Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Honey Dearest Has Moved!

Yep...that's right! Honey Dearest has moved and can now be found at

I hope you'll come on over and find me there. We will be re-designing and updating a few technical details in the up-coming weeks so check back. Oh, and please don't forget to update all of your links :)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Coffee Love

I discovered this Melitta coffee a few weeks ago and I've been hooked ever since!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Chocolate Stout Cake

Does this cake look familiar? Stephen requested it again this year for his birthday. It has become quite the favorite in our family.

I didn't change a thing except brand of beer. I must say this again...the cake can be a little tricky getting out of the pan because it is so moist. Always line the pans with parchment paper. I intend to make cupcakes for St. Patty's Day so I think that will be much easier. Also, instead of the chocolate frosting, I will be making a Bailey's Irish Cream buttercream. Check back!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Yellow & Gray Love

A couple of weeks ago I took a day off from unpacking and went on an antique hunt with my mom. I really love antiques and my mom especially loves that I love them so she has someone to go antiquing with!

We moved into our new house without a whole lot of furniture so I really wanted to find a dresser, farm table, chairs or anything else that could fill the rooms. I didn't exactly go home with a van load, but I saw a ton that I liked. I'm really horrible at making big decisions such as buying furniture and it's so annoying. Our clothes are still in boxes! I did, however score a few lovely little items that I really "needed" just because they were yellow and gray. My new love!

The cast iron skillet is a very OLD Le Creuset and the cast iron trivet looks very Anthropologie-ish. I absolutely love them!

My yellow and gray addiction started with this...

I adore this pillow. It was a Christmas gift {thanks, Mom!} and I based the colors for our living room and dining room off of it. Obviously we didn't end up with such a bright yellow- wish I was that daring!

*Notice the cute little kitty sitting in the window...that's his favorite place to be :)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Our Home Renovation Part 2 - Hardwood Floors

Since pulling up the carpet and refinishing hardwood floors on three levels of our new home would prove quite a nuisance for occupied space we decided it would be best to take advantage of an empty house before we moved in and get it done.

First thing's first, the company we used, Galebach's Floor Finishing, pulled up all of the carpet in the entire home. For the most part the softwood yellow pine floors were in pristine condition. They'd been covered by carpet and padding for over 30 years. If the previous owners to the previous owners had carpet that would mean they had been covered for over 50 years! In any case, they were near perfect. The original stain showed a good amount of red which gave the overall color a deep-orange feel - not our cup of tea, but they looked great for all the time they'd been covered up. The white specs on the floor in the following photo is just paint.

We discovered this ugly, green vinyl tile that was under the carpet in the bedroom. Luckily, it came up without any damage. Just a lot of mess! Also, we discovered this room had apparently been painted with sprayers at one point as there was an outline of over-spray around the room.

After the sanding was done the floors were immaculate. We were blown away by the quality. It looked as if the boards were just laid down. Below is a picture of the floors on the first level. Historically, when houses were built in the early 1900's the best wood was the thinnest and used on the first floor. After that, on each floor that ascended to the attic the wood quality degraded and the planks got wider. Ironically, today it's the opposite for board width - wider planks are more expensive.

This is what the wood looked like on the second level and attic. A lot more grain showing with wider planks.

This is the attic with even wider planks yet.

Choosing a stain made us very nervous. The yellow pine throws a red tint to whatever you put down. With that in mind we stayed away from colors like Red Mahogany, didn't want a red-fest going on in there. We really wanted to go dark, but knew that scratches would show up a whole lot more. So we ended up going for a Dark Walnut stain, but cut in half. Just right.

We had to stand in the doorways to take these photos because the floors were still wet. Not the best quality, but there will be lots more pictures to come so check back!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Our Home Renovation Part 1 - Wall Restoration & Paint

The time has finally come. We've been renting our new house to the previous owners since September as they had their new house built. They moved out in early December and we're taking this month to do some renovations before our moving day on New Year's eve.

Step one was to paint, but our big goal was to have the carpets ripped out and expose the wood floors before we moved. Since the floor restoration company, Galebach's Floor Finishing, was aiming to start on the 15th we had a small window of time to restore and paint the living room and dining room. And this worked out because carpets make great drop-cloths. To do this we hired my brother, Stephen Sarro, of Sarro Painting (and the band, Unteachers), who did an excellent job!

Here's the two rooms and a close-up of the beautifully detailed radiators BEFORE we bought the home:

Here's the entry-way and living room space as Stephen began working:

This is what renovating looks like. Since the house was built in 1916 and has plaster walls there was much to repair. Restoring the walls and ceilings took about three full days just in these two rooms! We've got an oldie, but a goodie.

We're using Benjamin Moore's Simply White satin finish for the trim and radiators throughout the entire home and that's what you're seeing being applied in the photos. For the ceilings we're using the same, but in a flat finish.

For the dining room we chose Benjamin Moore's Harbor Gray eggshell finish. At certain times of day with with sunlight, it tends to pull more on the blue-gray side. We wanted more of a smoky gray, but it's still a lovely color.

For the living room we chose Benjamin Moore's Windham Cream eggshell finish (the photo below is in low-light, it's a very light, creamy yellow). This is the color I am not sure about yet. I think it is beautiful, but again not the shade we had in mind. We wanted a pale yellow with a little more depth like a golden yellow. At night because of the lighting, the walls look off-white. I'm still trying to get used to it and have thought about trying again. Picking paint colors can be very tricky. I've lost sleep over it!

As soon as we took all of the curtains down and exposed all of the beautiful woodwork, the rooms felt so much bigger. It was shocking! It's still hard to see color in an empty room so we anticipate restored floors and moving day when our home finally begins to come to life.

Things are coming along. Right now Galebach's is just about to apply stain to the wood floors. We've been over to the home about every day since they started and the floors are absolutely gorgeous. Our next post will be about that process. We've taken lots of great photos, but for now here's a taste of things to come ...

Check back often for more of our first home renovation goodness!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Eggnog Rum Cupcakes

Since the arrival of the Starbucks Eggnog Latte, I've had it in my mind to bake eggnog cupcakes. Last Friday was the perfect day to do it since we had a Christmas party to go to at night. I was beyond excited as I baked away in the kitchen while enjoying some of my favorite Pandora Christmas music. It was a lot of fun!

It doesn't matter how you put eggnog and rum together because no matter how, you know it's gonna be insane. Eggnog is my absolute favorite treat of the Holidays, especially Horizon's organic. I also love rum cake and didn't know it could get any better.

Using eggnog in the cake batter makes these cupcakes extra fluffy and ultra moist. I can not describe the amount of goodness that you will experience.

They are so amazing you won't really believe it. It's like a dream.

You must try these soon. They will easily become your favorite too, I'm positive.

Eggnog Cupcakes
by Me

Makes 18-20 cupcakes

1 package yellow cake mix w/ pudding
4 eggs
1/2 cup eggnog
1/2 cup cooking oil
1/2 cup spiced rum
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 and line a cupcake tray with paper liners.
Place cake mix, nutmeg, oil, eggs, eggnog and rum in a mixing bowl. Blend with mixer on low speed for 1 minute. Stop machine, scrape down sides of bowl.
Increase mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes more. Scrape down sides again if needed. The batter should look well combined and thickened. Divide the batter into prepared muffin tray. Fill each cup about 3/4 of the way full.
Bake until light brown and springs back when lightly pressed with your finger, or until a toothpick comes out clean. About 20-25 minutes.
Remove pan from oven and place on wire rack to cool for 20 minutes. Remove cupcakes from tray and cool completely, 30 minutes.

Eggnog Buttercream

1/2 cup (1stick) butter, softened
1/4 cup eggnog
1 tsp. vanilla
3-4 cups confectioners’ sugar
Fresh nutmeg for sprinkling on top

Blend together the cream cheese and butter using an electric mixer on low speed until combined, about 30 seconds.
Alternate the eggnog and the powdered sugar, adding a little bit at a time, blending on low speed until well incorporated, about 1 minute.
Add the vanilla, then increase the mixer speed to medium and blend frosting until fluffy, 1 minute more. (You may need to add more sugar if you will be piping the frosting).
Garnish with grated fresh nutmeg on top.