Archive for April, 2011

Back to the Drawing Board

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Posted by Rebecca, April 7th, 2011

A couple of weeks ago, Mike and I headed to Ikea to check out the Arholma outdoor collection we were thinking of as an inexpensive alternative to my beloved Crate & Barrel set. Sadly, I wasn’t feeling it.

That’s my sad face. Not to be confused with my some dude is circling this couch as I’m trying to pose for a picture for my blog and I feel totally weird about it, face. It’s just very low, the cushions are meh and I just wasn’t feeling the material. I wanted to like because it was affordable, but I don’t even think adding throw pillows would make me like it. I think it would be good for a small patio/city balcony area, but I think the scale would have been off for us.

After this, I figured we’d have to suck it up and go with the West Elm set.

We stopped in there this past weekend to see if they had their outdoor furniture displayed yet. They didn’t, but said they would have it in a few weeks. They asked me what I was looking for and when I said the Wood Slat collection, they told me they had a lounger in the corner I could look at to get an idea. I excitedly ran over only to realize I had walked by it minutes before, but I didn’t notice that it was what I was looking for because it looked black. I really want a nice wood tone to go with our upcoming stamped concrete patio. Whaaaamp whaaaamp #2.

So I was back to the drawing board. Then our friend Robin informed me that Pier 1 had a set similar to the Crate & Barrel/Ikea one.

We also went to look it and though it was still low, it was a step up in quality from the Ikea set and could work. But the table only sat 4 people so we’d still have to find one of those.

I’m feeling a little defeated at this point and I think I’ve lost track a little bit of what we want. Though I love the Crate & Barrel Ventura set, I think I need to stop trying to replicate it and just find something else that I like. So I revisited some sites with zero expectations, as if I was starting from the beginning. I was strangely attracted to the Target Belmont Collection, even though I have seen it and even posted this picture before.

I’m still not in love with this conversation set, but I think it may just be how the picture is staged. I looked at some of the other pieces and I really like them.

I think I wasn’t sold on this furniture the first time around because of a) the conversation set looks a little awkward to me in that first picture and b) the color of the cushions. But before I wanted a West Elm white and navy look, I wanted a bright color. I figure I can still do white and navy throw pillows since the striped pillows pictured here are not included. All of the items in this collection ship for free, except for the armless chair. Just an added bonus to think about…

As I told Mike yesterday, the last thing I want to be picky about is the color of cushions. An affordable price and a good shape/base are much more important to me. I think getting a bold color could be a fun challenge to work with. Margarita green anyone? 🙂

¡Macky Taqueria!

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Posted by Michael, April 6th, 2011

One day, Rebecca and I will be ‘retired’ and on a beach in Maui.  We’ll own a small taco restuarant on par with the likes of Maui Tacos and Surf Taco.  We’ll grow our own avocados (uhh I paid 2 bucks for 1 avocado tonight; something is not right!) and continually make fresh guacamole.  We’ll serve all types of tacos, burritos and the like.  Heck, we’ll probably even open up a road side stand on the Hana Highway where we’ll sell fresh banana bread.  One can dream, right?

How do I do that by 30?

We played the “what do you want for dinner? … I don’t know, what do you want? … I don’t care, what are you in the mood for?” game tonight.  We settled with doing some kind of fajitas.  Typically when we’ve previously made vegetable fajitas, the veggies were bland — maybe only a sprinkle of cumin and cayenne pepper.  So we both agreed that these veggies tonight had to have some kind of flavor.  We briefly talked about using the packet fajita seasoning, but we both shrugged it off.  Rebecca had the vegetable fajitas at Jose Tejas the other night and loved them, so she set off to find a recipe.

And sure enough a few seconds later, she found one and emailed me so I could pick up the ingredients.  We settled on some peppers, onions, carrots, mushrooms and broccoli.  These veggies would be cooked in the marinade provided by the Allrecipes.com recipe (btw, how come all recipe sites are horrible?). The marinade was pretty easy.  I just combined the following ingredients.

  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke flavoring
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

I let the veggies soak in the marinade a bit before I cooked them in a wok.  I especially wanted the mushrooms to soak in the marinade knowing they would pick up, and hold, all the good flavors.

The broccoli and carrots were cooked for about 10 minutes first since they were the thickest and would need the most cooking time.

Once cooked, I added the remaining vegetables and cooked for another 10-15 minutes or so in the wok — constantly stirring.

And after spilling a glass of water ALL OVER THE PLACE, we finally sat down to relax and eat our fajitas.  And then Macky started SCREAMING for our attention.  It’s never ending here at our house with our three needy, yet very lovable, cats.  And to think, we almost adopted a little girl today too!

Oh!  And I cannot forget about the fresh guacamole!  3 avocados (at 2 bucks each!  2 bucks!  each!), some diced onion, diced tomato, a squeeze of fresh lime juice, salt+pepper, and some cilantro!  So good!

As usual, we’re linking this up to What I Ate Wednesday at Peas & Crayons!

 

Entryway Bling

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Posted by Rebecca, April 5th, 2011

This weekend, we ran into Target to pick up a card. We have a running joke that every time we set foot in Target, it will cost us $40. As usual, we didn’t get just a card.

We were zooming past the furniture section when Mike suddenly came to a screeching halt and headed down an aisle. He spotted a small desk, just 34 inches wide. We’ve been searching for an entryway table for ages, but our entryway wall is only 36 inches wide and most consoles are 48 inches. We figured we’d build our own since our chair rail adventures have made us more confident in our cutting abilities. But this desk? It was just too perfect to let it slide by. It was the right size, had a single drawer (which I ideally wanted but probably wouldn’t build into a homemade one), it was dark wood, simple and classy. I always envisioned a parsons style desk there, though I toyed with the idea of going more rustic to contrast with the molding boxes we will be adding. For $99, we decided to snatch it up and end our search.

We started putting it together the minute we got home.

It was simple and would have taken 15 minutes or so, but we’re constantly battling a small pack of lions whenever we attempt to be productive.

Seriously, whenever we try to do anything new we get a series of looks that say “what’s that!”, “mine??”, “I want!”, “for me??” I’m surprised Macky doesn’t know how to use tools by now.

But finally, it was together, complete with an accessory that complements the dark wood and the light molding.

We debated changing out the hardware on the drawer, but I actually like the handle that came with it!

Oh and while we were leaving Target, I mentioned how I’d like a not-so-simple lamp to put on it, since the desk was fairly basic. Mike recommended we go to HomeGoods since we were right near it, so we made a stop there before we came home and picked up this lamp.

(The cord has since been hidden so it’s not visible from the door :))

I just fell in love with the intricate design of it and how it has an artistic, vase-like quality all on its own.

I also love the large scale of this lamp. At first I was afraid it would be too large, but the table is small and understated, so I felt like we needed a LAMP, not just a lamp. The metal aspect of it was appealing since it is inevitable that this lamp will be knocked over by a cat during some portion of it’s life with us. Therefore, glass lamp bases are unrealistic and downright dangerous in this casa.  The shade is currently a dark gray, but we want to change it to a white one. Though the gray doesn’t look awful, I think a white one would really look great against the darker walls

Now I will be in search of a round mirror to put on this wall and maybe some storage ottoman(s) to put underneath the desk. Oh, we also primed the lower half of the walls this weekend and finished up our caulking, so we are all ready to semi-gloss the lower half of the walls soon! 🙂

A Throwback

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Posted by Rebecca, April 4th, 2011

I’m just getting settled in from class and haven’t even eaten dinner yet, so I’m going to hold off on showing you our entryway progress from this weekend. But! I can do better! While I was in class, Mike began sorting through our pictures to find some to hang in our hallway gallery wall we’ve been planning. As I’m trying to pay attention to my classmate’s presentation, I get a text with this gem…

This was about 8 years ago, when Mike was channeling his inner fist pumper. Sadly, the quality isn’t good enough for anything other than a wallet size photo. The gallery wall has been spared….

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