Macrame Wall Hanging How-to, and Cats. So.

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Two exciting things to report:

I made a macrame wall hanging that I am actually proud to display
and
I got a kitty!

Let’s talk macrame first. I’ve been wanting to create a macrame wall hanging for a couple months now, to hang over our bed in our apartment. I bought some stuff for it while I was still at Lee’s parents’ house, but it’s sort of an involved craft and I make a mess/take up a lot of room while I do it. So I had to wait to be in my own space first.

What I bought:

100 yards of cotton piping, 1/4″ (I started out with only 50 yards, but quickly realized that wouldn’t be enough)
A three(ish) foot wooden dowel (home depot, most art stores carry these)
Tape
Scissors

The total cost was about $40, which is a lot, but these puppies can sell for up to a grand if they’re done really well and they’re as big as the one I made. If you make a smaller one, I’m sure 60 yards would be plenty, especially if you used a smaller size of rope or a different kind. A lot of people use plastic rope, which you can find at Home Depot. I found my rope at a little yarn shop close to my work, but I know they also have it at places like Hobby Lobby.

The first macrame I did was made of really thick yarn, and while I really like the texture, it was a bit too stretchy and the hanging narrowed at the bottom. I also used the square knot for that one, so I wanted to change it up for this hanging. I used an alternative method of the square knot, which uses a loop and looks slightly different.

Make sure all your individual strands of rope are twice as long as you want them to be when you cut them, because you will fold them in half when you attach them to the dowel. Fold in half, then wrap around the dowel by pulling the two ends through the loop you have created. It will look like this:

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As you can see, I did not remember to make my rope twice as long as I wanted it to be. I think if I had, each piece would have been about 12 feet long, maybe a little longer. I had to tape them together at the ends and try and camouflage it into the knot on the dowel. It worked pretty well. Also make sure to tape the tips of your rope, so they don’t fray.

Now for the fun part, knotting!

Each knot takes four strands of rope. You will be working with the two outside strands of each knot. In each row, you will alternate which four strands you are working with. You’ll grab the last two strands from the knot on the left, and the first two from the knot on the right in the row above.

To start, separate the two outer strands of the four from the two in the middle. These are the two you will be working with for each knot. Create a “C” over the two center strands with the rightmost strand.

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Then (this is sort of hard to explain), using your pointer finger and thumb on your left hand, reach through the loop you just created, under the two strands in the middle, to the base of the loop. Grab both side and pull through to the other side, so they wrap around the two strands in the middle and create two smaller loops inside the big one on the other side. You will be grabbing from underneath on the right, and bringing them through to the left. It will look like this:

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Now, take the leftmost strand and string it through the two loops you have created, like this:

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Pull through until it is taut. You will now have two loose ends. Pull these, along with the loop on the bottom right side of the knot, until the knot sort of twists and straightens out to look like this:

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And there is your knot! I usually have to reorganize the middle strands so they aren’t all twisted up; you want them to stay straight.

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So, go ahead and repeat this until you run out of strands. Make sure you alternate between each row of knots. In the end, I was pretty happy with mine. It came out like this:

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I had to take a straight iron to the rope that was left hanging at the bottom. It honestly made the piece look a thousand times better. I also added an angled edge to each side to make it look a little more interesting.

In my next piece, I would love to incorporate a different color, or attach some yarn somehow to make a chevron pattern. I’ll keep you guys posted! And both of you, let me know if you want one. I might ask for a little help paying for the materials, but I can’t have a hundred of them around my apartment and I love making them!

Now, on to the interesting part: my kitty!

His name is Kristoff, or as we call him, Kristofferson (after the cousin in Fantastic Mr. Fox). He’s a rescue kitty. He’s still super shy, his current kitty cold probably has a little to do with that. But if you put him down somewhere he will curl up and fall right to sleep, be it your lap or a bed you make for him full of comfy pillows and blankets in your dresser drawer. He is too cute to handle. His tail curls around his little paws every time he sits down. He loves to snuggle. We are so very happy to have him in our home.

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Micro Kitchen Meets Big Personalities

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Lee playing his nerdy computer games pre-wifi days.

I have a terrible habit of only posting every other week, I’m sorry! Hopefully I’ll have something cooler to post next week. Work has been nuts; we’re launching a brand new, completely, 100% different website on Monday, and I’m in charge of posting all the new content to the blog (or “journal,” as we’re calling it). 40 posts and counting. Hopefully I am near the end. I’ll think I’m done and then my boss will think of something new for me to post (which literally just happened as I am typing this). It’s always in a series of 10 or so. It’s mostly copying and pasting, but it’s a lot of work. And it’s on a new platform, so we’re all learning as we go, which makes it a little stressful. But it’s kind of fun. It’s at least a little creative, because I get to play with the layout.

I’m also lacking motivation to do actual work today because more than half of the office took today as a vacation day. Seven people usually occupy the room my desk is in, and there are only three of us here today. The chicks. One of them is my closest friend in the office, so a lot of post-Thanksgiving gossiping happened this morning.

So, anyway, I’m living with a tiny, tiny kitchen. So far, it’s not  a huge problem. The worst part is just the feeling of being cramped – I’m cooking stuff on the stove and my elbow bumps the wall, or I’m trying to get something out of one cupboard and I can’t open another. It’s not a big deal, though, because all the portions I cook are pretty small since it’s just the two of us. And I make very basic meals since I’m not a great cook. Tacos, pasta dishes, salads, casseroles, nothing too fancy. No steaks or chicken and dumplings or fancy stews. Not yet, anyway.

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As you can see, I got my over-the-sink cutting board!! I LOVE it. And I felt so grown up buying it…and I feel so grown up owning it! It’s a wonderful, hefty chunk of wood. Every cutting board I’ve owned has been a flimsy piece of crap plastic slab or something. It creates a lot of counter space, just enough extra room that I can mix things, cook things on the stove, and chop things all at the same time. And what’s great is that it doesn’t quite cover the whole sink, so I can still drop ends of veggies or dirty spoons into the sink while it’s there. I really can’t recommend something like this enough. I got mine at IKEA, and get this: it was TEN BUCKS. Ten! Get yours here:

http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/30087148/

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One thing that Lee and I CANNOT agree on is where to hang that damn hand towel to the left of the oven. I like it there. Our oven handle doesn’t come out far enough from the oven for us to slip a towel back there, so we have to hang it on a cabinet knob (we’re too cheap to go buy, like…a command hook…and too lazy). He puts it on the handle of the cabinet above the sink, so it’s just dangling in our faces while we do dishes. It irritates me…so much…fl-flame-flames…on the sides of my face…b-burning…

But he lets me put my mugs right there, on top of the oven, since the cabinet we put our other mugs in is too high for me to reach. That’s another problem with tiny kitchens: storage space. I honestly didn’t think this would be much of a problem; it seemed like we had a lot of room. We don’t. It gets used up really, really fast. We’re making do, though. We keep minimal food in the apartment in the way of snacks, just essentials for cooking, and most of our stuff goes in the fridge, because we figure that healthy stuff is the stuff that spoils. So we utilize what we have.

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This little portal has changed since I took this photo – as you can see, Jos, we are using the french press you gave me for my birthday. Lee was NOT convinced the first time we used it (this may have been the first time, I think he was cooking me breakfast on our first Saturday at the apartment), but he won’t use anything else now. This morning, while he was driving me to a doctor’s appointment before work (such a nice guy), he was drinking some french press coffee and just said, “you know what? I’m sold on the french press. I love it.” And so do I! It’s so much easier than coffee from a coffee maker, and it tastes a thousand times better.

ANYWAY. The portal currently houses those two little cacti (his is the single one, called Diglet, and mine is the three little guys, called Dugtrio – ten points if you get the reference), the cowboy boot shot glasses Lee got at Fifthmas last December, a glass skull full of our laundry change, a little hedgehog Christmas ornament, and a ceramic reindeer that mysteriously showed up in my car when I got back from mom’s last weekend. Wonder how that got there…

So that’s my micro kitchen as of right now. We had a little set of pots hanging on a rack above the sink, but Lee’s massive swimmer arms flailed a bit too aggressively and he knocked them off the wall, so there’s a hole on one side now. He gets to fix that. Also, look at this:

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This is how Lee thinks you should hang curtains. He gets to fix that too.

Information On: Alki Apartment

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Sorry I’ve been MIA (again). Last week was full of packing and now that we’re moved in, we don’t have WIFI until Monday. So I’m working with what I’ve got!

The apartment is wonderful. It’s small, but that’s how city living goes, and the view absolutely makes up for it. They refinished our bathroom for us, so it looks brand new. Our neighbors are friendly (well, all of them but the lady who lives downstairs and screamed profanities at us when we dropped some shelves on the floor. It happens, okay?!)

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The move in process has been a little rough. While they were refinishing our tub, our drain broke and we had to postpone our move-in to Tuesday, so we’ve only been there for three nights. Seeing as we moved in on a weeknight and we both work all day, our place is still a bit of a mess. We got Wednesday off to do all the big stuff, but ended up spending the day figuring out my bus route, being stuck in West Seattle in the freezing cold (which was actually kind of fun – I’ll explain in a minute), then grocery shopping. By the time all that was finished, Lee had to head to his other job and I was alone to do what I wanted to the place for the rest of the day. I set up the kitchen, which took forever because Lee brought so many gadgets for the kitchen that DO NOT FIT ANYWHERE, set up the bathroom, got most of the living room organized, hung some art, set up the kitchen table area, and watched a movie on our tiny temporary TV.

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While Lee and I were stuck sort of in the middle of nowhere in West Seattle, we finally (25 minutes and a box of grape Swishers purchase from a mini mart later) caught a bus that took us on a round-about route to our apartment. It was a tiny bus with super cushy seats. A little girl with a polka-dot scarf and white sunglasses got on with her mom and chatted with the bus driver like he was her best friend. The bus wound up and down neighborhood streets, then into the heart of our new city. We saw where everything was, all the people rushing to buy their lunches on their lunch breaks, where the nearest pizza joints were, where to get Christmas gifts and drinks and groceries, and the mountains and the ocean from way up high. After weaving through West Seattle, the bus finally took us past a Safeway and turned onto the street that leads down to the water, the road I would be taking to get to and from civilization outside of our little beach town. I love that road. It’s residential but not. It’s quiet and leads you from the serenity of living by the water to the practicality and excitement of a small, patriotic city. I am so excited to be where we are.

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Our apartment is a little cold. We’re afraid to turn on the heat for more than an hour because we’ve never had to pay an electric bill before, and being by the water cools things down very fast.

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The best thing about living on Alki is the road that takes you there from the West Seattle Bridge. You take an exit and turn right, pass a little bicycle shop next to an art supplies store, a few small apartment complexes, a gas station, then out your passenger window is the entire city of Seattle across a calm body of water, and at night it’s all lit up with container ships anchored in the middle. You can see the Ferris wheel and it’s all lit up too. It’s incredible. It’s also one of the sights I saw on my first date with Lee in the city, almost exactly a year ago. In fact, we met a year ago yesterday. Our one year is on the 30th.

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I have plans for the apartment. An area we want to turn into a tiny studio (basically a desk with room on the walls to make art, a sort of inspirational spot for Lee to write). Macrame hangings, because that’s something I really want to get into, but I need internet first so I can look up tutorials. We want to find room (somewhere…) in the apartment for a vintage piece of furniture dedicated to our music-related stuff: speakers, a record player, records, an amp, my SONOS speaker, etc. We need room for a Christmas tree. I’ll need to do some shopping for those decorations – or Joselyn could just give me some from her large and growing quantity of homemade things? We’re already hosting a dinner for Lee’s friend and his girlfriend (maybe I’ll finally make a friend up here?) His sister Jess is staying with us the night before Thanksgiving. My friends Lauren and Megan are coming up on the sixth for a Secret Santa gift exchange. There’s already lots of excitement happening at our little sanctuary. I’m excited to make it a real home. And to set up our dresser so our room is less of a laundry basket and more of a living space.

I’ll try to wrap things up. I’m in a good place now. Living with Lee’s parents was incredibly rough and seriously tried our relationship, but we’re already finding ourselves again. West Seattle seems a great place to “start over.” Oh, and I hope you liked the pictures of our apartment during move in. Here are some more current images of the living room and dining area, although obviously not entirely finished yet.

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My Imminent Tiny Kitchen

Good news, y’all:

Lee and I got an apartment!

I hope I’m not jinxing it – we haven’t signed the lease yet or anything. But we have it! It’s ours!

It’s great. It’s on the beach, ocean view, top floor, all hardwoods and a really cool wood panel on one of the walls. The only problem: the kitchen is very, very small. It’s L-shaped, with the fridge at the entrance, the sink next to it, and an empty counter space. That makes the long part of the L, then at the bend there’s a second counter space, and the stove/oven is next to it. That’s it. That’s my entire kitchen.

Honestly, I’m not much of a cook, so this shouldn’t bother me much. But it bothers me quite a bit. The apartment was too cheap and too perfect to turn up, but the kitchen will take some strategizing to make it fully functional.

I’ve been looking at a lot of blog posts and little tips for making a small kitchen easier to deal with. This is what I came up with:

6 small space living ideas to create more space, bedroom ideas, foyer, kitchen design, living room ideas

I love the idea of using a mirror to make a space bigger. Obviously, this is an old technique, but it’s really smart! My kitchen has a wall facing the side with counter space/the sink with a big hole in the middle (what Lacey and I called the “portal” in our kitchen at Linfield, because it had one too). That wall would sport a mirror spectacularly. Plus, it will look cute next to the cactus display we’re going to put in the portal (we have to get cacti because I killed all the succulents Lacey and I had).

From blog hometalk.com 

Lee and I bought some pretty plates and glasses, which would look really nice on some shelves we could put on the other side of that empty wall, next to the stove. (The kitchen in this picture is actually around the same size as mine!)

From blog freckleschick.blogspot.com

Organize by pegboard, a la Julia Child.

Genius! I love peg boards. They’re so versatile, and they look great. Of course, I’d have to figure out where one would fit…

The rest of the tiny kitchen hacks: http://www.buzzfeed.com/twopoodles/lifehacks-for-your-tiny-kitchen

Use an over-the-sink cutting board to temporarily expand your counter space.

I definitely need to invest in an over the counter cutting board. We already bought an expandable and retractable drying rack (no dishwasher! Eek!), I believe this is the next step into tiny kitchen mastery.

The insides of cabinets are also great places to put hooks for rags, gloves, and pot holders.

I obviously must use every bit of space I have, with hooks, baskets, command strips and boxes, etc.

Put shelves inside of your shelves.

Shelves inside shelves? Who knew.

And lastly:

If you have the space, a kitchen cart can serve multiple purposes.

A KITCHEN CART. I might do something super tacky and move my fridge outside of the kitchen and invest in a kitchen cart for counter/storage space instead, if I can find somewhere sensible to put my fridge. We have a closet right outside the kitchen, so I’m thinking we could take the door off and put a curtain or some beads in there instead, and store the fridge in there. Might keep us from overeating at night as well! As long as it’s not too tacky, it could be very helpful!

By next Wednesday…well, I still won’t be in the apartment. Move in day is the seventh. I’ll make sure to dedicate a post to our new space the week after!

A Post For People Who Like Good Music – Part One

This is going to be a text-heavy post, but I think it’s worth the read.

I firmly believe that you should get out of the house on weeknights. Working 8+ hours should not always lead up to an exhausted, couch-bound pity-fest for the last six hours of the day. I know, I know. You’re getting older and going out is becoming more of a chore than something you genuinely love to do. But make time to do something you actually do genuinely enjoy, and waking up for work the next day may not seem so unbearable.

Obviously, there’s lots of ways to get out of the house. Take your dog for a walk. Try out the restaurant down the street you’ve been meaning to check out. Go to the park and call your mom. Go to the local 24 hour coffee shop and get a decaf cup of house blend and read a book. Find a hill in the woods and stargaze with your boo. Get creative, go outside your comfort zone.

My favorite way to get out of the house on a weeknight: go to a concert.

If you think about it, concerts are often no more expensive than a dinner for two at a semi-nice restaurant. Not all good bands have become Kings of Leon-famous and cost a small fortune to see (often at sports arenas – not the best venues).

Some of the best bands I have seen live (affordable to less affordable):

Vampire Weekend

Joselyn and I have seen these guys together twice, once in 2010 and once in 2013. If you’re a fan and they’re coming to your town, I’d definitely recommend seeing them at least once. When Jos and I saw them in 2010, I deemed it the best concert I’d ever gone to, and four years and over 30 concerts later, I still stand by that. Granted, it was the perfect storm of concert-going drama: ambulances on standby because the lead singer was sick, an amazing outdoor, middle-of-the-forest venue, torrential downpour that left the entire crowd steaming (literally), awesome stage props, great new album release…the circumstances may be impossible to recreate. But the band is still really good, so you should check them out.

We Are Scientists

Even if you aren’t familiar with these guys’ music, if you love the atmosphere of a good ol’ fashion, no-nonsense rock show, these are the guys to seek out. Their music isn’t hardcore, there may be a little moshing, but you can easily avoid it. They’re great live. They have a lot of variety in their sound, and best of all: they’re hilarious. I laughed more when I saw We Are Scientists than I have ever laughed at a concert. They’re not just musicians, they’re comedians. Not to mention, they know how to pick an opening act. When Lee and I saw them, PAWS opened up and we officially have a new favorite band between the two of us.

The Neighbourhood

I know, I know what you’re thinking. But if you’ve only heard their song “Sweater Weather” and are jumping to conclusions, look up the rest of their “I Love You” album. It’s kind of awesome. They are a blast live, especially if you work your way up to the front and get down and dirty with the crowd. The whole band is full of very sexy guys who sing sexy music that also happens to be really, really good. They make sure to interact with the crowd, they do covers, they play old and new stuff. During the song “Afraid” they dropped an F bomb during which my boyfriend flipped off the lead singer. He received a middle finger back. We both groupied out a little.

No, I’ve never heard of it.

I did a very dumb thing.

I graduated from college with a degree in Fine Arts.

I didn’t mean to. I wanted to major in Graphic Design, but my school didn’t offer graphic design and anything similar that it did offer involved math. And art kids get into art because they don’t do the whole math thing, so that was a little counter-intuitive (to me) and I did the next best thing.

I ended up loving it. It was really hard – it meant being terrible at something when you were “wrong” rather than just being factually incorrect, like math majors and nursing majors might be. Any bad grade was a slap in the face. Any corrections in class were also a correction of your character. But my friends and I trucked along, learning lots and backing each other up.

This post is to show you all the talent I encountered at art school. These names will be household ones sometime soon, I’m pretty sure.

Lionel Parra

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He uses mainly ink and acrylics in his work. As you can see, he’s got a pretty unique and very recognizable style. He likes “goo” and eyeballs and making people scratch their heads. When I graduated, he was getting into animated art, which was (and still is) way cool. He is the original guggler. I have a lot of faith in him to go places.

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But then he can also do things like that. I honestly think that he could do literally anything in the realm of art.

Doug Sundman

David Choe Antoni Tapias

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Doug’s style still confuses me, which I find very intriguing. He can do just about anything – and he does. He draws things that are beautifully rendered, he does a lot of abstract work, last I checked with him, he was totally into oil pastels. I’ve never met someone so keen to collaborate with other artists before, which I think is the up-and-coming theme of art.

Kate Straube

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Kate is a one-of-a-kind artist, through and through. She’s also one of my best friends. Her art is almost entirely conceptual, sometimes never leaving the ultimate stage, her brain. If she and I were on a long car trip somewhere, the entirety of our conversation (and I loved this) would consist of Kate saying, “but, what if…I just put out a bowl of nuts…and put out a sign that said ‘touch.’ And then the show was called ‘Balls.’” She nailed an entire pizza to the wall. She’s a crazy awesome curator. We made a collaborative piece for a show this summer called “Dick Tip Diptych.” So, you can imagine.

^A collaborative video piece Kate, Doug, Lionel and I did for a provocation which asked to show the body in movement. Doug’s the blonde one, Lionel’s the one with the crazy black hair. I always slap with my right hand and Kate always slaps with her left. I think this is one of the pieces I am most proud of from art school.

Taryn Takara

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Taryn does hyper-realistic work, for the most part, and was working in sculpture/suspension when I graduated. She was making these incredible pieces where she would suspend real objects with fishing line in stretcher bars, and the objects would sort of tell a weird story together. She’s probably the artist I admire most for her sheer skill and ability. In fact, my boyfriend and I are commissioning her to make a piece for us right now.

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This piece, aptly titled “The Selfie Project,” came to be when we were given the provocation of showing the body in relation to the self. All five of us (plus Joselyn’s boyfriend, Bennett) took ten selfies a day for ten days, totaling at 100 selfies each, adding up to 600 selfies in all. This was how they were displayed in the gallery space. The piece went to a conference in New York where my old professor talked about collaborative works and used our Selfie Project as an example of a successful attempt. This makes another one of my proudest works. Not to mention, it was the most fun I’d ever had in the process of a piece – we each made a separate selfie Instagram account (mine was alyssasfacelike, Lionel’s was Lordselfiethethird, you know) and followed each other and played off each others’ photos. Someone took a shirtless picture, we tried to one-up them with sexiness. Someone took a crazy creative and edited picture, we tried to do them one better. It was a blast. Hopefully you look into these guys and their work some more.

Lionel’s instagram: http://instagram.com/lienull
Doug’s art blog: http://dougsundman.blogspot.com
Kate’s selfie instagram (this is what she’s doing these days, and she’s killing it): http://instagram.com/katesfaces
And Taryn is still working on getting a blog started – I’ll update the post when she has one!

There Will Be No Chickens In My Apartment.

I am ready for my own place.

When Lacey and I lived together during my last year of college, we had a pretty darn adorable apartment. Finger-knit garlands, artwork by my art major friends, terrariums (that I killed), Goodwill wingback chairs. What a grand home we had.

I live with my boyfriend’s parents now. His mom really loves chickens. I like chickens. I don’t want them on every unoccupied surface surrounding me, though, which I don’t think is THAT tall an order.

Having the interior decorating blues inspired me and my boyfriend to search for the nearest farmer’s market in Seattle, and we hit gold. Seriously. This place was amazing. It’s a year-round market that happens every Sunday on Evanston Ave in Fremont, aptly named the “Fremont Sunday Market.” They had everything, from vintage clothes and furniture to handcrafted jewelry to (what seemed to be) hundred-year-old useless crap that was still mega-cool. They even had a vendor who sold almost entirely army surplus items (hard to pass up those bags and combat boots – I’m sure next time we go I won’t be able to hold out any longer).

While we were there, I took some photos of things to inspire the look of mine and Lee’s future apartment, which will hopefully be located in the heart of some part of the city. We’re thinking Capitol Hill, we’re thinking West Seattle, we’re thinking Greenlake, we’re thinking Belltown…hard to choose. We don’t know yet.

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This beauty was made of stained glass and maraca handles. The booth had an amazing selection of world maps – Lee has been to Japan and I have been to Spain, so we’re hoping to frame maps of the two and put them side-by-side on the wall.

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 A stand which sold the largest selection of Birkenstocks I have ever seen – all for 20 bucks a piece. Is it weird that I would be totally cool with a Birkenstock display in my apartment? Just look at them. They’re a design element on their own. And PS, Jos, if you want a pair, let me know and I’ll find some for you. On me! I also bought a flannel at this stand for fifteen dollars, total steal because it’s incredibly cool. I don’t care how many people wear flannel at rock shows or the bad rep it gets, I will never stop wearing it.

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We need somewhere to put our record player, obviously (which I was going to buy for Lee as a surprise, but accidentally left a Google search open on my phone for them – oops). One of the few things we have agreed on is that we’re going to have a jar marked “record money” and collect loose change and dollar bills all month, then reward ourselves with a record shopping spree. Because we saved money and that’s pretty cool, now let’s spend it.

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I’m a total sucker for pieces from the seventies. I love the straight lines and weird angles paired with rounded edges and wood grain. And so cheap! If only we’d thought ahead and driven his mom’s Honda Pilot.

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And this one! The girl was so desperate to get rid of it she was offering it to me for sixty bucks. Sixty bucks! I almost said screw it and carried it home, it was so perfect.

I did buy these coasters from her, though. Because hello. Look at them:

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Five bucks and they came with a holder. They’re leather on the bottom, bonus. They just need to be shined up a little. And unlike the coasters we constantly complain about at his parents’, WE CAN USE THEM!

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I’m completely over the mason jar trend, unless you’re keeping them to use as drinking glasses because you’re too poor to buy real ones (see my old apartment, using old banana pepper and green olive jars). These are way cooler. I love pendant lights, and I love that she left the labels on and used bright colors, including keeping the original colors of the lids. So cute. I’d never seen anything quite like them before. Fingers crossed that she’s there again next time we go.

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And last, this gem. He found a shotgun BB gun and was so very proud of himself. This is what I’m designing with. And he thinks he knows things. Funny, right?

How I Take Full Advantage of My Weekends (and Why FOMOS Is Real)

I hate working, and I love the weekends.

But I also hate the weekends, because I know they only last for two days and then I’m back at work for another five days.

I don’t really hate working. I like to work because more than anything, I hate having absolutely nothing to do. I don’t mind sitting on the couch for a few hours, as long as I have a good TV show to catch up on, or I’m watching something cool with someone equally as cool. I don’t mind browsing the internet for a few hours…if I’m avoiding doing something I really hate (getting out of bed, apartment hunting, interacting with the weird people on the bus). But all of that gets really old to me, really fast. So working for eight hours a day (and making decent money) is better than doing nothing.

But really, yes, I hate working. Why do I hate it even though I know it’s better than many alternatives?

I hate it because I have (self-diagnosed, because screw being “diagnosed”) FOMOS. Fear of Missing Out Syndrome. The only reason why I despise work so much is because I imagine all of the amazing, wonderful things I could be doing instead and all the great memories that could be but never will because, you know, life. Adulthood. Work.

Lee works pretty late every night; our schedules are basically opposite. I work a normal 9-5 job, and he coaches 5:30-8 most nights, and consequently doesn’t get home until around 9. I’m tired by 9:45, we’re asleep by 10:30. And that’s all the time we get to spend together, every day.

So I cherish my weekends. I cherish the hell out of them. This weekend was one of the best we’ve had in a while. Saturday was full of bumming around the Renton Landing. First, we we went to PetSmart and looked at all the animals, which is one of our favorite things to do together (we can’t wait to move out and adopt a kitten). After, we went to Target (I got to make fun of his huge head while he tried on sunglasses), got a HUGE German soft pretzel at world of beer, and saw the movie “This Is Where I Leave You” (good!). On Thursday night, his mom had bought us all Chinese food, and my fortune cookie said romance was in my near future. Lee snuck away and bought a Groupon for a fancy three-course meal at a really cool and sort of swanky restaurant we like a lot in Ballard. So good.

Sunday was even better, for some reason. He had to coach early and didn’t get home until one, but I was so happy to see him. We ate leftovers, which I let him take a picture of for the blog.

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We went grocery shopping for dinner, which we had decided would be a “gourmet” homemade pizza. He asked if we could watch the Seahawks game, but I convinced him to play Portal with me. Whenever we play video games we have a surprisingly awesome time.

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After (too many hours) of Portal, we decided to start our pizza. Lee is a wild man in the kitchen. He always has a towel on his body (because he is a SERIOUS chef, obviously).

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Here, he has the towel over his shoulder. In the mornings when he makes me breakfast, he tucks the towel into his pants. Kind of unsanitary. But he seems so proud.

He suggested pesto in the pizza sauce. I said why not.

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(Not a store-bought crust that came with a packet of pizza sauce).

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We also made mimosas, for which I popped my first champagne cork. Well, I didn’t really pop it. I sort of touched it and went “THIS SHIT IS TOO REAL” and then stopped touching it but then it exploded out anyway and I screamed and it shot into the ceiling and then immediately down directly onto Lee’s forehead.

The result of our delicious gourmet pizza (which included pesto sauce, mozzarella, pepperoni, sautéed mushrooms and onions, fancy greek olives, and grape tomatoes):

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It was really nice outside and Lee’s family has a super cool backyard, so we ate out there, accompanied by lit tiki torches, tea light candles, and birds in the bird feeders.

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Oh, and the kitties.

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After, we finished our game of Portal, and watched one of my favorite play-throughs on YouTube.

This weekend holds a hike on Saturday, baked mac&cheese for dinner after, then a flea market in Fremont of Sunday followed by an hombre hair treatment. Should be another good one. 🙂

Sorry about the boyfriend post. You know, he’s just the only person I know up here so…I like him a lot.

Rudy’s Pride

My first post. Hi guys! Sorry I’m so late on the arrival – my life has never been this nuts before.

So as my sisters know, I recently got out of my three year relationship with Starbucks. It was bittersweet; I loved the company and I adored my coworkers (and still do). Starbucks was very good to me. Well, it was for the year I was at a real Starbucks store and not a Safeway Starbucks, but I’d rather not go there.

After parting from my beloved coworkers and dear friends, I made the drive up to Renton, Washington (from Portland) and moved all of my clothes into my boyfriend’s parent’s house. I’ll elaborate on that situation in my next post, because it’s been quite the crazy ride with the Rivers clan. But anyway, I moved in and had five days to adjust to my new home and city before I started work at a new company doing something I had never done before.

Lee and I spent the five days I had off practicing my bus routes, exploring areas of Seattle we would love to find apartments in, hiking, eating good food, and playing Forza. But then the day I’d been anxiously waiting for arrived: first day of work!

I’m working as the new office administrator and junior graphic designer for a quickly expanding barbershop called Rudy’s. The rate at which we have and are continuing to grow is kind of astounding. I find myself ordering things for events and receiving emails and overhearing phone calls that sort of astound me. Selena Gomez wants to use our Los Angeles store to throw a party? (That’s probably confidential, but oh well). Kristen Stewart got mad at us because we sold out of a tshirt before she could buy it? I mean, Starbucks is a big enterprise and everything, but I am one of 12 employees that works at the headquarters. So I feel pretty damn special.

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The work has been mundane but still sort of fun. I’m not a huge fan of making spreadsheets or anything, but I do like busy work, and all the little tasks they have me doing make the days go by really quickly. I got anxious a lot at Starbucks, but I don’t really find myself feeling anxious at Rudy’s. In fact, I don’t at all.

As far as the frequent tasks they assign me goes, they’re things like fulfilling online orders then packing and shipping them, other orders for the shops and the office (dumb things like detergent and magazines), organizing files, typing up checklists and creating shop and office layouts and maps, all the good mundane office work an office administrator should do.

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As for graphics, so far I haven’t had the chance to do much. I’ve collaborated with senior designer on a large Rudy’s flag to take to events and we’ve worked together a little on a trailer the company purchased for a tour we are doing with a band called the “Cut and Ride.” Free cuts at the shows. Pretty cool. The senior designer is working on a wrap for the trailer and so far it’s pretty awesome. He’s a talented dude. I’ve been given the task of creating the design for the “Look of the Week” graphic every week. So that’s fun.

Everyone in the office is super nice. Sometimes my coworkers bring their dogs in. I get free stuff.

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I’m really enjoying it, for the most part! The worst part is the commute, which I am currently on. I’m on the bus home and it takes a total of an hour and a half from when I leave the house to when I get to the office with driving to the park and ride, taking the bus, and walking up the hill to work.

But once I move (hopefully within walking distance of work) that will change, and things will be SO much better.