Category Archives: Moving Adventures

The New House … Before

We moved into our new house in mid-February (our first Phoenix place was just a rental, this one is the real deal) and I finally got around to putting the first floor plan into CAD.  So here she is (with a little furniture because why not):

1st FLOOR CAD

The house was built in 1986 in a stucco-land neighborhood in an area of Phoenix known as Ahwahtukee.  From the front, this beaut is all garage:

it's all garage

This is not the aesthetic we were going for at all but it is next to a mountain so we overlooked it.  Plus, how often does one sit at the end of one’s driveway to observe one’s house?  Not often, one would imagine.  Oh, how I would love to paint this house one day and put it out of its tan misery.

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These images are from the Zillow listing and are even fleshier-beige than it is in real life.  Realtor photos kill me.  The nice thing about this house is that the main living space is very open.

wet bar

The wet bar’s days are numbered.  The kitchen sink is literally steps away, why do we need a mini-sink here?  I have plans to wall this nook off and turn it into a proper pantry.

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Another living room view with the glorious fans.  This image is a little skewed, I don’t think it is showing the true size of the room.  The sliders on the right go out to the patio and the backyard and cut off on the left side of the photo would be the door to the laundry room and passageway to the garage.

dr nook

The breakfast nook with the octopus wrought iron light fixture.  Off to the side you can see the door to the powder room that is under the stairs.  We had to pry that phone off the wall and patch the hole it left ….

kitchen 1

And … an itty bitty kitchen!  That’s why I’m planning for a wet bar to pantry conversion because there is not enough room in all these cabinets for food and plates and pots and pans.  Not to worry, we’ll work it all out!  The wall on the other side of the fridge (not shown) is where the old-school phone was.

hot tub view

Here’s one corner of the backyard, the “sandbox” where the hot tub lives.  JT and I visited a material yard the other day to look at some pavers.  Some day soon that sand will be history just like the wet bar.  The hot tub just needed a little work to get up and running and was doing great until a few weeks ago when it died.  We need to call our hot tub guy up again and get it checked out.  Ironically enough he lived in STL for a time and worked at Mississippi Nights back in the day.  It’s a little big world.

the sandy beach view

More of the backyard and the mountain beyond, standing from the vantage point of a little out from the back patio.

backyard from corner

And this is the whole backyard from the vantage point of the back corner where we triangle into the mountain preserve.  It’s a lot of rock and it gets full, baking hot desert sun all day so we have yet to come up with a different landscape plan.  At this point, we have enough ideas up our sleeves to keep us busy for a while.

So that’s the yard and first floor – I started on the CAD plan of the upstairs but I haven’t made it too far – this house is all different shapes jutting each and every way – the floor plate for the two floors doesn’t line up at all and it means more work to decipher everything.  It’s a big change from our 800 SF brick bungalow that was a little more straightforward.  However so far life in the desert and especially in our new house has been great for JT and me.  Next weekend when we have the long weekend and some more free time I’ll take some “during” shots of our first floor as it is now!

Have a great week and happy stuffing day!  Cheers – CT

So early retirement didn’t quite work out ….

Something has happened here at Living Analog that has pulled me out of early retirement, off the bench, back from the dead …. pick your metaphor. It’s been a long strange trip, but the Danish daybeds we purchased way, way, way back in 2011 are done.  Upholstered (by a professional), wood doctored up (by me with Howard’s Restor-a-finish) and in place in our new house.  Yes, we bought a place in Phoenix and are working, working, working to make our new house feel like our home.

But first, the daybeds.  Here they are in all their glory on Mister Modtomic’s driveway:

MR MODTOMIC DANISH DAYBEDS And here they are now, presiding over the living room of our new house.  LR_01

(That’s JT’s guitar hook on the wall, the guitar was with him at band practice but it is a refinish job that he did and matches the grey of the new upholstery really well.)IMG_4512

I was able to get the fabric on super sale at SAS Fabrics up on 19th Avenue.  They were getting rid of a lot of their upholstery fabrics and so the grey material was really cheap – I can’t remember exactly (because that was like 6 months ago and I’m losing my mind) but I think it ended up being around $5 a yard.  Don’t quote me on that.  Upholstery labor costs seem to be a bit more affordable in PHX than they were in STL as well…

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My mom paid for the upholstery work as a house-warming gift and I love these guys so much.  We decided to go with five 24″ x 24″ loose pillows for the backs rather than replicating the triangle bolsters that had been on the daybeds before.  We got new 6″ super firm foam for the bases as well.  These daybeds are comfy – both JT and I have already taken a few snoozes on them.  The dogs are getting older and with no traction from the tile floor, don’t like to jump up that high so they just keep to their dog beds on the floor, which is fine by me.

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So that’s our news.  My goal is to begin posting again more regularly as we start up all sorts of fun projects on the new (to us) house.  We are in the Awhatukee  area of Phoenix with short drives to work and an amazing mountain view.  And a hot tub in the backyard from which to enjoy said mountain.

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The location is really what sold us on the house …. from the front it is all garage and tan stucco which is pretty much the bane of my existence.  For my next post, I’ll go into the back story of the new house.  I’ve missed my little corner of the blogosphere, thanks to those who dropped me notes to check in.  Our laptop was at the point where it took at least thirty agonizing minutes just to load the internet and after a 10 hour work day, I just didn’t have the patience to fight the computer over a blog post.  JT found us a mac he was interested in for music recording purposes and I love our zippy new machine although I’m having to relearn all things posting related since I haven’t used a mac since my college days ….

Cheers!  CT

Good News!

I know I’ve been a little on the gloom and doom side of things lately but I have to say this whole relocating across the country with about a month worth of notice was HARD!  It’s an amazing adventure and I’m so glad we did it but there was a lot of ups and downs on this roller coaster of relocation.  I feel like the final piece finally fell into place when I started my new job last Monday.

NEW JOB

I was able to find a great place in a firm that specializes in education design, very similar to what I was doing in St. Louis.  It’s a small office and everyone has been very welcoming so far.  The office is set up to do four 10 hour days and then have Fridays off.  Now that we’re settled in down here in Phoenix, I’m excited for long three-day weekends so we can go on road trips to California or Las Vegas or Flagstaff or wherever the mood takes us (Mexico maybe?  Who knows.)  They say things always work out the way they’re supposed to be in the end but there were most definitely a few months there where I wasn’t so sure.  I’m happy (now) that I stuck it out and held out for a job that really suits me and takes my career a step forward.  Cheers! CT

Feeling Blue

I’ve been keeping my eye on West Elm pretty close since I figured out that the Pottery Barn Gift Card I won at Neotini last year can also be used at West Elm.  I’ve doubled down and am also hoarding a 10% W.E. discount card from the mymove.com address change (along with one for Wayfair and Home Depot) so it’s just a matter of time now . . .

The mailer came the other day and while perusing it, came across a familiar blue.

WEST ELM

At the time we picked out Sherwin Williams Bosporus for the music room and then the kitchen, I worried it was a little more bright than all the other richer navy hues I was seeing around the interwebs.  I’m a sapphire girl though so we went for it and loved living with it.   Now we live in a much larger but much beiger space and I’ve begun to realize the impact that paint colors can have on your life (and your mood . . .)

Our little old house is still listed for sale (here) and they redid the photos to show it empty.  It’s very sad.  The good news in all this is that we don’t actually own the St. Louis house anymore, JT’s company bought us out as part of his relocation package.  The stress of having two housing payments is one I am glad we do not have.  The bad part is that I have seen these pictures and I can’t unsee them . . .

KITCHEN 1

MUSIC ROOM

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BATH1

(The shower curtain my mom ran out and grabbed at Target on move-out day because leaving that tiny bathroom without a shower curtain was too depressing.  The blue is nice.)

BEDROOM1

I know they want to show the house as it really is, but compared to the last pictures (in this post), these are so poorly lit and unfocused that it’s hard to get a true perspective of the space.  All in all, these new pictures have left me feeling a little blue.  I just want somebody to come along and love our little house – it has so much potential and so much amazing blue!  Cheers – CT

Will Bruder Weekend

Hey internet peoples.  I wanted to let you know that I am back with a vengeance.  We are moved into our rental house and I’m still not working so it’s time to blog, baby, blog.  I’ve had this post sitting in the hopper for a week now so I thought I’d hit publish on this one and hit you after Thanksgiving with some pics from the new place.

Now that we’re (mostly) relocated down to Phoenix, JT and I have been roaming the city, learning the streets and being tourists in our new town.  It has been sunny and at least 75 degrees everyday which helps encourage the getting-out-and-about vibe.  Last weekend we did a lot of exploring of the outdoors, so this weekend we did a little indoor exploration.  Well sort of, let me explain.

Friday kicked off with me trolling Apartment Therapy (this retirement thing is pretty sweet) and happening upon a House Tour of the director of the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (http://www.smoca.org/)

APT THERAPY DESERT LIGHT BOX LR

(Image via Apartment Therapy, by Lindsey Nochta)

Check out the house tour – there are some phenomenal images of a well curated space.  I have been enjoying the houses around here so much – it’s a totally different housing stock from STL.  At any rate, from the house tour I learned about SMoCA and when I browsed over to its site, I found out it’s open until 9pm on Fridays and Saturdays and also free after 5pm. (Good for our budget because moving costs $$).

smoca_01

(Image above via Build LLC blog)

The main architect of the building is Will Bruder, who we are learning is a prominent Phoenix architect.

Visiting in the evening was really nice – the museum was basically ours.  One other couple came in just as we were leaving.  JT snapped this picture of me in the Narrow Road to the Interior exhibit.  He’s always keeping me in line because I have a tendency to get too close to the art.  This one had a note that said you could climb in, you just had to take your shoes off first.  It didn’t say anything about leaving your purse at the door but I did that too.  I love it.

JAPANESE TEA ROOM

The other really neat thing about visiting SMoCA at night is the James Turrell skyspace.  Here’s a daytime shot from the Build LLC blog:

james-turrell_01

And here’s a crummy iPhone night-time shot of JT.  I want to go back.

JT IN COURTYARD

But before we hit the art museum, we were driving around looking for a dinner destination.  I had seen a place I  wanted to try on a strip mall sign but when we went back, it wasn’t actually in the strip mall.  We had passed a cool round building in the process that looked like some sort of drive-thru/walk-up joint so headed there and ended up at Ingo’s Tasty Food.

IngosExteriorLauraHahnefeld-thumb-550x413

(Image via The Phoenix News Time blog)

There was a catch though – it wasn’t officially open yet, they were doing a soft opening to train the staff and work out all the kinks.  Turns out this building was also designed by the same Mr. Will Bruder as SMoCA.  It was a gorgeous evening so we sat outside and had free (really good) burgers and sangria (veggie for me, some kind of barbeque madness for JT).  So far I have to say, Arizona is Amazing.

Have a great Tofurkey Day and I’ll be back soon with some pictures of the new place.  Cheers – CT

http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/bella/2013/10/ingos_tasty_food_restaurant_phoenix_arcadia_la_grand_orange_hamburgers.php

http://www.ingostastyfood.com/

Friday is just another day when you live in a hotel . . .

Hey all.  We’ve been living in a hotel in Phoenix for twelve days now . . . but who’s counting.  I haven’t been a very good blogger despite my confinement and internet access.  So, back to the saga, shall we?

I left off with the house being emptied out, one large box on a guy’s back at a time.

Music Room on a random day before moving:

MUSIC ROOM BEFORE

Music Room on move out day (bad selfie):

MUSIC ROOM BAD SELFIE

It was crazy to see the house all emptied out and to be honest, the Sherwin Williams Bosporus blue we had painted the music room and kitchen now looked a lot less sophisticated without any furnishings.  Once everything was empty, we ended up running up to Target to get a new shower curtain – the ivory sadness that is our shower liner did not look so great stark naked next to the white bead board.  So now the house is empty and we have had two more showings (and another tomorrow!)  but no offers.  The house has only been on the market for one month but I was hoping someone would come along already and fall in love with the old gal like JT and I did.

ROAD WEARY

Next in the story – road trip.  My mom, Sophie, Shenanigan and me all piled into the car at 5:00 in the morning the next day and headed south by southwest.  We drove for seventeen hours and finally rested our weary heads in Albuquerque, New Mexico that night.  The dogs were little champs and did pretty good in the car.  Having an extra set of hands and another driver really made the difference on this trip though, so big kudos to my mom for her tireless help and dedication to getting us to AZ safely.  The second day was a lot shorter, thanks to powering through to Albuquerque the night before so we stopped in Flagstaff for lunch and walked the dogs around downtown a bit.

NOSE SURFING

After a lot of dashboard scenery and nose surfing, we’re now here in Phoenix and cozily holed up in a hotel in the Arcadia neighborhood.  Our rental search has been unexpectedly difficult — we have a broker but things get snatched off the market so quickly!  We have an application in on one house and may put in another application on another house today, just to hedge our bets.

(Not this place!  Rental houses have a lot of mustard . . . )

KITCHEN OF MUSTARD

In the meantime, it’s been hotel living for JT, the dogs and me.  JT has work to escape to every day but his office is also close enough by that he comes back at lunch for sandwiches by the pool.  To keep busy, the dogs and I go out walking/exploring every day.  Lately we’ve been going to a park nearby that has a long trail along an irrigation canal.

CANAL WALK

I’ve been taking it easy with the dogs (and myself!) and making sure to give them lots of water and take breaks in the shade during our walks.  The other day, we paused in an alley next to the canal.  One thing led to another and I ended up at a yard sale in the neighborhood beyond.  I managed to hustle the dogs back to the car, get to an ATM and find my way back through the neighborhood to score this lamp for $10.

NEW LAMP

Not bad except now it’s been rattling around in the back of the car for a week with nowhere to live.  I’m pretty sure JT takes it as a sign I have crossed over into full on lunacy.  Fingers crossed one of our applications pans out and we are out of the hotel soon!  Not that the dogs mind . . .  They seem to think that king beds are the best thing EVER! (Which they are, except when you have to share them with two sixty pound dogs who have no regard for your personal and/or leg space).

HOTEL LOUNGING

Have a great weekend!  Cheers – CT

Moving Sideways

I’m typing from the itty-bitty sofa in our living room as it’s about the only thing that isn’t disassembled, wrapped in a blanket or in a box right now in our house.  All of our moving seems to have happened in October – JT and I rented our first apartment together starting in November before our New Year’s Eve wedding.  He moved in and was “bach-ing it” until the wedding but I still remember we got the keys a day early, on Halloween and spent that night painting each room a ridiculous color (red in the kitchen, dark browns in the living space and baby boy blue in the bedroom).  The next year, it was time to buy and we closed on our house on October 25th and were once again moving and painting on Halloween.

So here it is, Halloween again, and there are movers in the house and boxes everywhere – the house looks spooky and maybe haunted.  This time we don’t have a next place lined up – our plans have gone sideways in a matter of days and it feels so strange to have all our earthly possessions boxed up with no specific destination in sight.  There’s a long back story as to why we’re not getting the house with the crazy amazing pool in Arizona but the short version is we had to walk away from it due to some complications on the St. Louis house.  I know things will work out the way they need to and if all rights itself with the world, we will be painting in our next (official) home on Halloween 2014.  We’ll be renting in the meantime, and I can’t wait for us to have a place to land and begin our new adventure in the desert.  The dogs have no idea what’s in store for them when we begin the two-day drive this weekend!

Cheers – CT

Kitchen

It’s really happening!

Music Room