Good Morning and Happy New Year!

I figured I’d start out the new year with a little into about myself because sometimes the details behind the person are missed when reading a blog and if we are starting a year together let’s get to know each other. I love interviews (AJ always jokes that I sound like I’m interviewing people when we go out to dinner with them because I ask so many questions) so I’m going to format this like an interview in a magazine. I’d love for you to introduce yourself in the comments if you haven’t already!

Full Name: Jennifer Melody Thorburn Migonis. I took my maiden name as a middle name after getting married but my Facebook profile and email all say Jennifer Thorburn Migonis.

Age: 37 as of November 27. I never thought a birthday would be hard for me as long as I was proud of what I was doing in life at that moment but it is remarkable how many more wrinkles and white hairs I have since the twins joined our family and I feel like I just look OLD now and that’s sort of discouraging.

How did you meet AJ: He was my best and only blind date. We met through a professor I had at Gordon College. She was in AJ’s Bible Study at the time and thought we would be a good match. I knew the first time I met him that I’d either marry him or we’d be best friends. Five months later we were engaged.

Any advice for married life? This summer we will have been married for ten years and my advice is so cliché. It’s over communicate EVEN if you think it’s not something to communicate about. For example, AJ was not a happy camper to come home on Friday and find tester paint all over the kitchen walls. I thought “well obviously I’ll do this since we are going to paint them and I just got a paint quote”. In AJ’s mind it was one more thing to add to the to-do list that needed to happen right away because now we have paint samples all over the walls. Our first year of marriage was a lot like that example, I saw things so clearly one way and he saw it another. Neither were necessarily wrong but we just found how important it was to over communicate about everything because we can’t read each others’ minds.

What perfume do you wear?  Jo Malone’s Orange Blossom. I was given it as a gift by the president’s wife at the college I was working at right after Drew was born. I thought that it was such a sweet gift because when everyone pampers the baby she was pampering me… but ever since then I’ve worn this gorgeous sent. She gave me the smallest size (1 oz) and it lasted years!

Love this gorgeous perfume! It’s so fresh and airy! And after I uploaded the picture I realized I wasn’t even focusing on the perfume bottle. Opps.

If you had $10,000 would you bring your family on a trip they’d never forget or renovate something in your home? Hands down I’d renovate something in my home. I love love traveling and still recall details of trips AJ and I took shortly after getting married but generally my philosophy is, at least 90% of the time, invest your money where you spend the most amount of time. For example, I’d rather put $10,000 into completely renovating our living room with new windows, doors, comfy couches and chairs that are good for the whole family and friends. I’d love to add a propane fireplace and a big TV that would be perfect for our family movie nights rather than on an amazing two week vacation because I think we’ll have regular and so many more memories in a place where we live. That being said, there will be times when I know we will choose the vacation option (AJ leans more toward this way).

This was the dining room in the last house we flipped. We sold it exactly a year ago this month. Search for “Essex Ave Flip” on the blog.

Dream Job? Flipping houses… and maybe even more than flipping houses it would be to get a plot of land and put up five houses, all of which are complimentary but none are the same. Another job I think would be so fun (although I’m sure there would be no or very little pay) would be to take the “projects” in some city and give them a makeover so that the tenants don’t feel like they are living in the worst places in town.

My favorite chocolate chip cookies ever. The recipe is here.

When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up? A baker. In college I went around to the boys dorms and sold them all sorts of sweets fresh out of the oven… they could smell me coming. That was great money… that and when I had my own lawnmowing business in high school and college. I’ve always wanted to have my own business, never work for someone else.

Definitely my favorite project ever… you can see the whole house here.

What is your favorite home renovation project you’ve ever done? This kitchen is coming along really well and has been so fun to get a high end look on a budget (it took lots of research and smart shopping!) but probably my all time favorite is adding the porch to our last house. It added so much charm to the space and I always loved to sit out there (we had four white rockers) and remember what it looked like when we bought the house. The bushes were up to the upper level windows so the change was really drastic.

These four are pretty darn great.

What is the hardest part of having kids? The thing that I haven’t adjusted to, and probably won’t until they are in school full time, is the lack of alone time. I am definitely an introvert and a doer so the combination of not getting all the things done plus not having time each morning to refuel is really hard for me. I’ve figured out a pretty good system with naps and bed though and getting stuff done so it works for now. 🙂

Lunch time reading… also, Trader Joe’s organic veggie pizza is amaaaazing.

What are your favorite books?

I love reading. When I was a kid my dad would quiz me on books I’d read because he couldn’t believe I’d read them as fast as I did… and now I find myself doing the same thing to Drew. 😉 My favorite books of the Bible are Ruth, Esther, Ephesians and Philippians.

I think more than favorite books I’ll tell you about my favorite authors… because I love just about everything they’ve written and would happily read them all again. Jan Karon writes the Mitford series. They draw you into the sweet town of Mitford but have some amazing quotes scattered through it. Mary Kay Andrews and Elin Hildebrand are my other two favorite chick lit authors, I love reading any new releases of theirs. Mary Kay Andrews focuses on the south and Elin Hildebrand on Nantucket. David Baldacci is my favorite mystery / suspense author.

Last night I started Crazy Rich Asians… I’m only about two chapters into it but it’s funny so far. A blog reader recommended it to me!

What is your life dream? I’d love to write a book that a mix of decorating, family favorite recipes and life lessons. I’ve already started working on it and in my mind it’ll be just fabulous but I’ve got to figure out how to make it all come together.

My dream for this year is to make a mini cookbook of my family favorite recipes (almost all are baked goods!) photographed in our new kitchen.

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Author: EthanClaxton

What better way to think of home improvement than following advice from an experienced professional. We covers our experiences working as a professional Home improvement and home appliance professional advisor, with almost a decade’s worth of experience. Through our blog, we invites you in to benefit from her expertise and experience, sharing the best ideas and projects we have worked with.

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