it’s been awhile

Welp its been awhile! This year has been the craziest, best year yet – full of change and y’all… change can be such a beautiful thing! Last year we packed up our life and drove 1,973 miles from Southern California to make a home in Tennessee. I never could have guessed we’d rent for almost a full year before finally moving in to the house we’re making a home but we couldn’t be happier.

We knew we’d probably never have the opportunity to drive across the country -just Ryan and I again – so we were excited to pack up the car with the three wiens and take our time getting to Tennessee. We were able to stop and see family in Arizona, friends in Texas, visit Magnolia Farms, stop in Monroe, Louisiana and see where Duck Dynasty is at, and see some of the prettiest sights in this country. Mississippi kept a little piece of my heart. The entire drive was spent with one or the other of us saying we’ve never seen such beautiful places.

We finally reached Nashville and after 5 days in the car it was a welcomed sight! We still had a few days before all our stuff arrived but we towed a trailer out with most of our day to day things inside. We spent the first few days checking out all the yummy places right around our house. From the moment we got to Nashville we both knew we were home!

We moved here at the end of October and it was definitely our first experience with a true Fall. I couldn’t believe the colors of the trees. Everywhere we went people would tell us, “oh this is nothing. It was too dry this year.” But for us, it was gorgeous! We may or may not have taken tons of pictures of the trees during those first few weeks.. We went on picnics and visited Cheekwood to get pumpkins. Did I mention that because there is no traffic here we actually got to do things AFTER work?! What is this world??

Ryan ordered his first chicken and waffles after church one Sunday and was hooked after that! We spent the first couples months exploring different places near Nashville. We didn’t know where we wanted to look for our home yet so we took our time checking out the different areas. After a couple months we were fairly sure we had it narrowed down to two areas. Our house in CA finally closed after the 1st of January and we immediately bought a lot of land in a neighborhood we loved and began building… something I never wanted to do again but here we went!

Winter was a new experience for us! We saw our first snowfall together and the wiens were less than excited about our little photoshoot in the snow. Heidi especially decided she’d stay inside for the winter.

So needless to say the first few months in Nashville changed our lives in all the best ways. We missed family and friends but we experienced more life together in those months and I’m so grateful to be on this adventure. Spoiler alert… It’s only gotten better!!

 

#MoveItUpMonday

One of the things I love about Instagram in particular is the way you can see things change in the home, life, family, etc. without all the words or ads in the way. I was browsing my feed yesterday for a picture for #moveitupmonday and what did I find? A whole bunch of pictures of progress. All too often I get overwhelmed with the “needs to be dones” and loose sight of the progress that has been done. This kind of made me sad, thinking we get so far ahead of ourselves that we forget to just enjoy the moment. I’m a frequent offender in this category. Especially as a stay at home mama, I have days where I feel surrounded by my projects or honey do list for the house. Just two short years ago we were moving in to a white walled house. We left our home behind and it was a very difficult transition for me. Yesterday, browsing my own feed, I saw all the hours of hard work and planning Ryan and I have done, making this house our home.
Here’s our dining room before & after: 
(stay tuned this week for a few more from around the house!)



My Top 5 Kitchen Gadgets

I am obsessed with my kitchen! This is probably because I love to cook…
Over the last few years I’ve added to my kitchen collection of gadgets so I’m going to list my top 5 favorites for you!
1.    Teavana holds my heart. I love a great cup of tea and as far as I’m concerned they hit it on the head with two pieces I can’t live without (I know I said 5 things but these two go hand in hand!). I love their PerfectTea Maker (when making tea for myself only) and the Breville One Touch Tea Maker (when making a few cups at a time). These two pieces do essentially the same thing, just in different quantities. For the Perfect Tea Maker I can make a big glass of iced tea or a cup of hot tea for myself. The Breville maker makes a much larger quantity. The Breville also boils the water, whereas the Perfect Tea maker needs you to boil before hand. Both are amazing pieces I use regularly!
2.    My Le Crueset Dutch Oven. This was the first major thing my husband bought me when we were dating. It is still one of my most used pieces in my kitchen. I have since then invested in many different Le Crueset pieces but I use my dutch oven at least 3 times a week… and it’s a piece that will outlive me so it’s fun to think my babies will cook with it one day!
3.    Our juicer. When I first thought about investing in a juicer I did a ton of research! I talked to friends, searched the internet, and browsed William Sonoma and Sur la Table until I was confident I found one I liked. My mother in law bought a slow juicer and I knew I didn’t want one of those (see my reasoning why here) so I finally decided on the Breville Juice Fountain Duo. It was quite an investment but I’ve used it religiously for a few years now and it works like a champ! I’m so happy with this purchase!
4.    Our Le Creuset Grill Pan. Seriously ladies we all need this! I refuse to grill (if you do grill, I strive to be more like you!) but I love grilled food. I am a stay at home wife for the most part so I feel that it’s the least I can do to have both a clean home, and dinner prepared when my husband gets home. This means no grilled food for us… until I bought this piece. I cook everything from veggies to fish to meats on it and best of all it transfers from the stove to the oven so I don’t have to dirty any more dishes! This pan does it all and I have been so impressed at how much it will do for me.
5.   Our Stacking Bowls. My mother in law gave this collection to us at one of my bridal showers and it is the most useful bowl set ever! It literally has every size you’d ever need and because it’s a set it all fits together perfectly making storing the set a breeze! I think this is just a staple for all kitchens.

Guest Bedroom

We love hosting company! From the first night we’ve moved in we’ve been blessed to share weekends with friends and family at our house. So, naturally this makes our guest bedroom a really important space! One of the things that drew us to this home in particular was that the downstairs guest bedroom is actually a second master bedroom. It smaller than our upstairs master, but it has a bedroom, full bath, linen closet, and large walk in closet all together making it a comfortable space for guests. We use part of the closet to hang extra table linens and store some items that have no other home but otherwise it’s all for our guests!
We’ve slowly but surely been marking projects in this room off our list. Next up will be paint and organizing the linen closet with baskets but for now I’m really pleased with this space. We have two different bedding sets for the queen size bed. The newest set is a navy elephant print from Pottery Barn (I bought this set about a month ago on sale. It’s no longer available online but some stores still have it in the sale section!), which I’m loving right now! We want to eventually paint the wall behind the bed a navy color and get navy drapes hung so I think it will all tie in quite nicely. Our other bedding set is also from Pottery Barn in their PB Essentials collection. We have the white duvet with the flax linen diamond quilt. I use the quilt with both sets of bedding. For the elephant bedding I use it under the duvet and for the white bedding it goes over to add some more color. Both sets will look great adding in some more navy to the room.


The bed was my bed in high school, which we bought from Pier One Imports and the side tables came with our coffee table from Living Spaces a few months ago. We weren’t planning to use them in this room but I think they go nicely and of course offer great functionality!

Home Design Inspiration

I love looking through home magazines, Pinterest, Instagram… anything that can give me a little home design inspiration. My design style is very southern, country chic, pretty. But I try to balance that with a sense of classic design that my husband will also appreciate.
Below are a few pictures of rooms I’m loving right now. We have a few projects on the docket for our house and these pictures are helping us narrow down our wish list!
I love this wallpaper design

Beautiful tub with chandelier

Love this wallpaper design also!

This space looks so warm and inviting. Love the use of real stone!

Love the wall behind the toilet

Ah this floor!

Love the walls… Shiplap look!

Gorgeous open concept

I love this entryway table. Looks so unique and pretty.

WOW this window!

Love, Love, Love this brick!

Love the aqua and coral together

I love all the natural light in this washroom

Yay for organization!

Pretty home office



Where do you get your home inspiration from? To find the links to all these pictures visit my Pinterest page.

Pottery Barn Finds

In an attempt to finally remove all our Christmas decorations from the house, I set off to Pottery Barn for some new pillows. Since this is the first year in our home, and we hosted Christmas, I have been doing some major rearranging.
As soon as we knew we were hosting Ryan’s family for Christmas I started decorating and with this came “relocating” a lot of our living room décor to other parts of the house as “fillers” or just to make room for Christmas decorations. Prior to this I felt like our living room was the only real completed room of the house. So this was the weekend after Thanksgiving. Honestly, we just took down our Christmas decorations this week because we have company over for the weekend. Yeah, bad, I know!
Christmas is such a fun time of year… It’s hard to put it all away

I don’t know if we were just so used to the tree and all the fun décor, or what happened, but my living room looks crazy bare! I looked back on some old pictures to see what I had in the living room prior to Christmas and noticed that everything missing was comfortably in a new space of our house. I didn’t really want to go spend a ton of money to replace these items so I stopped by Pottery Barn and picked up a couple cute, comfy pillows and some new candles and holders, and today am heading to Pier One and Hobby Lobby to hopefully get the last few things. I have a couple DIY projects I want to do to fill these spaces so I’m excited to see how that goes. For now here are some pics of our new pillows… Plus a few others elements of our living room!

There is definitely room (and a need) for a cute chair in the left corner

Can’t pass up a cute doxie pillow!

These striped pillows from Pottery Barn are probably the most comfortable material ever! I’m thinking our bed needs one to!

I know… We still have this little deer pair out. But its winter-ish, right?!

I love wooden signs!

Yes our wedding cake topper was wiener dogs… Obsessed?!

New candles from Pottery Barn




The New House

Making this house our home has had its ups and its downs. Ryan and I moved about an hour away from where we grew up last June of 2014. We spent 5 months designing our home and watching the building process before we moved and those last few weeks were some of the most stressful weeks… There were definitely a few moments where I wanted to give up on the process all together. Not only were we moving a little ways away, but also we were selling my mom’s home… the home that held such precious and tender memories for me. It was the home my husband asked me to be his wife in. Right there, down on one knee in front of our beautiful fireplace. It was the last home I will have memories of my mom in. A lot of good moments and of course the memory of her last day here… The day she met her Savior face to face. That day I held her hand as God called her home. What an honor it is to be her daughter.
Me with my precious mama about a year before she was diagnosed with terminal cancer
Our living room where Ryan proposed to me on November 20,2014
The night he proposed to me with this gorgeous ring
Selling the house was a decision to loose that precious link to my mom. But I knew that for the health of my marriage and future babies it was the best decision to make. We were up sizing from 1200sq ft to 4000 sq ft (holy moly I didn’t realize how much furniture we’d be buying). Literally my old living room fit entirely into our loft in the new house. My old living room is the size of a bedroom here! Plus it was a move we needed for our marriage. Having a house that was “ours” not just mine was really important. We tried from the very beginning to make sure the house felt like ours, but it was definitely an unsaid thought in the back of our minds somewhere that it was my and my mama’s house. So I knew I needed to be unselfish and we needed to move as husband and wife into our home.
This was my cute old kitchen
The new kitchen being built
The new kitchen the night we moved in (before we bought a kitchen table)

Designing our house was a small nightmare. It didn’t seem like the lady we were working with had her act together and in an already nerve-racking situation, this fact did not help us. Moving day was no better as I was slowly starting to panic leaving my home. I loved this little house so much and the emotional aspect made the home nearly invaluable to me. After all, it had only been a year since I lost my mom and about 6 months since Ryan proposed to me in front of our beautiful fireplace. I could still see those moments so clearly in my mind and I wasn’t ready to loose them. But needless to say it was too late to turn around so off we went… my parents in law, Ryan, the movers that didn’t like us, and 3 traumatized wiener dogs…Eesh! What a sight we were!
Needless to say moving made us all a little grumpy, haha!

As we pulled up to the new house I knew we made the right decision and couldn’t have been happier to start the rest of our lives in this house. We were all unpacked the day we moved in and we owe our parents a huge thank you for that! As the weeks went on we started to realize the reality of buying a brand new home. It hasn’t been “broken in” and is so new and not to mention, white! The lack of character and color started to get me down from pretty early on. I wasn’t working and felt like the list of projects piling up around me was getting overwhelming.
One weekend Ryan and I really tried to tackle a few of these projects and from there on out we were unstoppable. We knew that the hard work and time spent on our house was time well spent. It was all paying off!
We started with a painting the office and the niches in our living room. This little bit of color made a world of difference! We bought a couple pieces of furniture including a coffee table and dining room table set which helped the rooms not seem so bare. We had bought a new couch before we moved in for the downstairs living room and I finally felt like the rooms were coming together. The house was feeling more like a home. 

Painting the niches in the living room added just enough color for now… Until we get all the “common” areas painted by a professional    
We were able to host Christmas last year at our new house for Ryan’s family which I was super excited about as my mom used to always host Christmas. Because of this, we painted a few more rooms and I had a good excuse to buy a couple fun decorations. Our house looked to pretty all festive for Christmas. To be honest, we haven’t taken down our tree yet! We keep saying each weekend we are going to do it and “haven’t had a chance.”

I just loved out house all decorated for Christmas!
The projects that are currently on our “docket” include my office/craft room upstairs (which I will post on when that is done), painting and adding wainscoting to our dining room, and painting out downstairs guest bedroom. We will end up hiring someone to paint the main areas of our house as we have really tall ceilings and our entry way is 2+ stories tall. It’s just more cost effective to have them done correctly with the right equipment rather that trying to DIY it all. We are also in the process of designing a patio in the back yard, which I’m really excited about! We are hoping to start that project around September of this year. Anyways, anyone that owns a house knows it’s a never-ending list of projects so I’m sure our list will only keep growing. But for now we are having so much fun adding our stamp on this house!

“Behold, I am doing a new thing…” Isaiah 43

My Kitchen

My weekend officially started Saturday afternoon (woohooo!) and naturally I couldn’t be happier to have this last day before work tomorrow! We had a ton of work to do around our house this weekend but decided to take yesterday “off” and spend most of the day walking around antique stores and ended up seeing American Shooter (amazing and intense movie!). Since we bought our home last June (I will post on that huge project this week) we have been spending every free second on projects. We were able to design our home as it was a new build and this came with many pros and some cons that we weren’t necessarily expecting… but I will touch on that this week.
Overall we couldn’t be happier and love this big ol’ house we call home. I absolutely love to cook and consider it such an act of love to cook for my husband and our families! So of course the kitchen is my favorite room of our house and it’s been such a joy of mine to really settle into this space and make it ours. The day we moved, the kitchen was all unpacked (with help from my step-mom and mother-in-law) and in proper working order… it is my perfect space! 
The kitchen on the night we moved in… so much has changed and been added making me fall more in love with it everyday.

Love this cute cutting board my brother-in-law and sister-in-law got us for Christmas! Matches our wiener dog towel!

Our new little coffee (&& tea) corner of the kitchen.. I love this little space!


One of my favorite parts of our kitchen is the connection I feel with my mom when I’m in it. She was such a homemaker and absolutely loved to cook. I’d always be so amazed because I could open the pantry and see nothing to eat and 10 minutes later she’d have a delicious meal made. I know it gave her such joy and I’m so grateful for the memories I have with her that revolve around the kitchen. In fact, one of my last memories with my mom was her showing me how to cut a pineapple… random, I know, but so so special! Isn’t it awesome when something so simple is such a huge reminder of something so sweet?!