SOCIAL MEDIA

Saturday, March 31, 2018

OUR FIRST HOME// BEFORE AND AFTER

I think this is the most bittersweet post of all time. Although we are so excited to start our new adventure in Dallas, it is a little hard to say goodbye to our first home together!
We have had so many wonderful memories here over the past two and a half years. This week we put our house on the market, and it was so fun to look at the before and after photos! 
Front Porch views// one of my favorite things about the house! Everything is days away from blooming. 
I love Spring at this house
BEFORE//Entry wallpaper, hardwoods and double doors entering the den
AFTER// updated flooring, new paint and opened up
BEFORE// Front sitting room with carpet & more wallpaper 
AFTER // Office and music room with new flooring and updated paint! 
BEFORE// Carpet with wallpaper in the Dining Room
AFTER// Kept that gorgeous chandelier and updated the flooring and added new paint! 
The amazing painting is from Now & Then in Fort Smith (a gift from my grandparents)
The table and chairs were found at HOUSE in Little Rock 
BEFORE// Den with white carpet, paneling and peach beams 
AFTER// probably one of my favorite transformations in the house! 
BEFORE//Oh my the wallpaper, the border, the matching curtians 
AFTER//Can I get an Amen?
BEFORE//Master Bedroom with a "french horn" fan lol
AFTER// Master Bedroom Update 
BEFORE// FYI this was the master bath...
AFTER//The best update in the house :)

I updated one of the bedrooms in the house and you can see those pictures HERE
Here was my original house tour on the blog (one of my first posts!) You can read it HERE

Tyler and I are feeling so blessed, we put the house on the market at 7:00pm on Wednesday night, and by Thursday at 9:00pm we had accepted an offer! The house was booked for showings the entire day on Thursday with back to back appointments starting around noon. Feeling thankful we took this huge leap of faith to pick up our lives and move to Dallas.

Cheers to new beginings and lots of packing!

XOBARNETT
Wednesday, March 21, 2018

DALLAS DETAILS

So things have been a little lot crazy around here lately. Currently, Tyler is full time in Dallas and I am wrapping up things in Little Rock. We are both working like crazy to get everything organized and the move in full swing. I have had so many text, calls and messages I thought I would share some fun details about the move now that we know a little more.

Where Now?!
So if you follow me on insta you know last weekend Tyler and I visited Dallas, hopeful to find a new place to live. In true Whitney fashion, I had a detailed spreadsheet with all the pro's and con's of each place we had found online, and a map with each place plotted. Well, God had a sense of humor on Friday because it was a total disaster. Every single place we planned on potentially renting did not work out... not one of them! We visited eight different places, and although they were great, none of them had everything we were hoping for. I was so deflated, at one point Tyler looked over and told me I could cry if I needed to. lol I did

Each place was perfect on paper, but none of them were exactly what we were looking for! Since we have the puppers coming NEXT WEEKEND (omg) we knew we needed a place on the first floor, and without carpet etc. When none of them were "the place" we decided to go back to the hotel and do more research. We stayed up so late, and compiled a new list for Saturday morning. 

When we woke up Saturday we realized we had our hands full, trying to dodge one of the largest St. Patty's day parades in the country. lol We both wore green for good luck, said lots of prayers, and thankfully ended up finding our place!!

Our apartment is in the perfect location and provides all the amenities and things we were looking for! It is a two bedroom apartment that is in a brand new building, and has literally everything we wanted. We were able to sign the lease then, and Tyler has moved in this week!

We have a few more things to wrap up at our house in Little Rock before we put it on the market. We have painters coming over the next few days to touch up all of the trim and doors, and then I think we will be ready to go! I am so excited for our new adventure, but it is a little sentimental selling our first home we owned together. We have the best memories, and I will never forget all of our great times here!

We have movers scheduled to move all the *things* to Dallas within the next month, and in the mean time I am going to focus on cleaning everything out!! I will have clothes, furniture, and everything in between for sale if you know anyone who needs anything!

This past week has been a wild ride, I feel so blessed to have all the love and support that I do. Tyler started his new job on Monday, and loves it! He is doing great and knows he is going to really love his new position. I am so excited for him, and can't wait to see him soon!
so lucky to be with a guy who makes me laugh, and makes the best of every situation!
 He is my favorite :)
 The blog name has lots of meaning, but it fits perfectly here XOBARNETT

Also, I will be able to post some pics of the apartment soon! Can't wait to be down there and decorate our little nest :) More to come soon

XOBARNETT

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

BRING ON THE COFFEE//WE HAVE A BIG ANNOUNCEMENT

S U R P R I S E
So excited because Tyler and I can officially announce our big news! 
We are moving to Dallas, Texas and could not be more thrilled

Tyler has accepted a position as the Senior Compliance Analyst at an Investment Advisory firm in downtown Dallas. I am so proud of him; he has worked so hard for this and deserves it more than anyone I know. We have been praying about our next move and steps and God truly opened this door and we are so excited! They wanted him to begin immediately, so he is going to be in Dallas starting this next week.

Of course everything is totally crazy right now- we have to find a place to live, move, sell our house in Little Rock and also we are getting the twins at the end of this month! If you are not having an anxiety attack reading that sentence, I need your zen vibes! I know everything will work out, but it is just a little stressful at the moment. 

Our plan is to go visit Dallas this weekend and try and find a place to call home. Of course we own our home now, but after lots of discussion, I think we may rent in the beginning. Since it's such a large city with so many options, we want to make sure that we are in love with a neighborhood or area before buying our second home. Like everything else, this has been a big decision but we truly feel like it's the best thing for now. 
PSA - If you have any Dallas neighborhood recommendations for us, please let me know

I can't wait to keep yall up to date on this journey. As you can imagine, we have been so busy over the past week trying to prepare and get a plan in place for everything. We would appreciate your thoughts and prayers over the next month!

Fun Facts about the M O V E//
Tyler is most excited about being in a city with professional sports
he has already checked our Rangers season tickets... 
Most excited about his new job, then sports of course
I can't wait to be in Dallas because I have always loved Texas
I lived in Plano for a few years growing up and have the best mems
+ my sister and I will be so close since she is in Waco
Our puppies are from Texas so they will be at home
Also, I am finally back in the promise land of Braums, praises bc I have been without since 2013
Not to mention Trader Joes and Torchy's...

Now B R I N G ON THE 
C O F F E E//We are packing our bags
We are so excited to embark on this journey together, and start a new chapter in Dallas
Everyone book your Southwest flight, we will see ya soon!

XOBARNETT 
Friday, March 9, 2018

WHEN IN ROME...

Tyler and I both loved our trip to Italy, and part of what made it so special was our time in Rome. Rome is such an ancient city, with so much history! It is important to plan out what you want to do and see while you are there, or you will find yourself lost and wondering if you are going to make it to the forum before it closes totally guilty
Rome is so, so big! We flew in to FCO and once we landed neither of us had phone service read my solution for this below Normally we would have just grabbed our bags and taken a train in, but since we didn't have a working phone we took a cab into the city. This is a flat rate fare, and if you don't have Euro's on you yet, you have to make sure the cab takes a card! (some don't)
I was so enamored by the colosseum//so cool to see in real life 

We chose to stay in an AIRBNB here and it was fabulous! It was on a street not far from the colosseum and all of old Rome, so it made walking the streets and getting around super enjoyable. Our place was super dreamy with a loft and beautiful tiled ceilings that were literally ancient. I will be totally honest, I thought every meal in Rome was totally average... It is fair to say that I had high expectations, because who doesn't when in Italy.. but I was not impressed really at all. Rome has become so touristy that the food felt average and not as authentic as other places we have been. We tried places that were tiny mom and pops and places with crazy great reviews on trip advisor... so I feel like we gave it a fair shot!

 The city totally made up for the average food with its amazing sights. Each time you walked further down the street, you would stumble into something even older. The colosseum literally took my breath away when I saw it for the first time. Tyler and I marveled as we walked by it on our first night there going to dinner. We woke up the next day and toured the inside and also saw the Arch of Constantine. 
 First day spent exploring R O M A
This is the Arch of Constantine with the Colosseum behind 
I took this pic on our way to dinner the first night

Of course the colosseum was my favorite to see but here are a few of my other "must see" spots in Rome
Trevi Fountain: This gorgeous fountain has had me mesmerized since Lizzie McGuire went to Rome (lol) and I could not wait to see it!! It was so impressive to me, Tyler actually took me back a second time so I could see it again before we left Rome.
ps I was serious about this coin throwing... I did it more than once. Also this is the hardest picture in all of Europe to get, people are E V E R Y WHERE. We have the best outtakes from this!

 Vatican City: This was such a cool experience. We took a train ride to Vatican City and spent our morning exploring the Sistine Chapel and the afternoon walking through St. Peters. This is one of those "plan it out" kind of days. We actually opted to pay a little more to jump ahead of the line when visiting the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel- its a ticket you can buy just off the street, and then they escort you past the line into the building where you can enter. This museum and chapel are massive... you could literally spend an entire day here. The art is incredible and it is obviously a must see. 
Loved looking up at all the ceilings...
Since we were visiting in off season there were not many lines we had to wait in, but this day was chalked full of them. To get into St. Peters we waited for over an hour...My sister was there last summer and said the wait was over 4 hours so it obviously gets out of control quick. This was Tyler's birthday so we waited to go in, because its something he has always wanted to see! 
We also visited the Pantheon and made our way up the Spanish Steps. Both our close to some great window shopping and gelato shops! Here I am on the Spanish Steps- it was cold and rainy this night! 

My very favorite night there was Tylers birthday night. Instead of going out, I cooked for him and we stayed in our cute apartment. I got the chance to go to the local market and select meats and cheeses for an appetizer, put together a fresh salad and I made pasta for dinner! Everything tasted better with their local ingredients, and I had the best time cooking for him. I thought it was so sweet he wanted to do that to celebrate his birthday, its a memory I will always treasure. 

If you are traveling abroad and don't have a great international phone option I would totally suggest doing what we did. We both got an international plan with Vodafone. All you need is your passport and 20 Euros and you will have enough data to last you a really long time, and a way to make calls if you need to! Make sure you find someone that just has the "Vodafone" sign in the window as an authorized dealer, and they will sell you a SIM card for your phone! It takes about one hour to set up, and then you are good to go! This is S O E A S Y and so worth it. We were able to use our phones to navigate, answer emails and stay in touch without worrying about any international roaming or data charges! + you get a cool Italian phone number 

Some of this post has obviously been logistics and about Rome's sights... but I had to share a few of my favorite pictures and memories! It was a wonderful first trip to Rome, and I am so glad we went. Its funny, most places I visit I am immediately dying to go back- Rome wasn't that way for me but it was so cool to experience. You can read about places I dream of visiting in my next Italy post :) For now check out some of my favorite highlights from the trip!

PS while we were there we worked with EVER as well as Francesca a wonderful local photographer that captured some of my favorite photos to date. Tyler and I were just dancing in front of the colosseum when she took these...
Francesca is truly an artist, and it was very cool to see her photography style and be in Rome with her!

Sorry this post was ten miles long-hope you enjoyed anyway
XOBARNETT

Saturday, March 3, 2018

HONEY, IM HOME FROM ITALY!

Tyler and I just got back this week from a ten day trip to Italy and it was just what we needed. We traveled to Rome, Tuscany, Florence, Milan and took a quick day trip to Switzerland. We ate more than you could imagine, and had the best time getting to relax together. I have been so excited to share all of our adventures and experiences with yall. 

Last June, Tyler and I went on a big Europe trip together, and I used all my vacation days at once... that means I hadn't had an official vacation day in forever. Thankfully we took lots of weekend trips and did fun things with holiday weekends, but everyone needs a fun break! We had been so looking forward to this somewhat last minute trip, and it really did not disappoint. 

As expected, the weather was cooler than our last visit across the pond. But honestly we didn't realize how cold it would be. Some days it was nice, and others I would bundle up to go outside! It really was worth it to have a few cold days though, the lines were very minimal and most places didn't even require reservations. We both packed a coat and just bundled up on cold days to go explore!
Here we are bundled up overlooking Florence

 The colder weather did make packing a bit more difficult, when you go on a summer trip a few bikinis, sandals and cutoffs will do- but sweaters, coats, scarves and pants are so bulky! I did manage to fit everything into my duffel/backpack. We laughed because it weighed 39 pounds when we left the country and 48 when we came back
Here I am in JFK ready to leave with my bag packed// cheers to no makeup and Nikes
A few of you have asked how the duffel worked out. I was so impressed that I was able to squeeze all of my belongings into the duffel, but then I realized how heavy it really was! The duffel made transitioning from city to city much easier than having a rolling suitcase that had to roll across ancient brick walks, or carried up 4 flights of stairs. So in that, it was totally worth it. I did tell Tyler I would need a chiropractor the second my feet hit US soil. ha We did check our bags both ways, but if you didn't have it filled to the brim I bet you could carry it on!
You can find all my bag details HERE


H I G H L I G H T S

We had such a wonderful time on our a ten day trip and a few of my favorite highlights by city are below// I filled my camera roll up and made memories to last a lifetime. Each city was so unique, and our stay in each was exciting because of that. We totally embraced the culture, and loved visiting Italy together.

R O M E 
Rome was our first stop on the trip, and we truly live like locals here. We stayed in an AIRBNB just 67 steps away from the colosseum... I counted one night :) The stay was wonderful, and the company was even better! Tyler had a birthday while we were in Rome, and we celebrated in true Tyler fashion- by visiting more museums, cathedrals and monuments than I thought possible. It was crazy to see things I had only read about, and the big city kept us busy our entire stay.
Here we are at the colosseum on our first day sightseeing in Rome
I underestimated how big Rome would feel, the city was filled with tourism and attractions to keep your itenerary filled for days. Thankfully Beezy is filed with facts to keep my questions answered- I enjoyed exploring this city with him so much.

S I E N A
This hill town stole my heart. What Siena doesn't have in size, it makes up for 100 times in character. It was the smallest place we stayed but the food, culture and people in Siena swept me off my feet. We stayed at an amazing boutique hotel here, and and the best meal of our trip at a restaurant here one night. I would go back here in an instant and I truly consider this a must see! We also discovered hill towns outside of Siena on our visit here, and it was really interesting to see all of the old cities, castles and walls that had been built so long ago.
Here I am outside the gorgeous church in Siena, I know its hard to believe, but the inside is actually prettier than the exterior! I was obsessed with the gold, cream and black combo

F L O R E N C E
When we booked our trip to Italy, Florence was the place I was most excited to see. The city really didn't let us down, Florence was the birthplace of the Renaissance... meaning the art and the architecture were amazing. We got to really live like a local in this city too, since we stayed in an AIRBNB apartment. The views from our apartment were stunning, and the atmosphere in Florence was so cool. Everyone told me it would be my favorite stop on the trip, and it was my favorite major destination. The combination of the shopping, dining and art made it as dreamy as you imagine. The food was excellent here, and I confirmed my love for gelato daily!
Here I am hanging out with TUSK and a million leather handbags//sounds like a perfect combo for a girl like me! #WPS yall

M I L A N / S W I T Z E R L A N D 
Our final destination on our trip was northern Italy and Switzerland. I have always always always wanted to see Switzerland, and this trip was the perfect opportunity. We took a train from Milan up to Lugano, Switzerland for the day and enjoyed lots of snow and chocolates. When I look back on the trip this is actually one of my favorite memories because this little side trip did not go as planned! We didn't have phone service, a map, the current currency or a clue where to go- but it was so fun! The snow turned into a whiteout, and we ended up spending all of our Swiss francs we had acquired to catch an early train home. We have laughed over an over about this day, and I am so glad we went.
The beautiful town of Lugano is behind me, you would just never know it!

I hope to put together a travel guide and review by city, but I was dying to post about the trip. I wish every vacation was made up of a combination of relaxation and exploring like this past trip to Italy. We really took time to relax, sleep in, and nap but didn't feel like we missed out on one thing. I call that a win in my book!

Hope you have a wonderful weekend and can't wait to catch you up on more travel details soon

XOBARNETT