penises, ferraris, and blue angels - oh my.

So last week, I was a bit bummed because I was reminded of the life and people we left back in Dallas. It’s a weird feeling to leave the nest, so to speak.

I had alone time this past Saturday, which was pretty fantastic. I got to do all the chores, meal prepped, and cleaned up after myself. It was probably the first Sunday where I felt calm and collected because everything was completed. It was also one of the first Sundays where the entire bay was clear.

Because Karl respects Blue Angels weekend.

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The whole week before, the Blue Angels would practice over the city – which I am terribly in love with. I would randomly speak to someone and be rudely interrupted by jets. Or, walk to a nearby shop and stop dead in my tracks when they decide to surprise everyone. It’s rather soothing. It keeps me grounded and reminds me what city I am in – that is, Heaven, USA.

So Sunday morning, we woke up at 9am and ate waffles – because #SundayFunday. At 11am, we were like, “Hmm, I wonder what’s happening in SF today.” It turns out, everything. Everything happened that day.

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We started the day at the Castro Street Fair. Random vendors, organizations, and penises were out. Yep, you read that correctly. It was Layla’s day, really. She got allll the pets from almost everyone that walked by and a homemade all natural bag of treats. After this little jaunt, we wanted to find food (and a drink) before we posted up for the Blue Angels – and decided on North Beach.

North Beach is Little Italy. Little did we know, the 150th Annual Italian Heritage Parade was happening. Clusterfuck is an understatement to describe the traffic. We had to park at nearby Chinatown and walk up using allll the stairs. I started to complain and thought, “You know what? I asked for this.” I wanted this move so I had to shut tf up. At the top, we were greeted by this view.

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So we walked to a random taco shop because it was so packed, we literally just looked for any place with a seat. In the meantime, people are passing out shots of Fernet Branca to the parade attendants. This was a THING.

Three tacos, a salad, and two sangrias later – the Blue Angels started. We couldn’t get out to a clearing fast enough and walked to a nearby square to see more of the sky. There was a Ferrari showing on the square. And Alfa Romeos, something Chris is convinced we need. So we watched the Blue Angels fly around the city above a group of Ferraris.

Yeah, we’re here to stay.

Sincerely, Tania

goodbye, dallas.

We sold our Dallas dream home. Like, yesterday.

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I actually loved that home. It was the peak of my Dallas life. 3-minute drive to the most coveted street of nice restaurants. 8-minute walk to the second most coveted street of nice restaurants. 9-minute drive to my office downtown. 3-minute drive to Whole Foods. 8-minute drive to the best grocery store of 18 different types of apples, all the organic veggies you can imagine, and random seasoning/sauces/spices that I cook with.

My life in Dallas was actually amazing. We found our absolute dream home with an unobstructed view of Downtown Dallas from the rooftop patio. I drove an adorable Mercedes that had the same energy as a yoga studio. I had an incredible group of strong women in my circle.

Then, we were given the opportunity to move to San Francisco - for a second time. During the first opportunity, Chris’s company had an opening to transfer. We visited. We pretended to be residents. We looked at multiple apartments and homes in and out of the city. During our weekend of research, I remember coming out of Starbucks only to have a pigeon fall and split open literally one foot away from my face.

I could not deny that kind of an omen.

At the time, we just bought this condo – living inside it for all of 2 weeks. Our savings were depleted. Our debt was high – furniture, extra fees, adjusted living costs, etc. The decision felt rushed. I knew it was a once in a lifetime opportunity so we mulled it over for a couple of days before deciding.

Then, we said goodbye to San Francisco.

I shed real tears and closed that potential chapter of my life.

Almost two years ago, my company had a transfer opening. I thought to myself, “Okay, we tried this before. Let it go. Your Dallas life is wonderful.” Our life in Dallas IS wonderful. It’s safe. It’s calm. It’s comfortable. Most of the time, I wake up so happy that I have to exercise to get all the energy out. It would be crazy to leave for a city where 70% of the residents are struggling to make ends meet.

But I couldn’t shake it off.

I talked to Chris and applied. One full month goes by with no response. During this waiting game, we had no reason to be down in the dumps because our consolation prize is that we get to stay in our cushion life. In the meantime, Chris and I started a pros and cons list. There were so many more pros to stay in Dallas, but if there is one thing I love about our partnership, it’s that we have the same mindset, goal, and expectation out of life.

We didn’t want our life set in stone at the age of 30.

We peaked in Dallas. All our goals were realized. Now, we are to sit here and enjoy the fruits of our labor. Except, that’s not our personalities at all. We always have a goal in the back of our minds. We always have things we want to accomplish, experiences we want to gain, and objectives we want to meet. We are not the type to settle down, raise kids, and continue the normal cycle of life.

So we made the jump. We played it ‘safe’ and told each other that we will return in 2-3 years and continue our happy life. But we didn’t expect the level of happiness that the Bay Area gave us. Now I know that I felt contentment in Dallas, but I feel true joy in San Francisco.

When we bought our current home, we knew we wouldn’t return to Dallas. It didn’t feel real until yesterday - until we sold the last legal tie to Texas. Now it’s legitimate. And it’s kind of sad. But also freeing. But also so, so sad.

This chapter is fully closed.

Sincerely, Tania

on trying to be a bit more sustainable.

Here’s another buzzword for you.

Sustainable.

I bet THAT word makes you roll your eyes. It’s okay. I had the same reaction. San Francisco is all about sustainability. Every restaurant comes with three different bins: compost, recycle, and garbage. When I first came across these filtering bins, I was stressed as shit. I felt like I was being tested in public – and I felt extra stupid reading packages to see if something is compostable (which is not the same as biodegradable) or just recyclable.

Fast forward a year – and I’m a champ now.

A little bit ago I mentioned going green for the sake of the bay. Well, I decided to take it further – for the bay and for my wallet. We pay for the amount of trash the city collects every week. The medium bin we use now is $11.60 a month more than the smallest bin. It is actually not much – but then I realize I am throwing away money to throw away trash.

What. In. The. Actual. Fuck. Tania.

So I started figuring out ways I can cut my trash in half. I started composting, in addition to the recycling I already do. I started looking at my trash to see the bulk of the issue. The main culprit – outside of food waste – is my love of single use wipes/towels. It’s what I use to clean up anything and everything. In an attempt to cut down on that, I bought food spill rags to replace most of the paper towel use, and cleaning rags to replace the Lysol wipe love affair. So far, so good! I use a color coding system so we don’t accidentally use the rags used for cleaning toilets as cleaning up spills. Because no.

I think the biggest difference in changing is composting. If you are new to composting, all you need is a bin with holes in it for air circulation and direct sunshine for the majority of the day. That’s it. If you do it right, there should not be any smells. I don’t get direct sunshine for long due to Karl, so I fully utilize the weekly pickup service the city offers. What’s worked for me is getting a cute small compost bin to immediately put food scraps in – and moving it outside when it’s full. I’ve tried this for two weeks now and it’s been wonderful! My bin sits on the counter in the accent color of my choosing – copper *insert heart eyes* – so it is very hard to miss. We also put it right next to our wood cutting board for ease. Trying to set everyone up for success here!

Next thing to eliminate is Ziploc bags. I use reusable glass and plastic containers often, but there are times where you just need Ziploc bags. When I sit and think about it, I don’t have a real reason to use it outside of marinating meat. Everything else is better placed in plastic Tupperware. So I searched and found reusable water and air tight silicone versions on amazon that is sitting firmly in my cart.

Another sad thing I hate admitting is I use disposable makeup remover wipes. Did it kill your soul to read that as much as it is for me to admit? Like, how wasteful can I be? On top of it, it is $7 for a 30 day supply. Even worse – I don’t wear anything waterproof so I don’t need to use special wipes. Ugh. Tania, why you so dumb?? Of course, I got myself washable makeup removing cloths the same night I figured out how stupid I am.

It’s actually really hard to see money go out for these things – but I firmly believe it benefits me in the long run. $20 for a pack of 3 large reusable silicone bags vs disposable cheapies that I buy every month. It’s painful at first… but you see it in the long run. That’s been my main reason. More reusable items means my average grocery bill goes down and my monthly trash bill goes down.

I am not going after the zero waste lifestyle. I never want anything in my life to be so extreme that it’s something that I have to work around – hence why I left the paleo diet and took the lessons learned – but no harm in keeping a mug in the office for coffee, using rags for spills, keeping reusable grocery and produce bags, and minimizing food waste.

Sincerely, Tania

it's coming from inside the walls.

We took a wonderfully long break from doing any home repairs the past couple of months.

What started as a race to finish our forever home, turned into a slow and steady pace to the end.

You know when you get a new toy and you get obsessed with it? Maybe not. But I do. I get a new book and I’ll baby it to make sure the corners stay straight. I get a new bag and I’ll condition the leather and make sure it is kept out of harm’s way. Fast forward 3 months – I shove the pristine book into the new bag that I smack pedestrians with as I walk out of the train station.

The house is like this – except I still take great care of it. I realized that if we didn’t have this house, we would be living in our 650 square feet, second floor apartment with old carpets and a kitchen the size of our current bathroom. Being in my current home is a gift in itself, no rush to perfect it. We have a long time before we can pay off the mortgage anyway.

The next project is removing the wonderfully horrendous wallpaper in our hallway and second bedroom.

 the beautiful hallway wallpaper.

the beautiful hallway wallpaper.

When we moved in, we were greeted by a musty smell from random parts of the home – makes sense since the house is 90+ years old. What we didn’t realize was that the wallpaper is the culprit! As we peeled off layers of wallpaper, fresh whiffs of the smell came back. Delicious, right? I’m just glad we’re physically removing the source of the smell now.

We took half a day to start part one. We would’ve done more except we found some water damage under the second bedroom’s window so we had to pause and get someone out for that repair. Next weekend, we’ll put some joint compound over the now-naked drywall. The weekend after, we’ll prime. The weekend after, we’ll paint.

AND – we cleared off the front yard! We had this dense clump of juniper bush that spiders love to start families in. We also had this psychotic wrangle of vines that broke our shovel. And these beautifully dead rose plants under the window. Well, everyone’s been evicted. The front yard is butt naked. We’re going to treat the dirt to prepare for planting later in the fall.

Slow and steady.

Sincerely, Tania

labor day weekend.

I finally did something local this past weekend!

You have to hold your horses though, because it’s not particularly exciting.

Saturday was our get-shit-done day. We woke up at 730am to make an 815am Barry’s Bootcamp in the city. Then did grocery shopping for the week. Then Chris worked on the wallpaper removal while I cleaned the kitchen. Then the dining room rug arrived – YAY. It was perfect so we immediately adjusted the dining room. Then we swept and vacuumed. Then laundry. Then I don’t know what happened. Before we knew it, it was 4pm and we ran out of steam.

So Sunday, we protested and embraced an anti-productive day. On a whim, we ran off to Sonoma. I have lots of Napa stories, but never any Sonoma. There’s this adorable little square surrounded by wineries. Just old buildings, horses, and old farm-equipment trucks – just a whole different vibe than Napa.

I must’ve enjoyed because I accidentally got plastered.

I still don’t know WTF happened. Because I woke up at midnight on my bed – chipper as hell – telling a sleepy Chris that I found crunchy French bread in the oven. So I sat in bed eating steak tartare at midnight. The next morning, I was back to normal – no hangover.

Yep, metabolizing wine is my superpower.

So that was my weekend.

All this to say that I’m almost done with my dining room!

Sincerely, Tania

Karaoke World Championships

One night, Chris was in Las Vegas for work. He finished early and didn’t have any clients to entertain so he googled events happening that night. It just so happens that a local bar had a karaoke competition. With singing being his first love, he drove up and decided to enjoy the evening.

He made it into the state championships.

Since he won me over in high school with his voice, I tagged along for that long weekend. His first song was Matchbox Twenty's "Bright Lights" - the same band that he would sing in high school to trick me into dating him.

He won first in Nevada and got into nationals.

Of course, I then had to return and support him!

He didn’t make it into the semi-finals. We had a feeling after day two. While there was a LOT of talent involved, we started seeing a trend. The ones that made it to the semis were ballad and Broadway focused, whereas Chris sang a rock song – and had another rock prepared. The only non-rock he chose was Michael Buble’s “Feeling Good”.

As you can see, he is not shy.

It is worth noting that he flew back on Southwest – and his checked luggage was stolen. RIP this beautiful, navy Ermenegildo Zegna suit.

Sincerely, Tania

on comparing ourselves.

When I was in college, I wanted to be a physician. I thought that I would be married by 22, so that my husband can take care of the household finances while I make $0 completing medical school and residency. I thought I would have a kid soon after medical school when life is less stressful. I even bought a new car in college and financed it so that it is paid off by the time I was married so as not to burden my future husband. This is what I honestly thought.

Never mind that I knew deep down I did not want kids – and only planned it because it’s been what’s expected of me growing up female. Never mind that I did not believe in marriage as I grew up very familiar with divorce – and rapidly shedding all religious ties. Never mind that I did not want to give up my entire 20s to work in a field where I quickly lost passion – due to the “kill the symptom, not the source” of healthcare.

I planned my life as such because it was what society, family, and school said was the right way to live my life.

I was 24 credits short of graduating when I realized I didn’t want to do it anymore. Of course, at that time, my major was set in stone – and I didn’t have the luxury to swap. So I graduated and dabbled in healthcare, accounting, insurance, and education to figure out what I want to be “when I grow up”. In this sense, I am still very much in the beginning stages of my career.

At 24, I had the wherewithal to realize that maybe I should figure out what the hell I want out of life and work towards it. But – people don’t mature at the same level. What I learned at 24 might not have hit someone else until mid-30s. Or 40s. Or 19.

How many people out there still feel worthless because they haven’t hit the arbitrary goals created in their teens? How many have conceded by marrying someone they feel deep down is not the one because they just want to be married already – so they can show others and themselves of their “achievement”? How many have stayed in a job they are not fully invested in because they think they are past the age to start in a new industry or go to school? How many had kids before they found themselves and/or figure out why they want to have kids? Even worse, how many have set their lives in stone because they made a decision they were not ready to make to begin with? I know of countless people that can no longer afford school to change industries, can no longer follow their dreams because of a child, and/or feel stuck in an empty marriage due to uninformed decisions?

We compare ourselves to the version of life that society said we should have at (insert age here). It takes a deliberate act to stop listening to society’s expectations.

Does anyone really sit and think why we follow these expectations?

  • Having kids early is because the average life expectancy back then was much, much lower. 
  • Buying a house early is because you had the aforementioned kids early - and no one really moved around back then.
  • Having a career path set in stone is because the dream is to find a cushion job to stay until retirement - since you didn’t move and had a family to feed. 
  • Getting married young was a thing because you had to find a partner to take care of your kid in the home you never leave while maintaining the same job until you die.

This is what our life goals are based on? A backwards life where women couldn’t earn enough to take care of themselves + the reason to have a job is survival, not fulfillment.

Is this real life?

Sincerely, Tania

bathroom /// version 2.0

Whoa, this is a reveal that took way longer than necessary, no?

Remember when I posted about our very exciting bathroom demo and then never followed up?

I got sidetracked trying to tackle the living and dining room walls – and searching for the perfect shower curtain (the struggle is real). Then got sidetracked looking for a new laundry basket. Then got sidetracked looking for the right art to hang. Then got sidetracked looking for a towel bar and hand towel ring. Then I never found the right towel bar and ring, so I just gave up entirely for a solid three months.

Here it is – FINALLY.

This my most beautiful vanity. We found it at the Restoration Hardware outlet with matching sinks – but without the granite or hardware. After 9 months with a beautiful Carrera marble countertop, we decided we cannot own anything more high maintenance than my hair on a humid day. If you have not tried the beauty that is Carrera, you need to learn that it takes on EVERYTHING you leave on it. If you put on makeup around it and drop a few speckles of powder or liquid, it will stay there FOR LIFE. To that, I say GTFO Carrera.

I got the mirrors at Wayfair. It was important to me – in the most first world problem ever – that I have two separate mirrors with rounded edges. Then of course, my industrial aesthetic love affair continues with the overhead lights.

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You didn’t think I would post a photo of my toilet, did you? But I did. Because it is new and beautiful. This is my most prized possession because the old one was from like 1900s with a wood seat and you can never get clean. I would rather pee outside than on that. 

Look at the art though! I wanted something neutral that is mostly warm gray to tie in our cool gray floors and warm greige vanity – yeah, I have great taste – and found this random piece while shopping for planters. I do want to talk about the elephant in the room – that is, I didn’t mean to make a statement placing Dallas above the literal shitter. I wanted to have a Dallas tribute somewhere in the house. It just so happens this matched the bathroom.

We originally had a very cramped elderly friendly shower tub thing. We started the demo with full plans to keep a shower, but my fantastic MIL said that if we were ever to have kids – don’t even ask me as I have the magical IUD powers for the foreseeable future – they will need a tub. We were going to do a tub and shower in our future master bath, but she reminded me that I would definitely not want my sticky screeching kid using my beautiful freestanding bathtub. She was right.

So we moved the wall to make room for the only tub that will fit in this space. We are extremely happy about this. I didn’t want a soap dish hanging out, so we had this nook put in that fits everything perfectly. We also brought up the shower head to 7 feet because of my amazon husband. My shower curtain has a removable inner liner that I can wash – which was EXTREMELY important to me. It also has a sheer portion on top so you can see through it, but since I had to get an extra tall version, I can’t reach it anyway. So it serves for someone to see in – lmao.

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The original towel bar was behind the door – which always makes me think of apartments – so I got a new one to fill in this open space above my hamper and scale.

I know what you’re thinking. Are there two doors to the bathroom? Yes, there are. The previous owners extended the house in the back and found this to be the only solution to gain access. We are eventually closing out the sliding door in the back next to the toilet since that will be our master suite.

Next update will be of the living and dining room – fingers crossed in the next month!

Sincerely, Tania

on mental illness.

I have a friend going through a rather difficult time right now.

There is a very real chance her boyfriend is developing a mental disorder.

After a few weeks where she was deemed the bad guy by her boyfriend, my friend feels guilty for wanting to bail on the nine year relationship - and wondering if she is in the wrong. And I don't know what to say. In this instance, the man is becoming sick. It's not right to leave based on a sickness. On the other hand, if she stays and takes this emotional beating, then she is enabling him. If she leaves in his time of need, then she is in the wrong. So what do you do when you know someone is developing mental illness but does not want to get help? He has a girlfriend and best friend willing to take him - and probably front money - to get treatment. He doesn't take the offer out of pride

How are you supposed to handle this? Mental illness is a real issue. If left unchecked mental illness can lead to homelessness or violence. After a violent act, everyone preaches "you should check in on your friend if you think they are having problems" or "you should get help for those you love". What do you do when the friend lucidly describes the episodes they are having and doesn't think they have a problem? Where are the memes and perfectly designed IG quotes for these situations? Because the fact of the matter is you can't make them go to the doctor. You cannot call up their doctor to verify they actually made an appointment. You cannot call a clinic to make sure someone visited. You cannot visit and ask for results. Unless the friend committed an act that hurt others, you cannot grab and physically force them to check in anywhere.

You can't do anything. You talk on the phone until you're blue in the face - or until they shut their phone off. Then what? Is it on you if you did everything you are legally allowed to do but they still shit on your offer to help? Is it on you if they end up hurting others while your hands are tied?

Where is the line where you're allowed to go back to your own life?

The truths are: the victim has to want your help and the victim has to be strong enough to accept help.

There are so many tips of living your best life. 

You want to eat that ice cream? "Treat yo'self, boo!"

You are too tired to work out? "Be confident in the skin you're in, babe!"

You want to spend your last $5 on Starbucks instead of gas to go to school? "YOLO!"

We're so focused on "living in the present" but forget the past. There are steps prior to developing mental illness. I don't know his past trauma, but I do know that everyone has - at least - one. I have one. You have one. Your best friend has one. Your boss has one. Your boss's boss has one. We all have at least one. The difference is that some of us want to get past it - instead of hiding it behind perfectly staged Instagram photos, well phrased Facebook statuses, and carefully chosen spoken words.

The problem with mental disorder is the stigma. This guy is afraid of the label 'disorder' because it signals weakness. We need more emphasis on the normalcy of being affected by childhood trauma. Moms are fighting each other on raising children the best way, presumably because they were raised the 'wrong' way and gave them enough of a complex to find the 'right' way. How about we sit and look at what went wrong. What prompted the thought that there is a wrong and right?

And, how about we all seek help? I don't want to know your problems, just like I don't want to share my problems. But we owe it to the world - since our actions affect others - to seek help. As grown adults, it's time. 

Sincerely, Tania

 

 

 

trying to be a bit more green.

Every time I read about people going green, half of me rolls my eyes while the other half aches to hug them. Do you know this feeling? It’s like “stop using buzz words to fit into a special niche” but at the same time “thank you for your efforts”. 

When I first moved, there were spiders throughout the-entire-home. It was terrifying. I can squish spiders just fine – but how do you squish the ones on the ceiling without risk of it falling on you? Potential solutions: get a tall husband, get a long handheld vacuum, or work on perfect aim. I got two out of three, so I am doing my part.

I posted a message on NextDoor to see if anyone had any pest control recommendations. I was met with my own neighbors telling me to trap the spiders and release outside, spray rosemary oil around the house as it is a spider deterrent, and/or leave them alone.

HOLY BLUE STATE.

Tania 2.0 decided not to respond for a bit – let the words sink in for 24 hours as to limit gratuitous rage while trying to make nice with new neighbors. The next day, a delicate butterfly of a neighbor kindly told me that everything we do in our area gets fed to the bay. The bay. MY bay.

So here I am, trying to go green.

I bought all these houseplants – and I am obsessed with all of them. As someone who hates trinkets for the sake of ‘décor’ without real meaning, my style has always been bare. Large furniture + the three trinkets I find as I travel whose value is strictly tied to memories. It turns out, plants can double as décor – so I bought them all.

The last one is my prized possession - the fiddle leaf fig tree - and I have been crazy-plant-lady indecisive in finding its forever pot. I was worried it was slowly dying but found out, not one hour ago, that it's actually thriving. Look at that little leaf coming out on top of the bud! 

It is a difficult thing to balance my love of functional decor + zero clutter. As I am typing this, I am tracking a small planter's arrival for the flower shaped snake plant I'm getting for the bedroom. All the while trying to figure out where to place the four pots of herbs I'm growing in the kitchen.

I read somewhere that NASA recommends an air purifying plant in at least 6” pot for every 100 square feet. Not sure how effective it is, or if it really matters since the bay has little to no pollution and I open my windows every afternoon – but I’m almost to hitting that goal.

I am trying to take it a step further by looking into more natural cleaning products. I have seen the full spectrum between “chemical free, environmental friendly” cleaners to using vinegar and water. I did a bit of research and learned that vinegar water needs to soak the item for a solid 15-30 minutes to only be 80% effective. I am sad to say that I will not be joining the vinegar water party as I am in a deep love affair with bleach.

I'll keep you updated on my enthralling domesticated life.

Sincerely, Tania

getting a dose of positive energy.

Earlier this month, I went to Sedona for the first time.

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I haven't heard much about it, until the week before I told other people I'm going to Sedona. Then everyone talked to me about it. I heard it is the center of positive energy - with vortex areas randomly dispersed throughout. I am not sure how to think about that - but Chris seemed to love the area the last time he visited, and I trust his judgment.

First off, I haven’t been in Arizona (outside of driving through to get to the bay from Dallas) since I did a family trip back in 1998. We went straight to the Grand Canyon. I set my expectations low because anything compared to the Grand Canyon is just trash.

Amazingly enough, Sedona IS full of positive energy. We didn’t visit any spas, healing centers, psychics, or even found a vortex. But the red rocks are incredible. It was searing hot, and I constantly checked the weather back home to remind myself that I paid actual currency to fly into this oppressing weather – but the vibe is worthwhile.

Yes, the sun sears your skin. Yes, the air is so dry I almost thought I was having an asthma attack. Yes, I was bloated the whole time from the heat and plentiful salty foods.

Maybe it’s the combination of natural history and quiet that makes me love it. Or, the cute town similar to something out of Flintstones. Or, the fact that it’s Grand Canyon Lite. Whatever it is, I am definitely returning.

Sincerely, Tania

Sincerely, Tania

the first normal.

I want it on record that June 23rd was the day that my life went back to normal.

 the view from our Sunday hike.

the view from our Sunday hike.

Ever since the house purchase, every weekend was spent renovating, cleaning, scrubbing, painting, and taking out trash. If not doing that, we’ve been entertaining house guests – which is great as it forced us to get our shit together faster. But after a while, I started dreading the weekends. Not because I resented the house, but because I work very hard to keep my weekends mine. As two adults without kids, we take life seriously. We like to get up and decide what to do the morning of – brunch? Sure! Kayak? Sure! Weekend at Tahoe? SURE!

But lately, weekends have been planned way, way ahead of time. One weekend we tore up the overgrown vines on the front yard. One weekend we unpacked the bathroom. Another weekend we unpack the kitchen. Another weekend we buy curtain rods for the house.

Every weekend was planned.

Until this past weekend. The last couple of months I was in some sort of work overdrive. I wanted to perfect the things I’ve learned for my role while learning new things. In addition, I had my first work party to plan – for executives, no less! All that stress paid off. My boss was incredibly happy with my work – and gave me the following Thursday and Friday off. 

 the view from my impromptu day off.

the view from my impromptu day off.

It turns out having days off without a plan is the best vacation I can ask for. I spent the days slowly unpacking more boxes, cleaned all the dishes, washed all the laundry, and other general chore-like activities. But it was different. I didn’t have a timeline this time. No one was coming over. No end goal. It was just me, making my house a home.

Two days of that changed everything.

On Saturday, we woke up and went on a nice family hike. Followed by a late breakfast/brunch. Followed by Yogurtland - yeah, I’m back to being less than 10 minutes away from one because #obsessed). Followed by a drink while watching a movie and small errands. Followed by a late dinner.

 this happy, tired face when we reached the top!

this happy, tired face when we reached the top!

On Sunday, we did the same damn thing.

AND IT WAS HEAVEN.

Bonus points that Chris found out our backyard is 20 degrees cooler than the front living room because it’s covered by a large ass tree made of angel wings. Obviously, this led us to take the TV outside.

Finally, a normal weekend.

Sincerely, Tania

so my life is a mess.

So the past two weeks has been a crazy blur.

I had a birthday in between – which was not as exciting compared to our BATHROOM REMODEL.

The before is a hot mess of poorly laid tile, old countertops, shiny salmon-y walls, warm color scheme, walk-in accessible shower, and an old smelly toilet. Every time I go in, I cringe. I clean it up and down and cannot get rid of the gas station pee smell. So, so gross. I think it’s embedded into the walls at this point.

So we aggressively shopped for bath tubs, toilets, vanity, countertop, mirrors, lights, etc. Demo day was Monday of April 9th. Finished date is expected to be tonight or tomorrow.

In the meantime…

I had a pre-planned trip to Chicago with my mother-in-law the weekend before taxes were due. The trip was amazingly relaxing. We both have been to Chicago so it was more about getting away and connecting – a weekend of spa treatments, eating, and shopping.

Then more scrambling happened since taxes were due Tuesday.

Then another round of scrambling because I had to file my oath and bond to become a notary before my commission expired.

Then a third round of scrambling because we had to register the car since our Texas registration ended in March.

Now here we are – after our first free weekend together to smooth out our crazy living and dining room walls. Finally, one of our DIY projects is almost complete. We’re 75% finished smoothing before we start priming + painting.

Fingers crossed that I have my life together by the next post.

Sincerely, Tania

the first commute.

First day commuting from the new house, and I was greeted by stomach knots. I know the bus stop location. I know the route. I know the departure and arrival times. I just hate trying new commutes. There is really no reason for it. I hate it so much, I always over prepare.

This morning was no different.

I don’t know why I hate new commutes so much. I know how to pay easily. I know where I’m going. More importantly, I love change! My whole life is about getting to a place where I’m comfortable and then changing it all up because I want a challenge.

I walked with Chris and Layla to my bus stop – only to realize it was the wrong stop. Thankfully, we caught it in time – and the right one was literally across the street. It was a breezy four minute downhill walk to the bus stop overlooking the San Francisco Bay. Every morning, I walk alongside mountains and water. The only way that walk could be any better is if someone carried me from my home to the bus.

It turns out, my bus is a temperature-controlled, cushion-seated bus with free Wi-Fi. I sit in disbelief for 20 minutes before realizing the opportunity I am gifted every morning – 50 minutes to meditate and prepare myself for the day ahead.

After months of stressing over finding a home, winning a home, paying for a home, preparing for the move and actually moving, this is exactly what I needed. I sit and remember how lucky I am to be here – how lucky I am to be able to buy a home in my dream area – how lucky I am to find a fulfilling job with great coworkers (and boss!) – and how lucky I am to find a very supportive husband. It brings me back to a moment of gratitude and living in the present.

I hope every morning starts this way.

Sincerely, Tania

the first weekend.

We moved!

Somehow, it went smoothly. You know when you pack and you think, “Oh, it will be quick. We don’t have a lot of stuff.” This time, it was true! With San Francisco’s premium on space, Chris and I really think hard whether or not we need something. Combined with my minimalism mindset, we are champs at assessing the value of everything prior to purchase.

Now that the move is done, my living arrangement is crazier than ever. Because we want to smooth out the living room and dining room walls, we kept both rooms pretty empty. So, we have most of the furniture tucked away in the crazy back room that is pending legalization. Because we plan to remodel the bathroom asap, we couldn’t fully unpack bathroom items – so it’s clumped together in the second bedroom. Because the fridge didn’t arrive on moving day as scheduled – this was the one snafu – we couldn’t fully move the kitchen.

It really is a crazy mess – but whatever, I am moved!

The first weekend was spent going back and forth Home Depot. I really think I spent more waking hours in Home Depot than in the home. Like I mentioned before, we want to smooth the walls. I don’t mind the regular orange peel texture that most modern homes have – but these walls were crazy clumpy. It doesn’t show on the photos very well since there are no close ups, but it’s like an exterior texture.

Here we are, two crazy kids with no experience in DIY anything sanding a quarter of one wall before realizing there might be lead paint behind there… so we got lead/asbestos masks.

We got one portion of a wall done with the first layer of joint compound. Since we didn’t know what we were doing, we stopped to reassess – and I think we dig it! Fingers crossed we get the living room smoothed by next week so at least one room is completed.

Sincerely, Tania