Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Our First Home Renovation!

In case you missed our big news (which you probably haven't if you follow me on Instagram), we bought our first home about a month ago! Annnd it's been the setting for nearly all of our nights and weekends since then. When we were on the house hunt, we knew we wanted to find a home that had good bones (such an HGTV phrase!) but needed a little love, and we're thrilled with the one we found.

We bought a ranch style home built in 1970, located in Springfield's Brentwood neighborhood. We're quite a bit further from our downtown offices, which we've become pretty accustomed to being close to, but I am unspeakably excited about living near TREES! Tall ones, too! We're really looking forward to having neighbors on our street and a few blocks away, including some great ones we're already lucky to call friends.

When we bought the house, there was wood paneling in the main living area, which we ripped out on day one and replaced with new drywall. On top of that, there was a wallpaper border in almost every single room, and some rooms even had floor-to-ceiling wallpaper! We spent a good chunk of time peeling wallpaper, and it's almost completely gone at this point. We've had to do some patching up on the walls since tearing out the wallpaper — mudding, sanding, etc., and that's what Austin's doing here.

Before we move in just a couple weeks, we're hoping to have all the walls painted (white!) and we'll be replacing carpet in the bedrooms with wood floors to match the main living areas. We likely won't get all of the floors in in time, but the look and feel of our house has already changed so much in what feels like a really short amount of time.

I'll of course share before & after photos once we've made some more progress, but I wanted to give a little look at the in-between because that's the stage we're in right now, and it's the one that sometimes goes undocumented! Figured I should highlight the blood, sweat, tears & less sexy portion. 😉

Thankfully, our hard work hasn't felt as hard thanks to all the great help we've had, especially from my father in law, Tim. A HUGE thank you to our family and friends who have been so helpful as we've been renovating and preparing to move! Whether you've texted us, brought us coffee, sat and listened to us talk about our house reno, let us borrow tools, peeled wallpaper, painted, etc. etc. etc. we're beyond grateful.

Next comes the really fun part — picking out fixtures, furniture and decor to make it feel even more "us", and I'm excited to see where this stage takes us. I've been chronicling most of this on my Instagram stories, so if you're curious to see more of our progress, you can find that on my highlights!

Oh, and if you want links to any of my outfits in this post JUST let me know 😝💕

Friday, March 22, 2019

Queen City Gems, Vol. 10

Happy Friday! Here are a few fun things I think are worth noting if you're living in (or visiting!) my hometown of Springfield, MO.

1. Coffee, Always

If you know me, you know I'm always excited to try a new coffee thing. It's practically my second job! 😂 This week's coffee thing is Architect, a new shop that's gone in Hebrews' old location (1604 E Republic Rd). I went to check out the new shop and was impressed with what they did with the space! I tried their signature latte with house made vanilla, caramel and topped with Himalayan pink salt. It's a great new coffee option on the south side, especially for meetings or co-working.

2. The Rated SGF Film Festival

Did you know Springfield has a film festival?? This weekend is the second annual Rated SGF, and it's going to be such a treat! The team behind it has curated some really special experiences, including live music and an opportunity for a Q&A following each film with one of the key players involved. It's kicking off tonight, and tomorrow's first screening of Oscar-award winning (!!!) Period. End of Sentence. is free to the public. I'm excited Springfield has this festival and looking forward to seeing how it grows over the years. You can buy tickets for a weekend pass to all events or individual screenings if you prefer.

3. Best of Lunch

Best of Luck is a European-style beer hall new to downtown Springfield that I reported on for Feast a few months back. It opened with a truly impressive food menu, and they're giving 20% off this weekend to those who attend Rated SGF! Seems like a good opportunity for double dipping to me. 😝 Let me know if I missed anything exciting going on this weekend! It's a good time of year to get out and about.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

5 Ways to Enjoy Home When What You Really Need Is a Vacation

Spring Breaaaaaak! Oh, but what's that? You're stuck at home, ridiculed by FOMO as you're reminded everybody on the PLANET (it seems) is taking time off to ring in spring.

For a young professional, Spring Break FOMO might be better relabeled as DOMO — despair of missing out. It's not something to fear; it's nearly guaranteed you'll be scrolling your Facebook memories each morning, haunted by the nostalgia of that one girls' trip to L.A. or your most recent family trip to Disney. I don't know about you, but early March is right around the time that I've 100% had it with the chilly Midwest temps and I'm so ready for sunny with a high of 75.

But (reality check!) escaping to L.A. or Florida isn't always an option, so here are some ideas for the meantime:

Get Your Greens
I swear, I definitely spend more time in greenhouses throughout the winter-spring than I do in the summer, just because they feel like an oasis and the perfect pause from a dreary day. I bought a spider plant from Schaffitzel's a couple weeks ago, and it's bringing a smile to my face every time I walk in the loft — and making my space feel a little more like the retreat I need. And on that note —

Chase Some Sun — (or at least the heat)
You want that spring break glow, right? Or you'd at least like to remember what it feels like to be warm again... While you may take vitamin D as a supplement throughout the winter months, nothing compares to laying on a towel and feeling the embrace of summer temps. In Springfield, you can check out a community class at Sumits Hot Yoga for $7, and a $35 day pass to Acacia Spa will give you access to their sauna and eucalyptus steam shower (hello!!).

Find a Muse(um)
If you're looking to get inspired, a trip to a museum may be in store for you. I think anything that gets you out of your routine and allows you the ability to look and learn about something would qualify! We're really lucky to have the spots we have in Springfield — between the Springfield Art Museum, Wonders of Wildlife, the Springfield Nature Center, the Discovery Center and more (I'm sure I'm missing something!), there's a lot to explore in this backyard. Worth noting — WOW is giving 50% off ticket prices for locals for the next two weeks, and if you're up for a day trip, I'd highly recommend Crystal Bridges.

Eat Foreign Food
If you can't go on a trip, then eating like you're on one is the next best thing. There's two rules to make this the best, most immersive "oh, I forgot I was on my lunch break" type of experience: 1. You must dine in. 2. The restaurant doesn't count (for these purposes) if they play top 40 music. There's nothing that will bring you back to reality quicker than hearing the Jonas Brothers over a speaker system. My favorite place in Springfield for this type of moment is Greek Belly. Their food is fantastic, fairly priced and it genuinely feels like a small trip to Greece if you use your imagination.

Stop and Smell the Hydrangeas
The reasons we crave vacation typically come from a desire for excitement and adventure. So how can we cultivate those emotions in our daily life? I think some of it is seasonal just like spring — inspiration comes and goes in waves, but focusing on the good is a fine place to start. xo!