Let’s buy a house!

Buying a house seems like the most logical thing to do two months after getting married, right? Now that I don’t have a wedding to plan, I needed something else to do in my down time. Instead of looking at hairstyles, flowers, dresses, and jewelry for my wedding, I’m looking at the Home section of Pinterest. My board is quickly filling up with lots of ideas for our future house. While most of the pins are ones we will never be able to afford or recreate, it’s still fun dreaming of what our house could look like. 

And no, we aren’t just looking to buy a house because it’s seems like the next step in our relationship…there are lots of reasons why we are looking. The biggest reasons are because we want our own place, separate from others, we want a yard, and we don’t want to pay a crap ton of money that we’ll never see again in rent anymore. I’m tired of hearing the neighbors through the walls, having only one parking space, and not being able to take my dog outside off leash. I know I know…#firstworldproblems. Anyway…

Ryan and I each have a list of things we want in a home. Luckily, our lists are pretty similar. As far as location goes, we are open–probably too open–to basically all the northern suburbs of Columbus with a focus around Westerville. Not being able to say exactly where we want to live will probably  provide us with some issues, but hopefully after seeing a few houses in each area we can narrow our locations down.

In terms of what we want, here are things that we (more specifically me) are looking for in a house:

1. A yard. Not just any yard. We want a yard that either has a fence or where a fence can be added. I know there are invisible fences for dogs, but that’s not something I’m interested in. The bigger the fenced in yard, the better in our opinion. 

2. A big kitchen. Preferably with an island. We cook a lot together and in our current place, we are always in each other’s way. Most of the food we make requires a lot of chopping and cutting, so the more room the better. 

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From my Pinterest board and this site: http://bit.ly/1oWKVxk

4. Modern updates. We are okay with painting a few things, or maybe buying a new oven if totally necessary, but for the most part we want a recently updated place. We don’t want to have to bring in the Property Brothers to fix up our fixer-upper. Not saying we can’t, we just don’t want to. 

3. Vaulted ceiling in the living room. This is something that I really want in a house. I want our living room to be a floor to ceiling room, with a loft looking over. I know that sounds very specific, but we’ve already seen lots of houses that have this near us, so I have a good feeling that we’ll end up with it. 

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From my Pinterest page and this site: http://bit.ly/RXIVqu

5. Finished basement. We have one now–but we rarely ever go down there because it’s dark, cold, and small. We want to have a basement where we can put a bar, tv, decor, poker table, all the works. We want to actually want to use our basement.

There are plenty more things that we are looking for in a house, like: separate shower from tub and double sinks in master bath, walk-in closet, good neighborhood and school district, and 3-4 bedrooms.  

Ryan and I have only been together for 2.5 years, but we have lived four different places together. Since I was 18, I have had 9 different addresses. I’m only 26. I’m so excited about living in a place for more than year, and to actually feel like this is our home for awhile. 

So, let the home buying journey begin. It’s a fun process and I’m excited to find a more permanent place for our little family of three. I know Rogue can’t wait to run around his new yard. And please, don’t be that person that makes this comment, “You know once you get a house, a baby comes next!” No, thank you. This is about all I can handle right now:

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Yes, that is a dish brush. No, it is not his toy. He was so proud of himself though. I love this picture.

Any first-time home buyers out there? Any advice for us or other things we should be looking for?

 

Let’s talk about digestion…

Let’s talk about digestion. Particularly my digestion. If you’re not interested in my digestion issues then I suggest you stop reading now…..okay, for those of you still here, let’s get started. Since I was in junior high, I’ve dealt with digestion issues. And by issues I mean having to run to the bathroom within 5 minutes of eating–or else it’s not a pretty situation. In college I ate like crap and my issues got even worse, but I didn’t do much to fix it. I just dealt with it.

It wasn’t until after college, once I started doing my research and finally understood how much nutrition can affect the body, that I realized I was causing all of my issues. The first thing I did was cut out dairy. I realized that every time I drank milk, my stomach was a mess. Also, when I would eat cheese, my allergies and sinuses would flare up. I stopped eating all dairy altogether, and a lot of my stomach flare ups stopped and my allergies got better. I avoid cow’s milk (just drink soy and almond milk now), most cheese, sour cream, butter, etc.  Now, I can have some goat cheese on my salad, or a cheese cube with crackers, and I don’t have any issues.

Cutting out dairy certainly helped, but it didn’t totally fix all my issues. Let me tell you, having to ask whoever you’re with while driving (usually Ryan) to find a restroom RIGHT NOW isn’t exactly a fun or sexy thing to do. Just recently I sprinted into a tire shop on the side of the road and used their mechanic’s restroom. But I guess when ya gotta go, ya gotta go.

But, there’s more than just my digestion issues. I’ve had pretty awful and intense pounding headaches since high school. I get these a few times a week and they are very targeted headaches, sitting in the back left side of my head. They are so bad I sometimes can’t see out of my left eye or I see white spots. I’ve seen countless doctors and chiropractors, and I’ve had multiple diagnosis. The most recent one is a pinched nerve from a minor concussion I had in high school–but none of the treatments I’ve done have made it feel any better. On top of the headaches, I have bumps all over my skin. I also have a ton of skin discoloration on my arms and legs.

Now I know we’ve all heard about the latest hot topic–GLUTEN. It seems everyone in the world has a gluten sensitivity…or claims they do…and gluten free options are popping up everywhere. While I tested negative for celiac disease, I’m convinced I still have a gluten sensitivity.

An issue I have with doctors, is that no doctor is ever going to tell you to try to change your diet to fix any issues you are having. Everything can be “fixed” with a pill. When, in reality, most symptoms are treatable by simply changing up your diet. It’s amazing how much food can affect your entire body. Food is medicine. But, the world wants to keep it a secret. Food Hospital is a great show that used to run on the Cooking Channel (I  can’t tell if it’s on anymore from the website…but we used to watch is religiously and haven’t seen it in over a year now). This show tackles illnesses from headaches to eczema to sleeping disorders.

So, for awhile (or forever depending on how I feel), I’m going to be that girl that won’t eat meat, gluten, and too much dairy. I’m hoping my stomach, skin, and headaches all clear up by cutting out the gluten. Has anyone else cut gluten out of their diet recently? Has it made a difference for you?

It’s Wine Time!

It’s no secret that I love wine. My blog is titled Corks and Kale for that reason and our entire wedding was based around a wine theme.

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Back in college, I never drank wine and I stuck to beer and whatever cheap liquor I could afford. After college, I started to expand my alcohol pallet and explore different types of wine. I started off with Barefoot and all the other $4-5 options. I also drank a lot of sangria because it was a great way to ease into wine drinking. I’m not sure when I started drinking wine more often, but I eventually figured out what tastes and types I liked the most.

I tend to stick with red wines–mostly cabernets, malbecs, shiraz, and zinfindels. The bigger and bolder it is, the better. I like a wine that has a little spice, and that leaves a nice aftertaste.

On a warmer day or when I feel like something more refreshing, I like pinot grigios and gewurtztraminers the most.

I don’t consider myself a wine pro–but I’ve had lots of practice and I love learning about and trying new wine. Here are four wines (all under $20) that we usually have in our house:

1. Troublemaker

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I discovered Troublemaker when I tried a red wine flight at our local wine bar. I not only loved the name, but loved the flavor. It’s usually priced between $17-20.

Here’s the company’s description: Inspired by varieties that flourish in Paso Robles and California’s Central Coast, Troublemaker is a truly distinct Paso blend consisting of Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre,and Zinfandel. By using a multi-vintage approach, winemaker Austin Hope allows the wine to show uncanny complexity in its youth, yet rich and fruit-forward characteristics that make it ready upon release. With rich aromatics that display hints of smoke and violets, bright fruit on the palate and a long finish, Troublemaker shows amazing depth and structure.

2. 19 Crimes

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I think Ryan randomly bought this at the store–but it was love at first sip. This is really big and has a little vanilla and chocolate smell/flavor to it. $11

Company description: Full of flavor, luscious and rich fruit is balanced by layers of vanilla oak. Finishing round and soft with an appeal that consumers find very hard to resist and keep you coming back

3. J Lohr Cabernet

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There are lots of different types of J Lohr cabs–ranging from $15-200. To be quite honest, I can’t always tell the difference between the $20 bottle and the $100 bottle. This is a good go-to wine for us when we are out because it’s a pretty popular brand and can be found in most nice restaurants and bars.

Company description of J Lohr Seven Oaks Cabernet: The 2012 J. Lohr Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon is red-purple in color with a bright hue at release. Fruit aromas are black cherry, plum and blueberry accented with a barrel bouquet of toasted pastry, dark caramel and vanilla. Sturdy tannins strike the palate and finish with the high-toned fruit signature typical of the Paso Robles appellation

4. J W Morris Gewurztraminer

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Cheap wine find! This wine is only $4 at Trader Joes. And…it’s good! It’s not as sweet at a Riesling, but it provides a nice crisp sweetness that is perfect on a warm day. I can’t find a company website for this one–just know it’s good and cheap.

Those are my top four wine choices–but let’s be honest, all types of wines are welcome in my home. I’ve rarely ever turned down a glass. What are your favorites?