Creating a Home on a Budget

Unpacking and trying to make a house a home can be tough… especially when downsizing. California rent is a real thing. However, we’ve been trying to make the most of it by getting creative with smaller spaces and looking for ways to save money, but still have a beautiful home! Here are some tips that we’ve been using:

  • Get rid of clutter. We’ve taken about 7-8 giant bags of stuff to Goodwill. I’ve always been a clinger- especially with clothes because you never know when that thick, ugly sweater will come back in style. But, what I do now is when I do a deep cleanse, I keep whatever I am going to get rid of in a plastic bag and then keep that “Goodwill Bag” for 1-2 months. Then if I discover I want something, I can go grab it. 9 times out of 10, I don’t miss anything in that bag. I go through it once more before giving it to Goodwill or letting my sister have dibs. It feels amazing to have a cleaner closet and to give good clothes/things away that someone else can appreciate.
  • Be smart about space. Right now, we don’t have a lot of closet space, much to my dismay. But, we do have a bigger laundry room than I’ve previously had. We just got a wire rack on Amazon for $50 that is now our storage and pantry. Apparently built-in pantries in California are not a thing? We’re planning to get a bookshelf for the living room. So we can make the most of our space and have more places to store things.
  • OfferUp. It’s a free app, like Craigslist, but easier to use IMO. Facebook Marketplace is another great resource. We found 4 barstools for our new place for a steal of a deal. Granted, we’ve had to work to get them clean because they were well-used, but I actually really love going on the app and checking out what people around me are selling!
  • Invest. It’s so easy when you’re first starting out to say, “Oh, we don’t need a kitchen table now.” Um… I’m here to tell you that it’s okay to invest in some items you need. That doesn’t mean you head over to West Elm and pick out your favorite piece. I mean, if you have that kind of money be my guest. My point is, it’s good to invest in a few things that you need. When I first moved to Dallas, I didn’t get a bed frame because I was trying to save money and “it wasn’t essential.” I slept on the floor for YEARS. I should have just gotten a cheap bed frame from Ikea or Craigslist. A friend just told me that her husband tried to save money by not getting a shower curtain. He took one shower and when he realized there was a small lake on the floor, he immediately went and bought one. HAHA. I just got an area rug (pictured in the photos) because we now have hardwoods instead of carpet. I am proud of myself because it’s not only cute, but now our couches won’t slide around when you sit down. 🙂
  • Personalize. You can still make a house your own on a budget. Yummy smelling candles make it feel cozy, dollar-section Target decorations for holidays make it festive, and photos of family make it warm.

There are a million ways to make a house a home on a budget, and this little list is just scraping the surface, but I hope it helps a few of you that are in the same boat as me! If you have any ways you’ve done this comment below!

Also, I love overall jumpers! Here are some similar ones to the one I have down below.

XO,

Alyse

Dream Big. ✨


Dream big. Have you ever had a dream of something you wanted to do, but you still haven’t ever done it? I’m, unfortunately, one of the biggest offenders of that. Somethings I’ll work toward and achieve big milestones, but somethings- the things that I am the most excited about I put off for some reason. 

I find myself coming up with subconscious excuses like- I don’t have time/money for that right now. (You could always say that.) I’ll start that project next year. (Next year will never come.) I don’t know how I would even get started. (Hey there’s this cool thing called Google.com) I’d have to reach out to other people. (Cool. You get to build more relationships.) Or even worse… what if no one likes what I do? (Who cares?) What if I am not good at it? (As long as you’re improving, you’ll be growing and that will make you happy!)

My mom gave me this cute little sign for Easter this year. I brought it with me to California not only because it’s pink and gold, but also because I hope it reminds me to throw all of those excuses out the window and start doing the things I’ve told myself my whole life that I’ve wanted to do! The more I think about what I haven’t done that I’ve always wanted to do, the longer the list gets… but it’s exciting!

Does anyone else have this problem? Or is it just me? What excuses do you tell yourself and how did you or how do plan to get over it? 

XOXO,

Alyse

Sterling Vineyards


My Finnish fam is in town and they wanted to see the Napa Valley Vineyards. Nick and I don’t drink alcohol, but we couldn’t pass up an opportunity to venture out to the vineyards because they are so stunning. A friend recommended we go to Sterling in Napa Valley and I’m so glad we did. They have an air tram that takes you up the mountain so you can see an aerial view of the vineyards. So cool! And so beautiful from the top. 

We’ve had a wonderful weekend being tourists in our new city. My family being here makes me so happy. They live halfway across the world, so it’s hard I don’t get to see them as much as I’d like, but I feel so close to them. They’re hilarious and so generous and kind-hearted. I love them.

Hope y’all have a wonderful Sabbath. 

XOXO,

Alyse