The Way Things Were

In Digital, Giveaway, Inspiration
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Today I’m excited to be sharing my post as part of the Field Guide to Everyday Magic blog hop for Bella Grace Magazine! I, along with 15 other writers are sharing thoughts, prompts and posts to celebrate the guide. The Field Guide to Everyday Magic is a beautiful publication full of prompts, worksheets and questions designed to be treated like a journal, where you write directly within its pages! Keep on reading to learn how you can win your own copy of the field guide below.

For the past year, my husband and I have been house hunting, some months in earnest visiting dozens of homes in the neighborhood, other months scouring the internet for online realtors like Reali and many others to see what’s available citywide, and even looking a bit further away at places like hunt midwest into a cozy and friendly neighborhood (not that ours isn’t already). We haven’t yet settled 100% on the exact location – me closer to the city, him further out in the suburbs – but one thing we both agree upon is that we want parking (finally), at least another full room (we live in a 1+) and the ability to close a bedroom, or bathroom, door, as the only doors in our home are in the entrance into and out of the house!

We’ve been talking about moving for a couple of years, however since we have such a huge back yard – for city living that is – we tend to forget about our search until after the holidays when winter sinks into the bones, and we get what my mom calls “housitosis” – the need to get out of the house or live in more open space. Up until a few years ago, we avoided this “condition” by traveling 4-6 weeks back to my husband’s home country of South Africa. Need more open space? Problem Solved! But now we’re return every few years, and not necessarily during winter, but instead when the next family function comes up. So we’re kinda going stir crazy during the winters now, which is why we’ve stepped up our search.

But this wasn’t the only reason for stepping up our house hunting, as even the people closest to me have started to notice the situation that I find myself in, and have decided to offer me some much-needed advice. From establishing what I want my budget and desired locations to be, to looking for a professional similar to a Deer Park realtor to help find some houses for me, I think it was fair to say that they had everything covered. I have to say, it did give me the boost that I needed, and I know that these things need working out soon, as we’ll never move house at this rate.

I’m a terribly sentimental person, and while living here, I’ve had to learn to let things go. I keep the important things, of course, but the rest? Well, I’ve been making space and moving on. I’ve also been taking pictures, often at random, of my house, my things and the way we’ve been living, and I find that I LOVE these pictures. They’re not even memories, but instead simple reminders of the way things were, even if they’re dirty, even if they’re annoying, and especially because they were beautiful because the light was just right! Ordinarily, I avoid capturing clutter: cords along the wall, dirt from the garden, things that piled up. But sometimes it’s unavoidable, and I’m so happy, that I captured the moment even if it wasn’t perfect, or maybe just because.

What corners in your world hold day-to-day reminders that you might forget about in five years if you don’t capture it now? Is it the flowers from the CSA and the pollen sprinkled around them? Or the piggy planter that you’ve filled with wine corks? Or maybe it’s your neglected house plants, that sat out all summer waiting to be transplanted (I swear I get to them), and you forgot how small they used to be? Seriously, you should see my monstera. It is literally taking over a corner of my bedroom and I recently read that they prefer a large pot with plenty of room, so it definitely needs moving into a new pot ASAP. Whatever it is, I encourage you to capture these moments from time-to-time as they were. I promise you’ll thank me for the reminders down the road, and maybe by then they’ll be memories of how you used to love to live.

Until next time,
Holly ~ Soupatraveler

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If you’d like the chance to receive your own copy of the Field Guide, please leave a comment below. The contest is open to U.S. residents; International participants are eligible to receive a free digital edition of Bella Grace Magazine. Comments are open thru the weekend.


  1. I love these little peeks into your house! I feel like I know it well even though I’ve never been there. (and I feel like I know Maj too!) I feel myself tilting my head as if I could maybe see around the corners a little more. Thank you so much for sharing!

  2. As someone who has been living out of a suitcase for the last 18 months, this really makes me remember the little joys of having a real home. The images are lovely and will be great treasures when you move on to your next home. Beautifully written and a pleasure to read! Best of luck on your search for an interior door 🙂

  3. Thank you for this. I rarely take photos in my home because I am embarrassed of all the messy things. However, there is a lot I love here, so I need to move past that (and maybe taking photos will induce me to put a few things away and pull out the duster).

  4. I used to loath images of my messy house until one day I realized not only am I not perfect, but neither is my house or my life for that matter. Now I take pictures of light hitting dirty dishes likes in the sink or my daughter’s room with her teenage decor of clean and dirty clothes strewn around the room. It’s our life, and one day I will look back and remember that old kitchen, or the last year my teenager’s high school year. And I will smile.

  5. I love, love, love the photos. It’s so important to surround ourselves with sweet things that make our hearts happy. I will capture more of this at home. Thanks for the idea to do that.

  6. Thanks for sharing Holly, you do it so effortlessly I feel like we’re just sitting having coffee together. I love your photos of the corners and other less perfect spaces in your house, these make you more real. I hope to see you again soon my friend.

  7. Oh Holly, I totally felt this post. I am such a hoarder and need to feel the space. It’s a dilemma, for sure. And I always love your images of your plants.

  8. Yes! It’s never perfect but it’s yours. I’ve been taking pictures of the kitchen window and the kitchen table for years, but I try to photograph those other little corners too. It won’t always be as it is now, and these will be a roadmap back to your place in time. I love these little corners, Holly!

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