This Thursday I’m thankful for business trips – mostly because it’s the only way I’m getting to travel these days. Since I’ve been working at my current position, I’ve taken my first flights and I’ve travelled to Denver, CO (I think I’m in love with this city) and Washington, DC to participate in large public health conferences.
As a housewarming gift our awesome Realtors gave us a gift certificate to Magnolia Grill, a converted grocery store on the corner of 9th and Knox streets in the heart of Durham. After heading over on a Monday only to find they were closed, we were finally able to make use of our gift last Tuesday.
Upon entering the place is very unassuming with simple tables and chairs set up with a main dining room to the right and a raised bar area to the left. Behind the dining room is what looks like a more private reserved room and behind the bar is an open view of the kitchen. We sat closest to the kitchen in the bar area and had a great view of seeing the final prep of all the dishes being served.
Nick met our new neighbor the other night.
He and his roommate actually moved in to the house next door on the same weekend we moved into our house, but we hadn’t even seen them until Monday night when, to make a long story short, the one roommate came to notify us that ADT contacted the previous owner, John, because the alarm had been going off. [Side note: He is friends with the previous owner, so previous owner called to him to make sure everything was alright. In our defense, previous owner didn’t leave any instructions about the ADT system and therefore we did not have an access code. We didn’t even know it was still connected.]
We’re all moved in to our house! We unpacked the last box on Sunday. Most everything is in its place and there’s still a lot of work to do to make it ours, but it’s starting to feel like home.
The move itself went pretty smoothly and surprisingly fast.
It took a few hours loading the truck; a special thank you to my parents and Alex for taking the time and helping us get everything into the truck and all of our cars – you guys are awesome, and it took less than an hour unloading it all at the new place; special thanks to my parents, Alex, Reid, Jess, Maria, Karissa and Ryan for gently loading armfuls of our crap inside while we directed them in and out of rooms. Later that night, my mom and I put everything away in the kitchen and were able to cook our first meal in the house: easy chicken and cheese enchiladas. (These are seriously the best chicken enchiladas that we’ve made at home)
Last week we replaced all of the doorknobs with Kwickset SmartKey knobs and Nick replaced a wonky light switch in the office. We bought some little things this weekend, like the organizer trays we put in the drawers in the bathroom, thus freeing up a ton of space on the large counter – which was one must-have feature on our list after living for a year with a teeny tiny bathroom with no counter (we really wanted a double vanity, but you make sacrifices!).
Today the plumber is fixing the drain motor on the dishwasher. I think next on the list is new appliances considering both times we’ve used the oven this week, it’s smoked up our house (the first time causing the ADT alarm to go off) which is super annoying. After that we’ll replace some leaking vent boots in the roof and look into some landscaping in the backyard. We have to get it in tiptop shape for the wedding!
We’re working on getting some good photos up for you guys. But in the meantime:
I got this great little fortune at Pei Wei the night before the move that made me feel very positive about the house and our future. I envision warm summer nights grilling out in our awesome back yard surrounded by our closest friends, laughing about this and that. Now, if only the weather would start to warm up a bit, we could actually do it.
Tonight Nick and I attended Wine and Design, which is a 2-3 hour painting session that provides the canvas, cover-up, paints, brushes, and a corkscrew (as you supple your own wine or beverage of choice). We had a blast! Their press release describes it as:
” First-time painters, aspiring artists, or self-proclaimed pro’s browse the company’s website to find a painting they would like to replicate. Paintings vary from koi to cubism and everything in between. The session is led by a local artist that guides participants through a carefully orchestrated step-by-step process that promises a finished “masterpiece” at the end of the two-hour session. The “painting/wine party” isn’t a new concept, but it is a first for Raleigh.”
Tonight’s replicas were inspired by Andy Warhol. Here is an original Warhol and it is the one we used for inspiration for our painting:
About a week in advance, we sent in photos and they printed them on the canvas. All we had to do was come in, drink up, and paint over them in true Warhol style! We decided to use the same photo of Chico and put them up above the fireplace in our new house. It will be the first piece of art in the house!
This is the photo we used of Chico:
Isn’t our little man adorable?! This photo was actually taken one night when Nick was folding laundry at his old apartment and Chico thought he was leaving. Chico associates folding laundry with packing and knows that when we pack, we’re going somewhere – and that doesn’t include him most of the time – so he sat in his lap and looked up at him with those little eyes! “Please don’t leave me!
Anywho, this is what the the canvases looked like when we started.
That one is mine, about half way finished. The instructor had a lot of original Warhol paintings printed out and on display for us to use as guides. He was really good at pointing out little fixes we could make to add depth or to really make the painting our own. We used acrylic paint, which I thought was surprisingly hard to work with. I had to work diligently to prevent the stoke lines from showing. However, choosing colors was pretty easy because, aside from having the printed Warhol paintings to use as a guide, you pretty much use bold, contrasting colors. What I liked most about this particular painting style was that I never felt like I had to “make it perfect” and that reduced a lot of anxiety about seriously painting for the first time. There were a lot of people in the session that did obsess over every little detail. I know I’m not a professional artist, but I feel that you have to watch out for that. Otherwise, you’ll over work it.
It took us almost three hours to complete our works of art, but it was a lot of fun and we’re proud of what we accomplished. We can’t wait to go back and try another painting. Here are more photos of our art from tonight.
Our finished projects!
For more information, visit www.wineanddesignnc.com
Hi, I’m Nikki. This is where I blog about my life and personal style. I’m a wife and mom, sushi lover, wine drinker, and coffee enthusiast. Welcome to my little corner of the world where I try to lead by example!