Month : April 2014

an adorable mothers day celebration.


The Alison Show

All of my own dishes and entertaining pretties are packed away in boxes, but as Page and I work to get the final stages of the move done in the coming days, I wanted to share another pretty post from the blogosphere. LOVE, love, love this “Moms Rule” brunch (and her printable place mats, among other things!).

Hoping to be back soon with progress on the move and more of our new temporary home!

Yay for mamas!

home sweet apartment!


Yesterday, I picked up the keys to our digs for the next eight months. I’d post more than one pic… but this is essentially all of it. 🙂 One bedroom there in the back to the right, and a bath between it and the kitchen. Laundry is in the closet you see to the far left, and a large coat/storage closet is out of view, even further to the left, at the top of the stairs/entry. (First time in a second floor apartment – I thought it would be inconvenient, but I’m liking the higher views out the windows!)

It will be an interesting challenge to find a place for things between this one bedroom and some storage space, but I’m also grateful that it’s helping us prioritize belongings, only keep the things we need and love, and be reminded that while the “stuff” is fun, it’s far from necessary.

I’m looking forward to some challenges and projects in the coming months that I can share here. I’m hoping to write about maximizing small spaces, organizing every inch of cupboard  and closet spaces, and the whole idea of creating that feeling of “home” within a budget and effort level appropriate for a very short and temporary timeline.

Looking ahead to the (cozy!) adventure that awaits us here!

work it.



Our office has been in renovation mode for the past several weeks and next week I finally get to relocate to my permanent spot. Fresh and new…but sparse. Enter some cute accessories. These are some things that have caught my eye, from some of my favorite resources for lovely office things! (Be sure to check out the link below to Poppin — desk accessories in whatever color you like!)










moving checklist (free printable!)


As promised — coming at you today with a moving checklist! I know there are several floating around in cyberworld, but I found myself needing one that applied to those who have to move TWICE — both to temporary housing and a storage unit, and then again in a few months. So I included some line items (if applicable) for anyone else in the same boat.

moving checklist |


Click the link above (or hover on it, right click, and save) to download a copy to your computer.

Happy packing!

***Pst! You can snag other free printables from Life In Yellow:
Sitter Notes
Meal Planner
Holiday Decorating
Gift Planner

organizing our move


At this point, boxes are all over the house!

We have three weeks until our move. But in those three weeks, I have a handful of photo sessions to shoot and edit (in addition to my day job), plus I’ll be out of town for a few days. Page is overloaded with web work between his day and freelance job, and he’s handling the logistics of the move itself and the apartment/storage unit/truck rental, so the physical packing part of the move is on MY to-do list. (It works well… because I’m a tad neurotic about knowing what’s where and how I want it all transported!) 😉


This move is a little more complicated than past moves, because things are being split up — some things go to storage (evaluating what items we won’t need for the next 8 months), and others will go to our apartment with us. Keeping the destinations of the boxes straight, in addition to labeling the contents, is a process I’ve been able to streamline a little…neon labels are my new best friend!


Each box gets packed, and a Sharpie note in the front/top/right corner of either what’s in it, or where it needs to end up. If anything inside is fragile, it gets a hot pink sticker — I buy the large rectangle ones, that I can quickly tear into pieces and stick a bit on each side, so no matter at what angle one of our helpful friends picks it up, they can see if it requires a little extra care to move. (This keeps me from writing out “fragile!” over and over…and over!)

Boxes going to storage have a lime green sticker – so we can quickly sort on moving day and know which boxes go in which trip. Before I knew we could secure some temperature-controlled storage, I also was using orange labels to denote temperature-sensitive boxes (anything that can melt, warp, or freeze).

styrofoam plateAnd while we’re on the packing topic…this tip I came across on Pinterest has worked like a charm: the fastest way to pack your plates? Styrofoam plates between each — so much faster than wrapping each one individually!

Check back next week — I’ll be posting a FREE PRINTABLE moving checklist! 



There are times when I still blog something just for me, and not for anyone else. Today is one of those times.

I’m a huge believer in things happening for a reason, and events being made known to you to keep you aware of just how much you have to be thankful for. While I find myself sending up a thank you prayer on a regular basis, a few recent events have me particularly aware of just how grateful I am for all that I have.

During this home building process, I’ve been weirdly excited to move into a one bedroom apartment with Page, put the bulk of our stuff in storage, and live pretty simply for the coming months. I think we are about to realize just how much we have…and remember how much we can do without. Additionally, in the face of some friends going through tough times, I’m reminded of just how strong we are together and that while, like anyone, we work at our marriage, in many ways we are blessed it’s been as easy as it has.

Cheers to a fun adventure in the months ahead, but also to appreciating the awesome guy I married, hanging on the couch, maybe eating off a paper plate, and needing little more than a good laugh together to feel completely fulfilled. Cheers to being grateful.

Happy weekend.

the decision to build. again.

photo 5

We’ve decided to build!

You can ask our realtor — we’ve come a LONG way from where we began this second home search. We started out headed for Kansas and ended up in California. Or for Spain and went to Switzerland. Whatever the phrase is.

photo 2 (1)
Laughing at the lockbox hooked to an “extra” door knob for no reason?

We first walked through an existing home back in February “just to see” if we even thought it was the right time to move. We were on the fence, and many more things seem to factor into the decision this time around, but when we saw that first house, we actually loved it more than we expected to and it whet our appetites to relocate. But then it was pulled off the market… we took it as a sign to keep looking around.

photo 3
I was in love with this tile…but that was about it.

We started out asking specifically to NOT see new construction, but quickly saw just how little was for sale, even after we seriously widened our price range at both ends and expanded into other areas around Des Moines (we even took a drive out to Adel, which for us, was a stretch). We saw the same handful of listings in our favorite areas, that met our criteria, again and again, but none of them felt even remotely right. Our conversations evolved, perspectives changed, and you guessed it, we started looking at builders.

photo 1 (1)
pretty arches!

Don’t get me wrong, we saw some beautiful homes and met with talented builders. But I felt “meh” about all of it. We were in love with the idea of a 1.5 story plan, but no one was currently building one or had ever done one before to reference, so we rather quickly pushed it out of our minds and focused on something in general more open and sprawling with higher ceilings – which led us to ranch plans. Give or take a few details we loved, we saw the same three floor plans, over and over and OVER again, from a variety of builders. (I think we met with at least a half dozen in person and toured many more). You can only do so much with a ranch floor plan, and we saw it all…and loved…none of it. We actually came close to signing on the dotted line with a builder who was the best of what we saw, but thankfully in a bit of Divine Intervention, the plan fell through.

On the same night we were supposed to do a final meet with this builder to start talking plans and put together a purchase agreement, they cancelled the meeting to be out of town. Micole, our realtor, saw an opportunity to show us something she hadn’t given up looking for, for us, and had JUST found. I honestly was OVER meeting with builders at this point and was ready to pass (Page had to convince me to go!)…but then she mentioned the home she wanted us to tour was what now seemed to be an urban myth…a 1.5 story!

We oohed. We ahhed. We pretty much drooled. THIS was the builder, the right vibe, and more or less, the plan we had been looking for, and it could all happen in a price range we were comfortable with. (I don’t even have pics to share, I was too busy loving it!) We’ll change and move around several things, but more or less, the IDEA is totally spot-on. Open/high ceilings in the main area, master on the main level, bedrooms/office space for PageSmith Design upstairs, and a basement level in which we can eventually add an extra bedroom/bath, great room, workout space, and (halleluiah!) unfinished storage space. And it turns out we weren’t crazy…they shared with us that night that only ELEVEN 1.5 story homes were built in all of Des Moines in 2013. No wonder we weren’t finding any!

photo 1
Seal of approval!

I know this post is heavy on words and light on pictures of anything but us giving a bunch of thumbs up on an empty lot, but more are coming, I promise!

photo 2
Can’t wait to photograph in my own space!

And yes, we’re 99.9% sure this is the spot where the house will eventually stand. In fact that’s me standing more or less in a front “flex room” that will be able to go back and forth from a living area/office to small studio space for ClickSmith!

At this moment, we’re balancing the search for some temporary (and immediate!) housing, with keeping things rolling on casa 2.0. Back soon with updates on all of it.