my yearly getaway with my mother-in-law.

I didn’t grow up with the traditional, movie-worthy mother-daughter relationship. We are not the least bit close. She grew up in Indonesia. I grew up in Texas. She was raised around her extended family. I was raised alone as the oldest of four kids. Our entire upbringing is different, and we don’t understand each other at all. My husband is blessed with an incredibly strong headed, independent and supportive mother. Not knowing how to connect with someone who is just trying to love me and include me in their lives and being used to butting heads with my own mother, I did not know how to handle this dynamic. Most of the time, I just stayed quiet and observed.

After three years of marriage, I felt comfortable enough to own up with my mother in law. I am not sure if she saw this as a “finally this girl let’s me in” or a “sweet heavens the ice queen melts” but words cannot express how big of a deal this was to me. My time is my most prized possession. Between a full time job, my marriage, my hobbies, my very important alone time, and my friends, sharing my time is the greatest gift I can give anyone.

We did a duo trip to Chicago last year. We were partly worried about this test trip as we are both devout Introverts. The city was cold, wet and miserable - but I was grateful that we were forced to stay inside and talk to each other. It apparently helped since we made immediate plans for the next year before leaving.

This year, we made it out to the Red Mountain Resort in Utah. 


I have never stayed in a resort. The closest thing I had to a resort was a cruise, which is still my most terrible vacation ever because I was stuck on a boat surrounded by staff trying to sell me things, junk food, loose children, and rowdy people. But I can get used to an assortment of exercise classes, helpful seminars, healthy meals, and spa on site - sitting right next to Snow Canyon.


Each day was a race to how much zen I can soak up. We arrived Saturday afternoon to a delicious healthy lunch, stretch-out-your-legs trail hike, barre, and mani/pedi. 

The next day started with a short hike through Snow Canyon. After an accidental tan, we did a foam rolling class before a creepy body treatment involving a vischy shower. I’m sorry to say that I am totes newbie when it comes to spa treatments as I am how-you-say totes cheap-o. I haven’t heard of a vischy shower because body treatments are something I can usually do myself. This was a red clay treatment where they wash you, pat organic, fair-trade red clay danced on by the natives with the tears of direwolves on your person, and proceed to cocoon you on a table in a room that resembles Dexter’s fun-time workspace. Then – GUYS then – she puts a warm towel on my face, presumably because most people love to steam their faces. I am not claustrophobic but it’s a different experience when you’re cocooned in plastic with a warm towel firmly placed on your face, intermittently pushed against for good measure. Then, I get rinsed by a shower with 7 heads. 


In other circumstances, this story would end in a happy ending. However, it ended up an awkward experience where one half of me was warm with the water while the other half was cold waiting its turn.


Monday was the last full day at the resort. By this time, I was anxious about going back to work and wanted to make sure I got all the quiet time I can get. Funnily enough, this translated into a morning of exercise. I tried pilates – insert groan here. I always thought pilates was mindless yoga. Because you stretch and hold poses without the inner chakra talk to yoga. But, guys, I learned it was originally meant for boxers to control their core! Who knew?! Thanks to this class, I learned how to hold my head up during sit-ups, v-ups, and general life the right way – after 32 years of living.

I also went to a weight loss seminar that was, thankfully, led by a real MD with full credentials that focuses on fat loss vs. regular weight loss. I learned so much! I am trying to apply this to real life – follow ups on this later. Then, obviously, I ended my day with a facial and massage. In the meantime, I found out Mama Hillin uses La Mer and that I needed to step it up. I haven’t been able to part with my moneys for La Mer, but I found my own skincare system that works best for my skin (so far). In between all this, I was able to sneak in quality hammock reading time. I haven’t been too big on hammocks, because I have lived in cities where it’s so humid, I get damp lying there. But, y’all, I am totes getting a hammock for the backyard.


Next year’s location is TBD. I am taking suggestions!

Sincerely, Tania

the good old days.

There is a Woody Allen movie called Midnight In Paris that I am obsessed with. Owen Wilson is always playing Owen Wilson, I’m sorry to say, but the rest of the cast is so amazing I kind of forget about the main protagonist. It’s about Paris in the 1920s with names like Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, etc. Since literature was not my strong suit in grade school, what with the whole English second language thing, I could never keep track of the timeline. This whole time, I thought it was just a wonderful fantasy movie of big names. Because there is no way all these greats could be all from the same time period, right? Then I came across a book in my local bookshop in the Ferry Building called The Paris Wife. I don’t know what made me pull it out and read the back, but it showed the same names. It blew my mind learning that those guys really DID hang out together back in the day!

It made me really think about modern life.

While we’re so incredibly lucky to be so connected with affordable travel options, email, and social media I feel kind of sad that we all have to be connected all the time. Modern life is missing necessary mystery, is it not? The circle I mentioned would go to Pamplona to see the bull fights, frequent cafes to meet each other, and write letters. So much was unknown that it made people a bit more interesting. I don’t want to be those people that poops on technology, because I’m a huge fan, but I kind of hate that we all know so much about each other. Like, I know that a friend of mine had gyro for lunch, and another is shopping for a new plant, and another is sipping margaritas in Mexico. I kind of miss the good old days where you learn everything in person. So you meet up for dinner and share all the things that’s happened between now and the last time you saw each other. Having the quiet time in between helps other edit their stories too so you cut a lot of bullshit filler conversations. Doesn’t that make life more interesting? Now I feel like most people are too busy taking photos to have something to show on social media instead of being in the present. Even worse, everyone is so big on transparency and being real that they don’t learn the line between honesty and airing your dirty laundry.

Secondly, I feel a big gap in books in terms of true literature. It doesn’t take much to get published now, so it’s not the lack of options. Remember in grade school when we would read The Great Gatsby, To Kill A Mockingbird, etc? I wonder what authors in our time will jump into literature status to be taught in future schools. Because, I have read a lot of trash. I have fun using my imagination when I read it, but it’s still poorly written. Needless to say The Paris Wife ignited my interest in literature.

Sincerely, Tania

too good to be true.

The rain is a piece of work, isn’t it? Almost every weekend since the first of the year has been rained out here in the bay. It’s been that way since I moved west. I keep hearing about the drought crisis, and then I move here and BAM I brought the rain with me from Dallas. The rain has been so bad that we’re having drainage issues - which makes sense given that the area is so used to drought, there is no real structure to move water. This is the current life drama.

I think we’re finally getting a new car soon. We’ve been searching for a fuel efficient SUV for like ever. While I do not drive to work, we do long ass day trips almost every weekend. When it requires an overnight, we’ve had to rent an SUV. We had a brief moment when we wanted a Subaru, then an Alfa Romeo LOLs, then a Jeep, then smh I needed a BMW stat, then back to Subaru. We missed our old Mercedes crossover. I sit inside so calm and soothed, high up off the ground, clean drive, roomy, etc. We keep going back and forth between a luxury SUV or a functional one because of this. A few people suggested the Lexus SUVs, which makes sense. Reliable, I think? I don’t know. I have a hard time paying good money for a Toyota, let alone a Toyota “upgrade”. So here I am huffing and puffing because the new Rav4 makes the most sense. Until I saw this.


Guys, that’s a Transformer. When it’s quiet in the night, you say a secret prayer and it becomes this.

range rover.png

True story.

In addition to the car, Chris decided we are totes def buying land in Napa to prep for our retirement life. I was totes def rolling my eyes until he found 5 acres for only $140k on Mount Veeder. I totes def shooed us to visit this past weekend. LOLs it was almost vertical, in the trees, between two creeks. SMH goodbye land dreams. Maybe next time.

Of course, as we drove home, Chris decided to stop by another land listing. It’s more expensive and less land, but the listing mentioned that a 4k square foot home was on it. That’s right. Was. Fires. Ignoring all bad juju, we were drove to see it. It had better open space, but still not enough of a view for us to move forward. Plus, I don’t want a haunted land. I don’t know if anyone died in it (don’t think so), but still don’t want any percentage of being haunted in the future.


Sincerely, Tania

first time returning to dallas.

I returned “home” this past weekend. I say that with quotations because it feels uncomfortable calling it home. I look around and see Dallas and feel that familiar tinge that makes me think of “home” but at the same time feel like an outsider. Everything is familiar: the wide skyline with the reunion tower and triangle building, the flat topography that’s both suffocating and comforting, the bridge that tries so hard to make downtown and south Dallas “happening”, the many gentrified neighborhoods that everyone complains about but also love because that means there are more places to hit. While there are minor changes, everything felt so familiar.

It’s jarring. All my old emotions came back. I felt safe because I know these neighborhoods and have a hard time getting lost. I felt happy because two of my best friends live 5-10 minutes away from my old neighborhood. I felt confident because old landmarks that helped me navigate are still there as my beacon. Why did I move again? My life was so comfortable and secure. I had a tinge of sadness loom over before my heart texted my brain in rescue.

“Tania, do you remember how lonely it was to be physically closer to family but mentally separated? To live alone half the time because Chris’s job took him away? To only have 2 hours in the morning for active things before you’re stuck inside from the heat and humidity? To have one way of getting anywhere, driving? To get looks from Asians and white people alike because of your relationship? To work in a non challenging field because good paying jobs were scarce in the city?”

When I’m in the bay, I long for my friends. When I’m in Dallas, I long for home. I wonder how long until one place becomes my everything. Or maybe that never happens.

I moved from Indonesia when I was 8. While I remember my life in Jakarta, I never felt the same level of comfort. I’ve returned and remember little areas as if I dreamt it, but there’s no real pull. I lived in Dallas for 21 years – all over the metroplex. Do people just slowly forget and move on?

Sincerely, Tania

that time Chris won a tiara.


You know how the hubs likes to sing? His passion for singing is only rivaled by my passion to have him sing for money. Because, if you’re good at something don’t do it for free, right?

We went to a karaoke competition in the Castro. Are you new to SF neighborhoods? If so, that is the gayborhood - aka the best part of town. It is clean. It is safe. It has manicured lawns. It has freshly painted homes. And it has the best local business puns, like a laundromat called Sit and Spin. And a manicure place called Hand Job. 

It’s my fave because it also has a bougie Indonesian restaurant and a tapas place with killer paella. Yeah, we love this neighborhood. The last Wednesday of the month, a karaoke competition happens. The winner gets $100 - not much, but good motivation/excuse to visit our old haunts. 

We walk in to a semi sparse bar where the host is in drag writing current artists on a spinning wheel. Initially, I panicked because I thought the karaoke contest involves Chris spinning the wheel to choose who to mimic. Names on the wheel include Beyoncé, Arianna Grande, and Madonna. We quietly sat in the corner waiting for things to start, nursing a serviceable Old Fashioned.

Then a man walks up and starts talking to Chris. He points to his wedding band and asks, “I see you have a band. Are you married?”

“Yes, I am.”

“Where is your spouse?”

I sat six inches away shocked that that was questioned. Because who else would he be married to than the girl sitting right next to him? Then I’m like, ah, yes, I am in the wrong crowd.

The man was a bit disappointed to hear he’s married to me. Then quickly recovers and told me how hot my husband is. Realizing that Chris might be a piece of meat, I thought it is in my best interest to not touch him the whole night - keep the mystique up and potentially gain votes. So I kept my hands to myself. 

This is my first time in a gay bar, and it is hella weird to realize that Chris is the star between the two. But I sit back and watch this man randomly work up the courage to kiss Chris’s cheek (after I goaded him to LMAO). My very polite southern gentleman later told me he does not enjoy the feel of beard against his cheek. 

If you haven’t heard Chris sing, you shouldn’t start with him singing Michael Buble. Because it is a panty dropper. Not gonna sugarcoat that. Obviously, I played to the crowd and told him to keep Feeling Good. Obvi, it paid off. He gained many fans, and won the $100 bill. Alongside some Crown. And a tiara. Yep, he won a tiara. Such a proud wife, I am.

Sincerely, Tania

on football.

Today’s thoughts are sponsored by football.

America’s sport, I’m coming for you.

This is the worst sport to watch on TV. They play for a solid minute (if you’re lucky) and then replay the same tackle in different angles for the next ten while talking about their feelings on what they saw. Then they cut to the players chewing on their mouth guards or yelling plays at each other or the coach looking pissed off or the confused souls sitting on the bench. THEN – doritos.

After one minute of playing and 10 minutes of bullshit, we see commercials that paint the perfect picture of those that watch the games. Pizza. Chips. Beer. Actual football happens very little in that 3 hour game.

I die.

But this is not why I hate football.

I hate it because the young men (majority of which are black) are cheered on in a circular stadium where they give each other concussions. What does that remind you of? I’m picturing Roman fights at the Colosseum.

It makes me extra queasy because in any other instance, there is discrimination against black people. But on the football field, when they represent ‘your’ team and your city, they are heralded; on the field when they ‘fight’ with each other for your enjoyment. Then, when they are no good to you anymore, they are forgotten again.

I am always extra sensitive when it comes to racism against black people. I don’t watch a lot of tough black movies because I think, “that can totally be happening right now.” Like Get Out? I haven’t seen, but know the premise and ending. I can see that happening in real life. It might sound extreme to you, but I also think it’s extreme that humans were enslaved because of the color of their skin. Maybe if it were misshapen humans, I can see why they would want to control it – like they do with animals. But real, normal human beings. So I get queasy.

And football makes me queasy. Because the colosseum is all I think about.

But, you know, go cowboys?

Sincerely, Tania

on babies.

We have been talking about babies a lot recently. Believe me, neither one of us have baby fever. What we have is a baby spreadsheet. As a woman, I have an expiration date for that portion of my body. It just so happens to be in the next five years. This past year has been a blur. So for the first time ever, I am making a conscious five year plan. Because apparently babies take 9 months to cook through. So I have to subtract 9 months from my 5 year plan to make this work.

I hesitate to tell anyone in my life I’m thinking about babies because it’s always met with the same positive barrage of questions. Are you pregnant? Are you trying? How many do you want? Just once, I’d like for someone to respond “why do you want one?” I feel like the true test of whether someone is ready is confidently answering why they want one.

To fulfill your life? Yikes, you should probably try to find contentment prior to creating a human.

To make your husband stay? No comment.

Because you’re so full of love you don’t know what to do with it? DING DING DING. 

That’s where I’m at right now. 

Of course, we have stressful and sad moments. But in general, my marriage is strong and we are incredibly happy with each other and our lives. Instead of thinking how stressful it is to pack a kid to take with you to travel, we think how fun it would be to see the world through fresh eyes. Instead of already being annoyed at the thought of arguing with a toddler, we see the potential to raise a truly great human being. So maybe we want a kid.

But it doesn’t mean it’s confirmed.

Because you guys. Kids are expensive. And I am a fan of living within my means. If all Hell breaks loose and we both lost our jobs, we sell the house to pay off all debt and start fresh in a cheaper city. Layla can be left alone at home while we both work. But with a kid? Things change. If we’re both jobless, only one parent can work to make ends meet. The other has to stay with the kid or make enough to afford a sitter. Basically, a comfortable life with a child means we have to maintain our level of income. Which isn’t difficult. I know the chances of both of us getting fired is very slim. But this is why my life never reaches shithole level status. I have a contingency plan.

But a child depends on you.


Sincerely, Tania

the secret to staying chill as fuck in life.

So you want to calm tf down.

You’ve come to the right place.  

I am a very calm person. When someone told me that at first, I was confused because I was just breathing and living normally. Then I got it again. And again. And again. One time, my coworker asked if I had a punching bag at home because I am so chill in the office. LMAO. I don’t have one, but I am privy to this sacred life secret. Be forewarned that once you know, you will never be able to un-know. So if you’re the type that likes to blame everyone else for your shortcomings or issues, please discontinue reading as this greatness will be wasted on you.

There are three secret sauces to calming the fuck down in life. You may choose the correct sauce to apply to each aspect in life.

Secret Sauce #1

Be Prepared. The best way to avoid emotional overload is to be prepared. You know that meeting you just did a shit job on? Maybe next time, read ahead and prepare what you’re going to say? You know the stress of planning a birthday bash for your significant other who thinks birthdays are a big deal? Set a reminder to plan a month out. Guilt and anxiety are kept at bay if you just prepare yourself.

Secret Sauce #2

Don’t Give a Damn. There are so many emotions that are tied when you care too much. Be picky with what to care about. Your mom does not approve your new man/job/apartment/clothing? Who. Gives. A. Damn. This is your life. Unless you live at home, what she thinks doesn’t make a difference on  your life. Does she call you up to tell you how disappointed she is? Because there is an ‘ignore’ button on your cell phone – did you know that? I’m thinking you didn’t. Are you all jealous and hyped up when someone in your life succeeds and you are at a stalemate? Who. Gives. A. Damn. Stop stalking their page to secretly hate on them and talk shit about them. Stop staging #fablife photos to compete, only to cry yourself to sleep at night. Here’s a freebie life secret: that person is winning at life because they aren’t thinking about you. Full stop. Instead, why don’t you reach out and ask her how she got where she is? How did she lose all that weight? How did she get that job she’s in love with? How did she find peace in life? The best kept open secret in life is that it is free to ask successful people how they got there. 

Secret Sauce #3

Be Honest. This one is a very tough pill to swallow. It requires you to be mean with yourself. Comparing yourself to that one model that’s hot af and makes you sad when you see her? Be honest. Are you really willing to put in the work to look like that? Do you have the long limbs and torso to look that tall? I mean, really. Break yourself down. Because sometimes you have to be reminded how dumb your comparison is before you let it go. You want the Kim Kardashian booty without thick legs? Do you have money for surgery and/or is that where your body keeps your fat? Then you’re shit out of luck, friend. That’s to get past jealousy. What about when you feel the anxiety for when you make up a lie to cancel plans? Avoid the lie and just tell the truth.  Did you have one too many happy hours that week so you just want to chill that night? Say so. You actually don’t like them as a person and only said yes to spare their feelings? SMH – why are you talking to them if you don’t like them? Just stop! If you don’t know how, message me to enroll in my “How To Cut Down Your Friend List To People You Actually Like” course. It’s a highly reviewed course.

There they are. The three secret sauces. Grab what you need and sprinkle it on any situation that you’d like.

Of course, there are times for when shit hits the fan. Like a true fuck up. Then, and only then, you can panic for one full minute. That’s it. Because if it’s that bad, you need to fix it stat. So you get to wallow in fear and self-pity for one minute, and then move on. Because you are an adult. And you need to get your life together.

 End tough love.

 Sincerely, Tania

my first world midlife crisis.

I love this healthy movement the world is in right now. We’re pushing exercise, eating plant based diets, minimalism, and sustainable efforts. Love the shit out of all of that. It’s a fantastic example of using social media for good. We’re now able to see the efforts of others and learn different tips from anywhere in the world! This helps us make better choices and expand our efforts. 

Unfortunately this also shows us how bad things have gotten.

I follow sustainable hashtags and accounts so I am putting myself in front of all of this; it’s giving me a bit of a midlife crisis.

I thought I was doing such a good job. I swapped disposable disinfectant wipes for microfiber cloths. I swapped paper towels for washable rags. I use nothing but reusable bags. My diet is heavy on produce so I reduce packaging - I even dropped produce bags in its entirety. I swapped disposable makeup remover wipes for washable cloths. I started composting.

But there’s so much more I’ve forgotten.

Like that I buy all purpose cleaning product every few months. This alone adds up: toilet bowl cleaner, counter top cleaner, glass cleaner, etc. Then comes body lotion, creams, wash, sunblock, etc. As a lady, I’m also big on skincare. You don’t even want to see my line up for face stuff. And haircare. Lord, all my haircare products.

Being more informed means I can’t unknow the things I’ve learned. I can’t not think about how I’m contributing to it all. I can’t not add up the amount of plastic bottles I toss out when I finish up the contents. The worst of all, some of these contents are green household cleaners. Or organic, natural, locally made lotions. Kind of misses the point, I think.

I am still advocating the swap. I’d rather people go for natural (and effective) products in plastic than chemicals in plastic. But I feel like I can (and should) do more. Maybe this will be my point of focus for 2019.

Sincerely, Tania

day one of 365.

I feel like everyone’s first day of a new year involves groaning on the bed in pain or full-on active mode to get a start on their new healthy habits.

Both sound terrible.

On NYE, I made it until 11pm. WEST COAST, y’all. That means 1am Central. I am proud of myself. However, I did take a nap between 10-1045pm. Suffice it to say, it ruined my plans to hit the beach for a little hike and sun bum time.

Instead, we took our time getting up and did a 4 mile hike nearby. We did a portion of this hike two days prior. Half of the trail are large, loose rocks. I fell going downhill and mashed the knee I gashed open in 2017. Obviously, we had to return so I can show the trail that it did not kill my spirit. I showed THEM alright. I made it up and down on a wobbly knee for Layla to have her little Instagram moment on top of this hill.

So my dog’s fur is thick. It’s winter time so she has her winter coat on. When we got home, a bunch of ticks started coming out of her fur because they gave up on life and cannot find her skin. This poor girl got a tick bath outside when it was like 57 degrees out. She was so mad when we were finished, she kept standing up, twirling, and dropping herself on her bed so it makes a thunk each time.

She spent the rest of the night, snuggled by herself on her bed trying to get her normal smell back.

But that was my first day of 2019. Simple, no pressure, and just bursting with love.

Hopefully, that sets my tone for the other 364.

Sincerely, Tania

because new years.


Ah, a fresh year is ahead of us.


You can roll your eyes. I know a lot of people that hate New Years’ Resolutions because it never works. Well, that sounds like a personal problem.

I wasn’t able to set resolutions for the past three years. In 2016, I was too busy waiting  to move in to my newly built condo and figure out a way to afford life in Dallas proper. In 2017, I was too busy planning my move to North California and figuring out a way to rent the Dallas condo and afford a life in SF proper. In 2018, I was too busy trying to buy this damn home in the bay and sell the new condo I lived in for less than a year – and not drown in a new industry.

Bbbuuuttt it’s 2019! I am never moving again. I am doing well at work. I am going to hit 5 years married this May. This is it. This is the year I get my shit together, get that bubble butt, pay off extraneous debt, do pistol squats on a mountaintop for Instagram, figure out wtf is the difference between a Roth IRA and… other retirement jargon, wear body lotion, bring heels back into my life, and get a perfect score in my yearly physical check-up. I’m doing it. 

Here we go!

Sincerely, Tania

our first cali christmas.


We visited my in laws in Ohio last year. I was in my ski jacket, hoodies, boots, etc. We got the fire going. It was snowing outside. All in all, very holiday appropriate. This year, we chose to stay in the bay. Now that we’ve found our forever home in our forever city, I wanted to stay. Plus, flying out for the holidays is expensive AF and y’all I just got this damn house.

I have been trying to start a new tradition since we got this house. We’re not religious at all, so we don’t do the whole church in the morning thing. We’re also not big on forced gift giving during the holidays, so we generally don’t have anything to open the morning of unless friends and families send us things. Since I don’t have any ties to Christmas, I didn’t want to do a yearly tree and follow trends for the sake of it. I can’t handle the idea of storing a fake tree for 11 months of the year, only to take it out and have it shed plastic pieces everywhere as I unpack and repack. I’ve been wanting to get random loose branches from the ground during hikes to make a very sustainable Scandinavian tree, but it’s either been smokey or raining here in the bay – so hikes are out of the question.

 Obviously, I wasn’t about to buy branches to have something to hang, so we didn’t do any decorating this year.

The weekend before, we had a quick road trip to Paso Robles. We’ve been there 3-4 times before, but it was extra magical this time around. I always feel vacations are more magical when places are deserted. We were able to walk in to many places and didn’t have to fight through crowds. It felt almost like a honeymoon.

Day One

Buellton + Emu Egg

We got to Buellton (tiny town an hour and a half past Paso Robles) around 11am. Obviously, we went right into wine tasting immediately - because #lushlife. We took things pretty slow. The town was sleepy so we acted accordingly. Casual tasting here and there, then a casual lunch that turned into leftover dinner because there was too much food involved.

Right before we checked in to the hotel, we drove by a tiny farm off the highway with a “Emu Eggs for Sale”. Obvi, we had to turn around and see what this is all about. Fair enough, it was a farm wonderland! I saw fat Turkeys (aka the survivors) fenced in with the hens. I saw wild turkeys roaming around the property following me from one corner to another making sure I stay in line. I saw an emu – who I thought was a him and intermittently forgot we were there to get an egg. I saw two fat ass pigs. Somehow I went through a solid 20 years in Texas without seeing a pig close up.

We drove by the pen, and this very bold pig walked right up to the edge to get a good look of Layla and the car. It was an intense 2 minutes. Layla, being the hot shot of her life, is not used to anyone or thing walking up to her in such a bold manner. I took 12 photos of the pig before I realized my pup was shaking in fear.

We ended the day with a final tasting at a boutique winery in Los Olivos – Blair Fox. Just overall, a magical day.

Day Two

Wine Tasting x 4 = No More Moneys

The title of the day speaks for itself, I think. Paso Robles has all the good boutique wines that are difficult to find in stores. That coupled with industry discounts mean we buy bottles at almost every stop.

Linne Calodo. I want to apologize for showing puppy butthole, but this is my view the majority of our travels as Chris handles her the best. Occasionally, my pup would turn around to make sure I am following the pack. Of course, she doesn’t do this when I want a photo. Beautiful wines and tasting room!

Thacher. This is a very cute winery and area. The wines weren’t my style, but it’s worth the stop. They had a very zen property with goats involved, along with a wooden Christmas tree.

Hilliard Bruce. Winery owned by fellow Texans, albeit Houstonians. Quiet, holiday tastings meant we got to sit in the owner’s living room to taste. Bonus points that they had 3 horses on site. The first one of the far left stable is very curious to see Layla. Layla, being a jealous bitch, had to stay back and fume by herself as she watches me pet them. The white and brown one liked me. The far right horse gave me the butt the first half of our visit, and moved his face away when I touched his cheek so F U TOO HORSE.

Daou. Hold on to your panties, boys and girls. This one is a keeper. Hands down, the most beautiful property in Paso Robles. Plus, they sold food pairings! + more puppy butthole.

We worked out Christmas Eve and drove back. Nothing particularly special except that I loved being with unplugged Chris <3

Christmas Day

We got to take things slow and took our time getting out of bed. No greeting other family members. No running over to a pile of gifts. We started with our usual morning espresso and eased into the day. We opened gifts from friends and family – I HAD A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS.

That new tradition I wanted, I am thinking it might be “weird” foods. Or anything new. This year, THAT EMU EGG. Look how majestic and beautiful. I wanted to save the shell but Chris reminded me that this is just an egg, so I felt fully stupid and nixed that idea. This was our first emu egg. I must admit, I had mild anxiety when it was finally ready to be eaten. During the whole drive, I kept joking about it being a dinosaur egg so I had the idea that it will taste like a reptile. But it did not. It tasted like a mild cheese. Like I had a spoonful of cheese with every bite. It was SO filling, that I did not even feel hunger until 5pm. Just pure fat and protein. As you can see, it took up the whole dinner plate. So yes, Layla also enjoyed her share of the emu egg.

You thought the day ended there. I did too. Lo and behold, after a month of rain, the bay gave us SUNSHINE. On Christmas Day. Road Trip 2.0 commenced! We went to Stinson Beach to enjoy a long family walk before dinner.

The highlight of this was that I met and petted and ruffled and scruffled a male purebred akita! He was brown with a black face and legs. Four years old with the face of a bear. I know and live with the breed, but he was so large I was almost afraid to touch him. I think he was a solid 115 pounds. Homeboy made Layla look like a rodent. Guys, I need a male akita stat.

And that was my Christmas.

Sincerely, Tania

what's in a name.

For the first part, we’re talking about last names.

With the feminist movement and questioning gender normative standards, I always seem to find myself arguing this topic with someone. When I say argue, I mean calmly explain my opposing opinion while others get in their feelings.

I’ve learned that a lot of women think changing their last name after marriage is “losing their identity”. That’s kind of weird that they think their identity is tied to their last name – something passed down by their father. The name given to you, the name you formed your identity around, is your first (and middle) name.

Furthermore, marrying means you are forming a new family. You and your husband (or whoever you are marrying) are now your own unit. Wouldn’t it make sense to share a name that reflects it? This is not to say you should take the man’s name, but more question why it’s such a big deal for many women. You can also make up your own last name.

I always get the argument that many women want to stay in their surname family unit. To which I ask why you’re getting married if you don’t want to be in the same ‘pod’ as your husband.

Next, first names.

I have been talking this out for a while now because I have a pregnant friend. Of course, I’ve already trolled her on her chosen name – but it makes me realize how big of a deal it is. Growing up with an ethnic name, I am extra sensitive to people’s reactions to it. I don’t mind the mispronunciation. However, I do mind that I wasn’t getting callbacks for my job applications growing up because they assume I have an accent, or unclear diction. I performed my own wizardry by cutting it down to Tania and get thrown job offers weekly on LinkedIn.

Safe to say, naming someone is a big deal. I prefer classic names that reflect a grown up. My friend prefers names that bartenders would have. LMAO, I joke, because she loves her chosen name.

But how big of a deal is this?? You are basically planning your kid’s future! Do you know bankers named Apple? Or a doctor named Indigo? Or an engineer named Quest? Shit, I don’t even know any Executive Assistants named Harmony. It’s like you are handing your kid their personality by what you write on the birth certificate.

Does that give you pending moms anxiety? It gives me anxiety for you.

Sincerely, Tania

the wardrobe project.

So I wanted to return to the blog with something meaty and substantial. But I’m just going to write what’s at the forefront of my mind – my wardrobe. I know it’s vapid and feeble – but I have been thinking about it so much lately I need to get it out. This is going to be one rambling, stream of consciousness kind of post.

I used to be big on the minimal movement. I mean, I still am – but I take the lessons from it instead of following made up “rules”. Anyway, I did the whole capsule wardrobe thing for a solid 2 years. And it worked well! I don’t like thinking about clothes, or what to wear, or how to style, or to dry clean, or to try things on, or to shop in general. I hate all of it. My goal in life was to be able to grab a top and bottom in the dark and still come out presentable.

It was a fantastic experiment – with one caveat. The more I wear my clothes, the faster it gets worn out. Things aren’t made the way they used to be. Fabric pills much faster. Colors fade. Whites get dingy. Everything shrinks. Plus, I will never be one of those people that stop everything and frantically work a stain out of their shirt. So one morning, I did a run through of everything I need to replace – and it’s like all of my work shirts. To top it off, my beloved Sam Edelman timeless Chelsea booties are worn down to the ground.

I am so lost.

I spent the past 4 years of my life trying to be as casual as possible. Now that I work at a bank, I have to look like a grown up. Sigh. To top it off, I have the most fabulous boss ever that uses the world as her runway. If you follow my Pinterest, kindly remove yourself as I don’t need you seeing all the random work outfits I’m pinning for ideas – and then fail to translate in real life.

I bought 5 pairs of heeled boots. I always buy a handful of shoes – because my feet are picky and I anticipate returning half, if not all. I liked them all. So, I kept them all. SO THAT PART IS DONE.

Next – bottoms. I have lots of slacks. Lots of skirts. So, I just got jeans. As someone with an incredible lack of torso, it is wicked hard to get pants that fit right. I am always in search of the lowest of the low cut jeans. I found some low rise jeans – and they reach my belly button. LMAO. Idk where high waist would even go. THAT PART IS DONE.

Next – tops. Because I don’t think people from my work read my blog and since I DGAF, let me share my complaint about work shirts. Button ups SUCK for those with boobs. Terribly. I can either get it too big and tailored in. Or, get the stretchy kind and still wear a tank underneath. Because there is always a gap. So I’m avoiding all of this by wear tees to work. I’m thinking I can distract from my casual top if I pair it with a smart pant/skirt, heels, and a blazer. Right? IDK. I’m doing it anyway. THAT PART IS DONE.

Next – I just have to wear them. The hardest part of it all since I have fully embraced the Bay Area life outfit of leggings, sweater, and Toms. I’m still working on this one.

To be continued.

Sincerely, Tania

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