Owned: A Tale of Two Americas

Yesterday, we had the west coast premiere of Giorgio’s documentary film, ‘Owned: A Tale of Two Americas’ at the SF Doc Fest.  Here are tidbits:

For those in the Bay Area, it is playing again at the Roxie on Wednesday night at 9:30pm, and will be at other film festivals too.  Giorgio is hoping to have the film picked up by Netflix or similar entity, and possibly explore a series where he breaks out each piece of the film for further discovery.

The film turned out differently than expected. When Giorgio first started the project, he planned to document how suburbia fared during the mortgage crisis – that’s how I got involved. But as the filming progressed, the subject of the film turned dramatically.

An excerpt from this review:

In Owned, the bigger story revolves around a contrarian interpretation of the usually unassailable notion that home ownership is an essential element of the American dream.

“What the film is trying to say is that it’s this double-edged sword,” Angelini says. “Owning a home is great and it provides security, and if you do it the right way it builds strong communities. It dictates where you go to school and your propensity to move up socioeconomically. But at the same time, if you let capital interests invade this utopian ideal and run amok, it can quickly become commoditized to a point that it becomes dangerous for society.”

Through the stark sights of abandoned construction projects in sweeping vistas, Angelini posits that the housing industry is an insatiable beast that subsists on the back of an ultimately self-crippling economic culture.

“The idea of home had been reduced to the most efficient capitalistic desires,” Angelini says. “Instead of bushels of oranges, they decided the best land use was a collection of air-conditioned square feet. There was lack of human intention, where you could almost feel these [markets] printing out this landscape of homes.”

Owned is also a tale of two Americas. In the five years he spent making the film, Angelini expanded his view into other planned development communities and ran headlong into how racial and economic segregation is inextricably linked to middle-class suburbia after World War II.

“The original idea behind the film was rooted in the relationship between design and commoditization,” Angelini says. “It became very clear that I couldn’t tell that story without telling the other side.”

The film goes to hollowed-out neighborhoods in Baltimore to locate the contemporary effects of decades of discriminatory housing practices and policies.

“White flight didn’t happen by accident,” Angelini says. “It wasn’t a self-selecting, albeit racist, situation. It was very much encouraged by federal laws that were interpreted on the local level in particularly bad ways.”

Other video excerpts here – hopefully we’ll have a local showing before long:


Trendy Tuesday

Trendy Tuesday – Shoo fly, don’t bother me!

It might not technically be ‘summer’, but it is upon us. The San Diego County Fair will be opening this Friday and my birthday is almost a month away – feel free to send gifts!

With the warmer weather starting to roll in, that also means it’s mosquito season. The number of diseases from mosquitos, ticks, and fleas has more than tripled in the US from 2004-2016. But the San Diego County health officials are on top of it this year! They are even offering free home inspections so they can see if you have any mosquito breeding areas.


There are other ways to keep the bugs away!

Architectural Digest (one of my favs) posted an article with ways to repel the mosquitos without lighting a dozen tiki torches. The five below are my personal favorites but check out the article here to see even more:

Link to AD article

1. Citronella Incense Sticks – I am ALL about saving money. For only $1.50, you can stick these bad boys into your garden OR put them in their terra-cotta holder and BAM! You have yourself a centerpiece!

Link to Citronella centerpiece

2. Palo Santo Incense Bundle – Each eco-friendly incense stick is harvested from naturally fallen branches from Ecuadorian Palo Santo trees. Burn the end and spread the sage-scented smoke to energize your space and naturally ward off insects:

Link to Palo Santo

3. Citronella Hanging Coil – This is an awesome art installation for your home! It is a coil that you light at one end. Then as it burns, a stream of citronella-infused smoke comes out keeping the skeeters away!

Link to Hanging Coil

4. Bug Repellent Cotton Bandana – How cool is this?! Use it to wear around your neck or use it as a place mat. Dogs would appreciate it too! Either way, you will keep the bugs at bay:

Link to Bandana

5. Faux stones – This canister is great to have as decor around your outdoor patio or even on a side table! Saucer radiates a soft glow in faux stone for a modern take on midcentury terrazzo. Burns the midnight mineral or citronella oil for up to eight hours:

Link to Lamp

Happy Tuesday everyone!

– KK

Trendy Tuesday

The weather is starting to heat up, which only means one thing… SUMMER is right around the corner! What? Didn’t 2018 just start? Yeah I have no idea where the last 4 months went either but summer vacation (ugh I miss those days) is here!

Now for San Diego, it’s pretty much 70 degrees year round. But we did have some rainy days this year so I think I can speak for all of San Diego, we are excited for longer days with maximum sunshine!

Nothing is better than kicking off summer than with a backyard party! There are so many unique designs to use for your backyard these days so I created a Pinterest board with some of my favorites! Check them out below!


1. Beer coolers – there are so many good craft breweries in San Diego so we got to make sure that beer stays cool! I love the idea of removing a plank out of the picnic table and inserting a cooler instead. Some people like to have a cooler on top of their BBQ so it’s within arm’s length for the cook.

2. Wine racks – calling all wine connoisseurs! You can do a DIY wine rack out of pallets and attach it to your fence or deck area!

3. Market lights – this is super trendy right now. Market lights definitely create an intimate setting. You only need a few strands too! Don’t go overboard and make it feel like it’s daylight.

4. TVs – this is super popular as well when it comes to outdoor entertaining. I like to make sure it has a proper cover though to keep it shielded from the natural elements. There’s some that you can buy but I’ve also seen people hide it behind small barn doors. And if this is all too much, I’ve seen people buy a roll down screen with a projector!

5. Fire pits – also another crowd favorite. People like to have them built into the ground but now you can buy them at the stores for a decent price!

6. Swim up bars – OK so this one might be a pretty expensive thing to do but come on they are so cool! I’ve only seen them at super fancy homes/resorts but if I could have a pool, I would totally have a swim up bar! However with small kids, it might get a little messy – I don’t think I want to be picking up soggy chicken nuggets LOL.

Happy Tuesday!

– KK

Trendy Tuesday – Eco-Friendly Homes

Hello to all our eco-friendly homeowners!

Now, I am NO expert. But I have read many articles and have come to the conclusion that this is where our world is heading. People have created eco-friendly cars, the next thing are homes! Check out below to see some of my favorite ideas!

1. Living Walls – a lot of homeowners are choosing living walls or green wall systems because it purifies the air, humidifies the air, AND reduces volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Studies also show that it promotes a happier and healthier family plus improves mental and physical health.

2. Natural Lighting – this is a major selling point for any buyer. The more natural light, the better! You can either invest in large energy-efficient windows (so the warmth doesn’t escape) or you can invest in a skylight to maximize that natural sunlight!

3. Mix and Match Materials – combining old and new materials is not only eco-friendly, but it gives your home some character! A lot of homeowners are now using reclaimed and re-purposed wood, which then keeps landfills empty PLUS has your home differentiate from all your neighbors!

4. Energy Efficient Appliances – there are energy-efficient options for practically every appliance out there! It will reduce your energy consumption, which then reduces your energy bill. People are willing to pay a bit more upfront to save themselves some money in the long run.

5. Gray water – this is the relatively clean waste water that comes from showers, sinks, washing machines, and other kitchen appliances. A major trend right now is to figure out a way to reuse your gray water. This water may have some traces of dirt but it is safe enough to use for outdoor irrigation! Builders can now install pipes that channel this water outside so you can use it!

6. Solar Energy – this trend has been around but it keeps growing. Investing in solar is definitely NOT cheap, but the financial and environmental benefits can be huge in the long run.

There is so much we can do for this beautiful planet – let’s keep it going!

Happy Tuesday everyone!


Trendy Tuesday – Organizing a Garage

UGH. The garage is the classic place to put random stuff that you can’t find a designated spot for – at least for me and my family. LOL. A lot of people use their garage more as a free storage unit instead of a place to park your cars.

With that being said, it’s probably time to clean up that storage unit attached to your home! There are many different ideas on how to organize a garage but here are some of my favorites!

1. Keep or Throw Out – First and foremost, go through your entire garage and decide if you should keep it or throw out/donate to charity. A good question to ask yourself is “Have I used this in the past 2 years?”

2. Visibility + Accessibility – Items that are used the most should be kept at eye level or below. Christmas and Halloween decorations can be stored high because obviously, you only use those once a year.ign: justify;”>

3. Shelving, Drawers, and Hooks – About 80% of your items can be stored on shelves. The other 20% can be stored on hooks such as lawn equipment. You will most likely need a combination of shelves, drawers, and hooks. Here are some items you can buy to be more organized!




4. Hidden storage areas – If you’re working with limited space, think vertically! There is such a wide variety of door/wall racks you can buy these days. These are great too if you have a “no shoes allowed in the house” policy.


Here is one for shoes –


5. Bins for Small Parts – There are always random screws and nails rolling around on shelves and floors. Get smaller bins for those smaller parts! If you really want to be OCD, you’ll label those bins too!


6. Sports Equipment – This just needs a separate area to itself because there is always so much equipment! A steel basket is perfect for all your basketballs!


This is a great piece for storing all sorts of equipment like hockey sticks and baseball bats!


7. New Cabinets – Want the max package, and add all-new cabinetry?

Happy Tuesday!


Trendy Tuesday – Refrigerator Organization


I am the QUEEN of buying tons of groceries/bringing home all my leftovers and just throwing them in the fridge … and then eventually throwing them out – ask any of my roommates!

Did you know that 40% of the food in the US goes uneaten? Which means that Americans are throwing out the equivalent of $165 BILLION each year! Yeah, I’m not helping the cause but HEY it’s time to change!

Some of you might already know these, but here are some tips I have learned about organizing your refrigerator!

1. Set your refrigerator to 40 degrees or lower – bacteria grows rapidly between 40-140 degrees.

2. Refrigerator door is the warmest – try to only store condiments in this area. Anything dairy (especially milk) or eggs will go bad quickly – the temperature fluctuates too much in the door.

3. Upper shelves are the slightly-warmer section – store foods that don’t have a health safety risk aka leftovers, drinks, ready-to-eat foods. Getting clear containers for leftovers is also helpful because it will help you see what the heck are in those white take out boxes!

4. Bottom shelves = coldest section – store meats, poultry, or any other raw meats. This also prevents drips from contaminating food below. If you take it out of the meat packaging, put it in a bowl.

5. Mason jars for salads – mason jars are the longest-lasting way to keeps salads. Dressing on the bottom, veggies and other salads goodies get piled on top. If you have a lid for your jar, they can last up to 5-7 days!

6. Containers – if you haven’t figured it out by now, I LOVE the Container Store! Here are some great containers to use for wine bottles, soda cans, eggs, etc!




7. Produce keepers – this will help you keep your produce fresh. Waste less and save more!


This is pretty much the same thing – if you want to keep produce in your drawer rather than a separate container, buy this insert!


8. Allow enough space between foods – air needs to circulate around food to keep it cool. A crowded fridge can create warm spots and cool spaces, which can lead to spoilage.

Happy Tuesday everybody!
– KK

TT – Closet & Drawer Organization

This week we are going to tackle the closet and dresser. Now everyone is going to have something different in size so you decide what is the best option for you! In my opinion, I think it gives everyone a piece of mind knowing that your closet and drawers are in order and you can see everything clearly – rather than trying to get dressed for work and can’t find that matching sock or that favorite blouse to wear for your big presentation.

First thing’s first, go through all your clothes and get rid of stuff you will not wear. Here’s a great question to ask yourself while doing this – “If I was out shopping right now, would I buy this?” I did this and half my closet was gone LOL.

Here are some tricks you can try at home to give you that piece of mind you’ve been wanting!

1. Drawers – Group Items by Category – This is kind of an obvious one. Sort each drawer by their type – undergarments drawer, top drawer, etc. It’s even better when you split your categories more than once. With the tops drawer, you can split it into tanks, short sleeves, and long sleeves!

2. Closet – Store all your seasonal clothes – Why would keep all your winter coats/sweaters in your closet in the middle of summer? Storing away your colder climate clothes is key! There are many way you could do this. I’ve seen people buy those storage benches and then place them at the end of the bed. If you don’t have much square footage to work with, then you can buy containers that go under your bed – I did this in college!


Link to Under Bed Box

3. Drawers – Roll > Fold – I just did this with my sock drawer (that was originally jam packed and overflowing) and it worked WONDERS – now my drawer is only half full! I do this with cotton shirts and sweats too. It will really make a difference, especially if you’re one to have a hard time letting go of things! Drawer organizer work great too!

Drawer Organizer

4. Closet – Adding Another Bar – You can easily double up your closet space by adding a second bar! If you don’t want anything permanent, these expander bars have become really popular and I can see why! Longer items on the top, shorter items on the bottom.

Closet Rod Expander

**Special Tip** for Drawers + Closets – Add Lavender – By adding a small cotton or linen bag of dried lavender, you will keep the moths away and continue to have beautiful clothing! Not only is lavender a repellant, but it’s also antibacterial and anti-fungal.

Trendy Tuesday – Pantry Renovation

Trendy Tuesday – Pantry Renovation

I don’t know where the last three months have gone, but it is now April which means time for some SPRING CLEANING! There are a few places in a home that always seem to get cluttered and messy. Each week during the month of April, I will talk about how to better organize your space so it not only looks nice but it will be easier to find things!

Some people might have an actual pantry, which is a small room next to the kitchen to store food/sauces/etc.  Others might have extra cabinets and shelving, which then becomes their official “pantry.”  Here are some ideas that can make sure your pantry doesn’t a hodge-podge of ‘stuff’:

Use clear air-tight containers – I swear this will solve half your problems. Best part about this is you can get them anywhere – Container Store, Bed Bath & Beyond, literally wherever. This will help your pantry look so clean and crisp rather than having a bunch of bags and boxes of stuff everywhere. Since they’re air-tight, your food will last so much longer – WIN WIN!

Door storage – This is great for “on the go” snacks or anything you would like to have easy access to! I’ve seen people use these for spices as well. If you would like to use this trick, I would recommend putting only light items in the racks so the door won’t be heavy/hard to open.

Clear bins or baskets- This is pretty similar to #1. If you don’t want to take food out of the original box/bag you can store them in an open container! You could also try to group them into categories like a bin for baking, grains, tea bags, etc! And if you want to be EXTRA organized, use a label maker so things are easier to find!

My best friend from college works at Facebook HQ and check out all their snacks in baskets/bins!

4. Use a cart – Bar carts have become extremely popular within the last few years – especially for those young millennials! They can also be used to store plates, bowls, mugs, whatever your heart desires! This idea is great for people who have a smaller kitchen and need more shelving.

5. Pegboards – I LOVE this idea! Pegboards would mostly be used for a man’s tools – well the times have changed and now people are using them in kitchens! This would be perfect for pots and pans rather than reaching far back into a cabinet or drawer. If can also free up some counter space. Check out our Pinterest page to see more photos of people using pegboards!


Have a great Tuesday everyone!


Trendy Tuesday – Home Office Ideas

This is currently something my mother and I are putting together so why not discuss it with all of YOU?!

A lot of people work from home, which definitely has some pros but also some cons. Pros – NO COMMUTE (for SD no sitting in traffic – ugh), you can wear whatever you want, get things done around the house while on a break, etc. Cons – LOTS OF DISTRACTIONS aka kids, TV, a refrigerator with endless amount of food…. yeah, you get the picture.

Creating the perfect home office is clutch. You are planning on spending countless hours/days in this space, so it is extremely important to create the perfect environment based on your wants and needs. Here are some ideas you can incorporate into creating your perfect home office!

1. Invest in a chair – if you are not comfortable, you will not get anything done. Spend money on a good one!  Some people might also consider getting a stand up desk due to back issues. Both my parents have one!

2. Function > Form – before you go crazy and spend thousands on pretty furniture, really think about it. What do you need at your fingertips? What is your workflow like? The shelving and storage spaces are there to serve YOU! The furniture should not only look nice and compliment the rest of your home, but it should also help you to be more efficient!

3. Add color – nothing is less motivating than being stuck in a gray or beige room. Colors can help make someone get their work motor running or get that creativity flowing. You can either paint a wall your favorite color, add some colorful artwork/photos, or a beautiful arrangement of flowers!

4. View – we all will wonder off and just stare into space for 5 min (or like 20 LOL) but it’s refreshing to stare into something more interesting than a blank wall. A window is ideal, but if that’s not possible in your space then hang a pretty picture!

5. ORGANIZATION – realize what you are. Stacker or a filer? If you stack, get some baskets to organize notes, mail, etc. If you file, get vertical file folders to put on your desk. Most spaces don’t have a lot of square footage, so take advantage of those walls! There are so many places that now sell floating cubes/shelves – SHOO random knickknacks!

6. Inspire yourself – for me this is a photo of my best friends. Seeing them gets me motivated, makes me want to get stuff done so I can go visit them or go on a vacation with them! It is nice to have a mini-shrine to help you get inspired or to remind you why you do this everyday.

Happy Tuesday everybody!

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