Brooklyn Apartment Tour (Part 1)

In just a few short days we’ll be moving from Brooklyn, NY, to Madison, WI. I won’t miss the upstairs children with their banshee shrieks and elephant stomping (so long suckers!), but I will miss our lovely apartment.

What’s that? You’ve never SEEN our apartment? I’ve never offered you a tour! What a terrible hostess I am.

Let’s start with the floor plan, shall we? (Soren is really good at drawing floor plans.)

FloorPlan Continue reading

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Kidnapped by HGTV (plus some Big News)

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Allow me to explain my six month absence: I discovered HGTV, and I’ve been staring slack-jawed at the television enveloped in a fog of wonderment ever since. Seriously. I have an HGTV problem. Do you know what I did on Earth Day? I watched a Love It or List It marathon. That’s effed up.

At first I was all moony-eyed. I couldn’t believe what I’d been missing. But I think my HGTV honeymoon is finally over. I’m still hooked, but now I find myself screaming at the screen. Seriously, if one more house hunter complains that a bedroom is “too blue,” I will flip my shit. YOU CAN PAINT!! Every realtor tells you this. I’m telling you this!!! But I shouldn’t have to because it’s self evident. Why are you so annoying and stupid??!! Also, as long as I’m ranting, why do the Property Brothers begin every renovation by tearing down all the walls? Walls are 1. important for holding up the roof and 2. really great for differentiating the living room from the dining room from the kitchen from the bathroom. That’s right.  We’re a hair’s breadth away from someone requesting an open concept bathroom, because they “want better sight lines.” And the Property Brothers would totally do it. You know they would. Continue reading

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DIY Custom Pillowcases

Urban Cholita: PillowcasesA few years ago, my mom bought me a pair of down pillows from the Hutterites. The pillows are great, but they’re an odd size. As a result, our standard pillowcases don’t quite fit. The end of the pillow pokes out like a chubby man’s midriff in a too-small T-shirt. This sliver of exposed pillow shouldn’t matter. After all, other people have Real Problems. But it bothers me. It seems . . . unseemly.

Here’s one solution that didn’t occur to me over the many months that naked wedge of pillow tormented me: DIY. Yes, that’s right. You can sew pillowcases. It’s super simple. I’ll show you how. Continue reading

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The Cure – Landing Strip and Magazine Purge

I’m participating in Apartment Therapy’s January Cure and blogging about my progress. Here are a few tasks that I completed during week three (and some that I failed to complete). And here’s the first installment in case you missed it. 

Day 9: Create a Landing Strip

First, can I just say that “landing strip” is not the *best* term to describe the place you hang coats and drop your keys. That’s because landing strip already has a definition. And it has nothing to do with home decor. Apartment Therapy, did you Google “landing strip” before you asked us to create one? Did you see the listings for gentlemen’s clubs? Did you see the photos?

Ok, I’m off my soapbox. Here’s the front door. You’re looking at the inner door. We have two. You can see we already have some basics like a coat rack (and a homemade door snake to keep out drafts).

Urban Cholita: Landing Strip Front Door Continue reading

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The Cure – Painting, Framing, Dinner Party

Here’s my confession: I am not a dirty person, but I can be messy. I’m really really bad at picking up after myself. It should be so easy. The scissors come out, they make a cut, and then they’re supposed to go back in their drawer. But instead they end up on the dining room table, and then I run off to do something else. Soon the table is hidden under a thick layer of detritus and the bedroom floor is covered in clothes. Sigh. The junk piles up. And then putting it away becomes an actual time-consuming chore.

But people can change, right? (Shhhhhh — they can). As a first step toward change, I decided to join Apartment Therapy’s January Cure. The goal is to get a little more organized. Each day we get a new task. Some are easy (making lists). Some are kind of awful (mopping the floors, organizing files). I haven’t been religious about every single task, but I’ve mostly stuck with the program. Here’s an update on a few of the tasks. (To see the full task list, go here.) Continue reading

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Happy New Year – Eighties Style

The last of our holiday cards should have arrived by now, so I think I can finally share our 2012 photo without spoiling the surprise for anyone. Happy New Year, everybody!

Urban Cholita: Christmas Card

Can you read the type at the bottom? “Trust me,” Cassie said. “North Dakota has great skiing, and my parents have all the gear we need!” That’s a joke, of course. North Dakota, my home state, is flat as a pancake, and you can see that my parents only have one set of skis. Those factors make skiing rather difficult. Which is fine by me. I may look like a snow bunny in this photo, but my only attempt at the sport ended in disaster. I broke my face and one ski. And I didn’t look cute doing it either.

Urban Cholita: Eighties Ski Outtakes

These spectacular day-glo suits aren’t just any old ski suits. They’re special. My mom and stepdad wore them when they tied the knot in 1989 on Christmas Eve. No joke. They decided to have a ski wedding in Tahoe — just the two of them, a minister, and a photographer. Aren’t they precious?

Urban Cholita: Eighties Ski Wedding

I wish we’d thought to pose like this. And I wish my hair looked like my mom’s instead of smashed flat by that headband that Soren forced me to wear because he said it would make the outfit more “authentic.” Curse him! And curse my tiny head!

(Thanks, mom, for taking these photos!)

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Green Table Setting

I hosted Christmas for the first time this year, so I decided to try my hand at creating a fancy pants table setting. You know, one with cloth napkins. One where things match. One where everyone has at least one fork, spoon, and knife — whether they need them or not.

DSC_0006(Um, I realize that no one has any silverware in this photo. But I did put it on the table before we ate. Honest.)

So ever since I turned my dining room green, I’ve been crushing on the color hard. I can’t get enough. I wanted to work green into my table setting, but I also wanted to work with what I already had. Continue reading

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