You Can’t Always Get What You Want

Buenas noches! It has been much too long since I have sat down and typed out my thoughts. You were probably wondering “where has Nikki gone?” I am coming to the end of my first Seattle year and I have to say, what a year it has been. I didn’t do very much DIY this year, and that makes me sad :( However, I just signed a lease on a house (with a porch, a deck, a garage for work space (maybe I can finally use that saw I’ve been lugging around), and a yard complete with a fire pit so I am pretty confident that 2016 is going to be a great year.

If you were following along, you may have noticed that I was dating a man. Well, alas- another one bites the dust. You really can’t always get what you want. After seven months and a very long night working on Halloween costumes (we were going to be a pair of mittens) we decided to part ways the following morning on Halloween day. I was momentarily crushed, and while I do still miss this person I am realizing how much of myself I lost during those seven months.

I just got to Seattle, and I want to be in love with the place. I mean, it is amazing! Water is everywhere. There are mountains. There are jobs for creative/behind the scenes right-brained people like me (in very unexpected industries). While I was dating that man who had been here too long I failed to let myself really experience all this glorious place has to offer. And if you remember, I spent all of 2014 trying to find the place that had that right feeling. It was Seattle, and it still is and I still have that infinite possibility feeling. Since I have returned to my normal cat-lady status I have done sooo much more. Hockey Night now happens once a week. Good old mid-west kids gather in a bar and eat wings and watch our Blackhawks destroy the other team. I am actually performing better at my job. I started working out during a lunch break (which might be helping me perform better at work). I accept invitations to meet new people, or to attend events. I’ve even volunteered.

The thing is, I stopped being that awesome person that I am. I stopped making art. I stopped writing. I stopped shooting polaroids. I don’t want to be that person, ever again. I am not someone that needs to change for another person. I also don’t want to be with someone who doesn’t know how they feel about me after seven months. And while, you can’t always get what you want, some of the time you can. I didn’t work so hard to get here to settle. It’s hard sometimes, 30 feels so old and I am not where I thought that I would be. But that is ok. I have lived, I have loved, I have learned. My glass is still always half full (when I’m lucky, it’s wine).

I am going to move with my current roommate. She is just the most wonderful human to exist. She is so kind and hilarious. She listens to Christmas music in her epic blue minivan. She loves the kitties. We got a Christmas tree! It’s amazing. We went to a farm and cut it down while sipping on hot chocolate. It is comforting to share a safe place to live with such an amazing human. I am so excited for our house and even more excited to get out of Capitol Hill and our little attic apartment. (And sitting on the deck! Or the porch!).

So this year is wrapping up, and I have to move (ugh!). But once I do I am excited to make curtains, build things, start painting and drawing again. I’ve already shot over 20 portraits since October and I look forward to restarting 500faceproject. You can’t always get what you want, but sometimes what you need is just a little time for yourself. And maybe when I’m ready, so will be my little work-affiliate crush ;)

I’m Only Happy When it Rains

I’m only happy when it rains… Not really, the sun is GREAT but I am happy when it rains. As you can guess, it’s raining right now. I will be forever wondering why I didn’t get here sooner. Seattle is really a great place for me to be. My job has turned into quite the learning experience in all the right ways. I just put together an advertising campaign that will appear in print and online through three different outlets. I have also been spearheading a social media campaign for our upcoming event, as well as taking charge of community partners and other outreach efforts.

The running here in Seattle is SOOOO GOOD! I am consistantly running about 8-9 miles a day (when I run) or about 50 miles a week. I even wake up early some days to get it in. I have a really nice route around Lake Union. I’ve finally adjusted to the hills. It is important to note, that when your route is around a lake there are no shortcuts, and if you are running before work there is absolutely no time to stop and walk. I have found if I time it right I can avoid getting stopped at one of the bridges. Now tell me, who in their right mind thinks it is ok to put up the bridges during rush hour? Traffic is sooo bad in Seattle, you’d think they would regulate it better so that the bridges didn’t have to get raised during prime commuting hours… Just a thought but what do I know. My roommate is training to run a really, really long race in Iceland and I have offered up my services as a companion for some of those longer training runs. I think I will sit out the Seattle marathon this year however because I am hoping to travel to see friends and family over Thanksgiving weekend, when the race happens. Next year, maybe. All I can think about is how I said I’d never run another marathon. (YOMO: you only marathon once) I have a feeling marathons are like tattoos- you can’t stop with one, so once you forget how much the last one hurt you do it again.

Alex came to visit with our friend Kate! It was great to see some familiar faces here. We did touristy stuffs around town and caught up on girl talk. Also they got to meet the new man, and Alex gave her stamp of approval, which is good. He gave us car rides and helped us cook meals. Alex made it her mission to get a “Lady Fedora” and as you can see in the photo below she found one.


Me, Alexandra, and Kate taking selfies with the Space Needle.

So I’m swooning over here. It seems too easy but I met a really great guy. (He makes me biscuits!) You know how you make those lists (ok, how I make lists) about all the things I want out of something? I made this list when looking for a city to move to. I have made a few of these lists over the years for the man I would like to find. The only strike Seattle had against her was the fact that the cost of living is higher than Chicago. The Emerald City has all the other things a girl could need: nature, sports, arts, culture, JOBS!, public transit, mountains, a higher ratio of men to women, etc. My new boyfriend has all the things I wanted; Taller than me, smart, funny, kind, likes food and adventures, things I wouldn’t want my mother to read… the only thing he doesn’t have is a motorcycle or a boat (that was one combined item on the list). I think I can get over that one. Besides, he seems to like my cats.


Pretty much the best thing ever.


I know this blog has kind of put DIY projects on a back burner, but I am looking forward to doing a few projects this summer. I have started posting my polaroid portraits on instagram so follow if you aren’t already! Ok, back to work. And hey, it’s stopped raining… for now!

xoxo- Nikki

Seriously, pinch me.

Bon Jour! So someone, please pinch me because things are just going too well right now. I am settling into my new job and apartment. I’ve been on multiple dates with the same person. I found a wonderful kind person to live with in an apartment that is WITHIN WALKING DISTANCE OF WORK. I even just signed up for a ceramics class. Back in October when I decided I was “done with Chicago” I honestly had no idea that I would be able to make such incredible changes in my life. Some how, Seattle has all the answers to questions I have been asking for years.

About my job- It’s quite a learning experience. Everyday is something different and something new. If you could have asked October me what I would be doing in six months, clean technology is not the industry I would have expected. It has been a great way to get to know Washington. I’ve even met one of my legislative representatives down in Olympia! (I don’t even think I knew the name of the governor when I lived in Illinois).

About the new man- Also, not the person I thought I would be dating six months ago. But he’s great (so far!). I was all set on giving up on internet dates and he suggested I go on one last one… 10 dates later and I’m afraid I’m beginning to like him. We spend a lot of time going on car rides and looking at water. We have an ongoing game of naming 90’s bands. He made me go to a golf range and well, as you can guess I was terrible at it but I rather enjoyed it. I don’t know, but there is something nice about a person you can be around without having to talk all of the time.


Mount Baker is in the back, we went to Edmonds for brunch last Sunday.

About the new roommate- What a gem of a person. I wanted to live alone and then I remembered that I just moved to a new city where I know no one. Her posting for the apartment said something along the lines of you should be hilarious and have an affinity for unique living spaces and well, I do believe I possess both those qualities. She was most excited that I came with two cats, and well, I was more than happy to roll with it. We are slowly meshing all our stuff together in our sweet little attic apartment that we lovingly refer to as “The Penthouse.” I was really worried about the open shelving and the cats but it hasn’t yet been a problem. Also, considering that we are on fairly similar schedules we don’t really get in each other’s way. I have to admit, it’s nice to have a human to talk to about your day, about your job, and about your new boyfriend.

I took a few photos of the apartment this morning. It’s a Wednesday, so the place might reflect a smidge of that mid-week mess…

where I sleep

My little bed nook

My bedroom is an “L” Shape. On one side is my bed, the other my arts and crafts area.

My art area

Our penthouse is technically on the third floor, and we reach that via a staircase from our front door which is on the second floor.

The view of the “Front Door”

There aren’t any windows on the sides of our apartment, only in the bedrooms. We get all our daylight through a skylight.

The skylight

Another view of the skylight

The open shelving I was so worried about…

Open shelving in the kitchen

So that’s the place! My roommate also has a room which I did not photograph and a weird railroad style bathroom (is that what you call it? All I know is it has doors on each end and runs alongside the back of the kitchen wall.).
Some weird things- I’ve seen they guy who sat next to me on the plane on my move out here three times while running! People in Seattle recycle and compost everything. That’s about it. So, maybe someone doesn’t need to pinch me because maybe I got too excited about everything and spoke too soon… Who knows, we’ll see.


Sleeping Again in Seattle

Hola, err’ body. You may have guessed that I finally found a job due to the lack of posts! So yes! I found a job. A tier one, company that does something good for the world that needs that extra person to wear all of the hats and do everything for the least pay in the organization job… Actually I pretty much found the exact job I was looking for and couldn’t be more pleased. I have been learning a ton about an industry I know nothing about, writing content (which we all know how much I love writing!), tinkering with websites (again, though tedious it’s something I like to do), attending board meetings, working on social media campaigns, and heck, I even took head shots for the company. I am sleeping again (mostly because I am quite tired by 9pm) and Seattle is absolutely the place I am supposed to be. I even have my next apartment lined up (Look for the future post about the stuff retrieval) and should start moving in the next week. I found the most awesome midwestern girl off Craigslist who has the last affordable-ish apartment in Capitol Hill and was in need of a roommate. I am excited to DIY up the space as it is a uniquely shaped attic apartment with L-shaped rooms, a skylight in the main room, and has open shelving in the kitchen… we’ll see how the kitties behave. But let’s talk about the most pressing issue. I’m turning 30 in 2 days! 30! How the heck did that happen?!!!

20150307-075821-28701829.jpgLast weekend I flew to Las Vegas for my best friend from high school’s bachelorette party/30th birthday/wedding. I am glad I got to be there. Thankfully, flights to Vegas are the cheapest flights out of Seattle. I even managed to crash in someone else’s room. I wore a dress I already owned. I actually took public transportation from the airport (I rode the bus!) to Target. If you are not aware, Target is my happy place and I measure the quality of a place I am visiting by my experience at Target… I must have looked like I knew what I was doing because at least three people asked if I knew where places were. After Target I USED A TRANSFER (see how thrifty I am Mom!) to take a bus to the Strip.


Somehow before the trip I magically connected with a friend of the groom who happened to be the only other single person at this wedding so luckily I had a date! My dear friend Cynthia got married in a little chapel and then they rented a double decker bus that drove us down the strip at Sunset. Even better about this bus was the fact it had a singing Elvis impersonator and beers!  (And you know, one of the friends you have known the longest has just found the most awesome and handsomest husband definitely isn’t the worst thing in the world).

As fun as it was, I feel like I never ever have to go to Las Vegas ever again. While I managed to get a run in, and even visit with a different friend from Chicago, and even have amazing conversations with two girls regarding women entreprenuers, using social media for business, and general opinions about turning 30, I don’t think I ever need to go back to there… Perhaps it’s the Seattle rubbing off on me but I missed my green and nature. (And what kind of Pisces would I be if I didn’t mention how much I missed my water! Not the rainy haze, but the views of the Sound and Lake Union). It was very strange when people would ask where I was from and I had to think 20150307-075820-28700367.jpgso I didn’t say Chicago because now, I am from Seattle.

So two friends down. Cynthia got it all for her 30th, mine is probably not going to be as exciting. Last night (a Friday) I took myself shopping at Banana Republic for proper work clothes (Thanks Aunt Vicki!). Then I hit up Trader Joes for some wine, cheese, and meat. Then I plopped myself in front of the very computer that I am writing you from and watched about three hours of Netflix, only to retire before 10:30. Yes, adulthood, I am here. Today I have plans to do some laundry and cleaning, run, and maybe fill in one of my polaroid tattoos (I mean, I’m a grown-up now so I better finish up this sleeve so I can stop getting tattoos, right). I was really hoping someone would surprise me and fly out for my birthday but it looks like I’ll be spending it alone.

So everyone, I’m doing alright here in Seattle. Still have yet to meet the man of my dreams but I’m doing what I can to slowly climb Maslow’s pyramid and the hierarchy of needs. Would you believe it my Grandfather told me not to wait too long to get married! Yes, because I didn’t just spend nearly four years with someone I thought would be that person. Not to mention how I single-handedly executed a cross-country move, found my dream job, and crashed a Vegas wedding all on my own… But enough about that already. I’m here, doing the best I can. And hey, I’m finally sleeping again (on my own), here in Seattle.


What Really Happens

I’ve done it. I’ve made it a whole month here in lovely Seattle, Wa. Sadly, the Seahawks lost the big game yesterday. It would have been really fun to participate in the energy that would have accompanied them when they returned to the Emerald City. But this is not a Seahawks blog. Actually, it used to be a DIY blog but the DIY is on pause as I try to get everything figured out in the next two months. So let me tell you, what really happens when you move alone across the country.

1. You have a hard time sleeping. I attribute this to my job search which tends to wake me up at four in the morning. Now, you can’t really do much at four AM but I still spend nearly an hour each night willing myself back to sleep, only to wake up around 7:00 AM, just in time to watch the sky turn colors.


2. You meet a random person when you accidentally crash a UFC fight night (I thought it was supposed to be a Chicago bar! I just wanted to catch the Bulls game!). They actually end up becoming a pretty nice friend and are willing to hang out with you. (They also make sure you eat your first bag of Dicks! I know how that sounds, but it was pretty hilarious and delicious). The other person you meet is someone who just did nearly the same thing as you. I found a girl on Tumblr who moved out here in August and she has become my go-to person for happy hour drinks, gossip, and you-can-do-it pep talks.

3. You get talked into doing activities that would normally not be very appealing to you. Last weekend I went spelunking for the first time. I spent the entire time terrified that I would twist my ankle and not be able to run. Also, it was cold. It was wet. It was dark. Like really dark. It took around two hours to get through the whole cave. Then I hung out in a yurt. That was better. I told everyone I would become a mountain woman, but I guess I didn’t think it would happen so quickly. Also, because I moved out here with three suitcases, one of which was full of plants I have a limited outfit selection. Combine that with not wanting to spend any money I don’t have to… My hiking shoes are also my running shoes. Fortunately I have found things in the house I’m staying at like sleeping bags and proper outdoor-type jackets.

This is my spelunking face

This is my spelunking face

4. You actually forgot that you moved. Yes! This is what really happens. You get a craving for wings or something and then you wonder whats the special at 5 Star, and then you remember 5 Star is in Chicago, so it doesn’t matter what night it is. I mean, they have wings in Seattle, but well. You know.

5. If you move to Seattle you find yourself in a Subaru. I have been lucky to meet some people who either want to get me out of the city, or drop me off because heaven forbid I have to ride the bus at night. I have definitely already rode in at least if not more than four Subarus. That stereotype is true!

6. You give away your newbie status by shamelessly taking photo after photo of a local landmark. In Chicago it was the bean, Seattle has that silly space needle and gosh darn it, I love it. I also happen to live near Kerry Park so practically every other day I join the tourists and snap a photo of the lovely skyline.


The Space Needle!

So, here I am, Seattle! Find me a job, please. I can’t wait to do more to enjoy this great place, but I’d like to be able to sleep a little better. I’m excited to feel like less of a tourist and more like a productive member of society. Oh, you know what really happens when you move across the country alone? You blog about your boring life as an excuse to share your photos of a local landmark… hehe. Kidding, only a little. I miss everyone come visit please.

Seattle Skyline

The view from Kerry Park at night

xoxo- Nikki

I Need a Bucket List

Hola friends. Not to much to report on here. I have gone on a few interviews but have yet to land that dream job. I am pretty excited for a meeting that I have coming up this Friday and interested to see if that is the perfect position to start my Seattle professional life. I have gone on blind friend and romantic dates (you know, interviews with drinks) which have been interesting to say the least. Most recently I went out with someone who was really great to talk to and they made me realize, I need a bucket list!

Seattle skyline with space needle

This is where I live now! Seattle is so pretty!

I spent so much energy last year processing the end of my relationship and preparing for my inevitable move. It is possible that despite my love of making lists, I haven’t made one that’s big enough. I usually make lists with immediate or short term “To Dos” and forget about the giant picture that is the rest of my life. Obviously right now I have goals like “find a job” and “locate my next apartment” and even “make some friends.” But what are some things that would be good bucket list material? I have obviously scratched run a marathon off my list, but what else is there that I need to do?

For starters, I would really like to write a book. I have always liked to write, and ever since I received my BFA in Painting (ok, really it was hand-bound bookmaking) I have tried to craft various narratives into visually pleasing yet eloquent storylines. I think my 500faceproject has all the makings to be a beautiful coffee table type book, but I also really like the idea of writing and illustrating a children’s book. I even like the idea of writing fiction, and the bonus bucket list idea that said book could become a movie.

Another item for my bucket list is definitely build a tiny house on wheels. I think that is part of what I was saving for while I worked so hard all year, but I feel that the Pacific Northwest will be a better place to re-realize this dream.

I do love travel and it seems everyone has travel somewhere abroad on their list. Part of my love of travel stems from being able to see old friends. I think a World tour with Alexandra would be a pretty good addition to the bucket list because there isn’t anyone else on the planet I would want to spend that much time with, and she has to be there because she is going to be the one person I want to reminisce with about when we can barely remember to put our teeth back in.

I really wanted to be an Olympic athlete for as long as I can remember, but I have a feeling that window may be closing. There is only so much a human body can handle, and though I hate to admit it there are days where I can feel myself getting older. It is fun to think that in London, the winner of the pole vault for the women’s division was a 31-year-old from USA. Maybe I just need to find the right sport?

I don’t know what it is, but I really like the idea of physical challenges. I think climbing a mountain needs to be on my bucket list. How strange that now I actually live near a mountain range, eh?

I guess the good thing about bucket lists is that they never need to be completed and you can keep adding on for as long as you are still kicking. I am excited to be meeting people in Seattle that are inspiring me to think about the big picture, especially while the immediate one is slightly terrifying. In the mean time, wish me luck! Maybe Friday could help set me on the course to accomplish some of these things.