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I realized it’d been years since I’d shared any home pictures, and the ones I had were seriously outdated.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. I need some  art for my master bedroom. The walls feel bare although I have some art up. 

  2. I’d use the money to FINALLY get my holiday cards out! (Already following on Feedly). Yay!

  3. I would buy new art!  LOVE minted!!

  4. I’d definitely use it for art! They have such a great selection of prints and I have so much empty wall space.

  5. I would use it for art!

  6. I follow @loveandoliveoil and @minted and tweeted:

  7. I would buy a planner, and some gifts. Thanks for the giveaway!

  8. I signed up for the mailing list. Yay! 

  9. If I were the lucky winner I would follow your lead and get some art on my bare walls! I love the minted photo prints and would finally take advantage of some of my great wedding photos

  10. I love the heart art and foiled art!

  11. Stuff to fill the walls!

  12. I just bought a new house and could use some decoration!

  13. I would buy personalized stationery for myself and all my siblings!

  14. Follow you both on Instagram

  15. Follow you both on Twitter 

  16. I get the newsletter 

  17. I didn’t know they had fabric.  They have some cool designs so I would stock up on some 

  18. I need art for my living room!!! Thanks for the giveaway :)

  19. thank you cards

  20. I’d love some wall art!

  21. I’m picking out my wedding invitations and love so many of the minted styles! $200 off invites would be amazing!

  22. Your home is so beautiful! I’ve always admired your style, and it just keeps getting more and more gorgeous!

    I would buy art for the baby’s room :)

  23. Just subscribed! 

  24. Wall decorations for my new apartment! 

  25. Subscriber.

  26. Some bold artwork.

  27. I would probably try to get some good photography to contrast with the paint-based art we already have hanging around.

  28. Invitation for my sisters wedding.

  29. I am in desperate need of some wall art for our master bedroom. We’ve lived in our house for over 2 years and the walls are still bare!

  30. I would probably buy personalized stationery…I’ve never had my oown!

  31. Those foil prints are awesome! I’d definitely check those out.

  32. Following on instagram: napetitto.

  33. Subscribe to the newsletter.

  34. I would definitely invest in some wall art. We just bought our first home and are still working on finding all the right pieces.

  35. Love the idea of framed pics!  Done and done :)

  36. wall art! 

  37. I would either get wedding thank you cards or some art for our walls!

  38. I’d use it for baby announcements! 

  39. I have only purchased art from Minted as a gift, but after seeing it, I’ll definitely be purchasing some prints for my own home!

  40. I would get the Striped Lines personalized stationary and a few notebooks and save the rest for Christmas cards! Great giveaway! 

  41. I’ve subscribed to your newsletter.

  42. I’ve followed you both on Instagram: @lost_puffin

  43. There are so many gorgeous things on the Minted site – I just can’t choose! I really love “Wild Grass Study”, “A Hushed Evening”, “Sway”, “Tangerine”, “Down Under the Brooklyn Bridge”, and and and :)

  44. beautiful home!
    i’d love some new art for our apartment! minted has some beautiful prints.

  45. Return address stamp/labels and art for our new home! Maybe even baby announcements if we’re lucky :)

  46. I would actually buy birthday cards for my kids and some personal stationary!

  47. I would buy the robot return fabric and make my future child a quilt!

  48. Id love to get some note cards to send with gifts etc!

  49. I would buy wedding stationary! I subscribed. 

  50. I would love to get some art for our new apartment! A wedding print would also be great!!

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