Saturday, February 27, 2010

Cell phone pics of my morning exploration.

Wow, this was such a pleasant surprise to my Saturday morning. I decided to go exploring a bit and found the local neighborhood trail. Sometimes I still can't believe I live in such a cool place. Behind the amphitheater at Occidental College is a beautiful trail that leads to a phenomenal view: Downtown, Eagle Rock, Glendale, Pasadena.
I love taking the pups with me.
Found another little amphitheater near the Yosemite Recreation Center.
That's Downtown LA to the right there...
Everything is so very green after the shower this morning.
Beautiful start to the weekend.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Rita and Klaus

Klaus (rhymes with house) is a friend's dog that we are housing for the mean time. Our friend had to move unexpectedly to a place that didn't allow dogs, so we're watching him for a bit. He is an amazing dog and Rita is more than thrilled. They are good playmates. Although it can be a little crazy at times, it is nice having a second dog around.
Here is a video of Rita with her new chew toy:

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Bathroom

So the original bathroom had to have the tub cut in order to fit in the small space. The sink was also overlapping the tub and the toilet was too close to the doorway.
Here's some pics of the demo work. I did a lot of the demo in the bathroom. Using a crowbar and ripping tiles off is a whole lot of fun:
There was no way around it, we had to expand the space somehow. Here are some pictures from the same angle: demo (A) to replacing termite-infested floor boards (B) to the basic set up (C):My friend Meg, testing out the toilet... sort of...We chose to build a shower. Here's our contractor (Sam's cousin) Brian, in the frame of the shower:...and get a clawfoot tub. I'm really stoked about how it turned out.
We are hoping to get a glass door for the shower, but it is quite pricy. So for now, a shower curtain will do...
Kitchen should be coming next, but not for a few weeks. Still working on getting it set-up, but most of it is in place. And we finally have a fridge! Yes!!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Photo of the Week #3 and Defining Life Moments

(does this amazing photo of the week need any explanation?)

It's amazing how life can take it's various turns: I feel like a chapter is ending, and a new chapter beginning. It's always been interesting to me that a handful of people and a handful of moments determine our future and play such a huge part in who we are.

Last week, during the hour I was waiting to see if I still had a job, so many thoughts were going through my head. My husband and I had decided to embark on an adventurous project together: we bought a fixer home at the end of November and have been... well, fixing it up. Putting in days of labor ourselves, we're working with his cousin as our contractor and learning about every inch of our house. Electrical, plumbing, drywall, and the little things that I never thought of: where you want those outlets, what kind of switches, moulding, doorknobs, lighting... There's so much to think about. But all I could think of was IF I was laid off: finish up fixing the home, sell the house, and pay off debt with the equity, then get that next job... But especially the possibility of needing to move, when I finally feel like Los Angeles is my home, made me uneasy. I'm glad I still have a job, and a home, but it's interesting how that one phone call has the possibility to send you to the other side of the country, and start a whole new chapter of life.

It has been a tragic week for many and I am deeply sorrowed by knowing all these people who are out of a job with their particular situations. But I need to remind myself of the positives. Most of these friends are looking forward to new beginnings, new opportunities. For me, I am happy in life and relieved to know that I still have a job. For me, it is time to exercise my passion for interior design and architecture and see how it unfolds. Sam and I get to continue to build our future together.

The bathroom and bedroom are mostly finished, and it's on to the kitchen and living/dining room. I've been holding off on posts about the project because I was waiting for before-and-after pictures. And now I have a few, so let's start with the bedroom:

The Process:
The floor plan of this house was the worst design and probably the biggest thing to fix. I still don't understand how it was originally, but we're basically trying to bring it back to it's origins.
The front bedroom(s) consisted of a tight hallway with 2 closet-size rooms that were 6'x7'. We had to combine these to make one normal size room. So these interior walls were the first to go.
We stripped everything to the guts and added walls for the new closet and new bathroom entrance, then added drywall. We have had a lot of help from our wonderful friends. In the picture below, Justin and Dallas came over to help Sam with the drywall: We put in new flooring as well. And from the same angle, here is the bedroom, mostly finished (we still need to put up the trim for the windows):

Can you believe it? Just wait til you see the finished bathroom pics! I'll put those up sometime next week. Stay tuned.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Umami Burger, Part 2


Just had to post a picture: Umami Burger! Go enjoy! For the vegetarians out there.... sorry, you're really missin' out this time.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Day Time and the Night Time

The Day Time:
(Jonny, Rita, and Klaus: new, yet temporary, member of the family)

While my brother was visiting this weekend, I got to go back to one of my favorite hikes: Chantry Flats. It's a beautiful drive up Santa Anita Canyon through the foothills (Santa Anita exit off the 210, go north about 15 minutes and follow the road til it ends. Parking pass is $5, available at the top or at REI). This is also where you would park if you wanted to do the 14 mile hike to Mt. Wilson. However, with all the rain we've had lately, a lot of the trails were covered with water (not too much, but expect to get your feet wet if you're going sometime soon). Made for some beautiful water pictures, though:




The Night Time:
Sam's band, The Idyllists, had two amazing shows this weekend: At the Hotel Cafe for their successful release show, they had about 200 people there. And then they got to play the Echoplex for the Hear Gallery. It sounded amazing!
Here are a few pics:


My amazing man Sam!

And at the Echoplex:


And in other music news, I saw the Henry Clay People and We Are Dios at the Troubadour last night. Both great bands. The Henry Clay People put on a great live show. We Are Dios were an impressive band. The show was a bit slow at times, but they definitely made an impression. Couldn't bring my camera in, but a great time was had by all.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Layoffs

This week's photo feels suiting for the tragic week. We had layoffs at our company. About 50+ people got laid off without much notice. I still have my job. I was very nervous. It feels like a true blessing to still have a job. But my heart aches for my coworkers. We lost 6 people from the animation team, all the notetrackers from Guitar Hero, and several other people... 1/3 of the company. It is a huge loss and I have had a heavy heart about the situation. My thoughts and prayers are with everyone who lost their job. Stay strong and look forward to new opportunities. And if there's anything I can do to help, please don't hesitate to ask.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Andy and Umami Burger


A lot of my friends are having babies. This is a photo I took of my friend Andy, who's having a baby girl named Zoe. I just liked the photos and wanted to share them with y'all. Her husband, Danny, and her have a dog named Mongo who will be on a future Dog Whisperer episode. They gave us one of Cesar Millan's books to help us train Rita well. :)

UMAMI BURGER!!
Also, just wanted to mention, if you want to try a new place in town, go to Umami Burger. They have gourmet burgers (I particularly like the Hatch Burger), and after my first visit, I had been thinking about it for a month afterwards. I think it might be the best hamburger I've ever had. Yep, I said it, ever. Anyway, I'm going there again Friday before Sam's show. They have a few locations and one is near the Hotel Cafe. How convenient. :D

Monday, February 08, 2010

Solstice Canyon

Abbie and I got to go on a hike this weekend which hasn't happened in almost a year due to Abbie's poor knees...
but she mustered up the courage to try this 6.3-mile somewhat strenuous hike in Malibu. And with the views and beauty, I would say it was well worth it, even if her knees are sore this week...

To get to Solstice Canyon, you take the 101W to Kanan. Go south to the PCH and turn Left. About 3 miles later, you will turn Left on Corral Canyon and the entrance to the park is about .3 miles on your left. Then you can go into the park about .3 miles to park (the parking lot was full, so we parked just outside the park and walked in). We followed the Solstice Canyon Trail to the Sostomo Trail/Deer Valley Loop, crossed the creek a few times, and saw a spectacular ocean view.

On the way back we also saw the ruins of Roberts Ranch House, a beautiful waterfall, and a shrine.
One of the waterfalls:The shrine:A spectacular day!