Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Bathroom Before & After.

It feels so good to say that our bathroom renovation is finally complete!  As a reminder, here are some before pictures: 

Here are some shots documenting the progress:

(My contribution to the new drywall.)

And the afters!!

I am thrilled with how it turned out.  It is much more relaxing and spa-like.  Justin worked very hard and did a great job on everything.  In addition to the obvious work, he also re-grouted and re-caulked the shower.

You can't really tell from the above pictures, but I replaced all of the knobs with antique-style glass knobs.  After a lot of looking around, I came across D. Lawless Hardware.  They had awesome prices ($1.95 each) and the shipping was free and super fast! 

Of course I need to accessorize a bit, but I couldn't wait to share the pictures!

Monday, June 28, 2010

New Orleans: Windsor Court.

As I mentioned here, we recently went to New Orleans for our anniversary and stayed at the Windsor Court.  The hotel was great -- excellent customer service and our room was very nice and comfortable.  Since Justin booked our room, I actually had no idea it was going to be so spacious!

There was a little entryway when you first walked in that opened up into the living room area.  


The bedroom was divided from the living room by french doors. 

The only negative was the small television (but it really wasn't a big deal since we don't go on vacation to watch tv!). 

There were two different vanity areas (Justin was thankful he didn't have to navigate around all my stuff).  Because I didn't take a very good picture, you can't see it, but there was a cute little vanity stool in one of the areas.  Also, you can barely see a close-up of the pretty striped wallpaper on the right side of the top picture.

We had a little kitchen area too.

And, our room had a great balcony.  I'm in the bedroom portion of our room watching Justin take pictures off the balcony.

It was too hot to spend a lot of time out on the balcony, but we had some great views.  The hotel pool and fountain:

Views during the day:


Views during night:

And some random things that I enjoyed at the hotel:   

They put tasty chocolates in our room with a sweet happy anniversary card.

The elevators had gorgeous chandeliers in them!

The pretty hallway on the way to our room.

And, maybe my favorite thing -- our room had a doorbell!  I would ring it every time we went in or out because it was so cute (and I am immature!). 

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Bookshelf Love.

I want this exact bookshelf in my house.  It is just perfect!

How great is that fabric in the back?  So fun!  It makes me want to do that in the bookshelves in our living room to liven them up a bit.  I also love the way the shelves have been styled. 

I've been searching for a pierced white ginger jar, so of course I'm loving the one up there on the top shelf.  Also, I spy a Domino magazine or two.  (I still miss that magazine.)  And is that a bit of imperial trellis fabric in the basket?  Love it!    

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Anniversary Trip to New Orleans.

Last Saturday was our 6 year anniversary.  And to celebrate, we headed to New Orleans!

Right after we got there, we went down to the French Quarter to grab a muffaletta to share from Central Market.  It was massive and super delicious.  (As you will see in this post, our trip pretty much revolved around food.) 

This was our view as we enjoyed the muffaletta and Barq's root beer out of a bottle. 

We then walked over to Jackson Square.

We took this exact same picture over 10 years ago. 

We did some more walking around and then got ready for dinner at Stella

It was one of the best meals I have ever had.  Is it bad that the idea has crossed my mind to fly to NO just for the evening to eat there?  If you are in New Orleans, I cannot recommend this place enough.  The ambiance was great, the service was perfect, and the dinner was unbelievable.  Go to their website to check out the menu (and be prepared to drool).  I am still thinking about how phenomenal my entire meal was (lobster and mushroom gnocchi, miso and sake glazed sea bass, and bananas foster french toast for dessert).  Justin was equally happy with his crab risotto and duck cooked 5 different ways.  Stella also renewed my love for St. Germain.  We left very happy campers.

Then we kept things classy and went to Harrah's and played some black jack.  :)

The next day we took a streetcar down through the Garden District.  Here are some of the sights along the way:


There were beads in almost every tree! 

We hopped off the streetcar and walked over to Magazine Street, which has some good shopping.  Unfortunately, most of the shops were in groups along a long stretch and without a car, we just randomly picked one group of shops to visit.  On the way back, we noticed a lot of cool places, but we'll just have to go back and check them out next time!

After shopping, we took it easy (Justin watched the World Cup and I napped) and then got ready for dinner at Commander's Palace.

We were very disappointed with our dinner there.  I won't go into all of the details, but the timing of things was off and overall things just weren't impressive (for example, one waiter told us there was no sommelier, another told us there was).  And maybe the thing that bothered me the most -- they put balloons in the dining room for birthdays (as you can see below)!  I would expect that at Chuck E. Cheese, but not at Commander's Palace.  The food was good, but we won't be going back.    

Our last day there, we headed over to Cafe du Monde for beignets and cafe au laits in the morning.  No trip to New Orleans would be complete without these tasty treats!  

For lunch, we went to Mother's.  This place is traditional New Orleans' home cooking -- and it is good! 

We couldn't decide what we wanted, so we got a little bit of everything.  We knew we had to get po-boys because, like beignets, no visit is complete without them.  We also got (from left to right) jambalaya, red beans and rice, and gumbo.  Everything was so good, but the jambalaya and the gumbo were amazing. 

We walked around downtown a bit after our enormous lunch.

After walking around a bit, we headed to the airport.  Sadly, our anniversary trip (and gorge-fest) had to end at some point.  We had a great time.  And of course, it was awesome just spending 3 full days of not working one minute with Justin.  (I'll do a separate post with a recap of our hotel, the Windsor Court.) 

And this post would not be complete without me mentioning that I am so blessed to have such a wonderful husband.  He is truly an amazing guy and I can't imagine my life without him.  I never thought that at age 15 I would start dating the man I was going to marry!  The last 6 years have been the best, and I can't wait for ten times that many more years together.