Looking for peacocks

Today we went to the Arboretum in Arcadia looking for peacocks. Last time we went was winter time when they had their holiday lights up for Moonlight Forest. It’s my first time exploring the place in the daytime and I underestimated how large the place. We definitely did not cover all the park because Lana was ready to rest. We’ll definitely be back to explore the other gardens. I saw some wonderful ideas for groundcover for my front yard.

Peacock hanging out in the shade

It was a nice day. We ended the afternoon with a late lunch at a Chinese restaurant and had some milk tea to cool off.

I’m in the process of planning our kitchen remodel. Even though the remodeling will not happen right away, it’s always best to start off with a plan and vision. Plus, we need to budget on how much it will end up costing. I came across this blog post on how to get started.

Step 1 says to “Write your renovation vision in 3-5 words.” So far I only came up with one word to describe the kitchen and it’s “global” because I like eating food from around the world. I need to come up with 2-4 more words. Right now I am stuck step 1.

Step 2 is already done. Step 2 says to “Write how you want to feel using a few words.” I credit my husband for this and the feeling should be “My favorite place to eat.” I agree…it should be my favorite place to eat because I experiment with all kinds of food.

I’ll move on with the rest of the steps this week. We have some elements we would like to include for our kitchen like a large single basin, tiles for the backsplash, etc. I have a love/hate relationship with remodeling. There is fun in looking at different tiles and colors, but it can be overwhelming with how many choices there are. Plus the cost of remodeling! It makes me glad that my husband and I stuck with a $10,000 budget for our wedding. Yes, I credit that because imagine if that debt carried over the next several years?

#weekendcoffeeshare

Five things Friday: Home remodeling is harder than wedding planning. There, I said it!

Five Things Friday is a post where I share five things that either made my week, what I am thinking about, or would like to share with all of you!

👍 My first attempt at making pretzel buns is a success!

My sourdough starter is still alive. I still set aside the discard to make other things like pasta, pikelets, and crackers. I came across a soft pretzel recipe I’ve been eyeballing to try. At first I wanted to create a traditional pretzel twist, but we were making sliders and needed buns. So I changed them to pretzel buns.

😴 More napping this week

I am not sure if it is the shorter days or the warmer food.

🍟 Brining potatoes to make fries

Thank you Epicurious for this video on making fries! Brining the potatoes for a few days is worth the wait. After the brine you do a first fry followed by a second shorter fry to completely cook it. You also have the option to freeze the fries after the first get and do the second fry later when you want to eat it. I usually do the latter.

We’ll never have neglected, rotten potatoes ever again. I highly recommend this recipe for busy people because each of these steps are short. You pretty much set it and forget it (until you want to eat fries).

🚪Our door has finally arrived!

The door was the final piece of the remodel project. Doing a home remodel makes planning a wedding a complete cakewalk…Well…Maybe that was an unfair comparison. I organize events for a living. For a home remodel there are a lot of disparate working parts. They don’t exactly work in synchrony no matter how much you push for expediency.

📷 This picture

I’ve attempted to create a “Season’s Greeting” card to send to friends and family, but I never found the time to do so. The year we were suppose to create one was the time we got into a car accident.

Sigh…

So I guess this picture my husband took and adding a “Merry Christmas” sticker did the trick.

Five Things Friday: Baby Yoda fever is real

Five Things Friday is a post where I share five things that either made my week, what I am thinking about, or would like to share with all of you!

1. Finding our door vendor

In the beginning of November, we ordered a door from Home Depot because their turnaround time was the quickest out of all the vendors we’ve asked. We wanted our new front entry door to arrive by Thanksgiving. Then Thanksgiving past and the door never arrived. My husband followed up with Home Depot on the status of the door and it turned out Home Depot lost our door. Home Depot wanted us to reorder the door but it would arrive either late December or early January. We did not want to take our chances with Home Depot for a second time to have the order again lost in transit. So we decided to find a different vendor.

How did Home Depot lose a door in transit? I’ve heard our door was likely sold to someone else. That’s absolutely unacceptable.

After a little bit of research and going in person to visit different vendors, we have found our vendor. Plus the turnaround time with this vendor was much quicker, plus one of the components of our door was readily available.

2. Waking up at 5:30 AM

My goal for this week was to go to the gym three times which required waking up at 5:30 AM. This week I have succeeded. Let’s hope I keep this up and maybe even increase the frequency of going to the gym before work.

3. Celebrating the holidays at work all month long

I am loving the creativity!

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4. Free time

Since I finished my Master’s I have more free time! I can occupy it with loads of house projects like refinishing my dining table and bookshelf.

5. Baby Yoda fever is real

People are calling my Pomeranian, Koda, “baby Yoda.” We don’t have a Disney Plus subscription, so I have not seen “The Mandalorian.”

#weekendcoffeeshare: Remodeling Reality

If we were having coffee, it would be at my house. I apologize for the mess. We’ve had builders for the last few days remodeling the bathroom. Check out the paint samples I picked up at Home Depot for the bathroom walls. I find it impressive that I grabbed as many color samples in five minutes. I narrowed it down to these few for the bathroom. Would you like to take a guess which one I ultimately picked?

The bathroom remodel is part one of many remodeling projects in the house. The ETA of the finished home is…a few months.

I’ve been documenting the bathroom remodel it on my Instagram stories. It is better and more real than any HGTV show out there. I am surprised to get a lot of engagement around our home remodel journey. I was worried about oversharing and dragging it on and on. But then I told myself, “eff it.” People share all their stages in planning a wedding and pregnancy through social media all the time and it drags. Sometimes I feel they were engaged for five years and pregnant for two years — which neither true. Thus, I think it is perfectly fine to share my stages in house remodeling.

House remodeling kind of comes off as a mystery to a lot of people. Those who are thinking about remodeling ask me, “how do you go about that?” The truth is, it depends on what you want done to the house. You need to interview as many contractors as possible and talk to as many people as you can who have remodeled. Also, read just about everything you can around construction so you have talking points to your next contractors.

Then there are people who enjoy watching HGTV and think they are home remodeling experts. When we first got our house, people were making references to various HGTV shows and how we should be remodeling. Just like any media, HGTV is completely unrealistic in terms of timeline and budget. My stories would be an opportunity to show people remodeling reality. On HGTV, those expeditious timelines are attributed by builders working all the time and around the clock to meet the deadline for TV. The rushed job compromises their quality. In real life, the remodel is not “just build.” There are permits, inspections, financing, and shopping for the materials. You can’t cram that on a TV show.