Dec 10, 2014

Our Living Room

Last week I showed you Bryan's new office, this week I have our new living room situation.

This room has lived an awkward life. When we first moved in Bryan really wanted to use the room that is now his office as his living room. Without enough furniture to fill it up this room held a bookcase and a glass console table for a few years.

Early 2009, two months after moving in.

Two years ago when we inherited some furniture from my grandmother we started turning this room into a sitting room.

July of this year before the changes.

We were using a Potter Barn table as our bar. The bicycles certainly didn't add anything to the ambiance. We used an old school desk estate sale find as our entry table.

Ready to see it now?

Mimi's nesting tables now serve as our entry table. Occasional chair is a nice dumping ground or extra seat when we entertain.

View from the office. Our front door is to the left. Couch and sofa table stayed the same. I need to do some styling on the sofa table for sure. I think it needs more height, but I'm at a loss as to what. Side tables were my mom's but have been living in various places around our house the last year or so. Glad they have a new home. The peach chair is from Mimi's house. I used to watch Nickelodeon shows in that chair growing up. Old Pottery Barn coffee table is still in use. I was sure it was going to get the ax.  I'd like to upgrade at some point when I see the perfect table.

This is the opposite wall. We swapped the entertainment unit and the bookcase. Currently we have a lime tree living here for the winter. It won't be a permanent fixture.

So that's the room. It's not perfect, but I love that it gives me room to grow by adding a grown up coffee table and styling options for the sofa table.

What do you think?

Dec 9, 2014

Review: 30 Before 30

Last year I set 30 goals for myself before I turned 30. Here's the list:

Bake a cake... with frosting and everything.
Make a photo book of my college years.
Finish landscaping the backyard, making it more edible.
Stop buying meat and fish from regular grocery stores. Farmers market only... Whole Foods if you must.
Get a garden gnome.

See at least 5 live music acts.
Party at Raiford's!
Run a 5k
Go on a boat ride... any kind of boat... okay so casino boats do not count as they do not actually go anywhere.
Go fishing.
Give oysters another chance.
Try mussels.
Buy all gifts for the next year at locally owned stores.
Crossstich a sassy saying .... make it into a pillow or framed piece.
Commission custom abstract work for the bathroom... that space to the right of the sink.
Have a family picture taken with Bryan, me, Roux and Motley
Finish reading camera manual and feel confident shooting in manual mode.
Listen to new music each week
Learn a new hair do
Get a new passport

Take a tour in New Orleans ... architectural, cemetery or Ghost
Visit Allyn in New York

Take a picture with Grizz or a big name Grizzly.
Visit Sun Studios
Visit Stax
Eat donuts at an unusual hour at Gibson's

Eating Out
Second Line
City Grocery and/or Snackbar in Oxford
Peche in New Orleans
Sit at a chef's table... I'm not too picky where... just at a restaurant that knows what a chef's tasting is.

I didn't get around to doing 10, which means I completed 2/3rds of my goals. I'm okay with that. The pregnancy really threw a wrench in some of those plans (5k, Raifords) and that's alright. 

Dec 8, 2014

The One Where I Turn 30

Last week I had a birthday. A big one. I turned 30. I thought it would be a bigger deal, but turns out, it's just like any other birthday. You don't feel any older and the world doesn't come crashing down. Huh. Imagine that.

Bryan spoiled me earlier in the week by taking me to get a new phone. Hallelujah!

For breakfast on my actual birthday we went to Tart for breakfast. I am in love with their breakfast antipasto platter. It's my ideal breakfast. Meats, cheese, honey, and fruit. What else do you need?

I met my mom for lunch at Hog and Hominy and then did a little shopping. I lounged around the house in the afternoon, reading, flipping through my seed catalog, and playing on my new phone.

Bryan wouldn't tell me what our dinner plans were, only that I should be ready to go by 6:15. Turns out he had planned a surprise gathering of friends and family at our house! He wanted it to be a Memphis Feast - MemFeast if you will - with 30 of my favorite Memphis foods. Everyone brought something different.

There were donuts, pies, cupcakes, popcorn, cheese fries, onion rings, guac and cheese dips, 7 layer dip, cheeseburgers, fried chicken, taco salad, ribs, BBQ Spaghetti, BBQ nachos, and more. It was both ridiculous and awesome at the same time.

It was so fun to see everyone and see what was the next food to show up. We ate  off the food for days afterwards.

Thanks, Bryan, for making it such a fun, special evening.

Dec 3, 2014

Duck, Duck, Teal?

Last week Bryan was going to run some errands and stopped to talk to a neighbor. He was cleaning ducks and offered Bryan a bag of teal ducks. Teals are small ducks that do not migrate apparently. Bryan, being the good husband he is, enthusiastically took the offering.

There is one very quick way to my heart and it is through food. Needless to say, this neighbor will be getting a Christmas present this year.

I marinated the 7 small birds in a mixture of Italian dressing and soy sauce. Bryan grilled them and we devoured them eagerly with our hands.

A few days later the same neighbor brought over two frozen mallards. These went straight to our freezer since we were still in the throes of leftover turkey. He's promised us some venison and wild pig as well.

Wild game is a new, ahem, game to me. Sorry, couldn't resist. Do you have any favorite ways to cook these delicious, free meats?

Dec 2, 2014

Bryan's New Office Reveal

Bryan and I both love entertaining because the house always looks great right before guests come over and stays that way for a few days. Just before Friendsgiving the office and living room were looking the best they've looked in weeks so I snapped some pictures. I'm finally sharing some of our newly re-arranged rooms!

Here's the view from the living room looking into the new office. This was previously our living room and Bryan was reluctant to let his favorite room go.

Our decorator suggested a big table for the room, giving us lots of work space and also upgrading from what was perhaps the saddest desk in America.

We wanted some seating in this room so that if we were entertaining we could still have a seating area in here for more intimate conversations. I ended up claiming the blue chair on the right and spend a good bit of time at the desk as well. It's been nice to share the office.

I use the wicker basket for bills and paperwork that needs filing. It keeps it all contained but still looking pretty.

We used what was previously our bar as some additional storage behind the desk to hold catalogs and other office supplies.

My corner of the office. Mom ordered sheers for the french doors so that if Bryan needs privacy he can shut the doors. They also provide some great sound proofing. With the doors shut Bryan can't hear what's happening in the living room right outside the doors.  Behind the french door is an end tale housing the printer and paper. We moved the Audubon prints from the guest room.

We moved the bookcase from the current living room to the office. It seems appropriate. Bryan's trophies and running paraphernalia "decorate" the shelves.

Tucked behind the other blue chair and french door is Bryan's Mad Men bar. We have been scaling back and thought being able to close it off might be more child-friendly.  I hung a wood carving that Bryan's father did over the bar.

When  we started the process of making room for Charlie I was not excited about moving the office to the front of the house. It's a very visible room when you walk into the house. Our previous home office situations were not pretty. But Bryan and I are both thrilled with the results. Granted, it doesn't always look this nice. The reality is that we receive boxes of shoes, samples, catalogs, and other stuff all the time and they live temporarily in here at times.  But overall, it's a gorgeous, functional room. We emptied the closet which holds a filing cabinet, samples, and advertising material.

It is still Bryan's favorite room and one I am quite proud of.

Next week I'll post our new living room situation.

Dec 1, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

It's hard to believe that Thanksgiving has come and gone and now the Christmas season/Birthday month is upon us!

We had a lovely Thanksgiving this year. The majority of Bryan's family was out of town which meant we got to do just one Thanksgiving on Thanksgiving Day. Having both families in town is quite the blessing, but one downside is we feel like our holidays are just rushing from one event to another without fully enjoying any of them.  It was nice to relax with my mom's family on Thursday and spend some time with friends and Bryan's brother on Friday.

Bryan ran the Turkey Trot 4 Miler Thursday morning. He won pie.

My dessert plate at my grandparents house. I made a Chocolate Pecan Chess Pie this year and it was fantastic. I also made a classic pecan pie. Mom made a pumpkin.

Like last year we reserved a turkey from Renaissance Farms months in advance so we planned a gathering at our house for Friday.

We had Bryan's brother, sister-in-law, a friend from college who came in town for the long weekend, and our friends Emily, Stephen and Mabel over for Friendsgiving.

Once again we had a great feast!

I totally forgot to take a picture of the table or any other pictures besides the turkey.  But we had a great time visiting and eating.  Best of all I remembered to be gracious and hospitable and was relaxed.

We have so much to be thankful for this year: our health, our growing family, each other, our families, and new adventures. I hope you all had a wonderful, relaxing Thanksgiving as well.

Nov 28, 2014

New Music: Hozier

As part of my 30 before 30 goal I wanted to spent more time this year immersing myself in music, specifically new to me music. I hope to post a few of my findings here for you. I'm not a music reviewer so don't expect any titillating review or anything.

You know how I was in a music slump? Joanna at Cup of Jo posted this last week at the perfect time! I added 20 new-to-me bands to my "to listen" list from the comments!  First up, Hozier, who was recommended over and over and over again.

Some songs remind me of the Black Keys and some remind me of those singer-songwriter guys we used to listen to in college (Jason Mraz, Josh Kelly, etc), but his love of blues is obvious throughout the whole self titled album. It's hard to believe he's actually Irish.

Favorite Songs: Take Me To Church, Someone New

When to Listen: doing things around the house (such as making three pies for Thanksgiving, oh wait, just me?), road trippin