simplee farmhouse in the city update

well, our farmhouse in the city is finally taking shape + man is she a beauty.

yes, i’m now referring to our home as “she/her”.

no, i’m not crazy (but living in tight quarters is making me a bit insane). ha

believe me, by the time she’s finished + you see how beautiful every little detail of her is, you’ll be calling her “she/her” too.  i really need to come up with a name for her, but i think i’ll probably have to wait until we are actually living there + i get a feel for vibe, because being homeless does not have me in the right frame of mind.

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look at our house up there! can you believe it?  i can, but i also can’t.  it seems like just yesterday we were just driving by to see the beginnings of a foundation. now we are almost done with framing, and our pre-drywall walk through is in a couple of weeks!

we try to check on her once a week (any more and we might go stir crazy) and it’s amazing how much they can get done in a week. it’s awesome to see her grow + watch her progress, because we know we are another step closer.  BUT, it also makes us really miss having a home of our own.

i guess i’ll preface this by saying, i am obviously not defined by material objects or a house…but not having a home has really made me feel like i have lost a part of myself and my identity.  

you see, i’m a homemaker. i’m a stay at home mom. i’m a decorator, an organizer, and a festive party-planner. but i haven’t had a home to make. i don’t have my own home to “stay in” with my babe.  i don’t have my own areas to clean, organize or decorate.  i’m not hosting events or parties in my own space.  the only decorating i’m doing is through my pinterest boards (which, by the way, if you don’t follow me on pinterest–find me.  i have a separate board for each room in our farmhouse.  and if you’re curious on the design i’m going with, that will give you an inside scoop!)

we are living out of boxes, hanging our clothes in shared closets, sleeping in the same room as our toddler, and sharing a small bathroom that has everything kid-size.  and of course, we are grateful.  so incredibly grateful.  we know we are blessed to have somewhere to stay while we work on buildin’ our dream.  don’t misunderstand my words or what is on my heart.  but it’s been 109 days since we’ve been on our own routine, with plenty of space for ourselves + all our treasures.  and there’s still 93 left to go.  

i truly miss having a space for my tribe.  our own space to celebrate milestones, birthdays, holidays and the little things.  and yes, i know we will be so much more appreciative when we are finally moved in, especially in a a beautiful space that has been made for us.  but dang, it’s so hard.

but, back to our house because looking at her + talking about her really makes my heart happy. 

maybe when she is all finished + she slowly starts to get filled with all of our treasures, you will have some ideas for a name.  for now, we’re sticking with her nickname “farmhouse in the city,” because it’s the perfect way to define her.  you drive through the suburbs + before you know it, you come across an all white farmhouse beauty.  you open the door, step inside + you feel like you’ve stepped into a joanna gaines’ dreamland, or an episode of fixer upper.  

speaking of joanna, did you hear that target + the gaines have gone in on a collab?  the gaines will have their very own line in target stores this november.  i will definitely be one of the women there at 8 am, with TWO carts filled.  i’ve only seen glimpses, but i’m pretty sure the decor will be right up my alley, along with millions of other women! ha 

here is the latest photo of our house.  so exciting!  below that, i’ve also included a photo from the architect. some of the details are slightly different from what we’ve chosen, but it’s a great example of what the exterior of our house will look like!

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what do you think of our farm-beauty?  are you dying over the gaines team up with target, too?  let me know in the comments below!

Xo

puppies + potty training

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we’ve added a new member to our tribe. meet dapper oaklee nguyen. he’s only 9 weeks old, but he’s already living up to his name.

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they say you can tell at this age what their personality will be like as adult dogs. if this is true, we have a very chill man on our hands; that’s good because I foresee many dress up parties + adventures with his human sis that he’ll need to be chill for.

for those of you who knew oaklee, you know getting another dog is a very big deal for me. after oaklee’s passing, my heart broke. i knew i’d never be able to replace him. getting another dog seemed like a betrayal in my eyes for a long time.

when we moved in with my parents, i realized how much happier anna was. i hadn’t really noticed before, but anna was depressed and missing him too. add in some gentle nudging from your loved ones, and then you decide to j u m p and get another dog.

after all, my word for the year is  j u m p .

i began the search for a dachshund, and eventually found this little reese’s peanut butter cup. i knew he was it. so we waited a few weeks until he was old enough, then drove 4.5 hours to get him, plus another 4.5 to take him home. thanks to a bag full of snacks, movies on the ipad, a frosty from Wendy’s, and lots of stickers + jewelry to play with, we managed to make it there and back with only one meltdown.

(i currently don’t have any pictures of the three nguyen babes yet because anna hates having her photo taken. still working on it…)

if you’ve been following along with my previous posts, you know we are currently living with my parents while our “farmhouse in the city” is being built. but, it’s not like it will be done any day now, friends. we are starting literally from the ground up, and they haven’t even broken ground yet! so, it’s a big sign of love for my parents to let us crash their nest for six months. now that we’ve added a puppy to our tribe, that makes five humans + four dogs. in one house.

are we crazy? probably. definitely. it’s a circus, but it’s also a lot of fun.

 

p o t t y t r a i n i n g

after spade’s first birthday in november, we bought her a little potty to sit on while we are in the bathroom (because you know when you have a young child you can never go to the bathroom by yourself). she began sitting on it and saying “potty,” as we introduced the concept to her.

every time she would sit on her potty, we would talk about what we do on the potty, and i would sing a potty song i made up for her. (at home, i live my life as if i’m in a disney movie + make up songs for every occasion or milestone. she currently loves it. she probably won’t love it as much when she’s 13.)

anyway, as time went on, saying potty turned into wanting to potty, which turned in to actually using the potty. since she’s still considered “young” to potty, we have been slowly incorporating potty breaks into her day, and being very relaxed about the whole thing. we started with one potty in the morning, and one at night before bed.

i’m not sure if it’s just because she’s learning so rapidly at this age, because she’s simply ready, because i’ve been taking dapper out to potty every 15 minutes trying to train him, OR all of the above, BUT we are on our second week of using the potty five or six times a day. It’s as if she woke up one morning, and decided she was ready. she’s been using her potty to pee, and still using her diaper to poop. but, when she does do number 2, she tells us. so, even though she hasn’t pooped in the potty yet, she is aware of what it is and that her diaper needs to be changed after.

is it weird to read about my child’s bathroom adventures? if you don’t have children, it probably is. if you are a parent, you probably talk about your child’s business every day + you’re celebrating with me because you know potty training is a big deal!

so, basically my life currently revolves around all the potty things. every fifteen minutes, i’m taking dapper out to potty. when dapper does his thing, spade and i do a potty dance and sing our potty song. (if you’re lucky, maybe one day i will share the lyrics with you because apparently, it’s a chart topper waiting to happen).  then, we go inside and take S into the bathroom to use her potty, which is followed by an even louder, more dramatic dance + potty song.

when we signed the contract for our new house, i started a goal of no diapers by christmas. i’m realizing maybe my goal isn’t so far fetched. christmas, in our new home, with my hubby, two potty trained pups AND a potty trained babe. i literally do not need any gifts from friends or family this year. those things i just mentioned? totally enough.

u p d a t e : i have been working on this post for a few days, so some things have changed in the nguyen household since i started. yesterday, S came to me and said, “momma potty.” i held her soft, perfect baby hand and led her to the bathroom to potty. next thing i know, she’s pooping in the potty.

i might have cried.

yes, i’m that mom. i’m the mom that cries because she’s so happy. i’m the mom that can just look at the babe she carried in her belly, marvel at her beauty, and start to cry. i’m the mom that cries when her babe makes her proud. i’m the mom that cries at every single milestone. i’m the mom that cries every time she realizes her child is getting bigger…smarter…closer to being in kindergarten…moving out of my house…getting married…singing the potty song she learned to her child as she is potty training him/her. (yes, i know that’s a long time away, but my mind overanalyzes + takes me through her entire life, like a movie.)

so, does potty training lead to tears in your house? it does in ours. luckily, they are happy tears from a hormonal + proud momma.

we are still a long way from having her officially potty trained, and sometimes i think dapper is catching on…and then he pees on the carpet.  but that’s my life these days, potty training toddlers + puppies. and i love it.

do you have any tips or strategies that helped you during potty training (puppies or babes)?  i would love to hear them!

Xo

friday favorites

happy friday! this is my first official friday favorites post.

each friday, i’ll feature some of our family’s favorite brands + products. with the focus of the simplee life being on love life, mom life + home life, i’ll feature gift ideas, party + holiday-inspired goodies, home décor, products geared toward babes, shops that have mommas/women in mind + so much more. i really love shopping small + handmade, and helping out mommas or women doing their side hustle.  so, many friday favorites will feature just that.

this week it’s all about girl babes + i’m talking hair accessories.

being a girl mom, and having a daughter that was born with a head full of hair, i especially love buying hair accessories for her. i’m all about living a minimal lifestyle, but hairbows are so small, i don’t think you can ever have too many! pictured below are some hair accessories from the four shops i’m featuring today.

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o n e  giddy up and grow

i’ve been following robyn’s IG even before i was pregnant, AND the very first hairpiece i ever purchased for S was from her shop. (there’s a picture of S below in it when she was fresh at 11 days old). robyn is always creating beautiful + whimsical pieces. she creates from what inspires her, so there’s always something new. many of her pieces are made of felt, which i l o v e + find so charming. with so many pieces to choose from, you can pretty much guarantee you’ll find something for every occasion + theme.

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t w o  charlie cocos

charlie cocos is one of my absolute favorite shops to buy hairbows. the shop has the sweetest bows in different fabrics + sizes, and they look great at any age (newborn – young girls). every time we’ve purchased from amber’s shop, she has such a fast turnaround time for shipping, which is a bonus.  from time to time, charlie cocos has great sales, so make sure to follow the IG account to stay in the loop!

t h r e e  miss ruby locks

miss ruby locks is one of the newer gems i’ve found. i stumbled upon this shop a couple of months ago during one of their massive bow sales. while looking through their collection, i found NSYNC hair bows. i literally squealed from joy. since i was a young girl who grew up on NSYNC (and was positive i was going to marry JC), AND now being a grown woman that is still praying for a reunion tour, i naturally had to buy TWO of these bows. (one for S + one for me). now, every time we jam to their CD + every christmas when we trim the tree to their christmas album, we can wear our matching bows. this shop has a super large variety of fun + unique prints for any occasion + holiday. it’s also a great shop to find disney bows for your vacation!

f o u r  fancy free finery

if you love all things floral like me, fancy free finery is your kind of shop.  the shop has the most beautiful + delicate floral head pieces that are so dreamy!  you can get single flower pieces for every day wear, or a full floral crown for a special occasion.  (they also have the most gorgeous floral garlands + cute cake toppers for your little’s birthday.)  they make the sweetest gifts, and will be great keepsakes to pass down.

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f i v e   vivie and ash

this friday favorites is about hair accessories, BUT i wanted to mention a huge sale that’s going on right now over at vivie and ash! vivie and ash focuses on modern + comfortable clothes for your girl babes. their clothes can be dressed up for a day out with your mini, or worn alone and used as play clothes around the house. i love their dresses because they are so simple + sweet, and S loves them because they are so comfy. this weekend they are having a huge sale! check out their IG account @vivieandash to get their discount code.

what are some of your favorite shops to buy hair accessories for your babe?

happy weekend + happy shopping!

if you have a product that you love, or if you’d like to be featured, please reach out! visit the collab tab for more information.

Xo

patience, timing + finding our home

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well, we finally found our dream home. it’s exactly what we wanted, but never what we expected…

when we began our search for the next place we would call home, we had a clear vision of what we wanted, AND an even clearer vision of what we did not want. we looked at a lot of houses. i mean A LOT. but none of the houses gave us the feeling of this is our home. the search became exhausting. i’ve never heard anyone describe home searching as a fun experience, and now i understand why. you’re searching for your dream home, but the search itself is anything but a dream.

through our search, there was one home that i truly felt was meant to be ours. it was an older home that had been completely remodeled, sitting on over an acre. we wanted a fixer upper, but this house had already been updated with a lot of things we loved. we thought, with a toddler, having this house already finished would be a weight off of our shoulders. and for S to have a big backyard, like i had as a little girl, seemed like a dream come true. my heart skipped a beat. i felt like i understood why all the other homes before this one didn’t work out. it was because God had something even more beautiful and “perfect” for us! i was so excited because i truly felt like this was it.

b u t  i t  w a s n ’ t.

i was so confused. have you had moments in your life where you were so sure that all the signs pointed you toward a certain path, only to find out you were reading the wrong signs? moments in life where you really thought, okay God, everything is so clear to me now. but then, everything changes course and becomes hazy.  you think you know, until you come to the realization that you have no clue.

this was one of those times for me. here, we were shown a home that had almost everything we wanted. it seemed to be as close to perfect as we could get. we had so many signs that led us to looking at that house; yet, the house was never meant to be ours.

in all honestly, i became upset with God. i struggled, wondering why he would place this “perfect” house in our path if it was never meant to be ours. then, i became upset with myself for questioning his intentions, and for worrying.

I know he’s always got me, but my heart and mind still naturally worry.

one day, a friend asked me how our home search was going. i quickly began sharing all the details. she stood there, listening to my frustrations, then sweetly said, “maybe God is showing you what you think you want, because he really has something better for you AND it’s what you NEED.”

i stood there in that moment embarrassed on the inside. it may sound silly for me to have missed that key factor. you know, want vs. need. it seems pretty obvious, doesn’t it? but i completely missed it. i thought i knew, we knew, exactly what we needed, so i was only focused on that. i wasn’t opening my mind and heart up for other possibilities.

that day, God spoke through my friend. he knew i wasn’t listening to HIM, so he spoke through my friend to me. i realized the weight of her (HIS) words. what she said made so much sense, but i had been so consumed with finding the “perfect” home, that i wasn’t listening to God. i was trying to have all of the control, instead of trusting in his plan and letting him have control. i had been blinded, only paying attention to the signs i wanted to follow, so i could end up with what i wanted. i was ignoring the signs he was showing me.

after that conversation with my friend, i went to my car and had a conversation with God. i apologized for not being patient. i thanked him for the blessings he has placed in my life. i thanked him for his unconditional love, especially in times where i am stubborn. and then, i let go. i lifted my worries up and gave them to him.

ahh, letting go. it sounds so simple to easy-going, carefree people, like my husband. but letting go doesn’t come easy for me. it’s not how i am built. God knows that. he understands all parts of me, so he’s always putting moments in my journey to help me remember that he’s got me. he’s always there to remind me that he’s really the one in charge. he’s got me in his hands.

two weeks later, we decided to go visit an area our realtor had been suggesting to us from the beginning. i had kept putting it off because i really didn’t see any potential. the homes in the neighborhood were completely different from anything we had looked at previously.

as we drove through the neighborhood, a feeling came over me. basically, a this is it kind of feeling. since i’m a visual gal, i pictured God up there doing a mhmm face. (but, i know he was probably just giving me a loving smile.)

this home, which was so different from anything before, ended up being the home we chose. this home is something so much better than anything we could have dreamed. this home is what we need.

my mind couldn’t help but go back to that conversation with my friend.

letting go is something i’ll probably always be working on, and that’s okay. i realize i am not perfect and God is still working on me. the good thing is, he is overflowing with love and patience. he knows my faults, and loves me just the same. he knows i like control, so he places moments in my life to help me work on that. i will also say this: in my moments of questioning the next steps for my life or god’s plan for me (be it with work, relationships, purpose, home searches, etc.) he always come through. and i have faith that he always will…it’s just that sometimes i get impatient.

i have found that the exact moment you let go completely, you see his vision completely.

so, you see, i thought we were just looking for our next home, but i also learned a lot about patience + trusting God’s timing. through the journey of finding our home, we also realized how much faith and belief God has in us. building our own home was something we thought was many years down the road, or possibly never in our cards. we didn’t think we were ready, but God has shown us that we are. his plans are greater than anything we could ever dream.

please follow along with us as we watch our home come to life. our home is a lot like our relationship with God. it must be built on a solid foundation. each phase has it’s own timing + pace, just as he shows us his plans in his time.

so, that’s how we ended up with a house that’s exactly what we wanted, but never what we expected…

Xo

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the first post is the hardest

the struggle has been real with trying to think of clever + interesting things to say for my first blog post.  but, i’m letting go (big deal for me), and just starting with the basics.

i met my husband jimmy in march of 2008. it was love at first sight.

i can completely say that opposites do attract, and work.

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we were engaged in april 19, 2012, and married in october 19, 2013.

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we found out we were pregnant in march of 2015. i was positive it was a boy. he was positive it was a girl. that’s the first and last thing he’s ever been right about. (yes, i’m kidding…maybe.)

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we met our spade finlee on november 12, 2015. it was love at first sight, again.

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fast forward. now our babe is 20 months + my mom routine is pretty solid. as she is growing, learning + changing every single day, i am too. mommin’ ain’t easy, as they say, but it’s the best thing that i’ve ever done. i am so thankful that i am able to stay home with her and soak up every moment.

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but, like i said, she’s growing. she’s slowly becoming more independent. that means that i can no longer throw out the excuse of being too busy every single time someone asks me why i haven’t started my blog, or any of the other goals on my to do list. yes, being a mom of a toddler still takes up most of my day, but it’s far less consuming compared to my days of nursing twelve times a day.

i am a woman with a lot of goals and dreams. i am also a meticulous planner. i’ve always been that way. basically, my mind never stops and now that i have a daughter, i never sleep. so, since i’m not sleeping, i should finally use some of those hours burning the midnight oil and getting this blog thing going, right?

this blog has been one of my dreams, but it has taken me forever to get the courage to actually start it. part of me feels like a completely capable + talented super mom/woman, while the other part is completely unsure + full of fear. for a long time now, the fearful side has been winning. but now, more than ever, i am ready to finally start checking things off my dream list.

each year, rather than having a list of resolutions, I choose one word to live by. this year, the word i chose was j u m p. jump head first into my dreams. jump into God’s arms + let go of some of the control. you want to start your blog? jump. you want to dye your hair so you can look like a pink unicorn? jump. you want to start your side hustle? jump. i have realized that i shouldn’t and c a n ’ t compare my blog to the other women/moms i follow because my blog will be nothing like theirs.

there are moms out there who have two kids + are pregnant with their third, that somehow have time to log in to five different social media accounts and post swoon worthy photos every single day. did i mention they also have time to curl their hair AND do their makeup? that’s amazing. like super hero status in my eyes. but, if you’re looking for that type of blog, you are not in the right place. i have one toddler, but some days it feels like i’m living in a zoo. if i can post one decent photo or update every few days, i feel like a rock star. most days i’m rocking dry shampoo or a baseball cap. and the only time i have time to curl my hair AND do makeup is when hubby is home to help watch monkee (double ee’s again). and that’s okay.

the simplee life is all about my journey, love life, mom life and home life. it’s true. it’s real. it’s sometimes a hot mess or chaotic, kind of like this post. this blog will share a sneak peek into our lives, and showcase all of our moments, big and small. for those who are interested in seeing our custom home we are building (EEK), you will get a lot of updates on that too. mostly, this blog will focus on our beautiful, amazing daughter (because, as all parents know, your life revolves around your child. they are everything + more.)

if you read this far, the good news is the end is in sight! i hope you enjoy following along with my tribe. and I hope at some point, something i post will resonate with you, or make you laugh.

so, that’s it. the first post is the hardest, i guess. the whole point is that i finally started and jumped.

Xo