Wedding + Napa = A perfect match. Part 1

As promised, I’m finally getting around to telling all about my recent trip to Napa, CA. Once again I realized how much I love California. When the Mr. and I win the lottery maybe we can finally move there. But back to all the deets…we’ll start from the beginning and work our way to the big event!

We flew into Sacramento Thursday afternoon and then made the drive to Napa (just over an hour). After meeting up with the crew, first on our list was to find good food. Just down the street from our hotel was BarBersQ restaurant, so we popped in there for some eats. Hip vibe from the decor to the music, with super yummy food and beer. I highly recommend the pulled pork sandwich if you ever stop in.  No pictures to share – wish I had been smart enough to bring my camera. Up next that evening was a welcoming party at Adrienne’s sister Kristina’s home – which was the cutest little bugalow. Once again no pictures, but it was so nice to catch up with all of her relatives that I haven’t seen since probably junior high. More good food and an overall fun evening – thanks Kristina!

Friday it was time to get down to business – the business of wine tasting! Jenn, Jason, Mr. Pitts, and I headed out to the Silverado Trail and our first stop along the way was Robert Sinskey Vineyard. It was a cute place that almost felt more like a bar, lots of character. The tastings even came with some small nibbles – the cheese was delish.

Jenn and Jason saying hello to the fishies

Ok, so after a quick lunch break and meeting up with the rest of the posse (Alisa, Scott, Sarah, and Nick) we headed to Grgich Hills Estate. It was a little crowded when we arrived, and since we were a “large group”, they escorted us to our very own room for a private tasting. They obviously recognized how serious we were, I mean Nick alone oozed wine connoisseur.

We ladies have some class too. We pose regularly for the paparazzi.

In the moment…

Moving right along, our next stop was Peju Winery. Alisa, Sarah and I had been here about 6 years ago, and our taste buds remembered it fondly. It was a we-must-stop-here-no-ifs-ands-or-buts place. And it proved to be an interesting experience, to say the least. Our wine “expert” (at the moment his name escapes me which I can’t even believe) was hilarious slash a bit nuts. I think he thought we paid money to hear his comedy act, and not to taste the wine. We heard about his life, love life (or lack there of), all while he analyzed each one of us. I don’t think he even told us anything about the wines we were tasting. Oh well. We made the best of it and each left with a bottle – I highly recommend the “Provence“. YUM.

Walking up it felt like you had arrived at a castle.

Notice what I’m holding in this next pic? Told you I take it everywhere.

Exciting times in Peju. Alisa could hardly contain herself, and Sarah could have been their spokesmodel.

Ok, so now on to stop four of the day. Yes, I was getting a little tipsy at this point. Upon arrival at St. Supery it was packed. We were told we could take a self guided tour through the building while we waited, so tour we did.

They had these stations where you could smell all the ingredients that went into making that specific type of wine. Mr. wasn’t digging it too much.

I failed to get any pics during our actual wine tasting, but we all left happy campers!

So there you have Part 1 of our Napa adventures! I think we were all overwhelmed by just how many wineries there are in the area, and how they were back to back as you drove along. It would take months to visit them all!  I would have to say that Peju was my favorite of the day – the wine and even the entertainment. Overall good times had by all, and even more importantly it was so great to visit with close friends. I just wish Punkie & Mark could have joined us that afternoon, but they had more important things on the horizon. Stayed tuned for Part 2…wedding festivities galore!!!  — DP

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Thursday Purse Day

I’ve been traveling all over the place the last two weeks and I WILL get all my pictures downloaded to share soon (especially P&M’s wedding). In the meantime, I thought I’d start a new habit to commit myself to post – and here is the debut of “Thursday Purse Day”. I know, so exciting, right? Since that was a pretty easy rhyme I’m sure there are a million places you can find such a topic, but since I love me some purses (and have way too many) I thought this might be a fun weekly post. And to kick things off we’ll start with my go to accessory of the summer – this hot pink beauty. Granted it’s a wristlet, but STILL, I’ve been using it as a purse the last few months. It’s too dang hot to schlep around a big ol’ bag in this Dallas heat, so this baby has been perfect. 

Isn’t she pretty?

While searching for a groom’s gift for the Mr. back in April, I popped into Coach figuring a “nice” wallet would do the trick. And how does a girl go in that store without coming out with a treat for herself. I mean c’mon, I needed my own little bride’s gift to moi!

Now, it looks like they don’t carry the exact one anymore, but here is a sister to mine. Highly recommend all you ladies go light in the summer…my shoulder has appreciated the break! And I promise, any future Thursday Purse Day posts (we’ll see if this idea sticks) won’t be my worn down collection – there are tons of goodies lurking out there on the web, and I’ll find my favorites to share. I know the anticipation is killing you. — DP

Sweet baby bag!

My brother, Adam and his wife, Jess are having a boy in the fall and I wanted to make them a “cool” baby bag that Adam wouldn’t be embarrassed to carry. Here’s the pattern I used: Butterick B4560 baby bag.  So this is what I came up with- (finished size roughly 14″X 13″ X 5″).

Materials needed:

  • GOOD Scissors
  • “Rolling Scissors”
  • Sewing Machine
  • all-purpose thread
  • velcro (iron on)
  • 1′ of .25″ elastic (I used an elastic “stay put” goody headband – perfect tension)
  • buckle (optional)
  • 1 1/2 yards cotton blend fabric
  • 1 1/4 yards cotton blend (lining)
  • 1  yard fusibile interfacing (pattern suggest fleece interfacing- but I didn’t want it to be “puffy”)
  • 1.25 yards “duckcloth” (option I added to give flap, bottom, sides more weight)


cut out all pieces.


sew exterior pieces together.


close-up (side pocket- elastic inserted into casting)


close-up (side pocket with velcro)


lining with duckcloth (duckcloth for bottom and front/back panels only)


place lining inside-out into exterior bag

lining inside exterior of bag


inside lining pockets -with velcro


strap with loop sewn to buckle


pad for strap (velcro to close)


velcro on flap to outside front pocket

-AY

Happy Birthday Mom!

My mom turns the big 60 today – Happy Birthday!!!  Miss you…. Love, Devri Doodles 🙂

Napa here we come…

The Mr. and I are jetting off to Napa, CA today for the wedding festivities of the other half of “two sweet homes”. That’s right, Punk is gettin’ hitched! It’s been over 5 years since I’ve been to her parents home and I can’t wait. The weather forecast looks amazing, the bride will look fabulous, the party will rock, and I plan to do a lot of this while touring around town.

I’ll have a full report on all the festivities once we return. Congrats Punkie & Mark!!!

No formal dining here

The hubby and I are sadly more of a eat dinner in front of the TV couple, or sometimes at our kitchen table…casual dining is the theme here. The “dining room” in our house is quite small and we both agreed we’d rather turn the room into something useful instead of creating a formal dining space that would never see a fancy meal. After bouncing around a few ideas we decided to make it a hang out – slash – extra guest room. When my family was in town awhile back my parents got our bedroom and Mr. & Mrs. Bunches got our guest room, so Josh and I were sofa city baby. Our third bedroom is the “man cave” and our living room sectional is not a sleeper sofa, so those few nights were quite uncomfortable.

For a long time the “dining room” was a dumping zone while we unpacked, became wedding headquarters for a bit, and just overall a mess. Recently we decided to get our act in gear and make it something cozy so it was no longer an eye sore. We knew we wanted a sleeper sofa or futon so we could have that extra bed for when guests were in town. I found this futon couch that I loved, but didn’t love the price so much ($500 + for the frame AND mattress). In seeking out an inexpensive alternative, off to IKEA we went.  IKEA never disappoints. We found this guy with a much better price tag. Granted it’s not as pretty as the West Elm one, but it would do the trick and for a decent price.

In addition to the futon we figured a chair would be nice a nice touch. Nothing caught our eye at IKEA so we looked around a few other places until we found this one at World Market (and I think we got it on sale because I don’t remember spending that much). SOLD. We also wanted a side table for next to the futon and spotted this. SOLD. World Market rules. I already had a cabinet from C&B where I store my fancy platters, dishes, and vases, so that would fit nicely in the room as well. We also picked up a little TV since our “guests” may want to watch a movie while they relax on the futon.

So with all the main items on hand we set er’ up. Here’s the before shot (taken before we moved in). I had to take down that light fixture since it wouldn’t exactly work for our new plan. I sold it on Craigslist for $50 bucks, score!

And now, the after shots:

Overview shot with Mr. Brutus modeling for scale.

Left side with futon couch. All the pillows I’ve collected over time, from HomeGoods, World Market, PB Outlet, etc. I know it’s a little pillow heavy, but I like it 🙂 I’m thinking about painting this wall a bold color to give the room some pop, and then make it a gallery wall with photos, artwork, etc. Thoughts?

Cute chair 🙂

Other side of room…

Not too bad right? We like it. Another idea I’ve been bouncing around is to hang big velvet curtains to create a cozy look, and also to close off the room if we do have guests staying in there. Here’s a shot from the front door entryway so you can see what it looks like from a distance.

 

And this is the look I like courtesy of PB. Pretty right? I wish curtains weren’t so expensive 😦  Well, something to think about anyway. — DP

Garden Facelift

Last year was our first attempt at planting a home garden and to my surprise it was quite a success. This year we decided to step it up a notch, start earlier, and add a few more items to mix. Below is what we had to begin with…the remnants of last year.

First up was creating a larger space by moving all the old edging and squaring it off more. We also decided we wanted to cover up some of the patchy grass zones that have become an eye sore. We thought some kind of stone pathway might spruce it up.  At Lowe’s we found stones that seemed easy enough for us to take on, basically you place them together like a puzzle. After grabbing a bag of pebbles to fill in the gaps we headed home to give it a shot. Below is the area as you walk outside from our kitchen and then a pic of the stones that we started with. 

After playing some tetris with all the stones to figure out the best configurations for the spots, here is the result…

Now back to the garden for a moment…Josh loves him some peppers, so he picked up all kinds to plant, along with some tomatoes and herbs. I thought it would be fun to try to grow beans, so that was my contribution this year. Figured it was worth a try. I’m new to this documenting thing so I tend to forget to take pictures during the process, so after planting two rows of seeds and allowing a couple weeks to go by, below is the start to our new garden.

Some tomatoes, peppers, and rosemary ready to plant.

Here’s an after shot with a glimpse of the little stone pathway we created and our plants after a week or so. We even added a little picket fence (mainly to keep mr. brutus and lolo out). In the foreground is the potted herb garden with rosemary, cilantro, and chives. Our apple tree also came back to life this Spring after looking dead all winter…I was so excited! Maybe one day an apple will actually grow.

Beans starting to sprout.

Now for the after, after shots just taken recently. Check out those beans – awesome right!

Closeup of vines twisted around the trellis.

Go apples, go apples, go.

Our tomatoes (far left) aren’t doing so hot – they didn’t last year either. It’s too darn warm here that they just can’t get enough water and shrivel at record speed. So we’ve given up and will rip those out soon and plant something new (stay tuned). The three different pepper plants continue to do amazing. We have enough little red hot peppers to set your mouth on fire. Peppers definitely do well in Texas.

Now back to those beans…they grew so fast while we were away on our honeymoon that we came back and they had grown all over our little picket fence. We needed to remedy the situation quickly. We had some left over stakes used to help our tomato plants hold steady, and then added some netting to create a hodge podge trellis structure. This whole bean thing is an experiment so we really weren’t sure what to expect. To my surprise the vines took to the netting and skyrocketed up. Now they are growing over the top of the fence. Cool right?! Well, the only bummer is that I’ve yet to see a bean 😦  I need to read up online to see if I’m supposed to be doing A, B, or C to help beans grow so I can actually get some food out of this darn plant. I’ll keep you posted on that. It’s still cool to look at though, don’t ya think? 🙂

We’ve also got some rad artwork in the garden to spruce it up, courtesy of my bro-in-law Jeremiah. Thanks for the wedding gift!  —DP