March 25, 2013

Getting ready for Easter

I have been getting ready for Easter all week. Shopping and cleaning the house all the good stuff. My mom, brother and in-laws will be here tomorrow. We are having a Easter egg hunt and lunch tomorrow. So today I making coconut cake!! One of my favorites. I like to make it at Easter and Christmas. It's white and fluffy and delicious. I want some now just writing about it! Haha.

This is my menu for the weekend :)
Broccoli and Cheese
Peanut Butter Eggs
Slow Cooker Ham
Macaroni and Cheese
Coconut Cake
My mom is brining deviled eggs and my mother-in-law is bringing Tyler's favorite baked beans.
I can't wait!! Woo!!
And don't forget the kids stuff. I filled the eggs and the baskets. Maybe I went a little overboard.....

I even ordered a hoodie for Tyler, which he has yet to pick up. Weirdo.

Joe Fresh

If I knew there was something new and awesome for me just sitting at a store, I would pick it up right away!!! But then again I love new clothing :)
The only thing I didn't get to do is hang my new wallpaper in the foyer. I started to strip the paint on the wood and it turned into a HUGE mess. So I will have to get back to that after the holiday. Most DIY is try and fail I think ;)

I hope everyone has a delicious, fun, loving family weekend.


March 22, 2013

Cooooookie Time

Lately my kids have been loving the book, 'If You Give A Mouse A Cookie'. And that makes me happy because I too love this book. I remember reading that and 'If You Give A Moose A Muffin'.
So in honor of the book I decided to make classic chocolate chip cookies. I love cookies. They are so perfect, more perfect than a cupcake. You can eat them warm or cold. You can put them in your pocket and eat them on the go. You can take them to a new neighbor or put them in a lunch box. I could go on and on.... But its difficult to make cookies in my household because my kids snatch cookies off the cooling rack so fast. I will make 3 dozen and end up with a dozen in the cookie jar!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 sticks salted butter, softened
3/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. granulated sugar
1 egg
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. all purpose flour
2 tsp. cornstarch - this is the trick!
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. bittersweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. In the bowl, cream together butter and sugars until fluffy and light in color. Add egg and vanilla and blend in.

3. Mix in flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt. Stir in chocolate chips.

4. Using a standard-sized cookie scoop or tablespoon, drop dough onto a prepared baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until barely golden brown around the edges. (The tops will not brown, but do NOT cook longer than ten minutes.)

5. Let cool, on the sheet, on a wire rack for five minutes. Remove from baking sheet and let cool completely. Makes approximately 3 dozen.

Combine sugar and butter.

Add egg and vanilla. And beat until combined.

Mix in flour, baking soda, cornstarch and salt. And mix until completely incorporated.

Add chocolate chips and mix with a spoon.

Yum! Delicious cookie dough :)

Scoop cookie dough onto baking sheet and push them down slightly.

Bake for 8-9 minutes. The bottom will be brown and the top will look undercooked. Let sit on baking sheet till cool.

Move to cooling rack till completely cool.

These cookies are my absolute favorite! They are a million times better than any store bought, mass produced cookie. Unfortunately, they were Logan's favorite too and now he has a cavity. So today we are going to the dentist. I'm not going to lie, I am so nervous and I'm not getting anything done!! I hope he behaves well and let's them fix it! Oh gosh!!! Breath, Steph.

Well enjoy the cookies and wish me luck!


March 21, 2013

The Macaroni to My Cheese

My Grandma would make dinner every night. I would be there. Especially if it was Mac and cheese night. I'm pretty sure she just layered cooked noodles and shredded cheese and just pour milk over top. I don't really remember how she made it. I just remember how it tasted. It was perfect. Cheesy, kinda burnt on the top. Perfection.
Well my grandma is no longer around and unfortunately I only have two of her recipes.
After trying and failing many mac and cheese recipes I have found the perfect one. And it tastes just like Grandmas :)

I was with my grandfather recently and he gave me some old pictures. This was one of them.

It makes me laugh so hard.
I was Lana del Ray before there even was a Lana del Ray . Lol.

It was the 90's and I was dramatic ;)
This picture just reminds me of my grandparents house where I grew up.
I have the best memories from there.
The parties in the backyard.
Swimming in the indoor pool.
Times were good.

So making this Mac and cheese takes me back to then.
I found the recipe on The Pioneer Woman blog.
I just cut it in half to make enough for 4 servings.

Macaroni and Cheese

2 cups Dried Macaroni
1 Egg Beaten
2 Tbs Butter
2 Tbs All-purpose Flour
1- 1/4 cups Whole Milk
1 teaspoons (heaping) Dry Mustard, More If Desired
1 pound Cheese, Grated
1/2 teaspoon Salt, More To Taste
1/2 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
1/2 teaspoon powered garlic


Pre-heat over to 350.
Cook macaroni until very firm. Macaroni should be under cooked. Cook for half the time suggested on package. Drain.
In a small bowl, beat egg.
In a large pot, melt butter and sprinkle in flour. Whisk together over medium-low heat. Cook mixture for five minutes, whisking constantly. Don’t let it burn.
Pour in milk, add mustard, garlic, pepper and whisk until smooth. Cook for five minutes until very thick. Reduce heat to low.
Take 1/4 cup of the sauce and slowly pour it into beaten egg, whisking constantly to avoid cooking eggs. Whisk together till smooth.
Pour egg mixture into sauce, whisking constantly. Stir until smooth.
Add in cheese and stir to melt.
Add salt and. Taste sauce and add more salt as needed!
Pour in drained, cooked macaroni and stir to combine.
Serve immediately (very creamy) or pour into a buttered baking dish, top with extra cheese, and bake for 25 - 30 minutes or until bubbly and golden on top.

Melt butter. Add flour. Cool until blonde. Do not burn or it will taste like burnt peanut butter.

Pour in milk, slowly while whisking. If its lumpy just keep whisking.

Whisk until smooth.

Add the garlic, pepper and dry mustard.

Cook until its thick like a gravy.

Wisk egg in a separate bowl.

Add some 'gravy' into the egg, while whisking. This is tempering the egg so it doesn't cook when poured in the sauce.

Mix together.

Add egg mixture to sauce.

Mix together until smooth.

Add the cheese.

Mix together until all melted and velvety smooth. Yummy.

Add cooked noodles.

Coat the noodles in the sauce.

Pour into a over safe dish.

Top with some extra shredded cheese.

Put it in the oven for 30 minutes.

Then eat some of the most amazing Mac and cheese you have ever eaten.

I could seriously eat all of this myself. But when I don't its perfect to reheat for lunch the next day.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. And I hope you laughed as hard as I did at the pictures.
Because if you can't laugh what are you going to do, cry?! I think not!
Laugh on everyone :)


March 20, 2013


My bird wallpaper I ordered from Anthropologie came... A while ago actually. I couldn't wait to put it up but almost a month later it was still in the box. And a month after I put the wallpaper up I still haven't posted the pics. I am a true slacker sometimes.
This is what the foyer looked like when we bought the house.

And this is what it looks like now!

I first took down the wood that was covering the original glass windows. Total 'Rehab Addict' style, 'why would they cover that up!?'. It made a huge difference just opening that up. Then I primed the walls and painted the molding. I really wanted to paint the trim black, like the bathroom, but Tyler said no. Party pooper. But he did come up with painting the vent cover a different color. I was down with that. He wanted to do it green. Ummm maybe not all green, so we settled for a green nob.

Then we go to install the new light fixture I bought and the wires are old and cloth covered.
I swear this house is the worst sometimes. Ugh.
My electricians :)

Sometimes I wish we would of bought a newly built house. Maybe a condo in Brooklyn. I could just pick up the phone and have someone fix everything for me. I wouldn't even need to take my trash out or cut the grass and collect leaves. Life would be easy.

I'm just glad it's done. Every time I used the front door I was like, ewww gross!
Now I smile and want to hug the wall!! I love it.
I can't forget my bird door knocker, I am the crazy bird lady ;)

I hope you like the before and after :)


Movie Night

Recently every night when the kids go to bed I have been watching Wes Anderson movies. Who is Wes Anderson? You ask. Well he is probably the best director of our generation, in my opnion. He has made such greats as Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Darjeeling Limited and his most recent Moonrise Kingdom.
His movies are beautiful. Every shot is perfect and the colors are amazing.
I alway wanted to live in the Tenenbaums house and its actually in Harlem, NY.

Everything is so detailed.

Check out the wallpaper, it's designed by Scalamandre .

I love the zebras! The red is so bold and I would love to use it somewhere.

Louis Vuitton made luggage for 'The Darjeeling Limited' and its gorgeous.

I want the whole set so bad! Hahaha.

So check out some of his movies, I know you won't regret it.


March 18, 2013

Magic mirror on the wall

Its a lot easier to update your bathroom than you might think. As long as your have enough tile to do it all. Unlike me who had to get more twice. Ugh. Bad planning on my part. But it is super easy to put tile up.
You can do it in a weekend if you plan right.
The bathrooms in this house are pretty small. I guess in the 40's they didn't need a lot of space.
So adding tile up the walls gives the illusion the room is bigger.
And if the kids draw on the walls with my makeup it's easy to wipe off.

I eventually want to put up this wallpaper. I'm totally in love with it!

It's by House of Hackney
I think it should be called 'Party Animal'.

To get started I had to chip the tile off in order to have the new tile line up perfectly.

Then I drilled a board into the wall to insure my line was completely straight.

I tiled up the wall to 50".
Finished the bottom and then grouted.
You need to wait 24 hours after putting the tile up to grout it.

I continued around the room.
Going around the radiator.
I had to move the sink. Please remember to turn the water off! Same goes for the toilet if have to move it.
Kept tiling and grouting until you're done!

The bathroom look like this when we moved in.

Till one morning while I was taking a bath I looked up and noticed mold on the celing.
That led to me getting mold removal experts to test everything.
We had mold.
Our master bath was leaking causing mold in the kitchen downstairs. And our 3rd floor bathroom toilet was broken and that caused mold in the bathroom underneath.
Everything in our house was original. Toilets, sinks, fixtures, everything.
Our roof was even leaking.
It was a mess!
They removed the bathrooms and the mold. And we hired contractors to put them back together quick.
Well what we thought would be quick. We had both showers demoed and only had a mini tub to bathe in on the 3rd floor. Did I mention it was June and super hot on the 3rd floor. Not comfortable. So we ended up 'showering' in the backyard. With a hose.
Our neighbors probably thought we were crazy!
So they put the bathrooms back together. It only took 3 months!
It was a super simple design I came up with.

All white.
I thought I could keep it clean and switch out any paint or wallpaper I wanted.
Well it was a little to boring for me. So I decided to add the tile.
It's a work in progress. I hope you like it :)