Moving..... with children

I've partnered with Extra Space Storage on this post as we prepare to move into our new home soon - but stick around because we have a giveaway for ya'll over on my Instagram. Keep reading!

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So if you've been following the progress of our own house on Instagram (you know, the really cool adobe dream home that I can't stop yammering on about) you are probably guessing correctly that we are almost close to moving in! We are currently driving around the country visiting all of our family like crazy people (who doesn't do this one month before moving?) so we have a lot of upheaval in our lives, and it's just now hitting me that as soon as we get home, we will probably be moving in a few weeks. And I'll be honest.... I'm O-VER-WHELMED.

Moving has always been kind of a hobby of ours. I actually feel pretty confident with moving - packing, purging, organizing, etc. It feels refreshing to resettle.

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When we were young and foolish folk (as every young person is and must be), we sold everything we had and moved from Nashville, TN to live in a tiny house in Shelton, WA (north of Olympia, west of Seattle across the Puget Sound). We only took what we could fit with us in our little Volvo station wagon. It was crazy, it was kind of romantic and fun. We were moving into about 250 square feet from a 2 bedroom bungalow, so we were forced to downsize and it felt great (although there's still some things I regret getting rid of and I wish I could have just hung onto them somehow, but hindsight, etc).

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We realized the tiny house lifestyle / Pacific Northwest lifestyle wasn't really for us (although highly recommend trying it out because, why not!?), so again, we packed up our little Volvo wagon and bought a 3 bed, 2 bath,  2,000 square foot house in Phoenix! The only piece of furniture we had to our name was this little midcentury modern coffee table that I found for $5 at a thrift store, and we actually still have that same coffee table to this day.

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We loved Phoenix, and loved getting to gradually fill our home with furniture. But then we got job offers with our friends at A Beautiful Mess in Springfield, Missouri that were just too exciting to pass up! So this time, we did the very adult thing by NOT selling all of our possessions and rented a moving truck to get us to Missouri. Within Missouri, we ended up moving homes twice (we rented a home, and then bought a gorgeous Victorian home - Josh still gets tears in his eyes when he thinks about having left that home behind) and ultimately, we missed Phoenix too much, so once again - we moved back.

When we moved to Missouri, Imogen was a mere 2 months old. When we moved into our gorgeous Victorian home, she was still a baby - maybe 9 months old? And then when it came time to move back to Phoenix, I was pregnant with Loyal, and Imogen was just over a year old. Although moving with a baby certainly has some complicated aspects to it, babies are just cute little sacks of potatoes, and you kinda don't have to consider their thoughts on moving. Like, I'm sure they notice their room is different, but they go with the flow so easily that there's not really much of a transition period, right?

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As we prepare for moving into our new home, I'm trying to consider the kids' feelings through all of this. Imogen is now nearly 4, and Loyal is 2. We decided to start the conversation a long time ago in hopes that they see this as an exciting thing (although -gulp- the kids are going from having their own rooms to sharing a room). But it's been so fun taking the kids to the new house as it's been in progress, walking through their new room. I wasn't sure how much it was sinking in until the other night when Imogen was *supposed* to be sleeping, but I guess she had found Better Homes & Gardens magazine and was looking at it in bed (so proud) and she came running in to the living room saying "MAMA! In our new house, can I have a room like this!?" And she was so excited to show me this photo of a little bench with pillows under a window, with a cute side table, a lamp, and a piece of sheepskin thrown over the bench. It warmed my heart SO MUCH. We decided to show papa and ask him if he could build her a window bench, and she wanted to sleep with the magazine next to her. But even at the age of 3, she dreams of what her room will look like, and that's pretty special. I want to honor that. She has her own dreams of her space just like we all do!

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Even so, I know there will be an adjustment time to our new house, especially with Loyal, who can't really communicate as well as Imogen can, and I am trying to brainstorm what we can do to make his transition feel more easy for him! I've teamed up with Extra Space Storage to bring a VERY special giveaway on my Instagram - to enter, go to the post HERE! To enter, all you have to do is share what you've done to help make a moving transition easier on your little ones (or even if you don't have kids or have never had to move with kids - what do you think you would do? All advice is welcome here, folks!). Giveaway is open until 8/26 (Saturday) at 8pm EST. I'm giving away a few of my favorite things that help turn a new house into a cozy home, which Extra Space Storage was super cool about letting me pick out my own giveaway items! One lucky winner will win:

1). A Moroccan orange + pink pom-pom blanket
I LOVE decorating with these because they're so interesting, colorful, and they make a great statement! They're way bigger and they get cozier and cozier with age and wash. If you were to ask me ONE thing to buy that would make your house feel homier, I would say get one of these blankets. (then I would say, buy a crap ton of pillows and plants and you got a stew goin'.)

2). One of my NEW FAVORITE HOUSE STAPLES: A Standard Wax ceramic reed diffuser
If you have followed me for awhile, you KNOW this is one of my favorite candle companies, but Sam just launched a line of reed diffusers and I can *not* get enough of ours! We chose ours in Green Thumb for our own house, which is a really fresh, woodsy scent that I wish I could drink, but basically any of their scents are crazy good. You'll get to pick your own scent! They last quite awhile, and the minimalist ceramic containers make really sweet flower bud vases after they are done.

3). A year's subscription to Better Homes & Gardens
I wanted to throw in a magazine subscription because I'm old fashioned and still love getting magazines / tangible inspiration in the mail every month. BHG is one of my favorites, and as it's the one that brought Imogen her new room inspiration, I wanted to give this away, too! :)

Again - head on over to the Instagram post to enter! Comments on this blog post will not be entered into the giveaway (although you're welcome to chime in on the blog as always!). :)

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This post is in partnership with Extra Space Storage, and all thoughts and opinions are my own! Thanks for supporting the people who support us!
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Dress Up Your Entryway

Our days are sweltering lately, so I don't know about you, but heavy gardening outside this time of year is a big NOPE! Thankfully this project that I partnered with TruGreen on is very minimal outdoor work. ;) Today we are sharing how to dress up your entry way with some simple plants and planters as part of our series on boosting your home's curb appeal! This project is really more shopping than anything, and I love it because it's especially renter-friendly and easy to change around depending on the season and the plants you'd like to showcase by your home.

The supplies needed for this are pretty simple!

  • Planters
  • Plants
  • Potting soil & garden trough

TIP: To keep it looking interesting, when you're shopping for planters, remember to shop for planters of all sizes and throw in a couple of cool textures, too! For instance, make sure and get 1-2 large planters, 3-4 medium sized planters, and 2-3 small planters. Remember to shop for plants of different heights and types as well! This is purely preference, but I tend to love asymmetry around an entryway because it seems like it helps create a flow to feel more inviting.

So here is the entryway before we started:

It's cute and well-kept, but needed a little oomph, to give you a very technical word. Try and keep up!! ;) To see the "after," be sure and watch the video below!

Okay what did you think? I totally love how it turned out, if I say so myself! I found most of the planters at Target and some at our local nursery. If you're local, what's your favorite place for plant shopping? I'm always looking for more nurseries!

If you missed our past posts with TruGreen, you can see our wall garden HERE and our DIY fountain HERE. Be sure and follow TruGreen's Instagram page for a lot more ideas on how to live life outside!

This post was in partnership with TruGreen, because we'd like to encourage you to live life outside! But as always, opinions are my own.

Build Your Own (SUPER Easy) Fountain!

Hey guys! I'm partnering again with TruGreen to show you how to bring more curb appeal to your home to help you Live Life Outside - and this time we are going to build a really easy little fountain. No tools required, you guys! That's how easy this is!

We made this quick little video to show you how! Below, you can also see my extra tips on building your fountain.

1. To make this REALLY easy on yourself, choose two planters of various sizes - bonus if the top one has a hole in the bottom already! I found these two planters at Target! Otherwise, you can choose any kind of basin for the top part of the fountain, but if it doesn't have a hole and it is ceramic, you will have to drill a hole using a masonry bit. The bottom basin does not need to have a hole - in fact, if it does have a hole, you will have to seal it up to ensure that the water doesn't escape!

2. Choose a small submersible pump for your fountain! The type of tubing you purchase depends on the opening the pump you purchase specifies. Our pump said the opening was 1/2", so we bought 1/2" tubing. Pretty simple!

3. When you use the waterproof silicone, you will need to give it at least 24 hours to dry before you expose it to the water! Through the magic of video we were able to make it look like this takes one afternoon, and though it really is not a time-consuming project at all (it maybe takes an hour to build, tops!), you will need to plan ahead and make sure everything is properly sealed and dried before you can add your water. :)

4. We chose to drape the the pump cord over the bottom basin and hide it behind the fountain (you can't see it from the front, but you can see it in the overhead photo below). If you want a little more of a discreet look, you can drill a hole into the basin and splice the cord, but ONLY do so if you know what you're doing (or you know someone who does). Electrical stuff is no joke, especially in close proximity to water!

5. We were able to find our pump, tubing, river rocks, and silicone all at our local hardware store! If you feel intimidated looking for them, don't be bashful about asking someone. :)

Let me know if you try this out!! I was shocked how easy a fountain is to actually build. I'm convinced my 3 year old could have done it, too - in fact, it might be a fun project to do with your little ones - why not!? Get outside and make something fun together! :)

This is part two of our series on ways to boost your curb appeal of your home or apartment - expect more to come (and click HERE to see how we built a wall garden). Be sure and follow TruGreen's Instagram page for a lot more ideas on how to live life outside!

This post was created in partnership with TruGreen, but all thoughts and ideas are my own! Thanks for supporting the companies that support us!