January 13, 2014

Weekend Basics: Tim's Birthday Edition

Tim's birthday was yesterday and we were also lucky enough to have Brandon staying with us before he headed back up for the start of Spring semester classes at JMU, so we found ourselves celebrating all weekend long, which is not a bad thing, right?

Saturday was a pretty dreary day, so we hit the road for a little trip out to the country for some antiquing and BBQ. There is an antique mall in Gordonsville we like stopping in just to look around.

It was a window shopping sort of day and we did come across a few gems that stayed at the shop, like this antique drawer catalog:

And we're on the hunt for some thick slabs of reclaimed wood we'd like to build a few shelves with — like these:

It was fun to poke around and get some new inspiration. Afterwards, we went for lunch at a BBQ place Tim's been dying to try, The Barbeque Exchange. With pork belly platters, barbecue, mac n'cheese and homemade hush puppies, it didn't disappoint.

That evening we all headed over to Tim's parents house for a homemade birthday dinner. Tim's mom always outdoes herself when it comes to food, so we knew we were in for a big treat. She did make the boys work for their food, though — here they are moving a sofa to the 2nd level sitting room for her latest decorating scheme:

So, bowling also happened for Tim's birthday. We were really trying to think of something to do while Brandon was still in town and although a movie was on the list we thought bowling would be a fun family activity. I loved watching the "friendly" competition between these two — they definitely fell from the same tree. Tim bowled the best game with a 170, but Brandon made sure to let him know that since it was his birthday, he just didn't want to show him up on this big day!

I believe we all had great form — no?

I didn't even break 100 points in the few games we played and I'll admit, my hindquarters are still sore today from Bowling, but it was great fun.

In probably one of my most triumphant birthday moments, I pulled off making Baked Alaska for Tim's birthday dessert. If you know Tim, you'll know he's not a big fan of chocolate, or sweets in general (the horror!), so when I asked him if he had a favorite dessert from childhood, he said "Baked Alaska." I'd never heard of this before (shameful for the dessert fanatic that I am, I know), and when I looked it up, I have to say I was immediately intimidated.

So what did I do? Consulted my gal pal, Martha, who lent me this simple recipe for individual sized Baked Alaskas.

Once I had a handle on the recipe, I was ready to take a stab at making my first meringue from scratch and put together the following snowy blob of Baked Alaskan deliciousness:

Tim took one bite and said I nailed it — which was a huge compliment since I know we both had our doubts on whether or not I'd be able to pull it off, haha. It was definitely a rich and decadent dessert — I'm already looking forward to tackling it again next year. 

Finally, if all the birthday celebrating weren't enough, we had time to squeeze in a couple projects once the sun came out and gave us a beautiful day to get outside yesterday. Our beloved Krylon Looking Glass spray made an appearance for a project we can't wait to share later this week:

And we transferred a wilting branch cutting of rosemary we'd been rooting into a soil filled planter:

We'd taken this cutting several weeks back from Tim's parents house when a storm had knocked off this large branch from the main plant. Since it was already so large and established with a woody base, we thought this might make a great cutting to try growing a bush with out front in the spring.

I'd let the cutting sit in water about a week too long, as the leaves were beginning to brown and die:

After planting it in the soil, I snipped away all the dead areas so the roots can focus sending positive vibes to the fresh green leaves:


We plan to keep this guy indoors until it gets a little milder outside and are hoping for new, healthy growth — fingers crossed!

How was your weekend? Did you watch the Golden Globes or Downton Abbey? Maybe you were a serial switcher-back-and-forther like we were.


  1. Happy Birthday Tim! And congratulations Mary on the baked Alaska!

    1. Thank you Willow. The baked Alaska was quite impressive!

  2. I don't suppose you could be persuaded to share that recipe? :) HAPPY BIRTHDAY Tim! I spent the whole weekend beading!


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