Monday, November 23, 2009

The Apt...Where it is and where it's going....

I'm going to use this blog to share with you the current state of our apartment as well as to share with you what is to come.  In doing so, I hope that you can get a sense of the feel the apartment has and then give me advice on a painting decision that must be made :).  I will start again by reminding you of our paint pallet:

In choosing the colors for the apartment, it was very important to me that it would feel warm and cozy, even during those brutal Chicago winters.  I wanted to choose colors that would do that, so I stuck with the warm color family.  My most unexpected paint job was the La Fonda Copper and the Del Coronado Amber.  I wasn't going to originally paint the living/sitting room of the apartment, but after going to Lowe's with my roommate at the time (Sara) we fell in love with these two colors, and here they are doing of fine job of complimenting each other:

Okay, here are pictures of what the living/sitting room look like as of right now, let me explain to you some things that are going to transform it even more.  First off (as you can tell) there are no pillows on the sofa or loveseat.  I did not like the pillows that came with the couch set and so from early on I got my mom to agree to make some for me.  JoAnn's Fabric&Craft store had home fabrics for 60% off one weekend so I went and picked out 3 different fabric swatches or pillows here.  The main pillows (2 for each piece) are somewhat of a tweed fabric with an orange/red color in them.  I then purchased a striped fabric and a floral-y fabric to make some accent pillows on the two pieces.  My mom is also going to make accent pillows out of the stripped and floral fabrics for the leather arm chair in the sitting room.  Next, onto the window treatments.  I feel like the windows are so big that they are making a statement for themselves and I wanted to draw them into the rooms and tie the two rooms in together using window treatments.  The big problem is that the windows are so big...they are about 106" high making window treatments SOOOOO expensive.  My solution?  Walmart!  Because my mom can sew and she's too nice to say no to me, I purchased inexpensive faux silk panels to put together "custom" window treatments for the living/sitting rooms.  The main big window has the radiator underneath it making it impossible to put ceiling to floor treatments on the window - no complaints here!  That just makes it cheaper!  I am going to put sheers on the main picture window in order to allow a lot of light in:

What I like about these is that they are a gold shade which will match the "custom" panels my mom is making me :).  In order to solve the length problems of the other windows, I purchased 2 dark chocolate panels (1 panel for each window):

These are only 95" long, so in order to get them to the desired 106" length, I also purchased a gold panel:

that my mom is going to cut and sew to the bottom of the brown panels to lengthen them.  This will serve 3 major purposes...1) It will make them long enough to fall all the way to the floor 2) the gold at the bottom will tie the orange living room into the gold/amber sitting room 3) the gold will also tie into the gold shaded sheer coving the main window.
I am also doing the same thing for the sitting room (the amber colored room), I am using 2 chocolate faux silk panels (again, 1 for each window) except instead of attaching gold at the bottom, I am going to attach a copper/orange ("sienna" if you will) to the bottom:

Again, this will serve multiple purposes...1) It will make them long enough to fall all the way to the floor 2) the orange at the bottom will tie the gold/amber sitting room into the orange living room.  
I purchased each panel for about $15 making the whole project roughly $115...SUPER cheap compared to the cost of getting extra long/custom curtains for each window...I just hope my mom won't hate me when this whole thing is over :).  
Onto the next room....

Our master bedroom was painted green in an effort to match my favorite bedspread (Duncan Stripe from PB) with Stephen's and my favorite color: green!  We painted this room Olive Grove (all of our paint was Valspar from Lowes), a Laura Ashley collection color.  Here's what's missing from this room:

Our beige pick-stitch quilt from PB that has been ordered but was on backorder.  This will help create a layered look on our bed AND lighten up our little cave-like room as there is barely any natural light that comes in.

Hopefully, I can get Stephen to understand the "value" :) in toss/throw pillows.  If so, I would like to have the "espresso" jute bordered pillow along with the yellow ("fall leaf") colored rectangular pillow and the red square pillow, all from PB...

Just like in the living/sitting room, I've arranged for my mom (more like I've destined her to a sewing hell :) ) to create "custom" curtain panels on the windows in order for them to go all the way to the floor.  Instead of going with the faux silk for this room, I wanted to tie in another type of material so I went with one called "textured stripe" to somewhat compliment the stripe on the bedspread.  

The main part of the curtain (again from Walmart) is called "clay beige".  I went with this color to go along with the quilt on the bed and also to try and help lighten the room.  The bottom portion of these curtains will be:

This is called "rich brown" (also from Walmart).  I almost went with this color for the main part but then I stopped myself for a couple of reasons.  The first being that the main living part of the apartment will have chocolate colored curtains in them, and also because our bedroom tends to get too dark (the windows have a lovely view of the brick wall from the neighboring building).  The bedroom window panels also ran me about $15 a panel.  I purchased 2 clay beige ones and then 1 rich brown panel (to attach at the bottom part of the beige curtains) so the whole thing ran me roughly $45.  I found all of the curtains for our apartment online, but because Walmart has the convenient "Site-to-Store" shipping, it cost me nothing to have them sent to the Walmart in Louisville near my parent's house.  I'm very excited to see our room finished with all these textural changes.  

Okay, I'm getting to the part where I need help with a decision...I had picked out all these paint colors and knew exactly what I wanted when I went into Lowe's.  Unfortunately, (if you read my blog from the month of September, you remember how stressful my trip to Chicago to move my stuff was) I was in such a fluster that I accidentally had the paint girl mix the wrong color tan for the bathroom.  I wanted (see paint swatches above) the lighter tan (Cincinnatian Hotel Carl Tan) and I accidentally showed her "Mocha Syrup" which is the darker tan.  She did exactly what she was told and started to mix the Mocha Syrup for me and it wasn't until she brought it to me that I realized my error.  I really didn't want the darker tan because our bathroom is so incredibly small and I knew the darker color would make it really seem like a cave:

So, my mom (being my mom) was so generous and she told me that she would buy my screw-up Mocha Syrup for me and I could go on ahead and get the lighter tan for our bathroom.  She said, "maybe you'll want to use the Mocha Syrup somewhere else in the apartment..." and that's where I need your help...

Welcome to my dining room!  I'm thinking about painting the Mocha Syrup (see paint swatch above) on the dining room sister and mom planted the idea in my head because they said that it would look SO great next to the China Hutch:

Also, we purchased a rug in a "khaki/beige" color on sale which kinda blends in with the wall color now - almost asking me to paint them a different color.  What do you think?  If you're wondering if it will make the room look really dark, I thought that too...although there are some things you should know.  The room has 2 large windows in it that let in a lot of light (they are not facing a brick wall), also there is a lot of trim and molding (all of which is white) in the room.  Lastly, the room opens up to the sitting/living room which also have windows that bring in a lot of light (see pictures below for visual examples)

What are your thoughts?  Should I leave the walls the "oatmeal" color that they are now?  Or should I open the whole gallon of Mocha Syrup paint just sitting in the utility closet and splash it up on those walls?  I am looking forward to hearing your thoughts on this matter and hoping that you'll really help me make this decision! :)

Friday, November 6, 2009

I love IKEA

So you would think that visiting IKEA last weekend in Bolingbrook, IL would have quenched my IKEA thirst...Stephen thought so too.  But yesterday, I surprised him by revealing that this weekend, I would like to venture to Schaumburg, IL to visit the IKEA there also.  Have I been bit by the Swedish bug?  One would think...but really, what it all boils down to is the fact that they have these rugs at a phenomenal price that we can't seem to price ANYWHERE we go...EVEN Wal-Mart?!  So in this post, you would see all things IKEA (almost); and because no one is here for me to show my finds from last weekend, I'm going to post them on here and pretend that you care :).

The rugs that started it all...

These two rugs will go under the beds in the Master and Guest bedrooms.  With the entire apartment being hardwood floors (and not very well maintained hardwood floors) I found it important to add a little bit of plush comfort to mine, Stephen's and all our guest's toesies when they come to visit...and at $39.99 a rug, it doesn't come at a shock that I want/and can afford them :)

Now onto last week's adventures...first off I will show you the artwork that we purchased to adorn the wall above the guest bedroom bed.  The color scheme in that room is green and brown, so in an effort to make things very cohesive, we purchased these and framed them in dark walnut frames:

We also purchased these to decorate the windows in that room.  While the windows are about as tall as the BFG (Big Friendly Giant) they aren't very wide, so 1 panel per window will do:

The last purchase that I will share with you was one that I was not originally sold on.  In fact, I was willing to walk away from this without looking back; it was Stephen who was persistent and I'm so glad I listened!  At the whopping price of $1.99, this little purchase brought color and fun to my kitchen:

You're confused by this aren't you?  You're thinking, "How does this silver bar make Kari so happy?"  Well when you buy 10 little hooks for $.99 and hang these from the bar, you can see where the smile gently enters your mouth:

And that's exactly what I did - I have my 6 different colored Fiesta mugs hanging happily from this rod and I think it was my favorite purchase of the weekend!

To end the day Stephen and I feasted on Swedish Meatballs, Mashed Potatoes, Penne Pasta with Mariana Sauce and a Diet Coke...2 people ate for $7...go to IKEA and find some fun for your humble abode!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Just when I was getting used to this...change comes again!

You guessed it...I'm pregnant!

Ah-hahahahaha just kidding!  I really shouldn't joke like that, as I could actually get pregnant and then I wouldn't be laughing!  No, really the news that I want to share with you is that yesterday I received my acceptance letter from UIC for their M.Ed. program!

I will be starting my grad-school classes on January 11th!  While this news is so exciting, it's also kinda nerve racking!  I'm going to be a student again....I don't know what I think about that!  I loved NOT having to take tests or write papers once I graduated, and now I'm asking to be tortured again, and this time it will probably be even more painful as it's graduate school - they ain't messin'!

Anyhoo, some logistics on my program: I am going to be attending the Instructional Leadership Literacy, Language and Culture program in their college of Education.  In this program, I will earn my certification to be a Reading Specialist.  A Reading Specialist works with kids who cannot read and/or are learning to read and their job is to decipher where the problems lie and how to hurdle past them.  This degree would enable me to be a better reading teacher AND if at any point in time I do not want to be a "regular" classroom teacher, I can leave the general classroom and work solely as a Reading Specialist for a school building.  I believe that I can obtain my masters in about 3 semesters, so my plan would be to attend full time for the spring, summer and fall semesters and try to knock it all out in a time efficient manner.  Prayer is welcomed...I could use it as I get ready to embark on a whole new adventure within my new adventure :).

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Home Sweet Home???

Well, it happened before I really knew it was happening.  I know, I know - I have been subconsciously preparing to move to Chicago probably since my engagement in May, 2008...but when did it actually happen?!  I would like that question answered because before I knew it, I was waking up in a different room, in a different building, in a different city, in a different state!  Hold the phone...what?!

I feel like the past month and a half has all been such a blur as my life has changed, somewhat drastically from what it was before.  In less than a year I went from being engaged to being married, from living in Lexington to living in Louisville and THEN to Chicago, from being a teacher to being unemployed (and soon to be student), from living with my best friend to living with a boy (who's also my best friend, but still a boy), from leading Young Life to not, from living in an amazing community full of friends that I loved as family to living in a city (population 3 million in the city and 9.5 million in "Chicagoland") where I think I may know a total of 10 people.  I think I bit off more than I can chew.

Is there a rewind button???  No???  I'll settle for a pause button.  I feel like my life has been in fast forward and although it's finally slowing down, I wish it would've slowed down about 10 months ago so that I could have savored the precious moments that I had with sweet friends in my beloved Lexington.  I was so excited about getting married and all that that would entail that I allowed for important moments of the past months to fly by without me even realizing they were gone...until now.  Sounds like a pity party, right?  Want to join me?  I'll send 'ya an invitation!  DON'T!  Because I shouldn't be pitying around.

I need to remember that this is all part of God's bigger plan for my life.  HE knows why I'm here and why I'm no longer where I love.  HE sees the bigger picture...heck!  He painted the bigger picture!  Why am I so torn up about leaving a place where I was so comfortable to come to a place where I was called?  I shouldn't be!  It's okay that I love where I used to live and that I LOOOOOOVE all my beloveds there - but just because I moved DOESN'T mean that I lost my loves!  Now they get to come and visit my new place of residency (despite knowing that I was called here, I'm not ready to call this "home") and I get to visit them whenever I feel the itch to do so!  So instead of this being a boohoo session, I'm turning it into a "Welcome to Chicago" blog for all my dearly loved friends who are going to come and visit me!

Reason #1 why you should come and visit me:

I live within a 5 minute walk of the Lincoln Park Conservatory.  I know you're thinking, "I don't really care about Conservatorys..."  Well SHUT-IT!  Have you ever actually been in one?  I didn't think so....

Reason #2 why you should visit me:
I live within a 6 minute walk from the Lincoln Park Zoo.  I know that that is enticing to all of you!  If you come anywhere between now and Christmas, you can enjoy "ZOO Lights" which is a light exhibit set up throughout the entire zoo :).

Reason #3 of why you should come and visit me:
That my friends is a far off picture of my new church... The Moody Church.  While it isn't Southland, it is Biblically based with a pretty passionate pastor (Dr. Erwin Lutzer...look him up, he's got a few books about Jesus under his belt)

Reason #4 why you shouldn't wait to come and visit me:

Maybe, if you're lucky, Stephen will give you some of his 5 lbs (that's right, 5 lbs - that's the equivalent of 1400 Gummy Bears!!!) Gummy Bear that his co-worker got him as a belated wedding present...

Hmmm...I gotta be honest, I don't think he'll let you eat his "baby"...

And the last reason why you should come and visit me:

I just may give you some of my winnings from Publishers Clearing House...