Austin, the sequel

We went back to visit one of our favorite cities, Austin, Texas! When we moved to Austin in 2016, we chose a city where we pictured ourselves living forever, a city to love and put down roots. It was bittersweet leaving because we loved the city and people and were also excited about returning to Southern California with its amazing weather and beaches.

Dave had a work trip in Austin and the kids and I got to tag along. We loved visiting some of our favorite places, people and restaurants and seeing some new sights. One of the new places we visited was the Austin Public Library downtown which was everything we could have wanted in a library, a dream public library! It is beautifully designed with multiple levels, an awesome kids area with lots of board games, rooftop gardens, and amazing outdoor reading patios.

We also checked out the Austin Nature and Science Center and our most favorite restaurant in Austin, Terry Black’s BBQ.

Best brisket ever! ^

More of our Austin favorites highlighted here

 

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Water Days

One of the many things I love about Austin is there are SO many parks, lakes, covered playgrounds, community pools and splash pads. We’ve gone to a splash or pool at least once or twice a week this summer.

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Two of my suits and all of my cover ups are from Old Navy, as are Brent’s swim shorts and their flip flops (which $2 price you can’t beat!) I recently got this blue ruffle one from DownEast.FullSizeRender (7)

downeast blue ruffle modest swim suit

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Our water day essentials are sunscreen (lotion and spray), towels, water toys (like buckets) and snacks. Having 2 toddlers has taught me never leave the house without snacks!

One of the best resources I’ve found since moving to Texas is Free Fun in Austin where I found out about some of these splash pads.

Linking up today with Kiana, Madeline and these lovely bloggers for Mommy Style Monday:

Kiana at Glitter & Donuts

Madeline at CaseyLand

Erica at Good Job Momma

Bekah at These Are The Days

Beverly at What a Day 

Kristen at Eat Play and Go

Monica at It’s All About

Jessica at Mason Jars and Lemon Bars

How to update an older home on a small budget

Our first (town) home in Utah we bought  while it was being built so  we were able to pick the interior features – floors, carpet, colors, cabinets, counter tops, tile, etc. We loved that home, however we love to travel and see new places and wanted a home just a little bigger with a backyard for our kids and dog.

Our home here is Austin was built in the 90s and has a few updates like the floors, kitchen and master bathroom. Moving is fun but also usually more expensive than you anticipate. For example, the previous owners had cat door on the door between the garage and the interior of the home, which isn’t a big deal for us but the inspection said it’s actually a fire hazard so one more thing to update! Here are a few things we’ve found to update an older home on a very small budget:

  • paint – a fresh coat of paint can go a LONG way! We re-painted almost every room in the house and the garage (which was yellow and blue, looked like IKEA ha, ha). We used the Behr brand paint from Home Depot.
  • cabinet hardware – we added drawer pulls from Amazon that weren’t too expensive (other good options were from Home Depot and Anthropologie)
  • new window treatments – I love natural light so we just replaced the brown curtains with white ones (from Target)
  • update outlet and light switch plate covers – we like these white ones from Amazon to replace the previous brown and/or metal ones

Updates we want to do in the future:

  • replace older light fixtures
  • new exterior doors
  • matching doorknobs – why did the previous owner have so many mismatching doorknobs?! We’ll never know ha, ha…
  • epoxy the garage – we have this epoxy kit from Amazon but have to finish clearing out the garage before using it.

Other ideas for updating an older home:

  • new light fixtures
  • add a large mirror – the reflective light can often brighten a space or make it appear larger
  • update faucets
  • re-paint cabinets
  • replace floors or old carpet (I love wood, laminate and tile that looks like wood)
  • update counter tops (I love granite and marble)

Our home has been a labor of love, but we appreciate it and the new city we live in!

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Life lately: moving to Texas 

The last 3 ish years since leaving the east coast we’ve been in Utah and loving our townhome we built and being close to friends and family, not to mention the gorgeous mountains. We love to travel and see new places and never closed doors to moving almost anywhere in the world. We had a few places in mind: California, Portland, Austin, DC and we’re always talking about moving back to Scotland. We visited Austin last month to visit our friends we met in Virginia and with whom we traveled to Portland last fall.

Austin is lush with rolling hills, unlike anything I’d ever pictures Texas! When we returned from our trip, Dave was contacted by an HR consulting firm in Austin. Everything has fallen into place to allow us to move our family to Texas where we hope to stay for a while. We’re currently in an Airbnb until we close on our home the end of this week (on our 10th anniversary no less!)

So excited for this new chapter in our lives and to discover a new city!

Any Austin recommendations?

home decor inspiration: white walls

Moving to a new home and city is exciting, exhausting and usually hectic.  Since we’ve been married almost 10 years ago, we’ve moved 10 times! For the last 3 years, we’ve been living in Utah (where my husband is from and where we both went to college) and just moved last week to Austin, Texas after he accepted a new job.

One of my favorite parts of moving is decorating a new space. We built our previous town home in Utah and picked gray walls with white trim which I absolutely loved. For our new home here, we’ve decided to do all white walls. Some inspiration of images I love (via Pinterest):

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I’d love any pins or interior design blog recommendations!

 

Austin, TX: City Spotlight

Austin Texas Travel

We made our first trip to Texas a few weeks ago and BIG  NEWS, we’re actually moving there this week!

We loved the city – the lush, rolling hills, food, atmosphere – and my husband accepted a job there soon after. Everything happened so fast as we are in the process of selling our current home in Utah where we’ve been living for the last 3 years.

When we move there, I’m sure I’ll have lots to update on this post! Here’s a few things we loved on our short trip:

Mt.Bonnell – a short walk up about 50 stairs to the highest point in Austin with a great view of the city skyline. Free admission, public trail.

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema – what could be better than dinner and a movie?! The service was great and they had a large variety of items to select. I had a chili burger with a side salad 🙂

Butler/Zilker Park – like the Central Park of Austin, there is so much to do right on the across Lady Bird Lake and downtown. I’m looking forward to trying kayaking or paddle boating when we move there!

To eat:

There were so many amazing places we had recommended that we didn’t have enough time to try them all! A few of my favorites:

Torchy’s Tacos – I grew up in San Diego so of course I love tacos! I was so impressed with Torchys – I especially recommend the brisket taco and queso (cheese dip for chips)

Terry Blacks – this is where I had the best brisket of my entire life, no exaggeration! The meat was so tender I didn’t even need a knife. They have self serve sides which is awesome so you can try a little of everything (which I did!)

Amy’s Ice Creams – highly rated ice cream that to me rivals Salt and Straw (Portland) – they have weekly specialty flavors or you can create your own combo. It’s similar to ColdStone but a hundred times better 🙂

Gourdoughs (donuts) – a few locations in Austin including the permanent food truck that we visited. Their donuts are pretty amazing and come with awesome toppings (fruit, icing, etc)

We’re excited to start a new adventure and see new places! If you have any Austin recommendations, please share!