Monday, September 15, 2014

Weekend Basics

It must be fall if the pumpkins are here! Outside of the crisp morning air this weekend, we had our first pumpkin sightings while grabbing a morning coffee at Ellwood Thompson's yesterday:

We scooped up 3 of our favorites along with a few potted plants to bring back home to make autumn planters with.

This was a decor project we really enjoyed trying out for the first time last year, so we were excited to make more, earlier in the season with a new twist. Look for the project details and pics of how they turned out here on the blog later this week.

Basil was the perfect gentlemen sharing the backseat with our new mums and ornamental peppers — he just loves tagging along for the ride:

The highlight of Basil's weekend? Getting to chase the ball in one of his favorite places on the James River.

If you follow us on Instagram, you may already know we paid a visit to my mom's house this weekend, which has open fields where Basil can just run and roam free as he pleases. Most of the time, he just wants to stay close and chase after his favorite ball.

It was also a successful weekend on the treasure hunting front:

You can see from a small sampling of the finds we came home with above, we made exceptionally good headway on the holiday side of hunting! One particular attic dig yielded a bunch of new-to-us vintage finds we'll be working to clean up, photograph and list in the vintage shop over the next week.

Also, remember when we showed you the holes Tim cut from the wall in our closet to take a look at the shower pipes in our master bath?

Well, that repair is now looking a little something like this on the other side of that wall:

Yep, a little drip from the ceiling has turned into a full blown shower demo. While it's been an unexpected project, we're looking on the bright side — we caught the issue early on and are making a few updates we've been wanting to do since moving in that otherwise would've had to wait. While we live without a master shower over the next few days, we'll be drafting up a fuller post with all the background on what's going on and the progress we make along the way.

Never a dull moment around here!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Fancy That!

Original image by Tori Watson, Marvelous Things Photography

Today we're back again, sharing all the smaller things we're into (or fancying, hence the series name) that might not fit into a single post for one reason or another. Sometimes there might be a long list of randomness, other times it might be a single gem — whatever the case, here's what we're into right now.

- Tumblr to follow: Whisk and Whittle

- Aha Moment: I've always selected from the preset Metro Card options at the NYC subway kiosks.  After reading this tip, it will change the way we order tickets from now on and help avoid those anger-inducing "insufficient funds" moments when sliding the card to enter the platform.

- Funny tees.

- This past week I shared my basic essentials for a well-stocked pantry — find this list and more for specialized diets over on Relay Food's pantry series.

- What's been cooking around here? This Southwestern pinto bean soup, perfect for fall and into winter.

- Really nice copper outdoor thermometer.

- A carved snail pumpkin with big personality — now this is creative!

- Digging the leather bags from local RVA Etsy designer, AwlSnap.

- Richmond made Huffington Post's list of under the radar foodie cities! We loved seeing The Roosevelt mentioned as Richmond's best kept secret. Definitely keeping this list on file for future travels as we make our rounds!

Hope you've been enjoying the weekend!
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Friday, September 12, 2014

Over on eHow: DIY Autumn Wreath From Recycled Grocery Bags

It's starting to look a lot like autumn around here! I've been itching to try making a holiday wreath over the past couple years and am so happy with how this rustic fall version came out for our latest eHow project post.

The entire wreath was made with a simple foam ring and brown paper from recycled grocery store bags. I love how the single tone of brown paper color comes to life with all the folds and shadows, and feel like it could last as a seasonal decoration all the way from autumn to winter.

As I was making it, I kept thinking to myself how I must have been a store display designer in another life — can't you just imagine a giant version of one of these on display in an Anthropologie or Pottery Barn?

A wreath like this is really simple and quick to put together, especially if you're equipped with a hot glue gun. My favorite part of making it was rolling up paper spirals into cute little rosettes:

It's amazing what you can make from recycled paper. The full step by step instructions for making these rosette flowers and the matching leaves is laid out with pictures our latest eHow post, right here

I also had fun finding different areas around the house where the wreath would make a welcome decoration (and directing Tim exactly where to hang it, ha!). It spruced up the front entryway with a little seasonal update as you see from the pictures above and worked equally as well on our mantle: 

For a home with several fireplaces mantles like ours, it would be fun to make multiple wreaths to decorate them each with for the season.

Our favorite way to display the wreath was actually on its base, as a focal centerpiece. This is how we have it right now, back on our dining room table — it adds a nice little seasonal touch to pass by when the table's not in use:

Find the full tutorial for making this wreath with step by step instructions and pictures right here, on eHow.

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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Our Kitchen Wall: Calling it Complete!

We've been meaning to share the final updates to our formerly bare kitchen wall!

You might recall we made and shared all the details from installing the exposed wood shelf on this wall above the console a couple weeks ago. Once the shelf was securely in place, we wanted to fill in and maximize the wall space lingering underneath the shelf, so we started out by making the magnetic knife rack pictured above (full tutorial for here).

The latest (and final) update was the addition of a wall rail system from Ikea's Fintorp series:

The whole concept is an exposed rail for the wall where you can hang different attachments from the rail hooks for storage. The install was super straightforward, much like installing curtain rod hardware:

After the install was complete, this wall space was already looking 100 times better — then Mary got busy working her magic to fill things in:

We love how the rail allows for more vertical storage and picked up the basket and white pail attachments to hang from it. Now that we've been using it for a couple weeks, we'll probably trade in the white pail for another basket since we're not really using it as much day-to-day and love how much added storage the basket attachment provides for produce and other daily essentials.

For reference, here's a look at where we started in this space:

It's a nice difference from where we find ourselves today:

Sometimes it's little updates like these that can make the house feel so much more our own. It's been a bit of a journey finding the right solution for this wall in our kitchen, but we're finally at a point where we feel like it's complete!

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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Weekend Basics: Roadtripping Our Way To Asheville, NC

We ended up taking off last Thursday and Friday to make an extended weekend trip down to Asheville, NC. Some of our best friends live in Asheville and we've made a bit of a yearly tradition of visiting them in the summer over the past 3 years (read up on our first visit here and last year's here).

Today I wanted to share some of our favorite pics from the weekend along with a few highlights if you'd like to see!

It's about a 6 hour drive from Richmond to Asheville, so we've gotten into the habit of breaking the drive over 2 days so we can take our time driving the back roads and stopping along the way if we see an antique shop, thrift store or roadside stand that catches our eye.

It was a fun chance to just take our time to check out the vintage finds and treasures, seeing what the south had to offer.

Roadside stands were also on the agenda, and this particular one was a goldmine:

It was a country store/farmer's market of sorts that had fresh local produce, canned goods, gardening supplies and lots of different baskets. I about passed out when I saw the $1 price tag on the market baskets pictured above. It took almost everything I had inside to remind myself we didn't need 15 market baskets, so we ended up with 1 of the ones pictured and 2 half size bushel baskets — and a few pounds of these fresh, local peaches:

Inside, there were rows upon rows of canned goods and I think Tim entered into a state of euphoria while approaching this wall:

We brought home jars of 100% pure sorghum, corncob jam and hot chow chow. Tim had to explain what both sorghum and chow chow were to me — sorghum basically being like a sugarly molasses, and chow chow being a combination of vegetables pickled into a relish.

After a long drive, we made it for a late lunch at Keaton's BBQ, an off-the-beaten-path spot Tim had scoped out online before making the trip:

It was one of those family-owned food businesses with homemade hot chicken and southern food. There were handmade signs all over the walls with different instructions for patrons, one of which included not taking any photos of the restaurant staff, ha! We felt pretty stealthy sneaking a couple phone pics of our meal. I was pretty excited to try their mac n'cheese, hot coleslaw and hot signature chicken — this is a real deal southern plate:

This trip we drove to Statesville where we stayed overnight before heading down to meet up with Emily and J for lunch in Asheville on Friday.

We met at 12 Bones, one of our favorite Asheville BBQ spots since Emily and J introduced it to us the first trip we made. They always have something a little "saucy" written on the sign out front and this year didn't disappoint:

After lunch we hit up a few local shops, one of our new favorites included Screen Door. This was such a fun place — over 25,000 square feet filled with antiques, treasures, and unique home and garden finds. We had fun walking around looking at everything, this was definitely a fun spot to check out if you're in the area looking for something to do:

One of the best parts of Screen Door? Making friends with the resident (unfriendly?) tabbies:

Next on the agenda was a little ice cream. Emily took us to The Hop, a local spot known for their salted caramel ice cream:


Needless to say, the ice cream didn't disappoint, but if I'm being completely honest, I can't think of a time when it ever has :)

Friday we hung at home, cooking dinner and catching up. The guys did all the dinner preparations, which Emily and I sat back and enjoyed watching. J even cracked open the 2 jars of infused tequila and vodkas he'd been experimenting with over the past week using fresh local peaches.

While we were sipping and cooking, Miss Frankie Fluff had an agenda of her own:

We caught her investigating Tim's bag, giving it a thorough inspection. She must have smelled Basil on it, but we all laughed since Tim is legitimately allergic to cats — of course she'd pick his bag to cozy up to!

The next morning, Biscuit Head was in order. For those unfamiliar, this is a breakfast spot specializing in what they call "cat head" sized biscuits. Emily and J introduced us to this place last year and we couldn't wait to return.

We met up with 2 close friends of Emily and J that we've actually been following on Instagram for a while now — Rich and Jen Orris. These two are a creative couple living the dream in Asheville on a five-acre homestead with chickens and a large vegetable garden. It was a blast getting the introduction to our virtual friends in person, having the chance to catch up in real time over an incredibly indulgent meal.

Here's a shot of Tim's meal — it was the special smoked ham hock brown gravy bowl with blue cheese smashers and biscuit over medium egg:

After breakfast we stopped into a few shops around town, one of which was Asheville Bee Charmer on Amanda's recommendation from Friday's blog post:

It's a "charming" (pun intended) local shop specializing in honey. As we walked in, Tim muttered something along the lines of "if they have locust honey I think I might lose it." Famous last words...

They had locust honey! This is something Tim's been on the hunt for as long as I can remember. He looks and asks everywhere we go if a shop or farm carries locust honey, and we've never come across it before. There were 2 jars of local locust honey in this shop and Tim got one of them. I think he'd have gotten both of them, but he made such a big deal about finding it in front of everyone in there that one of the other shoppers grabbed the other jar and bought it before we could, ha.

After thinking our day couldn't get much better, we stopped into the newly opened Shelter Collective:

Emily and J had been telling us about this newly opened shop their friends Rob and Karie had opened up. The second we stepped inside, I realized it was owned and run by the legendary duo behind Shelter Protects You. I've been longtime fans and followers of these guys on Etsy and Instagram, so it was such a welcome surprise to stop in to say hello. Fun fact — Rob's brother is a cousin of Emily's and actually officiated their wedding ceremony 2 years ago:

It's always a welcome reminder of what a small world it really is. The shop is not only a studio for their work, but serves as a storefront showcasing the work of other independent and local artists — definitely worth a stop if you're in the area or passing through!

After a little more window shopping and spending the day catching up with Emily and J, we closed out the evening with dinner at their favorite local restaurant, Limones.

We hit the road early Sunday, getting back to Richmond in time for Tim to catch the first Steelers game of the season and generally wind down before the week ahead. It's been so much fun making a yearly tradition out of these long weekends in Asheville to Emily and J — one we hope to continue as long as they're there.

Thanks for taking a peek into our latest road trip — How was your weekend?