lessons we learned as Airbnb hosts, part 2

I have two more lessons learned, and I’ve saved the biggest ones for last! These are a little bit unexpected, perhaps, and I’m curious to hear your thoughts. If you’re an Airbnb host or a guest, what do you think about these ideas? Have you experienced these issues firsthand? 4. Allow dogs. I was dead-set against this one, but John insisted. And now I have to admit he was right! Probably 80% of our guests brought their dogs. We had a few very minor issues — one dog chewed the armrest on one…

lessons we learned as Airbnb hosts, part 1

After we finished the cabin in late 2020, we rented it on Airbnb. It was a good side gig for us for a while, but then the extra work became overwhelming. (We both have full-time jobs, we have four kids, and the cabin was two hours from our home.) If we had set up the business differently from the beginning, I think it would’ve been much easier for us. Now that we’re planning to open a new Airbnb in a few months, I’ve been thinking about the lessons we learned and how we…

last-minute Halloween ideas

I can hardly believe that Halloween is tomorrow! My costume is barely coming together, and Maggie’s is still en route. Are you dressing up this year? Handing out candy? If you’re hosting a celebration at your house or bringing a tray of food to someone else’s house, I have some quick and easy ideas for you. Inspired by Two Peas and their Pod, I made a Halloween snack tray yesterday using mostly items we had on hand. I made witches’ brooms using half a cheese stick, a pretzel stick, and a chive to…

building a cabin for Airbnb

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that this past summer we sold a rural cabin we owned in West Virginia. We’d operated it as an Airbnb for about two years, and the business was going well. But the property required a lot of upkeep, and every time we needed someone like a plumber or an electrician, it was a huge pain to find someone to drive to such a rural location. We decided to switch things up and used the proceeds from the sale to buy a condo in Bethany Beach, Delaware. More on that later…

DIY

diy: low-cost update to basement office

I mentioned a few months ago that we’ve been working on our basement (like all parts of our house, progress happens very slowly!). But now I think we’re finally done. We recently put the finishing touches on the desk area in the basement, and it feels whimsical and cozy. As a reminder, this is what the basement looked like when we bought the house. Ugh. After four years, lots and lots of bleach, new flooring, and new paint, the basement now looks like this. But the desk area was still a little sad. My parents added…

DIY

diy: creating built-in bookcases

We’ve been dreaming for years about adding built-in bookcases on the main level of our house. Both of us love books, and we had boxes and boxes of books in our storage unit . . . just waiting for this project to be completed! And we specifically wanted to add the bookcases to the wall below because we wanted to balance the living room. Directly opposite these new bookcases are two big windows, a window seat, and a glass door to our sunporch. There’s a lot of energy on that other side of the room, and we needed…

celebrating everything: the final baby tooth

Our oldest daughter lost her last baby tooth last week! The actual moment was kind of uneventful — we were in a diner when the tooth came out, and I wrapped it in a paper napkin . . . and then left it on the table. I was so frustrated with myself — I really would’ve liked to keep her very last baby tooth! Lately, as I feel time slipping by, I’ve resolved to celebrate everything. And I mean EVERYTHING. So a few months ago when the dentist told me she had one baby tooth left, I planned a…

DIY

living room: designing for traffic flow and conversation

Over a year ago, I told you that I planned to redo our living room. In the five years we’ve lived here, that room has never felt exactly right, and I wanted to make it shine. Plus, our house is small, so we need all of our spaces to be cozy and functional. Because that room never quite worked and was usually pretty dark, we almost never used it. When we bought the house, the room was painted sage green. The previous owners’ long sofa was against the wall, facing the fireplace, and two chairs flanked the…

Visiting Ocracoke Island, North Carolina

We just returned from a glorious week in Ocracoke! This was our third time visiting the island, and it gets better each time. I can’t recommend it highly enough. This place has the perfect mix of natural beauty, fascinating history, and welcoming spirit. There’s not a hint of pretension on the island, and I love that! This small island off the coast of North Carolina is accessible only by ferry, private boat, or private plane. Most of the island is a protected natural habitat where wild horses roam freely. But near the tip of the island…

DIY

adding caning to louvered closet doors

When we renovated the second story of our house in late 2019, money got a little tight toward the end of the project. So when it was time to make one of the last purchases for the renovation — doors for my new closet — I bought very cheap bi-fold, louvered doors from Home Depot. I figured I’d be forced to do something creative . . . and now, more than two years later, I finally did it! I have to admit, this project took us months to complete! We started in early spring and finished a few weeks ago…