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

 

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

 

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

We Can’t Look at the Glass Half Empty Anymore.

I feel like we are too hard on ourselves. The past couple weeks, I’ve noticed how people tend to share about negative experiences before their positive ones – I’ve caught myself doing this. But it got me thinking – Why do we do that? Why do people have to almost have a competition about who’s day was worse? It seems odd because we’re trying to do exactly the opposite on our Instagram feeds… I think we do this because we’ve been trained to share about our lives this way. When we’re with people, we have this awkward balance of wanting to share about our lives without coming across self-absorbed or narcissistic. So we over-correct by sharing what’s “awful” about our lives before telling about what’s awesome. (Sometimes we don’t even get to the part of telling about what’s awesome!) This way, we think we’re safe from people accusing us of trying to be perfect or having it all together and being a snob about it. (Why do we even care what they think?) It’s sad. True friends will be happy for you! People can and should be happy for good things in someone’s life without being jealous. We also shouldn’t have to live with this fear of our “success” being judged by others.

“In God, whose word I praise, In God I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid What can mere man do to me?” – Psalm 56:4

One of my favourite mugs that I use at home has a quote on the front that says, “The cup is always half full”. I personally think it’s an ironic quote to put on a mug because there will be more times when it’s empty instead of half full… but whatever, it’s optimistic. There are many things in our day that might happen and we could view them optimistically or pessimistically. Maybe it’s work, our family, or our body, our friends, our hobbies, or possibly our pets. The same goes for how we share about our life to others whether it’s on social media or in person: We could tell a story with an optimistic point of view or we can chose to hone in on the pessimistic view point.

I want to encourage you to see everything that happens in your day optimistically! I want to encourage you to share about your life from a happy point of view! I want to help you see the silver lining that happens in each and every situation. It could be a soft, subtle silver lining that you really have to search for, or it could be screaming obvious! Maybe it’s work, our family, or our body, our friends, our hobbies, or possibly our pets but but however you see the silver lining in these things – Hone in on it. I saw a video clip on Facebook the other day of a bird singing – It was so cute. This bird was beautiful and sang beautifully. I confess I watched it a couple times. Admittedly, as I listened to this bird singing for the third time, I realized that this could be annoying to other people. It made me sad to think that some people could hate birds singing in the house altogether. This thought started to snowball. I thought about everything I’m thankful for and thought about what it was that made me love those things. Then I flipped my mentality: What if I had the exact opposite of everything I love? What if all that bird did was screech instead of sing? It hit me how much I take for granted; all the little silver linings. Guys, don’t focus on how ugly, inconvenient, boring, or irritating something is. The cup is always half full. If all that bird did was screech, it was still a beautiful bird to look at. I found a quote the other day about seeing our bodies in a new light:

Have this mentality in everything ❤

– Stay Satisfied

Green Rose Project

I was quite excited about this home; this client was the sweetest lady you’d ever meet! She was building a custom home through Ripplinger Homes. I absolutely love getting to be a part of such wonderful, fun projects! I had the opportunity to play a very small part, but I feel so lucky that I even got to do that much 🙂 This new custom build was going to be her dream loft home. I adore loft homes – I love how the design provides privacy and allows an open concept for hosting. I think one day I would want to build a loft home – it’s so versatile.

Everyone involved: trades-men, installers, designers and contractors put an immeasurable amount of time and energy into this stunning home. The client wanted a very warm and welcoming feel and together we chose some classic materials and finishes to give the space a timeless atmosphere. I wanted to share a couple photos with you guys of the finished house after I got to go on site and see all of the incredible work the trades have done over the past while. All those who were involved in the Green Rose Project did an incredible job! Well done everyone!

Kitchen | Ripplinger Homes Photography

Kitchen | Ripplinger Homes Photography

Kitchen | Ripplinger Homes Photography

Kitchen | Payton Ramstead Photography

Kitchen | Ripplinger Homes Photography

Great Room | Ripplinger Homes Photography

Great Room | Ripplinger Homes Photography

Great Room | Ripplinger Homes Photography

Fireplace | Payton Ramstead Photography

Powder Room | Ripplinger Homes Photography

Powder Room | Payton Ramstead Photography

Master Bedroom | Ripplinger Homes Photography

Master Ensuite | Ripplinger Homes Photography

Master Ensuite | Ripplinger Homes Photography

Master Ensuite | Payton Ramstead Photography

Master Ensuite | Payton Ramstead Photography

Master Ensuite Shower | Ripplinger Homes Photography

Laundry Sink | Payton Ramstead Photography

Laundry Room | Ripplinger Homes Photography

Laundry Room | 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

We are all Josephs

We all know the story of Joseph and his famous coat of many colours. It’s a classic in any Children’s Story Bible. If you don’t know the story of Joseph, it’s found in the first Old Testament book of Bible: Genesis, chapter 35 (birth) to chapter 50 (death). To give you a Spark Notes version: (spoiler alert) At a young age, Joseph is treated unfairly by his brothers and wrongly sold into slavery. As Joseph works as a slave in Egypt, he excels due to his trust in God. We are told in Genesis 39: 2, “The Lord was with Joseph, so he became a successful man.” As Joseph moves up the status ladder, once again he is wrongly accused (verses 19-21), “Now when his [Joseph’s] master heard the words of his wife… ‘This is what your slave did to me,’ his anger burned. So Joseph’s master took him and put him in jail…” Joseph stayed in prison for 2 years for something he didn’t do.

Genesis 39: 2, “The Lord was with Joseph, so he became a successful man.

I want to hone in on how Joseph seemed to get the butt end over and over when he didn’t deserve it. Joseph’s brothers hated him so much they planned a way to get rid of him. PLANNED A WAY TO GET RID OF HIM. After being a slave, he is wrongly accused by his master’s wife and he is thrown into prison for years. IN PRISON FOR YEARS. Now, I know that not all of us have it has bad as Joseph had it. In fact most of us probably don’t have it anywhere close to as bad as he did, but we all have our own challenges. “But the Lord was with Joseph and extended kindness to him…” Genesis 39:21. As we read the story of Joseph, we see that he acted with integrity no matter what situation he was in: as a young boy tending his father’s flock, as a young man a slave in a foreign country and even as an innocent prisoner. That is what God has been laying on my heart. Am I acting with integrity no matter what situation I am in? Joseph knew that the Lord was with always him, and he clung to that. Even when his situation improved later in chapter 41, “Joseph then answered Pharaoh, “It is not me; God will give Pharaoh a favourable answer…

Genesis 39:21, “But the Lord was with Joseph and extended kindness to him…

As Joseph’s life went on, the Lord continued to bless him. In the end Joseph became the second most important person in Egypt just under Pharaoh himself! God wants us to live with integrity, every situation in our life – Not just when things are good. How do I live my life when I’m content with where I am? How do I live my life when I want what I do not have? Being satisfied with where God has you at every stage of your life should be the goal for all of us. If we have trusted Jesus Christ as our Saviour, God is with us just like he was with Joseph. At the very end of the book of Genesis, before Joseph died he said to the same brothers who sold him into slavery, “God will surely take care of you.” After all that is said and done I want to live my life the way Joseph lived his – Trusting in God at every point in his life knowing that his story was not yet finished. Knowing, “What was meant for evil, God used for good.” Genesis 50:20. My story is not yet done and neither is yours! We are all “Joseph’s” in the sense that we are treated unfairly at times. However, we need to strive to have the same attitude and focus on God like Joseph did despite everything that happened.

 

 

– Stay Satisfied