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Via. Original.

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Lately I’ve been getting to a bunch of projects around the house that had previously been forgotten. It feels good to attend to those small things around the house that irritate me; improving one tiny thing after another. So far I’ve:

  • replaced the boob light fixture above my desk with this paper lantern
  • installed hooks for guests to hang towels on
  • mounted my favourite vintage door knob and escutcheon as a closet curtain tie back; also, finally hemmed that curtain
  • finally got a bath mat that the bunny won’t destroy
  • sanded and Danish oiled plywood that will soon be a new desktop surface, and a new dresser surface for the guest room
  • organized the closet (what a relief!)
  • touch-up painted around the apartment (more of this to do)
  • hung a world map in the guest room, and strung up all the thank-you notes I’ve received :)
  • re-arranged the bedroom furniture so that there’s enough space for my yoga mat
  • drop a huge load of stuff at goodwill
  • re-organize and clean the back stairwell so it’s no longer scary

These things have kept me busy these last few weeks. I’m realizing how much I enjoy designing and improving my environment. My mood, energy levels, and ability to focus are greatly influenced by my environment, and I feel so much more focused and purposeful. It’s the same feeling as balancing one’s checkbook. Anyway, this weekend I hosted a lovely French couple and their three year-old daughter Aimee. She was so sweet and well-behaved! It was impressive to see how her parents hovered over, constantly encouraging her to talk clearly, walk slowly, and play gently. What lovely people! Saturday night we went to the grocery store together, and they invited me to eat dinner with them. See that lovely salad below – with avocado, tomatillos, and grapefruit!  I tucked in early, then spend all of Sunday in Lakeview celebrating LOVE.

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LOVE makes a family.
Happy #PRIDE!

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A few months ago, I started renting out my spare bedroom on Airbnb! They hooked me up with a super nice photographer who took these lovely shots for free…

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I added some info about us and the neighborhood, and the requests started pouring in!

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Originally, renting out the room was just a way to justify furnishing it (would you believe I only spent about $430 for everything in the room, paid off after 3 visitors!), but it’s also really easy and fun. Most of the guests are young, adventurous, and friendly travelers. Some come to Chicago to visit friends, others pass through on epic road trips, and other just to see the sights. I LOVE Chicago, and introducing it to newcomers is so rewarding. I love hearing where they choose to explore, if they liked my restaurant suggestions, and their insights on the city in general. Plus, I really love hosting and sharing this apartment I love with others. I get the giggles when I put clean towels and new miniature-toiletries out for each guest. And who doesn’t like making a pretty tray with coffee and tea in the morning?

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It sounds odd to invite strangers into your home (and give them the keys!), but it’s actually totally cool. My guests trust us to not harm them in the same way that I trust them to not harm our apartment. Plus, Airbnb offers great insurance. And as you can see, I don’t really have anything worth stealing. My treasured items are my desks, my sewing machine, and of course, Hurricane the bunny:

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Lucy apparently loves flowers. She kept trying to eat it!

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What does a lifetime supply of hamster food look like?

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Little friends.

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Super healthy hamster!

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I can has sunflower seed?
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