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:

We’ve Moved!! | The New House Update

Hello dearest friends!

It’s time for an update, wouldn’t you say? The last you heard from me I was raiding my garden for as much basil as possible before the big move. And now we’re here!!

(Music? Yes please.)

It has been a whirlwind to say the least. The past few weeks have flown by and we’re already on our 3rd week of living here. We’ve already had dinners in our dining room while Frank serenades us; we’ve drank wine under the twinkle lights on the front porch; we’ve had big breakfasts on a lazy Saturday morning (if you follow me on Instagram you know that’s one of my most favorite things to do on a weekend); we’ve taken walks at sunset along picket-fence lined houses; we’ve had movie nights in the tiny, cozy, dark living room; and we’ve already begun dreaming for our new garden(s).

Moving itself was a lot of work. Who knew one could accumulate so many things in a short amount of time?? (We lived in our first home for only 5 years.) Needless to say I’m in a down-sizing mood. Is it useful? Do I absolutely love it? Fine. If not, it goes. Why do we need 8 sets of dishes?? 16 champagne glasses? 10 tablecloths? Clothes I haven’t worn in over a year? It’s just the two of us so I have to keep that in mind when I look at our belongings. Someday Paul and I are going to live in a much smaller house (think Tiny House Hunters but a few more 100 square feet) so purchasing and decorating needs to be intentional over here, for my sanity and for the sake of our old house’s creaky beams.

While it was a lot of work, we couldn’t have done it without our wonderful neighbors/friends & family. Kraig, Bruce, and Traci helped so much on our first night here (the guys + Paul moved almost every single piece of furniture in here in one haul. I am still so grateful when I look at all our stuff). My sister Toni came to help that night, too, bringing with her a sense of home and belonging with some lovely house-warming gifts. Having her there helped truly make it feel more like home (sisters are good like that) – between us 3 girls we made sure the boys were fed and had enough beer and wine to drink (I hear that helps achy moving muscles). Of course I cried when they all left and kept wanting more hugs as they backed out of our driveway…

Paul’s brother Joe and my niece and nephew (Emily and Ethan) came over the following day and did even more good to our home. While Joe and Paul tackled big moving tasks and hung up TV’s (very important around here ;)), Ethan and Emily carried in more boxes from our moving trailer, I unpacked, and together we were able to make this place a little more liveable. At one point all the boys went to Home Depot for more tools/necessary just-moved-in items (like chocolate) so Emily and I turned on the music and began decorating. She helped me move the big rug around and lay it just right under the dining room table; she carefully unwrapped my tea things and made my tea cart feel at home with all the teacups and teapots nicely arranged; she helped me decide which pretty books would go on the bookcase and which ones would have to wait for another bookcase (we left the fireplace at our other home for the next owner so I’m without much needed shelves). With girl talk and decorating and sipping tea, she was the other big reason this house felt more like a home that night.

And once the dust settled and things began to come even more together, we had my entire little family over – only 3 days into moving! We unpack quick. It’s still so new to me when we all are able to get together as a family. You might remember from previous posts that my brother and his family lived in New York for quite some time and only just moved back to Minnesota a little over a year ago. So these times with them all together are precious to me. Having all four nephews over at once is the highlight of my day and sometimes I can’t help but join in on their fun or snuggle with them during a good movie. (They keep getting bigger each time I see them. Noo!! Stay little!! Hold my hand forever!!)

I tried to document the first weekend here with all the help coming and going (except for the first night with the neighbors and my sister – ’twas a fast-paced-all-work-no-play night and they did it wonderfully). Be warned, there are a lot of photos, but I barely documented the beginning of our last house and I don’t want to miss anything this time. :)

And now that life is settling down again, I’ll be back on here at least once a week. I’ve got loads to tell you, lots to show you, and my long list of blog ideas are waiting to be crossed off. :)

We close on our first home in just a few weeks – I know I’ll be a mess after signing the house away, but I know I’ll learn to love this house the way I loved our first. Ah! Just thinking about it gets me all teary-eyed. :'( I recorded a few videos of life in the country before we left so I could always hear those sounds and almost feel like I was in our garden or among the cornfields.

Anyways!!! No more sad talk! :) Enjoy the new home, friends! And excuse the mess, of course. :) xoxoxo

We closed on a Thursday so right after signing Paul and I took our already-packed trailer to the new house. :)

Welcome to my new office! The light is absolutely dreamy in here.

We know what’s important – kitchen table and chairs with a cozy lamp was the first thing in the house.

We. Have. A. Storm. Cellar.

The bright dining room! See the details on the trim?? Even the electrical outlets are so beautiful.

We didn’t spend the night the first day. Instead on Friday, Paul and I met at the new house after work (I brought food, he brought another packed trailer) and we started our first official day in the house with dinner on the front porch. :)

Not the best photo, but document we must!

I told you about the new couch – here it is!! We moved it in, just us two, and it’s my favorite place to be now. :)

These were taken after Kraig, Bruce, Traci, and Toni left. (So sad I didn’t think to take photos during!)

Rusty exploring his new place. :) He wasn’t so sure about it…

So. Much. Stuff.

The aftermath of eating pizzas, drinking wine and beer, and moving with friends.

Our first night! Our box spring wouldn’t fit up the stairs so we’ve been sleeping on the mattress for the last few weeks. (Paul forgot to bring the pillows/sheets hence the couch pillows.) Can’t complain!

And the next day Joe, Ethan, and Emily came to entertain us. :)

Moving In Weekend 2017 | Nikki Tran Blog | www.nikkitranphotography.com

They love their cousin.

This is when the house really started feeling like home. Kids have that magic with them I suppose. :)

Then two days later the rest of my family came over, and the big camera came out of the box! How do you like our box collection? :)

My family (minus 3 little boys – probably playing hide ‘n’ seek in the storm cellar). :)

Rusty’s still not sure about this place…

Haha Chaser’s face.

Another aftermath from pizza and wine in the kitchen.

My little loves. :)

:) :) :)

They gave us all a concert. :)

We never had a photo taken of us in front of our first home, so this time Toni took our photo. :)

It’s a lot darker in there than the photo shows – the perfect movie room.

And just the other night we had my Nana an Gramps over for a big, delicious crab and shrimp dinner, complete with records, wine, lots of laughing, and good family stories. Each day it’s feeling more and more like a home, especially when close friends and family walk through the door.

Move In Weekend 2017 | Nikki Tran Blog | www.nikkitranphotography.com

And here’s what life looks like now; Rusty has found his new spot, in our bedroom on a pile of pillows looking out the window, keeping watch for us.

More things need to be condensed and gone through in this house, so don’t mind the clutter. :)

:) :) :)

What the office looks like now! More downsizing will happen plus some painting. I’m thinking a white with a blue tint – every time I paint a room blue it’s just too blue, so I’m trying something else. :)

The kitchen so far! It’s bright and cheerful and I’m thinking about painting the walls white, painting the yellow table a dark brown (make it look like dark wood), and continue a theme of white with dark brown wood…like a farmhouse. :)

Moving in Weekend 2017 | Nikki Tran Blog | www.nikkitranphotography.com

The living room is my favorite room in the house – utterly romantic and cozy. (There’s me saying “hi” in the mirror! :))

It’s amazing how well our furniture fits in this house. It all used to feel so out of place in our 1990’s home, but in one built in 1907, it just fits. :)

Fall is alive and well in our home! Cannot wait to cook pumpkin pies…soon, friends. :) xoxox

  1. Macs says:

    Congrats to your new home. Your home looks just so nothing but amazing.