Summer Blues

Summer is ending and I am not happy about it!!! This is not usually how I am come the end of August. By now I’m usually dreaming of apples and pumpkins and sweatshirts, you name it. But summer has been so so good to us. Maybe it’s the amazing weather we’ve had: weather that allows us to have the windows open nearly every day, weather that allows us to go to the pool or park or take walks whenever we want, weather that let’s Eric and I sit out on the patio after the girls are asleep and reflect on our daily blessings and embrace the new struggles in peace. I have loved every. single. minute!

On Monday our routine comes to a brutal halt. Liesel begins 4 year old preschool. She will be going three days a week and (this is the hardest part) she will be eating lunch there. I am trying ( and failing) to not get emotional. But before I fall completely apart, here is a brief look at our summer adventures.

****warning photo overload****

easy/carefree mornings

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annual trip to Spencer’s for over 10lbs of berries

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trip to Michigan. Fun with cousins and a big 4th birthday celebration

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Fourth of July: parade and (we’re not so sure of you) fireworks

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Family date day downtown Indy

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state fair bliss

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trip to Wisconsin to see our dear friends who we miss TERRIBLy

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and of course more pool and park days than one could ever want

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Such an amazing time with these beauties

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Fall, I know I will love all you have to offer, but for now, I will mourn the end to a perfect summer!

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Mouth Watering Cinnamon Rolls

Ok friends, you are going to want to bookmark this recipe! So so yumm!! A year or so ago I tried a cinnamon roll recipe, and although they were tasty, I wasn’t head over heals for them (especially considering how much time it took to make them). Since then we have been obsessed with Trader Joe’s rolls ( if you haven’t yet, try them!!) but they cost $3.50 for a can of 5. Kinda pricey- especially when buying them once a week 😁.

I found this recipe and wanted to give it try. It seemed very similar to my bread recipe and only required 20min rise time! With two hungry girls+ one hungry hubs an hour rise time doesn’t work well… Here is the recipe, hope you enjoy

ingredients
dough
4-5cups AP flour
2 packages active dry yeast
1tsp salt
3/4c milk
1/2c water
1/2c melted butter
1/2c sugar
1 egg
filling
Melted butter for spreading
1/2c brown sugar
2tsp cinnamon
icing
1.5c powdered sugar
1TB butter, melted
1/8tsp vanilla
4-5 tsp hot water

First, mix 1 3/4c of flour, yeast and salt in bowl and set aside. Then heat milk, water, butter and sugar in a saucepan until butter is melted. Make sure temperature does not exceed 130F. Pour mixture into dry ingredients and mix well. Add in egg and an additional 1/2c flour. Once mixed switch to dough hook. Add in remaining flour 1TB at a time until dough forms a soft ball.

Pour dough onto a floured surface and knead a bit more until it is not sticky. Cover and let rise for 20 minutes. While dough is rising get filling together.

Mix brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Once dough has risen

IMG_7915-0.JPG. Roll dough into a rectangular shape, brush on melted butter and sprinkle filling on top. You really want to cover the dough generously, leaving only a small border around the edge.

IMG_7916.JPG. I ended up adding another 1/2 recipe of the filling in order to make sure it was completely covered.

Next, roll up your dough and pinch the seam tightly together.

IMG_7917.JPG. Using a knife slice into 12 rolls. Place rolls on a greased pan. I chose a round pan because I like softer sides, but you could absolutely cook them apart in rows as well

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Place pan in a 375 degree oven and cook for 15-20 minutes. While your rolls are baking, mix together your icing ingredients and set aside. You want your icing to be smooth and easy to spread.

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Once your rolls are nice and golden on the top

IMG_7921.JPG drizzle or spread your icing and enjoy!!

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These rolls were amazing!! Crisp outside with a soft doughy texture inside. Mixed with a rich cinnamon filling and topped with a sweet glaze. You can guarantee these will be making a regular appearance over here!!! Let me know what you think😃

Cringe!

So, as a parent, there are those things you swore you’d never do and then at some point during the parenting glory days you find yourself doing them… For me a few of those broken vows were car carts at the supermarket ( but I’ll add I made it 4 years before I caved! And boy has shopping been a breeze😊) and another was plastic outdoor play sets ! We are big big public park people, we go nearly every day if not twice a day to our neighborhood playground. I really never thought I’d get any sort of play set in my yard…EVER! And then, I had three girls under 4. My tune started to change a bit. I’d see the way my girls played ( and remained within the boundaries) on friends play sets and I began thinking of how easy my day would be if the older girls could climb outside while Emaline was sleeping, or nursing, or I was fixing dinner or doing yard work.

And as you all can guess, I did it. I broke another vow and bought a “little tykes climber”off a Facebook garage sale page. To my defense it was only $15, but none the less it was a large plastic toy that would live in my yard-cringe! Worth it? We’ll see!

I had seen on Pinterest people painting these ugly hideous toys and they actually looked halfway decent. After some research I decided to try Krylon Fusion for plastics spray paint

IMG_7898.JPG. I was able to buy them for $4 at walmart!! Here is how the play set looked before:

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I used khaki and burgandy colors to paint over the hot pink, faded orange and gross yellow. In order to get the colors to cover I had to use a few additional paint cans. But the spraying was easy and there was no dripping or splotches. Here is the after picture:

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Much more tolerable! However, it is still a plastic toy in my YARD🙈🙈😁 I will admit the girls love it!! Just tonight they played for an hour with the neighbor boy while Eric grilled hamburgers. I think it’ll be worth the $15 after all.

Adventures in Gel Stain

July 13th marked one year as homeowners for Eric and I! What a fast year. We celebrated with a champagne toast on the back patio

IMG_7517.JPG …and gel staining our kitchen cabinets!!

Redoing our kitchen cabinets was high on our do to list. We picked our wall color ( Benjamin Moore Colorado Gray ) last summer with our future cabinets in mind. After much research we decided on General Finishes ” Java” gel stain.

IMG_7893.JPG. The product received rave reviews and all the “after” pictures looked beautiful.

We cannot say enough good things about the product! It was amazing. So easy to use, barely any prep needed, and such.a.difference. I would recommend gel stain to any and everyone. We chose a darker finish, but there are plenty of options. Here is a brief look at our adventures in gel staining😃

After a quick sanding ( literally 10seconds per surface) and wipe down, we were ready to begin. We used a foam brush for the application ( Joann’s had a huge pack on sale for $5). In order to get the color we wanted, we needed two coats. Unfortunately dry time= 12 hours. But we were in no hurry! We divided the kitchen into sections and tackled one at a time. I think it took us about 3 weeks to finish the entire project. Not bad. Considering it was easy and low low stress. We enjoyed working on this project together after the girls were in bed each night. You could easily hammer this project out it far less time, but we wanted to take it easy.

In total we spent $40 on gel stain (2 quarts needed for entire kitchen) and $5 on brushes. Here are a few pictures from our kitchen

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IMG_2027.JPG. We also replaced the hardware on the cabinets with a simple brushed nickel handle. We bought them at lowes ( over the course of the last year we’d buy a few here and there) for $2 each. I think the dark stain really makes them pop!

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Next kitchen projects include backsplash, thinking gray subway tiles like this

IMG_2030.JPG (photo credit) thoughts??? And then down the road installing new flooring ourselves😳. Being homeowners is the best, dreaming, dreaming, dreaming!

Happy gel staining everyone!