Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Apartment Makeover: Powder Room Edition

When we relocated to our apartment on the South Side, one of the most exciting things about our new living situation was the 1.5 baths...finally eliminating the age-old questions of who gets to pee first after a long car ride home. But when we first moved in September, there were a couple of problems:

  1. The powder room looked something more like an unorganized janitor's closet and...
  2. Neither the toilet nor the sink were functional.


Now, there are pros and cons of living in your architect uncle's rental property...
  • Pro - Rent is cheap!
  • Con - He doesn't have time to finish it this week...
  • Pro - He knows how to do things like fix toilets and sinks.
  • Con - He doesn't have the right parts on hand to finish the job...
  • Pro - I don't mind seeing him when he has to come over three weekends in a row.
  • Con - No?  Still not fixed?!?
  • Pro - Bruce and Alfred are getting a lot of practice having "guests" in the house.
  • Con - 6 weeks later...
And we finally have a working toilet and sink!  Huzzah!  

Once everything was in working in order, I could not wait to get my redecorating hands on that itty bitty space. A couple coats of paint, some additional storage, and a Puerto Rican street scape later and we couldn't be happier!


Not to mention the freedom to pee whenever we choose.  :)   Happy Election Day!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Friday Haiku: Decisions, Decisions...

Halloween costumes
are easy when you have a 

-Alfred the Dog

Thanks to Our Waldo Bungie for getting Alfred his sweater in time for Halloween!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Dog-O-Lanterns and a Halloween Giveaway!

Ever since I've been out of school and trying to be an adult in the "real world" I haven't done much in the ways of celebrating Halloween. You would most likely find me at home trying to pretend like I wasn't there instead of explaining to the poor kids that I didn't have any candy, or just avoiding being around altogether by tying myself up with work or other non-Halloween-celebrating friends. It's not that I didn't enjoy dressing up in costumes, carving pumpkins, or eating copious amounts of candy [because I do]...I just had this silly idea in my head that those things were for children, and not respectable 20-somethings living in the big city. But that all changed when I had fur-children.

Bruce Wayne's 1st Halloween: 2009

I was no longer bound by the self-imposed restrictions of being an adult because now I had fun-loving kids by my side (albeit, dog kids) and what sort of respectable mother wouldn't celebrate Halloween with her kids? (My logic may be flawed, but anyway...everyone loves dogs in costumes, right?) And what are Halloween costumes if not themed Halloween costumes??

We're off to see the wizard...

Call me a crazy dog lady (I know I'm in good company), but I also decided that last Halloween wouldn't be complete without Bruce Wayne and Alfred Dog-O-Lanterns. I was right. It only took about 4 hours from start to finish, but at the end of the day M and I were the proud owners of two pumpkins carved in the likeness of our babies. I have never been happier.

Which is why this year, I am doing a giveaway so that one lucky reader can have their very own custom Dog-O-Lantern design! The rules are simple...
  1. Go "Like" our Facebook page if you haven't already.
  2. Share this contest on your FB wall.
  3. Leave a comment below that you shared the contest.
It's that easy! I will randomly select a winner on Thursday, October 25th at 12pm CT, then contact the winner for a photo of their dog. Once I receive the photo I will create a custom carving pattern and then you can get to work carving your very own Dog-O-Lantern. Just tape the pattern to your pumpkin, trace it with a pounce wheel, then carve away. (Pounce wheel and saws are available in most pumpkin carving kits). Light with a candle, and enjoy the warm glow of your pooch's face in pumpkin form. Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Monday, October 15, 2012

Apartment Makeover: Bedroom Edition

It has now been about 6 weeks since we've moved our stuff to the new apartment on the South Side and this past week I finally started getting serious about moving in. The first order of business was clearing out the largest of the 3 bedrooms so that M and I could move our bed in and, for the first time since living together over the past 3 years, have enough space for both of us to be able to get out of our own side of the bed! This prospect was very exciting for us considering our previous bedrooms only allowed us to climb in from the bottom of the bed.

Our old apartment shoe-box bedroom.

Not much of an improvement...

Not only did we have to clear out all of our stuff from the larger room, but the wall under the window needed to be repaired from previous water damage, and then all the walls needed to be cleaned and repainted. Slowly but surely, I transferred box upon box from the soon-to-be bedroom out into the rest of the apartment.

How did we get so much stuff?

Once the room was cleared out, I cut out the damaged sections of wall and patched them with a few layers of plaster. Alfred was insistent on helping.

Mom, where did you find this window?!? It's awesome.

Once the plaster was dry and all of the walls were washed, it was finally time to paint!  I had picked out paint colors weeks ago, but finally went to the store and picked up a couple gallons of Behr flat enamel from Home Depot in "Sparkling Spring." I also had some left over paint from our old apartment that I thought would make a nice accent color, so I used that in the closet. Nine hours later, this was the result.

It's still not quite finished...I'm playing with the idea of window films to give us more privacy, but still let light in; and I finally get to go out and buy a dresser and night stands (other things that don't fit in a shoe-box bedroom), then hang up photos and everything else. But for now it just feels good to be able to get out on the right side of the bed in the morning.  

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Creatures of the South Side

I thought I was out of the woods when September ended, but somehow October is chalking up to be just as crazy!  But, since I am trying my best to be disciplined this month I am going to write a quick post about all of the wildlife in our new hood.

No, not that wildlife!
 My first encounter was just a couple of weeks after we moved in, while starting off my new endeavors in jogging. I was on my way home from volunteering at Animal Care and Control (a long mere 1.5 mile jog from our new apartment) when I almost stepped on a snake!  Taking after my mother, I immediately went home and started the Google search to figure out what type of snake could possibly be living in the city, and determined that it was a Ribbon snake (part of the Garter snake family which, btw, I always thought was "Gardener" snake...always learning new things). Now just this morning, on my way home from boot camp, I almost stepped on another critter blending in among the falling leaves.

I had never seen this type of frog so, again, I went straight to Google to search for "green and black frog + Chicago."  This search took a little longer than expected, but eventually I stumbled on a post that looked the closest to that little guy in the picture.  Turns out he was most likely a fugitive...Oriental fire-bellied toads are apparently common pet store finds.

So we have reptiles and amphibians covered, our fair share of birds and squirrels, not to mention the wild life in our own living room.

What could be next?  Hopefully not one of these...

Friday, September 28, 2012

Monday, September 24, 2012

Busy Bulls - The Ruff Life of a Dog Model

For those of you who missed it, we reopened our Etsy shop over the weekend which means that my furry models were hard at work scheduling photo shoots amidst their busy days of chasing squirrels and barking at people on the street. Needless to say, all of their hard work paid off and we got some fantastic shots for their portfolios.

I'm ready for my close up.

But being a dog model isn't always as easy as Bruce Wayne and Alfred make it seem...before getting that perfect shot we went through almost 500 camera clicks, most of which turn out something like this.

It is exhausting being that cute.

How does a dog model recoup after a busy week of photo shoots and fittings? See for yourself...

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Physical Fitness

Hey Blogland - it's good to be back!

It's been a long and crazy summer, but Autumn is in the air and it's time to get back in the groove of things. In my last post I made a list of all of the things to catch up on, and so I'm going to go ahead and start with the first thing on that list - boot camp!
photo borrowed from www.k-9companions.com

After a summer too hot for long walks (and plenty of food and beer) I was in need of a jump start to get back on the road to physical fitness. As if August weren't crazy enough with our recent near-homelessness status and a pending move, M and I decided to sign up for a boot camp program that met in Grant Park at 6am three days a week. We were up so early that Bruce and Alfred were still sound asleep when we left...even they thought we were crazy!

The first day we completed our initial assessment: run a 1/2 mile, 40 squats, 30 sit ups, 20 push ups, 10 squat thrusts, then run another 1/2 mile - timed. I almost threw up. The next couple weeks were tough, but by week three I was finally starting to feel stronger and actually went out to run on my own on a Saturday...morning. On the last day of the four week program, we were reassessed and M and I both dropped our times by more than 3 minutes! 

Meanwhile, our move date was inching closer and closer AND we had plans to be out of town the following two weekends. Alfred and Bruce had a little vacation of their own to Kritter Kare while M and I completed our own travels and finalized the move at the end of the month. By Labor Day, we were finally all home in our new apartment and trying our best to readjust. Some of us had an easier time than others.

life is easy - just look for the sunny spot
One of the major adjustments we've had to make is that we aren't able to let the dogs run in the back yard, so we need to take them on the leash every time they go out. This means lots more walks (yay!), but now that the weather is getting chilly again they are full of energy and it's not quite enough just to walk them. So, in order to keep myself in shape and make sure the dogs are getting enough exercise, I've decided to sign up for my first race since the 8th grade: the Hot Chocolate 5k! And Alfred is my training buddy. 

Did I mention the park here is beautiful?

I know what you're thinking: how do you run with a leash-reactive dog? Quite honestly, he's a great running partner! As long as we keep moving he has little time to get distracted by other things, and once we stop he is much more relaxed from getting some good exercise. It's a win/win for both of us...I haven't died so far. And cheese. Cheese helps a lot. :)

more on our neighborhood parks in a future post...

Oh, and don't feel bad for Bruce. While he's a terrible jogger, he does get to go out and play on the 25' lead in the park down the street. Here's a shot of him enjoying himself on his 3rd Adoptaversary earlier this week.

Both dogs have been gearing up for the reopening of the Snug-A-Bull shop this Friday 
and getting back in their best modeling shape. Check out our Facebook page for more details!

Monday, August 13, 2012


After three years of life in our Chicago apartment, Bruce Wayne, Alfred, M and I are moving!  We started house shopping in April and were all set to close on a place at the beginning of August when everything fell through in the Eleventh Hour, meaning our current apartment had already been rented out.  Sooo...what is a family of four to do when they have to be moved out in less than a month with no place to go? Lucky for us, my uncle has a property in McKinley Park that we can stay in while we continue to house hunt.  We're moving to the South Side!

That's us in the red :)

While M and I are excited to start our new adventures in living, Bruce and Alfred mostly just think we have been extra boring lately.  I'll be sure to update with a post of how they acclimate to the new space once we get settled in, as well as catch up on all of the other things we've been up to over the summer...and so I don't forget:

  • Boot Camp
  • Reunions
  • Traveling
  • Photography Class
  • Volunteering 
  • and, of course, more dog pictures!

FYI - for anyone interested in getting involved with volunteering, 
One Tail at a Time is holding their next volunteer orientation this 
Sunday, August 19th. To learn more, visit their website.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Friday Haiku: Congratulations!

Thanks to you and all your votes
dogs won't go hungry.

photo courtesy of One Tail at a Time.

Life has been crazy, but there will be a new post coming soon!  
Thanks for being patient :)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Friday Haiku: Kriser's Christmas in July Contest

They need money to save dogs
from going hungry.

-Alfred the Dog

One Tail at a Time, NFP is a no-kill, all-breed dog rescue that serves to lower euthanasia rates in the greater Chicagoland area and provide education on the humane treatment of companion animals.
The rescue concentrates its efforts on dogs that are in danger of being euthanized, or those that are physically and/or mentally deteriorating in a shelter environment, works to rehabilitate them, and then matches each dog with a permanent home.
Focused on keeping pets as a part of our family, One Tail at a Time offers fosters and adopters continued support and education on how best to keep dogs happy, healthy and part of the family.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Friday, June 22, 2012

Friday, June 15, 2012

Friday Haiku

Towering green leaves
This is the perfect place where
Alfred can't find me.

-Bruce Wayne

Monday, June 4, 2012

Bruce Wayne for President!

....okay, so he may not be running for office, but he still needs your vote!  Bruce Wayne has entered the One Tail at a Time Summer Photo Contest and the grand prize is a photo shoot to get his handsome mug on a CTA ad to run all around the city later this summer.  HOW COOL!!

Given his super model background, I think he would be the perfect candidate to represent rescue dogs all around Chicago, but he needs YOUR HELP.  The photo with the most votes by Friday, June 8th will be the winner.  How do you vote?  It's easy!

1) Click here to view Bruce's photo.

2) Click "like" above the comments section.

3) You've just cast your vote!

AND....generous dog that he is...Bruce has agreed to give away a Snug-A-Bull snood to the person to get the most friends to come and vote.  Just ask your friends to follow the steps above, then leave a comment next to the photo saying that you sent them.  When voting ends on Friday, the person who sent the most voters will get to choose their own custom snood for their pooch!   

So get out there and get voting!  Bruce Wayne and I thank you for your support!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Bruce Wayne, the Super Model

Some of you readers already know about Bruce Wayne's modeling career. It all started in January of this year when I started up a shop on Etsy.com to sell snoods for dogs: the Snug-A-Bull shop.

He went through some intense training all winter long, modeling scarves, snoods, and other winter accessories.

But ever since the shop went on vacation this Spring, he has been itching for an opportunity to start modeling again. Which is why he was so excited when local rescue, One Tail at a Time, announced their Summer Photo Contest. How could we resist the opportunity to paste those ears all over the CTA while promoting rescue dogs in Chicago?? We immediately scheduled a special photo shoot in the back yard and sent in our application...I don't want to give away his final photo for the contest, but here is a little sneak peek from our shoot.

Voting begins June 1st, so be sure to "Like" the One Tail Facebook Page and keep an eye out for this handsome cowboy at the start of the month. And maybe, just maybe you'll be seeing those giant bat ears every morning on your commute to work later this summer. I know that would make my day a little brighter! Bruce and I thank you in advance for your support. :)