Friday, August 31, 2012

we bought an island.

Um...just kidding. Not that kind of island. 

This kind of island:

We ordered the island unfinished (from Lowe's), then Patrick had paint matched to our cabinets. He also found very similar knobs and handles to match the original cabinets, so everything will match. (Several of our family members and friends have already seen the finished product, but I realized I had never posted this blog! So if you haven't, here ya go...)

The counter is an acacia wood block that we bought at Southeastern Salvage for $110 (then cut to size) - we had to finish it ourselves with food grade mineral oil, but it was MUCH cheaper than ordering a slab of butcher block from Lowe's for around $450 (by the time you include shipping).

We decided to use wood, since we'd eventually like to replace our counter tops with granite, and we don't want to have to worry about matching the island (since granite is probably still a couple years away). 

We love having more storage and counter space now. This island is perfect for us because it's got shelves for our dishes and a few necessities (such as the Crock Pot and toaster), but doesn't take up too much space in our kitchen. The doors open to the same compartment from either side. 

Drawers (the one on the right now has spices and the one on the left has Ziploc baggies/plastic wrap, etc...more info when I talk about the pantry):

Before painting

Kitchen when we moved in

Kitchen after addition of the island

Acacia wood surface

The finished product!

We recently painted the walls in here and have added a few decorative touches...more soon! 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

rockwells in france, part 2.

For part 1 of this post, click here...sorry for the delay! For my fourth (and final, yay!) year of pharmacy school, I have rotations every month (40 hours a week, 10 months total) before my graduation next May (wooooo!!!). It's been a great learning experience, but a BIT of an adjustment with scheduling, to say the least.

For those of you who may be curious, my rotation schedule looks like this:
June: Cookeville Regional Medical Center for Internal Medicine (check)
July: Sumner Regional Medical Center for Advanced Institutional Pharmacy (check)
August: Vanderbilt Children's Hospital - Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (in-progress)
September: Publix in Cool Springs for Community Practice
October: Vanderbilt for Clinical Management
November: Vanderbilt Children's Hospital - Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
December: break!!
January: Vanderbilt Children's Hospital for general pediatric pharmacy
February: ambulatory care coagulation (Coumadin) clinic through Vanderbilt
March: Cookeville Regional for Critical Care
April: Cookeville Regional for Nutrition
May 4, 2013...GRADUATION!! Hallelujah! 

Anyway, back to France...

Day 6: One of our favorite days, for sure. Our first stop was the Musee d'Orsay, which is an art museum. We actually liked it better than the Louvre, since there were less people, it was quieter, and you couldn't take pictures of the art (which made the traffic flow inside much more reasonable). We liked the art better, too - we saw paintings by artists such as Monet and Van Gogh! We did get these pictures of the clock, which was cool because we had just watched Hugo the night before and it's in the movie :)

We stayed at the museum til after lunch, then walked along the Seine to Sainte-Chapelle.

Sainte-Chapelle was built in the 1200's, and the stained glass was absolutely breathtaking.

We had an AMAZING dinner at a little place close to the Eiffel Tower called Au Petit Sud-Ouest.

A toaster on each table for the!

Patrick had duck confit, and I had a duck braised in a cherry sauce

We liked it.

If you are looking for a great place to eat in Paris, here you go!

After dinner, we walked over to the Eiffel Tower and enjoyed the view. Beautiful!

Day 7: Travel day...not very exciting. We took a train from Paris to Bordeaux, which is about a 3.5 hour trip. Our hotel was super nice (much bigger than the one in Paris!), and we looooved the city of Bordeaux. It's such a pretty, relaxing  place!

We loved this reflection pool by the river

The beautiful city of Bordeaux 

Day 8: We toured the St. Emilion region of Bordeaux wine country. It was super interesting to learn about the whole process of wine-making. I know this is so naive of me, but I had no idea how much time and effort it takes! We learned about the importance of the soil, the "berry" (grape), and the aging process. We also saw some gorgeous country-side along the way, and enjoyed a visit to the ancient little town of St. Emilion, which was so beautiful.

The first chateau that we visited

Beautiful poppies everywhere! Make me think of my momma :)

The vineyards
Stainless steel vats
At the basilica in St. Emilion - would be a beautiful place for a wedding!
St. Emilion

Day 9: We took a tour of the historical section of Bordeaux this morning, and learned about how the city has grown and changed. We then traveled to the Medoc region of Bordeaux wine country, and visited 2 more chateaus that were again absolutely gorgeous.

At one of the chateaus, the owner liked to collect cast-iron oven doors

Roses are often seen growing in vineyards because they are delicate and will forewarn if something like a pest or problem with the soil will affect the grapes.

Days 10 and 11: traveling back to the good ole US of A! :)

Whew! Now that we're back home from our trip, and through the crazy month of June (during which I was living with my parents to drive to Cookeville every day, and Patrick was gone most of the month for work)...we're FINALLY back to working on our house and have some pretty exciting stuff going on! Well, that is if you get excited by home improvement (which we do). Yay!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

rockwells in france - part 1.


Patrick and I returned on Memorial Day from a fantastic trip to France! We spent time in Paris, including a trip to Normandy, then traveled to Bordeaux for a couple days. Here's a summary of our adventures...

[Background: we decided to go to France around Christmas. Patrick had never been to Europe, and we really wanted to experience a trip like this before we have children (eventually) and while I had a break from school. France was a good choice for us there's LOTS to see and do, but unlike Italy for instance, if we didn't get around to something, no biggie (for us at least). A good learning experience if you will. And I've been to Paris once before (much more briefly than this trip), so that helped a lot with the planning.]

So, without further ado...

Day 1: We arrived in Paris on Friday morning, pretty dazed and confused to say the least. Neither of us slept much on the plane, so we were exhausted and a little overwhelmed. We dropped our bags off at the hotel, but we couldn't check in yet and take a nap, so we basically just wandered around the city. We walked through Luxembourg Gardens, went into Saint-Sulpice and Saint-Severin (beautiful cathedrals), and walked by Notre Dame.

Luxembourg Gardens 

Notre Dame

Our little hotel room at the Hotel du Parc
Once we were finally able to check into our hotel (which was in the Montparnasse district, if you're familiar with Paris) we took a much needed nap then had dinner at a cafe near our hotel.

Day 2: Saturday was a MUCH better day than Friday. We were well-rested, and actually felt like doing the things on our agenda. First on our agenda was the Montemarte district. We took to Metro to a nearby stop in order to see the Moulin Rouge (one of my favorite movies!!)...

which turned out to be in a really sketchy we hurried out of there and walked up the hill to Montemarte to see the Sacre-Coeur Basilica. It's at the very top of the hill, and there's a beautiful view of the city from there!

Sacre Coeur Basilica

Looking out over the city

Hanging out in a beautiful little park behind the basilica
We then walked back down the crowded hill, filled with artists and people and cafes and shops - down to the National Opera House.

Standing on the balcony of the opera house

It's a bit extravagant...
Since we had to meet our tour group for Normandy early the next morning, we walked around and found the place where we were supposed to meet - which happened to be close to a certain familiar art museum...
the Louvre
We ended up having dinner at an Italian restaurant, which was sooooo delicious, then went to bed...apparently much earlier than everyone else in Paris. I could still hear people partying outside our window at 5am, which in my half-asleep state sounded a whole lot like the second French Revolution. C'est la vie.

Day 3: Sunday was one of my favorite days of the trip. We went to Normandy - including Utah Beach, Omaha Beach, and Juno Beach.
We started at a museum dedicated to WWII and specifically Normandy 

German bunkers at Utah Beach

Patrick said a big machine gun sat here

Memorial at the Point du Hoc

Utah Beach - the American soldiers scaled these cliffs!

Bullet holes in the bunkers 

Graves of American soldiers at the Normandy American Cemetery 
We have sooo many more pictures, but I'm planning to upload them to Facebook. These were just some of my favorites! This day was amazing, especially since we were there right before Memorial Day.

Day 4: Monday was designated Louvre day. It was insanity - the Musee d'Orsay was closed that day, and it was of course EVERYONE went to the Louvre. Nonetheless, we managed to cover nearly the whole thing in about 5 hours - which, if you've been the the Louvre, you know is quite a feat.
oh hey Mona Lisa 
After we left the Louvre, we went in Notre Dame (since the line wasn't as long as on Friday).

Notre Dame
One of the beautiful rose windows in Notre Dame
 We had a crepe that afternoon in the Latin Quarter, and dinner later at a cafe close to our hotel.

Day 5: Tuesday we went to Versailles, which again was PACKED (the Louvre is closed on Tuesdays).

Driving around the Arc de Triomphe...what is going on here?

Louis XIV was a bit...extravagant 

Louis XIV silly

The gardens at Versailles 
 When we got back to Paris from Versailles, we walked up the Champs-Elysees over to the Eiffel Tower.

the square in Paris where "everyone got beheaded" during the French Revolution

Arc de Triomphe 

On the Eiffel Tower 

The wind gave me a French mustache...ha!
That's it for part 1...part 2 coming soon :)