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Homebuilding, Day 35

July 3, 2013

On June 27 we met with our project manager, for our “Pre-Drywall Meeting”. Basically, just to go over where all of the electrical and plumbing was installed, to make sure everything is where we wanted it to be. A few days before, we met with the home security company, who will be installing our security system and SURROUND SOUND SYSTEM in the living room. I’m a little excited about that.

We are only about 5-6 weeks from completion at this point.

Next stop, drywall!

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Come on in!

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Family room, with fireplace

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Upstairs guest bathroom
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Stairs to the second floor

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Morning Room (dining room) with view of eventual back yard

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Master bedroom, with a peek into the master bathroom

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This is going to be our walk-in closet – almost as large as the other bedrooms!

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Oops! We already have a broken window in the bedroom.

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Bob’s Jacuzzi tub, in the Master Bath. He will probably never leave this room.

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The shower in the Master Bath

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The front living room

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The view from the kitchen to the garage

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Kitchen stove vent. I’m sure you all find this photo RIVETING

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The kitchen and morning room (dining room)

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Recessed lighting in the kitchen

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The garage drain. Pure excitement.

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Homebuilding, Days 16-23

June 29, 2013

I am wofeully behind in posting these house updates! So many things have happened since the foundation was poured a few weeks ago.  It finally looks like a house now – framed and wrapped!

First, the lumber was delivered June 6 or so:

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Lumber Delivery June8_Small

And before we knew it, the house was really starting to look like a house (this photo was taken June 15)! It’s amazing how quickly a dedicated building team can get a house constructed. This is a lot of the reason we decided to build with Ryan Homes.

Exterior June 15_Small

I cannot believe that I’ll be living in here in just a couple short months!

Next : plumbing and electrical start going in!

If you would like to get a peek at our home type (Venice) as well as some of the other homes in our growing neighborhood, check out Ryan Homes’ website for the Liberty Ledges community. I can only hope I can decorate our house as nicely as some of the home models in the photos.

Homebuilding, Day 9: Laying the Foundation

June 3, 2013

Lot 20 Official Construction Start Date: Friday, May 24

Bob and I stopped by the ol’ homestead on Saturday, to see the progress on the foundation. Look like the walls were poured, and things are starting to take shape. What I learned today: it is dangerous and dumb to try to walk on construction sites wearing flip-flops.

Foundation 1

Ground level view, from the future driveway

It's a bird's eye view of the eventual Man Cave. You can almost smell the pizza and hot wings, can't you?

It’s a bird’s eye view of the eventual Man Cave. You can almost smell the pizza and hot wings, can’t you?

Our project manager called last night to tell us that the lumber should be arriving either Tuesday or Wednesday, and they’ll start framing the house then. Almost time to start picking out new curtains!

Sugar/Culture Shock: The Candy Counter

May 27, 2013

One of the things that struck me about Northeast Ohio was how similar it is to Upstate NY. Weather, stores, restaurants…many things about my new home are comfortingly familiar. Though, every once in a while something jars me out of my reverie and reminds me that I’m not in Clifton Park anymore. On my last trip to Heinen’s Market, I spied a couple unfamiliar candy package in the checkout display. Ah, candy. The Great Equalizer.

First up: Boyer’s Butterscotch Peanut Butter Cups.

Butterscotch Smoothie Peanut Butter Cups

I was really intrigued by these; I love butterscotch and peanut butter

Butterscotch PB Cup

Verdict: Tasty, but ultimately disappointing. I was expecting a butterscotch bomb, but it smells more like butterscotch than tastes like it. And the peanut butter center just wasn’t peanut butter-y enough for me. Homemade pb cups are still the gold standard, followed by Reese’s in a distant second. Made by Boyer Candies, famous for their Mallo Cups.

Next: Candy Farm 3 Color Coconut Neapolitan Coconut Slice.

Candy Farm 3 Color Coconut Neapolitan Coconut Slice

Again, intrigued. Coconut is one of my favorite flavors

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Verdict: Blech. I actually spit this one out. I bit into the “strawberry” layer first, and was overwhelmed by the chemical and not-at-all-strawberry flavoring. Horrid. The chocolate layer was much the same. The coconut itself was fine and mealy; disgusting. Never again.

I probably shouldn’t be eating candy anyway.

Homebuilding, Day 2: The Big Dig Begins!

May 25, 2013

Lot 20 Official Construction Start Date: Friday, May 24

After a bit more wrangling with the sale of our old home (don’t ask – just don’t ask), our builder finally called us to tell us they would be breaking ground on our new house. The project manager let us know that they started digging yesterday, got the footers poured for the foundation, and would be pouring the foundation walls after the holiday weekend. Big excitement!

During our Saturday morning errands, Bob and I decided to stop by and see what all was going on:

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The view on the approach to the hole…

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We are going to have a large basement!

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Hard to think that in a couple short months there’s going to be a beautiful house here. More photos to come as construction progresses!

Getting Local – Countryside Conservancy Farmers Market in Peninsula, OH

May 19, 2013

Hey! This is my 400th post!

I made my way down to a local farmers market this Saturday – the Countryside Conservancy‘s market in Peninsula, OH, inside the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. It was about a 35 minute drive from Twinsburg, but a really beautiful drive through Twinsburg & Hudson, and through the National Park into Cuyahoga Falls and Peninsula.

The market itself has about 50 vendors, and it’s situated in a spacious and picturesque meadow (Howe’s Meadow, to be precise) inside the park. The vendors are about what you’d expect: fresh produce and plants, baked goods, prepared foods, crafts, sweets, cheeses, meats, etc.

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Lots of good stuff going on, including live music and food demos. Tons of great stuff, and the atmosphere was really festive and fun. People seemed to be having a great time and enjoying the beautiful weather (which some people have told me is sketchy around here?).

I did make one final decision for myself while sampling some of the vendor wares: I just do not like goat cheese. That’s it. I know there are people who will think less of me because of this, like I’m less of a food lover because of it, or say that I just haven’t tasted the right one…but I’ve tasted a bunch of goat cheeses over the years, and I never like them. Ever. They just taste dirty and funky to me. So, I’m officially done with goat cheese. I’m glad I got that off my chest.

I bought a few things from the market vendors:

Peanut Butter Pumpkin Dog Treats by Baked Earth. Bella loves them, Quincy won't even try them.

Peanut Butter Pumpkin Dog Treats by Baked Earth. Bella loves them, Quincy won’t even try them. She’s a cranky old lady.

Pierogies of Cleveland. A local delicacy!

Pierogies of Cleveland. A local delicacy! Apparently Cleveland is the pierogi capital of the US?

Almond Crunch from Sweets by Dillie of Cuyahoga Falls

Almond Crunch from Sweets by Dilley of Cuyahoga Falls. It’s good, but I’m still a fan of my own Toffee Almond Crunch – my Christmastime gift staple and food swap favorite. Did I ever give out the recipe? No? Good.

Plus I also bought a blondie from a bakery, but that got devoured on the car ride home. Man, I seem to do that a LOT.

I’ll definitely be back to this market. Probably as a volunteer, as well. I need to meet people! Next up: the Countryside Conservancy food swap on Tuesday night.

Sweet Treats in Hudson, OH – Great Lakes Baking Co.

May 16, 2013

I accidentally traveled down to Hudson, OH this morning (it was four miles of futile attempts to either turn left or turn around – I’m not a very good driver), but I was glad I did – Hudson is adorable. They have a cute little Main Street (S. Main Street, actually) with toy stores, restaurants, bars, and cupcake shops (I won’t hold that against them). Reminds me of Hudson, New York actually. I will definitely be getting down there again soon, and give a thorough review and snap some pics.

Just past the Main Street, I finally found a place to turn around – a little brick plaza-type building with a Starbucks, a clothing boutique, some other things I forget, and a bakery called the Great Lakes Baking Co. So, I had to stop and see what that was all about.

It’s a cute little bakery, with cases of cookies and scones, wire baskets filled with loaves of bread, and pedestals covered with cookies in festive packages. Over to the left sits a a tall display case, which held four shelves of goodies, including the weekly cupcake special – devil’s food chocolate with raspberry filling. I did not choose one of these, though they looked absolutely delicious and they were only $3 each (they were pretty large). Also in the case was an assortment of their brownies – a few varieties, sold in four packs or in a brownie pie (which reminded me of those giant cookies we bought each other for birthdays in college).

After sniffing around a bit, I selected a lemon poppy scone and a six-pack of brown sugar chocolate chip shortbread cookies (for Bob. Sure). The scone was perfect, to me: dry but not crumbly, not too sweet, and topped with a zesty lemon-sugar drizzle. It barely made it out of the parking lot, so I never got a pic. And though I bought the cookies for Bob, I was forced to try one IN THE NAME OF SCIENCE. They were also great – perfect shortbread consistency,  not too sweet, with a caramelized-but-not-burnt sugar taste. I also thought I tasted some cinnamon, but it was not listed on the ingredients tag.

I am impressed with what I read on their website:

All products are baked on the premises from scratch. Depending on the recipe, either whole wheat flours or white enriched flours are typically used – never bleached or bromated flours. In recipes requiring a sweetener, Ohio honey or pure cane sugar are used – never high fructose corn syrup or any artificial sweetener, flavoring or preservative. Fats are added sparingly, if it all. When needed, fresh creamery butter or olive oil is used – never shortening, lard, or hydrogenated fat.

According to the chalkboard outside, they’ve got lunch-y type things, too, like pizzas and sandwiches. I plan to make a return trip to learn more!

Cookies sold in a package of six. Yes, there are only 5 in there. Guess what happened.

Cookies sold in a package of six. Yes, there are only 5 in there. SCIENCE.

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Chocolate Chip shortbread made by the Great Lakes Baking Co. in Hudson OH.

Things I plan to do over the next month or so:

  • Visit the Countryside Farmers’ Market at Howe Meadow in Peninsula (inside the Cuyahoga Falls National Park)
  • Attend a food swap (what up From Scratch Club! I’m keeping the faith!)
  • Try a few new restaurants
  • Review a few of the local grocery store chains
  • Get up to Cleveland and check out the West Side Market and the Great Lakes Brewing Company
  • Meet Chef Michael Symon (this is actually more of a long-term goal)
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