Sports Ball Cupcakes

So – I have been a little absent from posting the last couple weeks. I have lots of things in the works, but nothing really completed! I started on my closet curtains and even finished the cornice where they are going to hang from but I don’t want to show you until I have my curtains complete! Hopefully I’ll get more of a chance to work on it next week.

It’s been busy around here with calving and I try to help out my husband as much as possible. He doesn’t get much sleep so it is the least I can do! I do wish it would warm up. You definitely get a work out clomping around in winter boots, coveralls and a heavy coat. (Not that I couldn’t use a good workout !!!)

I have also been doing quite a few cake orders as of late. It goes by streaks, I will have a couple weeks without any and then I have several in one weekend. Kind of hard to stagger birthdays though! Graduation is looking to be a really busy time also this year.

These sports ball cupcakes are really fun and this is the second time I have done them for this little boy’s birthday. I did the same thing a couple years ago when he was two and his grandma says that that is what he talks about and remembers most so they got him the sports ball cupcakes again. They are really quite simple, but have a big impact, especially nice for boys.

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Maybe this will give you an idea for your son/grandson/nephew’s next birthday!

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Laying the Ground Work

I was looking through some old pictures on my computer and came across a few that made me think – wow, we have come a long way from where we were!

The thing about buying a farm is that the house is way at the bottom of the list of what matters. It is the location, outbuildings and facilities for livestock that matter the most! Having said that, I really can’t complain. The house is a 35 year old ranch style house, so it is somewhat modern for a farm house and has good structure.

Here are some of the major changes we did with the existing flooring.

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Look at that lovely vinyl! It wasn’t the original but close to it! I just remember how hard it was to clean. It had dips and grooves that you had to get down on your hands and knees with a scrub brush to get clean. Not that it ever really looked that clean with the dingy yellow color it was! This was in the kitchen, the back hallway, laundry room and back bathroom.

I couldn’t find a picture with the carpet that was in the dining room when we moved in. The previous owners had put in a light beige carpet – it wasn’t really a bad color or anything. Just not ideal with small children!  This is actually the plywood subfloor that I painted to look like tile. It really turned out well and the ketchup that 2 little kids spilled on it cleaned up much easier than carpet! The 2 years that we had it painted were about the limit for what clean up the paint could take. Even with several top coats of poly it was starting to chip. It probably didn’t help that, at the time we had roller chairs!

Please ignore my pathetic, spindly tree! Prior to blogging I really only took pictures at holidays and birthdays apparently!IMG_1044

This pictures shows where the old vinyl meets the painted plywood floor. The colors really didn’t mesh very well, did they?!?!?!

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About 4 years ago we replaced all the vinyl and the painted plywood-previously-carpet areas in the kitchen, dining room, back hallway, utility/laundry room and bathroom. This was a large undertaking, requiring moving the washer and dryer, chest-style deep freezer, toilet, dishwasher, refrigerator and stove. We took off all the trim and tore up all the old vinyl – both layers plus the underlayment. It took days to pull out all the staples! Then we spent 3 days eating either in the living room or the basement.

It was totally worth it and is so much more functional – easy to clean and a more neutral color. The new flooring really opened up the area, making it feel much larger, when it was all the same through out the kitchen and dining area. The bottom of the next  picture is where the old “seam” between the kitchen and dining area was.

I also added a bench and small island to the kitchen since the first picture.

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This is looking from the kitchen into the dining room.012


One of the biggest things I disliked about this house from the moment we moved in was the royal blue carpeting that was in the living room and front entry and down the hallway. As you can tell in the picture – every little speck  or piece of lint shows on it. And imagine trying to decorate around this color – not fun! The only reason it wasn’t the first thing to go was because I wanted to remove the wall between our dining and living rooms and didn’t want to replace the flooring until that happened.

This was taken at Christmas time a few years ago. It wasn’t until this past November, that we finally replaced it. The previous April the wall had rather unexpectedly come down. Not that it fell down – just that my husband gave the go-ahead when we were having the bathroom remodeled to take it out – YIPPEE!!!!

A Christmas picture from the past – ignore the presents all over the place!IMG_0710

And the new flooring installed – what a difference!

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I couldn’t find pictures of the old flooring in the bathroom before the remodel, but I really like the vinyl we installed in there also. It hides a lot! You can see pictures of that here.

Here are the dramatic side by sides!

KITCHEN

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DINING ROOM

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and the LIVING ROOM

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These changes alone have made a HUGE improvement in our home. It definitely makes it easier to make more superficial changes.

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Closet Finished and a Sneak Peek!

If you didn’t get a chance to look at how I redid my master bedroom closet from a dark-and-paneled-little-storage area to a bright-storage-filled spot, you can click here.

Well, I got around to adding the shelf above the center hanging rod – where I’m storing my purses – and …

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above the shoe cubby, where we are storing his and her hats. The baskets holding the scarves and belts are resting on the shoe cubby. This summer – or at least when it gets above 60 degrees! – I hope to spray paint both the baskets and the shoe cubbies white to keep with the clean new look.

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So – here is the final finished picture of the inside of the closet!

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Did you notice the sneak peak???

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Did you see it stacked in the top cubby?

This is the material that I can been accumulating over the last year or 2. I’ve got big plans for a bed skirt, a quilt/comforter, shades of some sort for the windows, and a bunch of pillows for the bed.

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Newly painted walls and a curtain for the closet are in the works.

I can’t wait to see what the whole bedroom looks like all redone!

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