender until combined. Add the eggs one at a time, then gradually pour in the olive oil and milk, pulsing until emulsified into a thin batter, about 30 seconds. Don't overblend or the cakes will be too puffy.
Whisk one cup flour, the baking powder, salt and thyme in small bowl. Add to the blender in 2 batches until just combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until the cakes just start to pull away from the sides of the pan and spring back when lightly touched, about 25 minutes depending on your oven.
In the meantime, make the glaze: whisk the powdered sugar, melted butter and lemon juice until smooth, adding more lemon juice if too thick. Drizzle over the cooled cakes and garnish with a thyme sprig. (I dipped my cupcakes in the glaze).

Friday, February 19, 2010

Our view

The sunset and the olympics off our back deck tonight... Amazing.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Yay Mom!

I just got a call from my mom and she got a great new job! Woo hoo! The economy on Montana is even worse than here so she's been having difficulty finding something worthwhile. She had an interview yesterday for a Court Clerk for the city of Livingston. And she got it! I'm so happy because she deserves to be doing something she likes and making enough money to live comfortably. Plus the benefits of a government job should be great.

I'm so happy for you!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Need a pick-me-up?

Click the link below.

All I know is that if you watch that for a while, you can't help but smile. Ridiculously adorable blobs of cuteness.... Yikes! :D

Thursday, February 4, 2010

(Sort of) Extreme Home Makeover!

Goodness gracious have we been busy.
Here is the "before and after" post I mentioned. I don't have as many good pictures as I wish, but I'll try my best to show everything.
We're pretty much all done now (thankfully) and are putting things back together.

This the best shot of our living room before everything started. As you can see, we have no bedroom door a the time this was taken. If you look to the top right corner of the cream couch, you can see an ugly wall/wooden bar thing. Eww. We had 3 of those. They don't even do anything. Ryan decided to remove it to fit our new couch. Also, we needed to move the fish tank.

This is the wall/wooden bar thing now, mostly. It's been finished nicely and has molding on it. Looks much cleaner and nicer.

Here is our living room as it now sits, only missing the new window. That's our new couch!

We needed to get another bookshelf for my large amount of books. I think it looks great. Also, check out our new bedroom door, much better.

This is my new favorite place in the house. I call it my reading nook. And the owl pillow?? Pure love.

This is basically what our hallway looked like BEFORE. It was painted some weird grey color, which made it dark and dreary.

Also, the bedroom doors were all like this. Dark frame, weird color. Yuck.

Now, once again, I didn't get the best photos, but the hallways is now a nice light creamy color. It really brightened it all up. I love it. Ryan has started working on the floor in this photo also.

Here is a final view of the hallway. Brighter and more inviting. And I think the mirror looks great and makes the spot feel bigger.

Ugh..... This is the 3rd bedroom BEFORE. Who in their right mind would ever paint it this color? Yuck. It was almost painful in there when the sun was out and the blinds were open.

This is before new paint, but with the awesome new door.
AFTER! New paint which is actually the same color as the hallway. New moldings at the base of the walls and last but definitely not least, new windows! MUCH MUCH better.

Here is the spare bathroom BEFORE. Not really that bad looking in this picture. But the walls were a flat grey/white color and had no texture on them. Bleh.

This is when Ryan and his dad were getting ready to spray some texture. An awesome decision. Texture made it look so much better.

Here is the spare bathroom AFTER. We replaced the shower curtain bar with a brushed aluminum one, replaced the gross old medicine cabinet with a classy looking white one (Craigslist find!!), painted the vanity white and painted the walls a relaxing light blue. I LOVE the color of this bathroom now.

Ahhhhh.... The kitchen/dining room. The above picture is old. Like first couple days we moved in old. That chandelier is LONG gone. But the main thing I wanted to point out is the hideous red wall. Maybe in another setting and done with skill it wouldn't look so bad. But it's always been something we've hated. We actually started our fixing up the house with painting this wall on New Years Eve (aren't we exciting).

This picture is also very old, but it's pretty close to how our kitchen looked. Also, note the brown doorway going towards the washing machine. This gets a face lift.

This is when Ryan is starting to take out the old fake wood and the moldings. See that little thing in the middle of our floor? That's the wonderful hole that has always been in the MIDDLE of our kitchen. It's sort of a mystery. It looks like a heat vent, but the placement is strange. Not long after moving in, the "patch job" the previous owners had done failed. Which then caused the vinyl to rip, which then led to us having duct tape on our floor for almost 2 years and us subconsciously avoiding walking in the middle of the kitchen... Fun! I'm glad to see Mr. Holey go. Bye!

Close up of the culprit.

Ryan working away. Oh, our brown wall! This is the wonderful color we painted our wall. No more red ugliness. It's a very warm inviting color now and I love it.

Ryan removing the old flooring (and looking cute).

The best part of the whole project. This is our new floor going in (old window in the background though).

AFTER the floor is finished. Plus, the doorway is now white and better looking and the new kitchen window is in! The new windows and white moldings really brightened up the kitchen a lot.

So there ya go. All pretty and finished now. A couple things need to be put away and back in their places, but other then that, it's done! Woo hoo!!!!!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Our couch getting adventure

So on a Saturday morning a couple weeks ago, we set off on an adventure to get a couch off craigslist.
We had to rent a U-Haul to get it because it was too large to fit in Ryan's truck.
We took the ferry from Seattle to Bainbridge island. It was about a half hour each way. Once we got over there we were able to pick it up quickly and head back. It was a fun morning. Taking a U-Haul on a ferry is not cheap by the way. Our new couch is really nice and looks and feels brand new. Pics of it will be in the next blog post. :)
Here are some pics from our adventure.
Waiting for the ferry

The Olympics peeking through the clouds


Our seaworthy boat