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This weekend was pretty big for me; for the first time ever, I went to IKEA. I’ll give you a minute to take that end. IKEA. Before Sunday, the closest I’d been to the iconic store was the song by Jonathan Coulton. I was excited but a little apprehensive, since I’ve had people tell me before how overwhelming the store can be and also how you can get lost if you’re not careful. However, my adventure was being coordinated by two IKEA veterans, and they were bound and determined that I was going to get the most out of my inaugural trip.
That’s right; we IKEA selfied, and you know what? We weren’t the only ones. If you’ve never been before, IKEA is broken down into 3 main sections: The Staging Area, The Marketplace & The Warehouse. There is also a cafe AND a cafeteria (where they serve their famous meatballs), but they were packed with people and therefore off the agenda for this particular trip. We started in the staging area with notepads and tiny golf pencils in hand to make our lists of what we wanted to pick up from the marketplace and warehouse afterwards. That quickly turned into us taking pictures of the tags/items with our phones, but hey, we got it done.
Three show rooms in, my head was already spinning from so many great things for really great prices! I wanted all of it, and I was quickly beginning to realize that I was going to have to be strategic about my purchases or I’d spend way more than I had budgeted.
Mostly I was looking for storage containers and quirky kitchen items, but honestly, I saw some larger pieces that I’d like to incorporate into our home. I am already planning a return trip with the husband since I like to let him weigh in on things like that. I was also absolutely sure he’d love the “exploding” lamp below. Not really my thing, but he had fun looking at the pictures none the less.
I did have one minor issue on this trip. The wood based bell jars below were the one thing I HAD to have, and although they were in several of the staged spaces, I couldn’t find them in the marketplace. Finally, I tracked down an employee, and he told me that they hadn’t had a chance to restock them. Which I get, but when I asked if I could purchase one of the staged sets (since I’d seen about a dozen), he informed me that I just have to come back or use the website. A minor annoyance and, I think, a dumb policy, but I’ll get my hands on them eventually.
LOVED these floating tea balls, so much so that I purchased two sets so I could share with my tea loving friends. Someday, I will own this tub, it was huge and I will soak in it every single night when the stars aline to make it mine.
So much fun, and I left with so many ideas. Andy and I are going to try to head back in the next few weeks to implement some of the short term fixes I found for our home and to make a longer list of items that we want to start purchasing and integrating as our financial situation permits. Also, so I can check out the cafeteria 😉
Before all the mess that happened in December, I hadn’t been back to the town where I grew up since my wedding shower, almost seven years ago. I figured since we were there, it wouldn’t be a horrible idea to schedule in a few “fun” activities to give us a break from all the stress and sadness. One of the places at the top of the “to do” list was Bok Tower Gardens. Bok Tower has been around since 1929, a generous gift to the American people from immigrant Edward W. Bok as a token of appreciation for all of the wonderful opportunities he’d found in our country.
The original tower and surrounding gardens have been painstakingly maintained, but over the years the grounds have expanded to include a visitor center, additional gardens, a children’s area and now a gorgeous outdoor kitchen with nearby edible garden. I grew up running around the trails and feeding the lazy koi that live in the tower’s moat. We’ve been to Easter sunrise service, listened to orchestral concerts under the stars, and spent hours stretched out on a picnic blanket under their towering trees. This most recent trip, it was monarch season and we were lucky enough to see all stages of butterfly development, although the poor milkweed plants were considerably worse for the wear after playing host to hoards of voracious caterpillars.
When I was much younger, I was convinced that these giant lily pads were in fact, fairy stages. That the fairies waited until the gardens closed, and then hosted elaborate affairs atop these massive (easily 2-3 feet across) green boats. Fireflies would weave about over head, and the fairies who were tired of dancing could recline in the flowers and still enjoy the festivities. As the sun began to rise, they’d all return to their homes all over the garden and sleep soundly for the day while we humans explored their garden.
When I graduated high school, I was allowed to climb to the top of the tower and run my fingers across the carillon’s “keyboard”. The tower is not open to the public, and other than being a graduating senior, the only other way to see the inside it to purchase one of their top tier memberships. It’s a lot of stairs, but an amazing opportunity that many a local would turn green with jealousy over.
Even though we’ve been before, it was nice to share this place with Andy again. No matter now much is added and no matter how far the grounds expand, this place feels like home, and every time I visit I feel the desire to curl up on the grass and just listen to the breeze ruffling the leafy canopy overhead.
Someday I will own a fountain just like this one. Frogs, painted tiles, and all 🙂
It was a wonderful distraction, and one that I am hoping to indulge in again the next time we have to head down south for another round of cleanup.
Category: About Me
One of the most glamorous things I think a woman can have is a dressing room. A room with the one sole purpose of holding/displaying ones wardrobe in an orderly and aesthetically appealing way. Sounds wonderfully decadent to me. The house I live in now has a walk-in closet, which is the closest I’ve ever come to attaining this particular goal, but alas I share it with my husband who, shockingly enough, actually has more clothing than I do. Lately I have been toying with the idea of giving it a mini makeover, something along the lines of some additional storage, a coat of paint and maybe some better lighting. Even at it’s brightest, the current fixture casts such pitiful light that I am quite sure Dracula himself would find it a cozy place to curl up during the day.
The other benefit of having a space like this is you’d never forget what is in your closet. I can’t tell you how many times I have been elbow deep in a stack of clothes desperately looking for something to wear (mostly on laundry day) and all of a sudden I find something I haven’t seen in a year. In a way it’s like getting something new all over again, but in another it’s frustrating because it means I am not making the most of what I have. What do your closet dreams look like?
Image from here.
Hey guys, as the title of this post clearly states, I have another guest post for you! My lovely Aunt Ingrid, at the ripe old age of 27, has recently made a career jump from bad-ass auditor to bad-ass real estate agent, and to spice things off she also started a blog that chalk full of all sorts of fun home-related facts and ideas. Her inaugural post, which she was kind enough to share with us, is a letter to buyers talking about how wonderful it is to fall in love at first sight with their new home. Enjoy and check out her blog and facebook page for more tips, ideas and fun facts.
Dear Home Buyers,
I remember the first time I set eyes on my future home. It was in the evening and I had been touring home after home after home. I was tired and frustrated, and then I saw her on the multiple listing service. She was built in 1923 and has a front-porch that spans the front of the house and a stunning oak tree over the front yard. I never believed in love at first sight, but that is what it was then and still is today. I called my realtor and immediately told her that we had to see it. I had a contract on my home that same day, and have had no regrets.
That feeling of “love at first sight” is the experience that I want my buyers to have. I want them to know that this huge purchase is for the right reason and for the right home for them. In my efforts to place home buyers, I try to get to know them by scheduling an initial listing appointment and asking targeted questions such as “Are you okay with a little demolition” or “Do you want to pay more for move-in ready or would you like that diamond in the rough?” After about 15 minutes of a good heart-to-heart conversation about their needs, I have a better picture of what they want and they understand that I have their best intentions in mind.
As an agent, I am here to help the home buyer and negotiate on his behalf. How can I do that without getting to know them on the front end? After all, we will be in constant contact for the next 30-60 (or more) days, depending on the first search and closing date.
From that initial appointment, I am able to personalize my home listings to the clients’ needs. Any person can pull a search of 50 homes in your target area, but the home buyer becomes numb to the flood of information. By sitting down and discussing the criteria, the home buyer and I (realtor) narrow down the prospects. It is a much more enjoyable experience and I believe leads to a happier client and happier sales transaction.
Please let me know if you have any interest in buying or selling your home. I am happy to help!