Walks with Jeri

Every time I go to Covington for the weekend or even afternoon, I know to always bring a pair of walking shoes. For as long as I can remember, my mom has always enjoyed exercising by walking literally all around Covington, and recently, I've been enjoying going with her. It's a chance for us to get out of the house, enjoy each other's company, and chit chat about a bunch of nothing. Embarrassingly, I can barely keep up with her because she walks at the pace of a slow jog. However, regardless of the pace, I always look forward to spending quality time with Jeri.


Watermelon Feta Salad

I stopped by Lissa's to finish that table I blogged about yesterday, and while I was there, she gave me some of this DELICIOUS Holly Clegg recipe salad that she had made. Lissa is super fit, and is a true inspiration for me in terms of healthy eating. I usually eat healthy regardless, but I often eating the same thing over and over. I love that I was introduced to this because it's cheap, easy, and as I said...super light and healthy. This is perfect for a summer afternoon by the pool in the Hamptons...or Southgate.

- Watermelon
- Feta
- Mint
- Kalamata Olives
- Red Onion
- Dash of Olive Oil and Rice Vinegar


Lissa's Kitchen Set - Work in Progress

Happy Monday! Is it Friday yet?

So here, you can see that I blogged about this earlier; this is just a progress post. This is (obviously) a picture of the chairs that I'm working on that will go with the table and bench. I think that they're coming out beautifully. I used 3 coats of Annie Sloan's Old White to completely cover the chairs that were originally just a natural light wood. Afterward, I went over the chairs and sanded them pretty heavily, allowing a fair amount of the natural wood to show through. Because I wanted them to stay white, I didn't use any of the dark wax to seal - only the clear. Finally, I used a polycrylic to completely seal the chairs. I don't always to this, but since chairs get more abuse than an end table or dresser, I figured it could use the extra protection.

The finished product will be posted about later this week. Make sure to keep reading!

PS - please excuse my attire. I DO have short on, but they're those obnoxiously (bordering on offensively) short running shorts. I had just finished running the lakes before coming over.


FatCow Burgers

Well, I had another post planned for today, but I accidentally deleted it after reverse happy hour last night.

FatCow. I'm really not sure how to begin a post that involves one of my favorite things in all of Baton Rouge. This is a new burger place located on Highland near the LSU Ave. intersection (next to Drunken Fish), and their food is nothing less than...well...perfection. Their burgers like the 120 or the Napa are my favorites, and since you can sub the meat for salmon, chicken, or portabello mushrooms, nothing ever seems to get old. And don't even get me started on their duck fat and parmesan fries. Even their salads are great if you're looking for a healthier option.

I've never had anything I didn't love here, and I could not recommend it enough. Now is a great time to check it out, too! They have a shady outside seating area with fans and misters, and after you eat your burger and fries, you can continue to enjoy the patio with one of their DE-licious shakes.

Here are a few of my favorites from the menu:

- Spring mix, sliced Fuji apples, shaved Parmesan cheese, apple smoked bacon, and toasted walnuts with roasted onion balsamic vinaigrette.

- A toasted bun with a hand ground angus burger topped with Benton’s apple smoked bacon, Gruyere cheese, caramelized onion, fresh arugula, sliced tomato and horseradish mayonnaise

- Sliced Pear, red onion marmalade, goat cheese and fresh arugula

- Piled high with fresh basil, tomatoes and sliced mozzarella then lightly broiled and finished with balsamic vinegar.

- Smoked Cheddar cheese, Benton’s apple smoked bacon, fried onion straws, lettuce and tomato, drizzled with sweet and tangy BBQ sauce.


TOMS Shades

I've always been a Ray-Ban guy. I love their Aviators, Wayfarers (original and new), and Clubmasters because they're great looking, but most of all...classic. Looking back on pictures, it's so funny to see friends in big, diva Dolce & Gabbana or Gucci glasses that look completely ridiculous now....and probably then, too. Not the point of the post, though.

Patrick, one of my close friends/former land lord (long story) bought these TOMS glasses, and I have heard him get so many compliments on them. They're similar in style to Ray-Ban's New Wayfarers, but have that awesome detailing on the tips of the arms that Ray-Bans don't. I love the orange and tortoise shell, but they come in several colors. I know Patrick got his from Nordstroms, but I believe you can either order them from the TOMS website or locally from Noelie Harmon. Check them out!


Mended Furniture - Foyer Table

So what do you think? This is a table that I just finished for one of my clients using Annie Sloan's paints and waxes. I love this table because of it's simplicity (in terms of design and color scheme I chose). I usually try and throw in a blue or green, but I'm happy I decided to keep this neutral. 

For the body and legs, I went with one of my colors, Country Gray and for the drawers and top, I went with Old White. I only used a little of the dark wax because I wanted the table to keep it's original color. What do you think?!

If you're interested in a quote to have something refinished, please email me at themendednest@gmail.com. I'm happy to answer any questions, and I look forward to hearing from you soon! I also have pieces in The Foyer in Baton Rouge (down the strip from Juban's on Perkins) for sale. Check them out here.


Breakfast of Champions

This is it. This is my new favorite thing to do on a Saturday morning. Sundays are for brunch, day drinking, and relaxing, but Saturdays are one of my busiest days. They're now filled with Mended Furniture projects, client house calls, working out/running, a little pool time if I can squeeze it it...and all that before getting dressed and having drinks with friends. To start a day like that, a hearty Whole Foods breakfast with one of my all time best friends, Ryan, is becoming a necessity. I try to mix it up, but it usually consists of fresh fruit, a scone or muffin, and always coffee. It's the perfect start to a perfect day.


My New Place (take 4)

One year ago, when I moved into my house on Capitol Heights, I thought I was finally done with moving. It's the biggest pain, it never goes as smoothly as you think, and there's always at least one unexpected something-or-other to make things worse than they already would be. What a joke. Since vacating my house, I've now completed my 4th move in ONE month. Thank God for wonderful, generous friends because that is who I've been leaning on. Thank you Patrick, Megan, and Michael for your hospitality while I got my life back in order! (Yes, I know that equals 3, not 4)

Last night (after a particularly long day at work then two client house calls for The Mended Nest) I moved for (hopefully) the last time for at least a few months. My Uncle Tommy was nice enough to let me move into his place, and I couldn't turn down the offer. Then of course, there's the added bonus that his house is extremely nice. It's completely my style: 12 foot ceilings, white walls and trim, dark floors, triple crown molding, super clean and simple. Since he works in NOLA and stays there frequently, I'll have the house to myself for a few nights out of the week. Well...me and his 4 dogs! I'm really looking forward to my time here. I'll have plenty of time and space to blare some music, pour a glass of wine/pop open a beer, and start on some Mended Furniture projects. It's morphin' relaxin' time!


Fresh Basil Hummus (Re-Post)

I decided to try to make hummus last night, and I'm glad I did because it came out BEAUTIFULLY! I should start by saying that I'm pretty much obsessed with any kind of hummus, but for my first attempt, I decided to try adding one of my other biggest food obsessions: basil. The idea was to try to make a sort of pesto-hummus, and I think I pretty much nailed it. 


- one can chickpeas (drained)
- 1 cup basil (packed)
- 3 pressed garlic cloves (I know, right?!)
- olive oil
- lemon juice (2 whole lemons)
- salt/pepper
- dash of cumin
- parmesan cheese (2 Tbs)
- dash of garlic powder

Simply put everything in your food processor and blend until proper consistency. I'm telling you, you're going to love this recipe. Obviously, this is perfect when hosting a dinner party or small gathering. I assure you, you'll really impress your guests by serving a homemade appetizer as opposed to something store bought. It'll give your dinner party that little something extra...which I'm sure it doesn't need.


Happy Birthday, Mark!

Yesterday, my brother, Mark (middle) turned 21! Jeri, my dad, Frank, and my brother, Christian (left) all went out to eat at this superb downtown Covington restaurant, Del Porto. Renovated my my all time favorite architect, Matt Voelkel (owner of Studio MV), Del Porto was the perfect place to celebrate Mark for this epic birthday.

We usually have big family gatherings for birthdays since so much of our extended family lives close to us in Covington. While those are always a blast, it was nice to have a little change and enjoy the company of my immediate family. It was so nice to just sit and chat over great food and overpriced wine. It's times like these that I realize how blessed I am to be a part of such a great family. Cheers!

PS - if you go here, you'll see my favorite house that Matt's designed. Obsess


BLEND's Opening Night

Last Monday night, I got the VIP treatment with a few of my friends as we were invited to the opening party at BLEND, the newest wine bar in Baton Rouge. I blogged about BLEND a few days ago when a few friends went to check it out before it opened. I have to say I was quite impressed. When it was converted from The Wine Loft into BLEND, several aesthetic improvements were made that now give the space a fun, unique-to-Baton Rouge look.

We were served an assortment of cheeses, chocolates, and teasers from the kitchen as well as the house's blend wines - one white and one red. Everything was delicious. According to Andy, one of the owners, they hired an amazing chef with fresh ideas and great taste. I'll second that.

If you haven't had a chance to go, I highly recommend you check it out. I can say it's a perfect place to bring a date. 
It's in the space where The Wine Loft was for years in downtown Baton Rouge (corner of Laurel and 3rd). Enjoy!


I'll Bring the Mint (Re-post)

I've taken out a lot of content from this post because it's not relevant as it was the first time I posted about this. Soo...let's start here:

Do you love the glasses we used for the mint juleps? Last year for Christmas, MawMaw (Jeri's mom), gave them to me and I LOVE them. They're the Mignon Faget's Creole Cottages double Old Fashioned glasses. I used them for every cocktail I make: Ramos Gin Fizzes, Mojitos,...and Mint Juleps!

Mint Julep (tweaked JUST a little):

- Crush 2 sprigs of mint in 1 oz of simple syrup in glass
- Fill glass with crushed ice
- Pour 2 oz of your finest bourbon
- Stir and sip

I think I'll be having one or so this weekend. It's a great summer drink, perfect for grilling, and pool side lounging.


Life is Like...

Okay - so technically life is like a box of chocolates, but work with me here. It can also be like filled donuts...I guess. You never know what filling your going to get? Maybe it' a stretch, but either way, I'm trying to live life a new way - carefree. Take things as they come, and don't get too caught up with what might happen. I'm going to live in the moment...obviously with certain boundaries. By nature, I'm extremely indecisive, but my goal is to start making decisions and sticking with them - no regrets, no looking back. Who knows? I may be surprised...and finally I'm starting to get excited about what life is going to send my way. Finally.

Brunch with Mariee' - Feelings Cafe

OMG, it's Monday already? UGH. At least I can relive yesterday at my desk over and over and over. Mariee', Jeri's mom took my cousin/basically brother, Alex and myself to Feelings Cafe in New Orleans for brunch. Alex and I are the two oldest grandchildren on my mom's side other than one other cousin who lives in London. The point is we had her to ourselves for a long time before my brother came along 5 years later. We have such a special relationship with her, and yesterday was the first time in a while we were all free to get together. The food, the drinks and the company were all top notch. We had an absolutely wonderful time.

Afterwards, Alex had to go play in a soccer game, so MawMaw and I had the afternoon to ourselves. First, we visited the house where she grew up on Music St. (below). According to her, it's totally different now with the colors and ornamentation, but either way it's a pretty cool old house. It's deceivingly small - it's camel back style, and the top portion in the back held 4 bedrooms. Not too shabby! We finished the day off by driving around New Orleans and doing a bunch of nothing. I loved it. Before we left the city to go back to the Northshore (Covington), we stopped for coffee and cannolis at Angelo Brocato's. OMG. If you've never been...GO! They make them fresh right in front of you, and it's hard to think of something better than fresh cannolis, coffee, and MawMaw.