Friends forging a course together through the unexpected

And I’m Back! November 13, 2013

Filed under: Karla — Uncharted @ 11:11 am
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Uncharted readers, it’s been a while. But I’m glad to say I’m back. Two major life milestone occurred in the last few months which hasn’t left me time to write. The first one happened on Friday, September 13, 2013. Yep, Friday the 13th. On that day fellow blogger Kelly and I parted ways after living together for five years from our apartment in Oak Park. Why? The reason for the move was caused by the second major milestone which I’ll blog about next week. I know, I’m such a tease!

Many of the posts you read on Uncharted took place or found inspiration in our apartment. In fact, you could even say this blog idea came to Kelly  and was developed around our dining room table. There are too many favorite memories to list (because I had an amazing roommate and awesome friends) but I’ll try to whittle it down to a few.

  • New Year’s Eve parties – from planning annually to remembering where we put the decorations the year before.

  • Finding out what is acceptable to have on the kitchen counter and what is not – apparently a tomato should go in the refrigerator at all times.

  • Random craft afternoons spreading out more paper than two people should have in one household.

  • The Blizzard of 2012 – actually finding snow in our first floor front landing.

  • Roommate date night – combine a home cooked meal with Say Yes to the Dress and you have a perfect girls night in.

  • Refinishing furniture in the dining room/outdoor porch – mostly Kelly reminding me to refinish outside or else.

  • Rocking out in the kitchen with fellow blogger Sarah when we first moved in.

  • Rushing home to tell Kelly all about my first date with my future husband.

We could not have found a better space for both of us. We spent five amazing years together and we’re still friends! Probably one of the most luckiest things that happened on the move date, was not having Kelly there. If she were, I think I would have cried the whole time.

I’m so glad I convinced Kelly that we could live together. To this day I remember signing our first lease which was locked in at two years and us both saying two years was such a long time and we didn’t know if we wanted to be locked into that timeframe. Low and behold we locked ourselves in for another three years! There is nothing I would change about my time spent in Oak Park, nor would I change our apartment – it spoiled us rotten on living space! But life moves on and my new adventure started with lots of boxes and a new place to call home with my husband.

Finding New Room in the Lombard House

Finding New Room in the Lombard House

The Oak Park Apartment

The Oak Park Apartment


Going OFF the Registry March 14, 2013

I like wedding registries.  They help me make sure I’m gifting something the bride and groom really want, especially if I don’t know the couple all that well.  But sometimes when you have two amazing friends getting married whose house you’ve been to many times (so you know their style) and who you’ve already bought traditional gifts for, you want to get a little more creative.  Our wonderful friends Jeff & Krista are getting married next weekend and we already gave them things they registered for at their shower and for a ‘regular’ wedding gift ahead of time.  However, I wanted to do something extra to show them how much we love them, so I borrowed this idea from Pinterest for a personal and sentimental last-minute wedding gift.  I had made a similar one for my dear friend and fellow blogger Kate when she got married last summer, too.

A first dance song is something that a couple picks to fit their personalities, love, and future journey together.  You don’t forget your first dance song, and you never forget that moment.  So I love the idea of commemorating the moment surrounded by the love song lyrics you hold near and dear to your heart.


Jeff & Krista’s song is “I’ll Never Stop” by Safety Suit.  I put scrapbook stickers on a page of card stock to say “first dance” so they know to put a picture of their first dance there.  That way, they can always remember that moment in visual and verbal clarity, and they’ll know how truly excited Jonathan and I are for them and the journey of love and marriage that lies ahead of them (as you can gather from the message I wrote on the back of the matting from us).

My recommendations to anyone who thinks they’d like to recreate a wedding gift like this for a couple they love are:

  • Take the glass panel out of the frame, put the mat back in, and mark the edges with a pencil so you can see where the mat will actually peek through the frame.  The edges of the mat won’t show completely, so if you want all of your words in the frame, mark it first!
  • Throw down a little bit on a nice archiving pen.  Get one that won’t fade and is permanent ink.  I got the Micron05 in black.  It’s a nice thickness, and is fadeproof against sunlight and UV light, so I know it’ll stand the test of time (just like their marriage!).  You can buy Micron pens at most craft stores, including Joann’s.
  • If it’s a shower gift or a main wedding gift, frame some crisp bills in the picture part so the bride and groom can purchase a nice photo of their first dance from their photographer.  This makes it more of a complete gift.
  • Get a frame with a decently wide mat surrounding the picture area.  I used Ikea’s Virserum Frame, because it can stand on a table or be hung on a wall.  I chose this one for Jeff & Krista because they’ve lived in their house together for a while and already have a lot of wall decor, so I wanted a tabletop frame for them.  For Kate & Eric I did a slightly larger wall-hanging frame since they had just moved into a new house together when they got married.  I also wanted to get them a more substantial frame, because it was our wedding gift to them with money for a picture.  You can see that one here on the Joann’s site.

Happy wedding gifting!


Making Blueberry Pancakes July 26, 2011

Filed under: Kelly — Uncharted @ 11:22 pm
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Karla and I went to the Farmer’s Market this weekend.  If you haven’t noticed, this has become a norm for me now.  The truth is I’m having a hard time buying produce from the grocery store now that I know what I know {read about my new found food influences here} and I can’t even try to compare a tomato from a local farm to one from Dominick’s or Jewel(s). That ‘S’ is for my Nana.  She always says Jewel, Jewels.  Anyhow, back to the original story:

We came back from the market with some blueberries, green beans, and of course tomatoes.  Once we got back to the apartment, I really wanted to use the blueberries.  Right away!  Both of us had already eaten somewhat of a breakfast, but once Blueberry Pancakes popped into my mind I couldn’t resist.  Even when Karla said she’d pass I still decided I wanted them that bad.

The perfectionist in me thought about looking up a recipe so that I could make the pancakes from scratch, but in the end I decided I would probably give up if I took the time to look through recipes.  So I grabbed the Bisquick box and got to work cutting their recommendations in half.  I wanted to cut it into a ¼, but I ask you, how do you use ½ an egg?  I don’t know either.

As I was mixing it all up I had a little jolt of nostalgia and I just had to share it.  When I was young {and even to this day} my dad’s side of the family went up to Michigan to hang out together for a long weekend.  I remember waking up in the morning and going upstairs to find my mom in the kitchen making Blueberry Pancakes.  This was such a treat because not only was she making pancakes for us, but her and my Papa went to pick the blueberries fresh that morning!  Even though I didn’t care for blueberries that much as a 10 year old, I appreciated the specialness of that gesture.  It is a really fond memory for me and just by making the pancakes myself, I felt connected to my mom.  She passed away when I was 13 years old and I think about her one way or another every day.  It’s a little harder for me to feel connected with so much time and distance between us, but little memories like this are what keeps her in my heart.


The Soundtrack of my Life February 24, 2011

Filed under: Sarah — Uncharted @ 9:24 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Do you ever find that when you hear a song on the radio or your ipod, that it brings specific memories your way? I do ALL the time.  And this week was a particularly crazy week for bringing back memories.  Every day since I last posted, I have heard a song that has brought something wonderful, saddening, exciting, or memorable back to my mind…

…Friday “Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison…this song always makes me think of my fellow Uncharted author Kelly.  When we were younger, we loved the song, but hated that it wasn’t about blue eyed girls.  So when we heard it or sang it, we changed the lyrics.

…Saturday “Yeah” by Usher…random, I know.  But in college my friend Jess used to do this insane impression of this song, and it always makes me think of laughing at her and getting ready to go out to the frats.

…Sunday “Realize” by Colbie Caillat…makes me think of my first official ‘love.’  I don’t think he ever knew how I felt, but I always, from that very first day in elementary school, wish he would have ‘realized’ how much I cared about him.

…Monday “This One’s for the Girls” by Martina McBride…in Delta Gamma, everyone got a ‘senior song’ at their senior dinner before they graduated.  The girls wrote it to a specific tune, but changed all the lyrics to ridiculous things that you did or that defined you in college.  So whenever I hear this song, I always think about how “this one’s for Little O.”

…Tuesday “Time of Your Life” by Green Day…our eighth grade graduation dance song.  Our parents fought against this one, because they didn’t think the theme song of eighth grade graduation should start with a declamation of swears.

…Wednesday “Animal” by Neon Trees…kooky as it may be, this is sort of mine and Jonathan’s ‘song.’ We both love it and rock out to it when it comes on the radio, so I always think of him when it comes on, and look forward to being with him again in Denver.

…Thursday “Here’s to the Night” by Eve 6…for some reason, hearing this song always makes me think of high school.  All the times we drove underage to Harvester park and just ‘hung out.’ I remember feeling so cool in the green 1991 Jetta I had nicknamed ‘Foxy Roxy’ and freaking my friends out because I drove too fast.  But I taught several people how to drive stick shift in that car, and those times growing up will never fade to blank.

We all have them, those songs that make us think of a certain time.  I have them often, but this week I happened to hear at least one a day.  Reminiscing through music is fun, and I can’t wait to have more songs to add to my memory’s repertoire in another 10 years or so…


Is a Blizzard>Scrapbooking? February 1, 2011

Filed under: Kelly — Uncharted @ 11:50 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Well people, in case you haven’t noticed, there is a blizzard going on here in Chicago (and the across 12 other states too).  I have some mixed feelings about this because bad weather is a lot of work and can be dangerous.  However there is something so cozy about finally making it home out of the cold snow, getting into comfy clothes, and just knowing that you are safe and sound inside.  I really do hope it is cleared up by the weekend though.  I’m gonna have to dig my way out of the apartment because I have my very first scrapbook weekend to attend!

I just love a beautifully created scrapbook page.  The thought and effort that can go into a 12×12 inch space is amazing.  The title, paper, textures, pictures, and accents that can be used are unending.  My problem is I am so slow.  I cannot stand to give up the quality that I really expect for a scrapbook in order to get it done faster.  I dream not only to have an inspiring, creative, entertaining scrapbook, but of having at least one of my started scrapbooks complete.  This is the problem.  I can’t ever finish pages, if I do finally finish one, it means it took me a whole Sunday to do it!

So you see, so far this dream has been elusive.  Not anymore!  A friend of mine asked me to go on the upcoming scrapbook weekend last year and I thought it would be a great way to start off 2011.  It’s 2 and a half days of pure scrapbooking.  Really!  You stay in a hotel and they feed you, provide free tools that I would never buy myself, and you can take classes to learn new techniques, and you can win free stuff!  I decided to go for it.  I think without the distractions of home around me as well as other scrap bookers to inspire me, I can finish a lot of pages.  Now I just have to decide what pictures to use…




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