The First Week in Our New House + Gardening & Home Projects!

Happy, Friday! I can’t believe it’s already our one week move-in anniversary. I have so much to blog about and don’t even know where to start. It’s my fault for taking such a long break from blogging, but it was much needed. I have been staying busy unpacking, doing a lot of gardening, painting, having lights installed, appliances delivered and a few other projects around the new house. Even though I wasn’t on my computer much this week, I captured so much for upcoming blog posts! I’m excited for all the content to come.If you’ve been following me on my new home account, you know how crazy it’s been over here lately, but it’s the fun kind of crazy! This weekend will be a little less hectic, but lots of projects on the agenda. Since I skipped Monday’s recap post completely, I’ll get started now and fill you all in on (almost) everything I’ve been up to this week! And don’t forget to follow the new home account for even more extra sneak peeks of the projects in real-time.
 We started to finish up packing at the end of last week. We were closing on the house Friday but since it was going to rain all Saturday, we didn’t want to move in until Sunday morning. That gave me time to tackle a few projects around the house and have things delivered before boxes were everywhere.

I headed to Starbucks to grab our order for packing fuel and they accidentally doubled our order. Although I could have easily tackled the coffee on my own, I texted a neighbor and left it for them. When it’s hot out, I usually drink a tall almond milk iced latte with an extra shot of espresso. And if it’s cold, it’s the same but hot. Kyle has been getting the almond milk caramel macchiato. After four years with Kyle, I never thought I’d ever see him drink coffee!

I turned Naked and Afraid of (one of my favorite shows) and started packing up the closet. I thought I’d share this photo for a packing hack that has helped me the past few years. I’ve also decided to (maybe) start a Posh Mark with all the clothes I have that I haven’t worn. Let me know what you think! On Friday morning, I had my smoothie bowl which had almond milk, frozen banana, frozen blueberries, frozen strawberries, plant-based vanilla protein powder, and topped with granola, coconut, banana, and blueberries! 😋

At eleven, we headed to the office to close! 😊 
Kyle had a super busy day at work on Friday, so I decided to start working on a front yard project. I had a few things that I wanted to get done before the sod rooted to the ground. I am going to share a HUGE landscaping blog post on everything I did so far, so you can look out for that one. Honestly, it’s been the best part of this move so far!
I can’t wait to see all of these plants get big and colorful! If you want to see more on this flower project and what this area used to look like, check out this post right here!
We had the sweetest welcoming gifts from new neighbors. ♥️
On Saturday, we had our couches delivered! The picture doesn’t do them justice. I’ll share more about them when I do the living room reveal 😊 Right now, I’m on the hunt for a new rug, coffee table, and barstools. It’s so hard to pick these things out online!

One of the FIRST things I wanted to do was get rid of the front door. With our builders, we chose an outdoor color scheme. Since we wanted to have a white house, that meant that we were stuck with a red door. The reason they do the color schemes is to make sure the homes in the neighborhoods don’t have the same colors next to each other. Luckily, since we don’t have any neighbors yet, we were able to get the door approved and painted immediately. I’ve always wanted a black door, especially since we are going to be painting the garage door black as well. I think it’s important for those to match. I also thought it would look nice with the black gooseneck light getting installed above it. I will share a blog post all about the painting projects as soon as I’m finished painting the rest of the doors.

We ordered take-out from Jasmine Grill for the past few nights while moving. We get the chicken shawarma with side salads. I’m shocked it took me this long to order food from here because it was delicious and the people working in the store were the sweetest. This meal had chicken, rice, delicious sauces, and a few vegetables thrown in there. After moving all day, this meal was exactly what we needed. The best part was that it’s only $9.
Sunday was the big day!

We couldn’t have asked for better weather. We packed everything up into the Uhaul with the help of my incredible parents and left the townhome behind! It was a bittersweet moment. I truly loved living in that neighborhood and my townhome felt like home. I know the new house will soon have that familiarity.
It took about three trips with the UHaul but finally finished packing the last load around 9 pm. Moving is a never-ending thing though because that just meant unpacking and assembling beds was next. 
The best part was that the dogs seem to LOVE their new home! 
My parent’s brought us a bottle of champagne to toast to. 💜 The hardest part was done!

Cheers to the next chapter! 😊

I sat outside on the back patio after our first sleep in the new house. I had my coffee and watched the sunrise. I could have cried I felt so happy at that moment. I can’t wait until the fence is up so the boys can run around in the mornings while I have my coffee. We are waiting for the sod to root before letting them wrestle all over it.

I planted seven new rose bushes on Monday!

For lunch, I picked up a Chopt salad. We had our lights getting installed all day throughout the house, and I decided to spend my day outside working on the front yard project. My chopt salad had kale, romaine, sweet potatoes, falafel, brussels sprouts, avocado, cranberries, cucumber, tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs, and a house balsamic vinaigrette.

I will blog about this soon! Our front hard was 70% mulch, and I wanted to get rid of the mulch and replace it with sod before the sod in the back rooted. I took about four feet off the mulch in the big garden bed up by the house and replaced it with sod from where I planted my hydrangeas and where enemy gardenia trees will be going. I planted about 25 plants that will grow big and luscious too make it look like a cottage-style garden. I can’t wait to see it all grow! I took photos throughout the day for a blog post on this project.
I also planted four hydrangea bushes and white azalea bushes!

Hydrangeas are my absolute favorite! I can’t wait for them to get big and luscious so I can see them from my kitchen window. Today, I’m going to work on planting a few more Shasta daisies, a rose bush near the garage and bulbs. We have more lights being installed today and our fridge delivered, but stay tuned for more! If you love the house content, I’m posting daily on the Cottage Story Instagram! 😊 And since our refrigerator is coming today, I’ll get back to recipe content! I promise 😊

Hope you have the best weekend! Thank you all for all the sweet messages about the move and all the great advice and suggestions. You’re all the best!

Questions for you!

  1. What is your favorite summer flower?
  2. Where is your favorite place to buy rugs? barstools? drapes?
  3. What kind of home content do you want to see?


  • Amy

    Love it all! Congratulations on your new chapter! I always look forward to your recaps and posts.

    Reply to Amy
  • harriet

    Hope you’re having a good weekend. Your gardens are looking incredible! that photo of Grumples is so cute.
    my favourite summer flower is the frangipani in the pink/orange colour, but my mum has this awesome chameleon climbing rose that changes colours as it opens up (dark pinks, orange and peach colours) its absolutely incredible. I’ll be honest I get most of my drapes custom made for each room as I like a certain style that you can not find in stores, and as for rugs I have brought chestnut coloured cow hides which I love on my wood floors. As fore home content I’m interested in a home styling or gardening blog posts. 🙂

    Reply to harriet
  • Chelsea Stockdale

    I’ve heard nothing but good things about Ruggable! I’ve never tried them before but the idea of a washable rug with dogs sounds REALLY amazing! We always buy ours at Home Goods because they’re usually really great prices and have soooo many options!

    Your house is so pretty!! I love your updates and all of the gorgeous flowers going in! It’s probably the brightest and cutest house in your neighborhood! 🙂

    Reply to Chelsea Stockdale
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Chelsea!

      I miss Home Goods so much! You’re like the fifth person to mention good things about Ruggable so I’ll look into it for sure!!!

      Thank you so much!!!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Yvonne

    You’ve done so much already, fantastic work!
    Hydrangeas are my favourite. I have three, one of which was from my Grandmothers garden (she passed away a year and a half ago) and I was worried it wouldn’t take being dug up and replanted but it flowered last summer and is looking really healthy so I can’t wait to see it flower again to remind me of her.
    Can’t wait to see what you do next with the house x

    Reply to Yvonne
  • Mackenzie

    Congrats on the beautiful new home, Taralynn! Your flowers are just gorgeous too- I can barely keep a succulent alive (hah), so I’m in awe of your yard. What sweet gifts from the neighbors <3 Excited for you and this next chapter! 🙂

    Reply to Mackenzie
  • Caitlin

    I recommend getting rugs on I’ve bought several from there. I use them until my dogs destroy them (we are in a condo so they play on the rug instead of in a yard). They are so cheap! I really like the new one I got. It was only $50, white with a black pattern, and it’s low pile so my cordless Dyson can sweep the fur up easily everyday.

    Reply to Caitlin
  • Brittany

    Hi Taralynn!

    I’m loving all the new home content here and on Instagram. I’m so happy for you and hope you’re soaking up this new beginning as much as you can. I’m thinking about buying my first home later this year, so I can’t wait to hear more about the home buying/building process from your perspective (the good and the bad).

    I do have a quick unrelated question…I’ve heard that Charlotte is a hotspot for the Monarch butterflies, so I’m hoping to make it over there next weekend and I was wondering if you know of any good places to spot them?

    Thank you for making time for an update, we know you’re super busy right now 🙂

    Reply to Brittany
  • Teaira

    What is the name of the rose orange/pink with your coffee? I love the color of it. I purchased a lot of clearance rose bushes (drift, elegance, and knock out) last summer. But I love the one In our picture! I look forward to your landscaping blog post!

    Reply to Teaira
  • Christina

    I am LOVING all of the new house content. I’m excited about it like it’s my own house, it’s too damn much. 😂 But don’t stop, can’t wait to see what else is to come!

    Reply to Christina
  • Brooklyn

    Yay congrats on the official move! I love that photo of Grumples, he looks so happy!

    Reply to Brooklyn
  • Hannah

    Congratulations on your closing! I have loved following you stories on Instagram this week.

    I grow sunflowers each year. This year I planted a variety called fire catcher and I am super excited!

    I have loved all of your house content. My boyfriend and I are working on finalizing our house contract to start our build. Reading about your journey has been so helpful. I would love all of the styling content because I love your style and you seem so good at decorating. Any DIY projects you change or things you wish you would have done would be great too!

    Reply to Hannah
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Hannah!

      Thank you so much 😃

      Sunflowers are so pretty! We have a farm out here that grows them and I love visiting in the Fall.

      Congrats on your building journey! The time will fly by. DIY is going to be happening a TON this summer!!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Marissa

    Not sure if it’s a summer flower but I absolutely love Gardenias. I’m closing on my first home next week so I’m excited to read all the home content you’re sharing to get ideas for my new home. I love Target & TJ Maxx/Home Goods for home decor.

    Reply to Marissa
  • Amy

    Love the house, everything looks beautiful so far!
    1) I’m a terrible gardner but we had a gorgeous Hydrangea bush on the side of my house by the porch when we moved it. Hasn’t died yet but I did trim it last year so, who knows haha. I like those alot. I’m a big fan of greenery so trying to figure out how to get some landscapers to help a sister out!
    2) I bought my rugs on Wayfair but I’m totally wanting some Ruggables – the 2 piece washables! My dog likes to pee inside so a washable may help! They’re pricey but hoping to give it a try soon.
    3) I love the tours, love your decor and oddly obsessed with light fixtures so already love the content – keep it comin!

    Congrats again!

    Reply to Amy
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thanks so much!!

      YouTube has helped me so much (as well as my mom) with gardening! Hydrangeas get better with age and I bet yours is gorgeous.

      Someone else commented about loving their ruggable!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Katy

    I have a question. Where do you get your energy?

    Reply to Katy
  • Ashton

    Target is my go to for small rugs but I usually get my big ones at Home Goods or Ruggable is a great option since they’re washable which is great with pets. My favorite flowers are sunflowers, but I also brought back some tulip bulbs from Amsterdam and planted those. Do you think you’ll plant an herb garden? I just potted mint, basil, cilantro and thyme and I am loving it. For furniture my go to places are Wayfair, Cost Plus World Market & Target. I can’t wait to see all your home stuff from the Cottage Story it looks so beautiful, I’m loving all the lights!

    Reply to Ashton
  • Sydney

    I am absolutely loving all of the garden content! It has inspired me to add a lot more color to my garden! My favorites right now are geraniums, coral bells, lenten rose, and I just picked up some double orchid superbells that are just gorgeous. May need to go pick up some hydrangeas though! I love your style, so the entire moving in, redecorating, home improvement, and gardening are all perfect! I used wayfair and target mostly, but hobby lobby and tj maxx have awesome stuff too!

    Reply to Sydney
  • Amanda

    We’ve been in our house for almost a year but still so many projects to do – love all the house content.I just took a risk and ordered a rug from “rugsusa” after one of my friends suggested. I went with a vintage blue to match my industrial/farmhouse style and I’m OBSESSED. Quick shipping – excellent quality. Big 8×10 for about 170! Love it. World market has some excellent pieces for great prices – I’m also a sucker for anything IKEA (we have a store right down the road – dangerous!) and hacking it to make it my own.

    Reply to Amanda
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Amanda!

      It’s never-ending for sure!

      Ohhhhhh good to know!!! I love ordering rugs but not being able to see them in person is always the battle for me! I do love World Market and will have to check that out!!!!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Emma

    I love all the summer flowers! Last year I planted some “mammoth” sunflower seeds. I knew they’d get big but was shocked when the grew well over our roof!

    As for rugs, I like rugs USA. They have a huge selection and I swear they always have some sort of sale going on. Other decor I usually love TJmaxx/Marshalls/home goods but they’re not open yet as far as I know. I also can find really good deals on decor at craft stores like michaels and joanns. Between sales on neutral decor thats marked down as being seasonal, sales, and coupons I’ve gotten some awesome stuff!

    Congrats again on the move! I’ve loved getting to follow along with the buying/selling process including hearing what issues you’ve come across and how y’all dealt. I also love seeing all the decor and landscaping! Will you be planting any fruits or vegetables along with your flowers?

    Reply to Emma
    • Taralynn McNitt

      HOLY MOLY! Those are some big flowers!

      Everyone is saying Rugs USA so I’ll totally check that ou. Thank you!!!

      Yes. I’m going to work on a garden in the backyard for herbs, veggies, and fruits next month!!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    Looks like you’re settling in well! I’m so jealous of your garden – I wish I didn’t live in a shoebox apartment haha! 🙂

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    Reply to Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
  • Kristin

    I LOVE that you are doing the outside of your house right away! It will be awesome you get to enjoy it this summer as everything grows and blooms! I always get excited watching people move in and decorate their houses! Loving following your jouney!

    Reply to Kristin
  • Cadance

    I am loving your garden inspiration!

    Reply to Cadance
  • Jennifer

    Those hydrangeas are going to be BEAUTIFUL! I love the color. I do love those in the summer. Along with sunflowers! And anything that looks unique 😊

    I haven’t had a real/adult house yet so I can’t help too much with stools and such, however I have seen ads for ruggable rugs which you’re able to throw in the washer! I think that’s genius and I’m considering one for under my work desk.

    I want to see it all 😂😂 styling tips, how to change your style are big for me right now as that’s what I want to do for myself!

    Can’t wait to see more 😊

    Reply to Jennifer
  • Brittany Martin

    PLEASEEE create a Poshmark! I absolutely love that site because there’s no risk and it’s not sketchy like EBay, to me.

    I love Lilacs, but they die so quickly 🙁 They smell amazing!

    Homegoods! They are the same company that owns TJMaxx and Marshall’s and it’s JUST homegoods! Such cute stuff. Rugs are so expensive.

    I love to see easy DIY projects that make a huge difference!

    Reply to Brittany Martin
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Brittany!

      That’s what I’ve heard about PM!

      Yes, I love them too but sad they stop flowering within weeks!!

      I know HG AND TJMX 😢 miss those stores!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Amanda

    I’m loving following along! I’ve been wanting to plant hydrangeas for a few years, but I want to paint the brick on my house first, I’m hoping this hear is the year! I have a ruggable which I like for my lifestyle having messy kids, but if I were to splurge I would get a Loloi rug. I also love Anthropologie but it’s so expensive!

    Reply to Amanda
  • Marcella

    So excited for this post! We don’t get a lot of summer flowers here in Texas, lol but I love bluebonnets in the spring. My favorite place to buy rugs (if you’re looking for a bargain) is a store called Dirt Cheap! It’s a chain that started in Alabama I think? Basically they get a lot of stuff from Target that they can’t sell or has been returned – so I got Target rugs, an 8×10 for $70 and a 5×7 for $35. I’m interested to see gardening and organization posts 🙂

    Reply to Marcella
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Marcella!

      Bluebonnets are stunning!

      I’ve never heard of that store but I’ll be looking into it!! Target is always a smart way to go! 😉

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
      • Alyssa Nyeholt

        Hi Taralynn,
        I would recommend Poshmark! You get to decide the prices you post and can post discount to buyers who like your item! I’ve done that and Thred Up and I found I like Poshmark better because it feels more personal. I’ve bought items and received cute thank you notes that were just very thoughtful!

        We just got our offer accepted on a house and are in the process of furnishing and thinking of carpets, paint, etc. Its refreshing to read that you’ve just gone through it all! I’m looking forward to your packing post if you are going to write one!
        I’ve been following your blog since the beginning and I can’t wait to see the new house updates! Congrats!!!

        Reply to Alyssa Nyeholt

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