tiny projects

I am still pretty overwhelmed. I just unpacked the last box over the weekend, to have something I ordered arrive in a brand new box. I am constantly shuffling my stuff–or my work or my plans–to figure out the best way to live here. And I’m a little sick of the mess*.

I have a huge to-do list. Actually, several to-do lists: one for work, one for home, one for this blog, one for regular life tasks, like sending a birthday card. (I’m late on that one.) There’s still so much around my apartment that I’m excited to do, but it’s going to take a lot of work and a little bit of time. So right now I’m focusing on some tiny projects.

Can I make my bed (even if the pillows don’t have covers)? Can I hang those mirrors using S-hooks so I don’t have to drill? Done.

bedroom

Can I organize my thread and jewelry on these super cool new racks from Amazon? Sure. I can paint them later.

jewelry rack

Can I set out my books using these amazing Sandman bookends that I got for Christmas? Easy peasy.

sandman bookends

Can I make the couch look good while artfully leaving out the rest of the living room? Absolutely.

living room

Can I take photos for a blog post on my phone because I’m not sure if my camera has charged batteries? No problem.

Tiny things are good. Tiny things help me feel a little more in control and a little less crazy. This weekend I may move on to some of the bigger things, like actually painting something or picking out my next book to read. We’ll see how it goes.

*Don’t get me wrong, I’m very grateful to be so busy with work and the lovely friends and family in Chicago. But real talk: my house hasn’t been clean in a long time and I’m starting to lose my mind.

goodreads giveaway: almost royalty

Remember Almost Royalty, that fun book by Courtney Hamilton about a woman dating and living in socially warped LA? Just wanted to give a heads up that Goodreads is having a giveaway to get a signed copy. It’s open from today to April 28 and you can enter here. Almost Royalty Comes out May 28.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Almost Royalty by Courtney Hamilton

Almost Royalty

by Courtney Hamilton

Giveaway ends April 28, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

ms. marvel

ms marvel

Every girl, every teen, every person has felt out of place. The things that connect us all, especially in superhero comics, are feelings of loneliness, wanting to fit in, and wanting to be a part of something bigger. That’s not a man thing or a woman thing; that’s a person thing. And that’s what Ms. Marvel is about.

Ms. Marvel is a Marvel comic book series written by G. Willow Wilson and illustrated by Adrian Alphona. I heard the buzz when it was announced the new Ms. Marvel would be a Muslim American woman, and an interview in Vulture with Wilson especially piqued my interest. I’m two issues in and the storytelling is charming and relatable–which is what makes it so refreshing. The third issue of the monthly comic comes out today. (I buy a lot of comics electronically through Comixology, but you should also definitely check out your local comic book store.)

Kamala, a 16-year-old who lives in Jersey City, wants to go to a party, and her parents won’t let her. She looks up to the popular girls while feeling small and embarrassed when they are around. She wants great hair and killer boots. Her problems are my problems. Her emotions are all of our emotions–or have been, at some point.

We learn when we are young to copy people who look like us, maybe by emulating a big brother or your cool next door neighbor. More voices and more variety in comics (and movies and TV and at work and school and everywhere) isn’t just a suggestion, it is critical. When we see all kinds of people in our stories, it let’s us know that we can do it, too. That we can live, that we can have goals and interests, that we can connect with other people and thrive because someone else did it, and they are like us.

But Ms. Marvel doesn’t make the story about Kamala’s religion or that she’s a woman. It tells the story of regular teen angst, of sneaking out and getting caught. Of what to do at a party, and how to deal with going through a lot of change.

I’m not totally sure what I think about Kamala turning blond to be her superself, but that’s part of the point. She thinks blond hair and some thigh-high boots would solve her insecurities (who hasn’t thought that once or twice?), but Kamala feels just as out of place in a different body.

Kamala learns quickly that it’s not what you look like that makes you a superhero. Here’s hoping the rest of the industry learns this, too. And quickly.

a cubs game and what i wore

cubs game

My welcome to Chicago continued with a Cubs game last night. It was so nice out (but yes, a little chilly), and we had so much fun. Wrigley is a quick walk from my apartment, which made a weeknight game really easy to get to and enjoy. The Cubs lost by one to the Pirates, but *I* won because I had a blast. This is what I wore.

what I wore to a cubs game

Shoes from Target, jeans from…somewhere?, sweatshirt is a DIY (one of my favorites), blazer from Marshals, and scarf from the Gap. (Don’t worry, I also had another jacket and a hat stashed in my tote.)

bedroom inspiration

I am still trying to get my life in order. (How long can I use moving as an excuse?) It feels like I’ll be catching up for weeks. My new neighborhood is delightful, as is my new premium cable. But I’m getting a little tired of stepping through boxes in the living room. (#Fatcat, however, is very much enjoying climbing up and around the mess.)

So when I’m not catching up on laundry or sleep, I’m dreaming of what my new place will look like once the dust settles. I feel like I change my mind every few minutes but I am into this blue and yellow.

bedroom inspiration from polyvore

And here’s a peek at a rug I bought completely on a whim.

rug from target

What do you think? I hope my planning and scheming and impulse buying all comes together. For now, I’ll keep enjoying the neighborhood and learning about the city. I’m totally in love with the Jewel grocery store around the block. And tonight I’m going to a Cubs game! Wrigley Field is just down the street. So far, so good, Chicago.

I’ll be back to reading and crafting and outfitting as soon as I get my head back on straight. So…any day now.

moving day

20140331-081538.jpg
What was surprising to me was how hard it was to say goodbye to the people who work at the local places I shop. Their familiar friendly faces greeted me every time I ran down the street to get coffee (“it’s supposed to be nice out this weekend”), picked up a bottle of wine for a party (“are you having people over for brunch?”), or bought a new book (“I think you’d like this one”).

They assured me there are fun things to do in Chicago–my coffee shop’s other office is there, the leader of my book group knows the manager at a Chicago bookstore, the man who runs the wine store said Chicago has really fun beer gardens–but are Chicagoans as friendly and warm? (I’m sure they will be.)

What wasn’t surprising at all was how hard it was to say goodbye to my friends. (The best thing about New York seems to be the people in it.) Thank you guys for your love, for teaching me how to be a better friend, and for filling New York with wonderful memories.

The nonhuman thing I’ll miss the most, though, is the skyline. Even still it’s beautiful, I can’t get used to it. On the way to my train I can see the Statue of Liberty if I look to the right. My office has a breathtaking view of the Brooklyn bridge. On the walk to my local coffee shop, I can look up and see the new World Trade Center.

The Empire State Building is my favorite thing to pick out of that skyline. If I can see that, I know where I am. I know what’s uptown or downtown, which way is east or west. What if I’m lost when I lose sight of it?

Luckily, I have a few people I love to show me the way to Chicago. I even have a GPS for the trip. And for everything that comes after that, I guess I’ll have to wait and see. (But I can’t wait!)