Thought Dump

Remember when blog posts were more thought dumps? I thought I'd go for that this morning. I woke up sick again today. I'm sick a lot, but you never really get used to being sick.

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The flip house: having it on the market is nerve wracking! Maybe even more stressful than actually working on it. I'm trying not to think about it very much.

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Imogen turned 3 on Saturday! I swear she seems so much older, like she got older overnight. It's such a mystery, longing for the baby days, longing for her future, and absolutely loving her present. Who she is growing into, the new things she is learning. I couldn't be more proud of her. But how did we get here? How did 3 years go by so quickly? She just took her first steps last week it seems like. She just started eating with a spoon and saying "beez" instead of "please." But today she is running around. Feeding Loyal. Her vocabulary is growing and improving every day. She loves her friends. These moments feel so rich. My dad was able to come into town for her birthday too, which was special! We live a good distance from all of our parents so any time we get to see them is such a treat. And thank God for FaceTime (which we should probably use more). 

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Another thing that occupies my thoughts a lot now is finding a home for us to buy for ourselves. We can't move on anything until our flip house sells (which adds an extra level of tension) but I can't stay off Zillow or driving around neighborhoods I love.

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This is the time of year that makes me feel more alive! The air is chilly in the mornings and evenings. Christmas decorations slowly find their way out of the musty boxes and into their new homes. My brain is cooking up new Christmas craft ideas to include the kids in. I love flipping through magazines and getting inspired by recipes that put a spin on the old favorites. We went to the farmers' market last week and had a sample of some chorizo apple walnut stuffing and I CANNOT stop thinking about it. It was so good, and it was different but still somehow tasted familiar. We are going to celebrate Thanksgiving with friends and I'm so looking forward to it.

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Loyal is growing up way too fast, too. He's no longer a baby which is hard for you to realize as a mama. I think the point where I realized that this week is when he saw a baby, and he pointed and said "beebee." HEART BROKEN. He's a little toddler now, into everything, laughing, running, antagonizing his big sis, cuddling, giving kisses. His hands and feet are always dirty and somehow after every meal he ends up being covered in food. He's so different from Imogen who was always such a little bird, and she loves things being neat. If she gets water on her shirt she has to change it. Hah!

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Well I'm gonna get back to my dayquil-induced sick haze and hope that none of these ramblings are too unfiltered. Happy Thanksgiving week, everybody! I'm so thankful for all of you, for my friends and family, my community online, and for sudafed and coffee. Haha. xo

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Now that Halloween is over...

It's officially CHRISTMAS SEASON. Right? Right? Anyone?

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To be honest, I usually start my Christmas music in September but this year I did wait until October. The thing I love most about Halloween is that it feels like it kicks off the holiday season (Thanksgiving being the pre-game to Christmas). If you live in Arizona you're probably one of the people that makes the pilgrimage to Flagstaff every year in October to see the gorgeous yellow aspens. Every year we try, and every year, I inevitably get sick. Maybe that's our tradition? Hah! Anyway. Once Josh and I got married we decided to spend our first Christmas alone (not visiting family) and we've continued that tradition every year. I love our families so much, and I love visiting them. But there's something really special about hunkering down and enjoying Christmas day all by ourselves. But you know, it's such a crazy thing to plan out your family traditions- it seems like sometimes they just kind of have to happen for them to mean the most.

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Now that it's starting to be cooler we are more than eager to throw on some sweaters and make our coffee hot (and pump the AC way up- hah) but as the kids get older I'm loving this season more and more, because for as much as I've always loved buying fall and winter clothes, it's even so much more fun picking out little cozy things for little ones.

I joined up with Hanna Andersson for this post and their site actually made it so easy to plan coordinated outfits with their Family Matching Sweater shop (this one was my fav!)! I ended up choosing things for each of us from several different shops but they all look coordinated. I've always loved Hanna Andersson's PJs for kids (the ones they have right now for the holidays are so cute, too, holy crap) but I never knew how high-quality their clothes were (or that they had clothes for women!). This is the sweater I'm wearing and I think it's going to be my winter staple. It's so soft and comfy, and feels like a big blanket!

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Admiring our "matching" clogs. :)

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We took some photos as soon as the weather cooled down a little bit, but for real, we are going to try and make it up to Flagstaff before Christmas sometime. FOR REAL. I declare it here!

Anyway are you guys the type of people that plan out family traditions or have your family traditions just happened? I think we are more in the "let it happen" camp but I'm super curious what everyone else does! :)

Atrium House: State of the Flip, Vol. 2

It's been about a month since my last post, so I figured I would put in a little bit of an update on our Atrium House flip! Ok, here we go.

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The days that I get to work on the house are few and far between, as we end up having to pay for double childcare on the days that I can work (Imogen's school + a babysitter!) but we've been trying to squeeze it into the budget because I really love getting to put my time into the house, too. I'm not remotely as handy as Josh is, but I do love painting, staining, sanding, etc.

To be honest I think a month ago, we both thought the house would be nearly done right now! A month sounds like a long time but when you think about all the small things that need to get done that take up extra time, and factoring in unexpected things you find (Josh found a beam that he had to replace that was rotten, and just added a couple of extra days to the timeline, for example), you really start to see why renovating a home can take so long. And I probably mentioned this before, but we had no clue how much time it adds to bring in subcontractors (like electricians, plumbers, drywallers, etc). Because you think, "Oh drywall - that'll take a couple of days, right?" But you don't think about the time it takes to call drywallers, leave messages, wait for someone to call you back, wait for that person to be available to come give you an estimate, wait for that person to actually put together and send that estimate, wait for that person to be available to come and work on your house once the estimate is approved... It adds a couple of extra weeks onto what you thought was going to be a quick job! There's a lot we knew we would have to learn the hard way on our first flip, but this is the thing that is my most significant takeaway thus far. Allow lots of extra time.

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So the most significant changes this past month have been to the exterior! Josh has been working tirelessly in 110 degree temps- repairing the woodwork on the overhang / trim, sanding and painting it (we went with a dark gray and I'm loving it! Can you believe it was ever brown!?), replacing the rotten beams, and adding these KILLER BEAUTIFUL slats. We decided to stain them with Behr Cordova Brown (sorry Josh - I made him go back to the hardware store like a few times to find that perfect shade. In the end I think it was worth it but it was touch and go there for a minute, haha).

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Okay - why the slats? Well besides the fact that they look really beautiful and add an interesting element to the atrium area, they provide the master bedroom with tons more privacy (especially once we add the plants to the area). See those sliding doors? Yep - Master Bedroom. My first thought when we walked through the house was "Wow, that's awkward" because you could see straight out to the street and beyond. But the slats allow for loads more privacy while still allowing a lot of light in!

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A view from the front - we're getting our new glass front door / side window panes in soon, I think maybe this week? Still trying to decide what color to paint the frame! Leaning towards peach still, but we'll see.

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The back porch! It's really happening (and even more has happened since Josh took this photo - he's added a small privacy wall on the side of the covered porch area with some matching slats, too). Originally, this was all covered in (badly done - faux brick fireplace, wood paneling, duct taped windows, and all). We tore the walls all down, and the roof and beams were all painted a dark brown, so Josh spruced it up with this beautiful shade of white. I forget what it was called, something about a flower or lace or Jasmine or something. I'll figure it out. But basically, after he painted the back porch and the back of the house, we realized that it looked so nice that I think we'll be re-painting the entire house this same white, too. It just looks so nice and fresh. And we want the best for you, House!!

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Okay, back to the inside! Like I said, the most noticeable differences have happened on the outside, but here you might be able to tell that now we have all of our updated can lighting in (as well as places for our new hanging pendants to go), and the drywall has been repaired. Just trying to find someone now who can tape and mud the drywall to give it that nice finished look!

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Just a shot of my dumb feet and these poor neglected cactus cuttings that I still haven't planted (we just rotate them in the water). Hah! I hope they don't die.

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So let's talk a little about staging! This has been one of my favorite things I've ever done. I originally started off thinking I wanted to buy EVERYTHING second hand to stage with. But as my collection grew, I think it started feeling very thrift-store-ish and less clean, sleek, modern. What I'm looking for is something between the two, that feels new and fresh, but still retains the storytelling and charm of pieces that you've had forever. So I'm doing a great mix of both. I've had the best luck so far with the app Let Go, (where I scored the hanging chair above!) but also good ol' Craigslist has still got it (the rug below is one of my best finds - it's an 8x10' 1960's wool flokati rug! Scored for about $180 I think?).

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And then this bassinet, it nearly moved me to tears. I can't remember how much it was - it may have been around $50. But I probably would have paid double that. I'm so excited to set up a little nursery as one of our bedrooms!

I've got so much more to share. My staging collection is nearly done, and I'm going to start planning the rooms out pretty soon once everything else I've ordered arrives! Mostly I'm so excited to share sources of cool things I've found online (I've had some surprising sources for lighting, like a copper and wood pendant light from Nordstrom Rack sale on the Haute Look app!? It was crazy). I'd also love to talk about items that I think are okay to splurge on and items that I think you shouldn't (obviously just one lady's opinion though) and maybe the struggles of reeling yourself in when you just wanna put the best things in the home - this is a constant thing that Josh and I are talking about. Because we both want to build this incredible home full of good-quality things, but the reality is that whoever buys the home might not like exactly our tastes, so maybe don't spend $1000 on a front door, but don't get the cheap $200 front door, and spending $500 front door is a great middle ground. That kind of thing. (those are just random numbers, too. I actually don't know how much our front door ended up costing, hah!) Does that make sense? We are just figuring out which things to find the balance in. And some things really matter to us that quality work is invested in the house, but those things are things you can't see usually (good reliable plumbing and electricity. A good roof that will last 15 more years.). 

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Anyway! Hope you guys are enjoying following along. It feels a little surreal to be doing this, but mostly, it feels like the most natural thing in the world. I am overjoyed every day that this is our life and our venture. It's stressful at times, and hard work, and it feels risky, but already there is so much reward in taking a step out into the unknown and loving it. I am just so grateful! Thank you everyone for your kind words and emails, and let me know what you'd like to see more of in this process! <3