Happy holidays with love from Boca.

We Hunt-Homans had a simple and low-fuss Christmas celebration this year–no-fuss for us, at least. My parents and grandparents on the other hand went above and beyond during our three-day drive from Omaha to Boca where we’re staying in my grandparent’s house. The guest bed is from the hotel they used to own, and they have the hospitality to match. I came here often as a child growing up and I never dreamed when I was sleeping here in a fold-out couch at age 8 that I’d be doing the same thing someday with my daughter and husband. Being able to bring them here and create this new memory together is the best gift I got this year.

Alice’s big gifts from us were a Lego Duplo zoo and a magnifying glass. We also got her some books and filled up her stocking with treats like Hello Kitty lip balm (we’re very into lipstick), stampers, and a flashlight. My parents gave her a wooden kitchen set and a cardboard fort-making kit from a San Francisco-based company called Bildopolis, and they left it with us on Christmas Eve to set up for Alice’s Christmas morning. At first when she woke up to a living room with a kitchen, fort, and toys set up, she was a little overwhelmed and anxious and went back into her room. After a while she warmed up to the new toys and was soon cooking eggs and cake for all of us in her new kitchen. It’ll be awesome to set it all up at our house when we get back next week.

Dave setting up the fort, which has since become much, much larger and more complex….

Alice playing with some big blocks from her grandparents. We had donut holes for breakfast. There was much more excitement than pictured here, but I tend to end up with a lot of serious pictures of Alice because she is a very serious person. Once I upload the photos from my camera I will share some more.

I love this kitchen–all the little details are perfect. Look at those wooden mushrooms! The salt and pepper shakers make a shaking sound, and the little knobs on the stovetop turn. It’s a really pretty kitchen that I’m sure we’ll use for a long time. I look forward to many carrot cakes and scrambled eggs.

xx

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Five things I’ve learned as a full-time Airbnb host

1. Airbnb is actually about entrepreneurship (which can kind of sneak up on you).
When I started hosting, it was truly out of desperation because I needed a way to fund the new company I was building. When I made my first few hundred dollars in a month with seemingly little effort, I realized that by taking hosting more seriously I could avoid what I thought was the inevitability of needing a part-time job (in addition to my 60-hour/week at Hello Holiday plus parenting my daughter). As my personal finances were dwindling, I could never have stomached the idea that starting a second business would be the solution, which is why the possibility of so much hosting success surprised me.

OOTD: Summer Sweater

That thing where it's 420 degrees outside and 69 degrees inside.

when you want to work as remotely as possible: traveling for business

A: Travel is important to me because it helps my morale. It recharges my spirit. Every month or two? I like to get away as often as I can…probably sometimes to the annoyance of my business partner and coworkers. It’s always important to me to find something to work on wherever I go–a reason to make it worth my while from a business perspective–but there are some places I go just to ONLY work.

OOTD: Office Hours

This summer instead of having our 4-year-old Alice go to her school’s summer program, Dave and I decided to get a nanny. Her name is Kylie and she’s been WONDERFUL over the past two months! I really wish we could keep her all year and just have Alice in this hybrid coparenting-learning-field tripping-coming to the office situation, but I’m not sure I’m up for all the coordination it would take. I’m definitely considering it because I’ve never seen Alice so engaged and happy–she plays all day, does art and science camps and activities all over town, and gets lots of time outside, which leads to nice early bedtimes. Smile. I love having her at work after 4 every day and all day on Fridays.

Letter from a reader: Changes and consistency

I am a long time reader of your blog and have seen it through its various incarnations. I wondered if you might find inspiration one day to discuss the changes, i.e., the changes in you. For example (and these are purely from memory, so I may very well be misremembering things or just plain getting things wrong):
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