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I’m currently sitting in LaGuardia Airport, an hour before I have to board my flight to Charlotte. I’m traveling for work this week, which can I just note is a sentence I’ve always wanted to say? I’m fine with the … Continue reading

Cleaning out my closet: part two

This weekend was a whole slew of errands and must-dos before picking up everything and shipping off to the city Friday.

It started with dinner and drinks with the girls:

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Don’t worry, they were only $1 each. You know what else is only a dollar? Me neither.

… The rest of the weekend wasn’t as fun, but definitely super productive. Thus I bring you the second installment of cleaning out my closet (Find the first one here).

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Jackpot! First ever Game Boy.

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My friend Alyson and I playing that Game Boy on one of the bazillion camping trips our families used to go on. Someone, anyone, please tell me you used to go camping too?

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Recognize anyone in there? Right. There was this one time I was a freshman weekend orientation leader in college. During that time, someone took my picture and used it on a poster that plagued campus. That was embarrassing.

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Baby shoes. I probably awwww-ed while looking at them for 10 minutes straight.

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All I have to say about this letter to the tooth fairy is clearly I am my Father’s daughter.

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Ticket stubs to a Golden State Warriors game from my sophomore year spring break. SO looking forward to going back to the west coast in a few weeks.

… And that was most of the good stuff I managed to snap photos of. Other weekend highlights? A semi-long run, the purchase of an awesome floor mirror, getting crafty (post to come soon), and this delicious Sunday breakfast:

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Egg whites atop of a whole grain English muffin with spinach, roasted red pepper and goat cheese. Deeeelish.

Catch you soon! Happy Monday all.

Purple haze

Remember that whole coral idea?

I really tried to go with that. I even channeled my inner decorationista and painted coral chevron canvases to put above my bed last week.

Coral chevron

Coral chevron

You may have seen them poking around in the photos of the the first haul to NYC from Monday.

I got them in the room and immediately got skeptical. I love coral. Almost as much as I love maroon (my tendency to buy everything maroon is almost comical at times.) However, I was getting a little nervous that I would be able to find enough coral accents for the room. So what do I do? Go to HomeGoods. Cue the sound of money draining from my bank account.

OK, it wasn’t that bad. I wanted to splurge on everything, though. Instead, I just bought these:

Purple throw pillows

Say hello to purple, my official accent color. I love the ruffles on these gems. That, and the shade of purple. It’s deep and will look great against the other ones I got from Ikea. I’m contemplating if I could save the coral chevron for above my bed, just buy a third canvas, and do the same thing in the purple color. Maybe not. Maybe I can buy premade “art” back at HomeGoods. Either way, at least I really have something to go off of now.

It’s sort of ridiculous how happy a set of pillows made me last night. Almost as happy as the George Forman grill I got at Kohl’s immediately after. Hello easy grilled chicken, veggies, fruit … heck … I’m gonna grill EVERYTHING.

George Forman grill

Remember when it was super exciting when you were younger and your mom bought you a new brightly colored LipSmacker? This was like that, but better. Because I got this little piece of grilltastic amazingness for almost 50 percent off, $55 instead of $99.99. I can’t help but laugh. I’m in my mid-20s, and the highlight of my week is buying a Forman. IT HAS REMOVABLE PLATES! Oh hey, reality.

Okay …. So do I keep the chevron? Or find something else?

Yesterday

… I packed up my dad’s SUV with “the big stuff.” You know, Ikea dresser, Ikea bookshelves, bedding, lamps, the basics.

Moving to NYC

… We drove the 62 miles to my apartment, and unloaded it.

NYC apartment

… Dad wanted his photo taken. Clearly double-parking doesn’t give him agita like it does for me.

oh hey Dad!

… We managed to get everything into the elevator, and up to my floor.

NYC apartment

… Was the first time I saw how much natural light my future room gets during the daytime.

New room

… I burned a bajillion calories channeling my inner Hulk, only to splurge on Shake Shack with my fellow mover. Whooooops.

Shackburger at Shake Shack

… It finally hit me that this is all really happening.

Soon, I’m going to get 3+ hours of commuting time back per day. Soon, I’ll be joining some new overpriced gym. I’m going to be sans car. Soon, I’ll be shopping for my groceries at the foodie heaven two blocks over that is Fairway. Soon, I’m going to be an “Uptown Girl.” Oh, and soon I’m going to most likely be broke. You know what? Who cares. It’s going to be epically fantastic.

T-minus 10.

Me & Jo-Ann

The fact that I’m starting to move things into my apartment on Monday is beyond nuts. How has February gone by so fast? Have I done everything? Am I probably forgetting to do 8,000 things? Oy.

I’ve probably spent a collective four hours looking for curtains I like and accent pillows. Clearly, my life is just about as exciting as humanly possible. I’m not sure what’s hurting me more — the fact that I’m frugal or the fact that I wanted to use coral and well, NOTHING comes in coral. I’ve come to terms with the fact I’m going to have to get a little crafty and make some of this jones myself.

So, I have these two projects in mind. Please don’t laugh.

The first:

coral colored pillow

It’s cute, right? Please say yes. Well I went to Jo-Ann the other night confident I could buy the materials and make it myself. Savvy shopping tip: Jo-Ann has a pretty stellar iPhone app with coupons you can “save” to your digital “wallet.” Good ones, too. I’m talking 50 percent off!

First, I found myself gawking at an enormous wall of pillows, unsure of which one to pick. Since they were white, I figured I wouldn’t have to make a pillow case, and could just hand sew my massive flower on myself. Easy-peasy.

I picked one out, and went on my happy little way. Side note: Tell me you love craft stores as much as I do? I’ve probably been to this one store just to look four times in the last two weeks. I wonder if they think I’m squatting ….

Back to the pillow. Of course — why would a craft store actually carry coral felt? Fail.

I paced around the store for a while thinking. I looked at those enormous paintable letters and wondered if there was any potential there. I sauntered by the bead section and contemplated buying the materials to make a necklace (Emily, you don’t need a necklace). I meandered through a sea of about 2,000 different fabrics and reminisced over one that I’m 99 percent positive was used to make my Belle costume when I was 6. Then I proceeded to yawn, throw my hands up in the air as a sign that I’ve given in, stormed out of the store, went to McDonald’s, and bought a dollar cone.

Okay, so the hands up in the air/ storming out part didn’t exactly happen that way. I guess I just wasn’t ready to commit to anything.

My second project:

Faded artwork

Walk with me on this one. Above my bed, three separate square canvases that when shoved together, would equal one constant blend of coral, that Tiffany blue color, white, and tan (my potential color scheme). I did something like this when I redecorated my room in the huge I grew up in, and loved the way it came out.

It has potential, I swear.

Maybe I’ll get crafty tonight. Can someone please come set up my sewing machine circa 1982? Or at least show me how to thread a bobbin? It would be much appreciated.

Wanted: design help

Surprise surprise, I’m not much of a designer. I know, major letdown. I will say, though, that I’m über crafty. Once I made an earring holder out of picture frames and lace, those were cutesie. Then there was the time I made Monopoly costumes for a gaggle of my friends on Halloween. We were board spaces. I was Park Place. Contain your jealousy.

As I’m gearing up for the big move, I know I have the chance to make this room look however I want. Okay, let me rephrase that. However I want with huge price considerations. Food’s probably a more important priority. My problem is that although I’m crafty, I’m not good with putting the right things in the right places or picking the right things in the first place.

Things I know:
- I want to keep neutral. I’m thinking of using coral as my accent color, but I’m very very open to suggestions.
- I need curtains or shades that are room darkening. Yeah, I’m pretty light sensitive, so that means the darker my shades, the more chance I’ll be able to sleep in. Of course for me that means ’til around 9:30 … On a good day.
- I have a white dresser, nightstand, and tan area rug.

That’s what I’ve got. Oh, and this stuff:

Ikea bookshelf

I snagged this bookcase for $42. Originally $90 at Ikea, I found it in the ‘As-Is’ section. The man working there said it was just marked down since it was a floor model. I just couldn’t help myself.

Ikea Ursula tan pillows

These pillow shams were what made me decide to make my bedroom neutrals. I love them, and it was something like $30 for the both of them. Cha. Ching.

Ikea tan duvet cover

Nothing too exciting, just a tan duvet cover.

So I guess what I need to figure out is:
- Accent colors
- Curtains
- What to put on the walls
- How to fit it all in here:

Apartment elevator

My roommate calls it the Wonka-vator, since it’s so long. I have faith this is allll doable.

Okay. So. Suggestions? Help!

“Happiness is never stopping to think if you are” [Palmer Sondreal]

There are a few things that are a surefire way to make me smile. And over the last few days, I’ve been giving my pearly whites some serious face time.

Smilemaker #1: All things yellow

After looking at Jenny’s post the other day, I’ve been day dreaming about my younger days. Dad would bring home a box of muffins from Costco – and these were no ordinary carbs. For the unaware – Costco muffins are the king of muffins, larger then the average bagel and full of the delicious flavors (in four varieties). And as usual, large muffins full of flavor are also full of calories. Especially when buttered and “toasted” on the grill, only to be slabbed with more I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter at the breakfast table.

… the days of Costco muffins may be over, but today – I relived them the best way I know how. Originally, I had intended to make my own muffs from scratch. So, I went to the store to buy some bananas, baking powder and soda. But after picking out two nanners, I walked down the cooking aisle and found Fiber One’s banana nut muffin mix. I fell head over heels for their frozen muffins last semester, and today – was reminded of how delicious some of their products can be.

Muffins, ready to go into the oven.

One banana nut muffin topped with banana peanut butter, served with a side of more nanners and blueberries. The walnuts inside of the muffins added the perfect crunch to the morning delight. Slight banana overload perhaps, but such a great way to kickoff my day. So good in fact, that I headed for a long run along the water.

I was painting my nails the other day (Essie’s Haute As Hello, not yellow) and got this beautiful surprise delivered to my door:

Apparently, my boyfriend discovered “Make Someone Smile Week,” and I was elated to see this corny expression of affection. Yellow roses, daisies and carnations have never made me teary eyed – until now.

Smilemaker #2: Quality time with my best friend

It’s still hard for me to deal with the distance between my best friend and I. Instead of five minutes, it’s not 25 minutes door-to-door, and we definitely don’t get to spend as much time together as we have in summer’s past. Yesterday however, was an exception – we ran errands:

Note the new polish clutching my new wallet (obsessed).  Afterward, as the temperatures cooled down – we took a late afternoon walk and finished off stepping stones by the water:

And after indulging in a little of a Shrek marathon on TBS – we made a delicious, spontaneously creative dinner:

Enter homemade sweet potato fries, grilled sliced peaches and turkey burgers with diced onion and crumbled mozzarella on whole wheat toast. We made the fries from scratch – simply by tossing them with a little bit of olive oil, salt, pepper and paprika, microwaving them in water for five minutes, and putting them into the oven for 30 minutes until crispy.

Possibly the most delicious meal I’ve made all summer, I couldn’t of been happier to sit there sipping sangria and catching up with Kyle (I hear it all the time, “Kyle? A girl’s name?” Possibly – the reason why I enjoy “boy’s” names so much for little girls) after a few weeks apart.

Smilemaker #3: Summer salads

Voilà: Grilled shrimp, yellow squash, red pepper, leeks, crumbled feta over romaine with a balsamic vinaigrette. Amazing grilled flavor, enough said.

What your muffin style? What makes you smile?