Friday, May 28, 2010


We're beach-bound for the long Memorial Day weekend!  I actually owe a huge thank you to all of our wonderful, understanding friends... We were originally set to spend the weekend at my dad's beach house, but there was apparently a miscommunication between him & the other part-owner (a very good friend of my dad's who lives in Apex, NC).  To make a long story short, the house was rented by the part-owner for the weekend as well.... and we got bumped.

Fortunately, every one has taken it in stride, and we ended up getting an amazing house on Edisto Island.  Added bonus:  the house is much larger, and we each get our own bedroom! 

But, I still feel terrible... And what does a Greek girl do when she feels terrible?  Makes it up with food.  And a trip to CostCo.

We're departing early tomorrow morning, giving me just enough time to spend this evening whipping up a few meal items and sweet treats to say 'we're sorry' with calories!

Can't wait for a nice, long weekend of fun (and hopefully forgiveness for last-minute plan switching) with friends!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Summer Room Inspiration

I used to feel very strongly against white walls.  In fact, Jeff's entire house was painted white, and repainting was the very first item on my to-do list, once we were married.

Now, I'm not sure if I feel the same way... This living room is a relatively small space, and I l-o-v-e the white walls as well as the white sofa and settee. 

{apologies, can't remember where I found this image... I believe the home of a blogger? let me know if you know!}

Perhaps a nice off-white wall color for a change in our living room is in order?  (I know, I know... I promise I'll stop this one day)  Maybe it is the summer weather, but I've been drawn to crisp, clean, clutter-free rooms lately... And this one really gets that look!

What do you think... Do you have any white rooms in your house?  Or does it make you feel like Ke$ha... blah, blah, blah?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Sew Important

Learning how to sew has been on my 'to-do' list for quite some time now... But recently it was bumped up to priority one, after I finish my grad school program next spring.

I can't count the number of times I've thought, 'I wish I could just make those (you fill in the home decorating blank here... drapes, pillows, ottoman slipcover, bed skirt) myself.'  And to add another 'I wish' to the list, I've been racking my brain to come up with a way to make my own table skirt for a console table in our office.

I love this linen table skirt from Wisteria.  The panels allow you to access all storage items easily, which is exactly what I need in our office to store my school notebooks, our photo albums, and other items I don't want on display.

Naturally, Jenny created a beautiful skirted console table with her mother's help.

I'm wondering if I could create a similar look with some iron-on hem tape?  Suggestions welcome, until I can learn my way around a sewing machine.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Living Room Progress

We've been in the slow process of redecorating our living room... As I've mentioned before, I was a little too quick to purchase at first and am learning my lessons slowly but surely on what I like style-wise.  I'm so happy with the progress we've made, and while we still have work left to do, I thought I'd share a few before and after pictures.



It feels so much larger, and without a doubt brighter, now... Not to mention much more like home.  I'm still eagerly awaiting a sunburst mirror for over the fireplace, with our new substantial mantel replacing the 'ledge' that was there before. 

Other items on our short list... We have plans to frame a series of 9 botanical prints from Wild Flowers of America, via Jenny, above the yellow settee.  We also have two paintings of New Orleans, by Jeff's grandpa Zeke, for the opposite side of the tv console table (these are two of my favorite items - as in, they are on my list of things to save in case of emergency)  Finally, we need to get some curtains up to soften the look of the wooden blinds.

Trading out that old, rust-colored dual recliner is also on my short list... Unfortunately, it is not even on Jeff's long list.  Any tips to disguise it's old, 80's furniture look would be more than welcome.

Hope to have some more living room updates and project details for you in the next month or so!

Welcome Back!

We are back on the East Coast! Well, we’ve actually been back since Wednesday evening… but have been going non-stop since then (and I have a not-so-fun head cold to show for it)

Our trip, however, was amazing! I don’t think we could have asked for a better way to celebrate our anniversary. Here is a relatively quick recap of our travels:

For those of you who don’t know, I have a panic-attack-inducing fear of flying. At the encouragement of many friends & family, I decided to try a little anti-anxiety medicine for this trip. It worked wonders! I was still worried and recited the Hail Mary during take-off, landing, and turbulence, but it definitely took the edge off. Before we left town, I asked Jeff if he was worried about flying… His response: ‘I’m only worried about delays in Houston.’

Fortunately, my worries did not become actual problems… Unfortunately, Jeff’s worry was legitimate. We were delayed by thunderstorms for 7 hours in the Houston airport. Our 9:40 pm PST arrival time slowly but surely turned into a 4:30 am PST arrival time. For the first time ever, I slept on an airplane… like a baby.

We had tickets to tour Alcatraz bright & early on Saturday morning. It was definitely worth the slight lack of sleep! Here we are with our amazing hostess, Shiva, and her boyfriend – really excited by breakfast the tour.

{these pictures cost $22 to purchase… so we just snapped a picture of the picture, right before the ‘no cameras in the picture viewing area’ announcement was made}

The rest of the afternoon was spent with a nice driving tour of the area, and thankfully, a nap. Jeff met up with his business school friends, and I had one of my favorite dinners e-v-e-r! We ate at the cutest small plate restaurant, Isa – conveniently located walking distance from Shiva’s apartment. One of my favorite parts of the city was Shiva’s neighborhood – there was tons within walking distance, people were out biking/running/walking their pups at all times of day, and they have a compost system!

Sunday was Bay to Breakers… A 7 mile run from the San Francisco Bay to the Pacific Ocean. We didn’t run it, but participated with the thousands of people who walk the course dressed in costume. This was the main event for Jeff and his business school buddies… looks like they had a blast! I went with Shiva, Brian, and a huge group of their friends. We walked half of it, then split for lunch in the Haight-Ashbury area of town. I thought it was perfect this way, and had a great time!

Monday morning, Jeff & I set off for wine country! We really didn’t have a plan for this part of the trip (seriously, I don’t know how I let this happen). But it couldn’t have turned out better. We stopped at the first winery in Sonoma, Viansa. It was my favorite of the entire day – beautiful scenery and incredible wine.

After some advice and a much-appreciated map at the Sonoma Visitor’s Center, we also did wine tastings at Jacuzzi Family Winery and Wellington Vineyards. Lunch was at a cute pizza restaurant, The Red Grape, in downtown Sonoma (right off the Plaza). Definitely helpful after our tastings!

We also participated in a winery tour at Benzinger Family Winery – the country’s first biodynamic winery. They grow their grape leaves without any chemicals, run all machinery on biodiesel fuel, and only use organic, sustainable farming methods. Despite the rain, it was a great place for a tour!

We ended the night with dinner at The Girl & The Fig, after hearing about it all day from locals and the folks at the wineries. It did not disappoint! Currently tying for best meal e-v-e-r with Isa. Not to mention that they don’t charge a corking fee, so we were able to enjoy one of our 7 bottles of wine from the day! It was also conveniently located next door to the Glen Ellen Inn, where we stayed. We’d also give a huge recommendation for this bed & breakfast – we loved it!

Tuesday was our last real day in San Francisco. We woke up and immediately got on the road for Sausalito, a cute town on the water right outside of the city. After seeing a few signs, we made the last-minute decision to veer off about 20 minutes and head into Muir Woods to see the Redwood trees. I’m so glad that we did – it was one of Jeff’s favorite parts of the trip. The size of the trees is absolutely awe-inspiring.

We still made it into Sausalito in time for lunch at Fish, recommended to us by Shiva (another restaurant with all local & organic menu items... plentiful in the area & we loved that!)  It was another delicious meal, and the weather was so nice we sat outside in the sun! We were back in the city by mid-day, and hit a few more tourist locals… Coit Tower, Lombard Street, and Golden Gate Park.

{after lunch in Sausalito}

Our flight home left mid-morning on Wednesday, so we took the BART to the airport and made it without any delays! We cannot thank Shiva enough for being such an amazing hostess! We had the best time taking in all of the beautiful scenery and surroundings in San Francisco… Can’t wait for the next trip!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Happy Anniversary!

Happy Anniversary to my sweet husband of one year!  Kaylie & Jimmy included this reading as part of their wedding ceremony, and it has stuck with me ever since as the best advice on marriage.

Then I saw this post on Young House Love.  I decided that the quick project would make the perfect traditional first anniversary gift of paper (although we did give each other the 'paper' of airline tickets to San Francisco).  I just printed the poem below on thicker paper, and in Courier font.  Then I matted and framed it in materials from Michael's.

Can't wait to see it displayed on our mantel or in our room...

The Art of Marriage, by Wilferd A. Peterson

Happiness in marriage is not something that just happens.

A good marriage must be created.
In marriage the little things are the big things...

It is never being too old to hold hands.

It is remembering to say "I love you" at least once a day.

It is never going to sleep angry.

It is at no time taking the other for granted;
the courtship should not end with the honeymoon,
it should continue through all the years.

It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives.
It is standing together facing the world.

It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family.

It is doing things for each other, not in the attitude
of duty or sacrifice, but in the spirit of joy.

It is speaking words of appreciation
and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways.

It is not looking for perfection in each other.
It is cultivating flexibility, patience,
understanding and a sense of humour.

It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.

It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow.

It is finding room for the things of the spirit.
It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.

It is establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal,
dependence is mutual and the obligation is reciprocal.

It is not only marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner.

It is discovering what marriage can be, at its best.

Thank you, Jeff for being all of these things to me. After a year of marriage, I couldn’t image a happier or fuller life than the one I have with you. Jeff gets me through the hard days and makes me happier on the good ones. Our life with amazing friends and wonderful family close by just keeps getting better… Here’s to another year of wedded bliss!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

San Fran Bound

I’m not known for my traveling prowess. I’m more known for my love of Red Box movies & pajamas. But tomorrow, Jeff & I are heading to San Francisco! I’ve stocked up on anxiety meds to get me through the flight, and couldn’t be more excited to get there!

It’s a combination trip… I’ll visit Shiva, Jeff will participate in his annual business school trip, and we’ll celebrate our 1 year anniversary with a stay in Napa Valley! We really wanted to get a lot of mileage out of this one.

{a preview of the bed & breakfast where we're staying in Napa}

I won’t spoil all the other details of our trip (which are currently bulleted out by day in a word document… thank goodness Jeff loves me). But you can expect a full-fledged post once we’re back on the East Coast!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Amy & Ray Got Hitched!

Sorry for my lack of posts this week… I'd been on a roll with blogging, but this week has been incredibly busy. On to the good stuff though… Last weekend, we had the most amazing time celebrating Ray & Amy’s wedding!

I can sum up the weekend with two stories:

One – After the ceremony was over, we were sitting in the pews waiting to take pictures. A little 5 year-old boy came up to Ray’s mom, and she asked him how he liked the ceremony. He started pointing to all the bridesmaids, saying ‘I saw her and her and her… And I saw the princess!’ (points to Amy)

Such a cute story… Amy was the most gorgeous bride! She & Ray were both literally beaming with happiness, and I’ve never seen a bride so calm! Anything could have happened that day (which, of course, went off without a hitch!) and Amy would’ve been smiling the whole way through.


Two – The next day, I sent a text message to Sarah, saying ‘I woke up with a terrible headache, no voice, and the faint memory of throwing a shoe at Robert Wash (a groomsman)’ Sorry, mom, I know this message makes you proud… Needless to say, the reception was so much fun!

I did lots of my famous finger-pointing, shoulder-shrugging dance, and Sarah did lots of her famous Kathie Lee impersonation. Her response to my text was, ‘I either made a bunch of friends, or lost a bunch.’ That should about sum up the amount of fun had by all.

Oh, and I also made plans for dinner with Peggy & Ed the next time they are in town… Lots of love to Amy’s sweet family for being such wonderful hosts!

I know that this past weekend was just the beginning of a lifetime of love & happiness for the Morrisons! Congratulations!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Weekend Happenings

We have some exciting things going on this weekend... Most importantly and first off, we're heading to Raleigh (Wake Forest to be exact) to celebrate the marriage of our dear friends, Ray & Amy!  They are just the perfect match... We couldn't be happier for the two of them, and can't wait to celebrate their wedded bliss!

Many pictures and updates to come on Monday!

Although not technically the weekend, we were also so happy to welcome Jeff's sister, Laura, home from Spain last night!  Can't wait to hear the rest of her stories... From what we've heard so far, it was an amazing experience.  If you haven't already checked it out, some of those stories are on her blog, a taste of honey.  We're glad to have her home!

I'm fortunate enough to have tomorrow off from work, so I'm heading up to Durham tonight to visit with my unofficial college roommate, Lindsey.  I love that we'll be able to spend some time catching up, before her and her hubby move to Atlanta in a few weeks!

Finally, we're spending Sunday afternoon at the lake to celebrate Mother's Day with my family, Jeff's family, my grandparents, and our good family friends, the DesNoyers!  I can't wait to unwind with all of my favorites at the end of what is sure to be a great weekend!

Hope ya'll have a wonderful weekend too!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Outdoor Living

I'm in the mood for outdoor living... Especially cooking out.  I love entertaining in these warm spring months, before it gets too hot to eat outside!  I'd love to spruce up our deck & porch with these Ikea accessories.

I especially love the navy & white stripe cushions, with a set of the red stools as side tables or grouped together as a coffee table.  Swapping out cushions would be an inexpensive way to update the black/wrought iron porch furniture we inherited from my mom & dad.

outdoor living

I'll go ahead and make plans to enjoy these Greek Shish Kabobs from elly says opa! (with a side of pita & tzatziki of course) on our back porch!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Summer Salad

We've been on a bit of a roll in the kitchen... Over the past few weeks, I've tried out tons of new recipes.  Each one has been a big hit and added to our 'make-again' list. 

I've resisted the urge to post every new recipe, but this one, from Smitten Kitchen, surprised me with how it was so easy to make, delicious, & filling!

Classic Cobb Salad
Serves 4 to 6

3/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1/2 head iceberg lettuce, cored and shredded
1/2 head romaine lettuce, chopped
2 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
6 strips cooked bacon, roughly chopped (we used imitation bacon bits)
3 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 medium tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Make the dressing: Combine the canola oil, olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, Worcestershire, sugar, and garlic in a blender. Purée the ingredients to make a smooth dressing and season with salt and pepper. Set the dressing aside.

Make the salad: On a (very) large platter, combine the iceberg and romaine lettuces. Arrange the blue cheese, bacon, eggs, tomatoes, chicken, and avocado on top of the greens in neat rows. To serve, drizzle salad with dressing, season with salt and pepper. Alternatively, toss everything together in a bowl.

{image via smitten kitchen}

I served it as a make-your-own plate, with all the toppings separate (mostly for point-tracking purposes).  Then tossed each individual salad together, with dressing, before serving.

Check out the link above for the original recipe... We omitted the watercress & chives, because we didn't have any on-hand.  We also substituted bacon for imitation bacon bits and left out the chicken completely.

I'm normally not a huge fan of salad entrees made at home (they always taste so much better when we eat out), but we both really liked this chopped salad.  Definitely recommended for a summer dish!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Monday's Funny

In case you need a little laugh on a bleak Monday... I thought these catalog/design images paired with hilarious captions were just the pick-me-up I needed!

He tried to relax and enjoy the moment, but he couldn’t help wishing that there was one more section in his sectional.

Unfortunately, she’s the only one who thinks “Antiques Roadshow” is a comedy.

The black hole had sucked everything out of the playroom. Save his sister or the coloring books? He made a split-second decision.

In search of a less bleak playground, the toddler pedaled faster.

{all images & wordsmith-ing via herehere, here & here}