Sunday, September 23, 2018

PREGNANCY | First Trimester Update

Since the secret is finally out that we are expecting a baby boy in February (!) I am so excited to start blogging again. I'm not sure how often these posts will be but I figured I would do an update since it feels like crickets over here. I miss writing and it feels so good to just journal and write everything out. It's very therapeutic for me. As you can imagine, most of our house projects are on hold with the new addition on the way. One thing we did do is buy 18 bags of landscaping mexican beach pebble rock (and we still need more!) for the front of the house. I will share more photos on that later once it's finished. 

(13 week ultrasound) 

Back to what you came here for.... Generally the first trimester ends around week 13 although many of my apps said different things - one said it ended once you reach 12 weeks, another said 14 weeks, another said it ends once the placenta is formed. So let's just say the end of August/beginning of September is when I considered that the first trimester was over and the second was beginning. I love when things correlate to the month end/beginning. Yes, I am one of those weird people. 


Nausea - I only threw up a few times (thank god because that is the worst feeling in the world to me) but I had a lot of food aversions - meat, vegetables, spices, things I normally ate like sweets didn't sound appealing which is crazy because I am normally a DESSERT QUEEN.

Fatigue - I was very tired in the first trimester and needed to nap almost daily. Sometimes I would take two naps in one day. I have been trying to really listen to my body and give it what it needs so that I am not overdoing it. 

Cravings - watermelon / thai food / ramen / mexican food / Taco Bell (what?!?) / doritos / carbs /toast with butter and jam / yogurt and granola 

Growing Pains - I only started to feel these towards the end of my first trimester and they would be this weird pulling sensation on the sides of my stomach. I've had very minor cramps every so often but nothing else has really happened other than my belly slowly swelling, so far so good! 

Sense of Smell - This was one of my first symptoms and it was the weirdest thing! When taking a shower, I could really smell the coconut body wash very strongly (way more than I had in the past), when I traveled, the bathrooms smelled even worse than usual (uh, yuck!) and I just had a heightened sense of smell for practically everything. I would like this symptom to go away but I've heard it may stick around the entire pregnancy. 


I think the biggest thing I felt was relief that we made it to the end of the first trimester (and even just  another week as we were progressing). It is always a tough time worrying about what could go wrong, but I realized that when we made it to the end, we were that much closer to actually spilling the beans and telling the world (since our close friends and family already knew) our big news. So, overall a strong sense of relief was my biggest emotion this trimester. 


3 lbs. I did lose some weight at the beginning because of all my food aversions and the fact that I stopped drinking alcohol. So, it's been nice to feel like I have a fresh start and things aren't getting out of control (al least not yet! Ha!). 


Not great but not terrible. I have always been a side sleeper but they encourage you to sleep on your left side if you can which is the best position for baby getting blood flow (I think). I have been debating getting a pregnancy pillow but many friends said they weren't very helpful and they are kind of pricey so I am thinking of skipping it unless I get really uncomfortable towards the end. For now, I have been using a pillow between my legs and that helps to relieve pressure on my hips. 


I bought a few maternity items a couple weeks ago so I would have them ready when I need them. I've worn them a bit here and there but I am just starting to feel like my clothes don't fit now @ 17 weeks. I bought a dress and some tops from ASOS and a few tanks from Old Navy. I am debating getting a pair of yoga pants but have been living in dresses - one of the perks of living in Southern Cal is that I don't have to worry about changing out my wardrobe for the fall/winter.


We've been going to a Yoga class at the Y pretty religiously for about a year now. But, when I told the instructor the news, she mentioned she didn't know much about pregnancy and yoga and suggested that I try a pre-natal pregnancy class since there are certain things you should avoid like laying on your back and poses when you are twisting intensely. A new yoga studio opened up pretty close to our house, but they don't offer prenatal yoga -- yet. So, I am lacking in this area. We do take at least one (sometimes two walks a day) with the dog, so I am moving but not quite as much as I would like. Will keep working on this one! 


Starting to really plan and design the nursery! Finding out the gender this week was a huge milestone for us. Although I am planning a pretty gender neutral nursery anyway, knowing the gender makes me want to go out and start buying ALL OF THE THINGS! I will be sharing my plans and inspiration in the coming weeks. 

That's it for now! 


Sunday, June 24, 2018

A Fresh Exterior

Ever since we initally laid eyes on our first home, we knew it would need some exterior work to modernize it. I had big ideas of repainting it a brighter white, changing the trim from brown to black, and perhaps replacing the roof with a black or grey one. But, alas $$$$$. Then I went onto a Houzz forum asking for recommendations and surprisingly people had so many great ideas that weren't as expensive or drastic as I had initially envisioned.

From the Houzz forum, people suggested the following:

  • We could update the door and paint it a fun color.
  • We could pull out the bushes (that were probably 40 years old) and replace them with something more modern like a century plant and succulents which are pretty popular here in Southern California. 
  • We could change or remove the "fence" on the front porch. 
  • We could update the hardscaping - to my surprise this was a little pricey so we held off on doing this for now.

So in honor of our one year anniversary, I wanted to share some progress updates on the exterior that we did. 

First, we got a new mid-century inspired door installed. That was a HUGE update! Then we painted said door Benjamin Moore Naples blue. I think this was the update that had the biggest impact. We also got a RING doorbell and a new more sleek, modern mailbox.

Then we (read: Jake) tore out the old bushes and took our time deciding what to do next. We thought about snake plants, succulents, river rock, etc. We thought about removing (or redoing) the small hardscape wall in front of the house but decided against it for now since it looks OK. Eventually we might remove and/or redo it. We will have to wait and see.

This spring, we started researching landscaping. After looking online, we quickly realized that there were typically two options:

Consult with a landscape designer to design a custom front and backyard, which typically comes at a higher cost than we were looking to spend.


Visit a nursery, pick out plants, and plant them (more of a DIY route). 

Then we found Moon Valley Nurseries in Huntington Beach via a Google search. The first thing we liked about the website was you can upload a picture of your yard and add plants from the website to the picture...we had a little too much fun with this tool, as you can imagine. We went to the nursery on a Saturday to start planning our project. We then spent the first part of the design meeting talking about our style, plant and color ideas, and what areas of the yard we wanted to landscape (front, side and backyard).  Next, we went out to the actual nursery and looked at a variety of plants. Jake and I both had so much fun picking out the different plants and determining where they would be planted.

We had a good idea about what we wanted from the beginning, but our designer recommended some plants that we had never heard of which ultimately ended up being our very favorite plants of the whole project! As we selected our plants, they were tagged with our name so we knew exactly which plants were ours. I'm pretty sure this was the best day of Jake's life (so far).  We also got four bougainvillea for the back white stucco wall and decided to go for an Italian villa vibe. We still need to get uplighting for those, but I will share some backyard updates once we decide on our long term outdoor furniture and layout. I never knew how fun (!!), but also a bit stressful and draining owning our house would be. I wouldn't trade it for anything though!


AFTER (1 year progress):

How long we plan to live in this house is another big consideration that we are mulling over before we start spending all of our money customizing the house even further. I had a dream last night that we were putting in a pool! That is something I am considering very strongly but we are not going to move forward with that until we know we want to stay here for awhile.

I've learned that the house to do list is endless and realistically, will probably always be a mile long. So part of the process is just embracing and realizing that the house will never be perfect. But, to be cliche, it's about the journey, not the destination, right? At least that's what I keep telling myself.


Saturday, March 24, 2018


Our Master Bathroom is finally done! While 98% of the work was completed in early February within seven business days courtesy of One Week Bath, there were a few loose ends that needed to be tied up. As I explained in my earlier post, we had to choose a new light fixture at the last minute which really threw us for a loop. And then we thought we had to choose a new toilet (but it turns out we really didn't) but we decided that since we were redoing everything that we should just order a new toilet anyway. That is what caused most of our delays finishing up the project. First the toilet we picked was ordered (or so we thought) but then we found out that it wouldn't be available for several months since it was a brand new model and hadn't been shipped out from the manufacturer yet.

So, we decided to pick out another one but we were debating between two different models and ended up going to a showroom to look at them in person. I've never thought so much about a toilet in my life. But, in the end we got the toilet (and bathroom) of our dreams (well, *almost*). I mean if it was my dream, I would have two vanities and a tub, but given our space and budget constraints I am absolutely loving our new bathroom!

To read more about our inspiration, click here. And planning, click here. The photos really speak for themselves, so without further ado....

Of course, I had to include a photo of everyone's favorite pup, Olive! We are coming up on our 5 month adopt-a-versary and I truly cannot imagine our lives without her. She is just the best! 

Here are some BEFORE photos so you can see what we started with.

So, if you are thinking the BEFORE photos aren't that bad, I would definitely agree with you. The main reason we had to redo this bathroom was because the shower wasn't properly waterproofed and we had at least two, possibly three leaks. Just knowing that those leaks were damaging our house was the absolute worst. I can't believe it's really done, we spent so much time thinking about it and waiting for loose ends to be tied up, it doesn't really seem real! It's so funny I want to shower twice a day now! I have always been a night shower kinda person, but I just get so excited to shower, I want to spend hours in there! So much more spacious than the old box shower that never really sealed in the water.

If you are in Southern California and are interested in redoing a bathroom, I highly recommend using One Week Bath. We are already planning to do redo our second bathroom with them and it is just a matter of time! Also here is my yelp review in case you are curious about the process.

A few of my favorite things:

Open Shower. I love the fact that we didn't add a shower door. We did have them brace the wall in case we ever wanted to add a door later.

The controls. How we put the shower control on the open side of the shower so that you can turn the water on without having to get wet.

The Floor. It's consistent throughout the entire bathroom, including the shower. I think it makes it feel bigger. Honestly, I wanted to do white flooring again but Jake vetoed it, and I do think the gray concrete-style does add more texture so I am happy with that choice. You guys know how I feel about white and that it's my favorite color. But, marriage is about compromise, right?

Overall, I have been very purposeful about choosing pops of color like plants and a pink bathmat because the bathroom is so neutral, I didn't want it to start looking like a hospital bathroom. So there you have it! Now that this project is done, we are embarking on some front and backyard landscaping. Jake will be prepping for that in a few days, so be on the lookout for more house updates coming soon (well, soon-ish)!


Saturday, February 3, 2018

A Bathroom Update

Day 4 of our master bathroom remodel finished up yesterday. I have been sharing some behind the scenes on my Instastories if you want to follow along. The project was slated to be complete in 7 business days, but we've had a few minor setbacks - which project doesn't? Despite being super prepared and proactive, we had a few misses. Honestly, if these are our only two issues, I will be super happy. 

The first issue is the vanity lighting. If you recall, we spent weeks and weeks picking out the lighting fixture. Only to find out that bathroom lighting has to be integrated-LED in the City of Long Beach. Ugh. So, we have been looking non-stop to find a replacement light fixture for above the vanity. I ordered a few bath bars off of amazon, so hopefully that will look good in the space. If not, I will have to spend more time figuring out what I want to do. More to come...

The second issue was that the existing (presumably new) toilet wasn't as water conserving as it should be (i.e. it was low flow, not low enough). So, we had to go on a wild goose chase to find a new toilet and we didn't plan on spending money there, but you know what, it will be really nice to get a new toilet because then the entire bathroom will all be new! So, silver lining? 

But, the point of this post is that I wanted to share some parts of the drawings that the company put together for us as we planned out the remodel. Then, once the project is complete, I can show you the before and afters. Because, who doesn't love some B & A's?!

This first drawing is essentially looking in from the door (we ended up removing the window casing and it looks much better).

The middle view below is the view of the shower right after you walk into the room and then immediately turn left. The ones on the side are the shorter opposite walls.

After we had our initial design meeting, a few weeks later we received these drawings. We went back and forth on some of the details and after probably 6 or so rounds, we had the final drawings. I asked them to add the cabinet fixtures and light fixture that we picked out so I could see how all the shapes played off each other. So much fun, right?

Things I am super excited about:

  • A waterproofed shower (I mean....)
  • The X-shaped sink controls 
  • The half moon shaped drawer pull (it's the little things)
  • Picking out a rug and piece of art
  • Maybe adding a plant in the shower niche?
  • Adding a teak bench somewhere in the shower 
  • Photographing the finished product! 

You can read more about the finishes and hardware we chose here if you are curious. We have never been involved with any remodeling projects before, so this is all new territory for us. This post is definitely not sponsored, but if you are interested in working with the company we are, please reach out to me and I can tell you about our experience once everything is all done. Before making our final decision to work with this company, I called one of their referrals and the customer only had positive things to say about them. And so far, that is what I am experiencing.

Before we decided to redo the bathroom, I remember saying to Jake, will you ever be able to shower in the master and not think about the water leaks? And he's like yeah, it will all be fine. For me, I was always paranoid showering in there even after they told us the leaks were fixed (hint: they weren't). Needless to say, this new shower is going to be amazing. I'll report back once everything is all finished.

Over halfway there!



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