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Sunday, November 29, 2015

Sectional Shopping

We've been thinking about getting a sectional sofa for the living room for over a year now. We've had our current couch for 5 years now, and it's seen better days. We also find it a little small if you want to lay down and relax. Plus, it would be nice to actually have enough comfortable seating if we want other people over. Thanksgiving weekend a year ago, we shopped for one but didn't have any luck. I had decided then that we would wait until after the wedding was over to look again since we were so busy with planning.

Yesterday we decided to go shopping at Good's, a huge furniture store nearby, in search of a sectional. I had always wanted to go here, ever since I saw the commercials on TV when I was a kid. It's much more than just a furniture store. They seemed to have every piece of furniture imaginable, plus there is a gift shop there, a restaurant, and they have their own bed and breakfast. The store is a historic part of the area and has been around for over a century.

The furniture store itself was HUGE. Multiple levels and buildings, and you could definitely get lost in it. I know I did! After walking around through several of the rooms, I had know idea where we had first come in at.

The decor was pretty awesome. It was like a dream furniture store...I'm still surprised we had not gone here sooner.

We saw sofa after sofa, dining tables, chairs, desks, every piece of furniture you could think of. Many of the pieces could be customized with the fabric you choose and throw pillows you wanted, and let me tell you, there were hundreds beyond hundreds of fabric choices!

The best part though, is that we ended up finding the perfect sectional! We bought it right there. I'm really excited to see it in the living room. I know it will take up a lot more space than our current couch, but we really need the seating. If that means that I have to completely redecorate and sacrifice a few current pieces of furniture, then that's what we'll have to do. ;)

Below is the model that we got, but it will be a little different, since we've customized it. It's the Craftmaster F-Series. This sectional was perfect because it was completely customizable to whatever your needs may be. You can switch around the sides, add or subtract pieces, even choose from seemingly hundreds of fabric samples, in all kinds of textures and colors.

We ended up going with a soft, velvety fabric in a shade of light brown. A little lighter than our current couch I think. The side of the sofa will be flipped compared to the one in the store, and instead of the "cuddler" on the end (see how it goes off in an angle?), it will be a straight edge like the one on the other side. We took the measurements of our living room with us to make sure it would fit ok, and we think it will fit perfectly in the corner of the room.

We also got 5 throw pillows included, which could be made in whatever fabric we chose. That was another fun part for me - picking the fabric and pattern of the pillows. Can't wait to share what I chose!

We won't get the sofa for about 6 to 8 weeks, since it's custom and they have to build it to all of our specifications. But hopefully it will be worth the wait! I'm thinking it will probably be delivered in January.

Even though Trent was reallllllyyy wanting a recliner in the sofa, this one does not have one of those. I promised him that we will be able to make it work. We'll get a comfy ottoman or something!

After we bought the sectional, we went downstairs to the Wine Cellar Restaurant and ate dinner. It was such a cozy little place, and we were the last diners there for the night.

The food was good, but the best part was the pie we had for dessert. OMG. I had the peanut butter pie, and Trent had Banana cream. It may have been the best peanut butter pie I've ever had.

Next to the restaurant was a gift store that had clothing, jewelry, scarves, etc. There was even a little pond there that was all decorated for Christmas.

Before we left we made sure to take pictures with the stuffed moose out front. I just couldn't resist.

Dorks, I know. What an afternoon, though! We got to walk around the coolest furniture store in our area, and we bought a new sectional. I can't wait to see it in our room! A good way to spend a Saturday.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Classic Deviled Eggs Recipe

Hi all! So you may know I don't really cook or bake a lot, but every once in a while I get to make something easy and share it on here. This year for Thanksgiving I made Deviled Eggs for my side of the family. I think they went over really well.

This was my second time ever making deviled eggs, and I thought they turned out even better than last time. I followed the classic recipe I used the first time, but just changed it up a little (more on this later). These appetizers are a staple at family get togethers, and today I'm sharing the recipe with you all.

First things first, get all of your ingredients and supplies together. Here's what I used. This recipe uses a dozen eggs, so will make 24 total deviled eggs:

  • 12 large eggs
  • Mayonnaise
  • Dry Ground Mustard
  • Regular Yellow Mustard 
  • White Vinegar
  • Salt
  • Ground Black Pepper
  • Paprika for garnish
  • Optional - Dill for garnish
For supplies, you'll need measuring cups and spoons, a sharp knife and cutting board, a medium sized mixing bowl, a large cooking pot, a ziplock bag or cake decorating bag to fill your eggs, a fork and large spoon, a plate, and a serving tray. 

This year I decided to try the disposable cake decorator bag and tip method to fill the egg halves with the filling. You can get them for pretty cheap in the cake decorating section of the grocery store. If you don't want to use this though, you can also take a large ziplock baggie and cut a hole in the corner. I found the cake decorator bag worked really well for me this time. Just make sure you get the top of the bag sealed off though once the filling is inside, because it did get a little messy.

  1. After you have all of the ingredients you need, prep your eggs for boiling. One tip is to rest your eggs on their sides overnight, or at least 8 hours. This helps to center your yolks.
  2. About 1/2 hour before cooking your eggs, take them out of the fridge to get them to room temperature.
  3. Boil your eggs - Place them into a large pot just one row deep, and fill the pot with cold water, covering the eggs by 1 inch. Add 1 tsp salt per 6 eggs, and set the burner on high. Once the pot starts to boil, take it off the burner.
  4. Add 1 tsp of vinegar, cover your pot and let the eggs sit for 30 minutes in the water.
  5. Place your eggs into a bowl of ice water and let them cool for 20 minutes.
  6. Once cool, start cracking your eggs gently all over, one by one. Put each back into the cold water when cracked and let sit for a few more minutes.
  7. Roll each cracked egg between your palms and peel off the shells. Run them under cold water and place them on a plate. Tip: The fresher your eggs are, the harder it will be to peel off the shells cleanly. So go for less fresh eggs if you can!
  8. Let the peeled eggs cool in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

  9. Cut your eggs lengthwise and squeeze the yolks into a bowl. You should have 24 egg halves ready to squeeze your mixture into.

  10. Now it's time to make the filling. Mash up all of the yolks with a fork so there are no large clumps. Add the following to the yolks: 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 1 tsp dry ground mustard, 1 tsp white vinegar, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp ground black pepper, and a little regular yellow mustard. I didn't add yellow mustard the first time I made them (only the powder), but decided to add some this time to add more flavor. And I am glad I did! It was so much better. I didn't measure an amount, just squeezed some into the mixture. 

    Below is what it looked like with all of the ingredients added.

  11. Then just blend it all together. I used a mixer, but you could blend it by hand instead.

12.      Fill your bag with the mixture, then fill your egg halves. Sprinkle paprika on top for garnish. I also sprinkled some dill this time just to add a little something extra.

And voila! You have perfect deviled eggs for your next party or family gathering.

I'm telling you now, if you use this classic recipe, it's pretty hard to screw them up. Happy eating!

Linked to: Link Party Palooza, Freedom Fridays, The DIY Dreamer, Cupcakes & Crinoline, The Pin Junkie, The Chronicles of Home

Friday, November 27, 2015

A Happy Thanksgiving

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving yesterday! Anyone do some Black Friday shopping today? Or maybe you got it all done last night? We skipped the in-store shopping this year and opted for online deals instead. It was a last minute decision! I think I was just too worn out from yesterday's festivities.

I know I'm a little late on the Thanksgiving post since it was yesterday and all, but we've been busy this week, so this is the first day I've actually been home long enough to post! We had a good day yesterday visiting with both of our families and eating lots of food. We stuffed our faces, that's for sure! I made deviled eggs for the second time ever, and will have the recipe up tomorrow for anyone who's interested. They turned out amazing if I do say so myself.

I didn't take any pictures at Thanksgiving, so I'll end this post with a few photos I took of the sunset this week on my drive home from work. After the snow we got last weekend, we had a pretty nice, sunny week.

One good thing about living in the country is there are lots of back roads to drive down and stop at if you want to get a good sunset picture. :)

I had to stop and take a few since it was so gorgeous. The entire sky was lit up with oranges and yellows.

When there is this much beauty in the world, how can you not be thankful!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Christmas Decorating, A Little Early This Year

Yesterday marked 5 years in this house together. It was also the first snowfall of the season, which got me into the Christmas mood! Usually, the day after Thanksgiving is when I pull the tree out of the closet and decorate. But I broke my tradition and put up the Christmas tree yesterday.

I listened to my Christmas station on Pandora all day long while Trent was out clearing snow. I just decorated the living room though, not the porch yet...since the snow is kind of taking it over at the moment.

We're all decorated inside for the Christmas season now.

Can you believe we've been using this tree since the winter I moved in 5 years ago? It was on sale at Target on Black Friday, and we picked up the blue, white and silver ornaments, star, and tree skirt all on that Black Friday, too.

This is the 6th Christmas we've had this tree. You can visit this post from 2010 to see it back then. Crazy how far this room has come in five years, right? Our first Christmas here, we were sleeping on a mattress on this floor.

So, I know it's a little early to decorate for Christmas, but it makes it so much more cheery in here now! Call me crazy, but I'm totally ready.

Though I only have one lone present under the tree right now. Next step: buy more Christmas presents. Ha.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

5-Year Housiversary and First Snowfall

Hello all! Today marks five years to the day that we started living in this house together! How time flies. I've been calling it our "Housiversary." And how perfect to mark the occasion, than the first snowfall of the year?

And what a snowfall it was. We've heard it's coming all week, and today on this lovely Saturday, it's here. I thought I would be mad, but instead, it oddly has gotten me into the Christmas sprit. More on that later...

We've had a nice little Saturday around the house today. Trent made strawberry banana pancakes this morning. And we watched Ernest Saves Christmas at breakfast.

I took a jaunt outside to check out the snow.

It seems the trees weren't really ready for all of this!

And neither was Trent. I guess it's not so fun when you have to shovel it all.

I'm not sure how many inches we got, but I think it's somewhere in the 6-10 range.

So I guess I would say winter is finally here in full force. It is kinda pretty, though.

The sad thing is we were ALMOST finished with the walkway. Just about 5 bags short of river rock is all that's left. 5 bags! Which means, we almost made it before the first snowfall...but not quite.

Now it's a little snow covered. Trent has been a trooper this week and has gotten supplies right after work, then worked to lay it all down in the dark when he got home. We knew we wouldn't have much time left to get it finished. But it's almost done, so at least it will be so much nicer this winter not having to tread through as much snow.

Can you believe there are even still leaves on some of the trees?

Oh well.. And back to being in the Christmas spirit now, I know it's not even Thanksgiving yet, and usually I put up the Christmas tree the day after, but.... I put the tree up today. :)

I'll have all the deets tomorrow. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Cleaning Weekend

The house is looking a tad cleaner this week! This past weekend we stayed home most of the time, and we both got the urge to do some deep cleaning. We completely tore apart the living room to get all of those dust bunnies behind the couch, and worst of all - those pesky Asian beetles that linger everywhere this time of year. We had them around the curtains, on the furniture, the walls, and ceiling of the living room.  So, naturally, Trent took the vacuum to them!

I should have taken more pictures, but my allergies were going crazy on Sunday. Too much dust I suppose! So I just got ones of Trent vacuuming. :) We had the couch pulled out, the rug pulled out, the curtains was serious business.

It was such a nice day on Sunday that we even opened the windows and let some air in. I have a feeling that might be the last nice day we have in a while! This week has been chilly and rainy, and we're expecting our first snow this weekend.

It's so weird to see our living room without curtains. Check out the hardware on those windows! I definitely follow the "high and wide" rule when it comes to hanging my curtains. Makes the windows appear tons bigger than they really are! We washed all of our white curtains in some bleach, then hung them back up. I think I did a total of four full loads of laundry on Sunday, with bedding, curtains, pillow cases, and throw blankets. 

We cleaned the kitchen, too. And tackled the pantry area. Two loads of dishes - all tupperware containers! It looks much better in there now, though, so I'm glad we got that all done. Let's just hope it stays that way. ;)

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