Need to Read: Young House Love

If there’s one thing I’m a huge fan of when it comes to Chicago city services, it’s the new Ventra cards…

I kid. I haven’t even gotten mine in the mail yet, but from everything I hear they’re terrible. I’m certainly not holding my breath for something amazing when it comes to the CTA.

No, what I do love is the Chicago Public Library system, and as nerdy as I am, I’m super excited about my new job being close to the biggest one, Harold Washington Library, so I can visit on my lunch breaks.

But I digress. What I’m trying to get to is that I checked out Young House Love: 243 Ways to Paint, Craft, Update & Show Your Home Some Love, and I’m really enjoying reading about all the DIY projects Sherry and John Petersik (they have a blog by the same name) have done over the years and the step-by-step instructions. They cover everything from headboards to IKEA hacks to table runners. One this that I found particularly inspiring was this sidebar:

Stuck? Frustrated? Overwhelmed? That’s par for the DIY course.

Everyone makes mistakes. Look at mistakes as a sign that you’re moving forward, not stagnating. If you’re doing something, even if it turns out to be the wrong something, it’s still teaching you how to get there faster the next time.

Tastes change. Don’t beat yourself up if you have a few things that no longer suit your style. You can always put them on Craigslist or paint them or otherwise adapt them.

Relax; it’s only decorating. Things happen, and sometimes the budget or the time line can get you down, but it’s nice to take a few deep breaths and remember that no one’s life is on the line.

Keep at it. Hang art. Paint. Nearly every design decision can be undone pretty easily. And chances are you’ll like most of what you do, so there’s only a marginal amount of true error in the whole trial-and-error thing.

In the end, it’s all worth it.

Now this is paraphrased, so I recommend you check out (either from your local library, or if you’re too cool for that, it’s on Amazon for only $15) the tome for yourself, but it’s great advice nonetheless!

young-house-love-book(Image: How About Orange)

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A Bad Week

Hey guys, sorry for the darkness last week on Urban Nesting. It wasn’t exactly my week: I suffered a massive bruise on my hip thanks to the damn CTA, I lost out on a job I really wanted, my bike had two flat tires, I found out I’ve gained five pounds, I had pesto in my hair (and eye!) at one point and blueberries alllll over the kitchen floor… it was no fun at all.

But I survived, and I’m back at it. I blame it on the moon. My yogi said some moon cycle ended on Sunday, so today starts a new year… or something like that. I don’t really believe in that stuff, but some good luck for a change would sure be nice!

Anywho, I spent the weekend therapeutically cleaning my entire apartment—and it looks damn good, if I do say so myself. But why are guys so much dirtier than girls? I feel like I haven’t stopped cleaning since the boy moved in! I Googled around for the answer, but all I came up with is a study that shows men’s workspaces are dirtier than women’s… and then a handful of links about how she wants to be dirty in bed. Well, that’s not really what I was going for. But between the boy and his cat, I’m going to chalk this one up to hair. Gross.

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Disclaimer: This is not actually my boyfriend. Or his cat. Thankfully.

(Image: Catbearding.com)

Apartment No. 3: Aville Revisited

You’re probably wondering how I got to Apartment No. 3 already, right? Well, the first apartment was the one I showed you about two weeks ago now – one that, in hindsight, I should have jumped on. It was a bargain for sure, and I was in love with the balcony. But it was snatched up the very next day, so I have to push ahead.

Apartment No. 2 was so creepy that I didn’t even take pictures, and so I didn’t bother writing about it until now. It was on the same block that I used to live on in Andersonville, just a few buildings east. The on-site manager kept talking about how much he loves cats… I was in and out in under five minutes.

And that brings us to Apartment No. 3. Again, I returned to my former block in Aville – and even my former property manager, Seminary Properties. It’s two buildings down from my old apartment, and it has A LOT of pros, most notably a washer/dryer in unit and central heat and AC. Ah-mazing. (These photos aren’t so hot, so you can check out the listing if you want to see more.)

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The only real cons are 1. living that far north again and 2. living on the red line. The nearest stop is Argyle (about .6 mile away), and they’ll be closing the station for six weeks beginning in August as part of the CTA’s red line renovations. Six weeks out of 52 may not seem like much, but they’ll also be doing construction on one of the stations just south of there, so my commute could be interrupted then as well. AND, construction aside, living on the red line would mean I’d have to switch to a brown line train at Belmont every day, almost assuredly having to stand the rest of the way. And I’m lazy.

One last note on transportation: Cabbing from River North, Lincoln Park, etc. back to Aville is also expensive. Granted, I only do that late at night, but still, it’s an expense to consider, and this place is already just barely within my budget.

So, in conclusion, this place has a lot of things going for it, but I’m going to hold out for my dream apartment on the brown line. Wish me luck!

I want that Wednesdays

I am really enjoying taking the train instead of driving to work every day. It takes about the same amount of time, but I don’t have to get all stressed out about traffic or worry about parking if I want to grab a drink or run errands after work. I do wish I could read on the train (damn you, motion sickness!), but I couldn’t read while driving either so no loss there.

But I am on the Cadillac of el lines, the Brown Line, so I need to step up my game. Back on the Red Line, nobody cared about the homeless guy peeing in the corner. And nobody cared about my plastic grocery bag of shoes, lunch items, books, etc. But now, I feel like I need a legit tote to carry my miscellaneous things around in so I don’t look like a bag woman. Enter, my newest crush:

I must be going crazy because there was a time when I never would have even considered buying a $178 turkey sandwich and flip flop transporter. But I do love Marc Jacobs. And I do have my “Christmas bonus” Nordstrom gift card…