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Round Up: Tasty Bites for the Holiday Season

When I started this blog, I wanted it to reflect a journey. Half of that journey is of Daniel and I being first-time homeowners and making a house a home, which is reflected in the category Jersey House. The other half of that journey is the one I’m taking connecting with my Haitian roots and cooking my grandmother’s handwritten recipes. I first wrote about this journey under the category Kreyol Kitchen here. It certainly has been a journey, mostly full of mistakes, some frustration, and lots of tasty tasty tasty meals.

The holiday season and change from one year to another is often a time of reflection. It’s also a time of many a holiday dinner, party or potluck. So, on that note, I’ve reflected upon the recipes I’ve done so far (and there are many more to come!) and have rounded up my Top 5 here that would be great to cook, bake or make for your holiday festivities this year. Enjoy!

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House Projects: Year in Review

We’re closing in on two years since we first bought the house (has anyone ever noticed how quickly years go by?!) and I remember thinking when we bought the house in December and moved into it January 1 that I truly believed we could redo our kitchen for less than $20,000 and by the end of that year. I remember first seeing the kitchen and being horrified and thinking that that project had to be among the first that we do. Oh, how naive we were, we quickly humbled first-time homebuyers! I mean, HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

What dummies.

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Master Bedroom Closet: Dream vs. Reality

Dream scenario: to have a master bedroom closet that is a walk-in closet in which both Daniel and I can put away clothes, look through our clothes, get dressed and check ourselves out in a full-length mirror without bumping into each other and even throw clothes down on a chaise longue that is there simply to look good while under a pile of clothes that we were too lazy to put away.

Reality: not that.

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Mud Room: Phase 1 Done

Four months ago, I shared my thoughts on designing the mud room, the projects that this area requires and the different phases that it would take due to budget and timing. I also said that I wanted Phase 1 done by the fall so we would have a place to store jackets and heavier coats. After being lazy about it the entire summer, we finally finished Phase 1 over two weekends at the end of September and beginning of October.

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Guest Room Featured on Apartment Therapy

Thanks, Apartment Therapy, one of my favorite and one of the best design and home sites out there, for featuring our new guest bedroom on your site. To check out the Before & After on Apartment Therapy, click here.

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Decor Feels

We recently put together an entire (small) room from scratch. As in, we had no furniture or large pieces of art or decor that we used previously to put in the guest room. And as I was shopping for the room, I realized that I was following a set of rules that I had created for myself. Those rules come in part from having strong opinions, taking advice from bloggers that I admire, and acting as a hopefully decent compromiser to Daniel, who also has his own opinions.

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When Daniel and I met, I was subletting a room in a friend’s apartment and he was living in his own one-bedroom apartment like a grown ass man. If you were to look at our two different styles, you may wonder why we even liked each other. My bedroom, which was almost entirely from Ikea, Bed, Bath & Beyond, and The Container Store, was all white. It was essentially a coke den minus the coke and mirrored table. His entire apartment was a dark brown – ugh, espresso brown, ugh – Ikea heaven. There was some green in his brown comforter and brown shower curtain. In fact, you can get an understanding of what his apartment looked like when we met because all of his old brown furniture is currently being used in the office. And note the green – that was his idea!

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Brown and green, Daniel’s favorite colors.

So now that we have been living together for a number of years and are getting to create a new style that matches us as a couple (but, let’s face it, is mostly what I push for because I care more), I realize I have a few decor rules. Well, not really rules. More like decor feels.

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#SODomino: Making a House Truly a Home

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I contributed another piece to Domino this week. Happy reading! And I plan to expand on this in a new post for The 256 Project soon, so stay tuned for that.

White Paint: The More You Know

I have referenced a few times how much I hate the dingy off-white color every room and hallway was painted in our house when we moved in (see: guest room, living room). I love a bright white paint and we have so far taken Powdered Snow by Behr to be our go-to white. We chose this because our house doesn’t get a ton of light for long periods and wherever we have chosen to paint white (not many places), we chose to do so to brighten it up. As it turns out, white – especially bright white – doesn’t work for every room. In fact, Emily Henderson, stylist and one of my favorite bloggers, wrote about it on her site, Style by Emily Henderson. So did Chris and Julia on their site Chris Loves Julia. In short, white paint needs adequate lighting, preferably natural light, otherwise the white will look dingy.

I didn’t know this before we painted these rooms white but it turns out we weren’t complete color-choosing idiots. Powdered Snow has some cream/pink tint in it but looks bright white in a room full of natural light. The rooms that get less light are all painted beautiful, deeper colors. So…yay us?

Anyway, now I know so now you know.

Dear Guests, You’re Welcome!

From blank slate to flex guest room/studio in a month.

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