Monthly Archives: January 2014

On Euler Circuits

Today we are going to deviate from the usual DIY post. It is time to spend some time on Euler Circuits. It is not the biggest secret that Alexandra and myself are simultaneously experiencing some major life changes at the moment. While Alex is scaling down her life to fit in the back of a pick-up truck and making plans to return to the great state of Illinois, I am relearning how to be a non-robot version of myself. In all honesty we are both fucking terrified.

I keep telling myself:

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(You know I’m not done with this rant… read on).

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Washi Tape Two Ways

Washi tape two ways today. Washi tape is super fun, colorful, trendy, and already all over Nikki’s apartment.  (Or at least it was for a while). Here’s my take on the semi sticky stuff.

The first was a crazy DIY from my kitchen that evolved of many wine with ice evenings longing to paint my renter’s white apartment walls.  The kitchen really needed more lime green.  I told you I was going for a fiesta theme awhile back…

The tapes are from an art store in nyc; it’s colored masking tape.  Two widths.  Artfully layered.  Madhouse fun!

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The second here is a more practical approach.  In an effort to get organized for my cross country move, I needed a plan.  I can only take ‘x’ amount of stuff.  The blue washi tape is the exact (i hope) dimensions of a truck bed.

This is also how New Yorkers pack.  I’ve seen it done!  You can’t really leave anything in a vehicle overnight on the street, so creatively we’ve adapted to pre-packing everything indoors to make sure it will all fit, tetris style.  Seriously, I hope I can fit my whole life into a space this tiny…

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Cross country move step one.

Cheers,

Alexandra

I Got Dibbs

When it snows in Chicago, nothing says “I got dibbs” quite like old furniture in the street to reserve someone’s parking space. Residents feel that if they put in the effort to shovel their cars out from underneath the midwestern tundra that they are inherently in possession of the cleared space. Chicagoans typically put lawn chairs or milk crates to denote the space as theirs. Maybe if I owned a car I would understand this mentality, but I don’t. So imagine my surprise when walking home from yoga (mind you this is after 90 minutes of Bikram where I worked and sweat my butt off) I found the sweetest nightstand! With only 2/3 of a mile to walk home I hefted it block by block. I mean, if its only serving as dibbs it’s up for grabs, right?

It was really heavy. I was on the phone with Alexandra and she thought I was insane. I took a break at every street corner. But I made it. Then it sat downstairs for a few weeks. I finally had a day to myself and I gave her quite the makeover.

Here she was before:

I got dibbs on this here (abused) mid-century nightstand

I got dibbs on this here (abused) mid-century nightstand

I know, I know. People really hate on people who paint wood. But you know what- I FOUND IT IN THE SNOW IN THE STREET AND IT WAS IN KIND OF CRAPPY SHAPE SO I PAINTED IT! I did google it to see if it was worth money- the closest I found only netted 23$ so I figured it wasn’t that nice…

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California Dreaming

Sorry friends! I know I started the year off strong and then seemingly forgot about you. Truth is I’m California dreaming (and bloggin from my phone). Or rather, I’ve temporarily run away to see my awesome aunt and do some much needed pondering while taking Instagram photos. I know back in Chicago it is nearly ZERO degrees, but I’m starting to feel homesick for my kitties and other little but exciting things.

On my first day here we went to the beach in Santa Monica and it was perfect. I managed to not get burned and did some much needed contemplation (thinking the thinks) while staring into the Pacific Ocean.

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My aunts house is really awesome. The room I’m staying in she calls the Dragon Room.
You gotta click on to see just how awesome!

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Sofa without a Home

Happy New Years!  Epic Changes Ahead…

(warning: for the purposes of this blog, Nikki & Alexandra’s life crises will coincide.  Crises is the plural of crisis <– therapy lessons.  Haha, jk, we’re just feeling 2014 fierce, time to be happy!)

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Remember this well-blogged sofa… and all the indecision.

Turns out, I thought buying a couch would make my house seem like “home”.  And then, of course, my brother would want to visit me more often.  And friends would come over for wine and drink it on my sofa and hang out, and it would be okay if they spilled a little because it’s a slipcover.  And I would feel like I lived in a better apartment in a better neighborhood.  I would also get a better job from which I could come home and relax on the sofa.  I would want to stick around New York for a few more years.  *sigh* *FAIL*

I tried.  I really, really, really tried.  I invested everything into trying to make a happy life and living space here.  Up until the minute I came back from my Midwest holiday on 12/31/13 and could no longer tolerate wanting to be home and actually living in NYC at the same time.  Such contradictions are not good for the mind-body and spirit.  It felt like I left my heart in Illinois.

I declared for the umpteenth time to my live-in boyfriend that I was not happy here.  He was surprised.  (?!)  Then a rapid, rapid spiral of exit plans spilled out of me like I was on a life preserver being whisked away on a currant that was bigger than me.  I have to move back.  I’m already happier.  I’m un-stuck.  Someone is coming to get me.  There are other couches I can sleep on.  It’s a feeling in my bones.  It’s not even a thought.  My boyfriend says it’s a logical decision and I have to go; he’s letting me go.  I feel it in my bones.  He is relieved.  I’m going back.  Living the big city is not for me.  It’s happening soon.  Two weeks notice, NYC.  That’s all the good-byes I can tolerate.  I need the momentum.  Sofa or no sofa.  Stuff or no stuff.  I am out.  For one million good reasons.  One million good reasons I have to go.

I’ll try to keep you guys updated on the rapid un-decorating of my life here, processing of ALL THE FEELINGS, cross country moving road trip caravan, and more indecision as I try to find a new home.

Please msg if you want to buy the sofa $800 OBO, cash and carry in Brooklyn.  :)

Cheers,

Alexandra

Forced Bedroom Makeover

Looking back, I suppose it was coming. On New Years Day I made the ultimate decision to end my three and a half year relationship. As you are all aware, our apartment is huge so hopefully we won’t have problems being roommates for the duration of our lease.  My decision has resulted in a forced bedroom makeover (still in progress). I decided to take the upstairs and moved all my art supplies into the attic bedroom.

My first order of business was to move the bed on the opposite wall and immediately purchase new linens. (Hooray for Target gift card Christmas presents). After a year of the green patterned comforter I was ready for something a little different. I have admired the pin-tuck look and really wanted to try for myself but the need to immediately change (and the gift card) found me this great little bedspread. Maybe not the sexiest, but I purchased grey flannel sheets. (They were on sale!). And thank goodness. January 5-6 (and maybe even today) were the coldest days of the year and our HEATER BROKE! Bon Jovi pretty much crawled under the covers and didn’t move for two days.

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My own personal space heater!

Warning… most these photos are terrible. While my room feels nice, cozy, yet huge, it is pretty much impossible to take a good photo. Also, Bon Jovi insisted on giving himself a bath the entire shoot…

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Infinite Potential of the Universe

Happy New Year! The beginning of a new calendar always seems to drum up the infinite potential of the universe for me. It might sound hippie-dippy, but if you listen I think she tosses you clues and signs (yes, my universe is a lady). And what a year 2013 was! While I often felt like I was indefinitely tensed and ready to launch the way a backstroker begins a race, the culmination of last year reminded me that I had already started swimming. Surrounded by some of my favorite  Chicago people standing in 7 inches of snow on our (bonus) deck we smoked the last cigarettes (don’t worry mom, I’m not really a smoker) of the year, popped some bottles, and rang in the new year. 2013 was a year I took a few risks. I took impromptu trips to see good friends. I tried new things. I tried to save money. I tried my hardest to love the people in my life and be happy for their good fortunes.

It wasn’t anything fancy, but a few friends made it over despite the blizzard outside. I even fired up my new slow cooker and dutch oven (thanks mom!) and made some snacks.  I found use for some of that chevron fabric (seen here). With just my staple gun, the fabric, and a strand of twinkle lights I made a nice little backdrop.

Chevron Backdrop

Tada!

While there were people I missed at the celebration, it was a nice night. While I typically hate NYE as a holiday, I do feel it sets a precedent for the upcoming year. I’ve already begun to make the changes I want. My resolution, if you will, is to stop waiting for my life to happen. As a runner I know that each 8 mile run starts with the first step. Sometimes when you don’t feel like running you just need to get up and get out the door and let the miles run themselves (this seems silly as it is still snowing sideways outside).  My seasonal job is ending. While ready for it to be over, I have mixed emotions. This year I have be fortunate enough to connect and reconnect to some very genuine and amazing people and the thought of not seeing them so frequently saddens me. I have found inspiration in places I hadn’t thought to look, so maybe that is the *magic* of said employer… I was a smidge worried about finding a job but it looks like the universe has found me a small bone to tide me over until I can really do something I love. (Or at least purchase impossible project film for my project!)!

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I really can feel the infinite potential of the universe. 2014 watchout. I always was pretty good at the backstroke and I’ve had a pretty good start.

xoxo- Nikki