confession · DIY projects · I'm just sayin'

K.I.S.S.

No, not the band KISS although they are awesome

This is an acronym that my Mommy thought me at a young age. It stands for “Keep It Simple Silly” *or Stupid if I was being an idiot* this is how I’m feeling about my new year’s resolutions. This was a crazy year. I feels like we did less than previous years but I know we had some crazy busy months. My focus for 2013 will be our house. I can’t believe it will be 7 years already. So many people I know own houses now, the usual party conversation used to be “Oh, so you bought your first house.” Now a days it’s “Oh, you’ve completely renovated your house and you have a brand new $50,000 kitchen.” Out of our friends we’ve owned our house longer but have done the least amount of work to it. I blame myself, I have a problem with trying to do everything all at once. I wanted Liv to go to an expensive preschool, I am constantly shopping, our trip to Paris in 2014 keeps increasing in budget and when it comes to our house my heart isn’t into it. I have an attitude of we’re going to sell it and move so why put money into it we won’t get back. A few weeks ago, Matt from Extraordinary Real Estate came over I was sure he would be somewhat impressed with our views, and the tiny bit of work we have done, or at least say how cute Liv’s nursery is but if you click the link to his website, you can see the stunning properties he deals with all the time. He was really helpful and gave us insight on what we could do to sell our house *way in the future, like 5 – 8 years* but he was also realistic. The current state of our house won’t sell for what we need it to so it needs major work. He also said it has potential. It really made me open my eyes to how much I’ve been neglecting our home. I can’t continue to detach myself emotionally here and its time to put as much energy into it as I do other aspects of my life. So resolution number one:

Improve our house!

1057 Dexter St, Los Angeles, CA 90042
Antz added these tiles to the front steps but they are already moving from the damaged foundation

We have a plan to spend $6,000 in the kitchen but I’m sure it’s going to be closer to $8,000 once we get new Ikea cabinets. It can’t be that difficult to upgrade the kitchen on a budget. I watch so many design on a dime HGTV shows and they just add some paint, add some new cabinet knobs and buy a new light fixture and it seems to magically add $20,000 value to their house. I think I’ll feel much more motivated once we get the plumbing fixed once and for all. I don’t know if any of you lovelies have ever dealt with bad plumbing but it’s a nightmare. I have added how much we’ve spent on having a plumber come out to fix broken pipes, clogged toilet and sinks and it’s double what it would cost to just have the galvanized pipes replaced. Do you know it takes me 8 hours to do a load of laundry? I start it before bed and hope it’s finished by morning. The rinse cycle literally trickles water no faster than a drip. Most of the time I’m too impatient so I use the hot setting since it’s faster which shrinks/fades/ruins most of our clothes. Taking a shower at our house sucks. We have two temperatures in the shower, luke warm and cold. The hot water hardly comes out so if you want water pressure, you have to use cold water. I long for strong water pressure, I spend double the time in there since it takes ages to wash the shampoo out of my hair. Liv’s thick curly hair takes an eternity. Things like that most people take for granted but when we stay at a hotel I stay in the shower for hours appreciating the strong water pressure. Matt also said we would have to fix our foundation. DUH! This is an issue I’ve ignored since our inspection. I can hear my Mother’s voice in the back of my mind saying “Never buy a house with a bad foundation!” Every few months Antz has to pull out the spackle and fill in the huge gap in our living room crown molding. Our doors stick, the front stairs have gaps in them and new cracks in the wall corners appear when it rains. It’s gonna be disappointing if we can’t take our trip to Paris but I know it will come down to Paris or getting our foundation repaired. I’m working with a mortgage broker and keeping my fingers crossed he can somehow refinance our loan so we can take out some *non existent* equity so we can pay the $25,000 – $35,000 to fix the foundation, bolt the house and replace the chimney. It would be amazing to be able to have a fire in our fireplace. Our old neighbors took out $100k in equity and fixed their foundation, built a new chimney, and replaced their retaining wall. It ended up costing them $71,000 but they bought their house for $258,000. They still ended up short selling for $371,000. This is why I have a love/hate feeling about this house. It feels like we have to put all this money into it but we still have 883 square feet. When we bought our house it felt huge compared to our 600 sq ft apartment but not having a second bathroom really sucks. I would much rather spend $20,000 for a master bathroom. Well, we know we’ll be living here much longer than I planned.

My second resolution is to sew more.

My first sewing lesson

It seems like I lost my crafting enthusiasm. Last time I sewed was our Halloween costumes. I would like to make some dresses for Liv and me. Aimee has requested me to make things for her but I just say I don’t know how when I could totally learn. I haven’t even finished her macrame plant holder I said I’d make as a housewarming gift. I’m really wanting to take some classes at Sew LA next year.
Redesign my Blog

I’ve been saying all year how much I’d like to give my blog a makeover. My lovely husband drew a mock up of what I’d like it to look like but I need a programmer to make it happen. I have no budget for this so it’s a matter of finding the right person who I can either barter with or will do it pro bono *FREE!* I still very much want to attend a Blogshop class so I can learn how to code and format my photos. I find it so annoying that my photos and videos get cut off or I have horrible gaps in between them. Please understand when I drag my photos from my flickr photostream, they have a mind of their own. I am at their mercy since I have no idea how to code HTML. I really hope I can save enough *from where, I have no idea since I’m already over budget on our kitchen remodel, paying Liv’s tuition and trying to save our tiny Etsy profits for Paris* Plus it’s not just the price of the class I would need to save, I also have to purchase the full version of Photoshop CS6 and that’s only $1,899!! I would love to switch over to WordPress but that site confuses me to know end. Plus it seems pricey and I’m happy with the amount I’m spending her at Blogger $0! I feel like an old lady on the internet, typing with two fingers and completely lost about how the interwebs work.

That’s all I’m focusing on for now. I know I usually have tons of resolutions that I never complete but this year I really want to keep it simple and actually make these happen. I am so grateful for all that I have, mostly my incredible family and friends, having a nice house to live in and our health. These things are most important so all this other shit is petty in the scheme of things. After reading about the tragedy in Connecticut yesterday I was feeling so sad for the victims. It incenses me that young lives were lost in such a random act of violence in a place that is supposed to be safe. Life can be taken away so quickly, I want to enjoy the one I have been given. I’m not sweating the small stuff anymore. I can’t believe how fortunate I am to have Anthony and Olivia to share my life with. They are the most valuable part of my life and I hope to spend everyday making them laugh.

 

Have a lovely day!

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