Tuesday, July 1, 2014

House Hunting Tall Tales Vol. 1


So for the past 3 months Matt and I have been house hunting. Oh...My....Gah!!! 

This has been the most extremely frustrating experience so far in our married life....the wedding was a piece of cake thanks to my fabulous (money-well spent) wedding planner, grad school was stressful but manageable...house hunting topped it all!!

For the past year Matt put us on a super strict saving budget....very little shopping for me and i mean fun shopping like a shirt here or a dress there. Matt is a numbers guy and really the rock to our savings...i would not have the will power by myself and yet it did lead to some disagreements in which he realized i can only ignore my shopping addiction for so long and i realized if i want to move out of my apartment i needed to change my thinking. So we saved and saved and finally in March we had a good nest for us to begin the official process of looking with a realtor. 

I made a mistake of putting some things on credit and not paying it off immediately during Oct/ Nov and that hurt us from getting a loan thru our bank. I was devastated and thought because of my shopping i had ruined our plans. Our bank is awesome and found us a wonderful lender company, American Financial Network. Everyone we worked with have been so awesome and i can't thank them enough!!

We also lucked out with amazing brokers, our family friends, Ken and Ashley. Ashley is Matt's 2nd wife's best friend's wife's twin sister and Ken is her husband (we went to their wedding last year). Ken's business style is on par with matt's business sense and they have struck up a bro-mance which helped with this process because they were able to remain positive and guide us thru walk thru's of house and give professional opinions on what could be renovated.

So lets talk top 3 house hunting pet- peeves:

1- Pictures are not worth a thousand words in this case!! Pictures are very misleading!! For the most part I "fell in love" with some houses based on the pictures, but when we actually went to see the house it was all sorts of wrong. The layouts made no sense, there was actually A TON of renovation required, I didn't notice the square footage and the places were tiny, there was an oil drill tower-thingy next door...so many things not included in the pictures. 
The picture looked great and I wanted this house...except in person it was TINY!!!
Again much smaller than the picture makes it look like and a bad layout in general...the wall would need to be knocked down to open up the space in a better way
Same house as above but the picture made me think the washer dryer was somewhat hidden, nope! smack center of the hallway
2-Let's talk prices...oh  my lord!! Some houses are NOT worth the listing price. I get so mad when i see a house that has not been touched since the late 70;s/ early 80's asking for 500-700, 000. Seriously no, just no people. I don't care if it's a nice school district, that should not be the sole reason for the price being jacked up....because if you think about it lets say the house is listed for 525, 000 and needs like 100,000 dollars of work...it's a ton of money when you could buy something brand new for the same amount....plus the fact that when you renovate older homes there is ALWAYS something wrong with them (Property Brothers and Love it or List it marathons make me happy... in fact HGTV makes me happy). This one house we looked at was priced at 225,000 for a 2 bedroom, 2 bath but needed at least 80,000 worth of reno. we just didn't like it for us and the next day it was re-listed for 345,000!! Um NO!!

house mentioned above...it's under how so no reno on the front/ curb appeal
it would have been a big expense to redo these stairs...so unsafe for a future family
3-Lastly the dreaded other buyers. Just once i wanted to hear you are the only offer/ buyer for this house. Nope here in So Cal the housing market is on a rise, especially in my price range of 325-350,000. I know there is a small housing boom throughout the country but man cash offers are killing us!! Other offers above asking price were killing us!! where are people getting the money to do cash offers?! my "dream" house, which was literally like 100 feet away from my current apartment, was listed for 325,000 then 8 other offers came in and the seller re-listed for 345,000 and lost the "bidding war". It sucks....we went to "war 3 times" and all 3 times were not picked.

BUT..... but on our 4th try, we found our new home!! We move this week. so if this is my last post for this week you know why :)
love seeing the sold sign in the top corner on redfin

the living room...we bought the blue/grey couch and the coffee table off the owners

yay fireplace!!! and shutters!!

we bought the table and chairs from the owners as well and I happens o have that exact same Paris picture

big kitchen with so mach space and storage...so excited!!
wrap around porch again so excited!!

It's been a crazy ride...the actual process is a whole 'nother story for another post. Not looking forward to decorating because i get rather overwhelmed and indecisive....tips for convincing matt to let me hire a decorator?? anyone want to do it for me??

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Where Did the Weekend Go??

Hey guys!!!

This weekend went by super fast and I hate that!! It's already the end of June which means one more month of vacay :(

Linking up with Leeann and Kimberlee for Monday Morning Gossip.

Friday was my last day teaching summer school. Long story short I volunteered to teach a 2 week summer school program; however because of my surgery I couldn't teach the first week but luckily I was able to teach the 2nd week. If summer school was only 2 weeks I would volunteer every year!!
Afterwards....it was a crazy day of running errands...it's actually a long story so I'll spend tomorrow explaining :)
Matt and I were so tired that night we grabbed some delicious dinner from Sprouts ( which is like a Trader Joe's, but cheaper) my sister, Stephi, came over for a bit and after she left Matt and I finished watching Dexter. Oh Dexter... That show brings so many emotions out. I loved the series as a whole but that last episode...really the last 20 minutes of the show were..just emotional!!

I woke up super early which sucked and spent the rest of the day watching movies on Netflix...I watch The Baby-Sitter's Club with Matt lol!! Since i didn't sleep well I took a long nap during the day and got up in time to get ready for a sister-date night with Stephi. I'm not going into too much detail but Stephi needed her big sister because of general life-drama and we both have been so busy that it's hard for us to have dinner and catch up with each other. It was really nice to sit and chat and give her sisterly advice/ a shoulder to cry on. On another note, Stephi is going to be a bit busier because she is going to med school!! so very proud of her and she has worked her butt off and will continue to do so in med school :)
sister date drinks
Sunday went by super fast!! I basically watched a few movies and bam! it's 7pm and dinner time...i can't remember the last time a day went by so fast. I have to admit it's really nice to just do nothing because during the school year it's go-go-go.
On a happy note...I truly love the relationships i have made thru blogging. The lovely Chris, formerly of Chubette Tales blog, sent me a get-well care package....my mailman messed up delivering it so when Chris texted asking if i got it, i was so disappointed that i hadn't even thou the online tracking said it was delivered. we both freaked out!! i checked my apartment management office to see if maybe they had it, nope. i stalked the mailman to see if he still had it, nope. we both did the online claim and called customer service...nothing. it was really frustrating and i felt bad. This past friday in between my errands i stopped by the post office just to see if maybe they had it there, nope. But today, one of my neighbors knocked and said he had something for me. It turns out he had been on vacation and just got back today and checked his mail...the mailman had delivered to the wrong apartment number...353 instead of 323!! I was so happy!!
get well goodies
Hopefully the rest of summer slows down...how was your weekend?

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Trend Spin: Florals


It's been a while since i did some fashion on this little blog. 

I'm linking up with Trend Spin from Walking in Memphis and The Fashion Canvas with guest host Try it on Me.

The trend is florals and i love it!! Florals are so fun and versatile. I went out for my lil sis' birthday and wore one of my "winter skirts". I don't mean for it to be a winter skirt but for some reason i tend to wear this particular skirt with tights and boots....but for the night i made it a summer skirt. 

I love the floral abstract with all the different colors. It's so easy to match it to any top...although i have yet to try pattern/ print mixing with the skirt. I do wish i could remember to add in jewelry and it it a fuller outfit...honestly i'm more about the shoes :)

JCrew tank/ Forever 21 under tank/ JCrew skirt/ Steve Madden sandals

Any thoughts on this trend? Something you would wear?

Monday, June 23, 2014

Monday Morning Gossip: Weekend of Birthdays

Hey Guys!!

I start summer school for one week today...excited but mostly nervous because i'm functioning off one ear....but it's only one week :)

With that said I'm linking up with Leeann and Kimberlee for Monday Morning Gossip.

I visited my "sub" teacher and my class to say hi and get any info i needed for this week. It was interesting seeing new faces, but it was hard to hear because of the air conditioner in class and my clogged up left ear... in case you don't know why i have a clogged up ear read this important post. Anyways after i stopped by work, Matt and I went to visit his grandmother. I really like spending time with "Grandma" since my own aren't around (meaning my mom's mom died a few years ago and my dad's mom live sin El Salvador). We had a nice dinner and then matt and grandma played Gin while i  watched. 

We woke up and started the last season of Dexter....i love this show and not really ready for the end. We basically lounged around all day. At night, Matt and I headed out to Long Beach for my lil sis's birthday celebration at The Federal Bar. It's an old restored federal bank turned bar and pretty cool. WE had dinner followed by a trip to the underground part, which is called Federal Underground and 1/2 is a speak easy and the other 1/2 is a club. 
yummy pretzels, beer cheese dip and "Fiddler" (moscow mule like drink)

i thought this was hilarious...isn't he like 13?

the restaurant/ bar 

beautiful front bar

i love the chandelier!!

my lil sis

my yummy s'mores bread pudding

me and my lil sis in the club

More Dexter!! It was also my mom's 52nd birthday so we headed out to Buca di Beppo for her dinner. It was a nice end to a great weekend. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Better to Hear You With My Dear


There's been soo much going on in the last months that i honestly don't know how to recap or just move on....i guess i'll start with the biggest "life change" my cochlear implant for some random Wednesday with Shanna

I wrote about my hearing in this post. Exactly a year ago i had my annual hearing test down to reveal that my hearing was getting worse....reading it again it's funny to me because my audiologist a year ago told me that i wasn't a candidate... out of curiosity i went to a conference this past Oct 2013. I wanted more information, i wanted more answers...i wanted to know if a cochlear implant would help me.
Explanation of the implant via
I'm all over the place and feeling like this might be a long post sorry!! so this 2013-2014 school year was hard in terms of hearing. A year ago my hearing dropped and my comprehension was bad...starting school this year with my old principal from the high school, she confirmed that in these past 3 years my hearing was affecting my classes/ teaching/ work. So I went to the Cochlear Americas conference to find out more. It began my long process to get the surgery. After the conference i scheduled an appointment to see my doctor and because i have an HMO insurance i had to go thru the long, annoying process of referrals to FINALLY see the actual cochlear implant surgeon and audiologist.

There are a couple of surgeons and CI centers in Southern California, thru Delta Zeta i heard about House Ears  but it's in Los Angeles which is a far drive for me...a little more locally was Dr. Hamid Djalilian of UCI (University of California Irvine). UCI is a really great medical center and one of the reasons Matt wanted me to go here because if anything went wrong, I would have received immediate care at the hospital. So I met Dr. Djalilian for my consult and he thought i would be a good candidate....but there's more test that had to be done. So in March I had a really long hearing test with my new audiologist, Dr. Stickney. Last year my hearing test comprehension revealed i understood 1 out of 20 words...in the new comprehensive test my Left ear was determined to be the poor ear hearing at 4% and 1 out of 20words and my Right ear is 20% and 6 words out of 20. With this test, combined with an MRI and CAT scan I was officially a candidate for the surgery. My surgery was scheduled for June 4, 2014.

I had a hard time picking the actual implant. there are 3 brands: Cochlear, Med-El and Advanced Bionics. all 3 brands had their pros and cons, but thru a wonderful online community of CI'ers in blogs, message boards, Facebook I made the decision to go with Cochlear. 

I wished i had had the time to blog throughout this whole process...i meant to but i didn't. It was a struggle to be patient and trust in the outcome. I read numerous blogs, mainly Kate's Cochlear Implant , which helped me a lot thru the process. I was/am active on the message boards and a WONDERFUL Facebook support group. It was scary more than exciting. All my loved ones and friends, although well-meaning, kept saying they were so excited and happy for me...except i wasn't. I was  freaked out of the unknown...will i be able to hear after he surgery? How much will I be able to hear? Music will sound different, but will i still enjoy listening to music? Going dancing? Will i be able to talk on the phone? My job...my students... working in the classroom?? so many questions that scared me more than made me excited.

The days before my surgery I was freaked out...June 4 seemed like it would never come and at the same time came too fast. My surgery went very well. Dr. Djalilian was able to retain my normal hearing so I can hear without the implant. My 2-week recovery was not bad at all. I was constantly dizzy and nauseous from the surgery and meds, my taste buds went all crazy (they still are, but getting better), my equilibrium is off but getting better. I have a migraine headache, but not the kind that hurts your head and makes you want to rip your brain out, but a migraine that numbs one side of your head...so basically i CAN hear, but it's like i have a cotton ball in my ear. So far it feels like a good decision...i officially get my implant turned on July 1st so i will definitely recap that!!

Onto some pictures....WARNING some after pictures are a bit graphic
Pre-surgery nerves!! I hated the iv!!
With my mom after post surgery...
Matt took a picture in the car...clearly i was sleeping
The next day....in between sleeping and meds and OITNB

flowers from my Delta Zeta sisters

I was able to take the bandages off 4 days after my surgery...it relived so much pressure off my head when i did so

they had to pretty much cut my ear off 

rocking the hair

2 weeks later...so gross huh??
I'm more than happy to answer any questions but foe the sake of actually expelling what and how...check out the Cochlear Americas link for more info.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Monday Morning Gossip


Does it matter if i announce I'm back or not? because i know i'll do the tease of saying i'm going to come back but then life gets in the way and i don't.....so is it worth to announce it again?? 

Linking up with Leeann and Kimberlee for some Monday Morning Gossip.

Let's see..... not much too discuss because i am on the end stage of my cochlear implant surgery recovery. I've spent the last 2 weeks in bed/ on the couch on meds that make me sleep a lot. 

This past Friday was a quiet date night with Matt. For the first time ever we had Olive Garden take out... it was surprisingly cheap, since we only ordered the food and had our own wine at home. We topped the night off with some Dexter on Netflix (I finished OITNB last week in the middle of my recovery med haze haha).

Saturday consisted of some light house cleaning before Leeann came over for a Paul Walker mini marathon of The Skulls and Joy Ride...I should have insisted on some kind of Varsity Blues or Fast and Furious, but we also spent time gossiping and general catching up.

Sunday "Fa-jah's" Day was spilt for the the first time ever between my dad and Matt's dad. Matt's mom lives up in Northern Cali so for Mother's Day it's not much of a problem...but Matt's lives 20 minutes away on the beach, so for Father's Day we go our separate ways. With my recovery from surgery I didn't know how well i'd be as far as recovery so we told our dads weeks ago we would spilt the day. 
Taken just as i started bawling like a baby during wedding family pictures

My normally "tough-guy" dad teared up and was laughing at our crying :)

We spent the morning with Matt's dad, step-mom and step-uncle. It was our first time meeting his step mom's uncle and OMG!! so cool...he is a retired law enforcement agent who worked on this huge case filled with all the "good" stuff....you know drugs, murder, money, police corruption. I'm not sure how much i can describe, but we were given his book that he (the uncle) wrote about it...once i finish reading it (because yes I'm a book nerd and already started it) I'll explain more. 
our father's day gift to both our dads....Pinot Noir wine from Margerum in Santa Barabara...such GOOOD wine!!

Never realized this....Matt wrote D and F to distinguish which wine was for which dad (my dad had an extra signature from the owner of Margerum because we met him last year) so my dad's initials are FD and Matt's dad is DF....and i thought the letter was for first names while Matt intended it as last names...crazy!

After having lunch and some nice conversation, we headed over to my parents'. My sister, Hillary, was there and it was really nice to see her because it's been months since i saw her. ** Quick side note: Congrats to Hillary on finishing her degree from UC San Diego. Proud of you chee!! (she didn't wan tot walk in the graduation ceremony :( 
so at  my parents we hung out and chatted, watched the Spurs vs. Heat ((YAY!! Spurs beat the Heat!!!! Woo-hooo!! not really a Spurs Fan but I'm definitely a fan of any team that spanks the Heat's ass. Did anyone else think Lebron James looked like a big sulky cry baby those last 8 minutes of the game?))  Anyways....Matt cooked dinner and we ended the night with some more Dexter (we're on season 7!!)

Happy belated Father's Day weekend!!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Spring 2014 30x30: Final week


Since I missed the actual posts dates I am catching up with the final week of the Spring 30X30. You can see week 1 and week 2 and week 3 posts to catch up as well. 
As much as I suck at posting, I do stick to the challenge...for the most part... I did have a slight cheat day the last week or so...but hey it happens :)

Week 4
Day 23:
I was i he middle of an all pants week and it started to go up in temperature....which was fine because i got to break out my kimono over my non-leggings :) I had a long day and this was taken before heading out with Matt to watch his school's dance production.

Cardigan: Nordstrom Rack kimono/ Tank top: F21/ pants: JCrew Minnie pants/ Shoes: JCrew
Day 24: 
This was the first time (at least in the last few months) I wore jeans on a Thursday to work. I try to keep denim pants strictly to Friday but once in a while a colored denim makes its way to the Thursday rotation. But with this tee and the jeans and the tennis shoes I felt super casual, but i liked it!!

Shirt: JCrew/ Pants: JCrew/ Shoes: Converse

Day 25:
My cheat day :( I wore my usual jeans and school shirt and I don't want to bore you with that but later that night i had a friend's birthday dinner and nothing seemed to work. It was that one odd day here in Southern Cali where it was COLD....literally starting pouring rain that night at dinner. So anyways it wasn't a fancy-pants dinner so i didn't want to wear a skirt and didn't want to wear my work pants and I just wore those grey jeans the day before so i 1/2 cheated...i brought out my trusty black jeans and combined them with 2 of the 30 pieces....it happens right?

Cardigan: JCrew/ Shirt: JCrew/ Pants: Hudson/ Shoes: Steve Madden
Day 26:
After a cold rainy night, we had a mild day. I m,et up with my big sis and another sorority sister for a girl's night out. to make up for my cheat I did 2 day-to-night outfit for the GNO. We first went to a "wine tasting bar" and then to dinner followed by another super- secret bar. Confession this was my first time bringing my blog life into my real life and asking someone other than another blogger friend or family to take my picture. It was weird but my big was happy to do it :)

Jacket: Old Navy/ Shirt: JCrew/ Skirt: Nordstrom Rack/ Shoes: Report Sandals

Cardigan: JCrew/ Shirt: JCrew/ Pants: JCrew/ Shoes Steve Madden
Day 27:
Sundays are Relaxing Days for me now and i mean it when i say i only get dressed to go get home and even then i was only dressing for this picture hahaha.

Shirt: Old Navy/ Pants: Hollister/ Shoes: Rainbow sandals
Day 28:
At the start of this week I barely remembered it was the last days of this challenge .. I found a second wind and would have continued going except I say all those "It's gonna be May" Justin Timberlake memes and realized the challenge would be over. I kinda saved some of my "best outfits for last"

Shirt: Nordstrom Rack/ Pants: JCrew/ Shoes: JCrew
Day 29:
I'm pretty sure wore my midi at least once a week this whole month.... oh well I LOVE this skirt!! 

Shirt: JCrew/ Skirt: Express/ Shoes: Steve Madden
Day 30:
Last Day!! WOO HOO!! And it was a HOT one too!! I think this may be the only weekday pattern mixing.
Cardigan: JCrew/ Dress: Target/ Shoes Gap
All together now....

Challenge completed!! Would you do this?