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Category Archives: small space

El Paso, a wonderful place to explore!~Juan’s Perspective

As I mentioned awhile back, Juan and I relocated back to my hometown. Here is Juan’s perspective on our recent move and why El Paso is a great move for us. Urban Hobo is rapidly growing and can’t think of a better place to build this start-up fun company than here!

Shawn and I recently relocated to El Paso, TX from Phoenix, AZ (my hometown). For Shawn, the decision (and transition) was an easy one. Shawn was born and raised in El Paso and most of her close friends still live here. Since we’ve been married, we’ve visited at least once a year so I’ve had some exposure to the city and, an idea of what to expect.

When we informed every one of our plans, most of our friends and family (not living in El Paso) had the same initial reaction, “Why?” Some were downright scared, “It’s not safe!” “You’ll get shot by the Cartels in Juarez!” If you actually do some research (instead of believing the newspapers and tabloids), you’ll find that El Paso is one of the safest cities in the U.S. After analyzing the data myself, and comparing Phoenix to El Paso, it appears that only by the grace of God did we get out of Phoenix alive without becoming a crime statistic!(ha ha ha) And, El Paso has a VERY strong economy (the overall cost of living is much cheaper than Phoenix). Less crime, stronger economy, lower cost of living and much milder summertime temperatures! All positive reasons to live in El Paso.

Shawn is excited to be back and loves her home town. However, being familiar with the city she takes many things for granted. Conversely me being new to the city and region my perspective on things is slightly different. Furthermore, I’m an avid history buff. I’ve read a lot about the history of the area and have even had a chance to visit a number of historic sites within the region. Many of the sites where historic events took place that helped shape the state, the region and the Country, are within the city limits. Many more are a short car ride away. Besides the historically significant aspects, El Paso has so much more to offer. The culture is evident. Unlike many other Western/Southwestern areas, the culture in El Paso is alive! The Spanish, Mexican, and Southwestern influences are all around you. Not in a phony, tourist or commercial way. The city does not try to hide its heritage, rather it embraces it!

El Paso is a medium-sized city, but with a small town feel. It is also the largest border city in the world. El Paso is also home to Ft. Bliss (the Army’s second largest installation) drawing people from all over the United States. It is this cultural diversity that gives El Paso an energy that I’ve not found or experienced in other cities in the West/Southwest, Northwest or Pacific Islands. Something else I’ve noticed; the residents are much more polite and friendly. El Paso is the kind of city where quality of life is the number one priority.

As I settle in and learn more of my new home, I am finding that El Paso is not just a wonderful place to live; it’s also a wonderful place to explore!

 

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Going…Going…GONE!

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Wow! Dia de los Muertos has taken off for Urban Hobos! Juan and I are so excited. We have been able to sell many of our “Folk-Art” Skull friends. The colors are bright the subject (although skeletons) is fun and native to the area we live in.

I do not know why we have taken this road with a Dia de Los Muertos theme, I grew up celebrating this special holiday with many friends since I grew up on the border. I’ve enjoyed sharing with Juan the meaning behind the “Day of the Dead” celebrations.

For my friends and readers that are not familiar… Día de los Muertos is a holiday celebrated throughout Mexico and around the world in other cultures. Focusing on family gatherings and friends to pray for and remember family members who have died. The celebration takes place on November 1, in connection with the Catholic holidays of All Saints’ Day. Some of the traditions connected with the holiday include building altars honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed and visiting graves with these as gifts. They   also leave possessions of the deceased.

I know I know….many of you might think this is slightly gruesome celebrating with skeletons and honoring a day for the dead, however, I love the bright colors and festivities that come from the celebration. When I think how much I miss my Father, I would much rather honor him and think of him with happy and wonderful memories. Remembering all he taught me and the great traditions that are now in me.

However, we do have some more “Dia de los Muertos” on its way along with a series of crosses I am working on and will have ready in the next week. So I will do my best to keep you posted on any new products we have.

Be sure to “LIKE US” on Facebook as well. Would love any and all feedback too!

 

We’re moving!!!

Yup…Juan and I are on a new adventure. We are so excited about this next chapter in our lives and we welcome you to enjoy the ride.

We are moving virtually to a new blog site Urban Hobo. Urban Hobo is our new business ventures. We will feature “artful edibles”, handmade and unique gifts. We embrace local and regional styles and flavors. Sure to tantalize your taste-buds and/or add flair to your home. 

We will also keep you posted on events we will be attending….hopefully to meet you in person.

Secondly, Juan and I are heading out of Arizona and back to my home town in Texas. I encourage you to check our new blog site Urban Hobo as I’m sure I will be sharing some of the craziness involved in moving Juan, me, two Dachshunds and a now 32 year old parrot across the states AZ, NM and then TX!

Urban Hobo https://urbanhobo.wordpress.com/

 

Urban Hobos- Cruising the neighborhood

Juan and I in simplifying or rather right-sizing our lives, have decided to ride our bikes as much as possible AND patron local small business owners.

You want to help the economy? Shop and visit your local neighborhood shops, restaurants and businesses. Small business owners are the key to boosting the economy not always BIG corporate America.

A favorite of Juan’s is Churn. It is right next to a wonderful eatery and awesome hangout, Windsor (same owners) and when you walk past the threshold you are walking back in time.

Remember, Zots, Pop Rocks, Jumbo Pixie Stix, Taffy and assortment of gum balls and jawbreakers??? Well they have it all.

Besides the “old school” candy, they have some awesome artisan ice cream. All you need is one scoop and you’re hooked. Do you remember the old wooden paddle style spoons you used to get as a kid for your ice cream? Well that’s how you eat at Churn.

They offer a great selection of cones including my favorite… A pretzel cone.

So if you live in the Phoenix metro area or planning to visit, check out Churn (www.churnaz.com)!

 

Happy Anniversary Juan!

Today Juan (I call him Juan his real name is John) and I celebrate our 11 year anniversary. Juan is my best friend…he puts up with my constant “last minute ideas” and as he likes to say…I am full of rainbows and unicorns! (wink wink smiley face)
So just a short note to wish Juan…Happy Anniversary! You are the best! I am so glad I ran into you at the coffee shop and spilled your coffee.
The best guy I could ever have sharing 900 square feet in.
Happy Anniversary Honey!
 

How about 450 square feet?

The great people at *fair companies have found another gem in small space living. As I call it….”right-size” living. Could you live in 450 square feet? I think if you have what you love and need, great organization and the right furniture…OR…customizing your furniture to work in the space…any small space is possible.

Here is a great video … a little long (a little over 9minutes) about a school teacher who purchased a tiny space in Manhattan. See how this space was transformed AND the “morphing cabinet”!

If you haven’t…you need to check out *faircompanies. Or you can go on YouTube, like me, and check out their videos. Juan and I have spent an evening just going through all the videos about beautiful people around the world enjoying a more meaningful and simpler lifestyle. Very inspirational stuff!

 

 

Follow up to…”The Love of Craigslist” SOLD!!!

SOLD!

SOLD!!!A couple of days ago I wrote about putting our mid century modern desk on Craigslist. Well, a beautiful young couple came on Saturday and picked it up.

We are slowly but surely getting our room ready for our new office workspace. I’m excited about adding elements of vintage and new. I really love mixing wood with metal, glass or lacquer. I love the look and I love simple clean lines. (I know…what the heck does that mean?) I love simple lines of a desk and chair. I Love using neutrals and white and adding “pops” of color.

Another goal for this room is getting my Father’s grandfather clock refurbished and running. When my Dad passed away I was devastated. Lost the most precious person in my life…but I have such wonderful memories I can fall back on and that grandfather clock is one. Its beautiful music rang every half hour and it was the first thing I would see upon entering the house….especially when I was a little past curfew! (wink wink smiley face)My Mom had it painted an antique white in the early 1970’s.

My goal is to get the clock cleaned and the mechanics working then refurbish the wood and restore it back to its original beauty. Of course that will be for another post time.

Yes, this is one item I will not give up, donate or give away….it is a treasured piece that reminds me of my youth and I will enjoy for years to come. I’m not always about getting rid of everything, but think about the things you treasure and are most precious to you.
 

Juan says….”Our house is too big”

Yup! That is what he said…Our 900 square foot home is too big! We have too much space…too much room…too much stuff! Are you kidding me??!!! I said surprisingly (There is no wink wink smiley face here).
Okay… I must admit that this was after spending some time in the redesigned area of IKEA. They have created these cool spaces within the walls of the store. If you haven’t been there lately, they have produced small space living spaces within the store. A true dose of reality of living in a 375sqft…405sqft and the one that Juan fell in love with…a 212 square foot home. They built a 212 sqft home complete with kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and living space. The space provided all the elements you needed, just add your own clothing, linens and toiletries…and you are home!

So you think to yourself, is it possible to live love in such a small space? Juan does! Heck he’s at the beach in this 212 square foot casita of fun! (Wink wink smiley face) Again I ask the question…how much space do you really need? AND…for each person out there it will be different.


Kitchen of 212 sqft home



View through living space to kitchen

My goal is not to try and convert everyone to teeny tiny house living. Just take some time and really think about how much space you and your family truly need in a home? For me and Juan, we could go smaller than 900 square feet. However, I would want some extra outdoor living space to add to our square footage.
On the walls throughout the small space living, they had great words of wisdom I wanted to share with you.

“Limited space creates unlimited creativity”
“Don’t give up your dreams.Just shrink them”
“Sharing a small space means to show love and respect, to compromise and transform.”
“When you have half the space you need, make sure you double the function.”

They had several sayings like these throughout the store and I really loved the ones that I listed above. I truly believe that if you live in a small space, organization is very important…it makes small space living manageable. Purchasing or creating storage solutions as well as dividers and other organizational tools will make small space living easy and fun!  (Yes I said it….fun)

IKEA is the “one stop shop in a big blue and yellow box with all the right-size furniture, décor and tools to make your small space living F-U-N! Fun!

I love IKEA and remember… sign up for their membership. You might receive a free frozen yogurt!
 

A Quick Update

In October, I posted a blog called “Cleaning up the Details”…about organization and how great it can be to purchase dividers or some type of organizational tools to utilize in helping small spaces be more manageable. ALSO…I talked about utilizing things in your house that can be used for storage that may be a part of your family history that you hate to give up and are just sitting in storage or somewhere collecting dust.

I decided to use a very old cash register drawer from Juan’s Grandparents who used to own a furniture store as an organizer for some of the art projects I am working (Shameless plug It’s Beginning To Look A lot Like Christmas).
Turned out pretty good! The teak oil soaked in and brought out the beautiful dark wood and now looks like a cool piece of “Organizational Art” for my workspace.
Are you utilizing heirlooms or found some cool way to organize your things with yard sale or antique store finds??? Please email me (info@the9hundred.com) your pictures and tell me about it! I would love to post your pictures and ideas and what you created!
 
 

Cleaning Up The Details

With this whole “right-sizing” our lives, I have tried….really tried…in getting more and more organized. I’ve realized that the more organized I’ve become… with every space, room, closet and drawer, the easier my life becomes and the quicker I can get out and enjoy life.

I’ve taken the time to take each section of our space and find the best organization tools and products out there to help me be more organized. I am convinced…you should take the time to find (or create your own) storage solutions. Take that extra step! Although you’ve cleaned out and rid yourself of the extra stuff…take the time to add/create storage within storage solutions.

Okay so get to the point…with many of the drawers I have, I’ve added dividers to keep everything in it’s place. Admit it, those sock and underwear drawers can become unruly the minute you are running late and flying (yes flying) through your drawers. All that time you took to neatly fold all those “unmentionables” is nothing but a flurry of multi-color and lacy carnage. (Wow that’s a picture for ya). First time in years, I added the dividers for me and Juan and it makes it so much easier because everything has a spot, nook or place.

My latest find is something Juan has kept for years. However it is a great piece to add to my office/workspace in organizing many of my art supplies for example.

This beautiful piece is actually a cash register drawer that belonged to his grandparents who owned a furniture store.

So with a little clean up and teak oil…I will have a cool vintage organizer with great history.

See… you don’t have to rid yourself of family heirlooms or vintage pieces; you just need to think outside the box and repurpose them.

So the next time you are cleaning out your garage or tinkering around a junk store, be creative and find other ways to store, divide and conquer organization.

 
 
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