Happy golden birthday to my brother Zaby, who may be turning 25 today, but is fondly thought of as pictured above.

Happy golden birthday to my brother Zaby, who may be turning 25 today, but is fondly thought of as pictured above.

This is difficult to write, but I feel like I need to get it out. I just don’t feel the same way anymore. I remember our first summer so well. It was so easy to fall in love with you. You were bustling with life and vitality. You were modern, and handsome but with vintage charm. You offered culture without pretense. You were so much more than any other that came before. I thought I knew where I fit in this world.

Over the years, I may have taken things for granted- the food, the museums, the fun little shopping trips. I’m sorry. I never meant to. I just thought it would be that way forever. But, I’ve started to see another side of you.

Maybe I’m just seeing what I didn’t want to see in the beginning. I didn’t want to look too deep, but now that I have I can’t see you the same way. You’re volatile and it goes unchecked. Everyone around you sees your violent streaks, but they say you can’t be changed.

I still see flashes of what I fell for, but I deserve better. I deserve stability and safety. I never thought I would run from you to something simpler, but I’ve gotten to the point where I might trade excitement for piece of mind. I thought we would grow old together, but I’m too old for this. You’re too old for this. You’re too good for this. Don’t disguise your beauty and charm with this awful persona. People think it’s the real you. It’s not.

Come on, Chicago, this is bullshit. Please stop so we can get back to what we had.

found inside the bar I tore down today in the studio.  keepin it classy.  (Taken with Instagram at dirty north)

found inside the bar I tore down today in the studio. keepin it classy. (Taken with Instagram at dirty north)

pinterest challenge!

There’s nothing like a full-on challenge to get a girl back into the blogosphere! Lucky for me, a Pinterest challenge was issued and I couldn’t leave it unanswered.

This project actually goes back a ways…I had been meaning to pop into Stop Look Oddments for a while. Whenever I drove by they would have some curious items on display and I wondered what treasures were tucked into the tiny storefront.

On my way home from work one day I spotted these two chairs outside the store and knew I had to have them.

We didn’t really need more seating, but I just loved the shape and once I stopped to see the price ($10 a pop!) I was sold. Well, they were sold…to me.

Anyway, I brought them home and stored them in the garage for months. Like I said, we weren’t hurting for chairs, so it wasn’t a top priority. I found a tutorial on Martha Stewart for a refinishing techniqe that I thought would suit the chairs perfectly.

But as the apartment came together, I could tell that the herringbone paint would wind up being a bit too busy. So it was back to the drawing Pinterest board. I found some (p)inspiring images of bright spray-painted chairs and decided that a pop of color would layer in nicely. I just had to pick a color….After spending way too much time staring at the spray paint display at Michael’s, I finally settled on Cadmium Yellow.

Bright. Cheerful. And ties into the print that hangs across from where the chairs now live.

Before I could get to the cheerful yellow I had to sand the chairs and prime over their current paint job. It took three coats before I even got to the yellow, but it was well worth it, to get the bright pop that I was looking for.

I was going to place a lamp on each chair around our radiator, but the angle of the seats doesn’t make that super stable, or attractive. For now, the lamps are hanging out on the radiator and the chairs will probably get styled with some books so they don’t look so empty.

Pay no attention to the sheet in front of the window….it’s only temporary. We’ve already got a Pinterest board for window treatments! Until the next challenge, we’ll just have to enjoy our bright new (to us) chairs in front of our barely covered windows. :0)

catch-up ball

I had a math teacher in high school who would always respond to my lack of homework with the same phrase: “You’re gonna be playing some catch-up ball.” For the past few weeks, every time I log in to tumblr, I think of that statement. It really feels like I have a whole quarter’s worth of homework to knock out. Since there are sooo many updates to jot down I’ve decided to do this in order of fun. You know, instead of chronologically, or by project. (I’d like to thank my brother for this idea. I once sorted boxes of our childhood pictures and did my best to put each kid’s photos in chronological order. I left this project sitting in the living room, with strict instructions NOT TO TOUCH! When I woke up, my brother had rearranged his photos in order of cuteness. I was too furious to appreciate the hilarity of that at the moment. Now it’s kinda funny.) Anyway, back to the backlog….After getting our floors finished our whole apartment took on a new feel. Some might call it “liveable.”

With our house in relative order, we high tailed it out of there….We hadn’t been on a trip in a while! Of course we’d traveled a bit to see family here and there, but no just-us, just-for-fun trips. With the apartment finally in a decent state we decided to head out of town for the weekend. Anthony said he’d do the planning and he wouldn’t tell me where we were going. I kept bugging him and guessing every city in the Midwest. When we left the house he had the directions* so I still wouldn’t know, but once we got on to 94-W, I was pretty sure we were going no further than lovely Milwuakee….and I was right!

Our first stop was the Milwaukee Art Museum which I had never been to. Anthony had been there once, but not since he was a kid. Our visit happened to coincide with Art in Bloom, which was a nice treat. I think all galleries/ museums should consider placing flowers throughout their space just for the amazing smell! It was a little strange to see people facing away from priceless art to stare at flowers. Strange in a good way, though.

Some people even looked at the art.

After exploring the museum we headed out to find our hotel. Anthony booked a beautiful room at Hotel Metro. It had a separate seating area(!) which is all it takes for me to assess a hotel room as fancy.

We freshened up and then set out for surprise number two. All Anthony would tell me is that we had a stop to make before dinner. He gave me the directions*, but they gave me no clues about where we were headed. Even when we arrived the building had no signs on the outside and was in a super residential neighborhood….hmmmm.

When we walked in to Bryant’s we were greeted with a gorgeous softly lit bar. The bartender pleasantly informed us that there was no drink list, but if we would tell her what types of flavors we like she would mix something up for us. Anthony and I were both so impressed by our cocktails that we decided to stay for seconds. :0)

By this point we were ready for dinner. You know, from all the culture and cocktails. We made our way over to Graffito for a nice meal of fresh pasta for me and delicious fish for Anthony,

Once we got back to the Metro we stopped at the hotel bar for a nightcap and concluded day one of our Milwaukee adventure.

*uhhh, yeah, so it’s 2012 and we are the last people to not use a GPS or have that shizzz on our phones. When you get to these parts of the story, just picture us looking at a printout from Google Maps. I know it feels strange.

A quick sneak peak at what all the fuss was about!  We got our floors refinished…..there may even be furniture upstairs now…..wowee!

A quick sneak peak at what all the fuss was about! We got our floors refinished…..there may even be furniture upstairs now…..wowee!

nine more days until this is no longer the situation in our kitchen!

nine more days until this is no longer the situation in our kitchen!

Tags: countdown

Ten Days!

A bunch of stuff needs to be blogged, but first let me just say we’re only ten days away! In ten days the floors will be finished. They’re the last major piece of our apartment renovation and I can’t wait! We’ve already painted, and had drywall hung in the panty and office. The entire apartment is covered in a layer of protective dust and nothing can be put away because there’s no place to put it….but in ten days it’ll all be better. I love having an end in sight- and countdowns!!!!

Tags: countdown

am i an adult already?

When I got my first apartment, my interior design preferences were limited. My style could have been described as:
  • bold
  • graphic
  • youthful
  • girly
Stuff like this:

Okay, a more accurate description would be black, white and pink all over!

Now, whenever we start talking home-style I find myself using a whole different vocabulary. Like Gordon Ramsay saying fresh, or vibrant, I continually find myself going back to the same few words:

  • layered
  • collected
  • textural
  • high-low

Things like this:

A far cry from my “four year old gets to pick her colors” design aesthetic.

Other clues that I am not just “getting older,” but may have officially arrived at “old”

  • I threw out my back the other day
  • My gray hairs are no longer a cute little spray across the bangs- they’re taking over! (As Anthony enjoys pointing out)
  • I have actually changed shoes based on their practicality and not just their appearance. (yikes!)