Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Cozy Nights In and Fun Nights Out

Yesterday, Kyle had a "snow day" here in Charleston. Never thought that would happen down here! And it's kind of funny that it did because it just was a rainy day. Apparently there was a "chance" of freezing rain yesterday so schools were just closed. Coming from the northeast, this seemed a little silly but we were both happy since I was post-call yesterday too. A nice little mid-week surprise for the both of us!

Although I slept most of the day, when I woke up it was still a very dark and gloomy day and felt like one of the most winter-y days we've had down where. We opted for staying in and getting cozy rather than going out to dinner. I made this quick and easy Winter Minestrone recipe by Giada (love her!) and it was the perfect hearty and warm meal for the day we were having. The best part about this soup was that it can be ready in about 40 minutes. I also added extra kidney beans and skipped out on the pancetta. I served this with some fresh Parmesan cheese and a warm baguette. We enjoyed our soup while watching The Croods - which was such a good movie! I highly recommend if the Redbox is out of almost all movies and you are looking for something on Netflix. It also was nominated for best animated picture, so technically counted on a Oscar nominated movie list! Seriously the sloth "belt" was my favorite!

On another note, Kyle and I have decided to plan more dates together over the next few months. Sometimes our "date nights" consist of us vegging on the couch and watching movies, and while this is something we love to do, we feel like we need some more quality time out. The past week, we went to breakfast one day after a night shift. Even though it was just breakfast, going out together during the week over a hot warm breakfast felt like a special little treat. We were able to have some good conversation, sip on warm drinks and just enjoy a small little date. Breakfast is also a lot cheaper than dinner, so breakfast days feel more doable more often.

Although dining out is the easiest way to have a great night together and gives us great conversation over great food, and important part of keeping things fresh is trying new things and having experiences together. So we've been trying to find some more fun activities around Chucktown. We both are very active and so are planning on doing the big Bridge Run this year. Doing races together is so much fun! I've had so many post before about some of the races we do, and plan to have many more. Tackling a race together helps motivate each other in our training and it's awesome to see each other doing something that makes us feel so good. Plus, brunching out after the big race is always such a treat!

Another date we have planned  is a BYOB Painting Night. We've done one in the past and loved it! I was unsure of how Kyle would take it, but he really got into the painting and had such a fun time. Plus we need some new art to hang in our home and we are going to do a historic Charleston painting. 

On my list of date night's is taking a cooking class or cooking demonstration together. Charleston actually has a lot of these nights and some are specifically geared towards couples. We don't have anything set up as of right now, but are planning on doing this sometime this spring.

Any other ideas for a great date night? What are some of your most memorable dates? There really are so many options and fun things to do out there, you just have to spend a little time searching for it!


Friday, February 20, 2015

Night Float and the Oscars

Jumping on the bandwagon, I  love the Oscars! It's such a fun night watching Hollywood get dressed up and seeing the best pictures and actors of the year. Kyle and I are such big movie fans and we usually see at least half of the nominated movies by the time the Oscars are on. This year however, I can say we literally have seen zero of the movies- I guess we haven't been out much! Top of my list currently is Boyhood, The Theory of Everything, and the Grand Budapest Hotel - although I do want to see them all.

Last year we went to a friend's house for an Oscar party. We all brought different dishes and we filled out ballots for our votes on who we thought would win. It was such a fun gathering and unlike the Superbowl, the Oscar's are something that you don't really have to pay attention to to see what's going on.

I'm currently working overnights, but hopefully we won't be too busy Sunday night and I can catch some of the awards. I definitely am starting our Oscar list, which we usually do every year. We try to watch all of the nominated movies at some point, and keep a list going so that when we do go out and rent a movie we are reminded to pick one from our need to be scene list. I also think it's fun to make a delicious dinner that has somewhat to do with the movie we are going to watch. I found this great list from Food 52 that has some ideas on things to make:  Oscar Movie and Food Pairings.

And speaking of great pairings, what goes better with movies than fresh popcorn? Kyle and I LOVE home made popcorn. We have our own popper and probably make fresh popcorn 3-4x a week. If you are still using microwave popcorn, I highly recommend switching to a more natural way. Microwave popcorn is filled with unhealthy fats and chemicals, and trust me with fresh popped kernels, you will not miss it. It's a healthy snack and since we get to decide the toppings, we can make is as dessert like or truly health as we like it. My favorite is a simple, fresh rosemary, pepper and truffle oil blend. We also just make sea salt and pepper a lot. Here are a few other ideas for awesome popcorn to go with your movies. Get creative!

XoXo What's your favorite movie from the list??

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Georgia Peach!

I have a long weekend coming up in a few weeks, which is super rare and needs to be cherished this year! Kyle and I have decided to get away for that weekend and so we are going to Savannah!

It's only a two hour ride from Charleston, and I'm really excited to be able to explore more of the South without having to get on a plane. I've heard that it is super charming, full of history and great food- similar to Charleston. We've booked a bed and breakfast and are looking into some other fun things to go while we are there.

I've heard from multiple people that doing a Slow Ride bike tour is super fun and a great way to see the sites of Savannah. We are debating now doing a night time "haunted" ride or a simple bar crawl. Fun fact I've learned: Savannah has no open container laws, so basically we can carry our drinks with us while walking around, just because.

We've also been looking to different restaurants to try. We've gotten suggestions for Paula Dean's restaurants, but to be honest after looking at the menu, it's the classic friend Southern food and that's not really what we are after. I've heard of lots of other suggestions that we are going to look into.

I'm just so happy to have a little getaway weekend to look forward to right now.  I'm on a long stretch of work without some weekends off so finding some quality time together can be tough. Any and all suggestions are welcomed for those of you that have been before!!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Master Bedroom Makeover

"What I love most about my home, is who I share it with."

We've finally painted our bedroom in our new house! This was a project I had on my to do list from day one. The original color of the room was a deep red on top and a light pink under the crown molding border. It made the room feel small and dark, and it definitely is the opposite of that! I've also always dreamed of a light, airy and somewhat beachy bedroom- but nothing too over the top beachy. It took us forever to find the time to do this, I think because our room is so big and there is so much wall space it felt like a GIANT project to tackle. I also couldn't make up my mind on colors!

Here are some of my inspiration pictures of the looks I love that I am trying to create:

I want it to feel calming, relaxing, and airy; not too masculine or feminine, so it is a space we can both love. I hate when spaces are a little too girly or feminine because the girlfriend or wife took reins.

I was leaning more towards a grey color at first, but since we painted out guest room grey, I pulled colors from our duvet color and sheets that I LOVE. I ended up deciding on two colors, but they are so subtle and complement each other that it flows really nicely. I decided on a light blue and light green, I think the names had to do with water and moss. 

The biggest issue we faced was painting behind our sink unit. We had to turn off the water valve (which took Kyle about an hour to find) and then take apart the sink and cabinet. It was a huge pain, but totally worth the extra time to make sure we did a really nice job with the paint and got to all the walls. We had to re-putty the master sink, but it came out awesome. I feel like we actually re-did two rooms since the bathroom area looks so different!

The ugly red behind the sink unit!

It took us an entire day, from prepping the room (which is so important!), to doing the trim and finally rolling the paint on. It came out so awesome though, and I love that we did it together to create the space WE love. I still have decorating to do and am slowly picking out pieces that are really fun and cool. I found a great mirror for above our dresser already and we were able to mount a small TV to the wall - which we've decided will be for watching movies in bed only, since I'm not a big fan of having a TV in the bedroom.

A cute find that reflex how we want the room to feel!

The next pieces I am looking for are a headboard or bed and some artwork that isn't photographs. Also looking for pillows for the window seat and curtains. I'm currently searching Etsy and furniture sites for some great finds! It's been a slow process, but I really love to take the time to create a space that we feel lucky to come home to. Can't wait to show the final pictures!

xoxo Until next time!