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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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 / lifestyle blog got a makeover!

It’s Jou Life | a DIY / lifestyle blog—musing about natural, healthy, artisanal living, and everything in between.

Join our mailing list by entering your email (top right column section) and receive an email each time we post!

Friends of Ours.

Hello, and welcome to It’s Jou Life! We’re Wayne and Jennifer, a (relatively) newly wed couple who found love in the most unexpecting place. This is our DIY / lifestyle blog—musing about natural, healthy, artisanal living, and everything in between.

We started this blog because our family and friends always ask us how we grow our own organic vegetables, what is Wayne woodworking on now, to send over our miso black cod recipe, what snacks stock our pantry, a tutorial on that cute zippered pouch, tips for marathon running, where do we worship, what to bring for a camping trip, what’s Jennifer’s skincare regimen… you get the idea. This is our way to share life’s loves.

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