28 April 2016

Our Trip To Savannah

Alex & I got back from Savannah late last night. The four days we spent there were absolutely incredible. We stayed with his aunt and uncle in the Victorian district and it was a blast. I had a lot of fun meeting and spending time with his family - they are the sweetest people. Since Alex spent the majority of his twenties in Savannah, and worked at about a million of the restaurants there, it was really fun listening to him talk about the time he spent there while he was showing me the area. We even went to a few of the restaurants where he worked at!
I will miss heading out to Sentient Bean for our morning lattes, J Christopher's for breakfast, roaming around the historic district and creeping through cemeteries, checking out bookstores and walking around Forsyth Park. It's funny because as much as I loved Savannah, I think what I'll miss most will be spending four days straight with Alex. <3

We joked the whole trip that aside from seeing his family, we were really there for the food. So with that being said, I figured I'd list the restaurants we went to while we were there:
Sentient Bean, Vinnie Van Go Go, Treylor Park, J. Christopher's, Zunzi's, Taca, The Distillery, The Coffee Fox and Back In the Day Bakery. All of it was amazing too!
I honestly didn't take too many photos with my actual camera, but I did take a lot of videos and I'll be compiling that together over the weekend - so stay tuned cause I'll be posting the link to it once I'm done.
23 April 2016

A List of Love

This month I am thankful for: the ability to visit Savannah with Alex (for the first time together). I've been there once before and Alex used to live there for many years. It will be nice to have him show me all of his old haunts. I'm also really excited to see how much he loves being back there.

Things that I have been loving:
  • being Alex's fiance (it still blows my mind to think that we dated when we were teenagers)
  • all things Tori Amos circa the nineties
  • listening to Lake Street Dive's newest album "Side Pony"
  • finishing out my glass jar storage collection
  • homemade matcha green tea coconut lattes
  • making more YouTube videos
  • The Girl In the Spider's Web, which is a continuation of the Millennium series written by a different author (it's so good)
  • writing more 

Create your own list of love. You can write it in the comments below or make your own post. If you do make a post, be sure to leave the link to it in the comments section. I can't wait to see your lists! Also, you are more than welcome to use the image above on your blog post - just make sure to credit me. 

You can view all of the other lists of love here
21 April 2016

Something Magical

Last night Olive fell asleep on me for the first time ever. Her furry, little body nestled between my chest and my arm – her head resting on the edge of my shoulder. I watched as her tiny nose slowed down to a few movements every few seconds, her eyes getting heavy as her breathing mimicked a small child’s while entranced in a deep sleep. There’s something magical about having a bunny fall asleep on you. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that it takes them so long to trust anyone, always on guard for a threat to appear at any given moment. And last night, she made me feel incredibly special. Here was this four pound rabbit that I’ve let into my life, taken care of and given her a safe place to grow, and there she was trusting me with her safety. That says a lot, especially coming from a rabbit. Thank you for always making me feel special, Olive, I love you.
20 April 2016

It is in these moments...

There is something about him. Something that makes me want to tell him everything. Every bad morsel, every good moment, every  little   secret. This is different for me; this willingness to remove the skeletons from my closet, this act of sharing the darkest parts of my soul. Perhaps the comfort to do so lies within his smile and how he manages to create a safe place for me to flourish, to feel open - to feel alive. And it's an odd and peculiar feeling to look into his eyes knowing that he accepts me. It is in these moments that I am left feeling open and alive.
16 April 2016

Through the Lens: Olive, Up Close & Personal

I don't think I'll ever get over how precious this furry, little girl is. She really is the sweetest, sassiest creature I know. I love everything about her - even if she can be antisocial at times.
We're similar that way...
10 April 2016

An Eco-conscious Approarch to Life

Before moving into our new apartment, and while I was still living with my parents, I spent a lot of time daydreaming about a more natural lifestyle that involved filling my next home with nothing but natural/reuse-able items. It didn't help the fact that my best friend Megan had become a zero-waste guru - her excitement was contagious and I harnessed that inspiration. So, over the six months that I was living with my parents I constructed a game plan.

I was already a pro at recycling, using reuse-able bags and glass storage containers, but I felt as thought it was time to take it a step further. I stocked up on glass containers, purchased bamboo chopping boards, etc. and recently I've even made my own cleaning products.

Here are some items that I already have:

Glass Jars
I have a lot of Bonne Maman preserve jars with metal lids thanks to my parents going through NINE jars over the course of the six months I was living with them. Those jars come in handy for storing snacks, fruit, etc. I also have some Kerr, Kilner, Bormioli Rocco and Ball jars of various sizes. I even have glass jars in the bathroom to hold my make-up brushes and q-tips.

Pyrex Glass Storage Set
I know that these have plastic lids, but when it comes to storing leftovers I couldn't find anything big enough that would work affordable. I just make sure that the lids are washed by hand and not put in a microwave to make them last longer and to keep our food safe.

Reuse-able Bags
My bags were given to me by my mother and they are cotton cloth ones from Publix. Some of them have removable plastic bottoms on the inside, I haven't gotten rid of those bottom pieces yet because they serve their purpose and keep the cloth bags protected from food spills, etc.

Glass Water Bottle w/ Bamboo Lid
I purchased a glass water bottle years ago after getting completely fed up with plastic bottles. It  has been a godsend too, especially for work and the gym. It's sturdy and holds a lot of water. There are tons of these type of water bottles all over the internet too.

Bamboo Chopping Boards Large & Small
Last year when Alex & I were in Ikea we came across these boards and knew we had to have them. They've held up extremely well and I really enjoy them.

Wooden Utenstils
I love my wooden spoon and wooden citrus reamer. I'd like to get even more wooden utensils - which I plan of doing very soon.

Reuse-able Produce Bags
I made my own using a set of flour sack towels and I love them.

My goal is to purchase something Eco-friendly each month in order to get me closer to my goal of living a more natural, Earth-friendly, Eco-concious lifestyle. To me that means less plastic, even more recycling, making cleaning products, more food from scratch and keeping in mind that when we do buy things - to take note of the environmental consequences.

Do you do anything to lead an Eco-conscious life?
05 April 2016

A Quick Guide to Having A Pet Rabbit

A Quick Guide to Having A Pet RabbitAwhile ago a friend asked me if I could share some information in regards to having a bunny as a pet. After a lot of messages sent back and forth I came to the conclusion that I really needed to write a blog post about this, because like my friend said, it can be a little difficult finding information on bunnies as pets.

As most of you know, I have a pet bunny named Olive. She's an English Spot/dwarf mix and I absolutely love that little bun with all my heart. When I first decided that I wanted a rabbit as a pet I did A LOT of research online and no matter how much I read, I wasn't all that knowledgeable until having Olive for a little while. I figured I'd share what I learned with all of you!

So, you're thinking about getting a pet rabbit.
Having a rabbit as a pet is NOT like having a cat or a dog - they need supervision too. In my opinion, having a pet rabbit is actually a lot better and I've had both cats and dogs in the past. Rabbits are skittish by nature, I mean wouldn't you if you were not even six pounds? Besides they are prey animals. By default, they are ready to move at the slightest sign of danger. You have to be gentle with them, they are keen on doing things on THEIR terms. Sometimes rabbits nip. Olive only does it when you are in her way and she's exhausted all other avenues of moving you. It's never a hard nip, but when she first did it was unexpected. Oh, and they shed too, which is always fun if you have a white rabbit and wear mostly black like I do.

Rabbits need hay and A LOT of it. Depending on their size, rabbits will need different amounts of pellets and fresh veggies. The list of veggies and fruits that rabbits can eat is rather long so I won't list it here, but you can check out an awesome list over at Rabbit House Society.

I'm really picky about the pellets that I give Olive. I've found the best one to be Sunseed Vita Sunscription. These pellets have no added sugar, nuts, or seeds. They are also made from Timothy Hay so it's perfect. They sell them at Pet Supermarket and Amazon.

They should consume hay daily (typically the size of their body). However, the type of hay you give them depends on their age. Baby bunnies need Alfalfa Hay, whereas adult rabbits need Timothy Hay. If you find that you are allergic to Timothy Hay, Orchard Hay is a great option.

As for the amounts, it varies by how big your rabbit is. For every two pounds of bunny weight, they should get a cup of mixed, approved veggies. Since Olive is 4lbs I give her around 2 cups of fresh veggies for dinner. As for pellets, I give her 1/8 cup of pellets for her breakfast and half of that for her afternoon snack. Keep in mind that 70% of their diet should be made up of good quality hay. Bunnies love to graze, so if it takes them a little time to finish their food, don't worry. For more information, head over to House Rabbit Society's Diet page.

Fresh fruits are a great way to reward your bunny. Dried chamomile flowers are awesome as well - Olive loves the Badia ones.Olive's favourite special treat is bananas (in very small amounts). - we will give her banana strings or a little tip of the banana. She goes crazy for them. Just remember that too much sugar can cause GI stasis, which can be deadly.

Also, NEVER give your rabbit chocolate, yogurt drops or pellets with seeds or nuts mixed in. Try to stay away from pellets with added sugar. You can see some more information here.

Use a ceramic bowl instead of a water feed, it's easier for them to drink water. Always make sure they have fresh water and wash the bowl frequently. I always use filtered water for Olive - we have a PUR water filter attachment on our kitchen sink, so it makes it a lot easier and less wasteful than buying water bottles. Plus you get filtered water on tap too!

A large, rectangular cat size litter box is perfect. I keep Olive's in one corner of her cage. But you have to be careful what you fill the litter box with. Stay away from litters made from wood shavings or chips. CatWorks litter isn't safe either.

I use Tractor Supply store brand equine pine pellets. They are wood stove pellets that are actually for horses, but they are great for rabbits too. Best of all, it's only $5 for a 40lb bag. Which lasts a LONG time for Olive.

For their litter box, all you need to do is add in their litter and top it with fresh hay. Rabbits love to eat hay while their pooping. And yes, they will also eat their own poop. This is normal and HEALTHY. Rabbits go through their food so quickly that most of their poop is just half-digested food still full of nutrients. Also, you need to make sure that you change their litter box often.

This graphic from Rabbit House Society is great...

When I adopted Olive she was already litter box trained. But I've heard that it isn't that hard to train them to use a litter box. Rabbits like to keep their areas very clean so having a designated area for them is right up their alley. I've heard of people taking three separate litter boxes and lining their cage with them. They then remove one litter box, then the second litter box leaving the third litter box on either the left or right side of the cage. Just whatever you do, make sure the litter box isn't in the middle of the cage... bunnies need a lot of space to stretch out and be lazy

A pet rabbit, in my opinion, should always be kept indoors. As for the cage size, you have to remember that once the litter box is in there, there needs to be enough room for their water bowl and area for the bunny to sprawl out and hang out comfortably. For Olive, I originally purchased this cage. Olive isn't a large rabbit, maybe 41/2 pounds, so I thought this cage was perfect for her. Sadly, it wasn't. Plus those plastic surfaces can cause sore hocks - which can become very serious. We have since made Olive a rabbit-tat, thanks to this amazing metal x-pen. You can go here for even more info.

Picking up your rabbit and other things to consider.
Most rabbits don't enjoy being picked up. Simply consider that you tower over them, they feel safe being low to the ground and picking them up could signal danger. Olive will only let me pick her up on rare occasions. One way to see if your rabbit will even allow you to pick them up is to test the situation. Usually what I do is start by getting down on the ground next to her, I let her sniff me and then I will start petting her. I'll then move my hand towards her side, in between her feet, and if she doesn't bolt  I know that she's cool with letting me pick her up.

How to hold a rabbit - lots of bunny butt support.
When holding your rabbit make sure their paws are pressed to your chest with one hand supporting their butt. Bunnies have very delicate spines and supporting them in that way and location helps them feel safe in the "cuddle position" as I like to call it.

Listen closely, rabbits DO make noises.
Olive loves to grunt if she doesn't like what I am doing. This usually occurs if I have to pick her up and she doesn't want anything to do with it. She'll also grunt if I have to rearrange her set up in her cage while she is still in it. Bunnies can be a little OCD with their habitats and if they set up their stuff a certain way, they don't like to see it altered.

P.S. If you ever hear a rabbit making a grinding noise while you're petting them, it means that they are content. It's the bunny's equivalent of purring.

Honestly, rabbits make great pets,  they can live up to ten years (sometimes more - like 13 years) so it is a big decision that requires commitment. They need love and attention just like any other animal. And please, if you are thinking about getting a rabbit, check out local shelters near you. There are so many bunnies in need of adoption.

You can check out Olive's adventures here.

03 April 2016

Life Lately & Wedding Planning

I feel like I start a lot of my posts with “life lately” yada, yada, yada. And then there are some posts that start out with explanations for starting said post the same way a lot (like this one right here – did you notice?! Hah!) Seriously though, lately life has been different - different in an good way. I’m engaged to my best friend, we’re planning a wedding for February of next year, he's started a new job that keeps him at work for sometimes 14 hours a day (soon this will pass, please sweet fancy Moses) and I have a little bunny that all she wants to do is cuddle with me for long stretches at a time – which I’ll take because sometimes she wants NOTHING to do with me. Do you know how precious it is to have a bunny scramble to your feet when she is scared and stretch herself so you’ll pick her up? I swear, Olive makes me feel like Snow White every single day.

I've become a wedding planning pro lately. I've constructed a wedding website, put together DIY ideas, found the dress, found his blazer, found everything we'll need, clothing wise actually. But a part of me is thinking, isn't it too soon to get all this stuff? I mean we already did get the dress and the blazer. But... is it too soon to be constructing all the DIY's?

Either way, there's a lot of excitement in our neck of the woods. Especially because at the end of April we'll be going on a road trip to Savannah, GA. I seriously cannot wait! On a side note, I made a vlog the other week. I really want to get back into the swing of making videos. As for the direction in which type of videos, I'm still a little unsure...

Pop Quiz: Did you noticed a sitcom reference in this post? Leave me a comment with the show.