Wednesday, January 29, 2014



Wednesday, January 22, 2014


Over the last few years we’ve developed a simple strategy for shopping; we have to LOVE it before we can BUY it. Liking it is never an option because too often it will find it’s way into our donation pile. I really LOVE this strategy because it keeps us from spending money just to spend money. It also makes us wait and save for things we really LOVE instead of just settling on something to get us by.

Since moving we have a lot of space to fill and a lot of work to do with the house. We know it's new, but just because it's new doesn't make it our own. We have many ideas of what we want it to be, but that doesn't happen over night as much as we'd like that to happen. Owning a home and making it your own should be an ongoing project. Right now many of our walls are bare, there are no rugs or fun toss pillows and it's because we are shopping to LOVE, not to like or fill the space. On top of all that we're sticking to a budget and trying to focus on one or two rooms at a time. 

So what's our strategy when we are shopping? Here's four questions we ask ourselves before dropping the cash. 
1. Do we need it? Just because we may want something doesn't mean we need it. This can be tricky especially if you're shopping in the moment because that's when most needless and reckless purchases are made. 

2. Can we afford it? Sticking to a budget is hard work! We still struggle with this like so many, but you have to stay strong. Waiting until you have the money saved for a bigger purchase is so much sweeter than just adding it to a credit card and feeling trapped by a payment each month. 

3. Where is it going? It has to have a home or else {in our case} it sits, and then eventually gets put away in a closet and is forgotten. If it's something you want so bad, then it better have a home of its own.

4. Do we love it? Just like I mentioned at the beginning, we have to love it, not like it. Liking it or even really liking it is not an option. 

It took us awhile to learn how to shop this way. It has helped us save money because it makes us aware of what we're spending. We use this strategy for almost all of our shopping: furniture, decorative accents & accessories, even clothing. We hope this helps and remember shop to LOVE!


Friday, January 10, 2014


The first rooms in the house to get a little love are the guest bedroom and bathroom since we are expecting guests in about 3 weeks. I really wanted the bathroom to be bright and fresh. I love using the color gray, but since our walls are already Functional Gray by Sherwin Williams, I don’t want to wash the room out. I am currently crushing on the color citron and fell in LOVE with West Elm’s Ogee Chain Shower Curtain and’s on sale for a crazy steal! I also bought a couple of their Hamman Striped Hand Towels to coordinate with the citron shower curtain. My goal this year is to not be afraid of adding color and mixing more plain jane muteness.
Candles & Hurricane Vases - There really isn’t a lot of countertop space around the vanity, so Mike is going to use his woodworking skills and build a ladder shelf. Not only will it be great to store extra towels, but I can make it a cozy bathroom by displaying some candles and other bathroom necessities in some sort of basket or vase.

Art - I came across a beautiful floral Midwest Botanical print from Anthropology and I think it’s perfect for the bathroom not only because of the color it adds, but being from the midwest...come’s only fitting.

Soaps & Lotions - To make the bathroom complete, I’ll stock it up with some of our favorite scents of soaps and lotions. I love most citrus fragrances and it will go great with citron color.

Here’s a sneak peak of the shower curtain and rug, both from West Elm.
I’ll post a before and after photo of the bathroom once everything is complete {decorating-wise}, I can’t wait for the day to rip out the floor.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, January 9, 2014


Wow, I really had no idea how time consuming moving and unpacking in a new house could be. I mean yes we’ve moved four times, but each time it was into an apartment or somewhere that we had to put most of our stuff into storage...this is a whole new game for us.
Each day that I feel I accomplished a big project, ha I find a new box! And it’s not just any box, a box full of know a little something from each room....those are my favorite {not}!
It feels really good to find a home for everything, but I think the best part is purging. We decided to simplify. Our donation pile is growing and growing. It’s mostly filled with things we really don’t use, can’t store or don’t love {more on the subject of shopping to love later}.
We also discovered we have very little furniture for the space we have and the furniture we do have was definitely for a 700 square foot apartment 5 years ago.....our little stamp of a TV is a perfect example of this. I’m very excited because next week is our iKea day and I have been obsessing over the iKea Hacks lately on Pinterest. Lots of DIY projects are in the coming days...YAY!
Now for the empty house tour. I took these on move in day just before the movers came. We have so many ideas for our new home, especially since we did everything very basic....I can barely wait to start these projects!
Front Yard: We do have one tree in the front that got cut off in the photo. I have a new board called {Green Thumb} with many landscaping and gardening ideas. Each week we visit Lowes and Home Depot in hopes some gardening products will be out...we’re getting close! We definitely need color....

Entryway: A great space for a bench or table and some baskets. I do LOVE our door, this was one of the very few upgrades we did that wasn’t structural. No regrets at all!

Dining Room: The ‘designated’ dining room that won’t be....because there’s carpet and it will get ruined if we let a toddler eat on it, we’re going to transform this space into a playroom. We know we’ll spend much of our time downstairs and this is a great space for Kensi.

Powder Bath: This bathroom is in a weird place, right next to the kitchen counter, WHY???? Someday this may be a huge moving it.

Kitchen: The kitchen was hard to go basic on, but the cost was just too high to do what we really wanted with the builder. We chose dark cabinets because the white option was just not good. It was the cabinet with the white veneer that peels thank you. We will change this....white cabinets are definitely in our future. We also have a very empty wall on the left that the peninsula runs along....this will be one of our first projects....faux brick and open shelves! 

Sunroom: This room was a huge selling point. It’s a big space and since we plan on using the ‘dining room’ as a playroom....we’re making our sunroom our dining area. Our little table for four gets swallowed up by the room, so we’re going to build our kitchen table and maybe pair it with eclectic chairs all in one color or possibly a bench....there are endless possibilities!

Family Room: We have so many books, so built in bookshelves are a must. This room is such a blank canvas, it’s almost hard to envision what it could look like. 

Master Bedroom: This room is currently a disaster zone.....aye yaye.

Master Bath: 

Bedroom #1: Guest room! We do have guests coming in early February, so of course this room with get love before our bedroom.....does that happen with everyone? Your bedroom is the last to get done??
Guest Bath: The great thing about the guest has its own private full bath.

Full Bath: This full bathroom has access to the hall and to Kensi’s room. To make it Kensi’s, it’s getting a touch of pink for a girl without going too far over the top.

Bedroom #2: Kensi’s bedroom! Kensi is getting older and we will soon be changing her to a big girl for a post on this soon.

Laundry Room: My biggest vision for this room is to keep it simple, clean and organized.

Bedroom #3: Sewing room/Office

Bedroom #4: Labeled as a media room....right now it’s our storage room. 

What a great way to start off 2014! We have a lot to do, but we’ll be sharing each project with our readers....wish us luck as we transform this empty house into a messy house into our organized home. 


Tuesday, January 7, 2014


The last month has been pure chaos. We moved into our new house, then flew home to Nebraska for Christmas one week later. After spending a week home, we came back to a mess of a house. It’s all been a little overwhelming. We had a lot of fun spending Christmas in Nebraska; we were able to spend time with my best friend/sister and her awesome fan from AZ. The week flew by, but we were spend a lot of time with family.

My parents were so busy in the last month, they didn’t put the tree up. It was a lot of fun to decorate the tree with our niece and nephews.
A little blurry, but my heart was bursting with happiness as Kensi watched morning cartoons in her jams and slippers on Christmas Eve.
The one and only {not great, a little drowsy} picture of us early Christmas morning. Of course with all the running around, Mike and I failed again to take enough pictures of us. 
Both of Mike’s grandmothers were in town so we took the time for Kensi to make the family sugar cookies. She had sprinkle duty and she took her responsibility very seriously.....every cookie had an abundance of sprinkles :) 

Kensi has a thing for hats and using different things as hats. Her latest trend is wearing her underwear  & swim bottoms on her head...she’s determined to wear them, even to the store :) Let them be little!
Once we got back home in NC we celebrated our own little Christmas. We celebrated Christmas Eve on Friday, December 27th. Kensi sprinkled her reindeer food {we made special arrangements with Santa} and Mike made us delicious Christmas Fettuccine as we curled on the couch in our jams for an array of Christmas movies. Our Christmas morning was perfect for us this year too. Surrounded by open boxes and stuff all over the floor, it didn’t matter as Kensi settled into my lap to open her stocking full her favorite things. We call this year the year of Eos. I found three different ones in my stocking and Mike even found one in his! 

This next year, we plan on staying home for Christmas. I know it will be hard not going home to NE, but I’m excited to be able to do our own Christmas on Christmas and start our family traditions.

We hope you all had the merriest of Christmases this past year!

Friday, January 3, 2014


We're still unpacking the many boxes we have from moving, but in all the chaos I found some of my favorite recipe books, some I've had for many many years. One of my favorites is Hot Chocolate by Michael Turback. It's a collection of unique and fun hot cocoa recipes and they definitely don't disappoint! 
Tonight we made a s'mores version. I was a little lazy and instead of making the hot cocoa from scratch I used one of our favorite dark chocolate packets. 

I made all the hot cocoa in a large liquid measuring cup and poured about a pinky finger depth into a bowl. I dipped each mug into the hot cocoa and them dipped them into another shallow bowl with crumbled graham crackers. {just like dusting a martini glass}. Then I filled each mug with hot cocoa and topped each cup with marshmallows. If you wish to toast them like we do {you'll get more of the s'mores flavor} you can use a handheld kitchen torch or just a lighter. 
Mmmmm....perfect for cool nights.

Happy Sipping!
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