Love and Food in the Big D

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Office/Den Update Pictures

So recently I posted a picture on Facebook of our new kitchen chalkboard wall and I couldn't believe the positive response. ;)  It reminded me that not many of my friends have seen our office/den since we finished the framed chalkboard wall we did IN THERE back in October.  For SHAME!  Looking back on my October blog post about it, I saw that the office area was definitely a work in last night I grabbed my camera for a few updated snaps of that room as it stands today.  (hence the night-time photos with obvious flash use)  It lets everyone see how the house has evolved since October...well at least how THIS ROOM has evolved since October... ;) Enjoy!

I'm really quite proud of this particular piece of art above the sofa. It cost almost NADA. :) Thanks to my wonderful employers (AGUIRRE RODEN).. I scored (and SAVED from the trash bin)...the 12"x12" foam core boards used for the pictures. They were hours away from being trashed..and even though at the time I had no idea what I was going to do with them, I gathered the nearly 40 perfectly cut boards, and started to plan my project. I then photoshoped some of our honeymoon pictures with borders and such (The KELLEY lettered pictures on the top took a bit more photoshop tweaking than the bottom) and printed them out on 11x17 good quality paper. For that glossy look that most pictures have but even good quality paper doesn't give you... I laminated them. Instant ART! :)

Another way we personalized our wedding. 
I had this 2'x2' foam core picture set out for our guests to sign.  It didn't get around to everyone who celebrated with us but between this and the Shutterfly Guest Photo Book I made for people to sign in...we were overwhelmed with lots of love from everyone at our wedding!  :)

Our "work" desk which houses my amazing MAC computer that Chad got me for my birthday this year.  :) 

Bottom Left Corner:  Yet another 2'x2' picture of us taken the day we got engaged which we also set out on an easel at our wedding...this time near the cake!  Mmmmmmm....  :) 

Top Left Corner:  Remnant from the apartment I shared with Lola Cat in Barcelona, circa 2001.  :)  I still remember the day we bought this beehive lampshade (that always makes me smile) in a little hardware shop down the street from where we lived.  It hung over our teeny, tiny, fold-down-from-the-wall, dining table for the entire semester.  Soon after, it hung over the dining table in our apartment in College Station and finally came to live with me.. permanently.  :)  No worries Lorraine, it's in good hands.  ;) 

Middle:  Another work find/save.  About a year and a half ago, Aguirre Roden moved office locations.  In the hustle and bustle of trying to clean out the old stuff to make our transition easier, I came across this blown-up water color print someone had done of a project waaaaayyyy before my time.  I didn't think it was trash so I asked if I could have it.  :)  That simple.  It now has a new home ;)

For one of our first holidays as husband and wife (I'm not sure if it was Valentine's or Christmas..) I got Chad this print from an Etsy shop that was giving away a free print of your choice.  One of the verses offered in this free deal just so happened to be one of the readings from our wedding, all I had to tell her was our NAMES!  How cool is that?!  :) The frame is from IKEA (which I already had just waiting for something fabulous to be put inside it!)

Here's a shot of our first chalkboard wall.  :)  We were both so proud that the frame was actually centered and level! We use this as an inspiration wall, jotting down words and phrases to inspire our own restaurant concept one day.  It's ever-changing and always evolving so some words mean something now..some were just fleeting thoughts...some, just plain silliness.  :)

I couldn't decide which picture of our IKEA console I liked better, so I thought it best not to choose and go with them BOTH!  I still want to actually put UP those pictures...maybe on a ledge perhaps, but since I will most certainly need two sets of hands to do it, I'll have to wait for a Sunday when Chad doesn't mind working on the house to help me.  ;)  Until then, they are fine where they are.  (Don't you just love the candy cane colored striped candles that have been left on there since CHRISTMAS?!) Don't judge, just pretend they are solid red or something.. ;)  Oh and the HU-MON-GOUS pine cone isn't holiday related either by the way... it's a year round accessory that I brought back (read: somewhat illegal contraband ;) from Yosemite.  ;)

The newest additions to the Kelley house.  :)  A super fabulous, I've-been-looking-for-you-everywhere, where-have-you-been-hiding, Fork and Spoon find from Garden Ridge for a whoppin' $12 bucks!!  I'm a HUUUGEE SUCKER for a great deal so you should've seen the look on my face when we stumbled upon these about stupid silly!  :)  They're oversized, wooden, stained in a dark chocolate/espresso finish and unfortunately don't photograph as fabulous as they really are in person...but you get the idea.  We were even lucky enough to find another pair that we are keeping for future use in our future house.  (No plans to move yet, just thinking ahead ;) 

Awww... and this little flying piggy friend that I stumbled upon at Ross.  I couldn't NOT bring him home with me, he was just too darn CUTE!  Oh and he's a bona-fide piggy bank too!  Cute and functional?...SOLD!  :)  He weighs about a ton too, well not literally, but this chunk of solid iron would do some serious damage if it fell on a toe or something.  OUCH! 

Oh and that super adorable, don't-you-just-want-to-squeeze-those-fatty-cheeks, baby on the far left.. is... ME!  :)  I know, I was super cute, wasn't I?!  No idea what the hell happened after that... ;) 

The facebook photo I posted which inspired this blog post.  :) 

We had originally intended to hang the fork and spoon in the area where the menu is written, but when I realized we still had chalkboard paint left over and we could get a space for writing menu items and such, I took matters into my own hands and painted the wall while I waited for Chad to get home from work.  Luckily he liked my idea better and loved that the wall finally had a purpose.  :)  I also like that the black paint creates a nice transition from the kitchen cabinets to the living area. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Barcelona & Paris, Anyone??? Why YES!! Two Please! :)

So...It's OFFICIAL!! 

Chad and I have officially BOOKED our European getaway for this Fall and I couldn't be more FREAKIN' EXCITED!!  I know you're jealous, I can tell.  ;)  It's been ten years, (holy geez'us, I'm OLD) since my last rendevous with the European folks over there (Texas A&M Study Abroad 2000-'01, WHOOP!) ... so I thought it was about (DAMN) time I make my way over there again... This time with Chad in tow.  You know, just to check out how the country has been gettin' along without me.  ;) 

Itinerary so far: 
DFW to Barcelona - leaving Saturday, Sept. 24th, arriving Sunday the 25th. 
Meeting up with PART of the original Barcelona crew (Lola, wish you could be joining us friend...but no worries, we'll have a sangria or two in your honor ;)  to reminisce about olden times and see how much we can remember of our past home.  It's been so long but it still feels like MY city... I'll be curious to see how much of it I REALLY and truely remember.  (Eeeeeeekkkk... kinda nervous... NO PRESSURE!)  After a few days of debauchery... (As much debauchery as eight, 30 yr olds can get into while in a foreign country, feeling the early onset of old age.  ;) we plan on trekking our way to Paris.  The HOW and exactly WHEN we leave and get there is still kinda fuzzy (for now) but we still have a good six months to figure it all out.  Let the RESEARCHING begin!!

Unedited Photos taken out of the spires of the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, 2001

Communications Tower - Barcelona, 2001

View out the apartment I shared with Lola Cat :)
97-99 Carrer de Marti, Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona to Paris (pronounced PEAR-EEEE ;)  - Sept. 28th, arriving Friday the 30th.   
Again, how we get there is still up in the air.. we are thinking about "training it" (it's a technical term of course) just to see the country side and such ...but we still aren't sure where we'll stop on the way.  All we know is that we NEED to get to Paris by the ifs, ands or buts about it!  We HAD a fleeting thought of actually renting a car and just making an adventure out of it... but that idea was quickly SQUASHED when we did a little research on multi-country rental car prices.  HOLY CRAP!!  Over a thousand.. yes, you read that right...ONE THOUSAND dollars for like, A DAY?!  Seriously?!  Seems like those Europeans don't really like us US folks running around their countries all willy nilly and such... so I guess I can understand...just wish they could give these adventure seekers a bit of a break!  Lol.  Oh well.. we'll figure it out soon enough.  :)

I can't claim this picture.. but we DO have a similar HUGE canvas Eiffel Tower up at our house now...
Inspiration for this trip perhaps??  hmmmm... ;)

Again... until we see the REAL thing.. internet photos will have to do. 

Paris to DFW - Oct. 3rd :( :( :( :(  (Adventure over... wa wa waaaaaaaaaa.....) 

Stay tuned for the running list of places we absolutely NEED to visit while on our little Spanish/Parisian getaway.  We'll be taking suggestions from now til then if anyone would like to chime in.  Here's your sign.  :)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Savor Dallas 2011

There's a huge part of me that feels guilty for not having taken very many pictures of Savor Dallas this year (a grand total of ONE picture with my iPhone).  Being named the (amateur) photographer in the family..with Chad taking his own pictures when given the chance, I'm usually set and determined to capture the events in our life.  This evening was complete and utter chaos though and I was lucky to get a chance to even catch my breath!  In the years since I'd helped Chad at this event, I..slash that... WE had never seen soooooooo many people attend. 

60-plus of North Texas’ leading chefs, along with tastings of more than 400 of the world’s best wines, beers and spirits were present for the nearly 3,500 attendees this year at the 7th annual Savor Dallas.  Held at the Sheraton Hotel downtown, Savor Dallas included chef dinners and seminars, ending the two day wine and food fest with what they called an International Grand Tasting. 

Chad, The Moth Sous Chef - Suki, her friend Sylvana and I arrived at the Sheraton at a little past 5pm to begin our table set up.  Sandwiched between Great Brewers, we beautified our table and assessed the other restaurants setting up before bracing for impact.  In one full swoop, the crowd came....and never, ever, EVER stopped!  Little did we know or realize that nearly two a half hours later, we'd be out of food! 

Over 2,000 pieces of Pork Rillette on Johnny Cakes, garnished with pickled carrots and cilantro were passed... and by the time everything was said and done, my feet were a HOT MESS! 

It was a great evening though...can't wait for next year!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Fox - Good Day; Five Spiced Pork Belly

For those in the Dallas area and who happened to have been on Spring Break last week, you might've had the chance to see the hubs making another Fox-Good Day appearance.  Already a seasoned pro at these things (this is his fourth TV cooking demo I believe), Chad rocked it.  :)  Calm voice, fluid conversation, informative, you name it, he knew it.  Fortunately for me, (being at work at 8:45 when he came on Tuesday morning), I was able to see the live version online...and guess what??!!  YOU CAN TOO! Well not so "Live" anymore..but you get the idea. Enjoy!


Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Best of Big D - Best Chef in Dallas Nomination :)

For the next two weeks (now til March 13th really) the voting public will have the chance to vote for the Best of Big D.. Best desserts, Best Patio, Best Margarita, Best Ice Cream Shop, etc....This year, for the very first time, Chef Chad Kelley, my super talented, amazingly creative, and ever FABULOUS husband is in the running for the BEST CHEF in DALLAS!  What an incredible honor  :) He's up against some pretty stiff competition (Nick Badovinus of Neighborhood Services, Scott Romano of Charlie Palmer, yada, yada yada) so I'm proud of my husband for being up against some of the best of the best.. cause even if he doesn't win, they thought he was worthy enough to be a part of the competition. :)

Here's your chance to help Chad secure a win.  Even if you're not from Dallas, please vote.  It's easy and it only takes a few minutes to complete the survey (you can just scroll through the items you don't know if you're not actually FROM Dallas but be on the look out for:

Best Patio - Meddlesome Moth (page 1, Line #4)
Best Chef in Dallas - Chef Chad Kelley, Meddlesome Moth (page 3, Line #14)
Best Dessert- Homemade Chess Pie, Meddlesome Moth (Line #31) 

Vote HERE,  Best of Big D, 2011 up to once an HOUR until March 13th!

Thanks again for your continued love and support...and GO CHAD!!

Here's what the survey will look like when you follow the link!