IKEA Shopping Haul

Do you know the phrase, “Like a kid in a candy store”? That’s how I would describe me during my first trip to IKEA, a furniture company that focuses on contemporary and minimalist home decor. I’ve heard great things about IKEA from Instagram influencers, Vloggers (video bloggers), and the internet, but I never had the chance to visit because the closest location is in Schaumburg, Illinois. However, I had the opportunity to visit this past weekend. My girlfriend, Bridgett, and I set aside a day to visit the mall and IKEA, but we should’ve dedicated the full day to just IKEA.

All I can say is, “wow.” IKEA is the furniture store of my dreams. Everything the store sells is simple in aesthetic, high in quality, and reasonable in price. Even the food court was outstanding and cheap. You can get pieces of furniture for half the price that companies like Target, Amazon, Walmart, Shopko, etc. would run you. But, just because IKEA is cheaper, that doesn’t mean the quality is poor. Quite the contrary, all their items are rather high-quality and will stand the test of time.

Because IKEA is the furniture store of my dreams, I was “like a kid in a candy store” the whole time we were there. With my eyes wide and mouth gaping, I sped from area to area, touched everything I could, and almost ran my cart into everything because I wasn’t paying attention. Luckily, I contained myself to act like the 22-year-old male I am. I also restrained myself from purchasing the whole damn store, and instead just a few items, which are listed below.


I’ve always wanted a large, body-length mirror, and I’ve had my eyes on this NISSEDAL Mirror for some time — I think for two years — but I wasn’t going to buy it online because I didn’t want to pay for shipping or risk it getting damaged. This mirror is exactly what I thought it’d be, and it looks amazing next to my clothing rack.

Mirror and clothes

BUMERANG Wooden Hangers

Nothing improves your wardrobe space like wooden hangers. They add a layer of sophistication and elegance to something as simple as hanging clothing. They also work great for sweaters and chinos that you’d normally fold and put in your dresser drawers because the hangers are thicker and don’t damage the clothing’s shape.

JÄLL Laundry Bag

I had to upgrade from the plastic, chipped laundry basket I used for three years in college, so when I saw this laundry basket for $5.99, I wasn’t going to pass it up. I also like the plastic bag and simplicity of it.

Clothing basket

GESTALTA Artist Figure

I got this figure for decorative reasons. It’s unique and fun to play with. My high school art teacher used to have one, and I thought it was really cool, so I had to snag for $7.99.

Wooden figure

TÄRNABY Table Lamp

I’ve been in the market for a table lamp to sit beside my bed. I’ve been using an LED lightswitch nightlight that just wasn’t providing the amount or quality of light I wanted. What I mean by “quality of light” is I like warm light over cool light, in which the former produces a yellow hue while the latter generates a white hue. Warm light provides a greater sense of comfort and hominess, which I love. When I saw this table lamp from TÄRNABY, I knew my search was over. It replicates a lit kerosene lamp, which you can adjust the brightness to your liking.


I spent $108 on these five things, which is truly a steal. At any other furniture store, you’d be charged well over $150-$200. Even though I couldn’t get the tv stand I wanted because it’s out of my budget (which is okay because I’ve had my eye on this one and plan to buy it soon), I’d say this was an amazing first experience, and I’m extremely happy with this shopping haul. I know this may be the first IKEA visit, but it sure won’t be the last. There’re two more pieces of furniture I’ve had my eye on, which you can see here and here, but I want to think about getting them before I actually do. Either way, I’m obligated to visit IKEA again to check them out, right?


Timeless Wardrobe | The Chino

A timeless wardrobe consists of versatile, high-quality clothing that lasts for years because of their simple and contemporary look. And, creating a timeless wardrobe does not have to be hard or expensive; quite the contrary, it is as simple as purchasing quality pants, shirts, jackets, etc. that work in all setting. This will actually save you money and time in the end because these pieces will last for ages, and you won’t need to continuously update your wardrobe because of wear-and-tear or the ever-changing fashion industry.

Developing a timeless wardrobe has allowed me to cut back on spending, create simple yet sophisticated looks that align with my minimalist lifestyle, and gain confidence in how I look. Additionally, I’ve cut my wardrobe by a 1/4 and saved $100s over the past four years from it. No really, my freshmen year of college I had three closets and two dressers spread out between my dorm, home, and grandma’s place. Now, I use half a closet and tiny dresser in my apartment.

From reflecting on my journey toward a timeless wardrobe, I found a keen desire to develop a series of posts which will help other’s create their own if they are interested. As you can tell from the title, this series is known as “Timeless Wardrobe” (saw that one coming, didn’t you?). The first in this series: The chino.

For those who are not familiar with chinos, they are lightweight, cotton pants that can be worn throughout the year. Their lightweight material makes them great spring and summer pants because they’re breathable, but the fact that they’re pants make them perfect for the crisp fall and freezing winter weather. They can be dressed up with dress shoes and a blazer for work or an event, or they can be dressed down with a jacket or sweater and sneakers. Chinos come in all colors — gray, navy, black, green, white, maroon — and work well for literally everything. I am a HUGE fan of chinos. I own navy, gray, black, forest green, and khaki chinos, and I wear them every day of the week without fail.

Neutral-color chinos that are slim-fitting and made of high-quality material make a great asset to your timeless wardrobe. You can dress them up or down for any occasion, the cut and style make them acceptable in all settings, they work wonderfully in every season, and they’ll last for years because neutral colors will never go out of style and the material will stand the test of time.

I, personally, am obsessed with Banana Republic’s “Mason Athletic Tapered Rapid Movement Chino.” The athletic build gives the thigh-area enough room for your thighs to breath and not be hugged, but the tapered legs create a slimmer silhouette and eliminate the bagginess. Not only does the fit allow for comfort at all times, but they are also water-proof and stain-proof. These particular pants run for ~$100, but Banana Republic always has sales that knock these babies down to ~$55. Another alternative would be J.Crew’s “484 chinos,” but they range around $70 and are a bit tighter on the thighs. A budget-friendly pair of chinos would be H&M’s “slim chino,” which cost $30 but are low-quality and uncomfortable. Remember, part of a timeless wardrobe is quality because high-quality clothing will last without ripping or tattering, so I wouldn’t recommend the latter option. But, they are a good start if you cannot afford more expensive options like the first two.

If you want to build a timeless wardrobe, I urge you to start with the chino. The pants/legs are a prominent focal point, and starting with neutral-color, properly fitting pants will make it easier for you to find a shirt and shoes to pair with it. I find the pants the centerpiece of an outfit; first, you decide the color and style of pants, then you determine the shirt and shoes to go with it (spoiler alert: I always go with white sneakers). What is more, it’ll be significantly easier to build your timeless wardrobe once you have the pants down because you’ll know what kind of shirts/sweaters/jackets and shoes will complement your pants.

Take the first step toward your own timeless wardrobe by following my blog and signing up for email notifications. That way, you’ll never miss a post and can ensure that you follow me on this style series journey.

Make Your Dreams a Reality

“Ten years from now, make sure you can say that you chose your life, you didn’t settle for it.” – Mandy Hale

So many people never reach their full potential in life and are never truly happy with themselves because they allow the fear of failure to hold them back from their dreams. People much rather prefer definitive outcomes and guaranteed safety over taking a leap of faith and trusting themselves. For these very reasons, they never achieve their dreams; instead, they settle for what they think they can obtain.

Now, I won’t lie; I have been the same way my whole life. I would settle for what made me content but not happy. I never attempted to make my dreams a reality because I have an intense fear of failure — also known as atychiphobia. However, as I began to grow as a person and recognized my strengths and weaknesses, I started rethinking what my life dreams are. They have always been “go to college, live in the Benton area, and get a job.” You know, something that would make me somewhat content — but not happy — with my life. Oh, have these dreams gotten bigger, scarier, and more difficult to achieve over the past two years.

At the beginning of May, I sat down with myself and asked, “Kyle, what do you truly want in life? Be honest with yourself. What will make you truly happy.” This simple act led to an epiphany in which I found more out about myself. My response: “To be 100% with you, Kyle, I want to make it in this world as a writer of some sort. I want to leave this place and never come back. I want to be true to myself and not settle for less than what I dream for.”

You may be asking yourselves what my dreams are, readers. Good thing for you all, I finally discovered what my dreams in life are, and I am more than happy to share. Enjoy my very specific life dreams: I dream of a Scandinavian-style apartment in downtown Chicago, a career as a copywriter (eventually becoming a Marketing Communications Director) in either a fashion or a coffee company, earning income from my blog, and finding someone whom I can share my life with.

Like I said, specific and ambitious dreams. Nevertheless, I am not intimidated by my dreams. Am I petrified by them? Absolutely. But, your dreams are not big enough if they don’t scare you. Remember that; your dreams should be so big that they terrify you. That is when you know they are worth the struggle. However, don’t let this fear stop you or threaten you; rather, take the challenges head on and overcome them.

Since I am not intimidated by my dreams, I am already striving to complete goals that will put me on the right path to fulfilling them (for those who know me: shocker, right?). Currently, I am working to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and a minor in business administration. In addition, I began an internship with Clarke University’s Marketing Department, in which I write copy, edit existing copy, and create marketing campaigns. Both the academics and experience will set me apart from others in copywriting and provide me with a competitive edge when entering the field.

Again, not surprising for those who know me, I have begun looking at various apartments in the Lincoln Park area so I may know what I can afford and what I want in an apartment. Additionally, I have been using my Pinterest to compile a list of furniture and designs to achieve the Scandinavian-style look. It is really coming along nicely, and I already have a loaded shopping list on Ikea.com!

Earning income from my blog will come in time. I first need to pay my dues, improve as a writer, and develop my personal brand. I only ever saw my blog as a hobby, but I am putting more time and dedication into it so I may further it into an opportunity for additional income. That is why I have really kicked it into gear and started to released one blog post a week, which is every Friday at 3:00 p.m. (or 15:00 for those like me who use the 24-hour clock). Although, starting this week, I am going to begin releasing two a week so I can write more and develop my writing skills.

Finally, in order for me to find my soul mate, I must first find myself and know who I truly am. I am dedicating the next year to solely me. I am going to improve myself physically, emotionally, and mentally. I have already made outstanding strides over the past few months, but I know I still have much more to discover about myself. I am not looking for love by all means, but when it finds me, I will allow it to re-enter my life.

So, the moral of this blog post is to not settle for less than what you want. Chase your dreams. Who cares if they are ridiculously big and damn near impossible to obtain? You can do it. Trust the process. If I can reach mine, you can reach yours. Don’t let the fear of failure stop your dreams from becoming a reality.

– Kyle Majerus