Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Meet Olive

We are now the proud parents of a rescue dog which we named Olive! We adopted her in early November and atm she is laying on a blanket between Jake and I on the couch, sleeping. Her favorite pastimes are: sleeping, walking and eating (in that order). 

So many people have asked me how I convinced Jake to finally get a dog and I think it's a combination of a few things. Actually let me back up. As an adult, I have wanted a dog for as long as I can remember. Of course I love to travel, go to happy hour after work and go on spontaneous random adventures without having to worry about when I would get home. So, a dog didn't exactly fit into my life. But I still wanted one, and I was probably more fascinated with the idea of a dog than having an actual dog. Jake never shared the same obsession that I had with dogs and once we moved in together all of the places we had lived did not allow dogs so it was kind of a moot point. Over the years, I have been pretty vocal about wanting a dog and it was kind of a little joke that we had. When we moved to Charlotte, we did live in an apartment (for three years!) that allowed dogs and it seemed like we were the only ones that didn't have a dog. Looking back, I am glad that we waited to get a dog because we did travel a lot over those 3 years and it would have been too hard to have a dog in a small 1-bedroom apartment. 

Fast foward to 2016 when we moved to California. The house we rented didn't allow dogs and that was that. Even though the owner had two dogs, he decided not to allow dogs which I totally understand. The flooring in the house was made of bamboo (which I love!) but it really showed scratch marks and wear and tear. Heck, we have a rental property too and don't allow pets. So I get it. When we bought the house this summer, one of the first things I brought up was getting a dog. I joked  about doing a powerpoint presentation titled WHY WE SHOULD GET A DOG - I think I saw that on a commercial where a kid is giving his parents a presentation about getting a dog. 

The last straw was last Fall when I visited my family in Hawaii and spent a lot of time with my brother's dog. Just having a little furry animal to cuddle with and take on walks was THE BEST and I was so sad to leave the dog (Hi Randy! and Aaron and Lydia, too!). My sister in law joked that she would have to check my luggage to make sure I didn't take their dog home with me! Haha... I got home from my trip and was basically non-stop talking about getting a dog. I asked Jake if I could start looking up adoptable dogs online. I think he just told me to go ahead and do it since he knew I would do it anyway. Ha! So, naturally I did and bookmarked 15 dogs on adoptapet.com. Jake and I went through the dogs and he literally crossed at least 13 off the list. So, there were a few left. We met one in person and decided that it wouldn't be a great fit - we didn't feel that connection that we thought we should/would feel. A lot of the rescue organizations had like 10+ page applications with questions like, where will the dog sleep? Do you have a vet picked out?, etc I knew we would figure out all of that eventually but I didn't want to spend 2 hours filling out each adoption application. 

One of the other dogs that caught my eye was "Blossom" -- she was going to be at an adoption event at PetSmart in Costa Mesa the following weekend, so it was no pressure and we didn't have to fill out an application to meet her. I vividly remember hugging Jake before we left to meet her and saying, "Thanks for letting us do this. I know there is a .001% chance we are getting a dog today, but the first step is looking. Kind of like when we bought the house. We had to get the ball rolling by going to an open house." We got to Petsmart and Jake pointed her out. She was wearing a pink collar and she was in a larger kennel with a few other Chihuahua's. The other dogs were barking their heads off and "Blossom" was in the corner sunbathing, totally ignoring the other dogs barking -- she couldn't care less. That is when I knew she would be our dog. 

We took her out for a walk around the grassy area and we both agreed that she was super mellow and seemed to have a great temperament. She is 4 years old too and we knew we didn't want to get a puppy. A few hours later and after signing our life away, she was ours. We didn't have anything. The rest of the afternoon was spent procuring doggie supplies. We promptly renamed her "Olive". We spent $978757 (not really, but you know what I mean) buying a kennel, bed, dog food, leash, poop bags, etc. We made an appointment for her to get all checked out at the vet (which was another $357876). At this point, I realized dogs are expensive. But, it was Day 3 and I just signed my life away so I sucked it up and went back to cuddling her. I could do a whole 'nuther post about the vet and how many times we have gone in the past two months (at least 5 vet visits) and one emergency vet visit (corneal abrasion). But, I wouldn't change it for anything.

In the past (almost) three months, she has brought us so much joy and happiness and love. Sure, sometimes she turns into "crazy woman" -- I literally call her that but it is happening less and less. She does have a few quirks that we will need to work through with a trainer, but once we do that I am confident to say that she will be the perfect dog. We don't know a lot about her history other than she was at SEAACA which is a notoriously high kill shelter. She was slated to be euthanized when the Rescue Organization came in and adopted her the day before she was going to be put down. You're crying, I'm not crying... They rehabbed her for about six weeks and got her in tip top shape. She got microchipped and spayed a few days before we adopted her.  

The newest thing she does is, when we leave the back sliding glass door open, she will go out there and sit on a patio chair and bark for us to come out there and play/relax/hang with her. The first time she did it, I thought she could hear a neighbor or something, but no, she was just sunbathing -- wanting Jake and I to come out from our offices and hang out with her. UGH. JUST THE CUTEST. (Can you tell I'm a proud doggie mom)? 

To sum up things, I leave you with this actual conversation that happened a few minutes ago: 

Jake: "Sometimes I can't tell if Olive likes to be pet or not"
Me: "Well, I just pet her anyway" 

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Flipping a Flip

Hello Blogland! It's been a minute. 

We're only just over two weeks in and 2018 is already getting off to a very exciting start for us. As you know if you read this post, we bought a house a little over six months ago. We have had so much fun making it our own and even though it's only been a short amount of time, it is finally starting to feel like  it's "ours". Although honestly, it will probably take a few years for the whole concept to sink in when we don't have to look at rent increases or lease renewals down the line. 

You also probably know that the house we bought was a flip. Basically, anything in our budget in this market is either going to be really old, like 1940's old, or a flip. A flip is defined as a home that is bought and sold again within a 12 month period. And many flips are done within four to six weeks. So just like the shows on TV, there is no way that they can update the home that quickly and not take a few shortcuts. It's just how it goes. A lot of the homes we looked at while we were house hunting were flips and we knew they had a complicated/bad reputation but we didn't fully know what to expect. When we came to look at the house again after we put in our offer (and it was accepted), I think it set in that the house we were buying was 75 years old. To us, it looked brand new inside. We were never 100% fully sold on the exterior but we told ourselves that is something we could work on later. Since, you know, we sort of have all the time in the world since the inside was already updated. Plus, wouldn't you rather have everything look nice on the inside (where you spend 95%+ of your time)? That was my logic. While we don't hate the exterior, we do have a million ideas for how we can modernize it and make it more our style. But, that is a topic for another day. 

Today I want to bring you guys up to speed on our Master Bathroom or "MBA" as we abbreviate it.  Due to a few water leak issues we discovered soon after moving in, we decided to spend our money redoing this bathroom instead of spending it on repairs. Despite this little setback, we are still so excited about the house and actually it's been so fun picking out all of the finishes and fixtures.

Here is my "vision board/collage" that I created which includes all of the actual pieces we will be utilizing for the remodel. To say I am excited is the understatement of the year. This has been in the making for a LONG time!

(1) Wall Sconce / (2) White Subway Tile / (3) Towel Hooks / (4) Mirror / (5) Knobs and Pull / (6) Showerhead  / (7) Faucet  / (8) Shower Control Valve  / (9) Toilet Paper Holder / (10) Quartz Countertop  (11) Tile Flooring

My initial vision for the bathroom was black and white - totally minimalist with graphic bold cement floor tile. Once we learned more about finishes and costs, we decided to go in a slightly different direction. #youknowhowthatgoes The above is what we came up with after working with our contractor / designer and I couldn't be more excited. We ordered a few of the specialty things but our contractor is dealing with everything else - from permits to shower glass. The project is starting in a couple weeks and I cannot contain myself. I will do another post with some more sneak peeks including our drawings and what our design appointment was like (hint: it took 6 hours to pick out EVERYTHING).

Overall I feel like we are doing a really good job putting our "stamp" on the house and transforming it to a perfect urban oasis. As you know, I work from home 100% of the time. Jake does about 60-75% of the time, so our home has to feel cozy and warm and be cheery and bright. That sounded like a Christmas reference, but I think you know what I mean. 

So far, in the past six months we have:
  • Updated some minor electrical 
  • Had TV mounted above fireplace
  • Installed roller blinds on windows
  • Replaced Front Door
  • Replaced Kitchen Door
  • Updated plumbing connections 
  • Repaired/replaced sprinklers
  • Cleaned out attic (sort of)
  • Added attic air vent covers 
  • Had gas leak fixed by utility company

SPRING 2018:
  • MBA Remodel - early February 
  • Front Door to be painted - mid-late March
  • Kitchen Door to be painted - mid-late March
  • Planning front/backyard Landscaping - early Summer 
Have you ever worked on a remodeling project? Did you do it yourself? or hire out? What was your experience? I am so curious to hear how everything went as this will be our first rodeo dealing with, really, anything like this. Wish us luck!