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Erin Carroll is a very special member of the Southern Weddings family. Her wedding to Todd was featured in our very first issue back in 2008, and since then, we’ve followed along with her growing family on her blog, Blue-Eyed Bride. She’s even been to Making Things Happen, and contributed to the marriage advice feature in our latest issue! Her South Carolina home is the kind of nest that many of us want – lovely, yes, but also filled with encouraging words, lots and lots of photo memories, and passed-down items with history.

Big hugs to Blue Ribbon Vendor Courtney Dox for these lovely photos. Friends, please enjoy meeting the Carroll family!

Who lives in this lovely home? Erin and Todd, married six years, Hudson (5), and Hayes (3)
Tell us your love story in one sentence. We met and fell in love at work, thanks to our common love for Gamecock football and Home Alone, got married, and are now raising two wild and precious boys.
What is your favorite part of being married? Being able to experience all of life’s big moments, small moments, ups, and downs with my best friend.

Do you rent or own? We own. We bought a house together right before we got married, and we lived there for five years. After two kids, we were bursting at the seams. We lived with Todd’s grandmother for a year while we built our current home.
Tell us about the process of moving in together. Todd is not very opinionated when it comes to style. He didn’t have many opinions when planning our wedding, and he has taken the same approach with decorating. When he does have an opinion, I sit back, listen, and try really hard to be considerate of his wishes. He has so few opinions, I feel I should at least respect the ones he does have!
Which room in your home is your favorite, and why? I love our kitchen. It is open to the family room, and we spend so much time in both of those rooms. I love the light and the fact that I can be doing my thing in the kitchen while still being able to see the boys and Todd while they hang out in the family room.

Which items from your wedding registry do you use the most often? Our everyday dishes are my favorite thing. We still don’t have the entire set, but I just love the pattern. We even use them for holidays because I love them more than our fine china. I also love my All Clad pots and pans. I never would have bought them for myself, so I’m super thankful to have them.
What different decisions, if any, would you make for your registry if you knew then what you knew now? I wouldn’t have registered for things like cookie decorating kits and pancake batter dispensers. Those things have never been used in six years!
Who cooks dinner? I do. I meal plan on Sundays, shop on Monday mornings, and usually cook four meals per week. We do leftovers at least once for every meal I make, and on Saturdays, I make a crockpot meal. I get it started in the morning and then we can enjoy our day without having to spend much time in the kitchen.
What is your go-to weeknight meal? Weekend meal? I’ve recently given up grains and sugar, so I haven’t eaten this in a while, but I love Kevin and Amanda’s Spicy Sausage Pasta. It is amazing and a total splurge, but it’s a crowd pleaser! On the weekends, I love to make The Pioneer Woman’s Pot Roast or Skinny Taste’s Chicken Santa Fe.
What’s your favorite place to find recipes? I have a huge collection of Junior League cookbooks, and each one of them is filled with tried and true, passed down recipes. I also love Skinny Taste, The Pioneer Woman, and Ina Garten. Now I’m getting hungry!

Where do you splurge and where do you save when decorating? I splurge on lighting. Light fixtures can really define a space and make a big statement. I’m fortunate that my mom is a decorator and I am a buyer for her company, so I’ve been able to save a lot by getting really beautiful things at wholesale cost. I’ve also purchased a few antiques at antique markets–Scott’s in Atlanta is full of beautiful treasures, and they will bargain with you! I talked a guy down by half the cost when I purchased my dining room chairs. I found them and they were exactly what I had dreamed of, but I had a budget. I told him I wouldn’t spend more than my budget allowed, and he called me 20 minutes later to tell me that he’d sell them to me at the price I named.

What most makes your house feel like home? I am a strong believer in filling our home with things we love. Books we’ve read. Souvenirs from travels. Local pottery. Family photographs. When I’m accessorizing, it is so important to me not to have anything that is just “filler,” so it sometimes takes me awhile to finish decorating a room. Our home tells our story, so every little thing here also seems to have a story.

I spy some Lara Casey Shop products!

What’s your best tip for balancing your relationship and other life priorities? This gets so tough. I feel like with every season, we have to reevaluate and set new boundaries. Todd works long hours, and as a blogger, it’s easy for me to get very distracted by letting in too many “voices” via other blogs, social media, responding to blog comments, etc. I’ve found that I have to start my day early if I want to take care of my personal needs, like my quiet time and Bible reading, exercise, and any other things that just serve me. I stay at home with the boys, so the rest of my day is all about them. Todd is home between 6:30 and 7:00 every night, so that time for dinner and bedtime is sacred. We really value the weekends. I have a monthly Sunday girls night, but otherwise, the weekends are for family. Our favorite weekends are the lazy ones spent at home watching movies and playing outside with the boys.

Do you have a favorite date night idea to share? When Hudson was a baby, we used to just get in the car and let him sleep while we drove around, looked at houses, and saw new things popping up in our town. These days, we love to go out to dinner and to see a movie. Movies are a real treat! When we can’t get out, we put the kids to bed and watch a movie together on Amazon Prime. Our Blu-ray player has been such a great thing for binge-watching TV shows together and seeing movies we never got to see in the theater.
What is one small way you love or serve your spouse? I’ve realized that Todd is so happy and so much less stressed when I am financially responsible and respectful of our budget. When I don’t go to Target or make random little Amazon purchases, it makes him so happy.

Do you have children? We have two boys, aged five and three. Things are still up in the air in regards to whether or not there will be more children, but right now, we’re so happy with these boys.

Is there anything else about your home or family life that you think our readers would be interested in? Our relationships with Jesus Christ are the most important things to us. We want our children to see that in us, and when we find that we’re not making time for Him, we stop and reevaluate and decide what we need to change. It is amazing how much of a difference we see when we allow God to lead us and we stop trying to do things on our own. Life gets really crazy and can be very distracting, but we know that when we put God first and allow Him to be in control, He does work all things together for our good.

What has been the most surprising thing about marriage? The wedding is just the beginning. It’s not always pretty after that, but the memories trump the wedding by a million!
Before getting married, I wish someone had told me… to let go of all expectations and understand that two different upbringings are going to require making big decisions together. It’s not about a fairy tale and it’s not about instant gratification. The beauty of marriage is experiencing the memories along the way.

In 2014, our family is most excited about… being settled! We spent 2013 living with Todd’s grandmother, and we are so thankful for that time, but it is nice to be back to living in our own home with just the four of us, making memories. We’re looking forward to a summer full of days at the pool and doing our best to unplug.

We’re so grateful to Erin and Todd for sharing their hearts and home with us! Be sure to follow along with Erin on her blog or on instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.

A little reminder: we’d love to hear from you! Our hope is to feature REAL couples in the South – not just folks who write blogs (though we love them, too!), but also 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!

emily Written with love by Emily
6 Comments
  1. avatar Lisa reply

    Love Erin! Her perspective on filling their home with things that matter is so inspiring, and her meal planning strategy just might convince me to finally try cooking with a crockpot!

    • avatar Erin reply

      Thank you, friend! The key to the crockpot is finding a really great recipe because they’re not all great. ;) But I promise it can change your week if you make one or two crockpot meals! So excited for you!

  2. avatar Kristin reply

    I am packing my bags and heading to Erin’s house!! I am pretty sure her kitchen was made for entertaining. It makes my hostess heart beat a little faster. I am also quite envious of her cookbook collection ;)

  3. avatar Erin reply

    Kristin, my door is always open for you! Come on down and we’ll cook from those old Junior League cookbooks and you can teach me some things about the kitchen!

  4. avatar aimee broussard reply

    Adore Erin! Her home is lovely, but her heart is golden. She’s one of my favorite blogs/instagram accounts because her sweetness and faith shines through everything she does. Love this series!

  5. avatar Megan Bryant reply

    Love this post! I have been reading Erin’s blog for quite some time and her new home is absolutely beautiful. A dream home for sure. Her family is what we all hope and pray for as little girl’s and when we walk down the aisle on our wedding day.

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When Landon and Jordan sent over the photos for today’s tour, the first thing I said to Lisa was, “I want to move in!!” When I said the same thing to Jordan in an email, she kindly responded that I was welcome to, but that their house was a bit small. I haven’t packed my bags yet; instead, I’ve been inspired to make a few changes in my own home. Because the thing I love most about the space these two share isn’t their beautiful paint choices or white kitchen cabinets (though I do love those things), it’s that it clearly shows who they are, how they live, and what they love.

And, they have chickens!! So obviously they were a natural candidate for our Southern Newlywed At Home series :)

Years married: 7
Tell us your love story in one sentence. Hometown and college sweethearts fall madly in love and save the world.
Do you rent or own? We own a cute bungalow in a historic neighborhood in downtown Columbia, SC.

What is your favorite part of being married? Definitely our friendship! Don’t get me wrong, we are deeply in love with each other, but when life goes to the pits (and it does for everyone at some point), there’s nothing better than coming home to your best friend who loves you unconditionally. We are with each other a lot. I mean… A LOT. Not only do we live together (obviously), but we also work together full-time with our photography business. Thankfully, we really enjoy each other’s company. We make each other laugh almost constantly, which is another favorite part of our marriage.
Tell us about the process of moving in together. If two creative people move in together, there might be some disagreements on decor. Both of us enjoy the art of creating spaces, and we can both be pretty stubborn about it. It didn’t take us long to realize that one person needed to have the final say. So, after about a year of intense decorating battles, I, Landon, relinquished the veto power to Jordan (my wife). This doesn’t mean Jordan won’t ask for my opinion, or that I don’t often give it. It just means I’m okay with her final decision either way. After all, she is incredibly talented. We no longer argue about it, and I love the way our house looks and feels. Guys, if decorating is super important to your wife, there’s nothing wrong with giving in or learning to love and appreciate her taste.

What most makes your house feel like home? I would say the thought and time we’ve put into designing every space in our house. Everything is there for a reason, and was probably given much consideration. This has turned our house into a unique and personal home.
Where do you splurge and where do you save when decorating? It’s a little ironic given how much we love decorating, but we really don’t splurge on much. We’ve always wanted our house to look a certain way, even early on in our marriage, and of course, most newlyweds don’t have tens of thousands of dollars to spend on decor. For our first several years together, almost everything we owned was either bought on clearance, at yard sales, Ikea, thrift stores, traded for, given to us, or built from scratch. It took a lot more time than simply picking out our favorite pieces from a boutique, but in the end, it enabled us to decorate every part of our house the way we wanted. Most inexpensive things don’t last forever (surprise!), so we’ve been in the process of replacing the pieces we use the most with items that will.

Which room in your home is your favorite, and why? Our favorite room would have be our dinning room–it’s where we gather and enjoy delicious meals with all our wonderful friends.
Which items from your wedding registry do you use the most often? None of it :( We were young and had no idea what to register for, so we didn’t register for much. A couple of years ago, I was super sad to see our salt shaker break, because it was one of the few gifts we had from our wedding. I wish we would have registered for heavy duty china and flatware. It’s fun setting up a fancy dinner for guests, so we’ve had to buy a good bit on our own.

Who cooks dinner? I’d say it’s about 50-50. We both love to cook, but also love when the other does as well :)
What is your go-to weeknight meal? Weekend meal? We are both pescetarian (vegetarians who eat fish). During the week, you’ll probably find us eating salmon with corn risotto or rice and beans with homemade tortillas. We travel a lot on the weekends, so Chipotle is our go-to.
What’s your favorite place to find recipes? A cookbook called Happy Herbivore has been super handy. We have a couple great recipes from Kinfolk as well.

What has been the most surprising thing about marriage? Probably that doing something as simple as communicating can be difficult at times. We were probably three years into marriage before we realized that a lot of our arguments only began because we didn’t understand what the other was trying to communicate. Thankfully, as noted above, spending lots of time together has made us much better at understanding each other, as well as (even more importantly) listening.
How does your family handle finances? We set a budget and use the cash system. It helps keep two very non-type-A people in check.
What’s your best tip for balancing your relationship and other life priorities? This can definitely be a tough area. There are lots of things you have to do and lots of things you want to do, and most of the time, they conflict with each other. Our tip is to bounce things off your spouse. They should know you pretty well and can help you balance the have-to’s with the want-to’s.

Do you have children? Does a dog and chickens count? Nope? That’s okay. We love kids and would love to have our own one day!
Do you have a favorite date night idea to share? Typically, we go out to our favorite restaurant, and then skip on over to a local coffee shop to play chess. Landon almost always wins.
What is one small way you love or serve your spouse? From Landon: It’s simple, but whenever Jordan makes a run to the grocery store or goes out to eat with a friend, she’ll often bring me back a little treat. It always makes me feel special. From Jordan: Anytime we are curled up on the sofa watching our favorite TV show, Landon scratches my back. I always think he’s the sweetest!

Before getting married, I wish someone had told me… that marriage is incredible, but it will expose almost all the areas in your life where you need to grow. And that’s ok, because you’re not a perfect person. Your spouse will know you more intimately than anyone else, and therefore, will notice your weaknesses more than anyone else, and visa versa. Two important things to remember: 1. Let’s just go ahead and assume that your imperfections are abundant, so give your spouse tons and tons of grace when their flaws pop up. 2. Don’t get upset when your spouse exposes a shortcoming of yours. Instead, be thankful. The alternative would be having tons of weaknesses you don’t know about.

Landon and Jordan (otherwise known as Landon Jacob) are great friends of the Southern Weddings family, and we’re so thankful they shared their thoughts and home with us! You can see more of their work on their site here and follow along with their married life on instagram. Until next week!

P.S. As if you needed any more reason to think these two are amazing, they’re traveling to Africa in July to volunteer with an organization called Clothed in Hope. To help fund their trip, they’re currently offering an insane deal ($130) on mini portrait sessions in Columbia, SC on May 18th, June 1st, and June 8th. If you’re interested, email them at hello at landonjacob.com to reserve a spot! Great opportunity for engagement photos, anniversary photos, or Christmas card photos :)

emily Written with love by Emily
21 Comments
  1. avatar Lisa reply

    Yup, I am ready to move in, too! Love L&J, their beautiful and purposeful home, and their insightful marriage advice.

  2. avatar Lara reply

    AH!!!! I love every single thing about this — especially the fine feathered friends! L + J, can you please clone your home (including chickens) and bring it to me? I love y’all and your amazing hearts!

  3. avatar Emily Alice reply

    This home is beautiful! My Columbia pride is bursting! :)

  4. avatar L + J reply

    Thanks so much Lara! We’ll definitely get on that. Haha! Love y’all as well!

  5. avatar Kaitlin Holland reply

    Landon & Jordan, this is beautiful!!! I love your hearts for each other and your stunning home.

  6. avatar Nicole reply

    Cutest chicken coop ever? I love every detail of your home, L + J, and reading about how you make it the perfect fit for yourselves!

  7. avatar Abi Losli reply

    Yep, everything about this is adorable! And oh my heart, those chickens! Seeing homes with meaningful, purposeful details gets me all fired up to make our home that way. Thank you for living a great (and inspiring!) story Landon & Jordan! I so appreciate your hearts for each other and the wisdom in your advice.

  8. avatar Erin @ Blue-Eyed Bride reply

    It is so stunning and so comfortable. I love the balance of beauty and comfort!

  9. avatar Occasions In Print reply

    When my kids grow up, this is what I want my house to look like! LOL! Not a toy in sight!

  10. avatar Leanne Caroline reply

    Beautiful home. Beautiful words and wisdom. Thank you for sharing, and thank you Southern Weddings for this new post marriage series. I’m not married yet but do so like the “rest of your life” thoughts, aspirations and goals more than the wedding day ideals already. Love the big picture stuff, can’t wait to read more.

  11. avatar celine reply

    I would love to know the color paint you used for the living room (& the guest room if it is a different color). I’m on the search for the perfect gray….

  12. avatar Sarah reply

    Two of the most beautiful people I have ever known. Love this pair to pieces.

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  15. avatar Andrea Rodriguez reply

    Just curious about the mirror in your living room I believe. Did you make that? Can you tell me the dimensions?
    Thank you

  16. avatar Angela C. reply

    Hello.
    Can you tell me where you found the hanging wall baskets in your entryway?
    Thank you!

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  18. avatar Jennifer Ferry reply

    do you share paint colors?

  19. avatar Living Room Inspiration – Louella Reese reply

    […] {photo source} […]

  20. avatar Lyndsey reply

    Hi I was wondering if you could tell me where you got your larger wooden mirror in your dining room?

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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