Love and Olive Oil

Picture-Perfect Roast Chicken and a Peek Inside our Home

Loft Dining Room Art Wall

Thanks to all y’all’s input on our art dilemma, we finally made a decision and went with Option 1. The combination of print and pattern and color turned out to be simply perfect.

And as great as the art looked in my mockup, it looks even better in person.

Loft Dining Room Art Wall

It feels so good to have some art on the walls again, like someone actually lives here now and didn’t just move in days before. And we couldn’t be happier with our choices!

Loft Dining Room Art Wall

I realized it’d been years since I’d shared any home pictures, and the ones I had were seriously outdated. Our under-the-spiral-stair storage was still a flimsy little metal thing from the second hand store (we’ve since built a custom shelving unit with light wood and metal rods, see it in the kitchen photo below), nor had we installed our semi-built-in storage that spans the living room wall. Really, the only things that haven’t changed in the 7 years that we’ve lived here are the pot rack, the lime green mixer, and the Hatch Showprint posters on the wall.

Oh, and Kalypso. She’s still as chubby as ever.

Our Home Loft Living Room with Cat Shelves!

The living room built-ins (which is actually an IKEA Besta base to which we added a new top and base pieces to make it look more built-in) were the only way I could imagine to fit all my props into our limited space.

But what do I do now that it’s full?


And no, we didn’t forget to ‘stage’ those floating shelves above the TV. The only decorative objects that grace those shelves are of the furry variety. Anything else that happens to be sitting there will be promptly relocated to the floor.

Loft Dining Room Art Wall

These cats. They run our lives, I tell you.

Our Home - Loft Living Small Kitchen

Our kitchen. While we’re thankful for ample counterspace, the cabinet space is severely limited. Hence the need for all the extra storage.

We’re toying with the idea of painting the cabinets. Light gray, perhaps? I’d love white, but seeing as how much white we’ve already got going on I think it might be a bit excessive. What do you think? My dream would also be to replace the counters with a single level (no more raised bar) and a matte-finish countertop. I’m sick of this shiny stuff.

Our Home Loft Living Room

The faux-hide rug is our newest addition, replacing the old multi-colored Flor tiles we had there before. Dare I say our taste is maturing? The rug, anyhow, was so opposite of our typical style that I almost didn’t get it. But after some rotating and careful placement under the gray sofa, it’s starting to grow on us. I love how the organic shape breaks up all of the squares in the room (our old rug was ALL squares, I was longing for some curves!)

A new sofa is probably on the horizon, as what these photos don’t show (hello clever blanket placement) is the number our cats have done to the back corners of the sofa.

Here’s a million dollar idea for you: a sofa with refillable cat scratchers embedded into the corners. Then they can scratch to their heart’s content and when it gets gross and stringy, you just pop in a fresh post.

Brilliant, I tell you!

Picture-Perfect Roast Chicken Recipe

I wasn’t kidding when I said we were going to make that chicken recipe (I mean, if it’s on your wall you better as heck be able to vouch for it). It was our Christmas dinner, in fact! While the recipe is lacking a few key details (artistic license, ahem), I’ve filled them in for you below.

I loved cooking the chicken in the cast-iron skillet, so much more manageable than a giant roasting pan (save that one for the turkeys). Why didn’t I think of that before?

Perfect Roasted Chicken

Did you make this recipe?


  • 1 whole chicken
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat to 500 degrees F. Place a 10 or 12-inch cast iron skillet on a rack positioned in the lower third of your oven until hot.
  2. Rub the chiken all over with olive oil, then sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
  3. Carefully place the chicken, breast side up, in the hot skillet and return to oven. Roast for 15 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Continue to roast until chicken is golden brown, and a thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh registers 165 degrees F (ours took about another 45 minutes for a 6 pound bird; depending on the size of your chicken, I’d recommend checking the temperature after about 30 minutes to see where you’re at).
  4. Transfer the chicken to a platter, tipping the chicken to let the juices flow out into the pan before moving it. Let rest for at least 15 minutes before carving and serving.

Recipe from Minted artist Elliot Stokes

All images and text © / Love & Olive Oil

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Loft Dining Room Art Wall

I have to say, getting a box with your art already framed and ready to hang on the wall is downright convenient. Custom framing is complicated and expensive and just a hassle overall.

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  1. @BirdWordsRVA follows @Minted and @Loveandoliveoil on Twitter! 

  2. I follow @Minted and @Loveandoliveoil on Instagram! (ldbird203)

  3. Just ordered my save the dates from Minted today and am so excited about them! I would use the $200 towards wedding invites, rehearsal dinner invites, and thank you notes!

  4. I am expecting in March and we need nursery art. They have the cutest baby prints. I love the elephant holding balloons and each balloon is a number. 

  5. following on instagram – @sara_cornelius_

  6. tweeted – @sara_cornelius_

  7. subscribed ;-)

  8. This is so awesome! I’m amazed at the thorough job you did of figuring out your options before you purchased. I’ll need to keep your method in mind for the future. And your house is gorgeous! So light and airy; I love it. If I won this giveaway I’d probably also want to buy the roast chicken print you bought AND that magenta-colored one. We’ve been trying to figure out how to fill our walls recently, so winning this giveaway would be amaaaaazzzing.

  9. I’d buy some wall art for our bedroom!

  10. I’m subscribed and following both of you on twitter. I also tweeted!!

  11. I would make something sweet for my hubby- 5 year wedding anniversary this year and we don’t have ANY pics from our wedding day!

  12. I follow you and Minted on Instagram (@ashleymjensen)

  13. I’m subscribed!

  14. Grown up art for my apartment that will be long lasting !

  15. I subscribe too!!

  16. has the best family photo cards! I’d send out Valentine’s Day cards if I won!

  17. Ooh, I haven’t been familiar with Minted, but they have some lovely things. I think I would use the money in the art section–our house is small, but the art that we each brought into our marriage doesn’t match each other or our slowly growing style. I’d love some of the more modern colorful pieces I see there.

  18. I would spend it on art…they have amazing prints! I especially love the foil art.

  19. I follow both on instagram @ses593

  20. I subscribe to the website via email

  21. I would use it to finally get some amazing wedding pictures printed with some beautiful, romantic art. 

  22. I *just* put in my order for wedding invites from Minted! I would buy more (because we’re almost guaranteed to run short) AND get the envelope liners I wanted in the first place!

  23. follow both on instagram @amydwill

  24. subscribe to newsletter

  25. tweeted @willdamy

  26. I would probably use it towards some Save the Dates! But if nothing fits our style, maybe some artwork would do!

  27. Gosh I think I would save it for baby announcements once our little one arrives! PS- love that you have kitties that run (and ruin?!?) your lives as well as us! Makes me feel way more sane.

  28. I love their gold foil prints. Gave some away for christmas gifts last year.

  29. I already subscribed to the newsletter

  30. I would spend it on either art or some of their beautiful fabric.

  31. I follow both on instagram!

  32. I follow on twitter and I tweeted!

  33. I’m all ready a subscriber!

  34. I would load up on pretty stationary!

  35. Towards one of the photography prints for our barren Master bedroom

  36. I am seriously loving your kitchen table. Where did you get it?

  37. I love the gold foil prints featured on the Minted site. Especially the Paris map and typography prints. Stunning!

  38. Some framed art for my new house and moving announcements!

  39. I would love to get some new wall art! We are (hopefully) moving from an apartment to a house soon so we will have a much larger space to decorate!

  40. I follow you both on Instagram 

  41. I follow you both on Twitter already and tweeted 

  42. I already receive your emails :)

  43. I would use it for my daughters 2nd birthday invites

  44. I would spend the money on pretty stationery (I’m a sucker for that stuff) and some art to make my dorm room feel more homey!

  45. I could definitely use some art to decorate my new apartment!

  46. I follow both on Twitter (@melisaray)

  47. I subscribe via email.

  48. I am always looking for new art for the walls, so I would be tempted to buy some of the art on Minted, especially after seeing yours!

  49. i would definitely spend it all in the wedding section! :)

  50. I put the money towards my Minted wedding invitations!

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