Thursday, January 16, 2014

9 Months Ago...

... Just days before receiving my passing test results, my husband and I found out we were expecting our first baby!  I guess you could say that was the best 2 weeks of good news ever.  

Now, just 10 days away from my due date, I'm anticipating a wave of interior designers preparing to take the Spring Practicum with fresh questions and comments on my posts. Can you believe in 6 months, each of you will be finding out your passing test results!?!?
37 weeks (I'm almost 39 today!) 

{ Don't Worry, I'm Not Leaving }

I want you to know that I will do my very best to keep up with my comments, explanations, responses, and tips while juggling two curious kitties and a newborn baby.  Please do not hesitate to comment - you will not be a bother at all.  I'm just so happy you're still able to benefit from this blog.  I still have my heavy handy binder chock full o' information and will be happy to take a peek for ya.  I'm often exercising my fancy "licensed" knowledge at work so keeping refreshed is important to me. 

{ Baby Feet Therapy }

I'm also open to sharing a cute baby picture or two to give you a smile between melt-downs, stress, and endless drafting (who am I kidding? I'll be the one needing a smile between meltdowns!).  Who doesn't love a photo of a chubby baby foot? Also, any excuse to use my new camera aside from interiors - I'm on it!  

Now, if only there were a blog called "The Newborn Diaries" for me to follow... 

Good luck!  I'll be thinking of you! 


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Test Day Results: The Practicum






Hooray hooray!  I passed the Practicum!  I'm not really sure what else to say in this post, since I provided my "Day-of" run-down here so I'm sharing a picture! 

As you can imagine, I'm happy, confident, and feeling like a shiny new, official designer!  I won't be adding anything to the end of my name until I have my certificate number despite my excitement.  Heck, I'll probably have another celebratory post when I receive THAT. 

[A question]

How did everyone else do?  

I was willing to publicly proclaim my results even if I failed, but I understand if others aren't so eager to share.  I understand how it feels to receive those results.  And I want you to know something: You will pass. You will be happy about this. In fact, you will be happier the second time that you would have been the first time, because this isn't just a test, it's a true accomplishment.  It is a mountain to climb. And you're capable and smart even if you feel the opposite right now.  Stand back up with grace.  I promise it pays off. 

[An Announcement]

Because I've gained quite a lot of followers and page views, something I think will only continue as test-takers refer this blog or google helpful test prep blogs, I would like to keep The NCIDQ Diaries open and active.  I don't anticipate posting nearly as much as I would while I'm practicing (it would also become quite redundant), but I will check in, offer encouragement, and help with questions about the test and my experience. After all, I still receive notifications whenever someone posts a comment or question and I love to respond.  Don't ever think you're a bother and ask anything you please!  Chances are - even if I haven't shared it here - I have likely emailed NCIDQ and asked.  Also, you'll be helping me to stay sharp, too!

Best wishes to all current and future NCIDQ certificate holders!  You're truly set apart! 


Friday, May 31, 2013


Almost here... !!!

I don't even know WHAT to feel right now. I mean, I obviously have expected this for the past several months (since I registered!), but holy butterflies!

Pass or Fail, I promise to share.  Oh, and Pass or Fail, I will be back to share updates and tips and help any future test-preppers.  

This is the official shout-out: "Keep interacting and following - I'll be here for you!"

Good luck!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Test Day: A summary!

Hi everyone!

I intended to post this right after the exam, but wow – time has flown! It feels like I took it last week. And soon, we’ll be receiving our results! That said, ... 

Hoping not to jinx myself too much, I thought I’d share my (eeee – good!) “Day Of” experience with everyone since the “Days Prior” posts were so ample and anxiety-ridden along the way!  Let’s start with the night before.  I had a quiet night, only flipping through my plump prep binder for about 45 minutes. My husband made me dinner and I went to bed early. I had packed everything the previous night so I wasn't stressed about that part in the morning.  I stashed my snacks and water in the fridge and I made sure my outfit was ready, too!  I wanted to wake up the next morning with as few tasks as possible.  And in the nerdiest/coolest twist: I wore my Steelers sweatshirt.  

I woke up to sunshine and nearly ZERO worries. I actually got teary on my drive because I felt so confident, calm, and yet still excited, three emotions which were foreign to me during this entire (and past) experience. I arrived early, walked the wrong way, walked the right way. 

The building in which the test was held was fairly new and so open, bright, and the temperature was perfect. I was assigned what I call "The best seat in the room!" because I was right next to a column along the wall. The column was an exposed I-Beam painted red and had a perfect little "shelf" for my water bottle (which isn't allowed on our table due to potential spilling). I found I needed to drink throughout the test, so this was a life-saver. (Even though they say you're not allowed, most proctors will allow it under your desk). 

I felt super calm and confident during the test, though I made an almost irreversible mistake in Lighting (But luckily caught it and fixed it). I took Lighting first, then Space Planning. Due to my snafu, this was a REALLY good choice because I didn't panic.  Staying focused was much easier with my seat being against the wall rather than in the center of the room, but sadly this cannot be helped. 

Unfortunately, but legally / fairly / confidentially, I will not be sharing any specific details and I won't be sharing which exercises were commercial/residential. This is not only something I signed off on - it's completely unfair to those purchasing the practice tests. 

Anyhoo! I had lunch with some great ladies in the lobby (sitting on some fab Maharam-upholstered lounge furniture) and some had even been following this blog!  (Thanks, gals! I hope you all do well!) The second half of the exam went very well.  I even finished early! And that included ample checking on all sections. 

I left feeling really happy, confident, and relieved.  A few days later, I started to think "Where could I have gone wrong?" And nit-picky, nagging thoughts set in. However, I had to accept that no matter how I did, I couldn't change it. And that thought squished any doubts quickly. 

I arrived home to these wonderful surprises from  my supportive hubby:

Ironically, I ended the day in a beautiful mood, accepting and happy regardless of what's to come and my exact words at bedtime were "Best day ever!" (a common phrase of mine... I suppose I have a lot of those.)

I've been feeling relieved, but anxious of course for my results.  They could come any day now, but as with last time... I will have Andrew open them for me! 


Friday, April 5, 2013

Don't Study Tonight, Just Re-Read This...

Go back and read this post.

And make your own version. 

Best wishes to everyone tomorrow. I know you'll pass if you channel your effort, keep it simple, and follow the directions. And a special thank you to everyone who interacted and were able to benefit from my TMI-Prep Fest. Setting out to help myself, I'm so happy I was able to succeed in doing so while inspiring and sharing with others along the way. 

Good Luck and Kind Thoughts,

Thursday, April 4, 2013

ADA Washroom Checklist

Don't forget ANY of these!
{ checklist }
  • Divide Stalls/Urinals (60" x 60" min for ADA, door swing out; 60" x length of wall, door swing in; 36" x 48" standard, door swing out)
  • Doors are 30-32" in standard, 36" in ADA stalls
  • Draw in wall-hung toilets & Urinals
  • Draw in grab bars to scale and dimension length from wall and length of bar (36" behind toilet mounted 6" from nearest wall, 42-48" beside mounted 12" from nearest wall)
  • Dimension stalls (width and depth!!) 
  • Dimension center lines of toilets to stalls/walls; 18" from each side
  • Dimension center lines of urinals to privacy screen/walls; 18" from each side
  • Draw in Lavatory(ies)
  • Indicate which one has ADA open space below; the width of open space
  • Draw in mirrors, soap dispensers (1) per sink, hand dryer, trash receptacle 
  • Draw turning circles 60" in common area, at door, and in ADA stall (not overlapping door swing!)
  • Draw 30 X 48 clear floor space to scale (dotted rectangle) at sink and ADA urinal (NOT at toilet) and LABEL it as such.
  • Tag all fixtures (!!!)
If you practice this (perfectly) often, you'll be able to do it in 10 minutes! I am not kidding! 

And that means... more time to spend on the less-predictable Millwork exercise!

Almost there,