TLS #81: I have 2 big announcements: we’re moving + I’m writing a book!


Today on The Lively Show, I’m doing an impromptu Mini Edition sharing those two big announcements I’ve been hinting at recently:

  1. We’ve bought our first house and are moving from Austin, TX to Ann Arbor, MI!
  2. I’m writing my first book!

In the episode, I’m sharing more about both of these exciting developments: why we’re moving away from our beloved Austin, and what the new book will be about!

This episode is perfect for anyone interested in why the heck we’re moving to Michigan, and what I’ve been struggling with – until recently – that I’m going to devote my first book to… 







  • Why, after LOVING Austin, we’ve decided to move to Ann Arbor, Michigan.
  • Our three Values that helped us decide to move instead of staying put.
  • The one value that we needed to downgrade in order to move, and what we’re doing about that.
  • The thing I’ve been personally struggling with on and off for the past six years, which I’m now devoting my first book to.




Book info







This Post Has 51 Comments

  1. Tomissa Porath

    I have a feeling you are going to LOVE Ann Arbor! Plus, you’ll be so much closer to Chicago to head back!

    1. Thank you so much! So much has changed since I graduated that it feels new in many ways. : )

      1. Tomissa Porath

        I’ve returned to my college town and I know this is where I want to settle indefinitely. Good luck with the move and I cannot WAIT to read this book of yours. 🙂

        1. That’s awesome to hear. You didn’t feel like you were ‘reliving’ your past at all?

          1. Tomissa Porath

            Not at all! I really felt as though after leaving for a bit, I was ready to be back in Madison because it felt the most like “home.” Being closer to family and really having the ability to feel like I can settle and nest has made it a great transition.

  2. Mindy

    Welcome to the land shaped like a hand!! I’m on the west side of the state. 🙂

    1. Thanks so much! It’ll be good to be back to the state and relearn it as an adult. : )

  3. Morgan

    Congrats on both big changes!!! Much love from Lansing, Michigan. Go State! 😉

  4. Adrianna Taeko Perry

    Congratulations! This is such exciting news 🙂 Can’t wait to read your book!

  5. Kim

    Congrats on these two exciting bits of news! The new house sounds amazing, and I can’t wait to follow along on the design process. I’m super intrigued by the book topic – I’ve often thought about this exact issue (which has DEFINITELY reared its head in my life post-graduation) when I read about people feeling less than based on instagram and facebook comparisons. While that doesn’t phase me as much, I have definitely questioned my self-worth when perusing linkedin, comparing myself to peers with more impressive resumés, prestigious awards, etc. Not to mention family pressure to surpass certain monetary and prestige benchmarks. Then I wonder… Why am I deriving more satisfaction and measuring my success based on a label (organization name), rather than the actual work I am doing?? Where did this need for external validation come from?! In sum, can’t wait to read your thoughts (and value-based analysis) on all of this! Good luck 🙂

    1. This is AMAZING to hear, Kim! If you’re interested in contributing to the book research (by chatting with me about the topic) please email me at jess(at) : )

  6. Cathy

    Congrats, Jess and Mr. Lively on the new house! And I’m really interested to hear more about your book! Lately, John and I have been talking about net worth, self worth, the meaning of work, how this all ties in with our values, and more.

    1. That’s so great to hear, Cathy! I am excited to hear you and John have been thinking about this topic, too. : )

  7. Ajrich

    Yay! Congrats! That is such a big decision to make and it’ll be so worth it!

    I will def be reading that book! So when your feeling sick and tired and you can’t write any longer just remember to take a break when you need to and we will support you every step and struggle along the way!

    I love your picture up there! You look so pretty and healthy! Is it in front of your new house?

    This month is going to be crazy for you but I’m cheering you on!!

    1. Thank you so much, Hun!!

      I really appreciate your support, thank you for being such a wonderful light in the world.

      And thanks re: the picture. It’s actually in Austin in the home we’re living in now. Er, until next month. : )


  8. Liza

    You’re going to love Ann Arbor!

    I live and work here. It’s fantastic. If you need any help getting settled, or someone to show you around/recommend restaurants, let me know!


    1. Thank you so much, Liza! I plan to have a meet up when I get settled in, I hope you can make it. : )

  9. Elizabeth

    Welcome back! I’m actually a townie preparing for a big move at then end of the summer. Funnily enough, Austin is on the shortlist of where we might end up.

    1. That’s awesome to hear! I hope your move goes well. We’ve loved Austin, so I can heartily encourage the move here (though I will warn you on one thing: the bug situation is kinda crazy here compared to MI or IL – but do-able if you live someplace newer or get your home sprayed by a company like Chem-Free — that’s just the one thing I feel like people don’t warn you about coming to Texas… water roaches! lol). : )

  10. Jess, I’m so happy for you! I listened to the mini edition on the way to work this morning and could hear the excitement in your voice. Happy days ahead and so well deserved. I can’t wait to read your book next year! x

    1. That’s great to hear! Yes, it was a bit of an identity shift at first to let go of living in a bigger or new (to me) city, but it really feels right when we consider our Values. : )

  11. Congrats on making these big decisions Jess! I have been following along on your journey for the past year, I think I learned about you through Jessica Murnane and love your blog cast! I’m an interior designer (still in school) but own my own business, here in Chicago and was really impressed by your work at the Guest House Hotel! I made the big decision to change careers and go back to school at age 30 because of a lot of the reasons I think you’ll dive into in the book. I think it’s a brilliant choice and best of luck with the writing process!

    1. Thanks for the lovely letter, Claire! I’m glad you enjoyed The Guesthouse Hotel project!! I’m also pumped to hear you are excited about the book topic. If you are interested in helping me with the research by chatting with me, please feel free to email me at jess(at) : )

  12. Erika

    Woohoo! Yay for Michigan! I’m excited that you’re moving here! And I’m also excited about your book — I definitely have been working on issues re: work and worth! 🙂 Interested to see what insights you have to share!

  13. Terrie

    Congratulations on both counts! This is really exciting and I’m looking forward to following along with your journey 🙂

  14. That’s amazing! Michigan sounds beautiful (also i love your values for a home). And woot woot for a book! I’m so glad you are writing a book and that you went ahead and announced it. Now we’re going to be cheering you on until you’re finished 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for the big virtual hug, Mollie! I love the spelling of your name, and I’m sending a big virtual hug right back at you. : )


  15. Laila

    I’ve always heard great things about Ann Arbor! Welcome back to the Midwest!

  16. Jess, I just listed to your podcast about your news and this is so exciting! I’m thrilled that you are teaching by example and choosing a location, and a new project, with intention. I feel like we’re on a bit of a similar path, as I’ve just quit my day job to move back to my home town, simplify life, and work on projects that I feel have worth not based on money but on how helpful they are to others and on how much enjoyment and fulfillment I get from them. It’s an interesting time to be considering the topic of worth, as it seems that societal values are shifting, and I look forward to reading your book on this subject. Best wishes for inspired ideas!

    1. It’s wonderful to hear that you have been going on a similar journey as myself when it comes to moving back to where you grew up, and to do the things that really matter to you in terms of fulfillment. : )

      I wish you the best as well!!

  17. Sarah

    Awesome, Jess! I’m a new(ish) listener to The Lively Show and am super excited to follow along as you launch your book – and can’t wait to read!

    1. Jess Lively

      Thank you so much for taking the time to share, Sarah!! I can’t wait to release the book next year!! : )

  18. Lucy Chen

    I’m a new listener to The Lively Show, too, and I’m so happy to find you!

    Following your moving journey on Instagram. And hope you have a peaceful inner space to help with the settling in 🙂

    1. Jess Lively

      Yay for Instagram, Lucy. : ) I hope you enjoy all the house pics lately.

      Thank you for your kind words and for taking the time to share your kindness with me.


  19. michgracie

    we’re about to do the same move. Can i ask which moving company you used?

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