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Frequently Asked Questions

You say you're a renter but I see you've owned a home. What happened?

As a military family we move around about every three years. In the 15 years that Matt has been active duty we've only lived in a home we've owned for about five of those years. Prior to our current home, we owned a home in Florida, lovingly known as "the Florida house" here on the blog. There is a lot of content on this blog related to that home. We are now back to renting in military housing.

What are the paint colors in the Florida House?

I have a blog post with all of the paint colors used in that house here on the blog. Use the search tool to search "whole house paint colors"

Do you have tips on making a rental home feel "homey"?

Oh boy - of course I do. I started this blog with that specific idea in mind. Renters deserve to have a place that feels like home. Use the search tool at the top left of the homepage to search "rental decorating" and dozens of ideas will pop up.

Do you have any advice for a new military spouse?

I could write for days on this but I'll just share my top three: be flexible, live in the moment, find your tribe. Be flexible: The military is going to force this upon you whether you like it or not. It's a guarantee that at some point something will not go the way you hoped and it's frustrating and hard. I very quickly realized that I live with little to no expectations for the Navy. If I don't get my hopes up I can't be as disappointed. That's a bit of a sad way to think but it's important to protect your peace. Live in the moment: For many years, I was living life just trying to get through to the next thing. Push through deployment, push through this duty station, etc. Doing that, you miss out on some wonderful things that are happening here and now. I try really hard to live in the present and enjoy all that's offered to me right now. Lastly, find your tribe: There's is something really special about the military community. Having this huge part of your lives knit together means that your friendships grow quickly. That's important because we're you're thousands of miles away from your support system/family, you need that. Your tribe because family, they become the ones that watch your kids, your emergency contacts, your family dinner partners. Put yourself out there in order to find a handful of friends that will become your tribe.

How do you decide on what to invest in your home?

I subscribe to the idea of mixing high and low items. I might splurge on a piece of furniture and then everything else in the space is inexpensive/thrifted. We move so frequently that things get damaged on a regular basis. We also have small kids and I don't want to have a house where there is a ton of untouchable things for them. How do I decide on what will be an investment? Can I find what I'm looking for cheaper? How long will it last if I go the cheaper route? If the answers to these questions don't make sense for our current situation then I might splurge. I think one thing that helps is having a good idea for what you want to begin with. Do tons of research and figure out the look you want then you can work within your budget to make it come to life.

Any tips for bedtime in the bunk beds?

My girls are 9 and 5 and they've shared a room basically since Millie left the crib. They prefer being in the same bed. They usually sleep on the top bunk together. The only requirement is that Millie sleeps closest to the wall. We have a bedtime routine that helps. We do story, song, prayer, lights out. They usually giggle and chat for 10-15 minutes before they fall asleep. I bake that into their bedtime and it's fine with me. If I know they are going to chat for 15 minutes, I put them to bed 15 minutes earlier.

Where do you buy removable wallpaper?

I have several blog posts dedicated to this topic. The removable wallpaper we have in our house is from Etsy and Amazon. I also have traditional wallpaper from Serena & Lily up in our home that I hacked to make removable. Search wallpaper to find those posts.

Do you still like your Pottery Barn couch?

Oh yes! We still love it. I actually just updated the blog post to include a video of how we feel about it 2.5 years later. You can find that by searching "pottery barn."