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You’ve seen this picture before but I’ve made one very small change… See if you can find it! It’s like the easiest Where’s Waldo ever.

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My home is where the heart is. Such a clichéd sentiment but it’s true and, in this case, pretty literal. You wouldn’t believe how amazing my apartment is if I told you, but I’m going to anyway.
If there were a quiz entitled “Which apartment are you?” I’d get this one every time. It’s sooo me. I suppose since Vin and I live here together I should say it’s sooo us. He gets nearly as much joy out of living here as I do. I say “nearly” because I think he’d be content just about anywhere as long as I was there too. That isn’t arrogance, I promise, we’re just happy. We’ve actually discussed keeping this place even if there becomes a time that we want a bigger place. Grown ups are supposed to buy houses right?

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Getting back to the point… Try to picture a tiny cottage (if you’ve read the book Matilda, consider Miss Honey’s beautiful, albeit run-down, little cottage) mixed with a tree house, up high and hidden away from the rest of the world. It sounds magical right? Well it is. My mom, the incredible woman who found a tiny ad for the apartment in the Grunion Gazette, compares coming here to “going down the rabbit hole” like from Alice in Wonderland. It’s colorful, whimsical and while you’re here it’s easy to forget the hustle and bustle of the outside world.
The many windows create the perfect amount of light to invite in each new day and a cross breeze that is unbeatable during the warm summer months. It’s a single (a cross between a studio and a one bedroom) so it’s small but it’s never felt that way to me. Rather than feeling cramped, it’s comfortable – not to mention easy to clean! We live simply but are by no means minimalists and yet we still have extra storage space. That’s unheard of. I’ve lived in places twice this size and not had that luxury. Plus, even before I thought I’d ever use it, I fell in the love with the kitchen. We looked at other apartments and they were all just fine but when we walked in to this one, we were home.

At the time, it hardly looked like a dream home. Filthy and falling apart with the strangest paint job I’ve ever seen, it took much imagination to see what it would become. Nothing against the girls who lived here before, people just have different tastes! I think that’s the most polite way to say what we were all thinking…
It was exactly two years ago today that we got the keys. My mom, dad, Vinnie and I rolled up our sleeves and made this place unrecognizable. Our landlord walked in and thought he had the wrong place! Okay okay… that may have been a fib but still! We swept, vacuumed, mopped, scrubbed, scoured, sanded, primed, painted and, I’m sure, many other things I have either forgotten or blocked out before finally moving our stuff in. I feel it’s only fair for me to tell you that my parents did, like, 93% of the work. I’m a very lucky daughter.

The cleaning/painting/moving process took a couple long, tiring days but it was finally done. It felt so unbelievably fresh and after living with a roommate my man and I had our own place!!! Over the next days our belongings found their place, an IKEA trip took care of the missing bare necessities and art was hung. Then a couple weeks of accenting the clean, white walls with brightly colored door jams, shelves, cupboards etc… The vivid white of the walls and furniture still make the splashes of extraordinary color pop and vice versa. Over the months that followed we artistically and inventively (although not always as careful as we should’ve been) created our unconventional, wonderful home.

Modifications will be made here and there but I think it’s safe to say that, despite the oven that only works if you know the secret method or the bathroom sink that leaks or even the ceiling fan that looks like it might fall on your head at any moment, we have the best apartment ever.
I mean we have a freaking hammock in our livingroom/bedroom! No joke. And it has three different set ups so that I can use it for yoga, Vinnie for video games and anyone for nap time. Honestly, who do you know that can say that?
We hung vibrant, mismatched fabrics as makeshift curtains. Not because we didn’t have perfectly fine curtains but they got boring and these are so much cooler (both figuratively and literally)!
We write out grocery lists on our kitchen window with chalk markers because it’s fun and different and it looks awesome.

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You might be thinking that it sounds like a little much. Maybe it would be for you but it’s perfect for us and that’s what matters. Everyone should know the joy that I get from my hidden cottage in the sky.

 

 

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