There’s a lot to like about Alix. She’s honest and direct, and seems to live life head-on and happily. Also, she shares my personal views on baby-proofing, not to mention blogging. (I, too, have met some of my best friends through this space. Very cool!)
Also? She shares sweet photos like the one above from a Fall photo shoot with Sam from Pierson Photo Company.
See what I mean? Likable. Welcome, Alix!
Hello there. I am Alix Adams and I like lots of things. The things I like most are my husband Clint, my son Liam, and my daughter Charlotte. We also have a dog, Jada, who cleans up all food spills, and with a one-year-old and three-year-old that is a lot of spills on the daily.
Together, we all like to watch movies. Liam prefers that the movies come with a side of ‘snuggling, please.’ Charlotte like marching around the house reprimanding everyone, shaking her finger, and declaring us all ‘naughty, naughty, naughty!’ She probably likes breastfeeding the most, though.
By myself, I like to read books; my favorites are Harry Potter, The Giver, and anything David Sedaris. I also like really beautiful cinema — Joe Wright and Wes Anderson make me all mushy — but would settle for a laugh-out-loud slapstick comedy any day. I’m talking to you, Will Ferrell.
We live in Utah, just south of Salt Lake City and near the mountains. As a child, I grew up in Seattle and knew that I wanted to go to college in Utah, but my child self would be shocked to find out that the adult me now calls Utah home.
All the stereotypes about conservative-happy-valley-shallow Utah were enough to convince adolescent Alix that Utah was not the place for me. But, like most stereotypes, reality is a different story.
I have grown to really really love living in Utah. Even in a predominately Latter-Day Saint (or Mormon) neighborhood, my neighbors are very diverse. Some of my closest and most sincere friendships with remarkable people have come about because we live in Utah.
In practical terms, the price of real estate and living are so affordable here, which is why Utah is expanding like crazy! And if you love the outdoors, I have yet to witness nature more beautiful than American Fork canyon in the fall.
Our home was not my first choice, but it turned out to be the best choice for us. In retrospect, I think we hit the jackpot.
We wanted to build right at that moment in 2012 when building and buying homes in Utah was very affordable. Originally we picked out the perfect lot with a jaw-dropping view, but then our builders were dishonest about some things and the lot was snagged up by another buyer. I was heartbroken.
However, without that lot as an option, I was finally open to buying a spec home.
(Readers: Just in case you aren’t familiar with the term, spec stands for speculative. A spec home is a home that a builder constructs with the belief that someone will eventually come along and want to purchase the home. This means someone else is choosing all the finishes, which can be a total life-saver for those who have a difficult time making those kinds of decisions…or a real downer for those who hold very specific design and decor dreams! xx Gabby)
After we moved in, although it was a new house, it didn’t feel like my house. My dream home would be a renovated farm house, so the generic finishes felt too sterile.
And so, being a bit of a handywoman, I have tackled some challenging renovations to make it feel like our real home. We added hardwood — actually composite — floors, painted every room, and added woodwork details in the kid’s bedrooms and main floor. With all the customization I’m beginning to become really attached to my home. Our next project is the kitchen makeover. Eek!
As far as aesthetic and decorations, I love my office the most. It is my creative and personal space.
I have worked hard to create personal spaces for both of my children and husband, that they may have an area to create in, as well.
But my favorite spot in my home is my living room couch. It is big. Big enough for us all to lay on and cuddle during movie nights, to have family discussions, and to load up with friends. Our living room is where the fun happens.
We also only have one television in our home, in the living room, and I love that as parents we always know who is watching what!
My kids are the coolest thing about my home. They make every inch more interesting and thought-out.
Baby-proofing a stylish home is definitely a creative challenge, but every item three feet down is an opportunity to teach my children what I care about.
We have LOTS of books and most are at my kid’s fingertips so naturally we read books a few times a day. Art supplies are also at the ready and boots for playing in the snow are stored in a basket for little fingers to slip on.
In this home, I want my kids to remember quality time with me. I just want them to feel heard and like they are worth my time.
I have a blog called A Ruffled Life, and it is a lifestyle blog. A Ruffled Life started out as a crafty space where my photography and DIY skills were challenged and improved.
As babies entered the picture and my interests have changed and grown, so has my content. Now Liam and Charlotte are the subjects of posts often, but I do try really hard to respect their privacy and childhood. It’s a delicate balance!
The absolute loveliest things to come from A Ruffled Life are the relationships I have formed with other bloggers and creators. A Ruffled Life has lead to relationships with brands I love — like Home Depot and Tiny Prints — and also people I really love.
Without A Ruffled Life I wouldn’t have found my book club or a dozen of my closest friends.
My biggest secret about blogging is that it is the wild wild west of jobs! What I mean is, blogging is still such a relatively new career path that there is so much space to define what a blog is and who a blogger is. That ambiguity drives me to be more creative every day.
It took me two years to realize it, but blogging has lead me to become a stylist, and styling is what I am now paid to do.
I began to post about outfits, craft products, and house products that I loved. And now, companies hire me to style their products for photo shoots and events!
But that is by no means how all bloggers make a career of blogging. My advice is to work really hard and while working hard, figure out what you are really good at. Find a way to make money doing that.
I love Pinterest. Such a revolutionary take on magazine clipping hoarding! Ten years ago, I had folders full of inspirational images. Now, all that inspiration collects on Pinterest.
But the thing about Pinterest is that it really is a game-changer for visual online business. Pinterest drives at least 30% of my traffic most months. In fact, every time I publish a post I do think to myself, ‘Is this pin-worthy?’
Pinterest, just as Instagram, acts as a filter for the images I share. But it has also made me a better photographer and a better stylist. Pinterest pushes me to be a better creator!
Everyone likes to talk about balance, but balance is such a dangerous word for me.
As a mother, whether you run a business or not, feeling balanced seems like a fictional concept. Children are completely consuming and wonderful, which is why my children have become a big part of my blog, but I never really feel like my time is perfectly divided.
At the end of most days, I have only accomplished half of my to-do list, but how I emotionally respond to that list is what really matters.
When I was a brand-new mom, I was always stressed and angry because of all I didn’t accomplish. Now, I make a conscious effort to focus on everything I did accomplish, from folding a load of laundry to wrapping up a major business project. Most days my house goes from clean to disaster zone to clean again, and that feels like a major accomplishment now!
I wish I had listened when people told me to be true to yourself when running a business.
In the creative field of blogging, there is SO MUCH talent to observe. For far too long, I tried to fit myself and my business into the boxes of other peoples’ businesses.
Figuring out what I do and who I am as a creative and founder has taken so long because of my pin-balling around the blog world.
Finally, after four years, I feel confident enough in my personal style and talents to venture into projects that feel very true to me.
Thank you, Alix! I absolutely adore that you consider your kids to be the coolest things in your home, and I’m going to remember this line: “They make every inch more interesting and thought-out.”
As well as this one: “Baby-proofing a stylish home is definitely a creative challenge, but every item three feet down is an opportunity to teach my children what I care about.” Teaching your children to take gentle care with the items in your home is a steep learning curve, sometimes littered with glass shards and priceless detritus, isn’t it? But well worth it in the end. Oh, let’s all take a moment to remember all the memories broken along the toddler way, shall we?
P.S. – Are you living with your own kids in a unique way? Are you interested in sharing your home and experiences with us? Let me know! We love to be inspired! And it’s a lot of fun…I promise! Take a peek at all the homes in my Living With Kids series here.