Friday, January 7, 2011

Our First Trip To Ikea

In light of the fact that Jon and I had the entire week off in between Christmas and New Year's day we decided to take a day trip, something I had always wanted to do. The night before our day trip I browsed over the Ikea website so I would know some of the things to look for when I got there! We really didn't have a long list of things we wanted to get, but we were looking forward to seeing the quality of the furniture we commonly see on craigslist and spending time together! The only things I decided I wanted to buy prior to the trip were this drying rack and this magnetic knife holder for our kitchen .

The closest Ikea to us was a little over a 2 hour drive so we arrived anxiously around noon and after a quick lunch at Chipotle we were ready to shop, shop, shop!

Let's just say I was Excited!

Some of the things we fell in love with included:

This white double bathroom cabinet/sinks, including the faucets and the drawer knobs!

And this large mirror! I guess I have a fetish for mirrors or maybe just large ones because I found three that I loved! This one was my favorite!
After a cinnamon roll and Mr. Pibb break we tackled the kitchen section and the rest of the store!

The cinnamon roll was delicious!

Here is one of the heart throb kitchens, I love the backsplash and hope to find some tile like that in a different color for my kitchen, someday!
Some of the things we purchased included two different types of hooks. One type was neat because when not in use they snapped up against the wall ( These other ones are simple but I thought they would be perfect to mount on the inside of my closet to hang necklaces on (! The sadness was that somehow these ones didn't make it home with us! We paid for them but couldn’t find them when we got home, guess we left them in the cart (sad face)!

We had been looking for some matching small whiskey glasses and we loved these plus they were only $4 for 6! We’ll take'em!

Amongst the many other lovely things, we didn’t buy, like bins of soft lamb’s skin, beautiful curtains, and tons of colorful pillows we found the drying rack and magnetic knife holder that I was hoping to find and tossed them into our cart! We also happened to find the perfect shade for the lonely kitchen nook that now only needs some leather chairs and a table!
After spending about 7 hours looking around we were tired and hungry! With a Christmas gift card in hand we headed over Olive Garden to enjoy a nice meal before we started our 2 hour drive home! We decided we didn’t want to take the tollway home so our trip home ended up taking about 3 hours since it was mostly obscure roads. Probably not the best idea we ever had but we made it home safely before midnight!

This is a picture of our finds, notice the lovely napkins Jon said I could buy and the wok Jon just had to have!

Here is the lovely nook shade, I can’t wait to get some chairs to go under it!

Jon and I had a lovely time and we can't wait for our next day trip together!

Monday, January 3, 2011

2010 Christie Christmas Party

As mentioned Jon and I hosted our annual friends Christmas Party this year and boy did we have a great time! We both felt rewarded by having accomplished many of the things on our “List of thing to do before the Christmas Party.”
My List:
#1. Paint and decorate the dining room. See my previous post about how that all worked out!
#2 Plan and Prepare the main meal:

Jon had mentioned he would like some kind of meat that wasn’t turkey or ham (since ya know everyone has had plenty of that between Thanksgiving and Christmas), and after some thought I decided to make a brisket. Along with the brisket I decided to have mashed potatoes, salad, bread and of course brisket gravy, yummy! Everything went according to plan except maybe I should have bought the brisket a week in advance instead of the two days before the party since when I went to the store to buy it they didn’t have the big ones but only little ones for double the price, GREAT! So, when Jon called me after getting out of work I told him the situation and he suggested that we get his sister to go with us to Sam’s Club (since we don’t have a membership) and pick one up there. Unfortunately, his sister was not home but within moments Jon’s dad drove up in his truck to save the day!! You see Jon’s dad was on his way to Sam’s Club and he had a truck which meant Jon could check “Pick up firewood from Jon’s sister’s house” off his list. Check, Check! I cooked the brisket the way my mother had always done by cooking it overnight at a low temperature, it was so delicious!
#3 Clean, Clean, Clean – a very necessary part of party preparation
#4 Prepare h’ordeuvres

I prepared a simple cheese and cracker platter along with a bowl of white chocolate covered pretzels and a bowl of Hershey’s kisses. Since I had always wanted to serve wine and cheese we bought one white and one red wine to enjoy with the h’ordeuvres.
#5 Entertainment: I was hesitant to plan games at first but I’m glad I did as all 3 were a hit!
First game was something along the lines of the newlywed game (I think) where you have one spouse write down answers to questions about themselves and then you ask these same questions to their spouse to see how well they know each other. Here are Jon and my papers typed out, the yellow highlighted answers means the opposite spouse guessed the answer that was written down. Jon and I came in 2nd place loosing 1st place by one point! There were some funny and intense moments when easy questions were missed but as far as we know no one went home crying!

Second game of the night came at the dining room table. While I was getting the food set up for buffet style serving the guest sat down and well, you can guess from the picture!

Winner took home the Kisses!
Third game involved two themes: A Christmas Story (the movie) and Christmas Carols. I found a quiz with questions about A Christmas Story movie and then another with carol lyrics with missing words! Jon was on his own playing this one since I had looked up all the answers but Jon did so well on his own I’m sure I wouldn’t have contributed much!

Each couple with the most points at the end of each game got to choose one of the lovely wines under the Christmas tree to take home! Each couple ended up taking something home, how perfect!

Jon’s List
#1 Install outlets and light switch in dining room. Done!
#2 Get the fireplace/chimney ready for a fire!

This was an idea that we were not sure would be able to come to fruition since Jon had to see what all it involved! Of course my husband is amazing so you know a fire was part of our party! First, Jon had to put a chimney cap on top, however, at the time we thought the flue liner was busted so Jon fabricated steel mesh to set over top the chimney outlet. Next, he had to open the damper (which was stuck) and clean out the chimney. This was a gross project because we had had birds (chimney swifts) in the chimney in the past.

To our surprise though, there was only one measly nest! With all the noise those birds made I thought for sure there would be a dozen or more nests up there. Jon even found a “zombie bird” as he called it. . . nasty! Last thing that needed to be tackled was filling in some of the mortar that was missing in between the fire bricks. After finding some fire approved mortar Jon quickly patched it all up! Yippy, now to steal some firewood from his sister’s house!
#3 Pickup firewood from Jon’s sister’s house. Check, two birds with one stone remember.
#4 Salt the steps and walkway – a must if you want happy, unbroken friends!
#5 Miscellaneous stuff like installing air vent covers and a bedroom door: Jon installed air vent covers so our guest would not cut their feet on our potholes and needless to say heat was distributed better throughout the house. Installing a bedroom door was something we had wanted to do but hey with just us two living in the house all we needed was a bathroom door! The door wasn’t the easiest to install since neither the door nor the old house door jamb was perfect but I was so pleased to have a warmer bedroom and some privacy.

The party was a success! Between the games and food we conversed, laughed, enjoyed the fire, and even danced to the Christmas music playing in the background! It was a blast and we hope our friends had as much fun as we did!


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