Transforming My Home, It All Starts Now

 

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It was a little over a year ago I embarked on my journey of becoming a home owner in the city of San Francisco. Let’s not exaggerate though, a home in San Francisco is really a 1 to 2 bedroom apartment and if you are lucky perhaps a single family home with 3+ bedrooms. Buying a place in one of the most coveted cities in the United States, maybe even in the world, all by myself, was a huge personal accomplishment. One I am still very proud of to, but also very frustrated by. When you dream of buying a home you envision certain “must have” criteria for your house. I knew buying in San Francisco would be tough, but still imagined I could find a 2-bedroom home, with maybe some outdoor space, and in a lively neighborhood I would want to live in as doable.  I never expected my first place to be over half a million dollars, come with 1 bedroom, and I would be lucky to have gotten it.

From the moment I bought my house I have had nothing but a constant rollercoaster of emotion. Let’s  start with the fact that I do love my place. I love it for its location, central to everything in the city. It is an old Victorian built in 1893 with nothing but that San Francisco charm we all know so well. I have loved older homes my entire life. I have vivid memories of my grandparents old Victorian with the skeleton keys to unlock every room, the large mantels over the fire place’s, a hidden back stairwell, and an attic to escape to. I always wanted a home that held a secret. And yes if I could I would build a secret passageway behind a book shelf, I am just that kind of girl.

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When I first moved into my place I fantasized what the house was when it was first built. How it must have looked standing tall and vibrant in an area surrounded by trees and fields. Who were the original owners? What was their day to day life in the house. How did it all look before it was broken out into 5 separate apartments.  All the stories it must hold. The character is by far my favorite attribute to my home. I love the original hardwood floors, the tall ceilings, the brass door knobs, and the trees standing right outside of all of the windows.

What saddens me about my place is really just a few things. My place is rather large for a 1-bedroom at 800 sq. feet, but it has an awkward layout where the bedroom and bathroom are massive and the kitchen and living room are on the smaller side.  This makes it harder to entertain, which is by far one of my favorite past times.  I always imagined as an adult I would have a home where I could have people stay the night at when they came to visit or after having one too many drinks. I would have an open kitchen and dining room with a large table to throw dinner parties, I would have a patio to enjoy an after dinner drink in the summer or a cup of coffee in the morning. I guess when you live in the city by the bay your home cant have it all because your city already does. You are forced to sacrifice space for your environment.

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With all of that said one of the best parts of being a home owner is if you want change you can do it. You don’t have to settle. All you need is time, resources, and an imagination.  From the moment I placed a bid on my place I knew I wanted to redo the kitchen. I have always seen the kitchen as the heart of the home and although mine was not “awful” I knew it was not what I wanted at all.

We moved into our home in August of last year. We immediately un-packed and then life got busy, which meant little focus on our home after those initial first few weeks.  Now that life has slowed down for a moment and I can breathe I am taking advantage. I decided my goal for Q2 (can you tell I am always focused on business) is to make my home a priority.  I want to nest, to build, and to make it the place I envision in my head. Maybe it will not become a 2 bedroom, but it can be a place to entertain, a home I am proud of.  This last couple of week’s I have started the steps to redo the kitchen. I feel excited and overwhelmed at the same time. Right now plans have been built, almost all of the bids are in, which means hopefully in the next week or so I can sign off and let the work begin! Biggest change? Bringing down a wall to make an open kitchen and living room. I can hardly wait!

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Health & Fitness Articles of the Week – 07/14/15

Shoppers Buy More Junk Food When They Bring Their Own Bags– Of course living in a city where you are pretty much required to bring your own bag everywhere you go, seeing this article sparked my interest. There are some pretty interesting facts in this short article. “They found that people are 13 percent more likely to buy organic products when they bring their own bags—and they’re also 7 percent more likely to buy junk food, such as chips and cookies.”

Too much to drink? Apps, devices could help-We use our smartphones for everything. Tracking our steps, how much we eat, where we are, so it only makes sense we would start to use them to track our booze intake. This article showcases some of the new technology and apps related to tracking alcohol consumption.

No More Red 40! General Mills Gets Rid of Artificial Coloring From Cereals– Just a quick article on how companies are moving away from artifical coloring and starting to use more real ingredients. It is about time.

In Defense of Fruit for Dessert-I really enjoyed reading this article. It takes the authors past and show’s how we can think about dessert outside of the normal cookies and cakes. I for one probably eat more fruit a day then a human should, but I just love the stuff!

How to make fruits and veggies last-Now that we go to the farmers market almost every week it is important to know how to store and take care of fresh produce. This article has some great tips, I for one am going to start practicing some of these when I get home.

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Health & Fitness Articles of the Week – 07/05/15

Why We Get Sick and How To Get Well– I found Chris Kresser from my incredibly knowledgeable boyfriend. The more I read his stuff the more impressed I am. I for one started to see a holistic doctor last year as I felt I was not getting what I needed from my western doctor. Regardless of your opinion it is interesting to read.  “The modern diet, lifestyle, and environment affect the expression of our genes and lead to pathology, which in turn cause disease and symptoms in the patient.” “In conventional medicine, the focus is often on diseases and the symptoms; it works “from the outside in. In functional medicine, however, we work “from the inside out”.

How Caffeine Is Removed from Coffee– It was about 6 months ago I switched from drinking regular coffee to decaf only in an effort to help support a loved one kick the caffeine habit. I for one have never felt much of a “jolt” from caffeine. I could have a cup of joe right before bed and fall asleep just fine. Moving to decaf was not a problem, as long as I was able to continue to get that taste I loved so much then I was good. One thing I did find when I swapped though was how much better I started sleeping through the night. I used to wake up multiple times throughout the evening, but once I made the switch I woke up minimally. Currently after hearing some research that decaffeinated coffee might not be the best I am re-thinking, however I stumbled upon this article and thought it was interesting to share on how decaf becomes decaf.

Trick your brain to avoid ‘portion distortion’– Learning proper portion sizes and how to indulge appropriately are easier said then done. This article gives some tips on learning how to do proper portions. “Portion control isn’t about depriving yourself — it’s about eating just enough to stay fueled and full. The key to success: Don’t follow every tip about portion control that you hear. It’s really about finding the select techniques that fit your personality, sticking with them and enjoying the benefits.”

Don’t Worry So Much About Whether Your Food Is ‘Processed’– I for one even get confused on what “processed” food technically is. This article is just matter of fact, eat more fruit regardless. It is simple and easy to get. “I think it’s interesting, even the question ‘fresh versus processed’… as though they were opposites,” he said. “You can have something that’s fresh and processed and something that’s fresh and not processed.”

This Is How Your Face Changes After 30 Days of Drinking Water– I for one have been trying to drink more water. For my body and how much I work out I need 2-3 liters a day. Some days it is super easy, other days more challenging. I find if I am not keeping track then it is easy to not get enough. Not sure how credible pop sugar is, but after seeing this article it is making me become more religious about trying to drink more water.

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