the most serious halloween event.

I mentioned that Halloween took up my life in October?

Look at the photos below and find out why.

 The Royal Wedding.

The Royal Wedding.

We had to decorate our side of the office, the front lobby, and pass out random decorations to the office. And, of course, get our costumes on point. Down to the WEDDING RINGS, y’all. #officegoals

This is my first year participating in the company’s Halloween parade. Every time I order something, I get a bit worried I’m taking it too far and wasting money…

BUT - check out the other contestants.

There were plenty more contestants I didn’t get good photos of. And office decorations. One floor did Santa’s workshop. One floor did We <3 the 90s. One floor did Stranger Things!

Yep, that’s my office.

Sincerely, Tania

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.

Blue Angels.jpg

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.

Pup2.jpg

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.

Bay Bridge.jpg

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.

IMG_1027.jpg

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

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

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.

red rock.jpg

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