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Fresh House, Fresh Life


We are in the new house and despite a bad present called “hand, foot and mouth disease” and basement flooding, life has truly become easier. I get to wake up in this clean, fresh space, and it feels so good (click through to see more). But that’s not what this post is about.

A couple of months ago Haven Life — a modern life insurance agency that has created a simple, straightforward and entirely online way to protect your loved ones — reached out about sponsoring a post. Brady threw the idea out to me expecting a rejection, but much to his surprise I said YES after just 5 minutes on their site. Listen, I’m not an insurance salesman, nor do you want me to be, but when a product or service really, really stands out as game changing to my life (and hopefully yours), then I figure it is a blog post worth writing.

Of course, talking about life insurance without some photos seemed quite dull (I know you guys well), so I’ll show you some of the first days of us in the new house, in our new life, and tell you why life insurance is so valuable and important to me. Simultaneously, you’ll find out why I loved Haven Life’s extremely easy and entirely online approach to offering a type of insurance that’s so important to many of us. If Haven Life had insurance agents (which they don’t because it’s all online), I’m pretty sure they could just hire me. I can sell this stuff because, even though life insurance is something no one really likes to talk about, it has brought so much calmness and joy to my life. So let’s get into it.


Brian and I have put off grown up things for a long time. I didn’t have a proper accountant ‘til 4 years ago, I didn’t have a daily or hourly billing system ‘til a year ago, and I didn’t have a retirement fund set up ‘til last year. We are both left brained, which doesn’t help, but also being so broke during our twenties conditioned us to avoid any un-required, adult-style expenses – even when they are nominal (and even if we can afford them now). Once we had kids, we KNEW that we needed to get life insurance to financially protect them should anything happen to me or Brian. But we didn’t know where to start with getting covered, and the process of buying a policy seemed daunting… so we just put it off for a while.


But, with a lack of responsible coverage looming over me, I started having anxiety, especially when I travelled without them. I feared the plane crashing, an intruder entering my hotel room, or you know, every other insanely irrational worry that you have when you are a mom (congrats!). It wasn’t the fear of death that kept me awake but what would happen to my family if I died. Brian has a job but supporting two kids + childcare + our current mortgage would be impossible. So we finally bucked up and got covered.

We are now life-insured. Those of you under 30 might have just fallen asleep, but perk up. This is relevant to your life (and if not right now, in the near future), and I have more house pictures to share!


So, who should get life insurance? Most people need life insurance if they have people who rely on them financially. That means you probably need life insurance if you: have kids or other financial dependents, have a partner who you share financial obligations with, have debts, like a mortgage, or other co-signed loans that would be left to your family to pay off, are a stay-at-home parent, or even if you don’t have enough savings to cover potential burial or final expenses. If you don’t have kids or any debt and are single, then life insurance probably isn’t necessary right now. If you are a stay-at-home parent and think ‘Well, I don’t bring home an income’ then think about how much childcare costs and whether or not your partner’s salary can support that.

Essentially, if your family would be highly burdened financially by your death, then life insurance is something worth seriously considering for the peace of mind alone.

That’s what I always thought about – how would they go on? The financial stress on top of the grief (assuming they would grieve over me A LOT) is more than I can bear even talking about. (fun fact: I have a letter to each of them on my laptop, emailed to a friend, just in case a tragedy occurs). So that’s why we bought life insurance and now, honestly, every time I fly by myself I feel so much more confidant and less anxious knowing I have minimized the potential stress on Brian and my kids.


So now that I’ve pretty much acted like an overbearing salesperson and guilted you into getting covered, you should know that there are many traditional ways of getting life insurance, but the process can be, well, complicated and long. When I got covered, it took a couple weeks, a lot of paperwork (that you have to like, print out and fax / email and stuff) and a medical exam you have to pass. Haven Life is now nationwide, so check it out because it’s WILDLY easier than the traditional process and very affordable. For example, a 20-year, $500, 000 Haven Term policy would cost a healthy 35 year-old woman about $19 per month. See how much it would cost you.

The process for applying is entirely online, and you find out instantly whether you’re approved for coverage. Added bonus: no exam is needed for many qualified, healthy applicants, depending on the truthfulness of the answers given in the application.

One of my initial questions to the Haven Life team was, since you are so new, are you a startup that is going to go under and then leave people without life insurance??!?! But no, they are backed by MassMutual, a more than 160-year-old life insurance company. So they have the innovative spirit of a young startup coupled with the backing of a company with serious experience and integrity.


So what about pricing? Well, I wanted to compare what we currently had with what they offer, so I logged in with a New York zip code (because when the post went live it wasn’t available in California yet, but is now live in California, yay!) and it was more affordable than my current plan at an estimated $57.67 a month for a 30-year, $1 million policy. Both Brian and I have 30-year, $1 million policies.Thirty years from now, our kids will be grown, and hopefully we’ll have paid off any debts, have 25 trillion dollars in our savings account, and organized our finances, so coverage will no longer be necessary – but the constant peace of mind is worth it.


When shopping for life insurance, you can choose term lengths that are 10, 15, 20 or 30 years, and you certainly don’t have to get $1 million dollars in coverage. In fact, a common rule of thumb, is to get coverage that’s 5 to 10 times your annual salary. If you’re not sure how much coverage you need, you can use a free, online life insurance calculator.

God, I do really sound like I’m trying to guilt you into it, I just have had friends who have passed away very young, with small kids, and it made what was already a horrifying situation, truly unbearable for the family.


Okay, enough about the negative stuff. You get it. Life insurance is a very good thing to have. Having it makes you feel confident, protected and like you are truly making decisions for your future and your kids. That is a VERY positive thing to do and something that does make us proud.


You’d think this post was about cat insurance by amount of cat cameos there are – cateos. They are LOVING/terrified by their new planet so much.   


So that’s my spiel about life insurance and how we finally feel like true, responsible parents because we have it. I highly encourage you to think about it and if you are going to pull the trigger, then consider saving some time/frustrations of the traditional way (because we all know buying online is better) and look into Haven Life. They’ve really changed the standard for how you should buy life insurance.


Those kids. Man. I cry just thinking about anything happening ever. I’m notoriously ‘quick to weep’ as Brian puts it. So if I can have one less reason to weep I’ll take it. And I do. I honestly don’t care how you get life insurance, just get it. And if you want my personal recommendation on a particular life insurance you have it in Haven Life. Get it – you won’t regret it. Life is short (and long). Have fun, snuggle those kids and be safe.

***Thanks for supporting Haven Life and our other sponsors, who allow us to bring original content to you everyday. Although the post was sponsored by them, all opinions and ramblings are my own.

Haven Term is a Term Life Insurance Policy (DTC, ICC14DTC) issued by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), Springfield, MA 01111 and offered exclusively through Haven Life Insurance Agency, LLC

Fin Mark


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Katy DeBardelaben

Totally agree re: having life insurance. Also, a living will once you have kids. We are terrible and have a two year old and are finally writing one up. I will feel so much lighter knowing life insurance and the living will are both taken care of.

But can we talk about your bedroom? I LOVE that window, and the face that you can sit up there. Don’t cover it with a headboard. I think this topic needs to be a post. Like the tv in the living room post which by the way, where is it going?! Dying to know. 😉

Julie P

I agree, no headboard in front of that gorgeous window!!


Seconded on the window/headboard issue. Currently mired in that quandary!!!


Concur, no headboard in front of that window, it’s a show stopper on its own.


I think it would be okay to to a low headboard that just goes a couple of inches above the sill. CB2 used to have a perfect option called the Supra Bed but I think it’s gone now 🙁


How about a low but long bed head that extends past the bedsides so the bedsides sit in front of it? I love that look & this is the perfect space for it


I too am dying to figure out where you’re putting the TV in the living room. We have a very similar, long skinny living room that I have been trying to arrange for months with no success. Hoping your living room will inspire my own. Love your work.


I don’t have any dependents, and when I die, my parents should be able to sell my house for more than I owe. I also have healthy retirement savings that they will get, which will more than cover final expenses. I still got extra life insurance through work (my company pays for some) because it was really cheap and I figured that if I die before my parents, they are going to be heartbroken and this would allow them to take as much unpaid leave from work as necessary. Plus, it would just make their lives easier.


Just came here to say that we have two sets of kitty twins! I have one striped gray tabby and one black (with a little white tip on his tail)!


I’m 27 with no debts or dependents, so I went into this post thinking it wouldn’t be for me. That said, I found it really interesting and useful, I’ll probably reference it in a few years when I’m (hopefully) in a situation that requires life insurance. Thanks, Emily!


Same! I’m pinning this for when i become an “adult”.


If your assets won’t be enough to cover your funeral costs (which can be more than $10,000), consider getting a small policy to ease the burden on whoever will have to cover that cost. Or you could just prepay for your funeral, which is actually increasingly popular these days; however, I don’t know much about it.

How did I not realize until now you all have cats? 🙂


Bearcat! General Meow! Yay! Now where’s the little dog picture going?

(Oh yes, life insurance is a must if you have dependents)


Paint color and bathroom wall paper source? Please.


yep! also curious about the lovely wallpaper!


Wallpaper looks like Farrow and Ball ‘Aranami’ ?


I think it’s important to point out that if you have a healthy retirement account like a 401k and also good equity in your home, your heir(s) will inherit that (if you set it up that way) and be ok. I feel like that’s probably the more usual scenario with people who have careers and kids. And if not, your home and retirement account might be a better use of that monthly premium money, since it will almost definitely go to you or your heirs, unlike insurance that most often (and best case scenario) never gets used.

Also, dying young in a plane is extremely unlikely, but also a very, very common fear. Your life is way more in danger each time you get in a car or tub. And the odds of dying young are fairly remote, too, which is why life insurance is a very profitable business. But so are state lotteries. People don’t see the odds as clearly as they envision a catastrophic or hugely beneficial life changing event.

But if insurance gives people peace of mind, that can be priceless, too.


I agree. It is important to have coverage that makes you feel comfortable, but savings and retirement planning are more important. As another commenter pointed out above, paying have a will properly drawn up is a very important first step to ensure your assets can assist your dependents properly. Obviously Emily is self employed but people employed-by-others should take full advantage of employer assisted 401k or IRA programs. After the employee assist, paying off all debt, including the home, should be a priority. Even 20$ or 50$ extra a month off the premium of a 30 year loan can have a huge impact on the interest paid. Purchasing other investments like mutual funds or a private 401k with the option to move most of your money to cash should also be considered. These private invests are safe and give you the control. Most retirement accounts cap the percentage of the total portfolio that can be moved to a cash position (within the account…i don’t mean selling the account for cash in hand) which can be a valuable protection against swings in the general economic system. Life insurance to cover cost of funeral and burial and to help grieving loved ones… Read more »


Paying off mortgage by additional $20-30 montly doesn’t do much unfortunately. Not these days when rates are low. Sorry but that would be just 200-300 a year. Over 10 years it would be 2000-3000. It could save you 2000-3000 in a 30 year period the most. Every bit helps but it’s not going to keep someone out of poverty. IT doesn’t mean people shouldn’t do it. It just means it’s not a replacement for life insurance. Many people don’t have 401K unfortunately. If they have it’s just a few thousand dollars unfortunately. Not too helpful. Also most people don’t invest. Investing is risky and requires a lot of time, which many people don’t have to learn about investing. Also to invest in some companies you’d need to have larger amounts of money as many companies don’t allow you to buy one stock. The fees can be hefty as well. If you don’t have dispoable income investing in stocks is not helpful. Again with kids, childcare, work, it can be difficult. Yes many people have great jobs, and great benefits but they spend too much on entertainment and stuff, and not enough on savings. But for majority of families even if… Read more »


Many people don’t have that. The median earnings are realy low. Considering how much money and effort is required to raise kids, temporary life insurance is a good idea for most families. Also, most families don’t have equity. They either rent or they have mortgages. Even if they had equity, what do you do if you spouse dies? You sell the only home you have? and get rid of money you might need for healthcare expensive at some point? I agree that life insurance is a very profitable business, but I also think that it’s a good idea to be insured at the time people need it the most. Mmost people when they turn 45 they start having what you described. But majority of 25-35 year olds wouldn’t have as many assests or equity.


Dying young is rare, but it happens. I lost a friend at 37. She had no pre-existing conditions but died of a heart attack. Also, because young people are less likely to have large amounts of home equity or high balances saved for retirement, life insurance is even more important for them, especially if they have spouses and/or dependents. The good news is that young, reasonably healthy people can typically get insurance relatively cheaply.

Agreed. The younger you are with dependants the more important it is. If I died now, my family may not recover in many ways. in 10 years, it would be better. In 10 years + life insurance, I know they would recover. All it takes is to witness one family have this horror happen to them, with no life insurance for you to respect the value of this confidence.


Neither home equity nor a 401K would be useful to my husband and kids if I were to die. They would have to sell our current home…and go where? (To some other house that has appreciated every bit as much as mine has? And who wants their family to be forced to move right after the death of a spouse?) Or get a home equity loan that just makes the house payment all the higher, which would be hard to do if we lost me and my income. The 401k is fully taxable and an additional penalty applies if taken out before either of us would have hit 59…so again, not ideal. I am a CPA, and have seen many clients take the “it will never happen to me” approach with life insurance. No young person thinks they will be the one to die, but it does happen. And the people who were smart enough to have substantial life insurance policies…Well let’s just say that having a million bucks to wipe your tears with (and pay the bills that remain the same in the aftermath of losing a partner’s income) makes an enormous difference to their ability to cope with… Read more »

Me, too. 🙂

I take offense at you likening life insurance to the lottery.

One is something you know you will never win-but the odds of needing life insurance are FAR greater. I hope you never, ever, are in the position to have to worry about the house you/your kids live in while your soul mate has just passed away.

My husband died very suddenly at the ripe old age of 42 🙁

If not for his life insurance the kids and I would have had to leave our home, because when he died, I lost 60% of our joint income.
( I’m a teacher. I make a decent salary, but it’s still hard when that other salary goes away).

It will be ten years this year that my beloved Daz is gone, but I still own that home-all because of something so simple and affordable that we just KNEW we’d never use-until we had to.

TL, DR: Life insurance is another way to say “I Love You!”

WOW. Skin chilling. thank you for your story. Again, i don’t work for haven and they only sponsored this post (not me, the next 15 years talking about life insurance), but I feel so strongly about life insurance and think that its weird people think its such a waste of money. I’m so, so, so sorry for your loss of Daz, and i can’t imagine that situation, but you are a badass for persevering, being an amazing hardworking, single mom and giving advice about a surely difficult subject. xx


I’m 29 with zero dependents but a small amount of student loan debt. I was able to get life insurance inexpensively through work. It’s enough for my family to pay all my expenses and do something nice for themselves to feel better about the situation. I agree, it feels good knowing my family is taken care of in the event something happens. Next step is a safety deposit box and a living will!


Thanks for posting this as many of us with young kids only think about this type of thing after a tragedy. I wish I knew about Haven before getting my policy this year which seemed a bit painful.


I know not one but TWO families where both parents were killed in an accident while traveling so the thought of our kids being “orphaned” is always with me whenever dh and I are in a car without the kids. Such a downer on date nights, LOL! Although we have generous benefits through work, it was a painful ordeal (paperwork, physicals, medical) getting additional $1M term life policies. And don’t forget to take into account college expenses, weddings, etc… if these things are important for you to be able to provide.

Emily K

I have a child and a live-in boyfriend with 2 kids of his own plus a mortgage. I’m the primary breadwinner and the mortgage is in my name. Yet I have no life insurance. I’ve tried and been declined due to health reasons. I’m only 35 and don’t smoke, am a healthy weight, and exercise. I just have an annoying chronic condition (UC) which is very well managed. One of the rare complications with that autoimmune disease is death but honestly due to medical advances it’s becoming even rarer and the underwriters still have an outdated view of the risks. I’m sure it didn’t help that my dr is incredibly unpersonable and gloom and doom.

I might give this company a shot but I’ve heard once you are declined every company can see that and makes it that much harder to try again.

I just cross my fingers and hold my breath every time I cross the street. It’s a damn shame.

This is such a shame. Sorry to hear this. My husband had a liver transplant when he was 8 and has life insurance. Keep fighting! I don’t see how he could get it and you can’t. Best of luck!


Same. I have thyroid cancer which is still there but hasn’t grown literally at all in 5 years. My cancer specialist fully expects me to live a normal life expectancy and yet I can’t get life insurance. My parents bought me a whole life policy when I was a kid so at least I have that. Although it’s nowhere close to what term life would be.

It is a shame. People much less healthy than me can get insurance. stamp that little “cancer” thing on someone and it’s a no go. 🙁


Often times, jobs will offer term life insurance as an add on with Guaranteed Issue limits if you sign up the first time it is offered. Many companies offer 2 or 3 x salary levels with no medical asked as a guaranteed issue level. (Often larger employers with over 100 employees.)

If you do change jobs at any future point, ask HR or read the materials thoroughly in the enrollment process about GI on the voluntary life insurance — it may be your only way to pick up coverage at a decent price. Best of luck with your continued recovery. — Ali, HR /Benefits Consultant

That’s insane. I’m so sorry. That must be so frustrating.


We NEED life insurance and it’s silly that we don’t have it. Thanks for the kick in the pants. I’ll be checking out Haven Life today. ***Side note……I’m so psyched about your new house and I’m giddy anytime you do a post (or insta story) regarding it. ?


I got a small life insurance policy when I had my first baby in my mid-twenties and am so grateful because little did I know that in my late twenties I would be diagnosed with cancer. Despite an awesome prognosis and quick treatment/recovery, the cancer makes me uninsurable for term life insurance – I can’t increase my existing policy. So, we now pay for a much more expensive, less practical whole life policy to build on my small original policy. Anyway, all this to say that you never know what is in store – get life insurance while you’re healthy and can qualify!


I hadn’t thought about life insurance since I’m in my early twenties with no kiddos yet, but I never thought about not being able to get it someday because of a cancer diagnosis. Breast cancer runs in my family, so I’m definitely going to think about getting a policy sooner rather than later!

Also, I’m so glad you had a quick recovery! That is so great! 🙂


This! I wish I had done it! I had a TIA (mini-stroke) at 30 while pregnant with my second and now I am pretty sure no insurance company will touch me. I wish I’d gotten it when I was healthy and would qualify! Because the unexpected can happen.


The other positive that wasn’t mentioned about doing this sooner rather than later is that coverage when your younger typically locks you into a rate that cheaper.

May sound morbid to some but I grew up pretty poor (paycheck to paycheck and sometimes relying on family assistance) in a large family and my folks got cheap insurance plans out on all the kids just in case. It was VERY cheap and now we have the benefit of that additional coverage to continue at a rate/coverage that we wouldn’t be able to get now. It also gave the folks piece of mind while we were little that a potential tragedy wouldn’t put the whole family on the street.


This! It is so cheap to get insurance when you are young and healthy. My friend who has virtually non symptomatic MS…will never be able to get an insurance policy, and he was diagnosed at 28.


Cateo = A+! 100! YAS! 🙂


An awesome post Emily! I couldn’t agree more and am living proof of the importance of life insurance. My husband purchased a whole life product about 13 months before he was diagnoised with cancer. Unfortuantely he passed away 2 years later, at the age of 36 years old. Our children were 3, 6 and 8 years old. I had always been a stay at home mom, and now it was more important than ever for me to continue to focus 100% on our children. The whole life product has made it financially possible to be home for the kiddos….who are now 17, 14 and 12 and thriving and doing well!! No one wants to think or talk about life insurance, but its a small price to pay for security for your family. Thank you!


I’m so sorry to hear you lost your husband so very young. Thank you for sharing your story.

Wow. I’m so sorry. I can’t imagine how hard it was, and i’m so glad that you had the foresight to get the insurance and care for your kids. These are the stories that make me so happy to make that monthly payment. xx


All covered on the life insurance front so I’ll glaze over and just get to the questions…but seriously like she said anyone who has a dependent or someone who relies on them/has family who is not already wealthy should get covered, even if it’s to cover burial expenses – that shiz is REAL expensive fast!! Even the “alternative box” aka a cremation where they give you your loved one essentially in a plastic bag and cardboard box is expensive.

So questions: Does anyone know what the tree is in her dining room? Where can I find those giant kids blocks?


House looks awesome… I can’t wait for all your decorating posts! I LOVVVVE the beams and floors and paint colors, etc etc etc. In one pic, I think I spy wood thonet-style bar stools… I remember you said you changed your mind last minute and went with the white – are you going back to wood? (fingers crossed… ??!!)


Agreed! I can’t wait for more posts about your house. It looks amazing, what kind of white paint did you use?


We recently bought our first house and I finally became panicked about the fact we didn’t have life insurance. We got ours through State Farm (next to Nail to Toe in the Gelsons complex, for all the Los Feliz peeps) and it was relatively painless. Everyone was super nice and helpful and didn’t pressure us. There was one in-person meeting to go over all our options, a phone interview, a medical evaluator who came to our home, and one more in person meeting to sign docs and finalize everything. One thing I want to point out, which was pointed out to us, is that it’s much cheaper to get insurance when you are younger. And that lower price is the price you pay forever. So it actually isn’t a bad idea to think about it if you’re in your 20s and don’t have a family but you know you almost definitely will in the future. The second thing is the product we got, which is called “Return of Premium,” which I’d never heard of but which I love and which made the prospect of life insurance seem like less of a waste of money. Basically, if you luck out and… Read more »


Can I just comment on your house pics?! I was kinda unimpressed with your kitchen since it didn’t seem quite like the “English cottage” you had discussed. But now?! Seeing the family room?! I love it all! A huge departure from English cottage but it all looks so cohesive and beautiful now. I hope you don’t change anything about the family room, dining nook and kitchen. It all goes together and looks perfect in the house. So so beautiful and CA cool!


While not a popular topic, it’s definitely a necessary one. Thanks for giving me the nudge I needed to take care of this for my family. And the sneak peek of your new home is a great bonus!


Also, for your headboard covering the window or not dilemma, I really LOVE the bed that Orlando used in the guestroom of the Orcondo. While not cottagey it could be a good departure/standout and wouldn’t block the window.

Amy E Jones

Gasp! Your new home is stunning. I could stare at these pictures all day! Amazing, amazing, amazing. Happy 2017. xxoo


Another thought-out, well-executed sponsored post. You know how it’s done!

Looking at those pictures, I am so happy you didn’t go for black paint on your trims and beams. It turned out to be very beautiful!


Beautiful home! I love how light it is. Also, just curious – isn’t this your friend Ian’s house? I loved this space when you decorated it for him, but it looks even better now! Love it.

Also, le sigh, Haven life insurance sounds like the best way to adult with life insurance. Bloodwork has always put me off with other companies so this is awesome!


This does feel very sponsored… and yet I’m glad to see another reasonable (at least it seems like it) option for life insurance. I think like you that if there are dependants and spouses who depend on both incomes, both parents should be insured for all the same reasons you listed.


This does feel very sponsored… and yet I’m glad to see this post. I think like you that if there are dependants and spouses who depend on both incomes, both parents should be insured for all the same reasons you listed. I don’t need insurance now (no kids), but I’m glad to have learned about this option. I might actually use it in the future if I don’t see anything else in the meantime.


Yeah it took my husband and I a long time to do those grown up things like sign up for 401ks and get life insurance. Same reason, we were poor for most of our twenties. Anyway good post!

Also right when I read you might think this is a post about cat insurance I thought, can she do a post with just cats in her house, cause that would be awesome! You could tie it into design with good/bad fabrics to use when you have kitties in your house. 🙂

Also maybe a rug post about how to find amazing rugs like that on ebay/chairish. Like what key words do you use, what are you looking for?


So excited to see your house! Congrats on no boxes!!!!

I’m especially excited about your bedroom. I vote metal frame canopy bed to frame the window…one with a low headboard, or no headboard.


Those that can’t get life insurance for whatever reason should look into accidental death insurance. Life insurance is better overall, but accidental death will cover the hit-by-the-bus scenarios.


This was a very well written sponsored post and I hope people take something from it. I’ve always been a planner, and have had a Roth IRA and life insurance since my early 20s. But I’m not at that depressing age where friends and acquaintances are starting to tragically pass away. People in their early 30s with young families. Lots of times families are left to cover unexpected funeral expenses and have to use a GOFundme (which I think is a great resource BUT). It’s better to be safe than put your loved ones through financial stress on top of everything else.


*now at that age


I love seeing you loving those beautiful kids of yours. You have so many talents!


Emily, I have followed your blog for a long time now, not sure if I have ever commented before, but this post has struck a chord and I feel the need to applaud your thoughts on this. Life insurance is so important (no, I’m not a salesman). I sleep way better at night, knowing that if something should happen to my husband or I, or heaven forbid, both of us, that my kids will financially be taken care of. It is a huge pain to get, and here in Canada it is expensive, but oh, so worth it!


I love the cateos!!! where in the heck do you hide the catbox?


A lot of your comments and those from other readers talk about how important it is to get life insurance when you have kids/dependent/etc, but there is a MAJOR reason to get it young and without those things, simply put, once you have it, you are locked in at that rate and coverage. Which care be hugely beneficial if you have a health condition crop up later on that would impact how insurable you are. The cheaper you are to insure when you get life insurance, the less you end up paying for it. DO IT NOW!

Source: my dad owns his own business as a financial planner, he doesn’t sell insurance, but he always tells his clients that it’s crucial for their future financial benefit.


This is so true! We have two kids who have life threatening allergies to peanuts and dairy. I casually mentioned to our insurance guy that I was worried about my kids ever being able to obtain life insurance when they’re adults due to this and he suggested that we purchase life insurance for them right now. Because they are children, the rate is quite low, but it locks in their insurability with this company well into their adult lives and makes it easier for them later on to add on to their current plan. I think we pay around $2 /month for a $10,000 policy on each kid. We are in Canada so it may be different in the US, but I feel it is totally worth it for their future ability to get life insurance when they need it as adults.

Yes life insurance. Let’s talk about that tree in your dining room! Please please please tell us what it is.


Hah hah, Cateos. 🙂

I don’t mind a sponsored post, because you add your personal point of view, and you always make sure we know that it’s sponsored. You make some very good points and I’m sure made everyone at least pause for a second to think about it.

Love the house pictures, can’t wait to see more and hear sources!!! Can’t decide which direction I like your sofa more! (also, I do agree with another comment that your kitchen, while beautiful, did not convey to me “English Country” really).


Hi, I would love to know where you got those gorgeous chairs with gray cushions! Oh and life insurance is a must when you have kids! Thanks!


okay, the main thing that stood out to me here was the picture of you sitting in the windowsill and the oddly-shaped thing in the top of the window!! maybe my eyes are playing tricks on me, but what the heck is that? looks kind of like blinds, but i don’t think they would be shaped that way. this is driving me nuts haha!


I’m with you Abby – I can’t make out what it is either!


i think it’s a temporary blind. When i moved into my house we bought these paper tape-up temp blinds before we bought window treatments. They folded up like an accordian and liked kinda like that!

HA. Yes. they are terrible temporary black-out shades. We actually just removed them today and put up temporary black out curtains because our real curtains are still 6 weeks out. But those are just paper shades that are $4 but stop being able to shape after 2 weeks.


I’ve been on the fence with your blog for a while now and today’s post just pushed right off. Can’t just show us a reveal of your new house, you have to turn it into a sponsored post about life insurance. Blech! It’s sad to see the direction your once wonderful design blog is going. Sorry to say it because you used to be my favorite. Bye.


If you do not like the post just say so and move on. Also, I’m sure you can understand people evolve and grow up, so does the blog. This topic clearly touched many peoples’ heart, so at least you should respect that. I am a young, broke medical student who will most likely not buy life insurance right away but I appreciated the sentiment of this post and the meaning behind those pictures (her true treasures and the reason she even brings up life insurance are Brian, and the kids). Don’t mean to be mean but just be more constructive with your criticism and less self centered if the topic of ONE post is something that makes you want to say BYE…health and lots of happiness for the new year!


What a negative start to 2017. I realize that you will not be reading my reply, but I feel the need to respond anyway for anyone else on the fence. If the first sentence or paragraph doesn’t interest you, why do you continue to read it? I read most of the posts, but when they aren’t my cup of tea, then I don’t. I don’t get worked up about it, I can’t expect every post to suit my tastes. I don’t take offence. We don’t pay any money to Emily to read them. I learned from yesterday’s post, that she often writes/comments on them in the evening after her kids go to bed (& I think early mornings). That is valuable time that she could have with her husband, or time to herself. She has been very open with how sponsored blogs help support some of the other posts too. Today’s topic may not be what you’re interested in, however if you read the comments, you will find that there were readers who really appreciated it. We thankfully don’t all think or want the same thing, life would be too boring; so how can we expect a blogger to post… Read more »

Thanks Shannon and Laura. 🙂 I always tell people – if you don’t like todays post, come back tomorrow. If you don’t like tomorrows post, come back the next day. And if you consistently don’t like any of the posts then maybe this isn’t the blog for you. We can’t please everybody, every day. Try another site to meet your expectations, meanwhile, perhaps we’ll see you tomorrow 🙂



I just signed up– I have been meaning to do this for so long, but my original quote was so high (did you know nursing increases your cholesterol levels by like- a lot?!) but my kid is almost two and I still hadn’t done it… so I did. Thanks for the boost! Also, I have so much good stuff at my house but I know I am not styling it/utilizing it well. Want to come to Denver for a weekend of fun and restyle my entire house? Just a thought. Would make for some epic content…. let me know. Thanks again for the encouragement to finally get coverage to protect my tiny human!

YAY. congrats. And I do have a good friend in Colorado …. some day 🙂


Can’t wait. 🙂


It really hurts your credibility to do a sponsored post for a service you didn’t even use. They were silly for even asking you. And it makes it look all the more like you just did it for the money. Two thumbs way down for this one.

I totally disagree, respectfully. If I could use this service I would IN A SECOND. It would be like talking about an amazing restaurant chain not available in your state, but you ate there on vacation. If I didn’t think this was such a great service do you think I would do a sponsored post about it? No. it’s life insurance. this isn’t exactly about style – I realize this is not a normal post. But I just think that the product and service is worth telling you about. If you aren’t interested, come back tomorrow. 🙂


The comments on this post (which I rarely read) are so thought provoking. Thanks everyone for enlightening me.


Wait, I’m confused. Your actual policies can’t be through Haven because they aren’t in CA yet. So is your personal recommendation for this company just based on puttering around on their site using a New York zip code?

Yes. I know that is confusing. I can’t do it because its not available in California (YET), but I went through the haven process after I had my own and found it so much better and easier. That’s the truth.


So important to get life insurance NOW while you’re the youngest and healthiest you’ll ever be. My husband became uninsurable at 29 (diagnosed with MS) and can’t get life insurance or long term care insurance. Great post, Emily.


I’m loving the fuschia front door. But where did you end up putting the television – or are you now a television free house?


I LOVED this post. I am 14 weeks pregnant with my first, and the past week have had all these thoughts about what will happen to her or my husband if something should happen to me/us. We got a small life insurance policy when we were first married/bought our first house at 23 years old, but haven’t touched it or really thought about it since then. I want to definitely look into Haven and get this figured out before the baby. We also just gut-renovated our dream home (small but perfect) and it freaks me out that something could happen to me (being the primary breadwinner) and my husband may be forced to move.

To be honest, I barely looked at the pictures in this post and appreciated reading your thoughts on it. Your sponsored posts are just like any other content on the site to me – honest and genuine. Thank you for this post!


I have been struggling with this very thing and I have a question. This sounds wonderful but I also live in California and it says that they don’t sell in California yet. Did you just give them a different address and buy as if you lived in another state? Does it still cover you?

Brittney at Haven Life

Hi Jill – Brittney here from Haven Life. Our hope is to be in CA soon. If you submit your email at the bottom of our home page, we will notify you when Haven Life is available to CA residents. You can’t just provide a different address that applies to a state we’re available in because there are identity check questions included in the application process that will know it’s a false residence. If you have further questions, feel free to email [email protected], and we’d be happy to assist.


Where are those gorgeous lamps in the bedroom from??

Rachel Scarvey

I totally agree about life insurance. As a 30-something stay at home mom of 3, I have had life insurance for 10 years now. My husband and I look at it as an investment in peace of mind. I also hope its the best money we ever “waste”, meaning we never have to use it! #reallifetopics


I think that with all of the contacts you must have, you could get a beautiful, low bed frame and headboard custom-made that would help elevate the look of your master without taking away from the glory that is that window.

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