Welcome to Our New House

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Ah, where do I even begin…

It’s been months since I’ve posted here on my blog. I missed blogging! I missed you, my dear readers! I missed sharing delicious recipes. I missed photographing cakes, macarons, and everything in between…

And thank you to those of you who have reached out, checking on me. I can’t even express how grateful I am to have you here! You’re more than just readers. You’re my friends! And I owe you an explanation for my lack of appearance on my blog.

As you know we’ve welcomed our little George in July. He’s doing great, growing by minute! AND we just moved into our new house right before Christmas.

Apparently moving with a toddler and a baby is not easy at all. We’ve accumulated SOOO much stuff over the years, and it was a great opportunity to purge!

So yeah, I’ve been busy taking care of the kids, shopping for furniture and appliances (I read so many reviews about every little purchase! #nerd), packing and unpacking, purging and organizing everything for the last few months!!! Asking the ultimate question “Does it spark a joy?” over and over again was the most helpful thing throughout the process. By the way, have you seen Marie Condo’s show on Netflix? (I watched 3 episodes so far. So good!) Also @lifeinjeneral is super awesome Instagram account with lots of organizational tips!

Anyway, that’s what I’ve been up to… Now let’s talk about our new house!

Pinch me! I still hardly believe that we now live on the ranch.

Story Behind Our House

For many years, Garrat and I have been scouting for a perfect location for our future house on the ranch property. As we finally settled on a great location on the main ranch, next to my in-laws, Garrat started planting trees and rough landscaping around the location. And we also started making more serious calls to contractors. We weren’t decided whether we wanted a house built on location, or get a manufactured house.

On one of those calls back in August 2017, Garrat was told about this manufactured house that was damaged by power line during transportation to its original owners. And because the insurance company totaled the house, the company was building a brand new one, and this damaged house is up for sale!

We were curious about it, so we drove 100 miles to take a look and check out the damage. We found out that there were a few visible circuits damaged, but there was no way to know if there were more damages. We are talking mainly electric issues and some drywall damages. BUT the house was beautiful and huge (2700 sq. ft!!!) with lots of big windows (something we really wanted!) And considering the sale price (1/3 of its original price tag!) and expenses on fixing up the damage, we thought it was still worth it! So we bought the house as is!!!!!!

As crazy as it sounds, we’re so happy we bought it! The house was delivered a year later, as we needed to build the foundation/basement and the moving company was super busy. Anyway in mid-August of 2018, our house was finally hauled by a semi-truck. It still puzzles me how it fit on the road!!

And then, after the house was put on the foundation, the real work had began! Fortunately, there was no more electric damages other than the visible ones, which means minimal drywall fixing. But there were still so many moving parts, like plumbing, heating, flooring, electricity, millwork, painting (I hated the color of walls of main area and accent walls in the bedrooms), and so on, so on.

So while I was taking care of our newborn baby and toddler, Garrat was managing all the subcontractors and working on the house. See? We’ve been busy!

Now I’m so happy to invite you in.

Welcome to my new kitchen!

So obviously, since this house was originally built for another family, it wasn’t exactly how I would have wanted my new kitchen. There are 4 main things that I don’t like the most: 1. countertops; 2. small pantry and its location; 3. divided sink; and 4. cabinet color. Now, all these are 1st world problems, and I can totally live with it.

  1. I seriously contemplated on getting new countertops, but it costs so much $$$ and I decided to be ok with it.
  2. As a food blogger living in the middle of nowhere, pantry size matters. 🙂 I’ve been organizing my pantry ever since we moved in, and it’s still work in progress. I just can’t fit everything in it. So I’m thinking to claim one of other closets for the things I don’t use regularly.
  3. I love doing dishes. And I love large sinks. I was truly bummed when I learned that the sink is divided. Granted it’s beautiful black quarts sink, and it’s pretty big so it doesn’t bother me too much.
  4. I admit, I too dreamed of trendy all-white kitchen that we all see on Instagram, magazines and HGTV. And it was really hard to accept these brown cabinets. Then it grew on me, especially after we painted our walls with beautiful clean white paint (Benjamin Moore Decorator’s White, in case you’re curious. Highly recommend it!) The reality is we live on the farm! And I’m raising boys! Light and airy white kitchen is probably not the most appropriate choice for us anyway.

Now that I ranted about the things that I don’t love, let me tell you about the things I absolutely madly in love with.

  • My range!!! I went with gas range and electric oven from Miéle. I dreamed of gas range for so long and it doesn’t disappoint. And the oven is super impressive with its cool features, like rotisserie, moisture plus for crisp bread crust, for example, etc.
  • Pot filler! Oh my gosh, do I love my pot filler. Whoever invented it, should get an Oscar. Just kidding, not an Oscar, but whatever prize you give to inventors! 🙂
  • We installed in-floor heating throughout the house, and I have to say it’s amazing! No more super cold floors. It’s especially nice in the bathrooms!
  • Huge windows and tall ceilings are everything!!! I feel like I live in a castle. Haha But there is one caveat to it: echo!! Garrat and I have hard time hearing each other sometimes, because it echos so much. But I’m hoping it’ll improve as we start decorating the walls, hanging pictures, paintings and drapes.
  • Lots of natural light everywhere – an essential part of my business. Now I can snap photos right in my kitchen, instead of hauling food into the living room as I used to do in our old house.

I also love my new tea drawer! Almost all of my favorite teas and tea tools in one place. This was actually inspired by @lifeinjeneral. (Seriously, go follow them on Instagram!)

Love my tea breaks and taste testing. But this cheesecake was actually store-bought. ;p

And how cool are these bar stools from Wayfair?

Yeah, my kitchen is my favorite place in our house. It’s where I work, where I de-stress, where I cook and bake for my family, where we eat and have fun!

My boys fill this place with so much joy and laughter. And I couldn’t be more grateful!

Thank you so much for touring our kitchen.

If you have any questions about appliances, fixtures or anything else, let me know in the comments below.

Hi, I’m Shinee!

Welcome! I’m so happy you’re here! I believe anyone can cook restaurant-quality food at home! And my goal is to help you to become a confident cook with my easy-to-follow recipes with lots of tips and step-by-step photos.

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  1. Welcome back Shinee!!!! Congratulations on your new house! Beautiful kitchen and family! I always wanted heated floors as well but now my feet always get cold everywhere else, cause they so used to the warmth….and goodbye to real Christmas tree…. it dies in a week….. sorry to tell you this…. 🙂

    1. Hi, Olya! Ah, aren’t we spoiled with warm floors? It’s sure nice. And I had no idea real Christmas tree doesn’t light heated floors. Haha I’m not a huge fan of real trees though, mainly because the maintenance it requires, but good to know! 😉 Thank you for your compliments.

  2. Shinee, welcome back. Missed you.  Your home is beautiful.   I also wanted an all white kitchen but the builder did not offer white cabinets in the kitchen only the bathrooms.  I was very disappointed .The boys are gorgeous .  I sure hope you got to rest some while you were off.  You deserved it and especially since just having the baby then moving.  That’s a lot of stress.  So glad your happy and wish you all the luck in your new home.  Welcome back .Maria Elena

    1. Thank you so much, Maria. What color cabinets did you go with, and do you love it? Yeah, I was able to rest and take things slow, so that I don’t stress myself too much. The blog break also helped. Thanks again!! 🙂

  3. Oh it’s so nice to have you back!! Your home is beautiful, the views are gorgeous and most importantly you have a wonderful happy family. I think it’s smart that you took a break too…see, no one went anywhere and we’re still here waiting for you. Also, too funny – I made lemon curd this morning for a tart I’m bringing to a friend’s house for dessert tonight. I look forward to your recipes again.