Another semester completed! And this was a BUSY one! Luckily, I only had one major project class. The others were much less work including History of Interiors, Interior Systems, Professional Practice, and Advanced Design Communication. But, nonetheless, it was CRAZY trying to juggle five classes, work, mommy life, and being a wife. I have to admit, there were times I thought I had made the dumbest decision to take that class load on. However, I signed up for my last classes and applied for graduation yesterday! Whoop! My last semester will be 19 credit hours... Yeahhhhh... I know. 

But, I do what I can to graduate quickly! I mainly just don't want to be in school the entire time Elaina is little. :) So I'm looking forward to being finished in the Spring!

First, I want to give a big shout out to my family and friends who are always so supportive. My family and John take on different times of entertaining Elaina and helping us out. John made so many quesadillas and grilled cheese over the last month and gave E so many baths and bedtime stories. And I felt so blessed this last week to have friends who called/texted to check on me, pray for me, and encourage me during this hectic time. It really lifted me up to have their encouragement! We were even treated to a meal the night before my project was due by our friends! I tell you what, even in these times that seem so small and piddly compared to what others deal with, yet so stressful, we are blessed with people who care. And I'm always grateful for that.

So now. 

My project class was Contract Design which is a huge field in itself. It ranges of course, but initially includes healthcare, education, and all other public buildings. We never get to choose our own projects of course, but this project was a bit different. How? Well, here's the simple answer. We were able to choose a target group for a healthcare facility of some kind that we would design using a building shell and Evidence Based Design. EBD is also rapidly growing for designers and architects. When a particular project is complete, further research is done to see outcomes of how the building/interior affects its occupants. When successes are found, they are documented for future designers and architects to relate back to for similar projects. You get the jist of it...

Our goal was to choose a target group and research as much as possible about that group and what a healthcare facility (and its finishes and fixtures more importantly) could do to help them. We began the entire project in a vague way. We had no building shell to begin with or to look at for our programming and concept plan stages.
We were given the thought to use the design organization from a previous canvas painting assignment to really show a process of our plan... Here was my painting... 

Hey! Be nice! It was my first (and maybe last) canvas painting after all! I'm a watercolor person...

But really, this assignment was mainly to discuss design organization like radial design, central design, grid, cluster, and linear. And other principles within space like, transformation, hierarchy, symmetry, rhythm, and so on. These terms are definitely vague and commonly used among the architect crowd when planning developments, etc and not so much in our everyday terms. But it was very interesting and knowledge to be carried with me for years. Can you guess which organization I used???! 

(say cluster, say cluster!!!)

I digress. 

So off we went on our research. This was the super easy part for me. I knew exactly what my target group would be by the time my teacher spit out the "Tar-" in Target Group. Most everyone knows I have a previous degree in Child Development that specifically focused on children with autism. I love all the little buddies I made throughout those years. And autism is one of those disorders that has and will always have a place in my heart. So naturally, my first and probably last project that I get to pick my client/group, would have to involve those with autism. Done and done. Now, I did have to research of course. With my first degree, research was everything. I can do research. However, my degree focus was in children, and I wanted, this time, to focus on young adults and adults with autism. Young adults and adults with autism are often left behind in the community and in healthcare. Sure we have developmental centers for young ones for therapy and even older low functioning adults with many different developmental disorders. But there's not always focus on a design to meet the needs specifically of autism spectrum disorders. So I jumped in to research over current facilities and yup, you guessed it, evidence based design. 

I won't go into too much detail because it's 8-10 weeks of process on our part. But we initially go through the design process with concept plans, early development, and into making those decision within our plan that meet the needs of our target group, codes, etc. We work with our teachers and peers to get feedback and constructive criticism over our planning and concepts. After this, we begin our actual development. Planning spaces and how that correlates with egress (emergency exiting for those who don't understand my terminology), lighting, electrical, ceiling heights, appropriate finishes, etc and develop construction plans accordingly. Long processes that no one except the contractors ever usually see. 

The very last step for our class, is to show that process on boards. Usually, for a client, I would not show boards like this. There would less research and organization process and more building details and specifics. However, we working on accreditation, and needed to show this process. These are 30" x 42" but I could have easily used a larger size.

These boards usually take a week for me to do only because I get that designer perfection itch on a usual basis and like to change things, try new ideas, and make them better than the first draft. However, I only had time to do these in less than 24 hours! The due date just flew up on all of us and left me scrambling to finish. But I finished and was able to tweak a few things according to the feedback of my teachers. 

And now... I present... The Bridge

For the renderings, I intentionally tried a new style for myself. I chose digital watercolor, because I don't have any representation of watercolor in my portfolio. I wanted to create a more sketched look verses real life photos through this particular project. I love the way it turned out. It would be cool to someday show how this look differs from an advanced rendered stage if I ever time to re-render the project.

Software used on this project includes; Revit, Photoshop, SketchUp (small ideation renderings), Illustrator, and Hand-drafting/Hand-Rendering (first section view).

These works and designs are property of Michelle Volkerding. Do not copy or reproduce without permission.


Elaina's third birthday is only a few weeks behind us. It came and went pretty quickly, and Elaina Mae had a blast! I was very surprised by how excited she was and how social she was with her little friends and relatives. Going into everything, we had decided to hold her party at our home for simplicity. Her first birthday had a larger guest list so we had rented a space. Last year, we kept her party to our immediate families and god parents. This year, we thought it would be fun to have her regular play group friends over as well as her cousins! We originally planned for a few activities outside though we knew it could be slightly cold. But we thought that'd balance out having everyone over to our house. Well,it turned out to be freezing cold and snowy that very day! So we crammed all 40 of us in our home. Thankfully, we had the playroom to use for the kids. Thanks to everyone for being troopers and squeezing in with us! But really it was super fun and I think all of the kids had a good time!

Now everyone knows that I love a good themed party. I love all the big details down to the smaller special details. So of course this year wouldn't be any different. But really, we did keep most things simple and I used a majority of things we already had.

I really tried to get Elaina in on the ideas as I knew this was the first year she'd really care.
So this year, we were SUPER close to having a Firetruck party! I made the invite and had party supplies saved in my Amazon account, when we changed the idea a month before. Elaina has always had a fascination with firetrucks and especially loved them this year. About a month before the party, we were browsing our local party store when Elaina kept grabbing all of the balls in the bins. Anyone who knows her, knows that she loves any type of ball. Her favorite toy for sure since she was little. So we got the idea for a ball party; complete with ball games. Elaina loved the idea! So off I went designing the card off of the previous firetruck invite I had designed. They were very simple to do and turned out great! I had a little run-down with Staples (printer changing the colors, cutting them slanted, etc) so I had a little frustration with the initial invitation party. But I was limited on time at that point. So we mailed them off!

I also planned for a few games/activities that I thought the kids would like. We settled on a Gumball necklace making station and a ball pit!

I purchased supplies for gumball necklaces and bracelets. Most of the supplies came from Etsy but I ended up finding a pink ribbon at our local Walmart. 

Elaina liked playing with them the night before and even helped me make a few of her own necklaces.

The day before we picked out her outfit. She already had an adorable white A-line flowy dress I had found at Old Navy a couple weeks before and we sat down and made a necklace for her dress. 

And we paused on the day of her party to snap a few pics of her!




She was such a goofball! I ended up bribing her with a little sweet tea for the last photo. :) The large "3" balloon is from Amazon. We had our local party store blow it up for us with the other balloons we purchased.

Right before the party, as tradition, we had our annual pic in a pic taken by my sister. 
I absolutely love this tradition! It's so cool to have displayed in our home and to see how we change through the years!

As for the decor, I tried to keep everything as simple as I could. I made the "Happy Birthday" banner earlier this year. I chose white and gold sparkle because I'll be able to use it every year that way.

We also kept the snacks to the theme but also simple and healthy to offset all of that SUGAR!!
We had Cuties, grapes, round carrots, cheeseballs, sausage balls.

The cupcakes were yellow cake/Strawberry icing made by Schnucks. I found gold toppers on Etsy and we were actually able to save them for next year!

Elaina's candle/smash cake was also made by Schnucks for FREE and I added the black polka dots cake decor that I had purchased from Etsy awhile back. I found the tall gold candles at Target I think. And the gold "3" candle at a local boutique. It was a sparkler candle!!!!


I made water bottle sleeves very easily with her invite in mind. And the black and white polka dot straws were purchased quite awhile back. I can't remember exactly where I got them but possible Target or Hobby Lobby.

We served Blue Raspberry Lemonade (delish!) and Sweet Tea (OF COURSE).

We had TONS of cupcakes!!!!!!


We kept the favors simple. I always like to give a little something to the guests who give time out of their day for us! So we gave gumballs! I found the gumballs on Amazon and I had these paper baggies from another project. I printed labels out and Viola! Done!


Taking a break for some snacks...

THE BALL PIT was a success! We had the idea for a ball pit when Elaina helped us pick the theme. We thought the easiest way would be to buy a large blow up swimming pool and then fill it. The pool was found on Amazon and I found the balls on eBay in packs of 20 from a distributor. When we realized our friends had thought of doing a ball pit for their son too, we teamed up to share the ball pit for both of our parties. 

And it started snowing as her party was ending! We LOVE snow so it was a perfect ending to the day!
All in all, it was a great day. Elaina and the other kids seemed to have a blast! 
Happy Third Birthday to our girl!
I wonder what next year will bring....


It's that time again! The downward slide of the week!

Today, for Wallcovering Wednesday, I've chosen a pattern from National Wallcovering's fun stock of wallcovering. I love their selections and I actually had a hard time choosing from the selection they have. However, Tweed Embroidery jumped at me! I love the color palette they provide and how it has a whimsical feel to it while still remaining a modern piece. I'm not entirely sure if I'd go so far to use it to cover an entire room, but an accent wall or two? It'd be perfect! It's soft enough that I would LOVE to specify the Sheep's Wool colorway as an accent wall in a nursery! How sweet would that be?!

 There are many other colorways for this one as well. Tea House Tan gives a shimmery silver look, while Cottage Stone has more bronze in it. Both gorgeous!
See full details and additional colors here at national wallcovering's website!

friday favorite

Yay for Friday! This Friday's Favorite goes to Benjamin Moore's Gray Owl paint color.
We chose this color on a project I've been on recently, and it was perfect. The perfect gray for me! We will definitely have this color in our next home, and possibly even our current one if we aren't moved by the time I absolutely find myself needing to paint again.

SketchUp Master Bedroom Rendering

Sometimes, more is, well, more.

This is a recent project we were assigned that allowed us to have fun with graphics, etc. In class, we never really get to throw a space together and render it without all of the other specifications, extensive looks into codes, etc. So this mini project gave me a bit of a break and allowed me to focus strictly on graphics for a change!  

SketchUp Master Bedroom Mini Project

SketchUp plug-in rendering/photoshop

Finish Board

SketchUp/ Quick Photoshop before plug-in rendering

Wallcovering Wednesday

It's Wednesday! At noon today, we're on the downward slide of the week! To celebrate, let's do a Wallcovering Wednesday! This one is a really cool texture, hammered look that would look awesome as an accent wallcovering in a foyer, bedroom, etc. Everyone who knows me, knows that I'm a sucker for Gold, so that particular color is my choice! But the Opulent color really stood out to me as well. How gorgeous would that color and texture be in a neutral color-schemed space?

Check out the many other colors through this link! By: D.L. Couch 

Textile Tease

One of my favorite textiles lately! We received a sample of Ribbon-Aqua one day at work while working on a project. I absolutely loved it for some reason. I think it's the combination of gold and aqua that did it for me. And not to mention the geometrical/aztec-like print that's been back "in" lately. I really want to find a reason to use this one at some point.

By: StratfordHall Textiles 

Oh how I'd love to create fabric names someday!

My oily experience so far

I’ve really been holding off on a post like this. I don't think I'll be posting things like this often on here because that's not what this blog is really about. 

Sure, I technically “advertise” that I use essential oils on my social media pages, but mainly because I’m amazed at how much these therapeutic grade oils have helped me and I like to share my life with my friends and loved ones. Facebook and Instagram are the easiest ways to include my friends and family in even the tiniest of fun things going on in my life. I’ve really only been a Young Living member for a little over three months now. That’s really not very long. But I have friends and acquaintances that have been using them for much longer time with numerous results! I wanted to wait to really dig in deep until I had actually tried them for a few months and wanted to see whether they really would work on me. But lately, I have so many people asking me "what's up with essential oils?" 

In just three months, I’ve seen many different kinds of oils work their little God-given magic (because let’s be honest, He gave us the plants and knowledge of how to use them). I sound like a tree-hugger. But in all honesty, I went out on a limb (see what I did there?) buying my first set of oils. I had my mom and a friend of hers telling me how they worked and all the different uses.  I was skeptical as all get out. BUT, my mom is no liar. My mom’s friend is no liar. I thought, “Well, I guess if I don’t like them, I can just stop buying and give them to my mom.”

One of Young Living’s biggest perks to me is that you’re not in “it” for life if you don’t want to be/they won’t hassle you for more money or purchases. They will let you know of monthly promotions and even cool tips about the oils, which is the same as any other company. You won’t be bugged by a rep every month to place an order. You may have a referral member or sponsor, but it’s not the same as a pyramid company. You can purchase the oils yourself at retail price on your own at You have to become a retail member, but it’s the same as being customer at J If you decide to become a wholesale price member {meaning you will get 24% off every product}, then you do have to purchase the starter kit as a one-time purchase {a GREAT deal by the way especially to get you started} and you would need to purchase at least $50 per YEAR on your account. If you like the oils, that won’t be a problem. If you don’t want to spend the $50, then fine. No biggie. You just won’t be a wholesale member after that one year period after your first purchase is up. You can also sign up for a program call Essential Rewards; a monthly automatic shipment that will allow you to earn points on your purchases if you really like the oils. I will say, these are an investment. Some oils are not cheap. But neither are some of the medications we've had to buy. But they last an incredibly long time. And Young Living monthly promotions are awesome!

I digress.

I thought that, it’s worth a try given the scoliosis and hip/pelvis issues I’ve had. Not to mention, seasonal allergies and the like. Health insurance is expensive. It’s not that we are going to stop going to the doctor to get our yearly exams or for anything a little more serious, but hey, less man-made medication for headaches, tummy aches, acne, and all kinds of little ailments, the better I suppose. And we'll have an all-in-one medicine cabinet instead of buying tons of creams, pills, and weird ointments that have who-knows-what in them! My mom had also boasted of the quick response/recovery she had with using essential oils. I was VERY interested in that. So my sister and I got our starter kits and immediately loved them. All the oils are absorbed by your skin and leave no greasy feeling.

What I also like is that Young Living oils are therapeutic grade oils. Meaning, you can ingest them, put them on your skin (some require dilution by coconut/olive/or any other vegetable oil), and diffuse them into the air. I am unsure of any other brand that would pass the testing that Young Living’s oils pass. You cannot just go to a health food store and buy therapeutic grade oils. DO NOT ingest health food store oils. I wouldn’t even use them on my skin in all honesty. I’ve learned that all Young Living farms and partner farms are supposed to be on virgin soil (meaning no pesticides or any yucky stuff has ever been added to plants, etc on the land). And after harvest and the whole process, each batch of oils are analyzed and inspected for trace amount of anything but the actual essential oils. Honestly, I’m not really 100% sure on the entire process without using the educational material that Young Living provides. Believe it. Don’t believe it. Visit a Young Living farm for proof I suppose. J

The main reason I’m posting this long mess is to give some of my personal experiences in a little more detail and to have them in one place. Also for little tidbits that aren’t always very obvious when first starting out with the oils. I’ve learned these from forums, informational packets, members, and personal experience. So here goes:

Never put oils in any drinking containers made of foam or plastic. The oils are so potent that they will “eat” the foam right on through (I tried it once) and plastic has lots of yucky stuff that can be pulled out by the oils. So always use glass. My mom insists on US made glass too. J You can also use metal cups. Just use your best judgment. If you are drinking the liquid very quickly within a few minutes, plastic isn’t bad for a quick use. But glass works wonderfully.

Water “strengthens” the effects of the oils. If you’re putting peppermint on your temples or forehead and you get some in your eye, don’t panic. It won’t hurt you at all but it may feel extra cool and irritating for a short time. But don’t try to flush your eye out with water. Use an olive oil or similar to help dilute the oil. Likewise, if you put a wet towel over your forehead after application for a headache, it does help the peppermint to feel stronger in my opinion. You can also use water to temporary reactivate a spot where you applied oil earlier.

One drop will suffice in many cases!!! More does not mean better. In the large bottles, there are like 300 drops... So use your math. The big bottles should last quite a while. I'm on month two of my large lemon, peppermint, and lavender bottles. I use them everyday multiple times a day and I haven't even hit the half way mark. So remember that when you're buying.

Melaleuca Alternifolia – Do not let animals get in touch with this one. Even diluted, it can make them sick or worse. I do use this in a blended oil that I use. But mainly for my legs and I always cover them afterwards until it’s soaked in. So far, we’ve not had any problems with our yorkie getting in touch with it.

These below are my personal experiences. Obviously, I can’t guarantee that every person will have the same result as I have.

1. My first experience began when I started the essential oil “allergy shots.”
A drop or two of each into juice, coconut water, or whatever. I used Ningxia Red wolfberry juice for a while because it came with the giant starter kit we purchased. After I ran out of Ningxia Red, I just started adding it to a super small glass of water, chugging it, and then washing it down with big gulps of regular water because I don’t particularly love the taste of lavender and peppermint mixed. LOL! Having said this, remember what I said about waters effects on the oils. (If you get lavender or peppermint on your lips when drinking, you’ll feel the effects on your lips but not to worry it will go away soon and the lavender is actually great for your lips). I’ve not had any of my regular seasonal allergies for three months during the spring and early summer using this “shot” every day. I will notice a flare-up if I forget for a few days in a row. If I feel particularly stuffy, I use the roll-on Breathe Again right under my nose and then rub a little Purification each side of my nose. That has always done the trick. I have a runny nose usually within ten minutes and it stop after I blow my nose once. And it’s gone. Poof. Seriously, I can’t even… I just did this last night right before bed because I felt unusually stuffy and knew it’d be worse in the morning. A bit of Purification later and I woke up like it never happened.

2. My second experience is again, with Purification. I wasn’t quite sure if it would really work on what I needed it to. I do not have bad acne. I do have issues with large pores, but only about once a month do I get an actual pimple. I get really small less noticeable ones, but I get those really super deep pimples (the ones that are really red and sore first and show up later) on my nose. I hate them. I always want to mess with them and then I usually end up with a sore or scab and it takes two weeks to go away! So far, in three months, like clockwork, I’ve had three of these (once per month) begin to form on my nose. The difference this time, is that I used Purification a couple times a day for two days on the spot. And voila! Gone. It would be a little red and definitely sore. But the soreness would stop and the redness would stop in its tracks and go away. Pretty awesome.

3. Lavender. I use lavender in lots of things. But I also use it for dry skin on my face. I get dry and cracked skin on the corners of my mouth every spring. They don’t go away. It’s just… yuck. So I began using a little lavender in the spots and of course, a day or two later, the spots are completely healed. The dryness does come back if I don’t use the lavender at least once a week in those spots.
4. My post-shower oil/diaper rash soother
10 drops of lavender
10 drops of Melalueca Alternifolia
¼ cup of coconut oil
Combine all in small glass jar. Store in cool, dry area.
This year, I have had the WORST dry skin. I mean, like itchy legs all the time. I thought it was the dry weather and it could very well be from hard city water. But it continues to be that way unless I use this stuff after every time I shower. And it also works wonders for soothing diaper rash for Elaina.

5. Lemon, Orange, and Grapefruit in water (all together or separate) are amazing! Very refreshing!

6. I was very tired one night during a final project. I had a deadline coming super-fast at me. I remember feeling very stressed and tired at 9pm after putting our daughter down to sleep. I rubbed Frankincense on my feet, put some socks on, and also diffused Frankincense in my diffuser, prayed a prayer to God for energy, and began my work. After an hour, I noticed how very concentrated and focused I was. I was still tired but kept going. Three A.M. rolled around and I was still up and focused and finished part of my entire project. Not sure if it was a fluke, but most likely the power of prayer and maybe the focus from the Frankincense. J I did add Frankincense and Valor to my feet this morning before work. I have noticed the same effect; concentration, focus, and less sleepiness. My day flew by at both my jobs. I’m telling you. It’s a strange feeling with all that I have going on right now. Awesome, but really strange.

7. In the midst of a lot of essential oils success, I have experienced some that didn’t work as some people have told me. I watched a webinar on using Thieves oil blend for lots of things but particularly mold with amazing sounding results. When tested, Thieves when applied is supposed to prevent eliminate and prevent mold from growing. I tried it on my shower a month or so ago where the mold usually forms on a caulked area. I sprayed a generous (what I thought was generous) amount of water diluted Thieves cleaner on the area. That could have been my problem was using the actual cleaner and not the oil. I let it sit and then scrubbed it. The mold reoccurred a few weeks later in the same spot. So, I will now try to put a much less diluted amount of Thieves Cleaner or maybe just the oil itself on it and see what happens. I’ll update after that! Hopefully it will work.

8. Also, Thieves is supposed to help with canker sores. In the last year, I get canker sores when I’m stressed out; which can be pretty frequent. One time, I tried using Thieves on it for a few days and it didn’t do anything but burn. I’ve tried Purification as well, with a little bit better results. But my dad (yes, my dad is an oil user too!) swears by lavender. He’s out in the heat a lot with his job and gets frequent cold sores. He’s tried Thieves as well with the same luck that I had, but once he used lavender, the sore healed up in less than two days.  I haven’t had a canker sore for about three weeks to a month. Could also be from using my Stress Away blend. J And prayer. Always prayer. But I’m going to try lavender next to see if I get even better results.

9. Thieves toothpaste; another item from my starter kit. The toothpaste is great. My teeth are whiter and less sensitive. However, it doesn’t have a very strong minty taste and it does not foam or bubble up like some toothpastes. But I’m fine with that. I like the more subtle taste. I’m no scientist, but the foaming effect in regular toothpaste is caused by sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and has been found to cause canker sores! So that could also be why I’m having less canker sores. It’s just different starting out from using super minty Crest. J It is quite costly to me at $9. But if it’s decreasing my chances of a canker sore, I’ll splurge for my mouth and my sanity.

10. Peppermint and Pan Away for headaches. I like to use them both at the same time. But for cost reasons (Pan Away is $32 for a small 5-mL bottle and $74 for a typical 15-mL bottle - yikes), I use mainly the Peppermint. I’m still on my first bottle of Pan Away that came with my kit, and it IS great at relieving neck tension during a headache or migraine.

11. Back/Hip/Pelvis pain oil. I have mild scoliosis, hip pain as a result of my L5 being fused together with my SI joint (don’t ask me how that can even happen but I’m guessing that’s what caused the scoliosis… lol), and pelvic problems from previous pregnancy. Honestly, in a last ditch effort, I threw this oil blend together. It has made a noticeable difference. My hip pain began to flare up a few weeks ago and it usually does at least 2-5 times a year. I had heard that Valor helped with body alignment/centering (don’t EVEN ask me how because I have no clue at how) among other things. So I whipped out my coconut oil, a glass jar, and began adding oils. I can’t even tell you how many drops of each. But I used, Basil, Frankincense, Valor, Lavender, Peace and Calming, Stress Away, and Pan Away. I put it altogether in one jar and mixed it up. That stuff is potent. It really helped me sleep. But I also am sort of seeing results in my back/hip pain. I don’t use it all the time. Just at night before bed when I’m beginning to feel pain in my back or hip and I rub it on where I’m feeling the sensitivity or pain. It has helped some. The flare-ups are getting better faster from my experience. Usually I’m completely useless for a day or two during a flare-up, but I never got to that point. Could be a fluke, could be the oils. That’s just what I’m trying.

12. Stress Away with a quick prayer can get me through a crazy busy afternoon with no freak-outs. I definitely attribute a lot to prayer because I do have a running prayer constantly going on in my head it feels like. But applying the Stress Away gives me the reminder to stop, pray, apply, breathe, etc. Hey, it works for me.

13. Peace and Calming. This one is supposed to help with many things but also for children. I’ve heard people say that it works great for kids especially for winding down at bedtime. Elaina really likes the oil and it’s the only one I feel comfortable letting her handle herself (with my supervision of course). We do put it on her feet and I tried it on her tummy once for tummy aches. She rarely has trouble with bedtime so we never try to use it for that specifically. And I don’t really watch her sleep anymore, so I wouldn’t know if it helped her there. I guess I could attempt to correlate it with how she feels and acts the next day. I can’t say that we’ve seen a calmer Elaina because of it. But, I will say that I diffuse it sometimes and that it does help me sleep. Someone told me that it’s great for restless leg syndrome too. It’s still worth owning. I need to give it a better shot and pay more attention I think.

14. Peppermint. Lots of people like it in their water for energy! My sister has replaced all drinks with peppermint water. Because she’s hardcore like that. J Personally, I’ve never been a fan of the taste of peppermint. I know! I’m a freak. But I’ve never liked peppermint hard candy and while I think York Peppermint Patties look delicious on commercials, I can never finish one. I really should try harder on this one probably. But I do like the smell and way it helps my allergies from my allergy “shots.” You try. You be the judge. J

15. Breathe Again Roller Ball Oil. It’s basically Vicks, but nothing weird in it and it works very well! I put it on my chest and under my nose, but I seriously haven’t been hard core sick yet since beginning the oils. I’ve used it here and there for times when I feel stuff coming on. So if I ever do get sick, I’ll try it then and let you know.

16. Lavender Shampoo and Conditioner. Okay, so for the past 10 months, I’ve had really weird issues with my scalp. No itchiness and not dandruff. Just weird, irritated spots. I have no idea what is/was causing it. I have not changed my routine or drastically changed products and our water should be the same (but you never know). They will not go away! So I decided to try the lavender shampoo and conditioner from Young Living. So far, I’ve used it about three times. I’m already noticing what I think is a difference. The shampoo doesn’t lather too much, but I think that’s good. My hair smells fresh and FEELS fresh. So far, so good.

There are so many other uses I’ve found and so many other oils for different uses, but this post is long enough. If you’d like more information, let me know or just go to I am working on collecting names of people who would like to know more. I may have a fun evening later this summer to let people try {and smell} before they buy. If you’d like to become a member, retail or wholesale, I’d like to pass on my Member ID: 1728195. You can use it for a referral. And if you have questions while signing up, feel free to message me! Again, no matter what, there’s no pressure to buy which is pretty cool. But the company does like to reward their members who pass on information and refer friends to them which are where the ID’s come in. 

Interior Design Student Showcase

So this happened yesterday! At our student showcase we held for the seniors we had an award ceremony. Four awards were given out from NKBA for the competition we participated in a week or so ago and than two others were given by our teachers. I'm very honored to have received this one! There are so many talented students and each of them are so supportive towards one another! I've never met a group of people/teachers who are so open and uplifting. I put forth tons of energy and work into the projects I complete. Not to show anyone up, but because I know this is my career path after working full time in the real world for a few years. This path is hard work and takes dedication! 

Spring 2014 Multi-Cultural Pagoda

In between research, we were assigned to make certain articles, structures, etc for the individual countries we were researching. My assignment happened to be a Chinese pagoda model. Using, modeling materials, foam core, spray paint, and various items from our local craft store, I slowly formed my model. The eaves were the hardest part to form. I found doll house ceiling tile at the craft store to paint and I thought it was perfect for the rooftop detailing. As for the greenery, I found ribbon moss that worked quite well.

Beginning structure

Finished Product

Spring 2014 Multi-Cultural Design

Multi-Cultural design project was yet another challenge this semester. The project itself was to design an Experiential Learning Culture Museum on three floors of an existing New York six-story building in Greenwich Village. The museum would serve families, class field trips, etc. We were given seven countries to research, plan, and implement on the three floors.

The beginning of the semester was mainly research in between other small multi-cultural assignments. Working through the design process, codes, international student interviews, pre-lim sketches, lighting analysis, and diagramming were addressed. After pre-lim layouts were formed, some of us found that our specific ideas and layouts would not work with the codes we worked through. Luckily, I found new solutions and addressed them early in the process. Finishes, FF&E, and lighting schedules slowly begin to form. So much work in Revit designing the spaces, adding schedules, forming floor plans, finish plans, furniture plans, RCPs, callouts, etc. Finally, I ended with quite a few pages of construction documents. On to one of my favorite parts of the design process! Rendering and presentation boards! This was a solo project all the way. Though we like to bounce ideas off of one another often. Here are my boards and project manual.

Board 1 of 2

Board 2 of 2

Spring 2014 Hospitality Design

Hospitality design was a great class this year. Having a part time job in hospitality design already has helped me tremendously. I've had on-the-job learning experience and real world situations to help with and learn through. I still learned in class of course so many ideas and systems began to link themselves.

Our project this semester was to choose a specific type of hotel, location, and then design it with a partner using the floor plans of one of the residence halls on campus. A residence hall and a hotel are, as you can imagine, quite different. So it was a challenge for each team. My partner and I had some great ideas right off so we dug into the project. Our hotel type is a Design Hotel. We decided to locate the hotel in Copenhagen, Denmark. We both liked the idea of a Danish design hotel. We focused on clean line and finishes with many pops of colors and unique furniture. We used a variety of different design methods and programs to complete our project and presentation boards. Many sketches, lots of Revit, photoshop, powerpoint, graphic design software, etc. We had one project manual and we both created our own boards. Here are my presentation boards and our manual!

Location and Demographics
Inspirational Images

 Presentation Boards 1 of 2

 2 of 2

Project Manual