Sunday, January 30, 2011


Our nieces got this uber cool clubhouse for Christmas.  And what better gift could Aunt Katy give but to do a little Design Makeover!


Sorry for the picture quality – it’s a phone picture…  But this is all I had to go on.  Oh and some dimensions.  So I knew I wanted to “cute” it up for the girls.  That meant we had to have some window treatments, splashes of color, and other fun accoutrements.  So off I went to the Hobby Lobby for some fun & funky fabric.


Meets both criteria, right?  FUN – check & FUNKY – check

I’m following Sherry’s lead with no-sew drapes.  A little ironing action. And voila


Window treatments DONE!

I also worked on a little craft project – a sign for the Clubhouse.  Finished product to come…


While I was working on that, Uncle Joe was assembling our IKEA purchase. Oh and can you see Annie helping over there.  She blurs into the white blanket but she’s working hard on sawing logs!



So after some more shopping for accessories we were on our way to Charleston to “install” the C&C Clubhouse!!

I can’t wait to show you the results!!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Queen's Feast

It's Queens' Feast here in our lovely city.  And as you may have guessed I'm all about feasting in the Queen City.  So the way it works:  there are MULTIPLE restaurants offering a $30 / 3 course menu.  Whenever this lovely event rolls around I check out the list of options and go for the one we have yet to try.  As you may remember I like variety!

So this past weekend, I checked out the list to see what the contenders were.  My top picks:  Vida Mexican Kitchen,  Halcyon, Flavors from the Earth,  & Dressler's - Metro.  I was really intrigued with Halcyon - it's in the new Mint Museum uptown and I was able to get reservations = SCORE!  It's a date!

First of all let's address the name of the restaurant.  Different - yes.  Hard to remember and pronounce - YES!  I still can't really say it correctly.  Maybe it's just me but I don't know that it's the best idea to name your establishment something that people may not be able to remember or say.  For those (like me) that don't know what Halcyon means here's a little description from their website:
Halcyon is a Greek Goddess who turns into a bird and mates during the Winter Solstice. While her nest Floats in the ocean . . . All is peaceful and Tranquil in the World
and if you want more info here's the story of Halcyon

As you can already tell I did not take these pictures - which are gorgeous!!  It was too dark to get any quality shots and the sweet people @ Lunazohn gave me permission to use photos from Halcyon's website.  Go check them out here.  Beautiful work!

Now onto the - FOOD and DESIGN...

I loved the combination of rustic wood with sleek architecture.  There are large tables made from the trunk's of trees - giving a very organic feel to the space.  They've incorporated the natural wood into the menus as well.  They're little easels of sorts that hold the menu tied with leather.  There are also wooden chandeliers hanging throughout.  Loved this touch!!
The view itself is a huge part of the interior design - it can't help but be a component to the feel of the space.  The windows are HUGE and you are gazing upon Ratcliff on the Green, the old church that sits beside it and the contemporary skyscrapers behind.  They have a great patio space that I know will be a huge hit once we get through this winter! 
Here's the Queen's Feast menu:  (highlighted is what we chose)
Amuse Bouche

White Bean Hummus

First course (choice of one)
Farm Salad - local head lettuces, overnight Roma tomatoes, seasonal accompaniments
Pate Tasting - house crafted duck and chicken liver pates with cherry shallot jam
Cheese and Garniture - selection of artisanal cheese with accompaniments

Second course (choice of one)
Short Ribs - with pommes puree, winter vegetable mash, and red wine syrup
Roasted Chicken - with duxelle, spaghetti squash, and chestnut truffle honey
Winter Lasagne - crafted from housemade pasta and ricotta, seasonal winter vegetables, and winter pesto

Third course (choice of one)
Pumpkin Chocolate Bread Pudding
Crème Brulee

The cheeses were absolutely amazing!!  They had a Carolina Blue that was delightful with a touch of honey.  It was a milder blue and the sweetness of the honey really made a yummy bite!  There was also a Cheddar made in the Asheville area - I love cheddar - and this was no exception!

I wasn't a huge fan of the pate but that was Joe's pick and he liked it.  It could have used a little more acid in my opinion but a pate connoisseur I am not!
The entrees were lovely. Joe and I love to get different things so we can taste as many options as possible.  The short ribs was good (a little dry in the end pieces but much better once you got to the thicker portion of the meat.)  The pommes puree was delish!  Just the right amount of salt.  The chicken was very moist and it was butchered with an airline cut, which made for a nice presentation.   The spaghetti squash was a nice compliment and a vegetable that doesn't get enough attention, in my opinion.
The portions were perfect.  There was just enough room left for a couple bites of dessert.  And they were some YUMMY bites!  The creme brulee was perfectly cooked with a nice hard but not burnt topping and creamy gooieness inside.  But I have to say the bread pudding stole the show.  Joe and I were both fighting spoons to have the last bite - divine!
We had a lovely bottle of Malbec with dinner and our server was top notch and took great care of us.  Overall this was a great date night.  I really appreciate when restaurants are involved in Queen's Feast that don't "dumb down" their food for the value price.  You can either win people over OR push them away during this event.  Halcyon (is that the right name?) definitely won us over!  We will be back!!

Have you gone anywhere for Queen's Feast?  Any spots we must try?  Do tell!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Games & Dip

Last weekend we had a bunch of friends over for a game night.  We love games!  We may be just a bit competitive and I may be under stating that just a bit.  But along with the games comes food!  We all brought a munchie to share and I decided to try a recipe I saw on Christina's’ blog - C+C Marriage Factory.  I am a huge fan of hummus and of guacamole so combining those two creations into one definitely peaked my interest!  You’ve got to check out the recipe for Avocado Hummus and make it soon!!!  It will be a hit!!

The photo was taken by Christina – I neglected to shoot a picture of ours – It was gone so quick!!
I did happen to snag a few pictures of the gang playing Pit – have you heard of Pit – if you haven’t you may want to look into it!  Anyway – check these out!
Great times!! Great friends!! Great food!!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Self Portrait

I have been wanting to take a new picture of my mug for the blog so when I came upon Ashley’s tutorial on her blog – I was like WOW she’s reading my mind!  And then she decided to have a link party – so what better way to motivate me to try it!


#1  go read Ashley’s tutorial


#2  take a whole bunch of picture


#3  Hopefully find a few that are somewhat presentable


#4 Go link up with Ashley!

Oh and don’t forget to show me!!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Tuesday Morning on a Saturday

Today was a great day!  It is rare that I find myself with Saturday not booked with multiple activities.  Of course that’s no one’s doing but my own.  I like being busy – I like having places to go, people to see.  But it is also nice to have a day when there’s no where you need to be and you can let the mood lead ya.  And today it led me to Tuesday Morning.  Have you ever been to this store?  There are a just a few in Charlotte – maybe only two now.  I normally go to the one on Park Rd near RuSans but today I was on the south end of town and thought I’d swing in the one on Hwy 51.  Well an hour later I was still roaming through the store finding all kinds of great stuff!  I just had to share some of the cool things I saw!

I tried to make a logical movement through the store but it was a little tricky!  The aisles stack up upon themselves and you can miss out on something if you aren’t careful.  I always love the kitchen section and normally drool over the Le Creuset Dutch ovens that I can’t afford (but which we now have thanks to my Aunt – another shout out of THANK YOU!)  But today there were a couple other cool finds as well.


Love this little loaf pan casserole dish.  And these plates are so pretty you could hang them on the wall!


These “B” plates would make a great hostess gift!  And how cute are these glasses…


Loving these vintage-y champagne glasses and what’s up with them being “Walt Disney”  Who knew they did glass ware??


How cute are these cookie cutters!  They had all different themes.


Joe’s really been wanting a food scale and this one would be great!

As I eluded to earlier – this place has all kinds of things!  They even have some hardware items.  Like this bathroom faucet from Delta – I googled it to compare prices and it was $20 cheaper than anything I could find online! 


As I was making my way into the center of the store I came upon the furniture and rug section!  And boy was I impressed with what I found!  Good looking items!


I am loving the nubby wool rugs – all these are 5x8 and the ranged from $70 – $200 – not bad!  I would love the taupe nubby one for the den!


Red leather bench!


This was a super cool piece.  The doors slide with shelves behind one side and drawers behind the other.  A great piece for a dining room or foyer!


Cottage chic red accent piece – Mod étagère


Large trunk – perfect for a coffee table

Now onto the linens:


Check out all those throw pillows!  And how cute is that throw with the big pom-pom trim?!?


A wall of tassels!  Michael Kors bedding – giraffe – too funky cool!


How pretty are these mercury glass bottles and vases – $15-$20

Now with all that pretty stuff – there were definitely some “duds” my favorite one had to be this lamp!  Check out the lampshade! REALLY???  Each to his own – I guess.  Ok not really that’s just tacky people!  If you have this in your house – THROW IT AWAY!


All those wonderful things and guess what I bought…  NOTHING!  Can you believe it?  Yeah, me neither.  I actually had some items in my cart but re-thought it.  But I’ve got that rug in the back of my mind!  And on another side note after Tuesday Morning I headed over to Ollie’s – ever been there?  Mostly junk but you can find some deals here and there.  I did come upon this artwork which I really like!  I think I may be able to replicate it.


I love that pattern!  So now you know how I spent my Saturday – what did you do??  Were you more productive than me?  Is there are a store that you love to just roam the aisles?