nooks and crannies.

(on my nightstand)

We've been working to get out of this apartment for a month (Gabe arrived here mid-May), and it's not looking any better. So, I've thrown that whole "we'll only be in this apartment for a month" thing to the wind...and have unpacked a bunch of my things. What else do I have to do, but unpack, arrange things and repack when we leave this apartment?

Pretty much nothing. ;)

One of the best parts about this move was the ability to sift through all my things...then pack up my severely narrowed-down "keeps" to be rediscovered in a new house. I've talked a lot about "things + stuff" throughout this process...I know...but this was such a huge lesson for me to learn. That by whittling down what you have, you feel you have more. That same ideology has followed me here: stop carrying dead material weight. Aside from an IKEA trip to purchase homey items not furnished by our apartment (a few comfy throw pillows, a cozy blanket and a candle), I haven't bought anything frivolous. No clothes, make-up, jewelry, no unnecessary home purchases in over two weeks. Don't get me wrong, the American in me still loves things! I'm not that good. You know I'm online window shopping and itching to make an unnecessary purchase. I'm plotting what it will be. But, I haven't popped yet. Knowing that at the end of this experience...everything has to get packed up +  dragged shipped back to the US? It's making me be a bit choosy.

Meanwhile, here are a few things that made the cut from my US life, and are now nestled in little spaces around our Kuwaiti apartment:

This Diana Camera was a find by my dad, a few weeks before my move. I grew up watching my dad fiddle with cameras, so it was special enough to come along.

Gulliver's Travels and the biography of a Saudi Arabian princess were gifts from my mom. She gifted me Gulliver's Travels on my 24th birthday, shortly before I was set to leave for Ireland to meet Gabe for the first time, and "Princess" in the weeks before I left for this adventure.

The framed print...well, it's from one of my favorite Etsy shops, Rebekka Seale. She also creates dreamy custom house portraits...which are incredible. (Spoken from experience! I gifted a house portrait to Gabe as his groom's gift on our wedding day.)

And finally...Rifle Paper Co notebooks. An indulgent purchase at a Paper Source shortly before Kuwait flight attempt #3. I knew it was my last chance to scoop up a little bit o' my brand of pretty. They remind me of the craft corner in my old apartment. Which I miss.

If you had to cut dead material weight...say to move to another country with only several boxes...what are a few frivolous things you'd keep?


  1. Now that I'm beginning to pack up boxes from my grad school apartment and move on to bigger, better things I'm facing a similar experience (though nowhere near ar narrowing!). There are definitely objects I don't feel a need to carry on to our first home together.

    What would I take?

    I'm a lover of candles, photos/frames, and fun pillows for beds and couches. Plus, my most frivolous dream is to have a vase filled with fresh flowers every few days. You know, the $5 walmart bouquets? That'll do. Just keep a nice, fresh bunch of flowers around on your kitchen counter. It's nothing big, but man does that extra touch make me smile!

  2. You know what, that's not a bad way of thinking of things. Maybe I should consider the fact that even though we bought our home a year and a half ago it's not going to be our last house and I'm going to have to move all this crap that I keep buying. Now THAT is scary!

    I'm glad to hear you're making yourself at home in Kuwait and everything is going well for you!

  3. I totally agree with you about abandoning your stuff. I'm moving right now (only across town) and I keep wrestling with the need to downsize ev.ery.thing. The hardest thing for me to part with (and most heavy & unnecessary) is my massive library of books I accumulated during college. [I just paid for them all, you know?] It's so heavy to lug from apartment to apartment, but I just can't bear to part with them yet. I think if I had to, I could. I'd probably just end up keeping a few great picture frames & a throw blanket or two.

  4. How funny that I've been reading your adventures on moving to Kuwait, and totally forgot that I went through the same thing when I moved to the USA six years ago till you asked about moving to another country at the end of this post. I guess it just shows how with time, anywhere can feel like home. I constantly forget that when I packed my small apartment back in Brazil, sold all my furniture and came to the US with only two small suitcases, that I was coming here on a temporary basis to study English and see if I liked the country enough to move here for a master's degree. Well, two degrees later, and I'm still here. I've accumulated so much, that often I get scared that if something happens and I have to go back home, I'll have to go through the process of selling/giving away all of my furniture and things. Even worst, I'm scared every time I travel outside of the country, that I'll try to come back and for some random reason I'll be denied re-entry and have to leave my boyfriend to pack up my things and send them to me in Brazil.

    But anyway, that was not the question. I remember fondly packing up my apartment in Brazil, actually. I never really liked the place, it was always so temporary. I didn't choose my furniture, my mom did while I was at work. I was a college student, so I had no money to buy things for the house and make it feel like my house. I didn't decorate, I was very disorganized, and totally unaware of DIY. So when the day came to pack up everything, I was not very sad about it. I sold my bed to my friend's parents (which I'm still weirded out about), oh, and they got my fridge too. The rest of the furniture, I sold to a store that would then re-sell it, and all of the little things I gave away to charity. I left my friends picked up whatever they wanted from my clothes, and then I gave a bunch away too.

    All that was left was two big boxes with my computer, toys (I'm a big child), and art that I shipped to my parents house, my two small suitcases with clothes, and my cat carrier, with cat in it. Then two months later, I packed the two suitcases again, and I brought with me to this country summer clothes (I'd buy snow clothes here), a book (Alice in Wonderland), 20 of my favorite CDs, an external Hard Drive, and my camera. I was not supposed to be here for this long. Last time I went home, I filled up my suitcase with my favorite things: books, music, DVDs, more toys, clothes... Next time I go home, I'm bringing back my photo albums and diaries. I'm here to stay, I guess.

    (this was not a comment, sorry. It was a second blog post).

  5. Love the little nook! You definitely have to make the place feel like home, however you can.

    I was packing up about a year ago to move, but I knew that most of my stuff was going to be in storage for an undetermined amount of time (it ended up being 7 months). Although I didn't cut down nearly as much, I did have to decide what was worthy of going in the car with me and the cats, and what could wait until we found our more permanent housing.

    I kept some books, my nail polish collection, pictures, my favorite blankets for laying around on the couch. I accidentally put my favorite comfy hoodie in storage- big mistake, especially when winter arrived! Yet, somehow the vacuum cleaner (which I wouldn't need in my temporary housing) made it into the car, haha.

  6. I think I would keep my books and nail polishes, but maybe not take them with me! I've moved so many times in the last year, it's crazy!

  7. Completely understand the concept of narrowing down the "stuff". I've had to do A LOT of that these past few months ahead of the move, it can be difficult to do. Xx

  8. reading your posts about letting go of unnecessary "stuff" has inspired me to live more simply and to downsize as much as I can. some frivolous items would be my jewelry, a few nail polishes, pictures, a pillow that was given to my by my gma, a couple of blankets. I'm definitely trying to downsize my wardrobe and nick nacks i don't really need!

  9. I saw this, and because it was Kuwait, I thought of you!


  10. I'm in real trouble if / when I go home. It's going to cost me big time. :( I downsized a lot and gave it away / sent so much home recently thinking I was leaving. Then I received a romantic invitation I can't refuse to stay...:)

  11. For one move we had to reduce our prized, personal stuff to one apple box each...
    Now it takes the biggest uhaul truck available!

    Just curious - you have an IKEA!?

  12. ooh i can't wait to get our place and move into the nooks and crannies! this will be the first time that a home is mine all mine.

    your choice in frivolous things is adorable :) Paper Source is a gift from heaven.


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