Saturday, August 29, 2009

Status update

This post is sort of more for me to keep track of our offers than to update all of you on our house hunt. So we submitted offers on the Palo Verde home first, got outbid. Submitted second offer on Ianita house. Were not outbid, but the bank didn't accept our higher offer because they had already countered and accepted another. Submitted third offer on Arbor house. Have yet to see the inside of the house, have yet to hear from the agent whether our offer is accepted (supposed to find out next Friday, will view the inside after that). Submitted fourth offer on Euclid house. Supposed to hear from the agent on Monday. I think. Another house came on the market today in one of our target neighborhoods, also a "subject to inspection" so we're putting in our offer tomorrow morning on it so we can see the inside. This will be offer #5.

Sheesh! That makes us sound desperate, doesn't it? We're really not... All of the houses we're putting offers in on we can either see ourselves in and love it, or we just want to see the inside of it and are basing our offer excitement purely on the neighborhood and size of the house. And it's just the nature of the game nowadays in this market. Everything is so much cheaper than it was several years ago so people are scrambling to scoop up a deal. Here are pics of the pending offers:
Arbor house:

Euclid house:

Barlin house:

Vote for your favorite!

The difference between my life and HGTV

I used to love watching HGTV shows like House Hunters and Property Virgins. No more!! Here are my beefs with them:
1) HGTV never called me back asking Jeff and I to be on one of their shows. Jerks.
2) All of the home buyers get at least three great house options. These houses are:
a: HUGE. 2000+ square feet and the buyers still complain that the closets aren't big enough. One house will have a big enough closet, where the male buyer inserts the joke "This one will even hold all of your shoes!"
b: Under $250,000 even though they're HUGE and have updated kitchens.
c: All sit on like 3 acres of gorgeous land.
3) The buyers then struggle with the decision of which great house to choose! So many options!
4) Four weeks pass as they mull their decision.
5) The buyers then decide to make an offer on their favorite. They offer $40,000 LESS than the asking price.
6) The sellers say no way, and come down $20,000 in their counter offer.
7) The buyers hem and haw and say the sellers are being unreasonable in not taking their low ball offer. They recounter at $30,000 less than the asking price.
8) THEY GET IT. House sold. Happily ever after.

Can you see why I was excited about house hunting? Well let me tell you, in the Long Beach, California housing market, this scenario is bullcrap. A fairy tale if you will. This is how it actually goes:
1) Every morning Liv logs in to Listingbook, homeseekers, and to look for any new properties that have come on the market in the past 12 hours that happen to be in a nonviolent neighborhood, are over 600 square feet, and are in our budget. Average find: 3 houses. Excitement!!
2) Liv emails Noelle, our fantastic realtor, with the 3 properties. She quickly responds with "#1 closed to offers, #2 subject to inspection (have to submit an offer before even being allowed to look inside the house), #3 It's a short sale being managed by BofA (i.e. will take 4-5 months before the bank gets around to accepting your offer). Want to submit an offer on #2?
3) YES! Write up offer for $20,000 MORE than the asking price to be competitive. Rush to sign offer papers and submit.
4) Wait 4 days for agent to respond to offer.
5) Go and see house now that you know your offer was received and you're in the running.
6) House looks good, lots of potential. Bite nails until Noelle calls.
7) We were outbid. Again. But Noelle has three more potential properties to show us so we go do drive-bys.
8) Repeat steps 3-7.

I know there's a happy ending at the end of this story, I'm just pointing out it takes more than thirty minutes on TV. I guess I should have known that.

Friday, August 28, 2009

A mini-dose of joy...


Two of my favorites... Siamese cats and Charley Harper. I just died.

via Apartment Therapy...

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Happy birthday Mom!

It was my mom's birthday on Tuesday so I mailed her a little gift that she received yesterday, a little utility apron belt for when she's at school or doing crafts or deciding to just be sassy and wear a cute little apron. I made it from this awesome leftover material Mandy scored me from Quiksilver. It's hard to tell here but it's waterproof and the little yellow designs are flocked onto the fabric. Super cute, albeit a little tricky to sew. I paired it with some of the leftover wedding fabric and a button to cover the ugly seam where the apron strings met.


We didn't get the Ianita house we found out this morning. :*( I said original 50's metal kitchen cabinets were stupid anyways and Jen responded with "Yeah, those metal cabinets could have given you a flesh eating disease." So right, sooo right...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Third one's the charm?

We thought to distract us from the looooong wait the probate attorney is making us go through on the Ianita house we would make another offer on another house. Why not!? I'm getting used to writing $3500 deposit checks. My checkbook register is looking pretty scary... glad they're not all getting deposited!

We put an offer on this other Lakewood home in a wonderful neighborhood, pretty much site unseen. We drove by it and were charmed and Noelle wrote up the offer the next day. It's tenant occupied unfortunately which makes it difficult to view, so we have to make a serious offer to be able to go inside. Odd but whatevs. We can always cancel it if we go inside and realize they had shady contractors come inside and divide up the 3 original bedrooms into 6 for people to cram into. That actually happened on a house we viewed this weekend so don't laugh and say "You're silly Liv." I am not.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Now Jeff and I BOTH bite our nails.

Still waiting to hear from the probate attorney about our offer on Ianita, so I'm trying to distract myself with work and non-house items. Look how gorgeous these new products from Oh Joy! are, released by Chronicle Books:

pictures via Design*Sponge

Friday, August 21, 2009

We made an offer!

Fingers crossed everyone... Jeff and I put in an offer on a house in Lakewood yesterday morning and we're waiting to hear back if it's a go. We LOVE the house but we're trying not to get our hopes up because it's a great house in a great area and likely a lot of offers are coming in. The coolest part about the house is an additional large room that they built off the full 2 car garage detached from the house. It's big, has concrete floors, wood beams on the ceiling, a fireplace, and three walls of windows so it would be PERFECT for Jeff's studio. He could actually "go" to work! And it'd be nice to banish all the Be@rbricks from the house as well. :) Here are a couple shots of the home and backyard:

More details and pics if we actually score it!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Green Label Art Premiere

Last night Jeff and I went to the premiere party in L.A. for the Mountain Dew Green Label Art Artist Series bottles Volume 3 that Jeff is a part of. It was the coming out party to society for the bottles, we were so proud! In typical Pepsi Co. fashion, promotional schwag accompanies the bottles and Jeff got to work with Zoo York to make a super cool sweatshirt with his designs on it. They had big posters of the artists and their biographies and close-ups of the actual designs which were really neat. The bottles are so cool, even though Jeff's fine painting skills came off a little muted on the actual bottle. I still think it looks amazing. Here are some pics of the evening:
Three of the six bottles. Jeff's is in front. This is what he says about the character: "The inspiration comes from three characters: the Wampa from The Empire Strikes Back, the snow monster in the Matterhorn at Disneyland, and the Abominable Snowman from the claymation Christmas special Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer. My Yeti character is a mix of all these."
Here's a shot of the sweatshirt Jeff did with Zoo York. The design is in the inside of the sweatshirt and hood and there's an awesome felt patch on the front of the Yeti's head.
A close-up of the patch.
Here's the big posterboard with close-ups of the painting and drawings he did for the bottle.
Vogue-ing with the poster for his fans.

Lily Mae and I are famous! We made it to the posterboard!
It was quite a party. A lot of people made it through, and Erika and Zak, Joe Hahn and the Suru kids came out too! It was great to see them. DJ Snappy Snap or whoever he was, was rapping pretty loudly out on the half-pipe so we stayed indoors mostly so we could chat it up. A really fun night, and one of those moments where you stop and sort of wonder "Is this really my life?". In a good way!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

How sweet is he?

Flowers from my adorably thoughtful hubby...

I just love carnations, such pretty colors, long lasting, and sweet smelling. Just like Jeffy.

Sharing the Worishofer love...

Here's a pic of the gift we got for Sue for her birthday last week... gold/silver Worishofers!! I hope she finds them to be the most comfy cute shoe she's ever worn... Because the box they come in looks quite orthopedic with the giant red cross on the shoebox lid, I scrapped it and decided to sew up a cute little shoe bag to put them in. I made it from a strawberry colored linen from Variegated and a beautiful vintage silk that Grammie gave to me when we were up north. She had yards and yards of it saved away for something special and she thought I might be able to use it. I love it, and think I might even attempt a dress out of it!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Happy birthday Jared!

To celebrate my friend Jared's birthday today, I gifted him with cinnamon buns and a cafe apron because he likes treats and he likes to cook. When deciding what fabric to make the apron out of, my mind went back to that treasure of a fabric I found at M&L with Mandy and Jen. I decided on the Construction Mens instead of the Camping Boys, and I think it turned out pretty cute. Those men by the way are not just for looks, they're pockets too! Here's Jeff modeling the apron a little too enthusiastically...

And close-ups of the manliness...

Friday, August 14, 2009

House Hunt 2009!

Jeff and I just started looking at houses "for reals" this week. We found a lovely one that was bank owned and snatched up before our eyes by an investor with all cash. Who does that?? "I'll take the house. Here's a briefcase full of money."

To keep y'all posted on our findings, I'll put up pictures of the houses we look at and you let us know if they're winners or not. Here are 3 we were going to look at this Saturday:

The last two are on a street known for gang shootings our realtor tells us. We might skip those...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

New Jill Bliss!

Oh my gumdrops, look how beautiful these are. Jill Bliss is one of my favorite artists because she draws gorgeously and usually of nature scenes, and sews a lot of her work as well. These prints are being sold through 20x200 which is a really awesome art website that sell edition prints in varying sizes. At $20 a pop for these 10 x 8's, they are soooo tempting. Even the huge one at $200 is reasonable for a piece like this (get it Mom!! Replace the Bay to Breakers poster!!). It's really hard not to click that "Add to Cart" button but we're pinching pennies like crazy to buy a house now, so it's either a drawing of a house, or an actual house. Buy them by clicking here.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Birthdays all around!

Happy Birthday Sue!! I wish Jeff and I could be up there today to celebrate with you and take you shopping to Talbots and Chicos and then dine at a fancy restaurant and then go out for gelato and then roll around with a pile of schnauzer puppies! That would be the best birthday ever. I hope all of your birthday wishes come true...

Happy birthday Erika!

So, this blog really isn't about bragging, but I just wanted to let you all know that Jeff and I partied with Suzanne Sommers last Saturday. That's right. SUZANNE SOMMERS! Of Thighmaster and Step by Step fame! It was our dear friend Erika's 28th birthday and it happened to coincide with her aunt and uncle's summertime party at their beach front house in Malibu so they rolled her birthday party into it. Lah-tee-dah! It was SUCH an amazing party. 1) Because we finally got to see Erika, Zak, and Lauren who have been hiding out in LA all summer, 2) because there were super attractive waiters serving us 7 courses of gourmet mini-meals, 3) because the party was in the yard overlooking the ocean and it was a gorgeously warm summer evening, 4) they had valets to whisk away Sparkles so we didn't have to park far which was a concern because I wore my yellow silk wedding heels, and HELLO 5) Suzanne Sommers was there in addition to Elvis Presley's wife before Priscilla! Star-studded. Thanks for inviting us Linda and David (and Erika) and happy birthday darlin'!

These were the only pictures I took at the party because I didn't want to be all stalkarazzi with Suzanne. Ah well.

A good ole fashioned SJ BBQ!

Back in action! Jeff and I went up to San Jose at the beginning of the month for our friend Keith's wedding in San Francisco and got to stay for a few extra days which was lovely. We got to see the fam and some friends and had a great bbq at Sue's house. My dad was in charge of the grill and I was in charge of eating the awesome bbq'd shrimp. Mmmm... My dad had to wear the apron I made for Sue one Christmas, which he put on AFTER he squirted beef juice all over his white shirt. Ew!

Hanging with my old roommates...