sustainable efforts /// body butter

A few days ago, I wrote about my first world midlife crisis. It is going strong in my heart - and I am holding on to this motivation for dear life. I love love LOVE caring about this.

Result: I made body butter!

whipping the butter after it’s melted.

whipping the butter after it’s melted.

Part of my issue was continuous purchase of body lotion. I didn’t use much of it back in Dallas, but Bay Area weather is a piece of work. Cold every morning, warms up every afternoon, and cools off again every evening. My skin is a hot mess of ashy spots, so lotion has been my bestie best each night.

I’ve been leaning more towards natural body lotions as I’m eating a more plant based diet. I’m taking care of my body from the inside, how weird would it be if I fuck up the outside? Do you know how much all natural body lotion and body butters cost? Too. Damn. Much. Plus, there is a lot of surface area to cover.

Since there are so many DIY lotion recipes out there, I thought this could be my first attempt at sustainable skincare.

We went to our regular natural grocery store and found everything easily. The toughest part in creating this was choosing the right combination of essential oils. Since I am putting it on my body and going to bed with it, it is very important that I don’t smell like a hippie.

The end result is hippie adjacent - BUT I AM HAPPY WITH IT.

Being able to make this opened my eyes to how simple it is to create skincare. This body butter starts off a bit oily, but sinks in to make my skin dreamy. I hope to keep up with this as this is incredibly affordable. Bonus points that I can stop purchasing single use plastic pump bottles and make new batches (and many different scents) in minutes!

I keep this jar in the bathroom. It is self stable, but who cares because one batch creates a cup of body butter. I foresee using this up in a few weeks.

I keep this jar in the bathroom. It is self stable, but who cares because one batch creates a cup of body butter. I foresee using this up in a few weeks.

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

things to do. and done.

October (and half of November already) flew by.

It has been a mad dash to finish projects and buy extra items we needed to prepare for Thanksgiving.

Quick Recap:


  • Executed Halloween in the office. Huge. Ass. Deal. Literally the reason why October ran away from me. (more on this later)

  • Long weekend in New York. You guys, I don’t hate it! (more on this later)

  • Removed all wallpaper from the hallway.

  • Mud the hallway as it was just plain drywall behind the wallpaper.

  • Primed and painted the damn hallway.


  • Long weekend in Big Sur. (more on this later)

  • Re-plumbed the kitchen sink.

  • Installed water line to the fridge – thereby opening up a great amount of fridge space taken up by a water filter.

  • Installed BRAND NEW WINDOWS in the living room + one of the two in the bedroom. This was a 7 month battle.

  • Ordered and arranged the new bed frame for the guest room.

  • Peeled the wallpaper of the guest room.

  • Removed the built in desk of the guest room.

  • Swapped the old AF ceiling fan of the guest room.

  • Bought ALL Christmas gifts (yep, all) for our adopted families and toys for tots.

  • Bought supplies to wrap them. Individually.

  • Bought new grown up bedding for the guest room. The old one was bought on the cheap for a home staging for when we rented out our Dallas house. Scratchy AF.

  • Contacted Restoration Hardware to resend our master bed replacement part. They sent it to a very old address.

  • Bought a new rug for the master bed and rug pad.

  • Bought a new rug for the guest room.

  • Ordered new dishwasher.

Double-pane, tinted picture window up front - FINALLY.

Double-pane, tinted picture window up front - FINALLY.

Weekend Before Thanksgiving

  • Paint the master bedroom

  • Swap the ceiling fan so there is an overhead light.

  • Dismantle and rebuild the bed with the replacement part.

  • Lay out the new rug pad and rug.

  • Lay out the new rug for the guest room.

  • Install the curtain rods for both master and guest.

  • Get the damn curtains for the master bed.

  • Install the new dishwasher.

  • Put on a glass opaque thing so people can’t look in from the weird back room.

  • Reorganize the back room for consignment as there are TWO couches in there for sale.

  • Organize the study as it’s a hot mess.

  • Hang up 8 frames.

  • Mat the leftover 2 frames and hang.

  • Put things on Craigslist to unclutter.

  • Paint the doors and rehang.

  • Oh, also polish the door hardware are they are originals and we want to keep them.

FYI for the friends I’ve ignored on social media, text, and real life. Maybe, just maybe, I will have more of a life in December.

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.


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.


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.


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