Tuesday – Ten Apartment Projects to do

We love our NEW APARTMENT! There’s so much room and we are excited to do some little home projects we’ve been meaning to do because we now have the space. Here are our upcoming projects:

  1. Organize the spices – a project that is long overdue since we did not have the counterspace at the studio.

2014-02-17 15.19.46

These spices need a home…

2. Create an office space. We are bringing in a desk from my parent’s house.

3. Line the drawers and cabinets.

4. Shadowbox my friends’ and family’s souvenirs from their travels — a project that is long overdue.

5. Beautify the patio and apartment with flowers.

6. Give away old clothes I don’t need anymore. They’re still in my car.

7.  Green the house cleaners – Ordered a bunch of Mrs. Meyers Clean Day products.

8. Add rugs to the room – But first we need to get a couch!

9. Create a Monday to Friday cleaning schedule.

10. Empty all the moving boxes and bags – We are still missing stuff…emptying boxes to be continued…

Things I learned about living in a studio….

Yes we are moving to a bigger apartment. Going from a studio apartment to a 1-bedroom apartment! I have lived in a townhome and a 3-bedroom apartment but I always shared the apartment. The studio apartment was the first apartment I’ve lived in without roommates and to me, that is an accomplishment. I remembered how it was an accomplishment when I can afford to have my own room in an apartment.

So…Mr. Fish and I have lived in our studio apartment for almost a year-and-a-half. I guess the longer we’ve lived in the studio apartment, the harder studio living became we get too comfortable. Anyways, here are things I learned about living in a studio.

1. I learned my fiancé is not a minimalist. Two weeks ago before we move, he buys a new desktop. For me, I buy things until they break or just no good anymore — last on its legs.

2. I talk very loud on the phone. The only place for me to go and make a conversation while my fiance is asleep is the bathroom, kitchen, and walk-in closet.

3. My fiance plays computer games with his friends. He also talks very loud on the phone. In the beginning, he would talk very loud even though I was trying to sleep. Meditating couldn’t even make me fall asleep faster. When I confronted him, he stopped.

4. We really had to think about buying things. We were thinking about having a couch for a while and the question we always asked was “can it fit?”

5. It was very hard to invite people over. Last Sunday, Mr. Fish’s brother and his old coworker from the army wanted to stop by our apartment to pick up Mr. Fish’s old laptop. Plus they were on their way to training up in Sacramento. Mr. Fish suggested that they could come and stay over the day before. I discouraged it. We were in the middle of packing up for our new place and our space is more cramped than ever. Our bedframe is disassembled and against the wall and we’ve got boxes, boxes, boxes! It screams safety hazard.

Studio Life – Wishful thinking….

With this new apartment, we’ll have so much space I probably would not know what to do with it…

The Unemployed Series: Cleaning the House More

The most replies I get from people when they told me during their time of being unemployed was that they cleaned their place a lot.

Yikes! I realized I need to catch up on that. I may have gone to the gym (which by the way I am thinking of letting that go since I need to train for the tough mudder. That means train myself for 10 miles of TRAIL running!) but as soon as I go home, I move less. I get attached to my laptop and try to look for jobs, look for networking events, do side projects, and plan out my week. Also my butt is glue to the floor or the bed/couch (FYI, we live in a studio apartment. We don’t have a chair.)

She looks very pensive.

She looks very pensive.

I was tired of sitting on my floor looking for jobs, writing cover letters, scheduling events, side projects, preparing for my upcoming interviews, and Coursera classes. So I decided to stand up and take a break. I looked around my apartment and realized maybe I haven’t done as much as I thought because my apartment is a mess!

Maybe I’m just hard on myself… I haven’t cook in a while either. Actually I try to make an active effort to go outside during the daytime to volunteer, participate, network, etc and save job hunting at night at home. It forces me to move more.

Anyways last Wednesday, I decided to stay in. I exercised at the yoga studio in the morning and stay in at the apartment to prepare for my upcoming interview the following day. After staying in, I realized I was the floor for 2 hours straight and maybe sweeping and moping the kitchen was overdue so I took a break to sweep and mop the kitchen.

Then later that day, I get a message from a friend she needed a place to stay for a couple days until she is able to move in her sublet but school starts on Monday. Decided that I got to clean the bathroom! Got to make the place nice for my friend to stay over for a couple of days.

I’ve always put off cleaning and decluttering because I’m always “tired” or pre-occupied with something else. I can see it now as something to clear my mind and take those occasional breaks to stand up once in a while.

Another lovely addition to my garden


My red chilli peppers are starting to form flowers. This came from a seed — I thought this would never grow. I decided to transfer this pepper plant to my roommate’s abandoned Celosia plant box. The Celosia was dried and brown — in fact, it was so dead, I was able to pull out all the Celosias without any problem. That means there are no more roots.

I have some dying plants and dying wild flowers I want to pull out but it turns out their roots are still going strong so I’m going to give those dying plants another chance.

Anyways my roommate didn’t really take good care of the Celosias. Several times during the year, his plant kept dying because he never took care of them. Then when I got into gardening, I would take care of his plant and his Celosias came back to life. Whenever his plant came back to life he’d tell me “Thank you for taking care of my plants, so now you don’t have to take care of them anymore!”

I ignored his request and I still took care of his plant because at the time, I had 4 different plants to take care of, I didn’t think watering another plant would be a problem. So a couple weeks later he reminds “you don’t have to take care of them anymore. I’ll do it myself!”

So I follow his request and his plants would start wilting and turning dry again the next month. And then I would take care of his plants again and that’s how the cycle goes.

Well now since my roommate moved out two weeks ago and left his Celosias, rotting and abandoned. I decided maybe it’s time for something better and prettier to start expanding its roots.

Almost finished

Thank you Valspar Antiquing Glaze!

Also the paint I used was Glidden Duo in Deepest Aqua (can be found in Home Depot and Walmart). It made the perfect Tiffany Blue. They sell this color in a sample size.

Also I got the drawers from IKEA — the wood was untreated. Perfect for those who like to get a little be creative.

This one is before I put glaze.

Here are the “after” pics.

This part of my room is empty but I’m really happy to make thing happen. I guess my “to do something creative everyday” is really coming along. The paper underneath the drawer is actually liner paper. I should start cutting that out :-P.

My finishing touch would be replacing those wood knobs for brass knobs and it would look complete.

My next upcoming project would be make a bookshelf for the empty living room.

Green Thumbs

So last year, Julie’s Christmas present was a garden. A while back she mentioned that she wanted to try growing her own vegetables. I wanted to make this a surprise but then I popped the question: “What kind of vegetables do you usually use?” This pretty much ruined the surprise. Me of all people should know since she frequently cooks for me. Shameful…

Anyway we decided to get: chives, cilantro, basil, and green onion. So far the project is going smoothly and it also has inspired her to grow some wild flowers. I also picked up another very unique plant that is known for eating bugs… the Venus Flytrap! I’m hoping it grows because I want to use it to ward off insects and birds if possible.

The cost for everything was pretty minimal. Less than $20. Includes the dirt, pot, seeds.

First step: getting the seeds to germinate. Here are some seeds that have been sitting for a week starting on 12/28/11 – 1/4/12

Here are some photos of some that we started a week prior to the picture above.

Basil at 2.5 weeks from 12/17/11 – 1/4/12

Green Onion 2.5 weeks from 12/17/11 – 1/4/12

Cilantro 2.5 weeks from 12/17/11 – 1/4/12

Chives 2.5 weeks from 12/17/11 – 1/4/12. The leaf is towards the bottom of the cup. You can kind of see it.

Present Day, about 20 mins ago….

These Chives were put into a cut up bottle to mimic a green house to protect it because its so small. We’re not sure if we can leave it outside yet.

Green Onions. Just like the Chives we kept these indoors to protect them.

You can definitely tell these are Cilantros.

Last but not least, Basil.

The wild flowers haven’t started blooming yet but pictures will be posted when they do. I hope the plants don’t get eaten by birds or other pests otherwise I would be sad =[. That Flytrap better work =p

Organizing my closet…

So my closet in my new space is a lot smaller than my last place. My last place–the closet was unnecessarily HUGE my clothes really didn’t fill the space.

So this is where the clothing rack comes in–this is only for coats and dresses. The nice thing about this clothing rack is that you can change the height and width so you’re not really wasting any airspace. You can find this at Target for about 20 dollars.

Still in the process of organizing my closet.

A soothing touch


Ooh in love with the curtains I just added last night. I told my coworker that I would not want to move in with a boyfriend because I like decorating my space too much. But you know he better not hate anything I make–I worked so hard to make the place look nice.

Still updating from my Droid


So my upcoming project I am repainting my walls in my room. FYI

my floors are the

most impossible color to complement my room, thanks to a nice coworker who gave me a tome worth of paint swatches I decided to go for a light neutral peach color.

God looking at my current


ls it

looks like these people bought the samples and

did not bother finishing it. I noticed each side of the room is of a differe

nt finish–

quite tacky.

New mattress


I’m so happy to finally get myself a grown up bed!! Yes, that is full size mattress!! and it’s memory foam too! I got it from IKEA for 229.00!

Here is before (from the old apartment)

Before Part II (twin size mattress on a full size frame–nine months later)

But FYI, I still got some ways to go with decorating my room but it already looks so much better.

Upcoming home improvement projects:

- nightstand

- curtains for downstairs and my room

- wall decor–there are patches of discoloration in my room

- storing my shoes

- storing my papers and other stuff