4.21.2017
Spring Wardrobe Update

Spring Wardrobe Update

4.21.2017

Hey! I was recently working on cleaning up the blog and restructuring the categories when I realized that the 'food' and 'style' genres have been thrown to the wayside in the midst of all things home that have been happening around here. SO, now that all of the initial home tour posts are up and out I'm hoping to mix in more food and style posts consistently.

It's perfect timing to do so since I've spent this past several weeks filling in the holes in my spring/summer wardrobe since the weather is juuuuuust now starting to finally turn away from winter and on to warmer, greener and sunnier days!

My wardrobe has been a real work in progress over the past year or so. I've done a few major clear outs from which I consigned almost all of the non-keepers. A recycling of sorts. Sell what no longer works or fits to in turn re-invest that money into what does. Intention at its best. In doing so I've also been able to curate an intentional list of pieces that need to be replaced or would better fit into my life style than what I already had (for example: get rid of the fancy skirts I never wear, replace with that casual cute navy romper).

As an outcome or sorting through, I had a fall/winter list which I fulfilled for that season and I have a concise spring/summer list as well which I've just now checked off. The goal has also been to get rid of items that are poor quality, and instead build a higher quality wardrobe with less items over time. It's taken about a year or two to get to this point but I think I can safely say, I've arrived. I feel as though my wardrobe is finally not too big and not too small. Every item can be worn with so many combinations of pieces, is high quality, fits correctly and is certain to get plenty of use.

A few good examples of how this came about would be the black mules and white jeans. I had a pair of black mules from Forever21 which I had purchased quite cheaply since I wasn't sure if I'd really love them or not. Turns out they were my go to heel last summer but due to the poor quality, ended up being really dinged up and lasted just that season. SO, I chose to invest in a better quality (and when I say invest, I mean turn the focus on quality, as the spendy part of it is subjective and not the point) mule this year to last me the next 5-10 years instead of re-purchasing the same cheap pair each year. The same goes for the white jeans, I kept buying a pair from Marshall's every spring or summer, but they would never fit right and always seemed to lose their shape after being washed. Since white jeans are such a staple item in my closet, I "invested" this year and went for something higher quality.

My end all be all goal is to not spend money on clothes beyond a piece or two here and there. Having an intentional, concise, workable and good quality wardrobe means buying once and then it's done. To me, it's freeing and a relief to not have to keep a consistent budget season to season for this sort of thing. I'd rather focus on being creative with what I have and really loving what is already in my closet.
Alright now that I've laid out my philosophy behind the approach I've taken with my wardrobe, here is what drew me to each piece (top to bottom, left to right):

Free People Royale Flats
These are #1 on the this list because, just look at them. I've been eyeing these for about a good year and a half now. I finally caved. And I am so glad I did. These shoes are everything. First of all, they're so. insanely. comfortable. They're like slippers. Second of all, have you ever seen anything like them?! Me either. They're so simple in that they're a brown leather flat but the pointed toe with the cut out......it really just does it for me. Bottom line, I'm obsessed with them. And I get asked at least once a day where they're from so here you go - I cannot say enough good things about them. They're worth every single penny. And I cannot wait to wear them for so many seasons to come.

Madewell High Rise Distressed Black Skinny Jeans
These are a replace and invest item as I do have some black skinnies but the quality is poor and after seeing how often I wore them this winter, they've really pilled up and it was time to get something to last through many more fall/winter/springs. The ripped knee makes them and I'm okay with embracing the casual lifestyle that allows me to really get a ton of use out of them. Also, almost all my jeans at this point are Madewell's 9" high rise and I'll never look back. The stretch. The high rise that keeps it all in (you know what I'm talking about). Yes.

Madewell High Rise White Skinny Jeans
I'm relieved to finally have a pair of white jeans that fit, don't sag after a wash or two and just plain work. I wear them so often in the spring and summer, I was overdue for a good pair. And yes, again they're the 9" high rise that I can't get enough of.

Madewell Striped Blouse Tank
I had on my list of items to replace a "going out shirt" which to me means a shirt for the occasional fancier date night, holiday or something along those lines. I really love those off the shoulder blouses that are so popular right now, or even a dainty camisole, but it's just not in the cards for me. Bottom line is that a bra is a must so I was on the hunt for a quality top that would allow for that. Initially I went against my will and bought this top but ended up returning it since I just knew I'd never be comfortable in it since it requires a strapless bra. I'm glad I did and instead ended up with this comfy and realistic (for me) little top. It's slightly cropped in the front which is flattering especially with high waisted shorts or jeans :)

Lucky Brand Black Mules
Lucky Brand makes great shoes, hands down. These are my third pair (I also love and wear these and these on a daily basis) and like those high waisted jeans, I'm pretty sure I won't be looking elsewhere anytime soon. I love the classic style of a mule. This particular pair is so comfortable and the heel is just enough where it gives an outfit that extra oomph yet they're also perfectly easy to walk in.

Madewell Whisper Cotten Crew Stripe T-Shirt in Teal Stripe
Stripes are my go to. I love the sage/teal green color and thought it was just enough of a step away from my usual grey and white or black and white stripe t's in the past. This and the other stripe t on this list were replacements for worn out and well loved t's from past seasons.

Madewell Abroad Trench Coat
I've been eyeing the return of the trench coat trend for a few years now and never purchased one because I wasn't sure if I wanted short or long, buttons or no buttons, tie or no tie. I saw this one on sale at Madewell and finally went for it, ultimately deciding to go for the tried and true classic style trench. I was looking for a jacket to transition from winter to spring to summer and I know it'll do the same for summer to fall to winter, score. And the classic style is timeless to boot. (Close runner up was this shorter trench from Everlane)

Everlane Cotten V T-Shirt in Rose
All of my basic t-shirts are from Everlane. They're soft, comfortable, wash well, keep their shape, are great quality and so well priced at just $15. They cover all the bases and then some. I practically live in t-shirts so it's important to me to have ones that will hold up. I have white, grey, black and navy thus far. And wanted to add the rose one for a bit of color.....gasp.

Roolee Open Roads Romper in Navy 
As I touched on this piece earlier, I really honed in on what a realistic wardrobe looks like for my life style. As much as I wanted to love the fancier skirts and such that I had, I just never have a reason or place to wear them. So, on to a more loving closet they went. For whatever reason, to me the translation for my casual wardrobe is a romper. So many of them are printed and a bit loud, this all navy cotton number from Roolee was my ideal. It also has pockets, win.

Madewell Whisper Cotten T-Shirt in Navy Stripe
Nothing ground breaking here other than I know I need more than one stripe shirt in my rotation and I liked the subtle difference in this one how the stripes are so far apart vs. the usual closer knit look.

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And that's that! Whew! I hope this post helps inspire you to clear out a bit of the clutter in your closet and shop with a clear eye for what gaps need filling in your seasonal wardrobe. It's amazing how much easier it is to put together outfits and how happy I am to do so when I'm choosing from items that really work.

Looking forward to sharing more style posts of these pieces out in the wild and how they fall into my day to day!



Until then, cheers -




Building Our Home: The Final Stretch

Building Our Home: The Final Stretch


Finally, somehow, progress has been moving quicker than I've had time to keep up with updating here! I've had this post in drafts for about ten days now or so and even since then, there's been the final progress with more pictures to post.

With that said, here is the progress tour of the house as it's being built. Instead of posting the two sets of photos in two posts, I'll just put them all here. You get the point! Double the love. And like I've said before, if nothing else, I'm so looking forward to the day when we look back on these progress photos and see where we started from. A time capsule if you will.

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This set is essentially the progress of the completion of the farmer's porch, shutters hung, hardwood and tile floors in and the counter tops installed...



And then a week later, it really all came together. The land was cleared and leveled, the driveway was paved, the appliances were installed, banisters put in, light fixtures installed...! AH! Even the hydro-seed was laid which even though it will take a few weeks or months to really grow in, at least gives a visual of what it'll look like greenery-wise and where it'll all fall. Pinch. Me.

Seeing the land all graded was like night and day. It looks 10x bigger, if that was even possible and just looked.... like home, all of a sudden! It was a surreal moment. Sort of like, "Oh! There it is!".

And the final touch which was done in the past few days so we don't have photos of it yet is that the carpet was installed upstairs in all of the bedrooms :) We got a light berber. Which, according to the sales person at the flooring store, apparently no one seeks out anymore? News to me. It's the only carpet I'd ever choose! #berberfanforlife


And that's a wrap! We close in seven days and then it's ours. It's home. Gosh we cannot WAIT! This extra month was a true test of patience, and I'm not sure how we did it, but here we are... down to mere days!

The next time I post here about the house, we'll be moved in and settled :) Mind you, this make some patience on your end as we plan to settle in slowly and right. This is it. This is our forever home and we're going to take our time with it. But when all is said and done, it'll be so worth it! Until then, perhaps snippets here and there of what we've accomplished in the mean time. I'm also honestly excited to move on a bit and start posting about other topics again like our weekend adventures and most importantly an expansion on the style and food genres here.

With that, the next post coming in a few days will be about the key spring pieces I've added to my wardrobe this season!
4.11.2017
Local Gem: Umami

Local Gem: Umami

4.11.2017


Even though we haven't moved up North to our new home yet, we've still spent a decent amount of time exploring a few local spots when we're in the area checking in on the progress of the build or dropping off materials. If you know Derek and I, you know we love good food. So it is really not a very big surprise that we've already found our go-to spot in our new community: Umami.



Our first time there was the day our offer was accepted on the house. At that point, we felt we could really start to begin picturing the future we had in this area and could invest time into checking it out without any false hopes. Since that day, we've eaten here almost every time we're up in the area. It's in the next town over from us, Northwood, which is about a 7 minute drive from our new home. SCORE.



I absentmindedly forgot to take any photos of what we ordered this time around which also if you know me is VERY out of character. I'm always that person that is practically standing on the table to get "the shot" of my food. Let's just say it was so good, photos weren't on my mind once the food arrived ;) I'll be sure to take photos of our dishes next time for ya'll.

As you can see on the menu though (at least I shot that!), they serve unique farm to table casual eats. The burgers are insane. The bowls are delicious. I can't wait to try it all. They also have an equally amazing brunch menu which is served on Sundays... top of the list to try it out once we move in.



They don't stop at the food selection. The drinks are just as delectable. A huge coffee list and even some seasonal options as well as locally made sodas and yes... beer, wine and THREE different blends of mimosas. Swoon.


Also at the top of the list once we move into our new home is to go to Umami on a Friday night when there is live music being performed! The whole vibe is so up our alley. This is why we're moving to a place like this... a simple yet so well done joint like this that offers everything your (our?) heart could desire. Top notch unique food, wide drink selection, trendy yet country atmosphere, the kindest people and no-fuss live music. Yaaas.


Like I said, the atmosphere is on point. It's large enough so you're not on top of one another like some cafe-esque places are, yet so so cozy with quaint reading corners and twinkle lights. Not to mention, the staff are always so happy and genuine — something we're not so use to! The pace of life up here is just, calmer.


I think it's safe to say Umami is a local gem. We can't wait to have casual and simple date nights here as well as experience their bluegrass brunch on Sundays. More so, we are so eager to continue exploring our new stomping grounds to discover more gems like this :)


Until then, one last pre-move in house update is coming a bit later this week! Flooring, counter tops, the completed farmers porch... to name a few new updates!!



4.05.2017
Building Our Home: First Look Tour

Building Our Home: First Look Tour

4.05.2017

This is the first time I'm sharing photos of our actual house here! How exciting and surreal...a dream come true. Even as short of a time as six months ago, I would not have imagined that this crazy thing called life would take us here... and despite the roller coaster ride that is new construction, I'm glad it did.

Until now it's been a lot of framed walls and the progress was boring stuff like HVAC, electrical and plumbing. However, the pretty things started coming together over the past few weeks so we took ride up this past weekend to see for ourselves and boost our stamina to get through this long(er-than-expected) haul.

Believe it or not, this was April 1. Snowing like a bear. And the day we were slated to be moving in. Boy oh boy do things happen for a reason. We moved OUT of our home in a snow storm and if we'd have moved IN to our new home in one as well.......? Yikes! Blessing in disguise that we're delayed, or so I keep telling myself!

So here we are! Marveling at the progress and getting ridiculously excited for the huge new chapter that this house poses for us.

As far as the exterior of the house, the siding is fully up as well as the deck!


This view of the quiet woods behind the house is what floats my boat most in life.


We're deck people. LOVE a well situated deck with a view. My dad is known for having an awesome custom one at each house he's lived in because, paaaartay! So, I suppose that's where I get it from. Though ours is not massive, it's much bigger than what we had at our townhouse and I cannot wait to set up a table to seat six (!!!) for many dinner parties to come in the fresh air.


The kitchen! Ah! It's white, bright and has the matte black cup pulls I've dreamt of for so long. That's a normal thing to dream about, right? Seeing the cabinets installed made this all so real. Like, there it is. My dream kitchen. Right before my eyes.


The island was an add on that is well worth the cost as it'll allow a daily place for us to eat meals and  it even has drawers/cabinets for extra storage! That was a pleasant surprise.


The kitchen is open to the living room and sliding glass doors. The area in front of the sliding glass doors is meant to be where a table goes to make it an eat-in kitchen. However, we're not sold on that use. You'll see further down in the post that we turned the study/4th bedroom on the other side of the big wall you see here, into a dining room. We plan to have a big ol' farm table in there for when we have guests over. And like I said before, we'll use the island on a day to day basis. So to have a third spot to eat in the kitchen seems excessive. We had a table in our previous house in the kitchen and never used it! So, I'm thinking of putting my piano on the small wall there and making that a cozy corner.


This shot shows the openness of the kitchen to the living room/entry. The open door there goes down to the basement/garage.


Down this hall to the left is the 'dining room', to the right is a half bath/laundry room and straight ahead is a storage closet/pantry.


The fireplace, swoon. What a treat it'll be to have that in the fall and winter when it's chilly out. Not to mention a mantel for hanging stockings... ahh! Oh and, two words: carrara marble <3<3<3<3


We were excited to see even small details installed like the trim around the windows and some of the baseboards! It's truly forming into a house. Not to mention, all of the walls are up and painted!


The exterior door handles are now installed and though that may seem minor, it's something I'm (oddly?) sentimental about. For whatever reason, the front door handle is something my dad has always been specific in every house we had growing up. We always had a stately handle to really give the front entry a little bit extra something. To me it is one of the many things that makes a house a home. Without it, the house wouldn't feel complete.


The front door opens up to the farmers porch which I just, really, cannot wait to enjoy. I grew up with a farmers porch and I truly appreciate the joy that comes from the moments spent there.


See that entry next to the stairwell? That's where the 'dining room' is that we created.


And here it is. It's a great size and we'll be able to fit a table large enough to seat our family for holidays — a major goal of ours in making this move. I cannot wait to pick out just the right wood farm table to raise our family with and then pass down from generation to generation.


It's....really hard to take photos of small rooms, so pardon the terrible angle here. Props to you, real estate photographers! Anyway, this is the half bath / laundry room on the first floor. Derek and I agreed we'd have color on the walls in a few of the bathrooms so the half bath and guest bath got it, a muted sage green. Love!


The railing is up in the stairwell!... again, something minor but groundbreaking all at the same time. This is the view from the master bedroom looking towards the linen closet, guest bath and what will be our home office on the other side of the large wall there.


The master bedroom has two tiny charming windows which will be above the bed. This is just one of the many details that we fell in love with right away. It's unexpected and gives the house character. The door to the right there is the walk in closet.


And from the opposite perspective, you can see the lovely big windows and the door that leads into the master en suite bathroom.


We're so excited to have an en suite! This means having guests over will be just that much more comfortable for everyone which is so important to us as we grow into our home becoming the hub. It'll also be a neat change to have a large stand up shower instead of a tub. We plan on adding glass doors soon after moving in to really jazz it up.


This is the bedroom adjacent to the master bedroom. It'll be used as a guest room. The two windows there are so fun, they crank open! Again, another detail of character we love.


Are you keeping up? I know, a lot of windows and empty walls...it's hard to differentiate. This here is the 3rd bedroom at the end of the hall. We will use it as our home office.


This is a shot of the hallway from the other end, looking at the master bedroom on the left and the guest bedroom on the right.


Directly across from our home office is a linen closet and the guest bath.


I'm so excited that we'll have a fresh, new, clean bathtub. Never used before. GOLD. Derek has his workshop in the garage and... I'm claiming this tub as my sanctuary for relaxing hot baths. Something I've been dying to have for ages. And theoretically could have had, but I could never quite get over my clean-freak fear of an old tub. Ha!


The garage is a two car and is currently full of building materials so I will take better photos of that once we're in and Derek has nested (his sanctuary). The basement is small but functional and there's really nothing to document there.

With that, there it is! The first look at our house!!


This quiet little country road is soon to be our home. Our dream home. Our forever home. We've worked so hard as a couple the past (almost) 6 years. And I've personally worked towards this goal since I was about 16. It's been my greatest goal to make a serene and comfortable home with the one I love in a place that we love, to welcome our family and friends into for so many years to come.


It's the end and the beginning.

It's the end of the chase and hustle it took to get here.
It is time to reap the benefits of what we've sowed.

Yet it's the beginning of so much more. The beginning of a life uniquely ours.

It's not only a geographical move but a lifestyle change is on the cusp as well. We plan to shift our priorities away from the sprint it's been to begin our life together and instead now focus on digging our roots into who we are and where we are.

It's time to quit hopping from one thing to the next and instead plant our feet. It's time to lean into living a simple life. It's time to shift, to reclaim our space as a couple and be care free with our time. It's time to be still. It's time to own what we believe in and build the foundation for, God willing, little ones to enter our family down the road. This house, this move and this change in pace is the start of it all. It's just the beginning...


xo,