Sunday, July 31, 2011

Empty house tour - bedrooms & bathrooms

I already showed you the outdoor areas and common areas - the last part of the house you haven't seen is the bedrooms and bathrooms.

Bedroom #1: Master (not much to see when empty - all the bedrooms look the same!)

Master bathroom

Hall bathroom

Bedroom #2: Office

Bedroom #3: Guest room

Bedroom #4: Extra (future nursery :)

Friday, July 29, 2011

Going organic?

Recently I've been reading about organic produce and its health benefits... well I guess really the health dangers of eating inorganic. I've thought about buying organic produce in the past, but I have ended up at the conclusion "Well, if I'm eating fruits and veggies at all I'm doing well. Inorganic produce is better than no produce, right?"

The problem is that organic is so much more expensive! But this is especially a concern to me as we think about getting pregnant in the future. I don't want to be exposing my children to poison that can do them harm, especially as their little lives are just forming!

Have you ever heard of the dirty dozen and clean fifteen? This is a list of the 12 fruits and veggies that are most likely to contain pesticides (which is poison), and the 15 that are most safe to eat inorganic. I've printed out this list and am going to stick it on our fridge. My plan is to refer to it as I make my grocery list each week.

Dirty Dozen (buy these organic):
  1. Apples
  2. Celery
  3. Strawberries
  4. Peaches
  5. Spinach
  6. Nectarines
  7. Grapes
  8. Sweet Bell Peppers
  9. Potatoes
  10. Blueberries
  11. Lettuce
  12. Kale/Collard Greens
Clean Fifteen (lowest in pesticides):
  1. Onions
  2. Corn
  3. Pineapples
  4. Avocado
  5. Asparagus
  6. Sweet Peas
  7. Mangoes
  8. Eggplant
  9. Cantaloupe
  10. Kiwi
  11. Cabbage
  12. Watermelon
  13. Sweet Potatoes
  14. Grapefruit
  15. Mushrooms
It's my new goal to buy the worst offenders organic instead. I know it's going to be more costly, but it's for our health and the health of our family! It's easier and cheaper than going all organic - which I'm not sure is necessary.

By the way, our Farm Fresh To You delivery was on our doorstep before we left for work this morning. I have to say, it wasn't much food for $25... looks yummy though! But it's organic so I have to get used to this idea.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)

A while ago I came across the concept of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) and have been thinking of participating ever since. Here's how it works: You sign up to receive fresh produce from a local farm 1-4 times a month. Some services are for pick up in your area, and some deliver to your home or office.

The contents of your produce box vary each week, depending on what's currently in season. You're helping the environment by decreasing pollution caused when fruits are shipped from other places like South America. You're getting the freshest food possible because it came from a farm just miles away. It's even organic, which I've found is a big health benefit and pesticides aren't being put into the earth either. Having all those fresh fruits and veggies makes you eat healthier because it's there so you have to eat it. You get to try new foods because it's not up to you what items you receive.

I've seriously been contemplating joining a CSA for a good two years, and earlier this year I jumped on the opportunity to buy a Groupon for Farm Fresh To You, a local CSA that delivers right to your door.

The small box that I've selected is $25 per delivery. I'm planning to order it for every other week, which means we'll be spending $12.50 per week on organic, seasonal produce. Do yo know how easy it is to spend $12 in Safeway's produce department?! Our first box is coming tomorrow, and here's what we're getting (each Friday they post what's coming next week):
  • 2 red plums
  • 2 ears of white corn
  • 1.5 lbs. of summer squash
  • 1 lb. of grapes
  • 1 lb. of green beans
  • 1 bunch of basil
  • 1 bunch of lettuce
  • 1 cucumber
I also found Full Belly Farm while researching this, which offers produce for pick up and might be a bit more affordable. If all goes well with this FFTY experience, I'll probably look into that CSA. But this week's order is free with my Groupon :)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Empty house tour - common areas

Here's a look at the kitchen, dining room and living room before we moved in (I already showed you the outdoor areas).

This is what you see when you walk in the front door:

The living room has a wood stove.

I like that we have an entry area separate from the living room, with tile rather than carpet, double doors and tall windows.

The dining room is connected to the living room, behind those lovely wooden bars.

Those upper cabinets blocking the kitchen view are kind of inconvenient, but they're staying because they make up a good portion of our kitchen storage.

Last for today is the kitchen. That door leads to the garage.


Just one more post until I can show you the changes we've made already, and plan to make!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Empty house tour - outdoor areas

I want to share with you our house before we moved in! I'm going to do a few posts showing "before" photos. First, here's our street:

That pile of brush on the right was made by James the first day we got our keys. The vegetation was a bit wild!

There's a courtyard area outside the front door. I like it because it feels very protected/secluded.

This is the view from the front door, looking out.

On to the back yard

We have a covered patio outside the back door.

Our back yard has a lemon tree, blackberry bush (which I know I'll be constantly trimming so that it doesn't take over) and the neighbor has a cherry tree that hangs over the fence too. 

This photo is the only record I have of the crazy bushes and trees that had overtaken the whole east side of the house. Hubby cleared it all out.

Can't wait to show you the rest of our home sweet home!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

My attempt at being neighborly

After more than two weeks in our new house and having met only one neighbor, I decided it was time to take matters into our own hands and introduce ourselves. I whipped up some chocolate chip cookies and caramel bars, packaged them in cellophane and wrote out some nice cards.

Who wouldn't like us after receiving this?
The other night after work James and I walked to our five most immediate neighbors' houses to deliver the treats... knocked on the door... and to our dismay four of the five didn't answer! One we could see walk right by the door and ignore us.

I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt that they thought we were salespeople or weren't presentable or something. Whatev, neighbors!

The one woman who did answer was very nice and talked to us a bit about the neighborhood, which she and several others have lived in for 30 years. Better yet, the next day we found two thank you notes in our mail box! So we're off to a good start... I hope??

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

San Francisco and Napa

This weekend Mom and I drove to San Francisco to meet my sister and her roomie Lisa (visiting for the summer from Ireland!) for some Napa wine tasting!

Check out the girls' street in the Castro - amazing view but can you say steep?! Oy.

In Napa, we checked out (I think) four wineries.

Hagafen Cellars

Whitehall Lane

V. Sattui

We had a little picnic lunch at V. Sattui

Not pictured: Sutter Home (Yeah the $5 wine. Haha, tasting is free there!)

After relaxing at the girls' apartment, we drove to Twin Peaks once it was dark to check out the beautiful city view!

Oh those blankies were so necessary!

Sunday we went on a little hike that starts just down the block from their house. So pretty.

Thanks Rose and Lisa for the awesome weekend!