A little about our name...the hubs chose it, and I love it. Although the phrase is usually used to refer to folks who’s children have grown and flown the coop, we are talking more about building your nest, piece by piece.
When you start out, unless you are blessed with some kind of fast track career that makes you wealthy or at least very comfortable at 30 (definitely not us!), you’re usually beginning your home with college dorm leftovers and donations from friends and family. Anything nice or brand new came from your bridal registry. (I would like to just say here that you should always, always register for nice towels. Because if you think to yourself, “We have a million towels, we don’t need towels!” and you don’t register for them, you will likely not have the extra money to throw away your college towels and invest in ones that are $20 each for the next 5-10 years. Ask people to buy you nice towels.) Anyway, we are very slowly getting grown up stuff. But, honestly, since we are still renting, we flat out refuse to invest in furniture we really like. Hodge podge is still the name of the game, even though we are more picky about our found and thrifted items now.
Empty Nest is the idea of starting small, or with nothing, and then building something beautiful. (It's also a little play on our names: Michael + Tiffany's Nest = MT Nest = Empty Nest?!) Our wedding was so DIY it was exhausting. It was fun to come up with ideas, and the savings were totally worth it. But I didn’t want to see another glue stick for a long, long time. Our couch is a curbside treasure. Our loveseat is a yardsale reupholster with handmade throw pillows. Our table was a freebie on Facebook that needs to be refinished. When we were dating, we did a few projects together, and it was good to see what our style was working together to complete something. My husband-then-boyfriend liked to call it “Teambuilding Tuesday.” (And still I stayed with him.) I definitely recommend this to any couple kind of getting serious. Watch children together, and do several projects together. Enough times that your true colors show. Anyway, now we love to think we have a “good eye.” We like finding treasures, fixing them up, and even reselling. Or keeping if they are too good to let go. Like the huge record player that now doubles as a buffet in our dining room waiting to be repainted and jazzed up! We’ve splurged on a couple of things, like our sweet lamp from World Market. And there are still a few things that desperately need to be replaced with a grown up model, like my dorm room toaster. But, hey, it toasts the bread.
But it isn’t just about the stuff, or junking, or saving money on things. It’s also about filling up the Empty Nest with all of the love, and the family, and the dreams, and ideals that you’ve been waiting to implement. All of the, “When I am a parent…” or “Someday when I have my own house…” and “Once we get a little money…” It’s about doing the work on yourself so that you can really invest in your home, your life, your spouse, your community, and your children. It’s about not missing out on the good stuff because you didn’t have your crap together. It’s about living in the moments where you are empty, and don’t have much but each other. It’s about sitting at the feet of old couples who tell you stories about when they were young, and living on rice and beans because that’s what they could afford. It’s about getting to know and like each other so that when you have an Empty Nest in the traditional use of the phrase, you have something left to share together.
That’s what we want. To help other people live simply, but richly. To find inexpensive little treasures and turn them into stylish statement pieces. To DIY and share money saving hacks that are still breath taking. But also to help other people fill up their lives with the goodness of investing in themselves, their homes and their communities. To fill the Emptiness until it is overflowing with good food, beautiful spaces, loving people, and happy families.
I hope you join us in this journey of abundant simplicity.