Before & After Renovations

A (Bittersweet) House Tour

You've seen most of my house at one point or another over the years, but as I do not own a wide-angle lens, it's been tough for me to get shots that really show you what the spaces look like as a whole, and how they fit together.

The photographer who came over to shoot the house for the listing did have a wide-angle lens, though, and so I now present to you: A bittersweet little house tour. The only room missing is the master bath, which I'll be photographing myself tomorrow after I put a few finishing touches on it. (As a recap, here's what the house looked like on move-in day three years ago.)

I didn't include product info because there's just so much, but you can click through to the links below for details on each room, or just ask away in the comments.

DIARY

On to the Next

I never intended this house to be our "forever house." I never even really intended to have a "forever house" at all. My parents moved into our Hell's Kitchen apartment when I was two years old, and they live there still, so you'd think I'd have some visceral desire for permanence - but I've had many apartments, and many houses, and all of them have felt, to a greater or lesser extent, like home. I put up the pictures that I've carted with me back and forth across the country over and over again, and drape my favorite throw blanket over a bed, and all of a sudden even a temporary corporate rental isn't just "where I'm staying"...it's where I live.

When we decided to move to San Jose for Kendrick's new job, I knew so little about the area that I told people I was headed to San Francisco - as opposed to a major city that may be adjacent to San Francisco, but most certainly is not a part of it - and people on the Internet made fun of me. I'd say it was terrifying moving to a place that I knew so little about, and that was so far away from my friends and my parents, but it wasn't, not especially. Because whatever was going to happen, we were going to be together. And so at least there'd be that.

So I flew out to California with my four-year-old son to look for a house, and we both got viral gastroenteritis and ended up in the hospital, and so we did not find a house on that trip. I did eventually find a house, though, thanks to a broker who was willing to take me on countless virtual FaceTime tours of available properties while I sat on my couch in New York. We bought the house we live in now having never actually stepped foot inside it. I thought it was fine, but probably not *perfect,* but I also thought it didn't really matter, because it's not like we couldn't move if we wanted to one day.

Home

Loungin’

I had never heard of a Baja Shelf - or Ledge Loungers (which are the ridiculously glamorous chair you see me and Erin sitting in above) - until about six months ago. And now I am not entirely sure how this was so, because it seems to me that every pool-owning person should prooooooobably be on the receiving end of this info.

I've talked about the Baja Shelf before, but since the concept of one was totally new to me, I thought it was worth revisiting. When I decided to redo my pool (not really an option, actually, since the plaster was cracking all over the place), the guy who came over to help me plan it said "Hey, what about a Baja Shelf?" Cleeeeeearly an attempt at upselling me, but once I saw what it was I was all hook, line and sinker. Would I also like to have a built-in hole in this shelf for an umbrella? WHY NOT. Because seriously, if you're going to do a project as massive as a full pool renovation, you might as well do it right.

And "right," to me, means being able to be in the water without actually having to, you know, expend any effort to do so. (BTW, just a recap, if you're curious how we paid for our renovations.)

Eat

Gonna Just Call This “Jordan Pasta”

I've been posting recipes to the Internet for nearly ten years. And the fact that I have never posted the one recipe I make more than any other - I literally make it once a week at minimum - is...weird, to say the least. But what happens is that every time I make it and think, "Oh, I should take some shots and post about this!" I figure come on, suuuurely I already have, and so then I just go ahead and eat it.

Except last night I did a quick search on my site while I was stirring the sauce, and: nope. I've never posted it. (Why it took me this many years to "do a quick search while stirring the sauce" is a question I cannot answer for you.)

This recipe is technically named for my son, but ok, I'll tell you the truth: I named it after my son because he loves it, yeah yeah, but mostly because love it, and now whenever I make it I get to seem like an amazing parent who is making her son's favorite meal for dinner while actually eating...my favorite meal. (Very selfless over here.)

Before & After Renovations

How To Renovate Your House (Without Having Loads of Cash Laying Around)

Aarrrrrrgh

OK, so yesterday's conversation under my bathroom renovation post was a little frustrating - you can read it here, if you're interested - but at it's heart was, I think, a solid question:

How in the world does one afford to renovate a house if, say, one has not found themselves the sudden recipient of a trust fund/inheritance/other random windfall of enormous proportions?