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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Ikea Trip #1!

When we first moved into our house at Abbott we went on a HUGE Ikea adventure. I'm hoping someday to find the time to go back and blog about memories from the past and that's one that I for sure want to relive! It was CRAZY. We rented a Uhaul and drove it to Atlanta for a 24 hour decorate our entire house shopping spree. We were young and nuts. Haha. This time around that ain't happenin'. Ikea is (typically) cheaper than even Walmart so we decided to divide up our Ikea adventures into two trips. That way the money is spread out too :) 

Zach really didn't feel like making the 3 hour drive to Ikea on a Saturday after having driving to Columbus and back (3 hours 1 way), Augusta and back (another 3 hours one way) and Brunswick and back (2 hours 1 way) during that week for work. Who could blame him? I debated going at it alone but he ended up deciding to come along. And I'm glad he did as it was a SUPER fun day :) 

I think me suggesting we stopped for Chik-Fil-A breakfast on the way helped him decide to come! haha. We love some chicken biscuits and are too cheap (and diet conscious) to eat them often. But it was a day for just the two of us (Kye was with Mom) so we had to indulge.

Love the action shot of him totally driving with no hands...
If you've never been to Ikea then shame on you! It's right up there with Disney on my list. SO fun! We always take our time and tackle each and every room of the upstairs for inspiration. This time around it was so much better than when we went in Orlando. We both prefer the Atlanta location, plus we actually live in the house that we were idea hunting for, and Zach's back is no longer in constant pain. To make my looking job a little easier I straight up toted this cart around the whole time to carry my purse. Can I take that with me everywhere? Think of how useful it'd be for a baby bag!

(and yup, I'm wearing the Jet Faceted Necklace that I also wore to the Aflac event the night before...I think it's one of my current favorite pieces. I'm wearing it as I write this too!)
The big ticket items we need before we allow anyone to see the house (which means you, sorry but I'm not doing a look-at-our-new-house post until I'm fully unpacked and it's semi-decorated!) are: a desk for me, a rug for the dining room, and some extra seating for the living room. In thinking about the extra seating we actually decided that we also want a new cover for our couch. Have you ever sat in our couch? We have the most AWESOME couch ever!!! It's from Ikea, is a sectional, has a comfy fold out bed, has a drawer for storage, and has a removable cover (that's also machine washable). Be jealous. And go get yourself one :) Anyways, on top of all the other great features Ikea also makes additional covers for our couch. With the color scheme of the new house we're thinking about getting a gray couch cover. The only reserve I have about it is that it's not machine washable, but it's still dry cleanable so we'll probably get it on the next trip!

In thinking about extra seating, Zach and I both like the idea of a chaise lounger. We have BIG picture windows and don't want a piece of furniture to take away from the view of the backyard/pool so a chaise lounger allows there to be seating room without losing that view. Plus they are great for one person but can also seat at least three for when we have get-togethers and such (I love entertaining...if you're pregnant I'll throw you a shower haha).

Here's the one we're thinking about getting (Zach will stain the legs to match the dark wood in our living room)
The debate became do we match the same gray as the couch (you can pick your cover colors for the chaise loungers too!) or do something that coordinates without being so matchy-matchy. We really like this patterned gray look and will probably do this with it for something fun and modern (you'll probably want to click on the picture to make it bigger so you can better see the details).
After we finished the entire upstairs we stopped for a cheap, quick bit to eat and just relaxed. We're really trying hard to manage our money so we went through the list of all the things we saw that we liked and/or wanted then budgeted it all out to see what we can afford right now and what things we'll have to wait on. It was good to know what we were going to get before heading downstairs as the downstairs section makes it tough not to buy everything in site!
We hit up the potties, grabbed a cart, and started to SHOP! About a third of the way done with the downstairs I went to get my camera out of my purse when I realized it wasn't in the cart. Awesome. I looked all around where we were and didn't see it. I pretty much had that I'm-gonna-puke feeling right away. I told Zach to start calling my phone over and over again. I figured that Ikea is HUGE and it'd take awhile for someone to grab my purse then get out of there so hopefully my phone would ring. He stayed with the stuff calling and I raced off. I ran back to the cart section of the downstairs and started to retrace our steps (while also looking at every person I passed to see if they were carrying a certain Coach bag...). I passed an Ikea worker (a rare find there!) and grabbed her immediately. I told her what happened and she took me to a phone and made a call. She started asking me several questions and then said "Are you Emily Parker?" Thank GOD. Someone had turned it in!!!!

While on the hunt for the purse I had been tallying up all the money that I'd lost when it got taken/left somewhere/whatever. You figure my phone, my new Sony camera, my wallet, the millions of gift cards I had in it, plus the purse itself. It's sickening. We would have basically driven to Atlanta just to give my purse away b/c we wouldn't have been able to buy a thing at Ikea let alone eat supper after that loss! I followed the girl to the "backstage" area where I had to answer more questions and sign something before they would give me the purse. Not a thing was taken. How awesome is that??? The girl said that she would bet another Ikea employee found it and turned it in. Zach and I figured out that I probably left it on the hook in the bathroom before even starting in the downstairs section. Who cares! I have it back and that's what matters :)
 It would have sucked to have to leave all these goodies behind :)
I'm proud of all the great deals we got and that we watched our budget and stuck to it! After SIX HOURS here's what we had to show for it:
 Some guy asked if I wanted him to get a picture of both of us...I'm telling you the place is straight up like Disney!!!
After our looooong day we were PUMPED for some dinner. Our first plan was to go to California Pizza Kitchen at Atlantic Station because we've never actually been to Atlantic Station before. After we saw that you had to park in a parking deck, walk to the restaurant, and pay for parking we did not feel like dealing with that with a 3 hour drive ahead of us so we hit the road and I started playing with the GPS to find dinner. I typed in all our favorites and most of them were only north of us (shocker). I tried Provino's (which is my FAVORITE restaurant!) and actually had one not too far from where we were. Of course, it turned into an adventure.

We get off the exit and to where it says the restaurant should be and it's not there. So I call them (Zach's new GPS is AWESOME btw) and the lady says that they have moved locations. Luckily the exit is only a couple miles away and she said it's not far off the exit. We head that way. She told me it's in a Publix shopping center. We pull in the Publix. No Provinos. We drive slowly through the shopping center and see a little restaurant named Serafino's though...yup. That's it! I honestly had this feeling that they owned the Provino's from the couple exits up (since it said Provino's in the GPS and gave us the phone number that called this place) and didn't renew their contract for the franchise or something and just changed the name. By this point we were STARVING and badly craving Provino's so we decided to try it.

You could tell it's a family owned place with hardly ANY seating. It seriously looked like it belongs in NYC. I asked how long the wait was and they told us that only 1 couple was ahead of us. Didn't take our names or anything. We figured it couldn't be too long so we waited. And waited. And WAITED. People that came in behind us were locals and went on and on saying it's the BEST food ever and totally worth the wait and that it's always packed. We couldn't leave after hearing that right? We ended up waiting a good 40 min to get a table. AND the owner let another couple ahead of us and said that they had called ahead. Pretty rude not to tell us that in advance and Zach was tempted to lose his cool but we still waited.

YES. It was worth the wait. The prices are great. Service is straight up quick. Rolls are awesome. Food is INCREDIBLE. Like amazing. As in Serafino's is an instant Parker Family Favorite. The owner is also awesome. He rubbed us the wrong way at first but then after a few minutes you couldn't help but like him. He roams from table to table talking to everyone and laughing. He's legit Italian and probably a mobster as we seriously saw a guy come in, hand him an envelop, and leave. It made the experience even better :) He felt bad for letting the other couple ahead of us and told us about how he had to downsize because the old place was too crowded and that he couldn't trust his workers. He legitimately said, "They would call me saying their boyfriend beat them up before work so they couldn't come in. Why couldn't their boyfriends wait to beat them up until after work?"

I ate like a million of these rolls!
I had the manicotti and it was the best ever. I ate every last bite. Zach, of course, got the chicken parmesan and he also ate every bite. We were STUFFED but had to try dessert. I love Italian desserts and ordered the cannelloni. The owner came by and apologized again for making us wait and got Zach a slice of raspberry cheesecake on the house. Zach doesn't even like raspberries but oh. my. gosh. Hands down BEST cheesecake of our LIVES. We felt like puking, even the next day, because we were SO SO full!!!
I know you all want to eat there now right??? It's off the Stockbridge exit on 75 and I'd recommend calling ahead (as we totally will next time so we can cut in front of the "newbies" haha). Although it really is worth the wait!!!
We didn't leave dinner until about 9:00 and were tempted to just keep driving straight home since we wouldn't get there until about midnight. But I had to stop by and see a very good friend of mine from childhood days! Stephanie works RIGHT off 75 so I had no excuse not to stop, and I'm so glad we did! Seeing her so cute and pregnant was wonderful and I hope we can get together in real life again soon (I totally can't wait to meet Christian!!!).

It was SUCH a fun day together and was something we have been needing. Kye had a great time at his Gramma's house and enjoyed helping Daddy put together my desk after church on Sunday.
Such a handy man :)

Getting a taste of some of the new stuff in our house...doesn't it make you really want to see the finished product? It does me! Now if only someone would come over here and just get it all done for us because we just can't seem to get motivated!!!

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