Quirky Kitchen Upgrades: Low Cost, High Impact

Calling the artsy and the craftsy!

Whether you’re doing it to boost your appraisal value or for your own pleasure, a kitchen upgrade is in every smart homeowner’s handbook. Not everyone has the mega budget of a complete remodel so here’s some low cost, high impact strategies from Buzzfeed & Apartment Therapy. Hey, you may even be able to do it yourself.

Add wallpaper inside your cabinets. 
Lining your cabinets with wallpaper is an inexpensive way to perk up your kitchen. Bonus points if you have glass doors, so the pretty pattern will show even with the doors closed.


Use contact paper and gaffer’s tape to make your toe kick pop.


Paint just your lower (or upper) cabinets.
Two tone cabinets are a huge trend right now, and to get the look you only need to paint half of the cabinetry in your kitchen. Painting lower cabinets a darker color and leaving the uppers white can help upper cabinets disappear into the wall and make the room seem more open.


Make your backsplash shine.

You can use plastic tiles that look like they’re tin tiles for this, and they’re removable when you leave. Learn how they did it here, and get similar tiles here.


Change those rusty switch plates. 

This is a great option if you’re renting, because it’s SO easy to swap the old ones back in. There are tons of options out there.


Upgrade boring cabinets with quick molding and a new stain.

You can do this in an afternoon. Get the how-to here.


Give your faucet a facelift with a coat of spray paint.


Nudge two kitchen carts together for a brand-new counter, instantly.

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Do you have your own ideas to share? Please feel free to comment below!

SF Zoo: Visit, Become a Member, Donate



The San Francisco Zoo is a 100-acre (40 ha) zoo located in the southwestern corner of San Francisco, California, between Lake Merced and the Pacific Ocean along the Great Highway. The zoo’s main entrance, once located on the north side across Sloat Boulevard and one block south of the Muni Metro L Taraval line, is now to the west on the ocean side of the zoo off of the Great Highway. This zoo is the birthplace of Koko the gorilla, and also the home of Elly, The Black Rhinoceros said to be the oldest rhino in Northern America. It housed more than 1000 individual animals representing over 250 species as of 2016.




Open daily, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Last admission sold one hour before closing time; last Member entry 30 minutes before closing. Children ages 14 years old and under must be accompanied by an adult while on Zoo grounds. On Free Days, all San Francisco residents are eligible for free admission to the Zoo and must provide valid ID at the front gate as proof of residency. The next SF Resident Free Day is September 7, 2016.



To make a cash donation, please call (415) 753-7173 or e-mail development@sfzoo.org. If you would like to mail:

San Francisco Zoological Society
Development Department
1 Zoo Road
San Francisco, CA 94132-1098

The San Francisco Zoo is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. The charitable tax ID number is 94-1429538.

Cole Valley: The Comprehensive Restaurant List



Bambino’s Ristorante:  945 Cole St., (415) 731-1343


Boulange de Cole Valley: 1000 Cole St., (415) 242-2442


Burger Meister: 86 Carl St., (415) 566-1274


Café Cole: 609 Cole St., (415) 668-7771


Cole Valley Café: 701 Cole St., (415) 668-5282


Crepes on Cole: 100 Carl St. (at Cole Street), (415) 664-1800


Finnegan’s Wake: 937 Cole St., (415) 731-6119


Grandeho’s Kamekyo:  943 Cole St., (415) 759-8428


InoVino: 108B Carl St. (415) 681-3770


Kezar Bar and Restaurant: 900 Cole St.; 770 Stanyan St, (415) 681-7678; (415) 386-9292


Padrecito : 901 Cole St. (Bar at 101 Carl St), (415) 742-5505


Reverie Cafe: 848 Cole St., (415) 242-0200


Say Cheese: 856 Cole St., (415) 665-5020


Taboun: 203 Parnassus Avenue, (415) 566-9696 ‎


Zazie: 941 Cole St., (415) 564-5332.


Did we miss something? Feel free to comment below!

SF’s Most Expensive Listing: $28m

According to Curbed SF, 2250 Vallejo St., a circa 1901 mansion turned contemporary dream home built on one of San Francisco’s highest streets, just became the most expensive listing in the city.

-Business Insider

Here are some pictures. It’s absolutely free to daydream!

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Most $$$ Homes For Sale: West Coast

Our lovely friends at Trulia took the time to compile the most expensive homes on the market right now per State. here are some from our coast!


Hidden Bay hideaway: Hidden Bay, Juneau, AK 99801

$4.75 million, 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, 2,382 square feet

Sunset paradise: 10696 E. Wingspan Way, Scottsdale, AZ 85255

$32 million, 8 bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, 29,700 square feet



301 N. Carolwood Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90077

$150 million, 10 bedrooms, 30,000 square feet

Among the Aspen trees: 41 Popcorn Lane, Aspen, CO 81611

$50 million, 8 bedrooms, 13 bathrooms, 17,013 square feet


Private island paradise: 69-2014 Nani Paniau Place #5, Kamuela, HI 96743

$35 million, 7 bedrooms, 9 bathrooms, 7,130 square feet


Private island paradise: 69-2014 Nani Paniau Place #5, Kamuela, HI 96743

$35 million, 7 bedrooms, 9 bathrooms, 7,130 square feet

Horticultural dreamland: 12011 SW 220th St., Vashon, WA 98070

$43 million, 5 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, 6,500 square feet


Expensive Mistakes to Avoid in Home Improvement

Man drilling holes in wall


Beware the Temptation of Online Purchases

Convenience and affordability are both connected with online purchasing almost any item but larger purchases and items in bulk are definitely harder to send back for a variety of reasons. Another concern is much like clothing and shoes (unless you’re one of the lucky ones), home materials should be something you can see and feel in person. It will cost you more time and money to fix this one!


Cheaping Out

With most home improvement items, you get what you pay for. Although it’s enticing to think you’ll save money by purchasing the cheapest materials and save time by doing it yourself, you’ve got to weigh the value of your time against the inevitability of things not fitting, arriving broken, or not lasting.


Committing before Trying


Sure it can be super tempting to buy those tiles in bulk. You can already imagine how they’d look in your bathroom floors. You love it so much you don’t look over the no return policy for non-defective items disclosure on the receipt. Except when you get home, the natural light just hits that shade of blue the wrong way. Expensive mistake.



Rebecca’s Tips: Summer Sheets


Stick with natural fibers.

The optimal bedsheets to use during the summer are made up of 100% natural fibers. This includes silk and several cotton blends such as percale, sateen, and jersey. The goal is to allow the sheets to breathe and air to flow. Heavy sheets keep air trapped in, leading to an uncomfortable hot bed and restless night. Sheets made up of natural fibers though, let air circulate and keep moisture from forming, thus, preventing perspiration from becoming a problem even in the hottest of nights. Look for sheets made from 100 per cent natural fibers. It has an advantage over man-made materials because they breathe. Better air circulation keeps the air under the sheets from becoming stifling, since people tend to perspire while they sleep. On average, one person can lose up to a liter of moisture during the night. Unlike synthetic fabrics, sheets made from natural fibers are better able to wick moisture away from your body. Natural fibers include silk, bamboo, and specific cotton fabrics such as sateen and jersey. When you think luxury beds, silk sheets come immediately to mind. They are the Ferraris of the bedsheet world. They keep temperatures at perfect levels and allow you to stay cool during the summer and warm during the winter – a perfect win-win situation. However, they are pricey as great luxury comes at a cost.


Go Bamboo

Bamboo may not be your first thought when considering sheets that keep you cool but it is definitely one of the best materials. Many people have compared it to the feeling of cashmere. Bamboo sheets promote good air circulation and can adapt well to extreme temperatures. Bamboo is three times more absorbent than cotton and can dry quickly, allowing you to wake up dry and comfortable no matter how much you perspire. In addition, fabric made from bamboo retains the original plant’s anti-fungal and antimicrobial properties. Furthermore, if you have environmental concerns, bamboo sheets are 100 per cent eco-friendly.


Silk Sheets
Although natural silk sheets are comfortable and regulate the body’s temperature well, they can also be a little pricey. As well, it’s important to remember that not all silk sheets are created equal. Even though some sheets may look like the real thing, they are often made from a synthetic fabric blend, including nylon and polyester, both of which do not keep you as cool and dry in hot weather as natural fibers do.


Percale Sheets
This is a flat weave with a high thread count, creating a crisp and durable fabric that is finely textured. If you like the feeling of stiff sheets, percale is the ideal option.


Don’t Get Caught Up In The Thread Count Hype.

While most people think that the higher the thread count, the more decadent the sheets are, this is not always the truth. Also, sheets with a very high thread count don’t let air pass as freely, trapping heat underneath. We suggest choosing a set with a 300-400 thread count for the summer. Also, if possible, it’s best to feel the fabric first-hand, as this is the best test to how they will feel against your skin all night long. The thread count of your fabrics is an important measurement for any sheets and is the best gauge of the quality and make of the sheets as well as the comfort level they provide. The higher the thread count the more comfortable a sheet will likely feel. A general guideline is to ignore sheets below the 175 thread count threshold and to search for anything above 250, with 300+ being sheets that are well worth the cost.

San Francisco and The Great Styrofoam Ban

We will soon have to eat and drink our on-the-go meals and beverages out of something else, because those soft Styro cups/containers will be no more.



It’s being hailed as the nation’s most extensive ban. The San Francisco County Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a ban last week on the sale of polystyrene foam, popularly known by the trademarked name Styrofoam. Foam packing, cups and mooring buoys will be prohibited starting Jan. 1, 2017.

Who do we have to thank? Why it’s London Breed and the Board of Supervisors. “I just passed the toughest anti-Styrofoam law in the country and we did it unanimously,” Board of Supervisors President London Breed wrote on her Facebook page after the vote. “This is a huge step for our environment and health. San Francisco is on our way to leading the country on environmental policy—again!”.

Why this is major: Styro versatility and convenience comes at such a high price and our environment and marina mammals are the ones paying. Classified as a persistent marine pollutant, styrofoam takes thousands of years to break down and when it does, it really just becomes little pieces of styrofoam dust. This dust is highly toxic and can be easily transmitted to marine life and travel through the entire food chain.

What about us humans? According to Kate Good of One Green Planet, these containers are made with the compound styrene which is classified as a “possible human carcinogen” and a neurotoxin that poses a serious threat to humans. While this might seem daunting, chronic exposure to styrene can have more severe effects, such as damage to the nervous system, chronic fatigue and has been linked to an increased risk of leukemia and lymphoma. Probably didn’t think about that the last time you ordered Seamless…