It’s Official I’m Finishing My Bachelors

Not going to lie; I’m pretty excited. It’s official: I’m finishing my Bachelor of Interior Design starting this Fall through Yorkville University. For those of you that don’t know, I’ll catch you up to speed. In 2014, I was accepted into Lakeland College’s Interior Design program. So I moved out to Vermilion, Alberta for two years to complete my Interior Design Diploma. It was fabulous – I absolutely LOVED it. Since graduating from Lakeland in 2016, I have been working as an Interior Design consultant at Floors by Design here in Regina, Saskatchewan. The thing that I’ve grown to love about being in this industry is that you are always learning and ideas should always be evolving, whether you’re in school or in a career. As awesome as it’s been working with SO many incredibly talented trades people, designers, contractors, suppliers, etc. I will definitely admit that I have missed the life of school. An opportunity was established a couple months ago between Lakeland College and Yorkville University for all Interior Design graduates to complete their Bachelors through Yorkville; receiving a complete transfer of all their credits previously earned from Lakeland. The beautiful thing about this opportunity is that they are offering the program online – So I can both work and study while earning my degree. Hats off to those with no life… I will soon be joining you 😉

I had already been exploring the idea of continuing my education and finishing what I started. About a year ago I began praying that God would open the door for me to get my degree if that is where He needed me. I knew I wanted it, but I only wanted to pursue it if I knew God would bless my path. I believe in the balance of education and experience. I also believe that God gives us the desires of our heart (Psalm 37:4). A person shouldn’t gain all their knowledge from textbooks nor from the streets – I think the smartest people learn from both and learn to apply written knowledge and lived knowledge. I’m excited to learn more in the field of Interior Design from Yorkville. I had two years to learn from Lakeland, two more years to learn in the field and I’m looking forward to another two years of learning at school!

There are many things we can learn about ourselves when we change our place of learning.

Ultimately, I love interior design because it is an outlet to help others while expressing my creativity. I look forward to projects that allow me to help make homes more functional, solve problems often not seen until solved and alter spaces to be their highest potential. I enjoy collaborating with clients and other professionals in the industry because collaboration and teamwork is how a design goes from good to amazing and how ideas transform into reality. I am excited by what I have learned and look forward to ongoing learning. I don’t know where life will take me – But I’m just going to keep walking where I know God is making the ground dry ahead of me!

Thanks again to all of you guys that have been cheering me on – I can’t wait to share this journey with you!

– Stay Satisfied

 

Wright Project

This has been a long project in the making. Recently, I got another opportunity to work with Ripplinger Homes who was building a custom home for a local family here in the city. I’m always so excited when I get to work with people that are making their project fun, unique and totally designed around their family’s character + lifestyle! Often, I’m asked if I still like what I do: ABSOLUTELY. 100%. Never a dull moment 🙂 These clients were so fun and didn’t want to look at anything that would be considered “a safeoption“. I’ll never get bored of being a part of such creative projects! I got the chance to play a very small part, but I always feel so lucky that I even get to do that much. This new custom build was going to be their dream Forever Home.

Everyone involved: trades-men, installers, designers and contractors put an immeasurable amount of time and energy into this stunning home. The clients wanted a very warm and welcoming feel; together we chose some awesome textures and finishes to give the space a timeless atmosphere. I wanted to share a couple photos with you guys of the finished house. All those who were involved in the Wright Project did an incredible job! Well done everyone!

Front Entry | Ripplinger Homes Photography

Front Entry | Ripplinger Homes Photography

Kitchen | Ripplinger Homes Photography

Kitchen | Ripplinger Homes Photography

Kitchen | Ripplinger Homes Photography

Pantry | Ripplinger Homes Photography

Family Room | Ripplinger Homes Photography

Main Floor | Ripplinger Homes Photography

Dining Room | Ripplinger Homes Photography

Upstairs Loft | Ripplinger Homes Photography

Laundry | Ripplinger Homes Photography

Mudroom | Ripplinger Homes Photography

Master Ensuite | Ripplinger Homes Photography

Master Ensuite Shower | Ripplinger Homes Photography

Below I’ve listed some of the suppliers of the materials in this home:
• Cabinetry: J&C Custom Cabinets
• Counter tops: Tubello Stone Works
• Lighting: Richardson Lighting
• Flooring and back-splash: Floors by Design
• Plumbing Fixtures: Sterling Plumbing & Heating

I’m looking forward to the next wonderful project full of talented people and creative clients!

– Stay Satisfied

Bucket List: FAIL – Donate Blood

So as many of you know by this point, I’ve been actively working towards checking things off my Bucket List. This year alone has been pretty successful and I’ve been able to do so many things that I’ve been thinking of doing for a long time! 🙂 I’ve also been able to share some fun stories with you about Bucket List items that I completed in the past like: Why I Started My Blog, Skydiving, Ice Fishing, Getting a Pixie Cut, Dying My Hair Pink, Taking a Pottery Class, Bungee Jumping, and Going to the Seattle Gum Wall!

Sometimes, plans don’t always go the way you plan for them to go. Obviously, by the title you know that my attempt to Donate Blood did not go the way I expected it to go! I had convinced my Mom to donate blood with me because I had never done it before and neither had she. For those of you that don’t know, I am extremely needle-phobic. I go into a cold sweat. My eyes make a deer in headlights look calm. When I was little and in elementary school, the dreaded Needle Lady would come to our classroom and give the teacher a notice about when the next date of vaccinations would be. I’d ask what day it was, mark it in my agenda and promptly schedule a severe headache that day. I missed needle day for years. I was actually quite proud of myself. It wasn’t until the other summer when my sister and I went to Rio, that I had to get countless shots to catch me up from the many I missed growing up… Anyways, I was going to face one of my biggest fears and I was going to try something new and I had full intentions of dragging my mother along with me! 😉

I had booked our appointments online at the local clinic. My mom would go first, then if she survived, I would go afterwards. “WHAT? Really…? That’s mature of you…” she said to me when I told her. That Saturday morning came and we made our way to the clinic. My Mom and I went through the “First Time Donor” procedure and the nurses there gave us both stickers, “Be Nice To Me I’m New!” At first I thought the stickers were cute, but then it got me thinking that the staff must need reminders so that victims are suckered into returning and donating again. Afterwards, we waited for our individual examinations.

I was taken into one room and she was taken into another. The lady on the other side of the desk asked the basic health and medication questions and then told me would take a sample of my blood to test for iron and sugar levels. I know she only pricked my finger to draw a drop of blood, but I feel the urge to say that she stabbed me… Anyways, she took a sample, popped it into a small machine that displayed some numbers. After reading the results she looked back at me, eyes wide. “Sooooo your iron levels are incredibly low…” she paused, probably for a dramatic affect. “We can test again, but your iron levels are nearly thirty points lower than the average person your age should be, so I don’t think another try will change anything.” The lady stabbed my finger on the opposite hand and popped the second blood sample into the machine. The numbers increased by two points. “Sorry, I can’t let you donate your blood today. Instead, I would highly recommend you booking an appointment with your family doctor to explore your iron levels more closely.” I didn’t know what to say. I sat there quiet. Thinking. And then it hit me – I wouldn’t have to give my blood at all today! I was done! But then it also hit me….. what about Mom?

I exited the small office and saw my Mom seated in the holding pen gripping her bag of tubes. She was smiling – probably thankful that she wasn’t going to be donating alone… As I sat next to her, trying to suppress my laughter of relief, she looked at me anxiously, “Where’s your bag? Didn’t they give you a bag of tubes?” “Well….” I started to say, then burst into giggles. “They won’t let me donate today – They tested my blood and deemed my iron levels too low!” I was covering my mouth trying to hold back the laughter. “NO. No, no, no!” My Mom argued, “I AM ONLY HERE BECAUSE OF YOU!!!! I didn’t want to do this – I was supposed to be YOUR support!!” I was laughing. I had no words. As she looked at me in shock, her name was called. “Charlene, we’ll get you started over here”.
“I can not believe this is happening…” My Mom said in disbelief as she got up and made her way to the massive chair. As the nurse prepped her I tried to apologize, but there was no way it was coming out heartfelt. “I’m going to get you for this.” She said to me. As the tube turned red I held her hand and made sure that I was supportive of the good thing she was doing. “You are saving a life today Mom! Look at this good thing you are doing Mom – This is happy!”
   When the bag was full and the lady had unplugged my Mom we made our way to the resting area. They had loads of snacks for everyone to regain their energy. I was halfway through my juice box and pack of cookies when my Mom said, “HEY. You do not even deserve those! I can’t believe you’re actually eating these snacks right now…. You still have all of your blood! There’s a bag of me back there – Those cookies and juices boxes are for people like me.”

So in the end I did not get to check “Donate Blood” off my Bucket List – But I will most definitely be trying again. I’ve been able to observe my Mom for a couple weeks now and she seems pretty healthy 😉 “You know, I am thankful for that experience. Even though we were aiming to donate together, it was fun to try something new with you!” Mom and I talked about other things that were on my Bucket List, specifically about things that could only happen by chance like winning the lottery, having twins, and being summoned for jury duty. “Why on earth would you want jury duty?” she asked. “I just think it would be cool to serve as a Canadian citizen in that way”. Literally the following week Mom received a letter in the mail summoning her for jury duty. It seems her and I are on a road to accomplish Bucket List tasks together!!

Enjoy this life guys and embrace new and old, scary and fun 🙂

– Stay Satisfied

 

UPDATE – Spurs: The College Bar

To say that I’m excited would be an understatement. Exactly this time last year I had finished my final project in my Interior Design program. Our school had given our class a project within the school: To redesign the college bar. My three girl friends and I worked an uncountable amount of hours redesigning the space – Our ideas bounced off each other and grew into this incredible dream. If you haven’t read my original post about this project, I would recommend you do so, because it is chalked full of our design concept photos and this post is about how I got to go see the space all finished!

I had been texting my teacher asking how she had been doing when she told me that Spurs was done. How could such a simple text be so flipping exciting?!!?! Spurs was the very first project my friends and I had the opportunity or pouring our time and energy into knowing that it had a chance at becoming reality. They explained that Spurs was in need of a major redesign because they were losing money and the space wasn’t being used by the students as they hoped it would be. When my teacher text me she said, “Guess what was profitable this year???” I was over the moon. When our class had first been given this project, it was explained that all of the designs would be presented to the school and one design would be chosen to redo Spurs. My friends and I’s design had been selected by the school board and would be completed over the next two years in a series of phases. We had created a list of problems with the current Spurs (other than it not being profitable). From there we made a list of solutions to those problems and went to work. Interior design is a job that no one notices unless it is done wrong – then everyone notices. It was obvious that this redesign of Spurs would test us as designers to see if we really could solve design problems on our own and execute them efficiently. I finally got to go see part of the finished design that we had spent so many all-nighters in the computer lab working on drawings.


Here are a couple shots of the spaces that are finished:



As a group we decided that we wanted the new Spurs should be industrial and rustic. Our concept was to blend all of the school’s trades and agriculture programs into one space specifically for the students. But what better way to create a space for the students than the include the other sections of the school in the design process?? As we worked on the design we went to the trades and sourced materials and created designs they would be able to do themselves. That way, should our design be chosen, this would be a “Bragging Rights” spaces for every one! Our electrical and welding trades would make all of the light fixtures, lighting details and metal furniture pieces, the carpentry tradesmen would do all of the mill-work, tables, etc. obviously the interior design trades would do the design the agriculture students would provide tons of materials for decor, and wood refacing accent walls from the barns, etc.




It was so cool to stand in a space I had previously been imagining and only seeing through the eyes of 3D modeling and AutoCAD. It was the first time that I had been able to stand in a building, see all of the flaws and been given the opportunity to come up with a solution. To then stand in the same space afterwards was just such an unreal feeling. In all honesty, I always knew I loved interior design and the thought of being able to change a space and solve problems. But this was the first time I was ever able to DO that and ACT on those loves and interests. I can’t wait to grow in this field: to learn more and to have more moments like this with other talented trades and designers!

Keep doing what you love and documenting each milestone – Looking back at your accomplishments is the greatest way to make sure you continue growing and learning.

– Stay Satisfied

Bucket List: Seattle Gum Wall

Often when I travel somewhere I’ll Google what the top tourist attractions are in a city. Yeah, yeah, I know “Tourist Attractions” are the worst and ultra tacky and should be avoided at all costs – But really when you think about it, they’re popular places to check out for a reason. However, I did not have to Google the famous Seattle Gum Wall to know that I wanted to stick a piece of my own gum to the wall 🙂 For those of your who don’t know; the Gum Wall is a brick wall covered in used chewing gum in an alleyway in downtown Seattle. It’s located in Post Alley under Pike Place Market with a unique fragrance of fruit + mint.

I’ll confess that I did a little bit of research on the history of this place because I’m a nerd and I like knowing these things. The wall is by the box office for the Market Theater, and the tradition began around 1993 when people would stick their gum to the wall and push coins in the gum blobs. Theater workers scraped the gum away twice, but eventually gave up aftermarket officials deemed the gum wall a tourist attraction around 1999. It was named one of the top 5 germiest tourist attractions in 2009, and it is a popular site with wedding photographers which I find ultra weird… Like, I understand wedding photos in back alleys and industrial areas but this one is covered in gum… why is this a romantic place for couple shots? My sister and I are a different story – We’re two girls checking events off our Bucket Lists 🙂 Our family made the pit-stop to all stick pieces of our gum to the wall! What was crazy, was that a couple years ago – My sister and Dad were in Seattle visiting our brother at school and they went to stick a piece of gum on the wall, but when they went, they happened to be there when the gum wall was receiving a total scrub down for maintenance and steam cleaned for the first time in 20 years!!! SO CRAZY FOR TIMING. When we looked into it, we learned that it was announced by the Pike Place Market Preservation & Development Authority that to prevent further erosion of the bricks on the walls from the sugar in the gum, it would all be stripped on November 10, 2015. Apparently, it took 130 hours to complete, and they removed over 2,350 pounds of gum. My Dad and sister were there that day watching it being cleaned!! I can’t imagine Gum Wall before it was stripped – That was over a decade of chewed bubble gum built up! It was probably repulsive – Especially in the summer heat… At first people were wondering if they would allow the tradition to continue but sure enough after the cleaning was finished a couple days later, gum began to be re-added to the wall immediately.

Keep chasing those Bucket List tasks guys!

– Stay Satisfied

Bucket List: Bungee Jumping

A few years ago I had the opportunity to go bungee jumping! At the time I was living on Thetis Island in BC, Canada – There aren’t many places people can go bungee jumping in the flat prairies of Saskatchewan. Obviously, I was thrilled at the chance to jump off somewhere of high altitude! We had found out a couple months prior to the jump day; I was so excited I called my family back home to tell them. “ABSOLUTELY NOT.” My Mom stated. As I listened as to my parents explain why bungee jumping is not the brightest idea, I got more excited about the event.

The day finally came where my friends and I would all hop in a giant 15 passenger van and drive a few hours to the bridge we would all willingly jump off of. I had decided to not tell my parents until after I had jumped. A couple weeks previous to this glorious moment, I had spent the weekend at my Aunt and Uncle’s place. While I was there hangin out with the crew, I told them about my plan. The catch was that I was too young at the time to sign the waiver for myself…. so I asked my Aunt to sign the waiver for me. I had brought the forms with me and she agreed that as long as I wouldn’t die, she would sign.


In all honesty, when I look back at this adventure, I relate to Rapunzel from Disney’s: Tangled. “I CAN’T BELIEVE I DID THIS!!!” As we were driving we took a quick pit stop at Tim Horton’s – everyone was getting snacks and coffee but there was no way I was able to consume anything! I was way to excited!! Once we finally got to the bridge, we walked through the forest to the bridge and up what felt like a million stairs. With each step I felt my palms sweating and my heart racing. I kept looking up to the top of the bridge where the stairs finally ended and I couldn’t believe what I was about to do!

Walking across the bridge to the center where we would soon jump off, I looked over the side and saw the river below. My eyes were wide like coconuts and I was grinning ear to ear. I felt like life was happening in slow motion. The bungee jumping team came and gave us the safety low-down but I did not hear a word they said. I was getting so excited. I watched as my friends one by one had their ankles tied and jumped off the bridge. It was incredible to even just watch someone else jump! When my turn finally came they opened the gate, sat me down and began to tie my feet with the bungee cord. My heart was beating so fast I swear I could see it pounding in my chest. Before I waddled out to the ledge, I texted a photo of the ledge to my Mom with the message, “Guess what I’m doing today”. Then gave my phone to the jump team and made my way to the ledge.

It’s incredible, even though I had previously looked over the edge of the bridge just minutes ago, it looked so much higher with my ankles tied, toes over the edge and no banister in front of me. I stood on the ledge. For a really long time. The 2 minutes felt like a decade. It wasn’t until my friends watching starting counting down, “10   –   9   –   8   –   7” they yelled. I slowly raised my hands above my head, “6   –   5   –   4” I closed my eyes, “3   –   2” I slowly tilted forward, “1!” My body fell. I couldn’t breath the feeling of free fall engulfed me.

So many people say that they would not be able to bungee jump because their back wouldn’t be able to take the snap back once the whole bungee cord is stretched out. I’m happy to tell you that there was absolutely no snap back because when you jump, the cord slowly stretches out and slowly retracts while you are in the air. Even after my jump I had no light-headedness. As I fell and bounced up all I could do was scream and laugh – This was AMAZING.

As I hung upside-down, I could only giggle. I wanted to jump again and again! I was vibrating I was so happy. They slowly lowered me to a trampoline floating  on the river. As they untied me and we made our way to the river edge, I continued to watch the rest of my friends jump from the bridge screaming with joy. We all wanted to jump multiple times but unfortunately there was only enough time for one jump per person.

I hope to one day bungee jump the Grand Canyon – I think it would be an incredible experience now that I’ve tried [and loved] bungee jumping off this bridge!

– Stay Satisfied

Hey! Really Good Job Walking!

I’ve been on this motivating Encouragement Train lately. Last week I wrote about how we tend to view our lives pessimistically or can often portray them that way. This week I’m encouraged. I’m happy. There are so many good things in this world people!!! Last week I hope I challenged you to change your outlook on your world – Or at least open your eyes to see the silver lining. I know it was a bit of a wake up call for myself 🙂 I’m continuing that thought and continuing that vibe and I hope you catch it!

A while ago, a friend of mine posted a photo of her son Moses on Instagram – I screen shot it because first of all he’s absolutely adorable and second because the story behind the photo filled my heart: Read the caption.
Seriously. He is the cutest, most thoughtful little kid. His compliment made me sit back – I’m sure he said it because he hasn’t been walking all that long and realizes that it takes some time to learn, but when I thought of it (granted I don’t know exactly how old this older woman was) there are a lot of elderly people that have lost their ability to walk! We take so many things for granted. It filled my heart to see that Moses took note of and appreciated functional legs. I’ve often gotten the simple compliment at work about how my printing is flawless. Until now, I’ve always laughed it off blaming it on my crazy drafting teacher for being so strict and redirecting the compliment. What if tomorrow I couldn’t write? Guys we are so blessed – Even if you are having a hard time finding the silver lining right now.

I think of Job from the Bible. Job was a man that you could say had everything in his life taken away by the Devil and then had it all given back to him from God; his home, his health, wealth, family, etc. I’m sure a lot of people use Job out of context, but when Job was sitting and mourning with the few friends that hadn’t died I’m struck with a two thoughts. 1. He still had those few friends to keep him company and 2. He was not sitting in Antarctica. Those may be two very thin silver linings in the midst of an unbearable situation, nonetheless those two things remain true. Job himself says in Job 27: 1-6, “Job continued speaking: “I vow by the living God, who has taken away my rights, by the Almighty who as embittered my soul. As long as I live, while I have breath from God, my lips will speak no evil, and my tongue will speak no lies. I will never concede that you [one of his friends] are right; I will defend my integrity until I die. I will maintain my innocence without wavering. My conscience is clear for as long as I live.””

Obviously Job is the extreme case – But I want to encourage you guys to continue seeking for the positive thing in a day and sharing that positive thing with others. Ask the Lord to help you shift your view to the way He sees your life. I want to also challenge you to speak up and share encouragement with others just like Moses did! Who knows how far those kind words will go in another person’s life 🙂

 

 

– Stay Satisfied