Lately, I’ve been so focused on BIG ideas and writing with clear purpose and value that I’ve strayed away from simply writing, sharing and opening up. Which is terrible because the parts of blogging I love most are that you can look back, just like you would in your hand written journal, follow the traces of your journey and read the story all over again. I also the visual element of including my photographs and the connections formed with like-minded humans all over the world (that really is the coolest part).
So, in an effort to write more fluidly and also to open up again, I thought I would share a big, fat, juicy update on here in the form of a ‘currently’ post. I wanted to break away from the travel guides and informational posts to share with you what’s been going on in my life lately. So here’s the scoop – I’m currently. . .
OUR RENOVATION!!! It’s so fun to finally write about what has consumed my time, energy + creativity for the past few months. During the crazy (and stressful) process of planning this remodel + redesign, the last thing I wanted to do after working on it was to write about it. It seemed like the renovation was consuming my life already and having to journal about it after I had just stopped thinking of it seemed like torture! I wanted to write about other things. But now that we’re in the home stretch, I feel so much better journaling about the process and sharing our journey!
I will forever look at this year of my life being the season of patience. TRULY.
My patience has been tested constantly throughout this process + it’s been an amazing learning experience.
When we moved into this new house in Hawai’i, we knew there would be a renovation. I had lofty dreams for our space, craving a modern, minimal feel with a beachy, tropical twist. We wanted to create an inviting space, with great light, that you wanted to spend the entire day in. Working from home is a huge motivator for having a beautiful living space. Because, essentially our entire home is both of our offices combined. Meaning, that this is the environment that we brainstorm in, shoot in, create in + spend most of our time in. We wanted to make this space special for the two of us and all who come to visit.
Before we even moved into the house, I was searching Pinterest + taking screenshots of beautiful kitchens on Instagram – looking high + low for visuals to illustrate our vision. I was so inspired! It’s been amazing to watch how our plans have shifted and grown from our first concept.
Initially, I wanted an ALL white kitchen – white subway tile, white cabinets, white quartz, all of it. Aaron was a little hesitant but trusted my eye + my vision.
We ordered our cabinets first, started going to yard sales every Saturday morning looking for unique finds to fill our home with, started configuring the layout, then started the task of looking for floor tile. I wanted a specific look – ceramic tile that looks like hardwood floors in a driftwood color. I thought, should be easy enough! *Ha!* I was mistaken. We looked at all the tile shops, the home improvement stores, online, etc and only found ONE that was reasonably priced, available on island + was the look we desired. It was going to take 6 weeks (that we didn’t really have) to special order the tile, or instead, we were told that we could transfer shipments from other islands to get enough for our project. Expected timeline: 3 weeks. Ended up taking about five weeks.
We had already booked my brother-in-law, a professional tile setter’s, flight who was headed down to help us with the job. The delay meant we had to cancel and re-book for a later date. The tile transfer was canceled three separate times by the neighboring island’s store. YIKES.
Long story short, there was a lot of back and forth and honestly, we did not think we were going to received this tile we had already paid for in full. Our timeline was inching back farther and farther. We were stressed. The tile was the first thing that needed to go in so that meant delays on all fronts. We were looking for a last resort option. But then, THANKFULLY, FINALLY the tile transfer went through – no cancellations – and it arrived on our island, safe + sound. A few days later, in nothing less than a monsoon mind you, a very sweet gentleman delivered our tile! I cried. We had floors!!!
In the midst of that CRAZY tile situation, we continued to hit those yard sales every weekend, ordered an awesome rug from Rugs Direct, ordered a farmhouse sink from Amazon + received it in only 3 days!!! Whaaat?! Shipping is NEVER that fast here in the islands. Especially for a huge item. We were counting the wins – big + little – along the way.
We also connected with Fireclay Tile and decided to go BOLD instead of going with the white subway tile. I posted about our backsplash tile dilemma on my Instagram + was blown away by how many people had opinions + wanted to participate in our decision! If you were one of the folks that was excited, stay tuned for our kitchen reveal to see what color + shape of tile went with!
The handmade backsplash tiles are expected to arrive tomorrow so I’m really thrilled! We are planning on installing it ourselves. Is that crazy? I’m really worried about messing it up but have been told that it’s manageable. . . Would love your thoughts!
Last idea on our mind about the house is that we would love to open up our home on AirBnb (and possibly other vacation rental sites) when we travel. We have quite a few friends around the US who rent their homes when they are away. I’m nervous about renting it out because we’ve worked so hard to renovate it and don’t want it damaged, but I also love the idea of traveling like a local all over the world + want to offer others the opportunity to experience the Big Island of Hawaii like we do.
So, what have your experiences been? What are your thoughts on vacation renting your home?
Outside of the renovation, we have been working with some incredible clients in the past few months.
Here’s what one of our amazing clients said. It brought tears to my eyes:
“You know the saying that ‘the best investment that you’ll ever make is investing in yourself’? Well, it’s true! A few months ago I invested in this blog in a big way by becoming a client of Dérive Collective. I’ll be honest – I decided that 2017 was going to be the year of this blog either making or breaking. I spend a lot of time behind the scenes here and I wanted to feel validated financially in the time and effort I was spending. I’m happy to say that through mentorship, analyzing, critiquing and coaching this blog has some amazing things on the horizon. It’s WITHOUT A DOUBT one of the best investments I’ve ever made.“
LOOKING FORWARD TO:
Heading back to the east coast in one month! I can’t WAIT to squeeze Aaron’s family, visit our favorite spots + soak up the last of that New England summer. I know, you’re probably thinking ‘Elana, you’ll have JUST completed your house renovation. . . What are you thinking?!’ See where the idea of putting our place on Airbnb comes in now? In the spirit of our upcoming trip, I have some Maine blogposts coming up next!
Click here to read about our summer spent there last year.
Made For More Podcast – Dishing Out Some #REALTALK About Social Media
The Fresh Exchange – Shedding Light on Living an Eternal Summer
The June/July print issue of Condé Nast Traveler (this was a DREAM COME TRUE!)
I just finished reading YOU ARE A BADASS by Jen Sincero. I took a really long time to read it (like 3 1/2 months) so that I could actually absorb the lessons in the book, journal about it, do the exercises she recommends. Honestly, this book was something I really needed to read. It has so many important lessons and it was a great reminder of where I need to be focusing my energy and how to dig in and do the work. Have you read it? If so, what did you think?
Now that I am finally done with this book, I’m thinking I want to read some fun summer fiction. If you have any must reads, send them my way!
All sorts of emotional. In a couple of weeks, Aaron and I will be celebrating seven years of doing life alongside one another! I’ll share more about it as the date approaches I’m sure but until then, did you read the post about how we celebrated his birthday for the seventh time together? Hint: it may have involved a hidden beach in Hawai’i.
My intention was to keep that short but it felt good to write and share! Keep your eyes peeled for some exciting blogposts about the incredible state of Maine + how to get the best out of your visit there.