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My Skincare Routine + How It's Changed My Skin

I've always been pretty self-conscious  about my skin. Growing up I had horrible acne. It was all over my chin and my forehead. My skin was so oily, I had to wash it three to four times a day. I went to a dermatologist every month for over four years. I tried all the topical antibiotics, oral antibiotics, retinoid creams, peroxide washes, and even went down the Accutane route that consisted of monthly blood tests. On top of all this I tried Proactive, witch hazel, and all the vitamins in the world. 

Nothing truly helped my skin problems until I moved to Texas about five years ago. Maybe it was the release of stress, maybe it was the humidity, maybe it was just me getting older, but my skin started to clear up with only a touch of acne breakouts, discoloration, and some pretty horrible acne scarring. Still, all this was a blessing compared to what it had been like before. 
Also fun to note, I did a 360 and now I have incredible dry skin. CRAZY!

Over the last six months, I've started using Tula and have seen a huge shift how my skin looks AND feels. I've had very few breakouts, my acne scars and dark spots have become almost non-existent, and my overall skin has become brighter and healthier. I've learned about my skin-type, what works for me and what doesn't, what to lather on and what to avoid, and what to splurge on and what's okay to use from the drugstore. 

Our Bastrop Modern Farmhouse: The Land

 We did it! We bought land! It wasn't an easy search or an easy process getting to the offer stage but we know in our hearts it was worth it. 

Today's blog is all about the piece of property and the views that we fell in love with. 

Say hello to our big ole chunk of woods! Ha! I know it doesn't look like much, but it's honestly the best property we've walked on. 

FUN FACT: See that white house in the top left corner? Well this angle is a bit deceiving...that house is actually at the bottom of our property. Like wayyyy far down. And a good hike to get to from we are. 

Well, to be frank, Austin just isn't what it used to be and the older we get, the more we realize that country life is more for us. We always knew that Austin wouldn't be the place were we planted roots forever. It was great while it lasted and we have memories to last a lifetime. HOWEVER, we couldn't be more excited to snatch of some land a bit further east. The land is about 35 miles from ATX and where we currently live. This means we are moving closer to Eddie's parents by almost an hour, but also still at a relative distance to the Austin airport. 

Originally we talked about Dripping Springs but after looking at property and weighing all the things (drive to the airport, an additional hour of travel time to Eddie's family, and the overall price of land) we decided it made more sense for us to start looking the opposite direction. This lead us to Cedar Creek, Bastrop, and Smithville. Eventually we found this land in Bastrop and just knew this was the place for us. 

Not gonna lie....this is what sold the property. It's a long skinny sliver of land that's covered with trees. To the naked eye, it might not look like much...but when you stand on the peak, it all starts to make sense. This definitely wasn't land just anyone could have a vision for...but we do! The views are breathtaking. The sunrises and sunsets are magical. It's a literal dream up there. 

Let's talk about the elevation. It's tall y'all. Like big ole chunk of money being poured into a driveway just to get to the top kind of tall. Part of the reason we met with so many builders before putting in our offer was because we wanted to get some sort of idea on how much the driveway portion would cost!
Anyway, with risk comes reward and we know the views will be worth the $$$$ we spend getting to the top. Here's a little video to show you the elevation. 
Of course photos/videos can't really speak volumes to real life.


 I want to note, this is OUR journey. This will not be the same path everyone takes. For some, it may be much more difficult while others may move forward really fast!

I've said it before and I'll say it again, there are so many moving parts when it comes to building a custom home. One of which is finding the perfect builder. We were lucky enough that our listing agent (for our current home in ATX) is also on the other side and helping us close on property/construction loan/completed project loan etc. SO, it's been a much easier process. However, there's still a ton of questions, concerns, issues, and tasks, along the way. Here's a little oversight as to what this stage of the process looks like. 


HIGHLY recommend having a pretty thorough idea of what you are looking to build before starting this entire process. If you aren't building a custom home, congrats! You get to skip a few of these steps. But if you don't have to be developed plans but it should be a pretty good representation of you end goal as a whole. For us, it looked like this....

Pinterest Boards:
This doesn't have to be exact finishes by any means. Just an overall look of the home you want to have at time of completion. This will be used when shopping for builders. They will be able to quickly see how simple or extravagant the build will be. I created a board for exterior, interior, garage, front porch/back porch, kitchen, living room, laundry, baths, office, guest room, WBG room. This also helped me really get the feel of what all would go into the build. 

Inspiration Photos:
These photos should be a close look at the home you are wanting to design and build. Again, doesn't have to be exact. After all, it IS a custom home you are building. For us, it was this photo (and several other angles of it). We were able to show the builder and our realtor the shape, simplicity, and similar layout style. This was a huge help for the builder as we continued the property search. He was able to tell right away if the home would be too long/wide for the piece of land. 

Floor "Layout":
I want to start by saying this is not to scale nor is it perfect. This was just an easy way for us to show the builder the layout idea we had for the home. I completed this on for free! Highly recommend doing this! Again, does not have to be perfect; that's not your job! 


We got lucky because a lot of this process was handled by our wonderful realtor Mack! She took charge and kind of organized everything on the backend before presenting it to us. As someone who suffers from anxiety, this was wonderful and terrifying at the same time. I don't want to know all the details because they stress me out but also I need to know all the details so I can ponder things and not be blindsided by bad news/hiccups/etc. Ha! 

She took control and looked more closely at a handful of builders we found on our own and then a couple she found on her own. Here's a selection of questions she asked when reaching out. This may come in handy if you are doing this search yourself!

- I have clients looking for a lot in (city) to build their dream home on, do you work in that are? 

- Could you tell me about your build process?

- Who on your team deals with building permits? 

- What is your available start time? Build time?

- Average building price? Price per sq ft?

- What sort of new home warranty do you offer? 

- Can you build a custom design or do you only build from existing floor-plans? 

- Do you have an architect on staff that can assist in the full floor-plan and feature design? 

- When we locate a possible lot, are you available to do site visits and assess the property?

- Can I view a current project you’re working on?