Personalizing Your Rented Space

For 5 years, my selfless husband traveled about an hour one way to work.  I would watch him go and think nothing of it except how inconvenient it was to our family. He really NEVER complained about it.  He drove his hour, I drove my 2 minutes (yes, I do mean TWO minutes) to work and we pressed through life.  When he came to me in January of 2015 and said he was over it, I listened.  After careful consideration we decided it was time to move, not only for the commute, but to further the purpose of his job.  So we did.

This military brat is not afraid of a move.  I have lived in all kinds of places all over the world.  I embrace moves, and this one was no different.  We sold our first home and decided to lease for a year or two to learn the ropes of our new city.  I was the one who suggested that.  Yep, for the record, it was me.  I had learned a thing or two about what we liked and did not like about our last buying experience, and I really wanted to get more of what we wanted this time around.  We landed an amazing property.  About 3400 sq. feet, a traditional Texas-style ranch home on an oversized lot with a veiw and a pool!  Wheels were spinning, episodes of Fixer Upper were playing day in and day out.  I was ready to make this work.

Okay.  One and a half years later…

I find myself going back to the basics.  We have a roof over our heads.  Its more than a roof, its a lovely home with great bones.  My kids are in kid heaven.  They have an entire yard of adventures to tackle daily.  But…its not mine.

Daily struggle over here.  I want my own house.  But I love this one.  All kinds of first world problems over here.

Here are a couple of things that I have done to put my own spin on this rental:

  •  Most of the walls were neutral in the home when we moved in, just the wrong shade of neutral for our things.  We painted a pretty significant section of the home to unify it and help it blend better with our furniture and textiles.  If there is one thing not to do in a rental, it is to buy all new furniture.  Make what you have work.  We chose Navajo by Sherwin Williams and Indigo in the living area also by Sherwin Williams.  I might add that one of my husband’s board members donated this as a welcoming gift.  Its the gift that keeps on giving daily.
  • We switched out a few of the permanent light fixtures with our own.  What a difference!  And and an easy switch back when it’s time to move on.
  • Pulls and knobs are an easy way to make a statement that is inexpensive while still placing a very personal touch on the space.  We replaced several of the knobs of the built-ins that were already in the home.
  • We actually MET our neighbors and engaged in community.  I would say this was the game-changer.  Becoming part of the community at large goes a long way for making house into a home.

Check out a few of the details of this rental we call home!

(Photography via Connie Meinhardt Photography)

Show Your Daughter Some Love

Truth be told, Valentine’s Day has always kind of been a wash for me.  I just never really knew what to do on that day.  I was pretty much the boyfriend-less girl in middle school and high school.  You know, that girl.  Married to my books in college and med school.  I have known my husband for almost half of my life, but Valentine’s Day was never really our thing.  Going out on that day is a major drag.  Its too crowded.  Conversation is too forced.  We pretty much regretted it everytime.  Our special moments together as a couple usually come unplanned and not too far away from home with not so special circumstances or surroundings.  Its the little things for us…We like it that way.
Somewhere out of the corner of my mind and probably inspired by something on Pinterest, I decided to host a Valentine’s Day party with my 5 year old daughter.  Insert mom-of-the-year crown and trophy pic right here.  I instantly saw the smiling heart eyes emoji erupt over my daughter’s face!  We planned for weeks, and just this past weekend pulled it off.  Here is why this is how we will celebrate V-day from here on:
  • The holiday has come to have a very solid central meaning: show some love to someone you love.  You can go anywhere with that.  Love your neighbor.  Love your fur-baby.  Love your teacher.  Or in our case, love your daughter with other moms and their daughters.
  • After Christmas, I always feel cynical.  Why do I always get caught up on the spending for a holiday that has nothing to do with spending?  Valentine’s Day can be super low key cost wise, but so meaningful.  We handmade almost everything for our guests with low cost items.  And it was beautiful.
  • The most meaningful part of how we did this holiday was the gathering of women.  I just cannot have enough opportunities to show my daughter how meaningful it is to gather as women and do what we do.  Build.  Nurture.  Connect.  Blaze.  It was all there.

We crafted, danced, had mimosas and ate cupcakes, Mommas and daughters together.  I literally could have exploded, it just captured so much about what I love as a person.  Here are a few photos from the event (via Connie Meinhardt Photography).  What do y’all think?  How do you do Valentine’s Day?