Wednesday, September 17, 2014

How to Pass the NCIDQ: Part 2


Passing the NCIDQ is a huge accomplishment and you will get there! Keep up your confidence because it is vital to your study days.

Another vital ingredient to passing is knowing your resources. I mentioned before that you are going to want the study book and practice exams but there is more out there to help you, not a lot of it is free, but there is some.

You have enough to read with all your studying material so I'm going to make my post on sharing these other sources with you quick and to the point. Today's I'm sharing websites out there that might help you out. Review them with care and compare any information you read with information from the NCIDQ website specifically. And always, fee free to ask me questions!

So with that, the links:



http://artbistro.monster.com/benefits/articles/11735-interior-designers-tips-to-pass-the-ncidq-exam

http://www.interiorsandsources.com/article-details/articleid/4197/title/ncidq-myth-busters.aspx

http://lindsaytan.com/2012/12/12/ncidq-certified/

http://thencidqdiaries.blogspot.com/

http://www.qpractice.com/

http://www.plinthandchintz.com/

http://www.ncidqexam.org/

http://www.schiffhardin.com/design-build/lecture-notes/architecture-544---spring-2012  ( DOWNLOAD these and listen while you work or do dishes or whatever...great talks to help you with the IDPX! )

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Weekend in Review

It seemed like a while back everyone in the blog world reviewed their weekend in pictures on Mondays. Looks like that trend has cut back a bit. I know my blog sure hasn't done that in a while, mostly because I've not really blogged on Sundays lately. Well football is back now meaning that my one on one time with Kevin has decreased some on Sundays. So while he's watching his favorite games, I'm blogging away at the computer, and we all say welcome fall.




This weekend was sweet and special. Saturday morning I awoke to Kevin beside me. A simple luxury for us. Kevin normally works Saturdays so this was a rare treat that we both cherished. Kevin showered and proceeded to make us breakfast, a rare treat for me since I'm the general breakfast maker. I wish I could put into words the way Saturday morning felt. Special, sweet, precious, heart warming, joyful....those are just a few of them that come to mind.

It was wonderful and yet my heart hurt a bit. I might sound like a whiny baby here since many of you are away from your husbands on weekends or possibly longer for all kinds of reasons, but this is the way I feel. I hurt because I was loving Saturday morning so deeply and it made me realize how I don't get this every weekend. It made me realize what I'm missing every weekend but not having Saturdays with him.

His schedule normally works out just fine for us. I miss him every Saturday for sure but I've learned to use that time to hang out with girlfriends, work on craft projects, or clean house like a crazy woman. I've almost always found a way to fill my Saturdays but I'd choose to have Kevin home over all those things, even though most of them are wonderful things.

And I that's where that little rant will end,  guess.




Kevin didn't let me play pity party for long on Saturday and sweetly made me forget about my woes and enjoy the time with him. And I did just that. I fully enjoyed Saturday with him. We ate a yummy breakfast together, worked on some small projects together, watched How to Lose a Guy in 10 days together, watched some football, walked campus and met up with StudentLife friends/bosses, and watched the Sooners put another victory in the books at home with our Paisles, homemade pizza and cupcakes.

Paisley ADORED the attention and loved getting to run around campus. In her words,  I love being on mom and dad's college campus.

 Paisley is a model dog...


 The beautiful stadium from far off



 My College of Architecture in the background

 One of the favorited views of the University, seen better in our anniversary pictures

 the iconic big red backdrop will one day soon go away as the stadium project will completely change the face of this side of the stadium
 no matter who we play each week, you'll always hear; "texas sucks!"
 Just a little dance session on the intersection of Lindsey and Jenkins





Sunday, we got up and showered to make our way to church, but we lost track of time once we started looking at plane tickets to go home to Florida for Christmas and before we knew it we were late to leaving for church. So we did church online from our living room. And it was one of my most favorite church services from home ever. I loved our church from home this weekend. It was so special and just filled my heart.

We did buy plane tickets for Christmas. Fact, if you're going anywhere at Christmas by plane you should shop and buy in JUNE, yes JUNE! Thankfully, we found some that were half the price we anticipated, a huge relief. Now we are just praying Kevin gets off the days we now have tickets to be gone for.

We enjoyed leftovers for lunch and then football came on. GO COWBOYS! Kevin let us watch Girl Meets World over half-time, I don't care what anyone says that show is cute even if it is incredibly cheesy...I mean if you loved Boy Meets World (and by loved I mean obsessed) then you'll like Girl Meets World just fine. And now, I'm here blogging, in my robe which I've had on since my shower this morning. Sundays are good, are they not?

The rest of our Sunday has some little projects in it and dinner with a couple who has agreed to be our mentors (insert excitedness here) and then possibly a grocery run.

Living just a simple life here, nothing incredibly exciting or noteworthy but it all makes my heart swell with gratefulness and my mouth turns into a smile. Life is a sweet and special momentary gift the Lord has given us.


What did your weekend look like?

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Love Story: Sharing Our Stories

If you're new around here you can catch up here.
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On the drive back to Norman, Kevin asked me about my interview and questions they had asked of me. I shared with him the several generic questions, most of which he knew answers to so I didn't give my response. Eventually, I told him they asked about my my story, my testimony. I was about to go onto the next question when he asked me to share that with him. I was stunned.

After a year and half of knowing one another and approximately three months of dating and we hadn't shared our stories with one another. In some ways he knew a good deal of it, just not in the way of how I share it. It stunned me that we hadn't shared our stories yet, and it stunned me that he wanted to know it. I wasn't sure M and I had ever shared our stories in quite this way before either. In the, you don't know me, here's my heart and what the Lord has done in me, way.

So I did. And then he did too. And our hearts grew even closer.
(read mine here)





Valentine's Day arrived and I had a date. An-in-person-take-me-out date on Valentine's Day. A first in my life. My first Valentine's date with a guy was with M and while it was sweet, it was still done through computer screens. This year, I had an actual date night out. 

I was going through all the usual fussy girl things, rummaging through my closet for what to wear, scrambling to turn on the curling iron and check with my roommates on jewelry and shoes. Kevin had planned a nicer dinner for us at Olive Garden, and together we planned to go see Valentine's Day afterwards with one of my best friends and her current guy. 

He arrived with a single rose in hand. He gave it to me with a sweet letter and explained that for every Valentine's day we spend together I would receive another rose, and expressed that one day he hoped he would be giving me a dozen. My heart fluttered. It was a sweet idea but more than that, he knew he wanted to spend several more Valentine's days together. It was overwhelming, exciting, and terrifying.

He whisked me away from the apartment and drove us to the town's Olive Garden which was busy busy busy. We finally got a seat and joked about the other couples in the room with us. Glancing around we picked out couples who'd been together a while, those who were newly dating and then the awkward ones too. Then we wondered what others thought about us. Could they pick out that this was our first Valentine's date? We giggled as we considered the idea.

Meeting up at the movies with good friends was the perfect way to make our first Valentine's date fun and pressure free. The movie was hilarious and we loved sharing it with friends. First Valentine's date in the books.




Of one thing I was consistently sure of, I wasn't getting tired of Kevin. It seemed in my past that inevitably I would get tired of people. I loved going to camp, but after a constant day and night week with those friends I would need a break from them. I think the same happened with roommates even now in college and we would give each other that time apart we needed. But with Kevin, I wasn't getting tired of being around him. He wasn't annoying me. I didn't need a break from him. Quite the opposite, I wanted more time with him.

And more of him was exactly what I was getting. We spent as much time together as possible. If I was on a project and he was busy, he still found a way to come and surprise me where I was. My schedule was full of balancing projects and portfolio work but Kevin was always finding a way to make me feel cared for. We learned to savor all the little moments in between my hectic interior design project schedule. A silly, sweet picture accompanied most of those moments. We didn't want to forget a thing.





Our spring was wonderfully filled with Friday date nights, and Sunday reading nights, with a good dose of school mixed in there. As February came to an end we eagerly anticipated a whole week together with no school to interfere. Our first trip together would be the BSU spring break trip and it was just days away now.


Friday, September 12, 2014

Inspired




Today I'll be using the heater in my care...where did summer go???

 Well I've sort of been participating in blogtember and BlogEveryDayInSeptember this month. I've not stayed on subject with prompts in all of them, and it'll probably continue that way. I'm skipping the weekends because it's just not my thing. Saturdays are when I try and work on blog posts, and Sundays is when Kevin is home so I avoid blogging for the most part. If I'm not going to read blog posts on the weekend then I'm certainly not posting on the weekend myself.

Day 12: What are the first three blogs you started reading and did they influence your style?

Wow that's hard! I started blogging in 2011 after I had regularly been reading Recently Roached's blog(now inactive). She always made me laugh. I knew her in college through my sorority. She made people laugh all the time. I loved her writing style but it intimated me too. I was constantly telling myself that there's no way anyone would be interested in reading what I wrote...I wasn't nearly as entertaining as Recently Roached.

Then I began wedding planning and started reading a lot of blogs as a result of that, I said Yes to the Dress and really began to sink my fingers into the keyboard. Before I knew it I was all in. Those first few months happen fast don't they? Day one you're learning how to open a new post and hit publish, day two you learn that you can schedule posts and by the end of the first week you're joining link-ups, learning blog lingo, reading thousands of blogs, leaving comments everywhere and swapping buttons like a pro.

So I know Recently Roached was the first, but after that it all sorta goes into a blur. I think overtime some of my favorite bloggers have definitely influence my style though. I'll never be as funny as Recently Roached but Bloom (who's taking a break) taught me to share my heart more. Forever Newlywedded (also taking a break) taught me to share all the little things. Designer in Teal taught me to share more about being an interior designer. The Random Writings of Rachel taught me to be myself and not be afraid of that. ReSolve taught me to write n the things I want to. SimplyB taught me to share my love story, and also keeps inspiring me with her crazy amazing design work. Life of Love taught me to laugh at myself and share it and then maybe sometimes I can be funny. Oklahoma Pepplers taught me what it's like to become friends in real life after meeting in the blogging world.

I realize that's far more than three, They've all inspired me in different ways. And there are so many others I could list but these ladies have made the greatest impact on my writing.

Who's inspired you?

Catching up from the month?
one & twoAbout the Author & My Joys
three: When I grow Up I Want to Be/A Day in the Life Of, also coincides with this post
four: Fashion Trends
five: Passionate About
six: Currently
seven & eight & nine: all were in the day six post but the prompt answers can also be found: favorite book, favorite movie & movie scene from the archives
ten:  wrote about something else but it was 10 Things You Like About Yourself, this prompt can be found in the archives: here's one from a while back & here are 15 facts about me.
eleven:  wrote about something else, but it was Blog Inspiration, sharing this prompt today!
twelve: First 3 Blogs (TODAY!)

Thursday, September 11, 2014

How to Pass the NCIDQ, Part 1


I've been thinking about this series for a while. When I began studying for the NCIDQ I was so frustrated with how little there was out there about the NCIDQ. And what is out there will cost you. If you're anything like me, the test itself is expensive enough, let alone the book, the study supplies, the practice quizzes..etc I was not up for paying more just to get some advice. So hopefully these posts help some of yall out.

If you're not an interior designer, this is pretty irrelevant to you but you may find it interesting. The NCIDQ is a national exam created by the CIDQ, Council for Interior Design Qualification. This exam allows designers to be certified, and in some states registered. It is the best qualification we, as designers, can achieve as we cannot become licensed, an issue many are fighting for. The exam is split into three sections:

  • 1) IDFX,  a 100 question multiple choice test taken on the computer at a testing sight. This exam tests your knowledge of the basic information you covered in school: codes, building types, construction details, occupancy, color theories, etc. Do not underestimate this test! It is hard. It covers a wide variety of information and wants you to know details. 
  • 2) IDPX, a 150 question multiple choice test taken on the computer at a testing sight. This exam tests your knowledge of information you will have learned in your professional work at a firm, and more of the same information from the IDFX. This test is longer which makes the time in the testing center hard, it is diffcult to focus after sitting there for so long. BUT this test is easier to study for. Know the contract information correctly, it's pretty straightforward, and all from IDFX and you'll be fine.
  • 3) Practicum, a full day exam testing your ability to recall drafting and creating solutions quickly that follow codes and drafting requirements. This one takes a long time to prep for but if you prep correctly it is do-able!

If you would like to learn more and get a full definition you can check out the website here.


We'll start this series with a little intro into getting started to study for the Q.




First, breathe and pray! You will make it through this! You will pass. It may take more than once but you can do this. The Lord was my greatest strength. When I was frustrated, I prayed. When I was feeling like a failure, I prayed. When I didn't think I had what it took, I prayed. And I asked others to pray for me. This is a big deal. This will take much of your free time. Ask others to pray along side you. Having people on your side, cheering you on is HUGE.

Second, gather the supplies. You do want that darn book with the hefty price tag. I split the cost of the book amongst four girls and together we shared it. It made it far more affordable. So what all do you want? Here's a list:

  • Books you had in school
  • The official NCIDQ Reference Manual
  • The official NCIDQ Practice Exam books: IDFX, IDPX, Practicum
  • Pens/pencils/markers/Highlighters...all your favorites in all your favorite colors, your study notes are for you so make them yours! See my favorites here.
  • Notebook & notecards(and plastic bags to organize the cards into sections or chapters)
  • Binder
  • A bag to keep it all together (I liked the Patcraft bag from last year, they're bags are always sturdy, call up your Patcraft rep and ask for it!)
  • Bookmark this blog and this other lady's blog
  • Anything else you like to have on hand to study with
Third, do your research. By this time if you're taking this year's fall exam you've already applied. If you haven't applied then this is for you. Pay attention to every word on every form. If you are in a state that has registration then you most likely apply through the Board of Architects in your state. Look it up, make calls, and annoy people to no end with any question you might have. Read everything three times, and check your application three times. You leave out one thing and you're out of the running. Check, double check, triple check.  {special note: you can use your intern time towards your total hours (as long as those hours as an intern weren't used for a class) and recent grads, listen up! you can now take the IDFX immediately upon graduation, DO THIS!.}

Fourth, find a study group. Find your previous classmates or email around town to find other designers taking the exam. Studying with others is always helpful. Quiz each other, talk about things you don't understand or can't remember, and study together. This past spring I saw there was a facebook group for those studying in Dallas. I don't live there but I joined the group because it was helpful to have yet another place to ask questions. I studied with previous classmates. We met over lunch every week at least once. This was huge!

Fifth, determine your action plan. Are you taking all three tests in one period? Will you take them in one weekend or split it out? This is important because you will need to organize and plan out how much you will study every week. For example, we split the chapters out across the weeks we were studying to determine how much we needed to read every week. Plan your study times out and plan study breaks out. You need both.



That was A LOT, I know. Don't freak out, just take each day as it comes. Pray, breathe, prep, do.

What are some questions you have about taking the Q? Or anything related to the exam? Send them to me and I'll do my best to answer them. 




note: I do NOT know everything. I do NOT pretend to know everything. All I can do is share what worked for me and hope it helps you. Any information I share is my personal experience and understanding. Please contact CIDQ directly for specific exam information.


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