Chubbyfoot on the move: Middle East edition :) 

We're on the move again! At the Christmas break we'll be headed to Qatar! Perhaps you've heard of it or maybe not, so let me fill you in on our new sandy home:

1. As you can see it's in the Middle East, on a peninsula off of Saudi Arabia. Unlike Europe when we traveled to different countries so often and cheaply, quick trips are far less easy from there. Dubai and other UAE spots would have been fun weekend trips in the past, but due to a recent travel ban between Qatar and several of it's neighbors, that won't be an option any time soon. Instead, we'll head to India, Nepal, Maldives, Jordan, Africa.. so many amazing places a little futher afield, but a lot closer than going from Houston!
2. They have robot jockey camel racing. I'm totally serious and I'm dying to see it!
3. Doha will host the FIFA 2022 World Cup and it's a VERY. BIG. DEAL. 1st Middle Eastern country to do so and they're moving it from the summer to the winter bc of the weather.. building 9 stadiums and all kinds of infrastructure. Maybe it'll make soccer lovers out of us :)
4. The kids will attend an amazing American school there that I've only heard wonderful things about. They're excited to go to a smaller school and be able to do more sports and activities that are next to impossible when attending a mega Texas high school.
5. Weekends are Friday and Saturday there.
6. It's more expensive to buy 2 cappuccinos at Starbucks than to fill a Hummer wtih a tank of gas bc fuel is so cheap.
7. Qatar is the wealthiest country per capita in the world. However out of 2.5 million people in the whole country (the size of Connecticut) only about 12% are native. The rest are foreigners - many Indian, Nepalese, Phillipino, etc.. (we're gonna eat well!) :)
8. We'll be packing away the shorts and tanks.. it's allowed in our neighborhood (compound), but generally disrespectful out in the grocery, mall, etc.. We won't be expected to wear the traditional dress and it's generally modern, but not AS modern as Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The general rule is shoulders and knees should be covered.
9. Oman, Seychelles, Lebanon, Israel, Cappadoccia, Tiblisi, Goa... did I mention that I love to travel? :)
10. NO bacon for a while.. since Qatar is a Muslim country, pork and alcohol are generally more hard to come by. There's also Rammadan where all schools and businesses have shortened hours and the city comes alive after sunset. That will last about a month in May.
11. My almost 16 year old will get his licsense a month before we move then won't be able to drive there until he's 18. As you can imagine he's thrilled about that. lol
12. We'll be home most of the summer! Since it's so hot there, many of the wives and kids spend their summers out of the country.. so we'll be back often to say hello and catch up with friends and family!

As far as Chubbyfoot Appts go, I'll be taking on a few set days before we move and then will be unavailable for a while I guess, unless you want sunset sand dune pics! I've got several fantastic photographer friends that I'll be happy to recommend if you need someone. I'll be sad not to see my chubbyfoot families for the next few years, but hope you can friend me on facebook or instagram and keep in touch that way. And maybe I'll start blogging again to share our adventures.

Thanks for checking in and I hope to be back sooner than later -


Down to the studs {part 1}

Well hello there! Here I am, popping in to say hello and share a little of why I've been MIA.

Jan, 2017 started with one resolution: to live more with Intention.  So after looking at what that meant for our family, we decided to embarq on an adventure of the non-traveling adventure for the first time in a while: gutting a house! (that sounds intentionally HARD, right!? haha)
For sure it's had it's share of complications but the work has been fun and in the end, we're lighter, less cluttered, more purposeful with our space and our possessions, and honestly just giddy with the results! This post is probably premature.. there are still rugs to find and window coverings to decide on but the major construction is over and I wanted to share. 

We decided to float our house on the market in January which is NOT house-selling time so we figured we'd have a while for it to be on the market and us to figure out what we wanted. Well, we had an offer in less than a week.. so the searching soon entered the frantic state. We didn't love anything on the market and we really didn't want to move twice.. so literally this house came open and never hit the market officially. We LOVED the location, curb appeal and size, and figured we could make the insides work - and have we ever made it work! We hired our friends at Framestead as the contractors and have been so pleased with the finished product. They were timely, professional and innovative.. we were in great hands! I had plenty of ideas decorating wise, but they totally steered me in the right direction and designed the kitchen especially that is a show stopper and we love, love, love! 

So let's get to the tour.. 
This was in the breakfast area looking into the kitchen and peeking into the living room. (you can also barely see the dining room thru the kitchen)
We took out the walls between the ktichen/dining and kitchen/living and voila! One open, fabulous living, working, dining space. 


after: we took out the window over the sink so we could put the stove/oven there. Seemed kind of crazy to remove a window but we really needed the sink/dishwasher to be in the island to make the design work. And once all the walls were removed, we have more than enough lightin the house and don't miss that window. 
view from the dining room thru the kitchen.. I didn't feel we needed a breakfast area with a 10' island and dining table so I'm using that space as an office. 
More kitchen goodness: 

the office and the cutest little desk companion I know :) 
The living room before: 
and after.. 

 We shortened the entry to be even with the bay windows.. it was kind of awkward to enter and face a closet, so now you enter into a gallery instead. I kinda love it :) 
 another fun space is the "study nook"  - my husband and daughter decided to convert the 1983 wet bar all by themselves. They did an amazing job and it's nice to have another quiet place to study downstairs.. 
 And a peek at the master bath.. 
 Soo.. what do you think? I'm so thankful the lion share is done and we're able to enjoy it. There's still plenty of projects to be done (the upstairs is finally getting painted now that we're not all living up there full time), but I hope by summer's end, we're out on the boat more, gathering people around our island more, snuggled on the sofa more.. doing more of what we love with those we love. And I hope the same for you :) 
Thanks for looking! I hope to share more as we get things done around here.. and hopefully back to more regularly scheduled blogging. I KNOW the projects will get done.. the blogging, not so sure! 


milligan {houston family photography}

"Children are not a distraction from our most important work. They are our most important work." - C.S. Lewis