Wall Decor- Animal Busts

July 23, 2012

The living room is slowly (and I do mean slowly) coming together, but I hate the wall that is just below our stairwell. I have since replaced the black and white canvas picture with a canvas wedding picture, but it still looks very, very bare.

I originally wanted a collage of pictures/artwork, but thought it may be too much with the hanging mirrors that are on the wall above the stairs. Now that I've been living with a bare(ish) wall for a while, I've decided it needs more. 

I have a few items that are part of an art collage in our study, but I think I'll just leave that one there (and take a picture so I can blog about it) instead of moving it to a different wall. This will give me an excuse to collect some new items to add to our new collage wall. And now that I've looked at the above picture again, I think I'm going to go with a solitary color scheme or maybe white with a few variations (like beige or grey) so that it doesn't feel too cluttered or overwhelming.

The first item I would like to add is an animal bust... I've wanted one for a while, especially after seeing the one in Kelsey's awesome dining room. This was further confirmed when I finally went into the new Z Gallerie in Austin. The only thing holding me back is my indecision!

Option 1: Ceramic. I should note that these are much smaller in person. I envisioned them to be a bit larger for some reason...

Ceramic Rhino Head || Z Gallerie

Option 2: I love that it's abstract, but hate the color.  Perhaps spray painted white? Although, I'm not sure how recycled cardboard would hold up under spray paint... (And also, I can't really see myself paying ~$50 for cardboard)

Cardboard Deer Bust || Urban Outfitters

Option 3: Resin Animal Busts. To be honest, these are my favorite, but I'm a little unsure of how the resin will actually look- I would like to avoid putting up something that looks plasticy or cheap, as doing so would definitely instigate questions from my husband about my decision to put one of these on our wall ;)

White Resin Rhino || Mahzerandvee
White Resin Lion || Mahzerandvee

White Resin Lion || White Faux Taxidermy

White Resin Buffalo || White Faux Taxidermy

ETA: I'm not sure which one of these shops opened first (it appears the one cited in the first and second photos- based on their etsy shop opening time/sales history, but one them appears to be blatantly ripping off the other one's ideas/art/creations- a major pet peeve of mine.). For an even better example than the lions... see the wolf (1) and wolf (2). I actually found the second shop first (confused yet?) and was *this close* to ordering from them on Friday, and then I found the first shop today. SO now I'm not sure what to do- what would you do? I don't really want to make assumptions about either shop, but it makes me very sad :/

These are pretty neat, but stray from my "all white" goal:

Wall Paper Deer || Ruby's Lounge
And of course, being a lover of all things DIY, I could always paper mache my own or create one from this foam template...

Food Around Austin- Papalote

July 18, 2012

A few weeks ago, X finally took me to a local spot for lunch that I've been wanting to try for a while. Of course he had eaten there before, so I had already heard how good it was. Papalote is also owned/run by the same people that own another great restaurant we used to frequent- Azul Tequila.

The interior is really small, so I'm glad we went on a day that wasn't too crowded. The menu is amazing- it was so hard to narrow down my choices.

We started out with chips + queso:

Mexi-coke and Jarritos- Mandarin (I thought the mandarin was really sweet, but I recently tried the pineapple and omg it was good!):

I decided on two corn wrapped tacos: Pastor and Cecina:

(Cecina- left, Pastor- right)
The Pastor (pork in a special meat rub) was mixed with pineapple and cilantro. This was definitely my favorite of the two. The Cecina was spiced a little differently (I'm not sure how to describe it, but it tasted like an authentic Mexican street taco- yumm) and topped with goat cheese, sour cream, cabbage and refried beans.

 X ordered the Pastor (right) and the Pescado y Las Brasas (left) corn wrapped tacos.

The pescado taco was tilapia topped with cabbage, goat cheese, avocado and chipolte sauce. He claims it was pretty good too :)

I'll probably get flogged for this in Austin... but I have to say that these tacos are so much better than ever popular Torchy's! I'm looking forward to going back to try some more.

*Note: I did not get anything in return for writing this review about Papalote. 

30 before 30- Revisited

July 5, 2012

I love starting lists of things I should do. It makes me feel productive, better about myself and my life. Accomplishing these goals is a whole different issue. Here are my 30 before 30 (which is happening next week- eep!) goals revisited:
  1. Finish the quilt I started sewing for my mom (like five years ago).
  2. Create an outdoor space where my husband and I can go to relax. 
    • almost 100% complete; start date: ~last summer
  3. Finish my wedding recaps.
  4. Begin and stick to an exercise regiment.
    •  attempting to train for a marathon; have finished two 5k races
  5. Be more optimistic, act more positively, and try my best to be a happier person.
  6. Read a biography.
    • Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks; Into the Wild
  7. Take a camping trip and/or spend more time outdoors (when the temperature finally starts to go down, of course).
  8. Become more organized (both at home and at work).
    • finally purchased invested in a planner; created a better filing system at the office
  9. Start the journey to becoming meds-free.
    • started last summer; discussed/created timeline with rheumatologist during last visit
  10. Eat healthier/ eat less red meat/ eat less processed food.
  11. Eat more meals at home.
  12. Become debt free.
    •  work in progress...
  13. Hang pictures of my husband and I in our house (we still don't have any up- I know. I know!)
    • Pictures have been hung in our living room and study area
  14. Stick to a regular blogging schedule.
  15. Keep a journal or sketchbook.
  16. Sew more, and get better at it.
    • I'm not sure if I am necessarily a better seamstress, but I have taken on more sewing projects this year (compared to last year)
  17. Learn to read sewing patterns, and become good at it.
  18. Start a craft club.
    • Held  craft nights in the fall and winter- maybe make this a a seasonal thing?
  19. Open an etsy/big cartel shop- even if it only has one item.
  20. Disconnect from social media a few nights out of the week.
    • I tend to do this on weekends
  21. Outline my personal goals for the next 10 years.
  22. Make a list of goals for my husband and myself, as a couple.
    • We have started doing this every Janurary
  23. Throw a dinner party.
  24. Celebrate a holiday at our house.
    • We hosted Thanksgiving.
  25. Spend more effort on my work attire and dress more professionally.
    •  work in progress- started collecting items that can be used for work and mixed and matched
  26. Take more pictures of my husband and me together.
  27. Create a substantial rainy day fund.
    • work in progress- started regular contributions to an online savings account
  28. Learn how to take better photographs.
  29. Start an herb or vegetable garden
  30. Start a compost pile.
    • purchased a composter earlier this year and have quite a bit of dirt for future garden projects.
So I finished about half of my goals in one year- not too horrible. Some of these items are constantly in the back of my mind, but I just haven't gotten around to them yet! It's amazing how quickly a year goes by.

Food Around Austin- Chicken + Oysters

July 3, 2012

Funny combination huh? A few weeks ago, my co-worker mentioned that he tried out Lucy's Chicken, and that they had great fried chicken and oysters. My husband is on a huge oyster kick, and I am not a big fan of sea food, so finding a place that serves something for both of us has been really hard to find.... until now :)

Lucy's is located in S. Austin in a little nook between Congress and Oltorf. It actually used to be the home of this great mexican food restaurant that served the BEST migas tacos and agua fresca. I'm really hoping they open a new location soon!

The indoor seating is limited, but there is plenty of space on the patio. We elected sit inside- I thought it was very quaint.

Of course my husband ordered raw oysters:

And I ordered a basket of fried chicken:

I can't say much for the oysters (my husband finished them, so I'm assuming they were good), but the fried chicken was awesome.

We ordered some salad and sides too:

I love the fact that they put okra and snap peas in the salad, but it was a little pricey IMO.

The cornbread dressing was so good. I would go back just for this!

Not shown are the smashed grilled potoatoes- smokey goodness with a little bit of a kick.

Watermelon 'Rita. Enough said.

And of course, you can't end a southern meal without some pie. We ordered one of the apple variety.

Yummm. This meal is definitely not of the healthy variety, but it was so satisfying.

*Note: Lucy's Chicken does not know who I am and I did not get compensated in any form for writing my opinions of their restaurant.

End Tables Sighted + Other News

July 2, 2012

I love seeing what other people do with furniture that I also happen to have. I found this blog through a quick google search, and look- those are my end tables!!!  (And how awesome are the colors in this room- I love the lime green - teal combo).

via mid-century MODERN LOVE

Although one of mine is looking a tiny bit different now :) I'm finally putting on coats of polycrylic and polyurethane. (The difference between the two, I just learned). So I'm hoping, if it's not too humid this week, the coats will be dried, sanded, reapplied and one table will be complete. I am so excited about these tables, y'all. Even my husband likes it- despite the fact that he gave me a quizzical look when I tried to explain my vision.

In other news, my patio renovation is also nearing completion. Although, I'm beginning to think projects around my house are never truly complete- anyone else feel this way? Anyways, I have a few finishing touches I want to add- lighting, pillows + cushions, and maybe some more plants. Pictures of that will be appearing here soon.

Some girlfriends and I saw Magic Mike on Friday, haha I know, - at the Drafthouse of course. (I've become such a movie snob these days- I will ONLY watch movies there). True to form, they had some entertaining, prequel videos:

Classic SNL- great laughs for your Monday (ignore the fact that it's backwards....)

Don't Talk, Don't text....

Happy Monday all!