Weekly Recap + 5 Things I’m Loving

By Kylee Niederhauser

Here’s what’s been happening this week:

At The Properties

Highs:

  • Welcoming our first guests to Red Fir Hideaway! We hosted a couple on a snowy NYE getaway.
  • We are slowly opening the Coachella Valley property calendars for Festival Season!

Lows:

  • A potential guest reported us to Airbnb for alleged “Service Dog Discrimination” after declining her booking request. In reality, I denied her request because it was a last minute booking (red flag #1) with a large group of locals (red flag #2) on a brand new account with no reviews (red flag #3) and, tbh, she had a pretty brazen attitude in her initial messaging (red flag #4). Parties are something we will never tolerate and have learned to spot some of the signs ahead of time. Thankfully we were able to speak with Airbnb, share our side of the story, and ultimately resolve the issue.

At Home

Operation Hot Tub by New Year’s Eve was a success! You can read more about that below. That project pretty much consumed our week, and we finished just in time to host a little NYE get together at our house.

Next week, Steven has some friends from Iowa visiting for a golf trip (and staying with us), so we probably won’t be doing many house projects, but I am going to be collecting materials for an upcoming DIY that I’ll be starting later this month. Hint: it’s a big piece of furniture and will involve a lot of fabric. Any guesses??

Here are 5 things I’ve been loving this week:

1. The Hot Tub!

If you follow along @therockawayhouse on Instagram, then you may have seen our Operation Hot Tub by NYE saga on stories. Overall the installation went smoothly, and I learned a lot from Steven! The most difficult part was lowering the tub from the pallet onto the paver pad. That thing is HEAVY. Like, squash you like a bug heavy. My dad, Steven and I had it mid-way down when we realized we really needed a fourth person and, luckily, our neighbor dropped what he was doing to come to our rescue and help. Thank you, Merritt!!

2. Getting Organized for the New Year

As a small business with a LOT of paper receipts, we’ve had to develop systems to keep everything organized. Last year I started using these zippered file bags to store and file receipts, one for each property. The system works well for filing but we still run into the issue of receipts getting shoved into the bottom of my purse or in the center consoles of our cars. To hopefully combat this, I bought these smaller bags, one set for each car. I labeled them in general categories so we have a safe place to put them in between the store and inputting/filing them away.

You may remember that I also love using these file bags for game storage, arts & craft supplies and organizing other kids things!

3. Raclette Dinner

On NYE, we brought out one of our favorite kitchen electrics, our raclette grill! We bought ours while we were living in Munich and used it often for special dinners, including New Year’s Eve. I can’t find our exact brand sold here in the states, but this one is very similar.

Here is what we typically prepare/serve:

  • Steak (filet), sliced thin and marinated. I bought ours from Trader Joe’s.
  • Shrimp, peeled, deveined and marinated
  • Veggies (we used yellow squash, zucchini, onion and mushrooms), sliced and marinated
  • Small potatoes (I boiled them with salt, garlic and sage)
  • Raclette cheese (found at Whole Foods). This year I also bought Humboldt Fog and a 3-Pepper Gouda but, honestly, the Raclette cheese is the best for this.
  • Baguette

The meat and veggies are cooked on the grill surface and the little trays can be used to melt cheese (or put sliced potatoes/veggies in the tray and melt cheese on top). It’s a fun, interactive meal that everyone enjoyed!

4. Our New Pantry Console

As part of our kitchen renovation, we built a galley-style, open pantry. Constructing the shelves is still on the to-do list, but I knew I wanted to have a piece of furniture at the opening and then start the shelving to the right of that, so we wanted to have the furniture piece to determine where to start the shelving. The requirements were a lower shelf for all of my cookbooks, and at least 2 drawers to hold table linens, etc. I finally found the perfect piece and, bonus points, it arrived mostly assembled. We love it!

5. Twinkle Lights in the Fireplace

To our surprise, our fireplace has never been used in the past 50+ years and, with a very curious baby in the house, I haven’t wanted to start now. In our Christmas decorating, we put a few pieces of firewood in there and added some battery powered fairy lights. I had planned to take them down after Christmas but we like them so much we’ve decided to keep them!

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