I feel like I have been doing the same things everyday. I revise for my test, go to work which in some ways is like more studying, come home study, cook dinner, repeat. Since I have a bum ankle I can't for the moment so I'm feeling a bit stir crazy. I didn't realize how much energy and happiness just getting outside and running in the city gives me until I couldn't do it. Good thing next week things start picking up. My test is Friday, then for the next month I have something going on until early November.
For now I'll leave you with something that inspires me. It has design, cars and a museum all in one. Love.
The sky is dreary today. It has been drizzling or mizzling all day. (*mizzle-my word for when it isn't drizzling just misting out). It feels however like fall finally. After a very hot summer it's nice to wear jeans again and think about sweaters. It also let's me bring out the two fall holiday decor items that I have. Other than some Christmas stuff this is it. The are from my Mom. She gave me a fall leaf with a little bird, and a large glass acorn. It makes me happy to see them and know that the season is finally changing.
Other than that happiness I have had my nose in my studies. My test is next week! I am anxious but excited about it. Tonight I have some more revision to do.
I've been graduated from college since 2007. I've been working in my field about a year before I graduated. Balancing school and work was difficult but rewarding. I got to take the real life skills I was using at my job and put them into my school designs. So what I'm getting at is that it has been a long time since I've studied for something.
I realized earlier this year that I finally had enough work experience to apply for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam. After signing over my kidney I was accepted to take it. Just kidding not a kidney they just wanted a lot of information.
In short it means I know my stuff and can design a space that people can exit safely in case of a fire, I know how things are built and constructed, and I know the process of how an interior design project needs to be run. A lot these things I deal with on a daily basis, project management, drafting, programming. Code names for flammability not as often i.e. NFPA 701. In case you are wondering that's a code dealing with the flammability of fabrics, specifically drapery. Yes I care about the fire rating of fabrics and I read about it when I select them but I don't conscientiously think about the NFPA 701.
The test is coming up at the end of this month and I've been revising like a fiend, taking practice tests and carrying flash cards to make sure I don't forget anything. It's been a throw back to college life and it's been strange. I'll take 2 parts now in the fall and take a drafting practicum in the Spring. I wanted to be prepared but not overloaded. After all it's been a while since this girl's bubbled in a scantron test.
This Summer was also a milestone, for my Grandpa, this year he turned 80 years old. My grandma hosted a huge party to celebrate. Family and Friends from all over came to party. It was great fun. Eric and I flew up on Friday and out late Sunday night so it was a whirlwind trip.
It was great to see all my extended family and introduce them to Eric. A few he had met at our wedding but most he had not.Some people I had not even seen since I was a little girl. Lucky for me I look just like my Mom so they knew who I was. It also helps that I am the only granddaughter my Grandpa has. It was a great trip and I am so happy that we got to celebrate the day with my grandpa.
Oh I forgot. I made the invitations, stamps and a really great book for my Grandpa with pictures I collected from family and friends on behalf of my parents. My brother also made a video with all the pictures. I think all the hard work making those things paid off because he was so amazed and shocked by it all.
We also had a TopGear moment. While in Detroit what car should one rent? Why a big American Muscle Car! So we rented a Red Ford Mustang. It was a fun.
This trip also marked the furthest North Eric has been in North America. We were also super nerds and took a breakfast trip over to Windsor, Canada to get our passport stamped. Yes I know they don't do it typically for Americans but we asked nicely and the obliged.
So I have taken up a healthier hobby. I have started running. Training with the Couch to 5k program. It's been a few months now and I can really see results. I can know run a mile in under 10 minutes. I have a lot of endurance. Not to mention I have lost over 10lbs. It feels so good to make a healthy change. In that healthy line I have also registered for my first 5k! It's in October and runs through the major park here in Atlanta. I am so excited.
For Training as I've reached milestones I've bought myself better clothes, proper shoes and Eric bought me an amazing Garmin GPS watch that logs my miles and time. It has been really helpful in making me work harder. I also really wanted a neon colored shirt so I can be seen. (I was also jealous of the other brightly colored runners and wanted to fit in.)
In sad news though I haven't been able to run for a week! I went to go running on Sunday and in dodging a cab I sprained my ankle in an electrical manhole that was moved. I have it wrapped and hope to heal soon to get back out there.
So to continue where I left off. Eric and I rented a Mini Cooper One. Which you can read about here.
Having a car was really a huge sense of freedom, and a bit daunting. Foreign country, signs in a language I can't read, but we did it. All with only a road map. (That I highlighted our route along the way. Like the nerd I am.)
We left Madrid, and headed to Toledo. We had booked our hotel the night before. This is a very fly by the seat of our pants trip. We knew we wanted to over look the city.We got our wish. The view was stunning. That picture was from our private balcony at our hotel. Exploring Toledo was almost like being in a labyrinth. Once you are inside the medieval walls the narrow alleys and twisting hills make it easy to get lost. Luckily where every you looked it is beautiful.
Toledo's jaw dropping cathedral. The inside (you can't take pictures) is unbelievable
We were only in Toledo for a day and a half, but we made the most of the time we were there. I really loved the old city and was channeling my Grandpa with a midwestern phrase he used to say when I was a kid "Holy Toledo!" (used in a shocked/surprise fashion.) Most of Toledo deserved that. It was a picture postcard everywhere you looked. After an early morning visit to see El Greco's The Burial of Count Orgaz we headed down to Granada!
Other things to catch up on. We saw two amazing bands in my blog hiatus. Fitz and the Tantrums and Mumford & Sons. We had already seen Mumford but it was amazing to see them again the energy they have when they perform and the emotion they give the music can make you cry during the show it hits you so hard.
We also saw Fitz and the Tantrums! They were UNBELIEVABLE. It was a small show and they rocked it out like they were filming for live tv. I have never danced and laughed so much at a show. I have been listening to their album almost daily on my runs. It's infectious. If they are coming near you. Go see them and buy tickets fast because they won't be available for long.
My good friend Rebecca also got married! It was such a beautiful wedding and it was amazing to see all the details she worked so hard on come through. I had been talking to her about her plans. Helped design her wedding invitations but seeing the finally results was astounding.
She and her husband had a beautiful tented wedding in April. The weather was perfect, the site that had a few months before been nothing had been transformed by her family and his into a stunning location. Everyone chipped in to make things. A trellis for her and him to get married under was made by her Dad with wood from her families home. The property they got married on and a bridge to cross a creek bed was made by his Dad. The amount of little detail touches and graceful southern charm really stole my heart. Everything about the wedding said just had my friend written all over it. It was gorgeous.
Me and the bride! I look a bit wonky but oh well.
Oh and other fun wedding news. Eric and I's wedding photographers were there. Shannon and Steve are amazing and it was so good to see them again.
May also was the start of some good things for me. Eric and I took Memorial Day weekend to go to Savannah. We had a great time. Neither one of us had been there for a significant amount of time. We stayed at the Westin and got to take a ferry across. Which was silly exciting to me. Walking around downtown exploring the beautiful old city was nice but it was even better when we rented a scooter. It felt like we were terrorizing the streets zipping along everywhere. I think that will be our new vacation plan. Rent a scooter wherever we travel.
Our happy feet kicking back in a hammock by the river at the hotel. It was so lovely.
I also took up a new hobby. I started running in May. I also registered for my first 5k! It's in October.
May was a busy month for me at work. We were finishing a lot projects up. Starting new ones and getting ready for Modern Atlanta. This year we held one of the biggest events of the week here in our office. We asked Karim Rashid to come and speak. Hundred's of people flocked in our doors to check out his designs we had on display and to hear him speak. He was brilliant. It was my first time meeting someone who's designs I really admire. His talk was candid and left me reflecting the way technology and design impact our world.
One of my favorite things he said that has stuck with me was his reflections on people thinking that the past was so much better and how people were closer. His thoughts (not verbatim) were how closer technology has made us. I can pick up phone, email and skype to almost anywhere in the world. How easily we can contact people.
It was a great night and I even got a picture with him. The photo also had the other folks I work with so I cut them out so they aren't displayed on my random blog.
So Eric and I went on holiday to Spain. In short, we had a fantastic time. In the long, we got to really explore the country. We both felt that Madrid was interesting but not the coolest Spanish city we have been too. We loved seeing some of the amazing works at the Prado and the Reina Sofia. Guernica, and Las Meninas took my breathe away. I am also a bigger fan of Goya. Though I don't think I'll hang any of his prints in my home anytime soon. Not very happy guy.
It was amazing to see works that I have studied so long in person. We took some day trips to Avila, and El Escorial. Learning along the way that 1. Train travel is awesome. 2. If you are going during Siesta things become very very quiet in small towns. 3. If you are going to a more mountainous area dress warmer. I about froze my tail off in Avila. 40 degree weather in a skirt and light jacket is coooold.
We also broadened our food love and tried anything and everything we had never seen before. It was great.
Next time I recap, we move southward to Toledo and Granada!
So today I realized that I haven't blogged anything since March. If you look above... the date is the 15th of September. I can't believe I've left it alone for so long. I was doing so good, but hey isn't that how life goes. (usually fad diets.)
Anyway I think I'll get back to it. It's a fun way to keep my life in order. For starters I'll back track and begin where I left off. My amazing road trip through Spain, along with some of the fun things I did this until now. Work wise finished up a nail salon, met Karim Rashid. If you don't know who he is I can guarantee he's influenced something you've seen, bought or used before. Some great concerts, lifestyle changes, (my first 5k!), cooking healthier, 2nd anniversary and other odds and ends along the way.
Oh and I also changed up my blog layout. It is still a work in progress but the old style from my wedding just had to go. It's been gasp 2 years!