Sunday, October 18, 2020

CHOCOLATE PUMPKIN POUND CAKE


 


Hello friends! I hope you had a great weekend! We spent the weekend tackling projects, playing in the beautiful fall weather, and now we're ending it with a wonderful fall dessert! 

Bake up a bath of this amazing chocolate pumpkin pound cake! Warm, moist chocolate cake, with pumpkin puree and a touch of cinnamon! It's quite tasty! 

I got this recipe from Chocolate Chocolate and More!

Miss Em always wants to help me in the kitchen (she loves the camera too)



And this girl loves to lick the spoon/beaters (even if it's plain ol' bread dough)



Pop 'em in the oven!




The best part of this is the chocolate ganache!



Are you a "clean as you go" baker/cook, or do you clean it all up at the end? I'm always curious to know what other peoples habits are in the kitchen. I tend to clean as I go for the most part. Unless I'm in a hurry.



I'll be back soon with a new build!

Until next time,

Monique


Chocolate Pumpkin Pound Cake

Ingredients

1 cup butter/margarine, softened

1 and 1/2 cups brown sugar (I use dark brown sugar)

4 eggs

15 ounce can pumpkin puree 

2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon 

1/2 teaspoon salt

For Chocolate Ganache

3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/4 heavy cream


Instructions

In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add in eggs, one at a time and mix well. Add in canned pumpkin and mix again.

In a separate bowl add the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Stir with a whisk. Slowly add flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and mix until completely combined.

Pour the batter into two greased loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes. Let cakes rest in pans for 10 minutes. Then take out and put on wire racks to cool completely. 

For the ganache: Put chocolate chips and heavy cream in a bowl and microwave for 1 minutes. Let sit for 2 minutes. Stir until completely smooth. Place the melted chocolate inside a plastic sandwich bag, snip the corner and drizzle over the warm cakes. Enjoy!


Want another pumpkin recipe? Try this one!

Pumpkin Bread

  


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Saturday, October 10, 2020

FRIDAY FAVORITES (BUT ON A SATURDAY)

 Here I am with another round of Friday Favorites! ---But on a Saturday because my Friday was crazy busy!


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1. I wanted to share my floating shelves with you all. These were the very first DIY project my husband and I ever tackled. If we had to do it again we would totally do it differently, but I am still in love with these shelves. They are beautiful, practical and STURDY! We knew that our children would inevitably climb these shelves so we made sure to install them securely. We used L brackets and on the back we used lug screws and on the sides we used drywall screws. 



I love having a dedicated space for our (always) growing collection of books. I have always dreamed of having a home library and this comes pretty close.



I also bought a couple sets of these simple bookends. They work really well at holding up all of the different sections of flimsy kid books and also the bigger sturdier books that we have. I still need to buy a couple more sets.


2. If you remember my post about trying to redo my stairs, it didn't go well. 




Well, I'm trying again to make it look better. We had just enough flooring left over from our downstairs to do the landing and I will do a whole new post about it when it's done. But for now, I wanted to share the runner that I bought for it! 




It's such a pretty neutral and I am really hoping it will brighten up the stairs, cover the dingy spots and soften my children's inevitable falls. I really wanted an affordable solution and this 20 foot runner was such a good price! I can't wait to get these stairs done! 




I might have to get a smaller runner for the entryway to match, because it looks really good right here.




3. Pumpkins! We had so much fun at our local pumpkin patch/corn maize! It's an annual tradition that my kids look forward to all year! We typically go with our homeschool co-op group and the kids just have a blast. I love watching them play and pick out their favorite pumpkins!



We don't go hunting for live Christmas trees where we live, so I really enjoy letting them hunt for the perfect pumpkins to take home! We don't carve the pumpkins (seriously, NO ONE enjoys touching the pumpkin guts in my house) but I love decorating with them!





Last years Christmas Tree


4. I am already planning my Christmas decor this year! Anyone else? I think we are feeling like we need some holiday joy this year. I'm trying to convince my husband that we need a couple more Christmas trees... He's not convinced ;) I am considering these small 4ft trees for the kids bedrooms! And lots more wooden beads for the trees!

I am really wanting to get some pretty white beaded garlands for my trees this year. I have my eye on these and these. I love the different size beads of the first one! I think these will give such a fun and simple farmhouse look to the trees. I am so excited to do a full Christmas decor post soon! This little taste will have to do for now ;) 

I tried to insert pictures of the garlands and the Christmas tree, but I am apparently not tech savvy enough. Something I need to work on. Just keeping it real ;)


I hope you all have a great weekend! We have my Dad visiting us this weekend, so I'm going to go and spend some time with him.

Until next time,

Monique



Monday, October 5, 2020

DIY DESK BUILD

 

Rustic X Desk


Okay you guys, I am here to share with you our new build! With more families homeschooling or public schooling at home this year, I thought our next project should be a desk. This was such a fun build! I think this may be my favorite build yet! 




I love it so much that I have it set up in my house right now until it sells. Husband says I can't keep everything we build so this piece has to go :( 


We got the plans from Ana White (seriously, so so many fun projects I want to build on that site!) and modified it a bit. We made the leg area wider so that it didn't feel so cramped, and we changed up the top a bit. I'll give you all of the dimensions we modified in this post!




We started out making the 3 frames exactly as they are written in the plans.



Quick picture I snapped showing the shelf cleats on two of the frames.



Adding the shelves.




It's starting to come together! So excited! 





My husband despises building those X's, but they are just so pretty! He must love me, because he keeps making them :) 





Okay, so here is where we changed up the dimensions. As I said before, we wanted there to be plenty of leg room in case adults are going to use it as well. We changed the dimensions of the three 2x2 supports from 28 and 1/2 inches to 36 inches! It's wide enough that two small children could even sit side by side. 

That also made the table top planks longer. Those are 67 inches long. We also wanted to use one inch thick boards instead of the two inch. We ended up going with one 1x10 in the middle and two 1x8's. 



Clamped the planks all nice and tight together and connected with pocket holes and screws. 




We forgot a couple of screws and this kid was more than happy to help! The look on his face is so precious :) 



After attaching the table top we decided to give our router a try on the edges!



Sorry for the blurry phone picture, but you can still kind of see the beautiful edge that's starting to take shape! 


I really enjoyed staining this beauty and watching the wood grain really pop! This Early American stain is light enough to really show off the wood's natural beauty. 



So gorgeous!



One coat of stain was plenty, and then I followed it with three coats of wipe on polyurethane. I like using the wipe on poly because it gives it an authentic hand rubbed appearance. And it's super easy! 



We also covered the screw holes on top with these cute little decorative tacks. Just a nice finishing touch!





My daughter decided that she had to try it out. Ya know, just to make sure it's safe for other kids.



I love how much space there is on the table top! I can imagine textbooks, papers, and pencils strewn about on this. And the two shelves to store your printer and anything else you need to store.


Rustic X Desk

I am so pleased with how this one turned out. I wish we had the room to keep it. I think next we will make a desk for two.





Until next time!

Monique



Wednesday, September 30, 2020

DRESSER MAKEOVER

 Alright friends, if you follow me on Instagram you saw that I was working on refinishing my dresser set. Now, a little disclaimer before we jump right in. While I LOVE building furniture, I do not enjoy refinishing furniture. To be perfectly honest, I just don't have the patience for it. And as I've said before, my painting leaves a lot to be desired. I always want a flawless paint finish and I can never achieve it. We are our own worst critic, am I right? 


Alright, with that out of the way lets get started. ;) 



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I decided that I had had enough of looking at this dated dresser set. I have never liked it, and I've been staring at it for over 15 years! I figured anything could look better than it does in it's current state. And boy was I right! I am so excited to share with you the after pictures. 


But first, here is some more before shots. 




The hardware! (Insert horror music)



The gold inlay! (music gets louder)




The off-white turned yellowish surface! Okay, you get the point. My apologies to anyone who likes the old vintage look, but it is just not for me. 




I started by filling in the gold inlays. That was soooo satisfying! I filled them with wood filler first. Then sanded it and filled any remaining spots with spackling. Sanded it again. Realized I needed MORE spackling. Then sanded again.


I gave the entire surface a quick sand with a rough sanding block. I didn't remove any of the finish, just roughed it up so the primer would adhere. 




I wanted to add something fun to this dresser set, so I added molding on the side. We had spare mdf from all of our cnc projects and they were the perfect size!

Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures of the painting process. It's quite difficult to take pictures while covered in paint (I am a messy painter). I did 3 or 4 coats (I lost count) of primer to make sure that it was all covered.  This primer is awesome! 

Then 2 coats of white behr alkyd paint. I should have done 3 coats, but did I mention my impatience? 




Handles installed. We got these handles from Amazon. So much cheaper than the big box stores! And they were the perfect size and style. The only down side was we had to buy different screws. The ones they came with were way too long.




And here is the after! Isn't it gorgeous!? (Aside from the crooked handle on the bottom left. That will definitely be getting fixed! I can't stop staring at it!) 




I simply love these moldings! It just adds so much character to the piece!




Here is the nightstand! I still need to add the handle to the drawer, but we ran out of screws. Another day.




Finished it off by adding new drawer liners. 




You can see here, my paint job does not look the best upon close inspection. But it is still SO MUCH better than it was before, so I'll take it!


Dresser Makeover


Here's the before and after! Now I just need to do our tall dresser and the other nightstand. That, and about 101 other projects that we have on our list. We'll see how long it takes me to finish those. :)

It's amazing what a coat of paint and new hardware can do. I hope this inspires you to tackle something new! 

I'll be back soon with our new build in a few days! 

-Monique