I thought I’d give you all a little update on how we’re doing here in NJ!
1. The Apartment: Loving it!! Everyday, I feel so blessed to live in this amazing space. I think for the first month or so, I’d just look into our kitchen in disbelief. I wish I could show you what our old kitchen looked like. It was unreal. It was so tiny and just really not functional for the most part. Small kitchens are made for people who don’t cook. And since I cook daily, so it was such a blessing to get our current kitchen. Honestly, whenever we get to a point of owning a home, I’d be happy to have a kitchen of the same size. I know, some would think, well wouldn’t you want an even bigger kitchen? I’d say, no. Why? As my mother says, “The more house you have, the more you have to clean”. #truestory This kitchen is just great, as is the rest of our apt. I really can’t ask for more in a living space. We could use a larger closet, but ehh, it’s ok. We don’t need that much stuff anyway. #lessismore 🙂
2. The Location: We’re surrounded by neighborhoods and other apartments, which is nice. We get to see trees and grass on a daily basis, which is a far cry from living in the Concrete Jungle. But, in our immediate area, it’s a bit…blah? There’s not a whole lot within a few blocks of us as far as any stores/fun stuff. It really is very residential. Also, I almost feel like we’re in the middle of a field. But I guess that’s because right next to our apt complex, there is a huge empty lot where some townhomes are being built. Some of the homes are up, but they sit further back from street. So as you approach our complex, all you see at first is a giant lot. I hope they either build some homes there or, even better, build a some nice stores! Anyway, living here is fine for now, but we’re still on a quest to move out of this area. Where, I do not know. It’s all up in the air, but I’m praying we’re not here for another five years. No offense Jersey.
3. Car-less: So we don’t have a car and have to use buses to get to where we need to go. We get around fine without a car, but having one would make living here a LOT better. We do rent a car on occasion (i.e. special trips to IKEA, and recently over Thanksgiving and possibly during Christmas), so it’s not terrible. We manage. Having a car though, would require us to pay a hefty monthly parking fee at our apt ($100+). So, we are saving quite a bit by not having a car. I guess we have to keep that in mind when we get frustrated with being car-less.
4. More Friendly: Whenever I walk somewhere, people I pass say hello! I knoooow! On several occasions, I’ve passed someone walking and they either smile, nod and/or actually say hello. Most times, people say hello, which is so unexpected! Makes me feel like I’m in the south or something. So, kudos NJ for that!
5. The Mall: I’m not really a mall person. I’m more of a Target person. 🙂 But, the mall out here that we can get to on the bus, is GREAT! I really love it. It’s so nice and has so many stores. Even on Saturdays, when it’s super crowded (more on that next), it’s still really pleasant to move around in.
6. Blue Laws: Let me drop this link here and you can read all about it. In our county, Blue Laws require stores that sell goods like clothing, appliances, or anything that’s not food/groceries, to be closed on Sundays. Therefore places like Target, the malls, or anything of that nature, are closed on Sundays. The only things open are grocery stores, restaurants and the movies. Yes, it’s annoying. And yes, it’s another reason why we definitely won’t be staying in this particular area forever. I don’t know how people in this county deal with it. I guess they just drive to other counties if they want to shop on Sunday? I mean, it’s annoying, but you can work around it. But since things are closed on Sundays, guess what happens on Saturdays? Everyone is out. EVERYONE.
The traffic… oh my god…just think of the worst rush hour traffic you’ve ever experienced. No, wait! Think of rush hour traffic AND an accident during rush hour. THAT’S how bad it gets out here on Saturdays. It’s unreal. If you’re going to the mall (and pretty much, everyone is going to the mall because it’s awesome), the mall parking lot is full like it’s Christmas EVERY.SINGLE.Saturday. Again, unreal. And residents have tried getting these laws repealed. But surprisingly, there are more residents that want to keep the laws! They say it’s nice to have one day where there’s no traffic in the area. huh?? Ok, I get that, but then, every Saturday traffic is horrible. And it’s pretty much that way all day and evening. But yet, enough people vote to keep the laws. *shrugs*
Well, that about does it. Overall, we’re much happier out here and we couldn’t ask for a better environment. It’s amazing how your living situation can really change your stress levels. Our last place was fine up until the last year. That last year was aw-ful. But now, it’s the complete opposite. God is GOOD!
That’s all for now!