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Category: Southern Newlywed

About two years ago, we reached out to our friend, photographer Anna Shackleford, about doing a home tour for our Southern Newlywed series. We went back and forth for a little while working on the logistics, but then the hustle and bustle of wedding season put our plans on hold. When I reconnected with her to pick up where we left off, she replied with something along the lines of “I’d love to, but we’re actually about to sell almost everything we own, renovate a camper, and spend the next year or two on the road, so I don’t know if you would still want to feature us!” My response? Heck YES, we do! We were so excited to hear about Anna and Daniel’s unique new living situation, they inspired the Southern Newlywed “Home Sweet Home” feature in V9, in which we profiled different types of newlywed homes. I hope you love this peek at their “on the go” home as much as we did!

The couple: Anna and Daniel Shackleford
How many years have you been married? Four years!
Tell us a little bit about your unique living situation. We are currently living on the road full-time in a 28-foot travel trailer that we pull with a truck. We’ve always dreamed of traveling together, and after many discussions and prayers, we decided that we couldn’t pass up an opportunity like this. We were in the perfect season of life to pursue the adventure: newlyweds, without children, without a mortgage, and in careers that provide relatively flexible schedules. Before we moved in to our travel trailer, we repainted the entire interior, reupholstered the furniture, and decorated it like we would any other house. It’s a cozy little space that we love calling home.

Tell us about the process of moving from a house to a camper. How did you decide what to bring with you, store, or get rid of? We first thought about the type of life that we wanted to live together. We knew we wanted to live more simply, spend more time with friends and family, and explore the outdoors. Once we nailed down the life that we wanted, honestly, picking the items that we wanted to bring with us was easy. The downsizing process was incredibly freeing. When you know you only have 225 square feet to live in, it gets pretty easy to make decisions about what is necessary and what is not. We stored a few pieces of heirloom furniture, photos, and paintings, but other than that, we sold almost everything that we owned. Getting rid of all of the clutter gave us clarity about what was truly important.

What most makes your camper feel like home? Bella, our sweet, eight-year-old golden lab that we absolutely adore. Having her with us on the road is just the greatest thing ever!

What are the biggest challenges of being on the road? We had both thought that moving into such a small space would be the biggest challenge, but oddly enough, that has been one of our favorite parts. Everything has a place and it’s clutter-free! We wouldn’t think that in 2016 finding reliable Wi-Fi would be an issue, but it has been a big challenge for us!

What is your favorite part of being on the road? It’s hard to choose just one thing! Seeing all of the diversity that the US has to offer across different landscapes has been incredible—we especially love spending time out west. But honestly, this experience has taught us to trust others more than we ever have before. There are so many good, kind people in this world, and we’ve loved getting the chance to meet so many of them along our journey.

What are some of your dreams and plans for where you live over the next five years? We want to explore as much of the US and Canada as we can while we are living on the road. We plan to continue living on the road for at least a few years, but we have major baby fever, so who knows how that will impact our travels!

Photography: Anna Shackleford

lisa Written with love by Lisa
4 Comments
  1. avatar Alexandra P. reply

    How wonderful! I love how the camper looks like a real house — so many are not well designed. I would love more details on where the furnishings/paint/decor came from

  2. avatar Elizabeth Burns reply

    I LOVE this! It’s great how all different types of housing are highlighted in this series, not just single family homes. And that sweet pup!!! <3

  3. avatar Lyndi and Jason Redfern reply

    This is beautiful! It’s surprisingly spacious and so well laid out that it’s hard to believe it’s a camper!

  4. avatar Bri A reply

    Oh my goodness!! I couldn’t believe these photos were from a camper – how gorgeous. I’m not sure I could live on the road like they are, but these sweet pictures made me want to give it a try!

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If I didn’t know better, I’d say the traditional second anniversary gift (cotton) was chosen with Southerners in mind! There are SO many ways to get creative with this gift suggestion, and today we’re sharing a few of our favorites below…

A cozy blanket for cuddling on the sofa. We love this heirloom-quality one from Brahms Mount.
A painting from a Southern artist. Canvases are made from cotton! A few of our favorite Southerners: Blakely Made, Sally King Benedict, Michelle Armas, and Britt Bass Turner.
A bow tie in a spring color. Our favorites are from our collection with High Cotton Ties.
A cotton boll wreath. For your front door or kitchen!
Cotton notecards. With or without monogram – your choice! (But we still think it’s fun to get excited about seeing your new-ish last name :))
A new sheet set for your bed. Go with a fun pattern like the gems from Southern favorite Biscuit!
His and hers aprons. We love the classic, understated styles from Heirloomed.

What do you think, friends? Any suggestions to add to our list? I’d love to hear!!

Celebrating your first wedding anniversary? See our gift suggestions here!

emily Written with love by Emily
3 Comments
  1. avatar Lindsey Dudeck reply

    I really like the idea of a painting. I’ve found some artists that will make a collage painting from pictures of details of your wedding. It’s a nice alternative if portraits aren’t your style.

    A nice monogrammed robe (maybe coordinating his and hers) is also a nice splurge, for all those Sunday mornings spent lounging around.

  2. avatar Catherine reply

    Big fan of both Biscuit and Heirloomed!!

  3. avatar Friday Favorites No. 24: Lots of Changes! – Classic Catherine reply

    […] When you see a show that has you smiling through tears, you know it’s a winner. Also, the second anniversary gift is cotton, and Will read my mind and got me these pajamas with my monogram embroidered on them! I got to […]

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Have y’all been following along with Erin and Ben Napier’s story? It’s a really good one, and we’re tickled to be a small part of it! You see, three years ago we published a tour of their home – one of the first in our Southern Newlywed column! – as well as the sweetest interview with Erin. (Seriously, go read it – it makes me smile so big every time!) An HGTV producer happened to see it on our Instagram, and got in touch with Erin and Ben to see if they’d possibly be interested in making a TV show (!) about small town Southern life in their sweet hometown of Laurel, MS.

Things snowballed from there – shooting a pilot, opening a store, the pilot airing and then being picked up for a full season – and now, we’re all eagerly anticipating the premiere of season one of Home Town! If you’re as excited as we are, you’ll love taking a peek at the home of these HGTV stars-in-the-making. Hopefully it’s enough to hold you over until March 21 at 10pm!

We’re so proud of Erin and Ben and hope you’ll join us in cheering on these two sweet Southerners as they step out on their great adventure!!

Thank you to Jean Allsopp for these wonderful photos!

For more from Erin and Ben, check out Erin’s full Southern Newlywed interview, including her thoughts on cooking, decorating, date nights, and budgeting!

emily Written with love by Emily
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Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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