lately

NCIDQ exam + life updates

Nobody puts baby in the corner.  Unless the baby is your blog.  And you have a massive test to pass that takes over 2.5 months of your life.

dream office

Good news is that it’s all looking up from here! I took my NCIDQ Practicum test a week ago Saturday.  It’s the last section in a series of 3 that I have to conquer to become a Registered Interior Designer.  I’m just so excited to have it behind me, go back to normal life, and get back to some blogging!

The week leading up to it, my mood was consistently somewhere between frazzled hot mess and a snapping turtle.  It can be so difficult to balance work and life alone, then throw 2-3 hour daily study sessions into the mix and it was enough to make me feel insane.  (It makes me really wonder how all those Moms out there do it!?  Major props to them!)  I even was dreaming in test mode.  Not to mention, feeling extremely nervous.  You practice drafting techniques and memorize those codes until you can (literally) recite them in your sleep, but you still don’t know what scenario you will get on test day.

ADA Bathroom

I’ve found in any situation that is scary and unknown, the best thing you can do is just tell yourself “you got this”.  Believe in all of the work you have put in and be confident you are ready to take on anything.  Setting yourself up for success is also helpful!  I Googled “brain foods” and “what to eat before a test” because I feel like I needed every ounce of brainpower working with me on test day.

I woke up that Saturday at 5:45am. I got to the test site about 45 minutes early.  For someone who is habitually late I wanted to make sure I had plenty of time to get there and get comfortable.  We tested for 4 hours, had a 1 hour break, and resumed testing for 4 more.  In the last couple hours I had a headache and felt like poo, but as you’re racing against the clock you just have to keep going.  I finished with about 5 minutes to spare, just long enough to review a previous exercise.

Leaving there, I felt a sense of overwhelming relief mixed with exhaustion.  It was done and over.  I felt positive about it and accomplished.  It went about as good as it could have!  YES. Now it’s time to get some Chinese take out and call it a day.

Later that night and the days following was what I like to call the “oh sh*t!” phase.  Oh sh*t did I label that correctly? Oh sh*t did I remember to dimension everything? Oh sh*t did I make that counter the correct height and long enough?  Oh sh*t?!  These thoughts would enter my head randomly – like during the workday or in the middle of the night.  Then I would panic, try to remember back, then either breathe a sigh of relief or ultimately just try to forget it since what’s done is already done.

I think you just want to succeed so much that your subconscious keeps all these thoughts right there in the back of your mind.   It’s like your brain tries to come up with reasons why you passed or failed so you can have clarity on your outcome, instead of feeling like you’re stuck in limbo waiting for your results.  I tend to over-analyze everything, but since I wont find out the results for 2-3 months, I’ve accepted that I need to let it go. So that’s where I’m at… just hoping for the best over here!! 🙂

Guadalupe River - New Braunfels

The last few months have been a blur with how busy things have been.  It being April already is unreal, but I’m excited to see what this month brings.  I feel like it is almost like a new year for me again.  I’ve started to set some more career and personal goals.  The wildflowers are in bloom and we went river tubing for the first time this year!

Tracery Book

In other exciting news, I found out over the weekend that I won Tracery‘s giveaway, so I get a copy of their new book! So super excited to get my hands on this pretty little treasure.   You should all get a copy too! I’m sure it will be fabulous!

xo.

(images link back to their source)

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feeling like i’m back in design school

Lately my life has been taken over by this little thing called the NCIDQ interior design exam.  AKA my licensing exam.  AKA what I have labeled as my career defining test.  For the latest couple of months, I’ve been studying in the evenings after work, and I tell ya what, these drawing exercises have definitely been putting a cramp on my weekends.

Maybe you remember in the blog’s earlier days me mentioning that I passed the first two sections of this test.  Yes, it was awesome – but, moving on – I still have the other 8 hours to pass. This time it’s the hand drafting portion of the test. And honestly, this FREAKS ME THE F OUT.

floorplan sketch

Let’s be serious here: it’s the first time since college I’ve picked up a drafting board, templates, and triangles.  So… 7 years?! (Wow, I feel like a dinosaur.)  My house currently looks like a studio bomb went off.  Tracing paper on the floors.  Study guides on the chair.  Books haphazardly thrown about.  Drafting dots on the dining table.  Laptop with about 27 tabs open, with crucial info that I CANNOT FORGET or else I will never forgive myself.

I’ve always been a pretty good test taker, but by that I mean I am a pro at cramming info in my head and regurgitating it correctly on exam day.  This test is different – it’s a series of 7 drawing exercises.  There’s no way to cram –  it’s all about understanding, being a quick problem solver, and having legit skills.  When I started this whole process I was so rusty at hand drafting it’s not even funny.  Despite all of these uneasy feelings, I officially registered myself for the test last month on the day before the deadline. (Commitment issues?  Maybe.  But I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t wait to the wee hours.)

Anyways, I take the test 9 days from today, next Saturday.  Excuse my absence from the blog as I get through home stretch.  If anybody has any strategies, thoughts, or good luck charms they want to pass on I will love you forever. xo. Okay, rant over.  Hope you are having a great week!

these days.

Woweeeee it’s November! (Just in case you didn’t realize.)  I’m not sure where the time has went, but I wanted to let you know whats been going on here….

Last month, we planned a last-minute weekend road trip to Florida.  I have been wanting to make the trip back to Destin for about 2 years now but finalllllyyy it seemed to work out.

all packed and ready to go

The week of the trip, I noticed Erin Gates (the extremely fab blogger of Elements of Style) was going to be in Houston for her book signing the same day we were leaving.   Umm perfect, we would be passing right through there.  Well almost.  I still had to work that day, get on the road in time, and brave traffic to make it to the 6-8pm signing.   I swear I probably averaged about 85mph, but lucky for me the stars aligned and I got there with about 15 minutes to spare.  I walked into Tootsies feeling frantic and a little underdressed in my 11 hour car drive attire.  (Kinda ironic as I’m buying a book called Elements of Style.)  Erin was super nice and totally understanding of rough appearance.  It was great to chat for a couple of minutes, and then we were on our way.

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The trip to the Emerald Coast was much-needed.  Truthfully, I’ve been looking for a way to get back there for a visit since we moved in 2011.  It’s one of those places that will always be a home to me.

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Temps were right around 80 degrees and sunny each day.  We spent a lot of time at the beach, eating too much food, and hanging out with old friends.  I’m still so happy we could make it work.   We ended up leaving wondering why we ever moved away to begin with, and pondering what kind of lucrative airstream business we could open up to get our happy butts back to the beach.

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Other than that, not too much has been new.  Just working away like the busy bee that I have become.  Austin is booming and there is no sight of slowdown, which is great for the economy and business.  My 30th birthday and the holidays are right around the corner!  We’ve been picking back up with some house projects after taking a year off.  Hope to have some updates up here soon.  xo.

 

lately.

Austin, TX! - Vim & Vintage Blog

Let me sum up life for you in the last few months in one simple word…..  Work.

Lots of it. Yes there are other things I do from time to time.  Like eating, sleeping, and keep up with the NCAA tournament (my bracket may be busted, but GO SPARTY!!!).

MSU - only the best school ever!(credit: Michigan State Spartan’s Pinterest Page)

My new job is not so “new” anymore.  I’ve been there almost 6 months already!!  I can’t believe just how fast time goes by.  And as I’ve gotten familiar with all of our active jobs, my involvement level has risen.  We have so much going, we are extremely blessed.  I wake up thinking about it at 6am, and before bed I’m typing up a quick to-do list in my phone of items I can’t forget to do in the morning.  I’ve been dreaming about it too.  Sounds scary?  It is.  It’s insanity, but a good insanity. The kind that challenges me, tests my patience, and pushes me out of my comfort zone.  What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.  And I’m not dead yet.

We’ve got some cool projects in the works.  And here’s a preview of a very modern one we are doing with Foursquare Builders:

Home Exterior - by Foursquare Builders in Austin TX

(rendering is property of Foursquare Builders)

Living & Kitchen selections - Vim & Vintage blog

master bath selections - Vim & Vintage blog

What else is new?  Hmmm….. I got a new car – a little charcoal gray Ford Focus.  This is pretty big news for me because I’ve never had a car payment.   I’m kinda (extremely) cheap, so of course I got a good deal on it.   (Having a dad in the car business is quite a nice perk I might add.)  The only inconvenience was I had to go pick it up in St. Pete, Florida from my dad’s house.  I KNOW, IT’S A ROUGH LIFE.  So my friend Brooke came with for a long weekend and we turned it into a little trip.  I got to see my Dad and the ocean, so I was a happy girl.

No visit to the Tampa area is complete without hitting up Busch Gardens.   I love that place!  It just makes me so happy and reminds me of my childhood spring break visits.  We splurged and did the safari and got to feed the giraffes, which I totally recommend.

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On the long drive back we stopped by my old home, Destin.  It was my first time back since we moved to Texas almost 3 years ago.  I felt so good to be back, even though it was just for one night.  It’s just so beautiful and laid back.  I will always have a special place in my heart for this area.  And, like Michigan, it will always be my home away from home.

Seaside, Florida

Florida Sunrise

Sunrise near Pensacola, FL

We definitely felt the effects of the polar vortex in Texas this winter.  I even woke up to snow on the ground one morning.  Actually it looked more like Dippin Dots ice cream, but whatever.

Snow Day

In the last few weeks Spring has sprung.  The weather has been much warmer,  so it’s time for me to come out of hibernation.  We have a lot of home projects we want to accomplish before the summer heat strikes again.  We’re running a 5k next weekend, and as you may remember, it is my first.  And I’m totally not a runner, so this is a pretty big deal to me.  I hope I can do the whole 3.1 miles without stopping – I’ve never been able to before!

Life is good.

Oh and Nate and Maci are both doing great!

Family.

(all images belong to me unless noted otherwise)