Tuesday, April 8, 2014

February Date

A Very Merry Un-Birthday

Think The Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland. February's date started out with two gift bags, The Dollar Tree store, and five dollars cash each. 

Each of us had to sneak around The Dollar Tree to buy un-birthday gifts for each other. 

I got Stephen stuff for Mardi Gras

Stephen got me stuff he knows I like. 

It ended up being goofy - as expected. Stephen got to choose our location for dinner, and he chose PotPie. Good. Call.

It's in the Westport area, and the building is small, so go early to get a good seat. They open at five. And be sure to start with the steamed mussels. You won't want to miss them.

We started out with the steamed mussels. 

We didn't even bother looking at the other menu items, it was down to a decision between the chicken pot pie or the beef and mushroom pot pie. We went with the meat and mushrooms. Delicious.

Flakiest crust ever! 

I was pleased to see that Bluestem was next door, so I managed to coerce Stephen into popping in for a drink (and some yummy fried dough)

Best drink in KC. More on that later...

Orange Fritters with Thyme Dipping Sauce. 

All in all, a fun date. Our favorite part of these monthly dates is the zero planning involved. Stephen opens his envelope the first of the month and we get our calendars out and pick a date. Till next month...

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Year of Dates: January

So, I totally cashed in on that corny Pinterest idea of giving a year of dates and gave it to Stephen for Christmas. I mean, what else do you get the guy who wants nothing affordable?

I was especially excited about January's date because it was the "Choose Your Own Adventure" date - meaning there were like a hundred different options of how the day could go, all depending on what Stephen chose.

So we started out at Parkville Coffee, and he had to choose a Phase 1 envelope. The choices were Go, Do, or See. His initial envelope choice wasn't feasible (which turned out to be the theme of the evening, but we just adapted as necessary), because it was 2:30 and all of the museums closed at 4:00 - wah wah. Poor planning. So eventually he chose the "Do" envelope which contained the options of going to Crown Center, Cellar and Loft, or The Wine Walk on Delaware.

Neither of us had been to  Crown Center since Middle or High School, so it was fun to walk around and see the shops. I especially enjoyed the Chinese Tea Shop - where they were doing a tea tasting (hello, party idea) and Stephen of course liked the Chocolate shop and the science-y shops.

Chinese Tea Tasting


We're so beautiful. 

After we'd walked around for a few hours, we'd gotten hungry, which was Phase 2.

The options for Phase 2 were based on locations: Kansas, Downtown, or North of the River. Once again, Stephen opted for one that wasn't feasible time-wise or sounded that great to his cold-ridden self. He settled on North of the River and Stroud's, with Cafe des Amis as a backup in case the line was too long at Stroud's (spoiler alert: it was nearly two hours). We ended up at the French restaurant in downtown Parkville, which was delicious and a great time.

om nom noms!

Pretty Downtown Parkville. 

Appetizer: Coquilles st Jacques gratinees
(sauteed scallops and mushrooms in sherry wine bechamel sauce
topped with cheese then gratinee)

Dinner: Cailles farcies au foie gras
(roasted semi-boneless quails stuffed with foie gras and
black truffle, served with truffles sauce) and Stephen had
magret de canard
(pan-seared Moulard duck breast crusted with pink peppercorn,
served with a cranberry and port sauce)

And of course we splurged on dessert:
Souffle au chocolat
(chocolate souffle with strawberry sauce and vanilla ice cream)

We already knew that Stephen was going to choose the Home option for Phase 3, because he was sick, so we decided to hold off on the other two options for a later date (See and Drink). The at-home options were a chocolate tasting, buying a new video game to play together, or competitive board games.

Unfortunately, we're picky about our video games and the amount of money we're willing to spend on them, so Game Stop just wasn't working out. We decided just to head home and play some good ol' Wii before watching SNL. Yeah, we're that couple. It was great.

tea and popcorn are mandatory for game night

All in all, a pretty fun day. And we fully intend on using the rest of the envelopes the next time we're bored or up for some new adventures.

Until next month.

Vanessa and Stephen (and Tuck)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Completed Kitchen

So we've had a functioning and completed kitchen since the first weekend of September. I broke it in hosting Brittanie's bachelorette party sleepover, and since then we've been loving it. 

Love this view. 

Eventually we'll get some artwork up on the grey wall. 

This "hallway" is a lot less claustrophobic these days. 

Fun art. 

Look at that dishwasher and all that counter space! 

I love having this corner to stand at and work. 

Also wildly obsessed with the pendant fixture we found at Lowe's. 

Stephen did a great job with the mini cans.  They add
so much extra lighting to the kitchen. 

Ignore the terrible late-afternoon lighting and focus
instead on how great this looks. 

And that cabinet doesn't move across the kitchen to
wash dishes, which is neat. 

More fun artwork with $0.99 frames from Target. 

Love my containers. And cereal. 

Normal ceiling? Check. Extra cabinets? Check check!

New view from the living room - through the
widened doorway, I might add. 

Discount rug from Nebraska Furniture Mart over
the new flooring. 

I can run this baby all by myself!!

So it was definitely a labor of love, and way too much work for Esteban, but we sure do love our new kitchen. We hang out in there frequently. My favorite parts are definitely being able to run the dishwasher myself, walking barefoot on the rug, all the extra lighting, how easy the countertops are to clean, and maybe occasionally stroking the subway tile lovingly...

And just for fun, let's look back at how obnoxiously inefficient this kitchen was before:

And it is so much better afterwards:

So tell us what you think! I'm obsessed. My husband is pretty darn talented.

Tuck likes the kitchen, too.