Long-Distance Dinner Date

Long-Distance Dinner Date

My fiance and I couldn’t be together this Valentine’s Day since he’s away for work (only 18 more days until he moves back! -but who’s counting…)

I can hardly wait for him to return, although I must say, we’ve gotten pretty good at long-distance dating.

For Valentine’s day we decided to do dinner and a movie. We ordered each other dinner and had it delivered (I got him pizza, he got me Thai food) Then we both downloaded the same movie and watched it together while on gmail video call.

These kinds of date nights have been so important to keeping us close during this extended time apart. Although it’s great to chat on the phone or send texts and emails, there’s something so comforting about just being together and not having to say anything. You don’t get to have a lot of shared experiences when you are living in different time zones, so a movie night is the perfect thing!

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Custom Furniture: DIY Couch Table

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Our living room is a bit awkward; as soon as you enter the front door you’re standing right in the middle of it. It’s not very big either, so it offered some design challenges when it came to furnishing it.

We searched high and low to find the right couch and finally settled on a cozy sectional that fit the space perfectly, extending the full width of the living room wall and offering maximum seating. Unfortunately there wasn’t any room leftover for end tables and a coffee table would have made the space feel cramped.

I determined that what was needed was a couch table; a narrow table that would fit snugly behind the back of the couch.

After an exhaustive search it became clear that such a piece of furniture was not readily available and would need to be custom built. A combination of frugality and ambition made me decide to attempt this on my own.

I had 2″x12″ planks of spruce cut to the exact measurements of the height and width of the couch at the local building supply store and picked up some wood glue, 4″ wood screws, sandpaper, wood putty and a walnut colored stain.

Couch Table Progress

I laid the top piece of the table on the floor and used wood glue to carefully secure the legs of the table in place. After allowing the glue to dry over night, I carefully flipped it over and used a drill bit to create 3 equally spaced, 4″ deep holes, extending through the top of the table and into the legs. After I’d drilled the screws into the holes, I used the wood putty to cover over the tops of the screws. Next, I sanded the entire piece and once the sawdust had been cleared away, I gave it 2 coats of the walnut stain.

The couch table is a great solution for our living room. Structurally speaking, there’s definitely room for improvement (I will not be dancing on this particular table), but as a surface for a lamp, a few books and a few drinks it’s perfect!

Cookie Monster: Simple Cinnamon Cookies

Cookie Monster: Simple Cinnamon Cookies

Ever since last week’s cake baking success, I’ve become a little obsessed. It suddenly dawned on me, that with a few ingredients, I can just whip up cookies or cakes whenever I want! (This is probably not the best thing for me, since I’m a sucker for anything containing sugar.)

In the midst of a sugar craving last night, I made a batch of these cinnamon cookies.
In my excitement I didn’t let the dough chill as the recipe instructed, I also made only 15 cookies, not the 24 that the measurements were intended to make… I’m not always the best at following instructions when I’m excited about something, but they turned out great anyway! They reminded me a bit of doughnuts.
A tasty, simple and dummy proof recipe! (I promptly ate 6 of them -they’re extra delicious when they’re still warm!)

Home Improvements: Plate Wall

Home Improvements: Plate Wall

I’ve been collecting plates for several years now, with the intention of eventually one day creating a plate wall. I finally found some adjustable plate hangers at Pier 1 and figured out how to drill into a brick wall (not as hard as I thought, hint: drill into the mortar) and ta-da!!! I now have a plate wall!

I’ll continue to add new plates as I collect them. These ones were gathered from Anthropologie, West Elm, China Town and vintage stores.

Dessert for the Queen of Desserts!

In my family, my Mom is the go-to person when it comes to all things baked.  She is a pie/cookie/brownie expert.  I, on the other hand, have very little experience when it comes to baking.  When my Aunt asked for a volunteer to handle dessert for my Mom’s birthday celebration, I saw it as an opportunity to get some baking practice.

I picked this recipe, because it looked amazing and suitably decadent with it’s pumpkin cake and cheesecake layers and cream cheese icing.

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It turned out pretty great, and it took me exactly one entire day to make. My cakes took significantly longer than the recipe called for, I suspect the problem is my oven…

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As a side note, my boyfriend, who is currently in Portland OR for work, suggested the idea of baking cakes together. I texted him the ingredients list and we had a good ol’ fashioned cake-bake-date!

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He opted to replace the cream cheese icing for an almond butter icing which sounds pretty incredible and by all reports it was!

Another side note: my niece who is not yet 3 told me that, “this cake is really delectable” and my sister swears she didn’t feed her that line. ADORABLE!!!!

Graveyard Dip

Graveyard Dip

Here’s what I contributed to my office’s Halloween potluck. I got the idea here (but I left out the chicken and olives.)

It was a big hit visually, but not so much when it came to being eaten. I guess people felt bad about ruining the little scene… Or perhaps graveyards aren’t appetizing…  Or maybe it was that the lettuce on top hid all the goodness underneath. Once I got rid of the little characters and added a spoon it generated more interest.

A cute idea though!