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At Home

Home is where your heart is; but also where your demons lie, your family ensures you triumph regardless, and your friends come over to eat and laugh and make a mess. It’s where your life story is told in baby photos and travel souvenirs and chipped edges of an ice cream bowl. It’s a compilation of interactions that make life feel more sweet.

10 Reasons You Should Housesit

Tyler and I have enjoyed our year of traveling all over the world, and we’ve gotten lots of questions about how to do it. Housesitting has been perhaps the biggest way we’ve made this dream happen, so here are 10 reasons we think you should housesit too!

1. Free Accommodation

The rest of my list may not really be in order of importance, but I feel like this one deserves to be at the top. If you’re looking into long-term travel, housesitting is perfect precisely because it offers you a way out of a gigantic accommodation budget. You can see the proof yourself in our breakdown of expenses from our first five months of travel in Europe. Not all housesitting gigs are equal– some longterm jobs ask for you to cover utilities– but all the ones we took were free of cost on our end. Of course, it was also free of cost on the homeowner’s end, so we weren’t paid either. Fair exchange in our opinion though!


Galentine’s Party Garland + a tutorial

I posted about my Galentine’s Day party yesterday, and I mentioned in my post that I crafted all the decorations needed to get the house looking festive and feminine. Of course, since this was a party for girls, there was a lot of pink and white and gold. And of course, that meant there was also a Pinterest presence.

I’d been seeing these fun tassel garlands all over the internet the past couple of years, and I thought this was the perfect chance to make some of my own. They were surprisingly affordable since all you really need are tissue paper, twine/string/ribbon, and some glue. They added just the right touch of flair, and can be customized to really fit any party scheme. The following is a quick tutorial so you too can have these fun tassels hanging in your home or office!


Christmas Decor Moodboard

This Christmas season is in full swing now! Tyler and I have been pulling 9-10 hour days in the bakeries, each doing our part to help the holidays run smoothly. So far, my work highlights have been: listening to Christmas music while I scurry around, wearing a little reindeer speckled apron instead of the regular white one, and sampling all the new cookies we produce just for these couple of weeks!

Last week, I decorated the bakery for the holiday season. We put out more and more things each day, to build the anticipation and excitement. I wrapped banisters with boughs and hung countless ornaments around the shop… it was so much fun. I think I might have tied 100 red bows around the place too. Since I’ve spent so much time decorating at work, I haven’t added much else to our own home since I first switched out all our regular things for Christmas decor several weeks ago. Still, if I had the house of my dreams– and a little more time and energy– I would love to decorate according to this moodboard. I love the fresh white backdrops and beautiful natural greens. A little gold and sparkle never hurt either. It’s the one magical time of year that warrants sparkle in the house 🙂

How are you decorating for Christmas? Does your workplace get into the holiday spirit as well?

photos: 1/2/3/4/5

For the Love of Houseplants

I have this thing about houseplants. I love them. It’s like bringing a little bit of the outdoors inside. The place in which I’ve most felt at home and at peace was in the middle of the jungle, so I think there’s a little bit of green that God sewed into my soul.

However, contrary to that statement or not, I must admit I’m not known to have the most vibrant green thumb. But I do my best. And what I lack in actual cultivation skills, I make up for in sincere concern and effort.

Our current green living thing was $30 under the budget Tyler begrudgingly gave me for houseplants, so I was pretty pleased with myself when I got that beautiful thing in the house and in the living room corner. (And believe me, that was no easy task– in the most literal sense– since it’s nearly seven feet tall.) Now that we’re all acquainted and settled in, with minimal leaf-browning, I’m feeling ready to start exploring the furthest reaches of my budget limitations.

To inspire me in my houseplant dreaming, I pulled up some photos of beautiful plants in beautiful homes. While I probably won’t be installing a mini-jungle of my own in our bathroom (!!) these photos did offer some creative ideas. For now, I might settle on the little plants on a stand in an entryway. Already have the stand and entry checked off the list!

What do you think about keeping plants indoors? Live vs. fake artificial?  Overflowing or less-is-more?

And in case you haven’t seen it, you can catch some shots of our very own green giant in our latest house tour.


photos, clockwise: 1/2/3/4/5/6

House Tour – After

Now that fall is decidedly here and the temps are dropping every week, it is so nice to have our cozy little apartment to come home to after being out and about in the brisk air. Even now, I’m cuddled up on the couch under a blanket, typing away by the hazy glow of our hanging string lights. All I need is a big ol’ mug of our apple cider, but alas, I finished that off this weekend 🙂

We gave you a quick tour of our apartment shortly after moving in, and I promised that we’d have an “after” tour once we had things unpacked and set up. Well, the time has come for round two! In case you missed the first one, feel free to check it out here. I refer to it [too] often in this new video– “like I mentioned earlier” — so consider yourself forewarned.

Welcome to the Murphmans’ home!

House Tour- Before

We’re finally ready to share the apartment with you all! This is a quick “before” tour, and we’ll get an “after” video up in a few weeks. We’ve already crossed off a lot of to-do’s and projects– that’s what happens when you’re both home all day– but we have a little more to do before we feel settled enough to shoot a good complete “after”.

We feel so lucky to have found such a cute place. I’ve been confident throughout this move that “God will provide”, but we all know that doesn’t always happen on our timeline. So being able to sign a lease so quickly– by Anchorage standards– was certainly not a test of patience, but a reward of faith this time.