Sunday, February 28, 2010

Gator, and Buffalo, and Polar Bears, OH MY!

Yesterday was filled with exotic animals and good times.  It all started weeks ago when Nate and his co-workers decided to do the 2010 Polar Plunge, to benefit Special Olympics, in VA Beach.  Unfortunately, on the day of the plunge, Fredericksburg and Richmond were buried under many inches of snow, and the event went on without them.  The upside is that their team raised quite a bit of money for the charity, and they decided to participate in a similar event a few weeks later (yesterday) at Tim's River Shore on the Potomac River.

So that brings us to this weekend.  On the way up to the shore for the event, Dave and I stopped for lunch at the Bass Pro Shop's restaurant, The Islamorada Fish Market, named after the village of islands off the Florida Keys where it was founded.  I know a restaurant inside a sporting goods store doesn't sound glamorous, but Dave heard that they served alligator as an appetizer, and we thought we had to go to the beach for that - so, I was up for checking it out.

I've never been inside the store before, so until the restaurant opened for lunch, we walked around a little.  Wow, searching for the appropriate words.  This place is like those stores you find at the beach that have anything and everything you could ever imagine needing while you're at the beach.  And then some.  If anyone's looking for the perfect birthday or Christmas gift for me, here it is:


How awesome is this?  They also have dogs and Jaws and frogs.

They also have children's camouflage bedding, in case you're in the market for it:

...and every other country outdoor accessory you could ever imagine.  I think I might go back, just to see what all it has to offer, as I only visited one corner of the store:

Then, we go into the restaurant and I'm blown away that they've been hiding this place inside a sporting goods store all this's like they were keeping a gigantic secret.  It was much nicer than many of the restaurants we usually go to.  Perhaps that says something for our taste in restaurants?  No, it's really that nice.

We ordered alligator and it came out lookin' all fancy like it was prepared by one of the contestants of Top Chef:

We also ordered buffalo burgers, which we first tried in Alaska, and they were good, too.

Then, it was time to make our way up 95 and through some winding roads to get to the river shore.  When I got there it felt like home, like all those dives we used to go to on the weekends when I was in my late teens, early twenties, hanging out with White Oak folks.  It is simple and awesome, with faux palm trees and piers all over the place.  I can imagine this place in the summertime, with a ton os boats anchored not far off shore and customers wading into the restaurant, holding 6-packs of beer over their heads. 

Here's Nate's team, the Physical Therapy Plungers, entering the water for their plunge - yes, they carried plungers with them into the water!  They had to wade/walk/run out about 50 feet, plunge (optional) into the water, and then walk/run back:

He was given strict instructions not to fully immerse himself in the water, so he wouldn't go into shock, but as he was walking back to the shore, he paused, daintily sat down in the water briefly, and then got up to continue his trek to dry land.  Awesome.

I still think he's crazy, but it looked like fun :)

Friday, February 26, 2010

Billpaying desk...

At the Capitol today, in the "Capitol Disaster" room, there were desks with lids that can be opened for storage - like the ones we used to have in school, only the 18th century version.  They are awesome!  They were lined up in rows, and I could imagine all the great minds that used those desks...nevermind that they might be reproductions! 

They reminded me of a desk I saw the other night at the furniture store.  Only this one is called a laptop desk and I'm visualizing it not with a quill pen and ink well, but with a charging station and a bowl to throw my keys into, making that CLINK sound.  Best part?  It's only $149.99! 

Here it is, closed:

And open, showing all the awesome cubbies and hiding places:

Now, I must wait until I can drop $149.99 on it.........

In other news, the dining room project is on hold indefinitely, but I'm going to use all my inspiration to DIY some curtains for the living room instead.  We have fally orange, cream, and olive throw pillows in the living room, and one of the fabrics we picked out looks perfect with the color combination!  Check it out:

Very Richmond...

After our fun downtown, I was all hopped up on history and loving my town, so I decided to go to Very Richmond to see what kind of Richmond memorabilia I could find.  I've been searching the internets for Cat's Meow pieces of Richmond landmarks to expand my collection, and have been unsuccessful.  This store has all things Richmond - ornaments, paintings, drawings of local colleges, Virginia wines, etc., etc.

They had a few pieces:  Capitol building, Virginia flag, Governor's Mansion, and Main Street Station.  The train station one was awesome, but it was huge!  So I only picked up the Capitol and flag.  I also picked up a Richmond pub glass and an ornament.  Here's my loot:

I spotted these awesome photo collages at Christmas when Bonnie and I were browsing the shop, and I think they're awesome.  I was so tempted to buy the Richmond or JMU one today, but then I thought to myself "Self, why don't you just take a bunch of pictures around town and make your own?"  Wow, what a good myself $40-$60! 

So, after the tours and shopping, I was pooped so I came home...and I've been sitting around ever since.  I cleaned a little, did a little laundry, read a little Biology, etc.  Looking forward to a super-relaxing night!

A tourist in my own town...

Today was a work team-building day, so my peeps and I went downtown and played tourist.  It was really fun, but a lot of walking, so I'm taking a break now to tell you all about it :)  I geeked out lot and I think the tour guide at the last place would have smacked me if I asked one more question.

Our first stop was the state Capitol - I can't believe I've lived here 5 years and have never been.  After walking up about 67 steps, we got to the main floor, where we followed our guide, who rattled off facts about the history of each room...this guy knows his stuff.

40 of the 50 states' Capitol buildings have exterior domes - we are not one of the 40, but we have an interior dome:

On each corner of the dome, the Virginia state seal is painted on the ceiling:

And we have the only life-size statue of George Washington - copies of it have been made, but this is the only authentic one:

In the last room we toured, where the "Capitol Disaster" occurred, he told us the House of Delegates was in session and invited us to go up to the gallery and watch our state government in action - um, yes please!.  While we were there, they were honoring the family of a soldier, Staff Sergeant Phillip Myers, who died serving his country in Operation Enduring Freedom. 

Here they are in action, applauding the soldier's  family receiving honors:

And this is where my camera died.  What's the first rule of photography?  Charge your battery!!! UGH.

After the Capitol, we walked to the John Marshall House.  Who knew there were old plantation houses in the middle of the city?  Not this girl.  How awesome.  If I knew that, I would have visited this place years ago...but now that I know they are there, I can go on more tours!  See, this is what I meant when I said I geeked out today.  I'm a total fanatic...

Anyways, John Marshall was a prominent attorney in Richmond, and was either the 3rd or 4th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.  He was also lazy, unkempt, and unappealing to the ladies.  And then 13-year old Polly came along and fell in lurve.  The rest is history.  LITERALLY, get it?  Ha.

Then we went over to the Valentine History Center to have lunch, catered by Cuisine A La Carte, and I must say, they know their bologna.  I got a sandwich called 'The Working Man' - bologna, provolone, lettuce, tomato, dill mayo, and dijon mustard.  It might have been the best bologna sammich ever - but I'm still not sure if it was because it was actually good, or that I was so famished from all the walking that it satisfied like you wouldn't believe.  Either way, I'd try it again.

After the quietest Privacy lunch ever (until we were finished stuffing our faces, we made fun of each other a's what we do best), we toured the Wickham House.   Wickham was John Marshall's richer, more good-looking, cleaner friend.  His house was much fancier and architecturally appealing, and he saved all the fanciest stuff for the rooms guests would see, and the family rooms are plain...guess he was all about showing off his money.

After that tour, we were done with our fun.  It was a great day, and I'm looking forward to exploring my city further!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Be still my heart

I guess all the painting and moving furniture zapped Zoey's energy, so she's havin' a lazy Sunday! I'm jealous!

Painting, phase II

To celebrate Lent, I am adding reading scripture to my daily routine, along with attempting to get rid of my vice of choice, procrastination on unfinished projects, but I think I'm cheating already.  Here's why...

I'm taking two classes this semester, and both have minimal homework other than studying for exams.  But this weekend, I had to study for an Anthropology quiz due at midnight tonight, along with writing a 1 page Biology lab report.  That's right, I said 1 page.  I realize I could write 1 page about anything in about 15 minutes, but for some reason this combination of work makes me want to throw myself down on the floor like a 4 year old, kicking my feet around, and slamming my fists into the ground repeatedly.  This feeling is the perfect storm for a bout of procrastination.  But does it count if we accomplished a way bigger project instead of me doing my homework?  Procrastination begets completion?

Everyone knows about our painting project - after many agonizing hours I finally picked a color and we painted our kitchen.  Then we sealed up the paint can and haven't looked at it in a month.  It didn't bother me immediately, but now every time I look at our builder's beige walls in the living room, I am reminded of my Lenten promise of getting some unfinished projects finished.

So Friday night, I decided we were going to paint this weekend, and paint we did.  Here are some pictures of the finished project.  I haven't put anything back on the walls yet, and it might be a while before I do, because I'm enjoying the paint color too much.

And, in case you were wondering, I finished my Anthropology quiz this morning, with unsavory grade, and my biology 1 pager is in progress.  Here's my problem with the Anthro quiz - 2 of the questions had 2 answers that said the same thing, but a slight variation determined the correct answer.  I can live with that - I messed up.  What I don't understand is this:

The question is:   
The major chromosomal difference between human males and females is that:
a) females have more chromosomes
b) males have more chromosomes
c) females have one more paired set of chromosomes
d) males have one more paired set of chromosomes

I chose a because I didn't think any one of them were right, but that is not the correct answer.  Hmmmm?

The book says that both males and females have 23 sets of chromosomes. The difference between the sexes is within the 23rd set, with females having 2 X chromosomes, and males and X and a Y.

The jury is still out - good news is the professor is looking into it.

Hopefully I can finish my Biology 1 pager so we can go see "Shutter Island" today.  Leonardo DiCaprio?  Yes, please.  The only thing that would make that movie better is having Logan's before or after, but we'd have to go to Fredericksburg for that, and no.

Career Path quiz, AKA thanks for nothing, I already knew that

John and Sherry, over at YoungHouseLove, posted a link to a color career counselor, where you allow your favorite color choices to help determine your career path.  Hinky, right?

I thought so, too.  But my results are pretty accurate - both in my career and home life (well, most of the time).  Apparently, I am first and organizer, then a persuader.

Here's my result summary:

Best Occupational Category -You're an ORGANIZER

Self-Control, Practical, Self-Contained, Orderly, Systematic, Precise, and Accurate
These conservative appearing, plotting-types enjoy organizing, data systems, accounting, detail, and accuracy. They often enjoy mathematics and data management activities such as accounting and investment management. Persistence and patience allows them to do detailed paperwork, operate office machines, write business reports, and make charts and graphs.ORGANIZER CAREERS
Suggested careers are Administrator, Secretary, Printer, Paralegal, Building Inspector, Bank Cashier, Private Secretary, Statistician, Operations Manager, Financial Analyst, Bookkeeper, Medical Records Technician, Developer of Business or Computer Systems, Clerical Worker, Proofreader, Accountant, Administrative Assistant, Banker, Certified Public Accountant, Credit Manager, Store Salesperson, Actuary, Dental Assistant, Business Education Teacher, Food Service Manager, IRS Agent, Budget Analyst, and Underwriter.
Your very careful, conscientious, conservative nature gives others the confidence to trust you with handling money and material possessions. Structured organizations that have well-ordered chains of command work best for you.
Suggested Organizer workplaces are large corporations, business offices, financial lending institutions, banks, insurance companies, accounting firms, and quality control and inspection departments.

2nd Best Occupational Category -You're a PERSUADER

Witty, Competitive, Sociable, Talkative, Ambitious, Argumentative, and Aggressive
These enterprising types sell, persuade, and lead others. Positions of leadership, power, and status are usually their ultimate goal. Persuasive people like to take financial and interpersonal risks and to participate in competitive activities. They enjoy working with others inside organizations to accomplish goals and achieve economic success.

  • Section I: You and Your Team 
    • This personality overview section highlights your natural workplace talents—the tasks you pursue with passion. You'll learn how your natural strengths complement those of your coworkers and how, joining forces, you can resolve on-the-job dilemmas. 
  • Section II: Your Key To Success
    • Here you discover your capacity for dispelling disruption and maximizing profitability. Use this proven, beyond-self-perception advice to create a more positive career path free of detours.
  • Section III: Managing Strengths and Weaknesses
    • Your evaluation's highest and lowest scores result in this section's recommendations for staying on-track in your career and reversing wrong turns. In focusing on your talents and missteps, you'll re-stoke your energy and enthusiasm for managing costly mistakes.
  • Section IV: Leadership Power Moves
    • This final section identifies your "street sense," those power moves that turn obstacles into insignificant details. Here suggestions based on your color-ranked evaluations will guide you towards making the most of an interview or harnessing your fast-paced workday.

Take it for yourself, at:

    Best party punch ever

    This stuff is awesome and we make it for most parties that we plan, unless there are too many people.  For 10 or less, this is perfect!

    Simple and tasty - all you need is a 2 liter bottle of ginger ale (or champagne), 1 container of sherbert in your favorite flavor, and some orange, lemon, or lime slices, depending on what sherbert you choose.


    Wednesday, February 17, 2010

    They're out of a box, but still blog-worthy...

    Today I'm not feeling well so I stayed home, but I got bored and couldn't sleep anymore so I decided to do some baking or cooking.  I know that sounds weird, but it felt right at the time.

    I wanted to make cocktail meatballs, but realized that I bought cocktail sauce instead of chili sauce.  They're called cocktail meatballs right?  So why do they call for chili sauce instead?  SO, that idea got scratched, although I'm sure they would have tasted the same, so I just threw the meatballs in with tomato sauce instead.  BORING, I know.  They're simmering in the crock pot now, and will be yummy over tortellini later.

    That whole process, from the initial thought, to walking away from the crock pot, only took about 5 minutes, so I needed another project to make the trip downstairs worthwhile.  Stood at the pantry and saw a box of Magic Cookie Bars - sounds magical right?  I thought so, too.

    It's an easy graham cracker crumb crust mixed with butter, then a layer of sweetened condensed milk, and a layer of magic - chocolate and peanut butter chips, coconut, and walnuts:

    They baked for about 15 minutes and need to cool for 2 hours.  Plenty of time to recover (hopefully) from whatever this stomach thing is that hit me during the night, and enjoy them.  I feel a hundred times better than I did this morning, but not quite good enough to eat magic.  

    Here's the magical goodness, in all its glory:

    Saturday, February 13, 2010

    A pineapple and more fabric

    Today we checked out U-Fab, a local fabric shop, to look at more options for dining room curtains.  We found 2 that we both agree on.  Imagine that?

    But first - the other night at HomeGoods, when I picked up my open/closed sign for River City Sweets, I also bought a ceramic pineapple as inspiration for the dining room.  Since we want the dining room to be comfortable, casual, and inviting to guests, what other symbol better represents those things than the pineapple?  It seems very Virginia to me, and it has me inspired to get this process seriously started.

    Isn't it cute?  We have shelves hanging in the room now, which I'll stain to match the new furniture, and I can see this little guy sitting on one of the shelves, saying "Welcome!"  haha

    Now, back to U-Fab.  This place is AWESOME!  Most of the fabric I saw was $2.99-$7.99 a yard - way cheaper than chains.  Here are some that we liked, and as usual, my commentary :)

    This one has the colors we like, but it looks like boxer shorts:
     I love this one because it's a little funky - I was playing with flash settings under the flourescents, so it looks more yellow than it is.  It's sage and white:

    Here's plaid, with the reds we want:

    And another with reds, but stripes.  Not really a fan of this one:

     Here are our two favorites of the day. In the store:

    And, one the wall:


    Friday, February 12, 2010

    I bought something I hope I'll need someday

    I know it might sound weird, but I have this dream of opening a pastry shoppe - specifically to sell cupcakes.  I've been thinking about how cool it would be to own my own business and spend all my time in the kitchen baking, which is the least stressful activity of my day.

    Last night, I went to HomeGoods and found this adorable sign, with open on one side and closed on the other:
    It comes on a little chain to hang from a hook or on a doorknob, and I couldn't resist.  I do realize I don't have  shoppe to put it in, but one day I will!  Until then, it's going in my wish box.

    And don't worry, it was only $4.99...I can hear the bells ringing on the door as my first customer enters!  Yes, I know I'm a dork.

    Thursday, February 11, 2010

    Valentine's treats for my work peeps!

    Whaddya get when you mix red velvet cake, frosting with red food coloring, and hershey kisses?

    Valentine's treats - that's what!

    Wednesday, February 10, 2010

    Found my light!

    We went to Lowe's to browse at the light fixtures - I think I found my light for the dining room.  And it's only $61!  Woohoo!

    I really like the style of both of these, with the bulb facing the ceilig instead of our heads, but the first one looks a little too 16th century castle:

    The second one is much more simple and it's a rustic iron finish:

    I restrained myself and didn't buy it today, but it's item #2420 and I will own it soon!  

    We did pick up some lights to replace our mid-90's fixtures throughout the house that look like this...

    ...with a more modern look:

    The best part?  We snagged a 6-pack for $40!  What a deal!  Dave's honey-do list is getting looooonger.

    Tuesday, February 9, 2010

    What's my style? I thought I knew...

    I headed over to Joann Fabrics last night to get some inspiration for a project that is mum for now, and while I was there, I thought I'd take a look at the fabrics.  I'm going to make panels for the dining room makeover instead of buying them, so they're super-personal and homemade. 

    Sure, it's easy to just go to Target or Lowe's and pick up some panels, but I'll probably hate them in 2 or 5 years, and will wish that I had paid more attention the first time and picked something that was just right.  I felt like that about my father-daughter dance song at my wedding.  Can't get it out of my head.  I should have chosen that Beatles song that he used to sing to me - still can't pinpoint the name of it, but whenever I hear it I think of him, so why didn't we dance to it?  Because I took the easy route and decided that wasn't one of the details I wanted to spend my energy on.  The result:  we danced to some country song I liked at the time, but can't sing in my head today.  Bad.  Choice.

    So, it's decided that I'm choosing fabric and making my own, but now we get into my indecisiveness.  You all remember the paint debacle.  I won't explain as to not open old wounds, but I tend to over-analyze things and think them to death before committing.  I don't think I've always been like that, but it's done and I can't change it now.  This makes picking the perfect fabric more difficult than what I'm having for dinner or which movie I want to watch instead of doing homework.

    A few things I know for sure:
    • home-made
    • 2 floor-to-almost-ceiling panels
    • hung using hooks instead of sewing in a rod pocket
    • bold-ish pattern to bring life into the room
    • contain colors that can be used with complementing accessories
    Here are some samples I found last night, along with some commentary/insight into my indecisive brain (seriously, they should study it when I die).  The top color on the paint chip is the one that will be on the walls:

    I like both of these muted stripes with red/pink in them. I hope to bring in red somewhere in the room to brighten it. Everything else will be wood, sage, or khaki, so we need a splash of something fun!

    This one is also muted and contains the reds I'm looking for, but it looks a little southwestern in person. Less homey, more Aztec-y...?

    This one's girly and more formal, and I think that's why I like it. It's classic, tasteful, and lovely. Too bad it doesn't make me wanna buy it.

    This is the first of the funky ones I saw - love the circles, the colors are perfect, but I think it would bore me very quickly and I'd be going through this process again in a year or so. That's bad.

    Love. Love. Love this fabric! Unfortch I've only found one other person who loves it as much as I do. If that's any indication of the odds of a dinner guest wanting to sit in a room with this on the windows, it's not looking good. So do I choose one for me, or for my potential guests?

    This one reminds me of a shower curtain a friend has. It's pretty, but everytime I look at it I'll think of a bathroom. Probably not the vision I need when I'm eating my Thanksgiving turkey.

    Another funky one. I love it, but it's a little Grandma-ish. I love the paisley, and this is sort of a crushed velvet-and it matches the paint perfectly! Not sure how the crushed velvet would play with the suede finish under the chair rail.

    More stripes, more red, but bolder. Thoughts?

    A co-worker told me about u-fab, a fab (get it) fabric store in the Fan that has drapery fabric on the cheap!  I checked out their site, and some of their stuff is $2.99 a yard!  WOAH!  Also heard about the Interior Outlet, which is so close to home and super cute. 

    I need to do this right the first time, and not just pick one to get curtain panels up - so as long as it takes to the the fabric, I'll be looking :) 

    Get busy girls!

    Someone needs to get knocked up real quick (with a girl) so I can make you a quilt out of these:
    K thanks ;)

    Monday, February 8, 2010

    Dump cake

    While some of you were eating creme brulee and flan growing up, I was eating dump cake.

    This is a great dessert when you can't decide if you want to bake a pie or a cake, or when you only have pie filling and cake mix, but no crust or vegetable oil, which is the case in my house today.

    I put 2 cans of cherry pie filling in a 9x13 cake pan, sprinkled dry white cake mix on top, then a layer of walnuts (pecans work too), and some squares of butter.   

    Not sure how long to bake it, but I'm starting with the directions on the cake box and we'll go from there.

    EDIT:  Here's the finished product:

    Wednesday, February 3, 2010

    My next big house project

    I've never been one to have meals in a dining room, except for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and in every house/townhouse/condo I've ever lived in, the dining room was either wasted space, or space with a table and chairs that was never used. I was ok with that - but now that I'm growing up (I guess) I feel like I want a grown up dining room. Not sure when the change happened, but I've been thinking about it seriously for the last few months.

    When we moved into this house, I knew we weren't going to use the dining room for that purpose, so we turned it into a study/library, with a whole wall of bookshelves and a big comfy chair and ottoman. It was a great idea in theory, but I can count on one hand the number of times I've spent more than 15 minutes in there, and cannot recall any time when I sat in said big comfy chair and read anything. Most of my reading is done in the other big comfy chair in the living room, in front of the window that overlooks the trees and birds outside. Much better than the view from the dining room.

    In order to turn this unused study into a dining room, I need to find a new home for its current inhabitants: the books. There are plenty that could be put in a box in the attic, like the yearbooks and the 23 Bibles. Ok, it's not that many, but we have more Bibles than any couple should have and I don't feel right about discarding any of them. Think about it - I'd be the girl who's 'donating' a Bible. Whether I take some to a church or library, they don't know that I have 22 more at home, they'd naturally think I'm symbolically discarding more than a book. It might seem illogical, but it makes perfect sense in my head. Yearbooks don't need to be out all the time, the recipe books can find a home in the kitchen, Jodi Picoult books can go to someone who will actually read them, and Harry Potter can go in the office with the rest of Dave's boy-ness. Twilight and my favorite fiction books can find a home in my craft room, and that just leaves the classics. Haven't figured out where to put them yet. I'm sure if I do enough purging, it'll all work out :)

    Bored yet? It's ok, me too.

    On to the fun part - the shopping! Here's my polyvore of the ideal dining room:

    1: You've all heard about our painting project. We're continuing Behr's 'Restful' in this room because it shares a wall with the living room, which shares a wall with the kitchen, but we hope to add a chair rail, with Ralph Lauren's suede 'Snowdrift' on the bottom half of the wall.

    2: I found this chandelier at Home Depot when I was picking up paint and fell in love with it! It's simple, and the bulbs are mounted so you aren't blinded when you look up from the table at the light. I hate that! I love the rustic iron finish, but if I found one in stainless steel, I wouldn't be disappointed.

    3: After our first flood at the house, caused by me flushing Clorox wipes after cleaning the half bath, we installed laminate flooring in the dining room. Even though the purpose of the room at the time was a cozy study, I was thinking about the future when replacing the floors instead of putting down carpet.

    4: Since everything else in the room will be wood or neutral tones, I want to bring in some punches of color with the curtains and accessories. I love red as an accent color in small doses, but a fally orange would be even better! Once we start seriously shopping for this project, I'm going to hit up a local fabric outlet to see if I can score an awesome print for curtains!

    5: Whatever finish I choose for the chandelier will be matched to the decorative curtain rod, like this one I found! I need to find the perfect one - I love the decorative finial of the one in the polyvore, but need a double rod, so I can hang a sheer behind the panels. It's a weird thing i have about the windows looking the same from the street. All the other windows (except my bedroom closet) have sheers and the blinds are always open, but this room just has a bare window. Unacceptable.

    6: is the number of these chairs we need to buy! I fell in love with this style of chair at Thanksgiving when we visited Dave's brother in Dallas. They are so comfortable! His are from Pottery Barn and cost an arm and a leg, so I've got my eye on this less expensive version from the Room Store.

    7: Love this table - also from the Room Store. It is rectangular, but comes with a leaf that expands the tabletop to 54x54, and seats 6. Perfect for holiday meals with family. I'm picturing it with a table runner with a red or orange (whichever punch of color I choose) and some fresh flowers, or no table runner, but a bowl full of apples in the middle of the table?

    8: This is a piece similar to one I received as a gift from the Millers at Christmas a few years ago. Right now it's sitting in a pantry with my other serving dishes, but is so cool that it deserves to be displayed on a buffet, waiting for a party!

    9: I'm in love with natural fiber rugs. I love the way they feel on my feet, even though they're not soft and's almost like walking on the beach. Crate and Barrel has some good ones, but I found this one on I'd love to find a square one to match the proportions of the table, but affordable square rugs are hard to find.

    10: This is my favorite piece! It's perfect for our needs - wine storage room for my serving platters and placemats to get rid of an old piece of furniture in the kitchen. It's not normally something I'd pick out because of the marble top and modern style, but I love it!

    Well, there you go! That's the dining room that I'd love to have in my home by the end of the year! I want to take my time to find the perfect items, not just throw a bunch of stuff together just to call it done. Stay tuned for more details!