Before and After: Exterior Reveal

You guys! The exterior of our house is FINISHED! (Well the front of our house anyway – we’re still undecided about the backyard). But either way, we absolutely love the transformation. As a reminder, here’s what the exterior of our house looked like in June when we bought it:



Little to no landscaping, a reddish color roof, an ugly yellow/tan trim color, a broken falling down mail box, and the weird bare section that I can’t even describe at that very top triangle section. Oh, and a dark, ugly, brown broken garage door! 

Here’s what our house looks like today!



My truly amazing husband and his crew of guys totally transformed our house. They installed a new roof in the 90 degree heat that totally takes the redness out of our house. We went for a grey color and couldn’t be happier. 


Ryan installed cedar shakes in that weird bare spot which makes a huge difference. We painted the trim a crisp white that lightened up the look of the house a ton. They also installed a new white garage door that looks like bead board which keeps even the garage interesting looking. 


We scoured through Goodwills, Craigslists, and Habitat for Humanity stores looking for rocking chairs and tables that we could paint to put on the front porch. We have four rocking chairs total, two blue and two yellow, and then two corresponding drink tables. Two sweet pink hanging baskets and some new bushes in the front flanking garden beds add some new life to to the front of the house. But I think my absolute favorite part of the front of our house is our bright blue door!


It’s bright, but we LOVE it. It totally stands out from the rest of the houses on our block that generally look pretty similar to ours. Now when people come over we can say, “We’re the house with the blue door!”. 


We are just thrilled with the way the front turned out and I am so thankful for my amazingly talented husband that can turn house dreams into a realty! Stay tuned for more reveals. The interior is getting very close to being done too!

Lemony Berry Trifle

Happy Sunday night to you! Our weekend flew by as the days seem to do around here. I went to my first prenatal yoga class this afternoon and it was too soon. At 14.5 weeks, I’m just looking kind of chunky, not pregnant, and I for sure didn’t look pregnant enough to be in prenatal yoga today, haha! The girl next to me is due TOMORROW and she was ready to pop! My little pooch is going to hold off a couple of weeks before I go back to class, but I’m going to keep doing yoga with YouTube videos until then 🙂

Last night our friends invited us over to their house for a lasagna dinner. So fun! They are a really great couple and have a lot of other married friends so it’s been nice to meet more people. Hopefully this weekend we can host something at our house! 

They asked us to bring a dessert, so I wanted to do something light since we were eating a heavy dinner. I settled on this Lemony Berry Trifle from Tyler Florence and it was a huge hit! I’m not going to pretend that this is a good picture, because it’s not (and I forgot to take a picture before I put the plastic wrap on) but you get the idea!

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For sure the stand-out feature of this recipe is the lemon curd that you mix with the fresh whipped cream! This is perfect for dinner parties because it’s an easy prep, you make it an hour or two ahead of time and stick it in the fridge, and it’s beautiful when you pull it out! This lemony berry trifle is now filed in our McCleary Approved recipes on Pinterest. Follow me if you want to see our other approved recipes!

Living in the South

Well it’s been about 4 months already since we moved down to Charleston (time flies!) and a lot of people have asked us how we like living in the south. First of all, we LOVE it! Secondly, it’s really not that much different than other places we’ve lived! Here’s a list of 10 observations Ryan and I have made since moving down here. 

1. Everyone is REALLY nice. Honestly. We haven’t been here for very long but we’ve already met some really great friends and neighbors. People are really welcoming, inviting, fun and warm to us northerners. 

2. The dog parks here are amazing! Huge spaces for our dogs to run with lakes to swim in, and they even host “Yappy Hours” about every month with beer, wine, and live music!

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3. Oh, but did I mention there is an alligator threat at the dog park? Here’s the sign that greets you on your way into the gate.

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See that little bump in the water behind that dog? Yep, that’s a little gator. Don’t worry, he was too little to eat Sam and Chance, but I made them get out of the water just in case. Oh, and it’s a bad idea to throw a tennis ball at the gator to scare them. It doesn’t scare the alligator and all of the dogs go after the ball and mass hysteria ensues (it wasn’t Ryan or I who did this by the way, haha, we just witnessed it).

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4. I’ve never noticed this in other cities, but here it seems like most of the main street names are named after people. Sam Rittenburg, Johnny Dodds… who are these guys?? I have some SC historical research to do.

5. It took us by surprise to see “Go Cocks!” on people’s tshirts (the USC mascot is called a Gamecock)

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6. Walmarts are SO much nicer here! They are bright, clean, have helpful employees, and play fun music. I actually don’t mind going to a Walmart anymore.

7. While at said Walmart, I did see pickled eggs in the candy aisle. I think perhaps I have a different idea of what “candy” is than a lot of people down here.

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At our grocery store, I also found this wall of pickled disgustingness:

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8. Our first meal when we got to town was at a BBQ place where they played Christian music and had the 10 Commandments printed on the drink cups. On a pop radio station the other day, the DJ was talking about something and said the phrase “Take a wife”, which made me feel weird for a second. Overall though, I think Charleston is a much more liberal city than a lot of Southern cities which I’m grateful for. 

9. Anyone ever seen an anti-rape billboard? Us either. But they are all over the highways here. 

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10. Not surprising, but lot’s of people have Southern names that I’ve never heard of: Gettys, Jalone, Reddit, Granger.

It has been so fun living here the past couple months and exploring a new part of the country. Our guest room is almost finished, so if you’d like to come see this place for yourself, you just let me know!


I have to tell you about my newest obsession. This $6 pitcher from Walmart that allows you to infuse your water:



You just cut up your infusers and stick them in this little tube that goes right in the pitcher! The past two weeks I’ve been having lemon cucumber water which is super refreshing in this heat. Some other combos to try:

– Strawberry and Mint
– Lemon and Lime
– Oranges and Lemon
– Pineapple and Strawberry
– Oranges and Blueberry
– Watermelon and Mint

I know a lot of people don’t like drinking plain water so this is such a perfect, natural alternative to buying artificially flavored waters from the store. Plus it’s cheap, easy (I only change out my infuser ingredients once a week because they seem to stay fresh) and customizable to your favorite flavors!