Since we finished cleaning up the walls in the master bedroom, we wanted to start making more aesthetic improvements to the room (the mismatched curtains and old comforter just weren't cutting it anymore). First thing I wanted was new bedding. The comforter we had was Jon's from college... enough said. I wanted something floral and modern, which proved to be hard to find as everything floral we looked at seemed a bit dated. I finally found this beautiful bedding from West Elm. Once I brought it home, Jon thought it was a bit too girly, and we were both concerned with the white backdrop getting dirty quickly. So, before we went to return it, we checked online to see if anything new came out that we would want instead. And it did! This duvet was much more "us" and was exactly what we were looking for but couldn't find before. It is definitely one of my favorite things about the room now.
(that picture is showing off a little sneak peak of an upcoming post)
Another big upgrade we made was finding some beautiful mid century dressers. Jon found a set (two dressers, nightstand, and headboard) on Craigslist and once he sent them to me, we decided to got that night to check them out in person. They had some slight wear and tear but overall you could tell that they were loved and gently used so we snatched them up after a little price negotiation.
The (vintage) Modern furniture is tall enough to fit over the baseboards which allows us to get them close to the wall, something our old set wouldn't do. Overall these guys take up about 4" less of floor space, a big deal in a small bedroom.
We re-used the mirror from our old dresser and decided to hang it vertically instead of horizontally like we had it before. It matched the mid-century look better. And that frees up more wall space to add some decorations!
The only downside is that the set came with one nightstand instead of two. We have found a few online that looked similar, and eventually may buy a matching one. But for now, Jon is using the night stand from our previous bedroom set. We are still making some adjustments on the headboard, lighting, decorations, and curtains which we will be sure to update you on soon!
Happy day of love! Again this Valentines day we decided to stay home and enjoy each others company over dinner and drinks. I wanted Jon to make me a fancy martini as a present, so he got to looking and came up with the Jack Rose. It was perfect for valentines, a little sweet, a little strong, and a pretty pink color.
It uses Applejack Brandy along with grenadine and lemon juice. Its a really simple recipe and we had pretty much everything to make it. I think the thing that really put this drink over the top was the homemade grenadine. It had a much better flavor than the fake stuff (pomegranate instead of cherry) and complemented the brandy exceptionally well. This one will become a regular in our household!
Part of Jon's Christmas present was a surprise trip to Quebec City. I have never been, and he hadn't been for years. Since we both love road trips, we rented a car and headed up there for a long weekend. The city was beautiful and I definitely suggest visiting if you ever get the chance.
Old Quebec City is inside the walls of a fort overlooking the St. Lawrence river. You literally drive underneath stone arches to get inside. Once you are in the walls, it is just narrow, winding streets of shops and restaurants. And with everyone speaking French, it does give the illusion of wandering through a small section of Paris. Its one of the oldest cities in North America, and it was originally called New France. The city is pretty touristy (literally tacky gift shop after tacky gift shop) but you can find some cute stores, and regardless its fun to see all the quirky, unpractical gifts you can buy.
The Chateau Frontenac is where we went to get drinks the first night we were there. The hotel is enormous and beautiful. The bar drinks were a bit expensive... but so worth it! They know how to make a good martini, and the menu had a ton of options I wanted to try. Jon even enjoyed his Old Fashioned (which rarely happens when we are out).
We happened to plan the trip on the first weekend of Quebec's Winter Carnival. I have never seen anything like it before in my life, and we were there on what seemed to be a quiet night. The Winter Carnival is like a mix between Mardi Gras and a fair, and goes on for 2 weeks. There are different sections you can visit inside the grounds (like an arctic spa... hot tubs you can sit in outside in the 0 degree weather) and a bunch of vendors to get food and drinks from. There is also entertainment: dj's, parades, fireworks. Unfortunately we left before the first night parade, but we got to see fireworks and go to one of the outdoor dance parties.
Bonhomme, the ambassador of the Winter Carnival.
But probably our favorite thing to do while in Quebec was visit the Morrin Center. It is an old jail that was turned in to a university in the 1800's. We weren't quite sure what to expect, but we took the tour and loved every minute of it. The building library was definitely the best part, but the laboratory and jail cells you visit are very cool too. The history of the building really opened your eyes to how old Quebec is and all the changes it has gone through throughout the years.
We will definitely be going back! I can hear the bartenders at Chateau Frontenac calling my name!
For my birthday last year my brother and his girlfriend got me one of the best presents ever: a subscription to Martha Stewart Magazine. I have been loving trying her recipes and gawking at her festive crafts and party ideas.
A few weekends ago we tried her Spatchcocked Lemon Chicken, and I have to say it was out of this world. We absolutely loved it, and especially loved how EASY it was. (Seriously, its too easy not to try... I think there are only 4 ingredients.) It had just the right amount of lemon, and was so moist it was falling off the bone. And the skin? So crispy and lemony. It was perfect.
In the magazine it says to use the leftover chicken, lemon, and shallots in a lemon rice soup. Originally I was more excited about the soup than the chicken, but in order to make the soup you had to do the chicken first.... so that is really why we tried this recipe out. And after the fact, we both thought the roasted chicken was better than the soup. The chicken was just SO GOOD when it came out of the oven, that the soup was not on par with it. Eventually we will try it again and play with some extra ingredients to make the soup have a bit more dimension.
We are so happy we tried this, and its definitely a recipe we will keep around to entertain with. You can set it in the oven and forget it while you get everything else set up. That's always a winner in my book!
December 28th marked 2 years that we have owned the house. It's crazy to think of the place when we first bought it. We have definitely done a lot of work to make this house our home. The link on the right side of the page will bring you to a few of the listing pictures, if you are interested. We can't wait to finish the bedroom and bathroom... then start each room over again! :)
Soon after our anniversary it was December 31st and we were ringing in 2013 with some good friends at our house. I'm not sure I'd call it a resolution, but we are hoping to read the Bible this year (well, at least the Old Testament... let's not aim too high), as well as the usual: eating better, trying to be more active, etc. etc. We are very excited for the new year and all the food, drinks, and home improvements it will bring our way.