Inspiration Lately | 9-29-14

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Thrifted fall finds.

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Sweet snuggle cats to spend my rainy days with.

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Cutie vintage loafers from Planet Detroit perfect for exploring Denver’s Confluence Park.

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Reading on my roof with a beautifully inscribed book from my new favorite bookstore  and a Great Divide DPA in hand.

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This passage from Stephen King’s On Writing, where he describes how he writes for his Ideal Reader (I.R.), his wife Tabby.

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My first pink box.

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An early morning spent here, finally finding some new words.

The world’s cutest heavy metal brewery and the good conversation I found there.

A perfect couch for a 324 square foot space.

And a few still-to-be-completed, highly ambitious weekend goals.

Here’s to accomplishing everything on our lists for the week. What projects are you working on?

 

P.S. Add to the list: siblings who catch my spelling errors and tell me if my blog is cool or not.

How to Move Cross Country with Cats (Without Wanting to Die)

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This is Jane (left) and Austen (right). They are six-years-old this year, but don’t let their age fool you. They are a brother/sister power couple that enjoys destroying curtains, christening brand new furniture with their claws, and destroying any and all plants ever created. They are the great loves of my life, and they recently survived a 1200 mile move from Michigan to Colorado. Here’s how.

1. Prepare for weeks. If your cats are anything like mine (i.e. normal cats) they don’t enjoy being in a moving vehicle or uprooted from the home they love and rule over. I bought this pet carrier a few weeks before my move and made it a “safe space” for my cats to be in while I was packing/moving things into storage. I put their bed inside, some of their favorite toys, and a tiny litter box. They didn’t love it or frequently go in it prior to the move, but it wasn’t totally new to them when I locked them in it for approximately 30 hours, and I think that made a huge difference.

2. Pick the right carrier. I debated for a long time if I really needed a 28”L x 20.5”W x 21.5”H carrier. I knew I wanted them to be together (Jane gets really anxious when she’s by herself), and have enough space to move around in so they wouldn’t be laying down the whole time. I also wanted them to have enough space for a litter box and a bed. In retrospect, I could have maybe gone a little smaller and brought more things for my new apartment (like silverware or towels or a 13th box of books). However, they didn’t die, and were honestly pretty chill after the first hour of crying, so I have no regrets. If you’re moving a single cat or your cat likes small, tight spaces, I would suggest a smaller carrier. The important thing to remember is to get one with lots of vents, especially if you are moving in the summer like I did. Even with the A/C on, a plastic carrier can get really hot inside.

2. Buy cat calming spray. Yes, this is a real thing. I was very skeptical, but about 48 hours before I moved, Jane and Austen needed something. They were really stressed about being in a mostly empty apartment. The lovely manager at Petco suggested this pheromone-based spray, which I coated their carrier and bed with. Honest to god, the best $20 I ever spent.

3. Bribe your cats. Jane and Austen typically only eat dry cat food, which is why they are so fat. I mean, look at Austen.

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I knew they would be stressed out about being in the carrier and not want to eat anything, and then get hangry, so during the move I mixed fancy wet cat food into their normal food. They thought I was the best cat mom ever. In retrospect, I would have maybe given them a little less, so that Jane wouldn’t have thrown up all over Austen 20 minutes before we arrived in Denver.

4. Safety first. Take your cats to the vet about a week before you leave. J & A’s vet noticed that Jane had a minor ear infection, which might have gotten really bad in the airless car as we drove into the mountains. She also recommended that I didn’t give either of the cats any sort of medication (like Benadryl) for the trip, because both of my cats have weird reactions to medication, and being nervous/anxious can exasperate reactions (which would be no fun for anyone). I was also able to get all my vet records, which luckily, I didn’t need during the drive out, but it’s good to have them just in case. You never know what’s going to happen on a road trip. We spent four  hours waiting at a Pep Boys in Mokena, IL after my Jeep stalled in the middle of four lanes of traffic. I was very thankful that I bought a carrier with lots of vents and room for the cats to stretch their legs as we sat outside on a bench for half a day in 75 degree weather.

5. Take lots of breaks, but don’t ever let your cats out of the carrier. Seriously. Don’t let them fool you. They do not need to be in the driver’s seat with you. No one needs to hold them. They’re just going to claw your face and make you get into an accident. My cats are strictly indoor cats, so feeling the wind on their face once in awhile was exciting to them. Any time I stopped to eat or get gas, I would take their carrier out and put it in the grass or on a picnic table and let them get a little fresh air. I ended up not being able to drive straight through because of our 4 hour delay at Pep Boys. When I stopped for the night at my favorite trusty truck stop, the cats naturally thought we had arrived. They were very mad (and sad, so sad…) when I wouldn’t let them out of the carrier. I ended up putting a thick blanket over them for the night, and after an hour or so, they stopped crying (screaming, yelling, sobbing). I was very tempted to let them out for the night, and very, very glad I did not.

Overall, I would rate the general miserableness of myself and the cats as 2/10 for most of the trip. The first hour or so was terrible (just turn the music up, carry on), but after that, they slept most of the day, as cats do. During our fun time at Pep Boys, and during the storm we slept through in Nebraska, I would say the miserableness reached an 8/10. I felt like an awful, terrible cat mom for having them in the carrier for so long. But honestly, they didn’t mind as much as I did. They’re animals, after all.

And they’re very happy to be in our new little space.

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Home Cures for Colds

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I am currently battling the worst cold known to mankind. I was committed to using my mama’s old standby – a tablespoon of honey dipped in cinnamon (she takes her straight, I put mine in tea, because I’m not a total hardass) but it’s not seeming to work.

Over-the-counter cold medicines and things like Tylenol always make me feel awful. Today I tried to take cold medicine and fell asleep in the middle of my work day and missed some pretty important work things. No bueno.

What are your go-to home cures for colds? Give them all to me, please.

 

Inspiration Lately | 9-9-14

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Black + white + wood. And maybe a little bit of gray.

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The most beautiful kitchen on planet Earth (from one of my favorite bloggers) and a tutorial to make this utensil rack, which I desperately need. (Note: things you don’t really look at when you tour a 325 square foot studio apartment…if the kitchen has any drawers.)

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Shaker pegs. Shaker everything. (And a nice tutorial to make your own shaker pegs from the darlings at A Beautiful Mess.)

324 square foot studio. www.thislittlespace.comA normal-sized bathroom with good light to call my own.

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This gorgeous home, which makes me feel okay about mixed woods.

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Bringing the outdoors in.

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Putting together my first piece of IKEA furniture without crying, throwing more than one power tool, and/or getting too drunk.

 

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Lodge living. It’s been a dream.

Friends that will let me sob hysterically on the phone, Tweet at them about proper names for baby animals, and remind me that no matter where I go, I’ll always have people that love me.

And a reminder from my mother that I can be very predictable.

The past week in my new little space has been both wonderful and terrifyingly lonely. But today I found a vintage, counter-style writing desk for $20 at Goodwill. I’m going to remember the feeling of seeing it across the store every time I feel like crying and whining and missing my friends and family. I’m so grateful they put up with the bratty tendencies that I have when I haven’t been writing.

Who knew moving 1200 miles away from everyone you love and everything you know would be so hard?

 

 

First Glimpses | The Lodge

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Welcome to my new little space, The Lodge.

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There’s a canoe on my patio, which is right behind my favorite bookstore on planet Earth.

2014-09-02_11.45.31_1There’s lots of good light, amazing tile floors and counters, and two (yes, two!) closets in my 324 square foot space.

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It’s been like Christmas unpacking boxes and finding all my favorite things.

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Of course, if you’ve been following me on Instagram, you know that the first few days were not like Christmas at all. They were like living in an apartment with burst pipes and two massive holes in my ceiling.

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Now that’s the mess is finally cleared up, I’ve been settling in by building IKEA furniture and drinking Coors Banquet.

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I loaded an IKEA Brimnes bed into my Jeep by myself. And met one of my amazing new neighbors (a girl my age from Ohio! hooray for fellow Midwesterners!) as I nearly killed myself trying to haul it up my apartment steps at 9:30PM.

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IKEA doesn’t recommend building this bed (the Brimnes) by yourself. Mainly because there are approximately 80 billion pieces. But I did it semi-drunk and I’m not dead (and the bed is still standing), so…

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This was the hardest part. That’s why tools are thrown everywhere. I like this picture because it shows how big my apartment feels, even though it’s less than 350 square feet. The bed I bought is a full-size. Look how much space I have!

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You can see I’m still making use of the power screwdriver I bought for my birthday. I literally can’t imagine how long it would have taken me to put together the bed without it. With it, building the IKEA Brimnes took about 4 hours, but I was also a little drunk and texting/dancing/making dinner in my adorable baby kitchen.

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It’s been so good to finally settle into my new little space and the city. For the last month, I’ve been staying with a lovely friend of my new boss, and she was AMAZING. She was the kindest, best host, but I felt like I was on vacation. Having my own space – with all my books and art and towels around me – has really made me realize that I live in Denver now. 

Which is good. Really good.

 

 

Inspiration for 324 Square Feet

It’s official, and I’m so excited to finally share it with you! Today I sign my lease for my 324 square foot space.

I literally couldn’t be more excited for the adventures to come. I’ll be sharing photos and updates soon, but in the meantime, here’s all the inspiration I’ve been collecting.

Furniture + Storage

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My two main concerns with living in 324 square feet are storage and sleeping space. I need things to be orderly, and I can’t sleep in a room that is also my office (and my kitchen and my living room). This Expedit Bookcase from IKEA (featured in both photos above) works amazingly for storage, and is also a pretty good faux-wall.

Cait Weingartner’s studio (the first picture in this post) is pretty much my dream space. You can see the rest of it on The Everygirl.

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I’m obsessed with the idea of having a bed that has storage underneath (do you hear me gods of Denver Craigslist??). I also love the idea of creating a pallet/curtain wall as an alternative to the Expedit bookcase. It makes the bed into a nook, which seems like the coziest, best idea ever.

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I’ll only have one window in my studio. Why not make the most of it by surrounding it with books?

(P.S. Don’t click the photo to look at the  stunning townhouse by Elding Oscarson that the room in the above photo belongs to. You will die of jealousy.)

Sheer + White + Light

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I love the idea of using sheer curtains to divide off the sleeping area of a studio. White (curtains, walls, floor, bedding, everything) also works wonders in making a little space seem bigger.

Cozy + Me

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While I’m all for having things seem light and airy, I also can’t feel like I live in a hotel. It’s cool to be a minimalist, but I also need to feel at home when I get home. I think the space above achieves being homey while still feeling light and open. The key is in the textures and patterns that are subtly included. Must find nubby rugs, all the patterned throw pillows, and that amazing wall paper.

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Having a white couch makes me have anxiety, but I love how it grounds this funky room. Seriously considering having a white couch if it means I can have a crazy rug, beach wood coffee table, and eclectic art.

I’m so excited to share some photos of my little space with you. Stay tuned! In the meantime, more inspiration for little space living found here.