Friday, April 30, 2010

Kitchen a la Julia

One famous person I wish I could have spent the day with is Julia Child.  After seeing Julia & Julia (many times), purchasing and using her cookbook, and reading her autobiography about her time in France, I just wish I could spend a day in the kitchen with her.

On our recent anniversary getaway, we spent one afternoon in the Nation's capital checking out some of our favorite free museums at The Smithsonian.  The Museum of American History has just been renovated recently, so we decided to check it out, knowing the Julia Child exhibit was also there.  It was so fun! Even Rob enjoyed it.  What a great exhibit - check it out if you're ever in D.C. Here are some pictures!

I love how carefully planned out her kitchen was, and how Julia made the most out of her limited space. Such a homey kitchen!

Friday, April 23, 2010

1st Anniversary Getaway

Time sure flies when you are having fun! It's crazy to think that a year ago, we were returning from our honeymoon in St. Augustine, FL and settling into our first week of life as newlyweds.  Now, a year later, we have moved out of our apartment into the home we purchased in November 2009 - and are happily working away on projects and building our life together!

For nostalgia's sake...

So this past weekend, we celebrated our first anniversary in Alexandria, VA - a city that we know and love - for its historical feel and main street with shopping/antiques and good restaurants. We found a great deal on a four-star hotel on (shout-out to William Shatner!), that was in walking distance of King Street.

One of the highlights of our quick getaway was getting gussied up and going out for a really nice dinner - something we don't do very often, but were able to swing thanks to a generous gift from my grandparents.
VERMILION, owned and operated by Dave Hammond and Executive Chef Anthony Chittum, was an excellent blend of innovation, fresh and seasonal foods that come from local farmers, and deliciousness.  We sat at a cozy table for two right in front of the middle window on the second floor of the restaurant - dimly lit with brick exposed walls, and had a great view overlooking King Street at night.  Rob and I shared Steak Tartare and a Pork Belly Salad for starters, Rob ordered for his entree the grilled berkshire pork loin cajun boudin croquette, spiced rapini & green garlic pomme purée and I ordered the pineland farms beef striploin with “smothered” brussels sprouts, fingerling potato confit & black truffle. The hint of truffle perfectly complemented one of the most tender pieces of beef I have ever eaten.  For dessert, we had a really hard time choosing between the ricotta pound cake with mascarpone and citrus three ways and the chocolate bar (layered dark chocolate cake) with almond brittle, fleur de sel & evoo ice cream. Yeah, vanilla ice cream drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and sea salt. We chose the ricotta pound cake, and were pleasantly surprised when our waiter also brought out the chocolate bar - on the house for our anniversary!  If you're ever in Alexandria, make reservations for Vermilion. SO GOOD!

On Sunday we went to the Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. because we're just cool like that. But that's for another post on another day...


Now that the weather has warmed up a bit, I have been experimenting with our new Christmas-present camera outside, capturing nature shots.
Check out this new area of the blog (by clicking the link above or simply clicking on the "photography" tab under our header) where we'll post some of our experimentations!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Short List

We've been doing a lot lately, and have many things to post!  Here's the short list, with more details to come.

1. Front door got painted - a major transformation!
2. Kitchen rehab step one - mission accomplished!
3. The flower beds had a million years of leaves cleaned out.  In the front at least.
4. We mowed our grass for the first time on Monday evening!
5. We bought a 70's style bookcase with great detailing that needs a little TLC and will be a fab up-cycle.
6. WE CAUGHT UP ON THE LAUNDRY (towels and sheets included)!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Inspirational Images: {Mostly} White Kitchens

A post full of images, and why we love them (a new weekly or bi-weekly series we're starting here at The NOC).  These images have helped us conceptualize the look we are going for in our own kitchen.

We are all about the crispness of white, and so have decided that nothing looks better than white, bright cabinets. But we love how the wood in this kitchen makes it look a bit more traditional and a bit less modern.  The contrast of the wood and the white is something we're hoping to achieve as well.

Back in my college days, one of the families I babysat for had a white porcelain farmhouse sink. It was the first time I ever saw one, and I loved washing dishes there because of the depth of the sink and the ease of doing things with large, normally-awkward dishes (i.e. scrubbing the pots and pans!). 

We love the stainless steel appliances and subway tile in this kitchen, and the contrast of the wood floors with the white kitchen and backsplash and black shaker-style furniture.  

Check out the window treatment above the kitchen sink.  We have a large window above our sink, and have been debating ever since we moved in about whether or not to add a window treatment or to leave the window nice and open.  This roman, bamboo shade is something we will definitely have to consider. 

We love how the designers in this kitchen painted the insides of the cabinet to bring some more interest and an accent color into the space! An easy way to make yourself smile as you're unloading the dishwasher, and a project that wouldn't take too much time or cost much at all.  We also like the look of the dark hardware - another nice contrasting accent.

And while we wouldn't consider our design style French-country, we love the blue hue that was included in this kitchen space!

Thanks for the inspiration, House Beautiful!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Project Fever

Over the super cold and snowy winter months, we took a hiatus from project-ing.  Large project-ing, that is.  But now that the weather has turned warmer and we can open the windows to air things out, our renovations are back in full swing... and things that we have been wanted to start doing for months can finally get started!

And our house is a mess.  But it will be worth it eventually.  Probably a long eventually, but eventually nonetheless.

Today, the archway between our living room and kitchen looks something like this...

Can't wait to see what's happening behind the curtain (seems a little bit Wizard-of-Ozish)...?

Check back soon to see what we've been up to.  And why we find dust smudges on our clothes when we get to work.

you might also enjoy...