So, besides all of the house-hunting fun, I’ve been a pretty productive girl lately. Sunday was also a day of baking and jewelry making. After making those Honey Oat biscuits for breakfast, I decided to bake chocolate chip cookies with hubby after dinner.
We stopped by the grocery store on our way home from our pizza dinner and ended up picking up a bag of Nestle Tollhouse semi-sweet chocolate chips for some serious cooking-baking.
I’ve always thought the recipe on the back of the chocolate chip package to be the best…haven’t found one that beats it yet (though I am open to suggestions).
Madagascar vanilla extract – one of my fave baking ingredients
Mixing it up
Adding the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. I subbed my white wheat flour I got at TJ’s earlier for the regular flour in the recipe.
Lookin good already!
I made the cookies too big…probaby twice as big as they should have been thereby causing them to bake strangely. I mean, the recipe said it yielded 5 dozen (seriously!?) but I only got about 30-ish? Forgot to count.
They tasted good and that’s all I really cared about. 🙂 Especially with some lovely 1% milk.
Chocolate chip cookies are the best!
So besides all the baking fun (which hubby is really enjoying!), I’ve been working on a very important project – wedding jewelry!
Specifically, I’m making jewelry for a good friend’s wedding, including: 5 bridesmaids necklace/earring sets, and jewelry for an honorary bridesmaid and 2 flower girls.
I have a couple options for the the bride, so I can’t wait to show her the finished jewelry so she can make her selections! 🙂 Wedding jewelry is my fave to make.
Btw, no update on the house situation just yet. I saw 2 that really get me thinking and 1 I kind of want to make an offer on, but I dunno…hubby and I will have to make lots of changes to afford a house, but maybe it’s time to change? I know I need to downsize on all my stuff, so I definitely have some clutter clearing projects in my near future. I’m actually a bit of an organization junkie, so I’m looking forward to a good day of projects.
Has any one out there been house-poor? If you bought a house, were you happy being either house-poor or not house-poor?
11 thoughts on “Productive Couple of Days”
Love your jewelry – the deep blue-black is gorgeous! Andy and I made these cookies a few months ago from America's Test Kitchen – I agree tollhouse is good, but these were the best we've made!
I'd also love to try this recipe for Double Tree Hotels Best Chocolate Chip Cookies…
I was a nervous wreck when we bought our house because I was paranoid we would not be able to pay the mortgage if one of us lost our job. Unemployment in NY is only $405. a week. Anyway, my husband said if you live that way, you'll never progress. So we bought it. We don't go out as much as we used to but we have other couples as friends that we get together with. Now, strangely enough, I was recently laid off from work and we refinanced our house right before that happened so things are tight and scary but we will find a way to make it work. Worse comes to worse, we can always sell it. Home ownership is definitely 200% better than renting because it is YOURS. You are not throwing away x-amount of dollars to someone else like you do when you rent. Good luck!
My husband and I bought a house last year and we absolutely love it! We watch a lot home-buying shows and sometimes people can be really clueless when it comes to buying houses! Some things are really important to us when making our choice which are:
1) Definitely do NOT be house-poor! Don't buy more house than you can afford, and a good rule of thumb is to be able to afford the house even with ONE income.
2) Follow your budget as closely as possible, just because you like a bigger/nicer house doesn't mean you should increase your budget by 100K! 10-20K is doable though. You wouldn't believe how many people in these shows spend an extra 100K they don't have to get a house they 'really liked'.
3) Think about what kind of home you want: starter? Then you don't have to buy that home that's too big that costs too much! Long-term (like ours): make sure you plan for enough room for kids etc!
4) Don't underestimate house upkeep bills. I didn't realize how much utilities increase compared to apartment living. I'd say include in your budget (including mortgage) about 40% of your mortgage for utilities!
5) Don't get caught up in 'living in a house is a better investment because you're not wasting on rent'. Really you need to consider other things, like how much down payment etc etc. Depending on the amount of your mortgage, even with a low-ish interest, you'd still be putting in 80-90% of your payment toward INTEREST ONLY! So YES it's good not to waste money toward rent, but it's only really true if you have a good downpayment. If you're paying rent, but saving up for a house, you'd be paying less in interest in the long term!
Good luck! 🙂
We just bought our first home and we are definitely house poor! I'm hoping we can make it through. Chris is looking for a different job and we are trying to limit a lot of things. It's so hard because we want to do a lot with the house like decorating and other things, but it is so nice to be a home owner! There is something new every day. I hope to post something tonight hopefully. Good luck with the searching!!
Loved Chii-Wey's post . . . so very true. We didn't go over our budget, but we will definitely be watching our pennies. That interest stuff is just amazing to me like they said. If we put an extra 300 a month to our mortgage we can save soo much more money in interest. crazy.
I know this is totally random but I LOVE your baby blue mixer! I have a pink one (cuz I'm obsessed with all things pink!) but that is such a cute color and I've never seen it before!
Those cookies look so good, I agree they are the best!! Your jewellery looks fab Diana.
I did not get the cookie memo to come up. I so would have made a road trip. We use the whole foods chocolate chips since they are the best for B!
House hunting is so fun. Our first house was great – too small once we had a child – or so I thought. Could be I love to collect too much. Second house – the jury is still out. This one is twice as big – the agent was a very good sales person. Not sure we need all we have – since it has just been filled with more stuff. I am starting to get in clean out mode because a lot is just not working. We have a front porch and I love that. Some of the other things are up in the air. I agree with the one income. I am so glad I am able to be home with B. It is very important to me. We still need to do the landscape and will probably have to give up eating out for awhile but it will be worth it. Don't go more than you are comfortable with.
Hmmm, I'm going to say that these are the best chocolate chip cookies I've ever eaten. I'd say they are better the second day than the first…
Cookies look fab. The house thing is probably one you will have to work out for yourself, but you've managed to make savings before so I'm sure you will be able to again.
I'm sorry, but why on earth would anyone ever entertain the thought of being house poor before jumping into a huge financial decision such as buying her first home?
The rule of thought is that your mortgage should not exceed your gross income plus %10 (i think?) to give you a cushion. Chii-wey's list is a really good one to follow. If you're serious about buying a home, make sure it's something you can afford because — GASP — you do not want to be house poor. Yeah, it's great owning a home, but what's the point if you can't even afford a chair to sit on in that home?
I would also recommend you take a closer look at your budget and lifestyle. An example, nix going to the grocery store almost every afternoon to pick up items for that night's dinner only. How about making a food shopping list of all the ingredients you need and then doing all of that shopping on one day? This will nix a lot of impulse buys (i.e. Trader Joe's) and force you to look for items on sale that week. Also, maybe only eat out once a week instead of your usual 3+ nights? Ccut down on those extras you really don't need.
If you find yourself cringing at all of these suggestions, well, then you're really not ready to become a homeowner.