Thursday, February 25, 2010

Drop your drawers here...

Josh and I moved a few months ago into a new place.

Our new house has some amazing features in it. It's the perfect blend of us...a little country with white rock and wood floors, a little girly with a couple of chandeliers in the kitchen and bathroom, and a lot manly with big flagstone floors and exposed beam ceilings. We moved in at the end of October, during the beginning of hunting season (i.e. when the world stops turning and life revolves around a 5am wake up call and lots and lots of freezing mornings). So, from October until February (the end of hunting season and the return to civilization occurs) very little progress has been made. However, the time has come and I am eager to finally get things more settled.

The first major remake to the house to make it more 'ours' and less 'just a house' is the laundry room. It's an odd place to start, but also a very critical area. We bought the house from a great interior designer. She used the laundry room as her workspace. It is a BIG room. She had open exposed cabinets without cabinet doors in the room that allowed her to store and access her swatch books, samples, etc. For me, this does not work. I do NOT want to see my crap...I mean crafts. I want things hidden away and for you to only see the perfectly staged things that are cute and fun to look at. The room is currently a bright lime green (I know...while lime green is fun, it just isn't me or the color that I want to use to create a calm working space). The concrete floors are painted with an oversize black and white checkerboard pattern. There is the cute "drop your drawers here" decal on one of the walls in the room. Right now the room is fun and playful and MESSY. You need to see it to really grasp what I am describing.

This is the part where it pains me to post a picture of the room right now. It truly is a visual mess because you can see everything. But alright, here it is...don't judge.

Ok, I feel like I just took a math test or something. As you can see, there was NO staging in these photos. Now that that is over with, we can proceed.

This room will need to function in a number of ways...1. to handle our huge amounts of laundry 2. to store necessary supplies such as vacuums, brooms, mops, etc. 3. to be an office/craft room and my gift wrap central. Since I am mildly obsessed with gift wrapping, this is finally my time to create the space that I have always dreamed about.

Here are the inspiration rooms that I will be using to transform the space...

Stay tuned to see how this transformation progresses. We are just in the beginning and obviously have a long way to go, but it is exciting to be able to visualize a space evolving and changing. What remake did you do to make a new place your own?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Weekday Wine...

Josh and I drink a lot of, a lot. Don't worry, an intervention isn't needed, but a glass of wine on Mondays when the world seems against us seems to make the day a little easier to handle...that applies to Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, well, you get the point. We have a few 'go to' favorites that we recommend to friends quite often. Now, we are dry, red drinkers so if this matches your taste, pick up one of these bottles and let me know what you think.

To put Monday's Madness behind you, try...
337 Cabernet Sauvignon
This is one of my favorite weeknight wines...and why we start on Monday's with this guy. Now, I am not a 'fancypants' wine drinker that can tell you about how the wine ends, where it highlights, and what notes you can find in it. I can tell you if it is good to sit and drink on the porch and discuss the day...and this one is very good. It has strong cherry flavors when you first pour it and as it sits it really mellows. It's a great 'balanced' my opinion, that means it is good from the moment it hits your lips until it begins to deaden the day. For $11-13 a bottle this is one of my favorites and is on the top shelf of our wine chiller right next to a few of these other selections.

For Tuesday's tension...
Try the Terrazas de los Andes Malbec

This wine is from Argentina. It can be found from $9.00-$12.00 a bottle. You can taste the dark red fruits in it and it has a bit of a bite at the end of it. This is a great wine with cheese, crackers, and even the occasional girl scout cookie. I can enjoy this wine while doing a bit of laundry, stirring whatever found it's way onto the stove, or while cuddled up in front of the fire with my hubby and dogs. I definitely recommend. If you haven't tried a Malbec before, give this one a shot.

After Wednesday's work has ended, try...
Avalon's Napa Valley Cabernet

According to the winemaker, "It is a blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petite Syrah. It exhibits aromas of raspberry, blackberry, mint and black cherries. Vanilla and short bread cookie notes from oak aging bring balance and frame the ripe berry flavors. Napa Valley characteristics show through with strawberries, red raspberries and a faint root beer note with quintessential Oakville dark cherries. The tannins are fine and chalky."

All I read i
n that is 'short bread cookie' (see where my mind goes!?!), what I can say about the wine is that it is also a great balanced wine. It's not overly rich in flavor or spice...just a smooth, mild red.

To get Thursday rockin' (since the weekend is almost here), try...
Medalla Real's Cabernet Sauvignon by Santa Rita

This is a great wine from Chile. You'll feel like you a drinking a rich, lavish wine but with only a $15-$17 price tag. The first impression of this wine is excellent...very savory, filling your mouth and causing you to want another sip. It is a very 'structured' wine (if that makes any sense). Decanted the wine grows and pairs really well with dinner.

Friday's finally here...and it is time to celebrate! For something new, and a bit more pricey, one of our favorite wines right now is Paraduxx. It is $45-$48 a bottle, that is why I would wait for a birthday, an anniversary, a celebration of any sort... or just a reward for making it through a really rough week. There are a lot of different vintages you can purchase, but we have only tried and loved the 2005 and 2006 years.

The 2006 Paraduxx is a blend of 64% Zinfandel, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc. You can taste the strawberries and raspberry in the wine. It is a robust wine but not overpowering at all. It is expensive, but SO drinkable! You'll love it and will continue to stock it for those special occasions.

I hope you try and enjoy a few of these selections. I'm always on the lookout for new wines to try. What are your 'go to' wines after a hard day?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

What have I gotten myself into?

Hi, I am Natalie! I’m a 30 year old, petite, southern girl that is taking a leap of faith by exposing some of the secrets to my crazy little life. I’ve decided to try this mainly so that these ongoing unwritten blog posts that I draft in my head daily (as I drive, brush my teeth, pretend to work, etc.) will finally have a place to end up…rather than dying somewhere inside my mind out of the fear of actually trying to sit down (and find the time) and write my thoughts, ideas, and daily adventures out.

I’m married to Josh, a rugged, rough around the edges, hard working man. We live outside of town, on 7 acres, and dream of living even farther away from civilization most days. We have 2 girls…a loyal and devoted Black Lab and an out of control, hilarious Blue Lacy (no one knows what a Blue Lacy is…so I’ll explain that later). We drink a lot of wine, watch a lot of sunsets, and spend a lot of time in nature hunting or fishing. Monday thru Friday I wear tall high heels and lots and lots of black. Each weekend I trade it all in for cowboy or hunting boots, throw my hair in a pony tail and head out with my man, off into the sunset on some wild adventure. Josh and I go way too much…and love our crazy, out of control life.

I’ve been blessed beyond belief…and try not to take it all for granted. It’s the grace of God that has put me here in this place, at this time, in this moment. Without Him , I am nothing.

I’m mildly obsessed with the blogging world, house magazines, good wine, Ugg slippers, lots and lots of ribbons and wrapping paper, my dogs, and anything and everything that is needed to make a house into a home.

So, cheers…to a new adventure…the start of something fun and slightly nuts!

What have I gotten myself into!?!