Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

Two weeks ago, we moved from Columbus, Ohio to New York City!

We had a one week window to go to NYC, find an apartment, submit an application, get accepted, sign a lease, and fly home to move out of Ohio. :S Applying for an apartment in New York is a little more complicated than ones I’ve lived in in Indiana and Ohio.

Most places require that everyone living in the apartment provide:

  • Letter showing proof of employment and salary
  • Three most recent pay stubs
  • Previous year’s W2 form
  • Social Security card*
  • Driver’s License / State ID
  • First & Last month’s rent
  • Security Deposit
  • Broker’s Fee**

*We didn’t bring ours, but met all the other criteria for the apartment, so it wasn’t a big deal. However, if you’re planning on moving to New York, I would recommend you bring it and maybe your passport too just to be safe.

**Most broker’s fees are 15% of the annual rent. You can avoid paying fees for apartments, but that usually involves a lot more time and legwork. If you want to avoid fees – I would highly suggest using an app like Naked Apartments and filter to only show ‘no fee’s or even better – walking around the neighborhood you want to live in and look for buildings that have “no fee” on them.

Getting rid of our Ohio Apartment 

All while this was happening, we still hadn’t found someone to take our Columbus apartment, which has another six months on the lease. (Yes, we were only in that apartment for six months…lol. ((I counted and this move to New York is my 10th move in five years.))  Watch our home movies from that moving experience here, here, and here)

Luckily, right before we left to New York to look for an apartment we met the nicest couple who ended up taking it! They signed the lease while we were moving boxes out of the apartment into the U-Haul.

Driving a U-Haul (and two cats) to NYC

Sangbin and I decided to take shifts driving the 15ft U-Haul during the the nine hour drive to New York. I didn’t realize how large those trucks are until I struggled to get into the cabin because it was so high off the ground! We had both cats (read more about them, here) in the middle seat.

About three hours into the drive, we stopped off at a massive truck stop to grab food and switch turns. I was really excited (and a little nervous) to drive the truck. My dad has his commercial driver’s license and growing up he would give me tips on driving. “Take turns wider than you think you need to.” “Give yourself more time to speed up and slow down.” My hands were gripping the steering wheel so tightly they began to hurt after awhile! The hardest part was changing lanes and merging on the interstate because you don’t have a rear-view mirror. It took a little getting used to only relying on the side mirrors, but we made it!

Sangbin took over for the last few hours heading into New York City. Up until that point, the drive had been pretty uneventful, but it quickly turned into the most anxious I’ve ever felt in a car. I felt like I needed those traffic blinders, carriage horses wear in the city.

Cars and trucks were weaving in and out of our lane and all my muscles were so tense. Sangbin is the calmest person I’ve ever met and didn’t seem to be phased at all. It’s amazing how two people in the same situation can react so differently.

We came to a fork in the interstate: left side for trucks, right side for cars. Traffic was so packed that we didn’t have enough time to get into the left lane and followed the car path. We stopped off at a toll and were pulled over by the police for going the wrong way, which normally would have gotten us a ticket, but it was so obvious that we were unfamiliar with the area that we were given a pass.

Shortly after, we arrived at our street and we moved into the apartment.

Surprising Things About Living in New York City

  • We live in a pre-war building and have to dispose of our trash in a small chute, which means that we can’t use regular sized trash bags to collect trash. We separate it out and dispose of it several times a day.
  • You really don’t have to leave your apartment to get anything. Everywhere delivers. If they don’t, there’s a service that delivers for them. I’m not just talking about food and groceries – you can also get a mascara from Sephora delivered same day, if you want.
  • A 50-minute commute to work really isn’t that bad. I walk four minutes outside to the station and four minutes from the station to work. During that time, I’m able to watch TV on Amazon Video, read, listen to podcasts, or just people watch.
  •   New Yorkers (for the most part) aren’t mean. There’s a sense of community living in New York that everyone is working really hard to make it and if you can help someone, you should. I think it’s easier to see here than other places because it’s so crowded. For example, I dropped my MetroCard and someone let me know and picked it up for me  – which is a big deal because a monthly pass is $$$. The only time I’ve experienced New Yorkers being unnecessarily rude has been when people are getting on / off the subway car.


Moving to New York City Vlog

We decided to make a home movie of our moving process to New York! Check it out below and share your moving experiences (whether to NYC or not) with me!

Maria xx



About four days ago we moved to NYC in a U-Haul truck from Ohio!! I’ve wanted to move to New York since I first visited it when I was 18 (read about that experience, here).

We took shifts driving the 15ft – it was a little scary. I almost knocked the side mirror off at a toll booth and we got pulled over by a New York officer for accidentally driving in a car-only lane! Meep. Thankfully, he let us go without a ticket probably because we were so obviously new to the area.

Now that all of our stuff is in the apartment and the boxes are unpacked, we’ve finally had a bit of time to decompress and embrace our new home.

Our two cats Frau and SaRang have adjusted fairly quickly! I was nervous that they would be miserable after the 9 hour car ride, but once they found their cat trees in the new apartment, they were just fine. 🙂 There are lots of windows for them to look out and watch the flocks of pigeons soaring through the alleys in between the apartment buildings.

Please let me know if you’ve moved to NYC (or any new city) and what your experiences we’re like! I’d love to hear them.





Screen Shot 2015-07-23 at 7.19.21 PM

We’re moving from the suburbs of Ohio into the city and taking you all along for the ride! There’s nothing like over-estimating your physical strength and under-estimating the amount of possessions you own. 🙂

Hope you enjoy part 1 of this series! We’ve been shooting clips for this for a little over a month and I can’t wait to share the highs and lows of moving twenty minutes away. I’m not melodramatic – I swear!!

Watch the seven minute self-documentary.


Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset



Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

Before and after

My New Years Resolution (video here) was to record my year through Polaroid-style photos. So far, the Fuji Film camera we bought has mostly been used at parties with friends, but last weekend I brought it with me to the Franklin Conservatory to photography the lovely greenhouses.

This weekend I took four of my favorite photos from that trip and put them in a thrifted frame I bought before we got married. I decided to place the framed photos in an empty corner in our room, which then led to me scrambling around the house to assemble other items and art pieces to accompany it!

The picture above shows what the corner in our bedroom looked like this morning, (I removed all the laundry that had been covering the chair.) ((this has been a bad habit for both of us lately.)) And the picture next to it is what the corner looks like now!

I added my wedding flower crown, a painting of Paris given to me by my aunt, and a wedding card from my friend Whitney.

I love creating art and I especially love decorating my home with beautiful things that also have meaning. To me, this Polaroid project encompasses both those elements and will always remind me of my fun trip to the greenhouses with my family.

Until next time!


Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset



This is the front/living room in our apartment. This wall has been something of an art project. We began with several sketches of how we wanted it to look and started assembling meaningful art and objects. Right now, there are photos of where we got married, post cards from friends, favorite books, and trinkets.



Last weekend we moved the rest of my things to Ohio in a cargo van and a Honda CR-V.  Here’s a photo of SB carefully shoving the last bit of my stuff into the back of the van.  I’d like to say that the loading and unloading part of the trip was an equal effort, but I played more of the supervisor role. 😉


So much stuff.  :O




Our front door + a goodwill wreath!  I’m looking for a door mat, but I can’t seem to find the right one.


Here’s what the living room looks like as of now.  We really don’t have any furniture and what we do have, doesn’t match!  Our first purchase will probably be a kitchen table and then hopefully a couch.




Currently, we’re using my grandmother’s sewing table and a pair of plastic folding chairs in the dining room.  It works fairly well for the two of us right now, although I wouldn’t mind a pair of more comfortable chairs.  Also, the pedal under the table does making sitting a little cumbersome.


Our first dinner consisted of tomato basil olive oil pasta and seasoned pork with an apple salad and ginger ale and gin to drink.


For breakfast we had french toast and apples with peanut butter!


For lunch we had honey BBQ boneless wings and celery and ranch.






Grocery bags!










The master bedroom.





Master bathroom.


My vanity.  Eventually, I want to acrylic makeup holders.  I don’t like how much space everything currently takes up.







My closet is off of the bathroom.


The guest bedroom.  AKA my old bedroom.

Here’s what the room looked like at my last apartment:

And the house before that:




Guest bathroom.


The apartment is still a work-in-progress. I’m looking forward to visiting vintage stores and estate sales for furniture.  Stay tuned. 🙂


IMG_3493Today, SB and I moved to Ohio!  He had an interview, so we decided to take a few gifts and things I had already packed with us.  This is a photo of him returning from his interview that I took from our balcony on our second floor.  He said the interview went well, but he’ll find out next Monday if he got the job–keep him in your prayers!

IMG_8828Here’s an overall shot of most of the downstairs of the townhouse.  The front door is on the left and to the right is a small balcony and the fireplace!!  The dining room and kitchen are to the left.


Here’s another view of the balcony.


Here’s the view from the balcony.


And the door leading back into the living room.


I think we’re going to put the TV and a bookshelf on this back wall.


I used boxes as placeholders for where I want a sofa, chair, and TV stand.


I think a chair would look good where the suitcase is and a sofa where the box is.  SB thinks an L shaped sofa would look good instead.  Still uncertain.


This is the dining room.  I think we’ll get a cafe style table and a small upright china cabinet from Ikea.  Not sure when we’ll be able to afford all of this, so we may be eating off the floor for a few weeks. 😉


View of the dining room from the kitchen.  Also notice the Trader Joe’s hand soap, my aunt and cousin gave that to me at my bridal shower.  It smells AMAZING.


The toaster oven is set up!  SB and I decided that we either needed a toaster oven or a toaster, not both.  I grew up with a toaster and he grew up with the oven, but because I don’t really toast my bread, we chose the oven.  Can’t wait to try new recipes with this!


Getting the kitchen ready!


Off of the kitchen is a small laundry/pantry room.  We bought two small hooks to hang these cute grocery bags I got at the bridal shower!


Assembling a small shelving unit for canned goods and other pantry things.  I took a picture of the shelves which held a few cleaning supplies, but it must have gotten deleted.  I’ll do an updated post in two weeks when we go to move in the rest of our things.


The upstairs of the townhouse.


View of the stars from the master bedroom.


The master bedroom has a cute writing desk!  I’m excited to find an accent chair to put with it.  I saw a few cool ones at Target, but I’ll probably wait until we get the bedspread and bedroom set before I buy anything.


From the other side of the room.


SB’s closet.


Master bathroom view from my closet.  My mom gave me that cute basket at the bridal shower–I love it!!


The bathtub has kind of a heaven-y glow because there’s a skylight above it!


Bathroom mirror and vanity behind me.


My closet.


Second bedroom has a balcony!


Second bathroom attached to spare bedroom.


We stopped to get coffee and a super sugary drink before heading back to Indy!