I'm Nikki, a creative old soul who loves tea time, tip-toeing through gardens, mounds of books, swaying to records, watercolors, sunset walks with our three yorkies, and star-gazing with Paul. This blog carries snippets of my life with just us two (five with Rusty, Lucy, & Ethel) - I hope it brings you happiness as you snuggle in with something warm and delicious and begin reading. Enjoy, friends!

the blog!

If I had to choose:

Front Porch Living

Hi friends. :) Shall we have some music to begin? Yes, let’s.

It’s already been one incredibly fast year since we put our first home on the market and I realized that I’ve barely shown you our new home! Like I said in one of my most recent posts, this blog has been neglected, so I’m doing my best to catch it and you up on life over here. :)

By far one of our favorite things about this 111-year-old home is the perfectly screened in wrap-around front porch. It’s as if we have an extra room in the house three seasons out of the year. We didn’t get to use it as much last year since we moved in the beginning of fall and were quite literally too busy to enjoy it, but the last few months we’ve really come to appreciate this extra living space and we try to spend as much time out there as possible. It’s screened in. We have little to no excuse not to use it.

So, come hither friend. Welcome to our front porch. There’s lots to do – would you care to sip tea and watch the sun go down? Or would you like to listen to the birds and paint a while? Or maybe just lounge about on the couch with a good book in hand? Or, if you’re like Rusty, perhaps you’d just like to stare at strangers and yell at them to go away? (He needs to better his manners.) Or better yet, would you care to dine beneath the twinkle lights listening to the sounds of cicadas reminding us autumn is near? Your choice.

Let’s go back to the beginning, shall we? Here’s darling Paul on our very first day of owning this house. We had just come from the signing and picked up dinner. Our first meal in our new home. :)

Front Porch | Nikki Jean Tran | wwwnikkitranphotography.com

Just a few weeks in and Paul already had the twinkle lights dangling and Rusty already figured out this was his new happy place. At our first home, because of the layout, Rusty never got to watch things from the window. He always had to be outside in the backyard if he wanted to watch the world go by. Now he has his very own porch. :)

I began to fall in love with the light very quickly. We never had dappled lighting at our first home – there was nothing to block the sun coming in.

The view from the porch when autumn comes to town.

The first snowfall. My heart melted pulling up the driveway to this after a day at work. Do you see those big green bushes in the front of the windows? Pay close attention – they’re leaving us in the next few photos. :) (Although I do love the snow sitting on top.)

Once the temperature was above freezing I made do with living on the porch again. Electric blanket, tea, books…what more could I possibly need??

My heroes, Joe and Paul, pulling up the overgrown greenery. They eventually tied it to the pickup and heaved it out of the ground. Success!

Children cheering them on. (Also, we were used to not having to rake leaves at our first home – we learned our lesson that this place actually has to be raked continuously.)

Ta da! No more overgrown bushes, just a few beautiful Annabelle Hydrangeas. Soon they’ll be flowing every which way, their white blooms weighing them down. Hurray. :)

I like to rearrange furniture a lot out here. This was a before shot to what it looks like now.

:) :) :) :)

Yes I dress my dog and yes he loves it. Trust me. He wags his tail when he sees me pull out his drawer of clothes and actually will put his head through the head hole. I promise. He loves it.

The sun is just about to go down. I’m very grateful we get to see bits of the sun setting among all the houses and trees.

My newest furniture arrangement! This little table was my sanctuary at our first home. It sat on the deck with the lake in view and I used to sit out there regularly with my diary and some tea listening to the birds go to sleep and watching the stars pop out. I needed to give it a useful spot at this house and I think I did. I love it here.

I took out my big camera to take some decent photos of what it looks like now. Rusty is not a fan of the camera. :(

The poor hydrangeas were being suffocated from weeds up until I decided to make this blog post. Nothing makes one weed as quickly as someone about to photograph their garden. :)

My sad excuse for a tomato plant. I didn’t prioritize a vegetable garden this year, clearly. :(

Mickey is here to greet you, always.

We bought Rusty a little castle for him to rule over the front porch! Everything is his kingdom as far as the eye can see.

Welcome to our humble abode, friend.

I hope you enjoyed a tour of our little nook. :) I listened to what you all voted for in the blog post poll and I’m gathering ideas for blog posts I think you’ll all enjoy (including this one :)).

Also, in case you missed it, the 2019 calendar I’ve been working on like crazy these past few months is finally available for pre-ordering!! :) :) Click the link below to order yours now – I’ll be shipping them out as soon as they’re back from the printer, for sure by September 10! I’m so grateful for all the orders that have already been coming in – you all just keep making my day. :) Xoxo friends and have a lovely Thursday and weekend!!

Shop the 2019 Calendar


  1. Lela Johnson says:

    Oh how sweet. Looks so cozy and relaxing.