Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Going Professional... sort of!

Y'all hubs and I have taken the plunge. To host our own website filled with adventures, cooking and all that's in between! We want to share our journey with you and are so proud to introduce our new website! Feel free to meander over and get ready to Dillie and Dallie with us!

Hop on over and check us out! We are so excited to share this new adventure!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Dark Walled Master Bedroom

We've been in our home for over a year now and I just could never commit to a "master bedroom style". I wanted something that was masculine but feminine as well as bedding that could withstand Kit Cat's hair and her nightly cuddling with us. So I was really focusing away from white linens and I kept seeing dark walls and since there are no painted walls in our home, I felt like our master needed a paint job!

I was really drawn to navy blues at first..

I also kept coming across the photos of Chez V's master bedroom in a beautiful jewel toned turquoise that kept striking my fancy. So I kept exploring this sort of color for inspiration as well. I mean, how amazing is her bedroom? I love it!

One or two more photos of this sort of color for my inspiration:

I just knew a bold color was exactly what we needed in our bedroom, but I also needed great linens, curtains, furniture, etc.. The list is never ending, but surprisingly we made most of this happen in a weekend! 

Stay tuned for the results! What do you think about darker master bedrooms?


Sunday, April 5, 2015

Cooking with the Dillmans: Book Club Menu

I love hosting people in our home. It's first off, a great excuse to clean my house and reorganize as well as add some things that I might not have been in a rush to do so (more on the changes later!) But also because we get to cook yummy food for our friends. Book club is one of my favorite excuses!!

Since I work late during the week I needed a book club menu that was super easy and that I could prepare almost perfectly ahead of time. I thought about different appetizers but I just didn't want too many options so I decided to make a meal.

We're going Country ladies and gents! 
  • Crock Pot BBQ
  • Baked Mac and Cheese
  • Banana Pudding Trifle
  • Caterpillar Veggie Tray
  • Fruit Salad
I found this recipe for BBQ in the crock pot which is the perfect solution to being at work all day and needing something ready when I get home. I've made BBQ in my crockpot before with a dumbed down recipe of a bottle of BBQ sauce and a can of coke and it was pretty good but not like I'm used to. (I guess because I love a vinegar based BBQ because I'm from Eastern NC!) I also LOVE to serve the BBQ on mini Hawaiian rolls, they just taste a bit better. I also had to serve coleslaw on the side because I love coleslaw on my BBQ sandwiches. The bbq came out great and it's such an easy week night meal. We made nachos the next day and they were even better!!

 via pinterest

Next on deck was Mac and Cheese. I do LOVE Stouffer's mac and cheese, it's quite amazing if you haven't tried it, but I thought I'd step up my game for book club. I decided on a baked mac and cheese so I could whip the ingredients almost before go-time, and pop it in the oven to be done once everyone was here. I found this recipe for classic baked mac and cheese and shredded my own cheddar the night before. The recipe came out OK, I had rushed it and wanted enough noodles so there were too many noodles and I don't feel like they cooked all the way.

Of course we had to have dessert! Since we were going with the southern theme, there's nothing more southern than banana pudding, plus I love banana pudding. We had received a trifle bowl as a wedding present so I occasionally pull it out and make a nice dessert. I found this recipe that was an adaptation of "not yo' momma's banana pudding" by Paula Deen. Although I could NOT find cheesman cookies, I went with vanilla wafers because I still love those as well!! The dessert came out so good and everyone loved it!


During our book club we also surprised my friend who is expecting a baby girl with a book shower! We get to shower the new baby with tons of books for their shelves for years to come. I just happened to walk into Old Navy one day and see the Very Hungry Caterpillar pull toy and picked it up because it was adorable! So then of course I bought the book and also decided on making a little veggie tray to honor her again! I found the inspiration on Pinterest of course. I used cucumbers, green peppers, sugar snap peas and a babybel cheese as the head!

Everything was delish! We also had a great time discussing Me Before You, it was a great book that we all really enjoyed and one that really made you think about all the different purposes and decisions we make as humans. Between our own self, those we love and those who come into our lives unexpectedly. I highly recommend reading it!!


Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Book Case Book Club

I love books. I love books scattered about, as decor, to read and on an epic book case.

Every month we have our book club (that's been meeting for 5 years now, I can't believe it's been that long!!) I love book club and I look forward to the challenge of completing at least one book a month. Sometime I read every page, sometimes I don't get to read at all, but I still enjoy our meetings regardless. I think the biggest difficulty is finding a book almost everyone likes and will read so that we can discuss it. We all take turns hosting and basically there's a good core of 10-11 of us who always attend and always host each year. March is my month so I did some researching to select a good book and finally decided on Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. I loved it and couldn't put it down and I've heard some chatting amongst members that they like the book too!! I can't wait to discuss tonight!

Because we read mostly fiction I want to imagine all different types of book cases. I think this book would look excellent on a book case like this:

 Have you read Me Before You? Do you have any other book recommendations?


Thursday, March 19, 2015

Rome: Day 4

On our final full day in Rome we wanted to tour the Colosseum so we had booked a tour online and headed off to begin our tour. We really only did tours in Rome because I don't have much knowledge about Roman culture and its history is so in depth and ancient it's hard to grasp the reality of it sometimes! The tours tend to be decent, but usually lacking and really short. You learn a few facts and wham, it's over. I think if you can find some tours for a good price I'd look into them, or even look for apps and things that you can do on your own. I really loved the private tour we listened to at the Louvre and I'm sure there are things out there that I just did not look into.. next time though!!

This is actually the REAL name of the Colosseum, Amphitheater Flavim.
Then of course we had to get lunch after our tour. We found a little pizza shop off the beaten path and had wonderful pizza! Fresh buffalo mozzarella for me!!

After lunch we continued to the ancient ruins as our ticket from the Colosseum included free entry into the ruins of the Roman Forum and Palantine Hill. A lot of this was overwhelming for me, but it was neat to see the final resting place of Julius Cesare!

I also looked up Anthony Bourdain's recommendations again and was able to get gelato from one of the best gelaterias in Rome!! YAY! Gracchi! It was also close to our b&b!!

After an exhausting day of walking around Rome we headed back to our hotel to gather our thoughts and decide on dinner. Of course I start searching and searching the internet for a really unique meal for our last dinner in Europe. I came across a restaurant called Romeo that was near our hotel and we thought we'd walk by and see what we thought.

 Below is the most amazing proscuitto and FRESH buffalo mozzarella and they gave us complimentary FRESH ricotta that tasted like absolute HEAVEN.. OMG it was SO good!!
A classic Italian cocktail, the Negroni!
Amazing fresh pasta!!
Sausage stuffed calamari!! YUM!
We also realized we never had tiramisu in Rome so of course we ordered it, and this is what came out!! We made a video of how this bad boy opened but I can't find it, but let me just tell you, it was amazing!! It really did taste like tiramisu too, even if it doesn't look remotely like the cakey substance we're accustomed to here in the U.S. Ultimately, if you couldn't tell, I would HIGHLY recommend you visit Romeo if you're ever in Rome. Even though it looks fancy, it wasn't over priced and it was amazingly delicious!!

The next morning it was off to the airport to leave Europe and end our 2.5 week trip.. I was definitely sad to give up our relaxed lifestyle of eating when we wanted, drinking when we wanted (at every lunch!) and just doing what we wanted. It was also nice getting to spend every day with hubs. Although Rome really tested my patience with him, but it wasn't just him it was also Rome testing my patience.. As you can tell Rome was not my favorite city we visited. To be honest it was my least favorite city. It just didn't agree with me and I wouldn't be in a hurry to visit again. I knew I wasn't too found of going in the first place so I hate to think it was my preconceived notions, but it was just the lack of hospitality, the overwhelming amount of tourists and the overall amount of garbage and broken glass everywhere making the city dirty. I know people love Rome and I can see potential I really can, but it just didn't capture my heart. I really wish we had visited Florence instead, but we can save that for next time. We did get yummy pizza and gelato so that's a win in my book. But the pictures prove it is a beautiful city!!

I just can't wait to get back to Europe though. I want to explore France more, I'd like to visit Germany, England, Austria, Belgium, Greece.. the list goes on and on!! And hubs and I agree we'd go back to Venice in a heart beat! Of course we'd love to go back anywhere in France.. We still can't get over how much we loved it! We actually just bought a learn French CD too so hopefully we can brush up with the French visit Raleigh in September!!

What's your ideal Europe trip?! Where have you been that you'd recommend? Where do you want to go? I'd LOVE to know your thoughts!!

Hope you enjoyed #dillmanstakeeurope #dillmanstravel ;)