Fun Errands on a Fall Day

On Friday evening, I headed over to my sister’s house to watch my nieces while Andrea and her husband attended an event.

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We made popcorn, watched a movie, and then they went down for the night. I took advantage of the easy babysitting job and took a nap on their couch — pregnancy wears you out, that’s for sure!

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The next morning, my small group met virtually to discuss our reading from the week. I read this book earlier this year and didn’t get much out of it, but felt like rereading it during this season of life has been just what I needed. Our group meets virtually once per month and then we meet in person once as well. We chatted about feeling overextended + overwhelmed as well as discussed what we’re doing that actually doesn’t even need to be done. This had me thinking about my current priorities all throughout the rest of my day and I plan to dedicate a blog post about it in the near future.

After meeting with them, I threw some laundry in the wash, finished getting ready for the day, and then headed out to run a bunch of “fun errands.” I call them fun errands because it involved some shopping for new things. :) First task was to mail a bunch of invitations to my baby shower that is coming up next month! Andy dropped the bulk of them off at the post office while I passed out the stack that goes to our neighbors.

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My next stop was Lululemon for a new sports bra — my favorite ones were getting a little too snug so I decided to switch to a Lulu one since I had heard that theirs are great for pregnancy.

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The girl working at the store was SO helpful in finding me a perfect bra for running — I went home with this one and tried it out later that evening on a run through the neighborhoods.

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Afterwards, I headed to the jeweler to get my rings inspected — I try to do this twice a year and in order to make it easier to remember to do so, I typically go around our anniversary (October 15) and my birthday (March 21). I browsed through the jewelry for a bit while I waited to get my rings cleaned and inspected — they have some rings with black sapphires on them and they always catch my eye! I like to stay on top of the inspections because I lost a diamond once and I’d prefer if that never happened again, ha ha.

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Trader Joe’s was my next stop — I really only had to pick up some of their sprouted bread but then realized I was starving so I grabbed a snack, some water, and a mini pumpkin as well. I always get Andy one of these mini pumpkins each year and write a note on it with sharpie — he keeps it on his desk at work in the fall. :)

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Next up was Nordstrom for a regular bra fitting — if you’ve never done a bra fitting at Nordstrom before, I would highly recommend it. Their fit experts are so good at what they do and I always have the best service there. I was in and out in twenty minutes with a new, better-fitting bra for pregnancy.

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While at the mall, I also made a return at Gap — I ordered these running tights and this workout top but the pants were too big and the top felt too thin for running outside in October. I also swung by Williams Sonoma to check out their fall displays because they’re the best!

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Of course I had to take a peek at little boy’s clothes while at the mall, too! Everything is just so cute and tiny!

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On my way out, I picked up a gift card that featured my illustrations on it to add to my portfolio — it’s been so fun to see my artwork on Caribou’s shelves this season!

My last stop of the day was Target for some groceries — I also picked up a few random items like a new hairbrush because I feel like the one I’ve been using just wasn’t working for my thick hair. It just wasn’t easy to comb through all of the layers after showering so I’m hoping this new one does the trick.

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I came home to find Andy setting up to paint our living room — we’re changing it from a medium gray to a lighter gray, painting all of the baseboards and doors a pure white, and painting the fireplace white. I’m so excited to see this room transform — once it’s done we will start shopping around for new furniture since this set was from our early days of marriage and it’s not really our style. Funny what you pick out when you’re 23. ;)

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While Andy was painting, I headed out for a run then headed home to make some lemon poppyseed bread before ending the night with a soak in the tub. It was the perfect end to a full day!

What are your favorite types of errands to run?
Does it feel like fall where you live?

Moving Tips + Tricks

I've come to learn that I love enjoy the end result of moving (hello, new space aka blank canvas!), but don't love the actual, physical act of moving everything from one home to another. 

Our recent move was a bit of a doozy because our rental had two huge flights of stairs leading up to it and both of them were really tight, making it hard to maneuver furniture around the sharp corner angles. We also had half of our belongings in a storage unit since we knew our last rental would be temporary until we purchased our house.

The plus side was that half of our items were already packed in boxes since they were in the storage unit; the down side was the fact that we had to move items from two locations into our new house. All I can say now is, I AM SO GLAD IT IS OVER.

I thought I'd compile some of my favorite moving tips, along with some that friends shared with me both in person and online -- hopefully a few of these will help your next move go a little smoother! 

My number one tip is to take some time off if you can -- back in 2015, moving day fell on a Sunday and I had to work the following day. It was awful -- I was digging through boxes that next morning looking for socks to wear and had zero groceries.

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Unpack one room at a time -- it's so tempting to hop all over the house and unpack in bits here and there, but it's so much easier if you unpack your kitchen, main bathroom, and bedroom / closet first.

Plan on grabbing takeout or stocking up on some easy to eat meals so that you can still fuel yourself even if your kitchen isn't all the way unpacked.

Use bags (duffle bags, suitcases, backpacks, etc.) that you have on hand if you run out of moving boxes.

If you're packing a really heavy box (such as dishware), tape the bottom of the box twice so it doesn't pop open under the weight of the items inside.

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Label your boxes really clearly -- not just by room, but also by contents. This will help you prioritize which boxes to open first and also help you find specific items that you're looking for.

While packing, create a "first few days" box containing items you know that you'll need those first few days at your new place. I put my toiletries, bath towels, toilet paper, etc. all in one box so we would be able to shower and get ready each day before we had a chance to unpack everything. This helped so much! 

Pack necklaces between "Press and Seal" Saran wrap to keep them from getting tangled.

Move fragile items (lamps, home decor, etc.) in your own car -- things get so jostled around in moving trucks! 

Pad items in the moving truck with furniture pads -- even things like white towels or folded up blankets work, too! 

Don't take your clothes off of hangers -- instead, place them on a bedsheet and wrap the bedsheet around them. This makes setting up your new closet SO much faster since you don't need to re-hang every item of clothing.

Only pack items that belong together in the same box -- otherwise you will be running around putting things back in rooms where they belong.

Hire movers if you can -- we moved all of the small items ourselves but hired movers for the furniture.

Utilize new garbage bags for items such as blankets, pillows, comforters, etc.

Do you have any moving tips and tricks?
How long have you lived in your current home?

Moving Day(s)

We are all moved into our new house! I'm blogging from our new office and it feels so nice to have a designated office again instead of a corner of the living room! We still have some boxes to unpack in this room, the basement, and master closet, but we've been enjoying setting up and living in our our new place!

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Last Saturday, we prepped a few final things for moving since our final walk through was at 7am the next morning. It felt surreal to get to stay in the house after our sellers, their agent, and our real estate agents left that morning after we did a final look through all of the rooms. Once they left, we immediately starting bringing in boxes -- I stayed at the new house while Andy went back to the old house to grab another load. 

I got to work unpacking while Andy was loading up the car with another round of items and it was so fun to plan out the cabinets and decide where everything should go! Packing is kind of a pain, but I really enjoy unpacking since it means you're in a new place and you get to be creative with everything! 

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After awhile, my sister and my nieces came over -- they brought this amazing housewarming basket for us, along with some sprinkle donuts! We are so excited to have Andrea and her family living just down the road -- seriously, best neighbors ever! 

Once Andrea left, I continued unpacking boxes as quickly as I could so that I could be ready to unload the next round that Andy was bringing. Shortly after Andy brought another load, his brother arrived so that he could help Andy with some of the bigger items. 

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We unpacked all day and although we made a lot of progress, there was still a lot left to do. We were both exhausted and it felt SO good to finally rest at the end of the day. My feet and back were killing me, so I decided to test out our new soaker tub. This was one of the many features we were really excited about when we put an offer in on this house!

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We had to be back at the old house the next morning since we hired movers to move the furniture that day. Bless their hearts, because our last place had so many steep staircases and they carried all of our heavy furniture like champs! 

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The rooms felt like they were starting to come together once the furniture arrived! The bedroom in our rental was so tiny, so this large master suite definitely feels like a luxury to us.

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Around lunchtime, I took a quick break from moving / unpacking to make a dash to the grocery store so we'd have some food for the week. It felt SO good to do a little meal prep in our new kitchen! 

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Ever since we moved in, I've been maximizing our new kitchen and cooking all kinds of new things! It's been SO nice having a large center island to prep and prepare food! I've started sharing some of my daily eats over on my fitness Instagram -- be sure to check it out if you're into that sort of thing! 

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I also made it a priority to scoot over to the DMV last week to update my license with our new address since they aren't open on weekends and I just wanted to get it over with. Isn't the DMV one of the worst errands? It's right up there with running to the post office or the bank.

When's the last time you moved? 
Do you enjoy unpacking?

Friday No. 20

It's moving weekend! We'll be cleaning, moving, and unpacking so things might be a little quiet on the blog for a few days next week until we get internet at the new house! 

Have a great weekend! 

Homeowners

Yesterday morning we closed on our first home!

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We are so excited to make this house a home filled with lots of memories! We first met our realtors back in November to talk about the home-buying process and fill them in on what we were looking for. We talked about areas we wanted to live in (near my sister, close to work, etc.), types of houses we liked and didn't like, our budget, and how long we planned to live in our first home. We also talked about building vs buying existing since we both prefer new construction.

They set us up with a custom home search to get us started -- we started receiving emails whenever a new home popped up in our budget, preferred location, style of home, etc. 

After the holidays, we met with a loan officer to talk about the financial part of purchasing a home. We filled out some paperwork and within a day or so, he sent over our approval letter. With this approval, we were able to officially start our house-hunting process! 

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We looked at a few homes on a freezing cold Saturday morning in January. One of them was a vacant home that had recently been built in a new development -- it had a great layout, but the construction didn't look like the best quality.

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Afterwards, we looked at another home just a few minutes away in an existing neighborhood. This particular home had been sold, but there were two lots available just a couple doors down so we decided to check it out to see if we wanted to build a similar style of home down the street.

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We LOVED this house -- it was seriously perfect! We talked about going the building route and met with the builder, toured another home by the same builder, and started planning things out. It was all fun and games until you realize that if you want to build your perfect home, the price goes up really fast. We talked it over again and again, and ultimately we decided that now is not the time to build. 

Back to the drawing board! A couple weeks later we found another house that we really liked, put an offer in and it was accepted that evening! However, after the inspection came back with a few worrisome items, we decided to decline. I was feeling a bit discouraged by this point -- we were so ready to get this show on the road!

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We looked and looked, but inventory was super low and prices were really high due to the current market. We met with our realtors in April because I was feeling like we weren't going to find anything after months of fruitless searching. They encouraged us by saying that the right house would pop up at the right time.

It was funny, because just a few weeks later, our house popped up! I immediately texted Andy to tell him to keep an eye on the house that they just posted -- it sounded like a great one but there weren't any photos up yet. He texted me back awhile later to let me know that the photos were up -- I was so excited once I flipped through the album online; this seemed like the house for us! 

We made an appointment to see the house that evening, submitted an offer, and our offer was accepted the following evening! I'll be sure to share more once we move in -- it just feels so good to have a home to call our own! 

Have you purchased a home before?
Favorite thing about where you live?