Snapshots of our lives
December 21, 2019
Pistachio Cake with Honey Buttercream
Another year has passed. I mean, there are 10 days left, but really, where did time go? After a crazy hockey winter, we had a super lazy summer this year, before another hectic school and hockey season started. The main goal this year was to say no to overscheduling, reduce optional activities, and focus on quality time with friends and family instead. It’s very liberating and we definitely intend to keep this going.
With the unbusying of our lives, there was also some time to revive old hobbies and try new things. I’ve always had a sweet tooth and while I try to limit my sugar intake, when I do eat desserts, they better be amazing. So, this year I started baking cakes. Mainly for the flavor because all the traditional standard flavors you usually get it in store-bought or restaurant desserts are soooo boring. I mean a chocolate or vanilla cake can be really good, but also not very exciting. When I eat the sugar, I want to make it an experience! Who is with me?(more…)
January 29, 2019
It’s the same procedure every year: The new year is impending, it sounds like a good idea to make it a productive one, so I set a number of goals. A high number. Then I don’t look at the list for a whole year. At the end of the year I remember the list and somehow managed to accomplish some of the goals to some extent. Others not so much.
Obviously, I am not very serious about these goals. I guess you could better describe them as intentions or loose ideas of where I want to go. But by setting them mindfully, I seem to prime my brain just enough to subconsciously work towards some of the goals. At the same time I am flexible enough to change directions if half way through something doesn’t work for me anymore.(more…)
January 5, 2019
Our Year 2018 in Review
What a year, this year! 2018 is definitely going to be logged under the category “glad that it’s over, hoping for a fresh start into a better year”. Although on a personal level nothing terrible happened and we are still very lucky and happy, it took a lot of effort to not let this downer of a year drag us down with it.
Was fÃ¼r ein Jahr, dieses Jahr! 2018 fÃ¤llt definitiv in die Kategorie “so froh dass es vorbei ist und hoffentlich geht das nÃ¤chste Jahr besser los.” Obwohl bei uns persÃ¶nlich nichts wirklich schlimmes passiert ist und wir im GroÃŸen und Ganzen sehr glÃ¼cklich und zufrieden sind, war es doch recht auslaugend.
December 5, 2018
Grids or No Grids?
So, our new house is obviously pretty traditional in style. While it is not actually a historic home, I do like the character and how it looks like it could have been around for hundreds of year. In these traditional colonial homes windows with grids (also called muntins) are the norm. The style stems from the old times when glass was only available in small pieces and little window panes had to be pieced together to make one big window.Â
Today those grids are purely decorative and meant to complement the traditional style. The front of the house would look completely different with plain windows and lose a lot of its charm.(more…)
December 4, 2018
The Laundry Situation
One thing I would never do again, is to start renovating while moving. It just made so much sense to make over the laundry room while there were no machines in it, but we only had 4 days to move and throwing a renovation into that mix was just a little bit too much.
Anyway, it had to be done. It was started at an inconvenient time, and then we finally finished the project two weeks ago. Our first full room make-over here. The laundry room came with a very old washer and dryer. Otherwise, the room was generally gross. There were old socks and piles of lint behind the old machines. This is what it looked like after we cleaned it:
November 22, 2018
All Moved In!
Four months later, and we’re all settled in. Surprisingly, our townhome had just the right amount of furniture and stuff to fill our new single-family home. Moving our stuff in and decorating made it immediately so much more ours. The refinished floors also helped. Here is how the house has changed so far just by us moving in. There is also a video tour at the bottom of this post to see how everything connects.(more…)
November 15, 2018
Improving the energy efficiency of a house is one project that is better done sooner than later. The initial investment can be deterring right after you just dropped a lot of dough on buying a house, but it is one of the only home improvements that will actually put money back into your pockets right away. Energy savings will start to kick in immediately and continue every month over the life of the installed measures. Since this is is our long term home, it made sense to get the home more energy efficient right away.
And the great thing is that in MD there are pretty good rebates available that you will get back from your utility after the project is done. In our case we are expecting to get roughly $2000 back in rebates. You can check here what rebates are available in your area:(more…)