new home update: coming up for air


I know it’s been pretty quiet in my corner of the interwebs lately, but I promise I have a good excuse.  Remember when I told you that we were moving and that we’d bought this? Remember how I’d told you how we loved her but it seemed like she maybe could use a sprucing up?

After the link, behold what we’ve been busy trying to make pretty for the last 6 weeks . . .


Please take a minute and imagine me standing in front of my computer and making a sweeping gesture.





I’ll get to the nitty gritty of what we picked, how we did our renovation and exactly how many times I waved my arms wildly and yelled “NOTHING FITS IN THIS KITCHEN!”, but first and foremost I have to give thanks. Renovating this kitchen and moving up to DC has honestly felt like birthing another child and planning a wedding all at once: it’s been messy and chaotic and sweaty. I’m now living in my dream house, and the hubby and I are going to raise our kids here. I can’t really put into words how amazing that feels (I’ll be honest: I have been a bowl of joyful tears).

I’m lucky to have amazing parents who have been so supportive of our dreams, both at home and elsewhere. We also wouldn’t be here without Heather Clary, the wonderful kitchen manager at IKEA Woodbridge who talked me off the ledge and who became kind of like my secret best friend for a few weeks (yes, I’ll tell you all about our experience at IKEA). The fine folks at Hickory Hardware donated us our cabinet and appliances pulls (they’re the Studio Collection 128mm pulls in Bright Nickel shown here; more details to come on that as well). Also, Ray Nally of Raymond Nally Construction — our salty, ne’er-do-well Irish carpenter with a genius eye and a steady hand — brought us home with installing all-new bamboo floors and adding the finishing touches to our kitchen.  My childhood friend Vivian and her family (who live two doors down from us) have kept us fed, entertained, and broken up the chaos of what otherwise would’ve been a bleak few weeks of eating hotel food and staring at walls of boxes. My sisters have injected much-needed humor into the darker hours of the renovation process, likening me to Goldie Hawn’s character in Overboard (“I said cedar!”). Lastly, we’ve had a delightful au pair from Costa Rica living with us since May (when we were still in Charleston) and who journeyed with us through hotel after hotel, mile after mile as we slowly made our way to the DC ‘burbs. The children adore her, and the hubby and I have grown to depend and trust her like one of the family. She kept the kids sane during this whole process, which kept us sane, too.

I guess all of this is to say that while the whirlwind of moving and renovation and (still ongoing) adjusting, I feel undeservingly fortunate. I can’t wait to see what our future holds for us in this house. And I’m so grateful to the people who made getting here possible.

Especially you, hubby. You are my lobster.


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About me

I’m Ann, a mom / wife / lawyer / certified culinary enthusiast. I share recipes, travel guides and home life tips while living overseas. Currently based in São Paulo, Brazil.

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