Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Time!

Maybe it's because I'm an adult now, but Christmas just has a different feeling now. Maybe it's the weather not being super cold. Christmas just doesn't feel as much like Christmas in some ways!

Maybe it's because we're still raking leaves every weekend. KT and I had to take a moment to go enjoy the backyard after Paul did some hard work getting up a TON of leaves. Sometimes it feels like the leaves won't end!

I tried getting KT in the spirit with a little outfit. She was not amused.

Just a few days ago we had our annual solstice dinner with the Woolvertons at our house. (Mom has a good blog post about it too.) The menu was pretty fabulous, if I do say so myself. MG and Ryan made mushroom ravioli with a walnut cream sauce from scratch after being inspired by a cooking class they took last month on their honeymoon in Italy. I kept the theme going with antipasto - prosciutto, goat cheese, stuffed olives, sausage, roasted peppers and other goodies.

The ravioli in all it's glory before it was boiled.

Of course, we had to do poppers. Funny enough, I think the tape measurer, emory board and mirror that popped out will come in handy. I still use a pair of scissors I got one year from the poppers!

Then, we noshed. Ravioli, green beans and stuffed pork loin. Such a good meal!

But, the meal wouldn't be complete without creme brûlée. Always so good! We also enjoyed sitting outside with our fire pit. Such a nice night!

For some reason, I always get such an itch to thrift shop around this time of year. Maybe thinking that people will be giving away good stuff to make way for gifts? The Salvation Army near us had some great mid century finds the other day!

But, Miss Evelyn's junk shop called Odds and Ends always has the best stuff. I snatched up a vintage pure wool throw that is so cozy and soft for $5. The good thing about Miss E is that if she can't find a tag or it's too much trouble to find, she'll just give you a low ball price. So, needless to say, she had a little trouble finding the tag!

We just got back from Christmas with my parents and sisters and I had to share one of my gifts. Mom and Dad got MG and Ryan a set of skewers just like theirs for a wedding gift. I must have showed on my face that I wanted some too. :-) So, they surprised us with our own vintage set. Me and my sisters used to fight over who got what animal skewer when we were little. I'd say the fish one is probably my favorite of the set!

Hope everyone has a Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Bedroom Re-do Complete

We've come a long way in our bedroom, but I'll spare you what it looked like when we first moved in. One thing I always knew for sure, the baby blue had to go. This was definitely the room that I felt was going to have the biggest impact on us because we are in here a lot. We do have a great TV in our living room, but at night, we find ourselves wanting to "be on the Tempurpedic" watching mindless shows. Not to mention, our DVR is in this room.

It's become a joke among our friends that all we do is paint. We have some friends we always have breakfast with on Saturdays and every week, it's usually comes up about painting. Luckily, with this cold weather moving in, we've put a pause on painting the outside of our house and moved inside. 

So, we put on a podcast (Start Up, if you're wondering) and got to work. The bedroom, for our taste, is actually pretty big. I'm guessing something like 14x16, but I don't know exactly. We both said we wanted a color that was darker and richer that would make the room feel more cozy. The blue just wasn't doing that for us.

While we were at it, I also put a new layer of stain on our dresser. We picked this piece up about two years ago and it's moved with us from Fondren Corner, to our Chickasaw house now here. It's always looked a little scuffed and the wood looked "dry." 

After using my stain pen on our other mid-century modern dresser, I tried it on this dresser. What I found was that the whole thing needed some love, not just the scratches. You can tell in the picture below that I took the stain pen to the entire top left dresser drawer. It looks richer and smooth.

For perspective, this is what the side of the dresser looked like. Not good!

After a little wood filler to patch a few holes and a small can of stain later, the dresser looked so much better.

With everything back in place, the bedroom feels so much better. I find myself saying all the time, "This bedroom feels so different. It feels so much better."

Part of me feels like before I was living in someone else's bedroom. Until we painted, it wasn't completely "us." It feels so nice and, not to mention, we actually did this quickly over a couple of hours and it isn't even Christmas break yet. Points for us!

Here's to the next project!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

New Orleans Getaway

Ahhh... (as I sit down in my desk chair)

We just got back from a great getaway to New Orleans for a few days. A few weeks ago we were asked by our printer (who is in New Orleans) if we'd like to come to their Christmas party. We thought about it a few days, I took off work and we headed South. Paul hadn't caught up on the podcast Serial, so we listened to podcasts the whole trip and passed the time.

Our hotel was pretty amazing. They are transitioning from the W to a different type of hotel, so we got a great rate. I contemplated how much they'd charge me if I took that lamp home with me.

We also got a great surprise when we came back from our Christmas party the first night. We had mentioned to the woman at check-in that our anniversary was just last week, so this was sort of an anniversary trip too. Come to find out, she sent up dessert and champagne for us to celebrate with. We were very impressed!

Of course, we ate great food (though I didn't take as many food shots as I thought I would). We agreed that this was going to be a "where the wind takes us" trip, not rushed and planned. I had heard great things about Elizabeth's in Bywater and I'm not a girl to turn down praline bacon. I'd definitely be back.

A friend of ours, Josh, was just accepted and moved into the Bywater Art Lofts, which is this amazing project in Bywater to renovate older buildings and create a commune of sorts for artists. Here's more info.

One of the things Josh said we didn't need to miss was Crescent City Park, since it was right up our alley and just down the street. This is a project that reminds me of a hybrid between Millennium Park's urban garden and the High Line in New York. The strip connects Bywater all the way to Marigny next to the tail end of the French Market. 

At the top of the arch is a beautiful view of downtown and the bend in the Mississippi River.

That day we walked around the French Quarter, visited one of our favorite burger joints - Company Burger - in Freret and almost decided to take up permanent residence in West Elm on Magazine. It's been a while since I've been in a physical store - I've always bought online. My favorite store in the world, hands down.

One of the suggestions we got at the Christmas party when we asked about Christmas lights was Celebration in the Oaks at City Park. We kept saying things while walking through like, "I wish we had our nephews" and "If we had kids, this would be really impressive." It was fun for us, but I could definitely see how it could be magical for a kid, especially with all of the rides they had open.

Cajun Christmas with gators as reindeer was certainly my favorite thing.

We woke up Saturday morning and it was time to head back. The weather was perfect!

Of course, no New Orleans trip is complete without a trip to District Donuts. We've gotten different flavors before, like maple and bacon, but this time we stuck with chocolate and cinnamon roll. We also sampled a sweet potato and chorizo breakfast taco that was pretty out of this world. I'm going to have to try to reconstruct it at home.

It was such a nice trip, but I'm happy to be home for a day of rest before back to my last work week of the year. I can't believe it's upon us. I've got some major gift shopping to do this week!


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