Makeover bathroom for my In-laws

I married into one of the greatest family. They are very bonded in their relationships and I just love that I can learn so much from them. They are all very knowledgeable and have talents! My mother-in-law is very skilled at making documentaries happen. It’s amazing to watch those creations. She is also very skilled in encouraging others to get better at what they love.

I love the simplicity of this bathroom. It has the necessities and a few decor items. I know as a beginner at interior design that you are supposed to create a design board. I tried to do that with our master bedroom, but it’s difficult when given no budget and I had dreamed up a design board in my head for this bathroom. While of course dreaming and reality are two very different approaches what I had imagined up could very easily be switched around and changed. So of course in this dreamed up version of this bathroom I had put up shiplap on one of the walls. Well apparently that is pricey, so it got changed to a stenciled pattern. Mainly because wall paper is loathed at this home for the past experience of taking down wall paper has been an experience un-wanting to get resurfaced.

Items For Camping With A Baby

It was constantly snowing cotton. Might have eaten a bit of cotton that flew into the food.

What do you bring when you go camping with a 5 month old? This is my first time camping with a baby, so I didn’t know. I knew what to bring for myself. They don’t really make sleeping bags for babies and how much can a baby stay warm by herself at night? There are lots of ways to camp with a baby. What I wish we would have done is a two person sleeping bag for me and baby and a one person sleeping bag for daddy.

This camping trip was a family reunion in Palisades, Idaho and we were lucky that family was willing to share what we didn’t have and they were all willing to watch baby when we wanted to do our own thing. Free babysitting, who wouldn’t love that?

The first and foremost thing I would bring is a pack and play. Not so much for the night out in Idaho, because it gets cold, but for nap time. I thought I could lay baby on my sleeping bag mid day, but that could get to distracting and a pack n play resembles what she is used to most of the time.

The next thing that is big on the list is to count the diapers you think you would need in a day and add an extra. It never hurts to have too many then not enough. I don’t think wipes are as important, because at this stage the most she poops is twice in one day, but mostly once a day.

I would add a hat, because it covers their whole head and not just skin which is what sunblock does. I would also bring sunblock for the areas that don’t get covered with the hat. And a jackets for night time along with long pants if she is wearing shorts. Having a baby carrier is also nice if you decide to go on a walk. One of the reasons we chose to bring a carrier instead of a stroller is because a carrier takes up less space when traveling.

Hand sanitizer is a big one on my list. Mainly because its useful after a poopy diaper change. It also comes in really handy if there isn’t any running water at the campground and you need to use the restroom.

Last but not least I will say that having a bottle there when I wanted to get away and do something was super nice! We had the chance of going tubing and I knew that when she woke from her sleep she would be hungry. So I had a bottle ready for her and I was able to go tubing without worrying that she was hungry. This way I could enjoy the boat ride. It was so nice!

Favorite Snickerdoodle Cookies

Brinley was my helper this time and we had some fun. Right after this she had a blowout, but she is a trooper!

The story behind the cookies. There is always a little bit of background as to how these became the go to snickerdoodle cookies.

I was babysitting two boys and while they were doing something I was feeling snacky, so I decided to try and make cookies. From my search I found this recipe and substituted the egg for banana and I love it! I gave the cookies to my family and they also loved it, along with the mother of the boys. Not only that, but the boys I was babysitting loved the cookies and they told me they hate bananas. A little appalled that they don’t like bananas, at least I was able to get them to eat these, haha.

It looks like she is pointing to the next step in the process of making the cookies 🙂 .

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Cup butter
  • 1 1/4 Cup sugar
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 Cup flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 Cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

DIRECTIONS

  1. Cream butter and sugar. Then add banana and vanilla.
  2. Mix flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. If dough is sticky add 1 Tablespoon flour. If dough is crumbly add 1 teaspoon of water.
  4. Mix cinnamon and sugar in small, separate bowl.
  5. Make the balls about the size of a 1/4 Cup and roll them in the cinnamon and sugar mix.
  6. 350 degrees F for 12-15 min.

Some other substitutes you can do is: Remember the 1/2 banana replaces 1 egg

3 Tablespoons of peanut butter = 1 Egg

1/4 Cup applesauce = 1 Egg

1/2 Cup Coconut oil & 1/2 Cup water = 1 Cup Butter

Rice Pudding

This is a recipe that I asked from my grandma. It’s special to me, because everytime we would go and visit my grandparents she would make this for us, for breakfast. The loved making every meal an important part of life. My mother carries on the tradition of making big breakfasts for the family when we gather together.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup long grained rice
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup raisins

DIRECTIONS

1.) Cook rice, water, and salt together or do 3 cups cooked rice

2.) Mix egg, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, milk, and raisins in pan.

3.) Add rice and bake 350 degrees F for 40-45 min. Bake until you can put a knife in and it will come out clean.

Cinnamon Rolls

This is where I got the recipe from https://www.aspicyperspective.com/better-than-cinnabon-cinnamon-rolls-recipe/

Every time we make it, my husband is in love. Although his favorite treat is cinnamon rolls, so no matter how I make them I am pretty sure he will love them.

When I found this recipe I knew I wanted to try it up against Cinnabon, especially because my husband raves about Cinnabon and he just knows Cinnabon is the best of all cinnamon rolls. So for his birthday we did a challenge. These versus Cinnabon and these by far outwon. Everybody said it’s because of the nutmeg, but I think the frosting adds to it and it’s because there isn’t a ton of sugar in the frosting.

Better Than Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

prep time: 45 MINUTEScook time: 20 MINUTEStotal time: 1 HOUR 5 MINUTESBetter Than Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls: light fluffy layers of sweet roll, packed with cinnamon filling, then slathered with creamy glaze.servings: 12 rolls

Ingredients

US Customary – Metric

For the Dough:

  • 1 cup scalded whole milk
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons dry active yeast (or 1 packet)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour (plus additional as needed)
  • 2 teaspoon salt

For the Cinnamon Roll Filling:

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

Instructions

For the Dough:

  • Set the butter, eggs and cream cheese out to warm to room temperature. Place the milk in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. The moment it reaches a boil, remove from heat. (This process is called scalding, and it ensures the milk doesn’t affect the yeast’s ability to rise. Don’t skip!)
  • Pour the hot milk into the bowl of an electric mixer and add 1/2 cup butter, to bring the temperature down. Stir and allow the butter to melt completely. Then stir in the sugar. Touch the milk mixture to test the temperature. It should be close to luke warm. If it is not, add 1/2 cup flour and test again. Once it is just above room temperature, stir in the yeast and let it foam for approximately 10 minutes. (Too-hot liquid can kill yeast.)
  • Place the bread hook on the mixer and turn on low. Add the eggs, salt, and remaining flour up to 4 cups. Allow the mixer to “knead” the dough until it pulls away from the sides. Run the mixer for approximately 10 minutes to allow the dough to stretch and develop the gluten. If the dough seems too sticky after the first 2-3 minutes add an additional 1/4 cup flour. After 10 minutes, turn the mixer off. Cover the top with plastic, and allow the dough to rise until double in size, approximately 60-90 minutes in a warm kitchen.

For the Cinnamon Roll Filling:

  • Mix the brown sugar, softened butter, cinnamon, and nutmeg until smooth. Keep at room temperature until ready to use.
  • Dump the inflated dough out on a well-floured work surface. Fold into thirds and press flat. Then turn and fold into thirds again and press into a rectangle. Roll the rectangle out into a large 16 X 20 inch sheet.
  • Using a large flat spreader, spread the cinnamon filling over the sheet into a thin layer. Leave 1 1/2 inches bare (cinnamon-free) on one long edge. Be careful not to gouge holes in the dough. Starting at the cinnamon-covered long edge, roll the dough sheet tightly toward the uncovered edge to form a long tight log. Place a piece of parchment paper in a 9 X 13 inch baking dish. Then cut the log into 12 equal rolls. Tuck the loose end under each roll to secure it, and place them in the baking dish to rise.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Allow the rolls to rise for at least 30 minutes while the oven heats. Then bake for 20-25 minutes, until the edges are barely golden and the center of each roll is puffed high up.

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • While the rolls are in the oven, beat the cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and powdered sugar together until completely smooth. The moment the rolls come out of the oven gently spread half the glaze over the tops and allow it to seep down into the cracks. Five minutes later, add more glaze if desired. Serve warm or at room temperature.

By  Sommer Collier

Dresser Makeover

We found this dresser on the side of the road that said free on it, in our neighborhood. We didn’t even bring our car around to pick it up, just had a little dolly and brought it home.

This is what it first looked like. Anyone looking at the dresser knew something needed to change. It needed knew hardware as one of them was missing and it either needed a coat of paint or sanding.

I really liked this dresser that was on pintrest that a lady had sanded and the wood was very light and she said it was bleached. I tried to bleach this, but it would not change the color. I really didn’t want to paint it.

After it got sanded and I picked out new hardware. I like it, but the older hardware had made circles around the pulls and so I put wood filler around it and then I decided to do some kind of paint on it. I had pinterest be my inspiration.
Here is a progress shot of what I was planning on doing.
I didn’t want it to be crazy, so I only did two colors. I am not in love with it, but I am thinking the bedroom I want it to go in will end up being a little bit retro.

Renting in Provo

We moved to Utah and stayed at Matt’s grandma’s until the place we were going to live in opened up. We were so lucky that Matt’s parents wanted to help us out. They bought a house and we could rent out a part of the house. We payed rent and help keep the yard up.

The way the basement is put together is just put together, not very thought out. I created different plans to change the basement layout, but my husband would tell me that it’s not worth it. The best part about living in the basement is we were paying $200 a month. Super dirt cheap for being in Provo. However I advocated to live in the upstairs portion as that way we could have a guest room and a room for our baby girl and enough room for our kitchen gadgets. Plus our baby girl will soon enough be adding to the dishes. On top of that the bedroom closet downstairs was large enough for either me or my husband’s clothes, hardly both. My husband was very supportive and it seemed that there were also three times as many spiders in the basement and three times as large…

This is taken from the doorway. I love the fireplace and how open the area is. We do want a lot of seating, because sometimes we have have two to three other couples over and it’s nice when we don’t have to worry about seating, otherwise I would get rid of the purple paisley couch, to keep it open
In this picture you can see that the kitchen is open to the living room. It’s nice, because you get the light from both rooms and you can communicate openly moving from one area to the other.

When we moved from the downstairs to the upstairs I didn’t decorate as we went. We did it quickly as there were people moving to the downstairs 3 days later. So the 3 rooms that we were living in had to come upstairs. I did most of it by myself, but the heavy things Matt and his brother were able to move. I love living here, it’s been fun.

From North Carolina to Utah

After my husband and I got married we moved to Raleigh North Carolina. My sister and her family lived there and we lived with his brother and sister-in-law, until they moved out and went to Boston. Then we took over the house. We were living in a house that had two parts. The bottom is where we lived and the top part is where we were renting it out as an AirBnB. The AirBnB section had 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, a kitchen with a table and a living room. It was a nice space and my husbands brother and sister in law had it all decorated so nicely as well. And it was a bit of work for them to get it all ready, because before that it was my husband and roommates living in that space.

It was very open and I loved the feel of that, so even though it wasn’t big it was perfect for us. If Matt was gone I wasn’t afraid of going into any of the unknown space. It was very loved and there was a lot of light that came from those doors.
Where the stairs are we had a large armoire that was beautiful and held a lot of our kitchen appliances, like blender, kitchenaid, bowls.. etc. As you can see this kitchen only had one drawer, but we made it work for us.
My older sister that lived in Raleigh with us gave us the idea of a table that came from the wall that looks like art. Can you spy it? We built and loved it so much! It was our table. That sister is also the one who gave us the beautiful armoire. It was so wonderful having her there. (She also gave us a lot of decor to help the space look more elegant.)

After living in Raleigh for a full year, my husband decided it was time to test for the GMAT. His job in Raleigh was going to a kids park with a train, boat ride, carousel, and lots of fun activities they had going on for kids and sell his balloon animals that he would create. He did really well, but he didn’t want that to be his carrier for the rest of his life, for various reasons. He finished taking the actual GMAT test and did so well that we got a full tuition scholarship to BYU. He would have applied to other schools, except they weren’t accepting applications at that time and the networking at BYU is more how we network then the way it might be done at other schools. For example we don’t drink and some networking might be done at bars. Also a plus for me when going to BYU is they have an MBA-spouse association, where the spouses get together.

This is Matt’s car that we filled to move across the country. I took this picture as when we stopped at a museum in North Carolina before we left the state.
And this was my car, with no AC. We felt SO BLESSED having two cars!