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Pasadena Cottage 2.0

We aren’t going to be homeless!! After a very long and stressful 33 days (wow, only 33 days? It felt like a lifetime.), I am happy to report that Walker and I found a new place to call home! Having a deadline and a very specific list of requirements to fulfill within a tight budget is a scary combination. We looked for months and months before finding our current house, so we feared that nothing would come up that was even remotely comparable on the rental market during our daunting 60-day window.

This past month was a series of places that varied from “alright but certainly not our next home” to “WTF were these people thinking when they created the (very obviously deceiving) ad for this place?!” I mean, a little embellishment is expected, but inventing second bedrooms and yard space is such a waste of everyone’s time! It was one disappointment after another, and we were getting to the point where we were going to start looking at short-term options starting next week because we weren’t finding anything that would check even 70% of our boxes in our price range.

Then I saw an ad on Westside Rentals (a service Walker and I joined for 60 days that has reliable and sometimes exclusive listings to help sift out all of the garbage that litters Craigslist, though we used that too) on February 2nd that immediately piqued my interest. I knew right away from the photos (see below!) that we would love the place when we got there. The only slight hiccup was that it was at the top of our search limit, which was realistically a couple hundred dollars over our budget and current rent. However, after the series of horrible duds that we had seen, we had already come to realize that we would likely have to spend a little more than we did last year to get a similar place in this year’s market. So I sent the ad to Walker saying, “Just sent you a dream place!” to which he responded, “Oh wow. Beautiful.” We knew we had to see the place, and anxiously awaited the open house on the following Saturday, February 6.

Naturally, we arrived at 1pm on the dot and fell in love as soon as we walked in, along with most of the many other open house attendees I’m sure. The house is a 1920 craftsman cottage (yay, yay, and more yay.) and is the front house on the property in front of another cottage. It is about 900 square feet (maybe a little smaller than out current place) with the original fireplace, hardwood floors, french doors, and MINT GREEN/BLUE kitchen cabinets (IT WAS MEANT FOR ME! I WAS WEARING A SHIRT THE SAME COLOR!). In addition to the original character of the house, it has central air (thank heaven); incredible front, back, and side yards with fruit trees and complete privacy/safety (for our bean!); a “California basement” (meaning it is a small partial basement accessed by a door in the backyard that is tall enough to stand in but is only large enough to house the heat, plumbing, and electrical… plus suitcases and a few Christmas decorations!); a washer/dryer (thank heaven again); lots of natural light; and a great Jack and Jill bathroom connecting the bedrooms. Here are the original Craigslist photos of the house:

Our new home!

Our new home!

White picket fence and all!

White picket fence and all!

The gorgeous palm trees lining the street!

The gorgeous palm trees lining the street!

Looking into the living area from the front door.

Looking into the living area from the front door (minus the wall AC unit… these are old pictures.

Looking at the living area from the kitchen.

Looking at the living area from the kitchen.

The back and side yard, as well as the color of the house! :)

The back and side yard, as well as a great depiction of the color of the house! :)

The back yard right off the kitchen door. Love the patio for our outdoor grilling and dining!

The back yard right off the kitchen door. Love the patio for our outdoor grilling and dining!

Unfortunately, those are the only photos we have at the moment since the current tenant is still in the house until the end of February. We felt like we got along well with and made a good impression on the new landlord. He said he was going to look through the applications on a first come, first serve basis, so we rushed home to submit our application right away. He told us that they would let us know who they chose within a few days, so we anxiously awaited the email letting us know if we were chosen.

On Wednesday, I was in Palm Springs on a project installation for work, and I checked my email just before lunch, only to see one from the landlord. I opened it as quickly as my phone would let me, and started jumping for joy when I saw that we got the house! There were 6 other applications that were submitted from that open house, some of which even offered to pay higher rent! So I replied immediately that we absolutely wanted the place and would meet him the next day (when I returned to LA) to sign the lease. Last night, Walker and I met up with our new landlords to make everything official! We couldn’t be more grateful that our application was selected and that we have a new home that is even BETTER than the one we have now!

We get the keys on March 1st and are in the process of figuring out the timing for the move. The hard part is over, and now we are getting excited to make Pasadena Cottage 2.0 our new home! Thank you to all of our friends and family who supported us and sent good thoughts and luck our way. We love you all and can’t wait to welcome you into our new home! :)

Have a great weekend! xoxo

Zaragoza: Grape Plant Update

Happy Friday, everyone! I would love to tell you that my grapes are growing so well that I will be sending you all wine in the fall. However, my news is the opposite… I’m such a big Friday bummer.GrapesEaten

An animal ate all of Zaragoza’s grapes! Well, most of them — there is still one green one that may ripen and be the only surviving grape.GrapesEaten2

We’re not sure what got to them, but I was actually commenting on how great they looked this weekend (and how I needed to take a picture of them for the blog!). Then I looked over at the grape plant last night and saw that unfortunate sight above. Even though the bunch was smaller than last year, due to my poor second year pruning, they were healthier and seemed like they would make it to harvest. Now, we have to wait until next year… probably thanks to those dumb squirrels because I spiced up their bird food snack. REVENGE.

Since I am an eternal optimist and like to end things on a high note, I’ll share a fun little backyard update with you. While we may have lost the grapes this year, we have gained a bunch of fun succulent friends. Not only did we replant Clifford and surround him with new friends, we planted some succulent clippings from the large succulent crate (which is really flourishing!) to new small pots and added a cute, rustic pitcher with an awesome aloe plant to the area.NewSucculents

Also, our grass is slowly getting greener, after almost dying completely during the heat wave and our vacation a few weeks back. So things are on the up-and-up for our backyard, despite the grape setback. We plan to spend much of the weekend out there, grilling and kicking up our feet. It has been a really stressful but good first week of class (more on that next week I hope!) so I have earned a relaxing weekend! I hope you do the same… have a great weekend! :)

P.S. Apparently, I have a strange habit of naming large plants and talking about them like they are humans. I’m not sorry about it.