That One Time We Bought A Farm....

No, but really. We bought a farm. Well, kind of. A vacant farm. Is that a thing? A wannabe farm. A soon-to-be farm. We're going to build a farm, people! 

Let's rewind. Ever since we put our old house on the market four years ago, David and I have been dreaming and scheming about buying again. As you guys know from here, we didn't exactly have the luxury of selling the old house and immediately buying. It took us four years to get that sale wrapped up, which meant four years of changing our minds about where we wanted to buy. Or, more importantly, where we wanted to set roots. Where we wanted to grow our family. Let me just tell you that I'm pretty sure David and I are Zillow's number one and two users- we have been obsessively house hunting for years! And not even just in one area- we pretty much followed searches all across metro Atlanta, just to cover our bases. At one point, we decided we definitely wanted to be in the city. Then we definitely wanted to be in the suburbs. Then we thought we'd buy an old house and renovate. Then we wanted to build a new house in the suburbs. Then we wanted to live in the city again. We were all over the place, but a lot can happen in four years! While it was hard to be patient, we had faith that God was leading us in the right direction and would put us on the right path in terms of where to settle.

Fast forward to October of this year, when we finally closed on the sale of our old house. One October Saturday, our little family was at our (rental house's) neighborhood fall festival. While I was waiting in line with HDawg and Little Lady June to get balloon animals, I noticed David was on the phone. After we got our butterfly and dog balloons, the kids and I rambled over to David and he said, "I found some land I think we should go look at!" I was a little confused- we had been mostly looking at subdivision lots with an acre or two of land, but this was 17.5 acres. But, it was a beautiful day and the kids wanted to play outside, so I said "okay, let's take a walk through the woods, honey." And the rest was history.

All the heart eyes, all the soil tests, all the meetings with builders, lots of time in the woods, more heart eyes, many many prayers, plenty of chats with our architect, lots of conversations with county officials about zoning and flood plain and taxes and rural development, a few more heart eyes and then one official closing with my new law office and I am proud to report that we're officially the owners of 17.5 acres in a country suburb outside of Atlanta.

The land is beautiful. There are two cleared pastures of about four acres each, a perfect home site, lots of pretty woods and even a gorgeous meandering creek along the back of the property. In the best school districts, about 20-25 minutes from our offices. The kids love it. David loves it. I love it. There's a perfect spot for a huge garden that we plan on starting this spring. Possibly even some small animals (chickens? goats?) in our future. And, the best part? I get to build my dream house. Hello, people! My dream house! I can't even begin to tell you how excited that makes us. And don't you worry, I plan to report it all here on the ol' blog. It's been awhile since Ten June has seen some great home projects outside of our four years of renting, so hopefully you guys are still around and ready to see some of our house building and farm growing process!

We officially bought the land a few weeks ago, but we're still in the very beginning processes of the build. I would like to say that we will break ground in February or so and then have a 6-8 month build timeline after that, but that's still all up in the air as we wait for our plans to be finished and the process to continue. After four years of waiting to see where life was going to take us, a few months ain't no thang. So exciting though, right? While we wait, David and I will just pretend to be Chip and Joanna Gaines and basically pin anything "farm house" or "ship lap" to our inspiration boards until then. Hellooooo dream farm house, here we come.


Little Lady June's Pink + Blue Nursery Room Updates

It's been awhile since you guys have seen Little Lady June's nursery, so I thought I'd check in with an update! She's 21 months old and still happily sleeping in her crib, so not much has changed in terms of the main pieces in the room. I moved the DIY stuffed animal heads to HDawg's bedroom and replaced them with a blank, empty wall. I thought the wall needed to breathe a little, do you ever feel that way? No? Just me. Okay, Michelle, stop talking about walls breathing before you freak everybody out. To the left of the dresser, I created a DIY hair bow holder by gluing a sparkly sheet of card stock to the front of a wooden letter I found in the craft aisle at Target. Then I hot glued a ribbon to the back of the letter and bam, a hair bow holder. I also used some simple washi tape to add a vintage photo of my grandmother and her four sisters. LLJ was named for these five ladies, so it's important for her to have their photo in her room!

On the other side of the room, I did what every interior design loving blogger momma promises to never do: I added a character to the room. The horrors! But seriously, my little girl loves her some Minnie Mouse, so it's Minnie Mouse she gets. We go through many, many books a day, so I pulled some of her favorites off of our main bookshelf and put them in a book basket next to her side table. For awhile, I'd walk in her room and find her tucked in the corner, sitting on the floor next to her book basket reading. I knew it was high time I create this gal a comfy reading space, so when the folks I'm teamed up with at Savvy Sassy Scouts asked if I... I mean, LLJ... wanted to try out the Minnie Mouse chair by Delta, I knew exactly where it should go. And seriously, she loves it- I find her in there reading all the time. The chair is super cute without being too themey, if you know what I mean. At 21 months and about 26 pounds, she's a little tiny for the chair and sometimes has a problem getting her balance to sit down, but I'm sure she'll grow into it (the chair is recommended for ages 3-9). 

When you ask her if she likes the chair, this is the look you get:

See? It's a winner!

For more information about items in this room and a lots of other photos, check out my original nursery room reveal post and full little girl's nursery source list post.

*I received this product as part of my affiliation with Savvy Sassy Scouts.

$125 Minted Giveaway for Holiday Cards!

As you guys know from here, here and here, I'm a big fan of Minted, especially when it comes to their Christmas cards! This year will be our third year using Minted cards and I don't think I could ever use another brand. The quality is unbeatable (the card paper is so thick!) and I adore their collection of card options designed by independent artists. It makes every card feel unique. This year, Minted is even offering free recipient addressing which is kind of the best thing since sliced fruitcake. 

It's officially the season to order your Christmas cards, so to help one of you out, Minted is giving away a $125 credit to use at Minted for your holiday cards. Talk about a little ho, ho, ho!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Dream House: A Cozy Farmhouse Keeping Room

Today's another installation of my dream house series. If I could plan my absolute dream home, what would it look like? One thing is for sure, I'd have a cozy keeping room nook located right off of our kitchen. It doesn't have to be a big space- just a little space with enough room for a couple of overstuffed armchairs and a fireplace. And while we're dreaming, how about vaulted ceilings with rustic exposed wooden beams? Yes, please! My goals for this room would be to create a warm, cozy space that I could curl up in to do my morning Bible readings or a place the kids could later work on some homework while I'm cooking dinner. A nice, quiet place of relaxation. With that said, I think I'd focus less on color and more on textures in the space- a neutral palette with the introduction of a soft wool rug, white shiplap walls, rustic wooden beams, leather furniture and a brick herringbone fireplace. I think I could spend some nice, cozy time in there, don't you?!

Source list:

chandelier (one of my all time favorites!)
fireplace image (unknown source)
knit blanket (I also have this one and have gifted this one! and eyeing this faux fur throw... Santa?)
not pictured, but you can imagine all kinds of pillows in this room like these, these or these

I realized when I was making this board that I don't really have any go-to sources for quality vintage-looking leather furniture. Do you have any recommendations? Do share!

For more from my dream house series, check out:

Or follow me on Pinterest for more inspiration!

A Look Back: Favorite Spaces in Our Renovated Ranch

As you guys know, we finally sold our home (after an agonizing almost four year long process which you can read all about here) in October. Today, I want to hop back in time and share some of my favorite projects, rooms and spaces from the first home that David and I owned together. I figured a little blog tribute was appropriate because this blog wouldn't be in existence without this house! So, one last time, here's our renovated ranch. I won't cry, I promise. Okay, maybe a little. Grab me a tissue, will you?

While we focused mainly on the interior, I love what we did to the outside of the house. We brought some curb appeal to the outside of the casa with a paint job, reincarnating the house's old black shutters (which the previous owners ripped off, for some reason?!), a bright red painted front door and lots, and lots, and lots of yard work. Remember that one time I found a dead gopher in the yard (butIdidntreallybecauseimanidiot)? Yeah, we worked hard in that yard!

Speaking of the outside of that house, we can't neglect to mention the pool. Hands down, this was the best place to entertain. We had so many great parties, gatherings and memories made at this pool and in the adjacent screened in porch!

Inside, there's a three way tie for my favorite room. Is that allowed? I'm doing it anyways!

Favorite room part one: our navy blue dining room. The blue walls, the DIY bamboo sunburst mirror,  the stenciled wine rack. Man, I loved that room. So much so that I plan to recreate in our next house, for sure!

My favorite room part two: HDawg's nursery. To be quite honest, I think this is still one of my favorite rooms that I've ever designed. And I love that I've basically recreated it at both rental houses that we've lived in since moving from this house, so it's like his nursery has always been the same for him. Now that he's three, the room is still such a timeless, classic space that is growing with him. I love it!

Favorite room part three: our DIY labor of love, the renovated master bathroom. I still can't believe we did so much of that work ourselves. So tough! But in the end, that amazing double shower and beautiful tile was worth it!

So those are some of my favorite projects and spaces from that house. If you want to see more spaces in that house (including an updated guest bathroom, office update, two living room makeovers, a sunroom makeover and a kitchen revamp), check out the full house tour right here!

Please tell me you think wistfully about your old houses? We are certainly ready to move on from this house (and on to bigger and better things... stay tuned!) but it's still so special to us!

6 Butternut Squash Recipes + A Quality Home Goods (Christmas Gift!) Source: Kaufmann Mercantile

Ah, fall flavors are simply the best. Pumpkin (duh), cinnamon, butternut squash... these are the flavors that remind me of autumn! Over on my Pinterest page, I've been pinning away at butternut squash recipes. It's such a healthy, delicious flavor that I am loving cooking these days. And, lucky me, I have a few new kitchen goodies to help me do so!

Recently, I learned about the company Kaufmann Mercantile. It's a really great, quality-focused company that gets down to the basics when it comes to their products. Everything they sell, from home decor to kitchen items to outdoor tools, is simply and solidly made. The company deems their products as "well lived goods for the slower, more thoughtful home." Love it. Recently, I got the opportunity to pose some questions to Sebastian Kaufmann, CEO and chief curator of Kaufmann Mercantile, to find out more about this great company and their seriously amazing products.

Ten June (me!): What is your favorite item in your home decor shop and why?

Sebastian Kaufmann (SK): I love the German glass tea kettle and I love the woods leather camp stool, since it’s a small mobile chair I can move around in our apartment.  I also love the Japanese Water Purifying charcoal since it makes NYC faucet water taste so much better. I use it every day! I love the leather house shoes since they make my feet warm and comfortable without feeling sweaty.

Me: You have a good mix of sources in your store; do you prefer to develop your own products or source from third parties? 

SK: We enjoy the experience of both. We search the world for the best product for any given task, and when we can’t find one to meet our standards we make our own. We’re lucky in that we’ve been able to learn from some of the greatest manufacturers in the world. Their processes, experience and expertise ignite our curiosity and inspire us to continue our pursuit of quality.

Me: What is KM's most popular product? Why do you think that is? 

SK: Kaufmann Mercantile’s most popular product is the German Glass Water Kettle. This tea kettle is made of heat-resistant glass that can be placed directly on the stove top, as long as the burner is the same size or slightly larger than the kettle base. You still need to be careful of the handle when picking up the kettle after water has boiled. The glass body is machine blown in order to achieve exact measurements and sizes, while the spouts and handles are manually attached. I think this product is at such high demand because of its simplicity and everyday use. It was originally designed for industrial use, but I think people enjoy its qualities for the home kitchen. The decades-old German company that created this tea kettle continues to innovate upon that initial design for the domestic market, and has won several product design awards.

Me: If you could list five quality products every homeowner should own, what would they be? 

SK: A iron cast pan, a wooden cutting board, an Estwing hammer, household scissors and a Champagne saber.

Me: As a momma of two, I have to ask... do you plan on releasing any quality children's products anytime soon? 

SK: There are a few children’s products and toys already offered that are personally some of my favorites. For example, our paper models of a train, plane, and motorcycle are unique items to place in a child’s bedroom. For toys, the Hardwood Triangle Stacker and Knitted Wool Vegetable Set are great toys for small children. They’re not only safe to play with, but also meant to be building blocks for a child's healthy mental development.

Me: Describe your decor style or what inspires you. 

SK: I live in NYC in a small apartment. But I think all the pictures on our Instagram really inspire me. I try to spend as much weekends outside the city, and being in nature and in a home that’s close to nature is really inspiring to me. As for the interior of my home — most of it are vintage pieces I’ve purchased over time. I’m not one to fill up my apartment fast. Now that we’ve launched our private label, I’m happy that I have finally found a kitchen block that I like!

I'll tell you what, Kaufmann Mercantile and the company's folks definitely seem like my kind of people. I love Sebastian's down-to-earth nature and focus on bringing consumers quality products that are truly investments and important pieces in their life. The products I've got pictured here are the white hand-pressed glass bowls, the live edge black walnut cutting board, and a carbon steel chef's knife. I also have these Italian olive wood steak knives. No lie, these are the best knives I have ever used in my life. David loves them, too. The other day, I made homemade beef jerky and cut through the flank steak with the steak knives like it was butter! I also can't wait to use the beautiful cutting board and glass bowls to display food over the holidays. Seriously, these products are good, people. I could spend hours on their website... seriously, I'm pretty sure I could pick up something for everyone on my Christmas list on the KM website!

For more information on Kaufmann Mercantile, check out their About Us page and be sure to hunt around their website and check out their amazing products!

While we're on the topic, here are six of my favorite butternut squash recipes that I've been utilizing lately:

roasted butternut squash and rosemary

Thanks to Kaufmann Mercantile for partnering up with me on this post!

A Rectangular Living Space + Breaking Design Rules

When we first moved into this rental house, I was a little apprehensive of the living room layout. Generally, the entire downstairs is sort of a mess in terms of flow, but the living room (ie. the main room of the house! where our kids play! where we entertain!) was just one long, narrow rectangle. We couldn't figure out how to configure the space, so we just copied the furniture layout of the previous owners and went on our merry way. Here's my super fancy sketch/iPhone pic of that layout. Or if you want to see it live and in person, check out this post.

We actually lived with that layout for 1.5 years when, earlier this year, I said enough is enough. There was just not enough space for the kids to play, the couch was way too close to the TV and it was all just not working. My grand idea was to put all of the furniture against the walls, probably breaking every design rule out there, but that's what we needed. More. Open. Space. Since it was summer, I thought it would be fine to do something bold (again, breaking design rules) and block off the fireplace with the couch. It was our best wall for the big couch and hey, it was summer, we didn't need the fireplace. And we didn't think we'd be in this house come fall when we needed the fireplace... remember that story? So then we switched to the layout below. In case my awesome sketch skills still aren't impressing you, real life photos of this layout here.

First of all, we love love love love love the open space this layout gave us. It was exactly what we needed in terms of fixing our downstairs layout flow issues. There was so much more space for the kids to play! We didn't crane our necks watching TV! You could see the kids playing from the kitchen! Win, win, win. But then September rolled around and I knew we would need the fireplace again. Enter our third and final layout, as pictured above.

Basically, we just moved the couch against the big wall and put the bookshelf in my home office. We use that bookshelf for toy storage, so it actually helped to get all of that clutter out of the room. We also moved my newly painted console table into the room which gives me one more pretty shelf to decorate and we can throw toy baskets underneath for more storage. Love it.

Let me just say that breaking design rules may not be for everyone, but it is certainly for me. I may love a good, balanced room, but by smashing all of the furniture against our living room walls and creating a huge, open play space for the kids, we made this otherwise unworkable room work for our family. We LOVE the living room now- it feels so open and inviting. The couch is not the absolute best TV viewing location since it sits sideways next to the TV, but we only watch TV for a few hours a week and those nights we do flip it on, we're ok with a little sideways TV watching.

So that's how we worked with our crazy rectangular living space. Have you broken any design rules to make your living space work for you? Please tell me I'm not the only one!

living room rug sources here
art source here

Halloween Weekend Fun

We had the best Halloween weekend. Our neighborhood goes crazy with trick-or-treaters (we handed out over 700 pieces of candy!), so we invited some friends over and hosted a trick-or-treat party in our front yard. We had a bonfire, roasted marshmallows, pumpkin beer, spider crackers and lots of other treats. It was seriously so much fun! And my little Thing One and Thing Two looked pretty cute, if I do say so myself.

This weekend, we also went for a nice walk and enjoyed the weather before it got rainy. Nothing like a little boy playing outside, am I right? This photo makes my heart so happy!

Fighting through our candy comas, we managed to grab brunch together as a family on Sunday morning. Bagels, fruit, sandwiches... definitely all needed after our bellies were filled with candy! For brunch, wee brought out Lu's new Bumbo Multi Seat, which I'm totally in love with. This is an upgraded version of Bumbo's original seat (which we used and loved with both babies)- it's not only a floor seat but also a feeding seat with a tray (like a high chair) and a booster seat for the bigger kids. You can also take out the padded insert as your child grows (which we will likely do with Lu soon). It is honestly so lightweight and easy to adjust, it's perfect to use when you eat out or to take to friends or family's houses for meals with your toddler. In fact, we've even got ours set up at our dining room table to replace Little Lady June's high chair! Space saver? Check. As you can tell, she LOVES being able to sit at the table like a big girl with the rest of the family. It's the little things when you're one, right? If you're in the market for a great new seat for your tot, you can pick yours up right here. #toddlerbrunch #bumbo (Bumbo sent us the chair to review but LLJ's clear love for this seat is our own opinion!)

I hope you guys had a great weekend, as well! Hello November and hello holiday season! Woot.

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