Disclosure: this post may contain affiliate links, which means I may make a commission if you decide to make a purchase through one of my links, at no cost to you.

You guys know that when it comes to the things I blog about, it’s just as often that I’m sharing a home improvement project as it is that I’m writing about something personal that happens along the way. I’ve learned that over the years, that’s just what I’m most comfortable with, and I think a lot of it is because taking the more ridiculous moments out of my life-slash-home-renovation-story, even when it barely has anything to do with house upgrades, is just plain boring. In fact, it was Granny who taught me that those odd life quirks often become your best stories (like the time she wore The Hope Diamond to a party after “admiring a woman’s necklace” and was oblivious to its significance).

Sheesh, am I making any sense right now? Sorry — I haven’t had my coffee yet.

Anyway, there’s another common theme that goes on with this blog: my pictures are hardly ever in it. No, not the pictures I take, but I mean pictures of me. If they are, it’s usually a demonstration closeup of my hand, something awkward I’m doing with my feet, or — if my face makes it in there — a selfie.

That’s kind of the only way it works, too, because unless Dad’s over at the house helping me complete a project (in which he, very sweetly, has learned to ask to take them when he knows it’s the last thing on my mind mid-snarl), I barely have enough awareness to remind myself to take photos of the thing I’m doing, let alone setting up a tripod to take a picture of me doing them (and even if that happens, I usually do the girly thing where I hate my chin/stomach/arms/pose/etc.).

I think that’s why I found it so goofy when I was out shopping for a desk chair recently at Ikea and West Elm. Because unlike the way it usually goes (snapping away at things that are not me), I had the camera turned at me for a change thanks to this cute guy who tagged along.

leather desk chair

It was just as awkward as you probably have pictured in your head right now: a girl and her boyfriend, she’s posing (but also trying to not look like she’s posing in half of the photos), he takes her picture, hilarity ensues.

thought bubble shopping

Enough times to make it really, really awkward for any passersby, but equally funny for the both of us (especially because I know that explaining that I’m going to blog about it would get even more eyerolls than just looking silly and weird). I couldn’t have looked more basic if I had been holding a Starbucks coffee cup in my hand.

awkward west elm pictures PSL

super awkward chair pose west elm

The good news is:

  1. We actually took a (lengthy) trip to Ikea with the intention of looking for one, little replacement for something that broke (that was at the very end of the display section) and didn’t fight. I say this because, as many of you know, there is hardly a relationship test equivalent. IMO, I’m shocked that more couples counselors don’t begin with an introduction at Ikea and work outwardly from there.
  2. Although our specific styles skew in pretty predictable ways, he likes MCM furniture enough that I think we’d have a pretty decent chance of picking out a couch that we both like, if it ever came to that (and from most couples I’m friends with, that’s not necessarily an easy thing). Also, his pick was significantly pricier than mine. I’m not saying that by itself is actually good news; but an appreciation for decent furniture is a good thing for a home renovation blogger. Probably.
  3. West Elm has some pretty great stuff on sale right now, but I managed not to dip into any impulse buys and stay on budget (though to be fair, I think Target would be much harder, which is why I haven’t stepped foot in it in a couple of months to keep the temptation at bay… it’s bathing suit season though, so my days are probably numbered).
  4. I got a chance to butt test the office chair I’ve been ogling for a while, and I think it’s going to find its way into my office shortly. I’ve been trying in vain to find an antique desk chair on Craigslist for the last few months (I got so close to finding an awesome vintage one, but the guy never replied to my last couple of emails, ugh!), but I think I’m going to just have to bite the bullet and plunk down the dough for a new chair instead. Sort of a bummer, but also sort of nice that I’ll soon no longer be sitting in an uncomfortable folding chair for most of my day.

Want to see more of my picks? Check out the shopping widget below. It’s a feature I’ve been adding to a few posts, and it seems to be something a few of you guys enjoy, too (based on the feedback I’ve gotten from using them here and here). In full disclosure, the links are an affiliate setup, which just means that if you make purchases based on my recommendations, a few cents go toward supporting my site. More updates comin’ at ya soon!

My West Elm Picks

Can’t see the widget above? Just click through to the post. Enjoy!

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  1. You have a boyfriend now? (Everyone is thinking it, so I figured I’d get it out of the way.)

    1. Ha! Yep, I’ve been hinting at a new relationship in one or two previous posts (for example, this one was a project we did at his place, which I found hilarious). But it’s still pretty new, so I’m not quite sure how much I want talk about it on the blog just yet (I have been single for most of this blog’s existence, and I guess I don’t want to overshare in a way that would leave someone I date feeling weird about being posted about online, ya know?). He’ll be mentioned from time to time though if he’s a part of something I’m up to!

  2. My husband (of almost 45 years) HATES IKEA. He wants to sell tee shirts outside to all the husbands that say I survived IKEA. He has a couple of other spots that he says he could sell shirts like that. He hates it but he always comes with me. We have been spending a lot of time there lately because it is in a city that has the hospital and doctors he needs to see. Now he is suggesting we go there.

    1. Haha, well, it sounds like he’s a good sport at least! I have definitely been in the Ikea couple fight before; no fun!

    2. I want an I SURVIVED IKEA shirt! He should totally work on that. Sorry to hear he needs doctors and hospitals tho.

    1. Aw, thank you, Kate! I sat in that one, but I know my bum was definitely swooning more over the fully upholstered ones, like the Crawford. Though, I wish I could find the exact link to the striped version that I saw in store!

  3. Love this post, Sarah! Sounds like a fun shopping trip. It’s always good to be able to laugh and be silly together while making serious decisions. Glad to hear things with the new man are going well :)

  4. Can we hear more about Granny’s Hope Diamond story / probably amazing self please and thank you?

    1. Sure! I should write up a post all about her (it was too hard when she passed away around this time last year), but you’re right… her entire life is an amazing story, so I should write something for her and tell all of her random tales. Good way to honor her memory. I’ll reply to this comment when it publishes just to make sure you get a response directly, but be sure to subscribe so that you don’t miss it. I’ll jot it down in my draft folder for post ideas!

  5. I am also on the hunt for a nice looking comfortable desk chair. Did you end up deciding on one? If so which chair and how is it working out so far?