Ermagerd! IKEA and The Petersiks!

Last Tuesday was literally one of the coolest days of my 20’s.  I had one of those “life made” moments, and the process began over a year ago.  I haven’t really talked much about WHY I began blogging in the first place but three inspirations all hit at once.

The first was Julie and Julia, the movie about a going-on-30 average lady blogging about her experiences with cooking from Julia Child’s recipe book.  The idea of doing something I love each day and sharing it with the world really appealed to me.  However, I really had NO idea where to go from there.  I am not much of a cook, but I do love sharing recipes with all my readers every other Friday.  But I wasn’t really feeling the home-chef niche.

Then came Sex and the City.  Carrie Bradshaw, though fictitious, is one fierce mama jama.  I really enjoyed her candid take on New York City, how her girlfriends functioned in relationships, and giving great insight into how love in the big city works.  But I live in South Carolina.  Around the time that I started thinking about blogging, there was plenty of drama to go around and there still is.  But I am not one to air out people’s dirty laundry to the masses, at least not with my name attached to it.  I actually began a blog under an alias, and began speaking about the craziness that was occurring all around me and my personal life.  But really, I wasn’t feeling well doing it, either.  I felt like a gossip blogger and there are really more than enough blogs out there that are fueled off of insanity.  Plus, what would happen to my own personal life if it began to catch on that it was me writing?  No good.  So I literally burned that blog.

Photo Courtesy of

Then came my true inspiration.  A “little” blog called  The story of a husband/wife/baby/dog family that was slowly fixing up the houses in which they lived into homes.  I fell in love.  I honestly became obsessed with their posts and devoured the information they were putting out into the world.  They weren’t really giving advice, but they were truly helping me as a home owner that, despite living in my Treehouse for 3 years, hadn’t really put my stamp on it.  I didn’t feel at home.  So I took a page from their book and I began Living Young and Wild and Free.  This blog chronicles my life, my loves in it, and my slow progress with making the Treehouse my home.  I really owe everything this blog is to John and Sherry who started a revolution for DIY bloggers.

                                                           Photo Courtesy of

They took this living room in their first home…

                                                    Photo Courtesy of

And made it look like this.  See where I got the idea for my living/dining area?

So you can understand my sheer excitement when I learned they were coming to the Charlotte area for the signing of their book.  I took an entire day off work, called my friend Bootin up, and he was more than happy to join me on the crazy adventure.

                   This is Bootin. He’s awesome and therefore he is good to hang out with me any random day.

What’s a day off work and heading up to Charlotte without going to IKEA first, though?  As you guys have read, I was excited to work on my new office space and that required great furniture at a cheap price.  That was the main reason behind our trip to IKEA, besides me basically window shopping in a big way.


Sometime in the future, I will warn you there will be a total bathroom renovation.  Tim has mentioned moving in at some point in time which is great in my opinion.  Possibly next year or the year after.  But I have done the whole one sink in the bathroom deal with another person living with me.  Not a fan.  It’s squished and I want my own space.  This is the Godmorgan model with four drawers, currently retailing at $600.  A little pricey for me, but it’s so pretty and the storage space is phenomenal!


I did a little window shopping for Tim as well.  He is going to be sprucing up the guest room in his house over the next few weeks and guess who has two thumbs and a lot of interior design know how?  This guy!  Anyways, the futon you see here folds out into a bed.  And this ain’t your crazy cousin Gilbert’s futon either that you crash on for the night and wake up with all kinds of lumps in your back.  This was cozy!


Call me insane all you want (Bootin was) but I really love this miniature walk-in pantry.  I think I could seriously swing this in the Treehouse with the help of a contractor.  Right now, I have about 9 square feet of floor space that could be used as a pantry.  Am I nuts here?  Should I at least get a quote for a built-in or opt for the pantry cabinet instead?  Cast your votes now in the comment box!


I’ve also always been a sucker for the built-in bench in the kitchen idea.  This is great for parties in the Treehouse because I can cook while my guests sit back, relax, and enjoy some wine.  This may not become a reality in the Treehouse but definitely in my next home, this will be happening.


Okay, fat chance of this ever getting pulled off in my house, but I truly love the kitchen/dining layout.  Major bonus points for the built-in wine bar in the dining area.  And who doesn’t love cherry cabinets?  I ask you!


Can you tell there is a kitchen renovation in the future?  I sure can.  And wine storage is a MUST in my next kitchen.  I love this great shelf.

Once Alex and I kissed IKEA goodbye after a very late lunch (BTW, make sure you actually do lunch and not late lunch, they scrape the bottom on the food there at those times), we headed down to Barnes and Noble at the UNC-Charlotte for the book signing.  Finding parking was a nightmare.  There were college kids everywhere and a yahoo in front of us was blaring Eminem while we waited.  We did find parking in the garage that let us walk right across to the student center.  I bought a coffee and we made our way up to the ballroom where the signing was taking place.DSCN1021

I am going to give MAJOR props to Bootin, because this guy held his own in a sea of women.  I will say, though, that he really had his pick.  The guy is adorable and SINGLE, which of course I broadcasted to the ladies around us.  They thought it was hilarious.  Fortunately for us, we were able to get front row seats.  I felt like a top student or something in a lecture hall.  I love the girl in the center of this photo who is smiling up a storm.  “I AM SO FREAKING HAPPY TO BE HERE!”


Bootin and I took a moment to document our awesome journey past the parking garage and I was pleased to say we were photobombed in the coolest way.  I’m-so-freaking-happy-to-be-here-girl is there too.


The big moment finally arrived, and John and Sherry stepped out.  It was unreal.  I wouldn’t say I was star struck, but I had been following these people online for almost a year and here they were in the flesh.  It’s like meeting a pen pal almost.  They listed their top 5 pointers for writing a blog into a book form, which wasn’t easy at all.  But they did an amazing job on the book.  They then allowed us to ask questions about the book as well as the blog.  I wanted to ask a question.  I had so many: How do you find the time to write?  Do you guys ever have design doubts?  I settled on a question and I threw my hand up in the air whenever they announced they could only take one more.  Sherry saw my hand shoot up amongst many, saw my blazer (which matched hers), pointed at me, and yelled “Blazer!”  I was a total dork and did a celebratory dance in my chair and asked them, “What is your DIY weakness?”  Sherry said mudding and sanding.  John said electrical but just because of the shock value.  It was pretty great being called on like that.


I wanted to give John and Sherry something to remember the Carolina’s by, so I gave them a custom-designed Bob Doster palmetto tree ornament to take home.  Apparently I wasn’t the only one that came bearing gifts of thanks for being so awesome.  The girl in front of me baked cookies for them.  Being a celebrity blogger definitely has its perks.  Fan swag, yeah man. Anyways, I got to the front of the line and I was able to get them to sign my book right under the picture of them.  The book is currently on my coffee table and will stay a staple in my DIY arsenal.


And here we all are.  Bootin took the picture for me, but it was so very awesome getting just a moment to say thanks to the people who got me started in the online oversharing business. I even got to hug them, during which Sherry accidentally hit my chest and quipped “Woops, boob graze there.” And I replied “You’re welcome.” Yep, that just happened.  We made it back to the car with me jumping up and down like a total fan girl.  It really doesn’t take much to make me happy.  Go visit if you haven’t already.  It is amazing!

Do you have heroes that you have always wanted to meet?  Did you get to meet them?  How did it go?

Also, don’t forget to sound off on the pantry in the kitchen: built-in or cabinet?

Leave comments below in the box.  I will comment back and follow you.


3 thoughts on “Ermagerd! IKEA and The Petersiks!

  1. Love the bench in the kitchen! Super cute. I bet you could do it – I’ve seen window seats on Pinterest from IKEA bookshelves turned sideways…..check it out.

    My hubs is a contractor and I HATE paying anyone to come and do stuff at my house. I think the cabinet is a better idea, unless you have a closet you can convert. I also like shelving between wall studs, but unless you’re really handy, that again calls for a contractor.

    • Yeah, I am starting to think the cabinet will be the less expensive/easier option. I will definitely need to get some estimates though to re-do the kitchen. It’s just awkward. And depending on what future husband wants to do, we could be hanging out here for the next 5 years. Thanks for the input! 🙂

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