DIY , Food , Life , sewing

Derby Week

This year we kicked Derby week off the Sunday before the big race. I am glad we did too because we didn’t make as many of the dishes as I thought we would but we still made quite a bit. It always turns out to be such a fun week with lots of good food.

Sunday, Sean helped to make dinner. We had his family over for Hot Browns, Derby Pie, and Dark Chocolate Bourbon Torte. The torte was an addition this year and boy was it good. I didn’t take the time to make the whip cream to go on it but it was rich enough that it really didn’t need the whip cream.
UntitledSignature Hot Brown Recipe
Untitled Dark Chocolate Bourbon Torte Recipe
UntitledKentucky Pie – The recipe I use is the recipe in the bottom of my Louisville Stoneware pie dish.

This year we made an addition to the week. JoAnn Fabrics came out with a line of fabric that was specific to the Kentucky Derby and I decided to make cloth napkins out of the gingham. They turned out a lot better than what I thought they would and I completed them in a couple of hours.(It would have been faster but with an almost 2 month old, everything takes a little longer.)

Like I said there was a lot more on the menu for the week but the fried chicken and mashed potatoes turned into grilled chicken and skillet potatoes. The night we were to have this we had walked 4 miles before dinner and didn’t really feel like having fried chicken. Sean claims that he put 11 herbs and spices on the chicken though.

The following night we had steak with Henry Bain Sauce, The Cheddar Box’s Derby Pasta, and bourbon mushrooms. This dinner was a keeper. This was the first time I had made the pasta. It was a recipe that I had found on the Courier-Journal’s website from years ago. It was really good and we will be making that one again in the future.
Cheddar Box’s Derby Pasta Recipe
Henry Bain Sauce Recipe

There was one more thing that I decided to make for the weekend which we didn’t quite get to having but is still in the fridge to eat and that was Benedictine Spread . This was also something new I decided to try to make this year and it turned out pretty good. I just forgot to take pretty pictures of it.

That wraps up the food that we had for Derby week. I did make one more thing for the week to help our little man celebrate his first Derby. Look for that post coming soon.

A lot has happened since I last posted. Well, actually, a whole month has passed. First we will start with the basement finally getting its finishing touches. Don’t worry there will be more posts in the coming days about all of the other happenings in our house.

If you can remember back to September of  2014, we started having work done on our basement to get it finished. We knew that we wanted to try to get it finished before having kids, as we knew, that it would be mainly a playroom / living room along with a room for my office. We knew that we were going to do the project in two stages so that we were able to afford all that we wanted. Once the first stage was complete, we knew that we would have to save some money and wait a bit before starting the second phase.

Fast forward to October 2015, we knew that we should probably start the project since we had found out I was due in March. Upon contacting our contractor, we knew that it could potentially be done before the holidays. Well one thing lead to another and they decided not to start on it until mid January, hoping that it would only take a couple of weeks to complete. A few bumps in the road with ordering products, the Blizzard of 2016 and other things caused it to last about a month in total but it is done before the baby gets here and that is what I was most concerned about. Thank goodness!

I didn’t take any pictures of what the basement looked like before we had anything done. This is as close as it gets. This was the basement on day one of the renovation back in August of 2014.

What does it look like? Well, here you go! No furniture quite yet but we will hopefully have that and the tv in soon enough. More pictures of that of course once we get it finished!


Sewing through tears can be a difficult task. This project took me longer than what a normal project would take me but emotionally, I could only do a little at a time. I knew that I didn’t really have to get this done right away but I really wanted to get it done before Baby Caff gets here. I achieved that goal with the help of a Blizzard and an extra snow day.

Every time I would sit down to work on this project I was flooded with tears or memories, sometimes both.  Back in December, I posted about losing both of my grandparents in a short period of time. That week we worked on cleaning out their apartment, right before Christmas. My job along with my cousin and her girls was to clean out their closet. As we were going through all of these clothes, we started talking about remembering them wearing certain shirts to certain places or things we did with them. All of a sudden, I decided that I would try to make a quilt remembering the two of them together in one place. I let everyone choose what they wanted, a wall hanging or a full size lap quilt. The final order was 5 wall hangings and 4 quilts.  At 27 weeks pregnant, apparently I thought I could do anything.

Every single one of them turned out completely different. All I could think about was that each of us has different memories with Grandma and Grandpa and that it was completely appropriate for them to be different. I also tried to include shirts that were specific to that person or something that they shared with one of the two of them.  There is one thing that was consistent  on all of the quilts and that is each one has a shirt and tie of Grandpa’s on it. The tie is overlaid on the shirt like it would have been worn.

The wall hangings were the first part of this project and they turned out pretty much how I was thinking that they would come out. I wasn’t exactly sure how big they would be though and they didn’t really turn out to be a traditional size but I think they turned out to be just right.

First up is the one for my aunt. She was the oldest of the two girls and something that she shared with my grandparents was working at the Salvation Army. Ultimately, their involvement at the Salvation Army has now led to the whole family being involved, especially at Christmas. I found a t-shirt that belonged to one of them in a drawer and knew that it was to go on my aunt’s wall hanging.

My mom’s was up next. Her wall hanging ended up getting a couple of different pieces on it. She ended up with a New Albany Bulldog towel from a basketball game and one of grandpa’s Kiwanis shirts. I’m not sure why she got the Kiwanis shirt, it just worked out that way but the Bulldog was where she went to school and her love for basketball just like my grandparents.
My one and only cousin was the next one I worked on. I knew exactly what I was going to try for her. We found Grandpa’s IU hat that he wore all the time. Since my brothers and I all went to Purdue and she was the only one that shared their love of IU (besides my mom and aunt), it was only appropriate. Luckily I was able to get it cut off of the hat and it worked, even though I doubted my abilities.
My brothers are probably the two that are the closest when it comes to looks. The blocks are in all different order but the only difference is that the color of the Lackawanna shirts are different. I knew as soon as we found them that the boys were the ones to get these. The first one below has extra pieces of Grandpa’s shirts worked into the corners as well. One of the boys has already mentioned that he is going to try to put a couple of Grandma’s broaches in the corners that don’t have a shirt. I think it is going to look really nice if he decides to do that.

Next up were four regular sized quilts. At first, I thought I was going to be able to make the whole quilt out of blocks of their clothing. Then I started sewing all of the fabrics together and quickly realized that it was going to be super hard to make that happen. I was a little disappointed that it wasn’t going to make up the whole blanket but all of the different fabrics were making it very difficult to sew and quilting the small ones was hard enough. Instead I decided to make them the center piece of the blanket with a thick border. Since it wasn’t working out the way I decided to go ahead and make the back of the blanket more personalized with fabric that fit the kids’ personalities. I was also able to get fleece for the backs as well making them much warmer. The last one pictured is my quilt.


Mine has a jacket from Grandpa’s school and a t-shirt from Grandma’s days in the Administration building. I was the only one to follow in their footsteps into education so it was a neat to include those on mine. 

Hopefully everyone likes them. I am glad to have them all wrapped up before Baby Caff gets here. 

We had our tree for five days before leaving to head west for the holidays. I took these on Wednesday night while Sean was gone before having to leave early on Saturday morning.
DSC_8189DSC_8191 DSC_8194We unfortunately didn’t get to take a picture of the two of us in front of our tree this year. We did in front of mom and dad’s though. 

For the last couple of years, I have made a different cupcake or cake for Sean’s birthday. Sometimes I pick out the recipe, other times he picks it out. Some we have said we would keep, others we’ve said we would never do again.

This year I think it was a keeper and many people had the opportunity to eat his cupcakes since we were back home in Indiana and working the Salvation Army giveaway.

He picked this one out. I introduce to you, the Maker’s Mark cupcake.
UntitledUntitled Untitled

The recipe for the cupcakes was found on the Maker’s website. Add this one to the list!

  • Check out what all you have missed!