We bought a Fixer Upper!

We Bought a Fixer Upper! via It's Jou Life https://wp.me/p7RBMP-16V

It’s been a whirlwind with this Fixer Upper

The past few weeks have felt unreal. Not only did we buy a home in our ideal neighborhood, we bought a fixer upper! This is a big deal. We are huge fans of HGTV’s hit-show, Fixer Upper, and we can finally swing a sledgehammer to things and design beautiful and practical rooms. Big thanks to our realtors, Derek Hirano andJohn Capellaro for helping us get this dream of a home.

We really love working with our hands and these projects not only represent home improvements, but craftsmanship filled with love and purpose. For those who don’t know Wayne, his dream is to have a fixer upper home. He’s happiest when working with his hands.

Whether it’s designing the entryway bench or woodworking on the walnut coffee table or out in our community garden tending to the persimmon tree–he builds things and grows food with joy, intention, and purpose.

Over the next few months you better believe we’ll be channeling Chip and Joanna Gaines. One thing we know for sure–we have our work cut out for us. It’s just the beginning. Handling a fixer upper will be a process–it’ll be messy, it’ll take work, we’ll be tired and sore, the dollars will add up quickly, and can get downright frustrating at times. However, we’ll learn a lot and will get to make this home our very own. Ready for this epic of projects!

Welcome home 🙂

Farewell home tour

We sold our condo

Farewell home tour - https://wp.me/p7RBMP-17e

We’ve officially sold our condo! It was on the market for less than a day before we accepted an offer. I loved our first home together and just had to document it with a farewell home tour.

In the home tour, keep your eyes peeled for our DIY projects and Wayne’s creations:

  • We did our own kitchen backsplash with white subway tiles
  • Shelving system Wayne built in the laundry room (I call it Costco)
  • Pull out drawers Wayne built for all my snacks in the kitchen cabinet
  • The fabulously customized walk-in closet system Wayne assembled
  • Mid-century modern walnut entryway bench & coffee table Wayne built. (He also welded the legs!)

Farewell home tour


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Selling our condo. Goodbye to our first home.

Selling our condo. Goodbye first home. https://wp.me/p7RBMP-16g

Yup, we’re selling our condo. Our first home together in Los Angeles.

There were so many magical memories associated with buying our first home several years ago. I remember we got our keys and moved in the week before getting married. (Boy, was that a whirlwind of a week!) Two huge steps to real adulthood–Mortgage & Lifelong Commitment.

We love our home. It’s our favorite place to be–with people we love.

God has really blessed us with this place to call our first home and given us the opportunity to share this space with loved ones. We’ve cooked countless holiday feasts and shared intimate meals, held meetings for groups we serve with, adopted our first dog to bring home, played bed and breakfast for family during our wedding, and even had as many as six people stay in our 2-bedroom condo. Our home was like a retreat for many.

Even though we bought new, over the years we loved having little home improvement projects to really make it our own. We installed our own subway tile in the kitchen (a recap post on that to come), built pull out drawers in the large kitchen cabinet (see photos below), created shelving and a shoe rack in the once empty pantry, and built out a fully customized walk-in master closet. We really love working with our hands and these projects not only represented home improvements, but craftsmanship filled with love and purpose.

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Guilt-free Avocado Vegan Brownie Recipe

Guilt-free Vegan Avocado Brownie recipe via It's Jou Life // https://wp.me/p7RBMP-14d

It’s not common to mix vegetables into desserts, but this Guilt-free Avocado Vegan Brownie recipe calls for the green stuff and it tastes divine. The secret ingredients are avocado and coconut oil–and it’s healthy! They provide a rich texture and dose of healthy fats.

However if you want to go the extra mile, these are perfect fresh out of the oven topped with your favorite scoop of vanilla ice cream. I also enjoy packing these in a baggie and enjoying it on the road.

This is my go-to dessert for parties because it’s the healthier version for fudge-y brownies. I love telling everyone they’re not only decadent, but they’re guilt-free and vegan!

Skeptical? You gotta try it to believe it!

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MacGyver Your Way to Save Water // Earth Day

easy ways on how you can save water - https://wp.me/p7RBMP-100

On being MacGyver while growing up in SoCal during the 80s/90s drought.

As a child growing up during the 80s/90s drought in Southern California, I remember my family and I would go the extremes to save water and then share our tips with our neighbors. We basically coined #watersavinghacks before hashtags were a thing. We’d MacGyver (or MacGruber) our own low-flow toilet by placing a couple filled water bottles in the water tank so it’d take less water to fill it. We’d also use the cleanly rinsed vegetable water collected in the sink bucket to water the backyard plants.

My parents instilled in me the importance of protecting our environment. Now that I’m a grown adult and married with our own place, Wayne and I take being water wise to heart. SoCal has been facing intense drought the past several years and although we recently had a blessed wet winter, we still need to continue our water-conserving efforts.

Here we share some easy ways to save water // #WaterSavingHacks

Seeing Delicious Living’s “5 Easy Ways to Save Water” infographic motivates us with practical tips to continue our water conservation efforts.

Turn off the faucet while brushing teeth.

This is a simple tip, yet there are some who forget this is an option. Turning off the water faucet while brushing your teeth saves 200 gallons per month. Same goes for turning the water off while you’re washing your hands and face with soap. Tip: Place a “save water–turn it off during the in-betweens” reminder note on your mirror when you wash your face and brush your teeth.

If your shower takes a while to get warm…

If your shower is anything like ours, it takes a few minutes for warm water to come out. To avoid running the shower and wasting clean water, we have a bucket in the shower to catch all the clean water and save it to water the plants and fill the humidifier. We also turn on the dishwasher or washing machine a few minutes before showering. Yes, we try to time washing a full load of dishes or laundry around our shower times. That way our shower gets warm within seconds once we turn it on.

Take shorter showers; 4-minute showers to be exact.

Did you know you save 5,840 gallons of water per year by taking 4-minute showers instead of 10-minute showers? This is totally doable for those with short hair–AND with those with long hair–like me. See our next tip.

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DIY Walnut End-Grain Cutting Board Build

DIY Walnut End Grain Cutting Board via It's Jou Life https://wp.me/p7RBMP-Vs

Trying out new woodworking techniques is always a highlight. So when one of our friends mentioned that she was looking for a charcuterie board, we jumped at the opportunity to build one since we’ve never made one before. It gave us a chance to make something for our friends that will (hopefully) last a lifetime as well as try out new woodworking techniques.

Design

The three main considerations in cutting board design are shape, material, and grain orientation.

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DIY Walnut Coffee Table Build: Part 3

Bohnhoff Lumber

Bohnhoff Lumber

The first post in our DIY Walnut Coffee Table Build Series focused on the aesthetic and functional design aspects of the coffee table. In part two, we took a deeper look at the woodworking aspects of the design, focusing on the joinery techniques, and furniture hardware decisions. In part three, we finally get to start working with wood. We start by picking out lumber from the lumber yard, milling the lumber to our desired dimensions, and gluing up the panels for the coffee table.

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DIY Makeup Bag

DIY Makeup Bag // itsjoulife.com

the perfect diy makeup bag (mini boxy shape)

If I can make this DIY makeup bag, you can too. This makeup bag is inspired by wanting to give a handmade, practical, and stylish gift to my loved ones during the holidays. I customized the colored zippers with the gift recipient’s favorite color. Thanks, Say Yes, for this beautiful tutorial.

supplies

Two coordinating fabric (one is preferably upholstery weight), Zipper, Coordinating thread, Pins, Sewing Machine, Scissors, Ruler

DIY Makeup Bag // itsjoulife.com

  • STEP 1: Cut two pieces of each fabric choice. Each piece should be 5 1/2 x 9 1/2
  • STEP 2: Lay one of the outer fabrics face up on your table, and set the zipper on top, face down so the top edge meets the top edge of the fabric. Then lay one of your lining pieces right side down to meet the top edge as well.
  • STEP 3: Pin along that top edge so all three pieces are attached.
  • STEP 4: Baste with needle and thread and then sew with your zipper foot along that top edge. Move your outer fabric so it’s on the outside, right side up.
  • STEP 5: Now place the second lining fabric right side up on your table, then sandwich the pieces you just sewed in between, and finishing with the second outer piece right side down on top.
  • STEP 6: Pin, baste and sew with the zipper foot on the top edge like you did for the other side.
  • STEP 7:  After sewing, iron the outer pieces flat, and then fold them together so the outer pieces are right side together and lining pieces sandwiching them.
  • STEP 8: Pin at the opposite side of the zipper and sew along that bottom edge.
  • STEP 9. Move the zipper to the middle, unzip it halfway and sew along those two sides, through the zipper (pinch the zipper together when you’re sewing through it).
  • STEP 10: Pinch each edge in and measure with your ruler 2 1/2 inches across.
  • STEP 11: Mark with a pen that line and then pin next to the it. Sew along the line you drew and then snip off the triangle end. Do the same for all four sides.
  • STEP 12: Fold it inside out, so the outer pieces are on top and you’re done!

This DIY tutorial is from Say Yes, a crafty and stylish lifestyle blog. See her full instructional post here.

DIY Makeup Bag // itsjoulife.com

DIY Makeup Bag // itsjoulife.com DIY Makeup Bag // itsjoulife.com DIY Makeup Bag // itsjoulife.com DIY Makeup Bag // itsjoulife.com DIY Makeup Bag // itsjoulife.com

DIY Walnut Coffee Table Build: Part 2

Coffee table parts and pieces

Coffee Table Parts and Pieces

The first post in our DIY Walnut Coffee Table Build Series focused on the aesthetic and functional aspects of the coffee table. In part two, we take a deeper look at the woodworking aspects of the design, focusing on the joinery techniques, and furniture hardware decisions.

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DIY Walnut Coffee Table Build: Part 1

Before // make-shift coffee table // itsjoulife.comDIY Walnut Coffee Table (almost finished) // itsjoulife.com

Ever since we moved in to our new condo three years ago, we’ve been using two small wooden shelves as a coffee table. Recently we decided it was time to get a real coffee table and our love of DIY lead to us designing and building our own walnut coffee table. Follow along as we detail the entire process, from initial design to purchasing lumber to building and finally to our finished coffee table.

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