Monday, April 23, 2012

Bread Bag

I've started making homemade bread, and this has presented the challenge of storing it so it doesn't go bad before we finish it.  I was reading about various bread holders online (there are several options on Amazon...some quite amusing), and read something about a tweed bag being one of the best storage options.  I mentioned this to Tim, and his response was "Tweed?  I have tweed pants."  That set the following into motion.

He immediately went into our outdoor storage unit and pulled out this pair of tweed pants that he just happened to be saving for such an occasion...who knew?  I didn't.

My husband is a man of many talents.  Did you know he could sew?

He's also very good at removing stitches ;)  (This was one of those 1 in a million moments where I was right and he did it wrong anyway.  Yes, I'm gloating...No, it's not pretty...but it happens so excuse my relishing)

And he produced a tweed bread bag for me.  I'll let you know how it works out!

Friday, April 13, 2012

House Hunters

Part of the reason I have been so bad to my loyal fans by not updating the blog is that we've spent almost every spare moment looking for a nest house.  I could show you the Excel sheet of houses we've seen, but  then you might think we were crazy (if you don't already...).  Let's just say there are A LOT of houses that we've looked at.  It's not that we haven't found any we've fact...we've put offers on four different houses.  Now five.

With the first house, we ended up in a "highest and best" blind bid situation and were outbid.  The second house, we got the bid...but after walking through it with a fine-toothed comb...we realized that the "To-Do" list of things that would HAVE TO be done immediately was really beyond our cash flow at this time and exceeded our willingness to do projects.  Tim refers to this house as the "death by a thousand paper cuts".  We actually felt a huge rain cloud was lifted when we decided (after much prayer) to walk away from this house.  The third house was it...I was convinced.  It was in a neighborhood we really liked, and had a very manageable to-do list...but again was a bid situation...and we were outbid.  Many tears were shed over this one (I'm pregnant, I can cry if I want to).  The fourth house was a shot in the dark.  It had a fabulous yard (which is something we've been really wanting), but was really out of our reach price-wise. We put an offer on it anyway, and weren't surprised when the guy turned it down and we realized we weren't going to find middle ground.  

So that brings us to the fifth house.  This was a house we had looked at, really liked the house, but had sort of decided that the yard wasn't what we wanted.  After the fourth house didn't work out, I couldn't stop thinking about this house.  I'm talking...wide awake at 2 am and can't get this house out of my head.  So when we went to our agent's office to meet him to go for yet another Saturday of looking at houses, I told him I wanted to go see this house again.  He looked at me and said, "now... you guys decided that the yard was too small".  (He can say this to me...the man has spent countless hours looking at houses with us, he knows what we're looking for).  I said, "I know, but we need to go see this house again."  So, we added it to the list of houses to see that day, and it just so happened that the owners were out of town that weekend, so it was convenient to stop by.  It was the second house we looked at that day and every house after it just didn't compare in my head.  After seeing it again, we realized the yard was not as small as we (Tim) had it in our (his) head. :)  

We put together an offer that day... they countered...we accepted...and we're currently under contract for this beauty...

We are still in the nitty-gritty of all the stuff you have to do when buying a house, so it's not final 'til the fat lady signs the closing papers, BUT, I'm feeling confident enough to post a picture.  We had our house inspection yesterday and it went ridiculously well.  It was really fun (for me anyway) to have the inspector walk us through the house and tell us about it in detail, some for suggested repairs and maintenance and some just to educate us on the house.  So, if all continues to go well (still continuing to pray this thing through)...we will be closing in June...and Sprout will have a nest house.

It's Not Good When Your Hairdresser Says...

One of the things I miss most about Athens is my hairdresser.  I had finally found someone that made my hair look good for a reasonable price, and I was sad to leave her behind when we moved.  It's really hard for me to convince myself to try someone new because I may be willing to pay a certain amount for a haircut, but not if I don't know if the person is going to jack up my hair.  So what did I do?  I went to Supercuts.  At least if they mess it up, I've only paid ~$15.

So, I'm sitting in the chair and the lady is chatting me up while she's cutting the back of my hair.  She hands me the mirror and turns the chair around so I can see what she's done.  I wasn't that all... but usually I can't decide if I like a haircut until I've gone home and washed and styled it myself, and I wouldn't have known how to ask her to change it...other than to say "can you make it look better than that", so I said nothing.  She turns me back around...and starts to take the cape off!  I said, as nicely as I could..."Are you going to cut the front?".  "Oh yeah!" she says and sort of laughs.  I was quickly losing confidence that I was going to get out of there for $15 AND with a good haircut.  Then I saw it...her license...showing a graduation date of just a month earlier.  I had clearly gotten the newbie.

23 weeks

I was heading to Athens this week and jumped pounced on the chance to visit my old hairdresser.  I sat down in the chair, and nicely as she could... says, "'ve got some interesting stuff going on back here."  I. just. laughed.  I hung my head, and said "yeah, I went to Supercuts.  Please work your magic."

Adventures With Austin and Millie

Austin and his dog, Millie, came to visit us this week.  I had gotten it into my head to start trying to make bread and improve the pizza we have been making and so I had a few cookbooks out when Austin arrived.  With his encouragement, not to mention his offer to do all the dirty work, we decided to tackle making a batard (I can't figure out how to give it the proper accent mark).  Yes, it's a funny word, and yes the jokes were flying, but that was the recipe chosen....I might be willing to admit that it was partially chosen because of the funny name.

Austin as my sous chef (in the properly labeled "sous" apron)...which basically means I told him what to do :)

The batard in all its squishy, gooey glory

This picture wouldn't be so creepy if my eyes weren't all squintchy (yes, I made up a word)

We managed to get it mostly done before I had to take off to the girls' Bible study, leaving Austin to get it into the oven.  The boys (along with Millie, not pictured :(  sorry) enjoyed a night of cigars and not-recommended-for-pregnancy drinks, and then graciously showered when I came home so they wouldn't disturb my pregnancy nose.  They're so thoughtful.  

Baking a batard in the oven while having a bun in the oven...har har har

The finished batard!  It was yummy.

On Wednesday, Austin and I headed to Gainesville where Austin introduced me to Habitat for Humanity re-home stores (sort of a Goodwill meets Home Depot).  Austin came away with quite a bounty:  a victrola cabinet (which we decided would make an awesome bar/humidor), a rain barrel, and a saw (intended for manly decorative purposes, I think).  I should have taken a picture of his loot.  I tried to convince him that he should leave the victrola cabinet at our apartment and that I would send him the money in the mail :D.  Didn't work.  Trying to fit all of this stuff...and Millie...into his car to drive home was quite entertaining....again...should have taken a picture.  We met up with Tim for a picnic lunch on the square before heading to Atlanta .

At the re-home store.  Austin said that some people shrink during pregnancy.

We headed to Decatur to meet up with our friend Liz and her boyfriend, Nick (who joined us later).  We headed to Leon's for dinner, and enjoyed the Decatur scenery and food.  I got to be the designated driver (which was really easy considering we had walked to the restaurant, hahaha).

Liz and me with our "drinks"

Austin, Liz, and me

Austin had made plans to meet up with a friend of ours in Athens, and so I jumped at the chance to use that as an excuse to go see my old hairdresser (more on that later), meet Austin at my favorite restaurant, and see our friend Gina.

I met Austin at Utage, my favorite sushi restaurant, which I was bound and determined to eat at AT LEAST once during my pregnancy but had not succeeded in getting there until now.  We slowly slipped into food coma while reveling in the fact that we were back in Athens for the moment.  It was glorious.  We parted ways and I headed to see Gina and new baby Noah (no pictures, giant fail).  And then I skedaddled back to Dacula for our house inspection (more on this later).

No worries, nothing raw.  And yes, all that food is mine.

We ended the awesome day with a cook out ("out" being outside on our porch), some brownies, and fun time with more friends.

Tim and Austin on the back porch...I think Millie was under the table