Abode

Easter Sunday 2016

IMG_2225

Happy Easter! He is risen! We hosted a big family Easter feast at our house this year! I was pretty nervous about the cooking, but my apprehension led to some highly successful advance planning! I would say that this is our first truly successful time entertaining. I wasn’t running around, sweating, wondering why in the world the pot roast is taking two hours too long or forgetting to put out glasses and napkins. Yay! We cooked up two pot roasts, a leg of lamb, and a ham, as well as baked a carrot cake from scratch, and everything was ready at party-time, if you can believe it. I’m still in disbelief. 

IMG_2222

IMG_2284

IMG_2282    IMG_2283

We even attended sunrise Easter service, which is my favorite! It’s so beautiful and joyful with the birds singing! I made a few bird-inspired Easter eggs this year, copying the awesome blog StudioDIY’s project. Seriously creative and an adorable twist on Easter eggs!

IMG_2228

We somehow managed to comfortably fit twenty people in our house for the Easter feast. I enjoyed decorating with lovely and inexpensive flowers from Aldi’s (my favorite grocery store), as well as an adorable carrot garland from Michael’s, and my swan and flamingo Easter eggs.

IMG_2237

IMG_2223

IMG_2239    IMG_2224 (1)

Part of our secret to Easter’s entertaining success was having guests bring side dishes, which were amazingly delicious! We had scratch-made egg rolls, Mexican rice, twice-baked potatoes, and so much more! It was way better than we could have done, and made it so much easier on us.

It was a warm, beautiful day (although it had been threatening to rain), and everyone enjoyed the sunshine as they searched for cascarones! Remember this cascarones battle last year? This year’s was even bigger!

IMG_2240

IMG_2249

IMG_2252

IMG_2254

IMG_2255

Eek! Jonathan is coming to get me! I snapped this photo right before I got a confetti egg smashed on my head. Oh, well – part of the fun I suppose!

IMG_2258

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter! He is risen!

Our Home: The Living Room

IMG_2032

IMG_2049    IMG_2043

IMG_1999

Finally, another room in our home tour (which I promise will take forever), our living room! This room is where we spend almost all of our time. Our home has an open floor plan, and this is the heart of our home (nope, it’s not the kitchen, which is a close second).  You’ve seen the entryway, and it leads straight to the living room. Our whole home has been a work-in-progress, and we just acquired the couch and, as you know, we got the piano for Christmas! The living room is starting to feel really finished – except for curtains. This room definitely needs curtains. It faces west. and that late afternoon sun is punishing! The blinds do help,but if we plan on properly protecting our piano and couch from longterm sun damage, blackout curtains have just got to happen. I have my eye on some bespoke dove-gray pleated curtains (sigh), but just decided I didn’t want to wait any longer to share!

So let’s talk about that couch. It’s brand-spanking new and just awesome! This couch design has all the pieces assemble and disassemble with ease. You can arrange the couch in any imaginable way you can think of, and Jonathan and I took that to heart and envisioned a deep, long couch with a back entrance, as you can see. I’ve been dreaming of a navy blue velvet couch for so long, and I can’t believe it’s come true this soon! It’s like something you pin on Pinterest, but think it probably won’t happen for 10 years.

Also another dream-come-true, our piano. I’ve already waxed eloquent about it at Christmastime, so I’ll just say I love it and play it, and I’m so happy it’s here in the heart of our home. A new addition is the rowing machine – my birthday present from Jonathan I got a few weeks ago! I love rowing for some reason, and I have been wanting a rowing machine for a long time. It’s been fantastic, and I’m not even that sore!

This is where we lounge, watch TV, exercise, play music, and even eat (the coffee table lid comes up and forward for TV dinners). It’s also where Marvin lives (our roomba). The living room is pretty much the center of life at home.

IMG_2053

IMG_2046

IMG_2016

IMG_2062

IMG_2017

IMG_2059

IMG_2009    IMG_2018

IMG_2006

IMG_2040    IMG_2028

IMG_2039

IMG_2014

 

A Downton Abbey Valentine’s Tea

IMG_1684

My wonderful sister Jackie gave me a Downton Abbey inspired cookbook for Christmas, and I knew I just had to have a quintessential English tea party! The recipes were so delicious, and although I’m not sure how quintessentially English my tea party turned out to be, it was lots of fun. The scones, in particular, with the cream and jam? YUM. So good.

The Menu:

Croissant chicken salad sandwiches

Smoked salmon sandwiches

Cucumber sandwiches

Scones with jam and cream

Oh, and berries!

IMG_1685 (1)

 

IMG_1690    IMG_1692

IMG_1691

I played episodes of Downton Abbey in the background, but we mostly enjoyed our tea outside. It did feel a bit like the English countryside (or at least what I imagine the English countryside to be like) because our grass is so long. Wildflowers have bloomed all over our lawn, and I haven’t had the heart to let Jonathan mow them!

All in all it was a great way to celebrate Valentine’s day!

IMG_1706-EFFECTS

IMG_1682

Our Home: The Entryway

IMG_1668

IMG_1669

Welcome to our home! It’s about time I shared pictures of it, even if it’s only of the entryway. But, hey, it’s a start! I’ll go room by room and post pictures. Much more manageable that way, or I’ll never get around to it. Also, I like to photograph on sunny days, and there haven’t been many lately. It was a gorgeous, sunshine-filled, warm day when I took these! Then it went back right away to being cold and overcast and dreary.

We have a beautiful home with a large brick patio in the front. It’s very shady in the front yard with a pretty oak tree and hedges.

IMG_1666 (1)

The window opening to the patio is from the dining room. We painted the door that vivid red!

And this is the entryway:

IMG_1678 (3)

IMG_1675

The French doors lead to the dining room, and the counter-top you see is part of our kitchen. It’s all very open and airy. It’s so lovely! I can’t believe how blessed we are.

Two Kitties and a Red Door

IMG_1620

Our kittens are almost cats. Pout pout. They grow up so fast! So we better make some kitten memories. I had these adorable photos since New Year’s Eve, and just had to share them. The kitties wanted to watch the fireworks! Odd, but cute! We had painted the door a vivid red about two months earlier – both our front door and back door. [Pictured is our back door, which opens onto a patio; visible through the door is our breakfast nook, a tiny bit of kitchen, and our entryway hallway]. I love the way the doors turned out. We have to paint the trim and lintel still, but we’ll get to it eventually…

We planned on doing house projects the week of New Year’s – which we had off, but somehow never made it happen! #noregrets! – just lots of TV, piano-playing, and sleeping all day.

IMG_1621

IMG_1625 (1)    IMG_1618

Well, that’s that. I’m super slowly gearing up for a home reveal. I think we’re just about moved in enough!

IMG_1612

 

Blast from the Past: Boardgames and Beer Bonanza

2013-12-28 19.37.36

2013-12-28 19.48.19Boardgames! Jonathan and I love boardgames. Even better is having all your best buds/groomsmen over for awesome board-games and beer.

This round of boardgames and beer happened last holiday season. We’re going to be away for Christmas this year, so we might not get the chance to have all the guys over for another round, so I’d thought I’d share our fun time from last year. I have all the great photos, so why not?

It was a great night. We were all up ’til 3 in the morning playing.

2013-12-29 02.01.37

2013-12-29 00.55.03

It was so much fun. Hopefully, we’ll be breaking out the boardgames again soon. Jonathan has had this new boardgame for a while now without playing it, so we definitely need to figure it out and play it.

Here’s to more boardgames and beer and late nights! And holiday cheer!

IMG_0553

Aww these pictures make me think of our sweet little apartment.

Our Tree House Home

So, you may have heard the news, but we’ve moved! We have bought our first house! It is incredibly exciting, but it was hard to leave this dear little place. Our first apartment was just so lovely. We were high up on the third floor and surrounded by a forest of protected wetlands. It was our tree house home.

I thought I’d share just a few tidbits of our little tree house life.

IMG_1209 (1) IMG_1217 (1)

[Above] A peek at our living room and a little treasure I got in Amsterdam when I was a little girl. [Below] After lugging around my laundry for four years of college, I was thrilled to have a laundry closet in our apartment. What a relief!

Our sweet bedroom had the best views, as well as my favorite reading nook.

IMG_1333 (1)IMG_1309 (1)

Goodbye, little apartment!

 

These photos are just a taste of our apartment life. More photos of the apartment can be seen here.