Mushy Stuff

Well, you guys, I’m a little bummed today.

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I would really, really like to get a dog. Joey feels the same. It’s part of what makes us such a great couple. (Ok, a fairly small part…but it doesn’t hurt.)

But we’ve been holding off. Partly because we feel guilty about having a dog at home all day while we’re at work. (I know, I know, everyone does this. People have to work. And since we plan on adopting a shelter dog, isn’t it better that at least they’re in a loving home than in a cement cage somewhere? Trust me, I have played out this inner dialogue more times than I care to share.)

We also take the commitment of a dog pretty seriously, and we want to make sure we have the time to dedicate to training and giving the pup plenty of attention. So even though we would love to get a puppy, we’ve become open to the idea of getting an older dog.

After over a year of going back and forth on the idea, and after a host of job changes (on my part), we’re finally at a place where we’re ready to make the leap into pet parenthood. (Yup, I called it that. You’re taking on a completely dependent life form, so yeah, I think it applies.)

The problem is, we haven’t found the right dog yet.

We came dangerously close to taking home a puppy a few weeks ago. We were with our friends Brett and Heather, when Heather (who is equally as enamored with dogs as we are) casually suggested swinging by a pet store to kill some time.

You know. Just for fun. To look. Nothing serious.

This is known as the point when we should have known better.

After I nearly sprinted into the store, I was immediately drawn to two tiny beagle pups. I made myself do a lap to appreciate every dog (Am I the only one who does this? Dogs are apparently like fine art to me.), but it wasn’t long before I found myself crouched in front of that little glass window.

One of the puppies stood out. She had immediately spotted me and was licking the glass to try to get to my fingers.

I asked if we could play with her. You know. Just for fun. To look. Nothing serious.

This is known as the point where I started playing with fire.

One of the store associates fetched the puppy (see what I did there?) and set us up in a little room with a bench full of toys. After a few minutes of warming up, it’s safe to say my husband and I were in love. (With the dog. I mean, with each other too, but that’s nothing new.)

And just to give you a point of reference as to exactly how tiny she was:

I know it looks like I’m begging for the puppy in this picture, but really I’m having a joy-meltdown because she started licking my fingers. Let me tell you, I am an excitable individual around dogs.

In a matter of minutes, our just-for-fun-to-look-nothing-serious puppy visit turned into Joey and I playing with the numbers, debating names, and figuring out how much work we could take off to train her.

In the end, though, we forced ourselves to step away. Besides the fact that pet stores skeev me out a bit, the puppy was really expensive. To the tune of $1,300. Ahem.

(For the record: A quick internet search when we got home led me to a local breeder who charged a third of the pet store’s price. AND the puppies would be more socialized and we would know where they came from and the list goes on. Don’t even get me started on what we would save by going to a shelter.)

In short, we made the responsible decision. And sometimes being responsible sucks. We’re both still a little heavyhearted about the whole ordeal. (I mean, come on. Look at that face!)

Then earlier this week, family friends of Joey’s parents told him that they were trying to find a home for their 1-and-a-half-year-old boxer/pit mix, Bella. Joey met her first, and she’s a total sweetheart, but as soon as I met her, it was pretty clear she was way too big for our apartment. A hyper beagle-sized dog is one thing; a hyper 50-pound ball of solid muscle is another.

So despite her totally loving disposition, we again made the responsible decision that we weren’t the right people for this dog.

This story could end there and still be a total bummer, but, in true me style, I’m going to take it a step further.

Last night, we decided to swing by an animal shelter to see what our options were there. We scoured every single cage, but we didn’t find anyone that really jumped out at us and headed home dog-less yet again. I mean, there are other shelters we can check, but I’m just feeling a little disheartened.

I’m just…bummed, you guys. I’m one of those people who truly believes life is better with a dog. Both Joey and I always had them growing up, and it’s a little weird to not have a furry little body snuggling with you on the couch after work.

For my pet-owning readers, where did you get your dog/cat/whatever? Do you work full-time? How’s that going? Any advice for me on finding the right dog?

Sorry for this bummer of a post. I’ll work on something more upbeat for tomorrow.

You guys! I’m back!

Hopefully your whole day without me wasn’t too difficult to bear. I’d like to be all like, “Oh maaaan, you guys, I was like dyyyying without you!!!! LYLAS!!” But I’m afraid the hubs made our 36-hour anniversary extravaganza a bit too awesome for me to wish I was anywhere else.

And just because I love to brag on my handsome man, here’s a run-down of just how great he is:

1. On Tuesday, I got a special delivery at work right before lunch. The flowers continued to open while I was out, and they’re even prettier today. (Plus, my desk smells amazing.)

2. When I got home that evening (after my boss let me out EARLY – woot!), after Joey finished packing, a town car picked us up around 5:30. Um, hi? I can go into the city without worrying about fighting traffic or slogging along on the train? This is the ultimate in luxury for me. (I’m a fancy, fancy girl, obviously ha.)

3. Hotel room! We stayed at the Four Points Sheraton in Times Square. It was perfectly located for our (yet unbeknownst to me) planned activities, plus it had a gym in the basement so I could go running Wednesday morning.

4. Before dinner (at Tre Dici, which I highly recommend)(Get the lobster mac and cheese. You’re welcome.), Joey gave me yet another surprise. We were going to WICKED the next night! Cue my girlie shrieks.

5. The next morning, we grabbed a delicious egg sandwich at Piccolo Cafe. At this point, I knew we had plans around 1:30, but I didn’t know what they were.

6. Surprise! The plans were that we were going to see Once, a musical based on one of my favorite movies. Yes, you’re counting right, that’s TWO shows in one day. Obviously, I could not be more thrilled.

7. What’s that? We have half an hour to kill before our show? Why, yes! I do think the correct answer for “how should we spend that time” is getting a drink at a nearby pub. I mean, it was after noon…so…yup. (Side note: We were both mildly concerned that we would have to explain ourselves as we bellied up to the bar shortly after lunch, but there was literally a crowd of people drinking. Apparently we’re the only ones that don’t imbibe on our lunch breaks?)

8. You guys. Once is so good. Seriously. If you like folksy music, people who start bands, Ireland, somewhat tragic love stories, amazing singing, or just generally talented musical people, this is the show for you. It is SO GOOD. (Plus, the stage is a bar before the show and during intermission. That’s just never not awesome.)

9. After Once, we grabbed dinner and drinks at Spice Market, a southeast-Asian restaurant in the Meatpacking district. The ambiance is super cool, and everything we had was delicious. I had the kumquat mojito, and Joey had the whiskey passion fizz.

10. For dinner, we split the crab dumplings, seafood laksa, curry duck, and broccoli with baby corn. Dessert was a cookie bag and a half pint of Vietnamese coffee ice cream. We’re fat kids at heart.

11. THEN IT WAS TIME FOR WICKED WHICH IS JUST SO GOOD AND YOU NEED TO SEE IT. I had seen it once in Chicago my junior year of high school, and it was just as amazing as I remembered. The girl who plays Elfaba? A. Maze. Ing. And Glinda knocks it out of the park. So funny. So good. JUST SEE IT ALREADY.

12. And then it was time to get on a train and head home. I think it’s safe to say that we’re both a bit exhausted today, but it was totally worth it.

I had SUCH an amazing time. (And I still have the Augustana concert to look forward to! I mean, the first anniversary is the paper anniversary, so I guess all these tickets are only appropriate!)

But more than anything, I’m so excited to start our second year of marriage. Love you bub!

OK, I promise, no more mushy stuff for a while. Just had to get it out of my system. 🙂

Now, I’m going to spend the rest of the day reminding myself it’s only Thursday and that I’m getting on a plane in 48 hours to go see some of my best friends.

And you can all look forward to that groggy post next Monday. Anyone else having a crazy (but super awesome) week?

Well, folks, we made it a year!

Happy anniversary to Joey, the best husband, friend, and all-around person I know. I love you from the left to the right 🙂

Hope everyone has a wonderful day!

You know what it turns out is really fun? Anniversaries.

I mean, I spent my whole life celebrating other people’s anniversaries. My parents’ was always a big deal because my grandparents would send a giant box of gifts for everyone. Two of my brothers have been married for over a decade, and the other one is only a few years behind.

It’s kind of surreal having our own now. I mean, grown-ups have wedding anniversaries. And yet here we are.

Our actual anniversary isn’t until tomorrow, but the festivities kicked off this last weekend. (What can I say? It’s our first one. We’re excited. And considering the next “big” anniversary isn’t until like, five years, we’re taking advantage of this one.)

(Side note: As you may know, Android FINALLY got an Instagram app last week. Which means I’m jumping on the bandwagon of Instagram photo blog posts. Woooooo joining!)(Although now apparently Facebook bought it and people are wigging out…I prefer to wait and see what happens before I jump ship.)(ALSO, my username is justinelorelle if you care to follow me!)

First, Joey started strong with presents with these lovely earrings. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a sucker for Kate Spade, and I’ve pretty much been wearing these non-stop for the last week.

Saturday, I had a hair appointment bright and early at 9 a.m. Cons: NINE A.M HAIR APPOINTMENT. Pros: My hair looked awesome all day. Win some, lose some.

That night was Brittany’s party. We booked a room at a karaoke place in the city and basically screamed out lungs out all night. All in all, a successful party!

Present #2 from the hubs! What can I say? I love a piece of simple gold jewelry.

Present #3! (Boy is knocking it out of the park.) Tickets to Augustana!!!! Which, as you may recall, is one of my favorite bands.

And finally, Joey’s parents took us out to dinner last night and got us a delicious cake along with a few other presents. So many presents!

Kind of crazy considering the anniversary hasn’t even happened yet. I don’t know what we’re doing for the official day (Joey has all kinds of surprises up his sleeve apparently), but I’m sure I’ll be back with another Instagram update. (I’m mildly obsessed with it.)

How was your weekend? Do anything fun?

In lieu of yesterday’s bIg AnNoUnCeMeNt, I’ve decided Fridays are a good day to list a few things that make me happy. Lest I head into the weekend in the wrong mindset. (Psh, yeah right. EVERYONE is happy on Fridays, right?)

Anywho, here goes:

1. I’m happy I get to see my dear friend Erin and one of my favorite professors tonight in the city.

2. I’m happy I have a hair appointment tomorrow morning.

3. I’m happy I get to celebrate my friend Brittany’s departure from singledom tomorrow night.

4. I’m happy because I’m wearing my favorite jeans, and according to this lovely lady, great jeans are the answer to any problem.

5. I’m happy it’s pay day, which means I can finally order this little baby I’ve had my eye on. (With 3.5 percent cash back from Ebates ;))

6. I’m happy the hubs has the day off and can come meet me for lunch.

7. I’m happy I’m out of work at three so I can run a few errands before heading into the city.

8. I’m happy because of all the fab inspiration I find online every day.

9. I’m happy to be freelancing again.

10. I’m happy my anniversary is on Tuesday!

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See you Monday!

It’s official: I’m never making another decision on my own without consulting you guys first.

Seriously, you’re all so helpful! After I posted my (FIRST EVER SUPER AWESOME) mood board yesterday, packed with all kinds of questions and requests for advice, you all stepped up. I got answers through gchat, comments, emails — and they were all really helpful!

If I can get super mushy for a second, it seriously warms my heart when you guys comment. It’s especially exciting when you’re people I don’t even know in “real” life, but all responses are extremely validating.

Ok, mushy second over. In other news, I’ve started pricing out my dream bedroom. As I mentioned yesterday, I’m hoping to DIY a lot of things, but there are still purchases that need to be made.

Duvet cover: Since the Target one I referenced yesterday has since been taken off the market (d’oh), I found one at Bed Bath & Beyond (of which I am a huge fan):

The only issue is that I can only find it online. The pros of this are that I don’t have to go searching for it and I can get cash back from Ebates.com (which you know I love), but the cons are that I have to pay shipping and I’m not sure if BBB’s endless stream of coupons applies to online purchases. I need to rustle one up and check. It would be about $75, with 1 percent cash back from Ebates. (Le sigh.)

Rug: As I mentioned yesterday, as much as I love Crate & Barrel’s pretty rug, it’s a bit too pricey for my taste. So I did what any cheap-o, decor-loving girl would do and settled for the next best thing: IKEA. Their Stockholm Rand rug would work perfectly, and it’s $100 cheaper than the C&B version:

However, it’s still not exactly free, so I’m saving my pennies.

Vanity/desk: This was a perfect example of how a commenter really came through for me. So we know I love the West Elm Parsons Desk. However, we also know that it costs a billion dollars. You know what is much more reasonable? THIS little beauty from World Market:

And it’s basically the same look. I actually like it a tiny bit better because the legs add some visual interest. Plus, um, hello? Cheaper. (Although, again, not free, so I’m trying to hold out for a coupon.)(Plus, 4 percent cash back from Ebates.com.)(HAVE I MENTIONED THAT I LOVE EBATES YET?)

Other than that, I need 3 shadow boxes, fabric, a couple Goodwill lamps, and a vanity stool I can paint and recover. Sooo…yeah. Dream decor is kind of a cash suck. But I already have coupons for Michael’s and Jo-Ann Fabrics, so that’s a start. And I’m trying REALLY hard not to let my excitement take over and make me spend a bunch of money right off the bat. I. Will. Take. This. Slow.

Anyone else ever find themselves diving head-first into projects (only to be left EXTREMELY poor)? Also, anyone have any cheap-o options to share? You know I love it when you do.