A Visit to Waco & Austin Texas

A couple weeks ago all my Fixer Upper fan girl dreams came true: a trip to Magnolia! I am so thankful my husband is equal parts supportive of my obsession and a fan himself, except when it comes to my lofty dreams of tiling from floor to ceiling or ripping out necessary walls of our last home. 

We headed down South early one morning to make sure we could be there as soon as they opened the next morning. After a wonderful recommendation from our friend Lauren, we stayed at Hotel Indigo. After scooping the loop and seeing the Silos in the evening light, we headed to the hotel to check in. Though we weren't their long, the place was lovely, clean, and modern. Grae loved running around the spacious room and climbing in and out of the tiled walk-in shower. 

The next morning we woke up and it felt like a mild version of Christmas morning. I was giddy, peering out of the window seeing the Silos. We arrived, signed up with Waco Tours (which was AWESOME btw), and got in line for the bakery. If you're heading to Waco anytime soon (which you totally should!), here are our top things to do that we enjoyed and would highly recommend! 

Places to stay: Hotel Indigo & Gathering Oaks Retreat

Places to eat and drink: In & Out Burger, Common Grounds Coffee, Silos Bakery, Food Trucks, Tony DeMaria's Bar-B-Que

Things to do: Waco Zoo, Waco Tour, Magnolia & The Silos, Drive by Magnolia Inn, Walk & take photos at Lover's Leap, Tour of Baylor

Though we never got to see or meet the famous duo, just seeing the transformation of this town and all they've done with their business was a huge inspiration to us. We left on cloud 9, dreaming and planning our own next steps with our businesses and a new plan on the horizon!

All photos shot on film and developed by Richard Photo Lab.

The Living Room | Ideas

After selling our home and committing to the idea of building a carriage house, many new factors came in to play: downsizing, storage, and function. After talking a lot about our next steps, we decided quickly we didn't want to store a lot, especially if it would not fit in our new, smaller home. We considered our options and the best choice was to host a sale! Thankfully most items went quick, which gave us the opportunity to start fresh.

After living in an old home filled with historic dark wood work and floors, we are ready for a bright and airy change. With our new living space being on the second floor and facing the southeast side, we are expecting a lot of sunny days ahead. Our last color scheme was pretty neutral with warm accents and masculine touches. I loved it and thought it went well with our space but the change-loving-girl that I am, decided to go with a neutral palette again but with feminine accents and airy fabrics. Unfortunately having a wild toddler and pup doesn't lend itself well to most white couches and chairs. Instead, I am leaning towards slipcovered pieces mixed with lighter grays or blues and touches of cognac leather. And maybe a little blush velvet here and there! 

One of our main requests with the new space was to have an open floor plan. When Grae (our babe) was a baby, having a chopped up house was never a problem. However as months went on and the more he started moving, it was not ideal having his play area walls apart from the kitchen or other areas of our home. I tried high chair games and lots of snacks, but that only lasted so long. Meal prep and cooking lengthy recipes weren't an option until Daddy got home. Obviously a first world problem, but one that made me realize an open floor plan would serve our family and guests well. After having Grae, the joy of hosting playdates and family gatherings grew stronger. We wanted a space conducive for that and comfortable for all.

Our new space will be open to the stairwell, Grae's play area, and kitchen/dining/living combined with sliders leading to the small deck. With that in mind the colors and style must flow from space to space.

After purchasing a few pieces on sale already, the virtual tour is coming together. Stayed tuned for the room layout & design coming soon!

All photos from mood board above found from Pinterest.com

Saying Goodbye

As a lover of all things change, I've always adored day dreaming about the next steps in life. Even as a kid, I would look forward to big moves and never felt overly sentimental. This move felt no different. I was excited for a new and different lifestyle living in the middle of nowhere yet still close enough to town

We lived in our first home for close to five years. It was a dump to say the least and needed to be completely gutted. We were planning our wedding, I was in college, and we were both working. It was a stressful time to say the least, but it was fun making our new home all our own with custom built in bookshelves, brand new everything, and an open floor plan. When we found our second home on a tree lined street in a historic part of town, there was no hesitation putting that for sale sign in the yard and saying goodbye. 

Our second and most recent home was in a similar state as our first. It was a foreclosure that had served as a rental for many years. Thankfully we didn't have to do a complete gut, but it did need two new baths, a new laundry room, updated electrical and plumbing, painting, floors, a deep clean, and a kitchen update. After moving in with my parents for two months, we worked every free moment we had on that place. We weren't able to complete all our plans right away, but over the course of three and a half years we updated almost everything we want excluding the exterior, which we were going to tackle this Spring. 

After having Grae, my goals and ideas changed when it came to my business and our home life. I wanted a studio & meeting space on site and I dreamed of an open floor plan where I could cook, meal plan, and tidy up, while still keeping little Grae in my sight. With a great real estate market in Des Moines, we knew it was time to sell. Once we sold our home, I started packing, trying to pace myself as I knew caring for a toddler, running a business, and moving would catch up to me if I procrastinated. I was excited, wrapping everything up and boxing away our things, while purging a ton along the way. Excited for a new life in the country!

It wasn't until our last night staying there that I got choked up thinking about all of memories here. This home meant more to me than the last. It was where we struggled with infertility, crying on the couch, pleading with God, asking for answers. It was where we found out God had answered our prayers and given us the best gift. It was where we brought home our first child. Grae grew up in this home his first year. He learned how to sit up, crawl, walk, and eventually run. It was less about the walls and structure and more about where we began and grew our little family. 

Thank you to Jen Golay who captured our last few moments in our old home perfectly! We will cherish these forever.

 

Grae's Nursery on 42nd Street

My first baby's sweet room was a labor of love. Before we even knew we were pregnant, I was dreaming away on our future baby's room. After finding the crib I had always wanted (a major steal, might I add), I began compiling ideas here and there. What started out as a modern nursery, ended up more sweet and cozy, with whimsical elements.

I started with the pieces we owned, the dark wood Stokke crib and the ivory painted mid century dresser. From there, I knew I wanted to keep the color scheme neutral as we hoped to have more children that would use the space someday and we were also waiting to find out the gender until birth. After perusing one of my favorite online shops, Anthropologie, I found the perfect drapes to compliment the space. The pom poms added a playful vibe with classic colors. After a few more shopping trips to Home Goods, an antique store, and Ikea, our babe's room was complete!

*All sources below*

Sources

Crib | Stokke

Rocker | 2 Modern Furniture

Dresser | Thrifted & Painted

Book shelves | Ikea

Display shelves | Ikea

Bunny lamp | Land of Nod

Bunny Mobile | Etsy 

Sheepskin | Ikea

Rug | Home Goods

Blackout Roman Shades | Country Curtains 

Peanut Changing Pad | Keek a Roo

Hooks | Anthropolgie 

Art & Mirror | Vintage

Pouf, Side Table, & Gold Lamp | Target 

 

The Nursery | Ideas

We have an interesting and complicated story when it comes to our little Grae. I'll share my fertility journey one of these days, but long story short, God answered our long awaited prayers in a big way and surprised us with the best two lines on a pregnancy test taken on April 9th, 2015. Mind you, just 24 hours before my appointment to start fertility treatments after over 5 years of trying to have a baby. Excited and surprised is an understatement of the emotions we felt that day and even still.

When it comes to a baby, there so many unknowns (still are) but I knew just what I wanted for his room: sweet, classic, light, and airy. Basically my natural style. After finding his crib for a steal, we started with that and added in new elements as we discovered them. 

Below, I compiled images I was drawn to from the beginning. Obviously his room turned out different but the vibe first started here. Stay tuned for his nursery reveal tomorrow on the blog! 

Photos below found through Pinterest.com 

The Carriage House

For years we have dreamt of building and compiled ideas here and there. When this far away idea came to reality, we wanted to be wise and not dive in too deep.

When we first got married, Loren and I took Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace class. We learned about budgets, getting out of debt, and being smart with our money. Long story short, Loren is the saver and I am the spender. *gasps, i know* Thankfully he does a great job of keeping us on track and reels in my lofty dreams.

When it came to figuring out what we wanted to do next, we knew one thing for sure, we didn't want a lot of debt. Unfortunately with the prospect of buying an acreage and building something, the prices didn't match our budget. We thought about our options, budget, and goals and we had our answer: a carriage house.  

With a photography business, small family, and goals of opening up a venue space, a carriage house would serve us and others well. A small space designed for our family on top and a natural light studio below. A potential to be a bridal suite and offer facilities to guests. A retreat away from the hustle and bustle of our daily life. A farm for small animals and a large garden. A place for our family and friends to visit and play. 

We were excited about this idea and presented it to a talented local builder, Oakstone Homes. After meeting with them at one of their custom builds, we were sold. Their work is stunning with specialty ideas and custom finishes. And top notch customer service!

What started as an inspiration board, hopefully will end as our *mini* dream home.

 

All photos from mood board above found from Pinterest.com

 

 

Welcome

Welcome welcome welcome!

I am so glad you're here, I am so excited to be sharing our life with y'all (Did I forget to mention I am from Georgia?). This year has been quite a whirlwind and it is about to get a bit crazier. After finding a lovely house a few miles away, we (mostly I) were gung-ho about getting our *current* home ready to sell and on the market! I will rewind a bit, we weren't really looking to move but after working on our first two homes (foreclosures), we were always looking for the next opportunity or project. After being 99% sure we loved the house we found, we listed our home.

After a whirlwind of 20 showings in two days, our house SOLD! This meant we needed to come up with a plan and quick. The more we thought about our next *fixer upper*, the reality starting setting in of raising a baby and working on a new project day in and day out until all 2,300 sq feet were remodeled and updated. We saw dollar signs and tired eyes. We had our answer!

Our dream has always been to build. To build a home, a life on land, and maybe a venue for weddings and events. This dream felt far away, especially with a new baby and my desire to be close to town. But after some thinking, planning, and a drive out to the country, our hearts were open to this, once faraway, idea. Stay tuned for more about this big change!