Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Company Is Coming …

cake!

This past week, we have been in a frenzy of preparation for a special visitor who arrived last night. Early in the year, our daughter asked if we could host a German student for a month. She chose a lovely, 16-year-old young lady, "V" as I will call her, and we have been so excited about her arrival. Both my children now have taken German at school as their foreign language, and my son is a freshman in college as a German major.

New Friends 032409

Well, "V" is just as darling as we hoped for, and we think she looks remarkably like Camille ("V" on the right). Though she had been up nearly 24 hours traveling over to America, "V" was able to keep up with our chatty and excited family, and we are so happy she is here.
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Of course, expecting company requires the next set of home improvement projects. We've been meaning to redecorate my son's room, which was never properly done when we moved to this house six years ago. At that time, I was recovering from herniated discs, and then we embarked upon a number of surgeries within the family over the next four years. So, now, we are getting to the redecorating we've always imagined for this home.

hall bathroom before

First to be done was the hall bath. Though still in really great shape, there was gold linoleum and awful 80s wallpaper. Well, a nice paint scheme and "peel and stick" tile, if you can believe, and it looks great.

hall bath re-do

At 88 cents a square foot, it cost about $30.00 to re-floor this bathroom! We found it at Lowe's, and it looks and feels just like 12-inch tile. For a color scheme of vintage blue, pink, and black, the wall color is Martha Stewart Flower Petal Pink, and the flooring is a chocolate color that is just perfect for the pink paint.

guest room redecorating

Next project was my son's room. Obviously, I had let it go for waaaaay toooo long. There was, again, an old 80s border, bare walls, etc. (This photo with the wallpaper border spackled over, then sanded, then primed.) However, I found the perfect vintage yellow I've been looking for, Jekyll Clubhouse Yellow, Valspar Lowe's 3006-6C. As a guest room, I am using white matelasse bedding and decorating with a vintage blue and florals for a sort of Texas Hill Country vintage look.

Guest Room 9

When my son is home from school, we can switch the bedding and curtains out to red and blue Americana stripes and checks in a more guy-friendly look. This is the first room in the hall, and, I tell you, it is a joy to look across from the family room into a lovely room rather than one requiring the door being shut! There is still art for the walls to be found, plans for a quilted tablerunner for the dresser, and a roll-top desk to be brought up, but at least the basics are down.

cake!

So, in preparation for "V's" arrival, some baking had to be done. I found another awesome and perfect chocolate cake recipe from The Farm Chicks. This chocolate cake with buttercream frosting turned out devine! Of course, just reading through the buttercream recipe, I thought it wouldn't be enough, so I doubled everything. It tastes perfect, and the consistency is just lush. Two drops of red food coloring, and I have this lovely shade of pink. Do try baking this one up. It's easy, quick, and seems foolproof as well. I think I need to go ahead and buy their new cookbook.

10 comments:

~Michelle~ said...

Oh how fun! While we never had one live with us, we always had exchange students @ my teeny tiny HS - and it was a blast! I bet she'll have a great time :)

Jean said...

Michele,
Looks like your in for a wonderfully fun month! So much to learn, and the chance to get to know this young lady better. How neat for you and your family.
For some reason I had lost your blog address... a while back I had pretty much lost everyone... but was able to track you down... ahem, you were there on my followers list and I'm sooo sorry that I didn't get this taken care of sooner!
I've been trying to catch up on your blog... looks like you have been busy just like the rest of the world.
Glad I found you!

Miss Mary said...

Hi there! You don't know me, but I have found your blog somehow, and now I love it! I have you linked in my sidebar! Hope that is not too weird for you :)Your crafts are so great, and I love how creative you are.

Anyway, wanted to write to you because I am so excited that you have an exchange student for a bit! My profession is in San Francisco working with foriegn exchange students, so I am always happy when I see such a happy and fun placement like your family is experiencing. Hosting students can be so rewarding for families and I am glad your family is having such a positive experience so far!

Just wanted to say hi! Thanks for the great craft ideas!

Nanette Merrill and daughters said...

Yum cake. The house looks great. It feels so good to spruce up.

girlville said...

oh, V looks just like your daughter! how fun to have an exchange student. i wanted to host one when i was in high school but my parent's vetoed it. that cake looks very very good! the farm chicks have great recipes.

Chris Worthy said...

I am so glad she arrived safely! You are going to have a great time!

I will need to check out that peel and stick tile. Sounds like the solution to a problem I am currently having. :)

A Spoonful Of Sugar said...

What a terrific experience for you all! The guest bedroom looks lovely - I love the white and blue colour scheme, and the cake looks delicious!

jacquie said...

what fun for you and your family. a great opportunity for all of you and her too. have fun!

Montee said...

Your daughter and "V" do look like sisters! That new bathroom floor looks really good. Thanks for the info on that flooring in case I may need to do the same thing sometime.

Chloe said...

Oooh that cake looks gooooooood!
And the decorating is lovely. Hard works isn't it though, but well worth it.
Enjoy your time with V!