Archive for the 'House stuff' Category

An awesome housewarming gift

Our friends Vann and Naomi gave us such a cute and clever housewarming present. It was so cute, I had to share.

housewarming gift

First, Naomi made an adorable homemade card. And with it, came a basket filled with a special blend of applewood, smoked salt. A delicious loaf of cheesy bread from the farmer’s market. And a little dustpan with broom.

You can read in the card what each item symbolizes.

We totally love it!!

A DIY success

Micah and I just experienced our first true DIY project success in the new house. With it, we also experienced all that comes with DIY projects: taking more time than you expect, encountering issues that you didn’t expect, and costing more than you were thinking because you need tools and supplies that you don’t currently own. But nonetheless…we did it!

The problem:

kitchen - old

Picture from staging photos

See that red circle? That’s a nice range hood. But…there’s no place for a microwave in our kitchen unless we want to take up a good amount of counter space.

The solution:

Install an over-the-range microwave. This is typically a $150 – $200 installation fee with the purchase of a new microwave. That’s absurd. That’s more than the price of the microwave!

The reality:

Our plan was to remove existing hood, install new microwave. We were thinking an hour or two at the most. But upon removal of the existing hood – we saw it wasn’t going to be that easy.

Day 1: See that the project won’t be just two hours, watch several YouTube videos on electrical wiring, come up with game plan, check for tools that you don’t have, purchase tools that you don’t have, run out of time and energy to continue project work that day.

Day 2: Muster up energy and motivation to tackle undesirable project, rewatch YouTube videos, start playing with power tools, wire in an electrical outlet, celebrate mini-success that new outlet actually works, deal with complex microwave install instructions, install microwave, see that original drill holes aren’t in the right place, drill new holes, install microwave…and enjoy success that microwave works, microwave is level, and microwave isn’t falling down. Smile




With our new house, comes a new yard. With a new yard, comes a new activity requiring our attention – yardwork. It’s something we haven’t had to do much of since our past residences didn’t come with yards. And while we are excited to have an outdoor space for entertaining – I’m not super keen on the work needed to beautify our yard aka yardify. But Micah is more into that, and I’m happy to help when called upon.

So part of our Sunday was spent digging up lots of weeds, collecting the random junk and bricks scattered throughout the yard, and trying to get inspired for what type of facelift we would like our yard to undergo.


Here’s part of our backyard. This was taken when it was being listed because it looks quite manicured to the state in which it is today.

Micah in yard

Micah kickin’ off some yard work. I helped too…but someone needed to document this.


Here were our other helpers.

I would hope to post some sort of “after” picture – but this is a work in progress (aka we ran out of time and didn’t get it all done).

Settling in

It’s been a week since we closed on our house and started moving in. It’s been a BUSY week.

Micah and I moved nearly everything in on Thursday last week.


Here’s that darn big couch of ours. We had our neighbor help us. It took a good four or so tries before the boys figured out how to get this sucker down the stairs. I, of course, providing coaching from the sidelines. Smile


We were welcomed at our new house with…


…lots of their junk they decided to leave.

We were exhausted after moving all day.


A much deserved beer and Mexican food after a good 12 hours of steady moving!! We were deliriously tired and ridiculously sore.

We spent the first two days moving and unpacking. And although I was hoping we were beyond having to build our own furniture – alas, that was not meant to be.


We only had to put together two pieces of Ikea furniture. One of course, did not come with instructions. So that required only taking it apart twice before finally figuring it out.

We needed to buy a washer and dryer – and we got an awesome deal at Best Buy on these Samsung ones.

washer dryer

Unfortunately, they got delivered – and we ran our first load of laundry – and the dryer doesn’t work!

We had to go back to work on Tuesday – and our awesome realtor, Sheley, delivered to both Micah and I these awesome welcome baskets.

sheley gift

Micah’s version had a more “manly” arrangement. But she included gift cards to Bai Pai’s which is a Thai restaurant right at the end of our block. Super thoughtful of her!

While we are still in the process of getting things delivered, fixed, set up, hung, cleaned, repaired – we are totally loving having our own place.

We plan on having a few housewarming parties – we figure staggering them will force us to get the house in order and those last few boxes unpacked, and pictures on the wall Smile

Casa de Tanaka

We LOVE our new house! But, we are exhausted. Micah and I moved everything (yes, everything – minus one couch) ourselves.
We closed on Wednesday and thus began the moving festivities.
We don’t have Internet yet at our place, so I will keep this post short and write more later.




4 days and counting

Pack. Clean. Move. We have been working like dogs trying to get our place packed up, all the rooms cleaned, and shopping around for some furniture and appliances we’d like to have right away. It’s been busy – but we are making great progress.

We start moving in on Thursday this week. Yippee!! This weekend, we fully packed and cleaned two bathrooms – and those are officially off limits. Our entire kitchen is packed and cleaned (with exception of the food stored in the fridge). We are using disposable cups, plates and utensils. And we cooked our very last meal today (delicious chili) so that we could “sunset” our stove, oven, and microwave. It may seem premature for some, but with our schedules – this was one way to help us streamline the gettin’ out, so that we can enjoy the gettin’ in.


With all this packing – it literally does feel like we are living in a box. They are everywhere!

No more gas

One more week – and we’ll be official homeowners! We are SO excited to be leaving our rental – and all the crabby, noisy, rude, disrespectful, foul-mouthed neighbors that live all around us. (Granted, some of our neighbors are great…emphasis on the some).

Despite our jubilation for bee-lining it outta here – I must admit there is one thing I will really miss about our place. Our gas stovetop.

We’ve been cooking with gas for a while now (even in Korea we had a gas stove top), and it’s going to be hard to give it up. Plus, I always felt that cooking with gas made you a more legit cook – too much Food Network I suppose.

We do plan on renovating our kitchen in the new house – and at that point, we’ll definitely pipe in a gas line and have a nice range. But that won’t happen for a few years. So, we’ll just have to go back to…good ol’ electricity.

Our house hunting days are over

I wish we had kept stats on our house hunting efforts. We started actively pursuing buying a house about 11 months ago. I can say we have literally viewed online 1,000+ houses. We could probably count on one hand the number of days we didn’t check out houses. We have visited in person probably 50+ houses. And during this time, there were three houses we really wanted.

House 1: A short-sale in the Maple Leaf area of Seattle. It was a slim chance this would work out – so we didn’t put an offer on it.

House 2: A beautiful house – also in the Maple Leaf area with amazing front windows. We did put an offer on this house. I was in Salt Lake at the time, so I never actually got to see the house – other than pictures. We didn’t get it.

House 3: BINGO! With only two days on the market, it had four offers. And with a little bit of luck (aka – working our numbers again), we got it!

Here are some basic details:

We are about ten or so miles northeast of downtown Seattle. It’s a BIG mid-century house – four bedrooms and two bathrooms. We move in a couple weeks!

Would you like to see some pictures? Warning – these are pics with the house all staged. It’s all smoke and mirrors.

House x 4


House x 4 -2

It’s not a fixer-upper by any means. But there is quite a bit of work to be done. The house is newer than most we had been looking at – but even still, we need right away – a new roof and windows. And we’ll be spending the summer painting the exterior and working on stuff in the inside.

If you want to see the rest of the rooms – I guess you’ll have to come over!

Not quite so fast

So just a couple days ago, I was sharing how we had less than two months left in our townhouse – as the owners were choosing to sell this place.

Well, we just heard from our landlord and she let us know the owners have decided to let us go month-to-month on our lease. YAY!!! That’s a huge relief. It buys us some time, but doesn’t mean they won’t change their mind.

So for now, we’ll keep on hardcore looking for a house – and not consider renting just yet. Come on house…where are you???!!!

On the move

The other day, we came home to find a note on our door. This note, for all intensive purposes, said GET LOST! We are getting the boot. Sayonara. We will have to vacate our townhouse rental by the end of April. Sad smile

The letter was actually a bit more professionally written, and granted, our landlords have been quite accommodating – allowing us to renew our lease for three month periods. And since we are still heavy in the hunt for a house, it’s been really great knowing we can keep living where we are and just renew for short periods of time.

Well, that time is over! The owners are selling this unit when our lease is up.

So that gives us essentially TWO months to either find a house, buy it, close, and move in. Or find a place to rent and potentially put house buying on hold for a little bit. Either way, we are hittin’ the road. And either way, we have to start packing!!


Given the craziness that will ensure over the next couple of months – we have already started doing a bit of packing. We figure we’ll have to do it at some point and we might as well pack up the stuff we know we won’t have to use in the short term.

Ahh…I hate moving. We are hoping some amazing house comes onto the market in the next couple of weeks. We really would love moving…if it were into our house…that we bought! We have set our deadline…and if we find a house, GREAT…if not, then we rent. We absolutely don’t want to settle just because of our current situation. Wish us luck!!

Where in the world…

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