Our First Home

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A year ago last month, Joshua and I bought our very first home. A year ago this month, we moved in! Up until then, we had been renting or living on base from duty station to duty station, but when we found out we would be stationed in North Carolina for 3 years, we decided to bite the bullet and go for it!

Well, let me back up. I still wanted to rent, but Joshua had other ideas. He wanted to buy. And not just buy any home… He wanted a brand new, never-lived-in, newly constructed home. It was a buyer’s market at the time, and interest rates were especially low. I was scared of the financial responsibility of owning our own home, but Joshua thought it would be a better idea. As it turned out, he was right. Gosh, I hate admitting that. ;-)

I’m the “family accountant” and the one who manages our budget and finances. It had never occurred to me to even consider buying a home until Joshua was out of the Marine Corps. And to be honest, I always thought our first home would be in New York, and possibly be our forever home. But after doing a ton of research into the area and real estate market, then talking to friends who were also homeowners, it became pretty clear that buying was a better option for us. At the end of it all, the monthly mortgage payments for our brand-spankin’-new four bedroom home on coastal Carolina were less than our monthly rent for our three-bedroom apartment in northern Virginia!

Of course, location had a lot to do with it. We gave up suburbia living (my favorite) for a rural area with nothing around for miles and miles except the ocean and a touristy beach town. It’s dead in the winters and full of traffic and vacationers in the summers. I have to drive 30 minute to get to Target and 45 minutes to get to Moes. Needless to say— it’s been an adjustment.

But the best part of all? We own our own home. We can decorate how we like, landscape how we like, paint how we like, live how we like. No landlords to answer to or unwanted visitors or “check-ins.” It’s alllllllll ours, baby! And what a blast I’ve had with that.

My goal when we first bought our home was to make it feel coastal and airy, calming and comfortable. I bought tons of home decor magazines (anything at all with “coastal” or “cottage” in the title) and Pinterested my heart out. It’s been such a fun adventure!

We didn’t move into our home until the Fourth of July, 2013. Over the next few weeks, I’m going to take you on a little house tour with me. It’s taken the last year for me to feel “settled” and like I can finally photograph and share the details of our home near the ocean (less than 5 miles away)! We still have lots of plans and ideas, but I’m happy with where we are for now.

I will admit that there is one room in our house that is still completely full of boxes. That room is to be our nursery, and now that we’re pregnant it’s time to get our butts in gear and finish unpacking! I’m sure that will be the last room I share. It’s lovingly (or annoyingly) referred to as the “tornado room,” courtesy of my friend Megan who has a tornado room all her own. (It really does look like a tornado touched down in there!)

To kick it off, I’m going to share photos of our empty home from before it became ours. It will be fun to see the transformation in future posts. It’s also interesting to note that this was the very first home we looked at out of about 10 homes, maybe more? We just kept coming back to it because nothing else really compared. I guess it’s a little like love; when ya know, ya know.

And now… Here we go!

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I’ll be back to share more soon. Any requests for which rooms to see first? Ask me in the comments below! Have a safe and happy weekend, lovelies!

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What’s in my… Closet!

I’m going to start a new “series” of sorts here on the blog called “What’s in my…”
I’m planning to share different areas of my house, life, and spaces and how I organize it. Personally, I love seeing how other people do things. Like how your pantry is organized, what you keep in your makeup stash, what does your laundry room look like?
What can I say? I’m curious. I’m curious to see what’s inside a real person’s home… not just another perfect space in a magazine page or show room. 
My second thought with this is that if I plan ahead what I’ll be sharing, I’ll be more likely to get it neat, clean, and tidy— therefore holding myself accountable.
I’ve thought about making this a link-up as well, though I don’t know if anyone else would actually be interested. I’m going to try it today and next week and see how it goes. I’ll keep the link-up open for 2 weeks after it’s posted (because I plan to do these every other week), and that way anyone joining can link in.
Also, at the end of each post I’ll list what I’ll be sharing next, so everyone has just as much time to prepare as me.
I’d love to see inside your closets, so please take a few pics and share! Now, to get to it.
I’m lucky to have a whole closet all to myself, because my awesome husband took one of the spare rooms as his office and uses that closet for all his clothes. I have to say… I was very impressed at the size of the closets here in base housing!

I organize my closet by what type of clothing it is. So all my camis hang together; longer tops to pair with leggings; button-downs; polos; nicer tops for work; turtlenecks; and casual T-shirts. I used to organize by color, but my clothes got lost in each other that way. Plus, I pick out what I want to wear based on what kind of top I feel like, not by the color.

I keep my pants on the lower racks, by my shoes. Sweatshirts above my shoe shelf. Tall boots on the floor. As you can tell, I’m pretty OCD about my hangers all matching. 

I’ve been hanging my purses for awhile now, and it works out so well! They stay neat and in sight, so I remember I have them! I used to keep them all in a drawer and I always forgot what I had. For the most part, I’m almost exclusively a Coach & Vera Bradley girl (it pays to buy good bags, because they last foreverrrr).

My clutches and wallets all have a spot on this shelf here below the hanging purses. If I had a choice, I’d only carry clutches— and a lot of times, I do. My big purses get so heavy with all the crap I put into them, so I love to leave that home and just take an over-sized wallet or cute clutch.

Above that are my nice shoes. You know— the shoes I’ve bought for weddings or formals, or strappy summer shoes that I like to keep protected.

The other side of my closet has folded sweaters; long sleeve T-shirts; gym pants; and zip-ups. Beneath the folded items are my cardigans; light jackets & blazers; skirts; and dresses.

One thing that I think everyone needs to invest in is a shoe shelf. So much cuter than those over-the-door racks, and just as easy to organize. I got mine at Target. When I see my shoes, I wear them. I organize my shoes by type, too. Closed-toe heels; flats; open-toe heels; wedges; summer shoes; and sneakers.

& Boots! I think Pinterest was where I saw the idea to stuff your boots so they stand up straight and maintain their shape. The idea was to stuff with paper— I use old T-shirts that I would otherwise toss. Re-purpose when you can!
Go forth and organize your closets. Then take photos and share with me. Fun fun. Happy Friday, lovelies.

The next share is going to be: 
What’s in my… Planner! 
Scheduled for February 24th

Missed Moments

Completely un-wedding related, here are some “missed moments” from the past few months that I want to share to illustrate just how fun/crazy/busy/stressful/lovely my life really is. It’s times like these that keep me from blogging… but I think that’s a good thing, because otherwise life would be pretty boring!

Mini vaycay to Emerald Isle with Felice for my 26th (eek!) birthday
Hello, wifey!
Matching mother-daughter Vera purses as a birthday gift from my Mama
Mine is red, obviously!

Boat shoe shopping— now all we need is the boat ;-)

Car crash— and a month without my car pre-wedding
So stupid

Dinner & fresh flowers at home
Nom nom nom

Potluck dinners with new friends in our new state

My “little” brother’s college graduation
2 years younger, 6+ inches taller?

Deciding to send Gypsy to live with my Mama for a bit
Sniff, sniff :-(

Hosting lots of barbecues and parties as a couple

VIP passes to the Memorial Day concert in Washington DC
We was on the TV!

Finding an awesome new Mexican restaurant
And Sue visiting us from Boston

Receiving (& using!) my pink KitchenAid mixer for our bridal shower

Weekend away together in Norfolk

New outfits for our puppy fashionistas
Studded skulls & crossbones, anyone?

Getting “upgraded”… an early wedding gift from amazing Husband

Road trippin’ to and from New York with the girls
Another of my designs finally making it to the supermarket

Framing/hanging art we’ve been meaning to frame since January 
Procrastination, much? :-)

Having a Scentsy party and getting over $100 of product for only $34!
I {heart} a good smelling apartment

Starting next week, I’m going to start doing my “Wedding Wednesday” posts again (yay!) to recap our wedding and share all the ideas and details with you that I couldn’t share before so I wouldn’t ruin the surprise for our guests.
Note to self: Next time, let’s try to share more moments closer to when they happen, shall we?

Holiday Decorating

It’s Christmas time in our household, and Joshua and I decorated together last weekend! I also “decorated” my blog for the holidays… including a new header with more of our engagement photos! It’s actually inspired me to make a similar Christmas card to send out to family and friends… hmm, we shall see if time permits!

My love and I will be spending this Christmas alone here in North Carolina, just the two of us. We’d love to be able to see our families, but Joshua is in a course until the 21st of December, and then of course it’s the month of the move! It will be our first and only Christmas here on the island. Yay!