A New Season- Just Simplify

We moved again! Our 18th and hopefully our last for a very long time!

A 2,500 square foot cottage on a natural, spring-fed lake. Just 3.5 miles down the road from our last house, a small neighborhood nestled along side a large community of homes. Even though we are in the suburbs of Tampa, our home is surrounded by 100 year old oak trees with layers of Spanish moss blowing in the breeze. I can see the lake, with it’s resident alligator, from my bedroom window. It’s beautiful. Calming. Quiet. A perfect change for a new season.

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The decision to sell our home and to buy a smaller place happened so fast….My head is still spinning from all of the moving parts. Ron loved our two story home and lots of living space. However, we didn’t like that the master bedroom was upstairs and we certainly did not need 5 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms for just the three of us. Our new “little” cottage has four bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. Perfect for us. Two guest rooms is all we need for our frequent out of town guests and grown up boys who come and visit.

This girl doesn’t need a lot of space and I certainly don’t enjoy cleaning a big house. In fact, it has been a dream of mine to live in a cottage. Ron could not grab hold of the idea of living in a cottage or maybe what living in a cottage style home looked like. He grew up in a small home and felt a big home was perfect. Shifting into this new season has happened so fast. From four kids to one…retiring from the military life…the decision to love our new city with no plans to move any time soon = buying a home that is more suited to our desired lifestyle. The housing market is good. Our home sold for a very good price and we did well on that investment. That definitely played into our decision. We were blessed that we got our asking price on both homes. The back to back closings on the same day went extremely smooth. Our move was door to door…that was an extra blessing. The company we hired allowed for our household goods to sit on the trailer for a few days was a huge help too. They were careful with our belongs and nothing was damaged.

We built our three previous homes so it has been an adjustment transitioning to an already built home…an inventory home. I love that we are the first owners however; to make it more us, we have had to spend a little extra money to personalize it. It’s also been a challenge moving our things into a home with 850 less square feet. We have been purging like crazy. Cleaning. Donating. Simplifying. It feels great!

Check back soon and see how we are doing with our new space.

Be Blessed~

Just-Beth ♥

No Wasted Spaces

This is house number 17 for our family. We built this home after moving 4 times in 6 years. It had been exactly ten years prior that we had built the previous home. We had no intentions of building another home…but…we didn’t have a lot of choice. We moved to Florida from Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Last minute orders for us. Not much was available for rent. We found a beautiful home on-line, filled out the rental application ASAP, paid the deposit, all sight unseen. I prayed it looked as nice in the photos and it did. We were living there for less than 6 months when the owner let us know she wanted to sell her home. We immediately started looking to buy knowing we had several years left in Florida. We could not find anything that really worked for us. We fell in love with the neighborhood,  our adorable soon to be neighbors and bought one of the few lots left. So, here we are…almost 4 years later. The longest we have lived anywhere…..ever….

We have a traditional floor plan. An open living room/dining room in the front of the house. A staircase that takes us up to the Master bedroom including 3 other bedrooms and 3 full bathrooms plus a bonus room. On the main floor we have an open kitchen and a 3rd living space as well as a guestroom and full bathroom.

When our twins left for college, we made one of the bedrooms an office that Ron and I could share. We had not factored in our very curious, energetic, Standard Schnauzer Puppy, Libby. I could not be upstairs with Libby downstairs. I was putting thousands upon thousands of steps on my Fitbit by just running the stairs every time I heard the bell ring. Libby rings a bell every time she needs to go potty. Being the smart puppy she is…she was ringing it when she was lonely too. She was training me! So…..

We created an office for me in our beautiful dining space. Who needs a dining room? Right? I loved the way it looked when we walked through the front door. But that’s not practical. We had plenty of space in our kitchen for our large dining room table. We moved our French Provincial antique table to the dining room and made it my office desk.

My view from my desk…looks into our living room. We find ourselves in here a lot. On the weekends…Ron grabs his cup of coffee and sits on the couch as we discuss up coming events and ideas. Its cozy. Our puppy comes in every so often to practice being civil. Or,  she is behind the gate to the right of my desk. She can still see us which makes her very happy.

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My view from the living room. I grab a book and a cup of tea and sit and read. We bought this very cozy Toile couch way back in Kansas…5 moves ago. It has held up well and I still love it.

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I lack storage space. The buffalo check bench is very deep. I have binders, stationery and office supplies tucked down inside. I’m still working on the bar cart…it still has, well, bar items on it. If going through paper work every gets stressful…I can just reach to the left. (giggle)

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My next project is to clean out this old hutch filled with Lenox china and add carefully selected memorabilia we want to save. We have a lot of organizing to do this year which makes for a more peaceful way of living.

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Our dining space in the kitchen is large. Our table fits great with room to spare. If I need to expand the table, I can. This sucker seats 12 with ease.

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It’s open to the living space as well.

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Be Blessed~

Just-Beth