"Muffin" is just another word for cake, which is why they are SO GOOD.

Mark and I complement each other so well in many ways, but we are totally incompatible when it comes to sleep, specifically bedtimes and waking hours. I have to wheedle and cajole to get him to stay up until 10 at night, and he is up and out by 7 am during the week, and usually before 8 on weekends. I have ridiculous insomnia, so I am usually up until 12, and sleep until at least 7 during the week, hopefully longer on weekends -- and that's on a good night. If I go to bed at 10 with Mark, I almost always wake up around 3 or 4 and end up getting up to read or watch tv. HATE.

On Saturday morning, Mark was awake early, of course, and started bugging me to wake me up around 7:30, despite the strict "Do Not Disturb Before 8" rule in place on weekends. He was talking about being hungry, wanting breakfast, what could he eat, etc. (He's actually not an annoying small child; I am just an insufferable witch when decaffeinated.) I knew I had applesauce in the freezer and had offered to make applesauce muffins, which he loves, and I had been asking him to hand me a phone so I could find a recipe. He wasn't paying attention though, reviewing fantasy baseball crap instead of letting me find a recipe, and being the incomparably sunny morning person that I am, I demanded the phone immediately if he wanted his applesauce mother [effing] muffins. Conveniently, he is charmed by my decaffeinated ways, chuckled, and cheekily googled "apple sauce mother f*ucking muffins," resulting in these: Mom's Applesauce Muffins. HAAAA.

The joke was on him, though, because the muffins? They were FANTASTIC. They are also really great out of the freezer, defrosted in the microwave.* Not the healthiest breakfast, but a great weekend treat. I stayed relatively close to the recipe, but made a couple of tweaks that were key for me, since raisins and cloves kind of gross me out. Here's what I did:

Applesauce Mother Effing Muffins
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
3/4 cup applesauce, plus diced fresh apple to bring volume up to at least 1c
1 tsp vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour

For the crumble topping:
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup quick-cooking oat, uncooked
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons cinnamon

1.) Cut 1 stick of butter into 2 cups of flour in a large mixing bowl until flour has a sandy texture.
2.) Add in the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt, stirring to combine. 
3.) Add in the beaten egg, vanilla, and applesauce/apples.
4.) Mix to combine and scoop into a muffin pan sprayed with Pam. (I used an ice cream scoop with one of the little scraper bars -- so easy!) Makes 12 muffins.

5.) In a separate bowl, make the crumble topping. Cut the butter into the flour, sugar, cinnamon, then stir in the oats, mixing until it's all crumbly.
6.) Top each muffin with a generous amount of the crumble mixture. (The muffins are really well coated in the crumble, and I didn't come close to using all of the crumble mixture.)

7.) Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes, and enjoy!
*I wrapped each muffin in plastic and stuck them in a freezer bag. To defrost, I unwrap and microwave for about 45 seconds. Yum.

My Private Shame: Let Me Show You It

Yeah, I'm talking embarrassing home decor, or lack thereof, again. Buckle up, for this one's a doozy.

As I have mentioned, we live in Northern Virginia, where townhomes and condos are ubiquitous, developments are thrown up overnight, and homes built in the last 25 years or so are utterly devoid of character. We live in one of these modern (read: "character free") townhomes, which Mark had purchased about a month before we met. (So close! I was so close to having input into where we would live!) I was a renter (of an utterly charming, WWII era townhouse in a neighborhood tucked into a virtual arboretum minutes outside of DC), so although it broke my heart, I had to do the moving when we became WHORES!.

We had some minor growing pains upon moving in, mostly because we had mesh our styles, and well, Mark needed some help. He thought booze was an acceptable decorating theme, for example. He also has appallingly bad taste in art, as you'll see. It's ok, though. We have done a lot of work together to make the house more "us," installing gorgeous hardwood* floors, gutting the kitchen and bathrooms, and by Mark trusting me more when it comes to decorating choices. It's not perfect by any stretch, but we've made a lot of progress.

That said, talking Mark into redecorating that does not involve construction still involves the hard sell, and the non-public areas of the house are in need of some HELP. We covered my bedroom, which, still looks much the same. I am pretty sure I want to move ahead with the curtains, as soon as the sewing motivation strikes, and I found this quilt and shams, which I think would be fresh and cute. The guest room is as it will be for the foreseeable future:
I'm not thrilled with the bed frame, but Mark made it, so it stays. Also not pleased that we have the bed up on risers so that we can fit his ancient, saggy mattress under the bed. I keep telling him I'm not leaving and taking my mattresses, but alas. Overall, though, it's fluffy and airy and girly, as I generally like guest rooms to be. Makes it feel clean and comfy, maybe?
The den of burning shame, however, is just next door to my fluffy, girly guest room, and it is a horrible cluttered hell. Mark has always used this room as an office, filled to the brim with a giant particle board desk, and computers and wires and clutter. (OH MY.) It got even more crowded and horrible when we had to move my cute little white desk in to share the room. We dismantled much of the room when we were having the windows replaced, and in the window replacement process, the installers managed to break a crucial piece of Mark's desk. (I may or may not have wanted to offer them my hypothetical firstborn in gratitude.) We were able to clear out the hulking horror of a desk, but were left with the detritus it had contained. It's... there are no words:
Massive, hideous chair.
That there? That is the attic door that has been on the top of Mark's To Do list for the last year and a half, while we have been living with a gaping hole in my closet ceiling. It's super fun when it's 95 degrees out and 150 in the attic.
My cute little desk, covered in crap for two.
 Oh, and that terrible taste in art I mentioned earlier? BEHOLD:
Yeeeeah. These used to hang in the living room and dining room. Can you even imagine? I mean, there are no words to adequately describe how awful these things are. I like to call it "Bad Vegas Art." (Actually, that's false; I would prefer to call it "SOLD TO THE HIGHEST BIDDER.") Despite this, I actually attempted to decorate around them in thanks for being able to move them out of the part of the house people regularly see. I bought this fabric:
and even spray painted the lamps and desk accessories in keeping with the green/red olive/pimento theme:
Despite my efforts, I have been unable to light a fire under Mark's ass to get rid of the clutter. In fact, it has only gotten worse, as it became the repository for crapola during the last bathroom reno, and it looks so terrible that whenever we lack a good place to put something, it seems to get shoved in there while I keep sighing and closing the door. However, I work from home, and as I have been getting a little busier, I have begun to need a proper office. I end up sitting on the couch or hunched over the kitchen counter, neither of which is helpful for my productivity.

SO. First things first -- this room needs to be cleaned out. Mark has some separation anxiety when it comes to computers/wires/clutter (OH MY), so I am anticipating that more junk than I would like will end up in the attic, but if that's what it takes, I'll deal. Once that is done, I am planning to turn it into a bright, cheery space. Unfortunately the ceilings in our bedrooms are all high and sloping, so I can't paint the room myself. I don't want to hire someone, so I am going to have to work with the bland beige walls. I found a really vibrant print that I LOVE, and its colors are my jumping off point. I'm thinking something like this:
I have the PB desk already -- it's just one of the three drawer cabinets with a small desktop. I like the idea of a smaller profile, white leather(ette?) desk chair. Comfy, but not overpowering for the room. I would like to leave room for a daybed should we ever need this room to do double duty as a guest room, but for now, I think I will just enjoy the openness of the room not being crowded with furniture. As for fabrics, I already have some of the Waverly Cross Section fabric, so I need to work that in somehow. I think the best way might be in pillows to coordinate with the window treatment. The room has a big double window; I would like to make a cornice board to give some height (and because it's way easier than curtains) and either go with white wood blinds or white sheers underneath. I think the pink and white canvas canopy stripe is cute and clean for the cornice board, and bonus, it's CHEAP. God help me, I am thinking green grosgrain ribbon to cover the seams and to coordinate with the cross section fabric. (You can take the girl out of New England, you know?) Let's hope the art pulls everything together so that it doesn't end up looking like a little girl's room. The plaid silk was an early idea from a renovation I saw in Southern Living, but eh, I don't think it's meant to be. Overall, I think this will be easy to achieve, once I can convince Mark it's worthwhile.

What do you think? Too much pink? Too ... girly?

*Brazilian cherry -- stunning, but the color darkens significantly over time, and it turns out that dark floors are a total bitch to keep clean.