house tour

Soooooo one of the reasons I haven't been posting much lately is that the husband and I have been in the process of first searching for, then buying a house! We're buying a house! We close (and move) in less than two weeks, which is exciting and awesome and overwhelming.

As we get closer and closer to moving, I'm starting to miss our current place already. It's a tiny condo that the husband bought a few years before he met me, and we're really happy to move onto a bigger, better place... but over the past 3 years, we've really turned his condo into our home. It'll be sad to leave it behind. So! I thought I'd give you a little tour before we left for good.
Our place is a converted attic, the third floor of a building. So after one flight of stairs outside our unit, you get to our front door--which opens to another set of stairs. If you were coming into our place, you'd enter at that door at the bottom of the stairs. Come on up!

Now, when you get to the top of the stairs, you can turn left to see our dining/office area:
On the far left there's a big window, which was hard for me to get a picture of because of all the light.

Now, turn to your right.
Our living-room area! Please ignore the stupid-looking cat tree. You may recognize the t-shirt pillow shams from this how-to entry!

Now we'll go through the living-room area to the hallway on the left!
So many doors! The closed white door to the far left is a bathroom, the next door is the kitchen, then the bedroom, and the closed white door to the far right is a closet.

Let's go into the kitchen first!
The kitchen is the one room where I didn't get to pick the paint colors. The husband had renovated it back before he met me. I like it, though! You can almost see my container garden on the fire escape out the window. And on the wall is my beloved yard-sale-acquired vintage kitchen clock. I've had it in every kitchen of every place I've lived since 2006!
Here's the view of the kitchen if you're standing by my beloved clock. This room is the room where the slanted ceilings bother me the most. The husband and I are both 5'8, and we each bump our heads at least once a week. It's perfect for someone under 5'5, though; hopefully the person who's buying our place is short!

Okay, continuing the tour. Back into the hallway, where you can see...
The husband's gecko tanks! Some people think lizards are creepy, so we'll move along... Let's peek into the bathroom!
Is it weird that I'm showing you pictures of our bathroom? I don't care, because I freaking LOVE our bathroom. The colors make me really happy, from that gorgeous blue to the beautiful tiles...
TO THE BRIGHT GREEN SHELVES. Like I said before, I picked out the paint colors for all the rooms but the kitchen, and I love them.

Done in the bathroom? We're almost finished! The last room is our bedroom.
More bright green shelves! Something really interesting to cats must be happening outside the window.
Here's a view of the bedroom if you're standing by the window. You may recognize the shade on the skylight from my how-to entry on how I made light-blocking shades.

Okay, thanks for visiting my place! Let me walk you down the stairs...
What's that you say? You love my green-painted stairs? WELL, before you go, let me tell you about them! I've done a lot of home improvement and decorating type stuff around our place over the years, and the stairs are one of my favorite big changes.

They used to look like this:
The carpet here was old, grungy, hard to clean, and clawed by the cats. (You can see my paint chips on the left--I had a rough time narrowing down the colors!) So the husband and I ripped up the carpet.
...and discovered that the carpet hid the fact that the treads were too old and thin to walk on much longer. They needed to be replaced. So when my parents visited one weekend, my father (who is super DIY-savvy--he built the house I grew up in!) and the husband, in just one morning, replaced the treads with some inexpensive pine.
They put on the trim I THINK not just to look pretty, but because the risers weren't level? Anyway, it did look pretty. We then we primed everything:
It was tricky to paint and prime our stairs because we had to either paint ourselves in the house for the day, or out. So we had to plan accordingly! But after a couple weekends, the stairs were done!
Nice and green. I am so proud of these stairs! Annnnd that leads you out of our place. Fritz (the creepy cat at the top of the stairs) and I say goodbye... and thank you for coming on our house tour!

I'm going to miss this place. However, I'm excited to show you some before and after photos when we move into our new home!


vegan jerky review

I was never that into jerky back when I ate meat. In fact, I think the only jerky I knew of was Slim Jims (which always seemed like they'd be cool because Macho Man Randy Savage endorsed them, but were sorta gross), and some strange venison jerky one of my dad's friends made. But other vegans must miss jerky, because I've seen a few vegan jerkys (jerkies? How does one pluralize jerky?) out there. Primal Strips were the first vegan jerky I had. Made primarily from gluten, but also incorporating soy and mushrooms, Primal Strips were great late-night-paper-writing snacks when I was in college. But then I became nightshade intolerant, and the flavors I liked best had hot peppers. Plus they are hard to open, wet and sticky, and a little too sweet. And while I can have gluten, about half of my family members cannot, so my now-vegan-but-one-time-Slim-Jim-loving brother is out of luck.

Enter Morels the Vegan Butcher's "What a Jerky!" Morels the Vegan Butcher started out as a food truck based out of Louisville, Kentucky, but has moved onto catering and selling their food at stores in their area. They were doing a promotion to encourage online sales of their new jerky, so I signed up for a free package of Yoko's Teriyaki Jerky. They assured me that their jerky is nightshade free and were nice enough to give me a full ingredient list so I could see for myself (the package says "spices," which can be tricky if you're allergic to a particular spice). The jerky is soy-based and is also gluten free, so I'm totally going to send my vegan, gluten-free, jerky-loving brother a package soon.

So... what's it like?
The jerky is basically made from soy curls, if you've ever had those. It's chewy and just tender enough to sink your teeth into, but isn't so moist that your fingers get wet holding it (unlike Primal Strips). The teriyaki flavor is subtle and very slightly sweet, which balances the saltiness.

Each bag is $5, which seems reasonable considering it's all natural, made in small batches, and is very high in protein (and therefore filling). As I said above, I'm definitely ordering some for my jerky-loving family members. If you like jerky, or even just salty, flavorful soy snacks, I recommend giving Morels the Vegan Butcher your business!