New Place, New Friends

27 01 2012

Phew! The past two weeks have been crazy busy for me. It all started with this:


My mom and I packed as much of my stuff as we could into a mini van and a Rav 4, and started to drive south. We stopped overnight at my cousin’s house, where I went to a 5:00am bootcamp class that kicked my butt (more on that in another post). We trucked down I-95 a little more, and spent the night in Savannah, GA, before driving the final leg of the journey.

Finally, on Tuesday, I arrived!

Hooray! It was warm and sunny when we got here, which immediately put a smile on my face. I signed my lease and quickly started moving boxes into my new place. Boxes, boxes, and more boxes. Phew. It was exhausting. At least I was able to sleep in my new bed, which I had ordered the day before for delivery on my arrival day. Score!

The rest of my first week was kind of a blur, but included several trips to Ikea, hours checking out furniture at various stores, and my credit card begging for mercy. By Friday night, my bedroom and bathroom were mostly unpacked, but I had boxes and boxes of kitchen stuff that didn’t have a home in my tiny kitchen. Several of those boxes were serving quite nicely as a table for eating my meals, but I knew I needed the stuff in those boxes eventually! To be honest, I was a little sad that my kitchen was so tiny and didn’t have as much cabinet and counter space as I would have liked:

But, I finally had my own space to enjoy, which is really exciting! And, even more exciting was that Bill was coming to help me finish unpacking for the weekend!

To kill some time on Saturday morning before Bill arrived, I met up with Mary to go for my first long run of my marathon training. Meghann had put me in touch with Mary when I was searching for places in Tampa, so we exchanged many emails before actually meeting. Mary was SUPER helpful and so friendly, I was looking forward to meeting her in real life!

And, just like on email, she is incredibly friendly! She and her hubs took me on a mini running tour of Tampa. It was so fun, and made the run go by so fast! I’m looking forward to running with them again!

I got home, changed, and before I knew it, Bill had arrived!! He brought a box full of tools, his creative mind, and his keen spatial awareness. He was ready to help me get all moved in and settled!

And let me tell you, he helped me TREMENDOUSLY!!

Bill’s got a knack for organizing spaces and coming up with creative solutions to organize/store stuff, so he looked around my apartment, took inventory of all my stuff, and then we talked about what I wanted in my apartment. We made lists of things to buy and things we were going to make, and made trips to Lowes, Ikea (x2), Ross, and various other stores. We worked together to build furniture, put up shelves, unpack boxes, and create a space that was perfectly my new home.

Here’s a few highlights:

My wine glasses, stored above my wine cork board.

Just below my cork board are my spices, in a rack that Bill built. The spices are sitting on dowels in a wooden serving tray created from a wine crate! How perfect!

My pot lids, on a pulley system that Bill built. I can raise and lower them with just a pull of a string!

(There’s even a safety on it, in case the string accidentally slips out of my hand!)

And remember how I wasn’t super excited about my tiny kitchen? Check it out now:

I LOVE LOVE LOVE my kitchen now! Moving all of this stuff into my sweet pantry cleared up so much space in the cabinets and on the counters. I’ve got a cool wood theme going on, revolving around the cutting board Bill got me in Costa Rica. And, the big fork and spoon on the wall? Super cute!

Behind the kitchen, in what is supposed to be a breakfast nook, we decided to put in some bookcases.

The books sitting out on top of the shelves totally represent me. There’s the coffee table books from Chicago, Paris, and Atlantic City– each place holding a special place in my heart. My Flavor Bible and 1001 Foods to Taste Before You Die books capture my love of food. And there’s the Relentless Pursuit book, written by a fellow TFA alum. Now, I just need to get a DC book in there…

Speaking of things in my new space that are perfectly “me,” probably my favorite part of my new apartment is my tri wall:

Revolving around the awesome “Keep Calm and Tri On” print from my cousin (homemade and for sale!!), this wall is a place to showcase (and store) all of my race medals and numbers. This wall screams, “I am a triathlete,” and I love that! (And, I didn’t go out and buy four pairs of goggles, I already had them!)

Friends, please come visit! I love my new space, and I can’t thank Bill enough for all his help! He was definitely the mastermind behind it all! He’s amazing! ❤

Anyhow, after working all weekend to get my place into tip top shape, I turned around and got up bright and early and started my new job on Monday morning. After taking 3 weeks off to take a mini vacation and move, it’s been a little hard to get back into the routine of an early wake up and then sitting at a desk all day. But, I’ve survived week 1, and despite diving right into the thick of things, I’m looking forward to what lies ahead!

So far, I’m really enjoying Tampa. I really like my neighborhood, and my apartment couldn’t be better. Oh wait, it will get better when these two little furballs come to live with me!

🙂 🙂 🙂

(Stay tuned for more info on those cuties!)

I’m excited to start being more social when I’m fully settled, but it was great to go on a run with Mary, and I randomly ran into Courtney when I was running the other day!

So, life’s still a bit crazy, but so far, so good! Thanks for all your support friends!

Have a great weekend!

Where the Magic Happens

19 04 2011

Sorry kids…this is not MTV Cribs. No bedroom shots on this blog! And anyway…my magic happens in the kitchen 🙂 Every day I read tons of blogs with some of the most delicious looking recipes, but most blogs only show snapshots of the meal in making or the final product. There have been a few bloggers, such as Tina, Emily and Ashley (who had the chance to design her own kitchen!) that give you a little sneak peak, but most bloggers keep their kitchens to themselves. I completely understand and respect wanting to keep one’s kitchen private…but today my friends, I am going to give you a little glimpse into Chloe’s Kitchen.

Yup. There she is….teeny tiny with a yellow glow. The microwave is too small to fit a full size plate. The dishwasher fits about 2 days worth of dishes.  The oven is so small that when I bake cookies, the cookie tin causes the oven door to stay open a crack; and the majority of my counter space is often filled with water bottles, wallets, pink lunch boxes, etc. My kitchen definitely has no bells and whistles, but I have managed to put together some recipes that I am pretty proud of. But wait for it…hold on to your hats…in 3 weeks I will be baking/cooking up a storm in THIS NEW KITCHEN.

While this is the EXACT  layout (with appliances, floor, etc) of my new kitchen, it is a model of the apartment I will be moving into, not the exact kitchen. I get giddy thinking about cooking in this kitchen. I will be able to bake cookies AND close the oven door! I. CAN’T. WAIT. Chris definitely does not understand the level of excitement that this kitchen brings…but lucky for me, I have plenty of fellow foodies, like you, who are on the same page as me 🙂

Question of the Day: What is your favorite room in your house?