One Year In

It has officially been one whole year of us moving out of a bustling city and relocating to a small, country town and really, it’s been pretty seamless. The first few months were a little bit of a whirlwind just trying to adjust, Adam got a new job, we were living with my Mom while house hunting and saving but then the months flew by. We spent summer afternoons at my Grandparents pool, had family barbecues, spent time with our best friends and met new friends.

We run into a lot of people that say “Oh gosh, WHY would you ever move back here from LA”? and really, the answer is so simple. Because a small town is where we want to be. We knew that when we started to look for a home that Southern California was not where we were going to find a house. Sure, we could have found a 2 bedroom condo, walking distance to a farmers market, and that sounds like so much fun, but that’s just not what we were looking for. We wanted a driveway and a backyard for a dog (spoiler alert: we ended up with two!) and a big kitchen to host dinners. We knew that if we were going to find any of that, it would be in this sweet little town. So when we found this house (for FAR much less than a condo in LA) we knew we were right. I love coming home from a shoot and not having to park three blocks away from my front door. I love our big backyard (that is currently full of weeds but that we have big plans for). I love that I know there are going to be parking spots when I want to go to the grocery store or to a shop downtown (and omg I don’t have to pay for parking when I just need to run in for butter!!)**Can you tell that I was SO over the parking situations in SoCal? haha. I love that if I’m going to travel 30 miles, it will take me about 30 minutes to get there. I love so much that Adam is home by 6pm every night (at the latest) and that I have an office to work in at home. I love that my family lives no more than five whole minutes away and if I need them here, they can be here at the drop of a dime. I love that I can go to my nephews 8th grade graduation on a Friday morning because his school is down the street. I mean, I could just go ON and ON and ON but I think you get the idea.

Sure we miss cool, new restaurants but this little town is growing and new places are popping up every month. I miss my friends, but LA was so hard to get around that it was still hard for us to get together if one of us was in Long Beach and another was in the Valley or down in OC. I’m very thankful for social media that lets me still connect with people and not feel so distant from them. And also, we’re only a three hour drive to Los Angeles. I have made many trips already for work and don’t mind a quick day trip to spend time with friends.

I know a lot of people that are moving out of the LA area for their kids and that’s another reason we wanted to get out before we got to that point. Just the fact that I know family is so close to help with kids (when that time comes) is so worth it. And that we have the room for them to roam and play outside like I did as a kid makes me so happy.

So that’s that. In a nutshell, we are so happy to live where we do. We live in the most darling neighborhood, have really wonderful neighbors and we are so excited to have a house with two extra rooms to host friends that want to come and visit! If you’ve been planning a trip to the Sequoias or to Yosemite, be sure to let us know because you’ll practically have to pass by our house to get there!

Recent Amazon Favorites

Amazon has it all. And by all I seriously mean ALL. I’ve recently found a favorite brand on their for some amazing Free People and Spell knock offs for a fraction of the price and couldn’t be happier with them! I still 100% believe in investing in quality pieces (hello, Madewell jeans forever) but for fun summer dresses, I have been loving that I don’t have to spend more than $30 for some really cute stuff. Now, while most are Prime (thank heavens for prime) there were a couple things that took an entire month to get to me and one was pretty terrible so that’s frustrating but hey, that’s kind of what you get in the world of fast fashion.

You can find all of these, and a few more, on my Amazon page HERE.

Sizing reference…I’m 5’3″ with a large chest and hips so I typically order a Large in everything. Especially because most things are coming straight from China so I know the sizes run small. Here are my favorites!

This dress is the easiest to throw on! I love the little buttons at the top and it’s a VERY fun, punchy pink/red. The only thing is that it’s cut pretty low so I would opt to wear a cute lace bralette if you’re not the type to want to show cleav. I also think it would be the most perfect swimsuit coverup or beach day dress. It’s super lightweight and soft! I’m wearing a large.

LOVE THIS ONE!

This was one of the items I waited a month for. It was definitely worth the wait because it’s pretty heavenly. It’s similar to the material in the shorter dress above but a little bit heavier. I love the tassels and the length. You could tie the tassels or leave them. Now, when will it be in the low 70’s again so I can wear this one?

Okay now this one is my favorite. It’s a total Free People knockoff and honestly, I like it more than the FP version. It’s thinner so it’s not as much material weighing you down and it comes in some dreamy colors. It was super hard to decide between this one, white (I mean duh) and a blush but I love this soft sage color. I think it may be perfect for fall photos this year! I’m wearing a Medium in this because that’s the largest size these dresses come in for some reason, but the top is nice and stretchy so I feel like it’s a very versatile size! Wear the sleeves up on your shoulders or down (although, if you put them up chances are they’re going to fall down anyways sooo)

This is the best little summer dress. It’s lightweight and the material is just thick enough to not show and lumps or bumps. I love the little (faux) wooden buttons on this one. Wearing a Large!

Feel free to reach out if you have any questions about any of these items! It’s so fun to find them and even more fun when they come in and they’re actually nice quality and CUTE!

Our Guest Bathroom Reveal

It’s here. Finally. Finnaaalllyyy.

This was definitely the biggest renovation challenge (so far) with our house. We added a shower to the existing bathtub, went from a single to a double vanity, added an additional sconce above the vanity…and the list goes on. But it’s done and we could not love it more. And because there truly is nothing better than a before and after, let’s reminisce about what it looked like when we bought the house.

First of all, the vanity was so low. I’m 5’3″ and even I had to bend over to wash my hands so it was just really uncomfortable. We took all of that out, split the plumbing (which was an ordeal all in it’s own) and split the lighting for the double sconces.

I was SO happy to rip out that tiled ledge..uhh..seat?? Whatever it was we were thrilled to see it go. We went back and forth about doing all open shelving or all closed shelving but I love what we ended up with. Doing the pull out laundry hamper really was the best idea and I still get my pretty open shelving!

We had to add plumbing to create a shower and Adam made sure the shower head was extra high so he won’t have to crouch just to wash his hair (our master shower is comical how low it is). I won’t lie, we now exclusively use this shower because it’s so nice.

And now onto the pretty details of the space. We are so happy with how it all turned out! Scroll to the bottom of the post for all of the sources.

                       

Sources

Hex tile (ours is the Gulf color)

White subway tile (our tile guy picked ours up but you can find most at any hardware/tile store)

Shower hardware

Bathtub

Toilet

Shiplap

Framed art

Art above toilet: Vintage print from Paris Flea Market, Brass photo holder from Artifact Uprising (they don’t sell the one we have anymore but I love all of their prints and gifts)

Shelf above toilet

Vanity

Faucets

Mirrors

Vanity Lights

Towel Ring

Open shelving and laundry hamper pullout was made by a local cabinet maker and I’m SO happy with it. We did buy this sweet little handle from Amazon to spice it up.

Our Guest Bathroom Renovation (Finally) – Day One (and two)

     Here we go!! Our hall bathroom has been gutted since two days after we moved in…and hasn’t changed (two months later) until now. Our tile guy came two days ago and started prepping the room to lay tile yesterday! Ah, you guys. I cannot even wait for two working bathrooms again and to take baths in our new soaker tub. Have I mentioned how excited I am?

Okay, here is what the bathroom looked like when we moved in. Lots of pink, terrible tile, bathtub only (this was a big reason we decided to demo first of all) and a really low vanity. Like even I had to bend over to wash my hands (I’m 5’3″). Literally days after moving in, we couldn’t handle this bathroom (and anticipated things moving a lot quicker with the renovation of it) so Adam started demo-ing. Ripping out that tiled seat behind the tub, taking out the cast iron (aka HEAVY) bathtub and ripping up the tile and the vanity. Have you guys ever seen so much dirt under a tub? I was so grossed out by the fact that that is actually a thing. So gross.

Once everything was cleared out we had a plumber come and replace some of the pipe in the bathtub area and get it all plumbed for a shower. Our shower head in our master bath is so low so Adam wanted to be sure this one was extra tall so that he (and any tall guests we have) could comfortably shower in it. My contractor uncle built the wall behind the tub so we can have a niche, which will be a total game changer. Why do I feel so fancy doing that instead of having a terrible shower hanger thing to hold shampoo? It’s so adult!! haha. The space in between the niche wall and the back wall will be storage. If you saw my stories then you know I’ve been debating over closed cabinetry and open shelving. My heart says open, my head says open (but maybe closed). Here’s the thing, our vanity has two large drawers that we can hide things in and our linen closet is just outside of this bathroom so there’s plenty of closed storage nearby. Plus, baskets hide so much. So basically I don’t know why I ask opinions because I already know what I want to do ; ) Also, swooning hard over that new Kohler soaker tub!

Day one of tile prep looked like this. It’s crazy how some walls can make me so excited!

and then tile started going up!

Day one complete! Floor tile is going in today and ohhhhh man, that transformation is going to be amazing!

In case you needed a reminder about how incredible Exfloorit’s Costa Allegra hex tile is.

You’re welcome.

Guest Bathroom Renovation – The Plan

We are finally getting to our guest bathroom renovation project! Two (well, maybe more) months in the making. Here’s the thing. I figured that my Mom and I (megan) could just tile the bathroom ourselves. I mean, how hard can it be? The thing is, it’s not necessarily hard but the prep that you have to do beforehand should probably be left to the pros. So, once I realized that and we found a great tile guy, he was a little over a month out. Shows that he’s pretty amazing though, right? So that leads us to today! He started prep work on the bathroom yesterday and I’ll be sharing a full before and during post in a couple of days to show some progress but I wanted to show you all our vision for the space first! If you don’t know us well, then know that white is a must have around the Bravwel home. I mean, clearly. I know there isn’t a lot of color in our plan but the floors will soften up the room so much and we plan on having a really beautiful rug to liven up the space and warm wood shelves above the toilet aaaand probably in the space behind the shower (see what I’m talking about in our stories on Instagram). This moodboard already makes me so happy. I cannot wait to see it all come together! The only thing missing is lighting. We are having the hardest time deciding on light fixtures for the vanity. Do we want two, each above the mirrors? One in the middle of the mirrors? (Adam doesn’t care for this plan) Orrrr something else? I figure we have some time, but not much. For now, we have a beautiful plan and I can’t wait to share the process with you all. Scroll down for all that we’re doing and for an exciting offer for you all!!

1. Floor Tile (this may be my favorite thing about the entire renovation) The gorgeous sage green (or gulf, as it’s called) hexagon tiles are from Exfloorit and you guys…The amazing people behind Exfloorit want to give our followers 10% off their order until July 7th. Head over to their site (or if you’re in the LA area, they just opened the most amazing showroom. We’re dying to go) and pick yourself out something real nice. Make sure to use Bravwel10 at checkout!

2. Brass faucet

3. Ikea double vanity

4. Shelf Mirror – I just love these mirrors. I envision putting a tiny little bud vase with some flowers on the shelf and it already makes me so happy

5. UGH

6. Shiplap – we’re doing vertical shiplap like the photo above in the entire bathroom. I think it will add the perfect texture.

7. Soaker Tub  – This 19″ tub is already calling my name.

8. Brass Shower Faucet Set – TGFA (thank god for amazon)

9. Subway Tile – we’re doing simple white subway tile with white grout in the shower

10. Brass knobs – we’re changing out the knobs on the ikea vanity for these

11. Toilet – the flush on top options make me feel fancy

 

More to come so very soon!!

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