Archive | July, 2017

Things I Want To Remember About My Studio Apartment

12 Jul

1. The Target trash can and how it symbolized my entire decorating attitude. I think I am someone who doesn’t care and then when it comes time to get a stainless steel thing I do care! and I travel great distances for something that fits my aesthetic more.

Also the white Ikea clock for $1 that looked pink in store.

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2. Lady Di, behind the sink, watching over me with her panda eyes, filling the house with wisdom and grace and a bit of mischief.

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3. The ledge for flowers and how the lighting was always so terrible in pictures but so right in person.

The stools I never ate on, because I always eat in bed on a tray.

(OK fine, sometimes on a tray.)

(Mostly not on a tray.)

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4. My cow tea kettle I got at a antique store in Carpinteria and the burners and tiny oven it sat upon. For an entire year I didn’t make bread or bran muffins! For an entire year my water barely boiled. I didn’t mind that much.

Rob did, though.

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5. My grandpa’s picture in a frame draped in lights. My grandpa’s picture in a gold frame that I covered with a yellow liner because I accidentally ordered the wrong thing.

My grandpa’s picture in a frame draped in lights with a yellow liner and a blue Post-It note that says “Rob’s dibs,” a leftover from flowers Rob gave me from work.

Rob and how he would text me when flowers were available at work to make sure he got the best ones.

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6. Rob’s mom’s handmade wrapping paper wreath. My rug from a flea market on Cape Cod. Those built-ins!

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7. My broken Ikea dresser that I never replaced. The TV I used maybe twice because we have laptops now. The bookshelves I painted gold myself out on my front driveway for what seemed like days on end.

Princess Diana, the Beanie Baby.

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8. The details so carefully curated. Stevie from Hilary. Dolly on the record player. Sweet Valley High and Joni and my favorite word NAP.

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9. Happy birthday hanging year-round in lights.

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10. Enid in the corner, somehow still alive?!

The tapestry from a flea market in Santa Barbara. Anne from Breanne.  The comforter from an antique shop in Mooresville, Indiana that I shoved into my carry-on and brought with me across the country.

The cart I bought just to house my library books.

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11. Beatrix the succulent, in much better shape than Enid. The way my lamp was always turned out for better reading.

My skylights! making everything bright and light and terrible for pictures.

My ring holder and Rob’s ring in the box and the first-ever painting I bought off a gallery wall in a fit of maturity.

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12.  Framed photos of a Lily Allen article about the English countryside. Two photo booth strips, one from the first year we were dating.

A postcard of Cape Cod.

Poopourri I forgot to put away.

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13. My writing nook I never once wrote in.

The sewing machine I actually used! My Malibu pillow that will follow me everywhere.

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14. My sunglasses DIY that’s droopy and old but still works.

A vintage jewelry box my mother picked out and got right.

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14. Literary characters doing yoga.

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15. Me. Sweaty and tired, in front of the greatest selfie mirror I will ever own.

Me who managed to pay rent every month on a not-so-great salary. Who cooked more in my non-kitchen than I’ve ever cooked in my life. Who bought fresh flowers, and walked to the store, and finally got to live that studio apartment life I had always dreamed of.

Me, at 29.

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Scents That Bring Me Joy

11 Jul

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Fuzzy ocean air

Lavender

My mother’s bread rising in my parents’ home

My mother’s bread rising in any home

A crockpot meal walking in the door after work, like YEAH BABY I DID THAT

Babies

Strawberries from the side of the road

Vanilla

Almond

Dove soap

Library books

All books

Even waterlogged books

Vintage stores

Churros!

Cinnamon of any kind, really

Fresh laundry (Tide)

Fresh laundry (Downy)

Muggy laundry rooms

LASAGNA

Rain-soaked lawns

Rob’s deodorant

Rob

 

Why I Read

10 Jul

Inspired by this Instagram series

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I read to escape from the reality of the world

I read to gain empathy and understanding towards certain unfathomable parts of the reality of the world

I read for the romance

I read for the hope

I read for the laughter

I read to see females doing the things I’ve never personally seen females do but know, 100%, they can

I read for the company, for the new loves and best friends

For the Mark Darcys and Bridget Joneses

For the Anne Shirleys and the Weasley twins and Esther Greenwoods and the Jo Marches

I read for the antidote to hate

I read for an expanded mind

I read for “In vain I have struggled!” and “WHAT? A PRINCESS?? ME???”

I read for the love of it,

always simply for the love of the game

Our First Apartment

5 Jul

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A few nights ago I called my mom in a panic.

There’s a lot of change happening right now, all at once. A wedding to plan. A move. A new city. A new job. A new apartment.

Apartment hunting in LA.

(My hands tremble just typing that.)

We had just found out that the apartment we wanted had gone to another person, Hunger Games style. I was so disappointed. I’m talking tears came to my eyes disappointed, anger in my soul disappointed.

I LOVED the area this apartment was in. It was two blocks from the beach. Bright. Across the street from yoga and ramen and the farmer’s market and the historic library and the church and the best breakfast place and.

You get it.

I had already compiled a list of dinner party guests we would invite over once we had settled into the place. After a pasta dinner and light, refreshing dessert we would take our guests on a walk to the beach.

I can’t believe you’re this close! they would say.

We’re so lucky, I would say.

I had the furniture picked out. I knew which yoga classes I was going to.

I was in. My whole heart was in.

The disappointment was overwhelming.

We’ll never live that close to the beach again, I told my mom. This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, the only apartment in the area we could even remotely afford, and it’s gone.

My mother, all credit to her, did not laugh at my dramatics. She simply said, Jill, it’s a long life. You don’t know where you’ll live in the future. You just need a place to start out.  

The place you start out isn’t supposed to be ideal. It’s supposed to be the stuff of family folklore. The weird first apartment. Not the rest of your life.

My parents’ first place infamously required them to fill the toilet bowl by hand after each use.

I don’t know what this means, exactly, but I do know that it sounds awful.

Another one of their early places was small enough that my mom could vacuum the entire home from one outlet.

Another was in a neighborhood where they woke up to find their turnips had been tagged with graffiti.

Or so the family folklore goes.

Later in the week, Rob and I signed on our first apartment together.

It has no overhead lighting (read: dark). It’s significantly further from the beach and the yoga and the ramen and the farmer’s market and the historic library and the church and the best breakfast place and.

You get it.

I do not love the neighborhood, for I am not one who values convenience over charm, practicality over theatricality.

There will be no post dinner party beach walks.

And yet, I remind myself the words of my mother

Jill, it’s a long life. You don’t know where you’ll live in the future.

You just need a place to start out.  

 

Here we are, starting out.

Bring on the family folklore.