Flooding Susie’s Inbox

April 3, 2011

Lap of Luxury

Filed under: Chicago, Friends, Houses — sashyjane @ 1:56 pm

I’m all moved in! And by all moved in I mean my clothes are in my apartment. I still don’t have any furniture, sheets, pillows, basic living necessities. I did buy one towel so I could shower before church this morning. It’s a good thing I bought that or I wouldn’t have had any covers last night. In what was arguably the least restful sleep of my life, I spent last night on the floor in long johns, long john shirt, flannel pajamas, 2 pairs of socks, gloves, a knit hat and my puffy coat, covered with a towel. I fashioned a pillow out of a tote bag stuffed with a puffer vest and another coat. I went to bed at 9:00 p.m. and woke up about 37 times before I finally got up at 6:30 a.m.

Why was I so bundled up, you ask? Because when I arrived at my apartment yesterday morning, it was 10,000 degrees (Celsius) so I turned the radiator down. Turns out that I turned it off and then I couldn’t for the life of me make it come back on that night. About 2:30 a.m., it came roaring back to life and it was once again sweltering. Surely there’s a happy medium  between frigid and roasting.

Since I don’t have a TV, I haven’t hooked up my cable and internet yet (I’m currently blogging from the comfort of my across-the-street Starbucks.) Since there’s no cable or internet and no furniture, yesterday afternoon and evening were quite boring. I could’ve called a friend but that would’ve required showering and showering would’ve required drying off and drying off would’ve required getting my “covers” wet. So I just went to bed instead. To entertain myself, I listened to a CD Mama sent me a few weeks ago. It reads the entire New Testament aloud to you over the course of a month. I listened to 24 days worth. The actors are pretty terrible – the guy playing Jesus sounds like Lyle Waggoner.

To further entertain myself, I made a rough floor plan of how I’d like to arrange furniture once I have it. Keep in mind that the only “design” program I have is Publisher and this is not even remotely to scale. Who knows if any of this will even work. But for now, let’s pretend, shall we?

I didn’t attempt to draw the bathroom or kitchen because I knew they’d look ridiculously out of scale. What do you think? Do you see a better layout?

This morning I went to Park Community Church, a mere 3 blocks away. I didn’t love it but I met some very nice people and scoped out some foine fellas (Lincoln Park seems to be chock full of handsome gents.) Ethos is still my #1 favorite church though.

My good friend Kelly will be here Thursday!! HOORAY!!! I’m SUPER excited for her visit because it’s been far too long since I last saw her, she’s hilarious and she is a guaranteed good time. Kelly is a good traveler and likes to do local things and eat at non-chain places so I have big plans for our culinary experimentation. Any suggestions for where I should take her?

Alrighty, I’m off to find some lunch and then maybe take a walk to stave off boredom. Only one more night of sleeping on the floor – my bed is delivered tomorrow afternoon!

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April 1, 2011

April Fools To Me

Filed under: Chicago, Houses — sashyjane @ 5:07 pm

Today has been one of those days where you just want to crawl under the covers, go to sleep and start over tomorrow. However, it has a happy ending (fingers crossed since it’s only 4:00 p.m.) – I’m in my apartment! I don’t have a single stick of furniture or any creature comforts but to quote Mrs. Potts, “these things take time, my dear.” Here are a few pictures of the barren (until Monday when my mattress, box springs and bed frame are delivered) place.

Super tall cabinets

Fireplace and double closets

View from my back porch

Dining room but I think I'll make it my bedroom

And the complete tour:

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March 25, 2011

Adventures in Real Estating

Filed under: Chicago, Houses — sashyjane @ 5:03 pm

In my last post, I thought this apartment search would be a short and sweet little jaunt around town where I’d find the perfect apartment 30 minutes into my search. Not so, it seems. After looking at 16 places, I finally found the right one! I’m just waiting to hear back from the leasing agent on whether or not I’m approved.

Remember the first apartment that was absolutely perfect and gorgeous except for the unfortunate bathroom situation? Although I LOVED it, I decided the bathroom was a deal breaker so I  went out with a rental broker to look at some properties in Lakeview and Lincoln Park. The two apartments I posted about previously were not available so I saw some that were either smaller or more expensive. I wasn’t sold. I contacted two more brokers and went out with one this morning and one this afternoon. What a broker hussy!

The places I saw this morning were all very nice. Three were in Lincoln Park and one was in Old Town, just a block away from The Second City. The Old Town apartment was inhabited by a guy, a fact made obvious by the sheetless bed, enormous TV and dirty toilet bowl.  When walking out of the bathroom, the hem of my coat accidentally knocked a tube of lotion from this fellow’s bedside table.  The broker, building manager and I all looked at the tube then at each other. We all chuckled uncomfortably before I picked the lotion up and placed it back on the nightstand. I’ve washed my hands about 10 times since.

Two of the other Lincoln Park places were nice but very small and lacked the charm and character I was hoping to find. But at the third apartment, it was as if the heavens opened up and angels were singing. It has everything I’ve been looking for! It’s in a great location in Lincoln Park, has hardwood floors, a separate dining room, fireplace, back deck/porch area, it even has granite counter tops and new cabinetry! I’m absolutely in love with it so I hope the leasing company accepts my application.

Exterior of my new apartment

Even though I’d just found “the apartment” I kept my afternoon appointment with the last broker. It’s a good thing I did because he was ridiculously tall and handsome! Sort of a cross between McGee and Dinozzo. He showed me some beautiful places and laughed at my jokes so obviously, he has fantastic taste :) One of the buildings was a bit out of my price range but I fell in love with the two apartments we saw. They were sunny with tons of built ins, large kitchens,  huge closets, shiny parquet floors and great views. Seeing those apartments was the real estate equivalent of trying on a wedding gown outside of my budget.

Hopefully my real estate search has come to an end and this time next week I’ll be hauling my suitcases north about 15 blocks. Now I just need a job and some furniture. Piece of cake, right?

UPDATE: Here are some pictures of a similar unit in the same building. My unit is prettier.

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March 22, 2011

House Hunters Chicago

Filed under: Chicago, Houses — sashyjane @ 3:30 pm

I’ve been looking for my more permanent apartment this week since my time at this place runs out April 2. The place I saw today was so charming and in such a beautiful neighborhood that it was hard to be objective about it. But I’m going to play House Hunters and give you a rundown of each place. And like House Hunters, I’ll probably pick the place that everybody least expects.

Apartment 1

Pros: Beautiful neighborhood, convenient location, gorgeous architectural details (leaded glass windows, antique and ornate wood paneling, hardwood floors, fireplace), large living area (23×15), quiet building, historic house that’s been converted, tons of charm and character.

Cons: Small kitchen, bathroom across the hall (you have to leave the apartment to get to it but it’s still private), kitchen and bathroom could both use updating (bathroom has green carpet in it), top of my budget (rent includes heat, water, trash and electricity)

Apartment 2 (I’ll see this in person tomorrow)

Pros: Clean, decent location (close to public transit), fair amount of storage, decent sized, separate kitchen, bathroom inside the unit, sunny, safe building

Cons: Top of my budget (includes gas, water and trash), smaller living area than Apartment 1, carpet instead of hardwood, no architectural details, move in fee required

Apartment 3 (I’ll see this in person tomorrow)

Pros: Excellent price (includes water, gas and trash), cute details, separate, decent sized kitchen, sunny, pretty vintage building, good location, close to transit, front-facing unit so I can replay scenes from Rear Window

Cons: Smaller living area than Apartment 1, carpet instead of hardwood, move in fee required

So, which one will she choose? The vintage studio with lots of charm? The clean studio in a safe building? Or the sunny studio with separate kitchen?

Stay tuned…

May 28, 2010

Some{thing} Change is Afoot at the Circle K*

Filed under: Family, Houses — sashyjane @ 10:06 am

*Bonus points if you can name that altered movie reference.

This weekend finds me with some unexpected circumstances.  I am packing up my beloved little townhouse, putting my things in storage and {dunt dun dun!} moving in with Mama and Daddy.  This living situation will be for just a few months until I get some exciting plans {more on that at another time} ironed out. I think my stay with them while my broken heel healed was probably the Lord preparing me for this season.

As I’m packing and condensing so that everything will fit into my high school bedroom and a 10×20 storage room, I’m finding a ton of junk that needs purging. It’s quite cathartic. It’s just too bad none of it is worth much or I could have a tidy little yard sale.

  Have any of you returned home after 4 or more years of independence? How did you deal? What things worked {or didn’t}? Any advice is greatly welcomed. 

In other news, I’m joing the ranks of a billion other women and going to see SATC 2 tonight! I’m sure Cosmo consumption will be at an all-time high across the nation this weekend. I’m beyond excited to see Aiden again!! AH!!

Anybody seen it yet? Was it 100% fluffy fun? Better, worse, about the same than the first?

May 13, 2010

Mending Fences

Filed under: Friends, Houses — sashyjane @ 10:34 am

Rashida Jones and I have a complicated relationship. It all started when she dated my boyfriend, John Krasinski (both on and off screen) but he’s marrying Emily Blunt soon so neither one of us won that battle.  Anywho, Rashida and I have had a tense relationship ever since. Now that she’s a bit more likeable as Ann on Parks & Recreation, wears really cute outfits and I’ve seen her adorable New York studio apartment and her chic LA home in so many magazines and on so many blogs lately, I’m starting to kind of like her. I think we may even become (gasp!) friends.

Below photos of her NY Studio Apartment from Domino via Mimi & Meg.

Below pictures of her LA Home from Glamour via So Haute! and the Rashida Jones tribute blog.

**Confidential to JK: If you get sick of eating bread pudding and steak & kidney pie and talking about how bloody awesome things are and want some good ol’ American food and conversation, all is forgiven and I’ll take you back.**

April 30, 2010

A Springy Tablescape

Filed under: Houses — sashyjane @ 9:16 am

One of the quickest ways to spruce up your house is to set the table in a pretty way. Eddie Ross is the master of this. But even if you don’ t have a store house full of gorgeous antiques, you can still add a little color or glamour to your dining room or kitchen with a few placemats and a little creativity.

I found the placemats at TJ Maxx for $5.00 for a set of four and the runner and napkins came from Target. The china is a mismatched, hand-me-down set Mama no longer had room for.

I had the hurricanes (another TJ Maxx find) and pillar candles but needed the candles to be a little taller and the table needed a little extra pizzazz. My friend, Jane, had the brilliant idea of using buttons as a filler! It just so happened that I had a giant jar of blue and yellow buttons Mama scored at an antique mart. What a quick and easy way to add some visual interest!

Another quick way to add some spring to your home is by putting out flowers. Jules just recently sang the praises of the classic middle school dance flower. I picked up a bunch at the grocery store and stuck them in a tea pot. It livened the room up instantly.

Remember last year when birds took up residence in my wreath? They were trying to do the same thing this year but I put a stop to that and still managed to use my cute new wreath (a bargain find at Joanne’s.)

How do you spruce up for Spring?

February 25, 2010

I want to go to there

Filed under: Houses, Travel — sashyjane @ 3:20 pm

I’ve mentioned before here and here how much I want to visit Scotland and stay in one of the gorgeous houses up for rent through Cottages & Castles.  Thanks to their email update today, I want to go bad. Real bad. Like “I’m going to hurl myself in the floor and kick and scream if I don’t get what I want” bad. Just look at these new properties!

The Tay View Apartment at Pitfour Castle in Perth

Pitfour Castle, Perth 2

Tay View Bedroom, Pitfour Castle

Tay View Bathroom, Pitfour Castle

Tay View Kitchen, Pitfour Castle

Tay View Living Room, Pitfour Castle

Pitfour Castle, Perth

Not bad, eh? How about the Hoscote Estate House near Hawick?

Hoscote House, Hawick

Hoscote House Bedroom, Hawick

Hoscote House Bathroom, Hawick

Hoscote House Living Room, Hawick

Hoscote House Kitchen, Hawick

Hoscote House Sunroom, Hawick

Scotland, with your beautiful houses, stunning landscapes and handsome men (Gerard Butler, James McAvoy, Sean Connery, Craig Ferguson, Ewan MacGregor… and many more) I don’t know why I’m living anywhere else.  How soon can I move?

October 23, 2009

On days like these…

Filed under: Houses — sashyjane @ 2:09 pm

when the weather is just right, I’d love to prop my feet up and read a book in a cozy mountain retreat like this one.

October 19, 2009

Contentment

Filed under: Houses, Jesus — sashyjane @ 8:45 am

I’m finding it increasingly harder to just be content in the Lord and not get frustrated and upset when I see things I want but can’t have.

For example, I would love to have a beautifully decorated house with built in bookshelves that look like this.

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And a big backyard with a fun set up like this.

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And throw pillows made from this fabric.

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But alas, I don’t have any of those things and I feel so unsatisfied when my house isn’t perfect, I don’t have gorgeous outfits and I don’t have 10,000 blog followers. However, even if I did have those things, I still wouldn’t be satisfied.  My satisfaction doesn’t come from a pretty house or cute clothes. It only comes when I’m resting fully in the assurance that I have a God who loves me enough to send His very own Son to die for my sins.

So why do I still chase worldly things that will never satisfy me? For some silly reason, I’m believing the lie that these earthly trinkets will satisfy me and bring me joy. They do bring me some joy, for a minute, but they can never satisfy me the way Jesus can.

I’ve been wrestling with this more and more recently. I think looking at these pretty magazines and blogs has added fuel to the fire when it comes to my materialistic heart. I’ve begun praying that the Lord will show me how to use my blog without looking to earthly things to fill me up. Any suggestions?

“Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.  Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. Incline your ear, and come to me;  hear, that your soul may live;  and I will make with you an everlasting covenant,  my  steadfast, sure love for David.” -Isaiah 55:1-3

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