House Hunting (Pt. 1)

California, Dreams, Family, Goals, House Hunting, Life, Southern California
sweetsandlifehouses

A glimpse at the houses I’ve toured.

We officially began house hunting on February 7th of this year and since then I have toured over 80 houses. This whole process has not been easy at all.  If you guys keep up with the news you probably know that interest rates are at a all time low. Oh boy, did we pick a right and wrong time to begin looking for a house. Houses are selling at a ridiculous rate and prices are high due to the demand. Since we began our search we have officially put in 6 offers yet we don’t have a house. I say officially because there has been several times were we begin to summit an offer and then we are told that they already accepted another one.  We are currently looking for a house in the middle of Los Angeles and Orange County which has not been an easy task.  In fact my cousins in Kansas are trying to convince us to move out there because we haven’t had any success getting a house here.

What we are looking for in a house:

  • 3 bedrooms
  • 1 bathroom
  • Nice size backyard
  • Not a busy street
  • Safe neighborhood
  • Within our budget
  • Good school district

See we are not being too picky about what we want. We are even flexible when it comes to move in ready or a fixer upper. Anyways, I just wanted to share with you guys a tad about what’s going on with our house search.  Please send us lots of prayers and/or positive thoughts so that we get a house soon.

2014’s Broken Resolutions

Dreams, Family, Goals, House Hunting, Life, Moving, Planning, Savings, Uncategorized

Hesperia

Now that we are in 2015 I feel that I should probably explain all the cryptic tweets I kept making last year about our New Years resolution. I should begin by saying that the Hubby and I are planners and for the most part every big decision we have made has been carefully thought out. (Well most of them except this one.)

Last year before the ball dropped in NYC the Hubby and I began to reminisce about the year. We talked about all that we did and all that we wanted to do this year. One thing that came up was that we both felt it was the right time to start thinking about purchasing a house. We began to day dream about what kind of place we might get and what we were going to do to attain it. While all our family and friends were out partying the night away we sat on our couch watching our little Buttercup playing as we thought about what the new year would bring. We decided that our New Years Resolutions would be to buy a house. At that point we did not know exactly what we were going to do about it we just sat there day dreaming and enjoying the moment.  Fast to a few weeks later when we devised a plan that I like to refer to as my crazy idea.  The Hubby came home from work one day and suggested that we have my parents move into our apartment to help us save more money for a downpayment. I thought that he went nuts when he suggested that. I mean I moved out when I was 18 years old I was used to being on my own. Why on earthy would I want my parent living with us in a two bedroom apartment. I called his bluff and suggested an even crazier idea. Whenever I try to explain it to people I get a weird look from them so here goes nothing. Try to keep up and don’t get lost. I’ll try to simplify it as much as possible.

My idea involved asking for help from both sets of parents which we would normally not do. We don’t like asking for help and usually we don’t share information with anyone until the plan is complete. The first part of my idea was to get my in-laws to agree to let us borrow their house for a year. You see my in-laws had purchased a house last year and nobody was using it. They bought it as a retirement house the house was just sitting there empty. Part 2 was to get my in-laws to agree to let my husband stay with them at their one bedroom apartment during the week. Part 3 involved my parents. I had to get them to agree to move in with me and our little Buttercup for a year.  They had to leave the comfort of their small town in order to help us out. I have never asked my parents for help and have always done things on my own so I felt odd even asking. With both parents aligned and the details worked out we set a date to move.  We decided that it would be best to move when our lease was up from our apartment.

Although we’ve been here for almost 10 months now it doesn’t get easier saying bye to my husband every Sunday night. Nothing about this whole process has been easy and we’ve all made sacrifices. In early October we had an appointment to get pre-approved but for some reason we couldn’t make it that day. A week later the Hubby was notified that he was being laid-off from the job that he LOVED. About 300 employees were affected in all. We were crushed by the news! All the sacrifices we had done meant nothing. Everything went numb for us and I know that it might not seem like a big deal but it was to us. We went through all the stages of grief and decided that 2014 couldn’t be over soon enough.

…To be continued…

Revisiting my Day Zero Project

101 in 10001, Day Zero Project, Goals, Life, Uncategorized

S&LDayZeroProject.jpg.

Remember back in 2011 when I posted this well I haven’t forgotten about the project although it might seem like I have.  My end date is fast approaching and I’ve decided that I’m dedicating the rest of the year to finishing off what I have on my list. I jumped on the Day Zero Projects bandwagon when a lot of the bloggers I followed began posting about it.  I’m a differently person from when I started this project and I feel like I should be allowed to alter it a tad to fit my current lifestyle.  Instead of finishing off my list in 1001 days I’m going to give myself until the end of the year to do as much as I can.  This project is now going to be 1174 days not 1001.

for others

1. Donate Blood (1/6)

2. Get Involved with Habitat for Humanity ( on going through the Advocacy Action Center)

3. Make Crème brûlée for my cousin.

4. Volunteer at the Rescue Mission (1/18) (on going donations)

5. Bake something to give to someone (5/8)

6. Advocate for an organization (3/12)

7. Donate to a charity (ongoing Kiva)

8.  Take a photo of my little Buttercup in my wedding dress and donate it afterwards

9. Donate things we don’t use or need around the house (ongoing becoming a minimalist)

10. Recycle everything we possible can (ongoing)

for myself

11. Get an awesome job that I love (in the works)

12. Try escargot (accomplished thanks to my cousin)

13. No social media for a month (accomplished July ’12)

14. Get a facial (accomplish June ’14)

15. Learn French

16. Get 3 massages (accomplished June ’14)

17. Not watch TV for 30 days (accomplished early 2013)

18. Learn conversational Mandarin

19. Wear a 2 piece bathing suit at the beach (shooting for next year 2015)

20. Learn conversational Italian

for health.jpg.

21. Start Couch to 5k

22. Only eat out 2 meals a week for 2 months (ongoing)

23. Go to bed before midnight for 2 months (still working on this one)

24. Run Disney half marathon (accomplished 1/29/12)

25. Run a 5k (accomplished January ’12)

26. Run a colorful 5k

27. Go walking everyday with my mom for a month

28. Give up fried food for 2 months (doing the Mediterranean diet with the Hubby)

29. Give up dessert for 3 months

30. Lose 50 pounds (accomplished but gained it back after the baby) (trying it again)

31. Give up dairy for a month

family friends and love32. Get pregnant (accomplished Jan ’13)

33. Signup my little Buttercup for a class (accomplished June ’13)

34. Visit my parents every month for year (accomplished March ’14)

35. Work on genealogy tree for our family (ongoing)

36.  Transfer family movies to dvds (accomplished summer ’13)

37. Go on an overnight trip with the Hubby

38. Have 5 date nights with the Hubby

39. Scan all old family photos on computer (ongoing)

40. Teach my little godson how to make Chocolate Chip Cookies (5/28/12)

learn creative blog41. Learn Lightroom

42. Learn HTML

43. Learn XHTML

44. Learn Java

45. Learn Excel

46. Learn all the functions in my DSLR (ongoing)

47. Enter a photo competition

48. Enter a baking competition

49. Complete a 365 project (ongoing will be finished at the end of the year)

50. Make our wedding album

51. Re-decorate our apartment (accomplished 3/24/12)

52. Learn how to use my mac (learning something new everyday)

53. Blog at least once a week for the 3 months (Beginning 09/15/14)

54. Bake colorful macarons

55. Bake 20 recipes from a cookbook

56. Make a photo book of the Hubby and I

57. Get CPR certified (accomplished 4/11/15 Adult & Pediatrics CPR/AED/First AID )

58. Grow an indoor herb garden (accomplished 3/24/12)

59. Carve a cool Halloween pumpkin (accomplished 10/31/11)

60. Learn how to make tamales (I will be relearning this holiday season)

61. Organize all our photos (ongoing)

62. Redo the chair I found in the alley (ongoing)

63. Repaint our dresser

64. Decorate a cake with fondant (I tried but failed Jan ’14)

65. Decorate a cake with royal icing

entertainment66. Visit the Eiffel Tower in Paris (accomplished 9/23/11)

67.Go to Kansas with my mom (accomplished 11/01/11)

68. Visit the Grand Canyon (accomplished 08/23/14)

69. Take my little Buttercup to Mexico (accomplished 07/16/14)

70. Visit New York, NY

71. Go to Yosemite

72. Go to San Francisco

73. Go to Sequoia

74. Take a family trip to Las Vegas

75. Go to a concert

76. Go on vacation with a group of friends (accomplished 08/22/14)

77.  Go on a cruise with the Hubby (accomplished a mini cruise while in Maui March ’12)

78. Visit Chihuahua, Mexico (upcoming trip July ’14)

79. Visit another continent

80. Go kayaking

81. Go on a road trip with the Hubby and our little Buttercup (accomplished August 2014)

82. Go snorkeling (accomplished 3/29/12)

83. Build a snowman (accomplished January ’15)

84. Go horseback riding (accomplished 3/30/12)

85. Visit a Lake (accomplished June 2014)

86. Buy another lens

87. Go to Monterey Aquarium

88. Go hiking at Point Lobos

89. Visit Big Sur

90. Visit Taliesin West (accomplished 08-29-14)

91. Visit my cousin in Arizona (accomplished August 2014)

92. Visit Yellowstone

business and money.jpg.

93. Open an Etsy Shop

94. Save up for closing cost for a house (March ’14 to March ’15)

95. Set up my own photography website (in progress)

96. Write out our living will (the Hubby is working on this one)

97. List 10 thing on Etsy Shop

98. Sell a photograph

99. Get sponsors for my blog

100. Get my own domain name (accomplished thanks to the Hubby)

101. Write code for my own blog

Life: Day Zero Project

101 in 10001, Day Zero Project, Dreams, Goals, Life

Earlier this year I saw a blog entry that Joy from How Joyful posted that really caught my attention and I decided to look further into it,  the Day Zero Project.  The project can be described as a realistic bucket list or a set of goals that one wants to achieve in a 3 year span.  I few years ago I decided to write a bucket list in one of my journals and have slowly been crossing things off but now I have decided that I want to join the Day Zero Project. I want to make more of my goals into a reality and I believe that this project will help.  This year has gone by so fast and there are so many things that I want to do and I feel that if I set a realistic timeline for them I will complete them.  So here goes nothing or perhaps everything…


If you want to learn more about the project go here.
For more inspiration go herehere, and here.


Here’s my list:


For Others
1. Give blood at least twice a year. (0/6)
2. Volunteer for Habitat for Humanity.
3. Make Crème brûlée for my best friend.
4. Volunteer at Rescue Mission at least 6 times a year every year. (0/18)
5. Bake a cake to give to someone on a special occasion. (0/8)
6. Volunteer once a month for a year at a non-profit organization. (0/12)
7. Donate to a worthwhile charity twice a year every year. (0/6)
8. Donate my wedding dress. 
9. Donate things we don’t use or need around the apartment. 
10. Recycle everything we possibly can in our apartment by installing recycling bins.

For Myself
11. Get an awesome job that I love.
12. Try kobe beef.
13. No social networks except blogging for an entire month. (0/30)
14. Get a facial every year. (I’ve never had one.) (0/3)
15. Learn French.
16. Get a massage every year. (0/3)
17. Not watch t.v. for an entire month. (0/30)
18. Learn mandarin.
19. Wear a two piece bathing suit at the beach.
20. Learn Italian.

For Health
21. Average at least 3 days a week at the gym for 6 months straight. (0/6)
22. Eat at home for 30 days straight. (0/30)
23. Sleep 8 hours a day for a month. (0/30)
24. Run Disney half marathon. 
25. Run Las Vegas half marathon.
26. Run the Los Angeles marathon.
27. Go walking with the hubby everyday for a month. (0/30)
28. Give up fried food for 6 months. (0/6)
29. Give up sweets (except fruit) for 3 months. (0/3)
30. Lose 50 pounds. (0/30)
31. Give up dairy for an entire month. (0/30)

Family, Friends, and Love
32. Get pregnant? (hm maybe).
33. Enter a sandcastle competition with family and friends.
34. Visit my parents once a month for a year. (0/12)
35. Work on genealogy tree for our family. 
36. Transfer all old family movies into DVD’s.
37. Have game night at our apartment once a month for a year. (0/12)
38. Have dinner with my cousins and my best friend once a month for year. (0/12)
39. Have a cookie swap party at our apartment. 
40. Teach my little godson how to make chocolate chip cookies from scratch. 

Learn Creative Blog
41. Learn Photoshop.
42. Learn HTML.
43. Learn XHTML.
44. Learn Java.
45. Learn Excel.
46. Learn all the function in my DSLR.
47. Enter a photo competition.
48. Enter a baking competition.
49. Complete the 365 photo challenge.
50. Make our wedding photo album.
51. Re-decorate all rooms in apartment. (0/5)
52. Learn how to use all the features on my mac.
53. Blog at least once a week for 52 weeks. (0/52)
54. Make/bake colorful macarons.
55. Bake 20 recipes from the cookbook my aunt sent me from Mexico. (0/20)
56. Make a photo book for every year the hubby and I have been dating. (0/10)
57. Learn CPR.
58. Make/grow an indoor herb garden.
59. Carve a cool pumpkin for Halloween. 
60. Learn how to make tamales.
61. Organize all our photos. 
62. Redo the chair I found in the alley. 
63. Re paint our dresser drawer. 
64. Bake a cake and decorate with fondant.
65. Bake a cake and decorate it with royal icing. 

Entertainment and Travel
66. Visit the Eiffel Tower in Paris. 
67. Visit family in Kansas with mom.
68. Visit the Grand Canyon.
69. Visit Jalisco, Mexico.
70. Visit New York, NY.
71. Go camping to Yosemite.
72. Visit Guatemala with the hubby.
73. Go to Sequoia park with the hubby.
74. Go to Vegas with my parents, the hubby, and my in-laws. 
75. Go to the International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
76. Go on vacation with a group of friends. 
77. Go on a cruise with the hubby.
78. Visit Chihuahua, Mexico.
79. Visit another continent besides North America and Europe.
80. Go kayaking with the hubby. 
81. Go snowboard.
82. Go snorkeling.
83. Build a snowman. 
84. Go horseback riding. 
85. Go to a film festival.
86. Buy another lens for my camera.
87. Go to Monterrey Aquarium.
88. Go hiking in Point Lobos. 
89. Visit Big Sur.
90. Go paintball fighting with the hubby and friends. 
91. Visit my cousin at his architecture school. 
92. Visit Yellowstone. 

Business and Money
93. Open an Etsy Shop.
94. Save up for closing cost for a house.
95. Set up my own photography website.
96. Write out our living will.
97. Sell a cake.
98. Sell a photograph. 
99. Get sponsors for my blog. 
100. Get my own domain name. 
101. Write code for my own website. 

BONUS – Donate five dollars for every goal that I have not accomplished at the end of 1,001 days

Thanks Joy Kelley for inspiring me to do my list!