Posts Tagged ‘new home’

Not so fast 2019. I can appreciate the fact that you’re here, but I must say I wasn’t ready. I was having a jolly old time in 2018 and then you snuck up on me.

Last week is a bit of a blur. Usually New Years is one of my favorite holidays. I love making new goals and starting anew. But these last two years I’ve been a little off. Last year because I was in a first trimester haze. And this year because we just made a big move, with two kids and a baby. A move we were extremely blessed to make. And I’m SO thankful for.

The good news is I know from experience that it’s ok if you aren’t ready to jump in with a new gym membership and resolutions to check in every day. Or if you don’t hit the ground running on 1/1/19. Last year it took me a few months to feel up to making goals but once I finally did I was ready to roll.

I don’t think it’ll take months for me to feel ready to get going. I actually am hoping I’ll be ready by my birthday next week, or the end of the month at the latest.

I stopped making resolutions years ago, but I always make new year goals. Right now my goal is to set my goals next month.

Until then I’m trying to unpack the last dozen or so boxes and get set up in this new home of ours. I’m still basking in gratitude and relishing in some lingering holiday cheer. Still glowing in the wonderful aura of 2018.

Once again I’m wondering how this next year can possibly top the last. But who knows, I’ve said that before too.

Waiting for this house to be completed strangely feel a lot like waiting for a baby. And I would know, I’ve done both this year. Our “due date” is December 27th but the builder said this is a fluid date. Meaning it could be the 28th or possibly the 31st. We’re in the third trimester though, and all of the pieces are mostly put together. We’re just putting on some extra fat now and… Ok, this analogy is getting weird.

Basically we’re in the final countdown. I can sorta officially say we close next week. Unless they tell me otherwise. Our walkthrough is this Wednesday and last I checked we still didn’t have landscaping, our irrigation system or my master bathtub! I’m planning to go through that place with a fine tooth comb when we’re checking everything out, so there may be more things added to that list.

When we were building our current home I’m not even sure I opened every cabinet door. I know for sure I didn’t check all the outlets. This time around I’m gonna be charging all kinds of things. Messing with light switches as my kids would, and maybe even warm up some cookies in the oven.

Though we have already scheduled movers and cable it’s not hard to push them out a few days if need be. We’d love to ring in the new year in our new home, but not at the expense of missing things, or letting potential mistakes go.

Our realtor will also be with us so that’ll help. If you’ve ever built a house and had things you didn’t notice were mistakes until after the fact please let me know so I can remember to check.

Most of our house is in boxes. Like seriously. I just started adding Christmas packages to the stack of boxes and the kids can’t tell the difference. Is that kitchen appliances or a giant toy? Who knows?! All the gifts are hidden in plain site. (They are sitting on some here). Hopefully I’ll remember exactly where I stacked them on Christmas eve or we may be unpacking some forgotten Christmas gifts after we move in.

Surprisingly, I feel like I’m handling all of this pretty well. I’m meditating every morning before I start my day and I’m trying to keep things in perspective. This state of chaos is temporary. I won’t be pregnant forever.

When my husband and I met at the ripe ages of 18 and 21 we were so bright eyed, bushy tailed, and terribly naive. We fell in love and wanted to get married between semesters of college. We wanted to do it around December 16th but some relative in my then fiance’s huge family had already called dibs on that date, so we settled for the 23rd.

“Two days before Christmas? Do you really want to do that?” People asked us.

Yes, we did. It was a brilliant idea. … Or so we thought.

Nearly 14 years and three kids later we’ve realized that was not a bright idea. It was actually kind of a crazy idea. But it worked for our situation. And thankfully our parents were kind enough to show up.

Know what else is a crazy idea? Moving over Christmas. Yet here we are. If you see me share any cute pictures of my home this year know that this is what’s really going on behind the scenes…

Definitely not making the cut for the ‘gram.

We decided early on that even if we closed before Christmas we would wait to move until after. And trust me, I know this could be A LOT worse. Had we had to show and try to sell our home in the middle of all this I’d be curled in a ball in the corner right now crying and unconsolable. Thankfully we do have a little breathing room and flexibility. But still… This time of year is a lot.

Last year at a Talk Early summit we heard from a home organization expert, Rachel Rosenthal. When things are disorganized it can impact your stress level. Especially this time of year when we have a slew of notes and requests from teachers. So many dates and events to remember and so on and so on. One of the things she suggests is setting up a command center.

In her words:

Command centers are a low-tech, high-reward system that will cut down on the time you spend coordinating everyone’s busy schedules. The command center is where we keep our calendar and is a way to take stock of what we have going on in our lives so that we know the fundamentals of who, what, when, where, why, and how. I have one designated go-to spot for everything.

Right now everything gets tossed into a pile on my kitchen counter and I inevitably miss things that I forget to add to our digital calendar. I’m not really attempting to be awesome this Christmas BUT next year, I’m totally going to have it together with a command center in my mudroom.

I started packing a few weeks ago, and I’ve just been doing a little bit each week. Yesterday I tackled everything in the bathrooms. A large part of the packing process is getting rid of things we don’t need. In the past when we’ve moved we’ve taken A LOT of stuff that we didn’t need, so I’m trying to narrow things down a bit.

Here was what I pulled from my bathroom yesterday. Everything on the bed, and these boxes to the side of my bed all came from my bathroom cabinets and drawers. There’s actually even more than this that wasn’t pictured. It was nuts.

This is what I narrowed it down to:

Now picture that going on in every area of the house. From clothes, to toys, to kitchen supplies. It’s been a process but I’m so glad I took the time to go through it all and didn’t just pack everything. Once we move in I’ll worry about getting them unpacked and into neat containers.

We are going to ring in a new year in our new home and I’m looking forward to having so much more order in our new space. Granted, I know myself and that I’m just not an extremely neat and organized person, but I am trying to do better.

With a house in boxes, a moody 4-month-old, a slew of family coming to town, and a move a few days after Christmas. There’s a lot going on, and the timing isn’t great. And it sometimes feels like a lot to manage. But I get up every morning, meditate and remind myself “I can do this!”

How do you keep yourself mentally together over the holidays? 

This conversation was written in partnership with TalkEarly, and organization focused on having healthy conversations around alcohol responsibility among our families. For more resources on having open and honest conversations with your children please visit TalkEarly.org

Easy healthy lunch snacks for kids

“We are going to the park.”

Those six words were like magic when I was a little girl. When I was about 8 or 9 years old, my mom would take my sister Heather and I to the city park that had a giant (to me back then) pond, a long row of swings, and a jungle gym we would climb all over and hang upside down on.

My mom would sometimes bring leftover bread for us to feed to the ducks.

We’d run across the field, and roll in the grass. Play tag or hide and seek with new friends. Such a simple pleasure transcends generations.

playing at the park with kids Stonyfields

But like most things, we know better and want better for our children. When I take my kids to nearby parks I notice things that are different these days. Many have large sun canopies over the playgrounds if they aren’t shaded by trees. Signs read not to feed the ducks bread because apparently it’s bad for their guts. We never wore sunscreen, where now I happily lather it on my kids. And that glorious grass we loved to roll in was likely covered in potentially harmful pesticides and fertilizers. Not much has changed in that regard, but some people are working to fix that.

playing at the park with kids Stonyfields

Stonyfield is a brand we already know and love because of their delicious organic yogurts we enjoy. For more than 35 years their cows have grazed on organic fields. Now they have a new mission to bring the same standard to the playing fields.

playing at the park with kids Stonyfields

Over 26 million kids play on sports fields and most are sprayed with harmful pesticides. Stonyfield hopes to make all playing fields organic and free from those. Their new StonyFIELDS (see what they did there) initiative is to help communities across the United States take the necessary steps to convert to organic field maintenance and help give us resources to make changes in our own communities. Their website even gives tips to starting in our own backyards.

Our family is building our new home on a beautiful 2 acre lot that has more than an acre of greenbelt, home to lots of critters. Some we’ll happily welcome, like deer and squirrels. Others I’m sure we won’t be too fond of. Namely spiders and snakes. As much as I want to douse the entire place with all the bug killer, this is making me want to be more conservative in our approach. My husband and I are discussing getting a cat to help keep snakes at bay, and I’m reading essential oils like peppermint, eucalyptus and cinnamon can repel spiders.

new home building organic pest control

Now I’m thinking we may even plant a little organic garden of our own. My dream is for us to spend a lot of time back there and I think part of that means getting used to some critters.

Head over to the StonyFIELDS PlayFree site for more information on how you can improve your play space or nominate your community to get a donation for one of your local playgrounds or parks.

I finally got around to taking some pictures of our place. We don’t have everything set up yet, not even close. But most of the boxes are unpacked aside from the guest room.

office-copy IMG_3847_0048-copyThis is the formal living/dining area that we are using as a playroom and office combo. I figured it would be better to have my computer out where the kids are playing so I can get some work done with them nearby, and if I need to get away when my husband’s home I can always take my laptop into the craft/guest room.

I took these pictures before Christmas and had my decorations up at the time.

I got the rug from Target, and the desk from Ikea. My chair is from Ross, as is the chest under my desk that I keep my microphone and other office supplies in.

Lil’ J also has a play kitchen in this room now that Santa brought her for Christmas, I’ll hafta update these photos once I have more things on the walls and show that off.

I plan to sew long bench seat pillows for the lower Ikea shelves and the windowsill and that will become the main seating for the room. I like having the open space to play though.

I’ve been organizing *eBay collections with more of my ideas for our playroom. I’m keeping my eye on wooden puzzels, and play food, as well as picture frames and artwork for and other rooms in my house. That’s one tough thing I’m finding about having a new place. I can’t stop shopping to try and fill it! I’m starting to realize that this is something that doesn’t happen overnight, and it’ll take years to get it the way I want it, and even then, I’ll probably want to start over. For now I’m trying to find good deals where I can, and many of them are online. You can follow me to see what deals I’m finding for my mom cave and play room (many of them under $20).


I love my kitchen. Which is really funny considering I’m not much of a fan of being in it. But all the stainless steel, the cabinets, and countertops welcome me. I plan to spend a lot of time in here next year.


The family room walls are a huge work-in progress, as are the curtains and accent pillows I’m hunting for. I bought a portable fireplace with a mantel to spice up the space, and fill it in since the area is so large.


I redid Big-T’s room similar to his last, but this time he doesn’t share it with my sewing stuff. I want to make letters and put his name above his crib.


nursery-3-copyLil’ J’s room is one of the only painted rooms in the house, but I haven’t hung anything on her walls yet, I’m still indecisive.

Christmas-day-2013_0049-copy Christmas-day-2013_0048-copyThe guest/sewing room was full of boxes a few days ago but my mother-in-law’s visit finally forced me to unpack them.


Nothin’ much to our guest bathroom but it’s got a cute purple theme.


The laundry room isn’t large, but it’s the largest one we’ve ever had. I got bins to store everything so detergent and whatnot is tucked away neatly. laundryroom-copy

Our room fits our king bed, dresser and has a room for a lot more. Eventually I’d like to get nice bookshelves, and maybe a loveseat to go in here since there’s so much extra space. I’m still torn about whether or not we should mount our TV since it’s so small compared to our big wall.


Arguably my favorite upgrade is our jetted tub, which none of us can get enough of.


So that’s a little peek at our new abode. I’m trying to turn over a new leaf and keep it clean. We’ll see how long that lasts.

Feel free to share your decorating wisdom for the unwise!

*My eBay Collections were curated as part of my collaboration with eBay.

I’ve been pretty stressed lately dealing with moving on top of a baby and new job situation—Ok, so this all has happened over eight months but I feel like it finally all caught up to me this last week.

happy kid with icecream

We didn’t have a refrigerator for over a week. Then that came but we still didn’t have Internet… Well, we still don’t… But I found a way to tether my phone so I’m not shaking with Internet withdrawals anymore (mobile surfing just isn’t the same). Try online Christmas shopping without the Internet! No bueno. Not to mention I just bought an iMac off eBay (have I mentioned my addiction? Check out my collections* and follow me!) and have hardly been able to enjoy it. But now that I’m back up and running I can upload pictures (on my 2TB HD, whoop!) of these two cuties again without having to run to Chick-fil-a to make it happen on their wifi. (I don’t even want to know how much weight I’ve gained from my constant eating there).

siblings kissDespite that drama, I’m absolutely LOVING my new home. LOVING. It’s amazing having so much space. In our nine years together my husband and I have been in apartments, duplexes, townhomes and condos, and this is our first HOUSE. I feel so very blessed and I love having room to play with my kids. Our place has a huge open formal living and dining room that we have made into a playroom with a small office space for myself at one end. Then we have an additional large family room, and a breakfast area in the kitchen.

The only thing is I need some serious help figuring out where to hang things. I should to take pictures and get advice but my main issue is deciding how to hang the alphabet wall in the playroom. I have a HUGE wall and need other artwork to place around the alphabet but I’m trying to decide just how to do that. I know decorations aren’t permanent and I can always change them out but man, it’s nerve-wracking trying to pick the right stuff. And amazing how much of a difference a bookshelf or artwork can make. I wish I had an extra $20k to spend on filling my house with beautiful things but we’ll be here a while (forever according to my husband) so we’ve got time.

Actually I’m having a bit of trouble with decorations in general. I’m organizing some of my ideas and potential for home decorating, playroom toys and my photography displays. I used it for a bit a lot of my Christmas shopping list too.

baby on reclinerMy absolute favorite thing about my house right now is that I have a rocking chair in almost every room. Or rather the rooms I sit in most… The playroom, Big T’s room, and the family room. And near all of those rockers are books!

I have little bookshelves in each of those places, as well as my daughter’s room and it seems almost every time I sit down she’s grabbing one for me to read to her and they both snuggle next to me on the chairs. I LOVE reading to my kids. Maybe I miss anchoring or something but I really am getting into it these days. We like to make up stories around these parts but reading them is more fun for me lately. And Lil’ J just sits and absorbs it all, asks questions, anticipates what’s coming next, guesses the rhymes… It’s really exhilarating watching her learn. She’s only three but I’m SERIOUSLY considering homeschooling. I guess we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.

I’ve been reading a lot of my books on my iPhone lately, but there’s something about holding a book the good old-fashioned way. I’m trying to order my favorites on the cheap, and I’m also hoping to check out our new library today, and check out some books. It’s not quite resolution time but the it’s one thing I’m excited to do more of next year is read. I only read a few books this year and I want to read a few a month next year. –Books for myself that is.

baby in a hoodieBig T is getting huge. He’s still not crawling but I’m not so upset about that. If I remember correctly things get more difficult once your baby is mobile.

I do randomly find him sitting up in his crib babbling away when I go to get him in the morning or after nap. It’s insanely adorable.

So we’re still just getting settled and enjoying the holidays around these parts. Feeling extremely blessed.

baby with christmas ornament

*My eBay Collections were curated as part of my collaboration with eBay.


We’re moving!

*The giveaway after this awesome good news is sponsored by Carter’s. See below for additional disclosures.

I’ve been reluctant to blurt this from the rooftops because I’m afraid to jinx it, but it’s finally starting to sink in so here I go… We’re moving!

Not far, just to the burbs. We’ve been thinking and praying about where to move a long time. I’d say years even. We found the perfect place last month, put money down, and we’re officially under contract. The builders are scheduled to break ground this Friday.

It’s a one story right on the edge of a culd-a-sac, four bedrooms, two bathrooms, two living rooms, and two dining rooms. It truly is my (realistic) dream house. Needless to say my Pinterest boards are off the chain. We set an appointment for four-hours worth of design decisions and were done in two. I agonized over making the right choices the weeks leading up to the appointment, but during, I choose colors in a split second, and spit out my answers like a confident Jeopardy champ. I really hope I’m still happy with it once it all comes together. This is totally new for me. We own a condo too, but it was already built when we bought it, so picking out the insides and waiting for it to come together is whole different ballgame.
Lot sold

I snapped this photo the day after we bought our lot when I drove by to see the SOLD sign. I don’t have a natural eye for decorations but I do know I’m going to fill this new place with TONS of photographs.

And see that cute little number my little guy is wearing? I made that! Link to the cute tutorial is in my sidebar (to the right)! It’s made from a Carter’s bodysuit. For my daughter, most of her clothes are from boutiques. But for my son, for his first wardrobe, I love layering cute things from Carter’s. They have the most adorable layette collections that can be layered and miss-matched for different looks. I get a lot of cute out of date stuff at my local consignment store, and the new baby clothes in their store or online.


I personally love the bright colors of the Little Speedster collection. And my grandmother sent us pieces of one of their elephant collections as well. The “Elephant Friends” collection features shades of blue and elephants.

Another nice thing about our new place is we’ll have WAY more closet space. And since Big T’s wardrobe is already close to rivaling his sisters (definitely ahead of what hers was at his age) we’ll need all the space we can get for my stylish duo.

Lucky me, Carter’s sent me a gift card and to try some of their new collection and is sponsoring a $50 Carter’s gift card giveaway with you, that you will be free to use at your local store! So let’s celebrate our good news with a giveaway! It’s not a house but hey, it’s still awesome.

Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Also, make sure you “like” Carter’s on Facebook and follow Carter’s on Twitter to discover the latest great deals, exclusive events and offers for your little ones! There they’re also having a Carter’s Precious Gift Sweepstakes until July 8th. 16 winners will get a customized Gift Basket of new Little Layette product valued at $300. You can enter here or here if you’re using your mobile device.

little speedsterDisclosure: Carter’s partnered with bloggers such as me to help promote Little Layette. As part of the program, I received product or gift cards. Carter’s believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words, and therefore did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about the products I used. Carter’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations. The winner of any giveaway in this program will be randomly chosen and gift card fulfillment will be handled by a third party.

Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget


I'm a part-time journalist, full-time wife and mother striving to make the world a better place and inspiring others to do the same. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day.

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