Portfolios & Skinny Cows Go Hand in Hand

This weekend was just plain crazy! On top of all the errands I had to run, I also needed to finalise my letter of intent and portfolio for the grad school application deadline which is tomorrow.

Now I knew that I was going to be really crammed for time with two kids, a house to run and a portfolio to do. So I sent a scanned copy of my printed portfolio to a friend in Egypt and asked if he could do me a huge favour and make a new Photoshop one for me. My friend said yes, I was indebted one huge favour, but I could rest easier knowing that it was going to be done by someone else and I could focus on writing a killer ‘Letter of intent’. Then Friday afternoon I got my portfolio back and I cringed with horror. I could tell that my friend had put in a lot of effort to help me out, and I was appreciative, but I was also devastated. It was so not me. And now I had only two days to start from scratch and put together a hastily constructed portfolio.


My friend’s well meaning design

Thankfully with some help from my awesome husband I was able to finish it at 1am last night and get it uploaded on the admissions site. It meant a sleepless and stress-racking weekend. But at least I was done. And the effects of that weekend have finally caught up with me today; I’m moping around the house trying to get anything done but failing miserably. I could barely get myself to write this blog. I have chicken thawing in the sink taunting me, my house is upside down due to the post weekend antics of two boys (Monday is my house cleaning day) and I’m eating like a pig.

Portfolio - first page copy

Right now I’m contemplating pulling out my Skinny Cow ice cream from the fridge and plonking down in front of the TV with Jo and an episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and I realised what exactly I was signing up for. One weekend of stress-filled deadlines and I’m already acting cuckoo. How in the hell am I going to survive two years of grad school – that is if I get accepted of course.

Oh well – what’s done is done – now where is my Skinny Cow ice-cream?


Renovating – Or In My Case Novating

I’m sitting here on the floor writing this post. Why am I sitting on the floor? Because I have no living room couch. I have a TV stand, a small bookcase, a children’s table and two chairs and an endless supply of beige carpets and walls. And you all know how much I love the colour beige (ugh – puke).

My lovely, lovely home

My lovely, lovely home

So, my unfortunate lack furniture may not be that bad except I cannot invite anyone, and I mean anyone, to my house. Being an interior designer, this house rains so much shame on me that I’m drowning in it. We have an old Egyptian saying that goes “The carpenter’s door is always in need of repair.” If you didn’t get that, all you need to know is shame on me, shame on me, shame on me for having a house looking like this. I can’t even invite Adam’s classmates over for a play date (enter the pity sighs).

But we’re finally taking action and buying some key furniture pieces for our house after our trip to Vancouver. And there is my dilemma. I’m totally lost, I don’t know what to do. I can’t make a mood board because I can’t change the walls or carpets and I refuse to work with beige. I don’t know what sizes to buy because I don’t know how long we’re staying here and what size our next house will be. And I don’t know whether to save and buy everything I need or splurge and by piece-by-piece.

Since I don’t know many stores here yet, I have to go with the big brand names. I also have a very modern, simple taste, so some of the stores like The Brick and Sears are not my type of thing. And while I love IKEA, and all, I can’t fully furnish my house from it. But if I go over to Potter Barn or Crate & Barrel or Ethan Allen I won’t be able to buy everything I need, I may get a great couch but end up putting my computer on the floor because there is no desk.

So here is the list of my current furniture needs. These are the basic needs. I’m not even thinking luxury items. Carpets and lamps can wait.

– A bed: I sleep on a mattress on the floor. But that I think is settled. I’m buying this one:

The Hemnes bed in this colour

The Hemnes bed in this colour

– A couch: So, so many options. Looking for a small two seater in a dark colour. Should I get IKEA? Or a beautiful C&B or PB one? What’s the difference? IKEA is around $900. PB & C&B range from $1700-$2500.

PB, so pretty but $1800? Ouch     

– Chair: I want to get this lazy boy. I had it in my home in Egypt and it was solo comfortable. But I also love all those upholstered chairs out there, so pretty. And I don’t know which to get.


– A desk with a filing cabinet and a working table. Our home computer and printer is currently in a box on the floor. I’m going back and forth between the PB set or the IKEA extremely modern desk (which I would mix and match storage and working table with). They are two totally different styles. And the problem is, if I get everything I need they will set me back from $900 (IKEA) to $1200 (PB).

The PB Workspace set but in black

The PB Workspace set but in black

The IKEA option

The IKEA option

– Book case:  But that is easy too because eI’m doing the Hemnes serious. II’m just adding units to the one I currently have to make a complete system.  But I need to decide which wall to put it up against as that will affect how many units I buy.


– Coffee table: A nice to have but I can ignore for awhile. I would an upholstered ottoman but haven’t seen one I like.

Now that you’re all aware of my dilemma, any advice? I’m pretty sure my husband will be extremely grateful if you helped me make up my mind.

Perfect Box For KCups

I bought this new tea box in Egypt before we moved. I put in our tea varieties and since its only my husband who drinks tea it came down to only one; English Breakfast.

On the other hand I need to buy a KCup drawer for my new Keurig but decided to postpone the expense. So, there I was with tons of KCups and no place to put them and a tea box that was only 1/8h full.

So presto, problem solved. Took out the dividers from the tea box and now I have the best (and prettiest) KCup drawer ever. Even if it only holds 12. Now I only need to buy a tea box for the tea packets.