Moving and the Holidays

Hi folks! Nothing says end of the year like moving and the holidays! My ducks are all starting to get in nice little (boxed-up) rows and my (nearly) 30-year-migration back to the place of my birth is in full effect. I have been working crazy hours to squirrel every penny away for the big move and in the time between sleeping and working I’m packing (and downsizing) my life. Like Santa, I’m making lists but mine are more like “To do’s” and “Take care of this,” and my favorite, “Don’t forget!”

When I told my father I planned on renting a uHaul and driving my prized possessions across the country he sounded terrified. Apparently my move would include crossing the Rocky Mountains in the middle of the winter. On second thought, that sounds like a terrible idea! Moving the cats upstate in an old pickup truck during a blizzard was hard enough. Instead I have booked a pod service to transport and store my stuff for the three months of my sublet. Not only is it cheaper (really, I should be saving at least a grand over all) it’s much more time friendly. The only problem is now I am paring my life to fit in a 5’x6’x7′ box.The only real downside is I am going to have to leave behind all of my plants. (Tear).

So moving and the holidays includes me being the most hated person on an airplane. As for actually getting to Seattle, I booked a flight with Southwest (two checked bags for free!) and cats ride for 95$ in a carrier. (This will be a future blog post, “two cats, one carrier”). So I will arrive in Seattle with my cats, my favorite outfits, possibly two plants crammed into one of my suitcases, a few necessities, and my polaroid camera and portrait collection. Then, it will be New Year’s Eve and I’ll be all alone and honestly I’ve really never been more excited for anything!

Sorry friends and family, I won’t be able to buy anyone Christmas presents this year. However, I have a really great little handmade thing I will be giving to all of you (I found it as I have been slowly packing all of my belongings up). I am making daily trips out to the alley, and hopefully this time around someone else is finding alley treasures as I slowly purge things I’ve moved three or four or 10 times. I’ve cut my wardrobe nearly in half because although the clothes fit, I probably shouldn’t be wearing things meant for teens and 21-year-olds. My cousin Hannah, however should be having a very, merry hand-me-down Christmas.

I started the year off by breaking up with someone I had at one point thought would be in my life forever. I actually ran into them on the street the other day and while he seemed exactly the same, I realized I felt more like myself for the first time in years. While a struggle at times, I had an incredible year where I traveled to see multiple wonderful friends and cities, ran a marathon (while raising $1500 for charity!), displayed art in shows, experienced in full a Chicago summer, worked my butt off to be able to afford to move across the country and now, to wrap it all up I am moving and the holidays, well the holidays are even more special because I am making it a point to tell everyone just how much I love them.

xoxo- Nikki

I am on the cusp

Holy balogna,  I am on the cusp of making this all work out. In October I made the decision that I was through waiting tables. I have soo much more to offer the world than food service. I quit a fairly well paying job (gracefully and with a two-week notice) and really got cracking on my job search and relocation process. Obviously I fell in love with Seattle and hopefully in 24 hours I will have successfully secured a three month sublet.

I was a little naive to think this process would be easy. I have learned my lessons the hard way, so a friend I hardly know is doing me the ultimate favor in delivering my check. I found a little old lady on Craigslist who sublets her home for the winter months while she goes and lives someplace warm. It’s a bit more then I would like to spend but she will allow me to bring along the cats and this way I don’t get stuck blindly renting a studio (and hating it) for a year. I have had some of the most wonderful conversations with this woman. She is very positive and told me she has never regretted any of the risks she has taken. I think my story speaks a little to her because she told me she has others interested in the house but she is holding it for me. Sweet as she sounds, I know better than to just send her the money without a receipt.

Because I am on the cusp of making this all work out I have been researching how to physically move myself and my cats across the country. As of now I have a reservation for a Uhaul truck on December 26 for the whole week. It is EXPENSIVE! I looked into pod moving services but I would still have to get the kitties to Seattle. I do not like the idea of flying them so I think the Uhaul is the best bet. I am currently planning to stop for a night in Kansas city to pick up my friend from her parents house and bring her with me for a little road trip! (I also am looking for a free place to stay). This same friend has passed my resume around her work and they might even have a remote content writing position for me so I wouldn’t be moving to Seattle unemployed! Seriously. This is going to happen. To me! I can hardly sleep at night.

I have started trying to get rid of stuff. The cheapest option is a 10 foot truck so I need to shrink my stuff down to 10 tiny feet. I am trying to sell my TV. My roommate has told me whatever I leave will probably stay exactly where it is. I plan on leaving behind one of my desk/tables, my awesome bookshelf (made from two separate pieces and painted gloss almond).  Things I am taking for sure include my elephant stands, my nightstands, my drafting table desk, my “Eames” chairs (4 total), my 2 chairs that started this blog, my books, my blue rug, my bike, and one of my dressers. It is crazy hard trying to par stuff down. Basically I’m only keeping things that I am sentimental about. Meaning, when I finally get my apartment I will have lots of chairs and side tables but no couch or bed or normal eating table. I am sure I can make that work though.

I hopefully will be able to relax (but only a tiny bit!) once my friend gets that receipt. It really is a kindness I will never be able to repay her for since we barely know each other but I hope she knows I am eternally grateful for her help. A boy wrote a song for me about us just being specks in the universe and it really is crazy how all this is happening. (We’ll save that story for another post). If you’ve missed my DIY adventures hold tight! In 4 months I’ll hopefully be where I want to be and have a whole new home to decorate. In the mean time stick with me as I prepare to trade wind for rain and share this whole adventure with you. I have waited all year and finally I am on the cusp of starting the rest of my life!

xoxo-Nikki

The Waiting is the Hardest Part

Well well well, what a year this has turned out to be. In case you were wondering, I did survive the Chicago Marathon. I managed to complete it in a time of 3:50:18! Nearly 10 minutes under my four-hour goal. With that finished, I quit my job and started applying hard-core to jobs near Seattle, Houston, and DC. I have more friends in either Houston or DC, but Seattle is where I finally felt home. As my plane landed everything just seemed like it was in its right place. It was the feeling I was looking for all year. I even interviewed for a job for a company I’m genuinely excited about, rocking the teal interview dress that Alexandra made me buy. So who knows, but seriously the waiting is the hardest part.

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There hasn’t been a ton of DIY this year. My roommate came with a lot of stuff, so I have refrained from bringing home alley treasures. Also, I really want to move and I feel like I will have to get rid of a lot of stuff when that happens. I think a little “stuff purge” will be a good thing.

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I feel like I have been reading and writing more than I ever have before. (Maybe it’s one part due to the fact that I have more time, and one part because the potential of it all is exciting/terrifying/exhilarating). I suppose I’ve become a tad more anti-social, but I’m enjoying putzing around trying to figure things out. On January first, I knew everything had to change I just didn’t it would take the entire year for me to process. I traveled a lot this year: Los Angeles (and area around) CA, Ashville, NC, Carbondale IL, St. Louis MO, Southern Indiana (Best Nikki Surprise Weekend trip ever), DC area, Houston, TX, and lastly, Seattle, WA.

Seattle was lovely and I wish I had longer to stay and explore and spend time with a certain someone. I am trying not to over-think everything and remain positive and keep moving forward. I know its all about to happen, it has to. I’ve worked so hard. But seriously, the waiting is the hardest part.

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xoxo- Nikki

I’m Running The Chicago Marathon

Today I decided I’m running the Chicago Marathon and the only way to do that is through a charity. I went with Chicago Parks, because I feel this summer my daily jogs through Humboldt park are the only things which have been keeping me sane. To run this silly race, I need to raise $1,500! Please help. If only 100 people each give me $15 I can make my Windy City a better place!

Its so easy! Click here to donate!

xoxo-Nikki

Minor Adjustments

Bon Jour, mes amis! I know, I know what has been going on? Not much I’m afraid. I have made some minor adjustments to my living quarters, but I feel like I spend soo much time working that when I have the day off I need to spend it outside to make the most of this mellow Chicago Summer. After much debating and denial I have started online dating (per the advice of multiple, multiple friends) and while not quite sure how I feel about it, it is entertaining, none the less. Also! Today my adorable cat Tuesday is 9 years old! Nine! Tomorrow, well tomorrow marks the 10 year mark for when I brought the little orange bag of bones home. Bon Jovi, the snuggliest orange cat has *ahem kept me alive for 10 whole years.

The cutest cats in the world!

The cutest cats in the world!

 

As for the apartment, my roommate has SO MUCH STUFF. I have crammed some of my own furniture in the closest under the roof eaves and piled it into my bedroom. Because those red couches were so, red I ended up getting some neutral curtains from Ikea! look:

Before! Much too dark!

Before! Much too dark!

New curtains! And new rug too!

New curtains! And new rug too!

You may notice I also painted the lampshades again. They started a light green, and I went to “Catalina Mist” with the old curtains. When I hung up the nice neutral Ikea ones I spray painted them teal! (Remember from this post? Super easy DIY).

We also have a small jungle cultivating:

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Every picture I try to take has everything in silhouette… Just know that the plants are there!

I can’t help it when the roommate decorates when I am gone… you may have spotted a flag or a weird lamp or butterfly and I just have to live with these minor adjustments… I swear one day soon I am going to get out the gloss almond and make all our furniture match, but I guess I am just waiting for that rainy day…

xoxo-Nikki

 

I’m Back!

Hola amigos! I’m back! I had to take a little break from blogging while I dealt with all the fantastic feelings that accompany ex’s moving out (and other exes getting married and well, everyone in the facebook feed having babies or getting engaged). Also every time I find myself with 3 days off in a row I try to go somewhere (close and with a free bed to sleep in) and call it a vacation. Yes friends, I’ve been vacationing. From blogging, and from life. I did get a new roommate, and I have to admit I like her much more than the last one… Haven’t really started any new projects, but here are some pics of the space with our shared stuffs (and oh, is there so much stuff).

First off, to prove how much fun I’m having this summer, check out the fridge:

All of my impossible project polaroids!

All of my impossible project polaroids!

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The End is in Sight

In less than two weeks I will finally be able to get on with my life. After the most amicable break up that has somehow lasted 5 months I have won and am keeping the apartment! I have lined up a new person to move in and have already started experimenting with new decorations. Last week I tried to make some new curtains and while they are cute I just am not in love with them. They might look different with my future roomie’s furniture but I am just not in love…

You may remember my fabric ideas from this post. Well I went with the first option and just like my new sew DIY curtains I went about making them on the floor.

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