Monday, December 13, 2010

2 rights & a wrong

Last week I gave a teaser post with some crappy images of our newly trimmed and painted walls and I know that I promised pictures as soon as the new camera was in, but you're just going to have to hold off for a few more days. Sorry!! Yes we did get our new replacement DSLR this week, but we haven't yet purchased the memory cards so there is no photo snapping at this house yet! Plus today is a yucky, rainy, gray day and everyone knows that photos are always better with lots of natural light. In the mean time though, let me tell you a bit about how our weekend has been.

Do you want the good news or the bad news first?

Let's start with the bad, just to get it out of the way.

Remember when I mentioned in my
Lasting Loves post that we were having a custom corner desk built for our home office? Well yesterday it was both delivered and returned. Let me explain. We had hope to create some quality pieces that resembled Pottery Barn's Bedford Office System.

We found a local young guy with a promising portfolio to do the work. We met with him a couple of times over the past 2 months, reviewed the plans and he got to work. Unfortunately even after much measuring and discussing, the base unit pieces turned out way too big - like so big there wasn't even room for a chair!

But being the proper young southern gentleman that he is (he calls me 'mam and is only a few years younger than me), he promised to make the situation right. However, even after brainstorming solutions for nearly an hour we couldn't seem to figure out how to "fix" them to fit our space and still give us what we had wanted. Then it hit me. What if we didn't try to squeeze them into our office, but found a place for them somewhere else in the house?

In steps the unfinished master bedroom. We have been tossing around the idea of built-ins lining the walls where the slanted ceiling comes down. Even though it's the obvious storage solution for the space, we weren't so sure it was worth our investment (built-ins = $$$ & they have to stay with the house). But what if we pushed the end units together, slapped on some doors and added a continuous countertop? A piece that would fit into the space perfectly, but not be permanent. So that's what our "desk" is going to become, a faux built-in for the bedroom. Yay! Even though sleeping up there is eons away, I'm super excited to have the first piece of the big puzzle finished! And of course when it is finally delivered, I'll post it right here for you to see.

Now onto the rights.

We'll soon be delving into some serious tile projects at Casa Lengacher. We're planning to start with the mudroom. Then we'll move onto the fireplace & end up in the bathroom - and that's just the first floor. So considering that neither one of us has done any sort of tile work in the past (laying stone isn't quite the same), we decided it was time to educate ourselves, so we hit up a free class at The Tile Shop here in Charlotte.

We're planning on a matte black 2" hexagon mosaic with gray grout for the mudroom, like this.

And in the bathroom we're keeping it classic as well with a black and white 1" hexagon mosaic print, similar to what Erika did in this amazing Memphis home (scroll down to the first bathroom).

After a couple of hours learning the basics and getting our hands dirty, we feel not only prepared, but excited for our first tile project. I'll be heading back later this week to pick up the supplies.

And finally, we decided to try out another neighborhood restaurant, Loco Lime, after we both got a hankering for some authentic Mexican food.....if there is such a thing in Charlotte! We now consider ourselves in the "very experienced" category when it comes to most things Mexican, so here's how we rate it.

Authenticity: For a "New Mexican" restaurant we were surprisingly impressed with how right they got the Mexican part of things. The menu was full of real mexican dishes described just like they really would be south of the border. An added bonus was that the Spanish was written correctly - something that we've rarely seen, sadly!

Ambience: A bit too warehousey for us, the environment was lacking authenticity - except for the painted concerete block walls (but in Mexico they wouldn't even be painted!). There were a few cheesy sombreros, pinatas and throws that looked like someone may have made a weekend run to Tijuana, but as for "real" Mexican decor, this place had nada. We suggest they take a buying trip to the amazing artisan market in San Miguel de Allende or any touristic Mexican town for that matter, to add some authenticity to the place. Or if they'd rather, I'll go for them!

Taste: Good. Not great, but a solid good. I ordered Camarones ala ajillo (garlic sauteed shrimp) and it was tastely. Not garlicy enough for "real Mexico" but ok. Ben had a veggie burrito (with chicken). He said the flavor was nice, but the burrito was cold. There were several other items on the menu that we are interested in trying though, so we'll definitely be back. The beer list had some great options, and we both were able to have our favorites - Bohemia & Negra Modelo. We were even shocked to see tres leches (my favorite latin desert) on the menu and of course had to try it. Again, good but not great.

Hospitality: Our waiter was nice, friendly and made some helpful suggestions. He wasn't Latin and didn't speak Spanish (which would have added to authenticity), but overall he was nice & not too energetic, pushy or any of the annoying characteristics that a waiter can be.

Value: Of course the prices were like quadruple what they would be in Mexico, but we felt like we got a nice plate of food for the money. Ben would have ordered tacos, but when he saw that the price was $10 for 3 (mini tacos) he opted otherwise. Um, hello. In Mexico it costs maybe 30 pesos ($3) for 3 tacos - and they're good, real good. Again the tres leches really surprised us though. The slice was giant. Enough for 2 and even some leftover to take home.

Overall: We had a good experience overall. Good, not great. We'll definitely go back though and try something else on the menu and maybe even stop in for "All you can eat tacos for $10" some night.


Natalie said...

Way to go taking a bad situation and making it better. I'm excited to see pictures of the new desk/not so much a desk anymore.

Mizmary17 said...

I love the black hexagon tile!  Could you tell me where you got it? I'd love to do something similar in my bathroom. Thanks!

kristalengacher said...

We purchased our 2" black hexagon tile at The TIle Shop but I would recommend looking for one that has a silicon backing for easier installation. Ours had a mesh backing that completely disintegrates if it gets wet (and it will if you need to make any cuts). It was really hard to get the spacing to look good once the backing fell apart - FYI. We love the look but do keep in mind that it shows every little speck of dirt/pethair/etc. Lots of maintenance! Good luck!