Sunday, November 24, 2013

santa barbara thoughts

Santa Barbara is a gorgeous place to live. The temperature is perfect, the people are pretty, farmers markets are in abundance, and the beach is easily accessible. So, what's the problem?

Housing prices are through the roof. It's insane what $750,000 will  won't buy you in this town. In Arizona, husband and I moved every few years to upgrade or remodel a home. We knew we could always find something affordable to makeover or a piece of land to create our new home and we made money in the process. 
In Santa Barbara when you find a home (and said home needs to be in the "right" school district if you have children) nest. The demand for houses in the "under $850,000 price range" in the "right" school district is so high that unless you were left money in Aunt Irene's will and are upgrading to a $900,000 home in the "right" school will be hard pressed to find another home with the amenities you may want. You nest for the next 20 years and then you might consider selling and moving to...Arizona. So, what's a renter to do?

You remodel your body. I am noticing that people here look better because they don't have homes to upgrade or remodel because they can't afford them; but they can take the time and cash to invest in their body and how they look. Buying organic and enjoying the Farmers Markets is another benefit to the SB lifestyle that adds to the healthy, fit physique many SB natives share.

Dog parks, beaches, hiking trails, and restaurants seem to be enjoyed by dogs as much as their people. It's a joy to live here and be a part of all the activity the California lifestyle and weather has to offer. I'm sure many people don't care what their address is as long as it's in Santa Barbara...and that's an easy to understand thought.

Monday, October 28, 2013


Where does the time go?! Autumn is upon us and the holidays are getting ready for the first punch...Halloween! 
The busy factor got pushed into high gear when we took a trip back to Arizona for a week in the middle of this month to empty out our storage unit filled from the sale of our home two years ago.
Besides the task of loading and unloading boxes; the biggest activities have been deciding on the perfect pumpkin and choosing Halloween costumes. 
Eleanor is a Garden Gnome and Ruby will be an Ice Cream scary costumes any day in my book.
We never really did Halloween when my kids were growing up. It was always a tightrope holiday with the church we attended. If you didn't dress like Jesus or a character from the Bible you felt like you were doing something wrong or given the evil eye. The church "Harvest Party" was always a substitute but my kids liked their candy and the thrill of going door to door to get the goods.There are arguments for both sides but the idea of little kids excited to dress up and feeling so exhilarated going through the neighborhood to collect candy in their pumpkins makes me smile. 
The picture of both girls was taken during "snack time" at the pumpkin patch farm and these girls take their snacks seriously! I have learned to always be prepared when you leave the house with kids and one of those commandments is to bring SNACKS! It still amazes me the quantity of food that little ones can eat and the number of times they could/can/do eat during the day. 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

celebrate me home

We are in the new house and getting into the groove of work and children's schedules. Every day is different and filled with new adventures, challenges, and pinching myself realizing that I'm living 5 minutes away from the beach and being able to share it all with my daughter and her family. 
This weekend the husband, the doodle, and I will be taking a road trip back to Arizona and I'm so looking forward to seeing familiar faces and what life has happened while I've been living in the Santa Barbara bubble. On the return trip we're bringing back some of my stash of furniture to fill in some blanks in our bedroom and artwork to cover lots of wall space the new home has given us. Can't wait to share with you.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Kinfolk Gathering

Have you heard of Kinfolk?
Kinfolk magazine is a quarterly, 144-page, ad-free print magazine that collects ideas from a growing international community of artists, writers, designers, photographers, cooks and others who are interested in creating small gatherings and finding new things to make and do. 
In 2013, the Kinfolk team has hosted between 12–30 dinners and workshops every month with a shared theme across multiple cities around the world (examples include the Flower Potlucks, Campfire Cooking and Butcher Block Parties) selling limited reservations to guests who would like to be a part of the experience.
I was lucky enough to score a reservation to the Santa Barbara Kinfolk gathering which included a lesson regarding preserving fruits and vegetables of the season. In our case it was Meyer lemons but it could be any number of fruits or vegetables depending on what area you are taking the class. 
It was a lovely day and a delicious lunch ended the three hour workshop. If you would like to know more please check out the Kinfolk website here.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

me again

We are on the move again! This will be our third move in less than two years (crazy!) so we should be getting pretty good at it. Chances are we'll be moving once more in the next two years; but that story can be saved for another day. 
Here's the history in a nutshell: 
We moved to Santa Barbara from Arizona to be closer to our daughter's family which includes granddaughters, Miss RubyBird (three years old) and Miss EllaBella (one year old). The idea was for Audrey's fam to save some $$ from daycare and to be able to slap a deposit down on a house . 
Audrey was lucky enough to find us a pint sized cottage two doors down from where she, her husband, and the two girls live. Both homes were owned by the same landlord and it was easier than snapping your fingers to rent and move in. 
Fast forward six months later and we all realize that more $$$ is needed to be found for a deposit in the Santa Barbara housing market so we put our thinking caps on. Our rent ($2000 a month) plus Audrey's rent ($2700 a month) was a hefty chunk to be going out each month (and in the SB housing...these prices were considered average to below average for the size of houses we were renting). Creative thoughts began to perk and what if...what if we pulled our resources and found a BIGGER home for LESS money that we could ALL live in for the next year or two. Could it be done? 
We did it! Found a much bigger home, bigger yard, and better neighborhood for about a $1000 less than both our rents combined and we signed the dotted line to rent for a year. It's 5 bedrooms and space for everyone to have a bit of privacy when needed and the most important detail: Audrey and Josh can sock away some major $$$ for that future home. 
I might be the lucky one who gets to enjoy the home each and every day while taking care of the girls when they are not at preschool or other activities. Pictures will follow but for now consider us the trendsetters...the multgenerational family home.

Monday, August 26, 2013

park it

The average everyday 75 degrees in Santa Barbara is pretty hard to beat. The temps allow you to enjoy the outdoors and there is so much to enjoy in the "American Riviera". This is one of the many parks we take the girls to with a playground, a carousel ride, feeding the ducks, and this garden with the fountain, the lawn and the palm trees cheering us on.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

wake up

I love a cup of joe first thing in the morning but I'm slow to build an appetite for breakfast. I like breakfast foods but if I'm rushed I don't enjoy scarfing down a bowl of cereal or a plate of eggs.
 I like to take my time with my first meal of the day...don't rush me please.
I tend to be a morning dawdler and am always setting my alarm to allow me that leisurely pace but breakfast is never on my morning menu of things to do. What about you? Do you need that first meal before you're out the door?