I mentioned last month on my Five Year Blogiversary post that I had quite a few things happening including some exciting news and purchasing my first house. Well, I’m ready to share my news and some house photos.
Over the last few months I’ve been busy with a big project. I had a hard time not talking about it, and while it wasn’t a secret, I just wanted to wait until I had more concrete things to share.
So are you ready for the news?
I wrote a book! I was going to start off with some clues about it starting with a “b” and that it is four letters, but then I realized everyone was probably going to guess baby, which is not the right answer. Anyhow, I have a book coming out!
And it’s a book on mug cakes! Writing a book has always been a lifelong dream, so I am very excited.
The book contains 100 mug cake recipes. And it’s not just a regurgitation of recipes on the blog. I went back to the drawing board. There are about 10 mug cake recipes that I had already created that I kept. The other ones are all either brand new creations or complete re-workings of previous ones I made.
The book is already listed for pre-order on Amazon. I actually stumbled upon it yesterday without knowing it existed and was giddy all day. Then today, I got an email from my editor with the book cover!
I didn’t do any of the photos for the book– I just concentrated on creating and writing and let the professionals handle the photography, so this is the first preview I’ve seen of the photos as well.
I worked really hard on this project. I had about 2 months to create 100 recipes. It wasn’t a lot of time, especially since I was also trying to consistently update this blog, move to my new house, work, and do all the other life-related things. Every recipe went through rigorous testing, averaging about five variations each before I decided on the best version. That’s over 500 hundred mug cakes I had to try out. By the end, I was feeling a little sick (though that didn’t last long).
Over the next few months, I’ll try to share more details and previews as they become available. But for now I just wanted to share my news. And for those who have enjoyed my mug cake creations over the years, I hope you’ll consider ordering a copy when it is released or even pre-ordering now. I know it’s still a few months away from release and you can always buy it later, but pre-orders do help the book move up the rankings and generate some buzz.
Okay, now onto the next big thing in my life: my first house!
I have to say, moving and settling into a first house has taken me a lot longer than I expected. When I moved from condo to condo, I didn’t really care too much because the moves were temporary. But with the house, I really want to make it nice. So I set a bunch of goals to make sure this house gets fully furnished and finished. I scheduled dates for when I wanted to share some of my favorite parts of the house on the blog so that I would be forced to finish on time.
Mr. K and I were house searching since our engagement three years ago. We never found our ideal home. Mr. K said I was being too picky, and maybe I was, but my thought process was that I had basically been saving most of my life for this “big purchase” and I didn’t want to give my years of savings into something I didn’t love.
And then we toured this model home. And this was the first thing I saw. I fell in love. I adored the giant kitchen island. My mother-in-law and brother-in-law think it’s far too wide, but I love it. When I saw it, I immediately envisioned pot lucks with dishes filling the kitchen island, or weekend brunches with food being set out and everyone gathered around sitting on counter stools. I fell in love with the rest of the house as well. It met every single criteria I was looking for.
This is definitely my favorite room in the house and I’ve been working hard on furnishing it. I had conversations with friends about what to furnish first. Most of them suggested the living room, dining room, bedroom. But my mind was set on the kitchen. There were two things I really, really wanted: a French door refrigerator and containers organizing my most used baking materials with chalk labels. Yeah, my non-food friends thought I was weird.
I shopped a long time for the kitchen organizers. I tried out various brands, models, before choosing OXO Good Grips POP storage containers. I love how easy they are to use. You push the button and it seals. You push it again to unseal it. You can also stack the smaller ones on top of each other. My kitchen is absolutely full of OXO tools that I’ve bought or been gifted over the years, so it only seemed fitting that I got OXO containers.
I love my new containers and the chalk labels make them look extra fancy. I’ve set aside a small area of the kitchen island for baking and having the containers have made baking so much easier. Before, I was running constantly to the cupboards to grab stuff, but now I have almost everything right there and I can hide my ugly large bags of flour and sugar in the pantry.
I got the chalk labels on Amazon. The OXO containers were provided to me by OXO. I literally had them added to my Amazon shopping cart, when one of the people at OXO that I’ve worked with on past projects generously offered to provide me some when she heard about me moving into my dream home.
Here’s a little peek at my French door fridge. I love the way the double doors open. I feel like it’s saying “Welcome,” everytime I open the doors. It’s quite spacious too, much more than my previous side by side door fridge. Whereas my old fridge was always stuffed full, this one is usually half empty. The one thing I don’t like though is that the freezer space is much smaller, which is a big problem for my ice cream addiction.
Mr. K thinks we should get a chalkboard to put on the fridge that says “Kirbie’s Kitchen.” I’m still looking for the perfect chalkboard to add to it. So far, I’ve put up my favorite magnets. The top ones are Tokidoki characters. The bottom ones are the Din Tai Fung dumpling mascots I’m absolutely obsessed with. The ones with the clips were souvenirs I bought from one of the restaurants. The bottom two were a gift from Jinxi when she went to Taiwan earlier this year.
I am also really loving the stove. This is my first gas stove and I was initially afraid of turning it on, but now I realize just how much more powerful the gas stove is as opposed to the electric ones I was previously using. I also love that the back splash matches the island, though I’m constantly afraid of getting it dirty so I barely use the back burners.
I don’t have too much counter space outside of the kitchen island, so I only have my essentials laid out: my Keurig machine, Blendtec and k-cups on one side. My very nice and super sharp Wusthof knife set (wedding gift), toaster oven, pyramid grater, kitchen scale, and George Foreman grill on the other side.
So that’s it for now. I’ll be showing more progress (hopefully) in the coming months including my other favorite rooms and my garden. Happy Friday and I hope everyone has a great weekend!