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...