Ivanka's Chair

OMG... that's my office chair! EEEEK! I love her.


Quickbit - Bathroom Ventilation Fans

Me to Contractor: "I want the sleekest looking bathroom vent fan possible. Make sure it is really quiet too."

Contractor: "Why would you want a quiet vent fan?"

Think about it...

Turns out, ours are too quiet. Not just from the standpoint of masking "noise" but also we forget they are on all the time! I think we are going to put these on cheap little timers very soon.


No More Cable Ties...

I have been living without cable for almost two months now and guess what?!? I know that you probably want me to say “nothing happened,” but in reality a LOT happened!

I am getting SO MUCH MORE done! Because I have to plan and seek out the shows that I want to watch, it is no longer a mindless ease, it becomes a chore. And we all know what chores are… difficult. My channels are limited and the choices are too because of apple tv, netflix, or free channels from our antenna.

Which is EXACTLY what I needed. Limitations.

Be honest… you get home from work and are procrastinating on some stuff you don’t want to do but should. You are hungry so you make dinner and just will sit down for a *minute* to eat, and before you know it – it is time for bed. This happened to me constantly, and why shouldn’t it? I am tired, I have worked all day, and this is just what I “needed.”

Until my days and nights started to all blend together. I felt like I was only accomplishing things at work and doing nothing at home… and this was all a slippery slope of eating and TV watching and then nothing else.  I used to have hobbies I thought. I used to do stuff, whatever it was, and now all I do is come home and watch TV during the week.

Well, no more!

Here is what has changed in my life since cutting the cord.

  1.  I watch the shows I want to watch because I have planned to watch them. Whether it is The Walking Dead, The Bachelor, Modern Family, or even watching Vampire Diaries on my iPad… I seek it out because I want to watch it. Which is very different from vegging out in front of the TV with a billion channels and a full DVR.
  2. I am getting to bed on time. I don’t know what it is, but when I plan something, it works out so much better. Before, I was just getting caught up in watching something, some dumb show, and I would look up at the clock and be all like, crap.
  3. Eating dinner at the table happens.  Because eating dinner at the table happens…
  4. Cleaning up after dinner happens because I am not engrossed in a show. I don’t know when this started because my parents had a strict rule while I was growing up about not watching TV while dinner was being eaten.
  5. I can think of about 7 extra shows that I used to watch regularly just because they were backed up on the DVR per week… that adds up to about 4-5 hours of extra time, and that night time after work is precious!
  6. And finally, because I am not tied to the TV, it is easier to say no to it. I don’t know if I was addicted before, but now I am enjoying the sunsets on my back deck, cooking better meals, planning my next day which leads to a better morning, etc.

Things are just better. I didn’t expect them to be, and I may have even thrown a tantrum fit when we didn’t have the DVR any longer, but it is worth it. Oh, and the extra money is great too.



Female Architect's New Role

My mom said something the other day that sparked my husband to say the following:  

“And THAT is what is holding women back from advancing in the workplace.”

I was shocked. He is not really someone that says things like that in support of women or anything really. He just doesn’t get that involved generally or whole-heartedly unless it is in regards to fantasy football or our Frenchie. It sort of makes it seem like he doesn’t truly care (and thus notice) much around him, when the truth is that he is the most aware person I have ever met. This response to what my mom said was so fast, it was like he was thinking about it at that very moment.

I was shocked in a good way though. He had a point. (He is so smart.) By my mother saying that she is “not afraid to act stupid around people to get what she needs,” she was inadvertently holding back women everywhere because she was just acting like another dumb girl.

Which begs the point, how many other women are also doing this? And another one, I have to admit, I do it too.

I HATE telling guys and girls alike that I am an architect. For one, it sounds kind of haughty. I usually tell them I am a designer instead. A female being an interior designer makes sense. People are comfortable with that. They know what I do and they know what to expect. Saying I am an architect makes things so much harder on me. I feel like I have to explain myself.

When you announce to the room (OK, that’s dramatic) that you are an architect, the expectation is elevated. Who do I think I am, coming in here and having fun and not knowing about politics? What exactly did I do anyways… and could I be trusted? What kind of architect can make a lewd joke and throw back a few cocktails? Surely there must be some mistake. What does this mystical creature, this female architect, do?

More often than not, I get this question, “So, like a REAL architect?” Or even this gem of a statement of, “You’re not an ACTUAL architect.” Most recently, this gentleman at a marketing event told me when we started chatting that he couldn’t help me with his services because he didn’t do residential contracting. He ASSUMED I designed houses and my response to him was, neither do I but it doesn’t sound like we would be a good fit anyways. Zing!

Before my husband was my husband, he would pick up girls in the bar with the most ridiculous of lines (so he tells me). Girls would actually believe that he was a matador or even dolphin trainer while he made these screechy noises (demonstrating to them of course)… and they believed him! Bless their hearts. He can be a matador, but I can’t be an architect?

So to your question, yes, I am an effing real architect. Mike Brady, George Costanza, Ted Mosby. I get it, these are the architects in which you are most familiar. TV architects are male. The 90s  movie One Fine Day in which Michelle Pfeiffer plays a female architect who is a single parent while living in NYC, is about the closest thing to a female architect role that I have seen, and 99% of men have not seen that movie.

I need to stop doing this. Would I tell people that I was a nurse if I was actually a doctor? I wonder if females deal with this all over the globe regardless of their title. Right now it just becomes blatantly clear to me that I need to help set a precedent for women all over. I think this is more a story about being comfortable as yourself than anything else.

So, hello, my name is Joellen and I am an architect. I design both large and small commercial buildings with a little bit of residential design experience as well. Nice to meet you.

From Charleston, South Carolina to your computer. I hope you enjoy. :)