In May, we celebrated 5 years in our very first home. I’m amazed by how quickly the time has gone and how much we still love it just as much as that first year. If there’s anything that could make me feel like a legit adult, this is it!
In honor of the anniversary, I wanted to capture 5 favorite memories in our home + a few things we’ve learned along the way …
- I’ll never forget our very first night in our first home. It genuinely feels just like one of those highlight reels in a move. We bought our favorite wine + beer, ordered pizza and sat cross-legged on the floor giddily talking about the future.
2. I love hosting and entertaining people, and we’ve had a lot of incredible parties at our house (My Golden Birthday, Annual Fall Parties, South by South Mouth NYE bashes, Game of Thrones finale, etc.) It’s really hard to choose just one, but I think our #WarmThisHouse party stands out the most probably because it was the very first. We hosted family + friends, ate macarons + took shots, turned our patio into a cocktail hour, and ended the night with costumes and jumping photoshoots. I love this pin board of our polaroid pics from the night that I keep in our bedroom. It reminds me of the simple things in life.
3. Here’s a life lesson: A house is hard work, but a yard is HARDER work. Boy, have we learned this. I’ll never forget the first summer in our house when I spent hours pulling freaking dandelions from the front yard. Then hours pruning our rose bushes. Then hours at the doctor with my infected hand thanks to the rose bushes. Another lesson – sometimes just spend the money to have someone help you.
4. We’ve made several updates to our home – changing light fixtures, patching holes in the wall thanks to dear ol’ Olli, but none so big as deciding to add on a deck, and husband’s only request: a hammock. It’s been some of the best money spent + best decision ever made.
5. Truly my favorite memory of all though in the 5 years of our home has been enjoying time on our front porch. There’s something so special about that white wrap-around beauty. I feel so much peace on that porch, especially in early morning and early evening. (especially in fall with a blanket, coffee + book!) I’ve planned international trips out there, had countless deep conversations with friends + intimate conversations with God, and most recently enjoyed a nice bottle of rosé to celebrate our 8th wedding anniversary. A lot of life has happened on this porch.
I’m so thankful to have such an amazing home to share with my family, and just as thankful to have some of our best friends living in our neighborhood. Aren’t neighbor friends so special?
I truly can’t wait to see what the next 5 years brings. ❤
N A P A
[arrived at our SUPER ADORABLE boutique hotel, Rancho Caymus Inn
and yes, that is a hummingbird photobombing my picture!]
[no exaggeration, hands down one of the best meals of my life at michelin-star The Charter Oak]
S A T U R D A Y
[bouchon bakery + yountville = adorable pit-stop]
[obviously had to schedule in a stop at the napa sign]
[silver oak 2014 cabernet release day party – so many people, so much rain, so much fun!]
[and then somehow we got in CARPOOL KARAOKE! this is the only pic I got (though plenty of ridiculous videos), but it was tricked out with lights, microphones and an iPad to choose a song. why is this not more of a thing?!]
[plus a hot tub night, ha!]
[aaand more sparkling wine with our Gott’s, which was DELICIOUS]
[our favorite winery – Bremer! we even signed up for their wine club, and obviously had plenty of fun on our own private tour + tasting]
[well yes, it did rain ALL WEEKEND and we didn’t get to do our hot air balloon ride, but we had some of the most picturesque views and seriously the best 30th birthday celebration!]
[first can we talk about how gorgeous these views were from our hotel?!]
[ate some new food + made some new friends at Burma Love]
[couldn’t have ended the week better than with the best team building at Slide Ranch – we worked, we hiked, we ate amazing farm-to-table food and we honored a lost team member. love this work family so much! <3]
F R I D A Y
[the BEST post-flight stop: jacob’s pickles]
S A T U R D A Y
[Christmas Market Tour: Rockefeller Center, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Bryant Park, Saks windows, Strand Books, Pete’s Tavern + a ride on the SUBWAY]
[fun night in West Village listening to jazz at the Village Vanguard]
[then stumbled upon this AMAZING french restaurant, Boucherie)
[pictured: french onion soup]
S U N D A Y
[photoshoot in Brooklyn]
[mid-afternoon snack, obviously]
[rooftop bar (too cold) then dinner at Eataly pop-up Serra Alpina by Birrera – it was MAGICAL]
[MEAN GIRLS! such a cute, funny show!!]
M O N D A Y
[until next time, new york! I’m sure it won’t be too long …]
S U N D A Y E V E N I N G
The wind wails and the fire cackles.
The garland glimmers and the poodle snores.
Thanksgiving is now behind us and the anticipation of Christmas lies ahead.
In the midst of the busy holiday season, husband and I decided to take a respite, just the two of us. We packed the makings for chili and a special Italian red, and brought only our coziest clothes. We vowed to do a phone detox, focusing on the present weekend with the presence of one another. We drove only an hour away, though we might as well have been a million miles away – with stunning lake views, great conversation and the joy of spontaneous, secluded living.
A few things I learned from this little weekend getaway of ours:
– You don’t need to keep your phone next to you at all times.
– You’re not really missing anything on social media.
– Finishing a book in a weekend is one of the best feelings.
– Sometimes all you need is abundant sunshine and the gift of time to reconnect with your significant other.
– Enjoying a leisurely cup of coffee on a patio is one of life’s little luxuries we should all take advantage of more often.
– Don’t lose sight of what’s most important this holiday season.
Oh sweet labor day,
your weekend signals the close of summer and the nudge to pack away the white pants.
But, for many, myself included, you also cue the thrill of something new. The best season of all is peeking around the corner (if we’re lucky). True, I’ve already planned my 3rd Annual Fall Party and I’m currently burning a pumpkin spice candle as I write this, BUT I’m actually trying to hold on to the sunshine just a little bit longer this year.
It’s been an extraordinary summer. Did we go on any huge trips? No. Did we have any life-altering events happen? Not really. But sometimes isn’t that the best summer of all? Little bits of joy coupled together to create a beautiful summer of memories.
“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.”
As I head into the last year of my 20s, I decided to create a list of things to do before I turn 30 in January. Thanks to literally everyone for helping me come up with this list. I think it’s realistic to accomplish in a year, yet will be challenging. I’ll provide a few updates throughout the year as I check things off. Starting with #1 …
Start a new adventure.I’ve worked for Walmart for 6.5 years, as my first job out of college. I’ve officially accepted a position at Clorox, and couldn’t be more excited/anxious/thrilled to start this new adventure.
- Make a complex meal 100% from scratch.
- Hike Pinnacle Mountain + eat a Hubcap burger at Cotham’s. This one stems back to my Arkansas Bucket List from a few years ago, and is one thing I really wanted to do that I never got to check off my list. This is the year!
- Successfully do a one-armed push-up.
- See a critically acclaimed show.
- Volunteer 30 hours.
- Buy all my friends a round, randomly.
- Play video games with husband for a night, complete with pizza + beer.
- Intentionally choose to stay by myself one night in a hotel. Obviously I’ve stayed by myself before, but for work or when husband was away – not intentionally.
- Learn a song on the guitar.
- Be in a play.
- Learn to play blackjack.
- Make a signature cocktail.
- Make a YouTube video that gets over 1k views.
- Start my book. This is one husband has been pushing me to do for years.
- Win at least 1 trivia night.
- Write 30 handwritten letters.
- Take a dance class.
- Go to a movie solo.
- Run 30 miles. I’m not a runner. So, no judgment please on “only 30?!”
- Dye my hair pink. Again, something I’ve always wanted to do. It could just be a few strands, and it could wash out after a day. Either way, I think 29 is the best time to do it.
- Do 5 things that truly scare me.
- Give an amount of money that is significant to me and is significant to someone in need, but do it in such a way no one would ever know it was me who gave it and expect nothing in return.
- Travel to state I’ve never been to.
- Take a personal day, for no reason at all.
- Challenge myself with a new hobby.
- See someone in concert I’ve been dying to see.
- Find an artist whose perspective of the world I appreciate and buy a piece of his or her work.
- Take a spontaneous trip.
- Plan a huge 30th birthday bash.
To follow along on my journey, make sure and follow my blog via WordPress or email:
For our 6th anniversary, we decided to do a staycation at 21c. Since we’re going to Italy very soon, we didn’t want to travel far or spend too much. We’ve also talked about staying at 21c since it opened, so we decided to go for it. And I am SO glad we did. It was exactly what we needed for a little one-night getaway. Luckily, we also got invited to the special opening of the new Chihuly exhibit at Crystal Bridges and it was absolutely incredible. (Thank you, Denise!)
[beautiful, super cozy room – and my sweet coworkers surprised us with champagne!]
[a few photos from the night below – though I HIGHLY encourage you to check it out yourself!]
[chihuly in the forest – there was even a wine tent out there!
wonderful night with these fun friends]
[chihuly in the gallery – and husband’s favorite picture of the night]
[late night snack back at our hotel – sweet + spicy fries that are just amaaaazing]
[sunday brunch at the hive – that buttermilk fried chicken was out of this world]
[post-brunch stroll on the trails – a perfect end to a perfect anniversary getaway]
You might also enjoy: Discover NWA: Mod, Modern Ozark Dining