Tag Archives: home

our new firepit, and a love letter to our life.


a few weekends ago, we bought a little firepit and set it up in our backyard. we’d been talking about getting one for awhile now, saying it would be the perfect addition to the backyard for cool summer nights and crisp fall days. and then, that weekend, the stars aligned (also known as there was only one left in stock at ace, and it was the floor model, and it was dented, and so we negotiated 10% off) and we brought one home.

which of course was almost immediately followed by a trip to the grocery store for all the makings of a s’more, a hunt for the metal skewers we knew we had lying around somewhere, and chilling one of our cellared bottles of boulevard bourbon barrel quad for the occasion. (the perfect s’more beer, if you’re wondering).

it was a perfect night. perfect breeze, perfectly roasted charred marshmallows, the perfect beer (ok, i’m sorry, i’ll stop), perfect company. we’ve spent countless nights outside in our backyard – grilling, dining, after-dinner cocktails, reading, harvesting – and they’ve all been wonderful, but this night, it just hit me. this is my life now. we have a house and a backyard and a grill and a garden and a firepit. it’s all ours, and it’s so beautiful. almost a year later, i still have to pinch myself sometimes, because i never thought we’d have this life this soon.

this firepit, that night – they’re a reminder to savor what we have and not take anything for granted. a reminder during all those times we fail at yet another home improvement project, that we’re so blessed to not be living in a residence hall anymore. a reminder during all those times we want to scream at each other during said home improvement projects, that we’re so blessed to have each other to navigate this crazy life with – the good, the bad, and even (especially?) the ugly. a reminder to take pride in and say thanks for the things that we do have, and quit spending too much time dwelling on what we don’t.

now, when’s everyone coming over for s’mores?

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june was busy in all the best ways. we took a short weekend trip to kansas city. we went on our long-awaited vacation to san francisco. i saw my sister graduate from high school. i got to see all three of my very best friends. we got to show off our not-so-new-anymore house to my dad and sister. and we got to celebrate the first birthday of our beautiful niece, tianna. june was full of adventure and i’m so happy it happened.

but july. july is what my dreams are made of.  july is for adventures of a completely different kind, like figuring out how many sets of string lights we need to go all the way around our yard and finding inspiration for our next grilled pizza (obsessed). july is for sipping cocktails in the backyard at sunset and getting all the bug bites (the true mark of a summer well spent). july is for shakespeare in the park and jazz on the green and picnics galore. july is for setting off my first ever fireworks and mastering the art of backwards running while watching them go off. july is for making myself this birthday cake…and probably this one, too. july is for catching up on reading all the books i’ve neglected while binge-watching orange is the new black instead. july is for harvesting san marzanos and sun golds and finally figuring out how to can tomato sauce.

storyboard005july is for not worrying about the basement that still isn’t done, that baseboards and decorating can wait, because there’s no reason to be inside anyways. july is for not worrying about the possibility of not having a single well-functioning car, because we don’t need to go any further than our own backyard. (and because it’s reduced bus fare month).


july is all the reasons why i always dreamed about having my own house someday, and all the reasons why i’m feeling 110% grateful that dream became a reality 10 1/2 months ago. july is for living the slow life, the good life (#nebraskahumor).

i love you, july.

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{mini makeover} mini plants + basic wood shelf.

i’ve been seeing lots and lots of projects on blogs and pinterest lately involving these adorable mini succulents and cactus plants. i’ve been wanting to work towards incorporating more greenery into our home, and figured these little guys would be a great place to start. i’m sure you can find them at lots of different garden-type stores, but i found mine at home depot, which has a great selection right now. each one was under $3! as for the pots, they unfortunately came in these flimsy plastic ones with a hole in the bottom, but thankfully, you can get mini terra cotta pots at dollar tree – 3 for $1! score!

as for the shelf in the photos below, well, i really wish we could offer you a nice DIY tutorial, but the truth is, the shelf in the photos was rendition #74839473984 of what we were actually trying to accomplish, so we apparently shouldn’t be claiming any expertise here. the basic idea is a piece of wood, about 8″ deep, stained, and screwed into the wall with simple “L” brackets for an “industrial” look.

even though this shelf took an embarrassingly long time to get up and resulted in way too many unused pre-drilled holes in our walls (yes, this wasn’t the first wall we tried it on), i actually love how it turned out. i love being able to style and change what’s on it whenever i feel like it, and it makes a great new home for the start of our indoor plant collection!

“fall in love” print,  rawartletterpress etsy shop (collette, the shop owner, is by far the nicest seller i’ve ever ordered from, and her shop is full of amazing pre-made and custom letterpress prints)
heart map prints, DIY
frames, ikea ribba series
all plants, large terra cotta pot, and green pot, home depot
mini terra cotta pots, dollar tree

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living room update.

our living room has been kind of a mess since christmas. when we took down the christmas prints we had on hangers after the holidays, some of them chipped paint off the wall and made some pretty ugly holes. we also had a couple of nail holes that we weren’t planning to use anymore. before putting any of our non-holiday decor and frames back up, i wanted the wall to get patched up and painted over so it looked nice again, and up until last week, we were waiting on maintenance for that. yep, 3 months.

when we lived in tucson, we had a couch that we really liked, but we ended up selling it before the move to downsize because this apartment is technically furnished. unfortunately, it was furnished with a very comfortable, but very puke green-brown color couch and love seat set. we had the love seat moved to storage right away because this living room really isn’t suited for two couches, but we’ve made do with the sofa. since it’s actually really comfy, we toyed with the idea of having a slipcover made, but in the end that seemed like a waste because eventually we’d move out and have a useless slipcover. we finally decided that because we would eventually be moving off campus and would need a couch, that maybe we should start looking for our own again and invest in one we can have for a long time, both here and when we move.

i really wanted something mid-century modern, and we quickly learned that so does everyone else, so they’re expensive. although i love the options at places like cb2 and crate & barrel, they were just waaaaay too much. reluctantly, we decided to look at nebraska furniture mart, even though i was pretty convinced they wouldn’t have anything modern enough. but whaddaya know, the mart has an “urban living” section downstairs that we’d never noticed before, and we actually found several couches that fit the style criteria we were looking for. we finally landed on the one you see in the photos because we loved the style, it was comfortable, it was one of the colors we were looking for, and it was at least 50% less expensive than any other sofa we’d seen online in that style.

suffice it to say that i’m basically in love with it. it’s our first big furniture investment, and i’m 100% happy that it’s what we decided to go with. i love that it has a lower back, so it makes our small living room seem bigger. the other couch was massive and took up way too much space. i learned recently that to make a room look bigger, make sure all your furniture is off the ground, so i like that this couch has modern legs that elevate it a little bit and keep your eyes moving.

after the couch arrived came the little bit of decorating that you see here. i couldn’t really decide what colors i wanted the accents to be, so finally we just went out shopping to see what we could find. we ended up getting both of the throw pillows from tj maxx and the striped blanket from target. as for the lamp…i’ve been wanting to get a tripod lamp for awhile now, ever since seeing this one at west elm. i wasn’t quite ready to make that investment, and was feeling a little sad about not having a lamp that matched the new space, but then we happened upon the target version for $50 and are settling for that for now.

the two posters behind the couch are blown up engineer prints from staples. the camera print was free from a blog i follow, and the heart print was a $5 digital download from caravan shoppe (link at the bottom of this post – they have tons of amazing art that can be printed in large format). i don’t know where staples engineer prints have been all my life, but they’re awesome. basically, it’s a black and white print on really thin paper for super cheap. it’s definitely not photo quality, but it’s the size that makes the statement in this case. they have a range of sizes all the way up to 36″ x 48″ i believe. we got both of ours printed at 18″ x 24″ and the total was around $3.50. yes, that’s it. i know. go get one right now!

we’re actually going to be moving buildings in the next couple of months, so i just hung the prints with washi tape. in the future, i might look for frames for these or look into custom framing or some other more permanent mounting solution. you could definitely splurge on custom framing with these since the actually art is very inexpensive.

the space is still coming together, but it’s already ten times better than what it was just a couple of weeks ago. i’m hoping to add a few more elements still – things that aren’t necessarily permanent or hard to move – like some big house plants perhaps.

eq3 contemporary jack charcoal sofa, nebraska furniture mart
tripod lamp, target (they don’t have ours online, but here’s a very similar one)
throw pillows, tj maxx
rugby stripe throw in gold, target
heart print, caravan shoppe
vintage camera poster, how about orange
color palette based on martha stewart paint, in order: seal, persimmon red, salvia, and pencil

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just a quiet little post today featuring one of favorite things in the world: california oranges. these ones came straight from my mom’s backyard garden; we picked up a little manual citrus juicer last weekend and have been enjoying fresh squeezed juice for breakfasts this week. i don’t know about you, but i can’t think of anything much better than the smell and taste of fresh oranges.

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