Velkommen til Texas!

1.26.2015


Alex, Turner and I are excited to announce that we are adding a new addition to our family this year.....a FOREIGN EXCHANGE STUDENT from DENMARK! You thought I was having a baby didn't you? I randomly saw a post on my city's Facebook page about needing host families for exchange students in our area. It immediately sparked my interest, and after a few emails and some conversations with Alex...we accepted a girl from Denmark who will live with us from August till December. We aren't compensated for hosting, but rather treating her like our own child by taking her to school, providing 3 meals a day, attending her extracurricular events, and taking her along on family trips.



In high school, I was usually the first person to befriend the exchange student. I was intrigued by their culture, language, style and I wanted to show them everything that Texas had to offer!  First there was Benji, my great friend from France. I taught him how to rap really bad songs, and when his family would come visit, we would spend countless hours at the outlet mall. After Benji's exchange he ended up going to college in San Antonio and married one of my best friends from high school. Then there was Mignon (Minni) and Vega. Minni was from Germany and Vega was from China. I took them to their first american football game, explained what homecoming was, and sang lots of George Strait to them. Last there was Jessie. Jessie was from the sunshine coast of Australia, and she became such a good friend that she ended up living with me during her exchange.  We were like sisters...and it wasn't confusing at all that we had the same name : ) I've kept in touch with all of them, and would consider most family. After years of learning about other cultures, I myself was able to go on an exchange to Poland for a year in 2005/2006.  One of the best decisions I've ever made. I actually was able to visit Denmark with my Polish host mom, so I'm extremely happy I will be able to connect with our exchange student on that level.

I've known for a while now that I wanted to host exchange students in my home, but I didn't think it would be this soon. Most host families are older, more established, and have high school aged kids. I was a bit worried so I reached out to a good friend who has hosted numerous exchange students. He advised me that the student will adapt to any family as long as the family is excited to have them and accepts the student in to their family as one of their own.  With that being said, Alex and I are extremely excited to have a new family member this coming fall, and we can't wait to show her a great time in Texas! 

BuiltWell

1.19.2015

A while back Alex and I took on our newest business venture, BuiltWell, to earn some extra money.   We had built a farmhouse table for our deck, but after our a/c went out and multiple car issues, we decided we needed the money for our California trip.  We sold it to Jess from the Jess Lively show and her husband Scott, and they encouraged us to start a business.  We thought, why the heck not?  Alex loves building furniture, and he's amazing at it.  I enjoy refinishing furniture, especially vintage pieces, so here we are.  We haven't done too many projects, as we only have weekends to work, so we try to not take too much work on. Check out our Facebook page, Instagram or email us at builtwelltx@gmail.com if you have any requests or questions!




Date Night

1.07.2015

Alex and I have been fortunate enough to have amazing neighbors and friends that are willing to watch Turner when we want to go out for a date night. As much as I like dates just Alex and I, I also think it's important to go out with a group of friends every once in a while. I specifically enjoy going dancing, but I think some of my friends would prefer to opt out of that : ).

A few weeks ago Alex and I dined at Estancia Churrascaria, our first Brazilian Steakhouse experience. Well, the meat was fantastic...all 14 types of it.  I seriously had the meat sweats that night because I had eaten so much. My favorite item on the menu was the Caipirinha cocktail, Brazil's national cocktail. The last time I had one of these was when a Brazilian exchange student made one for me in Poland 9 years ago.  It was just as good as I remembered. 




What type of date nights do you prefer? Just the two of you or a group outing with friends? Fine dining or something more casual?  Leave a comment below and you could win a $20 gift card to Estancia Churrascaria! Winner will randomly be chosen 1/11.

2014 Year In Review

12.31.2014

Here are some of my favorite posts and moments from 2014!

JANUARY
Participated in a 90 day No Shopping Challenge w/Kelsey
Renovated our Guest Bathroom

FEBRUARY
Partnered with Langford Market for an Austin City Guide


MARCH
Witnessed the birth of my best friend's son
Joined Austin Moms Blog as a Contributor - You can find all my posts here!


APRIL
A much needed Girls Weekend To Fredericksburg


MAY
Found a BIG problem in our Master Bathroom, which led to our first homeowner's insurance claim
Celebrated our 4th Wedding Anniversary


JUNE
Spent lots of time outside and in the water
Desk Makeover w/Bolt Fabrics -  My 1st Reupholstery project



JULY
Welcomed my first nephew in to the world
Needed a change and cut my hair off 


AUGUST
Went on a 6 day vacation to Northern California (baby-less)


SEPTEMBER
Celebrated our 1 Year Home-Iversary - The projects have been non-stop, but it has been a true labor of love this past year in our new home.



OCTOBER
Threw a Halloween Party with our closest friends/neighbors
Celebrated Turner's 2nd Birthday with family and friends


Photo by Kim Neuman Photography
NOVEMBER
Accepted a new jobAfter quitting my job after Turner was born, I found it difficult to find another marketing position. I accepted a job at State Farm as an Auto Adjuster because....well, I needed a job, and my friend who worked there said there was a marketing department that I could hopefully one day join.  After a few hard times, many interviews and resumes later, a marketing position was offered to me! I'm beyond excited to be back in the field of marketing, but I can say that being an adjuster taught me a lot. A lot about myself, stressful situations, communication, insurance and car accidents. I'm glad I got the experience, and will use those skills for the rest of my life.

DECEMBER
Became DEBT FREE!
Hosted the first #ATXBloggerMixer


Took a girls trip to NYC for my Mom's Birthday


At the end of every year, I think of how quickly the year went by. I really enjoyed writing this post, because it reminded me of all the amazing things that happened in 2014.  I spent quality time with family, accomplished personal goals, worked on numerous DIY projects, and watched my baby turn in to a toddler.  I don't have specific goals this year...just don't really care to this year.

My 2014 goals were;
  • Budget
    • Proud to say we got back to a budget, and started using cash envelopes. We also led a Financial Peace University class with our neighbors.
  • Learn how to reupholster furniture
    • Did some small projects that put me in the right direction. Maybe I'll be brave enough to reupholster an entire chair in 2015.
  • Get involved
    • We hunted and hunted for churches in our area this past year, and finally found one we really enjoy! Alex and I have served in the nursery, and are hoping to get involved with Young Life in our area very soon.
  • Become a better wife
    • Always working on this one. We loved our California vacation, just the two of us, and thanks to great neighbors and friends we have had many date nights!
I'm not a fan of odd years, but here we go 2015!

#JesseCoulter - No. 2

12.30.2014

Here's another round of #JesseCoulter outfit posts from Instagram. Lots of selfies going on here people....I apologize, but you do what you have to do to get that outfit photo ; ). 
 
**Attention!** It would be a crime if I don't tell you about my favorite jeans. The Mid-Rise Super Skinny Rockstar Jeans from Old Navy are AMAZING! They are skinny in the calf so they tuck easily in to boots. They are stretchy yet firm so they hold everything in. I love where they hit on my waistline which is right at my belly button, and the spandex makes them extremely comfortable. I could wear them all day, every day. The best part....they are affordable! Their regular price is $34.95, but Old Navy runs a sale constantly (today they are 25% off, so they would only cost you a little over $26).
 
True Story: I was raving about these jeans to my co-workers, and told them they must grab a pair. Some replied I was skinny, and they didn't think the jeans would look good on them. I told them not to worry, and to try them out. Sure enough, a week later we were all wearing the same jeans! 
 
Top: Forever21. Jeans/Boots: Gap
Top/Jeans/Jacket: Gap. Boots: Kork Ease via Stella Says Go
Top: Gap. Jeans: Old Navy/Rockstar Skinnies. Boots: Clarks. Vest: Steinmart.
 
Top: Joe Fresh via JcPenney. Vest: Belk. Jeans: Gap. Boots: Kork Ease
 
Sweater/Shirt: Jcrew Factory. Pants: Gap. Shoes: Steve Madden
 
Top: Joe Fresh via JcPenney. Jeans: Old Navy. Jacket/Shoes: Gap. Scarf: Thrifted.
 
Top/Pants: Cotton On. Jacket: Gap. Shoes: Birkenstock
 

Merry Christmas 2014

12.24.2014

Merry Christmas! We are currently in north Texas celebrating with my in-laws (hopefully we'll make it up to Oklahoma for a night of black jack). This year for our Christmas cards, we decided to do something different and send out an ornament card. We absolutely love these from Tiny PrintsKim Neuman took our family photos, and we had a beautiful blue back drop in Georgetown. I used to think we wouldn't send out Christmas cards every year, but now I know I want to continue the tradition.  I absolutely love receiving holiday cards, so I hope my friends are inspired to do the same. I love seeing their pretty faces displayed on my mantel! 
 
Have a wonderful holiday! Hopefully you're able to unwind and spend quality time with family and friends.
 
Love,
Alex, Jesse & Turner
 


Check out our 2012 and 2013 Christmas Cards!

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