Archive for the ‘Adventures’ Category

Whenever *D and I travel, we make it a point to purchase a piece of local art, try some off the beaten track restaurant, and overall try to take something away from every experience.  This has brought us to fun places throughout the years that continue to inspire us now as we set about designing our house.

On our recent anniversary trip to Baltimore, MD, we were lucky to experience one of our Top 5 Meals ever – at the Woodberry Kitchen.

We loved every single detail of the restaurant and every single bite of food.  I seriously cannot recommend this place enough.

While there, *D said it would be tacky to take pictures of every single thing I loved (which was a lot) but I did sneak this pic in the bathroom.

Woodberry Kitchen - Bathroom

Yes, I was a creep in the bathroom with a camera.

But check it out!  White penny round tiles on the floor.  Deep navy subway tiles – which, although I thought I was over subway tiles, I am totally smitten by.

Wondering about the walls?  They papered all the bathrooms with recipe pages from back issues of old cooking magazines, such as Gourmet.

Woodberry Kitchen - Bathroom Sink

And can the sink be any more perfect?  A simple bowl and a single spigot, because that is all you need.

I also loved that they use actual hand towels instead of paper towels.  So green.

*D and I have both always loved the look of papered walls, so it was no surprise when we both blurted out that we loved the bathrooms.  After sitting outside after dinner, at the lovely fire pit, we talked it over and have now decided to replicate this in our house renovation next year.

But instead of papering a bathroom, we are thinking of doing one wall like this in our kitchen.  For years we’ve been saving menus from our favorite restaurants, as most of our favorites are local, farm to table venues that change the menus frequently.  So we already have a stash to start with!

Are we crazy?

I guess sitting outside in a beautiful spot like this, on a beautiful summer night, will bring out the crazy in you.  That, or the Whiskey Smash I started the meal with.

Woodberry Kitchen's Fire Pit


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To kick off our first year of wedded bliss, *D and I planned a road trip to Asheville, NC to see the Avett Brothers play on NYE.
Normally I’m a serious planner – but to prove my spontaneity and make it a true adventure, I tried to plan as little as possible.

**apologies for blurry pics – camera died shortly after this trip!**

PA Welcomes Us

Living in the beautiful Garden State – we realized that driving straight to Asheville would be a little crazy.  So, taking advantage of my younger sister’s apartment, we traveled first to Charlottesville, VA.  From NJ to PA to a short trip through West Virginia – we finally arrived in Charlottesville.  Normally a super cute college town, Charlottesville was a ghost town the Tuesday after Christmas.  Thankfully, the Virginian was open and ready to serve us yummy local beer -and the best potato soup in the world.

The Virginian

Day 2 – we hit the road for Asheville!
Again, in the spirit of adventure, I ignored my desire to stay at a nice hotel in downtown Asheville – and instead, booked a cabin through VRBO.  Friends of ours have used VRBO several times, and always have good reports.  While I do not have anything exactly negative to say about the stay…  I now understand the importance of reading details more carefully – and Google Map-ing before booking..

So as we drove down, singing Avett Brothers all the way, we finally saw our first sign for Asheville.

Asheville Sign

Oddly, though, the GPS (in annoying British lady voice – no offense to the Brits out there) told us to keep going.

Say what?

Oh – West Asheville.  The website did say 10 minutes outside of Asheville…

Our Asheville Sign

Looks like they meant 10 miles.  And in North Carolina measures – that’s a big difference.  So I kept telling myself that I’m adventurous and we’re on our first newlywed trip and it’s going to be fine.

Traveling down the country road towards our hilly cabin – I started to get nervous.
What is that?  A meth lab?

Meth Lab

I’m not being an uppity Yankee.  I read the book – I know what I’m looking at.

Oh what’s that?  An HVAC farm?  Why on earth would you need to save that many HVAC units?!?


Despite all the warning signs, we kept driving.  Reading the directions to the cabin, we never paid attention to the “road ends at brown house.  continue on gravel drive” part.  And certainly never considered the snow that had fallen all along the East Coast as a lovely White Christmas present.

After a few scary minutes of slipping and sliding in our mid-sized sedan, we started up this creepy looking road – all in the hopes of finding our vacation spot.

Rocky Road to through the country

I must admit – despite all my fears and serious heart palpitations – the cabin was just as the website had described.  Though there was no mention of the trek through Meth Land to arrive here, the cabin was isolated, quaint and expertly decorated with the just right amount of country kitsch.


Next!  New Year’s Eve – Road Trip to Asheville Part 2 – Commence the eating and drinking!

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here we go!

It has been recommended that I start a blog. So this is me, doing just that.

I hope that the interwebs appreciates my humor and gusto as my husband (hereafter referred to as simply *D) and I deconstruct his childhood home in Suburbia. We pre-inherited a 100 year old Side Hall Victorian house in a beautiful suburb of NYC, in New Jersey. This home happens to be in the town that both *D and I both grew up in.  Although we weren’t technically high school sweethearts, you get the drift.

After years of being somewhat neglected (due to several factors, which I will not bore you with on here), it is time the house gets a big overhaul. So that is where we (and you, dear blog-readers, aka Mom), come in.

So bear with me as I translate our finds and our work onto this blog.

I will share the before pics, the during pics, and the after pics – over the course of the next two years. Or ten years, based on *D’s lofty ideas of design and construction…

This journey will not simply be photos of our unique house. It should also be noted that *D’s parents both had an affinity for knick-knacks and for compulsive saving. As we go through the house, room by room, we often have to stop and consider why something was purchased, what usage was intended, or why something was saved.  I plan to share these little treasures with you all along the way.

And in addition to posting about the treasures we unearth, I will also be sharing lots of other goodies.

To celebrate our first year of marriage, I’ve arranged several small weekend trips for us to take together, exploring new cities and sights.   So expect some honest reviews, tips and fun pics – including my favorite of the HV/AC Farm. Stay tuned.

Another reason I felt compelled to start this blog was to review and highlight some of the cultural goodies this great Garden State has to offer – but is often not recognized for.  So expect some yummy restaurant reviews, cultural events, home tours, etc.

And lastly – to finally capture and share all my design forays, crafting binges and DIY moments of glory and shame, I will share all my tips, true stories, and of course pics.

That’s right – all while DeConstructing Suburbia.

We’re not all white picket fences and green front lawns out here.
I promise.

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