The Souk and The Citizenry

We’ve fallen in love…with an online artisanal home store called, The Citizenry. They believe our homes should be reflections of the journeys we take, and so do we! Country by country, they collaborate with local artisans by blending their modern style with that particular country’s timeworn techniques.  The latest collection just so happens to be inspired by Morocco.  Not only, does this collection have us dreaming about our trip to Morocco back in 2015, but it also adds a few more items to the wishlist to complete the decorating of our new place in Ventura.

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Winter Walks in NYC

New York is truly a beautiful city, especially during the winter time.  Central Park and the Chelsea high line are two areas specifically that offer some beautiful scenery, but just wandering through the streets can be awe-inspiring as you check out the architecture and admire the impressive skyline from below.  dsc00119-copydsc00111-copyimg_1282

We found this view (and that tiny snowman) at a small mock fairytale castle nestled on a hill in Central Park. Sorry for the PDA. Continue reading

This old house

Our house was built in 1900! That’s almost 117 years ago! We have found a lot of interesting treasures during our renovations. We have discovered some really cool architectural features, some wacky and potentially dangerous DIY jobs done through out the years, and some cool old stuff just hidden inside the walls.(no gold bars however, much to Adam’s disappointment)  Continue reading

New house(s) in Ventura

Have you ever seen that old Tom Hanks movie where he and his wife buy this beautiful old home for a steal of a price, only to start doing work and find out that everything is wrong with the house and it was basically being held up with the decaying bodies of dead termites and the tears of the rats living in the walls? Three different people mentioned that movie to us when we closed escrow on our new place in Ventura – not a good sign.

Now that we’re in and we’ve started demolition, it’s clear that this will not be a real money pit, but will be a crap-ton of work. We’re starting with the kitchen and bathroom, two relatively inexpensive things to remodel in a new house (sarcasm) and, while the walls are open, we’ll fumigate and redo all of the electrical (because the house is on the verge of burning down – and now the visions of The Money Pit come streaming back into my head. Out evil thoughts! Out!).

On the outside, the house is an old victorian built in 1900. That’s 116 years of goodness building up in those old bones. The siding is falling apart in places. Wood beams are eaten through by termites in places. There is dry rot all over the place. Have I mentioned The Money Pit?

The good news is that it’s listed as a triplex, but has the potential to be a five-unit building, which would add a ton of value and bring in a lot more income. All good things. Also, the price was right (I know, I said that about the movie as well) because the previous owner knew about all this work that needed doing.

And we are the ones to do it!

Check out all that natural light, the original hardwood floors, the…okay, that’s it. But it certainly has potential. And we love potential. We also really love that we are officially residents of Ventura.

Besides, Tom Hanks, when his house is done, loves what he has and they all lived happily ever after. Here’s to happily ever after!

House Hunting in Ventura

We didn’t start out looking for a multi family property. In fact, we were specifically put off by them – mostly because we didn’t want to share our space with someone else. But after some time looking at the Ventura market, where multi family properties reign, it became clear that we would at least have to consider it as an option. So we talked…and talked and talked and talked, and managed to come up with our criteria for either a single family home or a multi family property. Here is what it looked like: Continue reading

Our house, Our story.

The quest for our first home together, or the home itself for that matter, weren’t at all what we expected when we started hunting for a house. It started shortly after we were married in 2008. We were renting a small apartment in Northridge. After one too many fights in the hallway, after more than a few contact highs from our generous next door neighbors, and after countless parties raging on until 3 and 4 in the morning, we knew it was time to move on. We had our down payment and a good idea of where we wanted to live. Three years, more than a dozen rejected offers, and tons of frustration with the process, we finally decided to expand out search to included Kristina’s childhood home of Simi Valley.

Within a week, we were in escrow on the gorgeous beater you see up there. Obvious landscaping issues aside, we knew that we were looking to put our own stamp on place, and that if we could find a decent blank slate, we could make something pretty special.

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