Dessert/ Dinner



At the end of our IKEA excusion Ryan was like this:


And I was like this!


But let’s back up.

First of all, note to self: NEVER go to IKEA again on a Saturday. It.was.insane. We had to park literally two miles away in someone’s grass:


Yep, it was insane.

Ryan was literally speechless in the store. And I’m not sure that was a good thing. The words “this is a cattle call” or “this is a rat maze” frequented his lips while we forged on.  Being the gentle, sensitive girlfriend that I am, I just kept pushing ahead with him at my side.


He said no 🙁

However, we did get a plethora of greatness including a coffee table, a bookcase (for all my cookbooks! Finally!) and a huge gorgeous photo/picture of Paris. All for $200! As a reader just informed me on Twitter (follow me here!), IKEA is magical. Yeah, the quality of our new $49.99 coffee table might not be perfect, but its perfect for right now and my budget likes that a lot.

Since we were literally in the store for 3 hours, I had to bust out a snack because I was starving!


Oh goodness, this raw granola bar from One Lucky Duck was fantastic. It was a mix of almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, raw honey and raisins……major yum! However, this bar was enough to feed a small family so I only ate half as snack. It was filling and delightful!

We spent about 20 minutes getting all this stuff into Ryan’s tiny car and then another 30 minutes trying to get it out and upstairs. Once we did we both set to work—



I’m just really not an “assembling furniture” type of girl. I’m sort of missing that part of my brain, actually. I tried to assemble one from Target in college and let’s just say for the year I had it, it was missing a drawer.

I was so excited to find a wine that I tried and loved at the Wine Festival last weekend!



Remember when I told you that Torres wine from Spain was very passionate about going green? Well, I was happy to support that! And I just love this wine, which is a blend of Gerwurtzaminer and Muscat. Goes perfect with some raw rosemary “quackers” from One Lucky Duck, wouldn’t you say?


And what doesn’t go with hummus?!


(in my defense it was almost gone) 😉

A bunch of you have asked about the Murphy-Goode position….if I’ve heard anything back yet. The answer is no. But… they told me I wouldn’t hear from them for awhile while they screen all the applicants for the top 50 candidates! So let’s keep our fingers crossed and please continue to vote for me!!!!!

Anyways, here’s the finished product…..I think it looks awesome and I ADORE this picture!




The best part, by far, was filling the bookshelf with some cookbooks! I have boxes and boxes at my parent’s house still and only brought my most treasured ones here a few weeks ago when I moved in.




We didn’t get done setting everything up until around 8:00 and then went out to meet some friends at a Japanese steakhouse for a late dinner. I have a love/hate relationship with these places because on one hand, the food is SOOO ridicuously good but on the other hand, I always stuff myself to oblivion and have to hurry home to put my elastic waist pants on. No?!

When I sat down I ordered a steaming cup of jasmine tea to sip on—


Then out came the 500 courses! First, the yummy soup—


Then salad with ginger dressing—


And habachi shrimp with veggies and fried rice!



I honestly wasn’t that hungry until my shrimpies were ready. I really didn’t eat the soup or salad but then inhaled all the shrimp and some fried rice, too. I never really eat fried rice often but its soooo good at Japanese steakhouses because they do the whole thing on the griddle with plenty of garlic butter, soy sauce, egg and veggies. A very worthy splurge indeed!

After eating a massive amount of food I was about ready to fall asleep at the table and we all decided to call it a night. I nibbled on a bite of organic dark chocolate when I got home and am about to hit the sack!

See you in the morning…..we have a busy day tomorrow! 🙂

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  • Courtney (The Hungry Yogini
    May 23, 2009 at 9:31 pm

    Wow! What a day you had!! I’m loving the shot of you sipping wine as Ryan assembles. That’s the way it should go in my book!!!

  • Help Meghan Run
    May 23, 2009 at 9:34 pm

    Looks great! And going to Ikea is definitely an experience…glad you got out alive and with some good stuff 🙂

    www. HelpMeghanRun .com

  • jessnyc
    May 23, 2009 at 9:37 pm

    i love the pictures of you two in ikea, lol. that pretty much sums up my experiences there as well. you’re making me want to make an ikea trip so badly!

  • TorontoGirloutWest
    May 23, 2009 at 9:54 pm

    Sounds like you had a good day! But yeah IKEA can be bonkers any day and weekends are WAAAAAAAAAYYY worse! I recommend mid-week shopping instead. 😉

  • Carmen
    May 23, 2009 at 10:04 pm

    Yay, it looks like your place together is well, coming together. I saw that you have A Homemade Life! What did you think of it? I just love her writing style, and every single recipe I have tried has been simple and totally yummy. Also, her blog pointed me to another recipe which I have been making religiously every week. Its a simple (super fast!) combo of shrimp and broccoli, but roasted with an amazing spice combo. Be warned….its addicting!!

    Here’s the link:

  • Helena
    May 23, 2009 at 10:21 pm

    I love IKEA and it looks the same everywhere, Sweden, Canada The US, you name it. Do they have the food section in your IKEA? I always get something called whole wheat “skorpor”. It’s a kind of crackers that I use to eat as a kid growing up in Sweden. Always brings back good memories and they are so good with honey on.

  • emily
    May 23, 2009 at 10:23 pm

    Oooh, glad you had a good day at Ikea! I like that picture as well, the room looks great! I have the same problem with cookbooks, it is silly how many I have in my old room at home.

  • Mara @ What's For Dinner?
    May 23, 2009 at 10:32 pm

    I’m going to IKEA tomorrow! I’m so looking forward to it since I haven’t been in a LONG time! I might have to get some Swedish Meatballs while I’m there though 🙂

  • Jennifer @ His N' Her Health
    May 23, 2009 at 10:37 pm

    I love that you are not the assembling furniture type of gal. I am the same way! The boy gets to do all that fun stuff

  • Caroline
    May 23, 2009 at 10:40 pm

    LOVE IKEA! They have fab furniture AND food:)
    I go to Japanese steakhouses for one thing–the salad dressing!

  • Emily
    May 23, 2009 at 11:02 pm

    That’s a beautiful photo of Paris… I can’t wait to get back there!
    Thanks for sharing your bookshelf! I love nosing through other’s cookbooks ~ we have a number of overlaps 🙂
    Enjoy the weekend,

  • Susie
    May 24, 2009 at 12:05 am

    Hello 🙂 Reading your blog (today’s in particular) made me miss my vacation in Florida! I went to Kobe’s while I was there and have missed it ever since! Lucky you! I enjoy reading your blog. Thank you for sharing!

  • Jo @ Seeking Healthy Balance
    May 24, 2009 at 1:53 am

    Hey your dinner looks great. I love Japanese! My favourite part of Ikea is the food section. So many yummy things to try 🙂

  • Leah @ Simply Fabulous
    May 24, 2009 at 2:47 am

    I absolutely love ikea but I agree, on a Saturday it’s a no-go-zone!! 🙂 Great find tho, and I LOVE all of your cookbooks.. I got some ideas from the photos 🙂

  • Glidingcalm
    May 24, 2009 at 5:41 am

    Awesome buys Miss Jenna! I love the Paris picture and the bookshelf is pretty too! Could you take a pic of the coffee table? I’d love to see it!

    That is hilarious and insane that you parked in the grass.

    I love how you show the picture of Ryan working away and then you with your wine on your laptap. So funny!! And I’m pretty bad at putting things together sometimes too- so I can completely relate!!!

    Love the hibachi meal! I just had it recently and whenever the guy put the butter on the grill (aka every 6 seconds), he would call it ice cream- because it was white? I don’t know- the kids smiled!!

    happy Sunday lady!

  • Emily
    May 24, 2009 at 5:52 am

    I love Ikea, too! It is a little overwhelming to go in the store and pick out furniture and accessories. I think I could spend a week in there! I’m also horrible at constructing furniture. I built a little rolling shelf from Ikea earlier this year, and the bottom drawer won’t close. Eeek!

    Love the new bookcase and photo of Paris!

  • Rachel
    May 24, 2009 at 6:19 am

    haha I love that picture of you relaxing while Ryan is hard at work! He’s a good sport…my boyfriend would have given me 30 minutes and we would have been out of that store! That picture is gorgeous too!

    I can’t wait until your condo gets finished…I’d love to see the end product.

  • Katrina (gluten free gidget)
    May 24, 2009 at 6:20 am

    The hubby and I drove by IKEA last night. It looked like a MAD HOUSE! We thought they were having a special sale of something… I guess not! You are one brave girl! 🙂

  • Kelly
    May 24, 2009 at 6:28 am

    I completely agree that IKEA is insane on the weekends. Particularly if you can, going there during the week is the way to go! It’s already an overwhelming enough place 🙂
    Did you buy that wine at the wine festival? I know you tried it there but I wasn’t sure if you found it at your local store. I would love to try it too!

  • Emily @ The Experimentarian
    May 24, 2009 at 6:51 am

    I’m still so envious of your nails! They look great! You’ll just have to find more stuff to est with your hands so you can show them off. 🙂

  • Emily @ The Experimentarian
    May 24, 2009 at 6:52 am

    I’m still so envious of your nails! They look great! You’ll just have to find more stuff to eat with your hands so you can show them off. 🙂

  • Meredith (Pursuing Balance)
    May 24, 2009 at 7:14 am

    I’m terrible at assembling furniture too! When my first roommate and I moved in together we bought a couple things that needed to be assembled. We felt like it would be no problem at all for two tough girls like us, since we had moved all the furniture in ourselves in a monsoon. Well, we couldn’t do it. Not even close. We ended up calling a coworker frantically begging him to come put our furniture together lol.

  • elizabeth
    May 24, 2009 at 7:43 am

    I think IKEA is especially bad on holiday weekends too, so that might have been the culprit behind your cattle call experience! Our Ikea does free breakfasts Saturdays between certain times as well…

    I avoid Ikea, to be honest! 😀

    My Sabra hummus looked like yours yesterday after my husband and I got home. I have the big family-size tub from Costco and I felt like such a hummus hog when I scrapped the bowl clean. 32 servings of hummus, and I think I ate them all! 😀

  • Sarah (now in FL)
    May 24, 2009 at 7:57 am

    Um, so you should probably just rename your blog “Photos of Ryan That Make Me Giggle.” D and I went to IKEA yesterday too and bought an end table for our bedroom. I have to admit, I looked more like Ryan than you in IKEA. When we got to the bedroom section I was already needing a cocktail. We hadn’t even made it through bathrooms, “textiles,” “marketplace,” the food center, or “self serve.” We also parked on the sketchest street in Ybor so when we finally got back to the car I felt like crying because I was so tired. I’m glad you enjoyed the experience so much though and I LOVE your Paris photo!!

  • Cate
    May 24, 2009 at 9:22 am

    I love your cookbook collection! I have an extensive collection as well. I also like how you placed John’s elephant next to them. Question: I just ordered The Sweet Vegan and it should be arriving in the mail tomorrow – How do you like it and what recipe would you recommend trying first?
    Your dinner looks yummy – I love teppanyaki.
    I just opened my Vitamix and made my first smoothie =)

  • Stacy
    May 24, 2009 at 10:48 am

    I love that Paris picture. My husband proposed to me on top of the Eifel Tower and so, needless to say, I have been in love with the city ever since…and the man! : ) Also, your dress is adorable. I love it!

  • Caitlin
    May 24, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    I love Ikea!!
    The Paris picture is so pretty as well.

  • Angela
    May 24, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    LOL I love this part ‘we both set out to work’ and you are on your laptop with wine- LOL looks just like me!

  • FitFoodie
    May 24, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    Ikea can get insane for sure! That reminds me…I bought a bookshelf there a few months ago, and I NEED to put it together this weekend for sure 🙂

  • claudia
    May 24, 2009 at 5:56 pm

    Hi Jenna,

    Is that book on rue tatin good? I’m going through a phase in which I only want to read books about france (or meditation oddly enough) and I’ve seen that at the used book store. Should I snatch it up before somebody else does?


    • jenna
      May 25, 2009 at 9:12 am


      Its a FABULOUS book! I just love it!


      Embarrassingly enough, I’ve haven’t tried anything from that one yet! I’ll keep you posted!


      I got them from a small sandal shop I used to work at when I was in high school!

  • Stacey
    May 24, 2009 at 6:02 pm

    I have never been to IKEA, we just now got one in Charlotte and I’ve heard that it is always busy!

    Haha, Ryan is such a trooper 🙂

  • spicygranola
    May 24, 2009 at 7:18 pm

    your place is looking great. I love ikea, but I don’t think I could handle it on a sat. you and Ryan are braver people than I.

  • elise
    May 24, 2009 at 8:46 pm

    that store is def out of control. what a great guy ryan is to put up with the cattle call scene…

  • Sarah
    May 25, 2009 at 6:24 pm

    Love the new decor! I really need a book case for my cookbooks too, they are all just shoved in a drawer and I have to dig through them when I want something out of there!

  • Stephanie
    May 26, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    Keeping fingers crossed for great wine job!

    I ordered Veganomicon – this is all new for me, and I am very eager for this weeks BN delivery! 🙂

  • Caroline
    May 27, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    I love that bookcase! I was considering buying another to match this weekend, but the sale madness deterred me. Must have been why it was so crazy for you! Great choice in picture too!