Category Archives: home sweet home

Our Little Love Nest!

When the hubby suggested that we move to a bigger place when I was pregnant, I had to do some major convincing for him to stay. Looking back, I just wasn’t ready to move or even think about moving. I was in nesting mode and was far more focused on making what we had work for us, baby, and bulldog vs. looking for something new and unknown. We’re in a super cozy 810 sqft. 2 bedroom/2 bath condo across the street from a park with pretty awesome neighbors in a great neighborhood. Leaving is going to be bittersweet, but I think we’re ready. The biggest misconception about starting a family is that a lot of people assume we should own a home before going down that road and that’s always rubbed me the wrong way. I’m a true believer in it’s how you make your home yours no matter where you are. We started to look at little houses to rent, but it quickly became obvious that a mortgage would be the same cost and our house hunting adventures began.

Weekend after weekend, we looked and looked. We looked at different styles of homes in various neighborhoods and cities. We had a criteria and then we realized we couldn’t have everything, or rather we couldn’t have everything in our budget so we had to prioritize. Throughout our house hunting, we fell in love more than one time.

  • We loved a house that had a great yard with open kitchen, but was located on a major expressway and pulling out of the driveway felt suicidal at times.
  • We loved a house situated on the most perfect tree lined street, but the house required way too much work for renovation.
  • We loved a cute little bungalow, but it only had one bathroom.
  • We loved a completely renovated house with updated everything, but it was in a school district that wasn’t so great.
  • We loved a house sitting on the market for weeks and realized it had little interest after noticing the giant power lines and transformer backing up against the yard.
  • We loved a 1920’s craftsman with original everything and a little orange tree in the back, but we knew that if something needed fixing, it would constantly put us in the poor house.
  • We also looked at new development, fell in love with model homes and put ourselves on a waiting list even though we knew deep in our heart, we didn’t want to be in that particular area.

Then there was everything in between and lots of near misses. We were officially house hunting and learning lots along the way. We understood the market was extremely competitive so we were prepared to pay for over asking, go into bidding wars, and make 23 offers before one would be accepted. Then one Friday afternoon, a little Cape Cod townhouse popped up. We went to an open house that Sunday, and by the next day…our offer was accepted!

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The house is in great condition, and although it doesn”t have everything on my checklist, it meets all of our top criteria. It’s in an acclaimed school district, close to my work and located in a great neighborhood. With a little elbow grease, we’re convinced to turn it into our little abode. Townhouse living isn’t for everyone, but I do think it’s perfect for us….with baby and bulldog and all. Bigger is not always better so we really didn’t upgrade for big like people would think. To be honest, we’ve been in apartment living for practically the last 10 years together and are all too familiar with small spaces. We love to entertain, but more so in small settings as all of our family and close friends are hundreds of miles away. We have local friends who live down by the shore and they entertain quite a bit so we’re there a lot. A pro about small space living is that it really gets us out of our house. There’s a great park 5 minutes walk away from our new place and Rambo can always use a long walk. Throughout the whole escrow process, we’re really glad how it all turned out…even when it was stressful at times. I promise to share more as soon as some of our small renovations are complete and we’re all settled in.

Officially Counting Down…

It’s my first day of maternity leave so we’re officially starting the countdown for baby’s arrival. Her room is almost done, there’s just a few more things I need to do like organize her closet and pack my hospital bag. BFF Becca was kind enough to come over this weekend to go over two big bags of baby clothes that Jasmin & Joel gave me last week. We had a lot of fun and I’m so thankful for her help because she was a pro at organizing the dresser. I had no clue what I was doing and still don’t…heehee.

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Although I have some time off, I also don’t want to be too bored so I made a list of things to do while on leave:

  • Get a Pedicure
  • Finish Nursery – Clean Closet
  • Organize Linen Closet
  • Go On Walks
  • Read More Books
  • Watch Movies
  • Cook More Meals & Try New Recipes
  • Review Costco Car Insurance Options
  • Take Rambo to See Doggie Dermatologist
  • Create Bottle System in Kitchen
  • Have Dim Sum & Milk Tea
  • Drop Off Donations at Goodwill
  • Pick Up Lightbulbs for Kitchen
  • Blog a Little Bit More

I promise myself that I would get ready every day and try to not stay on the couch for too long. Rambo is kind of a bad influence so if I stay away from him, then I can stay away from his cuddles. Today’s activities include cleaning out the linen closet, taking Mr. Rambo to see his doggie dermatologist, and picking up some dim sum for lunch! I’ll be back soon 🙂

Our First Advent Calendar!

Whew…what a day it’s been! We just finished our Super Saturday child birthing class which took place from 9am – 5pm so I am really glad to finally be home. I am pooped! But it’s the first day of December and there’s a project that I’ve wanted to post about for weeks. Yesterday, I brought home an advent calendar that I’ve been working on for Ricardo. We didn’t grow up with one, but I have been meaning to make one for years! I bought Ricardo one of those chocolate advent calendars from Trader Joe’s one year, but I came home one night to find 8 of the windows popped and the chocolates were all gone. Talk about no fun!

For the next 24 days…there will be a little surprise in each box. Some don’t necessarily contain a treat, but it might have a fun task. Stay tune for a month full of little surprises…

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Small Space Living for Baby?

When Ricardo found out that he was going to be a papa, his first instinct was to move into a bigger place. I thought a bigger place would be nice too, but honestly…I love our little condo and I’ve really grown to embrace small space living. I’m a semi-hoarder and Ricardo is a minimalist so you put us together and he’s taught me how to purge lots of useless things. Living with less is so rewarding. After a lot of thinking and looking around, I mustered up the courage to tell him that I didn’t want to move. We looked at small bungalows around the area, but most small homes in Long Beach only come with 1 bathroom and rent would be significantly much higher so we decided to stay.
p.s. I HATE moving.
Our second bedroom was an office, but it needed to go if we were going to turn it into a nursery. I know this sounds crazy, but I always thought our dining room would make a great office. After proposing the idea, he was a little hesitant…but then came around. One week after all our stuff was hauled away to his sister in San Luis Obispo, the dining room turned into an official office space.
It’s become sort of a little sun bathing spot for Rambo so I think he likes the change too. I kept a teeny tiny work table that’s not pictured, but it’s really all I need so I can’t complain. Besides that, I packed a lot of things away in storage boxes.
What to do now with no dining room? I eat standing up a lot so it’s back to the breakfast bar and coffee table for our meals. Or I can use this as an excuse for breakfast in bed during the weekends…

Summer Shenanigans!

Hooray for June! I can’t believe we’re already halfway through the year….where does all the time go? I’m officially in summer mode and am having loads of fun filling up our calendar. There are two venues in LA that I LOVE and I’m seriously thinking about joining as premiere members or getting a second job there as a parking saber sword wielding light attendant. Or maybe I can sell the popcorn?

The hubby surprised me on our first year anniversary with Hollywood Bowl tickets and we were there last year too. Hmm…why not make it a tradition so this August, we’ve got tickets for Pixar in Concert! So excited!!!! I have to say my most favorite part is packing our picnic basket.

Next up in the fall is The Book of Mormon which will be at the Pantages Theatre. We saw Jerry Seinfeld here not too long ago, along with Wicked and Les Miserables. I can spend my whole existence watching broadway and love every minute of it.

Courtesy of wikipedia…isn’t this theatre beautiful?

Here’s to summer weekends and shenanigans!

Catching Up…

This past Memorial Day weekend went by too fast! I didn’t do any of the things I should have done, but definitely all the things worth doing. For so many years when Ricardo was in school, I spent many weekends doing thing by myself. Now that we have weekends to spend together, each one is like a mini adventure and oh how I LOVE them! We thought about going away for the long holiday, but after so many busy weekends…we decided to stick around with the bullies.

Sometimes, we have visitors that unexpectedly show up in Southern California, but rest assured…we will always find a way to keep them entertained. Confession – we’ve been on both the TMZ Bus Tour and the Hollywood Stars Home Tour. Both were awesome.

I’m really loving this undone french braid beachy waves look. I braid the night before and let them go the next morning  with a spritz of hairspray for some texture. For extra kinky waves, try it with two french braids. You can also steal some of the hubby’s fancy hair pomade to work through the ends. In honor of beachy waves, we took the doggies for a sunset walk along the beach. We learned that Rambo likes the water and Joe is deathly afraid of the waves.

Summer is finally here and to celebrate…I picked up a pair of fun Seychelles sandals.

I just finished Mindy Kaling’s book and this popular trilogy. If you love The Office, then Mindy’s book is a must read. I’m tempted to start this risqué trilogy…should I?

Need For Speed

What do you do for the hubster who has a need for speed? You get him a pass to drive a real Nascar car and let him have at it!

Lost and Replaced

One year for my birthday, the hubby gave me a necklace that I loved from one of my most favorite shops in town (seen below in our engagement photos). I remember visiting the shop that week and they told me how sweet and nervous he was picking it out, not knowing if I would like it, but wanting so hard to pick me something that would make me happy. The story from the shop was what really put me over the moon about the necklace so I was completely devastated when I realized it had gone missing one day.

If you know me, I like everyday jewelry so the necklace I received was pretty perfect. It was nothing fancy, just a small square silver pendant inscribed on both sides with a sweet Confucius quote. I searched for it high and low, but it never reappeared through the years so I gave up. I can’t tell you how excited I was the other week when I checked my email and the jewelry designer came up on Gilt. I couldn’t believe my eyes…this was my chance to replace the necklace! Unfortunately, it wasn’t available in the Gilt shop, but there was another one available with the same quote. After waiting patiently for weeks, it finally came in and I almost love it as much as the original. I kind of like that it’s not exactly the same as before, but still similar enough to remind me of the one the hubby gave me. Hopefully, I won’t go losing this one too ♥.

Nice and Neutral

As much as I love a pop of color, I also really LOVE neutral tones…maybe because they go with everything and make everything around them look so clean and crisp…especially in the home. I’ve been holding on to a bunch of decorative orbs I picked up not too long ago, but I didn’t know what to do with them until I found this tall glass dessert stand! I’m still left with a whole bunch of orbs so I’ll need to find a new home for them too.

With dogs in the house, I’m always on the hunt for yummy smelling candles. I generally stick with neutral colored candles because my favorite scents fall in the almond biscotti flavors, but I recently picked up a candle for a friend at this cute shop in Venice Beach and I loved it so much…I ordered one for myself. I couldn’t resist it’s hints of oatmeal, vanilla and vetiver! These Barr-Co. candles can also be found at Anthropologie. It’s not overpowering at all so its subtle scent is perfect for the most sensitive nose.

Oh Christmas Tree

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree! Every year we pick up our Christmas Tree from Todd’s and this year wasn’t any different. We were going to pick up a Rambo size tree, but we just couldn’t resist when we got there. I’m the most horrible tree decorator so earlier this week, my friend Daniel from work took me on a mini shopping trip to help me pick out some new things. Who knew there was more to a tree than just ornaments…there are pretty beads, fun foliage, and funky fillers to give your tree that extra holiday boost! I’ve really been missing out much too long…I think this tree is going to stay up past the New Year.

Rudolf the White Porcelain Reindeer

I’m kind of in LOVE with my rudolf reindeer! Have you noticed how department stores always organize their Christmas decor by color and it makes everything look so pretty? Then I come home and things are just a bit of mish mash around the house. I usually don’t shop for decor until the after-Christmas sale so every year, I have new ornaments and knick knacks to put up from the year before. Unfortunately, I didn’t do too much shopping last year so I picked up a sequined cone and porcelain reindeer this week. So much to love about the holidays…

Stroll Along the Beach

What a week it’s been! I can’t believe Thanksgiving has come and gone and Christmas is just right around the corner. I’m most excited for the weeks ahead with family and friends. We have a few trips planned before the end of the year and it includes San Diego for a Chargers game, San Luis Obispo for Christmas (possibly the Bay Area) and we’re going to try and squeeze in the Grand Canyon too since I’ve never been before.

The weekend weather was beautiful so instead of the usual walk around the block…we took a five minutes drive to the beach for an evening stroll. I LOVE nights like these! I’m also going to dig up our Christmas decorations and hopefully we can get our tree this week. I’m thinking of changing it up a bit  this year so I’ll be busy looking up fun ideas on how to decorate a prettier tree. Oh yes, speaking of change…I’ve recently gone dark for my hair this season. Maybe I’ll go short next time?