Los Angeles Residents – Adopt a Fruit Tree for Free!

We were at The Home Depot yesterday getting some supplies for our backyard project, and I noticed this flyer for free fruit tree adoption days! It is part of the city of Los Angeles’ Million Trees project, where the city has a goal of getting a million trees planted. We already have over 20 trees planted on our lot that is just under a quarter acre, so we definitely don’t have any room for more trees (and I would definitely say I feel I have done my part for planting trees!), but I wanted to share this in case anyone else would like to add some trees to their home!


I am very proud to say that we live in a city that encourages its residents to plant trees! I would love to see friends who live outside of the city of Los Angeles write to their cities and counties, encouraging them to hold their own Million Trees projects. If you become the Lorax in your area, be sure to write to me and let me know…I’ll write about you on my blog! 🙂

Our New Home – The Before Pictures of the Front and Back Yards

Here are some true “before” shots of our front and back yard.  These were taken just a couple of days before we moved in.  Since we are on a hill, our front and backyard have different areas that I call the upstairs yard and downstairs yards.  We have a large side yard area (where our greenhouse is located at the moment), and that is the “downstairs back yard”, even though it technically reaches all the way to the front.  I will post updated pics soon!  A lot has changed in just a few weeks.

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Our New Home – The Before Pictures

I hadn’t had a chance yet to upload all of the true before pictures of the house before we moved in.  Here are pictures of what the house looked like before it was ours. 🙂  The bedrooms were actually numbered by the previous owners, and there were numbers on all of the doors.  It’s kind of silly, but we have stuck with the numbering system since it makes it easy to tell each other where to look for certain boxes (i.e. the hammer is in a box in either room 1 or room 5). The house was previously used as an elderly care center, so there was a lot of things done to the house to make it elderly and handicapped friendly.

Our plan for each room:
Room #1 – My husband’s home office/man cave.  He doesn’t usually work from home, but he brings enough work home with him to need his own office space.

Room #2 – As you can see from the pictures, the house has very small closets that in most of the rooms aren’t even really closets but just cabinets.  This room will be converted to a walk-in closet with the front part reserved for a walk-in pantry. 🙂  I can’t wait.

Room #3 – This is the largest of the bedrooms, and the one we actually use as our bedroom. 🙂

Room #4 – This was obviously used as an office previously, and it makes the perfect spot for my office/art studio.  I had my husband rip out that built-in desk to make room for mine.  I love all of the storage this room has for all my art/craft/camera supplies and small photo props!

Room #5 – This will be my photo studio!  What you can’t tell from the pictures is that there is a strange piece of the room missing.  The wall behind the closet actually chops off part of the room, leading to the exterior door.  We have no idea why they did this, but it will be coming down soon.

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Moving Into Our New House!

It is official!  We are moving!  We are now officially first time home buyers!  My husband is not a first time home owner, but this is the first time we have purchased a home.  Confused?  He owns a house in Texas that he built himself with the help of his dad.  Since I have such a handy husband, we didn’t worry about finding a house that was in move-in ready condition, and looked more for the potential that would work best for us in the long term.

A large yard is a huge priority for us, and we were able to amazingly find a house with a huge lot not far from where we are living now.  Most houses in the South Bay area of LA County have really small lots since people in beach cities don’t care about having much of a yard.  We didn’t want to move out of the area, but were not content to have a tiny yard.  We searched and searched, and finally found one with almost a quarter acre lot (huge for LA standards and massive for this area).  The property is actually two lots that were joined together, so the process has been very stressful, with a lot of confusion on behalf of the appraiser and title company.

The house itself needs a complete overhaul, and I will be documenting our whole process here on my blog.  It’s going to be very exciting!  Renovating this house is going to be a multistage process that will realistically take us a bit of time.  Included in phase A are:  gutting the kitchen and completely remodeling; painting every square inch of the house, inside and out (it is ugly beyond words right now with horribly mismatched paint slapped everywhere); prepping my office and my photo studio rooms (that will involve tearing down some weird walls); and converting one of the bedrooms to our walk-in closet (yes, that is definitely a top priority – the current bedrooms had all the closets removed by the previous owners!).  Oh and of course getting my garden started!  I have more room to work with than I have ever had in my life and I can’t wait to start planting and painting!

Here are a few pics from the moving process!

Packing up some of the plants from my garden for the move:

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Car ride to the new house with some of my flowers:

Cleaning up the old house:
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Keys to our new home!

Our new neighborhood:

One of the cats explored the new house in the middle of the night!