another house that could have been

The house we bought was the fifth house we looked at, this was the fourth house. It was the house I was most excited to look at after seeing pictures online.

The Cranberry house:

right off the bat, it’s adorable.

it was only on .39 acres so the backyard was severely lacking.

though there was this adorable bridge over the creek

This was the one house we looked at that was in a plan. I am not really a fan of plans for a few reasons, but probably the biggest being the fact that my childhood home had these fantastic woods and fields behind and a gorgeous farm across the way…until Maronda (or whoever) bought them up and ruined the place of my childhood adventures. (I realize I am insane.)

This house also had 4 bedrooms, 2 car garage, deck…all those points we were looking for.

a dedicated office off the entry

first floor powder room

formal living room with bay windows

dining room with doors that lead out to the (large) deck

apparently i only have this horrible picture but the kitchen was my FAVORITE part. brand new, gorgeous white cabinets and granite counter tops and it just looked like it was from a magazine. and the family room

family room, LOVED that it was open concept, loved the doors out to the deck

and then there was this room upstairs. i can just imagine falling off that ladder. (i almost did out of fear.)


it was a decently sized room and there was a storage area off the loft, but I just could not imagine lugging anything up that nearly vertical ladder.

the other two bedrooms were boring enough that I only took a picture of one.

I also apparently forgot to take a picture of the upstairs bathroom (boring) or the upstairs laundry room (amazing!!).

the master bedroom was massive with a cathedral ceiling and an enormous closet.

my 2nd favorite part was the master bath. gorgeous!

shedding a tear for the tub that never was. 😦

So we didn’t even make an offer on this house because we were so in love with the other house. This house was also at the top of our price range, but we had found out that the sellers had to pick up and move for a job so the house was vacant and they were very motivated.

Reasons I am not sad about this house:

1. Too expensive.

2. I just felt out of place in it. Everything was SO new and SO nice and I mean, heck yea I deserve new and nice but it just didn’t feel like home.

3. The yard was puny and unusable.

4. Although Keith’s commute would have been extremely short, mine would have been miserable.

5. The houses were super close together and on all sides, pretty much no privacy.

When looking the house back up for this post, it turns out it sold, in May, for asking price. Good for them. I will never forget you, bathtub.

the house that could have been

So I mentioned before that there was a house we fell in love with before buying our house. Recently, I was sorting through my pictures and came across all the pictures I had taken of that house and pictures I had taken of another house, so I thought it would be kind of fun to reminisce. The house that began our house hunt, was this lovely home in Valencia.



On paper, it was almost perfect. Four bedrooms (though one was a captive room), almost an acre of perfectly flat yard, POOL, two car garage, sort of secluded, it was built ~1879 so tons of character. It was on the tippy-top of our price range though but had been on the market for three years, so we figured there was room to negotiate.

We looked at the house three times and each and every time, I loved it more. Here’s a tour.

eat-in kitchen with heated(!) (gorgeous) floors + cat door!

not the best shot, but updated kitchen with stainless steel appliances

amazing woodwork in the living and dining rooms, wood burning fireplace

french doors led out to screened in porch. (they were selling that table + chairs for 3k, yea right!)

first floor full bath

two of the four bedrooms with shared closets between and heated floors

another bedroom with original floors

master bedroom with original floors

master bath with heated marble floor!

upstairs bath that was probably the least attractive room in the house

original banister and adorable custom stained glass

Ahh, looking at these pictures still make me a teeny bit sad. So why didn’t we end up in this house? Well, they rejected our offer. We came in pretty low, at 87% of the asking price. We figured the house had been on the market so long and it seemed to be overpriced that we figured it couldn’t hurt to try. Well, they came back and counter-offered at 5,000 less than asking.

I won’t lie, I cried. We had met with the sellers before we offered to ask some questions about the house (the pool was set up weird, there was a boiler system, the house was over 130 years old). The male-half of the sellers was an environmental engineer and had done all sorts of things to make the house green. We probably talked with them for 2 hours and by the end I figured they had to love us! Oh, probably worth mentioning that they lived next door. Yea. They lived in the old house for 30 years and then built a brand new (totally modern, 100% different) house on the lot next door which actually overlooks the house. Which was sort of weird. (The second picture was taken from their deck.)

But they obviously didn’t need the money, so they could sit on the house until they got their price. And they weren’t getting it from us. Looking back, there are a few reasons why I’m glad we didn’t end up there.

1. The potential weirdness of being neighbors with people who used to live in your house. They seemed like really nice people, but who knows if they would be up there tsk-tsking our lawncare or pool maintenance.

2. We would have been slightly house poor, even with our reduced offer. In theory, we could have afforded it, but it would have been tight.


4. The other side of the house was an empty lot…but who knows how long it would be empty. I did some research and the guy who owned the lot owned several lots around Valencia/Adams Twp, so who knows what his plans were. (The sellers said they had tried to buy it back off of him (it was once theirs) and he wouldn’t budge.) I think it was 1/2 an acre and a house would be uncomfortably close there.

5. There was only one living area. The basement was teeny and unfinished and there would be no point in finishing it. So that meant no man cave, which Keith was really looking forward to.

So after we were rejected, (this was Novemberish of last year) we decided to wait until Spring to start looking again. And so it makes perfect girl logic that I found our current house in February! Ha!

(Side note: I have looked up the house a few times since we lost out on it and I found out it did sell in May, for asking price. So I guess they were smart to refuse us.)

blast from the past: “nothing good ends in ccino.”

I was looking for something in my old blog and re-reading some of the entries made me laugh, so I’ve decided to repost some of the better ones here.

This post was originally written May 19, 2009 while I was working at Starbucks. Oh boy.

So let’s talk about everyone’s favorite topic: work.

I’ve come to realize there are two types of customers that come into Starbucks. Those who know exactly what they want and those who have no idea what the hell they are paying for.

Let’s look at the former first. Now most of the people who come into my store are nice people. With all of the hospitals and businesses around, we have tons of regulars that are in 5 days a week getting the same exact thing. Occasionally there is a barista that is not as skilled as myself (ha! just kidding, I’m a space case and make my fair share of mistakes) – but yea, these other baristas don’t listen as well and occasionally someone will get the wrong drink or have something missing or whatever.

Most of the people with super specific drinks are very pleasant about it. “Oh sorry? This was supposed to be…” etc. But then there are people with this super inflated sense of self and are downright nasty about it. On one hand, I guess I can understand that if you’re paying 3-5$ for a drink, you want it to be right. But the part of me that was raised to be considerate of other human beings thinks that if you want your drink that damn specific? Make it yourself.

My *favorite* customer is the soy chai lady. She comes in 3-4 times a week and I learned very very quickly how unpleasant she can be if her drink is made wrong. Now I don’t mind special orders. The way that we make things and the way we write cups is set up in a way that it really doesn’t take any more effort to make a drink the standard way or a special way. Except this lady’s drink.

She gets a grande 5 pump, soy, no water, no foam, 180F chai latte. (Normal chai lattes are 4 pump – part water – small amount of foam – 160F) Not really that big of a deal. Except if one of the guys makes it? It’s perfection. I’ve watched some of my slacker male coworkers free pour her soy into the cup (soy foams like a beast – and the longer you steam – the more foam) and she declares it the greatest drink ever. Meanwhile, I’ll spend 2 minutes scraping foam off and re-pouring only to have her hand it back because “It’s light. I can feel the foam.” Only to open it up and see a half a millimeter of foam around the edge.

So while I would love to make her drink horribly wrong every time, I’m the only one who will suffer as I’ll have to remake it. So the soy queen gets her way each and every time and gets to be an insufferable whore in the process.

(Note from 2012 Katrina: Soy chai latte lady eventually would special request me to make her drink. Ugh.)

Now our other subset is the group of people who REALLY have no idea what they are ordering/paying for.

People pick up the wrong drinks all the time. Even though we call the drinks and they are marked on the side, I guess I can understand some of the confusion. Like if the cups are the same size. And if your brain is the size of a peanut.

Yesterday though I was working and my favorite supervisor was on bar. I was running around doing whatever and she stops me to ask if I would take this drink over to the lady sitting on the stage because she took the wrong one.

The drink? A tall caramel frappuccino.

photo by flickr user rlevans
I walk up and say “Did someone order a caramel frappuccino?”

“I did?” says some lady as she takes a sip of a venti skinny vanilla latte.

“Well here it is,” I say, as I hand it to her.
“Oh, I don’t even know what this is.”
“That’s a latte…”

it was impossible to find a decent picture of a venti latte.
Now, okay, maybe you don’t know the difference. Maybe you didn’t realize the drink you ordered was cold and you were drinking a hot beverage. But shouldn’t you have noticed firstly that the cup you grabbed was pretty damn big for a SMALL? And secondly that you ordered a CARAMEL drink and a skinny vanilla is most certainly not even close in flavor?

You people kill me.

Also as a public service announcement if you’ve gotten this far. If you order a drink that comes both hot and iced, PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU SAY ICED. Iced drinks are easy, I will secretly love you for ordering an iced espresso drink and make it happily. But when I go through all of the trouble of steaming milk for you only to hand it off and your face to fall.

“This was supposed to be iced?”
“Um where was it supposed to be iced? In the alternate universe where I can READ YOUR MIND?!”

So “iced.” One extra syllable that will save me from sticking my face in the coffee grinder.

xoxo, your friendly neighborhood barista.

God I hated that job.