With this most recent move to LA area, we have moved 11 times in our 10 years of marriage. You’d think that by now that we’re experts and that our moves are effortless, easy and enjoyable – ha, ha! We do love traveling and exploring new cities and places but if we move again it’ll be too soon 😉 Moving is exciting, stressful and full of possibilities. We have lived in some amazing cities including Washington DC, Edinburgh and Austin.
Here are a few things we have learned through all our moves:
-Buying a brand new home is (obviously) the easiest (and most fun!) This is in regards to loans, financial transactions and the closing process. We bought our home in Austin from the previous owner and the process was more stressful because the closing process took longer since 2 parties were involved. We were in an AirBnB for a few weeks while we were in transition. So if you buy, anticipate it taking about a month for the negotiations, loans, paperwork, inspection, etc to process until the time you actually get the key.
–Discard of things you don’t use! Don’t pack up something you haven’t used in years to your next home because you ‘might use it sometime’! If an object or article of clothing has served it’s purpose, doesn’t fit, is never use, etc someone else may benefit – we made numerous trips to Goodwill in preparing for each of our moves and we haven’t missed any of those items we donated. Moving is also a great time to make a few extra dollars selling items you don’t use. We had a few duplicate kitchen items we received as wedding presents that we stored, moved and for some reason kept for NINE years! Selling and discarding such items is refreshing and one less thing to pack. We’ve had pretty good success using Facebook Marketplace.
–Get moving boxes from Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. Moving boxes from a place like Uhaul, a storage place or Home Depot can add up in cost and usually you can find people with spare boxes in good condition. We only had 2 weeks from when we moved from Utah to Texas and no one had free boxes so we had to buy them but luckily that was the only time.
And my #1 moving tip:
–Declutter ASAP! You have more stuff than you think (especially once you have kids) and the sooner you start, the less you’ll have to pack. Your garbage can will fill up so fast and the last thing you want to be doing is hauling trash to a local or city dumpster. The day you know you’re moving, start de-cluttering! Pack conscientiously and try not to haul around stuff you won’t use in your new home.
So far we’ve really loved Chino Hills! We’ve been here for one month already. The main things we look for when we move cities is 1) quality of school district 2) affordability 3)accessibility (distance to important things like a gym, church, library, freeway, etc) 4) crime levels. Since we’d never heard of or been to Chino Hills before submitting our lease application we did a ton of online research. One of the sites we found very valuable is Area Vibes (thanks, Nashes!)
Chino Hills is hilly (obviously ha), has top rated schools, lots of vegetation, close to shopping, restaurants, gym, church, parks, etc. It isn’t super close to downtown (depending on traffic it can take a long time) but luckily we don’t have to drive into the city and Dave can work from the units he manages or from their downtown office. The house has a lot of natural light and lots of built in cabinets in the kitchen, like so much there are empty cupboards!
The only things we haven’t liked so far are behind the backyard is a road that isn’t super busy but still has traffic. Our other homes have been on cul de sacs and super quiet. Our current home is on a cul de sac but it’s a long cul de sac and we’re not on the end part. The other thing I dislike is the color of the main part of the house – it’s yellow!!! You can’t really tell from these pictures but I feel like the color makes the room feel dated and grungy. The master bed and bathroom are cornflower blue which I’m not a huge fan of but the hallway, stairwell and other bedrooms are white (which is my first choice). Overall though we are happy especially since we signed the lease without seeing it.
We’re bit by bit getting settled in and unpacking on rental home in CA. While we miss Austin, we are enjoying the great weather and looking forward to exploring another new city. Some of our favorite family things we’ve done so far:
Hike the Hollywood sign – There are lots of trail heads and we picked one based on Google searches that said this trail was good for strollers. The 2 small dirt lots that are usually available were closed because it was a holiday but, the trail was dirt or asphalt and great for our double jogging stroller. It’s a great hike with views you can’t beat! It’s on the opposite side of the city but if it were closer we’d probably go more.
Georgetown Cupcake – We loved Georgetown Cupcake when we lived in DC and Virginia and happy to be reunited here in LA with our favorite cupcake place. They have classics, everyday flavors (like vanilla squared), daily flavors and seasonal flavors – I finally got to try their peppermint cupcakes!
Tacos – there are so many great taco places, our 2 favorites so far are Guisados (downtown and Santa Monica) and a local place Taqueria Mora. We like simple street tacos, basic sides like rice and beans and carne asada fries 🙂 We’re looking forward to trying more tacos!
Salt and Straw – we first tried this in Portland and it’s my favorite ice cream so we were excited that they have a location in LA. Last summer I tried their Rocky Road and it was seriously the best rocky road I’ve ever had. Last week I tried Lemon Meringue Pie and it was also amazing.
Any suggestions of LA things or in the Chino Hills area?
December was quite the whirlwind for us as Dave flew out to LA to start his new job the first week, we sold our Texas home, packed up again, found a rental in an awesome area (Chino Hills), drove 20+ hours and are trying to settle in and unpack before Christmas. We’ve always said we love to travel and see new places and we’ve had plenty of opportunities just this year.
Dave and Bruce drove the Uhaul and Brent, Tessa and I took a few days driving and stopped in Marfa, TX and Tucson, AZ. The kids did a good job driving for so long for 3 straight days (although they were crazy upon getting out of the car!) and loved staying in the hotels. Thanks to a tip from a friend, we stayed overnight in Marfa (at the Riata Inn) which is a tiny town in west Texas and saw a unique landmark that’s literally right on the side of the highway!
Chino Hills looks a lot like Penasquitos with rolling hills, lots of vegetation, stucco homes, small yards, great weather, great location and lots of good places to eat and shop. We’re excited to explore yet another new city in 2016!
Last day to enter to win a custom at home teeth whitening kit from Smile Brilliant!
See you after the new year hopefully with some house pictures 🙂
This roller bag carry on has a phone charger – I can’t believe this wasn’t a thing earlier!
Loving the dark floral trend this fall and especially this style of dress with an empire waist and pockets!
Looking forward to being reunited with my favorite cupcake place from DC – Georgetown Cupcake which now has a location in LA 🙂
Where are the most underrated travel destinations? The top country on my travel wish list in included on this list! As are a few other places I’d love to see (Morocco, Peru, etc).
It’s getting a little cooler in Texas, but some of these popsicle combinations sound delicious, especially the mango one!
This recipe for pumpkin cookies sounds so good! I’ve never used pumpkin spice baking chips and sounds like it could be a game changer.
I recently discovered this awesome soy candle brand that makes ‘homesick candles‘ whose unique scents transport you back to states you’ve loved. After reading the scent descriptions, I feel they’re pretty accurate! Here are the signature scents of the sttates we’ve lived and loved (minus DC which they don’t have):
Southern California: cactus, orange and ocean
Utah : desert air, mountain spruce and ski lodge
Virginia: honeysuckle and forest floor
Texas: leather, cotton and sage
Even though we’ve moved about a dozen times, it’s been hard to beat San Diego as a hometown. I’ve loved things about every city we’ve lived in but would always love to move back to San Diego. Top 10 things I love:
- Weather- SD weather is hard to beat, generally sunny and warm with a little humidity and an ocean breeze!
- Beaches – between the beach and the mountains, I’m definitely a beach person! Nothing better than an afternoon relaxing or sleeping on the beach listening to the ocean waves.
- Relaxed culture – I feel like SD people are very relaxed, casual, and friendly.
- Vegetation – I love the rolling hills, finger canyons and coast.
- Mexican food – close proximity to the border makes for delicious and pretty authentic Mexican food. I could eat rice and beans everyday!
- LDS temple – This is the first temple I saw and where we got married. I love it’s grandeur that is manifest when you come around the freeway bend.
- Padres – I have a lot of good memories going to baseball games with my family! I still love hearing AC/DC’s ‘Hell’s Bells’ because it was Trevor Hoffman’s entrance song.
- Family activities like the San Diego Zoo, Wild Animal Park, Sea World, Balboa Park and the Aquarium.
- Location – it’s close to Mexico and LA/Disneyland. I love that Spanish culture has influenced the style of homes and street names. I also love that there’s a major airport downtown, complete with an amazing view when you fly into the city.
- Natural beauty – I feel that SD is naturally beautiful, clean and fresh. It will always be my hometown!
Would you want to go back to your hometown?!
Even though we only moved to Texas 4 months ago, it was so nice to take a trip up to Utah and see family, friends, the beautiful mountains, our old neighborhood and restaurants we loved when we lived there. Dave’s parents returned from their mission (LDS) in South America AND Soup and Loryn got married – needless to say it was an awesome weekend! The kids were great little travelers, the key to our success was new toys (Hot Wheels cars) and snacks. It also helped that our flight on the way back to TX (which departed at 8 pm, the kids’ bedtime) had TV screens. Brent fell asleep shortly after take off and Tessa stayed wide awake the whole 3 hours watching shows!
Ruth’s Diner ^ one of our Utah favorites up Emmigration Canyon. We also enjoyed Bruges, Penny Annes, Jamba Juice, Moochies, and Carl’s Cafe
“Mom, take a picture of my cars”^
Waffles and frites with the LeSueurs ^
At the SLC airport to greet Dave’s missionary parents ^
Awesome wedding at Log Haven up Millcreek Canyon. The scenery was picture perfect and the company couldn’t have been better. I love the group of guys Dave was friends with in high school and the fact that they’re all still friends.
and more cars ^ 🙂
Carl’s Cafe with Hobo ^
On the airport shuttle after landing back in TX around midnight. For a girl who goes to bed at 8 pm, she sure was a night owl!
I basically want to visit every country in the world and Iceland has been on my Top 3 list for a while. I’ve lived vicariously through other’s travels and especially Lauren and her cute family. Her photos and travel logs are amazing!
We’re in Utah right now for Dave’s parents missionary homecoming and a good friends wedding! Can’t wait to catch up with friends and family!
Brent started soccer last week! Like most kids his age, he didn’t really get the game yet but it was so fun to watch him! I hope he shares my love for the beautiful game!