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