I Bought A House!

Hooray!

The news is out and it’s officially official, ya girl is a homeowner.

I didn’t share anything about it until everything was set in stone because I knew, from every home buying resource/website/blog/expert, that things can turn real quick, shit can hit the fan, and that home you have your eye on can be ripped away from you in what feels like a blink of an eye! And I’m not superstitious, but I am a little stitious, so I didn’t want to jinx anything.

But now I can talk about it because the papers are signed, the keys are in my hands, and I am officially the bank’s bitch. Yay!

All in all, I had a really positive first time home buying experience. Though it’s all a whirl because everything happened SO fast. The week of Halloween, my dad drove to Raleigh to help me start my search with a realtor. We saw a few places, only finding one really great space that checked most of my boxes and where I experienced my first real estate heartbreak when we learned that the sellers had accepted an offer an hour before I arrived (and 11 hours after the house went on the market). A couple of weeks with a whole lot of nothing went by, then finally my realtor flagged a super charming townhouse and made an appointment for us to see it at 8:30 a.m on November 14th (a Saturday) just 12 hours after it went on the market. I walked in and got the feeling, I just knew it had to be mine! We made an offer at 11:30, and at 7 p.m I got the call that my offer was accepted. Next came the whole whirlwind of getting my loan approved, acquiring home insurance, doing home inspections, due diligence, and planning for my move (most of which I was doing without a computer, since my laptop was away for repair). I closed on December 11th. Blink of an eye, I’m telling you!

So, now I’ve got this gorgeous 3-story townhouse with a big kitchen, hardwood floors, and a ton of natural light, and I’m just so excited to get in there and start making it home after Christmas. I’m also excited to become a handy homeowner, because you all know I’m all about the DIY. I’ve already caulked some trim, painted the walls in the dining & living room, and next I’m refreshing the kitchen. I’ll be documenting everything here, duh, but for now I thought it would be fun to share some of my inspiration I’ve gathered from my Pinterest boards!

So much fun. I can’t wait!

Pumpkin Spice Coffee Cake

I only made two pumpkin recipes this fall. One was my mom’s pumpkin pie recipe for Thanksgiving (which I then enjoyed for the rest of the week because I did a solo, socially distant Thanksgiving thanks to the virus.) The other was this pumpkin coffee cake. And while nothing can beat mom’s pumpkin pie, I was preeetty pleased with how this coffee cake came out. Look, when you’re faced with a canned pumpkin shortage and you have to decide the two recipes you’re going to make for the year, the stakes are high! But if I had to do it over again, I totally would.

Pumpkin Coffee Cake

Ingredients:

FOR THE CRUMBLE:
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons
unsalted butter, melted

FOR THE CAKE:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 ounces sour cream, at room temperature
2 large eggs, beaten

FOR THE GLAZE:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons water

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350 F. Grease a baking pan, then set aside.

Make the crumble first by combining all ingredients in a bowl with a mixer. Then set this bowl aside.

Make the cake next. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, powder, soda, salt, pumpkin pie spice, and sugars. In another bowl, combine the pumpkin, oil, sour cream, and eggs. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix gently until combined.

Pour the cake batter into the greased pan. Top with the crumble, then bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Pull the pan from the oven and allow the cake to cool for 15 minutes/

While the cake cools, make the icing by combining the powdered sugar with water in a clean bowl. Use a spoon to drizzle the icing over the cake.

Serve with coffee or, my preference, espresso!

Woohoo! Now it’s officially time to move on to Christmas content. YAY!

How-To: Hogwarts Inspired Floating Candles & Witch Hats

If you follow me on Instagram you probably saw that my main decorating project for Halloween this year was hanging floating candles and witch hats in my entryway for a super magical, Harry Potter-esque effect. I absolutely loved the way it turned out and seemingly so did everyone else because I got a TON of questions asking how I did it, so I thought I’d share the how-to. Spoiler: It couldn’t be easier.

All you need is clear fishing line, a sewing needle, scissors, clear command strips if you’re renting (or staples if you own), witch hats, battery operated taper candles, and a ladder.

I started with the witch hats because they took up more space so I wanted to have their placement established before the candles. Cut pieces of fishing line in varying lengths so the hats hang at different heights, and then use the sewing needle to thread a piece of fishing line through the top of each hat. You want to thread the line through the top of the hat in a perpendicular direction to the hat itself, so that it eventually hangs straight. Pull the line through so each end is even and then tie it off in a double knot. Choose where you want to place each hat and either apply a command strip in each location or use a staple gun to adhere the string to the ceiling.

Then move on to the candles. Put batteries in each candle (it’s a pain in the butt to do this after the fact.) Again, cut pieces of fishing line in varying lengths so the candles also float at different heights. Tie the line around the taper candle – either you can wrap it around the lower half of the candle a few times or tie a knot around where the “flame” starts (I did the latter.) Tie off the string in a double knot and repeat the process of finding your preferred candle places & attaching them to the ceiling.

Viola! So simple, so magical, so much fun!