Monthly Archives: June 2012

Post-Wedding Cleanup!

Well, I’d hoped to have a wedding recap post for you by today, but the fact is that I’m holding out on you a little longer.  Our first priority is to deal with the mess in our house.

I go back to work tomorrow and I’m not going to lie, I’m really dreading it.  Not because I hate my job – in fact I love my job more than I have in several years.  But I don’t want to go back to the real world, don’t want to have to get off this amazing happy cloud Ryan and I have been floating on for more than a week now.  I know that the return to “real life” comes with the general ups and downs where not every day is as magical as your wedding weekend and following honeymoon.

At the same time, however, Ryan and I are pretty stoked to be back to normal life. Things got pretty crazy during the last month, and we came home from our honeymoon trip to the resulting mess.  There was nothing neat and tidy about this borrowed abode when we left for the wedding!

I made a little video just to document it for posterity :)

And then we worked crazy hard to get it cleaned up.

The upstairs is looking much better, aside from the pile of recycling and Goodwill donations that need to go out.  Please note, the animals are neither part of of the Goodwill donations nor the recycling. We’ll keep them, thankyouverymuch. :)

The basement, however, still needs a ton of work.  We’re totally re-organizing the work room to create a building station as well as more storage for general stuff.  In the process we’re also trying to get rid of more things we don’t need.  This house has become scarily full in the 2 years we’ve lived here.


So let’s see how much I can get done down there today!

If you’d like to see a sneak peek of the wedding, you can visit Open Wings Photography on Facebook.  One of my best friends, Crysty, and her mom Tina took the photos for our wedding.

Also on a related note – I loved my friend Katie‘s post on Simple Mom this week.  She talked about how to make wedding gifts more meaningful and heart-filled.

Announcing: New Family Naturals Community Market

Hello! Ryan and I are home from our amazing, wonderful, and just ridiculously awesome wedding and honeymoon/vintage furniture shopping trip. But before I tell you all about that, I just realized I forgot to tell you about my friend’s business venture that I am so very excited about.  And there’s not much time left, so I wanted to quickly pop over and share ASAP!

New Family Naturals Juice Bar

I met Toya last spring at the Vienna Farmer’s Market.  I liked her vibe, liked what she was doing (with her amazing kale chips and flax seed crackers and other healthy snacks) and I basically wanted to talk to her more.  So I gave her my business card.  After a few long conversations over coffee, one thing led to another, and we became friends.

Now, one year later, her vegan, gluten-free, and natural snack company New Family Naturals is so busy that she’s had to expand to a full-time commercial production space! Don’t worry, her snacks will still be lovingly handmade by her and a few employees – they’ll just have the space to make more of them.  When Toya and her husband found a commercial property in the Lake Ann development in Reston, VA, they were delighted that it was also big enough for a storefront shop, which will become the New Family Naturals Community Market & Juice Bar.

The Lake Ann community has nothing of the sort at the moment, and their residents are getting excited at the prospect of having farm fresh eggs, organic local milk, healthy snacks, and fresh juices available just steps from their own homes.  And I don’t blame them! I’m getting excited too, because not only is my friend expanding her business in an AWESOME way, but she’s doing it about 5 minutes from where I work. 😉

But growing your business and taking the risk of opening up a brick and mortar shop is scary . . . and expensive!  Toya set up a fundraiser with IndieGoGo, which allows people to invest in her business.  I think it’s an awesome way to go, because a whole community can be a part of the business.  If you’d like to follow their blog on this journey, you can do so here.  And to invest, please go hereThere’s only a few hours left for her IndieGoGo campaign – so if you want to be part of it, you must act quickly!!

But wait, there’s more!  I have a very exciting project on my hands:  Toya has asked me for help designing her storefront!  I’ll be back next week with photos of the blank canvas we have to work with.  I am so flattered and excited to help her with this project, I can barely contain myself! :)

PS:  You can also follow New Family Naturals on Twitter or Facebook.

Here I Go!

Well, friends, today is the big day.

I awoke insanely early this morning, as the sun was rising over the Chesapeake bay right outside the windows of the little cottage I stayed in with my bridesmaids. I took the time for some reflection, reading the wedding-day-reminders note I’d written to myself a few weeks ago.

I’m getting ready to walk down the aisle soon, and seeing as Ryan included you all in his proposal those 9 months ago, I thought it was only fitting that I post something at the time of today’s special moment. I wish I could have invited all of my blogging friends – you all have meant SO much to me and I truly think of you as a part of my life. Love you all.



Coming to America: The story of Olivia

I think it’s pretty clear that we love animals at the borrowed abode.  What you may not know is that all 4 of our four-legged friends came directly from the streets. Charlie was the saddest case the day I found her, walking around with no hair, a bullet in her back leg, a wounded eye (that is now gone) and emaciated at half of her current 50# weight.

Charlie also turned out to be the most amazing dog I’ve ever – or will ever – have.

And now that Janery is selling dog and cat beds, it seems only fitting to include animal welfare organizations in Janery’s charitable giving each year, as well as the homeless (human) shelter.

So when my friend Sarah traveled to Bora Bora recently on what was supposed to be a vacation, and found a wonderfully sweet dog in desperate need of medical care, I knew I wanted to do something to help her bring that dog home.

A ChipIn fund has been created to help defray the costs of veterinary care and travel for Olivia, the Bora Bora dog.  Additional funds raised will go towards a spay/neuter fund for the insane number of stray dogs roaming the island.  

For every donation of $5 or more, you will be entered to win one Janery Pup Pad or Catnip Purr Pad of any size from Sm – XL.

For every donation of $25 or more, you’ll get two chances to win. There will be two winners, and the pup pad will be custom made by me and shipped to you by July 20, 2012.

Janery pup pads offer your pets a way to lounge in style while protecting your furniture! They’re totally machine washable, and fit easily in standard washing machines.  They’re low profile and can totally be rolled up and toted along on a trip.  Prices for these custom handmade beds range from $35 – $90, so this is a great chance to win one for essentially the cost of your donation!

And now for more information about sweet Olivia:

You’re probably thinking that it’s odd to bring a dog halfway around the world from vacation.  For Sarah, it’s not.   (And honestly, I’d probably try to do the same.)  She’s dedicated her life to helping animals, setting up a nonprofit boxer rescue during her time on the East Coast and now fostering an insane number of dogs in her current home in San Diego.

You can read the full story here, as well as the updates as they occur.

And if you’re wondering the moment when I went from “this is sweet” to “how can I do more to help!?”, it’s when I watched this video.  Her mannerisms and facial expressions and even the vibes she’s exuding in the video reminded me SO much of my Charlie, who was basically in the same shape as Olivia when I found her.  It’s uncanny.

You know what’s also uncanny?  The fact that a dog can be as emaciated as this, living on the streets and subjected to all sorts of people and conditions, yet still have the amazing capacity to be sweet to people. It gets me every time.

Thanks for reading, and please consider making a donation if you are able!  I can guarantee you that, with Sarah running this show, the funds will be used judiciously. 

Olivia’s ChipIn Fund

Olivia’s Facebook Page