Monthly Archives: July 2011

Asheville Part I

So hubs and I took a much needed vacation the week of July 4.  Anytime we have some time off from work, we always debate if we would rather spend money on a trip or on a house project.  We have so much we want to do around here but we also love getting to know a new city, so we came up with a compromise.  Most of the week would be spent working on stuff around the house, a staycation if you will.  And then, for just one night, we would travel to the exotic and faraway land of Asheville, NC, which registers a mere hour and fifteen minutes away from Gville.  In fact, I don’t think either of us realized just how close Asheville is, as we have now lived in Greenville for 3 years and never made the trip.  I have to say, I’m in L-O-V-E.  It’s got such a funky, artistic, laid-back vibe.  If I wasn’t absolutely devoted to our little blue house, I’d pack up and move in a heartbeat.  So here are the deets from our trip (I will warn you 90% of our trip will be about food):

After doing some research on hotels, we ended up staying in our first B&B because it cost the same (or less), has much more character, had a two-person jacuzzi (ye-ahh!!), and hello?—-can you say gourmet breakfast?  None of that make your own waffle and mini-boxes of cereal junk.  So….we stayed at a B&B called Bed of Roses.  Isn’t the house adorable?  It’s actually more teal than in photographs.  And below is our exquisite jacuzzi and our bed with plush bathrobes hanging on the door.  Now hubs and I are anything but fancy, so we were quite out of our element here.

Funny story about that jacuzzi.  When we were filling up the tub, I poured in some body wash in an attempt to make bubbles.  It didn’t really seem to work.  So I poured in more.  And more.  And then I was disappointed cause it didn’t look like were going to have bubbles…..And then we turned on the jets!  Yep, we almost had a bubble catastrophe.  Can you picture us getting banned from an Asheville B&B for filling the entire first floor with suds?  Well it almost happened.  Luckily, I think quick on my feet (or in the buff as it may be) and remembered from my childhood days that soap kills bubbles.  Did you know that?  I did, because I remember waiting until the last minute to wash as a child because I knew the second I put the soap in the tub, all the bubbles would pop.  So here we are, 6 inches of bubbles about to spill over onto the floor, and I am rubbing the soap furiously to make the bubbles dissipate.  Not our smoothest hour.  But it worked.  On top of that, hubs got the water too hot, so I had to climb out of that ginormous thing not once but twice to turn on the air conditioner and fan, and get us some water.  Eventually it was too much for us and we gave up before we had a heat stroke.  Not exactly the romantic event we had planned and hubs didn’t feel good for the rest of the night after that.  I’m happy to report we tried the jacuzzi again the next morning and it was a successful, relaxing excursion.

For lunch on day 1, we went to 12 Bones Smokehouse.  Apparently, Obama stopped there in 2008.

I read the reviews beforehand and everyone said to get the blueberry chipotle.  So I got those, hubs got the brown sugar ones and we split them down the middle.  I have to say two things.  1.  The reviewers were wrong and the brown sugar ones were way better. 2. These were the most delicious flavored ribs I have ever had.  Now hubs thinks we have had better in St. Louis, but I think his memory may be playing tricks on him.  If you want to know about sides, the damn good corn pudding (yes that is the actual name) and the jalepeno grits were our favorites.  The others weren’t really worth mentioning because who needs sides when the ribs are that good?!  The pulled pork was good quality, but the sauces (there were four to choose from) weren’t really that great.  I worked in a bbq joint in high school so I am VERY particular about my bbq sauces.

That night we explored downtown Asheville and we couldn’t have been more delighted.  We loved seeing the street performers (although hubs was burning through our cash like a madman).

This woman froze like a statue until someone put money in her bucket and then she lit up that snare drum.  She was beautiful and very talented.

 And then we got to see a drum circle.  If you don’t know what a drum circle is, it basically means that a bunch of people from the community all show up with hand drums, someone starts a beat and the rest follow along.  It’s awesome to see the community come together like that, young and old, all races, and income levels.  And then the crowds show up to watch and they start to dance along.  Kids, old preppy ladies, hipsters, women dressed like clowns, an asian woman in a tweety bird night gown and crocks with a cane.  Everyone gets in on the fun.  I imagine heaven will look something like this.

We capped off the evening by dining at Tupelo Honey Cafe.  Yum.  If only we weren’t still full from the ribs….
First they bring you out a fantastic homemade biscuit with—you guessed it—Tupelo honey.  Sidenote- I’m not sure why my husband has his wedding ring on the wrong finger in this picture.  When I showed it to him, he was just as baffled as I was and asked how I did that, as though it was some sort of photoshop wizardry.
Below is the goat cheese plate for two appetizer.  This was heaven and I WILL be getting this dish again.  Crisp, toasted sourdough, creamy goat cheese, sundried tomatoes, and some delish olives.

For our main dish, we split the Shoo Mercy Shrimp and Grits.  It was really good, although we only took a few bites before we had to stop because there was just no more room in our bellies.  This is probably the first time in our lives that me and hubs did not finish a plate of shrimp and grits.  AND to top it all off, we really weren’t supposed to use the fridge at the B&B (although we didn’t ask) so we ended up tossing a $20 plate of food in the trash when we got back.  SAD.  My only solace is that THC did forget to put the andouille sausage in it.

And that sums up our first day in the beautiful city of Asheville.  Day 2 details to come…

Also, sorry for all the weird spacing between pictures.  Blogger is being a jerkface and I’m about to go throw a tantrum.

Categories: food, life | Leave a comment

Are you ready for some before and after pictures?!?

Well, you’re in luck because I finally managed to exert the massive amount of energy it takes to copy my pictures from my camera to computer.  I don’t know why I hate that part so much.  Okay, well today we are going to focus on the large wall in our kitchen.  I would feature the whole kitchen, but I forgot to take pictures and I can’t right now because that would require me to do the dishes.  So here it is…the before kitchen (with the previous owner’s stuff still in it):

 And this is “the wall” as the previous owners had it.

All white, a framed poster, and an ugly phone.  Now, don’t get me wrong, this is an adorable kitchen, but it just wasn’t our style.  We wanted something a little more modern, a little more colorful.  So we painted. And this is “the wall” after we painted.

Now, I wish I could say this color turned out the same as it photographs.  It did not.  I was going for a creamy lime, a muted apple green.  It turned out fluorescent.  I hated it. Painter’s remorse.  I thought about going back and painting it white.  For months I tried to find something to tie the royal blue tiles in the countertops with the lime green in the walls (curtains, plates to hang on the wall, hand towels, anything?!!) and I could not.  And then I found a dresser buffet on craigslist for $40. It fit very nicely under the chair rail.

But of course it needed an update.  I thought about staining it, but the top was covered in laminate and that seemed like a heap of trouble–I’m a DIY rookie, y’all.  After weeks of staring at it, I decided to go bold.  Below is an “in progress” shot.  The Home Depot guy told me I should use tinted primer or it would take a bazillion coats.  I told him I already had primer and didn’t want to buy more, so he suggested pouring some of the paint into the primer to self-tint.  I do so and ended up with this.

(Note: The garage door is 2/3 shut because of the ridiculous amount of wind that day.  Lynne and I were both painting our little hearts out, and we kept getting dirt and leaves in our paint.  Normally, I am against breathing paint fumes.)

At this point, my husband came home and Lynne and I tried to convince him that the buffet was complete and this pepto bismol pink was the color I picked out.  We are both very bad liars.  I had actually decided upon ladybug red.

A couple of coats of red and I was in love with my new buffet.  But still not in love with my walls.  I decided that maybe the green wouldn’t be so in-your-face bright if it weren’t for the big blank lime wall.  And I knew what must be done.  CHALKBOARD PAINT!  I know, forgive me for jumping on the bandwagon, but I needed to tone down the brightness and keep the modern.  So I used the ol’ self- tinted primer trick and then slapped on that chalkboard paint.  I followed the directions on the can, waiting the appropriate amount of days before applying chalk.  The directions then state that, in order to help with erasability (not a real word), you should use the side of the chalk to cover the entire wall, like this:

You might have noticed that I painted right over the ugly phone jack right in the middle of the wall.  I couldn’t stand the thought of it being the focal point.

Here’s a close up of my new red buffet.  Pardon the lighting–it’s hard to photograph in a room full of windows.

 And here it is all together in one crummy picture:

And here are the beautiful hydrangeas that I put on display thanks to my sweet buddy Lynne who brought them to me:

I will eventually share the rest of my kitchen soon so you can get the whole picture, but I was long overdue for showing some of my projects around the house.  I’m hoping that sharing my progress will keep me motivated to continue working!  Happy Makeovers!

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