July 27, 2012

Paleo Woes

Um - I think I'm addicted to carbs.

The dairy I'm pretty cool with, but the carbs are killing me.

So far we've eaten:
steak (alton brown style) with onions and mushrooms - delightful
"paleo mashed potatoes" (caulflower, garlic, coconut milk) - GROSS and a waste of food and time
Roast Chicken (thomas keller style) - delightful
Roasted broccoli - yum
Bell pepper, italian sauage, spinach frittata - great for the first three days - now I'm sick of it
Zuchini stuffed with the same stuff from frittata - great for the first day - not so great after

We're going to do one cheat day per week (the day I make a long drive for work) and last night we did a MAJOR cheat with pizza (whole wheat thin crust), but still, pizza.

It was amazing.

We realized that we should really enjoy the pizzas and cheeses that we eat and not eat them so often that we forget what a treat they are.

Anyway - I just ate my lunch of roasted beets, romaine, raisens, cashews and oil and vinegar dressing.  It was actually pretty good.

July 25, 2012

Paleo Tuna Salad

So, I've struggled a little bit with carb craving.  I'll admit that last night my son's school sent Bulgar home with him (I know - San Francisco) and I snuck a few mouthfuls.  At least it's gluten free, right?

My biggest cravings have been coming around lunch time.  This is when I usually snack all day long to keep myself occupied.

I had some applesauce, a plum, and a few cashews - it worked okay.  Then it was time for lunch.

I decided to try to make some tuna salad.  Which I usually enjoy with Mayo, sweet relish, celery, onion, and heated up between two slices of sourdough with cheddar melted.  Yeah.  Shouldn't have written that.

So, to be clear - this is NOT that.  But it is a pretty good substitute and satisfied that craving.

And, I didn't feel like crap afterwards - so that rocks.


1 can tuna
1/2 avocado
1 rib of celery - chopped super tiny (I had to google that - kept wanting to call it an "arm" of celery)
1/8 red onion - chopped super tiny
1/2 cucumber - peeled and sliced into thin rounds
kosher salt
garlic powder
a great knife

If you have a crappy knife, this recipe will take you a long time and be annoying.

Mix the tuna, avocado, celery, onion together.  Mash the avocado up to bind the other ingredients together.  Add a little kosher salt, pepper and garlic powder (to taste).

Serve on cucumber chips (or in a lettuce wrap).


July 23, 2012

Paleo Day 1

I had a weekend in a hotel room.

My body hates me for it. I was bored and missed my boys and I over ate. REALLY over ate.

I'm cutting back. Only whole foods, no dairy, no sugar.

Tons of fruit, vegis, and meat - all organic and free range.

We started last night with Tacos.

Pork marinated for hours in Trader Joe's Chipotle Garlic Salsa
wrapped in lettuce leaves.


This morning (we haven't gone shopping yet so our green food is low).

Eggs with onions and avocado.

So far so good.

I think we're going to be going through a lot of avocado since that's what makes me not miss bread.

July 19, 2012

Disasterous Decision Averted

Well, THAT fell through.

I'm thinking we're lucky.

I still L O V E the house, but at almost 200,000 worth of structural and termite damage, we would have gone upside down just to make the house safe.  The bank enthusiastically rejected our lower offer.

There are other things on the market that might be better and there are many summers in our future.

Plus, we have other things we'll be spending our money on coming up so maybe this is a good thing.

I'm a little bummed though.

We spent a weekend away last weekend and the boy HATED sleeping in a room he didn't know.  Exactly why I want a room he can get used to in our sun escapes.

Anyway - there's time for that.

July 11, 2012

Boost MY Roost, pretty please!

Making It Lovely has teamed up with House Logic to offer 20,000 bucks to a homeowner for a remodel!

After our kitchen disaster (bad "handyman" doing crappy quality work), I REALLY want the bathroom to be done right - particularly since a little water is involved.

Anyway - I'm going to enter the contest to see if my fantastically funky bathroom could get a little love!

Here's my entry:

We have a really cozy mid-century two bedroom flat that has a great layout.  Our bathroom has the dreaded (or coveted) pink tiles!

All around the room there are pink and blue tiles with yellowing and cracked grout.  Along with that, there were multiple towel racks installed around the room.  I took them down, but the hanging tabs are still there since they were drilled into the tile.


The original (very groovy) medicine cabinet is there as well, but the mirror has lost its silvering, so it is just chipped and funky.

There is also the built in vanity, which is a great idea, but serves very little purpose (and the mirror is so low it only reflects very awkward images).

Then we come to the shower.  It is tiny, has no light, and is truthfully, a little creepy.  We took baths the first week we moved in because the shower was just a little too claustrophobic for us.  While I despise the tiles for aesthetic reasons, I'm really worried about what the walls look like behind them.  Like I said, they are original to the house.  We just took out some tile in the kitchen and parts of the counter were rotting, so this project is a little urgent as I think we might find water damage as well.

I LOVE our cast iron tub.  It stays hot for a long time and is a great size.  It has a few rust spots in it though and I would love to either replace or re-glaze it.


With a wild little guy, we spend quite a bit of time in the bathroom :)  We all sit in there for bath time, He joins us in our showers 9 times out of 10.  We all hang out and read books while he's potty training, and he plays on the floor while we get ready for the day.  You should see him "shave" with daddy - too cute.


I'd love to do a more classic look.  Keep the basic elements and layout we have here. 

1) Get rid of that pink tile!  Sheetrock the walls that aren't directly touched by water and paint a pretty soothing spa color.
2) Replace the tub splash area with white subway tile, possibly replace the tub (or reglaze).
3) Remove the built in vanity and extend the shower out an additional 20 inches
4) Tile the shower with simple white subway tile
5) An added major bonus would be a laundry shoot in there.  Our laundry is in the basement, directly below this room, and it would rock my world to have a shoot that could be childproof and save me the daily trips up and down two flights of stairs with the laundry.

Our house is mostly colorful and crazy (we have a toddler), so I'd like this room to be classic and mellow.  I'm hoping we have another little one on the way at some point.  We won't have the money for many years to do this remodel, so this would be a total dream come true!

July 7, 2012

Very exciting, possibly disasterous decisions

We live in a fog bank.

How many people can say that they wore sweaters and beanies on July 5th?

Well, we've actually had a lovely June. We've had sun almost every day and a high of 70 at least one of those. But every morning there is fog. This will continue until late August, when we'll get a full 4 weeks of regular sun, mid 60's- mid 70's (maybe a day or two above 80), and then it is fall.

I love our little flat, I love our neighborhood in all of its suburban in a city qualities, but I sorely miss sun and heat (not southern heat or tropical heat, just normal California heat. Even if we lived in a different neighborhood, I'm not sure we would get what I want.

Growing up (just 40 minutes North of San Francisco in a little town called Petaluma), in the summer time there might be morning fog, but then it got hot. There was running in the sprinklers, going to the community pool, popsicles in the front yard. There were summer nights that allowed you to keep wearing shorts well into the evening.

I desperately miss the heat.

A friend of ours was playing around with buying a cheap property in the Russian River. An hour and 1/2 North and on a river, there are huge redwood trees, hiking trails, and swimming beaches. There are a ton of wineries and starting to be some groovy food options too.

We go up there pretty regularly, but on a lot of the public beaches, the crowd can get kinda rough. The area, despite a lot of its great qualities, doesn't have a real economy, so some of the people coming to the river to enjoy it, just have different values than we do. And it becomes apparent when they empty their first case of budweiser, start cussing at the kids, and laugh when their kid throws a rock at ours.

Long story short, we got excited about the potential to buy a place up there too, particularly after finding out that there are a couple neighborhoods with HOA's that grant access to private beaches!

Why not throw our money into renting a beach house a couple times a summer? We don't want to plan it months in advance, the mortgage for two months is equal to the rental for one week, and with kids, it takes a long time for them to get used to a vacation house. T likes his own bed (so does his mama), so we want a place he can go for a long long time and get used to it.

Now, we have no real money by San Francisco standards. But, in the grand scheme of things, houses up there are still pretty cheap.

So, we have an offer in on a fixer upper (in the most extreme sense) with a few partners. It is on a private community beach with a little clubhouse and snackbar - think dirty dancing, minus the dirty part (though I would have LOVED a little place like this when I was 13). It is a safe little community where bands of 13 year old girls wander the streets chatting - you can tell they all go up every summer, they chase 13 year old boys on the private beach, and sip cokes at the "bar" in the club house. Little kids, 10 years old, walk to the river with floaties, and everyone is clearly in vacation land.

Our offer was accepted, but after MASSIVE numbers coming back from a pest report (like 2/3 of purchase price, massive) and contractors, we have to renegotiate the terms of the deal.

Mama's gonna have a fantastic time pulling this house together and my pinterest boards are already brimming with ideas :)

I can't wait to close, get my grubby little hands on this disaster, and send the boys to the beach so I can start ripping up that NASTY purple, green, and brown carpet.

They say you should buy a house with good bones. This one has bones that are being eating inside out, but has amazing redwood and notty pine paneling (hidden under false wood paneling from the 70's), beautiful redwood floors (hidden under hideous dirty carpet), and amazing decks (that are about to fall off the hillside onto the neighbor's house).

But we want it anyway.

This is what I've been doing while I've been away from my blog, meeting contractors, learning about septic tanks (ours is a cesspool, by the way), propane gas, and navigating country life.