Home for the holidays

Home for the holidays

We had been looking for a place of our own, but not very long at all. In fact, we had just serendipitously met our realtor, Tim Harnan (Coldwell Bankers), through mutual friends & our shared volunteerism for Surfrider Foundation.

It had been a week of Tim showing us places, when we found ... 


You know that feeling I'm talking about.
I'm not even sure if I believe in fate, but I do strongly believe in going with your gut.

This apartment was...

  • only 5 minutes away from my family home
  • a 10 minute drive to work,
  • a clear shot for Phil's bike to work
  • PET FRIENDLY (!!!)
  • on the 40th floor
  • completely lined with windows, with views from Waikiki to Hawaii Kai

My gut was screaming,


( Oh, and funny coincidence, the apartment was located on the same street as where I was born / raised as a kid! )

We decided to make an offer & ended up closing on our 1st home in 45 days! We could not have done it without Tim's helpful & impressively quick response time, paired with Phil's tenacious work ethic. 

The morning Tim gave us our keys... as brand new homeowners!  ( 11.2.17 )



Before we knew it, we were picking out paint colors & soliciting friends for manual labor. 

We were so happy to show our friends our new home!

(& sure, we didn't mind the painting help either)

The painting started out easy & fun - the accent walls, in "Cinnamon Tea" were surprisingly fast. Ironically, the hardest part was touching up the areas that needed to be repainted white. I don't know if you've ever tried to compare 2 different shades of white, while the sun sets... but it was enough to drive us batty, having been smelling paint fumes all day. At this point, it was only 3 of us - Phil, myself, and a very committed friend. We were almost there... maybe only about half a room left!

Then the fire alarm went off. 

Did I mention that our apartment is on the 40th floor?

After debating with Phil, his cautious nature won & down we went.



I couldn't help but laugh at the situation. We had casually thought about the possibility of doing this some day, but we definitely weren't expecting it on our 1st day in! 

After a dinner at a nearby restaurant, while the firefighters sorted things (nothing serious), we finished up the painting, thanked our amazing friend & passed out on our air mattress. 

We did it! 


Next came the moving.

The moving was not bad at all! Phil is pretty minimal & I, well I had never moved out of my family house, so I didn't have too many big pieces. It was nice to start from scratch... sort of.

Like a bird feels the pull to migrate at the turn of seasons, I had been indulging my nesting instincts for the past few months...
Okay, maybe 1/2 a year.

Rugs, chairs, a stocked bar cart, poufs/ottomans, sheepskin throws, a couple of moroccan hanging lamps... 

Everyone thought I was crazy! 

Especially my mother. 

she would say, exasperated at a space in our family home I had turned into a makeshift storage room. 

"It's for our house!"
I would respond, warily guarding my pile...s.


This was months before we were even looking for a place. So you can imagine. 


once we got it all in?
Phil was a believer. 

I still smirk when I catch him happily reclining with his feet crossed on a moroccan pouf.

As for my family? We have yet to unveil it to them, but you can trust that I'll be grinning all the while serving drinks from my bar cart, as they enjoy the soft sheepskin & chairs! (All items that previously occupied the crowded family living room & received their fair share of mockery)

Since we moved in the essentials, I have since taken on the task of turning this sky tower into an urban jungle with plants, my new obsession. 

And for the holidays, I was most excited for 1 plant in particular -

our very 1st Christmas tree! 

We chose a baby-sized 4 footer, the perfect size for a nook in the apartment. We set it up, and stood there to admire it, when I made the realization that we had no ornaments! I had always grown up with boxes of them, and they always just appeared out of storage. 

Our poor tree stood bare for 1 week, as I fretted about getting mini ornaments for our 4 foot friend, ones that wouldn't look too big. A few days later, a friend posted about some vintage treasures she would be adding to her online store - Twin Urchins Superette.

These vintage ornaments were PERFECT & she even wrapped them up for me. I brought them home to surprise Phil. 



Our little tree is decked ...

                             ( Can you spy our couple ornaments, hidden in the tree? )

                             ( Can you spy our couple ornaments, hidden in the tree? )

...& we are officially home for the holidays!

Our tropical bridal shower

Our tropical bridal shower

My heart journey: the rest

My heart journey: the rest