3 rooms get the perfect make-over for 2016

When I graduated college I thought I’d be making great pay in no time and my dreams of traveling the world would be coming true.

However, I graduated in 2007 and entered the workforce during the Great Recession and waffled on what career path I wanted to take. So let’s just say the big bucks aren’t rolling in at this point. But, I am doing something I love and all my career searching gave me some amazing experiences I wouldn’t trade for any pile of money.

I have been fortunate that I’ve kept traveling; even if not as frequently as I dreamed of. So that means after years of attempting to escape home I’m now working on building a little cocoon for myself and my family. A place that we can call home, but also feels like a world away. A place that recharges and relaxes us.

So, we have been chipping away at projects over the two years in our home and I have big plans for this year.

Organized chaos

This year’s goal is to get our closets organized. We’ve been inspired by all those empty hotel closets and drawers and the well-curated collections you see in magazines. You know, the ones that look more like an art collection than a wardrobe.

The Container Store and Target have been our go-to places for cute organization systems that fit with our décor or the décor we hope to start establishing in said room. It has to be functional, make it easy to find anything we are looking for and take good care of our clothes. We’ve made progress in the master bedroom, but now we have to tackle the little munchkin’s chaos.

A few of our favorites so far for organizing our chaos . . .

Organized chaos

  1. Lynk Vela Over-the-Door Shoe Shelves – Target.com $24.99
  2. Wide Underbed Drawer – Containerstore.com $24.99
  3. InterDesign 16 Loop Over-the-Door Scarf Holder – Target.com $7.99
  4. Platinum elfa Mesh Start-A-Stack – Containerstore.com $119.00

Family room

When we bought our current home we were really excited to finally have a space for lounging that is tucked away, out of sight when visitors stop by. When we moved in things sort of got cobbled together and I haven’t had much time to think about what I want the space to look like. My Pinterest board is a place to start, but this year I hope to really focus in on it and make it a really special place for our family.

That means a few construction projects for the hubby 🙂

Family room

  1. Hemnes Sofa Table – ikea.com $219.00
  2. Carson 5-Shelf Bookcase with doors – Target,com $129.99
  3. Threshold Turquoise Chunky Knit Throw – Target.com $24.99
  4. Stocksund Armchair, Nolhaga dark gray – ikea.com $349.00

Office

During my MBA, the office became tiny catch-all room. This year, the plan is to design an escape where we can go to be creative, get inspired, and get things done.

Office

 

  1. Bookcase Grey 5 Shelf – Target.com $149.99
  2. Happy Wood Panel – Target.com $19.99
  3. Threshold Parsons Desk with drawers – Target.com $169.99
  4. Gray Portland Twilight – Valspar
  5. Purple Lavender Bliss – Clark + Kensington
  6. Hudson Swoop Chair – Target.com $199.99

Any big projects planned for the year?

 

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Du Nord Craft Spirits: Behind the scenes

I have certainly had my fair share of beer and wine, but at heart I will always be a spirits girl. There is something about the vast array of scents, flavors, and mouth feel that excites and hypnotizes me. Which is why I am so excited to see a craft spirits movement blooming in Minnesota. People who are passionate about what they are doing draw me in like a magnet and if they have a bottle of vodka to sip while we talk all the better.

It was one of these magnetic stories that drew me in this past weekend. My husband and I found ourselves without a toddler in tow so I decided it was time for an actual adult excursion. With a little searching I came across the Du Nord Craft Spirits Distillery tour and Cocktail Room. The story behind how people came to do what they do and the history of a product have always fascinated me. This tour did not disappoint.menu

We arrived a little before our 3:00pm tour time at a rather non-descript building in an underdeveloped area of Minneapolis. Located just off of Hiawatha and the light rail line I had been past this block hundreds of times and had no idea this was here. Of course, in my defense the cocktail room only opened in January 2015 after Minnesota law changed to allow distilleries to offer more to drink on-site than just tastings. So we partook of the rewards of the law change with a couple of pre-tour cocktails. Both the Bee’s Knees and Du Nord Salty Dog were phenomenal – beautiful color and fantastic balance of flavor.

drinks

With our cocktails in hand we joined a small group of fellow spirits lovers for a behind the scenes look at this small operation. Started by a husband and wife team they are keeping it completely Minnesotan. The name Du Nord comes from the state motto, L’Etoile du Nord (The Star of the North). They are a grain to glass operation – all of the grain comes from Minnesota growers (directly from the farmer when possible), is distilled in house, and bottled for sale at local liquor stores. As our guide Ed told us, you will never see a Du Nord Rum because Minnesota cannot grow sugar cane.

Really keeping it Minnesotan they call the big copper one in the back Zelda - F. Scott Fitzgerald's wife :)

Really keeping it Minnesotan they call the big copper one in the back Zelda – F. Scott Fitzgerald’s wife 🙂

So they have started with Gin and Vodka and are working on adding Whiskey and Bourbon (takes 2-3 years). The process of how science and art come together to create these elixirs was fascinating. I guarantee after learning about where and how they make the cuts, how good distilleries don’t strip away the flavor, and what goes into creating a unique formula you will have a whole new appreciation for quality spirits and the amazing things being done locally.

Aged barrels ready for their Whiskey and Bourbon . . .

Aged barrels ready for their Whiskey and Bourbon . . .

I am very excited to keep on eye on what Du Nord is up to since they are coming out with a few new formulas, including a new world flavor Gin (will have no juniper) that people will be able to vote on to pick which gets bottled and distributed, that whiskey and bourbon that will be sitting in the aged barrels, and as part of the Minnesota Distillers Guild working with the MN legislature to pass a bill that would allow on-site bottle sales similar to what you can currently do at wineries.

Until then, I will just have to head out to my favorite liquor store and pick up a bottle of L’Etoile Vodka and Fitzgerald Gin (named after famous Minnesotan F. Scott Fitzgerald). Or I can organize a group of friends for a bottling party where I get an even closer look behind the scenes when we get to help bottle the spirits and we walk away with a parting gift of our own. And of course there is always the Cocktail Room with great atmosphere, big windows to look in on the distillery, and even a food truck on-site for some Italian nibbles – happy hour here we come!

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