Miranda & Her Home
Playful, colorful and undeniably full of love—these are just a few of the words that epitomize the home of One Little Minute blogger, Miranda Anderson. We recently had the chance to virtually sit down with the maker, wife and mom to three, and ended up leaving the conversation with a hearty dose of fresh energy to inspire us this second half of 2016.
Despite the fact that Miranda is constantly juggling the schedules of her children against her own, she manages to consistently churn out gorgeous content on her blog, plus homemade goodies from her sewing machine each and every week—color us impressed! As you scroll through the Anderson abode below, take note of the thoughtful collections Miranda has seamlessly layered throughout each space. Her passion for family and dedication to making unique memories every day has allowed her home to become a sanctuary for cherished memories.
We feel almost certain that you won’t be able to help falling hard for Miranda’s happenstance decorating style and easygoing attitude. And who knows—you might just reignite your own appreciation for the simple things in life!
Tell us everything we need to know about your blog, One Little Minute! When did it launch, and why did you decide to start it?
One Little Minute started back in 2007 while my husband and I were living in Puerto Rico. Blogs were just emerging as a popular way to keep in touch and share experiences with friends and family. This was pre-Facebook or Instagram, which killed most family blogs. I began by sharing personal experiences more journal-style. As I saw the emergence of creative inspiration and DIY blogs over the years, I started sharing more of my creative side as well.
From 2013 to 2015, I took a blog sabbatical while we moved across the country, built our home, had our third baby and settled into a new life. Then last year, I jumped back into blogging with two feet and an even more defined purpose, sharing tips and tutorials for motherhood and making, as well as inspiration, for a simple, creative life. I’ve loved collaborating with some of my favorite brands, sharing useful ideas and really pushing myself creatively as I’ve completed a lot of fun projects this past year. I am looking forward to the next steps in my blogging and creative career!
What was the inspiration behind the color palette and your furniture and accessories collection in your home?
Our home is a true reflection of our lifestyle. It’s a little eclectic, a little southwestern and very practical while maintaining some whimsy. I have always loved to collect meaningful and beautiful pieces and arrange them in a way that made the most sense for daily life. Color has a fun ability to add conversation and interest to spaces. I also like a healthy dose of neutral space as the base for design. I tend to decorate more for how a room feels than how it looks, and I aim for our home to be a place where our friends and neighbors always feel welcome to come in, sit down and stay awhile.
Because of my cozy, eclectic style, I have been collecting furniture, accessories and art for years, not knowing exactly where it would all fit in the grand scheme of the house. Many pieces have been thrifted, reupholstered or repainted, moved from room to room until they finally found a place that feels just right. It has always been more practical for me to decorate in phases, corner by corner and room by room, and it has been fun to see my own design style emerge in the process.
We love spotting all of the cute brass armadillos throughout your home! Can you tell us about this collection?
Yes! I love those little armadillos, too. For background, my dad grew up in New Mexico, so armadillos were part of my heritage. I had a favorite stuffed animal as a child that was a little purple armadillo, so I think I’ve always had a soft spot for them.
When we moved to Austin, one of the first stores I fell in love with was Mockingbird Domestics. It’s is a really cool home goods boutique that sources mostly vintage and local wares, all with a cool, Texan vibe. On one of my visits, I found my first brass armadillo. I truly couldn’t leave the store without him. After that, I began seeing them in other favorite vintage shops—all curated by Austin friends—and kept buying one or two at a time. I also have a marble armadillo I found on the yard sale table of a gas station in central Texas, and adopted him into the collection as well.
I’ve now spread them out to almost every room. They’re a fun nod to our new Texas home, and I also think of them as a fun search-and-find. You know, like when you’re supposed to spot the red feather on every page of a children’s book? Like that, but with brass armadillo in our house. So I’m especially glad you noticed them!
Can you offer just a few tried-and-true tricks for keeping houseplants looking vibrant?
My number-one tip is to get to know your plants by watching how they react to different circumstances. A healthy plant will be growing, and you’ll see new buds, leaves or stalks. If a plant is getting too dry, it will show you by starting to brown around the edges of the leaves or getting droopy. If a plant is being watered too often, it will start to rot at the base, or get brown and mushy toward the center. Most houseplants—even low-light varieties—need at least a couple hours of filtered sunlight per day, so keep them near a well-lit window. Succulents and cacti need far less water than tropicals, but I have and love both and just maintain two separate watering schedules.
Really, I’ve only been an indoor plant mama for a couple years, and have learned everything I know through trial and error. I don’t know if anything can enliven a room quite like a great plant, so I think everyone should give them a try!
Most often when I am creating, living and planning adventures, I am simply moving forward in a direction that feels right, and figuring it out along the way. That’s when there is space for the real magic to happen.
Name a few of your favorite things to do as a family.
We love to hike and camp together, which is getting even easier as our kids get a little bit older. The kids love jumping on the trampoline and playing outdoor games, so we try to do that as a family as often as possible. I can still do a trampoline backflip, which impresses them immensely! All of us adore good food, which works out well as we explore Austin’s bursting food scene together. We have a standing pizza and movie night every Friday that everyone looks forward to all week long. Also, we love to travel. In the last couple years, we have gotten into old-fashioned road trips where we not only beeline to a destination but explore along the way. It’s been amazing to stumble into small-town diners, cool city parks and unexpected side adventures that all add even more to the trip than just the arriving.
Spill! What are your favorite mom brands for clothing and accessories? What about your favorite children’s brands?
When it comes to clothing and accessories, I’m pretty simple and a creature of habit. I’ve been using a clothing capsule wardrobe for about two years, and don’t miss having a huge variety at all! I shop mostly at Madewell for myself, and also have a few favorite pieces from OH! Fox and Sonnet James that are staples. Also, because I sew, I make a lot of my own clothes using patterns from Megan Nielsen, Grainline Studio or my own designs. My daily accessories are simple gold jewelry from J For JMR and Limbo Jewelry, and I have a few cool wooden bangles from Raven + Lily. My TUK watch is my very favorite, so I got one for my husband, too!
I buy most of the kids clothes at Old Navy, because they have great basics and the clothes are inexpensive enough that I feel really great about my kids playing in them. I do also love Levi’s brand denim, and the thicker knit tees from Crewcuts that have washed and worn by far better than any others we’ve had. The boys are old enough to choose their own clothes and dress themselves, so I have sort of released any preconceived ideas about how they dress, and everyone is much happier. For Plum, I still have a little more control, so in addition to her basics, I love some boutique brands like her gorgeous gingham pinafore from Wren & James, clementine fruit romper from Hello Ellie Shop and pinstripe bonnet from Briar Handmade. I also have Free Babes bows stashed in every pocket and drawer around the house!
Can you paint us a picture of a day in your life? What’s a typical day like for you?
I wake up around 6:30 a.m. to let out the puppy, then throw on some exercise clothes. Mondays and Wednesdays I go to body pump at the gym, while on Tuesdays and Thursdays I meet a friend for a run. The kids get up and we do breakfast, which is typically a green smoothie for Dave and me, and some scrambled eggs for them. Then the littles are off to school around 7:30 a.m. and I get ready for the day. During the summer, I hire a babysitter two-to-three days per week to maintain my work schedule. The other days, we visit local waterholes with friends, go to the swimming pool or take a picnic on a hike.
Most work days involve some type of creative project and a photo shoot, so I get busy working on a sewing project, recipe or design work, usually taking pictures along the way while the light is good. In the afternoons, I’ll answer emails, work on logistics or planning and run necessary errands before picking up the kids. After school/work is filled with lessons, play dates and often visits to the playground or dog park. Then we wind down with dinner, outside games with dad that lead right into baths, stories and bedtime. Once the kids are asleep, I pick up around the house, then work on editing photos and writing posts while Dave finishes up his work hours at home. Then we have some time to hang out and watch a show before going to sleep around 10 or 11 p.m. Although, sometimes it’s more like 12 or 1 a.m.
Generally, I have specific days set aside for grocery shopping (Mondays), doing laundry (Mondays and Fridays), work-related meetings (Thursdays) and our weekly date night (Saturday). But, sometimes the gears get out-of-whack and I hold tight as life flies right at us. I’m learning to adapt to unexpected changes, but still bounce back into a baseline routine, which feels so much more manageable and predictable than figuring it all out again every single week. I’m also getting pretty good at eliminating the non-essential activities from our life, so we have time and energy for the things that matter most.
What is the common thread (pun intended!) between your interests in blogging, traveling, sewing and making? Do you have a philosophy you like to live by when it comes to all of your passions?
I love this question. I think the common thread is finding, creating and sharing inspiration. I’ve been a maker as long as I remember, though I never considered myself an artist so I didn’t pursue it formally as a career until recently. My parents are both true DIYers, teaching us from childhood to do a variety of things from sewing to changing tires on the car, to barbecuing the perfect steak. I was raised to work hard and figure things out, which I think naturally encourages experimentation and creativity.
I got really interested in sewing out of necessity in my early 20s, because I wanted to make my own clothing. So, I taught myself to drape and pattern draft, and sew all types of garments. Traveling fits the theme by being the birthplace of so much inspiration that carries over into my creative life. And blogging has become the main medium by which I share all of the above!
As far as a philosophy to live by, I agree wholeheartedly with Ray Bradbury when he says, “Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can’t try to do things, you simply must do things.” Most often when I am creating, living and planning adventures, I am simply moving forward in a direction that feels right, and figuring it out along the way. That’s when there is space for the real magic to happen.
My goal is for each post I write to stand alone as a piece of information, inspiration and content that has inherent value aside from its place in my overall story.
Favorite things to pick up at Trader Joe’s?
A better question for me is what I don’t buy at Trader Joe’s. I’m one of the store’s biggest fans and do all of my weekly shopping there! The recommendations I always give friends include the dark chocolate turbinado almonds, honey goat cheese, marinated carne asada beef, herbed pizza dough, chocolate pudding, pretzel bagels, mango cream bars, three-minute frozen jasmine rice, frozen kouing aman pastries, sparkling blood orange juice and fresh flowers, of course.
What has been your most memorable trip, and why?
This is a tough one because trips make such profound memories, and I’ve been lucky to travel to and also live in many incredible places. A trip Dave and I refer to quite often is the weeks we spent traveling through Singapore and Thailand just after I graduated from college. We had no firm plans except to explore. We made decisions along the way based on our Lonely Planet guidebook and what seemed interesting at the moment. Everything we encountered about the food, people, language and cultures was so new and exciting, and continually had us learning. We stayed in remote guest houses, slept on buses between cities, ate the best street pad thai and spicy cashew salad of our lives and generally felt a genuine freedom from responsibilities and worries that we haven’t felt since!
We went into the trip knowing we may never have that type of travel experience again once we had children, a real job and grew up a little more. So, it really felt like we were embracing our young relationship and the time of our lives that we knew was fleeting. I still think about that when we’re making travel plans at this stage of our lives. We’ve got to do it! Enjoy it all as much as we can, or life just goes by.
How has motherhood changed the way you decorate your home?
Just as I want my home to be comfortable and cozy for guests, I want it to feel that same way even more so for my children. So, I try to be thoughtful to create spaces where they can be their little, messy, crazy selves and feel happy. Most obviously, the playroom is their own space, created just for them (and actually changing relatively often to meet their new needs). But, I also keep breakable, heirloom-type items out of reach, and choose furniture that is kid-friendly, like leather or darker fabrics. I didn’t have much of a decorating style at all before I had kids, because we lived in small apartments on student budgets, so I’ve learned to design my home with my children running around and through it. I include their needs and interests in mind with every room I design.
What’s your idea of the perfect date night out with your husband?
A perfect date always starts with really great food, ideally from a local food truck and packed into a picnic to take out on a hike or into a canoe on the lake. I first fell in love with Dave for the way we so easily fall into interesting conversation, how he knows a little about everything and how he makes me laugh. So, dates where we get to spend the time talking and interacting are always my favorite. After eating and walking/rowing, I’d love to catch some live music in the park—there’s always music somewhere in Austin—where we can sing and dance before going home and snuggling up with some late-night ice cream on the back patio.
Which room in your home proved to be the most difficult? What was the biggest challenge in designing this space, and how did you overcome it?
The most challenging room in my home is probably the laundry room. It is as yet undesigned because I haven’t overcome the challenges! Hopefully soon!
Second to that, the patio room was a funny challenge. It’s a main room of the house, sitting along the center hallway halfway between the front door and the kitchen/living space. It was intended to be the dining room. After about a year of using it as such we decided it was fairly useless—too far from the kitchen, too formal for our casual lifestyle—and I set out to create a better solution. We brainstormed what we needed and wanted from our home that we didn’t already have, and a room set aside for relaxation and conversation was what we came up with. I was inspired by a home feature I saw with a room dedicated to a single indoor hammock, and set out to create a laid-back, intentional, indoor patio space.
The black wall served as an anchor for the room, really setting it apart from the hallway in a way that it wasn’t before. Then I stumbled across the ranch-style sofa in a vintage shop and it felt like it belonged on a patio (after some serious upholstery). The hammock chairs were more practical seating than a full-size hammock, and the rest of the pieces fell into place.
In your opinion, how do you think the nature of professional blogging is going to change in the next decade? And what do you think your career as a blogger will look like as trends evolve?
I wish I knew! Most blogs are definitely not being read as daily journals as they were a few years ago, but most are still highly valuable as information and inspiration tools for people searching on Google or Pinterest. My goal is for each post I write to stand alone as a piece of information, inspiration and content that has inherent value aside from its place in my overall story. I see more and more blogs becoming websites, multi-person teams and even full corporations. This is an exciting development, but also calls into question the future role of smaller, single writer blogs like mine.
I find joy and value in creating and sharing as a blogger, and also continue to develop the other arms of my creative career such as teaching local workshops, writing and contributing to other blogs and eventually creating a collaborative workshop space to bring creatives and makers together.
Regardless of what anyone else is doing with their life, time, money and family, the life that will bring you the most success and joy will be yours alone.
What do you love most about living in Austin? Where do you always make it a point to take your visitors?
There is something inexplicably cool about Austin. It has a really great vibe! In addition to an incredible food scene, lots of outdoor activities in the gorgeous hill country and along the lake, a bustling creative and startup community and fantastic weather year-round, it also just has this awesome laid-back feeling! I love taking visitors to eat migas at the South Congress Cafe, we always get Torchy’s Tacos with queso and Topo Chico at the original trailer park, then grab a frozen hot chocolate next door at The Holy Cacao. I love taking friends swimming in Barton Springs, which is such a true Austin adventure.
Any parting words of advice?
It’s always nice to give the advice that I need to hear. What I keep reminding myself these last couple years is this: Do the things you really love and cut out the rest. Regardless of what anyone else is doing with their life, time, money and family, the life that will bring you the most success and joy will be yours alone. Truly take inventory and question what pieces of your life are working well, adding value and bringing joy, and which are keeping you stuck in the “should” or “have to” of daily life. Find the courage to make changes. Be OK saying “no” to good opportunities that won’t contribute to your end goals. Don’t buy things that you don’t need. Fill your days with an abundance of gratitude, enthusiasm and love.
- Jackalope wallpaper
- Wall shelves
- Striped towels
- White bookcase
- Striped teepee
- Adjustable garment rack
- Metal pegboard
- Sewing desk
- Wall cubby
- Stump print
- Swimming print
- Stendig calendar
- Media console
- Pendant lights
- Bistro chairs
- Hanging planters
- Wall stripes
- Chindi rug
- Colorful plates
- Hammock chairs
- Bison print
- Bentwood pendant
- Vintage indigo and mudcloth pillows
- Vintage Texas flag
- Console table
- Cowhide rug
- Night stand
- ‘Things Will Work Out’ print
- Hat rack
- Blue couch
- Coffee table
- Bunk bed (painted)
- Laundry cart
- Point blanket
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