Merry Christmas, everyone! I hope you all had a nice holiday and hopefully rested up today.
Here’s what’s been happening this week:
At The Properties
- 100% occupancy!
- 2 calls with potential investors looking to purchase in the Coachella Valley. Since the city of La Quinta stopped issuing new STVR permits, most new-to-market rental properties are being acquired in either Palm Springs or Indio – very different markets with very different regulations, so there’s a lot of information to share to potential investors!
- A last minute NYE cancellation in Palm Springs.. bummer! Hoping we can re-book the dates this week.
- The rainy weather in La Quinta exposed a roof leak at one of the properties.
At home, we were busy bees getting the house prepped to host my entire family for our traditional Christmas Eve dinner and gift exchange. I “warned” everyone in advance that our house is still very much a work in progress, but one thing I really wanted to get done was moving the giant hot tub we ordered from Costco on Black Friday out of our driveway and into the backyard.
This was a daunting task, my friends! It weighs about 900 lbs (!!!) and stands (on its side) about 9 ft high. Steven and my brother-in-law (thank you, Arie!) were able to move the pallet onto 4 dollys using a car jack and then wheel it around the house, over the gravel, using a make-shift plywood pathway. Surprisingly, this only took about 25 minutes (I’d stressed about it for the past 25 days).
Now that it’s in the backyard, we need to prep a space for it to live. We plan to lower it slightly into the ground and then build up the landscaping around it so that it blends in to the yard instead of looking like, well, a giant hot tub. We’ll be working on that project next! A working hot tub by NYE would be 👌👌👌.
Here are 5 things I’ve been loving this week:
1. Family Traditions – Old + New
The Holidays are all about traditions. What are some of your favorites? A top one for me is baking sugar cookies with my Grandma Mary (GG), which we’ve done every year for as long as I can remember.
We also all get together on Christmas Eve for a “Secret Santa” style gift exchange. Historically GG has hosted the whole family for Christmas Eve, but this year she handed the torch to me and I think this new tradition of Christmas Eve at the Cactus House is going to be a lasting one.
Christmas Day is always spent at my parent’s house. In years past (before we moved), we would stay at their house so we’d spend Christmas morning with them. This year was the first Christmas morning we’ve spent with just the four of us and we’re already forming little traditions of our own. We spent the rest of the day with family, exchanging gifts, cooking, eating and laughing at the corny jokes and trivia questions in the Christmas crackers. My mom and dad also had a prime rib “competition” – hers in the oven, his on the smoker. Both were fantastic!
2. Slouchy Sweaters
Anything warm and cozy, with bonus points for a mock neck.
3. Holiday Scents
I love candles all year round, but there’s something about the holidays that puts me in scented candle overdrive. You, too? I’ve started packing up some of our Christmas decorations but these holiday scents will be staying out (and lit) for a while!
I picked up two new scents this year and they were a crowd favorite at our family Christmas Eve get-together. We lit the Frosted Cypress in the kitchen which filled the kitchen/dining/living room with a warm and cozy scent. Holiday Spice was lit in our office, which served as the secret-santa-stocking-stuffer room for the night.
Nash loves using our electric lighter to light them (almost as much as he loves blowing them out).
4. Food Gifts
Last week we visited our family in Iowa and there was one particular gift exchanged that I thought was just genius! My father-in-law is an avid BBQ griller/smoker and he was gifted a foil pan with an 18lb brisket (Costco ftw) along with the gift-giver’s favorite spice rub, heat-resistant gloves, nitrile gloves and a big red bow on top. Perfect!
This gave me inspiration for my sister’s birthday gift this year (it’s today, HBD Paige!). I picked up this cookbook (which I also have and love) plus all of the ingredients for her to make one of the yummy recipes in the cookbook.