Jeri's Birthday!

Saturday night, my family drove over to Baton Rouge to our house to celebrate Jeri's birthday (Feb. 3rd)! I completely regret this decision in hindsight, but I told her that for her birthday, I wouldn't make everyone pause at random times (often while eating) so that I could snap a picture for something blog related. Per her request, I spent the evening just enjoying everyone's company and not stressing about TMN.

We had such a great time. We started with wine and a few appetizers - assorted cheeses, crackers, and olives (blue cheese stuff? talk dirty!) Afterwards, I grilled burgers which we ate with blue mac 'n cheese that I made from scratch. Since I didn't take pictures, I'm going to "have" to make it again. I'll share the recipe then. Just know that my mouth is watering as I'm thinking about it.

Point of the pictures: Jeri brought me this beautiful orchid as "just a little something" for hosting her birthday dinner at my house. I thought it was so beautiful - how could I not share?


Krewe of Mutts! (Recap)

Let me start by saying I am aware I've been posting a lot recently about the danes, so this will be the last one for a while. Promise.

Yesterday, Beau and I, along with our friends, Ryan and Johnny took Duke and Cooper to the Krewe of Mutts dog parade in downtown Baton Rouge. With bloody marys in hand, the six of us (including dogs) walked around looking at all the dogs dressed up in funny costumes and all the little puppies up for adoption. The weather was uncharacteristically beautiful, so it was the perfect day to walk around and enjoy ourselves. There were thousands of people there with every kind of dog you can imagine. Ryan kept making fun of us, because I think we stopped and chit chatted with every single great dane owner (as if we knew them) and let the dogs mingle (aka sniff butts).

I was very proud of both Duke and Cooper. They tend to be on the hyper side...especially when they get around other dogs. However, for the most part, they just walked around and took in the sights (except when Beau let Duke's leash go (to prove how good he is) and he took off running). People tried three different times to grab him as he ran by, but he would just dodge them and keep running. There were tons of people who are scared of a 160 lb. running towards them, so their reactions were funny. Keep in mind, Beau was running after him yelling his name. I don't think I've ever laughed so hard in my life!

After that long day, both Duke and Cooper are POOPED. As I'm writing this post, they're both curled up by my feet completely passed out. Sweet danes.



Look how cute! I forget that Duke and Cooper were little at one point. It's so funny to look back at these old pictures and remember their chubby little faces, awkwardly big paws, and puppy breath. These pictures were taken in this cute old house we rented in the garden district. Memories....

Happy Friday!


DIY Office Storage Creative Solutions (Part 2)

Last week, we showed you another creative storage idea for your home office and I'm happy to announce that part 2 is here! Since starting The Mended Nest, we've found ourselves doing a lot more gift wrapping - often times for merchandise that we're delivering. When we started the process of turning our guest bedroom into an office, we tried to think of more efficient ways of storing all the wrapping supplies we need...rather than keeping everything in a box on the floor.

Just like the last project, this was totally Beau's idea, so I didn't actually make it. However, I'll try my best to explain the process.

1. Paint two pieces of wood (equal in size) white (or whatever color you want for your office). Screw these into the wall. These will act as the frame for the whole thing. Make sure to measure! You dont want to put them too far apart to where the rods won't reach both ends.

2. Drill the eye hole screws into the wood. Make sure you're drilling them at the same height for each...unless you prefer ugly and lopsided rods

3. Slide the wrapping paper, ribbon, etc., onto the rods (before hanging the rods)

4. Hang the rods up by the eye hole screws

Just think: this will come in handy especially during Christmas!  


Krewe of Mutts this Sunday!

The good, the bad, and the furry! That is the theme of this year's Krewe of Mutts on Sunday, Jan 29th from 10 to 4 in downtown Baton Rouge. The streets will be taken over by hundreds of doggies and their owners as everyone watches the K-9 parade - with tons and tons of puppies dressed up in their finest, it is really a site to see. There will be everything from Great Danes and Mastiffs to Chiwawas and Terriers...a lot of the people are fun to look at, too. You know - the ones that treat their dogs like human beings and talk to them as if they speak English?(guilty) I highly recommend you come out and enjoy the parade, food trucks, music, and fun! Best of all, it's sponsored by CAAWS (Capitol Area Animal Welfare Society), all of the proceeds go directly to support the shelter.

"The Capital Area Animal Welfare Society is a non-profit organization committed to the well-being of animals in the Baton Rouge community by adopting homeless animals, teaching the community responsible pet ownership and the humane treatment of animals, and promoting the practice of spay/neuter at all times. Our ultimate goal is to have Baton Rouge be a model in the South where all adoptable animals find loving homes." - CAAWS.org.


Honey Mint Dressing

After the holiday season (as always) I don't exactly recognize myself. There's a lot of extra jiggle in my step, and it's getting ridiculous. Just like everyone else, I used January 1st as my launching point for a healthier, slimmer me. The other day Beau and I were eating at Truly Free (a wonderful gluten and dairy free bakery and deli in Baton Rouge) and watching The Food Network on one of the TVs. Giada was on and was making a recipe very similar to the one I'm posting about today. Love her. This is exactly what I'm talking about - something like this is a MUCH better option that a fatty ranch or bleu cheese dressing...even though they're delish!

So here is this super healthy salad dressing's recipe:

- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 lemon (squeezed)
- 2 Tbs honey
- 2 sprigs of mint (finely chopped)
- salt/pepper


Art Show at the Shaw Center

Ten years ago, downtown Baton Rouge was not much more than offices and mediocre "high rises". At 5:00 on Friday, downtown would shut down and stay quiet until Monday morning. However, over the past few years, Baton Rouge's downtown has started to become much more trendy with bars, restaurants, exhibits, and events (like "Live after Five") One place that has been there since 2005 is the Shaw Center located at 100 Lafayette St. The building itself is stunning and has no comparison in Baton Rouge (or any of the surrounding cities for that matter). It's the home of wonderful restaurants, museum spaces, and the Manship Theater. It really is a place you must go to if you ever visit the city.

Saturday night, Beau, Ryan, and I headed up to the Shaw Center's 5th floor (Louisiana State University Museum of Art) to enjoy Tearing Granite: The Sculpture of Jesus Moroles. We had a really good time meeting and talking to a lot of Ryan's coworkers, looking at the artist's work...and drinking wine and eating delish appetizers.

I wasn't REALLY sure if I was allowed to take pictures, so I kind of walked around trying to sneak pictures here and there. Such a nerd!


THIS is What I Need

Dying. I am dying this morning. Last night, Beau and I went to Fernando's, a Mexican restaurant in Baton Rouge to meet some of Mesty's finance's friends. Remember - Megan Estey (Mesty) is one of our closet friends, and recently she got engaged...YAY! We've never had a chance to meet Chris, her fiancee's friends so we all wanted to get together so that we're not all meeting each other for the first time during all the wedding shenanigans. Do I even need to say that I had several cervesas there?

Afterwards, Beau went home, and I when to another friend's restaurant opening. It's called The Breadbox. OMG. Is you live in BR you must go - it's right on Essen near Ichiban. The food is so, so, so good! We got to sample several items from the menu, and I didn't have one thing that was even mediocre...it was ALL fantastic.

I have to say, I was very impressed with myself. By the end of the night I was in no condition to drive, so I took a cab home. (for readers in major cities - remember I live in Baton Rouge. I had to call a cab and wait 20 minutes) Totally worth it. The thought of getting a DUI scares the crap out of me, and I'd rather pay $20 for a cab ride ANY day over thousands in lawyers fees for a DUI charge. Short story long, I woke up in dire need of a big cup of coffee...and I'm out of milk! I need need need need my coffee! I may vomit on the way to work. At least it's Friday!


DIY - Office Storage Creative Solutions

Hello! Recently, we started the process of converting our guest room into a home office. Our reasoning behind this switch was that we only have guests stay a couple of time a year, but we could utilize an office space every single day. We wanted it to be a place that would function as a space where we could bring clients for meetings, but still be functional as an office/creative room. I'll be posting about the whole room later (when the whole thing is complete), but for now I want to focus on our most recent project: Mason Jar Misc Holders!
I'm very excited to share this with you guys. Because we're working in a small space, creative storage solutions are crucial. We don't have room for big shelves or cabinets to hold all of our supplies, so why not use extra wall space?

It was a fairly simple process: we started by painting a piece of wood white then drilling it into the wall. This would be the mount for the row of jars. Then we drilled a hole in the metal hose clamp (this was the hard part) so that it could be screwed into the wood mount. Once drilled in, we fastened the hose clamp around the glass jar. DONE!...except for filling it with pens, markers, pencils, brushes, etc.

I hope this inspires you to get a little creative with your home office. Good Luck!


Sausage Dawgs, Y'all

How hungry are you after looking at these pictures? I had been craving a sausage dog forEVER, and I finally got around to making them last night. They were absolutely delicious and hit the spot like none other. The best part - they were super easy to make. Paired with a glass (or three) of Pinot and a small salad (as an attempt to keep the meal "healthy"), Beau and I enjoyed each other's company as we watched a lovely episode of Dance Moms.

- Broil sausage until cooked completely (my oven was set on 400 degrees)
- Toast bun and add mayonnaise and Zatarain's Creole Mustard
- Drop sausage in between the buns
- Smother sauteed white onions (that you've had in the skillet while the sausage was cooking)
- Sprinkle parmesan cheese
- Devour


Superior Sundays

Happy MLK Day! I hope everyone had a chance to take the day off from work, and enjoy what will hopefully be a gorgeous January day. If it stays warm like it is, I'm thinking mint juleps on the porch this evening...

Yesterday, we were invited (along with several of our other friends) to have brunch at Superior Grill. If you've never heard of it, you may be surprised to know it's actually a Mexican restaurant. Based on the name, you'd think it would be an all-American burger type place. Speaking of burgers...they, hands down, have THE best burger in Baton Rouge...at least in my opinion, and that's exactly what I had. May sound a little weird, but since it WAS brunch, I paired it with a couple of Bloody Marys...and then a couple of mimosas for dessert. Unfortunately, I don't have pictures - I told myself I wan't going to be weird (this time) and ring my camera into the restaurant. NEVER AGAIN!


Friday Finds - Caldrea's Countertop Cleanser

Happy Friday! It certainly is for me. I took off from work, so I'm looking at a day filled with fun projects, time with the danes, and hopefully a little exercise. Topic of today's discussion: Caldrea's Countertop Cleanser. We first ran across this at Beau's sister, Laurel's house, and we thought it was so neat. Upon further research, we found out that similar to the Mrs. Meyer's line, Caldrea has a whole line of household cleaning tools and products. Now, I can't speak for all of the scents, but we and Laurel have Ginger Pomelo, and it smells sooo good. Just like Mrs. Meyer's, these products are less harsh, don't have a chemical smell, and are way cuter. If you're looking to pick some up, I know it's available at Goodwood Hardware in Baton Rouge (of all places) Outside of BR - you're guess is as good as mine, but it's worth the search!!


Mended Art - Present for Jeri

Hi, Mended Nesters! All Jeri asked for this past Christmas was for us to create a piece of art to go over her buffet in the dining room. As usual, we waited until the last minute, so we started working on it just a few days before Dec. 25th. Beau and I went back and forth discussing different ideas and options, but we finally decided on what's displayed above. Just like Jeri, I'm SO pleased with the outcome. To be honest, I was a tap bit skeptical because this was really Beau's vision. I was there to just help bring his idea to fruition. Final product: fun and abstract, yet simple and chic. So here's what we did...

1. Cover a canvas in a collage made with different magazine clippings, tin foil, etc. (try to gear these around certain colors because they will show up through the paint). Cover with Mod Podge to keep it on the canvas.

2. To add texture, apply plaster to the canvas over the magazine clipping sporadically leaving gaps where the clippings show completely. There's no rhyme or reason to this part - do it however you want. Go a little crazy!

3. Once plaster is semi-dry, paint over everything with acrylic paint (Hobby Lobby, Walmart, etc.) Make sure it's a lighter color to keep your art light and fun - not dark, dreary, and heavy. I recommend applying a color around the edges then go over the whole thing in a white or off-white (which, when you apply will blend the color you used on the outside).

4. While still wet, make vertical lines using the other end of your paint brush. Make sure to apply enough pressure so that the original magazine collage shows through.

If you're interested in a custom piece of art similar to the one above, please email us for a quote at TheMendedNest@gmail.com. Talk to you soon!


Lemon Rosemary Vinaigrette

Last night, Beau and I finally made it out to the store for one of our biggest grocery runs to date. We were out of everything, and while I do love eating out for every meal, it gets to be a little too expensive. We got all the usuals: chicken, turkey, cheeses, bread, milk, coffee, fruits, veggies, wine, etc., etc. Since my rosemary bush is temporarily out of commission because of the cold weather, I also had to pick some up that comes in the pack...which ended up being the inspiration for our meal.

I wanted to bake lightly seasoned chicken breasts to serve with a crisp salad...obviously enjoyed with a few glasses of Chardonnay. I didn't see any dressing I was dying for in the grocery, so I decided to use the rosemary I bought and create my own dressing! This is not my own recipe - I totally found it online, but (as usual) I had to alter it a little to make it my own. See below:

2 cloves garlic, peeled
3 sprigs rosemary, stems removed
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 lemon, juiced
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Add all ingredients to a food processor and let it do all the work, and that's it! You're ready to serve over a bed of mixed greens with finely sliced red onion, and diced cherry tomatoes. Enjoy!


Sad Day for LSU

If any of you watched the BCS Game last night (Alabama v. LSU) and you're an LSU fan, you know the sadness that we are all feeling today. For those who watched the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills instead of the game, LSU played Alabama for the 2012 BCS National Championship last night in the Superdome in New Orleans...and were completely shut out. I mean - it was u g l y and I can't imagine they have an alibi.

LSU tailgating and watching the games is a something we've done for years (just like the majority of people in Baton Rouge). There are so many fun things we do and traditions we have (I'll be posting about it sometime in September or October). This is a picture from earlier this season when we were sure LSU was going to win the National Championship. Wishful thinking...