Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Home with an H

It started as a mission of sorts, and ended as a joke. One we never forgot, one we talk about to this day.

When College Boy was going into 3rd grade and PurDude into 2nd grade, we moved to a bigger house. It was an exciting time, but a bit frantic as well. Our former house sold while we were on vacation on Cape Cod and the buyer wanted most of my furniture as well. Not only would I be furnishing and decorating a bigger house, but without most of what I currently owned. Part of me panicked, but part of me was thrilled, everything I pick out would fit this new home. How much fun would that be?

For the next 2 months I could be seen all over town, in every furniture store, department store, discount store, rug store, decorations boutiques, craft fairs, everywhere and anywhere. This house would represent me (us), piece by piece. And it did.

My favorite haunts were stores like TJ Maxx and Marshall's. Not just because I worked for one of their chains long ago, but because I loved sifting through items for one-of-a -kinds to put together myself as opposed to pre-packaged pairings. At the time, large wooden or metal decorative letters seemed to be everywhere in those stores. I decided to use them up on the wall by the ceiling between the kitchen and living room. I'd spell out "home" with the "h" in the corner of the kitchen wall and the "o m e" beside the "h" over the opening to the living room. In this store and that I picked up the "o", the "m" and the "e". They sat on the kitchen desk as I scoured town looking for an "h".

The kids and I would laugh at the "ome". In fact, the more I searched the more they'd laugh. "Just put it up, mom, it'll be like the yoga mantra". Every time they walked by that desk they'd close their eyes, hold up their hands with their fingertips together and chant "ome, ome, ome". Never having found the elusive "h", I eventually returned the other 3 letters. It's just not "home" without the "h".

Fast forward to now. I wrote a few weeks ago about PurDude accepting his first job. Considering he could have ended up anywhere, I was thrilled that the one he accepted was here, downtown. I figured he'd live with us for a while. Not so much. PurDude is a master sleeper. The only person I've ever known to sleep this much was my grandfather (alav ha shalom). Apparently the 45 minute commute both ways on Interstate 80 in rush hour traffic was infringing on his sleeping time, so he targeted an area within walking distance to work and went apartment hunting. He found just what he wanted, falling in love with a former warehouse built around 1900 on a cobblestone street in the heart of the Old Market. He applied and if accepted, he planned to move on September 1st, the Saturday of Labor Day weekend.

Home with an H, picking a first apartment | Picture is the property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #family #parenting
 The outside of the building.
Home with an H, picking a first apartment | Picture is the property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #family #parenting
There's a coffee shop next door and even a restaurant he can enter from the lobby.
Home with an H, picking a first apartment | Picture is the property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #family #parenting
The atrium has seating areas, a water feature, coffee bar, entrance to a restaurant and straight ahead between those white columns are 2 glass elevators.

Home with an H, picking a first apartment | Picture is the property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #family #parenting
The roof has a pool, a hot tub, multiple seating areas and grills with a view of the river, the city, and the building where he works. A woman we met there says you can hear concerts from the casinos across the river on summer nights. There's also a weight room and a social room on that level.
 
He didn't hear anything until the Monday before the first. The agent who had been working with him was on vacation the previous week when PurDude's approval came through and no one else picked up the ball so she didn't inform him until she returned. OK, he's moving in 5 days and has nothing. Nothing. Nothing is also what bothers this kid but his mom, she was in a panic.

Let me step back a minute and tell you that we never got PurDude a graduation gift. We wanted it to be memorable, but just didn't know what.

Hubs and I talked and we just knew that this was it. We would fully furnish and outfit his first apartment including renter's insurance for his first year, leasing a U-Haul for moving and dinner for any friends who helped with the move. 

To start, PurDude walked through my house and picked out some things he wanted: a bedroom set from one of the guest bedrooms, a lounge chair, coffee table, demi table, couch (which he didn't take as I ended up buying him one), my Crate and Barrel dishes, glasses, mugs and silverware. OK, that was a start. But I had so much more to design and buy and a few days to do it. 

What I did in 2 months for the family move, I compressed into 3 shop-til-you drop (almost literally) days this time. For the most part, he was happy to let me make choices, but for anything I wanted his opinion on, I'd take pics in the stores and he'd text back his choices. In what I can only characterize as a miracle, I put the whole place together. Saturday family and friends would move him in. Sunday we'd do a final shop together for food and supplies and would do the unpacking and decorating (I decorated the entryway, he will buy wall art as he sees things he likes). The kitchen would be outfitted including a Kureg, probably the only thing he'll use. Chances are no food would be prepared there, he'd mostly eat out, bring food in or, now and then, have it delivered by mom.

Spicy Taco Chicken Sandwiches are a lunch with a kick. Grilled Taco Chicken, melted pepper jack slathered with chipotle dressing and topped with crunchy jalapenos. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #sandwich
Spicy Taco Chicken Sandwich

Before I wrote this post, I asked on my Facebook page if you'd like to see what we'd done this weekend. There were so many lovely comments like" Of course! We have seen him through college, he is part ours too. #FBFamily 😊❤️" So with PurDude's permission (well, maybe I didn't ask his permission per se, but I did inform him), here's what was accomplished in just 5 days:

Welcome

Home with an H, picking a first apartment | Picture is the property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #family #parenting 
 Looking down his hallway from the living room towards the front door. There are 4 little sunk-in nooks in the brick wall which I had fun decorating.


Home with an H, picking a first apartment | Picture is the property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #family #parenting
This demi table he took from my house and is now in the first nook, closest to the front door.


Home with an H, picking a first apartment | Picture is the property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #family #parenting

In the second nook I put this metal art piece with 3 trunks below. Still needs something else . . .


Home with an H, picking a first apartment | Picture is the property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #family #parenting
This lantern tree is from our house too and is in the third smaller nook right across from the kitchen. There's a fourth nook that's in the living room and will perfectly hold his kegerator. Oy.

Home with an H, picking a first apartment | Picture is the property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #family #parenting

I did the bathroom in blacks, greys and browns. There are 2 doors, this pic was taken from the hallway, the door you see on the right near the shower leads to the laundry room which came equipped with a washer and dryer. His bedroom is on the other side so you can get to the bathroom from the bedroom or from the hall.


Home with an H, picking a first apartment | Picture is the property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #family #parenting
He took the bedroom furniture from one of my guest rooms and chose the bedding from 2 I sent pictures of in a text from the store. There are 3 closets in total. Where the desk chair is in this pic there is now a desk to go with it.

Home with an H, picking a first apartment | Picture is the property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #family #parenting
The bedroom from the other side. The door by the wooden post leads to the laundry room, then to the bathroom.

Home with an H, picking a first apartment | Picture is the property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #family #parenting
The living room. The coffee table and rocker/recliner came from my house. The doors lead out to a small deck. The TV will go into his bedroom, he now has a larger one for the living room.

Home with an H, picking a first apartment | Picture is the property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #family #parenting

The deck is small but he absolutely wanted an outdoor space no matter how small. It fits 2 chairs and the garden table that came from my house. He may eventually put an electric grill out there.


Home with an H, picking a first apartment | Picture is the property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #family #parenting
He chose not to have a dining table as he doesn't feel he'd use it. It can always be added later, for now I found him 3 bar stools where he and friends can eat.

Just before leaving I placed one last gift for him on his kitchen counter. A small thing really, but one I hope brings a smile to his face every day.
 
Home with an H, picking a first apartment | Picture is the property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #family #parenting
Home. With an "H".
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Spicy Taco Chicken Sandwiches        
                                                               ©www.BakingInATornado.com

Printable Recipe

NOTE: This recipe calls for my Grilled Taco Chicken. When I make this for dinner I make extra and refrigerate for use in these sandwiches.

Ingredients (per sandwich):
1  to 1 1/2 pieces of Grilled Taco Chicken (depending on the size of your roll)
1 Italian sub roll
1 1/2 slices Pepper Jack cheese
2 TBSP Chipotle Ranch dressing (more for dipping)
lettuce
1/4 cup crispy jalapenos 

Directions:
*Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Wrap the leftover Grilled Taco Chicken in tin foil and place in oven for about 20 minutes or until warm.
*Toast the roll, place the cheese inside, wrap in tin foil and place in the oven with the chicken for 10 minutes or until the cheese has melted.
*Remove the roll from the oven. Carefully separate the top from the bottom. Spread half of the Chipotle Ranch dressing on each side of the roll. 
*Remove the chicken from the oven. Put the lettuce on the bottom of the roll. Top with the chicken, then the crispy jalapenos.
*OPT: Serve with additional Chipotle Ranch dressing for serving.

16 comments:

  1. Wonderful! And now you'll get to replace those things in your house that he took. The hunt continues.

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  2. What a great apartment, I would live there!!!!

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  3. This is wonderful! And that 'home' brought tears to my eyes!

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  4. I love what you did with his space! Wanna come do mine?
    Congrats PurDude and yes you are ours now also.
    HOME, no place like it, H or not

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Minette, it was exhausting but fun to see it all come together.

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  5. Yeah when our children move into their own place it is a chance for us to update our stuff by replacing all the stuff we have given them

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    Replies
    1. True in so many cases. In my case I'm just going to call it downsizing.

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  6. OOOH I want his place! Gorgeous! I love warehouses turned apartments/condo. You did a great job and he is a blessed young man to have such a loving and talented mom.
    "home" on the counter! I LOL and love it!! I hope he loves it as much as you loved doing it for him.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Dawn, I think he'll be very happy there.

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  7. oh man, I am super jealous. I always wanted to live in a place like that. It's gorgeous.

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    Replies
    1. I know, right? He worked very hard in college and I'm so happy that it's paying off for him.

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  8. His place reminds me so much of my first apartment with the brick and exposed piping, absolutely love it. What a great support system he has to help him get everything picked up, moved and settled! I think he's going to be super comfortable there at home while he starts this new leg in life!

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    Replies
    1. What a cool first apartment you must have had. I just love the look (and the fact that he picked it out himself).

      Delete

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