Life. 365-Style. (3/12-4/1)

Three more weeks in pictures. Lots of new house (ahem, tiny apartment) shots, because we are moved and settled! What an ordeal. So far, I don’t totally hate not having a dishwasher, but it is extremely annoying to not have garbage disposal. I pick shit out of the sink all the dang time. First-world problems…

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71 – I had the Tuesday off before we moved in, so it was spent at the hairdresser’s, at the new place getting the painters set up to uh, paint, and eating lunch in Dolores Park. Pictured is the shawerma from Truly Mediterranean. And my chubby feet. Mmmm…. mmm….

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72 – My friend/coworker, Frannie, and I have a Wednesday lunch ritual. This time, we got lucky and there was sun on campus. Gotta love Palo Alto in March.

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73 – sometimes I can’t resist a good people-watching photo. this guy is ready for summer, and for the flood.

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74 – I’ve since realized that this is a gang symbol. But when I saw it, I thought of my buddy, Caroline and her blog.

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75 – into one place, and out of the other. walk-through with the landlord. and finally, a stop at The Mill for coffee!

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76 – the boxes won’t quit. and Chris is waaaaaay tired of me being a drill sergeant.

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77 – the mantle gets to showcase Chicago love. and yes, we still watch CSI. The original one. duh.

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78 – it took some finagling, but thanks to Big Bob, the pot rack is hung. life is complete.

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79 – grey shoes, grey stones. and grass!

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80 – yay for gang graffiti.

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81 – I started my Friday with my regular routine: coffee (tea the rest of the work week). But this time, I finally tried Philz. made me dizzy all day; that mess is STRONG!

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82 – gave Mission Chinese another try since it keeps getting a ton of hype (and it delivers to our new spot!). Eh. Just eh.

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83 – one cat in each corner, soaking in the sleep.

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84 – finishing up an American Horror Story (Season 1) marathon. that mess was nuts!

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85 – another Tuesday off, but this one involved hours of wasted time at the DMV and the SFMTA – all to get a neighborhood parking sticker. I did finish the day with some extra extra toasty yoga though, so that was nice.

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86 – the sky is multicolored!

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87 – I love him.

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88 – Friday night takeout party! I could eat another pork bun right this second.

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89 – I’m sorry, I know I already posted this on Instagram AND Facebook, but she’s just so dang cute! look at her scruffy neck hair!

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90 – and then there’s this one, who gets into anything possible. that receiver is a warm piece of equipment, and she knows she isn’t supposed to be on it. so that’s why she is.

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91 – and while this place is sans food posts as of late, I should add that I am still cooking. this is a quinoa “tabbouleh” salad from the True Food cookbook. It’s my new favorite resource for good, hearty, healthy things.

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Life. 365-Style (2/26-3/11)

Here’s what the last 2 weeks have been like. Not too shabby. More backpacking, some cat pictures, and oh yeah, preparing for yet another move. This time we totally didn’t want to, but we are doing it anyway. It’s a long story, but in the end, throwing stuff into storage and living without a dining room and dishwasher for a short period of time was a no-brainer.

Anyway, here’s the happenings:

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57 – lunch on the Embarcadero on a Tuesday off. If you’re ever down there for lunch, PLEASE go to Soup Junkie on Market and get the bun rieu (tomato and crab noodle soup). You will thank me, I promise.

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58 – downtown view from Potrero Hill. And dang, that house on the left is INSANELY huge.

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59 – I love when Sasha sleeps in the bathroom on the dirty clothes. Such a cutie.

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60 – a super foggy morning. my red car really stands out here, eh?

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61 – ok, duh, I didn’t take this, but still. We went backpacking in Point Reyes with our new water reservoirs.

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62 – these are the water reservoirs. Best things since sliced bread. why didn’t we buy these when we first started backpacking?!

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63 – someone tried to label Tange for storage. how rude.

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64 – I know this is a horrible picture, but the highlight of this day was going to Chipotle. I love that place. Yes, I also love their chipotle sauce.

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65 – I just have one word for this lady: WOW.

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66 – it was a polka-dot day at work today. also, I started a new book called “Yes, Chef“. a good read so far.

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67 – communication is key. that is all.

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68 – i know this might look sad, but that cat was so cute! she was playing with a girl who walked by earlier. I wanted to yank her from the window, but something tells me that 3 cats is 1 too many for the new apartment.

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69 – Tange is looking old and wise. I like the Victorians in the background, too. She will miss this view, but she’ll like the next one, too!

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70- speaking of views, you can see Bernal Heights Park from one of the front windows. Not too shabby eh?

Time Flies; a Countdown

Time flies when you’re having fun, doesn’t it? In no time, I’ll be trying my hand at lemon-growing, learning to surf, biking through the Redwoods, driving with the top down while wearing a tank top, and relaxing on the Pacific shores, local brew in one hand. (Wine in the other, of course.)

Ok, ok, maybe not ALL of those things, but still. It’s definitely going to be different. Different and a little bit warmer. I must say I am very excited about being a California girl. Not that I really know what that entails, but next time you hear from me, I’ll be ‘on the other side’.

Meanwhile, I thought a countdown might be fun. You know, just for shits and giggles. Hopefully, more giggles though.

Let’s start with 20 and work our way down, shall we?

20: days until I start my new job. (Yes, I already have a job! I need an easy button for this one.) I still get to work at a fancy place (Stanford), but I get to work with preggers ladies instead of talk about hereditary cancer risk. Man, I will miss my job, but I think this will be a good change.
19: the number of dirty socks and underwear in a bag in “my room” at Jennifer & Jon’s. I need to do laundry. seriously.
18: how many different restaurants I’ve been to in the last two weeks. Yes, my pants are tight, too. By the way, Vancouver is a really cool city. I’ll talk about that in another week or so.
17: the number of times Riley has licked my feet in the past week. apparently, my feet smell special, and i don’t know if that’s good or bad…
16: yikaroonies, my niece turns this age on Sunday! Happy Birthday, Ash, and drive safe my dear!
15: how long it’s been since I’ve seen my kitty cat. Mama’s comin’ soon, Tange!
14: “free” days to figure out my surroundings once in CA. this includes finding a place to live. no pressure.
13: the number of lime-flavored chips I could eat right now. ok, double it.
12: how many times I look at craigslist-SF each day. also how many times I almost crap my pants at rent prices in said city.
11: a rough estimate of how many pounds I’ve gained in the last month, thanks to having tons of awesome friends who want to go out for “one last [insert drink/food/drink and food]”.
10: how many times Chris has tried to forward our mail. apparently the USPS doesn’t like that we live(d) on North Avenue. this also means I am not getting my food magazines. or bills. One of these is bad; I’ll let you decide which one.
9: this is how many pairs of shoes I have to find room for in my suitcase come Sunday morning. needless to say, I will be wearing rain boots to the airport, rain or shine…
8: how many sandwiches are on the menu at Grahamwich, which is where I’m eating with Caroline today. I already know what I’m getting though.
7: how many nights I’ve been lucky enough to eat dinner at ‘home’ with J&J. Jennifer made some amazing General Tso’s chicken one night, Jon whipped up cupcakes and tasty cucumber cocktails, and I made short ribs (of course) and some pork chops, also a winning pulled pork dish. Cooking with friends is one of my favorite things. Do i say that a lot?! Cuz it’s true.
6: months until we’re back in Chicago! Felicia, I’m glad you’re getting married :).
5: this is how many hours it takes me to get from Chicago to San Francisco. minus 30 minutes. hello blood clot and swollen feet. Dramatic?
4: four nights left of sleeping alone. Chris better watch out – I’ve gotten really good at taking up the whole bed.
3: three more days working with some really lovely people, at a really lovely job.
2: the number of clinic notes I have left to write. i have three days left to do it though, so no worries!
1: one more weekend, which means some quality time with J&J, Riley, and Chicago. It better not freakin’ snow.

So there you are. These are the things that are on my mind lately. Short ribs included, especially these ones. They are tender, they are smothered in wine and tomatoes, they are served atop carbs. They will make you wish it was December all over again, when you can focus on comfort food for another three months instead of cold, rainy Spring days or days when you just have to eat something hefty, instead of a salad, or something else non-hefty.

For me, they were even better, because they were made and eaten with some of my ‘besties’. J&J, I will miss you guys terribly. Please move West already.

Tomato-Braised Short Ribs.
inspired by Pioneer Woman, serves 4

time commitment: 24 hours; 45 minutes active time (start the day before you want to eat!)

printable version

ingredients
1 T olive oil
4 honkin’ bone-in grass-fed short ribs
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 t sugar
1 t cinnamon
1 large can (28 oz) fire-roasted diced tomatoes, drained
1 c good red wine
salt and pepper
1 box whole wheat linguini (or gluten-free linguini)
parsley, for garnish (optional)

instructions
on med-hi, heat olive oil in large dutch oven. brown short ribs on each side, about 2 minutes per side. remove and set aside.

toss in onions, garlic, and cinnamon. saute, stirring frequently, until onions are soft, about 5 minutes. add diced tomotoes and red wine, and bring to a boil. add salt and pepper to taste. nestle short ribs into tomato sauce, turn heat to low, and cover. simmer for 3-3.5 hours. remove from heat and let come to room temperature. refrigerate overnight for best results.

the next day: remove from fridge. fat from short ribs will have risen to the top and hardened. This is the best time to get it out – just remove it with a knife/spoon/whatever (it sorta looks like candle wax… appetizing, no?!). warm the short ribs and sauce over medium heat.

meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions, and serve with warmed short ribs and tomato sauce. garnish with parsley if desired. enjoy a nice hefty red wine alongside ;).

Chapter 6

I left you with a little bit of a teaser last week, didn’t I? I’m sorry for that. Well, sort of.

You see, lately life has been full of maybes, what ifs, I don’t knows, whens. Control has left our lives, for the time being, but I think we’re ok with it – to an extent.

Remember how we talked about Chapters in life? I stopped my story at Chapter 5 – Chicago. Chapter 5 had the slightest bit (ok, maybe not so slight) of foreshadowing, didn’t it? I sorta suggested, by writing a Chapter dedicated to Chicago, and leaving a “to be continued” at the end of the post, that a change might be in the works. That’d be a correct assumption, if you assumed that. A change is definitely a-comin’.

It’s true: We’re leaving Chicago. We are moving away from a beautiful city full of culture, amazing architecture, summers spent by the lake riding bikes and watching fireworks, a plethora of scrumptious food, and the list goes on. Most importantly, we’re moving away from many, many friends, and that’s what makes it difficult. Not the breathtaking skyline or the bone-chilling winter, not even my favorite neighborhood or my condo that I love so dearly – the hard part is leaving the people.

It’s crazy, all of this. We’re about to leave behind the only city we, as “we”, know as home – our home. We’re about to leave behind the life we’ve built for 7 years, and the city we fell in love with. The city we thought, perhaps, we would never leave.

But as hard as it seems, as hard as it is, we couldn’t be more excited about it.

We’re moving to San Francisco.

(!!!!!!!!!!!)

So yeah, some things are just meant to be, I guess. Sometimes vacation turns into, “wow, I could live here”. Sometimes things just feel right, and California feels right. Sometimes you have to follow your dreams, or your husband’s dreams.

Sometimes you have to close your eyes, open your arms, and jump.