spring

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)

Advertisements

organizing 101: simple tips, best blogs, + 9 favorite products

Spring is here, and for many people this means the season of deep cleaning has begun.   And although your home may be “clean”, do you know where everything is?  Is it neat and tidy?  You may answer a resounding no to these questions, but organizing your life is much more attainable than you may think.  Organization isn’t just for anal retentive Type A people, perfectionists, or for those with the perfect homes in magazines or on TV.  YOU can make your house work FOR you, instead of AGAINST you.

organized desk area

Recently, a friend asked me for organizing advice, and well, I can be quite messy.  I thought I may not be the best person to ask, but the more I thought about it, I realized organizing actually has a lot in common with interior design.  Both use problem solving as means to make spaces look and function better.   I’ll let you in on a little secret: although it requires thought and determination at first, once you create a functional home, it’s super easy to maintain.

Organized bath drawers

I’ve scoured the internet, Pinterest, magazine articles, and even a couple of books, searching high and low for the best tips and products out there in the organizing world.  I wouldn’t be a good blogger friend if I didn’t pass that on to you, now would I?

>>>>>>>>>>>

EASY TIPS + TRICKS

Organizing pretty much boils down to a set of principles.  Follow them and you’ll be on the road to success:

  • Define your storage needs.  You can’t solve the problem until you define it.  Where are the problem areas?  What is missing or causing the clutter?  What tools do you need to make it better?  Most of the time, clutter is caused from items that do not have a home.  Make sure each thing you own has a proper place to be stored.

modern office for a small space

  • Make sure you have designated space to accommodate your stuff.  In the design of many homes, storage is often an after thought.  A lot of homes do not have the proper amount of built-ins and closet space necessary to function clutter-free.  If this is a description of your home, do not let this stop you!  Seek out the proper equipment you need, such as shelving, cabinets, and baskets.  Another idea: Don’t make purchases you don’t have room to store, unless you are willing to part with something you do not use anymore!

Pantry organization

 

  • Group like items together.  Categorizing similar items is logical, making things extremely easy to find.

group items together

 

  • Label!  Labeling will help not only you, but also others identify where things go.   (Bonus:  your lazy family member(s) will not be able to use the “I didn’t know where to put it” excuse, because *TA DA* it’s clearly labeled)

organized and labeled

 

  • Decide what to conceal.  Use baskets, bins, and totes to hide things that appear messy.  It will make a world of difference.

before and after - using bins to organize

 

  • Avoid the temptation to just stuff all your miscellaneous crap under the bed or in the closet.  This is counter productive as these spaces should be functional too.

under the bed storage!

 

  • Think outside the box.  Come up with creative ways to display and store items.

creative storage solutions

 

  • Look for double function furniture pieces.  Use a trunk as a coffee table to store all your games and movies, or a kitchen cart that can hold your pots and pans while serving as a food prep surface.

dining table that turns into a pool table...great for small spaces!

  • Be disciplined.  Take 20 minutes each night to put things away that you have used throughout the day.

 

BEST BLOGS OUT THERE FOR ORGANIZING (in my humble opinion):

 

STORAGE MUST HAVES

  1. Rugby Stripe Bins, Container Store
  2. BYHOLMA Basket, IKEA
  3. Milano Graphic Storage Boxes, Container Store
  4. PS Cabinet in White, IKEA
  5. Latte Parker Desktop File, Container Store
  6. Closetmaid 31″ Horizontal Organizer, Target
  7. Glass Jar (various sizes), Container Store
  8. Seville UltraZinc Shelving on Casters, Amazon
  9. Threshold Stoneware Chalkboard Canisters, Target

9 Favorite Storage Solutions - Vim & VintageFor the links to these above items and many more inspiration, visit Vim & Vintage’s Pinterest page!

.

(all of the above images link back to their source)

spring in bloom

One of my favorite things about Spring is when the flowers begin to bloom.  Fresh flowers can make a whole room just GLOW.  That’s why it’s no secret that flowers are used for big events like weddings and parties, home staging to entice potential home buyers, and for photo shoots for your favorite magazine.  They make us feel happy inside and loved.

(Photo Credit: Design Sponge)

One of my favorite are big garden roses, like pictured above.

.

And peonies.  Oh I’m a fool for peonies!

.

FLOWERS IN LIVING SPACES

White or cream flowers can have a sophisticated effect.

.

(Photo Credit: Better Homes & Gardens)

Brightly colored flowers add excitement.

.

(Photo found on Pinterest)

Using flowers that color coordinate in the room reinforces the scheme, helping the space feel more uniform and orderly.

.

FLOWERS IN DINING SPACES

(Photo Credit: Apartment Therapy)

.

(Photo Credit: Emersonmade.com)

Gorgeous table setting. (Also a huge fan of the EAT napkins!)

.

(Photo Credit: Martha Stewart Weddings)

A few large blooms in bud vases can be more powerful than a huge bouquet.

.

FLOWERS IN SLEEP SPACES

(Photo found on Pinterest)

.

(Photo Credit: decor8)

.

(Photo Credit: Better Homes & Gardens)

These flowers pull out the pink in the bedding and make it pop!

.

(Photo Credit: Tumblr)

.

Happy Friday! 🙂