Sunday, December 23, 2012

Chocolate Pecan Pie

Listen friends, I know it is Christmas Eve and all, but if you are like me then you have some family gatherings to attend. With food in hand. This pie is perfect. It will take you 5 minutes to throw together. Bake it up while you get ready. Prepare for excess gifts from your family members after they taste this. Because they will love you for it.

My mother in law gave me this recipe a few years back and my hubby adores this pie. I try to make it at least once every holiday season.

Chocolate Pecan Pie

1 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter (I use the real stuff), melted
1 tsp. vanilla
3 eggs
1 (6 oz.) pkg. (1 cup) semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups pecan halves

1. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare pie crust as directed on package for one-crust filled pie using 9-inch pie pan. (Just use a frozen crust. For reals. It's so easy and takes literally two seconds)

2. In large bowl, combine corn syrup, sugar, butter, vanilla and eggs; beat well. Stir in chocolate chips and pecans. Spread evenly in crust. 

3. Bake at 325 degrees for 55- 65 minutes or until deep golden brown and filling is set. (Watch carefully, it can get too done really quick! That being said it usually takes me at least 65 minutes to get this done.)

That's it. Amazing and easy.

Serve with whipped cream, ice cream, coffee, or straight from the pan. Or eat it for breakfast the next morning. Like I was doing in this photo.

Merry Christmas Eve everyone!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Sophie the Pup's first photo shoot

 On November 28th, 2012, we added a new member to our family. Sophie the puppy. She was 8 weeks old and weighed 6.6 lbs.

It was love at first site. Sophie is a rescue pup and I went and picked her out of a whole bunch of sweet dogs that needed good homes.

She was the cutest one.

Allegedly, she is part lab, part German shepherd. But who really knows.

We don't care what you are, we'll keep you, Sophie!

We had a rough first night. As in, lots of crying (from the pup) and lots of accidents (from the pup) and not much sleep (by me or the pup). But she's getting the hang of it. And she's so darn cute, we didn't really mind.

We did a little photo shoot to capture her first days with us. Get ready for cute puppy overload.

Tiny Sophie!

Sophie loves a good bone. She hates her harness. Even though it is Martha Stewart. Designer harness for my girl? Of course.

I never really understood the term "puppy dog eyes" until I saw these babies. They kill me.

 Hanging out with Caleb, her fave.

 She hates going on walks, but she loves a good belly rub. She already sits for her food and is about 90% potty trained. Such a smart pup!

Early morning, no make up. Don't care. Night shift is putting those wrinkles under my eyes.

In love with my sweet girl!

Some people have kids, but now we have a puppy. Boom. If you haven't already been overloaded with Instagram pics (we are @lorrib and @navierstokeseqn), don't worry. I will clog your Facebook feed or your blogger feed with adorable puppy goodness.

Merry Christmas to me!

Friday, November 23, 2012


Happy Thanksgiving/Black Friday friends! I just got home from work and am getting ready to get my sleep on. But not before I eat some pumpkin pie filling. Yum. And link up to this hilarious contest.

Check out this contest over on Jami Nato's blog. Jami is my sister in law's that makes her like my sister-in-law-once-removed? Ha. I totally made that up. I get delirious when I'm tired. But this contest is all about seeing Jesus everywhere. Listen to some rap, take a lyric, find a Bible verse. Boom. Bet Jay-Z didn't know he was preaching to you.

I love this. Hilarious. And amazing. If you have Instagram, check out the hash tag #letsgetpraisy. If not, check out the link up on Jami's blog.

Here's my contribution.

But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay.

(Matthew 28:5-6 ESV)

Amazing. Seriously.

And I've even put the Fun. song ("Some Nights") up here for you to listen to. Except its not actually Fun. singing. It's a rip off version. But you get the idea.

 I love the Bible. I love Fun. You are welcome.

Can I just say amazing one more time? I've been up all night taking care of sick people. Amazing.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Pumpkin patch fun

I'm getting ready to take a nap before work tonight and loving this awesome weather we've been having. We are super ready for trick-or-treaters tomorrow with a massive candy stash! But I can't help but think about all the nurses over on the East Coast today and how they are dealing with power outages and destruction. Just thinking about how sick some of my patients are, I can't even imagine. Prayers going their way for sure!

I can't let October get away without sharing some of these sweet pumpkin patch pictures. The Baker clan went for our annual pumpkin fun a few weeks ago. George and June are growing so fast and we are obsessed with watching them do anything!

Junie B loves me. Too bad she hates the sun. I need to get her some sweet shades to match me.

She totally loved the hay. Check out that sweet smile.

George is getting so tall! Side note: pumpkin patches are awesome places to take pics. I loved these.

My honey found this pumpkin to take home. We are serious about getting good pumpkins. I found a perfect one as well and then set it by the trail to look for more. Someone picked it up and said "Hey look at this one! This is perfect!" And then they showed it to their kid. I watched them, frozen. But then the kid said he didn't like it, so lucky me. I was worried.

Oh look, a rare photo of Caleb smiling. Which he basically does all the time, except in photos. I'm not really sure what this half off jacket thing is all about though.

I love this pic of George, June, Zach, and Audrey! You sweet little photogenic family.

Happy fall friends! Come trick-or-treat at our house tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Epic Table Project

One of the first pieces of furniture I wanted for my new house was a new kitchen table. We've never had a "real" kitchen table before so I really wanted one. I wanted something cool and a little different, something that could be expanded to seat more people but that would still fit in my breakfast area. So at the beginning of August, my friend Stephanie and I went out to the West Bottoms in Kansas City to check out First Fridays. I found this awesome redone Pottery Barn table at Bella Patina (which happens to be the store of one of my high school friends, Megan!). The table was clean and white with two leaves and just adorable.

So we loaded it up and took it home. As soon as we unloaded it, I noticed that the paint was peeling. So much, in fact, that you could peel off most of the top with a fingernail. Not ideal.

Here's the new table. That I never intended to re-do.

So that weekend, as my husband slaved away on the ceilings (another post for another time), my mother-in-law and I decided to fix up the table. We were planning to strip off the old paint and then just spray paint the whole table. We thought we would probably finish it during the weekend. We were wrong.

Here's what we did. I would like to state a disclaimer that this is not a real true "How to re-do a table" because I don't really know what the proper way is. But here is what we did. It was a long process. You may just want to take a little trip out to Nebraska Furniture Mart and buy yourself a table. Just saying.

We started out by striping the paint off with a stripping gel. You paint it on, let it sit for a while, then scrape it off. Pretty easy but didn't work so well on the legs.

I tried using steel wool on the legs, that didn't work either. Plus, as we stripped that paint down, we found more layers of finish underneath. Soo I made a new plan. I used a small electric sander to strip down the legs as much as possible. And my dad brought over a larger sander and completely sanded down the top of the table. Also, I quit taking pictures of the process in between because I was super frustrated. (Ha.)

So. After the sanding was done, my plan was to stain the top of the table and paint the legs. We were never able to get all the paint off the legs so staining them wasn't really an option.

Before staining the top of the table, I used a pre-stain wood conditioner. It dried within an hour, very quick and easy. Then I did two coats of stain for a really black look. I decided to stain instead of paint because you can still see the beautiful grain of the wood. After staining, I did three coats of a clear gloss polyurethane. 

For the legs, I just did a coat of primer and then two coats of glossy black paint. I really love the contrast between the legs and the top of the table.

(Sorry for the night photo, I work nights now so did a lot of the work on my nights off. And then didn't notice mistakes until the daylight...)

So here it is! Finally hanging out in my breakfast nook. I can see all the imperfections, but I am pretty happy with the final result.

I'm planning on spray painting these chairs. No more sanding for me, thankyouverymuch. But I can't decide on white paint or different colors...

Things I would do differently next time:

-Spend less time trying to get all the paint off the legs, since the primer and new paint covered everything anyway

-Spend less time stripping the paint off the top of the table and just sand it off, which was so much easier and less time consuming

-Paint the legs outside in the daylight! There are a few places where I can see paint drips that I didn't see at night.

-Use a paint on polyurethane instead of spray on. The spray was so easy but I can see places where it is uneven.

P.S. The rug is from Target a few years ago. I love it.
 And here is my table scape. I love calling it a table scape. It reminds me of Sandra Lee and her boozy Food Network show with matching curtains, clothes, cocktails and...table scapes. Anniversary roses (aww), mini pumpkins, and candle in a glass pumpkin.

So that is my table project. It took two months to finish. Which is too long, honestly. Also, have I mentioned that I hate DIY projects? I just want someone to do it for me. Thanks to my mother in law and my dad for helping me out so I didn't actually have to do this all by myself!

Costs of the project:

-Table: $120 

-Materials for stripping and sanding, not including sanders (borrowed from my dad and father in law): $50

-Wood conditioner, stain, primer, paint, and polyurethane: $70 

Total: approximately $240

Not bad, considering most Pottery Barn tables are over $1000. 

Now come over, pull up a chair, compliment my table, and have some dinner. On my new table.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Three years, baby

Three years ago today, I was wed. That day was amazing. We made it through the first year, which is supposed to be hard. (It really wasn't.) We made it through a move to East Tennessee. (It was actually pretty fun.) We made it through a move back to Kansas, buying a house, moving into the house, and taking on too many home improvement projects. And let me tell you, that is the stuff that tests a marriage. Right there. Just being honest. Three years isn't a long time, but it's long enough to grow together and have some good adventures. And I can say that I love this man much more than I did three years ago. That's the best part.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Wedding weekend in St. Louis

Only seven short years ago, I had just started my freshman year at KU. (This makes me feel soo old!) I lived in a four person suite in Ellsworth Hall, with one of my best friends, Kerry, and two other girls. This past weekend, Kerry and I went to St. Louis to watch one of them tie the knot. Mary Grace and Jose have been together for nine years. Nine! (I don't think we are counting month they briefly broke up freshman was dramatic.) We love Mary Grace and have always loved Jose as well. I always knew they would get married. 

I forgot my pardon my phone photos and instagrams. The filters look so cute on instagram...and so bad everywhere else.

Check out this beautiful church! And that amazing dress.

Kerry and I.

With the newlyweds!

The wedding was beautiful and so much fun. There was even a super sweet flash mob. We practiced in the hotel while we were getting ready. (Waiting for the  YouTube video on that one!)

On the way back to Kansas City, we had to stop at Cracker Barrel. Because that is just down home goodness.

Congratulations Mary Grace and Jose! We are so excited for you guys and know that you will have an amazing life together!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Summer wrap up/Moving is the worst

I feel like summers are always crazy. We're always trying to do a bunch of stuff, travel, have fun. And I feel like summers always have an element of change. Our summer was definitely full of change and I'm so glad that fall is here. And getting settled down.

So here's a photo summary of our summer. Thanks to my iPhone.

1. We started off with moving out of our Kingsport, TN loft. I loved this loft. And honestly, I loved living in Tennessee. Maybe not forever. But we had a couple sweet years there.

2. We lived in a hotel for three weeks. We looked at lots of houses. We ate horrible food. Like this. A McChicken inside a McDouble. Caleb calls it a McOlo. I've also heard it called a McGangbang. Whatever it is, it is awful. And wonderful.

3. We got to hang out with George and June. We missed them!

4. We moved into our apartment.  We slept on an air mattress for a few days. The movers came and bought our stuff and unloaded it for us. It was lovely.

5. I turned Twenty Six. I feel old.

6. I started a new job on the Medical Transplant ICU at KU Hospital. I work at night. It is crazy and hard but I am loving it.

7. We went on family vacay to Orlando, FL. Harry Potter world holds a little piece of me.

8. My mom and I went to Indiana for my Grandma's 90th birthday.

9. We closed on our house. And started too many projects. I always think projects are going to be super fast. And they are. Never.

10. We finally moved into our new house. And it is awesome. And full of boxes.

We did a lot of moving. Can I just say that moving is the worst? Moving from the apartment to the house was especially fun because it seemed to last But we are here! I have so much good stuff to share. Mostly DIY projects. And pictures of my lovely house with a dead, weed filled yard. I'm loving it.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Grandma's 90th Birthday

After our Orlando trip, I turned around and went to the great state of Indiana with my mom. Her whole family lives there and we went to celebrate my Grandma's 90th birthday! I think ninety is a pretty big deal and we wanted to do it up right. 

My original vision for Grandma's 90th was a big outdoor party with everyone she had ever known. But this spring, some significant health problems landed Grandma in nursing care. So I had to tone down the party ideas. So instead of one big party, we had two smaller parties. 

The first was with all of Grandma's bffs. She has known most of these ladies for 50+ years. Ca-razy. I tried my hand at angel food cake for the first time and it was a hit. 

I think this is the sweetest picture. Looking good for ninety, Grandma and friends! Mom and I stayed with Grandma's sister, Aunt Marge (top right) and had a blast!

The second party was for our family that was in town. Grandma's children, most grandchildren, and some of her nieces and nephews.

Check out my giant 90 balloon wall. One of my balloons is getting a little saggy there.

The super delicious cake. Wal-Mart, friends. They do good work. Also, pink was the theme, in case you were wondering.

Grandma and her four children, for l-r: Kent, Keith, Kurt, and Kaye.

I think the weekend was a success! We loved spending time with Grandma and our family and celebrated in style.

Mom, Grandma, and I

Happy birthday Grandma! (Don't you just love this vintage photo?)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Family vacation in Orlando: Magical

Happy August friends! I feel like its always so crazy how fast the summer goes. And then you see school supplies in Target and it's like BAM over. Except it will still be hot for like three more months. You'll see.

July was ca-razy for us. It went like this.

1. Start orientation for my new JOB.
2. Fourth of July
3. Trip to Orlando with Caleb's fam
4. Trip to Indiana with my mom
5. Buy a house
6. Start my new JOB for reals.
7. Sleep for like two days straight after all that.

So I have a lot to catch up on. Let's start with Orlando. We went on this magical trip with Caleb's family to celebrate his parents' 30th anniversary. Amazing.

Because Disney World really is the happiest place on earth.

We arrived to the Disney resort late on a Wednesday night. And that place is huge. So huge that we had a small tiff about navigating through it. No worries, we got to our hotel with unharmed.

The next day we set out for the Magic Kingdom. As soon as we got inside, I saw Cinderella ride by in the parade. I cried a few tears of joy. Magical.

George, ready to get his Disney on.
Cinderella's castle!!! And a few ominous clouds...

We hit up the teacups and It's A Small World. Junie B and I bonded. As you can see, our excitement was equal.

We rode the Pirates of the Caribbean. Which I'm pretty sure was the last straw for George and June. They bounced. Good thing, because storms broke loose. We hunkered down at the Peter Pan ride. It was indoors, obviously.

The storms passed. We rode Space Mountain. The best ride ever. Then we tried to tour Cinderella's castle on our own. We were denied.

We finished off the night with the electric light parade (amazing!) and the best fireworks I've ever seen. I also may have shed a few tears at this point.

Thanks tall dude, for getting in my pic.
My first trip to Disney World was magical. That's all there is to it.

The next day we headed to Universal Studios Islands of Adventure.

In case you were unaware, this is where Harry Potter World lives. I don't know if its really called that, but we call it that. Actually, its called The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. But I like Harry Potter World.
Audrey and I, getting ready to respect the spell limits.
We rode a lot of rides that day. A lot. By the end of the day, I couldn't ride any more rides. Harry Potter, the Hulk, Spiderman, and more. We rode the main HP ride like 4 times. I lost count. We went to the sweet shop in HP world and ate things like chocolate frogs and fizzing whizbees. Again, magical.

Caleb and Jordan, with Hogwarts in the background.
We finished up the day with dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe. Which I love so much I didn't take a picture of. But I do love some Hard Rock.

After a couple theme park-packed days, we took it easy the next day. Got our shop on at the Mall at Millenia. Which is a wonderful, magical place all on its own. I've been there before, for our first anniversary. It makes me feel like a rich person. Just to walk around there. Also, we visited IKEA. Is there a campaign to bring them to KC? Because I will be part of it.

For our final day in Orlando, we hit up the beach. I almost drowned and got super sun burnt. Again, magical. We had a delish dinner at PF Changs.

Hello, sun burnt shoulder. Good thing it matches my neon dress. (R to L: Zach, George, Jordan, Audrey, Jim, Bev, June, Caleb, Audrey, and me!)
Spending time in Orlando with my sweet in laws was just...magical. I know.