Terry Loves Gas!!

I laughed.  A lot.  I'm so witty with my post titles. 

I digress.

Terry has been itching to get our electric stove out of the kitchen, well, since the day we were thinking that our house was "the one".  It was actually a conversation with our real estate agent as to wondering how expensive it would be to run a gas line into the kitchen from the heater in our garage. 

Meanwhile, since March of last year (!!!), we have had our scratched-n-dented (which was neither scratched nor dented where anyone could notice) new gas stove waiting diligently in the garage. 
Funny side story: The gas stove was actually where Terry hid my Christmas presents this year.....and I did NOT go snooping for gifts....I was going to hide some of HIS presents in there and came across that he had already nabbed that hiding spot first!! I completely confessed to him that night that I was on to him, but I didn't peak!!

He had the day off from work on Monday, so we had our first contractors come to the house.  They ran the gas line and hooked up the stove, as well as did some work on the shower drain in our master bathroom project.  Monday was my long day with being at work for 9 hours, and then going to class for 5 hours.  He sent me these pictures throughout the day. 

Just for reference: Old Stove - No backsplash

 Old Stove - backsplash

 New Stove!!  It's so sleek and pretty.  I love her knobs on the front (PG PEOPLE!!)

Also love the fact that she has an oval burner in the middle.

Terry's message in the text: "You don't get color like that from Electric."  Got this just as I was biting into my raggedy little 6 inch ham and cheese Subway sub.  Words can't express how badly I wanted to be home.

Terry is thrilled! I am nervous I'm going to burn a lot things in getting used to the change. Pancakes will be my first test this weekend on the griddle insert for the center burner.  I'll provide a laugh post on Monday if I char them.  :-)


Night out on the town: 4 1/2 year style

Cue cheesy music here.
I do promise however that we did not go out to dinner with the intentions of celebrating any "half-iversary".  I had a Groupon (has anyone caught on to my addiction yet) that was due to expire, so we had to go use it!

We had an amazing dinner at Jim Edmonds Steakhouse. (funny side-note, Jim Edmonds was a baseball player for the Cardinals, and he is throwing the opening pitch today at the home opener Cardinals game).   The atmosphere was very mellow; low lighting, very intimate dining space, I would categorize it as romantic.  Well...there were two TV's over the bar that had cage-fighting on....but we were staring outside at all the snow falling down.  Oh, and also drooling at the wine menu.  SO many choices!
We started with the appetizer special, which was pork medallions over creamy polenta with an arugula, onion, bacon, and walnut salad with honey Dijon vinaigrette.

 As you can tell......we really didn't like it.  Jokes.

We ended up selecting Cakebread Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon.  This is where it got me thinking about Napa and how we loved our visit at Cakebread, and as I was writing the date, it dawned on me that it was 4 1/2 years since our first date.  Of course I got all schmoopey about it....and of course Terry outwardly rolled his eyes at me and inwardly laughed at my ridiculousness.  Love that man!

 The wine was everything we expected; think of every synonym to the word "perfect" and there's this wine description.
Then dinner showed up and we started drooling (from the smell and from the view).

Terry got a filet with an herb butter sauce and green beans.

I had Steelhead Trout....never had it before so thought I would be adventurous. Texturally it reminded me of Salmon.  It was topped with crab and a creamy hollaindaise sauce, and asparagus.  Really hard to say who had the better plate.  Everything that we ordered was excellent.

 Obligatory photo.  It looks like Terry has a halo on his head.  Funny considering that he acted like I was Satan for asking the waitress to snap our photo. :-)

When we were leaving we noticed a little hole in the wall bar across the street called Tin Can Tavern.  Fun concept for a bar; everything from the bar comes in a can.  Their menu was on the wall.

We stayed just for a little while listening to the band, then we headed across town to our current fave spot, Venice Cafe. We were upstairs most of the evening staring down at the band.  Always a good time in that place!

Very fun night, getting to explore new places in the city, and getting to enjoy the old places, and always a fun night with T.


Happy Hour and Dinner with Irma

It's always nice to have a girls night once in a while, and Irma and I were having one of those weeks at work, so it was the perfect reason to go out to a restaurant we both had never tried before.  We ended up at Boogaloo in a western section of St Louis called Maplewood.  The food style was "CUBAN/CARIBBEAN/CREOLE TWIST", and it was unique and wonderful!

Surprisingly enough, I didn't take any pictures that night, but the food was delicious! 

We split a Calamari appetizer, then she had a Shrimp Po' Boy Sandwich while I had the Blackened Grouper Sandwich, and we split our sides of Sweet Potatoe Fries, and Cornbread.  
It must be a trend when I got out with Irma, but the best part of the meal was the dessert.  We split a piece of Tres Leches Cake and it was sinful. Automatically made me want to go home and find a recipe except that I'd need to find a way to make it healthy.....yah, probably impossible.  But if you know of a good recipe, send it my way!!!

Best part of the entire meal though (other than the wonderful company) was with using the Groupon, the total bill for our girls evening came to $15.30.  Gotta love a deal!!!

We had a great time and definitely needed the venting/laughing/enjoyment together.  Can't wait to do it again!


Mother Nature is a Jokester

Saturday we were hearing buzz about snow flurries coming through the city.  We didn't think anything of it or assume it would amount to anything.

Boy were we wrong  We ended up with 3-4 inches on the ground!

View of our former beautiful flowers.  Poor things

Terry keeps somehow bringing this plant back to life.  We better ALL wish him luck this time.

I loved the trees...it looked like there were enormous cotton balls on the ends.

It all melted away by Sunday evening, and it was definitely beautiful, but after having the 78 degree beautifully sunny weekend before, I am VERY ready for spring and the outdoors. 


There is nothing wrong with Chunky Legs!

And no, I'm not referring to my own insecurities right now.....I promise to explain in the post what I'm referring to. :-) 
After much deliberation on whether to let you in on our bathroom vanity plans or wait for a big reveal...well Of Course I decided to let you in on it!  

Terry and I have been racking our brains over our master bathroom vanity long before this project got underway.  We were searching everyday on craigslist for dining room hutches, dinner servers, vanities, and tables trying to find our perfect fit. 

We started with our likes in this arena, thinking that we could still put in undermount sinks and have storage.  (These first 4 pictures are just to give you an idea of the style we were liking, they aren't the actual pieces we found on craigslist)

Then we liked this type of feel, giving more openness to the small space in that bathroom but still having storage. We just kept running into the problem of the depth of the table and it not being able to fit a sink (undermount or vessel).

Around the same time, we started drifting towards the "lets think outside the box a little bit" approach to our vanity.  Terry started sending more and more table options, and I came across something I had never seen before....floating vanities
T was drawn more to the table affect:

I was drawn more to the floating sink affect.  Drooling actually.

We kept looking around and looking around online, and Terry sent me an email that ended up being "our" table.  (are you dying to see it?  Or did you cheat and scroll down already? ...You can scroll down and ::Peak:: at this point I suppose, since it will make the email convo between Terry and I all the more funny)
Our email chain went as follows:
T: Dang, this is what I had in mind.  Stout, with the drawers.
L: Not really a fan of the chunky leg.
follow-up email from T: Really?  I just figure since you are eliminating the whole box vanity, that the thick legs are still less than what it would normally be yet still make a “substantial" piece.

What is it with me and having to mull things over for a while and let it grow on me??!!  Something I admire in him so much....he knows a good thing when he see it! (nudge-nudge, wink wink, ha)

So Chunky Legs ended up being our winner.  I went and checked it out at the antique gallery the owners had it displayed in after work one day, and right when I saw it, I texted Terry with, "ohhhh we are buying it!"


It just has such character. And Terry found out from the owners that they had it made for them in Virginia (!!!) while they were living there, but when they moved out here, it just didn't fit their space anymore. 

As we work on its dimensions and make the cut down the center and get it harnessed up to the wall and pick out vessel sinks and fixtures, I will be sure to post updates.  Super Super excitement in our house about Chunky!


It's starting to smell like Spring!

Look what we got completely surprised by growing along the back of our house!

Love them!!! 

And our March flower arrangement.  We picked out all the different pieces (notice the white tulips...my fave) at the grocery store, and then came home and assembled the beauty.  I love the pink flowers here in the picture, but they died super quick = not cool. 

Ohhhhhh, I love Spring!!!


Tick-Tock Tick-Tock

No, no, I'm not counting down the seconds until my March Madness Bracket sporadically bursts into flames (Marquette?!  Really?!?  And Notre Dame....you ruined me!).  I just wanted to show you the new addition we added to the living room/kitchen area!  Terry picked it out all by his lonesome, and lucky enough, I really like it! 

Yes, I know it's a clock, but it's still exciting none the less.  It fits the space perfectly, and I think that it ties in well with the colors and the style.  And now I have no reason to get cranky with Terry when he leaves 0:21 seconds still on the microwave and I don't know what time it is without having to go over and hit the cancel button (Does this drive anyone else crazy or is it just me?!!?  Please say it's not just me!!!)

You like???


Happy St. Patricks Day

May you always have work for your hands to do.

May your pockets hold always a coin or two.

May the sun shine bright on your windowpane.

May the rainbow be certain to follow each rain.

May the hand of a friend always be near you.

And may God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.

Irish blessing


Catching Fire (The book, not us....don't worry!)

The second book in The Hunger Games Trilogy.  On my last trip home, I gave Alexa back her first book, and she lent me Catching Fire to catch up to her (she's currently on the third book...unless she's finished it since last I checked). 
Without going into the plot line and strictly giving my opinion of the book, I would urge every single person reading this post to go and read this book!  Mind you, there's the issue of having to read the first book to know who the characters are and what is going on, but besides that, this is the best book that I have read in a long time.  The author so vividly describes the scenes and makes you feel so connected to each and every one of the characters. 
The book's suspense just builds and builds and builds, and I kept looking at how many pages I had left thinking, How in the world is the author going to wrap this up so quickly??  Sure enough...it ends very abruptly and still at a peak of suspense before you find out you have to go to the third book to find out what happens. 
Which leads me to the question, How do people wait for the next book in a series to be released?!?! After finishing this book, there would have been no way I could have waited a year for the third book in this series.  Luckily for me, the third book has already been released (and I started and finished it in 4 days...but that's another post), but I would have gone crazy having to wait.  I hope I never have to deal with that, and for the record to all my reader friends, please only suggest book series to me after all the books have been published :-). 

Now for my few questions/interests from the book  Don't read any further if you haven't read the book!!!!  Possible Spoilers!!!
Again though, to end my post, if you haven't read it......GO BUY IT!  Loved this book!


Snow! Seriously?!?

What I woke up to this morning.

The ride in to work was miserable.  A typical 30 minute commute that ended up being just over an hour.  Not fun.  It's 10:30 now and it's just starting to let up here, mostly turning into rain. 

I really hope this doesn't kill all of our pretty buds blooming in the yard :-(


Our Wine Painting Arrived!!

Our painting arrived to St Louis Friday!!  It was over in a warehouse in west county and the delivery was scheduled for Monday from noon to 4pm.  Rather than figure that mess out (bc someone would have to sign for it), we opted to go pick it up ourselves.  I went after work and would have brought it home with me.......except it wouldn't fit in my car!!!  Whomp whomp.  So Terry ended up having to drive all the way over to get it since it would fit in his truck.  Lots of effort, but well worth it.  It is absolutely beautiful.  SO happy we sent it back to the art gallery for them to frame it.  It's stunning in person. 


After Demo Dinner

After all the demolition, we were on the verge of just going out for dinner, but ended up staying put and cooking at home. 

We started with the simplest and most delicious appetizer...seriously; only 4 ingredients.  Mozzarella balls, sweet baby tomatoes, chopped basil, and balsamic vinegar.  I'm not a huge tomato fan but I could eat them like this all night long. 

We couldn't decide on which wine, so we opened two bottles.  I preferred the Hall Cabernet, while Terry more so enjoyed the Rutherford Hill Syrah that we picked up from our last trip out to Napa.

Dinner was delicious, not that I need to write that.  We had leeks and carrots in cream and vinegar (sounds strange but it is tastebud heaven), Bleu cheese mashed potatoes with green onion, and then Filet with a Red Wine Reduction.

It was a great ending to a hard-working day!


Bathroom Demo: Studs and Surprises

Another Saturday that was consumed with demolishing the bathroom. We ended up stopping demo two weeks ago simply because of the garbage and debri we were creating. This weekend, we bought a Bagster, which is essentially an enormous tarp that the garbage disposal company turned into a lawn bag that can hold large garbage items that they then come and haul away for you.  By the end of the day, we filled it to the top!  Start of Demo Day 2:  Bye Bye Toilet!  And then it was the sledgehammer to the walls.... See ya later walls!!

Down to the studs (my stud included:  Get it.  Play on words.  I laugh.)

Where the sink and vanity used to be.

Door out to our bedroom.

And now that the studs were shown, I can't forget to show the surprises the old owners and builders left for us.  Rather than move the toilet, they just decided to paint around it.  Good thing we've had angels in hiding for us all this time.  Although to be honest, I'm not sure whether I'd prefer the pink paint to them or not.  To each his own.

And in the walls themselves, we found the boxes that our light switches came in.  Eagle Electrical waste: Circa early 1960's.  Awesome.

Closer and closer we come to starting the new phase of this process.  We are plotting and scheming and shooting ideas left and right and we are certainly narrowing down our dream (in a pre-determined and limited space) master bathroom.  As always: So excited!!


Swap.com and Swap4Schools....pretty awesome!

I've been holding out on writing this post for fear that maybe I just had good luck on my first few trades, but as I just received my fifth swap book in the mail in perfect condition, I thought it'd be useful to share this little gem with all my reader friends. 
I'm sure a lot of you do trades with others in your area, but this is not a luxury I have out here in the middle of country....so I had to improvise.  I found out about Swap.com from a co-worker a few months back and I've been hooked ever since. 

The short and sweet explanation is that Swap provides the connection for people to trade books with one another.  When you first join -which is free I might add-, you list any books you have laying around the house (or in my case still in boxes in the garage) that you are willing to part with, and add them into an "I Have This Book" category.  Then, you input books that you are feigning for in the "I Want This Book" category.  If there is someone else out there in the Swap world who has the book you want, and they also want any of the books that you are wanting to pass along to another happy reader, a Swap Notification is emailed.  For every trade, it costs 50 cents (!!!) and then the cost of shipping.  This just pulls at my frugal heart strings!

And you would think that saving me a ton of money for books I am wanting would have me in love with this site, but it turns out, there is something EVEN BETTER on their site that has me currently quite enamored.  The site has set up an opportunity for the millions of swappers who are part of the site to donate books to schools in need. 
Teachers, Administrators, and Librarians across the country can register their schools and input books that are in need for their students.  If you have a book listed in your "Have" section that any school across the country has listed as a need, rather than Swapping, it provides the opportunity to Donate your book instead. 

Basically, the bottom-line love I have is that it gives readers a voice, so to say.  The site has helped me find others across the country who have books I'm excited to read, and gives the other swapper the opportunity to have my book that they are excited to read.  And with Swap4Schools, its gives an opportunity to donate and give back.  I would strongly urge if you have family or friends who are involved in our school systems to share this site with them. 

Happy Friday!


Taste of Soulard and Saturday Seafood night

So yes, it is in fact Wednesday as I'm finally writing my post of the weekend.  I have a confession though.  I am full-stop, unashamedly addicted to The Hunger Games Series.  If I have had a free minute in the last week, I have had Catching Fire in my hands and reading at warp speed.  I will put up my take on the book in the next few days, but take away one thing from this intro: RUN (don't walk) to buy these books.  So amazingly well written. 

Saturday was the start of Mardi Gras celebrations here in St. Louis, specifically in a sub-city in St. Louis called Soulard.  There are events throughout the entire week and the Mardi Gras Parade is this coming Saturday.  Quirky fact: St Louis' Mardi Gras is the 2nd largest celebration/parade in the country, respectfully behind New Orleans celebrations. 

We headed down mid-afternoon to start the Taste of Soulard, which involved over 25 different restaurants/bars throughout Soulard participating in tasting samples from their menu.  We had to buy a booklet of tickets good for 6 samplings at the restaurants of our choosing, and then 1 specialty drink at any of the stops.

Our hit list was as follows:
1. Sage - Crawfish Ettoufee and Blue Crab
2. Nadines - Chicken and Sausage Kabobs
3. The Great Grizzly Bear- Cajun Shrimp and Scallop Rice Bowl
4. 1860's / Hardshell Cafe - Famous Crab Cakes w/ creamy crab sauce
5. Llwelyn's Pub - Housemade Chips and White Chicken Chili
6. Lumiere Place Tent - Budweiser Braised Bratwurst
7. Carsons - Chicken Jambalaya

He's my great grizzly bear all right!

I didn't end up eating the White Chicken Chili at Llwelyn's, so we had an extra ticket and Terry used it for Carsons Chicken Jambalaya.  We both agreed that the best thing we tried was the Cajun Shrimp and Scallop Rice Bowl at The Great Grizzly Bear.  The Crab Cakes at 1860's were ok for Midwest seafood, but they just made me crave crab cakes from back East.  There's just had too much filling and it was fried and greasy. 

I have to admit that I was not up to food par with how the day played out.  My stomach was just feeling funny, and while the food that we did eat was great, the partying atmosphere and the mobs of people were just not doing it for me.  While I think Terry would have happily stayed downtown celebrating late into the evening, we ended up coming home for Saturday Steak Night. 

Much to his dismay though, we opted to make it Saturday Seafood Night instead.  I had been craving Crab Cakes for a while now and after 1860's sampling it was just the icing on the cake that I needed good seafood! He begrudgingly obliged me and, per usual, knocked me off my feet.  Sarah joined in for dinner, and we all licked our plates clean.  The plate consisted of Crab Cakes, Israeli cous cous in a white wine butter sauce, steamed broccoli, and a shallot and cream roumalade on top that was out of this world. YUM!