Taking down Christmas decorations sure makes a place seem a little sad, don’t you think? That’s why I’m taking lots of notes from today’s Southern Newlywed home tour–it’s one of the happiest houses I’ve ever seen! And no surprise, considering it belongs to one of the sweetest and cheeriest gals south of the Mason-Dixon, Maghon Taylor of All She Wrote Notes, and her childhood-sweetheart-turned-husband Chris. Maghon is a longtime friend of SW (you may remember her from her and Chris’ wedding post, or our launch party live streams, which she has graciously hosted for the past three years!), and we couldn’t be more delighted to take a virtual tour of the home she and Chris have lovingly renovated…and just in time for their baby boy, who will be joining the Taylor party soon!
Thanks so much to Anna Paschal (who also shot Maghon and Chris’ wedding!) for these lovely photos!
The couple: Maghon (30) and Chris (31) Taylor
Years married: One year and eight months
Children’s names and ages: Our baby boy (VCT) is due February 2017
Where you live: Elon, North Carolina
Tell us a little bit about yourselves. I am a sweet Carolina calligrapher on a mission to spread happiness through my handwriting through my business, All She Wrote Notes. My middle school sweetheart Chris is following a long-standing family tradition of working in the automotive industry. We have known each other all our lives, but finally found our way back to each other when we were 25, and knew right away that this was where we were supposed to be all along. We were born and raised in the same small town in North Carolina and are starting a family of our own this year! We love Carolina basketball, porch parties, playing golf, and banana pudding. We love traveling to watch live sporting events and Texas is our favorite state to visit. We eat breakfast together every day and we have a sweet and crazy goldendoodle named Teddy Confetti who keeps us on our toes.
Tell us your love story in one sentence. We met in first grade, fell in love in sixth grade, then crushed on each other for more than 20 years before promising to be on the same team forever.
What is your favorite part of being married? Oh goodness! All of it. Since I’ve had a crush on Chris Taylor since first grade, I used to doodle his name on my trapper keeper growing up. I LOVE that his last name is also mine. I still get all heart-eyed every time I get to say it or write it. Besides that, just knowing that I get to spend all of the holidays, all of the weekends, and all of life’s special moments with Chris by my side forever. He isn’t going away. I still pinch myself sometimes when I think about it.
What has been the most surprising thing about marriage? I love how fun marriage is for us. Even when things are crazy, there isn’t anyone else I’d rather be doing life with than Chris.
Do you rent or own? What are your hopes and plans for the future in this area? Tell us a little bit about where you live. We currently own two homes, but are in the process of selling my first home. We purchased this Elon property together in July and have been slowly renovating it room by room, and it has been awesome to see it all come together.
Tell us about the process of moving in together. Do you have any tips for blending your two styles? We moved in together a couple of weeks before our wedding. To be honest, it never truly felt like OUR home until we moved again a year later. Originally, Chris moved into my house that I had lived in for three years before we got married, and it was hard to find space for him to feel like he had ownership. Two of our spare bedrooms were filled with my business, All She Wrote Notes, and the house was at capacity with an additional person (and a new puppy). This past July, we purchased our new home in Elon together. NOW it feels like home. We have made every decision together and it totally and completely feels like a place that tells our story. As far as tips for blending styles, narrow down choices and let him pick between your two faves. If you leave the options endless, you may be disappointed. That way, if you love both, he gets to choose one of those and everybody is happy. Also, if there is a project that he is really passionate about, let him take the reins. It turned out, Chris is WAY better about choosing paint colors than I am. He chose every one in our house.
Where do you splurge and where do you save when decorating? What are some of your favorite sources for home things? We splurged right after we got married on a brand new (white) sofa! I just HAD to have it and it was our first married purchase. Even though Chris thought it was a bad, idea, he loves me and went along with it. I love it to pieces, but y’all, almost two years (and a puppy) later, it’s kind of a hot mess. Almost every other piece of furniture was either a consignment store treasure or a Home Goods/TJ Maxx score. I live for the thrill of the hunt, and at the end of the day, I love all of the items with a story SO much more than the ones that we ordered and waited months for. There’s just something so satisfying about walking into a store and there only being ONE of the item, and you were the lucky soul to find it. I get excited just thinking about it! I don’t believe something has to be expensive to have style, and I love sharing stories with people about how each piece came to join our family.
What most makes your house feel like home? Eating pizza on our wedding china every Friday night with Chris on the couch next to me and Teddy snuggled up with us. This is a tradition we started when we were engaged and it’s the highlight of my week. I love that our home is beautiful, but it’s also lived in. It makes me happy to see Chris’ shoes in the floor and his clothes in our laundry room. We lived apart for so many years that it’s such a great feeling to finally share a home and a life together.
What is your go-to weeknight meal? Weekend meal? Chris actually works third shift from 7 P.M. until 6 A.M. during the week, so we only have weekend meals together (besides breakfast). Since there’s no one else here to cook for, it just never made sense for us to cook during the week. Since our time is so limited on the weekends, we let someone else do the cooking (and the dishes!) and eat takeout pizza on Fridays and other local favorites like Mexican or Italian on Saturdays and Sundays. We don’t go anywhere super fancy and rarely spend a lot, but it’s nice to have that time together. We are welcoming our first child this February, so an effort to make more meals at home is in the works, since there will eventually be an extra mouth to feed!
What’s your favorite place to find recipes? I have an old-fashioned recipe book that I’ve written down my favorite meals from my mom, my friends, and most recently, Chris’ grandma, in. I use those (currently there are about 20) every time I cook. I love pen and paper, so this works great for me. Even if something is emailed to me, I transfer that onto a cute little card and file it away.
How do you remember your wedding in your home? (Pictures, mementos, etc.) Our wedding program was a five-foot chalkboard that listed all of our attendants. I calligraphed it myself and we actually have it in our dining room as part of the decor. Our theme was “Cheers Y’all” and we had a large wooden sign hanging over our bar at the reception, which is proudly displayed in our not-so-formal dining area. We gave out golf tees as favors that said “For Better or FORE worse” and I have those on the nightstand by my bed. We also have our invitation envelope framed (it was my favorite paper detail) after I saw the idea in Callie and Jamie’s newlywed interview, here on Southern Weddings! And of course, we have amazing photos from Anna Paschal Photography in as many places as we can put them.
Which items from your wedding registry do you use the most often? Our china! I am not a cook, so we actually order takeout quite often. However, I insist on eating on our wedding china. Life is a special occasion, and I fully support breaking out the fancy plates on a Friday.
What different decisions, if any, would you make for your registry if you knew then what you knew now? We got married in our late 20s and I already had a fully stocked home. We didn’t register for too many things, but I wish we had actually done a little more. Over the past year, in an effort to get excited about cooking, I have purchased a lot of stone bakeware, glass bowls, measuring sets, and lots of fun tools. In hindsight, these are all items I could have registered for; I just didn’t feel like we would use them. We also purchased a really nice vacuum cleaner with gift cards we got from our guests, which was a GREAT idea that I highly recommend. We use it all the time.
How does your family handle finances? Do you use a set budget? We created a budget when we first got married and based all of our spending off of the percentage that each of us makes. Our salaries don’t align up 50-50 (more like 70-30), so we divided all of our bills accordingly. One of us pays the mortgage payment, and the other one pays all of the utilities. We still have separate accounts for things we had prior to our marriage such as car insurance, car payments, and the like. We also have a joint savings account. We don’t go grocery shopping consistently (see above posts) but we take turns paying when we do. When we go out to dinner, we play what we call the card game and shuffle our two debit cards under the table. One of us draws a card, and that’s who pays! We laugh about it every time and the suspense and playfulness makes it feel like we are still on a date!
What is one small way you love or serve your spouse? Chris brings me breakfast every day. I don’t ever have to place an order–after all these years, he knows what I would love to eat from any place he goes. My favorite is when he saves the last bite of his cinnamon roll for me. The middle bite (the best one) has always been mine. It’s so small, but I don’t take it for granted. He also leaves the lights on when he knows I will be coming home after dark. I can always count on the porch lights and garage lights beaming when I turn in and it makes me feel safe. I am half asleep when Chris comes in from work at 6 A.M., and this time of year, it’s still dark outside. Our house alarm wakes me up and I shout from our room, “Hey babe! Welcome home!” every morning. Once he comes to bed and before I actually get up for the day, I lay there with him for a few minutes and rub his hair while he falls asleep.
Do you have children? What are your hopes and plans for the future in this area? Almost! We found out we were expecting our little boy just a few weeks after one first wedding anniversary. He will join our team this February. We are so excited!
Before getting married, I wish someone had told me… it’s so much better than you even think it will be.
This year, our family is most excited about… welcoming our baby boy! It’s still so surreal to think we will have a little guy here with us in just a few weeks. We know that the first year with a newborn will certainly be a challenge, especially with our schedules, but we know we are so blessed that God chose us to be his parents, and we are so excited to take on this adventure together.
What’s your best tip for balancing your relationship and other life priorities (work, personal time, extended family, etc.)? You have to make the time and put each other first. Since we don’t have a traditional schedule, Chris and I don’t see each other during the week other than about 20 minutes in passing in the mornings or evenings. As hard as that may seem, it actually makes spending time and juggling other priorities like family and work a breeze, as long as I can get them done during the week. Then I fiercely protect our weekends. I almost never work on Friday-Sunday and neither does Chris. We also try not to make more than one weekend night of plans with other people like friends or family. When we are together, it’s easy to get caught up on our phones, so sometimes I will literally grab them both and put them in another room. Quality time is both of our love languages, so it has been huge for us to protect those moments together, since the quantity of our time is sometimes low.
Which room in your home is your favorite, and why? This is currently changing by the day, but my favorite room in our house is my All She Wrote Notes studio. I run my business from home and I LOVE that I have a dedicated space over the garage so that it is somewhat separate from the rest of our home. Chris and Teddy walk upstairs every day at the end of my work day, and that is seriously my happiest moment and what I most look forward to.
Is there anything else about your home or family life that you think our readers would be interested in? When we bought this home, there was literally floor to ceiling wallpaper in almost every room. It was built in the early 90s and was probably amazing at that time, but we channeled our inner Chip and Joanna and we were so excited to get to work. Little did we know, I was pregnant, so I was very sick throughout the whole renovation. All of it took much longer than expected (and it’s still ongoing), but with the help of both of our parents and friends, it all came together. We are so proud of it and are honored to share with all of you. Renovations are NOT like they look on TV, y’all. It can sometimes get SO crazy and overwhelming, but what I would recommend to anyone is to finish one room to completion if you can, and let that be your little oasis. We completed our living room, my office, and then our bedroom one at a time, and every time, I got a little bit of sanity back. It was a HUGE game changer to go to sleep and wake up in a room without saw dust, and allowed me to breathe and collect myself before starting the day.
Thank you so much for sharing your hearts and home with us, Maghon and Chris! Find Maghon’s business here (we highly recommend her super fun hand lettering classes if you’re in the Triangle!) and follow her on Instagram here.
P.S. We’d love to hear from you! Our hope is to feature REAL couples in the South – your inspiring friend, super talented cousin, or neighbor with the cutest house – the kind of person everyone would love to “e-meet.” If that sounds like you or someone you know, take a peek at our Southern Newlywed submission page and shoot us an email!