UPDATE: I’m Not One for New Year’s Resolutions

It’s crazy to think that June marks the half way point in a year! It never feels like it – All the classes, activities, etc. coming to an end almost make it feel like the year is only starting with a fresh, summer start! For those of you that have been following my 2018 year, you’ll know that in January I decided to grab the bull of New Year’s Resolutions by the horns and make a couple for myself. If you haven’t, you can read my fresh start in January HERE. I know it’s only been six months, but it’s crazy how much you learn when you set goals for yourself. You learn your strengths and your weaknesses quite fast! Even though I set four primary goals for myself this year – I’m learning way more than just “improving” myself in those four things. Continue reading

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. Continue reading

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

What if “Feeding the 5,000” Didn’t Happen that Way?

I’ve recently been reading in the New Testament book of Mark in my Bible. The other day I read the classic story of when Jesus feeds the 5,000 men + women and children with only five loaves of bread and two fish.

MARK 6: 30-44,

“The apostles returned to Jesus from their ministry tour and told him all they had done and taught. Then Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.” He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his apostles didn’t even have time to eat.
So they left by boat for a quiet place, where they could be alone. But many people recognized them and saw them leaving, and people from many towns ran ahead along the shore and got there ahead of them. Jesus saw the huge crowd as he stepped from the boat, and he had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.
Late in the afternoon his disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away so they can go to the nearby farms and villages and buy something to eat.”
But Jesus said, “You feed them.”
“With what?” they asked. “We’d have to work for months to earn enough money to buy food for all these people!”
“How much bread do you have?” he asked. “Go and find out.”
They came back and reported, “We have five loaves of bread and two fish.”
Then Jesus told the disciples to have the people sit down in groups on the green grass. So they sat down in groups of fifty or a hundred.
Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven, and blessed them. Then, breaking the loaves into pieces, he kept giving the bread to the disciples so they could distribute it to the people. He also divided the fish for everyone to share. They all ate as much as they wanted, and afterward, the disciples picked up twelve baskets of leftover bread and fish. A total of 5,000 men and their families were fed.”

I have heard and read this passage at least 100+ times in my life. But this time I had a new thought: What if the person that brought the five loaves and two fish didn’t share? What if they kept their food to themselves? I’m not saying that had the person not brought or shared their food, Jesus wouldn’t have been able to perform the miracle. However, Jesus was able to perform this miracle of feeding 5,000 men + women and children with only five loaves of bread and two fish because others were willing. A) The disciples were willing to search the crowd to see if there was food – I can only imagine how long that would’ve taken! B) Someone was willing to share the food they brought for themselves. C) Jesus was willing to trust that His Father in heaven would provide.

Imagine how this moment in history would have gone had the disciples not been willing to search the crowd for food. If someone had not been willing to share the food they brought for themselves. Imagine what isn’t happening in your life because you are not willing to trust your Father in heaven…? It made me think. Obviously we can’t look back at our lives and see what would’ve happened had we done this or that and we can’t see the future. But I think God opened my eyes to see His miracle differently this time around. I want to be willing. I want to be willing to search for opportunities and I want to be willing to let go in order for opportunities to arise. I’m changing my thought pattern to “I want to” to “I AM“.

 

 

– Stay Satisfied

Bucket List: Sky Diving

I love the feeling of falling. When your gut jumps up into your throat and you have that brief sensation of being weightless… Gahhhh I live for that feeling! The fact that sky diving was on my bucket list isn’t a huge surprise to anyone that knows me. A couple summers ago I was going to Steinbach, Manitoba for a cousins wedding – their wedding was on a Sunday and we drove up on Friday which gave us a day to kill. I was digging around finding things to do on the Saturday and I came across Adventure Skydiving. After perusing their site I learned that they had the highest tandem jumps  available in the prairies; up to 11,000 feet which would give jumpers roughly a minute of free fall. I was instantly captivated.

I contacted one of my other cousins who was traveling to the wedding on the same day. I was so excited and thought it’d be great if we were able to jump together! The tandem skydive enables the skydiver to experience the full magnitude of a skydive, including free fall in terminal velocity of up to 230 kpm of vertical speed, and a canopy glide to the ground – The tandem skydive also didn’t require any prior knowledge or training for jumping because we’d be strapped to someone who was certified. My cousin was instantly on board and we booked our jumps for that Saturday morning.


Weeks went by and Jump Day finally came! Her and I showed up to the jump site to get our brief training which pretty much explained what we shouldn’t do during the jump so that we didn’t kill ourselves along with our instructors… My body was vibrating I was so eager to get in the air! The training taught us how to jump out of the plane, how to steer our bodies during free fall, how to steer ourselves once the shoot was pulled and how to land without breaking our legs – Nothing major though… 😉



By the time we had completed our training, we were told that we might not be able to jump due to an excessive amount of wind. My heart sunk. The instructor began to explain that there was a storm approaching the outskirts of the city – pretty much where we’d be landing and that the wind was starting to swirl making it unsafe to land. “We could get ya up there just fine and most of your jump would be awesome. But as soon as you got 300 ft from landing, your parachute could collapse due to the wind changing directions unpredictably and you could just drop the rest of the way…”

The instructor left and said they’d keep us updated on the wind, but if the situation did not improve within an hour they would cancel our jump due to weather. My cousin and I were crushed. As we waited, we prayed. Knowing that Jesus had calmed the storm before and He could certainly do it again for us. We read about how Jesus calmed the wind and the ocean waves in Mark 4:35-41, “On that day, when evening came, [one of the disciples] said to them, “Let us go over to the other side.”Leaving the crowd, they took Him along with them in the boat, just as He was; and other boats were with Him.And there arose a fierce gale of wind, and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling up.Jesus Himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?”And He got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Hush, be still.” And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm.And He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?”They became very much afraid and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?

So we prayed. I don’t believe in coincidences, but after we both finished praying and submitting our jump and the weather to the Lord, the radio began to play 1989’s Tom Petty – Free Fallin’ and we were stoked because in that moment we knew God would work on our behalf. Sure enough, the instructor came blitzing into our waiting room saying a clear window showed up on the scanner and we had to get in the air within the next 30 minutes in order to have a safe jump! God is so good. So we suited up and hopped in the plane and began our climb to 11,000 feet.


The plane was small and we were all cozy but the adrenaline pumping through us made us anything but comfortable. As the airbase below grew smaller and slowly vanished out of site, the clouds began to engulf the tiny aircraft. My heart was beating wildly and my hands were sweating. We climbed higher and higher and it began to click in my mind that I was about to jump out of the plane in midair. The pilot yelled back to us that we had finally reached our 11,000 foot altitude and we were free to jump. Without a moment to lose, my instructor squeezed my shoulders to ask if I was ready and we crawled over to the plane door. He opened it up and I could not believe how clear the sky was from so high up. I felt like I was looking down on Google Maps. This was not real. I swung my legs out of the plane and began to lean forward to fall out. As my instructor and I fell forward I jumped from the step and the plane soared away. My gut jumped higher in my body than I ever thought possible! But the feeling didn’t go away. Not like it does on a roller coaster were the dropping feeling only lasts a moment. I glanced over and could see the plane just a dot in the sky and watched as another dot disbanded from it. We continued to hurtle towards the earth and the wonderful falling sensation seeped into every part of my body.

I can’t describe to you how incredible it was to fall for a full sixty seconds. It was magnificent. I loved every moment. We pulled the shoot and continued floating towards the ground. I felt like I was stuck in the sky for an hour. It was so quiet – You would expect it to be loud with all the wind that high up and the fact that we were still “falling” but it wasn’t! My instructor began pointing out landmarks and different crops that were growing in all the fields below us – It was phenomenal to say the least!

For those of you that have not yet checked Sky Diving off your Bucket List, I strongly encourage you to go. The jump is awe inspiring and it’s quite a sight to see the world from so high above without being protected in a plane or helicopter. To be so exposed and so free. If Sky Diving isn’t on your Bucket List, maybe reconsider adding it because my story doesn’t do the experience justice!

– Stay Satisfied

Alchemy Flower Shop

One of my favorite projects from Interior Design school was probably the retail project at the very end of the program. We studied residential design for the first year, and tackled commercial design in the second year. When I was 15 my very first job was in a flower shop and I adored it. When I first started, I didn’t think of it any more than a job to make money and save for my future little green VW Buggy – but the longer I worked there and the more I learned about floral design, I saw myself becoming a florist professionally more and more! Now that I’m in Interior Design, I though it’d be ultra cool to design my own future flower shop! I have always loved the word “Alchemy” I don’t really know why… I like the shape my mouth makes when I say it and I enjoy hearing that word… it’s weird.

Alchemy [al•kuh•mee]

“A form of Renaissance chemistry concerned primarily on discovering a universal solvent and Elixir of Life. Or a magical process of transforming common forms into things of great value.”

My inspiration for my future flower shop was old English castles, waterfalls and redwood tree forests. I loved how these three things seemed to create the settling for a fairy tale! Essentially, I wanted Alchemy Florists to be a flower shop inspired by Mother Nature; bringing elements from the garden like fresh plants and running water, rough woods and a bright sky into the store. My goal would be to create a way to make floral arrangements a part of everyday life as well as make special events unique and brilliant. With the design of the flower shop, I  wanted to blur the lines between indoor and outdoor; allowing people to enjoy flowers and plants all year round! This is totally real dream of mine – I don’t know if I’ll ever achieve it, but who knows where life may take me.

img_0006Our assignment was to design a mall location store. The rest was only limited by our imagination. I was ecstatic! As my profs went through the requirements, guidelines and design rules I was already sketching my ideas down hoping to put them on paper before they got away! As soon as class ended, I felt like I was a racehorse bursting out of the gate – God was giving me so much inspiration! I thought this would be a fun project, also because I worked in a couple flower shops for several years. I knew things that worked, I remembered things that definitely did not work and there were design ideas I thought would’ve made work more efficient or practical – I was looking forward to developing, eliminating and creating a potential flower shop for myself in the future.

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Getting a floor plan down was the first step and envisioning what shoppers might see on the exterior.

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It was all coming together! I wanted the logo to be simple and organic.

alchemy-florists-logoAs part of the project we had to compile a complete specification sheet for our store including all of the materials and finishes, budget, floor Auto-CAD (ACAD) plans, electrical ACAD plans, + structural ACAD plans. There was a lot of work, but this was fun for me because I was a job that I related to and would want to work in myself! Below would be the exterior of the mall shop – it would be located on the corner which would allow shoppers to access from the side as well as the front. Along the hallway, there would be a window for convenient window shopping of fresh flowers and arrangements in the cooler.

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The ceiling of the flower shop, consists of LED light panels with a sky image. These lights would cast a soft glow through out the entire store to make it feel as it the shop was actually located outdoors. The suspended ceiling would have a pergola grid to hide the metal grid support system, which would enhance the indoor-outdoor experience.

alchemy-florist-4eIn the center of Alchemy Florists would be a fresh plant wall. The pillar would support plant life in the store without maintenance. The pillar offers privacy to the consultation and work areas in the back from shoppers passing by.

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The view of the front desk for floral wrapping, A water feature continues the indoor-outdoor experience and allows shoppers to hear the sound of running water as they walk past Alchemy Florists.

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A walk-in cooler allows shoppers to go in and pick the arrangement they want. Each floral design would sit on a stone Lazy-Susan which would allow them to view 360 degrees of the arrangement without needing to handle it. There would also be plants, gifts, and vases for shoppers to add to their order.

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Standing behind the front desk looking out into the flower shop.

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The consultation space for clients to meet one on one with the floral designers for custom work.

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The work center in the back. A large island with space to walk all the way around and full of storage areas underneath.

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The front shelf doubles as a storage shelf in the back to hold standard vases and designing materials. A large sink provides easy clean up and watering.

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The extra deep counters around the island provide practical work space for designers’ fresh flowers, cutting knives, floral waste, and finished design work.

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I really enjoyed this project! It took 100+ hours of design research, concept building, product searching, 3D computer modeling, Auto CAD drawings and photo shop to put the dream together but it was well worth it in the end! Maybe one day it will become real life!

 

 

 

 

-Stay Satisfied

Dents in my Fender + Rips in My Jeans…

Growing up, one of my favorite songs was, “Free to be Me” by Francesca Battistelli. She was my first concert. I remember my tween self freaking out when the first chords were played to hit single. I died:

At twenty years of age
I’m still looking for a dream
A war’s already waged
For my destiny
But you’ve already won the battle
And you’ve got great plans for me
Though I can’t always see

‘Cause I got a couple dents in my fender
Got a couple rips in my jeans
Try to fit the pieces together
But perfection is my enemy
On my own I’m so clumsy
But on your shoulders I can see
I’m free to be me

When I was just a girl
I thought I had it figured out
My life would turn out right
And I’d make it here somehow
But things don’t always come that easy
And sometimes I would doubt

‘Cause I got a couple dents in my fender
Got a couple rips in my jeans
Try to fit the pieces together
But perfection is my enemy
On my own I’m so clumsy
But on your shoulders I can see
I’m free to be me

And you’re free to be you

Sometimes I believe
That I can do anything
Yet other times I think
I’ve got nothing good to bring
But you look at my heart and you tell me
That I’ve got all you seek
And it’s easy to believe
Even though

‘Cause I got a couple dents in my fender
Got a couple rips in my jeans
Try to fit the pieces together
But perfection is my enemy
On my own I’m so clumsy
But on your shoulders I can see
I’m free to be me

Rips and dentsTo be honest, I think most of us thought we had it all figured out growing up; when we’re grown up I’ll be a firefighter or mechanic, I’m gunna have kids and be a Mom, we’re gunna do what we love and always assume success will follow us no matter where we go. I just turned 22 the other day, and as crazy as it may seem, I’m not a millionaire doing super, awesome things on T.V. I know, crazy right? I’m also guessing you’re not in that place either…. but that’s just a guess… Social media has a funny way of making us feel disappointed with our lives. It seems like everyone around us is dating, getting married, having kids, going on vacations, finishing school, getting promoted at work, buying a new car, building a new house, the list could honestly go on forever. Whatever we desire – someone else has. Our friends around us and the people we follow on social media platforms always seem to have their life together. Comparison is the #1 thief of joy people. Fransesca’s song always encouraged me that I was never meant to be perfect. God does not expect me to be flawless. The reason we can’t be perfect and flawless is because that would mean we don’t need Jesus. Even with Jesus, I am not perfect. But because of Jesus I know I don’t have to have my life together. With Jesus I can embrace my ripped jeans and dented car. I can embrace my current jobless situation. Believe me – I may only be in my early twenties, but I’ve had my fair share of struggles, disappointments, failures and heartbreaks. I scrolled across a quote the other day that challenged, “So what? You had a bad semester. You gained some weight. So what? You’re single again. You lost your job. So what? What now? You live. You try again. You move on. That’s what.” It struck a chord with me. We are told in 2 Chronicles 15:7, “But you, be strong and do not lose courage, for there is reward for your work.” Guys, we cannot be the people that fail once, twice, and give up! I’ve been learning that we need to be able to embrace our failures and discouragements. We need to embrace our imperfect, beautiful selves and seek Christ whole-heartedly.

I’ve been wearing the same jeans since grade 7 and I just recently got into a fender bender with my buggy. Don’t get me wrong, I wish I had nice, new clothes for everything and I have cried over my winking car lots but…. So what? My goal on earth is not to have a bazillion friends, perfect Instagram feed, lots of followers on the blog, or hundreds of likes on my Facebook. So what? Our image shouldn’t be the most important thing to us – our legacy should be. Legacy’s are built over time, commitment and hard work. Another quote that I came across said, “There are people who are less qualified than you, who are doing the things you want to do – Simply because they decided to believe in themselves and go for it.” That really hit me. I know when we were all younger talking about where we’d be in life and what we’d be doing, but now that we’re older and a lot of those dreams are within reach, why are we not grabbing them? I want to encourage you to go for it! I want to encourage you guys not to compare yourself to the next person. Don’t wish you had this or wish you could do that. Work for it, wait for it, and plan for it. Stay satisfied and content with who you are in Christ Jesus and trust that He will continue to work in your life and mould you into the beautiful, imperfect person He always intended you to be. Create opportunities for yourself to grow and reach for that success that you dreamed about when you were little!! Be confident in who you are and your own abilities knowing that we serve a powerful God that will catch you when you jump.

“Wait a second, Why should you care, / what they think of you / When you’re all alone, by yourself / Do you like you?” – Colbie Caillat, “TRY

– Stay Satisfied