Showing posts from February, 2015

The Road to Buying a House... Volume 3

I am learning so much as we progress through the home buying process!  The past two weeks revolved around the home inspection, paperwork, more paperwork, and signing our mortgage application.  I didn't know where to begin to look for a home inspector, but thankfully I have a close coworker and friend whose husband is a realtor and was able to make a good recommendation.  I called him up, asked a few questions, and we hired him.  I was able to be present for the entire inspection, which was really helpful.  

I will admit that the inspection process was more than a little stressful as it forces the buyer to look at this "dream house" in a new light, recognizing and gaining awareness of every little scratch, dent, and imperfection.  I was frustrated at discovering scratches in the stucco, closet doors that stick, and a leaky faucet -- not to mention the ABSENCE of evaporated cooling, which the house was advertised to have (this was our biggest setback of the week) -- but at …

Valentine's Day Recipes

The Pioneer Woman was a very welcome third wheel at our Valentine's Day dinner this weekend as we used two of her recipes in our home-cooked meal!  We decided to save some money and cook at home instead of spending $200 on a fancy date night.  (Also, we couldn't get a reservation at any of our top choice restaurants.  We're usually not such procrastinators.)  Jaycob cooked really incredible petit sirloins with roasted asparagus and twice-baked potatoes.  I made a peanut butter pie, and we opened one of our favorite bottles of wine from Willamette Valley.  Besides a little issue of burnt bacon (saved by a jar of pre-made bacon bits), it was a great night!  Here are a few of the Pioneer Woman's amazing recipes...

Twice-Baked Potatoes
From the Food Network, courtesy of Ree Drummond - The Pioneer Woman

8 baking potatoes, washed
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 sticks salted butter
1 cup bacon bits
1 cup sour cream
1 cup Cheddar or Jack cheese, plus more for topping
1/2 cup wh…

The Road to Buying a House... Volume 2

It has been almost six months since Volume 1 of our home-buying process, and after months of saving for a down payment, monitoring our credit scores, and meeting with our purchase advisor, we are now officially "buyer ready"!  We have a really wonderful realtor through Homewise, a local nonprofit organization dedicated to getting Santa Feans into affordable homes of their dreams.  

In our first meeting with the realtor, we discussed our priorities and values when it comes to selecting our future home.  Here were a few of the things that were important to us in a house:

Three "Chile Peppers" (top priorities)
Three bedrooms, two bathrooms
Safe, family-friendly neighborhood
Two car garage
No urgent need for home improvement projects
In a neighborhood with good market value
High quality structure
Within our price range

Two "Chile Peppers" (somewhat important, but negotiable)
Close proximity to our places of work
At least 1,200 square feet
Fence around the yard
New (or …

Winter Wonderland

A much-needed, two-day snowstorm hit Santa Fe this week!  It dumped thick, wet flakes nearly nonstop for 48 hours, leaving every road, tree and trail covered in white.  We were initially planning a trip to Durango this weekend, but the plans fell through, allowing up the opportunity to enjoy the snow in Santa Fe!  The hubby and I made it up to the Borrego Bear Wallows trail for some snowshoeing Friday afternoon.  I was so excited to finally use my snowshoes this season, and we were pleasantly surprised to be the only ones out on the trail in the fresh snow.  Kua was thrilled!  She ran around through the snow, following every scent, and tried her hardest to capture each snowball we threw.  The woods were quiet except for the sounds of snow falling off the branches.  

On Sunday I couldn't resist a day at the Santa Fe Ski Basin.  It was one of my best days of skiing.  The snow was still really fresh, especially in the wooded sections, and we were on the mountain as soon as the chairli…