Chocolate Birthday Cake

What is the deal with everyone wanting Chocolate Birthday Cake? Seriously… haha. Okay, let’s back up and I’ll explain. Tbug’s birthday is the 2nd of January. Then my father-in-law’s birthday is the 9th of January. Bam, 2 in a row.

When I asked her what she wanted, it was a yellow cake with chocolate icing. Very plain and simple. Sometimes though, those are the best. Then I asked my father-in-law what he wanted. He said, oh, I guess chocolate maybe.

Chocolate, okay, we could go many different ways with that, right? But… then he mentioned, not German Chocolate or was it not Devil’s food chocolate. Gosh, I can’t even remember now. Either way… that did help narrow it down a little.

I had run across The Stay at Home Chef‘s The Most Amazing Chocolate Cake. I’ve made the cake before, which ended in me almost having a meltdown and crying. Ugh! But I’ve learned quite a few tricks since then… So… I decided to make it word for word recipe-wise.

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Remodeling Journal: Demo Part 2

It just so happened there was an auction for home remodeling the Saturday after we bought our house. How convenient. It also happened to be one of the coldest days of the year thus far, other than when we had snow back in November.

The girls went with us. Poor them! We finally sent them out to the truck with the keys and my phone (Tbug had hers) for entertainment. It wasn’t going fast and boy was it cold. I think Cold is an understatement at this point. Holy cow!

They had cabinets, flooring, wood, paneling, sinks, fans, you name it… We walked away with the tile for the backsplash of my kitchen, which apparently at this point I can’t find a picture of. I didn’t have my phone (read above paragraph) and hubby never sent me the pictures I took :).

We called it quits long before the auction was over. It started at either 9 or 10. We left at 1. It was cold and boring, and the things we wanted still hadn’t sold. I talked to a couple who went to these often and they said that one of the previous auctions lasted until after 7pm the last time.

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Oh Socks…

Here we are, the last day of 2018. I’ve tried typing 2019 a few times and my fingers always slip up and I wind up typing 2018. Oy! I’ll wish you luck with that new task just as you should wish me luck!!

So being the last day of the year, I’ll leave you with a weird/funny story. I really should recap Christmas but I haven’t edited all the photos yet. I guess that’s what happens when you get busy remodeling a house

Once upon a time, I think I told you the socks story but… My grandma used to always give me socks for Christmas. Then she passed away in 2007. Hubby and I didn’t start dating until 2009, but I swear I didn’t make this comment until I was dating him, but I questioned who would get me socks for Christmas now. So silly and stupid I know… But I did say that.  (more…)

Holiday Home Tour… Wait, What??

Everyone is all talking about Christmas and Holiday Home Tours and I’m over here like wait, WHAT?!?! I want to do that. Oh, wait… I can’t. Why? Well, look above. Do you know what you’re looking at? If not, I’ll tell you… It’s my open concept bathroom/Kitchen. Why put a wall between when you can make them one and take a shower while stirring something on the stove, right?

I’m kidding… sort of… I’ll explain. Right here on the left side of the wall (look for the shovel leaning up against the wall on the right side…) you really are looking into the kitchen and bathroom. And there really is no wall separating the two. They always say be prepared if you plan on doing something like this because you don’t know what you’re going to find. Well, what we found was there was a leak for what appeared to be YEARS in the bathroom where the bathtub/shower combo was and the floor was rotted. In fact, the wall behind where the window is was rotted all the way through and you can actually see the back side of the siding through the house. That’s not normal. Nope, not normal at all. (more…)

Getting to This Point

Thursday morning… November 29, 2018, a day I never figured would happen. It was an uphill struggle the whole way. I had a meltdown a few times along the way. We all did. It was frustrating as hell (pardon my language). If you’ve ever thought about buying a foreclosure house, my thought is… DON’T. Okay, maybe that’s being a bit melodramatic.

I was told if it was worth it, keep fighting. There were days I questioned my sanity and wondered why I thought it was worth it.

With all the buy/flip shows on HGTV and DIY Network, everyone seems to want to buy houses and flip them these days. That wasn’t our goal… for the most part anyway.

Remember back to September 2016, we sold our house. In fact, we moved out on our Anniversary weekend. That weekend felt like a slap in my face. These last few years haven’t gone anything like I thought they would. I can guarantee they aren’t anything like 25-year-old Nicole thought they’d be. Maybe that’s the fun in life… maybe not. I’m not really sure. But… needless to say, we sold our house and moved back in with my parents. That was just supposed to be a stepping stone to the next thing. (more…)

Christmas Tree 2018 (And a Surprise)

Finally, the tree went up at our house over the weekend. I’ve been pretty much chomping at the bit (horse term) to get that tree up. I would like to say it went up without any hitches, but it didn’t… NOT. AT. ALL. In fact, I think the term hitches is a nice way of saying how things went on Saturday when we put the tree up. Sad day! Part of me wants to jot those memories down and part of me wants to forget it ever happened. No use in dwelling on the past, right? Let’s just say, Christmas is my favorite holiday (followed so close by Thanksgiving and all of the rest of the holidays) and I used the phrase, I Hate Christmas. Sadly, I try to teach Abug not to say hate. It’s something I try to instill in Abug, don’t hate. Yet I was so frustrated I kept saying HATE. Hypocrite! (that was directed at me, not you :))

The Tree

A few years ago we bought this tree at Lowe’s on sale after Christmas. Best purchase we’ve ever made when it comes to Christmas trees. It goes together so nicely and yeah, I love this tree. Plus, I’m a white light girl and hubby is a colored light guy… This tree flashes back and forth between white lights and colored lights. Best of both worlds!

My friend Harriett told me I needed to make a tree skirt for my tree, but it was too late to start it when she suggested that… so next year. I’m holding you to that Harriett! So Abug decided she was going to put the tree skirt on the tree… (more…)

Thanksgiving 2018

And just like that, Thanksgiving is over.  I saw a meme the other day that I actually saw a year ago… something about spending 10 hours cooking for it to be gone in 30 minutes and then spending 5 hours cleaning up or something. haha. But that’s kind of the fun in Thanksgiving!

It’s also funny how short weeks feel the longest sometimes. Thanksgiving is always the 3rd Thursday of November. And that week, every year feels so long! Probably because of the anticipation of what is to come that week. That’s what I’m going with anyway!

This year, we had plans to leave Tuesday after Abug got out of school to head to my aunt and uncle’s house in Oklahoma. I love when we get to go see them. I have a pretty small family as is, so when we don’t get to see each other on holidays it makes it feel so weird. Weird is the only word I can see to describe it. My family did get bigger when I married my husband, but still… unfortunately they don’t care for me very much so I’ve heard. I get blamed for things that are out of my control and that sucks. But my husband, he’s my rock. He loves me and that’s what matters!

Anyway, Tbug couldn’t come down with us because she had a dentist appointment on Wednesday. My parents weren’t able to come down until Wednesday night so they brought her with them. It was a big happy family!! (more…)

Tiramisu Birthday Cake with Chocolate Tiramisu Truffles

When my husband and I started dating, he was living in Kentucky or was it Tennessee? It was right on the border and he called it Tuckasee. Technically he lived in Clarksville, Kentucky. He was working at the army base Ft. Campbell.

Not long after we started dating, just a couple months, he decided to move home. If you’ve been around these parts you’ll know we went to high school together. I actually fall in that 18% of people who marry someone from their graduating class. So here we were, he moved home in October. My mom and I found tickets to see Dracula at the Ballet and we bought them. Turns out, we bought them for November 1st that year. Does anyone know what November 1st is? It’s my husband’s birthday. Yup, I missed my husband’s first birthday together.

Hey, he wasn’t here for mine… haha. Mine was in the middle of the week and he was back in Kentucky. My mom offered him her ticket but he refused. And now he hasn’t let me live down missing that birthday since. But this year he was traveling for work on his birthday. I’m here to tell you though… I didn’t forget his birthday. I made him a Tiramisu Birthday Cake with Homemade Tiramisu Truffles. THEN, I took it to dive club meeting and we all ate it and celebrated without him. I wasn’t going to get accused of forgetting his birthday, again.

 Tiramisu Cake with Homemade Chocolate Tiramisu Truffles

Chocolate Tiramisu Truffles

Here while back, we bought my little helper a hammer of her own. She has rules that it has to stay in mommy’s tool bag until she is told she can pull it out. Unfortunately, we got her the hammer and she hasn’t had a chance to use it… Bummer! It’s almost like giving a kid candy and saying don’t eat it. (more…)

Cinnamon Roll Birthday Cake

Guys, I truly believe this! My dad’s birthday is today. In all the world I couldn’t have asked for a better daddy! I know a lot of people say that, but gosh it’s true. I’m sitting here writing this while watching last night’s Dancing with the Stars which was a turning point in all their lives. I don’t know if the tears streaming down my face are because of my daddy or those stories… Truthfully it could be both. My daddy is the absolute best daddy a girl could have. I’ve always been a daddy’s girl. And I just want to wish my daddy the absolute best day he could possibly have.

So as most of you know… or maybe you don’t so I’ll tell you now… I’ve spent this year falling back in love with making cakes. Beautiful cakes. Cakes for every occasion I can. So of course, my dad’s birthday would be no different. I went through a lot of different recipes trying to find the absolute BEST recipe for my dad. That’s when I stumbled across a recipe for a Birthday Cinnamon Roll Cake. WHAT? I should inform you now that my dad loves cinnamon rolls so it’s perfect, right? (more…)

Courtyard by Marriott – Clarksville, TN

Do you remember that my husband was military? Army in fact. A long time ago. Long before I was in the picture, but kind of not really. I was in the picture in high school, then I was out, and now I’m back again. Okay, anyway, moving on.

When you’re in the army, you form a brotherhood. You get brothers and sisters who have your back and they have yours. Why? Because you guys are all joining together to do one thing, defend our country and our freedoms. My husband has a couple guys who have served that purpose for him. And two of them happen to be twins. Isn’t that fun? I can also mention that in the last 2 weeks I have seen both of them… and they both live in different places.

One has recently moved about an hour from us while the other still lives at the Army base in Oak Grove, Kentucky/Ft. Campbell. If you ask my husband, that area is called Tuckasee because you are on the Kentucky/Tennessee border. In fact, the army base is in both states, it just registers as Kentucky because that’s the side the post office is on.

Anyway, I might be getting a little off topic. It happens. A couple weeks ago we headed to Metropolis, Illinois to go SCUBA diving. One of my husband’s brothers is sick. He could use all the prayers he can get, trust me! But being in Metropolis, we were only 2 hours from seeing him if that… so we schemed with his wife behind his back to show up on his doorstep to see him.

In fact, I thought it would be fun to send him random text messages of his house to show we were there. The silly guy was playing WOW so he wasn’t paying attention to his phone very much and Krissy had to make him look.

Clarksville, Tennessee

There really isn’t anywhere to stay in Oak Grove, so we went across the line into Tennessee for a hotel. Tim’s exit is 89. There are 94 in Kentucky and then you cross over the line. We went to exit 4. (more…)