Fixing Up Our First Home: Then And Now

Three years ago this month, we drove across town to look at a little fixer upper we’d had our eyes on. Who would have thought all those years ago, 15 to be exact, that Clear Lake (the home of NASA and where we fell in love) would be where we’d end up? Before marriage, before kids, before moving cross country twice, just to settle back down where it all started. Since this year has been a commemoration of so much (15 years together and our 10 year wedding anniversary), I just felt like we needed a special way to remember fixing up our first home three years later.

Recreating Old Photos in our First Home

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How We Tackle Mornings as a Busy Family of Four

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Tyson Foods, Inc. The opinions and text are all mine. #JimmyDeanRollupsatHEB #CollectiveBias

This school year was kinda like the perfect storm. At the same time Garrett was starting Kindergarten, we decided to start Charlotte in preschool 3 days a week as well. My poor mama heart and mind didn’t know what to think. On one hand I was so excited and proud of both my babies, but on the other hand I just couldn’t wrap my head around how the heck they’ve grown up so fast. Not to mention, on top of managing my blog, I was given more responsibility at my freelance digital agency gig. So needless to say, we all had a pretty loud wake-up call which made me realize it was finally time to kick our morning routine into high gear. Check out this offer to save $1.50 off 1 product valid through 10/13.

Morning Routine

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Missing Martino: Love & Loss 15 Years Later

I will always find it interesting how a turn of events can shift one’s life completely, and 15 years ago today was one of those moments. We said goodbye to my dad. My dad who had battled stomach cancer for 2 years prior, but whose body just couldn’t keep the fight going no matter how hard he tried. No matter how much he wanted to keep up hope that maybe this last chemo treatment could be the one. The one to make all the cancer disappear. But that’s just the thing with cancer – it doesn’t give a crap how wonderful of a person you are, or how healthy otherwise you’ve been your whole life. When it’s your time to go, it’s your time to go – and cancer doesn’t wait til you’re ready. Believing this in some sick, twisted way was the only thing that got me through those excruciating first few years. That, and the fact that I met my soulmate a few days before – which you can’t tell me that wasn’t a “God thing.”

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Cha Cha’s Two-nicorn Birthday Party

This post contains affiliate linkswhich means I receive a commission if you make a purchase usingthe links in this post.

If you told our little Cha Cha that she just turned two, I’m pretty sure she’d look at you like you had three heads. Cuz as far as she’s concerned, she’s been ruling this roost for a hundred years at least, and we’re all just here for her entertainment πŸ˜‰ But truth be told, as much as we joke about our little “boss baby,” I must tell you – she’s also the kindest and silliest soul. She loves her bubba the most, and calls out to him every morning from our bed. She adores daddy and frantically waves at him with exclamations of “HI DADA!!” barely letting him in the door every day he gets home from work. As for me, I always knew I wanted a daughter, but I never would have imagined she’d be the sheer spitting image of me and I live for her sweet mama snuggles.

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Visiting the Magnolia Silos in Waco, TX

The Murray Family Guide To The Magnolia Silos

Like half the population of 30-something year old women – I’ve been fostering my love for Joanna Gaines for some time now. It hit its peek right around the time when we moved back home to Texas and started living out our “Fixer Upper” dreams. I’d like to think if JG ever strolled past our little Murray cottage – she’d give me a wink and a thumbs up πŸ˜‰ So naturally, the sweet hubs that I have has been scheming a trip to Magnolia Market at the Silos for the past couple of years. The first time we tried, it was for my bday when Cha Cha was a mere 3 months old, so that was out. The second time we were coming back from our quick trip to Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine, but unfortunately they were closed on Sunday πŸ˜• So third time’s a charm and as luck would have it, we made it back early enough from our July 4th Virginia trip (which I’ll be blogging about soon!), and were able to swing by the Silos with the kiddos earlier this week 😊 Just for fun, I thought I’d round up a quick guide if you’re planning a visit to the Magnolia Silos in Waco – hope it helps!

Visiting the Magnolia Silos in Waco, TX

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Farmhouse Kitchen Revamp x ShelfGenie

This post is sponsored by ShelfGenie; however, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

I still remember the first time we laid eyes on our little “Clear Lake fixer upper.” We didn’t know much about it – just that it was a foreclosure and had sat on the market for years. Kinda scary as first time home owners, and most people would have probably ran in the opposite direction. Nope, not us. Cuz we’re crazy like that πŸ˜‰ We closed on it two weeks later and started renovations the very next day. After we tackled the poor excuse for a pool in our backyard, we knew the kitchen would need some work too. It was still sporting the “bathroom-like” ceramic tile backsplash from the ’90s, and the 50 coats of cream colored paint on the cabinets just had to go (see proof below). But just like any renovation – you can’t do it all. So we learned to live with the not-so-terrible Corian countertops, and I knew my kitchen storage/organization project would have to wait. Until now, thanks to ShelfGenie and their custom shelving solutions.

Before, Before

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Mom Jean Confessions: Dear Younger Self, Be Grateful

A couple of days ago, a friend of mine shared a meme in her Facebook group & it’s stuck with me ever since.

I scrolled past it at first, until literally the next post on my feed was an article shared by my sister-in-law. All I had to do was read the title “Neuroscience Reveals How Gratitude Literally Rewires Your Brain to Be Happier.” I went right back and commented on my friend’s post – “Be Grateful.” It seems so simple, and as I read through the dozens of other comments, “Have Faith, Don’t Stress, Slow Down,” I couldn’t help but wonder – why does it take us so long to realize these simple life lessons?

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How We Get Our Pool Summer Ready in 4 Easy Steps!

This is a sponsored post, but all opinions are my own. 

This spring has been the mildest weather here in Houston – I’m talking, reminiscent of our SoCal weather days πŸ™Œ We’ve even joked that if it stays like this, we may consider living here forever πŸ˜‰ But that joke’s on us, cuz in a bout T-minus two minutes it’ll be 95 degrees for 100 days straight this summer, and all I have to say is – thank goodness for pools!!

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Nostalgic Way To Celebrate a 10-Year Wedding Anniversary

I received a complimentary product in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are 100% my own.

10 years y’all. Grant and I got married 10 years ago on May 23rd, and I still remember it like it was yesterday. The wind rustling through the trees and the beautiful mountains of Virginia looking over us, as we recited our vows to 100 of our closet family and friends. Then the real adventure began. We packed up our bags, said goodbye to our tiny Upper West Side apt in NY, and made our way to La La Land. How in the world did two kids from Houston end up in NYC and LA, you ask? It’s been a long road, and why it meant so much to me to partner with Mapiful to personify these past 10 years of marriage. You may remember that I designed our first “Houston” Mapiful a couple of months back, and we loved it so much that I just had to go back and design our “New York” and “Los Angeles” Mapifuls to complete our love story.

10 year wedding anniversary
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