For Rent: Half-Truths In Bold Fonts

The building manager put this up on the front door hoping to rent our apartment out before the city inspector gets here. I thought it was ridiculous, and to make myself feel better about the whole situation, I fixed it, for accuracy sake.

Real Estate ads should be nothing if not truthful.

farragut for rent

I didn’t actually change the sign, pretty sure that would legally be interfering with something. But posting it online, that’s what the web is for! Catharsis?

What would you have done?

love and moving soon,



The Symptoms of Internships, Moving and Mold

I (meaning my best friend and conscience living in the Philippines, Philip. That’s seriously his name, irony is not enough to describe it), keep reminding myself that I need to pay better attention to this blog than I have been doing. I did start writing about how Chicago could have a new serial killer when bodies kept showing up in the North side harbors, but that stopped before I could post. What luck.

Apologies apologies, etc. moving on.drumming coworker

What I want to talk about, is what’s been going on that has kept me from this essential outlet and happiness of mine. I was interning as content management at a startup internet marketing company. It’s been great. They actually hired me, kinda. Well there was talk of salary and then bam, financial troubles and I’m paid per piece. Not ideal, since I do a lot more than blog and produce web content for them (Social Media FTW!). But whatevs, life goes on. To be honest, I don’t think I learned as much as I wanted to there. Since everyone is so busy, pretty sure my internship ended up being a little unbalanced. Like, I worked for free and learned that headphones= sanity, because Tom, on the other side of my cubicle thing, drums with his feet without realizing it. What I wanted to learn was more along the SEO, SEM analytics interpretation thing, all of which I don’t know enough about to be totally comfortable.

I also moved to Andersonville, the best Chicago “ville” in my opinion. It’s indie without being douchy. And that’s exactly what I want in my life. To walk outside and be greeted by nice people with dogs looking at sidewalk sales of vintage inspired happiness.

AAAAHHHHH!!!!One problem.

I started getting sick. Like severe sinus infection, fluid in lungs, bloody noses sick. Why? No effing clue, but it really put a damper on functional life, and all the coughing re broke my rib.  Luckily, one of the blogs I write is for a biohazard removal company whose owner was kind enough to come over and check things out. Here is an article I wrote for them recently.

black mold

black mold

RESULTS: The entire basement underneath our apartment was covered in mold. Landlords won’t admit to it, they say “Annalise, you’re allergic to the apartment,” which is insane. I’m not allergic to drywall. I’m allergic to the mycotoxins floatinging up and around my living space. Seriously, I have an inhaler now. AN INHALER! Not cool mold.
Directly below my bed lives a troll.I won’t even go into the creepy bed and junk that’s down there. It’s very unsettling in a Josef Fritzl way, my friends. We are currently looking for another place, and compiling evidence (pictures, dr bills, pharmacy receipts) for our lawyer.

Life, I suppose is a little frustrating right now, but antibiotics have been taken and we are aiming at a new, healthier situation for cats and peoples alike in the same neighborhood (because damn it, I love this place!).

And don’t worry, soon I will regain health and sanity, and get back into the DIY stuff that I love to share with you all. I’m thinking my cats have enough toys, but my client cat’s definitely could use some love. Then on to jewelry ideas, magnet creation and lamp experiments. And probably a blog or two about urban climate parallels between Chicago and The Wire, and whatever book I finished on the train last. Currently The Dog Stars by Peter Heller.

Who knows, I will never be satisfied with just one thing buzzing through.

In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.

Robert Frost

Healthier Strawberry Banana Bread is Here to Save Your Fruit

I’ve been walking past three bananas in my kitchen for about a week now. I’ve watched them slowly turn from something I might eat to something that, for no realistic reason, weirds me out. Brown bananas are disconcerting. I was bothered to the point that I actually stopped at 7-11 on the way home, crouched by one of its glass fridge doors, and searched like the milk maids in Clerks for a carton of eggs that hadn’t been completely desolated in transit, just so I could do something about it.

violet turning violet

Thank the world for banana bread!

There was only one problem (there were two, but I bought eggs so were good) , regular banana bread is stuffed full of sugar and butter and all those things that we are blaming for the 10+ pounds Americans have on the rest of the world. I didn’t want to roll  Violet Style down that path, so I started searching.

Pinterest is a font, A FONT I SAY, of information for when you need an new recipe or  just want to learn how to build your own bathtub out of four galvanized flower pots and a hand-full of toothpicks. I followed a link to the Domestic Superhero blog, and here is what I found.

Greek Yogurt Strawberry Banana Bread….Healthy and Delicious!banana mash
1.5 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup brown sugar (or 1/4 cup agave)
3 large ripe bananas 
2 eggs
6 oz. Chobani Strawberry Banana Greek yogurt (I only had vanilla, but it worked)

my loaf pan has a hold in it, so I used this.

1 cup diced fresh strawberries (mine were frozen and thawed, don’t judge)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Start by combining flour, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
In a separate bowl, mash bananas with a fork until they are gooey and liquid-like.
Add eggs and sugar and mix thoroughly.
Add greek yogurt
Whisk until everything is well combined and there are no lumps.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and mix until just combined. At this point, fold in the fresh strawberries!
Pour batter into a greased loaf pan and distribute evenly.
Put into the oven and bake for one hour, or until the top is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean (55 minutes for me).
Transfer to a cooling rack and (try to) let the bread cool for at least ten minutes before slicing.
And TADA! I now have lovely squares (loaf pan has a hole in it) of strawberry embedded banana goodness at half the stress and guilt. See!
finished breadNext time I neglect my yellow fruits, cruely leaving them in their vintage orange bowl for days on end, this recipe will spring to mind. Let me know what you think if you try it.

A Vegetarian Moment: Just Thought I Would Share The Protein

Ok, I’m not a vegetarian. At all. But I wrote this sample blog for a potential employer, and I thought it would be a terrible waste to just send it in and never share it with you good fellows. So here is it just for the heck of it. (I may have visually embellished it some…)

Put Some Power In Your Diet: An Introduction To Vegetarian Protein

Vegetarianism. It’s not just about animal rights anymore, choosing to exclude meat from ones diet is done for reasons ranging from convicted activism to physical health. Unfortunately, if not done properly, turning your back on a juicy steak can deprive you of some nutrients your body relies on pretty heavily. Finding a replacement for the protein gap left in the absence of chicken and turkey can seem tricky, but it’s essential to maintain your health regardless of your food affiliation.

The CDC website, when referring to the average person’s protein needs, says that, “In general, it’s recommended that 10–35% of your daily calories come from protein.”  For vegetarians this means looking a little harder at your choices. Here’s some helpful suggestions to get you started.


Soy. Soy, in all of it’s glorious forms, is a great option when looking for protein sources in your vegetarian or vegan diet. 1 cup of cooked soy beans will give you 29 gm of protein. It’s also a really versatile replacement for both meat and dairy that also lends assistant to your heart, bones, hair, skin and nails. 

almond flour

Another great option to invest in is nuts. 1/4 cup of almonds will provide your body with 8 gm of protein. Don’t like nuts? Me either. So grab some almond flower from your health food store and replace your regular stuff with something that helps you in the long run.

Beans are also a great dietary choice when heading down the veggie path. The protein you can get from these little guys ranges from your basic veggie baked beans at 12 gm per cup, to a cup of cooked lentils at 18 gm for some serious protein power.Beansinbins

Whatever your choice, protein is something not to neglect in your diet (without it we would be slumpy autoimmune messes). However, you would be wise to remember that protein is also a part of your caloric intake.

For more ideas on balancing your vegetarian habit, visit The Vegetarian Resource Group, they seem to have it down pat.

“If we are creating ourselves all the time, then it is never too late to begin creating the bodies we want instead of the ones we mistakenly assume we are stuck with.”
― Deepak Chopra