New Braunfels

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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accessorizing an apartment for under $300

??????????????????????Back in the fall, I was approached by La Sierra Apartments here in NB to spruce up a corporate apartment.  One unit, in a weeks time? Well okay, no problem. The challenge: use furniture in inventory and spend next to nothing.   SAY WHAT??  Every design idea I had instantly imploded.

How was I supposed to do art, drapery, lighting, and fun accessories on a couple hundred bucks?  (I know it’s possible, but I’m used to accessories budgets in the thousands.)  Sure, it’s easy to come up with endless ideas when you have a nice budget to work with, but this was going to be a little harder.  A rug alone could break the bank.

I had to get creative.  But really, I needed to relax and go with my instincts.  I was made for this.  I don’t like paying full price for, well, anything.  I’m always looking for a deal, and now it was time to put my bargain hunting to the test.  And I had like 4 days to do it.

I started with a vacant apartment.   There were a lot of warm, brown tones in the apartment (wall color, fixtures, flooring, etc) and in the existing furniture I was going to use.  The armless chair I picked was in this fabric:

IMG_5206

So I decided to pull out the grays tones and run with that.  The goal was to combine warm and cool to create an inviting & simple, yet contemporary space.

I bought a 36×36 gallery wrapped canvas at Michael’s with a 40% off coupon.  I then took a couple of hours one morning, busted out my (literally) 8-year-old paints and created a neutral abstract painting.  This was going to be the piece that tied the browns and grays together.

painting

Here’s what the final result ended up like:

accessorizing on a budget

apartment decor for under 250 dollars

The lamp shades, pillows, and drapes were from Target.  The drapery was on clearance – jackpot!  The drapery hardware (not pictured) is from IKEA, as well as the rug ($19.99), and floor lamp ($14.99).

IKEA frames + your favorite pictures - Accessorizing on a Budget

These IKEA frames were under 10 bucks a pop.  I took some pics of local landmarks (Gruene Hall, the Comal River, and the Faust Bridge) and printed off 8x10s of them at Target.

I apologize for the very few crappy iPhone pics, but it turned out pretty good!   The only thing I would have liked to do differently is include some vintage bargain finds if I had more time to search for them.  Where are your go to places for great accessories on a budget??

much needed relaxation

I’ve had the last 11 days off work, and I can’t explain just how fulfilling it has been.  I haven’t had any time off really since July.   It has been a total gift to not have to get up early, be somewhere, shower, be under strict deadlines, etc etc etc.  To be completely honest, I’m still in my PJs right now and it’s after 5pm.  I’m sure last nights activities didn’t help.  We were going to go out in San Antonio, but decided to stay in NB because of the rainy weather.   Our first stop was the Uptown Piano Bar, which is like a 7 minute walk from our house, and then went into the little downtown area to a couple other bars to ring in the New Year.  We had a freakin blast.  It’s been the first time we have went out for drinks in such a long time.

But during the last week and a half,  I’ve had so much time to reorganize and reflect.  And the best part is I’ve began to rejuvenate my creative side.  I think with the long stressful hours that had been put in over the last month at work,  I was feeling especially drained of any creative juices left in me.

I’m super excited for all the plans that are in the works for 2013.  I can’t wait to share it with y’all!  I will be back tomorrow with my goals for the upcoming year.

I leave you with my summary of life in Instagram pictures.  xoxo, and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Beautiful sky

Oh christmas tree

Hot Chocolate

Maci (2)

alamo bowl

Forbidden Fruit

Us on New Years

(all photos were taken by me.  if you want to borrow them, please just ask. oh, and send some love to the site too if you don’t mind, thanks!)

happenings

So here’s some life updates:

Back in September, I posted about taking the first 2 sections of the NCIDQ Interior Design Licensing Exam…and guess what?  I PASSED!! So excited – and to be completely honest – sooooo relieved.  Now I can take my time to relearn hand drafting and prepare for the last day of testing.  Not sure if I’ll take it this Spring… we’ll see.

i passed

Today marks 9 years since my hubby & I first started dating.  We were 19 then –  but feels like just yesterday!  Literally, we’ve spent almost a 1/3 of our lives together! Haha so weird to think of it like that.  It hasn’t always been easy, but it’s been worth it.  I love him more each day.

photo 2

I’m still waiting for fall to come.  I think we had one cool week so far…but then it warmed back up into the low 80’s last weekend.  Even for Texas that is unseasonably warm in December!    But we have been blessed with such a beautiful, warm fall this year.

This past weekend we attempted our first Christmas family photo shoot.   We found this cool walking bridge near our house recently and decided it would be a great spot.  It’s called the Faust Street Bridge and its original structure dates back to 1887!   I love it.  Most of the shots were pretty silly, but we did get a few keepers. Camera tripod = best $30 I’ve spent.   Here’s a sneak peek …

faust bridge smaller sizeIMG_1293 copy

guadalupe river smaller size

.family smaller size

us smaller size

PS. I’m not anywhere near ready for Christmas.  I think I have a grand total of one present off my list, and no tree up yet.   How about ya’ll?

lately

I’ve realized just how impersonal my posts have been because, well, I never really talk about what’s going on around here!   I live my life in pictures, so I know I haven’t been up to much when there isn’t much photo documentation.

Here’s the highlights from my life story in recent times.

 

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I do have some mildly boring interesting news to share though  –  We’re heading to Michigan next weekend!  My friend Colleen is getting married and my husband has his 10 year high school reunion! (are we really that old now??)  I’m pretty excited.   Summer is the best time to visit, and it will be great to see friends and fam! 

xoxo