We bought a house you guys and I’m finally getting around to sharing all about it! I tell you, it takes double the time and effort to do the littlest things when you’re pregnant and tired. I can only imagine how it will be with the twins. And speaking of our double bundles of joy…I’ll say it again, nothing motivates you to jump into the housing market quite like finding out you are expecting twins. Excuse me, twins? In a one bedroom apartment? We had better start house hunting stat…and so we did.
Since moving back to Los Angeles in 2012, Jason and I have been trying our hardest to save for buying a home. Not always the easiest task when buying feels so unattainable in LA. Some months we failed miserably, like that time we treated ourselves to a vacation in Tulum, Mexico…ya, that was nice! Thankfully however we did have a savings and when I found out I was pregnant we started aggressively searching and making offers.
What a scary, jump into the deep end of the pool without swim lessons, sort of feeling that was! The housing market is crazy here and even the once affordable east side neighborhoods like Highland Park and Eagle Rock are being bought up for cash so quickly it’s almost impossible to be competitive.
And then there are those pesky unrealistic expectations. I had quite the vision of the neighborhood I wanted to live in, the sort of kitchen I would have, the school district we could afford…and the list goes on. Oh my gosh, I was one of those annoying people from Property Virgins!
Not to say I ever imagined our first house would be like the home out of ‘This is 40′ or anything, but I did have some modestly lofty expectations! It’s quite a reality check to find out what your precious saving can realistically afford in Los Angeles. Jason, can we at least buy the ‘This is 40′ pool house? No? Ok.
But all joking aside, we found a little fixer-upper just outside of Pasadena that we both really love and can’t wait to make our own. It’s a two bedroom, one bathroom and with some work it has a whole lot of potential. My Aunt calls it cozy-cute and I have to agree. Thankfully we have the help of some family members who know a thing or two about renovations and are pitching in a ton of work before the babies arrive in October.
For starters we’re gutting the bathroom and kitchen, re-finishing the original hardwood floors, painting, and the list goes on. Not to mention the backyard which is on hold until after the twins arrive, wowza. It’s so exciting to be working on our starter home. A cozy place to bring home two babies, and start the next chapter of our lives. And at the end of the day, I’m so very proud to call it ours!
So, get ready for a whole lot of renovation posts coming very soon! I’ve picked some crazy cool tile for the kitchen and I can’t wait to share it and everything else we’ve been working on. Plus I’ll be sharing little bits of our progress on Instagram #FreutcakeFixerUpper because I just can’t help myself.
Happy long Independence Day weekend, friends! What are your barbeque, beach, firework show plans? Jason and I are staying local this year, attending a friend’s barbeque, and working on the new house. I know I’ve mentioned it a couple of times now but I promise to share more about the house next week. Promise, promise, promise! It’s been a crazy couple of weeks of early renovations and I have so much to share. But until then, onto the Popsicle Cocktails and Tassel Stir Sticks…
If you’re looking for the easiest last minute way to dress up cocktails for the 4th look no further. These tassel stir sticks are so easy to make and look adorable adorning a popsicle cocktail.
Here’s what you need:
wooden skewers, available at the grocery store
tassels, available at Michael’s Craft Store
1. Cut wooden skewers in half or to the length of your cocktail glasses.
2. Open up tassel and apply a small dab of hot glue to the inside center.
3. Insert skewer into the tassel.
4. Allow to dry before using.
Now for the cocktail portion of this post, hurray! Since I’m currently pregnant, I’m rather sensitive to the fact that there are a lack of fun and festive alcohol free cocktail ideas out there. This recipe however can be made with or without the boozy stuff and would be perfect for pregnant ladies, kids, and the cocktail drinkers at your barbeque. To make these non-alcoholic simply substitute sparkling water for champagne. Done!
Who wouldn’t want to cool off with a popsicle and cocktail in one? Oh, and if you have time to make your popsicles I have a recipe for homemade Firecracker Ice Pops you might like to try. Happy Fourth of July and God Bless America!
Craft by Christina Streit & Cocktail by Leah Bergman
- Firecracker popsicles
- Red popsicles
- Blue popsicles
- Champagne or Prosecco
- Place one popsicle (stick side up) in each cocktail glass.
- Fill glass with champagne and serve immediately.
- Make these kid friendly by substituting the champagne for sparkling water.
We’d never ask you to stray from the requisite burgers & dogs on July 4th. But if you’re looking for something just a smidge different to show off your culinary chops, these couldn’t-be-easier ribs are a major bang-for-your-buck way to go!
Ribs are definitely one of those dishes than seems harder to make than it actually is. If people knew how easy homemade ribs truly are, we’d all be in trouble. Well, this recipe is the perfect place to start. With only 5-ingredients and a set-it-and-forget-it cooking method, it really is foolproof.
Like most of my favorite recipes, this dish is totally customizable. See something you don’t like in the spice list? Swap it out! Want spicy? Up the cayenne. Feeding a crowd? Double or even quadruple the recipe. You’re in charge.
The thing that makes ribs so tender and juicy is the low and slow cook time, so make sure you give yourself the proper lead. While they cook, prep the rest of your backyard feast! I love this recipe with simple coleslaw, cornbread and lots of hot sauce. Got bless America!
photos by Erin Phraner
- 1 rack St. Louis–style ribs
- 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
- 3 cloves garlic, pressed
- 1 tablespoon hot paprika
- 1 teaspoon cayenne
- PANTRY STAPLES: Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- Preheat the oven to 300. Cover a baking sheet with a few long strips heavy-duty aluminum foil. This will be your rib wrap!
- Pat the ribs dry and place on top of the foil. Season very generously with salt and pepper—rub it in!
- Mix the brown sugar, garlic, paprika and cayenne in a small bowl until combined. Get in there with your hands! Rub the mixture all over every inch of those ribs. Make sure you end with 'em meaty-side down. Wrap up and completely seal your packet, then repeat with another layer or two around to make sure they're snug. Bake on the baking sheet for 2 hours.
- Don't open the packet! Remove baking sheet from the oven and let them sit, wrapped, for 1 hour. To serve, pop the ribs on the grill for a few minutes per side until crisp (basting with your favorite BBQ sauce, if desired) or broil for 3 to 5 minutes until crisp.