Tag Archives: apartment
27 May

See these little flowers…

Those little flowers represent something big for us.

Living in the Chicago-area, in an apartment, without a balcony or a porch or even a sunny window, we’ve never had the chance to grow plants during the summer. No marigolds or petunias or geraniums. No basil sprouting in the kitchen. No flower containers bursting with life.

And it’s made me sad.

Gardening is such a simple pleasure. To get my hands dirty while planting something with a beautiful color or shape or something that smells wonderful, that is a small joy for me. It calms me down. Helps me focus. Gives me something to look forward to. But it’s never been for us. Not here.

But guess what?!

After seven years of living in a dark, plant-less apartment, I now get to grow something! Okay, it’s nothing that big. But our new apartment has a teeny-tiny balcony, no more than six inches deep. And even better, there are planter boxes hanging on the balcony rail. Which meant that summer = plants!

I eagerly waited for the weather to warm up. And when the time was right (which just so happened to be today), I hustled down to buy some plants for our window boxes. I spent an hour wandering up and down the aisles at the Home Depot Garden Center, trying to decide what to plant in our very first window box. In my zealousness, I bought marigolds and geraniums and celosia and creeping jenny and sweet potato vines. Probably too much for our little boxes but I couldn’t help myself. It was too exciting!

The whole family helped plant the flowers. We all watched as they took their place on the balcony. And now that they are hanging in the windows, I walk by every so often just to look at the pretty flowers outside. I’m a happy girl.

So now we wait. And watch. Hoping that our little plants will grow into something bigger.



26 Feb

He roams around the apartment,

exploring from high to low.

He finds something interesting,

where ever he might go.


Move completed!

30 Jan

Okay, so it took us two weeks to move to the apartment across the hall.

BUT, we are done!

As we get settled into our new place, I’d like to reflect on lessons learned during this move:

1) There is such a thing as taking too long to move. Two weeks is just too dang long. We spent EVERY DAY for two whole weeks moving bits of stuff across the hall. Come home from a full day of work and move some more. To be fair, given our time and energy constraints, we couldn’t have moved much faster. But moving becomes tedious after about a week. It’s boring and at that point, you just want to be done with it.

2) Deron and I are gross people. After removing all our furniture and decorations, we observed a layer of grim over our whole apartment. It was dust lines on the shelves. Dirt behind our dressers. Piles and piles of cat hair under the bed, in the closet, on the ceiling (!). We were pretty disgusted. And resolved. We are not going to do that again. Yuck!

3) Crappy IKEA furniture is still crappy after a coat of paint. Don’t believe what the design/DIY blogs tell you, paint cannot work magic on an IKEA bookshelf/table/dresser. It’s still broken in three places and wobbles. It’s still cheap. Now you’ve just painted it a different color. BUT, I will say that by painting our IKEA furniture in a color I love, I can at least tolerate those pieces in our apartment. For a little while. I hope.

4) Dishwashers are amazing! Strange as it is in this day and age, we didn’t have a dishwasher in the old apartment. Everything was handwashed. Even all the dishes after Thanksgiving dinner. And since Deron and I are gross (see #2), our dishes were never that clean. There were bits of crud leftover on all our plates. Our glasses always had water spots and a milky haze. It was embarrassing. Now, oh now we have a dishwasher. And I can never go back. It’s me + dishwasher from here on out.

The boring, tedious part of moving is done. And now the fun begins. It’s time to decorate!

On a side note, sorry for my blogging hiatus. Moving was seriously time consuming. No time for Henry pictures or videos. No time to write. Hope to remedy that soon.

Apartment Inspiration #4

21 Nov

Okay, there is my last thought on apartment decorating. Thanks for bearing with me.

What about decorating an apartment with bright colors, interesting abstract art, and silly things? I could definitely use some more whimsy in my science-driven life.

Okay, here is the inspiration:

This theme reminds me a lot of my sister, who is one of the most creative and fun people I’ve ever known. When we were kids, her bedroom was filled with hundreds of Pez dispensers and her cool acrylic paintings. I still have her paintings of an old guy smoking, a kitty “sleeping” on a rug, and Batman speaking in apostrophes hanging on our walls. What a playful source of inspiration!

Animal topped jars

Lizzy House Pearl Bracelet fabric

Claire desjardins painting (at least one similar to this)

Robert Kaufman metro living circles fabric

Poodle bookends

Everything is going to be alright poster

Cloud9 pond aster fabric

Sunburst mirror

Scrabble pillows

Thomas Knauer nest egg fabric

Jackalope wall hook


Day 9 complete. 21 days to go!


Apartment inspiration #2

17 Nov

As I’m thinking about decorating our new apartment, part of me wants a place that is calming. Something inspired by nature. Something that reminds me of our trips near the sea.

So, here is apartment inspiration #2:

Aren’t those fabrics by Lotta Jansdotter and Amy Butler super cool?! I’ve been a long time follower of Amy Butler but only recently discovered Ms. Jansdotter. Instant fan.

Another quick update on the new apartment adventure, it looks like we’ll be moving mid-January. That gives me two months to process my decorating options.

Lotta Jansdotter fabric

Amy Butler fabric

Porcelain sea urchin

Sea glass painting

Porcelain vases

Day 5 complete. 25 days to go.

Apartment inspiration #1

16 Nov

For those of you that didn’t hear the exciting news, it looks like our family is getting a bigger apartment. It’s the best of all situations- the apartment is across the hall from our current one (easiest move ever!), there is an second bedroom (Henry will have his own space!), and we’ll be able to house our wonderful visitors (yay! more visits!). Plus, the kitchen has been renovated with granite counters and maple cabinets (no more linoleum!).

We’re super excited about it and I’ve been thinking non-stop about decorating our new space. This is such a great opportunity to  stop living like grad students, chuck our cheap-o IKEA furniture and to upgrade our furnishings a bit. It’ll be the great purge of 2011. Bye-bye junk! See ya later old, never used stuff! Becca and Deron are moving up in this world!

But the big decorating question is… what do we replace our old stuff with? What do we (okay I) want our new, more mature apartment style to be? I have so many ideas and I can’t decide on just one direction. So I thought that I would just tell you guys about them. Maybe one will stick.

Here is apartment inspiration #1, a little something inspired by the American Southwest…

This theme reminds me of the desert sunsets, mountain vistas, Native American imagery, and warmth of my childhood. There is something so comforting about that. More apartment inspiration coming soon.


Day of the Dead print

Pendleton blanket

Succulent terrarium

Arizona pillow

Agave print

Pendleton Navajo blanket

Day 4 complete. 26 days to go.