An Apartment Tour

I figured it would be a good idea to take some photos of our home. It is our first place, and I want to remember it! So here is our little place 🙂

The Entryway

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The sign on the door was a gift from my sister Jessica. We love it, and it’s something that guests notice as soon as they come in! We always get compliments on it! We love our key rack from Hobby Lobby, and use the small dresser (?) to hold hats/gloves, cleaning supplies, change for laundry, and sunscreen in the summer.

The Kitchen

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Our Living/Dining Room

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Our living room is definitely where we spend most of our time. We don’t have cable, but do have PLENTY of DVDs (they are bursting out of the baskets in our “entertainment center” above–and that’s not close to all of them), seasons of The Office, and an antenna so we get some local channels. We created the small “nook” into a reading area, and I keep all my school books in the basket on the chest. We also pressed our dining room table (with one leaf down) against the wall. This works perfectly for the two of us. When we have company over, we just move it out and add the two chairs that sit by our bookshelf.

Our Bedroom

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Our bedroom is very simple. I’d prefer it to be simple over cluttered, and I love that it’s so bright and clean feeling.

The Office

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We were lucky enough to find an affordable townhouse/apartment with two bedrooms. We certainly don’t need the extra  bedroom, but it sure is nice to have. Stephen mainly uses this room. He uses it for school, Ebay selling, and storage. I use it to hold a lot of my teaching stuff. We have considered getting a pull out couch/futon from Ikea to go in here, but have decided to wait off. We don’t want to accumulate extra furniture because we know we are moving in the future, and probably won’t have an extra bedroom.

The bathroom

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Definitely not the prettiest room in the house. Our bathroom is a beautiful (yeah right) cream color which never really looks clean. It also suffers from no natural light, which contributes to its ugliness 🙂 The joys of renting!

Anyways, that is our home! We enjoy living on the Eastern Shore, being close to the beach, and making our place a home. We do love our apartment and feel blessed that we found something that is more than we would ever need.

A Spray Painting Day

When I spray paint, I like to do a lot at one time. If I’m going to set up a spray painting area in the yard, I don’t want to do it for only one item. Lately I’ve been thinking about things that I wanted to spray paint. We had a nice and warm day last week, so I decided I should do it before it gets too cold. I had two (old and ugly) frames, a couple mason jars, and a canvas I wanted to paint.

school 003blog 003Here are the items beforehand. I knew I wanted to make “state art” with the canvas. I printed out a simple map of Maryland, cut it out, and taped it to my canvas. I think the state looks a bit small on the canvas, but I couldn’t print the map out any larger. Also, I just wanted to use up my extra canvas! I also had some mason jars. I found this idea on pinterest, and thought they were too cute. I decided to also do a similar thing with an old creamer (or milk jug). I wrapped tape around the jars to create a straight line. I then taped paper around them to keep spray paint from getting on the tops. For the frames, I simply took scraps of paper and stuck them between the glass.

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The spray paint that I used. They were my only colors, hence why I painted everything grey! (Well also, it’s my favorite color but…)

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Here are the afters. The milk jug is not shown, but I painted that one white instead of grey.

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And here is everything in its new place. 🙂

Buffalo Chicken Pizza

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This has got to be one of our new favorite meals. We invited some friends over for dinner last night, and I thought long and hard over what I should make (I’m super indecisive when it comes to making dinner!) When we’re having company, I try to make something that isn’t too expensive (the most expensive item in the pizza is the chicken!), feeds a lot, and is a crowd pleaser. So we decided on Buffalo Chicken Pizza 🙂

The first step is the dough. Our Kitchenaid Stand Mixer did all the work for this one! I love making pizza dough from scratch because it is CHEAP. Flour is the main ingredient. It is also very easy, and super delicious! I made the dough earlier in the day (it takes a while to rise, so I wanted to have it done), so I don’t have any pictures of that process. That will definitely be another post! However, I did use this recipe. 

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The dough recipe I made makes enough dough for two pizzas. I started by letting my dough rest for about thirty minutes, loosely covered with plastic wrap.

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After approximately thirty minutes, I sprinkled some corn meal on my pizza stone. This is important! Without the cornmeal, the pizza will stick to the stone. It will also not crisp up on the bottom. Shape the dough into a flat circle and place it on the pizza stone.

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Use a rolling pin to shape the dough. I usually “knuckle” the dough with my hands, but I discovered a rolling pin to be the best way! It creates a nice, even thickness. It also makes it simple to create a very thin crust (this crust is pretty thin).

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Now you’re ready to add some toppings! Brush on the buffalo sauce with a pastry brush.

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This is the buffalo sauce I made. To make, start by melting a stick of butter in a saucepan over low heat (I used leftover sauce, so I just reheated mine in the microwave!) Next, add 1/4 cup of Red Pepper Sauce. Red Pepper sauce is the same thing as Frank’s Red Hot, or just regular “Hot Sauce”. It is important that you use this, not “Wing Sauce”. After you add the hot sauce, whisk it until it is blended with the melted butter. To increase the hotness of the sauce, add Tabasco sauce. I added about ten shakes of Tabasco, and our sauce was a medium heat.

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Now for the chicken. You will be using cooked chicken, so any chicken is fine! It can be shredded Rotisserie chicken, or leftover chicken. For my cooked chicken, I just baked four frozen chicken breasts in the oven. I seasoned them with salt, pepper, and a bit of cayenne pepper. I also drizzled them with a bit of olive oil, just to keep them moist while baking. Don’t worry too much about the chicken here–they are just a topping on the pizza and they will be covered in sauce anyway–just use whatever you have!

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Add the cooked chicken to the pizza, and then use the pastry brush to cover in the buffalo sauce.

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Finally, cover with shredded mozzarella cheese! You’re pizza is almost finished! Place pizza in a 500 degree F oven for approximately 5 minutes.

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When it’s finished it will look like this! If you want to make it even easier, you can buy pre-made pizza dough and wing sauce. However, It won’t be quite as good and will cost you some money! This pizza is delicious, and was definitely a crowd pleaser when we served it last night!

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Enjoy!

Buffalo Chicken Pizza

Serves: 4-6 (Makes 2 pizzas)

Ingredients:

Dough

3 cups of flour

2 tsp yeast

1/2 tbsp olive oil

1/4 tsp salt

1 1/3 cup warm water

corn meal

Toppings

1/4 cup hot sauce

Tabasco (to taste)

1/2 cup butter (1 stick)

shredded mozzarella cheese

approx. 3 cups cubed cooked chicken

Directions:

Prepare dough and chicken ahead of time. Go visit this blog for direct instructions (and a video) for how to make the dough.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.

Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat. Once melted, add hot sauce and Tabasco to taste. Whisk together. Keep saucepan on the stove top on low, to keep the sauce melted (we don’t want the butter to harden).

Sprinkle cornmeal on pizza stone/pan. Roll out dough into a circle with a rolling pin, as evenly as possible. You may need to sprinkle cornmeal on the rolling pin to keep it from sticking to the dough.

Once dough is ready, use a pastry brush to spread the buffalo sauce on the dough. Add chicken. Brush the buffalo sauce on top of the chicken. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the pizza.

Bake in the preheated oven for 5-7 minutes.

May 18, 2013

I feel as though it is fitting to start this blog with a post on our wedding day. To be honest, I am partly doing this for me, because I am forgetting more and more about our wedding day as time goes on. While engaged, everybody told me that the day would go by in a blur–and they were SO right! So, in my quest to remember the details of the day, I will let you in on it as well.

Stephen and I were married on May 18, 2013. After a crazy 5 month engagement (in which our wedding/school/living situations changed multiple times), we were married at my home church (Severna Park Evangelical Presbyterian) and held the reception at The Grachur Club. The Grachur Club is a boat club that sits on the Magothy River. The Grachur Club is very rustic, so it needed a lot of work. We chose it because it was free, large enough to fit our guests (hardly), and it was “outdoorsy”. It had a beautiful wrap-around porch where we planned to sit a lot of our guests. We picked out a caterer (barbecue), and had a family friend DJ for us. We had great plans. 🙂

The Wedding Week

This is where things started to blur…..

A week before the wedding, we moved into our apartment (which is 2 hours from home). We loaded up the moving truck on Friday, and drove down on Saturday morning. When we arrived on Saturday, we did a lot of cleaning and unloading. Finally, we started to unpack and get as settled as possible. Somehow we managed to get mostly moved in, and left the following morning. That morning was Mother’s day. Once I got home, we celebrated Mother’s day by taking my mom out to dinner. We got home that evening, and I began to study for finals. That’s right. It was finals week. The week before my wedding. I spent a lot of time studying, taking classes, and prepping for the wedding day. The Thursday before the wedding we cleaned and emptied out The Lodge (the reception room). This was a fun day, and we had lots of friends and family come to help. On Friday, we decorated. This part was the most fun. On Friday night we had our rehearsal dinner which was a blast! Stephen’s mom planned a nice, outside dinner at her home. It was beautiful. We drank old-fashioned bottled soda, had grilled steak and chicken, and then made ice-cream sundaes. That night, my bridesmaids and I went back to my house to spend the night. The next day was the wedding!

The Wedding Day

The wedding day wasn’t without it’s problems. Our first problem was the weather. I was very cloudy, with a high chance of rain. Our plan of seating people out on the porch was out. We decided to move those tables inside (which made for an extremely tight reception area). I also was very nervous. My nerves were mainly about the ceremony itself, but also about the dances. I never anticipated being very nervous on my wedding day, but I definitely was. However, by the end of the day my nerves had worn off and I was fully enjoying myself. Now for some pictures because I’ve talked far too much.

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 Getting ready with my bridesmaids.

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The groom getting ready 🙂

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Dancing with Aubrey, our flower girl and Stephen’s niece.

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Walking down

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The Ceremony

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The groom, his parents, and the groomsmen.

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Heading to the reception!

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The party!

While that was a long post about the wedding, there’s so much I left out about this day! But I am glad that I remembered as much as I did (even though it was only 4 months ago!). Perhaps on my anniversary I will give the details of the reception!

Until then, thanks for reading!

Sarah Spin