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Apartment: Month 1

Well, I’m back already because today marks one month since getting our keys. Since getting our keys we…

  • stayed at the hotel three more nights before realizing I couldn’t stand it any longer and my loving husband agreed
  • slept in sleeping bags for four nights before our beds arrived
  • spent ten days back in Ohio without Jared picking up our cats (and doing many other things)
  • received our pod the day before driving out to Ohio which meant boxes packed in the living room
  • received our couch on day 23
  • lasted until our pod AND our couch got here without any seats at all
  • have taken many walks

So! Let’s get down to pictures and defeat the Huns.


I didn’t clean up just for you. Special, right?


Here is the entry closet that I didn’t show before. Crooked picture!


Our beds! As I mentioned last time, we went all Family Bedroom. Since Kaelyn slept on our rug in our room the majority of the time, we decided it was not a wise use of space to have her own room. We went with Japanese futons and have the ability to fold them up and have more space.


Sleeping in one room means we all share the closet. Somehow it works.


Master bathroom mostly just to show off the shower curtain that I found that just goes perfectly with our colors for our apartment.


It appears that I’m missing my photo of the fireplace wall so this will have to do. I’m annoyed at how yellow the walls look. They are getting painted mostly so they aren’t flat paint. It will be a very similar color but with less of a yellow undertone. Oogle my couch and rug. Go on. It’s okay.


Kitchen and dining room together. One day I’ll show you inside the kitchen cabinets. I’m pretty proud of them. For now, this is just messy.


And here’s another closet I didn’t show you before that is between the second bathroom and the multi-purpose room.


The second bathroom with the rug from Kaelyn’s bedroom she just couldn’t part with. (But really, pink isn’t in my color scheme here.) Oh, and the shower curtain followed us from Ohio too. Its colors are also perfect.


This room has received the least amount of love… until Saturday! Well… next week probably.


Yeah, totally sitting in a kid chair at a kid desk while typing this up. UNTIL SATURDAY. (I mean… next week.)

DSC_0020Here’s her toy area. Some other items will probably get stored on the higher shelves but it shouldn’t get too crowded in here.

Clearly, I haven’t done much decorating. I’ve done a lot of “what goes where” and keeping things calm. It’ll be a while before I do pictures of the whole apartment again. I’m excited to finish the boxes and showcase some areas better. And get pictures up! I have one build project for sure (a collapsible sewing table) and another potential one (dining room table and chairs). If we find what we want (counter height, no black, preferably round) at the right price point (not $1500), then great. But I’m not really having much luck there so I’ll possibly build the table (in which case, it would probably be square, not round) and either buy chairs (toying with upholstered chairs) or make (probably not upholstered then). But none of those are hurry items. Getting my books out of boxes is much more necessary.


Apartment Tour

Ah ha! You did read that correctly. We have relocated from our lovely house in Ohio to a smaller apartment in Virginia.

I’ve gotten a few comments about “are you still going to blog about your decorating? Your house was so lovely” and I treasure those comments. Yes! I will. We are still definitely settling in. Today I want to give you a tour of the empty apartment. A total blank slate.

Welcome to our new home!




Our apartment sports a red front door. We open upon a little entry way that has a closet which you can barely see there to the right.

As you walk forward in the door, you come to the living room with the kitchen and dining area on the left. We have plank flooring throughout the apartment except for the bedrooms. I love the lack of tile!


In the living room we have a sliding glass door to the patio.DSC_0507

Oh, hello there fireplace. We do have a wood burning fireplace. Now we shall see if we ever acquire wood to burn. You can also see the entry way but not the front door.


Here is the dining room and kitchen. Having the kitchenopen to the living room was a requirement. Our house had a larger kitchen (well, everything was larger in the house) but was closed off and I definitely did not like it.


This is all of my kitchen. That back area is NOT a pantry but where the washer and dryer is. We are having shrinking pains in the kitchen for sure. I purged a lot when packing up but right now, our food has to fit in this kitchen as well gadgetry. Two lower cabinets, two drawers, two larger upper cabinets, two small upper cabinets. And one under-the-sink cupboard.DSC_0512

Off the dining room/living room there is a closet that you can see in the second picture. Turn right and you’re in the second bathroom. We didn’t need a full second bathroom but the area houses a lot of students so it’s very hard to find a 2 bedroom, 1.5 bath. Or even a 2/1. We’d rather have the extra tub than lose out on some other priorities (like the open kitchen). Layout was a huge deal for us.DSC_0515

Turning left at the closet brings you to the second bedroom. No, you didn’t miss the first bedroom. I’ll get to that. This bedroom has a sliding door to the patio.


It has one window….DSC_0517

And one closet. This room will be our multi-purpose room. This will be the hardest working room in our apartment! Practically everything has to fit in this room.DSC_0518

Okay, now back track to the front door and turn to your right. Twice. You’ll be in the master bedroom. The bedroom door is opposite the entry closet and next to the front door.DSC_0519

This room has the best natural lighting in the entire apartment. You might realize that this is a two-bedroom apartment and there are three people in this family. If the second bedroom has everything in it… yes, that means we have a family bedroom. More on that in another post.DSC_0520

Door to the bathroom is on the right and the door to the closet (where we have managed to fit all of our clothes) is on the left.DSC_0521Master bathroom.

So as you can see, pretty basic. Not too shabby. It is 1000 square feet. 2 bedrooms. 2 baths. I’m excited to show you our spaces that we’ve got finished! Well… “finished”. I spent a lot of time thinking (and talking to Jared) about downsizing and then when we did downsize and had a floor plan, where everything would go. So far I haven’t been wrong which pleases me greatly!


Saving Internet Recipes Before They Are Gone

I have loads to share and no camara cord with which to get my pictures off my camera. So meanwhile, I thought I’d share how I’m procrastinating in my day.

Is it still procrastinating if it’s doing something I’ve been meaning to do?

Also, is it procrastinating if I didn’t really have anything planned to do instead?

Screenshot (1)

Pinterest is fantastic and I love it bunches, but it isn’t permanent. If you want to see beyond the picture, you’re trusting that that website and post will always be there no matter what. After finding a few of my “pinned years ago” recipes gone, lost, and unfound, I decided to take a different method to saving them. My solution is Evernote.

I’ve been moving our household to be less papers and more Evernote. I’ve slowly been making the switch because I’ve learned that if I don’t go slow, I get all Perfectionist McCranky Pants. The method is simply to have one notebook and lots of tags (which can be nestled for organizational beasts).

I use the Evernote plugin for my browser (Chrome) — aww, look. I circled and drew an arrow to show you the plug in. Approved by the 5 year old. I usually choose Simplified article to strip out necessaries (ads, logos, stuff) and make sure my tags are correct. If I want more of the article words gone, I can go into my note in Evernote and delete them.

Screenshot (2)

And boom! It’s in Evernote. I can still see recipes using the photograph like in Pinterest and if I want to, there is the link to the website if ever I want to visit the website (for more outstanding recipes or something) provided that website still exists at that potential point in the future.

You can see my budding tag system with my food tags circled. This particular tag hierachy starts at “.what” and ends at “to try”. Once I’ve tried a recipe, it will be easy to add notes, move to “recipe” (which are the ones we like and want to keep), or delete. And I can sync Evernote to my phone and tablet for use in the kitchen.

Screenshot (3)


Sadly, I just got a notification saying I’ve used over 50% of my import data allotment on the free account with 22 days left in the cycle. And over 200 recipes to go…. So to save on data, just highlight the recipe and when you click the Evernote plugin, you’ll get an option to save your selection. …Shoulda thought of that earlier…

When it feels like you’re giving up

Sometimes there is a war that wages inside us. On one hand, we know that we aren’t giving up. On the other hand, we feel like we’re giving up. It can be a very disheartening place to be in. Which side will win? Will we collapse with tears of frustration or look forward with hearts of hope? Or maybe we just hang between the two tilting one way and then the other like a coin set precariously on its edge.

I have reached one such moment in my life.

It all started when I started seriously decluttering my home. I knew there would be many easy items. There would also be many difficult items. I knew I would have to face emotions and other unsettling thoughts. Despite knowing that, when my daughter requested a small outfit to dress her monkey in, I found myself looking at a large box that held baby clothes. And since I had it out, I might as well declutter it.

As my daughter grew out of her clothing, I kept some and gave others away. I had been given enough clothing for three wardrobes so it wasn’t too difficult to cull it down to just one wardrobe. I had one large box for newborn to 12 months and another for 12m-2T. That’s pretty good, right? I have even less from 3+ since my sister graciously shared her girls clothing.

It’s just clothes, right?

And actually, it is just clothes. I took those two large boxes down to one small box. That part was not hard. It was very easy to choose which items I wanted to keep and which I didn’t. I found myself flying through those two boxes trying to keep half my mind on my audiobook and not fully on my difficult task.

The hard part was the blow that felt like I was giving up. My daughter is five now. Giving up clothes in a way feels like I am giving up on having another child.

It has been a regular emotional struggle to not be pregnant again. I’m very familiar with this feeling particularly with an irregular cycle. The reminder that it’s worthless to test and to just wait another week. The constant thought in the back of my mind that well, maybe this could finally be it. The stern talk back that I will only be disappointed. And still finding myself with a heavy heart and tear-filled eyes when I am right. The hurt fades away as the hormonal crazies do and the sharp pain can be ignored for a few more weeks.

So now I have less baby clothing which is really okay with me. I’ll be okay when I declutter other baby items. Toys, books (maybe…), cloth diapers. But I’ll still feel that prickle of tears threatening to appear, that stab that says “if you do this, you’re giving up”, and then I’ll turn my God and thank him for my beautiful daughter and pray that I will find peace if I am only sent her. I will pray for others who have the same struggle or similar struggles. And I will pray with the faith of my little daughter that we can have another one.

Will I ever not feel this way? It is difficult to feel like I am giving up.

How to have a tasty bread-less rueben sandwich

rueben sandwiches


I’ve had a jar of sauerkraut sitting in my fridge for a while. I won’t even admit to how long it’s been there. I want to like it because of how good it is for my body but man, oh man, it probably will never be one of those foods I eat on its own.

Then in a flash of brilliance, and while standing in line at the deli waiting for my daughter’s requested black forest ham, I saw a package of corned beef and thought “ruebens!” except I don’t really eat bread anymore so would it really taste the same? My answer is that it tastes better. I don’t miss that bready taste (at least in this particular case).

I feel ridiculous calling this a recipe…

Ingredients : deli corned beef, sauerkraut, dressing (Russian or Thousand Island dressing is usual–I had neither on hand so mine consisted of miracle whip nasty, soy sauce, salt, pepper, ketchup…. and Olive Garden’s Italian dressing)

Directions : lay out the corned beef, pile the sauerkraut on top, put some dressing on that, roll, consume.

After adding some fresh veggies to the side (which I probably ate with hummus), I had a delicious good feeling meal.