Episode #12: Elsie’s Forever-ish Home

Hello friends! This week, we have a BIG announcement! I (Elsie) have found our forever home and we will be remodeling it and moving soon. You’ll get the full story and lots of details in this episode!

You can stream the episode here on the blog or on iTunesSpotifyGoogle PlayTuneInPocket Casts, and Stitcher. You can find the podcast posts archive here.

We’re also excited to introduce our sponsor, Agility by Therapedic! Emma recently switched her mattress, and you can hear more about it on this week’s episode! Agility is offering our readers $200 off a mattress purchase with our code ‘ABM’ (can’t be combined with any other offers) and we have a few other exciting things planned with them in the upcoming months. Visit www.agilitybed.com/abm to learn more!

Show notes:
-I am SO excited to share our new home with you today in our first episode of the year. As many of you know, we have been house shopping in the Nashville area on and off for the past year. I talked more about our initial house shopping in Episode 2.

It was quite a journey this time because we really wanted to find something that checked a LOT of boxes that we could settle into and improve over time. We are considering this our forever home, or forever-ish, more accurately! What I mean by that is that we have no intention of selling this home and it is not a stair-step to another home; it’s a home we can see ourselves living in, well, forever. But I’m also super uncomfortable with the term “forever” since we all know life is unpredictable. Still, it feels great to begin renovating a home we have no plans of leaving.

First of all, I’d love to share a few photos of our new home with you!

Here are a few peeks into our 1965 home. We made sure to take “before” photos of every room when we closed, and I’m so glad we didn’t wait too long because the basement was demo’ed two days later!

As you can see from the photos above, our home has a super ’60s exterior and we’re excited to lean into that style as we renovate the home. You all know I have a deep love for retro homes, but I had my heart set on a historic home in Nashville. However, after looking at so many, my husband confessed that he was more into mid-century homes. That was a defining moment for me and made my choice so much easier since I truly love both types of homes!

-Here is the home I mentioned with the angel murals. It’s the same one as the dead squirrel pool, but I will spare you of that! (We have like 100 silly photos like this—gonna make a coffee table book, haha)

Timeline and phase one plans- 
We closed on this home in December and are currently working on a phase one renovation before we move in early March. Phase one includes redoing all the floors in the home (refinishing some wood and adding some wood floors and new stairs), building Jeremy’s studio out in our basement, painting a lot of white walls, and decorating the girls’ bedrooms so they can have some comforts and exciting memories when we move in.

Phase two and three plans- 
Phase two will be the rest of this year and into 2021. It includes decorating one room at a time. I want to fully enjoy the renovation experience and really soak in every bit of it. So no rushing!

Phase three will include an addition to the home where we plan to add two bedrooms, a dream kitchen and a living space. It will also include a backyard renovation with a large deck with a hot tub and possibly a swimming pool. Phase three will begin as soon as we have design, permits and savings in place (so not sure when, but we’re not in a rush). We’re very much in the dreaming phase for this part of our renovation right now.

-Do you like the analogy of dating being the same as house shopping? It feels so similar to me. Haha!

Listener question: Tips for staying on task and being productive as a business owner.

-Make a list and prioritize your “must do” list and your “want to do” list.

-Figure out what time of day you are productive and work then.

-Find tools or systems to stay on track and stay organized. Whatever works for you is great!

The Now Habit <– read this book!

Smart Passive Income Podcast (and here’s the episode we were on)

-The Food Blogger Pro Podcast 

-Build a schedule where you know when it’s time to batch work and when it’s OK to organize or even do something fun as a treat! I schedule every Friday as an overflow day and it has changed my workweek for the better. If you work from home, cleaning up your workspace IS important work.

OK! So I am doing a Q+A post coming up regarding our new home/move, so if you have a question, leave it for me in the comments!

Happy Monday! Elsie + Emma

  • Loved this episode and post! Excited for you and your family Elsie 🙂 We closed on our 1970s home in December of 2016 so I remember how wild it felt so be closing and knowing it was our last Christmas in our apartment! Do you have plans for your home office? I work from home too and am always curious to see how other creatives work!

    • Hi Rachel! I won’t have a designated office space until we do our addition so I am planning to work in the dining room. I’m excited to move around the house (I love working from the sofa too!) but I am concerned about where to keep all my “stuff” so working on that! XX

  • Hi congrats!!
    Any update on how the concrete painting outside the studio has held up?

  • Thank you for talking about your house shopping journey. We just started and I am already feeling overwhelmed. Where we are school districts are tricky (it not based on where you live but when you enroll) and trying to find a home with the right balance of needs vs wants has been hard. It’s always encouraging to hear others journeys!

  • Yay! <3 Congrats, Elsie & family! I'm so excited for and inspired by you. My partner and I live in Lexington, KY where I think the market is similar to Nashville, TN. We've been looking for a house for almost a year since our oldest will begin Kindergarten in the fall, so we're in a similar season in life. Here's a site I found helpful in regards to moving with littles. https://www.artofhappymoving.com/ The blogger/author was just interviewed on the Minimalist Moms podcast and she had some excellent tips. Best wishes on the reno & move; can't wait for all the fun updates! xoxo

  • I enjoyed hearing about your house search and love the mid century house! I just moved out of a 1973 house that we renovated. We thought it was going to be our forever home, but life threw us some curveballs. I love that you mentioned it’s your forever-ish home and you get that life can change in an instant.

    Anyway, I moved with a just-turned 6 year old, a 2 year old, and a 1 year old. It was a total nightmare, honestly, and one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. So my tip to you is to start packing way earlier than you think you need to because it takes exponentially more time with kids. We also packed up nearly all our stuff and for the last week or two, we all lived out of duffel bags and the kids had minimal toys and books. This was super helpful when we arrived at our new house too, because we continued living out of the duffel bags for a while as we tried to find things!

    Good luck with your renovation and move!

  • As someone who works a 9-5, I also do a lot of these work tips! I batch a lot of my tasks and have designated days and times that I spend on them. I also schedule cleaning times. My staff often leave a bunch of stuff in my office and our storage isn’t great so I schedule time to clean my work area. I also work hard Mon-Thu and schedule heavy those days so that Fridays can be my catch up days where I can finish tasks and also have time to personally check in with my staff before the leave for the weekend and I have time to brainstorm priorities for the following week.

    Just wanted to put in my two cents for anyone else who doesn’t work for themselves to know that these tips can absolutely work for office jobs!

  • Would you mind sharing what area of Nashville your new home is in? We just moved to east Nashville in August. I also looked at EVERY house listing all over Nashville and the home we bought was the first one I wanted to see in person, and the only one that ticked almost all our boxes. It’s insane how hard it is to buy a historic AND a one level home!

    • Hi Amber!
      I want to avoid sharing the specific area online for privacy reasons. But yes- I agree with you- I didn’t look at almost any one level homes. XX!

      • Well I’ll be sad you’re leaving east Nashville! Out of all the places I’ve lived in Nashville (and I’ve lived in almost all, including right downtown) I love the vibe of the east the best. And for think, when I was growing up, east Nashville was the place you stayed away from at all costs????

  • So, admittedly, ABM and I have different styles/tastes, but I have loved following along on every renovation project because even if it’s not always the choice I would make, there is something so satisfying about a beautifully done before and after. I think Elsie’s current home turned out so nicely and I am so jazzed to see all the fun projects coming!

  • Hi! Congrats so so excited for you guys! So excited to watch the process!!

    Is the backyard as big as your current home your living in? It was hard to tell in the IG video, it looked more steep off the deck.


  • Congrats! What an exciting project for the coming year – if it turns out anything like your past places or Airbnb’s it will be gorgeous!!

  • Congrats on your new house!! I love it! We just bought a very similar style house in Tulsa Ok and I am planning on following along to be inspired! Question: Are you painting the stone fireplaces? Our house has similar stone fireplaces and I am tempted to paint them white. I’d love your thoughts!

  • I’m so excited to see the new house all done up!! Elsie, you have wonderful style and taste! I’ve loved everything you’ve done, and I’ve been reading the blog for a LONG time. ???? I really hope the new house has a rainbow wall like the playroom had for a hot minute way back when!

    Moving for school is a big deal, and a totally personal thing. It’s hard and I am not looking forward to it. Bless y’all for doing it and finding a sweet house! With free fake flowers. Ha!

  • I love you guys, everything you do is pure magic! Elsie, can’t wait to see your new home! ????

  • I am a new listener to your podcast and I had to stop working and comment on this episode. I have been listening for a couple of months and have heard about a dozen podcasts in no particular order. I just heard episode 12 and loved the ending when you had Nova ask for good reviews. That was the most adorable thing I’ve heard in a long time! I laughed out loud for real!
    Anyway, my podcast app (Podcast Addict) doesn’t have a way for me to rate the podcast, so just because she asked, I came here to let you know I enjoy your show.
    Keep up the good work!

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